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and are refreshed ia the King's Vinegarda.
dom to which they were bound; and drawing nearer to the City, they had vet a more perfect view thereof. It was builded of pearls and precious stones, also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the City, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease: wherefore here they lay by it a while, crying out because of their pangs, “ If you see my Beloved, tell him that I ain sick of love."
But, being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way; to whom the pilgrims said, “ Wnose goodly gardens and vineyards are these?” He answered, “ They are the King's, and are planted here for big own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims." So the gardener had them to the vineyards, and bid them refresh theinselves with the dainties; (Deut. xxiii. 24.) he also shewed them there the King's walks and arbours, where he delighted to be: aud bere they tarried and slept.
Now I beheld in my dream, that they talked niore in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey; and, being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even unto me,“ Wheretore musest
where he doen there the mes ; (Deuth
sent to bring Peter out of prison, Acts xii. 7. It is a cheering and animating consideration, that these ministers of his who do his pleu. sure, and who probably have acted the part of guardian protectors, though unseen, through the whole of our earthly pilgrimage, will accompany us down to the gates of death, and meet us as our convoy to conduct us safely into the world of spirits, acting under the authority of HIM who is the great God and our Saviour: For this God is our God for ever and ever, he will be our guide (by the ministry of angels) even unto death, P's. xlviii. 14,
The Pilgrims arrive at the River of Death,
thou at the matter: it is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards, to go down so sweetly as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.'
So I saw that when they awoke they addressed themselves to go up to the City. But, as I said, , the reflection of the sun upon the City (for the City was pure gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw, that as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold, also their faces shone as the light.
These men asked the pilgrims whence they came; and they told them. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures, they had met with in the way; and they told them. Then said the men that met them, “ You have but two difficulties mote to meet with, and then you are in the City.”
Christian then and his companion asked the men to go along with them: so they told them they would ; “But,” said they, “ you must obtain it by your own faith.” So I saw in my dream, that they went on together till they came in sight of the gate.
Now I further saw, that betwixt them and the gate was a river ; but there was no bridge to go over : the river was very deep. At the sight therefore of this river the pilgrims were much stunned; but the men that went with them said, “You must go through or you cannot come at the gate®.
• The most happy believers, even when most desirous of being with Christ in heaven, feel an innocent reluctance, a clinging to life, when they think of dying: not (says Paul) for that we would be unclothed, but, if possible, we would be translated, clothed upon, as Enoch and Elijah were, and thus go to heaven without seeing death. This desire will not be granted to any until the last day, when those believers who are alive at that time, will not dic, but be changed
Christian is discouraged in paning the River,
The King of the deeper orat case; "No; yet tters
The pilgrims then began to enquire, if there was no other way to the gate. To which they answered, “ Yes ; but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall until the last trumpet shall sound." The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them, by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all of a depth. They said, No; yet they could not help them in that case; “for (said they,) you shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place."
Then they addressed themselves to the water, and entering, Christian began to sink, and, crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, “I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head, all his waves go over me. Selah.”
Then said the other, “Be of good cheer, my brother : I feel the bottom, and it is good." Then said Christian, “Ah! my friend, the sorrows of death have compassed me about, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey." And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also he in a great measure lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. But all the words that he spake still tended to discover that he had horror of mind,
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. There is no way to heaven, but by passing through the gates of death. Much however as to distress or enjoyment, will depend upon the strength of our faith.
“Oh! if my Lord would come and meet,
My soul should leave this world in hast,
Nur fear the terrors as she pass'd."
Hopeful supports Christian. and heart-fears that he should die in that river, and never obtain entrance in at the gate. Here also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he had com. mitted, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim. It was also observed, that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins and evil spirits; for ever and anon he would intimate so much by his words.
Hopeful therefore here had much ado to keep his brother's head above water; yea, sometimes he would be quite gone down, and then, ere a while, would rise up again half dead. Hopeful did also endeavour to comfort him, saying, “Brother, I see the gate, and men standing by to receive us ;" but Christian would auswer, “ It is you, it is you they wait for ; you have been hopeful ever since I knew you.” “And so have you” said he to Christian. “Ah, brother (said he) surely if I was right, he would now rise to help me; but for my sins he hath brought me into a snare, and hatb. left me." Then said Hopeful, “My brother, you have quite forgot the text, where it is said of the wicked, “There are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm ; they are not troubled as other men, neither are they plagued like other men. These troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters, are no signs that God hath forsaken you; but are sent to try you, whether you will call to mind that which heretofore you have received of his goodness, and live upon him in your distresses.”
Then I saw in my dream, that Christian was in a muse a while. To whom also Hopeful added these words, “ Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thet: whole." And with that Christian brake out with a loud voice, “Oh, I see him again ; and he tells ine · When thou passest throligh the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not