Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

. (page 7 of 145)
Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 7 of 145)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of the Bible." Abraham, the " father of the faithful,"
" went down into Egypt to sojourn there," because of
the grievous famine that prevailed, and received from
the reigning Pharaoh* presents of " sheep, and oxen,
and he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants,
and she-asses, and camels." The splendid administra-
tion of Josephf — ^the sojourn of the Israelites in
Egypt during several centuries— the remarkable
events which attended their departure from the
house of bondage^ — the marriage of Solomon to the
daughter of the Egyptian monarch — ^the invasion of
Judea by Shishak during the reign of Rehoboam —
the overthrow and death of Josioh in battle against
Pharaoh-necho, at Megiddo— and the alliance be-
tween Zedekiah and Pharaoh-hophra, which led to
the downfal of the Jewish monarchy, were all events
of great importance to the welfare of both countries,
and likely, therefore, to find a place in their national
records. Nor have these expectations been disap-
pomted. We find in this portrait gallery, if we may
so speak, of the Egyptian monarchs, sculptured
images of all the Pharaohs mentioned in the Sacred
Scriptures, from the Pharaoh who made Joseph ruler
over all the land of Egypt, down to the perfidious
Hophra whose treachery brought about the destruc-
tion of Jerusalem; together with a delineation of
their wars and conquests, arts, sciences, and modes
of life. An incidental, undesigned, but most valuable
proof is thus drawn from witnesses^that cannot lie
in favour of the trust- worthiness of those records.
Paintings, numerous and beautiful beyond concep-
tion, as fresh and perfect as if finished only yester^
day, exhibit before our eyes the truth of what the
Hebrew lawgiver wrote almost five thousand years
ago. The authenticity of the documents of our faith
thus rests not on manuscripts and written records
alone, but the hardest and most enduring substances
ia nature have added their unsuspecting testimony,
and, by the memorials which they present of the
manners, customs, and institutions of the ancient
Egyptians, afiord a decisive, becaose an unsuspicious,
test of the historical veracity of the Old Testament,
and have furnished confirmations of its minute accu-
racy, which must silence where they do not convince
the most sceptical.:^

* The title Pharaoh has been proved to be Identical with
that of Pbra or Phre, the Sun which Is prefixed to the
nnmes of the kings upon the monuments.

t The name Zspbnath-paaneah, which Pharaoh gave to
Joseph, has been expUined by Rosellini flrom tlie Egyptian
language to signify ** Saviour of the world."

X Preface to Hengstenberg's Egypt, by R. D. C. Robfafais,
Andover, and Dr W. C. Taylor.



Digitized by VjOOQIC



22^



THE CHRISTIAN TEEASUHY.



MOSLEM RESIGNATION.

BT JOHK KITTO, D.D.

Many traTeUen and histoiians li&Te informed as of
the wmarkablc rewgnation under calamities -which
the Moelems habitually manifest, and which is in
Bome respects well worthy the attention and imita-
tioo of those wh© call themselves Christians. Such
writers hare^ however, for the most part, failed to
penetrate the real motive of this exemplary submis-
sion to what- is judged to be the will of God. They
refer it to a true practical belief in predestination:
and this is true, so far as it goea; but there is some-
thing more than this. Their view is, that affliction
is one of the principal means by which God purifies
the soul, and renders it meet for paradise; and that,
conseipiently, he.who is the most afflicted in this life
is in the highest degree the object of divine favour.
There is, in iact, much in their view of this matter
which brings to remembrance many sentences in that
very portion of Scripture, Heb. xiL 1-11; and in
particular the passage : " Whom the Lord loveth he
chasteneth, and soourgeth every son whom he re-
ceireth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with
you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father
chasteneth not ? But if ye be vrithout chastisement,
whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and
not sons.**— Verses 6-8. The author of Islamism could,
however, gntsp only part of the Christian idea of the
uses of adversity; but he added another use for it,
which Christianity knows not, but which enters
largely into the views which influsnce his followers
under sufferings and trials.

Mohammed was too sagadons not to feel the great
diflloulty under which he laboured in making oat
how man might be justified before God, under a
system which refused to acknowledge Christ as the
Saviour of the world. He made a strange patchwoik
of it, consisting in part of a sort of faith, partly of
works and partly of sufferings. Thus, sufferings are
made a ground of justification. They are regarded
as expiating sin, and as giving a man a claim to the
blessings of the world to come ; and the daim is held
to be greater in proportion to the intensity or long
continuance of the afflicted condition. In practice,
this feeling is very common among the uninstructed
poor of our own country; but to Uie Moslem it is a
dogma— an active and influential article of faith.

The following dicta of Mohammed, and aneedotei
concerning him, will corroborate and illustrate these
paxtioulars :—

Some one asked him, who were the most unfortu-
nate of men ? He answered, *' The prophets, and
next to them those who approach the nearest to them,
in proportion to their eminence. And according to
the difference of their degrees, for every one of them
there is a cakmity. Man is afflicted according to the
proportion of his faith, in which, if he is perfect and
firm, his misfortunes are severe; but if he is remiss
in his religion, misfortune is made light and easy on
him, in order that he may not be impatient, and let
slip the cord of his faith.'* This reminds one of
Matt, xxiii. 34; 1 Cor. ir. 9, x. 13; Heb. xi 37, and
dmilar passages.



On another occasion he said: '* Verfly, the gneai-
ne»of ivwards is with greatness of misfortnne$ tkuA
iM, whovrer is most unfortunate and calamitous^ the
gl«ater and more perfect the reward. AndvefAjr,
when God loves a.people, he- entangles it in mis£H>
tunes: therefore, he who is resigned to the pleason
of Qod, in mislbrtane, for him is God^ pleasure; bo^
whoever is angry and discontented with misfortnsMf
for him is the anger and displeasure of God.'* Thifli»
not unlike Prov. lit 12; Amos ilL 2; Heh^ xM. 6-8(
James i. 2, 3, 12; Her. iiL 19.

Again: ** Those who are free -from calamity and'
misfortune in the world, will say, on the day of>rtsws
reetion^ when rewards-are given to the tmfertenata^
Would to God that our skins had boen< cut in pieew
with sciMora in the wecld which wte have left.**
Which suggests a revinisoenoe of Rot. yiL 14.

All this- i» very vmU, and suggests^ curious* cainoi-
dencesand oompaxisens. But in the following tlM
enroneou* and yet higUy^influential view of affliotioa
oomes more clearly out. The profit mentkmefl
diseases, and said: ** Verily, when aJifessohnaa it
taken ill, after which God restores him to haalth,
hi$ iUneu ha9 beenacoptr to hM/onMrfaulU, and it
is as an- admonition to him ot what oomeain fiitmn
times: and verily, when an hypocrite i* taken HI,
aad afterwards restored to healthy he. is like-* camei
which has been tied up andafterwasds sei free; thea
the camel did not know, for want of diaoriminatieiiy
why they tied him up or why tiiey let him loeM.
Such is the hypocrite; but, ou'the'OQotraiy, amomiii
(believer) knows that his sichuss^as to cover hu
fanitM,'* Tb the same efl^butstillBiore>improper,
is the- following^ ** When a belienres^ fiuilta an
numy, and he Am wo good aetiiis to cover tktm, Qvd
sends him affliction, in (m^t thai hdt /omUm mt^U
Inddm thereby.''*

The foUowhig beautifol passaflo is not IbmMi by
these peoidias- views; and is m twia t in g from the
diMctiandstrikiDg^iUustnttiea of Psahn xixxiL 35, S<{,
with which it concludes : *" Tho cendltte»of a Mnsnl^
num is similar to green com^ wfaiob^winds cause to
incline to the ground, and then rttom : they throw
them down onoe, and again they becomestraight and
ereot. SttehisaMussatman: somettmesheisthrowB
down l^ the mislbrtttno of siekness and weakness,
and then again health and strength make him straight
and right, tHl the timo of death comes. And the
slate of the hypocrite i» like that of the pine tree,
which is fbKd firm in the ground, and not afiieoted
by winds' or calamities, uni»l it fitUs to the ground all
at onoe. Sttch is the hypoorite^always in health
and vigour, without sickness or weakness till of a
sadden he falls and diesc**

ag^=3 ' ' t ' a

THE HOLY LAND.

BBTHANT.

DESCENDmo and leaving the Jericho road, we cams
quite suddenly upon Bethany, called by the Arabs
Azarieh, ftom the name of Lazarus. We found this
ever-memorable vil^ge to be very Kke what we could
haveimagmedit. Ithesalmosthiddeain a small ravine
of Mount Olivet, so much so, that from the height it
cannot be seen. It isembesomcd in fruit trees, espe-



Digitized by VjOOQIC



.'ETEtttNUTYl O EflraSRNITY !



9Ufy^ uBd9huoioda,6&ym wad nctaamat^bm, ?n»
mitee in whioh k lies is tomctd, onu the ttmow
■n ooreied eiiher with fruit trees or waviog gnun.
There are not many houses (perhaps about twenty)
fnlnhlti^ but there are many marks of ancient rums.
The House 6f Laxarus wns'pointed out to ns-^ «ub-
ilBilia*haddiDg, pri^hablypa 4orwer in foriMr 4my,
■idaikolad to tear ih»Miii»«f the'HoMe^tLaaara
by tnMMHoifciste,wbo did not know how else tluia by
ha worldlr eminence such a man could draw the
special regard of the Lord Jesus. They did not know
&at Chorut lDTeth.;V«f<y. The sepulchre cafied the
Tomb of Ismum Mti -aeted mere df our attention.
W»B^i4edo<rti^>e»s.and il stssiided h mtj ^rt j i s tep s
00* iik4he lock to^vhamber deep iDith»io«k, haviig
■evvral nk^M for the dead. WJwthnr this be the
Ten tomb where Iamtus Ifty four data, and which
yieued up Its dead at the command of Jesus, it b im-
uomIMb tony. The common ejection tint it is too
issp iueui entferefy g ro w n fllcis , for :lh«re fe nothing
in ihoiHiTOttfe to tntfanate «lMt 'the tonb^^iM on a
Isfelwiib^lhe grtMmd; aad^bstidsa^.ita e s ms not nn-
Ikaly that tkere' was anotltar- entrance to the tomb
brtner down the slope. A stron^r objection is. that
Ibe tomb is in the immediate vicmitY 3f the Tillage,
«r actually fak it; bet it is poesibte that the modem
Tllige eoonpies ground •« 'Mttie dffhrait firem the
■Bsisnt one. However 4hi9 <nay be, there can be no
aoabt that this is** Bethany, the town of Uuv and
ber sister Martha, nigh unto Jerusalonir about fifteen
farloc^ oC** How pleasing are all the associations
tfaatefister around it I Pmaps there was no scene
In the Holy Laddwhich ifibrded us more nmningted
e^fafsent : we ewsn fimaled that tiie cone tha* every-
i«be>q teato ao visibly '<yon thaiand bad faUen mace
l%htly here. In i>oiBt ef aiteatioD, nothiag oookl
bare come up more completely to our previous ima|;i-
nation of the place to which Jesus^lel^hted to retire
at aranhig from the bustle Of the dty, and the vexa-
tiana of ^e nn b e t i ef tag mul U tu de e «B o methnee tra-
the TMd by wl^we had ooma, end perhMs
still coming up the face of the hill by the



oflener i



on 4he north of Oethaemana.



fi>otpath that paaits

What a peecefoTsMne ! Amidst these trees, or in



that grasay field, he may often have been seen m deep
eommunion with the ^hor. And in sight of this
Tsi^nt spot it wea that he took his last fiMrawoU ef
the fiadmea, and went upward to resume the deep,
tmbtoken feUowship of " his God and our God,''
tMtertag bl earings eran at the moment when he began
to be parted fien them. And it waa hare that the
tiioaagalsstaad by tham in v«hita apparel, and left
nfl this jjiirioiio msnsagr ** Thia same Jesus wtdch is
taken up from you into heaven, shall so oome in like
Banoer aa je have seen him go into heaven.''



BKtlj awBonlDg two of «a iat«et 4o visH CMb-
wina The«m had aawly risen; few eaaplewaxe
ipoQ the road, and the ValHy of Jehoahaphat waa
knelj and tmL Beacending the steep of Mount
Iforieh, and cnwsing the dry bed of the brook Kedron,
wraeoB came to the low Tinie wall endosbig the plot
efm wwJ ^ l^ tohlbragaa has borne the name ofGattH
■■iiMii Otenberfagever, we esaviBad the aaered
spot and ita^asgfat^vetaess. These ere vaty lacge
and mtj old, but thair baachas are still strong and
vigorooB. One of them we measured, and found to
be nesidy dght yards in girth round the lower part
of tbetrmft. 'Borne of otem are hollow with age,
hot filed^p wHfa eaitb, aadmost have heaps of Btsaas
aatherediTMmdtheii'veots. The aaokwiro aaem to
We been tiUad M aoase laoeat period. At one
soneraooiep3grim4ia»<fact6d a atone, and carved
apon it the JMn woods, **£t kic tenuenuU eumT
isatxtit^ It as the apot iHiare Jndaa b«tray«d his



•fsBtar with a Idas. The road to Bethaay pMMs
by the foot of the gaaden, and the more private
footoath up the brow of the hill passes along its
nortnem waU. Lookiitf across tne Kedron the
steep brow of Moriah andsombre wall of the Haram
with its battlements, and the top of the Mosque
efOmar, shut in the view. At- evening, when the
gates of Jsrasaisin aie cleaed, it muat be a perfeat
solitads. Our bisssad Master must have distinctly
seen the band of men and officers 9aat4o apprehend
him, with their lanterns and torches, and glittering
weapons, descending the side of Moriah, and ap-
proaching the garden. By the clear moonli^t, he
saw Ids tnree enaaen disciples fast asleep in hn hour
af agonv : and by the ^eam of the torches, he ob-



oruel anomns combig down to aaise him
and carry him away to his last sufferings; vet " be
was not rebellious, neither turned away bock.'^ He
viewed the bitter cup that was given him to drink, and
said, ** Shall I not (Mnk it ?" We read over all the
pasnces orScripture lefaxtfaig'to Gethaemane, while
seated together there. It seemed nothing wenderfnl
to read of the weakness of these three diseiples, whan
we remembered that they were sinful men like dis-
ciples now; but the compassion, the unwavering love
of Jesus, appeared by tiie eontxeat to be infinitely
amazing. For such soids as ours, he rent this vale
with hia«tn)ng< crying and tears, watted*tlds ground
with his bloody sweat, and«et hisface like a ffint to
so forward and die. ** While we were yet sinnan
Ofarist died fiMres." Raah of us occupiad-port of the
time alone, in private meditation ; and then <we
joined tog^er in prayer, putting our sins into that
eep^vHiich our Mester'drank here, and pleading -for
onr own souls, for our far^iistanffrieads, eadfortlie
fleaks cemmttted to oer oare.

It is probable tliat Jesus often resorted to this
place, not only because of its retirement, but also
Doeause it formed a fit place of meeting, wben his
disciples, dispersed through the dtybv (h^, were 'to
join ms company in the evening, and go with-Wm
over the idll to "Bethany. And this -seems the real
force of the orighial words, ** n#xxix<j rm^xh ^
*IilMyf l»ir fitrk Ttn futtnTtiv mvrw* — ** Jesus ofl-
tfanes rendevousec at this spot with his disciples."—
Bonar and M^Ch^ jut's Narrative.

ETERNITY ! O ETERNITY I
Immortal men ! are you to spend an eternity in
heaven or in hell? and are you losing yourselves
imong the vaalHaa of tUa worid? Will yon aevar
awake I Maep on, than, aad 4abe yonr reat. Bat
haowyou tbattbe mists ef death >win eoan father
anwBd yen. You wiU be kid vpob a dying bad.
TfaMiageneaiPd^etemltybaaeome. leaeyeulykig
these w itbo e ta-friaad tah<»lpTr<w*idieavanerearth.
I see you east baetyomr eyes ouBriMpant «abha*hfl
—^ftt mu'dared privilegea on waitsw time. Yeuua
memlMrthe eiHs yooonoe r^jeated. I liear yea. ovy,
** I bad a aonl, but prised it not, and now mjeonl^s
gone. Ten thousand -worMs tor one mere year '—
ten thonsaad worlds fisr one mare Sabbath in tim
house of God!" I h)ok a little fivther, and I aae
the perturbations of the trouMad sky. Tberign ef
the Son of Man appears in heaven. The laattmmpat
sounds. That b<^ which had been eomarittad %o
the grsfve is organiaed afresh. It opens ito ayeaea
the strange commotions of a disastvingwarid. It
is forced taasoend. Tbcjodgmen^seat issstintha
donda «f heaven and the books are opened. Ibsar



Digitized by VjOOQIC



24



THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.



joa cry to rocks and to moimtaixifl to cover jou ; but
rocks and mountains are sank in the gencaral rain.
The books are opened, and on a black page are spread
out all the sins of jour life. That page is held up
before a frowning uniyerse. The judgment ended,
the Judge prepares to speak. Qod of mercy, save me
from that hourl Eternal justice lowers upon his
awful brow. His right hand grasps ten thoosand
thunders. With a look before which heayen.and
earth flee away, he turns full upon his foes : <* Depart,
ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the
devil and his angels.** But I return, and, blessed be
God, I still find myself on praying ground and my
dear hearers about me. This is not the judgment
day. But, my beloved friends, I expect soon to
meet you at that bar and give an account of my
labours among you to-day. It is in full view of that
awful scene that I am speaking thus to you. I would
not have you perish; but if you perish, I would clear
my garments of your blood."— i>r Griffin.



BEGIN TO-DAY.

Lord, I do ^scover a fallacy, whereby I have long
deceived myself— which is this: I have desired to
begin my amendment from my birthday, or from some
eminent festival, that so my repentance might bear
some remarkable date. But when those days were
come, I have adjourned my amendment to some other
time. Thus, whilst I could not agree vrith myself
when to start, I have almost lost the running of the
race. I am resolved thus to befool myself no longer.
I see no day but to-day; the instant time is always
the fittest time. In Nebuchadnezzar^s image, the
lower the members, the coarser the metal; the far-
ther off the time, the more unfit. To-day is the
golden opportunify, to-morrow will be the silver
season, next day but the brazen one, and so on, tUl
at last I shall come to the toes of clay, and be turned
to dust. Grant, tiierefore, that to-day I may hear
thy voice. And if this day be obscure in the calen-
dar, and remarkable in itself for nothing else, give
me to make it memorable in mv soul, hereupon, by
thy assistance, beginning the reformation of my life.
^FuUer.

DO YOU GO REGULARLY TO CHURCH ?

In view of what trivial causes do members of our
Churches often stay away firom the house of God !
If they are only suffering a little fatigue or bodily in-
disposition, or if the weather is slightly inclement, or
if the distance to the place of worship is such as to
require tome exertion on their part in order to get
there, how readily do they endeavour to quiet their
consciences, in neglecting one of the most sabred ap-
pointments of Heaven ! That professed Christian is
too unvftU to worship God vrith his people; but he
would not be too unwell, if it were any other day of
the week, to perform his customary labour. The
Sabbath is a gtormy one; but you will see him on other
days f^ more inclement driving from one part of the
town to the other. The diOanee is considerable ; but
piopoM to him on Saturday or Monday some plan that
promises to advance his temporal interest, and dis-
tance, like the state of the weather, will at once be
forgotten. Are these men really imotcf in their pro-
fesrionP Do they manifest the holy sincerity, the



pious zeal, that distmguished the saints in primitive
times? Can tliey be said to worship the Lord in
truth, who plead such reasons for negUctinff his wor-
ship as they would not urge in connection even with
their secular afiairs ? Speak, Consistency; speak,
Conscience; sptek. Oracles of God I I would be far
from intimating that drcumstances may not be such
as to render a person justifiable in being absent from
public worship on the Lord*s-day. If an individual
is confined to his room by a broken limb, or to his
bed by a fever, it is manifestiy not his duty to go out ;
and the same is of course true if he is so seriously
indisposed that he would be in danger of increasing
or prolonging his distemper. It is evident, also, that
drenchmg rains in summer, and drifting snows in
winter, may sometimes render it hazardous for i>er-
Bons in health, especially females, to leave their homes
on the Sabbath. Wisdom is profitable to direct ; and
it was never intended that one duty should interfere
with another. The Sabbath was made for man; and
the serrice of God is in all respects a ** reasonable
service." Still, it is not every slight comphunt, it is
not every threatening cloud, or fog, nor even every
considerible fiUl of rain or snow, that can excuse us
from waiting upon God in his house. If we would,
without hesitation, expose ourselves as much on a
week-day, and for a worldly purpose, the excuse is
vain. that men would be honest en points in re-
gard to which, although they may indeed deceive
themselves, they never can deceive their Maker 1 If
they had that longhig for the courts of the Lord of
which we read in the Scriptures, they would not be
detained at home by trifles; they would lose sight of
not a few supposed difficulties, and overcome even
many real ones, in order to be present at the sanc-
tuary.



SIR EDWARD COKE'S OPINION OF THE
JESUITS.
Thb cat having a long time preyed upon the mice,
the poor creatures at last, for their safety, contained
themselves within their holes; but the cat finding his
prey to cease, as being known to the mice that he
was indeed their enemy and a cat, deviseth this course
following, namely, changeth his hue, getting on a
religious habit, shaveth his crown, walks gravely by
their holes, and yet perceiving that the mice kept
their holes, and looking out, suspected the worst, he
formally, and £Either-like, said unto them : Qw>d '
fueram. non turn, Jmttr, eap%iX tupiee toiuum^** O
brother, I am not as you take me for— no more a
cat; see my habit and shaven crown." Hereupon
some of the more credulous and bold among them
were again, by this deceit, snatched up; and there-
fore when afterwards he came, as before, to entice
them forth, they would come out no more, but an-
swered. Cor itbi rest at idem, vix Hbi pngHoJidem—
" Talk what you can, we will never bdieve yon; you
bear still a cat's heart within you." And so here the
Jesuits, yea and priests too; for they are all jomed
in the tails, like Samson's foxes : Ephraim against
Manasseh, and Manasseh against Ephraim ; and both
against Jn^ah,— Speech of Sir S, Coke, Lord Ckitf
Justice qf England, in RoteoeU BriHek Lawjfer.



Digitized by VjOOQIC



THE CHKlbTlAN TREASURY.



25



1 SLEEP, BUT MY HEART WAKETn.

a Sermoit*

BY THE LATE REV. R. M. 3I*CIIEYNE, DUNDEE.



■ I i3eem but mj heart waketh : it k the roice of my be-
loved that knocketh, sajrlng. Open to me, my tUter,
my lore, mjr dove, my undefiled t for my head U filled
with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night,"
Jtc— SoHo v.i, to the end.

Thk poange I have read forms one of the dra-
matical songs of which this wonderfiil hook is
composed. "Hie snhject of it is a conversa-
tion between a forsaken and desolate wife and
the daughters of Jemsolem.

1. First of &11, she relates to them how, through
slothfalnessy she had tnmed away lier lord from
ihe door. He had been absent on a journey from
home, and did not return till night. Instead of
uudously sitting up for her husband, she had
barred the door, and slothfully retired to rest :
'^ I slept, but my heart was waking.** In this half-
sleeping, half- waking frame, she heard the voice
of her beloved husband : " Open to me, my sister,
my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is
filled with dew, and my locks wit^ the drops of
tke night.** But sloth prevailed with her, and she
Tould not open, but answered him with foolish
excuses : '* I have put off my coat; how shall
I put it on ! I have washed my feet; how shall
I defile them!**

2. She next tells them her grief and anxiety
i to find her lord. •He tried the bolt of the
I door, but it was fastened. This wakened her
i thoroughly. She ran to the door and opened,
I but her beloved had withdrawn himself, and

was gone. She listened — she sought about the
door — she called — but he gave no answer. She
followed him through the streets; butthewatch-
nen found her, and smote her, and took away



Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 7 of 145)