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mber ( 4 r the
saints, and prevailed against ther, until the Ancient whom Baxter had the foremost place, argued that
Liturg 27 ratio
öt lis c he penalties
ne that there 661, 0: e to dissent man, " established.
atides was pa
ther the first offenc
banishment to bahan or Virginia.
varu punishment aan the religious
Bureat plague, of ht. Eight thousand de fagpe was busy víni on the 31st frasts, who had
left vacant by
11. 3. a holy orders
Acton. Barnet, were so cold, tha Here he
borough tion had pre
Lord Mayor, each fanatic believing that he would be the bishops to the House of Lwhich
pliance with the Act, and at
main of a | Pastor: e, ak yon who | instance
sixty Directio the teaching Church, with | Pastors. It i instance, is one
al structed | Take
Take notice of all rather talk of tha
If there were no 9 for it is contrar
offensive books or pamphlets, wherein any doctrine Dr. John Owen was in those days the chief or opinion should be asserted or maintained contrary divine among the Independents. He was born in to the Christian faith, or the doctrine or discipline of 1616, at Hadham, Oxfordshire, was educated at the Church of England ; or which might tend or be Queen's College, Oxford, but left at the age of to the scandal of religion, or the Church, or the twenty-one to avoid the regulations of Laud. At Government, or governors of the Church, State, or the outbreak of civil war he was disinherited for his Commonwealth, or of any corporation or person | advocacy of the cause of the Parliament. In 1650, whatsoever.” On the 21st of May, 1662, the king Cromwell made him Dean of Christ Church, and he married Catharine of Portugal, a Roman Catholic was Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1652 princess. The king wished to obtain from Parlia- | until the death of Cromwell. At the Restoration ment a power dispensing with the penalties incurred he was deprived of office in the University, and for by Roman Catholics and Dissenters, but in 1663 the the next twenty-three years he lived in retirement, Commons voted an address, in which they replied to | using his pen actively. him “that it is in no sort advisable that there be any Baxter preached, on the 25th of May, 1662, his indulgence to persons who presume to dissent from last sermon before he was silenced by the Act of the Act of Uniformity, and religion established.” In Uniformity; and in September of the same year he, 1664 the first Act against conventicles was passed. being then forty-seven years old, married Margaret Any meeting for religious worship at which five per Charlton, aged twenty-three. His wife, who was of sons were present, more than the family, was declared good worldly position, had been born within three a conventicle. Every person above the age of sixteen miles of his native village, and had removed with found at a conventicle was subject for the first offence hier mother to Kidderminster, where she received to three months' imprisonment, or a fine of five pounds; from Baxter her first strong impressions of religion. for the second, to six months' imprisonment, or a fine In July, 1663, he went to live at Acton, and then of twenty pounds ; for the third, to banishment to and always wrote much, advocating always peace, any plantation except New England or Virginia. and seeking a church that would comprehend the Exile to one of these colonies might turn punishment | Presbyterians, with addition of an indulgence for into a favour by giving a Presbyterian the religious Independents and others who aided the religious fellowship he sought.
life in forms of worship outside the enlarged pale of In the year 1665 there was a great plague, of the Church. Some thought that he would himself which, in August and September, eight thousand conform, because he urged the laity who thought with were dying every week. Because the plague was busy him not to forsake the Church. But he was comin London, Parliament met at Oxford on the 31st mitted to Clerkenwell prison for preaching in his of October, 1665. Many Nonconformists, who had own house at Acton. His wife went to prison with bravely stayed among the plague-stricken in London him, and, as he tells us, “ was never so cheerful a and other towns, occupied the pulpits left vacant by companion to me as in prison." He was released those of the conforming clergy who had fled. In because of a flaw in the mittimus, but was then their preaching they sometimes dwelt on the corrupt prevented by the Five Mile Act from return to life at court, and the persecution of their brethren. Acton. He went, therefore, to Totteridge, near Use is said to have been made of this fact by pro Barnet, where he had “a few mean rooms, which moters of one of the first acts passed by the Parlia were so extremely smoky, and the place withal so ment at Oxford, the “Five Mile Act,” which was cold, that he spent the winter with great pain.” strongly but ineffectually opposed in the House of Here he followed up a passage in a book of Dr. Lords. It enacted that all persons “ in holy orders Owen's, which suggested to him a chance of bringing or pretended holy orders," who had not fulfilled the Presbyterians and Independents to accord, and drew requirements of the Act of Uniformity, and who Dr. Owen into an endeavour to ascertain terms of a should take upon them to preach in any unlawful common understanding. It was the chief labour of assembly, conventicle, or meeting, should not, unless Baxter's life to bring English religion into the way only in passing on the road, come or be within five of peace. One of his many books (fifty-six publicamiles of any city or town corporate or borough tion had preceded it) was on “ The Cure of Church that sent members to Parliament; or of any parish, Divisions.” It was published in 1668, and gave town, or place wherein, since the Act of Oblivion, sixty Directions to the People that applied practically they had been parson, vicar, curate, stipendiary the teaching of Christ to the distractions of the lecturer, or had taken on thein to preach in unlaw- Church, with twenty-two additional Directions to the ful assembly, conventicle, or meeting, on pain of a Pastors. It is a very practical book still. This, for penalty of £40 for every offence. Every person who | instance, is one of the Directions :had not first taken and subscribed the oath, and who did not frequent divine service as established by law, was also subject to the same penalty if he or she should “ teach any public or private school, or take
DIRECTION XLIX. any boarders or tablers that were taught or instructed
Take notice of all the good in other's achich app areth, and by him or her.” It is clear, therefore, that whatever
I rather talk of that behind their lachs, than of their faults. party was uppermost, the use made of power showed that England generally had not yet outgrown faith If there were no good in others, they were not to be loved; in the possibility of compelling peace by the enforce for it is contrary to man's nature to will or love anything, but ment of one rule of Christian discipline and doctrine. I sub ratione boni, as supposed to be good. The good of nature
13 lovely in all men as men, even in the wicked and our enemies (and therefore let them that think they can never
THREE WAYS OF LIFE. speak bad enough of nature take heed lest they run into
The way of Divi. The way of Peace by The way of Division EXCERS); and the capacity of the good of holiness and happi.
sion by Violence. Love and Humility. | by Separation. ness is part of the good of nature. The good of gifts and of a common profession, with the possibility or probability of
I. sincerity, is lovely in all the visible members of the Church ; Depart from Adhere to the an- Depart from the and truly the excellent gifts of learning, judgment, utterance, the apostolical cient simple Chris. apostolical primitive and memory, with the virtues of meekness, humility, patience,
primitive simpli- tianity, and make simplicity, on pre. conuntedness, and a loving disposition inclined to do good
city; and make nothing necessary to tence of strict ob
things unneces- your concord and serving it; and make to all, are no amiable in some, who yet are too strange to a
sary seem neces- communion, which is new duties and new havenly life, that he must be worse than a man who will not sary in doctrine, not necessary. sins, which Scripture live them.
makes not such. To vilify all these gifts in others savoureth of a malignant
os savoureth of a malignant | pline, and conumtampt of the gifts of the Spirit of God; and so it doth to
versation. talk all of their faults, and say little or nothing of their gifts
II. and virtue. Yea, some have so unloving and unlovely a
Endure no man Love your neigh- Account all those kind of religiousness that they backbite that man as a
that is not of your bours as yourselves ; ungodly that use set defender of the profane, and a commender of the ungodly, mind and way: receive those that prayers, or worship who doth but contradict or reprehend their backbitings, and but force all to Christ receiveth, and not God in the same are ever gainsaying all the commendations which they hear concord upon that hold the neces- manner as you do. of any whom they think ill of.
these terms of saries of communion,
yours, whatever be they Episcopal, But if yon would, when you talk of others (especially them
Presbyterian, Indewho differ from you in opinions), be more in commendation
pendents, Anabapof all the good which indeed is in them-1. You would shew
tists, Arminians, Calyourselves much liker to God, who is love, and unliker to
vinists, &c., so they Mutan the accuser. 2. You would shew an honest impartial
be not proved here
tical or wicked. ingenuity which honoureth virtue wherever it is found. 3. You would shew an humble sense of your own frailty, III.
III. who dare not proudly contemn your brethren. 4. You
Brand all dis. Speak evil of no Brand all dissenters would show more love to God himself, when you love all of
senters with the man, and especially with the odious names God whansoever you discern it, and cannot abide to hear his odious names of|of dignities and ru- of graceless forma. vittu and mercies undervalued. 5. You would increase the schismaticks, he- lers. Revile not when lists. That you may WM of love to others in yourselves by the daily exercise of
reticks, or sedi- you are reviled: speak make them all seem
tious rebels ; that most of the good that unlovely to others. it; whun backbiting and detraction will increase the malig
they may become is in dissenters; and moty froin which they spring. 6. You would increase love
hateful to high do them all the good alm in the hearers, which is the fulfilling of the law, when and low. you can. di tiwtwn will breed or increase malice. 7. You will do mwh to the winning and conversion of them whom you
IV. vinninend, if they be unconverted. For when they are told When this hath If any wrong you! When this hath that you awak lovingly of them behind their backs, it will
greatly increased be the more watchful stirred them up to
their disaffection over your passions, wrath, call them immu h rocurile them to your persons, and consequently pre
to you, accuse and opinions, and wicked persecutors, mra them w hrarken to the counsel which they need. But
their religion of tongues, lest passion and have no comwborn they are told that you did backbite them, it will fill all the expres- carry you into ex-munion with them. tum with hatred of you, and violent prejudice against your
sions of that dis-tremes. Love your
affection, to make enemies; bless them care and profession.
it odious also. that curse you; do You mintake me not. It is none of my meaning all this
good to them that while that you should speak any falsehood in commendation
hate you; and pray of otherm; nor make people believe that a careless, carnal
for them that despitewort of persons are as good as those that are careful of their
fully use you and werk, or that their way is sufficient for salvation; nor to
persecute you; and
do not evil, that good connenend ungodly men in such a manner as tendeth to keep
may come by it. either them or their hearers from repentance; nor to call evil mond, or put darkness for light, nor honour the works of the
v. Anvil; but to whew love and impartiality to all, and to be Take those for Impartially judge Backbite and re.. iw li more in speaking of all the good which is in them than your enemies that of men by God's in- proach all those as of the evil, ospecially if they be your enemies, or differ from are their friends, terest in them, and compliers with sin, or you in opinions of religion. Titus iii. 1 : “Put them in
and those for your not your own or your such as strengthen the
friends which are parties. Reprove the hands of the wicked imind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey
their enemies : ways of love-killers and the persecutors, magimtentes, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of
And cherish those and backbiters; and who would recall rou thomin, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness be they never so let not the fear of to love and humility. to all mon. For we ourselves were sometime foolish, &c." bad, that will be their wrath or cen- And cherish all sets Chrome is clean contrary to this detracting vice.
against them and sures carry you into be they never so erhelp you to root a compliance with roneous or passionate them out.
them, or cause you by that will take your
silence to encourage part, and speak against The volume ends with the following suggestive
them. But rejoice if them. Bnt first, when Mkrtch of
But remember you should be martyrs the wrath which you
godly man her father was, and how he would reprove and correct vice, both in his house, and among his neighbours ; what a strict and boly life he lived in his days, both in word and deed.
By Violence.1 By Love. By Separation. that for all this for love and peace : thus kindled hath con. you must come For
sumed you ; secondly, to judgment.
or your divisions
Bunyan's imagination was fervid, and objects of thought sometimes became as real to his eye or ear. One Sunday he had heard in church a sermon against the sports encouraged on that day by those who opposed the Puritans. He felt guilty until he had dined, then shook the sermon from his mind, and followed his old custom.
But the same day, as I was in the midst of a game of cat, And read these “Blessed are the Read Acts 20. 30; following words meek, for they shall 1 Cor. 1. 10, 13, and
and having struck it one blow from the hole, just as I was of Mr. R. Hook- inherit the earth.” 3.3; Rom. 16. 17, 18; about to strike it the second time a voice did suddenly dart er's, which he “Blessed are the Jam. 3. 13, 14, 15, 16, from heaven into my soul, which said, “ Wilt thou leave thy useth of some peacemakers, for they 17. Study these on
sins and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell ?" At part of the his- shall be called the your knees.
this I was put to an exceeding maze; wherefore, leaving my tory, which out children of God.” of Sulpitius I be-l “ Blessed are they
cat upon the ground, I looked up to heaven, and was as if I fore mentioned; which are persecuted
had, with the eyes of my understanding, seen the Lord Jesus Eccles. Pol. Epist. for righteousness'
looking down upon me, as being very hotly displeased with Dedic. sake, for theirs is the
me, and as if He did severely threaten me with some grievous kingdom of heaven.” |
punishment for these and other ungodly practices. “I deny not but that our antagonists in these controversies may peradventure have met with some not unlike to Ithacius,
After a little time, the religious feeling became very who mightily bending himself by all means against the
strong, but he says the change could only have been heresy of Priscillian, (the hatred of which one evil was
outward, because he was proud of his godliness. It all the virtue he had became so wise in the end,
cost him a year to give up dancing, and much that every man careful of virtuous conversation, studious
struggle to give up his pleasure in bell-ringing. of the Scripture, and given to any abstinence in diet, was set down in his calendar for suspected Priscillianists: For whom it should be expedient to approve their sound. Now you must know that before this I had takon much ness of faith, by a more licentious and loose behaviour. delight in ringing, but my conscience beginning to be tender, Such proctors and patrons the truth might spare. Yet is I thought such practice was but vain, and therefore forced not their grossness so intolerable as on the contrary side, myself to leave it; yet my mind hankered, wherefore I would the scurrilous and more than satirical immodesty of Mar. go to the steeple-house, and look on, though I durst not ring; tinism ; the first published schedules whereof being brought but I thought this did not become religion neither, yet I forced to the hands of a grave and very honourable knight, with myself, and would look on still. But quickly after, I began signification given that the book would refresh his spirits ; to think, how if one of the bells should fall? Then I chose he took it, saw what the title was, read over an unsavoury to stand under a main beam that lay overthwart the steeple sentence or two, and delivered back the libel with this from side to side, thinking here I might stand sure; but then answer: 'I am sorry you are of the mind to be solaced with I thought again, should the bell fall with a swing, it might these sports, and sorrier you have herein thought my affec first hit the wall, and then, rebounding upon me, might kill tion like your own.'”
me, for all this beam. This made me stand in the steeple. door; and now, thought I, I am safe enough, for if the bell
should now fall, I can slip out behind these thick walls, and John Bunyan, born in 1628, at Elstow, within a
so be preserved notwithstanding. mile of Bedford, was a tinker's son, and bred to his
So after this I would yet go to see them ring, but would father's calling. What little reading he learnt at a
not go any farther than the steeple-door. But then it came free school he had lost till he married at nineteen.
into my head, how if the steeple itself should fall? And Of this he wrote afterwards in a sketch of his
this thought it may, for aught I know, when I stood and own life, called “ Grace Abounding to the Chief of
looked on) did continually so shake my mind, that I durst not Sinners."
stand at the steeple-door any longer, but was forced to flee,
for fear the steeple should fall upon my head. Presently after this, I changed my condition into a married state, and my mercy was, to light upon a wife, whose father was counted godly : This woman and I, though
He tells how he was one day in Bedford streets, we came together as poor as poor might be (not having so
plying his trade as tinker, when he was moved by much household stuff as a dish or a spoon betwixt us both),
| hearing some poor women talk of their experiences yet this she had for her part, “ The Plain Man's Pathway to
in religion. He records some of his own struggles Heaven;” and “The Practice of Piety;” which her father had to win perfect faith in God :left her when he died. In these two books I would some. times read with her, wherein I also found some things that Wherefore while I was thus considering, and being put to were somewhat pleasing to me; (but all this while I met with a plunge about it, (for you must know, that as yet I had not no conviction.) She also would be often telling of me what a in this matter broken my mind to any one, only did hcar and consider), the tempter came in with this delusion, that there | Bunyan was made deacon of his church at Bedford, was no way for me to know I had faith, but by trying to | and moved his fellow-worshippers so greatly with luis work some miracles urging those scriptures that seemed to prayers, that he was asked to take his turn in village look that way, for the enforcing and strengthening his
preaching. That was against the law, and complaint temptation. Nay, one day, as I was between Elstow and
was lodged ; but it was not until after the RestoraBedford, the temptation was hot upon me, to try if I had
tion that he was committed to Bedford jail for fuith, by doing some miracle; which miracle at this time was
preaching in conventicles. He remained in prison this: I must say to the puddles that were in the horse-pads,
until March, 1672 ; that is to say, from the age of • Be dry;" and to the dry places, “Be you puddles:" And
thirty-two to the age of forty-four. At the close of truly one time I was going to say so indeed; but just as I was
this time Bunyan wrote some “ Reflections upon my about to speak, this thought came into my mind, But go
Imprisonment," in which he said : “I never had in under yonder hedge, and pray first, that God would make you
all my life so great an inlet into the Word of God as ible.” But when I concluded to pray, this came hot upon me; that if I prayed, and came again, and tried to do it, and
now: those scriptures that I saw nothing in before yet did nothing notwithstanding, then to be sure I had no
were made in this place and state to shine upon me. faith, but was a castaway, and lost; nay, thought I, if it be
Jesus Christ was never more real and apparent so, I will not try yet, but will stay a little longer.
than now ; here I have seen and felt Him indeed :* So I continued at a great loss ; for I thought, if they only
Thoughts of his wife, who had laboured in vain for had faith, which could do such wonderful things, then I con
his release, and for the little ones deprived of the cluded, that for the present I neither had it, nor yet for the
breadwinner, one a blind daughter, Mary, frail of time to come were ever like to have it. Thus I was tossed frame, whom he outlived, were the sharpest of his betwixt the devil and my own ignorance, and so perplexed, sorrows. And here he wrotecspecially at some times, that I could not tell what to do.
About this time, the state and happiness of these poor The way not to faint is, “ To look not on the things that people at Bedford was thus, in a kind of vision, presented to are seen, but at the things that are not seen; for the thin me. I saw as if they were on the sunny side of some high that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not so mountain, there refreshing themselves with the pleasant are eternal.” And thus I reasoned with myself, If I provide beams of the sun, while I was shivering and shrinking in the only for a prison, then the whip comes at unawares, and so cold, afflicted with frost, snow and dark clouds: methought doth also the pillory. Again, if I only provide for these, tha also, betwixt me and them, I saw a wall that did compass I am not fit for banishment. Further, if I conclude tha: about this mountain. Now through this wall my soul did banishment is the worst, then if death comes, I am surprisi: greatly desire to pass, concluding, that if I could, I would so that I see, the best way to go through sufferings, is to tri cren go into the very midst of them, and there also comfort in God through Christ, as touching the world to come: ani myself with the heat of their sun.
as touching this world,“ to count the grave my houx, to About this wall I bethought myself to go again and again, make my bed in darkness: to say to corruption, Thou art still prying as I went, to see if I could find some way or my father; and to the worm, Thou art my mother in passage by which I might enter therein, but none could I find sister:" that is, to familiarise these things to me. for some time. At the last I saw as it were a narrow gap, But notwithstanding these helps, I found myself & Dan like a little doorway in the wall, through which I attempted encompassed with infirmities; the parting with my wife to pass. Now the passage being very strait and narrow, I poor children hath often been to me in this place as that made many efforts to get in, but all in vain, even until I was pulling the flesh from the bones, and that not only beribd well nigh quite beat out, by striving to get in; at last, with I am somewhat too fond of these great mercies, hnt sie great striving, methought I at first did get in my head, and because I should have often brought to my mind the miss after that, by a sideling striving, my shoulders, and my whole hardships, miseries, and wants that my poor family was body; then I was exceeding glad, went and sat down in the to meet with, should I be taken from them, especialls ar midst of them, and so was comforted with the light and heat poor blind child, who lay nearer my heart than all be of their sun.
Oh! the thoughts of the hardship I thought my poor ! Now this mountain, and wall, &c., was thus made out to
one might go under, would break my heart to pieces. me: The mountain signifieth the church of the living God : Poor child! thought I, what sorrow art thou like to have the sun that shone thereon, the comfortable shining of His for thy portion in this world! Thou must be beaten, 6 merciful face on them that were therein; the wall I thought beg, suffer hunger, cold, nakedness, and a thousand an was the world, that did make separation between the Chris. ties, though I cannot now endure the wind should blow > tians and the world; and the gap which was in the wall, I | thee. But yet recalling myself, thought I, I must : thought, was Jesus Christ, who is the way to God the Father. you all with God, though it goeth to the quick to learre For Jesus said in his reply to Thomas, “I am the way, and Oh! I saw in this condition I was as a man who was the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but down his house upon the head of his wife and childrra: mot by Me. Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way thought I, I must do it, I must do it: and now I thou which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” But those two milch kine that were to carry the ark of Gendy forasmuch as the passage was wonderful narrow, even so another country, and to leave their calves behind three narrow that I could not, but with great difficulty, enter in But that which helped me in this temptation wirer
hereat, it showed me, that none could enter into life but considerations, of which, three in special here I will those that were in downright earnest, and unless also they | the first was the consideration of these two T** * left that wicked world behind them ; for here was only room for body and soul, but not for body and soul and sin.
11 Samuel vi. 7-12. The tenderness of deep feeling in the His anxieties of mind ended in serious illness, but
passage enters with singular charm into this applicatio n
Testament reading. Jolin Bunyan certainly read the Bird cab he recovered, and became robust. In 16.) 7 John heart as well as his eyes.