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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

OF THE

LIFE OF THE AUTHOUR.

THE Reverend George Buist, D.D. was born in the year 1770, in Fifeshire, in Scotland. He entered the college of Edinburgh in 1787, where the early indications of superiour genius acquired him the. applause and friendship of some of the first literary characters of the age ; among others, were the celebrated names of Dr. Robertson, the historian, Dr. Hugh Blair, and Professour Dalziel. They regarded him as one of the chief ornaments of the college, and as destined to exalt the reputation of his country.

Being intended for the clerical profession, Mr. Buist pursued the study of theology with unremitted assiduity ; but, being of a liberal and comprehensive mind, he did not confine himself to his profession exclusively. He knew that the sciences and arts are mutual aids to each other, and that an acquaintance with all is the way to perfect a knowledge of

b

any one particular branch of human learning. In classical learning he was, at an early age, profoundly versed. For Grecian literature he had an especial predilection ; and it is a fact well known to many of his friends, that he was an assistant to Professour Dalziel in preparing a part of his Collectanea for the press. With the Hebrew he was familiar, and he was critically skilled in the French and Italian languages. His knowledge embraced all those departments of learning that make up the liberal scholar, and there was no branch of philosophy, criticism, history, or various litera. ture, in which he was not, either profoundly or competently skilled.

In the year 1792, Mr. Buist was admitted an honourary member of the Edinburgh Philological Society, and about that time, he published an abridgment of Hune's History of England, for the use of schools, which was extremely well received, and passed through two editions. He also furnished some important articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica.

While the fame of Mr. Buist was thus extending itself in the literary world, the elders of the Presbyterian church of Charleston, S.C. who had lately been deprived of their pastor,

LIFE OF THE AUTHOUR.

xi

addressed the Rev. Mr. Hewit, who had formerly been their minister, the Rev. Dr. Robertson, principal of the university of Edinburgh, and the Rev. Dr. Hugh Blair, soliciting their agency and assistance in procuring a supply for their church.

Mr. Hewit being absent, Doctors Robertson and Blair willingly complied with this request and made choice of Mr. Buist, whom they introduced to the church in a letter of the 8th March, 1793, from which the following is an extract :

“ After much inquiry and several consulta« tions, we have pitched upon Mr. George “ Buist, preacher of the gospel. We are both

acquainted with him, and know him to be a

good scholar, an instructive preacher, well « bred, and of a good natural temper. We have “ no doubt but he will prove an acceptable min“ ister to the congregation, as well as an agreea« ble member of society.”

Mr. Buist arrived in Charleston in June, 1793, and immediately entered upon the duties of his ministry. On the 27th of March in the following year, he was honoured by the college of Edinburgh with the degree of doctor of divinity, being then in the 24th

year

of his age.

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