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THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN The word “merit” was changed for “mercy” after the author’s death.— Ed.
Ft2 “Not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” ( 2 Corinthians 10:18) “Carry the bell and wear the garland,” alluding to our old English races; the winner being rewarded with a silver bell, and crowned with a garland: or to the morris dance, in which the leader carried the garland and danced with bells fixed to his dress.—Ed.
Ft4 The glorious revolution, conducted by William, Prince of Orange, afterwards King William the 3rd, took place soon after Bunyan’s decease. It was probably on this account that this paragraph was omitted from the edition of September, 1688, and all the subsequent ones to the present time. The popular opinion, in those times, was, that Dutchman and extortioner were nearly synonymous. “We trade wid de Yankey, we deal wid de Scot. And cheaten de tain and de teither: We cheaten de Jew, aye and better dan dat, We cheaten well ein aniether.” Old Song.
Ft5 “To pole, to peel,” to take off the top and branches of a tree, and then to peel off the bark; terms used to designate violent oppressions under pretended legal authority. “Which pols and pils the poor in piteous wise.” Fairy Queen. “Pilling and polling is grown out of request, since plain pilfering came into fashion.” Winwood’s Memorials. “They had rather pill straws than read the scriptures.” Dent’s Pathway.—Ed.
Ft6 Immediately after the calling of Matthew and of James, our Lord sat at meat in Levi’s [James’] house, and made that gracious declaration, “I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”; compare Matthew 9:10-13, with Mark 2:14-17 and Luke 5:27-32.—Ed.
Ft8 This proud beggar shews not his wounds but his worth; not his rags, but his robes; not his misery, but his stoutheartedness: he brings in God Almighty as a debtor to him for his services, and thanks God more that others were bad, than for his own fancied goodness.— Ryland.
Ft9 The word “criminal,” used by Bunyan, has been altered in modern editions to “ceremonial”; but it was not only ceremonial but superstitious, and therefore more criminal than moral.
Ft10 It is singular that our modern Pharisees continue the custom of fasting twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday. This is not so monstrous as pretending to do what “God manifest in the flesh” alone could do—to fast for forty consecutive days.—Ed.
Ft12 To such poor deceived souls, our Lord’s words are extremely applicable; “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” If poor blind sinners are, through the ignorance of their minds, fully persuaded that the destructive way in which they walk is the road to true happiness, how dangerous is their error, and how deplorable the consequences.—Ryland.
Ft13 What home-thrusts are here! The two-edged sword of the Spirit, wielded by such a man, pierces—divides—lays bare every refuge of lies to which poor souls vainly fly for succor. It is a solemn and most important subject. May every reader have grace given him to weigh his hopes of heaven in the balances of divine unerring truth.—Ed.
Ft14 Those who plead for mercy, as the reward of their own righteousness, are guilty of gross absurdity. They may claim to employ the mercy which they have earned: why plead with the God of justice for that to which they consider themselves in justice entitled? God will give to all that to which they are entitled, without being sued for their earnings.— Ed.
Ft15 “Points and pantables”; quibbles and quirks. “With periods, points, and tropes, he slurs his crimes; He robb’d not, but he borrowed from the poor.”—Dryden. “Pantable,” from pantoufle, a slipper. To stand upon his pantables, was a contemptuous mode of speech, to express a very dishonorable man’s “standing upon his honor,” which could so easily be slipped from under him. “What pride is equal to the pope’s in making kings kiss his pantables.” Sir E. Sandys. “He standeth upon his pantables, and regardeth greatly his reputation.” Saker’s Character of a Fraudulent Fellow. Bunyan was peculiarly happy in his use of popular and proverbial expressions.—Ed.
Ft16 “Meddle nor make,” to interfere with matters that do not concern us. “I think it no sin, to sleep in a whole skin, So I neither meddle nor make.”—Old Play. “He that will meddle with all things, may go shoe the goslings.” “I’ll neither meddle nor make, said Bill Heaps, when he spill’d the butter milk.” Old Proverbs.—Ed.
Ft17 The accurate knowledge of Bunyan as to the meaning of law terms is very surprising, and proves him to have been an apt scholar. A caveat is a caution not to admit a will that may injure some other party.—Ed.
Ft18 In this country the introduction of earthenware plates has driven the less cleanly wooden plate, called a trencher, entirely out of use.—Ed.
Ft19 Sin-sick souls alone seek the Great Physician , and are the proper subjects of Christ’s healing power. Pride and unbelief bar the door of mercy and grace; and if not subdued by the blood of the cross, will ruin the soul.—Ryland.
Ft20 “Thou art besides the saddle.” “I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition; which o’erleaps itself, And falls on the other.” — Macbeth.
Ft22 When we had no righteousness of our own to cover us, he put on us naked beggars that rich robe, the righteousness of Christ. Though black in ourselves, we are comely in Christ’s comeliness; but we never live upon his righteousness, only as we see none in ourselves.—Ryland.
Ft23 “Sweeting,” an obsolete term for a sweet apple.—Ed.
Ft24 This whole paragraph is omitted from all editions subsequent to 1688, when the author died. It is the practical illustration of his whole theory. By their fruit ye shall know them; the fruit does not make them what they are by nature and sin or by grace and righteousness.
The rebuke of the Savior, Matthew 15:16, falls heavily on the man who rejected this paragraph.—Ed. Abel possessed righteousness before his offering, which influenced him to make this acceptable sacrifice.—Ed. “Then was I most distressed with blasphemies, if I have been hearing the word, then uncleanness, blasphemies, and despair would hold me as captive.” “I blessed the condition of the dog and toad, and counted their state far better than this sate of mine.”—Grace Abounding. Many are the devices of Satan to keep souls from Christ. The world and the flesh are his grand instruments of seduction, while his temptations and snares drown them in despair. Their wisdom is to resist manfully by faith in the serpent-bruiser, Jesus. He will consummate his victories by a glorious triumph over all the powers of hell and darkness.—Ryland. “A sweeting tree,” a sweet apple, and not a crab apple tree.—Ed. As the disobedience of the first Adam is imputed to all his natural posterity, and brings death upon all; so the righteousness of the second Adam is imputed to all his spiritual progeny, to obtain life for them.
As the carnal Adam, lost original righteousness, derives a corrupt nature to all his descendants; so the spiritual Adam, by his obedience, conveys a vital efficacy of grace to us. The same Spirit of holiness which anointed our Redeemer doth quicken all his race, that as they have borne the image of the earthly,THEY may henceforth bear the image of the heavenly Adam.—Ryland. “Debrorous,” probably a misprint for “dolorous,” sorrowful or dismal. “Through many a dark and dreary vale They passed, and many a region dolorous.”—Milton. “Make an O yes,” alluding to the form of proclamation at sessions of the peace—“Oyer,” the French for “Hear,” now corrupted to “O yes.”—Ed. “Boot,” profit or advantage.—Ed. The mercy of God has not only a quick eye to spy out a penitent, but a swift foot to run and embrace him. What infinite condescension! God the Father is said to “run, fall on the neck of, and kiss” the sinner, whom he has by his Spirit inclined to sue for mercy and peace, which, being obtained, he will withhold from him no manner of thing that is good.—Ryland. The pillory, to which allusion is here made, was a cruel mode of punishment, now out of date. In earlier times, the ears were nailed to the wood, and after an hour’s anguish were cut off, and the nose and cheeks slit; thus were treated Leighton and other holy men. In later days, the victims were subjected to the brutality of a mob, and sometimes excited by factious men. “Tell us who ‘tis upon the ridge stands there So full of fault, and yet so void of fear; And from the paper in his hat Let all mankind be told for what.”—Defoe. “Next,” nighest or nearest. This sentence is highly poetical, as much or more so as any in the writings of the most cultivated scholars.—Ed. A humbling view of our sinful selves is manifested to the soul by the Word and Spirit of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ has all the properties of a great and true light; it has a piercing power and penetrating virtue; it enters the darkest recesses of the soul, and detects the errors of men’s judgment, as well as discovers the enormities of their lives.—Ryland. This sentence is peculiarly striking, and is very illustrative of Bunyan’s homely, cutting, faithful phraseology.—Ed. The newly awakened soul, beholding itself in the glass of the law, is shocked at its own deformity. Sin is truly odious, and an intolerable burthen. So felt the royal penitent when he cried, “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.” God’s indignation at sin must be felt on this side the grave, in the conscience of the sinner, if ever he hopes to escape the dreadful punishment of it in the world to come. But blessed be God, the blood of atonement is a sovereign balsam for sick and wounded souls, and is abundantly efficacious for procuring pardon, peace, and reconciliation by the application of the eternal Spirit.—Ryland. These humbling words, being too rough for ears polite, have been omitted from all the editions of this book published since the author’s death, except the fifth, 1702.—Ed. A simple-hearted man, at a prayer meeting, used the words, “Incline our hearts to cast our bread upon the waters, that we may find it after many days.” Upon leaving the prayer meeting, while crossing a bridge, a youth said to him, “If you were to throw a loaf into the river, what good would it be even if you did find it after many days”; to which his elder replied, “Oh, it is a scripture expression, though I do not know its meaning”! This happened to the editor forty-five years ago, before Sunday schools and the Tract Society had spread their flood of scriptural knowledge over the kingdom.—Ed. This is variously interpreted, but may it not mean an ancient mode of mocking, now called taking a sight?—Ed. “Blandation,” a piece of flattery. “They flattered the Bishop of Ely with this blandation.”—Camden.