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Dr. Southey stated a great truth, although Bunyan was not the man to connect it with, when he said, “ Nothing is more certain than that the gratification which a resolute spirit feels in satisfying its conscience, exceeds all others. This feeling (however) is altogether distinct from that peace of mind which, under all afflictions, abide in the regenerate heart : nor is it so safe a feeling ; for it depends too much upon excitement, and the exaltation and triumph it produces are akin to pride.”—Life, p. 66. This is true : but Bunyan is neither a proof nor an illustration of its truth. Dr. Southey goes deep into the heart here: but Bunyan (we have seen) went deeper.
But whilst he cherished both solemn and sublime views of personal holiness, and was sentimental as well as conscientious in his love to holiness, he was no visionary, nor theoretical perfectionist. He distinguishes wisely, between indwelling sin, and outstanding iniquities. “ The nature and being of sin in us, cannot be so plucked out up by the roots, and cast clean away from us, as to have no stirring in us. (Indwelling) sin is one of the most quick and brisk things, and will have mo. tions according to its life. It is impossible to separate our. selves from our persons; yet we should withdraw our minds and affections from sin within us. A man may thus depart from that, which will depart from him. Yea, a man may, in mind, depart from that which yet will dwell with him so long as he lives. For instance, there are many diseases cleave to men, from which in their minds, they willingly depart. Yea, their greatest disquietment is, that so bad a distemper will abide by them. Might they have their own desire, they would be as far from it as the ends of the earth are asunder. Even whilst they continue together, the mind departs from it, and gone to God or to physicians for help and deliverance from it. And thus it is with the saint: with his mind he serves the law of God, and departs from all iniquity.”- Works, vol. iii. p. 1369.
Thus Bunyan thought and wrote, years before Dr. Owen published his work on Indwelling Sin. That Work came out in the year Bunyan died. But he, like Owen, could search the heart as “ with lighted candles," on this subject. In answer to the question, how may I know that I depart from the iniqui. ty which is in my flesh ? he says, “ How is iniquity in thine eye, when severed from the guilt and punishment that attend it? Is it, as separate from the beauteous, or ill-favoured ? I ask thee, how it looks—how thou likest it, suposing there were no guilt or punislıment attending the commission of it? For if in its own nature it be desirable to thy mind, thou art like the thief that refuseth to take his neighbour's horse, not from hatred of theft, but for fear of the gallows. Again; how dost thou like thyself, as possessed of a body of sin ? Doth this yield thee a kind of secret sweetness? There is nothing more odious to a sanctified mind! It makes a good man blush and abhor himself. How look thy duties in thine eyes ? They catch the stain of sin as coming from thee. Art thou, through the ignorance that is in thee, unaffected with this ? Again ; why wouldst thou go to heaven? Because it is a holy place, or because it is remote from the pains of hell ?
Bunyan was practical as well as penetrating, on this sub. ject. “ There are,” he says, “ occasions given, and occasions taken to sin against the Lord Jesus ; and a good man will de. part from both. He that hath set himself to depart from sin in himself will not seek occasions abroad to sin. There may be occasions where there are no examples. He that hankers after enticings and opportunities, is not departing from iniqui. ty. Departing from it is not the work of an hour, or a day, or a week, or a month, or a year; but it is the work of a life. time, and there is greatness and difficulty in it. With many, it is like the falling out of two neighbours: they hate each other for a while, and then renew their friendship again. But remember,—that a profession is not worth a pin, if they that make it depart not from iniquity.” — Works, vol. iii. p. 1472.
It would be a mistake to suppose, from the bluntness of these illustrations, that Bunyan dealt only in pithy maxims, when inculcating pure morals. He could and did embellish, as well as explain and expostulate. The beautiful ideal of Holiness was equally familiar to his thoughts, and frequently on his lips. What could be more exquisitely chaste and lovely than his comparison of a holy Minister, to the lily-wreathed pillars of the temple ? “A lily-life is the glory of an Apostle. Judas had none of this lily-work. Even covetousness makes a Minister'smell frowish. It is he that grows as a lily, that shall smell as Lebanon, and have his beauty as the Olive tree. It is brave when the world is made to say of the lives and conver. sation of saints, as they were made to say of the adorning and beauty of the Temple, · What manner of stones are here ?' I say, it is brave, when our light so shines before men, that they are forced to glorify our Father, which is in heaven.”— Works, vol. iv. p. 1981,
The following comparison is of the same kind. “ It is amiable and pleasant to God, when Christians keep their rank, station, and relation, doing all as becomes their quality and calling. When they stand every one in their places, and do the work of their relation, they are like flowers in the garden, that grow where the Gardener planted them, and thus do him and it honour.” “ From the hyssop on the wall, to the Cedar on Lebanon, their fruit is their glory. And seeing the Stock into which we are planted is the fruitfulest Stock ; and the sap conveyed out thereof, the fruitfulest sap; and the Dresser, the wisest husbandman,-how contrary to nature, to example to expectation should we be, if we be not rich in good works! Wherefore, take heed of being painted fire, wherein is no warmth; and painted flowers, which retain no srnell ; and painted trees, whereon is no fruit.”- Works, vol. iv. p. 2092.
It would not be easy to find a parallel to the following illustration of the mutual influence of holy Christians. “ Whilst the Doctrine of the gospel is like the dew and the small rain which distilleth on the tender herb,—Christians are like the several flowers in a garden, that have on each of them the dew of Heaven, which, being shaken by the wind, they let fall on each other's roots ; whereby they are nourished, and become nourishers of one another. For to communicate savourly to each other of God's matters, is as if they opened to each other's nostrils Boxes of perfume."-Works, vol. iv, p. 2119.
When Bunyan had such visions of the beauty of Holiness before him, the ugliness of sin, as he called its deformity, ex. torted from him tremendous rebukes to drossy professors. 66 () the confusion and shame that will cover their faces, when God is discovering to them what a nasty, uncomely, unreason. able life they have led in the world! They will blush until the blood is ready to burst through their cheeks. God will cover with shame all such bold and brazen faces.”—Works, vol. ij. p. 666. « Such a professor is like a man that comes out of a Pest House, with all his plague-sores running. He poisons the air around him. This man hath the breath of the dragon. He slays his children, his kinsmen, his friends, and himself. I remember Philpot used to tell the Papists, that they danced naked in a net, because of their evil ways : and the Lord bids professors have a care, the shame of their nakedness do not appear. Whatever they may think of themselves, they are seen of others.” - Works, vol. iii. p. 1391. 66 One black sheep is quickly espied among five hundred white ones; and one mangy sheep will soon infect many.”- Works, vol. ii. p. 1386. “ Hypocrite! even the gain of thy religion, thou spendest it as thou gettest it. Thou wilt not have one farthing overplus at death and judgment. Even what thou hast, thou hast stolen it from thy neighbour, like Judas from the bag. Thou camest as a thief into thy profession, and as a thief thou shalt go out of the same. Jesus Christ hath committed to thee none of his jewels to keep.”— Works, vol. iii. p. 1567. 4 Such professors pestered the Churches of old. Who on earth can help it? Jades there be, of all colours! We may say to such, as the Prophet spake to their like, · Go ye, serve every man his idol.' Go, Professors, go : leave off profession. Better never profess, than make profession a stalking-horse to deceit, sin, the devil, and hell. A Professor, and defraud! Away with him."- Works, vol. ii. p. 893.
But whilst Bunyan thus flung false Professors to the winds, it was not to abandon them. This may easily be supposed from his Favourite Sermon. In trying, however, to reclaim them, he did more than prove that there was mercy for the biggest sinners. His maxim was, “ Let them depart from their Constitution.Sin, or if you will, the sin that their temper most inclines them to." His plying and pleading this turning point, evince his philosophy. “ So long as thy constitution. sin remains, or is winked at, thou art a Hypocrite before God, let thy profession be what it will. If a man will depart from iniquity, he must depart from his darling sin first : for as long as that is entertained, others, most suiting his darling, will always be haunting him. There is a man that has such and such Haunters of his house, who spend his substance. He would be rid of them, but cannot. But now, let him rid him. self of that for which they haunt his house, and he shall with ease be rid of them. Thus it is with sin. There is a man plagued with many sins, because be embraceth one. Let him turn that one out of doors. That is the way to be rid of the rest. The casting away of that, is death to the rest, and ordinarily makes à change throughout.”— Works, vol. iii. p. 1894.
This is the real philosophy of moral reformation. Bunyan knew this, and scouted all compromise. To no maxim did he give more currency than this,- Take heed thou deceive not thyself, by changing one bad way for another bad way. This was a trick Israel played of old; hopping like the Squirrel from bough to bough, but not willing to forsake their tree. Many times men change their darling sins, as some change their servants. Hypocrisy would do awhile ago, but now debauchery. Profaneness was the fashion, but now a deceitful profession. Take heed thou throw not away thine old darling for a new one. Men's tempers alter. Youth is for pride and wantonness : middle age for cunning and craft: old age for the world and covetousness.” The following maxim is equally profound. “ Take heed lest thy departing from iniquity be but for a time. Persons in wrangling fits depart from each other ; but when the quarrel is over, by means of some intercessor, they are reconciled again. 0, Satan is the intercessor between the soul and sin! The breach may seem irreconcile. able ; but he can make up the difference between them. There is danger in this. The height of danger is in it! He makes use of those sins again which jump with the temper of thy soul. These are, as I may call them, thy master-sins. They suit thy temper. These, as the little end of a wedge, enter with ease, and so make way for those which come after ; with which, Satan knows he can rend thy soul in pieces.”— Works, vol. iii. p. 1395.
It was not merely by exposing the deceitfulness of sin or the wiles of the devil, however, that Bunyan fought the battles of Holiness. He strove equally to define and endear, one by one, the virtues, graces, and duties of Christian character. He was emphatically a Family Instructor. Whilst allowed to preach, he taught from house to house, that “ God sees within doors as well as without, and will judge the iniquity of the house as well as that which is more open :” and when he could only write, he tore the roofs off ill managed houses, as it were, to make them ashamed of their “ hugger-mugger iniquity," as he calls family sins. Bunyan's maxim, like Philip-Henry's, was, “ What a man is at Home, that he is indeed. My house and my closet show most what I am, to my Family and to the Angels, though not to the world.”—Works, vol. iii, p. 1400. 66 The Husband that carrieth it indiscreetly to his wife, doth not only behave himself contrary to the rule, but also erosseth the mystery of the relation. Be such a husband, that thy wife may say, · He preacheth to me every day the carriage of Christ to his Church. If thy wife be unbelieving or carnal, thou art