Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

Worldly Wisemad meets Christian,

for coming back, and some called him a fool for ha. zarding himself with Christian: others again did mock at his cowardliness ; saying, “Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base as to have given out for a few difficulties :" so Pliable sat speaking among them. But at last he got more confidence, and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back. And thus much concerning Pliable.

Now as Christian was walking solitarily by himself, he espied one afar off, crossing over the field to meet him; and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way to each other. The gentleman's name that met him, was Mr. Worldly Wiseman: he dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town, and also hard-by from whence Christian came. This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some knowledge of him, (for Christian's setting forth froin the city of Destruction was much noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town talk in some other places,) - Mr. Worldly Wiseman therefore having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by observing his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.

World. How now, good fellow, whither away after his burdened manner? CHR. A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think

• When persons give up a profession of religion, and again associate with their former worldly companions, though they will meet with the approbation of some, they will incur the contempt and uneers of others; for even wicked men can discover and despise those who have given up all concern about their souls. For a time such apostates will be found sneaking and confounded, until they become hardened in wickedness; and then they will unite with the most profane in slandering and backbiting christians. This is the awful end of stony-ground hearers.

and endeavours to turn him out of bis Wav.

poor creature bad! And whereas you ask me, Whitlier away? I tell you, Sir, I am going to yonder Wicket. gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put into a way to be rid of iny heavy burden.

World. Hast thou a wife and children?

CHR. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly : methinks I am as if I had none. (1 Cor. vii. 29.)

WORLD. Wilt thou hearken to me if I give thee counsel ?

CHR. If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.

WORLD. I would advise thee then, that thou with all speed get thyself rid of thy burden ; for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then : nor canst thou enjoy the benefit of the blessings which God bath bestowed upon thee, till then.

Chr. That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this beavy burden : but get it off myself I cannot ; nor is there a man in our country that can take it off my shoulders ; therefore I am going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.

WORLD. Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden:

Chr. A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person : his name, as I remember, is Evaagelist.

World. Besbrew him for his counsel ! there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that unto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something (as I perceive) already; I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that Slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me; I am older than thou : thou art like to meet with, on the way which thou goest, wearisome

Conversation between Christian

ading this boond it has hapddling with

ness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and in a word, death, and what not. These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger ?

CHR. Why, Sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned : nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in my way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden'.

World. How camest thou by the burden at first? Chr. By reading this book in my hand.

WORLD. I thought so ; and it has happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for theins, do suddenly fall into thy distractions ; which distractions do not only unman men, (as thine I perceive have done thee, but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.

Chr. I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.

World. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it ? especially since shadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of these dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.

Chr. Pray, Sir, open this secret to me.
WORLD. Why, in yonder village (the village is

* The frame of the heart of a young christian.

& Mr. Worldly Wiseman does not like that men should be serious in reading the Bible.

and Worldly Wiseman.

named Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, (and a man of very good name,) that bas skill to help men off with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders ; yea, to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way: and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burden. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at homne himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, (as indeed I would not wish thee,) thou mayst send for thy wife and children to thee to this village, where there are houses now stand empty, one of which thou mayst have at a reasonable rate : provision is there also cheap and good ; and that which will make thy life more happy is, to be sure there thou shalt live by honest neighbours, in credit and good fashion.

Now was Christian somewhat at a stand ; but presently he concluded, “If this be true which this gentleman hath said, iny wisest course is to take his advice: and with that he thus farther spake.”

Chr. Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?

WORLD. Do you see yonder high hill?
Chr. Yes, very well.

World. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his !

a Mount Sinai.

1. “The words which man's wisdom teacheth” respecting the way of salvation, are in direct opposition to the words " which the moly Ghost teacheth," 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14. Worldly Wiseman, in

Christian turns eut of his Way,

So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for help : but bebold, when be was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so bigh, and also that side of it that was next to the way-side did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture farther, lest the hill should fall on his head; where

his conversation with Christian, proves the truth of the Apostle's declaration-" The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." This allegori. cal person represents all those nominal christians who are governed by principles of "carnal policy” in religion, and who, therefore, with all their apparent respect for religion, dwell in the immediate neighbourhood of the City of Destruction. They have no idea that religious persons should feel trouble of heart, or that there is any necessity for their leaving the world in order to serve God. 2. They who talk much of morality, are “met" by real Christians;

that is to say, real christians concur with them in a regard to the externals of religion, and are equally zealous for them with them. selves. But as the former do all their works to be seen of inen, and to merit heaven,—and the latter that they may enjoy the approbation of God, and live to his glory,- they go very different ways to obtain the pardon of sin; the one seeking it as it were by the works of the law, and going about to establish their own righteousness, and the other by faith in the merits of Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Worldly Wisemen despise the gospel plan of salvation, as the most dangerous and troublesome way in the world ; and consider the desponding thoughts of awakened sinners as the beginning of sorrows. They reproach that way to heaven which is through much tribulation. They call the reading of the Bible a meddling with things too high for people in general, and consider it as having a tendency to drive them out of their wits. They recommend that all serious thoughts of religion should be given up ;-contending that a regard to outward Morality is much to be preferred; that an observance of the precepts of the law, and a civil deportment in outward life, with a little carnal policy, are sufficient to settle a distracted mind, to take off the burden of sin from the conscience, to secure “ safety, friendship, and content," and to enable men to live in “ credit and good fashion." These are the directions which thousands of ministers are every Lord's day giving to their hearers, who “ go to Morality to church," teaching them to despise evangelical doctrines, and to consider serious christians as mad enthusiasts, more fit for Bedlam than for civil society.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »