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Edward Irving


1792 - 1834

Charismatic preacher. Born in Annan (Dumfries and Galloway) and educated at the University of Edinburgh. Irving became a school-master. In Haddington, Irving became tutor to Jane Welsh Carlyle. Later he became her admirer and suitor, but introduced her to his friend Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881), who she later married. In 1819, Irvine was appointed assistant to theologian Thomas Chalmers (1780 - 1847), who was later a leader of the Disruption in the Church of Scotland. Irving moved to London in 1822, becoming minister of the Caledonian Church in Covent Garden. He was convinced the second coming of Jesus Christ was imminent and Irving preached and wrote on this subject. He was accused of heresy by the London Presbytery when he developed his views on Christ as a sinner and ejected from his charge, and the Church of Scotland, in 1833. Many of his congregation remained loyal to their pastor and this led to the formation of the Catholic Apostolic or Irvingite Church, although Irving's death limited his influence on the development of the new church. By the 1970s, and the death of the last priest, the church effectively ceased and congregations mostly dispersed. The New Apostolic Church, a German offshoot dating from 1863, claims eleven million members worldwide.


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