Finally! I found it! A copy of Bunyan’s autobiography Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. OK, I’ve been able to get it for years, but never for this cheap. $3.50 at a used bookstore in Royal Oak, MI. There it was, just sitting quietly on the shelf. So innocent, so unassuming. Lime green cover fading from either over use or neglect. I picked up the 10 books on top of it and pulled it out carefully. A modern English version too?! Score!
So far it’s both what I expected and filled with surprises. Because I love Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress I’ve heard a lot of folks make mention of his autobiography and highly recommend it. They were right. It is good. It’s an amazing chronicle of Bunyan’s struggle and vacillation between trusting God’s promises and believing Satan’s accusations. It sheds some great light on his upbringing and life before being drawn to Christ. It speaks about his marriage, his exposure to other Christians and his favorite hobbies as a young man. What I did not expect to read was how long his struggle to believe and be assured he was in Christ actually drug on. He went back and forth between great hope and utter despair for almost 87 pages (in my copy). He reflects on this struggle and is encouraged by how the Lord used it to teach him great things that would stay with him the rest of his journey toward the heavenly city. I am also pleasantly surprised to find out how much of his personal experience was drawn upon to write the worlds most famous allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress.
The book was great, I finished it a few days ago. Much of what Bunyan describes herein could’ve been written by me from my own conversion experience.
I highly recommend it.