Pilgrimage of a Pious Life

“A pilgrim sets out in the morning, and he has to journey many days before he gets to the shrine which he seeks. What varied scenes the traveler will behold on his way! Sometimes he is on the mountains, and in time he will descend into the valleys; here he will be where the brooks shine like silver, where the birds sing out, where the air is balmy, and trees are green, and luscious fruits hang down to gratify his taste; and in time he will find himself in the arid desert, where no life is found, and no sound is heard, except the screech of the wild eagle in the air, where he finds no rest for the sole of his foot— the burning sky above him, and the hot sand beneath him— no roof of trees, and no house to rest himself; at another time he finds himself in a sweet oasis, resting by the wells of water, and plucking fruit from palm trees. One moment he walks between the rocks in some narrow gorge, where all is darkness; at another time he ascends the hill, Mizar; now he descends into the valley of Baca; and in time he climbs the hill of Bashan, ‘a high hill is Bashan;’ and yet again going into a den of leopards, he suffers trial and affliction. Such is life— ever changing. Who can tell what may come next? Today it is fair, the next day there may be the thundering storm; today I may need nothing, tomorrow I may be like Jacob, with nothing but a stone for my pillow and the heavens for my curtains. But what a happy thought it is, though we do not know where the road winds, we know where it ends. It is the straightest way to heaven to go round about. Israel’s forty years wanderings were, after all, the nearest path to Canaan. We may have to go through trail and affliction; the pilgrimage may be a tiresome one, but it is safe; we cannot trace the river upon which we are sailing, but we know it ends in floods of bliss. We cannot track the roads, but we know that they all meet in the great metropolis of heaven, in the center of God’s universe. God help us to pursue the true pilgrimage of a pious life!”

—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

About Jon J. Cardwell

"The Spirited Speaker" - Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston, Alabama. Nationally recognized speaker and publisher. Author of several books, including the bestseller, Christ and Him Crucified.

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