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The Jerusalem Sinner Saved; or, Good News for the Vilest of Men   By: (1628-1688)

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This etext was produced from the 1845 Thomas Nelson edition by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk

THE JERUSALEM SINNER SAVED; or, GOOD NEWS FOR THE VILEST OF MEN

by John Bunyan

BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM. Luke xxiv. 47.

The whole verse runs thus: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

The words were spoken by Christ, after he rose from the dead, and they are here rehearsed after an historical manner, but do contain in them a formal commission, with a special clause therein. The commission is, as you see, for the preaching of the gospel, and is very distinctly inserted in the holy record by Matthew and Mark. "Go teach all nations," &c. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature." Matt. xxviii. 19; Mark xvi. 15. Only this cause is in special mentioned by Luke, who saith, That as Christ would have the doctrine of repentance and remission of sins preached in his name among all nations, so he would have the people of Jerusalem to have the first proffer thereof. Preach it, saith Christ, in all nations, but begin at Jerusalem.

The apostles then, though they had a commission so large as to give them warrant to go and preach the gospel in all the world, yet by this clause they were limited as to the beginning of their ministry: they were to begin this work at Jerusalem. "Beginning at Jerusalem."

Before I proceed to an observation upon the words, I must (but briefly) touch upon two things: namely,

I. Show you what Jerusalem now was.

II. Show you what it was to preach the gospel to them.

I. For the first, Jerusalem is to be considered, either,

1. With respect to the descent of her people: or,

2. With respect to her preference and exaltation: or,

3. With respect to her present state, as to her decays.

First, As to her descent: she was from Abraham, the sons of Jacob, a people that God singled out from the rest of the nations to set his love upon them.

Secondly, As to her preference or exaltation, she was the place of God's worship, and that which had in and with her the special tokens and signs of God's favour and presence, above any other people in the world. Hence the tribes went up to Jerusalem to worship; there was God's house, God's high priest, God's sacrifices accepted, and God's eye, and God's heart perpetually; Psalm lxxvi. 1, 2; Psalm cxxii.; 1 Kings ix. 3. But,

Thirdly, We are to consider Jerusalem also in her decays; for as she is so considered, she is the proper object of our text, as will be further showed by and by.

Jerusalem, as I told you, was the place and seat of God's worship, but now decayed, degenerated, and apostatized. The word, the rule of worship, was rejected of them, and in its place they had put and set up their own traditions; they had rejected also the most weighty ordinances, and put in the room thereof their own little things, Matt. xv.; Mark vii. Jerusalem was therefore now greatly backsliding, and become the place where truth and true religion were much defaced.

It was also now become the very sink of sin and seat of hypocrisy, and gulf where true religion was drowned. Here also now reigned presumption, and groundless confidence in God, which is the bane of souls. Amongst its rulers, doctors, and leaders, envy, malice, and blasphemy vented itself against the power of godliness, in all places where it was espied; as also against the promoters of it; yea, their Lord and Maker could not escape them.

In a word, Jerusalem was now become the shambles, the very slaughter shop for saints. This was the place wherein the prophets, Christ, and his people, were most horribly persecuted and murdered. Yea, so hardened at this time was this Jerusalem in her sins, that she feared not to commit the biggest, and to bind herself by wish under the guilt and damning evil of it; saying, when she had murdered the Son of God, "His blood be upon us and our children."

And though Jesus Christ did, both by doctrine, miracles, and holiness of life, seek to put a stop to their villanies, yet they shut their eyes, stopped their ears, and rested not, till, as was hinted before, they had driven him out of the world... Continue reading book >>




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