Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

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that we may willingly devote ourselves to thee I

The heart of Jesus, our great high priest.
Is this portion of Scripture two incidents are is full of compassion towards sinners,
narrated, which at first sight may seem to be ! Ah I this is a truth, unspeakably great and
very dissimilar, but which, if duly considered, important — a Gospel ** worthy of all accepta-
will be found to be in perfect harmony. The tion," for thee, for me, for all who sigh under
Saviour had set out on his last journey to Jem- ^ the heavy curse of sin. Hear it, hear it, my
«alem. A great multitude followed him, who, i weak desponding soul ! thou hast an High Priest

having seen his mighty works, believed on him,
and were joyfully anticipatmg the day when
Messiah's khigdom should come. Their joy
tliey manifested after the manner in which the
triumphant marches of the princes of the earth
were often celebrated. They spread their gar-

whose heart bums towards thee with the most
pitying compassion, with the most merciful
loving-kindness — thou hast an High Priest, un-
willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to him and live — thou hast an
High Priest, who bears on his bosom the names

ments in the way, and over these the King of of sinners, and thy poor sinful name also, even

Z\on gently rode. And as he approached ** the
descent of the Mount of Olives,*' they ** hegon
to praise God with a loud voice." They shouted
and sang, ** Blessed be the king that cometh in
the name of the Lord; peace in heaven, and
glory in the highest." But, amidst these testi-
monies of joy, Jesus began to weep, and gave
vent to his feelings in lamentation. It was

as Aaron bore the names of the children of
Israel on his breastplate — thou hast an High
Priest who is thy Saviour. I do not think, my
dear hearers, that it is necessary to prove this
great .truth; you may read it in every page of
the Holy Scriptures. Although there are few
who truly believe it, it is a truth admitted gene-
rally by every professing Christian. The ap-

compassion for Jemsalem, hardened in sin, that ! pearance of the Son of God upon earth, his.
so moved the Son of God. How sublime the < assumption of the human nature, his pilgrimage
<9pectaole ! How compassionate the heart of ' here below, all his doings, his words, his sor-
Christ must be I We read, however, in the > rows, his death, his resurrection, his ascension

— all these bear witness to this great troth. I
need not prove to you that the heart of Jesus
is full of compassion towards sinners. The king-
dom of God cometh 'not by proofs, but by the
power of the Holy Ghost. Let us, however,
consider this great tmth, which is to be mot
with in every page of the Gospel. !

'When he was come near, he beheld the
Jerusalem, and he who drove the buyers and ; city, and wept over it.** Dear hearers, the
sellers out of the temple, is the same Jesus; | Saviour wept ! It becomes us to stand still in
No. 40 .•

chapter, that, on entering the temple, he
" began to cast out them that bought and sold
therein.** With a scoui^ he drove out of
it the buyers, and sellers, and exchangers of
money. Now, it is the same divine power,
which characterized all his words and actions,
that is made manifest in this expression of his
holy zeaL Dear hearers ! he who wept over

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silent contemplation as we read that he wept.
Our Creator, our Lord, our God, he on whom
the decision of our future staie dependi^ our
Judge, the Almighty Lord of heaven and earth,
' whom all the angels worship, at whose foet all
the heavenly host lay down their crowns, wept,
yea, shed warm and bitter tears. Be amazed,
I my soul, and adore ! that I could perceive
the depth of this mighty wonder — that I could
sufficiently comprehend its import! Jehovah-
Jesus wept. That he was angry — that with
divine power he drove the buyers and sellers
out of the temple — at this I wonder not. That
his justice, which bums to the lowest hell,
shoiJd be made manifest — that *• his eyes** are
("as a flame of fire" — that, under the influence
of his frown, everlasting destruction shall over-
take all who have not obeyed the Gospel — ^that
, the heavens and the earth shall flee away from
his presence, and no place be found for them —
dear hearers, I do not wonder at this; for he is
Jehovah, a holy and jealous God, and nothing
that is unclean can stand before him. But O
I that he wept ! this is wonderful.
I How clearly do the love and benevolence
of the Father shine forth in the tears of Jesus !
How apparent here, to a world of sinners, is the
' Saviour as the Son of Man ! And how these
; tears entitle him to the name of the Lamb of
Grod ! He had a human heart; he felt as a man.
I The deepest sorrow overwhelmed his spirit;
and pressing heavily upon him, was made mani-
. fest by sighs and bitter tears. He wept, nnd was
'not ashamed of his tears. He is God; yet he
wept. As our High Priest he wept; unlike the
boasted heroes of antiquity, who assumed a
forced hardihood that made thera ashamed of
tears. No, no; he had become man, and shed
tears even as other men; and, as one of the sons
of Adam, he is not ashamed even thus to be
styled our brother.

Dear hearers ! although he has now resumed
the gkry of his Ffether, his heart is still the
same. Seated at his Father's right hand, he is
still the same Jesus who walked on this earth
in the days of his flesh— «* Jesus Christ, the
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." As he
was before the foundation of the worid, so was
he in the depth of his humiliation; and the same
feelings which characterized him during his
pilgrimage here, are even now his own. True,
since his Father crowned him with glory and
honour, he has ceased to weep; yet those feel-
ings have not become strange to him which
made his tears flow while he sojourned upon
earth. That which then moved him, moves

him still; that which then called forth his zeal,,
awakens it still; that which then filled his heart
viith joy, ^addens him stilL O what a comfort I
to the heart of a poor sinner to be assured that
He who is the dispenser of heavenly blessings, '
and on whom the salvation of our souls depends,,
is man even as he is God I With what confi-
dence may not we approach him, as we remem-
ber his tears, and pour out our souls into his
great heart of love 1 With what unlimited trust
may not we tell him of all the sorrows that op- i
press us, since we know that he is no despotic
lord, but is, and ever will be> our faithful Jesus, i
y^ily, my poor heart, thoa needest such an High
Priest,, if thou wouldst not draw back in terror,
if thou weuldat not be dumb before him. ''We
have not/' however, ^ an High Priest who can- ;
not be touched with a feeling of our infirmities;
but was, in all pmnte, tempted like as we are^
yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly
unto the throne of grace, that we may obtiuh '
mercy, and find grace to help us in time of
need." |

But over what did he weep ? • He beheld [
the city, and wept over it." Dear hearers ! i
when we weep, our tears flow for ourselves, orj
because of something v^hich nearly conoemsj
us. If we are crossed in something — if our '<
schemes are thwarted — if, in consequence, we
are oppressed with grief or overwhelmed with
sorrow, then we weep. Even the strongest are
constrained to weep, when cast into the furnace
of affliction. There are also tender souls which
can easily be made to weep, whether by the
narrative or the view of sufibring. But so far
from being deeply seated is the impression thus
made, that in a little they may be seea to smile,
even as they had wept. Their tears are often the
result of mere weakness, or of a peculiar con-
stitutional sensibility of soul. But it was not
thus that the Saviour wept. He wept not for

He was now drawing nigh to the gates of
Jerusalem. Behind him were the three and
thirty years of his weary pilgrimage. Deep
humiliation, many and bitter sorrows, had he
experienced. Stormy had been his coarse
through life. A dark, dread future lay before
him. His last conflicty his suiFerings and ifeath
of shame — all this was full in his mind's eye.
He saw before him that place which was io be
the scene of his deepest abasement. Who could
have wondered, though his strength of mind
had failed him! who could have wondered,
though he had wept as he thought of his long
course of sufferings which were to eiid*9o fright-

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fiillj ? who could kave wondered, if the thought
had arisen in bis breast— Ah ! thou poor sheep
destined for the slaagfater, here thoa art to e^n
the bloody reward of thy lore. This would
have been no weakness. And yet he wept net
for himself: ** He beheld the citv, and wept over

O, my heart! be lost in the greatness of the
heart of Jesus. Consider what a Saviour, what
a High Priest thou hast. JenisalelB, that groat
«ity of great sinners, lay, spread e«t Ba it were,
before him. God had long done maay great
things for that city and its inhabitaats. He
had given them his law; he had sent unto them
his servants the prophets. Patiently had he
borne with their faithlessneas and idolatry. As
a tender mother, he had led them by the band.
He had spared no pains with Israel. In a very
wonderful manner he had made known to them
his mercy. Jerusalem was his vineyard. He
liad ^ fenced it, and gathered out the stones
thereof." He had '< planted it with the choicest
vine," and had ** built a tower in the midst of
it, and made a wine-press ther^n." He had
^ looked that it should bring forth grapes;" but
it had ** brought forth wild grapes." Jesus be-
I' held these wild grapes; and, when he looked on
them, he wept.

God had done for Jerusalem even more than
this. He had sent his Son. Jesus had ^ipear-
ed, and preached to its inhabitants God's coun-
sel of love for the si^vation of stnners. He
invited them to enter into the kingdom of God.
He spake with power. He made his divinity
'evident by signs and wonders. He was ^ a
prophet, Blighty in word and deed." After his
aeoensien he seat unto them ether prophets and
apostles. Many miracles were wrought, that
they might believe; yet they continued un-
moved. All was esteemed by them as nothing.
jThey rejected the Son. They took him, and
I nailed lum to the cross. They called down the
eurse, not the blessing, of his blood upon their
i heads. They perseeuted and put to death the
I prophets and apestles. They put far away
. from ^em €rod*s matt^lese love. Jesus wept,
I because they were so hardened. He knew that,
j beoanse of the haiHlness of their hearts, they
were drawing down misery on themselves, in
I time and 4^ eternity. In q)irit he saw the city
I besieged, dedtroyed, laid hfw. He beheld wee
deteendkig npoa it-— its -ohildrea eeattered in
wretohedassfl m%t t^ iaoe^f the-eaith, sighing
I and weeping ibr geaOTotioiis. The Father had
' sent hilB Son into his girdoB, to drets aad to
') I ko^p the <&g 4vee' whieh he had |)lanted. For


three long years bad the gardener laboured
diligently that the tree might bear fruit; and
tliree times had the Lord of the vineyard come
to eee whether, fruit was brought forth by the
tree of which such care had been taken. But
it brought forth none. ** Then said the Lord
of the vineyard, Cut it down; why cumbereth it
the ground I And he answered, and said. Let it
alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and
dung it : fl^ if it bear fruit, well : and if not,
then after that thou shalt cut it down." These
four years were now ended; and still there was
no fruit to be seen. The axe, in consequence,
was laid to the root. The compassionate vine-
dresser could no longer plead for it He must
say yea and amen to its destruction. But he
did so with tears.

< And now, behold once more the loving heart
of^our dear Saviour! What see you there?
Assuredly nothing but the most generous, the
most merciful, love to sinners. No thoughts of
his own sufferings are mingled with his tears.
In this noble heart there arises no wrathful
feeling agunst the men who were so soon to
bring him to such a death of shame. Howi
should he, whose love to sinners made him die
for them — how should he who prayed for his
murderers while they nailed him to the cross,
experience emotions of wrath! Behold this
man of love — of love unparalleled ! In him you
see no sparks of the fiery seal of Elias. No :
he wept — he wept over his people's sins. He
wept for his enemies; not because they reward-
ed his good with evil, but because they drew
down upon themselves the wrath of God, and
would not consider the day of their visitation. I

O what mercy is here ! These tears of the '
Saviour bear witness that it is his indeed to '
seek and to save lost sinners. These tears'
proclaim, far more plainly than word% that to- !
wards sinners he is full of compassion. And is
he indeed my friend! is he indeed our God?
Then I may freely ask. Who is like Jesus I !
whose heart is like his heart I whose love is |
like his love? whose Saviour is like ourj
Saviour! He is the incomparable, the nnspeak- 1
able friend of sinners. {

Poor soul, kno west thou this friend of sinners ? '
Hast Uiou tasted somewhat of his love! Hast
thou looked into the depth of his mercy!,
Livoet thou in his love! Or must he still sorrow *
ever thee! Must he still sigh and weep, and say, '
" If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in
this thy day, the things which belong unto thy |
peace I but bow they are hid from thine eyes !" {
I know well that there are many here who do '

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not consider the time of their visitation; who
keep £&r away from Jesns — ^far away from his
I great, his wondrous love; who **mind'' only
i" earthly things;" who walk after ** the course
lof this present evil world." Oh, be convinced
I that the Saviour has the same heart towards
you, towards each one of you, as he had to-
wards Jerusalem; that he loves you as he loved
] Jerusalem; that he bears you on his heart as
'he did Jerusalem; that he would rejoice over
I you if you knew his love, as he would
have rejoiced over Jerusalem, if that city had
known the day of its visitation; that he sorrows
over you who are hardened in sin, as he sor-
rowed over Jerusalem.

We dare not think as if it were with him a
matter of indifference whether sinners should
be saved or not. We dare not imagine that
our salvation lies as little at his heart as it often
does at ours. No : there is a heart yonder
that beats toward us with more than a mother's
love; that takes the deepest interest in our fate,
and, in connection with it, may experience the
intensest sorrow, or the most perfect joy. If
the Saviour were one to whom we owed no-
thing, he might take no interest in our lot.
But what shall we say if he does ! There is,
indeed, a mystery in this which we cannot
comprehend. But let us try to look into it.
It can never be a matter of indifference to any
one whether he is beloved or not, even though
he should not be closely related to those whose
esteem he desires. But Jesus, by whom we are
loved, is not tlius far removed from us. He has
given us being; he has supported us and cared
for us all our life long. To him we are in-
debted for the air we breathe. He gives us the
food we eat. We have nothing which we have
not received from him as a free gift. But what
do I say ! He is the Saviour; and in this one
sentence all is said. For the salvation of
lost souls he took upon him the form of sinful
flesh; for this he subjected himself to inexpres-
sible shame and contempt; for this he died the
cursed death of the cross; for this he became
** a man of sorrows," a martyr without equal;
for this he became a city of refuge; for this
he bore the mighty lo4d of the wrath of Grod,
even that he might deliver sinners from eternal
damnation, and exalt us to glory. Behold his
love! Behold the bleeding, fainting, dying
Jesus, extended on the cross as a curse, and
sinking down into the dark night of death; and
, all for our sakes — all for the sake of the souls
that were dear to him. And can it be that we
are not affected by such a manifestation of love

— can it be that we fail to appreciate this man
of love t Can we make his heart still more sor-
rowful! Can we grieve him still morel Can
we crucify afresh the crucified one ! Oh, " how
shall we escape, if we neglect so great salva-
tion T

Satan saw plainly that the Saviour had come
to destroy all his works and well-built fortresses;
BO he gathered all his bands against him, and,
as he thought at the time, gained the victory.
Yes; when the great Sheph^ of the sheep was
made a curse for us, the triumph of the devil
and sin seemed as if complete. But it was not
so in reality; for all was according to the
** counsel of God." Justice behoved to be exe-
cuted on the body of Christ, that sinners might
be saved. ^ He was made sin for us, who knew
no sin, that we might be made the righteous-
ness of God in him." Satan, by his wicked-
ness, was an instrument in God's hand to crush
his own head. The martyred body of Jesus
was placed between us and sin. In that body
we have the clearest testimony how unspeak-
able i»the Saviour's love to the sinner — but also
how unspeakable is his hatred of sin. By the
power of that body, all, even the finest and
most unseen threads which attach us to sin,
may be unloosed. As Jesus died unto sin, so
may we also, by the power of his death. As he
arose from the dead, so may we also walk with
him in faith, by the power of his resurrection.
Great and blessed secret, concealed from the
world, and from the wise men of the world, but
made known to the poor, the simple, and the
unlearned I All, however, will be made plain
on the resurrection morning. Then will an
assembled universe see with its own eyes how
gloriously, how completely, Jesus Clu'ist has
Uius in eternal love saved the believing sinner
from sin, and changed him into the glorious
image of God. Then it will be made apparent
that there was nothing wanting in this great
work. Then will it be seen how much, how
very much, Jesus loves the sinner, and how
much he hates sin. And it will be seen also,
that he has vanquished it. Behold the love of

But if a man hears all this without laying it
to heart, he hardens his soul in sin, which he
knows well the Saviour hates, and from which
he knows that he cannot be saved but by faith
in him. In such circumstances he will nnk
deeper and deeper in sin — he will become stupi.
fled. Think not, dear hearers, that it is ft mat-
ter of indifference whether you obey the Goepel
call or not The preaching of the love of God

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leaTCB not a man as it finds him. He eithefr
believes this Gospel, and receives it in his
heart; or he believes not thisGo6pel,and hardens
his heart against it : and then^no longer moved by
the Holy Spirit, he is the more hardened ia sin,
and sinks into a state of appaUuig stupefaction.
I It was thns with the Jews. Id the irtt years of
his ministry, when he cleansed the temple, the
I Saviour said, * Te have made my Father's house
an house of merchandise.*' But, three years
afterwards, as we have read this day, he said,
I ^ Ye have made it a den of thieves." And,
, verily, the temple had become a den of thieves;
jfor it was filled with those who ^tomglit how
I they might kill him.** So deeply had Jemsa-
I iem sunk in three years ! Three years ago,
*' merchants^' now, ^ thieves T And this in
I the time of their glorious visitation, while they
had the Sen of God, the image of the Father,
in the midst of them ! O, lei this be to us an
awfiil warning ! Jerusalem is rejected, because
it would not know, because it w6ild not receive,
the great, the matchless, love of God in Christ.
Jerusalem is rejected because of its unbelief.
This was the diamning sin of the children of
I IsraeL God behoved to give them up to the
I power of sin. His Spirit could strive n^th them
I no longer; fbr they had shut the doors of their
. hearts against him, and so hastened by quick
steps their fearful destruction. They had be-
Income one with sin. They had gone over to the
! side of Satan, the priace of darkness. There-
fore the judgment of Satan behoved to be passed
unon them. They were oast off ftom the pre-
sence of God.

Bear hearers ! every one th&t persists in de-
spising the truth and love of God, must feel at
lost that the meroy of the sinner's Friend will be
toitofnoavaiL lifyouhardenyo«A')io*rt6insia,
you will find, wkon the time of ye«r visitation
has passed away, that, being joined so thoroughly
unto sin, even Jesus the merciful must condemn
you along with your sins, because he is sin's
greatest enemy. Ho will do it, though with
teavs in hiB eyes. Ahl this is dreadful: but it
will be ail aiade plain at the last great day.

{From ** The TradUiam qf the CoveneuUere,*' ) .
Daniil ]^rMieiiAi&, was bem at DaUien* in
the valley «f the Soar, in the pariib of Fen-
pent. We have no notice, iww e if CT, rsspect*
ing the time and msmier in whioh his mind
was ^m savingly knpraned with the tnith»
Whether it was in early youth er in riper

years that he beoaCBO the subject of a gracious
ehange, tradition has not infbrmed os. The
fact, however, is certain,' that he was a true
believer, a genuine fbhower of the Saviour,
and that he was honoured to seal his testimony
with his blood. From the droumstance of]
his name being inserted in the fugitive roll, it
would appear that his principles as a Non-
conformist were well known, and that he was
especially marked by his enetties. In the
roll referred to, he is designated * Daniel
M'Miohael in Lurgfopot.'* The place is now
called Blalrfoot, and belongs to the fsarm of
Bmn, in the parish of Morton, in Nithsdale.
In this locality there was a cave by the margin
of a mountain stream, to which, in those days,
the Covenanters often, resorted. It was
hidlowed retreat to many, not only as a place
of refuge from their foes, but as a san^tuar}*
for heavmly fellowship.

Daniel M'Michaefs house at Blairfoot was
something like the house of the good John
Brown ef Priesthill; it was a little church, *a
meetfng^plaee to all the religious people in tho
district, who anemMed there fbr the purpose
of hallowed felbwsidp and praver. The wan-
derers who had located themselves in the wilds
and dens of the neighbouring mountains, fre
(fttently stole to Darnel's cottage, to spend the
hours of a coid and stormy winter's even-
ing in spiritual convene; and many a wear>'
outcast found it a Bethel for God's presence
and communion with his saints.

The sednsion of Daniel's residenoe must, in
those thnesyhave been very dreary. On the
Berth it is fronted with dismal and frowning
Mils, the sterile aspect of which impresses the
mind with the idea of a loneliness unwonted
even in those desert parts. The ancient
castle of Morton, mouldering into decay, raises
its grim turrets in scowling aspect over the
weary scene — a fortlet this once possessed by
the doughty Douglases, where deeds of terrific
interest, as old legends say, were perpetrated
by the haughty lords of the domain, who ruled
with . almost absolute power in those rough
times of feudal lMU*barism.

The house in which Daniel lived at Blair-
fbot is now razed fh>m its foundation. It was
demolished only the other year, when thei
pleughsliare was made to pass over its site, and'
a solitary tree is left to mark the spot where
this honest worthy lived and pra;fed in the'
dark times of Zion's troubles. |

In the dreary month of Jamiary 1686, ,
Dfliaiel was confined to his bed of a fever, caught
it is not said how, but in all probability brought
on by his flreqnent exposure to coid and wet,|
when he was obliged to withdraw himself from'
the face of his foes to the Meak and inclement,
deserts. The worthy men who lay in conceal- 1
ment in the vicinity, often visited Daniel in his'
aAlotioB, and pmyed and discoursed like men ,
who were en the wing to a better worid. By

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means of these heavenly communings his spirit
was refreshed. One day a company of these
pious persons met at Blaurfoot, for the purpose
of engaging in religions exercises, and they
adopted the common precaution of stationing a

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 110 of 145)