The first two items in this volume of posthumous works belong in the last days before Bunyan's death on 31st August 1688, when he was in his 60th year and at the height of his fame as a popular preacher and writer. Travelling on horseback to London, with the manuscript of "The Acceptable Sacrifice", he was caught in heavy rain and fell sick with a fever. Though sufficiently recovered to preach what was to be his last sermon on 19th August, at Whitechapel, his fever worsened and he died 12 days later. The next year, both these works were published under the imprint of George Larkin. The majority of the works left unpublished at Bunyan's death, however, were not published until 1692, in the folio volume prepared by his friend and disciple John Doe, "The Works of that Eminent Servant of Christ, Mr John Bunyan, Late Minister of the Gospel, and Pastor of the Congregation at Beford". Doe added an address of his own to the "Christian Reader", entitled "The Struggler", which is an important source of the information about Bunyan - it is published in the present volume as an appendix.
Bunyan's posthumous writings cannot be dated exactly, but they were not necessarily written immediately before his death. This edition discusses their likely periods of composition, as far as they can be established, and their place in Bunyan's thinking - especially the important unfinished exposition of Genesis. As usual with the series, the texts are presented in the original spelling, with textual annotation and commentary on their content and allusions.
'Many of the introductions to the volumes of The Miscellaneous Works draw out the parallels between the major writings and the various religious tracts. The Bunyan of The Miscellaneous Works is very much a preacher and theologian. As a result of such work on Bunyan's sectarian milieu, Bunyan's relation to his context is coming into ever sharper focus. These beautifully bound and meticulously edited volumes are positive encouragements to
the reader. It would be difficult to overpraise them.'
Religious Studies Review, Volume 19, Number 1/January 1993