|American Minute with Bill Federer’Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise’ -John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress|
He was imprisoned 12 years for preaching without a license from the government.This was John Bunyan, who died AUGUST 31, 1688.
Born in Bedford, England, John Bunyan was a poor, unskilled tinker by trade.
John Bunyan wrote in a Relation of My Imprisonment:
“The justice…issued out his warrant to take me…
as if we that were to meet together…to do some fearful business, to the destruction of the country;
So I was taken and forced to depart…
But before I went away, I spake some few words of counsel and encouragement to the people, declaring to them…
Better be the persecuted, than the persecutors.”
It was during this time that he began writing The Pilgrim’s Progress, eventually published in 1678.
The friends and dangers that Christian met along the way inspired many subsequent novels, such as:
John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress was translated into over 100 languages and, after the Bible, was the world’s best-seller for hundreds of years.
“From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.
Pleased with The Pilgrim’s Progress, my first collection was of John Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes….”
“My old favorite author, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress…has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible.”
President Grover Cleveland had memorized The Pilgrim’s Progress as a youth, commenting:
the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck-rake in his hand, who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake,
but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.”
“When Theodore Roosevelt died, the Secretary of his class at Harvard, in sending classmates a notice of his passing, added this quotation from Pilgrim’s Progress:
My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder.'”
And the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend – they keep us worthy of ourselves.”
John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress began:
“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream.
I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?”
“Christian ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross…
So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back.”
“Then said Christian, You make me afraid, but whither shall I fly to be safe?… To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life-everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward…
Frighted with the sight of the lions…Christian said to himself again,
He lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him… He entered into a very narrow passage…he espied two lions in the way…
The porter at the lodge…perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying,
Is thy strength so small? Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that had none. Keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee…
John Bunyan continued:
Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground.
Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground…”
“The monster was hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales…wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke…
Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said…prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I spill thy soul.
Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot…”
“This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker…
Christian’s sword flew out of his hand.
Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now.
but as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying,
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back…
And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season saw him no more…
For God’s Glory Alone Ministries thanks Bill Federer and www.AmericanMinute.com