Before I came to prison, I saw what was a-coming and had, especially, two considerations warm upon my heart.  The first was how to be able to endure, should my imprisonment be long and tedious.  The second was how to be able to encounter death, should that be here my portion.  For the first of these, that Scripture, Colossians 1.11, was great information to me, namely, to pray to God to be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.  I could seldom go to prayer before I was imprisoned but, for not so little as a year together, this sentence – or sweet petition – would, as it were, thrust itself into my mind and persuade me that, if ever I would go through long-suffering, I must have all patience, especially if I would endure it joyfully.

As to the second consideration, that saying, 2 Corinthians 1.9, was of great use unto me, But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we might not trust in ourselves but in God who raiseth the dead.  By this Scripture, I was made to see that, if ever I would suffer rightly, I must first pass a sentence of death upon everything that can properly be called a thing of this life – even to reckon myself, my wife, my children, my health, my enjoyments and all as dead to me, and myself as dead to them.  He who loveth father or mother, son or daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me (Matthew 10.37).

From: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan; edited, and with an introduction, by W. R. Owen; Penguin Classics series (New York: Penguin Books, 1987), p. 79.  Originally published in 1666.

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