Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faithful Meets "Adam the First" and "Moses"

This year I am going through a course on Pilgrim's Progress for Literature. Below is part of the section I read today. Adam the First represents our sinful nature, which continues to plague us even after salvation. However, we now have the power not to listen to and obey him; and, though the Law (Moses) would catch up with us and condemn us, we have a faithful intercessor in Jesus Christ, who "bids him forbear". Praise God!


FAITHFUL. "When I came to the foot of the hill called Difficulty, I met with a very aged man, who asked me what I was, and whither bound. I told him that I am a pilgrim, going to the Celestial City. Then said the old man, 'Thou lookest like an honest fellow; wilt thou be content to dwell with me for the wages that I shall give thee?' Then I asked him his name, and where he dwelt. He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit. I asked him then, what was his work, and what the wages that he would give. He told me, that his work was many delights; and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I further asked him, what house he kept, and what other servants he had. So he told me, that his house was maintained with all the dainties in the world; and that his servants were those of his own begetting. Then I asked if he had any children. He said that he had but three daughters; the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, and that I should marry them all if I would. Then I asked how long time he would have me live with him? And he told me, As long as he lived himself.

CHRISTIAN. "Well, and what conclusion came the old man and you to, at last?"

FAITHFUL. "Why, at first, I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with the man, for I thought he spake very fair; but looking in his forehead, as I talked with him, I saw there written, 'Put off the old man with his deeds.'"

CHRISTIAN. "And how then?"

FAITHFUL. "Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a slave. So I bid him forbear to talk, for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me, that he would send such a one after me, that should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned to go away from him; but just as I turned myself to go thence, I felt him take hold of my flesh, and give me such a deadly twitch back, that I thought he had pulled part of me after himself. This made me cry, 'O wretched man!' So I went on my way up the hill.

"Now when I had got about half way up, I looked behind, and saw one coming after me, swift as the wind; so he overtook me just about the place where the settle stands...So soon as the man overtook me, he was but a word and a blow, for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead. But when I was a little come to myself again, I asked him wherefore he served me so. He said, because of my secret inclining to Adam the First: and with that he struck me another deadly blow on the breast, and beat me down backward; so I lay at his foot as dead as before. So, when I came to myself again, I cried him mercy; but he said, 'I know not how to show mercy'; and with that knocked me down again. He had doubtless made an end of me, but that One came by, and bid him forbear."

CHRISTIAN. "Who was that that bid him forbear?"

FAITHFUL. "I did not know Him at first, but as He went by, I perceived the holes in His hands, and in His side; then I concluded that He was our Lord. So I went up the hill."

CHRISTIAN. "That man that overtook you was Moses. He spareth none, neither knoweth he how to show mercy to those that transgress his law."

FAITHFUL. "I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met with me. It was he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and that told me he would burn my house over my head, if I stayed there."


"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:19-26)

1 comment:

Ana said...

I love Pilgrims Progress. It's one of my favorite books. Thank you for sharing this with us.