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days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now do little more than sit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.*
So I saw that Christian went on his way; yet, at the sight of the old man that sat at the mouth of the cave, he could not tell what to think, especially because he spoke to him, though he could not go after him, saying, You will never mend till more of you be burnt.But he held his peace, and set a good face on it; and so went by, and catched no hurt. Then sang Christian
O world of wonders ! (I can say no less,)
* Pagan darkness has been expelled from our land by the light of the glorious gospel. Romish superstition and idolatry, and all the corrupt doctrines of that church, with the pope's power and supremacy, are abolished by the blessed Reformation. O may we Protestants see our great mercies, be truly thankful to God for them, and study to walk worthy of them!
+ Our scene is changed, from popish persecution into heathenish infidelity. Though in this day we are in no danger of being burnt for the faith of Christ; yet we are exposed to cruel mockings from infidels and profane men, who despise revelation, and set at nought the glorious gospel of the grace of God, and the way of salvation by our precious Christ. His pilgrims are esteemed fools and madmen by the great, the wise, and the learned of this world, though these are the greatest fools in the sight of God.
Now, as Christian went on his way, he came to a little ascent, which was cast up on purpose that pilgrims might see before them :* up there, therefore, Christian went; and looking forward, he saw Faithful before him upon his journey. Then said Christian aloud, Ho, ho ! so-ho! stay, and I will be your companion. At that Faithful looked behind him ; to whom Christian cried again, Stay, stay, till I come up to you. But Faithful answered, No, I am upon my life, and the avenger of blood is behind me.t
At this Christian was somewhat moved, and, putting to all his strength, he quickly got up with CHRISTIAN OVERFaithful, and did also overrun him; so the TAKE last was first. Then did Christian vaingloriously smile, because he had gotten the start of his brother; but not taking good heed to his feet, he suddenly stumbled and fell, and could not rise again, until Faithful came up to help him.
Then I saw in my dream, they went very lovingly on together, and had sweet discourse of all things that had happened to them in their pilgrimage ; and thus Christian began.
Chr. My honoured and well-beloved brother Faithful, I am glad that I have overtaken you, and that God has
CHRISTIAN OVERTAKES FAITHFUL.
CHRISTIAN'S FALL MAKES FAITHFUL AND HE GO LOVINGLY TOGETHER,
* The Lord cares for his people : he has cast up, by his word and promises, many a little hill of prospect and comfort in their way, that they may look forward with pleasure and delight.
+ It is good to beware and to be jealous of what company we fall into. Many have joined hurtful professors, instead of profitable pilgrims.
How soon doth spiritual pride show its cursed head, at thinking we have outstripped another. Then danger is near; a fall is at hand, to humble us. The very person's hand we need, to help us, whom we thought we had exceeded.
soon doth spürther. Then, da we need to
THEIR TALK ABOUT THE COUNTRY FROM
so tempered our spirits,* that we can walk as companions in this so pleasant a path.
Faith. I had thought, dear friend, to have had your company quite from our town, but you did get the start of me; wherefore I was forced to come thus much of the way alone.
Chr. How long did you stay in the city of Destruction, before you set out after me on your pilgrimage ?
Faith. Till I could stay no longer ;t for there was a THEIR TALK ABOUT great talk presently after you were gone WRENCE tuercame. out, that our city would in a short time, with fire from heaven, be burned down to the ground.
Chr. What! did your neighbours talk so ?
Faith. Yes, it was for a while in every body's mouth.
Chr. What! and did no more of them but you come out to escape the danger ?
Faith. Though there was, as I said, a great talk thereabout, yet I do not think they did firmly believe it ; for, in the heat of the discourse, I heard some of them deridingly speak of you and of your desperate journey, (for so they called this your pilgrimage.) But I did believe, and do still, that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above; and therefore I have made my escape.
* Two cannot walk together, except they are agreed that they are poor miserable sinners; that Christ is a precious Saviour; and that they both alike expect salvation and eternal life from him only.
+ This is the case with every pilgrim. From the powerful convictions which he has from above, of his state and danger, he is urged by necessity to flee from the wrath to come. It is not in the day of man's free-will, but in the day of Christ's power, that any soul becomes a stranger and pilgrim. Therefore, O Christian, give Christ and free grace all the glory of your setting your face Zionward. Every step you take, remember what a debtor you are to God's grace.
ACCOUNTED OF WHEN
Chr. Did you hear no talk of neighbour Pliable ? Faith. Yes, Christian, I heard that he followed you
of Despond, where, as some said, he fell in ; but he would not be known to have so done ; but I am sure he was soundly bedabbled with that kind of dirt.
CHR. And what said the neighbours to him?
Faith. He hath, since his going back, been had greatly in derision, and that among all HOW PLIABLE WAS sorts of people: some do mock and despise he got home. him, and scarce will any set him on work. He is now seven times worse than if he had never gone out of the city.
CHR. But why should they be so set against him, since they also despise the way that he forsook ?
Faith. Oh, they say, Hang him; he is a turncoat; he was not true to his profession! I think God has stirred up even his enemies to hiss at him, and make him a proverb, because he hath forsaken the way."
Chr. Had you no talk with him before you came out ?
Faith. I met him once in the streets, but he leered away on the other side, as one ashamed of what he had done: so I spake not to him.*
Chr. Well, at my first setting out I had hopes of that man; but now I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the city. For it has happened to him according to the true proverb, “ The dog is turned to THE DOG AND sow. his vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
u Jer. xxix. 18, 19. v 2 Pet. ii. 22. * Apostates from the profession of Christ cannot look the followers of Christ boldly in the face : some convictions will follow them, till their hearts are hardened, and their conscience seared.
ED BY WANTON.
Faith. These are my fears of him too: but who can hinder that which will be ?
Chr. Well, neighbour Faithful, said Christian, let us leave him, and talk of things that more immediately concern ourselves. Tell me now what you have met with in the way as you came; for I know you have met with some things, or else it may be writ for a wonder.
Faith. I escaped the slough that I perceived you fell into, and got up to the gate without that danger ;* only FAITHFUL ASSAULT. I met with one whose name was Wanton,
that had like to have done me a mischief. Car. It was well you escaped her net: Joseph was hard put to it by her, and he escaped her as you did; but it had like to have cost him his life. But what did she do to you?
Faith. You cannot think, but that you know something, what a flattering tongue she had; she lay at me hard to turn aside with her, promising me all manner of content.t
Chr. Nay, she did not promise you the content of a good conscience.
Faith. You know that I mean all carnal and fleshly content.
Chr. Thank God you have escaped her : “ the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into the ditch.''x
w Gen. xxxix. 11–13.
Prov. xxii. 14.
* Though no sinner will flee from the wrath to come, to Christ for salvation, till the Spirit has convinced of sin, and deserved wrath and destruction : yet all do not fall under the like dreadful despondency of soul at first setting out.
+ Fleshly lusts will plead hard, and promise fair. Happy to look to the Lord for power against them, and to eye his precious promises, that we may escape them.