« PrécédentContinuer »
places the matter in a different light, and attributes “ little thanks to the bishop.” It seems impossible at this distance of time to clear up the facts : but we incline to think Doe's account is true; the story of Dr. Owen's prefacer being full of improbabilities, especially in making Bunyan's liberation to have depended upon two friends giving a bond that he should conform within six months, which is quite incredible. It is far more likely that Dr. Barlow so managed the matter with the chancellor as to obviate the necessity for such a bond, and therefore deserved the honour of which Dr. Owen's prefacer would deprive him.
“ From this time his life appears to bave past smoothly. His congregation and his other friends bought ground and built a Meeting-house for him, and there he continued to preach before large audiences. Every year he used to visit London, where his reputation was so great that if a day's notice were given, the Meetinghouse in Southwark at which he generally preached, would not hold half the people that attended. Three thousand persons have been gathered together there; and not less than twelve hundred on week days, and dark winter's mornings at seven o'clock. He used also to preach in the surrounding counties. The Baptist congregation at Hitchin is supposed to have been founded by him. Their meetings were held at first about three miles from that town, in a wood near the village of Preston, Bunyan standing in a pit, or hollow, and the people round about on the sloping sides. A chimney corner at a house in the same wood is still looked upon with veneration, as having been the place of his refreshment.' About five miles from Hitchin was a famous Puritan preaching place called Bendish. It had been a malt house, was very low, and thatched, and ran in two directions, a large square pulpit standing in the angles; and adjoining the pulpit was a high pew, in which ministers sate out of sight of informers, and from which, in case of alarm they could escape into an adjacent lane. The building being much decayed, this Meeting was removed in 1787 to a place called Coleman Green ; and the pulpit, which was there held to be the only remaining one in which Bunyan had preached, was with a commendable feeling carefully removed thither. But another true pulpit,' is shewn in London, in the Jewin Street Meeting. It is said that Owen greatly admired his preaching, and that being asked by Charles II. bow 'a learned man such as he was could sit and listen to an illiterate tinker;' he replied, “May it please your Majesty, could I possess that tinker's abilities for preaching, I would most gladly relinquish all my learning.' This opinion would be discreditable to Owen's judgment, if be really entertained it, and the anecdote were entitled to belief.” pp. lxxiii, lxxiv.
We see nothing improbable in this anecdote, or discreditable to Dr. Owen's judgment in the remark; and we are far from agreeing with Dr. Southey, that the mass of Bunyan's publications, about three score in number, and many of them probably containing the substance of some of his sermons, give no indications of his peculiar genius. Dr. Southey, however, allows much for the living voice, and eye, and gesture, which doubtless were eminently calculated to arrest attention. He candidly remarks that Bunyan's publications contain fewer exceptionable passages than might have been expected; that his strongest prejudice was his unreasonable dislike of the Liturgy; that his writings are “mild, tolerant, and charitable ;" and that “if Calvinism had never worn a blacker appearance than in Bunyan's works, it could never have become a term of reproach, nor have driven so many pious minds, in horror of it, to an opposite extreme.” Though an anti-pedo-baptist, he was a zealous friend to open communion among all true believers, and was vehemently assailed by some of his brethren for what they considered his lax notions in this matter, as has always been the lot of those within the Baptist pale who hold to the liberal view -witness in our own day, Robert Hall, and Dr. Mason of New York. Dr. Southey, who seems to get increasingly enamoured of his hero as he advances towards the close of his narrative, again very candidly remarks :
“ Throughout this controversy Bunyan appears to great advantage as a meek good man, beyond the general spirit of his age in toleration, and far beyond that of his fel. low-sectarians. His was indeed so catholic a spirit, that though circumstances had made him a sectarian, he liked not to be called by the denomination of his sect. “I know none,' says he, to whom that title (Baptist) is so proper as to the disciples of
John. And since you would know by what name I would be distinguished from others, I tell you, I would be, and hope I am, a Christian ; and choose if God should count me worthy, to be called a Christian, a believer, or other such name which is approved by the Holy Ghost. And as for those factious titles of Anabaptists, Independents, Presbyterians, or the like, I conclude that they come neither from Jerusalem nor from Antioch, but rather from hell and Babylon; for they naturally tend to divisions. You may know them by their fruits."" p. lxxvii.
Little is recorded of Bunyan during the sixteen years which elapsed be. tween his enlargement and his death. Amidst all his popularity, as noticed in a preceding extract, he continued remarkable for his modesty and simplicity; and says one of his biographers, “from the time of his conversion, malice itself could not find the least stain upon his reputation.” He availed himself of King James's Act of Indulgence in 1687, thinking it his duty to preach as opportunity allowed; but he saw through the insidiousness of the measure, and warned the Dissenters, that this pretended boon to them was only intended to smooth the way for Popery, and that they would merely have the indulgence, like Ulysses with the giant Polypheme, of being eaten up last. He did not live to see the ever-memorable Revolution of 1688, which opened the way for religious liberty and the rights of conscience; having expired in August of that year, in the sixtieth year of his age, in consequence of a cold and fever brought on by a journey of Christian mercy which he undertook, to reconcile a father to his son whom he was about to disinherit. He was successful in his mission, but came home to his lodgings in London indisposed, and in ten days followed his Pilgrim to that New Jerusalem, where for many a year his spirit had already dwelt in holy contemplations and earnest aspirations after that hidden manna and that water of life which make glad the city of God. He expired at a Mr. Strudwick's, a grocer's, on Snow Hill, and was buried in Bunhill Fields, where his tomb is still inquired for with eagerness and pointed out with veneration. We are not aware that there is extant any particular account of his last illness ; but there is a paper entitled “ Mr. Bunyan's Dying Sayings,” which contains such remarks as we may suppose to have fallen from his lips.-Dr. Southey continues :
“ Three children survived him; there were none by the second marriage; and the blind daughter, the only one whom it might have troubled him to leave with a scanty provision, happily died before him. He is said to have kept up ‘a very strict discipline in his family, in prayer and exhortations. Such a discipline did not in this case produce its usual ill effect; for according to what little is known of his children, they went on in the way they had been trained. His eldest son was forty-five years a member of the Bedford Meeting; he preached there occasionally, and was employed in visiting the disorderly members; he was therefore in good repute for discretion, as well as for his religious character. The names of other descendants are in the books of the same meeting ; in the burial ground belonging to it his great-grand-daughter Hannah Bunyan was interred in 1770 at the age of 76; and with her all that is related of his posterity ends.
“ A description of his character and person was drawn by his first biographer. He appeared in countenance,' says that friend, to be of a stern and rough temper; but in his conversation, mild and affable, not given to loquacity or much discourse in company, unless some urgent occasion required it; observing never to boast of himself, or his parts, but rather seem low in his own eyes, and submit himself to the judgment of others ; abhorring lying and swearing; being just in all that lay in his power to his word; not seeming to revenge injuries ; loving to reconcile differences, and make friendship with all. He had a sharp quick eye, accompanied with an excellent discerning of persons, being of good judgment and quick wit. As for his person he was tall of stature; strong boned, though not corpulent; somewhat of a ruddy face, with sparkling eyes; wearing his hair on his upper lip, after the old British fashion; bis hair reddish, but in his later days time bad sprinkled it with grey; his nose well set but not declining or bending, and his mouth moderate large; his forehead something high, and his habit always plain and modest. And thus have we impartially described the internal and external parts of a person, who had tried the smiles and frowns of time, not puffed up in prosperity, nor shaken in adversity, always holding the golden . “Mr. Whitbread, father to the distinguished member of that name, was so great
án admirer of Bunyan, that he left by will 500€ to the Meeting at Bedford, expressly as a token of respect for his memory; the interest to be distributed annually in bread to the poor of that meeting, between Michaelmas and Christmas. When Bunyan's pulpit Bible was to be sold among the library of the Rev. Samuel Palmer of Hackney, Mr. Whitbread the member gave a commission to bid as much for it, as the bidder thought his father, had he been living, would have given for a relic which he would have valued so highly. It was bought accordingly for twenty guineas.” pp. lxxxiii, Ixxxiv.
And now, with many thanks to Dr. Southey, notwithstanding our contendings with him, we lay down our pen. At all times it is pleasing and profitable to look back upon the lives of those who through faith and patience have inherited the promises, among whom poor despised and persecuted Bunyan shall shine as a star in the firmament for ever and ever. these soft and and silken days of worldly assimilation, when Christians are too apt to carry their religion loosely about them, and to bend like the willow, rather than to bear up against the blast like the oak, it is peculiarly impressive to observe the firm conduct, and cheerful suffering for conscience sake, of a man like Bunyan, even though we believe him to have erred in his non-conformity to a church built, as we doubt not, upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Bunyan was himself accustomed to look back at the conduct and sufferings of the servants of God, who in former ages had been confessors and martyrs for the cause of their Redeemer; and to fortify his faith and patience by their examples. Fox's Acts and Monuments was almost his only book in prison, and with what practical advantage he read it appears in his writings, and no where more so than in a passage quoted by Dr. Southey, and which is such a gem, that any thing we could say would be but a foil to it: we shall therefore present it to our readers, and take our leave.
“ Bunyan's heart had been kindled by the Book of Martyrs.--cold and insensible indeed must any heart be which could dwell without emotion upon those precious records of religious heroism! He had read in those records with perfect sympathy the passionate epistle which the Italian Martyr Pomponius Algerius addressed from prison to his friends. That Martyr was a student of Padua, and in what in one sense may be called the golden age of literature, had been devoted to study from bis childhood with ambitious diligence and the most hopeful success. • To mitigate your sorrow which you take for me,' said this noble soldier of the noble army, I cannot but impart unto you some portion of my delectation and joys which I feel and find, to the intent that you may rejoice with me and sing before the Lord. I have found a nest of honey and honey-comb in the entrails of a lion. Behold He that was once far from me, now is present with me: Whom once scarce I could feel, now I see more apparently : Whom once I saw afar off, now I behold near at band : Whom once I hungered for, the same now approacheth and reacheth His band unto me. He doth comfort me, and heapeth me up with gladness; He ministreth strength and courage; He healeth me, refresheth, advanceth and comforteth me. The sultry heat of the prison to me is coldness: the cold winter to me is a fresh spring time in the Lord. He that feareth not to be burnt in the fire, how will be fear the heat of the weather? Or what careth he for the pinching frost, who burneth with the love of the Lord ? This place is sharp and tedious to them that be guilty: but to the innocent—here droppeth delectable dew, here floweth pleasant nectar, here runneth sweet milk, here is plenty of all good things., Let the miserable worldling say if there be any plot, pasture or meadow, so delightful to the mind of man as here! Here is Mount Sion; here I am already in heaven itself. Here standeth first Christ Jesus in the front : about him stand the old Patriarchs, Prophets and Evangelists, Apostles, and all the servants of God; of whom some do embrace and cherish me; some exhort, some open the sacraments unto me, some comfort me, other some are singing about me. How then shall I be thought to be alone, among so many and such as these, the beholding of whom to me is both solace and example !
“« This man,' says Bunyan, 'was when he wrote this letter, in the House of the Forest of Lebanon,-in the Church in the Wilderness,—in the place and way of contending for the truth of God; and he drank of both cups,—of that which was exceeding bitter, and of that which was exceeding sweet : and the reason why he complained not of the bitter, was because the sweet had overcome it. As his afilictions abounded for Christ, so did his consolations by him ;--so did I say? they abounded much more. But was not this man, think you, a Giant? A pillar in this
House? Had he not also now hold of the shield of Faith? Yea, was he not now in the combat? And did he not behave himself valiantly? Was not his mind elevated a thousand degrees beyond sense, carnal reasons, fleshly love, self concerns, and the desire of embracing worldly things? This man had got that by the end that pleased him: neither could all the flatteries, promises, threats or reproaches, make him once listen to, or enquire after what the world, or the glory of it could afford. His mind was captivated with delights invisible, he coveted to shew his love to his Lord by laying down his life for his sake. He longed to be there, where there shall be no more pain, nor sorrow, nor sighing, nor tears, nor trouble !"" pp. Ixvii, lxviii.
COLONY OF CARLSHULD.
all you possibly can, I beg of you, and The interest which our readers have you will receive infinite joy for all your expressed respecting the colony of Carls- trouble. The poor unhappy Mr. Lutz huld, induces us to lay before them the is at present staying at his chief deceiver's, following extracts from two letters, con- a Catholic minister in Unterroth, and is taining the most recent intelligence. The said to be almost out of his senses. Do first extract is from a letter written by by no means forget to mention in your the Rev. C. P. H. Brandt, dean and appeal for Carlshuld, that those who have first pastor at Windsbach in Bavaria, and forsaken the Evangelical Church have editor of a religious periodical paper; and not as yet returned to the Papal Church, the second, from a letter written by Mr. but are only indulging the hope that they J.C. J Fleischmann, of Nurenberg. The may possibly found an Apostolic church, appeal made to British Christians on (a mistaken idea!) Those that have forbehalf of this interesting settlement, had saken our Evangelical Church are now begun to meet with liberal and effective more hated by the Catholics at Carlshuld, support, when the disastrous intelligence than those who have remained faithful to of Mr. Lutz's defection arrived. The it, as no one will trust them. Dear Mr. friends of religion in different parts of Paechtner you can describe as every where Germany are doing all they can to meet a most distinguished intrument in the the wants of their brethren at Carlshuld; hands of the Lord.” but as their ability is not great, they
“ Nurenberg, Sept. 10, 1832. are obliged to ask the assistance of • My beloved brother in the Lord ! British Christians. We think it best - To the enclosed letter of our dear to lay the following extracts in full be- friend Brandt, I beg to add a few lines, as fore our readers, that they may exercise he is not acquainted with the most retheir own judgment upon them. The cent intelligence from Carlshuld, which I circumstances are more favourable than shall only have an opportunity of sending we had expected ; and we shall be glad to him to-day. Vicar Paechtner, the Evan learn they have become as satisfactory as gelical minister of the new Lutheran conwe could wish.
gregation at Carlshuld, writes me, under “ Windsbach in Bavaria, Sept. 5, 1832. date of the 7th instant, as follows:
Oh! my dear brother, do all “ Thanks be to God, the Lord's cause you possibly can for Carlshuld; the has triumphed, and the enemies with their Lord will recompense you for all your evil designs have been put to shame. Yestrouble. Thanks to God, I am again terday the country justice, Mr. Ott, of able to give you most joyful news. More Neuburg, brought me at last the permisthan 30 families about 300 souls-and sion for immediately beginning the buildamongst them Mr. Lutz's mother, have ing of our temporary church. The matefaithfully adhered to the Evangelical rials for building this small church are alChurch, and suffer nothing to draw them ready lying in readiness, and I hope to be
The excellent vicar, Mr. able to preach in it within three weeks. Paechtner, has now succeeded so far that Our congregation consists at present of he is at present living at Carlshuld, and 210 souls, who have remained stedfast. at this moment a temporary church is Most of the deluded souls who have gone building there, in consequence of which back, will join the Lutheran Church again; many have already been led again to join as the chief falsehood, namely, that the the Evangelical Church. I feel certain congregation at Carlshuld would not get that could I go to Carlshuld with the in- a church, is refuted by the evident fact. telligence that a considerable contribution The Catholics did all they could to pretowards the building of a church might be expected from England, the by far * “ As the congregation was hitherto greatest number of those who have been
prohibited from building a church, they deceived by means of the most abomi- had no courage to remain in the Lutheran nable, nay devilish lies, would return (to Church, and on that account Mr. Lutz also the Evangelical Church). Do therefore left it. (Note by Mr. Fleischmann)."
away from it.
vent those, who have left their church, Paechtner of it; at the same time refrom being allowed to build a church. questing him to write a full account (of Mr. Lutz is also sure to repent of the step the affairs at Carlshuld), in order to send he has taken, as he cannot be called the it to England. That such a present would deceiver, but the deceived. He entered come just at the right time, will be obvious into too great intimacy with his Catholic to you, as the congregation would there. friends, and these have endeavoured to by be able soon to build a regular church. practise upon him, so that he has left the “ An organ *, Mr. Paechtner writes, is Protestant Church. But he now finds, also still wanting, and the Augsburg that by so doing he has deprived himself friends will provide the interior fitting up of all his usefulness. At present he is of the church. Well, the Lord has helped staying with a cousin of bis, a Catholic hitherto, and will certainly provide for the clergyınan at Unterroth, near Augsburg. wants of this our Protestant congrega
“ As far as we know, Mr. Lutz has, tion at Carlshuld. Vicar Paechtner and however, not yet re-entered the Catholic the congregation at Carlshuld will receive Church, nor do I think he will do so. I the present from England with tbe greatest trust the Lord will certainly bring him thankfulness, and I hope it will be proback to the right path. Vicar Paechtner ductive of a rich blessing." bas again asked me for contributions for Carlshuld. We rejoiced greatly therefore
the account of Mr. Lutz's return to the to learn that a considerable sum of money
Catholic Church with the greater part of had been collected for that object, in Eng- the congregation had not arrived, most land *, and have already informed Mr. likely a pretty large sum would have beer
collected for Carlshuld in England. In this Mr. Fleischmann is labour. In Germany, the smallest villageing under a mistake, grounded on a friend's church has an organ and organist. having written to Dean Brandt, that if
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. We should have commenced our notices Church Reform is at this moment of events with what appears to us at this another topic of popular discussion; and moment the most important question of we fear that a storm is gathering of most public interest-the expected Parlia- portentous gloom. We shall not be susmentary Elections_but that we have pected of not wishing for Church Reform: said or transcribed so much already on for a quarter of a century we have advothe subject in our present Number, that cated and urged it as affectionate children we fear burdening our readers. Candi- of our beloved mother the Church ; but dates of every grade are in the field, and now an overwhelming torrent approaches, tests of every kind are being propounded; where we asked only for a fertilizing dew the very craniologists determining not to and gentle showers. We entreat religious be behind with theirs ; gravely urging, in men, of all names, to be on their guard, the last number of the Phrenological that they be not unwittingly made the Journal, that no elector should promise tools of the Radicals and Infidels who wish his vote till he has examined the skulls to pull down the Established Churches of of all the candidates, and found one re- England, Ireland, and Scotland, not for the sembling that of Dr. Franklin. These sake of what is evil in them, but of what things tend to render tests ridiculous or is good. We especially entreat them to odious; and there seems to be in some pause before they touch the doctrinal or quarters a re-action, which may lead to liturgical portion of our Establishment. too great a laxity in inquiring into the We have trembled in this respect at the opinions of candidates. But there is an well-meant labours of Lord Henley, obvious distinction between a fair and Mr. Cox, Mr. Riland, and others, honest exposition on the part of the can- who are truly anxious for the improvedidate, and a vexatious inquisitorial sus- ment and public acceptableness of the picion on the part of the elector. We Church of England. But more of this must not, however, at present re-open another time; and also of the questions the subject ; only we would remind our propounded by the Church Commission readers, that it is not optional with the to the clergy throughout the kingdom, Christian whether he will use his in- respecting our ecclesiastical resources, fluence, his property, or whatever other the answers to which will form a most talent he possesses, for the glory of God valuable basis for Church Reform; which and the welfare, especially the religious ought to be grounded on actual facts, and welfare, of mankind. He must do it, not on mere theory. We sincerely hope whether it be convenient or not, whether that the heads of the Church will be popular or not; he must do it, as in the prepared, by next session, with a bill sight of God, and with a death-bed and which will do the work effectually, and eternity in view.
take it out of the hands of spoliators.