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the pure and fitting tastes for these higher and better things. He has dwelt in a low earthly region until his whole being has become conformed to low and earthly objects; and his dimmed and distorted vision cannot see the bright heaven above him. As well might the untutored eye of him who hath always been laboring in the dark and dusty mines under ground, attempt to judge of the beauty of colors, and to determine the rules of art.
Such an one is justly called Ignorance, and his self-confidence only serves the more to set off the barrenness and grovelling tastes of his soul. The more confident and dogmatical he is, the more an object of pity does he become to good angels and spiritual men, and of contempt and mockery to lost spirits. His boastfulness is only the strong symptom of his insanity, and the sure token of his perdition.
On the other hand, he who hath renounced his self-righteousness, and, with a broken and contrite heart, hath fled for refuge to the righteousness of Christ, he hath found a clear vision and noble and rational tastes. Now he despises and loathes the objects which he before admired and loved, and lifts up his rejoicing eye to behold the beautiful scenery of the green and smiling earth, and the quiet lake reflecting the happy heavens, and he sees the happy heavens themselves, from whence the reflection comes. Justly is this one called Hopeful. The things which he hath chosen are not in the present, but they open to him in the blessed future. He hopes for them, and he hopes not in painful doubtfulness, but in the sweet assurance of the faith which hath brought him to Christ.
Abba, Father! send forth the Spirit of thy dear Son into our hearts, that we, being made humble, believing, and holy, may ever give back a serene, unsullied reflection of thy Truth and Love! Blessed is that Spirit of Adoption ! Grant that we all, in its possession, may be made the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. May we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by Faith : remembering that in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but Faith, which worketh by Love. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.
Oft as I look upon the road
I feel distressed and fearful :
But when I think of Him, whose power
And place on Him reliance,
I'll bid them all defiance.
The dangerous road 1 then pursue,
With joyful hore elated ;
With ardour unabated.
O Lord, each day renew my strength,
With all thy people yonder:
With gratitude and wonder.
L AND BEULAH
R I V E R OF DEATH.
Gradual progress of the Pilgrims from strength to strength. Their enjoyment in the
Land Beulah.Similar experience of Dr. Payson.- Beauty and glory of the close of the Pilgrim's Progress.-Fear of Death by the Pilgrims.—Bunyan's own experience. Why Death is the King of Terrors.-Dying is hụt going home for the Christian.-Death-beds of believers and unbelievers contrasted.--Christian instances in Fuller, Pearce, Janeway, Payson, and others.--Blessedness of such a death.--Necessity of a preparation for it in life. What constitutes the Land Beulah.-Sweetness and preciousness of a close walk with God.-Solemn lesson from the fate of Ignorance.-No safety but in Christ.
We are come now, in our pilgrimage, as far as to the Land Beulah. Would that we were all there in reality, and could abide there while we stay this side of the River of Death. But the Land Beulah, lovely as it is, is only one stage in our pilgrimage, and that a very advanced stage. And it is observable how Bunyan makes his Pilgrims go from strength to strength, by a gradual progress, from one degree of grace, discipline, and glory to another, in accordance with that sweet scripture image, “ The path of the Just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” So the Pilgrims go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appearing before God. They first, from the House Beautiful,