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- BUNYAN CHARACTERS 3RD SERIES - 39/39 -


make you a monument of God's mercy. I put it to yourselves, then, ye people of God: does that not satisfy you for a reason, and for an explanation, and for a justification of all your shame and pain, and of all your bondage and misery and wretchedness since you knew the Lord? Is there not a heart in you that says, Yes! it was worth all my corruption and pollution and misery to help to manifest forth and to magnify the glory of the grace of God? You seize on Emmanuel's word that you are a monument of mercy. Somehow that word pleases and reposes you. Yes, that is what out of all these post-regeneration years you are. You would have been a monument to God's mercy had you, like the thief on the cross, been glorified on the same day on which you were first justified. But it will neither be the day of your justification nor the day of your glorification that will make you the greatest of all the monuments that shall ever be raised to the praise of God's grace; it will be the days of your sanctification that will do that. Paul was a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious at his conversion, but he had to be a lifetime in grace and an apostle above all the twelve before he became the chiefest of sinners and the most wretched of saints. And though your first forgiveness was, no doubt, a great proof of the grace of God, yet it was nothing, nothing at all, to your forgiveness to-day. You had no words for the wonder and the praise of your forgiveness to-day. You just took to your lips the cup of salvation and let that silent action speak aloud your monumental praise. You were a sinner at your regeneration, else you would not have been regenerated. But you were not then the chief of sinners. But now. Ah, now! Those words, the chief of sinners, were but idle words in Paul's mouth. He did not know what he was saying. For, what has horrified and offended other men when it has been spoken with bated breath to them about envy, and hate, and malice, and revenge, and suchlike remainders of hell, all that has been a breath of life and hope to you. It has been to you as when Christian, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, heard a voice in the darkness which proved to him that there was another sinner at the mouth of hell besides himself. There is no text that comes oftener to your mind than this, that whoso hateth his brother is a murderer; and, communicant as you are, you feel and you know and you are sure that there are many men lying in lime waiting the day of judgment to whom it would be more tolerable than for you were it not that you are to be at that day the highest monument in heaven or earth to the redeeming, pardoning, and saving grace of God. Yes, this is the name that shall be written on you; this is the name that shall be read on you of all who shall see you in heaven; this name that Emmanuel pronounced over Mansoul that day from His ascending chariot-steps, a very Spectacle of wonder, and a very Monument of the mercy and the grace of God.


BUNYAN CHARACTERS 3RD SERIES - 39/39

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