“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and “a fountain of life”—the foundation on which all wisdom rests, as well as the source from whence it emanates. Upon a principle so vastly important, all the subtle malignity of Satan has been directed, if possible to mislead the very elect; while the ungodly and impenitent fall under his devices. To the mind enlightened by divine truth, the difference between a filial fear of offending God and the dread of punishment is very plain. Still, by the devil’s sophistry, some of the most pious Christians have been puzzled and bewildered. Bunyan was not ignorant of Satan’s devices, and he has roused the energies of his powerful mind, guided by divine truth, to render this important doctrine so clear and easy to be understood, that the believer may not err.
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About John Bunyan
John Bunyan (1628–1688) started out as an itinerant worker and a soldier. When he began to have religious experiences, he joined a Christian fellowship and soon began preaching. His discussions with the followers of George Fox inspired his first book, Some Gospel Truths Opened, published in 1656. In 1660, he was arrested while preaching. During twelve years of imprisonment in the county jail, he wrote several works, including Profitable Meditations, Praying in the Spirit, The Holy City, and Grace Abounding. He was released after the Declaration of Indulgence of 1672, under which he became a licensed preacher and pastor of the church to which he belonged; but in 1673 the Declaration was canceled, and Bunyan was sent back to prison for six months. During this time he wrote his most famous work, the epic Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. His defined religious outlook is balanced in his writing by an almost modern realism and psychological insight.