Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Some More Highlights from Pilgrim's Progress

On turning to legalism:
"So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr Legality's house for help: but behold, when he was got now hard by the Hill [Sinai] it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next the wayside, did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the Hill should fall on his head... Also his burden, now, seemed heavier to him, than while he was in his way... And he now began to be sorry that he had taken Mr Worldly-Wiseman's counsel."

On the model Pastor:
"Christian saw a picture of a very grave person hang up against the wall, and this was the fashion of it: it had eyes lift up to Heaven, the best of books in its hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, and the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head."

On talking with those who talk a good game, but do not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour:

"Go to him and enter into some serious discourse about the power of religion; and ask him plainly (when he has approved of it, for that he will) whether this thing be set up in his heart, house or conversation."
How Talkative at first lifts up his plumes!
How bravely doth he speak! how he presumes
To drive down all before him! but so soon
As Faithful talks of heart-work, like the moon
That's past the full, into the wane he goes;
And so will all, but he that heart-work knows.

Held captive by Giant Despair in Doubting Castle:

'What a fool,' quoth he [Christian] 'I am, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty. I have a key in my bosom, called promise, that will (I am persuaded) open any lock in Doubting Castle.

On the Valley of Humiliation:

"There is nothing here to hurt us, unless we procure it to ourselves. 'Tis true, Christian did here meet with Apollyon, with whom he also had a sore combat; but that fray was the fruit of those slips he got in going down the Hill [into the Valley of Humiliation]."

On Mr Fearful's crossing of the River:

"the water of that River was lower at this time than ever I saw it in all my life; so he went over at last not much more above wet-shod."

Listening in at the Door to Hell:

So she hearkened, and heard one saying 'Cursed be my father for holding my feet back from the way of peace and life'; and another said 'O that I had been torn in pieces before I had, to save my life, lost my soul'; and another said, 'If I were to live again, how would I deny myself rather than come to this place.' Then there was as if the very earth had groaned, and quaked under the feet of this young woman for fear; so she looked white, and came trembling away, saying, 'Blessed be he and she who that is delivered from this place.'

Mr Standfast's End:

'This river has been a terror to many, yea the thoughts of it have often frightened me. But now methinks I stand easy, my foot is fixed upon that upon which the feet of the priests that bare the Ark of the Covenant stood while Israel went over this Jordan. The waters are indeed to the palate bitter, and to the stomach cold; yet the thought of what I am going to, and of the conduct that awaits me on the other side, doth lie as a glowing coal at my heart.'

If you have not yet read J I Packer on The Pilgrim's Progress in Kapic & Gleason 'The Devoted Life', I very strongly recommend it. Themes of the good word, news, way, guide & end are insightful, heart-warming and challenging.


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