Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

. (page 111 of 145)
Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 111 of 145)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


friend as a warder, to give notice in case of
danger. At this time, Dabdel of Kirkmichael
and Lieutenant Straiten, with a party of fifty
soldiers, were ranging the country in quest of
fugitives. Muncie of Durisdeer, the informer,
having received notice of the meeting that was
being held in Daniel's house, lost no time in
communicating information of the circumstance
to the conunander of the troops, who led his
company without delay to Blairfoot. The
watchman, however, observed their approach,
and hastened to the house with the unwelcome
tidings. The party within instantly prepared
for flight; but in their haste to be gone they
forgot not their sickly brother. They knew
that if he were left alone his sickness would
procure him no exemption from the ill usage
iii5th which the soldiers might be. disposed to
treat him, and therefore they determined to
remove him from 'his bed, and cany him along
with them. Accordingly they wrapped him in
the warm bed-clothes, and conveyed him with
all speed, and unobea*ved, to the cave.

But there was another informer beside
Muncie, and one who pretended to belong to
their party, and who, under the mask of friend-
ship and of piety had connected himself
with them, with a view to accomplish his own
nefarious designs. This individual left the
cave to give certain information to theparty that
was in quest of the fugitives. Another of the
company having left the hiding-place shortly
after the departure of the traitor, and having
occasion to call at a smithy in the neighbour-
hood, was informed that their nameless associate
was a wolf in sheep*s clothing, and that he
would to a certainty conduct the troopers to
their place of concealment On receiving
this report, the man hastened back to his com-
panions in the cave to expedite their retreat
before the soldiers should arrive. The friends
in hiding agreed instantly to vacate the cavern,
and to separate themelves into two companies —
the one party, conveying Daniel, who was un-
able to walk, to move in the direction of Duris-
deer; and the other party to flee towards the
dark moss hass of Kirkhope.

It was the design of the latter party to act
as a decoy to the dragoons, and to draw them
away from the party that was conveying their
friend Daniel towards Durisdeer. The dra-
goons, however, having observed the movement,
divided themselves iSso into two parties, the
one pursuing the fugitives that were hastening
to the wilds of Kirldiope, and the other follow-
ing in the route of Uie company that were
moving slowly with their sickly chaq^

The company that fled to the moss expected
o secure themselves in its deep trenches fixnn



the approach of the soldiers. In some of the
mossy parts of the hills and moors there are |
deep gullies* worn by the impetuous streams
that descend from the heights after the melt- ;
ing of the winter snows, or during the gushing- j
of a great thunder tpaU. These water-courses ' |
are m some places covered above with the
tufted heather, which, decked with its purple
blossoms, waves on each margin of the narrow
ditch. It was into one of these slippery con-
duits that an individual of the fleeing party was
endeavouring to creep, when the troopers came
in view of the dark and rugged peat ground.
This circumstance was observed by one of the i
dragoons only, who, being unwilling, it would
seem, to expose the life of the poor man, fell to { !
the rear of his party, and allowing them to pro- . *
ceed, advanced cautiously to the mouth of the
mossy outlet, and seeing the cowering fugitive j
stretched at his full length in his murky hid- • '
ing-place, accosted him in a suppressed andL
genUe tone, saying : '^ Friend, I Imow you are
one of the party whom we are pursuing; III
have no desire, however, to reveal you ; creep
farther into the hole, and stir not till the danger .
be overpast.** He then rejoined his companions 1 1
in the pursuit, and how the affair ended with It
this branch of the fugitives tradition has not '
said. '

Meanwhile, the party who were carrying ,'
Daniel were pushing westward in the direction ||
of Durisdeer. On this company the dragoons
easily gained ground, as their motions were
necmarily impeded by means of the burden
with which they were charged. It was obvi-
ous to every one, and to none more than the
sick man himself that escape was nearly im-
possible, and it was his urgent request that they i
should leave him, and provide for their own I
safety. This they were unwilling to do, butl
finding that their remaining would endanger ;
their own lives, and could not save his, they, at |
his earnest desire, concealed him in a cave un- ,
der the projecting brow of a mountain stream,
in hopes that the foe would not find his retreat, ]
while the pursuit would be directed chiefly j I
after themselves. How long, and with what ^
success, the troopers pursued the fleeing party 'j
is not said, but had anything of a tragic nature |t
occurred, it is likely that tradition would have
preserved it.

Daniel, however, was soon discovered. The
soldiers, as was common, were accompanied
with dogs, which were often found very useful
in leading to a discovery of persons in conceal-
ment, and these animals scented out the place
where he was hid. The dragoons laid hold on
their victim, and mercilessly dragged him from
his retreat Their eye was unaccustomed to
S|NU^ and their heart was unused to pity.
Without resistance, for it was impossible, and
without remonstrance, for it was needless, this
holy man, who was ready to seal his testimony
with his blood, resigned himself into the hands



Digitized by VjOOQIC



THE SOULS OF CHILDREN.



476



I of his enemies. He did *^ not think it strange
I concerning the fiery trial which was to try ^lim,
I as though some strange thing had liappened
I unto him.*' No; for he was already in the fur-
j nace, and already had he endured much, and
by grace he was prepared to ^ndure more. He
heard frequent reports of the martyrdom of his
dear friends and beloved brethren, who had
embarked in the same common cause, and he
himself expected to be numbered with those
who were daily falling in the wild moorlands
around him, and his time to be offered was now
Inear. He was carried by the soldiers to Duris-
'deer, where he was kept a prisoner during the
night, in the silent hours of which he expe-
irienced much sweet communion with God, pre-
paratory to the bloody death which he was to
suffer on the following day.

Next day he was taken from his place of
confinement, sickly as he was, and carried off
by the soldiers, with a view, it would appear,
i to convey him to the garrison in Crawford
Moor. The feeble state of his body, however,
rendered this impossible, and the troopers were
obliged to halt with their chai^ at the entrance
of t£e pass of Dalveen, where his persecutors
determined to ease themselves of their burden
by putting an end to his life.

Many questions were put to him, which he
declined to answer ; and many things were laid
to his charge, which he denied. He was told,
says Wodrow, that unless he owned the kind's
supremacy in Church and State, and took the
oaths that might be put to him, he must die.
Sir/' said he to the commander of the party,
that is what, in all things, I cannot do, but
very cheerfully I submit to the Lord's disposal
as to my life." Dalziel replied : ** Do you not
know that your life is in my hand!** ''No,
Sir," answ^ed he; *^ I know that my life is in
the Lord's hand, and if he see good he can
make you the instrument to take it away."

He had been told the night before to prepare
for death, for he should die con the morrow.
To this he said, with the utmost calmness, '^ If
my life must go for His cause, I am willing ;
God will prepare me." And his confidence was
not disappointed, for He who calls his servants
to the endurance of sufferings and death for his
sake, did not desert him in the hour of triaL
Wodrow says, that the night previous to hb
martyrdom, ** he enjoyed a sweet time of com-
munion and fellowship with Grod, and great
outlets of joy and consolation ; so that some of
the soldiers desired to die his death, and not a
few oonvictions were left in their bosoms." By
this means the Lord strenfi;thened his servant,
whom he had called forth to witness for his
tmtli, and prepared him with spiritual fortitude
and hope and joy for the fiery trial which was
before him.

On the green spot where he was doomed to
die he was pennitted to kned, and to engage
far a brief space in those devotional exercises



which were befitting a person in his situation —
a favour not granted to every one. When he
had ended his devotions he addressed himself
in a very CTave and solemn manner to Dalziel,
who lent liimself to work wickedness and to
make havoc of the Church. What impression
his discourse made on the commander s mind
is not said, but he shrank not from the perpe-
tration of the deed which he meditated.

When the napkin was tied about his face,
this faithful witness for Christ, who **' loved not
his life unto the death," lifted up his voice, and
said aloud: '* Lord, thou broughtest Daniel
through many trials, and hast brought me, thy
servant, hither to witness for thee and thy
cause; into thy hands I commit my spirit, and
hope to praise thee through all eternity." The
signal was then given, and four soldiers poured
the contents of their muskets into his body, and
the warm blood flowed from the wounds in
purple streams on the grassy sod. The green
heights of Dalveen resounded with the startling
report, and the echo leapt from hill to hill, as
if to announce to those who dwelt afar in the
wilderness that another honoured witness for
the truth had fallen. His pains were of short
continuance, and his happy spirit, emancipated
from its frail tenement, and exulting in glorious
victory, winged its way to the regions of eternal
bliss.



AT EVENING TIME IT SHALL BE LIGHT.
Though earth-bom shadows now may shroud

Thy thorny path, a while,
God^ blessed word can part each cloud.

And bid the sunshine smile.
Only BELIEVE, in Hring faith,

His love and power divine;
And ere thy sun shall set in death.

His light shall round thee shine !

When tempest-clouds are dark on high.

His bow of love and peace
Shines sweetly in the vaulted sky,

Betokening storms shall cease !
Hold on thy way, with hope unchiUed,

By faith and not by sight ;
And thou shalt own His word fulfilled —

At eve it shaU be light!

Bakton.



THE SOULS OF CHILDREN.
1. To you, Miwral parents, 1 first address myself ;
beseeching you, that you go and study what you have j
to do, and do all that you shall know, for your chil- >
drcn's early conversion. I am of the mind, that
**gaUant hmgnage never did God's work;^ and do
find it what you caU " wild note," rather than " set I
rausio,^ that I can ever move you by. Wherefore
plainly I tell you. We may thank yon for earth's
beooming thus unlike heavvn, and like to helL We
may thank your negligenoe, and worse, for the ruin
of more children than ever Herod slew, or the liar
and murderer of France himself. We may thank you
that children be so generally bMsts, before th^ arc



Digitized by VjOOQIC



476



THE CHRISTIAN TBEASURif



young men; and young devih, before tbeyttre old
men. We may thank you for Titiating the most
mimenms, the most ductile, and the most hopeful
part of the world— for robbing God of his first-miitfi
m tiie world.

I beseech you, by God's tender mercies, repent of
yotir cruelties. And I charge you before G<)d and
the Lord Jesos Christ, reform ye stra^htwaf, and
do as aforesaid. The li^t of nature, that guides you
to hel^ your children to go, and to speak, and to do
what is necessary for this life, ffuides you also to
help them for the divine life. Nor can you doubt
but God*s ordinance in the old Church for the ap-
pearance of the male children before him thrice in
the year, was to bring them to an early acquaintance
with himself: and there is still both need and ob-
ligation to keep ihe substance of that precept now
under the GK>spel. O let it not be said any lonser,
that your care is more for your children^ clothes
than their souls ! For shame, sirs, for shame ! let
them not be wicked without Tour pity, nor conTerted
without your pains ! Think ye daily of both the
adTantages and engagements to do it.

Dying Dr. Harris said, he was at peace with
God, and ioLd his children that his sins should not
hurt them therefore, unless they made them their
own. * Can you say so, if you were now to die ? Well ;
very nature also engages you. Ay, and equity binds
you ; for Tonr children are (}od^ more than yours :
and, surely it is to him, and for him, that yon should
educate his children. Truth also engages you. For
YOU promised you would so educate Uiem, whoi you
Lad them baptized; did you not ?

The fear and lore of GK>d, if any be in you, do en-
gage you. And so doth your own interest also. Yea,
lastly, shame engages you. For it is a shame — is it
not? — to teach cmldren to honour and serve you,
and not to honour and serve their God and yours.
I have bid many children ask you, whether, if they
were too young to be bound to keep God's commands,
they were not also tooyoan^ to be bound to keep
yours. Listen not to the white devils that will sug-
gest, " If your children take not to religion of them-
selves without your a-do, your pains will do but little
good.'' Do horses or camlls tame themselves ? Do
men tame beasts of the wilderness ? and do you not
tame the children of your own bodies and families ?
But, all in a iword : does God set you a work, and
promise you success; and do you dream it to nopur-
pose to set about it ? Read you Prov. xxii. 6 : " Irain
up a child in the way he should go : and when he is
old, he will not depart from it"* •* Withhold not
correction from the child : for if thou beatest him
with the rod, he shalt not die. Thon shidl beat him
with the 'rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
(Prov. xxiii. 18, 14.) " The rod and reproof give
wisdom: but a child left to himself bnngeth his
mother to shame. Correct thy son, and he shidl give
thee rest; yea, he shall give delight imto thy soul."
(Prov. Mix. 15, 17.)

2. As for you, minuterSf Churchfa(JierSf may I hum-
bly assume to stir up your minds but in wav of remem-
brance ? You know, if the lambs be los't, the Lord
of the flock will with great anger ask, ** where were
the shepherds all the while? what were they doing ?"
Nor will our highest feedmg of the sheep comnotmd
fbr the loss of his lambs. And I doubt it will not
suflice to say, •* Lord, we were the while digging for
profound notions, or disputing nice questions, or
studying polite sermons, for people whose peace and
whose praise we could n<rt have cheaper."

Brethren, fbr the Lord's sake, let us all do some-
what weekly, and set the parents of our congre-
gations doing somewhat dany, for young people's
soub. .And let l^oth set to It hopefuHy. Lit the



diificaltT and impossibility, as to oar endeayoors, |
be left but to drive as to diligence, and dependenoe J
on Him to whom nothing is difficult or impossible.
The more we do look for success, the mere it will
come. Let not catechising, that is praised by all,
be unpractised by any. And in preaching, let none
of us make need, where we find none, to shoot over
yoong to^'^ heads, asd nse a langoage whidi we
must needs know they understand not. Love of God
and of them would make us willing rather to be
trampled under scomers' feet for our faithfulness,
than to ride over their heads in fieures of vain-glorious
impertinence; the which wise bearers do no more
commend Uttm weak hearers do nndenlaiid. Neitli^
be it any nors grievous to us than it was to St. Austin,
to have now and then, ** Yo«ng people, ^is is for
you." I would be glad to see wanton wits have less
sau6e, and weak souls have more meat, in all onr
sermons; and to discern that our pains in making
converts did exceed the Papists in making proselvtes.
For it must be owned, it is an tmoolonrable prorane-
ness, to baptize infuoy and aot to teaoh youth, or
bvtdii^tly: beoause otherwise we shall starve the
nursery; luid then what becomes of Jesus Christ's
family?

The good Lord awaken us all, and set ministers,
parents, young people themselves, all ardoing, and
well-domg ! Our Cnnrdies tbsn shall be besutiflod,
and joyed, and sttvngthsned with abSBdance of
vonng meditating Isaacs; young Jacobs, sodding the
blessing; young Solomons, choosing wisdom; joung
Obadiahs, fearing the Lord; young Johns, lying in



Christ's bosom; yea, voung children, crying "Hos-
anna;" stilling, or shaming at least, and balking,
God's enemies and ours. (>rigta^ fanier, Lconides,
would sometimes uneover his bro a st as he lay asleep,
and solemnly kiss it; blsssing Ghod, that had given
him to be a father to so exc^ent a child. And so
shall many of us have warrant to do. Upon our
houses, schools, and churohes, it shall be writ and
read of all, ** JehovahrBkammak-— The hard is tAxere J'
-^Burgees,



ILLUSTRATIONS OF INFIDELITY.

DAVID HU»IE.
NO. V.
W» must now attttid to a Um of the nicoifBiartBiiciBS
4i>a> ooirrRADicnoNs t(v HtntB, as illustratitk of
HIS onAnACTiai. In some measnrs this has been
done already. It is Impossible not to mark his strong
prcjudtees. Th»se, combined with a low sense of the
claims of truth, naturally conduct to inconsistency
and contftidiotion. What esn allbrd a stvonger im>of
of prejudice than the Aiot) stated by fafmself, thai in
the H607kd edition of part of his History, he made a
hundred material alte»aMons from the jfrrt edition,
and all in Ikvoarof sn« BideF^muinrilOM to ndd, the
iide of despotism ai^iast Arsddom! What haste and
kiaoonracy most there hatve been fn the first e^tion,
and pr«>jmlloe tn the sseond, or bsth ; and this Is the'
spirit and oomhiet of a phttoso^hioal Mstarten!
What could be expected of the consistsncy of a ooui-
posltion fn rsg«rd to which he says, wounded «t onoe
with the want of sooMssv and the o|fposition whisli
was provoked by the first volume : " Aftar a lon^
mterv&l, I ikt lAst oollMtsd so much oounge as to
rensw my appUoMtien to the sscOMd yioImm, tJum^
i0{th infinUe 4i^fiu('€i^r9hitumc4; and IsBuvenslblb



Digitized by VjOOQIC



ILLUSTRATIONS OF INFIDELITY.



477



that in Many pastagef of it there are girat tignt of
tiuU ditpotitum, and tiiat my usual fire does not
eyerywhere appear.*^ And this spirit of prejudice
did not leave him. It was not a temporary ebulli-
tion. Thirteen years after, when he was a man of
nxiy, we find him, to use his biographer's language,

again busy in sifting his History of all remains
of popular principles; and there is a tone through-
out the letter, as if it were satisfactory to him to be
ahle to overturn the objects of popular idolatry,
which a people he to heartUtf disliked (as the Engtuh)
had endeavoured to set up in the alleged antiquity of
their constitution.'* Wlu^ a spirit of prejudice was
this in which to write history, and to review it after
it was written ! €k>uld the author, a stranger mean-
while to the love of truth, and therefore without
guicfing principle, fail to fall into grievous inconsist-
ency and contradiction ? No. Accordingly, besides
the conflict between the liberal principle of his
Essays and the despotic principles of his History, to
which reference has been already made — a History
which Gilbert Stuart pronounces ** to be, from be-
ginning to end, a plausible defence of prerogative;'*
and which no friend to humanify or freedom can
consider without feeling a lively surprise and patriotic
indignation; and which Lord Gardenstone declares,
in so far as tiie House of Stuart is concerned, is
" not the statement of an historian, but the memorial
of a pleader in a court of justice,** besides the incon-
sistency in regard to civil freedom rising out of strong
prejudices, we are compelled to mark the ineontisU-
enoff not Ut$ eoH$picuou8, in regard to religunu liberty.

Taking into account Hume's professed charac-
ter—his principles of Infidelity— the uncertainty,
in his view, of all religious belief, we would have
thought him the last man to be intolerant. He
seems to be the very paragon of religious neutrality
and indifference. Certainly this is the spirit and
position which he ought to have maintained, and in
which he delighted to represent himself; but, alas !
for the practice. Few men, perhaps, were ever
more thoroughly uncandid and intolerant. We do
not refer merely to his immovableness in controversy
wnen obriously beaten, but to the spirit of religious
bigotry and even persecution which can be traced in
his writings. He admits himself that he was a bigot
to his own views and prejudices; and Horace Wal-
pole well remarks of the Infidel school to which he
belonged, that '* they hate priests, but love dearly to
have an altar at their feet" Even his biographer,
I speaking of him at twenty-seven, candidly remarks :
' ** Though his philosophy is sceptical, his manner is
frequently dogmatical, even to intolerance; and
while illustrating the feebleness of all human rear
! soning, he seems as if he felt an innate infallibility
i in his own. He afterwards regretted this peculiari-
j ty," kc At forty-five yean of age, we find his
biographer saying: **The toleration which forbids
I us to punish our neighbour on account of his creed
I he had fully learned. That still higher toleration,
' which forbids us to treai our neighbour's creed with
disrespect, he had not yet acquired.** It is certainly
true that Hume had not learned the latter lesson,
but ire are by no means sure that he was such a pro-



ficient in the former as to need no further teaching.
The language which he employed in characterising
opposing minor systems, eepedaUy if religious, be-
trayed anything but a candid and tolerant mind.
He had no mercy for the violence of the Reformen;
and yet, amid all the literature and refinement of
the eighteenth century, aided by French politeness,
he could indulge in such mild language as, ** I leave
that to hiih and his gang; for he is a flatterer, I am
told, of that low fellow Warburton.'* Again : ** Lord
Milton can with his finger stop the foul mouths of
all the roaren against heresy**—** I wish that the
parsons ^would confine themselves to their old occu-
pation of worrying one another, and leave philoso-
phers to argue with temper, moderation, and good
mannera*' — ** Our government has become a chimera,
and is too perfect in point of liberty for so rude a
beast as an Englishman, who is a man, a bad animal
too, corrupted by or above a century of licentious-
ness.** In his essay, again, on suicide, the Christian
religion is evidently pointed at under such names as
*'the modem European superstition,*' ** virulent
poison,** ** cruel enemy,** "inhuman tyrant,'* what
** chiefly contributes to render life miserable." Such
is thfe odm and tolerant spirit of Infidel philosophy.
Could Christians be much worse in their speech or
writings?*
But Hume proceeded farther than the language

* Hume, in his hatred of reveUtion, contends, in one of
his esMytfthat old Paganism was tolerant, while Chris-
tianity was persecuting. Supposing this to have been the
case, it could have been explained, as we shall shortly
notice; but the statement is discrediUble to the writer's
historical knowledge. It is notorious to we)14nformed men
that Paganism was persecuting. The "diTine" Plato, among
the laws of his ideal republic, embraced enactments for
maintaining a uniformity of religion, at all times and places
—in all writings and conversations ; others for compelling
all men to worship the gods with the same ceremonies— pro-
hibiting, at the same time, private sacrifices; others for
severely punishing snch sceptics as would dare to maintain
that the wicked could be happy. Would Hume himself
have been safe under this regime? It is well known, to
use the language of Dr. If 'Queen, that even the Greeks,
** with all their noble sense of liberty, and at the period of
Ume in which they had the warmest sense of it, would not
suffer any one to condemn the public system, and (ar less
openly spread the teneU of Atheism." The fear Ail persecu-
tions of Christianity by Paganism in the first three centuries
of the Christian era, are notorious persecutions, in which
nearly two miUfatu of Christian lives were sacrificed. We
need not, however, appeal to independent souroea of proof.
Hume answers himselt when, in his Note- Book, founding on



Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 111 of 145)