Obrazy na stronie

Truth's golden beams; nay, by this method may
Make it cast forth its rays as light as day.

And now, before I do put up my pen, I'll shew the profits of my book, and then Commit both thee and it unto that hand That pulls the strong down, and makes weak ones stand.

This book, it chalketh out before thine eyes
The man that seeks the everlasting prize:
It shews you whence he comes, whither he goes;
What he leaves undone ; also what he does;
It also shews you how he runs and runs
Till he unto the gate of glory comes.

It shews too, who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting crown they would obtain :
Here also you may see the reason why
They lose their labour, and like fools do die.

This book will, make a traveller of thee,
If by its counsel thou wilt ruled be;
It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
If thou wilt its directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Art thou for something rare and profitable ?
Wouldest thou see a truth within a fable ?
Art thou forgetful? Wouldest thou remember
From new-year's day to the last of December?
Then read my fancies, they will stick like burs,
And may be to the helpless comforters.

This book is writ in such a dialect
As may the minds of listless men affect :
It seems a novelty, and yet contains
Nothing but sound and honest gospel-strains.

Wouldst thou divert thyself from melancholy?
Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Wouldst thou read riddles and their explanation?
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or wouldst thou see
A man i'th' clouds, and hear bim speak to thee?
Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or, wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep?
Or, wouldst thou lose thyself, and catch no harm
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read thou knowst not what,

know whether thou art blest or not,
By reading the same lines? O then come hither,
And lay my book, thy hand, and heart together.





As I walked through the wilderness of this world I lighted on a certain place, where was a den', and laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and, behold, “I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.” I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he broke out with a lamentable cry, saying, « What shall I do?

! The jail.—Mr. Bunyan was imprisoned twelve years in Bedford jail, for preaching the gospel as a nonconformist, or dissenter. To this he refers, when he speaks of the “den.” Our Author, thus prevented from preaching, turned his thoughts to writing; and during his confinement composed The Pilgrim's Progress, and many other useful works. The Lord frequently causes “ the wrath of man to praise him.” The servants of Christ, when restrained by penal laws from publishing the word of life from the pulpit, have become more abundantly useful by their writings. How thankful should we be that our ministers are not now hurried from the pulpit to the prison by the arm of secular power; and that by the "Act of Toleration," as well as other acts of a more recent date, we are permitted to enjoy religious liberty in its fullest extent.

2 The cry of an, awakened sinner, who sees his own righteousness to be as filthy as rags, his soul in a state of wrath and wretchedness, exposed to everlasting destruction ; feeling the burden of his sins upon his back, he turns his face from his

own bouse, from himself, from all his false hopes and vain confidences, for refuge, and takes his Bible in his hand to direct him where he

Isa. Ixiv. 6. Luke xiv. 33. Ps. Xxxviii. 4. Hab. ii. 2. Acts xvi. \ Acts ii. 37.

[ocr errors]

Christian discloses his State to his Family,

In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased; wherefore, at length, he broke his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: O my dear wife (said he) and you the children of my bowels, I your dear friend am in myself undone, by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me: moreover I am certainly informed that this our city will be burned with fire from Heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape may be found, whereby we may be delivered. At this his relations were sore amazed, not for that they believed what he had said to them was true, but because they thought some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they

shall flee for mercy and salvation. The more a sinner reads therein the more he is convinced of the wretched state and ruined condition of his precious and immortal soul, and of his necessity of fleeing to Christ for eternal life and salvation. As 'he reads he weeps and trembles to think what will become of him. Reader, was this ever your case? Did you ever see your sins, and feel the burden of them so as to cry out, in the anguish of your soul, What must I do to be saved ?" If not, you will look upon this precious book as a romance or history which no way concerns you: you can no more understand the meaning of it, than if it were written in an unknown tongue : for you are yet carnal, dead in your sins, lying in the arms of the wicked one in false security. But this book is spiritual : it *can only be understood by spiritually-quickened souls, who have experienced that salvation in the heart which begins with a sight of sin, a sense of sin, a fear of destruction, and dread of damnation. Such, and only such, commence pilgrims from the City of Destruction to the heavenly kingdom.

s Conviction of sin in the heart will discover itself to those about us, by the outward conduct and behaviour of the life.

This world.

He meets Evangelist.

hoping that sleep 'might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed4: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come, they would know how he did; he told them worse and worse: he also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by liarsh and surly carriage to him: sometimes they would deride; sometimes they would chide; and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them; and also to condole his own misery. He would also walk solitary in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying; and thus for some days he spent his time,

Now, I saw upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading in his book and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out as he had done before, crying, " What shall I do to be saved5?

I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run, yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then and saw a man, named Evangelist, coming to him, and asked, “Wherefore dost thou cryo?”

He answered, Sir, I perceive, by the book in my hand, that I am condemned to die, and after that


4 When we begin to be wise unto salvation, carnal friends nounce us mad unto destruction; and administer carnal physic for our sin-sick souls.

5 No soul was ever in earnest for salvation, till there was a cry in his heart to be saved from damnation.

6. Behold here the tender love and care of Jesus, the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, to sin distressed, heavy laden sinners, in sending Evangelist, that is, a preacher of the gospel of grace, and glad tidings of salvation, to them. Acts xvi. 30, 31.

• Heb, ix. 27. Job xiv, 21, 22.

« PoprzedniaDalej »