Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

and benighted, he asked me if he might lodge here to-night: so I told him I would call for thee, who, after discourse had with him, mayest do as seemeth thee good, even according to the law of the house.

Then she asked him whence he was, and whither he was going ? and he told her. She asked him also, how he got into the way ? and he told her. Then she asked him what he had seen and met with in the way? and he told her. And at last she asked his name? So he said, It is Christian; and I have so much the more a desire to lodge here to-night, because, by what I perceive, this place was built by the Lord of the hill for the relief and security of pilgrims. So she smiled, but the water stood in her eyes; and after a little pause she said, I will call forth two or three more of the family. So she ran to the door, and called out Prudence, Piety, and Charity, who, after a little more discourse with him, had him into the family; and many of them meeting him at the threshold of the house, said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; this house was built by the Lord of the hill, on purpose to entertain such pilgrims in. Then he bowed his head, and followed them into the house. So when he was come in and sat down, they gave him something to drink, and consented together that, until supper was ready, some of them should have some particular discourse with Christian, for the best improvement of time; and they appointed Piety, Prudence, and Charity to discourse with him : and thus they began.*

Piety. Come, good Christian, since we have been PLETY DISCOURSES so loving to you to receive you into our

house this night, let us, if perhaps we * The blessedness of savoury, experimental conversation with fellow-pilgrims.

WITH HIM.

HOW CHRISTIAN WAS DRIVEN OUT OP

[ocr errors]

may better ourselves thereby, talk with you of all things that have happened to you in your pilgrimage.

CAR. With a very good will; and I am glad that you are so well disposed.

Piety. What moved you at first to betake yourself to a pilgrim's life?

Chr. I was driven out of my native country by a dreadful sound that was in mine ears; How christian to wit, that unavoidable destruction did u18 own country. attend me, if I abode in that place where I was.

Piety. But how did it happen that you came out of your country this way?

Chr. It was as God would have it; for when I was under the fears of destruction, I did not know whither to go; but by chance there came a man, HOW HE GOT INTO even to me, as I was trembling and weep-* ing, whose name is Evangelist, and he directed me to the Wicket-gate, which else I should never have found, and so set me into the way that hath led me directly to this house.

Piety. But did you not come by the house of the Interpreter ?

Chr. Yes, and did see such things there, the remembrance of which will stick by me as long A REHEARSAL OP as I live, especially three things; to wit, THE WAY. how Christ, in despite of Satan, maintains his work of grace in the heart; how the man had sinned himself quite out of hopes of God's mercy, and also the dream of him that thought in his sleep the day of judgment was come.*

Piety. Why, did you hear him tell his dream ?

WHAT HE SAW IN

* Hope and fear should accompany is every step of our journey. Without true piety there can be no real Christianity. The Lord shows us many things in our way concerning the cases of others, to

Chr. Yes, and a dreadful one it was, I thought; it made my heart ache as he was telling of it, but yet I am glad I heard it.

Piety. Was this all you saw at the house of the Interpreter ?

Chr. No; he took me, and had me where he showed me a stately palace, and how the people were clad in gold that were in it; and how there came a venturous man, and cut his way through the armed men that stood in the door to keep him out; and how he was bid to come in, and win eternal glory. Methought those things did ravish my heart. I would have stayed at that good man's house a twelvemonth, but that I knew I had farther to go.

Piety. And what saw you else in the way?

CAR. Saw? Why, I went but a little farther, and I saw one, as I thought in my mind, hang bleeding upon a tree; and the very sight of him made my burden fall off my back; for I groaned under a very heavy burden, but then it fell down from off me. It was a strange thing to me, for I never saw such a thing before : yea, and while I stood looking up, (for then I could not forbear looking,) three shining ones came to me. One of them testified that my sins were forgiven me; another stripped me of my rags, and gave me this broidered coat which you see ; and the third set the mark which you see in my forehead, and gave me this sealed roll, (and with that he plucked it out of his bosom.)* make us fear falling away; while he displays the glory of his grace in keeping his saints, to animate our hope on his power, and trust in his grace. Look unto Jesus.

* A blessed scripture-experience of what the Lord had done for his soul : quite necessary for every one, before admission into a church of Christ. For want of this, many who are joined, prove of

[ocr errors]

Piety. But you saw more than this, did you not ?

Chr. The things that I have told you were the best; yet some other matters I saw, as, namely, I saw three men, Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, lie asleep, a little out of the way as I came, with irons upon their heels; but do you think I could awake them? I also saw Formality and Hypocrisy come tumbling over the wall, to go, as they pretended, to Zion; but they were quickly lost, even as I myself did tell them, but they would not believe. But, above all, I found it hard work to get up this hill, and as hard to come by the lions' mouths; and truly, if it had not been for the good man the Porter, that stands at the gate, I do not know but that, after all, I might have gone back again : but I thank God I am here, and I thank you for receiving of me.

Then Prudence thought good to ask him a few questions, and desired his answer to them.

Pru. Do you not think sometimes of the country from whence you came ?

Chr. Yes, but with much shame and detestation ; truly, if I had been mindful of that coun- CHRISTIAN'S try from whence I came out, I might have native country. had opportunity to have returned; but now I desire a better country, that is an heavenly."

Pru. Do you not yet bear away with you some of the things that then you were conversant withal ?*

v Heb. xi. 15, 16. no profit to other souls, and get no good to their own. A mere profession of Christ, without an experience of his love, grace, and peace being sealed upon the heart by the Spirit the Comforter, is nothing but empty speculation.

* Prudence must be joined to piety. Christian prudence should be visible in every step of the Christian ; for, says Solomon, “I wisdom dwell with prudence,” Prov. viii. 12, and “ the wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,” xiv. 8. His path is peace, and his end salvation.

PRUDENCE DIScoURSES WITH HIM.

THOUGHTS OF HIS

TASTED WITH CAR-
NAL COGITATIONS.

HOURS.

Chr. Yes, but greatly against my will; especially CHRISTIAN DIs- my inward and carnal cogitations, with NAL COGITATions. which all my countrymen, as well as myself, were delighted; but now all those things are my grief; and might I but choose mine own things, I would canistian's choice. choose never to think of those things more; but when I would be a doing of that which is best, that which is worst is with me."

Pru. Do you not find sometimes as if those things were vanquished, which at other times are your perplexity ?

Chr. Yes, but that is but seldom ; but they are to CHRISTIAN'S GOLDEN me golden hours in which such things

happen to me. Pru. Can you remember by what means you find your annoyances at times as if they were vanquished ? Chr. Yes: when I think what I saw at the cross,

... that will do it; and when I look upon my OETS. POWER b roidered coat, that will do it; and when

I look into the roll that I carry in my bosom, that will do it; and when my thoughts wax warm about whither I am going, that will do it.*

PRU. And what is it that makes you so desirous to go to Mount Zion ?

Chr. Why, there I hope to see him alive that did WHY Christian hang dead on the cross; and there I hope

to be rid of all those things that to this day are in me an annoyance to me: there they say

HOW CHRISTIAN GETS POWER AGAINST HIS CORRUPTIONS

[ocr errors]

WOULD BE AT MOUNT 210X

w Rom. vii. 21.

* Mind this. By believing his pardon by the blood—his justification by the righteousness of Christ—the free, everlasting love of God to him, by the witness of his Spirit—and the glory of heaven to which he is going—are what strengthen the Christian's heart against all his lusts and corruptions.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »