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manly and penetrating judgment, improved by the diligent and successful pursuit of various learning, and especially by the acquisitions of natural and mathematical science-with an imagination quite equal to the demands of his highest intellectual exertions, both for the purposes of illustration and suggestion-and with a warm and noble spirit, too great and too sincere not to catch the whole ardour, and take the entire character of the subject- and it is not at all surprising that such a man should be original.

We know of none with whom it would not be inappropriate to put him into direct comparison, either amongst ancient or modern orators. He may have been surpassed in energy and grandeur, by one of the great speakers of antiquity, and by another in diffusive illustration and flowing elegance. There may have been a few even since the revival of learning, who were better adapted to captivate and to command the common mind. The last age afforded two or three specimens in our own country, of a calm and manly greatness-the clearness and lustre of intellect, which, rejecting all ornament, and divesting itself of all alliance with fancy or with feeling, yet walked in secure though peaceful majesty over the loftiest tracts of thought, with so controlling a mien, as to win homage from every breast. There is, at least, one illustrious living orator with whom we should deem it unjust and ill-advised to draw this great preacher into competition, in point of grace and dignity, and all the attraction that springs from the presiding influence of an exquisite taste, and a sense of propriety more quick and delicate than any other example which the world of genius has, perhaps, ever furnished to the cause of piety. But though in these, and possibly in some other particulars, instances might be found of ability equal, perhaps superior to that of the author before us; yet we know of none who has surpassed him in the combination of different excellenciesin masculine force of understanding-in extent and diversity of knowledge, so far as it could contribute to the character of an eloquent speaker-in keen and resistless appeals to the conscience and the heart-in an unwavering progress onward to the last step and final consummation of his object-in a grasp of thought that never tires nor relaxes in an occasional gleaming of fancy so pure, so bril liant, so piercing, as to make us forget for the moment that what we behold is but a picture—in ardour of personal feeling, and a capacity to transfuse that ardour through the whole feelings of his audience-in all the greater, and many

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of the more graceful qualities of an orator, combined in the same proportion with what is more valuable and more wonderful than all, a simplicity and universality of evangelical sentiment, which gives to his other powers the majesty of being always closely associated with whatever is divine in Christianity-whatever is sacred in the language and the teaching of inspiration. We know of none who is able to give to ordinary topics, a greater air of novelty and importance— none that can more effectually rouse the understanding and feelings of his hearer, and bring home the truant spirit of man, prone as it is to wander from a theme so unwelcome, to bear directly and with all its force upon the things of its native immortality-none that has manifested greater skill to detect the most latent symptoms, -to embody the most evanescent chills and flushings of our common malady, and to impress on us, as far as human power is competent to impress, the conviction of our guilt and our depravity: placing us in our own sight as the diseased and sinful, whose case must ever remain desperate, till we have come to that fountain which divine mercy has set open, and that remedy of mysterious but omnipotent efficacy, which makes life to issue from the womb of death, and the restoration of immortal joy to the guilty, who are ready to perish, from the stripes and mortal agony of a spotless, but heaven-appointed Sufferer.

That these resplendent qualities are wholly unalloyed, is by no means true; neither are the defects, especially of style and arrangement, which meet us in the pages of Dr. Chalmers, few or unimportant. On the contrary, he has fallen into the adoption of as many and as great errors in composition, as, perhaps, any contemporary author-so many as would have been sufficient to sink the reputation of a less eminent writer altogether; or if they had attracted the admiration of a few meaner minds, as glaring deviations from the accustomed track of thinking or expression are always found to do, they would have confined his readers to the little circle who were content at the same time to become his imitators, excluding him from his present high and commanding station, and making it impossible to criticise, without losing all sense of pleasure or advantage in the perusal of his works. There are, we doubt not, many who admire, as we are sure there are many who copy, the very worst peculiarities of Dr. Chalmers' style. Many, perhaps, if a paragraph which now stands just as it was left by his rapid and impatient hand, while it was advancing to the expression of some further and

still higher conception, were restored to the plain order of nature every transposition rectified every confused and intricate passage adjusted with clearness-every favourite, and often repeated phrase, exchanged for one of equal value, but less peculiarity, would deem it irrecoverably impaired in its chief beauties, and hardly see the worth of that residuum of sterling thought which would be left behind, after all the more glaring qualities of the mere manner had been stripped away. And, indeed, such is the boldness of his phraseology, and so entirely does he every where appear to make it secondary to his meaning, that we are well aware there is something in it positively attractive; and when you have once persuaded yourself, or rather, when the force of the author's genius has compelled you to yield your whole mind up to his guidance, you seem to acquire, together with a portion of the velocity, something also of the peculiar direction and method of his course; and the very singularities that first appeared so numerous and unnecessary, as to be almost offensive, now become absolutely agreeable, and seem nearly inseparable from the nature of the thought, which though they cannot disfigure, yet, certainly they do not adorn. We spare both our readers and ourselves, the distasteful employment of collecting and expanding, in invidious display, all the obvious deformities that attach to this great man's style, and content ourselves with saying, that while some writers owe every thing they possess to the careful accuracy of their expression; so that an unhappy word or ill placed epithet would spoil the beauty of a whole sentence, leaving nothing to supply the deficiency, or to retrieve the injury, Dr. Chalmers is one, who, in defiance of all the rigidness of criticism, even where the amplest scope is given to its strictures, can extort from the coldest censor a tribute of unwilling admiration. This we have many times experienced, and just when we had prepared to note down for the ends of criticism, some phrase too nearly approaching to the language of poetry, for the chasteness and sobriety of prose-some needless repetition some cumbrous and seemingly affected concatenation of particles—some provincial peculiarity, either in the choice or the collocation of words some strange and unusual meaning given to those in common use, perhaps even opposite to their customary import-some term borrowed from the nomenclature of science or of art, or probably from that of another country; and so introduced as to render the composition more similar to the language of the parlour than the

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pulpit or the adoption of some of those numberless words, which, by a strange fatality, seem as though they could never, in the present day, be used in any but the plural number; such as dishonesties, literalities, capabilities, sympathies, sensibilities, moralities, proprieties, profligacies, equities, civilities, conformities, atrocities, punctualities, integrities," and others of the same class, it has happened that just when we had set ourselves to mark these defects, and to consider how they might have been corrected or avoided, we have been so borne away by the current of those fine thoughts, and fervid appeals to every nobler power and feeling of the soul, which abound in all parts of the volume, that the mere purposes of criticism were speedily abandoned; and, indeed, not so much abandoned as forgotten. We, therefore, have no catalogue of these things to present; and hesitate not to believe, that he who has read this, or any other of the author's writings, will experience neither surprise nor regret at the omission.

Our observation has been hitherto directed to the general character of Dr. Chalmers as an orator, rather than to the individual volume before us; and this, we trust, will appear the more pardonable, because no other occasion has presented itself, since the commencement of our critical career, on which to offer our opinion respecting the productions of this able and well known writer. We hope for indulgence, if we have seemed to detain the reader too long from the examination of the work itself, and will now proceed to a brief and hasty survey of its principal contents.

The first of those eight discourses contained in this volume is "on the mercantile virtues which may exist without the influence of Christianity," and founded on the apostolic exhortation in Phil. iv. 8. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest," &c. Its aim is to demonstrate the possibility that many amiable and virtuous feelings may exist quite independently of the operation of Christian principles, that they did in fact exist amongst the heathen before the introduction of the Gospel,-that this is evinced by their being referred to in the very language of the text, as already well known and highly esteemed, and thus that both their being, and the sentiment of approbation connected with them, are capable of an entire separation from the influence of any higher agency than what is merely human, and placed even on the level of paganism itself; that they exist still in the shape of honesty, and a keen sense of honour, of generosity, and of sympathy, and whatever other

principles are most calculated to conciliate respect in social or commercial intercourse. The author allows to these merely human virtues a high meed of praise; and shows that they have their reward in the personal gratification attendant on their exercise, and the approval with which they are greeted by mankind. He proves that it would be harsh and untrue so to declare the doctrine of the universal depravity of our nature, as to imply that there is nothing good, nor lovely, nor laudable, remaining behind, amidst the consequences of our fall; for that " though the nature of man be a ruin, as it certainly is, it is obvious to the most common discernment, that it does not offer one unvaried and unalleviated mass of deformity." After these admissions, he goes on to show what it is we really mean by the universal depravity of man; and how we can reconcile these admissions with the unqualified language of the Bible, when it tells us of the totality and the magnitude of human corruption. This he does, by proving that all these amiable and praiseworthy tendencies may exist without the least reference to God, either as springing from his authority, or as connected with the exercise of those devout affections towards him, that are necessary to the character of genuine obedience; and that the same constitutional variety may be seen on the lower fields of creation, since there you may witness the gentleness of one animal, the affectionate fidelity of another, the cruel and unrelenting ferocity of a third; that these differences produce within us correspondently different feelings, with respect to the various creatures in which they are found; while in none is there the least trace ever suspected of a sense of the authority of God, but they are purely and altogether instinctive. He then transfers his notice to the higher orders of intelligent beings, "the people of another planet, over whom the hold of allegiance to their Maker is unbroken." Among them too, he thinks, it is conceivable that there may be varieties of temper, and of natural inclination; and yet all of them be under the effective control of one great and imperious principle-subjection to the will of God. He bids us to suppose this great bond of allegiance dissolved, and then this loyal obedient world will become what ours is independent of Christianity. He asks whether, in such a case, it would at all affect the state of that world, as a state of enmity to God, although amid the uproar of the licentious and vindictive propensities, there did gleam forth, at times, some of the finer and lovelier sympathies of nature; and he advances forward to a train of argument on

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