Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/119

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REV. GEORGE LOGAN. 489


when, in consequence of another call, which was unanimous on the part of the parishioners, he was appointed to the ministry of Sprouston, in the presbytery of Kelso. A second time inducements were held forth, which prompted him to change his sphere of duty, and on the 22nd January, 1722, he was inducted as minister of Dunbar. Here he married his first wife, the sister of Sir Alexander Home of Eccles in the Merse, a lady who left him a son and daughter, both of whom survived him. His ministry appears to have secured much popularity , for ad- vancement was again held forth to him; and on the 14th December, 1732, he was admitted one of the ministers of Edinburgh. He whose fame and fortune had been so much advanced by the popular voice, now published a treatise " On' the Right of Electing Ministers," and it may safely be presumed, that the liberal opinions thus commenced and continued through the rest of his life, were at least fostered by the influence which the exercise of a popular right had produc- ed on his own fortune. It is probable that this tract was published just before his appointment to the charge in Edinburgh, being dated in the same year. When the act for bringing to punishment those connected with the Porteous mob, in 1736, was ordered to be read in all the churches, on the last Sunday of every month during a year, " all the ministers," says Mr Chalmers, rather enigmatically, " did not think with Logan that the will of the legislature ought, on this occasion, to be obeyed. And he was carried, by the activity of his tem- per, into a contest, in 1737, with the Rev. Dr Alexander Webster, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, on the propriety of refusing obedience to an act of parliament, in a point wherein it is not easy to perceive how either conscience or religion could be concerned." On the 8th of May, 1740, Logan was ap- pointed moderator of the general assembly. During the occupation of Edin- burgh by the Highlanders, in 1745, Logan, in common with most of the other ministers of Edinburgh, thought it prudent to secure his personal safety by quitting the town. His house, being near the weigh-house, where the High- landers had a guard to prevent? communication between the city and castle, was occupied by then* as a guard-house. After their retirement, he inserted in the newspapers an advertisement for the recovery of some articles abstracted by his late guests, a document containing more satire upon the tory party than his po- litical pamphlets. His controversy with Ruddiman originated in the edition of Buchanan's works, edited by that eminent scholar in 1715. He had become a member of a society of critics, whose ostensible purpose was to rescue the me- mory of Buchanan from the prejudicial opinions of his editor, but whose labours, though they appear to have reached a considerable extent of matter, were never published. In 1746, Logan published " A Treatise on Government : showing that the right of the kings of Scotland to the crown was not strictly and abso- lutely hereditary;" and, in 1747, he subjoined " A Second Treatise on Govern- ment, showing that the right to the crown of Scotland was not hereditary in the sense of Jacobites." The first answer he received was in an anonymous letter, written in a spirit of airy ridicule, and in July, 1 747, appeared the graver discus- sion of the grounds of his opinions by Ruddiman. Logan, in company with many men who have supported liberal and enlightened political sentiments, had the misfortune to be more anxious to establish them on historical precedent, than on their native merits, and the history of Scotland was peculiarly barren in as- certained facts for such a purpose. His principles appear to have been some- what akin to those of Grotius, which admitted nothing in. hereditary right but a continuation to the descendants of the permission given to their ancestor to govern. To show that the crown of Scotland did not descend through the Stewarts in a pure legitimate stream, he discussed the well-known subject of the legitimacy of Robert III., and the question, certainly at one time debnteable,