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operation of his intellect. Most of -would be an absurdity--and canhis features, indeed, are rather home- not be explained in any sense, withly than otherwise in their conformae out involving the severest of satires tion, but they are all well defined, upon those to whom the discussion is massy, and full of power. His eyes addressed. But it is, after all, a very are quick, and firmly set-his lips are wonderful thing how seldom one does bold, and nervous in their motions, find a man carrying with him into the no less than in their quiescence-his pulpit the perfect knowledge of the nose is well carved, and joins firmly world as it is a complete acquaintwith a forehead of unquestionably ance with all the evanescent manifesvery fine and commanding structure, tations of folly existing, for the moexpanded broailly below in sinuses of ment, in the thoughts and feelings of most iron projection, and swelling a- “ the great vulgar and the small,” bove in a square compact form, which and it is no less wonderful, and far harmonizes well with a strong and more pitiable to observe, with what curled texture of hair. His attitude readiness the cosmopolites of the day has no great pretensions to grace, but take up with the want of this sort of it conveys the notion of inflexible vi- knowledge on the part of their clergygour and decision. His voice sounds man, as a sufficient apology for slightsomewhat harshly at first, but as he ing and neglecting the weight of his goes on one feels that it possesses a opinion in regard to matters, their large compass, and that he wields its own intense ignorance and non-comenergies with the mastery of a music prehension of which is so much less cian.
excusable, or, I should rather say, is In his mode of preaching he dis- so entirely unaccountable and absurd, plays less play of fancy than Dr In- Till the fine gentlemen of the present glis; and he never rises into any such day perceive that you understand all broad and over-mastering bursts of that they themselves do, their selfpure passion as I admired in the con- love will not permit them to give you clusion of Sir Henry Moncreift's ser- credit for understanding any thing mon. But throughout he sustains which they themselves do not undermore skilfully than either the tenor stand-nay-not even for thinking of his whole argument, and he mixes that things are important, about the with it all throughout a thread of importance or non-importance of feeling which is enough, and more than which they themselves have never enough, to keep the interest alive and had the fortune to occupy any porawake. But the chief origin of the tion of their surpassing acumen and power he has obtained must be sought discernment. In a word, in order to for, I doubt not, in the choice of his preach with effect to the people of the topics--the bold and unfearing man- world, as they are educated now-aner in which he has dared to fix the days, it is necessary to show that attention of his audience, not upon you have gone through all their own matters best calculated to favour the little track,- and then they may display of his own ingenuity, or to perhaps be persuaded that you have flatter their vanity, by calling upon gone beyond it. Now, Mr Andrew them to be ingenious in their listen- Thomson strikes me to be, without ing, but upon plain points of radical exception, one of the most complete importance in doctrine and practice, masters of this world's knowledge I of which, as treated by preachers less ever heard preach on either side of acquainted with the actual ways of the Tweed ; and therefore it is that the world, it is probable most of them he produces a most powerful effect, by had become in a great measure weary, showing himself to be entirely and but which their own innate value and utterly its despiser. The person who innate truth could not fail to render hears him preach has none of the usual imperiously and decisively interesting, resources to which many are accusthe moment they began to be handled tomed to retreat, when something is by one possessed of the thorough man- said from the pulpit that displeases liness of tact and purpose, which Mr their prejudices. They cannot preThomson cannot utter five sentences tend, even to themselves, that this is without displaying. To talk, indeed, a secluded enthusiast who knows no of exhausting the interest of any such better, and would not talk so, had he topics by any method of treating them seen a little more of life. It is clear, from the moment he touches upon see the descendant of one of the few life, that he has looked at it as nar- true theological writers Scotland has rowly as if that observation had been produced ; and I found that the son his ultimatum, not his mean; and the inherits the learning of his father. probability is, that, instead of smiling Indeed, I have seldom heard more at his ignorance, the hearer may ra- learning displayed in any sermon, and ther find occasion to suspect that his that, too, without at all diminishing knowledge surpasses his own.
the practical usefulness of its tenden- Having command of this rare and cy. Another was Dr Brunton, whom potent engine, with which to humble I confess I went to hear from a moand disarm that worldly self-love, tive of somewhat the same kind-the which is among the most formidable wish, namely, to see the widowed hus enemies of a modern preacher's elo- band of the authoress of Discipline, quence,--and employing it at all and the other novels of that striking times with the most fearless and un- series. He has a pale countenance, hesitating freedom,--and following it full of the expression of delicacy, and up at all times by the boldest and a melancholy sensibility, which is but most energetic appeals to the native too well accounted for by the grievous workings of the heart, which may be loss he has sustained. One sees that chilled, but are seldom extinguished, he is quite composed and resigned;
have succeeded in establishing for eyes which does equal honour to the himself a firm and lasting sway over departed and the survivor. In his the minds of his apparently elegant sermon he displayed a great deal of and fashionable audience. It has ne- elegant conception and elegant lanver, indeed, been my fortune to see, guage; and altogether, under the cirin any other audience of the kind, so cumstances which attended him, he many of the plain manifestations of seemed to me one of the most modestattentive and rational interest during ly impressive preachers I have ever divine service. As for the sighing heard. and sobbing masters and misses which one meets with at such places as Row. land Hill's chapel, and now and then In Edinburgh, two very handsomne at an evening sernion in the Found- new chapels have of late years been ling, these are beings worked upon by erected by the Episcopalians, and the quite a different set of engines-en clergymen who officiate in them posgines which a man of sagacious mind, sess faculties eminently calculated for and nervous temperament, like Mr extending the reputation of their Thomson, would blush to employ. I church. Dr Sandford, the Bishop of rejoice in finding that Edinburgh pos- the diocese, preaches regularly in the sesses, in the heart of her society, the one, and the minister of the other is faithful ministrations of this mascu- no less a person than Mr Alison, the line intellect; and it is a great addis celebrated author of the Essays on tional reason for rejoicing, that by Taste, and of those exquisite Sermons means, the effect of which could not which I have so often heard you speak have been calculated upon beforehand, of in terms of rapture, and which, these his faithful ministrations should indeed, no man can read, who has eihave come to carry with them not on- ther taste or feeling, without admiraly the tolerance, but the favour of tion almost as great as your's. those to whom they may do so much The Bishop is a thin, pale man, good. It is very seldom that the with an air and aspect full of a cerstream of fashion is seen to flow in a tain devout and melancholy sort of channel so safe, and a direction so be- abstraction, and a voice which is very neficial.
tremulous, yet deep in its tones, and Of the other members of the Esta- managed so as to produce a very strikblished Church of Edinburgh whom ing and impressive effect. In hearI have heard preach, one of ihose who ing him, after having listened for semade most impression upon my mind veral Sundays to the more robust and was Dr Thomas Macknight, son to energetic Presbyterians I have dethe author of The Harmony of the scribed, one feels as if the atmosphere Gospels, and Translation of the Epis. had been changed around, and the tles. I went chiefly from a desire to breath of a milder, gentler inspiration had suffused itself over every sound sublimity as they passed through his that vibrates through the stillness of lips, could not fail to refresh and elea a more placid æther. Nothing can be vate my mind, after it had been weamore touching than the paternal af- ried with the loose and extemporafection with which it is plain this good neous, and not unfrequently, as I man regards his flock; it every now thought, irreverent supplications of and then gives a gushing richness of the Presbyterian divines. In his power to his naturally feeble voice- preaching, the effect of his voice is no and a no less beautiful richness to his less striking; and, indeed, much as usually chaste and modest style of you have read and admired his Serlanguage. There is a quiet elegance mons, I am sure you would confess, about his whole appearance, which I after once hearing him, that they cansuspect is well nigh incompatible with not produce their full effect, without the Geneva cloak of Calvin, and I the accompaniment of that delightful should have judged, from his exterior music. Hereafter, in reading them, alone, (which is indeed the truth,) I shall always have the memory of that he is a man of much accomplish that music ringing faintly in my ears ment and learning. He has the cha- -and recal, with every grand, and racter here, and, as
s ays, at every gentle close, the image of that Oxford, where he was educated, also, serene and solemn countenance which of being at once a fine scholar and a Nature designed to be the best comdeep divine. He preaches, however, mentary on the meanings of Alison. in a very simple, unaffected, and As to the peculiar views of the sube pleasing manner-without any kind jects of religion which are most comof display beyond what the subject monly presented by the Sermons of seems to render absolutely necessary. this elegant preacher, I need not say
Mr Alison has a much larger cha- any thing on that head to one so much pel, and a more numerous congrega- better acquainted with all his works tion, and he possesses, no doubt, than I can pretend to be. There is much more largely the qualifications one point, however, in which I could of a popular orator. He has also do not but remark a very great difference bout him a certain pensiveness of as- between him and all the other preachpect, which I should almost guspect ers I have ever heard in Scotland. to have been inherited from the af. He is the only man among them who flicted priests of this church of the seems to be alive as he should be to preceding generation. He has a no- the meaning and power of the exterble serenity of countenance, however, nal world, and who draws the illus, which is not disturbed but improved trations of his discourses from minute by its tinge of melancholy-large grey and poetical habits of observing Na. eyes, beaming with gentle lambent ture. A truly poetical air of gentle, fire, and set dark and hollow in the ness is breathed over all that he says, head, like those which Rembrandt proceeding, as it were, from the very used to draw-lips full of delicacy and heart of that benevolent All, which he composure and a tall, pale forehead has so delightedly and so intelligentsprinkled loosely with a few thin, ly surveyed. And, indeed, from what grey, monastic ringlets. His voice precious stores of thought, and feel. harmonizes perfectly with this exte- ings impregnated and enriched with rior--clear-calm-mellow, like that thought, do they shut themselves out, far-off mournful melody with which who neglect this beautiful field, and the great poet of Italy has broken the address Christian auditors almost as if repose of his autumnal evening, God had not given them eyes to drink
in a sense of his greatness and his -Squilla di lontano
goodness from every thing that is aChe paja il giorno pianger che si muore.
round them-who speak to the rich as
if there were nothing to soften, and In spite of his accent, which has a to the poor as if there were nothing to good deal of his country in it, I have elevate, in the contemplation of the never heard any man read the service glorious handiworks of God-as if it of our church in so fine and imprese were in vain that Nature had preparsive a style as Mr Alison. The grave el her magniticent consolation for all antique majesty of those inimitable the sick hearts and weary spirits of prayers, acquiring new beauty and the earth
For you each evening hath its shining star, trated, and it is no wonder that his And every Sabbath-day its golden sun. tongue should overflow with the calma It is singular, I think, that the other eloquence of Nature. distinguished preachers of whom I have spoken should so needlessly de bar themselves from all this rich range
You have read Dr Chalmers's Serof sentiment and of true religion. A.
mons, and therefore I need not say bove all, in the Presbyterian clivines,
any thing about the subject and style
of the one I heard, because it was in I was not prepared to find such bar
all respects very similar to those which renness-having, I believe, too hastily
have been printed. But of all human interpreted, in my own way, a certain beautiful passage in Wordsworth,
compositions, there is none surely
which loses so much as a sermon does, when the ancient Scottish Wanderer,
when it is made to address itself to the the same on whom
eye of a solitary student in his closet, The Scottish Church had from his boyhood and not to the thrilling ears of a mighlaid
ty mingled congregation, through the The strong arm of her purity
very voice which Nature has enriched
with notes more expressive than words where the Wanderer is made to speak can ever be of the meanings and feelof the style of thought prevalent &- ings of its author. Neither, perhaps, mong the old persecuted Covenanters, did the world ever possess any crutor, and says proudly,
whose minutest peculiarities of ges
ture and voice have more power in inYe have turned my thoughts
creasing the effict of what he says Upon our brave progenitors, who rose against idolaters with warlike mind,
whose delivery, in other words, is the And shrunk from vain observances, to lurk
olurk first, and the second, and the third In caves and woods, and under dismal excellence of his oratory, more truly rocks,
than is that of Dr Chalmers. And Deprived of shelter, covering, fire, and yet, were the spirit of the man less food ;
gifted than it is, there is no question Why ?-For the very reason that they felt ihese his lesser peculiarities would And did acknowledge, wheresoe'er they never have been numbered among his moved,
points of excellence. His voice is A spiritual Presence-oft-times miscon- neither strong nor melodious. His ceived,
gestures are neither easy nor graceful, But still a high dependence, a divine Bounty and government, that filled their
but, on the contrary, extremely rude
and awkward ; his pronunciation is hearts With joy and gratitude, and fear and love:
not only broadly national, but broadAnd from their fervent lips drew hymns of ly provincial, distorting alınost every praise,
word he utters into soine barbarous With which the deserts rang-Though fa- novelty, which, had his hearer leisure voured less
to think of such things, might be proWere those bewildered Pagans of old time, ductive of an effect at once ludicrous Beyond their own poor nature, and above and offensive in a singular degree. They looked ; were humbly thankful for But of a truth these are things the good
which no listener can attend to while Which the warm sun solicited--and carth
this great preacher stands before him,
th Bestowed : were gladsome and their mo
armed with all the weapons of the ral sense They fortified with reverence for the Gods :
most commanding eloquence, and And they had hopes which overstepped the swa
overstepped the swaying all around him with its im
perial rule. At first, indeed, there is , grave.
nothing to make one suspect what Of all the Sermons of Alison, those riches are in store. He commences in which I love the most are the four on a low drawling kuy, which has not the Seasons they are by far, in my even the merit of being solem1)--and mind, the most original and the most advances from sentence to sentence, deligiitful he has ever produced. But and from paragraph to paragraph, something of the same amiable inepi- while you seek in vain to catch a sinration may be observed mingling ita gle echo that gives promise of that self in every discourse lie uiters. It which is to come. There is, on the is easy to see that his heart is pene contrary, an appearance of constraint
about him, that affects and distresses such a spirit subjection is a triumph you; you are afraid that his breast is -and I was proud to feel my hardenweak, and that even the slight exer- ed nerves creep and vibrate, and my tion he makes may be too much for blood freeze and boil while he spake it. But then with what tenfold rich- as they were wont to do in the earness does this dim preliminary cur- ly innocent years, when unquestiontain make the glories of his eloquence ing enthusiasm had as yet caught no to shine forth, when the heated spirit lessons of chillness from the jealousies at length shakes from it its chill con- of discernment, the delights of comfining fetters, and bursts out elate and parison, and the example of the unrejoicing in the full splendour of its imaginative world. dis-imprisoned wings !
I trust his eloquence produces daily Φαιης μεν ζακoτον τινα εμμεναι, αφρονα
upon those who hear it effects more
precious than the mere delights of inD'aurus.
tellectual excitement and admiring A2z ote on s oma te faya7.70 €% transports. I trust that, after the first στηθεος ιει
tide has gone by, there is left no triΚαι επεα νιφαδεσσιν εoικοτα χειμεριησιν Vial richness of sediment on the souls Ουκ αν επειτ’ Οδυσηι γερισσειε βροτος
over which its course has been. I
trust the hearers of this good man do anos.
not go there only because he is a great Never was any proof more distinct one that their hearts are as open to and speaking, how impossible it is for his sway as their minds are-and that any lesser disfavours to diminish the the Minister of Christ is not a mere value of the truer and higher boun- Orator in their eyes. Were that the ties of Nature. Never was any better case, they might seek the species of example of that noble privilege of real delight most to their taste in a theagenius, in virtue of which even disa:l- tre, with more propriety than in a vantages are converted into advan- church. I speak, I confess, from feeltages-and things which would be ing my own feebleness in the presence sufficient to nip the opening buds of of this man-I speak from my own any plant of inferior promise, are made experience of the difficulty there is in to add only new beauty and power to being able, amidst the human luxury its uncontrollably expanding bloom. such a sermon affords, to remember
I have heard many men deliver ser- with sufficient earnestness the nature mons far better arranged in regard to of its object-ind the proper nature argument, and have heard very many of its more lasting effects. What is deliver sermons far more uniform in perhaps impossible, however, on a first elegance both of conception and of hearing, may, no doubt, become easy style; but most unquestionably I have after many repetitions so I hope it is never heard, either in England ur -Indeed, why should I doubt it? Scotland, or in any other country, The tone of serious deep-felt veneraany preacher whose eloquence is ca- tion in which I hear this great preachpable of producing an effect so strong er talked of by all about him, is a sufand irresistible as his. He does all ficient proof that mere human admirathis, too, without having recourse for tion is not the only element in the a moment to the vulgar arts of com- feelings with which they regard him mon pulpit-enthusiasm. He does it that with the homage paid to his eutirely and proudly, by the sheer genius there is mingled a nobler hopith of his most original mind, cloth- mage of gratitude to the kind affecing itself in a bold magnificence of tioriate warmth with which he renders language, as original in its structure, this high genius subservient to the as nervous in the midst of its over- best interests of those in whose preflowing richness as itself. He has the sence its triumphs are exhibited. very noblest of his weapons, and most The very delightful and amiable nobly does be wield them. He has a warmth of the preacher-the paternal wonderful talent for ratiocination, and and apostolic kindness which beamed possesses, besides, an imagination both in his uplifted eyes, and gave sweetfertile and distinct, which gives all ness now and then to his voice, more richness of colour to his style, and sup- precious than if he had “ robbed the plies his argument with every diver- Hybla bees"- the affectionateness of sity of illustration. In presence of the pastor was assuredly one of the