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this object is one of subordinate importance.
' A man of peace is a most distinguished blessing
!te all who have the privilege of connection with
!him— a blessing to the family in which he re-
' sides — to the circle of friends among whom he

I moves to the neighbourhood in which he

I dwells; but pre-eminently is he a blessing to
'the Christian society to which he belongs,
[scarcely is it possible, indeed, to exaggerate
.the importance of a man of peace to a Chris-
tian Church; nor to pass a censure too strong
'upon those troublers of our respective commu-
Inities who insist upon having their ^dews, or, it
may be, prejudices and whims, respected and
acted upon, though it should be at the expense
of a schism in the body! What care the^
I about the peace of the Church ! Are they to
be called upon to relinquish their little conceits
I and nostrums to preserve the tranquillity of the
body! That, they seem to imagine, would
! indeed be most unreasonable I Without affirm-
ing that such men must be destitute altogether
! of the Christian character, it is at least manifest
that they lack an essential element for Chris-
No. 23. *

tian fellowship. It may be expedient for others
that they should pursue their journey to heaven

But though the English term ** end" will
bear to be understood in this sense, the Hebrew
term, of which it is a translation, will not. The
obvious meaning of the word rendered ** end,"
is the concluding period of life. A few in-
stances in which it is used will place this
beyond all doubt. Bildad the Shuhite, mistak-
ing the nature of the divine government, and,
consequently, imagining that the severe suffer-
ings of Job proved the hypocritical nature of
his former religious profession, addressed him
thus : ^ If thou wert pure and upright, surely
now he would awake for thee, and make the
habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
Though thy beginning was small, thy IcOter end
(the same word as in the psalm referred to)
should greatly increase." Job viii. 6, 7. Com-
pare with this, chap. xliL 12 : ** So the Lord
blessed the end of Job more than the begin-
ning;" that is, bestowed upon him a larger
measure of prosperity during his last years
than he had previously possessed. We may
refer, also, to the verse which inmiediately
follows the language of the Psalmist, so fre-
quently referred to: **But the transgressors
shall be destroyed together; the end of the
wicked shall be cut off;" or, the wicked shall
be cut off at the end. The obvious meaning
of the words, ** The end of that man is peace,"
is, then, that the concluding scenes of the per-
fect and upright man shall be peaceful. The
entire psalm in which these words stand sup-
ports this view of their meaning. We can,
however, merely refer to the immediate con-
text: " I have seen the wicked in great power,
and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not; yea,
I sought him, but he could not be found."
His latter end is cut off. The delightful con-
trast is brought out in the words, ** The end of
the perfect and upright man is peace."

The former dispensation differed from the
present, in addressing more direct and nume-
rous promises of temporal blessings to those
who feared God. There can, therefore, be
little doubt that these words especially refer to

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that freedom from harassing trials, from those
disasters and judgments which frequently over-
took the wicked — to that tranquillity and pros-
perity, at the latter end, which it was the more
especial privilege of the people of God of old
to enjoy. The question, however, is. Does this
exhaust the meaning of the term endf We
answer. Manifestly not. It would be a roost
palpable mistake to suppose that the saints of
Grod in former days had no knowledge of a
future state of existence — no spring of obedience
and devotion but the hope of temporal bless-
ings. Had that been the case, how could
David have said, ^Thou shall guide me with
thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to
glory!" How could another writer, having
declared concerning the fool and the brutish,
^ like sheep they shall be laid in the grave;
death shall feed on them; and the upright
shall have dominion over them in the morning;
and their beauty shall consume in the grave
from their dwelling," have added concerning
himself, ** But God shall redeem my soul from
the power of the grave, for he shall receive

In addition, then, to worldly prosperity and
tranquillity, the peace which distinguishes the
end of the perfect and upright man doubtless
includes that sweet composure and serenity of
mind — that unwavering trust in the divine pro-
mises — that blessed assurance of acceptance
with God — that triumphant confidence that,
though the scenes of earth are fading away, the
glories of heaven are about to unfold them-
selves—that delightful vision of the Lamb in
the midst of the throne, surrounded by ten
thousand times ten thousand of redeemed men,
which it is the exalted privilege of the perfect
and upright man to enjoy, as his emancipated
spirit soars to the rest prepared for it above.
He dies in peace with GU)d through our Lord
Jesus Christ. He has peace of conscience, for
his Substitute made full atonement to God for
all his transgressions. He departs at peace
with all around hlra, for that is the invariable
result of reconciliation with God; and he
bounds from earth to heaven to participate in
the more perfect peace of the world above.
** Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a
good old age, an old man, and fiill of years; and
was gathered to his people.'' His end was
peace. ''When Jacob had made an end of
commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet
into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was
gathered unto his people." Hb end was peace.
Lazarus of old experienced his full measure of

sorrow. Disease assailed him — ^penury pressed
heavily upon him. Full of sores he was laid at
the rich man's gate, desiring to be fed with the
crumbs which fell from his table. But his end
also was peace. The beggar died, and ** was
carried by the angels into Abraham's bosoQi.''
The worthies of primitive times *^ had trials of
cruel mockings and scourgings; they were
stoned, were sawn asunder, were slain with the
sword ;** but their end also was peace. " They
all died in faith, not having received the pro-
mises, but having seen them afar off, and were
persuaded of them, and embraced them." Thus
peaceful has been the end of thousands of tho
Lord's people in more modem times. Without
a struggle or a groan they fell asleep in Jesua

** One genu* aigb their fiBttort broke; ,

We ■carce could say. They're gone.
Before their willing cpiriu took |

Their mansion near the throne."

Having thus considered the charcieter of
the perfect and upright, and the exalted />riri/<0^
possessed by him, it remains for us now to
enforce the consideration we ought to give both
to the one and the other. ^ Mark," says the
Psalmist, ''the perfect man, and behold the
upright : for the end of that man is peace."
No difference of meaning, deserving at least of
notice, exists between the two terms of exhor-
tation employed by the sacred writer. It is
probable that the double form of the admoni-
tion was deigned to arm it with greater force,
and especially to secure practical attention to
the delightful fact affirmed. " Mark the perfect
man," Ac, " tkca his end is peace;" or, as it may
be more properly rendered, " hecaute his end is
peace ;" and, thus rendered, it supplies a reason
for the consideration which it enjoins.

It is very important to observe, that the oo-
servation enjoined by the Psalmist is what we
have called practical observation — that kind of
observation which seeks to derive benefit from
what it sees — which tends to produce a deep
impression upon the mind, to improve the cha-
racter, and to lead to important practical re-
sults. We shquld, though for a different pur-
pose, mark the wicked man, and his end; for
though he may flourish as the green bay tree,
his prosperity shall soon vanish away. Thej
who "plough iniquity, and sow wickednest
reap the same. By the blast of God thej
perish; by the breath of his nostrils they are
consumed." The body becomes the food of
worms in the grave — the soul .the prey of re-
morse and despair. We should mark tht
wicked man, for the purpose of avoidance; thi

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perfect man, for the purpose of imitation. We
should mark the former as a beacon to warn
us against his priiciples, his course, his end;
we should mark the latter as the traTeilei;
marks the distast light, which, on a dark night,
is to guide his course across the pathless desert;
or as the sailor marks the signal which indi-
cates when he can safely enter the port.

Let every reader impress it upon his mind,
that nothing short of this practical observatioD
will prore of any real benefit jto us. There is
a kind of intellectual and tasteful marking of
the perfect and upright mafi; for the high and
honourable bearing of such men — their in-
flexible adherence to principle in all they do —
their jealous regard for the rights of others —
their firmness, tenqpered with gentleness —
their gentleness, strengthened by firmness — are
Aost attraetive to the taste and the intellect.
But then it does not touch the heart — it is not
the approbation of the heart, and so ends where
it began — in cold sentimentality. Very different
from this is the observation enjoined by the
Psalmist: that is the marking of renewed and
holy feeling, springing from an earnest desire
to imbibe their spirit, and be conformed to
their example.

Let the reader, then, mark the principles by
icAtcA ike ptfrfvA and upright man is actuaUd : His
holy veneration of God— his profound humilia-
tion before him— his implicit regard to his
authority — ^his supreme desire to bear his image,
md to promote his glory. Let him mark, again,
his anxious and ardent desire to evince hb
ove to the Redeemer, by the work of fisdth and
l\bour of love towards his people. Let him
Mark, finally, that excellent «nd expanded be-
nevolence which would save his neighbours,
yea, the whole worldj from that degradation,
and ruin, and despair, to which rebellion against
conscience and God is hurrying them on.

And the principles of the perfect and up-
right man should be marked with earnest and
strong desire that our own minds may become
imbued with them; for they are the spring and
source of all that is good and great in the
human character — of all, at least, that have
any value in the sight of God. Extensive
literary, scientific, and classical attainments,
profound political sagacity, splendid military
talents, attract the admiration of men, but not
»f God. At the solemn day of account, the
inquiry oonoeming each in reference to the
scenes he has quitted will not be, Did he de-
velop piercing acuieness of intellect, astonish-
ing brillianoe of imagination, vast powers of

eloquence f did he burn fleets, destroy armies,
subjugate the world, and then weep because
there was no other world to conquer f Bat the
inquiry will be. Did he feed the hungry, and
clothe the naked, and visit the sick and im-
prisoned of the Lord's people, and from love to
the Lord himself ! And while, to the lowest and
meanest of the vast multitude before the
throne who did it, the Judge will say : *Oeme,
ye blessed of my Father," a Bacon or a Ka-
poleon, usho did it not, triU be passed over, or
adjudged to endless punishment.

Again, let the reader mark the course of ll«
perfect and vprigkt man.

His course in the famUy-^him strictly con-
formed to the relations he sastains. If a parent,
training up his ** children in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord" — commanding his
children and his household afler him, that God
may bring upon him that which he has spoken.
If a ckUd, rendering obedience to his parents
in the Lord. If a maiUr, giving to his servants
that which is just and equal; forbearing threat-
ening, knowing that he also has a Master in
heaven. If a sertant, being ebedient to his
master with fear and trembling; not with eye-
service, but in singleness of heart, as unto
Christ. If a husband, loving his wife as Christ
also loved the Church; giving honour to his
wife, a^ the weaker vessel, and as being an
heir together with her of the grace of life. If
a wife, being in subjection to her husband in
the Lord.

His course in society and the world. If a ruler,
.governing in the fear of God, being a terror
not to the good, but the evil. If a subject,
rendering to^ all their due — tribute to whom
tribute, custom to whom custom, fear to whom
fear, honour to whom honour; doing jastice,
and manifesting kindness to all, owing no man
anything but love; for he that loveth hath ful-
filled the law; walking in wisdom to them that
are without so letting lus light shine among
men, that they, seeing his good works, may
glorify our Father who is in heaven.

Mark his course in the Church, If a pastor^
how fast he holds the faithful Word, that he
may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort
and to convince the gainsayers; how careful
he is not to handle the Word of God deceit-
fully, but by manifestation of the truth, to
commend himself to every man's conscience in
the sight of God ! In preaching Christ, how
instant is he in reason and out of season, warn-
ing every man, and teaching eveiy man, that
he may present every man perfect in Christ I

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How tender, yet how faithful, in his appeals to
his hearers; how affectionate his spirit — how
blameless his conduct— how sober, just, holy,
temperate 1

If a pr\9aU mewibery how diligent is he in his
attendance upon the means of grace; how de-
vout in bis demeanour in the sanctuary; how
faithful in the discharge of the duties which
grow out of Christian fellowship; how careful,
is he not to suffer sin upon his brethren, and
yet not to utter a word of censure more than
is imperatively demanded ! Mark how he loves
his brethren. How careful he is not to give
offence; how backward to take offence; how
tenderly he watches over them; how fervently
he prays for them, that, when the season of
fellowship on earth shall have expired, they all
may unite, and form a holier fellowship above 1

Mark the end of Hu perfect and upright man —
dying in peace with God and man — exchanging
earth for heaven — a land of darkness and sor-
row for a world which affliction can never in-
vade—where the days of mourning shall be
ended for ever I

Mark, finally, the pretent condition of thoee w/ioh
end was peace. Once they lived by faith — now
they live by sight. The full glories of heaven
are before them. They have entered that city
whose streets are pure gold, as it were trans-
parent glass. They have seen the great mul-
titude which no man can number, clothed with
white robes, and with palms in their hands.
They have heard the song of the redeemed :
** Worthy is He who was slain I ** They have
gazed upon the Lamb — they are to be with him
for ever !



{Continued from page 257.)
Op course it is not meant by these obserrations to
maintain that there is no Infidelity but in Popish
countries, nor is this necessary to our argument. It
is well known, alas ! that there is much Infidelity in
professedly Protestant lands; but the point is, that the
Infidelity is not in consequence of Protestantism;
that the warmer and more living the Protestantism,
there is always less of the Infidelity; that after the
Eteformation there was no Infidelity deserving the
name, avowed in writing among the Reformed
Churches, till they had lost the fervour of their
Christianity, and so far become self-righteous, if not
superstitioas — in short, essentiaUy Popish; and that,

in the worst case of Protestant Infidelity, that of
ihodem Germany, the Rationalism can be traced back
to Popish authors, such as Father Simon. On the
other hand, it is certain that 4bcre has been an io-
yariable combination between Infidelity and Popery
— that, with rare exceptions, they uniformly go to-
getber^that tho more superstitions and Popish a
country is, generally, there is the more soeptioifln;!
nay, and that to a great extent, among the priest-
hood. Plainly, then, to produce such a uniform com-
bination of two forces as has been described, there
must be some common principle at work binding
the parties together. Accident cannot explain the

This suggests the eeeond point, vis., the inquiry
how it is that Popery and Infidelity, which are ap-|
parently, and in some respects really, so much at|
war, should yet prove such good friends, and, for the'
most part, move on so harmoniously together against
evangelical Christianity. The true answer is, that
their agreements, after all, are much more nnroeroni
and important than their disagreements— that, m
short, on the most essential matters, they stand
on the same footing. We have not space to trace
out all 'their common principles, leading to sympathy
and common labours. We may merely mention, that
Popery and Infidelity are at one in their estimate of
the Word of God. Some men may doubt this, and.
consider it a harsh judgment on Roman Catholics,!
and appeal to their works, defensive and iUustntiTe'
of Scripture, as indicating the contrary; but, while
it is not to be questioned that there are many indi-
viduals in the communion of the Church of Rome,
who are better than her principles, and who reverence
and love the Word of God as a written revelation
from God himself, it is not less oertain, that the
principles and system of that Church are at utter and!
hopeless war with the Scriptures; and, in point of,
result, bring her consistent advocate, substantially to
the same estimate and footing, in regard to thej
Word, with the avowed InfideL The Church of j
Rome denies to the people the free and indis cri m i nate j
use of the Scriptures. And what does she plead ia!
behalf of this monstrous prohibition ? Many of the ;
very arguments which Infidels urge against the diri-.
nity of the Scriptures altogether ! The reasonbgs
against the universal and indiscriminate reading of j
the Scriptures, and the reasonings against them as a
divine revelation, are, and must be, to a fijeat ex-
tent identical We do not here refer, though refe-
rence might justly be made, to the Church of Rome,
by the multipUd^, and absurdity, and gUuing false-
hood of her miracles, shaking men*^ confidence in the
general argument drawn from miracles,* nor to her
periling Christianity and its transmission on an ah-
surdity so unprovable as her doctrine of Papal infcl-
libility— both most propitious to scepticism. We do
not appeal to these, but to the treatment which her
priesthood and recognised leaders mete out to the
Word of God. They reason agamst its use with the
same arguments with which Infidels reason agaissi
* It is a cnrioui drcumtuoce. that Hume, tbe lvAit:\
borrowed hit argument against miracles flrom a Jesuit; tboi
did Popery and Inadellty unite. '

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itn dtrinitj; and any one who will take the trouble
to compare the reasonings of Infidels and of the
advocates of the Ghnroh of Rome oirthis head, will
find them to be the same. Then, they denomice the
Word in the most bitter and inciting terms, nick-
naming and abasing it See the letters of Popish
bishops and pontiffs, forbidding their flocks to read
the Scriptures, and judge whether anything which
the lowest Infidels haye erer said can surpass their
malignancy of abuse. And, lastly, not satisfied with
words, they faivite, yea oomanand, the people to
destroy the Scriptures by fire or by buriaL Thousands
on thousands of copies perish in this way by the hands
of the Church of Rome, as a public executioner. It
may be doubted whether Infidelity itself erer at-
tempted anything so repulsively and systematically
impious and daring. No explanation can be given of
this conduct>-no sophistical distinctions will avaiL
Nothing will or can explain the facts but deep and
maligna n t hatred, as a Church, to the Word of Ood,
and that because its principles, and spirit, and require-
ments, are felt to be fatal to the self-righteous, super-
stitious, mercenary, and corrupt system which is
identical with the Church of Rome.

Here, then, is a great fidd on which Popery and
Infidelity are at one. They have the same views of
the Wovd of God, they form tiie same estimate of it,
and measure out to it the same treatment. This
common principle is so important, that H both im-
plies agreement already on many other points, and
tends, moreover, to harmony where this may not
have been previously attained. Rejecting the Word,
not for want of evidence, but from hatred to it, it is
plain that they must dislike the view of God^s cha-
racter which it reveals; and thus Popery and In-
fidelity are at one in their view of the divine charac-
ter. There may be diversity within a certain range.
Popery, to help her mercenary ends, may give a more
gloomy view of Qod than Infiidelity may find it neces-
sary to maintain, still the view wiU, and must be,
essentially human— varying, it may be, horn the
propitious to the more awful, according to the vary-
ing states of mind of individuals. In no ease will
God be seen to be holy and just at the same time, and
consistently compassionate and merdfuL Hence,
his character by both parties will be seen and re-
garded as one of compromise and consequent weak-

m. We need not say that the character of the
being wlio is worshipped forms so important an
element in religion, that it influences and regulates
almost all other moral and religious views. Hence
the harmony between Infidelity and Popery, instead
of being brought to a point, will extend more and

Agreed in their estimate of the character of God,
they will be found substantially at one in their view
of the character of man. Infidelity, denying the
fall to any serious extent, believes tlmt man, by the
force of his own unaided reason and conscience, may
conduct himself well here, work out his sidvation,
and find his way to immortality hereafter, if, indeed,
there be a future state. Popery, with scarcely deeper
views of sin, believes that the great mass of offences
are venial; that man, by his own services, aided by

his priest— one of his fellow-men— may not only get
the better of them, but find Ms way into paradise;
that if there be any delay in the result, it is only
owing to poverty— not his own ungodliness or immo-
rality—preventing so liberal a payment of the priest
as is desirable ; but that, baptiicd, confirmed, unction-
ed and dying in the Church of Rone, there is no real
danger— at the worst, only a little pvoerastination.
It is plain, that whatever diffisrences there may be
between Infidelity and Popery, they are substantially
at one upon the character of man. In the one case,
man recommends himself to the Deity by his own
deed; in the other, by his own deed with the aid of
his feUow-raan. There is little amiss in either, and
man, in one form or another, is quite adeqnate to all
that is required. What a contrast to the scriptural
representation of the character of man, and so of the
foundation of his happinen whether for time or

The last leading principle of agreement to which
we shall refer, is the nwraltty <^ the two iyiiemt. In-
fidelity denies the written moral law, trusting to
natural light and coDedenoe. Popery allows the
revelation of the law, but enervates and subverts it,
by bringing down its lofty standard tff even the level
of human wishes and attainments. Indeed, by the
distinctions which it draws among sfais, and the
power which it gives to man to indulge and acquit
his fellow-man in the oommiiBien of sfai, the morality
of Popery is, in some respects, lower and more
corrupted than even tiiat of Infidelity. It would
be difficult to find among men who trust exclu-
sively to natural conscience, principles so lax, and
practices so polluting, as those of the Jesuits and the
confesdonal. At the same time, tiiere Is substantial
agreement between Infidel and Popish morality.
Both adapt the law of God to the inclinations and

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 66 of 145)