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sheriff had both promised that he should be called, yet the justices and the clerk of the
peace managed matters so as to prevent his appearing. The clerk of the peace, it will be remembered, was Cobb, who now threw off the mask of friendship, and “discovered himself,” says Bunyan,
to be one of my greatest opposers; for first he came to my jailer, and told him that I must not go down before the judge, and therefore must not be put in the calendar; to whom my jailer said, that my name was in already. He bid him put me out again : my jailer told him that he could not, for he had given the judge a calendar with my name in it, and also the sheriff another. At this he was very much displeased, and desired to see the calendar that was yet in the jailer's hand : when he had given it him, he looked on it, and said it was a false calendar, and blotted my accusation as my jailer had written it, and put in words to this purpose, That John Bunyan was committed to prison, being lawfully convicted for upholding of unlawful meetings and conventicles, &c. But yet for all this, fearing that what he had done, unless he added thereto, it would not do, he first run to the clerk of the assizes, then to the justices, and afterward, because he would not leave any means unattempted to hinder me, he comes again to my jailer, and tells him that if I did go down before the judge, and was released, he would make him pay my fees, which he said were due to him; and further told him, that he would complain of him at the next quarter sessions for making of false calendars, though my jailer himself, as I afterward learned, had put in my accusation worse than in itself it was by far. And thus was I prevented at that time also from appearing before the judge, and left in prison.”
It does not appear that he was ever again brought before the court, or that the judges who had, without a regular trial, unjustly sentenced him to banishment, ever attempted to carry that sentence into execution; for in another part of his narrative, written before his release from prison, he says, “I have lain there now complete twelve years, waiting to see what God would suffer these men to do with me.”
“And while he was suffering under this affliction, between cold stone walls, in a close confinement, his enemies abroad were labouring to press down and stifle his reputation with calumnies and reproaches. They not only reaped up what was true of his former wicke life, but added many grievous things to his charge that he was utterly innocent and ignorant of.”-Old Memoir.
BUNYAN'S EXPERIENCE, TRIALS, AND CONSOLA
TIONS DURING HIS IMPRISONMENT.
BUNYAN was not taken by surprise when he was called to suffer in the cause of Christ and his gospel. For more than a year before his commitment, the impression that “bonds and imprisonment,” if nothing worse, awaited him, was so strong, that he could seldom go to prayer without having presented to his mind the apostolic petition, "to be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.”
He endeavoured so to discipline his heart, as that he might, through grace, be prepared for, . and enabled to endure, the worst that could befall him. He reasoned thus with himself: "If I provide only for a prison, then the whip comes at unawares; and so doth also the pillory. Again, if I only provide for these, then I am not fit for banishment. Further, if I conclude that banishment is the worst, then if death come I am surprised.” He sought therefore to familiarize his mind to these things; to become more dead to the world, “ and to live upon
that is invisible; as Paul saith the way not to faint is, to look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.'”
The following passages, written near the close of his confinement, show that he was so sustained by divine grace as not only to bear up under his afflictions, but also ofttimes so to mount above them, that, with the apostle, he could even “ glory in tribulations,” Rom. v, 7. He says,
“ In this condition I have continued with much content, through grace; but have met with many turnings and goings upon my heart, both from the Lord, from Satan, and my own corruptions; by all which, glory be to Jesus Christ, I have also received, among many things, much conviction, instruction, and understanding; of which at large I shall not here discourse, only give you a hint or twoma word that may stir up the godly to bless God and to pray for me,and also to take encouragement, should the case be their own, not to fear what man can do unto them.
“ I never had, in all my life, so great an inlet into the word of God as now.
Scriptures that I saw nothing in before are made, in this place and state, to shine upon me. Jesus Christ also was never more real and apparent than now. Here I have seen and felt him indeed. O tha word, 'We have not preached unto you cunning
ly-devised fables and that,-'God raised Christ from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God,' were blessed words unto me in this my imprisoned condition.
“ These three or four scriptures also have been great refreshments in this condition to me: John xiv, 1-4; xvi, 33; Col. iii, 3, 4; Heb. xii, 22-24; so that sometimes, when I have been in the savour of them, I have been able to laugh at destruction, and to fear neither the horse nor his rider. I have sweet sights of the forgiveness of my sins, and of my being with Jesus in another world. O! the Mount Zion-the heavenly Jerusalem—the innumerable company of angels-and God, the Judge of all and the spirits of just men made perfect--and Jesus,' have been made sweet unto me in this place. I have seen that here, that I am persuaded I shall never, while in this world, be able to express.
"I never knew what it was for God to stand by me at all turns, and at every offer of Satan to afflict me, &c., as I have found since I came in hither: for look, how fears have presented themselves, so have supports and encouragements; yea, when I have started, even as it were at nothing else but my shadow, yet God, as being very tender of me, hath not suffered me to be molested, but would, with one scripture or