Abbildungen der Seite

I! THE LIFE OF JOHN BUNYAN. ____—__.___.,i "b" '_ ____.~..._l_ andimagination, were remarkably sound and vigorous: so that he made Very great proficiency in the knowledge of scriptural divinity, though brought up in ignorance: but he never made much progress in human learning-Even such persons, as did not favour his religious principles have done ample justice to his mental powers. The celebrated Dr. JOHNSON ranks the Pilgrim’s Progress among a very few books indeed, of which the reader when he comes to the conclusion, wishes they had been longer; and allows it to rank high among the works of original genius'.—-But it is above all things wonderful, that BU NYAN’s imagination, fertile and vigorous in a Very great degree, and wholly untutored by the rules of learning, should in this instance have been so disciplined by sound judgement, and deep acquaintance with the scripture, as to produce in the form of an allegory, one of the fairest and most unexceptionable treatises on the system of Calvinism, that can be found in the ENGLISH language! In several of his other publications his imagination sometimes carried him beyond just bounds: but here he avoids all extremes, and seems notto deviate either to the right hand or to the left. Perhaps, as be was himself liable to depression of spirit, and had passed through deep distresses, the view he gives of the pilgrim’s temptations may be too gloomy: but he has shown in the course of the work, that this arose principally from inadequate views of evangelical truth, and the want of christian communion, with the benefits to be derived from/the counsels of a faithful minister.

i l’iozzr's Anecdotes of Joussou.---Bosw|u.r.'s Life of jonsrsox, vol. ii.

p. 97. 2d edit.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][ocr errors]

AS I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where Was a den, and laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream.. I dreamed, and behold ‘ I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a 'certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back‘.’ I looked, and saw him open the book and read therein; and- as he read he wept and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying

‘ What shall I do?" In this plight therefore he went home, and refrained

himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: ‘ O my dear wife,'

I Isai. lxiv. 6. Luke xiv. 33. Fail. xxxviii. 4. Hab. ii. a. z Acts ii. 37.



—— u said he, ‘ and you the children of my bowels, I your ‘ dear friend am in myself undone by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me: moreover, I am certainly ‘ informed that this our city will be burned with fire ‘ from heaven: in which fearful overthrow, both myself, ‘ with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall ‘ miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape may be found, whereby ‘ we may be delivered.’ At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come they would know how he did: he told them ‘ Worse and ‘ worre.’ He also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriage to him : sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them; and also to condole his own misery. He would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; and thus for some days he spent his time.

Now I saw, upon a time when he was walking in the fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading inhis book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he



read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying “ What shall I do to be saved‘ P”

I saw also that he looked this way and that way as if he would run; yet he stood still because (as I perceived) he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named EVANGELIST coming to him, and he asked, ‘ Wherefore dost thou cry?’

He answered, Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgement; and I find that I am not willing to do the first nor able to do the second'.

Then said EVANGELIST, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils? The man answered, Because -I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into To/zllet’. And, Sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit to go to judgement, and from thence to execution: and the thoughts of these things make me cry.

Then said EVANGELIST, If this be thy condition why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within, “ Flee from the “ wrath to come ‘.”

The man therefore read it, and, looking upon EVANGELIST very carefully, said, Whither must I flee? Then said EVANGELIST, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder WICKET-GATE’? The man said, N 0. Then said the other, Do you

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic]

see yonder shining light‘? He said, I think I do. Then said Evancnusr, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which when thou knockest it shall be told thee what thou shalt do. So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door but his wife and children perceiving it began to cry after him to return“; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying ‘ Life! life! eternal life!’ So he looked not behind him' but fled towards the middle of the plain.

The neighbours also came out to see him run: and

as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of one was OBsrmArE and the name of the other PLIABLE. Now by this time the man was got a good distance from them; but however they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, Neighbours, wherefore are ye come? They said, To persuade you to go back with us; but he said, That can by no means be: you dwell, said he, in the city of' "DESTRUCTION; the place also where I was born; I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you. will sink lower than the grave into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me.

What, said Onsrnmrn, and leave our friends and our comforts behind us!

l Psalmxix. 105. a Pet. i. 19. 4 Luke xiv. :6. 3 Gen. xix. r7. iCor. iv. 18.

« ZurückWeiter »