Home Pilgrim at the house of the Interpreter. Part 6.

T. Austin Sparks - Messages.

Pilgrim comes to the house of Interpreter Part 6.


                                                                              PART 6.  




   Then he went on till he came at the house of the Interpreter, [6] where

   he knocked over and over. At last one came to the door, and asked who

   was there.


   Christian: Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid by an acquaintance of

   the good man of this house to call here for my profit; I would

   therefore speak with the master of the house.


   So he called for the master of the house, who, after a little time,

   came to Christian, and asked him what he would have.


   Christian: Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the city

   of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the

   man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I called

   here you would show me excellent things, such as would be helpful to me

   on my journey.


   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, and increase it in the soul,  Rom.

   5:20, 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.   John 15:3; Eph.

   5:26; Acts 15:9; Rom. 16:25,26.


   I saw moreover in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the hand,

   and had him into a little room, where sat two little children, each one

   in his chair. The name of the eldest was Passion, and the name of the

   other Patience. Passion seemed to be much disconted, but Patience was

   very quiet. Then Christian asked, "What is the reason of the discontent

   of Passion?" The Interpreter answered, "The governor of them would have

   him stay for his best things till the beginning of the next year, but

   he will have all now; but Patience is willing to wait."


   Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of treasure,

   and poured it down at his feet: the which he took up, and rejoiced

   therein, and withal laughed Patience to scorn. But I beheld but a

   while, and he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but rags.


   Christian: Then said Christian to the Interpreter, Expound this matter

   more fully to me.


   Interpreter: So he said, These two lads are figures; Passion of the men

   of this world, and Patience of the men of that which is to come; for,

   as here thou seest, passion will have all now, this year, that is to

   say, in this world; so are the men of this world: They must have all

   their good things now; they cannot stay till the next year, that is,

   until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, "A bird

   in the hand is worth two in the bush," is of more authority with them

   than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come.

   But as thou sawest that he had quickly lavished all away, and had

   presently left him nothing but rags, so will it be with all such men at

   the end of this world.


   Christian: Then said Christian, Now I see that Patience has the best

   wisdom, and that upon many accounts. 1. Because he stays for the best

   things. 2. And also because he will have the glory of his, when the

   other has nothing but rags.


   Interpreter: Nay, you may add another, to wit, the glory of the next

   world will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone. Therefore

   Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience because he had his

   good things first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion because he

   had his best things last; for first must give place to last, because

   last must have his time to come: but last gives place to nothing, for

   there is not another to succeed. He, therefore, that hath his portion

   first, must needs have a time to spend it; but he that hath his portion

   last, must have it lastingly: therefore it is said of Dives, "In thy

   lifetime thou receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil

   things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented."  Luke 16:25.


   Christian: Then I perceive it is not best to covet things that are now,

   but to wait for things to come.


   Interpreter: You say truth: for the things that are seen are temporal,

   but the things that are not seen are eternal.  2 Cor. 4:18. But though

   this be so, yet since things present and our fleshly appetite are such

   near neighbors one to another; and again, because things to come and

   carnal sense are such strangers one to another; therefore it is, that

   the first of these so suddenly fall into amity, and that distance is so

   continued between the second.


   Then I saw in my dream, that the Interpreter took Christian by the

   hand, and led him into a place where was a fire burning against a wall,

   and one standing by it, always casting much water upon it, to quench

   it; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.


   Then said Christian, What means this?


   The Interpreter answered, This fire is the work of grace that is

   wrought in the heart; he that casts water upon it, to extinguish and

   put it out, is the devil: but in that thou seest the fire,

   notwithstanding, burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason

   of that. So he had him about to the back side of the wall, where he saw

   a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, of the which he did also

   continually cast (but secretly) into the fire.


   Then said Christian, What means this?


   The Interpreter answered, This is Christ, who continually, with the oil

   of his grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart; by the

   means of which, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls of his

   people prove gracious still.  2 Cor. 12:9. And in that thou sawest that

   the man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire; this is to teach

   thee, that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is

   maintained in the soul.

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