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him, and made him very desirous to hear further of these things. And therefore he made it his business to be going often into the company of those people, for God bad touched his heart by their disconrfi, and he could not stay away. And lo inteni was his wind upon the knowledge of these things, that his heart was like he horse-leach at int vein, ftill crying out, give, give, Prov. "XXX. 15. And now nothing but the revelatica of the myilery of faith in his own heart could satisfy him: For his whole fovi was shen so fixed on eternity and the things of the kingdom of God, fo tar as he knew, that neither pleasores nor prohts, perfuafions, nor threats, could make him let go his hold: lniomuch, that I have heard him lay, thai it would then have been as difficult at that time, to have taken his, mind trom heaven to, earth, as he has found it often fince, to get it from earth to heaven. But-after-divine grace had been thus kindled in his heart, the devil tirove hard, by diverse winds of temptations to blow it out again: Cauting himself to make feveral objections against kimself; that he was cast away, one that had no faib, and never could have any, because he was not eletled.... One thing also that was likewise a great tumbling-block to laim, was, that the devil was let loose at this time in a sort of people that call themfelves ranters, and indeed they deserved that name, giving up themselves to those filthy uncleannefles that ought not to be named anaongle chriltians; notwithlanding waich, they wrote several books that were highly in esteem among those who were old profeffort. , And among those that became ranters, was that poor man before fpoken of, who bad been all along Mr. Bunyan's intimate compuson; this maa turned one of the worti and vileti of these people living in ali manner et filthincís; denying there was either God, angel. or fpirii, & laughing at all exhortacions to fooriery; and when Mr. L113gan rebuked him jer it, he would laugh the more, and pretend that he had gone through ail religions, and could never alight on the right prill then; perfuacing him also to l'of the iame opinion with Wam, and a con panier of 'k18 wicka edocís.
Bot God -figoing to make him a choin vefiel of honour, and an infirument for the carrying on (40 purposes of his own glory, begwe in his heart so great an averiun to, and loathing of those curfed principles, that he quieli o his company, and became a greater #tranges to him after
wards, than he had been a familiar to before. Bat because feveral old profefiors (as has been already faid) feemed and to approve of their books, Mr. Bxyan ventured to read some of them, he addressed himself to God in the following words: O Lård, I am a fool, and not able to know the truth from error : Lord, leave me not to my own blindness, either to approve er condemn this dofirine: If it be of God, let me not despise it; if it be of the devil, let me net embrace it. Lord, I lay my soul in this matter only at thy foot; let me not be deceived, í bumbly beSeech tha. I could not forbear ia rerting this passage (which I have transcribed out of his book called Giace Ābounding) because it fiews at once both the great fincerity, and senderness, and deep humility of this holy mas, and of what an excellent ípirit he was. But these peoples errors, and much more their wicked practices, eodcard God's word to him exceedingly; fo ebat how he began to look ppen the bible with new eyes, as it were, and to read fo ar ke never had read before: Ar firkt he only took pleasure in reading the bil
. scrical part; but now the Epifles of Paul were sweet and pleasant to bim. Yea, fo much sweetness did be find therein, that he was scarcely ever absent (when be bad an opportunity) from reading of it, or meditating on it, &ill crying out to God, that he wigbe know the truth, and way to life and glory. But he was a long time troubled with very fore temptations, as I said before; and three things there were that the tempter made use of to try him: One great thing was the questioning of his faith, having frequently such thoughts as these injected into his mind: How if you want faith? and, how can you tell that you have faith? this pathin to great perplexities: He knew set that he had it; and yes without it be saw he was like to perilh for ever. So that thor at firê he was willing to overlook it, yet confidering of hoy great moment it was for him to to be satisfied therein, he was willing to put himself upon the trial, whether he had faith or no. But while he was conüdering how he should take a satisfactory trial of this matter, the tempter fought again to take advantage upon him, coming in with this delu. fon, that there was no way for him to try whether he had faith, List by trying to work feme miracle: Nor wanted he fcripture to back it; for as he perverted the fcriptures when he tempead our bledled Lord, so did he also the words of our blela cd Saviour, in tempting this bis fervant; urging, Mat
beru xvii. 20.' If ye bave faith as a grain of mufaid Seed me fall say unto this mountain, remoze bence to zonder place, and it all remove, and nothing Mall be impossible ta jou. This temptation proceeded fo far, that one day Mr. Bunyan be ing between El low and Bedford, (the temptativo being then. hot upon him, to try his faith by doing some miracle) he. was about to say to come puddles that were then in the horse-pad, Be dry! And as he was going to fpeak, this thought came into his mind, Pray firit, that God would make you able, and when he was about to pray, be had some secret impulse that prevailed with him not to put his
that trial : And so he continued for some time at a great loss, not knowing whether he had faith or not.
Another temptation with which he was assaulted was, Whether or no he was theeled: And this temptation was itrengthened with shoes scripture, It is not of him ibat willeth, nor of him that runreih, but of God that fireweth mercy, Rom. ix. 16. For by this fcripture he evidently saw, that unless God hath cholen bim to be a vessel of grace, that all he could do would be ineffe&ual for the obtaining of salvation.
And therefore this was continually in his mind, How cax you tell that you are elected? And what if you fhould not? And these questions seemed so hard, & to be of that weight, that he knew not how to anfwer them. But there is ao thing too hard for divine grace to overcome: For one day, just as his hope was giving up the ghoft, and tbat he was at the utmost point of despair, the following sentence was darted into his fout, as if it had been immediately from heaven; and fell with great weight upon his spirit. Look ar the generations of old, and fee, did ever any truff in God, and was confounded? This gave him mighty er. ouragement in that case, and was thus expounded to him: Begin at the beginning of Genesis, and read to the end of the Revelations, and fee if you can find there was any that wver trufied in God, and was confounded. And if none that trufied 19 God ever miscarried, then your duty is to trufi to God, and not 10 concern yourself about election, which is a secret thing.
Another templation shat violently affaulsed him, wae ; How.if the day of grace fsonli be pas and gene i And to aggravate this, the tempter suggefed to him, that the good people in Bedford (before named) being converied already, they were all that God would Save in those parts, and there
fore he was come too late, for they had got the blefling befure hina. This was a very co.ting thing to him, for he verily though it might be fo; and those thoughts shade him rander up and cown in the bitterness of his fpirit, temcaping bis iad condition, and crying out, that I bad tarred j-oner! O bow bave I trified away my time, till bear on and my foul are lof. But after he had pleased the fa. ther of mercies to shine upon his foul, by that blessed word, Luke xiv. 23. 24. Compel zbem to come in, that my boule may be filled: And get there is room. . The last words gave him abundant cenfolation, and were a full answer to Satan's fuggeftions, that the day of grace was pa!.
But the holy man had been a great finner, which he always aggravated against himfelf on all occasions ; reckoning up like Paul, há own vilenefs before his conversion : I was mad agairft ihe saints, says that blesked apoftle in one place; and in enother, I perfecuted the church of God. So in the lik: mana-r our worthy Mr Bungan cries out of him. felf, I was a lowun-finner ; I was the vrief in the country, a? Jerusalem fimer ; murdering the Son of God afresh, by ute ungedy deeds, and putting him to open phame. This 1 say
, made him undergo many of the buffetings of Satan, and the bidings of God's countenance for months and years together, fill mourning as a dove, and chattering as a crow, And yet in this alio, behold the wisdom and goodness of Gudi For by idese things men live, and in all these thiegi was the life of bis spirit. - God wonderfully fitted him by all the le templations to be a support to stany others that laboured under those or other temptations. For by this means he was one that knew how to speak a word in season to the weary and fainting soul, adminiftring to others those comforis wherewith be himself had been comforted of God.
But to return where se left off, even to his temptations, He was mightily buffered by the enemy of fouls about efa fecoal calling; for that being one of the links of that gol: den chain of salvation, mentioned by the apostle in the ixth, of the Romans, If that be left out, the whole chain was broken : This made him pant, and breathe, and cry, with all the longing of an enamoured soul to Christ, to call bim; for then he saw fuch a beauty in a converted &c called state, that he could not be contented without it: and I have heard him affirm, that at that time, had he had the whole world,
it had all gone; yea, ten thousand worlds, could he hare purchased the bleiling of a coiled and converted Itate with them! For such were the only lovely persons in his eyes. Put that the word of Chri&, Mark ii, 13. stood like a brazen wall against hier, to shut him out froin all the hopes of happiness : His words were these : He (Chrijl) went up into a mountain, and called to him whom he would. This word made him faint and fear, and yet it kindled a fire in his foul : That which made him fear was, left Christ Mould have no liking to him, for he called whom he would. And God was pleased to let him lie many months in that condition; and then be gave him comfort by that word in Jool iii. 21. I will cleanjë their blood that I have not cleansid. Encouraging him thereby fill to wait upon God; and tho' be were not already, yet he might stiil be called.
About this time he began to make his condition known to those poor people, whose discourse Riad been the first 06Casion of his real conversion : When they had heard hin, they told Mr. Gifford, who was the worthy Paltor of thal Church, who was himself willing to be well perfuaded of him, and he invited bisa to his own house, where be heard him converse with others about the dealings of God wich their lovlo; From which he ftill received further convictions, and law more of the deceitfulness of his own leart:
After this, a very great storm of temptation fell upon bim, whereof he had some warning before, from that scrip. fure following of him, Simon, Simon, when thou al converted, firengthen by brethren; although then he underitood not the meaning of it. This temptation was a food of blafa phemous thoughts poured in upon him, infomuch that he questioned the very being of God, and of Iris beloved son, Goubting whether there was at all in train a God or Cbrift, and whether the holy icrip ures were not suiker cunningly devised fables, than the pure word of God.
The tempter altu aitaulted him with this. How can gau tell but the Turks onay bave as good a scripture to prove their Mahornei the Saviour, as we have to prove i har our Jesus is? Wich the like biaipiecus ingyeitions,
Under this fore afiliction and delersion he went a great while: when God's time to cortoit him was come, he heard one preach lernst on Carticles iv. Behold thou art fair, my love, behold ih u drt fuir. But at that title the