Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan

Grace Abounding is the celebrated autobiography of John Bunyan. Actually it deals very little with his life, family and ministry, including no mention of writing his best known works, Pilgrim’s Progress and Holy War. Instead, much like his Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, Grace Abounding chronicles his spiritual pilgrimage.

Fully two-thirds of the book details his tortured soul during his unconverted days. Under great conviction for years, Bunyan’s misery resembled that of characters out of an Edgar Allen Poe story: depressed, despairing, seemingly hearing voices and seeing visions. Truly Bunyan was in agony prior to conversion and, in fact, often afterward. Yet as he matured Bunyan saw even the “abominations in my heart” as means ordained by God for his good (p. 156). Still, Bunyan’s spiritual life is hardly self-described as jovial and permeated with peace. His was one of constant struggle—yet he remained faithful to his Lord even while imprisoned twelve years for preaching the gospel.