By Jenny-Lyn de Klerk
Bunyan wrote this work to show that Christ’s role as advocate for believers, who, even though they are weak, are secure because Christ pleads for them before the Father. Bunyan believed this doctrine had not been communicated clearly enough in the church of his day and wanted to bring encouragement and comfort by explaining it. Though Bunyan’s genius for writing and communicating has been admired by many throughout history, he saw himself first and foremost as a pastor to those God had given him to teach and help, which mostly included those who were outcasts in society like the poor and uneducated.
This first edition of Christ as Advocate is flooded with signatures, several of which are from John Leakey who recorded information about Elizabeth Leakey. She “Was Born . . . 26 of January 1759 . . . half past 12 at mid Day and Christened the 11 of February 1759” as well as “married May 13th1787—Blessed are they that are called in this marriage Supper of the Lamb.” Her children’s birthdays are also recorded, as well as her death, to which is added “The day before she fell asleep in Christ the blessed Spirit most wonderfully & apparently form’d Christ in her Heart this Hope of love and made her powerfully feel the . . . need of his Blood & Righteousness. The book is also signed by “Molly Salsbury” and “Ann . . .”
Source: Allison Library, Regent College, shelf mark BT 255 .B86 1688 JRA RARE. Photographs by Jenny-Lyn de Klerk.