John Bunyan.

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where I wiU set it, there are those that love thee,
and those that rejoice in thee now, but how much
more when they shall see thee exalted to honour.
My Father will then send them for you to fetch
you ; and their bosoms are chariots to put you in.
And you, O my Mansoul, shaU ride upon the wings
of the wind. They will come to convey, conduct,
and bring you to that ; when your eyes see more,
that will be your desired haven. (Ps. Ixviii. 17.)

" And thus, O my Mansoul, I have showed unto
thee what shall be done to thee hereafter, if thou
canst hear, if thou canst understand ; and now I
will tell thee what at present must be thy duty and
practice, until I shall come and fetch thee to my-
self, according as is related in the Scriptures of

" First, I charge thee that thou dost hereafter
keep more white and clean the liveries which I
gave thee before my last withdrawing from thee.
Do it, I say, for this will be thy wisdom. They
are in themselves fine linen, but thou must keep
them white and clean. This wall be your wisdom,
your honour, and will be greatly for my glory.
When your garments are white, the world will
count you mine. Also when your garments are
white, then I am delighted in your ways ; for then
your goings to and fro will be like a flash of light-
ning, that those that are present must take notice
of, also their eyes will be made to dazzle thereat.
Deck thyself therefore according to my bidding,
and make to thyself by my law straight steps for
thy feet, so shall thy King greatly desire thy
beauty, for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.

" Now that thou mayest keep them as I bid thee,
I have, as I before did tell thee, provided for thee
an open fountain to wash thy garments in. Look
therefore that thou wash often in my fountain, and
go not in defiled garments ; for as it is to my dis-
honour and my disgrace, so. it will be to thy dis-
comfort, when you shall walk in filthy garments.
(Zee. iii. 3, 4.) Let not therefore my garments,
your garments, the garments that I gave thee, be
defiled or spotted by the flesh. (Jude 23.) Keep
thy garments always white, and let thy head lack
no ointment.

" My Mansoul, I have ofttimes delivered thee
from the designs, plots, attempts, and conspiracies
of Diabolus, and for all this I ask thee nothing,

but that thou render not to me evil for my good,
but that thou bear in mind my love, and the con-
tinuation of my kindness to my beloved Mansoul,
so as to provoke thee to walk, in thy measure,
according to the benefit bestowed on thee. Of old
the sacrifices were bound with cords to the horns
of the golden altar. Consider what is said to thee,

my blessed Mansoul.

" my Mansoul, I have lived, I have died ; I live,
and will die no more for thee. I live that thou
mayest not die. Because I live thou shalt live
also. I reconciled thee to my Father by the blood
of my cross, and being reconciled thou shalt live
through me. I will pray for thee, I will fight for
thee, I will yet do thee good.

" Nothing can hurt thee but sin ; nothing can
grieve me but sin ; nothing can make thee base
before thy foes but sin. Take heed of sin, my

" And dost thou know why I at first, and do
still suffer Diabolonians to dwell in thy walls, O
Mansoul ? It is to keep thee wakening, to try thy
love, to make thee watchful, and to cause thee yet
to prize my noble captains, their soldiers, and my

" It is also that yet thou mayest be made to re-
member what a deplorable condition thou once wast
in. I mean when, not some, but all did dwell, not
in thy walls, but in thy castle, and in thy strong-
hold, Mansoul !

" O my Mansoul, should I slay all them within,
many there be without that would bring thee into
bondage ; for were all those within cut off, those
without would find thee sleeping, and then as in a
moment they would swallow up my Mansoul. I
therefore, left them in thee, not to do thee hurt, the
which they yet will, if thou hearken to them, and
serve them ; but to do thee good, the which they
must, if thou watch and fight against them. Know,
therefore, that whatever they shall tempt thee to,
my design is that thej' should drive thee, not
further off, but nearer to my Father, to learn thee
war, to make petitioning desirable to thee, and to
make thee little in thine own eyes. Hearken
diligently to this, my Mansoul.

" Show me then thy love, my Mansoul, and let
not those that are within thy walls take thy affec-
tions off from him that hath redeemed thy soul.
Yea, let the sight of a Diabolonian heighten thy
love to me. I came once, and twice, and thrice to
save thee from the poison of those arrows that
would have wrought thy death ; stand for me, thy
friend, my Mansoul, against the Diabolonians, and

1 will stand for thee before my Father, and all his
court. Love me against temptation, and I will
love thee notwithstanding thine infirmities.

" my Mansoul, remember what my captains,
my soldiers, and mine engines have done for thee.
They have fought for thee, they have suffered by
thee, they have borne much at thy hands to do thee
good, O Mansoul. Hadst thou not had them to
help thee, Diabolus had certainly made a hand



of thee. NouriBh them, therefore, my Mansoul.
When thou dost well, they will be ^vell ; when ihon
dost ill, they will be ill, and sick, and weak. Make
not my captains sick, O Mansoul, for if they be
sick, thou canst not be well ; if they be weak thou
canst not be strong ; if they be faint, thou canst not
be stout and valiant for thy King, O Mansoul.
Nor must thou think always to live by sense, thou
must live upon my Word. Thou must beheve,
O my Mausuul, when I am from thee, that yet I

love thee, and bear thee upon mine heart for

" Remember, therefore, O my Mansoul, that thou
art beloved of me ; as I have therefore taught thee
to watch, to fight, to pray, and to make war
against my foes, so now I command thee to beheve
that my love is constant to thee. O my Mansoul,
how have I set my heart, my love upon thee, watch.
Behold, I lay none other burden upon thee than
what thou hast already; hold fast till I come."



Some say the Pilgrim's Progress is not mine.

Insinuating as if I would shine

In name and fame by the worth of another.

Like some made rich by robbing of their brother.

Or that so fond I am of being sire,

I'll father bastards ; or, if need require,

I'll tell a lie in print to get applause.

I scorn it : John such dirt-heap never was.

Since God converted him. Let this suffice

To show why I my Pilgrim patronize.

It came from mine own heart, so to my head.
And thence into my fingers trickled ;
Then to my pen, from whence immediately
On paper I did dribble it daintily.

Manner and matter too was all mine own.
Nor was it unto any mortal known,

'Till I had done it. Nor did any then
By books, by wit, by tongues, or hand, or pen,
Add five words to it, or write half a line
Thereof: the whole, and every whit, is mine.

Also, for this thine eye is now upon.
The matter in this manner came from none
But the same heart, and head, fingers, and pen.
As did the other. Witness all good men ;
For none in all the world, without a lie,
Can say that this is mine, excepting I.

I write not this of any ostentation,
Nor 'cause I seek of men their commendation ;
I do it to keep them from such surmise.
As tempt them will my name to scandalize.
Witness my name, if anagram'd to thee,
The letters make, Nu hony in a B.

John Bunyan.


Note 1, p, 7. — " A Council of War."'] — The resemblance
between the leading idea of this assembly and of that de-
scribed in the Paradise Lout, is far too close to be ascribed
to accident. Bunyan had seized upon Milton's wonderful
recital with the natural vigour and delight of his ardent
fancy ; but he wished to make it profitable to his own pur-
poses as a popular teacher. This could only be accomplished
by reducing the characters and scenes in Milton from their
gigantic proportions to a somewhat less tlian natural size ;
or by converting the sublime and awful into a rough and
homely familiarity. With these changes, he could malce
the groundworii of Milton's narrative, and even his person-
ages, available to his own humble design. This he has
done ; and an intelligent reader may find much to interest
him in comparing the two descriptions of the council of
war, with the several circumstances and dialogues, as given by
one of the greatest of poets, and by one of the most useful of
teachers. The question might he put by a curious inquirer,
whether, had Bunyan been tlie first to handle such a theme,
Milton would have conceived tlie idea of exalting it from
the humble level of Bunyan's conception, and by a process
the reverse of Bunyan's, converting the most homely images
into forms of terrible and surpassing grandeur. It is not at
all improbable that Milton would have done this had the
Holy War fallen into his hands under favourable cir-
cumstances. Some of the most grotesque tales and tradi-
tions have been invested by the genius of poets with a pathos
and beauty very foreign to their original shape.

Note 2, p. 10. — " King Shaddai."] — Shaddai is an autho-
rized and well-chosen name for the Almighty Ruler of the
universe. A reader unaccustomed to the style of such writers
as Bunyan, feels some difficulty in reconciling to his taste the
mixture of proper names and titles with such appellations as
" My Lord Understanding," " Mr. Conscience," " Mr. Swear-
ing," "Mr. Stand-to-lies," "Mr. Drunkenness," and so on.
The main objection to such names is the excess of their simpli-
city — their too plain and open meaning. In ordinaiy writing,
it is the author's aim to bring out and show the principal
characters with which he has to do by a gradual display of
their temper and principles. The reader's chief interest
consists in watciiing their words ; tracing their course of
action, till, one after another, their peculiarities come to
light, and the ruling passion is discovered amid all the deceits
and intricacies of the heart. There is a most agreeable ex-
citement in this process of detecting the carefully-concealed
characteristics of a selfish nature. But this pleasure is lost
when the personages with whom we are concerned come
before us broadly designated, the very fringes of their gar-
ments covered with the names of their virtues or vices.
Knowing at once what they are, we foretell their history ;
and the moral is so much the less impressive or forcible as it
is learnt with the less effort of thought or attention. Bunyan
has contrived to introduce so much action into his story,
that his use of trivial names is readily excused. They would
have rendered an ordinary recital flat and wearisome, but
thej' are lost sight of and forgotten in the rush of unexpected j

Note 3, p. 16. — " To be drawn up in writing,^' S^c.'] —
This proclamation, making licentiousness a law, is evidently
based upon the unhappy accounts given of the Anabaptists
of Munster, and other parts of the continent, and, in Bun-
yan's time, remembered as the chronicles of yesterday.
Terrible as is the representation of the fiction, it only simply
describes what were the actual facts during the reign of
Antinomian fanaticism. The subtlety of Satan was proved
in this case by the most skilful use of all the means in his
lK)wer to subvert common sense, as well as morals. His
success was so pre-eminent, that every succeeding generation

has learned to look with dread at any repetition of the expe-
riment. Just as the odious wretch, described by Bunyan,
set up his proclamation, so did the Anabaptists of Munster
suffer John of Leyden openly to trample under foot the laws
of God. This miserable fanatic having fortified himself in
Munster, was crowned by his wretched followers in the
month of June, 1534, and proclaimed king of the whole
earth. One of the first acts of his sovereignty was to eman-
cipate " the saints" from the restraint of a single marriage.
This was described as a legal bondage, unfitting the state of
liberty to which they were exalted. He soon numbered in
his own household fifteen wives. His followers Irad a num-
ber proportioned to their dignity in his spiritual kingdom.
Every other principle established as a rule of conduct corre-
sponded with this: and had the terrible movement thus
begun been permitted to succeed, the real world would, in a
very few years, have been precisely in the condition of the
fictitious city of Mansoul, when in its lowest state of de-
pravity and bondage. The old leaven of Anabaptism had
not quite worn itself out when the Holy War was written.
More than occasional allusions are made to this fact in the
course of the narrative.

Note 4, pp. 21 — 23. — The whole of this conference is
admirably described. Whether tried by Scripture, or by the
experience of men's hearts, it is equally and wonderfully
truthful. The approaches, the merciful forbearance of God,
would, after a certain amount of suffering for sin, be readily
acknowledged and welcomed, could some indulgence be still
rendered to favourite vices and follies. There is sometliing
which each and every man would surrender for the sake of
safety ; but the question ought never to be, how much am
I willing to yield ? for, as long as there is any limiting or
measuring, there can be no treaty with God. " Am I ready
to submit, to give up mj'self, and all which concerns me, to
his will?" This is the only question which goes to the
point, or to which it can be of any avail to return an answer.
The conditions of " My Lord Will-be-will," and of " Man-
soul," are precisely those insisted upon bj- men who have
begun to tremble for their souls, and would just put them-
selves in a state of safety. They nmst have a reserve in the
world, and a retreat somewhere about its borders ; both are
required. The reserve, in tlie way of pleasures or posses-
sions, is needed in case the peace and blessings of holiness
should prove unsatisfying ; and the retreat, to provide against
misgivings, or a final breaking of the covenant with heaven.
But no such considerations can be allowed where God is
concerned. Tiie rebel owes an infinite debt of gratitude for
the offer of pardon, and it is equally his duty and interest to
accept it, tliough only to be had by an unconditional and
unquestioning sunender both for time and eternity.

Note 5, p. 33. — " Great Sir," ^c. SfC.] — It must be re-
membered that the people who thus spoke were under the
government of a tyrant and usurper. Had they not been
subject to an unlawful rule, tlieir words would only have
expressed a loyal and proper sentiment. Much of the moral
of the lesson depends upcfi this point.

Note 6, p. 39. — Tlie readers of Froissart, Holinshed,
and other old chroniclers, will be reminded of these authors
by many passages in the Holy War. Bunyan evidently
knew and relished them. However he became acquainted
with such sources of information, he had made good use of
his opportunities. His descriptions, are doubtless, enlivened
by his own vivid recollections of actual scenes and events ;
but they perpetually exhibit signs of a knowledge to be
gained from books only. To suppose him wanting in these
resources is to throw a doubt upon his authorship.

Note 7, p. 65. — " Hardly a week would pass," ^c] —
This account of the frequent banquetings enjoyed by the



jieople, now rich in their Piince'B favour, answers to the
jtictui-es drawn of tlie primitive churcli. In those times,
when faitli and love were in their fresliest state of vigour,
cveiy act of juililic worehii) was accompanied, or followed,
by the feast of communion. This, till formalism and hypo-
crisy invaded the sanctuary, diffused an air of joy and fes-
tivity through the assemhly ; and Rnnyan's description, with
its sweet and sober gaiety, oidy answered to a daily reality.

Note 8, p. 79 " Mr. I'ri/uell, a great lover of," ^•c.~\ —

A l>etter name than Prywell might have been found for this
" great lover of the people of ilan.soul ;" but the narrative
of his proceedings is striking and ingenious. It is pleasant
to watch him on his stealthy ^xith, taking advantage of the
night to go and listen at the very door of the enemy's house.
The diligence of my Lord IMayor, the speed with which the
preacher roused the town, and the measures taken for its
safety, are described witii such quiet simplicity, that the
whole accoimt wins an a.ssent to its truthfulness, and we
hardly care to inquire whether it be the literal or the spiri-
tual truth to which we thus absent. It need scarcely be
observed, that the preacher is called "subordinate," because,
as a type of preachei-s generally, he is under the Holy Spirit,
descrilKid, and, as we have already remarked, not well de-
scribed, by the hai'sh-sounding title of " Lord Secretary."

Note 9, p. 86. — ■" There was nothing heard in" t^-c.] —
Bunyan, during his brief military career, had had sufficient
op|iortunities of observing how differently two hostile armies
may regard the claims of religious duty. History tells us
that on the eve of the great battle of Hastings, the English
pas-sed the night in revelrj', while the Normans employed
theinselv&s in acts of devotion. A similar contrast was
shown on the eve of the battle of Cressy , though in this case it
was the Englisli who prayed, and tlie Frencii who feasted.
But with Cromwell's army it was not an occasional event
which led to acts of religion. The sternest discipline of a
church could not have produced more remarkable manifes-
tations of earnest, wakeful, severe zeal, than such as were
common among the soldiers of the Commonwealth. We
liave seen that it is verv- questionable to which of the amiies
banyan himself belonged. The determination of this matter

is of no great consequence; on whichever side he stood, the
contrast between his own and the opposite party would be
equally obvious. However reckless in his conduct, or daring
under strange temptations to blasphemy, he never lost his
sense of the worth of holiness. Among the fiercest and
most licentious of the cavalier troo])S, he would not forget
that they were defying heaven ; and that wliile they had
taken upon them to defend their church and their king,
they were, in reality, warring against the only power by
which kings reign, and princes decree judgment. Short as
was the time during which Bunyan continued in the field,
it served him as a means of education, of wdiich he made no
small use in authorship.

Note 10, p. 94. — " May we not so cumber," ^r.] — The
insecurity in which an over-anxious attention to the interests
of commerce may thus place a nation, ha-s been lately alluded
to by a celebrated and noble orator. He has probably read
Bunyan, and some recollection, more or less perfect, may
have put him in mind of the startling picture here drawn of
Satan plotting with traders to prevent a trading comnmnity
from thiidving of its dangers or enemies. Bunyan's homely
style is to many persons of refined taste like a veil made of
sackcloth, and the\- are unwilling to believe that it can con-
ceal any but the most ordinary features. Where this taste
is accompanied with a more robust character of intellect, th«
veil is accounted nothing, and a steady gaze at the features
which it concealed is sufficient to iuspire trust and admi-

Note 1L — It is not unworthy of remark, that, from
the beginning to the end of this remarkable book, Bunj'an
almost equally divides the exercise of his invention between
the stratagems of wai', and the niceties of law and justice
This may be accounted for partly by the nature of the story;
but it is still more attributable to the influence which the
events of his life exercised on his intellectual habits. He
had been a soldier, and had never forgotten what he had
seen in the camp, and on the battle-field. Law had been
made familiar to him by a more painful experience ; but he
loved it notwithstanding. His acute mind delighted in its
perilous distinctions, and adventurous issues.




Light may be wanting to the hnman understanding from a variety of circumstances. A different
measure of light may be referred to at different times ; and, bj' comparison, that may be darkness
to one man, or even at various periods of the same man's hfe, which, in other cases, will be
regarded as light. This enters into the consideration of every careful teacher. The multitudes
that sit in darkness are not all wrapped in the folds of the same cloud. Shadows fall upon a
man according to the objects among which he moves. Even in broad daylight, he may, if he
please, walk in gloom, and the darkness of night itself becomes more or less deep according as
we walk in open or secret paths.

In the concerns of the mind, or soul, it is very evident, that a distinction should be made
between the darkness which arises from an original want of light, and that which follows upon the
loss, or occasional failure of light. If the difference in state and temper in these cases be forgotten,
the lessons given with the hope of dispelling the darkness will commonly fail of their due effect.
Nothing is sooner or more instinctively felt than the injury inflicted by a wrongly directed lesson on
religion. The man who has long been familiar with the literal truth, but has never experienced the
power of faith, is not in darkness in the same way as the man who meekly yearns for a Saviour, but
knows not where to find him. Were a religious teacher to give the former the catechetical instruction,
most needful for the latter, not only would his pains be lost, but harm would be done. The man who
is again and again told that which does not meet his case, feels tempted either to turn from it with
disregard, or to reject it as utterly wanting in the life and reality to which he is left insensible. If it fail
to affect him now, when it is repeated with marked distinctness and earnestness, this failure seems to
justify his persevering infidelity, or indifference. The formal teacher may be supposed to have done
his best ; to have exercised sound judgment ; to have placed the facts and lessons with which he is
concerned in the most profitable points of view. When this process is exhausted, he may, if
competent to the task, begin another with stricter attention to the mental or spiritual state of the
learner. But the error of pressing instruction not needed, or not adapted to the state of the soul,
often proves an invincible bar to any after success, however benevolently sought.

The same, or no less, danger is to be apprehended from the notion, that a person who
has none of that elementary knowledge which catechetical instruction might afford, can be safely
addressed as only wilfully ignorant ; or as immersed in the darkness of his selfishness and earthly
affections. If ignorance be the consequence of adverse circumstances rather than of pride or
indifference, it can hardly be connected with the notion of moral guilt. The reproofs, the arguments,
and exhortations which would be eminently proper in the latter case, would be highly inapplicable
in that of a man who had never been admitted to the study of Christian evidence or doctrine. He
could hardly fail to hear, with a painful and perplexed feeling, persuasions to cultivate a state
of mind for which he had no preparation ; or rebukes for want of faith, or delight in doctrines
to which he was a stranger.

In either case, the evil is of great practical importance. The man who is not well grounded in
the principles of religion must be taught them before he is appealed to on points of spiritual
experience ; and the man who has long been familiar with the fundamental truths of the gospel, but
has not profited by his knowledge, must be shown not how to repeat his creed more fluently, but how
to detect those secret corruptions and perverted feelings of the heart, which render his knowledge of no
avail. There is darkness in both cases ; darkness which, if unremoved, cannot but peril the salvation
of the soul. Charity prompts the believer in the gospel to do his best towards delivering his
neighbour from so dangerous a state ; but he must know with whom he is dealing, and not treat the
case of simple want, as if it were one where medicine is needed, or the distempered soul, as if it only
required knowledge.

While this broad distinction exists between the two classes of those who sit in darkness, and who
require so different a mode of address, there is still another to be observed of almost equal importance.

Online LibraryJohn BunyanThe entire works of John Bunyan (Volume 3) → online text (page 25 of 124)