Thomas Carlyle.

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of the slander is occasioned by its seoreeit. The
whisperer makes the person to whom he con-
fides the secret slander promite that he will keep
it a secret.

The eaitte$ of this mischievous custom are as
various as men's circumstances. i

Envp longs to blot the character of a rival, to
obscure his talenti, to diminish his influence, to
obstruct his success in business, and to lessen
the number of his friends. I

Retentment of some real or imaginary offence,
which, if publio, would expose itself, may be'
gratified by a secret imlnuation, i

OwttfotMiMtt, wishing to monopolize trade, will
often induce the $elfi$h tradesman to slander his
neighbour secretly.

The influence ofpnjudioe, or of a party spirit;
a mean jealoutff lest another should be as highly
esteemed as yourself, will often whisper some-
thing unfavourable against the rivaL Indeed,
the bond of union between some families and
friends, is to think evil and speak evil of all
persons whom they wish to degrade ; and to
such little, narrow, selfish souls a secret slander
is sweeter than honey.

A disposition to pUate men, to obtain their
applause, will lead a person to backbite his own
brother, to procure the good opinion of the per-
son with whom he is conversing. Such a person
will join you in censuring or applauding any
one; for he seeks the ** praise of men," and the
price of it, he thinks, is to say as they say.
Hence a temptation to slander you to please

• See M*Crie. with hit autboHtiet; Dr. Oedde*; Cband-

ler's History of Pemecution i Liorentc. and otberk The
ceremony of an Auto-de/e difleri ai diSbrent plaOM. We
have given the <ub«tance.

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mey or to slander me to please 5^, will equally

Amhition, a thirst for power, will, by secret
falseliood, degrade the roan who stands in its
way, by some sly opposition — some dark saying
which may render his character or qualifica-
tions suspected.

Who can calculate the evil coHgequeuces of
malignant whispers!

To the person into whose ear the whisper is
conveyed, how seriously injurious may it prove !
It leads him to suspect the most faithful friend
disturbs his peace — sows distrust and preju-
dice in his mind— influences his passions against
the man worthy of his tenderest regard, and
deprives hira of all tlie advantages he might
have derived from his friendship. And after
receiving the tale-bearer into his bosom, and
becoming the dupe of his artifice and secret
lies, he commits a thousand sins in the evil
surmises which he harbours, the severe cen-
sures he secretly passes, and the resolutions he
] ' forms against his old friend. ** The words of a
tale-bearer are as wounds, deep wounds," to
him who receives the cruel tale, as well as to the
person against whom the whisper is directed.

Believing now his friend to be his enemy,
his suspicions are awake — he is ready to put the
worst meaning into all his looks, words, and
actions. When he meets him, he dare not tell
him what he has heard, for the whisperer has
bound him to secrecy : but he betrays the cold-
ness of his heart towards him, for ^ his OMtnte-
nance is not toward him as at other times." As
he does not speak of his friend with his usual
kindness, the distance is soon perceived by
othen. They wonder, and express their wonder
to others.

The connection in which this sin stands shows
its malignant effects; as covetousness, which
whispers slander to injure others in their pro-
perty ; malice and envy, which pine at the well-
being of others, whisper detraction from their
character; deceit, in misrepresenting the words,
actions, and motives of others ; ** fwdlings " of
pride and prejudice, which are relieved by
secret whispers. Debate, tumult, and murder
have been occasioned by the concealed insinua-
tions of the whisperer.

Whilst a whisperer blasts the character ^ and
injures the interest of others, he disturbs the
peace of society.

What guilt is contracted by such slander!
How difficult, how improbable is the repen-
tance o^ the whisperer! for repentance implies
r<v£i7tf/ton, as far as possible. In some cases* the
injury done by a whisperer can never be re-
paired; in others, persons are unwilling to
retract their falsehoods. Should the whisperer
be detected, his character is mined; and if his
lies are not detected, he will probably add one
slander to another, ** till God, the (iod of re-
cumpcnses, shall expose him, and fully requite

i _«.


Our story will carry the reader back a little more
than fifty years, when idl north of the Ohio River
was an almost unbroken wildemess — the mysterious
red man's home. On the other side a bold and hardy
band from beyond the mountains had built their log
cabins, and were trying to subdue the wilderness.

To them every hour was fall of peril. The Indians
would often cross the river, steal their children and'
horses, and kill and scalp any victim who came in I
their way. They worked in the field with weapons'
at their side, and on the Sabbath met in the grove;
or the rude log church to hear the Word of God with'
their rifles in their hands.

To preach to these settlers, Mr. Joseph Smith, a
Presbyterian minister, had left his parental home I
east of the mountains. He, it was said, was the
second minister who had crossed the Monongahela
River. He settled in Washington County, Pennsyl-
vania, and became the pastor of the Cross Creek and
Upper Buffalo congregations, dividing his time be-
tween them. He found them a willing and united
people, but still unable to pay him a salary which j
would support his family. He, in common with all |
the early ministers, must cultivate a farm. Ho pur- '
chased one on credit, proposing to pay for it with the
salary pledged to him by his people. |

Years passed away. The pastor was unpaid. Little
or no money was in circulation. Wheat was abun- \
dant, but there was no market. It could not be sold
for more than twelve and a half cents in cash. Even
their salt had to be brought across the mountains onj
pack-horses, and was worth eight dollars per bushel,'
and twenty-one bushels of wheat were often given
for one of salt. 1

The time came when the last payment must be
made, and Mr. Smith was told he must pay, or leave
his fjurm. Three years* salary was now due from his

For the want of this, his land, his improvements'
upon it, and his hopes of remaining among a beloved:
people, most be abandoned. The people were called '
together, and the case laid before them. They were
greatly moved. Counsel from on high was sought \
Plan after plan was proposed and abandoned. The
congregations were unable to pay the tithe of their
debts, and no money could be borrowed.

In despair they adjourned to meet again the follow-
ing week. In the meantime it was ascertained that
a 1^1 r. Moore, who owned the only mill in the country,
would grind for them wheat on moderate terms. At
the next meeting it was resolved to carry their wheat
to Mr. Moore's milL Some gave fifty busliels, some
more. This was carried from fifteen to twenty-six
miles on horses to the mill.

In a month, word came that the flour was ready
to go market. Again the people were called together.
After an earnest prayer, the question was asked.
Who will run the flour to New Orleans? This was
a startling question. The work was perilous in the
extreme. Months must pass before the adventurer
oould hope to return, even though his journey should

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be fortuuate. Nearly all the way wus a wilderness,
and gloomy tales had been told of the treacherous
Indian. More than one boat's crew had gone on that
journey and came back no more.

Who, then, would endure the toil and brave the
danger? None volunteered. The young shrunk
back, and the middle-uged had their excuse. Their
lust scheme seemed likely to falL At length a hoary-
headed man, an older in the Church, sixtv-four
years of age, arose, and to the astonishment of the
assembly, offered his services. The deepest feeling
at once pervaded the whole assembly. To see their
venerated elder thus devote himself fur their good,
melted them all to tears. They gathered around
old Father Smiley to learn that his resolution was
indeed taken — that rather than lose their pastor,
he would brave dinger, toil, and even death. After
some delay and trouble, two young men were induced,
by hope of a reward, to go as his assistants.

A day was appointed for starting. The young and
old from fur and near, from love to Father Smiley,
and their deep interest in the object of his mission,
gathered together, and with their pastor at their
jhead, came down from the church, fifteen miles
away, to the bank of the river, to bid the old man
farewell Then a prayer was offered by their pastor.
I A parting hjrmn was sung. ** There,'* said the old
Scotchman, "untie the cable, and let us see what
the Lord will do for us.'* This was done, and the
boat floated slowly away.

I More than nine months passed, and no word came
back from Father Smiley. Many a prayer had been
breathed for him, but what had been his fate was
unknown. Another Sabbath came. The people
came together for worship, and there on his seat,
before the preacher, composed and devout, sat Father
Smiley. After the services, the people were reque?? ^ ed
to meet early in the week to hear the report. All
came agun.

I After thanks had been rendered to God for his safe
return. Father Smiley arose and told his story : that
the Lord had prospered his mission; that he had sold
his flour for twenty- seven dollars per barrel, and then
got safely back. He then drew a large purse, and
poured upon the table a larger pile of gold than
most of the spectators had ever seen before. The
young men were paid each a hundred doUars, Father
Smiley was asked his charges.
I He quietly replied, that he thought he ought to
have the same as one of the young men, though he
had not done quite as much work. It was immedi-
ately proposed to pay him three hundred dollars.
This he refused to receive till the pastor was paid.
Upon counting the money, there was found enough
to pay what was due Mr. Smith ; to advance his sahiry
for the year to come; to reward Father Smiley with
three hundred dollars, and then to leave a large divi-
dend for each contributor. Thus their debts were
paid, their pastor relieved, and while life lasted he
broke for them the bread of life. The bones of both
pastor and elder, I believe, have long reposed in the
same church-yard, but a grateful posterity still tell
thi*' pleasing story of the past.— /*tiM6j/f«-ttt» Adco-


O earth ! earth ! earth ! hear the voice of the Al-
mighty ! Could He forget thee who has given thee
life? Could He who called thee into existence,
fail to show thee the path of happiness? Must not
He who formed thee understand thee perfectly,
and know certainly what is best for thee ? O man ! '
where wilt thou ftnd a protector more powerful,!
a friend more tender than thy Creator and thy
Hod ? To whom oughtest thou to listen, if not to!
hiin ? ]

It was early spring time; all was calm. The sil-,
ver moonlight streamed into a spacious hall, lately:
resounding with the voice of song and hiughter;
graceful forms had glided through the dance there,
and sounds of deep melody had floated on the evening
air. But the gay groups had separated; the silence
of night had succeeded to the confused murmur of
the festival ; and thought awoke. The hearts of some
amongst them said : '* This is not happiness; we need
something beyond this. The period of our life is as
nothing in God's sight. There is a higher, an eternal
happiness. Who will give it to us ? who will show us
the way to it ? " And I seemed to hear a voice from
heaven, answering: "The words op your God!
O sons and daughters of men ! behold the guide to
that better land — read them."

It was summer; all was activity in city and field.
The merchant was busy at his counting-house,, the
workman in his shop, the mother in her house-
hold, the soldier at his post, the labourer in his

There was a murmur, like the humming of insects
in the heat of the day, but vast and deep : for it was
the busy hum of men. And numbers among them
said, with hollow eyes and mournful voice : " Alas !
true happiness is not found in the whirl of busi-
ness. Who will tell U3 where to seek it?*' And '
again I seemed to hear a voice from heaven, an-
swering — **'iHK WORDS OF TOUR GoD, O children
of men, will show you the path of happmess — read

THtJ." I

It was a day in autumn. The wind had stripped
the trees, their dry leaves carpeted the earth ; old men
and women were reposing in the faint sunshine before
their houses, while their children were at work; and
each one thought to himself: Soon my last sun will
rise ; soon will the sharp blasts of death detach me
from the tree of life, and lay me low, like these
leaves, on the earth. Who will give me the assur-
ance of immortality ? who will g^ve me eternal life ?
And again I s«emed to hear a voice from heaven, an-
swering—" Aged men, the words of your God can
give it to you— read them."

It was winter. Every thing was dry, frozen, dead.
It was the time when men, assembling, incite each
other to crime ; but it was the time uso when God
speaks powerfully to the soul. Conscience, that in-
visible witness, which each of us bears within, seemed
awakened in many. Men and womt^n, young and old,
in the country and in town, mourned over their faults.
(>ne voice in a tone of terror exclaimed, " I have
sinned ! The death which now reigns over all nature
dwells also in my soul ! I do nothing but what is
wrong I Who can endure the day of the Lord's com-
ing? Who shall stand when He appeareth ? My
sins, my sins, who will deliver me from them ? who
will save me ? " And I seemed to hear a voice from
heaven, saying, "Jesus Christ ! Jesus Christ v/ill
deliver thee ! He has come to seek and save that
which was lost. Read the word of God, and thou i
wilt know thy Saviour, thou wilt possess salvation I " '
— Trtut hy IJ^AuUtyni in " Ndson,''* Bi^iuk Librarif
of TrucUfor the PiOpU.^^

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There were serenU pmnacles belongiog to tbe
temple. These piDnacIes stood on the top aloft in
the air, and were sharp, and so difficult to stand
upon: what men say of their number and length
I waive, and come directly to their signification.

I therefore take those pinnacles to be types of
those lofty, airv notions with which some delight
themselves while they hover like birds above the
' soUd and ^odly truths of Christ Satan attempted
to entertam Christ Jesus with this t^pe and anti-
type at once, when he set him on one of the pinnacles
I of the temple, and offered to thrust him upon a false
' confidence in God, by a false and unsound interpreta-
tion of a text.— Matt. iv. 5, 6; Luke iv. 9-1 1.

You have some men who cannot be content to wor-
ship in the temple, but must be aloft; no place will
serve them but pmnacles, pinnacles— that they may be
speaking in and to the air — that they may be promote
ing their heady notions, instead of solid trutL Not
considering that now Uiey are where the devil would
have them to be, they stmt upon their points, their
pinnacles ; but let them look to it, there is difficult
standing upon pinnacles; their neck, their soul, is
in danger. We read God is in his temple, not uyon
these pinnacles. -Ps. xi 4; Hab. ii. 20.
I It is true Christ was once upon one of these; but
the devil set him there with intent to dash him in
,pi«ces by a fall, and yet even then told him, if he
would venture to tumble do¥m, he would be kept
from dashing his foot against a stone. To be there,
'therefore, was one of Christ's temptations, conse-
quenUy one of Satan^ stratagems: nor went he
thither of his own accord, for he knew that there
I was danger. He loved not to clamber pinnacles.

This should teach Christians to be hm and little in
, their own eyes, and to forbear to intrude into airy
kua vain speculations, and to take heed of being
ipufied up with a foul and empty mind. — Buntfan.


Give them your hearts into their bosoms, but not
the reins on their necks. When yon do so, at the
same time mount them on your fiercest beast, tur-
nish them with switch and spur, but without bit or
bridle ; and then do but pause and think soberly of the
period of their full career. Love them, I say; but
still be careful to maintain that just authority and
pre-eminence that God hath given you over them.
A parent that hath lost his authority, is as salt that
hath lost its savour: like the log sent from Jupiter,
every frog in the family is apt to leap upon him.
And remember it, fond parents, there is nothing in
the world that renders you more vile, cheap, con-
temptible in the eyes even of your children them-
selves, when they begin to put forth the first buds of
reason — ^nothing that lays your authority more in
the dust, and exposes you to the foot and spurn of
your child— than sinAil indulgence. ** A foolish roan
deepiseth his mother.^ — Prov. xv. 20. His mother *8
folly made him a fool; of a foolish child he at length
grows up into a man, but ** a foolish man;'^ and this
" foolish man despises his mother." If you are
fathers, then, take care of your honour; if mothers,
be sure to carry it so as to preserve in your children
that awful respect and reverence which they owe
you.— Mai L 6; Heb. xii. 9.— Zy«.


Thk devil hath a cure for the sad and melancholy,
which is, to cast away all belief of the immortalitx
of the soul and the ufe to come, or at least not to
think of it; and for to take religion to be a super-
stitions, needless fancy; and for to laugh at the
threatenings of the Scripture, and go to piav-house8.
and cards, and dice, and to drink and play away
melancholy. Honest recreations are very good foV
melancholy persons, if we could get them to use them ;
but, alas! this satanical cure is but like the witches"
bargain with the devil, who promiseth them much,
but payeth them with shame and utter misenr. The
end of that mirth is incurable sorrow, if timely
repentance cure not the cause. The garrison of Satan
in the hearts of sinners is strongly kept when they
are in peace; but, when they have fooled away time,
and mercy, and hope, die they must — there is no
remedy; and to go merrily and unbelievingly to hell,
after all God's <^ls and warnings, will be no abate-
ment of their torment. To go out of the world in
the guilt of sin, and to end life before they would
know the use of it, and to undergo God's justice for
the mad contempt of Christ and grace, will put a sad
end to all their mirth. For, " There is no peace to
the wicked, saith my God.'' — Baxter,


Men are like children of a larger growth. They
miut have the bowl by all means, but they are not
aware what is in it till they feel il

As to daily occurrences, it is Lett to believe that a
daily portion of comforts and crosses, each one the
most suitable to our cane, is appointed us, and adjust-
ed by the hand that was nafled to the cross.

Wherever the path of duty leads we are safe; and
it often does lead and place us in such circumstances
as no other consideration would nuJce us choose. If
we can answer to this question. What doest thou here ?
by saying, I believe it to be the voice of God, then
we need not burden ourselves about what we cannot
avoid or alter.

A frozen snake cannot sting till warmed; nor can
the snake of mortified sin hurt us till we again warm
it in our bosom, by indulging the thought with de-

As many locks, whose wards differ, are opened
with equal ease by one master-key; so there is a cer-
tain comprehensive view of scriptural truth which
opens hard places, solves objections, and happily re-
conciles, illustrates, and harmonizes many texts,
which, to those who have not this mastef-key (fre-
quently styled the analogy of faith), appear little lesa
tnuu contradictory to each other. When we obtain
this key, we shall be sure to have the right sense.

We should be as frugal of our time as a miser of*
his ™oD^' Indolence and ease are the rust of the'
mind. The bed ; formal risits ; reading useless books ;
wrong method of studying, and an unnatural bent*
of the mind to a study to which it is not disposed ;>
these are thieves of time. Give the best time to the!
best thinc^ Whatever must be done, and may be
done now as well as hereafter, had better be done
now. A traveller, who must reach his home by a
given time, would not be thought discreet, if, by
loitering at the beginning of his journey, he is forced
to run himself out of breath at the end. Enter upon
nothing but what you are destined to pursue and,

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(Conohd^from page 206.)

in. The pre-eminent character of theknow-
1ed|(eof Christ appears from the consideration,
that while science is important hoth to the occu-
pation and the improvement of the intellectual
powers, and to the advancement of the social
as well as personal welfare of man in his
present condition of existence, this is essential
to the salvation of the sonl. It is not disparag-
ing to general science, and contains no denial
of its pretensions, to affirm that it is inadequate
to salvation; for it never professes that this is
its aim. It has a mental, not a moral design;
its relations are temporal, not eternal ; it con-
verses with things that are seen, and cannot
unfold the hidden things of God, or bring to
view the realities of the invisible universe.

The comparison thus instituted between the
two branches of knowledge, involves the flEtcts
that the salvation of the soul is supremely im-
portant, and that the knowledge of Christ se-
cures it; and they are facts which demand a
distinct and very serious consideration.

The salvation of the soul, it is maintained, is
important above all other conceivable objects;
so that in reality nothing can be worthy of
comparison with it. Our great Instructor has
represented this in the most impressive manner:
^'What shall it profit a man if he gain the
whole world and lose his own soul ? or what
shall a man give in exchange for his soul t "
Thus it is intimated, that whatever may be on
oth«r grounds deemed most profitable or advan-
tageous, is in the comparison,unprofitable — is no
gain — is nothing. And this is truly the case,
though we should comprehend in our imagina-
tion of what is valuable the entire world.
Undoubtedly this may be regarded as a hyper-
bolical expression, and must be understood to
mean, that although a person should become
possessed of every thing which is supposed to
render life desirable or splendid — although
we might conceive of his attaining the very
summit of the most outstretching ambition —
baving accumulated unmeasured stores, secui^
ed the greatest fiune, and being blessed with
that very flower and bloom of existence, con-
tinual health; and although he enjoyed not one
No. 28. •

only, but each of these in rare and unrivalled
combination, yet if the salvation of the soul
were not obtained, the acquisition would be as
nothing — an impalpable shadow and a viewless
breath; and this, too, would still be the just com-
putation were we even to cast out of sight the
depreciating circumstances which of necessity
attach to all sublunary delights and possessions;
such as their intrinsic impotency to afford
real satisfaction — the uncertainty of their con-
tinuance, and, at the best, the brevity of their
duration. Unite them in thought with all that
even in the indulgence of the fondest vagaries
of a dreaming fancy and an ardent enthusiasm
you would conceive might be imputed to them,
and then suppose the lots of ike tout (that is,
suppose the gift of immortality to become a
curse); suppose an utter alienation and banish-
ment from God — ^the darkness of a destiny from
which should be for ever excluded a single ray
of the divine favour; and suppose this as con-
trasted with the smile of his love, the bliss of
his presence, the fulness of joy (to which all
other joy is emptiness) at his right hand for
evermore; — think of the short-lived enjoyments
of the present state, which must surely be re-

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 74 of 145)