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to be endless brightness and purity hereafter; selfdenial and suffering in this world must prepare the way to glorify God and enjoy him forever. There was a great connection between Christian's burden at first, and his delight in God afterwards ; so there was between all the toils of his pilgrimage, and his panting desires after God; for certainly, if this pilgrimage were all the way a way of ease, then we should not much desire to hasten on in it, or to come to the end of it, or to see God in heaven; too much satisfied with the sweetness of the streams, we should stay away from the fountain. We having here no continuing city, seek one to come, that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Would God I were with thee!
Thy joys that I might see !
Thy bulwarks diamond square ;
O God, if I were there !
O happy harbor of God's saints !
O sweet and pleasant soil !
No grief, no care, no toil.
No gloom nor darksome night,
For God himself gives light.
Lord, in my forehead plant thy name,
And take me hence away,
And sing thy praise for aye.
When shall I come to thee?
Thy joys when shall I see?
HOUSE OF THE INTERPRETER.
Meaning of the Interpreter, what great personage he stands for.-Richness and beauty
of his instructions.—The Law and the Gospel as sweepers of the soul.-Passion and Patience, Sense and Faith.—How grace is sustained in the soul.- How the victory is gained by the Man in armor.--Misery of the soul in Despair. Dream of the Judgment.-Power of conscience.-Beauty of the Pilgrim's Progress as a book for Childhood. Christian's deliverance from his burden.
It would be difficult to find twelve consecutive pages in the English language, that contain such volumes of meaning, in such beautiful and instructive lessons, with such heavenly imagery, in so pure and sweet a style, and with so thrilling an appeal to the best affections of the heart, as these pages descriptive of Christian's sojourning in the House of the Interpreter. This good man of the House, the Interpreter, we are, without doubt, to take as the representative of the Holy Spirit, with his enlightening and sanctifying influences on the heart. He is our Comforter, Guardian and Guide through all our pilgrimage; our Instructor to take of the things which are Christ's, and to show them to our souls; our Sanctifier, to lead us into all truth, and to make it the nourishing food of our souls, and with it and in it bringing Christ before us continually, to fasten our affections upon him,
and make him, of God, unto us, our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. From the first moment of a Christian's setting out on his pilgrimage, this heavenly Comforter takes him under his peculiar guidance ; so soon as he enters the Strait Gate, and puts himself under the care of the Great Shepherd, then the Spirit of God begins the work of discipline, instruction, refinement and sanctification with him as a child of God. So you will observe that the very first thing which the Interpreter said to Christian was, Come in, and I will show thee that wbich will be profitable unto thee. And then he bid his man light the candlc, and brought Christian into a private room, where he showed him the first of the beautiful and instructive visions that were to pass before him. Bunyan has put in the margin the word Illumination, and he might have added the text, Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Or he might have referred us to the blessed walk of the two disciples with Christ in the way to Emmaus, when he opened their understandings, that they might understand the Scriptures ; for such a work does the Spirit of God commence with us, when he lights the candle of the Lord within our hearts.
But we are to observe that Christian did not get into the house of the Interpreter, nor obtain his precious guidance, without knocking, yea, and that earnestly. This is to signify that after Christ has let us in, as we hope, at the Wicket Gate, our great and immediate work must be to seek with most humble diligence and earnestness the gracious illu