John Bunyan is known across the English-speaking world as the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. But who was Bunyan, and what was it that provided him with the stimulus and inspiration to write that most revered and well-loved of allegories?
The answer can, in part, be found in Grace Abounding, for it is here that we are given a glimpse into Bunyan’s own spiritual experience. The vivid images of Pilgrim’s Progress, such as the ‘Slough of Despond’, or ‘Doubting Castle’, are brought to mind as Bunyan tells of his own pilgrimage — how he came to understand and rest in the love of God in Christ.
The full title of Bunyan’s story is Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Like the apostle Paul, it was the remembrance of his past sins that brought Bunyan to appreciate the great grace that God has shown towards him. Written for the benefit of his ‘spiritual children’, Bunyan’s intention was that ‘others may be put in remembrance of what he hath done for their souls, by reading his work upon me.’