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CHRISTIAN ROUNDETR UP DEMAS.
Demas. Then Demas called again, saying, But will you not come over and see? Chr. Then Christian roundly answered, saying,
Demas, thou art an enemy to the right
ways of the Lord of this way, and hast been already condemned for thine own turning aside, by one of his Majesty's judges ;" and why seekest thou to bring us into the like condemnation ? Besides, if we at all turn aside, our Lord the King will certainly hear thereof, and will there put us to shame, where we would stand with boldness before him.
Demas cried again, that he also was one of their fraternity; and that if they would tarry a little, he also himself would walk with them.
Chr. Then said Christian, What is thy name? Is it not the same by the which I have called thee ?
Demas. Yes, my name is Demas; I am the son of Abraham.
Chr. I know you : Gehazi was your great-grandfather, and Judas your father, and you have trod in their steps. It is but a devilish prank that thou usest : thy father was hanged for a traitor, and thou deservest no better reward. Assure thyself, that when we come to the King, we will tell him of this thy behaviour. Thus they went their way. By this time By-ends and his companions were come
again within sight, and they at the first
beck went over to Demas. Now, whether they fell into the pit by looking over the brink thereof, or whether they went down to dig, or whether they were smothered in the bottom by the damps that commonly arise, of these things I am not certain ; but this
BY-ENDS GOES OVER TO DEMAS.
h 2 Tim. iv. 10.
i 2 Kings v. 20—27. Matt. xxvi. 14, 15. xxvii. 8-5.
I observed, that they never were seen again in the way.*
By-ends and silver Demas both agtee :
in this world, and no further go. Now I saw, that just on the other side of this plain, the pilgrims came to a place where stood
THEY SEE A STRANG! an old monument hard by the highwayside; at the sight of which they were both concerned, because of the strangeness of the form thereof, for it seemed to them as if it had been a woman transformed into the shape of a pillar. Here, therefore, they stood looking and looking upon it, but could not for a time tell what they should make thereof. At last Hopeful espied, written above, upon the head thereof, a writing in an unusual hand; but he, being no scholar, called to Christian (for he was learned) to see if he could pick out the meaning: so he came, and after a little laying of the letters together, he found the same to be this, “ Remember Lot's wife.” So he read it to his fellow; after which they both concluded, that that was the pillar of salt into which Lot's wife was turned, for her looking back with a covetous heart, when she was going from Sodom for safety. Which sudden and amazing sight gave them occasion for this discourse.
k Gen. xix. 26.
Here you see the end of double-minded men, who vainly attempt to temper the love of money with the love of Christ. They go on with their art for a season, but the end makes it manifest what they Chr. Ah, my brother ! this is a seasonable sight: it came opportunely to us after the invitation which Demas gave us to come over to view the hill Lucre; and had we gone over, as he desired us, and as thou wast inclined to do, my brother, we had, for aught I know, been made like this woman, a spectacle for those that shall come after to behold.
Take David's advice, “ Fret not thyself because of evil-doers," Psalm xxxvii. 1. “ Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased,” xlix. 16. But go thou into the sanctuary of thy God, read his word, and understand the end of these
Hope. I am sorry that I was so foolish, and am made to wonder that I am not now as Lot's wife; for wherein was the difference betwixt her sin and mine? She only looked back, and I had a desire to go see : let grace be adored, and let me be ashamed that ever such a thing should be in mine heart.*
Chr. Let us take notice of what we see here, for our help for time to come: this woman escaped one judgment, for she fell not by the destruction of Sodom, yet she was destroyed by another, as we see she is turned into a pillar of salt.
Hope. True, and she may be to us both caution and example : caution, that we should shun her sin; or a sign of what judgment will overtake such as shall not be prevented by this caution : so Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with the two hundred and fifty men that perished in their sin, did also become a sign or example to others to beware. But, above all, I muse at one thing, to wit, how Demas and his fellows can stand so confidently yonder to look for that treasure, which this woman but
1 Num. xxvi. 9, 10, Such is the effect of the grace of God in the heart of a pilgrim while on one hand he sees the propensity of his evil nature to every sin which has been committed by others, and is humbled ; he also confesses, that by no power of his own, he is preserved, but ever gives all the glory to the God of all grace, by whose power alone he is kept from falling: “ Thou standest by faith; be not high-minded, but fear," Rom. xi. 20.
for looking behind her after, (for we read not that she stepped one foot out of the way,) was turned into a pillar of salt; especially since the judgment which overtook her, did make her an example within sight of where they are : for they cannot choose but see her, did they but lift
eyes. Chr. It is a thing to be wondered at, and it argueth that their hearts are grown desperate in the case; and I cannot tell who to compare them to so fitly, as to them that pick pockets in the presence of the judge, or that will cut purses under the gallows. It is said of the men of Sodom, that “they were sinners exceedingly,” because they were sinners“ before the Lord,” that is, in his eye-sight, and notwithstanding the kindnesses that he had showed them; for the land of Sodom was now like the garden of Eden heretofore. This, therefore, provoked him the more to jealousy, and made their plague as hot as the fire of the Lord out of heaven could make it. And it is most rationally to be concluded, that such, even such as these are, that shall sin in the sight, yea, and that too in despite of such examples that are set continually before them to caution them to the contrary, must be partakers of severest judgments.
Hope. Doubtless thou hast said the truth; but what a mercy is it, that neither thou, but especially I, am not made myself this example! This ministereth occasion to us to thank God, to fear before him, and always to remember Lot's wife.
I saw then that they went on their way to a pleasant river, which David the king called “the river of God;" but John, “ the river of the water of life.”'n*
n Psalm xlvi. 4. Ezek. xlvii. Rev. xxii. I.
m Gen. xiii. 10, 13. * By this river, which is called “ a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb,”
TREES BY RIVER.
THE FRUIT AND LEAVES ОР TAE TREES.
Now, their way lay just upon the bank of this river: here, therefore, Christian and his companion walked with great delight; they drank also of the water of the river, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits. Besides, on the banks of this river, on either
side, were green trees with all manner of fruit; and the leaves they ate to prevent
surfeits, and other diseases that are incident to those that heat their blood by travels. On either side of the river was also a meadow, curiously beautified
with lilies; and it was green all the year
long. In this meadow they lay down and slept, for here they might lie down safely. When they awoke, they gathered again of the fruit of the trees, and drank again of the water of the river, and then lay down again to sleep. Thus they did several days and nights. Then they sang
A MEADOW, IN WHICH THEY LIE DOWN TO SLEEP.
o Psalm xxiii. Isa, xiv. 30.
Rev. xxii. I, we may understand, the clear and comfortable views which they were favoured with, of God's everlasting love and electing grace. This river of God, this water of life, was clear as crystal. They could see in it God's glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ, and view their own faces in it to their inexpressible joy. This is the river, “the streams whereof make glad the city of God,” Psalm xlvi. 4. The streams which flow from this river of electing love, are vocation to Christ, justification by Christ, sanctification in Christ, perseverance through Christ, glorification with Christ, and all joy and peace in believing on Christ, from the Spirit of Christ. All this these pilgrims now enjoyed, and all this every fellow-citizen of the saints are called to enjoy, in their pilgrimage to Zion. These are their precious privileges. This river of life proceedeth out of the throne of God and the Lamb: for God hath chosen us in Christ, and blessed us with all spiritual blessings in him; and they are all freely communicated from electing love to us, out of Christ's fulness.
O how happy, peaceful, and joyful are pilgrims, when the Spirit takes of the things of Christ, shows them to us, and blesses us with a sense of interest in all the love of God, and finished salvation of Jesus !