Of all tears, they are the best that are made by the blood of Christ; and of all joy, that is the sweetest that is mixed with mourning over Christ. Oh! it is a goodly thing to be on our knees, with Christ in our arms, before God. I hope I know something of these things.
I find to this day seven abominations in my heart:
(1) Inclinings to unbelief.
(2) Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth.
(3) A leaning to the works of the law.
(4) Wanderings and coldness in prayer.
(5) To forget to watch for that I pray for.
(6) Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have.
(7) I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust in themselves,
‘When I would do good, evil is present with me.’
These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good.
(1) They make me abhor myself.
(2) They keep me from trusting my heart.
(3) They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness.
(4) They show me the necessity of fleeing to Jesus.
(5) They press me to pray unto God.
(6) They show me the need I have to watch and be sober.
(7) And provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me, and carry me through this world. Amen.
Grace Abounding To the Chief of Sinners is John Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography. In it he tells of his conversion and struggle with faith. He wrote it while he was imprisoned for preaching without a license. His main issue was a kind of “spiritual obsessive compulsive disorder” as one reviewer puts it. Bunyan was constantly concerned about the state of his salvation and whether God deemed him worthy enough for eternal life. This story communicates the author’s anguish over his sin, his confession, and the life-changing impact of God’s saving grace. Bunyan’s spiritual struggles will remind readers that even the great minds of faith had issues with belief, and his personal testimony will encourage anyone who is doubting the status of their salvation.
A PDF copy of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners can be downloaded from Christian Classics Ethereal Library..