Talk of Christian and Hopeful - Temporary - the backslider - the land of Beulah - Christian and Hopeful pass the River - welcome to the Celestial city - Ignorance Comes to His End - and Conclusion of Part First
o I saw in my dream that they went on speedily, and IGNORANCE he came hobbling after. Then CHRISTIAN said to his companion, "I greatly pity this poor man; it will certainly go ill with him in the end."
Hope. Alas, there is an abundance in our town in his condition: whole families, yea, whole streets (and that of pilgrims too); and if there are so many in our parts, how many, do you think, must there be in the place where he was born?
Chr. Indeed the Word says, "He has blinded their eyes, lest they should see," etc. But now we are by ourselves, what do you think of such men? Have they no convictions of sin at any time? And if so, do they not fear that their state is dangerous?
Hope. No, you answer that question yourself; for you are the elder man.
Chr. Then I say sometimes I think they may; but they, being naturally ignorant, do not understand that such convictions are for their good; and therefore they desperately seek to stifle them, and presumptuously continue to flatter themselves in the way of their own hearts.
Hope. I do believe as you say, and that fear tends much to men's good, to make them right, at their beginning, to go on pilgrimage.
Chr. Without doubt it does, if it be right; for so says the Word, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.''
"And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ " Job 28:28
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever." Psalm 111:10
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10
Hope. How would you describe right fear?
Chr. True, or right fear, is discovered by three things:
- By its rise. It is caused by saving convictions for sin.
- It drives the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation.
- It gives birth to, and continues to give the soul a great reverence of God, His Word, and ways; keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left; to anything that may dishonour God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully.
Hope. Well said; I believe you have spoken the truth. Are we almost past the Enchanted Ground?
Chr. Why, are you weary of this discussion?
Hope. No, truly; but I would like to know where we are.
Chr. We now have no more than two miles further to go. But let us return to our subject. Now the ignorant do not know that convictions that tend to put them in fear are for their good; and therefore they seek to stifle them.
Hope. How do they seek to stifle them?
- They think that those fears are worked by the devil (though indeed they are worked by God); and thinking so, they resist them, as things that directly tend to their overthrow.
- They also think that these fears tend to spoil their faith (when, alas for them, poor men that they are, they have none at all); and therefore they harden their hearts against them.
- They presume they ought not to fear; and therefore, inspite of themselves they become presumptuously confident.
- They see that these fears tend to take away from them their pitiful old self holiness; and therefore they resist them with all their might.
I know something of this myself; for before I knew myself, it was so with
Chr. ell, we will leave at this time our neighbour IGNORANCE by himself, and come to another profitable question.
Hope. With all my heart; but you shall still begin.
Chr. Well then, did you not know, about ten years ago, one TEMPORARY in your parts, who was a forward man in religion then?
Hope. Know him? Yes; he dwelt in Graceless, a town about two miles off to Honesty, and he lived next door to one TURNBACK
Chr. Right; he lived under the same roof with him. Well, that man was much awakened once. I believe that then he had some sight of his sins, and of the wages that were due for them.
Hope. I agree, for (my house not more than three miles from him) he would often come to me, and that with many tears. Truly, I pitied the man, and was not altogether without hope for him; but one may see it is not everyone that cries, "Lord, Lord !"
Chr. He told me once, that he was resolved to go on pilgrimage, as we do now; but all of a sudden he grew acquainted with one SAVE-SELF, and then he became a stranger to me.
Hope. Now, since we are talking about him, let us inquire a little into the reason of the sudden backsliding of him and others like him.
Chr. I may be very profitable; but you begin.
Hope. Well, then, there are in my judgment four reasons for it.
- Though the consciences of such men are awakened, yet their minds
are not changed; therefore, when the power of guilt wears away, that
which provoked them to be religious ceases. Therefore, they naturally
turn to their old course again; even as we see the dog that is sick
of what he has eaten, so long as his sickness prevails, he vomits and
throws up all; not that he does this of a free mind (if we may say a
dog has a mind), but because it troubles his stomach. But when his sickness
is over, and his stomach is eased, his desires no longer being alienated
from his vomit, he turns around and licks up all. And so it is true
which is written, "The dog has turned to his own vomit again".
"But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.'" 2 Peter 2:22
So I say, being hot for heaven, by virtue only of the sense and fear of the torments of hell, as their sense of hell and the fear of damnation chills and cools,--so their desires for heaven and salvation cool also. So then it comes to pass, that when their guilt and fear are gone, their desires for heaven and happiness die and they return to their course again.
- Another reason is, they have slavish fears that overcome them. I
speak now of the fears that they have of men: "For the fear of man brings
"The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe."Proverbs 29:25
So then, though they seem to be hot for heaven so long as the flames of hell are about their ears, yet when that terror has died down a little, they begin to have second thoughts; namely, that it is good to be wise, and not to run (for what they do not know) the hazard of losing all, or at least of bringing themselves into unavoidable and unnecessary troubles: and so they fall in with the world again.
- The shame that attends religion also lies as a block in their way. They are proud and haughty, and religion in their eyes is low and contemptible; therefore, when they have lost their sense of hell and wrath to come, they return again to their former course.
- Guilt and meditation on terror are grievous to them; they do not like to see their misery before they come into it (though perhaps the sight of it first, if they loved that sight, might make them fly where the righteous fly and are safe). But, as I hinted before, because they even shun the thoughts of guilt and terror; therefore, when once they are rid of their awakenings about the terrors and wrath of God, they gladly harden their hearts, and choose such ways as will harden them more and more.
Chr. You are pretty near the business; for the bottom of it all is this, that they lack a change in their mind and will. And so they are like the felon that stands before the judge: he quakes and trembles, and seems to repent most heartily. But at the bottom of it all is the fear of the rope, he has no detestation of the offence; as is evident, because, let but this man have his liberty, and he will still be a thief, and so a rogue; whereas if his mind was changed he would be otherwise.
Hope. Now I have shown you the reasons of their going back, now you show me the manner in which they go back.
Chr. So I will willingly:
- They draw off their thoughts all that they may from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.
- Then they cast off by degrees private duties: as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.
- Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.
- After that they grow cold to public duty: as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.
- Then they begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly; and that devilishly, that they may have some excuse to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmity they have noticed in them) behind their backs.
- Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men.
- Then they give way to carnal and wanton talk in secret; and they are glad if they can see such things in any that are counted to be honest, so that they may the more boldly do it through their example.
- After this they begin to play with little sins openly.
- And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevents it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceptions.
ow I saw in my dream, that, by this time, the pilgrims had passed the Enchanted Ground, and were entering the country of Beulah, (lit. married)
"You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married." Isaiah 62:4
whose air was very sweet and pleasant; the way lying directly through it, they comforted themselves there for a season. Yes, here they heard continually the singing of birds and saw the flowers appear every day in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land.
"My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land." Song of Solomon 2:10-12
In this country the sun shines night and day: since this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and also out of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they so much as see Doubting Castle from this place. Here they were within sight of the City they were going to, also they met here some of the inhabitants of this place; for in this land the Shining Ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of heaven. In this land also the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewed; yes, here, "as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met with abundance of what they had sought for in all the pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the City, loud voices, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, Surely your salvation is coming; behold, his reward is with him." Here all the inhabitants of the country called them "The holy people; the redeemed of the Lord;" "Sought out," etc.
"You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you. I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Lord has sworn by His right hand And by the arm of His strength: 'Surely I will no longer give your grain As food for your enemies; And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine, For which you have labored. But those who have gathered it shall eat it, And praise the Lord; Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.'
Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples! Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world:
Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.’ And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; And you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken." Isaiah 62:4-12
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the Kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing near to the City, they had still a more perfect view of it. It was built of pearls and precious stones, also its streets were paved with gold; so that, because of the natural glory of the City, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it, CHRISTIAN, fell sick with desire; HOPEFUL also had a fit or two of the same disease; and so, here they lay by it a while, crying out, because of their pangs, "If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love."
But being strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer; where there were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way, to whom the pilgrims said, "Whose beautiful vineyards and gardens are these?" He answered, "They are the King's; and are planted here for his own delights, and also for the solace of pilgrims." So the gardener brought them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves with dainties.
"When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes at your pleasure, but you shall not put any in your container." Deuteronomy 23:24
He also showed them the King's walks there, and the arbours where he delighted to be: and here they stayed and slept.
Now I saw in my dream that they talked more in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey; and while musing about this place, the gardener said even to me, "Why do you muse about the matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak."
So I saw that when they awoke they addressed themselves to go up to the City; but, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the City (for the City was pure gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not, as yet, with open face look upon it, but had to look through an instrument made for that purpose.
"The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass." Revelation 21:18
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18
So I saw that, as they went on, two men met them there in clothing that
shone like gold, also their faces shone as the light.
hese men asked the pilgrims where they had come from, and they told them; they also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures they had met in the way; and they told them. Then the men that met them said, "You have only two more difficulties to meet with, and then you are in the City."
CHRISTIAN then, and his companion, asked the men to go along with them; so they told them they would. "But," they said, "you must obtain it by your own faith." So I saw in my dream that they went on together till they came in sight of the gate.
Now I further saw that between them and the gate was a river; but there was no bridge to go over: the river was very deep. Therefore the pilgrims were greatly astounded at the sight of this river; but the men that went with them said, "You must go through, or you cannot come at the gate."
The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was another way to the gate; to which they answered, "Yes, but no other, save two, being, Enoch and Elijah, have been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall any until the last trumpet has sounded".
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52
Then the pilgrims--especially CHRISTIAN--began to be discouraged; and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all the same depth? They said, "No"; yet they could not help them in that case, for they said, "you shall find it deeper or shallower as you believe in the King of the place."
They then addressed themselves to the water; and entering, CHRISTIAN began to sink. And crying out to his good friend, HOPEFUL, he said, "I sink in deep waters, the billows go over my head; all his waves go over me."
Then said the other, "Be of good cheer, my brother; I feel the bottom, and it is good." Then said CHRISTIAN, "Ah! my friend, the sorrows of death have compassed me about; I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon CHRISTIAN, so that he could not see before him; also here he lost his senses in such great measure, that he could neither remember nor talk orderly of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. But all the words that he spoke still tended to discover that he had horror of mind, and hearty fears that he should die in that river, and never obtain entrance through the gate; here also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he had committed, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim. It was also observed that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins and evil spirits; for over and over he would intimate such by words. HOPEFUL, therefore, here had much ado to keep his brother's head above water; yes, sometimes he would be submerged, and then before long he would rise up again half dead. HOPEFUL also would endeavour to comfort him, saying, "Brother, I see the gate, and men standing by it to receive us." But CHRISTIAN would answer, "It is you, itis you they wait for; you have been hopeful ever since I knew you." "And so have you," he said to CHRISTIAN. "Ah, brother," he said, "surely, if I was right, he would now arise to help me; but, for my sins, he has brought me into the snare, and has left me." Then said HOPEFUL, "My brother, you have quite forgotten the text where it is said of the wicked, 'There are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm; they are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued like other men'.
"For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men." Psalms 73:4, 5
These troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters are no sign that God has forsaken you; but are sent to try you, whether you will call to mind that which up till now you have received of his goodness, and live upon him in your distresses."
Then I saw in my dream that CHRISTIAN pondered for a while, to whom also HOPEFUL added this word, "Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ makes you whole "; and with that CHRISTIAN broke out with a loud voice, "Oh, I see him again! and he tells me, 'When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you'".
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you." Isaiah 43:2
Then they both took courage, and after that the enemy was as still as a stone, until they had gone over. So presently CHRISTIAN found ground to stand upon; and so it followed that the rest of the river was but shallow. Thus they got over.
Now upon the bank of the river, on the other side, they
saw the two shining men again who waited there for them; Then, having come
up out of the river, they saluted them, saying, "We are ministering spirits,
sent forth to minister for those that shall be heirs of salvation." Thus
they went along towards the gate. Now you must note that the City stood
upon a mighty hill; but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because
they had these two men to lead them up by the arms; also they had left their
mortal garments behind them in the river; for though they went in with them,
they came out without them. Therefore they went up here with much agility
and speed; though the foundation upon which the City was framed was higher
than the clouds. They therefore went up through the regions of the air,
sweetly talking as they went; being comforted, because they got safely over
the river, and had such glorious companions to attend them.
he 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," they said, "is the Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem; the innumerable company of angels; and the spirits of just men made perfect.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel." Hebrews 12:22-24
You are going now," they said, "to the Paradise of God; where 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 who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." Revelation 2:7
"You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." Revelation 3:4
"Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were 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: there shall be no sorrow, sickness, affliction, or death; for the former things have passed away.
"So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My eyes." Isaiah 65:16
You are now going to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob, and to the prophets; men that God has taken away from the evil to come, and that are now resting upon their beds, each one walking in his righteousness".
"The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness." Isaiah 57:1,2
Then the men asked, "What must we do in the holy place?" To whom it was answered: "You must receive there 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.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will 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 we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2
You shall also serve him there 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, those who came here before you; and there you shall receive with joy 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 outfit 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; yes, and when he shall pass sentence upon all the workers of iniquity, whether they 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 the sound of the trumpet, and be ever with him."
"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16
"Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints'" Jude 14
"I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened." Daniel 7:9,10
"Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know 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 has 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".
"Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to 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 garments; who, with loud melodious noises, 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 the sound of the 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 it were to guide them through the upper regions); continually sounding as they went, with a melodious noise, in notes on high; so that the very sight was, to them that could behold it, as if heaven itself had 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 it were, in heaven, before they came to 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 in there ringing, to welcome them there; 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 arrived at 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 those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14
Then I saw in my dream, that the shining men told them to call at the gate, which when they did, some from above looked over the gate: namely, Enoch, Moses, and Elijah; to whom it was said, "These pilgrims have come from the city of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the King of this place." And then each of the pilgrims gave up to them their certificate, which they had received in the beginning; those, therefore were carried into the King, who, when he had read them, said "Where are the men?" To whom it was answered, "They are standing outside the gate." The King then commanded to open the gate, "That the righteous nation," he said, "that keeps truth, may enter in".
"Open the gates, That the righteous nation which keeps 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 clothing 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 with, 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 to them, "Enter 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 sits 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, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever." Revelation 5:13, 14
Now, just as the gates were opened to let the men in, I looked in after them: and behold, the City shone like the sun: the streets also were paved with gold; and many men walked on them, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises with.
Some of them there also 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
ow, while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw IGNORANCE come up to the riverside; 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, who helped him over with his boat: so he, as the other I saw, ascended the hill to come up to the gate; only he came alone, neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he had 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, "Where have you come from? and what would do you want?" 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 did not answer 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 take 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!
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
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.
End of Part One