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Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
As the long train
So live, that, when thy summons comes to join
John BUNYAN was born near Bedford, England, in the year 1628 Es lied August 12th, 1688. His father being a tinker, he was brought up 10 the same business. Hence he is often called “the poor tinker of Bedford." Though his early youth gave little pledge of virtuous maturity, his early manhood displayed, not only the signs of genuine piety, but the tokens of peculiar power, as a preacher. The Baptist church at Bedford made him their pastor; and such was the fame of his preaching, both there and elsewhere, that multitudes went to hear him. This offending the authorities, he was arrested, tried, convicted, and kept in prison for the long period of twelve years. During that imprisonment, he composed, among other things, (for ho was a voluminous writer,) the celebrated allegory entitled “Pilgrim's PROGRESS," designed to illustrate the trials, vicissitudes, consolations, and ultimate triumph of the Christian life,—a work of which a great English critio has said : “ There is no book in our literature, on which we could so readily stake the fame of the old unpolluted English language;--no book which shows so well how rich that language is, in its own proper wealth, and how little it has been improved by all that it has borrowed.” After his liberation, which took place in 1672, Bunyan still continued to preach; laboring on till a cold, caught while on his way to meet some appointment for this purpose, brought bim to the close of his mortal career.
CHRISTIAN IN DOUBTING CASTLE.
JOHN BUNYAN. 1. Now there was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle, called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair, and it was in his grounds they now were sleeping; wherefore he, getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds. Then, with a grim and surly voice, he bid them awake, and asked them whence they were, and what they did in his grounds ? They told him they were pilgrims, and that they had lost their way. Then said the giant,-—"You have this night trespassed on me, by trampling and lying on my ground; therefore, you must go along with me.” So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They, also, had but little to say, for they knew themselves in fault.
2. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, in a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirits of these two men. Here they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did : they were, therefore, here in evil case, and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now, in this place Christian had double sorrow; because it was through his unadvised haste that they were brought into this distress.
3. Now Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffi. dence: so when he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners and cast them into his dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her, also, what he had best to do further to
this distressed his unadvised hast
them. So she asked him what they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound, and he told her. Then she counseled him, that when he arose in the morning, he should beat them without mercy. So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crab-tree cudgel, and goes down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating them, as if they were dogs, although they never gave him a word of distaste : then he falls upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such sort that they were not able to help themselves, or turn them upon the floor This done, he withdraws, and leaves them there to condole their inisery, and to mourn under their distress : so all that day they spent their time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations.
4. The next night she talked with her husband about them further, and, understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away with themselves. So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner, as before, and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison : "For why,” said he, “should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness ?” But they desired him to let them go; with which he looked ugly upon them, and, rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself, but that he fell into one of his fits, (for he sometimes in sunshiny weather fell into fits,) and lost for a time the use of his hands : wherefore he withdrew, and left them, as before, to consider what to do. Then did the prisoners consult between themselves whether it was best to take his counsel or no; and thus they began to discourse :
5. Chr. “Brother,” said Christian, “what shall we do? The life that we now live, is miserable. For my part, I know not whether it is best to live thus, or die out of hand. “My soul chooseth strangling rather than life,' and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon! Shall we be ruled by the giant ?”
but let us consider hou shalt do no murderdden to take his
• 6. Hope. “Indeed, our present condition is dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me, than thus forever to abide; but let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going, hath said: Thou shalt do no murder: no, not to any man's person ; much more then are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves. Besides, he that kills another, can but commit murder upon his body; but, for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once. And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave; but hast thou forgotten the hell, whither for certain the murderers go? For no murderer hath eternal life, &c. And let us consider, again, that all laws are not in the hand of Giant Despair : others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hands.
7. “Who knows but that God, who made the world, may cause that Giant Despair may die; or that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in; or that he may, in a short time, have another of his fits before us, and may lose the use of his limbs ? and, if ever that should come to pass again, for my part, I am resolved to pluck up the heart of man, and to try my utmost to get from under his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but, however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure a while : the time may come that he may give us a happy release ; but let us not be our own murderers.” With these words Hopeful, at present, did moderate the mind of his brother; so they continued together, in the dark, that day in their sad and doleful condition.
8. Well, toward the evening, the giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel ; but when he came there he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But, I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them, that seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born. 9. At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian
fell into a swoon ; but, coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the giant's counsel, and whether they had best take it or no. Now, Christian again seemed to be for doing it; but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth:
10. Hope. “My brother,” said he,“ rememberest thou not how valiant thou hast been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death; what hardships, terror, and amazement, hast thou already gone through! and art thou now nothing but fear? Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art; also, this giant has wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from my mouth, and with thee I mourn with. out the light. But let us exercise a little more patience: remember how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain nor the cage, nor yet of bloody death; wherefore let us, (at least, to avoid the shame that becomes not a Christian to be found in,) bear up with patience as well as we can."
11. Now, night being come again, and the giant and his wife being a-bed, she asked concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel; to which he replied : “ They are sturdy rogues; they choose rather to bear all hardships than to make away with themselves.” inen said she: “Take them into the castle-yard to-morrow, and show them the bones and skulls of those thou hast already dispatched, and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou wilt, also, tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.”
12. So when the morning was come, the giant goes to them again, and takes them into the castle-yard, and shows them as his wife had bidden him. “These,” said he, “were pilgrims, as you are, once; and they trespassed on my grounds, as you have done; and, when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces, and so, within ten days, I will do you: go, get ye down to your deu again !" and with that he beat them all the way thither.
13. They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable oase, as before. Now, when night was come, and when Mrs.