• At

13 They

(Job xxix. 13).

good Lord had respect to the desire of his servant; | to the pulpit-door, and there it hath been taken off, for I had not preached long before some began to and I have been at liberty in my mind until I have be touched, and be greatly afflicted in their minds done my work, and then, immediately, even before at the apprehension of the greatness of their sin, I could get down the pulpit stairs, I have been as and of their need of Jesus Christ.

bad as I was before : yet God carried me on with • But I at first could not believe that God should a strong hand, for neither guilt nor hell could take speak by me to the heart of any man, still counting me off my work. Thus I went on for the

space myself unworthy; yet those who were thus touched of two years, crying out against men's sins, and would love me, and have a particular respect for their fearful state because of them.'2 me; and though I did put it from me that they A man so much in earnest soon became a most should be awakened by me, still they would con- acceptable and popular preacher. He studied his fess it, and affirm it before the saints of God. They sermons carefully, and wrote such memorandums would also bless God for me, unworthy wretch that and notes as might refresh his memory before going I am! and count me God's instrument that showed into the pulpit, although his intensity of feeling, to them the way of salvation.

his ready utterance, and natural eloquence which •Wherefore, seeing them in both their words and charmed his hearers, and his extensive usefulness deeds to be so constant, and also in their hearts so as a preacher, render it quite improbable that he earnestly pressing after the knowledge of Jesus restricted himself to notes while publicly engaged Christ, rejoicing that ever God did send me where in sacred services. They must have aided him they were; then I began to conclude that it might when he did not enjoy liberty of utterance. be so, that God had owned in his work such a times when I have begun to speak the Word with foolish one as I ; and then came that word of God much liberty, I have been presently so straitened to my heart with much sweet refreshment, “The in speech that I scarcely knew what I was about, blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon or as if my head had been in a bag.'3 me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for were valuable, also, as a proof that all he said joy

had its exclusive reference to the world to come, • At this therefore I rejoiced ; yea, the tears of without the mixture of politics, which might those whom God did awaken by my preaching have given offence to the Government. Thus, would be both solace and encouragement to me. when he was apprehended for neglecting to attend I thought on those sayings, “ Who is he that the church service and for preaching the gospel, maketh me glad, but the same that is made sorry in his conversation with Mr. Cobb, the magisby me" (2 Cor. ii. 2). And again, “ Though I be trate's clerk, he said that, to cut off all occanot an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am unto sions of suspicion from any, as touching the you: for the seal of my apostleship are ye in the harmlessness of my doctrine, in private I would Lord” (1 Cor. ix. 2). These things, therefore, were willingly take the pains to give any one the notes as an another argument unto me, that God had of all my sermons, for I do sincerely desire to livo called me to, and stood by me in this work. quietly in my country, and to submit to the present

* In my preaching of the Word I took special authority.'4 In such troublesome times these notice of this one thing, namely, that the Lord did would afford abundant proof that he was desirous lead me to begin where his Word begins with sin- of submitting to all the political institutions of his ners ; that is, to condemn all flesh, and to open country, while he dared not conform to human laws and allege, that the curse of God by the law doth affecting his faith or his mode of worshipping God, belong to, and lay hold on all men as they come for which he alone was to stand answerable at the into the world, because of sin. Now this part of great day. my work I fulfilled with great feeling, for the terrors of the law, and guilt for my transgressions, 2 Grace Abounding, vol. i., p. 42. The taunts and revil. lay heavy on my own conscience. I preached what ings of a poet laureate upon Bunyan's preaching and sufferings

need only a passing notice. No words could be more vile and I felt, what I smartingly did feel, even that under slanderous than those of Mr. Southey. He says, 'Peace might which my poor soul did groan and tremble to as- be on his lips, and zeal for the salvation of others in his heart, tonishment. Indeed, I have been as one sent to but he was certainly, at that time, no preacher of good will

, them from the dead; I went myself in chains to good will, but by ' peace on his lips?' and what is the criteriou

nor of christian charity.' How can we judge of a preacher's preach to them in chains ; and carried that fire in of Christian charity, except it be "zeal for the salvation of my own conscience that I persuaded them to be others in his heart?"

3 Grace Abounding, No. 293, vol. i., 44. ware of.? I can truly say, that when I have been

* Vol. i., p. 59. Eben. Chandler thus describe: Bunyan : to preach, I have gone full of guilt and terror even *His wit was sharp and quick, his memory tenacious ; it being

customary with him to commit his sermons to writing after 1 If Christians recollected with what anxiety their teachers he had preached them.'-Chandler and Wilson's Preface lo prepared and delivered their sermons, how constant and prayer. Bunyan's Works, folio. 1692. All these autographs have in. ful would be their attendance on the means of grace. accountably disappeared.

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The employment of his time in earning a of the gospel in their native purity, simplicity, paintenance for his family, and his constant en- and beauty, as an antidote to fanaticism. The gagements to preach, interfered with the proper learned and eloquent looked with contempt upon fulfilment of his duties as a deacon of the church. the follies of the Ranters, Fannilists, and some loose His resignation of this important office is thus Quakers, “and only deigned to abuse them with rail. fecorded in the minutes of the church— At a lery, while the poor unlettered tinker wrote against meeting held on the 27th of the 6th month, 1657, them.' To indite a work would be to him a pleasant tie deacon's office was transferred from Jolin Bun recreation, but writing a book must have been exyan to John Pernie, because he could no longer tremely difficult, and have required extraordinary padischarge its duties aright, in consequence of his tience. This will be better seen by a specimen of his being so much employed in preaching.'

handwriting, now in the Bedford Library, found in We cannot wonder that his time was incessantly Fox's Book of Martyrs, the three volumes of which employed. His was no ordinary case. He had beguiled many of his tedious hours wlieu in prison. to recover and improve upon the little education he had received, and lost again by dissipated habits. He must have made every effort, by his diligent study of the Bible, to gain that spiritual knowledge which alone could enable him to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ, and that profound internal converse with the throne of God which appears in all his writings. In addition to all this, he was engaged in continual controversy with a variety of sects, which, in his sober judg- To write a volume, containing about twenty-fivo ment, opposed the simplicity of the gospel. Among thousand words, must have been a serious task to these the Ranters, or Sweet Singers, were very such a scribe. conspicuous. It is difficult to discover what were It is interesting to trace his improvement in their opinions, but they appear to have been nearly caligraphy while recovering his lost education, and like the Dutch Adamites ; they were severely per- advancing in proficiency in an art so essential to secuted, by public authority, under the Common-' his constantly extending usefulness. wealth, for blasphemy. George Fox found some of them in prison at Coventry in 1649, and held a short disputation with them. They claimed each one to be God, founding their notion on such

assages as 1 Cor. xiv. 25, "God is in you of a truth.' Fox quaintly asked them whether it would rain the next day; and upon their answering that they could not said I unto them, God can tell.""* Strange goth the ord le

as it may appear, the Ranters which

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had many followers, while
numerous pious people were
troubled by their impudenco
and perversion of Scripture,
but more especially by their • Doth the owle to them apper

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Which put them all into a fear


Fright the owle unto the ground.' Taking advantage of the inquiries that were excited The above signatures in Fox's Book of Martyrs (one of his first acquisitions in by these strange doctrines,

book-collecting), are remarkably rude and laboured; a great effort to produce his Bunyan determined to be

name handsomely such as a young scribe would contemplate with no small degree

of satisfaction. On a page of that book, under the engraving of an owl appearing come an author, that he

at a council held by Pope John at Rome, he had written the above four lines. might set forth more extensively than he could do by preaching, the truths | The next is a more useful running hand, howNoticed in the life annexed to Pilgrim, Part III.

ever defective in orthography and grammar ; it is


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from the first page of a copy of Bishop Andrews' appears, that in the course of his itinerating lasermons 1

bours, he was much grieved with the general depra

vity which had overspread all classes of society. Evil communications had corrupted the great muss, and occasioned an aversion to hear the gospel, which plunged the people

into carnal security. When roused The inscription in a copy of his Holy City, 1665, by liis preaching they too often found refuge in in Dr. Williams' or the Dissenters' Library, Red despair, or in vain attempts to impose upon God Cross Street, is in a still more useful hand, as good their unholy self-righteousness, endeavouring 'to as that of most authors of that day

earu heaven with their fingers' ends ;'* anything

rather than submit to receive salvation as the free gift of God, and thus be led to consecrate all their powers to his glory and the comfort of society. A few who

appeared to have thought on this solemn 개

subject, without any change of conduct, are called by Bunyan light notionists, with here and there a legalist,'" or those who relied upon a creed without the fruits of righteousness, and some of these imbibcd notions of the strangest kind-that the light within was all-sufficient, without any written revelation of the will of God -that the account of Christ's personal appearance on earth was a myth, to represent his residence in the persons of be

lievers, in whom he suffers, is crucified, The autograph in Powell's Concordance, in the buried, and raised again to spiritual life-that such library of the Baptist Academy, Bristol, is in a fair persons might do whatever their inclinations led them land

to, without incurring guilt or sin ; in short, many sinned that grace might abound!! Some of them professed to be the Almighty God manifest in the

flesh. All this took place in what was called a Ilis autograph is in possession of the Society of Christian country, upon which millions of treasure Antiquaries. The document to which it is sub- had been spent to teach religion by systems, which scribed is written in a remarkably neat hand, had persecuted the honest, pious professors of vital addressed to the Lord Protector. The signatures Christianity to bonds, imprisonment, and death. appear to be written as if in the writer's best style. This had naturally involved the kingdom in impiety

and gross immorality. The discovery of the awful state of his country, while he was engaged in preaching in the villages round Bedford induced

him, in the humble hope of doing good, to become Signature to the decd of gift3_

an author, and with trembling anxiety lie issued to the world the first production of his pen, in 1656, under the title of Some Gospel Truths Opened according to the Scriptures; and, as we shall presently find, it met with a rough reception, plunging him into controversy, which in those

days was conducted with bitter acrimony. In addition to the motives which have beenBefore it was published, he sought the appronoticed as inducing him to become an author, it bation and protection of Mr. John Burton, who

had been united with Mr. Gifford in the pastoral ? In the editor's library, folio, 1635. Orthography was little charge of the church to which Bunyan belonged. cared for in those days. On the beautiful portrait of Andrews, The testimony that he gives is very interesting :is the autograph of Annie Brokett hir Blook! ? This document is copied ou page xxvi. lui.

4 Vol. ii., p. 132.

• Vol. i., p. 133.

lotin Bunyan

John Bungan

John Bunyan


3 See page


'Ilere thou hast things certain and necessary to be be- furious and fearful energy and powerful eloquence, lieved, which thou canst not too much study. Therefore to repent, and cry unto God, that his mercy might pray that thou mayest receive it, so it is according to the be extended to the salvation of their immortal souls. Scriptures, in faith and love, not as the word of man but as the word of God, and be not offended, because Christ Their zeal led them to many breaches of good holds forth the glorious treasure of the gospel to thee in

manners. They would enter churches, and after a poor earthen vessel

, by one who hath neither the great the service, when the quiet folks were thinking of ness nor the wisdom of this world to commend him to thee; gratifying their bodies with a substantial dinner, for as the Scripture saith, Christ, who was low and contemp. they were arrested by the violent declamation of a tible in the world himself, ordinarily chooseth such for himself

man or woman, frequently denouncing the priest and for the doing of his work. “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called : but as being the blind leading the blind. This natuGod hath chosen the foolish things of the world.” This mau rally led to a scene of riot and confusion, in which [Bungan] is not chosen out of an earthly, but out of the the Quakers were in many cases, handled with heavenly university, the church of Christ, furnished with the great barbarity. Among these disturbers were Spirit, gifts, and graces of Christ -- out of which, to the end of mingled persons of bad character. The violence of the world, the word of the Lord and all true gospel ministers sectarian feeling in the churches thus disturbed, must proceed. And, though this man hath not the learning made no discrimination between bad and good ; or wisdom of man; yet, through grace, he hath received the teaching of God, and the learning of the Spirit of Christ. He they were equally subjected to the roughest treathath taken these three heavenly degrees-union with Christ, ment. Bunyan attacked those who denied that the anointing of the Spirit, and experience of the temptations Christ had appeared in the world as Emmanuel, of Satan—which do more fit a man for the mighty work of God with us in fashion as a man,' that by the preaching the gospel, than all the university learning and de-infinite merits of his life and death imputed to grees that can be had. I have had experience with many other believers, they might be made holy. His attack saints of this man's (Bunyan's) soundness in the faith, his godly conversation, and his ability to preach the gospel, not by

was also directed against those who refused obohunan art, but by the Spirit of Christ, and that with much dience to the written Word, or who relied upon success in the conversion of sinpers. I thought it my duty to inward light in contradistinction and preference to bear witness with my brother to these glorious truths of the the Bible. The title to Burrough's answer is a Lord Jesus Christ.''

strange contrast to the violence of his languagem Bunyan was twenty-eight years of age when he The Gospel of Peace contended for in the Spirit of published this work, and as he attacked the follies of Meckness and Love. In this spirit of meekness his times, and what he deemed to be heresies, were he calls his opponents crafty fowlers preying exposed to Scripture light and condemned without upon the innocent;' and lovingly exclaims, How mercy, it very naturally involved him in controversy. long shall the righteous be a prey to your teeth, This brought forth the remarkable resources of his ye subtle foxes ; your dens are in darkness, and mind, which was stored with the Scriptures—his your mischief is hatched upon your beds of secret fearlessness — ready wit and keen retort, much whoredoms.' The unhallowed spirit of the age sanctified by an earnest desire for the salvation of mistook abuse for argument, and harsh epithets his opponents. An extraordinary man, younger

for faithful dealing.? than himself, full of energy and enthusiasm, entered Bunyan replied in A Vindication of Gospel the lists with him ; and in Edward Burrough, very Truths, to the great satisfaction of all his friends ; properly called a son of thunder and of consola- and although Burrough answered this tract also, tion, Bunyan found an able disputant. He was Bunyan very wisely allowed his railing opponent talented, pious, and fearless in his Master's work, to have the last word, and applied his great powers and became eminently useful in laying the founda- to more important labours than cavilling with one tion of the Society of Friends. Soon after this who in reality did not differ with him. The he was numbered with the noble army of martyrs Quaker had been seriously misled by supposing at the age of twenty-eight, being sacrificed in that the Baptist was a hireling preacher; and we Newgate, at the shrine of religious intolerance. must be pleased that he was so falsely charged, At this time the Quakers were not united as a

because it elicited a crushing reply. Burrough, body, and consequently there was no test of cha

2 The American authors of a recent life of Burrough, racter nor rules of discipline for those who assumed (William and Thomas Evans, Philadelphia, republished by Gil. that name. They were very dissimilar men to their pin, London, 1851), have given an uufair account of his con. quiet and unobtrusive descendants. The markets, troversy with Bunyan, drawn from Burrough's works in the

shape of a supposed dialogue. Such a disputation can only fairs, and every public concourse were attended be understood by reading both sides of the question. We by them, denouncing false weights and measures, unite with them in adroiring the character of that young but drunkenness and villany, with the curses of the noble martyr. They are, however, wrong in their conclusion

that 'the meekness and gentleness of Christ softened and Almighty, calling upon the people, frequently with adorned his whole character. He was one of those that are

called in the Holy War, 'rough hewn men fit to break the I Vol.ü., pp. 140, 141.

ice.' Vol. iii. p. 270.

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in reply to an imputation made by Bungan, that immersed in the same deep and solemn regenerathe Quakers were the false prophets alluded to tion, and their 'ardent object was the same—to in Scripture, observed that in those days there spread the influence of the kingdom of Christ. was not a Quaker heard of.“Friend,' replied When Christians of various denominations meet Bunyan, “thou hast rightly said, there was not a in prayer, how it melts down their sectarian Quaker heard of indeed, though there were many bitterness. In this controversy, mention is made Christians heard of then, Again, to defend thy- of a total abstinence movement in the time of self thou throwest the dirt in my face, saying, if the commonwealth, a germ which has put forth we should diligently trace thee, we should find thee its mighty efforts in our more peaceful and happy in the steps of the false prophets, through fancied times. A cloud now hovered over Bunyan, and words, through covetousness, making merchandise threatened him with troubles of a very different of souls, loving the wages of unrighteousness. kind to those of religious controversy. It will To which Bunyan replied ; Friend, dost thou startle many of our readers to hear that, under speak this as from thy own knowledge, or did any the government of Cromwell, Bunyan was perseother tell thee so ? However, that spirit that led cuted for his religious opinions and practices. thee out this way, is a lying spirit; for though I Mr. Jukes, in his interesting History of Bunyan's be poor, and of no repute in the world as to out- Church, thus refers to it: Soon after he had ward things, yet through grace I have learned, by resigned the office of deacon iu 1657, the hand the example of the apostle, to preach the truth, of persecution was raised against him; for at a and also to work with my hands, both for mine meeting of the church, held on the 25th day of own living, and for those that are with me, when the twelfth month, in the same year (Feb. 1658), I have opportunity. And I trust that the Lord it was agreed that the 3d day of the next month be Jesus, who hath helped me to reject the wages of set apart to seek God in the behalf of our brother unrighteousness hitherto, will also help me still, Wheeler, who hath been long ill in body, whereby so that I shall distribute that which God hath his ministry hath been hindered ; and also about given me freely, and not for filthy lucre sake.'' the church affairs, and the affairs of the nation ; Thus had he learned of the apostle to make the and for our brother Whitbread, who has long been gospel of Christ without charge' (1 Co. ix. 18); and ill; and also for counsel what to do with respect upou this subject they strangely agreed. The same to the indictment of brother Bunyan at the assizes, agreement existed between them upon the necessity for preaching at Eaton.'? of inward light from the Holy Spirit ; without Although persecution for religious opinions aswhich they both considered the Bible to be a dead sumed a milder form under the Commonwealth, the letter. The peculiar principle which separates the great principles of religious freedom and equality Quaker from every other Christian community, has were neither known nor practised. The savage nothing to do with the light within. Upon that barbarities perpetrated upon Prynne, Bastwick, subject all evangelical sects are agreed. The Burton, Leighton, and others, by Charles I. and substantial difference is whether our Lord intended his archbishop, Laud, were calculated to open the the work of the ministry to be exclusively a work eyes of the nation to the wickedness and inutility of benevolence, charity, and love, binding all who of sanguinary or even any laws to govern the conare capable of using the talent intrusted to them, science, or interfere with Divine worship. Alas ! to do it without worldly reward. Surely every even those who suffered and survived became, in man may be satisfied in his own mind upon such a their turn, persecutors. The great object of persesubject, without quarrelling with, or anathematiz- cution was the book of Common Prayer, the use of ing each other. Bunyan and Burrough agreed, which was rigorously prohibited. The clergy were without knowing it, in the sentiments of their placed in an extremely awkward predicament. No illustrious and learned cotemporary, John Milton, sooner was the Act of Parliament passed ordering as to the ministry being without charge; and had the Directory to be used and the Prayer-book to be they, when offended, followed their Master's rule, laid aside, than the king, by his royal proclamation, • If thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell issued from Oxford, November 13, 1645, ordered liim his fault between thee and him alone' (Mat. the Directory to be set aside, and the Common xviii. 16), had they met, and on their knees before Prayer to be used in all the churches and chapels. the throne of grace, sought from heaven wisdom Both these orders were under very severe penalties. and charity in defending Divine truth, we can easily The Act against atheistical opinions, which imagine that the approbation of God would have passed August 9, 1650, illustrates the extraordibeen manifested, by sending them on their impor- nary state of the times. The preamble states that, tant work in peaceful unity. They had been Divers men and women have lately discovered

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I Vol. ii., p. 201.

3 P. 16.

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