WHEN Edward Irving was in Glasgow,
he attended a social party at the house of one of the members of St.
John’s Parish Church. A young man was present who had permitted himself to
talk profanely, in a manner now unknown, and which would not be tolerated
in any party nowadays. After expending all his little stock of wit upon
priestcraft and its inventions, this youth, getting bold by degrees, at
last attacked Irving—who had hitherto taken no notice of him—directly, as
one of the world-deluding order of clerics. Irving heard him out in
silence, and then turning to the other listeners, he said:
"My friends, I will make no reply to this unhappy
youth, who hath attacked the Lord in the person of his servant, but let us
pray that this sin be not laid to his charge."
And with a solemn motion of his hand, which the
awestruck diners-out instinctively obeyed, Irving rose up to his full
majestic height, and solemnly commended the offender to the forgiveness of