In recognition of his life-long and successful efforts in the cause of sanitary and social reform, and of his philanthropic devotion to the promotion of every movement having for its object the advancement of the moral and material interests of the masses of the people.
"All municipalities are good, but all are not of equal dignity, and I cannot but rejoice that I have been called to the citizenship of one of the most noble and most ancient of Her Majesty's dominions. Omitting to enlarge upon the illustrious history of the people, of their deeds in arms, of their struggles for civil and religious liberty, I cannot but regard this capital of the kingdom of Scotland as the capital of a people unrivalled, I think, in the annals of mankind. Few in number they shine in arts, in arms, in commerce, in political administration, in literature, in the pulpit; they occupy the highest level of intellect and morality and, in proportion to their numbers, no nation has produced so many men of note as this has done, in the community of the whole earth. And if I were to select two most striking instances of their wonderful power of resolution, of their force of character, of that vigour of principle that reigns in their heart and governs their actions, I would name, in early times, the grand deeds of the Reformation, and, in later times, I would name that which, whatever may be the issue, or however there may be difference of opinion upon the matter, must ever be regarded as one of the most remarkable instances of vigour, of resolution and of self-denial, political, social and financial - I mean the institution of the Free Church."
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