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“ Now, while my mittimus was a making, the justice was withdrawn, and in comes an old enemy to the truth, Dr. Lindale, who when he was come in, fell to taunting at me, with many reviling terms. To whom I answered, that I did not come thither to talk with him, but with the justice. Whereat he supposing that I had nothing to say for myself, triumphed as if he had got the victory, charging and condemning me for meddling with that for which I could show no warrant, and asked me if I had taken the oaths, and if I had not, it was pity but that I should be sent to prison. I told him that if I was minded, I could answer to any sober question put to me. He then urged me again, how I could prove it lawful for me to preach, with a great deal of confidence of the victory. But at last, because he should see that I could answer him if I listed, I cited to him that in Peter, which saith, “ As every man hath received the gift, even so let him minister the same."
Lindale. Ay, saith he, to whom is that spoken?
Bunyan. To whom, said I, why, to every man that hath received a gift from God. Mark, saith the apostle, as every man hath received the gift from God; and again, You may all prophesy one by one. Whereat the man was a little stopt, and went a softlier
pace. But not being willing to lose the day, he began again, and said :
Lind. Indeed, I do remember that I have read of one Alexander, a copper-smith, who did much oppose and disturb the apostles : (aiming, it is like, at me, because I was a tinker.)
Bun. To which I answered, that I also had read
of very many priests and Pharisees, that had their hands in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lind. Ay saith he, and you are one of those Scribes and Pharisees, for you, with a pretence, make long prayers to devour widows' houses.
Bun. I answered, that if he got no more by preaching and praying than I had done, he would not be so rich as now he was. But that scripture coming into my mind, “Answer not a fool according to his folly,” I was as sparing of my speech as I could without prejudice to truth.
After this there was another examination with one Mr. Foster, of Bedford, who tried hard to persuade Bunyan to promise that he would leave off preaching, in which case he should be acquitted. Bunyan's honest, straight-forward truth, good sense and mother-wit, answered as good a purpose
with this Mr. Foster, as it did with that “old enemy,” Dr. Lindale. Mr. Foster told Bunyan there were none that heard him but a company of foolish people.
Bun. I told him that there were the wise as well as the foolish that did hear me; and again, those that are most commonly counted foolish by the world, are the wisest before God. Also, that God had rejected the wise and mighty and noble, and chosen the foolish and the base.
Foster. He told me that I made people neglect their calling; and that God hath commanded people to work six days, and serve him on the seventh.
Bun. I told him that it was the duty of people, rich and poor, to look out for their souls on those days, as well as their bodies; and that God would have his people exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day.
Fost. He said again, that there were none but a company
poor, simple, ignorant people that
Bun. I told him that the foolish and the ignorant had most need of teaching and information; and therefore it would be profitable for me to go on in that work.
Fost. Well, said he, to conclude, but will you promise that you will not call the people together any more, and then you may be released and go home. .
Bun. I told him that I durst say no more than I had said ; for I durst not leave off that work which God had called me to. If my preaching might be said to call the people together, I durst not say that I would not call them together.
Foster upon this told the justice that he must send Bunyan to prison; and so to prison he went, nothing daunted, but singing and making melody in his heart unto the Lord. After this follows an inimitably rich and humorous dialogue, which Bunyan called, The Sum of my Examination before Justice Keelin, Justice Chester, Justice Blundale, Justice Beecher and Justice Snagg. These men's names are immortalized in a way they never dreamed of; nor can any one read this scene, and compare it with the trial of Faithful in the Pilgrim's Progress, and not see what rich materials Bunyan was now gathering, in the providence of God, out of his own experience, for his future work. These persons are just as certainly to be detected in Bunyan's sketches of the court, in the town of Vanity Fair, as Sancho Panza whenever he appears in any part of Don Quixote.
It was an almost unconscious operation of quiet, but keen satire, when this scene remoulded its materials afterwards in Bunyan's imagination. The extent of the indictment against Bunyan was as follows: That John Bunyan, of the town of Bedford, laborer, being a person of such and such conditions, he hath, since such a time, devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to church to hear divine service, and is a common upholder of several unlawful meetings and conventicles, to the great disturbance and distraction of the good subjects of this kingdom, contrary to the laws of our sovereign Lord the King. When this was read, the clerk of the sessions said to Bunyan, What say you to this?
Bunyan. I said that as to the first part of it, I was a common frequenter of the church of God, and was also by grace, a member with those people, over whom Christ was the head.
Keelin. But, saith Justice Keelin, who was the judge in that court, Do you come to church, you know what I mean, to the parish church to hear divine service ?
Bun. I answered no, I did not.
Bun. I said, because I did not find it commanded in the word of God.
Keel. He said we were commanded to pray.
Bun. I said, but not by the Common Prayer Book.
Keel. He said, how then ?
Bun. I said, with the Spirit. As the apostle saith, I will pray with the Spirit with understanding.
Keel. He said, we might pray with the Spirit with understanding, and with the Common Prayer Book also.
Bun. I said that those prayers in the Common Prayer Book were such as were made by other men, and not by the motions of the Holy Ghost within our hearts; and, as I said, the apostle saith he will pray with the Spirit and with understanding, not with the Spirit and the Common Prayer Book.
Another Justice.. What do you count prayer ? Do you think it is to say a few words over, before or among a people ?
Bun. I said not so; for men might have many elegant or excellent words, and yet not pray at all; but when a man prayeth, he doth, through a sense of those things which he wants, which sense is begotten by the Spirit, pour out his heart before God through Christ; though his words be not so many and so excellent as others.
Justices. They said that was true.
Bun. I said this might be done without the Common Prayer Book.
There was a strange mixture of candor and bitterness, in these justices, for they acknowledged the truth of some things that Bunyan said, and that very freely, while they were blasphemous in other things, as we shall see. Bunyan's own argument against the Common Prayer Book would not be admitted as valid by many out of the Episcopal Church as well as in it; but his argument against the enforcing of it on the conscience is incontrovertible, as well as his own