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stract perfections, nor drawn from any one extreme or exclusive point of view. It recognizes both divisions of the christian world, of which we have spoken. Nay, it recognizes them at different times in the different experience of the same persons, which is in accordance with the examples of Scripture. For the same great saint who says, I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, and, I will delight myself in thy statutes, says also, a few verses after. wards, My soul cleaveth unto the dust, and, My soul melteth for heaviness.
There is in general more of this cleaving unto the dust, than of this rejoicing ; but it is not always to be concluded, because the soul thus seems bound up in dust and heaviness, that therefore there is nothing of the christian life in it. The straight lines of light and joy in the gospel falling into such a dense medium of cares and anxieties in this world, are refracted and broken, so to speak, and the reflection of the gospel comes from troubled waters, waters ruffled and stirred, and not from still lakes, where halcyon birds of calm sit brooding on the surface.
The christian life is represented as a race, a work, a labor, a conflict, a warfare. It needs a strong, constant, unwavering pur. pose, along with the constant, ever present, omnipotent grace of God. God is our all in all. Christ's strength must be made per. fect in our weakness. So David says, I will run in the way of thy commandments when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Here is the purpose, I will run ; here is the way, thy commandments; here is the soul's dependence, when thou shalt enlarge my heart; and here is the source of power, the grace of God in the heart, in the deep heart. To this Paul answers, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do. Blessed harmony of God's working and man's working, of God's grace and man's obedience !
The Pilgrim's Progress is constructed throughout on this divine barmony, never losing sight of either side of the arrangement. So must our individual progress through life, in grace, be of the same
divine harmony, a perpetual strife on our part, and God striving in
Paul of this progress in his own person, Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. When these two things are kept together, then there is joy, joy even amidst great trials and discouragements. Because we are oast down, it is not necessary to be destroyed ; and the same Apostle who says, Rejoice in the Lord alway, says also, with Barnabas, who was the son of consolation, That we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
In all things we are brought to Christ, and thrown upon him; and this is the sweet voice of the Pilgrim's Progress, as of the gospel, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Our consolation amidst our distresses is this, that we have not an High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. And unto Him that is able to keep us from fall. ing, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Historical sketch of the period.-Bunyan's contemporaries. His boyhood and con.
victions of sin.--The Providence and Grace of God illustrated in his life and
If a man were to look about the world, or over
ment, great genius, great talent; great extremes