THE LIFE OF
JOHN BUNYAN was born at Elstow, within a mile of
be with you. Amen.
"I thank God upon every remembrance of you; and
rejoice, even while I stick between the teeth of the lions in the wilderness,
that the grace, and mercy, and knowledge of Christ our Saviour; which God hath bestowed upon you, with abundance of
faith and love; your hungerings and thirstings after
farther acquaintance with the Father, in the Son; your tenderness of heart,
your trembling at sin, your sober and holy deportment also, before both God and
men, is a great refreshment to me; for 'you are my glory and joy.' (1 Thess. 2.
"I have sent you here enclosed a drop of that honey that I have
taken out of the carcase of a lion. (Judg. 14. 5-8.) I have eaten thereof
myself, and am much refreshed thereby. Temptations, when we meet them at first,
are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time
we shall find a nest of honey within them. The Philistines
understand me not. It is something of a relation of the work of God upon my
soul, even from the very first till now; wherein you may perceive my castings
down, and risings up: for he woundeth, and his hands make whole. It is written
in the Scripture, 'The father to the children shall make known the truth of
God.' (Isa. 38. 19.)
In this discourse of mine you may see much - much I say - of the grace
of God towards me. I thank God, I can count it much, for it was above my sins,
and Satan's temptations too. I can remember my fears and doubts, and sad
months, with comfort; they are as the head of Goliath in my hand; there was
nothing to David like Goliath's sword, even that sword which should have been
sheathed in his bowels; for the very sight and remembrance of that did preach
forth God's deliverance to him. Oh, the remembrance of my great sins, of my
great temptations, and of my great fear of perishing for ever! They bring
afresh into my mind the remembrance of my great help, my great supports from
Heaven, and the great grace that God extended to such a wretch as I.
"My dear children, the milk and honey are beyond this wilderness.
God be merciful to you, and grant that you be not slothful to go in to possess