Thomas Carlyle.

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wishes of men. Did space allow, it would be eaij
to show, by a comparison of the woiks of such Infidels
as Voltave and Rousseau on the one hand, and the
text-books of Popish colleges on the other, how
strict is the harmony between them. Indeed, it
could be proved, that the moral, or rather tiie im-
moral, principles of such publications are identicaL
Here, then, it appears that Inflddity and Popery are
at one in their views of the character of Qod-^ha
their views of the state and prospects of man— in
thehr views also of general morality. Agreeing in
such wide and infiuential principles, ^ey aiust agree
in many others. No wonder, then, that they f(»m a
common estimate of the Sc ri p tur e s no wonder that
they combine in the persecution of the truth and
people of God. They must be animated with a si^t
of most bitter hostility; and where this exists, they
can be at no serious loss for a pretext to oppress.
The pretext may differ : Popery may pretend that
the Pope has received authority to enforce unifor-
mity of belief and observance in Christendom; In-
fidelity may pretend that evangelical religion dis-
turbs the tranquillity of 80uls,andthe peace of families
and of society, and so is a public nuisance to be
forcibly put down ; but the result is the same. From
different motives, the holy truth of God and the
faithful profiBSsing that truth, are persecuted with

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merdlen hate — ^perhapi ftmid loud preiemflioDB all the
while to toleration and charity. No one who knowt
the history of the Chorch of Rome, the events of
the French Reyolution, or the proceeding! of Infidel
Jews, where they have poeseased the power, can
doubt that there is as remarkable a resemblance
between scepticism and superstition in the per-
secuting treatment of the saints as in any thing

SuTTeying the whole — ^remembering the common
principles of agreement— we need not wonder to find
I that Popery and Infidelity readily pass the one into
I the other. Consisting of the same materials, they are
j like water, capable of passing into different forms,
and returning to that from which they set out. This
I we apprehend to be the explanation of some well-
known and striking facts. Popery, by its puerilities
and follies, as well as immoralities perpetrated in the
name of Christ, proTokes disgust, and drires to In-
fidelity. Men cannot belieTe that such a religion is
the religion of Qod, rerealed to man at a great ex-
penditure of care and Iotc. Infidelity, on the other
hand, creates too great a void in human feelings;
when death approaches, the sceptic becomes alarmed,
and haying no resources adequate to sustain, he calls
in the aid of Popery, and in his last days becomes a
Papist. This is the explanation of the strange his-
tory of not a few wheeling from Popery to Infidelity,
and from Infidelity back to Popery. Voltaire, after
a life of most active and notorious unbelief, concluded
his career by declaring that he died in the communion
of the Church of Rome. Hume is said to have con-
fessed to a priest at Nice. His own explanation
afterwards was, that he was in fever at the time.
The recent reaction in France from the Infidelity of
the Revolution to revived Popery, is explained in the
same way. The two states of mind, though apparently
80 hostile, po sses s so much in common, that the
transition fit>m the one to the other is comparatively

Some important lessons may be drawn frt>m this
singular combination of Infidelity and Popery against
Christ and his Church. 1. One obviously is, the
malignant hatred ofman to the truth of God. Hatred
may be measured by sacrifices as well as love. When
Papists and Infidels, like Pilate and Herod, sacrifice
their natural enmities for the sake of gratifying a
still deeper enmity, who can doubt the malignity
and strength of the latter feeling ? We may be sure
that it is not for any inconsiderable purpose that
such enemies embrace each other as brethren.
Men do not forget old feuds even for a time without
reason, much less become perpetual sworn friends.
2. Another lesson, is the alarming dangers which
await the true Church of Christ on the way to her
heavenly reward. It is bad enough to be called to
fight with a single foe— it is much worse to contend
with combined enemies— with enemies who seem in-
capable of amalgamation, but who coalese as soon as
persecution of the truth demands their confederacy.
It is well for the Church to be alive to this danger.
She is too ready to look upon the combination as
peculiar and accidental— to imagine that some parties
may be neutral, or on her side in the last struggle,

who have hitherto been hostile; but let her not
deceive herself. Studying the connection between
Infidelity an4 Popery, not as a matter of mere his-
torical interest or curiosity, but as an important
practical question which points to duty, let the Church
not wonder at the union — let her lay her account
with the future being like the past — ^let her be
driven up to\n unreserved reliance on her Divine
Head, and prize more highly than ever*fellow8hip
and co-operation among all the denominations of the
faithful. It is possible, nay, probable, that in the
struggles which are to come, like those which are
past, Popery and Infidelity may be seen at war.
The former supporters of the Beast may, agreeably
to the prophecy, be seen burning her with fire. The
work of destruction would be inappropriate to Chris-
tians. There may be combinations, too, of political
parties, which shall bring the faithful into union with
the world, 'whether in its sceptical or superstitious
aspects; but these are mere transient and accidental
alliances which another turn of eve^ts, or the opera-
tion of native repugnances, will soon break up. Ere
long, all true Christians will find themselves quite
alone — a flock of sheep in the midst of wolves, with
nothing on which to depend save mutual sympathy
and intercession for each other, and holy confidence
in the great and good Shepherd. Let the Church
not disguise from herself the combination any more
than the numbers and strength of her enemies. Let
her be ftdly aware of the array which is mustered
against her, and value her divine defence more than
ever. 3. The last suggested lesson is the weakness
and trtechery of heart even of the children of God.
Sceptical unbelief and self-righteous superstition are
not peculiar to avowed Infidels and Papists. They
are principles of man*s fidlen nature, and hence their
strength. They are shared in by all; the fiuthfml
are not strangers to their remaining and corrupting
influence. The devout Roman Catholic may be
irritated with the doctrine of this paper— he may
be indignant to be put on the same footing with an
Infidel; but every true Christian who knows his
own heart, will know that the seeds both of unbelief
and superstition have their seat within him, and that
it is only by the grace of God they can be destroyed.
While all the faithful are solemnised and humbled, let
no poor Roman Catholic take offence at the proved
harmony between Infidelity and the religious system
in which he has been educated. Let him be led
rather to a calm scrutiny of the facts, and a serious
examination of his, own heart, in connection with
them, and, by God^ gnce, it may be that the dis-
coveiy of his associates, and the reasons why unbe-
lief and Popery associate, may prove the very instru-
ments of his awakening and deliverance. At least
let Christians do nothing unnecessarily to offend;
let them present the truth in love to others and for
themselves; let them be deeply humbled under the
felt corruptions and temptations of their own hearts, i
and consider that there are enemies to Christ and to I
his kingdom within, before there can be enemies
without — ^that the latter are, after all, mainly the
evolution and embodiment of the former; and let
them, therefore, be contrite and lowly.

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(From the French Canadian Miuionary Becord,)

Mbs D is a young Canadian woman, who

was married about four years ago. Some of her
early years were spent in a nunnery. Being
mild and gentle, she submitted implicitly to all
the teaching of Romanism, and became very
doTont. The first two years after her marriage,
die was quite opposed to the Scriptures, and
when any of the missionaries visited her hus-
band (who already knew the Lord), she hid
herself until they were gone. 'But ^ God, who
taketh the wise in their own craftiness ** (Job
V. 13), accomplished his {hirpose in this way: —

Though Mrs D was determined not to listen

to the doctrines of the Gospel, she was con-
strained through affection to her husband, to
teach him to read, and would even sometimes,
to please him, read a chapter in that Book he
was so desirous to study; and Grod's Word did
not return void, but prospered in the thing
whereunto it was sent. As she began to see
the light, she was much disturbed, and doubted
the truth of all she had hitherto believed. One
day, being unusually distressed in mind, she
went towfml the fields, and there, alone with
God, she prayed that her eyes might be opened
to discern the truth. When this dear woman
had thus poured forth her heart unto God, who
always hears the cry of his people, darkness was
dispelled, and she was enabled to comprehend
the value of Christ's atonement and mediation
for believers. The full assurance of salvation
caused a stream of peace and joy to fiow into
her soul. From that time she sought the com-
pany of the people of God, and her £uth daily
gained strength.

No sooner was this soul bom from above, than
a host of enemies ranged themselves against
her. Her relations (bigoted Roman Catholics)
assailed her with ardour, to make her abandon
what they termed her new religion. They were
exasperated asainst her husband, whom they
accused of misleading her. They took her to see
the priest, and there, before a numerous assem-
bly, God graciously honoured her by enabling
her to confess his name, regardless of much
reproach and raillery. Her relations might
have been convinced that no plant which our
heavenly Father hath planted shall be rooted
up, and that it was by the grace of God that
she withstood with as much meekness as firm-
ness those whom she had hitherto honoured
more than Grod.

Since that time her family almost ceased to
nee her, but a band of Jesuits having arrived in
the place, and commenced their work, which is
to turn away men from the only way of salva-
tion, her family thought a favourable opportu-
nity had arrived of bringing her back to the
pale of the Romish Church, if they could pre-
vail upon her to have an interview with one

of the holy fathers, with whom she had been
acquainted for a length of time. She consented,

and a conversation ensued, nearly as follows :

JetnU. It b with pain I hear of your fall, and
that you have allowed yourself to be misled by
strangers, who, by inducing you to abandon the
truth, will cause ^oo to lose your souL

Mrw D, Sir, it^is not the truth I have aban-
doned. I was entirely ignorant of the truth,
until those people you call strangers had the

charity to teach it to me from the Scriptures

that book which the Romish Church never gave
me, but which has led me to find peace, true
peace, from the assurance of pardon for ail my

JesnU, You read the Scriptures ! Ton should
not read them : that book is not good for you.
It is only for those who are ordained to under-
stand and explain it.

Mrt D, But, Sir, all sinners are invited not
only to read, but to ''search the Scriptures." —
John V. 39. Jesus has also said, ''He that
heareth my word, and believeth on Him that
sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not
come into condemnation, but is passed from
death unto life." — John v. 24. Now it is im-
possible to believe that of which we are igno-

Jemit, The priests alone are competent to
explain the Scriptures; for they are the only
representatives of God on earth.

Mn D, Sir, I attended assiduously all the
services and ceremonies of the Romish CHiurch
while I belonged to it, and those vou call the
representatives of Grod never spoke to me of
salvation by grace, through faith in the Son of
Grod. They always imposed upon me penances,
fasts, vain repetition of prayers, and many other
things, by which I was to expiate my sins, as if
man could atone to Grod for sin. Nobody ever
told me that " the blood of Jesus Christ deans-
eth from all sin."—! John i. 7. It was only
when the blessed Gospel reached me that I
heard tJiese gracious words : "He that believeth
on the Son hath everlasting life." — John iii. 36.
Jeawl. I tell you that the people have no right
to read that book; for they cannot understand
it, and this incapacity causes them to fall into
all kinds of errors.

Mr$ D. I find from the Scriptures that the
followers of Jesus were unlearned persons, pub-
licans and sinners — ^in fact, the populace, who
certainly were neither more intelligent nor
better informed than we, poor ignorant Cana-
dians, are; nevertheless it was to these that
Jesus generally addressed himself; and if there
had been any danger in their listening to him,
I think he would not have done so. Now, when
we read his Word, it is just as if he spoke to us.
Jesus says : " I thank thee, Father, Lord of
heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these
things from Uie wise and prudent, and hast re-
vealed them unto babes.*' — Matt. xi. 25. He
also says, " Except ye be converted, and become

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as little children, ye shall not enter into the king-
dom of heaven." — Matt, xviii. 13.

The Jesuit began to sport Latin, and then
said that the Bible was good only for the holy

Mn D. Why, Sir, do you speak to me in an
unknown tongue) Our Saviour did not do so;
and St Paul says (1 Cor. xiv. II): «He that
speaketh in an unknown tongue shall be a bar-
iMirian unto mef* and in the 19th verse he says,
** I had rather speak five words with my under-
standing, that by my voice I might teach others
also, than ten thousand words in an unknown

fetuU. It appears, my child, that you have
not yet read ail your Bible, for I remember that
it does not permit women to teach, nor to for-
get to render honour to whom it is due. Now,
we are the holy fathers of the Church, And you
have, so far, addressed md without revet^nce.
However, look at my medal, and see my right.

Mrt D. Sir, I have but answered your objec-
tions to the Hfi^ht of all men to Yead and study
the Word of God, that they may know and do
his will; and. Sir, if you think I have been
wanting in respect to you, by not addressing
you as my father, it is because the Word of God
says (Matt, xxiii. 9), ^ Call no man your father
upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is
in heaven.**

Upon this the Jesuit began some fbolish talk-
ing and jesting, which God foi*bids (Eph. v. 4),

and for which Mrs D rebuked him. He

finally became impatient at the constant refer-
ence of this Christian woman to the Word of
God in answering his objections. .

JemU, The Bible, the Bible — always your
Bible; as for me, I have my Breviary, that is
m^ Bible.

JfrvD. Yes,Bir, the Bible, and nothing but
the Bible.

Thus ended this interview, which Once more
shows the sad state of those whom the world
commend, and whom they blindly follow. But
this interview likewise proves, in a very striking
manner, the powerful efi^ects of the Word of
God, even in the weakest who receive it, and
how true it is, ^that whatsoever is bom of
€rod overcometh the world, and this is the vic-
tory that overcometh the world, even our faith.'*
— 1 John v.'4.


TlttRK are ser^ral points in Faiths c0mpa8S,byWhioh
a believer tails in and through the blackest storms
and tempests. Such as these : —

1. Whatbtkr the stonb be that is thrown, it
IS the hand of Heaven that fungs it. — In all the
evils we either fear or feel, Faith looks beyond the
creature, and carries up the heart unto'God. No evil in
the city, no pemd evil, either on me or mine, but the
Lord hath done it.— Amos iiL 6. Thus David : ** I
was dumb, because thou didst it.*'— Ps. xxxix. 9.
** And the Lord hath bid Slumei curse.*' — 2 Sam. xvi
10. David could read God's hand at the foot of

the commission, though his commanders could not.
*< Thou couldest have no power ag;ainst me, except it
were given thee from above," saith our Saviour to
PQate.— John xix. 11. And holy Job, when plun-
dered of all, saith not: "The Lord gave, and the
Chaldeans and Sabeans have taken away; the Lord
enriched, but Satan hath robbed me: " no; but as if
thev all had been but ciphers, and mere standers-by :
" The Lord gave, and the Lord " only, or at least
chiefly, " hath taken away,"— Job L 21.

2. Let the Kino of Heaven do his worst, tet
EVEN THEN HE CAN DO NO WRONG.— This is a grand
maxim in the roUs of eternity — one of the funda-
mental laws of heaven; and that because,

(1.) Ood is the most sovereign Ood. the supreme
Lord, thai knows no law but his own will, which is th^
highest and the most unerrinv rule of righteousueu.
—God's hand is God^ only rale ; and therefore, what- j
ever line he draws, it must needs be right Our God
is a law to himself. God doeth, and may justly do, I
whatsoever pleaseth him (Dan. iv. 85), and "oan|
most justly resolve the reason of all his actions into
his own will." That Great Potter may do with his
clay what he pleaseth, and that without the least
control or contradiction.- Rom. ix. 20, 21. On this
account. Faith counts it wisdom not to play the cen-
sorious critic on God*s administrations, considering
that he alone is " without any superior to whom he
is accountable, or by whom he may be directed and
ooDtroDed;" aooording to that of EUhu: "God is,
greater than man. Why dost thou strive againstj
mm? for he giveth not account of any of his mati
ters."— Job xxxiiL 12, IZ.

(2.) " Ood. as he is most i)ut in himself, so also he
acts most justly to m€," saith a 6«fi«wr.— Faith justi- ,
fies God in all his proceedings; that is, subscribes
and gives testimony to the righteousness of God, even
in htt sharpest corrections. Thus Darid : *' I know,
O Lord, that thy judgments are right"— Ps. cxix.
75. Thus the Church, when under the Babylonish
Captivity (the heariest judgment ever inflicted on any
peOple)^et then humbly sets her seal to God's jus-
tice: **The Lord is righteous: for I have rebeiled
ac^dnst him."— Lam. L 18; Neh. ix. 38.

& It is not fit that boor, weak, short-sighted,
sinful creaturb. should be their own carvers.
— If they should, they would, like rash children, cut
either too much or too little, or their own fingers.
Well for us, that as our times, so our conditions^ are
not fai our own (but in God's) hands.- Ps. xxxi. 15.
** Not what I please," saith Faith, *' but what my God
pleaseth. He knows best what i» good for his people ;
and I know, bad God granted my requests, and ful-
filled my desires. I had long since been undone. The
cooling drink, which I so passionately desired in my
burning paroxysm, would have added to my flame,
and quickly despatched me to the house of darkness."
Hende it was that the honest shepherd, being asked
what weather it should be to-day, replied : ** Even
what weather I please." "" Not so," saith the other;
"but what pleaseth God." "Yea so" rejpUes the
shepherd; " for whatever pleaseth God shall be sure
to please me."

4. Better to want outward comfobis, than
Knjot them without mt Father's good-will. —
Israel had been better to have been without quails.
They had sour sauce to their sweet meat : whue the
flesh was in their mouths, the plague of God was In
their nostrils. — Numb. xi. 20. You will needs have
this, and that, and the other thing : " Why, take it,"
saith God ; " but then take my curse with it too ; the
sack, but poison with it. You shall have it, but in
wrath."— See 1 Sam. viiL 6, 6, 10-12; Hoe. xiii. 11,
RacheL you will have children, or else you will take
pet and die. — Gen. xxx. 1. You shall have children

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— A Benjamin to your Joseph, which yet shall proTe a
Benoni, His " entrance " will pfore your exit; his
life your death.~Gen. xxxv. 18. Better were it for
David to be without Michal, than that she should,
being enjoyed, become a snare. — 1 Sam. XTiiL 21.


— On these two accounts : —

(1.) It cannot but be veil vfith him fPfth vfhom Ood
is,— \t was not ill with the three children, though in
a fieiy furnace, so long as God was there.— Dan. iu.
25. Suppose r>ayi<L walklnff in the suburbs of death
and danger; yet it is not iU ¥rith him, because Qod
is with him.— Ps, xxiii. 4. When God says : " I will
be with you '' (as he has, Isa. xliii. 2), ** And I feel
him,** saith Faith; **it is infinitely more to me than
if he should say : * Peace, health, credit, honour,
plenty, shall be with thee.* God being with me, is
all these, and infinitely more. In these I could hare
but a particular good; in a single God I haye all
good.** Now Gh>d, who is with his people at all times,
1 18 most with them, and most sweetly with them in
the worst times. As their afflictions increase with-
'out, so do their consolations within. — 2 Cor. L 5.
I When the child is most sick, then it is most dandled
on the mother's knee; when it bep^ to faint, then
is the closet ransacked for the choicest cordial. This
, blessed Baynham found, when at the stake he told
the bloody Papists: ** O ye Papists,** said he, "you
talk of miracles; behold here a true one: these
'flames are to me a bed of roses.** God is wont to
'gi^e believers, in such a time, their exceedijigs^ their
j " five messes.** That part of the army which is upon
action in the field, and upon hard service, shall be
'sure to have their pay. What are all the promises,
but vessels of cordial wine, tunned on purpose against
a groaning hour, when God usually and speedily
broacheth them ?— Ps. 1. 15.

(2.) All w veil that end* well,—** Now," saith
Faith, " all sad and gloomy dispensations have sweet
ends, whether I respect God or myself: '* —

1*<, In respect of (?orf.— And that,

[1.] For the manifestation of his infinite wisdom, —
God so contrives the passages of his providence as
that one shall qualify another. God knows, that
should I alwa3rB prosper, I should have been apt to
swell and presume; and therefore he pricks my
bladder. Had I been always fed with sweatmeats,
it is very probable I might have surfeited; and there-
fore he mmglea my sweets with these tart ingredients.
Were not this bass added to my treble, I should never
have made any harmonious music.

[2.] For the declaration of hi* Almighty power, —
God many times brings his people into sucn a con-
dition, as not to know what to do, that they may
know now what the Lord can do. Thus : ** The Lord
shall judge his people, when he seeth that their
power is gone.** " See now that I, even Ij am he,
and there is no God with me.**— Deut. xxxu. 36, 35).
Thus : " Nevertheless he saved them for his name*s
sake.** But what name ? even that glorious one of
his power : ** that he mizht make his mighty power
to be known.** — Ps. cvi o.

2rf, In respect of believers.-The life of every swnt
is a tragi-comedy, and the last act of it crowns the
whole play. " Mark the perfect man, and behold
the upright : for the end of that man is peace.**—
Ps. xxxviL 37. Out of the eater shall come meat.
This affliction and that affliction, yea, the whole series
of them, « shall work together for my good.**— Rom.
viii. 37. Saints* good is God's aim. As love is the
principle which he constantly acts from, so the sainte*
good is the end which he propounds and aims at in
all his dispensations. From this he never swerves.
The fire of love never goes out of his heart, nor the
saints* good out of his eye. When he frowns, chides,

strikes, yet then his heart bums with love, and bis
thoughts are to do them good.— Jer. xxiv. 6, 7; xxiz.
11 ; Deut. viiL 2. 16. But what good? Much every
wayj chiefly witn respect to their comxpti<»is, graces,
services, glory.

[1.1 Saints^ corruptions, to purge and iubduethem,
— ^^*This is all the fimit, the taung away of their
sins.**- Isa. xxvlL 9. Afflictions are God*s brine and

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 67 of 145)