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one scripture with another; for that will open itself if it be rightly compared. As for instance, if under the different apprehensions of the word MEDIATOR, ("He seems shrewdly to remind Mr. Cobb,' says Ivimey, that as he had undertaken the office of a mediator between him and the justices, he should be faithful to both parties,') you would know the truth of it, the Scriptures open it; and tell us, that he that is a mediator, must take up the business between two, and “a mediator is not a mediator of one-but God is one, and there is one mediator between God and man, even the man Christ Jesus. So likewise the Scripture calleth Christ a complete, or perfect, or able high priest. That is opened in that he is called man and also God. His blood also is discovered to be effectually eff. cacious by the same things. So the Scripture, as touching the matter of meeting together, &c., doth likewise sufficiently open itself and discover its meaning.
“ COBB. But are you willing, said he, to stand to the judg. ment of the church ?
“ Bun. Yes Sir, said I, to the approbation of the church of God, (the church's judgment is best expressed in Scripture.) We had much other discourse, which I cannot well remember, about the laws of the nation, and submission to governors ; after which I told him, that I did look upon myself as bound in conscience to walk according to all righteous laws, and that, whether there were a king or not; and if I did any thing that was contrary, I did hold it my duty to bear patiently the penalty of the law, that was provided against such offenders ; with many more words to the like effect. And I said moreover, that to cut off all occasions of suspicion from any, as touching the harmlessness of my doctrines in private, I would willingly take the pains to give any one the notes of all my
For I do sincerely desire to live quietly in my country, and to submit to the present authority.
“ COBB. Well, neighbour Bunyan, said he, but indeed I would wish you seriously to consider of these things, between this and the quarter-sessions, and to submit yourself. You may do much good if you continue still in the land. But alas, what benefit will it be to your friends, or what good can you do to them, if you should be sent away beyond the seas into Spain or CONSTANTINOPLE, or some other remote part of the world ? Pray be ruled !
JAIL. Indeed, Sir, I hope he will be ruled ! “Bun. I shall desire, said I, in all godliness and honesty to
behave myself in the nation whilst I am in it. And if I must be so dealt withal, as you say, I hope God will help me to bear what they shall lay upon me.
I know no evil that I have done in this matter, to be so used. I speak as in the presence of God.
“COBB. You know, saith he, that the Scripture saith, the powers that be, are ordained of God.'
“Bun. I said yes, and that I was to submit to the king as supreme, and also to the governors, as to them who are sent by him.
“ COBB. Well then, said he, the king then commands you, that you should not have any private meetings; because it is against his law, and he is ordained of God, therefore you should not have any. “ Bun. I told him, that Paul did own the powers
that in his day, to be of God; and yet he was often in prison under them for all that. And also, though Jesus Christ told Pilate, that he had no power against him, but of God, yet he died under the same Pilate ; and yet, said I, I hope you will not say, that either Paul or Christ, were such as did deny magis. tracy, and so sinned against God in slighting the ordinance. Sir, said I, the law hath provided two ways of obeying : The one to do that which I in my conscience do believe that I am bound to do, actively; and where I cannot obey actively, there I am willing to lie down, and to suffer what they shall do unto
At this he sat still and said no more ; which when he had done, I did thank him for his civil and meek discoursing with me; and so we parted.
“O that we might meet in Heaven !” Bunyan exclaimed, as this negociation closed. They met first, however, in the Court, at the Bedford Assizes in 1662, and then Cobb meanly and malignantly deprived him of the opportunity of appearing before the Judge ; blotted his name from the Calendar, threat. ened his Jailer, and suborned the Court against him. Well might Bunyan say, “ Mister Cobb did discover himself to be one of my greatest opposers.”
It was well for Bunyan that he knew Wycliffe's opinion. It had as much influence upon his manly resistance of unjust human Laws, as Luther's opinions had upon his evangelical treatment of the divine Law. It is thus that the watchwords of the Master-Spirits of one age, find out and unfold the inci. pient master-spirits of fu'ure ages, whenever a crisis comes. Wycliffe and Luther, Bunyan and Baxter, Whitefield and
Wesley, have not done half their work yet upon the world. Their winged words," are but rising to the eagle-elevation, from which they will shoot down with eagle-power upon all ecclesiastical error, apathy, and inefficiency. Our old Reformers, will reform us eventually, if their Books be allowed to live! And, live they will, whatever die! No man, in his senses, can iniagine for a moment, that the mongrel theology of the Oxford Tract School, or the meagre theology of the Christian Knowledge Society, can ever supersede Barrow, or suppress Butler, or eclipse Newton, or neutralize Simeon. The world cannot be thrown back thus, by monks, hermits, or hierophants. The four winds of heaven are too full of the winged seeds of both the first and the second Reformation (Protestantism and Methodism,) to allow the arable land of the nation to be sown again with the Tares of popery, priestcraft, or formalism. What is the weight of a Pusey, Hook, or Exe. ter, when thrown into the scale against Taylor and Tillotson; Baxter and Butler ; Bishop Hall and John Bunyan ?
“ Less than nothing and vanity!" Contrasts, which shock the understanding, and sharpen the wits, of thinking men!
BUNYAN'S SECOND WIFE.
"The woman whom Sir Matthew Hale evidently respected, as well as pitied and advised, when she pleaded in open Court her husband's cause, deserves to share her husband's immortality. She would have deserved this, had there been no HALE to appreciate her. Well might Mr. St. John say of her, “It is abundantly manifest, that the wife of the humble preacher fell not short of an Arria or a Lady Russell in soul.” He might have added, that Pliny had not a better comforter in his Hispulla, nor Cicero an abler advocate in his Terentia, than Bun. yan had in his Elizabeth.
Mr. St. John has done himself great credit by saying of the second Mrs. Bunyan, that she was “ worthy of the first.” The first deserves this tribute, although she had neither the talents nor the spirit of the second : for her meek and quiet spirit made her as emphatically “a helpmate " for Bunyan whilst he was a prisoner in Doubting Castle, as Elizabeth was when he was a prisoner in Bedford Jail. It may be said of each of them with equal truth, “ of this fine, high-minded English woman, little, by far too little is known.”
I can hardly forgive Bunyan for saying so little about his first wife. He has not said much, indeed, about the second; but then, he has allowed her to speak for herself; whereas, he has left only the works of the first “ to praise her in the gate.' Well; her works are no mute memorial! Perhaps Bunyan thought so, and therefore was silent'; for fine taste was one of the instincts of his genius. He showed this, by saying nothing of her death. That was most likely hastened by the calumny and threatnings, which assailed him so long and sharply. These “smayed" (dismayed,) at first, even the high spirit of his
young wife ; and well nigh proved as fatal to herself as to her first-born. No wonder, therefore, if they brought the wife of his youth to a premature grave, after all the hard work, and harder watching, which she had gone through for many years. He did well, therefore, in saying nothing about her death, in his Narratives. He could only have traced it to the same cause, which perilled the life of Elizabeth ; and as this must have drawn down public odium, if not indignation, upon the ringleaders of his enemies, he remained silent, that they might be safe. Besides, Bunyan never brings forward any part of his domestic history, but when it is essential to explain leading points in his character or ministry; and even then, the references are but slight; for he is delicately modest, even when he is most egotistical; and always more concerned for his public object, than for his private affairs. Accordingly, he allows Elizabeth no second opportunity of displaying either her conjugal and maternal character, or her natural eloquence and noble spirit, after she has defended his ministerial rights before the Judges. Indeed, from that time she disappears al. together. It is delightful, however, to trace in the subsequent narrative, the high zest and complacency with which Bunyan records, what Mr. St. John well calls the “intrepid replies of his young wife, when pleading for his liberty, in language which the most Patrician lips might not have scorned, and which shook the resolution, or disturbed the equanimity, of more than one of the assembly.” Bunyan says, “ After I had received sentence of Banishment or Hanging from them, and after the former admonition, touching the determination of the justices, if I did not recant; just when the time drew nigh, in which I should have abjured, or have done worse (as Mr. Cobb told me) came the time in which the king was to be crowned, April 23, 1661. Now at the coronation of kings, there is usually a releasement of divers prisoners by virtue of his coronation: in which privilege also I should have had my share ; but that they took me for a convicted person,
and there. fore, unless I sued out a pardon, (as they called it) I could have no benefit thereby, notwithstanding ; yet forasmuch as the coronation proclamation did give liberty from the day the king was crowned, to that day twelvemonth to sue it out; therefore, though they would not let me out of prison, as they let out thousands, yet they could not meddle with me, as touch. ing the execution of their sentence; because of the liberty of. fered for the suing out of pardons. Whereupon I continued in prison till the next assizes, which are called Midsummer Assizes, being then kept in August, 1661.
66 Now at that assizes, because I would not leave any possible