Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

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hopeful correspondence with some of the digni-
taries in the ^tem Churches.

In like manner, the history of the Greek
Church, when compared with that of Rome,
presents similar points of resemblance and of
contrast, so as, on the whole, to present fewer of
the features of Antichrist. Most of our readers

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are aware that the final separation between
these two Churches took place about the middle
of the ninth century. Beginning in a theological
controversy about the wdl-known phnaeJUioque
in the Nicene Creed, it was consummated by a
struggle for power between the pope of Rome
and the patriarch of Constantinople the highest
ecclesiastic of the E^t. For some centuries after
the introduction of the Greek faith into Russia,
this patriarch appointed the Metropolitan
Bishop of Russia. But at lengthy when Con-
stantinople, the seat of the Eastern patriarchate,
fell into the hands of the Mussulmans, and
thereby was shorn of much of its ancient
splendour, the pride of Russia would no longer
submit to receive her patriarch from such
hands. Accordingly, in a council held at Mos-
cow in 1589, the rontiff of Constantinople was
constrained to place at the head of the Russian
Church and nation an independent patriarch
in the person of the Metropolitan of Moscow.
From that time till the reign of Peter the Great
— ^that is, for a period of considerably more than
a hundred years — ^we behold a succession of en-
croachments on the legitimate province of the
civil ruler, and a restless and insatiable grasping
at the wealth and honours of the empire,
bearing in many respects so close and literal a
resemblance to what had already been enacted
in the Roman Church, that we seem, in perusing
the history of these patriarchal usurpations, to
have stumbled by mistake on a volume of the
History of the Popes.

Revenues flowed into the treasury of the
Greek Church, from earth and sea — ^m the
marts of commerce and from the courts of
justice. In many of the departments of law,
the bishops claimed exclusive jurisdiction; mo-
nastery and hospital, monk and midwife, phy-
sician and usurer, yea, the very weights and
measures of the empire, were placed under epis-
copal snperiotendence. Not content with th6
riches conferred on them by royal favour, or by
royal fear, they employed all the terrors of the
world to comeaUthe death-beds of the opulent,
feeding the fatal imagination that great riches
might procure exemption from the punishment
of great sins, and that the transgressions of a
life might be counterbalanced by a dying be-
quest to a monastery. Even the statutes of the
realm were sent forth not only with the name
of the czar, but ** according to the benediction
of our Father the Patriarch of ^Jloscow and of all
Russia." At length the ecclesiastical chair threw
its shadow over the imperial throne, and the
czar was beheld doing homage to the patriarch.
The patriarch rode on Palm-sunday in proces-
sion through the city, and the czar led the horse
on which he was seated. On the feast of All
Saints the patriarch dined with the czar, and
the latter stood at the table and served him I

These were monstrous usurpations, and the
hour of righteous retribution at length arrived.
The bold spirit of Peter the Great, who, in his

vouth, had more than once stooped to these
humiliating indignities, at length revolted at such
infatuated assumptions, and he determined to
level with the dust the rival dignity. The greater
portion of its rich endowments were wrested
from the grasp of the Church. The patriarchate
was abolished, and the Holy Synod, consisting
of twelve ecclesiastical dignitaries, substituted
in its stead. The Empress Catherine II. com-
pleted what Peter had begun; the power of the
Holy Synod was declared subject to the control
of the throne, its decisions were henceforth to
be emitted in the name of the czar, while the
immovable property of the clergy and Church
being appropriated to the crown, they were re*
duc€^ to a state of poverty, and fettered by
bonds which now give her right to complain, in i
her turn, of the encroachments and insults of,
the civil power. The step from Hildebrandism
to Erastianism, though seemingly violent, is yet
natural and retributive. The Greek Church,
which had sat as a queen, and fared sumptuously
every day, is now a degraded vassal and men-
dicant, destined, we trust, to learn, in the bitter-
ness of her bonds, those lessons which she re-
fused to learn on the lap of luxury, and in the
seat of power.*

But while the historic resemblance between
the two Churches has been so close in this
respect, there is another important feature
in which it is pleasing to think the Greek
Church comes out more favourably from the com-
parison — I refer to the fact of its more tolerant
spirit towards the members of other Churches.
This may in part arise from the circumstance
that neither its patriarch nor its Holy Synod
has ever put forth the arrogant claim of in-
fallibility, or denied that salvation may be
obtained without the pale of her own com- 1
munion. No doubt, as we shall have immediate
occasion to show, there have not been wanting
the less severe forms of intolerance ; but when
we are drawing a comparison between her and
her Roman sister, it is something to be able to
say that she has never persecuted unto the death,
and that while Rome has ascended to power
over the graves of martyrs and confessors, and
sought to extinguish truth in the blood of its
friends, she can stand, though not with unde-
filed, at least with bloodless hands. The Church
history of the East tells of no St Bartholo-
mew's eve ; nor did the Greek Church, even in
her wildest hour of arrogant usurpation, imagine
to herself that most atrocious engine of myste-
rious deaths and lingering tortures — the In-

And yet it must be conceded that, even in
this respect, the difference between Rome and
Russia, between the College of Cardinals and
the Holy Synod, is one rather of degrees
than of essence; for the very imperfect tolera-
tion^ which prevails throughout the Russian
empire, growing out of no sound or enlightened
* Conder^Plnkerton.

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principles, maybe curtailed or even extinguished
I at any hoar. How imperfect, for example, must
' that toleration be which, while it permits great
latitude of opinion within the pale of the Greek
Church, will not allow the party who has been
bom in it to leave it; and while allowing the
presence of dissentients from it to reside in the
i Russian territory, visits with restriction and
penalty all attempts to circulate their opinions,
and will not allow the humble and conscientious
sectary the privilege, not to say the justice, of
defending himself when assailed. There is one
fact mentioned by Dr Pinkerton in his Travels
which will convey a more vivid and correct
idea than any mere general statement, of the
very partial and unsatisfactory nature of the
toleration extended by the emperor to those
without the pale of the Greek communion. It
seems to be the common effect of great super-
stition and pomp in forms of religious worship,
to drive thinking men to the opposite extreme
of rejecting aU forms whatever. We have an
example of this, in a very interesting sect called
the Duchobartsi, who, driven from the Greek
Church by dissiist at many of its superstitions,
and very closely resembling in their practices
and tenets the Society of Friends among our-
selves, became extremely obnoxious to the Greek
pastors, especially by their solemn and energetic
protests against their superstitious observances.
What was to be done to extinguish this dan-
gerous proselytism! The scheme was truly
Russian — worthy of the court which condemns
men of enlightened sentiments in politics, un-
warned and untried, to slave-labour in the Si-
berian mines. No scaffolds were erected, or
fires of martyrdom kindled. Russian despotism
avoids with cautious instinct the severest forms
of intolerance. The members of this sect were
commanded to assemble on a certain day from
all quarters of the empire, on the banks of the
River Molochnia and the shores of the Sea of
Asoff. They were formed, by order of theemperor,
into a colony of eight villages, and forbidden,
on the risk of the severest penalties, to wander
from their district, or to attempt the extension
of their faith. Even after this was done, this in-
teresting community, though easily distinguished
from the common Russian peasantry by their
neat dress, comfortable huts, industrious habits,
numerous flocks, and well-cultivated fields, were
exposed to constant danger from the plots and
intrigues of base informers seeking to betray
them into actions, or to provoke them to the
use of language, that might bring them within
the compUcated meshes of the law, and ex-
pose them to yet severer penalties. Religious
liberty, in such circumstances, is only in the
first stage of its development, and seems rather
a precarious accident than an essential element
in the social condition of Russia. In the midst,
then, of so many sombre details and discouraging
features, do we dare to hope at all ! What is
the anticipation for the future that we may

legitimately form! We shall endeavour to
reply to this question in our next and conclud-
ing article.


{Fnm a recent Letter by Madame FeUer qfthe Orand

Ligne MUsum,)
Fbequbnt changes occor in our funily circle. A
short time since we parted with one of its members,
who had been with us for five years and a-half, and
whom we tenderly loved. It was the daughter of
our good old Raphael, who was married to one of our
young brethren, engaged for three .years past in the
missionary work, as an e?aiigelicai teacher. This
marriage gave us great pleasure, becMiae we were
sure that she would be an important and valued as-
sistant in her husband's kbours. Her heart was all
alive to the work, and glowing with the desire to
oommunioate to others the blessings which she had
received. But although one of our daughters was
thus removed from us, God has given us in her place
another, whom it is sweet to prepare for his service.
I will relate the drcumstanoes by which she was

brought to us. Sophronie L belonged to one of

the respectable families in our Ticinity. She was
twelve years old when two of her brothers, who had
attended our schools, renounced Papacy, and em-
braced the Gospel She participated in the evil feel-
ings indulged by her parents at the time of this
change, which they considered the greatest possible
calami^. Sophronie thenceforward could only look
upon her brothers as if they were demons, and was
greatly afflicted; for her heart was natundly tender
and affectionate, and she had been much attached to
them. She continued to be very unhappy on the
subject for a year, but at the end of that time she
could not but remark that her brothers bad improved
by the change. It was with fear and mistrust that
she at first heard all that they said of the Word of
God, whence they drew all their arguments in sup- ;
port of their renunciation of Romanism. By hear- \
ing and reading the Bible for herself^ she at last came
to the conclusion that her brothers were in the right
way, and this conviction created great anguish of
mind in regard to her own condition. She frequently
passed whole nights without sleep, terrified at the
thought of death, which might surprise her before '
her conversion. ' She only saw her brothers oooa- ;
sionally, because they did not live in the same place;
but when they came home to see their parents, she
would pass a large portion of the night in talking to
them of that Cbspel which she loved, and longed to
understand. Sophronie was in this state when she
reached her fifteenth year, and had not the power to
conceal firom her parents her inclination to follow in
the footsteps of her brothers. Her &ther manifested
no displeasure; for he iras well acquainted vrith the
errors of Romanism. Her mother was, however, |
differently affected, and employed every effort to
bring her into conformity to the Churoh of Rome,
and also anpther daughter a few years older, who was '
almost as deeply impressed as Sophronie. The lat- |
ter had only been at short intervals in the indifferent |

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and tempomy Bchoob of their ndghbourhood, but
had always manifested a great desire to qualify her-
self to be a teacher of a schooL Her mother and
' some other indiridiials of her ftmily, who were very
bigoted, and greatly under the influence of the priests,
concluded that the best method of alienating these
young women from us (for they sometimes visited us),
and of putting them beyond the influence of their
brothers, and of the Gospel, was to send tfaam to a
oonreni, where they Blight receive the education
which they desired so greatly. The arrangements
were^soon made. Two cures in the neighbouriiood
agreed to pay their board, and represented to them
the advantages of the instruction which they would
receive in the convent, and the great obligations they
were under in eigojing it gratuitously. It was a
severe struggle for these young girls. Thdr under-
standings, enli^tened by the Gospel, could not but
appreciate the loss they would suffer, in being de-
prived of sound instruction, and in only hearing and
seeing error and superstition; but they had a strxmg
desire for knowledge, and believed that a residence
with us was out of the question. They were sur-
rounded by priests, who employed every means to
convince them, and to induce them to go to the con-
vent. Their relatives, who were zealous Romanists,
implored them — ^their mother insisted, commanded,
and even threatened them, in case of their not ocnn-
plying; and the young women, at last wearied out in
the contest, and flattering themselves with the idea
that it was possible 'to hold fast the truth which they
had received, consented. It was determined by
Bomiflh sagacity that th6 two dsteis should be sepa-
rated, by being placed in diffisreni convents; but as
there were approaching vacancies, some delay in their
admission occurred, and they were both placed, for a
time, in a convent of the Sistos of Charity. There
they realized the miseries of being in darkness. ''No
Gospel, no Jesus,^ said these dear girls to us on their
return, but only the Virgin, whom they adored, and
to whom they directed uai One day the sisters ex-
pressed their discontent to the bishop, who recom-
mended them to the Yiigin f<a consolation. But
how, said they to each other, can we pray to a being
in whom we do not believe ? and they prayed to the
Gt>d of the Gospel, and implored him to deliver them
from the snare into which th^ had foUen. The
thought of being compelled to remain in this situa-
tion was agonizfaig. They passed there three long
weeks of anguish; and then finding it no longer sup-
portable, they asked permission to return to their
parents, promising themselves never more to go where
they would hear nothing of Jesus or of his Word.
Some days after their return home, it was proposed
to send them to the convents to which tiiey had been
previously assigned. The eldest v^tured to express
her determination not to go, and the mother irritated
by her refosal, insisted at least upon the complianee
of Sophronie. Trembling, and fearing to displease
her mother, she did not dare to declare her wishes,
but awaited in prayer the day appointed for her de-
/ parture. This dear child was not alone in her sup-
* plications. We, as well as her brothers, ceased not
I to cry unto CK>d for her, and he answered our pray-

ers by sending upon her, just at the last moment, a
severe iUness, from which she did not recover for
several weeks. Then, fortified in mind, she told her
mother that she would never go to a convent, and
that she had made up her mind to come to us, and
receive the instruction which she needed. Her
mother, fearing the notoriety consequent upon such
a step, did all she could to prevent it, and told her
daughter that she would never see her face again, if
she carried her purpose into execution. Sophronie,
who had already experienced the bitterness of living
beyond the influence of the Gtospel, felt that for its ,
sake she ought now even to forsake the mother wh<nn
she loved. She had Just reached her sixteenth year»
when one day, while her mother was sleeping, she
left the paternal roof for ours, with the single object
of saving her own soul, and qualifying herself to be-
come the teaclier of the children of her people.

Since her arrival among us, she has been like ** a
bird escaped out of the snaxe of the fowlers/* and the
first use which she made of the blessed light and
liberty into which she had entered was to seek her
Saviour, whom she speedily found. Her hungry and
thirsty soul was at once satisfied in him, and her hap- ;
piness and joy were overflo¥ring. She has been with
us more than four months, and her heart, filled with
love and gratitude, ceases not to praise the God of
her salvation. This dear diild affords us, from her
promising character, much satisfaction and hope.
She is intelligent and amiable; and her artless and
confiding disposition facilitates everything in regard
to her, and gives good promise of her future Chris-
tian course. I


The Rev. Richard Baxter, whep near thedoae of
his course^ exclaimed. **I have pains— there is no ar-
guing agamst sense; out I have peace, I ^v« peace.**
" You are now drawing near your long desired home,*'
said one. "I believe, I believe,** was his reply.
When asked " How are you ?** he promptly answered^
** Almost well!** To a friend who entered the
chamber he said, *' I thank you, I thank you for com-
ing.** Then fixing his eye upon him, he added, "■ The
Lord teach you how to die !** These were his last

Another said, ** Dying is hard work; but dsith is


The Rev. Robert Bruce having lived to a venerable
old age, one morning, after breakfasting with his
fiunily, reclined a while in his chair, sflentiy meditat-
ing. Suddenly he spoke;: ** Daughter, hark! doth
not my Master call me?** Asking for his Bible, he
perceived that his eyes were dim, and that he could
no longer read its precious words. '* Find for me,**
said he, ** the 8th chapter of Romans, and laj my
finger on the passage, * I am persuaded that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
powers, nor things present, nor thmgs to come, nor
height, nor depth, nor anv other creature, shall be
able to separate us from tne love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord.* Now, is my finger placed
upon these blessed words?** Being assured that it
was, he said, *♦ Then God bless you, God bless you aU,
dear children. I have refreshed myself with you this
morning, and shall be at the banquet of my Saviour
ere it is night.** And thus he died. !

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The admonition of the Psalmist, **Mark the
perfect man, and behold the upright: for the
j end of that man is peace," lays an obligation upon
us to seek to ascertain the character of the per-
! son to whom the sacred writer refers, to reflect
upon the high privilege which he is said to en-
joy, and to consider the attention we are bound
to give both to the one and to the other. In
this paper we propose to delineate the charac-
ter we are required to mark — **^ The perfect and
upright man.'*

It would minister little to personal edification,
U> indulge in critical remarks upon the mean-
ing of tho' original terms, translated ** perfect"
and ** upright.'' It is, however, necessary to
state, that some regard them not as intended
to express different qualities, but a high degree
of the same quality, in conformity with a well-
known Hebrew idiom, which expresses what we
call the comparative and superlative degree by
two words of the same or equivalent import.
I Understood in this way, the words would denote
l" a perfectly or sincerely upright man — a Na-
.thanael indeed, in whom is no guile."
I Other writers, again, conceive that the two
terms indicate perfectly distinct ideas — ^that
1^ perfect " points to that which is internal, and
** upright" to that which is external; the former
exhibiting the principle of action, and the latter
the mode in which that principle should develop
itself in the various relations an individual su8<
tains to the family, the Church, and the world.
I It will, perhaps, be recollected that the terms
employed by the Psalmist to denote the man
whose end is peace, are those by which the
blessed God described his servant Job to the
enemy and the accuser: ** Hast thou considered
my servant Job, that there is none like him in
the earth, a perfect and an upright man?" In
this case, it has been considered that the two
terms simply mean a sincerely upright man;
and there might be reason for thinking so, were
it not for what follows : ** One that feareth God,
and escheweth [or departeth from] evil." This
last clause seems to be explanatory of the for-
mer, so that the phrase, '^one that feareth
God," may be taken to denote the religious
principle^the principle of piety implanted in
the heart by the Holy Spirit; while the words.
No. 22.*

** escheweth evil," exhibit the happy influence
of that principle in preventing what the (rod of
holiness cannot fsdl to condemn. And certain
it is that, generally speaking, there will not be
rectitude in the life, unless there be rectitude ,
in the heart. The fruit will not be good if the
tree be not good. The stream-will be impure
if the fountain be not cleansed. Hence our*
Lord said: "Woe unto you, scribes and Phari-,
sees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside,
of the cup and the platter, but within they are
full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Phar'
risee, cleanse first that which is within the cup
and platter, that the outside of them may be|
clean also," The phrase, ** a perfect and upright
man," may thus be considered as a brief though'
pregnant description of an individual whose
heart has been made right in the sight of God,
and whose conduct is right in the sight of men.
The connection between the two has been
already glanced at; and the reader is again very
earnestly reminded of the necessity of the for-
mer in order to the latter; for if, in any case,
the heart be not converted to God— if there be
not a right state of feeling towards God, little'
reason is there to expect a right course of con-|
duct towards man. If the claims of God uponj
a person be disregarded, how can it be thought;
probable that the claims of man will be respond- 1
ed to! If he respect not the rights of God, is
he likely to regard the rights of man? If he
rob God of his heart, ought we not to expectj
that he will rob his neighbour of his property,'
or his influence, or his fair name and reputa-
tion! When the great moral guard against sin
— the fear of God— does not exist, or when it,
has been broken down, what can be rationally
looked for but an inundation of vice! It is one
of the most natural things in the world to ex-i
pect that an irreligious man will be an immoral
man — that there will be something visibly and
obviously wrong in his spirit or his conduct;
for, though a veil of hypocrisy may cover a
multitude of sins, it can seldom be so ample,
and so constantly worn, as to secure perfect con-
cealment. Or, it ought to be added, if the case of
a person who has effectually deceived all around
him could be produced, the man would not be
a sincerely upright man — a Nathanael indeed.

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without g^ile. On the contrary, his whole life
would be an outrageous lie. The exterior
would contradict the interior. His visible con-
duct would be a practical acknowledgment of
what he ought to he; and his heart, could it be
laid bare, as it will be at the day of judgment,
a development of what ks w— thus showing
that the woe denounced hy our Lord against
the Pharisee rests with all its weight upon

The perfect and upright man is, then, one
who is pure internally as well as externally;
who respects the rights of God as well as of man ;
who gives to his Maker his due — his constant,
devoted, supreme affections. He is one in whom
the love of Christ is the controlling and impel-

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 62 of 145)