What To Look Forward To
Now I saw in my dream, that when OBSTINATE was gone back, CHRISTIAN and PLIABLE went talking over the plain: and thus they began their discourse.
Christian. Come, neighbour PLIABLE, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me. Had even OBSTINATE himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pliable. Come, neighbour CHRISTIAN, since there is none but us two here, tell me now further what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going.
Christian. I can better conceive of them with my mind than speak of them with my tongue: but yet, since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my book.
Pliable. And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true?
Christian. Yes, verily; for it was made by him that cannot lie (Tit 1:2).
Pliable. Well said. What things are they?
Christian. There is an endless kingdom to be inhabited; and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever (Isa 65:17, John 10:27-29).
Pliable. Well said. And what else?
Christian. There are crowns of glory to be given us; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven (Mt 13:43, 2 Tim 4:8, Rev 3:4).
Pliable. That is very pleasant. And what else?
Christian. There shall be no more crying nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes (Isa 25:8 Rev 7:16,17; 21:4).
Pliable. And what company shall we have there?
Christian. There we shall be with seraphim and cherubim, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them (Isa 6:1, 1 Th 4:16,17, Rev 5:11). There also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that have gone before us to that place. None of them are harmful, but loving and holy; everyone walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crowns (Rev 4:4); there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps (Rev 14:1-5); there we shall see men that by the word were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they bore to the Lord of the place—all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment (John 12:25, 2 Co 5:2-4).
Pliable. The hearing of this is enough to ravish one’s heart. But are these things to be enjoyed? how shall we get to be sharers thereof?
Christian. The Lord, the governor of the country, hath recorded it in this book; the substance of which is, if we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely (Isa 55:1,2 John 6:37, Rev 21:6, 22:17).
Pliable. Well, my good companion, glad am I to hear of these things: come on, let us mend our pace.
Christian. I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.