OR, A BRIEF RELATION OF THE EXCEEDING
MERCY OF GOD IN CHRIST, TO HIS
POOR SERVANT JOHN BUNYAN
1. Of all the temptations that ever I met with in my life, to question
the being of God, and the truth of His gospel, is the worst, and the
worst to be borne; when this temptation comes, it takes away my girdle
from me, and removeth the foundations from under me. Oh, I have often
thought of that word, 'Have your loins girt about with truth'; and of
that, 'When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?'
2. Sometimes, when, after sin committed, I have looked for sore
chastisement from the hand of God, the very next that I have had from
Him hath been the discovery of His grace. Sometimes, when I have been
comforted, I have called myself a fool for my so sinking under trouble.
And then, again, when I have been cast down, I thought I was not wise to
give such way to comfort. With such strength and weight have both these
been upon me.
3. I have wondered much at this one thing, that though God doth visit
my soul with never so blessed a discovery of Himself, yet I have found
again, that such hours have attended me afterwards, that I have been in
my spirit so filled with darkness, that I could not so much as once
conceive what that God and that comfort was with which I have been
4. I have sometimes seen more in a line of the Bible than I could well
tell how to stand under, and yet at another time the whole Bible hath
been to me as dry as a stick; or rather, my heart hath been so dead and
dry unto it, that I could not conceive the least drachm of refreshment,
though I have looked it all over.
5. 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.
6. 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.'
7. 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 flying 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.