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TO THE

CHIEF

OF

SINNERS:

OR,

A Brief and Faithful Relation of the exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to His poor Servant

JOHN BUNYAN.

NAMELY,

In his Taking of him out of the Dunghil, and
Converting of him to the Faith of his
Blessed Son, Jesus Christ.

HERE

Is also particularly shewed, what Sight of, and what Trouble he had for Sin; and also, what various Temptations he hath met with, and how God hath carried him through them.

Corrected, and much Enlarged now by the
Author, for the Benefit of the Tempted
and Dejected Christian.

The Sixth Edition, Corrected.

Come and bear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what
he hath done for my soul, Psal. 66. 16.

LONDON, Printed for Nath. Ponder, at the Pea-cock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks-Market, 1688.

A

PREFACE:

OR,

Brief Account

OF THE

PUBLISHING this WORK.

WRITTEN

By the Author thereof, and dedicated to those whom God hath counted him worthy to

C

beget to Faith, by his Ministry in the Word.

Hildren, Grace be with you, Amen. I being taken from you in presence, and so tied up, that I cannot perform that duty, that from God doth lie upon me, to you-ward, for your further edifying and building up in Faith and Holiness, &c. yet that you may see my Soul hath fatherly care and desire after your spiritual and everlasting welfare, I now once again, as before from the top of Shenir and Hermon, so now from the Lions Dens, and from the Mountains of the Leopards (Song 4. 8.) do look yet after you all, greatly longing to see your safe Arrival into THE desired Haven.

I thank God upon every Remembrance of you, and rejoice even while I stick between the Teeth of the Lions in the Wilderness, at the Grace, and Mercy, and Knowledge of Christ our Saviour,

which God hath bestowed upon you, with abundance of Faith and Love. Your Hungrings and Thirstings also after further Acquaintance with the Father, in his Son; your Tenderness of Heart, your Trembling at Sin, your sober and holy Deportment also before both God and Men, is great Refreshment to me; for you are my Glory and Joy, 1 Thes. 2. 20.

I have sent you here inclosed, a drop of that Honey that I have taken out of the Carcase of a Lion, Judg. 14. 5, 6, 7, 8. I have eaten thereof my self also, and am much refreshed thereby. (Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the Lion that roared upon Sampson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them, we shall find a Nest of Honey within them.) The Philistines understand me not. It is something a Relation of the Work of God upon my Soul, even from the very first, till now; wherein you may perceive my Castings down, and Risings up; for he woundeth, and his hands make whole. It is written in the Scripture, Isa. 38, 19. The father to the children shall make known the truth of God. Yea, it was for this Reason I lay so long at Sinai, (Lev. 4. 10, 11.) to see the Fire, and the Cloud, and the Darkness, that I might fear the Lord all the days of my Life upon Earth, and tell of his wondrous Works to my Children, Psal. 78. 3, 4, 5.

Moses, Numb. 33. I, 2. writ of the Journeyings of the Children of Israel, from Egypt, to the Land of Canaan; and commanded also, that they did remember their forty Years Travel in the Wilderness: Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the Wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, and to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no, Deut. 8. 2, 3. Wherefore this I have endeavoured to do; and not only so, but to publish it also; that, if God will, others may be put in remembrance of what he hath done for their Souls, by reading his Work upon me.

It is profitable for Christians to be often calling to mind the very Beginnings of Grace with their Souls. It is a night to be much observed to the Lord, for bringing them out from the Land of Egypt. This is that Night of the Lord, to be observed of all the Children of Israel, in their Generations, Exod. 12. 42. My God, saith David, Psal. 42. 6. My Soul is cast down within me; but I will remember thee from the Land of

Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the Hill Mizar. He remembred also the Lion and the Bear, when he went to fight with the Giant of Gath, 1 Sam. 17. 36, 37.

It was Paul's accustomed manner, Act. 22. and that, when tried for his Life, Act. 24. even to open before his Judges the manner of his Conversion: He would think of that Day, and that Hour, in which he first did meet with Grace; for he found it supported him. When God had brought the Children of Israel out of the Red-Sea, far into the Wilderness; yet they must turn quite about thither again, to remember the drowning of their Enemies there, Numb. 14. 25. for though they sang his Praise before, yet they soon forgat his Works, Psal. 106. 11, 12.

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In this Discourse of mine, you may see much; much, I say, of the Grace of God towards me: I thank God, I can count it much; for it was above my Sins, and Satan's Temptations too. I can remember my Fears, and Doubts, and sad Months with comfort; they are as the head of Goliah in my Hand: There was nothing to David like Goliah's Sword, even that Sword that should have been sheathed in his Bowels; for the very sight and remembrance of that did preach forth God's Deliverance to him. Oh, the Remembrance of my great Sins, of my great Temptations, and of my great Fears of perishing for ever! They bring fresh into my Mind the Remembrance of my great Help, my great Support from Heaven, and the great Grace that God extended to such a Wretch as I.

My dear Children, call to mind the former Days, and Years of ancient Times: Remember also your Songs in the Night, and commune with your own Hearts, Psal. 73. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Yea, look diligently, and leave no Corner therein unsearched; for that is Treasure hid, even the Treasure of your first and second Experience of the Grace of God toward you. Remember, I say, the Word that first laid hold upon you: Remember your Terrors of Conscience, and Fear of Death and Hell: Remember also your Tears and Prayers to God; yea, how you sighed under every Hedge of Mercy. Have you never an Hill Mizar to remember? Have you forgot the Close, the Milk-house, the Stable, the Barn, and the like, where God did visit your Souls? Remember also the Word; the Word, I say, upon which the Lord hath caused you to hope: If you have sinned against Light, if you are tempted to blaspheme, if you are down in Despair, if you think God fights

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