The Works of John Bunyan, 3 Volume Set

The Works of John Bunyan, 3 Volume Set
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Bunyan, John

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Publisher’s Description

John Bunyan is best known for his famous allegorical works, Pilgrim’s Progress and The Holy War, his autobiographical Grace Abounding to the to the Chief of Sinners and his allegorical novel The Life and Death of Mr Badman. While justly famous for their literary merit, their real importance lies in Bunyan’s portrayal of the sin of man, the grace of God and the nature of the Christian’s life. These themes were Bunyan’s great passion, and for them he was prepared to suffer the hardship of imprisonment. But his exposition of them was not confined to allegory, and in many other works, like Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ and An Exposition of the First Ten Chapters of Genesis,, we find Bunyan writing as the outstanding pastor–evangelist he was.

Individual volumes of the best–known of Bunyan’s writings have long been available. These three quality volumes, first edited by George Offor (1853 and 1862) constitute the only available standard edition of his works.

Volume 1 Includes:

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
Prison Meditations
Light for Them That Sit in Darkness
Touching Prayer

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Volume 2 Includes:

The Doctrine of Justification by Faith
The Pharisee and the Publican
An Exposition of the First Ten Chapters of Genesis

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Volume 3 Includes:

Pilgrim’s Progress
The Holy War
Life and Death of Mr. Badman
A Book for Boys and Girls

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About the Author

John Bunyan was born in Elstow, near Bedford, in 1628, the son of Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bentley. He followed his father into the tinker’s trade but rebelled against God and ‘had but few equals, both for cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God.’ As a teenager, he joined Cromwell’s New Model Army, but continued his rebellious ways. His life was saved on one occasion when a fellow–soldier took his place at the siege of Leicester, and ‘as he stood sentinel he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died.’

Discharged from the army after three years, Bunyan married a God–fearing woman (whose name is unknown) in 1648, who brought two books to the marriage: The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven (Arthur Dent) and The Practice of Piety (Lewis Bayly). These convicted Bunyan of his sin and he made attempts to reform his life. But he realised that he was lost and without Christ when he came into contact with a group of women whose ‘joyous conversation about the new birth and Christ deeply impressed him.’ In 1651 the women introduced him to their pastor in Bedford, John Gifford, who was instrumental in leading Bunyan to repentance and faith.

That same year he moved to Bedford with his wife and four children, including Mary, his firstborn, who had been blind from birth. He was baptised by immersion in the River Ouse in 1653. Appointed a deacon of Gifford’s church, Bunyan’s testimony was used to lead several people to conversion. By 1655 Bunyan was himself preaching to various congregations in Bedford, and hundreds came to hear him. John Owen said of him that he would gladly exchange all his learning for Bunyan’s power of touching men’s hearts.

In the following years, Bunyan began publishing books and became established as a reputable Puritan writer, but around this time, his first wife died. He remarried in 1659, a godly young woman named Elizabeth, who was to be a staunch advocate for her husband during his imprisonments—for in 1660 Bunyan was arrested for preaching without official permission from King Charles II; he was to spend the next 12½ years in Bedford County Gaol.

Although a time of much suffering, Bunyan’s years in prison were productive, for he wrote extensively, with only the Bible and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs beside him, publishing such titles as Christian Behaviour, The Holy City and A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification. Of particular significance for his life–story was Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, which chronicled his life up to the time of his imprisonment.

He was eventually released in 1672, and took up his pastorate in Bedford, having been appointed by the congregation the preceding January. After some fruitful years of ministry, in March of 1675 Bunyan was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license. It was during this imprisonment that he began the first part of his most famous book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, which was to sell more than 100,000 copies in its first ten years in print.

Released in 1677, Bunyan spent the last ten years of his life ministering to his congregation and writing, including—Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (1678), The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682), and the second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress (1685). He published ten more books in the last three years of his life, amongst them The Jerusalem Sinner Saved and The Acceptable Sacrifice.

In August 1688, after successfully mediating in a disagreement between a father and son, as he was riding from Reading in Berkshire to London, Bunyan caught a cold and developed a fever. He died at the house of his friend John Strudwick, a grocer and chandler on Snow Hill in Holborn.

Book Details

2319 Pages
Publisher: Banner of Truth
Publication Date: December 1991
ISBN 10: 0851515983
ISBN 13: 9780851515984

John Owen’s response to King Charles II when asked why he bothered to listen to the preaching of John Bunyan, an uneducated “tinker”:
  “Could I posses the tinker’s abilities for preaching, please your majesty, I would gladly relinquish all my learning.”
–John Owen

“He had studied till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and though his writings continually make us feel and say, ’Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak with out quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.
–Charles Spurgeon

“Most people don’t know that Bunyan was a prolific writer before and after The Pilgrim’s Progress. [An] index of Bunyan’s writings lists 58 books. The variety in these books was remarkable: controversy (like the Quakers and justification and baptism), collections of poems, children’s literature, allegory (like The Holy War and The Life and Death of Mr. Badman). But the vast majority were practical doctrinal expositions of Scripture built from sermons for the sake of strengthening and warning and helping Christian pilgrims make their way successfully to heaven.
–John Piper

“Perhaps, next to the first publishers of the gospel of the blessed God, the sayings of Christ in Matthew 11:25-26 and of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 were never more strongly exemplified in any single individual (at least in this, or the last century) than in the conversion, ministry and writings of that eminent servant of Jesus Christ, Mr. John Bunyan, who through rich, free, sovereign, distinguishing grace, was chosen, called and afterwards formed, by the all–powerful operations of the Holy Ghost, to be a scribe ready instructed to the kingdom of God.

“Ministers never write or preach so well as when under the cross: the spirit of Christ and of glory then rests upon them. It was this, no doubt, that made the Puritans of the last century such burning and shining lights. When cast out by the black Bartholomew–act, and driven from their respective charges to preach in barns and fields, in the highways and hedges, they in an especial manner wrote and preached as men having authority. Though dead, by their writings they yet speak: a peculiar unction attends them to this very hour; and for these thirty years past I have remarked, that the more true and vital religion hath revived either at home or abroad, the more the good old puritanical writings, or the authors of a like stamp who lived and died in communion of the church of England have been called for.

“Their works stall praise them in the gates; and without pretending to a spirit of prophecy, we may venture to affirm, that they will live and flourish, when more modern performances, of a contrary cast, notwithstanding their gaudy and tinseled trap pins, will languish and die in the esteem of those, whose understandings are opened to discern what comes nearest to the scripture standard...

“That these volumes may be blest to beget, promote and increase such divine fruits of real and undefiled religion in the hearts, lips and lives of readers, or all ranks and denominations, is the earnest prayer of”
–George Whitefiled, London, Jan 3, 1767