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Bunyan on the Death of Christ and the Gospel Entreaties

December 29, 2008

I was looking at some Bunyan this morning, just for the fun of it. I came again across this excellent quotation. Bunyan was one of those very very–did I say very and very enough times ;-)– few Puritans who held to unlimited expiation. But should someone not take my word for this, one might care to scope out this article:

David Wenkel, “John Bunyan’s Soteriology During His Pre-Prison Period (1656-1659): Amyraldian or High Calvinist?” Scottish Journal of Theology 58 (2005) 333-352.

This article was part of the core of Wenkel’s thesis:

David Wenkel, John Bunyan’s theory of atonement in his early doctrinal and polemic works Amyraldian or Particular? M.A. thesis, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2004.

Bunyan:

“Thy stubbornness affects, afflicts the heart of thy Saviour. Carest thou not for this? Of old, ‘he beheld the city, and wept over it.’ Canst thou hear this, and not be concerned? (Luk. 19:41, 42). Shall Christ weep to see thy soul going on to destruction, and will though sport thyself in that way? Yea, shall Christ, that can be eternally happy without thee, be more afflicted at the thoughts of the loss of thy soul, than thyself, who art certainly eternally miserable if thou neglectest to come to him. Those things that keep thee and thy Saviour, on thy part, asunder, are but bubbles; the least prick of an affliction will let out, as to thee, what now thou thinkest is worth the venture of heaven to enjoy.

Hast thou not reason? Canst thou not so much as once soberly think of thy dying hour, or of whither thy sinful life will drive thee then? Hast thou no conscience? or having one, is it rocked so fast asleep by sin, or made so weary with an unsuccessful calling upon thee, that it is laid down, and cares for thee no more? Poor man! thy state is to be lamented. Hast no judgment? Art not able to conclude, that to be saved is better than to burn in hell? and that eternal life with God’s favour, is better than a temporal life in God’s displeasure? Hast no affection but what is brutish? what, none at all? No affection for the God that made thee? What! none for his loving Son that has showed his love, and died for thee? Is not heaven worth thy affection? O poor man! which is strongest, thinkest thou, God or thee? If thou art not able to overcome him, thou art a fool for standing out against him (Mat. 5:25, 26). ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the living God’ (Heb. 10:29-31). He will gripe hard; his fist is stronger than a lion’s paw; take heed of him, he will be angry if you despise his Son; and will you stand guilty in your trespasses, when he offereth you his grace and favour? (Exo. 34: 6, 7).” John Bunyan, “The Jerusalem Sinner Saved, or, Good News for the Vilest of Men” in The Works of John Bunyan, (Banner of Truth), 1:90.

[The underlining, though not original, is added for emhasis.]

You can find more of Bunyan here. This is not a “singular” quotation, as one can find more at the Bunyan file. And the works by Wenkel should also be consulted.

David

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