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that He might be the woman's seed, according to the promise. He grew in wisdom as He grew in years, like any other child; though He was from the womb the very word of God, which had created the heavens and the earth, and spoken by the mouth of all the prophets: who was conscious of the eternity of His being, and of the blessedness thereof, before the world was. And He was obedient to the Law, in its letter and in its spirit; and He made the word of God His meditation, as we do; and He lived by faith upon it, as do all His people. He prayed, and was strengthened by prayer, as we are: He was afflicted with all our afflictions, and tried with all our trials, and was sustained by the power of the Holy Ghost, even as we. For we are not to suppose, with the early heretics, that His body was only an appearance, or illusion, but a real manifestation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity as man. was not the Only-begotten in the bosom of the Father at the same time that He was the Messiah on earth; but He was the Only-begotten come out of the bosom of the Father, in order to become the Messiah upon earth. The Word had been revealed in the universal creation once, but now He is to be revealed in the individual man. In the former work the individual was seen in the universal; in the latter the universal is to be revealed in the individual, and gathered into Him. It was a high honour put upon human nature; but it was for a very high object; which we know only in part, and which will doubtless illustrate the being and glory of the Godhead more than the creation of the heavens and the earth. No wonder that the Word of God, foreseeing this great act of His incarnation, should speak of it by the mouth of all His prophets for it is a singular act, whose extraordinary wonderfulness shall reach through all eternity. No wonder that the rumour of it came before, nor that sacrifice should be instituted to signify it, and the tabernacle to witness it, and the temple to confirm it, and the whole Jewish State to be, as it were, the womb of this great conception; in the foresight of which the prophet burst forth so sublimely: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the 66 government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called "Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The "Prince of Peace." He was anointed to His holy office by the Spirit in the form of a dove; and declared to be the Son of God whom the people were to hear. And it was by the Spirit that He was led into temptation; and it was by the Spirit that the man Jesus Christ prevailed. Whatever powers He might possess otherwise, it is certain He prevailed against Satan by that Word and Spirit by which we are to prevail. He was travelling in the valley of humility; and it was no pretence of doing, but it was so. He was emptied: He did not seem to be emptied, but He was And He preached by the Holy Spirit, which was upon Him, and with which He had been anointed. And in the power of the Holy Spirit He went about doing good, and healing them that were possessed "with the devil." And the Chief Shepherd of the Sheep offered Himself by the Eternal Spirit. And He was justified in the Spirit, by the resurrection from the dead. So that in very deed, and in very truth, He was the Man Christ Jesus, the Son of man, the second Adam; who hath now joined the human nature to the Divine, and is become a quickening Spirit; baptizing with the Holy Spirit all who believe in His name and receive Him as the Prophet of God; bestowing the regeneration of the Holy Ghost, the fellowship of His priesthood, and the inheritance of His glorious kingdom.'--Vol. v. p. 267.

So.

Here we close these volumes. We have, for lack of space, been compelled to omit even to mention the titles of some of

their contents; but more than enough has been cited to afford ample materials for forming a conception of Irving's characteristics as a theological writer. The reader will observe, in the

first place, that he was thorough. He never took up a subject but he looked at it in every aspect, he emptied it of all the teaching it could be made to yield, he illustrated it with all the variousness of his fertile imagination. He was not a suggestive writer, but he was pre-eminently an exhaustive one. He not only struck out a thought, but he followed it up likewise, and never relaxed from the pursuit so long as there was a point left for discussion. His brilliant mind scintillated sparks, but he did not leave it to others to kindle fires by them, but he kindled fires himself, which burnt out to the last flame of his glowing language. In no single place that has passed under our eye have we detected poverty of thought, or meagreness of expression. He is never to be caught beating out his matter thin to cover a space, but his mind always appears overflowing with exuberant wealth. Nowhere does the thread of his discourse outrun the staple of his argument.

The next most noteworthy feature in Irving's writings is sincerity. All he says he heartily believes, and he is passionately anxious that every one else should believe the same. Considering how voluminous and varied his writings are, it is most remarkable how free they are from all symptoms of hesitancy. With Irving there were no open questions. It was intolerable to him to leave the beam quivering in doubtfulness. Indecision upon any point of doctrine would have appeared to him no better than falsehood in the attitude of alarm. He was terribly in earnest in all he said, and this oftentimes imparts an air of overbearing assurance to his mode of stating his own views. Irving was not really intolerant. Indeed, there are many passages in his life which prove him to have been exceedingly large-minded in his sympathies with Christians not of his own communion. But he never suspected himself of errors; he always took for granted that his own course was in the line of orthodoxy; and this made much of what he wrote wear a harsh, and almost bigoted, appearance.

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As a natural concomitant of his thoroughness and sincerity, the courage of Irving's writings is obvious on every page. The unsparing satire with which he pilloried the Evangelicals,' 'Bible Christians,' and the 'religious world,' has been already remarked; and such a sentence as this may stand as an example of his passing cuts: This is particularly the shortcoming of those who call themselves Evangelical, and of all who are wont 'to pride themseves in being Bible Christians: and I am sorry ' it hath seized too many of the intellectual men of the Church

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of Scotland, who should know better.' Nor was his bravery of one sort only. He would acknowledge with frankness his obligations to the literature of the Roman Church for assistance which he failed to find in the literature of Protestantism. Alluding to Acts ii. 24, he says: To me they open a great 'deep, in the coasting of which I find little help or guidance 'from our clear-headed Protestant divines, but not a little from many of the fathers of the primitive, and some of the mystics ' of the Roman Catholic Church.' Such sallies of pulpit courage remind one of Massillon's bold utterances before the court of Louis XIV.; as, for example, when in the year 1709,-that year in which the dire distress of the poor contrasted so frightfully with the self-indulgence of the nobles, as to make every word about the origin of property a spark that might set the country ablaze, - he did not flinch from exclaiming, 'Qui l'ignore, que tous les biens appartenoient originairement à tous 'les hommes en commun; que la simple nature ne connoissoit, 'ni de propriété, ni de partage; et qu'elle laissoit d'abord chacun 'de nous en possession de tout l'univers? '1-which, by-the-bye, reminds us of Robertson's famous 'socialist' sermon on Nabal. And, indeed, Irving's courage cost him dear. Envy was on the alert, envy in the bitterest form which it can assume; that, namely, which is kindled in the breasts of stickit ministers' by the popularity of a more eloquent and successful brother. Irving was bold even to rashness, and laid himself open to creeping informers. How he fell we know from Mrs. Oliphant's graphic pages; and whenever we recall to mind how one Cole, a clergyman,' having taken ample leisure from his own duties, busied himself to find accusations against Irving, we always think of Shakespeare's lines:

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'A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.'

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Something remains to be said about Irving's style as a writer, though not much; for we have quoted so extensively from his works, that our readers are in possession of abundant materials for forming their own opinions. There are many blemishes in his earlier writings which do not appear in his later; there are many faults, too, which cling to his compositions throughout. His first book is disfigured by the use of archaic and provincial term; and all his books display an affectation of that solemn and ponderous phraseology which carries the mind back to the literature of the Puritan age. The expression 'toon nature,' is quaint, but this scarcely excuses its eccentricity. The phrase

1 Euvres de Massillon, tom. iv. 137. (1810.

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it irks the heart,' is a Scotticism, for which, of course, there is an apology in the writer's nationality; and it, at least, is intelligible to the English reader: but will the same apology serve for such an expression as this 'there they lie in chains of darkness dreeing the everlasting penance'? Again, the purer taste of his later days would surely have blotted out such a sentence as this:-'A thousand angels of darkness are aye endeavouring to scarf up the bright sign of mercy in the 'heavens.' What does he mean? Scarfing' is a technical word with joiners; and an affected blue-stocking might use it to express the putting on of her shawl, but Irving had no business with it. And yet he seems to have admired it, for in another place he talks of 'scarfing up of the glory of the everlasting Word.' We have also such obsolete phrases as, 'A stound of pain,'' thrêues of despair,' 'reaved away,' vie them in Thy hot displeasure.' It should be remarked that the whole of these examples are taken from his earliest essay in literature-the 'Argument for Judgment to Come;' and that that work exhibits a larger proportion of such faults than any other of equal extent. But the defects in Irving's style sink into insignificance when placed by the side of its merits. If he indulged now and then in Scotticisms or archaisms, he always used them with a vigour which went far to extenuate the liberty he took; if his sentences be occasionally turgid and grandiose in their wording, they cannot be called pointless or feeble; if his command of language led him sometimes into prolixity, it never betrayed him into obscurity; and, although his tropes and similitudes are now and then inappropriate and grotesque, they are far oftener happy and sublime., Irving is one of the few writers who combine clearness of statement with grandeur of language. He launches forth boldly upon the sea of speculation, and never loses himself, or bewilders his reader. There is no flight of rhetoric too lofty for him to attempt, and in no attempt is he ever baffled. It was said of Gibbon, in contrast with Hume, that while the latter writes up to the subject, the former gives the idea of writing down to it; and so of Irving it may truly be remarked, that we trace in his works the master's rather than the labourer's hand. His eloquence is yet fresh in the memories of men now living; and when we compare the traditions which cling to his name with the evidence which is furnished by his writings, we conclude that his pulpit oratory was not simply impressive: it must have been overwhelming.

72

ART. III.-The Holy Roman Empire. By JAMES BRYCE, B.C.L. Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. A New Edition, revised. London: Macmillan and Co. 1866.

THE calm which has reigned almost unbroken in Europe for the last fifty years has passed away for ever. A short time since we were looking with anxious gaze and bated breath for the issue of those disastrous civil wars of America, which seem to have frustrated the last sibylline vaticination, and delayed for centuries the westward march of empire. We were happily and serenely unconscious of that strange counter-revolution which was ready to burst out in the Old World; and which now, by its incalculable issues, has changed, if it has not darkened, the whole prospect of Europe. In America revolution aimed at the emancipation of nations; in Europe it has crushed the independence of kingdoms. With a cruel mockery, under the sacred pretexts of unity and fatherland, mere force has imperilled the freedom of the Continent; and, if the forebodings of many be not frustrated, Sadowa will yet take rank as the most disastrous, alike to vanquisher and vanquished, among the hitherto so-called victories of the world. For more than five centuries the Turks have done good service to Europe, by enforcing caution and watchfulness among Christian nations. The Ottomans have now sunk into such abject degradation and decrepitude that politicians have allowed themselves to be betrayed into forgetfulness of the fact that the Crescent represents, not a people, but a religion. How far the changes on the Continent during the last century might have been modified or arrested had the Turkish empire been animated with its original energies it is needless to speculate; but it is remarkable-and it illustrates the permanence of historical ideas-that what we understand by the Turkish question has acquired from recent events increased prominence and interest; and this, and not the possible absorption of Denmark by Bismark, and the avatar of a Brandenburgian Empire, or the appropriation by the Czar of Norway and Sweden, remains the great political crux of the cabinets of Christendom.

The events which we have just referred to, the demolition of the Austrian Empire, and the re-organization of a mid-continental federation, have taken place with a rapidity which seems quite in keeping with an age whose glory is in steam and telegraphs and needle-guns. We are at this moment manufacturing history with super-electrical velocity. It is the more needful that we should take stock of our old historical acquirements, and review

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