This treatise was one of the last writings of John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. Its main point is easily stated: “They that will have heaven, they must run for it.” He pleads with men to race for eternal life so that they achieve it, even though the way is difficult. Articles like these—which discuss the difficulties of being a Christian and exhort us to overcome them—are all the more necessary in our own day. We have reduced Christianity to the mere act of “making a decision” once in our life, and so we must hear sobering words like these from Bunyan to remind us of the truth.
This form of the treatise contains an introduction from the editor who republished it in 1698, as well as editorial notes from the same sprinkled throughout the text. It also includes “an epistle to all the slothful and careless people,” written by Bunyan. The article itself follows a simple outline. He states his main point and elaborates on what it means to “run” for eternal life. He then follows this with seven reasons why we ought to run, nine directions for how we ought to do so, nine additional points to motivate us, and nine very specific applications. He ends with a “provocation” and “a short expostulation.” Overall, it is great example of puritan literature—passionate, biblical, and down-to-earth.
This article is perfect for those who are unconverted, or who profess to be Christians but seem generally uninterested in pursuing God—although the English is quite old, and so it takes some effort to read. Those who want to rekindle their own hearts, or learn how to counsel others who are getting spiritually lazy, will also find exactly what they need in these pages.