Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

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pamphlets or tracts, and heard many of them from

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the lips of apparently intelligeiit priests. Relics of
dead saints, known only to the Catholic Chorch, and
even of Christ and his iqK)stles, are to be seen in
many of the Catholic churches, and many wonderfol
stories are told of their miraooloas powers.

In the Church of San Gknnaro, or St. Januarins, in
Naples, the blood of the patron saint is kept in a
vial, and liquefied once or twice a year, to the great
edification and delight of the futhfuL A picture in
njmature of the Virgin Blary is shown in the church
of ihe Augustines (I think that is the name) in
j Bologna, punted by SL Lukef It is said that the
brazen serpent, or a piece of it, is shown in the
church of St. Ambrose at Milan; and a gentleman
informed me, that even in the church of St. John
Lateran, in Rome, they show the table on which our
Lord partook of the La st Sup per.

The holy stairty visited by so many pilgrims, and
which they ascend on their knees, are composed, ac-
cording to the Catholics, of the steps up which our
Saviour walked to Pilate's judgment-hall; and the
pilgrims are often seen kissing the spots said to be
"blessed"^ with the sweat of his sacred feet The
water which flows from the rock in the dungeon of
the Carcere Mamertina^ in which Paul and Peter are
said to have been confined, is sold to pilgrims, as pos-
sessing most marvellous properties. Mr. Neale and
I drank of the water, having paid the requisite sum.
Tradition says it was miraculously brought from the
rock, before dry, by the Apostle Peter : hence its great
value. Large sums of money are made annually by the
sale of such holy water, and in other ways which ap-
peal directly to the grossest superstition of the people.

You frequently see persons prostrate before images,
and in a state of the greatest i^parent devotion, even
if those images are formed out of materials taken
from heathen temples. At Pisa I saw several females
prostrate before the statues of Adam and Eve. The
celebrated statue of St. Peter, in the Church of St.
Peter at Rome, the toe of which is almost literally
kissed away, was originally a statue of Jupiter, taken
from the CapitoL Many of the altars, ornaments,
I and BO forth, in the churches, are entirely heathen
iin their origin and appearance. Naked forms in
marble abound in all the churches. Many of the
vases used for baptismal purposes, and those contain-
ing the holy water, were anciently used for similar
purposes in the days of heathenism. Nothing struck
me with more force than incidental circumstances
^ like these, as indicating the gross ignorance, credu-
lity, superstition, and dishonesty abounding in the
GathoUc Church.

St. Januarins is the protector of Naples in Italy;
his blood is preserved in a small bottle at the altar of
the chureh of the same name. It is believed by every
Neapolitan, that the liquefaction of that blood is an
indication of grace and mercy to the inhabitants of
the city, as well as to private individuals who ap-
proach in faith to the saint. At the time when
Napoleon invaded Italy, suppressing the convents
and nunneries, carrying the priests and their riches

to France, the few who remained were, as a matter
of course, not very loyal to the emperor. They agi-
tated in secret; whispered in the oonfesnonols into
the ears of the Laszaroni, that ** St. Januarius is dis-
pleased with the conduct of the invaders— that hi»
blood did not boil during the whole time the ungodly-
French soldiers occupied the kingdom of Naples.^^
On the day of the celebration of high mass, the blood
of Januarius was exposed to the adoration of the
people ; but it would not boil, not even liquefy. The
spies of the French immediaiely informed the com-
mander of the troops of the imminent danger of the
rising of the populace, who, without delay, gave
orders that the whole army should occupy the prin-
cipal streets of the dty. Two eaatnons were planted
before the door of the Church of St. Januarius, and
at the different comers of the streets, with lighted
matches, and a special order to the vicar of the
bishops, who celebrated the mass, " Thai if in tern
minutes SL Januarius should not^ perform his usual
miracle, the whole city would be 'reduced to ruins;^
and in five minutes the saint was pacified— his blood j
was liquefied and boiled. The "gloria in excelffls'" |
was sung, the shouts of joy re-echoed in the air, and |
the French rq'oiced with them, but not the disap- i
pointed priests. <{


As many fish and catch nothing, so many read good
books and get nothing, because they read them over
cursorily, snghtly, superficially. But he that would
read to profit, must then,

Firti, Read, and look up for a blessing. (I Cor.
iiL 6, 7.) Paul may plant, and Apollos may water ;-
but all will be to no purpose, except the Lord give
the increase. God must do the deed, when all is-
done, or else all that is done will do you no good. If
you would have this work successful and effectual,
you must look off from man, and look up to God, who
alone can make it a blessing to you. As without a
blessing from heaven thy clothes cannot warm thee,
nor thy food nouridi thee, nor physic cure thee, nor
friends comfort thee; so without a blessing from
heaven, without the precious breathings and in^
fluences of the Spirit, what here is done will do you
1, it will not turn to your account in the day

of Cluist, and therefore cast an eye heavenwards.
It is Seneca's observation, that the husbandmen in-
EWpt never look up to heaven for rain in the time '
ofdrought, but look after the overflowing of the
banks of the Nile as the only cause of their plenty. ,
Ah ! how many are there in these days, who, when
they go to read a book, never look after the rain of
God's blessings, but only look to the River Nile.
They only look to the wit, the learning, the arts, the-
parts, the eloquence, &c., of the author— they never
look so high as heaven; and hence it cornea ta pass,
that though these read much, yet they profit litUe. i
Secondly y He that would read to pront, must read
and meditate. Meditation is the food of your souls;
it is the very stomach and natural heat whereby
spiritual truths are digested. A man shall as soon
hve without his heart, as he shall be able to get good ,
by what he reads without meditation. ** Prayer,**
saith Bernard, *' without meditation, is dry and
formal; and peading without meditation is useless ,
and unprofitable.** He that would be a wise, a pru-
dent, and able experienced statesman, must not easily
ramble and run over many cities, countries, customs^

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IxwBf ^d nnmnen of people, without seriocifl musing

and jionatiing upon sncfi things as may make him

an expert statesman; so he that would get good by

reading, that would complete his knowledge, and per-

: feet his experience in spiritual things, must not

slightly and hastily ramble and run over this book

or that, but ponder upon what he reads, as Mary

! pondered the saying of the angel in her heart

i « Lord." saith Austme, " the more I meditate on

! thee, the sweeter thou art to me.** So the more you

'«hall meditate on the following matter, the sweeter

it will be to tou. They usually thrire best who medi-

tiate most. Meditation is a soul-fiEittening duty, it is

*« grace-strengthening duty, it is a duty-crowning

I <luty. Gerson calls meditation the nurse of prayer-

Hierom calls it his paradise ; Basil calls it the treasury

I where all the graces are locked up : Theophylact calls

it the Tery gate and portal by which we enter into

glory; and Aristotle, though a Heathen, placeth

I feliaiy in the contemplation of the mind. You may

read much, and hear much, yet without meditation

^ you will nerer be excellent— you will nerer be an

eminent Christian.

; Thirdly, Read, and try what thou readest. Take
•nothing upon trust, but aU upon trial, as those noble
Bereans did. (1 John iv. 10; Acts xvii 10, 11.) You
' -will try, and tell, and weigh gold, though it be handed
to you by your &thers; and so should you all those
heayenly truths that are handed to yon by your
spiritual fathers. I hope, upon trial, you will find
nothing but what will hold weight in the balance of
; the sanctuary ; and though all be not gold that glisters,
, yet I judge that you will find nothing here to glister
-that will not be found, upon trial, to be true gold.

Fourtftlv, Read and do, read and practise what you
read, or else all your readme will do you no good.
He that hath a good book in his hand, but not a les-
son of it in his heart or life, is like an ass that car-
rieth a rich burden, and feeds upon thistlee. In
divine account, a man knows no more than he doth.
Profession without practice will but make a mim
twice told a child of darkness. To speak well is to
Bound like a cymbal, but to do well is to act Hke an
angeL He that practiseth what he reads and under-
stands, CN>d will help him to understand what he
understands not. (John riL 16; Ps. cxix. 98-100.
There is no fear of knowing too much, though there
I as much fear in practising too little. The most doing
I man shall be the most knowing man; the mightiest
man in practice, will, in the en<( prore the mightiest
nan in Scripture. Theory is the guide of practice,
i«nd practice is the life of theory. Salrian rehttes
liow the Heathen did reproach some Christians, who
by their lewd liyes made the Gospel of Christ to be
a reproach : ** Where,** said they, ** is that good htw
which they do beliere ? Where are tiiose rules of
j^dliness which they do learn ? They read the holy
Gospel, and yet are unclean I They hear the apos-
tles* writings, and yet live in drunkenness I They
foUow Christ, and yet disobey Christ ! They profess
a holy law, and yet leadimpure liyes!" Ah! how
, many preachers may take up sad complaints against
mwiy readers in these days? They read our works,
and yet in their liyes they deny our works! they
praise our works, and yet in their conyersations they
j rqiToach our works ! They cry up our labours in
j their discourses, and yet they cry them down in their
practioee. Yet I hope better things of you, into
whose hands this treatise shaU &U. The Samaritan
woman (John iy. 7) did not fiU her pitcher with
WKter, that she might talk of it, but that she nUght
use it; and Rachel did not desire the mandrakes to
liold in her hand (Gen. xxx. 15), but that she might
thereby be the more apt to bring forth. The appli-
cation la easy. But, ^


ini^-^?\^"\?*FP'y: I5«adingi8butthe draw-
^e chdoest truths wiU no fiurth^ profit you than
they are appbed by you; you were fw good not to
read, as not to appty what you read. No man attains
toh^th by reading of ballen, or knowing^
pocrat«i* aphorisms, but by the practical 1SpU<£.
tion of them. All the raiding fn the worff ^

^l^ SS^f ^**' ^"^ ^^Sl^f yo"' ^^* except you

apply what you read. The true reason why miny
T&^ so much tnd profit so Uttie, is, because they do
not apply and bring home what they read to thdr
own souls. But,

i5trt% and ^tM</y, Read and pray. Hethatmakee
5L*^?5?®°^ ?? praying oyer what he reads, wiU
mia little sweetness or profit in his reading No
man makes such earnings of his readingTashe that
prays oyer what he reads. Luther professeth that
he profited more in the knowledge of the Scriptures
by prayer, m a short space, than by study in a longer.
AsJohn by weeping got the scaled book openTso
certainly men would gain much more than they do
by reading good men's works, if they would but pray
mwe oyer what thev read. Ah! Christian, pray
before you read and pray after you read, that aU
naay be blest and sanctified to you. When you haye
done reading, usually close thus :~

SoletmeliTe^toletinedl*, I

That I may U»e eternally. |


I LIT the other day on the bank of Bunyan** « Riyer
of life,** bubbUng up wHh the sweetest and best of
w^ter, which he himself drank of all his days, from
the yery beginning of his pilgrimage. It is better than
any mineral spring I eyer found. Hear Bunyan tell
about it, and let your month water to drink of it :—
" This M water of life. Probatum est. It is the
right holy water! It neyer fails. It wiU cure the
most desperate melancholy. It will dissolve doubts, '
though they haye grown as hard as a stone in the '
heart. It will make youa«Atte s<ml, which is better f
than a white skin. It gently purgeth, yet more
effectually than any other waters. It proyokes np-
petite, and makes us long for what is wholesome.

**1 haye read of some seas so pure and clear that
aman may see the 6otto», though it be forty feet
deep. So then we shall look down through these
crystal streams, and see what beat the bottom of alL
The lottom of aXLia, that we might he saved! *These
things, I say,* saith Christ, < that ye might be sayed !*
What a good sound bottom is here ! These are the
waters that the doyes like to sit by (Cant y. 12),
because in their clearness they can see themselyes m
in a glass. These be the streams in which they wash
their eyes, and by which they solace and content'
themselyes. As in fair waters, a man may aee the!
body of the sun, moon, and stars, and the yery body I
of heayen, so he that stands upon the brink of this I
riyer, and washeth his eyes with its water, may see I
the Son of God, the stars of God, the glory of God, !
the city of God.** |

What a blessed water is that which can show all
this ! If such a mineral spring were struck upon, !
what multitudes would flock to it ! Well, there we |
haye it in the Word of 6k)d. Drink ye all of it ,

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Let him that is athint come, and whoBoercr wifl, let
him take the water of life fireely, " He that bcliev-
eth on me,'' faith the Sayioar, *" ihall nerer thint;
but the water that I dull gire him shall be in him a
wen of water, springing np unto everlasting life.'*
Reader, may yon and I be always drinking there I


Ah* how many fionilies are there whose houses are
not the •*chnrch of God," bat the "synagogue of
Satan*" rather ! '* God is not in all their thoughts;"
God is not in all their mouths, except it be in swear-
ing, and cursing, and blaspheming. Their "bellies
are their god,^ and their lusts are their krd. It is
said of Noah's ark, that it "was pitched within and
without." (Gen. tL 14.) "Such," says one, "is
the condition of many a man's house : it is a Noah's
ark; it is pitched within and without; nothing bnt
the pollutions and defilements of sin in ererr room,
and passage, and comer. Idleness stands at the door ;
uneanscionableness walks in the shop; covetousnms
lurks in the oounting-houBe; luxury sits at the table ;
pride looks out at the window;— all pitchy both with-
m and without."

And therefore, Christians, for the Lord's sake, o«it
with all this rubbish, if it should be found in your
fiunilies. How do you in London here delight to
hare your houses clean ; and hereupon sweep then^
and wash them, and rub theml O that you would
be as oafefoi to deanse your £unilies from nn as you
are to cleanse your houses from dirt ! ^ How soon
would this great city become "a habitation of righ-
teoosneas" and "a mountain of holiness!" How
would this family refMrmatien prerent the guilt of
family sins, and keep out family distractions, and
secure frt)m family desolation I Therefore,^ sirs, set
up ftmily watchfulnesB, and family correction. Let
erery house be an house of correction of itself: and
set about £unily reading, and family conference, and
ftmiily repetition, and eroecially family prayer; that
all your houses may be like Gtod's house : Vou know
his is called an "house of prayer:" "Mine house
shall be called an house of prayer for all people."
( Isa. Ivi. 7.) So should yours; they should be houses
of prayer all of them : if they be not, let me tell you
th^are no better than dens of thieyes. Saith Christ,
"My house shaU be called the house of prayer; but
ye haye made it a den of thieyes." ( Matt. zzi. 13.)
There is no medium betwixt these two; if }rour
houses be not "houses of prayer," they are certainly
" dens of thieyes ;" if you do not pray to God for your
mercies before you receive them, and praise Goctfor
your mercies when yom enjoy them, you do but rob
God of his merdes. They are not given, but thrown;
and snatched, indeed, rather thsn received.— iTitoA^ik

The abnndity of the monstrous doctrine of transub-
stantiation is well illustrated by the following well-
known anecdote. If Uterally true, it shows also
what we are well persuaded of, that the priests do
not themsdves believe the dogma which, to increase
tiksir own authority and dignity, they impose upon
the silly multitude. Whe^er true in all its particu-
lars or not, it may serve as an illustration of the
glaring absurdity of transubstautiation. There is not
a priest in the land who would have fsith enough to
submit to such a test of his sincerity :—

A Protestant lady cjitered the matrimonial state
with a Boman Catholic gentleman, on condition that

he would never use any attempts, in his intercoatse
with her, to induce her to enutraoe his religicn.|
Accordin^y, after their marriage, he abstained firasn;
conversing, with her on those religious topics yrhich'
he knew would be disagreeable to her. He emplojredj
the Romish priest, however, to instil his roplsh
notions into her mind. But she remained unmoTed^i
particularly on the doctrine oi transnbfifcantiation ■
At length the husband fsU ill, and, daring bia afflio-
tk>n, was recommended bv the priest to reeeive the
holy sacrament. The wife was requested to prepare
the wafer for the solemnity by tlie next day. She!
did so, and on presenting it to the priest, said: "This,
sir, yon wi^ me to understand, wiU be changed into
the real body and blood of Christ, after you bane
ooDsecrated it ? "

" Most certainly, my dear madam; there can be:
no doubt of it." I

" Then, sir, it will not be posrible, after the oon-
secration, for it to do any harm to the vrorthy pc^'
takers ? for, says our Lord, * My flesh is meat indJeed,!
and my blood is drink indeed,' and * He that eateth
me shall live by me.' " |

" Assuredly, the holy sacrament can do no kaxm;
to the worUiy receivers, but, so ftr from it, iiiiist|
communicate great good." {

The ceremony was proceeded in, and the wafer
'9rM duly consecrated; the priest was about to take
and eat the host, but the lady begged pardon for in-
terrupting him, adding, " I mixed a little anenic'
with the wafer; sir, but, as it is now changed mto!
the real body of Christ, it cannot, of course, do yoal
any harm." The principles of the priest, however,
were not sufficiently firm to enable him to eat it!
Caused, ashamed, and irritated, he left the honse,-
and never more ventured to enforce on the lady €he^
doctrine of transubstontiation< — IhwUng,

As to the schools, when young and tender, chooae
out such guides and masters as may ediiV them, and.
imprint something more of God upon ^idr heartSLl
It u a great fault m many that take im any neigh-
bour sdiool where are profime and yricked chSdren,'
such as have learnt of^ their parents to swear, and
take God's name in vain. Many times little youths
gather a great deal of filth, and soil, and p<dlntion in
such places, that sticks by them many years after.
It is a good work " to prohibit and keq[» them off
from all illiborel and sordid speeches and spectacles.*'.
There was, it seems, a great crew of naughty children
at Bethel, in the days of Elijah, that mocked the
prophet — a place that was a seminary and nurserr
for young ones in knowledge. (2 Kings ii. 3, 23.)
O how sad is it for children that have been diligentiy
taught at home in the fear of God to unlearn all in
wi^ed schools! Have a great eye to this, and
especially if they be such as are designed for aca-
demical learning, ihat they be placed under godly
tutors at the i^versity: or if for trades, or other
mechanical mysteries, that you choose out the blessed
riiadow of a godly master and mistress, that may
rivet and clinch the nail that thou hast knocked in.
Chnat will be thy comfort in this, if thou aoughteit
more a pious family than a great and rich trade; a
ihmily wherein ships go to heaven, and a trade is
driven to C«naan: but espedally in the grand ecB-
oemm«nt of marriage, that they match into a godlr
family, in irriiose veins the blood of the covenant dotn
nm. An heiress of the divine promises Is a greater
match than an empress of the whole world. He tha*
hath but one foot of land in Mount 2ion \b riidnr
than he that holdsa sosptre over the round globe.
^Lee, ' I

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Fraitcuoo Pibb S0ARE8 was the holder of a
fEUEenda or piece of vine aud sugar-cane ground
in the immediate neighbourhood of Funchal.
He was about forty years of age, and was
married, but had no family. He was an in-
telligent, superior man for his rank in life; he
could read very well, and he could also write
aud cast accounts.

A deep interest was taken by the Madeir-
enses in the contest between the brothers Don
Pedro and Don Miguel for the crown of Por-
tugal. The islanders were divided into two
parties, and many atrocities were mutually per-
petrated. The priesthood, almost to a man,
sided with Don Miguel, and succeeded in per-
snading a large body of the people, especially
in the country districts, to espouse his cause,
telling them that it was the cause of their holy
religion. But that was a weak argument with
many of the Madeirenses, who were avowed
infidels, and who^ besides, were too well ac-
quainted with the lives led by the priesthood,
and the opinions which most of them really
held, to be much influenced by anything they
siud on the subject of religion. Francisco,
however, was at this time an obedient and de-
voted son of the Church. He entered keenly
into the politics of the day; and none in his
station in society was a more ardent supporter
of mother Church and Don Miguel than he.
But the party whose interest he supported was
worsted. Don Miguel was driven forth a fugitive
— ^his partisans were put down — Donna Maria,
the daughter of Don Pedro, ascended the throne

-the Church was curtailed of her fair propor-
tions — the priesthood was humbled. During
the contest the zeal of Francisco involved him
in not a little danger, and before everything
was settled he suffered considerable loss in his

Some time after Dr. Kalley came to Madeira,
Francisco was seized with inflammation, and
appHed to him for medical aid. The means
employed were successful, and he was soon
restored to health. When he offered Dr.
Kalley the usual remuneration, it was declined;
and this at once struck Francisco as something
nngnlar. Soon after Dr. Kalley called upon
him. On the Doctor's entrance Francisco said
No. Z9*

to his wife, * Here comes our father" — a mode
of expression implying a deep feeling of grati-
tude to the Doctor, and a strong sense of the
benefit received from him.* Dr. Kalley, who
overheard the words, desired him to look up
to God, as the Father to whom he was indebted,
and whom he ought to thank for all the mercies
which he had received. " Strange man this,"
thought Francisco, ** who will accept neither
fee nor thanks for the benefits which he con-
fers;" and it struck him that there must be
something peculiar in his religion, since it led
to so much disinterestedness and humility.

He now began occasionally to attend the
worship in Dr. Kalley's house, which was con-
ducted in the Portuguese language. He also
began to read the Bible. Still there was evi-
dently no real saving change. He seemed
willing to use the means of grace, and was ac-
tually to be found in the pretty frequent use of
them. But he made no profession of Bible
Christianity; and his conduct about this time
bore open testimony that sin had yet dominion
over him. He formed a criminal connection
with a young woman who lived in his house
But a merciful God gave him grace to r^>ent.
He was convinced of sin; he began to give
more diligent heed to divine things; and by a
gradual but steady progress he now passed out
of darkness into light, and from the bondage
of sin and Satan into the liberty of the childreu

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 106 of 145)