John Bunyan Quotes

John Bunyan (November 30, 1628 – August 31, 1688), was the most famous of the Puritan writers and preachers. He was born at Harrowden (1 mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He is most well-known for his book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, one of the most printed books in history, which he composed while in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel without a license.


“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” ~ John Bunyan


“What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it.” ~ John Bunyan


“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. ” ~ John Bunyan


“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ~ John Bunyan



“This hill, though high, I covet to ascend; 
The difficulty will not me offend. 
For I perceive the way to life lies here. 
Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear. 
Better, though difficult, the right way to go, 
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.” 

~ John Bunyan (The Pilgrim’s Progress)


“He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” ~ John Bunyan


“One leak will sink a ship, and one sin will destroy a sinner.” ~ John Bunyan


“It is said that in some countries trees will grow, but will bear no fruit because there is no winter there.” ~ John Bunyan


“Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none.” ~ John Bunyan


“If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us…” ~ John Bunyan


“I will stay in prison till the moss grows on my eye lids rather than disobey God.” ~ John Bunyan


“I have given Him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to Him; how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?” ~ John Bunyan


“Conversion is not the smooth, easy-going process some men seem to think… It is wounding work, this breaking of the hearts, but without wounding there is no saving… Where there is grafting there will always be a cutting, the graft must be let in with a wound; to stick it onto the outside or to tie it on with a string would be of no use. Heart must be set to heart and back to back or there will be no sap from root to branch. And this, I say, must be done by a wound, by a cut.” ~ John Bunyan


“Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” ~ John Bunyan


“Though there is not always grace where there is the fear of hell, yet, to be sure, there is no grace where there is no fear of God.” ~ John Bunyan


“Just as Christian came up to the Cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, fell from off his back, and began to tumble down the hill, and so it continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher. There it fell in, and I saw it no more!” ~ John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress


“The man that takes up religion for the world will throw away religion for the world.” ~ John Bunyan


“I seek a place that can never be destroyed, one that is pure, and that fadeth not away, and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be given, at the time appointed, to them that seek it with all their heart. Read it so, if you will, in my book.” ~ John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress


“Nothing can hurt you except sin; nothing can grieve me except sin; nothing can defeat you except sin. Therefore, be on your guard, my Mansoul.” ~ John Bunyan


“It is always hard to see the purpose in wilderness wanderings until after they are over.” ~ John Bunyan


“It is profitable for Christians to be often calling to mind the very beginnings of grace with their souls.” ~ John Bunyan


“Fear, lest, by forgetting what you are by nature, you also forget the need that you have of continual pardon, support, and supplies from the Spirit of grace, and so grow proud of your own abilities, or of what you have received from God.” ~ John Bunyan


“In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God.” ~ John Bunyan


“He that lives in sin, and looks for happiness hereafter, is like him that soweth cockle and thinks to fill his barn with wheat or barley.” ~ John Bunyan


“God’s grace is the most incredible and insurmountable truth ever to be revealed to the human heart, which is why God has given us His Holy Spirit to superintend the process of more fully revealing the majesty of the work done on our behalf by our Savior. He teaches us to first cling to, and then enables us to adore with the faith He so graciously supplies, the mercy of God. This mercy has its cause and effect in the work of Jesus on the cross.” ~ John Bunyan


“Not that the heart can be good without knowledge, for without knowledge the heart is empty. But there are two kinds of knowledge: the first is alone in its bare speculation of things, and the second is accompanied by the grace of faith and love, which causes a man to do the will of God from the heart.” ~ John Bunyan


“Man indeed is the most noble, by creation, of all the creatures in the visible World; but by sin he has made himself the most ignoble.” ~ John Bunyan


“I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” ~ John Bunyan


“Is there anything more worthy of our tongues and mouths than to speak of the things of God and Heaven?” ~ John Bunyan


“…Great sins do draw out great grace; and where guilt is most terrible and fierce, there the mercy of God in Christ, when showed to the soul, appears most high and mighty…” ~ John Bunyan


“To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward.” ~ John Bunyan


“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.” ~ John Bunyan


“If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.” ~ John Bunyan


“A work of grace in the soul makes itself known either to the one who has it or to onlookers.” ~ John Bunyan


“You came in by yourselves, without His direction, and will go out by yourselves, without His mercy.” ~ John Bunyan


“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God.” ~ John Bunyan


“Affliction is better than sin, and if God sends the one to cleanse us from the other, let us thank him, and be also content to pay the messenger.” ~ John Bunyan


“Wake up, see your own wretchedness, and fly to the Lord Jesus. He is the righteousness of God, for He Himself is God. Only by believing in His righteousness will you be delivered from condemnation.” ~ John Bunyan


“We are apt to overshoot, in the days that are calm, and to think ourselves far higher, and more strong than we find we be when the trying day is upon us . . . We could not live without such turnings of the hand of God upon us. We should be overgrown with flesh, if we had not our seasonable winter” (Seasonable Counsel, 694). In the days of pain, the Lord showed me how much flesh I still retain –– how prone I am to fear, sadness, worry, agitation, frustration, and doubt. Yet through it all, how wondrously beautiful are the reign of God over sin through the cross and all the gospel fruits that flow from it toward me: forgiveness, reconciliation, life, righteousness, help, true hope, peace, resolute joy, persevering strength, ears to hear the word and a heart to believe it, transformed desires that compel me and my family to follow God.” ~ John Bunyan


“Though the hill is high, I still desire to walk up it. I don’t care how difficult it is, because I understand that it leads to the way of life.” ~ John Bunyan


“I would rather go through this valley to find the honor that true wise men seek than choose those things that this man and his worldly friends think most worthy of our affections.” ~ John Bunyan


“The bothersome noise of religious talk grows irksome when laid upon the living score of discordant behavior.” ~ John Bunyan


“Let the Kingdom be always before you, and believe with certainty and consistency the things that are yet unseen. Let nothing that is on this side of eternal life get inside you.” ~ John Bunyan


“It was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, and today, and forever” ~ John Bunyan


“Some who set out for this crown, even after they have gone quite a long ways, allow others who come along to snatch their victory from them. So hold fast to what you have, and let no man take away your crown.’ You are not yet out of reach of the gunshot of the Devil.” ~ John Bunyan


“There is a warning here for true pilgrims. Beware of the talker, but also be careful not to judge too quickly those whom God has blessed with both genuine grace and a fluency to speak of divine mercy in ways more eloquent than others. The proof is in the life-not a perfect life, but a life that both delights in divine truth and magnifies God, the only giver of the sovereign grace that always produces the truly fruitful, fragrant life.” ~ John Bunyan


“On the Day of Judgment , life and death are not determined by the world but by God’s wisdom and law.” ~ John Bunyan


“There is in Jesus Christ more merit and righteousness than the whole world has need of.” ~ John Bunyan


“A man may cry out against sin in principle; but he cannot abhor it except by virtue of a godly aversion against it. I have heard many cry out against sin in the pulpit, but who still live with it without any problem in their heart, house, and everyday life.” ~ John Bunyan


“He who is down, needs fear no fall; He who is low, has no pride. He who is humble ever shall Have God to be his guide.” ~ John Bunyan


“I also know that a man, by the way he lives his life, can quickly invalidate whatever arguments or advice he presents to others for their own good.” ~ John Bunyan


“If my life is fruitless, it doesn’t matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me.” ~ John Bunyan


“The reason why the Christians in this day are at such a loss as to some things is that they are contented with what comes from man’s mouth, without searching and kneeling before God to know of Him the truth of things.” ~ John Bunyan


“If people really see that Christ has removed the fear of punishment from them by taking it into Himself, they won’t do whatever they want, they’ll do whatever He wants.” ~ John Bunyan


“The difference between true and false repentance lies in this: the man who truly repents cries out against his heart; but the other, as Eve, against the serpent, or something else.” ~ John Bunyan


“No man, without trials and temptations, can attain a true understanding of the Holy Scriptures.” ~ John Bunyan


“The truths that I know best I have learned on my knees. I never know a thing well, till it is burned into my heart by prayer.” ~ John Bunyan


“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and they that lack the beginning have neither middle nor end.” ~ John Bunyan


“To lay hold of and receive the gospel by a true and saving faith is an act of the soul that has been made a new creature, which is the workmanship of God… Wherefore whoever receiveth the grace that is tendered in the gospel, they must be quickened by the power of God, their eyes must be opened, their understandings illuminated, their ears unstopped, their hearts circumcised, their wills also rectified, and the Son of God revealed in them.” ~ John Bunyan


“It is sad to see how the most of men neglect their precious souls, turning their backs upon the glorious gospel, and little minding a crucified Jesus, when, in the meanwhile, their bodies are well provided for, their estates much regarded, and the things of this present life are highly prized, as if the darling was of less value than a clod of earth; an immortal soul, than a perishing body; a precious Saviour, than unsatisfying creatures.” ~ John Bunyan


“I have often thought that the best Christians are found in the worst of times.” ~ John Bunyan


“Pray and read, read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from men.” ~ John Bunyan


“The best prayers have often more groans than words.” ~ John Bunyan


“Whatever contradicts the Word of God should be instantly resisted as diabolical.” ~ John Bunyan


“Our sins, when laid upon Christ, were yet personally ours, not His; so His righteousness, when put upon us, is yet personally His, not ours.” ~ John Bunyan


“It is possible to learn all about the mysteries of the Bible and never be affected by it in one’s soul. Great knowledge is not enough.” ~ John Bunyan


“You have chosen the roughest road, but it leads straight to the hilltops.” ~ John Bunyan


“The best prayer I ever prayed had enough sin to damn the whole world.” ~ John Bunyan


“Indeed, this is one of the greatest mysteries in the world; namely, that a righteousness that resides in heaven should justify me, a sinner on earth!” ~ John Bunyan


“It could be a sign of pride in your life if a word of reproof or admonition is not able to be received with the same grace, whether it be given by the poorest of saints or the most educated person.” ~ John Bunyan


“As your faith is, such your hope will be. Hope is never ill when faith is well, nor strong if faith be weak.” ~ John Bunyan


“Words easy to be understood do often hit the mark, when high and learned ones do only pierce the air.” ~ John Bunyan


“An idle man’s brain is the devil’s workshop.” ~ John Bunyan


“Run when I can, walk when I cannot run, and creep when I cannot walk.” ~ John Bunyan


“Great grace and small gifts are better than great gifts and no grace.” ~ John Bunyan


“In all your prayers forget not to thank the Lord for his mercies.” ~ John Bunyan


“Old truths are always new to us, if they come with the smell of heaven upon them.” ~ John Bunyan


“No child of God sins to that degree as to make himself incapable of forgiveness.” ~ John Bunyan


“Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.” ~ John Bunyan


“To run and work the law commands, but gives us neither feet nor hands. But better news the gospel brings, it bids us fly and gives us wings.” ~ John Bunyan


“Talkative represents the man or woman who delights in talking about divine things but has only theoretical knowledge of such things. No actual personal heart experience correlates to the matters they love to discuss so eloquently. They are often highly esteemed by others, but those closest to them would quickly betray a life out-of-sync with their words. The mask fashioned by fluency with all subjects divine hides their real life.” ~ John Bunyan


“If you are not a praying person, you are not a Christian.” ~ John Bunyan


“If thou hast sinned, lie not down without repentance; for the want of repentance, after one has sinned, makes the heart yet harder and harder.” ~ John Bunyan


“Sincerity is the same in a corner alone, as it is before the face of the world. It knows not how to wear two vizards, one for an appearance before men, and another for a short snatch in a corner; but it must have God, and be with him in the duty of prayer. It is not lip-labour that it doth regard, for it is the heart that God looks at, and that which sincerity looks at, and that which prayer comes from, if it be that prayer which is accompanied with sincerity.” ~ John Bunyan


“Hope has a thick skin and will endure many a blow; it will put on patience as a vestment and will endure all things (if they be of the right kind) for the joy that is set before it. Hence patience is called patience of hope,’ because it is hope that makes the soul exercise long-suffering under the cross until the time comes to enjoy the crown!” ~ John Bunyan


“The man who does not know the nature of the Law, cannot know the nature of sin.” ~ John Bunyan


“I love to hear my Lord spoken of, and wherever I have seen the print of His shoe in the earth, there have I coveted to put mine also.” ~ John Bunyan


“He hath given me rest by His sorrow, and life by His death.” ~ John Bunyan


“God, as I may say, is forced to break men’s hearts, before He can make them willing to cry to Him, or be willing that He should have any concerns with them; the rest shut their eyes, stop their ears, withdraw their hearts, or say unto God, be gone.” ~ John Bunyan


“Afflictions make the heart more deep, more experimental, more knowing and profound, and so, more able to hold, to contain, and beat more.” ~ John Bunyan


“He that forgets his friend is ungrateful to him; but he that forgets his Saviour is unmerciful to himself.” ~ John Bunyan


“There is no way to kill a man’s righteousness but by his own consent.” ~ John Bunyan