Thomas Carlyle.

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and the glory of true prayer are unspeakable.
Simple £^th in God's Word, and in his many
&ithfiil promisee, realizes even now much of its
blessedness. There we read that the great God,
who made us and all things, is a Spirit, invisible,
but everywhere present, almighty, and all-wise,
and infinite in goodness and love, mercy and
compassion, truth and righteousness. This
glorious Being, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
three persons in one Grod, permits us, his sinful
creatures, to have the freest access to him, and
constant communion with him in prayer.

God has appointed and given to us amply
sufficient means for our daily enjoyment of this
privilege. He has provided for us a Mediator
and Advocate, ever living to make intercession
for us; through whose blood we may have ac-
cess with boldness to the holiest of all. He
gives, to them that ask, his Holy Spirit, to help
their infirmities. He gives us many positive
commands to ask of him what we need, and
call upon his name. He takes the very title of
the Hearer of Prayer. And He himself is gra-
cious to lift up the light of his coimtenance on
those who diligently seek his presence. He
gives us also his word, full of the prayers of
his &ithful, to be the very guide and pattern
for our own prayers.

Think, then^ Christian reader^ of the high
standing you may take. You are ready to
esteem it a favour if you are admitted to con-
verse freely, eyen for a little time, with those
much above you. If you may enjoy real inter-
course with the excellent of the earth for a
little time, you count it precious to be 'refreshed
with their knowledge and kindness. Ck)urtiers,
who have access to palaces, think much of the
privil^;e of free admission to the monarch, and
to partake of the presence and dignities of
royalty. But realize God*s word, and yon may
rise to far higher honours ; believe his promises,
and you may daily partake of fiir richer privi-
leges. You may have access to the King of
No.2^«



kings ; you may open to him without reserve,
and with the certainty of the kindest and most
favourable reception, your whole heart ; you
may speak with the utmost plainness, without
fear of rebuke; you may always apply to him;
you may walk with him all the day long.

This happy standing is not unattainable. A
measure of it every real Christian has attained.
It is the very beginning of his spiritual life.
** Behold he prayeth." Every reader of these
pages may attain it. And it is the high state
of the man after God's own heart : ^I give my-
self unto prayer."

This is the sure remedy for the many cares
of this sorrowful world. Who can have lived
here long without knowing that the world is
fuU of cares and troubles t Men are burdened
with them on every side, and groaning under
them. It is not the possession of power, wealth,
knowledge, honour, or any of the good things
of this world, that exempts men from many
cares. Those who most abound in these things
have also with them generally the most multi-
plied cares.

Crod himself directs us to this remedy of
prayer. Be careful for nothing ; Imt in ev^ything hy
prayer and tuppUcation wUh thanhgiving let your
rtqnettt he made hnomn %nU> Ood, And the peace 0/
Oodf «^ic& jNUMtA aU understcmding, thaU keep yowr
hearU and minde throng Chriet Jenu, The re-
marks on prayer that I would now make are
founded on this passage.

We have here a plain, clear, fhU command
to all, to be without carefulness, and this in the
largest terms: ^ Be careful for nothing." It nr-
CLVDBS WORLDLY TBDros. All the Varied scenes
and occupations, the wants, and even the bless-
ings of life, bring anxieties. The cares of this
world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts
of other things, are constant temptations.
Those with large fitmilies and little means are
troubled with cares for what they shall eat and
what ihey shall drink, and wherewithal they
shall be clothed. Those in business are troubled
by changes in trade — ^by losses and bad debts
— by fears and disappointments. Those with
bodily infirmities, groan under them. The
cases are endless which occasion these cares*

It nroLUDss au90 spibitual tbxsqb. These
are infinitely more important* It is our duty

Marek9,lM^



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THE CHBISTIAN a^REASURY.



to seek first the kingdom of (rod and his righ-
teousness. We have to work out onr own sal-
vation with fear and tremhling. But yet the
words, ''Be careful for nothing,*' clearly compre-
hend even spiritual things. The questions that
ca«se care l»re are rery ^nmerous. Am I
a -child of God } Docs €k>d Teally love <me !
Am I among his elect f Shall I perBerren in
his wajst Oan it posdbly be that 00 ga^Hty,
worUUy, tmbelieTing, cold, dead, and ungodly
a creatofe as I hove been can be saved ! My
relations-— parents, ohiMrcn, -bvotheFs, and sis-
ten-^oan they be-caved ! A thousand of such
weighty qaeciions agitate ^the mind.

The diredien re^wcting^ll is, Becavefnlfor
Botiling. It is not, Neglect cverythiag; be in-
different about>everythmg. >Far different Is the
instruction here given. Every OhnstiMi is to
attend 'di%eni]y to his daily •work. If any
man will not woric, neither should >he eat. Kor
ave we 'to despise the chasteniBg of the Xord.
It is designed, «n the one hand, that we ehoald
fM that afflictions are grievous; and on the
other, that^e shoidd gratefully enjoy Qod's
blc cs in gB. Nor are we to be wanting in fyre-
sight and providence for the future. It is ne-
oesaary ^lat we should, in entire tdependeaoe
on the will of God, fbrm onr own plans tuid
schemes. And especially about religion, the
greatest earnestness becomes us : ** The 'king-
dom of heaven s«£RBreth ^violoice, and the vio-
l«tt ti^e it *y force." *^StriTe to enter in>at
the strait gate."

It is not tfttmHtm to worldly and «piritaal
things that is €oril>Mden, bnt anj^tty of minfd,
and doobtAilnes% and ^ fear that has tomyent."
Ton may be delivered fircm this distress <if
n»nd. Be net anxious. Learn not to place
yow happiness in tiiis world's good. A niaii>s
life consistelh 'not in the abundance of Uie
dJngs wMch hue pcssesses ; and '€K»d knows
yonr wants, «]id cares for yon move than a
mother cares to her babe. Bo >ahe«it year
highest, year spMiual w^riAuie, be not anxieiis.
Do noi'be «o fiHed with di rtro sii Mg 'feayB, ^as if
^Mi< hadao TC^ige in God,««Mid coald net com-
liiit^cttflMHorhimhilihepeao^folcottfidmiee :
^<kn^fwf#hMn<I h«Pe bcM^ted, and «tti per-
suaded -Hiit' he is able to keep that wliioh ^
bflrvse'C0MaiiHcdto%lm4gaiB»ttiia4;«d«y.'' Yon
need' nttteve, Uma, vneanxievs thought abwit
body or Muri, if ycQfwill feUow^CM's-dii^ctie&s,
castftng'all^^Qiir^cafeoQ him; fprbeeare^ito

And that we may^o this the nvere rcMridily,
remember that there is all the authority of a



divine command to require yon to do it. The
Lord of heaven and earth has issued his man-
date to you. Dare you resist his will t What
en&rgj and power should this give to your
feeble faith ! It is not a thing in which you
may indulge your natural -disposition. Von
are ohai^ged^by^he lAcst High : " Be^arelU'for
nothing."

<Bttt thss charge is not without i;hat vultaUe
strength which 6od alw«y»pn>videswith e^ezy
command given by him. It is on prayer — thefroe,
<^»en expression of your deeires tcthe ever-pre-
SMit God, as the means of ottainii^ obodieace
to this dt\ine and meet gracious command'-^I
would nowdwell. ToBifeorvinmRVBDpBA'na
VCR ETKtYTBnro Tou WAVT ; thc^ost £ree out-
pouting of ev«ry desire into your heavenly
Father's ears is your plain duty : '^ In ^eveiy-
thing by prayer and supplication with thanioB-
giving let your i»eqiiestB be mado loiown uilio
God."

'GU>d is accessible in this day of gnwe to all
sinners who come to him in the mune of his
Son. Tou need nCt fly from God. Youneed
not now dread his vengeance, or look upon him
asyour^nemy. He hasin'Cbristrevealod'hhn-
self as the God of all -grace. He traits BOW on
his mercy-seat to be 'gracious to returning sin-
ners. He has intense love to ub (John Hi. 19),
to be measured only by that wonderful gtft,
the gift of his own Son. Ah, sweet thought I
Truly believed, what a heaven it lets down to
our-eattti 1 There is a throne of grace to 'Which
All ^ners may come, and there obtain mercy,
and^ftnd grace to help in time of need. Think
df this again and again ; look at the cruoifiod
Redeemer, till your hard heaH be melted, and
the Kght of that love ^Ua your wul. The
Oeator 6f all woiids, the Just and Hdy One,
for the sake of Christ, reallylonresmea sinner.
Gazing on the death df Jesus, I ■ cannot, with-
out ^e blackest guilt, doubt ^s love to im-
soul.

"Believe this, and then fred/ tell hfan all your
wB&ts. Wiiat a wonderful procUum^tion of
mercy to a w&Ad of simtera is this, '^ Lst tovr
BiQUWWBiiMjttJB'KifcnrwiTirToGoD!*' Howde-
lightfhl the fulness^f the dbecticn 1 He needs
not, indeedfforhis own knowledge, thdtwe tell
him our'reepiests; for he knows- always what
things we'have^neod of. But we hare gveat
need that we thus learn to pour out onr hearts
in the -way that his infinite wisdom ami lore
points cut. Thus our ikith is* strengthened —
tlnis oOr minds tEre relieved. You must, if
you have passed through sorrow, have experi-



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eBcet>wlia^»ooiiiA)rti&i»to*1*i ablt t^wfvmd
▼our cares anif griefs beffire a wise, kind,
sad ^jnopathi^hig Mend. The very open-
mg, of your beari takes away much of your
g^ed So tbe- -may mt of zeal pi^yen to God
balps W raUewft* tke^ laind. o£ it» oai-ea. Bnt
tiUB is fiir f^ai boingi aU. God bimsell' has
made it th^-afpfnnted wayin whioh Mm mH^ in
tos wonder-working providence, give you the
things which will relieve you of your cares.
The promises of this are veiy numerous, and
they are. all " yea and amen iu Christ JetaaJ*
" Aak, and ib nhnll be giveB.yoii» Whatsoever
yeshall^ ask in prayer, Indieving^ ye ahaUl re-
ceive. Oall upon me in iik% day of tvouUe^ I
will ddirer thee; and thou shalt glorify me.
Cam unto me, and I will answer thee, and show
theegreat and mighty Qimg» which thou know-
9A Boi. Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,
tiial will I do." These ghmeus promises ave
nore preoioos than all the wealth of thiaworld.
Tliey are ^m the God of truth — they cannot
he broken.

Oh, ihen» that when anything troubles you,
when any earea rise up in yx>ur mind, you would
tske it at Qaoe^ t» Giod 1

Tell him all yous wants^ Do you meaa, the
i«adar may asl^ even my temporal waata!
dmely sueh common things are beneath his
nodce. Ihey who are wise in their own eyes
niay object^ ^It is degrading to the dignity
of rsligioa;'' and the spiritual in their own
^ ^■tesmaaysfliy, ^14 ianotfor a^iritual man
ts anatisa audi things* He is above themk"
Bai this is not God*^ view of the matter. Be
«7«»<«w|Cftia^. Let that ^eTerytiung** answer
all your doubts. As the nothing is inclusive
of all cao^ so the tvmfihmg is comprehensiTe<
ol ]nayar for aU that ^vea yaa a moment's
aaiiely.

The mnnflnt a eava i - ia ss up in your mind,
^ivisferitioBhnthatcarethfbpyou. Remem-
^ David's advice : ** CM thy burden upon the
Urd^and he shall sustain thee; he will new
nfo the righteous to be moved."

Bnti remember, thankagiving ia eves to be
'y«»^ with pnqreiv and it shmld be aa ftee aad
•• In^ge as ear pn^sr: "In evaiythiag give
^^ttika, for this is the wOl of God in Christ
Jeaa eonceming ymi. Giving thanks always
for an things unto God and the Father, in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ." This can only
^dooe Uoongh'that strong iiuth which realizes
^ love of God| aa specially mam'issted to us
intnala^ aad making all things w<»rk together
^oorgood. Afidththatreall2ssthia,c8nbe



taxiIytiiaBkfiilfArevi^jithiai^ Weaee4hi%JQi«i«d
with£iiiiiaotpagr«',iadtFa0h. Hsthatethon
inthaflash It was ■ vaiy >aji iim taAian fieeoald
noirxamovaiit. Hab^p»tapin^ Btopraflwi
thriosk The thorn remainadb' hat net aaa<thoni,
but as a blessing, fbnwhiohheJtedit^baithanb-
£al. Hainjf«:«MM^gladl|r«theBa&re|Wi)lI
rathargjofyinmyinfirmHae^thafcthepowerof
ChristmayreBtupea.ma« Theadcm I takaplea-
BBDs in infinnitis^in MpBoaohes^ i&neaasaiiief,
ia.pei8eoationa^ indistroMs^ for C^rist^ sake/*
Thus U is we gat from every^ing' tokena lar
good. All thinpk i^w dodf a love ta usy pia-
paoe us for our fatuaa fl^r}^ inansase our cao-
fbnaity to the likoaaaa ofi Chjasi^ and aankai
thankagivinga to the Flathm^ of meiiDiaat Ever,
then, join thankagivingwith prayaa

The BBNiFiT of such prayer and* pamae is,
that '^tha peace of Qod^ which paasath aUunder-
alanding^ ^all keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesua*" What a Uesauig must
this ba ! The form of the premiss dssanres
attantaon* It is not merely peaoa fmok God.
Anything from, him bestowed on hk peopis is
fall of goodness. But it is the peaoe of God,
whaoh promiaea a share of ihe same blessed
ttanquilMty which God himself enjoya Weave
callsd to be heirs of God— ta inherit all thai he
is-andhasytomaheuablsased. Weareeallsd
ta joy in Gad himself aaoaa psrtioB. And in
haimony. with these hofpaa^ the premiaa here is
not a mesa dsohuMitkm of seenrity that ginrss
ua psaeei but it is having a portion of that
oahn^ holy, hsavealy equanimity, oonq>osare,
aad rest of miad^ whi^ the great Creator ever
enjoys. We know thatHewha made heav«a and
eartii lores us, beeaaaa Ha fs^^% !■• San to die
fbraa We know that Ha iaovj: Mead. Heaoe,
aa he is Lord of all, the iaanaof all his deal-
ings with those who oome to hhn by Christ
Jesus, must be the fhllest and gaaateat good —
a goad that passes aU uadevstaading, as God
himself is infinite^ aad his l^isa periaot, bound-
less, aad everlasting. What eznltataon this
oaaseswhen it is made clear to the mind I ^ Be-
hold what meaner of love the Father hath be-
stowed upon us. The L<»d God is a sun and
shield: the Lord will give graoe aad glory : and
no good thing will he withheld fram thmn that
walk uprightly."

This is a peace that garrisons both heart and
mind as with complete and fdU security from
all cares. The man who possesses it ** shall not
be afraid of evil tidings : his heart is fixed, tmst-
ing in the Lord." No disquieting fears need
torment his breast. His understandii^ also^



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THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.



fbUy approYes of this oonne. It is fbanded on
the infiftllible Word of God, a sore rest for the
mind amidst all the disqaieUng soenee of this
transient worid, acoording to the promise:
** Commit thy works nnto the Lord, and thy
thoughts shall be estaUished."

This peace can^ howeyer, only flow to ns
throng Christ Jesns; Lose sight of him, and
no prayers will give yon peace. He is the only
giTer of peace. It is his legacy to his people :
** Peace I leave with yon : my peace I give
nnto yon.** ^ Being justified by £uth, we
have peace with God, through onr Lord Jesos
Christ." Onr God makes every good to flow
in this channel^ that Christ may daily be in-
creasingly preoions to ns, and we may be more
and more simply dependent on him, and filled
with his love.

Thns I have endeavoured to lead the reader
to more constant prayer. Let me urge it upon
you, then, by the freedom to be attcuned from
care on the one hand, and the peace to be en-
joyed on the other. Ask first for the spirit of
adoption, to cry, Abb% Father, that you may
with full believing and joyful confidence say,
^ Onr Father," and then have all adutiful child's
simple and entire confidence in a parent's care
and love. O, how our children may shame us
and instruct us in this matter! They are never
weighed down with care^and their mindsclouded
with doubts and suspicions^ lest their parents
should not think of them or provide for them.
Not one moment's uneasiness on this point fills
their minds. ^ He is my &ther; he knows
all I wanf This answers every fear. They
do not suspect his love or his means. Even
when the father chastens, they reverence and
obey. Shall not we much rather be in subjection
to the Father of spirits, and live! Let us have
entire confidence in the love of our God, as
proved beyond controversy by the gift of his
Son. Let us go to Him at once with everything
that troubles u% and spread it, as Hezekiah did
his letter, before the Lord. Let us delight our-
selves in the Lord our God, and we shall find,
in our happy experience, that he gives ns the
desire of our hearts.



THE LIFE OF JOHN BUNYAN THE BEST
ILLUSTRATION OF THE « PILGRIM'S
PROGRESS,"

BT THE BBT. J. ▲. WYLIE,

AuVior (/« The Modem Judea,'' ix., Ac.

Mint a commentary has been written on the " Kl-
grim^ Progress,'* but the best exposition which that



wonderfiil book is susceptible of would be, a weU-
wiitten life of its author. This is not what we pro-
pose, but we shall select a few passages from the
histoiy of Banyan — and the man u scarcely less
marvellous than the book— which it appears to us
Banyan had in his eye while sketching .some of the
more memorable scenes in his immortal work. This
is the true key wherewith to unlock the various
compartments of this cabinet of glory — the true
plummet wherewith to sound the depths of these
great waters.

Art has lent her aid to illustrate the pages of
Bimyan. It might have been foreseen that the attempt
would be froitless. Where is the pencil which can
equal, much less excel, in graphic power the pen
which it rather presomptuously undertook to aid ?
When did the coloors of the painter glow like the
words of Bonyan ? when was the canrass crowded
with figares so life-like ? and when did it wear hues
so brilliant, and at the same time so true to nature,
as the pages of the *<Pilgrim?'' Yet on a field
which appeared so inviting, it is not surprising that
Art shoold have been tempted to make trial of her
powers; and the very limited success with which, as
will be generally acknowledged, we think, her efforts
have been attended, makes it very obyious, not that
her skill was small, but that the skill of the poor in-
mate of the jail at Bedford was inuneasurably greater ;
and that the genias which produced the immortal
allegoiy had higher resources at command than those
which mere genias can wield, and had access to
deeper fountains of thought, and illustration, and
imagery, than any which mere Art is priyUeged to
approach. Art has done her best, we say, to repre-
sent uid body forth in lines and colours, all the
more striking incidents in the great work in ques-
tion;— the winged steps wherewith the pilgrim hasted
away from the city of Destruction; the great burden
on his back, whose insupportable weight made his
knees to shake, and, ever and anon, wrung the most
doleful sighs and groans from his heart; the joj that
kindled on his countenance, radiant and serene as
day-break, so soon as he found himself safe within
the wicket; the wonders of the interpreter's house;
the exceeding fierce looks of the lions which guarded
the path; the frowning steeps of the Hill Difficulty;
the terrors of that sore combat in which Apollyon
straddled quite across the whole breadth of the way,
and swore by his infernal den that he would make
an end of Christian; the clouds of confusion which
hang day and night over the Valley of the Shadow
of Death; the jailing shows, the coarse ribaldry,
and the brutal violence of Vanity Fair—** no new-
erected business, but a thing of ancient standing;*'
the dark dungeons and braxen gates of Doubtixig
Castle; the green slopes, and the dear springs of
the Delectable Mountains, whence a very distant and
faint view might be had of the Celestial gate; the
gardens, and the fragrant orchards of the Land of
Beulah; the black river, through whose cold waters
lay the path of the pilgrims; the city beyond, whose
foundations are above the clouds, and whole glory
no one can conceive or know till he has passed over
the river and gone in at the gate. Of all the scenes
which we have now named, we have been presented



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wtth represeDtatioiis; but we must bear in mind,
thai in the haada of BaB^an himaelf these descrip-
tiona are but pictures— oot- the things themselyes :
he did not intand. thegr skoold bei taken for that;
bnt wken^ Jtrt-oomes fimraad and pnsante us with a
piotm of wbat'itMlf is bui a^pietoEe^ it need not
Borpriae na thai tiie image gvowta-more- and more
fidni^ just im. pvqportisn to ouz <&tanoe ftom the
thing itself— that as we. recede from the son, the
body which is designed oiUy to. reflect the light
shoold shine -wift a continnally diminishiBg splsn-
dow.

Bat when we turn from the pen of the commen-
tator, and the pencil of the artist, to the history of
the author himself— not his ootward, bat his inward
history— we find we hare approached the true source
of every good illustoation of this singular book. A
new light damia upon its pages. We ase admitted
behind the seenes, not ta^haye the enchantment dis-
sohed^ bni inoreaasd tenfold. The stately palace,
whQM noble and gracefiil exterior we admired be-
foOp and which was all we were able to behold, we
are now pririleged to entes. We pass on, with the
JE^y in oar hand^ through the spaoious .edifice, lost in
wonder at its muneroua and sumptuous apartments;
its rich fnnituM; ita Tessels of gold and sUrer; its
walla so euriousiiy emblasoned with the lymbols of
heaTenly things; and its ** chamber of peace,** to use
Bnnyan^s own image, with its windows that opened
towards suMising. We soon beoome conyinoed that
it is no scene of enchantment we are suryeying— that
it ia no unreal and illusory &bric that stands before
OS, oalledfrom the earth by the enchanter^s wand,
and destined to pass away, with all its walls, and
towers, and gorgeous splendours, without leaving a
trace where it stood, the moment the genius that
created it ceases to act upon our minds. We are
made to feel that it is real, and substantial, and true,
and that in a sense in which few things on earth can
be said to be true.

To how many thousands has the work of Bunysn
been a piece of fiction, and nothing more 1 It was
no fiction to the man who wrote it. As one who
sails on a summer sea, and is delighted and en-
chanted by its loyely ishmds, its pearly bays, its
Bhining shores and the beanty of the skies which
are mirroved on its pladd snrfiMie, bnt neyer onoe
thinks of the mighty deeps below him; so many have
perused the immortal allegory, satisfied and pleased
with the yaried and enchanting beauty of its sur-
£m»— its inddents, characters^ and scenery—without
making any attempt to sound the great depths of its
meaning, or to realise a single one of the many
mighty truths which its similitudes present. The
troth which the ** Pilgrim^s Progress** embodies is
truth of the highest order— truth of so substantial a
kind, and of so solemn an import, that the literal
truth would be hot as a &ble in comparison. Al-
though all the descriptions of this book were actoal
yerities— though all its characters were real men, and
all its mcidents real eyents— though there was, in
seme remote region of the earth, a city of Destruo*
tun, and a Oelestial dtj, with ananow path running
from the one to the other, with pilgrims going to
andfr« upon it» or ctrssring it by the lanes and by-



paths.that intemeo^^tr andafiordii^ ta thosQ.wha
tiayeLthat utay, tbD«igtt4)f the. yiUagti, cities, and.
oo imt ns B which. Bunyan, has plafitd in its neighboup^
hood; leading np at itaooswnenGement ta the wicket
gate, the- ^'-shining light** oyer which mig)it be seen.
a« fju aa from, the atj of TVatiii<4iuii, and from
thence running straight onwiid in the dbsctian of
the Celestial dty; neyer beoomingdreuitous toayoid
this doubtful quagmirei or thia.dang^DOus steqp^ oe
this sMppeiy desoent^ or this ^oomy pass^ or this
eaemy*a casUe, though passing within bow-shot oC
ita walls; now leading by the doos of the interpren
ter*k house; now by the foot of the cross; now up
the Hill Difficulty] now down into the low Yalk^y^ of
Humiliation; now through the thick gloom and
darkness of the Valley of the Shadow of Death4
now through the town of Vanity Fair, with its
motley crowds and noiqr boffonery; now by the
Isadfrof Giant De^air; now oyer the g^een dopes
of the Delectable Mountains; now through the
drov^ air, and the entangled soil of the enchanted,
gjKJund; and last of all, and just before terminating



Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 5 of 145)