Along his way, Christian sees a highway fenced by a wall called Salvation. He runs towards it with some trouble due to the burden on his back, and finally comes to a cross and sepulcher. Upon his arrival there, his burden miraculously falls off his back. Upon this, Christian cries with relief and joy that "He hath given me... life by his death". Three "Shining Ones" approach and give him new clothes and a roll with a seal which is his pass to enter the Celestial City. The Three inform him that his sins are forgiven and urge him to continue his journey.
from The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan:
BUNYAN. Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Isa. 26:1 Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.
He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.
(When God releases us of our guilt and burden we are as those that leap for joy)
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, "He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Zech. 12:10 Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold three Shining Ones came to him and saluted him with "Peace be unto thee". So the first said to him, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" Mark 2:5; the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment Zech. 3:4; the third also set a mark on his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it, which he bade him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate. Eph. 1:13 So they went their way.
"Who's this? the Pilgrim. How! 'tis very true,
(A Christian can sing though alone, when God doth give him
the joy of his heart)
Old things are past away, all's become new.
Strange! he's another man, upon my word,
They be fine feathers that make a fine bird.
Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing--
"Thus far I did come laden with my sin;
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in
Till I came hither: What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!"
Back Index Onward