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not vehement and confident, not imposing and overbearing, but receptive of advice, and yielding to reason. His compassionate charity and beneficence were very conspicuous amongst his other graces. His heart was given to God, and his relieving hand was open to the living images of God, whose pressing wants he felt with tender affections, and he was greatly instrumental in supplying them. As his life adorned the gospel, so also his death was exemplary to others, and gracious and comfortable to himselt
. The words of men leaving the world make usually the deepest impressions, being spoken most feelingly and truly, and with the least affectation. Death reveals the secrets of men's hearts : And the testimonies of dying saints, how gracious a Master they have served, and how sweet his service has been to their souls, have a mighty influence upon those about them.
In his last sickness, which was long and painful, his first work was, to yield himself with resigned submission to the will of God. When a dear friend of his first visited him, he said, “ I am in the use of means; but “ I think my appointed time is come, that I must die :
life might be serviceable to convert or build up one soul, I should be content to live; but if “ God hath no work for me to do, here I am, let “ him do with me as he pleaseth : But to be with “ Christ is best of all.” Another time he told the same person, “ That now it was visible it was a determined “ case: The Lord would not hear the prayer, to bless " the means used for his recovery," therefore desired his friends to be willing to resign him to God, saying, “ It will not be long before we meet in heaven,
never to part more, and there we shall be perfectly happy : There neither your doubts and fears, nor
my pains and sorrows, shall follow us, nor • sins, which is best of all.” After a long continuance in his languishing condition, without any sensible alteration, being asked how he did, he replied, “ I lie here, “ but get no ground for heaven or earth :" Upon which one said, "Yes, in your preparations for heaven.' " O yes, said he, there I sensibly get ground, I bless
An humble submission to the divine pleasure was the babitual frame of his soul Whether the hope of his recovery were raised or sunk, he was content in every dispensation of providence.
His patience under sharp and continuing pains was admirable. The most difficult part of a Christian's duty, the sublimest degree of holiness upon earth, is to bear tormenting pains with a meek and quiet spirit. Then faith is made perfect in works; and this was eminently verified in his long trial. His pains were very severe, proceeding from a cancerous humour that spread itself in his joints, and preyed upon the tenderest membranes, the most sensible parts, yet his patience was invincible. Ilow many restless nights did he pass through without the least murmuring or reluctancy of spirit! He patiently suffered very grierous things through Christ that strengthened him ; and in his most afllicted condition was thankful. But neither disease, nor even death itself, could disturb the blessed composure of his soul, which was kept by the peace of God that passes all understanding. Such was the divine mercy, he had no anxiety about his future state, but a comfortable assurance of the Lord's favour, and his title to the eternal inheritance.
He had a substantial double joy in the reflection upon his life spent in the faithful service of Christ, and the prospect of a blessed eternity ready to receive him. This made him long to be above. He said with some regret,
Death flies from nie; I make no laste to my Father's “ house." But the wisę and gracious God, who is rich in mercy, having tried his faithful servant, at length gave him the crown of life, which he hath promised to those that love him, and live and die in the Lord. His body, that poor relict of frailty, is committed in trust to the grave. His soul sees the face of God in righteousness, and is satisfied with his likeness.
He died of a cancerous humour, in the Countess of Exeter's house, on the twenty-seventh of March 1687, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, leaving behind him an incomparable library of the most valuable books, in all parts of learning; which was afterwards sold by auction for thirteen hundred pounds. His funeral sermon preached by Dr. Bates, and dedicated to the above pious Lady Exeter.
His Works are, “A Commentary on the first four Verses of the viith chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, 4to. A Treatise of Holy Dedication, both personal and domestic, written after the fire of London, and recommended to the citizens, after their return to their rebuilt habitations, and other tracts. A Funeral Sermon for Mr. M. Martin. Another for Mr. Vines, with an account of
his life.-Another for Mr. Case, with a narrative of his life and death. The life and death of Mr. William Whitaker, son of the famous Mr. Jer. Whitaker. Two Sermons in the Morning Exercise. A Sermon at St. Paul's, Oct. 26, 1656. A Sermon before the Lord Mayor, &c. at the Spittal.'
JOHN BUNYAN. JOHN BUNYAN, Author of the justly admired allegory of the “ Pilgrim's Progress, was born at Elstow, near Bedford, in the year 1628. His parents, though very mean, took care to give him that learning which was suitable to their condition, bringing him up to read and write; he quickly forgot both, abandoning himself to all manner of wickedness, but not without frequent checks of conscience. He was often affrighted with dreams, and terrified with visions in the night; and twice narrowly escaped drowning. Being a soldier in the parliament army, at the siege of Leicester, in 1645, he was drawn out to stand sentinel ; but another soldier of his company desired to take his place, to which he agreed, and thereby probably escaped being shot through the head by a musket-ball, which took off his comrade. About this time he married, having no other portion with his wife than the two following books, left by her late father, · The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven ;' and - The
Practice of Piety.' Bunyan often reading in these books, and his wife frequently telling him of her father's religious holy life, and how he reproved vice and immorality both in his own house and among his neighbours, begat in him some desires to reform his vicious course of life; and accordingly he went to church twice a-day, with a great deal of seeming devotion, but still was not able to forsake his sins. One day being at play with his companions, he says, “ A voice suddenly darted from heaven into my soul, say“ ing, Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have " thy sins and go to hell?” This put him into such a consternation, that he immediately left his sport, and looking up to heaven, thought he saw, with the eyes of his understanding, the Lord Jesus looking down, upon him, as highly displeased with him, and threatening him with some grievous punishment for his ungodly practices. At another time, whilst he was throwing out oaths, he was severely reproved by a woman, wbo was herself a notorious sinner, and who told him he was the ugliest fellow for swearing that ever she heard in all her life; that he was able to spoil all the youth of the town, if they came but • into his company. This reproof, coming from a woman whom he knew to be very wicked, filled him with secret shame, and wrought more with him than many that had been given him before by those that were sober and godly, and made him, from that time, very much refrain from it.
A little time after this, he fell into company with a poor man that made a profession of religion, whose conversation of religion and of the Scriptures so affected Mr. Bunyan, that he began to read the Bible, and with some degree of pleasure, especially the historical part ; for as yet he was ignorant both of the corruption and depravity of his nature, and of the want and worth of Jesus Christ. This however produced an outward reformation in his life and conversation, and he set the commandments before him as his guide to heaven ; which, while he thought he kept, he had comfort, but when he broke any of them, his conscience was filled with guilt and horror: nevertheless, by a partial repentance, and promises to God of future amendment, he quieted himself, thinking then (to use his own words) that he pleased GOD “ as well as any man “ in England.” In this state he continued about a year, his neighbours all wondering at his reformation, and they who formerly spoke ill of him, now began to praise and commend him, both to his face and behind his back ; which as he knew nothing yet of Christ, nor the nature of grace, nor faith, nor hope, only filled him with pride and hypocrisy. “ I was all this while (says he) igno“ rant of Jesus Christ, and going about to establish my
own righteousness, and had perished therein, had not Gov, in mercy, shewed me more of my state by na
His father brought him up to his own business, which was that of a tinker : And going one day into Bedford to seek work, he heard three or four poor women sitting to- . gether, conversing of the things of God. He drew near to them, to hear what they said, for by this time he was a great talker, particularly about himself, in matters of religion ; “but (says he) I heard but understood not, for they were far above my reach.” Their talk was
about the new birth, the work of God in their hearts, how they were convinced of their miserable state by nature, and how Gou had visited their souls with his love in the Lord Jesus, and with what Scripture promises they had been refreshed, comforted, and supported against the temptations of the devil: They further spoke of the devices of Satan, how they had been borne up under his assaults, and delivered out of their afflictions; and also ou the deceitfulness, wickedness, and unbeliet of their hearts; loathing and abhorring themselves and their own righteousness as filthy and insufficient to do them any good. “ And methought (says he, using an espression of the “ most beautiful simplicity) they spake as though you did “make them speak;” and all “ with such pleasantness of “ Scripture language, and such appearance of grace, that " they seemed to me as if they had found a new world, and “ were people that dwelt alone, and were not to be reckoned “among the nations. Numb. xxiii. 9." Upon this his heart misgave him, and he doubted much of the goodness of his religious state, being conscious that in all his thoughts about religion and salvation, the new birth never entered into his mind, and that he was an entire stranger to the treachery of his own wicked heart, the nature of Satan's temptations, and how they were to be resisted, and of the comfort of God's gracious promises in the gospel. Ilowever, the deep and lasting impressions made on his mind by the conversation of these good people, led him frequently to discourse with them on the above important subjects, by which means his heart was so far changed, that he cordially embraced the truth on conviction of Scripture authority, and meditated therein continually with great delight: Yea, his whole soul became so fixed on eternity, and the things of the kingdom of God, that neither pleasures nor profits, persuasions nor threats, could move him from his stedfastness. “ Although I may speak it “ with shame, yet (says he) it is a certain truth, that it “ would have been as difficult for me to have taken my “ mind from heaven to earth, as I have found it often “since to get it again from earth to heaven.”
After this season of illumination and rejoicing, lie endured many severe conflicts; without were fightings, and within were fears. One of the first trials of his faith and constancy was that of some professors holding the truth in unrighteousness, viz. the Ranters, whose gospel-liberty was mere licentiousness : But he, being designed of God for better things, was kept from these enormities and the