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developed at King's college, Aberdeen, pedantry ;-the whole effect was beyond whither he proceeded when in the what it is possible to conceive of pulpit seventeenth year of his age. He took eloquence.' the degree of M. A. in 1784, and soon Another periodical writer has thus afterwards became classical tutor at the described him :-—" His figure was not Bristol seminary, where he had been commanding; the general cast of his partly educated, and colleague, in the countenance was heavy; his voice was pastoral office, to the head master, Dr. feeble and tremulous, and incapable, Caleb Evans.
itself, of expressing or conveying any In 1790, he succeeded the celebrated deep emotion. About action or gesture, Robert Robinson as minister of the he was perfectly indifferent; he usually Baptist congregation at Cambridge ; in began in so low a tone as to be scarcely which capacity he laboured, with in audible; and preserved, to the last, one creasing reputation, as a pulpit orator, fixed though unconstrained position. until 1804, when he was afflicted by a As he was warmed with his subject, his mental aberration, from which, how countenance became animated, and his ever, he recovered sufficiently to dis voice, still retaining its character of charge his pastoral duties, in the spring breezy softness, swelled into a volume of 1805; but, towards the close of that of delightful melody. While he was year, he, unfortunately, suffered a re preaching, such was the unassuming lapse ; and it was deemed essential, for simplicity of his style and manner, and his perfect restoration, that he should the natural fervour with which he carpass a considerable time in tranquil ried his hearers along, that they enseclusion. He, accordingly, resigned tirely lost sight of the man for the his office at Cambridge, on the 6th of moment. As he approached the end March, 1806; when his congregation of his discourse he became peculiarly testified their deep sense of his merits, animated, though not declamatory, by purchasing him an annuity for life. his audience were interested, and, with
His mental faculties being completely a rapidity of utterance which fixed the restored, he was appointed minister of reporter, like a statue, in admiration, Harvey-lane chapel, at Leicester, where and frequently defied all attempts at he continued for a number of years, be writing, he poured forth the varied loved and admired by all who knew him. stores of his vast imagination, and His congregation gradually increased, produced an effect of which few can to such extent, that it became neces conceive, who have not witnessed it sary, from time to time, to enlarge his themselves." chapel; which, at length, in 1826, he was “ When he began," says Mr. Bosprevailed upon to quit for that of Broad worth,(we still extract from The Pulpit,) mead, Bristol, where he soon acquired "he was usually calm and collected; almost pre-eminent distinction among speaking in a low tone, and looking the preachers of his day. Some idea of onward as he went, as if to survey his splendid powers, as a pulpit orator, afresh the region of thought he was at different periods of his lite, may be about to traverse, but not often giving obtained from the following extracts: an indication of those torrents of eloA writer in The Pulpit, who heard him quence that were soon to be poured preach on the power of God, observes, from his lips. Sometimes, at the com* It was, without exception, the most mencement, he hesitated, and seemed wonderful sermon I ever heard. Every perplexed, as if dissatisfied with what quality which could have been called he had intended to say; at others, into exercise on such an occasion, when he was about to establish a truth, seemed concentrated in this one ser or enforce a general principle, he would mon. Profoundly metaphysical, without enter upon a course of clear and powerbewildering himself, or his hearers, ful reasoning, rendered equally attracand elegant, without the shadow of tive and astonishing by the delectable affectation-rapid in delivery, without purity and beauty of his style. In this confusion-energetic, without rant-de latter case, his sentences were finished vout, without enthusiasm--command with such exquisite care, that he aping, without austerity-affectionate, peared to have selected, not merely the without cant-argumentative, without most appropriate, but the only words
which served his purpose, and yet mind, and which formed his natural delivered with such freedom and ease, dialect. There is not the least apthat they seemed the first which came pearance of straining after greatness in into his mind. As he proceeded, he his most magnificent excursions, but increased in animation and strength of he rises to the loftiest heights with a utterance: in the application of the child-like ease. His style is one of the principles he had advanced, or the doc- clearest and simplest--the least enirine he had discussed, he grew more
cumbered with its own beauty-of any intense and ardent; and when he had which ever has been written. There is risen to a certain pitch of holy excite- nothing very remarkable in Mr. Hall's ment, his brow would expand, his coun- manner of delivering his sermons. His tenance brighten, and, drawing back simplicity, yet solemnity of deportment, his majestic form in the pulpit, he would engage the attention, but do not procome forward again, charged with the mise any of his most rapturous effusions. fullness of his message to his hearers, His voice is feeble, but distinct ; and, and address them in tones and language as he proceeds, it trembles beneath his which made every heart vibrate. But images, and conveys the idea that the it was not with his lips only that he spring of sublimity and beauty in his spoke-his eloquence was more in- mind is exhaustless, and would 'pour tellectual and spiritual than audible forth a more copious stream if it had a sounds could make it. His speaking wider channel'than can be supplied eye told volumes: whether beaming by the bodily organs." with benignity, or lighted up with in- A very high degree of merit has telligence, or blazing with intense and been generally attributed to his produchallowed feeling, that eye indicated tions on miscellaneous subjects, pubsentiments and emotions, which words lished anonymously, as well as to such were not made to express."
of his sermons and charges as have Another clerical critic observes, that, been printed. It has been said, that " although Mr. Hall possessed consi- few compositions of this age excel his derable learning, he rarely displayed it; Reflections on the Horrors of War, generally preferring the most simple either in grandeur of conception, or phrases he could select, to express his felicity of execution; and his most celemeaning, to those of a less familiar and brated, and truly admirable work, On more ambitious class. On one occa- the Influence of Modern Infidelity on sion, being called upon to conclude a Society, is exhibited at the college of service with prayer, after a sermon by Aberdeen, (from which he received a Dr. Chalmers, who had been even diploma of D.D., but modestly declined
than ordinarily brilliant, he using it,) as the finest model of style in clothed his address to the Deity with the English language.
“ His diction," such affecting plainness of style, that the it has been observed, "displays an congregation, who had been wrought unlimited command, and an exquisite up to a painful pitch of admiration by choice, of language. His copious use of the dazzling eloquence of the preacher, Scripture phrases bestows upon his style felt a delightful repose in the chaste, an awful sanctity. The same purity of natural, tender simplicity of language, taste, which appears in his choice of in which Mr. Hall embodied his suppli- words, is equally apparent in the forms cations."
of expression into which they are com“The richness, variety, and extent of bined. The turn of his phrases is his knowledge,” says the author of a gracefully idiomatic. In the construcpaper on pulpit oratory, printed in the tion of his periods, he is, perhaps, London Magazine, of February, 1821, superior to any other writer. He “ are not so remarkable as his absolute seems to have employed every elegant mastery over it. He moves about in and harmonious form of which the lanthe loftiest sphere of contemplation, as guage admits ;-always gratifying, often though he were native and endued ravishing the ear, but never cloying to its elementi' He uses the finest it.” “ The originality with which he classical allusions, the noblest images, views every subject,” says a writer in and the most exquisite words, as though the Christian Observer, " and the masthey were those which came first to his ter-hand with which he grasps it, are
altogether remarkable. He follows and Bishop Porteus, on presenting in no track of other men; neither his him with a copy of Kennicott's works, thoughts nor his language are bor- designates the gist, on the fly-leaf of rowed. A prodigious power of me- one of the volumes, “ as an appomory in the use of Scripture, an site intimation of that applause, veneexquisite judgment in the disposition ration, and gratitude, that are due of his materials, are united with a bold- to the acute detector, perspicuous imness of conception, and a creative force pugner, and victorious antagonist, of of imagination, which stamp an impress the sceptical infidels and the antiof originality and independence on all christian sophists of modern times.” his reasonings.” “ We know no one," Although afflicted, from his childobserves a writer in the Church of hood, with a most acute and irritating Ireland Magazine, " whose style is so malady, to which the paucity of his strictly after the classic model. Like publications has been attributed,—the the ancient statuary, its high finish labour of composition increasing his proves that it must have been elabo- pain,-he has been held up as a pattern rated; but all art is hidden."
of mildness in his domestic circle. Of “ The works of this great preacher," the splendour, appositeness, and origiobserves the author of the paper on nality of his familiar observations, it is pulpit oratory before quoted, "are, in impossible, perhaps, by the following the highest sense of the term, imagina- specimens, to convey a just idea, tive; as distinguished not only from On going, for the first time, into York the didactic, but the fanciful. He pos- Minster, with a party of friends, he sesses the vision and the faculty di- was asked what he thought of its subvine,' in as high a degree as any of our lime architecture. “Sir,” said he, “it writers in prose. His noblest passages would awe a bacchanal !" do but make truth visible in the form When shewn the monument of Roof beauty, and clothe upon' abstract binson, in which that celebrated pastor ideas, until they become palpable in is sculptured erect, as if in the act of exquisite shapes. The dullest writer receiving the Bible from the hands of would not convey the same meaning in Christ; instead of applauding, as had so few words as he has done in the been expected, the skill of the artist, most sublime of his illustrations." The he exclaimed, energetically, " The man same writer bears testimony to “ the sir, ought to have been prostrate at great and various excellence" of Mr. the feet of his Maker!" Hall's Discourses on War; on the Dis- Being asked, by an ultra-Calvinist, couragements and Supports of the if he thought he should see John Christian Ministry; on the Work of Wesley in heaven, he replied, " I fear the Holy Spirit; on the Death of the not; for I think he will be so near the Princess Charlotte ; and on the Pros- throne of God, and I so distant from pect of an Invasion by Napoleon ; a it, that I shall scarcely be able to obpiece, in which the critic remarks, Mr. tain a glimpse of him." He said, on Hall has blended the finest remem- another occasion, “ Whoever gets to brances of the antique world, the dearest heaven, will there find more women associations of British patriotism, and than men." the pure spirit of the Gospel, in a strain Being asked if Cambridgeshire were, as noble as could have been poured out in his opinion, so devoid of the picby Tyrtæus.
turesque as it had been described, he Dugald Stewart has described him, as replied, “Yes, sir ; it is, indeed, to combining the beauties of Johnson, the eye, dreary: it is naked, without Addison, and Burke, without their im- foliage, without trees,-except that, here perfections ; adding, "whoever wishes and there, a stunted willow astonishes to see the English language in its the traveller, as though nature were perfection, must read his writings." putting up signals of distress." It Mr. Hall, like Bishop Taylor,” says It would appear, from the following Dr. Parr, " has the eloquence of an anecdote, that as a tea-drinker, Johnorator, the fancy of a poet, the acute- son scarcely excelled him:-" Returnness of a schoolman, the profoundness ing from a party at rather a late hour, of a scholar, and the piety of a saint;" | weary and unwell, the lady, at whose
house he was residing, proposed to get periodical writer, in 1825, “ is wonderhim a cup of tea: he gladly availed fully fond of his pipe. He interlards his himself of her offer ; and she, with domestic discourse with more poohs' great kindness, after he had emptied and ‘sirs,' than any man breathing; par the kettle, asked if she should order it example:- Scotchmen, sir,-(pooh !) to be filled again. “Why, no, madam," I believe I am, sir,-(pooh! pooh!) replied he, “I ought, perhaps, to be pestered, sir,- (pooh!)—with 'em, sir, ashamed for having taken so much :- beyond Christian credence, sir,-(pooh! and yet, on consideration, I need not ; pooh! pooh !)-Here I have 'em, sirfor it has brought two fine qualities into (pooh!)-daily, sir, and hourly, sir,exercise; great patience, madam, on your (pooh!)-all sorts and sizes of 'em, part,-and great perseverance on mine." sir,-(pooh! pooh!)-sir, (pooh!)
“ Hall, the celebrated and highly- from tadpoles to big animals, sir, – talented preacher of Leicester," says a (pooh !)sir,-(pooh!)'”.
This celebrated pastor was born at | Independent congregation in that city, Tisburne, in Wiltshire, on the 8th of on the 31st of January, 1791. Argyle May, 1769. Being of humble parentage, chapel, the meeting-house of his hearers, he was educated at a school in his na- has, since that period, on account of tive village, until, having, through the his popularity, been repeatedly enavidity he had displayed in the pursuit larged; and whenever he has officiated of knowledge, obtained an introduction at other places, great crowds have into the Rev. Cornelius Winter, as a youth variably been attracted to his pulpit. possessing abilities which, if cultivated, In 1798, at the request of the Evanmight render him useful, he was ad- gelical Society, he preached, for a few mitted to that gentleman's establishment weeks, in Ireland ; and it appears to for young men intended for the dissenting have been his custom, since his first ministry. In this seminary, his progress essay in Rowland Hill's chapel, to offias a student was so rapid, and his conduct ciate there regularly once a year; on so exemplary, that, at the age of sixteen, these occasions, it is said, above sixty he was encouraged to enter the pulpit; ministers and students in divinity have and so successful were his juvenile ef. sometimes been counted among his forts as a preacher, that he was invited hearers. In 1810, the college of Prince to the metropolis, where he officiated, Town, in America, is reported to have for two months, at Rowland Hill's cha- conferred on him the degree of D. D. on pel, in Blackfriars-road.
account of his reputation as a pulpit oraModestly declining a regular pastoral tor, and the great inerit 'of his literary charge, on account of his youth and productions :-these consist of A Fareinexperience, he now retired to a village well Sermon, preached in 1789; A Tonear Chippenham, where he zealously ken of Respect to the Memory of the prosecuted his theological studies, and Rev. G. Tuppen, his predecessor at occasionally preached to the poor in- | Argyle Chapel; The Mutual Duties of habitants, for about two years; at the Husbands and Wives ; An Essay on end of which period, having, then, Marriage, or the Duties of Christians to although scarcely of age, delivered marry religiously,—with a few Reflecupwards of one thousand discourses, tions on Imprudent Marriages, (written he was, with some difficulty, persuaded and printed at the request of the Wiltto officiate at the Hope chapel, Hot- shire Association of Dissenting Miniswells; whence, after the expiration of ters ;) Reflections on Victory; Memoirs a few months, he removed to Bath, of the Rev. Cornelius Winter, and the having, at the earnest recommendation Rev. John Clark; The Domestic Minisof his predecessor, when at the point ter's Assistant, or Prayers, for the Use of of death, been chosen minister of the Families; The Christian contemplated; Morning Exercises for the Closet; two descending to undignified personalities; volumes of sermons, and some other -a charge, as it is stated, totally destipieces. He has obtained a high degree tute of foundation, nothing being at of reputation, both as a preacher and greater variance with the tenor of his an author. In his discourses, many of conduct and life than such a practice. It which have been frequently reprinted, has also been excepted against him, that he is said to display a deep and chast- he is too textual, in his sermons; but, ened spirit of piety, combined with an in reply, it has been triumphantly obextraordinary power of so revealing the served, that his intimate knowledge of deceitfulness of the human heart, as to the sacred writings enabled him to clothe arrest the
progress of religious delusion. his own ideas in scriptural language, He always brings home his subjects, it than which nothing, under such circumis added, to every man's business and stances, from the lips of a divine, can be bosom; and never leaves truth in a state more powerful, or in better taste. His of speculation, but renders it practical sermons, of which he merely sketches and experimental in all its bearings. the outline in manuscript, and adds the According to a writer in the European details extemporaneously, are frequently Magazine, his eloquence is sometimes embellished with appropriate anecdotes; highly animated, but more commonly but, it is remarked, that "in his anxiety tender and pathetic. His voice is de- to be simple and familiar, and his wish scribed by the same writer, as possess- to be understood by the common people, ing such peculiar witcheries," that, by who form the mass of his hearers, he, the enunciation of a single sentence, he perhaps, occasionally descends too much has often been known to produce the from a very refined taste." In the most singular emotions in his hearers ; | Monthly Review, it is observed, that yet he appears to be so utterly destitute “his discourses are regular, without of affectation, that Sheridan character- / being formal; animated, without being ized him as being the most perfectly rhapsodical; and explanatory, without natural orator he had ever heard. being paraphrastical." His principles,"
His general observations are, on ac. it is added, “niay be described as tinccount of the practical and perspicuous tured with Calvinism, rather than style of his preaching, so frequently ap- rigidly Calvinistic; and while he boldly plicable to individuals among his con- avows his own convictions, he evinces gregation, that he has been accused of the greatest liberality of sentiment."
EDWARD IRVING was born at officiated at various churches in ScotAnnan, in Dumfries-shire, in 1792, and land; until, at length, a gentleman, after having acquired the rudiments of named Thompson, recommended him learning at some private schools, was to the notice of Dr. Chalmers, who sent, for the completion of his educa- engaged him as his assistant preacher tion, to the university of Edinburgh, at Glasgow; where he gained so much where, before he had obtained his reputation, that, on the death of Dr. seventeenth year, he is said to have Mac Naughton, he was elected minisdistinguished himself by an intrepid ter of the Caledonian chapel, in Crossattempt to defend the rights of his street, Hatton garden, although, by his class, in some polemical dispute with ignorance of Gaelic, he was not qualithe presiding authorities. In or about fied for the office, a considerable sum the year 1809, he was appointed to of money having been left to the elders, superintend the mathematical school at with a proviso, that their pastor should Haddington, whence he was removed | preach in that language as well as in to instruct the higher classes at Kir- | English. For the purpose, however, of kaldy. Being, soon afterwards, qualified ensuring his services, a parliamentary to preach, he became a probationer, and dispensation on this point was obtained