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Observations on the “ Fine Man," or Popular Preacher.
bing them of the only sure dependence tone of supplication, he delivered one of which nature and reason can possess, the admirable collects of our church, for consolation under the infirmities of which he concluded with the Lord's the one and the lincertainties of the oth- Prayer There was a certain petitesse, er. Religion, thought I, was given to however, in his delivery of both, that apman to make him happier by making peared to me to fall very short of the him better, by improving his nature and dignified composition of the one and the assisting his reason--but here is a “ fine sublime character of the other. I began man" who makes both the source of an to suspect that this " fine mau" was inevitable misery that disqualifies both somewhat more of the fine gentleman from reaping the benefits of that Faith than becomes the preacher, or befits which supplies the defects of each. the pulpit. The text consisted of two
By this time I had reached the words "Jesus wept”-it was deliverand found myself too late for a seat in ed with a pause before and a pause after, the body of the chapel : I, therefore, which gave me some idea of his having ascended the gallery, and took possession borrowed from one of our tragedians of the eod of a forin which happened to the idea of giving effect by suspense. be unoccupied. Here, however, I found At length he began his exordium, with no room for kneeling, and therefore was a pathos of voice that prepared me for compelled to sit during the prayers, a violent attack upon my compassionate While the psalm was singing, I was ac- sensibilities--It was duly interspersed costed by an elderly lady, who assured with common-place remarks upon the me that she had come all the way from aßictions of our mortal condition, wbich Lisson Green to hear Mr. — , he was were introduced with a proportionate so fine a man.- Did you ever hear accompaniment of Ohs ! and Ahs! and him, madam ?"-On my replying in the the whole enforced with sentential refernegative, she declared I should be quite ences to our own every-day consciousdelighted. As delight was a sensation ness of the instability of human affairs, which I certainly had not experienced in the brevity of life, and the certainty of my first devotional atteinpt, I was glad death. After a long apostrophe to the to hear that my mind would be recom- grim King of Terrors, he went on to pensed for the discomliture it had al- portray the despotism of the Tyrant, ready undergone. The psalm finished, but totally omitted the power and wiswhich was very properly sung by the doin of his Conqueror. This portraiture objects of the institution and as properly he attempted to strengthen by the mod. joined in by the congregation, I looked ulation of his musical voice and the towards the pulpit,and beheld a complete sweetness of its cadences---until he came contrast in the preacher to him whom I to the great fact to which the test relerhad just left. He was, in the true sense red-Here he drew a full-length picture of the word, a fine man : there were no of the different members of the dead marks in his countenance of that inortili. man's family assembled around the tomb, cation and dejection which filled every with all the minute delineation of a porline of Mr. F 's. He was tall, and trait painter--and evidently for the purin good plight, and his face bore the pose of practising upon the feelings of : marks of good health, and his air was his hearers-passing by the divine and that of a man quite at ease, and upon gracious intervention of the Saviour. very good terms with himself. With My elderly informant burst into a flood much deliberation, he took out his white of tears, and told me that she had very handkerchief, passed it across his mouth, lately lost a dear friend. I had also sufand throwing a general glance of com- fered a like calamity : but the affectaplacency around the congregation, he tion of voice and gesture which pervadede Stenned to request they would pray-for the matter and manner of this " fine I could not distinctly hear the whisper man” convinced me at once that he had in which he spoke, and therefore judged no comprehension of those properties of only by his manner. In a soft under- real griei which shun the studied display
Observations on the “ Fine Man," or Popular Preacher.
of it, and meditate in silence upon the man, but have nothing to do with the cause. His discourse, to me appeared convictions of the Christian. And all more calculated to wound than to tran- such preaching belongs to Cowper's quillize the heart : and I considered it description, when he speaks of more in the light of an impertinent in
.............-" those foppish airs trusion upon its hallowed sorrows than
And histrionic mumm'ry, that let deun the gentle condolence of a friend. He
The pulpit to the level of the stage," certainly was fine in his form, fine in his face, fine in his voice, fine in his phrases, and by which, he justly adds, fine in his manner, but he was too fine “The weak perhaps are mou'd, but are not in all. There was too much study in taught." all--and there was nothing that bespoke
* -I retired from this exhibition fully a personal sympathy in the sentiments,
satisfied that the gentleman whom I which he professionally delivered--and
had heard was a “ fine man," a very fine in these sentiments there was no religion -the calamities of life were heaped one
maman, too fine for the spiritual office upon another with a merciless confusion,
which he filled. but the consolations of religion were al
As I left the chapel, I recognized an together left out. It seemed that this:
invited me to dine with her. “You are “ fine man” thought his work done when he had torn open the wounds of 9
of a long way from home," said she, “and grief which the healing hand of time had m
I must request you to favour me with
his your company.” I readily complied. nearly closed, and when the tears of his auditory had been made to flow, from a
* My kind friend made some remarks painful feeling of melancholy reminis
upon my having wandered so far from
poru cence. As the former“ fine man” had my
had my parish-church, and rallied me upon stripped the soul of hope, so this gentle
lemy following this popular preacher, who,
slie observed, was a “ fine man." As man robbed the heart of all comfort.
this observation was made in an ironical The congregation went away with a similar sensation to what a surgeon would
tone, I thought myself quite safe in make bis patients suffer, who, having ap
telling her my real sentiments of him, in plied a blister to a diseased limb, should
which she perfectly concurred, with this tear it off just at the point when the in
remark—“I cannot for the life of me flammation had increased to its highest
find out the propriety of leaving one's degree, and should leave the sufferer
per parish-church for the purpose of hearing
a man who is called a popular preacher without any lenient application to as
--for Ithink, in general, such a preacher's suage his anguish. This style of preaching I considered altogether contrary to
pretensions are usually found to depend what constitutes in my mind a fine prea
more upon the partialities of the ignorant cher; there is too much manner, and
than any genuine claim of his own to pretoo little matter ; more of trick than
eminence of talent. As to the name of truth in it:-it is the language of a
• a popular preacher, which is so industridramatist delivered with the deciamation
ously sought after by most of our junior
& of a player—it is the man who performs,
clergy, I fear it is seldom obtained not the minister who preaches ;--and
ned witsout some important sacrifices of all such pulpit efforts prove pretty plain
in principle and spirituality. There is ly, that the attempt is made more for the
he something almost suspicious in the purpose of shewing off the extrinsic
din character: a man with a good and flexiqualifications of the former, than fulfil
1. ble voice, and a respectable exterior, who ling the solemn duties of the latter,
* has the art of writing pretty nothings, whose functions are too sacred, and his
is rounding inflated sentences, and forcing responsibilities too solemn, to be com
tears froin the eyes of half-a-dozen women, prised in such addresses to the outward
i sinuates himself into the reputation of man, and such attacks upon those sensi
being “a fine mau”-because he conbilities which are most easily excited,
descends to use a species of trickery and which betray the sorrows of the
is which men of more manly minds and K2 ATHENEUM. Vol. 2.
profounder reading reject, as unworthy
Visit to the Lake of Killarney and the Ancient Abbey of Irrelagh. [vol. 2
of their exalted function. As to doc- taught and enforced not as bis own trine, he is generally very shallow and word, but His whose servant be felt uncertain-bear him in one pulpit, and himself to be, and whose glory he was he is a Calvinist; in another, and you anxious to promote.--Here, then, was a would call him an Arminian; but hear popular preacher, although not “a fine him when you will, you will easily dis- man"-He was more than either; he cover the principal point of his credenda was a sound divine, a truly spiritual --that he believes bimself to be “a very guide, and a conscientious pastor.--Ah! fine man."
. thought I, this is just fame, because it is I took my friend's advice; and leav- true character-energy is here the result ing her early, proceeded to St. — 's of conviction, and pathos is the feeling of church. If I had been shocked by one the heart-while both are blended in an “ fine man,” and disgusted by another, I eloquence which Conscience and Nature was fully recoinpensed for the mortifica- produce, and Education and Intelligence tion that I had endured from both, by regulate. Well would it be for ministers, the excellent sermon which I now heard who so far forget the dignified station delivered in the purest style of pulpit which they hold, as to court popularity oratory-it was a sermon that St. Paul at all risks, to make this gentleman their might have preached it was spiritual standard--they would then preachio without mysticism-it was plain with- the credit of their profession, to the out familiarity-and it was pathetic satisfaction of the judicious, and to the without affectation--His manner was honour of religion—they would then dignified without assumption, and easy preach their divine Master, and not without flippancy-the tone of his voice themselves they would then find, that was steady and impressive, and its in- the only popularity worth possessing is flections natural, because his own heart the estimation of the wise and the love acknowledged the truths wbich he de- of the good—and that to be a fine livered-he commanded attention be preacher, it is not sufficient to be a cause he deserved it, and the congrega. “ fine man," but a sincere Christiantion felt that it was their interest to pay they would, in short, establish their claim it-there was neither presumption in his to the likeness which Cowper draws of doctrine, nor pretence in his piety, and such a preacher as I had just heard. the impressions of which they were conscious were those of an earnest desire to
“I would express him simple, grave, sincere,
In doctrine upcorrupt, in language plain, believe the one and to practise the other.
And plain in manner, decent, solemn,---chaste No one who heard him could be sensible
And natural in gesture :---much impressed of any other disposition of the mind than
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge; that which adınitted the truth and expe- And anxious mainly, that the flock he feeds diency of all that he taught; and which may feel it too." he enforced with a pious firmness that
I am, Mr. Elitor, your obdt. servant, argued the conviction of his own mind,
JULIA PEREGRINE. and with an unaffected humility which out proved that he considered what be thus 107, High-street.
THE ABBEY OF IRRELAGH,
From the European Magazine. K ILLARNEY may be ranked gers. The remoteness of the town from
- among the neatest of the small the Lake occasions much trouble to towns of Ireland; the streets are of a strangers ; and so far from being of any conmodious breadth, and well paved ; advantage to the inhabitants, exposes and on each side there are raised Aag. them to inconvenience by placing them ways, for the convenience of foot-passen- beyond the immediate reach of an object
Visit to the Ruins of the Abbey of Irrelagh.
tion, stands between the nave and the a ruin is likely to inspire. In chancel. The principal entrance is at the centre of the cloister grows a the west end, under a large pointed arch remarkably large yew tree. It rises to of blueish marble, embellished by several the height of fourteen feet, with a straight plain mouldings, which are well wrought and smooth bole, and then throws out and in good preservation. From this several large arms, which mount above entrance a very pleasing view opens of the highest walls, and overshadow the the great eastern window, which, is seen greatest part of the building. Such is through the arches of the steeple; and the gloominess diffused over the cloister also of the large portal of the transept on by its thick and dusky foliage, that the the south side of the nave. The cloister bat is frequently seen flitting the vaulted was the best executed part of the whole arches at noon-day. This tree, it may fabric; and it is still perfect. It con- be supposed, was long a favourite with sists of a quadrangle of forty-six feet, the monks; but much as they might encompassed by a walk six feet wide, have rejoiced in its flourishing state, had whose pillars and arches are finished they continued to occupy the monastery exactly alike, and are formed of blueish to the present day, they must have conand pale red marble. At two of the sented, however reluctantly, either to contiguous sides the arches are of the strip it of its honours, or to relinquish sharp pointed kind, commonly known the studies of their darkened cells. by the name of Gothic, and are ten in The vaults and winding passages of number, the corresponding sides contain the abbey are still more gloomy than twelve semicircular arches. At two of the cloister. This obscurity adds much the opposite corners of the cloisters there to the effect of the rnin; and, combined are stair-cases leading to the cells over with the stillness and solitude of deep the vaulted walk, and to the chief apart- retirement, the fragments of monumental ments of the abbey. The latter are in a grandeur, and the frightful spectres of very dilapidated state ; but several of mouldering mortality,form an association the cells remain entire ; and under the highly calculated to inspire the mind little grates by which they were lighted, with visionary fears. one may still see the broad flat stones This abbey is a common and favourite upon which the monks offered up their place of burial; the limits of the cemeorisons, worn and polished by the pres- tery are small; the depth of the soil insure of many a holy knee. Around the considerable. The consequence is, that summit of the building there is a safe coffins with their mouldering contents walk, defended by an embattled parapet, are not unfrequently removed to make The lake from hence is just visible place for others, long before decency can through the trees; and were a few of the warrant such a measure. A day scarcely intervening branches removed, the view happens without a burying at Mucruss would be delightful; it is impossible not Abbey; and disagreeable as it must be to extol the taste which the monks display- to the proprietor of the domain, especially ed in choosing a situation for their abbey, in this country, where such a concourse
The remembrance of what this abbey of people attend the ceremony of interonce was is fresh in the minds of the ment with cries and howlings, yet it is' country-people, and many a pious de- not thought expedient to oppose it. The votee, impressed with its sanctity, may attachment of the Irish peasantry to their be seen before the tombs and ancient family burying-places is boundless. shrines in deep and earnest prayer. The Bodies are not unfrequently brought appearance of these poor people, clad in from a distance of twenty miles across russet garments of considerable length, the mountains to be interred at Mucruss prostrated on their knees, and counting Abbey; men, women, and children, their beads with all the enthusiasm of following in multitudes : and were any devotion, is quite in character with the attempts made to prevent future buryings solemnity of the scene, and calculated to in the abbey, it probably might, even in increase the solemnity and religious awe this peaceable neighbourhood, be the which the contemplation of so venerable occasion of alarming disturbances.