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such poor women as we are? Then she turned it into a song, saying
Now then you three hang there, and be a sign
That unto holiness opposers are. Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of the hill Difficulty, * where again the good Mr. Great-heart took an occasion to tell them what happened there when Christian himself went by. So he had them first to the spring. Lo, said he, this is the spring that Christian drank of before he went up this
hill; and then it was clear and good, but
now it is dirty with the feet of some, that are not desirous that pilgrims here should quench their thirst. Thereat Mercy said, And why so envious, trow? But said their guide, It will do, if taken up and put into a vessel that is sweet and good; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear. Thus, therefore, Christiana and her companions were compelled to do. They took it up, and put it into an earthen pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom, and then they drank thereof.
IT IS DIFFICULT OETTING OP GOOD DOCTRINE IN ERION ROUS TIMES.
e Ezek. xxxiv. 18.
This hill Difficulty may signify, how hard it is to abide by Christ, cleave to him, and continue to hold fast the truth as it is him, when surrounded by errors and heresies on every side, and temptations and lusts are continually springing up from within us. But, looking to Jesus, and praying him to keep us, is the way of safety, though the hill be ever so difficult to us.
+ This represents to us, that some preachers, as the prophet says, soil the water with their feet, Ezek. xxxiv. 18. that is, though they
THE PATHS, THOUGH
Next he showed them the two by-ways that were at the foot of the hill, where Formality and Hypocrisy lost themselves. And, said he, these are dangerous paths : two were here cast away when Christian came by. And although, as you see, these ways are since stopped up with chains, posts, and a ditch, yet there are those that will choose to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this hill.
Chr. “ The way of transgressors is hard :" it is a wonder that they can get into these ways without danger of breaking their necks.
GREAT. They will venture; yea, if at any time any of the King's servants doth happen to see them, and doth call upon them, and tell them that they are in the wrong way, and do bid them beware of the danger, then they railingly return them answer, and say, “ As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the King, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own mouth.” Nay, if you look a little further, you shall see that these ways are made cautionary enough, not only by these posts, and ditch, and chain, but also by being hedged up; yet they will choose to go there.*
preach somewhat about Christ, and salvation by him; yet they so clog, mire, and pollute the stream of free-grace, with pre-requisites, terms, and conditions, &c. that a poor, thirsty soul cannot drink the water, nor allay his thirst with it; but is forced to let it stand, till these gross dregs sink to the bottom. Yea, we ought to beware of drinking such filthy dregs, for they will certainly swell us up with the tympany of pride of our free-will, human merit, and self-righteousness, which oppose the glory of Jesus and the comfort of our souls.
• Examine—which do you like best, self-soothing or soul-searching doctrine ? Formalists and hypocrites love the former, and hate the latter. But the sincere and upright are discovered, by desiring to have their hearts searched to the quick, and their ways tried to the uttermost,
THE REASON WHY SOME DO CHOOSE TO GO IX BY-WAYS.
Chr. They are idle; they love not to take pains ;
up-hill way is unpleasant to them. So it
is fulfilled unto them as it is written, “ The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns." Yea, they will rather choose to walk upon a snare, than to go up this hill, and the rest of this way to the City. Then they set forward, and began to go up the hill,
and up the hill they went; but before
they got to the top, Christiana began to pant, and said, I dare say this is a breathing hill; no marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls choose to themselves a smoother way. Then said Mercy, I must sit down ; also the least of the children began to cry. Come, come, said Great-heart, sit not down here, for a little above is the Prince's arbour. Then he took the little boy by the hand, and led him
TIIE HILL PI'TS THE PILGRIMS TO IT,
HEY SIT IN THE
When they were come to the arbour, they were very
willing to sit down, for they were all in a pelting heat.
Then said Mercy, How sweet is rest to them that labour! And how good is the Prince of pilgrims, to provide such resting-places for them! Of this arbour I have heard much; but I never saw it before. But here let us beware of sleeping ; for as I have heard, it cost poor Christian dear.
h Prov. xv. 19.
i Matt. xi. 28.
and therefore with David will cry, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24.
* He who is a stranger to the hard work of self-denial, and how difficult it is to the flesh, knows not what this hill Difficulty means: for the nearer to the arbour of Jesus's rest, the more difficulties in the way; but the sweeter it is when attained.
THE LITTLE BOY'S
Then said Mr. Great-heart to the little ones, Come, my pretty boys, how do you do? What think you now of going on pilgrimage ? Sir, said the least, I was almost beat out of heart; but I thank you for lending me a hand at my need. And I remember now what my mother hath told me, namely, that the way to heaven is as a ladder, and the way to hell is as down a hill. But I had rather go up the ladder to life, than down the hill to death.
Then said Mercy, But the proverb is, “ To go down the hill is easy.'
But James said, (for that was his name,) The day is coming, when, in my opinion, going down the hill will be the hardest of all. 'Tis a good boy, said his master; thou hast given her a right answer. Then Mercy smiled, but the little boy did blush.*
Come, said Christiana, will you eat a bit, to sweeten your mouths, while you sit here to rest
your legs ? For I have here a piece of pomegranate, which Mr. Interpreter put into my hand just when I came out of his door; he gave me also a piece of an honeycomb, and a little bottle of spirits.
I thought he gave you something, said Mercy, because he called
aside. Yes, so he did, said the other. But, said Christiana, it shall be still as I said it should, when at first we came from home; thou shalt be a sharer in all the good that I have, because thou so willingly didst become my companion.
THEY REFRESHI THEMSELVES.
* That is right; when we are praised, to have a conscious blush, well knowing how much we have to be ashamed of. But some have got such a vain confidence in, and high opinion of, their own inherent righteousness, merits, and perfection, that they have thereby got, what the scripture calls, a whore's forehead, and refuse to be ashamed, Jer. iii. 3. O cry to the Lord continually against spiritual pride, and for a humble heart, knowing thyself to be a poor sinner.
Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both Mercy and the boys. And said Christiana to Mr. Great-heart, Sir, will you do as we? But he answered, You are going on pilgrimage, and presently I shall return : much good may what you have do you! At home I eat the same every day.
Now when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their guide said to them, The day wears away;
you think good, let us prepare to be going. So they got up to go, and the little boys went before; CHRISTIANA FOR: but Christiana forgot to take her bottle of
spirits with her, so she sent her little boy back to fetch it. Then said Mercy, I think this is a losing place. Here Christian lost his roll; and here Christiana left her bottle behind her. Sir, what is the cause of this? So their guide made answer, and said, The cause is sleep, or forgetfulness: some sleep when they should keep awake, and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause why often, at the resting-places, some pilgrims in some things come off losers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoy
ments; but for want of doing so, ostentimes their rejoicing ends in tears, and their sunshine in a cloud ;—witness the story of Christian at this place.
When they were come to the place where Mistrust and Timorous met Christian to persuade him to go
back for fear of the lions, they perceived as it were a stage,
MARK THIS !
* Reader, mind this well: remember it often; and it will do thee good. I am a witness against myself, of how much I have lost by indulging the flesh, and how much I have suffered by forgetfulness. But oh what a gracious Lord do we serve ! this is no excuse for our folly, but an aggravation of our faults-ought to sink us lower in shame, and excite us to greater care, diligence, and watchfulness: else we shall surely smart for our folly, if not in hell, yet in our consciences.