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help them off with their irons, but they manifested no anxiety. He told them that if he that goeth about as a roaring lion came by, they would certainly become a prey to his teeth. In fine, he used all proper and likely means to wake them up; and they were at length so far roused as to listen to him, and answer him.
Simple said, I see no danger. That was the voice of one-third part of the world in their sins. Tell them they are sleeping on the brink of perdition, and they say, We see no danger. Sloth said, Yet a little more sleep.
That was the voice of another third part of the world. A little longer indulgence in sin is pleaded for, a little more quiet ease and indifference; wait till we have a more convenient season; a little more folding of the hands to sleep! Presumption said, Every vat must stand on its own bottom. There outspoke at least another third part of the world in their sins. Take care of your interests, and I will take care of mine. You need not trouble yourself about my salvation. I am not at all concerned but that all will go well, and I am ready to take my chance. All these classes of men Christians have to encounter in their efforts to awaken the sinner and bring him to repentance; so Christian was earnest and faithful, but all his efforts were of no avail. These persons laid themselves down to sleep again, and Christian went sorrowfully on his way, being sad to think of the danger they were in, and their insensibility to it, and their utter indifference as to the help proffered them to get them out of it.
But now there met him persons of a different sort ; for behold two men came tumbling over the wall, on the left hand of the narrow way; and they made up apace to him. The name of the one was Formalist, and the name of the other Hypocrisy. It looked very suspicious to see them tumbling over the wall; so Christian asked at once where they came from, and whither they were going. Their answer was very curious. We were born in the land of Vainglory, and are going for praise to Mount Zion. Christian asked them why they did not come in at the gate, for that they who came not in by the door, but did climb up some other way, were thieves and robbers. They told him that in their country of Vainglory, that gate was considered too far round about, so that it was their custom to make a short cut, and get over the wall. Now you will remark that Bunyan had met these characters himself, and was well acquainted with them. He is here painting from real life ; indeed in every part of the Pilgrim's Progress he had but to look back through the perspective of the way he had himself been travelling, and its characters started into life, thronging the path with such number and vividness, that the difficulty was not to find portraits, but to make choice of his materials. He had also only to look into his own soul, with the wonderful clearness and accuracy with which he remembered every part of his experience, and there he found within his own past self, before he became a Christian, the portraiture of many a character introduced in his pages; the portraitures of just such characters as
he would himself have become, had he stopped where they did; had he stopped at the points, where he sketched and painted these developments of classes.
This is, in truth, an illustration of the meaning of that passage, Evil men understand not judgment, but they that seek the Lord understand all things. And also of that in 1 Cor. ii. 15. We see plainly that as a clear-sighted Christian looks back upon his own experience, he sees himself in many aspects, and through the prism of his own nature, he sees a thousand others; he sees, through and through, the motives, thoughts, feelings, veils and hiding-places of every possible variety of the children of this world, because he has been one of them. He sees some stopping with their characters in perfection at one stage of his own experience, and some at other stages ; some more advanced towards the point where he himself really set out to be a Christian, and some less; but many he sees, through the perfect knowledge he has of his own past refuges of lies, evidently trusting in the same refuges; refuges where he himself would have stopped and died as a pretended Christian, had not God had mercy on him.
On the other hand, a man of the world, a wicked man, an unconverted man, cannot see beyond the line of his own experience; the things of the Christian are hidden from him, for he has never gone into them; it is a world unknown, a world hidden by a veil that he has never lifted, a region of blessedness, knowledge and glory, where his feet have never wandered ; a region of
sweet fields, and living streams and vast prospects, of which he knows nothing, and can conceive nothing. It is all like the unseen future to him. But the Christian, you will perceive, is looking back; experience illumines the path that has been passed over, and the Christian sees that path clearly, and that path embraces all the world in it, just so far as it is the broad way, in which all characters in the world are travelling. So he which is spiritual judgeth all things, but he himself is judged of no man. So, in looking back, as Bunyan did, he says, Do you see such and such an one,
one, travelling at such a pace, with such professions and conversations? A few years ago, I was just such a person; I know him perfectly Do you see that thief going to prison, that '
murderer going to execution! Now but for the grace of God I was travelling the same way. But for the grace of God there goes John Bradford. So Bunyan said of himself, in describing these two fellows, Formalist and Hypocrisy, But for the grace of God there goes John Bunyan. Nay, in describing these characters, Bunyan was just cutting out two of the pictures of his own unconverted state, to insert them into this heavenly Mosaic of his Pilgrim's Progress.
For, in point of fact, he had been himself both Formalist and Hypocrisy; he had acted both these parts in his unconverted state ; and, if he had stopped there, he had lived and died a formalist and a hypocrite. I do not mean that Bunyan ever had in his character the elements of such meanness, as would take to itself deliberately the cloak
of religion to cover, conceal and practice its wickedness; that is the extreme of hypocrisy, and marks the most abandoned of all villains. But formalism itself is hypocrisy, and where a man does only deceive himself, by the concealment from himself of his own true character as a sinner, and by trusting in some other refuge than Christ, that man is a hypocrite, for he pretends to be a great deal better than he is; nay, he pretends to have goodness enough for his salvation, without coming in by the door, when God knows it is all rottenness and a lie.
Now you will remember there was a time when Bunyan was a thorough going Churchman, without one particle of religion in his soul. He would go to church in the morning, and worship the minister's robes, and the altar, and in the afternoon he would make the air ring with his merriment at the game of Cat. At this time, you will remember, he neither cared nor knew whether there were any Saviour or not; the complete sum of his religion was Form, nor did he even attempt to go any farther. So, certainly, here was the formalist in perfection. At another time, he was going to heaven by an external reformation, and thought he pleased God as well as any man in England. But he declared that every thing he either did or said, was done solely out of regard to human applause ; for he was filled with delight to hear his neighbors speak so well of him. Here again, certainly, was the hypocrite in perfection. So that that answer, which Formalist and Hypocrite made to Christian, Bunyan wrote down out of his old, unconverted,