27 April 2017

This Great and Strange Expression

John Bunyan, in his book Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, on John 6:37--'Whoever comes to me I will never cast out' (ESV), or as Bunyan's KJV put it, 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out':
They that are coming to Jesus Christ, are ofttimes heartily afraid that Jesus Christ will not receive them.

This observation is implied in the text. I gather it from the largeness and openness of the promise: 'I will in no wise cast out.' For had there not been a proneness in us to 'fear casting out,' Christ needed not to have, as it were, waylaid our fear, as he doth by this great and strange expression, 'In no wise.' 'And in him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.'

There needed not, as I may say, such a promise to be invented by the wisdom of heaven, and worded at such a rate, as it were on purpose to dash in pieces at one blow all the objections of coming sinners, if they were not prone to admit of such objections, to the discouraging of their own souls.

For this word, 'in no wise,' cutteth the throat of all objections; and it was dropped by the Lord Jesus for that very end; and to help the faith that is mixed with unbelief. And it is, as it were, the sum of all promises; neither can any objection be made upon the unworthiness that thou findest in thee, that this promise will not assoil.

But I am a great sinner, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ.

But I am an old sinner, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ.

But I am a hard-hearted sinner, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ. 

But I am a backsliding sinner, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ.

But I have served Satan all my days, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ. 

But I have sinned against light, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ.

But I have sinned against mercy, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ. 

But I have no good thing to bring with me, sayest thou.

     'I will in no wise cast out,' says Christ.

This promise was provided to answer all objections, and doth answer them. 
--John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, in Works, 1:279-80

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