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grew feebler and feebler, a last debate seemed to rise in that soul which was now hidden with God. They heard him murmuring to himself in inarticulate argument, confusedly struggling in his weakness to account for this visible death which at last his human faculties could no longer refuse to believe in—perhaps touched with ineffable trouble that his Master had seemed to fail of His word and promise. At last that self-argument came to a sublime conclusion in a trust more strong than life or death. As the gloomy December Sunday sank into the night shadows, his last audible words on earth fell from his pale lips. “The last
“ thing like a sentence we could make out was, 'If I die, I die unto the Lord. Amen.'” And so, at the wintry midnight hour which ended that last Sabbath on earth, the last bonds of mortal trouble dropped asunder, and the saint and martyr entered into the rest of his Lord. Amen! He who had lived to God for so many
hard and bitter years, enduring all the pangs of mortal trouble-in his Lord at last, with a sigh of unspeakable disappointment and consolation, contented himself to die. I know not how to add anything more to that last utterance, which rounds into a perfection beyond the reach of art, this sorrowful and splendid life. So far as sight or sound could be had of him, to use his own touching words, he had “ a good voyage,” though in the night and dark. And again let us say, Amen!
They buried him in the crypt of Glasgow Cathedral, like his Master, in the grave of a stranger — the same man who had first introduced him to London
HE DIED AND WAS BURIED.
coming forward now to offer a last resting-place to all that remained of Edward Irving. He was followed to that noble vault by all that was good and pious in Glasgow, some of his close personal friends, and many of his immediate followers, mingling in the train with the sober members of Dr. Chalmers's agency, and “ most of the clergy of the city,” men who disapproved his faith while living, but grudged him not now the honour due to the holy dead. The great town itself thrilled with an involuntary movement of sorrow. “Every other consideration,” says the Scottish Guardian, a paper at all times doubly orthodox, “was forgotten, in the universal and profound sympathy with which the information was received,” and all voices uniting to proclaim over him that divine consolatory verdict of the Spirit, “ Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” There he lies, in such austere magnificence as Scotland has nowhere else preserved to enshrine her saints, until his Lord shall come, to vindicate, better than any human voice can do, the spotless name and honour of His most faithful servant and soldier. So far as these volumes present the man himself with his imperfections breaking tenderly into his natural grandeur, always indivisible, and moving in a profound unity of nature through such proof of all sorrows as falls to the lot of few, I do not fear that his own words and ways are enough to clear the holy and religious memory of Edward Irving of many a cloud of misapprehension and censure of levity; and so far as I have helped this, I have done my task.
He died in the prime and bloom of his days, forty-two years old, without, so far as his last writings leave any
A SAINT AND MARTYR.
trace, either decadence of intellect or lowering of thought; and left, so far as by much inquiry I have been able to find out, neither an enemy nor a wrong behind him. No shadow of unkindness obscures the sunshine on that grave which in old days would have been a shrine of pilgrims. The pious care of his nephew has emblazoned the narrow Norman lancet over him, with a John Baptist, austere herald of the cross and advent; but a tenderer radiance of human light than that which encircled the solitary out of his desert, lingers about that resting-place. There lies a man who trusted God to extremity, and believed in all Divine communications with truth as absolute as any patriarch or prophet ; to whom mean thoughts and unbelieving hearts were the only things miraculous and out of nature; who desired to know nothing in heaven or earth, neither comfort, nor peace, nor rest, nor any consolation, but the will and work of his Master, whom he loved — yet to whose arms children clung with instinctive trust, and to whose heart no soul in trouble ever appealed in vain. He was laid in his grave
in the December of 1834 - a life-time since ; but scarce any man who knew him can yet name, without a softened voice and a dimmed eye, the name of Edward Irving
-- true friend and tender heart martyr and saint.