About the artist:
ohn Bunyan had very little schooling. He followed his father in the tinker's trade, and he served in the parliamentary army from1644 to 1647). Bunyan married in 1649 and lived in Elstow until 1655, when his wife died. He then moved to Bedford, and married again in 1659. John Bunyan was received into the Baptist church in Bedford by immersion in 1653. In 1655, Bunyan became a deacon and began preaching, with marked success from the start. In 1658 he was indicted for preaching without a license. The authorities were fairly tolerant of him for a while, and he did not suffer imprisonment until November of 1660, when he was taken to the county jail in Silver Street, Bedford, and there confined (with the exception of a few weeks in 1666) for 12 years until January 1672. Bunyan afterward became pastor of the Bedford church. In March of 1675 he was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license, this time being held in the Bedford town jail. In just six months this time he was freed, (no doubt the authorities were growing weary of providing Bunyan with free shelter and food) and he was not bothered again by the authorities. Herein is a great controversy. As John Bunyan was married with children to support, and he could have walked out of the jail a free man at any time if he simply promised to stop preaching publicly without a license, one must ask if he really did the right thing. He was not asked to deny Christ or to recant his faith as the Protestant martyrs of a century earlier were. Indeed, many of those around him were openly Christians who shared his faith. Bunyan was simply asked to stop preaching without a license, or to move on. Should Bunyan have simply agreed and walked out of the jail and gone home to fulfill his duties before God as a husband and father? Or did he do the right thing in making those duties secondary to his personal conviction that he should be allowed to preach in that city without a license? Bunyan was not a martyr, nor was he ever violently persecuted, but his convictions, whether admirable or misplaced, were quite strong and vexed the local authorities who viewed him more as a troublemaker than any real threat. On a trip to London, John Bunyan caught a severe cold, and he died at the house of a friend at Snow Hill on August 31, 1688. His grave lies in the cemetery at Bunhill Fields in London.
ohn Bunyan had very little schooling. He followed his father in the tinker's trade, and he served in the parliamentary army from1644 to 1647). Bunyan married in 1649 and lived in Elstow until 1655, when his wife died. He then moved to Bedford, and