The Pharisee and Publican

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Lightning Source Incorporated, 2008 - 124 páginas
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Wherein several great and weighty things are handled: as, the nature of prayer, and of obedience to the law, with how it obliges Christians, and wherein it consists. Wherein is also shewed, the equally deplorable condition of the Pharisee, or hypocritical and self-righteous man; and of the Publican, or sinner that lives in sin, and in open violation of the Divine laws. Together with the way and method of God's FREE GRACE in pardoning penitent sinners; proving that He justifies them by imputing Christ's righteousness to them. "As a theological treatise, the Pharisee and Publican is invaluable. It is clear and perfectly intelligible to every candid and prayerful inquirer. When our author is proving the impossibility of a sinner's recommending himself to the divine favour by any imperfect good works of his own, he draws a vivid picture. A lord invites his friends to a sumptuous banquet, the provision is bountiful and in rich abundance, when some of the guests take a few mouldy crusts out of their pockets and lay them on their plates, lest the prince had not provided a sufficient repast for his friends; "would it not be a high affront to, a great contempt of, and a distrust in, the goodness of the Lord." We are bound to produce good works as a fruit of faith-a proof of love to him that hath redeemed us, but not to recommend us to his favour. The picture of such a feast drawn by John Bunyan must make upon every reader a deep, a lasting, an indelible impression. How bitter and how true is the irony, when the Pharisee is represented as saying, "I came to thy feast out of civility, but for thy dainties I need them not, I have enough of my own; I thank thee for thy kindness, but I am not asthose that stand in need of thy provisions, nor yet as this Publican." The language is bold and striking, but it exhibits the unvarnished truth; an inward change of nature is the only cause of good and acceptable works-good or evil actions are but the evidences of our state by grace or by nature-they do not work that change or produce that state.It is a soul-humbling view of our state of death by sin, or of life by the righteousness and obedience of Christ." George Offor, editor.

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John Bunyan was born in Elstow, Bedfordshire, England, in 1628. He learned to read and write at the village school and was prepared to follow his father's trade as a brazier when the English Civil War broke out in 1644 and he was drafted into the Parliamentary army. His military service brought him into contact with Oliver Cromwell's Puritan troops. Beginning in 1648, Bunyan suffered a crisis in religious faith that lasted for several years. He turned to the Nonconformist church in Bedford to sustain him during this period. His first writings were attacks against the Quakers. Then Charles II was restored to the throne and Bunyan was arrested for conducting services not in accordance with the Church of England. He spent 12 years in jail. During this time, he wrote his autobiography, Grace Abounding, in which he described his spiritual struggle and growth. During his last years in prison, Bunyan began his most famous work, The Pilgrim's Progress, a two-part allegorical tale of the character Christian and his journey to salvation. Part I was published in 1678 and Part II in 1684. The second part deals with the spiritual journey of Christian's wife and sons, as they follow in his footsteps. With its elements of the folktale tradition, The Pilgrim's Progress became popular immediately. Well into the nineteenth century it was a book known to almost every reader in England and New England, second in importance only to the Bible. So great was the book's influence that it even plays a major role in Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott. Such expressions as "the slough of despond" and "vanity fair" have become part of the English language. Bunyan's other works include The Life and Death of Mr. Badman and The Holy War. He also wrote A Book for Boys and Girls, verses on religious faith for children. Bunyan died in London on August 31, 1688.

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