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Little do we know what is for our permanent good. Had Bunyan been discharged from prison, and allowed to enjoy his liberty, he no doubt would have returned, filling up his intervals of leisure with field preaching; his name would not have survived his own generation, and he would have done little for the pious improvement of mankind. But the prison doors were shut upon him for twelve years. Being cut off from the external world, he communed with his own soul, and inspired by Him who touched Isaiah’s hallowed lips with fire, he composed the noblest allegory, the merit of which was first discovered by the lowly, but which is now lauded by the most refined critics; and which has done more to awaken piety and to enforce the precepts of Christian morality, than all the sermons that have been published by all the prelates of the Anglican church.
—Lord Campbell, Chief Justice of England