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were Dr Andrew Duncan, sen. present Professor of the Institutes of Medicine ;-Dr James Gregory, present Professor of the Practice of Medicine ;-Dr DANIEL RUTHERFORD, present Professor of Botany ;-DuGALD STEWART, Esq. emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy ;-Mr James Russell, present Professor of Clinical Surgery,—all in the University of Edinburgh :--Dr Andrew WARDROP, Surgeon in Edinburgh ;-AlexANDER Keith, Esq. of Revalston ;—the late Dr John Hope, Professor of Botany in the University ;—the late Dr John GARDINER, Physician in Edinburgh ;--and the late Mr William Smellie was Secretary. Of this club or society nothing is now particularly known, except by the two following short entries in their sederunt book, now in the hands of Mr ALEXANDER SMELLIE:
Edinburgh, 7th May 1778.
Dr Andrew DUNCAN,
Ar this meeting Dr Duncan wis chosen president, and Mr Smellie secretary. It was
then resolved that every member of the Philosophical Society may, on or before next meeting, become a member of the Newtonian Club, if they chuse to apply; and that regulations should afterwards be formed for the admission of future members, and for the proper management of the club.
ANDREW DUNCAN, P.
June 18th 1778.
The meeting adopted the following regu. lations, under the name of
LAWS FOR THE NEWTONIAN CLUB.
I. That as a multiplicity of laws has a di
rect tendency to produce confusion instead of order, it is resolved to limit their num
ber as much as possible. II. That no person be admitted unless he be
a member of the Philosophical Society.
III. That the number of members shall never
exceed twenty. IV. That one black ball shall exclude
any candidate; and if only one black ball, there
shall be a reballot. V. The Newtonian Club shall meet immedi
ately after the dismission of every meeting
of the Philosophical Society. VI. That, as this club consists entirely of
philosophers, it would therefore be ridiculous to make any laws for its internal police.
While engaged in his various studies at the University of Edinburgh, MỊ Smellie formed several intimate connexions among his fellow students, some of whom rose to considerable eminence in their several walks of life. With some of these gentlemen, after their removal from Edinburgh, he carried on a continued intercourse of literary correspondence, a large collection of which was once contained in his repositories, but most of it, as has been already mentioned, was unfortunately destroyed only a few years before his death. From the small remnant which has been preserved, the three following, which seem to have been written about the year 1761, are selected.
The first of these is from Mr SMELLIE to the well known Dr Henry Hunter, then a young man, and a divinity student, of whom the following short biographical notice may be acceptable, as he was a person of most respectable literary character.
Henry Hunter, D.D. a respectable, learned, and ingenious divine of the Church of Scotland, was born at Culross in Perthshire in 1741. Showing an early quickness of apprehension, his parents determined to give him the best education which their circumstances could afford. After receiving the rudiments of learning at the school of his native place, he was sent, when only thirteen years of age, to the University of Edinburgh, where he prosecuted his studies, in literature, philosophy, and divinity, with unwearied diligence and much reputation; insomuch that, at the early age of seventeen, he was appointed tutor to Mr Boswell of Balmuto, now one of the Senators of the College of Justice. He soon, however, gave up this charge on hearing that his own father lay dangerously ill, and preferred attending upon his sick parent to all the advantages he might have derived from the situation of a tutor to the eldest son
of a respectable family. On the death of his father, after an illness of four months, he was appointed tutor to the sons of the late EARL of DUNDONALD, then resident at Culross Abbey. In May 1764, he received his licence to preach the Gospel from the presbytery of Dunfermline, after passing through the customary trials and exercises with great applause. He now began to preach, and was always listened to with much attention and interest, and was sure to draw a crowd of hearers to any church in which it was known that he was to officiate.
About a year after his ordination, he was offered the ministry of the chapel of ease belonging to the parish of St Cuthberts at Edinburgh; and shortly afterwards received the offer of what is called the Laigh Kirk of Paisley. But having a prospect of obtaining the ministry of the parish of South Leith, which he greatly preferred, though inferior in point of stipend to both the others, he declined these two offers. He was, according to his expectations, soon afterwards unanimously chosen to be one of the two ministers of the Collegiate Church of South Leith, to which he was ordained in January 1766. In May following he mar,