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OUT WHEN WE ARE
both shrieked out, and cried, Murder! murder! and so put themselves under those laws that are provided for the protection of women.' But the men still made their approach upon them, with design to prevail against them. They therefore cried out again.*
Now they being, as I said, not far from the gate in It is good to cry at which they came, their voice was heard
from whence they were, thither : wherefore some of the house came out, and knowing that it
EVER was Christiana's tongue, they made haste
* to her relief. But by that they were got within sight of them, the women were in a very great scuffle: the children also stood crying by. Then did he that came in for their relief call out to the ruffians, saying, What is that thing you do? Would you make my Lord's people to transgress? He also attempted THE ILL ONES PLY to take them : but they did make their
escape over the wall into the garden of the man to whom the great dog belonged; so the dog became their protector. This Reliever then came up to the women, and asked them how they did. So they answered, We thank thy Prince, pretty well, only we
TO THE DEVIL FOR RELIEF.
v Deut. xxii. 25–27.
* Here we see, that the most violent temptation to the greatest evil is not sin, if resisted and not complied with. Our dear Lord himself was tempted in all things like as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, ye dear followers of him, don't be dejected and cast down, though you should be exercised with temptations to the blackest crimes, and the most heinous sins. You cannot be assaulted with worse than your Lord was: he was tempted to bellish unbelief, abominable idolatry, and cruel self-murder, by the devil ; but he resisted Satan, and overcame all in our nature. And he is faithful, “ who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able; but will, with the temptation also, make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it," I Cor. x. 13. Oh, then cry to him. He is the precious Reliever, who will come in the hour of distress.
TALKS TO THE
have been somewhat affrighted; we thank thee also, that thou camest in to our help, otherwise we had been overcome.
RELIEVER. So, after a few more words, this Reliever said as followeth : I marvelled much, when THE RELIEVER you were entertained at the gate above, w being ye knew that ye were but weak women, that you petitioned not the Lord for a conductor; then might you have avoided these troubles and dangers; MARK THIS! for he would have granted you one.*
Chr. Alas! said Christiana, we were so taken with our present blessing, that dangers to come were forgotten by us: beside, who could have thought, that so near the King's palace there could have lurked such naughty ones? Indeed, it had been well for us, had we asked our Lord for one; but, since our Lord knew it would be for our profit, I wonder he sent not one along with us.t
Rel. It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, lest by so doing they become WE LOSE POR NOT of little esteem ; but when the want of a ASKING POR. thing is felt, it then comes under, in the eyes of him that feels it, that estimate that properly is its due, and so consequently will be thereafter used. Had my Lord granted you a conductor, you would not either so have bewailed that oversight of yours in not asking for one, as now you have occasion to do. So all things work for good, and tend to make you more wary.*
* Let this convince us of our backwardness to prayer, and make us ashamed of ourselves, that our conduct brings that cutting word against us, “ Ye have not, because ye ask not," James iv. 2.
+ It is well to be taken with present blessings, to be joyful in them, and thankful for them; but it is wrong to forget our dangers, and grow secure. Though the Lord loves us so well as to withhold no good thing from us, yet what he does withhold, he makes to work for good unto us ; even to convict us of our remissness.
Car. Shall we go back again to my Lord, and confess our folly, and ask one?
Rel. Your confession of your folly I will present him with: to go back again, you need not, for in all places where you shall come, you shall find no want at all; for in every one of my Lord's lodgings, which he has prepared for the reception of his pilgrims, there is sufficient to furnish them against all attempts whatsoever. But, as I said, “ he will be inquired of by them, to do it for them."" And 'tis a poor thing that is not worth asking for.
When he had thus said, he went back to his place, and the pilgrims went on their way. Mer. Then said Mercy, What a sudden blank is
here! I made account that we had been
past all danger, and that we should never see sorrow more. Chr. Thy innocency, my sister, said Christiana to
Mercy, may excuse thee much; but as for
me, my fault is so much the greater, for that I saw this danger before I came out of the doors, and yet did not provide for it when provision might have been had. I am much to be blamed.t
w Ezek. xxxvi. 37. What loving, what precious reasoning is this! With what tender affection does our Lord reprove his dear people! See how kindly it works upon a pilgrim's soul. Poor Christiana was for going back to confess her folly, and make her request to her Lord. But she is forbidden, and encouraged and comforted to go on. O how does our Lord bear, and what pains does he take with us, poor awkward creatures, who are ever prone to act amiss! Let us ever think most lowly of ourselves, and most highly of him.
+ Here is the display of a truly christian spirit, in that open and ingenuous confession of her fault, taking all the blame upon hersell,
does he taked to go on. Lord. But she is
MER. Then said Mercy, How knew you this before you came from home ? Pray open to me this riddle.
Chr. Why, I will tell you.—Before I set foot out of doors, one night, as I lay in my bed, CHRISTINA'S I had a dream about this : for methought " I saw two men, as like these as ever any in the world could look, stand at my bed's feet, plotting how they might prevent my salvation. I will tell you their very words: they said, ('twas when I was in my troubles,) What shall we do with this woman? for she cries out, waking and sleeping, for forgiveness. If she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband. This, you know, might have made me take heed, and have provided when provision might have been had.
MER. Well, said Mercy, as by this neglect we have an occasion ministered unto us to behold MERCY MAKES our own imperfections, so our Lord has NEOLECT OF DUTY. taken occasion thereby to make manifest the riches of his grace ; for he, as we see, has followed us with unasked kindness, and has delivered us from their hands that were stronger than we, of his mere good pleasure.*
Thus now, when they had talked away a little more time, they drew near to a house that stood in the way,
GOOD USE OF TUEIR
exaggerating it, and excusing Mercy. This is not natural to us; for we are all prone to self-justification, and self-vindication. This is the real mark of our high spirit. But the grace of Christ humbles the heart, and silences the tongue to self-justifying pleas. O for more of this precious grace!
* Mark these phrases—the riches of his grace, and his mere good pleasure. You cannot entertain too exalted ideas of these, nor speak too highly of them. While, on the other hand, you can never see too inuch, nor speak too much, of your own imperfections. Pilgrims
GOING ON PILGRIM-
which house was built for the relief of pilgrims, as you will find more fully related in the First Part of these records of the Pilgrim's Progress. So they drew on towards the house, (the house of the Interpreter ;) and when they came to the door, they heard a great talk in
TALK IN THE IN- the house. Then they gave ear, and ABOUT CHRISTIANA's heard, as they thought, Christiana men
tioned by name; for you must know that there went along, even before her, a talk of her and her children's going on pilgrimage. And this was the most pleasing to them, because they had heard that she was Christian's wife, that woman who was, some time ago, so unwilling to hear of going on pilgrimage. Thus, therefore, they stood still, and heard the good people within commending her, who they little thought stood
18 at the door. At last Christiana knocked,
• as she had done at the gate before. Now, when she had knocked, there came to the door a young
THE DOOR 18 damsel, and opened the door, and looked, BY INNOCENT. and behold, two women were there.
Dam. Then said the damsel to them, With wbom would you speak in this place?
Chr. Christiana answered, We understand that this is a privileged place for those that are become pilgrims, and we now at this door are such ; wherefore we pray that we may be partakers of that for which we at this time are come ; for the day, as thou seest, is very far spent, and we are loath to-night to go any further.
OPENED TO THEM
should be known by their language, as well as their walk. Those who talk highly of their own perfection, speak little, if at all, of the riches of God's grace, and the good pleasure of his will. But if they do, they talk so confusedly about them, that real pilgrims cannot understand them. Beware of the infection of the pride and self-righteous leaven of such.