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numerals, and figures, as occasion required, to distinguish the various divisions. Headings to the various sections have also been introduced where Bunyan had not given them; and in some cases these have been likewise needful for the subdivisions: such insertions are always placed within brackets [ ]. These improvements, we trust, will greatly add to the pleasure and profit of every reader of these invaluable treatises. Our great object has been to secure accuracy of text; and to render that text more valuable to the general reader by the addition of select notes, especially to explain obsolete words, local idioms, or allusions to the customs of by-gone days. In some cases the reader's attention is directed by a short note, to the extraordinary beauties which richly abound; while important doctrines are illustrated and enforced by extracts from other parts of these Works, so as to render Bunyan his own interpreter. Every treatise has an Introduction, showing the peculiar circumstances under which it was written, its object, and the mode by which that object was sought to be attained.
In editing each of the treatises, much care was taken to extract every sentence that threw a light upon the life, times, contemporaries, and personal experience of the author, with the intention of making his Memoir as far as possible an autobiography. With respect to his solemn and most deeply-interesting spiritual life, this was the only source from whence information could be derived. When these extracts were arranged in chronological order, with the numerous references to which they led, they were carefully compared with every life which has been written of this extraordinary and popular man. Those that were written shortly after his decease contain much valuable information and interesting anecdotes, which, being confirmed by eye-witnesses, have been incorporated in the narrative Of necessity most of his modern biographers copy from those that went before. Much valuable information was obtained by visiting the scenes of his labours; and in doing this, as well as in searching registers—the church book—the materials collected by his admiring friends and followers, were opened for my inspection with as much courtesy and kindly feeling, as if the spirit of Bunyan had hovered about us—every hand was extended with cheerful alacrity and self-devotion of time, and the result is to the editor peculiarly gratifying.
The satisfaction of being able to unravel all the mystery that hung over Bunyan's release from prison, is very great. That he was solely indebted to the Quakers for it, there could be no reasonable doubt; but why that debauched monarch Charles II. took a fancy to these prim-moralists, the Quakers, was an insoluble problem, until the discovery of original letters in the archives at Devonshire House revealed the secret, and with all the bad qualities of that licentious King, proved that he possessed gratitude to the Quaker sailor who nobly saved his life. The character of Bunyan, when a young preacher, drawn by his pastor, 'holy John Gifford,' and many deeply-interesting circumstances, are published for the first time. While, connected with so eminent a disciple, much remains to be discovered, our difficulty has been to condense the Memoir into the smallest space, by referring the reader to the copies of State papers and other documents printed in the introduction to The Pilgrim'8 Progress, and other parts of the Works, and by abridging as much as possible all our extracts.
When Bunyan entered upon ministerial duties, it was with the deepest anxiety; in proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ, his first effort was to fix upon his hearers the all-important truth, 'Ye must be born again.' This soon led him into controversy, in which he made marvellous discoveries of the state of society in those eventful times. Strangely absurd errors were promulgated, to conquer which, all the mighty energies of Bunyan's mind, baptized into Scriptural truth, and hallowed by heavenly communion, were brought into active exercise. Limited in preaching to the few who were within the sound of his voice, and knowing that poisonous errors had extended throughout the kingdom, he sought the all-powerful aid of the press, and published several searching treatises before his imprisonment. Soon after this, he was called to suffer persecution as a Christian confessor, and then his voice was limited to the walls of his prison, excepting when, by the singular favour of his jailers, he was permitted to make stolen visits to his fellowChristians. From the den in this jail issued works which have embalmed his memory in the richest fragrance in the churches of Christ, not only in his native land, but in nearly all the kingdoms of the world. Thus was the folly of persecution demonstrated, while the mad wrath of man promoted the very object which it intended to destroy.
Bunyan's name is now as much identified with British literature as that of Milton, or of Shakespeare. Some ot his works, printed with patent ink, on vellum paper, with all the elegant illustrations and embellishments which art can devise, and in sumptuous bindings, adorn the library of our beloved Queen, and the drawing-rooms of her nobles; while millions of copies, in a cheaper form, supply every class of society, even to the humblest cottages Multitudes also, in other lands and other languages, feel the sanctifying and happy effects of reading these works, and imbibing their peaceful spirit; and we trust that to nations yet unborn these happy effects will be increasingly multiplied.
Bunyan knew nothing of the art of composing written language. He lived in the atmosphere of the Bible; and its beautiful simplicity of style, and fine old Saxonisms, with its perspicuous brevity, shine through all his writings. His simple and ardent devotion to his Master's glory, in the salvation of sinners, constrained him to write as he felt; while his fertile imagination, accurate eye, and musical ear, were natural, and very powerful aids to correct language. Still it is surprising that, without the advantages of education, he could write with such singular accuracy and power of expression.
However rich in instruction, and admirable in their tendency, Bunyan's writings were, they had to struggle with no ordinary difficulties. The doctrines of the gospel were not so popular then as in our happier age. Free and unfettered inquiries into Divine truth were not even tolerated until after the author's death. While the Act of Toleration permitted Christians to exist without persecution in this land of Bibles and of religion, it did not place them on terms of equality. Since that time the spirit of intolerance has been dying by particles, but is still strong in the human mind. These works had to struggle with those prejudices, and that enmity which at all times has opposed the progress of truth. In addition to many other general reasons that might be stated, which equally apply to the writings of all godly men, we have to add that Bunyan was a poor mechanic, a Dissenter, and of the Baptist denomination. Although he had come to so careful a decision upon this subject, that he firmly adhered through life to his opinions, yet he never obtruded upon the public his private views on non-essentials; so that in nearly all his works, water-baptism is swallowed up in his earnest desire to win souls to Christ. All his effort is, to fix attention upon that spiritual baptism which is essential to salvation, by which the soul passeth from death unto life, and from which springs good-will to man, and glory to God.
Of all the objections that have been made to Bunyan's works, the most absurd is, that he was poor and unlettered. To despise the poor is an impious reflection, upon Divine wisdom. It is true that great grace can keep the scholar humble, and bless his learning to the welfare of the church, but for the welfare of the world we want many Bunyans, and can manage with few Priestleys or Porsons.
Bunyan, although unlearned as to the arts and sciences of this world, was deeply versed in the mysteries of godliness, and the glories of the world to come. He was a most truthful, ingenious, persuasive, and invaluable writer upon the essentials of human happiness. To refuse his Scriptural instruction, because he was not versed in chemistry, mathematics, Greek, or Latin, would be to proclaim ourselves void of understanding.
We heartily pity those who, with pampered sickly appetites, feed only on vanity, which, however served up in dainty dishes, only fits the soul to become fuel for an eternal fire—an awful price to pay for such debasing gratifications. They have no part nor lot with those blessed ones who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and who buy the choicest treasures of eternity without money or price—the free gift of God, to which Bunyan's works constantly point, as the magnetic needle does to the pole. Throughout the whole of his treatises, beautiful and striking passages scintillate and sparkle like wellset diamonds; they are none borrowed, but all flow from his native genius.
Every sentiment is intimately connected with the most important truths, all pointing to one common centre, 'Christ the hope of glory'—all tending to fix the value of religion on the mind; and, aided by the Divine blessing, calculated to produce heavenly fruit to the spiritual and temporal happiness of the reader, and to the comfort of the church and of the world.
Never was there a period which so imperatively called forth these works as the present day. Mighty efforts are making to exalt the Man of Sin, and again to inthral this country in the satanic yoke ot Popery, or that of its dark, Ul-shapen brother Puseyism. Bunyan's book on that awful word Antichrist, is a home-thnist at the enemy; his work on The Greatness of the Soul excites the deepest interest in its indescribable value; his Few Sighs from Hell alarm the thoughtless, and fill the believer with adoring gratitude for his escape ; his treatise upon Baptism raises us above water, to that one baptism of the Holy Ghost which alone regenerates the soul. Every treatise, while it excites solemn and earnest inquiries after salvation, clearly defines the narrow path which leads to life, abounding with antidotes against despair, and with comfort to the feeble-minded; they contain milk for babes, and meat for men in Christ In Bunyan's writings there is no sectarian bias—Christ is all in all. He addresses the hearts of the whole family of heaven —old or young, rich or poor, learned or unlettered—leading all classes to be found 'looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.'
Every effort has been made to render this Edition useful and popular. It is true that the wealthy are not indulged with large margins and a small stream of letterpress; but they have a more ample source of gratification, in the reflection that this saving of expense brings valuable treasures within the reach of the poor, and more especially to students training for ministerial labours. Nor must we forget the many thousand pastors of churches, who, with their scanty means, will be able to avail themselves of works eminently calculated to render their labours more abundantly useful. No expense has been spared to render the pictorial illustrations worthy such an author. The portraits are from the only two originals known to have been taken from life. The painting by Sadler, and the beautiful and characteristic drawing and engraving by the celebrated R. White, in 1682, preserved in the British Museum. The wood-cuts printed with the original editions of his works are faithfully copied, together with scenes and relics connected with his life. The Index is entirely new, and was the result of great labour. Our hope is that this will prove itself a Standard Edition, and be extensively used wherever the English language is known;—that, by the Divine blessing, it may aid the imperceptible progress of that leaven of the gospel which must eventually bless with a benign influence 'all kindreds, and tongues, and nations that dwell upon the earth.'
We owe an ample apology to our Subscribers for having severely taxed their patience by the delay in finishing the Third Volume. The reasons have been our great anxiety to render these important Works as complete as possible—the necessity of visiting the scenes of Bunyan's labours, to do justice to so illustrious a man in the memoir of his experience, his sufferings, his amazing usefulness—and in compiling a comprehensive Index to his Works. A more gratifying duty is to thank our friends for their zealous aid and assistance. They are far too numerous to be named—they will have the pleasure of knowing that they contributed to raise a solid tribute of esteem to our great pilgrim forefather.
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
GRACE ABOUNDING TO THE CHIEF OF
Ahertisement by the Editor; Preface 1
Dilitatvm to hit Church 4
L BcMTAN's ACCOUNT 07 HIMSELF PREVIOUS TO HIS
Conversion—Mean rank; taught to read and write,
II. His Conversion And Painful Exercises Of Mind,
rnXYlGCS TO BIS JOINING TUB ClIURCII OF CHRIST AT
Bedford—Conviction fixed upon his spirit, by listen-
III. Attends The Ministry or Ms. Gifford, And BE-
IV. Account Of His Joining The Church At Bedford
V. Ila Call To The Ministry, And The Manner And
Binncrs might by that be converted ; avoided contro-
VI. A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE Authob's IMPRISONMENT
Apprehended when about to preach at Samsel;
Relation Of His Imprisonment, And Efforts Of His
Some carriages of the adversaries of God's truth with
Continuation Of Bunyan's Life, beginning where he
Buntak's Dtino Satikos—Of sin; of affliction ; repent-
BUNYAN'S PRISON MEDITATIONS; Directed
THE JERUSALEM SINNER SAVED ; or Good
Editorial Preface 07
Bunyan's Preface to the Reader C3
Bunyan's Own Analysis on Contents Of mis Book,
TnE Text Opened—The badness of Jerusalem unpar-
Doctrine—Jesus Christ would have mercy offered, in
The doctrine proved by many Scripture instances
to the biggest sinners 71
The Reasons Of The Point.—First. Because the