Category Archives: Pilgrim’s Progress

“What is it that makes you desirous to go to Mount Zion?” by John Bunyan

“Then Prudence began to ask Christian some questions. ‘Do you ever think of the country you came from?’

‘Yes,’ Christian replied, ‘but with much shame and detestation. Honestly, if I had pleasant thoughts about the country from which I have come, I might have taken the opportunity to return; but I desire a better country, one that is heavenly.’

Prudence asked further, ‘Do you not still carry some of the baggage from the place you escaped?’

‘Yes, but against my will. I still have within me some of the carnal thoughts that all my countrymen, as well as myself, were delighted with. Now all those things cause me to grieve. If I could master my own heart, I would choose never to think of those things again, but when I try only to think about those things that are best, those things that are the worst creep back into my mind and behavior.’

‘Don’t you find that sometimes you can defeat those evil things that at other times seem to defeat you?’ Prudence suggested.

Christian answered, ‘Yes, it happens occasionally. They are golden hours that I treasure.’

‘Can you remember the means by which you’re able occasionally to defeat the evil desires and thoughts that assail you?’

Christian said, ‘Yes. When I think about what I experienced at the cross, that will do it. When I look at the embroidered coat, that will do it. When I read the scroll that I carry in my coat, that will do it. And when my thoughts turn to the place to which I am going, that will do it.’

Prudence inquired, ‘And what is it that makes you desirous to go to Mount Zion?’

Christian replied, ‘Why, it is there that I hope to see alive my Savior who hung dead on the cross. It is there that I hope to be rid of all those things that to this day are an annoyance to me. They say that in that place there is no death, and I will dwell there with the company that I like best. For, to tell you the truth, I love Him because He eased me of my burden. I am weary of my inward sickness. I desire to be where I will die no more, with a company that will continually cry, Holy, holy, holy!'”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come, Ed. C.J. Lovik (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 76-77.

 

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“Hearing this made me love Him even more” by John Bunyan

“Now I saw in my dream that they sat talking together until supper was ready. So when all was prepared and ready, they sat down to eat.

Now the table was furnished with savory foods and with wine that was well refined, and all their conversation at the table was about the Lord of the hill. They spoke with reverence about what He had done and why He did what He did and the reason He built that house.

And by the things they said, I perceived that He had been a great warrior. He had fought with and slain ‘him that had the power of death,’ but not without great danger to Himself.

Hearing this made me love Him even more.

They said, and I believe (as said Christian), that He did it with the loss of much blood. But what made it most glorious and gracious was that He did it all out of pure love to His country.

And besides, some of the household said they had spoken with Him since He died on the cross; and they have attested that they heard it from His own lips that there is nowhere to be found, no matter how far one might travel, anyone who had a greater love for poor pilgrims than He.

They, moreover, gave an instance of what they heard Him say, which was that He had stripped Himself of His glory that He might do this for the poor.

They also heard Him say and affirm ‘that He would not dwell in the mountain of Zion alone.’ They said also that He had made many pilgrims into princes, even though by nature they were born beggars, and their original dwelling had been the dunghill.”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come, Ed. C.J. Lovik (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 80.

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“The Law of Truth was written upon his lips” by John Bunyan

“CHR. Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the City of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate, at the head of this way, that if I called here, you would show me excellent things, such as would be a help to me in my journey.

INTER. Then said the Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So He commanded His man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow Him: so He had him into a private room, and bid His man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture of a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it.

It had eyes lifted up to Heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon his lips, the world was behind his back. It stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.

CHR. Then said Christian, What meaneth this?

INTER. The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand; he can beget children (1 Cor. 4:15), travail in birth with children (Gal. 4:19), and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to Heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips, it is to show thee, that his work is to know and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men; and whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head, that is to show thee that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’s service, he is sure in the world that comes next to have glory for his reward.

Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going, hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way; wherefore, take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress in The Works of John Bunyan (London: Blackie and Son, Paternoster Row, 1862), 3:98.

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“Strangers and pilgrims” by Ezekiel Hopkins

“After we have prayed for the glory of God, we also make mention of our temporal needs. Spiritual things are our greatest need, but God also allows us temporal blessings. We enjoy them as we might enjoy a visit to an inn.

We refresh ourselves with the comforts there, but we must not remain there or seek our true rest from it. We are strangers and pilgrims upon earth; heaven is our country, and to there we are travelling. We are thankful for the world’s provisions during our journey, and we enjoy the bread we pray for as a support in our passage home.

Our Saviour, in His providence, gives us heavenly blessings as a happy addition to the earthly blessings He daily bestows upon us. We are usually more aware of our temporal needs than of our spiritual, and our Saviour by degrees raises our desires from the one to the other.

We are invited to pray for the supply of our temporal necessities, but these are trivial in regard to the necessities of our souls. We ought to be much more earnest and importunate with God for our spiritual mercies.

Bread can only nourish my vile carcass for a few short years and then it molders into dust, and becomes mean for worms. How much more important it is to seek pardon for my sins and the spiritual mercies without which my soul must eternally perish!

Bread figuratively denotes all provisions necessary for this natural life. They are both needful and God has promised to give them to us. Whatever you enjoy is from His free bounty. He spreads your table and fills your cup. He is your health and strength, and He loads you daily with benefits.

Do you have riches, honour, friends, joy, and comfort? It is God who fills you with these good things. He is the great Lord and proprietor who brings forth abundantly from all His stores for the use and service of man.”

–Ezekiel Hopkins, “On the Lord’s Prayer,” in Works of Ezekiel Hopkins, Ed. Charles Quick (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1995), 1:98-103. As quoted in Voices From the Past, Ed. Richard Rushing (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 179.

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“Christ is all in all” by John Bunyan

“Christ Himself is the Christian’s armoury. When he puts on Christ, he is then completely armed from head to foot. Are his loins girt about with truth? Christ is the truth.

Has he on the breastplate of righteousness? Christ is our righteousness. Are his feet shod with the Gospel of peace? Christ is our peace.

Does he take the shield of faith, and helmet of salvation? Christ is that shield, and all our salvation. Does he take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God? Christ is the Word of God.

Thus he puts on the Lord Jesus Christ; by His Spirit fights the fight of faith; and, in spite of men, of devils, and of his own evil heart, lays hold of eternal life. Thus Christ is all in all.”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress in The Works of John Bunyan (London: Blackie and Son, Paternoster Row, 1862), 3:110, n. 2.

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“What does this mean?” by John Bunyan

“Then I saw in my dream that the Interpreter took Christian by the hand and led him into a room where there was a fireplace. The flames from the fireplace grew larger and hotter even though there was someone continually throwing water on it to try to quench it.

Then said Christian, ‘What does this mean?’

The Interpreter answered, ‘This fire is the work of grace that God accomplishes in the heart; he who throws water on the flames to try to extinguish it is the Devil. But as you see, the fire burns higher and hotter despite his efforts to put it out. Now let me show the reason for that.’

So the Interpreter took Christian to the other side of the wall, where he saw a Man with a vessel of oil in His hand, from which He secretly funneled oil into the fire.

Then Christian asked, ‘What does this mean?’

The Interpreter answered, ‘This is Christ who continually, with the oil of His grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart. No matter what the Devil tries to do, the gracious work that Christ is doing in the souls of His people only increases. You saw that the Man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire; that is to teach you that it is hard for the one being tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul.'”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 52.

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“A volume of which I never seem to tire” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“Next to the Bible, the book that I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire. And the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures. It is really Biblical teaching put into the form of a simple yet very striking allegory.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, Pictures From Pilgrim’s Progress (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1992), 11.

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