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i " Then ^ atd Charity to Christian , Hs >* e you a family ? Are ye * i a uaaiiried man ? " ** Chr . I have a ? yife and four small children . * " Char . And why did not you bring them along with you ? * ' Chr . Tfcen Christian wept , and said , Oh ! how wittingly would I have done it \ But they wre all of them utterly averse to my going on pilgrimage . < c Char . But you should have talked to them , and have endeavoured to shew them the danger of being left behind .
" Chr . So I did ; and told them also what God had shewn to me of the destruction of our city ; but I seemed to them as one that mocked , and they believed « ae not * " Char . And did you pray to God , that he would bless your counsel to them ?
" Chr . Yes , and that with much affection ; for you must think my wife and poor children were rery deaf unto me . " Char . But did you tell them of your own sorrow , and fear of destruction ? For I suppose that destruction was visible enough to you .
" Chr . Yes , over and over and over . They might also see my fears in my countenance , in my tears , and also in my trembling , under the apprehension of the judgment that did hang over our heads ; but all was not sufficient to prevail with them to come with me .
* ' Char . But what could they say for themselves , why they came not ? " Chr . Why , my wife was afraid of losing this world , and my children were given to the foolish delights of youth ; so what by one thing and what by another , they left me to wander in this manner alone /'
What was Christian to do } It would have been extreme folly , however great hk attachment , to remain and perish with them . The resolution he adopted , and in which he persisted , by no means justly exposes him to Mr . Dunlop ' s charge of selfishness and
hard-heartedness . As to there being " little or no display of charity , bene ^ licence , or even benevolence , " it should be remembered , that Christian was in humble life , and is presented by Mr . Bunyan as an example chiefly for those
who are placed by providence in that condition . He possessed not thp means of displaying : that beneficence which consists in supplying the worldly necessities of the indigent . On various occasions , however , he urged others to seek for that happiness which be was pursuing . , Surely there is some bene-
volence in thi * . When Obstinate and Pliaijle followed him with a view % & bring him back , he said all he could to prevail on them to go with hinv , that they might escape the evils which
threatened their native place , and be * come candidates for the glories of Mount Zion . On bis journey he sees three men fast asleep with fetters upon their heels , Simple , Sloth and
Presumption . Christian feels compassion for them , endeavours to awake them , and kindly offers to help them off with their irons . Yet our critic represents ** his struggles and exertions to be wholly selfish "
In the persecutions which befel Christian and Faithful in Vanity Fair , they are described as €€ patient , not rendering railing for railing , but , contrariwise , blessing , and giving good words for bad , and kindness for inju-, lies done . " Yet , ' * with the exception of faith and perseverance , Christian is a mere negative character without one gfcod quality to recommend him . " When he and his companion were invited by Deiuas to go a little out of the way to share in the productions of
a silver mine , Hopeful being disposed to make the trial , was prevented by Christian , who was awaxe of the danger of turning aside from the right path for worldly gain . Other instances
of thi $ Pilgrim ' s displaying virtues suitable to the name he bore , might be produced , * but these ate sufficient to shew the injustice of Mr . Dunlop ' s censure . The character of Christian .
as designed by the author , is that of a man in common life , sincerely engaged in a course of Christian faith and holiness , which he generally pursues , with benevolent wishes that others would 1 *>
persuaded to adopt the same means of providing for their peace and salvation . Subject , however * to the imperfection * and infirmities of human nature , and not entirely free from the habits he had formerly contracted , he is represented as chargeable with occasional deviations , which bring him into great dangers and perplexing difficulties . These convince him of his want of
watchfulness and caution , and induce him to retrace his steps to the right way , wherein he finall y persevere , till he haa obtained the object of his ardei > t exertions . Should you , Mr . Editor , deem these observations on the character of Chris-
The Character of Chr& 4 ia # 9 in Mmgm * , Pilgrim ' s Progress . 17
VOfc . XVI . D
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1821, page 17, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2496/page/17/