The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge
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N. B. As a running comment on all these marginal notes, let it be understood that I hold the far greater part—the only not all of what our great Author urges, to apply with irrefutable force against the doctrine and practice of the Romish Church, as it in fact exists, and no less against the Familists and 'istius farinae enthusiastas'.

I contend only, that he himself, in several assertions, lies open to attack from the supporters of a scheme of faith, as unlike either the Romish or the Fanatical, as Taylor's own, and which scheme, namely, the co-ordinate authority of the Word, the Spirit and the Church, I believe to be the true Apostolic and Catholic doctrine, and that to this scheme his objections do not apply.

When I can bring myself to believe that from the mere perusal of the New Testament a man might have sketched out by anticipation the constitution, discipline, creeds, and sacramental ritual of the Episcopal Reformed Church of England; or that it is not a true and orthodox Church, because this is incredible; then I may perhaps be inclined to echo Chillingworth.

As I cannot think that it detracts from a dial that in order to tell the time the sun must shine upon it; so neither does it detract from the Scriptures, that though the best and holiest they are yet Scripture, and require a pure heart and the consequent assistances of God's enlightening grace in order to understand them to edification.


I still agree with the preceding note, and add that Jeremy Taylor should have cited the Arians and Socinians on the other side. But the Romish Papal hierarchy cannot for shame say, or only from want of shame can pretend to say, what a Catholic would be entitled to urge on the triple link of the Scripture, the Spirit, and the Church.

27 April, 1826.

Ib. s. vi. p. 392.

From this principle, as it is promoted by the Fanatics, they derive a wandering, unsettled, and a dissolute religion, &c.

The evils of the Fanatic persuasion here so powerfully, so exquisitely, stated and enforced by our all-eloquent Bishop, supply no proof or even presumption against the tenet of the Spirit rightly expressed. For catholicity is the distinctive mark, the 'conditio sine qua non', of a spiritual teaching; and if men that dream with their eyes open mistake for this the very contrary, that is, their own particular fancies, or perhaps sensations, who can help it?

Ib. s. vii. p. 394.

They affirm that the Scriptures are full, that they are a perfect rule, that they contain all things necessary to salvation; and from hence they confuted all heresies.

Yes, the heretics were so confuted, I grant; because these would not acknowledge any other authority but that of the Scriptures, and these too forged or corrupted by themselves; but by the Scriptures that remained unaltered the early Fathers of the Church both demonstrated the omissions and interpolations of the heretical canons and the false doctrines of the heresy itself. But so far from following the same rule to the members of the true Church, they made the applicability of this way of proof the criterion of a heretic.

Ib. p. 394.

'Which truly they then preached, but afterwards by the will of God delivered to us in the Scriptures, which was to be the pillar and ground to our faith.'

Lessing has shown this to be a false and even ungrammatical rendering of Irenaeus's words. The 'columen et fundamentum fidei', are the Creed, or economy of salvation.

Ib. vii. p. 395. Extracts from Clement's 'Stromata'.

It would require a volume to shew the qualifications with which these 'excerpta' must be read. There is no one source of error and endless controversy more fruitful than this custom of quoting detached sentences. I would pledge myself in the course of a single morning to bring an equal number of passages from the same (Ante-Nicene) Fathers in proof of the Roman Catholic theory. One palpable cheat in these transcripts is the neglect of appreciating the words, 'inspired,' 'a 'Spiritu dicta'', and the like, in the Patristic use; as if the Fathers did not frequently apply the same terms to the discourses of the Bishops, their contemporaries, and to writings not canonical. It is wonderful how so acute and learned a man as Taylor could have read Tertullian, Irenaeus and Clemens Alexandrinus, and not have seen that the passages are all against him so far as they all make the Scriptures subsidiary only to the Spirit in the Church and the Baptismal creed, the [Greek: kanon pisteos], 'regula fidei', or 'aeconomia salutis'.

Ib. p. 396.

... that the tradition ecclesiastical, that is, the whole doctrine taught by the Church of God, and preached to all men, is in the Scripture.

It is only by the whole context and purpose of the work, and this too interpreted by the known doctrine of the age, that the intent of the sentences here quoted can be determined, relatively to the point in question. But even as they stand here, they do not assert that the 'Traditio Ecclesiastica' was grounded on, or had been deduced from, the Scriptures; nor that by Scripture Clemens meant principally the New Testament; and that the Scriptures contain the Tradition Ecclesiastical or Catholic Faith the Romish divines admit and contend.

Ib. p. 399. Extract from Origen.

As our Saviour imposed silence upon the Sadducees by the word of his doctrine, and faithfully convinced that false opinion which they thought to be truth; so also shall the followers of Christ do, by the examples of Scripture, by which according to sound doctrine every voice of Pharaoh ought to be silent.

Does not this prove too much; namely, that nothing exists in the New which does not likewise exist in the Old Testament?

One objection to Jeremy Taylor's argument here must, I think, strike every reflecting mind; namely, that in order to a fair and full view of the sentiments of the Fathers of the first four centuries, all they declare of the Church, and her powers and prerogatives, ought to have been likewise given.

As soon as I receive any writing as inspired by the Spirit of Truth, of course I must believe it on its own authority. But how am I assured that it is an inspired work? Now do not these Fathers reply, By the Church? To the Church it belongs to declare what books are Holy Scriptures, and to interpret their right sense. Is not this the common doctrine among the Fathers? And how was the Church to judge?

First, by the same spirit surviving in her; and secondly by the accordance of the Book itself with the canon of faith, that is the Baptismal Creed. And what was this? 'Traditio Ecclesiastica'. As to myself, I agree with Taylor against the Romanists, that the Bible is for us the only rule of faith; but I do not adopt his mode of proving it.

In the earliest period of Christianity the Scriptures of the New Testament and the Ecclesiastical Tradition were reciprocally tests of each other; but for the Christians of the second century the Scriptures were tried by the Ecclesiastical Tradition, while for us the order is reversed, and we must try the Ecclesiastical Tradition by the Scriptures. Therefore I do not expect to find the proofs of the supremacy of Scripture in the early Fathers, nor do we need their authority. Our proofs are stronger without it.

Ib. p. 403.

Which words I the rather remark, because this article of the consubstantiality of Christ with the Father is brought as an instance (by the Romanists) of the necessity of tradition, to make up the insufficiency of Scripture.

How shall I make this rhyme to Taylor's own assertion, in the last paragraph of sect. xix. of his Episcopacy Asserted, [20] in which he clearly refers to this very question as relying on tradition for its clearness? Jeremy Taylor was a true Father of the Church, and would furnish as fine a subject for a 'concordantia discordantiarum' as St. Austin himself. For the exoteric and esoteric he was a very Pythagoras.

Ib. p. 406.

... for one or two of them say, Theophilus spake against Origen, for broaching fopperies of his own, and particularly, that Christ's flesh was consubstantial with the Godhead.

Origen doubtless meant the 'caro noumenon', and was quite right. But never was a great man so misunderstood as Origen.

Ib. p. 408. n.

'Sed et alia, quoe absque auctoritate et testimoniis Scripturarum, quasi traditione Apostolica, sponte reperiunt atque contingunt, percutit gladius Dei'.

"Those things which they make and find, as it were, by Apostolical tradition, without the authority and testimonies of Scripture, the word of God smites."

Is it clear that 'Scripturarum' depends on 'auctoritate'? It may well mean they who without the authority of the Church, or Scriptural testimony pretend to an Apostolical Tradition.

Ib. p. 411.

But lastly, if in the plain words of Scripture be contained all that is simply necessary to all, then it is clear, by Bellarmine's confession, that St. Austin affirmed that the plain places of Scripture are sufficient to all laics and all idiots, or private persons, and then it is very ill done to keep them from the knowledge and use of the Scriptures, which contain all their duty both of faith and good life; so it is very unnecessary to trouble them with any thing else, there being in the world no such treasure and repository of faith and manners, and that so plain, that it was intended for all men, and for all such men is sufficient. "Read the Holy Scriptures wherein you shall find some things to be holden, and some to be avoided."

And yet in the preface to his Apology for authorized and set forms of Liturgy, [21] Taylor regrets that the Church of England was not able to confine the laity to such selections of Holy Writ as are in her Liturgy. But Laud was then alive: and Taylor partook of his 'trepidatiunculae' towards the Church of Rome.

Ib. p. 412.

And all these are nothing else, but a full subscription to, and an excellent commentary upon, those words of St. Paul, 'Let no man pretend to be wise above what is written.'

Had St. Paul anything beyond the Law and the Prophets in his mind?

Ib. p. 416.

St. Paul's way of teaching us to expound Scripture is, that he that prophesies should do it [Greek: kat' analogian piste_os], according to the analogy of faith.

Yet in his Liberty of Prophesying [22] Taylor turns this way into mere ridicule. I love thee, Jeremy! but an arrant theological barrister that thou wast, though thy only fees were thy desires of doing good in 'questionibus singulis'.

Ib. s. iii. p. 419.

Only, because we are sure there was some false dealing in this matter, and we know there might be much more than we have discovered, we have no reason to rely upon any tradition for any part of our faith, any more than we could do upon Scripture, if one book or chapter of it should be detected to be imposture.

What says Jeremy Taylor then to the story of the woman taken in adultery, ('John, c. viii. 3-11'.) which Chrysostom disdains to comment on? If true, how could it be omitted in so many, and these the most authentic, copies? And if this for fear of scandal, why not others? And who does not know that falsehood may be effected as well by omissions as by interpolations? But if false,—then—but Taylor draws the consequence himself.

Ib. p. 427.

So that the tradition concerning the Scriptures being extrinsical to Scripture is also extrinsical to the question: this tradition cannot be an objection against the sufficiency of Scripture to salvation, but must go before this question. For no man inquires whether the Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, unless he believe that there are Scriptures, that these are they, and that they are the word of God. All this comes to us by tradition, that is, by universal undeniable testimony.

Very just, and yet this idle argument is the favourite, both shield and sword, of the Romanists: as if I should pretend to learn the Roman history from tradition, because by tradition I know such histories to have been written by Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus!

Ib. p. 435.

The more natural consequence is that their proposition is either mistaken or uncertain, or not an article of faith (which is rather to be hoped, lest we condemn all the Greek Churches as infidels or perverse heretics), or else that it can be derived from Scripture, which last is indeed the most probable, and pursuant to the doctrine of those wiser Latins who examined things by reason and not by prejudice.

It is remarkable that both Stillingfleet and Taylor favoured the Greek opinion. But Bull's 'Defensio Fidei Nicaenae' was not yet published. It is to me evident that if the Holy Ghost does not proceed through and from the Son as well as from the Father, then the Son is not the adequate substantial idea of the Father. But according to St. Paul, he is—'ergo, &c'. N.B. These "'ergos, &c'." in legitimate syllogisms, where the 'major' and 'minor' have been conceded, are binding on all human beings, with the single anomaly of the Quakers. For with them nothing is more common than to admit both 'major' and 'minor', and, when you add the inevitable consequence, to say "Nay! I do not think so, Friend! Thou art worldly wise, Friend!" For example: 'major', it is agreed on both sides that we ought not to withhold from a man what he has a just right to: 'minor', property in land being the creature of law, a just right in respect of landed property is determined by the law of the land:—"agreed, such is the fact:" 'ergo:' the clergyman has a just right to the tithe. "Nay, nay; this is vanity, and tithes an abomination of Judaism!"

Ib. s. v. p. 492.

And since that villain of a man, Pope Hildebrand, as Cardinal Beno relates in his Life, could, by shaking of his sleeve make sparks of fire fly from it.

If this was fact, was it an idiosyncrasy, as I have known those who by combing their hair can elicit sparks with a crackling as from a cat's back rubbed. It is very possible that the sleeve might be silk, tightened either on a very hairy arm, or else on woollen, and by shaking it might be meant stripping the silk suddenly off, which would doubtless produce flashes and sparks.

Vol. XI. s. x. p. 1.

As a general remark suggested indeed by this section, but applicable to very many parts of Taylor's controversial writings, both against the anti-Prelatic and the Romish divines, especially to those in which our incomparable Church-aspist attempts, not always successfully, to demonstrate the difference between the dogmas and discipline of the ancient Church, and those which the Romish doctors vindicate by them,—I would say once for all, that it was the fashion of the Arminian court divines of Taylor's age, that is, of the High Church party, headed by Archbishop Laud, to extol, and (in my humble judgment) egregiously to overrate, the example and authority of the first four, nay, of the first six centuries; and at all events to take for granted the Evangelical and Apostolical character of the Church to the death of Athanasius.

Now so far am I from conceding this, that before the first Council of Nicaea, I believe myself to find the seeds and seedlings of all the worst corruptions of the Latin Church of the thirteenth century, and not a few of these even before the close of the second.

One pernicious error of the primitive Church was the conversion of the ethical ideas, indispensable to the science of morals and religion, into fixed practical laws and rules for all Christians, in all stages of spiritual growth, and under all circumstances; and with this the degradation of free and individual acts into corporate Church obligations.

Another not less pernicious was the gradual concentration of the Church into a priesthood, and the consequent rendering of the reciprocal functions of love and redemption and counsel between Christian and Christian exclusively official, and between disparates, namely, the priest and the layman.

Ib. B. II. s. ii. p. 58.

Often have I welcomed, and often have I wrestled with, the thought of writing an essay on the day of judgment. Are the passages in St. Peter's Epistle respecting the circumstances of the last day and the final conflagration, and even St. Paul's, to be regarded as apocalyptic and a part of the revelation by Christ, or are they, like the dogma of a personal Satan, accommodations of the current popular creed which they continued to believe?

Ib. s. iii. p. 105.

And therefore St. Paul left an excellent precept to the Church to avoid 'profanas vocum novitates', 'the prophane newness of words;' that is, it is fit that the mysteries revealed in Scripture should be preached and taught in the words of the Scripture, and with that simplicity, openness, easiness, and candor, and not with new and unhallowed words, such as that of Transubstantiation.

Are not then Trinity, Tri-unity, 'hypostasis, perichoresis, diphysis', and others, excluded? Yet Waterland very ingeniously, nay more, very honestly and sensibly, shews the necessity of these terms 'per accidens'. The 'profanum' fell back on the heretics who had occasioned the necessity.

Ib. p. 106.

"The oblation of a cake was a figure of the Eucharistical bread which the Lord commanded to do in remembrance of his passion." These are Justin's words in that place.

Justin Martyr could have meant no more, and the Greek construction means no more, than that the cake we offer is the representative, substitute, and 'fac-simile' of the bread which Christ broke and delivered.

I find no necessary absurdity in Transubstantiation. For substance is but a notion 'thought on' to the aggregate of accidents—'hinzugedacht' —conceived, not perceived, and conceived always in universals, never in 'concreto'.

Therefore, X. Y. Z. being unknown quantities, Y. may be as well annexed by the choice of the mind as the imagined 'substratum' as X. For we cannot distinguish substance from substance any more than X. from X.

The substrate or 'causa invisibilis' may be the 'noumenon' or actuality, 'das Ding in sich', of Christ's humanity, as well as the 'Ding in sich' of which the sensation, bread, is the appearance.

But then, on the other hand, there is not a word of sense possible to prove that it is really so; and from the not impossible to the real is a strange 'ultra'-Rhodian leap.

And it is opposite both to the simplicity of Evangelical meaning, and anomalous from the interpretation of all analogous phrases which all men expound as figures,—'I am the gate, I am the way, I am the vine', and the like,—and to Christ's own declarations that his words were to be understood spiritually, that is, figuratively.

Ib. s. vi. p. 164.

However, if you will not commit downright idolatry, as some of their saints teach you, then you must be careful to observe these plain distinctions; and first be sure to remember that when you worship an image, you do it not materially but formally; not as it is of such a substance, but as it is a sign; next take care that you observe what sort of image it is, and then proportion your right kind to it, that you do not give 'latria' to that where 'hyperdulia' is only due; and be careful that if 'dulia' only be due, that your worship be not 'hyperdulical', &c.

A masterly specimen of grave dignified irony. Indeed, Jeremy Taylor's 'Works' would be of more service to an English barrister than those of Demosthenes, AEschines, and Cicero taken together.

Ib. s. vii. p. 168.

A man cannot well understand an essence, and hath no idea of it in his mind, much less can a painter's pencil do it.

Noticeable, that this is the only instance I have met in any English classic before the Revolution of the word 'idea' used as synonymous with a mental image. Taylor himself has repeatedly placed the two in opposition; and even here I doubt whether he has done otherwise. I rather think he meant by the word 'idea' a notion under an indefinite and confused form, such as Kant calls a 'schema'or vague outline, an imperfect embryo of a concrete, to the individuation of which the mind gives no conscious attention; just as when I say—"any thing," I may imagine a poker or a plate; but I pay no attention to its being this rather than that; and the very image itself is so wandering and unstable that at this moment it may be a dim shadow of the one, and in the next of some other thing. In this sense, idea is opposed to image in degree instead of kind; yet still contra-distinguished, as is evident by the sequel, "much less can a painter's pencil do it:" for were it an image, 'individui et concreti', then the painter's pencil could do it as well as his fancy or better.


Of all Taylor's works, the Discourse of Confirmation seems to me the least judicious; and yet that is not the right word either. I mean, however, that one is puzzled to know for what class of readers or auditors it was intended.

He announces his subject as one of such lofty claims; he begins with positions taken on such high ground, no less than the superior dignity and spiritual importance of Confirmation above Baptism itself—whether considered as a sacramental rite and mystery distinct from Baptism, or as its completory and crowning part (the 'finis coronans opus')—that we are eager to hear the proof.

But proofs differ in their value according to our previous valuation of authorities. What would pass for a very sufficient proof, because grounded on a reverend authority, with a Romanist, would be a mere fancy-medal and of no currency with a Bible Protestant.

And yet for Protestants, and those too laymen (for we can hardly suppose that Taylor thought his Episcopal brethren in need of it), must this Discourse have been intended; and in this point of view, surely never did so wise a man adopt means so unsuitable to his end, or frame a discourse so inappropriate to his audience.

The authorities of the Fathers are, indeed, as strong and decisive in favour of the Bishop's position as the warmest advocate of Confirmation could wish; but this very circumstance was calculated to create a prejudice against the doctrine in the mind of a zealous Protestant, from the contrast in which the unequivocal and explicit declarations of the Fathers stand with the remote, arbitrary, and fine-drawn inferences from the few passages of the New Testament which can be forced into an implied sanction of a rite no where mentioned, and as a distinct and separate ministration, utterly, as I conceive, unknown in the Apostolic age.

How much more rational and convincing (as to me it seems) would it have been to have shewn, that when from various causes the practice of Infant Baptism became general in the Church, Confirmation or the acknowledgment 'in propria persona' of the obligations that had been incurred by proxy was introduced; and needed no other justification than its own evident necessity, as substantiating the preceding form as to the intended effects of Baptism on the believer himself, and then to have shewn the great uses and spiritual benefits of the institution.

But this would not do. Such was the spirit of the age that nothing less than the assertion of a divine origin,—of a formal and positive institution by Christ himself, or by the Apostles in their Apostolic capacity as legislators for the universal Church in all ages, could serve; and accordingly Bishops, liturgies, tithes, monarchy, and what not, were, 'de jure divino', with celestial patents, wrapped up in the womb of this or that text of Scripture to be exforcipated by the logico-obstetric skill of High Church doctors and ultra-loyal court chaplains.


Ib. p. ccxvii.

This very poor church.

With the exception of Spain, the Church establishment in Ireland is now, I conceive, the richest in Europe; though by the most iniquitous measure of the Irish Parliament, most iniquitously permitted to acquire the force of law at the Union, the Irish Church was robbed of the tithes from all pasture lands. What occasioned so great a change in its favour since the time of Charles II?


Ib. p. ccxviii.

And amidst these and very many more inconveniences it was greatly necessary that God should send us such a king.

Such a king! O sorrow and shame! Why, why, O Genius! didst thou suffer thy darling son to crush the fairest flower of thy garland beneath a mitre of Charles's putting on!

Ib. p. ccxix.

For besides that the great usefulness of this ministry will greatly endear the Episcopal order, to which (that I may use St. Hierom's words) "if there be not attributed a more than common power and authority, there will be as many schisms as priests," &c.

On this ground the Romish divines justify the Papacy. The fact of the Scottish Church is the sufficient answer to both. Episcopacy needs not rash assertions for its support.

Ib. p. ccxx.

For it is a sure rule in our religion, and is of an eternal truth, that "they who keep not the unity of the Church, have not the Spirit of God."

Contrast with this our xixth and xxth Articles on the Church. The Irish Roman Catholic Bishops, methinks, must have read this with delight. What an over hasty simpleton that James II. was! Had he waited and caressed the Bishops, they would have taken the work off his hands.

Ib. p. 229. Introduction.

It has been my conviction that in respect of the theory of the Faith, (though God be praised! not in the practical result,) the Papal and the Protestant communions are equi-distant from the true idea of the Gospel Institute, though erring from opposite directions.

The Romanists sacrifice the Scripture to the Church virtually annulling the former: the Protestants reversed this practically, and even in theory, (see the above-mentioned Articles,) annulling the latter.

The consequence has been, as might have been predicted, the extinction of the Spirit (the indifference or 'mesothesis') in both considered as bodies: for I doubt not that numerous individuals in both Churches live in communion with the Spirit.

Towards the close of the reign of our first James, and during the period from the accession of Charles I to the restoration of his profligate son, there arose a party of divines, Arminians (and many of them Latitudinarians) in their creed, but devotees of the throne and the altar, soaring High Churchmen and ultra royalists.

Much as I dislike their scheme of doctrine and detest their principles of government both in Church and State, I cannot but allow that they formed a galaxy of learning and talent, and that among them the Church of England finds her stars of the first magnitude.

Instead of regarding the Reformation established under Edward VI as imperfect, they accused the Reformers, some of them openly, but all in their private opinions, of having gone too far; and while they were willing to keep down (and if they could not reduce him to a primacy of honor to keep out) the Pope, and to prune away the innovations in doctrine brought in under the Papal domination, they were zealous to restore the hierarchy, and to substitute the authority of the Fathers, Canonists and Councils of the first six or seven centuries, and the least Papistic of the later Doctors and Schoolmen, for the names of Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, Calvin and the systematic theologians who rejected all testimony but that of their Bible.

As far as the principle, on which Archbishop Laud and his followers acted, went to re-actuate the idea of the Church, as a co-ordinate and living Power by right of Christ's institution and express promise, I go along with them; but I soon discover that by the Church they meant the Clergy, the hierarchy exclusively, and then I fly off from them in a tangent.

For it is this very interpretation of the Church that, according to my conviction, constituted the first and fundamental apostasy; and I hold it for one of the greatest mistakes of our polemic divines in their controversies with the Romanists, that they trace all the corruptions of the Gospel faith to the Papacy.

Meantime can we be surprised that our forefathers under the Stuarts were alarmed, and imagined that the Bishops and court preachers were marching in quick time with their faces towards Rome, when, to take one instance of a thousand, a great and famous divine, like Bishop Taylor, asserts the inferiority, in rank and efficacy, of Baptism to Confirmation, and grounds this assertion so strange to all Scriptural Protestants on a text of Cabasilas—a saying of Rupertus—a phrase of St. Denis—and a sentence of Saint Bernard in a Life of Saint Malachias!—for no Benedictine can be more liberal in his attribution of saintship than Jeremy Taylor, or more reverently observant of the beatifications and canonizations of the Old Lady of the scarlet petticoat.

P. S. If the reader need other illustrations, I refer him to Bishop Hackett's 'Sermons on the Advent and Nativity', which might almost pass for the orations of a Franciscan brother, whose reading had been confined to the 'Aurea Legenda'. It would be uncandid not to add that this indiscreet traffickery with Romish wares was in part owing to the immense reading of these divines.

Ib. s. i. p. 247. Acts viii. 14-17.

This is an argument indeed, and one that of itself would suffice to decide the question, if only it could be proved, or even made probable, that by the Holy Ghost in this place was meant that receiving of the Spirit to which Confirmation is by our Church declared to be the means and vehicle.

But this I suspect cannot be done. The whole passage to which sundry chapters in St. Paul's Epistles seem to supply the comment, inclines and almost compels me to understand by the Holy Ghost in this narrative the miraculous gifts, [Greek: tas dynameis], collectively.

And in no other sense can I understand the sentence 'the Holy Ghost was not yet fallen upon any of them'. But the subject is beset with difficulties from the paucity of particular instances recorded by the inspired historian, and from the multitude and character of these instances found in the Fathers and Ecclesiastical historians.

Ib. s. ii. p. 254.

Still they are all [Greek: dynameis], exhibitable powers, faculties. Were it otherwise what strange and fearful consequences would follow from the assertion, 'the Holy Spirit was not yet fallen upon any of them'.

That we misunderstand the gift of tongues, and that it did not mean the power of speaking foreign languages unlearnt, I am strongly persuaded.

Yea, but this is not the question. If my heart, bears me witness that I love my brother, that I love my merciful Saviour, and call Jesus Lord and the Anointed of God with joy of heart, I am encouraged by Scripture to infer that the Spirit abideth in me; besides that I know that of myself, and estranged from the Holy Spirit, I cannot even think a thought acceptable before God.

But how will this help me to believe that I received this Spirit through the Bishop's hands laid on my head at Confirmation: when perhaps I am distinctly conscious, that I loved my Saviour, freely forgave, nay, tenderly yearned for the weal of, them that hated me before my Confirmation,—when, indeed, I must have been the most uncharitable of men if I did not admit instances of the most exemplary faith, charity, and devotion in Christians who do not practise the imposition of hands in their Churches. What! did those Christians, of whom St. Luke speaks, not love their brethren?

'In fine'.

I have had too frequent experience of professional divines, and how they identify themselves with the theological scheme to which they have been articled, and I understand too well the nature and the power, the effect and the consequences, of a wilful faith,—where the sensation of positiveness is substituted for the sense of certainty, and the stubborn clutch for quiet insight,—to wonder at any degree of hardihood in matters of belief.

Therefore the instant and deep-toned affirmative to the question

"And do you actually believe the presence of the material water in the baptizing of infants or adults is essential to their salvation, so indispensably so that the omission of the water in the Baptism of an infant who should die the day after would exclude that infant from the kingdom of heaven, and whatever else is implied in the loss of salvation?"

I should not be surprised, I say, to hear this question answered with an emphatic,

"Yes, Sir! I do actually believe this, for thus I find it written, and herein begins my right to the name of a Christian, that I have exchanged my reason for the Holy Scriptures: I acknowledge no reason but the Bible."

But as this intrepid respondent, though he may dispense with reason, cannot quite so easily free himself from the obligations of common sense and the canons of logic,—both of which demand consistency, and like consequences from like premisses 'in rebus ejusdem generis', in subjects of the same class,—I do find myself tempted to wonder, some small deal, at the unscrupulous substitution of a few drops of water sprinkled on the face for the Baptism, that is, immersion or dipping, of the whole person, even if the rivers or running waters had been thought non-essential.

And yet where every word in any and in all the four narratives is so placed under the logical press as it is in this Discourse by Jeremy Taylor, and each and every incident pronounced exemplary, and for the purpose of being imitated, I should hold even this hazardous.

But I must wonder a very great deal, and in downright earnest, at the contemptuous language which the same men employ in their controversies with the Romish Church, respecting the corporal presence in the consecrated bread and wine, and the efficacy of extreme unction.

For my own part, the assertion that what is phenomenally bread and wine is substantially the Body and Blood of Christ, does not shock my common sense more than that a few drops of water sprinkled on the face should produce a momentous change, even a regeneration, in the soul; and does not outrage my moral feelings half as much.

P. S. There is one error of very ill consequence to the reputation of the Christian community, which Taylor shares with the Romish divines, namely, the quoting of opinions, and even of rhetorical flights, from the writings of this and that individual, with 'Saint' prefixed to his name, as expressing the faith of the Church during the first five or six centuries.

Whereas it would not, perhaps, be very difficult to convince an unprejudiced man and a sincere Christian of the impossibility that even the decrees of the General Councils should represent the Catholic faith, that is, the belief essential to, or necessarily consequent on, the faith in Christ common to all the elect.

[Footnote 1: The references are here given to Heber's edition, 1822. Ed.]

[Footnote 2: The page however remains a blank. But a little essay on punctuation by the Author is in the Editor's possession, and will be published hereafter.—Ed.]

[Footnote 3: See Euseb. 'Hist.' iii. 27.—Ed.]

[Footnote 4: 'Vindication, &c. Quer.' 13, 14, 15.—Ed.]

[Footnote 5: See the form previously exhibited in this volume, p. 93. —Ed.]

[Footnote 6: 'Mark' viii. 29. 'Luke' ix. 20.—Ed.]

[Footnote 7: 1 'Pet'. v. 13.—Ed.]

[Footnote 8: Lightfoot and Wall use this strong argument for the lawfulness and implied duty of Infant Baptism in the Christian Church. It was the universal practice of the Jews to baptize the infant children of proselytes as well as their parents. Instead, therefore, of Christ's silence as to infants by name in his commission to baptize all nations being an argument that he meant to exclude them, it is a sign that he meant to include them. For it was natural that the precedent custom should prevail, unless it were expressly forbidden. The force of this, however, is limited to the ceremony;—its character and efficacy are not established by it.—Ed.]

[Footnote 9: The Author's views of Baptism are stated more fully and methodically in the 'Aids to Reflection'; but even that statement is imperfect, and consequently open to objection, as was frequently admitted by Mr. C. himself. The Editor is unable to say what precise spiritual efficacy the Author ultimately ascribed to Infant Baptism; but he was certainly an advocate for the practice, and appeared as sponsor at the font for more than one of his friends' children. See his 'Letter to a Godchild', printed, for this purpose, at the end of this volume; his 'Sonnet on his Baptismal Birthday', ('Poet. Works', ii. p. 151.) in the tenth line of which, in many copies, there was a misprint of 'heart' for 'front;' and the 'Table Talk', 2nd edit. p. 183. Ed.]

[Footnote 10: 'Deut.' xiii. 1-5. xviii. 22.—Ed.]

[Footnote 11: 'Galat.' i. 8, 9.—Ed.]

[Footnote 12: Pp. 206-227. Ed.]

[Footnote 13: With reference to all these notes on Original Sin, see 'Aids to Reflection', p. 250-286.—Ed.]

[Footnote 14: 'Aids to Reflection', p. 274.—Ed.]

[Footnote 15: Ante. 'Vindication, &c.' p. 357-8.]

[Footnote 16: Ibid.]

[Footnote 17:

'Dupliciter vero sanguis Christi et caro intelligitur, spiritualis ilia atque divina, de qua ipse dixit, Caro mea vere est cibus, &c., vel caro et sanguis, quae crucifixa est, et qui militis effusus est lancea.'

In 'Epist. Ephes.' c.i.]

[Footnote 18: See 'Table Talk', p. 72, second edit. Ed.]

[Footnote 19:

'Ipsum regem tradunt, volventem commentaries Numae, quum ibi occulta solennia sacrificia Jovi Elicio facta invenisset, operatum his sacris se abdidisse; sed non rite initum aut curatum id sacrum esse; nee solum nullam ei oblatam Caelestium speciem, sed ira Jovis, sollicitati prava religione, fulmine ictum cum domo conflagrasse.'

L. i. c. xxxi.—Ed.]

[Footnote 20:

"This also rests upon the practice apostolical and traditive interpretation of holy Church, and yet cannot be denied that so it ought to be, by any man that would not have his Christendom suspected. To these I add the communion of women, the distinction of books apocryphal from canonical, that such books were written by such Evangelists and Apostles, the whole tradition of Scripture itself, the Apostles' Creed, &c. ... These and divers others of greater consequence, (which I dare not specify for fear of being misunderstood,) rely but upon equal faith with this of Episcopacy,"


[Footnote 21: S. xxvi.]

[Footnote 22: S. iv. 4.—Ed.]


I know of no book, the Bible excepted, as above all comparison, which I, according to my judgment and experience, could so safely recommend as teaching and enforcing the whole saving truth according to the mind that was in Christ Jesus, as the Pilgrim's Progress. It is, in my conviction, incomparably the best 'Summa Theologiae Evangelicae' ever produced by a writer not miraculously inspired.

June 14, 1830.

It disappointed, nay surprised me, to find Robert Southey express himself so coldly respecting the style and diction of the Pilgrim's Progress. I can find nothing homely in it but a few phrases and single words. The conversation between Faithful and Talkative [1] is a model of unaffected dignity and rhythmical flow.


P. xiv.

"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 mad.

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 subtlety.

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 deny."

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 thousand others.

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. So here—

'Prothesis' Christ, the Word

'Thesis' 'Mesothesis' 'Antithesis' The Scriptures The Holy Spirit The Church

'Synthesis' The Preacher


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.


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 experiments.


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 found thee."

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 directly."

'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 Christian.

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 rags.

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 lusts

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 Christ.

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 ours?

The allegory is clearly defective, inasmuch as 'the way' represents two diverse meanings;

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 the allegory.

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 us.

'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 unusually obscure.

Ib. p. 70.

They showed him Moses' rod, the hammer and nail with which Jael slew Sisera.

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. [4] 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 what not?

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 Interpreter's house!


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 be judged.

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 the Father.

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 the world!

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 be freedom?

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; [5] 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 of sin.

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 edification.

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 necessity.

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 diversions.

'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 beforehand?


'In initio'.

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.

'In fine'.

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 Progress!

[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.]


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 Charles II.

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 exception.

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.


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: mainomeno stomati gelasta kai akallopista 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.]



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 affections.

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, Jesus Christ!

O, preserve this as a legacy and bequest from your unseen Godfather and friend,


July 13, 1834. [2]

[Footnote 1: See 'ante', p. 291. Ed.]

[Footnote 2: He died on the 25th day of the same month.]



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.

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