Gambar halaman


ye how these crystal streams do glide,
To comfort pilgrims by the highway-side.
The meadows green, besides their fragrant smell,
Yield dainties for them; and he who can tell
What pleasant fruit, yea, leaves, these trees do yield,
Will soon sell all, that he may buy this field.

So when they were disposed to go on, (for they were not as yet at their journey's end,) they ate, and drank, and departed.

Now, I beheld in my dream, that they had not journeyed far, but the river and the way for a time parted, at which they were not a little sorry; yet they durst not go out of the way. Now the way from the river was rough, and their feet tender by reason of their travels; so the souls of the pilgrims were much discouraged because of the way. Wherefore, still as they went on, they wished for a better way. * Now, a little before them, there was on the left hand of the road a meadow, and a stile to go over into it, and that meadow is called By-path meadow.t Then said Christian to his fellow, If this meadow lieth along by our way-side, let us go over into it. Then he went to


p Num. xxi. 4.

Pilgrims have their discouragements as well as their joys; they cannot help complaining as well as rejoicing, yet they take their way as they find it, sometimes rough, at others smooth; though they may at times be sorry to part with their comforts, and wish the way was smoother; so they did here. Lo! their wishes were answered ; but mark the consequences. Lord, lead me in the way everlasting !

+ Beware of this By-path meadow, it is on the left-hand. O how many are walking securely, confidently, and comfortably in it, while every step they take endangers their destruction. The transition into it is easy, for it lies close to the right way, only you must get over a style; that is, you must quit Christ's imputed righteousness, and trust in your own inherent righteousness, and then you are in By-path meadow directly.


ONE TEMPTATION the stile to see, and behold a path lay

along by the way on the other side of the fence. 'Tis according to my wish, said Christian ; here is the easiest going ; come, good Hopeful, and let us

go over.*



Hope. But, how if this path should lead us out of the way? Chr. That is not likely, said the other. Look, doth

it not go along by the way-side ? So Hopeful, being persuaded by his fellow,

went after him over the stile. When they were gone over, and were got into the path, they found it very easy for their feet; and withal, they, looking before them, espied a man walking as they did, and his name was Vain-Confidence: so they called after him, SEE WHAT it is too and asked him whither that way led. He

said, To the Celestial Gate. Look, said Christian, did not I tell you so ? by this you may see we are right. So they followed, and he went before them. But behold the night came on, and it grew very dark; so that they that went behind lost the sight of him that went before. He therefore that went before, (Vain-Confidence by

name,) not seeing the way before him, fell

into a deep pit," which was on purpose there made by the Prince of those grounds, to catch vain-glorious fools withal, and was dashed in pieces with his fall.t



9 Isa, ix. 16.

* Ah! how easily are our eyes deceived, our hearts mistaken, and our feet perverted from the right way! Shepherd of Israel, thou knowest to err is human; keep us from erring-guide us continuallyand when we do stray, Lord, reclaim us.

† “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Prov. xiv. 12. Vain confidence is this very way. O how easily do professors get into it; yea, real pilgrims


Now, Christian and his fellow heard him fall; so they called, to know the matter ; but there was none to answer, only they heard a groaning. Then said Hopeful, Where are we now? Then was his fellow silent, as mistrusting that he had led him out of the way: and now it began to rain, and thunder, and lighten in a most dreadful manner, and the water rose amain.*

Then Hopeful groaned in himself, saying, Oh, that I had kept on my way!

Chr. Who could have thought that this path should have led us out of the way ?

Hope. I was afraid on't at the very first, and therefore gave you that gentle caution. I would have spoke plainer, but that you are older than I.

Chr. Good brother, be not offended; I am sorry I have brought thee out of the way, and that I have put thee into such imminent danger: pray, my brother, forgive me; I did not do it of an evil intent.

Hope. Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive thee; and believe, too, that this shall be for our good.



are prone also to take up with it, owing to that legality, pride, and selfrighteousness which work in their fallen nature. See the end of it, and tremble. For it leads to darkness, and ends in death. Lord, humble our proud hearts, and empty us of self-righteousness, pride, and vain confidence.

* Getting into By-path meadow, and walking in vain confidence, will surely bring on terrors—thunderings and lightnings from mount Sinai.

+ Here see, that as Christians are made helpful, so also, through prevailing corruptions, they are liable to prove hurtful to each other. But observe, how grace works! it humbles, it makes the soul confess and be


for its misfortunes; here is no reviling one another, but a tender sympathy and feeling concern for each other. O the mighty power of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ! how does it cement souls in the fellowship of love!



Car. I am glad I have with me a merciful brother : but we must not stand here ; let us try to go back again.

Hope. But, good brother, let me go before.

Chr. No, if you please, let me go first, that, if there be any danger, I may be first therein ; because by my means we are both gone out of the way.

Hope. No, said Hopeful, you shall not go first; for, your mind being troubled, may lead you out of the way again.—Then, for their encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, “Let thine heart be towards the highway; even the way that thou wentest, turn again." THEY ARE IN DAN. But by this time the waters were greatly

risen, by reason of which the way of going back was very dangerous. (Then I thought, that it is easier going out of the way when we are in, than going in when we are out.) Yet they adventured to go back; but it was so dark, and the flood was so high, that in their going back they had like to have been drowned, nine or ten times.

Neither could they, with all the skill they had, get again to the stile that night. Wherefore at last, light

ing under a little shelter, they sat down

there till the day-break : but being weary they fell asleep. Now, there was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle, called Doubting-castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair ;t and it was in his


r Jer. xxxi. 21.

* This is Christ: Christ's precious person, Christ's glorious work, Christ's finished salvation; he is the way, the only way, the high way of justification and holiness.

† Sooner or later, Doubting Castle will be the prison, and Giant Despair the keeper, of all those who turn aside from Christ and his righteousness, to trust in anywise in themselves, and to their own righteousness. “Our God is a jealous God :" ever jealous of his own glory, and of the honour of his beloved Son.

grounds they now were sleeping. Wherefore he getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down in bis fields, caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds. Then with a grim and surly voice he bid them awake, and asked them whence they were, and what they did in his grounds. They told him they were pilgrims, and that they had lost their way. Then said



the giant, You have this night trespassed on me by trampling in, and lying on my monex *** grounds, and therefore you must go along with me.

So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say, for they knew themselves in a fault. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »