Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/205

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


the Reformation ; and aided with an introduction,' a work by the Rev. Mr John Brown of Whitburn, entitled " Memorials of the Nonconformist Ministers of the Seventeenth Century." In the midst of his divers labours, he suddenly died of apoplexy, August 23, 1832.

Of the intellectual vigour and religious fervour of Mr M'Gavin, his published writings afford a sufficient and lasting memorial. His personal qualities are not, however, fully shown in that mirror. His diligence in his ordinary secular employments, his zeal in pi-omoting the religious and worldly interests of all who came under his notice, his mild and amiable character in private society, are traits which must be added. Two of his most conspicuous qualities the power of a satirist, and a certain precision which appeared in all he either spoke or wrote might be supposed incompatible with the tenderer lights of a domestic character. But in him the one set of qualities was not more conspicuous than the other. " His personal disposition," says Mr Ewing, " was that of the publican, who pleaded with God for mercy, when he went up into the temple to pray, and returned justified, because he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Like Nathanael, he was an Israelite indeed in whom there was no guile. Like Paul, he was ready to call himself less than the least of all saints, and to ascribe his salvation to Jesus Christ having come into the world to save sinners, of whom he was a chief. He had, even in his natural temper, much tenderness of heart, much sincere and generous benevolence. If con- scious of any quickness, which I have heard him acknowledge, but never saw, it was guarded by the vigilance of Christian meekness, and by the genuine mo- desty of superior good sense. Those, who knew him only from feeling the lash of his controversial writings, may have been tempted to think of him as an aus- tere man. In truth, however, he was the very reverse. The profits of the Protestant he once offered as a subscription to the society in this city for the support of the Catholic schools. The offer was declined, because some of the Roman catholic persuasion regarded it as an insult I do not wonder at the misunderstanding. But had they known him as I did, and as he was known by all his familiar friends, they would have accepted of his offer, as a mark of his cordial good-will to a valuable institution."