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dies, so strait, that some said, for five ble indeed for any one to look with days thereafter they thought they indifference on a discussion in which felt these gripps : after an hour or so many distinguished characters, two of the night was thus past there and such important interests, were inwas no more trouble. This is attes volved. In our numbers for April ted by Charles Macklelane, Thomas and May last, we stated some of the Mackminn, Andrew Paline, John leading facts ; and different circumCairns and John Tait,
stances, unnecessary to be mentioned, Upon Wednesday's night, being have prevented us from entering into the i. of May, it fired a little sheep- minute details, on a subject of such house ; the sheep were got out safe, peculiar delicacy, As, however, the but the sheep house was wholly controversy, according to every ap, burnt. Since there hath not been pearance, is now brought to a.ter. any trouble about the house býmination, our readers may naturally night or by day. Now all things expect to receive from us some geneaforesaid being of undoubted verity, al account of its whole progress. therefore I conclude with that of the In so doing, it appears to us most
suitable to the character of the Scots Apostle, i Pet. v. 8, 9.
Magazine, and most convenient, both for immediate satisfaction, and for
future reference, rather to give a SCOTTISH REVIE W.
simple statement of facts, and of the Controversy concerning the Election of a arguments used on both sides, than MATHEMATICAL PROFESSOR.
to obtrude on the public any opinion
of our own. Should this be per. 1: A
Short statement of some im. formed with success, it will, to the portant facts relative to the
reader of the present day, present, in late election of a Mathematical
what is at present Professor in the University of dispersed through a variety of publiEdinburgh ; accompanied with o
cations; and to posterity, which will riginal papers and critical remarks. be better qualified than we are to de By Professor Stewart. 3d edition, cide on the question, it will furnish 8vo. 23. 6d.
the materials of its judgment in a 2. Postscript to ditto, 8vo. Is.
permanent form. 3. Report of Proceedings in the Ge
In order to bring our materials neral Assembly of the Church of
into some kind of order, we shall Scotland relating to the case of divide them into three parts.
Mr Leslie. 2d edit. Svo. 58. 1. An Historical Summary of the 4. An Examioation of Mr Dugald
proceedings from their commence. Stewart's Pamphlet, relative to
ment to the decision of the Gene. the late election of a Mathema.
ral Assembly. Here, we shall tical Professor in the University of
proceed upon the principle, that Edinburgh. By one of the Mi
all facts are true, which are either nisters of Edinburgh, 2d edit. 8vo,
agreed upon by both parties, or
are asserted by one party, and not Since Scotland ceased to be the contradicted by the other. theatre' of great political events, no 11. An outline of the arguments used subject has excited a higher or more on both sides, as collected from general interest, than that to which the debates in the General Assemwe are now about to call the atten. bly, and from the publications of țion of our readers. It was impossi- the Ministers on the one side, and
of Messrs. Stewart, Brown and At an early period, a converPlayfair on the other.
sation took place on this subject beIII. A view of the controversy con- tween Mr Macknight and Mr Stew
cerning academical pluralities, art, in which the latter expressed his which was begun in Mr Stewart's hope, that Mr Macknight would, in Short Statement, and carried on in case of success, resign his ecclesiasti. the publications of the Ministers, cal living, in which he understood and of Mr Playfair.
that gentleman to acquiesce, provid. On the 30th of January 1805,
ed the object of his ambition could
not be otherwise attained. the University of Edinburgh lost one of its brightest ornaments, by that Mr Macknight, in compliance
understood, however, soon afterwards, the death of the late Dr John Ro
with the advice of some of his friends, bison, Professor of Natural Philo
had determined to abandon the prosophy. The eminence with which that chair had been occupied, both fessorship, rather than relinquish his
ecclesiastical character for its attainby him, and by his predecessors ; among whom were, Sir Robert Stew
ment: and that his pretensiop to art, Sir John Stewart, son to the
both offices was supported by Mr former, Dr Adam Ferguson, and Ranken, who was known to be pos. Mr Russell; caused a general anxiety Town Council of Edinburgh *. Suchi
sessed of very great influence in the among the friends of literature, that it should be filled by a persoa who
was the alarm felt by Mr Stewart at was duly qualified. Nothing in this this intelligence, that he immediately view could give more general satis
determined on a step to which no. faction than the nomination of Mr thing, as he states, could have indu. Playfair, whose acknowledged ta.
ced him, but a conviction that the lents and long services in the mathe
ruin of the University was threatened matical class, clearly pointed him by such an union of offices becaming out as the most eligible person.
So general. He determined therefore generally was this felt, that every
to write a letter on the subject to one of the numerous candidates ap- ly urges the impropriety of the mea.
the Lord Provost, in which he strong- plied only for that office of the two, which Mr Playfair should consider
now in contemplation. This as the least eligible.
was seconded by Mr Playfair in 2 The mathematical chair having longer letter, where he recapitulates thus become vacant, the first candidate that offered was Mr Mack- conceives this union of offices as likenight, one of the Ministers of Edin. ly to prove pernicious to the interests burgh, of whose abilities and ac
of science. These letters belong proquirements, particularly in this de perly to our thirddivision ; at present, partment of science, both Mr Stew.
it may be sufficient to observe, that art and Mr Playfair express
the arguments urged in them appearfavourable opinion. As this gentle. ed so convincing to the Lord Pro. man, in the course of the preceding vost, and others concerned in the session, while the professors of Greek election, that they determined upon and Natural Philosophy were both indisposed, had discharged the duties of these two classes, very much to
* As the motives of Mr Macknight's the satisfaction of the University he acted, have become a subject of con
resolution, and the advice under which and the public, these extraordinary troversy, we shall defer them to a fun services seemed deserving of some re- ture division of the argument.
excluding every candidate who was But it was only wanted to dispel the not prepared to devote himself ert- cloud of mystery which had so long tirely to the duties of bis academical darkened that important subject. The office. As Mr Macknight therefore unsophisticated sentiments of mankind still adhered to the resolution of not
are in perfect unison with the deduc
tions of logic, and imply nothing more resigning his church, his claims were
at bottom, in the relation of cause and necessarily set aside.
effect, than a constant and invariable se. Meanwhile, the chief magistrate, be- quence.
Sh. Stat. 31. ing determined to do nothing preci- Mr Leslie then endeavoured, in a pitately in so important a business, long etymological discussion, to shew continued to receive the recommen- that the words in all languages, which dations of the different candidates.
denote cause, had no signification be. The claims of one soon appeared so
yond that of mere priority. From decidedly superior to that of all the this passage the Ministers inferred rest, as to leave no room for hesita- that Mr Leslie had expressed his full tion. Mir Leslie had just received, assent to those doctrines. on which by the unanimous resolution of the Hume founded his atheistical opini. Council of the Royal Society of ons, and was therefore totally unfit London, Count Rumford's prize for to be entrusted with the educahis experimental enquiry concerning tion of youth. To justify their inheat, published in the course of the terference on this occasion, they repreceding year, and this was accom
ferred to the charter of James VI. panied by a letter from the Presi- erecting the university of Edinburgh, dent, Sir Joseph Banks, which added by which the right of nominating greatly to its value. Strong testi.
Professors was committed to the monies in favour of his talents and Provost, Bailies, and Council of the character were also given by Dr City, cum avisamento tamen eorum Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal; Dr ministrorum (yet with the advice of Hutton, Professor of Mathematics their Ministers.) The Ministers in the Royal Military Academy at therefore intimated their expectation, Woolwich; the late Professor Ro. that before proceeding to elect a bison ; Mr Baron Maseres; Sir professor, the Town Council should William Erskine of Torry, Mermake a formal application to them Dempster of Dannichen, Mr Josias, for advice, which would no doubt be and Mr Thomas Wedgewoods, Dr given most decidedly against Mr Hunter of St Andrews, Mr Playfair Leslie. and Mr Stewart *.
In consequence It does not very distinctly appear of this weight of recommendation, in what manner these statements and it was generally understood, that the claims were originally brought forelection would fall upon Mr Leslie.' ward; Mr Stewart speaks of obscure This design however met with an
insinuations against Mr Leslie*; unexpected opposition.
while the Ministers absolutely deny In a note upon a particular part that they ever used any such t.of his essay on Heat, Mr Leslie had
From the language of the protest introduced the following passage : it would seem that this communica
“ Mr Hume is the first, as far as I tion, as well as that relating to the know, who has treated of causation in avisamentum, had passed between ina truly philosophic manner.
dividual members of the presbytery, say on Necessary Connexion seems a
and model of clear and accurate reasoning.
* Short Statement, p. 28. * Short Statement, p. 274 28.
# Examination, p. 62, 63.
and of the Town Cd, Howe. as the support of tyranny and usurpaver, as soon as M: Lestie learned tion. It is our native island, that prethe opposition that was making to
sents the truly cheering picture of equal him, he wrote a letter to Wir Muir, laws mildly administered ; and holds up a member of the Town Council, in rational, decent, and impressive. “I
a body of religious institutions, at once which he thus expresses himself :- venerate the great principles of our
Christian faith, and am solicitous to " It was my lot to receive a most vir- mark, by my external behaviour, that tuous, and religious education, in the respect which I cherish. Raising my bosom of a family eminently distinguish- affections above this little spot of earth, ed by its exemplary lives ; and the im- the restless scene of intrigue, and strife pressions of my early years, no distance and malice, I look forward, with joy of time or change of circumstances, can and expectation, to that better country ever efface. If my mind is more en. beyond the grave." Rep. Page 30. larged by culture, I have likewise learned to see more deeply the importance At the same time Mr Oliphant, of those truths which bind men together Minister of Largo in Fife, the parish in society, and which, visiting their in- where Mr Leslie was accustomed most recesses, appal the guilty, and
to reside, wrote to the following purhold forth comfort to the wretched. I have ever been a sincere lover of peace, of decency, and good order. My time “ Mr John Leslie has had not only has been almost wholly spent in abstract the advantage of a Christian education, researches, and the study of the sublime but had also the powerful instruction operations of nature. The questions, that arises from the practice of religion. so much agitated of late, served, with “ The pursuits in which Mr John me, only to amuse a few leisure mo- Leslie has been engaged made his resi: ments; and even at that eventful period, dence at Largo irregular ; but, when when the minds of men, and particu. at home, and especially for these two larly of young men, were so violently years past, I have the satisfaction of sayinflamed, I escaped in a great measure ing, that he paid a becoming respect to the contagion. I sighed, indeed, for religion. If great abilities, highly imthe improvement of our species; but proved, if an unstained moral characthe slightest appearance of tumult, or ter, and a tender discharge of every fipopular violence, was most abhorrent to lial duty, reccommend to confidence my temper. I never had the remotest and esteem, these belong to him.” connection with any party or political
Rep. p. 28. association whatever. In the spirit of mildness, I endeavoured to think and act The Reverend Thomas Laurie, for myself. My sentiments of loyalty Minister of Newburn, the neighbourhad been confirmed by what I had seen ing parish, in a letter to Mr Hill, during a short stay in America, where City Treasurer, bore a similar testiI witnessed the disgusting and perni
mony cious influence assumed by an ignorant, licentious, and dissolute rabble. “ I have lived in habits of friendship The respect which I have always enter. with him for some time past: I have had tained for the principles of our constitu- an opportunity of knowing his religious tion, has continued to encrease in pro- and political sentiments : I have been portion as my experience was enlarged furnished, in short, with satisfactory eby the opportunities which I have had vidence of his attachement to our ccof viewing other countries. Time also clesiastical and civil establishament.has sobered and matured my reflections. His father officiated long as a worthy I have seen monstrous and savage anar
elder of our church : his son was once chy terminate in the most frightful mi- a student of divinity: and though he litary despotism; and I have seen the has not prosecuted his theological stucries of frenzy and impiety changed in. dies, having been rauch engaged in oto hypocritical pretensions of regard to ther literary pursuits, I never heard a corrupt system of worship, employed that he had ceased to respect the doc
trines or discipline of the church of understood the measures which were
on the morning of the day on which
which that gentleman declares “ that of bis deportment : For he is not he had connsidered the relation of more distinguished by his mathematical cause and effect merely as a subject of knowledge, than by several amiable physical examination; denies all the virtues which sweeten and adorn do inferences which ihe ingenuity of his mestic life. But his scientific attainments are universally known, and it is it, and pledges himself, if he should
opponents may attempt to draw from my firm belief, that he would discharge his protessional duties with diligence
ever publish a second edition, to shew and fidelity, with credit to himself and how grossly and injuriously he has advantage to the community,
been misrepresented, on this occaRep. p. 29.
sion *." The letter may be seen at · Meanwhile the Ministers, finding length in our number for April 1805, that the Town Council shewed no p. 321. disposition either to apply for advice Mr Leslie also, by the advice of or to credit their unfavourable
Mr Stewart, sent a copy to one of
Dr Hunter, being confined with port of what they conceived to be illness, sent this letter to a reverend their just claims. With this view, friend, inclosed in one of his own, in they summoned a meeting of presby. which he informed him, that he was tery for Tuesday the 12th of March; himself satisfied with the explanation and one of the Ministers having, on
it contained, and hoped that his breMonday the 11th, met the Lord thren would be so also. The letter Provost in the Council-room of Her. was accordingly read in the presbyriot's Hospital, privately intimated tery, and gave rise to a discussion of to his Lordship the measure which considerable length t. In the issue, they had in contemplation. In ans. however, it was unanimously rejectwer to an enquiry put to him, the ted as unsatisfactory †; the repreLord Provost then mentioned, that sentation and protest was read, and the Town Council intended to pro. with a few amendments, approved ; ceed to the election, on the Wed- and a Commitee of Ministers was apnesday following, at 12 o'clock noon.
pointed to have it copied and preOn receiving this intelligence, one of sented to the Town Council on Wedthe Ministers undertook to prepare day. On reaching their homes, how. the draught of a representation and
ever, several members of the Com.
the protest, which might be laid before mittee were informed, that
Town Council were about to așsem., the meeting next forenoon *. Meanwhile Dr Hunter, having
ble, * Dr Hunter's speech, Report, p. 19.
+ Dr Hunter's speech, Report, p. 21. * Examination, p. 65, 66.
| Examination, p. 64.