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it began to be the town-talk in some other places,) — Mr. Worldly Wiseman, therefore, having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by observing his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.
WORLD. How now, good fellow, whither
away after this burdened manner ? Chr. A burdened manner indeed, as ever I think poor creature had! And whereas you ask me, Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to yonder wicketgate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.
World. Hast thou a wife and children ?
Chr. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly: methinks I am as if I had none.
World. Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel ?
Chr. If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.
WORLD. I would advise thee, then, that thou with WORLDLY WISE: all speed get thyself rid of thy burden ; for
thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then : nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessings which God hath bestowed upon thee, till then.
Chr. That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden: but get it off myself I cannot ; nor is there any man in our country that can take it off my shoulders; therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.*
ci Cor. vü, 29.
A glimpse of the wicket-gate, or of deliverance from the guilt of sin by Christ, will make the sinner reject all other ways, and press on towards Christ only.
MR. WORLDLY WISI YA CON GELIST'S COUN
World. Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burdeu ?
Chr. A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person : his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.
WORLD. I beshrew him for his counsel! there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that into which he hath directed DEMNETH EVANthee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt Skt. be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something, as I perceive, already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee: but that slongh is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me; I am older than thou: thou art like to meet with, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not. These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving lieed to a stranger ?
Chr. Why, sir, this birden upon my back is more terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned: nay, metlinks I care not what I meet with in the way, ,
if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.*
World. How camest thou by thy burden at first ?
World. I thought so ;t and it is happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions ;
THE FRAME OF THE HEART OF A YOUNG CHRISTIAN.
* Such is the frame of the heart of a young Christian.
+ Mr. Worldly-Wiseman does not like that men should be serious in reading the Bible.
HE DOES NOT LIKE THAT YEN SHOULD BE SERIOUS IN READING THE BIBLE.
which distractions do not only unman men, as thine I perceive have done thee, but they
run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.
Chr. I know what I would obtain ; it is ease from my heavy burden.
World. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it ? especially since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that, instead of those dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.
Chr. Sir, I pray open this secret to me.
World. Why, in yonder village (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of a very
good name, that has skill to help men off
with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders; yea, to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; ay, and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens.* To him, as I said, thou mayst go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is
HE PREFERS MORALITY BEPORE THE STRAIT-GATE.
* Mr. Worldly Wiseman prefers Morality to Christ the strait-gate. This is the exact reasoning of the flesh. Carnal reason ever opposes spiritual truth. The notion of justification by our own obedience to God's law, ever works in us, contrary to the way of justification by the obedience of Christ. Self-righteousness is as contrary to the faith of Christ, as indulging the lusts of the flesh. The former is the white devil of pride, the latter the black devil of rebellion and disobedience. See the awful consequences of listening to the reasonings of the flesh!
CHRISTIAN NARED BY MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN'S WORDS.
Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden ; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, (as indeed I would not wish thee,) thou mayst send for thy wife and children to thee to this village, where there are houses now stand empty, one of which thou mayst have at a reasonable rate : provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy is, to be sure there thou shalt live by honest neighbours, in credit and good fashion.
Now was Christian somewhat at a stand ; but presently he concluded, If this be true which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice: and with that he thus farther spake.
Chr. Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house ?
World. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his.
So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for help:* but, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next on 116 HEAD. the way-side did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and wotted not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to
CHRISTIAN APRAID THAT MOUNT SINAI WOULD FALL
And a sad turn it proved to him ; for he turned from the work of Christ, for his salvation, to his own works and obedience; so did the Galatians of old. Mark the consequence : Christian is afraid that Mount Sinai (all the dreadful curses of the law) would fall on his head. Exod. xix. 18.
him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burnt :d here therefore he did sweat, and quake for fear. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel ; and with that he saw Evangelist* coming to meet him, at the sight BXANCELIST also of whom he began to blush for shame.
So Evangelist drew nearer and nearer; and coming up to him, he looked upon him with a severe and dreadful countenance, and thus began to reason with Christian.
Evan. What dost thou here, Christian ? said he : at which words Christian knew not what to answer; where
d Exod. xix. 16-18. Heb. xii. 21.
* Evangelist findeth Christian under Mount Sinai, and looketh severely upon him. See the effects of disobeying the Gospel !