John Bunyan

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When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, "Death, where is thy sting?" And as he went down deeper, he said, "Grave, where is thy victory?

John Bunyan (28 November 16283 August 1688) was a Christian writer and preacher, born at Harrowden, in the Parish of Elstow, England, most famous for the allegorical work The Pilgrim's Progress.

Quotes[edit]

Some said, "John, print it;" others said, "Not so."
Some said, "It might do good;" others said, "No."
Now I saw in my dream, that the highway, up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called salvation.


The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)[edit]

Pilgrim's Progress (1847 edition), edited by George Offor; also in The Works of John Bunyan, Volume 3 (1855) edited by George Offor The original work was not divided into chapters; chapter titles used here are from later editions, for convenience in keeping quotes and passages in sequential order.

Part I[edit]

The Prince whom I serve and honour, is merciful, and ready to forgive
Apollyon beware what you do, for I am in the King's Highway, the way of Holiness, therefore take heed to your self.
Rejoice not against me, O mine Enemy! when I fall, I shall arise.
Some things are of that nature as to make
One's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache.
He that is down needs fear no fall.
I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth. I am a pilgrim, and am going to the Celestial City.
  • And so I penned
    It down, until at last it came to be,
    For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
    • Apology for his Book
  • Some said, "John, print it;" others said, "Not so."
    Some said, "It might do good;" others said, "No."
    • Apology for his Book
  • Now I saw in my dream, that the highway, up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called salvation. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.
    • Part I, Ch. VI : The Cross and the Contrast
  • Every fat must stand upon its own bottom.
    • Part I, Ch. VI : The Cross and the Contrast; comparable to: "Every tub must stand upon its bottom", Charles Macklin, The Man of the World, act i. sc. 2
  • The palace Beautiful.
    • Part I, Ch. VII : The Palace Beautiful
  • But now in this Valley of Humiliation poor Christian was hard put to it, for he had gone but a little way before he espied a foul Fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back, or to stand his ground. But he considered again, that he had no Armor for his back, and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his Darts; therefore he resolved to venture, and stand his ground. For thought he, had I no more in mine eye than the saving of my life, 'twould be the best way to stand.
    So he went on, and Apollyon met him. Now the Monster was hideous to behold, he was cloathed with scales like a Fish (and they are his pride) he had Wings like a Dragon, feet like a Bear, and out of his belly came Fire and Smoke, and his mouth was as the mouth of a Lion. When he was come up to Christian, he beheld him with a disdainful countenance, and thus began to question with him.
Apollyon: Whence come you, and whither are you bound?
Christian: I am come from the City of Destruction, which is the place of all evil, and am going to the City of Zion.
Apollyon: By this I perceive thou art one of my Subjects, for all that Country is mine; and I am the Prince and God of it. How is it then that thou hast run away from thy King? Were it not that I hope thou mayest do me more service, I would strike thee now at one blow to the ground.
Christian: I was born indeed in your Dominions, but your service was hard, and your wages such as a man could not live on, for the wages of Sin is death; therefore when I was come to years, I did as other considerate persons do, look out if perhaps I might mend my self.
Apollyon: There is no Prince that will thus lightly lose his Subjects, neither will I as yet lose thee. But since thou complainest of thy service and wages be content to go back; what our Country will afford, I do here promise to give thee.
Christian: But I have let myself to another, even to the King of Princes, and how can I with fairness go back with thee?
Apollyon: Thou hast done in this, according to the Proverb, Changed a bad for a worse: but it is ordinary for those that have professed themselves his Servants, after a while to give him the slip, and return again to me: do thou so to, and all shall be well.
Christian: 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?
Apollyon: Thou didst the same to me, and yet I am willing to pass by all, if now thou wilt yet turn again, and go back.
Christian: What I promised thee was in my nonage; and besides, I count that the Prince under whose Banner now I stand, is able to absolve me; yea, and to pardon also what I did as to my compliance with thee: and besides, (O thou destroying Apollyon) to speak truth, I like his Service, his Wages, his Servants, his Government, his Company, and Country better than thine: and, therefore, leave off to perswade me further, I am his Servant, and I will follow him.
Apollyon: Consider again when thou art in cool blood, what thou art like to meet with in the way that thou goest. Thou knowest that for the most part, his Servants come to an ill end, because they are transgressors against me, and my ways. How many of them have been put to shameful deaths! and besides, thou countest his service better than mine, whereas he never came yet from the place where he is, to deliver any that served him out of our hands; but as for me, how many times, as all the World very well knows, have I delivered, either by power or fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though taken by them, and so I will deliver thee.
Christian: His forbearing at present to deliver them, is on purpose to try their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end: and as for the ill end thou sayest they come to, that is most glorious in their account. For for present deliverance, they do not much expect it; for they stay for their Glory, and then they shall have it, when their Prince comes in his, and the Glory of the Angels.
Apollyon: Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him, and how doest thou think to receive wages of him?
Christian: Wherein, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him?
Apollyon: Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of Dispond; thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off: thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice thing: thou wast also almost perswaded to go back, at the sight of the Lions; and when thou talkest of thy Journey, and of what thou hast heard, and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vain-glory in all that thou sayest or doest.
Christian:All this is true, and much more, which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honour, is merciful, and ready to forgive: but besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy Country, for there I suckt them in, and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.
Apollyon: Then Apollyon broke out into a grievous rage, saying, I am an enemy to this Prince: I hate his Person, his Laws, and People: I am come out on purpose to withstand thee.
Christian: Apollyon beware what you do, for I am in the King's Highway, the way of Holiness, therefore take heed to your self.
Apollyon: Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said, I am void of fear in this matter, prepare thy self to die, for I swear by my Infernal Den, that thou shalt go no further, here will I spill thy soul; and with that, he threw a flaming Dart at his breast, but Christian had a Shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so prevented the danger of that. Then did Christian draw, for he saw 'twas time to bestir him; and Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing Darts as thick as Hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand and foot; this made Christian give a little back: Apollyon therefore followed his work amain, and Christian again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent. For you must know that Christian by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker.
Then Apollyon espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to Christian, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall; and with that, Christian's Sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now, and with that, he had almost prest him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life. But as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good Man, Christian nimbly reached out his hand for his Sword, and caught it, saying, Rejoice not against me, O mine Enemy! when I fall, I shall arise; and with that, gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound: Christian perceiving that, made at him again, saying, Nay, in all these things we are more than Conquerors, through him that loved us. And with that, Apollyon spread forth his Dragon's wings, and sped him away, that Christian saw him no more....
  • Ch. IX : Apollyon
  • Dark as pitch.
    • Part I, Ch. X : The Valley of the Shadow of Death
  • It beareth the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where 't is kept is lighter than vanity.
    • Part I, Ch XIII : Vanity Fair
  • They came to the Delectable Mountains.
    • Part I, Ch. XVI : The Delectable Mountains

Part II[edit]

He who would valiant be, Let him come hither; One here will constant be, Come wind, come weather…
Whoso beset him round With dismal stories, Do but themselves confound; His strength the more is.
Hobgoblin nor foul fiend Can daunt his spirit; He knows he at the end Shall life inherit.
My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder.
  • Some things are of that nature as to make
    One's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache.
    • The Author's Way of sending forth his Second Part of the Pilgrim
  • He that is down needs fear no fall.
    • Part II, Ch. VI : The Valley of Humiliation; comparable to: "I am not now in fortune's power: He that is down can fall no lower", Samuel Butler, Hudibras (1663), Part i, Canto iii, Line 877
  • Gaius also proceeded, and said, I will now speak on the behalf of women, to take away their reproach. For as death and the curse came into the world by a woman, Gen. 3, so also did life and health: God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. Gal. 4:4. Yea, to show how much they that came after did abhor the act of the mother, this sex in the Old Testament coveted children, if happily this or that woman might be the mother of the Saviour of the world. I will say again, that when the Saviour was come, women rejoiced in him, before either man or angel. Luke 1:42-46. I read not that ever any man did give unto Christ so much as one groat; but the women followed him, and ministered to him of their substance. Luke 8:2,3. ‘Twas a woman that washed his feet with tears, Luke 7:37-50, and a woman that anointed his body at the burial. John 11:2; 12:3. They were women who wept when he was going to the cross, Luke 23:27, and women that followed him from the cross, Matt. 27:55,56; Luke 23:55, and sat over against his sepulchre when he was buried. Matt. 27:61. They were women that were first with him at his resurrection-morn, Luke 24:1, and women that brought tidings first to his disciples that he was risen from the dead. Luke 24:22,23. Women therefore are highly favored, and show by these things that they are sharers with us in the grace of life.
    • Part II, Ch. VIII : The Guests of Gaius
  • There stood a man with his sword drawn, and his face all over with blood. Then said Mr. Great-Heart, Who art thou? The man made answer, saying, I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth. I am a pilgrim, and am going to the Celestial City.
    • Part II, Ch. XI : Mr. Valiant-For-Truth
  • I fought till my sword did cleave to my hand; and then they were joined together as if a sword grew out of my arm; and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage.
    • Part II, Ch. XI : Mr. Valiant-For-Truth
  • He who would valiant be,
    Let him come hither;
    One here will constant be,
    Come wind, come weather
    There’s no discouragement
    Shall make him once relent
    His first avow’d intent
    To be a pilgrim.

    Whoso beset him round
    With dismal stories,
    Do but themselves confound;
    His strength the more is.
    No lion can him fright,
    He’ll with a giant fight,
    But he will have a right
    To be a pilgrim.

    Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
    Can daunt his spirit;
    He knows he at the end
    Shall life inherit.
    Then, fancies, fly away,
    He’ll not fear what men say;
    He’ll labour night and day
    To be a pilgrim.

    • Part II, Ch. XI : Mr. Valiant-For-Truth
  • Then Mr. Honest called for his friends, and said unto them, I die, but shall make no will. As for my honesty, it shall go with me; let him that comes after be told of this. When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed himself to go over the river. Now the river at that time over-flowed its banks in some places; but Mr. Honest, in his lifetime, had spoken to one Good-conscience to meet him there, the which he also did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him over. The last words of Mr. Honest were, Grace reigns! So he left the world.

    After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a summons by the same post as the other, and had this for a token that the summons was true, "That his pitcher was broken at the fountain." When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then said he, I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder. When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, "Death, where is thy sting?" And as he went down deeper, he said, "Grave, where is thy victory?"
    So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

    • Part II, Ch. XIII

Quotes about John Bunyan[edit]

Was not John Bunyan an extremist?— "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience" … So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Those who project total responsibility for their actions on heredity circumstances fail to see that numerous individuals rise above such circumstances. There is a John Bunyan, deprived of his physical sight, and yet he wrote a Pilgrim's Progress that generations will cherish so long as the cords of memory shall lengthen.
  • Was not John Bunyan an extremist? — "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience". . . So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime — the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

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