Monday, July 23, 2012

Carried to Heaven While Asleep in an Easy Chair?

C. H. Spurgeon on John Buynan's depiction of the Christian life in the Pilgrim's Progress:
John Buynan has not pictured Christian as carried to heaven while asleep in an easy chair. He makes him lose his burden at the foot of the cross, but he represents him as climbing Hill Difficulty on his hands and knees. Christian has to descend into the Valley of Humiliation, and to tread the dangerous pathway through the gloomy horrors of the Shadow of Death. He has to be urgently watchful to keep himself from sleeping in the Enchanted Ground. Nowhere is he delivered from the necessities incident to the way, for even at the last he fords the black river, and struggles with its terrible billows. Effort is used all the way through, and you that are pilgrims to the skies will find it to be no allegory, but a real matter of fact. Your soul must gird up her loins; you need your pilgrim's staff, and your armour. You must foot it all the way to heaven, contending with giants, fighting with lions, and combating Apollyon himself.
—C. H. Spurgeon, Pictures from Pilgrim's Progress (Pasadena: Pilgrim Publications, 1992), 134.

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