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the top of the Hill Clear, from whence they could, in a fine day, see the Celestial City, through the telescope which the Shepherds kept by them. This perspective glass is Faith, but the Pilgrims have not always equal skill in using it. However, they managed to see something of the glory of the City, and that vision, imperfect though it was, was very ravishing to their spirits.
We journey in a vale of tears;
But often from on high
And lights up all our sky.
Far distant visions come,
To cheer the Pilgrim home.
Then doubt and darkness flee away,
And shadows all are gone :-
This earth and beaven were one.
There's only left, “He saith ;"
To live and walk by Faith.
Yet e'en for glimpses such as these
My soul would cheerful bear
The toil, the pain, the care.
Whatever grief my lot,
All troubles are forgot.
My quickened soul, in faith and love,
Mounts up on eagles' wings,
Exulting sits and sings !
I hope that world to see,
To enter in to Thee!
After going through the conflict with Apollyon, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, the scenes in Vanity Fair, and the dread experience of the Pilgrims in Giant Despair's Castle, it is well to note what a Gallery of solemn REALITIES is here, what a system of Divine Truth, commending itself to all men's consciences. It is not so much the richness of imagination, nor the tenderness of feeling here exhibited, nor the sweetness and beauty of the imagery, with which this book is filled, as it is the presence of these REALITIES, that constitutes the secret of its unbounded power over the soul. Waik
and down in this rich and solemn Gallery. How simple are its ornaments! How grave, yet beautiful, its architecture ! Amidst all this deep, serene beauty to the imagination, by how much deeper a tone do these pictures speak to the inner spiritual being of the soul! have admired the visible beauty of the paintings, turn again to seek their meaning in that light from Eternity by which the Artist painted them, and by which he would have all men examine their lessons, and receive and feel the full power of their coloring. In this light the walls of this Gallery seem moving with celestial figures speaking to the soul. They are acting the Drama of a Life, which by most men is only dreamed of; but the Drama is the Reality, and it is the spectators only, who are walking in a vain show.
The Pilgrim's Progress shows an immortal being journeying in the light, and under the transforming power of these Realities. They are such everpresent truths, that you cannot read this work,
without discovering them, any more than you could read aloud the pages of a book, without pronouncing its words; any more than one could travel through a magnificent city, and not behold its streets and palaces; any more than one could look at the rainbow without seeing its colors, or at the sun without beholding its light. It is by the power of these truths that the Pilgrim's Progress, like the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, proves itself a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The whole foundation on which the author of this work, which of all other books stands the nearest after the Bible to the overpowering light of Eternity, has built the structure of its Realities, is his view, (taken from the Bible and the Spirit of God,) of sin, of God, of Christ, of the Eternal World, and of the relations of man, as a fallen being, to that world and to his Maker. The gloom in this book, if gloom it can be called, where the light of the Cross so irradiates it, arises from the immutable dread nature of sin, and not from any dark views of the Gospel. It is not a gloomy book; no man ever thought of bringing against it such an accusation ; it is one of the most cheerful books in the language. And yet it is a solemn array of the Realities of spiritual Truth. The way of our pilgrimage is from gloom to grace and glory; gloom at first, but afterwards glory everlasting ; but they who will reject the element of gloom from their theology in this world are not likely to have the element of glory spring from it hereafter.