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many of his jailers dared to show hi:n. In his times, justice declared—We know the Common Prayerimprisonment and fetters were generally companions. book hath been ever since the apostles' time, and is Thus he says—. When a felon is going to be tried, lawful to be used in the church!!' It is surprising his fetters are still making a noise on his heels.'' that such a dialogue was ever entered upon ; either So the prisoners in the Holy War are represented Keling was desirous of triumphing over the celeas being brought in chains to the bar' for trial. brated tinker, or his countenance and personal ap• The prisoners were handled by the jailer so pearance commanded respect. For soine cause he severely, and loaded so with irons, that they died was treated with great liberality for those times; in the prison." In many cases, prisoners for con- the extent of it may be seen by one justice askscience' sake were treated with such brutality, ing him, 'Is your God Beelzebub?' and another before the form of trial, as to cause their death. declaring that he was possessed with the devil ! By Divine_mercy, Bunyan was saved from these. All which,' says Bunyan, 'I passed over, the dreadful punishments, which have.censed as civili- Lord forgive them!' When, however, the justice zation has progressed, and now cloud the narratives was worsted in argument, and acknowledged that of a darker age.
he was not well versed in Scripture, he demanded After having lain in prison about seven weeks, the prisoner's plea, saying, “Then you confess the the session was held at Bedford, for the county; indictment ?' • Now,' says Bunyan, “and not till and Bunyan was placed at the bar, indicted for now, I saw I was iudicted; and said "This I conderilishly and perniciously abstaining from coming fess, we have had many meetings together, both to to church to hear Divine service, and as a common pray to God, and to exhort one another; and that upholder of several unlawful meetings and con- we had the sweet comforting presence of the Lord Fenticles, to the great disturbance and distraction among us for our encouragement (blessed be his of the good subjects of this kingilom, contrary to name!); therefore I confess myself guilty, and no the laws of our sovereign lord the king. In otherwise.” This was recorded as a plea of guilty, this indictment Bunyan is not described as of and Keling resumed his natural ferocity. “Then,' Elstow' but 'of Bedford.? Probably he had re- said he, hear your judgment. You must be had moved to Bedford soon after he joined Gifford's back again to prison, and there lie for three months church. The bench was numerous, and presided following; and then, if you do not submit to go over by Justice Keelin.3 If this was Sergeant to church to hear Divine service, and leave your Kelynge who, the following year, was made Lord preaching, you must be banished the realm ; and Chief-Justice, he was a most arbitrary tyrant, after that, if you shall be found in this realm withequalled or excelled only by Judge Jeffreys. It out special license from the king, you must stretch was before him that some persons were indicted by the neck for it. I tell you plainly;' •and so he for attending a conventicle ; but it being only bid my jailer have me away. The hero answered
' proved that they had assembled on the Lord's-day - I am at a point with you: if I were out of with Bibles in their hands without prayer-books, and prison to-day, I would preach the gospel again tothere being no proof that their meeting was only morrow, by the help of God.'5 under colour or pretence of religion, the jury ac- The statutes, by virtue of which this awful senquitted them. Upon this he fined each of the jury- tence was pronounced, together with the legal form men one hundred marks, and imprisoned them till of recantation used by those who were terrified the fines were paid. Again, on a trial for murder, into conforunity, are set forth in a note to the Grace the prisoner being under suspicion of Dissent, was Abounding. Bunyan was, if not the first, one of one whom the judge had a great desire to hang, he the first Dissenters who were proceeded against fined and imprisoned all the jury because, contrary after the restoration of Charles II. ; and his trial, to nis direction, they brought in a verdict of man- if such it may be called, was followed by a wholeslaughter! Well was it said, that he was more sale persecution. The king, as head of the Church fit to charge the Roundheads under Prince Rupert of England, wreaked his vengeance upon all classes than to charge a jury.
After a short career, he • Vol. i., p. 57. This forcibly reminds us of Greatheart's fell into utter contempt. Ile entered into a long reply to Giant Manl—'I am a servant of the God of heaven; argument with the poor tinker, about using the my business is to persnade sinners to repentance; if to preliturgy of the Church of England, first warning vol. iii., p. 210. Southey attempts to vindicate the justices in
vent this be thy quarrel, let us fall to it as soon as thou wilt,' him of his danger if he spake lightly of it. Bunyan condemning Bunyan, and grossly mis-states the facts; deeming argued that prayer was purely spiritual, the offer him to be unreasonable and intolerant; that preaching was ing of the heart, and not the reading of a form. The sacrificed his liberty in such a canse! The poet-laureate makes
incompatible with his calling, and that he ought not to have
these assertions, knowing the vast benefits which sprung from Vol. ii., p. 107.
? Vol. iii., p. 341, 366. the determined piety and honesty of the persecuted preacher. • From his autograph, in the editor's possession, he spelt Would not By-ends, Facing-both-ways, and Save-all, have his name John Keling.
jumped to the same conclusiou ? * Lord Campbell's Lites of the Chief Justices.
• Vol. i., p. 56.
of Dissenters, excepting Roman Catholics and of the Tower, properly called, by Mr. Crosby,3 Jews.
à devouring wolf, upon whose head the blood of The reign of Charles II. was most disgraceful this and other innocent Dissenters will he found. and disastrous to the nation, even the king being Another Dissenting minister, learned, pious, loyal, a pensioner upon the French •court. The Dutch and peaceful, was, during Bunyan's time, marked swept the seas, and threatened to burn London ; for destruction. Thomas Rosewell was tried before a dreadful plague depopulated the metropolis, the monster Jeffreys. He was charged, upon the the principal part of which was, in the follow- evidence of two infamous informiers, with having ing year, with its cathedral, churches, and pub- doubted the power of the king to cure the kings' lic buildings, destroyed by fire ; plots and conspi- evil, and with saying that they should overcome racies alarmed the people ; tyranny was trium- their enemies with rams' horns, broken platters, and phant; even the bodies of the illustrious dead were a stone in a sling. A number of most respectable exhumed, and treated with worse than savage fero- witnesses deposed to their having been present; city; while a fierce persecution raged throughout that no such words were uttered, and that Mr. Rose
, the kingdom, which filled the jails with Dissenters. well was eminent for loyalty and devoted attachment
In Scotland, the persecution raged with still to the Government. Alas! he was a Dissenting more deadly violence. Military, in addition to teacher of high standing, of extensive acquirecivil despotism, strove to enforce the use of the ments, and of great earnestness in seeking the Book of Common Prayer. The heroic achieve- salvation of sinners ; and, under the direction of ments and awful suffering of Scottish Christians, that brutal judge, the venal jury found him guilty, saved their descendants from this yoke of bondage.? and he was sentenced to be hung. This frightful
A short account of the extent of the sufferings sentence would have been executed but from a of our pious ancestors is given in the Introduction singular interposition of Providence. Sir John to the Pilgrim's Progress-a narrative which would Talbot was present during the trial, and a stranger appear incredible did it not rest upon unimpeach- to Mr. Rosewell; but he was so struck with the able authority. It would be difficult to believe proceedings, that he hastened to the king, rethe records of the brutal treatment which the suf-lated the facts, and added, that he had seen the ferers underwent had they not been handed down life of a subject, who appeared to be a gentleman to us in the State Trials, and in public registers, and a scholar, in danger, upon such evidence as over which the persecuted had no control. Two he would not hang his dog on.' And added, “Sire, instances will show the extreme peril in which the if you suffer this man to die, we are none of us most learned and pious men held their lives. Jolin safe in our own houses.' At this moment Jeffreys James, the pastor of a Baptist church in White- came in, gloating over his prey, exulting in the chapel, was charged, upon the evidence of a per- innocent blood he was about to shed, when, to his jured drunken vagabond named Tipler, a pipe- utter confusion, the king said, “Mr. Rosewell shall maker's journeyman, who was not present in the not die ;' and his pardon was issued under the great meeting, but swore that he heard him utter trea- seal.* Every Englishman should read the state sonable words. Notwithstanding the evidence of trials of that period, recording the sufferings of some most respectable witnesses, who were present Richard Baxter, William Penn, Sir H. Vane, and during the whole service, and distinctly proved that many others of our most pious forefathers; and no such words were used, Mr. James was convicted, they must feel that it was a miracle of mercy and sentenced to be hung. His distracted wife saw that saved the life of Bunyan, and gave him leisure the king, presented a petition, and implored mercy, to write not only his popular allegories, but the when the unfeeling monarch replied, 'O! Mr. James; most valuable treatises in the English language he is a sweet gentleman.' Again, on the following upon subjects of the deepest importance. morning, she fell at his feet, beseeching his royal When he entered the prison, his first and prayerclemency, when he spurned her from him, saying, ful object was to levy a tax upon his afiliction• John James, that rogue, he shall be hanged ; to endeavour to draw honey from the carcass of the yea, he shall be hanged.' And, in the presence of lion. His care was to render his imprisonment his weeping friends, he ascended from the gibbet to subservient to the great design of showing forth the mansions of the blessed. His real crime was, the glory of God by patient submission to His will. that he continued to preach after having been Before his commitment, he had a strong presentiwarned not to do so by John Robinson, lieutenant ment of bis sufferings; his earnest prayer, for
3 History of Baptists, vol. ii., p. 172. Robinson was a 1 Every Christian should read the appalling account of these nephew of Archbishop Laud, and appeared to inherit his evil sufferings, recently published under the title of Ladies of the spirit. Covenant.
4 Wilson's History of Dissenting Churches, and the Trial % Vol. iii., p. 17.
many months, was that he might, with composure, severe even at the sacrifice of his life. To add to encounter all his trials, even to an ignominious liis distress, doubts and fears clouded his prospects death. This led him to the solemn consideration of futurity ; Satan,' said he, ‘laid hard at me to of reckoning himself, his wife, children, health, beat me out of heart. At length he came to the enjoyinents, all as dying, and in perfect uncer. determination to venture his eternal state with tainty, and to live upon God, his invisible but Christ, whether he had present comfort or not. erer-present Father.
Ilis state of mind he thus describes - If God doth Like an experienced military commander, he not come in (to comfort me) I will leap off the wisely advises every Christian to have a reserve for ladder, even blindfold, into eternity, sink or swim, Christ in case of dire emergency. We ought to come heaven, come hell. Lord Jesus, if thou wilt have a reserve for Christ, to help us at a dead lift. catch me, do ; I will venture all for thy name.' When profession and confession will not do; when From this time he felt a good hope and great loss of goods and a prison will not do; when loss consolation. of country and of friends will not do; when nothing The clerk of the peace, Mr. Cobb, was sent by else will do, then willingly to lay down our lives for the justices to persuade him to conform, and had his name.' In the midst of all these dread uncer- a very long and interesting conference with him in tainties, his soul was raised to heavenly contempla- the prison. This shows that the magistrates were tions of the future happiness of the saints of God. well convinced that he was a leader in nonconfor
It is deeply impressive to view a man, with mity, who, if brought over, would afford them a givantic intellect, involved in the net which was signal triunph. In fact, he was called, by a benelaid to trammel his free spirit, disregarding his own ficed clergyman, 'the most notorious schismatic wisdom; seeking guidance from heaven in earnest | in all the county of Bedford.' It is perhaps to prayer, and in searching the sacred Scriptures; the arguments of Cobb that he refers in bis Addisentangling himself, and calmly waiting the will vice to Sufferers. The wife of the bosom lies
• of his heavenly Father. Still he severely felt the at him, saying, O do not cast thyself away; if infirmities of nature. Parting with his wife and chil thou takest this course, what shall I do? Thou dren, he described as “the pulling the flesh from liast said thou lovest me ; now make it manifest the bones. I saw I was as a man who was pull by granting this my small request_Do not still ing down his house upon the head of his wife and remain in thine integrity. Next to this come the children ; yet, thought I, I must do it.”? Ilis children, which are like to come to poverty, to feelings were peculiarly ercited to his poor blind beggary, to be undone, for want of wherewithal to Mary. '0! the thoughts of the hardships my feed, and clothe, and provide for them for time to poor blind one might go under, would break my come. Now also come kindred, and relations, and heart in pieces. It is one of the governing prin- acquaintance; some chide, some cry, some argue, ciples of human nature, that the most delicate some threaten, some promise, some flatter, and some or afllicted child excites our tenderest feelings. do all to befvol him for so una lvised an act as to 'I have seen men,” says Bunyan, 'take most care cast away himself, and to bring his wife and children of, and best provide for those of their children that to beggary for such a thing as religion. These are have been most infirm and helpless ; and our sore temptations. It was during this period of his Advocate “shall gather his lambs with his arms, imprisonment that the mad attempt was made, by and carry them in his boson." '4 While in this Venner and his rabble, to overturn the government. state of distress, the promise came to his relief - This was pressed upon Bunyan as a reason why he * Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve should not hold meetings for religious exercises, but them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.' He rely upon his more private opportunities of exhorthad heard of the miseries of those banished Chris- ing his neighbours. In reply to this, Mr. Cobb is tians who had been sold into slavery, and perished reminded of Bunyan's well-known loyalty, which with cold and calamities, lying in ditches like poor, would become useful in proportion to his public forlorn, desolate sheep.
teaching. It was a pleasing interview, which, At the end of three months he became anxious while it did not for a moment shake his determinato know what the enemies of the cross intended to tion, led him to thank Mr. Cobb for his civil and do with him. His sentence was transportation meek discourse, and to ejaculate a heartfelt prayer and death, unless he conformed. To give up or — O that we might meet in heaven.” The whole shrink from his profession of Christ, by embracing of it is reprinted at the end of the Grace Abounding, the national forms and submitting his conscience and it shows that God gave him favour even with to human laws, he dared not. He resolved to per- his persecutors. It is not surprising that such a
prisoner should have won the good opinion of his · Vol. i., p. 198; and Grace Abounding, No. 326. · Vol. i., p. 48. Baptized at Elstow, July 20, 1650. • Vol. i., p. 168.
6 Vol. ii., p. 279. Vol. ii,
7 Vol. i., p. 60.
jailer, so that he was permitted the consolation of Bunyan, the whole of which is reprinted in our seeing his relatives and friends, who ministered to first volume, and deserves a most attentive perusal. his comforts.
Want of space prevents us repeating it here, or When the time arrived for the execution of the even making extracts from it. She had previously bitterest part of his sentence, God, in his provi- travelled to London with a petition to the House dence, interposed to save the life of his servant. of Lords, and entrusted it to Lord Barkwood, who IIe had familiarized his mind with all the circum- conferred with some of the peers upon it, and stances of a premature and appalling death ; the informed her that they could not interfere, the king gibbet, the ladder, the halter, had lost much of having committed the release of the prisoners to their terrors ; he had even studied the sermon he the judges. When they came the circuit and the would then have preached to the concourse of assizes were held at Bedford ; Bunyan in vain spectators. At this critical time the king's coro- besought the local authorities that he might have nation took place, on April 23, 1661. To garnish liberty to appear in person and plead for his release. this grand ceremony, the king had ordered the This reasonable request was denied, and, as a last release of numerous prisoners of certain classes, resource, he committed his cause to an affectionate and within that description of offences was that wife. Several times she appeared before the for which Bunyan was confined. The proclama-judges ; love to her husband, a stern sense of tion allowed twelve months' time to sue out the duty, a conviction of the gross injustice practised pardon under the great seal, but without this ex- upon one to whom she was most tenderly attached, pensive process thousands of vagabonds and thieves overcame her delicate, modest, retiring habits, and were set at liberty, while, alas, an offence against forced her upon this strange duty. Well did she the church was not to be pardoned upon such easy support the character of an advocate. This deliterms. Bunyan and his friends were too simple, cate, courageous, high-minded woman appeared honest, and virtuous, to understand why such a before Judge Hale, who was much affected with distinction should be made. The assizes being her earnest pleading for one so dear to her, and held in August, he determined to seek his liberty whose life was so valuable to liis children. It by a petition to the judges. The court sat at the was the triumph of love, duty, and piety, over Swan Inn, and as every incident in the life of this bashful timidity. Her energetic appeals were in extraordinary man excites our interest, we vain. She returned to the prison with a heavy gratified to have it in our power to exhibit the heart, to inform her husband that, while felons, state of this celebrated inn at that time.
malefactors, and men guilty of misdemeanours
were, without any recantation or promise of amendment, to be let loose upon society to grace the coronation, the poor prisoners for conscience' sake were to undergo their unjust and savage sentences. Or, in plain words, that refusing to go to church to hear the Common
Prayer was an unpardonable crime, not 22
to be punished in any milder, mode than recantation, or transportation, or the halter. With what bitter feelings must she have returned to the prison, believing that it would be the tomb of her beloved husband! How natural for the distressed, insulted wife to have written harsh things
against the judge! She could not have Old Swan Inn, Bedford.'
conceived that, under the stately robes Having written his petition, and made some fair | of Hale, there was a heart affected by Divine love. copies of it, his modest, timid wife determined to And when the nobleman afterwards met the depresent them to the judges. Her heroic achieve- spised tinker and his wife, on terms of perfect ments—for such they deserve to be called—on equality, clothed in more glorious robes in the behalf of her husband, are admirably narrated by mansions of the blessed, how inconceivable their
The cut, copied from an old drawing of the house taken surprise! It must have been equally so with the before its entire demolition, at the end of last century, exhibits learned judge, when, in the pure atmosphere of its quaint characteristics. The bridge foot is to the spectator's heaven, he found that the illiterate tinker, harassed right; the church tower behind is that of St. Mary's, also seen in our view of the jail, which would, of course, be seen by poverty and imprisonment, produced books, the from the bow-windows of the old inn, in which the Judges met.
? Vol. i., p. 60.
admiration of the world. As Dr. Cheever elo. | Pilgrim's Progress, the first part, and that he had quently writes—How little could he dream, that this from his own mouth.4 In addition to the from that narrow cell in Bedford jail a glory would demonstration of this important fact contained in shine out, illustrating the grace of God, and doing the introduction to The Pilgrim's Progress, there more good to man, than all the prelates and judges ought to have been adiled, Bunyan's statement of the kingdom would accomplish."
made in introducing his second part:-Now, havBunyan was thus left in a dreary and hopeless ing taken up my lodgings in a wood about a mile state of imprisonment, in which he continued for off the place:' no longer in ' a den,' but sheltered, somewhat more than twelve years, and it becomes in a wood, in a state of comparative, but not of an interesting inquiry how he spent his time perfect liberty, about a mile distant from the den and managed to employ his great talent in his in which he wrote his first part. Whether this Master's service. The first object of his solici- may refer to his former cottage at Elstow, of which tude would be to provide for his family, accord- there is great doubt, or to the house le occupied in ing to 1 Tim. F. 8. How to supply his house with Bedford after his release, they were equally about bare necessaries to meet the expenses of a wife a mile from the jail. Ile certainly means that and four children, must have filled him with the two parts were not written in the same place, anxiety. The illness, death, and burial of his nor is there a shadow of a doubt as to the fact that first beloved wife, had swept away any little re- in prison the great allegory was conceived and serre which otherwise might have accumulated, so written. Well might Mr. Doe say, “What hath that, soon after his imprisonment commenced, be- the devil or his agents got by putting our great fore he could resume any kind of labour, his wife gospel minister in prison ?' they prevented his thus pleaded with the judge for his liberty, ‘My preaching to a few poor pilgrims in the villages lord, I have four small children that cannot help round Bedford, and it was the means of spreadthemselves, of which one is blind, and have nothing ing his fame, and the knowledge of the gospel, by to live upon but the charity of good people.' Ilow his writings, throughout the world. Thus does inscrutable are the ways of Providence ; the rich the wrath of man praise God. In addition to the revelling in luxury while using their wealth to works above enumerated, he also published some corrupt mankind, while this eminent saint, with extremely valuable tracts, several editions of a his family, were dependent upon charity! As soon work which ought to be read by all young Chrisas he could get his tools in order he set to work ; tians-A Treatise on the Covenants of the Law and and we have the following testimony to his in- of Grace; several editions of Sighs from Hell; A dustry by a fellow-prisoner, Mr. Wilson, the Bap- Map of Salvation and Damnation ; The Four Last tist minister, and of Charles Doe, who visited him Things, a poem ; Mount Ebal and Gerizim, or, in prison :-Nor did he, while he was in prison, Redemption from the Curse, a poem; Prison Mlespend his time in a supine and careless manner, ditations, a poem : the four last are single sheets, nor eat the bread of idleness; for there have I been probably sold by his children or friends to assist witness that his own hands have ministered to his him in obtaining his livelihood : Justification by and his family's necessities, making many hundred Faith in Jesus Christ, 4to; Confession of His Faith gross of long tagged laces, to fill up the vacancies' and Reason of His Practice. The most remarkable of his time, which he had learned to do for that treatise which he published while in confinement, purpose, since he had been in prison. There, also, is on prayer, from the words of the apostle, ‘I will I surveyed his library, the least, but yet the best pray with the spirit and with the understanding that e'er I saw—the Bible and the Book of Mar- also. His attention had been fixed on this subtyrs.? And during his imprisonment (since I have ject when his free-born spirit was roused by the spoken of his library), he writ several excellent and threat of Justice Keeling, * Take heed of speaking useful treatises, particularly The Holy City, Chris- irreverently of the Book of Common Prayer, for if tian Behaviour, The Resurrection of the Dead, and you do you will bring great damage upon yourself.' Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Besides Bunyan had formed his ideas of prayer from these valuable treatises, Charles Doe states that, heartfelt experience ; it is the cry of the burof his own knowledge, in prison Bunyan wrote The thened, sinking sinner, · Lord save us, we perish;'
or adoration rising from the heart to the throne of Lectures on the Pilgrim's Progress.
grace, filled with hopes of pardon and immortality. * This valuable set of books came into the possession of my In his estimation, any form of human invention was old friend Mr. Wontner, of the Minories, London; it descended an interference with the very nature of prayer, and at his decease
, to his widow, who resided on Camberwell with the work of the Holy Spirit, who alone can Green, and from her to a daughter, married to Mr. Parnel, an orange merchant in Botolph Lane. He was tempted to sell it inspire our souls with acceptable prayer. to Mr. Bohn, the bookseller, from whom it was bought for the
In expressing his views upon this all-important Charles Doe in Heavenly Footman, 2d edition, 1700.
4 Introduction to the Pilgrim, vol. iii., p. 6, 7.