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CHRISTIANA GLAD OF MERCY'S COM
POR HER CARNAL
Christiana then was glad at heart; not only that she had a companion ; but also for that she CHRISTIANA GLAV had prevailed with this poor maid to fall PANY. in love with her own salvation. So they went on together, and Mercy began to weep. Then said Christiana, Wherefore weepeth my sister so?
Mer. Alas! said she, who can but lament, that shall but rightly consider what a state and con- MERCY GRIEVES dition my poor relations are in, that yet RELATIONS. remain in our sinful town? And that which makes my grief the more heavy is, because they have no instructor, nor any to tell them what is to come.*
Chr. Bowels become pilgrims : and thou dost for thy friends, as my good Christian did for me when he left me; he mourned for that I would CHRISTIAN's praynot heed nor regard him : but his Lord ED FOR 118 RELAand ours did gather up his tears, and put DEAD. them into his bottle; and now both I and thou, and these my sweet babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope, Mercy, that these tears of thine will not be lost; for the Truth hath said, that “ they that sow in tears shall reap in joy ;” and “ he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”m
Then said Mercy,
CHRISTIAN'S PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED FOR HIS RELATIONS AFTER HE WAS
Let the most Blessed be my guide,
If't be his blessed will,
Up to his holy hill :
m Psalm cxxvi. 5, 6. * This is natural; when we know the worth of our souls, and the preciousness of Christ's salvation, and weep over ourselves and for our sins, to mourn and weep for our dear carnal relatives, lest they should be lost, and to wish for their salvation also.
And let him never suffer me
To swerve, or turn aside
What'er shall me betide.
And let him gather them of mine,
That I have left behind :
With all their heart and mind.
THEIR OWN CARNAL CONCLUSIONS INSTEAD OF THE WORD OF LIFE.
Now my old friend proceeded, and said, But, when Christiana came to the Slough of Despond, she began to be at a stand; For, said she, this is the place in which my dear husband had like to have been smothered with mud. She perceived also, that, nothwithstanding the command of the King to make this place for pil. grims good, yet it was rather worse than formerly. So I asked if that was true? Yes, said the old gentleman, too true: for many there be that pretend to be the King's labourers, and that say they are for mending the
THEIR OWN CARE King's highways, and that bring dirt and WORD OP LIVE.HE dung instead of stones, and so mar, instead of mending. * Here Christiana, therefore, and her boys, MERCY THE BOLD- did make a stand : but, said Mercy,
Come, let us venture; only let us be * But instead of being what they profess, the King's labourers, Paul calls them gospel-perverters, and soul-troublers, Gal. v. 10. For, instead of preaching a free, full, and finished salvation, graciously bestowed as of free gift and by rich grace, upon poor sinners who can do nothing to entitle themselves to it, or to gain an interest in it; behold, these wretched daubers set forth salvation to sale upon certain terms and conditions which sinners are to perform and fulfil. Thus they distress the upright and sincere, and deceive the self-righteous and unwary into pride and delusion. Thus they mar, instead of mend, the way; and bring dirt and dung, instead of stones, to make the way sound and safe for pilgrims. Beware of the sophistry of free-will, selfrighteous preachers : for they only perplex the mind, and puzzle the conscience, but never make good the ground of hope, in the sinner's heart, upon the Saviour of the lost.
MERCY THE BOLDEST AT THE SLOUGH OF DESPOND.
wary. Then they looked well to their steps, and made a shift to get staggeringly over.
Yet Christiana had like to have been in, and that not once or twice. Now they had no sooner got over, but they thought they heard words that said unto them, “ Blessed is she that believeth, for there shall be a performance of what has been told her from the Lord.”
Then they went on again ; and said Mercy to Christiana, Had I as good ground to hope for a loving reception at the Wicket-gate as you, I think no Slough of Despond would discourage me. · Well, said the other, you know your sore, and I know mine; and, good friend, we shall all have enough evil before we come to our journey's end. For can it be imagined, that the people who design to attain such excellent glories as we do, and that are so envied that happiness as we are, but that we shall meet with what fears and snares, with what troubles and afflictions, they can possibly assault us with that hate us.
And now Mr. Sagacity left me to dream out my dream by myself. Wherefore, methought I saw Christiana, and Mercy, and the boys, go all of PRAYER should them up to the gate : to which when they SIDERATION AND were come, they betook themselves to a IN FÁITH AND HOPE. short debate about how they must manage their calling at the gate, and what should be said unto him that did open to them; so it was concluded, since Christiana was the eldest, that she should knock for entrance, and that she should speak to him, that did open, for the rest. So Christiana began to knock, and, as her poor husband did, she knocked and knocked again. But, instead of any that answered, they all thought that THE DOG, THE they heard as if a dog came barking upon T0
PRAYER SHOULD BE MADE WITH CON. SIDERATION AND FEAR, AS WELL AS
THE DOG, THE DEVIL, AN ENEMY TO PRAYER
n Luke i. 45.