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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. How many restless nights did he pass through without the least murmuring or reluctancy of spirit! Ele patiently suffered very grievous things through Christ that strengthened him ; and in his most afflicted condition was thankful. But peither 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 me; I make no haste to my Father's “ house." But the wise 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 was preached by Dr. Bates, and dedicated to the above pious Lady Exeter.

His Works are, “A Commentary on the first four Verses of the viiith 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, 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, who 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 ihe 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 be 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 himselt, 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 God, in mercy, shewed me more of my state by na

66 ture.”

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 together, 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 {ó 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 God 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 assaúlts, and delivered out of their afflictions; and also On: the deceitfulness, wickedness, and unbelief 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 expression 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. Nomb. 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. However, 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 5 since to get it again from earth to heaven.”

After this season of illumination and rejoicing, he 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

vile delusions of this truly antinomian sect, though in the prime and vigour of his life. But the Bible was particularly precious to him in those days, and he read and meditated in it with more than ordinary delight and pleasure, praying earnestly that he might not be left to lean to his own understanding, but might know the truth, and be kept in the way to life and glory.

After many severe and uncommon spiritual conflicts, which he relates at large in his treatise, entitled “ Grace

abounding, &c.” he was led, at length, to open his mind to some religious people in Bedford, and particularly to. those whose discourse he had overheard at his first setting out. They made his case known to Mr. Gifford, their minister, who, after conversing with him and hoping him to be sincere, invited him to attend the society meetings held at his own house. Here he heard of the Lord's dealings with others, and the instructions and encouragement Mr. Gifford gave them from time to time, by which he received further conviction, and saw more and more of the inward vanity, deceitfulness, and wretchedness of his own heart: Insomuch that he thought be grew worse and worse, and was farther from conversion than ever, and was exceedingly discouraged. Yet sometimes this Scripture afforded him comfort: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me, Isa. xlv. 5. He had such a view of his original and inward pollution, that he was more loathsome in his own eyes than a toad, and thought he was so in the sight of God. At this sight of his vileness, he was almost driven to despair, being ready to conclude, that such a condition was inconsistent with a state of grace, and that he was forsaken of Goj), and given up to the devil and a reprobate mind. In this state he continued for several years.

He remarks, that while he was thus exercised with the workings of corruptions and the fear of damnation, he was surprised at two things; the one was, to see old people hunting after the things of this life, as if they should live here always; the other was, to find professors distressed and cast down when they met with outward losses, as of a husband, wife, child, &c. &c. “ What seeking (says he) " after carnal things by some, and what grief in others for “ the loss of them; whereas if I knew but that my soul “ was in a good condition, how rich should I esteem my“self, though blessed but with bread and water: I should 46 reckon these but small afflictions and should bear them « as little burdens: But a wounded spirit who can bear !"

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