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2.2.4 The House Beautiful (cont.)

From John Bunyan's classic The Pilgrim's Progress, Part II, Section 2, Step 4.6.

So when the boy was healed, Christiana asked Mr Skill, saying, Sir, what will content you for your pains and care to and of my child? And he said, You must pay the master of the College of Physicians (Heb. 13:11-15), according to rules made in that case and provided.

Christina: But, sir, said she, what is this pill good for else?

Skill: It is a universal pill; it is good against all the diseases that pilgrims are incident to; and when it is well prepared, it will keep good, time out of mind.

Christina: Pray, sir, make me up twelve boxes of them; for if I can get these, I will never take other physic.

Skill: These pills are good to prevent diseases, as well as to cure when one is sick. Yea, I dare say it, and stand to it, that if a man will but use this physic as he should, it will make him live for ever (John 6:51). But, good Christiana, thou must give these pills no other way but as I have prescribed; for if you do, they will do no good. So he gave unto Christiana physic for herself, and her boys, and for Mercy; and bid Matthew take heed how he ate any more green plums; and kissed them, and went his way.

It was told you before, that Prudence bid the boys, that if at any time they would, they should ask her some questions that might be profitable and she would say something to them.

Matthew: Then Matthew, who had been sick, asked her, why for the most part physic should be bitter to our palates.

Prudence: To show how unwelcome the word of God and the effects thereof are to a carnal heart.

Matthew: Why does physic, if it does good, purge, and cause to vomit?

Prudence: To show that the word, when it works effectually, cleanseth the heart and mind. For look, what the one doth to the body, the other doth to the soul.

Matthew: What should we learn by seeing the flame of our fire go upwards, and by seeing the beams and sweet influences of the sun strike downwards?

Prudence: By the going up of the fire, we are taught to ascend to heaven by fervent and hot desires. And by the sun sending his heat, beams, and sweet influences downwards, we are taught the Saviour of the world, though high, reaches down with his grace and love to us below.

Matthew: Whence have the clouds their water?

Prudence: Out of the sea.

Matthew: What may we learn from that?

Prudence: That ministers should fetch their doctrine from God.

Matthew: Why do they empty themselves upon the earth?

Prudence: To show that ministers should give out what they know of God to the world.

Matthew: Why is the rainbow caused by the sun?

Prudence: To show that the covenant of God's grace is confirmed to us in Christ.

Matthew: Why do the springs come from the sea to us through the earth?

Prudence: To show that the grace of God comes to us through the body of Christ.

Matthew: Why do some of the springs rise out of the tops of high hills?

Prudence: To show that the Spirit of grace shall spring up in some that are great and mighty, as well as in many that are poor and low.

Matthew: Why doth the fire fasten upon the candle-wick?

Prudence: To show that unless grace doth kindle upon the heart, there will be no true light of life in us.

Matthew: Why are the wick, and tallow and all, spent to maintain the light of the candle?

Prudence: To show that body and soul, and all, should be at the service of, and spend themselves to maintain in good condition that grace of God that is in us.

Matthew: Why doth the pelican pierce her own breast with her bill?

Prudence: To nourish her young ones with her blood, and thereby to show that Christ the blessed so loved his young, (his people,) as to save them from death by his blood.

Matthew: What may one learn by hearing the cock to crow?

Prudence: Learn to remember Peter's sin, and Peter's repentance. The cock's crowing shows also, that day is coming on: let, then, the crowing of the cock put thee in mind of that last and terrible day of judgment.


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