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as it is in Jesus into the minds of necessity of a spiritual agency; the people; “ poetical, historical, but his whole plan, his lofty claims scientific, political, and sentimen- to originality, his unqualified cental vehicles,” we
are at a loss sure of the received methods of whether to dismiss the phrase as preaching, and the ambitious chamere verbiage, or to analyse it for racter of his own effusions, would the purpose of showing its perni- be sufficient, were there no evicious consequences.
We are sus- dence more direct, to prove the picious of novelties in the matter justice of our animadversions. of divine truth; we would stand Neither can we forget, that the in the good old path, and say“ “ vehicle” of which Mr. Irving is “this is the way, walk ye in it.” pleased to speak with such suWith the first and second chapters preme contempt, has been, and of the first epistle to the Corin- still is, the chosen and efficient thians lying open before us, we form in which the brightest ornaare quite unable to admit as legi- ments of the pulpit, the Bossuets timate, these base admixtures of and, the Massillons, the Saurins human inventions with “divine and the Supervilles, the Taylors philosophy.” The apostle tells us and the Barrows, the Souths and that even among the Greeks, he the Horsleys, the Howes and the was determined to know nothing, Baxters, the Leightons and the “save Jesus Christ, and him M'Laurins, have given to the crucified”-he spoke to the Corin- world the rich harvest of their thians, not with the confidence powerful and accomplished minds. " and elation of conscious ability, It is with sincere regret that but“ in weakness, in fear, and in we find ourselves compelled to much trembling"-his “speech" continue in this strain. It would and his “ preaching" were not be far more congenial with our with the enticing words of man's feelings towards Mr. Irving, and wisdom," so strongly recommended with our estimate of his powers, by Mr. Irving, but “in demon- to avoid it altogether; but he stration of the Spirit and of power" has, with singular indiscretion -and he assigns, as the express and bad taste, placed himself reason of all this, that the wisdom in an attitude of such of men, was an inadequate “ vehi- rious and supercilious defiance cle" for that “ faith," which ac- towards those whom he would, knowledged no other enforcement
we suppose, term his brethren, than the power of God.
that we are constrained to follow not arguing against the fair use of him, farther than is either pleasant talent and knowledge in the mini- or convenient, in this rugged strations of the pulpit, but against track. the undue weight given to them “ I am convinced, from the constant in the present instance. All this demand of the religious world for the homage which is so peremptorily preaching of faith and forgiveness, and required for genius and acquisition, ing of Christian morals; the constant is at once injurious to the meek appetite for mercy, and disrelish of and lowly character which should righteousness and judgment; or if righadorn the Christian preacher, and teousness, it he the constant demand, a dangerous substitution of means
that it should be the imputed righteous
ness of Christ, not our own personal purely human for those "weapons righteousness; from these features of of the holy war," which are issued the evangelical part of men, I do greatly from the armoury of heaven. We fear, nay, I am convinced, that many of acquit Mr. Irving of all intentional them are pillowing their hopes upon trespass; he avows with solemn and changed life which the Gospel hath
something else than the sanctification emphasis his conviction of the wrought. Let no one mistake me, (for
though I care Nittle about the mistake Christ, instead of most scriptural and on my own account, I am too much sound-minded calls to activity and concerned for the sake of others in the perseverance after every perfection."success of this argument, to wish to be pp. 363–365. mistaken,) as if I advocated salvation from the wrath to come upon the ground We “ convinced,” that Mr. of self-righteousness. But this I argue; Irving knows nothing whatever doctrine of grace, deservedly in such about the “ constant demand," or repute, unless the free forgiveness pur- the “ constant kicking” of the chased by the death of Christ, the sanc- ligious world.” On what does he tification by the work of the Spirit, and found this sweeping and uncharievery thing else encouraging and consola
table judgment ?
Has he fretory in the word of God, have operated their natural and due effect in delivering quented our convenricles? Has he our members from the power of sin, and conversed with our ministers and joining our affections to Christ and his poorest brethren, and of working deep with the evangelical men and
our laity? Hạs he held intercourse and scarching purification within all the fountains of our heart; then it will only preachers of the Establishment? aggravate our condemnation, ten times, Then we will venture to affirm that we have known, that we have be- that, unless he has ignorantly, or lieved, that we have prized these great perversely, sought out the few God, and insisted with a most tyrannical from whom the far larger portion and overbearing sway, that our pastors stand aloof, he has found the should hold on pronouncing them un- evangelical part of men" as zealceasingly, unsparingly, Sabbath after Sabbath. I greatly fear, I say again,
ous as himself for “ the preaching that this modern contraction of the Gos- of Christian morals," and distinpel into the span of one or two ideas, guishing at least as accurately as this promulgation of it, as if it were a himself, between the "imputed drawling monotone of sweetness, a lullaby for a baby spirit, with no music of righteousness of Christ,” as our mighty feeling, no swells of grandeur, forensic justification in the sight nor declensions of deepest pathos, nor of God, and the sanctification of thrilling themes of terror; as if it were a the heart, exhibited in a " changed thing for a shepherd's love-sick lute, or
life,” as the effect of a true faith, a sentimentalist's Æolian harp, instead of being for the great organ of human
and our preparation for the inherithought and feeling through all the tance of the saints in the kingdoin stops and pipes of this various world; I of God. Mr. Irving has engaged say, I fear greatly, lest this strain of in a specific contest with the preineffectual which the Christian world judices of the higher classes of Hath ever heard, should have lulled society, is it to gain favour with many into a quietus of the soul, under them that he : turns buccạneer, which they are resting sweetly from and fights against the flag which Searching inquiry into their personal should wave over his own deck ? estate, and will pass composedly through Heath unto the awful judgment ! With the exception of the few to
“ Now what diiference is it, whether whom we have before referred, and the active spirit of a man is laid asłcep, who form a sect apart, we know of by the comfort of the holy wafer and
evangelical pastors" who extreme unction, to be his viaticum and passport into heaven, or by the constant contract the Gospel into “the charm of a few words sounded, and span of one or two ideas;" and sounded, and eternally sounded about without endeavouring to ascertain Christ's sufficiency to save ? In the how many of them may equal himholy name of Christ, and the three times
self in “ mighty feeling,"
"« swells holy name of God, have they declared aught to men, or are they capable of of grandeur," “6 declensions of declaring aught to men, which should deepest pathos,".. or, thrilling not work upon men the desire and the
theines of terror," we would power of holiness? Why then do I hear' the constant babbling about simple re- quietly suggest, that he may easily liance, and simple dependence upon find more legitimate methods of re
commending the Gospel than the term. But he also tells us, that one in question. On the closing sen- it is “ after the manner of the tences of the extract, we shall say ancient Apologies," and we conbut little; we caunot doubt the fess, that we are unable to perceive rectitude of Mr. I.'s intentions, any very close resemblance bebut it would be unmanly to shrink tween them. The delightful work from censuring his language as in of Minucius Felix is a dialogue, a high degree irreverent and indis- and of course, out of the compari creet. The adjuration is both son, but we should not suppose, unnecessary and offensive, and that the wretched theology of Mr. I. either knows, or is inex- Lactantius, the turgid obscurity of cusable in not knowing, that a Tertullian, the rambling and im“simple reliance and simple de methodical manner of Justin, would pendence upon Christ," for our be thought worthy of revival in the acceptance with God,-and in no
present day, however highly they other sense is it babbled about by may have been rated in their own. evangelical divines - is entirely There is nothing, that we are aware compatible with “ scriptural and of, peculiarly excellent or uncomsound-minded calls to activity and mon in their plan, to render a perseverance after every perfec- modern imitation desirable; nor, tion.”
in fact, were the recurrence to the Mr. Irving, among the censures antique model proved to be expewhich he so freely bestows on dient, can we discem any thing in his ecclesiastical brethren, reproves the present
the present “ argument,” beyond them for placing the day of judg- a vague and incidental resemment « afar off,” while he himself blance. But, in truth, this is a speaks of “ the long interval from matter of slight importance; if the the stroke of death till the trump train of reasoning be well conof God shall ring in death's asto- ducted and powerfully urged, it nished ear.” He avails himself of signifies little what technical mode the doctrine of an intermediate of discussion
may have been state in which the soul shall be adopted; and, though we cannot delivered up to the dreadful work say that, in the present instance, of conscience, reviewing the guilty we have found much of precision past, and anticipating the penal or compactness, nor that we have future, to urge upon his hearers always been satisfied with the the terrors of an immediate judg- opinions expressed in connexion ment. And who among evangeli- with the inquiry, we have been cal preachers has not done the deeply interested by the force and same? Unquestionably Mr. Irving vividness with which the subject has displayed great power in his is impressed upon the reader, and management of this awful and by the earnestness which the mysterious subject; and, although preacher displays in his appeals some of his speculations appear to to different classes of men. We us doubtful, the general effect is shall give a specimen or two as wrought up with a force and skill, illustrations of his happier mowhich might have been advanta- ments. geously left unimpaired in their
“ In turning over the sacred books to impression, by the miserable theo
examine into this previous question, we logical wrangle at the close. find them full of various information,
Mr. Irving entitles that portion concerning the interest which God hath of the volume with which we are
taken in man from the very first, and the
schemes which he hath on foot to amenow engaged, an “Argument,'
liorate our state, the desire he hath to and we shall not quarrel with the contribute to our present happiness, and
the views he hath for our future glory. tion and movement constitutes the maze He presents himself as our father, who of thought, the mystery of life, the confirst breathed into our nostrils the breath tinuous chain of being-God hath given of life, and ever since hath nourished us to know that we hold of his hand, and brought us up as children; who and during his pleasure, and out of the prepared the earth for our habitation ; fulness of his care. and for our sakes made its womb to teem “Upon which tokens of his affecwith food, with beauty, and with life. tionate bounty, not upon bare authority, For our sakes no less he garnished the command, and fear, God desireth to heavens and created the whole host of form a union and intimacy with the them with the breath of his mouth, human soul. As we love our parents, bringing the sun forth from his chamber from whom we derived our being, sus. every morning, with the joy of a bride- tenance, and protection, while we stood groom, and a giant's strength, to shed in need, and afterwards proof of unhis cheerful light over the face of cre- changing and undying love, so God ation, and draw blooming life from the would have us love him in whom we live, cold bosom of the ground. From him and move, and breathe,and have our being, also was derived the wonderful work- and from whom proceedeth every good manship of our frames--the cye, in and perfect gift. And as out of this whose small orb of beauty is peacilled strong affection, we not only obey, but the whole of heaven and of earth, for honour the commandments of our father the mind to peruse, and know, and pos- and mother, so willeth he that we should sess, and rejoice over, even as if the honour and obey the commandments of whole universe were her own the ear, our father in heaven. As we look up to in whose vocal chambers are entertained a master in whose house we dwell, and harmonious numbers, the melody of re- at whose plentiful board we feed-with joicing uature, the welcomes and saluta- whose smiles we are recreated, and whose tions of friends, the whisperings of love, service is gentle and sweet~so God the voices of parents and of children, wisheth us to look up to him, in whose with all the sweetness that resideth in the replenished house of nature he hath given tongue of man. His also is the gift of us a habitation, and from whose bounthe beating beart, flooding all the hidden tiful table of Providence we have a plenrecesses of the human frame with the
tiful living, and whose service is full of tide of life-his the cunning of the virtue, health, and joy. As we love a hand, whose workmanship turns rude, friend, who took us by the hand in and raw materials to pleasant forins youth, and helped us step by step up the and wholesome uses—his the whole vital hill of life, and found for our feet a frame of man, is a world of wonders room to rest in, and for our hands an within itself, a world of bounty, and if occupation to work at; so God wisheth rightly used, a world of finest enjoy- to be loved for having taken us up from ments.--His also the mysteries of the the womb, and compassed us from our soul within the judgment which weighs childhood, and found us favour in the in a balance all contending thoughts, ex- sight of men. As we revere a master of tracting wisdom out of folly, and extri- wisdom, who nursed our opening mind, cating order out of confusion; the me- and fed it with knowledge and with pru. mory, recorder of the soul, in whose dence, until the way of truth and peacebooks are chronicled the accidents of the fulness lay disclosed before us; so God: changing world, and the fluctuating wisheth us to be revered, for giving to moods of the mind itself; fancy, the our souls all the faculties of knowledge, eye of the soul, which scales the heavens and to nature all the hidden truths whicha and circles round the verge and circuits these faculties reveal. In truth, there of all possible existence ; hope, the pur- is not an excellent attachment by which veyor of happiness, which peoples the the sons of men are bound together, hidden future with brighter forms and which doth not bind us more strongly to happier accidents than ever possessed the God, and lay the foundation of all genepresent, offering to the soul the foretaste rous and noble sentiments towards him of every joy; affection, the nurse of joy, within the mind-of all loving, dutiful, whose full bosom can cherish a thousand reverential conduct towards him in our objects without being impoverished, but outward walk and conversation.”-pp. rather replenished, a storehouse inex- 119_122. haustible towards the brotherhood and sisterhood of this earth, as the storehouse
With the exception of a phrase of God is inexhaustible to the universal or two, the following passage is world; finally, conscience, the arbitrator admirably conceived and evil and the good, whose voice within pressed. our breast is the echo of the voice of “ There was one attribute of the diviGod. These, all these, whose varied ac- nity which he would not lay aside, when
he laid aside the rest—he would not part following description of the work with his inercy, and with so much of his
of conscience. power as was needed to satisfy his mercy. The power that could have humbled his How comcth it to pass, that reflection foes, he forewent, the power that could should cast such a shade into the estiinahave revenged his wrongs, that could tion of our lives, if it be not that the have nourished his famished body, and thoughts-are shut up within themselves canopied his naked head, and shielded when we ruminate, and the outward his unboused person; all that could world kept apart. We suffer in the body have ministered triumph or solacement a kind of disembodying, and the result to his sufferings he forewent; but that is severe convictions of the idleness and Almighty power which might heal sick- wickedness of our lives. What, then, ness and chase sorrow, and put to right shall be the nature of our reflections disabled frames, and draw back bloom- when we are disembodied in very truth, ing health and warm gushing life to their and the world is escaped into the land of withered abode, and cheat the grave and visions ? Then, I truly ween,
there will the wrathful elements of their prey; all be a scrutiny, and a self-arraignment this power he gave not up, but brought more severe than hath ever pass:'d in it with him to the earth, which called monkish cell or hermit's cave. The upon it so largely, and requited it so ill. soul will unfold the leaves of her expe. But saving so much power as might be rience, which since they were engraven of comfort to the poor creatures he went had never before been turned out to her out to redeem, hc stripped himself of all inspection. The glorious colours which besides, and did come not only within illumined them are gone, the pomp, the narrow conditions of manhood, pass- the vanity, the applause, the sensual joy; ing through the nobler nature of angels, there is nothing left but the blank and but into manhood's most mean and me- bare engraving upon the tablet; and lancholy conditions; not suffered to see conscience is its severe interpreter, not the light in a human habitation; no worldly interest, ambition, or folly ; and sooner born than sought after by the there is no companionship of fellows or hunters of blood; borne over sandy de- masters in wickedness to keep us in serts into a foreign land; bred at an ob- heart; and there is no hope of amendscure laborious calling, in a town prover- ment to chaste self-accusation, no voice bial for wickedness, in a region despised of consolation, no preaching of recovery, as outlandish ; when entered on his office no sound of salvation; all is blank soliof salvation, a waylaid wanderer, a tude, spiritual nakedness, stark neceshouseless, homeless man, watched ever- sity, and changeless fa:e. The soul more by a host of spies and informers, must have an irksome time of it, if so and carrying in the bosom of his confi- be that she hath lent no ear to the addence, a venal traitor. Buffcted, spit on, monitions of her better part, and to the crowned with thorns, basely betrayed, counsels of God which sustaineth these. his blood sold for money, justice, the affrights me while I write, to think of common right of man, refused him; it.”—pp. 294, 295. nay, against the voice, and in the sacred face of justice, sacrificed and crucified Large as have been our citations on that tree where a murderer should we cannot pass over the following have hung, from which a seditious mur- manly and energetic expression derer was released, to make room for of just indignation against the the Son of God. carth ! oh sacred justice ! oh power impious buffoonery of Byron, and supreme! where slept ye when such in- the profane servility of Southey. dignity was offered to your Prince ? ye slept not, but ye murmured forth your
“This age hath produced out of this indignation in thunder, and ye frowned theme,” (Judgment to come,) “ two darkness upon the face of day, and ye
most nauseous and unformed abortions, reared forth from the secret place the vile, unprincipled, and unmeaning--the ghastly bodies of the dead to affright the
one a brazen-face piece of political cant, living; ye slept not, and would have the other an abandoned parody of solemn arisen in your sovereign might to defend judgment. Of which visionaries, I your Prince from murderous hands; but
know not whether the self-confident tone the voice of your Prince had bound you,
of the one, or the ill-placed merriment of bound you to look on and intermeddle
the other, displeaseth reason and feeling not to look upon the darkest, foulest
the more. Iguoble and impious it is to scene, wherewith the annals of time are
rob the sublimest of subjects of all its defaced, and the reputation of the earth grandeur and effect, in order to serve defamed.”-pp. 187—189.
wretched interests and vulgar passions.
Out upon such, wretched stuff, out upon There is strong painting in the the age which endureth it. Limited the