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His Wife and Children cry after him.
(Matt. vii. 13, 14.) The man said, “ No.”. Then said the other, "Do you see yonder shining light? (Ps. cxix. 105. 2 Pet. i. 19.) He said, “I think I do." Then said Evangelist, “ Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate ; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.” So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door, but bis wife and children perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the mau put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, “Life ! life! eternal life!"(Luke xiv. 26.) So he looked not be
signified the church of the living God; the sun that shone thereon, the comfortable shining of his merciful face on them that were therein ; the wall I thought was the separation between Christians and the world; and the gap which was in the wall, I thought was Jesus Christ, who is the way to God the Father; for Jesus said, in his reply to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life : no man cometh unto the Father but by ine," John xiv, 6. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it," Matt. vii. 14. But forasmuch as the passage was wonderfully narrow, even so narrow that I could not, but with great difficulty, enter thereat, it showed me, that none could enter into life but those that were in downright earnest, and unless also they left that wicked world behind them; for here was only room for body and soul, but not for body and soul and sin. This resemblance abode upon my spirit many days." Iviney'S LIFE of Bunyan, Third Edition, 1823, p. 30.
| Christ and the way to him cannot be found without the word.
in This is a most energetic and sublime passage, in which the anxious heart of the christian inquirer is discovered agitated by the fear of death, and animated by the hope of salvation. No sooner is he encouraged by the prospect of being delivered by Jesus from the wrath to come, than he begins to run ; and he no sooner leaves his house than “ his wife and children cry after him to return." But deaf to their entreaties, and without once “ looking behind him," he reiterates his prayers, and flees for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before him. Hitherto Christian has only discovered the most general invitations and directions of the gospel: but believing these to be the word of truth, he is resolved to venture upon the abundant mercy of God.
“I can but perish if I go ;
Obstinate and Pliable oppose Christian.
bind him, (Gen. xix. 17.) but fled towards the middle of the plain.
The neighbours also came out to see him run', Jer. xx. 10 ;) and as he ran some mocked", others threatened, and some cried after his return; and among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate, and the name of the other Pliable. Now by this time the man was got a good distance from them ; but however they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time overtook himn. Then said the man, “ Neighbour, wherefore are ye come?” They said, “ To persuade you to go back with us." But he said, “ That can by no means be: you dwell,” said he, “in the city of Destruction, (the place also where I was born :) I see it to be so: and dying there, sooner or later you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me."
“What,” said Obstinate, “and leave our friends and our comforts behind us?”
“Yes,” said Christian, (for that was his naine,) “ because that all which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that which I am seeking to enjoy: (2 Cor. iv. 18.) and if you will go
The following paragraph from Grace abounding will illustrate the above remarks. “I cannot now, (says Mr. B.) express, with what longings and breathings in my soul I cried to Christ to call me. Thus continued I for a time, all on a flame to be converted to Jesus Christ; and did also see at that day such glory in a converted state, that I could not be contented without a share therein. Gold? Could it have been gotten for gold, what would I have given for it! Had I had a whole world, it had gone ten thousand times over for this, that my soul might have been in a converted state." Ivimer's Life of BUNYAN, p. 35.
They that flee from the wrath to come are a gazing-stock to the world.
...“ Whilst the wild world esteem it strange,