ON THE DEATH OF THE WORTHY AND PIOUS MR. JOHN BUNYAN, LATE PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL AT BEDFORD, AND AUTHOR OF THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, HOLY WAR, AND THE ADVOCATESHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, WITH MANY MORE EXCELLENT BOOKS; WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE ON FRIDAY THE LAST DAY OF AUGUST, 1688.
DEEP waters run the stillest, and the grief That’s greatest, courts the eyes to give relief.
The piousBUNYAN’ S newly dead, what eye But mourns the loss of so much industry!
And such a loss, for which who will not spend A tear, ‘s not Labor’s nor Religion’s friend.
This Pilgrim’s Progress now is finished, And Death hath laid him in his earthly bed.
World! do thy worst, for surely such souls are Crown’d as victorious in the Holy War!
Then study well (let that be all thy strife,) His exhortation to a holy life.
Grief must command your silence, but impart In silent tears, the language of your heart.
Lament, O Bedford’s friends, your wretched case, Your candlestick’s remov’d out of his place; Heaven hath thought fit to give him a remove Your shining light’s a fixed star above!
Hark! look above! those saints rejoice to see Dear Bunyan added to their company!
And you star-gazing tribe, should you be blest To find a star that’s brighter than the rest, ‘Tis holy Bunyan’s soul; for all conclude, He is a star of the first magnitude.
WHEN private persons by death’s stroke do fall, A private grief may serve the funeral:
But when the leaders of the people die, Grief knows no bounds, and sorrow swells more high.
Well may it then draw rivers from our eyes, SinceBUNYAN’ S dead, whose death does so surprise: BUNYAN! whose zeal, whose love, no pen can paint.
Who in his Master’s work did never faint; Who like a rock for truth’s defense has stood; And spent himself in doing sinners good.
This was his work, this was his business still, To save the sinner, and the sin to kill.
He from above had gain’d that heavenly art, To captivate the stoutest sinner’s heart; And often those who came but to deride, In earnest of their undone state have cried And though they hell itself have so out-braved, They’ve changed their note to, How shall I be saved?
In types and shadows he’d a mighty reach; Out of the law he would the gospel preach, At such a rate as would make all admire, And fill their hearts with wonder and desire:
Those that have heard him could not choose but see Sinai and Zion might full well agree.
When for conviction on the law he fell, You’d think you heard the groans of souls in hell; And then almost at every word he spake, Men’s lifts would quiver, and their hearts would ache.
But when he came to speak t’ a doubting soul, His very bowels would within him roll To such a soul there’s none could be more free, T’ advance the riches of free grace than he, He had so great a sense upon his heart, Of grace that God did to himself impart.
And as his preaching powerfully wrough, So did his practice; he both lived and taught. He in the pulpit preached truth first, and then He in his practice preached it o’er again.
Others to this he always did persuade, And herein he was their example made.
Free from the world he sat, and did declare That we both strangers here and pilgrims are; He to this pilgrim state did so invite, And did thereof so excellently write, That many by his writings have been won, All hazards for this pilgrim state to run.
His works are many, and they do him praise, And will a monument to his mem’ry raise.
Well, since our sighs and tears are all in vain, And we can ne’er recall him back again; Let us however labor this to do, Follow his doctrine and example too.
Let’s prize his memory, and pray that we May have our hearts filled with God’s love as he:
Whose constant wish was, he might Jesus see.
Yea, that he might unto his wounds draw near, And see both hands and feet, and print o’ th’ spear!
These were the breathings of his holy heart, That he might be with Christ, and never part.
He has his wish: with Christ he must remain, Till in the clouds he brings him back again.
JUST is the will of God that now is done, Our hopes, when placed on creatures, soon are gone; Henceforth let’s learn to place our trust in God, Note well his providence, and mark his rod.
By this let’s also learn to have our eyes Unto that God from whence come all supplies.
None can make up thy loss, dear friend, but He; You safe are landed in eternity:
And (as you lately to a friend did tell) Now lodged in heaven, in despite of hell.
HEAVEN hath the jewel; earth doth keep in trust, For a short time, the pious Bunyan’s dust, Until the resurrection of the just.