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Memoir of James Pillans, Esq.

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n nere........... to be remarked, that the study of that he adopted. We cannot give our readers language was an innovation of Dr. Adam, a better idea of his system, than by recurMr. Pillans' predecessor, and violently ring once more to the letter addressed by opposed by no less a man than the great him to the British and Foreign School Robertson, the historian, on the ground Society. In a few words he developes that the school, by its foundation, was the principles of a system of geographical entirely for reading Latin. This will teaching, which deserves to be more account for the unreasonably short time generally known. allowed to that department of study, in “ Ancient and modern geography are the days of Mr. Adam-namely, three united. A sketch or outline of each hours a week. Mr. Pillans, however, country is drawn by the master on a black aware of the great value of Greek litera board, with white chalk : the mountains ture in a classical education, found means are represented in green, and the rivers in to assemble the Greek class an hour every blue. In this state the board is first preday, except Saturday. The business of sented to the pupils, and the master, with a this class, gone through with much the rod, explains the physical features of the same system and accuracy as that of the country, and points out and names the leadLatin, consisted of Dr. Moor's Greeking ranges of mountains, with the rivers that Grammar, Dalzel's Analecta Minora, and fall from them. The board, as yet preXenophon. In order, however, as far as senting so little detail, the eye, and the was in his power, to remedy the incon- mind through the eye, readily takes in and venience resulting from devoting so short a retains the information. At this stage, also, time to Greek, Mr. Pillans devised a plan the length, breadth, longitude, latitude, and which has been attended with eminent boundaries, are fixed. The next lesson success, and which deserves to be exten- presents the towns (drawn thus #] in pink sively known-"a voluntary exercise* to chalk, which are to be found on the rivers the higher boys, to read and shew every already learned, descending from the source second Monday, what are called private to the mouth. These towns are demonstudies; that is, if a boy, after preparing strated by the master in the same way, care all his regular school-lessons thoroughly, being taken to mention, at the same time, finds he has still some leisure time, he some striking facts respecting the situation, employs it in reading Homer without a inhabitants, history, and neighbourhood of translation, making out what he can,--and each, which may be associated with its what he cannot, marking as difficulties to name and position on the board. Having be resolved. On the day appointed, he thus made out a sort of skeleton or framementions the number of lines he is ready work of the country, by presenting in strikto be examined on, and states his diffi. ing relief, without those details which conculties for solution, which is given either found the eye in maps, the great physical by the master, or by some of his fellows features; the next object is to mark out in who have conquered them. In this way, dotted lines the artificial divisions : and and with no other stimulus, but having the when these are well fixed, the remaining number of lines read by each, publicly towns of importance, whose position is not announced, and obtaining an hour's play indicated by rivers, are referred to the pro. there are boys in this class who are in the vince or shire, and associated again with habit of shewing up from 900 to 1200 lines those already known. The situations of within the fortnight ;" and this, let it be great battles are pointed out by a cross in remembered, in addition to all their other red chalk. The object being to make a engagements.

strong impression on the eye, and to set Nor was Mr. Pillans satisfied with thus the imagination and conception to workre-organizing the system of classical in the chalks being of different colours, is a struction at the High School. He soon circumstance not to be despised. When directed his attention to the geographical the board-draught is thus completed, maps department; and so efficiently, that ever are directed to be so constructed, as to be, since the period of his superintendence at as nearly as possible, copies of it: that is, the High School, it has retained a higher all the positions, &c. accurately laid down, character for geographical knowledge, than | but no names given. The drawer of the any other establishment in Scotland. This map must be quite au fait in having every eminence is to be unquestionably attributed place in his own sketch : and if it be to the skilful and scientific method which thought deserving of that honour, it is to be

mounted on thick pasteboard, and hung up

in view of his school-fellows." • We believe this exercise was also extended to We have conversed with some gentlethe Latin readings,

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men who have had an opportunity of in- 1 elected a fellow of the Royal Society, -as specting maps executed by young gentle- well as the dates of several public honours men at the High School; and they have which we have not been able to give in been at a loss which to admire most, the this brief and imperfect sketch. Our only beauty or accuracy of the execution. They apology is the well-known difficulty of are done with pencil-but so well, as, even collecting correct and coniplete information on a close inspection, to resemble the finest respecting the lives of eminent living copperplate."

characters, through that decent and digni• Such was the admirable and effective fied reserve which generally accompanies system which Mr. Pillans introduced at the true greatness. High School-a system at this moment carried into vigorous and most successful

ESSAY ON DIVINE LOVE, operation. While there, he succeeded in exciting a spirit of energy and emulation, Love is the most sublime and comprehenwhich has produced the happiest effects, sive theme which has ever engaged the inboth by calling into exercise all the powers tellectual powers of men or angels; a subof each individual, and accustoming him ject which grasps in its amplitude the mato their systematic operation.

terial and intelligent creation. It expands · In 1814, the chair of Humanity in through immensity, and shall beam in the Glasgow University became vacant; and revolving events of eternal duration. It is at the pressing solicitations of many of his the most powerful principle in the soul; it friends, Mr. Pillans was induced to offer actuates the moral conduct of myriads. himself a candidate for that professorship. The supreme Ruler of the universe, in His interests were strenuously supported every motion of his vast and amazing adby the late eminent professors of Greek and ministration, exhibits the most sublime and logic, Dr. Young and Mr. Jardine : but after exalted manifestations of divine love. In a long and arduous struggle, he lost it by the material creation, we extend our view; his casting vote of the late Dr. Freer. Mr. love glitters in the silent planets which perPillans continued to discharge his duties at form their evolutions above, to the admiring the High School, till the year 1820. About philosopher at midnight; it tinges the burstthe summer of that year, in consequence of ing dawn of day with ineffable splendour the decease of Mr. Christison, Professor of and glory : it is seen in the magnificent and Humanity in Edinburgh, Mr. Pillans, after stupendous mountain, whose summits are a slight contest, was unanimously elected to buried in the clouds, or enrobed in a fill that chair, which he now occupies with mantle of eternal pomp. Every flower, so much honour to the university, and smiling in the bud of its infancy, develops advantage to the students. He has suc- the complacency of its Creator, whilst the ceeded, we understand, in introducing into most insignificant blade which germinates his class a system somewhat similar to that under a vernal sun, smiles in the beauty of which he adopted at the High School, an unfolding love. The moon and stars which has been productive of the same were created to rule the night; they prebeneficial results. We believe the Huma- side with celestial power over the spreading nity class has seldom or never been so well ocean, and silver the wave that washes on attended, as during the time of Professor the most distant shore. Pillans.

In the moral constitution of immortal · There is, at first sight, a little distance creatures are discovered a wisdom and a observable in his carriage, which, however, power, whose operations are directed by the on a nearer acquaintance, softens down influence of divine love. What an august into the most perfect urbanity and con and tremendous scene reveals itself to the descension. So free is he from that tinge contemplative mind, in the moral governof pedantry and assumption which often ment of that Infinite Being, who fills imattaches to the greatest literati, that a stran- | mensity, and lives through eternity! What ger would hardly believe himself in com- dispensations of providence and grace ! pany with so accomplished a scholar; adeo | What revelations of ineffable love and reurbana, seque demittens, est vera doctrina. gard ! Consider the blessings connected One word will sum up his character as a with this love, an intelligent being inProfessor: he is fearful to none but the idle spired with a soul continually assimilating and dissipated-affectionate and encourag- herself to the nature of Deity, and paring to none but the zealous, industrious, taking of his perfections. This principle and persevering pupil.

eternally swells the sound of celestial We are aware that there are several epochs melody, and enraptures the breasts of seraof Professor Pillan's life-as that of his being 1 phic hosts, who wing, with the flight of

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lightning, through the empyrean regions of which strike from the discordant gratings of immortal light and glory.

a torturing conscience; nor does love reign In every virtuous being, this principle in the breast which slumbers in the silent conducts the whole tripartite system of man. tomb, on which hovering stars, in their The physical, moral, and intellectual ener midnight watchings, incessantly gaze in gies, in their varied ramifications and laws, twinkling brightness. The possession of receive their multitudinous directions from pure and virtuous love in the soul confers this spring of action. By it the whole an inconceivable dignity on its possessor, physical machine is subservient to the expanding immortally in “ the brightness operations of the internal power. It is an of the Father's glory,” and assimilating undeviating display of benevolence and “ to the express image of his person." moral virtue. Is it the soul ? she is filled This love shall survive the final combustion with the fire and essence of Deity. Is it of elements, the wrecking systems of matthe intellect? she delights in the wonderful ter, and the last knell of dissolving nature. manifestations of infinite power and good. Far beyond “ the lumber of demolished ness exhibited in the complicated universe. worlds," it shall open to the saint infinite She looks to the stars, and sees the light of scenes of transporting light, and rapturous God; to the sun, and there beholds the prospects of unsullied glory, which shall most illustrious emblem of his being; to expand when ages have rolled away, more the moon, and perceives the softened splen. numerous than the atoms of a universe, or dour of his Son incarnate, to adapt his the minims which could embody the imglory to our finite vision; to the ocean, mensity of space. and the vast world of waters gives an Long has this principle afforded a subject image of his grace; to the innumerable for the investigations of philosophy, and the gems which bespangle immensity, and in dissertations of science; but, alas ! an imperthem the countless mercies of God are vious blackness to finite splendour brooded seen ; to the heavens, and the far-stretching over the hemisphere of learning, and eternal skies, the “ throne of his habitation," and darkness would have enshrouded the human there “radiant ranks of essences unknown" mind, had not infinite love itself beamed bathe in the effulgence of the vast ocean of in the pages of revelation to man, and his overwhelming brightness and love. pierced the clouds of time's dark horizon.

If we consider the various perfections The soul of man, without the influence of and attributes of God, whether they be this love, exhibits a chaos more wild and eternal, natural, or moral, we see only va- rude than that from which the universe rious modifications of the principle of love emerged into being, when our terrestrial divine. The eternal attributes of God are system majestically rose from the glooms of essential properties of infinite love; the ancient night, while the music of the natural attributes, those which are exer- “ morning stars which sang together, and cised in the creation and preservation of of the sons of God which shouted for joy," the universe; and his moral attributes and pealed round in one harmonious choir of perfections, as he stands connected with all raptures, and hailed the birth of a world rational intelligences, but particularly with which should contain the heirs of immorhis creature man. God is a moral go. tality, yea, should be the teinporary resivernor, and man a moral agent subject to dence of God. his laws, and this connexion constitutes man Finally, love is the basis for the pillars a moral being: but love is the grand cen of eternity, the fountain of immortal hope, tre-the eternal sun, which emits infinite the object of celestial song, and the revarieties of glory and light, without which vealed essence of an infinite and incomall would be a blank, a gulf of non-ex prehensible Being. Love is the source of istence. View beaven, and earth, and sea; every joy; and where peace diffuses her all is the « varied God.” If melody hallowed influence in the breast, there must breathes from cherubic lips, it is love be love. strikes the sound; if astounding choirs · As we acknowledge, the existence of a break on the listening skies, there love is sun or star by its light, so wherever we heard. Do the beatified visions of hea find peace and joy, it is love, and love ven light up the spirits of angels ? it is love alone, which emits the sacred beams. sheds the beam."

« Faith, hope, and love," are all of celestial Where love is not, there can be no hap origin, but the greatest of them is love. piness. Love is absent in the sulphureous This is the predominant passion of the soul; storms of bell, and in the belching flames all the other feelings, powers, and faculties of fire which spread in billows over its of man, receive its mystic influence, and tossing ocean. It is not heard in the groans | experienced its invisible agency. It is the 107

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bond of union, and of diversified nature ; , because the prophecy with which he closes it shall unite angels and men, and heaven this fable was literally fulfilled, both upon and earth, and shall commingle the breath- Schechem and Abimelech, as clearly apings of saints with the melodies of angels, pears from the sequel, which is related in when the trophies of conquest shall finally this very chapter. Thus early, it appears, be borne through the emerald gates of para- Israel preferred a murderer to the Lord of dise, and be thrown at the footstool of the life, and in his destruction found ruin. To Immortal King.

J. B. the inspiration of Jotham, we therefore 11, Charles's-street, Edinburgh. refer the scope and bearing of this exalted

fable, which appears to me, prophetically,

to embrace the ages of this sphere. JOTHAM'S FABLE.

Abraham, “the father of the faithful,”

and progenitor of Jotham, was a patriarch, AFTER the slaughter of the seventy sons of and lived and died under the patriarchal Gideon by Abimelech, the meanest of their dispensation; distinguished as a prince brethren, Jotham the youngest son, in- amidst the nations, as a prophet of the spired by Jehovah, addressed the murder- living God, and as the head of that select ers, whom the men of Shechem had elected line amongst the descendants of Noah, by king, from mount Gerizim, saying, “ The whom the Messiah should come to mantrees went forth on a time to anoint a king kind. The promise of Jehovah to Abraover them; and they said unto the olive- ham was, “ In thy seed shall all the natree, Reign thou over us. But the olive- tions of the earth be blessed.” Genesis tree said unto them, Should I leave my fat. xxii. 18. ness, wherewith by me they honour God The descendants of Abraham, by Isaac and man, and go to be promoted over the and Jacob, were the chosen people of trees? And the trees said to the hig-tree, Jehovah; they inherited the promise given Come thou, and reign over us. But the to Abraham, and therefore took the name fig-tree said unto them, Should I forsake which the angel of the covenant put upon my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go Jacob at Peniel, viz. Israel ; or, as the name to be promoted over the trees? Then said | imports, “A prince of the Omnipotent." the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and Genesis xxxii. 28. To these descendants reign over us. And the vine said unto of Abraham, Jehovah also, under the most them, Should I leave my wine, which peculiar circumstances, and in the most cheereth God and man, and go to be pro- imposing manner, delivered a new dispenmoted over the trees? Then said all the sation, viz. that of the Law. From Mount trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and Sinai, in person, and also by the ministry reign over us. And the bramble said unto of Moses, he promulgated to Israel a law, the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king holy, just, and good, to be observed by over you, then come and put your trust in them throughout their generations, and in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out their midst, sovereign, he abode over the of the bramble, and devour the cedars of | mercy-seat, an oracle to his people, up to Lebanon. If ye, then, have dealt truly | the moment when Jotham composed this and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with bis fable, and during many subsequent genera. house, this day, then rejoice ye in Abi- tions. This law, delivered by Jehovah melech, and let him also rejoice in you; but himself, and also by the ministry of his if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, faithful servant Moses, together with the inand devour the men of Shechem, and the spired effusions of a multitude of prophets, house of Millo; and let fire come out from all of whom were of the seed of Abraham, the men of Shechem, and from the house of formed a chain of prophecies delivered Millo, and devour Abimelech.” Judges ix. through a period comprising more than fif

This fable is the most ancient, and one teen hundred years, viz. from the calling of of the most beautiful productions in that Abraham to the prophesying of Malachi. class of instruction, upon record. It was These were severally recorded, and these composed during the commonwealth of records having been carefully collected into Israel, long before Saul was raised to the one volume, are now denominated the kingly dignity, and while Jehovah himself Bible, or the Book of God. That Divine dwelt between the cherubim, on the mercy prescience, which, looking into futurity, seat, and reigned sole monarch of Israel, inspired the prophets to write, has proviAbimelech's reign was, therefore, a vile dentially preserved these writings through usurpation, and is fitly designated by the every age, and brought them down to us bramble in this fable.

entire: and we hail them as the testament Jotham was evidently divinely inspired; / of his covenant with man.

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In the fulness of time came to this peo- | when men fed upon fruits and dwelt in ple the Messiah. He who is the seed of tents, migrating from place to place with Abraham, the prophet like unto Moses, their flocks and herds, to find pasture. The announced by Moses, and prophetically leaves of this tree formed the first covering described by all the prophets, Jesus | to the fallen pair in paradise, when, conChrist, the Son of God, the Redeemer of scious of guilt, to hide their shame, our first the world ; and he chose twelve men, all of parents fled from the face of their Creator, the seed of Abraham, to become his whom erewhile they adored, and sought apostles to Israel, and one man of the seed shelter behind the trees of the garden in of Abraham also, who became his apostle | which his bounty had placed them. to the Gentiles. Inspired by a miraculous The olive-tree, as fitly designated the effusion of the Holy Ghost, these men bare dispensation of the law. There, its oil, witness verbally, and, in writing, to the world sanctified by Jehovah, rendered sacred at large, that Jesus is the very Christ-the every object anointed therewith, and every Saviour of men, God with us, and God utensil used to perform the sacred rites of over all, blessed for ever; to which I say, that dispensation, and even the tabernacle Amen. The writings of these inspired itself, the altar, the ark of the testimony, evangelists and apostles, having been col the laver, the candlestick, and all the lected into one volume, have been united priests that ministered therein, by the to the first volume, and, with it, by the anointing of this holy oil, were consecrated same providence, preserved and brought and set apart for God. Exodus xxx. With down to us entire; and as we denominate this oil was the sacred lamp fed, whose the first volume the Old Testament, so we flame ascended continually in the tabernacle denominate this further revelation of God and in the temple; fit emblem, without to man, the New Testament, and account the vail, of Him whose unclouded glory them, collectively, the sacred volume, or the dwelt within the vail, in the most holy Book of God. Thus Abrabam, in himself place, throughout the generations of Israel. and in his seed, was, under Jehovah, at the Exodus xxvii. And as the fig-tree afforded head of all the three dispensations of divine the first covering to the guilty pair in Paragrace given to this sphere, viz. the paradise, during the first age of the world; so triarchal, the law, and the gospel, and did the olive, when the dove returned to under each of these was the ensign of the ark, and, “lo, in her mouth was an olive. Jehovah unfurled to all the earth. We leaf plucked off," &c. Gen. viji. become now proceed to apply this position to the the first message of peace to the new fable delivered by Jotham.

world. This fable offers the kingly office to three As fitly did the vine shadow forth the trees severally, and these trees severally more glorious dispensation of the gospel. reject the sovereignty over trees like them The prophetic rhapsody of Israel described selves, giving reasons for their rejection the Mighty One, the Shiloh, saying, “Unto distinctly; but a mean shrub, on receiving Him shall the gathering of the people be. a similar offer, accepts it with avidity, and, Binding his foal unto the vine, and his instantly breathing out flames and slaugh- | | ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed ter, becomes the tyrant of the forest. From his garments in wine, and his clothes in the reasons assigned by the trees for reject the blood of grapes: his eyes shall be red ing the offered sovereignty, we gather that with wine, and his teeth white with milk." they conceived this office, compared with Genesis xlix. “Melchizedek, king of Sa. the stations they then severally held, would len, brought forth bread and wine; and he degrade them; and from the speech, and was the priest of the most high God. And the relative situation of the shrub which ac- he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram cepted the office with avidity, compared of the most high God, possessor of heaven with the trees, we gather, that ambition was

and earth." Gen. xiv. The lamb, ordained fired at the kingly offer, because by this to be the morning and the evening sacrifice, means the shrub was elevated over its su. was, day by day, to be offered up with periors, the trees. Each of these particu- flour, oil, and wine, throughout the generalars must be distinctly considered, in order tions of Israel. Exod. xxix. And the figto arrive at the exalted scope of this sub- tree and the vine yielded the first-fruits of lime fable.

Canaan, the promised land to Israel, amidst The fig-tree, which yielded the most the wilderness, on the return of the spies luxurious of fruit, and whose umbrageous sent out by Moses to search the land. foliage afforded the most delightful shelter Num. xiii. All this, Jotham knew; for it to man and beast, fitly emblemed the sim- was divinely recorded before bis day; and plicity of the patriarchal dispensation, | as Gideon, his father, was a prince in Israel,

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