“The sweetest study of all” by John Bunyan

“If there is so great a heart for love, towards us, both in the Father and in the Son, then let us be much in the study and search after the greatness of this love.

This is the sweetest study that a man can devote himself unto because it is the study of the love of God and of Christ to man.

Studies that yield far less profit than this, how close are they pursued, by some who have adapted themselves thereunto.

Men do not use to count telling over of their money burdensome to them, nor yet the recounting of their grounds, their herds, and their flocks, when they increase. Why?

The study of the unsearchable love of God in Christ to man is better in itself, and yields more sweetness to the soul of man, than can ten thousand such things as but now are mentioned.

I know the wise men of this world, of whom there are many, will say as to what I now press you unto: ‘Who can show us any good in it?’

But Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increaseth (Psalm 4:6-7).

David also said that his meditation on the Lord should be sweet and pleasing. (Psalm 104:34)

Oh, there is in God and in His Son, that kindness for the sons of men, that, did they know it, they would like to retain the knowledge of it in their hearts.

They would cry out as she did of old: ‘Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm: For love is strong as death” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).

Every part, crumb, grain, or scrap of this knowledge, is to a Christian, as drops of honey are to sweet-palated children, worth the gathering up, worth the putting to the taste to be relished.

Yea, David says of the word which is the ground of knowledge: ‘It is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. More,’ saith he, ‘to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey or the honey-comb’ (Psalm 19:10).

Why then do not Christians devote themselves to the meditation of this so heavenly, so goodly, so sweet, and so comfortable a thing, that yieldeth such advantage to the soul?

The reason is, these things are talked of, but not believed.

Did men believe what they say, when they speak so largely of the love of God, and the love of Jesus Christ, they would meditate upon it, they could not but meditate upon it.

There are so many wonders in it. Therefore let us study these things.”

–John Bunyan, “The Saint’s Knowledge of Christ’s Love,”  A Confession of My Faith, The Works of John Bunyan, Volume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1991), 2: 36.

Bunyan died on August 31, 1688.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John Bunyan, Love of God, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

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