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WHEREIN IS DISCOVERED THE MANNER OF HIS SETTING OUT, HIS DANGEROUS JOURNEY
AND SAFE ARRIVAL AT THE DESIRED COUNTRY.
'I have used similitudes.'-Hosca xii. 10.
LICENSED AND ENTERED ACCORDING TO ORDER.
London : Printed for Nath. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, 1678. Now faithfully republished with all the additions and corrections made by the Author to the time of his decease in
INTRODUCTION BY THE EDITOR.
LIFE A PILGRIBAGE THROUGH A STATE OF SPIRITUAL CON
SON FOR REFUSING TO VIOLATE HIS CONSCIENCE.
life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. Ge. xlvii. 9. David sang the statutes of the Lord in the
And after the FLICTS—THE PILGBUM'S PROGRESS' A GUIDE TO ALL house of his pilgrimage. Ps. cxix. 54. HEAVENWARD PILGRIMS—THE AUTHOR FURNISHED WITH lapse of ages, when the Volume of Inspiration was LEISURE TIME TO WRITE IT, BY BEING SHUT UP IN PRI- about to close, the Holy Spirit continued the simile
in the apostolic epistles, and confessed that they 'Art thou for something rare and profitable ?
were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.' Heb. xi. Wouldest thou see a truth within a fable?
As such we are exhorted, “I beseech you, as Art thou forgetful? Wouldest thou remember strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts.' From New Year's Day to the last of December? 1 Pe. ii. 11. «See then that ye walk circumspectly.' Ep. Then read my fancies, they will stick like burs.'
v. 15. “So run, that ye may obtain.' 1 Co. ix. 24. These Bunyan's Apology for his Book.
are instructions that reach the heart of every ChrisThe pilgrimage of life is a deeply-interesting subject, tian convert throughout the world; all are warned of coextensive with human nature; every individual the necessity of sobriety and vigilant watchfulness, of our race is upon pilgrimage, from the cradle to because your adversary, the devil
, as a roaring the grave. It is the progress of the soul through lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' time to enter upon a boundless eternity; beset on all 1 Pe. v. 8. “He shall cast some of you into prison, that sides, at every avenue, and at every moment, with ye may be tried; be thou faithful unto death, and spiritual foes of the deepest subtilty, journeying I will give thee a crown of life.' Re. ii. 10. from the commencement to the close of the course All mankind are pilgrims; all are pressing through an enemy's country, uncertain of the term through this world: the Christian willingly conof existence, certain only that it must terminate i siders that his life is a journey, because he is scekand usher us into an eternal state, either of exquisite ing a better country; but the greater multitude happiness, or awful misery. How natural that are anxious to prevent the recollection, that time is every man's life should be called by its proper a preparation for eternity, and, in consequence of name—a pilgrimage.
this neglect, they shudder when approaching the The patriarch felt this when he bowed before brink of the grave, into which they are irresistibly Pharaoh, and said, “The days of the years of my plunged. Although perpetual examples warn thein pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and that suddenly, at a moment when they least expect evil have the days of the years of my life been, and the fatal catastrophe, it may befall them, still
, as have not attained unto the days of the years of the if infatuated, they make no inquiry of the Joly VOL. III.
Oracles as to how they can escape the second death; Oriental, Greek, or Latin literature, of such an but take the miserable counsel of some 'worldly attempt. The honour of producing this extraorwise man,' and seek a refuge in lies, which death dinary work, in a surprising degree of perfection, will terribly sweep away; or they wholly neglect was reserved to a later age, and was conferred upon
, any preparation for so important and certain, if an Englishman; a man, as to human learning, unnot sudden, an event. All are on the advance; ! lettered, but deeply learned in the school of Christ, time hurries on those whose pilgrimage is limited and profoundly skilled in all the subtleties of the to the foul, but fascinating streets of this city of human heart; upon a man connected with a denodestruction,' to their eternal doom; while those mination eminent for love of Christian liberty, and whose anxious cries lead them to the Christian for hazardous, but resolute obedience and concalling, press on in the narrow and difficult path formity to every institute which they found in the that leads to the heavenly Jerusalern.
New Testament; and therefore everywhere spoken To condense the instructions given to the pilgrim against, and bitterly persecuted. in the Inspired Writings into a map of the road, a This important work was destined to be accomguide or hand-book to the celestial city, a help to plished by a preaching mechanic, not vainly or Zion's travellers, and a faithful warning to the falsely claiming, but really possessing the true votaries who crowd the broad road to ruin, was a evidence of apostolic descent in spirit and in truth, labour of love for its vast importance, worthy of as his works and afflictions fully proved; to a man, the highest powers of human intellect, the warmest while suffering under the tyranny of Antichrist, Christian philanthropy. It is surprising that a whose judges and officers shut him up to languish work which so naturally suggests itself to the in a noisome prison for twelve years and a half of imagination, and which is of such universal interest, the prime of his life; thus vainly attempting to was delaved so long. The abstruse dreams of bend his free, his heaven-born spirit, to submit, Jewish rabbies, the splendid figures and scenery or pretend to submit, to what he considered to be that floated before the minds of Oriental and Greek popish and unchristian forms and ceremonies, and sages, and the intense subtlety of the schoolmen of to compel him to conform to the church established the Middle Ages, were intended for a very limited by law; having at its head, at that time, the most class, excluding all but those who were their imme- debauched monarch in Europe. diate disciples; and all their instructions having a He was apprehended while conducting the public direct tendency to lead them from the highway of worship of God, and sent to prison in Bedford jail. happiness, to wander in the mazes of a senseless The indictment preferred against him was, “That sophistry, or, to use the apostle's words, spoil | John Bunyan, of the town of Bedford, labourer, them through philosophy and vain deceit.' It was hath devilishly and perniciously abstained from a work that could only be prepared by an expanded coming to church to hear Divine service, and is a soul, above all sectarian bias, by one who could, common upholder of several unlawful meetings and with unbounded charity, embrace all nations, all conventicles, to the great disturbance and distractongues, and every people, as brethren in the vast tion of the good subjects of this kingdom, contrary dominions of his God; by one who felt that human to the laws of our sovereign lord the King.' To happiness would not be perfect until this universe which he pleaded, We have had many meetings became the kingdom of his Christ. Such a hal together, both to pray to God, and to exhort one lowed and sanctified mind alone could furnish his another; and that we had the sweet comforting fellow-sinners with an epitome of the way to the presence of the Lord among us for our encouragecelestial city, equally acceptable to Christians of ment; blessed be his name therefor! I confess all denominations.
myself guilty no otherwise.' No witnesses were To write for the instruction of the whole family examined, but a plea of guilty was recorded; and of man, is not the province of a bigoted sectarian, his sentence was, “You must be had back again to whose visions of happiness extend no further than prison, and lie there for three months following ; to embrace his own immediate disciples. Had and, at the three months' end, if you do not subancient sages, or more modern schoolmen, felt their mit, and go to church to hear Divine service, and brotherhood to the whole human race, knowing that leave your preaching, you must be banished the every individual, of all sects or parties, is fulfilling realm; and if, after such a day as shall be aphis pilgrimage through the short space of time pointed you to be gone, you shall be found in this allotted to fit him for an unbounded eternity, realm, you must stretch by the neck for it, I tell surely some of the great and illustrious philosophers you plainly; and so he [the justice] bid the jailer of bygone ages would have attempted to complete have him away.” an allegory, the outline of which had been given This was soon after the restoration of Charles II., in the earliest of records—the Holy Oracles. No trace, however, has as yet bcen found in Hebrew, Bunyan's own account of his imprisonnent, vol. i. pp. 56. 57.
when a persecuting hierarchy having been re-in-the Christian inhabitants of Bedford trembled under stated in power, revived obsolete and tyrannical the thought, that his wretched end was one of the laws. The mechanic, or fisherman, shall not just judgments of God upon persecutors. We preach or teach, was the sullen, stern voice of must be, however, very careful in such conclusions. despotic authority. But, at the imminent risk of Every solemn event, in Divine providence, is not transportation, and even of death, the pious and to be considered a judgment upon those who have highly-talented mechanic, John Bunyan, perse- offended God. Thus, when Charles II, said to vered in instructing the peasantry who came within Milton, “Your loss of sight is a judgment of God the reach of his voice. He was for this, and for upon you for your sins committed against my not attending his parish church, seized and sent to father;' the intrepid poet dared to answer, • Does Bedford jail; and, by the overruling power of his your Majesty judge so? then how much greater God, the means that were thus used to prevent his must have been the sins of your royal father, seeing voice from being heard by a few poor labourers, that I have only lost my sight, while he lost his opened to this persecuted disciple of Christ the eyes, and head, and all ! path to honour, as well as to lasting and most Notwithstanding that Bunyan fully anticipated extensive usefulness,
an ignominious death, his days were spent as hapDragged from the arms of his affectionate wife, pily as the prison discipline would permit. Working who was brought to death's door by painful appre- to provide for his family-studying his Bible-inhensions that his life would be sacrificed; bereaved structing his fellow-prisoners--and writing on the of the company of his children, and of personal most important subjects—must have fully occupied communion with the little flock of Christ to which every moment of his time. And it was HERE, in he ministered, this holiest, most harmless, and this Den, that his vivid imagination conceived, and useful of men was incarcerated in a jail, with felons his pen wrote this wondrous Pilgrimage, under the and the most degraded characters. But 'surely similitude of a dream. And when it was published the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder to the world, he by it preached, and is now preachof wrath shalt thou restrain,' O Lord. Ps. lxxvi. 10. ing, not merely to a few villagers in the neighbour Here he finds a resting place, with leisure time to hood of Bedford, but is making known the glad write his far-famed allegory; here, having com- tidings of salvation, the way
from the mended his bereaved wife and infant family to the city of destruction, the pilgrim's path to heaven, to protection of the King of kings, even in that millions of every clime. DEN, with a conscience void of offence, and full of Thus do the emissaries of Satan ever overreach spiritual peace, he tranquilly reposed, waiting with themselves. So it was when the Bishop of London resignation the will of his heavenly Father. How paid a large price for a few score of English New strange a dwelling for one so highly honoured of Testaments, to burn them. The money that God! how unearthly a mode of fitting him for his Tyndale received from Tonstall enabled him to glorious destination, to shine as a star in the publish a new and superior edition, corrected in heavenly firmament, and to occupy a mansion in the translation, and which was extensively circu
+ glory! He who thinks that happiness, or holiness, lated. Some of these remain to this day,' a or true honour, is to be measured by temporal monument to the faithfulness, the piety, and the grandeur, makes a false estimate, and knows little talent of the translator, and to the folly of perseof the ways of God.
cution. It led Tyndale to sing*These walls and bars cannot a prison make,
• The dc ish imps did strive to have
For the Holy Book a burning grave,
But all their travail was in vain,
God multiplied it quick again.
The pope and devil are scared and wondered, The poor persecuted Christian was free from Their gold burns one, but makes a hundred.'4 that mental wretchedness which cankered the souls
uls. The world would probably have heard but little of his persecutors; one of these, named Fecken- of John Bunyan—he might, with thousands of ham, whose violent conduct will be presently seen, similar valuable characters, have remained comdied miserably while Bunyan was in prison;' and paratively unknown—had not the natural enmity
of the human heart to the simple, but Divine truths ? From a poem by Stephen Colledge, a preaching mechanic, written a few days before he suffered death, August 1681. 3 A fine perfect copy is in the Editor's library.
? He was called, in Bedford, the grand informer. Such On an ancient painting of Tyndale, the martyr, in poswere the indignant feelings of his neighbours, that his widow session of the Editor. Under an emblematical device, on one was unable to hire a hearse, bat took his body in a cart to the side of the portrait, is the poetical description. The represengrave. See Narrative of Proceedings against the Noncon- tation is of a book tied to a stake, buruing, while a number formists at Bedford, 4to, 1670, in the Editor's possession. of similar books are flying out of the fire.
of Christianity, excited wicked men to acts of per- violence, filling their course with the tears of the secution, Crafty and designing priests, under the virtuous, and the oaths of the profane. pretence of the sole cure of souls, engrossed the The Puritans, by their simple habits of life, had patronage of the state, enjoyed exalted dignities secured many comforts, which excited the thirst among their fellow-men, and appropriated to them- of plunder, and the enemies of Divine truth enselves immense wealth. To preserve this worldly tered with alacrity upon the work of wholesale eminence, they sought to stay the onward improve- persecution and spoliation. Among the first of ment of the human mind, and the progress of those upon whom the hand of tyranny fell, was Divine truth. To effect this object, they resorted John Bunyan, a man who had determined, at all to an old plan which had been often tried, and had costs, to maintain his integrity. With the most as often eminently failed. It was the obsolete inflexible devotion to his Saviour, he preferred system of tyranny similar to that which cast the death to hypocrisy, and would submit to no comthree Hebrew youths into the fiery furnace, Daniel promise with the enemies of his soul's happiness into the den of lions, and had martyred thousands ind salvation. In the face of most imminent of God's saints—a system opposed not only to reason danger, he dared not pretend to believe that the and common sense, but to the operations of God in priest could, by any ceremony, convert an infant nature. It was to compel uniformity in modes of into a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingworship, and matters of faith; to bind the spirit in dom of heaven; or that one poor feeble, sinful man fetters, and to prevent those personal inquiries into bad power to forgive the sins of his fellow-transreligion which are so strictly enjoined in the Word
gressor. He dared not conform to ceremonies of God. The mode of a sinner's access and ap- which were not commanded in Holy Writ. He proach to the throne of Divine grace, was limited could not unite with a system which, in his conto the same dull round of forms and ceremonies science, he believed to be directly and essentially under all circumstances; in fine, it demanded the opposed to Christianity; inasmuch as it prevented entire prostration of the immortal mind before the free inguiry, and usurped the throne of God, in claim of priesteraft to infallibility. Such a sys- wickedly attempting, by coercive laws, to regulate tem required the support of violence and tyranny. or direct the mode in which the soul shall publicly Therefore it was enacted by law, that all should worship the God of salvation. Bunyan refused constantly attend the parish church, and go through obedience to laws that interfered with the sacred the prescribed service, upon pain of fine, imprison- rights of conscience. His free immortal spirit was ment, transportation, or death. If any benevolent not to be confined by articles, creeds, and confesperson, not connected with the sect of religion sions made by fallible mortals. Ile persevered taken into partnership with the state, was detected in his pious benevolent course, and the tyrant in visiting and praying with the sick, teaching the immured him in a prison. Here his God most ignorant the way to heaven, comforting the dis- eminently honoured and blessed him, and, by his tressed conscience, or converting sinners to holiness, providence and grace, consecrated him to be a he was doomed to imprisonment, that such useful guide and companion to Christian pilgrims of labours might be stopped.
every country, and every age, while on their way By this time, the Bible, which for ages had been from the city of destruction to their celestial and concealed, was widely circulated among the people; eternal habitation in glory. education had spread abroad the means of examining those sacred pages; while a holy ministry, under the Commonwealth, had extensively sown
CHAPTER II. the seeds of life. Many felt the powers of the world to come; hundreds of thousands had been the ‘PILGRIM'S PROGRESS' WRITTEN IN PRISON—DIFFICULtaught the Assembly's Catechism, and had sanctioned the Confession of Faith; while upwards of The most important events have arisen out of twenty thousand had become united in Baptist circumstances very different to what reason coulů churches. Multitudes of godly men and women, have expected. The great Lawgiver of Israel of all denominations, were proving the sincerity was a poor foundling. The Redeemer of the world and truth of their Christain profession by their was born in a stable. The sublime Revelations of harmless, benevolent, and pious conduct. The John were written by an exile in a penal settledeath of Oliver Cromwell let loose those ambitious ment. The universal guide to Christian pilgrims and licentious spirits, which had been for some was the unaided work of an unlettered mechanic, years kept under severe restraint. It opened the while a prisoner for conscience sake. So unsearchway for the restoration of the old system of ex- able are the ways of God: travagance, tyranny, and iniquity. Like streams
• Behind a frowning providence long pent up, they now rolled on with resistless
He hides a smiling face.'
TIES THROWN IN THE WAY OF ITS PUBLICATION.
"Out of the eater came forth meat.' Jn. xiv. 14. The no.' But before he could enter upon this import. wrath of man shall praise thee,' 0 God! How ant inquiry, the constable approached, produced wretched is the state of those persecutors who, like his warrant, and put his hand upon
person. Satan, are found fighting against the Almighty! To Bunyan looked at him ; the man turned pale, withprevent the pious and talented John Bunyan from drew his hand, and trembled; it was the first vicdoing good, state religion shut him up in a noisome tim that he had arrested under those wicked laws. jail; and how remarkably was it overruled for the After a few words of counsel and encouragement attainment of the very object they intended to pre- to the people, he surrendered himself to the officer; vent! What fearful odds—the power of the state, and upon his refusal to leave off preaching, the juspriests and justices, armed with Acts of Parliament, tice committed him to Bedford jail, where he lay, to compel uniformity in faith and practice, are linked under a cruel sentence, for nearly thirteen years. together to crush a poor tinker! he preaches the We may easily imagine the alarm and misery glad tidings of salvation to a few poor trembling felt by his affectionate wife and his four children, sinners; they are converted; from being pests to one of whom was blind, and the whole community society, they become valuable and useful citizens; of dissenters in that part of the country. Antiit is effected in a barn—the pomp and ceremonies christ appeared to triumph. It is very probable
a and vestments used in a consecrated building are that his fellow-worshippers would humble themset at nought. The kingdom of Christ increased, selves before God, and, with broken hearts, inquire with all its blessed effects, without the aid of a what peculiar crimes they had been guilty of to learned education. God must be prevented from call forth this severe chastisement. They might thus going with, and blessing his devoted and call to remembrance the language of David, • Thy humble scrvant, in a way so contrary to Acts of judgments are a great deep;' and be comforted Parliament and human pride; the justices meet with his following words, “ O Lord, thou preservest they warn their destined prey, and endeavour to man.' Who could have imagined that the jail cajole him into obedience and spiritual slavery; he was to be his study, his Bethel, and the means of saw their hostile array, he knew their extensive his preaching to millions of his fellow-sinners, in powers—to imprison, transport, put to an igno- all ages and languages! O the depth of the minious death. What could a poor tinker do riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! under such alarming circumstances? He had a How unsearchable are his judgments, and his refuge and a friend that they saw not, knew not. ways past finding out !' lle took counsel with his God, and, while in the In possession of a strong bodily frame, and of path of duty, felt that he had a wall of fire round that robust health which arises from incessant about him, that all things must work together for activity in the open air ; travelling about the good. He went calmly on his way. The warrant country to obtain means of support to his fanıily was issued by Justice Wingate, a name known only by his labours, and exerting himself on the day of for this deed of iniquity. It was the first attempt rest by proclaiming in the villages the glad tidings in that county at persecution. The place at which of salvation ; from a state of incessant activity, he the meeting was held is called Samsell.
was suddenly incarcerated in a jail, situated on a warned by the enemies of truth, in the hopes that bridge, and over the centre of the river; the small he would fly, and that they might triumph. The damp dens being on a level with the water. Had posse comitatus was raised, and the liers-in-wait he been sent there for crime, it might have rapidly • kept a very strong watch about the house;' affected his health and spirits; but he was called his timid friends begged of him to fly; he walked to suffer, that the cause of truth might be honinto a close, to hold communion with his God; he oured, and the God of truth was with him to prewent into the meeting with his spiritual strength serve his health, and to comfort and support his renewed. When requested by his poor friends, mind with those supplies of happiness to which the who were alarmed for his safety, not to hold the world is a stranger, and which it can neither give meeting, he said, “I will not stir, neither will I nor take away.” have the meeting dismissed for this. Come, be of good cheer, let us not be daunted; our cause is
See Preface to his ‘Confession of Faith,' vol. ii. p. 593. good, we need not be ashamed of it.' He com- 2 The bank of this river, Ouse, had been famous for the magmenced the service with prayer, during which he nificent mausoleum of Offa, king of the Mercians, one of the was not interrupted. He named his text: Dost illustrious murderers and robbers of his time, from whom the
Editor's family, in their foolish vanity, claim descent; but this, thou believe on the Son of God ?' Jn. ix. 35; in- as Camden says, “a more violent and swifter stream than orditending to show the absolute need of faith in nary in a flood swouped clean away.' Upon the bridge being Jesus Christ, and that it was also a thing of the erected, a pier was raised from the river to support the two
centre arches; and in this pier was Bunyan's gloomy prison. highest concern for men to inquire into, and This dark place, a fit habitation for cruelty, has also been swept to ask their own hearts whether they had it or away. The eye of John Howard, in 1788, penetrated into