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THE SWEEPING AND SPRINKLING OF THE
HEART. Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlour that was full of dust, because never swept; which, after he had reviewed a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now, when he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian had almost therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter to a damsel that stood by, “ Bring hither the water, and sprinkle the room ;" which, when she had done, it was swept and cleansed with pleasure.
Chr.—Then said Christian, “ What means this ?”
Inter.—The Interpreter answered, “This parlour is the heart of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet grace of the Gospel : the dust is his original sin, and the inward corruptions that have defiled the whole man. He that began to sweep, at first, is the Law; but she that brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now, whereas thou sawest, that as soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did so fly about, that the room by him could not be cleansed, but that thou wast almost choked therewith ; this is to show thee, that the Law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth revive (Rom. vii. 9.), put strength into (1 Cor. xv. 56.), and increase it in the soul (Rom. v. 20.), even as it doth discover and forbid it; for it doth not give power to subdue it.
Again, as thou sawest the damsel sprinkle the room with water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to show thee, that when the Gospel comes, in the sweet and precious influences thereof, to the heart, then, even as thou sawest the damsel lay the dust by sprinkling the floor with water, so is sin vanquished and subdued, and the soul made clean, through the faith of it, and consequently fit for the King of Glory to inhabit.”
PASSION AND PATIENCE. I saw, moreover, in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the hand, and had him into a little room, where sat two children: the name of the eldest was Passion, and the name of the other Patience. Passion seemed to be much discontented, but Patience was very quiet. Then Christian asked, “ What is the reason of the discontent of Passion ?" The Interpreter answered, “ The governor of them would have him stay for his best things, till the beginning of the next year; but he will have all now. But Patience is willing to wait.”
Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of treasure, and poured it down at his feet; which he took up, and rejoiced therein, and withal laughed Patience to scorn. But I beheld but awhile ; and he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but rags.
Chr.—Then said Christian to the Interpreter, “Expound this matter more fully to me."
Inter.- So he said : “ These two lads are figures ; Passion, of the men of this world; and Patience, of the men of that which is to come : for, as here thou seest, Passion will have all now, this
that is to say, in this world; so are the men of this world: they must have all their good things now: they cannot stay till next year, that is, until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, is of more authority with them than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to
But, as thou sawest that he had quickly lavished all away, and had presently left him nothing but rags, so will it be with all such men at the end of this world.”
Chr.–Then said Christian,“ Now I see that Patience has the best wisdom, and that upon many accounts : 1. Because he stays for the best things. 2. And also because he will have the glory of his, when the other has nothing but rags."
I saw also, that the Interpreter took him again 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.
Then said Christian, “ May we go thither ?”
toward 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 table side, with a book, and his inkhorn before him, to take the name of him 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;" which, when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put a helmet upon his head, and rush toward 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 that had attempted to keep him out (Acts xiv. 22.), he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the palace: at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the palace, saying,
Come in, come in,
Eternal glory thou shalt win! So he went in, and was clothed with such garments as they.—Then Christian smiled, and said, “ I think verily I know the meaning of this !"
(FROM HIS COMMENTARY.)
THE SHORTNESS OF MAN'S LIFE.
1 PETER IV. 7.
The whole duration of the world is not considerable, and to the Eternal Lord that made it, and hath appointed its period, a thousand years are but as one day. We think a thousand years a great matter, in respect of our short life; and more through our short-sightedness, that look not through this to eternal life. But what is the utmost length of time, were it millions of years, to a thought of eternity! We find much room in this earth; but, to the vast heavens, it is but as a point. Thus, that which is but small to us—a field, or little inclosure—a fly, had it skill, would divide it into provinces, in proportion to itself.
To each man, the end of all things is, even after our measure, at hand; for when he dies, the world ends for him. Why should our hearts cleave to those things from which we shall so quickly part; and from which, if we will not freely part, and let them go, we shall be pulled away; and pulled with the more pain,