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THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

JOHN BUNYAN  


Section 10

Talk of Christian and Hopeful - Temporary - the backslider - the land of Beulah - Christian and Hopeful pass the River - welcome to the Celestial city - Conclusion


 

 

WELCOME

The talk they had with the Shining Ones was about the glory of the place; who told them that the beauty and glory of it was inexpressible. "There," said they, "is the Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem; the innumerable company of angels; and the spirits of just men made perfect.

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." Hebrews 12:22-24

You are going now," said they, "to the Paradise of God; wherein you shall see the tree of life, and eat of the never fading fruits thereof. And when you come there, you shall have white robes given you; and your walk and talk shall be every day with the King, even all the days of eternity.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Revelation 2:7

"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy." Revelation 3:4

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Revelation 21:14

There you shall not see again such things as you saw when you were in the lower region upon the earth: to wit, sorrow, sickness, affliction, and death; for the former things are passed away.

"That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes." Isaiah 65:16

You are going now to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob, and to the prophets; men that God hath taken away from the evil to come, and that are now resting upon their beds, each one walking in his righteousness".

"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness." Isaiah 57:1, 2

The men then asked, "What must we do in the holy place?" To whom it was answered: "You must there receive the comfort of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your prayers, and tears, and sufferings for the King by the way.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

In that place you must wear crowns of gold, and enjoy the perpetual sight and visions of the Holy One; for there you shall see him as he is.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

There, also, you shall serve him continually with praise, with shouting, and thanksgiving; whom you desired to serve in the world, though with much difficulty, because of the infirmity of your flesh. There your eyes shall be delighted with seeing, and your ears with hearing the pleasant voice of, the mighty One. There you shall enjoy your friends again, that are got thither before you; and there you shall with joy receive even every one that follows into the holy place after you. There, also, you shall be clothed with glory and majesty, and put into an equipage fit to ride out with the King of Glory. When he shall come with sound of trumpet in the clouds, as upon the wings of the wind, you shall come with him; and when he shall sit upon the Throne of Judgment, you shall sit by him; yea, and when he shall pass sentence upon all the workers of iniquity, let them be angels or men, you also shall have a voice in that Judgment, because they were his and your enemies. Also, when he shall again return to the City, you shall go too, with sound of trumpet, and be ever with him."

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" 1 Thessalonians 4:13 -16

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" Jude 14

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Daniel 7:9, 10

"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3

Now, while they were thus drawing towards the gate, behold a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them; to whom it was said, by the other two Shining Ones, "These are the men that have loved our Lord when they were in the world, and that have left all for his holy Name; and he hath sent us to fetch them, and we have brought them thus far on their desired journey, that they may go in and look their Redeemer in the face with joy." Then the heavenly host gave a great shout, saying, "Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb".

"And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." Revelation 19:9

There came out also at this time, to meet them, several of the King's trumpeters, clothed in white and shining raiment; who, with melodious noises, and loud, made even the heavens to echo with their sound. These trumpeters saluted CHRISTIAN and his fellow with ten thousand welcomes, from the world: and this they did with shouting and sound of trumpet.

This done, they compassed them round on every side: some went before, some behind, and some on the right hand, some on the left (as 'twere to guide them through the upper regions); continually sounding as they went, with melodious noise, in notes on high; so that the very sight was, to them that could behold it, as if heaven itself was come down to meet them. Thus, therefore, they walked on together; and as they walked, ever and anon these trumpeters, even, with joyful sound, would, by mixing their music with looks and gestures, still signify to CHRISTIAN and his brother how welcome they were into their company, and with what gladness they came to meet them. And now were these two men, as 't were, in heaven, before they came at it; being swallowed up with the sight of angels, and with hearing of their melodious notes. Here also they had the City itself in view; and they thought they heard all the bells therein to ring, to welcome them thereto; but, above all, the warm and joyful thoughts that they had about their own dwelling there, with such company, and that for ever and ever. Oh, by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be expressed! And thus they came up to the gate.

Now when they were come up to the gate, there was written over it, in letters of gold, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the City".

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14

Then I saw in my dream, that the shining men bid them call at the gate, the which when they did, some from above looked over the gate: to wit, Enoch, Moses, and Elijah; to whom it was said, "These pilgrims are come from the city of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the King of this place." And then the pilgrims gave in unto them each man his certificate, which they had received in the beginning; those, therefore were carried in to the King, who, when he had read them, said "Where are the men?" To whom it was answered, "They are standing without the gate." The King then commanded to open the gate, "That the righteous nation," said he, "that keeps truth, may enter in".

"Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in." Isaiah 26:2

Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also those that met them with harps and crowns, and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the City rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, "Enter ye into the joy of your Lord." I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, "Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever".

"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever." Revelation 5:13, 14

Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them: and behold, the City shone like the sun: the streets also were paved with gold; and in them walked many men, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.

There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one another without intermission, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord!" And after that they shut up the gates, which when I had seen, I wished myself among them.



IGNORANCE COMES TO HIS END

Now, while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw IGNORANCE come up to the river side; but he soon got over, and that without half the difficulty which the other two men met with. For it happened that there was then in that place one VAIN-HOPE, a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over: so he, as the other I saw, did ascend the hill to come up to the gate; only he came alone, neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked upon the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him; but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, "Whence came you? and what would you have?" He answered, "I have ate and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught in our streets." Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King. So he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, "Have you none?" But the man answered never a word. So they told the King; but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two Shining Ones that conducted CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL to the City, to go out, and take IGNORANCE, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw in the side of the hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the city of Destruction . So I awoke, and behold it was a dream!

 

THE CONCLUSION

Now, reader, I have told my dream to thee;
See if thou canst interpret it to me,
Or to thyself, or neighbour: but take heed
Of misinterpreting; for that, instead
Of doing good, will but thyself abuse:
By misinterpreting evil ensues.

Take heed also that thou be not extreme
In playing with the outside of my dream;
Nor let my figure, or similitude,
Put thee into a laughter or a feud.
Leave this for boys and fools; but as for thee,
Do thou the substance of my matter see.

Put by the curtains, look within my veil
Turn up my metaphors, and do not fail
There, if thou seekest them, such things to find
As will be helpful to an honest mind.

What of my dross thou findest there, be bold
To throw away; but yet preserve the gold.
What if my gold be wrapped up in ore?
None throws away the apple for the core.
But if thou shalt cast all away as vain
I know not but 'twill make me dream again.


THE END

     

The Pilgrim's Progress - Part 2

 


 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents