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were come already, and the Judge standing at the door ; so that this temptation received no entertainment.

He found it hard work, however, to pray to God, because despair was swallowing him up. "I thought,” he says, “I was, as with a tempest, driven away from God; for always when I cried for mercy this would come in, " "Tis too late-I am lost-God hath let me fall-my sin is unpardonable.""

About this time he met with the narrative of the awful death of Francis Spira, the reading of which, he says,

was to his troubled spirit as salt rubbed into a fresh wound.One expression of the dying apostate was especially fearful to him: “Man knows the beginning of sin, but who bounds the issues thereof ?"

The text, “He hath received gifts for the rebellious,” (Psa. lxiii, 18,) would sometimes come into his mind. “The rebellious,” thought he,“ why they are such as have taken up arms against their prince after they have once sworn subjection to his government; and this is my very condition ; I once loved him, feared hiin, served him; but now I am a rebel; I have sold him; I have said, “Let him go if he will :' but yet he hath gifts for rebels ; and then why not for me?” But when he attempted to take “some

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small refreshment” from this text, he “missed of his desire," and was “ driven with force beyond it;" he was, he says, like a man hurried to execution, past some place “ where he would fain creep

in and hide himself, but may not.” Bunyan had already compared his offence with those of the ancient saints, and concluded that his outweighed any of theirs. began to view the matter over again, and set it in this light,-What if I should put all theirs together, and mine alone against them, might I not then find encouragement ? He conceived that if his sin, though bigger than any one of theirs, should be but equal to all, there might still be hope in his case'; seeing that the blood which atoned for the whole of theirs had virtue enough to atone for his one, although it should be as large as all theirs put together. Hence he

says, “Here again I should consider the sin of David, and Solomon, and the rest of the great offenders; and should also labour, what I might with fairness, to aggravate and heighten their sins by several circumstances. I should think with myself that David shed blood to cover his adultery, and that by the sword of the children of Ammon; a work that could not be done but by contrivance, which was a great aggravation to his sin. ... Then I thought on Solomon, and



how he sinned in loving strange women, in falling away to their idols, in building them temples, in doing this after light in his old age, after mercy received. . . . I would then add to these men's sins the sins of Manasseh ; how that he built altars for idols in the house of the Lord ; he also observed times, used enchantments, burned his children in the fire, in sacrifice to devils, and made the streets of Jerusalem to run down with the blood of innocents. These, thought I, are great sins, sins of a bloody colour. ... But then would this turn upon me,• Ah! but these were but sins against the law, from which there was a Jesus sent to save them: but yours is a sin against the Saviour, and who shall save you from that ?'

“ This one consideration would always kill my heart,—my sin was point blank against my Saviour ; and that too at that height that I had in

my heart said of him, 'Let him go if he will.' O! methought this sin was bigger than the sins of a country, of a kingdom, or of the whole world; no one unpardonable, nor all of them together was able to make mine; mine outwent them

every one. "Now I should find my mind to flee from God as from the face of a dreadful judge ; yet chis was my torment, I could not escape his




hand: 'It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.' But, blessed be his grace, that scripture, in these flying fits, would call, as running after me, 'I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins; return unto me, for I have redeemed thee.' This, I

would come in upon my

mind when I was fleeing from the face of God; for I did flee from his face, that is, my mind and spirit fled before him : then would the text cry, 'Return unto me ;' it would cry aloud with a very great voice, “Return unto me, for I have redeemed thee,' Isa. xliv, 22. Indeed, this would make me a little stop, and, as it were, look over my shoulder behind me, to see if I could discern that the grace of God did follow me with a pardon in his hand; but I could no sooner do that, but all would be clouded and darkened again by that sentence, 'For you know, how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.' Wherefore I could not refrain, but fled, though at sometime it cried, “Return, return,' as if it did halloo after me : but I feared to close in therewith, lest it should not come from God; for that other, [about Esau,] as I said, was sounding in my conscience.”




The remarkable relation which follows appeared to Bunyan himself, accustomed as he was to preternatural impressions, so extraordinary and unaccountable in its character, that when he wrote his narrative, many years after, he hesitated to include it, and actually withheld it from the first edition. We give it entire, in his own words :-"Once as I was walking to and fro in a good man's shop, bemoaning of myself in a sad and doleful state, afflicting myself with self-abhorrence for this wicked and ungodly thought; lamenting also this hard hap of mine, for that I should commit so great a sin, greatly fearing that I should not be pardoned; praying also in my heart, that if this sin of mine did differ from that against the Holy Ghost, the Lord would shew it me; and being now ready to sink with fear, suddenly there was, as if there had rushed in at the window, the noise of wind upon me, but very pleasant, and as if I heard a voice speaking, * Didst thou ever refuse to be justified by the blood of Christ ?' And withal,


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