Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

with remarkable precision. In the first place, - system, it appears, is now on trial. The there is not a vestige in Scotland of the charge against it is, that every addition made earlier kind of square keep, such as might to it in the way of protecting works, only have been raised in the days of the Con- renders a fort the more certain of ultimate queror, or of William Rufus, with its semi-capture, since these protecting works are circular arches and dogtoothed decorations. themselves easily taken. It is said that they The pointed architecture, and the Edwardian save the main work from a general escalade, baronial, had come into use ere any of the which is never likely to be attempted, but fortresses of which we possess remains were facilitate a deliberate siege, which is the erected. Hence, the oldest of the Scottish proper method of taking fortified places. It castles were evidently built by Edward to is said that in fortification we must, as in secure his conquest. They may be enumer- | other matters of war, recur to the first prinated as those of Caerlaverock, Bothwell, ciple, that the best way to protect ourselves Dirleton, Kildrummie, and Lochindorb. These is to kill our enemy. Of old, the main denames at once excite recollections of the war fences of a vessel were to protect the deck of independence, when these castles were by castles stem and stern from a boarding taken and retaken, and were surrounded by enemy; now, the arrangement is directed to the most interesting and enduring associations the destruction of the enemy before he can of that majestic conflict.

board. Our old knights in armor were a The architectural progeny which this style sort of moving fortresses made more for proof building left in Scotland, is very different, tection than destruction. In Italy, the steel from its growth into the bastioned fortifica. | incasement was brought to such perfection, tions of other countries. The Scottish laird, that at the battle of Tornoue, under Charles or chief, when he made his house a fortress, VIII., we are told by Father Daniel that a as be had imminent necessity for doing, number of Italian knights were overthrown, could not afford to erect the great flanking but could not be killed until the country towers of the Normans; but he stuck little people brought huge stones and sledge-hamturrets on the corners of his block - house, mers, and broke their shells, like those of so which served his purpose admirably; and many lobsters. It sounds like an odd accomthere are no better flanked fortresses, con paniment of civilization that she should make sidered with a view to the form of attack to the external form of warfare more destrucwhich they were subjected, than our peel tive and less defensive--but so it is; and a houses.

reform in fortifications is proposed, which, by On the other hand, in the Continental the abandonment of the flanking system, and castles of the fifteenth and sixteenth centu- something like a restoration of the primitive ries, as Heidelberg, Perronne, and Plessis la form, is to make the fort more terrible to the Tour, as the old representations give it, we invader, as a means of making it a more see the flanking system extending itself later- effective defence. ally, until it forms something between the We profess not to enter on so great a Norman keep and the modern fortress. It question. Mere theories we have herein was on Plessis that Philip de Comines moral- offered to our reader; and as they are given izes, as a large prison into which the great in all innocence and good-humor, all we pray King Louis had virtually immured himself, is, that he will not, if they differ from bis becoming, by his own exertions for the en- own, condemn us to some dire mysterious largement of his power, and his protection fate. Let him, if we displease him, simply from secret enemies, nothing better than the content himself with the old established hapless immured prisoner, whose lot be remedy, and mutter to himself, “Pooh ! forced upon so many others.

humbug !" And we, on our part, engage The one great leading step which modern that we shall live in all charity with all men fortification took, beyond the mere flanking who accept not our theory; and will by no system, is the discovery of the glacis for means endeavor to prove that they are sencovering the stone-work, and protecting it sual, lewd, dishonorable people, deserving of from the attacks of cannon. The whole 'some dire punishment.

From Tail's Magazine.

EDWARD IRVING. *

WITHIN the compass of 278 pages, fools-, comes stagnant; when its priests become cap octavo, Mr. Wilks has given us an unfaithful to the sanctities of their office, and outline of the life, and an epitome of the its people sink into unhealthy lethargy; productions, of this extraordinary man. Ded- when corruptions in its discipline provoke no icated to Thomas Carlyle, and to the Rev. remonstrance, and death-like repose in its F. D. Maurice, it will be supposed that the worship occasions no solicitude, a lion-heartauthor writes from a friendly, though not ed, God-fearing, man-loving, apostolic adprejudiced, stand-point. He is a discrimi- venturer is a benefactor and a blessing—he nating admirer, not a blind follower of his repeats within limits the unlimited work of hero. We find it difficult to understand how Christ—he redeems the people of God. he can be a common disciple of Carlyle, There is Divine power in his strange, strong, Maurice, and Irving. For perhaps it would unfettered, and undismayed humanity. His be difficult to name three teachers, the holy indignation, awakened by ostentatious methods and tendencies of whose minds abuses; his fervent prayers, inspired by more vary. But Mr. Wilks is catbolic in dread of prevailing impiety, and by unwonted his reading, and catholic in his sympathies ; devotion to the Most High; his appeals, and he has brought to his present task a which august conventionalisms cannot silence, pains-taking reverence, and an honest wisdom, and his rebukes, which no sense of earthly which we may without scruple praise. A interests can restrain; his prophetic glances, sectarian, whatever his school, could not un- of which piety, poetry, and love (the three derstand Irving; and should not do his life. elemental attributes of one beautiful flame) Mr. Wilks does understand; and, though he are the illumination; his outbursts of deep has left much to be written and said, what lamentation ; his grand and sacred scorn of be has done, he has done well. The aim of all affectations, and unseemly, unnatural the book does not appear to be very high: courtesies; his defiance of enthroned eccleand, though the tone of its author is occa- siastical potentates; his faith, warm as his sionally above the manner and the matter of heart, and solid as his instincts; his eloquence, his work, both in matter and in manner the which rolls with mysterious majesty, as work is to the author's credit.

though it were the echo of speeches adWe therefore tbank Mr. Wilks for reviving dressed by God to the nations ; his absorpa name the world should not forget. Hetion in the infinite, eternal, and almighty who stirs the Church, whether to new | wonders of that Gospel which is at once the thought, or to new zeal, augments the moral theme of his ministry, the plea of his assumpresources, and stimulates the moral energies tions, and the law of his heart; the tenderof the whole community. Not in the estab-ness of his many tears, shed over the obstilishment of new sects, nor in the mere sus. ! nacy of the wicked, and the cruelty of tenance of religious agitation, does the value

unfaithful friends; the yearnings of his of religious reforms and religious revivals broken soul; in short, the magic fervor of mainly consist. These may, and, in most his whole address-these, as they are so cases, naturally will, be the accompaniments | many embodiments and utterances of a reor the consequences of such a movement;

ligiousness uncommon in his day, become the but they do not comprehend its full virtue, creative agents of new light and new life to nor its essential glory. When the religious | all who come within the range of their inlife of a great nation, or of a great sect, be

fluence. Words thus spoken are pregnant with sublime spiritual power. The man thus

constituted wears the commanding dignity • Edward Irving: an Ecclesiastical and Literary Biography. By Washington Wilks, author of “A

ry of a king, whilst he exercises the functions History of the Half-century," eta London: Will of a prophet. Among the saints he restores liam Freeman, 69 Fleet-street.

| new sanctity. The minister of remorse, he is truly the minister of salvation. To none | the gratitude of the Church, and the respect should the Church or the world be more of history, are abundantly due ! grateful than to such a man; for from none Edward Irving was born in the little town do richer blessings proceed.

of Annan--a place of some other interesting It is not too much to say that, in very associations on the 15th of August, 1792. many respects, Edward Irving was preëmi His father was descended from a French nently a man of this order. He was con- family ; his mother was supposed to have nected with a branch of the Christian king come from the family of which Martin Ludom where spiritual flatness and inactivity | ther was an illustrious member. His parents bad been fostered by events and by leading were in comfortable circumstances; and, men for some generations. He came upon though Edward was one of eight children, an age when a few others, equally with him his education was not neglected. His first self, felt the necessity of renewed enterprise instructress was Margret Paine—an aunt, and restored faith. 'To the restoration of and the reputed teacher, of the author of the faith and the renewal of enterprise be hon- famous “ Rights of Man," and “The Age of estly-with all the ardor of impulse, com Reason.” The youth was given to the more bined with all the solemn sobriety of con- exuberant and healthy amusements of his scientiousness—dedicated his life. In the age-devoted to athletic sports, and long face of innumerable obstacles he persevered, | rambles on the shores, or rowings on the even unto death. Independent in the appli waters of the beautiful Solway Frith,—but cation of his reasoning powers to the great he attended, notwithstanding, with some sucproblems of Revelation, and of religious cess, to the severer occupations of the school, truth, he met the charge of heresy with where he especially distinguished himself as calm self-reliance and holy appeals to God. an arithmetician. The promise thus given Working in spheres that had been long was fulfilled at the University of Edinburgh, neglected, and with an enthusiasm to which to which seminary he was in due course sent. his contemporaries were utter strangers, he He made such proficiency in mathematics, sustained the criticisms of the captious, the that, on the recommendation of Professor exclamations of the astonished, and the jeers Leslie, he was, as early as his seventeenth of the envious, with that equanimity which is year, appointed teacher of mathematics in an an attribute only of true greatness. Flat-academy at Haddington. He had already tered by a popularity that had never been taken the degree of “A. M.” In about surpassed, he yielded to none of its seduc- twelve months, he was promoted to the rections. Royal smiles, and the blaze of aris- torship of an academy at Kirkaldy. It was tocratic beauty, never put him off his guard. here that he completed the probation rePrinces heard his faithful warnings; and the quired of him by the Church of Scotland, as splendor and the wealth of the metropolis a candidate for its ministry. He was well trembled beneath the weight of his rebukes. versed in classics, modern languages, and The patronage of the exalted could not be ancient and modern standard literature; and tray, the persecution of the mighty could he had studied natural philosophy and the not overcome; the oneers of the ignorant, the more practical sciences to considerable purfactious, and the profane, could not disturb | pose. Thus equipped, he awaited a “call” the resolutions of his piety, or the fidelity of to the office for which he had diligently and his services. He was God's own; and he solemnly prepared bimself. Long he had to was true. To this, rather than to any pecu- wait. By his occasional sermons he had liarities of opinion, must be attributed his rendered himself rather notorious than popusuccess. For he was successful Commu- lar, and, wherever he went, excited rather the nities with which he was never associated, felt curiosity of the few than the admiration of the force and the value of his zeal. The the many. Without conforming to the estabcommunity from which he was cast out had lished conventionalities of the pulpit, either been enriched by his labors, and was re- in the courses of his thinking or the style of proached by his excommunication. And his address, there was a wayward earnestanother community, respectable for the char- ness, and a deep-seated originality, which aracter and the numbers of its adherents, and rested attention, but failed to establish power, noteworthy for the comprehensiveness of its Growing weary of delay, and anxious to be basis and the magnificence of its worship, is | diligently and regularly employed for God, for ever identified with his life, though not he had made up bis mind, at the age of known by his name. Surely, to such a man | twenty-seven, to devote himself to missionary adventures. His intention was not to com- , when he acquired a quite unprecedented popmit himself to the control and the protection ularity. Members of the Royal family, of any existing religious corporation ; but, leading statesmen of all parties, noblemen of with apostolic simplicity and apostolic faith, every grade, the representatives of the public to go forth under the guidance of Provi. press, might be regularly seen among the dence alone, “without purse or scrip”--thus crowds who thronged to hear the wonderful leaving the sinister interests of life to the preacher. At length, seat-holders were care of Him to whose glory his spiritual obliged to be admitted by a side door, and energies were to be so unreservedly and those who came from curiosity could only chivalrously consecrated. He was destined, gain admission by ticket. The earnestness, however, to a less hazardous, though, per-originality, and true Christian boldness of baps, a pot less troubled and laborious career. the man, commanded, as they were entitled On Saturday afternoon he received a mes- to, this eminence. Nor were the critics sisage inviting him to preach on the following lent. From the Times newspaper to the day for Dr. Andrew Thompson, of Edin- smallest penny journal—from the Quarterly burgh; an intimation being given that Dr. Reviews to the petty organs of denominaChalmers, who was at that time seeking an tional progress—the journals of the day reassistant minister, would be one of the con- corded bis fame and canvassed his powers. gregation. A few days baving passed without | This unrivalled notoriety neither betrayed bringing him any communication, his old res- his meekness, nor modified the practical olution came back to his heart with aug fidelity which was, from the beginning, one of mented force, and he actually packed up his the most obvious characteristics of his minbooks, despatched them to Annan, and pro-istry. He was not abashed by the presceeded on a farewell journey round the coastence of kings; nor did the powers and of Ayrshire. By a strange whim, he extended potentates of iniquity effect any restraint his ramble to Ireland : and when he arrived of his sacred denunciations. At the same at Coleraine, he found a letter from his fa. time, he continued his independent purther awaiting him, in which was inclosed a suit of truth; and, when invited to preach a communication from Dr. Chalmers, soliciting sermon on behalf of the London Missionhis immediate presence in Glasgow. The ary Society, he was not afraid to avow the Doctor informed him that he wished him belief on which he had himself been once to become his assistant. Irving would only ready to act, that those who went far and consent on the condition that the people wide with the Gospel, should trust, as did should first hear him preach. He preached the first missionaries, to the hospitality of before them, and was forth with installed in those on whom they might call, for their supthe office of assistant minister of St. John's, port. The publication of this discourse Glasgow. This engagement lasted only three brought upon him some bitter animadveryears-time long enough for the earnest sions from those more immediately connected young man to discover that honesty, origin. with the administration of the Society at ality, and naturalness in the pulpit were not whose request it had been delivered. This the best securities of public and official ap- was the small beginning of strife. Before probation. Again without satisfactory occu- long, the preacher got involved in the meshes pation, the mind of this brave servant of of prophetical interpretation. Like some God resorts once more to its favorite dream good people in all ages, he wished to know of missionary enterprise-a dream which is the times and the seasons of coming events. again interrupted by an incident from which In this fruitless work he soon got quite abmay be dated the origin of Mr. Irving's pe sorbed. He now, also, began to teach, reculiar position and influence in the Christian specting the sacraments, that they were more Church. The Caledonian Church (of Scot- than appropriate ceremonies, they were sacred land) in Cross-street, Hatton-garden, Lon- symbols: they were not mere barren signs, don, was at this period in a very dejected but operative and vital mysteries. For inand low condition. An appeal was conveyed stance, he went so far as to say, “No man to Mr. Irving, through Dr. Chalmers (who can take upon bim to separate the effectual through life remained his friend), that he working of the Holy Spirit from baptism, would take the ruins under his care. He without making void all the ordinances of the consented, and immediately removed to the visible Church,” &c. Notwithstanding his metropolis, after having submitted to the rite largeness of soul, and his generally very libof ordination in his native parish. He bad eral notions on questions of civil and religious not occupied his new pulpit many months liberty, and notwithstanding these approaches 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 occurred, which we cannot honest heresy, 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

was first of all thrust out of the pulpit he into an ante-chamber, in which were a number of such miscellaneous personages as are haunting

had so long honored, on a pretence of having the outer rooms of Downing-street. Having

violated the proper discipline of the Church 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, pouring out a fervid prayer for the king and coun

fuller development of his opinions. The try. When the deputation had risen, and were ad “ Apostolate” was set up, and other modimitted 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 introwould have taken the petition at once. But Mr. duced. But the strange author of these Irving, putting himself into one of those imposing

changes was approaching his own final 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 á 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 his grave. Again he was sent on a At length, he released his unwilling auditor, on

visit of ecclesiastical purport to Scotland, and his giving an assurance that the memorial should certainly reach the throne.”—Pp. 197, 198.

died on the 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 “gift” 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

« VorigeDoorgaan »