I don't know whether this will help or not, but I have some books (for sale) containing letters written from 1883 onwards in ill-health at the end of his life by a John Dickie of Irvine who lived 1823-1891. These are "Words of Faith Hope and Love" and "More Words of Faith Hope and Love".
The following information is from the preface to the former.
John Dickie was born in January 1823, in Irvine, Ayrshire. His father (a grocer) died when John was 15; his mother had died 4 years before. He and one sister were left orphans. In 1841 he entered Glasgow University, and between 19 and 20 years of age "he was led to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his all-sufficient Saviour".
After finishing his university career he entered the Divinity Hall, but became ill with pulmonary consumption and went back to Irvine to carry on the grocery business with his sister. In 1848 he was told by a London doctor that he would not survive 12 months. He went home and stayed with his brother-in-law for four or five years, when he moved to Cairnryan to teach in the Free Church school, but with his health failing again he returned to Irvine.
After a while he became a missionary in his native town, supported by John Watt, merchant, a godly Baptist.
In 1858 he moved to Kilmarnock at the invitation of John Stewart and continued his evangelism there. At Kilmarnock he met John Todd (later in Dublin), to whom the two volumes of letters were addressed. Mr Stewart and Mr Dickie were involved in a Christian assembly (almost certainly what would be generally known as Brethren), where he preached regularly.
He wrote a number of tracts (Religious Tract Society and Drummond's) with large circulation; contributed to periodicals including the Family Treasury; and wrote many poems and hymns.
In 1878 he returned from Kilmarnock to Irvine because of further ill-health, where he was cared for by his sister and her husband, Provost Watt, and their family. He died 18th January 1891 and was buried in Irvine Churchyard.
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