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Christiana's Address to her Children.
good speed. Also I advise thee, that thou put this letter in thy bosom, and that thou read therein to thyself, and to thy children, until they have got it by heart; for it is one of the songs that thou must sing whilst thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage, (Psal. cxix. 54 ;) also this thou must deliver in at the farther gate"."
Now I saw in my dream, that the old gentleman, as he told me the story, did himself seem to be greatly affected therewith. He moreover proceeded, and said ; So Christiana called her sons together, and began thus to address herself unto them: “My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul about the death of your father: not for that I doubt at all of his happiness; for I am satisfied now that he is well. I have been also much affected with due thoughts of my own estate and yours, which I verily believe to be by nature miserable. My carriage also to your father in his distress is a great load on my conscience; for I
* The unconditional and encouraging invitations of the gospel, when really believed, will fill the seeking sinner with astonishment and humility. The feeling will resemble that of Abigail, when sent for to become the wife of David; And she bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord, 1 Sam. XXV. 41. The promises of Jesus Christ to those who come to him, when received by faith, are precious and reviving; they are like apples of gold in caskets of silver. The transports of holy joy which they produce lead young converts to wish they could go immediately to heaven, and be at once freed from sin, temptation, sorrow, and danger. This, however, is not God's way. I pray not, said the Saviour, that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil, John xvii. 15. It is proper, therefore, to inform them, that through much tribulation they must enter into the kingdon of God.-The evangelical minister will press the necessity of a per sonal and believing application of the soul to Jesus Christ, in order to salvation, and will intimate the certainty of success. It is proper too, that inquirers should lay up the promises of Jesus Christ in their memories, as matter for rejoicing amidst the trials of life, and as their warrant for expecting admission into heaven.
Christiana receives a Visit from her Neighbours.
hardened both my own heart and yours against him, and refused to go with him on pilgrimage,
“The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but for a dream which I had last night, and but for the encouragement which this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children, let us pack up, and be gone to the gate which leads to the celestial country, that we may see your father, and be with him and his companions in peace, according to the laws of that land.”
Then did her children burst out into tears, for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So the visitor bid them farewell; and they began to prepare to set out on their journeyo.
But while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women that were Christiana's neighhours, came up to her house, and knocked at the door To whoin she said as before. At this the women were stunned; for this kind of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of . Christiana. Yet they came in : but behold, they
O"Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation." Contrition for sin, original and actual, will be accompanied with a burdened conscience, which would drive persons to despair, were it not for the strong consolations afforded by the gospel to repenting and returning prodigals. When the gospel is cordially received, it will be ir “ much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost," i Thess. i. 6. Much affliction, from a recollection of transgressions against God; and supernatural joy, from discovering that there is “forgiveness with him," Ps. CXXX. 4. When a whole family are thus brought to the knowledge of the truth, grave and wise persons will feel deeply interested in the relation of it; and the minister who has been the instrument of their conversion, will earnestly wish and pray for their welfare. Mr. Bunyan has strongly intimated in this account, that “ children," very young persons, may be the subjects of renewing grace, and inay experience the power of the gospel upon their hearts, producing that faith which is of the operation of God, and works meet for repentance. This fact is abundantly confirmed by many living inslanges of very young persons knowing the grace of God in truth, and adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour.
Mrs. Timorous advises Christiana
found the good woman preparing to be gone from her house.
So they began, and said, “ Neighbour, pray, what is your meaning by this p"
Christiana answered, and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. Timorous ”, “ I am pre paring for a journey."
Tim. For what journey, I pray you?
CHR. Even to go after my old husband. And with that she fell a weeping.
Tim. I hope not so, good neighbour; pray, for your poor children's sake, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself.
Chr. Nay, my children shall go with me; not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Tim. I wonder in my heart, what or who has brought you into this mind!
Chr. Oh, neighbour! knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would go along with me.
Tim. Prithee, what new knowledge has thou got, that so worketh off thy mind from thy friends, and tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?
Chr. Then Christiana replied, I have been sorely afflicted since my husband's departure from me; but especially since he went over the river. But that which troubleth me most, is my churlish carriage to him when he was under his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then ; nothing will serve me but going on pilgrimage. I was dreaming last night that I saw him. Oh, that my soul were with hiin! He dwelleth in the presence of the King of the country; he sits and eats with him at his table; he is become a companion of imninortals, and has a house now given him to dwell in, to wbich the best palaces
P This Mrs. Timorous was daughter to him that mel Christian upon the hill Difficulty, und would have had him go back for fear of the liotis.
on earth, if compared, seem to me but as a dunghill. (2 Cor, v. 14.) The Prince of the place has also sent for me, with promises of entertainment, if I shall come to him ; his messenger was here even now, and brought me a letter, which invites me to come. And with that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them, What now will you say to this?
Tim. Oh, the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband, to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even in a manner at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbour Obstinate can yet testify, for he went along with him ; yea, and Pliable too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any further. We also heard, over and above, bow he inet with the lions, Apollyon, the Shadow of Death, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with at Vanity Fair to be forgotten by thee. For if he, though a man, was so hard put to it, what canst thou, being but a poor woman, do i Consider also, that these four sweet babes are thy children, thy flesh, and thy bones. Therefore, though thou shouldest be so rash as to cast away thyself; yet, for the sake of the fruit of thy body, keep thein at home.
But Christiana said unto her, “Tempt me not, my neighbour : I have now a price put into iny hand to get gain ?, and I should be a tool of the greatest sort, if I should have yo heart to strike in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles which I am like to ineet with in the way, they are so far from being to me a discouragement, that they shew I am in the right. The bitter must
Therefore thy children also, that these but a poor
9 The author here alludes to Prov, xvii. 16. “Wherefore is here & price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hain no heart to it per
Mrs. Timorous reviles Christiana,
come before the sweet, and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore, since you camo not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you be gone, and do not disquiet me farther."
Then Timorous also reviled her, and said to her fellow, “ Come, neighbour Mercy, let us leave her in her own hands; she scorns our counsel and company.” But Mercy was at a stand, and could not so readily comply with her neighbour; and that for a twofold reason. 1st. Her bowels yearned over Christiana. So she said within herself, “ If my neighbour will be gone, I will go a little way with her, and help her.” 2ndly. Her bowels yearned over her own soul; for what Christiana had said, had taken some hold upon her mind. Wherefore she said within herself again, “I will yet have more talk with this Christiana ; and, if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart shall also go with her.” Wherefore Mercy began thus to reply to her neighbour Timorous :
Mer. Neighbour, I did indeed come with you to see Christiana this morning; and, since she is, as you see, taking her last farewell of the country, I think to walk this sun-shiny morning a little with her, to help her on her way. But she told her not of the second reason, but kept it to herself".
' Serious christians will not disguise their change of sentiments and feelings from their unconverted neighbours; but, if they have opportunity, will frankly tell them why they have resolved to become religious, relating the painful exercises of their minds on account of having sinned against God, and the discoveries which they have had of his glorious gospel, for the purpose of exciting their attention to the subject. By such faithful and ingenuous appeals, much good nas been done to unconverted neighbours ; and though some have despised and reviled, others have listened and admired. • Timorous" women, under the influence of a carnal heart, when incy cannot frighten serious persons out of their religion, will do all they can to prevent others from becoming religious.--Persons