I just finished listening to the classic allegorical novel of protestantism, The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. It was truly atrocious, even aside from the Christianity. I cannot imagine Christians finding any value in it… and yet it is a classic.
The worst — and hence, the best — bit was the following passage on the proper Christian interpretations of natural phenomena:
It was told you before, that Prudence bid the boys, that if at any time they would, they should ask her some questions that might be profitable and she would say something to them.
Then Matthew, who had been sick, asked her, why for the most part physic should be bitter to our palates.
Prudence: To show how unwelcome the word of God and the effects thereof are to a carnal heart.
Matthew: Why does physic, if it does good, purge, and cause to vomit?
Prudence: To show that the word, when it works effectually, cleanseth the heart and mind. For look, what the one doth to the body, the other doth to the soul.
Matthew: What should we learn by seeing the flame of our fire go upwards, and by seeing the beams and sweet influences of the sun strike downwards?
Prudence: By the going up of the fire, we are taught to ascend to heaven by fervent and hot desires. And by the sun sending his heat, beams, and sweet influences downwards, we are taught the Saviour of the world, though high, reaches down with his grace and love to us below.
Matthew: Whence have the clouds their water?
Prudence: Out of the sea.
Matthew: What may we learn from that?
Prudence: That ministers should fetch their doctrine from God.
Matthew: Why do they empty themselves upon the earth?
Prudence: To show that ministers should give out what they know of God to the world.
Matthew: Why is the rainbow caused by the sun?
Prudence: To show that the covenant of God’s grace is confirmed to us in Christ.
Matthew: Why do the springs come from the sea to us through the earth?
Prudence: To show that the grace of God comes to us through the body of Christ.
Matthew: Why do some of the springs rise out of the tops of high hills?
Prudence: To show that the Spirit of grace shall spring up in some that are great and mighty, as well as in many that are poor and low.
Matthew: Why doth the fire fasten upon the candle-wick?
Prudence: To show that unless grace doth kindle upon the heart, there will be no true light of life in us.
Matthew: Why are the wick, and tallow and all, spent to maintain the light of the candle?
Prudence: To show that body and soul, and all, should be at the service of, and spend themselves to maintain in good condition that grace of God that is in us.
Matthew: Why doth the pelican pierce her own breast with her bill?
Prudence: To nourish her young ones with her blood, and thereby to show that Christ the blessed so loved his young, (his people,) as to save them from death by his blood.
Matthew: What may one learn by hearing the cock to crow?
Prudence: Learn to remember Peter’s sin, and Peter’s repentance. The cock’s crowing shows also, that day is coming on: let, then, the crowing of the cock put thee in mind of that last and terrible day of judgment.
What can anyone say to that?!? Except perhaps… LORDY!