Part 7 out of 7
SOUTHEY'S LIFE OF BUNYAN.
"We intended not," says Baxter, "to dig down the banks, or pull up the
hedge, and lay all waste and common, when we desired the Prelates'
tyranny might cease." No; for the intention had been under the pretext
of abating one tyranny to establish a far severer and more galling in
its stead: in doing this the banks had been thrown down, and the hedge
destroyed; and while the bestial herd who broke in rejoiced in the
havoc, Baxter, and other such erring though good men, stood marvelling
at the mischief, which never could have been effected, if they had not
mainly assisted in it.
But the question is, would these 'erring good' men have been either
willing or able to assist in this work, if the more erring Lauds and
Sheldons had not run riot in the opposite direction? And as for the
'bestial herd,'--compare the whole body of Parliamentarians, all the
fanatical sects included, with the royal and prelatical party in the
reign of Charles II. These were, indeed, a bestial herd. See Baxter's
unwilling and Burnet's honest description of the moral discipline
throughout the realm under Cromwell.
Ib. p. xv.
They passed with equal facility from strict Puritanism to the utmost
license of practical and theoretical impiety, as Antinomians or as
Atheists, and from extreme profligacy to extreme superstition in any
of its forms.
'They!' How many? and of these how many that would not have been in
Bedlam, or fit for it, under some other form? A madman falls into love
or religion, and then, forsooth! it is love or religion that drove him
Ib. p. xxi.
In an evil hour were the doctrines of the Gospel sophisticated with
questions which should have been left in the Schools for those who are
unwise enough to employ themselves in excogitations of useless
But what, at any rate, had Bunyan to do with the Schools? His
perplexities clearly rose out of the operations of his own active but
unarmed mind on the words of the Apostle. If anything is to be
arraigned, it must be the Bible in English, the reading of which is
imposed (and, in my judgment, well and wisely imposed) as a duty on all
who can read. Though Protestants, we are not ignorant of the occasional
and partial evils of promiscuous Bible-reading; but we see them vanish
when we place them beside the good.
Ib. p. xxiv.
False notions of that corruption of our nature which it is almost as
perilous to exaggerate as to dissemble.
I would have said "which it is almost as perilous to misunderstand as to
Ib. p. xli. &c.
But the wickedness of the tinker has been greatly over-charged; and it
is taking the language of self-accusation too literally, to pronounce
of John Bunyan that he was at any time depraved. The worst of what he
was in his worst days is to be expressed in a single word ... he had
been a blackguard, &c.
All this narrative, with the reflections on the facts, is admirable and
worthy of Robert Southey: full of good sense and kind feeling--the
wisdom of love.
Ib. p. lxi.
But the Sectaries had kept their countrymen from it (the Common Prayer
Book), while they had the power, and Bunyan himself in his sphere
laboured to dissuade them from it.
Surely the fault lay in the want, or in the feeble and inconsistent
manner, of determining and supporting the proper powers of the Church.
In fact, the Prelates and leading divines of the Church were not only at
variance with each other, but each with himself.
One party, the more faithful and less modified disciples of the first
Reformers, were afraid of bringing anything into even a semblance of a
co-ordination with the Scriptures; and, with the _terriculum_ of Popery
ever before their eyes, timidly and sparingly allowed to the Church any
even subordinate power beyond that of interpreting the Scriptures; that
is, of finding the ordinances of the Church implicitly contained in the
ordinances of the inspired writers.
But as they did not assume infallibility in their interpretations, it
amounted to nothing for the consciences of such men as Bunyan and a
The opposite party, Laud, Taylor, and the rest, with a sufficient
dislike of the Pope (that is, at Rome) and of the grosser theological
corruptions of the Romish Church, yet in their hearts as much averse to
the sentiments and proceedings of Luther, Calvin, John Knox, Zuinglius,
and their fellows, and proudly conscious of their superior learning,
sought to maintain their ordinances by appeals to the Fathers, to the
recorded traditions and doctrine of the Catholic priesthood during the
first five or six centuries, and contended for so much that virtually
the Scriptures were subordinated to the Church, which yet they did not
dare distinctly to say out.
The result was that the Anti-Prelatists answered them in the gross by
setting at nought their foundation, that is, the worth, authority and
value of the Fathers.
So much for their variance with each other. But each vindicator of our
established Liturgy and Discipline was divided in himself: he minced
this out of fear of being charged with Popery, and that he dared not
affirm for fear of being charged with disloyalty to the King as the head
of the Church.
The distinction between the Church of which the king is the rightful
head, and the Church which hath no head but Christ, never occurred
either to them or to their antagonists; and as little did they succeed
in appropriating to Scripture what belonged to Scripture, and to the
Church what belonged to the Church.
All things in which the temporal is concerned may be reduced to a
pentad, namely, prothesis, thesis, antithesis, mesothesis and synthesis.
Christ, the Word
'Thesis' 'Mesothesis' 'Antithesis'
The Scriptures The Holy Spirit The Church
Ib. p. lxiii.
"But there are two ways of obeying," he observed; "the one to do that
which I in my conscience do believe that I am bound to do, actively;
and where I cannot obey actively, there I am willing to lie down, and
to suffer what they shall do unto me."
Genuine Christianity worthy of John and Paul!
Ib. p. lxv.
I am not conscious of any warping power that could have acted for so
very long a period; but from sixteen to now, sixty years of age, I have
retained the very same convictions respecting the Stuarts and their
adherents. Even to Lord Clarendon I never could quite reconcile myself.
How often the pen becomes the tongue of a systematic dream,--a
somniloquist! The sunshine, that is, the comparative power, the distinct
contra-distinguishing judgment of realities as other than mere thoughts,
is suspended. During this state of continuous, not single-mindedness,
but one-side-mindedness, writing is manual somnambulism; the somnial
magic superinduced on, without suspending, the active powers of the mind.
Ib. p. lxxix.
"They that will have heaven, they must run for it, because the devil,
the law, sin, death and hell, follow them. There is never a poor soul
that is going to heaven, but the devil, the law, sin, death and hell
make after that soul. 'The devil, your adversary, as a roaring lion,
goeth about seeking whom he may devour.' And I will assure you the
devil is nimble; he can run apace; he is light of foot; he hath
overtaken many; he hath turned up their heels, and hath given them an
everlasting fall. Also the law! that can shoot a great way: have a
care thou keep out of the reach of those great guns the Ten
Commandments! Hell also hath a wide mouth," &c.
It is the fashion of the day to call every man, who in his writings or
discourses gives a prominence to the doctrines on which, beyond all
others, the first Reformers separated from the Romish communion, a
Calvinist. Bunyan may have been one, but I have met with nothing in his
writings (except his Anti-paedobaptism, to which too he assigns no saving
importance) that is not much more characteristically Lutheran; for
instance, this passage is the very echo of the chapter on the Law and
Gospel, in Luther's 'Table Talk'.
It would be interesting, and I doubt not, instructive, to know the
distinction in Bunyan's mind between the devil and hell.
Ib. p. xcvii.
Bunyan concludes with something like a promise of a third part. There
appeared one after his death, and it has had the fortune to be
included in many editions of the original work.
It is remarkable that Southey should not have seen, or having seen, have
forgotten to notice, that this third part is evidently written by some
Romish priest or missionary in disguise.
LIFE OF BUNYAN. 
The early part of his life was an open course of wickedness.
Southey, in the Life prefixed to his edition of the Pilgrim's Progress,
has, in a manner worthy of his head and heart, reduced this oft repeated
charge to its proper value. Bunyan was never, in our received sense of
the word, wicked. He was chaste, sober, honest; but he was a bitter
blackguard; that is, damned his own and his neighbour's eyes on slight
or no occasion, and was fond of a row. In this our excellent Laureate
has performed an important service to morality. For the transmutation of
actual reprobates into saints is doubtless possible; but like the many
recorded facts of corporeal alchemy, it is not supported by modern
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS.
Part i. p. II.
As I walked through the wilderness of this world.
That in the Apocalypse the wilderness is the symbol of the world, or
rather of the worldly life, Bunyan discovered by the instinct of a
similar genius. The whole Jewish history, indeed, in all its details is
so admirably adapted to, and suggestive of, symbolical use, as to
justify the belief that the spiritual application, the interior and
permanent sense, was in the original intention of the inspiring Spirit,
though it might not have been present, as an object of distinct
consciousness, to the inspired writers.
... where was a den.
The jail. Mr. Bunyan wrote this precious book in Bedford jail, where he
was confined on account of his religion. The following anecdote is
related of him. A Quaker came to the jail, and thus addressed him:
"Friend Bunyan, the Lord sent me to seek for thee, and I have been
through several counties in search of thee, and now I am glad I have
To which Mr. Bunyan replied,
"Friend, thou dost not speak the truth in saying the Lord sent thee to
seek me; for the Lord well knows that I have been in this jail for
some years; and if he had sent thee, he would have sent thee here
'Note in Edwards'.
This is a valuable anecdote, for it proves, what might have been
concluded 'a priori', that Bunyan was a man of too much genius to be a
fanatic. No two qualities are more contrary than genius and fanaticism.
Enthusiasm, indeed, [Greek: o theos en haemin], is almost a synonyme of
genius; the moral life in the intellectual light, the will in the
reason; and without it, says Seneca, nothing truly great was ever
achieved by man.
Ib. p. 12.
And not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable
cry, saying, "What shall I do?"
Reader, was this ever your case? Did you ever see your sins, and feel
the burden of them, so as to cry out in the anguish of your soul, What
must I do to be saved? If not, you will look on this precious book as
a romance or history, which no way concerns you; you can no more
understand the meaning of it than if it were wrote in an unknown
tongue, for you are yet carnal, dead in your sins, lying in the arms
of the wicked one in false security. But this book is spiritual; it
can only be understood by spiritually quickened souls who have
experienced that salvation in the heart, which begins with a sight of
sin, a sense of sin, a fear of destruction and dread of damnation.
Such and such only commence Pilgrims from the City of Destruction to
the heavenly kingdom.
'Note in Edwards'.
Most true. It is one thing to perceive and acknowledge this and that
particular deed to be sinful, that is, contrary to the law of reason or
the commandment of God in Scripture, and another thing to feel sin
within us independent of particular actions, except as the common ground
of them. And it is this latter without which no man can become a
Ib. p. 39.
Now whereas thou sawest that as soon as the first began to sweep, the
dust did so fly about that the room by him could not be cleansed, but
that thou wast almost choked therewith; this is to show thee, that the
Law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth
revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it
doth discover and forbid it; for it doth not give power to subdue.
See Luther's 'Table Talk'. The chapters in that work named "Law and
Gospel," contain the very marrow of divinity. Still, however, there
remains much to be done on this subject; namely, to show how the
discovery of sin by the Law tends to strengthen the sin; and why it must
necessarily have this effect, the mode of its action on the appetites
and impetites through the imagination and understanding; and to
exemplify all this in our actual experience.
Ib. p. 40.
Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of
treasure, and poured it down at his feet; the which he took up, and
rejoiced therein, and withal laughed Patience to scorn; but I beheld
but awhile, and he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but
One of the not many instances of faulty allegory in 'The Pilgrim's
Progress'; that is, it is no allegory. The beholding "but awhile," and
the change into "nothing but rags," is not legitimately imaginable. A
longer time and more interlinks are requisite. It is a hybrid compost of
usual images and generalized words, like the Nile-born nondescript, with
a head or tail of organized flesh, and a lump of semi-mud for the body.
Yet, perhaps, these very defects are practically excellencies in
relation to the intended readers of 'The Pilgrim's Progress'.
Ib. p. 43.
The Interpreter answered, "This is Christ, who continually, with the
oil of his grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart; by
the means of which, notwithstanding what the Devil can do, the souls
of his people prove gracious still. And in that thou sawest that the
man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire, this is to teach thee,
that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is
maintained in the soul."
This is beautiful; yet I cannot but think it would have been still more
appropriate, if the waterpourer had been a Mr. Legality, a prudentialist
offering his calculation of consequences as the moral antidote to guilt
and crime; and if the oil-instillator, out of sight and from within, had
represented the corrupt nature of man, that is, the spiritual will
corrupted by taking up a nature into itself.
What, then, has the sinner who is the subject of grace no hand in
keeping up the work of grace in the heart? No! It is plain Mr. Bunyan
was not an Arminian.
'Note in Edwards'.
If by metaphysics we mean those truths of the pure reason which always
transcend, and not seldom appear to contradict, the understanding, or
(in the words of the great Apostle) spiritual verities which can only be
spiritually discerned--and this is the true and legitimate meaning of
metaphysics, [Greek: meta ta physika]--then I affirm, that this very
controversy between the Arminians and the Calvinists, in which both are
partially right in what they affirm, and both wholly wrong in what they
deny, is a proof that without metaphysics there can be no light of faith.
Ib. p. 45.
I left off to watch and be sober; I laid the reins upon the neck of my
This single paragraph proves, in opposition to the assertion in the
preceding note in Edwards, that in Bunyan's judgment there must be at
least a negative co-operation of the will of man with the divine grace,
an energy of non-resistance to the workings of the Holy Spirit. But the
error of the Calvinists is, that they divide the regenerate will in man
from the will of God, instead of including it.
Ib. p. 49.
So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross,
his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back,
and began to tumble; and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth
of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.
'We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an
understanding' (or discernment of reason) 'that we may know him that is
true, and we are in him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ. This
is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from
idols'. 1. John, v. 20, 21.
Alas! how many Protestants make a mental idol of the Cross, scarcely
less injurious to the true faith in the Son of God than the wooden
crosses and crucifixes of the Romanists!--and this, because they have
not been taught that Jesus was both the Christ and the great symbol of
Strange, that we can explain spiritually, what to take up the cross of
Christ, to be crucified with Christ, means;--yet never ask what the
Crucifixion itself signifies, but rest satisfied in the historic image.
That one declaration of the Apostle, that by wilful sin we 'crucify the
Son of God afresh', might have roused us to nobler thoughts.
Ib. p. 52.
And besides, say they, if we get into the way, what matters which way
we get in? If we are in, we are in. Thou art but in the way, who, as
we perceive, came in at the gate: and we are also in the way, that
came tumbling over the wall: wherein now is thy condition better than
The allegory is clearly defective, inasmuch as 'the way' represents two
1. the outward profession of Christianity, and
2. the inward and spiritual grace.
But it would be very difficult to mend it.
In this instance (and it is, I believe, the only one in the work,) the
allegory degenerates into a sort of pun, that is, in the two senses of
the word 'way,' and thus supplies Formal and Hypocrite with an argument
which Christian cannot fairly answer, or rather one to which Bunyan
could not make his Christian return the proper answer without
contradicting the allegoric image.
For the obvious and only proper answer is: No! you are not in the same
'way' with me, though you are walking on the same 'road.'
But it has a worse defect, namely, that it leaves the reader uncertain
as to what the writer precisely meant, or wished to be understood, by
Did Bunyan refer to the Quakers as rejecting the outward Sacraments of
Baptism and the Lord's Supper?
If so, it is the only unspiritual passage in the whole beautiful
allegory, the only trait of sectarian narrow-mindedness, and, in
Bunyan's own language, of legality.
But I do not think that this was Bunyan's intention. I rather suppose
that he refers to the Arminians and other Pelagians, who rely on the
coincidence of their actions with the Gospel precepts for their
salvation, whatever the ground or root of their conduct may be; who
place, in short, the saving virtue in the stream, with little or no
reference to the source.
But it is the faith acting in our poor imperfect deeds that alone saves
us; and even this faith is not ours, but the faith of the Son of God in
'I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.'
Gal. ii. 20.
Illustrate this by a simile. Labouring under chronic 'bronchitis', I am
told to inhale chlorine as a specific remedy; but I can do this only by
dissolving a saturated solution of the gas in warm water, and then
breathing the vapour. Now what the aqueous vapour or steam is to the
chlorine, that our deeds, our outward life, [Greek: bios], is to faith.
Ib. p. 55.
And the other took directly up the way to Destruction, which led him
into a wide field, full of dark mountains, where he stumbled and fell,
and rose no more.
This requires a comment. A wide field full of mountains and of dark
mountains, where Hypocrite stumbled and fell! The images here are
Ib. p. 70.
They showed him Moses' rod, the hammer and nail with which Jael slew
I question whether it would be possible to instance more strikingly the
power of a predominant idea (that true mental kaleidoscope with
richly-coloured glass) on every object brought before the eye of the
mind through its medium, than this conjunction of Moses' rod with the
hammer of the treacherous assassin Jael, and similar encomiastic
references to the same detestable murder, by Bunyan and men like Bunyan,
good, pious, purely-affectioned disciples of the meek and holy Jesus;
yet the erroneous preconception that whatever is uttered by a Scripture
personage is, in fact, uttered by the infallible Spirit of God, makes
Deborahs of them all.
But what besides ought we to infer from this and similar facts? Surely,
that the faith in the heart overpowers and renders innocent the errors
of the understanding and the delusions of the imagination, and that
sincerely pious men purchase, by inconsistency, exemption from the
practical consequences of particular errors.
Ib. p. 76.
All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out, &c. This is
the best way; to own Satan's charges, if they be true; yea, to
exaggerate them also, to exalt the riches of the grace of Christ above
all, in pardoning all of them freely.
'Note in Edwards'.
That is, to say what we do not believe to be true! 'Will ye speak
wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him?' said righteous Job.
Ib. p. 83.
One thing I would not let slip: I took notice that now poor Christian
was so confounded, that he did not know his own voice; and thus I
perceived it: just when he was come over against the mouth of the
burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stepped up
softly to him, and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to
him, which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind.
There is a very beautiful letter of Archbishop Leighton's to a lady
under a similar distemperature of the imagination.  In fact, it can
scarcely not happen under any weakness and consequent irritability of
the nerves to persons continually occupied with spiritual
self-examination. No part of the pastoral duties requires more
discretion, a greater practical psychological science. In this, as in
Luther is the great model; ever reminding the individual that not he,
but Christ, is to redeem him; and that the way to be redeemed is to
think with will, mind, and affections on Christ, and not on himself. I
am a sin-laden being, and Christ has promised to loose the whole burden
if I but entirely trust in him.
To torment myself with the detail of the noisome contents of the fardel
will but make it stick the closer, first to my imagination and then to
my unwilling will.
For that he perceived God was with them, though in that dark and
dismal state; and why not, thought he, with me, though by reason of
the impediment that attends this place, I cannot perceive it? But it
may be asked, Why doth the Lord suffer his children to walk in such
darkness? It is for his glory: it tries their faith in him, and
excites prayer to him: but his love abates not in the least towards
them, since he lovingly inquires after them, 'Who is there among you
that feareth the Lord and walketh in darkness, and hath no light?'
Then he gives most precious advice to them: 'Let him trust in the
Lord', and 'stay himself upon his God'.
Yes! even in the sincerest believers, being men of reflecting and
inquiring minds, there will sometimes come a wintry season, when the
vital sap of faith retires to the root, that is, to atheism of the will.
'But though he slay me, yet will I cling to him.'
Ib. p. 85.
And as for the other (Pope), though he be yet alive, he is, by reason
of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his
younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now
do little more than sit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as
they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.
O that Blanco White would write in Spanish the progress of a pilgrim
from the Pope's cave to the Evangelist's wicket-gate and the
Ib. p. 104.
And let us assure ourselves that, at the day of doom, men shall be
judged according to their fruit. It will not be said then, "Did you
believe?" but "Were you doers or talkers only?" and accordingly shall
All the doctors of the Sorbonne could not have better stated the Gospel
'medium' between Pelagianism and Antinomian-Solifidianism, more properly
named Sterilifidianism. It is, indeed, faith alone that saves us; but it
is such a faith as cannot be alone. Purity and beneficence are the
'epidermis,' faith and love the 'cutis vera' of Christianity. Morality
is the outward cloth, faith the lining; both together form the
wedding-garment given to the true believer in Christ, even his own
garment of righteousness, which, like the loaves and fishes, he
mysteriously multiplies. The images of the sun in the earthly dew-drops
are unsubstantial phantoms; but God's thoughts are things: the images of
God, of the Sun of Righteousness, in the spiritual dew-drops are
substances, imperishable substances.
Ib. p. 154.
Fine-spun speculations and curious reasonings lead men from simple
truth and implicit faith into many dangerous and destructive errors.
The Word records many instances of such for our caution. Be warned to
study simplicity and godly sincerity.
'Note in Edwards on Doubting Castle.'
And pray what does implicit faith lead men into? Transubstantiation and
all the abominations of priest-worship. And where is the Scriptural
authority for this implicit faith? Assuredly not in St. John, who tells
us that Christ's life is and manifests itself in us as the light of man;
that he came to bring light as well as immortality. Assuredly not in St.
Paul, who declares all faith imperfect and perilous without insight and
understanding; who prays for us that we may comprehend the deep things
even of God himself. For the Spirit discerned, and the Spirit by which
we discern, are both God; the Spirit of truth through and in Christ from
Mournful are the errors into which the zealous but unlearned preachers
among the dissenting Calvinists have fallen respecting absolute
election, and discriminative, yet reasonless, grace:--fearful this
divorcement of the Holy Will, the one only Absolute Good, that,
eternally affirming itself as the I AM, eternally generateth the Word,
the absolute Being, the Supreme Reason, the Being of all Truth, the
Truth of all Being:--fearful the divorcement from the reason; fearful
the doctrine which maketh God a power of darkness, instead of the God of
light, the Father of the light which lighteth every man that cometh into
This we know and this we are taught by the holy Apostle Paul; that
without will there is no ground or base of sin; that without the law
this ground or base cannot become sin; (hence we do not impute sin to
the wolf or the tiger, as being without or below the law;) but that with
the law cometh light into the will; and by this light the will becometh
a free, and therefore a responsible, will.
Yea! the law is itself light, and the divine light becomes law by its
relation and opposition to the darkness; the will of God revealed in its
opposition to the dark and alien will of the fallen Spirit. This
freedom, then, is the free gift of God; but does it therefore cease to
All the sophistry of the Predestinarians rests on the false notion of
eternity as a sort of time antecedent to time. It is timeless, present
with and in all times.
There is an excellent discourse of the great Hooker's, affixed with two
or three others to his Ecclesiastical Polity, on the final perseverance
of Saints;  but yet I am very desirous to meet with some judicious
experimental treatise, in which the doctrine, with the Scriptures on
which it is grounded, is set forth more at large; as likewise the rules
by which it may be applied to the purposes of support and comfort,
without danger of causing presumption and without diminishing the dread
Above all, I am anxious to see the subject treated with as little
reference as possible to the divine predestination and foresight; the
argument from the latter being a mere identical proposition followed by
an assertion of God's prescience.
Those who will persevere, will persevere, and God foresees; and as to
the proof from predestination, that is, that he who predestines the end
necessarily predestines the adequate means, I can more readily imagine
logical consequences adverse to the sense of responsibility than
Christian consequences, such as an individual may apply for his own
And I am persuaded that the doctrine does not need these supports,
according, I mean, to the ordinary notion of predestination. The
predestinative force of a free agent's own will in certain absolute
acts, determinations, or elections, and in respect of which acts it is
one either with the divine or the devilish will; and if the former, the
conclusions to be drawn from God's goodness, faithfulness, and spiritual
presence; these supply grounds of argument of a very different
character, especially where the mind has been prepared by an insight
into the error and hollowness of the antithesis between liberty and
Ib. p. 178.
But how contrary to this is the walk and conduct of some who profess
to be pilgrims, and yet can wilfully and deliberately go upon the
Devil's ground, and indulge themselves in carnal pleasures and sinful
'Note in Edwards on the Enchanted Ground'.
But what pleasures are carnal,--what are sinful diversions,--so I mean
as that I may be able to determine what are not? Shew us the criterion,
the general principle; at least explain whether each individual case is
to be decided for the individual by his own experience of the effects of
the pleasure or the diversion, in dulling or distracting his religious
feelings; or can a list, a complete list, of all such pleasures be made
I strongly suspect that this third part, which ought not to have been
thus conjoined with Bunyan's work, was written by a Roman Catholic
priest, for the very purpose of counteracting the doctrine of faith so
strongly enforced in the genuine Progress.
Ib. p. 443, in Edwards.
Against all which evils fasting is the proper remedy.
It would have been well if the writer had explained exactly what he
meant by the fasting, here so strongly recommended; during what period
of time abstinence from food is to continue and so on. The effects, I
imagine, must in good measure depend on the health of the individual. In
some constitutions, fasting so disorders the stomach as to produce the
very contrary of good;--confusion of mind, loose imaginations against
the man's own will, and the like.
One of the most influential arguments, one of those the force of which I
feel even more than I see, for the divinity of the New Testament, and
with especial weight in the writings of John and Paul, is the
unspeakable difference between them and all other the earliest extant
writings of the Christian Church, even those of the same age (as, for
example, the Epistle of Barnabas,) or of the next following,--a
difference that transcends all degree, and is truly a difference in
kind. Nay, the catalogue of the works written by the Reformers and in
the two centuries after the Reformation, contain many many volumes far
superior in Christian light and unction to the best of the Fathers. How
poor and unevangelic is Hermas in comparison with our Pilgrim's
[Footnote 1: P. 98, &c. of the edition by Murray and Major, 1830 Ed.]
[Footnote 2: See 'ante'. Ed.]
[Footnote 3: Prefixed to an edition of the Pilgrim's Progress, by R.
Edwards, 1820. Ed.]
[Footnote 4: The second of two 'Letters written to persons under trouble
of mind.' Ed.]
[Footnote 5: Sermon of the certainty and perpetuity of faith in the
elect. Vol. iii. p. 583. Keale's edit. Ed.]
NOTES ON SELECT DISCOURSES BY JOHN SMITH. 
It would make a delightful and instructive essay, to draw up a critical
and (where possible) biographical account of the Latitudinarian party at
Cambridge, from the close of the reign of James I to the latter half of
The greater number were Platonists, so called at least, and such they
believed themselves to be, but more truly Plotinists. Thus Cudworth, Dr.
Jackson (chaplain of Charles I, and vicar of Newcastle-on-Tyne), Henry
More, this John Smith, and some others. Taylor was a Gassendist, or
'inter Epicureos evangelizantes', and, as far as I know, he is the only
They were all alike admirers of Grotius, which in Jeremy Taylor was
consistent with the tone of his philosophy. The whole party, however,
and a more amiable never existed, were scared and disgusted into this by
the catachrestic language and skeleton half-truths of the systematic
divines of the Synod of Dort on the one hand, and by the sickly
broodings of the Pietists and Solomon's-Song preachers on the other.
What they all wanted was a pre-inquisition into the mind, as part organ,
part constituent, of all knowledge, an examination of the scales,
weights and measures themselves abstracted from the objects to be
weighed or measured by them; in short, a transcendental aesthetic, logic,
and noetic. Lord Herbert was at the entrance of, nay, already some paces
within, the shaft and adit of the mine, but he turned abruptly back, and
the honour of establishing a complete [Greek: propaideia] of philosophy
was reserved for Immanuel Kant, a century or more afterwards.
From the confounding of Plotinism with Platonism, the Latitudinarian
divines fell into the mistake of finding in the Greek philosophy many
anticipations of the Christian Faith, which in fact were but its echoes.
The inference is as perilous as inevitable, namely, that even the
mysteries of Christianity needed no revelation, having been previously
discovered and set forth by unaided reason.
The argument from the mere universality of the belief, appears to me far
stronger in favour of a surviving soul and a state after death, than for
the existence of the Supreme Being. In the former, it is one doctrine in
the Englishman and in the Hottentot; the differences are accidents not
affecting the subject, otherwise than as different seals would affect
the same wax, though Molly, the maid, used her thimble, and Lady
'Virtuosa' an 'intaglio' of the most exquisite workmanship.
Far otherwise in the latter. 'Mumbo Jumbo', or the 'cercocheronychous
Nick-Senior', or whatever score or score thousand invisible huge men
fear and fancy engender in the brain of ignorance to be hatched by the
nightmare of defenceless and self-conscious weakness--these are not the
same as, but are 'toto genere' diverse from, the 'una et unica
substantia' of Spinosa, or the World-God of the Stoics.
And each of these again is as diverse from the living Lord God, the
creator of heaven and earth. Nay, this equivoque on God is as
mischievous as it is illogical: it is the sword and buckler of Deism.
OF THE EXISTENCE AND NATURE OF GOD.
Besides, when we review our own immortal souls and their dependency
upon some Almighty mind, we know that we neither did nor could produce
ourselves, and withal know that all that power which lies within the
compass of ourselves will serve for no other purpose than to apply
several pre-existent things one to another, from whence all
generations and mutations arise, which are nothing else but the events
of different applications and complications of bodies that were
existent before; and therefore that which produced that substantial
life and mind by which we know ourselves, must be something much more
mighty than we are, and can be no less indeed than omnipotent, and
must also be the first architect and [Greek: daemiourgos] of all other
beings, and the perpetual supporter of them.
A Rhodian leap! Where our knowledge of a cause is derived from our
knowledge of the effect, which is falsely (I think) here supposed,
nothing can be logically, that is, apodeictically, inferred, but the
adequacy of the former to the latter. The mistake, common to Smith, with
a hundred other writers, arises out of an equivocal use of the word
'know.' In the scientific sense, as implying insight, and which ought to
be the sense of the word in this place, we might be more truly said to
know the soul by God, than to know God by the soul.
So the Sibyl was noted by Heraclitus as [Greek: mainomen_o stomati
gelasta kai akall_opista phtheggomenae] 'as one speaking ridiculous
and unseemly speeches with her furious mouth.'
This fragment is misquoted and misunderstood: for--[Greek: gelasta] it
should be [Greek: amurista]. unperfumed, inornate lays, not redolent of
art.--Render it thus:
... Not her's
To win the sense by words of rhetoric,
Lip-blossoms breathing perishable sweets;
But by the power of the informing Word
Roll sounding onward through a thousand years
Her deep prophetic bodements.
[Greek: Stomati mainomen_o] is with ecstatic mouth.
If the ascetic virtues, or disciplinary exercises, derived from the
schools of philosophy (Pythagorean, Platonic and Stoic) were carried to
an extreme in the middle ages, it is most certain that they are at
present in a far more grievous disproportion underrated and neglected.
The 'regula maxima' of the ancient [Greek: askaesis] was to conquer the
body by abstracting the attention from it. Our maxim is to conciliate
the body by attending to it, and counteracting or precluding one set of
sensations by another, the servile dependence of the mind on the body
remaining the same. Instead of the due subservience of the body to the
mind (the favorite language of our Sidneys and Miltons) we hear nothing
at present but of health, good digestion, pleasurable state of general
feeling, and the like.
[Footnote 1: Of Queen's College, Cambridge, 1660.]
TO ADAM STEINMETZ K------. 
MY DEAR GODCHILD,
I offer up the same fervent prayer for you now, as I did kneeling before
the altar, when you were baptized into Christ, and solemnly received as
a living member of His spiritual body, the Church.
Years must pass before you will be able to read with an understanding
heart what I now write; but I trust that the all-gracious God, the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, who, by his only
begotten Son, (all mercies in one sovereign mercy!) has redeemed you
from the evil ground, and willed you to be born out of darkness, but
into light--out of death, but into life--out of sin, but into
righteousness, even into the 'Lord our Righteousness'; I trust that He
will graciously hear the prayers of your dear parents, and be with you
as the spirit of health and growth in body and mind.
My dear Godchild!--You received from Christ's minister at the baptismal
font, as your Christian name, the name of a most dear friend of your
father's, and who was to me even as a son, the late Adam Steinmetz,
whose fervent aspiration and ever-paramount aim, even from early youth,
was to be a Christian in thought, word, and deed--in will, mind, and
I too, your Godfather, have known what the enjoyments and advantages of
this life are, and what the more refined pleasures which learning and
intellectual power can bestow; and with all the experience which more
than threescore years can give, I now, on the eve of my departure,
declare to you (and earnestly pray that you may hereafter live and act
on the conviction) that health is a great blessing,--competence obtained
by honorable industry a great blessing,--and a great blessing it is to
have kind, faithful, and loving friends and relatives; but that the
greatest of all blessings, as it is the most ennobling of all
privileges, is to be indeed a Christian. But I have been likewise,
through a large portion of my later life, a sufferer, sorely afflicted
with bodily pains, languors, and bodily infirmities; and, for the last
three or four years, have, with few and brief intervals, been confined
to a sick-room, and at this moment, in great weakness and heaviness,
write from a sick-bed, hopeless of a recovery, yet without prospect of a
speedy recovery; and I, thus on the very brink of the grave, solemnly
bear witness to you that the Almighty Redeemer, most gracious in His
promises to them that truly seek Him, is faithful to perform what He
hath promised, and has preserved, under all my pains and infirmities,
the inward peace that passeth all understanding, with the supporting
assurance of a reconciled God, who will not withdraw His Spirit from me
in the conflict, and in His own time will deliver me from the Evil One!
O, my dear Godchild! eminently blessed are those who begin early to
seek, fear, and love their God, trusting wholly in the righteousness and
mediation of their Lord, Redeemer, Saviour, and everlasting High Priest,
O, preserve this as a legacy and bequest from your unseen Godfather and
S. T. COLERIDGE.
July 13, 1834. 
[Footnote 1: See 'ante', p. 291. Ed.]
[Footnote 2: He died on the 25th day of the same month.]
END OF VOL. III.
Pages 32, 33, insert _men_ between the pages.
Page 41. N. after _see post_, add _Vol. IV._
330, line 7 from bottom, _for_ result _read_ rennet.