ch2     Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 2               
Updated: December 28, 2014

 

First: read pages 19-25 and answer questions in textbook.

 

Who was John Bunyan?

1.  Bunyan was born in Elstow, England, in 1628 and died sixty years later in London.

2.  He is best known for his great allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress

3.  Bunyan was also greatly loved in his day for his outstanding preaching ability.

4. In addition to The Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan wrote a host of other books, including Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (his autobiography), The Holy War, The Greatness of the Soul, Mr. Badman, and The Groans of a Lost Soul.  Cartoon Bunyan video

How was Bunyan educated?

A tall man, Bunyan struck a very imposing figure. He wore his hair to his shoulders. (TCA2)

Bunyan Lacked a Formal Education.  His parents were poor. His father was a tinker (a mender and peddler of used pots and pans). Although his parents were very poor, they did get John into grade school, where he learned to read and write. Beyond that, he said, he forgot everything that he learned.

Yet, this influential masterpiece was written by an uneducated tinker! At his many court hearings, Bunyan baffled the most educated lawyers and judges of the day with his brilliance. He literally made fools of highly educated officials who sometimes stood silent and confused when he had finished defending himself. Yet, he was uneducated.
Twelve hundred people came to hear him speak before 7:00 a.m. on cold, damp, winter mornings.
The Encyclopedia Brittannica calls Bunyan “the greatest literary genius produced by the Puritan movement.”

This practice is reminiscent of Peter in Acts 4:18–20 (see also 5:17–19, 26–29). The authorities commanded Peter not to preach, but he preached anyway. Then, in 5:18, he was arrested, but before he was tried, he escaped (released with the help of an angel). When the authorities found him, he was in the temple—preaching! Once more, they hauled him in and commanded him not to preach. They then beat him before releasing him (5:40). And what did he do next? He preached!

How long was Bunyan imprisoned?

His meditation also affected his speaking and writing style. Those who heard him and those who study his writing style testify to the fact that he never wasted a word; he made every word count. His powers of expression were unequaled in his day.

First and foremost, however, Bunyan was a preacher. He was 45 years old before he wrote his first book.

He suffered a total of twelve years of imprisonment. Although he was offered several opportunities for release if he would agree not to preach, he always refused.
Occasionally, the jailer would secretly release him on weekends—and he always preached while he was out!

Watch Protestant Reformation b 5min video



Lesson Objectives:

1. To relate the historical background of John Bunyan

2. To show the importance of the Bible in Bunyan’s life

This lesson concerns the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan. In a very real sense, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the story of Bunyan’s own spiritual experience.

 

Resources:

Student Book PDF
World view study guide

Text PDF

Video whole movie:
video

Characters:
1st Part
2nd Part

What do you think this statement means? write a paraphrase of the answer on p 25

One sentence from Bunyan’s classic book perhaps best marks the philosophy of his life: “If you will go with us, you must go against wind and tide. You must own religion in his rags as well as in his silver slippers; and stand by him, too, when bound in irons as well as when he walketh the streets with applause.”

Bunyan became the pastor in a new church that was erected just for him in Bedford. There he preached until he became sick after visiting a family in a chilling storm. Ten days later, he died at the house of Mr. Straddock, a London grocer, on August 12, 1688.

If you go on this journey many strong forces will buffet you.  You must know your faith, the bad and the good. Stand by your faith, when persecuted and when congratulated.

After a while, however, his depression left, and he soon forgot his concern for hell and lost himself in sinful living. He turned his back on God. Whenever he saw someone reading Christian books, he pitied the person because “I felt as though he were in prison.”

• According to Job 21:14, what might Bunyan’s feelings have been at this time? ___Depart from us___Bunyan wrote, “Heaven and hell were both out of sight and out of mind. As for being saved or being damned, I cared not in the least.”

However, God did not leave him alone but continued to pursue him. Several times, Bunyan almost died. Once he fell into a creek and almost drowned. At another time, he fell out of a boat into Bedford River and almost drowned again. And on another occasion he had a close encounter with a poisonous snake. He caught the snake, pried open its mouth, and pulled out its fang with his fingers!

Bunyan joined the army, and God continued to protect him although he lived an even more ungodly life than before. In Grace Abounding, he wrote, “When I was a soldier, I was sent out along with some others to a certain place to besiege it; but just as I was ready to go, someone asked to go in my place; as he stood sentry duty, he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died.”

• Yet, none of these things awakened his soul to righteousness. In fact, he grew more rebellious against God and careless of his salvation. What is the connection between this story and Revelation 9:17–21?__Although he encountered things that should have made him aware of the berivity of life, and of eternity , he did not repent, just as the men in these verse ___

Until the Spirit of God arrests a soul, neither good nor bad circumstances will soften the heart for salvation.In 1645, Bunyan returned to Elstow from the army and continued to live a life of sin.

In 1649, he married, and his wife gave him two books to read: The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven and The Practice of Piety. These books did not waken his heart to its need for salvation, but they did make him want to reform his vicious life.

He began to attend church (twice on Sunday), and he began to talk holily. In fact, he started acting so piously that the neighbors called him a “holy man.” He liked the label and tried to be even more holy. However, after about a year of acting the part and actually thinking that he was holy, he happened to walk down a street in Bedford where he heard three or four ladies talking about the things of the Lord. He was overcome, not only with their knowledge of the Word but also with their great joy. He had no joy in his religion, but theirs seemed real and natural. He began to doubt the genuineness of his religion.“

I saw as if they were on the sunny side of some high mountain, there refreshing themselves with the pleasant beams of the sun, while I was shivering and shrink-ing in the cold, afflicted with frost, snow, and dark clouds.”

• He went home and for several days searched the Bible, considering his condition. During this time, two verses of Scripture helped to open his eyes: John 14:6 and Matthew 7:14. (Read these verses and write them in the following spaces.) _John 14:6—Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Matthew 7:14—Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it._

• But he still could not clearly understand. Would God save him? If God chose those whom He would save, would He choose John Bunyan? Or, what if God had already chosen everyone who would be saved and had already filled heaven and no room was left for John Bunyan? For many days, he was tor-mented with this thought, until one day Luke 14:22–23 seemed to jump out at him. (Read this passage and write it in the following space.) __And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

 

Quiz—Lesson 2     John Bunyan and The Pilgrim’s Progress
Name____________________________________________ Date ______________ Score_________

True–False
Circle the T or the F to indicate your answer.
T F 1. Even as a child, Bunyan was troubled by thoughts of hell.
T F 2. Bunyan was reared in a modest middle–class home.
T F 3. Bunyan was arrested because he refused to preach without a license.

Matching
Match each of books on the right with its proper significance on the left.
4. One of two books that caused Bunyan to be interested in reforming his life
A. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
B. Grace Abounding
C. The Practice of Piety
5. One of two books that Bunyan read while in prison
6. Bunyan’s autobiography

Short Answer
7. What was Bunyan’s occupation (and that of his father) before he became a preacher?_____
8. Bunyan’s life is an illustration of how nothing—neither good nor bad circumstances—will soften a soul until it is arrested by whom?____________
9. What was the name of the preacher who taught Bunyan the doctrines of grace?__________
10. In what town did Bunyan minister?____________
11. How long was Bunyan in prison for the sake of the gospel?___

Essays
12–13. After the first part of The Pilgrim’s Progress was published in 1678, Bunyan wrote a second part. Explain what the second part of the story was about (i.e., what is its plot summary?).
14–15. Explain what prompted Bunyan to conclude, “Where there has been a work to do upon sinners, there the devil hath begun to roar in the hearts and by the mouths of his servants.”