Gambar halaman

'I have heard of; and, as I remember, they say, it is a wealthy place.

By-ends : 'Yes, I will assure you that it is, and I have very many rich kindred there.'

Christian : ‘Pray, who are your kindred there ? if a man may be so bold.'

By-ends : ‘Almost the whole town; and in particular, my Lord Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech (from whose ancestors that town first took its name), also Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facingboth-ways, Mr. Any-thing; and the parson of our parish, Mr. Two-tongues, was my own brother by my father's side ; and, to tell you the truth, I am become a gentleman of good quality, yet my great-grandfather was but a waterman, looking one way and rowing another, and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.'”

Bunyan's admiration of the soldierly qualities in man comes out in what we are told of Valiant-forTruth, who had been set upon by three ruffians, and had fought and repulsed them. Great-heart, after listening to his story of the encounter, said to him : "Thou hast worthily behaved thyself. Let me see thy sword.' So he showed it him. When he had taken it in his hand, and looked thereon awhile, he said, “Ha ! it is a right Jerusalem blade.' ... Mr. Great-heart was delighted in him, for he loved one greatly that he found to be a man of his hands."

But remarkable as is Bunyan's power of suggesting character, it is equalled by his power to call up a scene ; and some of the pictures which he brings before his readers are among the most precious and memorable things in the book. Here is one of them :

“They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains; which mountains belong to the Lord of that hill of which we have spoken before ; so they went up to the mountains to behold the gardens and orchards, the vineyards and fountains of water; where also they drank, and washed themselves, and did freely eat of the vineyards. Now there were on the tops of these mountains shepherds feeding their flocks, and they stood by the high-way side. The Pilgrims, therefore, went to them, and leaning upon their staffs, as is common with weary pilgrims, when they stand to talk with any one by the way, they asked, Whose Delectable Mountains are these ? And whose be the sheep that feed upon them ? ... I saw also in my dream that when the shepherds perceived that they were way-faring men, they also put questions to them (to which they made answer as in other places) as, Whence are you ? and how got you into the way ? and by what means have you so persevered therein ? for but few of them that begin to come hither do show their faces on these mountains. But when the shepherds heard their answers, being pleased therewith, they looked very lovingly upon them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable Mountains !”

The passages telling of the approach of Christian and his companion, Hopeful, to the Celestial City, and of their entrance into it, have much of the grandeur and beauty of the Apocalypse, on which they largely depend for their imagery.

"Now while they were drawing near towards the Gate, behold a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them. ... They compassed them round about on every side ; some went before, some behind, and some on the right hand, some on the left, as it were to guard them through the upper regions, continually sounding as they went, with melodious noise in notes on high ; so that the very sight was, to them that could behold it, as if Heaven itself was come down to meet them. Thus therefore they walked on together, and as they walked, ever and anon these trumpeters, even with joyful sound, would, by mixing their music with looks and gestures, still signify to Christian and his brother how welcome they were into their company, and with what gladness they came to meet them. And now were these two men as it were in heaven before they came to it; being swallowed up with the sight of angels, and with hearing of their melodious notes. Here also they had the City itself in view, and they thought they heard all the bells therein to ring, to welcome them thereto; but above all the warm and joyful thoughts they had about their own dwelling there with such company-Oh! by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be expressed !... Now I saw in my dream that these two men went in at the Gate; and lo ! as they entered, they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream that all the bells in the City rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, Enter ye into the joy of the Lord. I also heard the men themselves sing with a loud voice, saying, Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Now just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold the City shone like the sun ; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men with crowns upon their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal. There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one another without intermission, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord. And after that they shut up the gates ; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.”

The passing hence of Christiana and her friends at the end of the second part of the book is after a somewhat more homely fashion than that of Christian and his companion. They are summoned, as you remember, by post to go to the heavenly city; and with quiet trust and resignation they depart. What is told of the passing of Valiant-for-Truth is particularly noteworthy.

After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiantfor-truth was taken with a summons. . . . When he understood it he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then said he, I am going to my Father's; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought his battles, who will now be my rewarder. When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side ; into which, as he went, he saith, Death, where is thy sting? and as he went down deeper, he said, Grave, where is thy victory ? So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other VIII




WHEN Canon Overton wrote the Life of William Law (1881) he felt it necessary to give some reasons why the life of one whose name was then so unfamiliar should be written at all. Were the life to be written now there would be no need for apology. William Law's name is no longer an unfamiliar one. After long neglect he has taken his place among the most honoured figures in the history of devotional literature ; and there are probably no writings that are doing more than his to nourish the deepest roots of religious thought and life throughout the English-speaking world at the present time.

He was born in 1686 at King's Cliffe, a village near Stamford, Northamptonshire, where his father was a grocer. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as a sizar or poor scholar in 1705. The serious bent of his mind even then is evident from the Rules which he drew up for his guidance on becoming a student of the University. Among the Rules, which were eighteen in all, are these :

“To fix in my mind that I have but one business upon my hands—to seek for eternal happiness by doing the will of God.

“ To examine everything that relates to me in this view as it serves or obstructs this only end of life.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »