Part 28 — Beulah Land by John Bunyan audio
Now I saw in my dream, that by this time the Pilgrims were now beyond the Enchanted Ground, and had entered into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant. As their way went directly through Beulah Land — they delighted themselves there for a season. Yes, here they continually heard the singing of birds, and every day saw new flowers appear, and heard the song of the turtle-dove in the land. In this country the sun shines night and day. As it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair — they could not so much as see Doubting Castle.
Here they were within sight of the City they were traveling to. They also met some of the inhabitants of that City — for in this land the Shining Ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven.
In this land also, the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewed. Yes, here, ‘As the Bridegroom rejoices over His Bride — so does their God rejoice over them.’ Here they had no lack of grain or wine — for in this place they met with abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the City — loud voices, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion: Behold, your salvation comes! Behold, His reward is with Him!’ Here all the inhabitants of the country called them, ‘The holy people.’ ‘The redeemed of the Lord.’ ‘Sought out ones.’
Now, as they walked in this land, they rejoiced more than they had in all the former parts of their journey. Drawing near to the City, they had even a more perfect view of it. It was built of pearls and precious stones — and the great street of the City was pure gold. So that by reason of the natural splendor of the City, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it — Christian became lovesick with longing for it. Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same lovesickness. Therefore, they stayed here for a while, calling out, because of their longings, “If you find my Beloved — tell Him that I am lovesick!”
Now, being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their lovesickness — they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer. They saw orchards, vineyards, and gardens — and their gates opened into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold, the gardener was standing there — and the Pilgrims asked, “Whose lovely vineyards and gardens are these?”
The gardener answered, “They are the King’s, and are planted here for His own delight — and also for the refreshment of Pilgrims.”
So the gardener brought them into the vineyards, and bid them to refresh themselves with the delicacies. He also showed them the King’s walkways, and the arbors, where He delighted to be. So here they tarried and slept.
Now I beheld in my dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this time, than they ever did in all their journey.
As I was in deep thought about this, the gardener said to me: “Why are you pondering the matter? It is the nature of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of those who are asleep, to speak.”
So I saw that when the Pilgrims awoke, they prepared to go up to the City. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the City — for ‘the City was pure gold’ — was so resplendent, that they could not, as yet, behold it with open face — but only through an instrument made for that purpose.
So I saw, that as they went on — that two men, in clothing which shone like gold, met them. Their faces also shone as the light.
These men asked the Pilgrims where they came from — and they told them. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, and what comforts and pleasures they met with along the way — and they told them.
Then the men said, “You have but two more difficulties to meet with — and then you are in the City!”
Christian and Hopeful asked the men to go along with them — and they told them that they would.
“But,” said they, “you must obtain it by your own faith.”
So I saw in my dream that they went on together, until they came within sight of the gate of the City.