« 上一页继续 »
of our age,
At the assizes, a plea of guilty was recorded ; 1: And I reckon I shall not be out of the way if I and although numerous prisoners, charged with observe and say, What hath the devil or his agents crimes, were liberated at the coronation of Charles gotten by putting our great gospel minister, BunII., his case did not come within the proclamation, yan, in prison? for in prison, as before mentioned, and he appeared to be doomed to hopeless imprison- he wrote many excellent books, that have published ment or to an untimely end. Happily, the regu- to the world his great grace, and great truth, and lations of the jail allowed him the use of his Bible great judgment, and great ingenuity; and to inand Fox's Book of Martyrs, and of the materials stance, in one, The Pilgrim's PROGRESS,' be hath for writing. His time was beguiled with tagging suited to the life of a traveller so exactly and laces to provide for his poor family; in praying pleasantly, and to the life of a Christian, that this with and exhorting his fellow-prisoners, and in very book, besides the rest, hath done the superthe composing of books, which were extensively stitious sort of men and their practice more harm, published, for the instruction of the world. He or rather good, as I may call it, than if he had soon became, like Joseph in Pharaoh's prison, a been let alone at his meeting at Bedford to preach favourite with the jailer, who was at times severely the gospel to his own auditory, as it might have threatened for the privileges he allowed this fallen out; for none but priest-ridden people know prisoner for Christ. Among the books' that he how to cavil at it, it wins so smoothly upon their wrote in prison, we shall find that the most pro- affections, and so insensibly distils the gospel into minent and important one was the ‘Pilgrim's Pro- them; and hath been printed in France, Holland, gress.' Charles Doe, who was a personal friend . New England, and in Welsh, and about a hundred of Mr. Bunyan's, and who called him ' an apostle thousand in England, whereby they are made some
if we have any,' thus narrates the fact means of grace, and the author become famous, in his Struggler for the Preservation of Mr. John and may be the cause of spreading his other gospel Bunyan's Labours :'• In the year 1660 (being the books over the European and American world, and, year King Charles returned to England), having in process of time, may be so to the whole universe.' preached about five years, the rage of gospel ene- This agrees with Bunyan's marginal glossary, mies was so great, that, November 12th, they took as to the place where he was located when visited him prisoner, at a meeting of good people, and with this wondrous dream. “As I walked through put him in Bedford jail; and there he continued the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain about six years, and then was let out again, 1666. place, where was a den ; and I laid me down i:1 Being the year of the burning of London, and a that place to sleep; and as I slept I dreamed a little after his release, they took him again, at a dream.' The marginal note to that place where meeting, and put him in the same jail, where he was a den,' is • The Jail. This was first added lay six years more. And after he was released to the fourth edition, 1680; he had probably been again, they took him again, and put him in prison asked, what was meant by the den, and from that the third time; but that proved but for about half time, in every edition, he publishies that his meaning a year.
Whilst he was thus twelve years and a was, “THE JAIL.' That Bunyan attached much half in prison, he wrote several of his published importance to these marginal notes, as a key to his books, as by many of their epistles appears ;' as works, is plainly stated in his verses to the reader • Pray by the Spirit,' • Holy City,'Resurrection,' of the ‘Holy War:''Grace Abounding,' and others; also, “Toe Pil
Nor do thou go to work without my key GRIM'S PROGRESS,' as himself and many others
(In mysteries men soon do lose their way), have said.' Mr. Doe thus argues upon the fact:
And also turn it right, if thou would’st know
My riddle, and would'st with my heifer plough. this den, and he thus described it :- The men and women
It lies there in the window,* fare thee well,
Margent. felons associate together; their night rooms are two dungeons
My next may be to ring thy passing-bell. -only one court for debtors and felons-o infirmary 770 No language can be plainer. The author wishes bath.' - Howard's Lazarettoes and Prisons, 4to, 1789, p. 150. Well might Bunyan call it ‘a den!' The gate-house was all his readers to understand where he conceived pulled down in 1765, and the prison was demolished very soon and wrote the ‘Pilgrim's Progress. He says
that after Howard had unveiled its gloomy wretchedness. bridge was only fourteen feet wide; the dungeons must have it was in ‘a den.' He puts his key to this word been small indeed. How strange an apartment did God select in the window, and upon turning the key right, for his servant, in which to write this important book ! it discovers the den to be Bedford jail. In this
A deeply-interesting paper usually appended to Bunyan’s dismal den he tranquilly slept; like the Psalmist, Works, foiio, 1692.
2 Upon his first release from prison, in 1666, he published he feared not ten thousands of people, "I laid me Grace Abounding,' and in the title-page states “ also what he down and slept: I awaked, for the Lord sustained hath met with in prison. All which was written by his own me.' And why? It was because • I cried unto the hand there. The Preface to 'A Defence of Justification' is dated from prison, 1071. So his Confession: --" Thine in Lord,” thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my bonds for the gospel.'
glory, and the lifter up of mine head.' Ps. iii. Like
Peter, with a conscience void of offence, he slept connect the term 'den 'with his cell in the prison. while a prisoner in a jail.' And although Bunyan Thus, when narrating his spiritual imprisonment in had no angel from heaven to open the prison doors Doubting Castle, the Giant, instead of ordering before him, he had that heavenly communion which lis prisoners to their cell or dungeon, says, “Get filled his soul with peace, and fitted him to write you down into your des again. So also in the for the instruction of mankind. The rapidity with preface to “Grace Abounding, 'he thus addresses his which the conception of the ‘Pilgrim's Progress' converts: 'I being taken from you in presence, came over his mind and was reduced to writing, and so tied up that I cannot perform that duty he thus describes :
that from God doth lie upon me to youward, I
now once again, as before, from the top of Shenir “And thus it was: I writing of the way
and Hermon, so now from the lion's DEN do look And race of saints, in this our gospel day, Fell suddenly into an allegory
yet after you all, greatly longing to see your safe About their journey, and the way to glory.
arrival into the desired haven.' In more than twenty things, which I set down;
The continuation of Grace Abounding’ was This done, I twenty more had in my crown; written by “a true friend and long acquaintance' of And they again began to multiply,
Mr. Bunyan's; • That his good end may be known Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.
as well as his evil beginning, I have taken upon Nay then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
me from my knowledge, and the best account given I'll put you by yourselves, lest you at last Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out
by other of his friends, to piece this to the thread, The book that I already am about.
too soon broken off, and so lengthen it out to his
entering upon eternity.' In this we are told of Thus I set pen to paper with delight,
his long imprisoumeut, and that IN PRISON JE And quickly had my thoughts in black and white. WROTE the • Pilgrim's Progress,' First Part. The For having now my method by the end,
mode in which it was written, and the use made Still as I pull’d, it came; and so I penn'd
of it, in illustrating his addresses to his fellowIt down; until at last it came to be, For length and breadth, the biguess which you sce.'
prisoners, has been handed down by one of them,
Mr. Marsom, an estimable and pious preacher, who This simple statement requires no comment. was confined with Mr. Bunyan in Bedford jail, for In jail he was writing some book of the way and conscience' sake. His grand-daughter married Mr. race of saints,' most probably his own spiritual Gurney, the grandfather of the late Baron Gurney, experience, when the idea came over his mind to and of W. B. Gurney, Esq., his brother, the justlyrepresent a Christian's course from his conviction venerated Treasurer of the Baptist Missionary of sin to his arrival in glory, as a journey from the Society, and le furnished me with the following city of destruction to the celestial city. This is facts: • Thomas Marsom was an ironmonger, and the opinion, very elegantly expressed, of Dr. pastor of the Baptist Church at Luton; he died in Cheever; “As you read the “Grace Abounding,” January 1726, at a very advanced age. This you are ready to say at every step, Here is the Thomas Marsom was a fellow-prisoner with Bunfuture author of the “ Pilgrim's Progress.” It is yan; and my grandfather, who knew him well, was as if you stood by the side of some great sculptor, in the habit of repeating to his son, my father, and watched every movement of his chisel, having many interesting circumstances which he had had his design explained to you before, so that at heard from him, connected with his imprisonment. every blow some new trait of beauty in the future One of these was, that Bunyan read the manuscript statue comes clearly into view.' While thus em- of the ‘Pilgrim's Progress' to his fellow-prisoners, ployed, he was suddenly struck with the thought requesting their opinion upon it. The descriptions of his great allegory, and at once commenced naturally excited a little pleasantry, and Marsom, writing it, and in a short time his first part was who was of a sedate turn, gave his opinion against completed. It may be inferred that he wrote the publication ; but on reflection, requested perthese two books about the same time, because mission to take the manuscript to his own cell, what he omitted in the first edition of "Grace that he might read alone. Having done so, he Abounding' he also omitted in the first edition of returned it with an earnest recommendation that the ‘Pilgrim's Progress,' but inserted it in the sub- it should be published.' How easily can we inasequent editions of both these books; one of these gine the despised Christians in prison for their is his singular illustration of gospel truth from the Lord's sake, thus beguiling the dreary hours. unclean beasts, being those that neither chewed How admirably could the poor preacher illustrate the cud nor divided the hoof-one of the conver- his discourses to his fellow.prisoners by the various sations between Hopeful and Christian. This is adventures of his pilgrims. IIe bad received calls also introduced as an addition to 'Grace Abound- to join more wealthy churches, but he affectioning,' No. 71. It was familiar with Bunyan to ately cleaved to his poor fock at Bedford Sup.
pose his exhortation to have been founded on these notwithstanding his very numerous and important words, Freely ye have received, freely give;' how engagements, Bunyan found time to cultivate and admirably could he introduce all the jesuitic sub- improve his talents in composition, between the tleties of Bye-ends, Money-love, and his party, time when he wrote the first, and published th19 and refute the arguments they had been taught by second edition. one Gripe-man of Love Gain, a market town in The reason why it was not published for several the county of Coveting, in the north. Imagine years after his release, appears to have arisen from him to be exhorting his fellow-prisoners on the the difference of opinion expressed by his friends • Terrors of the Lord,' and you would anticipate as to the propriety of printing a book which treated his leading in the burdened Christian, recount so familiarly the most solemn subjects. ing the awful dream of the day of judgment, at
*Well, when I bad thus put my ends together, the Interpreter's house, and narrating his ad
I show'd them others, that I might see whether ventures in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. They would condemn them, or them justify: Or when preaching on the words, Resist the And some said, Let them live; some, Let them die. devil,' who like him could recount the fight with
Some said, Johu, print it; others said, Not so. Apollyon?
Some said, It might do good; others said, No.' These facts are placed before the reader lest any
Somewhat similar to this, was the conference of one should for a moment entertain a doubt which dissenting ministers when Sunday Schools were would cast a shade over one of the glories of the first attempted; the desecration of the Lord's Day • Pilgrim's Progress.' It is an imperishable monu- was pleaded against them, and it was only by a ment to the folly and wickedness of persecution to very small majority that institutions were sancprevent the spread of religious principles. The tioned, which advanced the spread of Divine truth enemies of the Christian faith imprisoned John with a rapidity as extraordinary as the spread of Bunyan to prevent his preaching the gospel to a the missionary spirit, or even as is the increased few poor people, and by it he preaches and will speed of travelling by the aid of steam. preach to millions of every clime. Keep these Thus it was debated whether the Pilgrim should facts in recollection—the evidence of C. Doe who walk forth or not, fearing lest the singularity of had it from Bunyan's own mouth; his own key- his dress should excite vain or trivial thoughts in *den,'' the jail ;' the testimony of one who long the readers, like the disturbance at Vanity Fair; enjoyed his friendship, published within four years or it might arise from a fear lest the various charof his decease ; the tradition handed down by a acters and dialogues should be considered as apfellow-prisoner—none of which evidence was ever proaching in the slightest degree to the drama. denied by the advocates for persecution. If we It is impossible to account for the different feelings refuse such testimony, neither should we believe excited in the minds of men by reading the same if Bunyan was permitted to come from the invisible narrative in which all are equally interested. In world and proclaim its truth with the trump of an this case the fear was, lest it should tend to excite archangel.
a light or trifling spirit, while the solemn realities There are very strong internal proofs that the of eternity were under consideration. In most Pilgrim was written long before it was published. cases, reading this volume has had a solemnizing A second edition issued from the same press, by effect upon the mind. Some have tried to read it, the same publishers, in the same year, 1678; and but have shut it up with fear, because it leads there is found a striking difference in the spelling directly to the inquiry, Have I felt the burden of of many words in these two editions, such as sin ? Have I fled for refuge ? Others have been * drownded' is corrected to drowned, 'Slow of deterred, because it has such home-thrusts at Despond’ to · Slough of Despond,' chaulk 'to hypocrisy, and such cutting remarks upon those .chalk,' 'travailler' to traveller,' .countrey' to who profess godliness, but in secret are wanton • country,' “raggs' to 'rags,'« brust' to 'burst.' and godless. The folly of reliance upon an imperThis may readily be accounted for by the author's fect obedience to the law for the pardon of sin, having kept the work in manuscript for some years repeatedly and faithfully urged, is a hard and before it was printed, and that he had at length humbling lesson. It mercilessly exposes the consented to send it to the printers as he had worthlessness of ali chose things which are most written it. There is an apparent difference of prized by the worldling. No book has so continued twenty years in the orthography of these two and direct a tendency to solemn self-examination. books, which were published in the same year, Every character that is drawn makes a powerful besides some considerable additions of new char- appeal to the conscience, and leads almost irresistacters in the second edition. The printer appears ibly to the mental inquiry, 'Lord, is it I ?' No to have followed the manuscript as to spelling, work is calculated to infuse deeper solemnity into punctuation, capitals, and italics. It proves, that the mind of an attentive reader.
Mr. Macaulay in his review say, "The allegory of
CHAPTER III. Bunyan has been read by many thousands with tears;' or as some pious man has written
BUNYAN'S QUALIFICATIONS 10 WRITE THE 'PILGRU'S PROupon
GRESS' SANCTIFIED BY PRISON DISCIPLINE. the fly-leaf of the fourth edition, 1680–
That the author of the Pilgrim was pre-eminently 'Sleep on, good man, Continue still thy dreame.
qualified to write such a work is proved by its Your allegories do,
vast circulation, and by the extraordinary interest I think, resemble
which it created, and has kept alive, for nearly two Some landskip vision
centuries, throughout the world. This ought not At which souls tremble.'
to excite surprise, when it is recollected that it In addition to the serious opposition of his was the production of a man profoundly learned in friends to the publication of the Pilgrim, we should all the subtleties of the human heart; deeply skilled also consider the author's other engagements. in detecting error and sophistry; thoroughly humAfter so long, so harassing, so unjust an impri- bled under a sense of his own unworthiness. He bonment, much of his time must have been spent was baptized into the Divine truths of Christianity in restoring order to his house and in his church; by the searching, wounding, and healing influences in paying pastoral visits, recovering lost stations of the Holy Spirit. Shut up for twelve years with which had been suspended during the violence of his Bible, all the rags
and heathenism persecution, and in extending his devotional and were stripped off, and he came out a living body ministerial exercises in all the villages around of divinity, comparatively free from mere human Bedford which were within his reach. Such was doctrines or systems. The spirit of the prophets the great extent of his labours in that and the and apostles breathes in his language. His was adjoining counties, as to obtain for him the title of an education which all the academies and univerBishop of Bedford. As his popular talents became sities in the world could not have communicated. known, the sphere of his usefulness extended, so He was deeply learned in that “wisdom that is that an eye-witness testified, that when he preached from above,' Ja. iii. 17, and can be acquired only in in London, “if there were but one day's notice the school of Christ. His spirit was nurtured by given, there would be more people come together close, unwearied, prayerful searching of the Word to hear him preach, than the meeting-house could of life—by perpetual watchfulness over the work. hold.
I have seen, to hear him preach, about ings of his spirit, and by inward communion with twelve hundred at a morning lecture, by seven God. He knew well what was meant by 'groano'clock on a working day, in the dark winter ings which cannot be uttered,' Ro. viii. 26, as well as time.” Such popularity must have occasioned a by being 'caught up,' as it were, to the third heaconsiderable tax upon his time, in addition to ven,' even to paradise,' and in his spirit to hear which he was then warmly engaged in his contro- unspeakable words which it is not possible for man versy on Baptism, and in some admirable practi- to utter.' 2 Co. xii. 4. Previous to his imprisonment cal works. These were probably some of the he had gone through every severe spiritual trial: reasons why a humble, pious author, hesitated with the Psalmist he had sunk in deep mire where for several years to publish a work, on the practi- there was no standing; the powers of darkness, cal bearings of which his friends had expressed like the floods, overflow me,' Pg. lxix. 2 ; and with such opposite opinions. At length he made up him he could also sing, ‘I will extol thee, O Lord, his mind
for thou hast lifted me up,' Ps. xxx. 1; • Thou hast Since you are thus divided,
brought up my soul from the grave,' Ps. xxx. 3; 'He I print it will; and so the case decided.'
brought me up out of an horrible pit,' Ps. xl 2 ;
• Thou hast healed me;' .Thou hast put off my 2 By Thomas Collins, written on the blank leaf of the fourth sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. In his edition, 1680, presented to the Editor by Bullar, Esq., happier days, even while in a gloomy jail, he felt Southampton. 2 Charles Doe, in the Struggler.
that he was an inhabitant of that invisible, holy, * This controversy was, whether or not water-baptism is a spiritual Jerusalem, the universal church of Christ, pre-requisite to receiving the Lord's Supper, and who is to be encompassed by the · Lord as a wall of fire, and the judge as to the mode of its administration. Some of the tho glory in the midst of her.' He lived in an churches agreed with the Church of England as to their power to decree rites and ceremonies. Not so John Bunyan. He atmosphere, and used a language, unknown to the considered that this question should be left to the personal wisdom of this world, and which a poet-laureato decision of every candidate. The fruits of the new birth, the mistook for reveries, for the hot and cold fits of baptism of the Holy Ghost, which alone is the door of admission to the Saviour's family, was, in his opinion, the only a spiritual ague,' or for the paroxysms of disease.' question to be decided by the church, as a pre-requisite to Ilis mind was deeply imbued with all that was admission to the table of his Lord. See Mat. iii. Il; Mar. i. 8; Lu. ïï. 16; Jn, i. 26---33; compared with He. vi. 2, and Ep. iv. 5.
Southey's Life of Bunyan, xxxi. VOL. III.
most terrific, as well as most magnificent in reli- | only made new by the spirit of the Bible, but his gion. In proportion as his Christian course be- whole intellectual being was penetrated and transcame pure and lovely, so his former life must figured by its influence. He brought the spirit have been surveyed with unmitigated severity and and power, gathered from so long and exclusive abhorrence.
a communion with the prophets and apostles, to These mental conflicts are deeply interesting; the composition of every page of the "Pilgrim's they arose from an agonized mind—a sircere Progress.' and determined spirit roused by Divine revelation, Human character was unveiled before the peneopening before his astonished but bewildered mind, trating eye of one so conversant with the inspired solemn, eternal realities. He that sits in the writings; every weak point is seen, as well as the scorner's seat may scoff at them, while he who is advantage taken by the subtle enemy of souls ; earnestly inquiring after the way, the truth, and and all so admirably and plainly pictured that he the life, will examine them with prayerful serious- who runs must stop, read, and admire, even to his
In after-life, the recollection of these emo- surprise and wonder; and be constrained to intions filled his lips with words that pierced his quire, Whence had this
mechanic such knowhearers.
ledge ? When at liberty, bis energetic eloquence had Nor must it be forgotten, that in addition to his attracted to his sermons every class. It is said heavenly, he possessed peculiar earthly qualificathat the great Dr. John Owen was asked by the tions for his important work. He had been the King how a man of his learning could attend to very ringleader in all manner of vice and ungodlihear a tinker preach, he replied, "May it please ness. John Ryland's description of his character your Majesty, had I the tinker's abilities, I would is written with peculiar pungency: •No man of must gladly relinquish my learning.' Thus did a common sense and common integrity can deny, man, profoundly versed in scholastic literature, that Bunyan, the tinker of Elstow, was a practical and that sanctified by piety, bow to the superiority atheist, a worthless, contemptible infidel, a vile of the Spirit's teaching. The unlettered tinker rebel to God and goodness, a common profligate, led captive, by his consecrated natural eloquence, a soul-despising, a soul-murdering, a soul-damning one of the most eminent divines of his day. thoughtless wretch, as could exist on the face of
Considering the amazing popularity of the ‘Pil- the earth. Now be astonished, 0 heaven, to etergrim's Progress,' and its astonishing usefulness to nity, and wonder, 0 earth and hell! while time all classes of mankind, in all the countries of the endures. Behold this very man become a miracle earth, may we not attribute its author's deep and of mercy, a mirror of wisdom, goodness, holiness, hallowed feelings, severe trials, and every lesson truth, and love. See his polluted soul cleansed of Divine wisdom he received, as being intended and adorned by Divine grace, his guilt pardoned, by the Holy Spirit to fit him to write this sur- the Divine law inscribed upon his heart, the Divine prising Dream?
image or the resemblance of God's moral perfecBunyan was a master of rhetoric, and logic, and tions impressed upon his soul.” He had received moral philosophy, without studying those sciences, the mere rudiments of education, but vicious habits or perhaps even understanding the terms by which had almost utterly 'blotted out of his memory they are designated. His Bible (wondrous book !) every useful lesson; so that he must have had, was his library. All his genius was nurtured from when impressed with Divine truth, great deterthe living fountain of truth; it purified his style, mination to have enabled him not only to recover and adapted his work, by its simplicity and energy, the instruction which he had received in his to every understanding. His key to its mysteries younger days, but even to have added to it such was earnest, holy prayer; and musing over the stores of valuable information. In this, his natural human heart, and watching the operations of quickness of perception and retentive memory must nature, afforded him an ample illustration of its have been of extreme value. Having been mixed sacred truths. His labour in tagging laces required up intimately with every class of men, and seen no application of mind, so that his time for study them in their most unguarded moments, it enabled was every moment of his life that he could save him to draw his characters in such vivid colours, from sleep, and even then his ever-active spirit was and with such graphic accuracy. Filled with an busy in dreams, many of which contained valuable inspiration which could be drawn from the Bible lessons, so that his mind became most richly stored, alone, he has delineated characters as touching and was perpetually overflowing.
and interesting to us in the nineteenth century as The
poetry of the Bible was not less the source they were to our pilgrim forefathers of a bygone of Bunyan's poetical powers, than the study of the whole Scriptures was the source of his sim
1 North American Review, vol. lxxix. plicity and purity of style. His heart was not » Bunyan's Works, 8vo. Preface by Ryland.