Archives For Gospel

dusty parlorThe Vital distinction between the Law and the Gospel

Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlor that was full of dust, because never swept; the 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 Water, and sprinkle the room; which when she had done it, was swept and cleansed with pleasure.

Christian: Then said Christian, What means this?

Interpreter: The Interpreter answered, This parlor is the heart of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet Grace of the Gospel (Jer. 17:9, Rom. 3:9-10).  The dust is his Original Sin, and inward Corruptions that have defiled the whole man (Our sin corrupts every aspect of our being, mind, will and affections Rom 5:12). 

He that began to sweep at first, is the Law; but she that brought Water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now, whereas you saw that so soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did fly about, that the room by him could not be cleansed, but that you were almost choked therewith; this is to show you, that the Law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from Sin, does revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it does discover and forbid it, for it does not give Power to subdue.

Again, as you saw the Damsel sprinkle the room with Water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to show you, that when the Gospel comes in, the sweet and precious influences thereof to the heart, then, I say, even as you saw 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.

Application:  The Two Sweepers

What does the first sweeper represent? God’s Law igniting the Hearts corruption

Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

What does the second servant represent?  An evangelist spreading the good news of the gospel

Heb. 7:18-19;  Gal 3:10-11 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Thus the balance between the Law/ gospel are important to the Christian and his Pilgrimage to the Celestial City!

 

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Goodwill: But did none of them follow you, to persuade you to go back?

Christian: Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back; but Pliable came with me a little way.

Goodwill: But why did he not come through?

Christian: We indeed came both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbor Pliable discouraged, and would not venture farther. Wherefore, getting out again on the side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.

Goodwill: Then said Goodwill, Alas, poor man; is the celestial glory of so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?

Christian: Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable; and if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear there is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true, he went back to his own house, but I also turned aside to go in the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.

Goodwill: Oh, did he light upon you? What, he would have had you seek for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality! They are both of them a very cheat. But did you take his counsel?

Christian: Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. Legality, until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.

Goodwill: That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the death of many more: it is well you escaped being by it dashed in pieces.

Christian: Why truly I do not know what had become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of my dumps; but it was God’s mercy that he came to me again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord. But O, what a favor is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here!

Goodwill: We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither; they in no wise are cast out. John 6:37. And therefore good Chris- tian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it is as strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.

Christian: But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?

Goodwill: Yes, there are many ways butt down upon this, and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow. Matt 7:14

Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him further, if he could not help him off with his burden that was upon his back. For as yet he had not got rid thereof; nor could he by any means get it off without help.

He told him, “As to thy burden, be content to bear it until thou comest to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back of itself.”

Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some distance from the gate, he would come to the house of the Interpreter, at whose door he should knock, and he would show him excellent things. Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God speed.

Psalm 108:12   Oh give us help against the adversary,  For deliverance  by man is in vain.

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So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door when his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying, Life! life! eternal life! So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain.

The neighbors also came out to see him run; and as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate and the name of the other Pliable. Now by this time the man was got a good distance from them; but, however, they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, “Neighbors, wherefore are you come?” They said, “To persuade you to go back with us.” But he said, “That can by no means be: you dwell,” said he, “in the city of Destruction, the place also where I was born: I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbors, and go along with me.”

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What does his burden represent?

Rom 3:20  For through the law comes the knowledge of sin

His Sin!  A growing consciousness of his personal sin and guilt, which is stimulated by reading his book

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.

Luke 18:13 the tax collector would not even look up to heaven but  said, “God be Merciful to me, the sinner”

 

Luke 14:26, Gen. 19:17, Jer. 20:10

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There is one book in our language, with which the Pilgrim’s Progress may be compared, as a reality with a theory, a personification with an abstraction, and that is Edwards on the Religious Affections. This book is the work of a holy, but rigid metaphysician, analyzing and anatomizing the soul, laying the heart bare, and, I had almost said, drying it for a model. As you study it, you know it is truth, and you know that your own heart ought to be like it; but you cannot recognize in it your own flesh and blood…

Jonathan Edwards--Religious Affections--2

“…Edwards’ delineations are like the skeleton leaves of the forest, through which, if you hold them to the sun, you can see every minute fiber in the light; Bunyan’s work is like the same leaves as fresh foliage, green and glossy in the sunshine, joyfully whispering to the breathing air, with now and then the dense rain-drops glittering on them from a June shower. In Edwards’ work you see the Divine life in its abstract severity and perfection; in Bunyan’s work you see it assuming a visible form, like your own, with your own temptations and trials, touched with the feeling, and colored with the shade of your own infirmities. Yet both these books are well-nigh perfect in their way, both equally adapted to their purpose.

          

 “We love the work of Bunyan as a bosom friend, a sociable confiding companion on our pilgrimage. We revere the work of Edwards, as a deep, grave teacher, but its stern accuracy makes us tremble. Bunyan encourages, consoles, animates, delights, sympathizes with us; Edwards cross-examines, probes, scrutinizes, alarms us. Bunyan looks on us as a sweet angel, as one of his own shining ones, come to take off our burden, and put on our robe; Edwards, as a sort of military surveyor of the king’s roads, meets us with his map, and shows us how we have wandered from the way, and makes us feel as if we never were in it”

 

What is an Allegory?

Bunyan —  January 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

*A fictional literary narrative or artistic expression that conveys a symbolic meaning parallel to but distinct from, and more important than, the literal meaning. Allegory has also been defined as an extended metaphor.

 *Pilgrims Progress is written in a straightforward, biblical style and based on the simple metaphor of life as a journey, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678 and 1684) became one of the most famous spiritual allegories in the English language.

*Bunyan uses 8 terms for this just in the introduction and concluding poems. “Allegory, similitude, metaphor, parable, figure, type, fable and shadow”

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Spurgeon: Reading anything of his (Bunyan’s) and you will see that it is almost like reading the bible itself.  He had studied our Authorized Version.  He read it until his whole being was saturated with Scripture; ….

His Pilgrims Progress makes us feel and say ‘Why this man is a living bible!’  Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the bible flows through him.  He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.