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to him. These however, he says,
were but hints, touches, and short visits, though very sweet when present; only they lasted not; but, like to Peter's sheet, of a sudden were caught up from me to heaven again. Acts x, 16.
“ But afterward the Lord did more fully and graciously discover himself unto me; and indeed did quite, not only deliver me from the guilt that by these things was laid upon my conscience, but also from the very filth thereof; for the temptation was removed, and I was put into my right mind again, as other Christians
“I remember that one day, as I was travelling in the country, and musing on the wickedness and blasphemy of my heart, and considering the enmity that was in me to God, this. scripture came into my mind, 'He hath made peace by the blood of his cross,' (Col. i, 20,) by which I was made to see, both again and again, that day, that God and my soul were friends by his blood. This was a good day to me; I hope I shall never forget it.
“ At another time, as I sat by the fire in my house, and musing on my wretchedness, the Lord made this also a precious word to me,· Forasmuch then as the children are partakers · of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took
part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage,' Heb. ii, 14, 15. I thought that the glory of these words was then so weighty upon me, that I was both once and twice ready to 8woon as I sat; yet not with grief and trouble, but with solid joy and peace.”
From a state of the deepest despondency, Bunyan now seemed for a time to be filled with religious joy; and his present light and peace appeared the brighter and deeper by contrast with his previous darkness and despondency. But to return to his own narrative: “Now," world, from the cradle to he cross; to which also, when he came, I saw how gently he gave himself to be hanged and nailed on it for my sins and wicked doing.
was my soul led from truth to truth by God; for to my remembrance there was not anything that I then cried unto God to make known and reveal unto me, but he was pleased to do it for me. I mean, not one part of the gospel of the Lord Jesus, but I was orderly led into it. Methought I saw with great evidence, from the four evangelists, the wonderful works of God, in giving Jesus Christ to save us—from his conception and birth, even to his second coming to judgment. Methought I was as if I had seen him born; as if I had seen him grow up; as if I had seen him walk through the
" When I have considered also the truth of his . resurrection, and have remembered that word, • Touch me not, Mary,' &c., I have seen as if he had leaped out of the grave's mouth, for joy that he was risen again, and had got the conquest over our dreadful foes, saying, 'I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and to your God,' John xx, 17. I have also, in the spirit, seen him a man, on the right hand of God the Father for me; and have seen the manner of his coming from heaven to judge the world with glory, and have been confirmed in these things by these scriptures,-Acts i, 911; vii, 55, 56; X, 42; Heb. vii, 24; ix, 28; Rev. i, 18; 1 Thess. iv, 16–18.
“Now I had, as I thought, an evidence from heaven of my salvation, with many golden seals thereon, all hanging in my sight. Now I could remember with comfort this manifestation, and the other discovery of grace; and should often long and desire that the last day were come, that I might be for ever inflamed with the sight, and joy, and communion with Him whose head was crowned with thorns, whose face was spit upon, and body broken, and soul made an offering for my sins. For whereas before I lay continually trembling at the mouth of hell; now methought I was got so far therefrom, that I could, when I looked back, scarce discern it; and O, thought I, that I were fourscore years old now, that I might die quickly, that my soul might be gone to rest !"
Bunyan's ardent temperament, his vivid imagination, and his simplicity, are strikingly displayed in the preceding paragraphs. : His creative fancy, which gave a form and shapealmost a material existence—to the suggestions and temptations of the adversary, was equally active in his happier hours; and what he saw and felt he has recorded in language of extraordinary power, and with the sincerity and earnestness of a man who is evidently telling all his heart. It is this, in a great measure, which gives to Bunyan's experience its unique character. It is sui generis. Of it may be said, as was of Goliah's sword, “ There is none like it,” 1 Sam. xxi, 9. It cannot, therefore, as Mr. Philip well remarks, be taken as a safe standard to try experimental knowledge by. ... Not one mind in a thousand could have darted, like his, as with eagle-wings and eagle-eyes, from the cradle to the cross of the Saviour, realizing
every scene, as if an actual witness of the sufferings and glory of Christ. This no more belongs to divine teaching necessarily, than does the power of inventing the Pilgrim's Progress, or of depicting the Holy War."
Before Bunyan had emerged from the temptations to which he had been subjected, he had greatly longed to acquaint himself with the experience of “some ancient godly man,” who had lived and wrote hundreds of years before ; for he seemed to think that the divines of his own day were not equal to those of former ages, and that they merely "writ what others felt, and studied to answer such objections as they perceived others were perplexed with, without going down themselves into the deep.” While this desire was strong in his mind, an old copy of Luther's Commentary on the Galatians fell into his hands. It was so old, and had been so much used, that it was ready to drop to pieces if he “ did but turn it over;" but this only recommended it to Bunyan, whose imagination then connected with antiquity the idea of superior wisdom and greater depth of religious experience. He had not read far before he found his own condition “so largely and profoundly handled," and his experience so faithfully reflected in that of the great reformer, that it