John Bunyan (1628-1688)The Preaching Tinker Who Wrote Pilgrim's Progress
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“Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love”
Biography of John Bunyan (1628-1688):
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was born at Elstow, England, about a mile from Bedford, and became one of the most influential authors of the seventeenth century. Few writers in history have left such a wealth of Christ-centered writings.
Bunyan’s moving conversion is recorded in his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. His first lasting conviction of sin was produced by a sermon denouncing the violation of the Lord’s Day by labor, sports, or otherwise–because his greatest enjoyment came from sports on the Lord’s Day. Some time later while passing through the streets of Bedford, Bunyan heard “three or four poor women” sitting at a door, “talking about the new birth, the work of God in their hearts, and the way by which they were convinced of their miserable state
by nature. They told how God had visited their souls with His love in Christ Jesus, and with what words and promises they had been refreshed, comforted, and supported against the temptations of the devil.” From these pious women Bunyan learned to despise sin and to hunger for the Savior. Later, while passing into the fields, he recounts, “This sentence fell upon my soul, ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven’…for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Then “his chains fell off,” and he went home rejoicing.
In 1655, Bunyan was baptized by immersion by Pastor John Gifford of Bedford and called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bunyan was arrested November 12, 1660, for preaching without the approval of the Anglican Church. He was charged with “teaching men to worship God contrary to the law” and was in jail more than twelve years.
His most well-known work, The Pilgrim’s Progress, was written while in the Bedford jail. During Bunyan’s lifetime there were 100,000 copies circulated in the British isles, besides several editions in North America. It has been continuously in print since its first printing. Bunyan’s remarkable imagery was firmly rooted in the Reformation doctrines of man’s fallen nature, grace, imputation, justification, and the atonement–all of which Bunyan had derived directly from Scripture.
The Collected Works of John Bunyan was carefully edited by George Offor, first published in 1853 and revised in 1862. These files are from the 1862 edition. “Mr. Offor gave himself as enthusiastically to the work of editing his favorite author” as any before him, and “with more complete success…He must always receive grateful mention among the lovers of Bunyan for the immense pains he bestowed upon his work.” — John Brown, 1885.
- A Few Sighs from Hell, or the Groans of a Damned Soul, 1658
- A Discourse Upon the Pharisee and the Publican, 1685
- A Holy Life
- Christ a Complete Saviour (The Intercession of Christ And Who Are Privileged in It), 1692
- Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, 1678
- Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, 1666
- Light for Them that Sit in Darkness
- Praying with the Spirit and with Understanding too, 1663
- Of Antichrist and His Ruin, 1692
- Reprobation Asserted, 1674
- Saved by Grace, 1675
- Seasonal Counsel or Suffering Saints in the Furnace – Advice to Persecuted Christians in Their Trials & Tribulations, 1684
- Solomon’s Temple Spiritualized
- Some Gospel Truths Opened, 1656
- The Acceptable Sacrifice
- The Desire of the Righteous Granted
- The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded, 1659
- The Doom and Downfall of the Fruitless Professor (Or The Barren Fig Tree), 1682
- The End of the World, The Resurrection of the Dead and Eternal Judgment, 1665
- The Fear of God – What it is, and what is it is not, 1679
- The Greatness of the Soul and Unspeakableness of its Loss Thereof, 1683
- The Heavenly Footman, 1698
- The Holy City or the New Jerusalem, 1665
- The Holy War – The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Man-soul (The Holy War Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus, for the Regaining of the World), 1682
- The Life and Death of Mr Badman, 1680
- The Pilgrim’s Progress, 1678
- The Strait Gate, Great Difficulty of Going to Heaven, 1676
- The Saint’s Knowledge of Christ’s Love, or The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, 1692
- The Water of Life or The Richness and Glory of the Gospel, 1688
- The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate, 1688
“When at the first I took my pen in hand
Thus for to write, I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode; nay, I had undertook
To make another; which, when almost done,
Before I was aware, I this begun.”