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The confession of a mind which had the strongest desire, and the amplest opportunity for investigation, that the satisfaction it sought was to be found nowhere but in the Gospel, must be some confirmation of its truth. Such corroboration is given us in the conversion of the Apostle Paul. Such, in some degree, is the influence of the reception of our religion by any mind peculiarly gifted. And such is the case here.
But in immediate connexion with the inquiry, "Is Christianity from God?" arises another, “What does Christianity teach?" The two questions indeed cannot be separated, for the investigation of the second forms a considerable feature in the study of the first. But when satisfied respecting the former, then the latter inquiry returns upon us with increased weight of importance. For if God has indeed revealed his will to man, what can be more obviously our duty and our interest, than to possess correct ideas of what that will is ? The reply of Dr. Gordon to both these questions will be clearly gathered from the reiterated testimony he gave on bis dying bed. Nothing could exceed the strength of his confidence, that Christianity is from God-and that its essential nature is an entire renunciation of self, with an humble reliance on the mercy of God the Father, through the perfect atonement of the Son, by the aid of the regenerating influences of the Holy Ghost.
The following narrative will also illustrate the effect which a cordial reception of these truths can produce. It will be seen, that while human philosophy was unable to give a satisfactory solution of the great problems of the soul, and while human virtue was insufficient for a foundation on which hope might build in anticipation of a future existence, faith in Christ could satisfy every doubt, remove every anxiety, and impart a "peace which passeth all understanding.”
BORN AT FOUNTAINS' HALL - RIPON — EARLY DEVOTION TO
STUDY-OTLEY - EDINBURGH-WELTON-PLAN OF STUDY
RETURNED TO EDINBURGH, AND GRADUATED SETTLED AT
AT HOME, ESPECIALLY AS A FATHER — ILLNESS — VISIT TO
BENEATH the venerable ruins of the far-famed abbey of Fountains, majestic even in decay, surrounded by the loveliest scenery, and embosomed in the luxuriant foliage of stately forest trees, stands the large, ancient mansion called Fountains' Hall, in which the subject of this memoir was born, on the 2nd of August, 1801. His ancestors were all highly respectable, moving in good society, and many of them distinguished by high literary attainments. The celebrated Daniel de Foe was remotely connected with the family. From his parents, who were both possessed of very superior intelligence, he early imbibed that love of study which distinguished him through the whole of life.
He acquired the rudiments of learning at the grammar-school of the adjacent city of Ripon, where the amiability of his disposition, combined with his extraordinary mental abilities, commanded the love and respect of his schoolfellows. Very soon after his entrance, he was placed in the first class of the upper school; and being much younger than any of his class-mates, he was obliged to work very hard in order to maintain his superiority. Though so young a boy, he often would sit
till one or two o'clock in the morning over his books, assisted by his mother in his favourite classical studies, in which he made great proficiency. He was especially distinguished for his elegant Latin verses.
After leaving school, he was articled to a general practitioner at Otley, where his blameless conduct, and his kind interest in the sorrows of those with whom his professional engagements brought him into contact, won for him universal esteem. He was there, as he continued through life, the friend of the poor. The author can never forget the delight and affection manifested by an humble cottager at Leighly, to whom Dr. Gordon with his family paid an unexpected visit, after an absence of twenty-five years from the locality. The unaffected kindness of the youth, and his anxious interest in the affliction of that poor woman, so different from a merely official, hurried, and heartless visitation, had left an impression too deep for time to wear away. Nor was this a solitary instance, the author having ascertained from various quarters, that notwithstanding the changes which occur during so long a period, numerous are the households where his name is yet familiar and dear, and where the memory of bis benevolent and lovely demeanour has lost none of its freshness.
His father was a man of most amiable disposition, and had a great love for scientific pursuits ; but, as is often the case with such characters, he was improvident, and his fortune suffered a reverse, before the subject of this memoir had completed his studies. This, however, did not daunt him in his course. Fearing to be a burden to his parents, but at the same time determined not to lose any part of that liberal education, on which he had set his heart, he borrowed money, and was thus enabled, after studying some time in London, to
go to Edinburgh, where it was his intention to graduate as a physician. He was furnished by various friends with letters of introduction to