John Bunyan

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John Bunyan – 7 February 2009

An old book of ours that was published in 1899 is Eugene Field’s The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac. In his chapter titled “A Book that Brings Solace and Cheer” Field relates this anecdote about John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress, after his spiritual awakening:

On another occasion a certain Cambridge student, who was filled with a sense of his own importance, undertook to prove to him [Bunyan] what a divine thing reason was, and he capped his argument with the declaration that reason was the chief glory of man which distinguished him from a beast. To this Bunyan calmly made answer: “Sin distinguishes man from beast; is sin divine?”

The following comment about John Bunyan is also found in this chapter:

Bunyan in his imprisonment had his spiritual perception made all the brighter by his exclusion from the glare of the outside world.

This brings to mind the passages in the Bible, Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 6:12, which tell how Jesus would withdraw from the crowds from time to time:

Mark 1:12-13

12 And immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.

13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.

Luke 6:12

12 And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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