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NEw-Yo R.K. . . . . .
WILEY AND PUTRAM, .
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1844,
BY WILLIAM OS BOR N,
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York.
THIs work attempts to trace the footsteps of a great circumnavigator in the Divine Life, somewhat as an open boat might follow in the wake of the ships of Columbus into a New World. And yet it is not new, but as old as the Grace of God in the heart of sinful man; and now, so many have crossed the sea, and prepared charts and maps of their passage for the use of others, that there is scarcely a league, over which some compass has not been drawn, or into which some fathoming line has not been let down ; though there is scenery still hidden, and there are depths never yet sounded, nor ever will be, inasmuch as the grace of God in the heart of man is unfathomable ; and in sailing over this ocean, we can often do no more than cry out with the Apostle Paul, O the depths There is always much that is peculiar with every individual mind in crossing this sea ; and likewise in following the traces of so experienced and wise a navigator as Bunyan, every individual will find something new to remark upon ; so that these lectures, though on an old subject, will not necessarily be found common-place, or monotonous, or superfluous.
It ought probably to be mentioned that a former essay by the author, printed in the North American Review, has been, in one or two of these lectures, worked up anew. A greater space also is occupied by that division of the work on the life and times of Bunyan, than was originally contemplated; but in the Providence of God, Bunyan himself, in his own lifetime, furnished as much matter for profitable meditation and instruction, as his own Pilgrim, in his beautiful Allegory. Of course the first division is
more particularly biographical and historical; the second more
meditative and expository.
The world of Christian Pilgrims may in general be divided into
two classes, the cheerful and the depressed; those who have joy
in the Lord, and those whose joy is overborne and kept down by
cares and doubts, unbelief and many sins, fallings by the way and
broodings over them. Indeed, there is a sad want, in our present
christian experience, of that joy of the Lord, which is our
strength; and to give the reasons for this would by itself require
a volume. There must be more of this joy, and it must be more
habitual, if the church of Christ would be strong to convert the
world, would be prepared to teach transgressors the way of the
Lord, so that sinners may be converted unto him; for that is the
meaning of the Psalmist, taking what is individual, and applying
it, as we must, to the church universal, as the source of her
The importance of this joy for the strength of the church is
manifest not only from the fifty-first Psalm, but from those re-
markable words of our Blessed Lord to his disciples, These things
have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and
that your joy might be full. The Saviour's own joy! What a
depth of blissful meaning is contained in these words, as the por-
tion of his people ! It is not a doubting, weak, depressed piety,
that is here recognized.
And yet there is provision in the same gospel for those who do
not attain to this joy. There is mention made of those, whose
hands hang down, and of the feeble knees; and the arrangements
made in the gospel for the sustaining and comforting of such do
show that there will always continue to be, more or less, in the
christian race, and in the christian church, hands that hang down
and feeble knees.
Now it is at once a proof of the wisdom of the delineations of
christian character in the Pilgrim’s Progress, and a source of the
usefulness of that book to all classes, that it is not a picture of ab-