Зображення сторінки

"Now, Mr. Pilkington, I believe you really are in the Spirit!!” The favour which the author now enjoyed was, however, of short duration; for, in proportion as his power of dissecting the tongue, and of showing that it consisted of words already known in other languages, became manifest, the gift of the sisters and the brother turned out in fact to be no gift at all, but merely a system of pious fraud. He has already told us his opinion, that they were rather deluded'; he now began to feel that they were deluding others, and as they were not great admirers of his skill in their tongue, he was resolved that they shouid be exposed.

• Being now convinced that all was not correct, I went home, and immediately wrote a note to Mr. Irving, requesting him, in the most solemn manner, to call witnesses to hear my relation of circumstances connected with my conduct in the church; to which I received no answer, and I therefore recorded a transcript of it from memory. It is as follows :

"" In the name of God, Amen; I ask, Dear Sir, for witnesses to hear an explanation of the circumstances which influenced and encouraged me to publicly proclaim the interpretation of the Tongue spoken by the mouth of a Gifted Sister this morning. I remain, Dear Sir, your affectionate Brother in the Lord Jesus.

• • George PILKINGTON." "Oct. 19, 1831.”'

'I went to the prayer meeting the next morning, where a Gifted Sister spoke at great length in Tongue, and as much in English. It was impossible to recollect the whole, particularly as the connecting of broken Latin words was in itself almost as much as my understanding could compass. However, I understood some words, and by the assistance of my own ingenuity, aided by a desire to rebuke evil—which I more than ever feared was existing-1 collected the matter and spoke as follows :—“ The interpretation of the Tongue uttered by the mouth of the Sister, is this :-“ I am grieved; I am grieved; for there are persons here who are wise in their own conceit; and there are sinners here whose sins shall be washed away with tears." To this Mr. Irving said, “ Very good words, Brethren, by whomsoever they were spoken," and, I think, cautioned us not to say more than the Spirit compelled us to utier. After the meeting, I returned home to breakfast ; which I had scarcely finished, when the church-keeper called on me to say that “ Mr. Irving wished to see me immediately at the church.”

• I obeyed the summons; and when I proceeded as far as the top of the centre aisle, Mr. A. (who was sitting in the pew along with Mr. B.*) called me, and said that Mr. Irving was engaged, but would see me immediately. I took a seat in the same pew, and being attracted by the words “ Truth is such a comprehensive word, and so beautiful,and finding that their discourse was of a religious nature, I closed up to join in the conversation. The speaker (Mr. B.) continued, and said, “ Purity is also a word I am fond of using in prayer—it flows from the mouth so sweetly; and then he


If any good purpose is desired to be effected by ascertaining the real name of this person, or that of Mr. A., the reader has only to make the necessary inquiry of Mr. Irving or the church-keeper; my object being to expose the measure, and spare the individual.'

repeated it once or twice, as if it were honey on his lips. I was very much pleased with his remarks, and thought he was (as indeed he appeared to be) a very pious man. It was a singular coincidence that I should have entered the pew at the very moment when he was describing the beauty of these words to the very person who, at Mr. Irving's house, two hours after he had prayed that I might be so gifted, pleaded ignorance of the cause of my attempting to interpret; and as God had been so solemnly invoked, so I thought this was His method of reminding Mr. A. of his conduct. Mr. Irving being at leisure, called me and my companions into the vestry. Having offered a prayer that God would incline our hearts to speak the TRUTH, Mr. Irving desired us to be silent, and said he had received a note from me yesterday; in consequence of which he requested the attention of these Brothers as witnesses, on whom he “ COULD DEPEND." He then asked me to relate the circumstances, and I commenced a statement of what I now publish; but I had not proceeded

very far when he interrupted me (for the first time) with a slight degree of hastiness, by saying, “ You will occupy all our time, Sir." I must confess I was very much surprised at this; for I thought that Mr. Irving's time could not be better spent than in paying strict and very minute attention to any information that would help him to discern the purity of the Spirit which he was introducing into his church. I asked him what he wished me to state ?—“ I wish to refer to what you said in the church: -was it by your own understanding or by the Spirit ?” “ I don't exactly understand what you mean by the Spirit,” said I. “ Were you in the Spirit (said he), you would know; because the Gifted Persons say that it is impossible to mistake the feeling.” “ I felt that I was under the powerful feeling of piety and devotion,” said I. Mr. B. said, “ If I understand you rightly, it was a mere excitement of the flesh, under the influence of devotion, which compelled you to utter expressions dictated by your own understanding ?" Certainly,” said I, “ it was so, except when I interpreted." " But were your interpretations merely translations ?" * They were," said I," from expressions which I heard in English, Spanish, and Latin.” Mr. B. was very glad I was now satisfied that I was not in the Spirit. Mr. Irving said, “ But you say you heard the Tongue in English; pray how did you know where the English commenced ?" “ By the same means that you would know the first from the second part of a tune.” To more particular inquiries I said the Tongue was broken English.“ Did you ever hear it in English before I said, at my house, that a person had heard the Tongue in English ?”—“ No.”—Mr. Irving now concluded I was superstitious or fanciful: I insisted that I was correct. “But, Sir, Mr. A. was present, and did not hear English. Mr. A. having positively affirmed she did not speak a word of English; “ I doubt not you, my friend,” said I, “but neither should you doubt me,” at the same time touching his arm, which he drew from me, as if he had been polluted by an unclean person.

“ What did she say?" I repeated. Mr. A. “I never heard the word dilemma.“ I assure you,” said I, “ I heard it three times.', - Mr. A.; “I not only did not hear it, but the Sister herself said she DID NOT UTTER IT.-“ Well, Sir, I am much surprised and alarmed at this ; but I heard the words," said I. Mr. A.: “ You told me at the house that the English was an interpretation of the Tongue ; whereas the English was ‘I will not be restrained.'” “I may have said


so,” said I, “but I intended to say the English was in keeping with the Tongue." Mr. A. then began to write down what I said, but I protested against any such formal record of expressions which I had used with the best intention amongst Christian Brethren. Mr. Irving told him he was wrong: to which he answered, “ I am only taking notes to assist my memory. Having, in reply to further interrogatories as to the power under which I was compelled to speak, again admitted that my understanding dictated the words, and that I could restrain myself, Mr. B. said, Should you ever feel so disposed again, I would recommend you to keep silence, and tell Mr. Irving what you intended to say." I replied, “You may depend on it I will not speak again in the church ;” at which they seemed pleased, and Mr. Irving (who ever appeared to me to be conscientious on this point) added—“ unless you cannot possibly avoid it.To this Mr. A. subjoined, “ Nor even then! for the Gifted Sisters tell me they CAN RESTRAIN themselves by prayer.” Mr. Irving now prayed for us, and after we had retired, Mr. B.-, THE WITNESS on whom Mr. Irving said he COULD DEPEND, (!!) told me not HAD HAPPENED, BECAUSE THERE WAS ON THE SUBJECT.” I was by this more than ever confirmed in my suspicions, and was not a little astonished to hear such a recommendation from the very mouth which but a few minutes before was descanting on the beauty and sweetness of Purity and Truth !!! Our Blessed Saviour says—“ Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy; for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, veither hid that shall not be known." '-pp. 27–31.

The party were now mortally offended with their interpreter. It was clear that he made an attempt to pass upon the congregation for an interpretation of the tongue, an invective which he uttered against the gifted sisters and brother, and that he was becoming a dangerous disciple. Mr. Irving, even after this ingenious trick, did all he could to get Pilkington to acknowledge that he interpreted by the aid of the Spirit; but the man was too vain of his knowledge of language to make any such admission, and eventually he was bowed out of the conclave. It is to this treatment of him that we owe the present pamphlet, which is well worth preserving as a proof for astertimes, of the gross absurdities that have been enacted at the Caledonian Chapel. It furnishes also abundant proof of the increasing errors, already too numerous, arising out of the power which for the last three centuries men have assumed, of interpreting the Scriptures according to their own opinions. If the Bible were ever intended to be so used among mankind, we have no hesitation in saying that it would be a curse instead of a blessing. But as it is impossible that the Great Inspirer of that volume can for a moment be considered as the author of evil, it is equally impossible that He could ever have suggested or sanctioned the “ Reformation,” which established the pernicious principle of “private judgment.” Doubtless the present impostures of Irving, which have already nearly died away, will soon be followed by some other tricks of a similar, or perhaps still bolder nature. We should

not be surprised if, for the sake of another novelty, now that his eloquence has lost all its former charins, he should get up and announce in his pulpit, that he is himself a prophet, that he cures the sick, and raises the dead to life; that, in short, he is the Christ himself. He will have his imitators in the other connections, as they are called, and the age of miracles will return again. We confess that we shall behold these things without much pain, seeing that they are the direct and inevitable consequences of the “Reformation;" and that until these shall be fully developed, this can never be thoroughly understood, as the most atrocious mockery ever palmed upon a civilized, and, in other matters, an intelligent community.

Art. III.-Letters from the North of Europe, or a Journal of Travels

in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russiu, Prussia, and Saxony. By George Boileau Elliott, Esq. of the Bengal Service, of Queen's College, Cambridge, and Member of the Royal Geographical

Society. 8vo. pp. 475. London. Colburn and Co. 1832. Mr. Elliott makes no pretensions to literary eminence. He has here recorded, in a familiar manner, the impressions which his mind received in the course of a tour, now too frequently made to be productive of much novelty in the hands of any author. He very modestly admits as much, and pleads as his excuse for publication, the desire to make known to his countrymen the beauties of nature lying within their reach in the almost unexplored mountains of Norway; a tract of country which offers to the traveller, not an isolated prospect, but a succession of richly varied landscapes, rivalling those of the Alps and Himala!' After admiring the dykes and towns of Holland, he proceeded by the steamer to Hamburgh, and thence to Holstein, over perhaps the worst road in Europe, its deep sand being occasionally exchanged for deeper water. The vehicles used upon this road are in keeping with its barbarous character. They are composed of wooden benches, ranged in a kind of basket, which is placed without any springs upon four wheels, so that when the journey is over, the traveller feels as if he had been soundly beaten on his shoulders and lower limbs all the way. There is, however, some compensation for this fatigue, in the pleasure of travelling at midnight by the light of the sun !-that luminary being, for a certain portion of the year, visible in the northern latitudes during nearly the whole of his course. This novelty, however, upon experience, does not turn out to be so pleasant as it might at first appear. A day twenty-four hours long, is by no means satisfactory to those who are not accustomed to it. The constant light becomes as wearisome as the mirror, that is generally found in the coupé of the French diligences. • It seems,' the author justly observes, 'as if certain functions of the human system were influenced, like those of plants, by light and darkness; and as if the alternation of these were essential to the healthy action of body

and mind. It is unpleasant, and seems unnatural to go to sleep in daylight; and a town perfectly still, exhibiting no sign of life, except a straggling dog, or muffled watchman, in the broad glare of day, wears an aspect, melancholy and deathlike!'

The traveller's accommodations at Kiel were truly deplorable: on reaching his destined hotel, if such it may be called, he found all its inmates asleep; and when, by dint of much knocking and perpetual ringing, he gained admittance, he had the satisfaction of learning that he could get no bed, as the house was full. In a corner of the building, however, he espied a clean basket, somewhat like a cradle, and about five feet long, of which he forth with took possession, and by means of a rug, and some sheets, he contrived to rough it through the night. Upon reflection, he found that he was much better off than if he had obtained a regular bed, for in almost every part of Germany, it is well known, that a man of ordinary stature cannot get one long enough for him.

He is always obliged to act the Procula, the little wife of Codrus, whose bed was still less than herself. He is, moreover, obliged to bear the heat of a feather bed under him, and of another over him; and thus either to remain in a vapour bath all night, or, if he throw off his covering, to catch a rheumatism, which will long continue to remind him of Germany.

Another steamer, for those miraculous vehicles are now to be found everywhere, wafted our author from Kiel to Copenhagen, which, according to his account, is manifestly upon the decline, its population not now exceeding a hundred and eighty thousand. The Danes impute the degeneracy of their nation to the English, who are, in consequence, very far from being popular amongst them. They have reason. We destroyed their feet and deprived them of Norway. But even if these acts of gross injustice had not been perpetrated, it must be confessed, that the Danes of the present day are very unlike those who in former ages were the masters of the northern seas. They are far behind the rest of Europe in the sciences and arts. They are slow in conception, dull in execution, fond of money, and addicted to liquor.' The author, in proof of the third article of this impeachment, mentions a vexatious incident which occurred to him at Fredericksburgh, on bis way to Elsineur. Having ordered fresh horses, but no refreshment, he went out to look at the King's celebrated stud, which is kept at that place. On his return he found his carriage ready. The landlord, who was also the post-master, contrary to the usual custom, demanded payment in advance for his cattle, which was acceded to; but change being required, which he had not at hand, our traveller entered the inn, which he had not done before, and waited five or ten minutes, until the landlord brought the silver, when his demand was paid; but on going out, he adds, 'the man stopped us rudely, and demanded four marks, or eighteen pence, for the use of the room. This, of course, we resisted. He said we had sat on the

« НазадПродовжити »