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EPISTLE TO SLOTHFUL AND CARELESS PEOPLE.
is past; they have set themselves in the scorner's glory impart to us a sense of their indescribable seat, from which they will be hurled into unutter- happiness, with what activity and perseverance we able wretchedness.
should run. The case of Lot, when flying from Bunyan well knew that idleness engenders destruction, is put by Bunyan with peculiar force poverty and crime, and is the parent of every evil; -he dared not to look back even to see what had and he exhorts his runner to the greatest diligence, become of his wife, lest death should overtake his not to .fool away his soul' in slothfulness, which own soul. p. 394. O, my reader, may we be stimulated induces carelessness, until the sinner is remedyless. so to run as to obtain that crown of glory which is Our first care is to get into the right way, and then imperishable, immortal, and eternal. so to run that the devil, who is light of foot,' may Charles Doe, one of Bunyan's personal friends, not overtake and trip us up. Running to heaven having purchased the copyright of this work, kept does not prevent the true, the real enjoyment of it for some years, in hope of publishing it with other earthly blessings, but sanctifies and heightens them. treatises, as a second folio volume, to complete his The great impetus in our course is love to the works; but failing in this object, he printed it separprize—to Christ, to heaven; having our affections ately in 1698, and appended an interesting list of set upon things above. Looking unto Jesus. His Bunyan's works, with thirty cogent reasons why righteousness imputed unto us by the shedding of these invaluable labours should be preserved and bis blood, marks all the road, and while we keep handed down, to bless succeeding ages. that in sight we cannot err.
In all earthly things An earnest desire to preserve, in their perfect we anticipate too much—but in the glories of integrity, all the treatises as they were originally heaven, our anticipations are feeble indeed, com- published, will induce me, at the end of the works, pared with eternal realities. Could the saints in to reprint those interesting additions.
AN EPISTLE TO ALL THE SLOTHFUL AND CARELESS PEOPLE.
of all the creatures. •Go to the ant, thou sluggard, FRIENDS,
consider her ways and be wise. Pr. vi. 6.
The slug Solomon saith, that “The desire of the slothful gard will not plow by reason of the cold;' x1 4; killeth him ;' and if so, what will slothfulness itself that is, he will not break up the fallow ground of do to those that entertain it? Pr. xxi. 25. The pro- his heart, because there must be some pains taken verb is, 'Ile that sleepeth in harvest is son that by him that will do it; therefore shall he beg in causeth shame. Pr. x. 5. And this I dare be bold to harvest,' that is, when the saints of God shall bave say, no greater shame can befal a man, than to see their glorious heaven and happiness given to them; that he hath fooled away his soul, and sinned away but the sluggard shall have nothing,' that is, be eternal life. And I am sure this is the next way never the better for his crying for mercy, according to do it; namely, to be slothful; slothful, I say, in to that in Mat. xxv. 10–12. the work of salvation. The vineyard of the sloth- If you would know a sluggard in the things of ful man, in reference to the things of this life, is heaven, compare him with one that is slothful in not fuller of briars, nettles, and stinking weeds, the things of this world. As, 1. He that is sloth. than he that is slothful for heaven, hath his heart ful is loth to set about the work he should follow: full of heart-choaking and soul-damning sin. so is he that is slothful for heaven. 2. He that is
Slothfulness bath these two evils: First, To slothful is one that is willing to make delays: so is neglect the time in which it should be getting of he that is slothful for heaven. 3. He that is a heaven; and by that means doth, in the Second sluggard, any small matter that cometh in between, place, bring in untimely repentance. I will war- he will make it a sufficient excuse to keep him off rant you, that he who shall lose his soul in this from plying his work: so it is also with him that world through slothfulness, will have no cause to is slothful for heaven. 4. He that is slothful doth his be glad thereat when he comes to hell.
work by the halves; and so it is with him that is Slothfulness is usually accompanied with care- slothful for heaven. Je may almost, but he shall lessness, and carelessness is for the most part be- never altogether obtain perfection of deliverance gotten by senselessness; and senselessness doth from hell; he may almost, but he shall never,
withagain put fresh strength into slothfulness, and by out he mend, be altogether a saint. 5. They that this means the soul is left remediless.
are slothful, do usually lose the season in which Slothfulness shutteth out Christ; slothfulness things are to be done: and thus it is also with them shameth the soul. Ca. v. 2-4. Pr. xiii. 4.
that are slothful for heaven, they miss the season Slothfulness, it is condemned even by the feeblest I of grace. And therefore, 6. They that are slotil
ful have seldom or never good fruit: so also it will If thou shouldst lose but a limb, a child, or a be with the soul-sluggard. 7. They that are sloth friend, it would not be so much, but poor man it ful they are chid for the same: so also will Christ is THY SOUL; if it was to lie in hell but for a day, deal with those that are not active for him. Thou but for a year, nay, ten thousand years, it would wicked or slothful servant, out of thine own mouth (in comparison) be nothing. But 0 it is for ever! will I judge thee; thou saidst I was thus, and thus, O this cutting Ever! What a soul-amazing word wherefore then gavest not thou my money to the will that be, which saith, “Depart from me, ye bank? &c. Lu. xix. 22. Take the unprofitable ser- cursed, into EVERLASTING fire'! &c.t vant, and cast him into utter darkness, where shall Object. But if I should set in, and run as you be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat. xxv. 26–30. would have me, then I must run from all my
friends; What SHALL I say? Time runs; and will you for none of them are running that way. be slothful ? Much of your lives are past; and Answ. And if thou dost, thou wilt run into the will you be slothful ? Your souls are worth a bosom of Christ and of God, and then what harm thousand worlds; and will you be slothful? The will that do thee? day of death and judgment is at the door; and will Objcct. But if I run this way, then I must run you be slothful?' The curse of God hangs over from all my
sins. your heads; and will you be slothful? Besides, Answ. That is true indeed; yet if thou dost not, the devils are earnest, laborious, and seek by all thou wilt run into hell-fire. means every day, by every sin, to keep you out of Object. But if I run this way, then I shall be heaven, and hinder you of salvation; and will you hated, and lose the love of my friends and rela. be slothful? Also your neighbours are diligent for tions, and of those that I expect benefit from, or things that will perish; and will you be slothful for have reliance on, and I shall be mocked of all my things that will endure for ever? Would you be neighbours. willing to be damned for slothfulness? Would Answ. And if thou dost not, thou art sure to you
be willing the angels of God should neglect to lose the love and favour of God and Christ, the fetch your souls away to heaven when you lie a- benefit of heaven and glory, and be mocked of God dying, and the devils stand by ready to scramble for thy folly, 'I also will laugh at your calamity; for them ? * Was Christ slothful in the work of your I will mock when your fear cometh ;' and if thou redemption? Are his ministers slothful in tendering wouldst not be hated and mocked, then take heed this unto you? And, lastly, If all this will not thou by thy folly dost not procure the displeasure move, I tell you God will not be slothful or negli and mockings of the great God; for his mocks and gent to damn you—whose damnation now of a long hatred will be terrible, because they will fall upon time slumbereth not--nor the devils will not ne- thee in terrible times, even when tribulation and glect to fetch thee, nor hell neglect to shut its anguish taketh hold on thee; which will be when mouth upon thee.
death and judgment comes, when all the men in Sluggard, art thou asleep still? art thou resolved the earth, and all the angels in heaven, cannot help to sleep the sleep of death? Wilt neither tidings thee. Pr. i. 26–28. from heaven or hell awake thee? Wilt thou say Object. But surely I may begin this time enough, still, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,' and 'a a year or two hence, may I not? little folding of the hands to sleep?' Pr. vi. 10.
Wilt Answ. 1. Hast thou any lease of thy life? Did thou yet turn thyself in thy sloth, as the door is ever God tell thee thou shalt live half a year, or turned upon the hinges? O that I was one that two months longer? nay, it may be thou mayst not was skilful in lamentation, and had but a yearning live so long. And therefore, 2. Wilt thou be so heart towards thee, how would I pity thee! How sottish and unwise, as to venture thy soul upon a would I bemoan thee! O that I could with Jere- little uncertain time? 3. Dost thou know whether miah let my eyes run down with rivers of water for the day of grace will last a week longer or no? thee! Poor soul, lost soul, dying soul, what a For the day of grace is past with some before their hard heart have I that I cannot mourn for thee! life is ended : and if it should be so with thee, wouldst thou not say, 0 that I had begun to run and run, the crown is at the end of the race; there before the day of grace had been past, and the also staudeth the loving fore-runner, even Jesus, gates of heaven shut against me. But, 4. If thou who hath prepared heavenly provision to make thy shouldst see any of thy neighbours neglect the soul welcome, and he will give it thee with a willmaking sure of either house or land to themselves, inger heart than ever thou canst desire it of him, if they had it proffered to them, saying, Time enough 0 therefore do not delay the time any longer, but hereafter, when the time is uncertain ; and besides, put into practice the words of the men of Dan to they do not know whether ever it will be proffered their brethren, after they had seen the goodness of to them again, or no: I say, Wouldst thou not the land of Canaan: 'Arise,' say they, &c., 'for then call them fools? And if so, then dost thou we have seen the land, and behold it is very good; tliink that thou art a wise man to let thy immor- and are ye still,' or do you forbear running? •Be tal soul hang over hell by a thread of uncertain not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.' time, which may soon be cut asunder by death?
* It was the commonly received opinion that, at the mo- † In a very beantifully ornamented Liturgy of the Church ment of death, the angels and devils strove to carry away the of England, prior to the Reformation, after the Salisbury use, soul. If the dying man had received the consecrated wafer, printed in 1526 (in the Editor's library), is this direction the devils were scared at it, and lost their victim. Hence the · These iii. prayers be wrytten in the chapel of the holy crosse prayer— From lightning, battle, murder, and sudden death, in Rome, who that deuoutly say them they shall obteyne ten good Lord, deliver us;' a curious contrast to, 'Thy will be hundred thousand years of pardon for deadly sins graunted of done ! Were they sinners above all men upon whom the oure holy father Jhon xxii pope of Rome.' The three prayers tower in Siloam fell and slew them ? Lu. xii. 4. O that men only occupy twenty-six short lines, and may be gravely rewould rely upon the righteousness of Christ stimulating them peated in two minutes. Such was and is Popery!! But at to run for glory, as heavenly footmen, and not upon the nos. the end of all this promised pardon for a million of yearstrums of Antichrist !D.
what then? Will eternal torments commence?-ED.
Farewell. But to speak plainly, all these are the words of I wish our souls may meet with ort at the a slothful spirit. Arise man, be slothful no longer; journey's end. set foot, and heart, and all into the way of God,
Ju. xviii. 9.
THE CONTENTS OF THE WHOLE OF THIS BOOK.
THE CLEARING OF THE DOCTRINE
I. DOCTRINE.- After the words are opened, this doc- 3. If they get the better of thee, thou shalt lose, 390
trine is laid down, namely, that they that will have 4. Now the gates of heaven, and the heart of Christ,
390 II. After that, THE WORD RUN IS OPENED by three
5. Therefore keep thy eye upon the prize,
390 other Scripture expressions
6. Think much of them that are gone before. (1.) How 1. Flying. 2. Pressing. 3. Continuing,
REALLY they got in. (2.) How safe they are,
390 III. After which is laid down SEVERAL REASONS FOR
7. Do but set to the work, and when thou hast run
thyself down weary, Christ will carry thee in his 1. Because every one that runneth doth not obtain.
391 2. Because if they do not obtain, then will they lose
8. Or else convey new strength to thee,
391 their running also. 3. Because the way is long.
9. Let the very industry of the devil and wicked men 4. Because the time is uncertain. 5. Because the
(I say, let the consideration of their diligence to devil, sin, hell, and the law runs after them. 6. Be
bring their designs to pass) provoke thee,
391 cause heaven's gates may be shut shortly. 7. Because if they lose, they lose ALL; even God, Christ,
VI. THE USES are nine alsotheir souls, &c.,
1. To examine thyself whether thou art in the way
they come to their journey's end,
392 in all are nine
3. The sad estate of them that are running quite back 1. To get into the way,
392 2. To ponder the path of thy feet,
4. Their woe also that to this day sit still, and run 3. To strip thyself of incumbrances that may hang on
not at all,
392 thee, like weights to hinder thee,
384 5. This doctrine calleth out to them that began but 4. To shun bye-paths, 384 a while since to mend their pace,
393 5. To take heed of gazing and staring about thee, on 6. That old professors should not let young striplings things that do not concern thy running, 385 outrun them,
393 6. Not to let thy ear be open to every one that calleth 7. They behave themselves basely that count they ruu after thee,
fast enough, if they keep company with the hind7. Not to be daunted with the enemies thou art like
most and laziest professors,
393 to meet with between this and the kingdom of 8. That lazy professors are apt to keep others besides 386 themselves out of heaven,
9. The conclusion, or last use; wherein, to provoke 9. To cry hard to God for an enlightened heart and a
thee, thou hast the heavenly carriage of Lot as he willing mind,
went from Sodom, and the fearful doom of his wife, 393 V. MOTIVES.—The motives are ninc
VII. PROVOCATION.—Also to consider, if thy soul be 1. To consider there is no way but this, thou must
lost, it is thy own loss, and thou only wilt feel the either win or lose. If thou win, thou winnest all ;
394 if thou lose, thou losest all, 389 VIII. A short EXPOSTULATION,
394 2. The devil and sin do the best they cau to make
These be the contents of this little book ; thee lose,
If thou wilt see further, then thorow it look.
8. To take heed of stumbling at the cross
THE HEAVENLY FOOTMAN.
weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, 'SO RUN, THAT YE MAY OBTAIN.'-1 cor. IX. 24.
and let us run with patience the race that is set IIEAVEN and happiness is that which every one de- before us.' And let US RUN, saith he. Again, sireth, insomuch that wicked Balaam could say, saith Paul, 'I therefore so run, not as uncertainly, • Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my so fight I,' &c. last end be like his.' Nu. xxiii. 10. Yet for all this, there are but very few that do obtain that ever-to
[II. THE WORD RUN OPENED.] be-desired glory, insomuch that many eminent pro- But before I go any further, observe, fessors drop short of a welcome from God into his First—FLYING—That this running is not an orpleasant place.
dinary, or any sort of running, but it is to be underThe apostle, therefore, because he did desire the stood of the swiftest sort of running; and therefore salvation of the souls of the Corinthians, to whom in the 6th of the Hebrews it is called “a fleeing ;' he writes this epistle, layeth them down in these that 'we might have a strong consolation, who have words, such counsel, which if taken, would be for fled for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope set before their help and advantage. First, Not to be wicked, us.' Mark, who have fled.' It is taken from and sit still, and wish for heaven; but to run for that 20th of Joshua, concerning the man that was
Second, Not to content themselves with every to flee to the city of refuge, when the avenger of kind of running; but, saith he, “So run, that ye blood was hard at his heels, to take vengeance on may obtain.' As if he should say, Some, because him for the offence he had committed; therefore they would not lose their souls, they begin to run it is a RUNNING or Flying for one's life. A runbetimes, Ec. xii. 1, they run apace, they run with ning with all might and main, as we use to say. patience, He. xii. 1, they run the right way. Mat. xiv. 26. So run! Do you so run? Some run from both father and
Second—PRESSING- This running in another mother, friends and companions, and thus, that place is called a pressing. “I press toward the they may have the crown. Do you so run? Some mark ;' Ph. iii. 14; which signifieth, that they that run through temptations, afflictions, good report, will have heaven, they must not stick at any diffievil report, that they may win the pearl. 1Co. iv. 13. culties they meet with ; but press, crowd, and
Do you so run? •So run that ye may thrust through all that may stand between heaven obtain.'
and their souls. So run! These words, they are taken from men's running Third—CONTINUING—This running is called in for a wager: a very apt similitude to set before another place, 'a continuing in the way of life. If the
eyes of the saints of the Lord. «Know ye not ye continue in the faith grounded, and settled, and that they which run in a race run all, but one re- be not moved away from the hope of the gospel of ceiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.' Christ. Col. i. 23. Not to run a little now and then, That is, do not only run, but be sure you win as by fits and starts, or half-way, or almost thither ; well as run, So run, that
but to run for my life, to run through all difficulI shall not need to make any great ado in open- ties, and to continue therein to the end of the race, ing the words at this time, but shall rather lay which must be to the end of my
life. down one doctrine that I do find in them; and in that ye may obtain.' prosecuting that, I shall show you, in some measure, the
[III. SEVERAL REASONS FOR CLEARING THIS of the words. scope
DOCTRINE.] [I. THE DOCTRINE OF THE Text.]
And the reasons for this point are these, The doctrine is this: THEY THAT WILL HAVE First. Because all or every one that runneth doth HEAVEN, MUST RUN FOR IT; I say, they that will not obtain the prize; there be many that do run, have heaven, they must run for it. I beseech you yea, and run far too, who yet miss of the crown to heed it well. •Know ye not that they which run that standeth at the end of the race. You know in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So that all that run in a race do not obtain the victory; run ye.' The prize is heaven, and if you will have they all run, but one wins. And so it is here ; it it, you must run for it. You have another scrip- is not every one that runneth, nor every one that ture for this in the 12th of the Hebrews, the 1st, seeketh, nor every one that striveth for the mas2d, and 3rd verses: “Wherefore seeing we also,' tery, that hath it. Iu. xiii. Though a man do strive saith the apostle, are compassed about with so for the mastery, saith Paul, “yet he is not crowned, great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every except he strive lawfully;' that is, unless he so
2 Co. vi.
ye may obtain.'
2 Tim. ii. 5.
run, and so strive, as to have God's approbation. I certain ; the time present is the only time; thou What, do
think that every heavy- hast no more time allotted thee than that thou now heeled professor will have heaven? What, every enjoyest. «Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thon lazy one; every wanton and foolish professor, that knowest not what a day may bring forth.' Pr. xxvii. 1. will be stopped by anything, kept back by any- Do not say, I have time enough to get to heaven thing, that scarce runneth so fast heaven-ward as a seven years hence; for I tell thee, the bell may toll snail creepeth on the ground ? Nay, there are some for thee before seven days more be ended;and professors do not go on so fast in the way of God when death comes, away thou must go, whether as a snail doth go on the wall; and yet these think, thou art provided or not; and therefore look to it; that heaven and happiness is for them. But stay, make no delays; it is not good dallying with things there are many more that run than there be that of so great concernment as the salvation or damobtain ; therefore he that wil have heaven mustnatica of thy soul. You know he that hath a great RUN for it.
way to go in a little time, and less by half than he Second, Because you know that though a man thinks of, he had need run for it. do run, yet if he do not overcome, or win, as well as Fifth, They that will have heaven they must run run, what will he be the better for his running? He for it; because the devil, the law, sin, death, and will get nothing. You know the man that runneth, hell, follow them. There is never a poor soul that he doth do it that he may win the prize; but if is going to heaven, but the devil, the law, sin, he doth not obtain, he doth lose his labour, spend death, and hell, make after that soul. • Your ad. his pains and time, and that to no purpose ; I say, versary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
I he getteth nothing. And ah! how many such run- seeking whom he may devour.' 1 Pe. v. 8. And I ners will there be found at the day of judgment! will assure you, the devil is nimble, he can run Even multitudes, multitudes that have run, yea, apace, lie is light of foot, he hath overtaken many, run so far as to come to heaven gates, and not able he hath turned up their heels, and hath given them to get any further, but there stand knocking, when an everlasting fall. Also the law, that can shoot it is too late, crying, Lord, Lord, when they have a great way, have a care thou keep out of the nothing but rebukes for their pains. Depart from reach of those great guns, the ten commandments. me, you come not here, you come too late, you run Hell also hath a wide mouth; it can stretch itself too lazily; the door is shut. When once the further than you are aware of. And as the angel master of the house is risen up,' saith Christ, “and said to Lot, Take heed, look not behind thee, hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand with neither tarry thou in all the plain,' that is, any out, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, where between this and heaven, ‘lest thou be conopen unto us, I will say, I know ye not, Depart,' sumed.'
So say I to thee, Take heed, &c. Lu. xiii. 25. O sad will the estate of those be tarry not, lest either the devil, hell, death, or the that run and miss; therefore, if you will have fearful curses of the law of God, do overtake thee, heaven, you must run for it; and ‘so run that ye and throw thee down in the midst of thy sins, so as may obtain.'
never to rise and recover again. If this were well Third, Because the way is long (I speak meta- considered, then thou, as well as I, wouldst say, phorically), and there is many a dirty step, many They that will have heaven must run for it. a high hill, much work to do, a wicked heart, world, Sixth, They that will go to heaven must run for and devil, to overcome; I say, there are many steps it; because perchance the gates of heaven may be to be taken by those that intend to be saved, by shut shortly. Sometimes sinners have not heavenrunning or walking, in the steps of that faith of gates open to them so long as they suppose; and our father Abraham. Out of Egypt thou must go if they be once shut against a man, they are so through the Red Sea ; thou must run a long and heavy, that all the men in the world, nor all the tedious journey, through the vast howling wilder- angels in heaven, are not able to open them. I ness, before thou come to the land of promise. shut, ‘and no man openeth,' saith Christ. And
Fourth, They that will go to heaven they must how if thou shouldst come but one quarter of an run for it; because, as the way is long, so the time hour too late? I tell thee, it will cost thee an in which they are to get to the end of it is very un- eternity to bewail thy misery in Francis Spira
can tell thee what it is to stay till the gate of mercy | How awfully is this pictured to the soul in that solemn account of the day of death and judgment in Mat. xxv.; and molestation!! It was also intended to rouse the faithful to how strikingly applied in the Pilgrim's Progress in the char- pray for the dead person's soul. This, and other superstitious acter of Ignorance.—(ED.)
practices, were suspended during the Protectorate in some 2 'When the bell begins to toll,
parishes, if not generally, but were revived at the Restoration, Lord have mercy on the soul.'
because the omission injured the revenues of the church.--The Papists imagine that there is an extraordinary power in See Brand’s Popular Antiquities.- (ED.) the bell hallowed by baptism to drive away the spirits of dark- 3 This quotation, probably made from memory, is a mixture ness, so that the departing soul may take its journey without of the Genevan and the present version.—(ED.)
Ge. xix. 17.