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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