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family. He has departed visibly from who revered, who loved him, and espethe noble and mighty band of brethren cially to those closely connected with with which he was so long and so de- him, were all the incidents associated lightfully associated; though, perhaps, with the final scene ! he still hovers over those whom he so Let us just recur to them again, though much loved. “ The earthly house" has they are vividly before the mind. That been “ dissolved.” “ The golden bowl” he might have a night of quiet and unhas been “ broken.” His majestic spirit, disturbed repose after his journey from with unspeakably swifter and bolder flight London, not feeling himself well, his than the eagle's pinion, has winged its lady, whose health is delicate, proposed course to paradise. He has “ slept in that he should go to his chamber by himJesus." He shall be “ever with the Lord." self, as though she had been directed by
We grieve, and deeply grieve, when Divine Providence to make this arrangewe recur to his decease. The stroke is ment, to which he consented, requesting heavy, and to many it was almost stun- to be called at six o'clock in the momning. Still, we do not complain. We ing; but long before the period specified, dare not wish him back. We had long his spirit was to wake up in the presence been expecting his departure from us. of his God, his Saviour, his eternal all. His age, verging towards seventy, com- His family however, kindly wishing him pelled us to anticipate the event; yet to have refreshing and continuous sleep, the anticipation was mournful to us- did not call him until eight o'clock; when most mournful! Sometimes we could she, who was deputed to do this, finding scarcely endure the thought. We had no response to her calls, became alarmed, lost our Hall-our Watson-our Foster and on entering found the ever-to-be--and we wanted, if possible, to retain remembered Chalmers sitting, or reclinour Chalmers a few years longer; but ing on the front of his bed, all that was the summons had gone forth from the mortal cold as clay, and his eyes fixed Lord, “ Come up hither!"
and glazed. An affecting circumstance pointed time" for his removal had ar- is mentioned, that he had one foot rest rived; the warfare in which he had to ing on the ankle of the other, and his struggle had been achieved; the work right arm extended in the direction of a given him to do had been executed; and washhand basin, which stood on a table he was to leave us, and go and take pos- near the bed. A physician, specially session of " the kingdom which cannot summoned, considered, from all the apbe moved”—of the palm of immortal vic- pearances presented, that he had been tory—of the crown of unwithering glory. dead some hours; and it is ascertained “Happy soul! thy days are ended ;
that disease of the heart had suddenly All thy mourning days below;
called him away. Go, by angel bands attended;
Were not these, dear readers, solemn, To the sight of Jesus, go.".
affecting, almost overpowering circumFew circumstances have impressed us stances? The lamented Chalmers retired more powerfully, than those connected to his chamber alone, not at all expectwith the death of Dr. Chalmers. To ing the final change; but during the him, we doubt not, sudden death was night the call arrived, the change besudden glory; but it has made multi- curred, the translation was effected. The tudes feel most intensely. By the cir- Master came suddenly and introduced cumstances of his unanticipated removal | him to eternity when none were present; to eternity he was spared, probably, when no member of his beloved family tedious and protracted suffering; days of was near to succour him. Aid might “ wearisomeness," and nights of restless- have been proffered, still it would have ness and pain, like Robert Hall, to en- been unavailing aid; none, however, dure ; still how solemn, how touching, knew of his extremity. Feeling sudhow intensely affecting to us, who valued, denly ill " amid the night-watches," he
had proceeded so far as he was able, Christianity in his invaluable writings, when death came, stopped the pulsation, are all in all. There could be no necesand translated his spirit to its Father and sity for additional expressions; the testiGod. Had the dearest wife been pre- mony borne already in so glowing a sent, had the fondest daughter been in manner was most ample, commanding, the chamber, the help administered and sublime. would have been useless. In a moment, One of the most touching circumin "the twinkling of an eye,” probably, stances connected with the decease of the great change occurred. In an in- Dr. Chalmers, was the last letter which stant the body became lifeless, and the he penned. It appears that before retirspirit, like a liberated bird, escaped from ing to rest on Sabbath night, May 30th, its prison, to expand amid the glories, he wrote a letter to his sister in England, the wonders, and the boundlessness of announcing his safe arrival from London, immortality!
and remarking that such was now the We have no dying expressions of this celerity of travelling, that though he honoured man to record; we have no scarcely expected to have the pleasure of golden sentiments uttered in his final seeing her, he might have the pleasure moments to treasure up in the memory, of seeing her again. and to hold in our “ heart of hearts," Fallacious expectation! It was the as we do some of the dying sayings of last visit. It was to be the very last Richard Watson, or Robert Hall, or Dr. epistolary communication penned by a Waugh. We have not even one rich | hand which penned so many golden senthought on which to dwell that he might tences, and dictated by a mind whose have expressed, had any attendant or faculties are now ranging amidst the undear friend been with him, during the bounded realities of eternity. How will last night of his existence below, full of that last letter be prized! What an Christian simplicity, beauty, and gran- anxiety will be felt by all the surviving deur. We should like to know what members of the family, to obtain copies were his thoughts, and what were his of the final and precious communication feelings, in the immediate prospect of of one so dear, and written under cireternity; we should like to have known, cumstances so transcendently affecting. whether he could rejoice in hope of It will be valued just as the lock of hair entering into the glory and kingdom of is prized by us, which was formerly worn
Like the immortal Whitfield, by a sainted parent, on whose character Chalmers, for the benefit of survivors and we love to dwell, and whose memory is for the advantage of multitudes of Chris- like fragrant ointment poured forth. tians and ministers of the gospel, had no The late Dr. Chalmers, however we dying testimony to bear; he was not might have dissented from some of his permitted to have an opportunity for opinions on philosophic and economic leaving any behind him. Still all is subjects, and on points associated with well; God is wiser than we are. Per- | the discipline and government of the haps we all feel his death more power- church of Christ, was, unquestionably, fully just as it occurred, without a single one of our greatest men. His name to circumstance being altered.
us was always connected with the revered more impressed ; we
names of Robert Hall and John Foster; struck; we are more pungently affected. and though these distinguished men dif
Besides Chalmers, like Whitfield, fered essentially in the character of their wanted no dying expressions for the sa- minds and writings, yet we spontaneously tisfaction of his friends or the church of recurred to the three as being three of God. His character was everything; the most gifted and renowned men in his life was everything; his recorded connection with the Christian Church, sentiments, on every great subject of during the first thirty or forty years of
the nineteenth century. When we dwell. There is, also, most assuredly an exon Dr. Chalmers, we do not dilate on him tended amplification of one idea, which, as being pre-eminently distinguished for with all its richness and brilliance, our his logical precision, for his close, con- distinguished writers—though all are secutive, and powerful argumentation. struck with it, would not approve, or We did not expect from him the most wish to imitate—"a running down," profoundly philosophical and searching almost, of a sentiment or principle. analysis a thorough dissection of great Doubtless, there are rich and copious principles; in this respect Hall, and illustrations furnished, which none but a especially Foster, in our judgment at master-spirit could produce, still we conleast, was greatly his superior. His sider there is ground for the remark, that mind, it has been justly remarked, was one idea is “ too much hunted," and " rhetorical rather than logical.” His that, perhaps, two or three thoughts intellect was brilliant rather than ratioci often constitute the basis or ground-work native. Not that he was deficient in the of an entire and elaborate sermon. We latter quality, by no means; only it was are aware that this gives the discourses not the characteristic, the predominant of Chalmers the character of uniqueness; one; it was not that one which shone out that one subject is more finely and powerwith effulgent, with meridian splendour. fully illustrated, and that the impression Imagination was the master power deve- produced by the winding-up of the whole loped by Chalmers, and it was brilliant is, in many instances, much more enerindeed. Its richness was oriental; its getic and concentrated. Dr. Chalmers, splendour was gorgeous; its fertility was moreover, is, perhaps, in his writings, almost boundless. Hence he was, indu carried away a little by his fertile and bitably, more powerful in description- almost boundless imagination--all richmore rich and diversified in striking ness, beauty, and splendour unquestionillustration—in the fine creations and ably, but probably, now and then, somepaintings of a poetic fancy, than in cool, what rank, or, at least, unrestrained in masculine, demonstrative argumentation. | its luxuriance. These appear to the
There are uniquestionably many, and writer to be Dr. Chalmers's peculiarities; sometimes glaring defects observable in and they are scarcely deserving of men. his compositions; and with all our admi- tion, when his numerous sterling and ration of them-and we yield to none in prominent excellencies are contemplated. that admiration-we are not insensible The astronomical discourses of this to those defects. The terms and ex- great man have been universally adpressions which Dr. Chalmers employs, mired for their richness and splendour, though picturesque and exceedingly sig- and have obtained European fame; and nificant, are often fantastic and peculiar though, as pieces of argument, there is -fresh-coined, obsolete, or in some re much that is baseless and shadowy, yet spect singular. The style which he we read them again and again with ever adopted, with all its distinguished excel- fresh interest and delight. lencies, cannot be recommended, espe- His commercial discourses are very cially to our younger divines, in a cordial fine, embodying some of the most powerand unqualified manner. Its beauties, ful and eloquent passages which he erer we admit, are conspicuous and striking ; | penned. His sermons, however, delistill it appears to us to be verbose, and vered at the Tron Church, and St. there is not unfrequently a strained, in- John's, Glasgow, are those to which we volved, and inflated mode of expression, | delight to recur. They are, we consider, by no means chaste, classical, or finished, the most valuable, useful, and important and which Robert Hall would carefully of his publications; and on them, to a have avoided. The style of Chalmers great extent, his fame will rest. Our wants simplicity and repose,
admiration of them, as eloquent and
glowing pictures, as most powerful and in one of admiration, and every mind awakening appeals, is renewed after spontaneously acknowledged the splenevery perusal.
did talent which unfolded and enforced “The folly of men measuring them- the claims of Christianity, diffusing selves by themselves ;" " The necessity around the truths of the gospel all the of a mediator between God and man;" charms of sincerity and fervour, and all “The power of the gospel to dissolve the the glow and fascination of original eloenmity of the human heart;" “ The new quence. As we have often listened to heavens and the new earth;" and " The him, we have found in the body of his expulsive force of the new affection,” are discourse sentence following sentence in five of the most brilliant, evangelical, quick and brilliant succession; the arguand powerful discourses in the English ment pursued has become closer and language. They are discourses which more convincing at every period, formno contemporary could have penned, and ing on many occasions the most beautiful for beautiful description, the exhibition and finished specimen of clear and evanof character, and impressive appeal, are gelical thought to which we have ever unrivalled.
attended; his language has increased in We have always much prized his little elegance and richness; descriptions have compositions, prefixed to the select writ- been given with the power and vividness ings of our most esteemed and valuable of painting, which rendered them all but authors, Ambrose Serle, Owen, Scougal, present to the eye; the voice uttered, the Flavel, Romaine, and others. These action indulged, increased in volume and little prefatory pieces are full of sim- energy, until the preacher, after having plicity, tenderness, and beauty, and some poured forth a full gush of truth and of them are remarkably striking. eloquence, was compelled to rest from
As a preacher Chalmers was one of a exhaustion, and the audience were left thousand, indeed, one of a million. We in a state which they could not describe. have heard Hall, Richard Watson, Ma- | They felt as they had rarely felt before. son, of New York, Foster, Jay, James, They suppressed—but it was often difParsons, but we have never heard one ficult to suppress——their admiration, after like him. He was
some of the extraordinary displays of the " A star which shone apart."
ability of the great Scottish preacher ; There were many defects and pecu- and the beauty of all was, that they had liarities. His appearance and manner, “ Christ and him crucified"-Christ and at first, did not gain on you, but his him glorified-presented before them. genius, his sincerity, his elevation, his We heard Dr. Chalmers in his palmy fervour soon triumphed over all. When days, when he was wont to visit London, he commenced his discourse the hearer for the eloquent but “ill-starred” Edwas at once struck, and somewhat re- ward Irving, and never can we forget pelled, if an Englishman, with the very many of his discourses at the Caledonian perceptible northern accent of the Church, Hatton-garden, and the Scotch preacher, and there was, also, in his pro- Church, Regent-square. Many of these nunciation some degree of harshness and discourses seemed to us bursts of inspidifficulty. To many persons, especially ration. Never can we forget the auwhen first listening to Dr. Chalmers, this diences which he drew. We saw on singularity was unpleasing ; but very one occasion, among his auditors, four or soon the attention was riveted and the five bishops, thirty or forty of the cream mind was enchained. As the preacher of the nobility, a prince of the blood, advanced with his subject, and grasped and among them the uncoroneted but that subject with iron hand, evincing renowned George Canning, besides many also how deeply he felt its transcendent peeresses; and the charm to us was, that importance, every emotion was absorbed they had the truth of God, in all its sim
in the grave.
plicity, its bold and unblenching charac- of the immense funeral procession no ter, proclaimed to them.
longer retained their places; but all The preacher, however, is gone. His drew towards the grave, and gathered living voice we shall hear no more. The 'round it in one vast and dense multilips of Hall, of Foster, of Watson, of tude, in silent awe, while dust was piled Waugh, and now of Chalmers, are silent above the dead.
Still this distinguished Now that Chalmers is gone to a man can never die. He will live to brighter world, the writer caunot help instruct, impress, and charm the edu- recurring to the sentiment of Pliny, cated, the thoughtful, and pious, by his “Est ergo mecum per diem totum; valuable writings, from one generation eundem antequam scribam, eundem to another. As a professor, the cha- cum scripsi, eundem etiam cum reracter of his mind, and the effect of his mittor, non tanquam eundem, lego." instructions, will be developed in the Freely rendered—“I have him with me history and labours of hundreds of his all the day; and though he is still the admiring pupils.
same before I write, as after I have We cannot wonder that, when the written, or when I lay him aside, yet he coffin containing his body was lowered is ever new to me in the perusal." into the ground, in the cemetery at This little “Forget me not" we drop Grange, near Edinburgh, the members
upon his tomb.
THE FINAL TEST. AN ARGUMENT FOR THE DIVINITY OF THE GOSPEL. The value of Christianity is one of the once the foretaste of a blessed immormost incontestible evidences of its truth; tality. and both are strikingly exemplified in That death is really formidable and an the, Christian's death, when he departs object of reasonable dread and terror, no under the full influence of his principles. conscious being subject to his power will For there is no other system, whether of venture to deny. To all creatures caphilosophy or religion, which can van- pable of feeling, he is indeed an object quish the king of terrors when enthroned of instinctive aversion. But, he is proin the reason, the conscience, and the perly an object of terror to man only. heart of the accountable and the guilty. Whence arises this ? Assuredly from It is the exclusive triumph of the Son of the original superiority of his nature and God, that “he, hath abolished death." destiny, which placed him beyond the It is he alone who can point to his ex- control of death; and as the thinking piring disciple, and say, “ Mark the per- | immortal principle still remains in him, fect man and behold the upright; for the its enforced and unnatural association end of that man is peace.” It is chiefly with that which is its natural antipathy, as an evidence of the divinity of the its eternal contrariety, must inspire him gospel that I propose to pursue a train with agonizing sensations whenever it is of thought confirmatory of the fact which realized. On this account, man alone, I have thus assumed, and which I would among the creatures of this mortal world, place before my readers in the form of is surprised with miserable pain, the the following proposition : — That the soul's foreboding of indefinable horror, Christian, and the Christian alone; and when death shakes over him his dreadful that he only so far as he is a Christian, dart. The flowers rise, blossom, and and in the proportion in which his Divine perish,--they emit their life in dying religion exerts its influence upon his soul, fragrance, and there is no terror in their has that happiness in death which is at departing loveliness. The creatures en