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Page 161

CHAPTER VIII
PURITANS AND CAVALIERS II

fascinating story and to the learned a marvellously per-fect allegory, while to thousands of humble seekers after the way in which they should walk it has been a guide and an inspiration. This book is The Pilgrim's Progress.
John Bunyan, 1628-1688. It was written by John Bunyan, a man whose life was in many ways the opposite of Milton's, for he was poor and almost without even the simplest beginnings of education. There is small reason for thinking that Milton ever looked upon himself as in any respect a wrongdoer ; but the rude village lad, John Bunyan, suffered for two years agonies of remorse for what he feared was the unpardonable wickedness of his boyhood. At last the light burst upon him. He believed that the sins of his youth had found forgiveness, and he had but one desire, to preach forgiveness to every one whom he could reach. His trade was that of a tinker, and as he went from place to place, he preached wherever any one would listen. There was little trouble in gathering audiences together; for the untaught villager began to show a vividness of speech, a rude eloquence, which held his hearers as if they were spellbound.
Those were not days when a man might preach what he would. Charles II. looked upon all dissenters as opposed to him. Bunyan had become a dissenter, and it did not occur to him to conceal his faith or even to preach with less boldness.

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