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"Tie Complaint of Despair," will appear in our next. If the author has not as vet yieloleil to that fate which he seems so anxious of meeting; if he has ceased to feel the subduing influence which not only despair, but contenuing elements seem to have exercised over him: if " the star of his hope" has once more beamed upon bim, and given back the raptures of bis happier days, we should be extremely happy to be favoured with a continuance of his communications.
“ 'The Half Hang it," in our next.
! !ockril in, or Dramatic Ilorror's," and the “ Blind Widow's Son,'' are under consideration.
REV. EDWARD IRVING, A. M.
(With a Portrait taken from life, engraved by James Thomson.)
The subject of our present me- six feet high:" we have since been moir is the most popular preacher of informed that he is six feet, two the day, and yet there is evidently inches; a difference which, though no preacher whose intellectual pow. trifling in itself, is not trifling as ers and style of eloquence are less regards those who have never seen understood. Whatever may be our him; for every man endeavours opinion of his merits as an orator, to figure to himself a correct image we deem it our duty to gratify our of a celebrated character or writer, readers with his portrait, because we u with other particulars," as the consider that the most popular cha- Spectator observes, “ of the like naracters are always the most interest-, ture, which conduce very much to ing subjects for painting, whether the right understanding of an autheir popularity be the result of real thor." We have noticed many other merit or usurped reputation; for it particulars of him in the number is a curious phenomenon in human alluded to, which it must be unnenature, that whoever, or whatever cessary to repeat here. * once succeeds in attracting public Of his life and parentage, we can attention will continue to attract it only say that he is the second son of after it has been demonstrated over a respectable family at Annan, in and over, that the original cause of Dumfrieshire. His parents are still attraction had never an existence. living, and enjoy, no doubt, all those Mr. Irving owes all his popularity pleasing and gratifying emotions to his supposed merits as an orator; which parental affection naturally but let it be ever so clearly demon-, derive from the celebrity of their strated that these merits are merely offspring. He has a younger broimaginary, that his taste, and style, ther, who is, at the present moment, and thoughts, and language, are studying in the London hospitals, equally false, yet the Caledonian and four sisters. His elder brother Chapel would be more frequented we understand died lately in India. than any other in London; for even We know not whether mathematical he who felt convinced that his elo- knowledge has any necessary conquence is of a spurious character nection with divinity, but Mr. Irwould still feel desirous of seeing a ving, though originally intended for man of whom so much has been the ministry, has deemed it either a said, both in public and in private. science fitted to relax the severity of
We have observed in our Number his religious labours in his retired for July, that Mr. Irving" is rather hours, or an auxiliary in developing, less than thirty years of age, about illustrating, or demonstrating the sacred truths of the gospel. Accord features in his character appears to ingly we find, from
his early profi- be, that he belongs to that species or ciency in 'the science of demonstra- order of spirits which can neither tion, that he had been appointed to be analyzed ror explained. No one conduct a mathematical school at knows what to make of him. To Haddington, in his seventeenth year, 'some he appears to be clothed in by the Professor at the University raiments of light, and the glory of of Edinburgh. He resided at Had the highest heavens seems beaming dington three years, whence he was around him: to others he is an angel removed to Kilkardy, to co-operate of darkness, hurling penal fire, and in the higher classes of literature. destruction, and desolation around He was,-we are not exactly certain bim. What kind of man then must how many years after,-appointed he be whose character is so inscru. assistant to Dr. Chalmers, of Glas- table, so involved in the labyrinths gow. The Rev. Mr. MacNaughton of metaphysical obscurity? Is he having been removed last year from one of those great characters whom the church of the Caledonian Asy. Dr. Johnson says, “we admire but lum, in Cross-street, Hatton-garden, cannot love?". It would seere so; for Mr. Irving was invited to London
there is something, tearful in a chaby the elders, but met with, some racter that cannot be analyzed; and opposition from his ignorance of the fear, according to Burke, is the true Gaelic, it being required that a ser- source of the sublime, and sublimity mon should be preached every Sun- always commands admiration. But day afternoon in that language. It how are we to dispose of a question was so arranged, however, that Mr. which 'naturally presents itself on Lees was appointed to fulfil this part' this occasion, namely, whether it be of the duty, and an engagement the character of the Gospel to termade with Mr. Irving for five years, rify us into virtue, or to gain us over at £150 a year in addition to the to its inild dominion by unfolding seat-rents. Though this engage- its charms, by displaying all the ment could not be considered lucra- kinder emotions, fonder sympathies, tive, Mr.Irving eagerly embraced it,' endearing affections, inspiring rap; his chief object being a residence in tures, divine recollections, hallowed the Metropolis: whether this desire determinations, serene, tranquil and arose from a consciousness of his divine composure of mind which it own merits, and the fame which he awakens or establishes in the breasts anticipated from the exercise of of its votaries. These are feelings; strong intellectual powers, or whe- this is a state of mind which never ther le perceived that the faine of has and never will be felt by hins an orator did not arise solely from who is terrified into virtue, who the possession of these powers, and aroids evil, not because he dislikes that there were other means of gain.' it, but because he is fearful of the ing the attention, and commanding' consequences. Into such a bosony the admiration of an audience, or the sacred glow of virtuous emowhether he was exclusively govern- tions has never entered : be is neied by a thirst for the salvation of ther a favourite of God or man. If, souls, and considered London the then, it be not the character of the best field for the exercise of his apos-, Gospel to terrify us into virtue, if it tolic fervor and religious zeal, or loves rather to gain us over to it by whether motives of a private nature dwelling on its milder and ennobling influenced his determinations, we neis attractions, what are we to make of ther dare nor can venture to assert; all these terrific denunciations, of but certain we are, that whatever may all that mysterious and fearful lanhave been the motive, Mr. Irving gaage in which Mr. Irving is said made a most happy, and sucressful to clothie the sacred truths of the election. His success has far exceed.' Gospel? Is this the character of ed all that his most sanguine wishes his eloquence or is it not; and, if it could anticipate, unless he had in. is, ought it be his character? These dulged in wishes which spurned the are questions which we have not seen ridged confines, within which reason discussed by any of the numerous and probability love to encircle them- commentators why have either enselves, One of the most curious' throned him on a height above all