I have the privilege of living within 2 miles of where the famous Christian preacher and author John Bunyan who was born, in Elstow , Bedford. I was Christened as a baby in the very same font that he himself was also christened , and had the joy of being married there at Elstow Abbey to my wife Karen.
ELSTOW ABBEY CHURCH
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was born at Elstow, England, about a mile from Bedford, and became one of the most influential authors of the seventeenth century. Few writers in history have left such a wealth of Christ-centered writings.
Bunyan’s moving conversion is recorded in his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. His first lasting conviction of sin was produced by a sermon denouncing the violation of the Lord’s Day by labor, sports, or otherwise–because his greatest enjoyment came from sports on the Lord’s Day. Some time later while passing through the streets of Bedford, Bunyan heard “three or four poor women” sitting at a door, “talking about the new birth, the work of God in their hearts, and the way by which they were convinced of their miserable state by nature. They told how God had visited their souls with His love in Christ Jesus, and with what words and promises they had been refreshed, comforted, and supported against the temptations of the devil.” From these pious women Bunyan learned to despise sin and to hunger for the Savior. Later, while passing into the fields, he recounts, “This sentence fell upon my soul, ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven’…for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Then “his chains fell off,” and he went home rejoicing.
In 1655, Bunyan was baptized by immersion by Pastor John Gifford of Bedford and called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bunyan was arrested November 12, 1660, for preaching without the approval of the Anglican Church. He was charged with “teaching men to worship God contrary to the law” and was in jail more than twelve years.
His most well-known work, The Pilgrim’s Progress, was written while in the Bedford jail. During Bunyan’s lifetime there were 100,000 copies circulated in the British isles, besides several editions in North America. It has been continuously in print since its first printing. Bunyan’s remarkable imagery was firmly rooted in the Reformation doctrines of man’s fallen nature, grace, imputation, justification, and the atonement–all of which Bunyan seems to have derived directly from Scripture.
The Pilgrims Progress is only 2nd to The Bible in the number of copies printed and sold world wide.
Pilgrim’s Progress is an awsome book about a man named Christian. In the beginning, we find that Christian has a heavy burden on his back that he can’t get rid of. He tries to take it off himself but he can’t. He then meets a man named Evangelist. Evangelist tells him that the only way to get rid of this burden on his back is to go to the Celestial City.
…he keeps going and doesn’t give up.
Christian leaves his friends and family back in the City of Destruction and makes the long and treacherous journey to the Celestial City. He goes through many different obstacles and trials that get in his way on the way to the Celestial City. Although it takes him a long time to get there, he keeps going and doesn’t give up.
This is an excellent book to read. As a Christian, I sometimes get discouraged in my walk with Christ. This book has really helped me with that. It has taught me that I’m not alone in my walk. There are others that are struggling with the same things that I am struggling with and that we must persevere.
It shows us of the temptations and pitfalls that we must be alert to and avoid on our Christian journey through life, until we reach our ultimate destination with Christ waiting with open arms to embrace us.
If you have not read this masterpiece i encourage you to do so, it is hard, slow going at time,s the language being difficult, but is truly worth the effort i,m sure you will get so much out of it.
If you have read it or when you have finished it i would be pleased to hear your reviews of it , and what encouragement or lessons you got out of it if anything.