Pilgrims Progress

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Respite

I saw then that they went on their way to a pleasant river, which David the king called "the River of God;" but John, "the River of the water of life" (Ps 65:9 Re 22:1,2 Eze 47:1-12). Now their way lay just upon the bank of the river: here, therefore, CHRISTIAN and his companion walked with great delight; they drank also of the water of the river, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits: besides, on the banks of this river, on either side, were green trees, that bore all manner of fruit; and the leaves of the trees were good for medicine; with the fruit of these trees they were also much delighted; and the leaves they ate to prevent surfeits, and other diseases that are incident to those that heat their blood by travels. On either side of the river was also a meadow, curiously beautiful with lilies; and it was green all the year long. In this meadow they lay down and slept; for here they might lie down safely (Ps 23:1-3 Isa 14:30). When they awoke, they gathered again of the fruit of the trees, and drank again of the water of the river; and then lay down again to sleep. Thus they did several days and nights. Then they sang:

"Behold ye how these crystal streams do glide,

To comfort pilgrims, by the highway side;

The meadows green, besides their fragrant smell,

Yield dainties for them: and he that can tell

What pleasant fruit, yea, leaves, these trees do yield,

Will soon sell all, that he may buy this field."

So when they were disposed to go on—for they were not, as yet, at their journey’s end—they ate and drank, and departed.