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OME time since, to tell you my dream that I had of Christian the pilgrim, and of bis dangerous jour
ney towards the Celestial Country, was pleasant to me and profitable to you. I told you then also what I saw concerning his wife and children, and how unwilling they were to go with him on pilgrimage: insomuch that he was forced to go on his progress without them; for, he durst not run the danger of that destruction, which he feared would come by staying with them in the city of Destruction : wherefore, as I then showed you, he left them and departed.
Now, it hath so happened, through the multiplicity of business, that I have been much hindered and kept back from my wonted travels into those parts whence he went, and so could not, till now, obtain an opportunity to make further inquiry after whom he left behind, that I might give you an account of them. But, having had some concerns that way of late, I went down again thitherward. Now, having taken up my lodging in a wood, about a mile off the place, as I slept, I dreamed again.
And, as I was in my dream, behold, an aged gentleman came by where I lay; and because he was to go some part of the way that I was travelling, methought I got up, and went with him. So, as we walked, and as travellers usually do, I was as if we fell into a discourse, and our talk happened to be about Christian and his travels; for thus I began with the old man.
Sir, said I, what town is that there below, that lieth on the left-hand of our way?
Then said Mr. Sagacity, (for that was his name,) It is the city of Destruction, a populous place, but possessed with a very ill-conditioned and idle sort of people.
I thought that was that city, quoth I; I went once myself through that town; and therefore know that this report you give of it is true.
Sag. Too true! I wish I could speak truth in speaking better of them that dwell therein.
Well, sir, quoth I, then I perceive you to be a wellmeaning man, and so one that takes pleasure to hear and tell of that which is good : pray did you never hear what happened to a man some time ago, of this town, (whose name was Christian,) that went on a pilgrimage up towards the higher regions ?
Sag. Hear of him! Ay, and I also heard of the molestations, troubles, wars, captivities, cries, groans,
CHRISTIANS ARE WELL SPOKEN OP
CALLED POOLS WHILE
frights, and fears, that he met with and had on his journey. Besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him : there are but few houses, that have heard of him and his doings, but have sought after and got the records of his pilgrimage : yea, I think I may say, that his hazardous journey has got many well-wishers to his ways; for, though when he was here he was fool in every man's mouth, yet now he is gone christianS ARE he is highly commended of all. For it is WHEN CONE, THOUGH said he lives bravely where he is : yea, many of them that are resolved never to run his hazards, yet have their mouths water at his gains.*
They may, quoth I, well think, if they think any thing that is true, that he liveth well where he is ; for he now lives at and in the Fountain of life, and has what he has without labour and sorrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith. But pray what talk have the people about him?
Sag. Talk! the people talk strangely about him : some say, that he now walks in white ;a that he has a chain of gold about his neck; that he has a crown of gold, beset with pearls, upon his head. Others say, that the shining ones, that sometimes showed themselves to him in his journey, are become his companions, and that he is as familiar with them in the place where he is,
a Rev. iii. 4. vi. 11. * This is quite natural, and very common. The men of this world will canonize those for saints when dead, whom they stigmatized with the vilest names when living. Besides many others I could mention, this I have peculiarly remarked in respect to that man of God, that faithful minister of Christ, the late Rev. Mr. Whitefield. Scarce any one went through more public reproach than he did ; yet how often have I been amazed to hear persons who held him, his character, and conduct, in the vilest contempt when living, who, now he is dead, speak in the most respectful manner of him! O let us leave our characters to Him who died for our sins, and to whom we can commit our souls.