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Mr. Sagacity gives an Account late, I went down again thitherward. Now having taken up my lodgings in a wood about a mile off the place, as I slept, I dreamed again
And, as I was in my dream, behold, an aged gen tleman came by where I lay; and because he was to go some part of the way that I was travelling, methought I got up and went with him. So as we walked, and as travellers usually do, it was as if we fell into a discourse; and our talk happened to be about Christian, and his travels; for thus I began with the old man :
Sir, said I, what town is that below, which lieth on the left hand of our way?
Then said Mr. Sagacity, (for that was his name,) It is the City of Destruction, a populous place, but possessed with a very ill-conditioned and idle sort of people.
I thought it was that city, said. I ; I went once myself through that town; and therefore I know that the report you give of it is true.
Sag. Too true! I wish I could speak truth in speaking better of them that dwell therein.
the people that attended. It is said that 3000 have been gathered together for that purpose ; and not less than 1200 on a winter morning, at seven o'clock, even on week days. Mr. Bunyan was sometimes honoured with the attendance and decided approbation of the great Dr. John Owen. There is an anecdote of the Doctor and Charles II. which appears characteristic of them both. “I wonder," said the King, “how you, being so learned, can sit and hear an illiterate tinker preach.” “May it please your Majesty," replied the doctor, “ had I the tinker's abilities for preaching, i would gladly relinquish all my learning."
• The first part was written in Bedford jail : this is about a mile from that place, at the village of Elstow, where Mr. Bunyan resided, and where his house is still standing, a very humble cottage, and an object of curiosity; as are also the very ancient church and tower. The tower answers to the description of the “ Steeple-house," in which Mr. Bunyan was formerly engraged in ringing the bells." The main beam that lay overthwart the steeple from side to side," and under which he stood, lest “one of the bells should fall and kill him," presents exactly that appearance.
of Christian's State of Felicity.
Well, Sir, said I, then I perceive you to be a well-meaning man, and so one that takes pleasure to hear and tell of that which is good. Pray, did you never hear what happened to a' man some time ago in this town, (whose name was Christian,) that went on' a pilgrimage up towards the higher regions ?
Sag. Hear of him! Ay, and I also heard of the molestations, troubles, wars, captivities, cries, groans, frights, and fears, which he met with and had in his journey. Besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him: there are but few houses, that have heard of him and his doings, but have sought after and got the records of his pilgrimage ; yea, I think I may say, that this hazardous journey has got many well-wishers to his ways; for, though when he was here he was fool in every man's mouth, yet now he is gone he is highly commended of all c. For, 'tis said he lives bravely where he is : yea, many of them that are resolved never to run his hazards, yet have their mouths water at bis gains.
They may, said I, well think, if they think any thing that is true, that he liveth well where he is ; for he now lives at, and in the Fountain of life, and has what he has without labour and sorrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith. But, pray, what talk bave the people about him?
Sag. Talk! the people talk strangely about him: some say, that he now walks in white; that he has a chain of gold about his neck; and that he has a crown of gold, beset with pearls, upon his head: others say, that the shining ones, who sometimes shewed themselves to him in his journey, are become hi companions, and that he is as familiar with them in the place where he is, as here one neighbour is with another. Besides, it is confidently affirmed concern
c Christians are well spoken of when gone, though called fools while here.
wwwmmmmmmmmm Mr. Sagacity continues to relate
ing him, that the King of the place where he is, has bestowed upon him already a very rich and pleasant dwelling at court, and that he every day eateth and drinketh, and walketh and talketh with him, and receiveth the smiles and favours of him that is judge of all there. (Zech. iii. 7. Luke xiv. 14, 15.) Moreover, it is expected by some, that this Prince, the Lord of that country, will shortly come into these parts, and will know the reason, if they can give any, why his neighbours set so little by him, and had him so much in derision, when they perceived that he would be a pilgrim. (Jude 14, 15.)
For they say, that now he is so in the affections of his Prince, and that his Sovereign is so much concerned at the indignities that were cast upon Christian, when he became a pilgrim, that he will look upon all as done to himself d; (Luke x. 16.) and no marvel, for it was for the love that he had to his Prince that he ventured as he did.
I dare say, said I, I am glad of it; I am glad for the poor man's sake, for that now he has rest from his labour, and reaps the benefit of his tears with joy; and for that he has got beyond the gun-shot of his enemies, and is out of the reach of them that hate him. (Rev. xiv. 13. Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6.) I also am glad that a rumour of these things is noised abroad in this country; who can tell but it may work some good effect on some that are left behind ?-But, pray, Sir, while it is fresh in my thoughts, do you hear any thing of his wife und children? Poor hearts! I wonder in my mind what they do.
d Christian's King will take Christian's part.
e This seusible conversation respecting the first part of the Pilgrim's Progress, intimates that “ sagacity," or acuteness of penetration, was necessary to comprehend the meaning of the author in his allegorical style of writing. The retrospect of Christian's afflictions and reward is a suitable introduction to what Mr. Bunyun was about to relate of the pilgrimage of Christiana and her children,
that Christiana and her Sons are gone on Pilgrimage.
eon pilgr. And ste way to
Sag. Who? Christiana and her sons ? They are like to do as well as did Christian himself; for though they all played the fool at first, and would by no means be persuaded by either the tears or entreaties of Christian, yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them: so they have packed up, and are also gone after him.
*Better and better, said I: but, what! wife and children and all ?
Sag. It is true: I can give you an account of the matter, for I was upon the spot at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.
Then, said I, a man may report it for a truth.
Sag. You need not fear to affirin it: I mean that they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys. And seeing we are, as I perceive, going some considerable way together, I will give you an account of the whole matter.
This Christiana, (for that was her name,) from the day that her husband was gone over the river, and she could hear of him no more, began to have thoughts working in her mind. First, for that she had lost her husband, and that the loving bond of that relation was utterly broken betwixt them. For you know, said he to me, nature can do no less than entertain the living with many a heavy cogitation, in the remembrance of the loss of loving relations. This, therefore, of her husband did cost her many a tear. But this was not all; for Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, whether her unbecoming behaviour towards her hus
It is not improbable that Mr. Bunyan had an eye to his own wife and four children, and that these were the leading characters in this religious drama; and also that the history of christians of his acquainttance furnished the other personages. Mrs. Bunyan survived her husband, au 1 died in 1692. He had four children by a former wife, MARY, who was blind, and who died before him; and THOMAS, JOSEPH, and SARAH, who survived their father. Thomas became a member of the church at Bedford, in 1673. He was afterwards an occasional minister, and was thus engaged many years.
The Reasons why Christiana and her Sons
band was not one cause that she saw him no more, and that in such sort he was taken away from her. And upon this came into her mind, by swarms, all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly carriage to her dear friend; which also clogged her conscience, and did load her with guilt'. She was, moreover, much broken with calling to remembrance the restless groans, the briuish tears, and the self-bemoaning of her husband, and how she did harden her heart against all bis entreaties, and loving persuasions of her and her sons to go with him; yea, there was not any thing that Christian either said to her, or did before her all the while that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart in sunder ; especially that bitter outcry of his, " What shall I do to be saved?” did ring in her ears most dolefully,
Then said she to her children, “Sons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone: he would have had us with him, but I would not go myself: I also hindered you of life.” With that the boys fell into tears, and cried to go after their father, “Oh! (said Christiana) that it had been but our lot to go with him! then it had fared well with us, beyond what it is like to do now. For, though I formerly foolishly imagined, concerning the troubles of your father, that they proceeded from a foolish fancy which he had, or for that he was over, run with melancholy humours; yet now it will not out of iny mind, but that they sprang from another cause; to wit, for that the light of life was given him ; (John viii. 12 ;) by the help of which, as I perceive, lie has escaped the snares of death.” (Prov. xiv. 27.) Then they wept all again, and cried out, “Oh, woe worth the day 5 !!!
i Mark this, you that are churlish to your godly relations.
& The awakening of a singer may be effected by very different means. Lydia's heart was opened through attending to Paul's mis