GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Our Pilgrim Journey
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein: and as he read he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying- "What shall I do?"
John Bunyan wrote this precious book in Bedford jail, where he was confined on account of his religion, The following anecdote is related of him: a Quaker came to the jail, and thus addressed him: "Friend Bunyan, the Lord sent me to seek for thee, and I have been through several counties in search of thee; and now I am glad I have found thee." To which Bunyan replied: "Friend, thou dost not speak truth in saying, the Lord sent thee to seek me; for the Lord well knows that I have been in this jail for some years, and if he had sent thee, he would have sent thee here directly,
When Peter spoke to the people in Jerusalem, after the resurrection, they too spoke the words that Bunyan cried, saying, "What shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:37; 16:30)
"What shall I do?"is the cry of an awakened sinner, who sees his own righteousness to be as filthy rags, his soul in a state of wrath and wretchedness, exposed to everlasting destruction, feeling the burden of his sins upon his back, he turns his face from his own house, from himself, from all his false hopes and vain confidence, for refuge; and takes his Bible in his hand to direct him where he shall flee for refuge and salvation. The more a sinner reads therein, the more he is convinced of the wretched state and ruined condition of his precious and immortal soul, and of his necessity of fleeing to Christ for eternal life and salvation. As he reads, he weeps and trembles to think what will become of him.
As you read this have you ever seen your sins, and feel the burden of them so as to cry out, in the anguish of your soul, "What must I do to be saved?" If not, you will look on the Bible as a romance or history which no way concerns you: you can no more understand the meaning of it, than if it were written in and unknown tongue: for you are yet carnal, dead in your sins, lying in the arms of the wicked one in false security. But this book is spiritual; it can only be understood by spiritually-quickened souls, who have experienced that salvation in the heart which begins with a sight of sin, a sense of sin, a fear of destruction, and dread of damnation, Such, and only such, commence pilgrims from the city of destruction to the heavenly kingdom. Conviction, of sin, in the heart will discover itself to those about us, by the outward conduct and behavior of our life. Jesus reminds us that the words he speaks to us (The Bible) are spirit and they are life.
Reference: Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, The Holy Bible.