“Now I saw in my dream that these two men [Christian and Hopeful] went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on them that shone like gold. There were also those that met them with harps and crowns and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honor. Then I heard in my dream that all the bells in the city rang again for joy, and that it was said unto them: ' Enter ye into the joy of your Lord!' . . . Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold, the city shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold; and in them walked many men, with crowns on their heads and palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal. . . . After that, they shut up the gates which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them."—Bunyan's ”Pilgrim's Progress."
“The above extract, ”wrote Philip Phillips, ”I sent to Mrs. Ellen H. Gates, asking her to write a suitable hymn. When the verses were forwarded to me, in 1865, I seated myself in my home with my little boy on my knee, and with Bunyan's immortal dream book in my hand, and began to read the closing scenes where Christian and Hopeful entered into the city,— wondering at Bunyan's rare genius, and like the dreamer of old wishing myself among them. At this moment of inspiration I turned to my organ, with pencil in hand, and wrote the tune. This hymn seems to have had God's special blessing upon it from the very beginning. One man writes me that he has led in the singing of it at a hundred and twenty funerals. It was sung at the funeral of my own dear boy, who had sat on my knee when I wrote the tune."