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HER COMPANIONS
PERPLEXED ABOUT
PRAYER

them; a dog, and a great one too: and this made the women and children afraid. Nor durst they for a while to knock any more, for fear the mastiff should fly upon them. Now therefore they were greatly tumbled up and down in their minds, and knew not what to do: knock they durst not, for fear of the dog; go back they CHRISTIANA AND durst not, for fear the keeper of that gate

should espy them as they so went, and should be offended with them : at last they thought of knocking again, and knocked more vehemently than they did at first. Then said the keeper of the gate, Who is there ? So the dog left off to bark, and he opened unto them.*

Then Christiana made low obeisance, and said, Let not our Lord be offended with his handmaidens, for that we have knocked at his princely gate. Then said the keeper, Whence come ye? and what is it that you would have ?

Christiana answered, We are come from whence Christian did come, and upon the same errand as he; to wit, to be, if it shall please you, graciously admitted, by this gate, into the way that leads into the Celestial City. And I answer, my Lord, in the next place, that I am Christiana, once the wife of Christian, that now is gotten above.

With that the keeper of the gate did marvel, saying, What, is she now become a pilgrim, that but a while

* No sooner does a poor sinner open his lips in prayer to Jesus, but the devil will bark and roar at him, and by all means try to terrify and discourage him. Do you find this ? What is our remedy against this ? Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James iv. 7. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you, James iv. 8. O ever remember our dear Lord's word, Men should pray always, and not faint, Luke xviii. 1.

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ago abhorred that life? Then she bowed her head, and said, Yea; and so are these my sweet babes also.

Then he took her by the hand, and led her in, and said also, “Suffer little children to HOW CHRISTIANA come unto me;" and with that he shut THE GATE. up the gate. This done, he called to a trumpeter that was above, over the gate, to entertain Christiana with shouting and sound of trumpet, for joy. So he obeyed, and sounded, and filled the air with his melodious notes.

Now all this while poor Mercy did stand without, trembling and crying, for fear that she was rejected. But when Christiana had got admittance for herself and her boys, then she began to make intercession for Mercy.

And she said, My Lord, I have a companion of mine that stands yet without, that is come hither CHRISTIANA'S upon the same account as myself; one that PRIEND MERCY. is much dejected in her mind, for that she comes, as she thinks, without sending for; whereas I was sent for by my husband's King to come.

Now Mercy began to be very impatient, and each minute was as long to her as an hour; DELAYS MAKE THE wherefore she prevented Christiana from THE PERVENTER. a fuller interceding for her, by knocking at the gate herself. And she knocked then so loud, that she made Christiana to start. Then said the keeper of the gate, Who is there ? And Christiana said, It is my friend.

So he opened the gate, and looked out, but Mercy was fallen down without in a swoon, for MERCY PAINTS. she fainted, and was afraid that no gate should be opened to her.

PRAYER FOR HER
PRIEND MERCY.

HUNGERING

SOUL

Then he took her by the hand, and said, Damsel, I bid thee arise.

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O sir, said she, I am faint; there is scarce life left in me. But he answered, that one once said, “ When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came unto thee, into thy holy temple." Fear not, but stand upon thy feet, and tell me wherefore thou art come.

MER. I am come for that unto which I was never invited, as my friend Christiana was. Her's was from the King, and mine was but from her. Wherefore I fear I presume.*

o Jonah ii. 7. * Mercy's case is not singular. Many have set out just as she did, and have been discouraged by the same reason as she was. Some are wrought on by one means, and some by another. She, as many have

Good. Did she desire thee to come with her to this place?

MER.. Yes; and, as my Lord sees, I am come: and if there is any grace and forgiveness of sins to spare, I beseech that thy poor handmaid may be a partaker thereof.

Then he took her again by the hand, and led her gently in, and said, I pray for all them that believe on me, by what means soever they come unto me. Then said he to those that stood by, Fetch something, and give it to Mercy to smell on, thereby to stay her faintings. So they fetched her a bundle of myrrh, and a while after she was revived.

And now were Christiana and her boys, and Mercy, received of the Lord at the head of the way, and spoke kindly unto by bim. Then said they yet further unto him, We are sorry for our sins, and beg of our Lord his pardon, and further information what we must do.

I grant pardon, said he, by word and deed : by word, in the promise of forgiveness ; by deed, in the way I obtained it. Take the first from my lips with a kiss, and the other as it shall be revealed.

p Song i. 13. q John xx. 20. been, was encouraged to set out in the ways of the Lord by her neighbour and friend. Hence she, as many others also, have thought there was no cause to conclude that she was effectually called by the Lord, but it was only the effect of human power, or moral suasion, and therefore doubted and fainted lest she should not meet with acceptance. But her very doubts, fears, and distress proved the earnestness of her heart, and the desire of her soul after the Saviour; and also, that his attracting love and gracious power had a hand in the work. Well therefore might Mr. Bunyan call upon his readers, at her gracious reception by Christ—Mark this, ye poor doubting, fearing, trembling souls, who are halting every step, and fearing you have not set out aright, hear what Christ's angel said, and be not discouraged, “ Fear not, for ye seek Jesus," Matt. xxviii. 5.

CHRIST CRUCIYIED

SEEN AFAR OPP.

TALK BETWEEN THE CHRISTIAXS.

Now I saw in my dream, that he spake many good words unto them, whereby they were greatly gladded.

IFIED He also had them up to the top of the

*. gate, and showed them by what deed they were saved; and told them withal, that that sight they would have again as they went along in the way, to their comfort. So he left them a while in a summer parlour below,

Ey where they entered into talk by themselves;

STIANS. and thus Christiana began : O Lord, how glad am I that we are got in hither!

MER. So you well may: but I of all have cause to leap for joy.

Chr. I thought one time, as I stood at the gate, (because I had knocked, and none did answer,) that all our labour had been lost, especially when that ugly cur made such a heavy barking against us.*

Mer. But my worst fear was, after I saw that you was taken into his favour, and that I was left behind. Now, thought I, it is fulfilled which is written, “ Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left," I had much ado to forbear crying out, Undone !t And afraid I was to knock any more: but, when I looked up to what was written

WOL

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* The devil often barks most at us, and brings his heaviest accusations against us, when peace, comfort, and salvation are nearest to us.

“ Press on, nor fear to win the day,

Though death and hell obstruct the way." + See what proper use a gracious soul makes of the doctrine of · election. Here is no replying against God; no calling in question

his sovereign' right to receive or to reject. No: all that this poor humble heart thought, Now is fulfilled what is written, “One shall be taken, and the other left." If so, what had she to say ? No impeachment of the Lord's dealings; but only, I am undone! But yet, on

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