John Bunyan (1628-1688): This is such a sight as dazzles the eyes of angels

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“O grace! O amazing grace! To see a prince entreat a beggar to receive an alms would be a strange sight; to see a king entreat the traitor to accept of mercy would be a stranger sight than that; but to see God entreat a sinner, to hear Christ say, ‘I stand at the door and knock,’ with a heart full and a heaven full of grace to bestow upon him that opens, this is such a sight as dazzles the eyes of angels. What sayest thou now, sinner? Is not this God rich in mercy? Hath not this God great love for sinners? Nay, further, that thou mayest not have any ground to doubt that all this is but complementing, thou hast also here declared that God hath made his Christ ‘to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ If God would have stuck at anything, he would have stuck at the death of his Son; but he ‘delivered him up for us’ freely; ‘how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’

But this is not all. God doth not only beseech thee to be reconciled to him, but further, for thy encouragement, he hath pronounced, in thy hearing, exceeding great and precious promises; ‘and hath confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us’.”

– John Bunyan (1628-1688), “Saved by Grace,” Works, 1:350

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John Bunyan (1628-1688): Saints have an Advocate to plead their cause

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“[I]t is evident that saints neither can nor dare adventure to plead their cause. Alas! the Judge is the almighty and eternal God; the law broken is the holy and perfect rule of God, in itself a consuming fire. The sin is so odious, and a thing so abominable, that it is enough to make all the angels blush to hear it but so much as once mentioned in so holy a place as that is where this great God doth sit to judge. This sin now hangs about the neck of him that hath committed it; yea, it covereth him as doth a mantle. The adversary is bold, cunning, and audacious, and can word a thousand of us into an utter silence in less than half a quarter of an hour. What, then, should the sinner, if he could come there, do at this bar to plead? Nothing; nothing for his own advantage. But now comes in his mercy-he has an Advocate to plead his cause-“If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

– John Bunyan (1628-1688), “The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate, Explained,” The Practical Works of John Bunyan, Vol. IV, p. 251

John Bunyan (1628–1688): Christ is all in all

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“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 (1628–1688), The Pilgrim’s Progress

John Bunyan (1628–1688): In the Valley of the Shadow of Death

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In the first part of Christian’s journey in John Bunyan’s (1628–1688) famous book The Pilgrim’s Progress, he had to travel through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. In this valley there was a very narrow path with hellish dangers on both sides. If Christian would veer too much to the left or right, it would be the end of him. The narrator explained it like this – which, by the way, is an outstanding analogy of the Christian life:

“I took notice that now poor Christian was so confounded, that he did not know his own voice. And thus I perceived it: just when he was come over against the mouth of the burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stept up softly to him; and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to him – which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind. This put Christian more to it than anything that he met with before, even to think that he should now blaspheme him that he loved so much before! Yet could he have helped it, he would not have done it; but he had not the discretion neither to stop his ears, nor to know from whence those blasphemies came.

When Christian had traveled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, ‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me’ (Ps. 23:4).

Then was he glad; and that for these reasons:

First, because he gathered from thence that some who feared God were in this valley as well as himself.

Secondly, for that he perceived God was with them, though in that dark and dismal state; and why not with me, thought he, though, by reason of the impediment that attends this place, I cannot perceive it (Job 9:11)?

Thirdly, for that he hoped (could he overtake them) to have company by and by. So he went on, and called to him that was before; but he knew not what to answer, for that he also thought himself to be alone. And by and by the day broke; then said Christian, ‘He hath turned the shadow of death into the morning’ (Amos 5:8).”

– John Bunyan (1628–1688), The Pilgrim’s Progress, p. 69-70

John Bunyan (1628-1688) on Christ as Mediator

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“Sinner, thou thinkest that because of thy sins and infirmities I cannot save thy soul, but behold my Son is by me, and upon him I look; and not on thee, and will deal with thee according as I am pleased with him.”

– John Bunyan (1628-1688), Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, 258