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NOTES UPON PART I.
Instead of the words, ' as God would have it,' all the old copies read, 'as Christian would have it;' which must mean, that the Lord fully granted his desires. But modern editors have substituted,'as Providence would have it,' which is indeed clear sense, but not much in our author's manner, who perhaps would rather have ascribed CHRISTIAN's success to special grace: yet, as some mistake seems to have crept into the old editions, I have ventured my conjecture in the emendation of it, of which the reader may judge for himself.
..30. Yet...Believers may recover their evidences of acceptance, and yet suffer many troubles as the effects of their past unwatchfulness. The Lord rebukes and chastens those whom he loves: genuine comfort springs immediately from the vigorous exercise of holy affections in communion with God, which may be suspended even when no doubts are entertained of final salvation: and the true penitent is least disposed to forgive himself, when most satisfied that the Lord hath forgiven him.
46..18. Beautiful...Hitherto Christian has been a solitary pilgrim: but we must next consider him as admitted to the communion of the faithful, and joining with them in the most solemn public. ordinances. This is represented under the emblem of the house BEAUTIFUL, and the pilgrim's entertainment in it.--Mr. BUNYAN was a protestant dissenter, an Independent in respect of church government and discipline, and an Anti-pædo-baptist, or one who deemed adult professors of repentance and faith the only proper subjects of baptism, and immersion the only proper mode of administering that ordinance. He must, therefore, have intended to describe especially the admission of the new convert as a member of a dissenting church, (which consists of the communicants only) upon a profession of faith, and with adult baptism by immersion : but as he held
open communion with Pædo-baptists, the last circumstance is not necessarily included. Indeed he has expressed himself so candidly and cautiously, that his representations may suit the
NOTES UPON PART I,
admission of new members into the society of professed christians, in any communion, where a serious regard to spiritual religion is in this respect maintained. It may perhaps be questioned, how far, in the present state of things, this is practicable; but we can scarcely deny it to be very desirable, that christian societies should be formed according to the principles here exhibited: such would indeed be very beautiful, honourable to God, conducive to mutual edification, and examples to the world around them. Different expedients also may be adopted for thus promoting the communion of the saints: but surely more might be done than is at present, perhaps any where, were all concerned to attempt it boldly, earnestly, and with united efforts.
..24. Lions... A public profession of faith exposes a man to more opposition from relatives and neighbours, than a private attention to religion; and in our author's days it was commonly the signal for persecution: for which reason he places the lions in the road to the house BEAUTIFUL. -Sense perceives the danger to which an open profession of religion may expose a man, and the imagination, through the suggestions of Satan, exceedingly magnifies them: faith alone can discern the secret restraints which the Lord lays on the minds of opposers: and even believers are apt to be fearful and distrustful on such occasions. But the vigilant pastors of the flock obviate their fears, and by seasonable admonitions animate them to press forward, assured that nothing shall do them any real harm, and that all shall eventually prove beneficial to them.-We meet with the following lines in the old copies, which, though misplaced in most of them, may refer to the pilgrim's present situation:
• Difficulty is behind, fear is before,
47..15. The Porter... The Porter's enquiries and CHRISTIAN's answers exhibit our author's sentiments on the caution, with which members should be admitted into the communion of the faithful: and it very properly shows, how ministers, by private conversation, may form a judgement of a man's profession, whether it be intelligent and the result of experience, or notional and formal.—CHRISTIAN assigned his sinful sleeping as the cause of his arriving so late: when believers are oppressed with prevailing doubts of their acceptance, they are backward in joining themselves to God's people; and this often tempts them to sinful delays, instead of exciting them to greater diligence. The subsequent discourse of Discretion with the pilgrim represents such precautions and enquiries into the character and views of a professor, as may be made use of by any body of christians in order to prevent the intrusion of improper persons. The answers, given to the several questions proposed, constitute the proper external qualifications for admission to the Lord's table, when there is nothing in a man's principles and conduct inconsistent with them : the Lord alone can judge how far they accord to the inward dispositions and affections of the heart.-By the little discourse of others belonging to the family with CHRISTIAN previous to his admission, the author probably meant, that members should be admitted into chris. tian societies with the approbation at least of the most prudent, pious, and candid part of those that constitute them; and according to the dictates of those graces or endowments here personified.-By giving him something to eat before
supper,' he probably referred to those preparatory sermons and devotions, by which the administration of the Lord's supper was then frequently and with great propriety introduced.
49..13. Come... The further conversation of Piety and her companions with CHRISTIAN was subsequent to his admission, and represents the advantage of the communion of the saints, and the best method of conducting it.-To lead
believers to a serious review of the way in which they have been led hitherto, is every way profitable, as it tends to increase humiliation, gratitude, faith, and hope; and must, therefore, proportionably conduce to the glory of God, and the edification of their brethren.
51..27. Prudence... Men may learn by human teaching to profess any doctrine, and relate any experience; nay, general convictions, transient affections, and distinct notions may impose upon the man himself, and he may mistake them for true conversion. The best method of avoiding this dangerous rock consists in daily self-examination, and constant prayer to be preserved from it: and, as far as we are concerned to form a judgement of others, in order to perform our several duties towards them, prudence is especially required, and will suggest such questions as follow in this place. The true christian's inmost feelings will best explain the answers, which no exposition can clucidate to those who are unacquainted with the conflict to which they refer. The golden hours (fleeting and precious) are earnests of the everlasting holy felicity of heaven.
53.... Charity... When a man knows the value of his own soul, he will become greatly solicitous for the souls of others. It is, therefore, a very suspicious circumstance, when a professor shows no earnestness in persuading those he loves best to seek salvation also: and it is absurd to excuse this negligence by arguments taken from God's secret purposes; when these have no influence on the conduct of the same persons in their temporal concerns.-CHARITY's discourse with CHRISTIAN shows what our author thought to be the duties of believers in this most important concern; and what he understood to be the real reasons why carnal men reject the gospel.
55..5. Supper... The administration of the Lord's supper is here emblematically described. In it the Person, humiliation, sufferings, and death of CHRIST, with the mo. tive and event of them, are kept in perpetual remembrance.
NOTES UPON PART I.
By seriously contemplating these interesting subjects, with the emblems of his body wounded, and his blood shed, before our eyes; and by professing our cordial acceptance of his purchased salvation, and surrender of ourselves to his service-we find every holy affection revived and invigorated, and our souls melted into deep repentance, inspired with calm confidence, animated to thankful, zealous, self-denying obedience, and softened into tender affection for our fellow christians, with compassionate forgiving love of our most inveterate enemies.The believer will readily apply the allegorical representation of the Lord of the hill "' to the love of CHRIST for lost sinners, which no words can adequately describe, for “ it passeth knowledge.”
56..8. Peace... That peace of conscience and serenity of mind, which follow a humble upright profession of faith in CHRIST, and communion with him and his people, is not the effect of a mere outward observance; but of that inward disposition of the heart which is thus cultivated, and of the Lord's blessing on his own appointments. This is here represented by the chamber PEACE: it raises the soul above the care and bustle of this vain world, and springs from the healing beams of the Sun of righteousness.
..17. Study...Christian communion, properly conducted, tends to enlarge the believer's acquaintance with the holy scriptures: and this conduces to the increase of faith, hope, love, patience, and fortitude; to animate the soul in emulating the illustrious examples there exhibited, and to furnish instruction for every good work.
57..17. Armoury... The provision, which is made in Christ and his fulness, for maintaining and increasing, in the hearts of his people, those holy dispositions and affections, by the vigorous exercise of which victory is obtained over all their enemies, is here represented by the armoury'. This suffices for all who scek to be supplied from it, how many soever they be. We ought, therefore,
We ought, therefore, “ to take to 1 Is. XXV, 6, 7. 2 Eph. vi. 10-18. i Thess. v. 6.