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RARE 1682 FIRST-EDITION BY THE FAMOUS JOHN BUNYAN, AUTHOR OF THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS!
IN ITS ORIGINAL LEATHER BINDING!
1682 [First-Edition] "THE HOLY WAR MADE BY SHADDAI UPON DIABOLUS, FOR THE REGAINING OF THE METROPOLIS OF THE WORLD. OR, THE LOSING AND TAKING AGAIN OF THE TOWN OF MANSOUL." "By John Bunyan, Author of The Pilgrim's Progress." London: Printed for Dorman Newman at the Kings Arms in the Poultry; and Benjamin Alsop at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry, 1682. FIRST EDITION! [Bunyan's Second Greatest Work] Octavo (8vo) 6 ½" x 4", a total of 407 printed pages with the Engraved Frontis of Bunyan, The Fold-Out Engraved and Illustrated Title Page and the Printed and Dated Title Page! Also, the "To the Reader" preliminary section in front and the Advertisement at the rear are both intact! Both front and back Original 1682 Fly-leaves are also intact. Original 1682 Contemporary Full-Calf Leather Binding with Fancy Gold lines and Gold Title on Red Leather Lable on Spine! All Pages are Generally Clean and Fresh with occasional light soiling. Nice Margins, and Generally in Very Very Good Original 1682 Condition inside and out!!! I believe that the fold out has been replaced by a facsimile on old paper, I am not sure. THIS IS A "FAR,FAR BEYOND RARE ALMOST UNHEARD OF 1682 FIRST (1st ) EDITION!!!
JOHN BUNYAN was born in 1628 at Elstow near Bedford, the son of a brazier. Between 1644 and 1647 he served in the Parliamentary army; returning to Elstow to follow his father's trade, he underwent a deep spiritual crisis that lasted for several years. In about 1653 he joined an independent church in Bedford and before long began to preach and to publish polemical and doctrinal religious works. In 1660, following the Restoration, he was arrested and, on his refusal to stop preaching, was held in Bedford gaol for the next twelve years. While in prison, he published several books, the most important being his spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666), and also began to write The Pilgrim's Progress (1678). On his release from prison in 1672 Bunyan became pastor of the Bedford congregation and the remaining years of his life were spent preaching and writing. The best-known of his later works are The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682) and the second part of The Pilgrim's Progress (1684) He died in 1688 and was buried in Bunhill Fields.
When in prison, all John Bunyan had to do to go free was make one promise. He must agree not to preach publicly anymore. Bunyan's reply: "If I was out of prison today, I would preach the gospel again tomorrow by the help of God." Older folk must have shaken their heads in wonder. "John Bunyan of all people! Why, we remember when he was a filthy mouthed ringleader in every sort of mischief." Bunyan was born in 1628 in the heart of England, a mile south of Bedford a few years before the English Civil War. His family was so poor that when his father died, John was left only one shilling and his tinker's anvil. The boy had little formal education. However, he learned to read and feasted on medieval romances in which valiant knights underwent great trials and conquered villains and monsters. In youth he boasted a mouth so profane it shocked even wicked men. Additionally, he loved to dance, bell-ring and lead Sunday sports, all considered improper by Puritans. Although he attended church, he had little religious feeling.
John turned sixteen in 1644 at the height of the Civil War. He joined the army. Since Bedford was a Parliamentarian stronghold, it is probable he served Cromwell. While on duty he was "drawn out" to take part in a siege. Another soldier asked to take his place. "As he stood sentinel he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died." John came to see this as proof God had spared his life for a great work. Returning home, John married. He was twenty. His wife was as poor as he; between them they did not have a dish or spoon. Her godly father had furnished her with two Christian books--books which John read with an increasingly troubled conscience. One Sunday as he played, he heard a voice. "Will you leave your sins and go to Heaven, or have your sins and go to Hell?" His distress was acute. He felt that he had sinned so gravely he was beyond forgiveness. Nonetheless, he struggled to find peace with God by obeying scriptural commands. Outwardly, he reformed and put off swearing and improper sports. Inwardly, he still longed to participate. He read the Bible. Although without peace, he thought God must be pleased with him. One day he overheard four women speaking of their inner religious experience, and he realized he lacked something. Leaving the Church of England, he joined their fellowship. Still he lacked peace. Only after reading Luther's commentary on Galatians did he realize he could be justified by faith alone. His inner struggles were not over, but he found relief. Bunyan felt compelled to tell others of faith in Christ. He became a field preacher. So effective were his words, people would arrive at dawn to hear him preach at noon. Open-air preaching was illegal. Officials feared that demagogues would incite revolution. For this reason, John was careful never to side with any political faction in his teachings. All the same he was in danger. Warned that he was to be arrested if he held church at a friend's house, he went anyway, determined to set an example of boldness. If he fled, weaker brethren would see it and run also. He was seized and arrested. Without a hearing or witnesses, the judge sentenced John to three months in prison. Bedford's prison conditions were not the worst in England, yet they were a genuine hardship. There was little light and no bathing facilities. The place stank of unwashed bodies. "Prison fever," or Typhus, killed many prisoners. The cells were overcrowded. John's ration was one quarter loaf of bread a day. Worst of all, he was separated from his family. His first wife had died and he had remarried. He was not home to care for his children, including his blind daughter, Mary, whom he dearly loved. To support them, Bunyan made thousands of long, tagged shoelaces which he sold. Church members helped the Bunyans, too.
At the end of three months, John was offered freedom on condition he no longer preach. Again he refused. The months turned to years. All in all he spent twelve years in prison. Fortunately, a sympathetic jailer let John secretly slip off to meetings. He knew John would always return. Once he even let John go to London, but when his job was threatened, he forbade him to so much as peek out the jail door anymore. For political reasons, Charles II released a number of prisoners. Bunyan was not among them. He was told he would have to apply for a pardon. He refused. To do so would be to admit he had done wrong. Elizabeth, his wife, pleaded for his release, but sympathetic court officers said John could go free only if he complied with the authorities. So John remained in prison. He was cheerful, believing he suffered for Christ. He had true freedom, he said. In prison he could read the Bible, preach and sing hymns with no one to stop him. He was also allowed to write. In jail he completed many of his sixty books, including the best known: The Pilgrim's Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Bunyan's first book, Some Gospel Truths Opened According to the Scriptures, had attacked Quaker beliefs. Ironically it was Quakers who freed him. Told by the King to prepare a list of names for pardon, they included Bunyan's with their own members names. Released, Bunyan immediately returned to preaching. By now the authorities realized he was concerned only with the Kingdom of God. They jailed him again for six months in 1675, but otherwise he remained free until he died at sixty years of age, having written The Pilgrim's Progress, the world's most widely circulated book next to the Bible.
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