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[A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE AUTHOR'S IMPRISONMENT] 318. Having made profession of the glorious gospel of Christ a long time, and preached the same about five years, I was apprehended at a meeting of good people in the country, among whom, had they let me alone, I should have preached that day, but they took me away from amongst them, and had me before a justice; who, after I had offered security for my appearing at the next sessions, yet committed me, because my sureties would not consent to be bound that I should preach no more to the people. 319. At the sessions after, I was indicted for an upholder and maintainer of unlawful assemblies and conventicles, and for not conforming to the national worship of the Church of England; and after some conference there with the justices, 'they taking my plain dealing with them for a confession, as they termed it, of the indictment,' did sentence me to perpetual banishment, because I refused to conform. So being again delivered up to the jailer's hands, I was had home to prison again, and there have lain now 70 'complete twelve years,' waiting to see what God would suffer these men to do with me. 320. In which condition I have continued with much content, through grace, but have met with many turnings and goings upon my heart, both from the Lord, Satan, and my own corruptions; by all which, glory be to Jesus Christ, I have also received among many things, much conviction, instruction, and understanding, of which at large I shall not here discourse; only give you in a hint or two, a word that may stir up the godly to bless God, and to pray for me; and also to take encouragement, should the case be their own, not to fear what man can do unto them. 321. I never had in all my life so great an inlet into the Word of God as now; those Scriptures that I saw nothing in before, are made in this place and state to shine upon me; Jesus Christ also was never more real and apparent than now; here I have seen him and felt him indeed: O that word, We have not preached unto you cunningly devised fables (2 Peter 1:16); and that, God raised Christ from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God (1 Peter 1:2), were blessed words unto me in this my imprisoned condition. 322. These three or four scriptures also have been great refreshment in this condition to me (John 14:1-4, 16:33; Col 3:3,4; Heb 12:22-24). So that sometimes when I have been in the savour of them, I have been able to laugh at destruction, and to fear neither the horse nor his rider (Job 39:18). I have had sweet sights of the forgiveness of my sins in this place, and of my being with Jesus in another world: O, "the mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company of angels, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus" (Heb 12:22-24), have been sweet unto me in this place: I have seen THAT here, that I am persuaded I shall never, while in this world, be able to express; I have seen a truth in that scripture, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye se him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8). 71 323. I never knew what it was for God to stand by me at all turns, and at every offer of Satan 'to afflict me,' &c., as I have found him since I came in hither; for look how fears have presented themselves, so have supports and encouragements, yea, when I have started, even as it were at nothing else but my shadow, yet God, as being very tender of me, hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one scripture and another strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often said, Were it lawful, I could pray for greater trouble, for the greater comfort's sake (Eccl 7:14; 2 Cor 1:5). 324. Before I came to prison, I saw what was a-coming, and had especially two considerations warm upon my heart; the first was how to be able to endure, should my imprisonment be long and tedious; the second was how to be able to encounter death, should that be here my portion; for the first of these, that scripture (Col 1:11) was great information to me, namely, to pray to God to be "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness." I could seldom go to prayer before I was imprisoned, but not for so little as a year together, this sentence, or sweet petition, would, as it were, thrust itself into my mind, and persuade me, that if ever I would go through long-suffering, I must have all patience, especially if I would endure it joyfully. 325. As to the second consideration, that saying (2 Cor 1:9), was of great use to me, But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead. By this scripture I was made to see, that if ever I would suffer rightly, I must first pass a sentence of death upon everything that can properly be called a thing of this life, even to reckon myself, my wife, my children, my health, my enjoyments, and all, as dead to me, and myself as dead to them. "He that loveth father or mother, son or daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me" (Matt 10:37). 326. The second was, to live upon God that is invisible; as Paul said in another place, the way not to faint, is to "look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor 4:18). And thus I reasoned with myself; if I provide only for a prison, then the whip comes at unawares; and so does also the pillory; again, if I provide only for these, then I am not fit for banishment; further, if I conclude that banishment is the worst, then if death come I am surprised. So that I see the best way to go through sufferings is to trust in God through Christ, as touching the world to come; and as touching this world, to count "the grave my house, to make my bed in darkness, and to say to corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister." That is, to familiarize these things to me. 72 327. But notwithstanding these helps, I found myself a man, and compassed with infirmities; the parting with my wife and poor children hath oft been to me in this place as the pulling the flesh from my bones, and that not only because I am somewhat too too fond of those great mercies, but also because I should have often brought to my mind the many hardships, miseries and wants that my poor family was like to meet with, should I be taken from them, especially my poor blind child, who lay nearer my heart than all I had besides; O the thoughts of the hardship I thought my blind one might go under, would break my heart to pieces. 328. Poor child, thought I, what sorrow art thou like to have for thy portion in this world? Thou must be beaten, must beg, suffer hunger, cold, nakedness, and a thousand calamities, though I cannot now endure the wind should blow upon thee. But yet recalling myself, thought I, I must venture you all with God, though it goeth to the quick to leave you. O, I saw in this condition I was as a man who was pulling down his house upon the head of his wife and children; yet thought I, I must do it, I must do it. And now I thought on those two milch kine that were to carry the ark of God into another country, and to leave their calves behind them (1 Sam 6:10-12). 329. But that which helped me in this temptation was divers considerations, of which three in special here I will name; the first was the consideration of those two scriptures, "Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widows trust in me." And again, "The Lord said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil," &c. (Jer 49:11, 15:11). 330. I had also this consideration, that if I should now venture all for God, I engaged God to take care of my concernments; but if I forsook him and his ways, for fear of any trouble that should come to me or mine, then I should not only falsify my profession, but should count also that my concernments were not so sure, if left at God's feet, while I stood to and for his name, as they would be, if they were under my own tuition, 73 though with the denial of the way of God. This was a smarting consideration, and was as spurs unto my flesh. That scripture also greatly helped it to fasten the more upon me, where Christ prays against Judas, that God would disappoint him in all his selfish thoughts, which moved him to sell his master: pray read it soberly (Psa 109:6-20). 331. I had also another consideration, and that was, the dread of the torments of hell, which I was sure they must partake of, that for fear of the cross, do shrink from their profession of Christ, his words, and laws, before the sons of men; I thought also of the glory that he had prepared for those that, in faith, and love, and patience, stood to his ways before them. These things, I say, have helped me, when the thoughts of the misery that both myself and mine, might for the sake of my profession be exposed to, hath lain pinching on my mine. 332. When I have indeed conceited that I might be banished for my profession, then I have thought of that scripture, "They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy" (Heb 11:37), for all they thought they were too bad to dwell and abide amongst them. I have also thought of that saying, "The Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, that bonds and afflictions abide me." I have verily thought that my soul and it 74 have sometimes reasoned about the sore and sad estate of a banished and exiled condition, how they are exposed to hunger, to cold, to perils, to nakedness, to enemies, and a thousand calamities; and at last, it may be, to die in a ditch, like a poor forlorn and desolate sheep. But I thank God, hitherto I have not been moved by these most delicate reasonings, but have rather, by them, more approved my heart to God. 333. I will tell you a pretty business; I was once above all the rest in a very sad and low condition for many weeks; at which time also I being but a young prisoner, and not acquainted with the laws, had this lay much upon my spirit, That my imprisonment might end at the gallows for aught that I could tell. Now, therefore, Satan laid hard at me to beat me out of heart, by suggesting thus unto me, But how if when you come indeed to die, you should be in this condition; that is, as not to savour the things of God, nor to have any evidence upon your soul for a better state hereafter? For indeed at that time all the things of God were hid from my soul. 334. Wherefore, when I at first began to think of this, it was a great trouble to me; for I thought with myself, that in the condition I now was in, I was not fit to die, neither indeed did think I could, if I should be called to it: besides, I thought with myself, if I should make a scrabbling 75 shift to clamber up the ladder, yet I should either with quaking, or other symptoms of faintings, give occasion to the enemy to reproach the way of God and his people, for their timorousness. This therefore lay with great trouble upon me, for methought I was ashamed to die with a pale face, and tottering knees, for such a cause as this. 335. Wherefore, I prayed to God that he would comfort me, and give me strength to do and suffer what he should call me to ; yet no comfort appeared, but all continued hid: I was also at this time so really possessed with the thought of death, that oft I was as if I was on the ladder with a rope about my neck; only this was some encouragement to me, I thought I might now have an opportunity to speak my last words to a multitude, which I thought would come to see me die; and, thought I, if it must be so, if God will but convert one soul by my very last words, I shall not count my life thrown away, nor lost. 336. But yet all the things of God were kept out of my sight, and still the tempter followed me with, But whither must you go when you die? What will become of you? Where will you be found in another world? What evidence have you for heaven and glory, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified? Thus was I tossed for many weeks, and knew not what to do; at last this consideration fell with weight upon me, That it was for the Word and way of God, that I was in this condition, wherefore I was engaged not to flinch a hair's breadth from it. 337. I thought also, that God might choose, whether he would give me comfort now or at the hour of death, but I might not therefore choose whether I would hold my profession or no: I was bound, but he was free: yea, it was my duty to stand to his word, whether he would ever look upon me or no, or save me at the last: wherefore, thought I, the point being thus, I am for going on, and venturing my eternal state with Christ, whether I have comfort here or no; if God doth not come in, thought I, I will leap off the ladder even blindfold into eternity, sink or swim, come heaven, come hell, Lord Jesus, if thou wilt catch me, do; 'if not,' I will venture for thy name. 338. I was no sooner fixed upon this resolution, but that word dropped upon me, "Doth Job serve God for nought?" As if the accuser had said, Lord, Job is no upright man, he serves thee for by-respects: hast thou not made a hedge about him, &c. "But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face." How now, thought I, is this the sign of an upright soul, to desire to serve God, when all is taken from him? Is he a godly man, that will serve God for nothing rather than give out? blessed be God, then, I hope I have an upright heart, for I am resolved, God giving me strength, never to deny my profession, though I have nothing at all for my pains; and as I was thus considering, that scripture was set before me (Psa 44:12-26). 76 339. Now was my heart full of comfort, for I hoped it was sincere: I would not have been without this trial for much; I am comforted every time I think of it, and I hope I shall bless God for ever for the teaching I have had by it. Many more of the dealings of God towards me I might relate, but these, "Out of the spoils won in battles have I dedicated to maintain the house of the LORD" (1 Chron 26:27). THE CONCLUSION. 1. Of all the temptations that ever I met with in my life, to question the being 'of God,' and truth of his gospel, is the worst, and the worst to be borne; when this temptation comes, it takes away my girdle from me, and removeth the foundation from under me: O, I have often thought of that word, "have your loins girt about with truth"; and of that, "When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" 2. 'Sometimes, when, after sin committed, I have looked for sore chastisement from the hand of God, the very next that I have had from him hath been the discovery of his grace. Sometimes, when I have been comforted, I have called myself a fool for my so sinking under trouble. And then, again, when I have been cast down, I thought I was not wise, to give such way to comfort. With such strength and weight have both these been upon me.' 3. I have wondered much at this one thing, that though God doth visit my soul with never so blessed a discovery of himself, yet I have found again, that such hours have attended me afterwards, that I have been in my spirits so filled with darkness, that I could not so much as once conceive what that God and that comfort was with which I have been refreshed. 4. I have sometimes seen more in a line of the Bible than I could well tell how to stand under, and yet at another time the whole Bible hath been to me as dry as a stick; or rather, my heart hath been so dead and dry unto it, that I could not conceive the least drachm of refreshment, though I have looked it 'all' over. 5. Of all tears, they are the best that are made by the blood of Christ; and of all joy, that is the sweetest that is mixed with mourning over Christ. Oh! it is a goodly thing to be on our knees, with Christ in our arms, before God. I hope I know something of these things. 6. I find to this day seven abominations in my heart: 1. Inclinings to unbelief. 2. Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth. 3. A leaning to the works of the law. 4. Wanderings and coldness in prayer. 5. To forget to watch for that I pray for. 6. Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have. 7. I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust in themselves, "when I would do good, evil is present with me." 7. These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good. 1. They make me abhor myself. 2. They keep me from trusting my heart. 3. They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness. 4. They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus. 5. They press me to pray unto God. 6. They show me the need I have to watch and be sober. 7. And provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me, and carry me through this world. Amen. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FOOTNOTES: 1. Dr. Cheever. BACK TO TEXT 2. Leicester was only besieged by the royal army, who took it, and cruelly treated the inhabitants; upon the republicans appearing before it, the city surrendered at once without a siege.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 3. This should be the prayer and effort of every Christian for his brethren and sisters in Christ, and more especially of those who are called to the public ministry.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 4. The people of God look back on the day of their espousals with holy joy and thanksgiving to the God of their mercies; and they delight in telling his goodness to others. "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul" (Psa 66:16).—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 5. How unspeakable the mercy that our omnipresent God will hear the prayer of the heart under all circumstances, at all times, in all places. Had he limited it to certain forms, in certain buildings, read by certain men, what fearful merchandise of souls they would have made.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 6. Bunyan says very little about his parents in his treatise on 'Christian Behaviour'; he concludes his observations on the duties of a pious son to ungodly parents with this remarkable prayer, 'The Lord, if it be his will, convert OUR poor parents, that they, with us, may be the children of God.' Although this does not demonstrate that his own parents were ungodly, yet his silence as to their piety upon all occasions when speaking of them, and the fervent feeling expressed in this short prayer, inclines me to conclude that they were not pious persons in his judgment.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 7. Mr. Bunyan alludes to the poverty of his education in several of his works. Thus, in his Scriptural poems— 'I am no poet, nor a poet's son But a mechanic, guided by no rule But what I gained in a grammar school, In my minority.' And in the preface to 'The Law and Grace': 'Reader, if thou do find this book empty of fantastical expressions, and without light, vain, whimsical, scholar-like terms; thou must understand, it is because I never went to school to Aristotle or Plato, but was brought up at my father's house, in a very mean condition, among a company of poor countrymen.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 8. 'I have been vile myself, but have obtained mercy; and I would have my companions in sin partake of mercy too.'—Preface to Jerusalem Sinner Saved.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 9. Every careless sinner, or wicked professor, carries upon his forehead the name of Infidel and Atheist, a practical unbeliever in the Bible, in the day of judgment, and in the existence of a holy God.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 10. Bunyan served in the wars between Charles I and his country, but it is not known on which side. Judging from his 'delight in all transgressions against the law of God,' as he describes his conduct to have been at that time, he must have served on the king's side, as one of his drunken cavaliers. Probably this event took place when Leicester was besieged by the king's troops.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 11. The notice of his wife's father being a godly man, and not mentioning anything of the kind with regard to his own parents, strengthens my conclusion that they were not professors of religion. This very copy of the Pathway to Heaven here noticed, with the name of Bunyan on the title, is in the Editor's possession.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 12. Asking his father this question, looks a little as if the family had been connected with the gipsy tribe.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 13. 'The king (James, 1618) put forth an order to permit everybody, as he had before given leave in the county of Lancaster, who should go to evening prayer on the Lord's day, to divertise themselves with lawful exercises, with leaping, dancing, playing at bowls, shooting with bows and arrows, as likewise to rear May poles, and to use May games and Morris dancing; but those who refused coming to prayers were forbidden to use these sports.'—(Camden's Annals). The head of the Church of England had wondrous power thus to dispense with God's laws.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 14. 'Did cut the sinews,' first edition; properly altered by Bunyan afterwards to 'did benumb.' BACK TO TEXT 15. Tip cat, or cat, is an ancient English game, thus described in Strutt's Sports and Pastimes:—The game of cat is played with a cudgel. Its denomination is derived from a piece of wood, about six inches long and two thick, diminished from the middle to form a double cone. When the cat is placed on the ground, the player strikes it smartly—it matters not at which end--and it will rise with a rotatory motion high enough for him to strike it; if he misses, another player takes his place; if he hits, he calls for a number to be scored to his game; if that number is more than as many lengths of his cudgel, he is out; if not, they are scored, and he plays again.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 16. This wish looks as if Bunyan's father had not checked him for this wicked propensity; if so, he could not have pretended to piety or religion.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 17. 'Tom of Bedlam'; a byword for an inveterate drunkard, alluding to an old interesting song describing the feelings of a poor maniac whose frenzy had been induced by intoxication, and who escaped from Bedlam. 'Poore naked Tom is very drye A little drinke for charitye!' It ends with this verse— 'The man in the moone drinkes claret, Eates powder'd beef, turnip, and carret, But a cup of old Malaga sacke Will fire the bushe at his backe.' Probably the tale is connected with the drummer's tune, 'Drunk or sober, go to bed Tom.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 18. When the Lord, in his blessed work upon the soul, illuminated the mind, he opens to it a new world; he leads the blind by a way that they know not, crooked things become straight, rough places plain, and he never forsakes his charge.--Mason. BACK TO TEXT 19. 'Their talk went with me; my heart would tarry with them'; nothing is so powerfully attractive as a community of feeling under the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Bunyan's wish to be 'tried and searched,' reminds me of one who, when alarmed for his soul's safety, earnestly prayed that he might be made increasingly wretched, until he had found safety in Jesus, and knew him, whom to know is joy unspeakable in this life, and felicity in the eternal world.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 20. That bitter fanatic, Ross, calls the ranters 'a sort of beasts,' who practiced sin that grace might abound. Many under that name were openly profligate; they denied the sacraments, but were disowned by the Quakers. It seems, from Bunyan, that they were infatuated with some idea that the grossest sins of the flesh did not injure the sanctity of the spirit!—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 21. Faith comes by venturing wholly on Christ, as he is freely offered in the Word—mercy to the miserable—salvation to the lost and self-condemned. If we honour God's veracity by giving credit to his Word, he will honour that faith by giving us joy and peace in believing.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 22. 'In downright earnest'; as one who is in imminent danger of drowning, or in a house on fire, eager to escape. Reader, have you ever felt thus 'in downright earnest' for salvation? Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they SHALL be filled.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 23. This is an interesting view of church fellowship; and the admission of a convert to Christian communion. See also Christiana at the Interpreter's House, and the preface to Bunyan's 'Christian Behaviour.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 24. The Christian who is found waiting upon God, is the thriving one; the best way to be assured of our election is to examine our state with the touchstone of truth, the Scriptures. The elect of God know Christ savingly, esteem him precious, and obey him cheerfully from love and gratitude.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 25. 'Gingerly'; cautiously. BACK TO TEXT 'Has it a corn? or do's it walk on conscience, It treads so gingerly.' Love's Cure, Act ii., Scene 1.—Ed. 26. Manifestations of love and grace are not to be rested in, or made a saviour of; they are given to strengthen and prepare us for future trials.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 27. Here we have Christian in the valley of the shadow of death. 'One thing I would not let slip, I took notice that now poor Christian was so confounded, that he did not know his own voice; and thus I perceived it, just when he was come over against the mouth of the burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stept up softly to him, and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to him, which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind.'—Pilgrim's Progress.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 28. 'Under her apron,' was altered in subsequent editions to 'in her arms.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 29. 'Poor fool'; altered, in later editions, to 'poor soul.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 30. John Gifford, Bunyan's pastor, was a Kentish man, and had been a major in the King's army, a roistering cavalier. For some crimes, he, with eleven others, was condemned to be hung, but made his escape to London, and thence to Bedford, where, being unknown, he practiced physic. Addicted to swearing, drinking, and gambling, he, in distress at a serious loss, vowed repentance; he became greatly distressed under conviction of sin; at length his mind was enlightened, the Holy Spirit led him to forgiveness by the atonement of Christ, and his heart was filled with a hitherto unknown source of blessedness. This he imparted to others, and at length, in 1650, formed a church, with which the soul-harassed pilgrim Bunyan cast in his lot as a member in 1653. There appears to have been a strong mutual affection between him and his pastor. In 1658, Mr. Gifford published a preface to Bunyan's 'Few Sighs from Hell,' in which he speaks of him with the warmest affection, as one 'that I verily believe God hath counted faithful, and put him into the ministry—one that hath acquaintance with God, and taught by his Spirit, and hath been used to do souls good. Divers have felt the power of the word delivered by him, and I doubt not but that many more may, if God continue him in his work.' Judging from Gifford's preface, he must have been an excellent teacher to train Bunyan for his important labours as a Christian minister. He uses the same fervid striking language. Thus, on the value of the soul: 'Consider what an ill bargain thou will make to sell thy precious soul for a short continuance in sin and pleasure. If that man drives an ill trade, who to gain the whole world should lose his own soul, then certainly thou art far worse that sells thy soul for a very trifle. Oh, 'tis pity that so precious a thing should be parted withal to be made a prey for the devouring lion, for that which is worse than nothing. If they were branded for desperate wretches that caused their children to pass through the fire to Moloch, surely thou much more that gives thy soul to devouring flames. What meanest thou, O man! to truck* with the devil?'—See Sighs, 1st Edition, and Brooks' Puritans.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT * 'To truck'; to barter or exchange. 31. That persons called Quakers held these heresies, there can be no doubt; but they were never held by that respectable and useful body of Christians, the Society of Friends, is equally clear. Barclay, in his Theses, 1675, says of the Scriptures:--'They are the doctrine of Christ, held forth in precious declarations, spoken and written by the movings of God's Spirit.' He goes on to say, that the same Spirit can alone guide man into these sacred truths. In all important doctrines, the difference between the Quakers and evangelical professors is in terms and not in things. Their distinguishing difference relates to the work of the ministry.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 32. How natural is it for man to build up vain hopes of long life! Bunyan's vigorous constitution, had he enjoyed the free air of liberty, might have prolonged his pilgrimage to extreme old age. But his long imprisonment shortened his valuable life: it almost amounted to legal murder.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 33. Bunyan, in his treatise on 'Jesus Christ the Advocate,' admirably shows the analogy between the year of jubilee and the Christian's reversion to his inheritance, although deprived for a time of the comfort of it during his pilgrimage, by reason of sin.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 34. He is a restless, powerful, and malicious enemy; ever striving to drive the sinner to desperation. Let the tempted look to Jesus the serpent-bruiser to shield him, so that the fiery darts of the wicked one may be quenched.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 35. Printed 'did hear' in first edition.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 36. Altered to 'indeed' in later editions.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 37. 'Racked or broken upon the wheel,' was a horrid mode of torturing a criminal to death, formerly used in France. The sufferer was stretched and made fast upon a large wheel, when the executioner, with a heavy iron bar, proceeded to break every bone in his body; beginning with the toes and fingers, and proceeding to crush those bones that the least affected life, and ending by crushing the skull into the brains. How piercing must have been the convictions of sin upon Bunyan's soul, to have led him to such a simile!—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 38. 'A Relation of the Fearful Estate of Francis Spira.' 'Here see a soul that's all despair; a man All hell; a spirit all wounds. Reader, would'st see what may you never feel, Despair, racks, torments, whips of burning steel? Behold this man, this furnace, in whose heart, Sin hath created hell.' From the address to the reader, in a copy of this awful narrative in possession of the Editor. Spira was filled with remorse and despair for having been induced, by improper motives, to become a papist.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 39. No Christian minister ever dwelt more richly on the 'Saint's Knowledge of Christ's Love' than Bunyan. See vol. ii. p. 1. It was the result of this soul-harrowing experience. He there shows its heights exceeding the highest heavens, depths below the deepest hell, lengths and breadths beyond comprehension. That treatise ought to be read and cherished by every trembling believer.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 40. Alter, in later editions, to 'flying fits.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 41. Internal conflicts, dreams, or visions ought not to be the source of peace or of bitterness to the soul. If they drive us to Christ, we may hope that they are from heaven for our relief; but if their tendency is to despair, by undervaluing the blood of atonement, or to lasciviousness, they are from Satan. Our real dependence must be upon 'a more sure word of prophecy': if we are well-grounded in the promises, it will save us from many harassing doubts and fears which arise from a reliance upon our feelings.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 42. That a poor penitent should perish at the feet of Jesus is an utter impossibility. God, when manifest in the flesh, decreed, that 'Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.' 'I will give him rest.' His Word must stand fast for ever.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 43. How soul-rending a thought! but it can only be the case with those who continue to their death despising the Saviour. Those who love him are kept by almighty power, everlasting love, and irresistible grace.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 44. Happy would it be for tempted souls, in their distress, to look simply to the declarations and promises of God in the Word; we there find salvation completed by Christ. Our duty is to look in faith and prayer to the Spirit of God for the application and comfort of it.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 45. However humbling, this is a truth not to be disputed. The wisest philosopher and most illiterate peasant are upon a level, fallen from God. None will be excluded who come to Christ, whose gracious invitation is general, 'Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely' (Rev 22:17).—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 46. This is the proper source of comfort—the records of infallible truth. There is found mercy for the miserable, redemption for the captive, salvation for the lost, heaven for the hell-deserving sinner.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 47. Though we may wait long for mercy, yet the hand of faith never knocked in vain at the door of heaven. Mercy is as surely ours as if we had it, if it be given us in faith and patience to wait for it.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 48. To sin against light and knowledge, received in and by the gospel, is a very heinous aggravation of sin. The condition of persons simply ignorant is not so sad by far, as theirs who have been enlightened and yet afterwards apostatized. Let the formalist and lukewarm professors read this and tremble.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 49. The Holy Spirit is the candle of the Lord, by whose light the awakened conscience is brought to see something of the mystery of iniquity lurking in the heart. He first convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and then points to Jesus as the only security: 'Behold the Lamb of God.'—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 50. This is very beautifully expressed; nothing can be more descriptive of a poor pilgrim who has been toiling through the valley of the shadow of death, and upon whose soul the day-spring from on high has arisen.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 51. 'Cracked groats and fourpence-halfpennies.' The humility of our author is here most unobtrusively apparent. He had some treasure in his 'earthen vessel'; but, in comparison with his store in Christ, it was like a few cracked groats by the side of massive pure gold. What he meant by 'fourpence-halfpennies' somewhat puzzled me, there never having been any piece of English money coined of that value. I found that a proclamation was issued shortly before Mr. Bunyan's time (April 8, 1603), to save the people from being deceived with the silver harp money of Ireland, purporting to be twelve and sixpenny pieces. It fixed the value of the Irish twelvepence to be ninepence English; so that the Irish sixpence was to pass current for fourpence-halfpenny in England. That accomplished antiquary, Mr. Hawkins, the curator of the coins in the British Museum, shewed me this Irish silver money; and agreed with me in believing that Bunyan alludes to these Irish sixpences, placing them in company with cracked groats, depreciated in value. Mr. Hawkins was not aware that they had been in common circulation in England.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 52. 'Common or public,' belonging equally to many. Christ is the federal or covenant head of his church, each member claiming an equal or common right to all his merits as a Saviour, Mediator, and Advocate.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 53. This retort, or rebuke, is inserted twice in the first edition, probably a typographical error.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 54. See note on No. 152. The feelings of Bunyan must have been exceedingly pungent.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 55. This is a view of the power given to the apostles to forgive or retain sins worthy of our serious consideration. That mysterious power, under the pretence of possessing which merchandise is made of souls, if it was not limited to the apostles personally, was intended to be used by all those whom God sends to preach the gospel; an authority to proclaim salvation or condemnation to those who receive or reject the Saviour. Bunyan considers it a similar power to that given to the governors of the city of refuge; to admit the terror-stricken soul that 'shall declare his cause'—or confess his guilt—into the city, there to abide the judgment upon him, as in Christ the Refuge. This is very different to turning God out of his judgment-seat; as is the case when a poor worm says to his fellow-worm, 'I absolve thee from all thy sins.' See the visitation of the sick, in the Book of Common Prayer.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 56. The mode of admitting members into the church, among the Baptists, appears to have been the same in Bunyan's days as it is now practiced. It is, first to be introduced to the minister, who endeavours to ascertain whether there is an earnest desire to flee from the wrath to come, sincere repentance, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If so, he mentions it to the church; and visitors are appointed, to encourage the young convert, and to scrutinize into moral character. If they are satisfied, he is invited to attend a private church meeting; and if the members have a good hope that he is a decided believer in Jesus, they receive him into their fellowship; and if he requests it, he is publicly baptized in water, and communicates with the church at the Lord's table. This appears to have been the mode in which Bunyan was admitted into the church at Bedford. Most of the Baptist churches now agree with Bunyan, that the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or inward spiritual regeneration, is, alone, the essential pre-requisite to the Lord's table; and they leave members to their own conclusions as to the validity of their having been sprinkled in infancy, or the necessity of immersion in water upon a profession of faith.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 57. Many will be surprised that Bunyan, who was so ready a writer, should be unable to tell what he saw and felt when in these holy enjoyments; but all who have had similar feelings will unite with him in saying, they are inexpressible, great, and full of glory.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 58. This is a very correct view of the excellent mode in which dissenting ministers are generally called to their important work. First, their gifts in prayer and conversation upon Divine things, and aptness in illustrating and confirming what they advance from the Scriptures, is noticed; and, secondly, they are encouraged to pray with and address the poor children in a Sunday school. If they manifest an aptness to teach, they are, thirdly, invited to give an exhortation to the church privately; and then, fourthly, they are encouraged to pray and preach among the poor in country villages and in work-houses. The God who gave the wish and the talent, soon opens a way to still more public usefulness. In most cases, they enter upon a course of study, to fit them for their momentous labours; but many of our most valuable ministers have, like Bunyan, relied entirely upon their prayerful investigation of the Scriptures. his college was a dungeon, his library the Bible; and he came forth with gigantic power to grapple with the prince of darkness. No human learning could have so fitted him for this terrible and mysterious warfare.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 59. 'With great sense,' means with great feeling, arising from his own acute experience.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 60. In the first edition Bunyan says, 'I have lain as long,' (five years). This was in 1666.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 61. When God sends forth a zealous ambassador to publish the glad tidings of salvation to perishing sinners, he will be sure to meet with the fiercest opposition from proud pharisaical professors: so it was from the beginning, and will be to the end of time; but the Lord will work, and none shall hinder. Experimental preaching will always be offensive to the carnal and profane.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 62. It is impossible to identify the sect to which Bunyan belonged by reading his works. He rises above all sectarian bias in his earnest efforts to win souls to Christ, and to keep them in a heavenly frame of mine.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 63. 'Other men's lines,' other men's compositions. Bunyan went himself to the fountain head of Divine truth, and was not taught by the wisdom of his fellow-men in the things that pertained to salvation. He spoke as he felt; and, while he copied no sentence from others, no man that ever wrote has been so copied from by others. Application was once made to the Editor, to publish an admirable sermon which had been taken in short hand from the lips of a D.D.; when, to the surprise of the applicant, he was shown the whole sermon in Bunyan's Heavenly Footman.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 64. Altered, in later editions, to 'searching.'—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 65. Gifts are no evidence of God's favour; they are like the gold which adorned the temple, but grace, the saving grace of the Spirit, is like the altar which sanctifies the gold.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT 66. In this paragraph is displayed that modest genuine humility which shone so conspicuously in Bunyan. He possessed that popular natural eloquence, by which he could deliver himself like an angel; but when pride began to rise, he knocked it on the head with that severe maul, 'Is it so much to be a fiddle' that Satan once so played upon?—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 67. One circumstance from which these vile slanders were raised, is narrated in the thrilling narrative of God's gracious dealings with Mrs. Agnes Beaumont. She was waiting in hopes of attending a meeting, when 'at last, quite unexpectedly, came Mr. Bunyan. The sight of him caused a mixture of joy and grief. I was glad to see him, but afraid he would not be willing to take me up behind him, and how to ask him I knew not. At length my brother did; but Mr. Bunyan answered, with some degree of roughness, "No, I will not carry her." These words were cutting indeed, and made me weep bitterly. My brother, perceiving my trouble, said, "Sir, if you do not carry her, you will break her heart"; but he made the same reply, adding, "Your father would be grievously angry if I should." "I will venture that," said I. And thus, with much entreaty, he was prevailed on; and O how glad was I to think I was going. Soon after we set out, my father came to my brother's, and asked his men whom his daughter rode behind? They said, Mr. Bunyan. Upon hearing this, his anger was greatly inflamed; he ran down the close, thinking to overtake me, and pull me off the horse, but we were gone out of his reach. 'I had not ridden far, before my heart began to be lifted up with pride at the thoughts of riding behind this servant of the Lord; and was pleased if any looked after us, as we rode along. Indeed, I thought myself very happy that day: first, that it pleased God to make way for my going; and then, that I should have the honour to ride behind Mr. Bunyan, who would sometimes be speaking to me about the things of God. My pride soon had a fall; for, in entering Gam'gay, we were met by one Mr. Lane, a clergyman who lived at Bedford, and knew us both, and spoke to us, but looked very hard at us as we rode along; and soon after raised a vile scandal upon us, though, blessed be God, it was false.' No Christian should be without that deeply interesting volume of Christian experience, James' Abstract of the Gracious Dealings of God with several Eminent Christians. The persecutions that Mrs. Beaumont went through were like a dreadful tempest, yet was she joyfully delivered out of them all.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 68. 'All is a case,' all the same. A case—that which falls, comes, or happens; an event. See Blackie's Imperial Dictionary.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 69. 'Baulks,' missing, omitting, leaving untouched. 'This was looked for at your hand, and this was baulked; the double gill of this opportunity you let time wash off, and you are now sailed into the north of my lady's opinion; where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman's beard.'—Twelfth Night, Act iii. Scene 2; and Imperial Dictionary.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 70. 'Above five year and a quarter' are the words in the first edition, 1666. His imprisonment commenced November 1660; the order for his release bears date September 13, 1672, but it was some months before he was discharged.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 71. Angel visits may be expected when Antichrist persecutes the Christian to bonds and imprisonment. An angel released Peter from prison; angels revealed to John, when exiled to Patmos, the wonders of his book of Revelation. The Lord of angels, the angel of the covenant, communes with Bunyan in his dungeon, and converts it into a Bethel to his soul; and this, for refusing obedience to the laws of his country, because those laws violated God's prerogative, and impiously dared to assume authority which belongs exclusively to the Almighty. They remain to this day a disgrace to our statutes, but are never enforced.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 72. Bunyan did well to prepare for the worst. He must have been familiar with the horrid cruelties practiced upon Dr. Leighton by that fiend in human shape, Archbishop Laud. The pious and learned doctor was caught in Bedfordshire; and the story of his unparalleled sufferings strengthened the Roundheads to deeds of valour, in putting an end to such diabolical cruelties. The spirit of the charges against him were his saying that no king may make laws in the house of God; and that the bishops were ravens and magpies that prey upon the state. His sufferings are narrated in Brooke's Puritans, vol. ii. p. 478.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 73. 'Tuition' was altered to 'care' in later editions.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 74. i.e., My profession—the soul, shrinking from pain, moving him one way, and his profession another.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 75. 'To scrabble,' to go on all fours—'to move along on the hands and knees, by clawing with the hands.'—Blackie's Imperial Dictionary.—Ed. BACK TO TEXT 76. This is the language of a heaven-born soul, which sees such beauty and excellency in Christ, that it would not part with him for a thousand worlds; if there were no heaven hereafter, his delight in the ways of God renders his service preferable to all the wealth, grandeur, and vain pleasures of the ungodly.—Mason. BACK TO TEXT

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