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THE

INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE.

JANUARY, 1844.

TO THE READERS OF THE INDEPENDENT.

On commencing a new series of the Independent, we take the opportunity of submitting a few remarks to our readers. They will permit us, however, in the first place, to congratulate them upon being spared to behold the light of eighteen-forty-four. May the future more than realize all the promise of the past in the increased intelligence, piety, and usefulness of those for whom we labour! What we have to advance, respects our own prospects and the service which may be rendered us during the present year.

We are called upon to be thankful on the review of the past. To those who will look over the index of our last volume, it will appear that we have touched upon a great variety of topics especially suited to the rising intelligence of the Independent denomination. Questions involving scripture principles of vital importance to the church of Christ; matters of history and biography illustrative of the working of those principles ; practical pieces tending to the formation of character and the promotion of piety; together with miscellaneous papers of an useful tendency—such are the varied contents of our last volume. We cannot but hope that some fruit will result from our humble endeavours.

We now request our subscribers to lend us their aid in the circulation of our periodical. Believing that we have their cheerful support, we invite them to cooperate with us in the

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diffusion of those principles which it is the especial object of our magazine to explain and enforce. We are not aware of the existence of any other magazine having precisely the same object as ours. Without, therefore, questioning the excellence of other periodicals suited to the young-such as the Youth's Magazine, the Sunday School Magazine, and others—we lay claim to the countenance of the young men and women of our denomination, on the ground that we have especially in view their instruction in matters affecting their own peculiar principles.

We hope during the present year to improve upon the past. While other periodicals seem to be competing with one another in the quantity of printed paper which they can furnish, we think we shall best serve our readers by endeavouring to lay before them as much varied and useful matter as possible. Will each of our readers do us the favour of trying at least, to obtain one subscriber more?

THE LIFE OF JOHN BUNYAN.

FOURTH PERIOD-OR HIS IMPRISONMENT. Although Bunyan was willing to go to prison rather than abjure preaching, he was not desirous of remaining there any longer than was needful. If he could obtain a release, he would thankfully accept it. He knew that he was imprisoned unjustly; he thought that he was imprisoned unlawfully. He did not think it beneath him, therefore, to sue for liberty by all proper means. Consequently, at the next assizes, held in August, 1661, he petitioned the judges that they would " impartially" take his case “ into consideration.” The party by whom his petition was presented was his wife-a noble-minded woman, whose name will

go down to posterity as one of the brightest ornaments of the sex.

She was his second wife, and her name Elizabeth. We know little of her ; but that little is sufficient to give us a correct view of her character. She appears before us for a brief space as the advocate of her husband, and then retires into obscurity. But this glimpse is sufficient to reveal what was in her, and we are quite satisfied. All the rest we can picture to ourselves. We feel assured that in other respects than those in which she comes before us, she was worthy of the name which she bore. At least, until we have proof to the contrary, we

shall indulge ourselves in this pleasant belief, and place her name amongst the female “worthies” of all time.

Three times Elizabeth Bunyan presented the petition of her imprisoned husband to the judges, before she could gain a hearing of his case. Dear woman-she was very anxious to get John back again to his own home. He was kind and loving; and she could not endure the thought of his passing day after day, night after night, in that damp prison. Then she had “ four small children,” and what but the presence of such a man as Bunyan could sustain her spirit with such a charge. We can picture to ourselves the homely scene in that dwelling of theirs : how pleasantly Bunyan would discourse to her about the work of God upon his soul-how soothingly he would speak to her amidst her family troubles—how gladly he would return from his preaching and pastoral labours to hold discourse with his confiding and loving wife. No wonder that she persevered in presenting petition after petition, and was determined if possible to obtain a hearing. We have already intimated that the justices of that day were not remarkable for their integrity or forbearance. The same máy be said of the judges. There was a ferocity in their demeanour toward the poor which is painful to reflect upon. A spirit of unfeeling harshness seemed to pervade all their judicial conduct. To cringe before the king and his ministers—to laugh at the vices of courtiers and join in their follies—prepared them admirably for the office of trying and sentencing with dispatch criminals of a lower rank. True, there was one exception to the rule. Judge Hale was a man of an altogether different stamp. Though seated with them on the bench, he partook not of their spirit.

His soul was like a star, and dwelt apart. There was much of “the milk of human kindness” in his heart; and he did all, perhaps, that he could in those times and in the peculiar circumstances of the case for poor Mrs. Bunyan. At least she would feel some little support in the sympathy with which he regarded her during the hearing of her case. But our readers shall judge for themselves. The pen of Bunyan has recorded the whole scene. Let our readers, of Mrs. Bunyan's sex, treasure up the memorial, and embalm it in their hearts. “WOMAN.-My lord, (directing herself to Judge Hale) I make diffusion of those principles which it is the especial object of our magazine to explain and enforce. We are not aware of the existence of any other magazine having precisely the same object as ours. Without, therefore, questioning the excellence of other periodicals suited to the young—such as the Youth's Magazine, the Sunday School Magazine, and others—we lay claim to the countenance of the young men and women of our denomination, on the ground that we have especially in view their instruction in matters affecting their own peculiar principles.

We hope during the present year to improve upon the past. While other periodicals seem to be competing with one another in the quantity of printed paper which they can furnish, we think we shall best serve our readers by endeavouring to lay before them as much varied and useful matter as possible. Will each of our readers do us the favour of trying at least, to obtain one subscriber more?

THE LIFE OF JOHN BUNYAN.

FOURTH PERIOD-OR HIS IMPRISONMENT. Although Bunyan was willing to go to prison rather than abjure preaching, he was not desirous of remaining there any longer than was needful. If he could obtain a release, he would thankfully accept it. He knew that he was imprisoned unjustly; he thought that he was imprisoned unlawfully. He did not think it beneath him, therefore, to sue for liberty by all proper means. Consequently, at the next assizes, held in August, 1661, he petitioned the judges that they would " impartially” take his case “ into consideration.” The party by whom his petition was presented was his wife-a noble-minded woman, whose name will

go down to posterity as one of the brightest ornaments of the sex.

She was his second wife, and her name Elizabeth. We know little of her ; but that little is sufficient to give us a correct view of her character. She appears before us for a brief space as the advocate of her husband, and then retires into obscurity. But this glimpse is sufficient to reveal what was in her, and we are quite satisfied. All the rest we can picture to ourselves. We feel assured that in other respects than those in which she comes before us, she was worthy of the name which she bore. At least, until we have proof to the contrary, we

shall indulge ourselves in this pleasant belief, and place her name amongst the female “worthies” of all time.

Three times Elizabeth Bunyan presented the petition of her imprisoned husband to the judges, before she could gain a hearing of his case. Dear woman-she was very anxious to get John back again to his own home. He was kind and loving; and she could not endure the thought of his passing day after day, night after night, in that damp prison. Then she had “ four small children,” and what but the presence of such a man as Bunyan could sustain her spirit with such a charge. We can picture to ourselves the homely scene in that dwelling of theirs : how pleasantly Bunyan would discourse to her about the work of God upon his soul-how soothingly he would speak to her amidst her family troubles—how gladly he would return from his preaching and pastoral labours to hold discourse with his confiding and loving wife. No wonder that she persevered in presenting petition after petition, and was determined if possible to obtain a hearing. We have already intimated that the justices of that day were not remarkable for their integrity or forbearance. The same may be said of the judges. There was a ferocity in their demeanour toward the poor which is painful to reflect upon. A spirit of unfeeling harshness seemed to pervade all their judicial conduct. To cringe before the king and his ministers—to laugh at the vices of courtiers and join in their follies--prepared them admirably for the office of trying and sentencing with dispatch criminals of a lower rank. True, there was one exception to the rule. Judge Hale was a man of an altogether different stamp. Though seated with them on the bench, he partook not of their spirit.

His soul was like a star, and dwelt apart. There was much of “the milk of human kindness" in his heart; and he did all, perhaps, that he could in those times and in the peculiar circumstances of the case for poor Mrs. Bunyan. At least she would feel some little support in the sympathy with which he regarded her during the hearing of her case. But our readers shall judge for themselves. The pen of Bunyan has recorded the whole scene. Let our readers, of Mrs. Bunyan's sex, treasure up the memorial, and embalm it in their hearts.

“WOMAN.—My lord, (directing herself to Judge Hale) I make

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