146+ Best John Bunyan Quotes: Exclusive Selection

John Bunyan was an English writer and Puritan preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, the book that was the most characteristic expression of the Puritan religious outlook. He wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons. Inspirational John Bunyan quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for quotes by influential Christians that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by John Wesley, best Jonathan Edwards quotes and greatest Mary MacKillop quotes.

Most Famous John Bunyan Quotes

When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart. – John Bunyan

One leak will sink a ship: and one sin will destroy a sinner. – John Bunyan

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. – 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

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

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

If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the Man Christ without, and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the word of God. – 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

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

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

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

It is the opener of the heart of God, and a means by which the soul, though empty, is filled. – John Bunyan

Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole. – John Bunyan

Run when I can, walk when I cannot run, and creep when I cannot walk. – 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

Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none. – John Bunyan

If you are not a praying person, you are not a Christian. – John Bunyan

Our heart oft times wakes when we sleep, and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake. – 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

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

Take heed of driving so hard after this world, as to hinder thyself and family from those duties towards God, which thou art by grace obliged to; as private prayer, reading the scriptures, and Christian conference. It is a base thing for men so to spend themselves and families after this world, as that they disengage their heart to God’s worship. – 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

Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven. – John Bunyan

Doth Jesus Christ stand up to plead for us with God, to plead with him for us against the devil? Let this teach us to stand up to plead for him before men, to plead for him against the enemies of his person and gospel. – John Bunyan

See how ye Pharisee in the Temple stands, And justifies himself with lifted hands. Whilst ye poor publican with downcast eyes, Conscious of guilt to God for mercy cries. – John Bunyan

Here is the life of prayer, when in or with the Spirit, a man being made sensible of sin, and how to come to the Lord for mercy; he comes, I say, in the strength of the Spirit, and crieth Father. That one word spoken in faith is better than a thousand prayers, as men call them, written and read, in a formal, cold, lukewarm way. – John Bunyan

The God in whose hands are all our days and ways, did cast into my hand (one day) a book of Martin Luther’s; it was his Comment on the Galatians! … I found my condition in his experience so largely and profoundly handled, as if his book had been written out of my heart … I do prefer this book of Martin Luther upon the Galatians, excepting the Holy Bible, before all the books that ever I have seen, as most fit for a wounded conscience. – 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

Prayer is a shield to the soul – John Bunyan

The spirit of prayer is more precious than treasures of gold and silver. – 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

And, 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

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

I saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, the same yesterday and today and forever. – 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

Faith receiveth the promise, embraceth it, and comforteth the soul unspeakably with it. Faith is so great an artist in arguing and reasoning with the soul, that it will bring over the hardest heart that it hath to deal with. It will bring to my remembrance at once, both my vileness against God, and his goodness towards me; it will show me, that though I deserve not to breathe in the air, yet that God will have me an heir of glory. – John Bunyan

His love is what makes us live, love, sing, and praise forever. – John Bunyan

An idle man’s brain is the devil’s workshop. – John Bunyan

It is said that in some country’s trees will grow, but will bear no fruit because there is no winter there. – 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

Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Spirit, for such things as God has promised. – John Bunyan

The man who does not know the nature of the Law, cannot know the nature of sin. – 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

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

I am content with what I have, little be it, or much. – John Bunyan

Christian, let God’s distinguishing love to you be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put His fear in your heart and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved. – John Bunyan

I preach deliverance to others, I tell them there is freedom, while I hear my own chains clang. – John Bunyan

The road of denial leads to the precipice of destruction – John Bunyan

Great grace and small gifts are better than great gifts and no grace. – John Bunyan

He that is down needs fear no fall. – John Bunyan

I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience. – 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

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. – 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

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

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

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

He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day. – 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

Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from 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

Pray and read, read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from men. – 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

Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan. – 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

In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God. – 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

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

The best prayers have often more groans than words. – John Bunyan

Grace can pardon our ungodliness and justify us with Christ’s righteousness; it can put the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us; it can help us when we are down; it can heal us when we are wounded; it can multiply pardons, as we through frailty multiply transgressions. – John Bunyan

Whatever contradicts the Word of God should be instantly resisted as diabolical. – John Bunyan

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

There was a castle called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair. – John Bunyan

He who bestows his goods upon the poor shall have as much again, and ten times more. – John Bunyan

My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. – John Bunyan

Prayer opens the heart to God, and it is the means by which the soul, though empty, is filled with God. – John Bunyan

So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side. – John Bunyan

So I awoke, and behold it was a dream. – John Bunyan

You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed – John Bunyan

Who so beset him round / With dismal stories, / Do but themselves confound; / His strength the more is. – John Bunyan

So soon as the man overtook me, he was but a word and a blow. – John Bunyan

Temptations, when we first meet them, are like a lion that roared at Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them. – John Bunyan

A very stately palace before him, the name of which was Beautiful. – John Bunyan

Hope. I am sorry that I was so foolish, and am made to wonder that I am not now as Lot’s wife, for wherein was the difference betwixt her sin and mine? She only looked back and I had a desire to go see. Let grace be adored, and let me be ashamed that ever such a thing should be in mine heart. – John Bunyan

I could also have stepped into a style much higher than this in which I have here discoursed, and could have adorned all things more than here I have seemed to do, but I dare not. – John Bunyan

And one smiled, and another smiled, and they all smiled, for joy that Christiana was become a pilgrim; – John Bunyan

It beareth the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where ‘t is kept is lighter than vanity. – John Bunyan

If you release me today, I’ll preach tomorrow. – John Bunyan

I found it hard work now to pray to God, because despair was swallowing me up – John Bunyan

Now may this little Book a blessing be To those that love this little Book, and me: And may its Buyer have no cause to say, His money is but lost, or thrown away. – John Bunyan

Yet my great-grandfather was but a water-man, looking one way and rowing another: and I got most of my estate by the same occupation. – John Bunyan

Now, Mr. Great-heart was a strong man, so he was not afraid of a lion. – John Bunyan

Then said he, ’I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I am 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 now will be my rewarder.’…. So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side. – John Bunyan

A comely sight indeed it is to see, a world of blossoms on an apple tree. – John Bunyan

[Mr. Gifford] made it much his business to deliver the people of God from all those false and unsound rests that by nature we are prone to make and take to our souls. He pressed us to take special heed that we took not up any truth upon trust – as from this or that, or any other man or men – but to cry mightily to God that He would convince us of the reality thereof, and set us down therein by his own Spirit in the holy word. – John Bunyan

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

Beware of resting in the word of the kingdom, without the spirit and power of the kingdom of that gospel, for the gospel coming in word only saves nobody, for the kingdom of God or the gospel, where it comes to salvation, is not in word but in power. – John Bunyan

To pray rightly, you must make God your hope, stay, and all. Right prayer sees nothing substantial or worth being concerned about except God. – 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 life blood streaming thro’ my heart, Or my more dear immortal part, Is not more fondly dear. – John Bunyan

Every fat (vat) must stand upon its bottom. – John Bunyan

If that a pearl may in a toad’s head dwell, And may be found too in an oyster shell. – John Bunyan

The law, instead of cleansing the heart from sin, doth revive it, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it doth discover and forbid it, for it doth not give power to subdue. – John Bunyan

Now, I saw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he was, as he was wont, reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and, as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, What shall I do to be saved? – John Bunyan

God speaks once, yea twice, yet Man perceiveth it not, in a Dream, in a Vision of the night, when deep Sleep falleth upon men, in slumbering upon the bed. We need not, when abed, to lie awake to talk with God, he can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his Voice. Our heart oft-times wakes when we sleep, and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake – John Bunyan

What a fool, quoth he, am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle. – John Bunyan

Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. – John Bunyan

Thou art beaten that thou mayest be better. – John Bunyan

All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME… Here, therefore, the Lord Jesus positively determineth to put forth such a sufficiency of all grace as shall effectually perform this promise. They shall come; that is, he will CAUSE them to come, by infusing of an effectual blessing into all the means that shall be used to that end. – John Bunyan

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den; and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled: and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry; saying, ‘What shall I do?’ – John Bunyan

A saint abroad, and a devil at home. – John Bunyan

Therefore, I bind these lies and slanderous accusations to my person as an ornament; it belongs to my Christian profession to be vilified, slandered, reproached and reviled, and since all this is nothing but that, as God and my conscience testify, I rejoice in being reproached for Christ’s sake. – John Bunyan

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

It is easier going out of the way when we are in, than going in when we are out. – John Bunyan

Who would true Valour see, Let him come hither – John Bunyan

Fullness to such a burden is That go on pilgrimage; Here little, and hereafter bliss, Is best from age to age. – John Bunyan

Humility is the light of the understanding. – John Bunyan

I was never out of my Bible. – John Bunyan

I come from the Town of Stupidity; it lieth about four degrees beyond the City of Destruction. – John Bunyan

I could not be satisfied unless some fruits did appear in my work. – John Bunyan

This hill though high I covent ascend; The difficulty will not me offend; For I perceive the way of life lies here. Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear. – John Bunyan

The heart must be beaten or bruised, and then the sweet scent will come out. – 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

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

The heart, when broken, is like sweet gums and spices when beaten; for as such cast their fragrant scent into the nostrils of men, so the heart, when broken, casts its sweet smell into the nostrils of God. – John Bunyan

I am now a man of despair, rejected, abandoned, shut up in this iron cage from which there is no escape. – John Bunyan

A tender heart is a wakeful, watchful heart. It watches against sin in the soul, sin in the family, sin in the calling, sin in spiritual duties and performances. – John Bunyan

The same yesterday, today, and forever. – John Bunyan

The Swamp of Despond is that place set before the narrow gate where true and false pilgrims alike are assaulted by their own internal corruption and pollution. The dirt and scum that has attached itself to our hearts and minds is agitated and revealed by both the workings of a guilty conscience and the devouring avarice of the enemy of our souls.The – John Bunyan

Though the world disregard the society of God’s children now, yet there is a time coming in which they would be glad to have the least company with them. – John Bunyan

To go back is nothing but death; but to go forward is fear of death and life everlasting beyond. – John Bunyan

The name of the Slough was Despond. – John Bunyan

To-despise the world is the way to enjoy heaven; and blessed are they who delight to converse with God by prayer. – John Bunyan

Love is the beauty and the strength of all societies and the great pleasure of our lives on earth. – John Bunyan

Breathes there a man, whose judgment clear Can others teach their course to steer, Yet run himself life’s mad career Wild as the wave? – John Bunyan

But pleasures are like poppies spread: You seize the flower – John Bunyan

Care, mad to see a man sae happy, E’en drouned himsel amang the nappy. – 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

Riches and power, what is there more in the world? For money answereth all things-that is, all but soul concerns. It can neither be a price for souls while here, nor can that, with all the forces of strength, recover one out of hell fire. – John Bunyan

Their bodies will be raised from the dead as vessels for the soul-vessels of wrath. The soul will breathe hell-fire, and smoke and coal will seem to hang upon its burning lips, yea the face, eyes, and ears will seem to be chimneys and vents for the flame, and the smoke of the burning , which God, by His breath, hath kindled therein, and upon, them, which will be held one in another, to the great torment and distress of each other. – John Bunyan

Farewell, I wish our souls may meet with comfort at the journey’s end.- The Heavenly Footman: A Puritan’s View of How to Get to Heaven. – John Bunyan

Hanging is too good for him said Mr. Cruelty. – John Bunyan

Look how fears have presented themselves, so have supports and encouragements; yea, when I have started, even as it were at nothing else but my shadow, yet God, as being very tender of me, hath suffered me to be molested, but would with one Scripture or another, strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often said, Were it awful, I could pray for greater trouble, for the greater comfort’s sake. – John Bunyan

I saw a man clothed with rags . . . a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. – John Bunyan

Atten. Pray of what disease did Mr. Badman die, for now I perceive we are come up to his death? Wise. I cannot so properly say that he died of one disease, for there were many that had consented, and laid their heads together to bring him to his end. He was dropsical, he was consumptive, he was surfeited, was gouty, and, as some say, he had a tang of the pox in his bowels. Yet the captain of all these men of death that came against him to take him away, was the consumption, for it was that that brought him down to the grave. – John Bunyan

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