Thomas Carlyle.

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or profane counterfeits of religion, more easily
detected than dealt with! Of disappointment,
(itself apt to become selfish and sordid,) at the
want of ministerial success ! Of frequent most
acute trials of temper, and that in situations of
most serioos responsibility f Of not infrequent
exposure to still more fearful forms of tempta-
tion; particularly in seasons of sociality, or phy-
sical exhaustion, or that insidious rdaxedness
of mind, which is the common reaction of in-
tense public excitement ! In a word, who can-
not understand, and sympathize with, a solemn
habitual oMxiay, often wrought up into a dis-
tressing fear, on the points of personal charac-
ter, the welfare of the work of €r0D, and the
anticipated final appearing of ''every one ol
iw," at once with his soul and his surrendered
ministry, '^ before the judgment-seat of Christ" !
brethren t such considerations i^peal, not so
much to your generous feelings, as to your piety
and brotherly consideration. * Pray for us/'—
not less frequently than you are wont to do for
our physical vigour, our acceptance, or our use-
fulness; but fnore frequently for our penonai
hoUmeUf our power day by day to * crucify
fleshly affections,' as well as ' lusts,' our support
under spiritual depressions, and our excelling
in all sanctity and virtue. 'Behold, we are,
according toyour wish, in God's stead;' yet, oh !
remember, 'we also are formed out of the clay.'
2. Or should we touch on the Temporal morti-
fications of the Ministerial lot in most Churches,
— ^you would think, for instance, of loug hoors
of toil and exposure, frequently embittering
those of after rest and retirement : for Christ's

How beuitiM upon the mountains are the feet of him,
that tMingeth good Udingi, that publisheth peace, that
bringeth good tidings of good, that pubUsfaeth salva-
tion, that saith unto Zion, Thy Ood reigneth! —
IsAUfl lU. 7.

II. In the exercise of this ministry, faithful
** Men of God" encounter some pebsonal habd-
8H1P8 AND HUMILIATIONS. Those, howover, the
Prophet presents under so veiled and modest
an aspect^ that we shall do no more than just
glance at them. Nor is it needful; for ''ye
know what mauner of men" your Ministers are
" among you, for your sake." In carrying the
good tidings abroad, their /feet are upon the
mountains:' they traverse, so to speak, a
rough, difiicult, dangerous, and wearisome road;
and the effects of such a course of life are not
seldom painfully apparent. We sorrowfully
allow that many, who assume what is called
" the Sacred Profession," incur but little incon-
venience by the rigidness of their fidelity to it.
We gratefully acknowledge, on the oth^ hand,
thi^ the most suffering servants of Christ and
His Church have their daily helps and solaces,
as well as the prospect of a great reward. Still,
the general proposition is affectingly true, nor
would any pious or honourable mind desire to
lessen its force — that the Evangelizing and Pas-
toral Office, (especially in some Communities,)
has, when consistently sustained, its peculiar
and its inseparable trials.

Were we to touch, however delicately, any
one string, what heart would not vibrate in
quick and intelligent sympathy t

1. Should we touch on the Spirttnal exercises
of Ministers, — whom would not the words re-
mind, for instance^ of daily conflicts with un-
destroyed, though subdued, sinful nature, ever
threatening to break out in pride, selfishness,
uncharitableness, unbelief, and the like, in all
th^r subtle and changing forms t Of either
a harassing sense of insufficiency, or an en-
snaring tendency to self-confidence t Of the felt
danger of envy in some circumstances, and of
arrogance or assumption in others! Ofaconstant
and a conscious liability to mix up animal pas-
sion or personal motivesu with inspired reh'gious
No. 9. ♦

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messengers mnst ^ endare hardness;" must be
** in joumeyings often f must labour^* in the
word and doctrine" — ^both in studying and
teaching the truth; and must be * instant in
season and out of season;*' with much absti-
nence, and slight and rare recreation. When
not actually straining all their strength to lift
high the healing Cross, they must be seen bear-
ing it about on their shoulders, in readiness for
the next opportunity, — yea, and, if they would
win souls, must be heard singing under their
blest burden.

You would remember, too, that your Minis-
ters are, for the most part, poor men, and ex-
perience the usual inconveniences of oompara-
tiye privation. It has in their case, however,
some peculiarities, and some aggravations. It
is the tax of their entire self-devotion . to the
service of Cron and man; a ^ oalfing," for such
it is, which forbids them, if the Church be but
able to afford them a simple subsistenoe, to
' entangle themselves with the affairs of this life,'
or grow rich by its honourable enterprises.
Again^ the constant claims of Christ's house-
hold on their time and care will seldom allow
them either to economize or to enjoy what they
possess, to superintend domestic education, to
luxuriate in domestic love, or to husband their
scanty savings for the future necessities of the
widow and the fatherless. And, once more,
the casualties of their station create unusual
wants, and require a larger private outlay;
while the iptrit of their station prompts them
to ** spend," as well as '^ be spent, for" the poor
of their flocks, and the cause of God, often be-
yond their ability : not to say, that the delicacy
of their relation to certain parties, both in and
out of trade — (who boast themselves Christians,
and not * law"-ridden Israelites, in whom is no
guile — ^though their own vyntem is by no means
without its beggarly elements) — ^lays opem many
a generous and gentle-minded pastor to resist-
less and ruinous imposition.

To hard mental or bodily labour, and to
straitened finances, your candour would not
omit to add frequent ill-health; with its inci-
dents of pain, languor, aud nervous irritability,
or depression. Adverse as these sensations are
to the comfort and even energy of an unremit-
ting, and in many oases unpetukmed^ service, —
they often intrude during its active discharge^
are often occasioned or aggravated by it, and
must often be uncomplainingly endured in de-
ference to its imperious requirements. Nor
could your thoughts visit the sick-room of one^
who has once and again visited youn in more
than thought, without some sense of ''the

shadow of death ;** for what else but its projected
and forewarning shadows are frailty, affliction,
and morbid gloom! Lives so spent as, in these
uigent and unmerciful times, " God's" true-
hearted ** Men" mutt spend them, (unless under
special advantages of temperament or location),
may be expected to wear apace. They are ** in
deaths ofif* graves gi^ at every step of their
way; and what wonder, if they stumble into
one of them — as in the instance of the Mis-
sionary, or the Methodist, Ministry — long ere
they have numbered their " threescore years
and ten" ! Fellow-messengers ! we track our
course across ** the mountains" by the foot-
prints of some of our predecessors, but by the
bnrial-moundsy'or the bleached bones, of oUiers;
and, if We follow, it should be in the solemn
and devoted spirit of Thomas, *' Let us go, that
we may die with" them, — or of Paul, '^ I am
ready t« be offered, and the time of my de-
parture is at hand" I

In estimating the external trials oi diristian
Ministers, you will be reminded, beloved bre-
thren, by the supposed peculiar allusion of the
Prophet, of their diversified defects, infirmities,
and often mmoji appearance in eoeiety. Some of
them betray defects of practical judgment;
others of intellectual energy, or refinement;
others of natural seosibility, or ardour; others
of original or acquired strength of character;
while others, again, are found wanting in the
comparative trifles of rhetoric, melody or power
of voice, a commanding person, an impressive
physiognomy, or a graceful gesticulation; or,
out of the pulpit, in polish, or perhaps open-
ness, of manners. We have known the ab-
sence of these^ with now and then a touch
of what was positively unpleasing — though
amounting to no more than a litUe dust on <* the
feet," or a little disorder in the dress, or a slight
awkwardness in the gait, or deformity in the
person, of a King's messenger— we have known
them quite enough to make the preaching and
presence of many a holy and benevolent man
not only uncourted, but distastefuL Hence
have grown up, in some unsaactified, and «-
onrt/y unhappy, professors-^ (unhappy, because
still dependant on these veiy men for guidance
and comfort in ** the cloudy day")— those fn*
volous prejudices aud dislikes, which, we should
all be warned, just in proportion as they lessen
the influence of our Ministers, are ttpirituaUy
injuiiout to ouneUei,

in. • But ye have not so learned Christ."
You acknowledge that yon owe to His ser-

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CALLiNO AND CHABACTsa. ** How beauUfttl are
the feet of him, that bringeth good tidiugs !"
Trusting that such is your sentimeut, we pre-
sume to ask from you a threefold manifesta^
tioa of it.

1. In the first place, you will habitually and
carefully guard against an opponte treatment, or
opinion, of £3ithful Ministers, because of their
sometimes humiliating circumstances, or exte-
rior. Ashamed of them because of tketd — you
could not be 1 Why, they owe them, probably,
to their love for yoti, and their zeal to bring you
good tidings ! Instead of grasping at the world,
or spending life in the cultivation and indulgence
of purely literary tast^ or even burying their
ministry and their souls alive under heaps of
scholastic lore, they prefer, and they profess, to
study the BibUy and the hearty to preach repei
tance to sinners, and to watch over the
of Jesus Christ. Ashamed of them
these — impossible! As soon
from your door the famishj
soldier, because disfij
fractures incurred in
country from aggression, VHn'der,
shed. As soon could you
hand of an honest artisan, because tanoetf
hardened with the drudgery
your accommodation the comfort^^^fTH luxuries
of life. As soon could you deride the physical
infirmities, the deranged intellects, and the pre-
mature decay, of the men, whose midnight-la-
bours in the study, or the senate-house, have
enriched your literature, or matured your poli-
tical Constitution. Almost might you reproach
an Apostle with his ** thorn in the flesh," or a
Confessor with his prison-attire. Nay, might
you not be ashamed of Him, who was cradled
in a manger, 'had not' in lonely manhood
where to lay His head,' was arraigned and
condemned as a felon^ and was ** crucified be-
tween two thieves" ! But no — *^ Blessed is he
whosoever is not offended in Me" I For ** surely
He hath borne our griefs, and canied our sor-
rows." " How beautiful were the feet of Him,"
who, not only brought the Gospel of our salva-
tion from the very lips of Eternal Mercy, but
** by Himself purged our sins," and obtained for
us a plenteous redemption ! How sacred His
passion I How glorious His shame ! How
precious the blood of His Cross ! — Now, re-
member the words of the Lord Jesus, ad-
dressed to His chosen Ministers, — ** He that
despiseth ^oa, despiseth Me." But 'despise'
not ' the lead of these.' ' Let no man despise
their youth,' if comparatively young they be;

yet, ''let the elders be counted worthy of |
double honour." Lives there the man, who
can despise spent old age, or overtaking poverty,
or a sickly frame, or a son*owful spirit, or even
waning pulpit attractions, when associated with
a still healthful, experienced, and spiritual mi-
nistry ! Execrable inhumanity and ingratitude I
"Beloved, we are persuaded better things of
you." Deal by such men, speak of them, feel
towards them, elders or not, as ScoUUih Christians,
and those most worthy of them insister-churches,
are reputed to have ever done — and as their
services and sacrifices deserve. For you, or
for your brethren up and down the world, tliey
resign much, risk more, travel far, toil hard,
are in some instances strangers at their own
«, in no few instances go in mean clothes,
coarse food; and, after exhausting
igth and spirits in the zeal of the
either sink early into the sepul-
their wives widows, or their
-mothe)^ childless — or else live to bury
kindred and companions, and
ice verdant village-church-yard
over with the hoof-prints of the
orse of Death, until, amidst the multitude
their own is with difiiculty found,
and scarcely affords depth of earth sufficient
for their shrunk and lone remains. And this,
we blush to add, often without any competent
provision, while they survive, for the comfort
of declining years, — and always with more or
less of the forlorn feeling, not only of 'poor
old men,' but of laid-aside, unserviceable,
"supernumerary," Ministers! Said I, despise
not such men ? I say rather, reverence them ;
honour their humiliation ; think the better oi
them for every token and trace of self-deniaL
Venerate that brow, bearing, in almost legible
lines, the faithful transcript of the Church's
chequered and troublous history — that voice,
broken with pttbliiking to you the " good news
from a far country" — that hand, tremulous and
faltering, as if with having been " all the day
long stretched forth " to gather men to Goi>->
that step, tottering, even now, imder other and
heavier burdens than its own ! ' Beautiful be
the feet of them that preach,' while yet the
clods at the grave's edge are crumbling and
giving way under them, the long-loved ' Gospel
of peace!'

2. Secondly, bear their burdens, who bear the
Lord's, and yours. Do this by continual prayer
on their behalf; by 'standing up for them
against the workers of iniquity,' and working
wUh them in every righteous and useful imder-
taking; and by a systematic contribution, ac-

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eording to your ability, bnt fer oonscienco*
sake — for the love of the Master-^'in the
name of the prophets' — not only towards the
support of those who, with yonr own approval,
still "labour among you," but towards the
alleviation of a hallowed old age, when they
are worn out, and so domestic pressures and
anxieties, when they ' gather up their feet ' to
die. On whatever branch of Christ's One
Church you are honoured to bear fruit, be for-
ward to sustain those resources, whether pro-
duced by a generous literature, or by direct
appeal, which are at once the temporal and
spiritual joy of ** the husbandman." In more
ways than one, they will ** abound to ymr ac-
count." No Church-scheme of this age is more
signally jutt to man, or more certain of accept-
ance with God, than that now nearly consum-
mated by the Free Church of Scotland, — and
consummated chiefly through the 8elf^ev9tion
of a beloved Brother, whose name her late fiery
trial has burnt in upon the heart of her every
minister, member, and friend, — by which she
proposes, having first built up her broken altars
throughout the land, to rekindle a keartk-Jire
in the neighbourhood of each, for those who
serve and have suffered for them. May God
perfect the success of that scheme, and Him-
self have all the glory !

3. Above all, in the last place, compensate
them for their personal sacrifices by receiv-
ing their official message. Give them ''the
joy," for which, in lowly and distant imi-
tation of their Adored Master, they * endure
the cross,' and ' despise the shame.' O ! ' hear
them gladly.' Some commentators understand
the text to represent the people, to whom the
messengers are sent, as standing on the highest
mountains of their country, and looking out for
their arrival. Hence the exclamation of the Pro-
phet : ** How beautiful," or gladdening, to those
thus elevated and expectant, '^ are the feet"
the first distant appearance, ''of him that
bringeth good tidings I Thy watchmen" —
they who have been on the watch lor him —
" shall lift up the voice, with the voice together
shall they sing !" Christian hearers, r^ilize
this refireshing imagery. Look out for the
"Preacher;" value and desire his instructions;
anticipate every Sabbath' and every sermon
with delight; oft as Christ's "peace" is " pub-
lished" and assured to you, let your spirits
sing for -joy; and as 'we preach, so do you
believe.' Alas I many there be, who, while
they acknowledge^ how beautiful are the feet
of the messeuger, and even the words of the
mesnge, will not 'believe' and 'obey' the

one or the other. Romans 10 ch^ 15, 16 v.;
Ezekiel 33 ch., 30, 31, 32 v.) They have just
the same sort of feeling under tho preaching of
the Gospel, by a man of persuasive address, as
under the enchantment of a well-executed
sacred song, or recitative, on the same sub-
ject. Now, in the name of Ctod, who will judge
you, and of Christ, who shed out the blood
of His broken heart for your reconciliation,
kaw done with trifling about serious things ! It
is no musical or poetic passion, that we ask
from you; it is no merely personal compla*
cency towards your Ministers, that we yearn to
elicit; but "the obedience of faith" towards
their Gospel, and toward^ their God. ' Believe
our report' — embrace our Saviour — ^*have
Him to rule over you* — esteem His rule a
"good thing," yea, a " great salvation"— break
league with all His enemies — cast yourselves
on His merits, and obtain His mercy — and '

** So shall you bleM Hi* pleasing twaj,
And, sitting at HU feet,
His laws with all jour hearts obej
With all your souls submit."

And to shall 'ye be our rejoicing, and we
yours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.' To Him
be glory and dominion for ever. Amen I


When the celebrated Kepler was a very young
man, and began to speculate on the harmony of
the solar system, he attempted to discover if
there was any regular proportion observed in
the size of the orbits of the planets. Having
failed in this attempt, and finding that there
was an extraordinary distance between the
orbits of Mars and Jupiter, be supposed that a
new planet existed between these two;* but
even with this assumption, he did not succeed
in discovering any regular progression in the
distances of the planets.

Nearly a century ago, the mgeniovs M. Lam-
bert of Mulhansen, suggested the probability of
a planet existing between Mars and Jupiterj
and in the year 1772, Professor Bode of Berlin,
published his celebrated Law of the Planetary
Distances, which depended on the existence of
such an undiscovered planet. This curious law
will be understood, if we place in a row the
following numbers, each of which h double of
the one which precedes it : —

d 6 12 24 48 9e 1^2
If we now add four to each of these, we shall
have the following series of numbers, which re-
present, with tolerable accuracy, the relative
distances of the planets from the Sun.

4 7 10 16 28 fi2 100 196

iivnvrj Vcniu Earth Han tvflta fixture XJmna»

* Brewster's Mmiyn qf Sciemee, p. 908.

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Kov, if th^re be any truth in tliis law, or any
: plijseal reason for its eodstenoe, there either
' mul have been, or most etill he, a planet be-
tween Mars and Jupiter, at the distance cor-
, re^ending to the number 28; and if there are
' aaj other planets yet to be discovered beyond
the oibit of Uranus, which is very probable,
Uiey wiU be placed at the following distances : —

Koe* • • •





3072 &c.
3076 &c.

6o strong bad become the conviction that a

pJaaet did exist between Mars and Jupiter, that

Bnron Von Zacb had ventured to calculate its

; probable elements, and twemtf-four astronomers

I ftfined themsehres into a society in the autumn

1 of the year 1800, for the express purpose ci

I dieeovering tbis new planet. M. Schroeter of
' LOienthal, wM known by his accurate maps of

the Sur&ce of the Moon, was the president, and
Bsron Yon Zacb, astronomer to the Prince of

II Saxe Gotha, was the secretary to this aasoda-
\\ Uou; and the members engaged to observe,

vith the greatest care, every star visible through
, their tel^copee, within the limits of the zodiac.
I A Tear had scarcely elapsed before a hew
pbnet was discovered between Man and JupU&r,
oeeiip3nng the very place which corresponded
vikh the distanoe 2S in the preceding series of
Bombers,* and, what is equally singular, the
Hacorerj was not made by a member of the


This great discovery we owe to Joseph
Pisszi, astronomer to the King of Naples at
Fikmio. When he was observing the stars

00 the Ist of January 1801, he noticed one in
the iield of his telescope which had a difierent
aspect from all the rest, and, as it changed its
pbee, and had a rerj dense atmosphere, Piazzi
f'^Brded it as a comet. He continued to ob-
MTie it tiU the 2d of February, having on the
S4th January sent an account of his discovery
to Oriani, La Lande, Bode, and Von Zaoh, and
infonned them that he liad observed it sta-
tioosr^r, and retrograde in the short space of
tta days. From uiis information these astro-
DomerB drew the conclusion that the new body
vitt a planet; and all Europe was excited by
the iotelligence. M. Gauss Of Brunswick com-
puted the elements of iiB orbit, and the astro-
Domeis of England, France, and Grermany strove
to rediicoyer it. Piazzi himself had been ob-

1 liged to discontinue his observations by a dan-
foroiis ilbesB, and it was not till January 1802,
tbst the planet was rediseovered by Dr Olbers
of fimneii. From gratitude to his patron the
Khv of Naples, Piazzi gave the name of Cer«i
fff^^MndM to the new planet. Ther king

i<^^dt>ed a f^d itiedal to be struck in honour of
^2zi; hot the modest astronomer requested
^ the Bom intended for this purpose should
I ^ expended on the purchase of an equatorial
r^tmment for his observatory.
^Ikt oaet BMn dMtMM of th« Mv plMwt to S7.8S.

Soon after the rediscovery of Cere$, on the
28th March 1802, Dr Olbers discovered atecond
new planet, to which he gave the name of
Pallai, Its magnitude was nearly the same as
that of Cent, not exceeding 200 or 300 miles in
diameter; but what was at first almost incre-
dible, its distance from the Sun was nearly the
same as that of Ceres, being 27.9, a number
almost identical with 28, the place where a new
planet had been expected.

In the course of other two years, a tkml
planet was added to the solar system by M.
Harding, astronomer at the Observatory of
Lilienthal, near Bremen; and, strange to tell,
this, planet also was situated at nearly the same
distance from the Sun as its two predecessors,
namely, at a distance corresponding with the
number 264*

Confounded with this superabundance of
planets, in a region of the solar system where
one only was expected and desired, astronomers
hitherto devoted to observation, began to specu-
late respecting the cause of such extraordinary
results. Alt£>ugh ow planet only was required
to fill the void, and give harmony to the solar
system, yet the one actually discovered was so
smaU, that it destroyed the harmony in the
magnitude of the planets, though it established
a harmony in their distances. The two addi-
tional bodies, equally small with the first, be-
came a new source of perplexity, and stamped,
as it were, a character of disorder upon the
^rstem of the world.

In this dilemma it occurred to Dr Olbe^ that
these three small planets wenfragmenU of a larger
one; that this planet had been burst by some
internal convulsion; and that as all the frag-
ments had diverged from <me common centre^
there ought to be two nodes in opposite points
of the heavens throudb which they should all
sooner or later pass. Having found that these
nodes should be in the constellations .Kir^ and
the Whale, and that it was in the last of these
that Juno had been discovered, Dr Olbers
examined, thrice every year, these two constsl*
lations, till on the 29th March«1807, he dis-
covered in the constellation Vtrgo, a fourth small
planet, to which he gave the name of 'Vetta,
whose mean distance from the Sun corresponded

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 25 of 145)