in 1828, and again his Critical Inquiry concerning a New Membrane of the Eye, in 1832. In addition to these, he furnished from time to time several interesting papers to the medical journals. His writings exhibited originality of thought, along with elegance of style and a mastery of the subject.

“His practice was characterized throughout by a strong aversion to violent depletion, and to antiphlogistic treatment, a feeling which is now happily becoming almost universal. His conversation betrayed great good sense, and was enlivened with a playful and delicate humour, and exhibited a thorough knowledge of men and manners, and true kindness of heart.

The writer (who knew the deceased well) feels that to say more would be perhaps to eulogize, which is alike unnecessary and offensive; whilst justice to the mournful event demands that less should not be said."

A few days after the funeral, at a public meeting which was very numerously attended, it was resolved to perpetuate the memory of so firm and fearless an advocate of temperance, peace, and social progress, by erecting over his grave a “ People's Monument;" towards which all classes were invited to contribute by a circular, from which the following sentences are an extract :-" The great aim of Dr. Gordon's life was to elevate the taste, and reform the habits of the working classes. To this high object the powers of his gifted mind and benevolent heart were most generously devoted. In these disinterested labours of love, he was cheered with the satisfaction that he did not labour in vain; for hundreds of homes, once the abodes of intemperance and misery, are now blessed by temperance and peace. The hand of death has taken from amongst us this distinguished man; but not until he had won for himself the lofty title of the 'People's Friend.''

At this meeting many interesting addresses were delivered, chiefly by working men, in which Dr. Gordon was spoken of in the warmest terms of admiration and gratitude; many interesting anecdotes, previously unknown to his family, being related, illustrative of the benevolence of his character, and his considerate kindness to the poor. A large sum of money was speedily obtained, chiefly in small sums, for the “People’s Monument;" a white marble obelisk, twenty-five feet high, which has been erected over the grave of one of a class who, though they seldom obtain the admiration of their own generation, and though their names may be unknown to the next, are, if greatness is to be estimated by goodness and usefulness, far more worthy of remembrance than the majority of those for whom nations raise splendid monuments, and whose names are emblazoned on the pages of history. The monument bears the following inscription :-"Erected, by public subscription, to William Gordon, M.D., F.L.S.—The People's Friend. Ob. Feb. 7, 1849. Æt. 47.”

The foregoing chapter in some degree anticipates the sequel. But this was necessary to the accomplishment of the author's design of furnishing in one place a complete and condensed biography, so as not to disturb the unity of the following chapters, which are solely devoted to Dr. Gordon's religious history, and the conversations of his dying hours.




DR. GORDON numbered among his dearest connexions and friends many persons of earnest piety, who were deeply solicitous for his spiritual welfare. One inquiry, which some of them revolved with much anxiety, was this,--Does he acknowledge the Divine authority of Christianity? They hoped the best, but not without painful doubts. His medical investigations had brought the question of materialism specially before his attention; and he had deeply studied all the philosophical objections of infidelity. It was known that he thought much on these subjects; that he was not a man to form his creed on that of others without examination; and that he would embrace no principle whatever, merely because his friends, or society at large, professed it. His love of truth compelled him to investigate whatever subject claimed his assent, and unhesitatingly to follow his convictions, at any cost of personal feeling. He was enamoured of demonstration. He must have evidence, clear, tangible, irrefragable, for everything. It was nothing to him that an opinion was sanctioned by antiquity, or general consent, or by the fashionable world; it was not sufficient that it was held by the wise and the good; he must be convinced for himself, and the proof must be complete.

Accustomed to demonstrative evidence in his study of physical science, it was a reasonable fear that he might seek the same kind of satisfaction in his investigations of moral subjects, and that scepticism might result from the disappointment which must ensue. In the demand often made for demonstration, it is apt to be forgotten, that there is no single action of life which is not performed merely on a balance of probabilities. No verdict given in any court was ever based on more than this. From the very nature of the subject, the argument in proof of religion can be of no other kind. Although that argument may be felt to possess a moral certainty, the balance of probabilities being so overwhelming, that the contrary hypothesis would be absurd; yet it must be admitted, as it was to be expected in the case of any revelation from God, that difficulties will occur to every thoughtful student, which, after all his efforts, he must confess himself impotent to solve, and mys

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