Saturday, 31 August 2013

Perspective, Dear Boy, Perspective

On this day in 1688 the famed Puritan and great author John Bunyan died. It is reputed that his most renowned work, Pilgrim's Progress has been translated into more languages than any other book save the Bible and that great Victorian preacher Charles Spurgeon apparently read it more than 100 times. C.S. Lewis commended it as "a literary and spiritual masterpiece". Today in the centre of Bedford, there stands a statue with Bunyan, tinker on the back and bible in one hand. This statue marks the place where Bunyan spent many years in prison for preaching without the permission. Near the foot of the statue is a little bronze plaque and on it are engraved the words of the prosecutor-the Lord Judge Magistrate of Bedford-spoken at Bunyan's sentencing in January 1673. The judge said:
At last we are done with this tinker and his cause. Never more will he plague us: for his name, locked away as surely as he, shall be forgotten, as surely as he. Done we are, and all eternity with him.
Ha! With all due respect Lord Judge Magistrate it is not Bunyan who is forgotten but you who is unnamed and unremembered in the annals of history. To paraphrase a British Prime Minister "perspective, dear boy, perspective."

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