Over the Christmas break I was given an extremely old copy of some of the works of John Bunyan. Within this book was a small biography of his life, and within that was this quote from Bunyan, a quote that has been the cry of my heart for a few weeks now. Before I share the quote with you, I should warn you, the book was printed in 1845, and Bunyan lived in the 1600’s so the English is a little bit different. But please take the time to read and finish it, and think upon it, and I pray that it encourages you as it has (and continues) encouraged me. The background for the quote is this: Bunyan’s struggle with knowing whether or not he was truly saved.
“One day I was passing into the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing least yet all was not right, suddenly this sentence came upon my soul, ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven;’ and [I] thought with all, I saw with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand; there, I saw, was my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing God could not say of me, ‘He wants my righteousness,’ for that was there just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of mind that made my righteousness better, nor my bad frame of mind that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, ‘the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ Now did the chains fall off my legs indeed; I was loosed from my afflictions and my irons; my temptations also fled away… ‘He has made unto us of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption;’ by this word I saw the other sentence true. For, by this scripture, I saw that the man Christ Jesus, as He is distinct from us as touching bodily presence, so he is our righteousness and sanctification before God. Here, therefore, I lived for some time very sweetly at peace with God through Christ. Oh! [I] thought, Christ, Christ! There was nothing but Christ before my eyes. I was not now looking upon this and the other benefits of Christ apart, of his blood, burial, or resurrection, but considering him as a whole Christ, as he is when all these, and all other his virtues, relations, offices, and operations met together, and that he sat on the right hand of God in heaven. Twas glorious to me to see his exaltation, and the worth of prevalence of all his benefits; and that because now I could look from myself to Him, and would reckon that all those grace of God that now were green on me, were yet but like those cracked goats and four pence-halfpennies that rich men carry in their purses, when their gold is in their trunks at home; Oh! I saw my gold was in my trunk at home! In Christ my Lord and my Savior. Now Christ is my all; all my righteousness, all my sanctification, and all my redemption.”