John Bunyan.

The works of John Bunyan (Volume 2) online

. (page 153 of 171)
Online LibraryJohn BunyanThe works of John Bunyan (Volume 2) → online text (page 153 of 171)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

matters of worshipping God. Much less should we
invest them with power to call congregations of their
own, there to perform worship without their men.

Yet, will I say, notwithstanding all this, that if
any of these high Avomen had, but we never read
that they did, separate themselves, and others of
their own sex with them, apart to worship by them-
selves : or if they had given out commandment so
to do, and had joined God's name to that com-
mandment, I should have freely consented that
our Avomen should do so too, when led out, and
conducted in Avorship, by so extraordinary a one.
Yea more, If any of these high women had giA-en
it out for laAV, that the women of the churches in
New Testament times, ought to separate themselves
from their men, and as so separate, perfoi'm divine
worship among themselves : I should have sub-
scribed thereto. But finding nothing like this in
the word of God, for the sanctifying of such a
practice: and seeing so many scriptures wrested
out of their place to justify so fond a conceit : and
all this done by a man of conceit, and of one that,
as his sisters say, expects my answer : I found
myself engaged to say something for the suppres-
sing of this his opinion.

But to return to the good A\'omen in the churches,
and to make up my discourse with them.

First, These meetings of yours, honourable
AVomen, wherein you attempt to perform divine
worship by yourselves, without your men, not hav-
ing the authority of the Avord to sanctify them,
wiU be foimd will-worship, in the day when you,
as to that, shall be measured with that golden reed,
the laAV of God. And * who hath required this at
your hand?' may put you to your shifts fur an
answer, notwithstanding aU Mr. K. has said to

uphold you. Is. L 12. Ee. xi. 1.

Secondly, These meetings of yours need not be ;

* ' To perk it,' to hold up ber liead with affected sunerioiitv
or spiritual pride. — Ed.



there are elders or brethren iu all churches, to call
to, and manage this worship of God, in the world :
if you abide in your subjection and worship as you
ore commanded.

lliirdly., These meetings of yours, instead of
being an ornament to the church in which you are,
are a shame and blemish to those churches. For
they manifest the unruliness of such women, or
that the church wants skill to govern them, l Co. xiv.
23. Have you not ' in your flock a male ?' Mai. i. 14..

Fourthly, Suppose your meetings in some cases
were lawful, yet since by the brethren they may
be managed better, you and your meetings ought
to give place. That the church together, and
the brethren, as the mouth to God, are capable
of managing this solemn worship best : consider
— 1. The gifts for all such service are most to
be found in the elders and leading men in the
church : and not in the women thereof. 2. The
spirit for conduct and government in that worship,
is not in the women, but in the men. 3. The men
are admitted in such worship, to stand with open face
before God, a token of much admittance to liberty
and boldness with God, a thing denied to theAvomen.
iCo. xi. 4, 5. 4. For that when meetings for prayers
are commanded, the men, to be the mouth to God,
are mentioned, but not in ordinary women, in all
the Scriptures. Where the women and children,
and them that suck the breasts are called, with I
the bride and bridegroom, and the whole land, to |
mourn : yet the ministers, and elders, and chiefest !
of the brethren, are they, and they only, that are ;
bid to say, ' Spare thy people, Lord! and give
not thine heritage to reproach.' Joeii. 13, U; ii. 15— 17.
5. The word for encouragement to pray believ-
ingly in assemblies is given to men. And it is the
word that makes, and that sanctifies an ordinance
uf God : men, therefore, in all assemblies for wor-
ship, should be they that should manage it, and
let others join in their places.

Object. But the woman is included in the man,
for the same word signifies both.

Answ. 1. If the woman is included here, let her
not exclude the man. But tlie man is [by them]
excluded: The man is excluded by this woman's
meeting from worship ; from worship, though he
be the head in worship over the woman, and by
God's ordinance appointed to manage it, and this
is an excluding of the worst complexion. 1 Co. xi. 3.
2, Though the woman is included, when the man
sometimes is named, yet the man is not excluded,
when himself as chief is named. But to cut him
off from being the chief in all assemblies for Avor-
ship, is to exclude him, and that when he for that
la chief is named. 3. The woman is included
when the man is named, yet but in her place, and
if she worships in assemblies, her part is to hold
her tongue, to learn in silence ; and if she speaks.

she must do it, I mean as to worship, in her heart
to God. 4. Nor, do I think, that any woman
that is holy and humble, will take offence at what
I have said ; for I have not in anything sought to
degrade them, or to take from them what either
nature or grace, or an appointment of God hath
invested them with: but have laboured to keep
them in their place. And doubtless to abide where
God has put us, is that which not only highly
concerns us, but that, which becomes us best.
Sisters, I have said what I have said to set you
right, and to prevent your attempting to do things
in such sort unto which you are not appointed.
Remember what God did to Miriam, and be afraid.

Be as often in your closets as you will ; the
oftener there the better. This is your duty, this
is your privilege : this place is sanctified to you
for service by the holy Word of God. Here you
may be, and not make ordinances interfere, and
not presume upon the power of your superiors, and
not thrust out your brethren, nor put them behind
your backs in worship.

Be also as often as possibly you can, in worship,
when the church, or parts thereof, are assembled
for that end, according to God's appointment. And
when you are there, join with heart and soul with
your brethren in all holy petitions to God. Let
the men in prayer be the mouth to God, and the
women list after with groans and desires. Let the
men stand with open face in this worship, for that
they are the image and glory of God, and let the
women be clothed in modest apparel, with shame-
faceduess, in token of the remembrance of what
has been touched afore.

When women keep their places, and men manage
their worshipping of God as they should, we shall
have better days for the church of God, in the
world. Je. xxLx. 10—14. Women are not to be blamed
for that they are forward, to pray to God, only let
them know their bounds ; and I wish that idleness
in men be not the cause of their putting their good
women upon this woi'k. Surely they that can
scarce tie their shoes, and their garters, before
they arrive at the tavern, or get to the cofiee-house
door in a morning, can scarce spare time to be a
while in their closets with God. Morning closet-
prayers are now, by most London professors,
thrown away ; and what kind of ones they make at
night, God doth know, and their conscience, when
awake, will know ; however I have cause, as to this,
to look at home : And God mend me and all his
servants about it, and wherein Ave else are out.

I have done, after I have said, that thei-e are
some other things, concerning Avomen, touching
Avhich, Avhen I have an opportmiity, I may also
give my judgment. But at present, I intreat that
these lines be taken in good part, for I seek edifi-
cation, not contention.





* Mj people are destroyed for lack of knowledge^ — Hos. iv. G.


This little catechism is upon a plan perfectly new
and unique. It was first published as a pocket
volume in 1675, and has been republished iu every
collection of the author's works ; and recently in
a separate tract. The earliest edition that has
been discovered bears the date of 1691 ; from
which our copy has been prepared for the press.
This is the first book of this class that was com-
posed upon the broad basis of Christianity, per-
fectly free from sectarian bias or peculiarity. It
is an exhibition of scriptural truths, before which
error falls without the trouble of pulling it down.
It is in the world, like the ark of God in the tem-
ple of Dagon. It is alike admirably calculated to
convey the most important truths to the inmates of
a palace or of a workhouse, — to the young or to
the aged, — to the ignorant Roman Catholic, or to
the equally ignorant Protestant. Its broad catho-
licity is its distinguishing excellence. In the
separate communions included within the general
ciiurch of Christ are various, and in many respects,
inestimable compendiums of Christian truth, ar-
ranged for the catechetical instruction of the young
and ignorant ; but it cannot be denied that these,
one and all, exhibit some marks of sectarian feel-

ino; and dogmatic teaching in the details that re-
late to the special views which each communion
takes of certain scriptural doctrines. The reason
why this should be the case is very obvious : there
would be no differences of opinion amongst Chris-
tians except from conviction that these dilferences
are essential, and such conviction naturally leads
to these points of disagreement being (may we not
say?) rather too obtrusively enforced as part and
portion of a saving belief. All Banyan's efibrts
were to awaken sinners to a sense of their de-
gradation, misery, and danger, and to direct them
to the only refuge from the wrath to come — the
hope set before them in the gospel ; and then
leaving the pious convert to the guidance of his
Bible in forming his connections in the pilgrimage
of life. Bunyan is solemnly in earnest ; his desire
is, that poor sinners should be relieved from igno-
rance, darkness, and destruction, and be introduced
into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. May
his impressive injunction be indelibly fixed upon
our souls, ' To read, ponder over, and receive the
wholesome medicine as we shall answer in the day
of the terrible judgment.' — Geo. Offok.


Holy and beloved,

Although I have designed this little treatise for
public -and common benefit, yet considering that I
am to you a debtor not only in common charity;
but by reason of special bonds which the Lord
hath laid upon me to you- ward, I could do no less,
being driven from you in presence, not affection,
but first present you with this little book ; not for
that you are wanting in the things contained
herein, but to put you again iu remembrance of

first things, and to give you occasion to present
something to your carnal relations, that may be,
if God will, for their awakening and conversion :
accept it therefore as a token of my christian
remembrance of you.

Next I present it to all those unconverted, old
and young, who have been at any time under my
preaching, and yet remain in their sins : * and I

* How awful the thought that persons should sit under so
faithful and searching a ministry, and still remain in their



entreat tliem also tliat tliey receive it as a token
of my love to their immortal souls ; yea, I charge
them as they will answer it in the day of terrible
judgment, that they read, ponder over, and receive
this wholesome medicine prepared for them. Now
the God of blessing bless it to the awakening of
many sinners, and the salvation of their souls by
faith in .Tesus Christ. Amen.

sins. Is it so to the present day under a foitliful ministry ?
then, Oh myj soul, how is it with thee ? — Ed.

Yours, to serve you by my ministry, Avhen I can,*
to your edification and consolation,

John BuNYA^^

* A painfnl recollection of his long and cruel imprisonment
for conscience sake led Bunyan to feel the value of liberty.
Still he forcibly appeals to his reader on the necessity of pri-
vate judgment in divine things. His twelve years' converse
with God and his word in prison had confirmed his principles ;
while divine love had swallowed up the fear of man. — Ed.


Quest. How many gods are there ? — Answ. To
the Christians there is but one God, the Father,
of whom are all things, and we of him. l Co. vUi. 6.

Q. Why is not the God of the Christians the God
of them that are no Christians ? — A. He is their
maker and preserver ; but they have not chosen
him to be their God. Ac. xvii. si. Ps. xxwi. 6. Ju. x. 14.

Q. Are there then other gods besides the God of
the Christians ? — A. There is none other true God
but HE ; but because they want the grace of Chris-
tians, therefore they choose not him, but such gods
as will suit with and countenance their lusts. Jn.

viii. 44.

Q. What gods are they that countenance the lusts
of wicked men ? — A. The devil, who is the god of
this world ; the belly, that god of gluttons, drunk-
ards, and riotous persons ; and idle pleasures and
vanities, which are, for the most part, the gods of

the youth. Job vui. 4. 3 Co. iv. 4. Pliil. iii, 19. Ex. xxxii. 6. 1 Co. x.
7. 2 Ti. ii. 22. 1 Jn. v. 21.

Q. Who is a Christian ? — A. One that is born
again, a new creature ; one that sits at Jesus' feet to
hear his word ; one that hath his heart purified and
sanctified by faith,* which is in Christ. Jn. iii. 3, 5, 7.

Ac. xi. 24 ; XV. 9 ; xxvi. 18. 2 Co. v. 17.

Q. How do you distinguish the God of the Chris-
tians from the gods of other people ? — A. He is a
Spirit. Jn. iv. 24.

Q. Is there no other spirit but the true God ? —
.A . Yes, there are many spirits, l Jn. iv. i.

Q. What spirits are they ? — A. The good angels
are spirits ; the bad angels are spirits ; and the souls
of men are spirits. He. i. 7, 14. l la xxii. 21, 22. Re. xvi. 13, 14.
Ac. vii. 50. He. xii. 23.

Q. How then is the true God distinguished from
other spirits ? — A. Thus : No Spirit is eternal but
HE, no Spirit is almighty but he, no Spirit is incom-
prehensible and unsearchable but he : he is also

* Faith is the only principle that, by the power of the Holy
Ghost, can purify the heart. It leads the soul into holy com-
munion with a pure and holy God, and thus cleanses the
heart. — Ed.

most merciful, most just, most holy. De. sxxiii. 27. Ge.

xvii. 1. Ps. cxlv. 3. Mi. vii. 18. Job xxxiv. 17. 1 Sa. ii. 2.

Q. Is this God, being a Spirit, to be known ? —
A. Yes, and that by his works of creation, by his
providences, by the judgments that he executeth,
and by his word.

Q. Do you understand him by the works of crea-
tion ? — A. ' The heavens declare the glory of God ;
and the firmament sheweth his handy work.' Ps.
xix. 1. ' For the invisible things of him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being under-
stood by the things that are made, even his eternal
power and Godhead.' Ro. i. 20.

Q. Do his works of providence alsc declare him ?
— A. They must needs do it, since through his pro-
vidence the whole creation is kept in such harmony
as it is, and that in despite of sin and devils ; also,
if you consider that from an angel to a sparrow,
nothing falls to the ground without the providence
of our heavenly Father. Mat. x. 29.

Q. Is he known by his judgments ? — A. ' The
Lord is known hy the judgments which he execut-
eth ; the wicked is snared ia the work of his own
hands.' Ps. ix. 16.

Q. Is he known by his word ? — A. Yes, most
clearly : for by that he revealeth hxs attributes, his
decrees, his promises, his way of worship, and how
he is to be pleased by us.

Q. Of what did God make the world ? — A.
' Things which are seen were not made of things
which do appear.' lie. xi. 3.

Q. How long was he in making the vrorld ? — A.
' In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, tho
sea, and all that in them is' Ex. xx. 11. ' And on the
seventh day God ended his work which he had
made. ' Ge. ii. 2.

Q. Of Avhat did God make man ? — A. ' The
Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and
man became a living soul.' Ge. ii. 7.

Q. Why doth it say, God bi'cathed into him the
breath of life ; is man's soul of the very nature of
the Godhead ? — A. This doth not teach that the soul



is of the nature of the Godhead, but sheweth that
it is not of the same matter as his body, which is

dust. Ge. x\TiL 27.

Q. Is not the soul then of the nature of the God-
head ? — A. No, for God cannot sin, but tlie soul
doth ; God cannot be destroyed in hell, but the souls
of the impenitent shall. Eze. w-iii. 4. Mat. x. 28.

Q. How did God make man in the day of his first
creation ? — A. God made man upright. Ec. rii. 29.
' In the image of God created he him.' Ge. i. 27.

Q. Did God, when he made man, leave him with-
out a rule to walk by? — A. No : he gave him a law
in his nature, and imposed upon him a positive pre-
cept, but he offered %aolence to them, and brake
them both. Ge. iii 3, 6.

Q. What was the due desert of that transgres-
sion ? — A. Spiritual death in the day he did it,
temporal death afterwards, and everlasting death

last of all. Ge. ii. 17; iii. 19. Mat. xxv. 46.

Q. What is it to be spiritually dead ? — A. To
be alienate from God, and to live without him in the
world, through the ignorance that is in man, and
through the power of their sins. Ep. iv. 18, 19.

Q. Wherein doth this alienation from God
appear ? — A. In the love they have to their sins,
in their being loth to come to him, in their pleading
idle excuses for their sins, and in their ignorance of
the excellent mysteries of his blessed gospel. Ep. ii.

2,3,11,12; iv. 18, 19. Eo. L 28.

Q. What is temporal death ? — A. To have body
and soul separated asunder, the bodv returning to
the dust as it was, and the spirit to God that gave

it. Ge. iii. 19. Ec. xii. 7.

Q. "Wliat is everlasting death ? — A. For body
and soul to ba separate for ever from God, and to

be cast into hell fire. Lu. xiii. 27. Mar. k. 43.

Q. Do men go body and soul to hell so soon as
they die ? — A. The body abideth in the grave tdl
the sound of the last trump ; but the soul, if the
man dies wicked, goes presently from the face of
God into hell, as into a prison, there to be kept till
the day of judgment. 1 Co. xv. 52. Is. xxiv. 23. Lu. xii. 20.

Q. Do we come into the world as upright as did
our first parent ? — A. No: he came into the world
sinless, being made so of God Almighty, but we
came into the world sinners, being made so by his

Q. How doth it appear that we came into the
world polluted ? — A. We are the fruit of an unclean
thing, are defiled in our very conception, and are
by nature the children of wrath. Job siv. 4. Ps. li. 5.

£p. ii. 3.

* All mankind, as born into tlie world, show, as soon as tlie
mental powers open, aversion to God, to his purity. Lis law,
his gospel ; the doctiines of grace and the work of the Spirit
upon the heart. A solemn proof of the universal taint given
by original sin. — Ed.

Q. Can you make further proof of this ? — A.
Yes, it is said. That by one man came sin, death,
judgment, and condemnation upon all men. Ro. v.


Q. Do we then come sinners into the world ? —
A. Yes, we are transgressors from the womb, and
go astray as soon as we are born, speaking lies.

Is. xlviii. 8. Ps. Iviii. 3.

Q. But as Adam fell with us in him, so did he
not by faith rise with us in him ? for he had no
seed until he had the promise. — A. lie fell as a
public person,! but believed the promise as a sino-le
person. Adam's faith saved not the world, though
Adam's sin overthrew it.

Q. But do not some hold that we are sinners only
by imitation ? — A. Yes, being themselves deceived.
But God's word saith, we are children of wrath by
nature, that is, by birth and generation.

Q. Can you bring further proof of this ? — A.
Yes : in that day that v^e were born, we were pol-
luted in our own blood, and cast out to the loath-
ing of our persons. Again, the children of old
that were dedicated unto the Lord, a sacrifice was
off"ered for them at a month old, which was before
they were sinners by imitation. Eze. xvi. 4—9. Nu. .wiii


Q. Can you make this appear by experience ?
— Yes : the first things that bloom and put forth
themselves in children, shew their ignorance of
God, their disobedience to parents, and their innate
enmity to hohness of life ; their inclinations natur-
ally run to vanity. Besides little children die,
but that they could not, were they not of God
counted sinners ; for death is the wages of sin.

Ko. vi. 23.

Q. What is sin ? — A. It is a transgression of
the law. 1 Jn. iii. 4.

Q. A transgression of what law ? — A. Of the
law of our nature, and of the law of the ten com-
mandments as written in the holy scriptures. Ro. ii

12—15. Ex. XX.

Q. When doth one sin against the law of nature ?
— A. When you do anything that your conscience
teUs you is a transgression against God or man.

Kg. iL 14, 15.

Q. When do we sin against the law as written
in the ten commandments ? — A. When you do any-
thing that they forbid, although you be ignorant
of it. Ps. xix. 12.

Q. How many ways are tl-.ere to sin against this
law ? — A. Three : by sinfid thoughts, by sinful
words, and also by sinful actions. Ro.^ii. 7;ii. 6. Mat. v.

28; xii. 37.

Q. What if we sin but against one of the ten com-

t By the word 'puUic' is to be understood a federal head,

or the representative of all his posterity. Adam's f?ith cau
only save his own soul ; his sin taints all his seed. — Ed.



mandmcnts ? — A. Whosoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
all ; ' For he that said, Do not commit adultery,
said also. Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a trans-
cressor of the law,' Ja. ii. lo, ll.

Q. Where Avill God punish sinners for their sms ?
— A, Both in this world and in that which is to
come. Ge. iii. 24-; iv. 10—12. Job xxi. 30.

Q. How are men punished in this world for sin?
■ — A. Many ways, as with sickness, losses, crosses,
disappointments and the Hke: sometimes also God
giveth them up to their own heart's lusts, to blind-
ness of mind also, and hardness of heart ; yea, and
sometimes to strong delusions that they might
believe lies, and be damned. Le. xxvi. 15, 16. Am. iv. 7, lo.

Ko. i. 24, 28. Ex. iv. 21 ; ix. 12—14. Zep. i. 17. Ro. xi. 7, 8. 2 Th. ii. 11, 12.

Q. How are sinners punished in the world to
come ? — A. With a worm that never dies, and with
a fire that never shall be quenched. Mar.ix. 44.

Q. Whither do sinners go to receive this punish-
ment? — A. ' The wicked shall be turned into hell,
and all the nations that forget God.' Ps. ix. 17.

Q. What is hell ? — A. It is a place and a state

most fearful. Lu. xlii. 28; xn. 28. Ac. i. 25.

Q. Why do you call it a place ? — A. Because in
hell shall all the damned be confined as in a prison,
in their chains of darkness for ever. Lu. xii. 5, 58; x^-i. 26.

J tide 6.

Q. What [kind of] a place is hell ? — A. It is a
dark bottomless burning lake of fire, large enough to
hold all that perish. Mat. xxii. 13. Re xx. 1, 15. is. xxx. 35.

Pr. xxvii. 20.

Q. What do you mean when you say it is a fearful
state ? — A. I mean, that it is the lot of those that
are cast in thither to be tormented in most fearful
manner, to wit, with wrath and fiery indignation.

Ro. ii. 9. He. x. 20, 27.

Q, In what parts shall they be thus fearfully tor-
mented ? — A. In body and soul: for hell-fire shall
kindle upon both beyond what now can be thought.*

Mat. X. 28. Lu. xvi. 24. Ja. v. 3.

Q. How long shall they be in this condition ? —
A. ' These shall go away into everlasting punish-
ment, ' Mat. XXV. 4C. ' And the smoke of their torment
ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no
rest day nor night.' Re.xiv.ii. For they ' shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the pre-
sence of the Lord, and from the glory of his
power, ' 2 111. i. 9.

Q. But why might not the ungodly be punished

Online LibraryJohn BunyanThe works of John Bunyan (Volume 2) → online text (page 153 of 171)