Thomas Carlyle.

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isaburden. They think th^ woald be well content
to call upon the Lord in the time of tiouble, if onlj
they ml^t be allowed to foiigst him in the seaaon
of health and prosperity. They much deceive them-
selves. If you do net pray when yen are in healtii,
how shall you pray when yon are in trouble? Thmbla
is not » light, inconsiderable thing. In trvobfe, ena
has not so much command over his mmd as in health.
Bodily affliction shakft and teesee the 4oqL Tone-
gleet prayer in the day of health, how can that be
help to a praying spirit in the day of affliction? If
you do not feel your need of prayer when your mind
is in its best state, how shall you do so when it is
in its worst state ? If you look upon prayer as »
burden now, you vrill be likely to feel it far more bur-
densome when the Lord lays his hand upon you, and
puts you in the Aimaoe. Instead of dravring an
unregenerate soul nearer to Qod, trouble is likely to
drive it farther firom Him. You would suppose that
as one comes near to the borders of eternity, he
would be filled vrith the concerns of eternity; but
facts show that it is net so. As unregenerate men
are dravm near to death and eternity, they are
anxious to draw their minds further off from them.
How often do we find from Scripture that the seaaon
of health is a season for much prayer ! We are
commanded, " Trust in Him at all times; ye people
pour out your heart before Him.^* ** At all times;**
that is, in health as well as in riokness-4n prosperity
as well as adversity.—" Continue in prayer" — " Pray
without ceasing*' — " Continue in prayer, and watch
unto the same with thanksgiving.** That which
makes every season a proper season for prayer is,
that we are at all times dependent upon Qod — wc
alvrays stand in need of his assistance, counsel, direc-
tion, and comfort It is impossible to go a step in
the Christian life, vrithout the gracious asiristance of
the Lord. As to place, we may pray wheresoever the
Lord is present to hear and answer. As to time, we
are to pray whensoever we stand In need of Divine

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SMistance. Pat both together, and we ore to pray
at all times and in all places.

A man who is really a Christian is a man of prayer.
One man is chazaoteriied by one quality, another by
another quality. We say of some men, they are men
of wisdom—of others, they are men of sldll; bat a
true Christian may always be described by this char
racterstic— that he is a man of prayer. I do not
mean that all who call themsehres Christians are
men of prayer. That is quite a different matter. I
am not speaking of what men call themselres, but
what they are. Many call themselres Christians
who scarce pray at alL From what many who call
themselres Christians do in regard to prayer, yon
would suppose that prayer was no part of Christian
duty. They disr^ard and neglect prayer. They
could not disregard and neglect it more though Ck)d
had told them expressly in his Word to disregard and
neglect it Yet they call themselres Christians !

The true Christian is a man of prayer. He, in-
deed, often finds, and he is griered for it, that there
is little of a prayerful spirit in him; that he is often
sorely assaulted by rain, wandering, and eril thoughts,
and that, too, when engaged in most solemn duties.
But he is not put past his purpose on that account
He remembers many texts suitable to his case—** Oire
not place to the deriPV-" Besist the deril, and he will
flee from thee ^— ** Who is among you that feareth
the Lord, that obeyeth the roice of his serrant, that
walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? Let him
trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his
Ood^*— **My grace is suffident for thee; I will per-
fect my strength in your weakness.** He remembers
these encouragements, and many others which God
has graciously set down in his holy Word— he belieres
them— and so persereres. Remember this, that you
are not, and cannot be, true Christians unless you
continue in prayer.

The encouragements to prayer are many and strong.
There are rarious kinds of encouragements. They hare
often been arranged under different classes. It is use-
ful to arrange them, and think upon them so arranged.
I can only mention one kind of encouragement to
prayer. It is that which arises firom the fact that
the Lord has pledged himself to hear and answer
prayer— one of the strongest of the many strong
encouragements. I conclude with quoting one or two
passages to this purpose. Samuel Rutherford writes :
*' Christ acknowledgeth that instances of praying in
faith will orercome Ck>d, and Satan, and all the sad-
dest temptations that can be&ll the child of God.
Hence^ obserre what acts of efficacious power, instant
and earnest prayer putteth forth upon God, and how
the clay creature doth work upon, and prerail with
the great potter and former of all things.** ** Prayer
is a messenger, and a swift and winged post des-
patched up to court** ** Prayer putteth a challenge
upon God, for his corenant*s soke and his promise.
It putteth God to great straits and suffering, eren to
the movinfi: of his bouL When Qod sccmeth to sleep,
in regard that his work and the wheels of his prori-
dence are at a stand, prayer awakeneth God, and
putteth him in action.** All these he illustrates by
suitable examples out of Scripture. Another author.

speaking of the power of prayer, says : ** No poet durst
hare fetched his fancy so far as to caU prayer * the
manacles of the Almighty,* had not God himself
confessed it, when he saith to Moses, Let tne aJone,
O powerful pririlege allowed for poor man! that
the Almighty *s justice must take out commission for
execution from the intercessbn of his saints. If
Mose3 hold not his tongue, Qod cannot more hit
hands. O blest obstructor of justice ! I will nerer
doubt thy power in procuring mercy, that canst
hinder a proroked Deity from proceeding to execu-
tion of a daring worm.**

Db. Bcshnell tells some curious tales of what he
saw and heard of Popery at Rome. Take the follow-
ing illustrations. In a letter addressed to the Pope,,
he says:—

It is also a farourite representation of your office
that you are the lineal successor of St Peter. It is
not within my object to deny that rou are. I only
say, that if you are the successor of St. Peter, there
is certainly much for you to do — a large reform
to make in order fully to justify your daim of suc-
oessorship. Until then, it must sarour too much of
irony. I saw your three magnificent palaces, seats
of re^jal msgesty which the most splendid monarch in
the richest and most populous empire of Europe
might enry. I remembered that the moner which
sustains this royal ostentation is wrung out of a small
State and a porerty-striken people, who hare also to
support the splendour of the cardinalfl, and the goldea
lireries that flame about the gate .of the Vatican.
Did I see in this the unambitious manners^ and the
tender ministry of the fisherman of Ghdilee? I
turned to his words; I found him saying, ** Feed the
flock of God.** Do you call this feeding the flock ?
I risited rour palace on the Quirinal : I trarelled
through the halls adorned with regal splendour, and
more than resal art; I looked out from the terraced
gardens which orerhang the dty as proudly as the
palace of the Csssars in the days of the Empire; I
noticed in particular, the paraphernalia of luxury and
pleasure on erery side— your billiard tables, your
grottoes of statuary, your closeted bowers, your musi-
cal fountains, and mgenious follies you hare prepared
to frighten the ladies;— but pardon me, if I could not
bring myself to regard this kind of machinery as ex-
actly fitted to the serious and responsible office of one
who keeps the souls of the world; least of alL to the
successor of that humble unambitious apostle, who
took the legacy of porerty and fiery trial nis.Sariour
left him, lK>rc it in rough earnest as a rough man
only could, and therein greatly rejoiced. The stores
of artistic wealth you hare gathered round you, in
the Vatican, hare a high digmty. A cultirated sense
of beauty is at least an accomplishment, and one
which in itself is innocent but whosoerer has
wearied himself, day after day, in exploring the
streets of the Vatican Palace— that dtj populated by
the palette and the chisel — ^will not think of you merely
as exercising the dry paternity of a moiuc towards
the forms of beauty congregated around you; but he
will think of these accumulated stores as a pageant
of ambition— he will fancy the priest engaged to riral
the prince, and not displeased with ms rictory.
When it goes out, therefore, that you are here as the
anointed successor of an apostle, eren the Apostle
Peter, what has Peter to do with the Vatican, or the
lord of the Vatican with Peter ? What bond of con-
nection is there between the apostle of the fine arts
and the Apostle Peter ?

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Nor will Tonr wonfaip in the Stetine Ch«pel mj
oetter ufimilate you to your supposed predec«tsor and
, the manner of his time. Women cannot enter there :
the wife of Peter himself could not enter save behind
' a screen, lest her presence should disturb the flow of
your sancti&ed emotions. No profane laic can enter
! sare in a dress coat. The judgment of the yrorid is
'artistically transacted orer yoor altar, that yon may
not forget, I suppose, at your altar, the ind^ent of
the world. Sittmff on tout throne, as the successor
of the fisherman of Ghoilee^ your august person and
the altar of the Lord are mcensed again and again
'with the common honours of worship. The cardmals
I float about you, in stately trailings and gyrations, to

Peter make of this ? What part of this pageant,
what sinzle item, do you imagine, ever to have been
seen hi the churches of the apostles ?

(From ike Primeeton Review,)

The idea suggested by some, in opposition to
Hume's definition of a miracle as being a vio*
latiou of the laws of nature, that, for aught we
know, miracles may be as tmly natoral events
as anv other, is not a new thoneht. It was
brought forward by Bonet, the pnilo6<^her of
Geneva, in his excellent work on the Evidences
of Christianity. As far as we recollect, for we
have not looked into the work for some years,
Bonet maintains, that in the comprehensiTe
plan of Providence, provision was made for
miracles ; so that they are produced by natural
causes, as truly as other events. And he seems
to teach, that the proof derived from a miracle
in favour of the inspiration of any person, arises
from his previous Imowledge that such an event
will take place at a certain time. An opinion
of the same kind seems to have been entertained
by Mr. Babbage in his ninth Bridgewater Essay.
But we confess that we are by no means satis-
fied with this view of the subject. If it be
correct, then there never has been a miracle
since the beginning of the world. It is not that
an event rarely happens, or that it is of a won-
derful nature, which renders it miraculous ; it
may possess both these characteristics^ and yet
be entirely natural. Nor is it necessary to
suppose, that in the production of a miracle a
greater power is exerted than in the production
of common events. Sometimes, a miracle is
effected by the mere cessation of a power which
acts uniformly, unless interrupted. Common
events take place according to established laws,
but a miracle is produced by the operation of a
new cause which does not commonly act. It is
the immediate interposition of the Deity, to
! produce an efiPect which would not be produced
j unless this extraordinary power were exerted.
For a man to be bom, and to be sustained by
j food, is natural ; but for a man to be raised from
' the dead, is miraculous. The author justly ob-
I serves : ^ That if men rose from the dead as
i .statedly, after a year, as they now do from sleep

in the nMmuBg, «ne would be as astitnl am tks
other." But this is only to say, thai the est»-
bli^ied laws of natmre nught kvrebeen di£Berent
£rom what they are. Takisfftheae laws as they
exist, the rising from the dead is iniracnl<rai»

Thtare seems to ns to be danger in this con-
cession. One of the most plausible objeotioos
to the argument from miracles is, that we are
not sufficiently acquainted with the laws of
nature to be certain that any event whidi seems
miraculous is not produced by some natural
cause not before observed, or only derdoped in
some peculiar eircomstances. ^ That miracles
were provided for, in the vast cydes of Grod's
moral government^" as our author e^yressee it,
is a matter not dii^utable. As they are im-
portant events, no doubt provision was made for
them; but that does not make them natural
events. They were decreed to come to pass as
mtmc^ef, and not 1^ pre-established laws, but by
the exertion of the power of God at the time,
distinct from his operations in nature. It does
not appear to us, upon this theory, how what is
called a miracle can furnish any condnsiTe
proof of a divine revelation. If the event be
fKrivftii— that is, in accordance with the laws of
nature — how can it furnish evidence that the
man who declares that it will occur at a certain
time is commissioned of God I When Christo-
pher Columbus predicted an edipse of the son
to the savages of America, they were induced
to 'believe that he acted by supernatural autho-
rity ; yet there was no miracle. And now, if
some person should predict that a oomet which
had never been observed before, would appear
on a certain day, this would be no more a miracle
than an eclipse of the sun; The best method
of bringing this opinion to the test, is to coimder
it in application to some of the miracles recorded
in the Bible. When Moses, by divine command,
struck the rock in Horeb, the water gushed out
in such abundance as to form a river. If no
water existed in the rock before, here was a
striking mirade, requiring the immediate ex-
ertion of Omnipotence. How could this be
considered a natural event! It was contrary
to nature, and therefore miraculous. Again,
when our Lord called Lazarus from the tomb,
there was an exertion of Omnipotence, and an
event was the consequence which was contrary
to the common laws of nature. In what sense,
then, could this event be considered as a naturcU

The argument from miracles, in proof of a
divine revelation, is perfectly simple. Some
person declares that he has recdved a certain
communication fh>m God, and as a proof of it
works a manifest miracle ; and this evidence all
impartial persons consider conclusive, because
Goid is a God of truth, and will never exert his
power to confirm the pretensions of an impostor.
By enabling the individual to counteract the
established laws of nature, in a case where these

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403 I

laws are well understood, he sets to his seal the
declarations which are made by the person
endowed with this miraculous power. Strictly
speaking, howeyer, the power of working mira-
dee nevei* resides in any creature, but is truly
the power of God exerted in connection with
the word or command of a prophet or apostle.
Thus the matter has always been understood
by the soundest theologians ; and nothing can be
gained by any new hypothesis on this subject.
Hume's great mistake is, that he takes no
account of God's moral goyemment, which is in
a moyement always onward towards a grand
consummation, in which the principles are erar
the same, but the deyelopments always new,
and therefore not to be measured by expe-

The grand defensiye position is this : what-
ever could be verified by the senses, can be
verified by testimony. So far as Hume's aign-
ment is concerned, notwithstanding his pre-
tended distinction between the marvellous and
the miraculous, no strange phenomenon in
physics could ever be verified; a marvel is as
much against his vaunted experience as a miracle.
Testimony avails to produce the belief of the
events csJled miraculous. And this faith in
testimony is as natural as faith in the senses.
That the alleged fietct is unusual — ^and Hume's
alignment, when stripped of its appends^ges,
I imports no more — creates no such inq>robability
as may not be removed by />bseryation of the
senses ; and that which the senses obserye may
be verified by testimony.


The miseries that have come upon this people hare
never had a parallel in the history of this world.
Most terribly has their own imprecation been fulfilled
— *^ His blood be on us and on our children ! ^* Thirty-
six years after the crucifixion, wrath came upon
them to the uttermost. We need not rehearse the de-
vastation made by the Roman forces under Yespa^
aian and Titus: the carnage, famine, and pestilence
attendant on the beleagurmg of the Holy City; the
multitude of wretched fugitives intercepted by the ex-
asperated besiegers, and crucified around the walls;
tbAt proud structqre, the Temple, levelled in the dust ;
the whole land made desolate; the miserable inhabi-
tants driven away to a bitter and hopeless captivity
—the slave-marts of Syria and Egypt glutted witn
their vast number, till none would buy them.

It is recorded that 1,100,000 Jews perished in the
siege of Jerusalem; and that 97,000 were made cap-
tires. Besides these, numbers lost their fires, or were
taken prisoners, in the defence and capture of other
places. Eleven thousand Jewish captives, either from
neglect or cruelty, were at one tune left without
food, and perished of starvation.

By the Mosaic institutes, all the Jewish nudes,
above a certain age (supposed to have been that of
twelve years), were required to keep the three great
feasts— the Passover, the Pentecost, and the Feast of
Tabernacles — at Jerusalem. Thus, while the country
was surrounded by hostile nations, was the whole
military strength drawn from the frontiers, three
thnes a year. In aooordanoe with the promise, that

so long as the nation continued obedient ** no man
should desire their land*^ at these times^ it is temailc-
able that we find no invasion of Palestme attempted
while the border was left thus defencdess, until the
final invasion by the Romans under Yespasian. Jeru-
salem was invaded by his forces at the QsuBSover,
when vast numbers of the Jewish people, oomsider-
ably more than a million, were withm its walls. God,
their glory and defence, had departed. His protec-
tion, vomcnsafed at 1,500 previous celebrations of that
feast^ was withdrawn.

Alter the destruction of Jerusalem, the dreadful
cruelties exercised on the Jews drove them into re-
peated revolts agamst the Roman Government, which
were quelled only by the effusion of torrents of Jew-
ish blood. The most remarkable of these revolts was
headed by the celebrated Barcochab, a name assum-
ed by himself, and which signifies the son of a star,
alluifinff'to the star predicted by Balaam (Numb. xxiv.
17). He pretended to be the Messiah ; was crowned
king of the Jews; the people flocked in great num-
bers to his standard; and ne soon found himself at
the head of 200,000 men. A desperate and bk)ody
contest ensued with the forces of the Emperor Adrian,
led by his best generals. The Jews fought with the
courage of despair; the impostor was killed at the
si^;e of Bithen, his principal fortress: and in this
short but sanguinary war, which lasted three years,
600,000 Jews lost theur lives.

During the middle ages, Saracen caliphs, Turkish
sultans, .and kings of Christian Europe, seemed to
vie with" each other in heaping upon this unhappy
people insult and outrage. There is scarcely^ a coun-
try m Europe where they have not been laid under
heavy exactions — ^laid under the ban of secular or
ecclesiastical tyranny, banished, slaughtered without
mercy. The rapacity of the prince, the bigotry of
the priest, and the ferocious malice of the populace,
leagued together for their destruction. The immense
hosts of the Crusaders were accustomed to whet their
appetite for the blood of the Turk, by the indiscri-
minate butchery of all the Jews who fell in their
way. Seven times were this unhappy people banished
from France. Their sufferings were no less terrible
throughout England than on the Continent. The
nation united in the persecution of them. At one
time 1,500 Jews, including women and children, hav-
ing, to save themselves from massacre, shut them-
selves up in the Castle of York, were refused all
quarter; their silver and gold could not save them,
lor they could not purchase their lives at any price:
and, frantic with despair, they perished by mutual
slaughter— «ach man was the murderer of his wife
and children, when death became their only deliver-

Since the Reformation, the Jews have been treat-
ed with more compassion. But it was not till a very
recent period that in Prussia, Holland, France, and a
few other European States, they were relieved of then:
oppressions. At no period of their dispersion has
their general condition been more favoured than at
the present time; yet, even now there are few coun-
tries where they do not bear the mark of an outcast,
rejected race. Even in England, the Jews suffer
under many disabilities. No citizen of London will
receive a Jewish boy as an apprentice. The me-
chanic arts are exercised by the members of the
guilds, or trade-unions, into which no Jew is ad-
mittod. These people are therefore compelled to
resort to traffic for a Uvelihood. They begm at the
age of twelve or fourteen years, often with a captial
of eighteenpence. They trade in all sorts of com-
modities, from oranges and old clothes to the secu-
rities of the nation. In this way thev often acquire
great wealth, and along with it that habit of covet-

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which hM long been the stigma of their na-
tion. ... „

The rank and power which many European Jews
haTe acquired by their talents, their learmne, and
thdr wealth, haye been quite remarkable, and haye
been at omes an important safeguard to their poor,
despised countrymen. Some of the leading minds in
modem days haye been Jews. Spinosa, the author
of modem pantheism, was a Jew. Seyeral learned
Jews occupy chairs in the uniyersities of continental
Europe, as Leo, Stahl, Neander. Marshal Massena
was a Jew. It is said that Marshal Soult and Prince
Metternich are of Jewish origin. Those mighty men
of wealth, the Rothschilds, who hold the purse-strings
of the ciyilized world, guiding the commercial, and
sometimes almost the politi^ destinies of Europe,
are Jews. A few years ago they were fiye in number,
with houses at London, Frankfort, Paris, Vienna, and
Berlin. There are some Israehtes in London of
princely wealth, among whom is Sir Moses Montefiore,
who has repeatedly used his influence to protect his
countrymen from Russian and Turkish despotism.
In Constantinople and the proyinces of the Ottoman
Empire, the Jews, by their superior ener^, haye ac-
quired great wealth by commerce, and enjoy import-
ant priyileffes: though their condition is yery preca-
rious. Indeed, throughout that empire, the Jewish
people are the sport of despotic power. Mussulmans
are, from their cradle, taught to regard them as the
yilest of mankind — a link between man and brute, a
race accursed of Heayen. They are the common ob -
jects of popular malice or superstition— the lawful
prey of eyery one who has power to extort from them.
Throughout the East, Jew is the yilest term of re-
proach Dr. Wolff thus writes in his journal: " We
pitched our tents at Araas. A denrise ^Mohammedan
monk) flogged his ass, andfinished by calling it a Jew.'**
In Constantinople, where there are 80,000 Jews, they
all were obligea to wear a blue slipper, as a badge of
degradation. In other places they must wear a patch
of doth of some peculiar colour on the breast, for
the same purpose as the conyicts in our state prisons
wear ajMirij-coloured dress.

Mr. Wolff was told by a Mohammedan in Mesopo-
tamia: " Eyery house in Shiraz with a low, narrow
entrance^ is a Jew^s. Eyery man with a dirty ca-
mePs hair turban, is a Jew. Eyery one picking up
fl^ass, and asking for old shoes and sandals, is a Jew.*^
He afterwards lound this description fully confirmed.
The Turks throughout Syria may compel the Jews
to work without pay. and administer the bastinado
if they refuse. The lowest fellah (natiye inhabitant)

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 93 of 145)