This chapter discusses the childhood and coming of age years of John Stuart Blackie. Blackie was born as the second child of Alexander Blackie and Helen Stodart on 28 July 1809. His childhood seems to have been happy and he was particularly close to his sisters. He grew up in an environment where Sabbath observance was serious without being severe, and earnest without being disagreeable, which helps to explain his own approach to Christianity later in life. Until the end of his days, Blackie retained the habit of speaking aloud nearly everything he read or wrote. His childhood experience of reading aloud the Rudiments of the Latin Tongue determined his view of the teaching of languages, including classical languages, that they were best taught by encouraging students to speak them. After three years of studying Divinity at Aberdeen, nineteen-year-old Blackie accompanied Patrick Forbes' sons to the University of Göttingen.
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