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indelibly impressed on Bunyan's mind, and now, in all the freshness of their coloring, he transferred them to the tablets of the Pilgrim's Progress.
Nothing can be more masterly than the satire contained in this trial. The Judge, the Witnesses, and the Jury, are portraits sketched to the life, and finished, every one of them, in quick, concise, and graphic touches. The ready testimony of Envy is especially characteristic. Rather than any thing should be wanting that might be necessary to dispatch the prisoner, he would enlarge his testimony against him to any requisite degree. The language of the Judge, and his whole deportment on the bench, are a copy to the life of some of the infamous judges under King Charles, especially the wretch Jeffries. You may find in the trial of the noble patriot Algernon Sidney the abusive language of the Judge against Faithful almost word for word. The Judge's charge to the Jury, with the acts and laws on which the condemnation of the prisoner was founded, are full of ingenuity and meaning.
But the best part of the trial is the heroic courageons deportment of Faithful. His answer to the charges and the witnesses against him, reminds us of Bunyan's answers to the arguments of his accu
“As to the charge of Mr. Superstition against me, I said only this, that in the worship of God there is required a divine faith ; but there can be no divine faith, without a divine revelation of the will of God. Therefore, whatever is thrust into the worship of God that is not agreeable to divine re
velation, cannot be done but by a human faith ; which faith will not be profitable to eternal life. As to what Mr. Pickthank hath said, I say, (avoiding terms, as that I am said to rail, and the like,) that the Prince of this town, with all the rabblement his attendants, by this gentleman named, are more fit for being in Hell than in this town or country; and so the Lord have mercy upon me.
Well done, noble, resolute, fearless Faithful ! No doubt of death after such truth shot into the hearts of thine enemies! Then was Faithful, after dreadful torments inflicted on him, burned to ashes at the stake, in the midst of the multitude. But behind the multitude there was a ravishing sight for any man whose eyes could have been opened to behold it, and which might have made any man willing to take Faithful's place at the stake for the sake of Faithful's place in glory afterwards. For there was a band of bright shining angels waiting for Faithful with a chariot and horses, in which, while the flames were yet cracking in the faggots which consumed his flesh to ashes, he was conveyed with the sound of trumpets up through the clouds to the Celestial City. This sight was enough to make Christian wish that instead of taking him back to prison, they had burned him also on the spot.
Now this is a most exquisitely beautiful sketch ; it is drawn to the lite from many an era of pilgrimage in this world; there are in it the materials of glory that constituted spirits of such noble greatness as are catalogued in the eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews ; trials
of cruel mockings and scourgings, bonds and imprisonments, such as tortured and hardened the frames of men of whom the world was not worthy. Such was the stuff and discipline out of which the race of primitive Christians were moulded; and very much such was also the era of pilgrimage on which Bunyan himself had fallen. But is it an equally true sketch of the pilgrimage in our day? 'Is the world now regarded so much a wilderness and a world of enmity against God as it was ? Certainly the pilgrims are now regarded with more favor. Is this because the world has grown kinder, better, more disposed towards godliness, or is it because the Pilgrims have grown less strict in their manners, less peculiar in their language, and more accommodating and complying with the usages of Vanity Fair? Or is it from both these causes together, that the path of the pilgrimage seems so much easier now than it was formerly ?
It is true that the more Christians there are in the world, the more delightful will this pilgrimage become, the fewer external enemies and difficulties will there be to be fought and conquered. There might be such a revival of religion in Vanity Fair itself, as should convert all its inhabitats, so that even my Lord Hategood would have to lay aside his name with his nature, and Malice and Envy would be changed into Love. Then would the ļion lie down with the lamb, and the leopard would eat straw like the ox, and a little child might pass in white robes through Vanity Fair unhurt, unsoiled. Then would the merchandise of the Fair be changed, and no longer would the answer
of the Pilgrims, We buy the truth, be deemed such a strange and barbarous answer; but godliness would be considered as gain, and not gain as godli
That the world is coming into such a grand climacteric of innocence, happiness and glory, there is no doubt, just in proportion as the gospel prevails, and the number of real believers is multiplied.
There is, however, an era of nominal Christianity. Vanity Fair itself may be full of profound pilgrims, and the pilgrimage itself may be held in high esteem, and yet the practice of the pilgrimage, as Christian and Faithful followed it, may almost have gone out of existence. With the increase of nominal Christians there is always an increase of conformity to the world ; and the world appears better than it did to Christians, not so much because it has changed, as because they have changed; the wild beasts and the tame ones dwell together, not so much because the leopards eat straw like the ox, as because the ox eats flesh like the leopard. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people ; the people have not come over to Ephraim, but Ephraim has gone over to them; the people hath not learned the ways of Ephraim, but Epbraim hath learned the manners of the people. This is too much the case in the Vanity Fair of the world at the present time; there is not such a marked and manifest distinction between the church and the world as there should be; their habits, maximns, opinions, pursuits, amusements, whole manner of life, are too much the same; so that the Pilgrims in our day have
lost the character of a peculiar people, not so much because they have become vastly more numerous than formerly, as becase they have become conformed to the world, not like strangers, but natives in Vanity Fair. The great temptations of the church in our day is that of entire, almost unmingled worldliness ; formalism and worldliness are too sadly the types of our piety; we are in imminent danger of forgetting that our life is a pilgrimage, and that this is not our rest.
This being the case, what shall we say of this sketch of Vanity Fair, and of the treatment of the Pilgrims in it, as applied to ourselves, to the Vanity Fair of our own era in the world, and of the society around us? Do the Pilgrims of our day go as resolutely through Vanity Fair as Christian and Faithful did! It is true that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly lusts, we, as they did, have our conversation in the world? Is our merchandise the truth, or do we, as they did not, stop to trade in Vanity Fair, cheapening its commodities ? And how many among us make Vanity Fair the end of their pilgrimage?
Let the Dreamer lie down, and dream again in the wilderness of this world, and surely a great change would come over the spirit of his dream, and the coloring also. Or let a man stand by the Dreamer, and recount to him what has happened since he passed this way before, what changes in the progress of two hundred years.
Listen to him, if you please, as he speaks of Vanity Fair in your day. His account is somewhat as follows:
The town was much altered since Christian and