Another 19th century Scriptural geologist I would like to introduce you to is William Rhind. He was born into a large fanning family on November 30, 1797, in Inverlochy, Scotland. Little is known of his childhood but he received his early education first at the parish school of Duffus and later at the Elgin Academy. In 1812, he commenced his university studies at Marischal College, Aberdeen. After two years there he took up an apprenticeship with a well-known Elgin physician. Later he continued his medical training in Edinburgh, becoming a Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in September, 1818. Upon completion of his medical studies he moved to London to gain further medical experience.

After a couple of years in London, he returned to Elgin and began a medical practice in a shop where he also sold medicines. Although he became quite successful in these endeavors, his real love was literature and scientific research. He soon found that Elgin was not a suitable location for such work and so in the mid-1820s he moved to Edinburgh, where he spent nearly forty years of his life writing and lecturing on various subjects of natural science, primarily botany, zoology and geology. However, he did not completely give up his practice of and writing about medicine. In April 1854, he became a lecturer in botany for a few years in the medical faculty of Marischal College in Aberdeen. But due to declining health he eventually moved in with the family of an older brother. Little is known of his activities in these later years, but he did revise some of his previous writings on botany. At age 76, he died peacefully of physical weakness on March 15, 1874.

Rhind, like Scriptural geologist George Young, suffered from a physical disability all his life; he was somewhat lame in both legs, a fact which makes his geological field research remarkable. His church affiliation remains unknown, though he was likely a member of the Church of Scotland. In any case, his writings reflect a strong commitment to the Scriptures. And according to one biographer, ‘he was universally loved for his character and bearing, and was a most amiable man. He was unassuming and retiring in his manner, but a most agreeable and interesting member of society.’ In addition to his early membership in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, by 1830 Rhind also had become a member of the Royal Medical Society and Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh, and some time before 1858 he became an honorary member of the Natural History Society of Manchester. In 1835, he was an annual member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science….

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