Heart Reflections Live
Monday, May 28, 2007
The Gentle Influence of a Godly Wife
Extract from "John Bunyan", by John Brown:
"On the disbanding of the army in 1646, Bunyan returned to his tinkering life at Elstow, & 2 or 3 years later took to himself a wife. Who she was & where he found her we have now no means of knowing. There is no entry of the marriage in the register at Elstow, which may arise from the fact that he found her at a distance, or that they were , according to the custom of the Commonwealth, married before some Justice of the Peace whose registers are lost. Apparently she was an orphan & a native of some other place than Elstow, for she used to talk to Bunyan about her father as though they were unknown to each other, telling him
what a godly man he was & how he would reprove & correct vice both in his house & amongst his neighbours; what a strict & holy life he lived in his days both in word & deed.
W e know not who she was, we do not even know her Christian name, but we do know that her advent brought to Bunyan what he had not had since his mother's death, a real home brightened by the presence of love. It was not brightened by much else.
This woman & I came together as poor as might be, not having so much household stuff as a dish or spoon betwixt us both.
It was an unpromising beginning, but many that are more promising turn out worse. It may be that where there are health & hope & honest industry, mutual love & trust can better supply the lack of dish & spoon than an abundance of dishes & spoons can supply the lack of love.
Though the young wife bought no dower of wealth to her husband, she brought to him that which wealth cannot buy- saintly memories of a godly home & trained instincts for good; &, as we have seen, she would beguile their summer evening walks & their fireside winter talks by memories of the good man, her father, who had gone to heaven. She brought with her also 2 books which had been his, the one, The Plain Man's Path-way to Heaven by Arthur Dent, the parish minister of Shoebury in Essex, and the other, The Practice of Piety, by Lewis Bayly, a Bishop of Bangor, in King James' time.
In these I would sometimes read with her, wherin I also found some things that were somewhat pleasing to me."
John Bunyan was saved by the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ a short while later.