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PLY TO FLESHLY
gain, and I should be a fool of the greatest size if I should have no heart to strike in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that I am A PERTINENT RE like to meet with in the way, they are so REASONING. far from being to me a discouragement, that they show I am in the right. “ The bitter must come before the sweet,” and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore since you came not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you to be gone, and not to disquiet me further. *
Then Timorous reviled her, and said to her fellow, Come, neighbour Mercy, let us leave her in her own hands, since she scorns our counsel and company. But Mercy was at a stand, and could not so readily comply with her neighbour; and that for a twofold reason. Mercy's Bowels 1. Her bowels yearned over Christiana.
So she said within herself, If my neighbour will needs be gone, I will go a little way with her, and help her. 2. Her bowels yearned over her own soul; for what Christiana had said, had taken some hold upon her mind. Wherefore she said within herself again, I will yet have more talk with this Christiana; and, if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart shall also go with her. Wherefore Mercy began thus to reply to her neighbour Timorous.
Mer. Neighbour, I did indeed come with you to see Christiana this morning; and, since she is, as you see,
YEARN OVER CIRIS-
wich will be the issues less than life anday from
* That is right. It is well to be bold in the name of the Lord, and blunt with those who seek to turn us away from following on to know the Lord: for nothing less than life and salvation, or death and damnation, will be the issue of it. O pilgrims, beware, beware of parleying with the carnal. Ever remember, you have a nature prone to catch the falling spark from their flint and steel, and tinder about you ever ready to take the fire.
TIMOROUS FORSAKES HER, BUT MEYCY CLEAVES
a taking her last farewell of the country, I think to walk this sunshiny morning a little with her, to help her on her way. But she told her not of her second reason, but kept it to herself.
TIM. Well, I see you have a mind to go a fooling too; but take heed in time, and be wise : while we are out of danger, we are out; but, when we are in, we are in.
So Mrs. Timorous returned to her house, and Christiana betook herself to her journey.* But, s when Timorous was got home to her house, molek. she sends for some of her neighbours, to wit, Mrs. Bat'sEyes, Mrs. Inconsiderate, Mrs. Light-Mind, and Mrs. Know-Nothing. So, when they were come to her house, she falls to telling of the story of Christiana, and of her intended journey. And thus she began her tale.
Tim. Neighbours, having had little to do this morning, I went to give Christiana a visit; and, when I came at the door, I knocked, as you know it is our custom: and she answered, If you come in God's name, come in. So in I went, thinking all was well : but, when I came in, I found her preparing herself to depart the town, she, and also her children. So I asked her, what was her meaning by that? And she told me in short, that she was now of a mind to go on pilgrimage,
TIMOROUS ACQUAINTS HER FRIENDS WHAT THE GOOD CHRISTIANA INTENDS TO DO.
* Here we see our Lord's word verified, “ The one shall be taken, and the other left," Matt. xxiv. 41. Mercy is called, and Timorous left. All to appearance seems chance and accident, that any come to the knowledge of the truth ; but electing love directs all things, and sovereign grace overrules all things : and “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,” 2 Cor. v. 18. Oh, ever bow to divine sovereignty ! ever adore discriminating grace ! what shall we say to these things ? “If God be for us, who shall be against us?” Rom. viii. 31.
as did her husband. She told me also of a dream that
TIM. Ay, go she will, whatever comes on't; and methinks I know it by this; for that which was my great argument to persuade her to stay at home, (to wit, the troubles she was like to meet with in the way,) is one great argument with her to put her forward on her journey. For she told me in so many words, “ The bitter goes before the sweet; yea, and forasmuch as it so doth, it makes the sweet the sweeter.”
Mrs. Bat's-Eyes. O this blind and foolish woman! MRS. BAT'S-EYES. said she, and will she not take warning by her husband's afflictions? For my part, I see, if he were here again, he would rest himself content in a whole skin, and never run so many hazards for nothing.
Mrs. Inconsiderate also replied, saying, Away with MRS. INCONSIDERATE. such fantastical fools from the town: a good riddance, for my part, I say, of her; should she stay where she dwells, and retain this her mind, who could live quietly by her ? for she will either be dumpish or unneighbourly, or talk of such matters as no wise body can abide: wherefore, for my part, I shall never be sorry for her departure ; let her go, and let better come in her room: it was never a good world since these whimsical fools dwelt in it.*
* () how do such carnal wretches sport with their own damnation, while they despise the precious truths of God, and ridicule his beloved, chosen, and called people! But, as it was in the beginning, he who was born after the flesh persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, so it is now, and will be for ever--as long as the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent, are upon the earth.
MADAM WAXTOX, SHE THAT HAD LIKE
HARD FOR PAITH.
MERCY AND GOOD
Then Mrs. Light-Mind added as followeth : Come, put this kind of talk away. I was yester- MRS. LIGHT-MIND. day at Madam Wanton's, where we were MADAM WANTON, as merry as the maids. For who do you TO Have Been Too think should be there, but I and Mrs. POL, IN TIME PAST. Love - the - Flesh, and three or four more, with Mrs. Lechery, Mrs. Filth, and some others : so there we had music and dancing, and what else was meet to fill up the pleasure. And, I dare say, my lady herself is an admirable well-bred gentlewoman, and Mr. Lechery is as pretty a fellow.
By this time Christiana was got on her way, and Mercy went along with her: so as they went, her children being there also, Christiana began DISCOURSE BETWIXT to discourse. And, Mercy, said Chris. CHRISTIANA. tiana, I take this as an unexpected favour, that thou shouldest set forth out of doors with me to accompany me a little in the way.
MER. Then said young Mercy, (for she was but young,) If I thought it would be to pur- MER pose to go with you, I would never go near the town any more.
Chr. Well, Mercy, said Christiana, cast in thy lot with me. I well know what will be the end of our pilgrimage: my husband is where he would not but be for all the gold in the Spanish mines. Nor shalt thou be rejected, though thou goest but upon my invitation. The King, who hath sent for me and my children, is one that delighteth in mercy. Besides, if thou wilt, I will hire thee, and thou shalt go along with me as my servant. Yet we will have all things in common betwixt thee and me : only go along with me.*
* Such is the true spirit of real pilgrims, they do not love to eat their precious morsel alone. They wish others to know precious
LURES HER TO THE GATE, WHICH IS CHRIST, AND PROMISES THERE TO
Mer. But how shall I be ascertained that I also OUBTS or shall be entertained ? Had I this hope
but from one that can tell, I would make no stick at all, but would go, being helped by Him that can help, though the way was never so tedious.*
Chr. Well, loving Mercy, I will tell thee what thou Christiana Al- shalt do: go with me to the Wicket-gate, GATE, WHICH IS and there I will further inquire for thee; INQUIRE FOR HER. and if there thou shalt not meet with encouragement, I will be content that thou return to thy place. I also will pay thee for the kindness which thou showest to me and my children, in the accompanying of us in our way as thou dost.
Mer. Then will I go thither, and will take what MERCY shall follow; and the Lord grant that my lot may PRAYS. there fall, even as the King of heaven shall have his heart upon me.t
Christ, and to become followers of him with themselves. O how happy are they, when the Lord is pleased to draw the hearts of any of their fellow-sinners to himself!
* Though Christiana clearly saw and knew her calling of God, yet Mercy did not : therefore she is in doubt about it. Just so it is with many at their first setting out. Hence they are ready to say (and I have met with many who have said,) that they could even wish to have had the most violent convictions of sin, and to have been as it were shook over the mouth of hell, that they might have had a greater certainty of their being called of God. But this is speaking unadvisedly. Better to take the apostle's advice, “Give all diligence to make your calling sure."
+ Here is a precious discovery of a heart divinely instructed. Mind, here is no looking to any thing Mercy was in herself, nor to any thing she could do for herself, for hope; but all is resolved into this, all is cast upon this, even the love of the heart of the King of heaven. Reader, can you be content with this lot ? Can you cast all, and rest all, upon the love of Christ ? Then bless his loving name for giving you a pilgrim's heart.