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WEAL, who have foregone in a great we assure our readers it is not hasty; degree the noble virtues and Christian and if it be harsh, let Mr Irving speak graces of the old English patriarchs, English, and we shall endeavour not and taken in their private characters, to misunderstand him another time. more of the manners and Libertinism In spite of a few pretty complimenof Continental Revolutionists." Who, tary phrases used now and then in the pray, are these Generous Libertines, course of his production, we cannot from whom Mr Edward Irving is so doubt that Mr Irving's main intention sorry in being separated ? Are these it to attack the Church of England. the “ accomplished” and “imagina- It is certainly of no great consequence tive” ones whom he would fain draw what, as an individual, he does, or does to his side ? - We believe, indeed, it not attack; but we are extremely sorcould be no difficult matter for a child ry indeed to observe, that this tone is to answer such questions. The truth by no means an uncommon one at preof the case lies in a nut-shell. The sent among the ultras of the Presbyestablished order of things in Eng- terian Kirk of Scotland. We can easiland, above all, in the Church, is at ly understand that these people should present, attacked by two numerous, prefer having a church like their own but, thank God! by two separate bo- established in the sister kingdoms, if dies of enemies.—The Generous Li- they could manage that point-but it bertines on the one side, and on the is clear enough, that of this they can other side, those who have the blas- have no serious hope whatever. They phemous audacity of arrogating to well know, that if the Episcopal themselves exclusively, the name of Church of England perish, no esta“ Christians." No wonder that they blished Church whatever can come in who hanker after the memory of its place. They well know, that the “Cromwell and his iron band,” should Sectaries are too much divided, and hate this division. No wonder that too fierce in their spleen against each they should thirst for a coalition that other. They are willing, therefore, to might perhaps make once more the lend a hand in pulling down the prechivalry of England to skip! No won sent Church of England, although in der that these “ Christians” should the knowledge that there never could call the Libertines they want to gain be any other Church of England. by such pretty names as “ Generous They flatter themselves that although favourers of their country's weal," the Church of England were pulled &c. &c. &c.
down to-morrow, the Kirk of Scotland Mr Irving complains bitterly in ano. would stand fast and be in no sort of ther passage, thus:“We,we Christians, danger. They therefore go on conhave lost the manly regard of our fa- tinually decrying the sister church thers for liberty and good govern- and extolling their own in the same ment, and crouched into slavish senti- breath, and Mr Irving, among the ments of passive obedience.” (p. 244.) rest, loses no opportunity of raving Does not this furnish a sufficient clew about Baxter, and the old non-conforto Mr Irving's drift? - Yes, we do not mists, as if these were the only clerical fear to say it, go who will to hear this names really worthy of the gratitude man thunder out his orations and his and veneration of the people of Engarguments, that the book this man land-really worthy of being revehas published is embued throughout renced on a par, to say no more, with with a strain of most dangerous senti. those of the Knoxes and Melvilles, &c. ment. He wants to make the “ Ge- of the Presbyterian Establishment in nerous favourers of their country's Scotland. weal” Christians, and he wants to make Not the least extraordinary part of the Christians ashamed of having " lost this humbug is, that these people the old manly regard for liberty," and are eternally abusing the Church of s crouched into obedience !” Lay these England, as a Church too closely unitwo strings that he has to his bow ted with the state and the affairs of together, and let any man, whether state-and lauding their own Church “ accomplished and imaginative," or for its freedom from all such connecnot, doubt if he can, what is the arrow tion-and this at the very same time that the reverend man would fain see that they are hankering most eagerly his bow loaded with.-Such a way of after the restoration of that state of judging may appear harsh and hasty- matters which prevailed in the days of the Knoxes and the Prynnes ! There even Chalmerses, are quite forgotnever were any churchmen in the ten. And will these people and the world who interfered in politics more leaders they may so well be proud of fiercely and proudly and sternly than having—will all these sit silently and John Knox and the men of his school, submit to be held in an inferior place both in England and in Scotland. by the clergy of the Kirk, when they They were the most ambitious of see England set free from a Churchpriests-Bating the difference of their establishment altogether? The suppodoctrines, they were just so many sition is ridiculous. The thing will not proud sulky popish monks they had stand for four-and-twenty hours. all the rancour of a Caste, all the tho. But the Presbyterian Dissenters are roughgoing ambition of a plebeian not all. There is a prodigious body of faction. We do not mean to deny that, Episcopalians in Scotland. At this mowith all these faults, they had many ment, there is scarcely a single noble excellencies, and that they produced family in Scotland that is not Episcomuch good in more ways than one to palian. Almost all the higher gentry the country-quite the reverse. But are in the same way. Perhaps it would we do think, and, thinking, we do not not be saying too much to say, that hesitate to say, that the idea of wish- fully Two-THIRDs of the landed proing for the resurrection of the politi- perty in Scotland are at this hour in the cal as well as ecclesiastical predomi- hands of Episcopalian proprietors. Now nancy of men of that spirit, is absurd- the land, and the land alone, is burly at variance with the mind of the thened with the maintenance of the nation and of the age-and certainly kirk establishment. It is very true, most woefully at variance with the that theburden is, comparatively speak. feelings of those more cultivated class. ing, light, and easy to be borne; yet, es to which this Mr Irving seems so if the gentry of England were set enambitious of exclusively addressing his tirely free of tithes, does any one beorations.
lieve that the gentry of Scotland would But the truth is, nothing can be submit willingly to any payment, howmore ridiculous than the notion pre- ever moderate, of tiends ? No; backvalent among a particular class of our ed by the great Presbyterian dissentScottish churchmen, that their esta- ing bodies, the landed men of Scota blishment would not be shaken by land would certainly rise in an instant the downfall of the Church of Eng against the continuance of such a sys. land. It is very true, that their sti- tem. It is a great pity that it should pends are moderate, and that their be so; but, in point of fact, the nobles establishment is, on the whole, as lit- and the higher gentry of ScoTLAND, tle barthensome as any establishment are, with very few exceptions, in these could well be. But this is not the days, ENGLISHMEN. There is not one question. There is a very great body of the higher nobility of Scotland that of Dissenters in Scotland too a great spends, on an average, more than two and an increasing body of Presbyte- nights in the year in the metropolis of rian Dissenters. The clergymen of Scotland. There is not one of them these sects in Scotland are, it is noto- that has a house there; when they rious, just as well educated, as learn- come thither, they are strangers, and ed, as eloquent, and every way as re put up at a hotel, just as they would spectable, as those of the Established do in Amsterdam or Paris. Every Kirk. Nay, it is a singular enough Scotch gentleman who can afford it, fact, that in our own day, the two carries his family not to Edinburgh, men who have done most for the li- but to London. With few exceptions, terary reputation of the Presbyterian the young men of fashion and fortune clerical order in Scotland, are not are all chiefly educated in England. members of the Established Presby- England iseverything; Scotland is noterian Church at all. What has the thing but a place to get rents from, Kirk of Scotland produced in these and to shoot grouse in for a few weeks days that can sustain a moment's com- after the rising of Parliament. These parison with the Dictionary of Dr Ja- people are all English-their speech is mieson, and the Historical Works of English-their prejudices are English; Dr M'Crie? These are books which more than half of their blood is in will keep their place hundreds of most instances English blood. These years after fifty Chalmerses, (yes, people will certainly oppose as much
as in them lies the downfall of the ve- particulars. What we say will be innerable Church of England ; but, that telligible enough to everybody that once down, is it anything less than lives in Scotland, and to the great macraziness and mere imbecility to dream jority of those who do not live in Scotthat they will make a second, and a land also. We may just hint, however, more successful battle, for the purpose in a single sentence, that the subscripof upholding the Kirk establishment of tion for Hone, to take one example, Scotland?-a Church of which they are was aided and abetted here in Scotnot, and have not for a long while been, land, not only by the Edinburgh Reaccustomed to consider themselves as, viewers, but by many ruling elders, in any true sense of the word, mem- who figure among the loudest and bers-an establishment with which most strenuous orators in our General they have long ceased to have any con- Assemblies upon the ultra-Whig and nexion, except that of paying for it, ultra-Presbyterian side of the Kirk. and of appointing the ministers, (which This is true ; let who will say that this last benefit, by the way, cannot be sup- is right. It is really enough to make posed to be held at any very high va- one laugh to see how good, worthy, lue, seeing that the Kirks of Scotland shortsighted men are taken in by a few have long ago ceased to be looked upon flummery paragraphs about them and as convenient shelves for the younger their immaculate Kirk, and their lisons even of the poorer orders of the berality! by people whose real intenScottish gentry.).
tions are scarcely covered by any veil · When Mr Irving laments over the at all, except when, for particular purwant of sympathy and close union be- poses, they are endeavouring to concitween what he is pleased to call, “WE, liate those, who, if they had as much we CHRISTIANS,” and “ THE GENE- wit as we cannot doubt they have hoROUS FAVOURERS OF THEIR COUNTRY's nesty, would be the foremost and most WEAL, WHO HAVE IN THEIR PRIVATE unrelenting enemies of such a crew. MANNERS ADOPTED THE LIBERTI- There is much that the truly reNISM OF FRANCE," we are well aware spectable clergy of the Church of Engthat what he really weeps over is land might do well to notice, and to the Toryism, generally speaking, and imitate in the clergy of the sister Church certainly the steady loyalty, of that here in Scotland-their strict resigreat party within the Church of Eng. dence; their humble, zealous visitaland, which is commonly distinguish- tions of their people; their uniform ed, we shall not ask how improperly, and undivided attention to the duties of by the name of the Evangelical party. their calling and their cures. There is, He preaches and publishes in London, on the other hand, much that the clertherefore it cannot be doubted that gy of Scotland ought to imitate and this is what the orator means. It is, rival in the character of their English however, not a bit the less true, that brethren ; above all, in that thorough there is a great deal too much sympa scholarship, both professional and exthy and union just at present between tra-professional, which, in spite of all certain infidel enemies of the Church the sneers of the Irvings et hoc genus, of England and certain other enemies has rendered, and now keeps the atof hers. It is the great reproach of a tacks of infidel writers and infidel oravery considerable party in the Kirk of tors ineffectual in Britain. The clergy Scotland, for example, that they have of Scotland do their duty admirably, suffered themselves, on many very im- in their parishes most admirably; and portant occasions, to be led into a they deserve, and they possess, the shameful copartnership and co-opera- warmest good wishes of every lover of tion with men who abstain from at- the Truth within the country where tacking their church now, only because there ministry is exercised. But what they see (what the others would have would have become of the cause of seen long ago, had not the bile of con- Christianity over all Britain, long ere ceit and prejudice blinded them,) that now, had there been no better fighters the most effectual way of ruining that for that cause against the great army minor and poorer, but equally hated es- of infidel wits, than Scotland, and the tablishment, is to begin with sapping Church of Scotland, has of late years the foundations of the more extensive reared ? Had there been no Watsons, and imposing structure in the sister no Horsleys, no Paleys, in the last age, country. We need not go into close what would have been the condition
of the British people, and of that faith not been so, indeed, we should not of which was then assailed by enemies course have devoted so much space to indeed worthy of the name of enemies? him and his book. But has he shewn What was Beattie to such men as himself to be a great man ?-a great these? Such a man as Beattie did very orator?-a great reasoner? -a masterwell to be paraded and puffed—he was ly and original mind ?-a master of a worthy good man, but weak as wa- English eloquence?--No such things. ter. He had the vanity to have him- He is neither more nor less than a cleself painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, ver copier of Dr Chalmers of Glassitting in an elbow-chair in the clouds, gow. with his Essay on Truth in his hands, It is very true, that he has been and Hume, and Voltaire, and Rousseau, reading Taylor, Barrow, Baxter, and and Gibbon, lying under his feet, wri. Hooker, and that he has endeavoured thing, in the character of devils. The to infuse into his language a spice of print from this picture figures at the be- their olden rhetoric. The attempt was ginning of his life. Any one who just praiseworthy, but the result has cerlooks at it for a minute, and consi- tainly been anything but satisfactory ders what the man, with that happy, to those who read (for we can say nocontented, imbecile, sleepy face did- thing as to those who hear,) Mr Irving. what he was, and what these trampled Those old writers were admirably aedevils did and were, must blush, if the complished masters of the English blood has any way to his cheeks, for tongue; there is a rich mellow luxury the literary triumphs of the Kirk of about their periods, which, to imitate, Scotland.** The clergy of England is hopeless, unless in very superior should imitate the clergy of Scotland; hands indeed to the like of Mr Irving. the clergy of Scotland should imitate And, besides, he could not-no man the clergy of England. But as for such could-imitate both them and Dr Chalpeople as Mr Irving, it will be much mers at once. Chalmers has his own if they look round them for a little, in merits, but they lie toto cælo away either church, and strive to imitate, in from those of our old prose classics of the first place, that Christian humility the 17th century; and the attempt to which distinguishes the brightest or blend the two styles has been producnaments of both the one and the other tive of an extremely unpleasing effect. of them.
It has covered the whole strain with an But it is high time we should speak insufferable appearance of affectation a few words about his book--more -double affectation too-of laboured strictly considered as a book. We bave frigidity-of ambitious feebleness of already seen how openly Mr Irving uninspired extravagance. avows the highly ambitious views un- The whole style of the orator's think. der the influence of which he has com- ing, the whole conception of his strain, menced his career of authorship. We are servilely after Chalmers. We are have seen that be despises the name of pretty sure there is not one train of Sermons; that he will write nothing thought at all striking in the book, but Orations after the manner of Cin the germ of which may not be found cero and Demosthenes, and Argu- even in Chalmers's printed works. But ments or Apologies after the manner to us, who have very frequently heard of the Fathers. We have seen, too, Dr Chalmers preach, the identity of that he expressly says, he means him the two things is throughout quite palself for the “more learned, imagina pable-painfully so, indeed. The imi- . tive, and accomplisher classes ;” in tation is as close, now, as the imitation other words, that his object is to in- of Jeffrey's way of reviewing by the fuse the spirit of religion into the po- underling imbeciles of his Journal, pular literature, and thence into the as the imitation of the author of Wa. popular mind of the age-that he means verley's style by the authors of The to work a revolution in religion and in Cavalier, The King of the Peak, Ponletters.
tefract Custle, The Rise and Fall of And what has been hitherto his suc- Somerset, and such books. Now, there cess? We admit, at once, freely and is no doubt, that considerable talent fully, that he has shewn himself to be may be shewn in the midst of even a man of considerable talents ; if it had this kind of imitation ; but high talent
• Our correspondent has forgotten two really respectable divines of the last age in Scotland, Campbell and Macknight; but still we do not quarrel with his general argument as to this matter.-C. N.
-anything like commanding talent all his faculties, and transported through anything like the talent that is capa. all his emotions, and through all his ener. ble of working a revolution, or any
gies of action wound up ? Why, to say thing like a revolution, eitherin preach the best, it is done as other duties are wont ing, or in any other department of in
to be done ; and, having reached the rank tellectual exertion, is quite out of the
of a daily, formal duty, the perusal of the
Word hath reached its noblest place. Yea, question in such a case. Facile est in
that which is the guide and spur of all duventis addere, is an old and a true say- ty, the necessary aliment of Christian life, ing; and even if Mr Irving had gone the first and the last of Christian know. considerably beyond Dr Chalmers in ledge and Christian feeling, hath, to speak Dr Chalmers's walk, we should nee the best, degenerated in these days to stand ver have dreamed of putting him by rank and file among those duties whereof it the side of his master. Even if he had is parent, preserver, and commander. And kept all the startling boldness of Dr to speak not the best, but the fair and comChalmers's way of preaching, and yet mon truth, this book, the offspring of the made his language pure and correct
divine mind, and the perfection of heavenEnglish, instead of the pyebald offen
ly wisdom, is permitted to lie from day to siveness of the Chalmerian style, we
day, perhaps from week to week, unheeded
and unperused; never welcome to our hapshould not have said, here is a man
py, healthy, and energetic moods; admitworthy of taking his place by the side
ted, if admitted at all, in seasons of sick. of Chalmers. But he has done ncthing ness, feeble-mindedness, and disabling sor. of this sort. He has the audacity with- row. Yea, that which was sent to be a spi. out the vigour; the os magna sonitu- rit of ceaseless joy and hope, within the rum without the original nerve and heart of man, is treated as the enemy of pith; the wspoo®W OV mnavyes, without happiness, and the murderer of enjoyment; the capacity of the temple behind. He and eyed askance, as the remembrancer of has not equalled the excellencies-no death and the very messenger of hell ! thing like it; and he has kept, ay,
“Oh! if books had but tongues to speak
Prs ays their wrongs, then might this book welī exand added to the defects.
claim_Hear, O heavens! and give ear, O All this might, no doubt, have pass
earth! I came from the love and embrace ed off extremely well, if Mr Irving of God, and mute Nature, to whom I had been contented to speak his ora- brought no boon, did me rightful homage. tions and arguments, and not to print To man I came, and my words were to the them. He has probably a vigorous and children of men. I disclosed to you the impressive style of declaiming, and if mysteries of hereafter, and the secrets of he had been wise enough to avoid the throne of God. I set open to you the publication, he might, in a place gates of salvation, and the way of eternal where Dr Chalmers could be little life, hitherto unknown. Nothing in heaknown, have continued to maintain ven did I withhold from your hope and the reputation of a powerful and even
ambition; and upon your earthly lot I of an original preacher. But this print
poured the full horn of Divine Providence
and consolation. But ye requited me with ing in a great measure undid Chalmers
no welcome, ye held no festivity on my arhimself and what wonder that it rival: Ye sequester me from happiness should have gone near to undo his and heroism, closeting me with sickness pupil and imitator altogether? In our and infirmity; ye make not of me, nor opinion, such must have been the ef- use me for your guide to wisdom and prufect of Mr Irving's very ambitious dence, but press me into a place in your debut as an author.
last of duties, and withdraw me to a mere We shall now proceed to justify corner of your time ; and most of ye set what we have felt ourselves constrained me at nought and utterly disregard me. to say, by a few extracts from the book.
I came, the fulness of the knowledge of The following passage it may be pro
God ; angels delighted in my company, per to introduce with the remark, that
and desired to dive into my secrets. But
ye, mortals, place masters over me, subit occurs within three pages of the be
jecting me to the discipline and dogmatism ginning of the first Oration—that of men, and tutoring me in your schools of “ On preparation for consulting the learning. I came, not to be silent in your Oracles of God.”
dwellings, but to speak welfare to you and “ Who feels the thrilling fear or trem- to your children. I came to rule, and my bling hope there is in words whereon the throne to set up in the hearts of men. Mine eternal destinies of himself do hang ? Who ancient residence was the bosom of God; feels the swelling tide of gratitude within no residence will I have but the soul of an his breast, for redemption and salvation immortal." coming, instead of flat despair and ever. lasting retribution ? Finally, who, in per. It must be quite needless for us to using the word of God, is captivated through criticise the above. It has all the worst