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2 Cor. iv. 6. For God which commanded the light lo shine out of durkness, is God the Spirit; who, at the first creation, did this in nature; and here doth the same in grace. And the light which shineth in the heart of the sinner, gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God the Father; and this light and knowledge, and glory, is in the face or person of the Lord Jesus Christ. A like beautiful illustration of ihe same we have in one scripture, (besido numbers which singly declare the same. Eph. ii. 1-7.

Oh! the the wonders wrought in the instance of every individual sinner, when called by sovereign grace. Well may every one so called, and well must every one so called, cry out with the Apostle and say—Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift! 2 Cor. ix. 15.

It were to swell these pages to a great bulk, to follow the history of Bunyan, as given by himself, through all the natural changes he went through, before a saving change was wrought upon his soul. He did, as thousands have done before him, and numbers are doing munt, when the more mad and vlolent corruptions of his corrupt heart, are in some measure lessened, set up some kind of reform; and, like the prodigal in the parable, who joined himself to a citizen of that country to wbich he still belonged; from wallowing with the swinish crew which he had done before now, appeared more clean and moral, and fed them as he would fain have fed himself, with the husks of religion. But though this was indeed a change in Bunyan, as hath in many like him, yet not a spiritual change. The evil spirit was (as our Lord beautifully expresses it) gone out as an unclean devil, but it was only to come in under a more dangerous and deceitful form, as a little more morąl one. The heart was still under his dominion ; for as the parable expressed it; he called it his own house, swept and garnished. Matt. xii. 43. 45. Never, till the Lord the Holy Ghost quickens the sinner, who is by nature dead in trespasses and sins, can a single sense of spiritual life be found in the soul. Hence the recovery of the prodigal in the parable is strongly expressed by these words. And when he came to himself. For before all this, all was alike phreasy, whether in the madness of sensuality, or the more deceitful, but equally dangerous state of unawakened nature, bolstered up in a pharisaical righteousness. Luke xv. 17, &c.

The first impressions of grace made on the mind of Bunyau, according to his own statement, seems to have been, from what the world would call, accidental; but more properly, should be referred into the pre-disposing providence of the Lord. There is, in reality, nothing so slender, but what may have vast events hanging upon it; and even a word spoken in due season how good is it? Bunyan relates the circumstance himself in those words. Upon a day the good providence of God called me to Bedford, to work in my calling; and in one of the streets of that town, I came where there were three or four poor women, sitting at a door, in the sun, talking about the things of God; and being pow willing to bear their dis

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course, I drew near to them to observe what they said. But I heard and understood not, for they were far above my reach. Their talk was about the new-birth, the work of God in the heart, and how the Lord had convinced them of their miserable state by nature. They talked how God had visited their souls with bis love in the Lord Jesus ; and with what words the Lord had supported them and comforted them against the temptations of the devil. And methought they spake, as if joy did make them speak. They spake with such pleasautness of scripture, and with such appearance of grace in all they said, that they were to me, as if they had found a new world, as if they were people that dwelt alone, and were not reckoned among the nations. Numb. xxiii. 9.

I pause again to remark, how striking the testimonies of the Lord are to his own. Their language, their manners, their pursuits, pleasures, joys; are all peculiar. And the cause is explained, in the word of God. From everlasting, they are set apart in the purpose, counsel, will, and pleasure of God. They are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people. 1 Pet. ii. 10. And by the new-birth, they are instated into all privileges of their high calling, Before this work of grace is wrought, no mark of their family feature is discernable; but when the Lord hath passed by, and oid them live; then it is known whose they are and to whom they belong.

It appears, that after the Lord had called him by his grace to rereal his Sun in him ; Bunyan had many conflicts on the subject of election; and a perpetual question arising in his mind whether he was elected. Bui he relates in his history that this temptation was overruled for good, since it led him to the holy scriptures, and there made him try himself by that eternal standard of truth, And amidst a great variety of passages in the word of God, which gave

him comfort, this scripture fell with great weight apon his spirit: Louk at the generation of old, and see: Did ever any trust in God, and were confounded.

It appears, that about this time he began to open his mind to those poor people whom the Lord had made instrumental to teach him of the nature of the new birth; and they made his case known to a worthy pastor in the Lord's fold, whose ministry they attended, of the name of John Gifford. And here it should seem, from what follows in his bistory, he was taught, under sovereign grace, the way of God more perfectly. For soon after, we find him baptised, and admitted as a inember of the church of God, at Bedford. This was about the year 1655. And from the account he then gave of bimsell, a saving change by grace seems to have been wrought in his heart. For speaking of the views he then had of original and inward pollution, he thus observes : " That original and inward pollution was my plague and affliction, always putting forth itself within me, and was such, that I had the guilt of it to amazement; by reason of that, I was inore loathsome in my own eyes than a tvad;

and I thought I was so in God's sight too. Sin and corruption (! said) would as walurally bubble out of my heart, as water out of a fountain.” And speakiug of the views he had of the Lord Jesus Christ, he saith, “And though I was much troubled, and tossed, and afflicted, with the sight, and sevse, and terror, of my own wickedness, yet I was afraid to let this sight and sense of it go off my ipind; for I found, that unless guilt of conscience was taken off the right way, that is, by the blood of Christ, a man grew rather worse for the loss of his trouble of mind than the trouble itself. Where. fore, when the sense of sir, lay hard upon me, then should I cry, that the blood of Christ might take it off': for that scripture did lay much upon me; Without shedding of blood there is no remission. Heb. ix. 22.

The reader, if so be he hath tasted that the Lord is gracious, will perceive from this relation, Bunyan hath here given of himself, how blessedly the Lord was teaching him in those two great branches of the life of God in the soul ; namely, repentance towards God, and fuith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts xx. 21. And it is by this divine process of grace in the soul, the Lord the Holy Ghost hath in all ages taught his people. Nothing more effectually tends to endear Christ, than a sense of our own nothingness and undeservings. I find it good at all times to be kept low in myself, that I may find my exaltedness in Christ : as Paul expresses it, for when I am reuk, Then am I strong. 2 Cor. xii. 10. I know not what others feel; but this I know, that the workings of sin, and the risings up of corruption in me, which, like the scum of a pot would work over, but for ihe restrainings of grace, have a blessed effect, under the Lord's teaching, on iny poor soul, to make me go softly all the day. Now the Lord the Spirit, who hereby teacheth me to protit, keeps by it a perpetual sense of indwelling sin in my heart ! ihereby shews me yee more and more the blessedness of Christ; and the perpetual need I have of Christ. And that must be profitable, which shews me my wants, and endears Christ in his fulness, suitableness, and all-sufficiency. Ob! how blessed it is, when finding from perpetual wretcbedness in ourselves, and after all attainments, we are nothing that Christ is all in all. Sweetly doth the Lord speak this in one short verse : 0 Israel! thou hust destroyed thysell, but in me is thine help. Hosea xiii. I.

After the work of grace was wrought on Bunyan's heart, we find him earnest to engage in the ministry. This, for the most part, is the general effect of conversion. No sooner hath the Lord brought any of his people out of darkness into luis marvellous light, but we find them prompt and alive to cominunicate what they have learnt to others. . Oh! come hither, and hearken all ye thut jear God, tind I will teli you what he hath done for my soul. Psalm lxvi. 16. it is said of Melancihon, that when the Lord called him by sovereign grace, lie was so strongly impelled to the service of the Lord, that he concluded he should be niade instrumental to the conversion

of thousands. But failing in the attempt, and finding pone that belived the gospel report, his timidity became so remarkable great, as before his courage had propelled him forward. It were well in all cases of this kind, more especially, to see the moment of the pillar of the cloud going before, and directing the way, than rush unsent. How far Bunyan was under this guidance, the writings left behind him plainly shew. Even to this hour, it may be said of hin, though dead, yet he speaketh.

The history of the times in which Bunyan lived, warts ao eertificate in testimony how unfavourable and blighting the aspect to vital godliness. Much profession indeed, there was then, as now; yet great bitterness broke out against the distinguishing truths of ihe gospel. Bunyan soon felt the arm of carnal power uplifted against him; and being indicted at the sessions as a disturber of the peace, and a favourer of unlawful assemblies and conventicles, he was at once thrown into prison. It is astonishing how the malice of men defeat their own purposes. In all ages, the very reverse hath taken place, in a thousand, and ten thousand instances of human contrivance against the people of God. From the pit of the prison, all the great events in the patriarch Joseph's life arose. The casting out of Moses to perish, opened the very way of bringing in Israel to Canaan. The den of lions, and the fiery furnace in Babylon, became instrumental for the salvation of Daniel

, and the faithful servants of the Lord. But why speak I of these things, when such an infinitely higher object is before us in the cross of Christ? Is not the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sole life of all his redeemed? When the Jews had crucified the Lord of glory, they concluded that they had put out his name, and discomfited his followers for ever. Whereas all they did,was by the determinale counsel and foreknowledge of God, and to accomplish the very reverse of all their intentions, cross is our glory: and Jesus Christ and bim crucified, both the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for sulrution, unto every one that believeth.

Bunyun in the prison, could not preach to the crowded multitude; but he could and did preach to the chosen few. And who shall say, to how many, even there, the Lord made him useful? To some, the Lord sends his word, when nding his ordained ones to preach abroad among the people. To others, that same word is blessed, when they are sent to receive it in private. And the Lord will count all his, when he writeih up the people in Zion. But the Lord had a greater degree of usefulness for his servant, when sending him into the university of a prison, than the mere viva voce of his preaching. Here it was, that Bunyan was to study, under divine teaching, a greater acquaintance with the plague of his own heart; and to search deeper into the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. And here it was he wrote several of those writings left behind him, which the Lord hath blessed to the church, while testifying of himsell, in what was his particular theme, “ (race Abounding to the Clues of Siniers."

That very

The reader of those memoirs will do well in this place to observe, how very blessedly the Lord over-ruled the malice of Bunyan's enemies, to his own glory, and to his servant's greater good. Had the poor man desired a favour froin them, they could have shewn him none, equal to the putting him into prison. As it hath been remarked of the inspired writings of holy men of old ; there is the sweetest savour in those which were given to the chureh, when the pen men of them, themselves, were under more than ordinary affliction. David, the man after God's heart, composed some of the psalms, when he was under straits and difficulties, enough to have discomposed any other man than himself. And the Lord, who bore him up in the wilderness of Judah ; bore up Puul, in like manner, when in prison. Both possessed a sanctity from the Lord, which in ordinary seasons they could not enjoy so sweetly. It is not confined to the testimony of saints under ihe Old Testament; numbers of God's faithful ones, under the New, can, and have been able tn say, under sharp afflictions, with David : It is good for me that I hare been affiicied, that I might learn thy statutes. Psalm cxix. 71. A prison, with Jesus for our company, is better than a palace without. And sickness, if Jesus so appoint, and becomes both our physician and nurse, to adıninister to all our wants ; to watch over our sleepless nights; and to sooth our painful days; to soften our pillow with bis own hand, and to sing his love-songs when the heart is in heaviness, these convert sick chambers into rooms of holy joy; and make the whole atmosphere wholesome; and under such circunstances, the Lord's tried ones are like the inhabitants of the blessed climate the prophet speaks of, who shall no longer say, I am sick ; for the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquiry. Isaiah xxxiii. 24.

Bunyan's writings, while in the prison, were much under divine teaching; and to this hour, carry with ibem a sweet savour. So that they who put him into confinement, did the very reverse of what they intended. Had he been permitted to have gone about preaching, his proviuce of usefulness would have been, comparaiively speaking, small; and when he died, it would have been all over: whereas now, by his writings, he still lives, and though dead, yet he speaketh. And the man himself fared deliciously while in a prison ; they allowed bim prisoner's fare-bread and water; but the Lord mingled his bread of adversity and water of afliction with his sanctifying blessing; and as Melchisedec did by Abraham, brought forth bread und wine, and he was the priest of the Most High God. Gen. xiv. 18.

It has been supposed by some, ibat Bunyun's confinement in prison, which was ful! twelve years, was extended on account of his writings. But it is hardly possible, this could be the case. The greatest work Bunyan wrote was his Pilgrim. And the whole of what is there said, is nothing more than parable, or allegory. And how should paralle offend? They, however, who think otherwise, suppose, that us in the days ofien Bunyan lived, there was much shifting abeut in the

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