As weary pilgrim, now at rest,
Hugs with delight his silent nest
His wasted limbs, no lie full soft
That miry steps have trodden oft
Blesses himself to think upon
His dangers past and travails done
The burning sun no more shall heat
Nor stormy rains on him shall beat.
The briars and thorns no more shall scratch
Not hungry wolves at him shall catch
He erring paths no more shall tread
Nor wild fruit eat instead of bread
For water cold he doth not long
For thirst no more shall parch his tongue
No rugged stones his feet shall gall
Nor stumps nor rocks cause him to fall
All cares and fear he bids farewell
And means in satisfy now to dwell.
A pilgrim I, on earth, perplexed
With sins, with cares and sorrows vexed
By age and pains brought to decay
My clay house moldering away
O how I long to be at rest
And soar on high among the blessed.
This body shall in silence sleep
Mine eyes no more shall ever weep
No fainting fits shall me assail
Nor grinding pains my body frail
With cares and fear ne’er cumbered be
Nor losses know, nor sorrows see
What thought my flesh shall there consume
It is the bed that Christ did perfume
And when a few years shall be gone
This mortal shall be cloth’d upon
A corrupt carcase down it lies
A glorious body it shall rise
In weakness and dishonor shown
In power ‘tis rais’d by Christ alone
Then soul and body shall unite
And of their maker have the sight
Such lasting joys shall there behold
As ear ne’r heard nor tongue e’er told
Lord make me ready for that day
Then come dear bridegroom Come away.
- The image of a pilgrim was a common one for the Puritans. It derives from the language of Hebrews 11, a passage of Scripture which describes saints who came through the world (this life) as pilgrims with a view to living in a permanent homeland:
Hebrews 11:13–16 (AV)
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
And the language of 1 Peter 2:11:
1 Peter 2:11 (AV)
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Hence we may gather divers grounds, that while we live in this world, a Christian is but a pilgrim and stranger. First, Heaven is his home, and this life is but a way, and he a passenger. And thus David accounted of himself, though a king, yet but a stranger, both himself and his fathers; and therefore, as a passenger, he provides for his journey, he stands not for ill usage, cares not to look after delights in the way, but uses them as advantageous to his journey.
Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 5 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1863), 136.
Resurrection: This imagery comes from 1 & 2 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:35–57 (AV)
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:16–5:5 (AV)
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
The end of sorrows:
Revelation 21:1–4 (AV)
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.