Here is a scene I read last night from Bunyan’s immortal Pilgrim’s Progress. In this excerpt, Christian (an allegorical figure representing a believer on his journey through life to heaven, ie. Zion) is having a conversation with a lady named Prudence. She asks him if he sometimes still longs for his home country (ie. the life he used to live). Bunyan’s insights on how to overcome indwelling sins of the mind here are priceless. Enjoy!
PRUDENCE: Do you not think sometimes of the country from whence you came?
CHRISTIAN: Yea, but with much shame and detestation. Truly, if I had been mindful of that country from whence I came out, I might have had opportunity to have returned; but now I desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one (Heb. 11:15,16).
PRUDENCE: Do you not yet bear away with you some of the things that then you were conversant withal?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, but greatly against my will; especially my inward and carnal cogitations, with which all my countrymen, as well as myself, were delighted. But now all those things are my grief; and might I but choose mine own things, I would choose never to think of those things more: but when I would be a doing that which is best, that which is worst is with me (Rom. 7:15, 21).
PRUDENCE: Do you not find sometimes as if those things were vanquished, which at other times are your perplexity?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, but that is but seldom; but they are to me golden hours in which such things happen to me.
PRUDENCE: Can you remember by what means you find your annoyances at times as if they were vanquished?
CHRISTIAN: Yes: when I think what I saw at the cross, that will do it; and when I look upon my broidered coat, that will do it; and when I look into the roll that I carry in my bosom, that will do it; and when my thoughts wax warm about whither I am going, that will do it.
PRUDENCE: And what is it that makes you so desirous to go to Mount Zion?
CHRISTIAN: Why, there I hope to see Him alive that did hang dead on the cross; and there I hope to be rid of all those things that to this day are in me an annoyance to me: there they say there is no death, (Isa. 25:8; Rev. 21:4) and there I shall dwell with such company as I like best. For, to tell you the truth, I love Him because I was by Him eased of my burden; and I am weary of my inward sickness. I would fain be where I shall die no more, and with the company that shall continually cry, ‘Holy, holy, holy.’