Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Such good reading!

Wow - I know I have written about this blog before, but a recent post of his really is marvelous. If you know me even a little you will know how MUCH I love history and cherrish the memories of great people. This post is so full of interesting historical people and things - I just long to visit it! What do I so long to visit? The Bunhill Fields, a London nonconformist burial ground. I can see myself walking through the trees in-between the gravestones stopping at John Bunyan's grave imagining what it was like to live during the time of turmoil in which he lived. What was it like to be considered a nonconformist  like Susannah Wesley or to write powerful literature like Daniel DeFoe with a clear message of our need for Christ?  These people and so many more are buried here. I know their souls have long fled this earthly realm, but to know that their bodies remain for the return of the true King - the One they served with ferver often leading to imprisonment - it is a sobering thought. I hope someday to have this great privilege of walking with some of the giants of church history!


His blog post ends with Charles Spurgeon writing on the life of John Bunyan. It spoke to me in a very powerful way and I hope you enjoy it too.

Bad men die out quickly, for the world feels it is a good thing to be rid of them; they are not worth remembering. But the death of a good man, the man who was sincerely a Christian—how different is that! And when you see the body of a saint, if he has served God with all his might, how sweet it is to look upon him—ah, and to look upon his coffin too, or upon his tomb in after years! Go into Bunhill-fields, and stand by the memorial of John Bunyan, and you will say, "Ah! there lies the head that contained the brain which thought out that wondrous dream of the Pilgrim's Progress from the City of Destruction to the Better land. There lies the finger that wrote those wondrous lines which depict the story of him who came at last to the land Beulah, and waded through the flood, and entered into the celestial city. And there are the eyelids which he once spoke of, when he said, "If I lie in prison until the moss grows on my eyelids, I will never make a promise to withhold from preaching." And there is that bold eye that penetrated the judge, when he said, "If you will let me out of prison to-day, I will preach again to-morrow, by the help of God." And there lies that loving hand that was ever ready to receive into communion all them that loved the Lord Jesus Christ: I love the hand that wrote the book, "Water Baptism no Bar to Christian Communion." I love him for that sake alone, and if he had written nothing else but that, I would say, "John Bunyan, be honored for ever." And there lies the foot that carried him up Snow Hill to go and make peace between a father and a son, in that cold day, which cost him his life. Peace to his ashes Wait, O John Bunyan, till thy Master sends his angel to blow the trumpet and methinks, when the archangel sounds it, he will almost think of thee, and this shall be a part of his joy, that honest John Bunyan, the greatest of all Englishmen, shall rise from his tomb at the blowing of that great trump. You cannot say so of the wicked. What is a wicked man's body but a rotten piece of noisomeness? Put it away, and thank God there are worms to eat such a thing up, and thank him still more, that there is a worm called Time, to eat up the evil influence and the accursed memory, which such a man leaves behind him. All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done."


Charles Spurgeon
The Wicked Man's Life, Funeral, and Epitaph
13 June 1858


Anonymous said...

I read that entire post (pyro) outloud to my husband. Isn't it amazing. I would love to go back to England now that I'm a Christian. I was very young and silly when I visited London, we had fun, that's for sure, but I would love to go back with my husband and visit all the sites Phil has mentioned. He and his wife are safe, thank God. Janet

KimInOn said...

I've been enjoying his blog, too. His article in this month's Tabletalk was good, too.