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THE THREE WANDERERS. The church of $_ is beautiful to the natural victions. She had never heard the Gospel eye. Small, but neat-carefully kept, and before, and it came home with mighty power. covered all over with a rich veil of ivy, it is Ere long, her feet also were led into the way of the admiration of many a passer-by. In it, peace, and she went upon her way rejoicing, chowever, no Gospel had been preached for at " looking unto Jesus.” least half a century. The pulpit was occupied, She was naturally warm-hearted and eager and a weekly sermon read, but no glad tidings in her temperament. This soon showed itself to the sinner came from the preacher's lips. in her renewed state. She could not refrain Yet the people were satisfied-they had fallen from telling what God had done for her soul. into utter apathy.

And having soon after changed her residence 1 But there was one old woman with whom it to another village, she sought out some believing Fas in some measure otherwise. She had ones, and met with them for prayer and fellowspent her life in the midst of this death, and ship. For four years did she remain the same for a long time had been equally contented zealous, affectionate, happy Christian. Many with the rest. About eight or nine years ago, knew and loved her. Even the ungodly wonhowever, she began to have a vague sense of dered at her consistency of walk, and her her want. How it arose she knew not, and beaming countenance of love, which spoke of . could never tell; but she felt that there was the deep peace within—"peace like a river." something wrong both about herself and her She rested simply and confidingly on Jesus; minister. What this was she could not explain, and looking simply at the cross, she was a or what was likely to cure it. But she felt it. stranger to doubts and fears. Some attempted Each returning Sabbath made her feel it more; to distract and poison her with their theories till impelled by this secret, indefinite sense of of “perfection.” But she rejected them all, want, she wandered almost unconsciously one feeling too deeply her own utter vileness to Sabbath morning into the neighbouring town, allow her to boast of being free from sin. which was but a few miles distant.

About three years ago God smote her with She knew nothing about any of the ministers sore sickness. At first she was merely laid there; and even though she had known, it aside from work, but not confined to the house. would have been of little service, for she And during this time she went continually scarcely knew the errand on which she had about warning her neighbours, and beseeching come. “As God would have it,” she wandered them to turn to God. She lost no opportunity into my church, and sat down. She listened to of telling her friends of Christ, and reminding the message, and thought it strange. She had them of a coming eternity. never heard the like before, and hardly under- But she was soon laid upon a death-bed. stood it. She waited and came back in the While there, all was peace. She had known afternoon, and felt more interested than before. Christ in the day of her health, and in the She then returned home, wondering at what hour of sickness he was not to seek. So long she had beard.

as she was able, she still continued to speak to During the week conviction of sin took hold her friends about their eternal welfare; and of her. The Spirit of God was working deeply now she did so with double solemnity and in her soul. When next Sabbath returned, she power, as one upon the edge of that eternity again set out upon the same errand. Light for which she besought them to prepare. beemed to be rising.

Sabbath after Sabbath To the last her hope was calm and bright, did she come, and ere long found the resting- for her eye was upon the Star of Bethlehem. place. Since that time she has walked con- Jesus had been her all in life; and she found sistently as a follower of the Lamb, during him to be her all in death. She was patient, many trials and sorrows.

yet she longed to be with Him whom, having As soon as she had found the Saviour for not seen, she loved. herself, she began to tell her neighbours what I saw her but a short time before her death. she felt. One young woman she persuaded to Her labouring breath made her but imperfectly accompany her. Under the first sermon, this heard. She grasped my hand and pressed it girl was arrested and brought under deep con- tenderly. “You told me long ago," she said,

No. 16. *

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“that it was blessed to die in Christ, and I now he came to where the cross stood. The story would find it to be so.” After a little, she added, have been differently constructed, in this point, by

one less acquainted with the life of grace than again pressing my hand, Farewell, till we

Bunyan was. Is not the sinner justified and pardoned meet in glory !-farewell !”

in the first moment of his believing? Has he not as About two years before her death, she had full and valid a title to eternal glory when he enters been the means of awakening a relative of her in at the wicket as when he enters in at the celestial own. I remember, one sweet bright summer gate? Why, then, it may be asked, has not this afternoon, meeting them both together, and as been attended to in the story which professes to exI passed I spoke a solemn word to the careless hibit the symbols of all these great truths ? Bunyan girl. But then she was impenetrable. She

has formed his allegory with a juster discrimination, turned away from my warning and that of her It is one thing to be delivered from the guilt of sin,

and another to be delivered from the sense of sin; believing cousin. But not long after she was

one thing to be pardoned, another to enjoy the combrought to a deep sense of sin, through means fort of pardon. There are some who come into the of the unwearied efforts of her relative.

She full possession of this most inestimable blessing in has since that found "peace with God," and the moment of conversion. Others there are, and has walked with him consistently as a child of these constitute the greater number, who attain the light.

assurance of forgiveness, and the joy that springa Thus it is that God works. In ways the from it, only after time has matured their Christian unlikeliest yet the simplest. All of them worthy And there is a third class, composed of men naturally

experience, and brightened their Christian evidences. of himself—fitted to humble man and to exalt of feeble minds and irresolute tempers, to whom the Saviour. How interesting to trace his Providence has allotted no great trials, nor made to marvellous works! He begins with one poor pass through any very severe discipline, and who, in solitary wanderer; that one is made the instru- consequence, have acquired but a scanty stock of ment of calling another; that second is made gracious experiences, and made but slender attain

ments in the Christian life-a third class, we say, the means of drawing in a third. And thus

who carry their burden all the way, and never fairly the work proceeds. How natural, yet how full get quit of it till they hear the welcome words at the of wisdom and of majesty!

gate above: “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit Should we not be more deeply interested in the kingdom prepared for you." scenes like these? Should the outward bustle Bunyan belonged to the second class -that of those of political or ecclesiastical affairs and events who are oppressed by the burden of sin long after it ever withdraw our eye from such blessed, such has been forgiven. Still, in this respect, his Master heart-cheering narratives? These are the things early stage of his journey, and said to him: "Son, be

was kind to him above most. He met him at an that gladden angels, and should they not glad- of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee.” And den us? And should there not be far more Bunyan truly, when he heard the words, and saw! earnest and importunate prayer that God would that they came from Him who hung upon the tree, pour out his Spirit upon the parched fields, that was of good cheer. Not more joyful was Christian we may not merely have one such scene, but on the little eminence beside the cross, when he felt many, nay, thousands ? O LORD, REVIVE THY

his burden giving way, and saw it roll down into the

sepulchre, than the following passage from the little WORK !

work, “ Grace Abounding,” exhibits Bunyan in the

possession of. This morning, so bright and warm, JOHN BUNYAN—THE CROSS—THE FIGHT appeared the brighter that it succeeded a long and WITH APOLLYON.

dreary night-a night during which his groans had BY THE REY. J. A. WYLIE,

ascended without intermission; his deep spiritual

affliction having this one favourable symptom, which Author of the Modern Judea,” &c., dc.

to a skilful eye would have indicated most surely Bunyan having fled from the City of Destruction, been the certain arrival of deliverance, however tardy pulled out of the miry slough, and drawn back from might be its approach, namely, that if he dreaded the burning mount to which he had turned aside, that his burden should never be taken off, not less came at length to the gate. Here he knocked, and did he dread that it should be taken off in any wrong was admitted. He was now within the gate, but the way—that conscience should be pacified by any appiigreat burden was still on his back. This presents us cation but that of the blood of Christ. But the with another parallel between himself and his pilgrim. "comforting time,” as he terms it, was now come

It will be recollected by its readers, that the alle- | He heard one preach a sermon on these words in the gory, many of whose richest pages are the fruit of Song: “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou Bunyan's own experience, and whose noblest meta- art fair.” “Then I began to give place to the word, phors are but passages from the history of his own which with power did over and over make this joyful soul, represents Christian as not immediately deliver- sound within my soul, “Thou art my love, and nothing ed from his burden, but carrying it all the way till shall separate thee from my love.' And with that





my heart was filled full of comfort and hope, and walk in the low valley of ordinary Christian life. In now I could believe that my sins could be forgiven taking the steep descent he has, like his own pilgrim, me; yea, I was now so taken with the love and mercy caught one or two slips_lost his footing, in part at of God, that I remember I could not tell how to con- least, on the promise of God, and his hold on an tain till I got home: I thought I could have spoken offered Saviour—these failings have not escaped the of his love, and have told of his mercy to me, even notice of that adversary who continually goeth about to the very crows that sat upon the ploughed lands seeking whom he may destroy, and before Bunyan before me, had they been capable to have understood has recovered the confidence which his slips have me; wherefore, I said in my soul with much glad- shaken, the destroyer comes upon him with the inness, Well, would I had a pen and ink here, I would tent of utterly making an end of him. write this down before I go any farther; for surely I The account of this dreary period of his life extends will not forget this forty years hence.”

over a great many of the pages of the little work This passage does, indeed, exhibit Bunyan at the from which we are quoting, and communicates a

the glory of Christ shining round about him, most affecting interest to them. No one can read it and the love of Christ burning within him, and that without being convinced that it was this part of love casting out fear-causing his burden to fall off. his experience which suggested to Bunyan the idea That this morning should never be obscured by of the combat, and furnished materials for its declouds, that Bunyan should continue in this joyful scription. The very words with which Apollyon and extatic frame during the whole period of his re- meets Christian are precisely the form under which maining life, would have been contrary to all experi- the temptation was suggested to Bunyan. As we ence, and would have been a favour, if favour it can peruse the passage in question, we feel as if we be called, which could have been enjoyed only in the walked side by side with Christian as he passes on Fay of inflicting a loss both upon the Church of God through the valley. With him we descry the first at this day, and upon himself now in glory. Forty appearance in the distance of the terrible form of lays—such was their full number—did Bunyan walk Apollyon. With something of the awe and dismay by the clear shining of the cross, and then he began which Christian felt, we behold him coming nearer again to enter into the darkness. Forty days of and nearer, and mark the darkness which gathers over respite, and this sorely tried man was called to gird all surrounding objects at his approach. Now he limself for more terrible conflicts than any he ever has come up to us, that shape so “ hideous to behold.” 1

vet waged. Now we shall go down with him into Now we hear his voice, dreadful and terrible exceed- | the low Valley of Humiliation.

ingly, as first he questions Christian, then reasons The descent is not altogether without danger, but with him, then tries to gain him over by wileswe have accomplished it, and are arrived in safety at paints in glowing colours the dangers of the path on the bottom. The air of this place is pleasant; the which he has adventured, under-rates its rewards, meadow-land on which we are treading, how fruit- vaunts much of the great things he has done for his ful is it! and the low heights that girdle it all around, servants, and promises graciously that he will overhow green and flourishing do they look; “ also how look all if Christian will but turn and go back; and i beautified with lilies !” “Some have wished that next upbraids him with the instances of his unfaiththe next way to their Father's house was here, that fulness to his Prince, and demands of him how he they might be troubled no more with either hills or can presume that all this will be forgiven; and then mountains to go over; but the way is the way, and begins to storm and threaten, finding him still unthere is an end.” Why bas Bunyan made so sweet yielding; and at last bursts into a transport of fiendand beautiful a retreat the scene of so awful a com- ish fury, and swears by his infernal den, that here he bat? There is a wilderness beyond the Valley of the will spill his soul. Then there is the rush to arms; Shadow of Death. Amid its solitudes it would not then the valley rings with the din of blows; then have surprised us to trace the scatbing steps of the darts, fiery darts, thick as hail, come showering down fiend, and to meet that horrid form in whose presence from the uplifted arm of the fiend. Now Christian all joy dies and all beauty departs; but such an ap- dextrously plies his sword; now covers himself with pearance here, amid the verdure, and the fruitfulness, his shield from the murderous blows of his adversary. and the enamelling flowers of this pleasant valley, is But now Christian is wounded in his head, his hand, indeed unexpected. Yet Bunyan has acted in this and his foot, and he gives a little back. Apollyon i with his usual spiritual discernment, and has con- presses harder upon him than ever, Again the trived to embody in this part of his allegory a truth courage of Christian revives; he strikes manfully, of no little importance, and a lesson of the utmost and the fiend is obliged to give way. For a whole pregnancy. It is when we are oppressed by gloom half-day this dreadful combat is waged. The poor and despondency, caused either by a sight of sin, or pilgrim fights with the prince of darkness. But now by worldly misfortune, or by bodily disorder, that Christian begins to be spent—he sinks—he is down; Satan, knowing that we are less able to resist, some- in his fall he has lost his sword: the fiend stands right times comes in the greatest fury to assault. A little over him, and yells out, in the transport of anticiago we saw Bunyan standing on the shining eminence pated victory, “I am sure of thee now;" and with of the cross. On that blissful spot he could fear that is fetching his last blow, to make a full end of nothing—no black cloud, no frowning enemy was in the good man. But Christian is not doomed to die sight. Satan was too wise to assault him there. But beneath the sword of Apollyon. Where otherwise he has come down from the mount, and is now to would be the faithfulness of Christ: "I give unto

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them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither but damnation, and an expectation of damnation." shall any pluck them out of my hand ?" Nimbly During this long and, to all but those who have enstretching out his hand, he grasps his sword, and dured similar affliction, inconceivably gloomy period, withal gives his adversary so deadly a thrust, that passages of Scripture would occasionally bring relief the fiend is obliged to fall back, as one who has re- for a day or two, but only for this brief space, and ceived his mortal wound. Christian gives a great then his agony and despair would again return. shout, and with that Apollyon, spreading forth his Satan would tempt him that his sin was greater than dragon wings, speeds him away from the scene of his any other person had ever been guilty of_that it was defeat. By this victory, so manfully achieved in this the unpardonable sin; and, at other times, that it Valley of Humiliation, Christian retrieved the honour was vain to pray, and that though Christ did pity he had lost by the slips he had made in his descent him in his sad condition, he could afford him to thither.

relief, inasmuch as his sin was not in the number or From the symbol we now turn to the exposition. of the nature of those for which Christ died, and Bunyan did not encounter Apollyon in a visible that unless he should come and die a second time he form; his meeting with him was not less real not- could give him no help. Several years, we say, were withstanding. It was no shower of literal darts to passed in these wrestlings with Satan for his soul; at which he was exposed, from which the brazen shield times we see him sinking beneath the terrible blows or the sword of steel might have sufficed to protect of his adversary, at others strengthened with a little him, and which, at the worst, could but have des strength by some promise brought seasonably to his troyed the body. His soul was buffcted with hellish | mind. But at last God was pleased to hear hå suggestions and blasphemies. Here is the history of groanings from the height of his sanctuary, and to the dreadful conflict, written by the man who fought deliver him from the hand of his strong enemy. it; and as we read it we can count every blow that That deliverance came in the following manner : was struck—we can see Bunyan, now down, now up “One day," he tells us, “ suddenly this sentence fel again, holpen by a divine hand, and wrestling man- upon my soul, “Thy righteousness is in heaven;" and fully as before, till at last, with a great shout, he puts methought withal, I saw, with the eyes of my soul, an end to the battle: “After the Lord had in this Jesus Christ at God's right hand; there, I say, was manner thus graciously delivered me from this great my righteousness.” Thus there came to Bunyan, as and sore temptation, and had given me such strong to Christian, a hand with some of the leaves of the consolation and blessed evidence from heaven, touch- tree of life to heal his wounds. The leaf from the ing my interest in his love through Christ, the tree was this: "He is made unto us of God wisdon, tempter came upon me again, and that with a more righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." grievous and dreadful temptation than before. And “In this combat no man can imagine, unless he that was to sell and part with the most blessed Christ had seen and heard, as I did (it is not for effect that —to exchange him for the things of this life, for any these words are introduced—Bunyan did indeed see thing. Sometimes it would run in my thoughts, not it), that yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made so little as a hundred times together, Sell him, sell all the time of the fight: he spake like a dragon. him; against which I may say for whole hours to And, on the other side, what sighs and groans burst gether, I have been forced to stand as continually from Christian's heart! I never saw him all the leaning and forcing my spirit against it. One morn- while give so much as one pleasant look, till he pering as I did lie in my bed, I was, as at other times, ceived he had wounded Apollyon with his twomost fiercely assaulted with this temptation, to sell edged sword; then, indeed, he did smile and lock and part with Christ; the wicked suggestion still upward.” And so did Bunyan. “Ah! these blesse! running in my mind, Sell him, sell him, sell him, considerations and Scriptures, were in those days sell him, sell him, as fast as a man could speak; made to spangle in mine eye, so that I have cause the against which also in my mind, as at other times, I say: Praise ye the Lord God in his sanctuary: answered, No, no, not for thousands, thousands, praise him in the firmament of his power; praise thousands, at least twenty times together; but at him for his mighty acts; praise him according to bis last, after much striving, I felt this thought pass excellent greatness."" through my heart, Let him go if he will. And I thought also, that I felt my heart freely consent

THE POOL OF BETHESDA. thereto. O the diligence of Satan! O the desperateness of man's heart ! "

BY JOHN KITTO, D.D. “Now was the battle won, and down fell I, as a Tae interesting account in John v. 7, of the miraculous bird that is shot from the top of a tree, into great healing by Jesus of the man who had laboured under guilt and fearful despair. And withal that Scripture a hopeless infirmity for thirty-eight years, is inter did seize upon my soul: 'Or profane person, as duced by a particular account of the place where this Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright; miracle was performed: "Now there is at Jerusalem for ye know, how that afterward, when he would by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches

. In found no place of repentance, though he sought it these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, carefully with tears. Now was I as one bound; I halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. felt myself shut up unto the judgment to come; For an angel went down at a certain season into the nothing now for years together would abide with me, pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first



after the troubling of the water stepped in was Struthium is the name of a root, the ashes of which mnade whole of whatsoever disease he had.”_Verses formed a strong alkali, much used in making soap; 24. From the further account, it appears that the and the corresponding Hebrew word is translated porches were thronged with diseased persons desirous soap " in the only passages in which it occurs in the to avail themselves of this means of cure; and that Bible.- Jer. ii. 22; Mal. iii. 2. It is now generally the benefit was usually received by those who needed agreed, that Bethesda means “ the house of effusion,” it least--that is, not by the most helpless and impo- or “washing;” and it seems, therefore, bighly protent, but by those who were strong and vigorous bable that the Greek word used by Josephus was inenough to push down into the water before the others. tended as a translation of the Hebrew name. Hence, the man whom our Lord healed had remain- Now, that which is at present pointed out as the ed there a great length of time, waiting his opportu- | Pool of Bethesda, corresponds to these intimations, nity, but had never secured it; for, being so utterly so far as they go. It is on the north side of the temple, helpless, some one had always stepped in before just under its ancient outer wall, and near to that him.

which is now called the gate of St Stephen, and Our object is, not now to illustrate the miracle, where there must have been a gate in ancient times. but to inquire respectiug this pool.

Furthermore, there was a gate on the north side of The intimations given by that evangelist are, for the temple wall, which may have been the sheep him, unusually precise, and ought to assist us in gate; for we cannot be sure whether that gate derecognising the pool among the existing waters of rived its name from the cattle being introduced into Jerusalem. It may, indeed, have been only a reser- the city or into the temple through it; but as, in voir, but even reservoirs have survived the destruc- any case, it was north of the temple, it could not tion of the Holy City; for, being below the level of have been far from the Pool of Bethesda, whether it the ground, they have not been obvious to the over- were a gate of the city or of the temple wall. throws which have befallen all its superstructures. That the two pools, or rather the double pool, near Indeed, it has been remarked by critics, that the use the temple, described in the Jerusalem Itinerary of of the present tense by the apostle in speaking of 333 A.D., is the same as that mentioned by Josephus, | the pool

, intimates that it had survived the destruc- there can be no doubt; for, although the author does tion of Jerusalem, and was still well-known when he not fix them to the north of the temple area, as wrote his Gospel, which is generally believed to have neither do Eusebius and Jerome in the same century, been towards the close of the first century of the yet all these writers agree in their testimony to these Christian era. First, the evangelist gives the situa- pools being the Bethesdas, which we know to have tion—" At Jerusalem by the sheep market;" then the been found by late writers in that situation. This, description_“ A pool having five porches;" then the in substance, may be regarded as the evidence which name—“ Bethesda.” Now, we do not read in Scrip- exists in favour of the present site assigned to the ture of any “ sheep market,” but we do of a “sheep- Pool of Bethesda down to the fourth century; since gate” (Neh. ii. 1, 32); and as the word “market" which date an unbroken line of testimony in its of " gate ” are not in the original (ivi i apoßefixă), favour might be indicated. Other evidence, from but the former is supplied to complete the sense, probability and from circumstances, will appear as many commentators are of opinion that the word we go on. "gate," and not “ market," should have been intro- One of the twin pools has, however, disappeared, duced. We are of that opinion; but the matter is having probably been filled up; but its position can of little consequence, for we know that the Jewish be accurately defined by the language of the Chrismarkets were held at the gates, as was, and is at this tian writers, and the precise place which the fosse of day in the East, more especially the case with regard Antonia must have occupied. Both existed in the to cattle-markets, for the convenience of the people time of Eusebius, who says: “The fountain is exwho brought them in from the country, and to pre-hibited even at the present day, in two pools at that Fent such annoyance to the inhabitants from cattle place. One of these pools is filled up by the yearly being driven through the streets, as that to which rains, but the other shows its waters wonderfully the Londoners are exposed from the presence of a

tinctured with red.” That one of the pools is thus cattle-market in the middle of their city. We, stated to have been filled by rain water, would pertherefore, take the pool of Bethesda to have been haps imply that the other was supplied from a spring; near to the sheep gate. Now, the sheep gate seems

and William of Tyre informs us that this was actually from the passages in Nehemiah, to which we have the case; indeed, even so late as the seventeenth already referred, to have been on the north side of century, that accomplished traveller George Sandys the temple-that is, of its outermost northern wall. states that, into the Pool of Bethesda * a barren Here the Jewish traditions fix not only a gate, but a

stream doth drill from between the stones of the large supply of water required for the sacred services northward wall, and stealeth away almost undisof the temple. Josephus also teaches us to look for cerned.” The most probable account of this small *to pools in this quarter (De Bell. Jud. v.'11)—the stream is, that, in the filling up of the other pool, que forming the fosse of the temple, described also which took place before the time of Sandys' visit, by Strabo, and the other forming the trench of the the water forced for itself a passage through the Castle of Antonia. One or both of these pools have ground into the Birket Israil. (Israel's Pool), which the name of Struthius, and this name affords some is the name given by the natives to the present further ground of identification. It appears that reservoir.

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