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excluded ; else blood would bar virtue, and no man I them of more than ordinary virtue, whose examples that wanted the one should be allowed the benefit of have given light to their families. And it has been the other; which were to stint and bound nobility for something natural for some of their descendants to want of antiquity, and make virtue useless.
endeavour to keep up the credit of their houses in No, let blood and name go together; but pray, let proportion to the merit of their founder. And, to say nobility and virtue keep company, for they are nearest true, if there be any advantage in such descent, 'tis of kin. 'Tis thus posited by God himself, that best not from blood, but education ; for blood has no intelknows how to apportion things with an equal and just ligence in it, and is often spurious and uncertain ; hand. He neither likes nor wislikes by descent ; nor but education has a mighty influence and strong bias does he regard what people were, but are. He re-upon the affections and actions of men.* In this the members not the righteousness of any man that leaves ancient nobles and gentry of this kingdom did excel; his righteousness, much less any unrighteous man for and it were much to be wished that our great people the righteousness of his ancestor.
would set about to recover the ancient economy of But if these inen of blood please to think themselves their houses, the strict and virtuous discipline of their concerned to believe and reverence God in his Roly ancestors, when men were honoured for their achieveScriptures, they may learn that, in the beginning, he ments, and when nothing more exposed a man to shame, made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell upon than his being born to a nobility that he Lad not a all the face of the earth; and that we are descended virtue to support. of one father and mother; a more certain original than the best of us can assign. From thence go down
[Penn's Adrice to his children.] to Noah, who was the second planter of human race, and we are upon soine certainty for our forefathers.
Next, betake yourselves to some honest, industrious What violence has rapt, or virtue merited since, and
course of life, and that not of sordid coretousness, how far we that are alive are conrerned in either, will
but for example, and to avoid idleness. And if you be hard for us to determine but a few ages off' us.
change your condition and marry, choose with the But, methiuks, it should suffice to say, our own eyes
knowledge and consent of your mother, if living, or of see that men of blood, out of their gear an'l trappings,
guardians, or those that have the chare of you. Mind without their feathers and finery, have no more marks
neither beauty nor riches, but the fear of the Lord, of honour by nature stamped upon them than their
and a sweet and amiable disposition, such as you can inferior neighbours. Nay, themselves being judges,
love above all this world, and that may make your they will frankly tell us they feel all those passions
habitations pleasant and desirable to you. in their blood that make them like other men, if not
And being married, be tender, affectionate, patient, farther froin the virtue that truly dignifics.
Tha and meek. Live in the fear of the Lord, and he will lamentalle ignorance and debauchery that now rages
bless you and your offspring. Be sure to live within among too many of our greater sort of folks, is too
compass; borrow not, neither be beholden to any. clear and casting an evidence in the point: and pray,
Ruin not yourselves by kindness to others; for that tell me of what blood are they come i
exceeds the due bounds of friendship, neither will & llowbeit, when I have said all this, I intend not,
true friend expect it. Small matters I heed not. by debasing one false quality, to make insolent an
Let your industry and parsimony go no further other that is not true. I would not be thought to set
than for a sufficiency for life, and to make a prorision the churl upon the present gentleman's shoulder ; by
for your children, and that in moderation, if the Lord no means; his rudeness will not mend the matter.
gives you any. I charge you help the poor and needy; But what I have writ, is to gire aim to all, where true
let the Lord have a voluntary share of your income nobility dwells, that every one may arrive at it by the
for the good of the poor, both in our society and ways of virtue and goodness. But for all this, I must
others; for we are all his creatures; remenibering allow a great advantage to the gentleman ; and there.
that he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord, fore prefer his station, just as the Apostle Paul, who,
Know well your incomings, and your outgoings after he had humbled the Jews, that insulted upon the
may be better regulated. Love not money nor the Christians with their law and rites, gave them the ad- |
world: use them only, and they will serve you; but vantage upon all other nations in statutes and judg
if you love them you serve them, which will debase ments. I unust grant, that the condition of our great
your spirits as well as offend the Lord. men is much to be preferred to the ranks of inferior
Pity the distressed, and hold out a hand of help to people. For, first, they have more power to do good ;
them; it may be your case, and as you mete to others, and, if their hearts be equal to their ability, they are
God will mete to you again. blessings to the people of any country. Secondly, the
| Be humble and gentle in your conversation; of few eyes of the people are usually directed to them; and if
And if words I charge you, but always pertinent when you they will be kind, just, and helpful, they shall have
hor'speak, hearing out before you attempt to answer, and their affections and services. Thirdly, they are not
then speaking as if you would persuade, not impose. under equal straits with the inferior sort; and conse
Affront none, neither rerenge the affronts that are quently they have more help, leisure, and occasion, to
done to you ; but forgive, and you shall be forgiven of polish their passions and tempers with books and con
your heavenly Father. versation. Fourthly, they have more time to observe
Tin making friends, consider well first; and when the actions of other nations; to travel and view the
| you are fixed, be true, not wavering by reports, nor laws, customs, and interests of other countries, and
deserting in affliction, for that becomes not the good bring home whatsoever is worthy or imitable. And so
and virtuous. an easier way is open for great men to get honour; and
Watch against anger; neither speak nor act in it; such as love true reputation will embrace the best
for, like drunkenness, it makes a man a beast, and means to it. But because it too often happens that
throws people into desperate inconveniences. great men do little mind to give God the glory of
Avoid flatterers, for they are thieves in disguise ; their prosperity, and to live answerable to his mercies,
their praise is costly, designing to get by those they but, on the contrary, live without God in the world,
bespeak; they are the worst of creatures; they lie to fulfilling the lusts thereof, His hand is often seen,
* While the influence of education, here spoken of by Penn, either in impoverishing or extinguishing them, and is unquestionable, the fact of the hereditary transmission of raising up men of more virtue and humility to their qualities, both bodily and mental, has been equally well ascer estates and dignity. However, I must allow, that tained, although the laws by which it is regulated are still in among people of this rank, there have been some of some respects obscure.-Ed.
flatter, and flatter to cheat; and, which is worse, if father, who sometimes beat him with great severity, you believe them, you cheat yourselves most dange- particularly when the son persisted in remaining rously. But the virtuous, though poor, love, cherish, covered in his presence. To prevent the recurrence and prefer. Remember David, who, asking the Lord, of this offence, he successively took from Thomas • Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell all his hats, so that, when he went abroad, the exupon thy holy hill ? answers, He that walketh up- posure of his bare head occasioned a severe cold. rightly, worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth Still, however, there remained another cause of in his heart; in whose eyes the vile person is con- offence; for' whenever I had occasion,' says Ellwood, temned, but honoureth them who fear the Lord.
* to speak to my father, though I had no hat now Next, my children, be temperate in all things : into offend him, yet my language did as much; for I your diet, for that is physic by prevention; it keeps, durst not say "you” to him, but “thou” or “ thee,” nay, it makes people healthy, and their generation as the occasion required, and then he would be sure sound. This is exclusive of the spiritual advantage to fall on me with his fists. At one of these times, it brings. Be also plain in your apparel ; keep out I remember, when he had beaten me in that manthat lust which reigns too much over some; let your ner, he commanded me (as he commonly did at such virtues be your ornaments, remembering life is more times) to go to my chamber, which I did, and he than food, and the body than raiment. Let your fur- followed me to the bottom of the stairs. Being come niture be simple and cheap. Avoid pride, avarice, thither, he gave me a parting-blow, and in a very and luxury. Read my “No Cross, no Crown. There
angry tone, said, “ Sirrab, if ever I hear you say is instruction. Make your conversation with the most thou or thee to me again, I'll strike your teeth down eminent for wisdom and piety, and shun all wicked
your throat.” I was greatly grieved to hear him men as you hope for the blessing of God and the com
| say so, and feeling a word rise in my heart unto fort of your father's living and dying prayers. Be
| him, I turned again, and calmly said unto him, sure you speak no evil of any, no, not of the meanest;
“Should it not be just if God should serve thee so, much less of your superiors, as magistrates, guardians,
ates, guardians, when thou sayest'thou' or 'thee' to him." Though tutors, teachers, and elders in Christ.
his hand was up, I saw it sink, and his countenance Be no busybodies; meddle not with other folk's
fall, and he turned away, and left me standing there. matters, but when in conscience and duty pressed ;
But I, notwithstanding, went up into my chamber for it procures trouble, and is ill manners, and very
and cried unto the Lord, earnestly beseeching him unseemly to wise men.
that he would be pleased to open my father's eyes, In your families remember Abraham, Moses, and
that he might see whom he fought against, and for Joshua, their integrity to the Lord, and do as you
what; and that he would turn his heart.' have them for your examples. Let the fear and service of the living God be encou
But what has given a peculiar interest to Ellwood
| in the eyes of posterity, is the circumstance of his aged in your houses, and that plainness, sobriety,
| having been a pupil and friend of Milton, and one and moderation in all things, as becometh God's chosen people ; and as I advise you, my beloved chil
of those who read to the poet after the loss of his dren, do you counsel yours, if God should give you
sight. The object of Ellwood in offering his services any. Yea, I counsel and command them as my pos
as a reader was, that he might, in return, obtain terity, that they love and serve the Lord God with an
from Milton some assistance in his own studies. One upright heart, that he may bless you and yours from
of his friends, as we learn from his autobiography, generation to generation.
had an intimate acquaintance with Dr Paget, a And as for you, who are likely to be concerned in physician of note in London ; and he with John the government of Pennsylvania and my parts of East
Milton, a gentleman of great note for learning Jersey, especially the first, I do charge you before the
throughout the learned world, for the accurate pieces Lord God and his holy angels, that you be lowly,
he had written on various subjects and occasions. diligent, and tender, fearing God, loving the people,
This person, having filled a public station in former and hating covetousness. Let justice have its im
times, lived now a private and retired life in Lon. partial course, and the law free passage. Though to
don; and, having wholly lost his sight, kept always your loss, protect no man against it; for you are not a man to read to him, which, usually, was the son above the law, but the law above you. Live, there of some gentleman of his acquaintance, whom, in fore, the lives yourselves you would have the people kindness, he took to improve his learning.' The live, and then you have right and boldness to punish autobiography contains the following particulars of the transgressor. Keep upon the square, for God sees you : therefore, do your duty, and be sure you see
[Ellwood's Intercourse with Milton.] with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears. Entertain no lurchers, cherish no informers for gain or He received me courteously, as well for the sake of revenge, use no tricks, fly to no devices to support or Dr Paget, who introduced me, as of Isaac Pennington, cover injustice ; but let your hearts be upright before who recommended me, to both of whoin he bore a good the Lord, trusting in him above the contrivances of respect; and having inquired divers things of me, men, and none shall be able to hurt or supplant. with respect to my former progressions in learning, he
dismissed me, to provide myself of such accommodaTHOMAS ELLWOOD.
tions as might be most suitable to my future studies.
I went, therefore, and took myself a lodying as near THOMAS ELLWOOD (1639-1713) is the last writer to his house (which was then in Jewin-Street) as conveamong the early Quakers whom we think it neces- niently I could ; and, from thenceforward, went every sary to mention. He was a man of considerable day in the afternoon (except on the first days of the talent, and remarkably endowed with the virtues of week), and sitting by him in his dining-room, read to benevolence, perseverance, and integrity, which have him such books, in the Latin tongue, as he pleased to been so generally displayed by the members of the hear me read. Society of Friends. He seems to have been totally At my first sitting to read to him, observing that I free from the violent and intolerant disposition by used the English pronunciation, he told me if I would which George Fox was characterised. From an in- have the benefit of the Latin tongue (not only to read teresting and highly instructive Life of Ellwood, and understand Latin authors, but to converse with written by himself, it appears that his conversion to foreigners, either abroad or at home), I must learn the
To this I consenting, he inthe principles of Quakerism gave deep offence to his | foreign pronunciation.
structed me how to sound the vowels, so different from to him, 'Thou hast said much here of Paradise Lost : the common pronunciation used by the English (who | but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found? He speak Anglice their Latin), that (with some few other made me no answer, but sat some time in a muse; variations in sounding some consonants, in particular then brake off that discourse, and fell upon another cases, as C, before E or 1, like Ch; Sc, before I, like subject. Sh, &c.) the Latin thus spoken seemed as different After the sickness was over, and the city well from that which was delivered as the English gene-cleansed, and become safely habitable again, he rerally speak it, as if it was another language.
turned thither; and when, afterwards, I went to wait I had, before, during my retired life at my father's, on him there (which I seldom failed of doing, whenever by unwearied diligence and industry, so far recovered my occasions drew me to London), he showed me his the rules of grammar (in which I had once been very second poem, called Paradise Regained,' and, in a ready), that I could both read a Latin author, and, pleasant tone, said to me, 'This is owing to you, for after a sort, hammer out his meaning. But this you put it into my head at Chalfont; which before I change of pronunciation proved a new ditficulty to me. had not thought of It was now harder to me to read than it was before to
Ellwood furnishes some interesting particulars understand when read. But
concerning the London prisons, in which he and Labor omnia vincit
many of his brother Quakers were confined, and the Improbus.
manner in which they were treated both there and Incessant pains
out of doors. Besides his autobiography, he wrote The end obtains.
numerous controversial treatises, the most promiAnd so did I, which made my reading the more acnent of which is The Foundation of Tithes Shaken, ceptable to my master. He, on the other hand, per- published in 1682. His Sacred Histories of the old ceiving with what earnest desire I pursued learning, and New Testaments, which appeared in 1705 and gave me not only all the encouragement, but all the 1709, are regarded as his most considerable produchelp he could ; for, having a curious ear, he under tions. stood, by my tone, when I understood what I read, and when I did not; and accordingly would stop me,
JOHN BUNYAN. exainine me, and open the most difficult passages John BUNYAN (1628-1688), the son of a tinker to me.
residing at Elton, in Bedfordshire, is one of the most Thus went I on for about six weeks' time, reading remarkable religious authors of this age. He was to him in the afternoons, and exercising myself, with taught in childhood to read and write, and afterwards, my own books, in my chamber in the forenoons. I was sensible of an improvement.
But, alas ! I had fixed my studies in a wrong place. London and I could never agree for health. My lungs (as I suppose) were too tender to bear the sulphureous air of that city; so that I soon began to droop, and, in less than two months' time, I was fain to leave both my studies and the city, and return into the country, to preserve life ; and much ado I had to get thither. * * [Having recovered, and gone back to London,] I was very kindly received by my master, who had conceived so good an opinion of me, that my conversation (I found) was acceptable to him ; and he seemed heartily glad of my recovery and return; and into our old method of study we fell again, I reading to him, and he explaining to me as occasion required.
Some little time before I went to Aylesbury prison, I was desired by my quondam master, Milton, to take a house for him in the neighbourhood where I dwelt, that he might get out of the city, for the safety of himself and his family, the pestilence then growing hot in London. I took a pretty box for him in Giles Chalfont, a mile from me, of which I gave him notice, and intended to have waited on him, and seen him well-settled in it, but was prevented by that imprison
John Bunyan. ment.
But now, being released, and returned home, I soon having resolved to follow his father's occupation, made a visit to him, to welcome him into the country. travelled for many years about the country as a
After some common discourses had passed between repairer of metal utensils. At this time he is repreus, he called for a manuscript of his, which, being sented to have been sunk in profligacy and wickedbrought, he delivered to ine, bidding me to take it ness, though, as we find a love of dancing and ringing home with me, and read it at my leisure, and, when I bells included among what he afterwards looked upon had so done, return it to him, with my judgment as heinously sinful tendencies, it is probable that, like thereupon.
| many other religious enthusiasts, he has greatly exWhen I came home, and had set myself to read it, / aggerated the depravity of his unregenerated condiI found it was that excellent poem, which he entitled | tion. One of his most grievous transgressions was • Paradise Lost.' After I had, with the utmost atten- that of swearing immoderately; and it appears that tion, read it through, I made him another visit, and even while lying in wickedness, his conscience often returned him his book, with due acknowledgment for troubled him. By degrees his religious impressions the favour he had done me, in communicating it to acquired strength and permanence; till, after many me. He asked me how I liked it, and what I thought doubts respecting his acceptability with God, the of it, which I modestly but freely told him; and divine authority of the Scriptures, and the reality after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly said of his possession of faith (which last circumstance
he was once on the eve of putting to the test by translated into most of the European languages. The commanding some water puddles to be dry), he at object of this remarkable production, it is hardly length attained a comfortable state of belief; and, necessary to say, is to give an allegorical view of the having now resolved to lead a moral and pious life, life of a Christian, his difficulties, temptations, enwas, about the year 1655, baptised and admitted as a couragements, and ultimate triumph; and this is
done with such skill and graphic effect, that the book, though upon the most serious of subjects, is read by children with as much pleasure as the fictions professedly written for their amusement. The work is, throughout, strongly imbued with the Calvinistic principles of the author, who, in relating the contentions of his hero with the powers of darkness, and the terrible visions by which he was so frequently appalled, has doubtless drawn largely from what he himself experienced under the influence of his own fervid imagination. It has, not without reason, been questioned whether the religious ideas which the work is calculated to inspire, be not of so unneces sarily gloomy a character as to render its indiscriminate perusal by children improper. Of the literary merits of The Pilgrim's Progress' Mr Southey speaks in the following terms:--- His is a homespun style, not a manufactured one: and what a difference is there between its homeliness and the flippant vulgarity of the Roger L'Estrange and Tom Brown school! If it is not a well of English undefiled to which the poet as well as the philologist must repair, if they would drink of the living waters, it is a clear stream of current English, the vernacular speech of his age, sometimes, indeed, in its rusticity and coarseness, but always in its plainness and its strength. To this natural style Bunyan is in some degree beholden for his general popularity; his language is everywhere level to the most ignorant reader, and to the meanest capacity: there is a homely reality about it; a nursery tale is not more intelligible, in its manner of narration, to a child. Another cause of his popularity is, that he taxes the
imagination as little as the understanding. The Birthplace of Bunyan.
vividness of his own, which, as his history shows, member of the Baptist congregation in Bedford. By sometimes could not distinguish ideal impressions the solicitation of the other members of that body, from actual ones, occasioned this. He saw the things he was induced to become a preacher, though not of which he was writing as distinctly with his without some modest reluctance on his part. After mind's eye as if they were indeed passing before zealously preaching the gospel for five years, he was him in a dream. And the reader perhaps sees then. apprehended as a maintainer and upholder of as- more satisfactorily to himself, because the outline o. semblies for religious purposes, which, soon after the the picture only is presented to him, and the author Restoration, had been declared unlawful. His sen- having made no attempt to fill up the details, every tence of condemnation to perpetual banishment reader supplies them according to the measure and was commuted to imprisonment in Bedford jail, scope of his own intellectual and imaginative where he remained for twelve years and a-half. powers.'* Another allegorical production of Bunyan During that long period he employed himself partly which is still read, though less extensively, is The in writing pious works, and partly in making tagged Holy War made by King Shaddai upon Diabols, for laces for the support of himself and his family. the Regaining of the Metropolis of the World, or the His library while in prison consisted but of two Losing and Retaking of Mansoul. Here the fall of books, the Bible and Fox's Book of Martyrs, with man is typified by the capture of the flourishing both of which his own productions show him to city of Mansoul by Diabolus, the enemy of its right. have become extremely familiar. Having been li- ful sovereign Shaddai, or Jehovah; whose son Imberated through the benevolent endeavours of Dr manuel recovers it after a tedious siege. Bunyan's Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, he resumed his occupa Grace abounding to the Chief of Sinners (of which tion of itinerant preacher, and continued to exercise the most remarkable portions are given below) is an it until the proclamation of liberty of conscience interesting though fanatical narrative of his own life by James II. After that event, he was enabled, and religious experience. His other works, which by the contributions of his friends, to erect a meet- are numerous, and principally of the emblematic ing-house in Bedford, where his preaching attracted class, need not be mentioned, as their merits are large congregations during the remainder of his life. not great enough to have preserved them fron He frequently visited and preached to the noncon- almost total oblivion. The concluding extracts are formists in London, and when there in 1688, was from · The Pilgrim's Progress.' cut off by fever in the sixty-first year of his age.
While in prison at Bedford, Bunyan, as we have [Exctracts from Bunyan's Autobiography.) Baid, composed several works; of these The Pilgrim's! In this my relation of the merciful working of God Progress from this world to that which is to Come is,
upon my soul, it will not be amiss, if, in the first the one which has acquired the most extensive cele
ele: place, I do, in a few words, give you a hint of my brity. Its popularity, indeed, is almost unrivalled; it has gone through innumerable editions, and been * Southey's edition of The Pilgrim's Progress,' p. Lxxxviii.
pedigree and manner of bringing up, that thereby the would be as it were a prison to me. Then I said unto goodness and bounty of God towards me may be the God, 'Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge more advanced and magnified before the sons of men. of thy ways,' Job xx. 14, 15. I was now void of all
For my descent, then, it was, as is well known by good consideration; heaven and hell were both out of many, of a low and inconsiderable generation, my sight and mind; and as for saring and damning, they father's house being of that rank that is meanest and were least in my thoughts. O Lord, thou knowest most despised of all the families of the land. Where my life, and my ways are not hid from thee.' fore I have not here, as others, to boast of noble blood, But this I well remember, that, though I could myand of any high-born state, according to the flesh, self sin with the greatest delight and ease, yet eren though, all things considered, I magnify the heavenly then, if I had at any time seen wicked things, by those majesty, for that by this door he brought me into the who professed goodness, it would make my spirit world, to partake of the grace and life that is in Christ tremble. As once, above all the rest, when I was in by the gospel. But, notwithstanding the neanness the height of vanity, yet hearing one to swear that and inconsiderableness of my parents, it pleased God was reckoned for a religious man, it had so great a to put it into their hearts to put me to school, to learn stroke upon my spirit, that it made my heart ache. me both to read and write; the which I also attained, | But God did not utterly leave me, but followed me according to the rate of other poor men's children, still, not with convictions, but judgments mixed with though, to my shame, I confess I did soon lose that I mercy. For once I fell into a creek of the sea, and had learned, even almost utterly, and that long before hardly escaped drowning. Another cime I fell out of the Lord did work his gracious work of conversion a boat into Bedford river, but mercy yet preserved upon my soul. As for my own natural life, for the me; besides, another time being in the field with my time that I was without God in the world, it was, in companions, it chanced that an adder passed over the deed, according to the course of this world, and the highway, so I, having a stick, struck her over the back, spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, and having stunned her, I forced open her mouth with Eph. ii. 2, 3. It was my delight to be taken captive my stick, and plucked her sting out with my fingers, by the devil at his will, 2 Tim. ii. 26, being filled with | by which act, had not God been merciful to me, I all unrighteousness; the which did also so strongly might, by my desperateness, have brought myself to work, both in my heart and life, that I had but few my end. This, also, I have taken notice of with equals, both for cursing, swearing, lying, and blas- thanksgiving : when I was a soldier, I with others were pheming the holy name of God. Yea, so settled and drawn out to go to such a place to besiege it; but rooted was I in these things, that they became as a when I was just ready to go, one of the company de
d nature to me; the which, as I have also with sired to go in my room; to which when I had consoberness considered since, did so offend the Lord, that sented, he took my place, and coming to the siege, as even in my childhood he did scare and terrify me he stood sentinel, he was shot in the head with a with fearful dreams and visions. For often, after I musket-bullet, and died. Here, as I said, were judghad spent this and the other day in sin, I have been ments and mercy, but neither of them did awaken ny greatly afflicted while asleep with the apprehensions soul to righteousness; wherefore I sinned still, and of devils and wicked spirits, who, as I then thought, grew more and more rebellious against God, and carelaboured to draw me away with them, of which I less of my own salvation. could never be rid. Also I should, at these years, be Presently after this I cbanged my condition into & greatly troubled with the thoughts of the fearful tor- | married state, and my mercy was to light upon a wife ments of hell-fire, still fearing that it would be my | whose father and mother were counted godly; this lot to be found at last among those devils and hellish woman and I, though we came together as poor as poor fiends, who are there bound down with the chains and might be (not having so much household stuff as a bonds of darkness unto the judginent of the great day. dish or spoon betwixt us both), yet this she had for
These things, I say, when I was but a child but her part, The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven,' and nine or ten years old, did so distress my soul, that'The Practice of Piety,' which her father had left then, in the midst of my many sports and childish when he died. In these two books I sometimes read, vanities, amidst my vain companions, I was often wherein I found some things that were somewhat much cast down and afflicted in my mind therewith, pleasant to me (but all this while I met with no convet could I not let go my sins. Yea, I was also then / viction). She also often would tell me what a podly so overcome with despair of life and heaven, that I man her father was, and how he would reprove and should often wish either that there had been no hell, correct vice, both in his house and among his neighor that I had been a devil, supposing they were only bours, and what a strict and holy life he lived in his tormentors, that if it must needs be that I went thither, days, both in word and decd. Wherefore these books, 'I might be rather a tormentor then be tormented my-though they did not reach my heart to awaken it self.
about my sad and sinful state, yet they did beget A while after, these terrible dreams did leave me, within me some desires to reform any vicious life, and which also I soon forgot ; for my pleasures did quickly fall in very eagerly with the religion of the times; to cut off the remembrance of them, as if they had never wit, to go to church twice a day, and there very debeen ; wherefore, with more greediness, according to voutly both say and sing as others did, yet retaining the strength of nature, I did still let loose the reins my wicked life; but withal was so overrun with the of my lusts, and delighted in all transgressions against spirit of superstition, that I adored, and that with the law of God; so that, until I came to the state of great devotion, even all things (both the high-place, marriage, I was the very ringleader in all manner of priest, clerk, vestment, service, and what else) belongvice and ungodliness. Yea, such prevalency had the ing to the church; counting all things holy that were lusts of the flesh on my poor soul, that, had not a therein contained, and especially the priest and clerk miracle of precious grace prevented, I had not only most happy, and, without doubt, greatly blessed, beperished by the stroke of eternal justice, but also laid cause they were the servants, as I then thought, of myself open to the stroke of those laws which bring God, and were principal in the holy temple, to do his some to disgrace and shame before the face of the work therein. This conceit grew so strong upon my world.
spirit, that had I but seen a priest (though nerer so In these days the thoughts of religion were very sordid and debauched in his life), I should find my grievous to me; I could neither endure it myself, nor spirit fall under him, reverence him, and knit unto that any other should ; so that when I have seen some him; yea, I thought for the love I did bear unto them read in those books that concerned Christian piety, it | (supposing they were the ministers of God), I could