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The Pilgrims are refreshed at the King's Vineyard.
tie perfumes, which revived their drooping spirits, grown heavy and almost stupified with walking over the Enchanted Ground. Here were trees growing whose fruits never fade away, and whose leaves are always green. In this place there is a perpetual spring, the birds always singing, the meadows adorned with flowers, and all things abounding that are delightful; for it lies within sight of Paradise, and the shadow of the Celestial City reaches to it. Here they walked and comforted themselves with the pleasure which this goodly land afforded, reflecting back upon the toils and hardships they had undergone; they solaced themselves with the thoughts that now they were near their journey's end, and within a plain view of the celestial Jerusalem, which they had so long and fervently desired to see. The farther they walked, the plainer might the giory of that place be seen, and the more earnestly did they long to come to it. So they spurred one another forward with comfortable words, saying, “ Come, let us go up to the house of the Lord; our feet shall be standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem. In the sight of angels we will sing unto thee, O Lord, and will adore in thy holy temple.”
And as they passed along they came to certain vineyards which belonged to the King; and the keepers invited them in, saying, Come in, ye blessed of the Lord, and taste ye the wine that rejoices the heart of God and man. So the pilgrims went into the vineyards, and drank of the wine thereof, which ine. briated them with love and joy, with desire and hope to see the King's face, of whom the keepers of the vineyards told them many glorious things, saying, That he was the fairest among ten thousand, therefore the virgins loved him, and ran after the odour of his ointments. They said, also, that he was a great lover of pilgrims, and that he himself took upon him once to be a pilgrim. Many more good commendations they gave of him, which made those men impatient till they got to the City. So they left the vineyards, and went forward, and ran as it were for their lives. Thus they continued running till they came in sight of the gate; but, in a kind of bottom, they were stopped by a river, which was very deer, and had no bridge to go over it.
Moreover, I saw in my dream, that there sat a multitude of men, women, and children, of all nations, tribes, and lan. guages, on the banks of the river: so when the pilgrims came down to the river side, they sat down likewise on the bank, and began to question one another how they should get over : also they asked of some that were sitting there before them, whe.
The true character of Mr. Weary-o' the World.
ther there was any other way to go into the City ? and they answered them, No.
Then they were greatly perplexed in mind to think how they should get over this river; but Weary-o'-the-World said unto his companions, Be not discouraged because of the river, for I will venture in first, and accordingly as it fares with me you may act; if I get over in safety, then you may securely follow; but if I sink and perish in these deep waters, then you have your choice before you ; do what seems good in your own eyes. So he boldly rushed into the river, plunging himself over head and ears in a moment, and they never saw him rise again; wwich did greatly dishearten the rest of the pil. grims, and they knew not what to do, or which way to turn themselves.
While they were thus disconsolate and melancholy, there came flying to them a man in bright clothing, who said, “Peace be unto you; let not your hearts be troubled because of the man who just now entered the river, and presently sunk out of your sight: his name is Weary-o'-the-World, and his circumstances answer his name; for he has a long time lain under great discontent, because the affairs of his life went not smoothly on his side; he has met with a great many crosses and losses, vexations and troubles, in this world. He has been crossed in body, soul, and estate, in wife, children, and friends : now all these together made him weary of the world, and resolved to go out of it; but he suffered none of these things for righteousness' sake or for the name of Christ, but for his own ambition, coretousness and envy, which made him odious to all people that knew him ; nay, he thereby put himself out of the protection of Providence, so that nothing thrived which he took in hand : his corn was blasted in the field; his body afflicted with many diseases, which were occasioned by his lusts; his wife and children cursed him to his face, because of his tyranny and cruelty; his friends and neighbours mocked and derided at bis calamities; and all things went against him; so in a pet be took up a resolution to leave the world; but he did it not for the love of God, which was the reason why you saw him sink in the waters of this river, and rise no more. It is not enough to be weary of the world: but to be weary of sin, is that which is acoeptable in the sight of God, and of great price. Besides, he ought not presumptuously to have rushed into the river him. self without orders, but should have waited till the King's pleasure was manifested to him, as you see many sitting along ihe river side, and waiting for the King's command. And now
Tender-Conscience passes through the River,
I am sent with a message to Tender-Conscience, to tell him it is the King's pleasure he should come over next."
So Tender-Conscience prepared himself to obey the King's summons; but his heart panted, and all his limbs trembled, to think what was become of Weary-o'-the-World, and for fear he should sink likewise : whom, when Spiritual-Man saw in his agony, he comforted him, bidding him be of good cheer, saying, You are not the first, neither will you be the last, that must pass through this river: all that have been before you since Adam have been forced to go through this river, except Enoch and Elijah; and so must all that come after you. Death is a debt we all owe to God and nature, and it must be paid at one time or other, early or later. There is an appointed time for all men once to die, and after death to come to judgment; therefore be not afraid of that which cannot be avoided.
TENDER. I am not so much afraid of death, as of what will come after : I fear I shall never see the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, whose glittering walls and turrets ravished my eyes, when we passed through the land of Beulah: I fear I ain going down into a land of darkness, where my feet will stumble on the dark mountains, a land without light or order, where there dwells nothing but sempiternal horror and consusion. This is that which makes my heart-strings ready to break, and my knees to smite one against another. Oh, that some one would hide me till the fury of his anger be overpast! Oh, that he would protect me in the secret of his tabernacle, and shelter me under the shadow of his wings! For yet a little while, and the eye that seeth me shall see me no more.
And with that word he entered the river, and, finding the waters shallow at first, he was comforted; but as he waded along, they rose up even to his mouth and nostrils, so that he could hardly fetch his breath; then he cried aloud saying, “Save me, O God, for the waters are come unto my soul: I sink in deep mire, where is no standing; I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. Make haste to deliver me, () God; make haste to help me, O Lord. My flesh and my heart faileth me, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Thus cried he, and still waded on till he came to the middle of the river, where he could find no bottom; so that his head was covered with water, and he had sunk away, had not the shining one that invited him come flying to his assistance, and, catching him by the hair of the head, held his head above water till he came over to the opposite bank, where it grew shallower, and he began to walk with ease till he got clear
of the river; and when he stood upon the bank on the other side, he leaped for joy, finding himself so marvellously light and active, that he thought he could fly; for the garments whicb he wore all the way were very heavy, and they fell off from him in the river, so that now he was as light as a bird.
Now I saw in my dream, that the shining one had no sooner set him on the shallow side of the river, than he went to the other side, and bid Spiritual-Man, Zealous-Mind, Seek-Truth, and Convert, follow him into the river: which they did, whilst the shining one flew over their heads to the other side, where Tender-Conscience stood encompassed by five or six men iv bright clothing. So the four pilgrims waded through the river with different circumstances; for Spiritual-Man having been in deep waters before, though not altogether so deep as these, had got some skill in swimming and keeping his head above water ; but poor Convert and Seek-Truth were at a great loss when they came toward the middle of the river, where the waters were at the deepest, so that they cried out for help unto him that is able to save, and their prayer was heard, and a hand was reached forth, which buoyed them up till they came to the shallow ground. So they walked through the rest of the river with ease, and came to their brethren on the other side..
But as for Zealous-Mind, he thought to get over safer than any of them, and therefore privately he had gathered a bundle of reeds which grew by the river side, and he rested himself on them ; but when he came to the middle of the river, the vio. lence of the current carried away his reeds, and he sunk to the bottom, and was seen no more.
So in my dream I asked one that stood by me, What was the reason, that he who had appeared so forward all along in his journey should now sink at last? And he answered, It is not enough to be zealous and forward, but to be liumble and charitable also is requisite. This man was of a fiery temper, and had a zeal indeed ; but it was a disorderly zeal, not tempered with charity and prudence: likewise he trusted in his own strength, as you saw by his leaning on the bundle of reeds. Now this was his pride, for had he called on God for help, peradventure he might have been saved.
So I saw in my dream, that the four men, even TenderConscience, Spiritual-Man, Seek-Truth, and Convert, wel. comed each other to that side of the river, and the shining ones welcomed them likewise; and there came a bright cloud and covered them all, and they were carried up in the cloud, through untracked paths of air: and as they went up, the men in bright The Pilgrims enter the Celestial City.
clothing told them, that they had watched over them all the way of their pilgrimage, and had observed all their good actions which were written down in a book; and that they had saved them from many dangers, though unseen by them. Thus the cloud was carried up through the boundless orb above; and as they went through the skies, they saw the glorious stars shining like suns in the firmament.
At length, when they came near to the heaven of heavens, a troop of holy ones came out of the City to meet them. Now the foundation of the City was laid on the top of the eternal hills, and all round about it were fields of endless light, wherein the saints and angels walked. Then they came to the place where the Ancient of Days was sitting, whose garments were us white as snow, and the hair of his head was like pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came out from before him; thousands and thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten housand stood before him. Then they came to the gate of the City, and the pilgrims were Lid to call there; which they did accordingly, and one looked over the gate, to whom the men in bright clothing said, I hese men are come from the Valley of Destruction; these meu have gone through great tribulation for the love they bare to the King. And they spoke to the pilgrims to give in their certificates, which they did; and their certificates were presented to the King, who gave orders that the gates should be opened to the pilgrims. So they entered in, and just at the entrance one met them, and said uuto them, “ Coine, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world ; enter you into the joy of your Lord.” Then a multitude of the heavenly hust, with harps in their hands, met them, and sang a song which no man nderstood but themselves, and such as are thought worthy to e admitted into that blessed place. So I awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
END OF THE THIRD PART