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" to me, as to make what is necessar.y so high“ ly agreeable; for however generous she

may have been to me at my birth, either “ she herself, or habit, or perhaps both, have “ dashed the present with a mixture of indo« lence, that has been my darling foible since “ I first knew a letter ; and even in riper

years not even the fear of a rod could “ closet me with a classical author, when “the temptation of play and diversion with

companions of my own stamp interfered. “ Since the period indeed when ambition " and pride could have a proper influence

upon me, the spirit of emulation, the “ desire of answering if possible the warm “ expectations of

my friends, and what

, my “ own ambition

may have imagined, and of “ sustaining with some tolerable repute the

public profession I am designed for, have “ made me industriously strive to curb “ this s passion, before my character in life “ could draw it’s complexion from it; and “ whether I have succeeded or no, or when “ther I am deceived, and necessity alone C3

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“ makes me virtuous, I know not; buť

(vanity apart) I cannot but be pleased to co find with how much satisfaction I can

spend my time in the pursuit of philoso

phy natural and moral. Toit I have sacri“ ficed all inferior sciences, as amusements

more proper for a settled period of life, “ than an age when industry and application

must lay the ground-work for the whole " of it. Hogarth I have discarded, indeed “ it is some time since he has been out of

favour. But the Muses grumble hard ať " the little respect I pay them, and perhaps

mean never to assist me in any composition “ for the future. But when I petition them, “ then may they deny me! For to say the “ truth, the flights and raptures of a poeti“ cal imagination are but luxuriant branch" es in the composition of a sermon, and “ rather veil than give a lustre to the good “ sense which may attend it: for 'tis not “ the eloquence of words without a mean“ing, or the smoothness of the periods, that “ constitute -an orator, but the justness of

" his arguments, the method of arranging

them, the knowledge of mankind, and “ withal the honesty of his own sentiments, " and fixed regard for truth, which is his “constant prompter, and gives life and irre“ sistible spirit to the whole harángue.”

In this lively description may be clearly discerned a predominance of those sentiments and feelings, by which his subsequent character and writings were so strongly marked. There is indeed throughout the whole of it a justness of sentiment, and an accuracy of style, that would characterize it as the production of a maturer age. Though his inclinations strongly led him to mathematical pursuits, yet he did not suffer himself to be engrossed by them to the neglect of those particular studies, which were necessary to qualify him for the exercise of his future profession. In consequence of this he soon after determined to sacrifice the advantages, which this situation afforded him, of prosecuting these inquiries, and to remove to Glasgow, where he had better opportunities

of cultivating, what he always regarded as his prime object, theology. Accordingly, after having at his own request spent the intervening vacation with his uncle at Leeds, that he might have the further advantage of his assistance, he entered as a student of this university at the latter end of 1752.

The chair of divinity was at that time filled by Dr. Leechman, whose learning and liberality did honour to his situation. His lectures were undebased by any tincture of bigotry or prejudice; there appeared in them no particular attachment to any sect, no espousal of


favourite tenets; it was his primary object to establish the fundamental truths of naturaland revealed religion, and thence to deduce such reflections, as were calculated to impress upon the minds of his pupils the excellence and necessity of those doctrines, which they enjoined. It was the custom of Mr. Walker, to commit to short-hand the heads of the lectures during the delivery, and afterward to re


compose them with such additions as his memory served to supply; by which means he was enabled more thoroughly to imbibe the spirit of them, and to fix them in his mind.

Soon after his arrival he was chosen a member of a club, that met alternately at each other's lodgings for the purpose of literary

discussion. Each individual in his turn was obliged to supply the subject of the evening, either by the contribution of an original paper, or a translation of some celebrated passage from the ancients. The discussion which followed the reading of the paper generally occupied two or three hours. Mr. Walker was very sensible of the advantages,

which he derived from such an institution. The desire of excelling in these literary disputations stimulated the mind to 'exertion, a spirit of emulation was excited in the compositions which they were required to furnish; and as they generally came prepared for the evening's encounter by a previous consideration of the subject, it fre


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