Bunyan on Three Leaps for Joy

Have you ever noticed how our praise and worship of God is often launched by a genuine awareness of sins forgiven? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a short excerpt from Bunyan's wonderful allegory PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. The main character's name is Christian; his sins are represented by the heavy bundle strapped to his back.

So I saw in my dream that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders and fell from off his back, and began to tumble and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. . . . Then Christian gave three leaps for joy and went on singing:

Thus far I did come laden with my sin;
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blessed cross! Blessed sepulchre! Blessed rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!

- John Bunyan (1628-88), from PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, as quoted in A TREASURY OF CHRISTIAN VERSE, selected and edited by Hugh Martin, SCM Press Ltd., 1959.


Bunyan does not record the tune of Christian's joyful song. I hear it with a long crescendo toward line seven; and then a sudden softening and a quiet ending. 

Have a great week

(Originally posted 8/24/1999) 

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