Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $9.95, is Light for Them that Sit in Darkness by John Bunyan. Click here to download.
He is God, and had personal being from before all worlds; therefore not such an one as took being when he was formed in the world; he is God’s natural Son, the Eternal Son of his begetting and love—’God sent forth his Son.’ He was, and was his Son, before he was revealed—’What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?’ (Pr 30:4; Eze 21:10). He hath an eternal generation, such as none can declare, not man, not angel (Isa 53:8). He was the delight of his Father before he had made either mountain or hill. While as yet he had not made the earth or the fields, or the highest part of the dust of the world, all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Bunyan’s object in this volume is to correct some fatal errors which then peculiarly abounded, and to recommend the gospel in its purity to the acceptation of his fellow-sinners. Possessing that inward peace, serenity, happiness and safety, arising from a Scriptural knowledge of Christ and him crucified, he proclaims, ‘I have ventured my own soul thereon with gladness,’ and ‘if all the souls in the world were mine, I would venture them all.’ His prayer is that others may receive the same light and life by faith.
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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