图书图片
PDF
ePub

a

Ge. xix, 26.

а

a

IV. 2.

This man sces what he hath done, what should parting from the living God; a hardness completed help him, and what will become of him; yet he through the deceitfulness of sin. He. iii. 7, &c. Such cannot repent; he pulled away his shoulder before, as that in the provocation, of whom God sware, he stopped his ears before, he shut up his eyes that they should not enter into his rest. It was before, and in that very posture God left him, and this kind of hardness also, that both Cain, and so he stands to this very day. I have had a fancy, Ishmael, and Esau, were hardened with, after that Lot's wife, when she was turned into a pillar they had committed their great transgressions. of salt, stood yet looking over her shoulder, or 2. It is the greatest kind of hardness; and else with her face towards Sodom; as the judg- hence they are said to be harder than a rock, or ment caught her, so it bound her, and left her a than an adamant, that is, harder than fint; so monument of God's anger to after generations. hard, that nothing can enter. Je. v. 3. Zec. vii. 12.

3. It is a hardness given in much anger, and We read of some that are seared with a hot iron, that to bind the soul up in an impossibility of reand that are past feeling; for so seared persons in pentance. seared parts are.

Their conscience is seared. 1 Ti. 4. It is a hardness, therefore, which is incurable, The conscience is the thing that must be of which a man must die and be damned. Barren touched with feeling, fear, and remorse, if ever any professor, hearken to this. good be done with the sinner. How then can any A fourth sign that such a professor is quite past good be done to those whose conscience is worse grace, is, when he fortifies his hard heart against than that? that is, fast asleep in sin. Ep. iv. 19. For the tenor of God's word. Job ix. 4, &c. This is called that conscience that is fast asleep, may yet be hardening themselves against God, and turning of effectually awakened and saved; but that con- the Spirit against them. As thus, when after a .science that is seared, dried, as it were, into a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus, and of the cinder, can never have sense, feeling, or the least doctrine that is according to godliness, they shall regret in this world. Barren fig-tree, hearken, embolden themselves in courses of sin, by promisjudicial hardening is dreadful ! There is a differ- ing themselves that they shall have life and salvaence betwixt that hardness of heart that is incident tion notwithstanding. Barren professor, hearken to all men, and that which comes upon some as a to this! This man is called, 'a root that beareth sigual or special judgment of God. And although gall and wormwood,' or a poisonful herb, such an all kinds of hardness of heart, in some sense may one as is abominated of God, yea, the abhorred of be called a judgment, yet to be hardened with his soul. For this man saith, 'I shall have peace, this second kind, is a judgment peculiar only to though I walk in the imagination' or stubbornthem that perish ; a hardness that is sent as a ness of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst;' punishment for the abuse of light received, for a an opinion flat against the whole Word of God, reward of apostacy. This judicial hardness is yea, against the very nature of God himself. discovered from that which is incident to all men, De. xxix. 18, 19. Wherefore he adds, Then the anger in these particulars :

of the Lord, and his jealousy, shall smoke against 1. It is a hardness that comes after some great that man, and all the curses that are written in light received, because of some great sin com- God's book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall mitted against that light, and the grace

that
gave

blot out his name from under heaven.' De, xix. 20. it. Such hardness as Pharaoh bad, after the Lord Yea, that man shall not fail to be effectually dehad wrought wondrously before him; such hard- stroyed, saith the text: The Lord shall separate pess as the Gentiles had, a hardness which dark- that man unto evil, out of all the tribes of Israel, ened the heart, a hardness which made their according to all the curses of the covenant.' De. xix. minds reprobate. This hardness is also the same He shall separate him unto evil; he shall give with that the Hebrews are cautioned to beware of, him up, he shall leave him to his heart; he shall a hardness that is caused by unbelief, and a de- separate him to that or those that will assuredly be

too hard for him. of Spira's despair must have made a strong impression upon Bunyan's mind. It commences with a poem.

Now this judgment is much effected when God *Here see a soul that's all despair; a man

hath given a man up unto Satan, and hath given All hell; a spirit all wounds; who can

Satan leave, without fail, to complete his destruc-
A wounded spirit bear?
Reader, would'st see, what may you nerer feel

tion. I say, when God hath given Satan leave
Despair, racks, torments, whips of burning steel!
Beliold, the man's the furnace, in whose heart

effectually to complete his destruction; for all that Sin hath created hell; O in each part

are delivered up unto Satan have not, nor do not His thoughts all stings; words, swords;

come to this end. But that is the man whom God His eyes flames; wishes curses, life a death;

shall separate to evil, and shall leave in the hands A thousand deaths live in him, he not dead; A breathing corpse in living, scalding lead.'

of Satan, to complete, without fail, his destruction. -- Fearful Estate of Francis Spira.-(Ed.)

Thus he served Ahab, a man that sold himself

6

21.

Wliat flames appear:

Brimstone his breath;

go

to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord. “And He. x. 28. Wherefore, against these despisers God the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he hath set himself, and foretold that they shall not may go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead? And one believe, but perish: • Behold, ye despisers, and said on this manner, and another said on that man- wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your ner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before days, a work which ye shall in powise believe, the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the though a man declare it unto you.' Ac xiii. 41. Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will forth, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of

After that thou shalt cut it down. all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also ; go forth, and do so.' 1 Ki. Thus far we have treated of the barren fig-tree, xxi. 25; xxii. 20-22. Thou shalt persuade him, and or fruitless professor, with some signs to know him prevail; do thy will, I leave him in thy hand, go by; whereto is added also some signs of one who forth, and do so.

neither will nor can, by any means, be fruitful, but Wherefore, in these judgments the Lord doth they must miserably perish. Now, being come to much concern himself for the management thereof, the time of execution, I shall speak a word to that because of the provocation wherewith they have also ; • After that thou shalt cut it down.' provoked him. This is the inan whose ruin con- PROPOSITION SECOND. The death or cutting triveth, and bringeth to pass by his own contriv- down of such men will be dreadful.] ance: 'I also will choose their delusions' for them; Christ, at last, turns the barren fig-tree over to • I will bring their fears upon them.' Is. lxvi. 4. I the justice of God, shakes his hands of him, and will choose their devices, or the wickednesses that gives him up to the fire for his unprofitablencss. their hearts are contriving of. I, even I, will cause "After that thou shalt cut it down.' them to be accepted of, and delightful to them. Two things are here to be considered: But who are they that must thus be feared ? Why, First. The executioner ; thou, the great, the those among professors that have chosen their own dreadful, the eternal God. These words, therefore, ways, those whose soul delighteth in their abomina- as I have already said, signify that Christ the tions. Because they received not the love of the Mediator, through whom alone salvation comes, truth, that they might be saved: for this cause God and by whom alone execution hath been deferred, shall send them strong delusions, that they should now giveth up the soul, forbears to speak one sylbelieve a lie, that they all might be damned, who lable more for him, or to do the least act of grace believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unright- further, to try for his recovery; but delivereth him

up to that fearful dispensation, to fall into the * God shall send them.' It is a eat word! hands of the living God.' He. x. 31. Yea, God shall send them strong delusions; delu- Second. The second to be considered is, The insions that shall do: that shall make them believe strument by which this execution is done, and that a lie. Wly so? "That they all might be damned,' is death, compared here to an axe; and forasmuch every one of them, “who believed not the truth, but as the tree is not felled at one blow, therefore the had pleasure in unrighteousness.' 2 Thes. ii. 10–12. strokes are here continued, till all the blows be

There is nothing more provoking to the Lord, struck at it that are requisite for its felling: for than for a man to promise when God threateneth; now cutting time, and cutting work, is come; cutfor a man to be light of conceit that he shall be safe, ting must be his portion till he be cut down. and yet to be more wicked than in former days, After that thou shalt cut it down.' Death, I say, this man's soul abhorreth the truth of God; no is the axe, which God often useth, therewith to marvel, therefore, if God's soul abhorreth him; he take the barren fig-tree out of the vineyard, out of hath invented a way contrary to God, to bring a profession, and also out of the world at once. about his own salvation; no marvel, therefore, if But this are is now new ground, it cometh wellGod invent a way to bring about this man's damna-edged to the roots of this barren fig-tree. It hath tion: and seeing that these rebels are at this point, been whetted by sin, by the law, and hy a formal we shall have peace; God will see whose word will profession, and therefore must, and will make deep stand, his or theirs.

gashes, not only in the natural life, but in the heart A fifth sign of a man being past grace is, when and conscience also of this professor: • The wages he shall at this scoff, and inwardly grin and fret of sin is death,' the sting of death is sin.' Ro. vi 23. against the Lord, secretly purposing to continue his 1 Co. xv. 56. Wherefore death conies not to this man course, and put all to the venture, despising the as he doth to saints, muzzleil, or without his sting, messengers of the Lord. He that despised Moses' but with open mouth, in all his strength; yea, ho law, died without mercy; - of how much sorer pun- sends his first-born, which is guilt, to devour his ishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, strength, and to bring him to the king of terrors. who hath trodıen under foot the Son of God?' &c., Job xviii. 13, 14.

a

cousness.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

2

But to give you, in a few particulars, the manner But how will this man die? Cau his lieart now of this man's dying.

endure, or can his hands be strong ? Eze. xxii. 14. 1. Now he hath his fruitless fruits beleaguer him (1.) God, and Christ, and pity, have left him. round his bed, together with all the bands and Sin against light, against mercy, and the long-suflegions of his other wickedness. • His own ini- fering of God, is come up against him; his hope quities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall and confidence now lie a-dying by him, and his conbe holden with the cords of his sins.'I'r. v. 22. science totters and shakes continually within hin!

2. Now some terrible discovery of God is made (2.) Death is at his work, cutting of bim down, out unto him, to the perplexing and terrifying of hewing both bark and heart, both body and soul his guilty conscience. *God shall cast upon him, asunder. The man groans, but death hears him and not spare;' and he shall be afraid of that which not; he looks ghastly, carefully,dejectedly; he sighs, is high.' Job xxvii. 22. Ec. xii. 5.

he sweats, he trembles, but death matters nothing. 3. The dark entry he

to go through will be a (3.) Fearful cogitations haunt hiin, misgivings, sore amazement to him; for ' fears shall be in the direful apprehensions of God, terrify him. Now way.' Ec. xii. 5. Yea, terrors will take hold on him, he hath time to think what the loss of heaven will when he shall see the yawning jaws of death to be, and rhat the torments of hell will be: now ho gape upon him, and the doors of the slıadow of looks no way but lie is frighted. death open to give him passage out of the world. (4.) Now would he live, but may not; he would Now, who will meet me in this dark entry? how live, though it were but the life of a bed-rid man, shall I pass through this dark entry into another but he must not. He that cuts him down sways world?

him as the feller of wood sways tho tottering tree; 4. For by reason of guilt, and a shaking con- now this way, then that, at last a root breaks, a science, his life will hang in continual doubt before heart-string, an eye-string, sweeps asunder. him, and he shall be afraid day and night, and (5.) And now, could the soul be annihilated, or shall bave no assurance of his life. De. xxviii. 66, 67. brought to nothing, how happy would it count it. 5. Now also want will come up against him; he self, but it sees that may not be. Wherefore it is

a will come up

like an armed man. This is a terrible put to a wonderful strait; stay in the body it may army to him that is graceless in heart, and fruitless not, go out of the body it dares not. Life is going, in life. This want will continually cry in thine the blood settles in the ilesh, and the lungs being no cars, Here is a new birth wanting, a now heart, more able to draw breath through the nostrils, at and a new spirit wanting; here is faith wanting; last out goes the wcary trembling soul, which is here is love and repentance wanting; here is the immediately seized by devils, whu lay lurking in fear of God wanting, and a good conversation want every hole in the chamber for that very purpose. ing: • Thou art weighod in the balances, and art Ilis friends take care of the body, wrap it up in the found wanting.' Da v. 27.

sheet or coffin, but the soul is out of their thouglit 6. Together with these standeth by the com- and reach, going down to the chambers of death. panions of death, death and hell, death and devils, I had thought to liave enlarged, but I forbear. death and endless torment in the everlasting flames God, who teaches man to profit, bless this brief and of devouring fire. When God cometh up unto plain discourse to tlıy soul, who yet standest al prothe people he will invade them with his troops.' fessor in the land of the living, among the trees of

liis garden. Amen.

lat, iii. at

VOL, DIL

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MR. BADMAN,

PRESENTED TO THE WORLD IN

A FAMILIAR DIALOGUE BETWEEN MR. WISEMAN AND MR. ATTENTIVE.

BY JOIIN BUNYAN,
THE AUTHOR OF THE “Pilgrim's PROGRESS.'

Printed by J. A. for Naih. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, ncar the Church, 1650.

ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.

The life of Dadian is a very interesting descrip- reprinted the whole in the author's plain and powertion, a true and lively portraiture, of the demoral- ful language. ized classes of the trading community in the reign The life of Badman forms a third part to the of King Charles II. ; a subject which naturally led Pilgrim's Progress, not a delightful pilgrimage to the author to use expressions familiar among such heaven, but, on the contrary, a wretched downwarul persons, but which are now either obsolete or con- journey to the infernal realms. The author's obsidered as vulgar. In fact it is the only work ject is to warn poor thoughtless sinners, not withı proceeding from the prolific pen and fertile im- smooth words, to which they would take no heed ; agination of Bunyan, in which he uses terms that, but to thunder upon their consciences the peril of in this delicate and refined age, may give offence. their souls, and the increasing wretchedness into So, in the venerable translation of the holy oracles, i which they were madly hurrying. Ile who is in there are some objectionable expressions, which, imminent, but unseen danger, will bless the warnalthough formerly used in the politest company, ing voice if it reach his ears, however rough and now point to the age in which it was written. The startling the sound may be. same ideas or facts would now be expressed by The life of Badman was written in an age when terms which could not give offence; and every profligacy, vice, and debauchery, marched like a reader must feel great pleasure in the improvement desolating army through our land, headed by the of our language, as seen in the contrast between king, and officered by his polluted courtiers; leil the two periods, and especially in the recollection on with all the pomp and splendour which royalty that the facts might be stated with equal precision, could display. The king and his ministers well and reflections made with equal force, in terms at knew that the most formidable enemies to tyranny, which the most delicate mind could not be of- oppression, and misgovernment, were the piety and fended,

stern morality of the Puritans, Nonconformists, and Those who read the writings of Bunyan must the small classes of virtuous citizens of other defeel continually reminded of his ardent attachment nominations; and therefore every effort was made to his Saviour, and his intense love to the souls of by allurements and intimidation to debauch anı! sinners. He was as delicate in his expressions as demoralize their minds. p. 592. Well does Bunyan any writer of his age, who addressed the openly say that wickedness like a flood is like to drown vicious and profane-calling things by their most our English world. It has almost swallowed up forcible and popular appellations. A wilful untruth all our youth, our middle age,

and all are is, with him, 'a lie.' To show the wickedness and almost carried away of this flood. It reels to and extreme folly of swearing, he gives the words and fro like a drunkard, it is like to fall and rise no imprecations then commonly in use; but which, more.' • It is the very haunts and walks happily for us, we never hear, except among the of the internal spirits.'' England shakes and makes most degraded classes of society. Swearing was me totter for its transgressions.' formerly considered to be a habit of gentility ; but The gradations of a wicked min in that evil now it betrays the blackguard, even when disguised age, from his cradle to his grave, are graphically in genteel attire. Those dangerous diseases which set before the reader; it is all drawn from reality, are so surely engendered by filth and uncleanness, and not from efforts of imagination. Every exhe calls not by Latin but by their plain English ample is a picture of some real occurrence, either names. In every case, the Editor has not ven- within the view of the author, or from the narratured to make the slightest alteration; but has ! tives of credible witnesses. All the things that 1:er: I discourse of, lave been acted upon the stage our Lord's saying, 'with what measure ye mete. of this world, even many times before mine eyes.' it shall be measured to you again.' Badman is represented as having had the very Bunyan's pictures, of which the life of Badman great advantage of pious parents, and a godly is a continued series, are admirably painted from master, but run riot in wickedness from his child life. The extraordinary depths of hypocrisy, used hood. Lying and pilfering mark his early days; in gaining the affections of a pious wealthy young followed in after life by swearing, cheating, drunk woman, and entrapping her ivto a marriage, are enness, hypocrisy, infidelity and atheism. His admirably drawn, as is its companion or counterconscience became hardened to that awful extent, i part, when Badman, in his widower-hood, suffers that he had no bands in his death. The career an infamous strumpet to inveigle him into a miserof wickedness las often been so pictured, as to able marriage, as he so richly deserved. The encourage and cherish vice and profanity—to ex. death-bed scene of the pious broken-hearted Mrs. cite the unregenerate mind to ride post by other Badman, is a masterpiece. In fact the whole is men's sins. 'l Not so the life of Badman. The a series of pictures drawn by a most admirable ugly, wretched, miserable consequences that as- artist, and calculated to warn and attract the sinsuredly follow a vicious career, are here displayed ner from his downward course. in biting words - alarming the conscience, and In comparison with the times of Bunyan, Engawfully warning the sinner of his destiny, unless land has now become wonderfully reformed from happily lie finds that repentance that needeth not those grosser pollutions which disgraced her name. to be repented of. No debauchee ever read the Persons of riper age, whose reminiscences go

old age,

6

p. 593.

6

back life of Badman to gratify or increase his thirst for to the times of the slave trade, slavery, and war, sin. The tricks which in those days so generally will call to mind scenes of vice, brutality, open accompanied trading, are unsparingly exposed; debauchery and profligacy, which, in these peaceful becoming bankrupt to make money, a species of and prosperous times, would be instantly repressed robbery, which ought to be punished as felons; and properly punished. Should peace be preserved, double weights, too heavy for buying, and light to domestic, social, and national purity and happiness sell by, overcharging those who take credit, and must increase with still greater and more delightthe taking advantage of the necessities of others, ful rapidity. Civilization and Christianity will with the abuse of evil gains in debauchery, and its triumph over despotism, vice, and false religions, ensuing miseries, are all faithfully displayed. and the time be hastened on, in which the divine

In the course of the narrative, a variety of awful art of rendering each other happy will engross the cxamples of divine vengeance are introduced; some attention of all mankind. Much yet remains to be from that singular compilation, Clarke's Looking- done for the conversion of the still numerous family glass for Saints and Sinners; others from • Beard's connections of Mr. Badman; but the leaven of Theatre of God's Judgments; and many that hap-Christianity must, in spite of all opposition, even. pened under the author's own immediate know- tually spread over the whole mass. ledge. The faithfulness of his extracts from books Homely proverbs abound in this narrative, all has been fully verified. The awful death of Dorothy of which are worthy of being treasured up in our Dlately, of Ashover, in Derbyshire, mentioned in memories. Is nothing so secret but it will be re11. 604, I had an opportunity of testing, by the vealed ? we are told that • Hedges have

eyes

and uid of my kind friend, Thomas Bateman, Esq., of pitchers have ears." They who encourage evil Yolgrave. lle sent me the following extract propensities are nurses to the devil's brats.' It from tiie Ashover Register for 1660:- Dorothy is said of him who, hurries on in a career of folly Mately, supposed wife to Jolin Flint of this parish, and sin, • The devil rides him off his legs.' • As forswore herself ; whereupon the ground opened, the devil corrects vice,' refers to those who prelend and slie sunk over head, March 23, and being found to correct bad habits by means intended to prodead, she was buried, March 25. Thus fully con- mote them. The devil is a cunning schoolmaster.' tirming the facts, as stated by Bunyan. Solemn Satan taking the wicked into his foul embraces is providences, intended, in the inscrutable wisdom of like to like, as the devil' said to the collier.' God, for wise purposes, must not be always called In two things the times have certainly improved. • divine judgments.' A ship is lost, and the good Bunyan describes all . pawnbrokers’ to have been with the bad, sink together; a missionary is mur- vile wretches,' and, in extortion, the women to be dered; a pious Malay is martyred; still no one can worse than the men. p. 638. Happily for our days, suppose that these are instances of divine vengeance. good and even pious pawnbrokers may be found, But when the atrocious bishop Bonner, in his old who are honourable exceptions to Mr. Bunyan's age, miserably perishes in prison, it reminds us of sweeping rule; nor do our women in any respect

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

1

· Reynolds' preface to God's Revenge against Muriler.

2

See note on p. 606.

« 上一页继续 »