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    COURTEOUS READER, God (I hope) hath put it into my heart to write unto thee another time, and that about matters of the greatest moment (for now we discourse not about things controverted among the godly, but directly about the saving or damning of the soul; yea, moreover, this discourse is about the fewness of them that shall be saved, and it proves that many an high professor will come short of eternal life); wherefore the matter must needs be sharp, and so disliked by some, but let it not be rejected by thee. The text calls for sharpness, so do the times, yea, the faithful discharge of my duty towards thee hath put me upon it.

    I do not now pipe, but mourn; and it will be well for thee if thou canst graciously lament, Matthew 11:17. Some (say they) make the gate of heaven too wide, and some make it too narrow; for my part, I have here presented thee with as true a measure of it, as by the word of God I can.

    Read me, therefore, yea, read me, and compare me with the Bible; and if thou findest my doctrine and that book of God concur, embrace it, as thou wilt answer the contrary in the day of judgment. This awakening work (if God will make it so) was prepared for thee: if there be need, and it wounds, get healing by blood: if it disquiets, get peace by blood: if it takes away all thou hast, because it was naught (for this book is not prepared to take away true grace from any), then buy of Christ gold tried in the fire, that thou mayst be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayst be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness doth not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayst see, Revelation 3:18. Selfflatteries, self-deceivings, are easy and pleasant, but damnable. The Lord give thee an heart to judge right of thyself, right of this book, and so prepare for eternity, that thou mayst not only expect entrance, but be received into the kingdom of Christ and of God. Amen.

    So prays thy Friend, John Bunyan.


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