The Life and Death of Mr Badman, John Bunyan
The Life and Death of Mr Badman
John Bunyan
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The Life and Death of Mr. Badman; Presented to the World in a Familiar Dialogue Between Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Attentive is a 1680 book by John Bunyan. It was designed as a companion to The Pilgrim's Progress and was published by Nathaniel Ponder. The two characters have a dialogue about sin and redemption over the course of a long day. In his preface titled "The Author to the Reader," Bunyan announces that Mr Badman is a pseudonym for a real man who is dead. Mr Badman's relatives and offspring continue to populate Earth, which "reels and staggereth to and fro like a Drunkard, the transgression thereof is heavy upon it." In a mock eulogy, Bunyan says Mr Badman did not earn four themes commonly part of a funeral for a great man. First, there is no wrought image that will serve as a memorial, and Bunyan's work will have to suffice. Second, Mr Badman died without Honour, so he earned no badges and scutcheons. Third, his life did not merit a sermon. Fourth, no one will mourn and lament his death. Bunyan then describes the sort of Hell awaiting Mr Badman, citing Scripture. He said he published it to address the wickedness and debauchery that had corrupted England, as was his duty as a Christian, in hopes of delivering himself "from the ruins of them that perish."

The Life and Death
of
Mr. Badman

by
John Bunyan


Presented to the World in a Familiar DIALOGUE Betwixt Mr. WISEMAN, And, Mr. ATTENTIVE.

Wiseman.

Good morrow my good Neighbour, Mr. Attentive; whither are you walking so early this morning? methinks you look as if you were concerned about something more than ordinary. Have you lost any of your Cattel, or what is the matter?

Attentive. Good Sir, Good morrow to you, I have not as yet lost ought, but yet you give a right ghess of me, for I am, as you say, concerned in my heart, but ’tis because of the badness of the times. And Sir, you, as all our Neighbours know, are a very observing man, pray therefore what do you think of them?

Wise. Why? I think, as you say, to wit, that they are bad times, and bad they will be, untill men are better: for they are bad men that make bad times; if men therefore would mend, so would the times. ’Tis a folly to look for good dayes, so long as sin is so high, and those that study its nourishment so many. God bring it down, and those that nourish it to Repentance, and then my good Neighbour, you will be concerned, not as you are now: Now you are concerned because times are so bad; but then you will be so, ’cause times are so good: Now you are concerned so as to be perplexed, but then you will be concerned so as to lift up your voice with shouting; for I dare say, could you see such dayes they would make you shout.

Atten. Ai, so they would, such times I have prayed for, such times I have longed for: but I fear they’ll be worse before they be better.

Wise. Make no Conclusions, man: for he that hath the hearts of men in his hand, can change them from worse to better, and so bad times into good. God give long life to them that are good, and especially to those of them that are capable of doing him service in the world. The Ornament and Beauty of this lower World, next to God and his Wonders, are the men that spangle and shine in godliness.

Now as Mr. Wiseman said this, he gave a great sigh.

Atten. Amen. Amen. But why, good Sir, do you sigh so deeply? is it for ought else than that for the which as you have perceived, I my self am concerned?

Wise. I am concerned with you, for the badness of the times; but that was not the cause of that sigh, of the which, as I see, you take notice. I sighed at the remembrance of the death of that man for whom the Bell tolled at our Town yesterday.

Atten. Why? I trow, Mr. Goodman your Neighbour is not dead. Indeed I did hear that he had been sick.

Wise. No, no, it is not he. Had it been he, I could not but have been concerned, but yet not as I am concerned now. If he had died, I should only have been concerned for that the world had lost a Light: but the man that I am concerned for now, was one that never was good, therefore such an one who is not dead only, but damned. He died that he might die, he went from Life to Death, and then from Death to Death, from Death Natural to death Eternal. And as he spake this, the water stood in his eyes.

Atten. Indeed, to goe from a death-bed to Hell is a fearful thing to think on. But good Neighbour Wiseman, be pleased to tell me who this man was, and why you conclude him so miserable in his death?

Wise. Well, if you can stay, I will tell you who he was, and why I conclude thus concerning him.

Atten. My leisure will admit me to stay, and I am willing to hear you out. And I pray God your discourse may take hold on my heart, that I may be bettered thereby. So they agreed to sit down under a tree: Then Mr. Wiseman proceeded as followeth.

Wise. The man that I mean, is one Mr. Badman; he has lived in our Town a great while, and now, as I said, he is dead. But the reason of my being so concerned at his death, is, not for that he was at all related to me, or for that any good conditions died with him, for he was far from them, but for that, as I greatly fear, he hath, as was hinted before, died two deaths at once.

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