Four years after John Bunyan released his instantly popular journey allegory The Pilgrim's Progress, he published The Holy War--a battle allegory and companion volume. His first book explores salvation of the individual Christian; the second portrays the battle for sanctification. While Christian struggles with questions about assurance of salvation, the collective Mansoul labors with the challenges of being led by and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Pilgrim's Progress focuses on the individual's struggle against sin; The Holy War portrays the Church in a corporate struggle against systemic evil. Bunyan wrote that The Holy War originates in "the same heart, and head, fingers and pen" as The Pilgrim's Progress. Both books present separate dimensions of Bunyan's spiritual journey.
Taken together, the journey allegory and the battle allegory capture the full range and depth of the biblical message that consumed Bunyan's imagination. He credits his own salvation to these two things: The grace of God and tenacious, continual, holy warfare. The Holy War is testimony to a spiritual battle he fought, and won.
This edition provides annotations that clarify Bunyan's first edition language and message for readers in a post-Puritan world.