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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Christiana, mother, answers the call

Next morning, when she was up, had prayed to God, and talked with her children a while, one knocked hard at the door, to whom she spake out, saying, If thou comest in God's name, come in. So he said, Amen, and opened the door, and saluted her with "Peace be to this house." The which, when he had done, he said, Christiana, knowest thou wherefore I am come? Then she blushed and trembled, also her heart began to wax warm with desires to know whence he came, and what was his errand to her. So he said unto her, My name is Secret; I dwell with those that are high. It is talked of, where I dwell, as if thou hadst a desire to go thither; also, there is a report, that thou art aware of the evil thou hast formerly done to thy husband, in hardening of thy heart against his way, and in keeping of these thy babes in their ignorance. Christiana, the Merciful One has sent me to tell thee, that He is a God ready to forgive, and that He taketh delight to multiply to pardon offences. He also would have thee know, that He inviteth thee to come into His presence, to His table, and that He will feed thee with the fat of His house, and with the heritage of Jacob thy father.

There is Christian thy husband (that was), with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that doth minister life to beholders; and they will all be glad when they shall hear the sound of thy feet step over thy Father's threshold.

Christiana at this was greatly abashed in herself, and bowing her head to the ground, this Visitor proceeded, and said, Christiana, here is also a letter for thee, which I have brought from thy husband's King. So she took it and opened it, but it smelt after the manner of the best perfume (Song. 1:3); also it was written in letters of gold. The contents of the letter was, That the King would have her do as did Christian her husband; for that was the way to come to His city, and to dwell in His presence with joy forever. At this the good woman was quite overcome; so she cried out to her visitor, Sir, will you carry me and my children with you, that we also may go and worship this King?

Then said the visitor, Christiana, the bitter is before the sweet. Thou must through troubles, as did he that went before thee, enter this Celestial City. Wherefore I advise thee to do as did Christian thy husband. Go to the wicket-gate yonder, over the plain, for that stands in the head of the way up which thou must go, and I wish thee all good speed. Also I advise that thou put this letter in thy bosom; that thou read therein to thyself, and to thy children, until you have got it by rote of heart, for it is one of the songs that thou must sing while thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage (Psa. 119:54); also this thou must deliver in at the further gate.

This is an extract from the second part of Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan (1684, public domain). Thanks for reading!

Blessed Mother's Day, especially to my wife, mother, daughter, sisters-in-law, nieces and nieces-in-law who are mothers or are about to be. Also to my readers who are mothers, or are going to be. God bless you all.

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