Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 15.djvu/49

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people, not in the pulpit only, but from house to house, by which he was so peculiarly distinguished throughout the remainder of his life.’ In 1783 he was translated to Bothkennar in Stirlingshire; in 1795 to the chapel in New Street, Edinburgh; and thereafter to the College Church, and finally to the New North Church in the same city. After enlarging on the qualities of his preaching, which was thoroughly in the evangelical spirit, the writer above quoted says: ‘Of this, the general strain of his sermons, more particularly the addresses at their conclusion, of which the volume that he published in 1817 furnishes a number of interesting and valuable specimens, afforded the most unequivocal proofs. But perhaps his correspondence by letter with a number of private individuals in every rank of society—with youthful inquirers and aged believers, with doubting and afflicted and sorrowful, as well as confirmed and prosperous and rejoicing believers—attests the fact still more powerfully.’

Dickson was a cordial supporter of the measures in the church of Scotland promoted by the evangelical party. He was one of those who voted in the general assembly against receiving the explanation of Dr. m'Gill of Ayr as a satisfactory explanation of the heresy with which he was charged. This was the case referred to in the well-known poem of Robert Burns, ‘The Kirk's Alarm.’ ‘On two several occasions also, viz. the settlements of Biggar and Larbert, he actually braved the highest censure of the ecclesiastical courts rather than surrender the dictates of his conscience to what he had thought their time-serving policy and unconstitutional decisions.’ Dickson, who was also proprietor of the estate of Kilbucho in Peeblesshire, died in 1820.

[Scott's Fasti; Kay's Portraits, ii. 310; Sermons preached on different occasions, by the Rev. David Dickson, Edinb. 1818.]

W. G. B.

DICKSON, DAVID, the younger (1780–1842), presbyterian divine, was born in 1780 at Libberton, N.B., of which parish his father, David Dickson the elder [q. v.], was minister, and was educated at the parish school of Bothkennar and afterwards at Edinburgh University. In 1801 he was accepted as a preacher in the established church of Scotland, and appointed early in 1802 to a chapel at Kilmarnock, which he held until in 1803 he was chosen junior minister of St. Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh. After the death of the Rev. Sir Henry Moncrieff in 1827 he was made senior minister, a position he held till his death. In 1808 he married Janet, daughter of James Jobson of Dundee, by whom he had a family of three sons and three daughters, and in 1824 the university of Edinburgh conferred on him the degree of D.D. He had some reputation as a Hebrew scholar; his sermons were plain and sound; in private life he was genial and benevolent, and he avoided mixing in the doctrinal disputes which culminated in the disruption of the Scotch church. On the occasion of Sir Walter Scott's funeral he was chosen to hold the service in the house at Abbotsford. Dickson was secretary of the Scottish Missionary Society for many years; wrote several articles in the ‘Edinburgh Encyclopædia’ and in the ‘Christian Instructor’ and other magazines; and published ‘The Influence of Learning on Religion’ in 1814, and a small volume of sermons in 1818. ‘Discourses, Doctrinal and Practical,’ a collection of his homilies, was published in 1857. He also published five separate sermons (1806–31), and edited ‘Memoir of Miss Woodbury,’ 1826; Rev. W. F. Ireland's sermons, 1829; and lectures and sermons by the Rev. G. B. Brand, 1841. He died 28 July 1842, and was buried in St. Cuthbert's Church, where a monument was subsequently erected to his memory, which shows an accurate likeness of him in his later years.

[Old and New Edinburgh, ii. 134; Hew Scott's Fasti Eccl. Scot. sect. i. 127, iii. 177; Crombie's Modern Athenians, p. 6 (with portrait).]

A. C. B.

DICKSON, ELIZABETH (1793?–1862), philanthropist, was a daughter of Archibald Dalzel, author of ‘The History of Dahomy’ (1793), governor of Cape Coast Castle, and for many years connected with the commerce of West Africa. Elizabeth was probably born at Cape Coast Castle in 1793. When quite young she was sent to visit a brother, the British vice-consul at Algiers, and there the sufferings of the British captives all over Barbary made so deep an impression on her, that about 1809, when still only sixteen years old, she wrote to the English press to make known what she had seen, and to entreat that immediate steps might be taken to relieve the captives. Her communications attracted the attention of the Anti-Piratical Society of Knights and Noble Ladies, from whom she received the rights of membership and a gold medal. The matter roused public feeling, was taken up by parliament, and resulted in the despatch of Lord Exmouth's expedition [see Pellew, Edward].

Miss Dalzel married John Dickson, a surgeon in the royal navy. She continued to reside in Africa, chiefly at Tripoli, where she was highly esteemed; and there she died, 30 April 1862, aged about seventy.