Thomas Carlyle.

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was destined to fall, and he lay in it for a long time. We
shall give the account of this dreary period in his
own words : " Suddenly this conclusion was futened
upon my spirits, that I had been a great and grievous
sinner, and that it was now too late for me to look
after heaven; for Christ would not forgive me, nor
pardon my transgressions." How many precious
promises has the Bible cast in to fill up this gulf,
and yet it is not mended to this day, and pilgrims
continue to fkll into it ! He began, too, to be haunted
by the thought that God had left him out in the
decree of election; and next, that the day of his
grace was past; and that he was another Esau, for
whom there was no place of repentance, how many
soever the tears with which he might seek it. He
was as a man **■ tumbling abo^it}" to use his own meta-
phor, in a bottomless slough, and every pluuge tended
to sink him deeper in the mire. Many, alas ! have
sunk in that mire, and been suffocated; and that
Bunyan did not do so was owing to the mercy of
God, whose arm it was that pulled him out.

But, though rescued from this perilous condition,
be was not yet at the gate. Here we find another
parallel between himself and his Pilgrim. Scarcely
had Christian been extricated frt>m the slough by
the aid of one whose name was Help, when he was
met by Mr Wori^y- Wiseman, who counselled him
to torn aside to a village hard by, to a man whose
name was Legality, and who had great skill in help-
ing men off with tiieir burdens. The path led undei>
neath a huge mountain, which 'sent forth flashes of
fire, and hung in so fearfril a manner over the road,
that Christian durst not proceed a step farther, lest
Hbt mountain should fall upon his head. Here
Evangelist again came up to him, and directed the
wanderer back to the straight path. Bunyan, too,
encountered Mr Legality, and, influenced by him.

turned aside frx>m the path that leads to the gate,
and knew not till he was enveloped in the darkness
and fiery flashes of Sinai The incident to which
we allude is the acquahitance which he formed about
this time with a person who had a *' pleasant talk of
the Scriptures and the matter of religion." ** Whers-
fore," he says, *< I fell to some outward reformation,
both in my words and life, and did set the command-
ments before me for my way to heaven; which com-
mandments I also did strive to keep, and, as I thought,
kept them pretty well sometimes, and then I should
have comfort; yet now and then should break one,
and so ffflict my conscience; but then I should
repent, and say I was sorry for it, and promised
God to do better next time, and then got help again;
for then I thought I pleased God as well as any
man in England." Thus he continued for about a

While he stood here at the foot of Sinai, Evange-
list came to him. Chance, as it seemed, threw him
one day into the company of three women in humble
life, who had experienced the grace of God, and
whose talk was of a free forgiveness and eternal life
through the blood of Christ. This Bunyan discovered
was " a more excellent way." These women intro-
duced him to Mr Gifford, a godly minister, and the
original of his *' Evangelist." The counsels and
ministry of this man were blessed for convincing
Bunyan that he had not yet found the way of life,
and that he was still under a mount that gendered to
bondage. On this conscience again awoke. The
mount began to thunder and lighten in a most dread-
Ail manner. Turning away from it, he sought again
the road to the gate. The good minister pressed
upon him the great importance of searching the
Scriptures. This Bunyan prayerfully did. The gate
he could not yet see, but he kept the shining light in
his eye. As he went on, that light grew stronger
and stronger. At last he drew nigh; he lifted up ,
his eyes, and read the gracious words written over
the gate : ** Knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Like his own Pilgrim, he knocked once or twice.
At length the gate was opened; and one, whose
countenance was full of grace, bidding him welcome,
Bunyan entered in.

{From the Rev. George CvbiUU Life qf Luther,)
Thk fruitless Conference of Ratisbon was interrupted,
while in progress, by an event which the Romanists
hailed witn a satisfaction hardly less vivid than was
the grief of their more virtuous antagonists. The
sudden removal of their venerable go^ tm<l ftther
ftvm the scene of his earthly laboors, filled the
hearts of Protestant Eurc^ with a common and
awful sorrow. For some years past the health of
the great Reformer had been breaking up. In addi-
tion to the inroads on his constitution of cruel dis-
order, which his sedentary habits tended greatly to
aggravate, his physical strength had long been sapped
by the toils of a mind impatient of the constraints and
weakness of its material minister. The numerous and
keen anxieties incident to that work which was the one
absorbing business of his life, had farther contributed
to wear down a frtime already shattered by the access
of various diseases; while the frequent and dark fits

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ef despondencj induced hj nerroas exhanstton, had
abo lent their aid to etimvlate, by reaction, the
adMty of those morb&d canaes from which they
apaag: Sfaecily alter hie oMtrnage, Luther had
been leiied with one of thoee exerucuituig paroxysms
of Us original maladr. which are, perhaps, beyond
all other forms of boml}^ suffering, the most terrific
From the effects of this severe illnen he appears
nerer to hsfo thoroughly rallied. As aee drew on,
sDch ipMnfiadw seisoree. though generally lees vio-
lent, oftener recurred than in former years; every
fre^ attack leaving him spoiled of some fragment
of his corpor^ vigour. During the last few months
of his existence infirmities fell thick upon him. His
sight fiiiled; and notwithstanding the robust energy
which had eharacteriaed his pnne of Manhood, he
deseribes himBelf, at the age of sixiy-thsee. m '*very
old, and feeble, and having only one eye.**

hi this state, he complied with an invitaiion irom
the Counts of Maiwieldt, and set out, early in 1546,
iior his native town of Eisleben, to arbitrate some
dinmtfs which had recently arisen between those
noblemen regarding their several rights of property
in certain of the mmes of that neighbourhood.

The voluntary submission of the disputing lords to
the judgment of an umpire who, bom one of the
humblest of their own vassals, was eminent only in
virtue of a grand intellect and a holy cause, consti-
tuted as remarkable a tribute to his singular ability
and worth as could have graced the last days of the
Reformer. On his arrival at ESsIeben, he was met
by the two Counts, with a retinae of a hundred
horsemen, and escorted to the lodging which they
had prepared for his reception. Every token of an
affectionate veneration a^ffaited him. His table was
supplied by the noblemen whose differences he was
called to adjust; and the whole population of the
pla^, with an honourable pride in the high and
sacred achievements of their unmortal fellow-towns-
man, vied with each other in manifesting their united
and grateful esteem. But the reverent joy which
his presence in the scene of his birth awakened was
soon to be exchanged for a mourning as universal
and heartfelt as ever followed the translation of an
illustrioas spirit from the cares and pains of this
worid to a region of happier and purer Seing.

The f^igue of so long a poumey, undertaken in

the depth of an inclement wmter, and protracted by

a flood, rendering the usual roads impassable, proved

too much for the enfeebled health of the Reformer.

For some few days, the delight of visiting the home

of his youth, and the hope of reconciling the feudal

superiors, whom he loved with a remnant of the

clan-feeling of sn older period, hifused new animar

tion into the pulses of a heart which was prone to

tiirob wHh every generous and fine emotion. But

the chillness of the grave was at hand. As the

month of February advanced, he became unable to

leave the house. On the 16th of that month, when

obUged to confine himself to his own apartments, he

obeyed to his fnend Jonas, who, witn Cellus, the

Protestant curate of Eisleben, was in attendance on

him, ** Here I was bom and baptized : what if I

I should remain to die here also ?** On tiie evening of

! ihe 17th he complained of a painful oppression on th«

diest; but conversed during supper with his custom-

I aiy cheerfulness, expounding more than one striking

, passage of Scripture; and (Mclaring, with a peculiar

, emphasis, that if he might only be permittea to suo-

, eeed in his endeavours to reconcfle tne proprietors of

j his native country, he would return home, and die

I content. At eleven o^dock he retired to his bed, com-

I plaining of the increased weight at his breast; but.

unable to re^ he soon rose again, and was assistea

into the adjoining room. Count Albert of Mansfeldt,

I and his lady, summoned by Jonas, now arrived; and

two physicians were called in, who came immediate-
ly, but in vain. Aware that he was dying, Luthor
now prayed aloud, ssying : " O my heavenly Father !
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all con-
sohition, I thank thee for having revealed to me thy
well-beloved Son, in whom I trust, whom I have
acknowledged, and preached, and loved; but whom
the pope, and they who have no religion, persecute
and oppose. To thee, O Jesus Christ, I commend niy
soul ! I am casting off this earthly body, and passing
from this life; but I know that with thee I shafi
abide eternally.** He then recited the words of the
Psalmist : ** Into thy hands I commit my spirit : thou
hast redeemed me, O God of truth !** These words
he repeated three times, his voice growing fiednter
with each repetition. Cordials were administered, in
the hope of reviving him, but had so little effect,
that it was with extreme ^fficulty that he could arti-
culate an answer to the questions which his friends
addressed to him. Onl^ when Jonas, perceiving that
the end was near, said, "Dearest fiither, do you
verily confess Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our
Saviour and Redeemer ?" he made a great effort, and |
replied in a tone sufficiently distinct to be heard by
every person present, " Yes.** It was the last word
of the expiring saint. The coldness of death nithered
on his face and forehead; his breath came neavily;
and with eyes closed, and his hands clasped, he
remained apparently unconscious of what passed
around him, untiL between two and three o*clock,
the tide of mortal me ebbed back, leaving the mighty
spirit landed in eternity.

Thus, in his sixty-fourth year, died Martin Luther,
uttering forth with his latest breath his confidence in
that Saviour whom in this world it was his highest
glory to have made known to a deluded^ faithless,
and forgetful generation. When the tidings of his
death were communicated to Melancthon, that great-
est of his surviving associates, he burst into tears,
exclaiming, in the language of Elisha, " My father,
my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen
thereof! **

It was the wish of the Counts of Mansfeldt to have
interred the body of Luther in the town of his nati-
vity; but the Elector directed the burial to be at
Wittenberg. After lying for two days in the church
of St Andrew, in Eraleben — ^where Jonas preached
over it a discourse from the text, ** If we believe that
Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which
sleep in Jesus will God bring with bun** — the corpse
was attended on the road to Wittenberg by the
Prince of AnhaU, and the principal nobility of the
adjacent districts, including many ladies, togsthsr
with a prodigious concourse of the common rtoflt.
On its arrival at the gate of the city of Ha/ie, the
procesdon was met by the clergy and Senate, followed
by a multitude so dense that its progress through
the streets vras difficult. As it passed uon^, the vMt
ci0wd sang the 130th Psahn; and every man pressed
before his neighbour to catch a glin^iso only of the

On the 22d of February, the cafdcade reached
Wittenberg. The whole body of the Senators, ac-
companied b^ the professors and students of the
uniTerstty, with almost the entire population of the
city and its suburbs, received it at the barrier. The
body, preceded by the Barons .*/ Mansfeldt and their I
suite, and followed by the f tmily of the illustrious
deceased, was thence conveyed to the cathedral
church. There Pomeranus delivered a sermon ap-
propriate to the occasion ; after which the edebrated
nmeral oration of Melsncttion did justice to the
memory of the d&Eul, wUle it bespoke alike the grief,
the genius, and the ardent piety of ihe speaker. The
coffin was then lowercxi into the grave by the hand*
of several distinguished membera of the university.

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I The tomb of Lather, in the cathedral of Witten-
berg, bears the following inacription :

! QLM. D. CORPUS. H. L. 8. E. QUI




M. H. D. X.

i Translation Here lies interred the body of Mar-

I tin Luther, Doctor of Dirinity, who died at Eisleben,
the phice of his birth, on the 18th of February, in
the year of Christ 1546, haring lived sixty-three
years, three months, and ten days.


Go thou, in life's fair morning,
j Go, in the bloom of youth,

! And buy, for thy adorning.

The precious pearl of truth.

Secure this heayenly treasure,
I And bind it on thy heart,

And let not worldly pleasure
! E'er cause it to depart.

' Go, while the day-star shineth,

Go, while thy heart is light,
I Go, ere thy strength declineth —

While every sense is bright;
Sell all thou hast, and buy it,
I Tis worth all earthly things-

Rubies, and gold, and diamonds.
Sceptres and crowns of kings.


{From (he Modem Greek.)
Reflect on that divine grace which is held out to
thee, to lead thee to salvation— that grace, O im-
penitent sinner ! which unceasingly guards thee from
destruction, and draws thee towards repentance —
that grace which, if still despised, must ultimately
be withdrawn.

** I have planted thee,** saith the Lord, '* like a
vineyard— not in a trackless desert, nor in a rugged
soil, but in a verdant spot. I caused thee to be bom,
not of Jewish or Mohammedan, but of Christian
parents, and to be nurtured with the milk of the Gos-
peL To guard thee from danger, I surrounded thee
with a trench, built a tower, and fenced thee with
all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What could have
been done more to my vineyard that I have not done
in it ? I looked that it should bring forth grapes,
but it became wild, and brought forth only thorns.
Teachers, preachers, spiritual guides ! judge now be-
twixt me and my vineyard; decide regarding my
long-suflfering and its ingratitude, and tell me what,
after so much love, so much patience, I ought now
to do. This I will do. I will demolish the tower,
and thieves will plunder it. I will pull down the
fence, and passengers shall enter a^4 trample it. I
will command the clouds of heaven not to rain upon
it, and it shall become desolate.**

Are not these terrible words by which God
threatens to abandon the impenitent, and to change

his forbearance into indignation, and his patience into
fierce anger ? Qod so graciously calls to thee, waits
for thee, and thou despisest his proffered mercy!
The cord of GK>d*s love draws thee towards repen-
tance; but thou resistest with all thy might— the
cord breaks, and thou tumblest to perditionr- GK>d
tenders thee all the treasures of grace, and ikon con-
Tertest them into treasures of wrath. But strict re-
taliation shall be thy punishment. Thou forgettest
G^— he will forget thee. God entreats, and thou
wilt not heed. Thou wilt implore, and God shall
refuse to hear \— Bishop Meniates'^ Sermon.

[It is a remarkable circumstance, that the ser-
mon, from which the preceding powerful extract is
taken, was preached m the ci^ of Nauplia two or
three years before the second Turkish conquest of the
Morea, and that for upwards of a centurv the voice
of the Gospel ceased to be heard within the walls of
Nauplia, the Turks having always prevented any
Christian service in that place. The warning Toice
of the preacher seemed almost prophetic]


A GREAT deal of iiyury is done to children by their
parents' scolding. Many children have been nearly
or quite ruined by it, and often driven from home, to
become wanderers and vagabonds, by scolding. It
sours their temper, so that one thorough scolding pre-
pares the wav for two or three more. It sours your
temper, provided it is sweet, which is a question. If
you scold, the more you will have to scold, and be-
cause you have become crosser, and your children

Scolding alienates the hearts of your children.
Depend upon it, they cannot love you as well after
you have berated them, as they did before. You
may approach them with firmness and decision— you
may punish with severity adequate to the nature of
their offences, and they will feel the justice of your
conduct, and love you, notwithstanding all; but
they hate scolding. It stirs up the bad blood, while
it oisclosee your weakness, and lowers you in their
esteem. Especially at night, when they are about
to retire, their hearts should be melted and moulded
with voices of kindness, that they may go to their
slumbers with thoughts of love stealing around their
souls and whispering peace. — Anon.


A MISSIONARY at Cuddalore, in India, was giving
away tracts, when a little boy, about eight years
old, came and asked for one. At first Mr Guest re-
fused, for tracts were precious things; but the child
begged so hard, Mr Guest gave him one called
" The Way to Heavenly Bliss.'* About a fortnight
after, the little fellow came again with the same re-
quest. " But have you read the other ? *' " Yes,*'
SMd the child, and standing before the missionary
and several Heathens who were gathered round, he
repeated the whole tract from beginning to end.
This was like the little Basuto boy, ** putting his
books into his head." Where are yours, dear child-
ren ? Only on your shelves ? Ah ! if so, we shall
almost be tempted to wish they were far away, where
they would be to the little Heathen children as food
to the hungry. Remember this truth, " Where
much is given, much shall be required.**

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Who has not heard, with deep emotion, of
religious revivals I Yet more blessed they who
have not merely *^ heard ** of them " with the
hearing of the ear,** but also have been eye-
witnesses and heart-witnesses of these especial
and extraordinary baptisms of the Holy Ghost;
in which Crod, apparently setting aside ordinary
means and particular instrumentality, and tak-
ing the work of grace more directly in his own
hands, has wrought powerfully by his Spirit
upon the minds of Christians, arousing them
from their spiritual lethargy to increased faith,
prayer, and activity; and has created, in parti-
cular congregations and communities, an almost
universal and agonizing inquiry : " What shall
we do to be saved ! " Amid such scenes —

— ^" Scene* lurpaMing fable,
Scenes of Aojy blUs"—

has the writer mingled. Among them, in the
expression of humble hope, he drew the first
breath of spiritual life; and whatever may be
the cautious hesitancy with which some receive,
or the bold scepticbm with which others reject,
the doctrine and the history of these baptisms
of the Spirit, he will, to his dying hour, testify
that there are especial and extraordinary ^ times
of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,"
with which the Christian Church has been,
and stiU is, favoured; and that nothing but the
unbelief and the supineness of theChurch, limit-
ing and dishonouring the Holy One of Israel,
prevents their more gracious manifestation and
their more frequent occurrence. But it is not
so much the object of the writer to vindicate
the reality and character of Christian revivals,
as to illustrate their working, by the relation of
one among many thrilling incidents associated
with these hallowed occasions, on the truth of
which the reader may rely, and the facts of
which he wiU recite almost in the words of one
who was an eye-witness of the scene.

On a calm autumnal evening in the year ,

at the closo of a Sabbath-day, a large and re-
spectable circle assembled at the house of a
mutual friend, for the purpose of indulging in
that trifling, frothy conversation which is so
strong a characteristic of those who, *^ without
hope and without God in the world,** are living
No, 6.*

in awful oblivion of eternity. After some
hours had passed away in various topics of
remark, the conversation took a sudden and
awfully sportive turn upon the subject of rdU
giou$ revitah, at that time a theme of general
and peculiar interest. The Spirit of Giod had
been powerfully and gloriously at work in
other and distant parts of the country — ^the
cloud of mercy, freighted with heaven's choicest
treasure, had, in its onward and brightening
course, visited many villages and towns with
** showers of blessing,** resulting, as it was com-
puted, in the conversion of about three thousand
souls — an accession to the Church of the re-
deemed worthy of the primitive ** day of Pente-
cost.'* The fame of these especial seasons of
grace had reached the cars of the assembled
company, supplying them with ample material
for their unhallowed mirth. ** Have you heard

the news!** said Mr «*The Rev. Mr

, whose preaching has frightened so many

people, is coming to the town next week, and is
to supply our pulpit for several Sundays."
** Indeed I " repeated another ; * what say you,
friends ! — let us have a revival; for you know
this preacher is always for having something of
this kind going on." •* Yes," replied a third;

** and you, Dr , and you, Captain , must

be the first converts, and we must make elders
and deacons of you.** Thus the profanity and
jesting proceeded — one after another desig-
nated, in idle sport, as subjects for the pastor's
inquiry-meeting, and as candidates for Church
communion — until at length, suddenly alarmed
at the tone it had assumed, and at the pitch at
which it had arrived, for some reason to them
at the time unaccountable, the conversation
came to a long and thoughtful pause. At length
one, more courageous than the rest, broke the
painful silence, 'and said : ** What is the con-
clusion of the whole matter ? " No one replied,
all seemingly rapt in profound and solemn re-
flection. Here the conversation on the subject
ended; and, afior appointing to meet again four
weeks from that evening, they dispersed.

As was expected, the minister referred to
came, and commenced delivming his message
from God to the people. The field of his holy

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and self-denying labour was most unpromising,
tn couFequence not only of the low spirituality
of the Churcli, and the high-handed impiety of
the place, but more especially as resulting from
deep-rooted and long-existing dissensions which,
it was supposed, nothing «ould heal.

Yet to this unforbidding soil came the sower
of the precious seed, doubtless under the special
anointing of the Spirit, with a heart yearning
for the salvation of precious souls, and with an
eye single to the glory of God. The result shall
speak for itself. The fourth week which inter-
vened between the evening of solemn mockery
and the time appointed for the next party was
drawing nigh. But (Jod, who is rich in mercy,
had other engagements than scenes of mirth
for this ungodly circle, and was resolving in his
infinite and compassionate mind thoughts and
purposes of love. Wonderful to tell — and only
to be told to the eternal honour of rich, free,
and sovereign grace, abounding to the chief of
sinners — that cloud of mercy which had been
sailing athwart the spiritual heaven, imper-
ceptibly and unexpectedly paused in its divine-
directed career over this parched and arid spot;
and just at this critical juncture unbosomed

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 16 of 145)