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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

The Greatness and Abundance of the Water of Life [1]

The Greatness and Abundance of the Water of Life [1]

A Discourse on

“And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”- Revelation 22:17

We come now to discourse [a] . . . thing with which we are presented by the text, and that is, the quantity that there is of this water of life. It is a RIVER- “He showed me a river of water of life.” Waters that are cordial, and that have in them a faculty to give life to them that want it, and to maintain life where it is, are rare and scarce, and to be found only in close places and little quantities; but here you see there is abundance, a great deal, a RIVER, a river of water of life.

It is a deep river. It is a river that is not shallow, but deep, with an “O the depth!” (Rom 11:33). “I will make their waters deep, saith God” (Eze 32:14). And again, they “have drunk of the deep waters” (Eze 34:18). A river of water of life is much, but a deep river is more. Why, soul-sick sinner, sin-sick sinner, thou that art sick of that disease that nothing can cure but a potion of this river of the water of life, here is a river for thee, a deep river for thee. Those that at first are coming to God by Christ for life, are of nothing so inquisitive as of whether there is grace enough in him to save them. But, for their comfort, here is abundance, abundance of grace, a river, a deep river of the water of life, for them to drink of.

As this river is deep, so it is wide and broad (Eph 3:18; Job 11:9). Wherefore, as thou art to know the depth, that is, that it is deep, so thou art to know its breadth, that is, that it is broad; it is broader than the sea, a river that cannot be passed over (Eze 47:5). Never did man yet go from one side of this river to the other when the waters indeed were risen; and now they are risen, even now they proceed out of the throne of God and of the Lamb too. Hence this grace is called “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). Sinner, sick sinner, what sayest thou to this? Wouldst thou wade? wouldst thou swim? here thou mayest swim, it is deep, yet fordable at first entrance. And when thou thinkest that thou hast gone through and through it, yet turn again and try once more, and thou shalt find it deeper than hell, and a river that cannot be passed over. If thou canst swim, here thou mayest roll up and down as the fishes do in the sea. Nor needest thou fear drowning in this river, it will bear thee up, and carry thee over the highest hills, as Noah’s waters did carry the ark. . ..

As this river of water of life is deep and large, so it is a river that is full of waters. A river may be deep and not full. A river may be broad and not deep. Aye, but here is a river deep and broad, and full too. “Thou waterest it; thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water” (Psa 65:9). [It is] Full of grace and truth. Fill the water-pots, saith Christ, up to the brim. The waters of a full cup the wicked shall have; and a river full of the water of life is provided for those who indeed have a desire thereto.

As this river is deep, broad, and full, so it still aboundeth with water. The waters, says the prophet, “were risen” (Eze 47:4). Hence, the Holy Ghost saith, God causeth the waters to flow (Psa 147:18). And again, “And it shall come to pass in that day the day of the gospel that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim” (Joel 3:18). When a river overflows it has more water than its banks can bound: it has water. “Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed” (Psa 78:20). This river of water of life, which is also signified by these waters, is a river that abounds and that overflows its banks in an infinite and unspeakable manner. Thus, much for the river, to wit, what a river of water of life it is. It is a river deep, broad, full, and abounding with this water, with this Spirit and grace of the gospel.

[1] John Bunyan, The Water of Life. The electronic version states on the title page: “London: Printed for Nathanael Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, 1688.” This was excerpted from The Complete Works of John Bunyan, available from the E4 Group Electronic Software Library CD, internet This treatise Bunyan seeks to explain what is available to all who would come to Christ. According to, this treatise was published in 1688, the year of John Bunyan’s death. The interested reader is also encouraged to see the online library located at;, for more of Bunyan’s works.

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