Gambar halaman

Honest salates the Pilgrims.

mountain of ice, yet if the Sun of Righteousness should arise upon him, his frozen heart would feel a thaw; and thus it has been with me.

Great. I believe it, father Honest, I believe it; for I know the thing is true.'

Then the old gentleman saluted all the pilgrims with a boly kiss of charity, and asked them their names, and how they had fared since they set out on their pilgrimage."

I The character now introduced is that of an aged, plainhearted, upright inan, of whom we may say, as of Nathaniel, “ Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile,” John i. 47. The reason of our author's giving this description appears in his preface ;

"Perhaps with some gray head this may prevail

With Christ to fall in love, and sin bewail." His being found in the road “under an oak fast asleep," does not appear to be designed as any reflection upon this aged saint, but is perbaps intended to show, that very old persons cannot so well bear fatigue as they who are young, -or that he was so perfectly sure of divine protection that he could sleep in the midst of danger. The blunt integrity with which he commences the conversation, his declaration that he was sure of being delivered if he was faithful to his profession, and his immediately recognizing the guide as a minister of Christ from his sentiments respecting the perseverance of true christians, are the unequivocal marks of an honest upright heart, without disguise, and without dissimulation. His frank acknowledgment that he had been a very stupid man respecting religion,-his refusal to own himself as worthy the name of Honesty, conscious as he was that he sometimes failed in that for which he had been distinguished,--and his wishing that his nature, and the name by which he had been called, might always agree,-exhibit the humbling views which this old christian entertained of himself; while his admiration of the distinguishing grace of Gud towards him, and the exalted views which he entertained of the powerful influence of the love of Christ upon the cold and Frozen heart, which he himself had experienced, and in the truth of which the guide agrees with him, present a beautiful picture illustrating Solomon's remark,“ The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness," Prov. xvi. 31.

m Our author mentions the “ holy kiss of charity,' as a token of mutual esteem anjong christians, and not (as the Sandemanians contend) as a term of communion. He was of opinion also that such an expression of esteem between the sexes should, if used at nil, be conducted with great caution, lest it should indicate other

positions than those which were “holy." He thus states bis opinion in his Grace Abounding. “When I have seen good new

Honest converses with Coristiana's Sons.

Chr. Then said Christiana, My name I suppose you have heard of; good Christian was my husband, and these four were his children. But can you think how the old gentleman was taken, wheu she told him who she was? He skipped, and smiled, and blessed them with a thousand good wishes, saying:

Hon. I have heard much of your husband, and of the travels and wars which he underwent in bis days. Be it spoken to your comfort, the name of your husband rings all over these parts of the world : bis faith, his courage, bis enduring, and bis sincerity under all, have made his name famous. Then he turned to the boys, and asked them their names, which they told him. He then said to them, Matthew, be thon like Matthew the publican, not in vice, but in virtue. (Matt. x. 3.) Samuel, be thou like Samuel the prophet, a man of faith and 'prayer. (Psa. xcix. 6.) Joseph, be thou like Joseph in Potiphar's house, chaste, and one that flees from temptation. (Gen. xxxix. 12.) And James, be thou like James the just, and like James the brother of our Lord. (Acts i. 13.) Then they told him of Mercy, and how she had left her town and kindred to come along with Christiana, and with her sons. At that the old honest man said, Mercy is thy name: by mercy shalt thou be sustained, and carried through all the difficulties which shall assault thee in thy way, till thou shalt come thither, where thou shalt look the Fountain of mercy in the face with comfort. All this while the guide Mr. Great-heart was very well pleased, and smiled upon his companion."

salute those women whom they have visited, or who have visited them, I have at times made my objection against it : and when they have answered, that it was but a piece of civility, I have told them it was not a comely sight. Some indeed have urged the boly kiss. But then I have asked, why they made balks (i. e. exceptions); why they did salute the most handsome, and let the illfavoured go. Thus, how laudable soever such things have been in the eyes of others, they have been unseenily in my sight." Ivimey's Life, of Bunyan, 3rd. edit. p. 115.

* The honest joy of heart which this aged believer manifested in

Honest describes the Character of Mr. Fearing.

Now, as they walked along together, the guide asked the old gentleman, if he knew one Mr. Fearing, who came on pilgrimage out of his parts.

Hon. Yes, very well, said he. He was a man that had the root of the matter in him : but he was one of the most troublesome pilgrims that I ever met with in all my days.

Great. I perceive you knew him, for you have given a very right character of him.

· Hon. Knew him! I was a great companion of his; I was with him most an end; when he first began to think of what would come upon us hereafter, I was with him.

GREAT. I was his guide from my Master's house to the gate of the celestial city. · Hon. Then you knew him to be a troublesome one.

GREAT. I did so: but I could very well bear it; for men of my calling are oftentimes intrusted with the conduct of such as he was.

Hon. Well then, pray let us hear a little of him, and how he managed bimself under your conduct.

GREAT. Why, he was always afraid that he should come short whither be had a desire to go. Everv thing frightened bim that he heard any body speak of, that had but the least appearance of opposition in it. I have heard that he lay roaring at the Slough of Despond for above a month together; nor durst he, notwithstanding he saw several go over before him, venture, though many of them offered to lend him their hand. He would not go back again neither. The celestial city,-he said he should die if he caine not to it; and yet he was dejected at every difficulty, and stumbled at every straw that any body cast in learning who were his new companions, is well described ; and the scriptural exhortations and encouragements which he gave the young people, founded upon their names, are well expressed. - The conductor's smiling upon him denotes his approbation. A faithful minister, who has nothing in view but the spiritual prosperity of luis flock, will be thankful and respectful to those who are employed as instruments in promoting their edification and comfort.'

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

e had, hat ber have

his way. Well, after he had lain at the Slough of Despond a great while, as I have told you, one sun. shiny morning, I do not know how, he ventured, and so got over; but when he was over, he would scarcely believe it. He had, I think, a Slough of Despond in his mind, a slough that he carried every where with him, or else he could never have been as he was. So he came up to the gate, you know what I mean, that stands at the head of this way, and there also he stood a good while before he would venture to knock. When the gate was opened, be would give back, and give place to others, and say that he was not worthy. Notwithstanding he got before some to the gate, yet many of them went in before him. There the poor man stood shaking and shrinking; I dare say it would have grieved one's heart to have seen him. But he would not go back again. At last, he took the hammer that hanged at the gate, in his hand, and gave a small rap or two; then one opened to him, but he shrunk back as before. He that opened, stepped out after him, and said, “ Thou trembling one, what wantest thou?" With that he fell down to the ground. He that spoke to him wondered to see him so faint, and said to him, "Peace be to thee; rise, for I have set open the door to thee; come in, for thou art blessed.” With that, he got up, and went in trembling; and when he was in, he was ashamed to show his face. Well, after he had been entertained there a while, as you know the manner is, he was desired to go on his way, and also told the way he should take. So he went till he came to our house; but as be bebaved himself at the gate, so he did at my Master the Interpreter's door. He lay thereabout in the cold a good while, before he would adventure to call; yet he would not go back: and the nights were long and cold then. Nay, he had a note of necessity in his bosom to my Master to receive him, and grant him the comforts of his house, and also to allow him a stout and valiant condnctor, because he was himself so chicken-hearted a man; and vet for all Great-beart relates the History of Mr. Fearing.

that he was afraid to call at the door. So he lay up and down thereabouts, till, poor man, he was almost starved ; yea, so great was his dejection, that though he saw several others for knocking get in, yet he was afraid to venture. At last, I thiok I looked out of the window, and perceiving a man to be up and down about the door, I went out to him, and asked what he was; but, poor man, the water stood in his eyes ; so I perceived what he wanted. I went therefore in, and told it in the house, and we showed the thing to our Lord: so he sent me out again, to entreat him to come in ; but I dare say, I had hard work to do it. At last he came in; and I will say that for my Lord, he carried it wonderfully loving to bim. There were but few good bits at the table of which a part was not laid upon his trencher. Then he presented the note ; and my Lord, looking thereon, said his desire should be granted. So when he had been there a good while, he seemed to get some heart, and to be a little more comforted. For my Master, you must know, is one of very tender bowels, especially to them that are afraid ; wherefore he carried it so towards him, as might tend most to his encouragement. Well, when he had had a sight of the things of the place, and was ready to take his journey to go to the city, my Lord, as he had done to Christian before, gave him a bottle of spirits, and some comfortable things to eat. Thus we set forward, and I went before him ; but the man was but of few words, only he would sigh aloud.

When we were come to the place where the three fellows where hanged, he said, that he feared that that would be his end also. Only he seemed glad when he saw the Cross and the Sepulchre. There I confess he desired to stay a little to look ; and he seemned for a wbile after to be a little comforted. When we came to the bill Difficulty, he made no stick at that, nur did he much fear the lions : for you must know that his troubles were not about such things as these ; his fear was about his acceptance at last.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »