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he would not suffer me to mention. But said, hold ; not so many; which is the first ?
“ Bun. I said this : “As every man hath received the gift, even so let him minister the same unto another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God: if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God,' &c.
“ KEEL. He said, let me a little open that scripture to you : • As every man hath received the gift ;' that is, said he, as every man hath received a trade so let him follow it. man have received the gift of tinkering, as thou hast done, let him follow his tinkering. And so other men their trades. And the Divine his calling, &c.
“ Bun. Nay, Sir, said I, but it is most clear, that the apos. tle speaks here of preaching the Word; if you do but com. pare both the verses together, the next verse explains this gift, what it is ; saying, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.' So that it is plain, that the Holy Ghost doth not so much in this place exhort to civil callings, as to the ex. ercise of those gifts that we have received from God. I would have gone on, but he would not give me leave.
“ KEEL. He said we might do it in our families, but not otherwise.
“Bun. I said, if it were lawful to do good to some, it was lawful to good to more.
If it were a good duty to exhort our families, it was good to exhort others : but if they held it a sin to meet together to seek the face of God, and exhort one another to follow Christ, I should sin still : for so we should do.
“KEEL. He said he was not so well versed in scripture as to dispute, or words to that purpose. And said, moreover, that they could not wait upon me any longer ; but said to me, then you confess the indictment, do you not? Now, and not till now, I saw I was indicted!
“Bun. I said, this I confess, we have had many meetings together, both to pray to God, and to exhort one another, and that we had the sweet comforting presence of the Lord among us for our encouragement, blessed be his name ; therefore, I confess myself guilty, and no otherwise,
“KEEL. Then said he, hear your judgment. You must be had back again to prison, and there lie for three months following; and at three months' end, if you do not submit to go to church to hear divine service, and leave your preaching, you must be banished the realm : and if, after such a day as shall be
appointed you to be gone, you shall be found in this realm, &c. or be found to come over again without special license from the king, &c. you must stretch by the neck for it, I tell you plainly;' and so he bid my jailor have me away.
“ Bun. I told him, as to this matter, I was at a point with him: for if I were out of prison to-day, I would preach the gospel again to-morrow, by the help of God.
6 ANOTHER. To which one made me some answer ; but my jailor pulling me away to be gone, I could not tell what he said.
“ Thus I departed from them; and I can truly say, I bless the Lord Jesus Christ for it, that my heart was sweetly refreshed in the time of my examination, and also afterwards, at my returning to the prison: so that I found Christ's words more than bare trifles, where he saith, “He will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay, nor resist.' This peace no man can take from us.
“ Thus have I given you the substance of my examination. The Lord make this profitable to all that shall read or hear it. FAREWELL.
This trial is wonderfully like some earlier trials, which are now universally condemned by Protestants. Thus the Lollards and Wycliffites were treated by the Church and State of their times : but what Protestant would call them unreasonable ; or say of them, that having persuaded themselves “by weak arguments, they used them as strong ones ;” or distinguish between them and Martyrs “ who had no other alternative than idolatry or the stake ?" Not Dr. Southey, certainly. And yet, thus he distinguishes between Bunyan, and the Martyrs whose example Bunyan was prepared to follow. Why? Because, he says, Bunyan was neither called upon to renounce any thing that he did believe, nor to profess any thing he did not.” -Life, p. 70. Now it is true that, “except in the point of infant baptism, he did not differ a hair's breadth from the doc. trines of the Church of England. So far there is no par. allel between Bunyan and the first Protestant martyrs. But although the points for which he contended were not the same, the penalty for preaching them “ up and down the country was imprisonment, banishment, or death : and therefore, the less he differed from the Church in doctrine, the more culpable was the Church in calling for the sword of the Magistrate. Never were her Altars or her Liturgy so profaned, as when attendance on them was enforced by fines, chains, and dun. geons. This was a desecration of them, viler than any which the most fanatical of the Roundheads perpetrated. The Prayer-Book was shamefully insulted when it was tossed by their spears, and torn by their mailed hands : but it was disgraced, when its own votaries enforced it by batons, brands, and the sword. When thus bristled with weapons so unlike itself, and so alien to its holy design, Bunyan was more than justified in rejecting the use of it, and in refusing to worship where it was used : for, what was it but an idol, when, like the golden image on the plain of Dura, the fiery furnace sus. tained its claims? The King and the Church went as far beyond their prerogative when they commanded all men to worship by it, as Nebuchadnezzar when he commanded all men to worship his golden image. Besides, the Sword in Religion is as much an idol as Moloch or Baal. No idolatry which the first Protestants 6 resisted even unto blood,” was more opposed to either the letter or the spirit of Christianity, than the sword of persecution. Bunyan was, therefore, ready to go to the stake for the same principle that the Lollards and Wycliffites went to it. He knew the spirit of Christianity, although the Church mistook it, and although the author of " The Book of the Church,” says, that “John Bunyan did not ask himself how far the case of those Martyrs resembled the situation in which he was placed.” He saw, if Dr. Southey do not, that resistance unto blood, against a system which “ reigned unto death,” was a plain duty wherewith there may be no compromise.”—Life. This fling at Bunyan's martyr-spirit, as influenced by weak arguments, is very like Dr. Lingard's explanation of that faithful martyr, SAWTRE, whom Arundel burnt at Smithfield, in 1401 ;—“The enthusiast aspired to the crown of martyrdom, and had the satisfaction to fall a victim to his own folly.”
In thus animadverting upon the Church of the Restoration I do not forget that the Church of the Commonwealth persecu. ted also. Laws or swords forbidding the Prayer-Book, were as unchristian as those which enforced it. Dissenters, how. ever, do not palliate the errors of the Puritans, nor sneer at the victims of their intolerance. No Nonconformist pen would underrate the imprisonment, or the privations, of Bishops Hall and Taylor. They too were high-minded and hot-minded men ; engaged in “ a course of dangerous activity,” at one time; but who would flippantly say of them, that they “ had leisure in confinement, to cool and ripen?” No good cause can
be promoted or upheld, by disparaging the spirit, motives, or reasons of such men as Taylor, Hall
, and Bunyan, when they became sufferers for conscience' sake. Even historical truth is trifled with, when it is said of Bunyan, that “ he was only required not to go about the country holding conventicles.” Well might Conder call this “extreme disingenuousness," seeing “ the statute under which Bunyan was indicted, rendered his nonconformity itself a crime ; for his abstaining from coming to Church was placed at the front of his offence: and he was not only required to profess what, in him, would have been hypocrisy, but to renounce what he believed to be his sacred duty.”—Life, p. 25.
His own explanations in the Pilgrim's Progress, will best close this chapter: FAITHFUL is made to say, “In answer to what Mr. Envy hath spoken, I never said aught but this ;—that what rule, or laws, or custom, or people, were flat against the Word of God, are diametrically opposite to Christianity. As to Mr. Superstition, and his charge against me, I said only this, -that in the worship of God a divine faith is required, and there can be no divine faith without a divine Revelation of the will of God. Therefore, whatever is thrust into His worship, not agreeable to divine Revelation, cannot be done but by a human faith ; which faith will not be profitable to Eternal Life.”
BUNYAN's defence did not end with his trial. He had to argue the question over again with the Clerk of the Peace and the Jailor. “ The Justices,” as he calls them, seem, like Pilate, to have “ feared the people ;” and therefore sent Cobb, the Clerk, to negociate with him privately. And they chose well : for Cobb was a good diplomatist, and Bunyan regarded him as a friend. This circumstance brought out a full view of Bun. yan's spirit. He spoke without reserve or suspicion; and thus, although he furnished his Tempter with weapons which were afterwards wielded against himself, he also threw open his heart to posterity, and showed at once his metal and mo. tives. Neither Cobb's reasonings, nor the Jailor's kind re. monstrances, moved him at all, except to acknowledge their “meekness;' a compliment which the cobwebs ill deserved ; for they were spun to ensnare him, as the Spider showed even. tually.
This does not appear from the process of the negociation. Throughout that, Cobb seems a kind, although not a wise, friend; and Bunyan somewhat obstinate, as well as firm : for he refused to accept the liberty of exhorting his neighbours privately. He would be nothing but a Preacher, or a Prisoner; a Minister, or a Martyr! This was not obstinacy in him. He had felt it to be his duty to preach salvation to others, even when he had little or no hope of salvation for himself. Neither the fear nor the fire of the wrath of God, even when at their height in his own mind, could stop him from warning men to flee from that wrath. It was not likely, therefore, that the wrath of man would weigh with him.
Besides, he had learned, by some means, that Wycliffe had said, “Whoever leaveth off preaching the Word of God for fear of excommunication from men, is excommunicated by