Mcgavin, William

Mcgavin, William, a celebrated Scotch layman and writer, was born in the parish of Auchinleck, Ayrshire, Aug. 12,1773. His parents were in very moderate circumstances, and young McGavin therefore enjoyed but slender educational advantages. While yet a boy he was apprenticed to a bookseller and printer, but soon made himself a host of friends by the great literary talent he displayed in frequent contributions to the local newspapers. He was entrusted with the care of an elementary school, which he conducted with skill, though he hated the drudgery of teaching. He took an early opportunity to quit the rostrum, and to seek a livelihood in the counting- house. He became the agent of the British Linen Company's banking establishment in Glasgow. Although this business connection gave him great care and responsibility, McGavin's fondness of writing would not allow him to withdraw altogether from literary labors, and, by habits of unwearied industry, he was enabled to command leisure for the publication of many valuable religious tracts. An ardent opponent of Romanism, he attacked it in a series of papers entitled the "Protestant" (1818-21), which Dr. Robert Hall (Review of Birt's Popery) pronounced "the fullest delineation of the popish system, and the most powerful confutation of its principles, in a popular style." McGavin also edited John Howie's Scotch Worthies, and John Knox's Hist. of the Reformation, and frequently preached to the poor and the humble in the suburbs of Glasgow. He died in 1832. See Chambers's and Thomson's Biog. Dict. of Eminent Scotsmen (1865), vol. 3, s.v.; Jamieson, Dict. of Reli. Biog. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, vol. ii, s.v.

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