John Bunyan’s Last Sermon

John Bunyan’s Last Sermon

This sermon, although very short, is peculiarly interesting: how it was preserved we are not told; but it bears strong marks of having been published from notes taken by one of the hearers. There is no proof that any memorandum or notes of this sermon was found in the autograph of the preacher. In the list of Bunyan’s works published by Chas. Doe, at the end of the ‘Heavenly Footman,’ March 1690, it stands No. 44. He professes to give the title-page, word for word, as it was first printed, It is, ‘Mr. John Bunyan’s last sermon, at London, preached at Mr. Gamman’s meeting-house, near Whitechapel, August 19th, 1688, upon John 1:13: showing a resemblance between a natural and a spiritual birth; and how every man and woman may try themselves, and know whether they are born again or not.’ Published 1689, in about one sheet in 12mo. From this it appears to have been preached only two days before his fatal illness, and twelve days before his decease, which took place August 31st, 1688. The disease which terminated his invaluable life, was brought on by a journey to Reading on horseback, undertaken with the benevolent design of reconciling an offended father to his son. Having accomplished his object, he rode to London; on his way home, through a heavy rain, the effects of which appeared soon after this, his last sermon was preached. He bore, with most exemplary patience and resignation, the fever which invaded his body; and, at a distance from his wife and family, in the house of his friend Mr. Strudwick, at Snow Hill, his pilgrimage was ended, and he fell asleep in perfect peace, to awake amidst the harmonies and glory of the celestial city.

GEO. OFFOR.

John Bunyan (baptised 30 November 1628 – 31 August 1688) was an English writer and Puritan preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, which also became an influential literary model. In addition to The Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons.

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