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King then commanded to open the gate, “ that the righteous nation (said he) that keepeth the truth may enter in.”**
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 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 OUR LORD.”
I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying,
“ BLESSING, AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND
POWER BE UNTO HIM THAT SITTETH UPON
k Isa. xxvi. 2. Rev. v. 13. * The righteous nation—who are they? Oh, say the self-righteous pharisees of the day, they are those who, by their good works and righteous actions, have made themselves to differ from others, and are thus become righteous before God. To whom should the Lord command the gate of glory to be opened, but to these good, righteous people ? But Peter tells us, “ The righteous nation is a chosen generation," elected out from among the rest of the world, and of a different seed and generation to them. They see no righteousness in themselves, and therefore are little, low, and mean in their own eyes ; being begotten by the Word of truth, and born again of the Spirit of truth, they receive and love the truth as it is in Jesus. In him they glory, and of his righteousness they make all their boast; for they are made the righteousness of God in him: his righteousness is their robe of salvation, and their title to the kingdom. This truth keeps them; by this truth they
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.
Now, while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw to 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 ferry-man, that with his boat helped him over: so he, as the others I saw, did ascend the hill, to come up to the gate; only he came
IGNORANCE COMES UP THE RIVER.
VAIN-HOPE DOES FERRY HIM OVER.
regulate their life and walk; and this truth they hold fast in life, and keep unto death; and thus living and dying in the belief of the truth, they can say with Paul, I have kept the faith, and henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which Jesus hath painfully obtained for me, and will freely bestow upon me. O that faith may bring near the view, and hope long for the hour, when the Lord shall say, Enter in!
* Vain-hope ever dwells in the bosom of fools, and is ever ready to assist Ignorance. He wanted him at the last, and he found him. He had been his companion through life, and will not forsake him in the hour of death. You see Ignorance had no bands in his death, no fears, doubts, and sorrows, no terror from the enemy, but all was serene and happy. Vain-hope was his ferryman, and he, as the good folks say, died like a lamb. Ah! but did such lambs see what was to follow when Vain-hope had wafted them over the river, they would roar like
alone, neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked up to 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 come you ? and what would you have? He answered, I have eat 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
I have nothing more about them than wire was
* Hence see that ignorant, vain confident professors may keep up a profession, even unto the end ; yea, and keep a self-righteous hope to the very last, without any internal operation of the Spirit upon their hearts, slaying their natural self-confidence, and quickening them to a life of faith on the Son of God. Such, when they are called upon for their certificate, find themselves destitute of one. They set out in nature, and have nothing more about them than what their natural notions furnish them with. Spiritual revelations of Christ to the heart, through faith in the word, they despised; and therefore, when searched to the bottom, behold they are speechless. They could talk of their own free-will, moral powers, faithfulness to grace, &c. in life, but they have not one word to say of precious Christ and his finished salvationwhat he hath done for sinners, what he is to them, and what the Spirit has wrought in them, whereby Christ becomes altogether lovely in their eyes; and his truths, promises, and commands, the choice, the delight, and the glory of their hearts. Oh! without this, the profession of being a pilgrim will end in awful delusion!
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.
* This is a most awful conclusion. Consider it deeply. Weigh it attentively, so as to get good satisfaction from the word, to these important questions: Am I in Christ the way, the only way to the kingdom, or not ? Do I see that all other ways, whether of sin or selfrighteousness, lead to hell ? Does Christ dwell in my heart by faith ? Am I a new creature in him ? Do I renounce my own righteousness, as well as abhor my sins ? Do I look to Christ alone for righteousness, and depend only on him for holiness ? Is he the only hope of my soul, and the only confidence of my heart ? and, Do I desire to be found in him, knowing by the word, and feeling by the teaching of his Spirit, that I am totally lost in myself? Thus, Is Christ formed in me, the only hope of glory? Do I study to please him, as well as hope to enjoy him? Is fellowship with God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, so prized by me, as to seek it, and to esteem it above all things ? If so, though I may find all things in nature, in the world, and from Satan continually opposing this, yet I am in Christ the way; and he is in me, the truth and the life. I am one with him, and he is one with me. There is an inseparable, an everlasting, and an indissoluble union, which neither sin nor hell shall ever be able to destroy; for, this union is effected by no less than the almighty power of God the Holy Ghost. It is his work, and his alone, to take of the things of Christ, to show them to the sinner, and to glorify Christ in his eyes, and to make him the glory of his heart, so as that he can say, in the power of faith, Christ is my righteousness, life, hope, and salvation : He is the Lord, by whom we escape death, through whom we obtain eternal glory. To whom, with the Father and Holy Ghost, the One Jehovah, be endless praise and glory. Amen.
Now, Reader, I have told my Dream to thee,
Take heed also that thou be not extreme
Put by the curtains, look within my veil, Turn up my metaphors, and do not fail. There, if thou seekest them, such things thoul't find As will be helpful to an honest mind.
What of my dross thou findest there, be bold