John Bunyan Quotes

Of Eternal Life

“My dear children, the milk and honey is beyond this wilderness. God be merciful to you, and grant ‘that’ you be not slothful to go in to possess the land.”

“But forasmuch as the passage was wonderful narrow, even so narrow, that I could not, but with great difficulty, enter in thereat, it showed me that none could enter into life, but those that were in downright earnest, and unless also they left this wicked world behind them; for here was only room for body and soul, but not for body and soul, and sin.”

“It made me also angry with myself, to think that I should have no more wit, but to trifle away my time till my soul and heaven were lost.”

“I found, that unless guilt of conscience was taken off the right way, that is, by the blood of Christ, a man grew rather worse for the loss of his trouble of mind, than better. Wherefore, if my guilt lay hard upon me, then I should cry that the blood of Christ might take it off; and if it was going off without it (for the sense of sin would be sometimes as if it would die, and go quite away), then I would also strive to fetch it upon my heart again, by bringing the punishment for sin in hell fire upon my spirits; and should cry, Lord, let it not go off my heart, but the right way, but by the blood of Christ, and by the application of thy mercy, through him, to my soul; for that Scripture lay much upon me, ‘without shedding of blood is no remission’ (Hebrews 9:22). And that which made me the more afraid of this was, because I had seen some, who, though they were under wounds of conscience, then they would cry and pray; but they seeking rather present ease from their trouble, than pardon for their sin, cared not how they lost their guilt, so they got it out of their mind; and therefore, having got it off the wrong way, it was not sanctified unto them; but they grew harder and blinder, and more wicked after their trouble. This made me afraid, and made me cry to God ‘the more,’ that it might not be so with me.”

“…the guilt of sin did help me much, for still as that would come upon me, the blood of Christ did take it off again, and again, and again, and that too, sweetly, according to the Scriptures. O friends! cry to God to reveal Jesus Christ unto you; there is none that teacheth like him.”

“Satan will use any means to keep the soul from Christ; he loveth not an awakened frame of spirit; security, blindness, darkness, and error is the very kingdom and habitation of the wicked one.”

“I am persuaded also, that despair is the cause that there are so many that would fain be Atheists in the world. For, because, they have entertained a conceit that God will never be merciful to them, therefore they labour to persuade themselves that there is no God at all, as if their misbelief would kill God, or cause him to cease to be. A poor shift for an immortal soul, for a soul who liketh not to retain God in its knowledge! If this be the best that despair can do, let it go, man, and betake thyself to faith, to prayer, to wait for God, and to hope, in despite of ten thousand doubts.”

Of Death

“… though I was before afraid to think of a dying hour, yet now I cried, Let me die. Now death was lovely and beautiful in my sight; for I saw we shall never live indeed till we be gone to the other world. Oh, methought this life is but a slumber in comparison of that above;”

“As the devil labours by all means to keep out other things that are good, so to keep out of the heart as much as in him lies, the thoughts of passing from this life into another world; for he knows if he can but keep them from the serious thoughts of death, he shall the more easily keep them in their sins.”

“Nothing will make us more earnest in working out the work of our salvation, than a frequent meditation of mortality; nothing hath greater influence for the taking off our hearts from vanities, and for the begetting in us desires after holiness.”

“We change our drossy dust for gold,
From death to life we fly:
We let go shadows, and take hold
Of immortality.”

Of Heaven

“O! who is able to conceive the inexpressible, inconceivable joys that are there? None but they who have tasted of them. Lord, help us to put such a value upon them here, that in order to prepare ourselves for them, we may be willing to forgo the loss of all those deluding pleasures here.”

Of Hell

“Hell would be a kind of paradise if it were not worse than the worst of all this world.”

“Hast no judgment? Art not able to conclude, that to be saved is better than to burn in hell? and that eternal life with God’s favour, is better than a temporal life in God’s displeasure?

“I should often also think on Nebuchadnezzar, of whom it is said, He had given him all the kingdoms of the earth (Dan 5:19). Yet, thought I, if this great man had all his portion in this world, one hour in hell fire would make him forget all. Which consideration was a great help to me.”

Of Salvation

“… the Lord did lead me to being where his Word begins with sinners; that is, to condemn all flesh, and to open and allege that the curse of God, by the law, doth belong to, and lay hold on all men as they come into the world, because of sin.”

“The gospel of grace and salvation is above all doctrines the most dangerous, if it be received in word only by graceless men; if it be not attended with a sensible need of a Saviour, and bring them to him. For such men as have only the notion of it, are of all men most miserable; for by reason of their knowing more than heathens, this shall only be their final portion, that they shall have greater stripes.”

“When God saves one great sinner, it is to encourage another great sinner to come to him for mercy.”

“The angels now come down to behold the sight, and rejoice to see a bit of dust and ashes overcome principalities and powers, and might, and dominions. But, as I said, when these come a little to be settled, they are prepared for helps for others, and are great comforts unto them. Their great sins give encouragement to the devil to assault them; and by these temptations Christ takes advantage to make them the more helpful to the churches.”

“There are in the world, as one may call them, the moderate sinners; the sinners that mix righteousness with their pollutions; the sinners that, though they be sinners, do what on their part lies–some that are blind would think so–that they might be saved. I say, it had been love, great love, if he had died for none but such, and sent his love to such; but that he should send out conditions of peace to the biggest of sinners; yea, that they should be offered to them first of all; (for so he means when he says ‘Begin at Jerusalem’;) this is wonderful! This shows his heart to purpose, as also the heart of God his Father, who sent him to do thus.”

“Perhaps thou wilt object, That thyself hast a thousand times preferred a stinking lust before him: I answer, Be it so; it is but what is common to men to do; nor doth the Lord Jesus make such a foolish life a bar to thee, to forbid thy coming to him, or a bond to his grace, that it might be kept from thee; but admits of thy repentance, and offereth himself unto thee freely, as thou standest among the Jerusalem sinners.”

“What if God will be silent to thee, is that ground of despair? Not at all, so long as there is a promise in the Bible, that God will in no wise cast away the coming sinner, and so long as he invites the Jerusalem sinner to come unto him (John 6:37).”

“Tis a sin to begin to despair before one sets his foot over the threshold of hell-gates. For them that are there, let them despair and spare not; but as for thee, thou hast no ground to do it. What! despair of bread in a land that is full of corn! despair of mercy when our God is full of mercy! despair of mercy, when God goes about, by his ministers, beseeching of sinners to be reconciled unto him! (2 Cor 5:18-20), Thou scrupulous fool, here canst thou find that God was ever false to his promise, or that he ever deceived the soul that ventured itself upon him? He often calls upon sinners to trust him, though they walk in darkness, and have no light (Isa 50:10). They have his promise and oath for their salvation, that flee for refuge to the hope set before them (Heb 6:17,18).”

“1. Dost thou see thy sins? 2. Art thou weary of them? 3. Wouldst thou, with all thy heart, be saved by Jesus Christ? I dare say no less; I dare say no more. But if it be truly thus with thee, how great soever thy sins have been, how bad soever thou feelest thy heart, how far soever thou art from thinking that God has mercy for thee, thou art the man, the Jerusalem sinner, that the Word of God has conquered, and to whom it offereth free remission of sins, by the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.”

Of Repentance

“… what it was to preach the gospel to them. It was, saith Luke, to preach to them ‘repentance and remission of sins’ in Christ’s name; or, as Mark has it, to bid them ‘repent and believe the gospel’ (Mark 1:15). Not that repentance is a cause of remission, but a sign of our hearty reception thereof. Repentance is therefore here put to intimate, that no pretended faith of the gospel is good that is not accompanied with it; and this he doth on purpose, because he would not have them deceive themselves: for with what faith can he expect remission of sins in the name of Christ, that is not heartily sorry for them? Or how shall a man be able to give to others a satisfactory account of his unfeigned subjection to the gospel, that yet abides in his impenitency? Wherefore repentance is here joined with faith, in the way of receiving the gospel. Faith is that without which it cannot be received at all; and repentance that without which it cannot be received unfeignedly. When, therefore, Christ says, he would have repentance and remission of sins preached in his name among all nations, it is as much as to say, I will that all men everywhere be sorry for their sins, and accept of mercy at God’s hand through me, lest they fall under his wrath in the judgment; for, as I have said, without repentance, what pretence soever men have of faith, they cannot escape the wrath to come.”

“It is true, he saith, that repentance and remission of sins must go together, but yet remssion is sent to the chief the Jerusalem sinner; nor doth repentance lessen at all the Jerusalem sinner’s crimes; it diminisheth none of his sins, nor causes that there should be so much as half an one the fewer; it only puts a stop to the Jerusalem sinner’s course, and makes him willing to be saved freely by grace; and for time to come to be governed by that blessed word that has brought the tidings of good things to him. Besides, no man shows himself willing to be saved that repenteth not of his deeds; for he that goes on still in his trespasses, declares that he is resolved to pursue his own damnation further.”

“Your intentions to repentance, and the neglect of that soul-saving duty, will rise up in judgment against you.”

“Presumption, then, is that which severeth faith and repentance; concluding that the soul shall be saved by grace, though the man was never made sorry for his sins, nor the love of the heart turned therefrom. This is to be self-willed, as Peter has it; and this is a despising the Word of the Lord, for that has put repentance and faith together (Mark 1:15). And ‘because he hath despised the Word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall be utterly cut off: his iniquity shall be upon him’ (Num 15:31). Let such, therefore, look to it who are yet are, and abide, in their sins; for such, if they hope, as they are, to be saved, presume upon the grace of God. Wherefore, presumption and not hearkening to God’s Word are put together (Deu 17:12).”

“When the jailer cried out, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ the answer was, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ He that sees his sins aright, is brought to his wit’s end by them; and he that is so, is willing to part from them, and to be saved by the grace of God. If this be thy case, fear not, give no way to despair; thou presumest not, if thou believest to life everlasting in Jesus Christ; yea, Christ is prepared for such as thou art. Therefore, take good courage, and believe.”

Of Preservation, Election & Reprobation

“…that the elect only attained eternal life, that I, without scruple, did heartily close withal; but that myself was one of them, there lay all the question.”

“And, first, I came to the sixth of the Hebrews, yet trembling for fear it should strike me; which when I had considered, I found that the falling there intended was a falling quite away; that is, as I conceived, a falling away from, and an absolute denial of the gospel of remission of sins by Christ; for from them the apostle begins his argument (vv 1-3). Secondly, I found that this falling away must be openly, even in the view of the world, even so as ‘to put Christ to an open shame.’ Thirdly, I found that those he there intended were for ever shut up of God, both in blindness, hardness, and impenitency: it is impossible they should be renewed again unto repentance.”

“I considered that in the tenth of the Hebrews, and found that the willful sin there mentioned is not every willful sin, but that which doth throw off Christ, and then his commandments too. Secondly, That must also be done openly, before two or three witnesses, to answer that of the law (v 28). Thirdly, This sin cannot be committed, but with great despite done to the Spirit of grace; despising both the dissuasions from that sin, and the persuasions to the contrary.”

“…methought withal, I saw, with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand; there, I say, as my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was adoing, God could not say of me, He wants my righteousness, for that was just before him. I also saw, moreover, that 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 to-day, and forever (Heb 13:8).”

“Objection. But I am a reprobate. Answer. Now thou talkest like a fool, and meddlest with what thou understandest not: no sin, but the sin of final impenitence, can prove a man a reprobate; and I am sure thou hast not arrived as yet unto that; therefore thou understandest not what thou sayest, and makest groundless conclusions against thyself. Say thou art a sinner, and I will hold with thee; say thou art a great sinner, and I will say so too; yea, say thou art one of the biggest sinners, and spare not; for the text yet is beyond thee, is yet betwixt hell and thee;”

“…unless now, after thou hast received conviction that the Lord Jesus is the only Saviour of the world, thou shouldst wickedly and despitefully turn thyself from him, and conclude he is not to be trusted for life, and so crucify him for a cheat afresh. This, I must confess, will bring a man under the black rod, and set him in danger of eternal damnation (Heb 6:7,8; 10:8,9). This is trampling under foot the Son of God, and counting his blood an unholy thing. This did they of Jerusalem; but they did it ignorantly in unbelief, and so were yet capable of mercy; but to do this against professed light, and to stand to it, puts a man beyond the text indeed (Acts 3:1-17; 1 Tim 1:13).”

“He [Christ] has, nobody knows what; for nobody knows who! He has by him, in store, for such as seem, in the view of all men, to be gone beyond recovery.”

Of the Scriptures

“The Scriptures now also were wonderful things unto me; I saw that the truth and verity of them were the keys of the kingdom of heaven;”

“Woe be to him against whom the Scriptures bend themselves.”

“God had a bigger mouth to speak with than I had heart to conceive with.”

“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.”

“I never endeavored to, nor durst make use of other men’s lines Rom 15:18), though I condemn not all that do, for I verily thought, and found by experience, that what was taught me by the Word and Spirit of Christ, could be spoken, maintained, and stood to buy the soundest and best established conscience;”

“God’s Word has two edges; it can cut back-stroke and fore-stroke. If it doeth the no good, it will do thee hurt; it is ‘the savour of life unto life’ to those that receive it, but of ‘death unto death’ to them that refuse it (2 Cor 2:15,16).”

“Learn then to judge of the largeness of God’s heart, and of the heart of his Son Jesus Christ, by the Word; judge not thereof by feeling, nor by the reports of thy conscience; conscience is ofttimes here befooled, and made to go quite beside the Word. It was judging without the Word that made David say, I am cast off from God’s eyes, and ‘shall perish one day by the hand of Saul’ (Psa 31:22; 1 Sam 27:1). The Word had told him another thing; namely, that he should be king in his stead.”

“Judge thou, I say, therefore, of the goodness of the heart of God and his Son, by this text, and by others of the same import; so shalt thou not dishonour the grace of God, nor needlessly fright thyself, nor give away thy faith, nor gratify the devil, nor lose the benefit of God’s Word. I speak now to weak believers.”

Of Holiness & Antinomianism

“It is far better that thou do judge thy self, even by preaching plainly to others, than that thou, to save thyself, imprison the truth in unrighteousness.”

“The devil, nor men of the world, can kill thy righteousness, or love to it but by thy own hand; or separate that and thee asunder without thy own act. Nor will he that doth indeed suffer for the sake of it, or out of love he bears thereto, be tempted to exchange it, for the good will of all the world.”

“I know also, that there are some, that from this very doctrine [of grace] say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come’; and that turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness. But I speak not of these; these will neither be ruled by grace nor reason. Grace would teach them, if they knew it, to deny ungodly courses; and so would reason too, if it could truly sense the love of God (Titus 2:11,12; Rom 12:1).”

“Faith only knows how to deal with mercy; wherefore, put not in the place thereof presumption. I have observed, that, as there are herbs and flowers in our gardens, so there are their counterfeits in the field; only they are distinguished from the other by the name of wild ones. Why, there is faith, and wild faith; and wild faith is this presumption. I call it wild faith, because God never placed it in his garden–his church; ’tis only to be found in the field–the world. I also call it wild faith, because it only grows up and is nourished where other wild notions abound. Wherefore, take heed of this, and all may be well; for this presumptuousness is a very heinous thing in the eyes of God.”

“Now, this presumption, then, puts itself in the place of faith, when it tampereth with the promise for life, while the soul is a stranger to repentance. Wherefore, you have in the text, to prevent doing thus, both repentance and remission of sins to be offered to Jerusalem; not remission without repentance, for all that repent not shall perish, let them presume on grace and the promise while they will (Luke 13:1-3).”

“Again, THEN men presume, when they are resolved to abide in their sins, and yet expect to be saved by God’s grace through Christ. This is as much as to say, God liketh of sin as well as I do, and careth not how men live, if so be they lean upon his Son. Of this sort are they ‘that build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity’; that ‘judge for reward, and–teach for hire, and–divine for money, and lean upon the Lord’ (Micah 3:10,11). This is doing things, with an high hand, against the Lord our God, and a taking him, as it were, at the catch. This is, as we say among men, to seek to put a trick upon God; as if he had not sufficiently fortified his proposals of grace, by his holy Word, against all such kind of fools as these. But look to it! Such will be found at the day of God, not among that great company of Jerusalem sinners that shall be saved by grace, but among those that have been the great abusers of the grace of God in the world. Those that say, Let us sin that grace may abound, and let us do evil that good may come, their damnation is just. And if so, they are a great way off of that salvation that is, by Jesus Christ, presented to the Jerusalem sinners.”

“They will deny the very end why he accomplished the law, and by jiggs, and tricks, and quirks, which he [Satan] helpeth them to, they set up fond names and images in his place, and give the glory of a Saviour to them. Thus Satan worketh under the name of Christ; and his ministers under the name of the ministers of righteousness.”

“I happened to light into several people’s company, who, though strict in religion formerly, yet were also swept away by these Ranters. These would also talk with me of their ways, and condemn me as legal and dark; pretending that they only had attained to perfection that could do what they would, and not sin. Oh! These temptations were suitable to my flesh, I being but a young man, and my nature in its prime; but God, who had, as I hope, designed me for better things, kept me in the fear of his name, and did not suffer me to accept of such cursed principles.”

Of Gifts

“… gifts being alone, were dangerous, not in themselves, but because of those evils that attended them that have them, to wit, pride, desire of vain glory, self-conceit, &c., all which were easily blown up at the applause and commendation of every unadvised Christian, to the endangering of a poor creature to fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

“Let all men therefore prize a little with the fear of the Lord; gifts indeed are desirable, but yet great grace and small gifts are better than great gifts and no grace.”

Of Faith & Grace

“There is nothing like faith to help at a pinch; faith dissolves doubts as the sun drives away the mists. And that you may not be put out, know your time, as I said, of believing is always. There are times when some graces may be out of use, but there is no time wherein faith can be said to be so. Wherefore, faith must be always in exercise.”

“Let it rain, let it blow, let it thunder, let it lighten, a Christian must still believe. At ‘what time,’ said the good man, ‘I am afraid, I will trust in thee’ (Psa 56:2,3).

“There is an incidence in us, I know not how it doth come about, when we are converted, to contemn them that are left behind. Poor fools as we are, we forget that we ourselves were so (Titus 3:2,3). But would it not become us better, since we have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to carry it towards them so, that we may give them convincing ground to believe that we have found that mercy which also sets open the door for them to come and partake with us… Austerity doth not become us, neither in doctrine nor in conversation. We ourselves live by grace; let us give as we receive, and labour to persuade our fellow-sinners, which God has left behind us, to follow after, that they may partake with us of grace.”

Of Doctrine & False Teachers

“The Father and the Holy Spirit are well spoken of by all deluders and deceived persons; Christ only is the rock of offence. ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence. ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence’ (Rom 9:33). Not that Satan careth for the Father or the Spirit more than he careth for the Son; but he can let men alone with their notions of the Father and the Spirit, for he knows they shall never enjoy the Father or the Spirit, if indeed they receive not the merits of the Son. ‘He that hath the Son, hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.’ however they may boast themselves of the Father and the Spirit (1 John 5:12). Again, ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son’ (2 John 9). Christ, and Christ only, is he that can make us capable to enjoy God with life and joy to all eternity.”

“Hence note, that what cities, that is, churches soever have been builded by persons that have come from Romish Babel, those builders and cities are to be suspected for such as had their founder and foundation from Babel itself… So perish all the builders and building that hath had its pattern from mystical Babel, unless a miracle of grace prevents.”

“So then, let Augustine the monk, come from Rome into England, and let him build his Nineveh here; let others go also into other countries, and build their Resens and Calahs there; these are all but brats of Babel, and their end shall be, That they perish for ever. John saw it, and the cities, that is, the churches of the nations, or the national churches, fell; and great Babylon, their inventor and founder, ‘came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath’ (Rev 16:19).”

Of Christ

“And is it not a vexatious thing to him [Satan], that we should be admitted to the throne of grace by Christ, while he stands bound over in chains of darkness, to answer for his rebellions against God and his Son, at the terrible day of judgment. Yea, we poor dust and ashes must become his judges, and triumph over him for ever: and all this long of Jesus Christ; for he is the meritorious cause of all this.”

“Christ Jesus has bags of mercy that were never yet broken up or unsealed. Hence it is said, he has goodness laid up; things reserved in heaven for his. And if he breaks up one of these bags, who can tell what he can do? Hence his love is said to be such as passeth knowledge, and that his riches are unsearchable.”

Of Service to Christ

“O grace! It was such grace to save me! It was such marvellous grace for God to look down from heaven upon me, and that secured me from the wrath to come, that I am captivated with the sense of the riches of it. Hence I act, hence I labour; for how can I otherwise do, since God not only separated me from my sins and companions, but separated all the powers of my soul and body to his service? I am, therefore, prompted on by this exceeding love to labour as I have done; yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Oh! I shall never forget his love, nor the circumstances under which I was, when his love laid hold upon me.”

“Hell doth know that I was a sinner; heaven doth now that I was a sinner; the world also knows that I was a sinner, a sinner of the greatest size; but I obtained mercy (Acts 9:20,21). Shall not this lay obligation upon me? Is not love of the greatest force to oblige? Is it not strong as death, cruel as the grave, and hotter than the coals of juniper? Hath it not a most vehement flame? Can the waters quench it? can the floods drown it? I am under the force of it, and this is my continual cry, What shall I render to the Lord for all the benefits which he has bestowed upon me?”

Of the Church

“… when God intends to stock a place with saints, and to make that place excellently to flourish with the riches of his grace, he usually begins with the conversion of some of the most notorious thereabouts, and lays them, as an example, to allure others, and to build up when they are converted.”

“Some must be pillars in God’s house; and if they be pillars of cedar, they must stand while they are stout and sturdy sticks in the forest, before they are cut down, and planted or placed there. No man, when he buildeth his house, makes the principal parts thereof of weak or feeble timber; for how could such bear up the rest? but of great and able wood. Christ Jesus also goeth this way to work; he makes of the biggest sinners bearers and supporters to the rest.”

“I know that sin is of the devil, but it cannot work in the world without permission: and if it happens to be as I have thought, it will not be the first time that God the Lord hath caught Satan in his own design. For my part, I believe that the time is at hand, that we shall see better saints in the world than has been seen in it this many a day. And this vileness, that at present does so much swallow up our youth, is one cause of my thinking so; for from among them, when God sets to his hand, as of old, you shall see what penitent ones, what trembling ones, and what admirers of grace, will be found to profess the gospel to the glory of God by Christ.”

“I know there is ground to fear, that the iniquity of this generation will be pursued with heavy judgments; but that will not hinder that we have supposed. God took him a glorious church out of bloody Jerusalem, yea, out of the chief of the sinners there, and left the rest to be taken and spoiled, and sold, thirty for a penny, in the nations where they were captives. The gospel working gloriously in a place, to the seizing upon many of the ringleading sinners thereof, promiseth no security to the rest, but rather threateneth them with the heaviest and smartest judgments; as in the instance now given, we have a full demonstration; but in defending, the Lord will defend his people; and in saving, he will save his inheritance.”

Of Prayer

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

“I have found it as difficult to come to God by prayer, after backsliding from him, as to do any other thing.”

“When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words, than thy words without a heart.”

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

“… let thy sermon thou hast heard be converted into prayer.”

“In the week days, when thou risest in the morning, consider, 1. Thou must die. 2. Thou mayest die that minute. 3. What will become of thy soul. Pray often. At night consider, 1. What sins thou hast committed. 2. How often thou hast prayed. 3. What hath thy mind been bent upon. 4. What hath been thy dealing. 5. What thy conversation. 6. If thou callest to mind the errors of the day, sleep not without a confession to God, and a hope of pardon. Thus every morning and evening make up thy accounts with Almighty God, and thy reckoning will be the less at last.”

Of Crucifying the Flesh

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead. By this scripture I was made to see, that if ever I would suffer rightly, I must first pass a sentence of death upon everything that can properly be called a thing of this life, even to reckon myself, my wife, my children, my health, my enjoyments, and all, as dead to me, and myself dead to them. ‘He that loveth father or mother, or son or daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me’ (Matt 10:37).

“… if I provide only for a prison, then the whip comes at unawares; and so does also the pillory; again, if I provide only for these, then I am not fit for banishment; further, if I conclude that banishment is the worst, then if death come I am surprised. So that I see the best way to go through sufferings is to trust in God through Christ, as touching the world to come; and as touching this world, to count ‘the grave my house, to make my bed in darkness, and to say to corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister.’ That is, to familiarize these things to me.”

“Nothing more hinders a soul from coming to Christ, than a vain love of the world; and till a soul is freed from it, it can never have a true love for God.”

“To seek yourself in this world is to be lost; and to be humble is to be exalted.”

“We sell our earthly happiness
For heavenly house and home;
We leave this world because ’tis less,
And worse than that to come.”

“They conquer when they thus do fall,
They kill when they do die:
They overcome then most of all,
And get the victory.”

“And let us count those things the best
That best will prove at last;
And count such men the only blest,
That do such things hold fast.”

“Those things that keep thee and thy Saviour, on thy part, asunder, are but bubbles; the least prick of an affliction will let out, as to thee, what now thou thinkest is worth the venture of heaven to enjoy.”

“Practical love is best. Many love Christ with nothing but the lick of the tongue. Alas! Christ Jesus the Lord must not be put off thus; ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,’ saith he, ‘he it is that loveth me’ (John 14:21).”

Of Prosperity

“I have often thought that the best of Christians are found in the worst of times. And I have thought again that one reason why we are no better, is because God purges us no more. Noah and lot, who so holy as they in the time of their afflictions? And yet who so idle as they in the time of their prosperity?”

“There is no good in this life but what is mingled with some evil; honours perplex, riches disquiet, and pleasures ruin health.”

Of Trust

“…as God had his hand in all providences and dispensations that overtook his elect, so he had his hand in all the temptations that they had to sin against him, not to animate them unto wickedness, but to choose their temptations and troubles for them; and also to leave them, for a time, to such sins only as might not destroy, but humble them; as might not put them beyond, but lay them in the way of the renewing of his mercy.”

“God might choose, whether he would give me comfort now or at the hour of death, but I might not therefore choose whether I would hold my profession or no: I was bound, but he was free: yea, it was my duty to stand to his word, whether he would ever look upon me or no, or save me at the last: wherefore, thought I, the point being thus, I am for going on, and venturing my eternal state with Christ, whether I have comfort here or no; if God doth not come in, thought I, I will leap off the ladder even blindfold into eternity, sink or swim, come heaven, come hell, Lord Jesus, if thou wilt catch me, do; ‘if not,’ I will venture for thy name.”

“Of all tears, they are the best that are made by the blood of Christ; and of all joy, that is the sweetest that is mixed with mourning over Christ.”

Of Affliction

“I can remember my fears, and doubts, and sad months with comfort; they are as the head of Goliath in my hand.”

“Nothing can render affliction so insupportable as the load of sin: would you, therefore, be fitted for afflictions, be sure to get the burden of your sins laid aside, and then what afflictions soever you may meet with will be very easy to you.”

“If thou canst hear and bear the rod of affliction which God shall lay upon thee, remember this lesson–thou art beaten that thou mayest be better.”

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

“Did we heartily renounce the pleasures of this world, we should be very little troubled for our afflictions; that which renders an afflicted state so insupportable to many is because they are too much addicted to the pleasures of this life, and so cannot endure that which makes a separation between them.”

Of Sin

“No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of heaven and earth; but if the sinner can find out a little God, it may be easy to find out little sins.”

“Take heed of giving thyself liberty of committing one sin, for that will lead thee to another; till, by an ill custom, it become natural.”

“… nothing attends him [the wicked] from bed to board, and from board to bed again, but the visible characters, and obvious symptoms, of eternal damnation.”

“Little sinner! when therefore thou goest to God, though thou knowest in thy conscience that thou, as to acts, art no thief, no murderer, no whore, no liar, no false swearer, or the like, and in reason must needs understand that thus thou art not so profanely vile as others; yet when thou goest to God for mercy, know no man’s sins but thine own, make mention of no man’s sins but thine own. Also labour not to lessen thy own, but magnify and greaten them by all just circumstances, and be as if there was never a sinner in the world but thyself. Also cry out, as if thou wast but the only undone man; and that is the way to obtain God’s mercy.”

“Were therefore the tempted but aware, he might say, ‘Ay, Satan, so I am, I am a sinner of the biggest size, and therefore have most need of Jesus Christ; yea, because I am such a wretch, therefore Jesus Christ calls me; yea, he calls me first; the first proffer of the gospel is to be made to the Jerusalem sinner; I am he, wherefore stand back, Satan; make a lane, my right is first to come to Jesus Christ.’ This now would be like for like. This would foil the devil; this would make him say, I must not deal with this man thus; for then I put a sword into his hand to cut off my head.”

“And if I am to have the benefit of it, let me call it to mind when Satan haunts me with continual remembrance of my sins, of my Jerusalem sins. Satan and my conscience say I am the biggest sinner:–Christ offereth mercy, in the first place, to the biggest sinners! Nor is the manner of the offer other but such as suiteth with my mind. I am sorry for my sin; yea, sorry at my heart that ever sinful thought did enter, or find the least entertainment in my wicked mind: and might I obtain my wish, I would never more that my heart should be a place for ought but the grace, and spirit, and faith of the Lord Jesus. I speak not this to lessen my wickedness; I would not for all the world but be placed by mine own conscience in the very front of the biggest sinners, that I might be one of the first that are beckoned, by the gracious hand of Jesus the Saviour, to come to him for mercy.”Well, sinner, thou now speakest like a Christian; but say thus, in a strong spirit, in the hour of temptation, an then thou wilt, to thy commendation and comfort, quit thyself well. This improving of Christ, in dark hours, is the life, though the hardest part of our Christianity. We should neither stop at darkness nor at the raging of our lusts, but go on in a way of venturing, and casting the whole of our affairs for the next world at the foot of Jesus Christ.”



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