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´╗┐Title: Bunyan Characters (3rd Series)
Author: Whyte, Alexander, 1836-1921
Language: English
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Transcribed from the 1895 Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier edition by David


BUNYAN CHARACTERS--THIRD SERIES
Lectures Delivered in St. George's Free Church Edinburgh
By Alexander Whyte, D.D.


CHAPTER I--THE BOOK


   '--the book of the wars of the Lord.'--_Moses_.

John Bunyan's _Holy War_ was first published in 1682, six years before
its illustrious author's death.  Bunyan wrote this great book when he was
still in all the fulness of his intellectual power and in all the
ripeness of his spiritual experience.  The _Holy War_ is not the
_Pilgrim's Progress_--there is only one _Pilgrim's Progress_.  At the
same time, we have Lord Macaulay's word for it that if the _Pilgrim's
Progress_ did not exist the _Holy War_ would be the best allegory that
ever was written: and even Mr. Froude admits that the _Holy War_ alone
would have entitled its author to rank high up among the acknowledged
masters of English literature.  The intellectual rank of the _Holy War_
has been fixed before that tribunal over which our accomplished and
competent critics preside; but for a full appreciation of its religious
rank and value we would need to hear the glad testimonies of tens of
thousands of God's saints, whose hard-beset faith and obedience have been
kindled and sustained by the study of this noble book.  The _Pilgrim's
Progress_ sets forth the spiritual life under the scriptural figure of a
long and an uphill journey.  The _Holy War_, on the other hand, is a
military history; it is full of soldiers and battles, defeats and
victories.  And its devout author had much more scriptural suggestion and
support in the composition of the _Holy War_ than he had even in the
composition of the _Pilgrim's Progress_.  For Holy Scripture is full of
wars and rumours of wars: the wars of the Lord; the wars of Joshua and
the Judges; the wars of David, with his and many other magnificent battle-
songs; till the best known name of the God of Israel in the Old Testament
is the Lord of Hosts; and then in the New Testament we have Jesus Christ
described as the Captain of our salvation.  Paul's powerful use of armour
and of armed men is familiar to every student of his epistles; and then
the whole Bible is crowned with a book all sounding with the
battle-cries, the shouts, and the songs of soldiers, till it ends with
that city of peace where they hang the trumpet in the hall and study war
no more.  Military metaphors had taken a powerful hold of our author's
imagination even in the _Pilgrim's Progress_, as his portraits of
Greatheart and Valiant-for-truth and other soldiers sufficiently show;
while the conflict with Apollyon and the destruction of Doubting Castle
are so many sure preludes of the coming _Holy War_.  Bunyan's early
experiences in the great Civil War had taught him many memorable things
about the military art; memorable and suggestive things that he
afterwards put to the most splendid use in the siege, the capture, and
the subjugation of Mansoul.

The _Divine Comedy_ is beyond dispute the greatest book of personal and
experimental religion the world has ever seen.  The consuming intensity
of its author's feelings about sin and holiness, the keenness and the
bitterness of his remorse, and the rigour and the severity of his
revenge, his superb intellect and his universal learning, all set ablaze
by his splendid imagination--all that combines to make the _Divine
Comedy_ the unapproachable masterpiece it is.  John Bunyan, on the other
hand, had no learning to be called learning, but he had a strong and a
healthy English understanding, a conscience and a heart wholly given up
to the life of the best religion of his religious day, and then, by sheer
dint of his sanctified and soaring imagination and his exquisite style,
he stands forth the peer of the foremost men in the intellectual world.
And thus it is that the great unlettered religious world possesses in
John Bunyan all but all that the select and scholarly world possesses in
Dante.  Both Dante and Bunyan devoted their splendid gifts to the noblest
of services--the service of spiritual, and especially of personal
religion; but for one appreciative reader that Dante has had Bunyan has
had a hundred.  Happy in being so like his Master in so many things,
Bunyan is happy in being like his unlettered Master in this also, that
the common people hear him gladly and never weary of hearing him.

It gives by far its noblest interest to Dante's noble book that we have
Dante himself in every page of his book.  Dante is taken down into Hell,
he is then led up through _Purgatory_, and after that still up and up
into the very Paradise of God.  But that hell all the time is the hell
that Dante had dug and darkened and kindled for himself.  In the
Purgatory, again, we see Dante working out his own salvation with fear
and trembling, God all the time working in Dante to will and to do of His
good pleasure.  And then the Paradise, with all its sevenfold glory, is
just that place and that life which God hath prepared for them that love
Him and serve Him as Dante did.  And so it is in the _Holy War_.  John
Bunyan is in the _Pilgrim's Progress_, but there are more men and other
men than its author in that rich and populous book, and other experiences
and other attainments than his.  But in the _Holy War_ we have Bunyan
himself as fully and as exclusively as we have Dante in the _Divine
Comedy_.  In the first edition of the _Holy War_ there is a frontispiece
conceived and executed after the anatomical and symbolical manner which
was so common in that day, and which is to be seen at its perfection in
the English edition of Jacob Behmen.  The frontispiece is a full-length
likeness of the author of the _Holy War_, with his whole soul laid open
and his hidden heart 'anatomised.'  Why, asked Wordsworth, and Matthew
Arnold in our day has echoed the question--why does Homer still so live
and rule without a rival in the world of letters?  And they answer that
it is because he always sang with his eye so fixed upon its object.
'Homer, to thee I turn.'  And so it was with Dante.  And so it was with
Bunyan.  Bunyan's _Holy War_ has its great and abiding and commanding
power over us just because he composed it with his eye fixed on his own
heart.

   My readers, I have somewhat else to do,
   Than with vain stories thus to trouble you;
   What here I say some men do know so well
   They can with tears and joy the story tell . . .
   Then lend thine ear to what I do relate,
   Touching the town of Mansoul and her state:
   For my part, I (myself) was in the town,
   Both when 'twas set up and when pulling down.
   Let no man then count me a fable-maker,
   Nor make my name or credit a partaker
   Of their derision: what is here in view
   Of mine own knowledge, I dare say is true.

The characters in the _Holy War_ are not as a rule nearly so clear-cut or
so full of dramatic life and movement as their fellows are in the
_Pilgrim's Progress_, and Bunyan seems to have felt that to be the case.
He shows all an author's fondness for the children of his imagination in
the _Pilgrim's Progress_.  He returns to and he lingers on their doings
and their sayings and their very names with all a foolish father's fond
delight.  While, on the other hand, when we look to see him in his
confidential addresses to his readers returning upon some of the military
and municipal characters in the _Holy War_, to our disappointment he does
not so much as name a single one of them, though he dwells with all an
author's self-delectation on the outstanding scenes, situations, and
episodes of his remarkable book.

What, then, are some of the more outstanding scenes, situations, and
episodes, as well as military and municipal characters, in the book now
before us?  And what are we to promise ourselves, and to expect, from the
study and the exposition of the _Holy War_ in these lectures?  Well, to
begin with, we shall do our best to enter with mind, and heart, and
conscience, and imagination into Bunyan's great conception of the human
soul as a city, a fair and a delicate city and corporation, with its
situation, surroundings, privileges and fortunes.  We shall then enter
under his guidance into the famous and stately palace of this
metropolitan city; a palace which for strength might be called a castle,
for pleasantness a paradise, and for largeness a place so copious as to
contain all the world.  The walls and the gates of the city will then
occupy and instruct us for several Sabbath evenings, after which we shall
enter on the record of the wars and battles that rolled time after time
round those city walls, and surged up through its captured gates till
they quite overwhelmed the very palace of the king itself.  Then we shall
spend, God willing, one Sabbath evening with Loth-to-stoop, and another
with old Ill-pause, the devil's orator, and another with Captain
Anything, and another with Lord Willbewill, and another with that
notorious villain Clip-promise, by whose doings so much of the king's
coin had been abused, and another with that so angry and so
ill-conditioned churl old Mr. Prejudice, with his sixty deaf men under
him.  Dear Mr. Wet-eyes, with his rope upon his head, will have a fit
congregation one winter night, and Captain Self-denial another.  We shall
have another painful but profitable evening before a communion season
with Mr. Prywell, and so we shall eat of that bread and drink of that
cup.  Emmanuel's livery will occupy us one evening, Mansoul's Magna
Charta another, and her annual Feast-day another.  Her Established Church
and her beneficed clergy will take up one evening, some Skulkers in
Mansoul another, the devil's last prank another, and then, to wind up
with, Emmanuel's last speech and charge to Mansoul from his chariot-step
till He comes again to accomplish her rapture.  All that we shall see and
take part in; unless, indeed, our Captain comes in anger before the time,
and spears us to the earth when He finds us asleep at our post or in the
act of sin at it, which may His abounding mercy forbid!

And now take these three forewarnings and precautions.

1.  First:--All who come here on these coming Sabbath evenings will not
understand the _Holy War_ all at once, and many will not understand it at
all.  And little blame to them, and no wonder.  For, fully to understand
this deep and intricate book demands far more mind, far more experience,
and far more specialised knowledge than the mass of men, as men are, can
possibly bring to it.  This so exacting book demands of us, to begin
with, some little acquaintance with military engineering and
architecture; with the theory of, and if possible with some practice in,
attack and defence in sieges and storms, winter campaigns and long drawn-
out wars.  And then, impossible as it sounds and is, along with all that
we would need to have a really profound, practical, and at first-hand
acquaintance with the anatomy of the human subject, and especially with
cardiac anatomy, as well as with all the conditions, diseases, regimen
and discipline of the corrupt heart of man.  And then it is enough to
terrify any one to open this book or to enter this church when he is told
that if he comes here he must be ready and willing to have the whole of
this terrible and exacting book fulfilled and experienced in himself, in
his own body and in his own soul.

2.  And, then, you will not all like the _Holy War_.  The mass of men
could not be expected to like any such book.  How could the vain and
blind citizen of a vain and blind city like to be wakened up, as Paris
was wakened up within our own remembrance, to find all her gates in the
hands of an iron-hearted enemy?  And how could her sons like to be
reminded, as they sit in their wine gardens, that they are thereby fast
preparing their city for that threatened day when she is to be hung up on
her own walls and bled to the white?  Who would not hate and revile the
book or the preacher who prophesied such rough things as that?  Who could
love the author or the preacher who told him to his face that his eyes
and his ears and all the passes to his heart were already in the hands of
a cruel, ruthless, and masterful enemy?  No wonder that you never read
the _Holy War_.  No wonder that the bulk of men have never once opened
it.  The Downfall is not a favourite book in the night-gardens of Paris.

3.  And then, few, very few, it is to be feared, will be any better of
the _Holy War_.  For, to be any better of such a terrible book as this
is, we must at all costs lay it, and lay it all, and lay it all at once,
to heart.  We must submit ourselves to see ourselves continually in its
blazing glass.  We must stoop to be told that it is all, in all its
terrors and in all its horrors, literally true of ourselves.  We must
deliberately and resolutely set open every gate that opens in on our
heart--Ear-gate and Eye-gate and all the gates of sense and intellect,
day and night, to Jesus Christ to enter in; and we must shut and bolt and
bar every such gate in the devil's very face, and in the face of all his
scouts and orators, day and night also.  But who that thinks, and that
knows by experience what all that means, will feel himself sufficient for
all that?  No man: no sinful man.  But, among many other noble and
blessed things, the _Holy War_ will show us that our sufficiency in this
impossibility also is all of God.  Who, then, will enlist?  Who will risk
all and enlist?  Who will matriculate in the military school of Mansoul?
Who will submit himself to all the severity of its divine discipline?  Who
will be made willing to throw open and to keep open his whole soul, with
all the gates and doors thereof, to all the sieges, assaults,
capitulations, submissions, occupations, and such like of the war of
gospel holiness?  And who will enlist under that banner now?

'Set down my name, sir,' said a man of a very stout countenance to him
who had the inkhorn at the outer gate.  At which those who walked upon
the top of the palace broke out in a very pleasant voice,

   'Come in, come in;
   Eternal glory thou shalt win.'

We have no longer, after what we have come through, any such stoutness in
our countenance, yet will we say to-night with him who had it, Set down
my name also, sir!



CHAPTER II--THE CITY OF MANSOUL AND ITS CINQUE PORTS


   '--a besieged city.'--_Isaiah_.

Our greatest historians have been wont to leave their books behind them
and to make long journeys in order to see with their own eyes the ruined
sites of ancient cities and the famous fields where the great battles of
the world were lost and won.  We all remember how Macaulay made a long
winter journey to see the Pass of Killiecrankie before he sat down to
write upon it; and Carlyle's magnificent battle-pieces are not all
imagination; even that wonderful writer had to see Frederick's
battlefields with his own eyes before he could trust himself to describe
them.  And he tells us himself how Cromwell's splendid generalship all
came up before him as he looked down on the town of Dunbar and out upon
the ever-memorable country round about it.  John Bunyan was not a great
historian; he was only a common soldier in the great Civil War of the
seventeenth century; but what would we not give for a description from
his vivid pen of the famous fields and the great sieges in which he took
part?  What a find John Bunyan's 'Journals' and 'Letters Home from the
Seat of War' would be to our historians and to their readers!  But, alas!
such journals and letters do not exist.  Bunyan's complete silence in all
his books about the battles and the sieges he took his part in is very
remarkable, and his silence is full of significance.  The Puritan soldier
keeps all his military experiences to work them all up into his _Holy
War_, the one and only war that ever kindled all his passions and filled
his every waking thought.  But since John Bunyan was a man of genius,
equal in his own way to Cromwell and Milton themselves, if I were a
soldier I would keep ever before me the great book in which Bunyan's
experiences and observations and reflections as a soldier are all worked
up.  I would set that classical book on the same shelf with Caesar's
_Commentaries_ and Napier's _Peninsula_, and Carlyle's glorious battle-
pieces.  Even Caesar has been accused of too great dryness and coldness
in his Commentaries, but there is neither dryness nor coldness in John
Bunyan's _Holy War_.  To read Bunyan kindles our cold civilian blood like
the waving of a banner and like the sound of a trumpet.

The situation of the city of Mansoul occupies one of the most beautiful
pages of this whole book.  The opening of the _Holy War_, simply as a
piece of English, is worthy to stand beside the best page of the
_Pilgrim's Progress_ itself, and what more can I say than that?  Now, the
situation of a city is a matter of the very first importance.  Indeed,
the insight and the foresight of the great statesmen and the great
soldiers of past ages are seen in nothing more than in the sites they
chose for their citadels and for their defenced cities.  Well, then, as
to the situation of Mansoul, 'it lieth,' says our military author, 'just
between the two worlds.'  That is to say: very much as Germany in our day
lies between France and Russia, and very much as Palestine in her day lay
between Egypt and Assyria, so does Mansoul lie between two immense
empires also.  And, surely, I do not need to explain to any man here who
has a man's soul in his bosom that the two armed empires that besiege his
soul are Heaven above and Hell beneath, and that both Heaven and Hell
would give their best blood and their best treasure to subdue and to
possess his soul.  We do not value our souls at all as Heaven and Hell
value them.  There are savage tribes in Africa and in Asia who inhabit
territories that are sleeplessly envied by the expanding and extending
nations of Europe.  Ancient and mighty empires in Europe raise armies,
and build navies, and levy taxes, and spill the blood of their bravest
sons like water in order to possess the harbours, and the rivers, and the
mountains, and the woods amid which their besotted owners roam in utter
ignorance of all the plots and preparations of the Western world.  And
Heaven and Hell are not unlike those ancient and over-peopled nations of
Europe whose teeming millions must have an outlet to other lands.  Their
life and their activity are too large and too rich for their original
territories, and thus they are compelled to seek out colonies and
dependencies, so that their surplus population may have a home.  And, in
like manner, Heaven is too full of love and of blessedness to have all
that for ever shut up within itself, and Hell is too full of envy and ill-
will, and thus there continually come about those contentions and
collisions of which the _Holy War_ is full.  And, besides, it is with
Mansoul and her neighbour states of Heaven and Hell just as it is with
some of our great European empires in this also.  There is no neutral
zone, no buffer state, no silver streak between Mansoul and her immediate
and military neighbours.  And thus it is that her statesmen, and her
soldiers, and even her very common-soldier sentries must be for ever on
the watch; they must never say peace, peace; they must never leave for
one moment their appointed post.

And then, as for the wall of the city, hear our excellent historian's own
words about that.  'The wall of the town was well built,' so he says.
'Yea, so fast and firm was it knit and compact together that, had it not
been for the townsmen themselves, it could not have been shaken or broken
down for ever.  For here lay the excellent wisdom of Him that builded
Mansoul, that the walls could never be broken down nor hurt by the most
mighty adverse potentate unless the townsmen gave their consent thereto.'
Now, what would the military engineers of Chatham and Paris and Berlin,
who are now at their wits' end, not give for a secret like that!  A wall
impregnable and insurmountable and not to be sapped or mined from the
outside: a wall that could only suffer hurt from the inside!  And then
that wonderful wall was pierced from within with five magnificently
answerable gates.  That is to say, the gates could neither be burst in
nor any way forced from without.  'This famous town of Mansoul had five
gates, in at which to come, out of which to go; and these were made
likewise answerable to the walls; to wit, impregnable, and such as could
never be opened or forced but by the will and leave of those within.  The
names of the gates were these: Ear-gate, Eye-gate, Mouth-gate; in short,
'the five senses,' as we say.

In the south of England, in the time of Edward the Confessor and after
the battle of Hastings, there were five cities which had special
immunities and peculiar privileges bestowed upon them, in recognition of
the special dangers to which they were exposed and the eminent services
they performed as facing the hostile shores of France.  Owing to their
privileges and their position, the 'Cinque Ports' came to be cities of
great strength, till, as time went on, they became a positive weakness
rather than a strength to the land that lay behind them.  Privilege bred
pride, and in their pride the Cinque Ports proclaimed wars and formed
alliances on their own account: piracies by sea and robberies by land
were hatched within their walls; and it took centuries to reduce those
pampered and arrogant ports to the safe and peaceful rank of ordinary
English cities.  The Revolution of 1688 did something, and the Reform
Bill of 1832 did more to make Dover and her insolent sisters like the
other free and equal cities of England; but to this day there are
remnants of public shows and pageantries left in those old towns
sufficient to witness to the former privileges, power, and pride of the
famous Cinque Ports.  Now, Mansoul, in like manner, has her cinque ports.
And the whole of the _Holy War_ is one long and detailed history of how
the five senses are clothed with such power as they possess; how they
abuse and misuse their power; what disloyalty and despite they show to
their sovereign; what conspiracies and depredations they enter into; what
untold miseries they let in upon themselves and upon the land that lies
behind them; what years and years of siege, legislation, and rule it
takes to reduce our bodily senses, those proud and licentious gates, to
their true and proper allegiance, and to make their possessors a people
loyal and contented, law-abiding and happy.

The Apostle has a terrible passage to the Corinthians, in which he treats
of the soul and the senses with tremendous and overwhelming power.  'Your
bodies and your bodily members,' he argues, with crushing indignation,
'are not your own to do with them as you like.  Your bodies and your
souls are both Christ's.  He has bought your body and your soul at an
incalculable cost.  What! know ye not that your body is nothing less than
the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, and ye are not any more
your own? know ye not that your bodies are the very members of Christ?'
And then he says a thing so terrible that I tremble to transcribe it.  For
a more terrible thing was never written.  'Shall I then,' filled with
shame he demands, 'take the members of Christ and make them the members
of an harlot?'  O God, have mercy on me!  I knew all the time that I was
abusing and polluting myself, but I did not know, I did not think, I was
never told that I was abusing and polluting Thy Son, Jesus Christ.  Oh,
too awful thought.  And yet, stupid sinner that I am, I had often read
that if any man defile the temple of God and the members of Christ, him
shall God destroy.  O God, destroy me not as I see now that I deserve.
Spare me that I may cleanse and sanctify myself and the members of Christ
in me, which I have so often embruted and defiled.  Assist me to summon
up my imagination henceforth to my sanctification as Thine apostle has
here taught me the way.  Let me henceforth look at my whole body in all
its senses and in all its members, the most open and the most secret, as
in reality no more my own.  Let me henceforth look at myself with Paul's
deep and holy eyes.  Let me henceforth seat Christ, my Redeemer and my
King, in the very throne of my heart, and then keep every gate of my body
and every avenue of my mind as all not any more mine own but His.  Let me
open my eye, and my ear, and my mouth, as if in all that I were opening
Christ's eye and Christ's ear and Christ's mouth; and let me thrust in
nothing on Him as He dwells within me that will make Him ashamed or
angry, or that will defile and pollute Him.  That thought, O God, I feel
that it will often arrest me in time to come in the very act of sin.  It
will make me start back before I make Christ cruel or false, a
wine-bibber, a glutton, or unclean.  I feel at this moment as if I shall
yet come to ask Him at every meal, and at every other opportunity and
temptation of every kind, what He would have and what He would do before
I go on to take or to do anything myself.  What a check, what a
restraint, what an awful scrupulosity that will henceforth work in me!
But, through that, what a pure, blameless, noble, holy and heavenly life
I shall then lead!  What bodily pains, diseases, premature decays; what
mental remorses, what shames and scandals, what self-loathings and what
self-disgusts, what cups bitterer to drink than blood, I shall then
escape!  Yes, O Paul, I shall henceforth hold with thee that my body is
the temple of Christ, and that I am not my own, but that I am bought with
a transporting price, and can, therefore, do nothing less than glorify
God in my body and in my spirit which are God's.  'This place,' says the
Pauline author of the _Holy War_--'This place the King intended but for
Himself alone, and not for another with Him.'

But, my brethren, lay this well, and as never before, to heart--this,
namely, that when you thus begin to keep any gate for Christ, your King
and Captain and Better-self,--Ear-gate, or Eye-gate, or Mouth-gate, or
any other gate--you will have taken up a task that shall have no end with
you in this life.  Till you begin in dead earnest to watch your heart,
and all the doors of your heart, as if you were watching Christ's heart
for Him and all the doors of His heart, you will have no idea of the
arduousness and the endurance, the sleeplessness and the self-denial, of
the undertaking.

   'Mansoul!  Her wars seemed endless in her eyes;
   She's lost by one, becomes another's prize.
   Mansoul!  Her mighty wars, they did portend
   Her weal or woe and that world without end.
   Wherefore she must be more concern'd than they
   Whose fears begin and end the self-same day.'

'We all thought one battle would decide it,' says Richard Baxter, writing
about the Civil War.  'But we were all very much mistaken,' sardonically
adds Carlyle.  Yes; and you will be very much mistaken too if you enter
on the war with sin in your soul, in your senses and in your members,
with powder and shot for one engagement only.  When you enlist here, lay
well to heart that it is for life.  There is no discharge in this war.
There are no ornamental old pensioners here.  It is a warfare for eternal
life, and nothing will end it but the end of your evil days on earth.



CHAPTER III--EAR-GATE


   'Take heed what ye hear.'--_Our Lord in Mark_.

   'Take heed how you hear.'--_Our Lord in Luke_.

This famous town of Mansoul had five gates, in at which to come, out at
which to go, and these were made likewise answerable to the walls--to
wit, impregnable, and such as could never be opened nor forced but by the
will and leave of those within.  'The names of the gates were these, Ear-
gate, Eye-gate,' and so on.  Dr. George Wilson, who was once Professor of
Technology in our University, took this suggestive passage out of the
_Holy War_ and made it the text of his famous lecture in the
Philosophical Institution, and then he printed the passage on the fly-
leaf of his delightful book _The Five Gateways of Knowledge_.  That is a
book to read sometime, but this evening is to be spent with the master.

For, after all, no one can write at once so beautifully, so quaintly, so
suggestively, and so evangelically as John Bunyan.  'The Lord
Willbewill,' says John Bunyan, 'took special care that the gates should
be secured with double guards, double bolts, and double locks and bars;
and that Ear-gate especially might the better be looked to, for that was
the gate in at which the King's forces sought most to enter.  The Lord
Willbewill therefore made old Mr. Prejudice, an angry and ill-conditioned
fellow, captain of the ward at that gate, and put under his power sixty
men, called Deafmen; men advantageous for that service, forasmuch as they
mattered no words of the captain nor of the soldiers.  And first the
King's officers made their force more formidable against Ear-gate: for
they knew that unless they could penetrate that no good could be done
upon the town.  This done, they put the rest of their men in their
places; after which they gave out the word, which was, Ye must be born
again!  And so the battle began.  Now, they in the town had planted upon
the tower over Ear-gate two great guns, the one called High-mind and the
other Heady.  Unto these two guns they trusted much; they were cast in
the castle by Diabolus's ironfounder, whose name was Mr. Puff-up, and
mischievous pieces they were.  They in the camp also did stoutly, for
they saw that unless they could open Ear-gate it would be in vain to
batter the wall.'  And so on, through many allegorical, and, if sometimes
somewhat laboured, yet always eloquent, pungent, and heart-exposing
pages.

With these for our text let us now take a rapid glance at what some of
the more Bunyan-like passages in the prophets and the psalms say about
the ear; how it is kept and how it is lost; how it is used and how it is
abused.

1.  The Psalmist uses a very striking expression in the 94th Psalm when
he is calling for justice, and is teaching God's providence over men.  'He
that planted the ear,' the Psalmist exclaims, 'shall he not hear?'  And,
considering his church and his day, that is not a bad remark of Cardinal
Bellarmine on that psalm,--'the Psalmist's word _planted_,' says that
able churchman, 'implies design, in that the ear was not spontaneously
evolved by an act of vital force, but was independently created by God
for a certain object, just as a tree, not of indigenous growth, is of set
purpose planted in some new place by the hand of man.'  The same thing is
said in Genesis, you remember, about the Garden of Eden,--the Lord
planted it and put the man and the woman, whose ears he had just planted
also, into the garden to dress it and keep it.  How they dressed the
garden and kept it, and how they held the gate of their ear against him
who squatted down before it with his innuendoes and his lies, we all know
to our as yet unrepaired, though not always irreparable, cost.

2.  One would almost think that the scornful apostle had the Garden of
Eden in his eye when he speaks so bitterly to Timothy of a class of
people who are cursed with 'itching ears.'  Eve's ears itched
unappeasably for the devil's promised secret; and we have all inherited
our first mother's miserable curiosity.  How eager, how restless, how
importunate, we all are to hear that new thing that does not at all
concern us; or only concerns us to our loss and our shame.  And the more
forbidden that secret is to us, and the more full of inward evil to
us--insane sinners that we are--the more determined we are to get at it.
Let any forbidden secret be in the keeping of some one within earshot of
us and we will give him no rest till he has shared the evil thing with
us.  Let any specially evil page be published in a newspaper, and we will
take good care that that day's paper is not thrown into the waste-basket;
we will hide it away, like a dog with a stolen bone, till we are able to
dig it up and chew it dry in secret.  The devil has no need to blockade
or besiege the gate of our ear if he has any of his good things to offer
us.  The gate that can only be opened from within will open at once of
itself if he or any of his newsmongers but squat down for a moment before
it.  Shame on us, and on all of us, for our itching ears.

3.  Isaiah speaks of some men in his day whose ears were 'heavy' and
whose hearts were fat, and the Psalmist speaks of some men in his day
whose ears were 'stopped' up altogether.  And there is not a better thing
in Bunyan at his very best than that surly old churl called Prejudice, so
ill-conditioned and so always on the edge of anger.  By the devil's plan
of battle old Prejudice was appointed to be warder of Ear-gate, and to
enable him to keep that gate for his master he had sixty deaf men put
under him, men most advantageous for that post, forasmuch as it mattered
not to them what Emmanuel and His officers said.  There could be no
manner of doubt who composed that inimitable passage.  There is all the
truth and all the humour and all the satire in Old Prejudice that our
author has accustomed us to in his best pieces.  The common people always
get the best literature along with the best religion in John Bunyan.
'They are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear, and which will not
hearken to the voice of charmers charming never so wisely,' says the
Psalmist, speaking about some bad men in his day.  Now, I will not stand
upon David's natural history here, but his moral and religious meaning is
evident enough.  David is not concerned about adders and their ears, he
is wholly taken up with us and our adder-like animosity against the
truth.  Against what teacher, then; against what preacher; against what
writer; against what doctrine, reproof, correction, has your churlish
prejudice adder-like shut your ear?  Against what truth, human or divine,
have you hitherto stopped up your ear like the Psalmist's serpent?  To
ask that boldly, honestly, and in the sight of God, at yourself to-night,
would end in making you the lifelong friend of some preacher, some
teacher, some soul-saving truth you have up till to-night been prejudiced
against with the rooted prejudice and the sullen obstinacy of sixty deaf
men.  O God, help us to lay aside all this adder-like antipathy at men
and things, both in public and in private life.  Help us to give all men
and all causes a fair field and no favour, but the field and the favour
of an open and an honest mind, and a simple and a sincere heart.  He that
hath ears, let him hear!

4.  As we work our way through the various developments and vicissitudes
of the Holy War we shall find Ear-gate in it and in ourselves passing
through many unexpected experiences; now held by one side and now by
another.  And we find the same succession of vicissitudes set forth in
Holy Scripture.  If you pay any attention to what you read and hear, and
then begin to ask yourselves fair in the face as to your own prejudices,
prepossessions, animosities, and antipathies,--you will at once begin to
reap your reward in having put into your possession what the Scriptures
so often call an 'inclined' ear.  That is to say, an ear not only
unstopped, not only unloaded, but actually prepared and predisposed to
all manner of truth and goodness.  Around our city there are the remains,
the still visible tracks, of roads that at one time took the country
people into our city, but which are now stopped up and made wholly
impassable.  There is no longer any road into Edinburgh that way.  There
are other roads still open, but they are very roundabout, and at best
very uphill.  And then there are other roads so smooth, and level, and
broad, and well kept, that they are full of all kinds of traffic; in the
centre carts and carriages crowd them, on the one side horses and their
riders delight to display themselves, and on the other side pedestrians
and perambulators enjoy the sun.  And then there are still other roads
with such a sweet and gentle incline upon them that it is a positive
pleasure both to man and beast to set their foot upon them.  And so it is
with the minds and the hearts of the men and the women who crowd these
roads.  Just as the various roads are, so are the ears and the
understandings, the affections and the inclinations of those who walk and
ride and drive upon them.  Some of those men's ears are impassably
stopped up by self-love, self-interest, party-spirit, anger, envy, and
ill-will,--impenetrably stopped up against all the men and all the truths
of earth and of heaven that would instruct, enlighten, convict or correct
them.  Some men's minds, again, are not so much shut up as they are
crooked, and warped, and narrow, and full of obstruction and opposition.
Whereas here and there, sometimes on horseback and sometimes on foot;
sometimes a learned man walking out of the city to take the air, and
sometimes an unlettered countryman coming into the city to make his
market, will have his ear hospitably open to every good man he meets, to
every good book he reads, to every good paper he buys at the street
corner, and to every good speech, and report, and letter, and article he
reads in it.  And how happy that man is, how happy his house is at home,
and how happy he makes all those he but smiles to on his afternoon walk,
and in all his walk along the roads of this life.  Never see an I
incline' on a railway or on a driving or a walking road without saying on
it before you leave it, 'I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined
His ear unto me and heard my cry.  Because He hath inclined His ear unto
me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.  Incline not my
heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with them that work
iniquity.  Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to
covetousness.  I have inclined mine heart to perform Thy statutes alway,
even unto the end.'

5.  Shakespeare speaks in _Richard the Second_ of 'the open ear of
youth,' and it is a beautiful truth in a beautiful passage.  Young men,
who are still young men, keep your ears open to all truth and to all duty
and to all goodness, and shut your ears with an adder's determination
against all that which ruined Richard--flattering sounds, reports of
fashions, and lascivious metres.  'Our souls would only be gainers by the
perfection of our bodies were they wisely dealt with,' says Professor
Wilson in his _Five Gateways_.  'And for every human being we should aim
at securing, so far as they can be attained, an eye as keen and piercing
as that of the eagle; an ear as sensitive to the faintest sound as that
of the hare; a nostril as far-scenting as that of the wild deer; a tongue
as delicate as that of the butterfly; and a touch as acute as that of the
spider.  No man ever was so endowed, and no man ever will be; but all men
come infinitely short of what they should achieve were they to make their
senses what they might be made.  The old have outlived their opportunity,
and the diseased never had it; but the young, who have still an undimmed
eye, an undulled ear, and a soft hand; an unblunted nostril, and a tongue
which tastes with relish the plainest fare--the young can so cultivate
their senses as to make the narrow ring, which for the old and the infirm
encircles things sensible, widen for them into an almost limitless
horizon.'

Take heed what you hear, and take heed how you hear.



CHAPTER IV--EYE-GATE


   'Mine eye affecteth mine heart.'--_Jeremiah_.

'Think, in the first place,' says the eloquent author of the _Five
Gateways of Knowledge_, 'how beautiful the human eye is.  The eyes of
many of the lower animals are, doubtless, very beautiful.  You must all
have admired the bold, fierce, bright eye of the eagle; the large,
gentle, brown eye of the ox; the treacherous, green eye of the cat,
waxing and waning like the moon; the pert eye of the sparrow; the sly eye
of the fox; the peering little bead of black enamel in the mouse's head;
the gem-like eye that redeems the toad from ugliness, and the
intelligent, affectionate expression which looks out of the human-like
eye of the horse and dog.  There are many other animals whose eyes are
full of beauty, but there is a glory that excelleth in the eye of a man.
We realise this best when we gaze into the eyes of those we love.  It is
their eyes we look at when we are near them, and it is their eyes we
recall when we are far away from them.  The face is all but a blank
without the eye; the eye seems to concentrate every feature in itself.  It
is the eye that smiles, not the lips; it is the eye that listens, not the
ear; it is the eye that frowns, not the brow; it is the eye that mourns,
not the voice.  The eye sees what it brings the power to see.  How true
is this!  The sailor on the look-out can see a ship where the landsman
can see nothing.  The Esquimaux can distinguish a white fox among the
white snow.  The astronomer can see a star in the sky where to others the
blue expanse is unbroken.  The shepherd can distinguish the face of every
single sheep in his flock,' so Professor Wilson.  And then Dr. Gould
tells us in his mystico-evolutionary, Behmen-and-Darwin book, _The
Meaning and the Method of Life_--a book which those will read who can and
ought--that the eye is the most psychical, the most spiritual, the most
useful, and the most valued and cherished of all the senses; after which
he adds this wonderful and heart-affecting scientific fact, that in death
by starvation, every particle of fat in the body is auto-digested except
the cream-cushion of the eye-ball!  So true is it that the eye is the
mistress, the queen, and the most precious, to Creator and creature
alike, of all the five senses.

Now, in the _Holy War_ John Bunyan says a thing about the ear, as
distinguished from the eye, that I cannot subscribe to in my own
experience at any rate.  In describing the terrible war that raged round
Ear-gate, and finally swept up through that gate and into the streets of
the city, he says that the ear is the shortest and the surest road to the
heart.  I confess I cannot think that to be the actual case.  I am
certain that it is not so in my own case.  My eye is very much nearer my
heart than my ear is.  My eye much sooner affects, and much more
powerfully affects, my heart than my ear ever does.  Not only is my eye
by very much the shortest road to my heart, but, like all other short
roads, it is cram-full of all kinds of traffic when my ear stands
altogether empty.  My eye is constantly crowded and choked with all kinds
of commerce; whole hordes of immigrants and invaders trample one another
down on the congested street that leads from my eye to my heart.  Speaking
for myself, for one assault that is made on my heart through my ear there
are a thousand assaults successfully made through my eye.  Indeed, were
my eye but stopped up; had I but obedience and courage and
self-mortification enough to pluck both my eyes out, that would be half
the cleansing and healing and holiness of my evil heart; or at least, the
half of its corruption, rebellion, and abominable wickedness would
henceforth be hidden from me.  I think I can see what led John Bunyan in
his day and in this book to make that too strong statement about the ear
as against the eye; but it is not like him to have let such an
over-statement stand and continue in his corrected and carefully finished
work.  The prophet Jeremiah, I feel satisfied, would not have subscribed
to what is said in the _Holy War_ in extenuation of the eye.  That heart-
broken prophet does not say that it has been his ear that has made his
head waters.  It is his eye, he says, that has so affected his heart.  The
Prophet of the Captivity had all the _Holy War_ potentially in his
imagination when he penned that so suggestive sentence.  And the Latin
poet of experience, the grown-up man's own poet, says somewhere that the
things that enter by his eye seize and hold his heart much more swiftly
and much more surely than those things that but enter by his ear.  I
shall continue, then, to hold by my text, 'Mine eye affecteth mine
heart.'

1.  Turning then, to the prophets and proverb-makers of Israel, and then
to the New Testament for the true teaching on the eye, I come, in the
first place, on that so pungent saying of Solomon that 'the eyes of a
fool are in the ends of the earth.'  Look at that born fool, says
Solomon, who has his eyes and his heart committed to him to keep.  See
him how he gapes and stares after everything that does not concern him,
and lets the door of his own heart stand open to every entering thief.
London is a city of three million inhabitants, and they are mostly fools,
Carlyle once said.  And let him in this city whose eyes keep at home cast
the first stone at those foreign fools.  I will wager on their side that
many of you here to-night know better what went on in Mashonaland last
week than what went on in your own kitchen downstairs, or in your own
nursery or schoolroom upstairs.  Some of you are ten times more taken up
with the prospects of Her Majesty's Government this session, and with the
plots of Her Majesty's Opposition, than you are with the prospects of the
good and the evil, and the plots of God and the devil, all this winter in
your own hearts.  You rise early, and make a fight to get the first of
the newspaper; but when the minister comes in in the afternoon you blush
because the housemaid has mislaid the Bible.  Did you ever read of the
stargazer who fell into an open well at the street corner?  Like him, you
may be a great astronomer, a great politician, a great theologian, a
great defender of the faith even, and yet may be a stark fool just in
keeping the doors and the windows of your own heart.  'You shall see a
poor soul,' says Dr. Goodwin, 'mean in abilities of wit, or
accomplishments of learning, who knows not how the world goes, nor upon
what wheels its states turn, who yet knows more clearly and
experimentally his own heart than all the learned men in the world know
theirs.  And though the other may better discourse philosophically of the
acts of the soul, yet this poor man sees more into the corruption of it
than they all.'  And in another excellent place he says: 'Many who have
leisure and parts to read much, instead of ballasting their hearts with
divine truth, and building up their souls with its precious words, are
much more versed in play-books, jeering pasquils, romances, and feigned
staves, which are but apes and peacocks' feathers instead of pearls and
precious stones.  Foreign and foolish discourses please their eyes and
their ears; they are more chameleons than men, for they live on the east
wind.'

2.  'If thine eye offend thee'--our Lord lays down this law to all those
who would enter into life--'pluck it out and cast it from thee; for it is
better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than, having two
eyes, to be cast into hell-fire.'  Does your eye offend you, my brethren?
Does your eye cause you to stumble and fall, as it is in the etymology?
The right use of the eye is to keep you from stumbling and falling; but
so perverted are the eye and the heart of every sinner that the city
watchman has become a partaker with thieves, and our trusted guide and
guardian a traitor and a knave.  If thine eye, therefore, offends thee;
if it places a stone or a tree in thy way in a dark night; if it digs a
deep ditch right across thy way home; if it in any way leads thee astray,
or lets in upon thee thine enemies--then, surely, thou wert better to be
without that eye altogether.  Pluck it out, then; or, what is still
harder to go on all your days doing, pluck the evil thing out of it.  Shut
up that book and put it away.  Throw that paper and that picture into the
fire.  Cut off that companion, even if he were an adoring lover.  Refuse
that entertainment and that amusement, though all the world were crowding
upto it.  And soon, and soon, till you have plucked your eye as clean of
temptations and snares as it is possible to be in this life.  For this
life is full of that terrible but blessed law of our Lord.  The life of
all His people, that is; and you are one of them, are you not?  You will
know whether or no you are one of them just by the number of the
beautiful things, and the sweet things, and the things to be desired,
that you have plucked out of your eye at His advice and demand.  True
religion, my brethren, on some sides of it, and at some stages of it, is
a terribly severe and sore business; and unless it is proving a terribly
severe and sore business to you, look out! lest, with your two hands and
your two feet and your two eyes, you be cast, with all that your hands
and feet and eyes have feasted on, into the everlasting fires!  Woe unto
the world because of offences, but woe much more to that member and
entrance-gate of the body by which the offence cometh!  Wherefore, if
thine eye offend thee--!

3.  'Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight
before thee.'  Now, if you wish both to preserve your eyes, and to escape
the everlasting fires at the same time, attend to this text.  For this is
almost as good as plucking out your two eyes; indeed, it is almost the
very same thing.  Solomon shall speak to the man in this house to-night
who has the most inflammable, the most ungovernable, and the most
desperately wicked heart.  You, man, with that heart, you know that you
cannot pass up the street without your eye becoming a perfect hell-gate
of lust, of hate, of ill-will, of resentment and of revenge.  Your eye
falls on a man, on a woman, on a house, on a shop, on a school, on a
church, on a carriage, on a cart, on an innocent child's perambulator
even; and, devil let loose that you are, your eye fills your heart on the
spot with absolute hell-fire.  Your presence and your progress poison the
very streets of the city.  And that, not as the short-sighted and the
vulgar will read Solomon's plain-spoken Scripture, with the poison of
lewdness and uncleanness, but with the still more malignant, stealthy,
and deadly poison of social, professional, political, and ecclesiastical
hatred, resentment, and ill-will.  Whoredom and wine openly slay their
thousands on all our streets; but envy and spite, dislike and hatred
their ten thousands.  The fact is, we would never know how malignantly
wicked our hearts are but for our eyes.  But a sudden spark, a single
flash through the eye falling on the gunpowder that fills our hearts,
that lets us know a hundred times every day what at heart we are made of.
'Of a verity, O Lord, I am made of sin, and that my life maketh
manifest,' prays Bishop Andrewes every day.  Why, sir, not to go to the
street, the direction in which your eyes turn in this house this evening
will make this house a very 'den,' as our Lord said--yes, a very den to
you of temptation and transgression.  My son, let thine eyes look right
on.  Ponder the path of thy feet, turn not to the right hand nor to the
left--remove thy foot from all evil!

4.  There is still another eye that is almost as good as an eye out
altogether, and that is a Job's eye.  Job was the first author of that
eye and all we who have that excellent eye take it of him.  'I have made
a covenant with mine eyes,' said that extraordinary man--that
extraordinarily able, honest, exposed and exercised man.  Now, you must
all know what a covenant is.  A covenant is a compact, a contract, an
agreement, an engagement.  In a covenant two parties come to terms with
one another.  The two covenanters strike hands, and solemnly engage
themselves to one another: I will do this for you if you will do that for
me.  It is a bargain, says the other; let us have it sealed with wax and
signed with pen and ink before two witnesses.  As, for instance, at the
Lord's Table.  I swear, you say, over the Body and the Blood of the Son
of God, I swear to make a covenant with mine eyes.  I will never let them
read again that idle, infidel, scoffing, unclean sheet.  I will not let
them look on any of my former images or imaginations of forbidden
pleasures.  I swear, O Thou to whom the night shineth as the day, that I
will never again say, Surely the darkness shall cover me!  See if I do
not henceforth by Thy grace keep my feet off every slippery street.  That,
and many other things like that, was the way that Job made his so noble
covenant with his eyes in his day and in his land.  And it was because he
so made and so kept his covenant that God so boasted over him and said,
Hast thou considered my servant Job?  And then, every covenant has its
two sides.  The other side of Job's covenant, of which God Himself was
the surety, you can read and think over in your solitary lodgings
to-night.  Read Job xxxi. 1, and then Job xl. to the end, and then be
sure you take covenant paper and ink to God before you sleep.  And let
all fashionable young ladies hear what Miss Rossetti expects for herself,
and for all of her sex with her who shall subscribe her covenant.  'True,'
she admits, 'all our life long we shall be bound to refrain our soul, and
keep it low; but what then?  For the books we now refrain to read we
shall one day be endowed with wisdom and knowledge.  For the music we
will not listen to we shall join in the song of the redeemed.  For the
pictures from which we turn we shall gaze unabashed on the Beatific
Vision.  For the companionship we shun we shall be welcomed into angelic
society and the communion of triumphant saints.  For the amusements we
avoid we shall keep the supreme jubilee.  For all the pleasures we miss
we shall abide, and for evermore abide, in the rapture of heaven.'

5.  And then there is the Pauline eye.  An eye, however, that Job would
have shared with Paul and with the Corinthian Church had the patriarch
been privileged to live in our New Testament day.  Ever since the Holy
Ghost with His anointing oil fell on us at Pentecost, says the apostle,
we have had an eye by means of which we look not at the things that are
seen, but at the things that are not seen.  Now, he who has an eye like
that is above both plucking out his eyes or making a covenant with them
either.  It is like what Paul says about the law also.  The law is not
made for a righteous man.  A righteous man is above the law and
independent of it.  The law does not reach to him and he is not hampered
with it.  And so it is with the man who has got Paul's splendid eyes for
the unseen.  He does not need to touch so much as one of his eye-lashes
to pluck them out.  For his eyes are blind, and his ears are deaf, and
his whole body is dead to the things that are temporal.  His eyes are
inwardly ablaze with the things that are eternal.  He whose eyes have
been opened to the truth and the love of his Bible, he will gloat no more
over your books and your papers filled with lies, and slander, and spite,
and lewdness!  He who has his conversation in heaven does not need to set
a watch on his lips lest he take up an ill report about his neighbour.  He
who walks every day on the streets of gold will step as swiftly as may
be, with girt loins, and with a preoccupied eye, out of the slippery and
unsavoury streets of this forsaken earth.  He who has fast working out
for him an exceeding and eternal weight of glory will easily count all
his cups and all his crosses, and all the crooks in his lot but as so
many light afflictions and but for a moment.  My Lord Understanding had
his palace built with high perspective towers on it, and the site of it
was near to Eye-gate, from the top of which his lordship every day looked
not at the things which are temporal, but at the things which are
eternal, and down from his palace towers he every day descended to
administer his heavenly office in the city.

Your eye, then, is the shortest way into your heart.  Watch it well,
therefore; suspect and challenge all outsiders who come near it.  Keep
the passes that lead to your heart with all diligence.  Let nothing
contraband, let nothing that even looks suspicious, ever enter your
hearts; for, if it once enters, and turns out to be evil, you will never
get it all out again as long as you live.  'Death is come up into our
windows,' says our prophet in another place, 'and is entered into our
palaces, to cut off our children in our houses and our young men in our
streets.'  Make a covenant, then, with your eyes.  Take an oath of your
eyes as to which way they are henceforth to look.  For, let them look
this way, and your heart is immediately full of lust, and hate, and envy,
and ill-will.  On the other hand, lead them to look that way and your
heart is as immediately full of truth and beauty, brotherly kindness and
charity.  The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil,
thy whole body is full of darkness.  If, therefore, the light that is in
thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!



CHAPTER V--THE KING'S PALACE


   'The palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.'--_David_.

'Now, there is in this gallant country a fair and delicate town, a
corporation, called Mansoul: a town for its building so curious, for its
situation so commodious, for its privileges so advantageous, that I may
say of it, there is not its equal under the whole heaven.  Also, there
was reared up in the midst of this town a most famous and stately palace:
for strength, it might be called a castle; for pleasantness, a paradise;
and for largeness, a place so copious as to contain all the world.  This
place the King intended for Himself alone, and not for another with Him,
so great was His delight in it.'  Thus far, our excellent allegorical
author.  But there are other authors that treat of this great matter now
in hand besides the allegorical authors.  You will hear tell sometimes
about a class of authors called the Mystics.  Well, listen at this stage
to one of them, and one of the best of them, on this present matter--the
human heart, that is.  'Our heart,' he says, 'is our manner of existence,
or the state in which we feel ourselves to be; it is an inward life, a
vital sensibility, which contains our manner of feeling what and how we
are; it is the state of our desires and tendencies, of inwardly seeing,
tasting, relishing, and feeling that which passes within us; our heart is
that to us inwardly with regard to ourselves which our senses of seeing,
hearing, feeling, and such like are with regard to things that are
without or external to us.  Your heart is the best and greatest gift of
God to you.  It is the highest, greatest, strongest, and noblest power of
your nature.  It forms your whole life, be it what it will.  All evil and
all good come from your heart.  Your heart alone has the key of life and
death for you.'  I was just about to ask you at this point which of our
two authors, our allegorical or our mystical author upon the heart, you
like best.  But that would be a stupid and a wayward question since you
have them both before you, and both at their best, to possess and to
enjoy.  To go back then to John Bunyan, and to his allegory of the human
heart.

1.  To begin with, then, there was reared up in the midst of this town of
Mansoul a most famous and stately palace.  And that palace and the town
immediately around it were the mirror and the glory of all that its
founder and maker had ever made.  His palace was his very top-piece.  It
was the metropolitan of the whole world round about it; and it had
positive commission and power to demand service and support of all
around.  Yes.  And all that is literally, evidently, and actually true of
the human heart.  For all other earthly things are created and upheld,
are ordered and administered, with an eye to the human heart.  The human
heart is the final cause, as our scholars would say, of absolutely all
other earthly things.  Earth, air, water; light and heat; all the
successively existing worlds, mineral, vegetable, animal, spiritual;
grass, herbs, corn, fruit-trees, cattle and sheep, and all other living
creatures; all are upheld for the use and the support of man.  And, then,
all that is in man himself is in him for the end and the use of his
heart.  All his bodily senses; all his bodily members; every fearfully
and wonderfully made part of his body and of his mind; all administer to
his heart.  She is the sovereign and sits supreme.  And she is worthy and
is fully entitled so to sit.  For there is nothing on the earth greater
or better than the heart, unless it is the Creator Himself, who planned
and executed the heart for Himself and not for another with Him.  'The
body exists,' says a philosophical biologist of our day, 'to furnish the
cerebral centres with prepared food, just as the vegetable world, viewed
biologically, exists to furnish the animal world with similar food.  The
higher is the last formed, the most difficult, and the most complex; but
it is just this that is most precious and significant--all of which shows
His unrolling purpose.  It is the last that alone explains all that went
before, and it is the coming that will alone explain the present.  God
before all, through all, foreseeing all, and still preparing all; God in
all is profoundly evident.'  Yes, profoundly evident to profound minds,
and experimentally and sweetly evident to religious minds, and to renewed
and loving and holy hearts.

2.  For fame and for state a palace, while for strength it might be
called a castle.  In sufficiently ancient times the king's palace was
always a castle also.  David's palace on Mount Zion was as much a
military fortress as a royal residence; and King Priam's palace was the
protection both of itself and of the whole of the country around.  In
those wild times great men built their houses on high places, and then
the weak and endangered people gathered around the strongholds of the
powerful, as we see in our own city.  Our own steep and towering rock
invited to its top the castle-builder of a remote age, and then the
exposed country around began to gather itself together under the shelter
of the bourg.  And thus it is that the military engineering of the _Holy
War_ makes that old allegorical book most excellent to read, not only for
common men like you and me, who are bent on the fortification and the
defence of our own hearts, but for the military historians of those old
times also, for the experts of to-day also, and for all good students of
fortification.  And the New Testament of the Divine peace itself, as well
as the Old Testament so full of the wars of the Lord--they both support
and serve as an encouragement and an example to our spiritual author in
the elaboration of his military allegory.  Every good soldier of Jesus
Christ has by heart the noble paradox of Paul to the Philippians--that
the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep their hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus.  Let God's peace, he says, be your man of
war.  Let His surpassing peace do both the work of war and the work of
peace also in your hearts and in your minds.  Let that peace both fortify
with walls, and garrison with soldiers, and watch every gate, and hold
every street and lane of your hearts and of your minds all around your
hearts.  And all through the Prince of Peace, the Captain of all Holy
War, Jesus Christ Himself.  No wonder, then, that in a strength--in a
kind and in a degree of strength--that passeth all understanding, this
stately palace of the heart is also here called a well-garrisoned castle.

3.  And then for pleasantness the human heart is a perfect paradise.  For
pleasantness the human heart is like those famous royal parks of Nineveh
and Babylon that sprang up in after days as if to recover and restore the
Garden of Eden that had been lost to those eastern lands.  But even
Adam's own paradise was but a poor outside imitation in earth and water,
in flowers and fruits, of the far better paradise God had planted within
him.  Take another Mystic at this point upon paradise.  'My dear man,'
exclaims Jacob Behmen, 'the Garden of Eden is not paradise, neither does
Moses say so.  Paradise is the divine joy, and that was in their own
hearts so long as they stood in the love of God.  Paradise is the divine
and angelical joy, pure love, pure joy, pure gladness, in which there is
no fear, no misery, and no death.  Which paradise neither death nor the
devil can touch.  And yet it has no stone wall around it; only a great
gulf which no man or angel can cross but by that new birth of which
Christ spoke to Nicodemus.  Reason asks, Where is paradise to be found?
Is it far off or near?  Is it in this world or is it above the stars?
Where is that desirable native country where there is no death?  Beloved,
there is nothing nearer you at this moment than paradise, if you incline
that way.  God beckons you back into paradise at this moment, and calls
you by name to come.  Come, He says, and be one of My paradise children.
In paradise,' the Teutonic Philosopher goes on, 'there is nothing but
hearty love, a meek and a gentle love; a most friendly and most courteous
discourse: a gracious, amiable, and blessed society, where the one is
always glad to see the other, and to honour the other.  They know of no
malice in paradise, no cunning, no subtlety, and no sly deceit.  But the
fruits of the Spirit of God are common among them in paradise, and one
may make use of all the good things of paradise without causing
disfavour, or hatred, or envy, for there is no contrary affection there,
but all hearts there are knit together in love.  In paradise they love
one another, and rejoice in the beauty, loveliness, and gladness of one
another.  No one esteems or accounts himself more excellent than another
in paradise; but every one has great joy in another, and rejoices in
another's fair beauty, whence their love to one another continually
increases, so that they lead one another by the hand, and so friendly
kiss one another.'  Thus the blessed Behmen saw paradise and had it in
his heart as he sat over his hammer and lapstone in his solitary stall.
For of such as Jacob Behmen and John Bunyan is the kingdom of heaven, and
all such saintly souls have paradise restored again and improved upon in
their own hearts.

4.  And for largeness a place so copious as to contain all the world.
Over against the word 'copious' Bunyan hangs for a key, Ecclesiastes
third and eleventh; and under it Miss Peacock adds this as a
note--'_Copious_, spacious.  Old French, _copieux_; Latin, _copiosus_,
plentiful.'  The human heart, as we have already read to-night, is the
highest, greatest, strongest, and noblest part of human nature.  And so
it is.  Fearfully and wonderfully made as is the whole of human nature,
that fear and that wonder surpass themselves in the spaciousness and the
copiousness of the human heart.  For what is it that the human heart has
not space for, and to spare?  After the whole world is received home into
a human heart, there is room, and, indeed, hunger, for another world, and
after that for still another.  The sun is--I forget how many times bigger
than our whole world, and yet we can open our heart and take down the sun
into it, and shut him out again and restore him to his immeasurable
distances in the heavens, and all in the twinkling of an eye.  As for
instance.  As I wrote these lines I read a report of a lecture by Sir
Robert Ball in which that distinguished astronomer discoursed on recent
solar discoveries.  A globe of coal, Sir Robert said, as big as our
earth, and all set ablaze at the same moment, would not give out so much
heat to the worlds around as the sun gives out in a thousandth part of a
second.  Well, as I read that, and ere ever I was aware what was going
on, my heart had opened over my newspaper, and the sun had swept down
from the sky, and had rushed into my heart, and before I knew where I was
the cry had escaped my lips, 'Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord
God Almighty!  Who shall not fear Thee and glorify thy name?'  And then
this reflection as suddenly came to me: How good it is to be at peace
with God, and to be able and willing to say, My Father!  That the whole
of the surging and flaming sun was actually down in my straitened and
hampered heart at that idle moment over my paper is scientifically
demonstrable; for only that which is in the heart of a man can kindle the
passions that are in the heart of that man; and nothing is more sure to
me than that the great passions of fear and love, wonder and rapture were
at that moment at a burning point within me.  There is a passage well on
in the _Holy War_, which for terror and for horror, and at the same time
for truth and for power, equals anything either in Dante or in Milton.
Lucifer has stood up at the council board to second the scheme of
Beelzebub.  'Yes,' he said, amid the plaudits of his fellow-princes--'Yes,
I swear it.  Let us fill Mansoul full with our abundance.  Let us make of
this castle, as they vainly call it, a warehouse, as the name is in some
of their cities above.  For if we can only get Mansoul to fill herself
full with much goods she is henceforth ours.  My peers,' he said, 'you
all know His parable of how unblessed riches choke the word; and, again,
we know what happens when the hearts of men are overcharged with
surfeiting and with drunkenness.  Let us give them all that, then, to
their heart's desire.'  This advice of Lucifer, our history tells us, was
highly applauded in hell, and ever since it has proved their masterpiece
to choke Mansoul with the fulness of this world, and to surfeit the heart
with the good things thereof.  But, my brethren, you will outwit hell
herself and all her counsellors and all her machinations, if, out of all
the riches, pleasures, cares, and possessions, that both heaven and earth
and hell can heap into your heart, those riches, pleasures, cares, and
possessions but produce corresponding passions and affections towards God
and man.  Only let fear, and love, and thankfulness, and helpfulness be
kindled and fed to all their fulness in your heart, and all the world and
all that it contains will only leave the more room in your boundless
heart for God and for your brother.  All that God has made, or could make
with all His counsel and all His power laid out, will not fill your
boundless and bottomless heart.  He must come down and come into your
boundless and bottomless heart Himself.  Himself: your Father, your
Redeemer, and your Sanctifier and Comforter also.  Let the whole universe
try to fill your heart, O man of God, and after it all we shall hear you
singing in famine and in loneliness the doleful ditty:

   'O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
   There is room in my heart for Thee.

5.  'Madame,' said a holy solitary to Madame Guyon in her misery--'Madame,
you are disappointed and perplexed because you seek without what you have
within.  Accustom yourself to seek for God in your own heart and you will
always find Him there.'  From that hour that gifted woman was a Mystic.
The secret of the interior life flashed upon her in a moment.  She had
been starving in the midst of fulness; God was near and not far off; the
kingdom of heaven was within her.  The love of God from that hour took
possession of her soul with an inexpressible happiness.  Prayer, which
had before been so difficult, was now delightful and indispensable; hours
passed away like moments: she could scarcely cease from praying.  Her
domestic trials seemed great to her no longer; her inward joy consumed
like a fire the reluctance, the murmur, and the sorrow, which all had
their birth in herself.  A spirit of comforting peace, a sense of
rejoicing possession, pervaded all her days.  God was continually with
her, and she seemed continually yielded up to God.  'Madame,' said the
solitary, 'you seek without for what you have within.'  Where do you seek
for God when you pray, my brethren?  To what place do you direct your
eyes?  Is it to the roof of your closet?  Is it to the east end of your
consecrated chapel?  Is it to that wooden table in the east end of your
chapel?  Or, passing out of all houses made with hands and consecrated
with holy oil, do you lift up your eyes to the skies where the sun and
the moon and the stars dwell alone?  'What a folly!' exclaims Theophilus,
in the golden dialogue, 'for no way is the true way to God but by the way
of our own heart.  God is nowhere else to be found.  And the heart itself
cannot find Him but by its own love of Him, faith in Him, dependence upon
Him, resignation to Him, and expectation of all from Him.'  'You have
quite carried your point with me,' answered Theogenes after he had heard
all that Theophilus had to say.  'The God of meekness, of patience, and
of love is henceforth the one God of my heart.  It is now the one bent
and desire of my soul to seek for all my salvation in and through the
merits and mediation of the meek, humble, patient, resigned, suffering
Lamb of God, who alone has power to bring forth the blessed birth of
those heavenly virtues in my soul.  What a comfort it is to think that
this Lamb of God, Son of the Father, Light of the World; this Glory of
heaven and this Joy of angels is as near to us, is as truly in the midst
of us, as He is in the midst of heaven.  And that not a thought, look, or
desire of our heart that presses toward Him, longing to catch one small
spark of His heavenly nature, but is as sure a way of finding Him, as the
woman's way was who was healed of her deadly disease by longing to touch
but the border of His garment.'

To sum up.  'There is reared up in the midst of Mansoul a most famous and
stately palace: for strength, it may be called a castle; for
pleasantness, a paradise; and for largeness, a place so copious as to
contain all the world.  This palace the King intends but for Himself
alone, and not another with Him, and He commits the keeping of that
palace day and night to the men of the town.'



CHAPTER VI--MY LORD WILLBEWILL


   --'to will is present with me.'--_Paul_

There is a large and a learned literature on the subject of the will.
There is a philosophical and a theological, and there is a religious and
an experimental literature on the will.  Jonathan Edwards's well-known
work stands out conspicuously at the head of the philosophical and
theological literature on the will, while our own Thomas Boston's
_Fourfold State_ is a very able and impressive treatise on the more
practical and experimental side of the same subject.  The Westminster
Confession of Faith devotes one of its very best chapters to the teaching
of the word of God on the will of man, and the Shorter Catechism touches
on the same subject in Effectual Calling.  Outstanding philosophical and
theological schools have been formed around the will, and both able and
learned and earnest men have taken opposite sides on the subject of the
will under the party names of Necessitarians and Libertarians.  This is
not the time, nor am I the man, to discuss such abstruse subjects; but
those students who wish to master this great matter of the will, so far
as it can be mastered in books, are recommended to begin with Dr. William
Cunningham's works, and then to go on from them to a treatise that will
reward all their talent and all their enterprise, Jonathan Edwards's
perfect masterpiece.

1.  But, to come to my Lord Willbewill, one of the gentry of the famous
town of Mansoul:--well, this Lord Willbewill was as high-born as any man
in Mansoul, and was as much a freeholder as any of them were, if not
more.  Besides, if I remember my tale aright, he had some privileges
peculiar to himself in that famous town.  Now, together with these, he
was a man of great strength, resolution, and courage; nor in his occasion
could any turn him away.  But whether he was too proud of his high
estate, privileges, and strength, or what (but sure it was through pride
of something), he scorns now to be a slave in Mansoul, as his own proud
word is, so that now, next to Diabolus himself, who but my Lord
Willbewill in all that town?  Nor could anything now be done but at his
beck and good pleasure throughout that town.  Indeed, it will not out of
my thoughts what a desperate fellow this Willbewill was when full power
was put into his hand.  All which--how this apostate prince lost power
and got it again, and lost it and got it again--the interested and
curious reader will find set forth with great fulness and clearness in
many powerful pages of the _Holy War_.

John Bunyan was as hard put to it to get the right name for this head of
the gentry of Mansoul as Paul was to get the right name for sin in the
seventh of the Romans.  In that profoundest and intensest of all his
profound and intense passages, the apostle has occasion to seek about for
some expression, some epithet, some adjective, as we say, to apply to sin
so as to help him to bring out to his Roman readers something of the
malignity, deadliness, and unspeakable evil of sin as he had sin living
and working in himself.  But all the resources of the Greek language,
that most resourceful of languages, utterly failed Paul for his pressing
purpose.  And thus it is that, as if in scorn of the feebleness and
futility of that boasted tongue, he tramples its grammars and its
dictionaries under his feet, and makes new and unheard-of words and
combinations of words on the spot for himself and for his subject.  He
heaps up a hyperbole the like of which no orator or rhetorician of Greece
or Rome had ever needed or had ever imagined before.  He takes sin, and
he makes a name for sin out of itself.  The only way to describe sin, he
feels, the only way to characterise sin, the only way to aggravate sin,
is just to call it sin; sinful sin; 'sin by the commandment became
exceeding sinful.'  And, in like manner, John Bunyan, who has only his
own mother tongue to work with, in his straits to get a proper name for
this terrible fellow who was next to Diabolus himself, cannot find a
proud enough name for him but just by giving him his own name, and then
doubling it.  Add will to will, multiply will by will, and multiply it
again, and after you have done all you are no nearer to a proper name for
that apostate, who, for pride, and insolence, and headstrongness, in one
word, for wilfulness, is next to Diabolus himself.  But as Willbewill, if
he is to be named and described at all, is best named and described by
his own naked name; so Bunyan is always best illustrated out of his own
works.  And I turn accordingly to the _Heavenly Footman_ for an excellent
illustration of the wilfulness of the will both in a good man and in a
bad; as, thus: 'Your self-willed people, nobody knows what to do with
them.  We use to say, He will have his own will, do all we can.  If a man
be willing, then any argument shall be matter of encouragement; but if
unwilling, then any argument shall give discouragement.  The saints of
old, they being willing and resolved for heaven, what could stop them?
Could fire and fagot, sword or halter, dungeons, whips, bears, bulls,
lions, cruel rackings, stonings, starvings, nakedness?  So willing had
they been made in the day of His power.  And see, on the other side, the
children of the devil, because they are not willing, how many shifts and
starting-holes they will have!  I have married a wife; I have a farm; I
shall offend my landlord; I shall lose my trade; I shall be mocked and
scoffed at, and therefore I cannot come.  But, alas! the thing is, they
are not willing.  For, were they once soundly willing, these, and a
thousand things such as these, would hold them no faster than the cords
held Samson when he broke them like flax.  I tell you the will is all.
The Lord give thee a will, then, and courage of heart.'

2.  Let that, then, suffice for this man's name and nature, and let us
look at him now when his name and his nature have both become evil; that
is to say, when Willbewill has become Illwill.  You can imagine; no, you
cannot imagine unless you already know, how evil, and how set upon evil,
Illwill was.  His whole mind, we are told, now stood bending itself to
evil.  Nay, so set was he now upon sheer evil that he would act it of his
own accord, and without any instigation at all from Diabolus.  And that
went on till he was looked on in the city as next in wickedness to very
Diabolus himself.  Parable apart, my ill-willed brethren, our ill-will
has made us very fiends in human shape.  What a fall, what a fate, what a
curse it is to be possessed of a devil of ill-will!  Who can put proper
words on it after Paul had to confess himself silent before it?  Who can
utter the diabolical nature, the depth and the secrecy, the subtlety and
the spirituality, the range and the reach-out of an ill-will?  Our hearts
are full of ill-will at those we meet and shake hands with every day.  At
men also we have never seen, and who are totally ignorant even of our
existence.  Over a thousand miles we dart our viperous hearts at innocent
men.  At great statesmen we have ill-will, and at small; at great
churchmen and at small; at great authors and at small; at great, and
famous, and successful men in all lines of life; for it is enough for ill-
will that another man be praised, and well-paid, and prosperous, and then
placed in our eye.  No amount of suffering will satiate ill-will; the
very grave has no seal against it.  And, now and then, you have it thrust
upon you that other men have the same devil in them as deeply and as
actively as he is in you.  You will suddenly run across a man on the
street.  His face was shining with some praise he had just had spoken to
him, or with some recognition he had just received from some great one;
or with some good news for himself he had just heard, before he caught
sight of you.  But the light suddenly dies on his face, and darkness
comes up out of his heart at his sudden glimpse of you.  What is the
matter? you ask yourself as he scowls past you.  What have you done so to
darken any man's heart to you?  And as you stumble on in the sickening
cloud he has left behind him, you suddenly recollect that you were once
compelled to vote against that man on a public question: on some question
of home franchise, or foreign war, or church government, or city
business; or perchance, a family has left his shop to do business in
yours, or his church to worship God in yours, or such like.  It will be a
certain relief to you to recollect such things.  But with it all there
will be a shame and a humiliation and a deep inward pain that will escape
into a cry of prayer for him and for yourself and for all such sinners on
the same street.  If you do not find an escape from your sharp resentment
in ejaculatory prayer and in a heart-cleansing great good-will, your
heart, before you are a hundred steps on, will be as black with ill-will
as his is.  But that must not again be.  Would you hate or strike back at
a blind man who stumbled and fell against you on the street?  Would you
retaliate at a maniac who gnashed his teeth and shook his fist at you on
his way past you to the madhouse?  Or at a corpse being carried past you
that had been too long without burial?  And shall you retaliate on a
miserable man driven mad with diabolical passion?  Or at a poor sinner
whose heart is as rotten as the grave?  Ill-will is abroad in our learned
and religious city at all hours of the day and night.  He glares at us
under the sun by day, and under the street lamps at night.  We suddenly
feel his baleful eye on us as we thoughtlessly pass under his overlooking
windows: it will be a side street and an unfrequented, where you will not
be ashamed and shocked and pained at heart to meet him.  Public men; much
purchased and much praised men; rich and prosperous men; men high in
talent and in place; and, indeed, all manner of men,--walk abroad in this
life softly.  Keep out of sight.  Take the side streets, and return home
quickly.  You have no idea what an offence and what a snare you are to
men you know, and to men you do not know.  If you are a public man, and
if your name is much in men's mouths, then the place you hold, the prices
and the praises you get, do not give you one-tenth of the pleasure that
they give a thousand other men pain.  Men you never heard of, and who
would not know you if they met you, gnaw their hearts at the mere mention
of your name.  Desire, then, to be unknown, as A Kempis says.  O teach me
to love to be concealed, prays Jeremy Taylor.  Be ambitious to be
unknown, Archbishop Leighton also instructs us.  And the great Fenelon
took _Ama nesciri_ for his crest and for his motto.  No wonder that an
apostle cried out under the agony and the shame of ill-will.  No wonder
that to kill it in the hearts of men the Son of God died under it on the
cross.  And no wonder that all the gates of hell are wide open, day and
night, for there is no day there, to receive home all those who will
entertain ill-will in their hearts, and all the gates of heaven shut
close to keep all ill-will for ever out.

3.  But, bad enough as all that is, the half has not been told, and never
will be told in this life.  Butler has a passage that has long stumbled
me, and it stumbles me the more the longer I live and study him and
observe myself.  'Resentment,' he says, in a very deep and a very serious
passage--'Resentment being out of the case, there is not, properly
speaking, any such thing as direct ill-will in one man towards another.'
Well, great and undisputed as Butler's authority is in all these matters,
at the same time he would be the first to admit and to assert that a
man's inward experience transcends all outward authority.  Well, I am
filled with shame and pain and repentance and remorse to have to say it,
but my experience carries me right in the teeth of Butler's doctrine.  I
have dutifully tried to look at Butler's inviting and exonerating
doctrine in all possible lights, and from all possible points of view, in
the anxious wish to prove it true; but I dare not say that I have
succeeded.  The truth for thee--my heart would continually call to me--the
best truth for thee is in me, and not in any Butler!  And when looking as
closely as I can at my own heart in the matter of ill-will, what do I
find--and what will you find?  You will find that after subtracting all
that can in any proper sense come under the head of real resentment, and
in cases where real resentment is out of the question; in cases where you
have received no injury, no neglect, no contempt, no anything whatsoever
of that kind, you will find that there are men innocent of all that to
you, yet men to whom you entertain feelings, animosities, antipathies,
that can be called by no other name than that of ill-will.  Look within
and see.  Watch within and see.  And I am sure you will come to subscribe
with me to the humbling and heart-breaking truth, that, even where there
is no resentment, and no other explanation, excuse, or palliation of that
kind, yet that festering, secret, malignant ill-will is working in the
bottom of your heart.  If you doubt that, if you deny that, if all that
kind of self-observation and self-sentencing is new to you, then observe
yourself, say, for one week, and report at the end of it whether or no
you have had feelings and thoughts and wishes in your secret heart toward
men who never in any way hurt you, which can only be truthfully described
as pure ill-will; that is to say, you have not felt and thought and
wished toward them as you would have them, and all men, feel and think
and wish toward you.

4.  'To will is present with me, but how to perform I find not,' says the
apostle; and again, 'Ye cannot do the things that ye would.'  Or, as
Dante has it,

      'The power which wills
   Bears not supreme control; laughter and tears
   Follow so closely on the passion prompts them,
   They wait not for the motion of the will
   In natures most sincere.'

Now, just here lies a deep distinction that has not been enough taken
account of by our popular, or even by our more profound, spiritual
writers.  The will is often regenerate and right; the will often bends,
as Bunyan has it, to that which is good; but behind the will and beneath
the will the heart is still full of passions, affections, inclinations,
dispositions that are evil; instinctively, impulsively, involuntarily
evil, even 'in natures most sincere.'  And hence arises a conflict, a
combat, a death-grip, an agony, a hell on earth, that every regenerate
and advancing soul of man is full of His will is right.  If his will is
wrong; if he chooses evil; then there is no mystery in the matter so far
as he is concerned.  He is a bad man, and he is so intentionally and
deliberately and of set purpose; and it is a rule in divine truth that
'wilfulness in sinning is the measure of our sinfulness.'  But his will
is right.  To will is present with him.  He is every day like Thomas
Boston one Sabbath-day: 'Though I cannot be free of sin, God Himself
knows that He would be welcome to make havoc of my sins and to make me
holy.  I know no lust that I would not be content to part with to-night.
My will, bound hand and foot, I desire to lay at His feet.'  Now, is it
not as clear as noonday that in the case of such a man as Boston his mind
is one thing and his heart another?  Is it not plain that he has both a
good-will and an ill-will within him?  A will that immediately and
resolutely chooses for God, and for truth, and for righteousness, and for
love; and another law in his members warring against that law of his
mind?  'Before conversion,' says Thomas Shepard, 'the main wound of a man
is in his will.  And then, after conversion, though his will is changed,
yet, _ex infirmitate_, there are many things that he cannot do, so strong
is the remnant of malignity that is still in his heart.  Let him get
Christ to help him here.'  In all that ye see your calling, my brethren.

5.  'Now, if I do that I would not,' adds the apostle, extricating
himself and giving himself fair-play and his simple due among all his
misery and self-accusation--'Now, if I do that I would not, it is no more
I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.'  Or, again, as William Law
has it: 'All our natural evil ceases to be our own evil as soon as our
will turns away from it.  Our natural evil then changes its nature and
loses all its poison and death, and becomes an holy cross on which we die
to self and this life and enter the kingdom of heaven.'  My dear
brethren, tell me, is your sin your cross?  Is your sinfulness your
cross?  Is the evil that is ever present with you your holy cross?  For,
every other cross beside sin is a cross of straw, a cross of feathers, a
paste-board and a painted cross, and not a real and genuine cross at all.
The wood and the nails and the spear all taken together were not our
Lord's real cross.  His real cross was sin; our sin laid on His hands,
and on His heart, and on His imagination, and on His conscience, till it
was all but His very own sin.  Our sin was so fearfully and wonderfully
laid upon Christ that He was as good as a sinner Himself under it.  So
much so that all the nails and all the spears, all the thirst and all the
darkness that His body and His soul could hold were as nothing beside the
sin that was laid upon Him.  And so it is with us; with as many of us as
are His true disciples.  Our sin is our cross; not our actual
transgressions, any more than His; but our inward sinfulness.  And not
the sinfulness of our will; that is no real cross to any man; but the
sinfulness of our hearts against our will, and beneath our will, and
behind our will.  And this is such a cross that if Christ had something
in His cross that we have not, then we have something in ours that He had
not.  He made many sad and sore Psalms His own; but even if He had lived
on earth to read the seventh of the Romans, He could not have made it His
own.  His true people are beyond Him here.  The disciple is above his
Master here.  The Master had His own cross, and it was a sufficient
cross; but we can challenge Him to come down and look and say if He ever
saw a cross like our cross.  He was made a curse.  He was hanged on the
tree.  He bore our sins in His own body on the tree.  But his people are
beyond Him in the real agony and crucifixion of sin.  For He never in
Gethsemane or on Calvary either cried as Paul once cried, and as you and
I cry every day--To will is present with me!  But the good that I would I
do not!  And, oh! the body of this death!

6.  Now, if any total stranger to all that shall ask me: What good there
is in all that? and, Why I so labour in such a world of unaccustomed and
unpleasant things as that?  I have many answers to his censure.  For
example, and first, I labour and will continue to labour more and more in
this world of things, and less and less in any other world, because here
we begin to see things as they are--the deepest things of God and of man,
that is.  Also, because I have the precept, and the example, and the
experience of God's greatest and best saints before me here.  Because,
also, our full and true salvation begins here, goes on here, and ends
here.  Because, also, teaching these things and learning these things
will infallibly make us the humblest of men, the most contrite, the most
self-despising, the most prayerful, and the most patient, meek, and
loving of men.  And, students, I labour in this because this is science;
because this is the first in order and the most fruitful of all the
sciences, if not the noblest and the most glorious of all the sciences.
There is all that good for us in this subject of the will and the heart,
and whole worlds of good lie away out beyond this subject that eye hath
not seen nor ear heard.



CHAPTER VII--SELF-LOVE


   'This know, that men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
   boasters, proud, unthankful, without natural affection,
   truce-breakers, false accusers, traitors, heady, high-minded: from all
   such turn away.'--_Paul_.

'Pray, sir, said Academicus, tell me more plainly just what this self of
ours actually is.  Self, replied Theophilus, is hell, it is the devil, it
is darkness, pain, and disquiet.  It is the one and only enemy of Christ.
It is the great antichrist.  It is the scarlet whore, it is the fiery
dragon, it is the old serpent that is mentioned in the Revelation of St
John.  You rather terrify me than instruct me by this description, said
Academicus.  It is indeed a very frightful matter, returned Theophilus;
for it contains everything that man has to dread and to hate, to resist
and to avoid.  Yet be assured, my friend, that, careless and merry as
this world is, every man that is born into this world has all those
enemies to overcome within himself; and every man, till he is in the way
of regeneration, is more or less governed by those enemies.  No hell in
any remote place, no devil that is separate from you, no darkness or pain
that is not within you, no antichrist either at Rome or in England, no
furious beast, no fiery dragon, without you or apart from you, can do you
any real hurt.  It is your own hell, your own devil, your own beast, your
own antichrist, your own dragon that lives in your own heart's blood that
alone can hurt you.  Die to this self, to this inward nature, and then
all outward enemies are overcome.  Live to this self, and then, when this
life is out, all that is within you, and all that is without you, will be
nothing else but a mere seeing and feeling this hell, serpent, beast, and
fiery dragon.  But, said Theogenes, a third party who stood by, I would,
if I could, more perfectly understand the precise nature of self, or what
it is that makes it to be so full of evil and misery.  To whom Theophilus
turned and replied: Covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath are the four
elements of self.  And hence it is that the whole life of self can be
nothing else but a plague and torment of covetousness, envy, pride, and
wrath, all of which is precisely sinful nature, self, or hell.  Whilst
man lives, indeed, among the vanities of time, his covetousness, his
envy, his pride, and his wrath, may be in a tolerable state, and may help
him to a mixture of peace and trouble; they may have their gratifications
as well as their torments.  But when death has put an end to the vanity
of all earthly cheats, the soul that is not born again of the
supernatural Word and Spirit of God must find itself unavoidably devoured
by itself, shut up in its own insatiable, unchangeable, self-tormenting
covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath.  O Theogenes! that I had power from
God to take those dreadful scales off men's eyes that hinder them from
seeing and feeling the infinite importance of this most certain truth!
God give a blessing, Theophilus, to your good prayer.  And then let me
tell you that you have quite satisfied my question about the nature of
self.  I shall never forget it, nor can I ever possibly after this have
any doubt about the truth of it.'

1.  'All my theology,' said an old friend of mine to me not long ago--'all
my theology is out of Thomas Goodwin to the Ephesians.'  Well, I find
Thomas Goodwin saying in that great book that self is the very
quintessence of original sin; and, again, he says, study self-love for a
thousand years and it is the top and the bottom of original sin; self is
the sin that dwelleth in us and that doth most easily beset us.  Now,
that is just what Academicus and Theophilus and Theogenes have been
saying to us in their own powerful way in their incomparable dialogue.
All sin and all misery; all covetousness, envy, pride, and wrath,--trace
it all back to its roots, travel it all up to its source, and, as sure as
you do that, self and self-love are that source, that root, and that
black bottom.  I do not forget that Butler has said in some stately pages
of his that self-love is morally good; that self-love is coincident with
the principle of virtue and part of the idea; and that it is a proper
motive for man.  But the deep bishop, in saying all that, is away back at
the creation-scheme and Eden-state of human nature.  He has not as yet
come down to human nature in its present state of overthrow,
dismemberment, and self-destruction.  But when he does condescend and
comes close to the mind and the heart of man as they now are in all men,
even Butler becomes as outspoken, and as eloquent, and as full of passion
and pathos as if he were an evangelical Puritan.  Self-love, Butler
startles his sober-minded reader as he bursts out--self-love rends and
distorts the mind of man!  Now, you are a man.  Well, then, do you feel
and confess that rending and distorting to have taken place in you?
Butler is a philosopher, and Goodwin is a preacher, but you are more: you
are a man.  You are the owner of a human heart, and you can say whether
or no it is a rent and a distorted heart.  Is your mind warped and
wrenched by self-love, and is your heart rent and torn by the same wicked
hands?  Do you really feel that it needs nothing more to take you back
again to paradise but that your heart be delivered from self-love?  Do
you now understand that the foundations of heaven itself must be laid in
a heart healed and cleansed and delivered from self-love?  If you do,
then your knowledge of your own heart has set you abreast of the greatest
of philosophers and theologians and preachers.  Nay, before multitudes of
men who are called such.  It is my meditation all the day, you say.  I
have more understanding now than all my teachers; for Thy testimonies are
my meditation.  I understand more than the ancients; because now I keep
Thy precepts.

2.  'Self-love has made us all malicious,' says John Calvin.  We are
Calvinists, were we to call any man master.  But we are to call no man
master, and least of all in the matters of the heart.  Every man must be
his own philosopher, his own moralist, and his own theologian in the
matters of the heart.  He who has a heart in his bosom and an eye in his
head can need no Calvin, no Butler, no Goodwin, and no Law to tell him
what goes on in his own heart.  And, on the other hand, his own heart
will soon tell him whether or no Calvin, and Butler, and Goodwin, and Law
know anything about those matters on which some men would set them up as
our masters.  Well, come away all of you who own a human heart.  Come and
say whether or no your heart, and the self-love of which it is full, have
made you a malicious man.  I do not ask if you are always and to
everybody full of maliciousness.  No; I know quite well that you are
sometimes as sweet as honey and as soft as butter.  For, has not even
Theophilus said that whilst a man still lives among the vanities of time,
his covetousness, his envy, his pride, and his wrath may be in a
tolerable state, and may help him to a mixture of peace and trouble;
these vices may have their gratifications as well as their torments.  No;
I do not trifle with you and with this serious matter so as to ask if you
are full of malice at all times and to all men.  No.  For, let a man be
fortunate enough to be on your side; let him pass over to your party; let
him become profitable to you; let him be clever enough and mean enough to
praise and to flatter you up to the top of your appetite for praise and
flattery, and, no doubt, you will love that man.  Or, if that is not
exactly love, at least it is no longer hate.  But let that man
unfortunately be led to leave your party; let him cease being profitable
to you; let him weary of flattering you with his praise; let him forget
you, neglect you, despise you, and go against you, and then look at your
own heart.  Do you care now to know what malice is?  Well, that is malice
that distorts and rends your heart as often as you meet that man on the
street or even pass by his door.  That is malice that dances in your eyes
when you see his name in print.  That is malice with which you always
break out when his name is mentioned in conversation.  That is malice
that heats your heart when you suddenly recollect him in the multitude of
your thoughts within you.  And you are in good company all the time.  'We,
ourselves,' says Paul to Titus, 'we also at one time lived in malice and
in envy.  We were hateful and we hated one another.'  'Hateful,' Goodwin
goes on in his great book, 'every man is to another man more or less; he
is hated of another and he hateth another more or less; and if his nature
were let out to the full, there is that in him, "every man is against
every man," as is said of Ishmael.  _Homo homini lupus_,' adds our brave
preacher.  And Abbe Grou speaks out with the same challenge from the
opposite church pole, and says: 'Yes; self-love makes us touchy, ready to
take offence, ill-tempered, suspicious, severe, exacting, easily
offended; it keeps alive in our hearts a certain malignity, a secret joy
at the mortifications which befall our neighbour; it nourishes our
readiness to criticise, our dislike at certain persons, our ill-feeling,
our bitterness, and a thousand other things prejudicial to charity.'

3.  'Myself is my own worst enemy,' says Abbe Grou.  That is to say, we
may have enemies who hate us more than we hate ourselves, and enemies who
would hurt us, if they could, as much as we hurt ourselves; but the
Abbe's point is that they cannot.  And he is right.  No man has ever hurt
me as I have hurt myself.  There are men who hate me so much that they
would poison my life of all its peace and happiness if they could.  But
they cannot.  They cannot; but let them not be cast down on that account,
for there is one who can do, and who will do as long as he lives, what
they cannot do.  A man's foes, to be called foes, are in his own house:
they are in his own heart.  Let our enemies attend to their own peace and
happiness, and our self-love will do all, and more than all, that they
would fain do.  At the most, they and their ill-will can only give
occasion to our self-love; but it is our self-love that seizes upon the
occasion, and through it rends and distorts our own hearts.  And were our
hearts only pure of self-love, were our hearts only clothed with meekness
and humility, we could laugh at all the ill-will of our enemies as
leviathan laughs at the shaking of a spear.  'Know thou,' says A Kempis
to his son, 'that the love of thyself doth do thee more hurt than
anything in the whole world.'  Yes; but we shall never know that by
merely reading _The Imitation_.  We must read ourselves.  We must study,
as we study nothing else, our own rent and distorted hearts.  Our own
hearts must be our daily discovery.  We must watch the wounds our hearts
take every day; and we must give all our powers of mind to tracing all
our wounds back to their true causes.  We must say: 'that sore blow came
on my mind and on my heart from such and such a quarter, from such and
such a hand, from such and such a weapon; but this pain, this rankling,
poisoned, and ever-festering wound, this sleepless, gnawing, cancerous
sore, comes from the covetousness, the pride, the envy, and the wrath of
my own heart.'  When we begin to say that, we shall then begin to
understand and to love Thomas; we shall sit daily at his feet and shall
be numbered among his sons.

4.  And this suffering at our own hands goes on till at last the tables
are completely turned against self-love, and till what was once to us the
dearest thing in the whole world becomes, as Pascal says, the most
hateful.  We begin life by hating the men, and the things, who hurt us.
We hate the men who oppose us and hinder us; the men who speak, and
write, and act, and go in any way against us.  We bitterly hate all who
humble us, despise us, trample upon us, and in any way ill-use us.  But
afterwards, when we have become men, men in experience of this life, and,
especially, of ourselves in this life; after we gain some real insight
and attain to some real skill in the life of the heart, we come round to
forgive those we once hated.  We have come now to see why they did it.  We
see now exactly how much they hurt us after all, and how little.  And,
especially, we have come to see,--what at one time we could not have
believed,--that all our hurt, to be called hurt, has come to us from
ourselves.  And thus that great revolution of mind and that great
revulsion of feeling and of passion has taken place, after which we are
left with no one henceforth to hate, to be called hating, but ourselves.
We may still continue to avoid our enemies, and we may do that too long
and too much; we may continue to fear them and be on the watch against
them far too much; but to deliberately hate them is henceforth
impossible.  All our hatred,--all our deliberate, steady, rooted, active
hatred,--is now at ourselves; at ourselves, that is, so far and so long
as we remain under the malignant and hateful dominion of self-love.  When
Butler gets our self-love restored to reasonableness, and made coincident
with virtue and part of the idea; when our self-love becomes uniformly
coincident with the principle of obedience to God's commands, then we
shall love ourselves as our neighbour, and our neighbour as ourselves,
and both in God.  But, till then, there is nothing and no one on earth or
in hell so hateful to us as ourselves and our own hateful hearts.  And if
in that we are treading the winepress alone as far as our fellow-men are
concerned, all the more we have Him with us in all our agony who wept
over the heart of man because He knew what was in it, and what must
always come out of it.  Evil thoughts, He said, and fornications, and
murders, and thefts, and covetousness, and wickedness, and deceit, and an
evil eye, and pride, and folly, and what not.  And Paul has the mind of
Christ with him in the text.  I do not need to repeat again the hateful
words.  Now, what do you say? was Pascal beyond the truth, was he deeper
than the truth or more deadly than the truth when he said with a stab
that self is hateful?  I think not.

5.  'Oh that I were free, then, of myself,' wrote Samuel Rutherford from
Aberdeen in 1637 to John Ferguson of Ochiltree.  'What need we all have
to be ransomed and redeemed from that master-tyrant, that cruel and
lawless lord, ourself!  Even when I am most out of myself, and am best
serving Christ, I have a squint eye on myself.'  And to the Laird of
Cally in the same year and from the same place: 'Myself is the master
idol we all bow down to.  Every man blameth the devil for his sins, but
the house devil of every man that eateth with him and lieth in his bosom
is himself.  Oh blessed are they who can deny themselves!'  And to the
Irish ministers the year after: 'Except men martyr and slay the body of
sin in sanctified self-denial, they shall never be Christ's.  Oh, if I
could but be master of myself, my own mind, my own will, my own credit,
my own love, how blessed were I!  But alas!  I shall die only minting and
aiming at being a Christian.'



CHAPTER VIII--OLD MR. PREJUDICE, THE KEEPER OF EAR-GATE, WITH HIS SIXTY
DEAF MEN UNDER HIM


   'Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the
   waters of Israel?'--_Naaman_.

   'Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?'--_Nathanael_.

   ' . . observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by
   partiality.'--_Paul_.

Old Mr. Prejudice was well known in the wars of Mansoul as an angry,
unhappy, and ill-conditioned old churl.  Old Mr. Prejudice was placed by
Diabolus, his master, as keeper of the ward at the post of Ear-gate, and
for that fatal service he had sixty completely deaf men put under him as
his company.  Men eminently advantageous for that fatal service.
Eminently advantageous,--inasmuch as it mattered not one atom to them
what was spoken in their ear either by God or by man.

1.  Now, to begin with, this churlish old man had already earned for
himself a very evil name.  For what name could well be more full of evil
memories and of evil omens than just this name of Prejudice?  Just
consider what prejudice is.  Prejudice, when we stop over it and take it
to pieces and look well at it,--prejudice is so bad and so abominable
that you would not believe it could be so bad till you had looked at it
and at how it acts in your own case.  For prejudice gives judgment on
your case and gives orders for your execution before your defence has
been heard, before your witnesses have been called, before your summons
has been served, ay, and even before your indictment has been drawn out.
What a scandal and what an uproar a malfeasance of justice like that
would cause if it were to take place in any of our courts of law!  Only,
the thing is impossible; you cannot even imagine it.  We shall have Magna
Charta up before us in the course of these lectures.  Well, ever since
Magna Charta was extorted from King John, such a scandal as I have
supposed has been impossible either in England or in Scotland.  And that
such cases should still be possible in Russia and in Turkey places those
two old despotisms outside the pale of the civilised world.  And yet,
loudly as we all denounce the Czar and the Sultan, eloquently as we boast
over Magna Charta, Habeas Corpus, and what not, every day you and I are
doing what would cost an English king his crown, and an English judge his
head.  We all do it every day, and it never enters one mind out of a
hundred that we are trampling down truth, and righteousness, and fair-
play, and brotherly love.  We do not know what a diabolical wickedness we
are perpetrating every day.  The best men among us are guilty of that
iniquity every day, and they never confess it to themselves; no one ever
accuses them of it; and they go down to death and judgment unsuspicious
of the discovery that they will soon make there.  You would not steal a
stick or a straw that belonged to me; but you steal from me every day
what all your gold and mine can never redeem; you murder me every day in
my best and my noblest life.  You me, and I you.

2.  Old Mr. Prejudice.  Now, there is a golden passage in Jonathan
Edwards's _Diary_ that all old men should lay well to heart and
conscience.  'I observe,' Edwards enters, 'that old men seldom have any
advantage of new discoveries, because these discoveries are beside a way
of thinking they have been long used to.  Resolved, therefore, that, if
ever I live to years, I will be impartial to hear the reasons of all
pretended discoveries, and receive them, if rational, how long soever I
have been used to another way of thinking.  I am too dogmatical; I have
too much of egotism; my disposition is always to be telling of my dislike
and my scorn.'  What a fine, fresh, fruitful, progressive, and peaceful
world we should soon have if all our old and all our fast-ageing men
would enter that extract into their diary!  How the young would then love
and honour and lean upon the old; and how all the fathers would always
abide young and full of youthful life like their children!  Then the
righteous should flourish like the palm-tree; he should grow like a cedar
in Lebanon.  They that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish
in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age;
they shall be fat and flourishing.  What a free scope would then be given
to all God's unfolding providences, and what a warm welcome to all His
advancing truths!  What sore and spreading wounds would then be salved,
what health and what vigour would fill all the body political, as well as
all the body mystical!  May the Lord turn the heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest the earth
be smitten with a curse!

3.  Mr. Prejudice was an old man; and this also has been handed down
about him, that he was almost always angry.  And if you keep your eyes
open you will soon see how true to the life that feature of old Mr.
Prejudice still is.  In every conversation, discussion, debate,
correspondence, the angry man is invariably the prejudiced man; and,
according to the age and the depth, the rootedness and the intensity of
his prejudices, so is the ferocity and the savagery of his anger.  He has
already settled this case that you are irritating and wronging him so
much by your still insisting on bringing up.  It is a reproach to his
understanding for you to think that there is anything to be said in that
matter that he has not long ago heard said and fully answered.  Has he
not denounced that bad man and that bad cause for years?  You insult me,
sir, by again opening up that matter in my presence.  He will have none
of you or of your arguments either.  You are as bad yourself as that bad
man is whose advocate you are.  We all know men whose hearts are full of
coals of juniper, burning coals of hate and rage, just by reason of their
ferocious prejudices.  Hate is too feeble a word for their gnashing rage
against this man and that cause, this movement and that institution.
There is an absolutely murderous light in their eye as they work
themselves up against the men and the things they hate.  Charity rejoices
not in iniquity; but you will see otherwise Christian and charitable men
so jockeyed by the devil that they actually rejoice in iniquity and do
not know what they are doing, or who it is that is egging them on to do
it.  You will see otherwise and at other times good men so full of the
rage and madness of prejudice and partiality that they will storm at
every report of goodness and truth and prosperity in the man, or in the
cause, or in the church, or in the party, they are so demented against.
Jockey is not the word.  There is the last triumph of pure devilry in the
way that the prince of the devils turns old Prejudice's very best
things--his love of his fathers, his love of the past, his love of order,
his love of loyalty, his love of the old paths, and his very truest and
best religion itself--into so much fat fuel for the fires of hate and
rage that are consuming his proud heart to red-hot ashes.  If the light
that is in us be darkness, how great is that darkness; and if the life
that is in us be death, how deadly is that death!

4.  Old, angry, and ill-conditioned.  Ill-conditioned is an old-fashioned
word almost gone out of date.  But, all the same, it is a very
expressive, and to us to-night a quite indispensable word.  An
ill-conditioned man is a man of an in-bred, cherished, and confirmed ill-
nature.  His heart, which was a sufficiently bad heart to begin with, is
now so exercised in evil and so accustomed to evil, that,--how can he be
born again when he is so old and so ill-natured?  All the qualities, all
the passions, all the emotions of his heart are out of joint; their bent
is bad; they run out naturally to mischief.  Now, what could possibly be
more ill-conditioned than to judge and sentence, denounce and execute a
man before you have heard his case?  What could be more ill-conditioned
than positively to be afraid lest you should be led to forgive, and
redress, and love, and act with another man?  To be determined not to
hear one word that you can help in his defence, in his favour, and in his
praise?  Could a human heart be in a worse state on this side hell itself
than that?  Nay, that is hell itself in your evil heart already.  Let
prejudice and partiality have their full scope among the wicked passions
of your ill-conditioned heart, and lo! the kingdom of darkness is already
within you.  Not, lo, here! or, lo, there! but within you.  Look to
yourselves, says John to us all, full as we all are of our own
ill-conditions.  Look to yourselves.  But we have no eyes left with which
to see ourselves; we look so much at the faults and the blames of our
neighbour.  'Publius goes to church sometimes, and reads the Scriptures;
but he knows not what he reads or prays, his head is so full of politics.
He is so angry at kings and ministers of state that he has no time nor
disposition to call himself to account.  He has the history of all
parliaments, elections, prosecutions, and impeachments by heart, and he
dies with little or no religion, through a constant fear of Popery.'
Poor, old, ill-conditioned Publius!

5.  And, then, his sixty deaf men under old, angry, ill-conditioned
Prejudice.  We read of engines of sixty-horse power.  And here is a man
with the power of resisting and shutting out the truth equal to that of
sixty men like himself.  We all know such men; we would as soon think of
speaking to those iron pillars about a change of mind as we would to
them.  If you preach to their prejudices and their prepossessions and
their partialities, they are all ears to hear you, and all tongues to
trumpet your praise.  But do not expect them to sit still with ordinary
decency under what they are so prejudiced against; do not expect them to
read a book or buy a passing paper on the other side.  Sixty deaf men
hold their ears; sixty ill-conditioned men hold their hearts.  Habit with
them is all the test of truth; it must be right, they've done it from
their youth.  And thus they go on to the end of their term of life, full
of their own fixed ideas, with their eyes full of beams and jaundices and
darkness and death.  Some people think that we take up too much of our
time with newspapers in our day, and that, if things go on as they are
going, we shall soon have neither time nor taste for anything else but
half a dozen papers a day.  But all that depends on the conditions with
which we read.  If we would read as Jonathan Edwards read the weekly news-
letters of his day; if we read all our papers to see if the kingdom of
God was coming in reply to our prayer; if we read, observing all things,
like Timothy, without prejudice or partiality, then I know no better
reading for an ill-conditioned heart begun to look to itself than just a
good, out-and-out party newspaper.  And if it is a church paper all the
better for your purpose.  If you read with your fingers in your ears; if
you read with a beam in your eye, you had better confine yourself in your
reading; if you feel that your prejudices are inflamed and your
partiality is intensified, then take care what paper you take in.  But if
you read all you read for the love of the truth, for justice, for fair-
play, and for brotherly love, and all that in yourself; if you read all
the time with your eyes on your own ill-conditioned heart, then, as James
says, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations.  Take up
your political and ecclesiastical paper every morning, saying to
yourself, Go to, O my heart, and get thy daily lesson.  Go to, and enter
thy cleansing and refining furnace.  Go to, and come well out of thy
daily temptation.--A nobler school you will not find anywhere for a
prejudiced, partial, angry, and ill-conditioned heart than just the party
journals of the day.  For the abating of prejudice; for seeing the
odiousness of partiality, and for putting on every day a fair, open,
catholic, Christian mind, commend me to the public life and the public
journals of our living day.  And it is not that this man may be up and
that man down; this cause victorious and that cause defeated; this truth
vindicated and that untruth defeated, that public life rolls on and that
its revolutions are reported to us.  Our own minds and our own hearts are
the final cause, the ultimate drift, and the far-off end and aim of it
all.  We are not made for party and for the partialities and prosperities
of party; party and all its passions and all its successes and all its
defeats are made, and are permitted to be made for us; for our
opportunity of purging ourselves free of all our ill-conditions, of all
our prejudices, of all our partialities, and of all the sin and misery
that come to us of all these things.

6.  'It is the work of a philosopher,' says Addison in one of his best
_Spectators_, 'to be every day subduing his passions and laying aside his
prejudices.'  We are not philosophers, but we shall be enrolled in the
foremost ranks of philosophy if we imitate such philosophers in their
daily work, as we must do and shall do.  Well, are we begun to do it?  Are
we engaged in that work of theirs and ours every day?  Is God our witness
and our judge that we are?  Are we so engaged upon that inward work, and
so succeeding in it, that we can read our most prejudiced newspaper with
the same mind and spirit, with the same profit and progress, with which
we read our Bible?  A good man, a humble man, a man acutely sensible of
his ill-conditions, will look on every day as lost or won according as he
has lost or won in this inward war.  If his partialities are dropping off
his mind; if his prejudices are melting; if he can read books and papers
with pleasure and instruction that once filled him with dark passions and
angry outbursts; if his Calvinism lets him read Thomas A Kempis and
Jeremy Taylor and William Law; if his High-Churchism lets him delight to
worship God in an Independent or a Presbyterian church; if his
Free-Churchism permits him to see the Establishment reviving, and his
State-Churchism admits that the Free Churches have more to say to him
than he had at one time thought; if his Toryism lets him take in a
Radical paper, and his Radicalism a Unionist paper--then let him thank
God, for God is in all that though he knew it not.  And when he counts up
his incalculable benefits at each return of the Lord's table, let him
count up as not the least of them an open mind and a well-conditioned
heart, an unprejudiced mind, and an impartial heart.

7.  And now, to conclude: Take old, angry, ill-conditioned Prejudice, his
daily prayer: 'My Adorable God and Creator!  Thy Holy Church is by the
wickedness of men divided into various communions, all hating,
condemning, and endeavouring to destroy one another.  I made none of
these divisions, nor am I any longer a defender of them.  I wish
everything removed out of every communion that hinders the Common Unity.
The wranglings and disputings of whole churches and nations have so
confounded all things that I have no ability to make a true and just
judgment of the matters between them.  If I knew that any one of these
communions was alone acceptable to Thee, I would do or suffer anything to
make myself a member of it.  For, my Good God, I desire nothing so much
as to know and to love Thee, and to worship Thee in the most acceptable
manner.  And as I humbly presume that Thou wouldst not suffer Thy Church
to be thus universally divided, if no divided portion could offer any
worship acceptable unto Thee; and as I have no knowledge of what is
absolutely best in these divided parts, nor any ability to put an end to
them; so I fully trust in Thy goodness, that Thou wilt not suffer these
divisions to separate me from Thy mercy in Christ Jesus; and that, if
there be any better ways of serving Thee than those I already enjoy, Thou
wilt, according to Thine infinite mercy, lead me into them, O God of my
peace and my love.'  After this manner old, angry, ill-conditioned
Prejudice prayed every day till he died, a little child, in charity with
all men, and in acceptance with Almighty God.



CHAPTER IX--CAPTAIN ANYTHING


   'I am made all things to all men . . . I please all men in all
   things.'--_Paul_

Captain Anything came originally from the ancient town of Fair-speech.

Fair-speech had many royal bounties and many special privileges bestowed
upon it, and Captain Anything and his family had come to many titles and
to great riches in that ancient, loyal, and honourable borough.  My Lord
Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech (from whose
ancestors that town first took its name), as also such well-known
commoners as Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facing-both-ways, and Mr. Two-tongues
were all sprung with Captain Anything from the same ancient and
long-established ancestry.  As to his religion, from a child young
Anything had sat under the parson of the parish, the same Reverend Two-
tongues as has been mentioned above.  And our budding soldier followed
the example of his minister in that he never strove too long against wind
or tide, or was ever to be seen on the same side of the street with
Religion when she was banished from court or had lost her silver
slippers.  The crest of the Anythings was a delicately poised weather-
cock; and the motto engraved around the gyrating bird ran thus: 'Our
judgment always jumps according to the occasion.'  As a military man,
Captain Anything is described in military books as a proper man, and a
man of courage and skill--to appearance.  He and his company under him
were a sort of Swiss guard in Mansoul.  They held themselves open and
ready for any master.  They lived not so much by religion or by loyalty
as by the fates of worldly fortune.  In his secret despatches Diabolus
was wont to address Captain Anything as My Darling; and be sure you
recruit your Switzers well, Diabolus would say; but when the real stress
of the war came, even Diabolus cast Captain Anything off.  And thus it
came about that when both sides were against this despised creature he
had to throw down his arms and flee into a safe skulking place for his
life.

1.  In that half-papist, half-atheistic country called France there is a
class of politicians known by the name of Opportunists.  They are a kind
of public men that, we are thankful to say, are not known in Protestant
and Evangelical England, but they may be pictured out and described to
you in this homely way: An Opportunist stands well out of the sparks of
the fire, and well in behind the stone wall, till the fanatics for
liberty, equality, and fraternity have snatched the chestnuts out of the
fire, and then the Opportunist steps out from his safe place and blandly
divides the well-roasted tid-bits among his family and his friends.  As
long as there is any jeopardy, the Jacobins are denounced and held up to
opprobrium; but when the jeopardy and the risk are well past, the sober-
minded, cautious, conservative, and responsible statesmen walk off with
the portfolios of place and privilege and pay under their honest arms.
But these are the unprincipled papists and infidels of a mushroom
republic; and, thank God, such spurious patriotism, and such sham and
selfish statesmanship, have not yet shown their miserable heads among
faithful, fearless, straightforward, and uncalculating Englishmen.  At
the same time, if ever that continental vice should attack our national
character, we have two well-known essays in our ethical and casuistical
literature that may with perfect safety be pitted against anything that
either France or Italy has produced.  Even if they are but a master's
irony, let all ambitious men keep _Of Cunning_ and _Of Wisdom for a Man's
Self_ under their pillow.  Let all young men who would toady a great man;
let all young ministers who would tune their pulpit to king, or court, or
society; let all tradesmen and merchants who prefer their profits to
their principles--if they have literature enough, let them soak their
honest minds in our great Chancellor's sage counsels; and he who promoted
Anything and dubbed him his Darling, he will, no doubt, publish both a
post and a title on his birthday for you also.

2.  'What religion is he of?' asks Dean Swift.  'He is an Anythingarian,'
is the answer, 'for he makes his self-interest the sole standard of his
life and doctrine.'  And Archbishop Leighton, a very different churchman
from the bitter author of the _Polite Conversations_, is equally
contemptuous toward the self-seeker in divine things.  'Your boasted
peaceableness often proceeds from a superficial temper; and, not seldom,
from a supercilious disdain of whatever has no marketable use or value,
and from your utter indifference to true religion.  Toleration is an herb
of spontaneous growth in the soil of indifference.  Much of our union of
minds proceeds from want of knowledge and from want of affection to
religion.  Many who boast of their church conformity, and that no one
hears of their noise, may thank the ignorance of their minds for that
kind of quietness.'  But by far the most powerful assault that ever was
made upon lukewarmness in religion and upon self-seeking in the Church
was delivered by Dante in the tremendous third canto of his _Inferno_:--

         Various tongues,
   Horrible languages, outcries of woe,
   Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse,
   With hands together smote that swelled the sounds,
   Made up a tumult that for ever whirls
   Round through that air with solid darkness stain'd,
   Like to the sand that in the whirlwind flies.
   I then, with error yet encompass'd, cried,
   'O master!  What is this I hear?  What race
   Are these, who seem so overcome with woe?'
   He then to me: 'This miserable fate
   Suffer the wretched souls of those who lived
   Without or praise or blame, with that ill band
   Of angels mixed, who nor rebellious proved,
   Nor yet were true to God, but for themselves
   Were only.  Mercy and Justice scorn them both.
   Speak not of them, but look and pass them by.'
   Forthwith, I understood for certain this the tribe
   Of those ill spirits both to God displeasing
   And to His foes.  Those wretches who ne'er lived,
   Went on in nakedness, and sorely stung
   By wasps and hornets, which bedewed their cheeks
   With blood, that mix'd with tears dropp'd to their feet,
   And by disgustful worms was gathered there.

3.  Now, we must all lay it continually and with uttermost humiliation to
heart that we all have Captain Anything's opportunism, his self-interest,
his insincerity, his instability, and his secret deceitfulness in
ourselves.  That man knows little of himself who does not despise and
hate himself for his secret self-seeking even in the service of God.  For,
how the love of praise will seduce and corrupt this man, and the love of
gain that man!  How easy it is to flatter and adulate this man out of all
his former opinions and his deepest principles, and how an expected
advantage will make that other man forget now an old alliance and now a
deep antipathy!  How often the side we take even in the most momentous
matters is decided by the most unworthy motives and the most contemptible
considerations!  Unstable as water, Reuben shall not excel.  Double-minded
men, we, like Jacob's first-born, are unstable in all our ways.  We have
no anchor, or, what anchor we sometimes have soon slips.  We have no
fixed pole-star by which to steer our life.  Any will-o'-the-wisp of
pleasure, or advantage, or praise will run us on the rocks.  The
searchers of Mansoul, after long search, at last lighted on Anything, and
soon made an end of him.  Seek him out in your own soul also.  Be you
sure he is somewhere there.  He is skulking somewhere there.  And, having
found him, if you cannot on the spot make an end of him, keep your eye on
him, and never say that you are safe from him and his company as long as
you are in this soul-deceiving life.  And, that Anything will not be let
enter the gates of the city you are set on seeking, that will go largely
to make that sweet and clean and truthful city your very heaven to you.

4.  'I am made all things to all men, and I please all men in all
things.'  One would almost think that was Captain Anything himself, in a
frank, cynical, and self-censorious moment.  But if you will look it up
you will see that it was a very different man.  The words are the words
of Anything, but the heart behind the words is the heart of Paul.  And
this, again, teaches us that we should be like the Messiah in this also,
not to judge after the sight of our eyes, nor to reprove after the
hearing of our ears.  Miserable Anything! outcast alike of heaven and
hell!  But, O noble and blessed Apostle! the man, says Thomas Goodwin,
who shall be found seated next to Jesus Christ Himself in the kingdom of
God.  Happy Paul: happy even on this earth, since he could say, and in
the measure he could say with truth and with sincerity, such
self-revelations as these: 'Unto the Jews I am become as a Jew that I
might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law,
that I might gain them that are under the law.  To them that are without
law, as without law, that I might gain them that are without law.  To the
weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things
to all men, that I might by all means save some.  Giving none offence,
neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.  Even
as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the
profit of many, that they may be saved.'  Noble words, and inspiring to
read.  Yes: but look within, and think what Paul must have passed
through; think what he must have been put through before he,--a man of
like selfish passions as we are, a man of like selfish passions as
Anything was,--could say all that.  Let his crosses and his thorns; his
raptures up to the third heaven, and his body of death that he bore about
with him all his days; let his magnificent spiritual gifts, and his still
more magnificent spiritual graces tell how they all worked together to
make the chief of sinners out of the blameless Pharisee, and, at the same
time, Christ's own chosen vessel and the apostle of all the churches.
Boasting about his patron apostle, St. Augustine says: 'Far be it from so
great an apostle, a vessel elect of God, an organ of the Holy Ghost, to
be one man when he preached and another when he wrote; one man in private
and another in public.  He was made all things to all men, not by the
craft of a deceiver, but from the affection of a sympathiser, succouring
the diverse diseases of souls with the diverse emotions of compassion; to
the little ones dispensing the lesser doctrines, not false ones, but the
higher mysteries to the perfect--all of them, however, true, harmonious,
and divine.'  The exquisite irony of Socrates comes into my mind in this
connection, and will not be kept out of my mind.  By instinct as well as
by art Socrates mixed up the profoundest seriousness with the humorous
affectation of qualities of mind and even of character the exact opposite
of what all who loved him knew to be the real Socrates.  'Intellectually,'
says Dr. Thomson, 'the acutest man of his age, Socrates represents
himself in all companies as the dullest person present.  Morally the
purest, he affects to be the slave of passion and borrows the language
even of the lewd to describe a love and a good-will far too exalted for
the comprehension of his contemporaries.  This irony of his disarmed
ridicule by anticipating it; it allayed jealousy and propitiated envy;
and it possibly procured him admission into gay circles from which a more
solemn teacher would have been excluded.  But all the time it had for its
basis a real greatness of soul, a hearty and an unaffected disregard of
public opinion, a perfect disinterestedness, and an entire abnegation of
self.  He made himself a fool in order that fools by his folly might be
made wise; he humbled himself to the level of those among whom his work
lay that he might raise some few among them to his own level; he was all
things to all men, if by any means he might save some.  Till Alcibiades
ends the splendid eloge that Plato puts into his mouth with these words,
"All my master's vice and stupidity and worship of wealthy and great men
is counterfeit.  It is all but the Silenus-mask which conceals the
features of the god within; for if you remove the covering, how shall I
describe to you, my friends and boon companions, the excellence of the
beauty you will find within!  Whether any of you have seen Socrates in
his serious mood, when he has thrown aside the mask and disclosed the
divine features beneath it, is more than I know.  But I have seen them,
and I can tell you that they seemed to me glorious and marvellous, and,
truly, godlike in their beauty."'

Well, now, I gather out of all that this great lesson: that it is, to
begin with, a mere matter of temperament, or what William Law would call
a mere matter of complexion and sensibility, whether, to begin with, a
man is hard, and dry, and narrow, and stiff, and proud, and scornful, and
cruel; or again, whether he is soft and tender, broad and open, and full
of sympathy and of the milk of human kindness.  At first, and to begin
with, there is neither praise nor blame as yet in the matter.  A man is
hard just as a stone is hard; it is his nature.  Or he is soft as clay is
soft; it is again his nature.  But, inheriting such a nature, and his
inherited nature beginning to appear, then is the time when the true man
really begins to be made.  The bad man dwells in contentment, and,
indeed, by preference, at home in his own hard, proud, scornful,
resentful heart; or, again, in his facile, fawning, tide-waiting, time-
serving heart; and thus he chooses, accepts, and prefers his evil fate,
and never seeks the help either of God or man to enable him to rise above
it.  Paul was not, when we meet him first, the sweet, humble, affable,
placable, makeable man that he made himself and came to be after a
lifetime of gospel-preaching and of adorning the gospel he preached.  And
all the assistances and all the opportunities that came to Paul are still
coming to you and to me; till, whether naturally pliable and affectionate
or the opposite, we at last shall come to the temperament, the
complexion, and the exquisite sensibility of Paul himself.  Are you,
then, a hard, stiff, severe, censorious, proud, angry, scornful man?  Or
are you a too-easy, too-facile man-pleaser and self-seeker, being all
things to all men that you may make use of all men?  Are you?  Then say
so.  Confess it to be so.  Admit that you have found yourself out.  And
reflect every day what you have got to do in life.  Consider what a new
birth you need and must have.  Number your days that are left you in
which to make you a new heart, and a new nature, and a new character.
Consider well how you are to set about that divine work.  You have a
minister, and your minister is called a divine because by courtesy he is
supposed to understand that divine work, and to be engaged on it night
and day in himself, and in season and out of season among his people.  He
will tell you how you are to make you a new heart.  Or, if he does not
and cannot do that; if he preaches about everything but that to a people
who will listen to anything but that, then your soul is not in his hands
but in your own.  You may not be able to choose your minister, but you
can choose what books you are to buy, or borrow, and read.  And if there
is not a minister within a hundred miles of you who knows his right hand
from his left, then there are surely some booksellers who will advise you
about the classical books of the soul till you can order them for
yourselves.  And thus, if it is your curse and your shame to be as
spongy, and soapy, and oily, and slippery as Anything himself; if you
choose your church and your reading with any originality, sense, and
insight, you need not fear but that you will be let live till you die an
honest, upright, honourable, fearless gentleman: no timid friend to
unfashionable truth, as you are to-night, but a man like Thomas Boston's
Ettrick elder, who lies waiting the last trump under a gravestone
engraven with this legend: Here lies a man who had a brow for every good
cause.  Only, if you would have that written and read on your headstone,
you have no time to lose.  If I were you I would not sit another Sabbath
under a minister whose preaching was not changing my nature, making my
heart new, and transforming my character; no, not though the Queen
herself sat in the same loft.  And I would leave the church even of my
fathers, and become anything as far as churches go, if I could get a
minister who held my face close and ever closer up to my own heart.  Nor
would I spend a shilling or an hour that I could help on any impertinent
book,--any book that did not powerfully help me in the one remaining
interest of my one remaining life: a new nature and a new heart.  No, not
I.  No, not I any more.



CHAPTER X--CLIP-PROMISE


   ' . . . the promise made of none effect.'--_Paul_

Toward the end of the thirteenth century Edward the First, the English
Justinian, brought a select colony of artists from Italy to England and
gave them a commission to execute their best coinage for the English
Mint.  Deft and skilful as those artists were, the work they turned out
was but rude and clumsy compared with some of the gold and silver and
copper coins of our day.  The Florentine artists took a sheet of gold or
of silver and divided the sheet up with great scissors, and then they
hammered the cut-out pieces as only a Florentine hammerman could hammer
them.  But, working with such tools, and working on such methods, those
goldsmiths and silversmiths, with all their art, found it impossible to
give an absolutely equal weight and worth to every piece of money that
they turned out.  For one thing, their cut and hammered coins had no
carved rims round their edges as all our gold and silver and even copper
coinage now has.  And, accordingly, the clever rogues of that day soon
discovered that it was far easier for them to take up a pair of shears
and to clip a sliver of silver off the rough rim of a shilling, or a
shaving of gold off a sovereign, than it was to take of their coats and
work a hard day's work.  Till to clip the coin of the realm soon became
one of the easiest and most profitable kinds of crime.  In the time of
Elizabeth a great improvement was made in the way of coining the public
money; but it was soon found that this had only made matters worse.  For
now, side by side with a pure and unimpaired and full-valued currency,
and mingled up everywhere with it, there was the old, clipped, debased,
and far too light gold and silver money; till troubles arose in
connection with the coinage and circulation of the country that can only
be told by Macaulay's extraordinarily graphic pen.  'It may well be
doubted,' Macaulay says, in the twenty-first chapter of his _History of
England_, 'whether all the misery which has been inflicted on the English
nation in a quarter of a century by bad Kings, bad Ministers, bad
Parliaments, and bad Judges was equal to the misery caused in a single
year by bad crowns and bad shillings.  Whether Whigs or Tories,
Protestants or Papists were uppermost, the grazier drove his beasts to
market, the grocer weighed out his currants, the draper measured out his
broadcloth, the hum of buyers and sellers was as loud as ever in the
towns; the cream overflowed the pails of Cheshire; the apple juice foamed
in the presses of Herefordshire; the piles of crockery glowed in the
furnaces of the Trent, and the barrows of coal rolled fast along the
timber railways of the Tyne.  But when the great instrument of exchange
became thoroughly deranged all trade and all industry were smitten as
with a palsy.  Nothing could be purchased without a dispute.  Over every
counter there was wrangling from morning to night.  The employer and his
workmen had a quarrel as regularly as Saturday night came round.  On a
fair day or a market day the clamours, the disputes, the reproaches, the
taunts, the curses, were incessant.  No merchant would contract to
deliver goods without making some stipulation about the quality of the
coin in which he was to be paid.  The price of the necessaries of life,
of shoes, of ale, of oatmeal, rose fast.  The bit of metal called a
shilling the labourer found would not go so far as sixpence.  One day
Tonson sends forty brass shillings to Dryden, to say nothing of clipped
money.  The great poet sends them all back and demands in their place
good guineas.  "I expect," he says, "good silver, not such as I had
formerly."  Meanwhile, at every session of the Old Bailey the most
terrible example of coiners and clippers was made.  Hurdles, with four,
five, six wretches convicted of counterfeiting or mutilating the money of
the realm, were dragged month after month up Holborn Hill.'  But I cannot
copy the whole chapter, wonderful as the writing is.  Suffice it to say
that before the clippers could be rooted out, and confidence restored
between buyer and seller, the greatest statesmen, the greatest
financiers, and the greatest philosophers were all at their wits' end.
Kings' speeches, cabinet councils, bills of Parliament, and showers of
pamphlets were all full in those days of the clipper and the coiner.  All
John Locke's great intellect came short of grappling successfully with
the terrible crisis the clipper of the coin had brought upon England.
Carry all that, then, over into the life of personal religion, after the
manner of our Lord's parables, and after the manner of the _Pilgrim's
Progress_ and the _Holy War_, and you will see what an able and
impressive use John Bunyan will make of the shears of the coin-clippers
of his day.  Macaulay has but made us ready to open and understand
Bunyan.  'After this, my Lord apprehended Clip-Promise.  Now, because he
was a notorious villain, for by his doings much of the king's coin was
abused, therefore he was made a public example.  He was arraigned and
judged to be set first in the pillory, then to be whipped by all the
children and servants in Mansoul, and then to be hanged till he was dead.
Some may wonder at the severity of this man's punishment, but those that
are honest traders in Mansoul they are sensible of the great abuse that
one clipper of promises in little time may do in the town of Mansoul;
and, truly, my judgment is that all those of his name and life should be
served out even as he.'

The grace of God is like a bullion mass of purest gold, and then Jesus
Christ is the great ingot of that gold, and then Moses, and David, and
Isaiah, and Hosea, and Paul, and Peter, and John are the inspired artists
who have commission to take both bullion and ingot, and out of them to
cut, and beat, and smelt, and shape, and stamp, and superscribe the
promises, and then to issue the promises to pass current in the market of
salvation like so many shekels, and pounds, and pence, and farthings, and
mites, as the case may be.  And it was just these royal coins, imaged and
superscribed so richly and so beautifully, that Clip-Promise so
mutilated, abused, and debased, till for doing so he was hanged by the
neck till he was dead.

1.  The very house of Israel herself, the very Mint-house, Tower Hill,
and Lombard Street of Israel herself, was full of false coiners and
clippers of the promises; as full as ever England was at her very worst.
Israel clipped her Messianic promises and lived upon the clippings
instead of upon the coin.  Her coming Christ, and His salvation already
begun, were the true spiritual currency of Old Testament times; while
round that central Image of her great promise there ran an outside rim of
lesser promises that all took their true and their only value from Him
whose image and superscription stood within.  But those besotted and
infatuated men of Israel, instead of entering into and living by the
great spiritual promises given to them in their Messiah, made lands, and
houses, and meat, and drink, all the Messiah they cared for.  Matthew
Henry says that when we go to the merchant to buy goods, he gives us the
paper and the pack-thread to the bargain.  Well, those children and fools
in Israel actually threw away the goods and hoarded and boasted over the
paper and the pack-thread.  Our old Scottish lawyers have made us
familiar with the distinction in the church between _spiritualia_ and
_temporalia_.  Well, the Jews let the _spiritualia_ go to those who cared
to take such things, while they held fast to the _temporalia_.  And all
that went on till His disciples had the effrontery to clip and coin under
our Lord's very eyes, and even to ask Him to hold the coin while they
sharpened their shears.  'O faithless and perverse generation!  How long
shall I be with you?  How long shall I suffer you?  Have I been so long
with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?  O fools, and slow of
heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  And beginning at
Moses and all the prophets He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the
things concerning Himself.'

2.  But those who live in glass houses must take care not to throw
stones.  And thus the greatest fool in Israel is safe from you and me.
For, like them, and just as if we had never read one word about them, we
bend our hearts and our children's hearts to things seen and temporal,
and then, after things seen and temporal have all cast us off, we begin
to ask if there is any solace or sweetness for a cast-off heart in things
unseen and eternal.  There are great gaps clipt out of our Bibles that
not God Himself can ever print or paste in again.  Look and see if half
the Book of Proverbs, for instance, with all its noble promises to a
godly youth, is not clipt clean out of your dismembered Bible.  That fine
leaf also, 'My son, give Me thine heart,' is clean gone out of the twenty-
third chapter of the Proverbs years and years ago.  As is the best part
of the noble Book of Daniel, and almost the whole of Second Timothy.
'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and meat and
drink, and wife and child shall be added unto you.'  Your suicidal shears
have cut that golden promise for ever out of your Sermon on the Mount.  So
much so that if any or all of these temporal mercies ever come to you,
they will come of pure and undeserved mercy, for the time has long passed
when you could plead any promise for them.  Still, there are two most
excellent uses left to which you can even yet put your mangled and
dismembered Bible.  You can make a splendid use of its gaps and of its
gashes, and of those waste places where great promises at one time stood.
You can make a grand use even of those gaps if you will descend into them
and draw out of them humiliation and repentance, compunction, contrition,
and resignation.  And this use also: When you are moved to take some man
who is still young into your confidence, ask him to let you see his Bible
and then let him see yours, and point out to him the rents and wounds and
wilderness places in yours.  And thus, by these two uses of a clipped-up
and half-empty Bible, you may make gains that shall yet set you above
those whose Bibles of promises are still as fresh as when they came from
God's own hand.  And Samson said, I will now put forth a riddle unto you:
Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth
sweetness.

3.  'Go out,' said the Lord of Mansoul, 'and apprehend Clip-Promise and
bring him before me.'  And they did so.  'Go down to Edinburgh to-night,
and go to the door of such and such a church, and, as he comes out arrest
Clip-the-Commandments, for he has heard My word all this day again but
will not do it.'  Where would you be by midnight if God rose up in anger
and swore at this moment that your disobedient time should be no longer?
You would be speechless before such a charge, for the shears are in your
pocket at this moment with which you have clipped to pieces this Sabbath-
day: shears red with the blood of the Fourth Commandment.  For, when did
you rise off your bed this resurrection morning?  And what did you do
when you did rise?  What has your reading and your conversation been this
whole Lord's day?  How full your heart would have been of faith and love
and holiness by this time of night had you not despised the Lord of the
Sabbath, and cast all His commandments and opportunities to you behind
your back?  What private exercise have you had all day with your Father
who sees in secret?  How often have you been on your knees, and where,
and how long, and for what, and for whom?  What work of mercy have you
done to-day, or determined to do to-morrow?  And so with all the divine
commandments: Mosaic and Christian, legal and evangelical.  Such as: A
tenth of all I have given to thee; a covenant with a wandering eye; a
mouth once speaking evil, is it now well watched? not one vessel only,
but all the vessels of thy body sanctified till every thought and
imagination is well under the obedience of Christ.  Lest His anger for
all that begin to burn to-night, make your bed with Eli and Samuel in His
sanctuary to-night, lest the avenger of the blood of the commandments
leap out on you in your sleep!

4.  The Old Serpent took with him the great shears of hell, and clipped
'Thou shalt surely die' out of the second chapter of Genesis.  And the
same enemy of mankind will clip all the terror of the Lord out of your
heart to-night again, if he can.  And he will do it in this way, if he
can.  He will have some one at the church door ready and waiting for you.
As soon as the blessing is pronounced, some one will take you by the arm
and will entertain you with the talk you love, or that you once loved,
till you will be ashamed to confess that there is any terror or turning
to God in your heart.  No!  Thou shalt not surely die, says the serpent
still.  Why, hast thou not trampled Sabbaths and sermons past counting
under thy feet?  What commandment, laid on body or soul, hast thou not
broken, and thou art still adding drunkenness to thirst, and God doth not
know!  'The woman said unto the serpent, We may not eat of it, neither
may we touch it, lest we die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye
shall not surely die.'

5.  You must all have heard of Clito, who used to say that he desired no
more time for rising and dressing and saying his prayers than about a
quarter of an hour.  Well, that was clipping the thing pretty close,
wasn't it?  At the same time it must be admitted that a good deal of
prayer may be got through in a quarter of an hour if you do not lose any
moment of it.  Especially in the first quarter of the day, if you are
expeditious enough to begin to pray before you even begin to dress.  And
prayer is really a very strange experience.  There are things about
prayer that no man has yet fully found out or told to any.  For one
thing, once well began it grows upon a man in a most extraordinary and
unheard-of way.  This same Clito for instance, some time after we find
him at his prayers before his eyes are open; and then he keeps all
morning making his bath, his soap, his towels, his brushes, and his
clothes all one long artifice of prayer.  And that till there is not a
single piece of his dressing-room furniture that is not ready to swear at
the last day that its master long before he died had become a man full of
secret prayer.  There is a fountain filled with blood! he exclaims, as he
throws himself into his bath; and Jeremiah second and twenty-second he
uses regularly to repeat to himself half a dozen times a day as he washes
the smoke and dust of the city off his hands and face.  And then
Revelation third and eighteenth till his toilet is completed.  Nay, this
same Clito has come to be such a devotee to that he had at one time been
so expeditious with, that I have seen him forget himself on the street
and think that his door was shut.  But there is really no use telling you
all that about Clito.  For, till you try closet-prayer for yourself, all
that God or man can say to you on that subject will be water spilt on the
ground.  All we can say is, Try it.  Begin it.  Some desperate day try
it.  Stop when you are on the way to the pond and try it.  Stop when you
are fastening up the rope and try it.  When the poison is moving in the
cup, stop, shut your door first.  Try God first.  See if He is still
waiting.  And, always after, when the steel shears of a too early, too
crowded, and far too exacting day are clipping you out of all time for
prayer, then what should you do?  What do you do when you simply cannot
get your proper fresh air and exercise everyday?  Do you not fall back on
the plasticity and pliability of nature and take your air and exercise in
large parcels?  You take a ride into the country two or three times a
week.  Or, two afternoons a week you have ten miles alone if you cannot
get a godly friend.  And then two or three times a year, if you can
afford it, you climb an Alp or a Grampian every day for a week or a
month; and, so gracious and so adaptable is human nature, that, what
others get daily, you get weekly, or monthly, or quarterly, or yearly.
And, though a soul is not to be too much presumed upon, Clito came to
tell his friends that his soul could on occasion take in prayer and
praise enough for a week in a single morning or afternoon, and, almost,
for a whole year in a good holiday.  As Christ Himself did when He said:
Come away apart into a desert place and rest a while; for there are so
many people coming and going here that we have no time so much as to eat.

6.  But I see I must clip off my last point with you, which was to tell
you what you already know only too well, and that is, what terrible
shears a bad conscience is armed with, and what havoc she makes at all
ages of a poor sinner's Bible.  But you can spare that head.  You can
preach on that text to yourselves far better than all your ministers.
Only, take home with you these two lines I have clipped out of Fraser of
Brea for you.  Nothing in man, he says to us, is to be a ground of
despair, since the whole ground of all our hope is in Christ alone.
Christ's relation is always to men as they are sinners and not as they
are righteous.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance.  'Tis with sinners, then, Christ has to do.  Nothing damns
but unbelief; and unbelief is just holding back from pressing God with
this promise, that Christ came to save sinners.  This is a faithful
saying, and worthy of all acceptation, and it is still to be found
standing in the most clipped-up Bible, that Christ Jesus came into the
world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.



CHAPTER XI--STIFF MR. LOTH-TO-STOOP


   'Thy neck is an iron sinew.'--_Jehovah to the house of Jacob_.

   'King Zedekiah humbled not himself, but stiffened his neck.'--_The
   Chronicles_.

   'He humbled himself.'--_Paul on our Lord_.

All John Bunyan's Characters, Situations, and Episodes are collected into
this house to-night.  Obstinate and Pliable are here; Passion and
Patience; Simple, Sloth, and Presumption; Madame Bubble and Mr. Worldly-
wiseman; Talkative and By-ends; Deaf Mr. Prejudice is here also, and,
sitting close beside him, stiff Mr. Loth-to-stoop; while good old Mr. Wet-
eyes and young Captain Self-denial are not wholly wanting.  It gives this
house an immense and an ever-green interest to me to see character after
character coming trooping in, Sabbath evening after Sabbath evening, each
man to see himself and his neighbour in John Bunyan's so truthful and so
fearless glass.  But it stabs me to the heart with a mortal stab to see
how few of us out of this weekly congregation are any better men after
all we come to see and to hear.  At the same time, such a constant
dropping will surely in time wear away the hardest rock.  Let that so
stiff old man, then, stiff old Mr. Loth-to-stoop, came forward and behold
his natural face in John Bunyan's glass again to-night.  'Lord, is it I?'
was a very good question, though put by a very bad man.  Let us, one and
all, then, put the traitor's question to ourselves to-night.  Am I stiff
old Loth-to-stoop?--let every man in this house say to himself all
through this service, and then at home when reviewing the day, and then
all to-morrow when to stoop will be so loathsome and so impossible to us
all.

1.  To begin, then, at the very bottom of this whole matter, take stiff
old Loth-to-stoop as a guilty sinner in the sight of God.  Let us take
this stiff old man in this dreadful character to begin with, because it
is in this deepest and most dreadful aspect of his nature and his
character that he is introduced to us in the _Holy War_.  And I shall
stand aside and let John Bunyan himself describe Loth-to-stoop in the
matter of his justification before God.  'That is a great stoop for a
sinner to have to take,' says our apostolic author in another classical
place, 'a too great stoop to have to suffer the total loss of all his own
righteousness, and, actually, to have to look to another for absolutely
everything of that kind.  That is no easy matter for any man to do.  I
assure you it stretches every vein in his heart before he will be brought
to yield to that.  What! for a man to deny, reject, abhor, and throw away
all his prayers, tears, alms, keeping of Sabbaths, hearing, reading, and
all the rest, and to admit both himself and them to be abominable and
accursed, and to be willing in the very midst of his sins to throw
himself wholly upon the righteousness and obedience of another man!  I
say to do that in deed and in truth is the biggest piece of the cross,
and therefore it is that Paul calls it a suffering.  "I have suffered the
loss of all things that I might win Christ, and be found in Him, not
having mine own righteousness."'  That is John Bunyan's characteristic
comment on stiff old Loth-to-stoop as a guilty sinner, with the offer of
a full forgiveness set before him.

2.  And then our so truthful and so fertile author goes on to give us
Loth-to-stoop as a half-saved sinner; a sinner, that is, trying to make
his own terms with God about his full salvation.  Through three most
powerful pages we see stiff old Loth-to-stoop engaged in beating down
God's unalterable terms of salvation, and in bidding for his full
salvation upon his own reduced and easy terms.  It was the tremendous
stoop of the Son of God from the throne of God to the cradle and the
carpenter's shop; and then, as if that were not enough, it was that other
tremendous stoop of His down to the Garden and the Cross,--it was these
two so tremendous stoops of Jesus Christ that made stiff old
Loth-to-stoop's salvation even possible.  But, with all that, his true
salvation was not possible without stoop after stoop of his own; stoop
after stoop which, if not so tremendous as those of Christ, were yet
tremendous enough, and too tremendous, for him.  Old Loth-to-stoop
carries on a long and a bold debate with Emmanuel in order to lessen the
stoop that Emmanuel demands of him; and your own life and mine, my
brethren, at their deepest and at their closest to our own heart, are
really at bottom, like Loth-to-stoop's life, one long roup of salvation,
in which God tries to get us up to His terms and in which we try to get
Him down to our terms.  His terms are, that we shall sell absolutely all
that we have for the salvation of our souls; and our terms are, salvation
or no salvation, to keep all that we have and to seek every day for more.
God absolutely demands that we shall stoop to the very dust every day,
till we become the poorest, the meanest, the most despicable, and the
most hopeless of men; whereas we meet that divine demand with the proud
reply--Is Thy servant a dog?  It was with this offended mind that stiff
old Loth-to-stoop at last left off from Emmanuel's presence; he would die
rather than come down to such degrading terms.  And as Loth-to-stoop went
away, Emmanuel looked after him, well remembering the terrible night when
He Himself was, not indeed like Loth-to-stoop, nor near like him, but
when His own last stoop was so deep that it made Him cry out, Father,
save Me from this hour! and again, If it be possible let this so
tremendous stoop pass from Me.  For a moment Emmanuel Himself was loth to
stoop, but only for a moment.  For He soon rose from off His face in a
bath of blood, saying, Not My will, but Thine be done!  When Thomas A
Kempis is negotiating with the Loth-to-stoops of his unevangelical day,
we hear him saying to them things like this: 'Jesus Christ was despised
of men, forsaken of His friends and lovers, and in the midst of slanders.
He was willing, under His Father's will, to suffer and to be despised,
and darest thou to complain of any man's usage of thee?  Christ, thy
Master, had enemies and back-biters, and dost thou expect to have all men
to be thy friends and benefactors?  Whence shall thy patience attain her
promised crown if no adversity befall thee?  Suffer thou with Jesus
Christ, and for His sake, if thou wouldst reign with Him.  Set thyself,
therefore, to bear manfully the cross of thy Lord, who, out of love, was
crucified for thee.  Know for certain that thou must lead a daily dying
life.  And the more that thou diest to thyself all that the more shalt
thou live unto God.'  With many such words as these did Thomas teach the
saints of his day to stoop to their daily cross; a daily cross then,
which has now been for long to him and to them an everlasting crown.

3.  And speaking of A Kempis, and having lately read some of his most
apposite chapters, such as that on the Holy Fathers and that on Obedience
and Subjection, leads me on to look at Loth-to-stoop when he enters the
sacred ministry, as he sometimes does.  When a half-converted,
half-subdued, half-saved sinner gets himself called to the sacred
ministry his office will either greatly hasten on his salvation, or else
it will greatly hinder and endanger it.  He will either stoop down every
day to deeper and ever deeper depths of humility, or he will tower up in
pride of office and in pride of heart past all hope of humility, and thus
of salvation.  The holy ministry is a great nursing-house of pride as we
see in a long line of popes, and prelates, and priests, and other lords
over God's heritage.  And our own Presbyterian polity, while it hands
down to us the simplicity, the unity, the brotherhood, and the humility
of the apostolic age, at the same time leaves plenty of temptation and
plenty of opportunity for the pride of the human heart.  Our preaching
and pastoral office, when it is aright laid to our hearts, will always
make us the meekest and the humblest of men, even when we carry the most
magnificent of messages.  But when our own hearts are not right the very
magnificence of our message, and the very authority of our Master, become
all so many subtle temptations to pride, pique, self-importance, and
lothness-to-stoop.  With so much still to learn, how slow we ministers
are to stoop to learn!  How still we stand, and even go back, when all
other men are going forward!  How few of us have made the noble
resolution of Jonathan Edwards: 'Resolved,' he wrote, 'that, as old men
have seldom any advantage of new discoveries because these are beside a
way of thinking they have been long used to: resolved, therefore, if ever
I live to years, that I shall be impartial to hear the reasons of all
pretended discoveries, and to receive them, if rational how long soever I
have been used to another way of thinking.'  Let all ministers, then,
young and old, resolve to stoop with Jonathan Edwards, who shines, in his
life and in his works, like the cherubim with knowledge, and burns like
the seraphim with love.

And then, when, not having so resolved, our thin vein of youthful
knowledge and experience has been worked to the rock; when grey hairs are
here and there upon us, how slow we are to stoop to that!  How unwilling
we are to let it light on our hearts that our time is past; that we are
no longer able to understand, or interest, or attract the young; and,
besides, that that is not all their blame, no, nor ours either, but
simply the order and method of Divine Providence.  How slow we are to see
that Divine Providence has other men standing ready to take up our work
if we would only humbly lay it down;--how loth we are to stoop to see all
that!  How unwilling we are to make up our minds, we old and ageing
ministers, and to humble our hearts to accept an assistant or to submit
to a colleague to stand alongside of us in our unaccomplished work!

4.  In public life also, as we call it, what disasters to the state, to
the services, and to society, are constantly caused by this same Loth-to-
stoop!  When he holds any public office; when he becomes the leader of a
party; when he is promoted to be an adviser of the Crown; when he is put
at the head of a fleet of ships, or of an army of men, what untold evils
does Loth-to-stoop bring both on himself and on the nation!  An old
statesman will have committed himself to some line of legislation or of
administration; a great captain will have committed himself to some
manoeuvre of a squadron or of a division, or to some plan of battle, and
some subordinate will have discovered the error his leader has made, and
will be bold to point it out to him.  But stiff old Loth-to-stoop has
taken his line and has passed his word.  His honour, as he holds it, is
committed to this announced line of action; and, if the Crown itself
should perish before his policy, he will not stoop to change it.  How
often you see that in great affairs as well as in small.  How seldom you
see a public man openly confessing that he has hitherto all along been
wrong, and that he has at last and by others been set right.  Not once in
a generation.  But even that once redeems public life; it ennobles public
life; and it saves the nation and the sovereign who possess such a true
patriot.  Consistency and courage, independence and dignity, are high-
sounding words; but openness of mind, teachableness, diffidence, and
humility always go with true nobility as well as with ultimate success
and lasting honour.



CHAPTER XII--THAT VARLET ILL-PAUSE, THE DEVIL'S ORATOR


   'I made haste and delayed not.'--_David_.

John Bunyan shall himself introduce, describe, and characterise this
varlet, this devil's ally and accomplice, this ancient enemy of Mansoul,
whose name is Ill-pause.  Well, this same Ill-pause, says our author, was
the orator of Diabolus on all difficult occasions, nor took Diabolus any
other one with him on difficult occasions, but just Ill-pause alone.  And
always when Diabolus had any special plot a-foot against Mansoul, and
when the thing went as Diabolus would have it go, then would Ill-pause
stand up, for he was Diabolus his orator.  When Mansoul was under siege
of Emmanuel his four noble captains sent a message to the men of the town
that if they would only throw Ill-pause over the wall to them, that they
might reward him according to his works, then they would hold a parley
with the city; but if this varlet was to be let live in the city, then,
why, the city must see to the consequences.  At which Diabolus, who was
there present, was loth to lose his orator, because, had the four
captains once laid their fingers on Ill-pause, be sure his master had
lost his orator.  And, then, in the last assault, we read that Ill-pause,
the orator that came along with Diabolus, he also received a grievous
wound in the head, some say that his brain-pan was cracked.  This, at any
rate, I have taken notice of, that never after this was he able to do
that mischief to Mansoul as he had done in times past.  And then there
was also at Eye-gate that Ill-pause of whom you have heard before.  The
same was he that was orator to Diabolus.  He did much mischief to the
town of Mansoul, till at last he fell by the hand of the Captain Good-
hope.

1.  Well, to begin with, this Ill-pause was a filthy Diabolonian varlet;
a treacherous and a villainous old varlet, the author of the _Holy War_
calls him.  Now, what is a varlet?  Well, a varlet is just a broken-down
old valet.  A varlet is a valet who has come down, and down, and down,
and down again in the world, till, from once having been the servant and
the trusty friend of the very best of masters, he has come to be the ally
and accomplice of the very worst of masters.  His first name, the name of
his first office, still sticks to him, indeed; but, like himself, and
with himself, his name has become depraved and corrupted till you would
not know it.  A varlet, then, is just short and sharp for a scoundrel who
is ready for anything; and the worse the thing is the more ready he is
for it.  There are riff-raff and refuse always about who are ready to
volunteer for any filibustering expedition; and that full as much for the
sheer devilry of the enterprise as for any real profit it is to be to
themselves.  Wherever mischief is to be done, there your true varlet is
sure to turn up.  Well, just such a land-shark was this Ill-pause, who
was such an ally and accomplice to Diabolus that he had need for no
other.  What possible certificate in evil could exceed this--that the
devil took not any with him when he went out on his worst errand but this
same Ill-pause, who was his orator on all his most difficult occasions?

2.  Ill-pause was a varlet, then, and he was also an orator.  Now, an
orator, as you know, is a great speaker.  An orator is a man who has the
excellent and influential gift of public speech.  And on great occasions
in public life when people are to be instructed, and impressed, and
moved, and won over, then the great orator sets up his platform.
Quintilian teaches us in his _Institutes_ that it is only a good man who
can be a really great orator.  What would that fine writer have said had
he lived to read the _Holy War_, and seen the most successful of all
orators that ever opened a mouth, and who was all the time a diabolical
old varlet?  What would the author of _The Education of an Orator_ have
said to that?  Diabolus did not on every occasion bring up his great
orator Ill-pause.  He did not always come up himself, and he did not
always send up Ill-pause.  It was only on difficult occasions that both
Diabolus and his orator also came up.  You do not hear your great
preachers every Sabbath.  They would not long remain great preachers, and
you would soon cease to pay any attention to them, if they were always in
the pulpit.  Neither do you have your great orators at every street
corner.  Their masters only build theatres for them when some great
occasion arises in the land, and when the best wisdom must straightway be
spoken to the people and in the best way.  Then you bring up Quintilian's
orator if you have him at your call.  As Diabolus has done from time to
time with his great and almost always successful orator Ill-pause.  On
difficult occasions he came himself on the scene and Ill-pause with him.
On such difficult occasions as in the Garden of Eden; as when Noah was
told to make haste and build an ark; as also when Abraham was told to
make haste and leave his father's house; when Jacob was bid remember and
pay the vow he had made when his trouble was upon him; as also when
Joseph had to flee for what was better than life; and on that memorable
occasion when David sent Joab out against Rabbah, but David tarried still
at Jerusalem.  On all these essential, first-class, and difficult
occasions the old serpent brought up Ill-pause.  As also when our Lord
was in the wilderness; when He set His face to go up to Jerusalem; when
He saw certain Greeks among them that came up to the passover; as also
again and again in the Garden.  As also on crucial occasions in your own
life.  As when you had been told not to eat, not to touch, and not even
to look at the forbidden fruit, then Ill-pause, the devil's orator, came
to you and said that it was a tree to be desired.  And, you shall not
surely die.  As also when you were moved to terror and to tears under a
Sabbath, or under a sermon, or at some death-bed, or on your own sick-
bed--Ill-pause got you to put off till a more convenient season your
admitted need of repentance and reformation and peace with God.  On such
difficult occasions as these the devil took Ill-pause to help him with
you, and the result, from the devil's point of view, has justified his
confidence in his orator.  When Ill-pause gets his new honours paid him
in hell; when there is a new joy in hell over another sinner that has not
yet repented, your name will be heard sounding among the infernal cheers.
Just think of your baptismal name and your pet name at home giving them
joy to-night at their supper in hell!  And yet one would not at first
sight think that such triumphs and such toasts, such medals, and clasps,
and garters were to be won on earth or in hell just by saying such simple-
sounding and such commonplace things as those are for which Ill-pause
receives his decorations.  'Take time,' he says.  'Yes,' he admits, 'but
there is no such hurry; to-morrow will do; next year will do; after you
are old will do quite as well.  The darkness shall cover you, and your
sin will not find you out.  Christ died for sin, and it is a faithful
saying that His blood will cleanse you later on from all this sin.'
Everyday and well-known words, indeed, but a true orator is seen in
nothing more than in this, that he can take up what everybody knows and
says, and put it so as to carry everybody captive.  One of Quintilian's
own orators has said that a great speaker only gives back to his hearers
in flood what they have already given to him in vapour.

3.  'I was always pleased,' says Calvin, 'with that saying of Chrysostom,
"The foundation of our philosophy is humility"; and yet more pleased with
that of Augustine: "As," says he, "the rhetorician being asked, What was
the first thing in the rules of eloquence? he answered, Pronunciation;
what was the second? Pronunciation; what was the third? and still he
answered, Pronunciation.  So if you would ask me concerning the precepts
of the Christian religion, I would answer, firstly, secondly, thirdly,
and for ever, Humility."'  And when Ill-pause opened his elocutionary
school for the young orators of hell, he is reported to have said this to
them in his opening address, 'There are only three things in my school,'
he said; 'three rules, and no more to be called rules.  The first is
Delay, the second is Delay, and the third is Delay.  Study the art of
delay, my sons; make all your studies to tell on how to make the fools
delay.  Only get those to whom your master sends you to delay, and you
will not need to envy me my laurels; you will soon have a shining crown
of your own.  Get the father to delay teaching his little boy how to
pray.  Get him on any pretext you can invent to put off speaking in
private to his son about his soul.  Get him to delegate all that to the
minister.  And then by hook or by crook get that son as he grows up to
put off the Lord's Supper.  And after that you will easily get him to put
off purity and prayer till he is a married man and at the head of a
house.  Only get the idea of a more convenient season well into their
heads, and their game is up, and your spurs are won.  Take their arm in
yours, as I used to do, at their church door, if you are posted there,
and say to them as they come out that to-morrow will be time enough to
give what they had thought of giving while they were still in their pew
and the minister or missionary was still in the pulpit.  Only, as you
value your master's praises and the applause of all this place, keep
them, at any cost, from striking while the iron is hot.  Let them fill
their hearts, and their mouths too, if it gives them any comfort, with
the best intentions; only, my scholars, remember that the beginning and
middle and end of your office is by hook or by crook to secure delay.'
And a great crop of young orators sprang up ready for their work under
that teaching and out of the persuasionary school of Ill-pause.  In fine,
Mansoul desired some time in which to prepare its answer.'

There are many men among ourselves who have been bedevilled out of their
best life, out of the salvation of their souls, and out of all that
constitutes and accompanies salvation now for many years.  And still
their sin-deceived hearts are saying to them to-night, Take time!  For
many years, every new year, every birthday, and, for a long time, every
Communion-day, they were just about to be done with their besetting sin;
and now all the years lie behind them, one long downward road all paved,
down to this Sabbath night, with the best intentions.  And, still, as if
that were not enough, that same varlet is squat at their ear.  Well, my
very miserable brother, you have long talked about the end of an old year
and the beginning of a new year as being your set time for repentance and
for reformation.  Let all the weight of those so many remorseful years
fall on your heart at the close of this year, and at last compel you to
take the step that should have been taken, oh! so many unhappy years ago!
Go straight home then, to-night, shut your door, and, after so many
desecrated Sabbath nights, God will still meet you in your secret
chamber.  As soon as you shut your door God will be with you, and you
will be with God.  With GOD!  Think of it, my brother, and the thing is
done.  With GOD!  And then tell Him all.  And if any one knocks at your
door, say that there is Some One with you to-night, and that you cannot
come down.  And continue till you have told it all to God.  He knows it
all already; but that is one of Ill-pause's sophistries still in your
heart.  Tell your Father it all.  Tell Him how many years it is.  Tell
Him all that you so well remember over all those wild, miserable, mad,
remorseful years.  Tell Him that you have not had one really happy, one
really satisfied day all those years, and tell Him that you have spent
all, and are now no longer a young man; youth and health and self-respect
and self-command are all gone, till you are a shipwreck rather than a
man.  And tell Him that if He will take you back that you are to-night at
His feet.

4.  'We seldom overcome any one vice perfectly,' complains A Kempis.  And,
again, 'If only every new year we would root out but one vice.'  Well,
now, what do you say to that, my true and very brethren?  What do you say
to that?  Here we are, by God's grace and long-suffering to usward, near
the end of another year, another vicious year; and why have we been borne
with through so many vicious years but that we should now cease from vice
and begin to learn virtue?  Why are we here over Ill-pause this Sabbath
night?  Why, but that we should shake off that varlet liar before another
new year.  That is the whole reason why we have been spared to see this
Sabbath night.  God decreed it for us that we should have this text and
this discourse here to-night, and that is the reason why you and I have
been so unaccountably spared so long.  Let us select one vice for the axe
then to-night, and give God in heaven the satisfaction of seeing that His
long-suffering with us has not been wholly in vain.  Let us lay the axe
at one vice from this night.  And what one from among so many shall it
be?  What is the mockery of preaching if a preacher does not practise?
And, accordingly, I have selected one vice out of my thicket for next
year.  Will you do the same?  The secret of the Lord is with them that
fear Him.  Just make your selection and keep it to yourself, at least
till you are able this time next year to say to us--Come, all ye that
fear God, and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul.  Yes, come
on, and from this day all your days on earth, and all the days of
eternity, you will thank God for John Bunyan and his _Holy War_ and his
Ill-pause.  Make your selection, then, for your new axe.  Attack some one
sin at this so auspicious season.  Swear before God, and unknown to all
men--swear sure death, and that without any more delay, to that selected
sin.  Never once, all your days, do that sin again.  Determine never once
to do it again.  Determine that by prayer, by secret, and at the same
time outspoken, prayer on your knees.  Determine it by faith in the
cleansing blood and renewing spirit of Jesus Christ.  Determine it by
fear of instant death, and by sure hope of everlasting life.  Determine
it by reasons, and motives, and arguments, and encouragements known to no-
one but yourself, and to be suspected by no human being.  Name the doomed
sin.  Denounce it.  Execrate it.  Execute it.  Draw a line across your
short and uncertain life, and say to that besetting and presumptuous sin,
Hitherto, and no further!  Do not say you cannot do it.  You can if you
only will.  You can if you only choose.  And smiting down that one sin
will loosen and shake down the whole evil fabric of sin.  Breaking but
that one link will break the whole of Satan's snare and evil fetter.  Here
is A Kempis's forest of vices out of which he hewed down one every year.
Restless lust, outward senses, empty phantoms, always longing to get,
always sparing to give, careless as to talk, unwilling to sit silent,
eager for food, wakeful for news, weary of a good book, quick to anger,
easy of offence at my neighbour, and too ready to judge him, too merry
over prosperity, and too gloomy, fretful, and peevish in adversity; so
often making good rules for my future life, and coming so little speed
with them all, and so on.  And, in facing even such a terrible thicket as
that, let not even an old man absolutely despair.  At forty, at sixty, at
threescore and ten, let not an old penitent despair.  Only take axe in
hand and see if the sun does not stand still upon Gibeon, and the moon in
the valley of Ajalon till you have avenged yourself on your enemies.  And
always when you stop to wipe your brow, and to whet the edge of your axe,
and to wet your lips with water, keep on saying things like those of
another great sinner deep in his thicket of vice, say this: O God, he
said, Thou hast not cut off as a weaver my life, nor from day even to
night hast Thou made an end of me.  But Thou hast vouchsafed to me life
and breath even to this hour from childhood, youth, and hitherto even
unto old age.  He holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to
slide, rescuing me from perils, sicknesses, poverty, bondage, public
shame, evil chances; keeping me from perishing in my sins, and waiting
patiently for my full conversion.  Glory be to Thee, O Lord, glory to
Thee, for Thine incomprehensible and unimaginable goodness toward me of
all sinners far and away the most unworthy.  The voices and the concert
of voices of angels and men be to Thee; the concert of all thy saints in
heaven and of all Thy creatures in heaven and on earth; and of me,
beneath their feet an unworthy and wretched sinner, Thy abject creature;
my praise also, now, in this day and hour, and every day till my last
breath, and till the end of this world, and then to all eternity, where
they cease not saying, To Him who loved us, Amen!



CHAPTER XIII--MR. PENNY-WISE-AND-POUND-FOOLISH, AND MR.
GET-I'-THE-HUNDRED-AND-LOSE-I'-THE-SHIRE


   'For, what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world,
   and lose his own soul?'--_Our Lord_.

This whole world is the penny, and our own souls are the pound.  This
whole world is the hundred, while heaven itself is the shire.  And the
question this evening is, Are we wise in the penny and foolish in the
pound?  And, are we getting in the hundred and losing in the shire?

1.  Well, then, to begin at the beginning, we are already begun to be
penny-wise and pound-foolish with our children when we are so particular
with them about their saying their little prayers night and morning,
while all the time we are so inattentive and so indolent to explain to
them how they are to pray, what they are to pray for, and how they are to
wait and how long they are to wait for the things they pray for.  Then,
again, we are penny-wise and pound-foolish with our children when we
train them up into all the proprieties and etiquettes of family and
social life, and at the same time pay so little attention to their inward
life of opening thought and quickening desire and awakening passion.  When
we are so eager also for our children to be great with great people,
without much regard to the moral and religious character of those great
people, then again we are like a man who may be wise for a penny, but is
certainly a fool for a pound.  When we prefer the gay and the fashionable
world to the intellectual, the religious, and the philanthropical world
for our children, then we lose both the penny and the pound as well.
Almost as much as we do when we accept the penny of wealth and station
and so-called connection for a son or a daughter, in room of the pound of
character, and intelligence, and personal religion.

Then, again, even in our own religious life we are ourselves often and
notoriously wise in the penny and foolish in the pound.  As, for
instance, when we are so scrupulous and so conscientious about forms and
ceremonies, about times and places, and so on.  In short, the whole
ritual that has risen up around spiritual religion in all our churches,
from that of the Pope himself out to that of George Fox--it is all the
penny rather than the pound.  This rite and that ceremony; this habit and
that tradition; this ancient and long-established usage, as well as that
new departure and that threatened innovation;--it is all, at its best,
always the penny and never the pound.  Satan busied me about the lesser
matters of religion, says James Fraser of Brea, and made me neglect the
more substantial points.  He made me tithe to God my mint, and my anise
and my cummin, and many other of my herbs, to my all but complete neglect
of justice and mercy and faith and love.  Whether there are any of the
things that Brea would call mint and anise and cummin that are taking up
too much of the time of our controversially-minded men in all our
churches, highland and lowland, to-day is a matter for humbling thought.
Labour, my brethren, for yourselves, at any rate, to get yourselves into
that sane and sober habit of mind that instantly and instinctively puts
all mint and all cummin of all kinds into the second place, and all the
weightier matters, both of law and of gospel, into the first place.  I
wasted myself on too nice points, laments Brea in his deep, honest, clear-
eyed autobiography.  I did not proportion my religious things aright.  The
laird of Brea does not say in as many words that he was wise in the penny
and foolish in the pound, but that is exactly what he means.

Then, again, the narrowness, the partiality, the sickliness, and the
squeamishness of our consciences,--all that makes us to be too often
penny-wise and pound-foolish in our religious life.  A well-instructed,
thoroughly wise, and well-balanced conscience is an immense blessing to
that man who has purchased such a conscience for himself.  There is an
immense and a criminal waste of conscience that goes on among some of our
best Christian people through the want of light and space, room, and
breadth, and balance in their consciences.  We are all pestered with
people every day who are full of all manner of childish scrupulosity and
sickly squeamishness in their ill-nourished, ill-exercised consciences.
As long as a man's conscience is ignorant and weak and sickly it will, it
must, spend and waste itself on the pennyworths of religion and' morals
instead of the pounds.  It will occupy and torture itself with points and
punctilios, jots and tittles, to the all but total oblivion, and to the
all but complete neglect, of the substance and the essence of the
Christian mind, the Christian heart, and the Christian character.  The
washing of hands, of cups, and of pots, was all the conscience that
multitudes had in our Lord's day; and multitudes in our day scatter and
waste their consciences on the same things.  A good man, an otherwise
good and admirable man, will absolutely ruin and destroy his conscience
by points and scruples and traditions of men as fatally as another will
by a life of debauchery.  Some old and decayed ecclesiastical rubric;
some absolutely indifferent form in public worship; some small
casuistical question about a creed or a catechism; some too nice point of
confessional interpretation; the mint and anise and cummin of such
matters will fill and inflame and poison a man's mind and heart and
conscience for months and for years, to the total destruction of all that
for which churches and creeds exist; to the total suspense, if not the
total and lasting destruction, of sobriety of mind, balance and breadth
of judgment, humility, charity, and a hidden and a holy life.  The penny
of a perverted, partial, and fanaticised conscience has swallowed up the
pound of instruction, and truth, and justice, and brotherly love.

2.  'Nor is the man with the long name at all inferior to the other,'
said Lucifer, in laying his infernal plot against the peace and
prosperity of Mansoul.  Now, the man with the long name was just Mr. Get-
i'-the-hundred-and-lose-i'-the-shire.  A hundred in the old county
geography of England was a political subdivision of a shire, in which
five score freemen lived with their freeborn families.  A county or a
shire was described and enumerated by the poll-sheriff of that day as
containing so many enfranchised hundreds; and the total number of
hundreds made up the political unity of the shire.  To this day we still
hear from time to time of the 'Chiltern Hundreds,' which is a division of
Buckinghamshire that belongs, along with its political franchise, to the
Crown, and which is utilised for Crown purposes at certain political
emergencies.  This proverb, then, to get i' the hundred and lose i' the
shire, is now quite plain to us.  You might canvass so as to get a
hundred, several hundreds, many hundreds on your side, and yet you might
lose when it came to counting up the whole shire.  You might possess
yourself of a hundred or two and yet be poor compared with him who
possessed the whole shire.  And then the proverb has been preserved out
of the old political life of England, and has been moralised and
spiritualised to us in the _Holy War_.  And thus after to-night we shall
always call this shrewd proverb to mind when we are tempted to take a
part at the risk of the whole; to receive this world at the loss of the
next world; or, as our Lord has it, to gain the whole world and to lose
our own soul.  Lot's choice of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Esau's purchase of
the mess of pottage in the Old Testament; and then Judas's thirty pieces
of silver, and Ananias and Sapphira's part of the price in the New
Testament, are all so many well-known instances of getting in the hundred
and losing in the shire.  And not Esau's and Lot's only, but our own
lives also have been full up to to-day of the same fatal transaction.
This house, as our Lord again has it, this farm, this merchandise, this
shop, this office, this salary, this honour, this home--all this on the
one hand, and then our Lord Himself, His call, His cause, His Church,
with everlasting life in the other--when it is set down before us in
black and white in that way, the transaction, the proposal, the choice is
preposterous, is insane, is absolutely impossible.  But preposterous,
insane, absolutely impossible, and all, there it is, in our own lives, in
the lives of our sons and daughters, and in the lives of multitudes of
other men and other men's sons and daughters besides ours.  Every day you
will be taken in, and you will stand by and see other men taken in with
the present penny for the future pound: and with the poor pelting hundred
under your eye for the full, far-extending, and ever-enriching shire.
Lucifer is always abroad pressing on us in his malice the penny on the
spot, for the pound which he keeps out of sight; he dazzles our eyes with
the gain of the hundred till we gnash our teeth at the loss of the shire.

   'He hath in sooth good cause for endless grief,
   Who, for the love of thing that lasteth not,
   Despoils himself for ever of THAT LOVE.'

3.  'What also if we join with those two another two of ours, Mr. Sweet-
world and Mr. Present-good, namely, for they are two men full of civility
and cunning.  Let these engage in this business for us, and let Mansoul
be taken up with much business, and if possible with much pleasure, and
this is the way to get ground of them.  Let us but cumber and occupy and
amuse Mansoul sufficiently, and they will make their castle a warehouse
for goods instead of a garrison for men of war.'  This diabolical advice
was highly applauded all through hell till all the lesser devils, while
setting themselves to carry it out, gnashed their teeth with envy and
malice at Lucifer for having thought of this masterpiece and for having
had it received with such loud acclamation.  'Only get them,' so went on
that so able, so well-envied, and so well-hated devil, 'let us only get
those fribble sinners for a night at a time to forget their misery.  And
it will not cost us much to do that.  Only let us offer them in one
another's houses a supper, a dance, a pipe, a newspaper full of their own
shame, a tale full of their own folly, a silly song, and He who loved
them with an everlasting love will soon see of the travail of His soul in
them!'  Yes, my fellow-sinners, Lucifer and his infernal crew know us and
despise us and entrap us at very little trouble, till He who travailed
for us on the tree covers His face in heaven and weeps over us.  As long
as we remember our misery, all the mind, and all the malice, and all the
sleeplessness in hell cannot touch a hair of our head.  But when by any
emissary and opportunity either from earth around us or from hell beneath
us we for another night forget our misery, it is all over with us.  And
yet, to tell the truth, we never can quite forget our misery.  We are too
miserable ever to forget our misery.  In the full steam of Lucifer's best-
spread supper, amid the shouts of laughter and the clapping of hands, and
all the outward appearance of a complete forgetfulness of our misery, yet
it is not so.  It is far from being so.  Our misery is far too
deep-seated for all the devil's drugs.  Only, to give Lucifer his due, we
do sometimes, under him, so get out of touch with the true consolation
for our misery that, night after night, through cumber, through pursuit
of pleasure, through the time being taken up with these and other like
things, we do so far forget our misery as to lie down without dealing
with it; but only to have it awaken us, and take our arm as its own for
another miserable day.  Yes; though never completely successful, yet this
masterpiece of hell is sufficiently successful for Satan's subtlest
purposes; which are, not to make us forget our misery, but to make us put
it away from us at the natural and proper hour for facing it and for
dealing with it in the only proper and successful way.  But, wholly, any
night, or even partially for a few nights at a time, to forget our
misery--no, with all thy subtlety of intellect and with all thy
hell-filled heart, O Lucifer, that is to us impossible!  Forget our
misery!  O devil of devils, no!  Bless God, that can never be with us!
Our misery is too deep, too dreadful, too acute, too all-consuming ever
to be forgotten by us even for an hour.  Our misery is too terrible for
thee, with all thy overthrown intellect and all thy malice-filled heart,
ever to understand!  Didst thou for one midnight hour taste it, and so
understand it, then there would be the same hope for thee that, I bless
God, there still is for me!

Let us bend all our strength and all our wit to this, went on Lucifer, to
make their castle a warehouse instead of a garrison.  Let us set
ourselves and all our allies, he explained to the duller-witted among the
devils, to make their hearts a shop,--some of them, you know, are
shopkeepers; a bank,--some of them are bankers; a farm,--some of them are
farmers; a study,--some of them are students; a pulpit,--some of them
like to preach; a table,--some of them are gluttons; a drawing-room,--some
of them are busybodies who forget their own misery in retailing other
people's misery from house to house.  Be wise as serpents, said the old
serpent; attend, each several fallen angel of you, to his own special
charge.  Study your man.  Get to the bottom of your man.  Follow him
about; never let him out of your sight; be sure before you begin, be sure
you have the joint in his harness, the spot in his heel, the chink in his
wall full in your eye.  I do not surely need to tell you not to scatter
our snares for souls at random, he went on.  Give the minister his study
Bible, the student his classic, the merchant his ledger, the glutton his
well-dressed dish and his elect year of wine, the gossip her sweet
secret, and the flirt her fool.  Study them till they are all naked and
open to your sharp eyes.  Find out what best makes them forget even for
one night their misery and ply them with that.  If I ever see that soul I
have set thee over on his knees on account of his misery I shall fling
thee on the spot into the bottomless pit.  And if any of you shall
anywhere discover a man--and there are such men--a man who forgets his
misery through always thinking and speaking about it, only keep him in
his pulpit, and off his knees, and no man so safe for hell as he.  There
are fools, and there are double-dyed fools, and that man is the chief of
them.  Give him his fill of sin and misery; let him luxuriate himself in
sin and misery; only, keep him there, and I will not forget thy most
excellent service to me.

Make all their hearts, so Lucifer summed up, as he dismissed his
obsequious devils, make all their several hearts each a warehouse, a
shop, a farm, a pulpit, a library, a nursery, a supper-table, a chamber
of wantonness--let it be to each man just after his own heart.  Only,
keep--as you shall answer for it,--keep faith and hope and charity and
innocence and patience and especially prayerfulness out of their hearts.
And when this my counsel is fulfilled, and when the pit closes over thy
charge, I shall pay thee thy wages, and promote thee to honour.  And
before he was well done they were all at their posts.



CHAPTER XIV--THE DEVIL'S LAST CARD


   'Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light'--_Paul_.

Wodrow has an anecdote in his delightful _Analecta_ which shall introduce
us into our subject to-night.  Mr. John Menzies was a very pious and
devoted pastor; he was a learned man also, and well seen in the Popish
and in the Arminian controversies.  And to the end of his life he was
much esteemed of the people of Aberdeen as a foremost preacher of the
gospel.  And yet, 'Oh to have one more Sabbath in my pulpit!' he cried
out on his death-bed.  'What would you then do?' asked some one who sat
at his bedside.  'I would preach to my people on the tremendous
difficulty of salvation!' exclaimed the dying man.

1.  Now, the first difficulty that stands in the way of our salvation is
the stupendous mass of guilt that has accumulated upon all of us.  Our
guilt is so great that we dare not think of it.  It is too horrible to
believe that we shall ever be called to account for one in a thousand of
it.  It crushes our minds with a perfect stupor of horror, when for a
moment we try to imagine a day of judgment when we shall be judged for
all the deeds that we have done in the body.  Heart-beat after
heart-beat, breath after breath, hour after hour, day after day, year
after year, and all full of sin; all nothing but sin from our mother's
womb to our grave.  Sometimes one outstanding act of sin has quite
overwhelmed us.  But before long that awful sin fell out of sight and out
of mind.  Other sins of the same kind succeeded it.  Our sense of sin,
our sense of guilt was soon extinguished by a life of sin, till, at the
present moment the accumulated and tremendous load of our sin and guilt
is no more felt by us than we feel the tremendous load of the atmosphere.
But, all the time, does not our great guilt lie sealed down upon us?
Because we are too seared and too stupefied to feel it, is it therefore
not there?  Because we never think of it, does that prove that both God
and man have forgiven and forgotten it?  Shall the Judge of all the earth
do right in the matter of all men's guilt but ours?  Does the apostle's
warning not hold in our case?--his awful warning that we shall all stand
before the judgment-seat?  And is it only a strong figure of speech that
the books shall be opened till we shall cry to the mountains to fall on
us and to the rocks to cover us?  Oh no! the truth is, the half has not
been told us of the speechless stupefaction that shall fall on us when
the trumpet shall sound and when Alp upon Alp of aggravated guilt shall
rise up high as heaven between us and our salvation.  Difficulty is not
the name for guilt like ours.  Impossibility is the better name we should
always know it by.

2.  Another difficulty or impossibility to our salvation rises out of the
awful corruption and pollution of our hearts.  But is there any use
entering on that subject?  Is there one man in a hundred who even knows
the rudiments of the language I must now speak in?  Is there one man in a
hundred in whose mind any idea arises, and in whose heart any emotion or
passion is kindled, as I proceed to speak of corruption of nature and
pollution of heart?  I do not suppose it.  I do not presume upon it.  I
do not believe it.  That most miserable man who is let down of God's Holy
Spirit into the pit of corruption that is in his own heart,--to him his
corruption, added to his guilt, causes a sadness that nothing in this
world can really relieve; it causes a deep and an increasing melancholy,
such as the ninety and nine who need no repentance and feel no pollution
know nothing of.  All living men flee from the corruption of an unburied
corpse.  The living at once set about to bury their dead.  'I am a
stranger and a sojourner among you,' said Abraham to the children of
Heth; 'give me a possession of a burying-place among you that I may bury
my dead out of my sight.'  But Paul could find no grave in the whole
world in which to bury out of his sight the body of death to which he was
chained fast; that body of sin and death which always makes the holiest
of men the most wretched of men,--till the loathing and the disgust and
the misery that filled the apostle's heart are to be understood by but
one in a thousand even of the people of God.

3.  And then, as if to make our salvation a very hyperbole of
impossibility, the all but almighty power of indwelling sin comes in.
Have you ever tried to break loose from the old fetter of an evil habit?
Have you ever said on a New Year's Day with Thomas A Kempis that this
year you would root that appetite,--naming it,--out of your body, and
that vice,--naming it,--out of your heart?  Have you ever sworn at the
Communion table that you would watch and pray, and set a watch on your
evil heart against that envy, and that revenge, and that ill-will, and
that distaste, dislike, and antipathy?  Then your minister will not need
to come back from his death-bed to preach to you on the difficulty of
salvation.

4.  And yet such is the grace of God, such is the work of Christ, and
such is the power and the patience of the Holy Ghost that, if we had only
an adequate ministry in our pulpits, and an assisting literature in our
homes, even this three-fold impossibility would be overcome and we would
be saved.  But if the ministry that is set over us is an ignorant,
indolent, incompetent, self-deceived ministry; if our own chosen, set-up,
and maintained minister is himself an uninstructed, unspiritual,
unsanctified man; and if the books we buy and borrow and read are all
secular, unspiritual, superficial, ephemeral, silly, stupid, impertinent
books, then the impossibility of our salvation is absolute, and we are as
good as in hell already with all our guilt and all our corruption for
ever on our heads.  Now, that was the exact case of Mansoul in the
allegory of the Holy War at one of the last and acutest stages of that
war.  Or, rather, that would have been her exact case had Diabolus got
his own deep, diabolical way with her.  For what did her ancient enemy do
but sound a parley till he had played his last card in these glozing and
deceitful words;--'I myself,' he had the face to say to Emmanuel, 'if
Thou wilt raise Thy siege and leave the town to me, I will, at my own
proper cost and charge, set up and maintain a sufficient ministry,
besides lecturers, in Mansoul, who shall show to Mansoul that
transgression stands in the way of life; the ministers I shall set up
shall also press the necessity of reformation according to Thy holy law.'
And even now, with the two pulpits, God's and the devil's, and the two
preachers, and the two pastors, in our own city,--how many of you see any
difference, or think that the one is any worse or any better than the
other?  Or, indeed, that the ministry of the last card is not the better
of the two to your interest and to your taste, to the state of your mind
and to the need of your heart?  Let us proceed, then, to look at
Mansoul's two pulpits and her two lectureships as they stand portrayed on
the devil's last card and in Emmanuel's crowning commission; that is, if
our eyes are sharp enough to see any difference.

5.  The first thing, then, on the devil's last card was this, 'A
sufficient ministry, besides lecturers, in Mansoul.'  Now, a sufficient
ministry has never been seen in the true Church of Christ since her
ministry began.  And yet she has had great ministers in her time.  After
Christ Himself, Paul was the greatest and the best minister the Church of
Christ has ever had.  But such was the transcendent greatness of his
office, such were its tremendous responsibilities, such were its
magnificent opportunities and its incessant demands, such were its
ceaseless calls to consecration, to cross-bearing, to crucifixion, to
more and more inwardness of holiness, and to higher and higher heights of
heavenly-mindedness, that the apostle was fain to cry out continually,
Who is sufficient for these things!  But so well did Paul learn that
gospel which he preached to others that amid all his insufficiency he was
able to hear his Master saying to him every day, My grace is sufficient
for thee, and, My strength is made perfect in thy weakness!  And to come
down to the truly Pauline succession of ministers in our own lands and in
our own churches, what preachers and what pastors Christ gave to
Kidderminster, and to Bedford, and to Down and Connor, and to Sodor and
Man, and to Anwoth, and to Ettrick, and to New England, and to St.
Andrews, and places too many to mention.  With all its infirmity and all
its inefficiency, what a truly heavenly power the pulpit is when it is
filled by a man of God who gives his whole mind and heart, his whole time
and thought to it, and to the pastorate that lies around it.  His mind
may be small, and his heart may be full of corruption; his time may be
full of manifold interruptions, and his best study may yield but a poor
result; but if Heaven ever helps those who honestly help themselves, then
that is certainly the case in the Christian ministry.  Let the choicest
of our children, then, be sought out and consecrated to that service; let
our most gifted and most gracious-minded sons be sent to where they shall
be best prepared for the pulpit and the pastorate,--till by the blessing
of her Head all the congregations and all the parishes, all the pulpits
and all the lectureships in the Church, shall be one garden of the Lord.
And then we shall escape that last curse of a ministry such as John
Bunyan saw all around him in the England of his day, and which, had he
been alive in the England and Scotland of our day, he would have painted
again in colours we have neither the boldness nor the skill to mix nor to
put on the canvas.  But let all ministers put it every day to themselves
to what descent and succession they belong.  Let those even who believe
that they have within themselves the best seal and evidence attainable
here that they have been ordained of Emmanuel, let them all the more look
well every day and every Sabbath day how much of another master's
doctrine and discipline, motives, and manners still mixes up with their
best ministry.  And the surest seal that, with all our insufficiency, we
are still the ministers of Christ will be set on us by this, that the
harder we work and the more in secret we pray, the more and ever the more
shall we discover and confess our shameful insufficiency, and the more
shall we, till the day of our death, every day still begin our ministry
of labour and of prayer anew.  Let us do that, for the devil, with all
his boldness and all his subtilty, never threw a card first or last like
that.

6.  After offering a sufficient ministry to Mansoul, and that, too, at
his own proper cost and charge, Diabolus undertook also to see that the
absolute necessity of a reformation should be preached and pressed from
the pulpit he set up.  Now, reformation is all good and necessary, in its
own time and place and order, but God sent His Son not to be a Reformer
but to be a Redeemer.  John came to preach reformation, but Jesus came to
preach regeneration.  Except a man be born again, Jesus persistently
preached to Nicodemus.  'Did it begin with regeneration?' was Dr.
Duncan's reply when a sermon on sanctification was praised in his
hearing.  And like so much else that the learned and profound Dr. John
Duncan said on theology and philosophy, that question went at once to the
root of the matter.  For sanctification, that is to say, salvation, is no
mere reformation of morals or refinement of manners.  It is a maxim in
sound morals that the morality of the man must precede the morality of
his actions.  And much more is it the evangelical law of Jesus Christ.
Make the tree good, our Lawgiver aphoristically said.  Reformation and
sanctification differ, says Dr. Hodge, as clean clothes differ from a
clean heart.  Now, Diabolus was all for clean clothes when he saw that
Mansoul was slipping out of his hands.  He would have all the drunkards
to become moderate drinkers, if not total abstainers; and all the
sensualists to become, if need be, ascetics; and all those who had sowed
out their wild oats to settle down as heads of houses, and members, if
not ministers and elders, in his set-up church.  But we are too well
taught, surely; we have gone too long to another church than that which
Diabolus ever sets up, to be satisfied with his superficial doctrine and
his skin-deep discipline.  We know, do we not, that we may do all that
his last card asks us to do, and yet be as far, ay, and far farther from
salvation than the heathen are who never heard the name.  A hundred
Scriptures tell us that; and our hearts know too much of their own plague
and corruption ever now to be satisfied short of a full regeneration and
a complete sanctification.  'Create in me a clean heart and renew a right
spirit within me.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.  And the
very God of peace sanctify you wholly.  And I pray God your whole spirit
and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ.'  The last card has many Scriptures cunningly copied upon
it; but not these.  Its pulpit orators handle many Scripture texts, but
never these.

7.  Yes, the devil comes in even here with that so late, so subtle, and
so contradicting card of his.  Where is it in this world that he does not
come in with some of his cards?  And he comes in here as a very angel of
evangelical light.  He puts on the gown of Geneva here, and he ascends
Emmanuel's own maintained pulpit here, and from that pulpit he preaches,
and where he so preaches he preaches nothing else but the very highest
articles of the Reformed faith.  Carnal-security was strong on assurance,
no other man in Mansoul was so strong; and the devil will let us
preachers be as strong and as often on election, and justification, and
indefectible grace, and the perseverance of the saints as we and our
people like, if we but keep in season and out of season on these
transcendent subjects and keep off morals and manners, walk and
conversation, conduct and character.  In Hooker's and Travers' day,
Thomas Fuller tells us, the Temple pulpit preached pure Canterbury in the
morning and pure Geneva in the afternoon.  And you will get the highest
Calvinism off the last card in one pulpit, and the strictest and most
urgent morality off the same card in another; but never, if the devil can
help it, never both in one and the same pulpit; never both in one and the
same sermon; and never both in one and the same minister.  You have all
heard of the difficulty the voyager had in steering between Scylla and
Charybdis in the Latin adage.  Well, the true preacher's difficulty is
just like that.  Indeed, it is beyond the wit of man, and it takes all
the wit of God, aright to unite the doctrine of our utter inability with
the companion doctrine of our strict responsibility; free grace with a
full reward; the cross of Christ once for all, with the saint's continual
crucifixion; the Saviour's blood with the sinner's; and atonement with
attainment; in short, salvation without works with no salvation without
works.  Deft steersman as the devil is, he never yet took his ship clear
through those Charybdic passages.

One thing there is that I must have preached continually in all my
pulpits and expounded and illustrated and enforced in all my
lectureships, said Emmanuel, and that is, my new example and my new law
of _motive_.  My own motives always made me in all I said and did to be
well-pleasing in My Father's eyes, and at any cost I must have preachers
and lecturers set up in Mansoul who shall assist Me in making Mansoul as
well-pleasing in My Father's sight as I was Myself.

   'For I am ware it is the seed of act
   God holds appraising in His hollow palm,
   Not act grown great thence as the world believes,
   Leafage and branchage vulgar eyes admire.'

Motives! gnashed Diabolus.  And he tore his last card into a thousand
shreds and cast the shreds under his feet in his rage and exasperation.
Motives!  New motives!  Truly Thou art the threatened Seed of the woman!
Truly Thou art the threatened Son of God!--Let all our preachers, then,
preach much on motive to their people.  The commonplace crowd of their
people will not all like that preaching any more than Diabolus did; but
their best people will all afterwards rise up in their salvation and
bless them for it.  On reformation also, let them every Sabbath preach,
but only on the reformation that rises out of a reformed motive, and that
again out of a reformed heart.  And if a reformed motive, a reformed
heart, and a reformed life are found both by preacher and hearer to be
impossible; if all that only brings out the hopelessness of their
salvation by reason of the guilt and the pollution and power of sin; then
all that will only be to them that same ever deeper entering of the law
into their hearts which led Paul to an ever deeper faith and trust in
Jesus Christ.  With a guilt, and a pollution, and a slavery to sin like
ours, salvation from sin would be absolutely impossible.  Absolutely
impossible, that is, but for our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  But with His
atoning blood and His Holy Spirit all things are possible--even our
salvation.

Let us choose, then, a minister like Mr. John Menzies.  Let us read the
great books that make salvation difficult.  Let us work out our own
salvation, day and night, with fear and trembling, and when Wisdom is
justified in her children, we shall be found justified among them.  We
shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and
made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.



CHAPTER XV--MR. PRYWELL


   'Search me, O God, and know my heart.'--_David_.

   'Let a man examine himself.'--_Paul_.

   'Look to yourselves.'--_John_.

   'Know thyself.'--_Apollo_.

The year 1668 saw the publication of one of the deepest books in the
whole world, Dr. John Owen's _Remainders of Indwelling Sin in Believers_.
The heart-searching depth; the clear, fearless, humbling truth, the
intense spirituality, and the massive and masculine strength of John
Owen's book have all combined to make it one of the acknowledged
masterpieces of the great Puritan school.  Had John Owen's style been at
all equal to his great learning, to the depth and the grasp of his mind,
and to the lofty holiness of his life, John Owen would have stood in the
very foremost and selectest rank of apostolical and evangelical
theologians.  But in all his books Owen labours under the fatal drawback
of a bad style.  A fine style, a style like that of Hooker, or Taylor, or
Bunyan, or Howe, or Leighton, or Law, is such a winning introduction to
their works and such an abiding charm and spell.  The full title of Dr.
Owen's great work runs thus: _The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency
of the Remainders of Indwelling Sin in Believers_--a title that will tell
all true students what awaits them when they have courage and enterprise
enough to address themselves to this supreme and all-essential subject.
Fourteen years after the publication of Dr. Owen's epoch-making book,
John Bunyan's _Holy War_ first saw the light.  Equal in scriptural and in
experimental depth, as also in their spiritual loftiness and intensity,
those two books are as different as any two books, written in the same
language, and written on the same subject, could by any possibility be.
John Owen's book is the book of a great scholar who has read the Fathers
and the Schoolmen and the Reformers till he knows them by heart, and till
he has been able to digest all that is true to Scripture and to
experience in them into his rich and ripe book.  A powerful reasoner, a
severe, bald, muscular writer, John Owen in all these respects stands at
the very opposite pole to that of John Bunyan.  The author of the _Holy
War_ had no learning, but he had a mind of immense natural sagacity,
combined with a habit of close and deep observation of human life, and
especially of religious life, and he had now a lifetime of most fruitful
experience as a Christian man and as a Christian minister behind him;
and, all that, taken up into Bunyan's splendid imagination, enabled him
to produce this extraordinarily able and impressive book.  A model of
English style as the _Holy War_ is, at the same time it does not attain
at all to the rank of the _Pilgrim's Progress_; but then, to be second to
the _Pilgrim's Progress_ is reward and honour enough for any book.  Let
all genuine students, then, who would know the best that has been written
on experimental religion, and who would preach to the deepest and
divinest experience of their best people, let them keep continually
within their reach John Owen's _Temptation_, his _Mortification of Sin in
Believers_, his _Nature and Power of Indwelling Sin_, and John Bunyan's
_Holy War made for the Regaining of the Metropolis of this World_.

Well, then, as He who dwells on high would have it, there was one whose
name was Mr. Prywell, a great lover of Mansoul.  And he, as his manner
was, did go listening up and down in Mansoul to see and hear, if at any
time he might, whether there was any design against it or no.  For he was
always a jealous man, and feared some mischief would befall it, either
from within or from some power without.  Mr. Prywell was always a lover
of Mansoul, a sober and a judicious man, a man that was no tattler, nor a
raiser of false reports, but one that loves to look into the very bottom
of matters, and talks nothing of news but by very solid arguments.  And
then, after our historian has told us some of the eminent services that
Mr. Prywell was able to perform both for the King and for the city, he
goes on to tell us how the captains determined that public thanks should
be given by the town of Mansoul to Mr. Prywell for his so diligent
seeking of the welfare of the town; and, further, that, forasmuch as he
was so naturally inclined to seek their good, and also to undermine their
foes, they gave him the commission of Scoutmaster-general for the good of
Mansoul.  And Mr. Prywell managed his charge and the trust that Mansoul
had put into his hands with great conscience and good fidelity; for he
gave himself wholly up to his employ, and that not only within the town,
but he also went outside of the town to pry, to see, and to hear.  Now,
that being so, it may interest and perhaps instruct you to-night to look
for a little at some of the features and at some of the feats of the
Scoutmaster-general of the Holy War, Mr. Prywell, of the town of Mansoul.

1.  'Well, now, as He who dwells on high would have it, there was one
whose name was Mr. Prywell, a great lover of the town of Mansoul.'  In
other words: self-observation, self-examination, strict, jealous,
sleepless self-examination, is of God.  Our God who searches our hearts
and tries our reins would have it so.  And if He does not have it so in
us, our souls are not as our God would have them to be.  'Bunyan employs
_pry_,' says Miss Peacock in her excellent notes, 'in a more favourable
sense than it now bears.  As, for instance, it is said in another part of
this same book that the men of Mansoul were allowed to _pry_ into the
words of the Holy Ghost and to expound them to their best advantage.
Honest anxiety for the welfare of his fellow-townsmen was Mr. Prywell's
chief characteristic.  _Pry_ is another form of _peer_--to look narrowly,
to look closely.'  And God, says John Bunyan, would have it so.

2.  'A great lover of Mansoul,' 'always a lover of Mansoul'; again and
again that is testified concerning Mr. Prywell.  It was not love for the
work that led Mr. Prywell to give up his days and his nights as his
history tells us he did.  Mr. Prywell ran himself into many dangerous
situations both within and without the city, and he lost himself far more
friends than he made by his devotion to his thankless task.  But
necessity was laid upon him.  And what held him up was the sure and
certain knowledge that his King would have that service at his hands.
That, and his love for the city, for the safety and the deliverance of
the city,--all that kept Mr. Prywell's heart fixed.  Am I therefore your
enemy? he would say to some who would have had it otherwise than the King
would have it.  But it is a good thing to be zealously affected in a work
like mine, he would say, in self-defence and in self-encouragement.  And
then, though not many, there were always some in the city who said, Let
him smite me and it shall be a kindness; let him reprove me and it shall
be an excellent oil which shall not break my head.  It was in Mansoul
with Mr. Prywell as it was in Kidderminster with Richard Baxter, when
some of his people said to one another, 'We will take all things well
from one that we know doth entirely love us.'   'Love them,' said
Augustine, 'and then say anything you like to them.'  Now, that was Mr.
Prywell's way.  He loved Mansoul, and then he said many things to her
that a false lover and a flatterer would never have dared to say.

3.  Then, as the saying is, it goes without saying that 'Mr. Prywell was
always a jealous man.'  Great lovers are always jealous men, and Mr.
Prywell showed himself to be a great lover by the great heat of his
jealousy also.  'Vigilant,' says the excellent editress again; 'cautious
against dishonour, reasonably mistrustful--low Latin _zelosus_, full of
zeal.  "And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of
hosts."'  Now, it so happened that some of Mr. Prywell's most private and
not at all professional papers--papers evidently, and on the face of
them, connected with the state of the spy's own soul--came into my hands
as good lot would have it just the other night.  The moth-eaten chest was
full of his old papers, but the pieces that took my heart most were, as
it looked to me, actually gnashed through with his remorseful teeth, and
soaked and sodden past recognition with his sweat and his tears and his
agonising hands.  But after some late hours over those remnants I managed
to make some sense to myself out of them.  There are some parts of the
parchments that pass me; but, if only to show you that this arch-spy's so
vigilant jealousy was not all directed against other people's bad hearts
and bad habits, I shall copy some lines out of the old box.  'Have I
penitence?' he begins without any preface.  'Have I grief, shame, pain,
horror, weariness for my sin?  Do I pray and repent, if not seven times a
day as David did, yet at least three times, as Daniel?  If not as
Solomon, at length, yet shortly as the publican?  If not like Christ, the
whole night, at least for one hour?  If not on the ground and in ashes,
at least not in my bed?  If not in sackcloth, at least not in purple and
fine linen?  If not altogether freed from all, at least from immoderate
desires?  Do I give, if not as Zaccheus did, fourfold, as the law
commands, with the fifth part added?  If not as the rich, yet as the
widow?  If not the half, yet the thirtieth part?  If not above my power,
yet up to my power?'  And then over the page there are some illegible
pencillings from old authors of his such as this from Augustine: 'A good
man would rather know his own infirmity than the foundations of the earth
or the heights of the heavens.'  And this from Cicero: 'There are many
hiding-places and recesses in the mind.'  And this from Seneca: 'You must
know yourself before you can amend yourself.  An unknown sin grows worse
and worse and is deprived of cure.'  And this from Cicero again: 'Cato
exacted from himself an account of every day's business at night'; and
also Pythagoras,

   'Nor let sweet sleep upon thine eyes descend
   Till thou hast judged its deeds at each day's end.'

And this from Seneca again: 'When the light is removed out of sight, and
my wife, who is by this time aware of my practice, is now silent, I pass
the whole of my day under examination, and I review my deeds and my
words.  I hide nothing from myself: I pass over nothing.'  And then in
Mr. Prywell's boldest and least trembling hand: 'O yes! many shall come
from the east and the west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and
Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, when many of the children of the kingdom
shall be cast out.  O yes.'  Now, this 'O yes!' Miss Peacock tells us, is
the Anglicised form of a French word for our Lord's words, Take heed how
ye hear!

4.  'A sober and a judicious man' it is said of Mr. Prywell also.  To a
certainty that.  It could not be otherwise than that.  For Mr. Prywell's
office, its discoveries and its experiences, would sober any man.  'I am
sprung from a country,' says Abelard, 'of which the soil is light, and
the temper of the inhabitants is light.'  So was it with Mr. Prywell to
begin with.  But even Abelard was sobered in time, and so was Mr.
Prywell.  Life sobered Abelard, and Mr. Prywell too; life's crooks and
life's crosses, life's duties and life's disappointments, especially Mr.
Prywell.  'The more narrowly a man looks into himself,' says A Kempis,
'the more he sorroweth.'  Not sober-mindedness alone comes to him who
looks narrowly into himself, but great sorrow of heart also.  And if you
are not both sobered in your mind and full of an unquenchable sorrow in
your heart, O yes! attend to it, for you are not yet begun to be what God
would have you to be.  Dr. Newman, with all his mistakes and all his
faults, was a master in two things: his own heart and the English
language.  And in writing home to his mother a confidential letter from
college on his birthday, he confides to her that he often 'shudders at
himself.'  'No,' he answered to his mother's fears and advices about food
and air and exercise: 'No, I am neither nervous, nor in ill-health, nor
do I study too much.  I am neither melancholy, nor morose, nor austere,
nor distant, nor reserved, nor sullen.  I am always cheerful, ready and
eager to join in any merriment.  I am not clouded with sadness, nor
absent in mind, nor deficient in action.  No; take me when I am most
foolish at home and extend mirth into childishness; yet all the time I am
shuddering at myself.'  There spake the future author of the immortal
sermons.  There spake a mind and a heart that have deepened the minds and
the hearts of Christian men more than any other influence of the century;
a mind and a heart, moreover, that will shine and beat in our best
literature and in our deepest devotion for centuries to come.  You must
all know by this time another classical passage from the pen of another
spiritual genius in the Church of England, that greatly gifted church.
Let me repeat it to illustrate how sober-mindedness and great sorrow of
heart always come to the best of men.  'Let any man consider that if the
world knew all that of him which he knows of himself; if they saw what
vanity and what passions govern his inside, and what secret tempers sully
and corrupt his best actions; and he would have no more pretence to be
honoured and admired for his goodness and wisdom than a rotten and
distempered body is to be loved and admired for its beauty and
comeliness.  And, perhaps, there are very few people in the world who
would not rather choose to die than to have all their secret follies, the
errors of their judgments, the vanity of their minds, the falseness of
their pretences, the frequency of their vain and disorderly passions,
their uneasinesses, hatreds, envies, and vexations made known to the
world.  And shall pride be entertained in a heart thus conscious of its
own miserable behaviour?'  No wonder that Mr. Prywell was sober-minded!
No wonder that Dr. Newman shuddered at himself!  And no wonder that
William Law chose strangling and the pond rather than that any other man
should see what went on in his heart!

5.  And as if all that were not enough, and more than enough, to commend
Mr. Prywell to us--to our trust, to our confidence, and to our
imitation--his royal certificate continues, 'One that looks into the very
bottom of matters, and talks nothing of news, but by very solid
arguments.'  The very bottom of matters--that is, the very bottom of his
own and other men's hearts.  Mr. Prywell counts nothing else worth a wise
man's looking at.  Let fools and children look at the painted and
deceitful surface of things, but let men, men of matters, and especially
men of divine matters, look only at their own and other men's hearts.  The
very bottom of all matters is there.  All wars, all policies, all
debates, all disputes, all good and all evil counsels, all the much weal
and all the multitudinous woe of Mansoul--all have their bottom in the
heart; in the heart of God, or in the heart of man, or in the heart of
the devil.  The heart is the root of absolutely every matter to Mr.
Prywell.  He would not waste one hour of any day, or one watch of any
night, on anything else.  And it was this that made him both the
extraordinarily successful scout he was, and the extraordinarily sober
and thoughtful and judicious man he was.  O yes, my brethren, the bottom
of matters, when you take to it, will work the same change in you.  'Two
things,' says one who had long looked at his own matters with Mr.
Prywell's eyes--'two things, O Lord, I recognise in myself: nature, which
Thou hast made, and sin, which I have added.'  My brethren, that
recognition, that discovery in yourselves, when it comes to you, will
sober you as it has sobered so many men before you: when it comes to you,
that is, about yourselves.  That discovery made in yourselves will make
you deep-thinking men.  It will make common men and unlearned men among
you to be philosophers and theologians and saints.  It will work in you a
thoughtfulness, a seriousness, a depth, an awe, a holy fear, and a great
desire that will already have made you new creatures.  When, in examining
yourselves and in characterising yourselves, you come on what some clear-
eyed men have come on in themselves, and what one of them has described
as 'the diabolical animus of the human mind'--when you make that
discovery in yourselves, that will sober you, that will humble you and
fill you full of remorse and compunction.  And if in God's grace to you,
that were to begin to be wrought in you this week, there would be one, at
any rate, eating of that bread next Lord's day, and drinking of that cup
as God would have it.

6.  'A man that is no tattler, nor raiser of false reports, and that
talks nothing of news, but by very solid arguments.'  Mr. Prywell was
more taken up with his own matters at home, far more than the greatest
busybodies are with other men's matters abroad.  His name, I fear, will
still sound somewhat ill in your ears, but I can assure you all the ill
for you lies in the sound.  Mr. Prywell would not hurt a hair of your
head: the truth is, he does not know whether there is a hair on your head
or no.  This man's name comes to him and sticks to him, not because he
pries into your affairs, for he does not, and never did, but because he
is so drawn down into his own.  Mr. Prywell has no eye for your windows
and he has no ear for your doors.  If your servant is a leaky slave,
Prywell, of all your neighbours, has no ear for his idle tales.  This man
is no eavesdropper; your evil secrets have only a sobering and a
saddening and a silencing effect upon him.  Your house might be full of
skeletons for anything he would ever discover or remember.  The beam in
his own eye is so big that he cannot see past it to speak about your
small mote.  'The inward Christian,' says A Kempis, 'preferreth the care
of himself before all other cares.  He that diligently attendeth to
himself can easily keep silence concerning other men.  If thou attendest
unto God and unto thyself, thou wilt be but little moved with what thou
seest abroad.'  At the same time, Mr. Prywell was no fool, and no coward,
and no hoodwinked witness.  He could tell his tale, when it was demanded
of him, with such truth, and with such punctuality, and on such ample
grounds, that a conviction of the truth instantly fell on all who heard
him.  'Sirs,' said those who heard him break silence, 'it is not
irrational for us to believe it,' with such solid arguments and with such
an absence of mere suspicion and of all idle tales did he speak.  On one
occasion, on a mere 'inkling,' he woke up the guard; only, it was so true
an inkling that it saved the city.  But I cannot follow Mr. Prywell any
further to-night.  How he went up and down Mansoul listening; how he kept
his eyes and his ears both shut and open; what splendid services he
performed in the progress, and specially toward the end, of the war; how
the thanks of the city were voted to him; how he was made Scoutmaster-
general for the good of the town of Mansoul, and the great conscience and
good fidelity with which he managed that great trust--all that you will
read for yourselves under this marginal index, 'The story of Mr.
Prywell.'

Now, my brethren, as the outcome of all that, we must all examine
ourselves as before God all this week.  We must wait on His word and on
His providences while they examine us all this week.  We must pry well
into ourselves all this week.  Come, let us compel ourselves to do it.
Let us search and try our ways all this week as we shall give an account.
Let us ask ourselves how many Communion tables we have sat at, and at how
many more we are likely to sit.  Let us ask why it is that we have got so
little good out of all our Communions.  Let us ask who is to blame for
that, and where the blame lies.  Let us go to the bottom of matters with
ourselves, and compel ourselves to say just what it is that is the cause
of God's controversy with us.  What vow, what solemn promise, made when
trouble was upon us, have we completely cast behind our back?  What about
secret prayer?  At what times, for what things, and for what people do we
in secret pray?  What about secret sin?  What is its name, and what does
it deserve, and what fruit are we already reaping out of it?  What is our
besetting sin, and what steps do we take, as God knows, to crucify it?  Do
we love money too much?  Do we love praise too much?  Do we love eating
and drinking too much?  Does envy make our heart a very hell?  Let us
name the man we envy, and let us keep our Communion eye upon him.  Let us
mix his name with all the psalms and prayers and sermons of this
Communion season.  Or is it diabolical ill-will?  Or is it a wicked
tongue against an unsuspecting friend?  Let us examine ourselves as Paul
did, as Prywell did, and as God would have us do it, and we shall
discover things in ourselves so bad that if I were to put words on them
to-night, you would stop your ears in horror and flee out of the church.
Let a man see himself at least as others see him; and then he will be led
on from that to see himself as God sees him; and then he will judge
himself so severely as that he shall not need to be judged at the
Judgment Day, and will condemn himself so sufficiently as that he shall
not be condemned with a condemned world at the last.



CHAPTER XVI--YOUNG CAPTAIN SELF-DENIAL


   'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his
   cross daily and follow Me.'--_Our Lord_.

'Now the siege was long, and many a fierce attempt did the enemy make
upon the town, and many a shrewd brush did some of the townsmen meet with
from the enemy, especially Captain Self-denial, to whose care both Ear-
gate and Eye-gate had been intrusted.  This Captain Self-denial was a
young man, but stout, and a townsman in Mansoul.  This young captain,
therefore, being a hardy man, and a man of great courage to boot, and
willing to venture himself for the good of the town, he would now and
then sally out upon the enemy; but you must think this could not easily
be done, but he must meet with some sharp brushes himself, and, indeed,
he carried several of such marks on his face, yea, and some on some other
parts of his body.'  Thus, Bunyan.  I shall now go on to-night to offer
you some annotations and some reflections on this short but excellent
history of young Captain Self-denial.

1.  Well, to begin with, this Captain Self-denial was still a young man.
'And, now, it comes into my mind, said Goodman Gains after supper, I will
tell you a story well worth the hearing, as I think.  There were two men
once upon a time that went on pilgrimage; the one began when he was young
and the other began when he was old.  The young man had strong
corruptions to grapple with, whereas the old man's corruptions were
decayed with the decays of nature.  The young man trod his steps as even
as did the old one, and was every way as light as he; who, now, or which
of them, had their graces shining clearest, since both seemed to be
alike?  Why, the young man's, doubtless, answered Mr. Honest.  For that
which heads against the greatest opposition gives best demonstration that
it is strongest.  A young man, therefore, has the advantage of the
fairest discovery of a work of grace within him.  And thus they sat
talking till the break of day.'

Now, I have taken up Captain Self-denial to-night because the young men
and I are to begin a study to-night to which I was first attracted
because it taught me lessons about myself, and about self-denial, and
thus about both a young man's and an old man's deepest and most
persistent corruptions--lessons such as I have never been taught in any
other school.  In all my philosophical, theological, moral, and
experimental reading, so to describe it, I have never met with any school
of authors for one moment to be compared with the great evangelical
mystics, especially when they treat of self, self-love, self-denial, the
daily cross, and all suchlike lessons.  Take the great doctrinal and
experimental Puritans, such as John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, Richard Baxter,
John Howe, and Jonathan Edwards, and add on to them the greatest and best
mystics, such as Jacob Behmen, Thomas A Kempis, Francis Fenelon, Jeremy
Taylor, Samuel Rutherford, Robert Leighton, and William Law, and you will
have the profoundest, the most complete, the most perfect, and, I will
add, the most fascinating and enthralling of spiritual teaching in all
the world.  And I will be bold enough to promise you that if you will but
join our Young Men's Class to-night, and will buy and read our mystical
books, and will resolve to put in practice what you hear and read in the
class, I will promise you, I say, that by the end of our short session
you will not only be ten times more open and hospitably-minded men, but
also ten times more spiritually-minded men, ten times more Christ-like
men, and with your joy in Christ and His joy in you all but full.

2.  The Captain Self-denial was a young man, and he was also a townsman
in Mansoul.  Young Self-denial and one other were all of Emmanuel's
captains who were townsmen in Mansoul.  All his other captains Emmanuel
had brought with him; but the Captains Self-denial and Experience were
both born and reared to their full manhood in that besieged city.  'A
townsman.'  How much there is for us all in that one word!  How much
instruction!  How much encouragement!  How much caution and correction!
Our greatest grace; our most essential and indispensable grace; our most
experimental and evidential grace; that grace, indeed, without which all
our other graces are but specious shows and painted surfaces of graces;
that grace into which our Lord here gathers up all our other graces;--that
greatest of graces cannot be imputed, imported, or introduced; it must be
born, bred, exercised, reared up to its full maturity, and sent forth to
fight and to conquer, and all within the walls of its own native town; in
short, our self-denial must have its beginning and middle and end in our
own heart.  Antinomians there were, as our Puritan fathers nicknamed all
those persons who glorified Christ by letting Him do all things for them,
both His own things and their things too, both their justification and
their sanctification too.  And there are many good but ill-instructed men
among ourselves who have just this taint of that old heresy cleaving to
them still--this taint, namely, that they are tempted to carry over the
suretyship and substitutionary work of Christ into such regions, and to
carry it to such lengths in those regions, as, practically, to make
Christ to minister to their soft and sinful living, and to their excuse
and indulgence of themselves.  I will put it squarely and plainly to some
of my very best friends here to-night.  Is it not the case, now, that you
do not like this direction into which this text, and the truth of this
text, are now travelling?  Is it not so that you shift back in your seat
from the approaching cross?  Is it not the very and actual fact that you
have secret ways of sin, secret habits of self-indulgence in your body
and in your soul, in your mind and in your heart, secret sins that you
mantle over with the robe of Christ's righteousness?  His spotless and
imputed righteousness?  In your present temper you would have disliked
deeply the Sermon on the Mount had you heard it; and I see you shaking
your head over your Sabbath-day dinner at this text when it was first
spoken.  Lay this down for a law, all my brethren,--a New Testament and a
never-to-be-abrogated law,--that the best and the safest religion for you
is that way of religion that is hardest on your pride, on your
self-importance, on your self-esteem, as well as on your purse and on
your belly.  You are not likely to err by practising too much of the
cross.  You may very well have too much of the cross of Christ preached
to you, and too little of your own.  Why! did not Christ die for me? you
indignantly say.  Yes; so He did.  But only that you might die too.  He
was crucified, and so must you be crucified every day before one single
drop of His sin-atoning blood shall ever be wasted on You.  Be not
deceived: the cross is not mocked; for only as a man nails himself, body
and soul, to the cross every day shall he ever be saved from sin and
death and hell by means of it.  And, exactly as a man denies himself--no
more and no less--his appetites, his passions, his thoughts and words and
deeds, every day and every hour of every day, just so much shall He who
searches our hearts and sees us in secret, acknowledge us, both every day
now, and at the last day of all.

3.  This same Captain Self-denial, his history goes on, was stout, he was
an hardy man also, and a man of great courage.  Stout and hardy and of
great courage at home, that is; in his own mind and heart, soul and body,
that is.  Young Captain Self-denial was a perfect hero at saying No! and
at saying No! to himself.  It is a proverb that there is nothing so
difficult as to say that monosyllable.  And the proverb is Scripture
truth if you try to say No! to yourself.  It takes the very stoutest of
hearts, the most noble, the most manly, the most soldierly, and the most
saintly of hearts to say No! to itself, and to keep on saying No! to
itself to the bitter end of every trial and temptation and opportunity.  I
remember reading long ago a page or two of a medical man's diary.  And in
it he made a confession and an appeal I have never forgot; though, to my
loss, I have not always acted upon it.  He said that for many years he
had never been entirely well.  He had constant headaches and depressions,
and it was seldom that he was not to some extent out of sorts.  But, all
the time, he had a shrewd guess within himself as to what was the matter
with him.  He felt ashamed to confess it even to himself that he over-ate
himself every day at table; till, at last, summoning up all divine and
human help, he determined that, however hungry he was, and however
savoury the dish was, and however excellent the wine was, he would never
either ask for or accept a second helping.  And this was his testimony,
that from that stout and hardy day he grew better in health daily; 'my
head became clear, my eye bright, my complexion pure, my mind and
feelings were redeemed from all clouds and depressions.  And to-day I am
a younger man at fifty than I was at thirty.'  Now, if just saying No! to
himself and to the waiter at table did work such a new birth in a
confirmed gourmand of middle life, what would it not have wrought for him
had he carried his answer stoutly and courageously through all the other
parts of his body and soul?--as perhaps he did.  Perhaps, having tasted
the sweet beginnings of salvation, he carried his short and sure regimen
through.  If he has done so, let him give us his full autobiography.  What
a blessed, what a priceless book it would be!

4.  Stout Captain Self-denial was commanded to begin his life as an
officer in Emmanuel's army by taking especial watch over Ear-gate and Eye-
gate; and at our last accounts of our abstemious doctor he had only got
the length of Mouth-gate.  But having begun so well with those three
great outposts of the soul, if those two trusty officers only held on,
and played the man courageously enough, they would soon be promoted to
still more important, still more central, and, if more difficult and
dangerous, then also much more honourable and remunerative posts.
Appetite, deep and deadly as its evils are, is, after all, only an
outwork of the soul; and the same sharp knife that the epicure and the
sot in all their stages must put to their throat, that same knife must be
made to draw blood in all parts of their mind and their heart, in their
will and in their imagination, till a perfect chorus of self-denials
rings like noblest martial music through all the gates, and streets, and
fortresses, and strongholds, and very palaces and temples of the soul.  I
shall here stand aside and let the greatest of the English mystics speak
to you on this present point.  'When we speak of self-denial,' he says,
in his _Christian Perfection_, 'we are apt to confine it to eating and
drinking: but we ought to consider that, though a strict temperance be
necessary in these things, yet that these are the easiest and the
smallest instances of self-denial.  Pride, vanity, self-love,
covetousness, envy, and other inclinations of the like nature call for a
more constant and a more watchful self-denial than the appetites of
hunger and thirst.  And till we enter into this course of universal self-
denial we shall make no progress in real piety, but our lives will be a
ridiculous mixture of I know not what; sober and covetous, proud and
devout, temperate and vain, regular in our forms of devotion and
irregular in all our passions, circumspect in little modes of behaviour
and careless and negligent of tempers the most essential to piety.  And
thus it will necessarily be with us till we lay the axe to the root of
the tree, till we deny and renounce the whole corruption of our nature,
and resign ourselves up entirely to the Spirit of God, to think and speak
and act by the wisdom and the purity of religion.'

5.  Stout as Captain Self-denial was, and notable alarms and some brisk
execution as he did upon the enemy, yet he must meet with some brushes
himself; indeed, he carried several of the marks of such brushes on his
face as well as on some other parts of his body.  If I had read in his
history that Young Captain Self-denial had left his mark upon his
enemies, I would have said, Well done, and I would have added that I
always expected as much.  But it is far more to my purpose to read that
he had not always got himself off without wounds that left lasting scars
both where they were seen of all, and where they were seen and felt only
by Self-denial himself.  And not Self-denial only, but even Paul, in our
flesh, and with like passions with us, had the same experience and has
left us the same record.  'I keep my body under': so our emasculated
English version makes us read it.  But the visual image in the masterly
original Greek is not so mealy-mouthed.  I box and buffet myself day and
night, says Paul.  I play the truculent tyrant over a lewd and lazy
slave.  I hit myself blinding blows on my tenderest part.  I am ashamed
to look at myself in the glass, for all under my eyes I am black and
blue.  If David, after the matter of Uriah, had done that to himself, and
even more than that, we would not have wondered; we would have expected
it, and we would have said, It is no more than we would have done
ourselves.  But that a spotless, gentle, noble soul like Paul should so
have mangled himself,--that quite dumfounders us.  If Paul, then, who,
touching the righteousness which is in the law, was blameless, had to
handle himself in that manner in order to keep himself blameless, shall
any young man here hope to escape temptation without such blows at
himself as shall leave their mark on him all his days?  Nay, not only so,
but after Self-denial had thus exercised himself and subdued himself,
still his enemy sometimes got such an advantage over him as left him as
his history here describes him.  All which is surely full of the most
excellent heartening to all who read, in earnest and for an example, his
fine history.

6.  The last and crowning exploit of our matchless captain was to
capture, and execute, and quarter, and hang up on a gallows at the market-
cross, the head and the hands and the feet of his oldest, most sworn, and
most deadly enemy, one Self-love.  So stout and so insufferable was our
captain in the matter of Self-love that when it was proposed by some of
his many influential friends and high-in-place relations in the city that
the judgment of the court-martial on Self-love should be deferred, our
stout soldier with the cuts on his face and in some other parts of his
body stood up, and said that the city and the army must make up their
mind either to relieve him of his sword, hacked and broken off as it was,
or else to execute the law upon Self-love on the spot.  I will lay down
my commission this very day, he said, with an extraordinary indignation.
Many rich men in the city, and many men deep in the King's service,
muttered mutinous things when their near relative was hurried to the open
cause-way, but by that time the soldiers of Self-denial's company had
brained Self-love with the butts of their muskets.  And it was the stand
that our captain made in the matter of Self-love that at last lifted the
young soldier where many had felt he should have been lifted long ago.
From that day he was made a lord, a military peer, and an adviser of the
crown and the crown officers in all the deepest counsels concerning
Mansoul.  Only, with the cloak and the coronet of Self-denial the present
history all but comes to an end.  For, before the outcast remains of Self-
love had mouldered to their dust on the city gate, the King's chariot had
descended into the street, had ascended up to the palace at the head of
the street, and a new age of the city life had begun, the full history of
which has yet to be told.

Remain behind, then, and begin with us to-night, all you young men.  You
cannot begin this lifelong study and this lifelong pursuit of self-denial
too early.  For, even if you begin to read our books and to practise our
discipline in your very boyhood, when you are old men and very saints of
God you will feel that your self-love is still so full of life and power,
that your self-denial has scarcely begun.  Ah, me! men: both old and
young men.  Ah, me! what a life's task set us of God it is to make us a
new heart, to cleanse out an unclean heart, to lay in the dust a proud
heart, and to keep a heart at all times, and in all places, and toward
all people, with all diligence!  Who is sufficient for these things?

'Now was Christian somewhat in a maze.  But at last, when every man
started back for fear, Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance
come up to him that sat there with the inkhorn to write, saying, Set down
my name, sir!  At which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that
were within, even of those who walked upon the top of that place, saying,

   "Come in, come in:
   Eternal glory thou shalt win."

Then Christian smiled, and said: I think, verily, that I know the meaning
of all this now.'



CHAPTER XVII--FIVE PICKT MEN


   'I took wise men and known and made them captains.'--_Moses_.

John Bunyan never lost his early love for a soldier's life any more than
he ever forgot the rare delights of his bell-ringing days.  John Bunyan,
all his days, never saw a bell-rope that his fingers did not tingle, and
he never saw a soldier in uniform without instinctively shouldering his
youthful musket.  Bunyan was one of those rare men who are of imagination
all compact; and consequently it is that all his books are full of the
scenes, the occupations, and the experiences of his early days.  Not that
he says very much, in as many words, about what happened to him in the
days when he was a soldier; it is only once in all his many books that he
says that when he was a soldier such and such a thing happened to him.  At
the same time, all his books bear the impress of his early days upon
them; and as for this special book of Bunyan's now open before us, it is
full from board to board of the strife and the din of his early battles.
The _Holy War_ is just John Bunyan's soldierly life
spiritualised--spiritualised and so worked up into this fine English
Classic.

Well, then, after Mansoul was taken and reduced, the victorious Prince
determined so to occupy the town with His soldiers that it should never
again either be taken by force from without, or ever again revolt by
weakness or by fear from within.  And with this view He chose out five of
His best captains--My five pickt men, He always called them--and placed
those five captains and their thousands under them in the strongholds of
the town.  On the margin of this page our versatile author speaks of that
step of Emmanuel's in the language of a philosopher, a moralist, and a
divine.  'Five graces,' he says, 'pickt out of an abundance of common
virtues.'  This summing-up sentence stands on his stiff and dry margin.
But in the rich and living flow of the text itself our author goes on
writing like the man of genius he is.  With all the warmth and colour and
dramatic movement of which this whole book is full, this great writer
goes on to set those five choice captains of our salvation before us in a
way that we shall never forget.

1.  'The first was that famous captain, the noble Captain Credence.  His
were the red colours, and Mr. Promise bare them.  And for a scutcheon he
had the Holy Lamb and the golden shield; and he had ten thousand men at
his feet.'  Now, this same Captain Credence from first to last of the war
always led the van both within and around Mansoul.  In ordinary and
peaceful days; in days of truce and parley; when the opposite armies were
laid up in their winter quarters, or were, for any cause, drawn off from
one another, some of the other captains might be more in evidence.  But
in every exploit to be called an exploit; in every single enterprise of
danger; when any new position was to be taken up, or any forlorn hope was
to be led, there, in the very van of labour and of danger, was sure to be
seen Captain Credence with his blood-red colours in his own hand.  You
understand your Bunyan by this time, my brethren?  Captain Credence, your
little boy at school will tell you, is just the soldier-like faith of
your sanctification.  _Credo_, he will tell you, is 'I believe'; it is to
have faith in God and in the word of God.  You will borrow your Latin
from your little boy, and then you will pay him back by telling him how
Captain Credence has always led the van in your soul.  You will tell him
and show him what a wonderful writer on the things of the soul John
Bunyan is, till you make John Bunyan one of your son's choicest authors
for all his days.  You will do this if you will tell him how and when
this same Captain Credence with his crimson colours first led the van in
your salvation.  You will tell him this with more and more depth and more
and more plainness as year after year he reads his _Holy War_, and better
and better understands it, till he has had it all fulfilled in himself as
a pickt captain and good soldier of Jesus Christ.  You will tell him
about yourself, till, at this forlorn hope in his own life, and at that
sounded advance, in some new providence and in some new duty; in this
commanded attack on an inwardly entrenched enemy, and in that resolute
assault on some battlement of evil habit, he recollects his noble,
confiding, and loving father and plays the man again, and that all the
more if only for his father's sake.  Ask your son what he knows and what
you do not know, and then as long as his heart and his ear are open tell
him what you know and what you have by faith come through, and that will
be a priceless possession to him, especially when he is put in possession
of it by you.

Well on toward the end of the war, the Captain Credence had so acquitted
himself that he was summoned one day to the Prince's quarters, when the
following colloquy ensued: 'What hath my Lord to say to His servant?'  And
then, after a sign or two of favour, it was said to him: 'I have made
thee lieutenant over all the forces in Mansoul; so that, from this day
forward, all men in Mansoul shall be at thy word; and thou shalt be he
that shall lead in and that shall lead out Mansoul.  And at thy command
shall all the rest of the captains be.'  My brethren, you will have the
whole key to all that in yourselves if this same war has gone this length
in you.  Faith, your faith in God, and in the word of God, will, as this
inward war goes on, not only lead the van in your heart and in your life,
but just because your faith so leads in all things, and is so fitted to
lead in all things, it will at last be lifted up and set over your soul,
and all the things of your soul, till nothing shall be done in any of the
streets, or gates, or walls thereof that faith in God and in His word
does not first allow and admit.  And then, when it has come to that
within you, that is the best mind, that is the safest, the happiest, and
the most heavenly mind that you can attain to in this present life; and
when faith shall thus lead and rule over all things in thy soul, be thou
always ready, for thy speedy translation to a still better life is just
at the door.

2. 'The second was that famous captain, Good-hope.  His were the blue
colours.  His standard-bearer was Mr. Expectation, and for a scutcheon he
had three golden anchors; and he had ten thousand men at his feet.'  The
time was, my brethren, when all your hopes and mine were as yet anchored
without the veil.  But all that is now changed.  We still hope, in a mild
kind of way, for this thing and for that in this present life; but only
in a mild kind of way.  It would not be right in us not to look forward,
say, from spring-time to summer, and from summer to harvest.  If the
husbandman had not hope in the former and in the latter rain he would not
sow; and as it is with the husbandman so it is with us all: so ought it
to be, and so it must be.  But we say God willing! all the time that we
plot and plan and hope.  And we say God willing! no longer with a sigh,
but, now, always with a smile.  In His will is our tranquillity, we say,
and we know that if it is not His will that this and that slightly
anchored hope should be fulfilled, then that only means that all our
hopes, to be called hopes, are soon to be realised.  Our green and salad
days in the matter of hope are for ever past.  If we had it all
absolutely secured to us that this world is still promising to its salad
dupes, it would not come within a thousand miles of satisfying our
hearts.  Whether the hopes of our hearts are to be fulfilled within the
veil or no, that remains to be seen; but all the things without the veil
taken together do not any longer even pretend to promise a hope to hearts
like ours.  Our Forerunner has carried away our hearts with Him.  We have
no heart left for any one but Him, or for anything without or within the
veil that He is not and is not in.  And till that hope also has made us
ashamed,--till He and His promises have failed us like all the rest,--we
are going to anchor our hearts on that, and on that only, which we
believe is with Him within the veil.  If our Forerunner also disappoints
us; if we enter where He is, only to find that He is not there; or that,
though there, He is not able to satisfy our hope in Him, and make us like
Himself, then we shall be of all men the most miserable.  But not till
then.  No; not till then.  And thus it is that Captain Good-hope has his
billet in our heart; thus it is that his blue colours float over our
house; and thus it is that his three golden anchors are blazing out in
all their beauty on the best wall of our earthly house.

3.  'The third was that valiant captain, the Captain Charity.  His
standard-bearer was Mr. Pitiful, and for his scutcheon he had three naked
orphans embraced in his bosom; and he also had ten thousand men at his
feet.'  O Charity!  O valiant and pitiful Charity!  Divine-natured and
heavenly-minded Charity!  When wilt thou come and dwell in my heart?
When, by thine indwelling, shall I be able to love my neighbour, and all
my neighbours, as myself?  When, in thy strength, shall I cease from
repining at my neighbour's good; and when shall I cease secretly
rejoicing over his evil?  When shall I by thee renewing me, be made able
to cease in everything from seeking first my own will and my own way; my
own praise and my own glory?  When shall it be as much my new nature to
love my neighbour as it is now my old nature to hate him?  When shall I
cease to be so soon angry, and hard, and bitter, and scornful, and
unrelenting, and unforgiving?  When shall my neighbour's presence, his
image, and his name always call up only love and honour, good-will and
affectionate delight?  When and where shall I, under thee, feel for the
last time any evil of any kind in my heart against my brother?  Oh! to
see the day when I shall suffer long and be kind!  When I shall never
again vaunt myself or be puffed up!  When I shall bear all things,
believe all things, hope all things, endure all things!  O blessed,
blessed Charity! with thy divine heart, with thy dove-like eyes, and with
thy bosom full of pity, when wilt thou come into my sinful heart and
bring all heaven in with thee!  O Charity! till thou so comest I shall
wait for thee.  And, till thou comest, thy standard-bearer shall be my
door porter, and thy scutcheon shall hang night and day at my door-post!

4.  'The fourth captain was that gallant commander, the Captain Innocent.
His standard-bearer was Mr. Harmless; his were the white colours, and for
his scutcheon he had three golden doves.'  My brethren, how well it would
have been with us to-day if we had always lived innocently!  Had we only
been innocent of that man's, and that man's, and that man's, and that
man's hurt!  (Let us name all the men to ourselves.)  How many men have
we, first and last, hurt!  Some intentionally, and some unintentionally;
some deliberately, and some only by accident; some of malice, and some
only of misfortune; some innocently and unknowingly, and whom we never
properly hurt.  Some, also, by our mere existence; some by our best
actions; some because we have helped and not hurt others; and some out of
nothing else but the pure original devilry of their own evil hearts.  And
then, when we take all these men home to our hearts, what hearts all
these men give us!  Who, then, is the man here who has done to other men
the most hurt?  Who has caused or been the occasion of most hurt?  Let
that so unhappy man just think that the gallant commander, the Captain
Innocent himself, with his white colours and with his golden doves, is
standing and knocking at your evil door.  O unhappy man!  By all the hurt
and harm you have ever done--by all that you can never now undo--by those
spotless colours that are still snow and not yet scarlet as they wave
over you--by those three golden doves that are an emblem of the life that
still lies open before you, as well as an invitation to you to enter on
that life--why will you die of remorse and despair?  Open the door of
your heart and admit Captain Innocent.  He knows that of all hurtful men
on the face of the earth you are the most hurtful, but he is not on that
account afraid at you; indeed, it is on that account that he has come so
near to you.  By admitting him, by enlisting under him, by serving under
him, some of the most hurtful and injurious men that ever lived have
lived after to be the most innocent and the most harmless of men, with
their hands washed every day in innocency, and with three golden doves as
the scutcheon of their new nature and their Christian character.  Oh come
into my heart, Captain Innocent; there is room in my heart for thee!

5.  'And then the fifth was that truly royal and well-beloved captain,
the Captain Patience.  His standard-bearer was Mr. Suffer-long, and for a
scutcheon he had three arrows through a golden heart.'  Three arrows
through a golden heart!  Most eloquent, most impressive, and most
instructive of emblems!  First, a heart of gold, and then that heart of
gold pierced, and pierced, and then pierced again with arrow after arrow.
Patience was the last of Emmanuel's pickt graces.  Captain Patience with
his pierced heart always brought up the rear when the army marched.  But
when Captain Patience and Mr. Suffer-long did enter and take up their
quarters in any house in Mansoul,--then was there no house more safe,
more protected, more peaceful, more quietly, sweetly, divinely happy than
just that house where this loyal and well-beloved captain bore in his
heart.  Entertain patience, my brethren.  Practise patience, my brethren.
Make your house at home a daily school to you in which to learn patience.
Be sure that you well understand the times, the occasions, the
opportunities, and the invitations of patience, and take profit out of
them; and thus both your profit and that of others also will be great.
Tribulation worketh patience.  Endure tribulation, then, for the sake of
its so excellent work.  Nothing worketh patience like tribulation, and
therefore it is that tribulation so abounds in the lives of God's people.
So much does tribulation abound in the lives of God's people that they
are actually known in heaven and described there by their experience of
tribulation.  'These are they which came out of great tribulation, and
therefore are they before the throne.'  These are they with the three
sharp arrows shot through and through their hearts of gold.



CHAPTER XVIII--MR. DESIRES-AWAKE


   'One thing have I desired.'--_David_.

Mr. Desires-awake dwelt in a very mean cottage in Mansoul.  There were
two very mean cottages in Mansoul, and those two cottages stood beside
one another and leaned upon one another and held one another up.  Mr.
Desires-awake dwelt in the one of those cottages and Mr. Wet-eyes in the
other.  And those two mendicant men were wont to meet together for secret
prayer, when Mr. Desires-awake would put a rope upon his head, while Mr.
Wet-eyes would not be able to speak for wringing his hands in tears all
the time.  Many a time did those two meanest and most despised of men
deliver that city, according to the proverb of the Preacher: Wisdom is
better than strength, and the words of wisdom are to be heard in secret
places, where wisdom is far better than weapons of war.  Why should I not
do all for them and the best I can? said Mr. Desires-awake when the men
of Mansoul came to him in their extremity.  I will even venture my life
again for them at the pavilion of the Prince.  And accordingly this mean
man put his rope upon his head, as was his wont, and went out to the
Prince's tent and asked the reformades if he might see their Master.  Then
the Prince, coming to the place where the petitioner lay on the ground,
demanded what his name was and of what esteem he was in Mansoul, and why
he, of all the multitudes of Mansoul, was sent out to His Royal tent on
such an errand.  Then said the man to the Prince standing over him, he
said: Oh let not my Lord be angry; and why inquirest Thou after the name
of such a dead dog as I am?  Pass by, I pray Thee, and take not notice of
who I am, because there is, as Thou very well knowest, so great a
disproportion between Thee and me.  For my part, I am out of charity with
myself; who, then, should be in love with me?  Yet live I would, and so
would I that my townsmen should; and because both they and myself are
guilty of great transgressions, therefore they have sent me, and I have
come in their names to beg of my Lord for mercy.  Let it please Thee,
therefore, to incline to mercy; but ask not who Thy servant is.  All
this, and how Mr. Desires-awake and Mr. Wet-eyes sped in their petition,
is to be read at length in the Holy History.  And now let us take down
the key that hangs in our author's window and go to work with it on the
sweet mystery of Mr. Desires-awake.

1.  Well, then, to begin with, this poor man's name need not delay us
long seeking it out.  In shorter time, and with surer success than I
could give you the dictionary root of his name, if you will look within
you will all see the visual image of this poor man's name in your own
heart.  For our hearts are all as full as they can hold of all kinds of
desires; some good and some bad, some asleep and some awake, some alive
and some dead, some raging like a hundred hungry lions, and some
satisfied as a sleeping child.  Well, then, this mean man was called Mr.
Desires-awake, and what his desires were awake after and set upon we have
already seen in his head-dress and heard in his prayer.  His house, on
the other hand, will not be so well known.  For it was less a house than
a hut--a hut hidden away out of sight and back behind Mr. Wet-eyes' hut.
Mr. Desires-awake's cottage was so mean and meagre that no one ever came
to visit him unless it was his next-door neighbour.  They never left
their cottages, those two poor men, unless it was to see one another; or,
strange to tell, unless it was to go out at the city gate to see and to
speak with their Prince.  And at such times their venturesomeness both
astonished themselves and amused their Prince.  Sometimes he laughed to
see them back at his door again; but more often he wept to see and hear
them; all which made the guards of his pavilion to wonder who those two
strange men might be.  And thus it was that if at any long interval of
time any of the men of the city desired to see Mr. Desires-awake, he was
sure to be found at the pavilion door of his Prince, or else in his
neighbour's cottage, or else at home in his own.  From year's end to
year's end you might look in vain for either of those two poor men in the
public resorts of Mansoul.  When all the town was abroad on holidays and
fair-days and feast-days, those two mean men were then closest at home.
And when the booths of the town were full of all kinds of wares and
merchandise, and all the greens in the town were full of games, and
plays, and cheats, and fools, and apes, and knaves, only those two
penniless men would abide shut up at home.  At home; or else together
they would go to a market-stance set up by their Prince outside the walls
where one was stationed to stand and to cry: 'Ho! every one that
thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money.  Wherefore
do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that
which satisfieth not?  Incline your ear and come to me; hear, and your
soul shall live.'  And sometimes the Prince would go out in person to
meet the two men with nothing to pay, and would Himself say to them, I
counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment, and
anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, till the two men, Mr. Desires-awake and
Mr. Wet-eyes, would go home to their huts laden with their Prince's free
gifts and royal bounties.

2.  But, with all that, Mr. Desires-awake never went out to his Prince's
pavilion till he had again put his rope upon his head.  And, however
laden with royal presents he ever returned to his mean cottage, he never
laid aside his rope.  He ate in his rope, he slept in his rope, he
visited his next-door neighbour in his rope, till the only instruction he
left behind him was to bury him in a ditch, and be sure to put his rope
upon his head.  The men and the boys of the town jeered at Mr. Desires-
awake as he passed up their streets in his rope, and the very mothers in
Mansoul taught their children in arms to run after him and to cry, Go up,
thou roped head!  Go up, thou roped head!  We be free men, the men of the
town called after him; and we never were in bondage to any man'.  Out
with him; out with him!  He is beside himself.  Much repentance hath made
him mad!  But through all that Mr. Desires-awake was as one that heard
them not.  For Mr. Desires-awake was full of louder voices within.  The
voices within his bosom quite drowned the babel around him.  The voices
within called him far worse names than the streets of the city ever
called him; till all he could do was to draw his rope down upon his head
and press on again to the Prince's pavilion.  You understand about that
rope, my brethren, do you not?  Mr. Desires-awake's continual rope?  In
old days when a guilty man came of his own accord to the judge to confess
himself deserving of death, he would put a rope upon his head.  And that
rope as much as said to the judge and to all men--the miserable man as
good as said: This is my desert.  This is the wages of my sin.  I justify
my judge.  I judge myself.  I hereby do myself to death.  And it was this
that so angered the happy holiday-makers of Mansoul.  For they forgave
themselves.  They justified themselves.  They put a high price upon
themselves.  Humiliation and sorrow for sin was not in all their
thoughts; and they hated and hunted back into his hut the humble man
whose gait and garb always reminded them of their past life and of their
latter end.  But for all they could do, Mr. Desires-awake would wear his
rope.  My soul chooseth strangling rather than sin, he would say.  My sin
hath found me out, he would say; I hate myself, he would say, because of
my sin.  I condemn and denounce myself.  I hang myself up with this rope
on the accursed tree.  And thus it was that while other men were
crucifying their Prince afresh, Mr. Desires-awake was crucifying himself
with and after his Prince.  And thus it was that while the men and the
women of the town so hated and so mocked Mr. Desires-awake, his Prince so
loved and so honoured him.

3.  'Oh let not my Lord be angry; and why inquirest Thou after the name
of such a dead dog as I am?' said Desires-awake to his Prince.  'Behold,
now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord which am but dust and
ashes,' said Abraham.  'If I wash myself with snow water, and make my
hands never so clean, yet shalt thou plunge me into the ditch, and mine
own clothes shall abhor me,' said Job.  'My wounds stink and are corrupt;
my loins are filled with a loathsome disease, and there is no soundness
in my flesh,' said David.  'But we are all as an unclean thing,' said
Isaiah, 'and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.'  'I am the
chief of sinners,' said the apostle.  'Hold your peace; I am a devil and
not a man,' said Philip Neri to his sons.  'I am a sinner, and worse than
the chief of sinners, yea, a guilty devil,' said Samuel Rutherford.  'I
hated the light; I was a chief--the chief of sinners,' said Oliver
Cromwell.  'I was more loathsome in my own eyes than a toad,' said John
Bunyan.  'Sin and corruption would as naturally bubble out of my heart as
water would bubble out of a fountain.  I could have changed hearts with
anybody.  I thought none but the devil himself could equal me for
wickedness and pollution of mind.'  'O Despise me not,' said Bishop
Andrewes, 'an unclean worm, a dead dog, a putrid corpse.  The just
falleth seven times a day; and I, an exceeding sinner, seventy times
seven.  Me, O Lord, of sinners chief, chiefest, and greatest.'  And
William Law, 'An unclean worm, a dead dog, a stinking carcass.  Drive, I
beseech Thee, the serpent and the beast out of me.  O Lord, I detest and
abhor myself for all these my sins, and for all my abuse of Thine
infinite mercy.'  From all this, then, you will see that this dead dog of
ours with the rope upon his head was no strange sight at Emmanuel's
pavilion.  And you and I shall still be in the same saintly succession if
we go continually with his words in our mouth, and with his instrument in
our hands and on our heads.

4.  'The Prince to whom I went,' said Mr. Desires-awake, 'is such a one
for beauty and for glory that whoso sees Him must ever after both love
and fear Him.  I, for my part,' he said, 'can do no less; but I know not
what the end will be of all these things.'  What made Mr. Desires-awake
say that last thing was that when he was prostrate in his prayer the
Prince turned His head away, as if He was out of humour and out of
patience with His petitioner; while, all the time, the overcome Prince
was weeping with love and with pity for Desires-awake.  Only that poor
man did not see that, and would not have believed that even if he had
seen it.  'I cannot tell what the end will be,' said Desires-awake; 'but
one thing I know, I shall never be able to cease from both loving and
fearing that Prince.  I shall always love Him for His beauty and fear Him
for His glory.'  Can you say anything like that, my brethren?  Have you
been at His seat with sackcloth, and a rope, and ashes, and tears, and
prayers, like Abraham, and David, and Isaiah, and Paul, and John Bunyan,
and Bishop Andrewes?  And, whatever may be the end, do you say that
henceforth and for ever you must both love and fear that Prince?  'Though
He slay me,' said Job, 'yet I shall both love and trust Him.'  Well, the
Prince is the Prince, and He will take both His own time and His own way
of taking off your rope and putting a chain of gold round your neck, and
a new song in your mouth, as He did to Job.  There may be more weeping
yet, both on your side and on His before He does that; but He will do it,
and He will not delay an hour that He can help in doing it.  Only, do you
continue and increase to love His beauty, and to fear His glory.  And
that of itself will be reward and blessing enough to you.  Nay, once you
have seen both His beauty and His glory, then to lie a dog under His
table, and to beg at His door with a rope on your head to all eternity
would be a glorious eternity to you.  Samuel Rutherford said that to see
Christ through the keyhole once in a thousand years would be heaven
enough for him.  Christ wept in heaven as Rutherford wrote that letter in
Aberdeen, and if you make Him weep in the same way He will soon make you
to laugh too.  He will soon make you to laugh as Samuel Rutherford and
Mr. Desires-awake are laughing now.  Only, my brethren, answer this--Are
your desires awakened indeed after Jesus Christ?  You know what a desire
is.  Your hearts are full to the brim of desires.  Well, is there one
desire in a day in your heart for Christ?  In the multitude of your
desires within you, what share and what proportion go out and up to
Christ?  You know what beauty is.  You know and you love the beauty of a
child, of a woman, of a man, of nature, of art, and so on.  Do you know,
have you ever seen, the ineffable beauty of Christ?  Is there one saint
of God here,--and He has many saints here--is there one of you who can
say with David in the text, One thing do I desire?  There should be many
so desiring saints here; for Christ's beauty is far better and far
fairer, far more captivating, far more enthralling, and far more
satisfying to us than it could be to David.  Shall we call you Desires-
awake, then, after this?  Can you say--do you say, One thing do I desire,
and that is no thing and no person, no created beauty and no earthly
sweetness, but my one desire is for God: to be His, and to be like Him,
and to be for ever with Him?  Then, it shall soon all be.  For, what you
truly desire,--all that you already are; and what you already are,--all
that you shall soon completely and for ever be.  Whom have I in heaven
but Thee?  And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.  My
flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my
portion for ever.

'As for me,' says the great-hearted, the hungry-hearted Psalmist, 'I
shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.'  One would have
said that David had all that heart could desire even before he fell
asleep.  For he had a throne, the throne of Israel, and a son, a son like
Solomon to sit upon it.  A long life also, full to the brim of all kinds
of temporal and spiritual blessings.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and
forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who
healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who
crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy
mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
All that, and yet not satisfied!  O David! David! surely Desires-awake is
thy new name!  One of our own poets has said:--

   'All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
      Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
   All are but ministers of Love,
      And feed His sacred flame.'

Now, if that is true, as it is true, even of earthly and ephemeral love,
how much more true is it of the love that is in the immortal soul of man
for the everlasting God?  And what a blessed life that already is when
all things that come to us--joy and sorrow, good and evil, nature and
grace, all thoughts, all passions, all delights--are all but so many
ministers to our soul's desire after God, after the Divine Likeness and
for the Beatific Vision.

   'Oh!  Christ, He is the Fountain,
      The deep sweet Well of Love!
   The streams on earth I've tasted,
      More deep I'll drink above;
   There, to an ocean fulness,
      His mercy doth expand;
   And glory--glory dwelleth
      In Emmanuel's land.'



CHAPTER XIX--MR. WET-EYES


   'Oh that my head were waters!'--_Jeremiah_.

   'Tears gain everything.'--_Teresa_.

Now Mr. Desires-awake, when he saw that he must go on this errand,
besought that they would grant that Mr. Wet-eyes might go with him.  Now
this Mr. Wet-eyes was a near neighbour of Mr. Desires-awake, a poor man,
and a man of a broken spirit, yet one that could speak well to a
petition; so they granted that he should go with him.  Wherefore the two
men at once addressed themselves to their serious business.  Mr. Desires-
awake put his rope upon his head, and Mr. Wet-eyes went with his hands
wringing together.  Then said the Prince, And what is he that is become
thy companion in this so weighty a matter?  So Mr. Desires-awake told
Emmanuel that this was a poor neighbour of his, and one of his most
intimate associates.  And his name, said he, may it please your most
excellent Majesty, is Wet-eyes, of the town of Mansoul.  I know that
there are many of that name that are naught, said he; but I hope it will
be no offence to my Lord that I have brought my poor neighbour with me.
Then Mr. Wet-eyes fell on his face to the ground, and made this apology
for his coming with his neighbour to his Lord:--

'Oh, my Lord,' quoth he, 'what I am I know not myself, nor whether my
name be feigned or true, especially when I begin to think what some have
said, and that is that this name was given me because Mr. Repentance was
my father.  But good men have sometimes bad children, and the sincere do
sometimes beget hypocrites.  My mother also called me by this name of
mine from my cradle; but whether she said so because of the moistness of
my brain, or because of the softness of my heart, I cannot tell.  I see
dirt in mine own tears, and filthiness in the bottom of my prayers.  But
I pray Thee (and all this while the gentleman wept) that Thou wouldst not
remember against us our transgressions, nor take offence at the
unqualifiedness of Thy servants, but mercifully pass by the sin of
Mansoul, and refrain from the magnifying of Thy grace no longer.'  So at
His bidding they arose, and both stood trembling before Him.

1.  'His name, may it please your Majesty, is Wet-eyes, of the town of
Mansoul.  I know, at the same time, that there are many of that name that
are naught.'  Naught, that is, for this great enterprise now in hand.  And
thus it was that Mr. Desires-awake in setting out for the Prince's
pavilion besought that Mr. Wet-eyes might go with him.  Mr. Desires-awake
felt keenly how much might turn on who his companion was that day, and
therefore he took Mr. Wet-eyes with him.  David would have made a most
excellent associate for Mr. Desires-awake that day.  'I am weary with my
groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my
tears.'  And again, 'Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they
keep not Thy law.'  This, then, was the only manner of man that Mr.
Desires-awake would stake his life alongside of that day.  'I have seen
some persons weep for the loss of sixpence,' said Mr. Desires-awake, 'or
for the breaking of a glass, or at some trifling accident.  And they
cannot pretend to have their tears valued at a bigger rate than they will
confess their passion to be when they weep.  Some are vexed for the
dirtying of their linen, or some such trifle, for which the least passion
is too big an expense.  And thus it is that a man cannot tell his own
heart simply by his tears, or the truth of his repentance by those short
gusts of sorrow.'  Well, then, my brethren, tell me, Do you think that
Mr. Desires-awake would have taken you that day to the pavilion door?
Would his head have been safe with you for his associate?  Your
associates see many gusts in your heart.  Do they ever see your eyes red
because of your sin?  Did you ever weep so much as one good tear-drop for
pure sin?  One true tear: not because your sins have found you out, but
for secret sins that you know can never find you out in this world?  And,
still better, do you ever weep in secret places not for sin, but for
sinfulness--which is a very different matter?  Do you ever weep to
yourself and to God alone over your incurably wicked heart?  If not, then
weep for that with all your might, night and day.  No mortal man has so
much cause to weep as you have.  Go to God on the spot, on every spot,
and say with Bishop Andrewes, who is both Mr. Desires-awake and Mr. Wet-
eyes in one, say with that deep man in his _Private Devotions_, say: 'I
need more grief, O God; I plainly need it.  I can sin much, but I cannot
correspondingly repent.  O Lord, give me a molten heart.  Give me tears;
give me a fountain of tears.  Give me the grace of tears.  Drop down, ye
heavens, and bedew the dryness of my heart.  Give me, O Lord, this saving
grace.  No grace of all the graces were more welcome to me.  If I may not
water my couch with my tears, nor wash Thy feet with my tears, at least
give me one or two little tears that Thou mayest put into Thy bottle and
write in Thy book!'  If your heart is hard, and your eyes dry, make
something like that your continual prayer.

2.  'A poor-man,' said Mr. Desires-awake, about his associate.  'Mr. Wet-
eyes is a poor man, and a man of a broken spirit.'  'Let Oliver take
comfort in his dark sorrows and melancholies.  The quantity of sorrow he
has, does it not mean withal the quantity of sympathy he has, and the
quantity of faculty and of victory he shall yet have?  Our sorrow is the
inverted image of our nobleness.  The depth of our despair measures what
capability and height of claim we have to hope.  Black smoke, as of
Tophet, filling all your universe, it can yet by true heart-energy become
flame, and the brilliancy of heaven.  Courage!'

   'This is the angel of the earth,
   And she is always weeping.'

3.  'A poor man, and a man of a broken spirit, and yet one that can speak
well to a petition.'  Yes; and you will see how true that eulogy of Mr.
Wet-eyes is if you will run over in your mind the outstanding instances
of successful petitioners in the Scriptures.  As you come down the Old
and the New Testaments you will be astonished and encouraged to find how
prevailing a fountain of tears always is with God.  David with his
swimming bed; Jeremiah with his head waters; Mary Magdalene over His feet
with her welling eyes; Peter's bitter cry all his life long as often as
he heard a cock crow, and so on.  So on through a multitude whose names
are written in heaven, and who went up to heaven all the way with
inconsolable sorrow because of their sins.  They took words and turned to
the Lord; but,--better than the best words,--they took tears, or rather,
their tears took them.  The best words, the words that the Holy Ghost
Himself teacheth, if they are without tears, will avail nothing.  Even
inspired words will not pass through; while, all the time, tears, mere
tears, without words, are omnipotent with God.  Words weary Him, while
tears overcome and command Him.  He inhabits the tears of Israel.
Therefore, also, now, saith the Lord, turn ye unto Me with all your
heart, and with weeping and with mourning.  And rend your heart, and not
your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God, for He is gracious and
merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the
evil.  It is the same with ourselves.  Tears move us.  Tears melt us.  We
cannot resist tears.  Even counterfeit tears, we cannot be sure that they
are not true.  And that is the main reason why our Lord is so good at
speaking to a petition.  It is because His whole heart, and all the
moving passions of His heart, are in His intercessory office.  It is
because He still remembers in the skies His tears, His agonies, and
cries.  It is because He is entered into the holiest with His own tears
as well as with His own blood.  And it is because He will remain and
abide before the Father the Man of Sorrows till our last petition is
answered, and till God has wiped the last tear from our eyes.  When He
was in the coasts of Caesarea-Philippi, our Lord felt a great curiosity
to find out who the people thereabouts took Him to be.  And it must have
touched His heart to be told that some men had insight enough to insist
that He was the prophet Jeremiah come back again to weep over Jerusalem.
He is Elias, said some.  No; He is John the Baptist risen from the dead,
said others.  No, no; said some men who saw deeper than their neighbours.
His head is waters, and His eyes are a fountain of tears.  Do you not see
that He so often escapes into a lodge in the wilderness to weep for our
sins?  No; He is neither John nor Elijah; He is Jeremiah come back again
to weep over Jerusalem!  And even an apostle, looking back at the
beginning of our Lord's priesthood on earth, says that He was prepared
for His office by prayers and supplications, and with strong crying and
tears.  From all that, then, let us learn and lay to heart that if we
would have one to speak well to our petitions, the Man of Sorrows is that
one.  And then, as His remembrancers on our behalf, let us engage all
those among our friends who have the same grace of tears.  But, above
all, let us be men of tears ourselves.  For all the tears and all the
intercessions of our great High Priest, and all the importunings of our
best friends to boot, will avail us nothing if our own eyes are dry.  Let
us, then, turn back to Bishop Andrewes's prayer for the grace of tears,
and offer it every night with him till our head, like his, is holy
waters, and till, like him, we get beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

4.  'Clear as tears' is a Persian proverb when they would praise their
purest spring water.  But Mr. Wet-eyes has from henceforth spoiled the
point of that proverb for us.  'I see,' he said, 'dirt in mine own tears,
and filthiness in the bottom of my prayers.'  Mr. Wet-eyes is hopeless.
Mr. Wet-eyes is intolerable.  Mr. Wet-eyes would weary out the patience
of a saint.  There is no satisfying or pacifying or ever pleasing this
morbose Mr. Wet-eyes.  The man is absolutely insufferable.  Why, prayers
and tears that the most and best of God's people cannot attain to are
spurned and spat upon by Mr. Wet-eyes.  The man is beside himself with
his tears.  For, tears that would console and assure us for a long season
after them, he will weep over them as we scarce weep over our worst sins.
His closet always turns all his comeliness to corruption.  He comes out
of his closet after all night in it with his psalm-book wrung to pulp,
and with all his righteousnesses torn to filthy rags; till all men escape
Mr. Wet-eyes' society--all men except Mr. Desires-awake.  I will go out
on your errand now, said Mr. Desires-awake, if you will send Mr. Wet-eyes
with me.  And thus the two twin sons of sorrow for sin and hunger after
holiness went out arm in arm to the great pavilion together, Mr. Desires-
awake with his rope upon his head, and Mr. Wet-eyes with his hands
wringing together.  Thus they went to the Prince's pavilion.  I gave you
a specimen of one of Mr. Wet-eyes' prayers in the introduction to this
discourse, and you did not discover much the matter with it, did you?  You
did not discover much filthiness in the bottom of that prayer, did you?  I
am sure you did not.  Ah! but that is because you have not yet got Mr.
Wet-eyes' eyes.  When you get his eyes; when you turn and employ upon
yourselves and upon your tears and upon your prayers his always-wet
eyes,--then you will begin to understand and love and take sides with
this inconsolable soul, and will choose his society rather than that of
any other man--as often, at any rate, as you go out to the Prince's
pavilion door.

5.  'Mr. Repentance was my father, but good men sometimes have bad
children, and the most sincere do sometimes beget great hypocrites.  But,
I pray Thee, take not offence at the unqualifiedness of Thy servant.'
Take good note of that uncommon expression, 'unqualifiedness,' in Mr. Wet-
eyes' confession, all of you who are attending to what is being said.  Lay
'unqualifiedness' to heart.  Learn how to qualify yourselves before you
begin to pray.  In his fine comment on the 137th Psalm, Matthew Henry
discourses delightfully on what he calls 'deliberate tears.'  Look up
that raciest of commentators, and see what he there says about the
deliberate tears of the captives in Babylon.  It was the lack of
sufficient deliberation in his tears that condemned and alarmed Mr. Wet-
eyes that day.  He felt now that he had not deliberated and qualified
himself properly before coming to the Prince's pavilion.  Do not take up
your time or your thoughts with mere curiosities, either in your Bible or
in any other good book, says A Kempis.  Read such things rather as may
yield compunction to your heart.  And again, give thyself to compunction,
and thou shalt gain much devotion thereby.  Mr. Wet-eyes, good and true
soul, was afraid that he had not qualified himself enough by compunctious
reading and self-recollection.  The sincere, he sobbed out, do often
beget hypocrites!  'Our hearts are so deceitful in the matter of
repentance,' says Jeremy Taylor, 'that the masters of the spiritual life
are fain to invent suppletory arts and stratagems to secure the duty.'
Take not offence at the lack of all such suppletory arts and stratagems
in thy servant, said poor Wet-eyes.  All which would mean in the most of
us: Take not offence at my rawness and ignorance in the spiritual life,
and especially in the life of inward devotion.  Do not count up against
me the names and the numbers and the prices of my poems, and plays, and
novels, and newspapers, and then the number of my devotional books.
Compare not my outlay on my body and on this life with my outlay on my
soul and on the life to come.  Oh, take not mortal offence at the
shameful and scandalous unqualifiedness of Thy miserable servant.  My
father and my mother read the books of the soul, but they have left
behind them a dry-eyed reprobate in me!  Say that to-night as you look
around on the grievous famine of the suppletory arts and stratagems of
repentance and reformation in your heathenish bedroom.

Spiritual preaching; real face to face, inward, verifiable, experimental,
spiritual preaching; preaching to a heart in the agony of its
sanctification; preaching to men whose whole life is given over to making
them a new heart--that kind of preaching is scarcely ever heard in our
day.  There is great intellectual ability in the pulpit of our day, great
scholarship, great eloquence, and great earnestness, but spiritual
preaching, preaching to the spirit--'wet-eyed' preaching--is a lost art.
At the same time, if that living art is for the present overlaid and
lost, the literature of a deeper spiritual day abides to us, and our
spiritually-minded people are not confined to us, they are not dependent
on us.  Well, this is the Communion week with us yet once more.  Will you
not, then, make it the beginning of some of the suppletory arts and
stratagems of the spiritual life with yourselves?  I cannot preach as I
would like on such subjects, but I can tell you who could, and who,
though dead, yet speak by their immortal books.  You have the wet-eyed
psalms; but they are beyond the depth of most people.  Their meaning
seems to us on the surface, and we all read and sing them, but let us not
therefore think that we understand them.  I cannot compel you to read the
books, and to read little else but the books, that would in time, and by
God's blessing, lead you into the depths of the psalms; but I can wash my
hands so far in making their names so many household words among my
people.  The _Way to Christ_, the _Imitation of Christ_, the _Theologia
Germanica_, Tauler's _Sermons_, the _Mortification of Sin_, and
_Indwelling Sin in Believers_, the _Saint's Rest_, the _Holy Living and
Dying_, the _Privata Sacra_, the _Private Devotions_, the _Serious Call_,
the _Christian Perfection_, the _Religious Affections_, and such like.
All that, and you still unqualified!  All that, and your eyes still dry!



CHAPTER XX--MR. HUMBLE THE JURYMAN, AND MISS HUMBLE-MIND THE SERVANT-MAID


   'Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.'--_Our Lord_.

   'Be clothed with humility.'--_Peter_.

   'God's chiefest saints are the least in their own eyes.'--_A Kempis_.

   'Without humility all our other virtues are but vices.'--_Pascal_.

   'Humility does not consist in having a worse opinion of ourselves than
   we deserve.'--_Law_.

   'Humility lies close upon the heart, and its tests are exceedingly
   delicate and subtle.'--_Newman_.

Our familiar English word 'humility' comes down to us from the Latin root
_humus_, which means the earth or the ground.  Humility, therefore, is
that in the mind and in the heart of a man which is low down even to the
very earth.  A humble-minded man may not have learning enough to know the
etymology of the name which best describes his character, but the divine
nature which is in him teaches him to look down, to walk meekly and
softly, and to speak seldom, and always in love.  For humility, while it
takes its lowly name from earth, all the time has its true nature from
heaven.  Humility is full of all meekness, modesty, submissiveness,
teachableness, sense of inability, sense of unworthiness, sense of ill-
desert.  Till, with that new depth and new intensity that the Scriptures
and religious experience have given to this word, as to so many other
words, humility, in the vocabulary of the spiritual life, has come to be
applied to that low estimate of ourselves which we come to form and to
entertain as we are more and more enlightened about God and about
ourselves; about the majesty, glory, holiness, beauty, and blessedness of
the divine nature, and about our own unspeakable evil, vileness, and
misery as sinners.  And, till humility has come to rank in Holy
Scripture, and in the lives and devotions of all God's saints, as at once
the deepest root and the ripest fruit of all the divine graces that enter
into, and, indeed, constitute the life of God in the heart of man.
Humility, evangelical humility, sings Edwards in his superb and seraphic
poem the _Religious Affections_,--evangelical humility is the sense that
the true Christian has of his own utter insufficiency, despicableness,
and odiousness, a sense which is peculiar to the true saint.  But to
compensate the true saint for this sight and sense of himself, he has
revealed to him an accompanying sense of the absolutely transcendent
beauty of the divine nature and of all divine things; a sight and a sense
that quite overcome the heart and change to holiness all the dispositions
and inclinations and affections of the heart.  The essence of evangelical
humility, says Edwards, consists in such humility as becomes a creature
in himself exceeding sinful, but at the same time, under a dispensation
of grace, and this is the greatest and most essential thing in all true
religion.

1.  Well, then, our Mr. Humble was a juryman in Mansoul, and his name and
his nature eminently fitted him for his office.  I never was a juryman;
but, if I were, I feel sure I would come home from the court a far
humbler man than I went up to it.  I cannot imagine how a judge can
remain a proud man, or an advocate, or a witness, or a juryman, or a
spectator, or even a policeman.  I am never in a criminal court that I do
not tremble with terror all the time.  I say to myself all the
time,--there stands John Newton but for the preventing grace of God.  'I
will not sit as a judge to try General Boulanger, because I hate him,'
said M. Renault in the French Senate.  Mr. Humble himself could not have
made a better speech to the bench than that when his name was called to
be sworn.  Let us all remember John Newton and M. Renault when we would
begin to write or to speak about any arrested, accused, found-out man.
Let other men's arrests, humiliations, accusations, and sentences only
make us search well our own past, and that will make us ever humbler and
ever humbler men ourselves; ever more penitent men, and ever more
prayerful men.

2.  And then Miss Humble-mind, his only daughter, was a servant-maid.
There is no office so humble but that a humble mind will not put on still
more humility in it.  What a lesson in humility, not Peter only got that
night in the upper room, but that happy servant-maid also who brought in
the bason and the towel.  Would she ever after that night grumble and
give up her place in a passion because she had been asked to do what was
beneath her to do?  Would she ever leave that house for any wages?  Would
she ever see that bason without kissing it?  Would that towel not be a
holy thing ever after in her proud eyes?  How happy that house would ever
after that night be, not so much because the Lord's Supper had been
instituted in it, as because a servant was in it who had learned humility
as she went about the house that night.  Let all our servants hold up
their heads and magnify their office.  Their Master was once a servant,
and He left us all, and all servants especially, an example that they
should follow in His steps.  Peter, whose feet were washed that night,
never forgot that night, and his warm heart always warmed to a servant
when he saw her with her bason and her towels, till he gave her half a
chapter to herself in his splendid First Epistle.  'Servants, be
subject,' he said, till his argument rose to a height above which not
even Paul himself ever rose.  Servant-maids, you must all have your own
half-chapter out of First Peter by heart.

3.  But I have as many students of one kind or other here to-night as I
have maid-servants, and they will remember where a great student has said
that knowledge without love but puffeth a student up.  Now, the best
knowledge for us all, and especially so for a student, is to know
himself: his own ignorance, his own foolishness, his blindness of mind,
and, especially, his corruption of heart.  For that knowledge will both
keep him from being puffed up with what he already knows, and it will
also put him and keep him in the way of knowing more.  Self-knowledge
will increase humility, and all the past masters both of science and of
religion will tell him that humility is the certain note of the true
student.  You who are students all know _The Advancement of Learning_,
just as the servants sitting beside you all know the second chapter of
First Peter.  Well, your master Verulam there tells you, and indeed on
every page of his, that it is only to a humble, waiting, childlike temper
that nature, like grace, will ever reveal up her secrets.  'There is
small chance of truth at the goal when there is not a childlike humility
at the starting-post.'  Well, then, all you students who would fain get
to the goal of science, make the Church of Christ your starting-post.
Come first and come continually to the Christian school to learn
humility, and then, as long as your talents, your years, and your
opportunities hold out, both truth and goodness will open up to you at
every step.  Every step will be a goal, and at every goal a new step will
open up.  And God's smile and God's blessing, and all good men's love and
honour and applause will support and reward you in your race.  And,
humble-minded to the truth herself, be, at the same time, humble-minded
toward all who like yourself are seeking to know and to do the truth.  A
lately deceased student of nature was a pattern to all students as long
as he waited on truth in his laboratory; and even as long as he remained
at his desk to tell the world what he and other students had discovered
in their search.  But when any other student in his search after truth
was compelled to cross that hitherto so exemplary student, he immediately
became as insolent as if he had been the greatest boor in the country.
Till, as he spat out scorn at all who differed from him we always
remembered this in A Kempis--'Surely, an humble husbandman that serveth
God is better than a proud philosopher that, neglecting himself,
laboureth to understand the course of the heavens.  It is great wisdom
and perfection to esteem nothing of ourselves, and to think always well
and highly of others.'  Students of arts, students of philosophy,
students of law, students of medicine, and especially, students of
divinity, be humble men.  Labour in humility even more than in your
special science.  Humility will advance you in your special science;
while, all the time, and at the end of time, she will be more to you than
all the other sciences taken together.  And since I have spoken of A
Kempis, take this motto for all your life out of A Kempis, as the great
and good Fenelon did, and it will guide you to the goal: _Ama nescia et
pro nihilo reputari_.

4.  But of all the men in the whole world it is ministers who should
simply, as Peter says, be clothed with humility, and that from head to
foot.  And, first as divinity students, and then as pastors and
preachers, we who are ministers have advantages and opportunities in this
respect quite peculiar and private to ourselves.  For, while other
students are spending their days and their nights on the ancient classics
of Greece and Rome, the student who is to be a minister is buried in the
Psalms, in the Gospels, and in the Epistles.  While the student of law is
deep in his commentaries and his cases, the student of divinity is deep
in the study of experimental religion.  And while the medical student is
full of the diseases of animals and of men, the theological student is
absorbed in the holiness of the divine nature, and in the plague of the
human heart, and, especially, he is drowned deeper every day in his own.
And he who has begun a curriculum like that and is not already putting on
a humility beyond all other men had better lose no more time, but turn
himself at once to some other way of making his bread.  The word of God
and his own heart,--yes; what a sure school of evangelical humility to
every evangelically-minded student is that!  And, then, after that, and
all his days, his congregational communion-roll and his visiting-book.
Let no minister who would be found of God clothed and canopied over with
humility ever lose sight of his communion-roll and pastoral visitation-
book.  I defy any minister to keep those records always open before him
and yet remain a proud man, a self-respecting, self-satisfied,
self-righteous man.  For, what secret histories of his own folly,
neglect, rashness, offensiveness, hot-headedness, self-seeking,
self-pleasing vanity, now puffed up over one man, now cast down and full
of gloom over another, what self-flattery here, and what resentment and
retaliation there; and so on, as only his own eyes and his Divine
Master's eye can read between every diary line.  What shame will cover
that minister as with a mantle when he thinks what the Christian ministry
might be made, and then takes home to himself what he has made it!  Let
any minister shut himself in with his communion-roll and his visiting-
book before each returning communion season, and there will be one worthy
communicant at least in the congregation: one who will have little
appetite all that week for any other food but the broken Body and the
shed Blood of his Redeemer.  But these are professional matters that the
outside world has nothing to do with and would not understand.  Only, let
all young men who would have evangelical humility absolutely secured and
sealed to them,--let them come and be ministers.  Just as all young men
who would have any satisfaction in life, any sense of work well done and
worthy of reward, any taste of a goal attained and an old age earned, let
them take to anything in all this world but the evangelical pulpit and
its accompanying pastorate.

5.  But humility is not a grace of the pulpit and the pastorate only.  It
is not those who are separated by the Holy Ghost to study the word of God
and their own hearts all their life long only, who are called to put on
humility.  All men are called to that grace.  There is no acceptance with
God for any man without that grace.  There is no approach to God for any
man without it.  All salvation begins and ends in it.  Would you, then,
fain possess it?  Would you, then, fain attain to it?  Then let there be
no mystery and no mistake made about it.  Would any man here fain get
down to that deep valley where God's saints walk in the sweet shade and
lie down in green pastures?  Well, I warrant him that just before him,
and already under his eye, there is a flight of steps cut in the hill,
which steps, if he will take them, will, step after step, take him also
down to that bottom.  The whole face of this steep and slippery world is
sculptured deep with such submissive steps.  Indeed, when a man's eyes
are once turned down to that valley, there is nothing to be seen anywhere
in all this world but downward steps.  Look whichever way you will, there
gleams out upon you yet another descending stair.  Look back at the way
you came up.  But take care lest the sight turns you dizzy.  Look at any
spot you once crossed on your way up, and, lo! every foot-print of yours
has become a descending step.  You sink down as you look, broken down
with shame and with horror and with remorse.  There are people, some
still left in this world, and some gone to the other world, people whom
you dare not think of lest you should turn sick and lose hold and hope.
There are places you dare not visit: there are scenes you dare not
recall.  Lucifer himself would be a humble angel with his wings over his
face if he had a past like yours, and would often enough return to look
at it.  And, then, not the past only, but at this present moment there
are people and things placed close beside you, and kept close beside you,
and you close beside them, on divine purpose just to give you continual
occasion and offered opportunity to practise humility.  They are kept
close beside you just on purpose to humiliate you, to cut out your
descending steps, to lend you their hand, and to say to you: Keep near
us.  Only keep your eye on us, and we will see you down!  And then, if
you are resolute enough to look within, if you are able to keep your eye
on what goes on in your own heart like heart--beats, then, already, I
know where you are.  You are under all men's feet.  You are ashamed to
lift up your eyes to meet other men's eyes.  You dare not take their
honest hands.  You could tell Edwards himself things about humiliation
now that would make his terribly searching and humbling book quite tame
and tasteless.

Come, then, O high-minded man, be sane, be wise.  If you were up on a
giddy height, and began to see that certain death was straight and soon
before you, what would you do?  You know what you would do.  You would
look with all your eyes for such steps as would take you safest down to
the solid ground.  You would welcome any hand stretched out to help you.
You would be most attentive and most obedient and most thankful to any
one who would assure you that this is the right way down.  And you would
keep on saying to yourself--Once I were well down, no man shall see me up
here again.  Well, my brethren, humiliation, humility, is to be learned
just in the same way, and it is to be learned in no other way.  He who
would be down must just come down.  That is all.  A step down, and
another step down, and another, and another, and already you are well
down.  A humble act done to-day, a humble word spoken to-morrow;
humiliation after humiliation accepted every day that you would at one
time have spurned from you with passion; and then your own vile, hateful,
unbearable heart-all that is ordained of God to bring you down, down to
the dust; and this last, your own heart, will bring you down to the very
depths of hell.  And thus, after all your other opportunities and
ordinances of humility are embraced and exhausted, then the plunges, the
depths, the abysses of humility that God will open up in your own heart
will all work in you a meetness for heaven and a ripeness for its glory,
that shall for ever reward you for all that degradation and shame and
self-despair which have been to you the sure way and the only way to
everlasting life.



CHAPTER XXI--MASTER THINK-WELL, THE LATE AND ONLY SON OF OLD MR.
MEDITATION


   'As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.'--_A Proverb_.

It was a truly delightful sight to see old Mr. Meditation and his only
son, our little Think-well, out among the woods and hedgerows of a summer
afternoon.  Little Think-well was the son of his father's old age.  That
dry tree used to say to himself that if ever he was intrusted with a son
of his own, he would make his son his most constant and his most
confidential companion all his days.  And so he did.  The eleventh of
Deuteronomy had become a greater and greater text to that childless man
as he passed the mid-time of his days.  'Therefore,' he used to say to
himself, as he walked abroad alone, and as other men passed him with
their children at their side--'Therefore ye shall teach them to your
children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when
thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thine house and upon thy
gates.'  And thus it was that, as the little lad grew up, there was no
day of all the seven that he so much numbered and waited for as was that
sacred day on which his father was free to take little Think-well by the
hand and lead him out to talk to him.  'No,' said an Edinburgh boy to his
mother the other day--'No, mother,' he said, 'I have no liking for these
Sunday papers with their poor stories and their pictures.  I am to read
the Bible stories and the Bible biographies first.'  He is not my boy.  I
wish my boys were all like him.  'And Plutarch on week-days for such a
boy,' I said to his mother.  How to keep a decent shred of the old
sanctification on the modern Sabbath-day is the anxious inquiry of many
fathers and mothers among us.  My friend with her manly-minded boy, and
Mr. Meditation with little Think-well had no trouble in that matter.

         'And once I said,
   As I remember, looking round upon those rocks
   And hills on which we all of us were born,
   That God who made the Great Book of the world
   Would bless such piety;--
   Never did worthier lads break English bread:
   The finest Sunday that the autumn saw,
   With all its mealy clusters of ripe nuts,
   Could never keep those boys away from church,
   Or tempt them to an hour of Sabbath breach,
   Leonard and James!'

Think-well and that mother's son.

Old Mr. Meditation, the father, was sprung of a poor but honest and
industrious stock in the city.  He had not had many talents or
opportunities to begin with, but he had made the very best of the two he
had.  And then, when the two estates of Mr. Fritter-day and Mr. Let-good-
slip were sequestered to the crown, the advisers of the crown handed over
those two neglected estates to Mr. Meditation to improve them for the
common good, and after him to his son, whose name we know.  The steps of
a good man are ordered of the Lord, and He delighteth in his way.  I have
been young and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his seed begging bread.

Now, this Think-well old Mr. Meditation had by Mrs. Piety, and she was
the daughter of the old Recorder.   'I am Thy servant,' said Mrs. Piety's
son on occasion all his days--'I am Thy servant and the son of Thine
handmaid.'  And at that so dutiful acknowledgment of his a long
procession of the servants of God pass up before our eyes with their
sainted mothers leaning on the arms of their great sons.  The Psalmist
and his mother, the Baptist and his mother, our Lord and His mother, the
author of the Fourth Gospel and his mother, Paul's son and successor in
the gospel and his mother and grandmother, the author of _The
Confessions_ and his mother; and, in this noble connection, I always
think of Halyburton and his good mother.  And in this ennobling
connection you will all think of your own mother also, and before we go
any further you will all say, I also, O Lord, am Thy servant and the son
of Thine handmaid.  'Fathers and mothers handle children differently,'
says Jeremy Taylor.  And then that princely teacher of the Church of
Christ Catholic goes on to tell us how Mrs. Piety handled her little
Think-well which she had borne to Mr. Meditation.  After other things,
she said this every night before she took sleep to her tired eyelids,
this: 'Oh give me grace to bring him up.  Oh may I always instruct him
with diligence and meekness; govern him with prudence and holiness; lead
him in the paths of religion and justice; never provoking him to wrath,
never indulging him in folly, and never conniving at an unworthy action.
Oh sanctify him in his body, soul, and spirit.  Let all his thoughts be
pure and holy to the Searcher of hearts; let his words be true and
prudent before men; and may he have the portion of the meek and the
humble in the world to come, and all through Jesus Christ our Lord!'  How
could a son get past a father and a mother like that?  Even if, for a
season, he had got past them, he would be sure to come back.  Only, their
young Think-well never did get past his father and his mother.

There was not so much word of heredity in his day; but without so much of
the word young Think-well had the whole of the thing.  And as time went
on, and the child became more and more the father of the man, it was seen
and spoken of by all the neighbours who knew the house, how that their
only child had inherited all his father's head, and all his mother's
heart, and then that he had reverted to his maternal grandfather in his
so keen and quick sense of right and wrong.  All which, under whatever
name it was held, was a most excellent outfit for our young gentleman.
His old father, good natural head and all, had next to no book-learning.
He had only two or three books that he read a hundred times over till he
had them by heart.  And as he sighed over his unlettered lot he always
consoled himself with a saying he had once got out of one of his old
books.  The saying of some great authority was to this effect, that 'an
old and simple woman, if she loves Jesus, may be greater than our great
brother Bonaventure.'  He did not know who Bonaventure was, but he always
got a reproof again out of his name.  Think-well, to his father's immense
delight, was a very methodical little fellow, and his father and he had
orderly little secrets that they told to none.  Little secret plans as to
what they were to read about, and think about, and pray about on certain
days of the week and at certain hours of the day and the night.  You must
not call the father an old pedant, for the fact is, it was the son who
was the pedant if there was one in that happy house.  The two intimate
friends had a word between them they called _agenda_.  And nobody but
themselves knew where they had borrowed that uncouth word, what language
it was, or what it meant.  Only in the old man's tattered pocket-book
there were things like this found by his minister after his death.
Indeed, in a museum of such relics this is still to be read under a glass
case, and in old Mr. Meditation's ramshackle hand: 'Monday, death;
Tuesday, judgment; Wednesday, heaven; Thursday, hell; Friday, my past
life back to my youth; Saturday, the passion of my Saviour; Lord's day,
creation, salvation, and my own.--M.'  And then, on an utterly illegible
page, this: 'Jesus, Thy life and Thy words are a perpetual sermon to me.
I meditate on Thee all the day.  Make my memory a vessel of election.  Let
all my thoughts be plain, honest, pious, simple, prudent, and charitable,
till Thou art pleased to draw the curtain and let me see Thyself, O
Eternal Jesu!'  If I had time I could tell you more about Think-well's
quaint old father.  But the above may be better than nothing about the
rare old gentleman.

A great authority has said--two great authorities have said in their
enigmatic way, that a 'dry light is ever the best.'  That may be so in
some cases and to some uses, but nothing can be more sure than this, that
the light that little Think-well got from his father's head was
excellently drenched in his mother's heart.  The sweet moisture of his
mother's heart mixed up beautifully with his father's drier head and made
a fine combination in their one boy as it turned out.  Her minister,
preaching on one occasion on my text for to-night, had said--and she had
such a memory for a sermon that she had never forgotten it, but had laid
it up in her heart on the spot--'As the philosopher's stone,' the old-
fashioned preacher had said, 'turns all metals into gold, as the bee
sucks honey out of every flower, and as the good stomach sucks out some
sweet and wholesome nourishment out of whatever it takes into itself, so
doth a holy heart, so far as sanctified, convert and digest all things
into spiritual and useful thoughts.  This you may see in Psalm cvii. 43.'
And in her plain, silent, hidden, motherly way Mistress Piety adorned her
old minister's doctrine of the holy heart that he was always preaching
about, till she shared her soft and holy heart with her son, as his
father had shared his clear and deep, if too unlearned, head.

We have one grandmother at least signalised in the Bible; but no
grandfather, so far as I remember.  But amends are made for that in the
_Holy War_.  For Think-well would never have been the man he became had
it not been for the old Recorder, his grandfather on his mother's side.
Some superficial people said that there was too much severity in the old
Recorder; but his grandson who knew him best, never said that.  He was
the best of men, his grandson used to stand up for him, and say, I shall
never forget the debt I owe him.  It was he who taught me first to make
conscience of my thoughts.  Indeed, as for my secret thoughts, I had
taken no notice of them till that summer afternoon walk home from church,
when we sat down among the bushes and he showed me on the spot the way.
And I can say to his memory that scarce for one waking hour have I any
day forgotten the lesson.  The lesson how to make a conscience, as he
said, of all my thoughts about myself and about all my neighbours.  Such,
then, were Think-well's more immediate ancestors, and such was the
inheritance that they all taken together had left him.

Think-well!  Think-well!  My brethren, what do you think, what do you
say, as you hear that fine name?  I will tell you what I think and say.
If I overcome, and have that white stone given to me, and in that stone a
new name written which no man shall know saving he that receiveth it; and
if it were asked me here to-night what I would like my new name to be, I
would say on the spot, Let it be THINK-WELL!  Let my new name among the
saved and the sanctified before the throne be THINK-WELL!  As, O God, it
will be the bottomless pit to me, if I am forsaken of Thee for ever to my
evil thoughts.  Send down and prevent it.  Stir up all Thy strength and
give commandment to prevent it.  Do Thou prevent it.  For, after I have
done all,--after I have made all my overt acts blameless, after I have
tamed my tongue which no man can tame--all that only the more throws my
thoughts into a very devil's garden, a thicket of hell, a secret swamp of
sin to the uttermost.  How, then, am I ever to attain to that white stone
and that shining name?  And that in a world of such truth that every
man's name and title there shall be a strict and true and entirely
accurate and adequate description and exposition of the very thoughts and
intents and imaginations of his heart?  How shall I, how shall you, my
brethren, ever have 'Think-well' written on our forehead?--Well, with God
all things are possible.  With God, with a much meditating mind, and a
true and humble and tender heart, and a pure conscience, a conscience
void of offence, working together with Him--He, with all these
inheritances and all these environments working together with Him, will
at last enable us, you and me, to lift up such a clear and transparent
forehead.  But not without our constant working together.  We must
ourselves make head, and heart, and, especially, conscience of all our
thoughts--for a long lifetime we must do that.  The _Ductor Dubitantium_
has a deep chapter on 'The Thinking Conscience.'  And what a reproof to
many of us lies in the mere name!  For how much evil-thinking and evil-
speaking we have all been guilty of through our unthinking conscience and
through a zeal for God, but a zeal without knowledge.  Look back at the
history of the Church and see; look back at your own history in the
Church and see.  Yes, make conscience of your thoughts: but let it first
be an instructed conscience, a thinking conscience, a conscience full of
the best and the clearest light.  And then let us also make ourselves a
new heart and a new spirit, as Ezekiel has it.  For our hearts are
continually perverting and polluting and poisoning our thoughts.  That is
a fearful thing that is said about the men on whom the flood soon came.
You remember what is said about them, and in explanation and
justification of the flood.  God saw, it is said, that every imagination
of the thoughts of their hearts was evil, and only evil continually.
Fearful!  Far more fearful than ten floods!  O God, Thou seest us.  And
Thou seest all the imaginations of the thoughts of our hearts.  Oh give
us all a mind and a heart and a conscience to think of nothing, to fear
nothing, to watch and to pray about nothing compared with our thoughts.
'As for my secret thoughts,' says the author of the _Holy War_ and the
creator of Master Think-well--'As for my secret thoughts, I paid no
attention to them.  I never knew I had them.  I had no pain, or shame, or
guilt, or horror, or despair on account of them till John Gifford took me
and showed me the way.'  And then when John Bunyan, being the man of
genius he was,--as soon as he began to attend to his own secret thoughts,
then the first faint outline of this fine portrait of Think-well began to
shine out on the screen of this great artist's imagination, and from that
sanctified screen this fine portrait of Think-well and his family has
shined into our hearts to-night.



CHAPTER XXII--MR. GOD'S-PEACE, A GOODLY PERSON, AND A SWEET-NATURED
GENTLEMAN


   'Let the peace of God rule in your hearts,--the peace of God that
   passeth all understanding.'--_Paul_.

John Bunyan is always at his very best in allegory.  In some other
departments of work John Bunyan has had many superiors; but when he lays
down his head on his hand and begins to dream, as we see him in some of
the old woodcuts, then he is alone; there is no one near him.  We have
not a few greater divines in pure divinity than John Bunyan.  We have
some far better expositors of Scripture than John Bunyan, and we have
some far better preachers.  John Bunyan at his best cannot open up a deep
Scripture like that prince of expositors, Thomas Goodwin.  John Bunyan in
all his books has nothing to compare for intellectual strength and for
theological grasp with Goodwin's chapter on the peace of God, in his
sixth book in _The Work of the Holy Ghost_.  John Bunyan cannot set forth
divine truth in an orderly method and in a built-up body like John Owen.
He cannot Platonize divine truth like his Puritan contemporary, John
Howe.  He cannot soar high as heaven in the beauty and the sweetness of
gospel holiness like Jonathan Edwards.  He has nothing of the
philosophical depth of Richard Hooker, and he has nothing of the vast
learning of Jeremy Taylor.  But when John Bunyan's mind and heart begin
to work through his imagination, then--

      'His language is not ours.
   'Tis my belief God speaks; no tinker hath such powers.'

1.  In the beginning of his chapter on 'Speaking peace,' Thomas Goodwin
tells his reader that he is going to fully couch all his intendments
under a metaphor and an allegory.  But Goodwin's reader has read and re-
read the great chapter, and has not yet discovered where the metaphor and
the allegory came in and where they went out.  But Bunyan does not need
to advertise his reader that he is going to couch his teaching in his
imagination.

   'But having now my method by the end,
   Still, as I pulled it came: and so I penned
   It down; until at last it came to be
   For length and breadth the bigness that you see.'

The Blessed Prince, he begins, did also ordain a new officer in the town,
and a goodly person he was.  His name was Mr. God's-peace.  This man was
set over my Lord Will-be-will, my Lord Mayor, Mr. Recorder, the
subordinate preacher, Mr. Mind, and over all the natives of the town of
Mansoul.  Himself was not a native of the town, but came with the Prince
from the court above.  He was a great acquaintance of Captain Credence
and Captain Good-hope; some say they were kin, and I am of that opinion
too.  This man, as I said, was made governor of the town in general,
especially over the castle, and Captain Credence was to help him there.
And I made great observation of it, that so long as all things went in
the town as this sweet-natured gentleman would have them go, the town was
in a most happy condition.  Now there were no jars, no chiding, no
interferings, no unfaithful doings in all the town; every man in Mansoul
kept close to his own employment.  The gentry, the officers, the
soldiers, and all in place, observed their order.  And as for the women
and the children of the town, they followed their business joyfully.  They
would work and sing, work and sing, from morning till night; so that
quite through the town of Mansoul now nothing was to be found but
harmony, quietness, joy, and health.  And this lasted all the summer.  I
shall step aside at this point and shall let Jonathan Edwards comment on
this sweet-natured gentleman and his heavenly name.  'God's peace has an
exquisite sweetness,' says Edwards.  'It is exquisitely sweet because it
has so firm a foundation on the everlasting rock.  It is sweet also
because it is so perfectly agreeable to reason.  It is sweet also because
it riseth from holy and divine principles, which, as they are the virtue,
so are they the proper happiness of man.  This peace is exquisitely sweet
also because of the greatness of the good that the saints enjoy, being no
other than the infinite bounty and fulness of that God who is the
Fountain of all good.  It is sweet also because it shall be enjoyed to
perfection hereafter.'  An enthusiastic student has counted up the number
of times that this divine word 'sweetness' occurs in Edwards, and has
proved that no other word of the kind occurs so often in the author of
_True Virtue_ and _The Religious Affections_.  And I can well believe it;
unless the 'beauty of holiness' runs it close.  Still, this sweet-natured
gentleman will continue to live for us in his government and jurisdiction
in Mansoul and in John Bunyan even more than in Jonathan Edwards.

2.  'Now Mr. God's-peace, the new Governor of Mansoul, was not a native
of the town; he came down with his Prince from the court above.'  'He was
not a native'--let that attribute of his be written in letters of gold on
every gate and door and wall within his jurisdiction.  When you need the
governor and would seek him at any time or in any place in all the town
and cannot find him, recollect yourself where he came from: he may have
returned thither again.  John Bunyan has couched his deepest instruction
to you in that single sentence in which he says, 'Mr. God's-peace was not
a native of the town.'  John Bunyan has gathered up many gospel
Scriptures into that single allegorical sentence.  He has made many old
and familiar passages fresh and full of life again in that one
metaphorical sentence.  It is the work of genius to set forth the wont
and the well known in a clear, simple, and at the same time surprising,
light like that.  There is a peace that is native and natural to the town
of Mansoul, and to understand that peace, its nature, its grounds, its
extent, and its range, is most important to the theologian and to the
saint.  But to understand the peace of God, that supreme peace, the peace
that passeth all understanding,--that is the highest triumph of the
theologian and the highest wisdom of the saint.  The prophets and the
psalmists of the Old Testament are all full of the peace that God gave to
His people Israel.  My peace I give unto you, says our Lord also.  Paul
also has taken up that peace that comes to us through the blood of
Christ, and has made it his grand message to us and to all sinful and sin-
disquieted men.  And John Bunyan has shown how sure and true a successor
of the apostles of Christ he is, just in his portrait of this
sweet-natured gentleman who was not a native of Mansoul, but who came
from that same court from which Emmanuel Himself came.  And it is just
this outlandishness of this sweet-natured gentleman; it is just this
heavenly origin and divine extraction of his that makes him sometimes and
in some things to surpass all earthly understanding.  'I am coming some
day soon,' said a divinity student to me the other Sabbath night, 'to
have you explain and clear up the atonement to me.'  'I shall be glad to
see you,' I said, 'but not on that errand.'  No.  Paul himself could not
do it.  Paul said that the atonement and the peace of it passed all his
understanding.  And John Bunyan says here that not the Prince only, but
his officer Mr. God's-peace also, was not native to the town of Mansoul,
but came straight down from heaven into that town--and what can the man
do who cometh after two kings like Paul and Bunyan?  I have not forgotten
my Edwards where he says that the exquisite sweetness of this peace is
perfectly agreeable to reason.  As, indeed, so it is.  And yet, if reason
will have a clear and finished and all-round answer to all her
difficulties and objections and fault-findings, I fear she cannot have it
here.  The time may come when our reason also shall be so enlarged, and
so sanctified, and so exalted, that she shall be able with all saints to
see the full mystery of that which in this present dispensation passeth
all understanding.  But till then, only let God's peace enter our hearts
with God's Son, and then let our hearts say if that peace must not in
some high and deep way be according to the highest and the deepest
reason, since its coming into our hearts has produced in our hearts and
in our lives such reasonable, and right, and harmonious, and peaceful,
and every way joyful results.

3.  Governor God's-peace had not many in the town of Mansoul to whom he
could confide all his thoughts and with whom he could consult.  But there
were two officer friends of his stationed in the town with whom he was
every day in close correspondence, viz., the Captain Credence and the
Captain Good-hope.  Their so close intimacy will not be wondered at when
it is known that those three officers had all come in together with
Emmanuel the Conqueror.  Those three young captains had done splendid
service, each at the head of his own battalion, in the days of the
invasion and the conquest of Mansoul, and they had all had their present
titles, and privileges, and lands, and offices, patented to them on the
strength of their past services.  The Captain Credence had all along been
the confidential aide-de-camp and secretary of the Prince.  Indeed, the
Prince never called Captain Credence a servant at all, but always a
friend.  The Prince had always conveyed his mind about all Mansoul's
matters first to Captain Credence, and then that confidential captain
conveyed whatever specially concerned God's-peace and Good-hope to those
excellent and trusty soldiers.  Credence first told all matters to God's-
peace and then the two soon talked over Good-hope to their mind and
heart.  Some say that the three officers, Credence, God's-peace, and Good-
hope, were kin, adds our historian, and I, he adds, am of that opinion
too.  And to back up his opinion he takes an extract out of the Herald's
College books which runs thus: 'Romans, fifteenth and thirteenth: Now,
the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may
abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.'  Some say the three
officers were of kin, and I am of that opinion too.

4.  On account both of his eminent services and his great abilities, the
Prince saw it good to set Mr. God's-peace over the whole town.  And thus
it was that the governor's jurisdiction extended and held not only over
the people of the town, but also over all the magistrates and all the
other officers of the town, such as my Lord Will-be-will, my Lord Mayor,
Mr. Recorder, Mr. Mind, and all.  It needed all the governor's authority
and ability to keep his feet in his office over all the other rulers of
the town, but by far his greatest trouble always was with the Recorder.
Old Mr. Conscience, the Town Recorder, had a very difficult post to hold
and a very difficult part to play in that still so divided and still so
unsettled town.  What with all those murderers and man-slayers, thieves
and prostitutes, skulkers and secret rebels, on the one hand, and with
Governor God's-peace and his so unaccountable and so autocratic ways, on
the other hand, the Recorder's office was no sinecure.  All the
misdemeanours and malpractices of the town,--and they were happening
every day and every night,--were all reported to the Recorder; they were
all, so to say, charged home upon the Recorder, and he was held
responsible for them all; till his office was a perfect laystall and
cesspool of all the scum and corruption of the town.  And yet, in would
come Governor God's-peace, without either warning or explanation, and
would demand all the Recorder's papers, and proofs, and affidavits, and
what not, it had cost him so much trouble to get collected and indorsed,
and would burn them all before the Recorder's face, and to his utter
confusion, humiliation, and silence.  So autocratic, so despotic, so
absolute, and not-to-be-questioned was Governor God's-peace.  The
Recorder could not understand it, and could barely submit to it; my Lord
Mayor could not understand it, and his clerk, Mr. Mind, would often
oppose it; but there it was: Mr. Governor God's-peace was set over them
all.

5.  But the thing that always in the long-run justified the governorship
of Mr. God's-peace, and reconciled all the other officers to his
supremacy, was the way that the city settled down and prospered under his
benignant rule.  All the other officers admitted that, somehow, his
promotion and power had been the salvation of Mansoul.  They all extolled
their Prince's far-seeing wisdom in the selection, advancement, and
absolute seat of Mr. God's-peace.  And it would ill have become them to
have said anything else; for they had little else to do but bask in the
sun and enjoy the honours and the emoluments of their respective offices
as long as Governor God's-peace held sway, and had all things in the city
to his own mind.  Now, it was on all hands admitted, as we read again
with renewed delight, that there were no jars, no chiding, no
interferings, no unfaithful doings in the town of Mansoul; but every man
kept close to his own employment.  The gentry, the officers, the
soldiers, and all in place, observed their orders.  And as for the women
and children, they all followed their business joyfully.  They would work
and sing, work and sing, from morning till night, so that quite through
the town of Mansoul now nothing was to be found but harmony, quietness,
joy, and health.  What more could be said of any governorship of any town
than that?  The Heavenly Court itself, out of which Governor God's-peace
had come down, was not better governed than that.  Harmony, quietness,
joy, and health.  No; the New Jerusalem itself will not surpass that.
'And this lasted all that summer.'



CHAPTER XXIII--THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH OF MANSOUL, AND MR. CONSCIENCE ONE
OF HER PARISH MINISTERS


   'The Highest Himself shall establish her.'--_David_.

The princes of this world establish churches sometimes out of piety and
sometimes out of policy.  Sometimes their motive is the good of their
people and the glory of God, and sometimes their sole motive is to
buttress up their own Royal House, and to have a clergy around them on
whom they can count.  Prince Emmanuel had His motive, too, in setting up
an establishment in Mansoul.  As thus: When this was over, the Prince
sent again for the elders of the town and communed with them about the
ministry that He intended to establish in Mansoul.  Such a ministry as
might open to them and might instruct them in the things that did concern
their present and their future state.  For, said He to them, of
yourselves, unless you have teachers and guides, you will not be able to
know, and if you do not know, then you cannot do the will of My Father.
At this news, when the elders of Mansoul brought it to the people, the
whole town came running together, and all with one consent implored His
Majesty that He would forthwith establish such a ministry among them as
might teach them both law and judgment, statute and commandment, so that
they might be documented in all good and wholesome things.  So He told
them that He would graciously grant their requests and would straightway
establish such a ministry among them.

Now, I will not enter to-night on the abstract benefits of such an
Establishment.  I will rather take one of the ministers who was presented
to one of the parishes of Mansoul, and shall thus let you see how that
State Church worked out practically in one of its ministers at any rate.
And the preacher and pastor I shall so take up was neither the best
minister in the town nor the worst; but, while a long way subordinate to
the best, he was also by no means the least.  The Reverend Mr. Conscience
was our parish minister's name; his people sometimes called him The
Recorder.

1.  Well, then, to begin with, the Rev. Mr. Conscience was a native of
the same town in which his parish church now stood.  I am not going to
challenge the wisdom of the patron who appointed his protege to this
particular living; only, I have known very good ministers who never got
over the misfortune of having been settled in the same town in which they
had been born and brought up.  Or, rather, their people never got over
it.  One excellent minister, especially, I once knew, whose father had
been a working man in the town, and his son had sometimes assisted his
father before he went to college, and even between his college sessions,
and the people he afterwards came to teach could never get over that.  It
was not wise in my friend to accept that presentation in the
circumstances, as the event abundantly proved.  For, whenever he had to
take his stand in his pulpit or in his pastorate against any of their
evil ways, his people defended themselves and retaliated on him by
reminding him that they knew his father and his mother, and had not
forgotten his own early days.  No doubt, in the case of Emmanuel and
Mansoul and its minister, there were counterbalancing considerations and
advantages both to minister and people; but it is not always so; and it
was not so in the case of my unfortunate friend.

Forasmuch, so ran the Prince's presentation paper, as he is a native of
the town of Mansoul, and thus has personal knowledge of all the laws and
customs of the corporation, therefore he, the Prince, presented Mr.
Conscience.  That is to say, every man who is to be the minister of a
parish should make his own heart and his own life his first parish.  His
own vineyard should be his first knowledge and his first care.  And then
out of that and after that he will be able to speak to his people, and to
correct, and counsel, and take care of them.  In Thomas Boston's
_Memoirs_ we continually come on entries like this: 'Preached on Ps.
xlii. 5, and mostly on my own account.'  And, again, we read in the same
invaluable book for parish ministers, that its author did not wonder to
hear that good had been done by last Sabbath's sermon, because he had
preached it to himself and had got good to himself out of it before he
took it to the pulpit.  Boston kept his eye on himself in a way that the
minister of Mansoul himself could not have excelled.  Till, not in his
pulpit work only, but in such conventional, commonplace, and monotonous
exercises as his family worship, he so read the Scriptures and so sang
the psalms that his family worship was continually yielding him fruit as
well as his public ministry.  As our family worship and our public
ministry will do, too, when we have the eye and the heart and the
conscience that Thomas Boston had.  'I went to hear a preacher,' said
Pascal, 'and I found a man in the pulpit.'  Well, the parish minister of
Mansoul was a man, and so was the parish minister of Ettrick.  And that
was the reason that the people of Simprin and Ettrick so often thought
that Boston had them in his eye.  Good pastor as he was, he could not
have everybody in his eye.  But he had himself in his eye, and that let
him into the hearts and the homes of all his people.  He was a true man,
and thus a true minister.

2.  Both Boston and the minister of Mansoul were well-read men also; so,
indeed, in as many words, their fine biographies assure us.  But that is
just another way of saying what has been said about those two ministers
over and over again already.  William Law never was a parish minister.
The English Crown of that day would not trust him with a parish.  But
what was the everlasting loss of some parish in England has become the
everlasting gain of the whole Church of Christ.  Law's enforced seclusion
from outward ministerial activity only set him the more free to that
inward activity which has been such a blessing to so many, and to so many
ministers especially.  And as to this of every minister being well read,
that master in Israel says: 'Above all, let me tell you that the book of
books to you is your own heart, in which are written and engraven the
deepest lessons of divine instruction.  Learn, therefore, to be deeply
attentive to the presence of God in your own hearts, who is always
speaking, always instructing, always illuminating the heart that is
attentive to Him.'  Jonathan Edwards called the poor parish minister of
Ettrick 'a truly great divine.'  But Law goes on to say, 'A great divine
is but a cant expression unless it signifies a man greatly advanced in
the divine life.  A great divine is one whose own experience and example
are a demonstration of the reality of all the graces and virtues of the
gospel.  No divine has any more of the gospel in him than that which
proves itself by the spirit, the actions, and the form of his life: the
rest is but hypocrisy, not divinity.'  Let all our parish ministers,
then, give themselves to this kind of reading.  Let them all aim at a
doctor's degree in the divinity of their own hearts.

3.  We are done at last, and we are done for ever, in Scotland, with
patrons and with presenters; but I daresay our most Free Church people
would be quite willing to surrender their dear-bought franchise if the
old plan could even yet be made to work in all their parishes as it
worked in Mansoul.  For not only was the presented minister in this case
a well-read man; he was also, what the best of the Scottish people have
always loved and honoured, a man, as this history testifies, with a
tongue as bravely hung as he had a head filled with judgment.  In
Scotland we like our minister to have a tongue bravely hung, even when
that is proved to our own despite.  When any minister, parish minister or
other, is seen to tune his pulpit, our respect for him is gone.  The
Presbyterian pulpit has been proverbially hard to tune, and it will be an
ill day when it becomes easy.  'Here lies a man who had a brow for every
good cause.'  So it was engraven over one of Boston's elders.  And so is
it always: like priest, like people in the matter of the hang of the
minister's tongue and in the boldness of the elder's brow.

'Bravely hung' is an ancient and excellent expression which has several
shades of meaning in Bunyan.  But in the present instance its meaning is
modified and fixed by judgment.  A bravely hung tongue; at the same time
the parish minister of Mansoul's tongue was not a loosely-hung tongue.  It
was not a blustering, headlong, scolding, untamed tongue.  The pulpit of
Mansoul was tuned with judgment.  He who filled that pulpit had a head
filled with judgment.  The ground of judgment is knowledge, and the
minister of Mansoul was a man of knowledge.  It was his early and ever-
increasing knowledge of himself, and thus of other men; and then it was
his excellent judgment as to the use he was to make of that knowledge; it
was his sound knowledge what to say, when to say it, and how to say
it,--it was all this that decided his Prince to make him the minister of
Mansoul.  How excellent and how rare a gift is judgment--judgment in
counsel, judgment in speech, and judgment in action!  'I am very little
serviceable with reference to public management,' writes the parish
minister of Ettrick, 'being exceedingly defective in ecclesiastical
prudence; but the Lord has given me a pulpit gift, not unacceptable: and
who knows what He may do with me in that way?'  Who knows, indeed!  Now,
there are many parish ministers who have a not unacceptable pulpit gift,
and yet who are not content with that, but are always burying that gift
in the earth and running away from it to attempt a public management in
which they are exceedingly and conspicuously defective.  Now, why do they
do that?  Is their pulpit and their parish not sphere and opportunity
enough for them?  Mine is a small parish, said Boston, but then it is
mine.  And a small parish may both rear and occupy a truly great divine.
Let those ministers, then, who are defective in ecclesiastical prudence
not be too much cast down.  Ecclesiastical prudence is not in every case
the highest kind of prudence.  The presbytery, the synod, and the
assembly are not any minister's first or best sphere.  Every minister's
first and best sphere is his parish.  And the presbytery is not the end
of the parish.  The parish, the pastorate, and the pulpit are the end of
both presbytery and synod and assembly.  As for the minister of Mansoul,
he was a well-read man, and also a man of courage to speak out the truth
at every occasion, and he had a tongue as bravely hung as he had a head
filled with judgment.

4.  But there was one thing about the parish pulpit of Mansoul that
always overpowered the people.  They could not always explain it even to
themselves what it was that sometimes so terrified them, and, sometimes,
again, so enthralled them.  They would say sometimes that their minister
was more than a mere man; that he was a prophet and a seer, and that his
Master seemed sometimes to stand and speak again in His servant.  And
'seer' was not at all an inappropriate name for their minister, so far as
I can collect out of some remains of his that I have seen and some
testimonies that I have heard.  There was something awful and overawing,
something seer-like and supernatural, in the pulpit of Mansoul.  Sometimes
the iron chains in which the preacher climbed up into the pulpit, and in
which he both prayed and preached, struck a chill to every heart; and
sometimes the garment of salvation in which he shone carried all their
hearts captive.  Some Sabbath mornings they saw it in his face and heard
it in his voice that he had been on his bed in hell all last night; and
then, next Sabbath, those who came back saw him descending into his
pulpit from his throne in heaven.

   'Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-page
   Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.
   Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheek
   Is apter than thy tongue to tell thine errand.'

If you think that I am exaggerating and magnifying the parish pulpit of
Mansoul, take this out of the parish records for yourselves.  'And now,'
you will read in one place, 'it was a day gloomy and dark, a day of
clouds and thick darkness with Mansoul.  Well, when the Sabbath-day was
come he took for his text that in the prophet Jonah, "They that observe
lying vanities forsake their own mercy."  And then there was such power
and authority in that sermon, and such dejection seen in the countenances
of the people that day that the like had seldom been heard or seen.  The
people, when the sermon was done, were scarce able to go to their homes,
or to betake themselves to their employments the whole week after.  They
were so sermon-smitten that they knew not what to do.  For not only did
their preacher show to Mansoul its sin, but he did tremble before them
under the sense of his own, still crying out as he preached, Unhappy man
that I am! that I, a preacher, should have lived so senselessly and so
sottishly in my parish, and be one of the foremost in its transgressions!
With these things he also charged all the lords and gentry of Mansoul to
the almost distracting of them.'  It was Sabbaths like that that made the
people of Mansoul call their minister a seer.

5.  And, then, there was another thing that I do not know how better to
describe than by calling it the true catholicity, the true humility, and
the true hospitality of the man.  It is true he had no choice in the
matter, for in setting up a standing ministry in Mansoul Emmanuel had
done so with this reservation and addition.  We have His very words.  'Not
that you are to have your ministers alone,' He said.  'For my four
captains, they can, if need be, and if they be required, not only
privately inform, but publicly preach both good and wholesome doctrine,
that, if heeded, will do thee good in the end.'  Which, again, reminds me
of what Oliver Cromwell wrote to the Honourable Colonel Hacker at
Peebles.  'These: I was not satisfied with your last speech to me about
Empson, that he was a better preacher than fighter--or words to that
effect.  Truly, I think that he that prays and preaches best will fight
best.  I know nothing that will give like courage and confidence as the
knowledge of God in Christ will.  I pray you to receive Captain Empson
lovingly.'

6.  The standing ministry in Mansoul was endowed also; but I cannot
imagine what the court of teinds would make of the instrument of
endowment.  As it has been handed down to us, that old ecclesiastical
instrument reads more like a lesson in the parish minister's class for
the study of Mysticism than a writing for a learned lord to adjudicate
upon.  Here is the Order of Council: 'Therefore I, thy Prince, give thee,
My servant, leave and licence to go when thou wilt to My fountain, My
conduit, and there to drink freely of the blood of My grape, for My
conduit doth always run wine.  Thus doing, thou shalt drive from thine
heart all foul, gross, and hurtful humours.  It will also lighten thine
eyes, and it will strengthen thy memory for the reception and the keeping
of all that My Father's noble secretary will teach thee.'  Thus the
Prince did put Mr. Conscience into the place and office of a minister to
Mansoul, and the chosen and presented man did thankfully accept thereof.

(1)  Now, there are at least three lessons taught us here.  There is, to
begin with, a lesson to all those congregations who are about to choose a
minister.  Let all those congregations, then, who have had devolved on
them the powers of the old patrons,--let them make their election on the
same principles that the Prince of Mansoul patronised.  Let them choose a
probationer who, young though he must be, has the making of a seer in
him.  Let them listen for the future seer in his most stammering prayers.
Somewhere, even in one service, his conscience will make itself heard, if
he has a conscience.  Rather remain ten years vacant than call a minister
who has no conscience.  The parish minister of Mansoul sometimes seemed
to be all conscience, and it was this that made his head so full of
judgment, his tongue so full of a brave boldness, and his heart so full
of holy love.  Your minister may be an anointed bishop, he may be a
gowned and hooded doctor, he may be a king's chaplain, he may be the
minister of the largest and the richest and the most learned parish in
the city, but, unless he strikes terror and pain into your conscience
every Sabbath, unless he makes you tremble every Sabbath under the eye
and the hand of God, he is no true minister to you.  As Goodwin says, he
is a wooden cannon.  As Leighton says, he is a mountebank for a minister.

(2)  The second lesson is to all those who are politically enfranchised,
and who hold a vote for a member of Parliament.  Now, crowds of
candidates and their canvassers will before long be at your door
besieging it and begging you for your vote for or against an Established
church.  Well, before Parliament is dissolved, and the canvass commences,
look you well into your own heart and ask yourself whether or no the
Church of Christ has yet been established there.  Ask if Jesus Christ,
the Head of the Church, has yet set up His throne there, in your heart.
Ask your conscience if His laws are recognised and obeyed there.  Ask
also if His blood has been sprinkled there, and since when.  And, if not,
then it needs no seer to tell you what sacrilege, what profanity it is
for you to touch the ark of God: to speak, or to vote, or to lift a
finger either for or against any church whatsoever.  Intrude your wilful
ignorance and your wicked passions anywhere else.  March up boldly and
vote defiantly on questions of State that you never read a sober line
about, and are as ignorant about as you are of Hebrew; but beware of
touching by a thousand miles the things for which the Son of God laid
down His life.  Thrust yourself in, if you must, anywhere else, but do
not thrust yourself and your brutish stupidity and your fiendish tempers
into the things of the house of God.  Let all parish ministers take for
their text that day 2 Samuel vi. 6, 7:--And when they came to Nachon's
threshing-floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took
hold of it; for the oxen shook it.  And the anger of the Lord was kindled
against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died
by the ark of God.

(3)  There is a third lesson here, but it is a lesson for ministers, and
I shall take it home to myself.



CHAPTER XXIV--A FAST-DAY IN MANSOUL


   'Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all
   the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your
   God.'--_Joel_.

In our soft and self-indulgent day the very word 'to fast' has become an
out-of-date and an obsolete word.  We never have occasion to employ that
word in the living language of the present day.  The men of the next
generation will need to have it explained to them what the Fast-days of
their fathers were: when they were instituted, how they were observed,
and why they were abrogated and given up.  If your son should ever ask
you just what the Fast-days of your youth were like, you will do him a
great service, and he may live to recover them, if you will answer him in
this way.  Show him how to take his Cruden and how to make a picture to
his opening mind of the Fast-days of Scripture.  And tell him plainly for
what things in fathers and in sons those fasts were ordained of God.  And
then for the Fast-days of the Puritan period let him read aloud to you
this powerful passage in the _Holy War_.  Public preaching and public
prayer entered largely into the fasting of the Prophetical and the
Puritan periods; and John Bunyan, after Joel, has told us some things
about the Fast-day preaching of his day that it will be well for us, both
preachers and people, to begin with, and to lay well to heart.

1.  In the first place, the preaching of that Fast-day was 'pertinent'
and to the point.  William Law, that divine writer for ministers, warns
ministers against going off upon Euroclydon and the shipwrecks of Paul
when Christ's sheep are looking up to them for their proper food.  What,
he asks, is the nature, the direction, and the strength of that
Mediterranean wind to him who has come up to church under the plague of
his own heart and under the heavy hand of God?  You may be sure that
Boanerges did not lecture that Fast-day forenoon in Mansoul on Acts
xxvii. 14.  We would know that, even if we were not told what his text
that forenoon was.  His text that never-to-be-forgotten Fast-day forenoon
was in Luke xiii. 7--'Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?'  And a
very smart sermon he made upon the place.  First, he showed what was the
occasion of the words, namely, because the fig-tree was barren.  Then he
showed what was contained in the sentence, to wit, repentance or utter
desolation.  He then showed also by whose authority this sentence was
pronounced.  And, lastly, he showed the reasons of the point, and then
concluded his sermon.  But he was very pertinent in the application,
insomuch that he made all the elders and all their people in Mansoul to
tremble.  Sidney Smith says that whatever else a sermon may be or may not
be, it must be interesting if it is to do any good.  Now, pertinent
preaching is always interesting preaching.  Nothing interests men like
themselves.  And pertinent preaching is just preaching to men about
themselves,--about their interests, their losses and their gains, their
hopes and their fears, their trials and their tribulations.  Boanerges
took both his text and his treatment of his text from his Master, and we
know how pertinently The Master preached.  His preaching was with such
pertinence that the one half of His hearers went home saying, Never man
spake like this man, while the other half gnashed at Him with their
teeth.  Our Lord never lectured on Euroclydon.  He knew what was in man
and He lectured and preached accordingly.  And if we wish to have praise
of our best people, and of Him whose people they are, let us look into
our own hearts and preach.  That will be pertinent to our people which is
first pertinent to ourselves.  Weep yourself, said an old poet to a new
beginner; weep yourself if you would make me weep.  'For my own part,'
said Thomas Shepard to some ministers from his death-bed, 'I never
preached a sermon which, in the composing, did not cost me prayers, with
strong cries and tears.  I never preached a sermon from which I had not
first got some good to my own soul.'

   'His office and his name agree;
   A shepherd that and Shepard he.'

And many such entries as these occur in Thomas Boston's golden journal:
'I preached in Ps. xlii. 5, and mostly on my own account.'  Again:
'Meditating my sermon next day, I found advantage to my own soul, as also
in delivering it on the Sabbath.'  And again: 'What good this preaching
has done to others I know not, yet I think myself will not the worse of
it.'

2.  The preaching of that Fast-day was with great authority also.  'There
was such power and authority in that sermon,' reports one who was
present, 'that the like had seldom been seen or heard.'  Authority also
was one of the well-remembered marks of our Lord's preaching.  And no
wonder, considering who He was.  But His ministers, if they are indeed
His ministers, will be clothed by Him with something even of His supreme
authority.  'Conscience is an authority,' says one of the most
authoritative preachers that ever lived.  'The Bible is an authority;
such is the Church; such is antiquity; such are the words of the wise;
such are hereditary lessons; such are ethical truths; such are historical
memories; such are legal saws and state maxims; such are proverbs; such
are sentiments, presages, and prepossessions.'  Now, the well-equipped
preacher will from time to time plant his pulpit on all those kinds of
authority, as this kind is now pertinent and then that, and will, with
such a variety and accumulation of authority, preach to his people.
Thomas Boston preached at a certain place with such pertinence and with
such authority that it was complained of him by one of themselves that he
'terrified even the godly.'  Let all our young preachers who would to old
age continue to preach with interest, with pertinence, and with
terrifying authority, among other things have by heart _The Memoirs of
Thomas Boston_, 'that truly great divine.'

3.  A third thing, and, as some of the people who heard it said of it,
the best thing about that sermon was that--'He did not only show us our
sin, but he did visibly tremble before us under the sense of his own.'
Now I know this to be a great difficulty with some young ministers who
have got no help in it at the Divinity Hall.  Are they, they ask, to be
themselves in the pulpit?  How far may they be themselves, and how far
may they be not themselves?  How far are they to be seen to tremble
before their people because of their own sins, and how far are they to
bear themselves as if they had no sin?  Must they keep back the passions
that are tearing their own hearts, and fill the forenoon with Euroclydon
and other suchlike sea-winds?  How far are they to be all gown and bands
in the pulpit, and how far sackcloth and ashes?  One half of their people
are like Pascal in this, that they like to see and hear a man in his
pulpit; but, then, the other half like only to see and hear a proper
preacher.  'He did not only show the men of Mansoul their sin, but he did
tremble before them under the sense of his own.  Still crying out as he
preached to them, Unhappy man that I am! that I should have done so
wicked a thing!  That I, a preacher, should be one of the first in the
transgression!'

This you will remember was the Fast-day.  And so truly had this preacher
kept the Fast-day that the Communion-day was down upon him before he was
ready for it.  He was still deep among his sins when all his people were
fast putting on their beautiful garments.  He was ready with the letter
of his action-sermon, but he was not equal to the delivery of it.  His
colleague, accordingly, whose sense of sin was less acute that day, took
the public worship, while the Fast-day preacher still lay sick in his
closet at home and wrote thus on the ground: 'I am no more worthy to be
called Thy son,' he wrote.  'Behold me here, Lord, a poor, miserable
sinner, weary of myself, and afraid to look up to Thee.  Wilt Thou heal
my sores?  Wilt Thou take out the stains?  Wilt Thou deliver me from the
shame?  Wilt Thou rescue me from this chain of sin?  Cut me not off in
the midst of my sins.  Let me have liberty once again to be among Thy
redeemed ones, eating and drinking at Thy table.  But, O my God, to-day I
am an unclean worm, a dead dog, a dead carcass, deservedly cast out from
the society of Thy saints.  But oh, suffer me so much as to look to the
place where Thy people meet and where Thine honour dwelleth.  Reject not
the sacrifice of a broken heart, but come and speak to me in my secret
place.  O God, let me never see such another day as this is.  Let me
never be again so full of guilt as to have to run away from Thy presence
and to flee from before Thy people.'  He printed more than that, in blood
and in tears, before God that Communion-morning, but that is enough for
my purpose.  Now, would you choose a dead dog like that to be your
minister?  To baptize and admit your children and to marry them when they
grow up?  To mount your pulpits every Sabbath-day, and to come to your
houses every week-day?  Not, I feel sure, if you could help it!  Not if
you knew it!  Not if there was a minister of proper pulpit manners and a
well-ordered mind within a Sabbath-day's journey!  'Like priest like
people,' says Hosea.  'The congregation and the minister are one,' says
Dr. Parker.  'There are men we could not sit still and hear; they are not
the proper ministers for us.  There are other men we could hear always,
because they are our kith and our kin from before the foundation of the
world.'  Happy the hearer who has hit on a minister like the minister of
Mansoul, and who has discovered in him his everlasting kith and kin.  And
happy the minister who, owning kith and kin with Boanerges, has two or
three or even one member in his congregation who likes his minister best
when he likes himself worst.

But what about the fasting all this time?  Was it all preaching, and was
there no fasting?  Well, we do not know much about the fasting of the
prophets and the apostles, but the Puritans sometimes made their people
almost forget about fasting, and about eating and drinking too, they so
took possession of their people with their incomparable preaching.  I
read, for instance, in Calamy's _Life of John Howe_ that on the public
Fast-days, it was Howe's common way to begin about nine in the morning
and to continue reading, preaching, and praying till about four in the
afternoon.  Henry Rogers almost worships John Howe, but John Howe's Fast-
days pass his modern biographers patience; till, if you would see a
nineteenth-century case made out against a seventeenth-century Fast-day,
you have only to turn to the author of _The Eclipse of Faith_ on the
author of _Delighting in God_.  And, no doubt, when we get back our Fast-
days, we shall leave more of the time to reading pertinent books at home
and to secret fasting and to secret prayer, and shall enjoin our
preachers, while they are pertinent and authoritative in their sermons,
not to take up the whole day with their sermons even at their best.  And
then, as to fasting, discredited and discarded as it is in our day, there
are yet some very good reasons for desiring its return and reinstatement
among us.  Very good reasons, both for health and for holiness.  But it
is only of the latter class of reasons that I would fain for a few words
at present speak.  Well, then, let it be frankly said that there is
nothing holy, nothing saintly, nothing at all meritorious in fasting from
our proper food.  It is the motive alone that sanctifies the means.  It
is the end alone that sanctifies the exercise.  If I fast to chastise
myself for my sin; if I fast to reduce the fuel of my sin; if I fast to
keep my flesh low; if I fast to make me more free for my best books, for
my most inward, spiritual, mystical books--for my Kempis, and my Behmen,
and my Law, and my Leighton, and my Goodwin, and my Bunyan, and my
Rutherford, and my Jeremy Taylor, and my Shepard, and my Edwards, and
suchlike; if I fast for the ends of meditation and prayer; if I fast out
of sympathy with my Bible, and my Saviour, and my latter end, and my
Father's house in heaven--then, no doubt, my fasting will be acceptable
with God, as it will certainly be an immediate means of grace to my
sinful soul.  These altars will sanctify many such gifts.  For, who that
knows anything at all about himself, about his own soul, and about the
hindrances and helps to its salvation from sin; who that ever read a page
of Scripture properly, or spent half an hour in that life which is hidden
in God--who of such will deny or doubt that fasting is superseded or
neglected to the sure loss of the spiritual life, to the sensible
lowering of the religious tone and temper, and to the increase both of
the lusts of the flesh and of the mind?  It may perhaps be that the
institution of fasting as a church ordinance has been permitted to be set
aside in order to make it more than ever a part of each earnest man's own
private life.  Perhaps it was in some ways full time that it should be
again said to us, 'Thou, when thou fastest, appear not unto men to fast.'
As also, 'Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to undo the heavy
burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the
outcast to thy house?'  Let us believe that the form of the Fast-day has
been removed out of the way that the spirit may return and fashion a new
form for itself.  And in the belief that that is so, let us, while
parting with our fathers' Fast-days with real regret--as with their
pertinent and pungent preaching--let us meantime lay in a stock of their
pertinent and pungent books, and set apart particular and peculiar
seasons for their sin-subduing and grace-strengthening study.

The short is this.  The one real substance and true essence of all
fasting is self-denial.  And we can never get past either the supreme and
absolute duty of that, or the daily and hourly call to that, as long as
we continue to read the New Testament, to live in this life, and to
listen to the voice of conscience, and to the voice of God speaking to us
in the voice of conscience.  Without strict and constant self-denial, no
man, whatever his experiences or his pretensions, is a disciple of Jesus
Christ, and secret fasting is one of the first, the easiest, and the most
elementary exercises of New Testament self-denial.  And, besides, the
lusts of our flesh and the lusts of our minds are so linked and locked
and riveted together that if one link is loosened, or broken, or even
struck at, the whole thrall is not yet thrown off indeed, but it is all
shaken; it has all received a staggering blow.  So much is this the case
that one single act of self-denial in the region of the body will be felt
for freedom throughout the whole prison-house of the soul.  And a victory
really won over a sensual sin is already a challenge sounded to our most
spiritual sin.  And it is this discovery that has given to fasting the
place it has held in all the original, resolute, and aggressive ages of
the Church.  With little or nothing in their Lord's literal teaching to
make His people fast, they have been so bent on their own spiritual
deliverance, and they have heard and read so much about the deliverances
both of body and of soul that have been attained by fasting and its
accompaniments, that they have taken to it in their despair, and with
results that have filled them in some instances with rapture, and in all
instances with a good conscience and with a good hope.  You would wonder,
even in these degenerate days,--you would be amazed could you be told how
many of your own best friends in their stealthy, smiling, head-anointing,
hypocritical way deny themselves this and that sweetness, this and that
fatness, this and that softness, and are thus attaining to a strength, a
courage, and a self-conquest that you are getting the benefit of in many
ways without your ever guessing the price at which it has all been
purchased.  Now, would you yourself fain be found among those who are in
this way being made strong and victorious inwardly and spiritually?  Would
you?  Then wash your face and anoint your head; and, then, not denying it
before others, deny it in secret to yourself--this and that sweet morsel,
this and that sweet meat, this and that glass of such divine wine.
Unostentatiously, ungrudgingly, generous-heartedly, and not ascetically
or morosely, day after day deny yourself even in little unthought-of
things, and one of the very noblest laws of your noblest life shall
immediately claim you as its own.  That stealthy and shamefaced act of
self-denial for Christ's sake and for His cross's sake will lay the
foundation of a habit of self-denial; ere ever you are aware of what you
are doing the habit will consolidate into a character; and what you begin
little by little in the body will be made perfect in the soul; till what
you did, almost against His command and altogether without His example,
yet because you did it for His sake and in His service, will have placed
you far up among those who have forsaken all, and themselves also, to
follow Jesus Christ, Son of Man and Son of God.  Only, let this always be
admitted, and never for a moment forgotten, that all this is said by
permission and not of commandment.  Our Lord never fasted as we fast.  He
had no need.  And He never commanded His disciples to fast.  He left it
to themselves to find out each man his own case and his own cure.  Let no
man, therefore, take fasting in any of its degrees, or times, or
occasions, on his conscience who does not first find it in his heart.  At
the same time this may be said with perfect safety, that he who finds it
in his heart and then lays it on his conscience to deny himself anything,
great or small, for Christ's sake, and for the sake of his own
salvation,--he will never repent it.  No, he will never repent it.



CHAPTER XXV--A FEAST-DAY IN MANSOUL


   'He brought me into his banqueting house.'--_The Song_.

Emmanuel's feast-day in the Holy War excels in beauty and in eloquence
everything I know in any other author on the Lord's Supper.  The Song of
Solomon stands alone when we sing that song mystically--that is to say,
when we pour into it all the love of God to His Church in Israel and all
Israel's love to God, and then all our Lord's love to us and all our love
back again to Him in return.  But outside of Holy Scripture I know
nothing to compare for beauty, and for sweetness, and for quaintness, and
for tenderness, and for rapture, with John Bunyan's account of the feast
that Prince Emmanuel made for the town of Mansoul.  With his very best
pen John Bunyan tells us how upon a time Emmanuel made a feast in
Mansoul, and how the townsfolk came to the castle to partake of His
banquet, and how He feasted them on all manner of outlandish food--food
that grew not in the fields of Mansoul; it was food that came down from
heaven and from His Father's house.  They drank also of the water that
was made wine, and, altogether, they were very merry and at home with
their Prince.  There was music also all the time at the table, and man
did eat angels' food, and had honey given him out of the rock.  And then
the table was entertained with some curious and delightful riddles that
were made upon the King Himself, upon Emmanuel His Son, and upon His wars
and doings with Mansoul; till, altogether, the state of transportation
the people were in with their entertainment cannot be told by the very
best of pens.  Nor did He, when they returned to their places, send them
empty away; for either they must have a ring, or a gold chain, or a
bracelet, or a white stone or something; so dear was Mansoul to Him now,
so lovely was Mansoul in His eyes.  And, going and coming to the feast, O
how graciously, how lovingly, how courteously, and how tenderly did this
blessed Prince now carry it to the town of Mansoul!  In all the streets,
gardens, orchards, and other places where He came, to be sure the poor
should have His blessing and benediction; yea, He would kiss them; and if
they were ill, He would lay His hands on them and make them well.  And
was it not now something amazing to behold that in that very place where
Diabolus had had his abode, the Prince of princes should now sit eating
and drinking with all His mighty captains, and men of war, and
trumpeters, and with the singing men and the singing women of His
Father's court!  Now did Mansoul's cup run over; now did her conduits run
sweet wine; now did she eat the finest of the wheat, and now drink milk
and honey out of the rock!  Now she said, How great is His goodness, for
ever since I found favour in His eyes, how honourable have I ever been!

1.  Now, the beginning of it all was, and the best of it all was, that
Emmanuel Himself made the feast.  Mansoul did not feast her Deliverer; it
was her Deliverer who feasted her.  Mansoul, in good sooth, had nothing
that she had not first and last received, and it was far more true and
seemly and fit in every way that her Prince Himself should in His own way
and at His own expense seal and celebrate the deliverance, the freedom,
the life, the peace, and the joy of Mansoul.  And, besides, what had
Mansoul to set before her Prince; or, for the matter of that, before
herself?  Mansoul had nothing of herself.  Mansoul was not sufficient of
herself for a single day.  And how, then, should she propose to feast a
Prince?  No, no! the thing was impossible.  It was Emmanuel's feast from
first to last.  Just as it was at the Lord's table in this house this
morning.  You did not spread the table this morning for your Lord.  You
did not make ready for your Saviour and then invite Him in.  He invited
you.  He said, This is My Body broken for you, and This is My Blood shed
for you; drink ye all of it.  And had any one challenged you at the fence
door and asked you how one who could not pay his own debts or provide
himself a proper meal even for a single day, could dare to sit down with
such a company at such a feast as that, you would have told him that he
had not seen half your hunger and your nakedness; but that it was just
your very hunger and nakedness and homelessness that had brought you
here; or, rather, it was all that that had moved the Master of the feast
to send for you and to compel you to come here.  There was nothing in
your mind and in your mouth more all this day than just that this is the
Lord's Supper, and that He had sent for you and had invited you, and had
constrained and compelled you to come and partake of it.  It was the
Lord's Table to-day, and it will be still and still more His table on
that great Communion-Day when all our earthly communions shall be
accomplished and consummated in heaven.

2.  All that Mansoul did in connection with that great feast was to
prepare the place where Diabolus at one time had held his orgies and
carried on his excesses.  Her Prince, Emmanuel, did all the rest; but He
left it to Mansoul to make the banqueting-room ready.  When our Lord
would keep His last passover with His disciples, He said to Peter and
John, Go into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher
of water, and he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared.
There is some reason to believe that that happy man had been expecting
that message and had done his best to be ready for it.  And now he was
putting the last touch to his preparations by filling the water-pots of
his house with fresh water; little thinking, happy man, that as long as
the world lasts that water will be holy water in all men's eyes, and
shall teach humility to all men's hearts.  And, my brethren, you know
that all you did all last week against to-day was just to prepare the
room.  For the room all last week and all this day was your own heart,
and not and never this house of stone and lime made with men's hands.  You
swept the inner and upper room of your own heart.  You swept it and
garnished its walls and its floors as much as in you lay.  He, whose the
supper really was, told you that He would bring with Him what was to be
eaten and drunken to-day, while you were to prepare the place.  And, next
to the very actual feast itself, and, sometimes, not next to it but equal
to it, and even before it and better than it, were those busy household
hours you spent, like the man with the pitcher, making the room ready.  In
plain English, you had a communion before the Communion as you prepared
your hearts for the Communion.  I shall not intrude into your secret
places and secret seasons with Christ before His open reception of you to-
day.  But it is sure and certain that, just as you in secret entertained
Him in your mother's house and in the chambers of her that bare you, just
in that measure did He say to you openly before all the watchmen that go
about the city and before all the daughters of Jerusalem, Eat, O friends;
drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.  Yes; do you not think that the
man with the pitcher had his reward?  He had his own thoughts as he
furnished, till it was quite ready, his best upper room and carried in
those pitchers of water, and handed down to his children in after days
the perquisite-skin of the paschal lamb that had been supped on by our
Lord and His disciples in his honoured house that night.  Yes; was it not
amazing to behold that in that very place where sometimes Diabolus had
his abode, and had entertained his Diabolonians, the Prince of princes
should sit eating and drinking with His friends?  Was it not truly
amazing?

3.  Now, upon the feasting-day He feasted them with all manner of
outlandish food--food that grew not in all the fields of Mansoul; it was
food that came down with His Father's court.  The fields of Mansoul
yielded their own proper fruits, and fruits that were not to be despised.
But they were not the proper fruits for that day, neither could they be
placed upon that table.  They are good enough fruits for their purpose,
and as far as they go, and for so long as they last and are in their
season.  But our souls are such that they outlive their own best fruits;
their hunger and their thirst outlast all that can be harvested in from
their own fields.  And thus it is that He who made Mansoul at first, and
who has since redeemed her, has out of His own great goodness provided
food convenient for her.  He knows with what an outlandish life He has
quickened Mansoul, and it is only the part of a faithful Creator to
provide for His creature her proper nourishment.  What is it? asked the
children of Israel at one another when they saw a small round thing, as
small as hoarfrost, upon the ground.  For they wist not what it was.  And
Moses said, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for
every man, according to the number of your persons.  And the house of
Israel called the name thereof Manna, and the taste of it was like wafers
made with honey.  He gave them of the corn of heaven to eat, and man did
eat in the wilderness angels' food.  Your fathers did eat manna in the
wilderness, and are dead; but this is the bread of which if any man eat
he shall not die.  And the bread that I will give is My Flesh, which I
will give for the life of the world.  And so outlandish, so supernatural,
and so full of heavenly wonder and heavenly mystery was that bread, that
the Jews strove among themselves over it, and could not understand it.
But, by His goodness and His truth to us this day, we have again, to our
spiritual nourishment and growth in grace, eaten the Flesh and drunk the
Blood of the Son of God; a meat that, as He who Himself is that meat has
said of it, is meat indeed and drink indeed--as, indeed, we have the
witness in ourselves this day that it is.  They drank also of the water
that was made wine, and were very merry with Him all that day at His
table.  And all their mirth was the high mirth of heaven; it was a mirth
and a gladness without sin, without satiety, and without remorse.

4.  There was music also all the while at the table, and the musicians
were not those of the country of Mansoul, but they were the masters of
song come down from the court of the King.  'I love the Lord,' they sang
in the supper room over the paschal lamb--'I love the Lord because He
hath heard my voice and my supplication.  Because He hath inclined His
ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.  What
shall I render to the Lord,' they challenged one another, 'for all His
benefits towards me?  I will take the cup of salvation, and will call
upon the name of the Lord.'  'Sometimes imagine,' says a great devotional
writer with a great imagination--'Sometimes imagine that you had been one
of those that joined with our blessed Saviour as He sang an hymn.  Strive
to imagine to yourself with what majesty He looked.  Fancy that you had
stood by Him surrounded with His glory.  Think how your heart would have
been inflamed, and what ecstasies of joy you would have then felt when
singing with the Son of God!  Think again and again with what joy and
devotion you would have then sung had this really been your happy state;
and what a punishment you would have thought it to have then been silent.
And let that teach you how to be affected with psalms and hymns of
thanksgiving.'  Yes; and it is no imagination; it was our own experience
only this morning and afternoon to join in a music that was never made in
this world, but which was as outlandish as was the meat which we ate
while the music was being made.

   'Bless, O my soul, the Lord thy God,
      And not forgetful be
   Of all His gracious benefits
      He hath bestow'd on thee.

   Who with abundance of good things
      Doth satisfy thy mouth;
   So that, ev'n as the eagle's age,
      Renewed is thy youth.'

The 103rd Psalm was never made in this world.  Musicians far other than
those native to Mansoul made for us our Lord's-Table Psalm.

5.  And then, the riddles that were made upon the King Himself, and upon
Emmanuel His Son, and upon Emmanuel's wars and all His other doings with
Mansoul.  And when Emmanuel would expound some of those riddles Himself,
oh! how they were lightened!  They saw what they never saw!  They could
not have thought that such rarities could have been couched in so few and
such ordinary words.  Yea, they did gather that the things themselves
were a kind of portraiture, and that, too, of Emmanuel Himself.  This,
they would say, this is the Lamb! this is the Sacrifice! this is the
Rock! this is the Door! and this is the Way! with a great many other
things.  At Gaius's supper-table they sat up over their riddles and nuts
and sweetmeats till the sun was in the sky.  And it would be midnight and
morning if I were to show you the answers to the half of the riddles.
Take one, for an example, and let it be one of the best for the communion-
day.  'In one rare quality of the orator,' says Hugh Miller, writing
about his adored minister, Alexander Stewart of Cromarty, 'Mr. Stewart
stood alone.  Pope refers in his satires to a strange power of creating
love and admiration by just "touching the brink of all we hate."  Now,
into this perilous, but singularly elective department, Mr. Stewart could
enter with safety and at will.  We heard him, scarce a twelvemonth since,
deliver a discourse of singular power on the sin-offering as minutely
described by the divine penman in Leviticus.  He described the
slaughtered animal--foul with dust and blood, its throat gashed across,
its entrails laid open and steaming in its impurity to the sun--a vile
and horrid thing, which no one could look on without disgust, nor touch
without defilement.  The picture appeared too vivid; its introduction too
little in accordance with a just taste.  But this pulpit-master knew what
he was all the time doing.  "And that," he said, as he pointed to the
terrible picture, "that is SIN!"  By one stroke the intended effect was
produced, and the rising disgust and horror transferred from the
revolting, material image to the great moral evil.'  And, in like manner,
This is the LAMB! we all said over the mystical riddle of the bread and
the wine this morning.  This is the SACRIFICE!  This is the DOOR!  This
is EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US, and made sin for us!

6.  In one of his finest chapters, Thomas A Kempis tells us in what way
we are to communicate mystically: that is to say, how we are to keep on
communicating at all times, and in all places, without the intervention
of the consecrated sacramental elements.  And John Bunyan, the sweetest
and most spiritual of mystics, has all that, too, in this same supreme
passage.  Every day was a feast-day now, he tells us.  So much so that
when the elders and the townsmen did not come to Emmanuel, He would send
in much plenty of provisions to them.  Yea, such delicates would He send
them, and therewith would so cover their tables, that whosoever saw it
confessed that the like could not be seen in any other kingdom.  That is
to say, my fellow-communicants, there is nothing that we experienced and
enjoyed in this house this day that we may not experience and enjoy again
to-morrow and every day in our own house at home.  All the mystics worth
the noble name will tell you that all true communicating is always
performed and experienced in the prepared heart, and never in any upper
room, or church, or chapel, or new heaven, or new earth.  The prepared
heart of every worthy communicant is the true upper room; it is the true
banqueting chamber; it is the true and the only house of wine.  Our
Father's House itself, with its supper-table covered with the new wine of
the Kingdom--the best of it all will still be within you.  Prepare
yourselves within yourselves, then, O departing and dispersing
communicants.  Prepare, and keep yourselves always prepared.  And as
often as you so prepare yourselves your Prince will come to you every
day, and will cat and drink with you, till He makes every day on earth a
day of heaven already to you.  See if He will not; for, again and again,
He who keeps all His promises says that He will.



CHAPTER XXVI--EMMANUEL'S LIVERY


   'And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen,
   clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of
   saints.'--_John_.

The Plantagenet kings of ancient England had white and scarlet for their
livery; white and green was the livery of the Tudors; the Stuarts wore
red and yellow; while blue and scarlet colours adorn to-day the House of
Hanover.  And the Prince of the kings of the earth, He has his royal
colours also, and His servants have their badge of honour and their
blazon also.  Then He commanded that those who waited upon Him should go
and bring forth out of His treasury those white and glittering robes,
that I, He said, have provided and laid up in store for my Mansoul.  So
the white garments were fetched out of the treasury and laid forth to the
eyes of the people.  Moreover, it was granted to them that they should
take them and put them on, according, said He, to your size and your
stature.  So the people were all put into white--into fine linen, clean
and white.  Then said the Prince, This, O Mansoul, is My livery, and this
is the badge by which Mine are known from the servants of others.  Yea,
this livery is that which I grant to all them that are Mine, and without
which no man is permitted to see My face.  Wear this livery, therefore,
for My sake, and, also, if you would be known by the world to be Mine.
But now can you think how Mansoul shone!  For Mansoul was fair as the
sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.

White, then, and whiter than snow, is the very livery of heaven.  A
hundred shining Scriptures could be quoted to establish that.  In the
first year of Belshazzar, King of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and
visions of his head came to Daniel upon his bed.  And, behold, the
Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of
his head like the pure wool.  My beloved, sings the spouse in the Song,
is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether
lovely.  Then, again, David in his penitence sings, Purge me with hyssop,
and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  And what
is it that sets Isaiah at the head of all the prophets?  What but this,
that he is the mouth-piece of such decrees in heaven as this: Though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool.  The angel, also, who rolled away the
stone from the door of the sepulchre was clothed in a long white garment.
Another evangelist says that his countenance was like lightning and his
raiment white as snow, and for fear of him the keepers did quake, and
became as dead men.  But before that we read that Jesus was transfigured
before Peter and James and John on the Mount, and that His face did shine
as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.  And, then, the whole
Book of Revelation is written with a pen dipped in heavenly light.  The
whole book is glistening with the whitest light till we cannot read it
for the brightness thereof.  And the multitude that no man can number all
display themselves before our eyes, clothed with white robes and with
palms in their hands, so much so that we sink down under the greatness of
the glory, till One with His head and His hairs white like wool, as white
as snow, lays His hand upon us, and says to us, Fear not, for, behold, I
have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with
change of raiment.

   'I also saw Mansoul clad all in white,
   And heard her Prince call her His heart's delight,
   I saw Him put upon her chains of gold,
   And rings and bracelets goodly to behold.
   What shall I say?  I heard the people's cries,
   And saw the Prince wipe tears from Mansoul's eyes,
   I heard the groans and saw the joy of many;
   Tell you of all, I neither will nor can I.
   But by what here I say you well may see
   That Mansoul's matchless wars no fable be.'

'And to her it was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen,
clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.'  We
need no exegesis of that beautiful Scripture beyond that exegesis which
our own hearts supply.  And if we did need that shining text to be
explained to us, to whom could we better go for its explanation than just
to John Bunyan?  Well, then, in our author's _No Way to Heaven but by
Jesus Christ_, he says: 'This fine linen, in my judgment, is the works of
godly men; their works that spring from faith.  But how came they clean?
How came they white?  Not simply because they were the works of faith.
But, mark, they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of
the Lamb.  And therefore they are before the throne of God.  Yea,
therefore it is that their good works stand in such a place.'  'Nor must
we think it strange,' says John Howe, in his _Blessedness of the
Righteous_, 'that all the requisites to our salvation are not found
together in one text of Scripture.  I conceive that imputed righteousness
is not here meant, but that righteousness which is truly subjected in a
child of God and descriptive of him.  The righteousness of Him whom we
adore as made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God
in Him, that righteousness has a much higher sphere peculiar and
appropriate to itself.  Though this of which we now speak is necessary
also to be both had and understood.'  Emmanuel's livery, then, is the
righteousness of the saints.  Emmanuel puts that righteousness upon all
His saints; while, at the same time, they put it on themselves; they work
it out for themselves, and for themselves they keep it clean.  They work
it out, put it on, and keep it clean, and yet, all the time, it is not
they that do it, but it is Emmanuel that doeth it all in them.  The truth
is, you must all become mystics before you will admit all the strange
truth that is told about Emmanuel's livery.  For both heaven and earth
unite in this wonderful livery.  Nature and grace unite in it.  It is
woven by the gospel on the loom of the law--till, to tell you all that is
true about it, I neither can nor will I.  Albert Bengel tells us that the
court of heaven has its own jealous and scrupulous etiquette; and our
court journalist and historian, John Bunyan, has supplied his favoured
readers with the very card of etiquette that was issued along with
Mansoul's coat of livery, and it is more than time that we had attended
to that card.

1.  The first item then in that etiquette-card ran in these set terms:
'First, wear these white robes daily, day by day, lest you should at some
time appear to others as if you were none of Mine.--Signed, EMMANUEL.'

Now, we put on anew every morning the garments that we are to wear every
new day.  We have certain pieces of clothing that we wear in the morning;
we have certain pieces that we wear when we are at our work; and, again,
we have certain other pieces that we put on when we go abroad in the
afternoon; and, yet again, certain other pieces that we array ourselves
in when we go out into society in the evening.  After a night in which
Mercy could not sleep for blessing and praising God, they all rose in the
morning with the sun; but the Interpreter would have them tarry a while,
for, said he, you must orderly go from hence.  Then said he to the
damsel, Take them, and have them into the garden to the bath.  Then
Innocent the damsel took them, and had them into the garden, and brought
them to the bath.  Then they went in and washed, yea, they and the boys
and all, and they came out of that bath, not only clean and sweet, but
also much enlivened and much strengthened in their joints.  So when they
came in they looked fairer a deal than when they went out.  Then said the
Interpreter to the damsel that waited upon those women, Go into the
vestry, and fetch out garments for these people.  So she went and fetched
out white raiment and laid it down before him.  And then he commanded
them to put it on.  It was fine linen, white and clean.  Now, therefore,
they began to esteem each other better than themselves.  For, You are
fairer than I am, said one; and, You are more comely than I am, said
another.  The children also stood amazed to see into what fashion they
had been brought.  William Law--I thank God, I think, every day I live
for that good day to me on which He introduced me to His gifted and
saintly servant--well, William Law used every morning after his bath in
the morning to put on his livery, piece by piece, in order, and with
special prayer.  The first piece that he put on, and he put it on every
new morning next his heart to wear it all the day next his heart, was
gratitude to God.  And it was a real, feeling, active, and operative
gratitude that he so put on.  On each new morning as it came, that good
man was full of new gratitude to God.  For the sun new from his Almighty
Maker's hands he had gratitude.  For his house over his head he had
gratitude.  For his Bible and his spiritual books he had gratitude.  For
his opportunities of reading and study, as also for ten o'clock in the
morning when the widows and orphans of King's Cliffe came to his window,
and so on.  A grateful heart feeds itself to a still greater gratitude on
everything that comes to it.  So it was with William Law, till he wakened
the maids in the rooms below with his psalms and his hymns as he went
into his vestry and put on his singing robes so early every morning.  And
then, after his morning hours of study and devotion, Law had a piece of
livery that he always put on and never came downstairs to breakfast
without it.  Other men might put on other pieces; he always clothed
himself next to gratitude with humility.  Men differ, good men differ,
and Emmanuel's livery-men differ in what they put on, at what time, and
in what order.  But that was William Law's way.  You will learn more of
his way, and you will be helped to find out a like way for yourselves, if
you will become students of his incomparable books.  You will find how he
put on charity, 1 Cor. thirteenth chapter; and then how, over all, he put
on the will of God; till, thus equipped and thus accoutred, he was able
to say, as it has seldom been said since it was first said, 'I put on
righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was to me as a robe and as
a diadem.  The Almighty was then with me, and my children were about me.
When I washed my steps with butter, and when the rock poured me out
rivers of oil!'  So much for that livery-man of Emmanuel, the author of
the _Christian Perfection_ and the _Spirit of Love_.  As for the women's
vestry in the Interpreter's House, Matthew Henry saw the thirty-first
chapter of the Proverbs hung up on that vestry wall, and Christiana
making her morning toilet before it with Mercy beside her.  Who would
find a virtuous woman, let him look before that looking-glass for her,
and he will be sure to find her and her daughters and her daughters-in-
law putting on their white raiment there.

2.  'Secondly, keep your garments always white; for if they be soiled, it
is a dishonour to Me.  I have a few names even in Sardis which have not
defiled their garments, and they shall walk with Me in white, for they
are worthy.'  Even in Sardis, with every street and every house full of
soil and dishonour to the name of Christ, even in Sardis Emmanuel had
some of whom He could boast Himself.  Would you not immensely like at the
last day to be one of those some in Sardis?  Shall it not be splendid
when Sardis comes up for judgment to be among those few names that
Emmanuel shall then read out of His book, and when, at their few names,
two or three men shall step out into the light in His livery?  Some of
you are in Sardis at this moment.  Some of you are in a city, or in a
house in a city, where it is impossible to keep your garments clean.  And
yet, no; nothing is impossible to Emmanuel and His true livery-men.  Even
in that house where you are, Emmanuel will say over you, I have one there
who is thankful to My Father and to Me; thankful to singing every morning
where there is little, as men see, to sing for.  There is one in that
house humble, where humility itself would almost become high-minded.  And
meek, where Moses himself would have lost his temper.  And submissive,
where rebelliousness would not have been without excuse.  Mark these few
men for Mine, says Emmanuel.  Mark them with the inkhorn for Mine.  For
they shall surely be Mine in that day, and they shall walk with Me in
white, for they are worthy.

3.  'Wherefore gird your garments well up from the ground.'  A
well-dressed man, a well-dressed woman, is a beautiful sight.  Not over-
dressed; not dressed so as to call everybody's attention to their dress;
but dressed decorously, becomingly, tastefully.  Each several piece well
fitted on, and all of a piece, till it all looks as if it had grown by
nature itself upon the well-dressed wearer.  Be like him--be like her--so
runs the third head of the etiquette-card.  Be not slovenly and
disorderly and unseemly in your livery.  Let not your livery be always
falling off, and catching on every bush and briar, and dropping into
every pool and ditch.  Hold yourselves in hand, the instruction goes on.
Brace yourselves up.  Have your temper, your tongue, your eyes, your
ears, and all your members in control.  And then you will escape many a
rent and many a rag; many a seam and many a patch; many a soil and many a
stain.  And then also you will be found walking abroad in comeliness and
at liberty, while others, less careful, are at home mending and washing
and ironing because they went without a girdle when you girt up your
garments well off the ground.  Wherefore always gird well up the loins of
your mind.

4.  'And, fourthly, lose not your robes, lest you walk naked and men see
your shame'; that is to say, the supreme shame of your soul.  For there
is no other shame.  There is nothing else in body or soul to be ashamed
about.  There is a nakedness, indeed, that our children are taught to
cover; but the Bible is a book for men.  And the only nakedness that the
Bible knows about or cares about is the nakedness of the soul.  It was
their sudden soul-nakedness that chased Adam and Eve in among the trees
of the garden.  And it is God's pity for soul-naked sinners that has made
Him send His Son to cry to us: 'I counsel thee,' He cries, 'to buy of Me
gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; white raiment, that
thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not
appear.  Behold!' He cries in absolute terror, 'Behold!  I come as a
thief!  Blessed is he that walketh and keepeth his garments, lest he walk
naked, and they see his shame.'  Were your soul to be stripped naked to
all its shame to-morrow; were all your past to be laid out absolutely
naked and bare, with all the utter nakedness of your inward life this
day; were all your secret thoughts, and all your stealthy schemes, and
all your mad imaginations, and all your detestable motives, and all your
hatreds like hell, and all your follies like Bedlam to be laid naked--I
suppose the horror of it would make you cry to the rocks and the
mountains to cover you this Sabbath night, or the weeds of the nearest
sea to wrap you down into its depths.  It would be hell before the time
to you if your soul were suddenly to be stripped absolutely bare of its
ragged body, and naked of all the thin integuments of time, and were for
a single day to stand naked to its everlasting shame.  And it is just
because Jesus Christ sees all that as sure as the judgment-day coming to
you, that He stands here to-night and calls to you: I counsel thee!  I
counsel thee!  Before it be too late, I again counsel thee!

5.  But the Prince Emmanuel is persuaded better things of all His livery-
men, though He thus speaks to them to put them on their guard.  Yes,
sternly and severely and threateningly as He sometimes speaks, yet, in
spite of Himself, His real grace always breaks through at the last.  And,
accordingly, his fifth command runs thus: But, it runs, if you should
sully them, if you should defile them, the which I am greatly unwilling
that you should, then speed you to that which is written in My law, that
yet you may stand, and not fall before Me and before My throne.  Always
know this, that I have provided for thee an open fountain to wash thy
garments in.  Look, therefore, that you wash often in that fountain, and
go not for an hour in defiled garments.  Let not, therefore, My garments,
your garments, the garments that I gave thee be ever spotted by the
flesh.  Keep thy garments always white, and let thy head lack no
ointment.--Signed in heaven, EMMANUEL.



CHAPTER XXVII--MANSOUL'S MAGNA CHARTA


   'A better covenant.'--_Paul_.

Magna Charta is a name very dear to the hearts of the English people.
For, ever since that memorable day on which that noble instrument was
extorted from King John at the point of the sword, England has been the
pioneer to all the other nations of the earth in personal freedom, in
public righteousness, in domestic stability, and in foreign influence and
enterprise.  Runnymede is a red-letter spot, and 1215 is a red-letter
year, not only in the history of England, but in the history of the whole
modern world.  The keystone of all sound constitutional government was
laid at that place on that date, and by that great bridge not England
only, but after England the whole civilised world has passed over from
ages of bondage and oppression and injustice into a new world of personal
liberty and security, public equity and good faith, loyalty and peace.
All that has since been obtained, whether on the battle-field or on the
floor of Parliament, has been little more than a confirmation of Magna
Charta or an authoritative comment upon Magna Charta.  And if every
subsequent law were to be blotted out, yet in Magna Charta the
foundations would still remain of a great state and a free people.  'Here
commences,' says Macaulay, 'the history of the English nation.'

Now, after the Prince of Peace had subjugated the rebellious city of
Mansoul, He promulgated a proclamation and appointed a day wherein He
would renew their Charter.  Yea, a day wherein he would renew and enlarge
their Charter, mending several faults in it, so that the yoke of Mansoul
might be made yet more easy to bear.  And this He did without any desire
of theirs, even of His own frankness and nobleness of mind.  So when He
had sent for and seen their old Charter, He laid it by and said, Now that
which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.  An epitome,
therefore, of that new, and better, and more firm and steady Charter take
as follows: I do grant of Mine own clemency, free, full, and everlasting
forgiveness of all their wrongs, injuries, and offences done against My
Father, against Me, against their neighbours and themselves.  I do give
them also My Testament, with all that is therein contained, for their
everlasting comfort and consolation.  Thirdly, I do also give them a
portion of the self-same grace and goodness that dwells in My Father's
heart and Mine.  Fourthly, I do give, grant, and bestow upon them freely,
the world and all that is therein for their true good; yea, all the
benefits of life and death, of things present and things to come.  Free
leave and full access also at all seasons to Me in My palace, there to
make known all their wants to Me; and I give them, moreover, a promise
that I shall hear and redress all their grievances.  To them and to their
right seed after them, I hereby bestow all these grants, privileges, and
royal immunities.  All this is but a lean epitome of what was that day
laid down in letters of gold and engraven on their doors and their castle
gates.  And what joy, what comfort, what consolation, think you, did now
possess every heart in Mansoul!  The bells rang out, the minstrels
played, the people danced, the captains shouted, the colours waved in the
wind, and the silver trumpets sounded, till every enemy inside and
outside of Mansoul was now glad to hide his head.

Our constitutional authors and commentators are wont to take Magna Charta
clause by clause, and word by word, and letter by letter.  They linger
lovingly and proudly over every jot and tittle of that splendid
instrument.  And you will indulge me this Communion night of all nights
of the year if I expatiate still more lovingly and proudly on that great
Covenant which our Lord has sealed to us again to-day, and has written
again to-day on the walls of our hearts.  Moses made haste as soon as the
old Charter was read over to him, and nothing shall delay us till we have
feasted our eyes, and our ears, and our hearts to-night on the contents
of this our new and better covenant.

1.  The first article of our Magna Charta is free, full, and everlasting
forgiveness of all the wrongs, injuries, and offences we have ever done
against God, against our Saviour, against our neighbour, and against
ourselves.  The English nobles extorted their Charter from their
tyrannical king with their sword at his throat, and after he had signed
it, he cast himself on the ground and gnawed sticks and stones in his
fury, so mad was he at the men who had so humiliated him.  'They have set
four-and-twenty kings over my head,' he gnashed out.  How different was
it with our Charter!  For when we were yet enemies it was already drawn
out in our name.  And after we had been subdued it would never have
entered our fearful hearts to ask for such an instrument.  And, even now,
after we have entered into its liberty, how slow we are to believe all
that is written in our great Charter, and read to us every day out of it.
And who shall cast a stone at us for not easily believing all that is so
written and read?  It is not so easy as you would think to believe in
free forgiveness for all the wrongs, injuries, and offences we have ever
done.  When you try to believe it about yourselves, you will find how
hard it is to accept that covenant and always to keep your feet firm upon
it.  That the forgiveness is absolutely free is its first great
difficulty.  If it had cost us all we could ever do or suffer, both in
this world and in the world to come, then we could have come to terms
with our Prince far more easily; but that our forgiveness should be
absolutely free, it is that that so staggers us.  When I was a little boy
I was once wandering through the streets of a large city seeing the
strange sights.  I had even less Latin in my head that day than I had
money in my pocket.  But I was hungry for knowledge and eager to see rare
and wonderful things.  Over the door of a public institution, containing
a museum and other interesting things, I tried to read a Latin scroll.  I
could not make out the whole of the writing; I could only make out one
word, and not even that, as the event soon showed.  The word was
_gratia_, or some modification of _gratia_, with some still deeper words
engraven round about it.  But on the strength of that one word I mounted
the steps and rang the bell, and asked the porter if I could see the
museum.  He told me that the cost of admission was such and such.  Little
as it was, it was too much for me, and I came down the steps feeling that
the Latin writing above the door had entirely deceived me.  It has not
been the last time that my bad Latin has brought me to shame and
confusion of face.  But Latin, or Greek, or only English, or not even
English, there is no deception and no confusion here.  Forgiveness is
really of free grace.  It costs absolutely nothing, the door is open; or,
if it is not open, then knock, and it shall be opened, without money and
without price.

'Free and full.'  I could imagine a free forgiveness which was not also
full.  I could imagine a charter that would have run somehow thus: Free
forgiveness and full, up to a firmly fixed limit.  Free and full
forgiveness for sins of ignorance and even of infirmity and frailty; for
small sins and for great sins, too, up to a certain age of life and stage
of guilt.  Free and full forgiveness up to a certain line, and then, that
black line of reprobation, as Samuel Rutherford says.  Indeed, it is no
imagination.  I have felt oftener than once that I was at last across
that black line, and gone and lost for ever.  But no--

   'While the lamp holds on to burn,
   The greatest sinner may return.'

'Free, full, and everlasting.'  Pope Innocent the Third came to the
rescue of King John and issued a Papal bull revoking and annulling Magna
Charta.  But neither king, nor pope, nor devil can revoke or annul our
new Covenant.  It is free, full, and everlasting.  If God be for us, who
can be against us?  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, shall
be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord.

2.  'Free, full, and everlasting forgiveness of all the wrongs, the
injuries, and the offences you have done against My Father, Me, your
neighbours, and yourselves.'  Now, out of all that let us fix upon
this--the wrongs and the injuries we have done to our neighbours.  For,
as Calvin says somewhere, though our sins against the first table of the
law are our worst sins, yet our sins against the second table, that is,
against our neighbours, are far better for beginning a scrutiny with.  So
they are.  For our wrongs against our neighbours, when they awaken within
us at all, awaken with a terrible fury.  Our wrongs against our
neighbours wound, and burden, and exasperate an awakened conscience in a
fearful way.  We come afterwards to say, Against Thee, Thee only have I
sinned!  But at the first beginning of our repentances it is the wrongs
we have done to our neighbours that drive us beside ourselves.  What
neighbour of yours, then, have you so wronged?  Name him; name her.  You
avoid that name like poison, but it is not poison--it is life and peace.
More depends on your often recollecting and often pronouncing that
hateful name than you would believe.  More depends upon it than your
minister has ever told you.  And, then, in what did you so wrong him?
Name the wrong also.  Give it its Bible name, its newspaper name, its
brutal, vulgar, ill-mannered name.  Do not be too soft, do not be too
courtly with yourself.  Keep your own evil name ever before you.  When
you hear any other man outlawed and ostracised by that same name, say to
yourself: Thou, sir, art the man!  Put out a secret and a painful skill
upon yourself.  Have times and places and ways that nobody knows anything
about--not even those you have wronged; have times and places and ways
they would laugh to be told of, and would not believe it; times, I say,
and places and ways for bringing all those old wrongs you once did ever
and ever back to mind; as often back and as keen to your mind as they
come back to that other mind, which is still so full of the wrong.  Even
if your victim has forgiven and forgotten you, never you forget him, and
never you forgive yourself when you again think of him.  Welcome back
every sudden and sharp recollection of your wrong-doing.  And make haste
at every such sudden recollection and fall down on the spot in a deeper
compunction than ever before.  Do that as you would be a forgiven and
full-chartered soul.  For, free and full and everlasting as God's
forgiveness is, you have no assurance that it is yours if you ever forget
your sin, or ever forgive yourself for having done it.  'Forgive
yourself,' says Augustine, 'and God will condemn you.  But continually
arraign and condemn yourself, and God will forgive and acquit and justify
you.'

3.  'I give also My holy law and testament, and all that therein is
contained, for their everlasting comfort and consolation.'  This is not
the manner of men, O my God.  Kind-hearted men comfort and console those
who have suffered injuries and wrongs at our hands, but the
kindest-hearted of men harden their hearts and set their faces like a
flint against us who have done the wrong.  All Syria sympathised with
Esau for the loss of his birthright, but I do not read that any one came
to whisper one kind word to Jacob on his hard pillow.  All the army
mourned over Uriah, but all the time David's moisture was dried up like
the drought of summer, and not even Nathan came to the King till he could
not help coming.  All Jericho cried, Avenge us of our adversary!  But it
was Jesus who looked up and saw Zaccheus and said: Zaccheus, come down;
make haste and come down, for to-day I must abide at thy house.  'The
injuries they have done themselves also,' so runs the very first head of
our forgiveness covenant.  Ah! yes; O my Lord, Thou knowest all things;
Thou knowest my heart.  Thou knowest that irremediably as I have injured
other men, yet in injuring them I have injured myself much more.  And
much as other men need restitution, reparation, and consolation on my
account, my God, Thou knowest that I need all that much more--ten
thousand times more.  Oh, how my broken heart within me leaps up and
thanks Thee for that Covenant.  Let me repeat it again to Thy praise:
'Full, free, and everlasting forgiveness of all wrongs, injuries, and
offences done by him against his neighbours and against himself.'  Who,
who is a God, O my God, who is a God like unto Thee!

4.  'I do also give them a portion of the self-same grace and goodness
that dwells in My Father's heart and Mine.'  The self-same grace and
goodness, that is, that My Father and I have shown to them.  That is to
say, we shall be made both willing and able to grant to all those men who
have wronged us the very same charter of forgiveness that we have had
granted to us of God.  So that at all those times when we stand praying
for forgiveness we shall suspend that prayer till we have first forgiven
all our enemies, and all who have at any time and in any way wronged or
injured us.  Even when we had the Communion cup at our lips to-day, you
would have seen us setting it down till we had first gone and been
reconciled to our brother.  Yes, my brethren, you are His witnesses that
He has done it.  He has taken you into His covenant till He has made you
both able and willing, both willing and able, to grant and to bequeath to
others, all that free, full, and everlasting forgiveness and love that He
has bequeathed to you.  Till under the very last and supreme wrong that
your worst enemy can do to you and to yours, you are able and forward to
say: Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he has done.  Forgive me
my debts, you will say, as I forgive my debtors.  And always, as you
again say and do that, you will on the spot be made a partaker of the
Divine Nature, according to the heavenly Charter, 'I do also give them a
portion of the self-same grace and goodness that dwells in My Father's
heart and in Mine.'

5.  'I do also,' so Mansoul's Magna Charta travels on, 'I do also give,
grant, and bestow upon them freely the world and all that is therein for
their good; yea, I grant them all the benefits of life and of death, and
of things present and things to come.'  What a magnificent Charter is
that!  'All things are yours: whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the
world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are
yours.'  What a superb Charter!  Only, it is too high for us; we cannot
attain to it.  Has any human being ever risen to anything like the full
faith, full assurance, and full victory of all that in this life?  No;
the thing is impossible!  Reason would fall off her throne.  The heart of
a man would break with too much joy if he tried to enter into the full
belief of all that.  No; it hath not entered into the heart of a still
sinful man what God hath chartered to them whom He loves.  This world,
and all that therein is, and then all the coming benefits of life and of
death.  What benefits do believers receive from Christ at their death?  We
all drank in the answer to that with our mother's milk, but what is
behind the words of that answer no mortal tongue can yet tell.  All are
yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.  Till, what joy, what
comfort, what consolation, think you, did now possess the hearts of the
men of Mansoul!  The bells rang, the minstrels played, the people danced,
the captains shouted, the colours waved in the wind, and the silver
trumpets sounded.

6.  'And till the glory breaks suddenly upon you, and as long as you yet
live in this life of free grace I shall give and grant you leave and free
access to Me in My palace at all seasons, there to make known all your
wants to Me; and I give you, moreover, a promise that I will hear and
redress all your grievances.'  At all seasons; in season and out of
season.  There to make known all your wants to Me.  And all your
grievances.  All that still grieves and vexes you.  All your wrongs.  All
your injuries.  All that men can do to you.  Let them do their worst to
you.  My grace is sufficient for all your grievances.  My goodness in you
shall make you more than a conqueror.  I undertake to give you before you
have asked for it a heart full of free, full, and everlasting forgiveness
and forgetfulness of all that has begun to grieve you.  No word or deed,
written or spoken, of any man shall be able to vex or grieve the spirit
that I shall put within you.  You will immediately avenge yourselves of
your adversaries.  You will instantly repay them all an hundredfold.  For,
when thine enemy hungers, thou shalt feed him; when he is athirst, thou
shalt give him drink.  For thou shalt not be overcome of evil, but thou
shalt overcome evil with good.

7.  'All these grants, privileges, and immunities I bestow upon thee;
upon thee, I say, and upon thy right seed after thee.'  O Almighty God,
our Heavenly Father, give us such a seed!  Give us a seed right with
Thee!  Smite us and our house with everlasting barrenness rather than
that our seed should not be right with Thee.  O God, give us our
children.  Give us our children.  A second time, and by a far better
birth, give us our children to be beside us in Thy holy Covenant.  For it
had been better we had never been born; it had been better we had never
been betrothed; it had been better we had sat all our days solitary
unless all our children are to be right with Thee.  Let the day perish,
and the night wherein it was said, There is a man-child conceived.  Let
that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above; neither let the
light shine upon it, unless all our house is yet to be right with God.  O
my son Absalom!  My son, my son Absalom!  Would God I had died for thee,
O Absalom, my son, my son!  But thou, O God, art Thyself a Father, and
thus hast in Thyself a Father's heart.  Hear us, then, for our children,
O our Father, for such of our children as are not yet right with Thee!  In
season and out of season; we shall not go up into our bed; we shall not
give sleep to our eyes nor slumber to our eyelids till we and all our
seed are right with Thee.  And then how we and all our saved seed beside
us shall praise Thee and bless Thee above all the families on earth or in
heaven, and shall say: Unto Him who loved us and washed us from our sins
in His own blood, and hath bestowed upon us a free, full, and everlasting
forgiveness, and hath made us partakers of His Divine Nature, to Him be
our love and praise and service to all eternity.  Amen and Amen!



CHAPTER XXVIII--EMMANUEL'S LAST CHARGE TO MANSOUL: CONCERNING THE
REMAINDERS OF SIN IN THE REGENERATE


   'Hold fast till I come.'--_Our Lord_.

There are many fine things in Emmanuel's last charge to Mansoul, but by
far the best thing is the answer that He Himself there supplies to this
deep and difficult question,--to this question, namely, Why original sin
is still left to rage in the truly regenerate?  Why does our Lord not
wholly extirpate sin in our regeneration?  What can His reason be for
leaving their original sin to dwell in His best saints till the day of
their death?  For, to use His own sad words about sin in His last charge,
nothing hurts us but sin.  Nothing defiles and debases us but sin.  Why,
then, does He not take our sin clean out of us at once?  He could speak
the word of complete deliverance if He only would.  Why, then, does He
not speak that word?  That has been a mystery and a grief to all God's
saints ever since sanctification began to be.  And the great interest and
the great value of Emmanuel's last charge to Mansoul stands in this, that
He here tells us, if not all, then at least some of His reasons for the
policy He pursues with us in our sanctification.  Dost thou know, He
asks, as He stands on His chariot steps, surrounded with His captains on
the right hand and the left--Dost thou know why I at first did, and do
still, suffer sin to live and dwell and harbour in thy heart?  And then,
after an _O yes_! for silence, the Prince began and thus proceeded:

1.  Dost thou ask at Me why I and My Father have seen it good to allow
the dregs of thy sinfulness still to corrupt and to rot in thine heart?
Dost thou ask why, amid so much in thee that is regenerate, there is
still so much more that is unregenerate?  Why, while thou art, without
controversy, under grace, indwelling sin still so festers and so breaks
out in thee?  Dost thou ask that?  Then, attend, and before I go away to
come again I will try to tell thee, if, indeed, thou art able and willing
to bear it.  Well, then, be silent while I tell thee that I have left all
that of thy original sin in thee to tempt thee, to try thee, to humble
thee, and to thrust, day and night, upon thee, what is still in thine
heart.  To humble thee, take knowledge, take warning, and take
forethought.  To make thee humble, and to keep thee humble.  To hide
pride from thee, and to lay thee all thy days on earth in the dust of
death.  I tell thee this day that in all thy past life I have ordered and
administered all My providences toward thee to humble thee and to prove
thee, and to make thee dust and ashes in thine own eyes.  And I go away
to carry on from heaven this same intention of My Father's and Mine
toward thee.  We shall try thee as silver is tried.  We shall sift thee
as wheat is sifted.  We shall search thee as Jerusalem is searched with
lighted candles.  I tell thee the truth, I shall bend from heaven all My
power which My Father has given Me, and all My wisdom, and all My love,
and all My grace.  What to do, dost thou think?  What to do but to make
thee to know and to acknowledge the plague of thine own heart.  The
deceitfulness, that is, the depth of wickedness, and the abominableness,
past all words, of thine own heart.  I do not ascend to My Father, with
all things in My hand, to make thy seat soft, and thy cup sweet, and thy
name great, and thy seed multiplied.  I have far other predestinations
before Me for thee.  I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and it
is to everlasting life that I am leading thee.  And thou must let Me lead
thee through fire and through water if I am to lead thee to heaven at
last.  I shall have to utterly kill all self-love out of thy heart, and
to plant all humility in its place.  Many and dreadful discoveries shall
I have to make to thee of thy profane and inhuman self-love and
selfishness.  Words will fail thee to confess all thy selfishness in thy
most penitent prayer.  Thy towering pride of heart also, and thy so
contemptible vanity.  As for thy vanity, I shall so overrule it that
double-minded men about thee shall make thee and thy vanity their sport,
their jest, and their prey.  And I shall not leave thee, nor discharge
Myself of My work within thee, till I see thee loathing thyself and
hating thyself and gnashing thy teeth at thyself for thy envy of thy
brother, thy envy concerning his house, his wife and his man-servant, and
his maid-servant, and his ox, and his ass, and everything that is his.
Thou shalt find something in thee that shall allow thee to see thine
enemy prosper, but not thy friend.  Something that shall keep thee from
thy sleep because of his talents, his name, his income, and his place
which I have given him above thee, beside thee, and always in thy sight.
It will be something also that shall make his sickness, his decay, his
defamation, and his death sweet to thee, and his prosperity and return to
life bitter to thee.  Thou shalt have to confess something in
thyself--whatever its nature and whatever its name--something that shall
make thee miserable at good news, and glad and enlarged and full of life
at evil tidings.  It will be something also that shall give a long life
in thy evil heart to anger, and to resentment, and to retaliation, and to
revenge.  For after years and years thou shalt still have it in thine
heart to hate and to hurt that man and his house, because long ago he
left thy side, thy booth in the market, thy party in the state, and thy
church in religion.  As I live, swore Emmanuel, standing up on the step
of His ascending chariot, I shall show thee thyself.  I shall show thee
what an unclean heart is and a wicked.  I shall teach to thee what all
true saints shudder at when they are let see the plague of their own
hearts.  I shall show thee, as I live, how full of pride, and hate, and
envy, and ill-will a regenerate heart can be; and how a true-born man of
God may still love evil and hate good; may still rejoice in iniquity and
pine under the truth.  I shall show thee, also, what thou wilt not as yet
believe, how thy best friend cannot trust his good name with thee; such a
sweet morsel to thee shall be the mote in his eye and the spot on his
praise.  Yes, I shall show thee that I did not die on the cross for
nothing when I died for thee; when I went out to Calvary a shame and a
spitting, an outcast and a curse for thee!  Thou shalt yet arise up and
fall down in thy sin and shalt justify all my thorns, and nails, and
spears, and the last drop of My blood for thee!  Yea, thou shalt remember
all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the
wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, and to know what was in
thine heart, and whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or no.

2.  It is also, the still tarrying Prince proceeded--it is also to keep
thee wakeful and to make thee watchful.  Now, what conceivable estate
could any man be put into even by his Maker and Redeemer more calculated
to call forth wakefulness and watchfulness than to have one half of his
heart new and the other half old?  To have one half of his heart
garrisoned by the captains of Emmanuel, and the other half still full of
the spies and the scouts and the emissaries of hell?  Nay, to have the
great bulk of his heart still full of sin and but a small part of his
heart here and there under grace and truth?  Here is material for
fightings without and fears within with a vengeance!  If it somehow suits
and answers God's deep purposes with His people to teach them
watchfulness in this life, then here is a field for watchfulness, a field
of divine depth and scope and opportunity.  There used to be a divinity
question set in the schools in these terms: Where, in the regenerate,
hath sin its lodging-place?  For that sin does still lodge in the
regenerate is too abundantly evident both from Scripture and from
experience.  But where it so lodges is the question.  The Dominican
monks, and some others, were of opinion that original sin is to be found
only in the inferior part of the soul, but not in the mind or the will.
Which, I suppose, we shall soon find contrary both to Scripture and
reason and experience.  Old Andrew Gray speaks feelingly and no less
truly concerning the heart, when he says, 'I think,' he says, 'that if
all the saints since Adam's day, and who shall be to the end of the
world, had but one deceitful heart to guide they would misguide it.'  What
a plot of God, then, it is to seat grace, a little saving grace, in the
midst of such a sea of corruption as a human heart is, and then to set a
sinful man to watch over that spark and to keep the boiling pollutions of
his own heart from extinguishing that spark!  Well may Paul exclaim: Yea,
what carefulness it calls forth in us; yea, what indignation; yea, what
fear; yea, what vehement desire; yea, what zeal; yea, what revenge!  And,
knowing to what He has left our hearts, well may Emmanuel say to us from
His ascending steps, 'Watch ye, therefore; and what I say unto you, I say
unto all, Watch!'

3.  It is to keep thee watchful and to teach thee war also, the Prince
went on.  Bishop Butler is about the last author that we would think of
going to for light on any deep and intricate question in the evangelical
and experimental life.  But Butler is so deeply seen into much of the
heart of man, as also into many of the ways of God, that even here he has
something to say to the point.  'It is vain to object,' he says in his
sober and sobering way, 'that all this trouble and danger might have been
saved us by our being made at once the creatures and the characters which
we were to be.  For we experience that what we are to be is to be the
effect of what we shall do.  And that the conduct of nature is not to
save us trouble and danger, but to make us capable of going through
trouble and danger, and to put it upon us to do it.'  The Apostle Peter
has the same teaching in a passage too little attended to, in which he
tells us that we are set here to work out our own salvation, and that our
salvation will just be what, with fear and trembling, or, as Butler says,
with trouble and danger, we work out.  No man, let all men understand, is
to have his salvation thrust upon him.  No man need expect to waken up at
the end of an idle, indifferent, inattentive life and find his salvation
superinduced upon all that.  No man shall wear the crown of everlasting
life who has not for himself won it.  As every man soweth to the Spirit
so also shall he reap.  As a soldier warreth, so shall he hear it said to
him, Well done.  And as a sinner keeps his heart with all diligence, and
holds it fast till his King comes, so shall he hear it said to him, Thou
hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things.  If thy sins, then, are left in thee to teach thee war, O poor
saint of God, then take to thee the whole armour of God; thou knowest the
pieces of it, and where the armoury is, and, having done all, stand!

4.  And dost thou know, O Mansoul, that it is all to try thy love also?
Now, how, just how, do the remainders of sin in the regenerate try their
love?  Why, surely, in this way.  If we really loved sin at the deepest
bottom of our hearts, and only loved holiness on the surface, would we
not in our deepest hearts close with sin, give ourselves up to it, and
make no stand at all against it?  Would we not in our deepest and most
secret hearts welcome it, and embrace it, look out for it with desire and
delight, and part with it with regret?  But if, as a matter of fact, we
at our deepest and most hidden heart turn from sin, flee from it, fight
against it, rejoice when we are rid of it, and have horror at the return
of it,--what better proof than that could Christ and His angels have that
at bottom we are His and not the devil's?  And that grace, at bottom, has
our hearts, and not sin; heaven, and not hell?  The apostle's protesting
cry is our cry also; we also delight in the law of God after our most
inward man.  For, after our saddest surprises into sin, after its worst
outbreaks and overthrows, such all the time were our reluctances,
recalcitrations, and resistances, that, swept away as we were, yet all
the time, and after it was again over, it was with some good conscience
that we said to Christ that He knew all things, and that He knew that we
loved Him.

   'O benefit of ill! now I find true
      That better is by evil still made better;
   And ruined love, when it is built anew,
      Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater,
   So I return rebuked to my content,
      And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent.'

Yes; it is a sure and certain proof how truly we love our dearest friend,
that, after all our envy and ill-will, yet it is as true as that God is
in heaven that, all the time, maugre the devil of self that remains in
our heart,--after he has done his worst--we would still pluck out our
eyes for our friend and shed our blood.  I have no better proof to myself
of the depth and the divineness of my love to my friend than just this,
that I still love him and love him more tenderly and loyally, after
having so treacherously hurt him.  And my heavenly friends and my earthly
friends, if they will still have me, must both be content to go into the
same bundle both of my remaining enmity and my increasing love; my
remainders of sin, and my slow growth in regeneration.  So when they had
dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me
more than these?  He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love
Thee.  He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas,
lovest thou Me?  He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love
Thee.  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
Me?  Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest
thou Me?  And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou
knowest that I love Thee!

5.  And, to sum up all--more than your humility, more than your
watchfulness, more than your prayerfulness, more than to teach you war,
and more than to try your love, the dregs and remainders of sin have been
left in your regenerate heart to exalt and to extol the grace of God.  In
Emmanuel's very words, it has all been to make you a monument of God's
mercy.  I put it to yourselves, then, ye people of God: does that not
satisfy you for a reason, and for an explanation, and for a justification
of all your shame and pain, and of all your bondage and misery and
wretchedness since you knew the Lord?  Is there not a heart in you that
says, Yes! it was worth all my corruption and pollution and misery to
help to manifest forth and to magnify the glory of the grace of God?  You
seize on Emmanuel's word that you are a monument of mercy.  Somehow that
word pleases and reposes you.  Yes, that is what out of all these post-
regeneration years you are.  You would have been a monument to God's
mercy had you, like the thief on the cross, been glorified on the same
day on which you were first justified.  But it will neither be the day of
your justification nor the day of your glorification that will make you
the greatest of all the monuments that shall ever be raised to the praise
of God's grace; it will be the days of your sanctification that will do
that.  Paul was a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious at his
conversion, but he had to be a lifetime in grace and an apostle above all
the twelve before he became the chiefest of sinners and the most wretched
of saints.  And though your first forgiveness was, no doubt, a great
proof of the grace of God, yet it was nothing, nothing at all, to your
forgiveness to-day.  You had no words for the wonder and the praise of
your forgiveness to-day.  You just took to your lips the cup of salvation
and let that silent action speak aloud your monumental praise.  You were
a sinner at your regeneration, else you would not have been regenerated.
But you were not then the chief of sinners.  But now.  Ah, now!  Those
words, the chief of sinners, were but idle words in Paul's mouth.  He did
not know what he was saying.  For, what has horrified and offended other
men when it has been spoken with bated breath to them about envy, and
hate, and malice, and revenge, and suchlike remainders of hell, all that
has been a breath of life and hope to you.  It has been to you as when
Christian, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, heard a voice in the
darkness which proved to him that there was another sinner at the mouth
of hell besides himself.  There is no text that comes oftener to your
mind than this, that whoso hateth his brother is a murderer; and,
communicant as you are, you feel and you know and you are sure that there
are many men lying in lime waiting the day of judgment to whom it would
be more tolerable than for you were it not that you are to be at that day
the highest monument in heaven or earth to the redeeming, pardoning, and
saving grace of God.  Yes, this is the name that shall be written on you;
this is the name that shall be read on you of all who shall see you in
heaven; this name that Emmanuel pronounced over Mansoul that day from His
ascending chariot-steps, a very Spectacle of wonder, and a very Monument
of the mercy and the grace of God.





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