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to the theology of the Roman Catholic , the consternation of some, and the astonishChurch, Mr. Irving was a most determined ment of all. Prophecies were spoken ; reand violent opponent of Catholic emancipa- bukes were administered ; exhortations were tion. In the course of this contest, an applied by this agency. Thus the victim of amusing incident occu
curred, which we cannot honest beresy, was also suspected of wild forbear narrating :
fanaticism; and on both grounds was treated
with a harshness of discipline and a super“When the Catholic Relief Bill had entered its ciliousness of contempt that are sadly inconfinal stage, Mr. Irving determined to address a remonstrance to the king against giving it the sistent with the spirit of true Christianity, royal assent. The document is said to be a mas- and yet more sadly consistent with the comterpiece of objurgatory composition. Accompa- mon practices of ecclesiastical bodies. Irving nied by two of the heads of his congregation, its eloquently, and with true dignity of spirit, author presented himself
, according to appoint. defended himself, but without avail; and he ment, at the Home office. They were ushered into an ante-chamber, in which were a number of had so long honored, on a pretence of having
was first of all thrust out of the pulpit he such miscellaneous personages as are haunting violated the proper discipline of the Church the outer rooms of Downing-street. Having waited about ten minutes, Mr. Irving proposed to by the encouragement with which he regardhis elders that they should pray for grace in the ed the speaking in unknown tongues, and was eyes of the ruler, and for a blessing to accompany afterwards cut off from the ecclesiastical their petition. One can easily conceive the body with which he had been associated amazement of a company of place-hunters and throughout his life, on a charge of heresy. officials on beholding the gaunt and almost gro- The Outcast divine now proceeded to the tesque figure of Edward Irving upon his knees, fuller development of his opinions. The pouring out a fervid prayer for the king and country. When the deputation had risen, and were ad- A postolate” was set up, and other modi. mitted to the presence of the gentleman commis- fications (elaborated and completed in the sioned by Mr. Secretary Peel to receive them, he “Catholic and Apostolic Church”) were intro would have taken the petition at once. But Mr. duced. Irving, putting himself into one of those imposing changes was approaching his own final
But the strange author of these attitudes which his limbs assumed as readily as his tongue moved itself to speak, begged the change. He was sent on a mission to a new honorable gentleman to hear first a word of ad- church in Edinburgh, early in the spring of monition. He then commenced reading and com- 1834. He accomplished this undertaking. menting on the petition, and addressed himself to The following summer he spent in London, the Secretary's heart and conscience with words suffering, secluded, and gradually going and gestures that made him pale and tremble. towards bis grave. Again he was sent on a At length, he released bis unwilling auditor, on his giving an assurance that the memorial should
visit of ecclesiastical purport to Scotland, and
died on the certainly reach the throne.”—Pp. 197, 198.
way thither on Monday, Decem
ber the 8th. Soon after this, Mr. Irving published an Such is a brief outline of the life of Edopinion contrary to the orthodox doctrine ward Irving; and if it indicate nothing more, that Jesus Christ was free from the taints of it at least proves that he must have been a hereditary sin; maintaining that he was ab- man of power. Success in life is only the solutely and truly human, and that he was reward of some prominent virtue or virtues, only saved from actual iniquities by the tri- or of some distinguishing endowment or enumphant supremacy of the Divinity, which dowments. A man gets no permanent fame dwelt within him. This finally resulted, after unless he be more or less unusually good or long and bitter conflicts, in the expulsion of great. Now, without doubt, Edward Irving this noble man from the church he had raised did what scarcely any other preacher of to such prosperity, and in his excommunica- modern times has done—he attracted the tion from the loved and well-served Church of wise and the honorable of all classes : the his native land. Consentaneously with these poor loved him as a friend, and trusted him proceedings the manifestation of supernatural as an advocate ; the learned respected him gifts began to appear. Having heard that for his erudition; the polite admired him for at Port Glasgow the strange phenomenon of his refinement; the exalted in rank, power, “speaking with unknown tongues" had been and station were so fascinated by the charms realized, Mr. Irving despatched one of the of his eloquence, that they continuously suselders of his church to make observation tained the severity and integrity of his counthereof. The report was favorable. Soon sels and appeals; critics left the usual the same “ gist” was received by members of spheres of their activity to test his excellence; his own church, to the amusement of many, I the idle followed him to satiate their curios
ity; the earnest and the devout in crowds |
justified it; and appealed to the events which rendered it so mysterious and questionable, with the full assurance that they were facts in which the Spirit of God was active-the bonâ fide revelations of Heaven. Let it not be supposed that we endorse that belief of his. At present, we have nothing to say either as to the philosophy in which it had its origin, or the phenomena which were pleaded in its confirmation. But we do most solemnly protest against this off-hand method of setting aside statements the veracity of which is well attested, and of damning the character of a man who was well known and dearly loved for the virtues which glorified his private and his public life.
In the second place, the character of his followers was absolutely adverse to the supposition that he succeeded by appealing to the credulity or the superstition of the world. We have already specified many of the Who were they? Not the ragged, ignorant, things to which his extraordinary popularity impulsive, and uninquiring mob. They were could not fairly be attributed. But there is men distinguished for intelligence, occupying one grand feature of his life, to which, per- positions of the highest respectability, and haps, his posthumous fame among the super-separated by every mark from the usual vicficial may be chiefly owing, which, we think, tims of religious imposture. They were the however, does not account for the vital influ- statesinen, princes, professional gentlemen, ence he exercised when living. Many seem critics, literati, and thinkers of his day. The too ready to suppose that, if a man grow fa- easy, lazy, and thoughtless, undoubtedly were natical, and claim peculiar correspondence among his casual hearers; but his friends, with Heaven, and deal in the solemn and his frequent attendants, and his permanent startling phenomena of the supernatural, it disciples, were honorable, intelligent, and diswill be very easy to bring together a band of interested men. Judging by his earlier labors credulous and superstitious mortals who never in the metropolis, we might say that for yield to independent and rational inquiry, and splendor, information, and true moral respectwho are by constitution and by education ability, his congregations were unrivalled in prepared for such impositions as quacks, and modern times. In his later life, when the adventurers, and false prophets, or self-de- first flush of his triumphs had somewhat subceived enthusiasts, will adopt. Now, this sided, he was associated with the great and theory-the general correctness of which we good of the Church to which he belonged; have no motive to dispute-does not touch and many, even those who took a part in his the case in hand. Its utter inapplicability is excommunication, separated from him with demonstrable on several obvious grounds. tears of affection and protestations of respect. In the first place, it is ungraceful and unfair The denomination to which he gave birth— thus easily to assume that because a man ap- the Catholic and Apostolic Church-considpeals to the supernatural he must be either ering its numbers, is perhaps the freest from an impostor or a fool. Certainly, the whole ignorance, fanaticism, and ostentatious spir of Edward Irving's life-every feature of his itual follies, of all the sects of Christendom. character, is a protest against the ascription True, they have dogmas which can only of either of those titles to him. He was never be accepted as necessary inferences from calmer, never more patient in his investiga- more rational and important principles: true, tions, never more thoroughly transparent, they contend with overwrought earnestness serious, or manly, than when he maintained for the trivial elements of organization, dis the doctrine of the gift of tongues. He ar- cipline and worship: true, they celebrate gued the point without dogmatism; he sub- the service of God with elaborate and august mitted to tests without timidity or impa- ceremonies: but, whilst they enthrone little tience; he asserted his point without arro- dogmas-such as that relating to the second gance; he pursued his course with a tranquil advent-they are illustrious for their pracand enlightened conviction that the Bible tical catholicity as well as for their large ac
quaintance with, and their reverence for, the , elicited supernal displays of religious ani-
verse, and in life. His reason could grapple Moreover, it is worthy of especial notice, with stout difficulties; and, when they were that, in eo far as his life was a success, it was mastered, it was clear, distinct, and certain so in spite of those characteristics which are in the comprehension of the themes on which usually cited in explanation of the fact. The it was exercised. But these were not bis real moral power of the man was sensibly power. Others were more learned, more and largely diminished by his lapsing into logical, more versatile, if not more eloquent. the ecstacies and dreams of supernaturalism. Few had a more fascinating authority over Till he began to talk about miracles and words, perhaps; but many could boast a prophecy, the whole Church of Christ correcter insight into systems. His eloquence throughout the three kingdoms revered his and his thought were but the instruments of name: then, many began to laugh, to doubt, a fervid, devoted, and sanctified soul. God and to pity. When he talked in solemn gave him power. The Spirit witnessed unto naturalness and severe simplicity to the him. He spake as a man having authority. people, they listened to him with rapt and He had the heart of a prophet, and the unsuspecting attention--they yielded up un presence of a master. His words were like questioningly to his strange control con- tears, and prayers, and groans. He agonized
, science, imagination, and heart. But when with men. He wrestled, and fought, and he perplexed them with his theories of "in- commanded. He let out in his address terpretation,” and paused in his speech that the holy sympathies of his rich nature. He the possessed" might utter their unintel- traded with realities, and not with shams; ligible jargon, they stared in wonderment, and he was upright in his business. His and shed tears of compassion. He retained sword was sharp as truth; bis spear, pointed many followers, by whom bis character and as love,
Whenever his lips moved, you memory are not disgraced; but he lost many could hear his great heart beat. He was over whom he had long exercised a healthy the proud ambassador of the Almighty, influence, and through whom he communi- and you should know his message. He cated to his country his real and his richest came before the people ever fresh with the religious bequests. For we seek not the full vigor, the sanctity, and the charms of the measure--no, not even the chief elements, of Infinite. His home was in the Eternal, and, Edward Irving's spiritual power, in the when he appeared, its awful sanctions, sym
, events and the associations of his later days, bols, and furniture still clung to him. He nor in the repute, the resources, or the enter- came direct from Jehovah to the sinner man. prise of the sect which is popularly known He was a mediator between a yearning Creby his name. The true work done by him ator and an aspiring creature. He was the was concluded before his unusual proceed interpreter of the Ineffable. When he told ings commenced. He had revived religious the great and the proud of their sins, he did hought in the land. He had, by his quiet it as though it were their own consciences yet mighty labors, inaugurated a grand, deep, speaking to them. His fine old phrases moral movement, which had a consummation about judgment, were mysterious and awful far nobler, and a dominion far wider, than the as the intuitive forebodings of the convinced peculiarities of his subsequent faith, or the and conscious soul. Every thing he said and number of nominal disciples he left behind did was actual. It was a “Verily, verily, I him. His glory consists not in the fact that say unto you.” His prayers were the abanhe invented a new ecclesiastical system, or donment of piety; and his sermons the
abandonment of honest, faithful, constant him not seldom with his monologues of philove. In the name of God he went on his losophy, and his uncomely but impressive way. He knew it was all a savor of life tokens of esteem. Why did a man thus unto life, or of death unto death. His zeal guarded, go off into such wonderful eccenwas apostolic, and he had the valor of a tricities? That he should have been enhero. Ever ready for martyrdom, he lived couraged to independence of thought by grandly; carelessly as to bimself-all anx- these mighty men and ministers, we should jously as to others. The world felt, when he have expected. But Chalmers believed only fairly came into it, that he was its true and in the supernatural of the Past --Coleridge, magnanimous friend ; and therefore it re- in the supernalism of the Eternal-Carlyle, spected, admired, and loved bim. Not often in the glorious naturalism of history, religion, does the world get such a friend! Ages and life—and Maurice, in the poetry and the sometimes pass away, and not one such ap: power of supernaturalism-but, we suppose, pears. By the scarcity of the honor, and hardly in its philosophy at all. The stolid the fulness of the privilege, when such an orthodoxy of the Scotch divine, counterbal. one appears, in gratitude and in reverence anced by the profoundly religious catholicity the world embraces him. Oh! if all the of the rest, might have seduced the impetupreachers talked thus boldly, naturally, and ous but stately mind of the inquirer from truthfully to the heart of man, how changed the established forms and prominent theowould soon be the aspect of affairs ! But logical angles of his faith ; but surely they among the priesthoods, the force of example could not have had any share in the responis weak, because the fire of emulation burns sibilities of his inexplicable and unaccountadimly. Many who are too proud to imitate, i ble extravagances of faith ? are not degraded enough to envy. Many No: Irving was independent, and, therewho industriously ignore the living, indus- fore, he did not conform even to his honored triously malign the dead. But the living are companions, with whom he often took sweet mighty in spite of them; and, in spite of counsel, and at whose feet he was proud to them, the dead are not forgotten; and thou- sit. He was docile, meek, and ready to learn. sands who are weary of the tame platitudes But he must follow only the light within. of their contemporaries, resort with pious Capable of great faith, he knew no skeptipleasure to the traditions and records of the cism, and, therefore, he believed more than departed to save themselves from absolute the common sense of the world can generally spiritual starvation. Thus Edward Irving is take in. He never had reason to distrust a power to many who knew him not. Being the Book : he had all trust in the God of dead, be yet speaketh. He died in the Lord, the Book : and what God had been reported and his works do follow him. But the power by the Book to have done, why should He of his fame is the same as was the power of not do again? What He had given to Paul, bis life. It is the power of moral beauty, of why should He not give to him? What He · absorbed devotion, and of earnest love-in had once instituted, why should it not stand short, the magic omnipotence of sincerity for ever? These questions it is not for us to Edward Irving had illustrious friends. He
We only ask them by way
sug was great among the great. The noble gesting, generously to our hero, and respectennobled him by their fellowship. Dr. Chal fully to his despisers, that upon the answer mers, wbo won from him the affection of a which shall be given to them depends his son, felt towards him the love of a brother. consistency or inconsistency; his greatness Frederick Denison Maurice, and Thomas or his imbecility; his goodness and piety, or Carlyle of our own day knew him intimately, his dishonesty and the worthlessness of his and loved him well. And Coleridge delighted I soul.
From Fraser's Magazine.
SIAM AND ITS PRINCES.
THE kingdom of Siam is known to most Europeans as a territory situated in the "crop" of that vast peninsula which, like the head and claw of a bird, stretches down into the Eastern Archipelago. Of its inhabitants the only specimens we have ever seen are "the Siamese Twins," and its most remarkable production people generally imagine to be "white elephants."
Recent events, however, have rendered the kingdom of Siam of more importance to Englishmen and other maritime nations than heretofore. Civilization having, by means of the sword, coasted its way round the peninsula of India, attacked Burmah, and opened the hitherto hermetically-sealed ports of China, as it will speedily of Japan, can no longer be kept at arm's length by the customs of any eastern people; and Siam and Cochin China must speedily undergo the same kind of revolution which China is experiencing at the present moment.
Such a revolution, only of a perfectly peaceable character, has in fact for many years been going on in Siam, and we may expect its acceleration from the accession to the throne of the present ruler, who promises to be far more than a Toussaint L'Overture of the East.
The country of Siam is one of the most productive upon the earth. Well watered, and possessed of a magnificent alluvial soil, the land absolutely overflows with luscious fruits and vegetable productions. The chief river of the empire, the Menam, flows through the land from its most northern boundary, until it empties itself in the Gulf of Siam, and, like the Nile, by periodical overflows,
enriches its banks for a distance of four
hundred miles. This splendid valley drained by this arterial stream averages thirty-five
miles in breadth, and here plantations of rice, indigo, sugar, and coffee, seem incapable of drawing out the full productive force of the soil. The Menam is navigable for the largest ships and junks for a hundred miles from the sea, far above the capital, Bangkok.
more than a Venice, for whereas "the city of the sea" has its foundations on the solid land, a greater part of the Siamese capital actually floats upon the water. Mr. Neale, who visited this country in 1840, gives the following glowing account of his first impressions of the Water City, as he came upon it by night, whilst sailing up the river.
"Yet another tack, and one more turning in the river, and lo! the glories of the floating city burst upon our admiring gaze, like some resplenIt was night-dark night; neither moon nor stars of sunlight through an envious cloud. were in the heavens. But what cared Bangkok, with its millions of globes that lighted the river's broad surface from side to side, for night or darkness? It was like that fairy-land where houris dwell, whose eyes shed lustre-lustre such as made the stars decline to keep their wary watch, and Madame Moon to hide her face
behind a silvery cloud. As far as the eye could
reach, on either side of the river, there was one endless succession of lights-lights variegated, and of every imaginable color and shape, and such only as Chinese ingenuity could ever invent; every little floating house had two or more of these lights; the yards and masts of the vessels and junks (and these were by no means few) were decorated in a like manner. The lofty pagodas or minarets of the walls were one blaze of light. It was the most striking, the most beautiful panorama I had ever witnessed: nor, had we been a day later, should I have enjoyed the spectacle, for the night of our arrival chanced to be that of one of the feast-days in China-the
Feast of Lanterns."
Doubtless much of this couleur de rose
appearance was owing to the poetical aspect which night throws over nature, hiding vulgar details, and leaving much to the broad glare of day, were interesting and imagination; but even these details, in the perfectly novel, for Mr. Neale, speaking of view of things the next
Narrative of a Residence in Siam. By Frede
This curious city is another Venice, or rick Arthur Neale.