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history of human reason that in all its efforts to secure the real and permanent good of man, it should neglect those very means which are stamped with the authority of Heaven. The Bible, in the hands of the Spirit of God, is to be the instrument of the world's regeneration. Its claims are paramount, and can never be set aside. But next to it, as we know from history, those labors are the most efficient for permanent and everlasting good, which breathe most of its living spirit. In this noblest of services Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress has been honored to accomplish extensive good. In the same career of usefulness his Practical Works are worthy to take their place.
“They contain, with as little human admixture as well could be expected, those great principles which alone can sustain and adorn the social body. Their general circulation among all classes of men would tend to arrest that current of infidelity and vice which threatens to sweep society away, and to spread over this disordered ruin, the beauty and holiness of its pristine condition. But Bunyan's great object was something higher and nobler by far. He always regarded man as a lost being. And having found, by the Spirit of God, that a glorious remedy was provided, and a holy immortality opened up to the righteous after death, his constant desire was to point lost and desponding wanderers to the peace and comfort of salvation.”
“His Sermons are the most perfect specimens of pure Scriptural preaching of any that we know. Our preaching at the present day is marred by over polished eloquence, or over labored argument. There is little of pure Scriptural preaching; little of free, bold, authoritative proclamation of the message of grace. Hence so few conversions under the ministry of the word, and hence so low a state of spiritual religion among Christians. Our preaching must have less of elaborate formality, before we can expect a blessing. It must be more intensely, boldly scriptural, before we shall see much fruit; and for this Bunyan is one of the best models.”
“No single feature,” says Alexander Philip, “appears more prominent in the Practical Works of Bunyan than the one referred to above. A bold uncompromising offer of free grace is written as with a sunbeam on every page; and especially in his celebrated sermon of “The Jerusalem Sinner Saved.” So full and free are his statements, that the way is opened up for the most desponding soul to the mercy and favor of God. There appears in it the fruit of his own severe experience in reaching a state of hallowed peace.-In " Christ a Complete Saviour," we see him settled down into the peace and joy of believing.-In his “Come and Welcome,” he opens the door of mercy, and encourages the desponding soul to enter the ark of eternal salvation.--He knew well how to promote the growth of Christian hope how to encourage the pilgrim in his journey from this scene of trial to the kingdom of heaven-and how to unfold those promises on which the disembodied spirit must rest at the dawn of eternity.”
These pieces of a kindred tendency have never been combined until now. All the resources of the Author's deep and diversified experience, and practical study of the Scriptures, are here laid under contribution to show the awakened and anxious sinner, the freeness, the fitness, the fulness, the efficiency, and the glory of the gospel. Perhaps nothing uninspired is equally adapted to relieve the wounded conscience, enlighten the perplexed mind, and encourage the tempted and desponding heart. Every leaf drops the very balm of Gilead.
J. N. B.
TO THE READER.
COURTEOUS READER, ONE reason which moved me to write and print this little work was, because though there are many excellent heartaffecting discourses in the world that tend to convert the sinner, yet I had a desire to try this simple method of mine. Wherefore I make bold thus to invite and encourage the worst to come to Christ for life.
I have been vile myself, but have obtained mercy; and I would have my companions in sin partake of mercy too; and therefore I have written this little book.
The nation doth swarm with vile ones now, as ever it did since it was a nation. My little book in some places can scarce go from house to house, but it will find a suitable subject to spend itself upon. Now, since Christ Jesus is willing to save the vilest, why should they not by name be somewhat acquainted with it, and bid come to him under that name.
A great sinner, when converted, seems a booty to Jesus Christ; he gets glory by saving such a one. Why then should both Jesus lose his glory, and the sinner lose his soul at once, and that for want of an invitation ?
I have found, through God's grace, good success in preaching upon this subject; and perhaps so I may by my writing upon it too. I have, as you see, let down this net for a draught. The Lord catch some great fishes by it, for the magnifying of his truth! For sinners differ. There are some most vile in all men's
graceos so I may this net
eyes, and some are so in their own eyes too. But some have their paintings to shroud their vileness under; yet they are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. And for all these, God hath sent a Saviour, Jesus; and to all these the door is opened
Wherefore, prithee, profane man, give this little book the reading. Come, pardon and a part in heaven and glory, cannot be hurtful to thee. Let not thy lusts and folly drive thee beyond the door of mercy, since it is not locked nor bolted up against thee. Manasseh was a bad man, Magdalen a bad woman; to say nothing of the thief upon the cross, or of the murderers of Christ; yet they obtained mercy; Christ willingly received them. .
And dost thou think that those, once so bad, now they are in heaven, repent them there, because they left their sins for Christ when they were in the world? I cannot believe, but that thou thinkest they have verily got the best of it. Why, sinner, do thou likewise. Christ at heaven's gates, says to thee, Come hither; and the devil, at the gates of hell, does call thee to come to him. Sinner, what sayest thou? Whither wilt thou go? Don't go into the fire; there thou wilt be burned. Do not let Jesus lose his longing, since it is for thy salvation; but come to him and live.
One word more, and so I have done. Sinner, here thou dost hear of love; prithee, do not provoke it, by turning it into wantonness. He that dies for slighting love, sinks deepest into hell, and will there be tormented by the remembrance of that evil, more than by the deepest cogitation of all his other sins. Take heed, therefore; do not make love thy tormentor, sinner.
thou thinkesere in the cause they
JERUSALEM SINNER SAVED;
GOOD NEWS FOR THE VILEST OF MEN:
A HELP FOR DESPAIRING SOULS:
THAT JESUS CHRIST WOULD HAVE MERCY, IN THE FIRST
PLACE, OFFERED TO THE GREATEST SINNERS.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
AN ANSWER TO THOSE GRAND OBJECTIONS
THAT LIE IN THE WAY OF THEM THAT WOULD BELIEVE ; AND FOR THE COMFORT OF THOSE THAT FEAR THEY HIAVE
SINNED AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST.
Beginning at Jerusalem.-LUKE xxiv. 47.