John Bunyan.

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BR 75 .B7 1862 v. 2
Bunyan, John, 1628-1688.
The entire works of John


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The Pilgrim's Progress, erom this World to that
which is to Come. Delivered under the simili-
tude of a Dream, —

Part I. Wherein is discovered the manner of his
setting out, his dangerous journey, and safe
arrival at the desired country .... 9

II. Wherein is set forth the manner of the
setting out of Christian's Wife and Children,
their dangerous journey, and safe arrival at
the desired country 75

Saved by Grace ; or, a Discourse of the Grace of God :
showing, —

I. What it is to be saved.
II. What it is to be saved by grace.

III. Who they are that are saved by grace.

IV. How it appears that they are saved by grace.

V. What should be the reason that God should
choose to save sinners by grace rather than by
any other means 136

Christian Behaviour : being the Fruits of true Chris-
tianity. Teaching husbands, wives, parents, chil-
dren, masters, servants, &c, how to walk so as to
please God. With a word of direction to all back-
sliders. . .' 162

Come, and Welcome, to Jesus Christ; or, a plain
and profitable Discourse on John vi. 37. Showing
the cause, truth, and manner of the coming of a
sinner to Jesus Christ; with his happy reception
and blessed entertainment 187

The Barren Fig-tree ; or, the Doom and Downfall of
the Fruitless Professor. Showing that the day of
grace may be past with him long before his life is
ended; the signs also by which such miserable
mortals may be known 215

Seasonable Counsel; or, Advice to Sufferers. . 270

A Discourse upon the Pharisee and the Publican :
wherein several weighty things are handled : as, the
nature of prayer, and of obedience to the law ; to-
gether with the way and method of God's free grace
in pardoning penitent sinners, by imputing Christ's
righteousness to them 316

The Strait Gate ; or, great Difficulty of going' to
Heaven. Plainly proving, by the Scriptures, that
not only the rude and profane, but many great pro-
fessors, will come short of that kingdom . . 371

A Treatise on the Fear of God. Showing what it
is, and how distinguished from that which is not so :
also, whence it comes, who has it, what are the
effects, and what the privileges of those that have it
in their hearts 101

The Jerusalem Sinner Saved; or, Good News for
the vilest of Men: being a help for despairing
souls. Showing, that Jesus Christ would have
mercy in the first place offered to the biggest sinners.
To which is added an answer to those grand objec-
tions that lie in the way of them that would believe,
for the comfort of those that fear they have sinned
against the Holy Ghost 151

Israel's Hope Encouraged; or, what Hope is, and
how distinguished from Faith. With encourage-
ments for a hoping people ....... 189

Oe the Trinity and a Christian. How a young cr
shaken Christian should demean himself under the
weighty thoughts of the doctrine of the Trinity, or
plurality of persons in the eternal Godhead . . 533

Oe the Law and a Christian

. 535



HAT much has been said and written on so famous a book as. The
Pilgrim's Progress is no subject for surprise. When once fairly brought
; into notice, it could not fail to interest the critic as well as the devout and
practical theologian. It will engage the attention of the same class of men
for ages to come. Some future Edinburgh, or North American Review,
will analyse it with renewed ingenuity. Through channels made fresh for
the purpose, the next generation will find a new stream of beautiful light
poured upon the pages of the venerable classic. Something unexpected
will be discovered in him. His more hidden thoughts and allusions will
| come out in bolder relief ; and they who render the meaning of the vision,
more palpable, will be accounted, like the commentators on Dante, worthy
of signal reverence.

But it is not in the variety of that higher species of criticism of
which we are here 'speaking, that either the power or the influence of
Bunyan's genius is best discovered. Minds of the ordinary class have
been too deeply interested in his creations not to produce another kind of commentaries — com-
mentaries founded upon feelings and experiences, the language of which is generally of the most
simple, sermon-like character, but showing how practically well adapted the book itself is to make men
think of the things for the illustration of which it was composed. If we could add to the notes and
expositions published, the unwritten comments on The Pilgrims Progress, we should possess a vast
library of experimental, though not very varied divinity.

The origin of this remarkable book has given rise to much curious inquiry. It is the natural
tendency of one school of criticism to trace every literary production which has gained enduring fame,
to certain existing sources, the discovery of which may explain away most of the miracles and phe-
nomena of genius. Another school has the wish, equally determined and pronounced, to exhibit
original talent as sufficient for itself, and as having in its own creative power the only source which it
needs for the nourishment of invention. A third class of critics, more prudent than either of the former,
will equally avoid attributing an independence to genius which the human mind in no case can
possess ; or so tracing its productions to pre-existing works as to deprive them of that most coveted
portion of fame — the praise of originality.

Many particulars must necessarily enter into this species of inquiry. To determine properly
the several degrees of originality to which authors may lay claim, there should be an intimate acquaint-
ance with the means of knowledge actually open to them ; with the general character of their intel-
lectual habits ; and especially with those nice distinctions of thought, which show how beautiful may be
the results of simple suggestion closely followed up, and how very like they may look to the fruits of
creative fancy, and yet not be identical with them.

Applying such considerations to the case of Bunyan, we are met with a difficulty at the very begin-
ning of the inquiry. Most of the writers who have treated of his life and character, speak of him as
destitute not only of learning, strictly so called, but of the ordinary measure of knowledge and litera-
ture. We think this view of Bunyan's mental state highly erroneous. The age in which he lived was
not unfavourable to the intellectual progress of men of his rank. They were born in the midst of events
so remarkable and stimulating, that an education of inquiry, thought, and observation was forced
upon them. This effected its end independent of books. Minds that could be impressed ot roused
into action, received ideas and caught information, full of life and reality, from the practical journalism
of hope and fear. But neither was there any lack of books. Popular education began with the
reign of Elizabeth. It was carried on by the help of the poets ; the dramatic-writers, the retailers
of popular traditions, and snatches of history, often conveying more truth in the fragment than by the
VOL. n. B


mass The printing-press was daily increasing in activity. Many a little volume came into the
rioTof peopk in moderate circumstances, and passed round a circle of friends and neighbours Ballads
without number were scattered about, and conveyed notions of rhythm and romance, tempting the
rumJest Earner to try his skill in song. With these elements of a literature, frivolous n .form, but
fa" from inoperative there was soon to be mingled another of very different aim and character. The
Zl7o7a^ m proved a further means of general intelligence. Every system or set of opinions
Llodyit some strong passion, must have a literature of its own. New forms both of tbpugnt and
exSon wi 1 hence arise. Curious facts, daring and startling images, will be woven in^mong the
thJeads of argument ; and the readers of some fierce polemical tract, written by an author fitted for
his work will gain fresh intellectual courage from the stimulant of his energy.

Saiyof the books published by the Puritans in the reign of Charles I were wonderfully
adapted to excite a thirst for knowledge.' They treated of great subjects; and, however he taste of
modern times may shrink from the heavy, entangled phraseology employed there was a so femnrty n
its tone which gave even ordinary minds a sense of the power and dignity of then- language. Perse-
cution could not lessen the force of a literature thus created. The circle of its influence was perpetual y
widening In the times of the Commonwealth, all classes m the nation, whichever side hey took,
were well informed on the most important public questions. Rut for this general inte hgence the .liberty
of the press would have been disregarded. It would have excited no jealousy m the one party, and
no desire in the other. It is in times only of considerable enlightenment that the Press lives and
breathes with the spirit of a nation, and that it is, therefore, equally dreaded by tyranny and faction
When Milton wrote his plea for its liberty, he appealed to the good sense and intelligence of his
countrymen at large ; and both the fact of the appeal and the magnificence of its style are an evidence
of their capacity for grand thoughts and arguments.

And it was when influences of this kind had been long working in the nation that Bunyan felt
the early stirrings of intellectual life. His mind was vigorous and active ; not free from eccentricity,
but subject to storms of passion which were as terrible to himself as to others. \\ ith a mental con-
stitution like this, he was one of the last men in the world to remain indifferent to what was passing
around him ; or to fail of gathering up some portion of the harvest of various knowledge lor winch
his times were remarkable. However much he had neglected the ordinary means of education, he
had a quick ear and eve. This supplied many deficiencies in his youth ; and he had scarcely attained
to manhood when a great change took place in his habits. He recovered his power of reading^ and at
once there was open to him the entire range of a fresh and increasing literature— a literature, indeed,
not so varied, or so lively and agreeable, as that of our own day, but far more exciting, more earnest
more pregnant with thought. The writers of Queen Elizabeth's time were still at the height ot
popularity : and there can be no good reason for supposing that Bunyan would remain ignorant oi
Spenser's Fairy Queen, or any other work of that class in English. The allegorical mode of story-
telling was adapted to the taste of the times. Virtues and vices had not ceased to have a personal
form and existence in the minds of men ; and thus they were just as proper to become the actors in a
poem or romance, as the personages of a history. From the same cause— the prevalence, that is, of a
popular idealism— dreams and visions were still invested with a species of reality themselves, and
readily became the types of other realities. Neither poem nor story, founded on an allegory or a
dream, can create an interest, unless the reader be predisposed to believe in unearthly abstractions as
possibilities. This disposition has long ceased ; but in Bunyan's age it was as common as the love of
actual romance at a later period. It seems probable therefore that, obeying the direction taken -by
the popular taste, his earliest reading would consist of authors dealing in figurative events— in battles,
triumphs, and pilgrimages, which needed no other truth to instruct and delight him but some agree-
ment with the operations of his own soul.

It was not necessary that Bunyan should collect a library around him in order to acqui-re a general
notion of this mode of thinking and inventing. If he possessed, or could obtain, the privilege of read-
in"- the Fairy Queen it would be enough for him, with so ardent and ready a mind, to master such
a book to become a master himself in the school of dreams and allegories. Bunyan's rhymes are a
sufficient proof that he read and loved verse at an early period of his literary career. The poets,
whoever they might be, were his first book-teachers. There is no great improbability in supposing
that he may have read some of the masques of Ben Jonson— so ideal, so mingling mythology and
metaphysics' in grotesque combination, and yet so rich in simple, harmonious rhyme. In his age,
Shakspere's plays were performed in barns : the best passages were carried to and fro by quick
listeners of good memorv, as music is learnt and played again by untaught musicians. Religious
" mysteries " had not gone out of fashion. Archbishop Laud's patronage of such entertainments was
slill remembered. Men of high standing, religious and learned, listened with deep interest to what
" The Vice" of the old drama might tell them. Spectators of Bunyan's class would listen with an
earnestness heightened bv awe and superstition, to the same abstract, but in the play, visible being.
Bunyan himself could not have been a stranger to such things. They taught him little, perhaps,


while he was still dark and reprohate ; but when he awoke up to a consciousness of intellectual existence,
they must have been important aids to the workings and efforts of his imagination.

Nor should it be forgotten, that his first religious instructor was a man who had lived long in the
world. Mr. Gifford had studied science from necessity : his social position was such as to make him
acquainted with the current literature of the day. He could not be destitute of books. His conversion
would imply no necessity for his dispersing these books. Though caring little for any in comparison
with the Bible, he might still love those, in passages of which he could find sweet and cheering illus-
trations of the sentiments now controlling him by a higher authority. Discovering in Bunyan an
aptitude and great capacity for learning, he was not likely to shut up these books from him ; nor was
Bunyan likely to look with indifference upon treasures so calculated to supply the now most deeply-
felt necessity of his intellectual nature.

But whatever the amount of his reading, or whatever the variety of books a man may study, it
depends upon the constitution of his mind whether the thoughts which he thus acquires, or those
which originate with himself, have the foremost place, or the greater force, when commanding expres-
sion. With genius of a high order, each idea, as it flashes into life, stands distinct, as a being of
another class, from whatever memory can produce'. Intellects less creative, but acute and delicate,
cherish, with the love of a fond foster-mother, the beautiful offspring of knowledge and meditation.
The original thoughts of this secondary class of minds have neither the worth nor the power of those
which are remembered ; and in the struggle for utterance this is confessed, and the treasured recollec-
tion, with a long train of graceful attendants, is wisely allowed that place in the page which would
have been much less nobly occupied by thoughts tame and indefinite, though original.

The distinction here made has no relation to the various effects which study produces in different
minds, considered in the way of discipline. However original the genius, common sense and universal
experience show, that the better it is cultivated by study, the richer and more abundant are its fruits.
It is in the several applications of knowledge that the man of genius, and the mere clever, accomplished
man of talent, are most distinguished from each other. Both read largely : both become intimately
acquainted with the words, the thoughts, the creations of other minds ; but in the one instance the
main benefit is seen in the general cultivation ,of the intellect, and in the occasional stimulant of a
particular suggestion : in the other the material is looked for much more than the cultivation or
strengthening of thought.

When we apply such considerations as these to the review of Bunyan, the result is soon obtained.
He must have read much and diligently. His arrangement of arguments, his nice, minute discrimina-
tion of character, are proofs of study ; but he had no wish to borrow either thoughts or incidents.
His mind was quick with a fruitmlness of its own. Even could it be shown that there are close
correspondences between some points in his allegories and passages in earlier authors, this would not
affect his claim to originality. The accidental influence of a grand idea, or beautiful incident, met
with in the pages of another writer, is not to be confounded with the habitual and mechanical use
which an imitator makes of his known resources.

Bunyan's originality has been often questioned ; and so has that of every other great writer, of
whom a predecessor in the same line of composition could be discovered. But originality is itself a
subject for question. Let us imagine a man standing on the sea-shore. He lives in an age when no
one has yet conceived the possibility of building a raft, or vessel of any kind, to bear him over the
waves. Suddenly the idea arises in his mind, that the waters may be traversed as well as the land.
He constructs a canoe, and is the first man to breast the tide in a floating home. This is originality.
Every man, after this, who builds only a raft or canoe is merely an imitator. But as there are certain
mysterious stages in mathematical or numerical sequences, when carried on to great length, so it is
in the progress of art and literature. To continue our comparison : after the lapse of ages, and when
rafts of every size and shape have been constructed, some man forms the idea of building a ship.
The ship has no likeness to the raft, but merely in this — that it floats upon the water. In every other
respect it is novel — in shape, in use, in mode of management. Here again is originality ; and so
may it be found through the whole history of ship-building. Music, from the first stringing of the
empty-shell found on the sea-shore to the perfection of orchestral harmony, might furnish similar
illustrations : literature has its own. Neither Sophocles nor Shakspere originated the drama of their
age or nation, and yet both were essentially original writers. Let M. Michaud, or Professor Wilken,
instruct us how much may be found in ancient Itineraries suggestive of the uses of pilgrimages ; let
it be seen how early that word "pilgrimage" began to be adopted by authors for spiritual purposes;
or let 'us be even able to trace in Bernard's Isle of Man, or other ancient works, a distant resem-
blance of object : this will have no more to do with the originality of Bunyan than the simple thought
of trying whether a hollowed-out trunk of a tree would float on the water has to do with the planning
of the first steam- frigate.

A careful perusal of The Pilgrim's Progress will afford the best proof of its originality. We look
in genius for simplicity, earnestness ; for a perception of objects as if light from heaven was upon


them. All this we find in Bunyan. The idea which he worked out was eminently primitive. It
was such a one as we may suppose some early Christian might have easily conceived ; but which
none but a master-mind could have developed into all its details and consequences, colouring each
unfolding truth with its own deep, warm, distinctive tint. The " den" in which the dreamer lay was
doubtless his prison-chamber. But it is a characteristic of genius to make the actual circumstances of
life either minister to sentiment or assist in the creation of imagery. The real starting-point of the
narrative is not the same as that of the dream. It may explain some of the occasional failures in the
structure of the story, if we remember that the writer had thus, from the first, involved himself in a
difficulty. He was, in one position, as a dreamer; in another, as the narrator of supposed facts.
Whenever he remembered that a den, or cave, surrounded him with its shadows ; that the spell of a
mysterious sleep was over him as he looked upon the path of the Pilgrim ; his language ran like, a
bright stream with the morning mist about it — a reality, but not looking as one. Frequently, however,
he seems to have forgotten that he was relating what was seen in sleep ; and he tells a pot;tion of his
story as the chronicler of events beheld in open day.

This is a great defect in the structure of the narrative, considered as a work of literary art ; but
we question whether it may not have accidentally aided both its popularity and its usefulness. An
ordinary reader may feel, for a time, pleasantly soothed by the mystery of a vision ; but he cannot be
long sustained in this state of mind ; and his curiosity and interest will be greatly increased when,
suddenly awakened by the rougher language of apparent facts, he begins to think that the whole may
be a reality.

Among these preliminary considerations respecting the general plan of the work, there is one which
raises the question of its proper and direct aim. It is very evident that a man passing from the first
stage of conversion to the full accomplishment of his salvation, must, in the course of that eventful pro-
gress, have numberless trials to encounter and burdens to bear, which will not be all of one nature, or
arise from one source. In particular states of mind everything which would otherwise practically
affect us will be made subordinate to one great internal anxiety. To remove that anxiety, or satisfy the
desire in which it has arisen, the entire power of the understanding will be so engaged that the
world and its concerns will vanish into oblivion. But this forgetfulness of the various complicated
objects and purposes of life, in the pursuit of one design, will either prove that the design itself is faulty,
or that, if it be in every respect worthy of admiration, there is some error in the mode adopted for
effecting it. No doubt can exist that if a sublime idea has been realized, but at the expense of objects
which claimed a corresponding regard, the realization of that same idea with no such loss, but with the
additional fulfilment of numberless gracious purposes, will be incomparably more worthy of imitation.
The principle is illustrated by the different manner in which the design of Christianity itself has been
followed out by men of various characters. In some cases, a fervent devotion has rendered penitents
and believers hermits, ascetics ; in others, the most active of all the benefactors of mankind.

The most superficial view of Bunyan's intention in The Pilgrim's Progress obliges the reader to
consider how far it practically represents the ordinary trials of a christian life. In one respect every
inquiry of this kind tends to increase our admiration of its truthfulness. The better the'rilemory is
stored with lessons of experience, the more ardent the desire of the soul for spiritual liberty and
perfection, the more readily do we discover a correspondence between the knowledge thus acquired and
the several steps in Christian's progress.

But however complete the representation of the spiritual burdens and struggles of a believer, it must
be felt by many readers anxious to follow the example of Christian, that, though his burden is their
burden, and his hope their hope, his case does not wholly describe their own. Christian is represented
as bearing no other burden but that of sin ; as leaving behind him all care except that of his own mind
and thoughts. But there are burdens on every human heart besides the burden of sin; and the common
duties and business of life create a multitude of cares which cannot be treated as an internal sorrow or
anxiety, but must be met by a bold, vigorous activity. Of these things no adequate image is given in
the progress of Bunyan's Pilgrim. Having warned his family of their danger, and set out on his
journey, he travels on without giving us any reason to suppose that the ties of home and natural

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