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after you. There also shall you be clothed with glory and majesty, and put into an equipage fit to ride out with the King of glory. When he shall come with sound of trumpet in the clouds, as upon the wings of the wind, you shall come with him; and when he shall sit upon the throne of judgment, you shall sit by him; yea, and when he shall pass sentence upon all the workers of iniquity, let them be angels or men, you also shall have a voice in that judgment, because they were his and your enemies. 1 Th. iv. 18–17. Jude 14. Da. vii. 9, 10. 1 Co. vi. 2, 3. Also when he shall again return to the city, you shall go too, with sound of trumpet, and be ever with him.
Now, while they were thus drawing towards the gate, behold a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them; to whom it was said, by the other two Shining Ones, These are the men that have loved our Lord when they were in the world, and that have left all for his holy name; and he hath sent us to fetch them, and we have brought them thus far on their desired journey, that they may go in and look their Redeemer in the face with joy. Then the heavenly host gave a great shout, saying, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.' Re. xix. 9. There came out also at this time to meet them, several of the King's trumpeters, clothed in white and shining raiment, who, with melodious noises, and loud, made even the heavens to echo with their sound. These trumpeters saluted Christian and his fellow with ten thousand welcomes from the world; and this they did with shouting, and sound of trumpet.
This done, they compassed them round on every side; some went before, some behind, and some on the right hand, some on the left (as it were to guard them through the upper regions), continually sounding as they went, with melodious noise, in notes on high; so that the very sight was to them that could behold it, as if heaven itself was come down to meet them. Thus, therefore, they
1 Bunyan has, with great beauty and probability, brought in the ministry of angels, and regions of the air, to be passed through in their company, rising, and still rising, higher and higher, before they come to that mighty mount on which he has placed the gates of the Celestial City. The angels receive his pilgrims as they come up from the River of Death, and form for them a bright, glittering, seraphic, loving convoy, whose conversation prepares them gradually for that exceeding and eternal weight of glory which is to be theirs as they enter in at the gate. Bunyan has thus, in this blissful passage from the river to the gate, done what no other devout writer, or dreamer, or speculator, that we are aware of, has ever done; he has filled what perhaps in most minds is a mere blank, a vacancy, or at most a bewilderment and mist of glory, with definite and beatific images, with natural thoughts, and with the sympathizing communion of gentle spirits, who form, as it were, an outer porch and perspective of glory, through which the soul passes into uncreated light. Bunyan has thrown a bridge, as it were, for the imagination, over the deep, sudden,
walked on together; and as they walked, ever and anon these trumpeters, even with joyful sound, would, by mixing their music with looks and gestures, still signify to Christian and his brother, how welcome they were into their company, and with what gladness they came to meet them; and now were these two men, as it were, in heaven, before they came at it, being swallowed up with the sight of angels, and with hearing of their melodious notes. Here also they had the city itself in view, and they thought they heard all the bells therein to ring, to welcome them thereto. But above all, the warm and joyful thoughts that they had about their own dwelling there, with such company, and that for ever and ever. O by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be expressed!" And thus they came up to the gate.
Now, when they were come up to the gate, there was written over it in letters of gold, 'Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.' Re. xxii. 14.
Then I saw in my dream, that the Shining Men bid them call at the gate; the which, when they did, some looked from above over the gate, to wit, Enoch, Moses, and Elijah, &c., to whom it was said, These pilgrims are come from the City of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the King of this place; and then the pilgrims gave in unto them each man his certificate, which they had received in the beginning; those, therefore, were carried into the King, who, when he had read them, said, Where are the men? To whom it was answered, They are standing without the gate. The King then commanded to open the gate,
open space of an untried spiritual existence; where it finds, ready to receive the soul that leaves the body, ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto them who are to be heirs of salvation.—(Cheever.)
2 Glory beyond all glory ever seen
By waking sense, or by the dreaming soul!
8 A certificate,
That the righteous nation,' said he, which keepcth the truth, may enter in.'1 Is. xxvi. 2.
Now I saw in my dream that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns, and gave them to them the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream that all the bells in the city rang again for joy, and that it was said unto them, ENTER YE INTO THE JOY OF YOUR LORD.' I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, 'BLESSING, AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND POWER, BE UNTO HIM THAT SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB, FOR EVER AND EVER.' Re. v. 13. Now just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and, behold, the City shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.
There were also of them that had wings, and they answered one another without intermission, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord.' Re. iv. 8. And after that, they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.
Now while I was gazing upon all these things, Ignorance comes I turned my head to look back, and up to the river. saw Ignorance come up to the river side; but he soon got over, and that without half that difficulty which the other two men met with.
1 Blessed indeed is that man who, while encumbered with a sinful body, can truly say, 'I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.' In him all the commandments are obeyedall my sins washed away by his blood-and my soul clothed with righteousness and immortality. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: they enter the Celestial City. This is the righteous nation, which keepeth the truth. O my reader, would you be one of the glorified inhabitants of that city whose builder and maker is God? Then must you live the life of faith; so run that ye may obtain: ever be found looking unto Jesus. (ED.)
'Prepare me, Lord, for thy right hand,
Come death, and some celestial band,
2O what acclamations of joy will there be, when all the children of God meet together, without the fear of being disturbed by Antichrist! How will the heavens echo of joy, when the Bride, the Lamb's wife, shall come to dwell with her husband! If you would be better satisfied what the beatific vision means, my request is, that you would live holily, and thus go and see. Christ is the desire of all nations, the joy of angels, the delight of the Father. What solace, then, must that soul be filled with, which hath the possession of Christ to all eternity?—(Bunyan's Dying Sayings, vol. i. pp. 64, 65.)
3 When a formal visit from a minister, a few general questions, and a prayer, with or without the sacrament, calm the nind of a dying person, whose life has been unsuitable to the Christian profession; no doubt, could we penetrate the veil, we should see him wafted across the river in the boat of Vainhope, and meeting with the awful doom that is here described. From such fatal delusions, good Lord, deliver us!—(Scott.)
For it happened that there was then in that place, one Vain-hope, a ferryman, that with Vain-hope does his boat helped him over; so he, as ferry him over. the other I saw, did ascend the hill, to come up to the gate, only he came alone; neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked up to the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him; but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, Whence came you? and what would you have? He answered, I have eat and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught in our streets. Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King; so he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, Have you none? But the man answered never a word. So they told the King, but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two Shining Ones that conducted Christian and Hopeful to the City, to go out and take Ignorance, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air, to the door that I saw in the side of the hill, and, put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction! So I awoke, and behold it was a dream.
Vain-hope ever dwells in the bosom of fools, and is ever ready to assist Ignorance. He wanted him at the last, and he found him. He had been his companion through life, and will not forsake him in the hour of death. You see Ignorance had from the enemy, but all was serene and happy. Vain-hope no pangs in his death, no fears, doubts, and sorrows, no terror was his ferryman; and he, as the good folks say, died like a lamb. Ah, but did such lambs see what was to follow, when Vain-hope had wafted them over the river, they would roar like lions!-(Mason.)
This is a most awful conclusion. Consider it deeply. Weigh it attentively, so as to get good satisfaction from the Word to only way, to the kingdom, or not? Do I see that all other these important questions:-Am I in Christ, the way, the ways, whether of sin or self-righteousness, lead to hell? Does Christ dwell in my heart by faith? Am I a new creature in him? Do I renounce my own righteousness, as well as abhor my sins? Do I look alone to Christ for righteousness, and depend only on him for holiness? Is he the only hope of my soul, and the only confidence of my heart? And do I desire to be found in him; knowing by the Word, and feeling by the teaching of his Spirit, that I am totally lost in myself? Thus, is Christ formed in me, the only hope of glory? Do I study to please him, as well as hope to enjoy him? Is fellowship with God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, so prized by me, as to seek it, and to esteem it above all things? If so, though I may find all things in nature, in the world, and from Satan, continually opposing this, yet I am in Christ the way, and he is in me the truth and the life.-(Mason.) How far may such an one go? This important question is very solemnly argued in Bunyan's Law and Grace. He may be received into church-fellowship--and, like the foolish virgins, be clear from outward pollution-have gone forth from the rudiments and traditions of men-and had their lamps, but still lost their precious souls. They may bear office in the church, as Judas carried the bag, and as Demas! They