It’s Free Friday and today’s free download, usually $4.95, is An Exposition on the First Ten Chapters of Genesis by John Bunyan. Click here to download.
The Apostle saith, That “to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1Co 8:6). “God that made the world” (Ac 17:24). “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Joh 1:3). This world therefore had a beginning, and was created by the God of heaven. Which work, because it is wonderful, and discovereth much of the greatness, of the wisdom and power of the eternal Godhead, it behoveth such poor mortals as we to behold these works of the mighty God, that thereby we may see how great he is, and be made to cry out, What is man! (Ps 8:3, 4)
Now in the creation of the world we may consider several things; as, What was the order of God in this work? And, whether there was a secret or mystery in this work containing the truth of some higher thing?
This unfinished commentary was found among the author’s papers after his death in his own handwriting. It was originally published in 1691, by Charles Doe, in a folio volume of the works of John Bunyan.
This exposition is evidently the result of long and earnest study of the Holy Scriptures. It is the history of the creation and of the flood explained and spiritualized, and had it been originally published in that form and under a proper title, it would most probably have become a very popular work. The author’s qualifications for writing this commentary were exclusively limited to his knowledge of holy writings.
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was born at Elstow, near Bedford, in 1628. After his mother’s death in 1644, he enlisted in the army; probably on the side of the Parliament, but as to this there is no direct evidence. In 1646, the army was disbanded; but before that Bunyan had passed through an experience which left a lasting mark on him. “When I was a soldier,” he says, “I with others were drawn out to go to such a place to besiege it; but when I was just ready to go one of the company desired to go in my room, to which when I had consented, he took my place; and coming to the siege, as he stood sentinel he was shot into the head with a musket bullet and died.”
In 1653, he joined Mr. Gifford’s church in Bedford, which then worshiped in St. John’s Church, and a year or two later he went to live in that town. He began about this time to preach, and so great was his success that he was set apart more especially for this work. At the Restoration (1660), the pastor of Bunyan’s church was dead, and their building was taken from them and given back to the Established Church. On November 12, 1660, Bunyan was arrested for unlicensed preaching; and being again arrested in 1661, and refusing to abstain, he was kept in prison with only one short interval until 1672, when he was released at the Declaration of Indulgence. He spent his time in making many hundred gross of long tagg’d laces’, and possibly in other work of the kind. He also preached, and now and again was allowed to go out and attend the meeting of his church, which meet in different houses as best it could. Bunyan wrote and published several books of meditations while in prison; one of which was the most remarkable auto biographies ever written, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. (1666)
Of all Bunyan’s books, only two are still commonly read, and these will be read as long as the memory of England survives: Pilgrim’s Progress and the Holy War. Both are allegories, a droll composition as a rule; but these books are so true to human nature, so full of pictures of life and character, that children enjoy them as stories without understanding, while their elders admire them for other qualities as well.
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