The New Student's Reference Work/Bunyan, John

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2585606The New Student's Reference Work — Bunyan, John

Bun′yan, John, author of The Pilgrim's Progress, was born near Bedford, England, in 1628. His father was a tinker, and John was trained to that craft. He was very fond of dancing on the village green and of ringing the church bells—things he afterward thought sinful. He served in the army for some time during the English Civil War, though only 16 years old. After the war he married a poor girl and became deeply interested in religion. He began to preach to the poor people in the villages around Bedford, and, getting into discussions with the Quakers, in 1656 he published a book against them. It was a remarkable book for an uneducated craftsman to write. This led to further discussion and the publication of other works, Bunyan being finally arrested and imprisoned. He was in prison 12 years, though he was continually told that he would be set free if he would give up preaching; to which he replied: “If you let me go to-day, I will preach again to-morrow.” He supported himself and his family while in prison by making lace, the remainder of his time being spent in reading the Bible, preaching to the other prisoners and writing religious papers and books. He finally was released in 1672, and preached for three years, after which he was again put in prison, but was let out again six months later. While he was in prison the second time he wrote The Pilgrim's Progress. He became pastor of the Bedford Church, where he remained 16 years, dying in 1688. The Pilgrim's Progress at once became very famous and has since been translated into nearly a hundred languages.