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This is the deliberate judgment of one who at first was inclined to look unsuspectingly on the imagined spiritual gifts, and to believe that the signs of the latter days, of which Joel had spoken, might be expected to appear once more :- of one intimately acquainted with all the facts from the beginningone who, as his letter shows, would gladly, out of affection for Mary Campbell, have kept back the truth, if he had deemed it consistent with his duty to the Church of God. Surely such a letter from such a man ought in itself to carry conviction to an unbiassed mind. But we will adduce another witness, the Rev. A. Scott-a man of great ability, chosen by Irving to be his assistant minister in London, of whom he says, “Sandy Scott is a most precious youth, the finest and the strongest faculty for pure theology I have yet met with.' He seems to have exercised great influence over Irving's opinions, and to have led him to share his own conviction that, 'the miraculous gifts so largely bestowed upon the Apostolic age were not exceptional, but part of the inheritance of the Church in all ages. He had himself visited Mary Campbell, and it was because of conversations with him, that she was first led to think of the bestowal of spiritual gifts as possible, and to pray for them in her own person.
Mr. Scott then, if any man, might have been expected to look with favour on the supposed gift of tongues, but what was the case ? Much to Irving's distress, he too stood aloof after due examination of the facts, and wholly refused his sanction to the utterances of Mrs. Caird and others. Nor was he a man likely to be influenced by any fear of consequences, for, like Irving, he had been expelled from the Scotch Church for his rebellion against the stern Calvinism of the Westminster Confession. Surely his opinion is too weighty to be lightly set aside. Mr. Campbell, too, had come to the same conclusion. We dwell the more on this case, not only because it was the first, and considered by almost all, as Mr. Story says, the most remarkable and conclusive, but because unquestionably it was the hearing of the utterances at Fernicarry which led Irving and others in London to call prayer-meetings. to seek for the revival of the gifts of the Holy Ghost in the Church. These began in October, 1830, after the return of a deputation, consisting of Mr. Cardale and two other gentlemen who had been sent to Scotland to examine into the supposed manifestations, and had satisfied themselves of
1 It is important also incidentally as showing how little dependence is to be placed on the account of Irvingite miracles.
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their reality ; but the first ‘utterance' in London was not till April 30, 1831, when Mrs. Cardale, at a private meeting, spoke in a tongue and prophesied. Just at this time, Mrs. Caird arrived in London, as Irving's guest, and when the manifestations began in his congregation, was one of those who took a prominent part, as appears from the evidence given on Irving's trial before the London Presbytery. Without doubt, then, Mary Campbell (Mrs. Caird) was the 'fons et origo' of the gift of tongues, and the estimate we form of her must very materially influence our view of the whole question.
Another name brought forward on Irving's trial as a chief actor was that of Miss Hall, a governess in the family of Mr. Percival, afterwards an Apostle. She it was who rebuked Mr. Irving for endeavouring to suppress the voice of the Lord, when first heard at his midday service (it had previously been confined to the early morning), reminding him that Jesus hid not His face from shame and spitting. Miss Hall subsequently declared that she had (all the time) been acting under a delusion, and withdrew entirely from the Irvingite communion, or, as they termed it, fell away. She admitted, too, that in two or three instances she had meditated utterances before delivering them.
But the most remarkable figure in these strange scenes, though only for a short period, was that of Mr. R. Baxter of Doncaster, who had previously been known to Irving. Coming up to London at this time on business, he heard Mr. Taplin and Miss Cardale speak in the tongue, and himself caught the infection, and prophesied 'with so much power and authority, and in so commanding a tone, that he soon took the lead, and was acknowledged by all as a gifted prophet, and more than a prophet. His speedy appointment as an Apostle was predicted and looked for confidently. In January, 1832, Irving wrote of him with enthusiasm : ‘The Lord hath anointed Baxter after another kind: I think the apostolical.' He spoke much in the power' and delivered many prophecies which were accepted without hesitation; amongst others, 'that in 1,260 days from January 14, 1832, the Lord Jesus would come again in glory, the living saints be caught up to meet Him, and the dead saints raised.' But the point to which we would especially direct attention is this: that to Baxter is due the idea of the revival of the Apostolic order, which afterwards became the fundamental article of the Irvingite creed; not merely the revival of gifts such as those bestowed on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, but of a new order of ministry superseding all others. It was from
Baxter that the prediction came that 'the present appointment for ordaining ministers by the laying on of hands by the Church was cut short in judgment, and that God Himself was about to set forth by the Spirit a spiritual ministry.' From this time Irving and others began to pray, 'Give us Apostles.'
Not many months, however, passed, before Baxter's eyes were opened, mainly by the non-fulfilment of the prophecies which he had so confidently delivered. After many painful struggles he was satisfied that he had been under a delusion, and came up to London, just at the time of Irving's trial, to acknowledge the total downfall of his pretensions, and tell Irving and Cardale, we have all been speaking by a lying spirit and not by the Spirit of God. We may well imagine what a blow this was to his former associates, more especially when he proceeded to publish a narrative of his connexion with the society and reasons for quitting it. Nevertheless, it does not appear in any way to have shaken their belief in the truth of the revelation of God's purpose supposed to have been made to him.
We come to another of the chief actors. The first to speak in an unknown tongue in Mr. Irving's congregation the first man to speak at all-was Mr. Taplin. He is described as breaking forth suddenly in a voice which seemed like a crash, powerful enough to bring down the roof. Dr. M'Neile, afterwards Dean of Ripon, was Vicar of Albury up to 1836. He had taken a prominent part in the prophetic conferences there, and had proposed a resolution :"That it is our duty to pray for the revival of the gifts manifested in the primitive Church, which are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, kinds of tongues, and interpretations of tongues, and that a responsibility lies on us to inquire into the state of those gifts said to be now present in the West of Scotland.' He may, therefore, fairly be considered as an unprejudiced witness. Now what is his testimony ?
'I heard Mr. Taplin, and what I heard was this. I write it in all seriousness before God, without scoff, sneer, or ridicule, but simply as a bonâ fide description of what I heard. It was neither more nor less than what is commonly called jargon, uttered ore rotundo and mingled with Latin words, among which I heard more than once, Amamini amaminor.'
It may here be observed that Mr. Taplin had previously kept an academy in Castle Street, Holborn. All the speci
* I heard or ridiciteit
mens which have been given of the unknown tongue show it to have been simply gibberish. But the tongue, we are told, was merely calculated to draw attention to the utterances which followed in a known language. What means, then, have we of testing the value of Mr. Taplin's prophetic utterances ? The importance of this is manifest if we bear in mind the very influential part which Mr. Taplin played in the Body. He was the first to be formally ordained to the office of Prophet, and was afterwards Pillar-Prophet. Five, at least, of the Apostles, if not Mr. Cardale himself, were called by the Spirit speaking through Mr. Taplin. The Records of the Council show that nearly all of the important developments, both of doctrine and discipline, in the Church, and very much of the mystical exposition of the Old Testament Scriptures, were due to his utterances. So influential was his position that it was allowed by a great authority, 'If there is anything wrong with Taplin, all is wrong. Up to his death, in 1862, he continued to be a chief source of light to the Church. We might have supposed that so 'gifted' a
1 Mr. Baxter, in his narrative, states that Mr. Cardale, the first Apostle, was called through Mr. Taplin. This, Mr. Cardale, in his Letter on certain Statements in the Old Church Porch, denies, but he carefully avoids saying through whom he was called. It seems to indicate a consciousness of weakness that a transaction of such vital importance to the Church should be left shrouded in mystery. We believe the facts to be these: 'The first call came through a 'handmaid,' Harriet Ray, a female servant. When there was some hesitation as to acting on this, utterances came from others, amongst whom were a clerk in Mr. Cardale's office, and Mr. Taplin. There is no record of that early date to appeal to, in confirmation of our statement, but it derives much support from Mr. Cardale's words (Letter, pp. 18-36)—No person was received as being called to the apostleship in consequence of words of prophecy spoken solely through a woman. On this call virtually hangs the truth or falsehood of the restored apostolate.
2 The first definite step in schism was taken at Albury, under Mr. Taplin's direction, when Mr. M`Neile, the clergyman of the parish, refused to take part with the Irvingites. They at first acknowledged their defective and wrong condition in assembling apart from their appointed pastor.' Even when a Prophet had named Mr. Drummond Pastor of Albury, doubts were entertained as to the validity of the appointment without any outward ordination, and more especially as to the authority to celebrate the Lord's Supper. But at a meeting for prayer on December 26th, the Lord spoke through Mr. Taplin, a long time, in a tongue, and then said, "The Lord ordains you, who have been called to be Angel of this Church, to feed this people with the Body and Blood of the Lord.' Afterwards the Spirit spoke again, with great power, through Mr. Taplin to Mr. Cardale: "The Lord commandeth you, who have been called to be an Apostle, to lay hands on the Angel of this Church, and ordain him to rule this people, to feed them with the Body and Blood of the Lord.' All scruples were thus overborne. The authorised ministry of God's Word and Sacraments was set aside.
person was above all suspicion of being under evil influences ; but what do we find ? On one occasion,' we are told by Mr. Baxter, ‘Mr. Taplin, having, in the voice of prophecy, rebuked Mr. Irving, was himself rebuked by the utterance from Miss E. Cardale, and after some days confessed that "he had spoken this rebuke by the power of an evil spirit."
Subsequently, in the congregation in Gray's Inn Road, Miss Cardale 'in the power' declared that “a gross sin had been committed against the Lord, and exhorted to confession.' Mr. Taplin, after some delay, came forward, and confessed that he had been guilty of speaking his own mind and mingling his own thoughts with the utterances.'
Again, in the course of 1834, while Mr. Cardale was absent, Mr. Taplin (and, observe, after his formal ordination as Prophet) delivered an' utterance,' that the tabernacle of the Lord should be pitched. This was uttered over and over again, with some variation, for about a month, when he further said, that 'the sixty pillars of the tabernacle should be sixty ministers. Accordingly sixty were chosen, and on the next Sunday arranged in their places. All thought that the tabernacle of the Lord would really soon be pitched, and that the glory of the Lord would enter it. Irving preached on the occasion, encouraging this expectation. But, in the course of the next week, a letter came from Mr. Cardale, in his apostolic office, rebuking both Irving and Taplin, who had,' he said, 'been deluded ; the whole being a suggestion of Satan.'
The question naturally arises—If, on these occasions, and others that might be mentioned, Mr. Taplin was under a delusion, or spoke his own mind and not that of the Spirit, might it not also have been so when he called men to be Apostles or Angels ? Might not this, too, have been a delusion of Satan? And if this call was not of God, does not the whole foundation on which the fabric is raised, crumble away?
At a later period, the Apostles claimed the right to control prophecy, and to decide which utterances were of Satan, and which of God. But, even granting this claim, who was to decide on the utterances by which they themselves were called to be Apostles? Why was more weight to attach to them than to that, for instance, by which Mr. Baxter had previously been called to be an Apostle ? With so much uncertainty whether any particular utterances were of Satan or God, so much opposition between Prophets, is not the voice of prophecy'a most insecure basis on which to raise so mighty a superstructure as that of a Catholic Apostolic Church with its fourfold ministry?
VOL. VII.—NO. XIII.