« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
at the bottom of which was a spring. There were also in the same place two other ways, besides that which came straight from the gate: one turned to the left hand, and the other to the right, at the bottom of the hill; but the narrow way lay right up the hill, and the name of the going up the side of the hill is called Difficulty. Christian now went to the spring, and drank thereof to refresh himself, and then he began to go up the hill, saying,
“ The hill, though high, I covet to ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend;
The other two also came to the foot of the hill, but when they saw that the hill was steep and high, and that there were two other ways to go; and supposing also that these two ways might meet again with that up which Christian went, on the other side of the hill ; therefore they were resolved to go in those ways. Now the name of one of those ways was Danger, and the name of the other Destruction. So the one took the THE DANGER OF way which is called Danger, which led
him into a great wood; and the other took directly up the way to Destruction, which led him into a wide field, full of dark mountains, where he stumbled and fell, and rose no more.
q Isaiah xlix. 10–12. * Depend on it, pilgrim, some great blessing is at hand, when thou hast some great difficulty to grapple with and to overcome.
+ Formalists and hypocrites, as they come easily into the way of profession, without any convictions of sin to cause them to fly to Christ the wicket-gate, so they find the easiest path to flesh and blood, and perish in the end.
TURNING OUT OF
I looked then after Christian, to see him go up the hill, where I perceived he fell from running to going, and from going to clambering upon his hands and his knees, because of the steepness of the place. Now about the midway to the top of the hill was a pleasant arbour, made by the Lord of the hill, for Award OF GRACE. the refreshment of weary travellers. Thither, therefore, Christian got, where also he sat down to rest him : then he pulled his roll out of his bosom, and read therein to his comfort; he also now began afresh to take a review of the coat or garment that was given to him as he stood by the cross. Thus pleasing himself a while, he at last fell into a slumber, and thence into a fast sleep, which detained him in that place until it was almost night; and in his sleep his roll fell out of his hand.* Now, as he was sleeping, there 18 A LOS! came one to him, and awaked him, saying, “ Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise."" And with that, Christian suddenly started up, and sped him on his way, and went apace till he came to the top of the hill.t
Now when he was got up to the top of the hill, there came two men running amain; the name of the one
HE THAT SLEEPS
Prov. vi. 6. * Happy for Christian that he did not fall into the dream of his own sinless perfection, so as to take up with a fool's paradise; nor get into antinomian notions, so as to sleep in a false security without his roll. The best of blessings, even spiritual comforts from the God of grace, are, through the infection of our nature, liable to be abused, so as to cause us to sleep when we should be active and diligent in running the heavenly race, looking unto Jesus,
+ The Lord loves his people too well to let them sleep the sleep of death; though he may suffer them to sleep to the loss of their comfort: this is great grief and distress to their souls.
WITA MISTRUST AND
CHRISTIAN MEETS was Timorous,* and of the other Mistrust :
to whom Christian said, Sirs, what's the matter? you run the wrong way. Timorous answered, That they were going to the city of Zion, and had got up that difficult place: but, said he, the farther we go, the more danger we meet with, wherefore we turned, and are going back again.
Yes, said Mistrust, for just before us lie a couple of lions in the way, whether sleeping or waking we know not; and we could not think, if we came within reach, but they would presently pull us in pieces.
Chr. Then said Christian, You make me afraid ; but whither shall I fly to be safe? If I go back to mine own country, that is prepared for fire and brimstone, and I shall certainly perish there; if I can get to the celestial city, I am sure to be in safety there:t I must CHRISTIAN SKAKES venture. To go back is nothing but death ;
to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it: I will yet go forward. So Mistrust and Timorous ran down the hill, and Christian went on his way. But thinking again of what he had heard from the men, he felt in his bosom for his roll, that he
* Timorous and Mistrust are great enemies to the Christian's faith, and bring up an evil report of his way. Listen not to them, but look to God's truth and faithfulness : rely on his precious promises, and have your feet shod with the gospel of peace. Who or what shall harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good ?
+ Christian shakes off fear, by sound scriptural reasoning; even the reasoning of faith, against the fear of the flesh, and mistrust or unbelief. We have always a sure word of prophecy, whereunto we shall do well to take heed. When dangers beset, and fears assault, remember whose ye are, and whom ye serve : look to the way you are in, and to the end of your faith, even the salvation of your soul. Study the word of God, and obey it.
CHRISTIAN MISSES HIS ROLL, WHEREIN
HE IS PERPLEXED FOR HIS ROLL.
might read therein and be comforted: but he felt, and found it not. Then was Chris- ue used to be comtian in great distress, and knew not what to do; for he wanted that which used to relieve him, and that which should have been his pass into the celestial city. Here, therefore, he began to be much perplexed,* and knew not what to do. At last be bethought himself that he had slept For in the arbour that is on the side of the bill; and, falling down upon his knees, he asked God forgiveness for that foolish fact, and then went back to look for his roll. But all the way he went back, who can sufficiently set forth the sorrow of Christian's heart ? Sometimes he sighed, sometimes he wept, and oftentimes he chid himself for being so foolish to fall asleep in that place, which was erected only for a little refreshment for his weariness. Thus, therefore, he went back, carefully looking on this side and on that, all the way as he went, if happily he might find his roll, that had been his comfort so many times in his journey. He went thus till he came again within sight of the arbour where he sat and slept ; but that sight renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his evil of CHRISTIAN BEsleeping into his mind.f Thus, therefore, sleeping.
WAILS INIS FOOLISH
* He is perplexed for his roll: this is right. If we suffer spiritual loss, and are easy and unconcerned about it, it is a sad sign that we indulge carnal security and vain confidence. Many go on so, till they sink into a downright antinomian spirit. O beware of this; for many, who abhor the name, yet have drunk into the spirit of it, and hence live and walk without spiritual communion with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and rest contented without the witness of the Spirit with their spirits, that they are the children of God.
+ Look to your spirits, Christian. See if you have not aftersorrow for former indulgences. But it is far better to be crying, “O wretched man that I am," than to be alive to carual confidence, and dead to the desire of spiritual comforts.
he now went on, bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, O wretched man that I am ! that I should sleep in the day-time !that I should sleep in the midst of difficulty ! that I should so indulge the flesh, as to use that rest for ease to my flesh, which the Lord of the hill hath erected only for the relief of the spirits of pilgrims ! How many steps have I taken in vain! Thus it happened to Israel ; for their sin they were sent back again by the way of the Red Sea ; and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful sleep. How far might I have been on my way by this time! I am made to tread those steps thrice over, which I needed not to have trod but once: yea, now also I am like to be benighted, for the day is almost spent. O that I had not slept !
Now by this time he was come to the arbour again, christian PIND- where for a while he sat down and wept; WHERE HE LOST IT. but at last, (as Providence would have it) looking sorrowfully down under the settle, there he espied his roll, the which he with trembling and haste catched up and put into his bosom. But who can tell how joyful this man was when he had gotten his roll again! For this roll was the assurance of his life, and acceptance at the desired haven. Therefore he laid it up in his bosom, gave thanks to God for directing his eye to the place where it lay, and with joy and tears betook himself again to his journey.* But, О how nimbly did he go up the rest of the hill! Yet before
ETH HIS ROLL
s 1 Thess. v. 7,8. Rev. ii. 4, 5.
* This means a fresh sense of the love and power of God, and joy in the Holy Ghost, through faith in Christ Jesus. Mind with what alacrity and speed Pilgrim now pursues his journey. Oh, this rich blessing of assurance is not enough prized, and is too little sought for by professors ! But how can any be content without it? It is impossible