Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Christiana and the Man with the Muck Rake
Here is the excerpt in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress --where the interpreter shows Christiana (wife of Christian) the Man with the Muck Rake.
[Seeing the differences between the linked version here and the book excerpt which my daughter gave me, I used the more modern English from the version she is using in home school than the version linked here.]
the Interpreter takes them aside again, and led them first into a room where was a man that could look no way but downward, who had a muck-rake in his hand. Another individual stood over his head with a celestial crown in his hand, and offered to trade him the crown for his muck-rake ; but the man did neither look up nor regard, but raked to himself the straws, the small sticks, and dust of the floor.
" Then said Christiana,' I persuade myself that I know somewhat the meaning of this : for this is the figure of a man of this world ; is it not, good sir?
"' Thou hast said the right,' said he ; ' and his muck-rake shows his carnal mind. And whereas you see he'd rather rake up straws and sticks, and the dust of the floor, than to do what He says, who calls to him from above with the celestial crown in His hand ; it is to show that [he believes] heaven is but a fable to some, and that things here are counted the only things substantial. Now, whereas it was also showed you that the man could look no way but downward, it is to let you know that earthly things, when they are with power upon men's minds, quite carry their hearts away from God.'
" Then said Christiana, ' O deliver me from this muck-rake!'
"That prayer,'Give me neither poverty nor riches," said the Interpreter, ' has lain by till it is almost rusty." Give me not riches," (Prov. xxx, 8,) is scarce the prayer of one in ten thousand. Straws, and sticks, and dust, with most, are the great things now looked after.'
" With that Christiana and Mercy wept, and said, ' It is, alas ! too true.'
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible