THE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER IN WHICH MR. BUNYAN'S BOOKS WERE PUBLISHED, AND THE NUMBER OF EDITIONS THEY PASSED THROUGH DURING HIS LIFE.
THIRTY REASONS WHY CHRISTIAN PEOPLE SHOULD PROMOTE THEIR CIRCULATION, AND THE STRUGGLER FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THESE LABOURS. -- PUBLISHED IN 1691.
BY CHARLES DOE, ONE OF MR. BUNYAN'S PERSONAL FRIENDS.
A CATALOGUE-TABLE OF MR. BUNYAN'S BOOKS.
THEIR SUCCESSION IN PUBLISHING, MOST ACCORDING TO HIS OWN RECKONING.
Note. -- Those that are in Italic letter are them that compose the first folio: And the rest are intended, when time serves, for a second folio.
1. Gospel truths opened, 1656
Twelve Manuscripts part of the first folio 1692
Here's sixty pieces of his labours, and he was sixty years of age.
He was born at Elstow, nigh Bedford, about 1628. And about 1652 was, by irresistible grace, converted: and in 1660 he had preached five years, and then, for that, was thrown into Bedford Gaol; and in 1671 was called to the pastoral office at Bedford, being the 11th of his twelve years and an half's imprisonment; and died at London, Aug.31, 1688.
[Where the date is in brackets it is supplied from original copies in the Editor's possession.]
WHY CHRISTIAN PEOPLE SHOULD PROMOTE BY SUBSCRIPTIONS THE PRINTING IN FOLIO THE LABOURS OF MR. JOHN BUNYAN, LATE MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, AND PASTOR OF THE CONGREGATION AT BEDFORD.
I. He was a very able and excellent minister of the gospel; viz., able to express himself, and had excellent matter known to all Christians that have heard him preach.
II. He became thus able and excellent a minister by a great degree of Gospel Grace bestowed upon his own soul, more than probable for that very end; for that God wrought him from a very great profane sinner, and an illiterate poor man, to this profound understanding the true or genuine spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, whereby he could experimentally preach to souls with power, and affection, and apostolical learning, the true nature of the gospel.
III. God's bestowing such great grace, to turn so great a sinner, to make such a great gospel labourer, and thrust him into his harvest, argues there was great need, and therefore without question his labours ought to be preserved.
IV. Our Bunyan being so graciously, by the Lord of the harvest, thrust into labour, clearly shows to us, (and may by this preservation to future ages), that God is not bound to human means of learned education (though learning may be useful in its place), but can, when he will, make a minister of the gospel without man's forecast of education, and in spite of all the men in the world that would oppose it, though it be above sixteen hundred years after the apostles.
V. Many thousands had the soul benefit and comfort of his ministry to astonishment, as if an angel or an apostle had touched their souls with a coal of holy fire from the altar.
VI. This excellent operation of the special grace of God in him, and the gift of utterance when he preached, confounded the wisdom of his adversaries that heard him, or heard of him, he being, as it is commonly called, unlearned, or had not school education.
VII. For all these reasons before-mentioned, of the spirituality of his preaching, his labours in writing deserve preservation by printing as much as any other famous man's that have writ since the apostles' time.
VIII. Moreover he hath been a Christian sufferer for above twelve years, by imprisonment, whereby he sealed to the truth he preached.
IX. Yet, for all that imprisonment, he preached then, and there, and afterwards abroad, as a faithful labourer for the salvation of souls.
X. And he was not a man that preached by way of bargain for money, for he hath refused a more plentiful income to keep his station.
XI. And his moderation, or desire of money, was as the apostle Paul's practice, below his privilege; so that he did not, when he died, leave much wealth to his family.
XII. And the Church that wants such a pastor may find it long before they get one, and therefore ought to respect our Bunyan's labours.
XIII. If God had not put it into the heart of some Christians or Church to preserve the Epistles of the Apostle to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and others, we in this age of the world should in all probability never have known that there ever were any such Christians and doctrines; their names and doctrines might have been lost, and we might have perished, and that would have been dreadful; for God mostly works by second causes.
XIV. And why should any Christian people, that have reason to reckon themselves obliged herein, set themselves aside from communicating to other Christians and the ages to come the gospel labours of so eminent a minister as God so graciously honoured and assisted them with?
XV. And if these labours (of, as I may say, an apostle of our age, if we have any) are not preserved by printing thus in folio, most of them in all probability will be lost, for there are many of them have been out of print many years, and will never otherwise be printed again because of the charge, &c.
XVI. By the late Act for liberty of conscience, it is lawful now to print the works of dissenters, though it was not so formerly; therefore much danger cannot plead excuse.
XVII. It is a good work without controversy, and therefore there can be no scruple of conscience about its pleasing God.
XVIII. There is also to the subscribers a further benefit in this folio; for, whereas these twenty books would, if bought single, cost nigh twenty shillings now, as printed in folio they will have them for about twelve shillings bound together in one volume, which conveniency also prevents losing.
XIX. These ten manuscripts, which were never before printed, would, if printed in small books, and bought single, cost almost the money that these twenty in folio comes for, which is great odds.
XX. Not to preserve his labours and name, which are so great, is a disingenuous slighting or despising them, and serving them no better than a wicked man's that rots. Bunyan hath preached, and freely bestowed many a good and gospel-truth, and soul-reviving expression; for which of them doth any of his friends slight him? Nay, do not they rather owe him something for his labour he bestowed on them, as Philemon did to Paul?
XXI. The price of the first part will be an easier purchase than of the whole; and all in one volume would be somewhat too big in bulk and price.
XXII. There is need of printing these books now, because errors and superstitions, like the smoke of the bottomless pit, darken protestants understanding the purer truths of the gospel.
XXIII. And when this first part is sold off, we shall endeavour to publish a second part, whereby he that is wiling may have the whole in folio.
XXIV. This preservation will preserve the name of John Bunyan, a champion of our age to future ages; whereby it may be said in the pulpit, The great convert Bunyan said so and so.
XXV. If the labours of so eminent a minister should not be preserved, I known not whose should.
XXVI. Antichristian people are diligent to preserve the works of their eminent men; and therefore Christians should be diligent to preserve theirs.
XXVII. The chief reasons we argue from are not common rules, that therefore every good minister's endeavours ought to be printed in folio. But this case is extraordinary, as an eminent minister, made so by abundance of gospel grace, who has also writ much, which hath gone off well. I say eminent, though he was, when young, profane, and had not school education to enable him, as is apparent to all that knew him.
XXVIII. By this printed in folio a man may have recourse for satisfaction in a case of conscience to any of these particular books with the rest, which otherwise are not to be bought; and that I have proved by often trying most London booksellers, and before that given them above twice the price for a book; and I know not how to get another of those sorts for any price whatsoever.
XXIX. All these things, or half of them, beside many others that might be given, being considered, I cannot see but it is an absolute duty.
XXX. And lastly (pardon me, if I speak too great a word, as it may seem to some to be borne), all things considered; that is, his own former profaneness, poverty, unlearnedness, together with his great natural parts, the great change made by grace, and his long imprisonment, and the great maturity in grace and preaching he attained to, I say our deceased Bunyan hath not left in England, or the world, his equal behind him, as I know of. And this is the unfeigned belief of,
Your Christian brother,
(FOR THE PRECEDING PRESERVATION OF MR. JOHN BUNYAN'S LABOURS IN FOLIO) THINKS IT MAY ANSWER THE DESIRES OF MANY TO GIVE THE FOLLOWING RELATION: --
I do here as further duty presume to give you, according to my understanding, a relation in three parts, concerning our eminent author, Mr. John Bunyan, and his labours.
I. The author's parentage, imprisonment, times, and manner of his life and death, &c.
II. Relations and observations upon his labours, &c.
III. Notes on printing this folio and index, &c.
First, Our excellent author, by the abundant grace of God, Mr. John Bunyan, was born at Elstow, a mile side of Bedford, about the year 1628. His father was mean, and by trade a mender of pots and kettles, vulgarly called a tinker, and of the national religion, as commonly men of that trade are, and was brought up to the tinkering trade, as also were several of his brothers, whereat he worked about that country, being also very profane and poor, even when married, &c.
But it pleased God, by his irresistible grace, to work in him some convictions and fears of hell, and also desires of heaven, which drove him to reading and hearing of religious matters, so, controlling grace growing abundantly, he did not take up religion upon trust, but grace in him continually struggling with himself and others, took all advantages he lit on to ripen his understanding in religion, and so he lit on the dissenting congregation of Christians at Bedford, and was, upon confession of faith, baptized about the year 1651, o 52, or 53.
And after a little time, having a gift of utterance, and love to the conviction of sinners, preached about the country the same salvation he found by experience himself stood in need of, by faith and repentance, and worked at his tinkering trade for a livelihood, whereby the reigning grace of God appeared the more sovereign and glorious in this choice, even as it shone in the choice of Peter, a fisherman, and the rest of the apostles, and others of the eminent saints of old, most of them tradesmen, and of whom most excellent things are spoken, &c.
In the year 1660, being the year king Charles returned to England, having preached about five years, the rage of gospel enemies was so great that, November 12, they took him prisoner at a meeting of good people, and put him in Bedford jail, and there he continued about six years, and then was let out again, 1666, being the year of the burning of London, and, a little after his release, they took him again at a meeting, and put him in the same jail, where he lay six years more. Before they took him his intent was to preach on these words, 'Dost thou believe on the Son of God?' (John 9:35). From whence he intended to show the absolute need of faith in Jesus Christ. And after he was released again, they took him again, and put him in prison the third time, but that proved but for about half a year.
Whilst he was thus twelve years and a half in prison, he writ several of his published books, as by many of their epistles appears, as 'Pray by the Spirit,' 'Holy City,' 'Resurrection,' 'Grace Abounding,' and others, also 'The Pilgrim's Progress,' as himself and many others have said.
The pastor of Bedford congregation died, and, after some years' vacancy, John Bunyan, though a prisoner, was, by the church, called to the pastoral office, December 21, 1671, and as it pleased the Lord to rule the rage of men, it proved in or about the last year of his twelve years' imprisonment. And, being out, he preached the gospel publicly at Bedford, and about the counties, and at London, with very great success, being mightily followed everywhere. And it pleased the Lord to preserve him out of the hands of his enemies in the severe persecution at the latter end of king Charles the Second's reign, though they often searched and laid wait for him, and sometimes narrowly missed him.
In 1688, he published six books, being the time of king James the Second's liberty of conscience, and was seized with a sweating distemper, which, after his some weeks going about, proved his death, at his very loving friend's, Mr. Strudwick's, a grocer, at Holborn Bridge, London, on August 31, 1688, and in the 60th year of his age, and was buried in Finsbury burying-ground, where many London dissenting ministers are laid; and it proved some days above a month before our great gospel deliverance was begun by the Prince of Orange's landing, whom the Lord of his continued blessing hath since made our preserving king, William the Third.
And as to his family, he left his widow, Elizabeth, and three sons, John, Thomas, and Joseph, and three daughters, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mary; but his blind daughter he writes of in his 'Grace Abounding' died some years before him, and his widow died 1690-1.
Secondly, Concerning his labours; God did give of his extraordinary grace of the gospel to our author, Bunyan, and it is worthy our observation, for thereby God may have due honour, his people comfort, and adversaries confuted in their several corrupt notions, especially that of only them that have school education are fitly qualified for ministers of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. And also hereby the superstitious man is confounded in his way of worship, as were his predecessors, the rulers of the Jews, in the case of Peter and John, saying, Whence had these men this knowledge, seeing they are unlearned? but there was and is a reason beyond their false rules of education -- for they had been with Jesus.
This is also apt to convince sincere-hearted Christians that God can, when he will, make a minister of his gospel, and send him forth in the power of his Spirit, and defend him, nay, may I say, it is God's prerogative to make his gospel-ministers, and he makes them effectual to all the ends of his gospel, to preach, as the great apostle saith, in season and out of season, to abase and abound, &c. He that can make the dry bones live (as in Eze 37), what can he not do? yea, they shall live, and become a great host, and antichristian arts must fall; for the Lord doth make his servants, as he did Jeremiah, as brazen walls against people and priests.
And however some subtilly and vain-gloriously pretend to be the only lawful successors of the apostles, yet certain I am, from safer reason of faith, that our author Bunyan was really, sincerely, and effectually a lawful successor of the apostles, and as lawful as any have been above this thousand years. Nay, may I say, he was a second Paul; for that his conversion was in a great measure like that great apostle's, who, of a great enemy to godliness, was, by strong and irresistible workings of sovereign grace, made a great minister of, and sufferer for, the gospel. Thousands of Christians in country and city, can testify that their comfort under his ministry has been to admiration, so that their joy hath showed itself by much weeping.
To the eye of carnal reason it may seem that the great apostle Paul's imprisonment was a contradiction to his commission of effectually preaching the gospel to many countries; especially considering his commission was strengthened by his miraculous conversion, from the glory and call of the Lord Jesus from heaven, for the making of him such a great gospel preacher. And yet God suffered it so to be, and we have reason to believe for the best; because God usually works those seeming contrary things to his own end and glory. And the effect was, the saints were strengthened thereby, and several epistles were written thereby, which hath preserved much of the gospel in writing to the ages after, and even for our very great and needful help.
And I reckon I shall not be out of the way, if I observe and say -- What hath the devil or his agents gotten by putting our great gospel-ministry, Bunyan, in prison? for in prison, as before mentioned, he wrote many excellent books, that have published to the world his great grace, and great truth, and great judgment, and great ingenuity; and to instance in one, the Pilgrim's Progress, he hath suited to the life of a traveler so exactly and pleasantly, and to the life of a Christian, that this very book, besides the rest, hath done the superstitious sort of men and their practice more harm, or rather good, as I may call it, than if he had been let alone at his meeting at Bedford, to preach the gospel to his own auditory, as it might have fallen out; for none but priest-ridden people know how to cavil at it, it wins so smoothly upon their affections, and so insensibly distils the gospel into them, and hath been printed in France, Holland, New England, and in Welsh, and about a hundred thousand in England, whereby they are made some means of grace, and the author become famous; and may be the cause of spreading his other gospel-books over the European and American world, and in process of time may be so to the whole universe.
When Mr. Bunyan preached in London, if there were but one day's notice given, there would be more people come together to hear him preach than the meeting-house would hold. I have seen to hear him preach, by my computation, about twelve hundred at a morning lecture, by seven o'clock, on a working day, in the dark winter time. I also computed about three thousand that came to hear him one Lord's-day, at London, at a town's end meeting-house; so that half were fain to go back again for want of room, and then himself was fain, at a back door, to be pulled almost over people to get upstairs to his pulpit.
Mr. Bunyan's dispute with a scholar to this effect.
As Mr. Bunyan was upon the road near Cambridge, there overtakes him a scholar that had observed him a preacher, and said to him, How dare you preach, seeing you have not the original, being not a scholar?
Then said Mr. Bunyan, Have you the original?
Yes, said the scholar.
Nay, but, said Mr. Bunyan, have you the very self-same original copies that were written by the penmen of the scriptures, prophets and apostles?
No, said the scholar, but we have the true copies of those originals.
How do you know that? said Mr. Bunyan.
How? said the scholar. Why, we believe what we have is a true copy of the original.
Then, said Mr. Bunyan, so do I believe our English Bible is a true copy of the original.
Then away rid the scholar.
Another dispute with a scholar.
As Mr. Bunyan was preaching in a barn, and showing the fewness of those that should be saved, there stood one of the learned to take advantage of his words; and having done preaching, the schoolman said to him, You are a deceiver, a person of no charity, and therefore not fit to preach; for he that in effect condemneth the greatest part of his hearers hath no charity, and therefore not fit to preach.
Then Mr. Bunyan answered -- The Lord Jesus Christ preached in a ship to his hearers on the shore (Matt 13); and showed that they were as four sorts of ground -- The high-way, The stony, The thorny, and The good ground; whereof the good ground was the only persons to be saved.
And your position is -- That he that in effect condementh the greatest part of his hearers hath no charity, and therefore not fit to preach the gospel.
But here the Lord Jesus Christ did so; then your conclusion is -- The Lord Jesus Christ wanted charity, and therefore not fit to preach the gospel.
Horrid blasphemy; away with your hellish logic, and speak Scripture.
Then replied the learned: 'Tis blasphemy to call logic hellish, which is our reason -- the gift of God; for that which distinguisheth a man from a beast is the gift of God.
But Mr. Bunyan replied: Sin doth distinguish a man from a beast; is sin therefore the gift of God? &c.
I once asked him his opinion in a common religious point, and offered some arguments to prove my opinion for the general of it; but he answered, that where the Scripture is silent we ought to forbear our opinions; and so he forebore to affirm either for or against, the Scripture being altogether silent in this point.
Thirdly, concerning this folio, &c. I have struggled to bring about this great good work; and it had succeeded in Mr. Bunyan's lifetime, even all his labours in folio, but that an interested bookseller opposed it; and notwithstanding the many discouragements I have met with in my struggles in this so great a work, we have -- and I may believe by the blessing of the Lord -- gotten about four hundred subscriptions, whereof about thirty are ministers; which also shows the great esteem our author's labours are in among Christian people. And that the reasonableness and duty of the preservation of his labours in folio, by subscription, may be continued to memory, I have also added my reasons, which I distributed in my late struggles to effect this work.
His effigies was cut in copper, from an original paint done to the life, by his very good friend, a limner; and those who desire it single, to put in a frame, may have it at this bookseller's -- Mr. Marshall; and also the catalogue-table. The epistle is writ by two ministers, Mr. Wilson of Hichin, in Hertfordshire, and Mr. Chandler, who succeeds Mr. Bunyan at Bedford.
And Mr. Burton, that writ the epistle to Some Gospel-truths Opened, being the first book Mr. Bunyan writ, was minister at Bedford.
Note. -- I would not charge the following running-titles upon our author, Bunyan; because they were added in the proposals, for want of running titles and the knowledge of them, and the copies being at Bedford when the proposals were drawn up at London; and also because, perhaps, he designed some other like running-titles: --
Paul's departure and crown.
Notes upon the Index, &c.
I did intend to print a complete table of all the texts of Scriptures used in our author's labours, that from thence, looking into his book, his sense might be easily found upon any text; so his labours might have been also in the nature of an exposition upon the whole Bible; but I have delayed till some other opportunity, it may be of the next folio, and whenever it falls I intend to give notice.
Because I and other subscribers, especially ministers, were willing this folio should be commoded with an index, I have, as a Christian, exposed myself and made one, and that without money for my labour of writing it, though I confess it might have seemed some other men's duty; yet being ignorant of the man that had the opportunity, and would have done it, unless paid for it, I was necessitated to effect it; and if the bookseller had paid for it, he would have lessened the number of 140 sheets of Mr. Bunyan's labours in this folio at ten shillings. Excuse this fault in me, if it be one.
I could have collected abundance more of excellent matter in this table; and I have placed an Italic-lettered word in every paragraph in the table, to be the guide-word to the same word in the folio, which is a black-lettered word in the folio, latter part; that is, those books formerly printed, where the printer hath not failed to make it so, and also in the manuscripts, forepart, a guide-word to the same word under which I have drawn a black line, in as many folios as opportunity and time would permit me to do, because I had not time and convenience before this folio was printed to mark the manuscripts for to be a black-lettered word, as I had time for the formerly printed books. Also note, the book, though marked, doth not always refer to the table, but the table to the book, is the intent; and because the word in the book doth not always, though very often, fall in alphabetical order, therefore some other like word is put in its place in the table.
Also note, sometimes many principal words are in one paragraph, and then, though the matter be not to be found in the table by the word, that some perhaps may expect, yet it may be found by another word, because several words are so united that one cannot well part them; and it would be too large a table to put them all in severally in alphabetical order -- as soul, sinner, saved, salvation, justification, Christ, God, &c.
Also note. When to the table-phrase more than one number is placed, then expect not that the same black-letter word is always to be found in the book to the last number, as is to the first number, but it may be some other black or marked word of like meaning; as for antichrist the black-lettered word in some places is harlot, and for apostles the black-letter word sometimes is twelve, because the word apostle is not in that part of the folio, though intended by twelve.
Also note. The phrase in the table is not always the very same, word for word, in the book, because the design of the table is to give matter in short saying, as well as most commonly a complete sentence; and, therefore, they that would have Mr. Bunyan's entire, complete, and full sense of the matter, let them look out of the table into the book, and there take all its connection together. Also, I have to keep the table as short as I well could; and yet, to direct well to the matter in the book, placed one part of the matter under one word, in alphabetical order, and another part of the same matter in another following paragraph, under another word in the table; so that, by finding one word in the table, you may often find in the same paragraph, in the book, before or after that word, other matter thereto relating.
I had but about two years' acquaintance with our author, and, therefore, have said but little of him, because of hastening this to the press; yet if any more comes to my memory, I intend to put it at the end of the index.
Your Christian brother,
1. Difficulties as to copyright prevented this second volume from being published. -- See EDITOR'S PREFACE.
2. A good copy of this rare volume with the wood-cuts, having the reverse blank, in the editor's possession, and a fine copy, without the cuts, at Mr. Pickering's, agree as to the date of 1680. It is misplaced in this chronological table; but the date shows that it was not intended as a third part of the Pilgrim's Progress; the second part of which was not published for four years after the life of Badman. -- Ed.
3. These MSS., although diligently sought, cannot be found.
4. This was published in a separate pocket volume by C. Doe, 1698.
5. Published from Mr. Bunyan's MS, 1765.
6. As doth appear by his book of his conversion, intitled, Grace Abounding, &c.
7. As in his book intitled, Grace Abounding, s.319.
8. As he says in his Epistle to his Confession of Faith.
9. Alluding to the portrait published as a frontispiece to the folio volume, 1692. -- Ed.
10. The Index accompanying the first folio. -- Ed.
11. This is as originally printed. Mr. Doe means, he had not time to mark in the manuscript such words as the printer should put in black-letter. -- Ed.
12. The table to which Charles Doe here refers is only to twenty of Mr. Bunyan's books. It is diffuse, and badly arranged. The Index given with this first complete edition of all the admirable works of our great pilgrim forefather, is entirely new. It is the result of a careful reading of every treatise, extracting a notice of such tings as the editor conceived to be most deeply interesting. These extracts were then arranged, in order to furnish a useful index to all the works of Bunyan. It has been attended with very great labour, and some delay to the publication; but no sacrifice is too great, in order to render Bunyan's works as complete as possible.