Consider thou must die but once—I mean but once as to this world; for if thou, when thou goest hence, dost not die well, thou canst not come back again and die better. —John Bunyan, The Acceptable Sacrifice
Suppose a company of ugly, uncomely, deformed persons dwelt together in one house; and suppose that they never yet saw any man or woman more than themselves, or that were arrayed with the splendours and perfections of nature; these would not be capable of comparing themselves with any but themselves, and consequently would not be affected and made sorry for their uncomely natural defections. But now bring them out of their cells and holes of darkness, where they have been shut up by themselves, and let them take a view of the splendour and perfections of beauty that are in others, and then, if at all, they will be sorry and dejected at the view of their own defects. This is the case; men by sin are marred, spoiled, corrupted, depraved, but they may dwell by themselves in the dark; they see neither God, nor angels, nor saints, in their excellent nature and beauty: and therefore they are apt to count their own uncomely parts their ornaments and their glory. But now let such, as I said, see God, see saints, or the ornaments of the Holy Ghost, and themselves as they are without them, and then they cannot but must be affected with and sorry for their own deformity. When the Lord Christ put forth but little of his excellency before his servant Peter’s face, it raised up the depravity of Peter’s nature before him to his great confusion and shame; and made him cry out to him in the midst of all his fellows, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord’ (Luke 5:4-8).
This therefore is the cause of a broken heart, even a sight of divine excellencies, and a sense that I am a poor, depraved, spoiled defiled wretch; and this sight having broken the heart, begets sorrow in the broken-hearted. —John Bunyan, The Acceptable Sacrifice
I have sometimes seen more in a line of the Bible than I could well tell how to stand under, and yet at another time the whole Bible hath been to me as dry as a stick. —John Bunyan, Grace Abounding
Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to His Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God. —John Bunyan, A Discourse Touching Prayer
For God, and Christ, and his people are so linked together that if the good of the one be prayed for, to wit, the church, the glory of God, and advancement of Christ, must needs be included. For as Christ is in the Father, so the saints are in Christ; and he that toucheth the saints, toucheth the apple of God’s eye; and therefore pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and you pray for all that is required of you. For Jerusalem will never be in perfect peace until she be in heaven; and there is nothing that Christ doth more desire than to have her there. That also is the place that God through Christ hath given to her. He then that prayeth for the peace and good of Zion, or the church, doth ask that in prayer which Christ hath purchased with his blood; and also that which the Father hath given to him as the price thereof. —John Bunyan, A Discourse Touching Prayer
The Pharisee, therefore in commending of himself, makes himself never the better. The Publican also, in condemning of himself, makes himself never the worse. Nay, contrariwise, the Pharisee by commending of himself makes himself much the worse (v. 14). And the Publican, by condemning of himself, makes himself much the better. ‘I tell you, (says Christ) This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ —John Bunyan, The Pharisee and the Publican
[T]hat a person so great, so high, so glorious, as this Jesus Christ was, should have love for us, that passes knowledge. It is common for equals to love, and for superiors to be beloved; but for the King of princes, for the Son of God, for Jesus Christ to love man thus: this is amazing, and that so much the more, for that man the object of this love, is so low, so mean, so vile, so undeserving, and so inconsiderable, as by the scriptures, everywhere he is described to be. —John Bunyan, The Saints Knowledge of Christ’s Love
Do not thou conclude, that because thou canst not reach God by thy short stump, therefore he cannot reach thee with his long arm. —John Bunyan, The Saints’ Knowledge of Christ’s Love
Now, after the feast was over, Emmanuel was for entertaining the town of Mansoul with some curious riddles of secrets drawn up by his Father’s secretary, by the skill and wisdom of Shaddai: the like to these there is not in any kingdom. These riddles were made upon the King Shaddai himself, and upon Emmanuel his Son, and upon his wars and doings with Mansoul.
Emmanuel also expounded unto them some of those riddles himself; but, oh! how they were lightened! They saw what they never saw; they could not have thought that such rarities could have been couched in so few and such ordinary words. I told you before whom these riddles did concern; and as they were opened, the people did evidently see it was so. Yea, they did gather that the things themselves were a kind of a portraiture, and that of Emmanuel himself; for when they read in the scheme where the riddles were writ, and looked in the face of the Prince, things looked so like the one to the other, that Mansoul could not forbear but say, ‘This is the lamb! this is the sacrifice! this is the rock! this is the red cow! this is the door! and this is the way!’ with a great many other things more. —John Bunyan, The Holy War
Now, the ancients and elders of the town of Mansoul thought that they never should have enough of the Prince Emmanuel; his person, his actions, his words and behaviour, were so pleasing, so taking, so desirable to them. Wherefore they prayed him, that though the castle of Mansoul was his place of residence (and they desired that he might dwell there for ever), yet that he would often visit the streets, houses, and people of Mansoul. For, said they, dread Sovereign, thy presence, thy looks, thy smiles, thy words, are the life, and strength, and sinews of the town of Mansoul.
Besides this, they craved that they might have, without difficulty or interruption, continual access unto him (so for that very purpose he commanded that the gates should stand open), that they might there see the manner of his doings, the fortifications of the place, and the royal mansion-house of the Prince. When he spake, they all stopped their mouths and gave audience; and when he walked, it was their delight to imitate him in his goings. —John Bunyan, The Holy War