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Dr Chalmers In London








When Dr. Chalmers first visited London, the hold that he took on the
minds of men was unprecedented. It was a time of strong political
feeling; but even that was unheeded, and all parties thronged to hear
the Scottish preacher. The very best judges were not prepared for the
display that they heard. Canning and Wilberforce went together, and got
into a pew near the door. The elder in attendance stood alone by the
pew. Chalmers began in his usual unpromising way, by stating a few
nearly self-evident propositions, neither in the choicest language, nor
in the most impressive voice. "If this be all," said Canning to his
companion, "it will never do." Chalmers went on--the shuffling of the
conversation gradually subsided. He got into the mass of his subject;
his weakness became strength, his hesitation was turned into energy;
and, bringing the whole volume of his mind to bear upon it, he poured
forth a torrent of the most close and conclusive argument, brilliant
with all the exuberance of an imagination which ranged over all nature
for illustrations, and yet managed and applied each of them with the
same unerring dexterity, as if that single one had been the study of a
whole life. "The tartan beats us," said Mr. Canning; "we have no
preaching like that in England."

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