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late upon the subject, their refusal has enhanced the value of the only charitable institution, which educates the poor according to the principles of the Church. Mr. Brougham asserts that three millions of the people are still unprovided with the means of education. He desisted from his attempt to provide those means by a rate, and it remains to try whether they can be obtained in another manner. The King's Letter, recommending coptributions to the National Society, is the only step, short of a Parliamentary grant, which the government of the country could take. And, consequently, that step must; be regarded as an attempt to supply the remaining want of schools, without having recourse to an Education Bill.
The spirit of the age is adverse to a legislative interference with charity : and this opposition, as a general principle, is correct. The experience of a few more years will enable us to determine whether the principle applies to education. The probability is decidedly in its favour. The National Society. has already received benefactions and legacies to the amount of more than forty thousand pounds, and has expended that entire sum upon the establishment of schools. The schools contain, according to the last report, 323,555 scholars; and a large proportion of these scholars, probably as much as two-thirds, are instructed in schoolrooms which have been erected or enlarged by the assistance of the Society's grants. Is it not reasonable, therefore, to ex. pect, that for another sum of forty thousand pounds, there will be another addition of 200,000 children? And what proportion of the community will then remain 'untaught? Mr. Brougham's calculations say about one-tenth of the whole people. And, if his calculations are correct, and there should be such a deficiency, it is one which may be easily supplied. But we have strong grounds for believing that the calculation is erroneous; and that there are not, at the present time, 200,000 children unprovided with the means of education. In this case the collection now making through the country may suffice to finish the great work. And what circumstance can be more encouraging either to those who contribute or to those who collect? Let our parochial congregations be plainly told by the Clergy that the object is universal education, and that it may be accomplished by their liberality, and, notwithstanding all that is said about distress and difficulty, we shall feel no alarm about the amount of the contribution. Where no pains are taken, no explanation given, 'no inquiries made or answered, there (and we trust, for the credit of the Clergy, that such places are few) the bene VOL. XX. AUGUST, 1823.
factions will be trifling and inadequate. But, let the people understand the case, and all that is wanted will be forthcoming
The indispensible necessity of religious education; the propriety of placing it under the superintendance of the Churob; the advantage of providing for it by voluntary rather than forced contributions ; and the practicability of complete saccess, under the auspices of a society which has done so much already ;-this is a train of reasoning which every man can comprehend. The friends of other institutions may advertize that they also have a claim; but they have no such claim as this. The enemies of religion and virtue, the Hunts and the Cobbetts, may protest, as theyhave already done, against the wickedness of asking men to give their money in support of education. Such opposition will hasten and secure success. The only possible danger is, that the case may not be sufficiently understood ; and the first duty of the Society's friends is to circulate a proper explanation of its achievements and its objects.
ART. XIV. The Oracles of God-Four Orations. For
Judgement to come, an Argument in Nine Parts. By the Rev. Edward Irving, A.M. Minister of the Caledonian
Church, Hatton Garden. 8vo. 12s. Hamilton, 1823. ART. XV. Farewell Discourse to the Congregation and
Parish of St. John's, Glasgow. By the Rev. Edward Irving, A.M. Sometime Assistant to the Rev. Dr. Chal
mers." 41. pp. Whittakers. 1822. SINCE the retrocession of Dr. Chalmers, that Aurora Borealis of theological empiricism, to bis native regions of the north, there has been a sad lack of lustre in the ecclesiastical atmosphere. The dull undeviating planets of our British pulpit have been running their accustomed round of stupid utility. Our poor benighted Londoners had sunk so low in darkness and ignorance, as actually to be guided on their road through life by the petty parochial glimmerings of an Andrewes,
a Pott, or a Blomfield. Then again in the Inns of Court—the rising lawyers and statesmen of the day were left to grope their way under the faint and feeble rays of a Lloyd or a Heber,—to say nothing of the drowsy old Dean, who still twinkles at the temple. The infatuated creatures were universally beginning to curl themselves up contented in their parish pews, and to think no light so joyous as the unpretending star by which they steered through the course of duty, their way to heaven. In such a state of palpable obscare" was our wretched country when in a moment darts from the north a Comet-bursting-blazing-singeing
escorching-every heart is beating, and every eye is straining to catch but a glimpse of its most terrific tail. All London is frantic with curiosity, Saints and Sinners, Jew- ' brokers and Blasphemers, Ministers and Radicals, Blacks and Blues, are all justling and screwing, and squeezing together to secure but standing-room at the shew. Almack's is adjourned to the Caledonian Kirk, and Hyde Park to Hatton Garden ; carriages rolling, coachmen swearing, ladies sereecbing, and gentlemen challenging-all on the Sabbath-day, these are the triumphs of Mr. Irving, and these are the fruits of his high-wrought rhetoric.
But may not we old fashioned creatures, we dowagers in theology, be saspected of a little envy-of a little jealousy on the appearance of this brilliant and fascinating beauty ? Are we not proceeding in perfect spite to pull to pieces the charms which have captivated the gay world ?--be it so.The malignity of the old is at least a sentinel upon the chastity of the young, and the school for scandal, by the terror which it strikes, becomes a school for virtues. If by their wbolesome severity; meretricious habits shall have been detected and exposed, the Tabbies, whether social or ecelesiastical, will not have scratched in vain.
It muy not be a preacher's fault that he is popular ; but it will be his fault if he long continue so. What go these motley multitudes to hear ? -The gospel ?-If the Gospel were preached in Christian simplicity and truth, not one soul of Them all would be there to hear it. They come, not to be taught, but 10 be tickled ; they come, not to purify their hearts bat to pamper their imaginations--to gratify an idle, selfish and anholy appetite for high-seasoned rhapsody-and what they seek, they find.
Of Mr. Irving we know nothing personally ; it is as an author only that he comes before us. It is in this character alone, which so unfortunately for himself he bas assumed, that we shall present him to the public. A physician who doses himself as a fool for his patient; and an author who draws his own portrait, has not a much wiser man for his subject.
Mr. Irving introduces himself to our notice in a farewell sermon to the parishioners of St. John's, at Glasgow. He tells them, plainly, that theirs was “almost the first congregation in which our preaching was tolerated.” What this style of preaching was, Mr. Irving has thus described
« Thus we plead and exhort, not in defence of ourselves, though, it is well known to you, we have taken such freedom, but in behalf of our brotherhood, and of the ancient liberty of prophesy.
ing, against those' narrow prescriptive tastes, bred not of knowledge, por derived from the better days of the church, but in the conventicle bred ; and fitted, perhaps, for keeping together a school of Christians-but totally unfit for the wide necessities of the world (else why this alienation of the influential of the world from the cause ?)—we are pleading against those Shibboleths of a sect, those forms of words which now do not feed the soul with understanding, but are in truth as the time-worn and bare trunks of those trees from which the church was formerly nourished, and which now have in them neither sap nor nourishment.
We are pleading for a more natural style of preaching, in which the various moral and religious wants of men shall be met, artlessly met with the simple truths of revelation, delivered as ultimate facts, not to be reasoned on, and expressed as Scripture expresses them
- which conjunction being made, and crowned with prayer for the vine blessing, the preacher has fulfilled the true spirit of his office. This certainly is what we have aimed at.” Farewell Dis.
course, P. 22.
It may be doubted whether the description of the style or the style itself be the most unintelligible. It must be allowed, however, that when Mr. Irving ascends to the more immediate subject of all bis preaching, viz. himself-his language is much more perspicuous. Mr. Irving was a Parish Priest in Glasgow-for no long time we believe, but long enough to give him the happy opportunity of dedicating six long pages to his own immediate eulogy. Let us take the following as a specimen
>“ The månly tear which I have seen start into the eye of many an aged sire, whose wrinkled brow, and lyart locks, deserved a better fate, as he looked to the fell conclusion of an ill-provided house, an ill-educated family, and a declining religion, which hemmed him in, at a time when his hand was growing feeble for work, and the twilight of age setting in upon his soul---that tear is dearer to my remembrance than the tear of sentiment which the eye of beauty swims with at a tale of distress ; yea, it is dear as the tear of liberty which the patriot sheds over his fallen country ;-and the blessings of the aged widow, bereft of the sight and stay of her children, and sitting in her lonely cabin the live-long day, at her humble occupation-her blessings when my form, darkening her threshold, drew her eye-the story of her youth, of her family, and husband, wed away from her presence-her patient trust in God, and lively faith in Christ—with the deep response of her sighs when I besought God's blessing upon the widow's cruise, and the widow's barrel, and that he would be the husband of her widowhood, and the father of her children, in their several habitations,-these, so oft my engagement, shall be hallowed tokens for memory to flee to, and sacred materials for fancy to work with, while the heart doth beat within my breast. God above doth know my destiny, but though it were to minister in the halls of nobles, and the courts and palaces of kings, he can never find for
me more natural welcome, more kindly entertainment and more refined enjoyment than he hath honoured me with in this suburb parish of a manufacturing city. My theology was never in fault around the fires of the poor, my manner never misinterpreted, my good intentions never mistaken. Churchmen and dissenters, .ca. tholics and protestants, received me with equal graciousness, Here was the popularity worth the having-whose evidences are not in noise, ostentation, and numbers, but in the heart opened and disburdened, in the cordial welcome of your poorest exhortations, and the spirit moved by your most unworthy prayer-in the flowing tear, the confided seeret, the parting grasp, and the long, long entreaty to return. Of this popularity I am covetous, and God, in his goodness, hath granted it in abundance, with which I desire to be content." Farewell Discourse, P. 28.
It is rather an equivocal sign of content in Mr. Irving to leave all his dear parishioners of St. Jubn's in the lurch, and to be figuring away in a five years engagement at HattonGarden. We do admire that intrepidity of self-panegyric which can overlook these little inconsistencies, and reconcile the contending claims of the apostle and the mountebank. Mr. Irving cannot be contented, however, with playing a deafening concerto upon the trumpet of his own praises, but he must descend to vilify and abụse his brethren.
“ Go ye to the cathedrals of our sister church: you shall find a bishop, a dean, store of stalled prebends, priests, singers, and officers of every name. There shall be all the state and dignity of office, and all the formalities of the various degrees of the priesthood; magnificent fabrics withal ; infinite collections of books; unlimited convenience for every religious enterprise, and unbounded command of all the means. Inquire what is done by these dignitaries, with their splendid appointments. Prayers are said each morning to some half-dozen of attendants. Anthems sung by trained singers, and cathedral service performed each sabbath by well-robed priests. Ask for week-day work, for the feeding of the flock from house to house, for the comforting of the poor, for the visitation of the sick, for the superintendence and teaching of the children; all assiduous nourishment of the flock of Christ, and all apostolical earnestness with the enemies of Christ—these are no where to be found.” Farewell Discourse, P. 33.
Upon this accusation we have simply to remark, that if Mr. Irving did not know it to be false, he ought to have known it. What shall we say of the CHARITY of that Christian preacher, who without one inch of ground (excepting that which the Morning Chronicle may have supplied) upon which he can rest his assertion, shall unblushingly, charge a sister church with the guilt of systematic neglect?
" These are no where to be found." They are every where