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have endeavoured, as far as was practicable, to let my readers see him act and hear him talk, and in executing this
I have found the letter before adverted to incalculably useful. In many instances the words reported for the Archbishop's are transcribed ; and where only his sentiment is given, conscientious, and I trust successful, pains have been taken to exhibit it
and incorrupt. After attempting a general account of his merits as a writer, and of the characteristics of his mind and style, I thought it unadvisable to go to any length in reviewing his several works. To enumerate their excellencies would have been endless and candour did not seem to require their blemishes to be pointed out, except in a solitary instance, inas much as those blemishes are few and unimportant; surprisingly few and unimportant, when it is considered how wide a range of science and learning his writings comprehend, and that none of them were designed for publication.
It is greatly to be deplored that some of his productions, which came into the hands of his earlier editors, are since irrecoverably lost. I allude particularly to his discourses on that masterly summary of christian doctrine and practice composed for the Ephesians by St. Paul, on which the
Leighton's congenial mind could not fail of being happily exerted.
In an advertisement prefixed to the first edition of the 2nd vol. of his Commentary on Peter, published in London in 1694, Dr. Fall says that these discourses are in his possession, and he holds out a prospect of their being hereafter printed : and Mr. Wilson, in his preface to the edi tion of 1748, speaks of trying to recover them. Mention is also made by Dr. Doddridge, in his preface to Wilson's edition, of a large collection of the Archbishop's Letters, communicated by Dr. Latham of Derby, and by the Rev. Mr. William Arthur of Newcastle, which were meant to be inserted in a future and more extended life. But the hopes thus raised have died away. Enough, however, remains of this extraordinary man, to establish his title to an illustrious place in the highest class of theologians, as well as in the glorious company of saints. The hours which the compiler of this memoir has spent in contemplating its subject have not, he trusts, been misemployed, as relates to his own improvement : nor will they have been wasted in respect to public utility, if body, colour, and distinctness have been added to the portrait of a christian, whose ideas of the holiness which becomes our spiritual calling, far
as they surpass all vulgar conceptions, were yet realized, to the utmost that human weakness seems capable of attaining, in his own habitual walk and conversation.
21st December, 1824.
The name of Leighton occurs in some of the oldest annals of Scottish history. It belonged to a respectable family, proprietary of the barony of Ulishaven, otherwise called Usan, which is a demesne in Craig, a considerable fishing-village in the county of Forfar. Of this name the spelling is very various, as will commonly be the case with the patronymic of a family, of which the scattered vestiges appear at wide intervals in the wilderness of the unlettered ages. It is spelt, Leichtoune, Lichtoun, Lyghton, Lighton, and in several other fashions, which are not respectively fixed to certain dates, but seem to have obtained indiscriminately in the same
eras. One may remark, however, that the modern orthography of the name is the same which presents itself in registers of the greatest antiquity. In the Rotuli Scotiæ, which have lately been published from the original records in the Tower, we read that A. D. 1374, John de Leighton, clericus de Scotiâ, obtained a safe conduct to Oxford, there to prosecute his studies. Whether this zealot of literature was of the Usan race cannot now be certainly determined. To the ancestors of that family, however, may be assigned the meed of sturdy warriors, on the authority of a quaint chronicle, which relates that
Schir Walter of Ogilvy, that gud knycht,
being sheriff of Angus, was killed in 1392, at Gasklune or Glenbrerith near Blairgowrie in Perthshire, by a party of three hundred Highlanders. Ogilvy, with Sir Patrick Gray, Sir David Lindsay of Glenesk, and about sixty men, encountered the enemy. Gray and Lindsay were wounded ; and Sir Walter Ogilvy, Walter Leighton of Ulishaven, his uterine brother, and some of their friends, were killed.
Besides this testimony to the prowess of a Leighton in the days of feudal lawlessness, there is proof that in the beginning of the fifteenth century the same family was inscribed in the lists of ecclesiastical dignity and political importance. Mention is made by Keith, in his catalogue of Scottish Bishops, of one Henry Leighton, parson of Duffus, and chantor of Moray, "legum doctor et baccalaureus in decretis,” a son of the ancient family of the Leightons of Ulyshaven, who was consecrated Bishop of Moray in 1414, or 1415, and was translated about ten years afterwards to the see of Aberdeen. He was one of the commissioners sent to London to negotiate the ransom of James I., with whom he returned to Scotland ; where he is supposed to have died A. D.