Friday, September 7, 2012

Matthew's Purge

After Christiana’s son Matthew eats of “the fruit of Beelzebub’s orchard,” against his mother’s teaching, he becomes ill almost unto death. Mr. Skill is brought in to treat him.

“So he made him a purge, but it was too weak; it was said it was made of the blood of a goat, the ashes of a heifer, and some of the juice of hyssop (Hebrews 9:13,19; 10:1-4). When Mr. Skill had seen that that purge was too weak, he made one to the purpose. It was made ex carne et sanguine Christi (John 6:54-57; Hebrews 9:14); (you know physicians give strange medicines to their patients) and it was made into pills, with a promise or two, and a proportionable quantity of salt (Mark 9:49). Now, he was to take them three at a time, fasting, in half a quarter of a pint of the tears of repentance (Zechariah 12:10).”
- John Bunyan (1628-1688), in “Pilgrim’s Progress” (Book 2, Stage 4)

The body and blood of Christ unto self-mortification and repentance. The strangest medicine and surest purge.

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