Thomas Carlyle.

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tiiey believed and called on his name; and it was
oonoluded, that if He was able to qualify the element
of fire so that the smell of fire did not pass on them,
and not so much as an hair of their head was singed,
he was surely able to make a way of escape for us,
dark as our case was.

** Some of thecompapiy began then to think, indeed
all of us did. that we had not lived lives connMpond-
ipg to the I%ht that we had ei^yed, with the Ught
of the precious Gtoroel shining in its brightness
amongst us. One of them said, * Surdy if I escape,
it will become me to turn over a new leaf;* uid
every one seemed to feel his own deficiency, end his
need of a Saviour. The girls at first cried for hunger;
but the hunger wore off. Hunger never touched any
of the older ones. We had plenty of water ; and it
was observed, that the Lora had onoe mads water
into whie, and if it was so ordered, he could make
that water support us the same as if it was flesh.
Let me indeed nowsay to you, this, after all, was the
sweetest and shortest Saturday night I ever passed;
and I dare say there never was a more solemn diuroh
than was that night at the pit-bottom in the heart of

Peter, when they were getting weary, r e pea te d a
beautiful hymn on the glories of heaven, by which
they were greatly refreshed; and during the whole
night they prayed and sang praises, committing
themselves to the Lord, so that, whether they died
or lived, they might be His. We have not space for
the insertion of their thoughts and conversations as
related in the tract, although we have seldom read
anything so intensely interesting— but (not doubting
that our readers will purchase the tract for them-
selves) proceed to the account of their wonderful
deliverance. The Lord heard their cry, and opened
up a way for them to life. The honest colHer thus
proceeds: —

** By this time we were beginning agidm to consider

about making another trial, and seeing whether anv
relief was coming to us from above by the Dean Pit.
Three, aooordingly, were sent out—myself. Jamieson

Bennett, and James Beid. I went fint, till we came
to the water's edge, and there we sat down and con-
sulted; when it was agreed among us all that we
thought the air was better, and, indeed, that it was
toloably good. We had no lights to prove it, but
judged only from our breathing, and we were all of
this opinion. We therefore agreed to return with
the tioings, that there was no relief appearing from
the Back Deiua Pit, but that the air was better m
the air-gate, and that we proposed to make a trial of
it, if they all were agreeable. So we returned and
told them. But thev were refiractory and unbelieving.
One, indeed, said, he had made up his mind to die
where he was, and if any of us escaped with life, we
might give intimation to his friends where they
would find his body. It was relied, that, to be
sure, if we sat there, it was ineritable death; and
here the story of the four lepers occurred to be
raoken to. If they stood where they were, it was
<feath; if they entered the dty, it was still death; if
they entered into the camp of the Assyrians, it was
but death. We were bound to use every energy
while we had breath, for rescuing our lives from
destruction, and then to leave the event with God.
To sit still there was little else than suicide. If we
wished to die, it was our part to buy death at the

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deareit rate; and we hadsomepftwpect of life atthe
end of the proposed triaL

** It wai no wonder that there was some dilBoalty
about trying; for sinoe then, I hare seen the place
acain, and I can tmlj say, that if we had had light at
the time to see the hole into which we had to creep, I
scarcely think we would hare Tentored to go. But,
see how good God was! WegrieredwhenoiirHghts
went oat; but God put them out in mercy, that we
might not fear to enter into the narrow places for
onr life. The loss of oar light was just the means of
our life.

*< So it was agreed that three should make a trial,
and the rest follow half-an-hoor afterwards. The
three appomted to go, were Jandeson Bennett, John
Reid, and Ckorge Pride. But they would not go
without me ; so of course four were sent away. Hau-
an-hour was allowed for remoring the obiiacles in
the way, and making a clear passage. So we four
went on till we came to the waters edge. Then we
sat down, and prayer was offered to the prayer-hear-
ing and prayer-answering God, who heard oar cry,
and granted our request

** After prayer, we went into the water. At our
Tery first entrance, we crept on our bellies for per-
haps four or five yards; so low was the roof, and all
in tiie dark. Then we proceeded onwards a while
with tolerable ease on our feet. The roof had sitten
down in the place where we crept, and the water
was floating round our mouths; so that we had to
tarn the back of our heads round, to keep our mouths
oat of the water. We pressed on and on, howcTer,
and with a little more comfort, till we came to a
broad flagstone. Bennett and Reid called back, that
if they «d not get picks, they could proceed no
fbrther, for they had got a stone here which lay
across the whole way. Well, we had had the good
presence of mind the day before to leaye two picks
on the dry ground, a little distant tram the water.
So Ckorge Pride and I returned and found them, and
carried wem to Bennett and Reid, and they were
enabled to remore the flag in a Tery short time.

** Just as tiiey got the &g remoTed, the back par-
ties were makiqg an adyanoe; but they had to stop a
little till we were ready. So, all thii^ behig clear
for the march, we proceeded onward, eyeir one fol-
lowing the other, and aye naming each other aloud
as we marched on in oar journey, to see if all were
on the moTe. We continued thus on our march, till
we met with another disa gre ea b le bit; but it was
soon overcome. The rnbbiui had fltJlen down, and
was raised aboTe the lerel of the water, and the
passage was Tery laigh. We soon sormounted it,
boweyer, creepmg on our hands and feet. But there
was no water here, and we got through the rubbish,
and marched on. After this we came to a place
where we walked on our feet; but the water was
Teiy high ; in some places h%her, in some lower. It
was sometimes up to our waist, at other times to our
shoulders, toudimg even our chins; and the women
had to hing to our necks, and just float and swim as
they best might, for it woald have drowned them,
the young ones at least, to walk. We carried on,
however, the best way we could, getthig through the
water: till we observed that we luid left some of the
party behind, and I waited till the last came forwscd.

«« By this time I thought that George Pride had
found the dry ground, and had escaped away with
great jot to the pit mouth; for I cried scTeral times
to him, but recdred no answer. So when the rest
came up, and were foUowing me as I thought, I
moTed up a road or aTenue. But it was to my great
joy they did not follow me. For I soon fouiM, to
mr dismay, I had gone wrong. I went OTer a mass
of rubbish just twofold; the road became impaMable

with rubbish, and the afar so extremely bad, that one •
of my ears gaTe a loud crack and a ring, and the '
streamers fl^ flrom my eves, and there was exoesnve '
heat. Then, thought I, t am certainly wrong here ! i
However, I must be as cool as possible, for I know
there are two ways behind, aright and a wrong; and ,
I have heard of people'ft brain turning in such situa- .
tions ! So if my brain were to turn, and I took the '
left road instead of the right, I might just go back
the way I had come, and oe lost I With as much
coolness of mind, then, as possible, I returned back- '
ward, and, turning to the right hand, I again went
to the shoulder in water; but at last I reached the
dry ground. Then I began to feel the smell of
sulphur and reek; and as I knew that a himp hung
constantiy burning in the Back Dean Pit to help the
purity of the air, I thought it must be this that was
canring the smoke and smelL I was right, and im-
mediately found mvself just where we had so long
desired to be, hard by the bottom of the Back Dean
Pit; and that, you may believe, was no small com-
fort unto me !

** To my great joy. the rest were all safe arrived
before myself, and they had not missed me at the
time, every one was so excited with his own case.
For my own part, before I went up the air-gate, I
was like a lion for strength; but after I came out, I
was weak enough. We found the air extremely bad ;
our sides blew the same as if we had been running a
race, for want of breath; and that made us weak.

'* However, we shouted up from the bottom of the
pit, and to our mat joy we were quickly beard and
answered. A bucket was sent down; but, as we
were so weakly, a man was sent down with it to help
us. So the man descended about half-way down the ,
pit. To use his own words, however, he soon did
not know whether he was coming down or going up,
and he called to them to take him up, for he was not .
able to live in the air of the place. We who had
come from a closer neighbourhood were able to stand
it; but he who had come from the fresh air was not
able. So the bucket was again let down, and we
were drawn up.

" So we reached the Back Dean Pit bead, and j
agidn saw the pleasant light of day, about eight
o*clock on the Sabbath morning; and my first words
were, * Glory to God in the highest, that I am once
more on the earth safe alive ! * And glory be to his
name I now say, and shall say to the end of my

On one occasion, when the late Rev. W. Blunt was
arranging for some charitable measures, he requested
a lady whom he thought qualified to undertake some I
charge in district visiting, or some kindred engage-
ment. She answered him, rather declining the pro- '
posal: ** My stay here will be probably too short for {
metobeofuse.^ I do not know that I shaU be here
three months.** His answer was brief, cahn, and so- !
lemn. ** I do not know that I shall be here one.** ,
He alluded to his time and life in this present world.
She saw his meaning, answered no more, and heartily
embraced the work offered her to da The word of
that faithfU man, though dead himself, speaketh to
us who remain, telling us, that in God*s sight time
has in reality no renmants, no shreds, no patches to
be thrown away; and I fully believe that the habit
of speedy and ready application of our faculties is one
of tiie most important acquintions which can possibly
be formed.— iisv. Franeit Trench,

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Thkrs are three very remarkable queetious
towards the olose of the 6th chapter of the
Romans: — 1. ' Who shall lay anythiDg to the
chai^ of 6od*s elect I '* Paul stands forth like
a herald, and l^e looks up to the holy angels, and
down to the accusing devils, and round about
on a scowling world, and into consdenoe, and
he asks, Who am accuse one whom God has
chosen, and Christ has washed I It ia God who '
jusiifieth. The holy Gx>d has declared believers
clean every whit. 2. ** Who shall condemn t "
Paul looks round all the judges of the world —
all who are skilled in law and equity; he looks
upwiud to the holy angels, whose superhuman
sight pierce deep and far into the righteous
government of God; he looks up to Grod, the
judge of all, who must do right — whose ways
are equal and perfect righteousness — and he
t asks. Who shall condemn I It is Christ that
I 'lied. Christ has paid the uttermost farthing:
40 that every judge must cry out, There is now
no condemnation. 3. ** Who shall separate us
froln the love of Christ?" Again he looks
round all created worlds — ^he looks at the might
of the mightiest archangels — the satanic power
of legions of devils — the rage of a God-defying
world— the united forces of all created things;
and, when he sees sinners folded in the arms
of Jesus, he cries. Who shall separate us from
the love of Christ f Not all the forces of ten
thousand worlds combined, for Jesus is greater
than all. ''We are more than conquerors
through him that loved us."

The love of Christ ! Paul says : « The love
of Christ passeth knowledge." It is like the
blue sky, into which you may see clearly, but
the real vastness of whtch you cannot measure.
It is like the deep, deep sea, into whose bosom
you can look a little way, but its depths are
unfathomable. It has a breadth without a
bound, length without end, height without top,
and depth without bottom. If holy Paul said
this, who was so deeply taught in divine things
— who had been in the third heaven, and seen
the glorified face of Jesus — how much more
. may we, poor and weak believers, look into
, that love and say: It passeth knowledge I

• From Volume of Sermons by the lamented author,
nearly ready for publlcaUoa.
No. 15 ♦

I would ^eak of the love of Christ.

1. Whenitbegsn— in the past eternity: ''Then
I was by him as one brought up with him : and I
was daily his delight, rejoidng always before
him; rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth;
and my delights were with the sons of men." —
Prov. viiL 30, 31 . This river of love began to flow
before the world was — from everlasting, from
the beginning, or ever the earth was. Christ's
love to us is as old as the Father's love to the
Son. This riv^ of light began to stream from
Jesus toward us before the beams poured from
the sun — before the rivers flowed to the ocean
—before angel loved angel, or man loved man
— before creatures were, Christ loved us. This
is a great deep— who can fathom it ! This love
passeth knowledge. I

2. And who was it that loved I It was'
Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the
blessed Godhead. His name is ^Wonderful,!
Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace," " King <^ kings
and Lord of lords," " Immanuel," and " Jesus*'
the Saviour, the only b^;otten of his Father.
His beauty is perfect : he is the brightness of
his Fathei^s glory, and the express image of his
person. All the purity, majesty, and love of
Jehovah, dwell fully in him. He is the bright
and morning Star: he is the Sun of righteous-
ness and the Light of the world: he is the
Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys —
fairer than the children of men. His riches
are infinite: he could say, ** All that the Father
hath is mine." He is Lord of Ml. All the
crowns in heaven were cast at his feet — all
angels and seraphs were his servants — all
worlds his domain. His doings were infinitely
glorious. By him were all things created that
are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and
invisible. He called the things that are not as
though they were— worlds started into being
at his word. Yet he Uted tw. It is much to be
loved by one greater in rank than ourselves —
to be loved by an angel; but O, to be loved by
the Son of God ! — this is wonderful — it passeth

3. Whom did he love I He loved us ! He
came into the world " to save sinners, of whom
I am the chief." Had he loved one as glorious

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as himself, ^e would not have wondered. Had
he loved the holy angels, that reflected his
pure bright image, we would not have wondered.
Had he loved the lovely among the sons of
men — the amiable, the gentle, the kind, the
rich, the great, the noble — it would not have
been so great a wonder. But, ah 1 he loved
sinners — the vilest sinners—the poorest, mean-
est, guiltiest wretches that crawl upon the
ground. Manasseh, who murdered his own
children, was one whom he loved ; Zaccheus,
the grey-haired swindler, was another; blas-
pheming Paul was a third; the wanton of
Samaria was another; the dying thief was
another; and the lascivious Corinthians were
more. ^ And such were some of you.'* We
were black as hell when he looked on us — we
were hell-worthy, under his Father's wrath
and curse — and yet he loved us, and said: I
will die for them. " Thou hast loved me out
of the pit of corruption," each saved one can
say. Oh, brethren t this is strange love : he
that was so great, and lovely, and puve, chose
us, who were mean and iilthy with sin, that he
might wash and purify, and present us to him-
self. This love passeth knowledge I

4. What this love cost him. When Jacob
loved Rachel, he served seven years for her —
he bore the summer's heat and winter's cold.
But Jesus bore the hot wrath of God, and the
winter blast of his Father's anger, for those he
loved. Jonathan loved David with more than
the love of women, and for his sake he bore
the cruel anger of his father, Saul. But Jesus,
out of love to us, bore the wrath of his Father
poured out without mixture. It was the love
of Christ that made him leave the love of his
Father, the adoration of angels, and the throne
of glory — it was love that made him not despise
the Virgin's womb—it was love that brought
him to the manger at Bethlehem — it was love
that drove him into the wilderness ; love made
him a man of sorrows — love made him hungry,
and thirsty, and weary — love made him hasten
to Jerusalem — love led him to gloomy, dark
Gethsemane — love bound and dr^fged him to
i the judgment hall — love nailed him to the cross
— love bowed his head beneath the amazing
load of his Father's anger. " Greater love hath
no man than this." ** I am the good Shepherd;
the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
Sinners were sinking beneath the red-hot
flames of hell; He plunged in and swam through
the awful surge, and gathered his own into his
bosom. The sword of justice was bare and glit-
teringy ready to destroy us; He, the man that

was God's fellowy opened his bosom and let tha
stroke fall on him. We were set up as a mark
for God's arrows of vengeance; Jesus came
between, and they pierced him through and
through— every arrow that should have pierced
our sools stuck fast in him. He, his own sel/^
bare our sins in his own body on the tree. As
far as east is from the west, so fiur hath he re-
moved our transgressions from us. This is the
love of Christ that passeth knowledge. This is
what is set before you to-day in the broken
bread and pourod-out wine. This is what we
shall see on the throne : ^A Lamb as it had been
slain." This will be the matter of our son^
through eternity : « Worthy is the Lamb ! "

1. O the joy of being in the love of Christ 1
Are you in this amazing love ! Has he loved
you out of the pit of corruption t Then, he
will wash you, and make you a king and a
priest unto God. He will wash you in his own
blood whiter than the snow — he will cleanse
you from all your filthiness and from all your
idols. A new heart also will he give you. fit
will keep your conscience clean, and your hear*
right with God. He will put his Holy Spirit
within you, and make you pray with groaningi
that cannot be uttered. He will justify you—
he will pray for you — he will glorify you. AJ
the world may oppose you — dear friends maj
die and forsake you — ^you may be left alone is
the wilderness; yet you will not be alone-«
Christ will love you stilL

2. O the misery of being out of the love of
Christ 1 If Christ loves you not, how vain all
other loves 1 Your friends may love you — ^yoiiT
neighbours may be kind to you — the world may
praise you — ministers may love your souls ; but,
if Christ love you not, all oreature-love will be
vain. You will be unwashed, unpardoned, un-
holy — ^you will sink into hell, and all the crea-
tures will stand around and be unable to reach
out a hand to help you.

3. ^How shall I know that I am in the love
of Christ !" By your being drawn to Christ : "I
have loved thee with an everlasting love, there-
fore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee."
Have you seen something attractive in Jesus ?
The world are attracted by beauty, or dress,
or glittering jewels — have you been attracted
to Christ by his good ointments ! This is the

mark of all who are graven on Christ's heart

they come to him ; they see Jesus to be pre-
cious. The easy world see no preciousness in |
Christ; they prize a lust higher, the smile of |
the world higher, money higher, pleasure higher; i
but those whom Christ loves he draws after |

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him by the sight of his preciousness. Have
you thus followed him, prized him — as a drown-
ing sinner cleaved to him I Then he will in no
wise cast you out — in no wise, not for all you
have done against him. " But I spent my best
days in sin** — Still I will in no wise cast yon
out. ** I lived in open sin" — I will in no wise
cast you out. • But I have sinned against light
and conviction" — Still I will in no wise cast
you out. *'But I am a backslider" — Still the
arms of his love are open to infold your poor
guilty soul, and he will not cast you out.




Thb frame- work of Wesleyan-Methodism, re-
garded as an ecclesiastical organization, may
here be best exhibited by a rapid survey of the
nature, constitution, and powers of its Courts,
and the objects and operations of its principal

According to the " Deed of Declaration " of
1784 (already referred to), the CoNrERBNOE is
> established as the Supreme Ecclesiastical Court.
' As this body is composed exclusively of mini-
' sters, this may be the most appropriate place, in
these papers, for a sketch of the mode of in-
troduction into the Wesleyan ministry.
i The recommendation of a candidate must
always originate with the chief minister (or
** superintendent ") of the circuit in which the
individual resides. It is h'u duty, in the first
instance, to satisfy himself of the young man's
eligibility, by private oonversations with him,
by repeatedly hearing him preach, and by con-
sultation with those most competent to aid him
in forming a riffht judgment. The next step
is the nomination of the candidate at the
** Quarieriy Meeting" which includes the princi-
' pal office-bearers and other leading laymen of
the circuit. The questions on which the mem-
bers of this meeting are called to give their
judgment, are three: 1. ''Has the candidate
^rttee f " that is, is there every reason to believe
that he is truly converted to Grod I 2. ** Has
he gifts ? " and, 3. " Has God given him fruU of
his labours!" If they, by a majority, decide
in the negative, the nomination is set aside, at
least for that year.* If, on the contrary, their
judgment be in favour of the candidate, his
case is brought before the annual ''district
meeting," composed of the ministers of the
several circuits, comprehended within the
bounds of the district, and analogous to the
Scottish presbyteries, as the Conference re-
sembles the Oeneral Assembly. Here he is ex-
amined by the chairman, respecting his personal

piety; his knowledge and belief of Wesleyan
doctrine; his acquaintance with, and attach-
ment to, Wesleyan discipline; his health; and
his freedom from debt, and secular incum-
brances. The general rule, from which, but
very rare, exceptions have been permitt^ is
that only unmarried men are received. If the
candidate's answers prove satisiitctory, the
minutes oi the meeting (in which these
answers are recorded) are transmitted to the
next Conference; and, the case having been
again investigated by the Conference, it is
finally determined whether he shall " be taken
on trial." Of those who are accepted, as many
as are required to fill existing vacancies are
immediately appointed to circuits; the remain-
der are admitted into the "Theological Insti-I
tution," or placed on the "list of reserve,"!
from which the president is authorized to supply
any vacancies that may occur during the year.
The term of probation is four years, during'
which the probationer is placed under the'
superintendence of senior ministers, whose espe-
cial duty it is to watch over his religious, in-|
tellectual, and ministerial improvement; and at
each annual district meeting his progress is,
inquired into. At the termination of the four,
vears, if recommended by his district meeting,'
he undergoes his final trials, preparatory to his
admission into " full connexion." The candi-
dates are examined privately by the president

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 42 of 145)