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“Grace Abounding to the Chef of Sinners; or a brief relation of the exceeding mercy of God to his poor servant, John Bunyan; namely, in his taking him out of the dunghill, and converting him to the faith of his blessed Son Jesus Christ; where is also showed, what sight of and what trouble he had for sin, and also what various temptations he hath met with, and how God hath carried him through them all.” It gives a full relation of his religious experience from early childhood till he began to preach ; and has supplied the ground-work of all subsequent lives of its author. The editions published since his decease contain a brief Continuation, written by one who styles himself “a true friend and long acquaintance of Mr. Bunyan,” and which is commonly attributed to Charles Doe, a contemporary Baptist preacher.
The oldest Life of Bunyan is probably the brief sketch published in 1692. (See p. 270.) The only copy of it that I have seen was appended to an edition of the Pilgrim printed in Glasgow just one hundred years after. His latest biographer is Mr. Philip, whose re
searches have added much to our stock of information respecting the author of the Pilgrim's Progress. Dr. Southey, in the Memoir prefixed to his edition of the Pilgrim, has furnished some valuable illustrations of Bunyan's literary history, and “done ampler justice to his genius than most of his predecessors;" but his political and ecclesiastical prejudices rendered him incapable of appreciating his religious opinions and character. The other Memoirs of Bunyan are but brief sketches, except that by Mr. Ivimey, which was a republication of "Grace Abounding," with some Reflections, and an enlarged Continuation. It has now been out of print for many years.
The volume now presented to the reader comprises the substance not only of Bunyan's own narrative, already referred to, but also of all that is known with certainty respecting his life, labours, character, and writings. The additional information has been drawn from Bunyan's other works, from preceding biographies, and from numerous other authentic sources. The whole has been rewritten, and so condensed and arranged as to give, within the compass
of a small volume, a more complete and connected account than is elsewhere to be found.
S, B. W. New-York, February, 1844.
O thou whom, borne on fancy's eager wing