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solemn conviction: That until advocates of religion do arise to make unhallowed poets, and undevout dealers in science, and intemperate advocates of policy, and all other pleaders before the public mind, give place, and know the inferiority of their various provinces to this of ours-till this most fatal error, that our subject is second-rate, be dissipated by a first-rate advocation of it-till we can shift these others into the back-ground of the great theatre of thought, by clear superiority in the treatment of our subject, we shall never see the men of understanding in this nation brought back to the fountains of living water, from which their fathers drew the life of all their greatness.

Many will think it an unchristian thing to reason thus violently, and many will think it altogether unintelligible; and to ourselves it would feel unseemly, did we not reassure ourselves by looking around. They are ruling and they are ruled, but God's oracles rule them not. They are studying every record of antiquity in their seats of learning, but the record of God and of him whom he hath sent is almost unheeded. They enjoy every communion of society, of pleasure, of enterprise, this world affords; but little communion with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. They carry on commerce with all lands, the bustle and noise of their traffic fill the whole earth; they go to and fro and knowledge is increased,—but how few in the hasting crowd are hasting after the kingdom of God. Meanwhile death sweepeth on with his chilling blast, freezing up the life of generations, catching their spirits unblessed with any preparation of peace, quenching hope and binding destiny for evermore. Their graves are dressed, and their tombs are adorned. But their spirits, where are they? How oft hath this city, where I now write these lamentations over a thoughtless age, been filled and emptied of her people since first she reared her imperial head! How many generations of her revellers have gone to another kind of revelry; how many generations of her gay courtiers to a royal residence where courtier-arts are not; how many generations of her toilsome tradesmen to the place of silence, whither no gain can follow them! How time hath swept over her, age after age, with its consuming wave, swallowing every living thing, and bearing it away unto the shores of eternity! The sight and thought of all which is our assurance, that we have not in the heat of our feelings surpassed the merit of the case. The theme is fitter for an indignant prophet, than an inspired sinful man.'

The Arguments are less efficacious, and have less of talent than the Orations. They are not conducted in the same spirit, and are sometimes disfigured by homely allusions and expressions-by, not a simple, (for that would be no fault,) but a coarse, style; and this is strangely contrasted with other passages, which are needlessly florid. There are, however, many beautiful and useful parts in them; and, while we point out those faults, we would not be understood to say that they pervade the whole of the argument.

The power of religion over nations, the benefits which it brings, the ameliorating and dignifying effect it has upon them, are illustrated by three instances, as follow:

Our first instance is taken from the origin and first plantation of our faith in the most luxurious and vicious quarters of the earth

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Rome and Greece, and Jerusalem and the Lesser Asia.

Where it

broke the bands of personal interest, and made men generous to the

highest pitch of selling all they had, and pouring the price at the apostle's feet; laid low and levelled the dear distinctions of rank and place, bringing the richest with the poorest, the highest with the lowest, to be served at the same tables, and supported out of the same common purse. It nerved afresh the Corinthian dissolved in pleasure, humbled the towering pride of the Athenian, tamed the boldness of the warlike Roman, straightened the crooked ways of the cunning Asiatic, opened the selfish heart of the vain-glorious Jew, and knocked off the fetters of superstitious idolatry from them all, unsealing the darkened eye, and restoring the abused mind of religion; in doing which it peacefully set fraud and opposition at naught, until it fairly overran the nations, and seated itself in the high places of their hearts, of their lives, and of their laws.

'Our second instance is taken from the Reformation, when the divine constitution smote asunder religious and civil bonds, and set many nations free, as it were, at a single stride. In little more than the lifetime of a man restoring England, Scotland, Holland, half of Germany, and the Scandinaviau nations, to a free use of the faculty of thought, which ten centuries of cunning arts had been employed to shackle. The nations shook themselves as from a sleep; the barbarous, ferocious people, took on piety and virtue, and the sacred sense of human rights. The Hollander roused him from his torpid life amongst his many marshes, and beat the chivalry of haughty Spain from his shores, defeating the conqueror of a new world. The German burgher braved his emperor, though followed by half the nations, and won back his religious rights. The English, under their virgin queen, offered up the Armada, most glorious of navies, a sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts. And of my beloved native country-whose sufferings for more than a long century do place her in a station of honour, second only to the Waldenses in the militant church, and whose martyrs (alas! that they should have been to Episcopal pride and Protestant intolerance!) will rank on the same file with those of Lyons and Alexandria in the primitive church-of her regeneration by the power of religion I can hardly trust myself to speak. Before that blessed æra she had no arts but the art of war; no philosophy, no literature, save her songs of love and chivalry; and little government of law. She was torn and mangled with intestine feuds, enslaved to arbitrary or aristocratic power, in vassalage or in turbulence. Her soil niggard, her climate stern, a desert land of misty lakes and hoary mountains. Yet, no sooner did the breath of truth from the living oracles of God breathe over her, than the wilderness and the solitary plain became glad, and the desert rejoiced and blossomed like the rose. The high-tempered soul of the nation-the" ingenium perfervidum Scotorum"-which had roused itself heretofore to resist invasions of her sacred soil, and spoil the invader's border, or to rear the front of rebellion and unloose warfare upon herself, did now arise for the cause of religion and liberty-for the rights of God and the rights of man. And, oh! what a demonstration of magnanimity we made. The pastoral vales, and upland heaths, which of old were

made melodious to the shepherd's lute, now rung responsive to the glory of God, attuned from the hearts of his persecuted saints. The blood of martyrs mingled with our running brooks; their hallowed bones now moulder in peace within their silent tombs, which are dressed by the reverential hands of the pious and patriotic people. And their blood did not cry in vain to heaven for vengeance. Their persecutors were despoiled; the guilty race of kings were made vagabonds upon the earth. The Church arose in her purity like a bride decked for the bridegroom; religious principles chose to reside within the troubled land; and they brought moral virtues in their train; and begot a national character for knowledge and industry and enterprise, for every domestic and public virtue, which maketh her children ever an acceptable people in the four quarters of the earth.

'Our third instance of the power dwelling in the divine constitution to renovate a people, and make them great and good, is taken from the present times, and may be seen in almost every missionary station over the earth. These, the apostles, the true dignitaries of the modern church, have addressed their undertaking to the lowest and most degraded of their species, the West-Indian slave, who is bought and sold and fed for labour, and differeth only from the ox, in that he is not stalled for the butcher's knife; the Greenlanders, in whose misnamed region the green of nature doth rarely bloom; the treacherous islanders of the South Seas; the Hottentots, whose name hath grown proverbial as the extreme limit of ignorance.—I speak to the dispassioned and well-informed, not to self-sufficient bigots, who will not stoop to peruse the narratives of such low-bred men, nor degrade themselves to turn the eye from magazines of wit and fashion to the magazines of methodism and religion,-I speak to honest-hearted men, who love the improvement of their species, however promoted, and crave of their justice to acknowledge how the constitution of divine truth, when adopted by these rudest people, hath brought out the thinking and the feeling man from the human animal, as pure metal is brought out of the earthy ore, or pearly honey droppeth from the waxen comb; how the souls of the converts become peopled with a host of new thoughts and affections, and the missionary village with a hive of industrious, moral, and peaceful citizens, dwelling in the surrounding wastes of idolatry and wickedness, like the Tabernacle of God in the wilderness of Sin.. Also how the missionaries have come into contact with the high places of power, and reformed the palace of the king, and pacified the spirit of warriors, and made bloodshed to cease. Also how, in our colonies, the planters, whom long residence among slaves had dispossessed of British spirit, have come at length to acknowledge the humble missionary, and honour him for the sake of the good fruits of his labours. Thus, as in the first ages, this constitution which God hath given to the earth is still continuing to advance its subjects into a new sphere of being, from the animal to the spiritual, to disarm the opposition of its foes, and to triumph peaceably over the earth.'

And in these days, when religion has been exposed to the ribald attacks of such persons as Carlile, and those who openly abet or secretly support him; when the power of the laws to check those at

tacks is disapproved of by many, and doubted of by more; is the minister of religion who fairly and manfully comes forward to try the truths of that religion by the tests to which even sceptics cannot object; by facts which cannot be doubted; and which, independent of Revelation, prove its truth and efficacy: is such a man to be scoffed down, and himself and his attempt held up to scorn?

It is not often that so open a liberality is displayed by men who are wholly religious: his strictness is the strictness of the Gospel, is not of his own invention, nor of his imposition; his religion is of the most cheerful kind :

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For truly,' he says, I abominate the spirit of ascetic and ignorant devotion, which, to make men spiritual, would deprive them of the recreations of sense, and spoil them of the high pursuits of intellect; would make them crouch every noble part of manhood, disguise every high propensity of nature, school into slavishness every ardent imagination, and bind in shackles every high adventure; in order to present unto God a minced and emasculated pigmy of that creature which he made a little lower than the angels, and a fraction of those talents which he made able to scan the highest heavens. Away with the notion to the cells of monks, and the grates of nuns and the caves of hermits it is not for the honour of man, nor for the glory of God. Spiritual life is that which pervades every thing with a divine vigour stirring up and awakening lethargic faculties, calling in roving and wicked thoughts, husbanding time, enlightening conscience, piloting all the courses, filling all the sails of action; that we may make a demonstration for God ten times greater than the demonstration we were making for sense, for intellect, or for morals.'

We think that our readers will pardon us, as well on account of the subject as of the popularity of the author, for making one other extract. In point of composition it is one of the best in the volume, and its truth is exactly of that sort which comes home to men's business and bosoms. Speaking of the disregard and contempt of the judgment to come which some men display, he says :

"There be those who confound the foresight of death with a fearfulness of death, and talk of meeting death like brave men; and there be institutions in human society which seem made on purpose to hinder the thoughts of death from coming timeously before the deliberation of the mind. And they who die in war, be they ever so dissipated, abandoned, and wretched, have oft a halo of everlasting glory arrayed by poetry and music around their heads; and the forlorn hope of any enterprise goeth to their terrible post amidst the applauding shouts of all their comrades. And to die game,' is a brutal form of speech which they are now proud to apply to men. And our prizefights, where they go plunging upon the edge of eternity, and often plunge through, are applauded by tens of thousands, just in proportion as the bull-dog quality of the human creature carries it over every other. And to run hair-breadth escapes, to graze the grass that skirts the grave, and escape the yawning pit, the impious, daring wretches call cheating the devil; and the watch-word of your dissolute, debauched people is, "A short life and a merry one." All which tribes of wreckless, godless people, lift loud the laugh against the saints, as a

sickly, timorous crew, who have no upright gait in life, but are always cringing under apprehensions of death and the devil. And these bravos think they play the man in spurning God and his concerns away from their places; that there would be no chivalry, nor gallantry, nor battle-brunt in the temple of man, were he to stand in awe of the sequel which followeth death. And thus the devil hath built up a strong embattled tower, from which he lordeth it over the spirits of many men, winning them over to himself, playing them off for his sport, in utter darkness all their life long, till in the end they take a leap in the dark, and plunge into his yawning pit, never, never to rise again.

And here, first, I would try these flush and flashy spirits with their own weapons, and play a little with them at their own game. They do but prate about their exploits at fighting, drinking, and death-despising. I can tell them of those who fought with savage beasts; yea, of maidens, who durst enter as coolly as a modern bully into the ring, to take their chance with infuriated beasts of prey; and I can tell them of those who drank the molten lead as cheerfully as they do the juice of the grape, and handled the red fire, and played with the bickering flames as gaily as they do with love's dimples or woman's amorous tresses. And what do they talk of war? Have they forgot Cromwell's iron-band, who made their chivalry to skip ? or the Scots Cameronians, who seven times, with their Christian chief, received the thanks of Marlborough, that first of English captains? or Gustavus of the North, whose camp sung psalms in every tent? It is not so long, that they should forget Nelson's Methodists, who were the most trusted of that hero's crew. Poor men, they know nothing who do not know out of their country's history who it was that set at naught the wilfulness of Henry VIII. and the sharp rage of the virgin Queen against liberty, and bore the black cruelty of her popish sister; and presented the petition of rights, and the bill of rights, and the claim of rights. Was it chivalry? was it blind bravery? No; these second-rate qualities may do for a pitched field, or a fenced ring; but when it comes to death or liberty, death or virtue, death or religion, they wax dubious, generally bow their necks under hardship, or turn their backs for a bait of honour, or a mess of solid and substantial meat. This chivalry and brutal bravery can fight if you feed them well and bribe them well, or set them well on edge; but in the midst of hunger and nakedness, and want and persecution, in the day of a country's direst need, they are cowardly, treacherous, and of no avail.'

We have now concluded our notice of this work. It is in every respect a remarkable one. The design has something of novelty, and the manner of its accomplishment no mean share of excellence. If we had not seen and heard Mr. Irving, and read his book, we should, reasoning upon mere probability, have supposed that he possessed some merit: these are not times in which fanatics or impostors can command the attention of philosophers, and statesmen, and orators. Mr. Irving has done this, and, to our thinking, he has done it deservedly. No man unprejudiced can read his book without assenting to its truths; no man of taste without feeling its literary beauties; no reli

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