Bunyan Characters (1st Series) by Alexander Whyte

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Bunyan Characters, by Alexander Whyte

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: Bunyan Characters
First Series

Author: Alexander Whyte

Release Date: April 13, 2005 [eBook #1885]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1893 Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier edition by David
Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk



'The express image' [Gr. 'the character'].--Heb. 1. 3.

The word 'character' occurs only once in the New Testament, and that is
in the passage in the prologue of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the
original word is translated 'express image' in our version. Our Lord is
the Express Image of the Invisible Father. No man hath seen God at any
time. The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath
declared Him. The Father hath sealed His divine image upon His Son, so
that he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father. The Son is thus the
Father's character stamped upon and set forth in human nature. The Word
was made flesh. This is the highest and best use to which our so
expressive word 'character' has ever been put, and the use to which it is
put when we speak of Bunyan's Characters partakes of the same high sense
and usage. For it is of the outstanding good or evil in a man that we
think when we speak of his character. It is really either of his
likeness or unlikeness to Jesus Christ we speak, and then, through Him,
his likeness or unlikeness to God Himself. And thus it is that the
adjective 'moral' usually accompanies our word 'character'--moral or
immoral. A man's character does not have its seat or source in his body;
character is not a physical thing: not even in his mind; it is not an
intellectual thing. Character comes up out of the will and out of the
heart. There are more good minds, as we say, in the world than there are
good hearts. There are more clever people than good people;
character,--high, spotless, saintly character,--is a far rarer thing in
this world than talent or even genius. Character is an infinitely better
thing than either of these, and it is of corresponding rarity. And yet
so true is it that the world loves its own, that all men worship talent,
and even bodily strength and bodily beauty, while only one here and one
there either understands or values or pursues moral character, though it
is the strength and the beauty and the sweetness of the soul.

We naturally turn to Bishop Butler when we think of moral character.
Butler is an author who has drawn no characters of his own. Butler's
genius was not creative like Shakespeare's or Bunyan's. Butler had not
that splendid imagination which those two masters in character-painting
possessed, but he had very great gifts of his own, and he has done us
very great service by means of his gifts. Bishop Butler has helped many
men in the intelligent formation of their character, and what higher
praise could be given to any author? Butler will lie on our table all
winter beside Bunyan; the bishop beside the tinker, the philosopher
beside the poet, the moralist beside the evangelical minister.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 2nd Jun 2023, 21:03