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use of these things publicly, and the under which the world is placed. After sparing study of them privately, not shewing its many passing excelleucies in
the last discourse, we found ourselves hemfor their entire exclusion. But, for
med in with a consciousness of transgres. the simple reason that religion is not sion from which no source of reason was intended to teach us poetry, or state
able to discorer an escape. This circumpolicy, or jurisprudence, or medi- ference of impeding guilt not only hath
the Lord Jesus cast down, aod made encine; we hold that a certain divorce
largement to our feet, but he hath, as it ment from it, of the several spheres
were, superinduced upon the institute of of knowledge, is necessary, aud that law an ivstitute of power to keep the law. it gains little by laying aside its own He hath presented a mass of truth in his
Gospel concerning both himself and our. symplicity, to seek access to the
selves, which puts metal and temper into hearts of professional men through the mind for .oping with the extreme pothe medium of a technical and bor- sitions of the law; and this new competen. roved phraseology. The appeal of cy hc hath given us by fair, natural means, the gospel is to no man profession- addressing to us honest and honourable
inducements from this world and the ally, nor is his opposition profession- world to come, He hath not, like the al, however it may be modified by
rcasoners exposed in the beginning of this „such a bias.
discourse, endeavouring to degrade the We must not now be suspected of sublime elevations of the law; which
work enthusiasm upon the heart, as the pleading their cause who would wrap heaven-piercing peaks of a mountainous up theology in a scholastic dress, and
country work enthusiasm upon the imamake ibeir web of discourse out of gination : neither hath he deposed conthe well-used threads of the invalua- science from the post of observation to reble Westminster Contession of Faith place her with some less lynx-eyed guar
dian, but on the contrary, by the unction -this is an error worse the other
of his Spirit he cleanseth her eye and maway-We would have the preacher, keth it more eagle-piercing. But he bath where he may, come out of the covert clothed the law in performance, and stood of set phrases, and talk like an im- up its practical interpreter, not to the ear
but to the eye, to the heart, and to every passioned man, whose honest zeal sympathy whereof the heart is the sacred and creative conceptions cannot en- seat. It comes now to us sanctioned by dure to lag op till his memory pick our dearest friend, our noblest kinsman
the Son of God and the Son of man ; up and articulate his sentences. We think the Essay of Foster wisely desire to be like him whom we love. Its
teaching by example, and working by the guarded, and inculcating a practice accusations for past sing which overloaded highly important; but we would have
memory and overclouded hope, and with every thing in its place and season. joylessness sickened all present activity,
he bath scattered and dissolved. The The christian orator may imitate St.
soul is delivered from the valley of the Paul, and attract the good feeling of shadow of death, from a fearful pit and his audience by a quotation from a from the miry clay : her feet are set up heathen poet; but it is best done in on a rock, and a new song is put into her his exordium, and he must never
mouth. Having made us free men, joy
ful free men, he layeth siege to us by evegive such an example of bad taste
ry sweet and noble suit. He putteth on and bathos, as we proceed to cite- human charities as a raiment, and godly in which it is difficult to conceive how graces as a vesture. Thus arrayed, he any man, whose mind has become comes with honourable language, address. fully impregnated and imbathed with ing us as friends and brothers. Then he
unsealeth high overtures, setting before us the truths delightfully enforced in enlargement from ignominious fallen pathe beginning, could, in the same ture, into the glorious liberty of the sons breath, huot after Tully, and a worn
of God-refinement of our gross impurity, out quotation from Akenside, and als into the image of God created in right:
eousness and true holiness. Ob! it is a most canonize a murderer and sui
noble music which he maketh to the soul cide.
of man : sweet as the breathing sonnet of lovers, and spirit-stirring as the
minstrelsy And here we make a pause, to cast a
of glorious war; it rouseth to noble deeds look back upon the progress which we
like the Tyrtean song, sung on the eve of have made in delineating the constitution
battle to noble Spartan youth; and it re- it might not be spoken to them any more. joiceth the heart of sin-oppressed nature, These sensible images of the Creator bave as the voice of liberty from Tully's lips now vanished, and we are left alone, in rejoiceth the senate-house of Rome upon the deep recesses of the meditative mind, : the famous Ides of March, when the gou- to discern bis comings forth. No trump like Brutus
of heaven now speaketh in the world's ear. -Shook his crimson steel No angelic conveyancer of Heaven's will And bade the father of his country hail. taketh shape from the vacant air, and,
pp. 138, 139.
having done his errand, retireth into his From this single quotation our
airy habitation. No human messenger readers will see that this book is
putteth forth his miraculous hand to heal
Nature's immedicable wounds, winning much like a work in mosaic-com- for his words a silent and astonished audi posed of many party-coloured stones ence. Majesty and might no longer pre-in which black and white some
cede the oracles of Heaves. They lie si times lie quite adjacent--the purpure
lent and unobtrusivę, wrapped up in their
little compass-one volume, amongst maus pannus is often out of place:- the
ny, innocently handed to and fro, having author's imagination sometimes lights no distinction but that in which our mushim on to a bog-into which no ve- tered thoughts are enabled to invest them. ry stupid traveller would have any
The want of solemn preparation aud circhance of falling.
cumstantial pomp, the imagination of the
mind hath now to supply. The presence But it is time to put our remarks of the Deity, and the authority of his voice, into order; and we shall show that our thoughtful spirits must discern. Con. whatever censure we may bestow science must supply the terrors that were upon the volume, our estimate of wont to go before him ; anil the bright
ness of his coming, which the sense can no the author's genius is high, and that longer behold, the heart, ravished with we readily pronounce his orations his word, must feel. and argument deserving of much For this solemn vocation of all her study aud of great, if not unbounded powers, to do her Maker honour and give
him welcome, it is, at the very least, neadmiration. We should not put in
cessary that the soul stand absolved from so many 'bating clauses, if we did
every call. Every foreign influence or not deprecate the imitation of Mr. authority, arising out of the world, or the Irving, by multitudes, wbo can never
things of the world, should be burst when
about to stand before the Fountain of all have any pretension to his genius: authority. Every argument, every in. general knowledge, and bis
vention, every opinion of man forgot, learned and polite audience.
when about to approach to the Father and The book commences with four oracle of all intelligence. And as suborations for the oracles of God, to jects, when their prince honours them
with invitations, are held disengaged, which we shall, in the present num- though pre-occupied with a thousand apber, confine our attention; leaving pointments—so, upon an audience fixed the argument for judgment to come,
and about to be holden with the King of for subsequent consideration. The kings, it well becomes the honoured mor
tal to break loose from all thraldom of men subject of the orations is divided in- and things, and be arrayed in liberty of to the three topics—the preparation thought and action, to drink in the rivers for consulting the oracles of God; of his pleasure, and to perform the com. the manner of consulting the oracles missions of his lips.
Now far otherwise it hath appeared to. of God, and the obeying the oracles
us, that Christians, as well as worldly men, of God. The first naturally treated come to this most august occupation of of is “the preparation for the an- listening to the word of God, pre-occupinouncement,” in which the authored and prepossessed, inclining to it a par. develops his subject as follows.
tial ear, a straitened understanding, and a
disaffected will. When God uttereth his voice, says the
The Christian public are prone to Psalmist, coals of fire are kindled"; the preoccupy themselves with the admirahills melt down like wax, the earth quakes, tion of those opinions by which they stand and deep procla:ms it unto hollow deep. distinguished as a church or sect from othThis same voice, which the stubborn ele. er Christians; and, instead of being quite ments cannot withstand, the children of unfettered to receive the whole council of bsrael having heard but once, prayed that the divinity, they are prepared to welcome
it, no farther than as it bears upon and by the recurring conceits, sophisms, and stands with opinions which they already passions of men. Now truly, an utter de. favour. To this prejudgment the early gradatiou it is of the Godhead to have his use of catechisms mainly contributes, word in league with that of any man, or which, however serviceable in their place, any council of men. What matter to me have the disadvantage of presenting the
whether the Pope, or any work of any truth in a form altogether different from mind be exalted to the equality of God? what it occupies in the Word itself. In If any helps are to be imposed for the un. the one it is presented to the intellect derstanding, or safe-guarding, or sustainchiefly, (and in our catechism to an in- ing of the word, why not the help of stattellect of a very subtle order ;) in the oth- ues and pictures for my devotion ? Thereer it is presented more frequently to the fore, while the warm fancies of the Southheart, to the affections, to the imitation, to erns have given their idolatry to the ideal the fancy, and to all the faculties of the forms of noble art-let us Northerns besoul. In early youth, which is so applied ware we give not our idolatry to the cold to with those compilations, an association and coarse abstractions of human inteltakes place between religion and intel- lect."-pp.17-20. lect, and a divorcement of religion from tbe other powers of the inner man. This In his endeavour to procure for the derangement, judging from observation oracles in whose favour he is pleadand experience, it is exceeding difficult to
ing solemn and unconstrained audiput to rights in after life ; and so it comes to pass, that, in listeni to the oracles of ence, we think Mr. Irving has run religion, the intellect is chiefly awake, and into an unjust and unmeasured centhe better parts of the message--those sure of the usual mode of conveying which address the heart and its affections, christian koowledge into the minds ginations of the Godhead, and ihose which of the young. So sacred and diffispeak to the various sympathies of our na- cult a subject should be touched deture-we are, by the injudicious use of licately : whether we can do withthese narrow epitomes, disqualified to re- out these "abstractions of the huceive. In the train of these comes Controver- be trained up in christian doctrine
man intellect” —wbether youth can sy, with his rough voice and unmeek as. pect, to disqualify the soul for a full and without catechisms, would seem to fair audience of its Maker's word. The be decided by universal experience. points of the faith we have been called on It has ever been the labour of the to defend, or which are reputable with
christian church to instruct the young our party, assume in our esteem an importance disproportionate to their import- -to scatter the seed upon the soil, ance in the Word, which we come to re- yet in the fallowness of spring-time. lish chiefly when it goes to sustain them, And the wisest and most conscienand the Bible is hunted for arguments and texts of controversy, which are treasured
tious men have supposed that as it is up for future service. The solemn still impossible to find in any one portion ness which the soul should hold before his of ihe divine volume, an exact sumMaker, so favourable to meditation and mary of the contents of all its parts, wrapt communion with the throne of God, its doctrine sbould be set forth in is destroyed at every turn, by suggestion of what is orthodox and evangelical
some such form as may best fit the where all is orthodox and evangelical; the capacity of learners ; and that it is spirit of such readers becomes lean, being no error in education, tò lay up in fed with abstract truths and formal pro- the stores of memory what the daily positions ; their temper uncongenial, be improving judgment caunot yet aping ever disturbed with controversial suggestions; their prayers undevout recitals preciate. We duubt not that ibere of their opinions; their discourse techni. has been an error of the kind which cal announcements of their faith. lutel- Mr. Irving indicates --yet to point lect, cold intellect, hath the sway over heaven-ward devotion and holy fervours.
out an error in the use of catechismş Man, contentious man, hath the attention
is not to prove their inutility. We which the unsearchable God should undi- rejoice in the increasing prevalence vided have ; and the fine full harmony of of Bible instruction, in which the Heaven's melodious voice, which, heard truth is brought to the miod in its oristasies unspeakable, is jarred and interfer- ginal simplicity and beauty, and emed with ; and the heavenly spell is broken
bodied in the example of the Son of Man.-But we would not therefore to speak for himself upon topics in bave the good habit of the catechism which we quite agree :disused. If system and method be sound expedient for learners in eve- It is a goodly custom, inherited from the
hallowed days of Scottish piety, and in ry science, and of every age, we see
our cottages stiil preserved, though in our no reason for their exclusion from the cities generally given up, to preface the nursery : and we are not without ap- morning and evening worship of the famiprehension that the veryprevalence of ly with a short invocation of blessing from
the Lord. This is in unison with the sabbath schools and scripture recita
practice and recommendation of pious tion at the present day, by indu
men, never to open the Divine Word cing parents to rely too much upon without a silent invocation of the Divine them and to think themselves ab- Spirit. But no address to Heaven is of solved from faithful, domestic cate
any virtue, save as it is the expression of
certain pious sentiments with which the chetical instruction, may have an ef
mind is full and overflowing. Of those fect to leave the minds of the rising sentiments which befit the mind that generation stored with a confused comes into conference with its Maker, the mass of religious sentiments, rather
first and most prominent should be gratithan furnished with a well arranged bold commerce with such wretched and
tude for his having ever condescended to system of divine truth.
But, with- fallen creatures. Gratitude not only exout fully discussing the subject here, pressing
pressing itself in proper terms, but poswe merely add that, if the present is sessing the mind with an abidiny and an age of improvement, it is also an
over-mastering mood, under which it shall
sit impressed the whole duration of the age of innovation, and there may be
interview. Such an emotion as capnot danger of our too lightly laying aside utter itself in language—though by lansome of the most sacred usages of guage it indicate its presence—bul keeps former days. The kind of instruc- us in a devout and adoring frame, while
the Lord is uttering his voice. Go, visit tion objected to by Mr. Irving de
a desolate widow, with consolation and rives the best argument of its utility help, and fatherhood of her orphan chilfrom the thorough scriptural views dren-do it again and again—and your and holy lives of many great men
presence, the sound of your approaching whose praise is in the churches.
footstep, the soft utterance of your voice,
the very mention of your name-shall We feel ourselves obliged to say come to dilate her heart with a fulness so much in defence of the ancient which defies her tongue to utter, but order of things—yet since Mr. Ir. speaks by the tokens of a swimming eye. ving's youth and our own have been
and clasped hands, and fervent ejacula
tions to Heaven upon your head! No trained up in the same catechism, less copious acknowledgment to God, the we regard his hint as very valuable. author of our well-being and the faiber It is an excellent rule in practical of our better hopes, ought we to feel when life to attend to what our enemies his Word discloseth to us the excesses of report against us, as it is most prob- his love: Though a veil be now cast over
the Majesty which speaks, it is the voice able that quick-sighted malice will of the Eternal which we hear, coming in fasten upon the really weak points soft cadences to win our favor, yet omnipin our character. Mr. Irving is no
otent as the voice of the thunder, and
overpowering as the rushing of many waenemy to the Westminster confession
ters. And though the veil of the future of lanh and catechismı; on the con- intervene between our hand and the promtrary " he is proud to profess such ised goods, still are they from His lips, as his church doth acknowledge”—
who speaks, and it is done, who comhe would have them “to discern her
mands, and all things stand fast. With
no less emotion, therefore, should this esy, and to preserve in the church a
book be opened, than if, like him in the unity of faith :" we may bear then Apocalypse, you saw the voice wbich from him the rebukings and cautions spake; or like him in the trance, you of a friend; we only object to the
were into the third heavens translated, tone, manner, and measure.
companying and communing with the reBut we will now suffer Mr. Irving nor ear heard, nor the heart of man con:
alities of glory, which eye bath not seen, ceived.
Far and foreign from such an opened common heart of man hath forsaken, and and awakened bosom is that cold and for. refused to be charmed withal. mal hand which is generally laid upon the 1 testify, that there ascendeth not from sacred volume; that unfeeling and unim- earth, a Hosannah of her children to pressive lone with which its accents are bear witness in the ear of the upper repronounced ; and that listless and incuri. gions to the wonderful manifestations of ous ear into which its blessed sounds are her Gou! From a few scattered hamlets, received. How can you, thus unimpas- in a snall portion of her wide territory, a sioned, hold communion wita themes in small voice ascendeth, like the voice of one which every thing awful, vital and endear. crying in the wilderness. But to the sering, do meet together! Why is not curi. vice of our general Preserver there is no osity, curiosity ever hungry, on edge to concou rse, from Dan unto Beersheba, of know the doings and intentions of Jeho. our people; the greater part of whom, afvah King of Kings? Why is not interest, ter two thousand years of apostolic com interest ever awake, on tiptoe to hear the mission, know not the testimonies of our. future destiny of itself? Why is not the God; and the multitude of those who do, heart that pantelh over the world after reject or despise them! love and friendship, overpowered with the But, to return from this lamentation, full tide of the divine acts and expressions which, may God hear, who doth not regard of love? Where is nature gone, when she the cries of his afflicted people! With is not moved with the tender piercy of the full sense of obligation to the Giver, Christ? Methinks the affections of men combine a humble sense of your own incaare fallen into the yellow leaf. Of your pacity to value and to use the gift of his poets which charm the world's ear, who Oracles. Having no taste whatever for is he that indicteth a song unto his God? the mean estimates which are made, and Some will tune their hearts to sensual the coarse invectives that are vented pleasures, and by the enchantment of their against human nature, which, though genius well nigh commend their unholy true in the main, are often in the manner themes to the imagination of saints. Oih. so unfeeling and triumphant, as to reveal ers, to the high and noble sentiments of the hot zeal, rather than tender and deep sorheart, will sing of domestic joys and hap- row, we will not give in to this popular py unions, casting around sorrow the radi- strain. And yet it is a truth, by experiancy of virtue, and bodying forth, in un- ence revealed, that though there be in man dying forms, the short-lived visions of joy ! most noble faculties, and a nature restless Others have enrolled themselves the after the knowledge and truth of thingshigh priests of mute Nature's charms, en- there are, towards God and his revealed chanting her echoes with their minstrelsy, will, an indisposition and a regardlessnes and peopling her solitudes with the bright which the most tender and enlightened creatures of their fancy. But when, consciences are the most ready to acknowl. since the days of the blind master of Eug. euge. Of our emancipated youth, who lish song, hath any poured forth a lay bound after the knowledge of the visible worthy of the Christian theme? Nor in worhs of God, and the gratification of the philosophy, "the palace of the soul,” bave various instincts of nature, how few bemen been moro miudful of their Maker. take themselves at all, huw few absorb The flowers of the garden and the herbs themselves with the study and obedience of the field have their unwearied devotees, of the word of God! And when, by God's crossing the ocean, wayfaring in the des- visitation, we adjress ourselves to the task, ert, and making devout pilgrimages to ev. how slow is our progress, and how imperery region of Nature, for offerings to their fect our performance! It is most true that patron muse. The rocks, from their resi- Nature is unwilling to the subject of the dences among the clouds to their deep Scriptures. The soul is previously pas. rests in the dark bowels of the earth, have sessed with adverse interests; the world a rost bold and venturous priesthood ; hati laid an embargo upon her faculties, who see in their rough and flinty faces a and monopolized them to herself; old more delectable image to adore, than in Habit hath perhaps added his almost incuthe revealed countenance of God. And rable callousness; and the enemy of God the political welfare of the world is a very and map is skilful to defend what he hath Moloch, who can at any time command already won. So circumstanced, and ephis hecatomb of human victims. But the ery man is so circumstanced, we come to revealed sapience of God, to which the the audience of the word of God, and lisharp of David and the prophetic lyre of ten in worse tune than a wanton to a ser, Isaiah were strung, the prudence of God mon, or a hardened kuave to a judicial ad. which the wisest of men coveted after, dress. Our understanding is prepossesspreferring it to every gift which Heaven ed with a thousand idols, either of the could confer—and the eternal Intelligence world religious or irreligious—which cor. himself, in human form, and the unction rupt the reading of the word into a strainof the Holy One which abideth,—these the ing of the text to their service; and when