Sunday, April 19, 2015

pilgrim 4

Reading Pilgrim's Progress:

 Interpreter: Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that
   which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the
   candle, and bid Christian follow him; so he had him into a private
   room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done,
   Christian saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall;
   and this was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the
   best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips,
   the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and
   a crown of gold did hang over its head.

   Christian: Then said Christian, What means this?

   Interpreter: The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand: he
   can beget children, 
1 Cor. 4:15
, travail in birth with children, 
Gal. 4:19,
 and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest
   him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and
   the law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is
   to know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him
   stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as
   cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show
   thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the
   love that he hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the world that
   comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I
   have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this
   is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going
   hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest
   meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed
   thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy
   journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their
   way goes down to death.

   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
   it 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;"
   the 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. The
   dust is his original sin, and 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 so 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. 7:9,
   put strength into, 
1 Cor. 15:56

, Rom.5:20 and increase it in the soul, 
even as it doth discover and forbid it; for it doth not give
   power to subdue. 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, I say, 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. 

William Blake - John Bunyan - The Man Sweeping the Interprener's Parlour
wiki common

John 15:3:
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

King James Version (KJV)

John 15
1: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.


King James Version (KJV)

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word

Acts 15:9:

King James Version (KJV)

And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Rom. 16:25,26.
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:


Susan J. said...

good morning Larry and Ellie - I'm having trouble with my computer again - this is my third time trying to type in this comment -- I just wanted to say that I really liked this post - I've tried reading Bunyan before and never got to far, but for whatever reason this passage makes sense to me today. And it synergizes really well with Ellie's post from yesterday. I suppose Blake's engravings were partly a way for him to meditate / reflect on the particular passage, himself. What a gift! Blake is a sort of midwife or parent to us, and y'all are a sort of midwife or parent to me, of the gospel --

As always, Thank You!!!

Much love,


Larry said...

Susan, thanks for your comment.
Blake also had problems with Pigrim's Progress, but probably for different reasons:
1.PP is strictly an allegory, which Blake considered an inferior form of discourse.
2. Blake's and Bunyan's theology were at opposite poles.

Susan J. said...


Susan J. said...

oops. I meant