Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

. (page 68 of 145)
Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 68 of 145)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

pickle to preserve the saints from putrefying. Paul*s
thorn in the flesh was eiven him to prevent and
mortify pride.— 2 Cor. xii. 7. All the harm which
the fiery furnace did the young men, in Dan. iiL 24,
25, was but to bum oflf their cords. Our lusts are
cords, cords of vanity ; fiery trials are sent on purpose
to bum and consume them. Adversity, like winter
weather, is of great use to kill weeds and vermin,
which the summer of prosperity is wont to breed.
God is fain to rub hard many times, to fetch out the
dirt that is ingrained in our nature. This thunder
serves to clear the air from infectious vapours. Be
the teeth of thy troubles ever so many, ever so
sharp, it is but to ffle oflf thy rust This tempestuous
tossing in the sea will more purge the wine from its
lees. It clarifies the soul : according to that : ** I will
bring the third part through the fire, and will refine
them as sUver is refined.** — Zeoh. xiii. 9.

(2.] Saints* gi-aces. — And that,
sty For their trial and experience,—** That the trial
of your faith,** &c.— 1 Pet i 7. The fire tries the
gold as wen as the touch-stone. Diseases not only

need, but try, the art of the physician; and tempests,
the skUl of the pilot. The sahi^* sufferings are buj

as so many touch-stones. Now, now shall the saini
clearly know, whether the conscience be sound or
foundered, if it will pace well in rough ways. Here,
** here is the faith,** that is, the trial of the saints*
faith and patience.— Rev. xiii 10.

2d, For their increase and growth,— Hi^ snuffing of
the candle makes it bum the brighter. Hence it is
that the saints " glory in tribulations ** {Ram, v. 3),
because their suffering add strength to their graces.
Never are God*8 spiritual nightin^es apt to sing
more sweetly than when the tbom is at their breast.
Saints are indeed made of precious metal; and yet
they are, too, too apt to lose their edge. Hence it is
that God by afflictions whets and sharpens them.
He beats and bruises his links, to make them bum
the brighter; loads his choicest ships with sufficient
ballast, to make them sail the steadier; bruises his
spices, to make them send out an aromatic savour. —
Jer. xxiL 21; Isa. xxvi. 16; Heb. xii 10.— Zy«.
{To be continued.)

{Translated from the German of Oossner.)
Earthly things have a dazzling show, but heavenly
things deprive them of all light. Therefore, he who
with clear eye beholds these, can better judge of the
darkness of those.

Persecutions are beneficial to the righteous. They
are a hail of precious stones, which, it is true, rob
the vine of her leaves, but give her possessor a more
precious treasure instead.

As often as we bring to light the infirmity of an-
other, we set our own on the candlestick with it

The less the learning, the greater the eloquence
with which the saint preaches; for his countenance
preaches too, and more powerfully than great learn-
ing without holiness.

Let the faults of others be a mirror to thee of thifle

Digitized by VjOOQIC



forget the way which is behind thee, and ftretch
<mt foward that which lies before thee, and crery
day with as maoh assidnity as if to-day for the first
fime thou wert entering on thy course.

T^ tempest which has risen against as without
oup fcult, is te me a foretoken of great blesshigs.

Persecution is nothing more than a winnowing-
snorel to purge the threshmg-floor of our grace.

No syllogism gires us so much wisdom, as does the
humble look upwards to Ood.

The more lynx-eyed, in the inrestigatlon of the
fimlts of others, t^e blinder in the obserration of our

WUt thou reform the world ? then begin the refor-
mation on thyself.

AU the honey from the flowers of the earth hath
not so much sweetness as gaU and vinegar in the
school of Jesus.

If God undertake the teacher's office, tbeb canst
thou learn much more in one hour than all the teachers
of all ages could hare taught thee.

No wood is more fit for enkindling the fire of lore
toward God in the hearth of the heart, than the
wood (ff the cross.

NcTer must one trust God more than when things
assume a doubtful aspect; for where aU human help
fii^ way, there ditipe help makes its opportunity.

He who first cares for the kingdom of God, for his
well-bemg careth God, much more than he could
haTc cared had he first cared for his own well-being
How I loathe the earth if I look at heaTen !
Let it be the struggle of the rich man that he may
»C88 his goods- not they him.
Few foUow the Lord to the Mount of OKres, stiU
fewer to tiie cross on Mount Golgotha, but fewest
Ae with hmi on the cross. The true history of
Chnstianity. ^

Of aU Christians, the most self-wiUed are the most
aumerous and most dangerous; and this sect cotnes
best through.

JZ"!^^:^ ^ come«>»« God. lewta to God,
re.t8 «,« God. Therefore, abo, she make, nothing

The heayen's ladder has seren steps-hearinir
oehevmg loving, doing, suffering, striring, conqu^^

need the ladder no more.

the wheat is not to blame for that, for the tarU do

out n^r ^'^f '^ '^' ^^^*' ^* «"o^ ^^ wheat
out of the after-seed of the enemy. ^

Thou must serre God with God, if thou wilt nlease
God; for God taketh delight on^ in hi^. ^

cheeHul confidence, " I bless God I iie dow^ v fii«it
m»rfirftous whether I awake in this worJ^ jr in-
othei^^ how much greater wiU be the wonaer in the
caae^many careless and ahnost prayerless Christians
to find themselres in hearen at but ? There is the
gpr Mid fashionable Cl^ristian, who thinks more of
r <^»««,;*^P*«wore than the praying circle, niore
^wT*^!t* ^T«*^i txxJy in costly attu*, than
S??* T® ^^^^ ornaments of a meek and quiet
spirit for the undying soul.

What a theme of admiring wonder ft would be for
imich a professor of religion, who had spent the eVen-
tog m some gay drclo of pleasure, or in the ball-
room, where God and the interests of the soul toe
httle thought of, to return home at midnight, and lie
<*Qwn to rest, and wake up in hearen! What a
wonderful contrast between the conTersattion and
emplOTments of the eyening party or the ball-room,
and the ushermg in of an eternal sunrise and a hUu!
fill andneyer-endm^ day in hoiTen ! How wonder-
my ^erent, too, is the dress of a modem ball-iwm
from that white and unsulKed robe of rigfateousnest
which ^ must have on before they can enter heaTen '

*..-iIi .,*v.^?P/®' I* ^^^ ^ *<>»• *l»« own who has
tofled aU ha hfe to hiy up treasures on earth with-
out bemgnch towards God, to find hunself in hearen
ittiast^d with treasures there which he had thought
littie of, and for which he had not hiboured ! Hearen
wiu, todeed, be full of such wonders, and it will be even
more wonderful that any one of our race, so sinful
so imperfect, so guilty, so ungrateful, so fickle anj
toconstant to the most solemn vows and corenant en-
gagements, has finaUy arrived safe in heaven.

It is wonderful indeed, even now, that the SpHt
andjpuce of God is not utterly discouraged in trying

ni^W Jf?^^?^^ hearen,- said the eminently pious

1 T^ri^;*^ *^f^t *? ^°^ *^"« wonders t^ew
1. To meet some I had not thought to see there

^theI^^f^l''^'*^*^*K^^'Hl will be to find l^'
•*v inere i if such were the views and fMimM ^

3«M °« "Pr Watte, ,hou":r«>'^«,^°^
^ wuTu, so as to be able to say with the most

to Change, and mould, and fit for heaven^ society,
and heaven's emnloyments, such creatures as ^M
men. All other bemgs but God would give up all
efl^ in a month's trial as hopeless of suocew. in
flttmg such poUuted souls as men's for an atmosphere
so pure and holy as that of heaven ! But the patience
and grace of God never tire in the good workwhen
once begun. The process may require severe discip-
line, deep affliction, the tearing asunder the tenderest
ties, and stnppmg the soul of all earthly dependences,
mot^ff 1*° r?i^''\'^ grasp of earthly good, and
make it toy hold on heaven as its only endurlnir and
cherished good; but what God undertakes £ the
way of «iving the soul, he will accomplish by a hand
graciously severe. Thus it will come to pass that
every one of our race who finally reaches heaven,
wiu be filled with adoring wonder to find himself
there, and be fiUed with praise and wonder to find any
and ev»y other redeemed sinner there, saved by the
wonde^ grace of God through atoning blood.

But there wUl be 6ther wonders in heaven. Many
1^ be missed whose professions did not bear the test
of the last hour— of the final judgment. They had
no oU in their lamps. If it were possible, there would
be gnef and weeping in heaven, because many who
expected to meet m heaven are disappointed. But
It cannot be. Grief, and tears, and ifisappointments
cannot travel across the grave with the pUgrim to
heaven. This sadness and these sorrows are found
among the teavellers in the other road across the
grave, fhere will be wonders in one other world
besides heaven—wonder that when the way and the
gate to eternal glory were open, that man's guilt and
foUy were 90 great that he did not enter there.-i^«r
xort Evangelist,

Op course, every good pastor wfll pray for himself,
but the best need the prayers of the Church; and the

Digitized by VjOOQIC



more spiritual and devoted they are, the more highly
will they valae these prayers. If any minister of
Christ could safely dispense with them, it would seem
as if the Apostle Paul might; yet see how earnestly
he entreats the Churches to remember him : ** Con-
tinue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanks-
giving ; withal praying also for us, that Qod will open
unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of
Christ, forwhich I amalso in bonds; that I may make
it manifest as I ought to speak. Finally, brethren,
' pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free
.course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and
.thai we maybe delivered from wicked and unreason-
able men.^

Just think, dear brethren, of the sacred relation
which your pastor sustains, not only to you and your
families, but to the whole Church and congregation.
*' He watches for your souls as one who must give
account.** What an awful responsibility ! How fatal
to you and yours may be the consequences of his mis-
takes, or his unfaithfulness !

I Pray for your pastor, that he may be directed every
week to the choice of such subjects as are most need-
ed, and as are ** profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction, in righteousness.**
, Pray for your pastor, that when he goes into his
study, his thoughts may flow in the right channel,
and be imbued with love to Christ, and love io the
souls of his flock ; that he may prepare every sermon,
under a solemn sense of accountability to his divine
Master; that he may be ^* enriched with all wisdom
land knowledge 'i and that he may bring forth out of
his treasures things new and old.**

Pray for your pastor, that when he enters the pul-
pit he may '* speak boldly as he ought to speak ;** that
he may not "shun to declare** to his congregation
all the ** counsel of God, whether they will hear, or
whether they will forbear.** And be sure that when
your prayers are answered, you do not turn round
and complain of him for being too pointed and per-
sonal—for preaching hard doctrines, which he might
know would hurt the feelingsof half his stated hearers,
and for making the way to heaven so narrow, that
you almost despair of ever getting there. If you
think he goes too far in anything, or that he does
not go far enough, pray for him that he may see the
truth more clearly, and have more skill in dispensing
it. This will do him and do you a great deal more
good, than to go away and complain and lay it up
against him.

Pray for your pastor, if at any time he grows dull
in the pulpit; if his sermons are oommon-plaoe; if
his prayers are not spiritual and fervent; if his words
do not come glowing and burning frt>m his lips, as
they used to come. He knows it — he laments it ; but
perhaps you are to blame as well as he. Perhaps you
have ceased to pray for him, or your remembrance
</ him at the throne of grace is so infrequent, and
cold, and formal, that God cannot regard it.

Pray for your pastor, that when he is called to
visit the sick and dying, and to comfort the mourners,
he may ^ have a word in season** for each. Did yon
hot know how incompetent a young pastor feels for
the proper discharge of these duties, and how anxi-

ous, even those who have been bug in the mmistry
are, lest they should not say the right things in the
right manner, you would pray for them without ceas-
ing. When a good pastor is called to visit the sick,
he vHll lift up his heart in prayer to God on the
way, for wisdom and grace; and O how often, when
he sits by the bed of the dying, does he tremble lest
he should say too little or too much; and when he
retires, how fearful is he that he may have failed in
the discharge of his duty ! You can rarely be with
him to aid him by your advice, and if you could, you
would hardly ever know what advice to give; but
you can pray to Him who teacheth man knowledge, <
that he will give all that wisdom which is profitable !
to direct; and if you pray aright you will be heard. {

If it is a time of general stupidity, and the word
falls month after month, like good seed upon the
beaten path, pray for your pastor, that he may not
become discouraged, and exclaim, in the bitterness of
his soul, ** Who hath believed our report ? and to
whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?** If it is a
•< time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,**
pray for your pastor, that his strength fail not; that
he may be instant in season and out of season; that
he may be taught of God just what the state of the
Church and congregation requires, and just what he
ought to preach; that both in his public and private
instructions, he may be " wise to win souls ;** and that
in guiding the inquiring he may not, on the one hand
" heal their hurt slightly,** nor on the other, ^* break
the bruised reed, and quench the smoking flax.** No
individual of his charge in a time of revival needs the '
prayers of the whole Church half so much as the
pastor himself. '

Pray for your pastor, then; pray for him in your
£unilies, morning and evening, and in all your social
meetings, not incidentally, or by way of parenthesis,
in half a sentence, but directly, earnestly, constantly.
Especially pray for him in your closets, where you
can aid and cncounge him who is *' set over you in
the Lord,** but in no way so much as by your con-,
tinual remembrance of him at the throne of grace. 9


ScABCB anything is a greater blemish to religion, or!
disreputation to them that profess it, than their pas-
sionate and over-eager pursuit of temporal things,
with a coldness and visible indifferen<rf in seeking
eternal; when they can rise up early and sit up late,'
and eat the bread of carefulness — spend their time
and strength in labouring for the world, nay. lose
the comfort of their lives by scrambling for the tnings
of this life; and in the meantime put Grod off with
some little superficial service, neglect some duties,
and hurrpr over others — let the cloud of business thrust
their spiritual work into a comer of their time, if
not quite out of it. The world, indeed, jostle God and
Chrut and heaven out of their discourse and convert
sation, which savours of nothing but trades and bar-
gains, and adventures, and getting estates, and tends
to nothing but the promoting a mere worlcQjr interest.
"^ Are these men,** think their carnal neighbours.
** in good earnest for re^gion, when they are so mad
upon their business? Doth their happiness lie in
heaven, when their labour is only for the earth?
Can their treasure be above, when their hearts art i


Digitized by VaOOQlC



below, and their actinn plainlr show that they are
so ? Gan their hope of eternal glory be any better
than a fancy, who do so little for that glory, and lay
out themselTes for this world as if there was no
other ? ** And, indeed, who can judge otherwise of
some men, that hears their pretences, and yet sees
their practice ? — VeaL


He who dies on the field of battle feels no tears of
sorrow falling upon him from the eye of sympathy.
The hot life-blood of his heart is the tear that falls
' upon him. The roar of the cannon is the requiem of
I his souL For him no helping hand is near. He dies
^ unknown and unhelped by any human being, while
his voice of agony is prolonged in the groans of those
who are unfortunate enough to live a few moments
longer. The cold earth or flinty rock is his couch —
^the first ditch his grave — his knapsaek his pillow—
his garments of blood his s^iroud. O what a world of
hypocrisy do we lire in, when men can weep over the
death of one, and gloat over the murder of ten
thousand ! This is an appropriate time, and this an
appropriate day to look at such things, and ask,
" Why will rational men be so inconsistent ?'* Is
not the life of one man as dear in the sight of his
Mends, and his soul as precious in the eyes of the
great Benefactor of mankind, as the life and soul of
another man ? and yet rampant war^men talk of a
hundred thousand swords leaping from their scab-
bards—for what ? To be sheathed in the hearts of
a hundred thousand breathing, rational souled men.


Baptismal regeneration is altogether a yery odd
thing, indeed. It is something like the figure of a
figure, and that is something like the " shadow of a
shade,** which must come as near to nothing as any-
thing well can do. And as it is nothing to those who
fancy themselves the subjects of it, so it will come to
nothing soon, in men^s judgment; and would have
done so long ago, being clearly Popish in its origin,
and in its nature and consequences very harmful to
souls, but that certain things and persons, ancient
'errors and vested interests, and foolish fears and
I fond prejudices, are closely bound up with it. As it
is, however, all that partake of real divine light, in
the smallest degree, see that it is a regeneration that
i renews nobody— a sanctification that never destroyed
one sin — a cheap and compendious method of becom-
ing a Christian in name, whilst it leaves the recipient
just where it found him — in a state of nature ! How-
ever, it cannot be always thus; the very working of
error so actively will elicit trvith,^Jo8eph Herriek,


SoMB Christians, at a glance, seem of a superior
order^ and are not; they want a certain quality. At
a flonst^s feast the other day. a certain flower was
determined to bear the bell, but it was found to be
an artificial flower. There is a quality called obowth
which it had not.

Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of ;
evil. I observe there is evU, and that there is a I
WAT TO BtCAPB IT, and with this I begin and end.

Christ has taken our nature in heaven, to repre-
sent us, and has left us <m earth, with his nature, tP |





Philip Heitbt thus wrote upon a studying day : ,
** I forgot when I began, explicitly and expresslv, to
crave help from God, and tne chariot wheels orove
AOCORDi NG LT. Lord, forgive my omissions, and keep
me in the way of duty !** ' '

Another old divine observes : ** If Gbd drop not
down his assistance, we write with a pen that hath
NO INK. If any in the world need walk dependently
upon God more than others, the minister is he.**

Hetis the best artist that can most lively and power-
fully display Jesus Christ before the people, evident-
Iv setting him forth as crucified among them; and
that is the best sermon that is most fml of Christ,
not of art and language. I know that a holy dialect
well becometh Christ's ministers; they should not be
rude and careless in language or method; but surely
the excellency of a sermon Ties not in that, but in the
plainest discoveries and liveliest application of Jesus

It was once said to a minister of Christ, whoae
labours had been abundantly successful, ^Sir, if you
did not PLOUGH in your closet, you would not reap in
your pulpit.**

The eminent author of ** The Saints* Rest,** being
reminded of his labours on his death-bed, replied^ ** I
was but a pen in Gh>d*s hand, and what praise is due
to a pen ?" i


An American pastor, after many years* labour
among his people, was supposed to have declined
much in his vigour and usefulness; in consequence of
which two gentlemen waited upon him and exhibited
their complaints. Their minister received them with
affection, and assured them that he was equally sen-
sible of his languor and want of success, and ^t the,
cause had given him very great uneasiness. The,
gentlemen wished he would mention what he thought
was the cause. Without hesitation the pastor replied, ;
" The loss of my prayer book. ** ** Your prayer book !**
said one of the gentlemen with surprise, *' I never
knew that you used one.** " Ye^, I have exyoyed the
benefit of one for many years till lately, and I attri-;
bute my want of success to the loss of it. the pra vers
OF MT PEOPLE were my prayer book; and it has
occasioned great grief to me that they have laid it;
aside. Now if you will return and procure me the
use of my prayer book again, I doubt not I shall!
preach much better, and that you will hear more!
profitably.** i

Digitized by VjOOQIC





'^DxLiQHTFUL task!" says the poet; and truly
it is so; bat it is not less difficnlt than delight-
fuL The twig may seem a slender one, but it
has a wrong bias; and it requires more than
human power and ingenuity to counteract this,
and to cause it to grow upright. But human
efforts, though but the instruments, must not
be withheld; and how can they be more laud-
ably or beneficially exerted? The charge is
a most precious one. Parent 1 it is thine
own child — the child whom thou tenderly
lovest. Its destinies are in no small degree put
into thy hands by Him who commits it to thy
care; who may soon require it to .be given up;
but who in the meantime says: ''Take this
child and bring it up for me, and I will give
thee thy wages " — a rich reward of grace, not
only in all the happiness to which this endear-
ing connexion, under the blessing of God, may
give rise on earth, but in that eternal happiness
which is to be declared thine on that day when
thou shalt stand before the throne of God, say-
ing: ^ Here am I, O Lord, and tha children
thou has graciously given me."

It might stimulate parents to diligence, were
they to accustom themselves to regard their in-
teresting little charge, not only as their own,
but as the children of the King of kings, con-
descendingly committed to them, that they may
be taught to love him in this world, and may
be made meet for enjoying him everlastingly
in the world to come. And they would be
kept from sinking under the greatness of the
responsibility, by the remembrance that he is
ready, in answer to their prayers, to enable
them to discharge their highly-important duty,
and to bless the means which he has pointed
out to them. The intelligent mother well
knows how soon the work of instruction may
with advantage be begun; and the Christian
father wiU find that there is much preparatory
work which can be carried on, before the child
is yet of age for sowing in his heart the good
seed of the Word.

Two things throughout the progress of edu-
cation both parents should keep in view — to be
loved, and to be respected and obeyed by their
childr^i . Kindness will generally produce the
one, and firmness wiU go far to produce the
No. 24.*

other. Strive to convince them that, in what
you require of them, you have their welfare
completely at heart; and show them that your
commands, like the laws of the Modes and
Persians, must be carried into execution. Seek
as much as possible to prevent faults; for O
how painful is it for a parent to punish them!
Yet, when they are committed, be not so sel-
fishly weak as to let them pass with impunity.
The punishment, according to the nature of the
fftult and the disposition of the child, may con-
sist in a look of sorrow or pity — in a frown of

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 68 of 145)