Amen – this quote reminds me of exactly that in the scene in Pilgrim’s Progress of “Vanity Fair” BUY THE TRUTH – not the nonsense of this world (that is not your home Christian)
Then I saw in my dream, that when they were got out of the wilderness, they presently saw a town before them, and the name of that town is “Vanity”; and at the town there is a fair kept, called “Vanity Fair”; it is kept all the year long. It bears the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where ’tis kept is lighter than vanity; and also because all that is there sold, or that comes thither is vanity. As is the saying of the wise, “All that comes is vanity.”
“All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.” Isaiah 40:17
“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2
“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 1:14
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11
“Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 2:17
“But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 11:8
This fair is no new erected business; but a thing of ancient standing. I will show you the original of it.
Almost five thousand years agone, there were pilgrims walking to the Celestial City, as these two honest persons are; and BEELZEBUB, APOLLYON, and LEGION, with their companions, perceiving by the path that the pilgrims made, that their way to the City lay through this town of Vanity, they contrived here to set up a fair; a fair wherein should be sold of all sorts of vanity, and that it should last all the year long. Therefore at this fair are all such merchandise sold: as houses, lands, trades, places, honours, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms; lusts, pleasures, and delights of all sorts – as whores, bawds, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not.
And moreover, at this fair there is at all times to be deceivers, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, and rogues and that of every kind.
Here are to be seen, too – and that for nothing – thefts, murders, adulteries, false-swearers, and that of a blood red colour.
And as in other fairs of less moment, there are the several rows and streets, under their proper names, where such and such wares are vended; so here likewise you have the proper places, rows, streets (viz., countries and kingdoms), where the wares of this fair are soonest to be found: here is the Britain row; the French row; the Italian row; the Spanish row; the German row – where several sorts of vanities are to be sold. But as in other fairs, some one commodity is as the chief of all the fair, so the ware of Rome and her merchandise is greatly promoted in this fair: only our English nation, with some others, have taken a dislike thereat.
Now, as I said, the way to the Celestial City lies just through this town, where the lusty fair is kept; and he that will go to the City, and yet not go through this town, must needs go out of the world.
“Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.” 1 Corinthians 5:10
The Prince of princes himself, when here, went through this town to his own country, and that upon a fair day too; and as I think, it was BEELZEBUB, the chief lord of this fair, that invited him to buy of his vanities; yea, would have made him lord of the fair, would he but have done him reverence as he went through the town. Yea, because he was such a person of honour, BEELZEBUB had him from street to street, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a little time, that he might, if possible, allure that Blessed One to cheapen and buy some of his vanities. But he had no mind to the merchandise; and therefore left the town without laying out so much as one farthing upon these vanities.
“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;” Matthew 4:8
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Luke 4:5-7
This fair, therefore, is an ancient thing, of long standing, and a very great fair.
Now these pilgrims, as I said, must needs go through this fair: well, so they did; but behold, even as they entered into the fair, all the people in the fair were moved, and the town itself as it were in a hubbub about them; and that for several reasons. For –
First, the pilgrims were clothed with such kind of raiment as was diverse from the raiment of any that traded in that fair. The people, therefore, of the fair made a great gazing upon them: some said they were fools; some they were lunatics; and some they are outlandish men.
Secondly: and as they wondered at their apparel, so they did likewise at their speech; for few could understand what they said. They naturally spoke the language of Canaan; but they that kept the fair were the men of this world: so that from one end of the fair to the other, they seemed barbarians each to the other.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:7, 8
Thirdly: but that which did not a little amuse the merchandisers was, that these pilgrims set very light by all their wares – they cared not so much as to look upon them; and if they called upon them to buy, they would put their fingers in their ears, and cry, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity;” and look upwards, signifying that their trade and traffic was in heaven.
“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.” Psalm 119:37
“(Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Philippians 3:19, 20
One chanced mockingly, beholding the carriages of the men, to say unto them, “What will ye, buy?” but they, looking gravely upon him, said, “We buy the truth”.
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23
At that there was an occasion taken to despise the men the more: some mocking; some taunting; some speaking reproachfully; and some calling upon others to smite them. At last, things came to a hubbub and great stir in the fair, insomuch that all order was confounded. Now was word presently brought to the great one of the fair, who quickly came down, and deputed some of his most trusty friends to take these men into examination, about whom the fair was almost overturned. So the men were brought to examination: and they that sat upon them, asked them whence they came; whither they went; and what they did there in such an unusual garb?
The men told them that they were pilgrims and strangers in the world; and that they were going to their own country, which was the heavenly Jerusalem ;
“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. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 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.” Hebrews 11:13-16
Excerpt from The Pilgrim’s Progress – The pilgrims brought to trial – Faithful’s martyrdom
Sherry Lynn Szada-Olinger