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A New Edition, with a Memoir and Notes,

PRINCIPALLY SELECTED FROM BUNYAN'S WORKS,

BY GEORGE OFFOR, Esq.

ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN GILBERT.

LONDON:

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & CO., FARRINGDON STREET,

AND BEEKMAN STREET, NEW YORK.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

Veneration for the memory of Bunyan has stimulated the Editor's most anxious care to make this edition a correct fac simile of what the Author himself published. Most of the notes are extracted from his other works, and throw a light upon those few passages which have proved difficult to young persons:The certificate which was to be carried beyond the grave to the gates of the celestial city-the meaning of the lions-the House Beautiful-the giants-the fight with Apollyon-passage through death's dark valley in the midst of the pilgrimage, and many other adventures easily understood by the experienced Christian. In the Notes the extracts are numbered in conformity with the only correct list of Bunyan's whole works arranged in chronological order as they were published. This list will be found on the last page of the Memoir. They amount to the amazing number of sixty distinct treatises, among which most admirable and useful productions, it would indeed be difficult to mark those which are the most striking. To render this invaluable book a blessing to the millions, by publishing it at a very moderate price, has necessarily much abridged the notes and the memoir. This humble effort to promote the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom is dedicated to the youthful inquirer after the wicket-gate and the celestial, their de devoted friend,

OTHER

GEORGE OFFOR.

MEMOIR OF JOHN BUNYAN.

I. HIS BIRTH, YOUTHFUL DEPRAVITY, AND MARRIAGE.

THE history of mankind does not furnish so remarkable a memoir as that of the prince of allegorists. From the most degraded state in the ranks of human nature, he was, by divine tuition, fitted to become an exalted minister of the gospel, a Christian hero, exhibiting that mighty conquest over sin and death by which the portals of life are opened to exquisite enjoyment and to an infinite and eternal extent. Born in deep poverty, left to run wild in demoralizing excesses, a ring-leader in vice, and a very curse to society; he was arrested by the stings of conscience, fixed and rankling in his heart. In vain were his efforts to smother his convictions, that he might rush on to perdition. The mighty hand of God was upon him, curbing his wild propensities, and converting the poor blasphemer into the energetic proclaimer of salvation, through the merits of the Redeemer. His whole career is beautifully portrayed by the Psalmist,-“ Ye have lien among the pots," discoloured by smoke and soot," Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove, covered with silver and her feathers with yellow gold." The bright and beautiful plumage of an eastern dove, glistening interchangeably as with polished silver and burnished gold.

The seventeenth century was a most eventful and important period. Every effort had been made to counteract the mighty efforts of the Reformation. Sunday sports and pastimes were commanded. In the midst of a struggle between the friends of Christianity and infidelity, Bunyan..was born, in 1628, and his birth-year was honoured with a signal victory gained over lawless violence by the passing of the bill of rights. The sum of that act was, that "No man shall be taxed without the consent of Parliament, nor be arrested, imprisoned, or exe cuted but by due course of law." Every attempt was made by the court to recover arbitrary power, to attain which, cruelties were perpetrated which rendered it still more odious. Laymen and clergymen renowned for learning and piety, for opposing the views of the court, had their ears cut off, noses slit, faces branded with red hot irons, publicly whipped on the naked body, every lash bringing away the flesh, and then imprisoned with such cruelties, that when released, they could neither see, hear, nor walk. These cruelties were followed by a desolating civil war, which overwhelmed the country with demoralization and debauchery.

To stem these torrents of iniquity, God was pleased to raise up an army of Christian worthies, of spotless life and energetic character. Two of these pos. sessed creative geniuses, the one a decided republican, whose sublime poem of Paradise Lost, has graced the literature of his country. The other as decided

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a royalist, whose Pilgrim's Progress has proved a most important blessing, not only to this nation, but to the whole world.

Bunyan was born in the village of Elstow, about a mile from Bedford, in a humi. ble cottage. Many attempts have been made to narrate the scenes of his remarkable life. Clergymen and dissenting ministers, laymen and a poet Laureat, even Roman Catholics and Puseyites, have united in bearing testimony to the holy tendency of his writings. All agree in bearing this evidence, that from his conversion, his spiritual baptism shed a sacred halo round all his actions.

Bunyan gives this account of his pedigree :-"My descent was of a low and inconsiderable generation; my father's house being of that rank that is meanest and most despised of all the families in the land," certainly a travelling tinker, probably a gipsy. "I am thine if thou be not ashamed to own me, because of my low and contemptible descent in the world." Ashamed of thee on account of thy poverty, thou delightful companion of our pilgrimage! Then must we be ashamed of that poor shepherd boy known throughout the world as the royal, the extatic Psalmist; and still more solemn thought, be ashamed of the despised son of a poor carpenter, who was God manifest in the flesh. "The poor Christian," said Bunyan," has something to answer them that reproach him for his ignoble pedigree. True, may that man say, I am taken out of the dunghill, but I fear God. This is the highest and most noble. He hath the honour, the life, and the glory that is lasting." His father is described as an honest, poor, labouring man, who, like Adam, unparadised, had all the world before him to get his bread in, and was very industrious and careful to maintain his family. In Bunyan's childhood he was, for a short period, sent to school, to learn reading, but evil associates made sad havoc with these unshapen attainments. He says, "To my shame, I

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confess, I did soon lose that little I learned, and that almost utterly. As for my own natural life, for the time that I was without God in the world, it was, indeed, according to the course of this world, and to the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. It was my delight to be taken captive by the devil at his will; being filled with all unrighteousness, that from a child I had but few equals, both for cursing, lying, and blaspheming the name of God."

During this period, his conscience was ill at ease; the clanking of Satan's chains, in which he was hurrying to destruction, distracted him. "The Lord, even in my childhood, did scare and affright me with fearful dreams, and did terrify me with dreadful visions. When these terrible dreams did leave me, I let loose the reins of my lusts, and delighted in all transgression against the law of God. I was the very ringleader of all the youths that kept me company into all manner of vice and ungodliness.

"When Mansoul trampled upon things divine,
And wallowed in filth as doth a swine,
Then I was there, and did rejoice to see
Diabolus and Mansoul so agree."

In the midst of all this violent depravity, the Holy Spirit began the work of regeneration in his soul-a peculiar, a solemn, yea, an awful work-to fit this poor debauched youth for purity of conduct-for communion with heaven-for wondrous usefulness as a Gospel minister-for patient endurance of suffer ings for righteousness' sake-for writing works which promise to be a blessing to the church in all ages-for passing the black river over which there is no bridge, to shine all bright and glorious in the firmament of heaven. "Wonders

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