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God and the State   By:

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GRACE ABOUNDING TO THE CHIEF OF SINNERS In a faithful account of the life and death of John Bunyan Or A brief relation of the exceeding mercy of God in Christ to him Namely In His taking him out of the dunghill, and converting him to the faith of His blessed son Jesus Christ. Here is also particularly shewed, what sight of, and what troubles he had for sin; and also, what various temptations he hath met with, and how God hath carried him through them.

A PREFACE

OR, BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE PUBLISHING THIS WORK. WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR THEREOF, AND DEDICATED TO THOSE WHOM GOD HATH COUNTED HIM WORTHY TO BEGET TO FAITH, BY HIS MINISTRY IN THE WORD

Children, Grace be with you. Amen. I being taken from you in presence, and so tied up that I cannot perform that duty, that from God doth lie upon me to you ward, for your farther edifying and building up in faith and holiness, etc., yet that you may see my soul hath fatherly care and desire after your spiritual and everlasting welfare, I now once again, as before, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, so now from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards (Song iv. 8), do look yet after you all, greatly longing to see your safe arrival into THE desired Haven.

I thank God upon every remembrance of you; and rejoice, even while I stick between the teeth of the lion 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 ye are our glory and joy. 1 Thess. ii. 20.

I have sent you here enclosed, a drop of that honey that I have taken out of the carcase of a lion. Judg. xiv. 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 see them, 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, Isa. xxxviii. 19, The father to the children shall make known Thy truth. Yea, it was for this reason I lay so long at Sinai, Lev. iv. 10, 11, to see the fire, and the cloud, and the darkness, that I might fear the Lord all the days of my life upon earth, and tell of His wondrous works to my children. Psalm lxxviii. 3 5.

Moses, Numb. xxxiii. 1, 2, writ of the journeys of the children of Israel, from Egypt to the land of Canaan; and commanded also that they did remember their forty years' travel in the wilderness. Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, and to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldst keep His commandments, or no. Deut. viii. 2. Wherefore this I have endeavoured to do; and not only so, but to publish it also; that, if God will, others may be put in remembrance of what He hath done for their souls, by reading His work upon me.

It is profitable for Christians to be often calling to mind the very beginnings of grace with their souls. It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord, for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. Exod. xii. 42. O my God (saith David), Ps. xlii. 6, my soul is cast down within me; therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. He remembered also the lion and the bear, when he went to fight with the giant of Gath. 1 Sam. xvii. 36, 37.

It was Paul's accustomed manner, Acts xxii... Continue reading book >>




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