Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/288

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Bunyan
Bunyan
282

willing to give his aid in securing the repeal of the penal laws and tests under which he and his flock had so long smarted. This was in November 1687, barely twelve months before James's abdication. Three years before he had felt it so possible that he might be called again to suffer for conscience sake under these same laws, that he executed a deed of gift, dated 23 Dec. 1685, making over all his worldly possessions to his wife, Elizabeth Bunyan.

Bunyan did not live to see the revolution. His death took place in 1688, four months after the acquittal of the seven bishops. In the spring ofthat year he had been enfeebled by an attack of ' sweating sickness.' He caught a severe cold on a ride through heavy rain to London from Reading, whither he had gone to eflect a reconciliation between a father and a son. A fever ensued, and he died on 81 Aug. at the house of his friend John Strudwick, who kept a grocer's and chandler's shop at the sig^ oi the Star, Holborn Bridge, two months before he had completed his sixtieth year. He continued his literary activity to the last. Four books from his pen had been published in the first half of the year, and he partly revised the sheets of a short treatise entitled 'The Acceptable Sacrifice' on 'his deathbead. He was buried in Mr. Strudwick's vault in the burial-ground in Bunliill Fields, Fins])ury. His personal estate was sworn under 100l.

Bunyan was the father of six cliildren, four by his first wile, and two by the second. His elder child Mary, his blind child (born in 1650), of whom Ik; writes in the 'Grace abounding' with sucli exquisite tenderness, died before her father. His children, John, Thomas, and Elizabeth by his first wife, and Sarah and Joseph by his second wife survived him. His heroic wife lived only a year and a half after him, and died early in 1691. The only known representatives of Bunyan are the descendants of his youngest daughter Sarah. In 108(>, two years before her lather's d»'ath,she had married her fellow-parishioner, William Browne, and her descendants form a rather numerous and widespread clan.

Bunyan's personal appearance is thus described by a contemporary : ' He was tall of stature, strong-boned though not corpulent, somewhat of a ruddy face with sparkling eyes, wearing his hair on his upper lip after the old British fashion; his hair reddish, but in his latter days had sprinkled with grey ; his nose well-set, but not declining or bending, and his mouth moderatelv large, his forehead something high, and his habit always plain and modest.' Another contemporary writes : 'His countenance was grave and sedate, and did so to the life discover the inward frame of his heart, that it was convincing to the beholders, and did strike something of awe into them that had nothing of the fear of God.' A third thus describes his manner and bearing : 'He appeared in countenance to be of a stem and rough temper, but in his conversation mild and affable, not given to loqu€u;ity or much discourse in company, unless some urgent occasion required it, observing never to boast of himself in his parts, but rather seem low in his own eyes, and submit himself to the judgment of others.'

The works left in manuscript at Bunyan's death were given to the world bv his devoted friend and admirer, the good, simpleminded combmaker by London Bridge, Charles Doe, who soon after his decease set about a folio edition of his collected works as 'the best work he could do for God.' The first volume, published in 1692, contained ten of these posthumous books, most of which had been prepared for the press by Bunyan himself. These were followed by the 'Heavenly Footman,' one of the most characteristic of Bunyan s works, published by Doe in 1698, and by the 'Account of his Imprisonment,' that invaluable supplement to his biography, which was not given to the world till 1765. Doe's second intended folio was never published. The first complete collected edition of Bunyan's works, containing twenty-seven in addition to the twenty previously published by Doe, appeared in 1730, edited by Samuel Wilson of the Barbican. A third issue of the collected works was published in two volumes folio in 1767, with a preface by George Whitefield. Other editions of the whole works are that by Alexander Hog^, in six volumes 8vo, in 1780; that by Mr. G. Offor, in three volumes imperial 8vo, in 1853, revised in 1862: and that by the Rev. H. Stebbing, in four volumes imperial 8vo, in 1859.

The following is a list of Bunyan's works, arranged in chronological succession, based ; on that drawn up by Charles Doe annexed to the first issue of the 'Heavenly Footman' in 1098. The full titles are not given, which in some cases extend to ten or a dozen lines: 1. 'Some Gospel Truths opened,' 1050. 2. 'A Vindication of "Some Gospel Truths opened,"' same year. 3. 'A few Sighs from Hell, or the Groans of a Damned Soul,' 1058. 4. 'The Doctrine of the Law and Grace unfolded,' 1659. All the preceding were published previous to his imprisonment. The first book written by him in prison was in verse : 5. 'Profitable