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SHOWING THE RICHNESS AND GLORY OF THE GRACE AND SPIRIT OF THE GOSPEL, AS SET FORTH IN SCRIPTURE BY THIS TERM, THE WATER OF LIFE.
THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.
IHAVE now presented thee with something of a discourse of the Water of Life and its virtues; therefore thou mayst, if thou wilt, call this book, “Bunyan’s Bill of his Master’s Water of Life.” True, I have not set forth at large the excellent nature and quality thereof, nor can that so be done by the pen or tongue of men or angels. Yet this I have said, and so saying, said truly, that whosoever shall drink of this water, shall find it in him a well of water; and not only so, but a well springing up in him to everlasting life, let his disease be what it will. And as men in their bills, for conviction to readers, do give an account to the country of the persons cured, and the diseases that have been removed by liquors and preparations they have made for that end; so could I, were it not already (in holy writ) done by an infallible pen to my hand, give you accounts of numberless numbers that have not only been made to live, but to live forever, by drinking of this water, this pure water of life. Many of them indeed are removed from hence, and live where they cannot be spoken with as yet; but abundance of them do still remain here, and have their abode yet with men.
Only, if thou wouldst drink it, drink it by thyself. And that thou mayst not be deceived by that which is counterfeit, know it is as it comes from the hand of our Lord, without mixture, pure and clear as crystal. I know there are many mountebanks in the world, and every one of them pretends to have this water to sell. But my advice is, that thou go directly to the throne thyself, or as thou art bidden, ‘come to the waters;’ and there thou shalt be sure to have that which is right and good, and that which will certainly make thee well, let thy disease, or trouble, or pain, or malady, be what it will. For the price, care not for that! It is cheap enough. It is to be had without money or price. “I will give,” saith God and the Lamb, “to him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Revelation 21:6.
Hence he says again, “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely; ( Revelation 22:17;) so that thou hast no ground to keep back because of thy poverty. Nay, for the poor it is prepared, and set open; to the poor it is offered; the poor and needy may have it of free cost. Isaiah 41:17,18.
But let it not be slighted because it is offered to thee upon terms so full, so free. For thou art sick, and sick unto death if thou drinkest not of it; nor is there any other than this that can heal thee and make thee well. Farewell.