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room, on the morning of the day when he was to educed in his own experience; then was he have addressed the Free Church Assembly on brought to feel, in his own person, the weight and their Collegiate Scheme, of which he was, in every burden of a city charge in a locality deficient in sense, officially and practically, “ the Principal.” wealth, but abounding in population, for such was The intelligence created the most painful feeling the character of both his charges in Glasgow; 1a Edinburgh-a feeling that soon circulated over afterwards he was set to teach and gather a knowall Scotland, and wherever, indeed, his life and ledge of university defects ; and when all this was works were known. It stunned the body with done, he was transferred to Edinburgh, there to which he was specially connected—it startled all educate the men whom he left to carry out his men. In one sense, it could not so much be said projects; and to wield that influence which he to have caused grief. Ile died, not stricken with exercised amongst all Evangelical Churches. many years---not knowing the burden of extreme In tracing the characters of the two great men weakness-in happy ignorance of the bitter sor- whom death has brought together, we find far more rows attending decayed powers—in the most ro- similarity than their different modes of thought bust health of mind—without a scar on his im- would actually lead us to anticipate. Their energy mense int llect—with great works accomplished was remarkable. O'Connell accomplished ob-with sincere love from all, even from his oppo-jects that were considered by his contemporaries nents, acquired with a soul at peace with here and thoroughly unattainable. Chalmers wrought out hereafter, with earth and heaven, with God and effects that few men would have hesitated to proman, so far as man in any case can say of his bro. nounce impracticable. There required to be in ther man : and yet he died full of years, and of ho- each of their minds a strong element of hope. A nours, and of usefulness. It was reported that marked resemblance existed between them in this he had been struck by an apoplectic fits again, respect. But there was an equally marked conthat he was carried away by disease of the heart; | trast in their mental qualities. O'Connell, at an and we have heard that neither of these state carly period of his life, fixed on some definite prinments is accurate. It is said that there was no ciples, and he clung to them with few and comparasuch cause of death in him. A friend remarked tively slight changes. The mind of Thomas Chalto us that he had absolutely swooned away- mers was perpetually expanding. He either resignpassed into eternity in something like a feeling ed or was driven from one position after another, in of sickne-s--witout pain, and without such dis- his practical efforts ; but invariably he advanced. ease as might not have been easily stayed by Ile was never known to “retract, not by a hairsany friendly hand. but he was alone with God. breadth,” of principle. He began life a modeThere was no mertal friend th“re to carry to his rate in politics and doctrine. Ilis doctrine was lips even a glass of water. No man ever was changed, and that changed his politics. He then known to die liker to Enoch, to Moses, and to held in ordinary politics the position of a ConservaElijah. Few men ever combined more beauti- tive-Whig, and in ecclesiastical the place of a Confully the Patriarch's walk with God—the meek- servative-Evangelical. The steps from this point ness and humility of the Lawgiver--the fire and were remarkably gradual. Ile first thought to conthe ze al of the Prophet, in their character. vert patrons ; then he obtained the enactment of
Thomas Chalmers was originally a Fife- the veto ; at another time he sought a “liberum ar. shire minister, of the moderate school in the bitrium” for the ecclesiastical courts ; next he adEstablished Church of Scotland. He was for vanced boldly to the integrity of the call ; and he some years far more remarkable as a young ended with the absolute proposition of election by man of considerable scientific acquirements than the people. His views on the connexion between as an earnest preacher or a careful pastor. While Church and State were similarly modified. in his country parish a change in his manner of Ile began at matters as they stood in his youththought, in his style, and the substance of his then he sought to enlarge the Establishinentpreaching was observed---not as the gradual con-by-and-bye he was compelled to acknowledge the sequence of long and intense thinking, but as existence of chains and fetters, that he had the result of an immediate and decisive convic- assumed in his celebrated apologies and argution. He was soon drawn to Glasgow, and in ments for that connexion should not exist ; with the two charges which he occupied in that city, a knowledge of these evils there arose to his mind he obtained, as a preacher, the highest popularity the necessity of labouring for their removal ; that and the greatest measure of practical usefulness he failed in this work, and ended his life a pracreached by any man of his generation in Scot- tical Voluntary, proves more than any incident in land. Subsequently be accepted the chair of the history of this controversy the hopelessness moral philosophy in the University of St. An- of attaining together freedom of action and drews. After spending some years there he was the dignity of an Establishment. But these removel to the theological chair in Edinburgh. changes in the mode of pursuing an end inWe mention these points in his life, not because volved no change in the end sought. In all he we are writing its history, but to notice how this kept steadily one object in view. The good of man was made, schooled, and managed to do his the people, and that also of the common people, greatest work. All these movements were subordi- was his great lifetime's aim. From the day of pate to that end. He was first practically learned one vital change in Kilmany, to that day when he the inefficiency of a curacy; next he had the lives and died, there was no alteration of the goal—no working of two kinds of rural parochial ministers shifting of the ambition that he sought and che
rished. Full of benevolence, he loved all men, Thomas Chalmers was the type of another kind but especially those who most needed counsel and of Catholicity. He was a link amongst the Evandirection. To him his opponents have ever con- gelical Protestant Churches. He loved all, and ceded this honour. In the midst of bitter dissen- by all he was beloved. No man, therefore, could sion—in the casting up of the muddy waters of with more propriety be supposed to impersonate agitation, there never floated on their surface the the visible union that they have recently formed. tiniest charge of selfishness or self-seeking against And thus these two leaders were, in this point, him.
the representatives of thoroughly antagonistic The Irish Leader was less fortunate. His mo- principles--of submission and of inquiry. Singutives were assailed ; his person was hated ; his larly accordant with this fact were their last emcharacter was attacked; his consistency denied : ployments. O'Connell died at Genoa on a pilyet through all these charges it may be true grimage to Rome, not so much, we fervently be—and we believe it to be true—that he made lieve, a “medicinal" as a “ devotional” exercise. little change of his one leading purpose; but many Chalmers bore his testimony once more before the changes in the means used for prosecuting its at- rulers of the land in favour of perfect religious tainment.
freedom, and against a “toleration" that is the There was no such great dissimilarity in the “ mockery of liberty ;" and he returned home to titling of the respective objects sought by them. die. The last acts of both were representative of The advancement of religion was, we doubt not, their respective principles. with both the original object. The subsequent In literary attainments they both occupied the differences arose in the character of the religion highest place in their native divisions of the they sought to promote, and the means which empire. O'Connell's life was busy, bustling, and they chose to attain their purpose. Dr. Chal-planning. That of Chalmers was busy, planning, mers wanted to confer temporal benefits, by and acting, but not bustling. He seemed to do first making men religious. Mr. O'Connell his work leisurely, and yet the quantity was imwished to promote the interests of his faith
The simplicity of his life, and the occaby gaining for its followers political power. It sional retirement that he provided, enabled him was just to secure for them this power; and a to leave those works that will perpetuate his feeling of right brought Chalmers in 1828 to the name to the boundary of time, and extend it to aid of O'Connell, nor know we that more va- the confines of earth; because there are in them luable aid, out of Ireland, was ever afforded to his many marks of a strong and original genius, great scheme of Catholic Emancipation.
lighting up all the dark places on which it fell. But there was a great dissimilarity in the His published works form twenty-five volumes, creeds to which they adhered. Within the pale to which, we believe, fifteen will be added, of nominal Chistianity there can be none scarcely consisting principally of those commentaries on farther apart. Chalmers, standing with his Bible, Scripture-his Thoræ Biblico-to which his last repudiated and repelled the claim of any man years were given. O'Connell left few literary reto think for him or for other men, and assert for mains. His acts and speeches were his works. their thoughts the privilege of judgment without the latter would occupy many volumes and who appeal. O'Connell was a mediaval Roman can deny to them the distinctive marks of true Catholic. In his composition there was as large genius? Lesser men than either-infinitely lesser a portion of the "jas-divinum" as could consist men-quibbling respecting originality, have dewith a sturdy Radicalism. He venerated the nied it to both : and to both they have denied it memory of Thomas A'Beckett, if not as the “ ulti- wrongously. These jaundiced critics say that they mus Anglorum,” yet as one of the highest and were not coiners but circulators of thought. They best of the English. In one department, there allege that neither Chalmers nor O'Connell fore, and that the most important department of wrought a mine of ideas, but counted out and human affairs, he admitted not the possibility of paid away the precious things that other men had error—and allowed not the propriety of reform. drawn from the deep wells of their own thoughts. Towards his Church, O'Connell had only to In the case of both, we hold it to be the utterance give faith and fealty; while Chalmers gave his of an opinion that every day for many years bore fealty to his faith, and moulded his Church to witness against. We are not now writing a rethe advancement of his creed. Thus, not only view of O'Connell's speeches, nor of Chalmers' by profession, but by choice and from principle, works, or it would be an easy matter to make Thomas Chalmers cast the greater part of his quotations, and ask what may be called "original," energy into the path of Church Reform : by pro- if these deserve not the name. We take another and fession and necessity, Daniel O'Connell employed a shorter way. What matters it to us that men his powers in political reform ; and yet it is, as should think profoundly and perpetually, if they we have said, that both had for their end this never act? To mankind it would signify nothing one community of object—the advancement of that a rough labourer did ever cast up, from under a religion. A French (Parisian) paper desig- the world's crust, richly precious stones, to be nates O'Connell the greatest lay Catholic. He tossed over the surface like chips of granite, if was the impersonification of profound obedi- there was no skilful artizan to polish the dark surence to his Church, Thus he came also to be faces, to bring out the beauty of the colouring that a living type of that faith ; for in no instance otherwise, to the world, had not existed, and to has a stronger intellect ever bowed to its dictates. I render the gems valuable. And so with thought.
What matters it to men that idle dreamers mark is, that for the tribes in these islands the think? The men of the age are those who time has yet scarcely come. Even under the think and act. To breathe into the lifeless form strict discipline of Rome, however, and beneath of thought the vitality of action is the work its great exactions of belief, we think that the of genius. The thoughts, like the clerk's hand- Lowland Scotch always doubted. There is suffiwriting in a bill of exchange, may be useless, cient evidence of this fact in the writings of until a signature gives them value and currency. Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, and his conThis is exactly the respective relations of indo- temporaries and predecessors. There is still lent thinking, and thought and action, on the more satisfactory evidence in the lightningworld's price-lists. The mere jewellery of litera- like rapidity with which the doctrines of the ture is of small use to a world perishing for lack Reformation spread amongst them at a period of necessaries. Now, both these men thought when communication was blow, and the power and acted. They pursued widely different roads of the press almost unknown. to radically different ends; but both were earnest have been an aptitude in the people to receive workers, and there is to be found the most valu- the opinions then taught, in order, upon usual able genius in true earnestness.
principles, to account for the celerity of the In one view there was between their respec- change. It is unnecessary to assume that this tive attainments a palpable and marked difference. must be the explanation, but on ordinary princiO'Connell was a lawyer and a literary man ; but ples and experience we should form that opinion ; we believe that he was not a scientific man. and it is not improbable that, from traditional Chalmers touched every point of human kuow- fragments running downwards from distant days, ledge with the confident finger of a master. His and from other causes, a substratum of disbelief, conclusions may have been sometimes erroneous, not in Christianity, certainly, but in the pretences but it was always evident that he was acquainted of the priesthood, had always occupied the inner with the subjects of which he wrote or spoke. depths of the Scottish mind. By the Irish there, There was no division of human learning where was and is little or no doubt or hesitation. They he did not penetrate, and he never entered any are mistaken by those who consider them an irredepartment without making the path clearer to ligious people, for they are fervent and zealous those who were to follow. From some of his believers in the doctrines that they have been deductions in political science we dissented. The taught. Mr. O'Connell knew this characteristic. theory of supporting pauperism, common to He knew the influence that he held in the friendthe Scottish divine and the Irish politician, ship and alliance of the priests. He required was in our opinion utterly inadequate. As few exertions to secure the allegiance of his folplanned by Dr. Chalmers, it included the out-lowers. To rouse their zeal, to promote their ward framework of the millenium, and we are activity, to exhibit their numbers, to consolidate dealers with a sinful world. It embraced, their strength, and to wield this gigantic weapon, at least, the idea that all men should be he made pilgrimages, he held meetings, he bechurch-goers, and all the wealthy men should sought, he incited, he counselled, he dictated ; be generous alms-givers, and all the poor econo- but he never reasoned, not because he was weak mical and industrious ; but without waiting till of fence at that point, but because he did not rethe whole machine was fitly put together, his quire to reason.
His assertions were at once sanguine temperament led him to set one wheel received, believed, and circulated. He had no agoing before the others were finished, and it broke fear for an enemy within his camp. He dreaded down. It could not well be otherwise, for to our no doubting friend or opposing foe amongst his view it seemed like the expectation of work from own. Therefore he had no such fight as Chala steam-engine while the steam is only half mers—whose every step required to be exformed.
plained—whose every advance was the cause The difference between the nature of the and the fruit of battling contest ; who had alpopulations on whom they had principally to ope ways to argue, and enforce, and explain the rate, marks a distinction in their character. causes, and reasons, and proprieties of each Chalmers had to deal with a shrewd, cool, ex- advance. In their later years the scene was amining and calculating, rather a disputative changed.
Peace came to Chalmers : strife people.
O'Connell wielded a mass of zealous, to O'Connell. The former crossed the Jordan, warm-hearted, unthinking and believing minds. on the banks of which he had lingered long, and The characteristic of the unmixed Celt is to be placed its waters between him and a moral willieve. He is never so happy as when led and derness of doubters, and dreaders, and cautious guided. He relies always implicitly on something men, who ever kept an eye upon the riches by the told to him by a superior authority, and is never Nile, and the beauties of the plain. Henceforcareful to examine its proofs. The people amongst ward his friends and followers were compact and whom Chalmers was cast inquire before they be- undivided. It fared otherwise with O'Connell
. lieve. They are perpetually demanding evidences within the very walls of his prison, amongst his and reasons.
Their ages of superstitious reliance companions of the State trials, there were those were run out before he arose. They had their who doubted his wisdom. A new party arose in time of childhood, which was passed. We say Ireland—a fierce, implacable party—who brought not that the Celtic character does not admit of poetry into politics, and thought of conquering the similar modification and change. Our only re- Saxon by rhymes. This section of the Irish
knew nothing of subtle devices. They had no evil. The life of Chalmers to the preparation of policy but that of hatred. To hate England, and men to undo that and similar wrongs. O'Connell to humble England, was with them an object dearer made politics a profession. Chalmers influenced even than to raise Ireland. They would have them without design or concurrence. Like all exchanged her connexion for any yoke, and, we living men of threescore and ten years, they have believe, would rather have sent representatives to witnessed changes amounting to revolution. With Baltimore than to London. A few years earlier their youth is associated the remembrance of in his lifetime O'Connell would have put his heel the American War and the French Revolution ; on these young rebels, and squeezed vitality out with their manhood the great European War and of their character. When they appeared his the overthrow of Napoleon; with their maturer energy was gone ; and they had to cope not with years those peaceful triumphs which have changed the living man but with his corpse. There was the surface of society, and in which they bore a thus in their end a remarkable dissimilarity. conspicuous part. The services of both in the That of Chalmers was eminently peace: of cause of freedom have been invaluable. Chalmers O'Connell vexation and difficulty.
was not a politician in the party sense of the name. They were born in circumstances not greatly dis- For no inconsiderable period of his life he leaned similar. They were sons of the people. The idea of to Conservatism, because, like many good and sanO'Connell's aristocratic origin was necessary to guine men, he was cheated by the hypocritical his greatness in Ireland. He required to be professions of religion on which Peel founded his. thought high by birth to attain trust as a leader. party. He had no personal purpose to serve in The circumstance exhibits another difference in his political attachments. Noman's conservatism the Scotch and Irish character. The former are was of a more generous nature. He had formed naturally democratic : the latter are feudal. The in his mind a splendid theory of life and living ; great bulk of the Scotch people who honoured and and he expected its reduction to practice. Beaurespected Dr. Chalmers, never inquired whether tiful was that vision, as it appeared to the minds his father was a shoemaker, a tailor, a shop- of others—beautiful beyond description, as the keeper, or a bonnet-laird. They had a general walls and turrets of the fabric were gradually unidea that he came of honest parentage-if they folded to his own view. It resuscitated the old had any idea on the subject, but the fact did idea of a religious sovereign, peerage, and people, not greatly interest them. On the other hand, virtually covenanted together to do justice, to O'Connell was a more powerful man than he love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God. would have been without that O'. It was the impri- It comprehended a thoroughly religious peoplematur of an old family—the mint stamp of gentle an intelligent peasantry, saving money—a well blood. It was like a copyright-a license to act, educated “ artizanism,” becoming rich; the first and lead, and teach, and order. Even O'Connell gradually merging into farmers, and the second himself was not devoid of latent respect for aris-into traders. It had a middle class, acting always tocratic honours. In the midst of his democracy under the highest and strongest guiding and rethere was a tendency carrying him backwards. straining influence. It was coronated by an He looked behind, and loved the jagged points of aristocracy dispensing clerical patronage on relifeudalism that struck out in the long vista of gious principles ; for it is a strange fact, that ages, covering, with a profitless verdure, the Dr. Chalmers first intended to remedy the evils hard-heartedness of an unproductive soil. He of patronage by converting the patrons, and thus saw greatness in the mist of the middle ages, and ensuring their appointment of religious men. traced out for himself pictures of excellence in The fact indicates the progressive character of the cowled monk and the moping nun—the mail- Dr. Chalmers' mind, ever moving towards truth. clad baron, and the figments of his vassals' hap- In after years he would have told a converted : piness. But Chalmers and O'Connell were both patron, that he must resign a privilege which no of, from, and for the people. Both respected rank religious man could exercise amongst his brethren.
- leaned towards dignities-anticipated, at diffe. He would have told thi noblest and the richest rent periods of their lives, earnestness from “na- man in his communion that there the peasant and tural leaders"--and were disappointed because the peer were equal ; and that in no manner they had to learn by bitter experience that they could distinctions of worldly grandeur be recoglived at the dawning of the age of chivalry, of nized in spiritualities. Dr. Chalmers, though he intellect, and nobility of mind, when the monoy reared splendid visions, was no mere idle dreamer ; power is breaking down all feudal distinctions, and He hoped, but how he wrought! If his imaginafulfilling its own destiny by making way for an- tion sometimes over-reached the sobrieties of seother power and a better influence.
vere reasoning, it never touched except to excite They were born nearly at the same period. his wonderful energy. They found their respective countries in a state We remember one morning in May-now five of vassalage. The creed of O'Connell and the years ago. The light of dawn was struggling country of Chalmers were proscribed. The faith with the light of gas in a crowded church of of the one and the countrymen of the other were Edinburgh for pre-eminence. For many hours outlawed. The Roman Catholics of Ireland and an anxious debate had been continued there. The all the people of Scotland, with few exceptions, subject was painful—the interest was intensewere put out of the Constitution. The life of the stake was large. The issue was to try not O'Donnell was devoted to the undoing of this the weight of a party, but the stability of an es
tablishment. The actors and the audience were for twenty-four hours. The Jury came into the both nervous for the result. That nervousness box in haste. Their verdict was mentioned, but was increased by the period to which they had twelve had struck on some of the church clocks. watched and waited-until, from the high win. The verdict, like Ireland often, was too late by dows, there came down a tinge of dawn, waxing the minutest portion of time—the smallest space every second stronger and stronger, until it had by which it could be behind. The verdict was softened down the brilliancy of the gas flame to a hostile. Its effects are remembered. He overcold and chill “ grey." light, between the night came it-we doubt if he ever overcame them ; and morn.
Dr. Chalmers had been weak, and for he felt convinced that he had become conunable to attend the discussion ; but he entered, nected with indiscreet men, for whose sayings he and in a few emphatic sentences, moved the depo- might be held responsible ; and yet he could sition of some ministers. He knew the conse- not dissolve and reconstruct the body which he quence. lle felt that this deposition would prove ruled. to be the severance of the ties between his friends There was no remarkable difference at these and the Church-it destroyed all the hopes, and periods between the ages of O'Connell and Chalneutralised all the labours of years--it left him
The first was seemingly victorious: the in old age to begin the world anew, so far as all second was apparently defeated. The first was his projects for public teaching were concerned— dealing with a political, and the second with a it divided him from an institution which he vene- religious cause. But the political society bore on rated, which he adorned, to which he clung religion, and the religious body influenced politics. with more than earthly love. This was the crisis Cheerfully and hopefully Thomas Chalmers set of his history.
himself again to work. He devised, he counselled, Eighteen months, later we were in a crowded he struggled with difficulties, and surmounted court of Dublin, and few places are more incon- them all. In a wonderfully short time, he had venient for a crowd than law-courts in general - formed a new edifice on new principles. All his those of Dublin are not exceptional to the rule. former labours-his churches—his schools—his A trial for misdemeanour-an extraordinary libraries—his entire mechanism had gone from trial, on which the attention of the empire was him ; all was lost except the good spirit and the fixed-had run its weary length many days. earnest men who had rallied round him, and The principal man among the accused--the whom he had trained and taught. It does not leading man of Ireland—was to plead his own seem to have so fared with O'Connell's projects.
The eloquence of professional advo- They have not flourished since in anything like their cates was exhausted in favour of other clients. former power and strength. His influence seems to And now the man against whom the case was have faded. The famine came and struck it down. levelled-at the bar of his country-before one of The same famine found Chalmers writing essays its juries—under the influence of adverse and on the means of checking its power, and transformparty feelings--w:
-was to defend his character and ing its evils into benefits. It found him practihis obedience to the law from official charges. cally working against its immediate results ; adThere was not a whisper in that Court. Word vising subscriptions to feed the hungry; and, by word the elaborate defence was listened to. while doing good, at the same time converting Sentence after sentence was heard, in anxious this judgment into a testimony of the power and expectation of such withering eloquence as rung the zeal of his communion. on Tara's hill, and Mallow's plains. The expec- No man can doubt the anxiety of O'Connell tation was disappointed. The address was skil- on this subject. It paralysed him. The crisis fully formed, so as to combine the subtleties of a was too dreadful for his exhausted powers. The profound lawyer with the simplicities of an ag- want—the disease—the deserted cottages, and grieved yeoman, who preferred to make his own crowded grave-yards of Ireland in 1817 overdefence. But there was no excitement. The strained his means of resistance to calamity, and defence was cold and unenergetic. That was his he perished in grief and sadness. crisis.
Religious influences are the bones and sinews A few evenings later the next Saturday of the mind. Few great things have been done nightma vast crowd were congregated on the without them. Our earnest and useful workers quays of the Liffey—in the outer hall of the Four have all been full of faith. Men who stamp their Courts, a perfect mobof barristers were assembled, influence on the subtle sands of time, and write speculating and betting on the verdict. Within their names so deeply there for good that all the the courts, the stifling and crowding was seri- waves of years obliterate them not, have ever ously sickening. Two or three wretched candles, been fervent believers. The faith of Chalmers on a table before the bench, made darkness barely taught him the urgent necessity of self-exertion and visible.
For hours, the harrowing suspense had self-reliance as a means—and he nobly acted out lasted. For hours, the steam had been up and the principle. The implicit belief in the judgment ready and blowing off from the steamer at King- of other men, required of and freely tendered by ston quay that was to carry to England the ver- O'Connell, had a different influence; and, to us dict of the Jury. At last, the minute-hands of at least, the circumstance furnishes some partial many watches were overlooked, and their owners and faint explanation of the different degrees of examined the “seconds," for it was almost mid- I success that attended their battles with adversity. night, and no verdict could be returned after that i The moral influence of both was great. O'Con