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emotion and aspiration, as well as with men's modes of thought and habits of life. It is the sentiment described by the heathen poet when he said: “I am human, and nothing which is human is foreign to me.” Jesus showed himself a man under all circum. stances. He was tempted at all points as man is, and knew how to succour tempted
There was nothing regal or priestly or even sombre about him. The traditional assertion, “Our Saviour wept, but was never known to smile,” has more antiquity than authenticity. He certainly never betrays any anxiety about his dignity. He shows the most intense hatred of formality and of all the requirements of religious etiquette. He can hardly conceal his contempt for the ecclesiastical martinets who sought to stone him because he had made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day. He taught that the Sabbath, and so all God's institutions, was made for man, whom God made, and as God made him. He preached a gospel which was antagonistic to sin in man, but not antagonistic to man. His teaching and his life were full of this beautiful and sympathetic humanity. Men instinctively felt that Jesus was their fellow, a man indeed absolutely pure, and a being in some relations infinitely more than man, but in his human relations a being on their level. While he sometimes drew from them the adoring exclamation, “My Lord and my God!" at other times they hesitated not to ask querulously, “Lord, carest thou not that we perish ?” while provident Martha, in the very tenderest mood of grief, reproached him, with the familiarity of a sister, in the words, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” The scenes at the blessing of the children, at the grave of Lazarus, at the summary ejection of the money-changers from the temple, are only excerpts from a life of intense sympathy with all that is human in man. He was a stranger only to the sin of man, alienated only from the progeny of evil in the soul—the works of those who are of their father the devil, and who do his deeds.
This broad, deep humanity, tinging all the language of his teaching and interpenetrating its very substance, scemed, when he spoke, to envelop speaker and hearers in one comprehensive, magnetic atmosphere, and made their hearts beat together as one, till the very life of Christ was communicated to those around him, and an all-enveloping sympathy-which was more than a sympathy, which was a substance, unseen and ethereal, but potential and pervading-made the vastest multitude one intellectual and moral being, thinking, feeling, moving with the one master spirit. It is no wonder they were astonished at his power over them, or that his bitterest enemies were compelled to exclaim, “Never man spake like this man."
A discriminating and thorough analysis of the teaching and oratory The same elements
of the great masters of eloquence will show that, in various proporof power in all pop- tions, the elements of power now enumerated have been present in ular orators.
their speech and writings. It will also be found that this power has been just in proportion to the perfection they had attained in these various essentials of true eloquence.
There may be profound thought which is yet not precise and clear, and the result will be only bewilderment in the hearer. There may be clear thought which is not profound or original or forcible, and the result will be, at the best, only a patient approval of what is to the audience a very dull discourse. Or the thought may be both clear and profound, while the words are anything but “gracious words.” The rhetoric may be rough or pedantic, or suggestive of disagreeable associations, or flighty with prettinesses or rotund with bombast. Or the composition may be faultless in thought and expression, and yet may be so abstract in form that the common people will be far from hearing it gladly, while even the philosopher will experience a stir of the thoughts rather
than a quickening of the conscience or a marshalling of the purposes to right action. Or the preacher may have the clearness of Addison, the profundity of Plato, the beautiful diction of Vaughn, and the concreteness of Dean Swift, all combined, yet, if he be not interpenetrated with humanity and surrounded with it as an atmosphere, he will never do what Luther did, nor what Whitefield did, nor what Bunyan did, nor, even at a dislant approximation, what Christ did.
Clearness of Bun
Perhaps this analysis of manner in the successful religious teacher
Bunyan's power will guide us to the secret, in part at least, of Bunyan's great and continued influence over all classes of men while teaching the whole circle of Christian doctrine.
In the first place, then, every reader of Bunyan must have observed the precision and dearness of his style and thought. The reader is never compelled to go over a sentence the second time. The impression it makes upon
yan's style. his mind is clear, well-cut, and immediate. Occasionally he comes upon a sentence whose quaintness gives him a moment's pause, as when Faithful commences his defence before the court at Vanity Fair in this way: “That he had only set himself against that which had set itself against Him that is higher than the highest.” But the delay reveals to him a pith and richness of meaning which will be likely to make him linger upon the sentence till it is indelibly printed upon his memory. Generally, however, the thought of the author is seized at once. The impression upon the imagination and feelings is not impaired by even the least perplexity of the intellect. Each sentence is a nail fastened in a sure place. The suggestion that Bunyan is a profound writer will hardly, how
Bunyan a profound ever, be so readily assented to. Certainly, if our idea of profundity in a writer is that he shall be shadowy and unintelligible, or that he shall be abstract, or that he shall wander into the regions of the unknown and the unknowable, then Bunyan is not profound. Bunyan is no Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is no German philosopher turned into a mere ghost of a man by the excessive subjectivity of his speculations. He is no propounder of theories concerning matters which no theory an explain. The theologians of all the evangelical schools accept the Pilgrim's Prog. reas. It does not ern enter their ancient battle-grounds.
But if to be profound is to go to the bottom of the subject in hand, if it is to follow with a sharp analysis the dividing line between things that differ, if it is to search every element that enters into a just and safe conclusion, then Bunyan is profound.
The way of life is the subject of the Bible. To point out that way a certain number of facts and truths are considered necessary by Infinite Wisdom. These, when arranged systematically and discriminated from error, constitute our systems of theology. The way of life is also the subject of Bunyan's allegories. It would
Bunyan's system be a curious experiment should some constructive mind attempt to
of theology. draw from them a system of underlying doctrine, as theologians have done from the Bible. If nothing were omitted which Bunyan uses, if all his qualifications were noted and all perversions guarded against, there can be little doubt that a very complete body of divinity would be the result. It is this peculiarity which is the basis of Bunyan's strength. The reader is gaining truth--the food of the soul-in every line. That Bunyan has the next requisite of a popular style is evident.
Bunyan's style No reader doubts that he uses concrete rather than abstract terms, or, more precisely, that he individualizes rather than generalizes his ideas. He invests the most abstract qualities with all the charm of a personal individ
uality. He turns a doctrine into an exciting adventure. He converts great moral facts into solid existences, as a mountain, a burden on the back, a man in a cage, a giant's castle, a celestial city. In this he closely follows the Bible, and never fails to appropriate its imagery when it is possible to do son There is nothing in Shakespeare more perfect than the impersonations of Obstinate and Pliable in the very beginning of his story. The description of Vanity Fair, its streets, its rulers, its citizens, and its doings, makes & group which the painter could transfer almost unchanged from the paper to the
In the Holy War the generalizations of mental philosophy in all their multitude rise before us in the form of walls and gates and magistrates and armies, as if “spirits from the vasty deep” had suddenly taken to themselves form and solidity, and were lifting their huge proportions all around us. What a study is his nomenclature alone! Who but Bunyan would have concocted such a catalogue as this of the court at Vanity Fair?
Judge, My Lord Hate-good.
The Nobility, Lord Oldman, Lord Carnal-delight Lord Luxurious, Lord Desire-ofvain-glory, Lord Lechery, Sir Having-greedy.
The statutes are acts come down from Pharaoh, Darius, and Nebuchadnezzar!
The roll of the Jury puts a fitting climax upon this pyramid of personification: Mr. Blindman, the foreman, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Heady, Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, Mr. Implacable!
What an immense acquisition of power would come to many of the Defect of modern
ablest preachers of our era if they could learn Bunyan’s art of giving preachers.
to their airy abstractions “a local habitation and a name," not by descriptive appellations, but by descriptive impersonations! The whole power of many preachers, otherwise of very inferior abilities and attainments, lies in the possession of this art. Let the philosopher and the scholar beware how they despise a gift which, however unnecessary within the walls of the university, is one of the grand instrumentalities by which men are to be brought up from the East and the West and the North and the South to sit down together in the kingdom of God.
Bunyan's humanity, by which we mean, as before, a broad and deep Bunyan's broad humanity.
sympathy with all that belongs to men, is another of the chief ele
ments of his power. He comes into contact with his readers at every point. He is so guileless, so frank, so fearless, so kindly, so keen, so witty, so intensely in earnest, that, before you are aware of it, he has thrown over you the spell of an enchanter. No man ever attained more perfectly the divine art of drawing human beings " with the cords of love and the bands of a man."
The element of humour plays a very important part in this attractBunyan's hu
ive process-not less important because there is no open expression of
it. It would shock some persons to hear the intimation that our Saviour ever indulged in humour. But a fair analysis would readily detect something closely analogous to this fascinating quality in many passages, especially those of a controversial character. The repartees made to the ecclesiastical lawyers who attempted to “entangle him in his talk” had in them that sense of logical absurdity and that enjoyment of deserved personal discomfiture which are important elements in the higher grades of humour. The scene at Gadara, when the devils were taken at their word and sent into a herd of swine is essentially ludicrous, and may be yo þeen intended to match the
malignant design of these rampant spirits, of drawing Jesus into trouble with the Gad. arene pork-merchants by bringing them and their boasted power into ridicule.
Bunyan is full of humour, though he is too serious and earnest to wish to employ it except in his exposures of error and wickedness. What an exquisite bit of satire, for example, is the conversation with By-ends, just after Christian leaves Vanity Fair, “ the parishioner of Mr. Two-tongues” and “the lineal descendant of a waterman who got his living by rowing one way and looking the other," by which laudable occupation, remarks Mr. By-ends, “I got most of my estate.”
The same keen quick perception of the incongruities and contradictions, which are the staple of all rhetorical retributions for folly and pretence, pervades all Bunyan's works, and constantly draws toward him the peculiar sympathy which the story-teller and the wit are sure to awaken. Let not the Christian teacher who possesses this charming gift consider it only a misfortune and an impediment. Carefully employed, it will bring him, more quickly than any other, into a magnetic sympathy with men. The most violent prejudices against an orator or his cause may often be dispelled by a few pleasantries. Wit can give even to logic a finer edge and a sharper point. Humour may play over the surface of the most serious discourse, as heat-lightning over the moonless sky, not obtrusively, yet lighting all the firmament of thought with a bewitching iridescence.
Every page of Bunyan's allegories, and every verse of his quaint but rude poetry, Favers in this magnetic atmosphere of humour. What, for example, could be more ; suppressed, and yet effective, than the sly sarcasm of the lines in which he describes the reception of his Pilgrim's Progress by liis immediate friends ?
“ Then I set pen to paper with delight,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
I showed them others, that I might see whether
Closely connected with this quality of humour in Bunyan was that
Bunyan's naïveté peculiar compound of self-forgetfulness and truthfulness which for want of an English name we have agreed to term naïveté. This charming quality, which
opens men's hearts like the pressing of a secret spring in the iron door of a money. vault, is conspicuous not only in the quotations just given, but in almost every sentence Bunyan wrote. We feel at home as soon as we begin to read. In a very few minutes we are on such terms of intimacy with the author that, while we are conscious of his access to the most secret places of our hearts, we feel that we have a free entrance to his also.
If Bunyan preached as he wrote, as he undoubtedly did, he must in his very first sentence have introduced himself to his hearers and drawn them into the sphere of his per. sonal life. Edward Everett, when once asked how he gained the sympathy of a strange audience in a strange place so uniformly and quickly, replied, “I always search out some historical incident or some local association, through which I ingratiate myself with the people I am to address.” Without egotism, certainly without vanity, but with a sell
forgetful ingenuousness that goes out in sympathy and confidence toward others, and love to make them sharers of his thoughts and hopes and joys, the preacher who partakes of the spirit of Bunyan will envelop his audience with the atmosphere of his own personal. ity. He will lay his heart upon the heart of each hearer till their beating is in unison.
Another element of this quality, which we have termed the humanBunyan's rich im
ity of Bunyan, is imaginative in its character. It is a part of our agination.
humanity to love analogies. It impresses us much more to be told "God is a rock” than to be assured, in literal phrase, "God is firm and strong." A whole treatise upon conviction of sin cannot move us as does the picture of the Slough of Despond, in which Pliable appears crawling out upon one side and Christian catching the hand of Help on the other. The machinery of these allegories is certainly not elab
On the contrary, it is very simple, if not rude. Yet it may well be doubted whether the most exquisite impersonations of Shakespeare or the grandest fancies of Milton really make so strong and permanent an impression upon us as the story of the town of Mansoul, with its walls and its gates, its magistrates, its sovereigns, and its wars. Few have ever looked on the picture of the land of Beulah, and the passage of the Pilgrims to the Celestial City, without experiencing a glow of emotion such as even the masters of romance and song have seldom been able to inspire. The language of imagination was natural to Bunyan, as it was to our Saviour. He was writing another book, supposed to be “The Heavenly Footman," when, as he tells us," before I was aware, I thus began," and the result was—The Pilgrim's Progress !
“And thus it was: I, writing of the way
Such labour is play, and such play of the finest faculties of the mind of man is power. No culture is complete which fails first to develop, then to regulate, the imagination, and no man is the full possessor of the “humanity” now under discussion who is not master of the “humanities” by which it is trained and strengthened.
In enumerating the various elements of Bunyan's power over men Bunyan's pathos.
we must not omit the mention of pathos. We have already spoken of sympathy with our common humanity on the side of its fancy, in its love of frankness, and in its appreciation of wit. But the human heart has a tender side also. Tears lurk close to smiles and fun frolics in the very arms of sadness. The heart-stricken Cowper wrote “ John Gilpin” out of the depths of a troubled spirit. Gough, the orator of the heart, gives the warning,
have tears, prepare to shed them now," b) side-splitting joke, close upon which follows a picture of the drunkard and babes, the home laid desolate, the generous, loving heart made fiendish hy drink, which has the force of a thousand arguments to convince and persuade.
The preacher of the Gospel handles themes full of the tenderest pe LA ve is the subject of the Gospel. Tenderness is its essential spirit. Ministra rt the diseases and sorrows of the human heart is its chief work. We plead for i. sichiy, certainly no sanctimonious, pathos. But when a man like Bunyan, full of vigour, with no vaporish humours, alive to all pleasant fancies and all generous wit, tells us of his
“ If you