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would be no use or value in the donation, if it were not to deliver us from some state to which we lay exposed. If eternal life would have come of course to all, then it would have been vainglorious in Christ to have taken the merit of bring. ing it within our reach. But in bringing it within the reach of all, He may be said as truly to have died for all, and given life to all, as a king who gives a constitution to all his subjects, may be said to give liberty to them all; though it be Well known the very constitution contains within its bosom bonds, and imprisonment, and death to those who do crimes deserving of such condemnation. So the constitution of Christ is a constitution of everlasting life and glory to all who know it, although it contains within its breast death and damnation to those who commit crimes deserving of such a fate."

It is somewhat remarkable that in his earliest work Mr. Irving should have boldly taken ground in respect to two great subjects on which Infidelity is now assailing the Church—the Inspiration of the Scriptures, and the Eternity of Punishment. He received the Bible without doubt or misgiving as the Word of God, and felt towards it a spirit of holy reverence and awe which would have been shocked by the tone of later criticism. He gave himself to the study of it not with diligence merely, but with the enthusiasm which only love can kindle; and the great labor of his life was to bring forth its treasures to the light for the edification of the Church. Nor had he any sympathy with the spirit which would relax the bonds of moral obligation, and dethrone God from His place of Judge. He felt how awful was His holiness, and vindicated His ways to men, even in His most terrible judgments, and in the dread retributions of the world to come, with unfaltering faith and courage.

And yet, notwithstanding the undeniable power and beauty, the general orthodoxy, and the high moral tone of his preaching, there can be no doubt that it was at this time too intellectual. His great aim was to set forth truth in the forms of the intellect, that it might reach those men of high culture and fastidious taste to whom, as generally presented, it was repulsive. He did reach their intellects and captivate their imaginations, but he did not draw them to Christ. One of his friends, a writer in the Morning Watch, has said that during all that outward show, when peers and peeresses were crowding his church to suffocation, there is no reason to suppose that a single soul was effectually turned to God. This is probably an exaggeration, but it is certain that the first part of Mr. Irving's ministry in London was a striking proof of the ineficiency of merely intellectual preaching in the conversion of sinners. How he himself regarded such preaching in after years, the following passage from his Lectures on the Apocalypse will show:

"I have an especial love for my brethren, the ministers of the Church of Scotland, who, by the intellectualism and base philosophy of our great Northern University, have been much seduced from the faith of the fulness of God's word, into the faith of only those forms of it which can be commended to the natural man, and obtain the approbation of men of sense and talent, with whom our country abounds. I am striking another chord altogether; it jars in the ears of the rest of my brethren; but it is the chord which alone will recall the deep symphonies of the soul with God. And while I write, I feel the strong assurance that God will give those truths power and efficiency in the heart, and in the ministry, of many of my brethren in the Church of Scotland, who now look upon me as revolting men of sense from the whole subject of religion. Listen to me, my brethren, and I will tell you a truth. These men of sense, professors, reviewers, scientific men, and so forth, must be repelled from that which they now call religion, before they can be attracted to that which you know to be religion. The clear sky over the head of Scotland's intellect must be clouded and bedimmed with vapors, before the soil of Scotland's intellect will yield you any fruit of that kind, which heretofore it brought forth in all abundance."

And in another passage, he seems to refer to his own experience :

“Again, I knew another man who came unto a flock which was literally no flock, being but a handful of persons gathered through attachment to his person, who was as ignorant of the truth of God as Evangelical ministers generally are, and was as zealous in the use of eloquence, and argument, and affection, and such like weapons of straw, as other famous preachers are,” &c.

A further illustration of this is found in the following story, taken from the London Quarterly Journal of Prophecy:

“One week evening, some friends of ours went to hear Dr. Waugh in London. Seated not far from them were Irving and a Congregational minister, personally unknown to each other. After service, the minister joiced our friends outside, and began to talk over the discourse, which was well spoken of by all as a true exhibition of the message of the reconciliation. The minister then asked, "Who is that singular-look man next whom I was sitting ? "That,' said one of our friends, 'is the new Scotch minister of the Caledonian Church,' 'Is it ? said

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he; "then I have said a very awkward thing.' 'Ilow so? • We spoke together of the excellence of the sermon, and of the gospel which it contained; and then I remarked that I was sorry to hear that the new Scottish minister of the Caledonian Church did not preach the gospel.' 'And what did he say in reply? asked our friend. He replied, “Does he not? Then he shall do it hereafter.'”

And nobly did he fulfill his promise.

But defective as his preaching was during the first year or two of his ministry, great ends were doubtless answered by it. It was bold, and honest, and searching; and Christian doctrine, though not made prominent, nor set forth in theological forms, lay at the foundation. It was not heretical, nor merely moral and sentimental; but a manly and powerful exhibition of the practical side of religion; too intellectual and imaginative, no doubt, for the simplicity of the gospel, but better fitted, perhaps, on that very account, to gain the ear of those highly-cultured and refined classes to whom Christianity had become a worn-out thing, and who were too seldom plainly and faithfully dealt with from the pulpit. It took them on their own ground, and overcame them with their own weapons. Their intellects were confronted by a mightier intellect, their eloquence over-matched by a loftier and more burning cloquence. They were like the wedding guests in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, who "conld not choose but hear.” Had the gospel of Christ been preached by him at first with all the fulness of his later years, and with the severe purity which disdained all ornament that did not come unsought, it might not have found its way into those noble and intellectual circles which now were constrained to listen. With all its imperfections, it was a noble witness for God, and prepared the hearts of thousands for a higher message in due time. Mr. Irving's own account of this flood-tide of his popularity, shows that he recognized a Divine end as accomplished by it:

“For one year, or nearly so, beginning with the second Sabbath of July, 1822, our union went on cementing itself by mutual acts of kindness, in the shade of that happy obscurity which we then enjoyed. And I delight to remember that season of our mutual love and confidence; because the noisy tongues of men and their envious eyes were not upon us. And you know, and can bear testimony, whether the public opinion, or the desire of it, had anything to do with the nature of my pulpit discourses or private ministrations. I can say with a safe

conscience, that to this hour it never cost me a thought to gain it, nor to keep it, nor to lose it. I count it so volatile and so wicked, that, upon the whole, I would rather have it against me than with me. Yet, can I not look back upon the second, third, and fourth years of my ministry, without astonishment and amazement, that God should have honored a man unknown, despised, and almost outcast, (save by you, and a small, small remnant of my native church), to preach Ilis Gospel to every rank and degree of men, from the lowest, basest of our press hirelings, up to the right hand of royalty itself. ... By a man spoken against, reviled, suspected, and avoided, by those who usurp the Evangelical name as if it were all their own, my God did speak unto the heads, and representatives, and nobles, and princes of this nation. In the review of which high and honorable distinction, I desire again to humble myself before God, as His most unworthy servant; and especially to acknowledge that power which He gave me to speak, without fear or dread, His holy word unto princes. It was His doing, and for llis own ends was it done. He glorified Himself in my infirmities."

Soon after the close of his first year's labors in London he went to Scotland to be married to Miss Martin, after an engagement of eleven years' standing. IIe had now a fixed and honorable position in society, and a competent income to share with her; and his great popularity, and the opening to him of the highest circles, did not wean his affections from the unpretending daughter of the Scotch Manse, to whom in early youth his troth had been plighted. No man was ever more constant in his attachments, and more faithful to his word. They were married on the 13th of October, by the venerable grandfather of whom we have already spoken; and after some weeks of wandering about, (partly for the reëstablishing of his health, somewhat impaired by the work of the year), he took her home to London. Mrs. Oliphant relates that “when they were about to cross the Sark, the little stream which at that point divides Scotland from England, Irving, with a pleasant bridegroom fancy, made his young wife alight and walk over the bridge into the new country which henceforward was to be her home.” We are able to add some particulars to this little incident, as they were told us by Mrs. Irving herself. He left the carriage and crossed the stream before her, and then welcomed her to England. “Why, Edward,” said she, “I thought I married a Scotchman.” “Ah, Isabella !” was his

" reply, “England has been a mother to me, and the time may come when she will be a mother to you.” Mrs. Irving, who had then been more than eight years a widow, and who clung to the church of which her husband had died the pastor, with all the love and veneration with which she cherished his memory, added, that she had often thought since his death, how truly it had come to pass.

It would be impossible for us to trace Mr. Irving's course minutely through the laborious and stormy years of his subsequent life; for this we must refer our readers to Mrs. Oliphant's book. We shall confine ourselves to its most striking features, aiming chiefly to show through what great stages of doctrinal and spiritual development he passed, and what was really the scope and substance of his teachings.

It was by means of Mr. Basil Montague (since known editor of Lord Bacon's Works) that Irving was introduced to Coleridge, who was then residing at Highgate. To us this acquaintance seems to have been productive of the strongest and most beneficial results upon his intellectual and spiritual life. Coleridge was one of the most gifted and remarkable men of his time; a poet of creative power and a philosopher of profoundest thought, as he was also a scholar of great and diversified acquirements. Very few men have ever united in themselves such various powers. His imagination, if not so lofty, was richer than Milton's; and his metaphysical faculty was capable of penetrating into the lowest depths of consciousness, while he laid the literature of almost every land under contribution. Added to all this, he was a humble believer in Christ, having worked his way in his youth through a philosophic Unitarianism to a hearty and intelligent reception of the great mysteries of the Christian faith. He was, by many degrees, the greatest Christian philosopher of his time. And while

one of the very poorest textual interpreters of the Bible, (the overflowing affluence of his mind supplying meanings, rather than deriving them by sober and patient study), he yet comprehended, as few have done, the principles on which all sound interpretation rests. His peculiar power lay in grasping the moral and spiritual truths which lie at the foundation of all knowledge of God and of His government of the world, and without which, history, whether of nature or of society,

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