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his parents were anxious, from the commencement of arrangements for his profession in life, that in him, if it should please God to extend his life to a period of usefulness, the same line should be continued. These prospective plans were seconded by the inclinations of their son, who early formed the resolution, from which he at no time deviated, of devoting himself to the spiritual service of that God, by whose love, evinced to mankind in the Lord Jesus, the souls of believers are saved; and of that Church of Christ, of which his father and grandfather had been such respectable ministers. course, every step was, as he progressively advanced to maturity, successively taken, to qualify him, under divine grace, for the performance of the important obligations and duties which are embraced under the clerical profession.
The elementary part of his education was conducted, under the eye of his father, at the parochial school, where a competent portion of classical knowledge preparatory to, and requisite for his attendance at College was attained; and there his attention and diligence afford
ed a favourable omen of the progress, which, with more mature faculties, might be anticipated. A vacancy having occurred in a bursary, to which persons of the name of Ramsay had, in the original destination of the fund, a prior claim, and being by the application of friends secured to him, he was, at the early age of twelve, entered, in October 1803, a student of the Old or Philosophy College of St Andrew's. This burhad the superior advantage of lasting during a course of philosophy and of divinity, which usually consists of four years each. During the winters of 1803, 1804, 1805 and 1806, he pursued the studies of the ancient languages, mathematics and philosophy, with the high approbation of the various professors, of which their certificates of attendance and character bore ample testimony. From the early age at which he went to College, having, after going through the regular course of education, a year to spare at its conclusion, before, by the regulations of the Church of Scotland, he could be admitted to probationary trials, his father judged it expedient,
in the session of 1807, that he should retrace the higher branches of study thro' which he had already passed, while, at the same time, without enrolment, he gave attendance upon the lectures on theology, delivered in the New, or Mary's College of St Andrew's. In winter 1808, he was enrolled a student of divinity; and during that session, and those of 1809-10-11, he steadily persevered, under the tuition of the late Dr George Hill, who was then Principal and first lecturer on divinity, and the other able Professors who then had charge of the different departments of education in that University, to follow out his preparatory studies for the ministry; and at their termination, brought home to his aged parent, (his mother and elder sister by this time being dead,) the most favourable testimonials of abi
lity, exertion, and success. In the private society of St Andrew's, he was held in general estimation. The vivacity and frankness of his manners, the warmth of his feelings, and the uniform propriety of his conduct, made him a favourite with every family; and there he laid the foundation of a close and intimate friendship
with many, which ended only with his life.
Having still, upon his return to his native place, more than six months, on account of his age, before he could, according to the acts of the General Assembly, be admitted upon probationary trials by the Presbytery, and fully a year, even upon the most expeditious procedure, before he could be licensed to preach the gospel, his father resolved upon sending him, in winter 1812, to the College of Edinburgh, where his time was devoted to some additional studies which could not be had at St Andrew's. At the same time, however, as the infirmities of age were now beginning seriously to affect the health of his father, no time was lost in following the usual course of examination and trial, previous to his being empowered to exercise the functions of the holy ministry, before the Presbytery of Auchterarder. During the winter of 1812, and spring of 1813, every preparatory step prescribed by law was gone through; and on the 4th of May of the latter year, he was admitted as a probationer of the
Church, and licensed to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The fruits of his long course of study were now to be reaped,-the hopes of his aged parent, and of all his friends, were now to be realized. Nor were they disappointed. The display of talent and knowledge in his composition, the energy of his address, and the distinctness of his utterance, gratified the most ardent expectation. The reception he met with, not merely in his own district, where partiality might influence, but in all places, and from every class of hearers, was indeed flattering. These early marks of public approbation, so far from lessening his exertions, or deadening his ardour, to render his knowledge more extensive and his qualifications more useful, by those feelings of self-complacency and vanity to which human nature at that age and in these circumstances is so prone, rather tended to encourage and stimulate him in the exercise of all those means, whereby, under the divine blessing, his natural endowments and his acquired improvements might conduce to farther usefulness.