From the Archives: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
Grace Aboundingis Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography. It was written in 1666, when he had already endured six years of imprisonment for his religious commitment. The book contains some record of the events of Bunyan’s life, but its major concern is the working of God’s grace in his life. Bunyan wrote the account to encourage friends and followers who faced struggles and persecutions like his own. The excerpts below are sections 289–312, and the conclusion.
While The Pilgrim’s Progress is recognized as Bunyan’s greatest book, it is easily accessible to interested readers, and excerpts can be found in this issue (Bunyan’s Understanding of the Christian Life… and What shall I do to be saved?)
My great desire in my fulfilling my ministry was to get into the darkest places of the country, even amongst those people that were farthest off of profession; yet not because I could not endure the light, for I feared not to show my gospel to any, but because I found my spirit leaned most after awakening and converting work, and the Word that I carried did lead itself most that way also; “yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Rom. 15:20).
In my preaching I have really been in pain, and have, as it were, travailed to bring forth children to God; neither could I be satisfied unless some fruits did appear in my work. If I were fruitless it mattered not who commended me; but if I were fruitful, I cared not who did condemn. I have thought of that, “He that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30); and again, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy ...