Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Bunyan: "Saints' fellowship" a cure for spiritual lethargy
When Hopeful and Christian come to the Enchanted Ground in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Hopeful tells his companion, “I do now begin to grow so drowsy that I can scarcely hold up mine eyes; let us lie down here and take one nap.”
But Christian responds, “By no means … lest sleeping we never awake more.” He then asks, “Do you not remember that one of the Shepherds bid us beware of the Enchanted Ground?”
So, the pilgrims avoid disaster. Christian closes the “Enchanted Ground” scene by singing,
“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep ope their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”
Indeed, how we need the “Saints’ fellowship” to keep us awake and alert as we make the pilgrimage through this life.