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and died in full womanhood, but in youth, untouched by any vulgar fate. The “dear sister Margaret,” whom he exhorts to sing this touching childish utterance, was then a bride, just about going to her new home in the hereditary manse of Monimail, where her venerable grandsire had died not very long before. To her and to her husband, the following letter of congratulation was shortly thereafter addressed.

“ Brampton Court, October, 1830. “ MY DEAR MARGARET AND JAMES,— I am just setting out to preach at Huntingdon, and take up my pen, before starting, to give you my benediction. May the Lord fulfil upon you the prayers which we have prayed for you, and make you as those that preceded you at Monimail! I cannot present to you two better examples. Dear Margaret, be in dutiful subjection to your husband, and strengthen his hands in every good work,—good works in her husband to promote.' Dear James, be a loving husband, a guardian, and a guide to our Margaret; she is a precious person. God be your guide and your portion! His truth is your common rule, and His love your communion and fellowship.

- Your faithful brother,

66 EDWD. IRVING." From Brampton Court, from which this letter is written, he was, as usual, overwhelmed with supererogatory labours. “Dear Edward hurried down from

. London again, to be with me as soon as possible," writes his wife. “ There are a goodly number of hearers, and hearers all day long here; so that yesterday Edward spoke almost constantly from nine in the morning till eleven at night, what with expositions, dictating for an hour, and answering questions." How either mind or body sustained this perpetual pouring forth, it seems difficult to imagine; but though






this very letter proves that he still wrote, dictating to some of his faithful amanuenses, it is a relief to believe that much of this must have been extempore. Years

. before, he had written a brief and striking note on Samuel Martin's Bible. “My brother, no man is furnished for the ministry, till he can unclasp his pocket Bible, and wherever it opens, discourse from it largely and spiritually to the people.” Nothing but such a capacity could have carried him through the incessant calls upon him ; which indeed are curious exemplars how those pious nobles who are nursing fathers and mothers to religion, having laid hold upon such a notable and willing labourer, do their best to work him to death.

It is very evident, at the same time, that he never had a thought or conception of saving himself. A glimpse of another unsuspected branch of labour, gleams out in a speech reported in the newspapers as having been made at one of the May meetings in this year, a meeting in behalf of the Destitute Seamen's Asylum, at which the great preacher appeared to “ bear testimony to the excellence of the institution from personal observation, having been accustomed to minister to the seamen once a fortnight. He had witnessed,” he says,“ the spectacle of six or seven house

“ less seamen herding at the bottleworks at Shadwell, for the sake of the warmth," but had afterwards found “ from 130 to 150 seated in comfort to a homely meal, with such a spirit of order maintained among them, that never in one instance had his holy avocation been disturbed by any act of irreverence.” So far as any one can see, he had nothing in the world to do with these

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sailors, with all his own manifold affairs in hand; but to a soul never in any difficulty to know who was his neighbour, such brotherly offices were more restful than rest.

On his return to London from these laborious wanderings, he writes to his wife,—“The Lord has preserved

ту flock in love and unity ; and we assembled on Sunday as numerous as at any former period. Our meeting of Session was very delightful. . .. Mr. Henderson and Dr. Thompson are fully convinced of the reality of the hand of God in the west country work, and so is Mr. Cardale. Pray for Mary Campbell; she is under some temptations.” But while this was a matter of constant reference and anxious expectation, and while restoration to health, as miraculous and extraordinary as that which happened at the Gairloch, had startled into still warmer excitement the believers about London in the wonderful case of Miss Fancourt*, Irving's mind was still much more entirely occupied with the momentous matter of doctrine, on which so great a commotion had lately risen. Mr. Maclean's case was not yet decided ; but Mr. Scott had, as has been mentioned, formally withdrawn his from the consideration of the Presbytery of London, by the objections against ordination, and indeed against most matters distinctive of an ecclesiastical organisation, which had arisen in his mind. The Presbytery of London was reduced in number at the moment. Several of those ministers who came to the conclusion, which a few months before gave so much comfort to Irving,

* See Appendix A.



seem to have left its bounds. The little ecclesiastical court was balked but emboldened by the discussion, which had been rendered fruitless by the withdrawal of Mr. Scott; and now a bolder move suggested itself to one of its members, who resolved upon bringing the great preacher himself to the bar. Irving had just been entertaining dreams of another apostolic visit to Edinburgh, when this threatened stroke arrested him. Always drawn, by a fascination which he seemed unable to resist, towards his native country, he had written to Mr. Macdonald : “I desire very much, if possible, to come to Edinburgh for one fortnight, to preach a series of discourses upon the nature and acts of the Incarnation. I wish it to be during the sitting of the college, and in the evenings, or evenings and mornings, when the divinity students might attend. Ask Mr. Tait if he would risk his pulpit, or could you get another?” The arrangement even went further. In December, Irving wrote again to the same friend :

“Mr. Maclean comes up this very week, and to him, with our most devout and devoted missionary, I can with all confidence commit my flock ; so that in the Christmas recess I can and, God permitting, will be with you to keep the feast. ... Mr. Carlyle's counsel is good, and I take as the subject of my evening discourses the Epistle to the Hebrews — A series of lectures upon the Epistle to the Hebrews.' But my wife has suggested, and I have faith to undertake besides, if you think it good, a series of prophetic expositions, in the forenoon of each day, upon prophetical subjects connected with the signs of these times, the restoration of the Jews, the coming of the Lord and His kingdom. For many ladies and infirm people might come out in the morning who could not venture in the evening, and some might desire both. In this case I would make Sunday a resting day, and show my dutifulness



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to the Church in waiting upon the ministry of my brethren. Now I could set off from this so as to be in Edinburgh on the eve of Christmas day, that is, Friday night; and, if you please, you might advertise the lectures to begin on Saturday.

At the rate of a chapter each night it would occupy me just a fortnight, after which I might find time to visit my friends in various parts for another week, and so return, having been absent three Sabbaths. Judge and decide, and send me word by return of post. When my dear brother Alexander Scott comes to Edinburgh (he is to be married this day, God bless him !), would you say that if he were to remain and go over the subjects with me privately, I should deem it a great help? but let him be free. ..... My flock is in great peace and harmony, and I think concentrating more and more, praised be the Lord !”

He had, however, no sooner arranged thus particularly the details of a Christmas holiday so much after his own heart, when the apostolic enterprise was put a stop to, for the moment, by the course of events which brought him, in his own person, before the bar of the Presbytery, and began the series of his ecclesiastical persecutions.

This process and its issue he himself describes, with his usual minuteness, in the preface to Christs Izoliness in the Flesh, from which we have already quoted. After reference to the discussion in Mr. Scott's case, the narrative goes on as follows:

“ Some time after this, one of the brethren of the Presbytery signified to me by letter his purpose of calling my book into question the next day after he wrote, when the Presbytery was to meet; to whom I replied that this was to proceed against the divine rule of Christ, which required him to speak to myself privately, and then with witnesses, before bringing a matter before the Church. In this he acquiesced, and did not make any motion concerning it; but another brother did,

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