Wednesday, 29 September 2010

"Thy righteousness is in heaven"

John Bunyan's conversion has been described as "...a lengthy and agonizing process." He spent time pouring over Scripure without finding any assurance. When he finally thought that he had believed the gospel, he faced a time of overwhelming darkness which lasted two years. He feared that he was utterly damned and that his sin was unpardonable, and speaks of "...the terrors of those days...". However, one day he came to a turning point, and light blazed into his darkess. Here is how he described the moment:
One day as I was passing into the field . . . this sentence fell upon my soul. Thy righteousness is in heaven. And methought, withal, I saw with the eyes of my soul Jesus Christ at God's right hand; there, I say, was my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, he wants [i.e. lacks] my righteousness, for that was just before him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, "The same yesterday, today, and forever." Heb. 13:8. Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and irons; my temptations also fled away; so that from that time those dreadful scriptures of God [about the unforgivable sin] left off to trouble me; now went I also home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.