Obrazy na stronie
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be, to leave the troubles and cares of a wretched mortality to live with Christ for ever, with peace and joy inexpressible ; expounding to them the comfortable scriptures by which they were to hope and assuredly come to a blessed resurrection in the last day. He desired some to pray, and joined with them in prayer. His last words, after he had struggled with a languishing disease, were: “Weep not for me, but for yourselves : I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will no doubt, through the mediation of his blessed Son, receive me, though a sinner, where I hope we ere long shall meet, to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy, world without end.” He fell asleep in Jesus on the 31st of August, after an illness of ten days.*

Under the title of "Dying Sayings of Mr. Bunyan,” a number of brief observations, ar

* It appears, says Dr. Southey, that at the time of his death the lord mayor, Sir John Shorter, was one of his London flock. A memorandum, preserved in Ellis's Correspondence, (vol. ii, p. 161,) thus records his death. September 6, 1688: “Few days before died Bunyan, his lordship's teacher or chaplain ; a man said to be gifted in that way, though once a cobler.” Mr. Philip fur. ther informs us, that an elegy on Bunyan's death was published under civic authority; and that a copy of it is now in the possession of John Wilks, Esq.

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66 OF SIN.

ranged under various heads, were published by Mr. Chandler, his successor åt Bedford,* in 1692. These “sayings,” Mr. Philip is of opinion, were noted by the Strudwick family during Bunyan's last sickness, and the few weeks of indisposition that preceded it. The following is a selection from them :

Sin is the great block and bar to our happiness; the procurer of all miseries to man, both here and hereafter. Take away sin, and nothing can hurt us ; for death, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, is the wages of it.

“No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of heaven and earth; but if the sinner can find out a little God, it may be easy to find out little sins.

“ Take heed of giving thyself liberty of committing one sin, for that will lead thee to another, till by ill custom it become natural.

“OF AFFLICTION. Nothing can render affliction so heavy as the load of sin ; would you therefore be fitted for afflictions, be sure to get

* Mr. Chandler, who was a Pedobaptist, was ordained to the pastoral charge of the Bedford congregation in 1691. He continued with them for the long space of fifty-six years, and died in a good old age in 1747. The present pastor is the Rev. Samuel Hillyard, also a Pedo. baptist, who has been there more than forty years,

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the burden of your sins laid aside, and then what afflictions soever you meet with will be very easy to you.

“ The Lord useth his flail of tribulation, to separate the chaff from the wheat.

“In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God.

“ Did we heartily renounce the pleasures of this world, we should be very little troubled for our afflictions. That which renders an afflicted state so insupportable to many, is because they are too much addicted to the pleasures of this life, and so cannot endure that which makes a separation between them.

“ The end of affliction is the discovery of sin; and of that to bring us to the Saviour; let us therefore, with the prodigal, return unto him, and we shall find ease and rest.

“ I have often thought that the best of Christians are found in the worst times ; and I have thought again, that one reason why we are not better is, because God purges us no more.

“OF DEATH AND JUDGMENT. Nothing will make us more earnest in working out the work of our salvation, than a frequent meditation of mortality: nothing hath a greater influence for the taking off our hearts from vanities, and for the begetting in us desires for holiness

“ When the sound of the trumpet shall be heard, which shall summon the dead to appear before the tribunal of God, the righteous shall hasten out of their graves with joy, to meet their Redeemer in the clouds ; others shall call to the mountains and hills to fall upon them, to cover them from the sight of their Judge: let us therefore in time be posing ourselves to know which of the two we shall be.

“ OF THE JOYS OF HEAVEN. There is no good in this life but what is mingled with some evil. Honours perplex; riches disquiet; and pleasures ruin health. But in heaven we shall find blessings in their purity; without any ingredient to imbitter, with everything to sweeten them.

“O! who is able to conceive the inexpressible, inconceivable joys that are there ? None but those who have tasted of them. Lord, help us to put such a value upon them here, that in order to prepare ourselves for them, we may be willing to forego the loss of all those deluding pleasures here.

“How will the heavens echo for joy, when the bride, the Lamb's wife, shall come to dwell with her husband for ever!

“ Christ is the desire of nations, the joy of angels, the delight of the Father; what solace

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BUNYAN'S TOMB IN BUNHILL FIELDS.

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