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DR. JOHN COLQUHOUN.
THE materials are now extremely scanty from which any thing like a detailed account of the personal history of this truly excellent and devoted minister of Christ could be prepared. Almost all his later, no less than earlier contemporaries and associates, who might have been able to furnish information, have already, like him, been removed by death; and he left no written memorials of himself by which the deficiency can be supplied. He still, however, lives in the revering remembrance of not a few who highly and justly esteemed him in love both for his own and his work's sake; and by such, the following sketch of his life and character, short as it is, will, we have no doubt, be received as an acceptable gift, while it will form no unsuitable introduction to the volume of his Sermons to which it is thus fixed.
DR JOHN COLQUHOUN, the son of a small farmer on the estate of Sir James Colquhoun, Bart. in the parish of Luss, Dumbartonshire, was born on the 1st of January 1748. His first religious impressions appear to have been produced while he was yet in childhood, through the instrumentality of his mother's pious instructions; and they never afterwards seem to have been effaced. The first rudiments of education he received in a neighbouring school, under the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge in Scotland, where the only branches at that time taught, were English reading, writing, arithmetic, and the principles of religion. The teacher being a
man of decided Christian piety, anxiously endeavoured, in communicating religious knowledge to his scholars, to impress its sacred truths on their hearts no less than their memory, and, through the Divine blessing, not without successful results. To his explanations, examinations, and applications of the answer to the question in the Assembly's Catechism, "What is effectual calling?" Mr Colquhoun, accordingly, always traced his saving conversion to the faith of the Gospel. Thirsting after a fuller acquaintance with religious truth, his enlightened teacher particularly recommended him to procure a copy of Boston's Fourfold State, as well fitted to promote his religious improvement. This, however, was not in those days so easily accomplished as now; but so eager was he to obtain it, that he travelled on foot all the way to Glasgow,-a distance, going and returning, probably about 50 miles,-for that purpose alone; and came back rejoicing in the valuable treasure. To this, in time, he added Boston's other works; and these he ever afterwards regarded as next to the Bible, his great authorities, and as it were text books,-studying them with unwearied diligence, and transferring their very substance as well as sentiments into his own discourses and writings.
At length, through the suggestion of an intelligent and devout farmer in the vicinity, with whom he had long not only cultivated the most intimate friendship, but held much improving fellowship in conversation and prayer, being led to think of devoting himself to the work of the ministry, he commenced with this view the initiatory study of Latin, though whether at a school, or merely under private tuition, we are not informed. But that he became thus sufficiently grounded in its elements, as to be capable