The iron bars slammed shut and he sat in the jail cell alone.
His crime? Preaching the gospel.
That’s what happened to John Bunyan in 1665.
In that jail cell he wrote this poem.
I am indeed in prison now
In body, but my mind
Is free to study Christ, and how
Unto me he is kind.
For tho’ men keep my outward man
Within their locks and bars,
Yet by the faith of Christ I can
Mount higher than the stars.
Their fetters cannot spirits tame,
Nor tie up God from me;
My faith and hope they cannot lame;
Above them I shall be.
Wherefore to prison they me sent,
Where to this day I lie;
And can with very much content
For my profession die.
The prison very sweet to me
Hath been since I came here,
And so would also hanging be,
If God would there appear.
Here dwells good conscience, also peace;
Here be my garments white;
Here, though in bonds, I have release
From guilt, which else would bite.
To them that here for evil lie
The place is comfortless,
But not to me, because that I
Lie here for righteousness.
The truth and I were both here cast
Together, and we do
Lie arm in arm, and so hold fast
Each other; this is true.
This jail to us is as a hill,
From whence we plainly see
Beyond this world, and take our fill
Of things that lasting be.
From hence we see the emptiness
Of all the world contains;
And here we feel the blessedness
That for us yet remains.