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admiring the ungodly, who prosper in the world, who increase in riches. Ah, let them remember how as a dream when one awaketh, so the treasures and enjoyments of Passion are gone, and there is left nothing but rags and wretchedness. And let them remember those three sweet verses, which contain the very material out of which so gentle, yet noble a creature as Patience was made, and the very fire that as a flame of blessedness before hand was burning in his heart, and making him care nothing at all for the braveries of Passion ; “ Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
It were well also to read along with this the account of Dives and Lazarus, of which again this emblem of Passion and Patience is a perfect representation. Dives was Passion, who would have all his good things in this life, and even doubted whether there was any life to come at all; at any rate, he would not be such a melancholy fool as to wait for it. Lazarus was Patience, who could not only wait, saying within himself, By and by it will be all right, and the crown of gold will keep its brightness forever, but he could wait at the gate of the rich man full of sores, and yet singing and making melody in his heart unto the Lord, and thinking of the angels and of Abraham's bosom. And then the end, the eternal separation, the gulf of flame and the abode of glory! Son, said Abraham,
remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things ; and now, he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
So the world goes! Passion says, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush ; give me good fortunes now, and you may have all your fine texts of Scripture, and all your glory in the world to come to yourself. Patience says, Wait a little, all is not gold that glitters, and a little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked. Passion says, Father, give me the portion of goods that belongeth to me; he will have them now, and he claims them as his right, and being indulged with them, away he goes and spends them to his own ruin; and then well for him it is, if amidst his rags and wretchedness his heart turns again to his father's house, and by the infinite mercy of divine grace he comes back as a lamenting, penitent, heart-broken Prodigal. Ah, thought Christian to himself, I was Passion once, Passion in the City of Destruction; and I should have been Passion still, Passion in rags and wretchedness, had not God had mercy on me. Now I will be Patience as long as I live.
The next bright instructive vision that the Interpreter showed Christian, is one that sprung directly from Bunyan's own course of painful and blessed experience, mingled together. The Dreamer now is looking back and musing on the wonderful discipline of Divine Grace in his heart, and he says within himself, How marvellously, amidst all my terrible temptations, did my Divine Saviour, when I saw him not, and feared I never should see
him, maintain his blessed, precious work of mercy in my heart! He has brought the blind by a way that they knew not; but now, blessed be God, how sweetly do I see it! When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. “I saw in my dream,” says Bunyan, “ that the Interpreter took Christian by the hand, and led him into a place, where was a fire burning against a wall, and one standing by it, always casting much water upon it to quench it ; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.” You will remember the sarcastic dialogue of the Tempter, the devil, with Bunyan's soul, when he had him near the entrance to the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and was torturing him with dreadful doubts and apprehensions. I will cool you yet, said Satan, though I take seven years to do it; you are very hot after mercy now, but you shall be cool enough by and by. And with what malignant wonder and disappointment must Satan have looked on to see all his efforts bootless, to see that the flame of love in Bunyan's heart was like the fire of guilt and despair in Satan's own conscience, unquenchable ; to see, amidst all the torrents of rain and hail, that he poured upon the soul of his apparently helpless victim, the fire of grace, to his utter desperation and astonishment, did only burn higher and clearer, and brighter ! Ah, the blind and guilty Fiend could not see the chariots and horsemen of heaven round about Bunyan; he could not see the Lord Jesus Christ continually pouring the oil of divine grace into Bunyan's heart, of which the Interpreter showed Christian the emblem in the man
on the other side secretly but continually pouring oil from a vessel into the fire.
So, said the Interpreter, by means of the oil of Christ's grace, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls of his people prove gracious still. And in that thou sawest that the man stood be. hind the wall to maintain the fire, this is to teach thee that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul. My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Bunyan had had deep experience of the glory of this promise, for it was the passage of
grace which did long strive with that of Esau, till at length the dreadful threatening grew dim and vanished away, while the promise grew brighter and brighter, till it filled his whole soul with its glory; till the Law had to give place to the Gospel, and Moses and Elias to leave Christ and his saints alone. Bunyan has put this sweet promise in a reference in the margin; and here I may remark that as you pass along in the Pilgrim's Progress, if you will take the trouble to turn to your Bibles for references, you may see the very sources of the wisdom and inspiration of Bunyan’s genius, the very channels through which the River of the Water of Life flowed in so many thousand deep beautiful rills into these pages. The examination in such wise proves far more instructive.
The next sight, which the Interpreter showed Christian, is in many respects the most animating and ravishing passage to be found in all the Pilgrim's Progress. It set Christian's own heart on
fire to run forward on his journey. Those who have read this book in early childhood, can well remember the powerful effect which this picture had upon the imagination. The Interpreter took Christian by the hand, and led him into a pleasant place, where was built a stately palace, beautiful to behold ; at the sight of which Christian was greatly delighted; he saw also upon the top thereof certain persons walking, who were clothed all in gold.
So the Interpreter took Christian, and led him up towards the door of the palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a tableside, with a book and his ink-horn before him, to take the names of them that should enter therein; he saw also that in the door-way stood many men in armour to keep it, being resolved to do to the men that would enter, what hurt and mischief they could. Now was Christian somewhat in amaze : at last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, set down my name, sir ; the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put a helmet upon his head, and rnsh towards the door upon the armed men, who, laid upon him with deadly force; but the man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely. So, after he had received and given many wounds to those who attempted to keep him out, he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the palace; at which there