John Bunyan was born in 1628 near Bedford, England. The son of a pot maker, he served in the Army as a young man, then became a lay preacher.
After the English Restoration in 1660, Bunyan was arrested on several occasions for defying an order not to preach. While in jail, he spent his time studying and writing.
Bunyan’s most famous work was The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which is to Come. The work tells, in allegorical form, the experience of a man named Christian, from his first awareness of his sinfulness to his personal conversion to Christ. Christian is shown as a pilgrim in this world on his way to the “Celestial City,” which will be his true home forever. The work was first published in 1678.
In 1672, after Charles II issued his Declaration of Religious Indulgences, Bunyan was released from jail. However, the following year, the king repealed his Declaration, and Bunyan was sent back to jail. He wrote 40 more books before his death in 1688. Pilgrim’s Progress has become one of the most widely published books in history, translated into over 200 languages.
What are the chances your 17th century ancestor heard about or even read Pilgrim’s Progress? Wouldn’t it be fun to add a quote from the book to an ancestor’s scrapbook page?