Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Does It Take To Be Made A Believer? (Part 2)

Christian: And did you presently fall under the power of this conviction?

Hope:  No, I was not willing presently to know the Evil of Sin, nor the Damnation that follows upon the commission of it; but endeavoured, when my mind at first began to be shaken with the Word, to shut mine eyes against the light thereof.

Christian:  But was was the Cause of your carrying of it thus to the first workings of God's blessed Spirit upon you?

Hope:  The causes were, I. I was ignorant that this was the work of God upon me. I never thought that by awakenings for Sin, God at first begins the Conversion of a Sinner. 2. Sin was yet very sweet to my  Flesh, and I was loth to leave it. 3. I could not tell how to part with mine old companions, their presence and actions were so desirable unto me. 4. The hours in which Convictions were upon me, were such troublesome and such Heart-affrighting hours, that I could not bear, no not so much as the Remembrance of them upon my heart.

Christian:  Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your Trouble.

Hope:  Yes, verily, but it would come into my mind again, and then I should be as bad, nay worse than I was before.

Christian:  Why, was it that brought your Sins to mind again?

Hope:  Many things; as,
  • I did but meet a Good man in the streets
  • If I have heard any read in the bible
  • If mine head did begin to ache
  • If were told that some of my neighbours were sick
  • If I heard the bell toll for some that were dead
  • If I thought of Dying myself
  • If I heard that sudden Death happened to others 
  • But especially when I thought of myself, that I must quickly come to judgment.
Christian:  And could you at any time, with ease, get off the Guilt of Sin, when by any of these ways it came upon you?

(Taken from John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, (Uhrichsville: Barbour and Company,) p. 158-159)

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