pg 217NOTES TO GOOD NEWS FOR THE VILEST OF MEN
p. 6, l. 7. I have been Vile my self. Cf. G.A., § 26 (pp. 11–12).
p. 14, l. 28–9. Here also now reigned Presumption. The personification of Presumption is evocative of P.P., pp. 39, 213. Cf. the use of this literary technique in Come, & Welcome, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 278, ll. 5 ff.
p. 15, l. 3. Matt. xxvii. 25.
p. 15, l. 11. Cf. Matt. xxviii. 13.
p. 15, l. 35–p. 16, l. 1. Luke xxiv. 47.
p. 16, ll. 20–2. Acts xvii. 30–1.
p. 16, l. 35. bowels of Mercy. Cf. A Treatise of the Fear of God, Oxford Bunyan, ix. 49, l. 34: 'Gods bowels turn within him.'
p. 17, l. 7. pardonable sins. Here Bunyan is careful to exclude the unpardonable sin which had so troubled him as a young man. See G.A., §§ 148 ff.; Law and Grace, Oxford Bunyan, ii. 201, l. 19–20, l. 28.
p. 17, l. 16–17. as clear as the Sun. Proberbial: Tilley, S 969.
p. 18, l. 12. to priviledge: to offer, to benefit. O.E.D.
p. 19, l. 17. the least stick, or stop: temporary stoppage; boggle. O.E.D. Cf. P.P., p. 251, ll. 27–8: 'When we came at the Hill Difficulty, he made no stick at that….'
p. 19, ll. 21–2. Acts ii. 38.
p. 21, l. 5. pitch: apex, highest point. O.E.D.
p. 24, l. 17–18. Heart-fainting qualm: a fit of faintness. O.E.D.
p. 24, ll. 20–2. Acts ii. 17.
p. 25, l. 19. Devilism: action or conduct proper to the devil. O.E.D.
p. 25, l. 26. rowl: roll.
p. 26, ll. 23–5. The Protestant doctrine of salvation sola fide. For Bunyan's exposition of this doctrine, see Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 69–75.
p. 26, ll. 26–9. Cf. Bunyan's own close escapes from drowning, G.A., § 12 (p. 7).
p. 27, l. 12. pricking of Wheals: puncturing pimples. O.E.D.
p. 28, ll. 8–9. Mark ix. 39.
p. 29, ll. 12–13. Luke xiv. 21.
p. 29, ll. 18–20. See Luke xxiii. 39–43.
p. 31, ll. 35–6. Eph. ii. 7.
p. 32, ll. 21–2. Eph. i. 16.
p. 33, ll. 16–17. Ps. li. 13.
p. 34, ll. 15–16. See John viii. 11.
p. 34, ll. 17–18. John xii. 47.
p. 34, ll. 21–6. The story is probably from a soldier who fought in the first Civil War.
p. 35, l. 2. Satans Colonels, and Captains. Bunyan here returns to the imagery of The Holy War.
p. 35, l. 37–P. 36, l. 3. Cf. G.A., §§ 11, 24–6.
p. 36, ll. 5–7. Cf. G.A., §§ 31–2.
p. 36, l. 7. carrier: career, i.e. charge or encounter. Cf. Come, & Welcome, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 268, l. 23.
p. 36, l. 16. Devilism. Cf. above, p. 25, l. 19.
p. 37, l. 7. Mirrors of Mercy. Bunyan is probably reflecting his own reading in Samuel Clarke's A Mirrour or Looking-glasse Both for Saints, and Sinners (1654).
p. 37, l. 25–6. The biggest sinners have usually great contests with the Devil at their partings. A reflection of Bunyan's own spiritual struggles. See especially G.A., §§ 89–97.
p. 37, ll. 36–7. Cf. G.A., § 153, where Bunyan recounts his own experience of having once believed he was beyond divine mercy.
p. 38, l. 12–13. there was musick and dancing. For Bunyan's love of music, see above, p. 116, l. 10, and the corresponding note.
p. 38, ll. 25–7. Cf. G.A., § 186 (p. 58).
p. 40, l. 1. I know. Again Bunyan is drawing on his personal religious experience. Cf. G.A., § 230 (p. 72).
p. 40, ll. 3–5. Cf. G.A., § 252 (p. 78): 'great sins do draw out great grace.'
p. 40, ll. 28–9, 31. raving Bedlam. Cf. P.P., p. 91: 'But they that were appointed to examine them, did not believe them to be any other then Bedlams and Mad. …' The insane were often incarcerated in the Hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem in London. Cf. also Saved by Grace, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 172, l. 22.
p. 40, ll. 33–4. 1 Cor. xv. 10.
p. 41, l. 28. the Coals of Juniper. Cf. Greatness of the Soul, Oxford Bunyan, ix. 175, l. 28; A Holy Life, Oxford Bunyan, ix. 258, ll. 4–5.
p. 42, ll. 11–22. A contemporary reader would have readily grasped the pg 219depiction of Martha as a Puritan, with her love of sermons and lectures, and her 'Zeal and Preciseness in Religion'.
p. 42, l. 30. Clouts: clothes. Bunyan may be using the term in the narrow sense of handkerchiefs. O.E.D.
p. 43, l. 25. modest dress. This was a long-standing ideal of Puritans. See R. L. Greaves, Society and Religion in Elizabethan England (Minneapolis, 1981), pp. 506–10.
p. 44, l. 30. diminishing-glass. Cf. Robert Hooke: '[it] may by … some convenient Diminishing-Glasses, be made vanish into a scarce visible Speck.' Cited in O.E.D.
p. 46, l. 3. flounce: jerk about. Bunyan's usage is somewhat different from the citations in the O.E.D.
p. 46, ll. 6–11. Cf. Bunyan's meditation on a candle in A Book for Boys and Girls, Oxford Bunyan, vi. 201–12.
p. 46, ll. 15–16. For the role of these graces in the Christian life, see Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 147–9.
p. 47, l. 28–9. our Moon is in the Wane. Proverbial: cf. B. J. Whiting and H. W. Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly Before 1500 (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), M 663.
p. 48, l. 1–2. the World was Degenerated as it is now. An allusion to the growing libertinism in Charles II's reign and the Catholic policies of James II.
p. 48, l. 18. Luke xiii. 23.
p. 49, l. 2. rides Post: rides speedily.
p. 50, l. 15. to the Barr, and pleads. The legal analogy plays only a minor role here, but a legal context dominates The Advocateship of Jesus Christ, written at approximately the same time. See also above, p. 161, ll. 12–27.
p. 54, l. 10. the unpardonable sin: the sin against the Holy Spirit. Cf. G.A., §§ 148 ff. and the note on pp. 145–6; Law and Grace, Oxford Bunyan, ii. 201–10.
p. 54, l. 36–7. Judge not thereof by feeling, nor by the reports of thy Conscience. Despite the emphasis on personal experience by those in the sectarian tradition, Bunyan insisted that the final authority was Scripture.
p. 55, l. 16. the sufficiency of the merits of Christ. For Bunyan's concept of the atonement as satisfaction, see Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 36–41.
p. 55, l. 27. 1 John i. 7.
p. 57, l. 7. Glass: mirror. See above, p. 204, l. 8, and the corresponding note.
p. 57, ll. 31, 33. swoops: sweeps away, i.e. the biblical text clears away the objection.
p. 57, l. 36–7. No sin, but the sin of final Impenitence, can prove a Man a Reprobate. By insisting on the possibility of a person converting at the last minute, Bunyan was able to combine a strict Calvinist doctrine of predestination with an evangelical mission to any who would listen. Cf. Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 51–6.
p. 58, l. 14. the Black rod. The phrase is normally used for the Chief Gentleman Usher of the Lord Chamberlain and of the House of Lords, but Bunyan apparently intends it as a symbol of satanic tyranny.
p. 58, l. 18. to do this against professed Light: the unpardonable sin. See above, p. 54, l. 10, and the accompanying note.
p. 59, l. 9. Cf. Luke xviii. 11.
p. 59, l. 11. Cf. Luke xiii. 30.
p. 59, ll. 23–4. Pss. xxii. 11; xxxv. 22; lxxi. 12.
p. 59, l. 37. go in thy colours: in the sense of showing one's true colours. See O.E.D.
p. 60, l. 13. demurr: demurrer. See above, p. 164. l. 28, and accompanying note.
p. 60, ll. 33–4. Matt. xi. 28.
p. 61, ll. 1–2. Luke xiv. 21.
p. 61, l. 21. the day of Grace. Cf. G. A., § 66 (p. 22): 'But how if the day of grace should be past and gone?' Cf. also Law and Grace, Oxford Bunyan, ii. 211, ll. 35–6.
p. 62, l. 7. the venture of Heaven. Cf. G.A., § 337 (p. 101): 'I will venture for thy Name.' Cf. also Light in Darkness, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 51, l. 12; Saved by Grace, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 174, ll. 1–2.
p. 63, l. 22. the fourth sort of Despair. This variety of despair is illustrated at length in G.A.; see, e.g. §§ 67–8, 72, 75, 78–9, 84, and especially 102.
p. 63, ll. 33–5. Rev. xxii. 17. Cf. the development of this theme in Bunyan's discourse, The Water of Life, Oxford Bunyan, vii.
p. 64, ll. 31–2. Isa. xl. 31.
p. 65, l. 12. the Soul that ventured it self. See above, p. 62, l. 7.
p. 65, l. 15. Oath. For the importance of oaths in English society, see C. Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England (1964), ch. 11; Greaves, Society and Religion in Elizabethan England, pp. 680–91.
p. 65, l. 32. Unbelief the great manager. The characterization of Unbelief is evocative of the similar treatment of Shall-come in Come, & Welcome, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 278, ll. 5 ff., and the allegorical characters of The Pilgrim's Progress.
p. 66, l. 20–1. Despair is the cause that there are so many that would fain be Atheists. Cf. G.A. § 244 (p. 76).
p. 67, l. 16. Jas. ii. 13.
p. 68, l. 30. at the Catch: to catch out in conversation. Cf. P.P., p. 81, l. 35: 'You lie at the catch, I perceive.'
p. 69, ll. 1–2. Rom. vi. 1.
p. 69, l. 5. to venture himself. See above, p. 62, l. 7.
p. 69, ll. 16–17. Acts xvi. 30–1.
p. 69, l. 33. by Wind and Tide. Cf. Tilley, W 429: 'For wisdome sailes with winde and tide.'
p. 70, ll. 14–15. Gal. vi. 7.
p. 70, l. 37. the Nature and Majesty of God. For Bunyan's understanding of the divine nature as wrath and grace, see Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 27–35.
p. 74, l. 35. jiggs: cheats, sportive tricks. O.E.D.
p. 75, l. 20. the rage and the roaring of this Lion. Cf. P.P., p. 242, ll. 3–15.
p. 75, l. 33. harp upon This string. Proverbial: W. G. Smith, The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, 2nd edn., rev. P. Harvey (Oxford, 1952), p. 280.
p. 76, l. 2. Maul. Cf. Greatness of the Soul, Oxford Bunyan, ix. 172, ll. 34–5: 'a mighty maul driveth down the Soul.'
p. 76, l. 6–7. the Gap out at which they should go. Cf. A Holy Life, Oxford Bunyan, ix. 303, l. 28. p. 77. ll. 1–3. See, e.g., G.A., §§ 86, 160, 168.
p. 77, l. 23. Graces. See above, p. 46, ll. 15–16.
p. 77, l. 29. let it lighten: let there be lightning.
p. 78, l. 20. Chyrurgion: surgeon. Hot oil was commonly poured on wounds well into the seventeenth century, notwithstanding the abandonment of the practice by Ambrose Paré in the preceding century. W. S. C. Copeman, Doctors and Disease in Tudor Times (1960), p. 153.
p. 79, ll. 19–20. Cf. Ps. xxxi. 19; 1 Pet. i. 4.
p. 80, l. 35. lay hands cross on this Text: reverse the meaning of this text.
p. 80, l. 37. Why not familiar with sinners?: i.e., why not be familiar with or friendly to sinners?
p. 81, ll. 4–7. Relieving the poor by doles of money and table scraps was a common form of charity, as well as a Christian duty. For the Puritan position, which required a Christian admonition in addition to alms, see Greaves, Society and Religion in Elizabethan England, pp. 558–62.
p. 81, l. 8. I am an inferiour Man. Cf. G. A. §2 (p. 5). 'For my descent then, it pg 222was … of a low and inconsiderable generation; my fathers house being of that rank that is meanest, and most despised of all the families in the Land.'
p. 81, l. 11. them that deserve it. Bunyan is probably referring to those Anglican clerics of some means who failed to practise charity.
p. 81, l. 14. carriage: deportment, behaviour.
p. 81, ll. 15–16. 1 Pet. ii. 22.
p. 82, ll. 9–10. a Doctrine that leads to Loosness, and that gives liberty to the Flesh. Bunyan carefully refutes the accusation of Antinomian licentiousness, which might accurately be applied to Ranters but not to Antinomians such as John Saltmarsh and Walter Cradock.
p. 82, l. 17. Titus ii. 14.
p. 82, ll. 25–6. 2 Tim. iii. 5.
p. 83, ll. 4–5. Acts xvi. 17.
p. 83, ll. 5–6. Cf. Acts xvi. 18.
p. 83, ll. 9–10. Ps. xciii. 5.
p. 83, l. 20. limited to time and day. This is 'the day of God's grace' (p. 84, ll. 11–12). Cf. Law and Grace, Oxford Bunyan, ii. 211, l. 35: 'But I am afraid the day of Grace is past.' See also G.A., § 66 (p. 22).
p. 85, l. 17. But I fear this day of Grace is past. Bunyan's response to this fear in the following paragraphs should be compared to his handling of the same problem in Law and Grace, Oxford Bunyan, ii. 211–13.
p. 86, ll. 3–4. Cf. Gen. vi. 3.
p. 86, l. 21. an Interpreter. Cf. P.P., pp. 28–37, 198–208.
p. 87, l. 20. Bowels. See above, p. 16, l. 35.
p. 87, l. 22. tast. Cf. the use of such sensory language in The Greatness of the Soul, Oxford Bunyan, ix. 148–51; also see pp. xxxv–xxxix of the Introduction to Vol. ix, and above, p. 77, ll. 26–8.
p. 87, l. 31. betaken … to thy heels. Proverbial: Tilley, H 394: 'To betake ones self to ones Heels, and run for't, when one should stand and fight.'
p. 87, l. 31–2. fly … from the wrath to come. Cf. Come, & Welcome, Oxford Bunyan, viii. 258, l. 11; 358, l.10. This was the message on the parchment roll given to the future pilgrim by the Evangelist (P.P., p. 10).
p. 88, ll. 14–15. John vi. 37. The theme of Bunyan's popular sermon, Come, & Welcome (Oxford Bunyan, viii).
p. 88, l. 25. election is, in order, before calling. This is the standard Calvinist position. See Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 51–6, 61–4.
p. 89, l. 7–8. these unseasonable and Soul-sinking doubts. Bunyan is writing from the experience of his own earlier doubts of election. See G.A., §§ 58 ff.
p. 89, l. 10. venturously leap. Bunyan is particularly fond of this metaphorical depiction of faith, with its emphasis on action. See above, p. 62, l. 7, and the corresponding note. Cf. Greaves, Bunyan, pp. 71–2.
p. 89, l. 24–5. Satan in this Order to march against thee. The military imagery is evocative of The Holy War.
p. 89, l. 28. the sin unpardonable. See above, p. 54, l. 10. Cf. Bunyan's response to the same fear in Law and Grace, Oxford Bunyan, ii. 201–10.
p. 90, l. 30. the everlasting Covenant: the covenant of grace, which Bunyan explains at length in Law and Grace (Oxford Bunyan, ii).
p. 91, ll. 18–23. 2 Pet. ii. 20–1.
p. 92, l. 7. a Witch. For the treatment of witches as masculine, see G.A., §§ 171, 307, and the corresponding notes.
p. 92, ll. 24–5. Acts iv. 12.