Pilgrim’s Progress #3 – Reading the Classics Together
Now having read the Third Stage, I have to retract what I wrote last time about the wicket gate being the cross; clearly, it is not! I’m rather puzzled by the Second Stage now. Never-the-less, this stage was much clearer.
Christian’s burden falls at the foot of the cross, and there he is given a scroll (God’s promises?) a new coat (clothed in righteousness?) and a seal on his forehead (the seal of Holy Spirit?).
He takes his rest prematurely, and laments it, and makes it past the chained lions to the house of peace. As Tim Challies notes, he could only see they were chained once he’d passed them. He wakes in the house of Peace with this wonderful poem:
“Where am I now? Is this the love and care
Of Jesus, for the men that pilgrims are,
Thus to provide that I should be forgiven,
And dwell already the next door to heaven!”
It was interesting to see how Formalist and Hypocrisy not only tried to get onto the path of Salvation without the cross, but dismissed the idea that God would hold them accountable for wrong doing – some things haven’t changed.