« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
them that diligently seek it. Read it so, if you will, in my book.
OBst. Tush, said Obstinate, away with your book ; will you go back with us, or no ?
Chr. No, not I, said the other, because I have laid my hand to the plough.'
OBST. Come then, neighbour Pliable, let us turn again, and go home without him : there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that, when they take a fancy by the end, are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Don't revile; if what the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours : my heart inclines to go with my neighbour.
OBST. What ! more fools still! Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will lead you ? Go back, go back, and be wise.*
Chr. Nay, but do thou come with thy neighbour Pliable; there are such things to be had CHRISTIAN AND which I spoke of, and many more glories be- soul. sides. If you believe not me, read here in this book ; and, for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold, all is confirmed by the blood of Him that made it.P
Pli. Well, neighbour Obstinate, said Pliable, I begin to come to a point; I intend to go along with Set this good man, and to cast in my lot with PIAN. him: but, my good companion, do you know the way to this desired place ?
Chr. I am directed by a man, whose name is Evan
CHRISTIAN AND OBSTINATE PULL YOR PLIABLE'S
PLIABLE CONSENTETH TO GO WITH CHRIS.
o Luke ix. 62.
p Heb. ix, 17—22.
* He who never became a fool in the eyes of the world for Christ, is not yet made wise unto salvation through the faith of Christ.
gelist, to speed me to a little gate that is before us, where we shall receive instruction about the way.
Pli. Come then, good neighbour, let us be going. Then they went both together.
OBST. And I will go back to my place, said ObstiORTINATE GOES nate: I will be no companion of such misled,
k. fantastical fellows.* Now I saw in my dream, that when Obstinate was TALK BETWEEN gone back, Christian and Pliable went talk
ing over the plain ; and thus they began their discourse.
Chr. Come, neighbour Pliable, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me. Had even Obstinate himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pli. Come, neighbour Christian, since there are none but us two here, tell me now farther, what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going
Chr. I can better conceive of them with my mind, GOD'S THINGS than speak of them with my tongue : but yet,
** since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my book.
Pli. And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true ?
Chr. Yes, verily; for it was made by Him that cannot lie.
Pli. Well said; what things are they?
q Tit. i. 2. * Here see the different effects which gospel truths have upon natural men. Obstinate totally rejects them: Pliable hears of them with joy, believes somewhat of them for a season, and accompanies Christian a little way.
and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever.'
Pli. Well said ; and what else?
Chr. There are crowns of glory to be given us; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven.
Pli. This is very pleasant; and what else ?
Chr. There shall be no more crying, nor sorrow; for He that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes.
Pli. And what company shall we have there?
Chr. There we shall be with seraphims and cherubims, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them." There also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that have gone before us to that place; none of them are hurtful, but loving and holy; every one walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crowns ;' there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps ;" there we shall see men that by the world were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love they bare to the Lord of the place, all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment.*
Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish one's heart. But are these things to be enjoyed ? How shall we get to be sharers thereof?
Chr. The Lord, the governor of the country, hath recorded that in this book, the substance of which is, If we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely.
TIE SLOUGK OF DESPOND.
Pli. Well, my good companion, glad am I to hear of these things : come on, let us mend our pace.*
Chr. I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.
Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew nigh to a very miry slough, that was in the midst of the plain ; and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the
GK slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they
SPOND. wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Ah, neighbour Christian, where are you now?
Chr. Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
Pli. At this Pliable began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow, Is this the happiness you have told me all this while of? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect between this and our journey's end ? May I get out again with my life, IT IS NOT you shall possess the brave country alone for
me. And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of
ENOUGH TO BE
* Here see the fleshly joys and fleshly comforts of temporary professors : he is too hot to hold; too light, having never felt the burden of his sins, to travel far. Our Lord describes such, as the stonyground hearers. They receive the word with joy; the word hath no root in their hearts; they believe for a while, but in times of temptation fall away, Luke viii. 13. So did Pliable at the Slough of Despond. This signifies those desponding fears and despairing doubts, which beset is, arising from unbelief of God's word, the suggestions of Satan, and the carnal reasonings of our corrupt nature, against the revealed truths and precious promises of God. These try the reality of our convictions, and the sincerity of our faith.
the slough which was next to his own house : so away he went, and Christian saw him no more.*
Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone : but still he endeavoured CHRISTIAN, IN to struggle to that side of the slough that STILL TO GET was farthest from his own house, and next to His ow the Wicket-gate ;t the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back. But I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, I and asked him, What he did there?
Chr. Sir, said Christian, I was bid to go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come. And as I was going thither, I fell in here.
HELP. But why did not you look for the THE PROMISES. steps ? $
Chr. Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the next way, and fell in.
Help. Then said he, Give me thy hand; so he gave him his hand, and he drew him out, and HELP LIFTS set him upon sound ground, and bid him" go on his way.”
HELP LIFTS HIM OUT.
* It is not enough to be Pliable; for the first trial he met with cooled his courage, damped his joy, killed his faith, and sent him back to the city of Destruction.
+ Christian, in trouble, seeks still to get farther from his own house. See the difference between a truly convinced sinner, and a pliable unconvinced professor : one keeps his face towards Christ for hope and help; the other flies back for comfort to the city of Destruction.
The arm of Christ's omnipotent grace, reached forth to snatch poor sinners from destruction ; for he says of them, “ Thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help,” Hos. xiii. 9.
§ The great and precious promises of God, which are in Christ Jesus, to poor, needy, and distressed sinners.