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are distinguished from the most specious hypocrites (whether in conversation or preaching,) are best calculated to undeceive and alarm false professors; and form the most commodious fan, by which the irreclaimable may be winnowed from the society of godly persons. This is of great importance: for they are Achans in the camp of ISRAEL, spots and blemishes to every company that countenances them. Doctrinal or even practical discussions, if confined to general terms, will not startle them; they will mimic the language of experience, declaim against the wickedness of the world and the blindness of pharisees, and strenuously oppose the opinions held by some rival sect or party: they will endure the most awful declarations of the wrath of God against the wicked; supposing themselves to be unconcerned in them : nay they will admit that they are backsliders, or inconsistent believers. But when the conversation or sermon compels them to complain,“ in so saying thou condemnest us also," they will hear no longer, bui seek refuge under more com. fortable preachers, or in more candid company; and represent their faithful monitors as censorious, peevish, and melancholy men.
93..5. There is... Spiritual knowledge, obtained by an implicit belief of God's sure testimony under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, producing a hearty love of revealed truth, is always humbling, sanctifying, and transforming: but speculative knowledge is a mere notion of divine things, as distant from a man's own concern in them, or any due apprehension of their excellency and importance, which puffs up the heart with proud self-preference, feeds carnal and malignant passions, and leaves the possessor under the power of sin and SATAN.
..27. The sin of...Divine teaching convinces a man that he is justly condemned for his transgressions of the law, and cannot be saved unless he obtain an interest in the merits of CHRIST by faith; and that unbelief, or neglect of this great salvation, springs from pride, aversion to the character
authority, and law of God, and love to sin and the world; that it implies the guilt of treating the truth of God as a lic, despising his wisdom and mercy, demanding happiness as ? debt from his justice, and defying his “ wrath revealed from " heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." This conviction makes way for his discovering the suitable. ness to his case of a free salvation by faith: he perceives the glory of the divine perfections harmoniously displayed in the person and redemption of CHRIST; and his heart is inwardly drawn to close with the invitations of the gospel, and to desire above all things the fulfilment of its exceedingly great and precions promises to his soul. The expression' re • vealed in him,' is taken from St. Paul's account of his conversion’; but as that was extraordinary, without the intervention of means or instruments, perhaps it is not accu. rately applied to the ordinary experience of believers. Our author, however, evidently meant no more, than the illu. mination of the Holy Spirit enabling a man to understand, believe, admire, and love the truths of the bible respecting CHRIST; and not any new revelation, declaring his interest in the Saviour, by a whisper, vision, or any such thing. These enthusiastic expectations and experiences have deceived many and stumbled more : and have done greater harm to the cause of evangelical religion, than can be cone ceived or expressed.
95..5. It is... It is not enough to state practical and expe. rimental subjects in the plainest and most distinguishing manner: we ought also to apply them to men's consciences, by the most solemn and particular interrogations. In preach, ing, indeed, care must be taken, not to turn the thoughts of a congregation to an individual: yet we should aim to lead every one to reflect on his own case, and excite his conscience to perform the office of a faithful monitor. But in private, when we have ground to suspect that men deceive themselves, such plain-dealing is the best evidence of disinterested love,
* Gal. i. !6
It is at present, alas! much disused, and deemed inconsistent With politeness; so that, in many cases, such an attempt would be considered as a direct outrage and insult: and perhaps, in some circles, the language of these plain pilgrims might be exchanged for that which would be less offensive, without deducting from its energy: yet zeal for the honour of the gospel, and love to the souls of men, are, no doubt, grievously sacrificed to urbanity, in this age of courteous insincerity.
96..22. From such... This apostolical rule is of the greatest importance. While conscientious christians, from a misa taken candour, tolerate scandalous professors and associate with them, they seem to allow that they belong to the same family; and the world will charge their immoralities on the doctrines of the gospel, saying of those who profess them, • they are all alike, if we could find them out.' But did all, who » adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour," withdraw from such men, their crimes would rest with themselves, and the world would be compelled to see the difference be tween hypocrites and real christians. This is also the most effectual method of exciting self-deceivers or inconsistent professors to self-examination, and of thus bringing them to be ashamed and humbled in true repentance: at the same time, it tends to deprive such men of that influence which they often employ to mislead and pervert hopeful enquirers and unestablished believers. The best discipline would have but a partial effect in preventing these evils, if not followed up by this conduct of individuals; and, where the former cannot be obtained, the latter would produce happier conses quences than believers in general can suppose.
97..22. It is my... The author, intending next to represent his pilgrims as exposed to severe persecution, and to exhibit in one view what christians should expect, and may be exposed to, from the enmity of the world, very judiciously introduces that interesting scene by EVANGELIST's meeting them, with suitable cautions, exhortations, and encourage
5:n erected :) text of salvacion, COEDOA y recans qesekk 26 I wascared with special Bectios, eses WA TE Ciscanueces lare placed bin a a distance 647 vale aset perior. The consersation, therefore, of such a teosed read tends to recal to the minds of believers their immer fears, trials, and de iverances, which animates lem to encounter forker de culties, and opens the way for Yunable cravels and admonitions.
99.-11. Prophet ...The able and faithful minister can fore. tel many things, from his knowledge of the scriptures, and enlarged experience and observation, of which his people are Rut aware. He knows before hand, that “ through much “ tribulation they must enter into the kingdom of God;" and the circumstances of the times aid him in discerning what trials and difficulties more especially await them. A retired life shelters a believer from the enmity of the world: and timid men are often tempted on this account to abide in the wilderness, to choose obscurity and solitude, for the sake of quiet and safety, to the neglect of those active services for wluch they are qualified. But when christians are called furth to a more public situation, they will need peculiar Cautions and instructione: for inexperience renders men inattentive to the words of scripture; and they often do not ai all expect, or prepare for, the trials which are inseparable from those scenes, on which they are perhaps even impatient to enter.
100..14. The name...Our author evidently designed to exhibit in his allegory the grand outlines of the difficulties, temptations, and sufferings, to which believers are exposed in this evil world; which, in a work of this nature, must be related as if they came upon them one after another in regular succession; though in actual experience several may meet together, many may mnolest the same person again and again, and some harass him in every stage of his journey. We should, therefore, singly consider the instruction conveyed
by every allegorical incident, without measuring our expe. tience, or calculating our progress, by comparing them with circumstances, which might be reversed or altered with almost endless variety. In general, VANITY FAIR represents the wretched state of things, in those populous places especially, where true religion is neglected and persecuted; and indeed of the whole world, " as lying in wickedness," and as dise tinguished from the church of redeemed sinners. This continues the same in respect of the general principles, conduct, and pursuits of mankind,) through all ages and Rations: but christians are called to mix more with it, at some times than at others; and SATAN, its god and prince, is permitted to excite fierce persecution in some places and on some occasions, while at other times he is restrained. Many, therefore, seem to spend all their days in the midst of VANITY FAIR, and of continual insults or injuries; while others are only sometimes thus exposed, and pass most of their lives unmolested : and a few are favoured with so obscure a situation, and such peaceable times, that they are very little acquainted with these trials.-Mr. BUNYAN, living in the country, had frequent opportunities of witnessing those fairs, which are held first in one town and then in another; and of observing the pernicious effects of such a concourse of people, drawn together by interest, or for the purposes of dissipation and debauchery, on the principles, morals, health, and circumstances of young persons especially. He must also, doubtless, have found them to be a very dangerous snare to serious or hopeful persons: so that his delineation of this case, under allusions taken from such a scene, will be more interesting and affecting to those who have been spectators of these things, than to such as have moved in higher circles, or dwelt chiefly in populous cities. Worldly men covet, pursue, grasp at, and contend for, the things of time and sense, with such eagerness and violence, that their conduct aptly resembles the bustle, selfishness, artifice, dissipation, riot, and tumult of a large crowded fair.