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Sunday, 10 June 2018

22:53

The Up and Down Lines - Companion for the Broad and Narrow Way Picture

 The Up and Down Lines Railway Picture


The Up and Down Lines
Designed by W.C.Miles circa 1880s   
(Republished from private Collection – © Peter N Millward)

In my last news I asked if anyone has any old Christian Posters or prints, they would kindly like to donate. One picture which would be especially welcome is a copy of “The Up and the Down Lines” issued in the 1880s. It just so happened in May I spotted an old Up and Down Lines picture on Ebay and was able to make a successful bid for it - This is the picture above after digitally restoring it....the original was quite battered but the colours were good.  It is an answer to prayer as the picture is very rare these days to see.....Copies are now available for sale at the online store.

Some fascinating information below about this intriguing picture and the world it came from over 130 years ago.  The print is an original Chromolithograph from the 1880s and is thought to be one of the earliest editions. The picture depicts two railway lines – The Up Line – to Heaven and the Down Line to Hell. And graphically shows the awesome contrast between the destinations reached at the end of the broad gauge railway which accommodated sin and the narrow gauge to heaven which eschewed it.

The poem below written during the 1840s eloquently conveys the message of the picture.
            The Spiritual Railway
The Line to heaven by Christ was made
With heavenly truth the Rails are laid,
From Earth to Heaven the Line extends,
To Life Eternal where it ends.
Repentance is the Station then
Where Passengers are taken in.
No Fee for them is there to pay,
For Jesus is himself the way.
God’s Word is the first Engineer
It points the way to Heaven so dear.
Through tunnels dark and dreary here
It does the way to Glory steer.
God’s Love the Fire, his Truth the Steam,
Which drives the Engine and the Train,
All you who would to Glory ride,
Must come to Christ, in Him abide
In First, and Second, and Third Class,
Repentance, Faith and Holiness.
You must the way to Glory gain
Or you with Christ will not remain.
Come then poor Sinners, now’s the time
At any Station on the Line.
If you’ll repent and turn from sin
The Train will stop and take you in.

  The picture is both beautiful and fascinating....one could spend hours studying with a Bible.  The designer  - W.C.Miles has shown remarkable ability - The picture is filled with small scenes with scriptures....and would lend itself well to Bible Study and Sunday school. The style of clothes belong to a different era, but the picture has an up to date message for every generation.  



The Railway Signal magazine described The Up and Down Lines, as 'size 24 x 20. beautifully coloured. Also mounted on rollers' - and the following text  "a most interesting and instructive picture showing the Downgrade of Sin from Eden and the Upward Course of the Believer from the City of Destruction to Glory". The down line made its descent from paradise, through wilderness and captivity. by-passing Calvary, and with alluring stopping points offering sport, gambling. dancing, and the demon drink. The final stop - Pit Station was shown as being open day and night and selling only one-way tickets. Not far beyond it. all trains, bearing their unfortunate human freight. crashed down eternity rapids. The Celestial Route Station, by contrast. had placards offering refreshments. life insurance, grace. pardon. and peace. The main line went over the bridge of mercy. through Grace Station, and on through Calvary Junction to Glory."