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Truth in swaddling clothes: God stoops to metaphor

Read and pondered John Bunyan's defense of using story-line, parable and metaphor to communicate truth. Was struck by his reference to God's own incarnation and humiliation as an apologetic for imaginative literature:

That they will take my meaning in these lines
Far better than this lies in silver shrines.
Come, truth, although in swaddling clothes, I find
Informs the judgment, rectifies the mind...

"Well, yet I am not fully satisfied,
That this your book will stand, when soundly tried."
Why, what's the matter? "It is dark." What though?
"But it is feigned." What of that ? I trow
Some men by feigned words, as dark as mine,
Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine.
"But they want solidness. Speak, man, thy mind.
They drown the weak; metaphors make us blind."
Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
Of him that writeth things divine to men:
But must I needs wants solidness, because
By metaphors I speak? Were not God's laws,
His gospel laws, in olden time held forth
By types, shadows, and metaphors ? Yet loth
Will any sober man be to find fault
With them, lest he be found for to assault
The highest wisdom! No, he rather stoops,
And seeks to find out what by pins and loops,
By calves and sheep, by heifers and by rams,
By birds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs,
God speaketh to him; and happy is he
That finds the light and grace that in them be."

(--John Bunyan, preface to The Pilgrim's Progress.)

Many years later Jonathan Edwards, in his work on typology said, “I believe that the whole universe, heaven and earth, air and seas, and the divine constitution and history of the holy Scriptures, be full of images of divine things, as full as a language is of words” (Types, p. 152).

Metaphors and images speak to us and God has created a world that abounds with them. These are "truths in swaddling clothes."

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