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Bunyan, John

Born: 1628 AD
Died: 1688 AD
Nationality: English
Categories: Authors, Clergymen, Ministers, Writers

1628 – John Bunyan was born in November, at Elstow, a little village about a mile south of Bedford in Bedfordshire [England].

1647-1648 – After leaving the army, Bunyan married, but no record of his marriage has yet been found, and both the Christian and the family name of his wife are unknown. It seems likely that she was not a native of Elstow.

         – He recovered the art of reading, which he apparently had forgotten. He seems also to have resumed his tinker’s trade.

1652 – The four years following his marriage were the period of the intense spiritual struggles which Bunyan records in the autobiography, written many years later, entitled Grace Abounding. It was this experience which made it possible for him to write The Pilgrim’s Progress.

1653 – Bunyan joined this body, although still living in Elstow, and two years later, having removed to Bedford, he was chosen a deacon in the church. He continued to employ himself as a tinker, but this new interest in the Bedford church must have come to be of paramount importance.

1656 – Appeared Some Gospel Truths Opened, in which, according to Offor, the editor of the most recent edition of Bunyan’s complete works, Bunyan "attacked the follies of the time, exposed and condemned heresies without mercy.

1658 – Bunyan was in the habit of preaching in the surrounding towns. As a result of this disregard of the law he was indicted. Apparently the indictment was not pressed, for there is no record of any trial or sentence. It is impossible to believe that Bunyan desisted from preaching.

         – The title of his third book, which deals with the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, is highly characteristic; it is called, A Few Sighs from Hell, or the Groans of a Damned Soul; by that poor and contemptible servant of Jesus Christ, John Bunyan.

1666 – Published the first edition of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. This is Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography.

1672 – The long imprisonment came to an end. Charles II., in his eagerness to benefit the Catholics, had suspended all the statutes against the Nonconformists. Bunyan received royal authority to preach and was called to the pastorate of the Bedford church, having been chosen for this office before his release.

1678 – The Pilgrim’s Progress, which appeared, became almost at once a popular book, and it made Bunyan the best-known Nonconformist in England. His success led him to undertake other religious allegories.

1688 – He died August 31st in London, whither he had gone to effect a reconciliation between a father and a son. He was buried in Bunhill Fields, Finsbury, the "Campo Santo of the Dissenters."