The treatises in this volume were first published when the persecution of nonconformists was reaching a fierce climax. "Seasonable Counsel", subtitled "Advice to Sufferers", presents Bunyan's reflections on how believers were to understand and respond to this experience. His own sufferings are reflected in his essentially practical discussion of the many issues raised and in the vigorous speech-based language of the mature preacher and writer. "A Discourse upon the Pharisee and the Publicane" is an exposition of the parable in Luke XVIII. The work gives Bunyan's ultimate thoughts on justification by faith, which show a development from his earlier position. There is a shrewd analysis of the characters, with a lively and original discussion of body language. The introduction to this volume relates Bunyan's arguments and experience to their context, including contemporary ideas on persecution and toleration and on the connection between faith and justification. This and other volumes are intended for all interested in Bunyan, historians of the 17th century and church historians.
`his Miscellaneous Works are coming out in this fine edition under Roger Sharrock's general editorship' John Drury,
'Owen Watkins has given us an admirably thorough and illuminating edition of these two substantial works, both of them important for understanding Bunyan's thought and both interesting for their links with the imaginative works.'
John R. Knott, University of Michigan, Bunyan Studies
'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