A whole flood of blasphemies, both against God, Christ, and the Scriptures were poured upon my spirit to my great confusion and astonishment…My heart was at times exceeding hard. If I would have given a thousand pounds for a tear, I could not shed one…Oh, the desparateness of man’s heart…I feared that this wicked sin of mine might be that sin unpardonable…Oh, no one knows the terror of those days but myself.
One day I was passing into the field…this sentence fell upon my soul. The righteousness is in heaven. And…I saw with the eyes of my soul Jesus Christ at God’s right hand; there, I say, was my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, he [lacks] my righteousness, for that was just before him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, “The same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and irons; my temptations fled away; so that from that time those dreadful scriptures of God [about the unforgivable sin] left off to trouble me; now went I also home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.
– John Bunyan
as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright 2004; p. 86-87