Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

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A nosegay for my love the meetest
I will gather on the morrow
As I homeward pass, I said:
On the morrow it was dead.
So Time withers, like the frost.
What on earth we valued most
When we come to gather, they.
Like the flower, have passed away !


Brother I cheer thee, there is hope.

Though all earthly pleasures drop;

Though all thou built and leant upon.

Like a morning dream has flown.

Hope there is that ne'er shall perish;

Hope, that thou may'st daily cherish;

Hope, that ever surer grows,

Ever stronger towards the close;

Brightest in the darkest hour,

In the saddest, steadiest

Change : nor death, nor aught has power

To displace it from the breast !

If thou wouldst have it, thou must look

Unto Him who for us took

The cup of woe, that He might bring

Us peace through His own suffering.

With the travail of His soul

Bought He it; and, brother. He

(For He has a loving heart)

Freely offers it to thee I

With it, no longer shall it grieve thee

Earthly joys so quickly leave thee;

Rather thou old Time wilt chide

That not swift and swifter glide

The years; for thou wouldst straightway where-

Thy unfading treasures are ! .


A Brahman, for the purpose of showing the folly of
rejectmg Hinduism and embracing Oie Roman Ca-
thohc religion, instituted the following comparison,
between the two systems:—" Has the Feringhi cheap
pardons ? So have we. Can the Romanist by the
mass rescue his ancestors from purgatory ? We, by
ceremonies at Qaya, can do the same for ours. Can
the pnest change the bread and wine into flesh and
blood ? Our muntras can impart divine attributes to
images. Who are the Romish monks, but the coun-
terparts of our Sunyasees ? Do the Catholics count
theur beads ? So do we our malas. Do they pray to
mother Mary ? So do we to Ganga-mai. Do their
priests eschew marriages? So. do our Gosalies.
Have they nuns ? So have we our nach-girls, dedi-
cated to the service of the temple. Do they boast
their antiauity ? Compare eighteen hundred years,
the period they claim as the age of their Church,,
with the four jugs of Hinduism.


One of your dissimulations which increaseth my
dissatisfaction is, your pretending to the ignorant
people that you are all of a mind, and there are no
divisions among you, and w nyVi ng our divisions the
great arffoment to raise an odium against our doc-
trine, calling us schismatics, heretics, and the like.
When, indeed, no one thing doth so much turn away
my heart from you as your abonunable schism. Do
we not know of the multitudes of opinions among you^
mentioned by Bellarmine and other of your wnters ?
If you call me out to any more of this work, I mean
the next time to present to the world a catalogue of
vour divisions among yourselves, that it may appear
how notable your unity is ! If the Jesuits are to be
believed, what a silly sottish generation are your se>
cuhur priests! If your priests are to be believed,
what a seditious, hypocritical, cheating pack are the

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Jesuits I T speak noi the words of your Protestant
adversaries, but of those of jour own Church. Do 1
; not know what €hifiel. de Santo Amove and many
others saj of your own Choroh? Do you think
I never read Watson's Qnodlibctt, and tiie many
; pretty stories of the Jesmt expk>its there mention-
i ed by bim? I do not think that you sufier many of
your own followers to read these l>ooks that are writ-
ten against one anotiier by yourselTes. But the
great oivisioB among you, that quite orerthrows your
cause in my esteem, is that between the Prench and
Italian, in the Yery foundation which all your faith
is resolved into. You haTS no belief of Scripture,
nor in Christ, no hope of heaven; you differ not from
Turks and Iii^dels, out only upon the credit and au-
thority of your Church ; and this Church must be in-
! fallible, or else your faith is fallible— at least it must
I be of sovereign authority. And when itoomes to the
' ui)8hot, you are not agreed what this Church is ? One
, saith it is the pope with a general council; and an-
other saith it It a general council, though the pope
dissent One saith the pope is fallible, and the other
saith a council is fidlible. One saith, a pope isabove
the council, and another saith the oeimcil is above
the pope. And now, what is beoome of your reli-
gion ? Nay, is it not undeniable that you are of two
Churches specifically different? Certainly a body
I politic is specified from the tumma poUtUu, And
\ therefore, if the French make a council, the tumma
I p^ttsUUt the s ov ere ign power, and the Italians make
the pope the sovereign, and a third party make the
pope and council conjunct only, the sovereign, are
' not here undeniably several Churches specifically dzf-

I * And then you have another deceit for the salving
of all this, that incrcaseth my disaffection. You
glory in your present judge of controversies, and teD
us it is no wonder if we be all in pieces that have no
such judge. And what the better are you for your
judge, when he cannot or dare not decide your oon-
I troversies? No; he dare not determine this funda-
! mental controversy, whether himself or a council be
j the sovereign power, for fear of losing the Frenoh
; and those that join with them. So Uiat it must ro-
I main but doffma thMologicuM and nojx>wU defide,
' what is the summaproUttas; and yet all that is dtfide;
\ even our Christiamty and salvation, must be resolved
j into it? And doth not this directly tend to Infide-
lity ? Would you have serious Christians deliver up
themselves to such amase as this for the obtaining of
I unity P What the better are you for a judge of oon-
I troveniy, in all those hundreds of differences thai are
I among yourselves, when your judge either cannot or
! wHl not determiue them r Are not we as weQ witb-
, out him as you are with him? Plain things that are
pastcontroversy have noneedof yonrjuc^I It Is
ao controversy with us whether Christ be the Mes-
I liah; whether he rose, ascended, and will ju^tiie
, vorld; and if we go to darker points, your own judge
will say nothing or worse. Why do you cry out so
much against expounding the Scripture otnerwise
than according to the sense of the Church, when your
Church will give you no interpretation of them ? Do
I not your expositors difier about many hundred texts
I of Scripture, and neither pope nor council will decide
' the controversies? These are, therefbre, mere delu-
j dons of the world, with the empty name of a judge
, of controversies. And, indeed, you sometimes show
: yourselves that you have no such high conceit of your
pope (whatever you would make the world believe)
, as to trust bis iudgment.

I But yet I have not come to that point of your
, schism which above all things in the world doth
alienate my mind from your profession ; and that is
1 your separation from all otner Christians in the

world! I find in myself so great an inclination tol
unity, and the title catholic is so honourable, in
my esteem, to them that de ee i v e ' H^ that if I had
found you to hare Hm unHysn4«stlioHe vsUgion and
Church which yo«. beast of, iiipscld hmm much in-
clined me to jour Chursh and way. But when I find
you, like the Donatists, confining the Chuvoh to your
party, and' making yourselves a sect and ftction, and
unchurching and damntng the far greatest part of
the Christians in the world, this leftmeassored that
you are most netorieus sehlsmattes. WlieB I saw
so much knowledge and liiillasis ommwiati tuslj amooff
the Reformed Catholics, and so much ign(»ance a^
wickednsM mmltmg the Pl^ists (even here where are
but a remnant tlwt a d h s se to tkeir religion against
the course of the nation), and vrfaen I imA so manT
plain promises in Scripture, " That whoever beliereth
in Christ shall not perish, and that if by the Spirit we
mortify the deeds of the bedy we riaiU live, and that
ifwerepent our sins shall be forgiven, yea that god-
liness hath the promise of this life and that to come ;**
and then when I find that the Pwists, for all these
certain promises, do unchurch and d^n us all, be-
cause we believe noi in the pepe of Borne aff vrell a»
in Christ, this satisfled me as fully that you are most
audacious scMsmstks, as I -am satisflsd that you are
Papists. What I must I be a Papist on sueh grounds
as these ?' Must I believe because you tell me so,
that all the most conscionable heavenly Christians
that I 9m faitimately acquainted with are unsancti-
fied, ungodly, and in a state of damnation? When I
am a witnsn of the eMnsstbreBthinas of th«r souls
after more communion with God^ - when they would
not live in one of those sins that you call venial, for
all the world; when they mortified the flesh, and live
in the Spirit, and wait for Christ's appearance: and)
yet that such as the Papist shaU be saved that are so
far below them, because they believe in the pope ofi
Rome ? Why, yon may almost as well persuade mo|
to beoome a Papist, by telling me thatyou have eyes!
in your heads, and noses ^on your faces, and the rest'
of the world havenone. Doth Christ say, ^ He that
believeth and rqpsBteth shaU be saved;'' and must I
believe that all Protestants shaU be daaaned, let them
believe and repent never so much ? Tins is to bid me
cease to believe Christ that I may believe the pope
to be a CSiristian that I maytbecome a Papist.

I am confident that I shall never be Papist, if it may^ ,
not be done .bat by believing that all the godly that' I
I am acquainted with, ace ungodly, and in Uie way to j
hell. |i

And (to speak of the quantity as well as thequality) '
I feel a kind of universal charity within me, extend-
ing to a Christian as a Christian, and, therefbre, to all I
the Christians in' the worki. which will not give me
leave to believe if ahundrea popes' should swear it,
that the far greatest part of Christians shall be
damned, because they are not subjects to the pope !
The Papists are but a handful of the Christians m the
world, at least the smaller part by Ut\ The most
of them never acknowledged the sovereigntj of your
pope. And a few ages ago, before Mohammedanism
and Heathennm diminished the number of Christians
in Asia and Africa, the Papists were but a small pro-i
portion. There are but lately taken off from the
Christian religion, it is probable^'twioe as many as all
the Papists in the whole world : if it wtfe but the
kingdoms of Nubia and Tenduc, how far would they'
go on this accoimt ? A bishop of your own, and le-'
gate of the popes that dwelt in those countries, saith,'
that the Christians in the eesteriy part of Asia aloue
exceeded in multitude the Christians both of the ,
Greek and Latin Churches. And winch is more, the |
whole Church, for many hundred years after Christ,' '
were far from being the subjects of the pope ofi'

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Rome ! And, indeed, had Christ no Churah till the
P6pe became universal monarch! Most P«oI be
damned became he vras not one of PHerVtabjeotfrP
Do^nolTOoroonsoicBCOT know thai nreniiigobediMWe
io the pope o£ Rome wa» « thing unknowB-fbr nmy
hundred yeazs, yea, that it is a noTelty^in the world?
Must Christ lose for ever the most of his Church,
^ven those that never heard of Rome, because they
believe not in the pope ? Never shall I be Papist
vrhile I breathe, if I must be engafsed to send themoet
of the ChristiaDB on earth iw the devil^ nd that- iip»n
floch an aeoouut as thia. These things are-a^UMa-
tholic, so unchristian, so inhumane, that I wonder,
and wonder a hundred times, how any leamedL sober
men among you are able to believe them. For my
part I am a resolved Catholic, that own the univer-
sal Church of Christ, and caomot limit my charity to
a-^omerfor a faction, especial^ so grofli a oiie as
yvars. I own not the errors or other tbu of any
of the Churches, so far as I can discover them; but
if I must mi^e tnem heretics, and unchtirch them for
j these (yea, even those that go under the name of Nes-
Itorlans and Eutichians), I must needs put you in
sostong them, who I think do err raor^ groesfy then



* The fool hcUh said in his heart. There is no Cfod, **

<*NoeodI NoQod!'' theeimpisitflawwp

That CQ the wild is found,
Shrinks, as it drinks its cup of dew^

And trembles at the sownd;
^ No Gtod ! '* astonished echo cciSB

From out her cavern boar,
And every wandering bird that flies,

Repror^res the Atheist lore.

iTbe soleiui forest lifts its head,

Th* Almighty to proelaim;
The brooklet, on its crystal urn,

Doth leap to praise his name;
High sweeps the deep and vengcfkl sea,

Along its billowy track;
And red Vesuvius opsns its monthly

To hnrlthsfaisskood back.

The palm tree, with its princely crest —

The cocoa's leafy shade—
The bread-fruit, bending to its lord.

In yon far island glade - *
The winged seeds, borne by the winds,

The roving sparrows feed —
The mdon on the desert sands^

Confute tho seorner's creed.

" No God ! " with indignation high

The fervent sun is stirred,
And the pale moon turns paler still

At such an impious word !
And, from their burning thrones^ the stais

Look down with angry eye,
That thus a worm of dust should mock

EiBRNAL Majesty !


Hayiho enter^ a cottage to visit an old Woman
for mainr years sufferiog from an incurable
disease, I found sitting by her a young- female,
whose appearance bespoke that she also had
been long tried by bodily affliction. Her form
was wasted to a^ shadow, and as she sat^ seemed
soBiewhat defonned. Her face bore the aspect |
of intense endurance,, and there waa coupled
with it an expression of discontent, that gave
to features naturally plain an almost repuLnve
appearance. I did not fed inclined tp address
her; but the thought that her bodily condition
might be but a type of her diseased soul, and
the hope that a word spoken in season mi^ht
do good, overcame my reluotane^ and I in-
quired kindly as to the state of Her health.
She repHed with a cold, uncivil sdr, that had
almost turned me aside from my purpose; but
again the thought of how much she must need
consolation impelled me, an^i I addressed to
her some sentences regarding the compassionate
tenderness of that God who afflicts not wil^
Ungly, nor grieves the children of men. All
that was evil seemed now stirred within her;
she looked indignant, and rudely replied, tbat
she knew this as well as I did, but what was
she the better for it ! It seemed that €k>d did
not design W me to eonvey to her any lesson,
and I ceased, lest I should provoke her further
to sin against him* Her hostess, to whom I
discovered she was distantly related, expressed
much regret at her conduct, and she soon left
the room. I talked and prayed, as I was wont,
with the old woman, not forgetting before God
her poor visitor. On rising to depart, she said,
** Ye maun forgie poor Jean; she has a queer
temper, but she has muokle need of your coun-
sely and perhaps you^ll be back and speak to
her again."

Strange as it may seem, she had deeply ex-
cited my interest. I had not met with an in-
stance of enmity of heart against God so openly
expressed. '^ Surely," I said, ^ Satan is striving
hard for the mastery; shall no effort be made
to rescue the prey from his grasp ! "

Days passed on, and the unhappy expression
of the poor creature still rose b^ore me; and
as boon as I could again spare time for so long
a walk, I took my way to the widow's home.
In the same seat, with the same look of discon-
tent, sat her young friend. She moved not
when I entered, and to my inquiry as to how
she now was, she scarcelpr replied.

I determined not agam to address her, but
sought, in conversing with her hostess, to uttei
such things as she needed to hear; and in sup
plicating before God, I made mention of her as
one for whom I desired the healing and cleanr
sing influence of his Spirit. As I left the cot
tage, she followed me with an excited air, and
asked who had told me anything about her
** No one has spoken to me of you," I said; ** I do

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not even know whence you came; but the sen-
tence you uttered in my hearing, the only time
I ever saw you, convinced me that you were
without Crod and without hope in the world;
and compassionating your misery, I have not
ceased ever since to pray that you might yet,
by the enlightening influence of the Spirit, be
brought to see that which would enable you to
say, ' It is good for me that I have been afflic-
ted.' ** It was evident she had purposed to say
more, but some inward feeling checked her,
and she suddenly left me, and re-entered the
cottage. I repeated at intervals, as I had long
been accustomed to do, my visits to this abode
of suffering, and continued to act to this un-
happy young woman as I had hitherto done.
At times I thought her look somewhat changed,
but again the dark scowl sat on her brow. She
repli^ in monosyllables to my inquiry reguxi-
ing her health, and I addressed to her no other
observation; but latterly she rose on my enter-
ing—a mark, at least, of increased civility.
One day I found her evidently prepared for a
Journey; and after I had sat some time, the
widow said : ** Jean's going to leave us to-day."

** And where,** I inquir^ ** do you^f* ** To ,

a village on the opposite side of the river," she
replied; then hesitating, and looking down, as
if afraid to meet. my eye," she added : ** You
are sometimes there, and maybe Til see you."
** I would gladly visit you," I replied, ** could I be
of any use to you; but I have for long abstained
from speaking to you, because you seemed to
resist all counsel." ** Indeed I did," was her
only answer. I felt this was a call which I
should not overlook, and only a few days had
passed when I sought out her dwelling. She
seemed suiprised, and also glad to see me. ** I
doubted," she said, ** if you would ever come to
see me; I am sure I little deserve it." ** "Were
any of us dealt with according to what we de-
serve," I replied, ** we must, long ere this, have
been where there is no hope; but we are spured
by the mercy of God, and it is the desire that
his long-suffering may yet lead you to repent-
ance, tnat has brought me to tell you of this
mercy to-day." She now listened attentively
to all I said, but she never spoke; and it seemed
to me that the remembrance of the past was
continually rising before her, and checking the
utterance of what she now felt. Before leaving
her, I asked if she wished me to pray with her,
and what she felt she especially needed of God.
''A heart to acknowledge his goodness," she
replied. On bidding her farewell, she grasped
my hand, and said eagerly, " Oh, will you come
back again ! " « Yes," I replied, « if God spare
me, and prolong your life." She seemed amazed,
and said, " Do you^ think I am dying I" «* We
are all dying," I 'answered, ** and you are
labouring under disease, which is on especial
call to you to be ready."

For a considerable time subsequent to this
interview, I was too much engaged at home to

think of crossing again to Jean's abode, nor
had I for more than a fortnight visited her
aged relation; but entering one day a cottage
much nearer my own residence, where I wen*
to inquire after a sick child, I was astonished |
to find Jean seated by the fire. ''Jean," I said, i
''how came you here t" " I was so much the
better of crossing the water before," she said, .
"and 60 very ill since I saw you, that I was :
anxious to try it again, and my cousin herei
said, I might come to her for a little to see
how I would be. But I am no better, and i ,
see now that I came to be a burden to her^J
that has plenty ado without me." Her good-i
natured cousin immediately said very cheer-,
AiUy, " Oh ! ye're no taken ony burden on ye»
and ye maun just hae patience a wee, and may-
be it will do you good yet;" *but," she added,
turning to me, " I am ay telling her she'll near
be better unless she keeps her mind easier; she
does nathing but mourn night and day." "I am
sorry to hear that," I replied; " but the Bible tells
us that they who mourn shall be comforted, :
and if Jean's mourning be of that kind te]
which this promise is made, it may bring her!
something mfinitely better than mere bodily
health.*' " I am sure I wish it may," she said
kindly, but evidently not understanding what
I meant, and then pursuing the business with
which she was occupied when I entered, she
left the room. ;

When alone, I inquired of Jean as to thej
cause of her disquietude. " O," she said, ** what
is to come of me ! I am getting worse everyday, |
I am not able to work for my daily bread, andj
I have none to look to me." " God's tender mer-
cies," I said, "are over all his works, and if you .
put your trust in him, he will provide all that
you need." "Aye," she answered, "it is easy Uy
say that when we are not in need, but it is not so
easy to be content with want staring us in the
face." " What you say is very true,'* I replied,
"and you are right in supposing that I speak of
what 1 have not experienced, for I never was
tried in this way; but I have seen the grace of,
God triumph in circumstances more trying if
possible than yours." "What !" she said, in a
tone I might almost say of indignant surprise;
"did you ever see anybody without a penny in ,
the world, and unable to earn one, content ! " ,
" Yes," I said; "more than content. I have seen a
person in a state of perfect destitution, and
continued bodily suffering, rejoicing, because
God had so ordered her lot, since it enabled
her more entirely to realize his continual care
in providing for her daily wants. She felt, she
used to say, any morsel she ate coming as di-
rectly from the hand of God, as if the ravens
had been commissioned to feed her as they did

"Well," she said, "I cannot understand that
at all." "I know you cannot, Jean," I replied,
"because I fear you have never understood
that which would enable you to look with

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child-like confidence to God as jMdr heBf^Dly
Father^ and periu^ this ia tbe vevy reason
^hy he ia so deating with jvm, that he may
faumUe yoo, and do you good/' ^'Majbe,'*
ahe said, ia a tone that revved the risioff of
lier unsabdned spirit, while it was evident mim
her expression that she was stmi^g^g to sop^
press it; seeinff this, I felt it was best not to go
further, and having prayed with her, I &»
parted, promising soon to return. The cot-
tage being close to the road which I had con-
tinually to pass, I saw her frequently, and en-
deavoured always to press home on her such
leesons as I saw she needed; but I marked
little change, except that I oflen fouad her sai-
^paged witn her Bible, and always willing to
uaten to my instruction. I was very glad, how-
ever, to hear the testimony of her relation, that
she was more contented and easier in her

One morning I had seen her looldng iSBterish
imd uneasy, and she tfaougkt **oa» of her bad
tums» " as she called them, ** was ooonng oil**
IjLie in the eveninff, the num ia whose house
«he was came to tell me that she had becMBe
Alarmingly ill, and was very desirous of seeiag
me. I went immediatebr out with hiai, tmd by
the way made some inquiry concerning her; shle
seemed in great distress, he said; but he thought
her mind was worse thwi her body, for she sup-
posed herself dying, and did notbine bat ay

4ibout her sins and the fear of heU; ''i
he added, ** I am at a 1o6B to thiak what it can
be tliat troubles her. Nae doubt, she had an ill
temper, and was a wee revengeful ia her way,
but for anything else, I never saur mudi ill
about her/

As he entered the house, I heard her crying
out most piteously, ** Oh me 1 vrhtA wUl become
of me I — what will becoBM of met" ThO mo-
ment she saw me, she said, ^CHi pray for me^I
am dying — I am dying — I am a poor sinlul
creature^— I cannot stand belore my €rod. Oh
me I oh me I " She went on for swtte thae in
the same strain. I saw she was not is a eendi-
tion to listen calmly to anything I migbt addvsn
to her, and remained silent unul she had some-
what exhausted herself and become quiet. 1
then saidy ^ I can do nothing for you, «^aa, b<tt
commend you to the mercy ctf God^ and there-
fore we shttll pray."

She continued pretty eabn while I was so
engaged; and when I had coBdoded and uttered

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 143 of 145)