Christian Behaviour - John Bunyan (17th Cen)
ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.
As face answereth unto face in a looking-glass, so does Christian experience reveal the state of the heart; so that, if a Christian of the present day would compare his feelings with one who had passed away from this world five hundred years, he would find them the same—similar evil propensities to corrupt and lead him astray, and the same Spirit of divine grace to support, cherish, and guide him, in his way from the City of Destruction, to the Celestial Zion. Not that every circumstance is copied one from another; but the same leading features which prompted one to fly from the present world of bondage, to seek life and liberty in the gospel, and a heavenly refuge, will be the same. It is of common occurrence for a man to say of his spiritual teacher, How could he so accurately know my heart, and paint my portraiture so well, and yet be scarcely acquainted with me? How could such intimate knowledge of what is passing in my heart be known to a poor man, struggling with difficulties I have a soul to be saved or lost, I am seeking after the way that leads to eternal life, as set forth in the gospel, with a hope that I have found it? Surely, he will be ready to say, some intimate friend to whom I have revealed my most inmost thoughts, must have been with the preacher and told them to him. Such is not an extraordinary case, it is one of daily occurrence; but we forget that the same fears, and hopes of salvation, agitate every Christian's mind. We are all on the same road to immortality, either that of heavenly felicity, or the infernal state of anguish to which man, by reason of sin, will have to pass when he has arrived at the end of his journey in this world. Bunyan had very peculiar and striking feelings on this subject; as we have seen in the Grace Abounding. He feels everything he says, and cries out as a man intensely anxious as to his soul's salvation. But the work speaks for itself, and all that I have to do is to press upon the reader its immense importance.