Gambar halaman

peculiar to himself, for they had met with various dangers, temptations, enemies. They were both from the same City of Destruction; they were now dear friends going to the City of Immanuel ; delightful indeed it was to call to mind former things, and trace the loving kindness of the Lord thus far on their pilgrimage. Faithful had escaped the Slough of Despond, but he had fallen into worse dangers. The Old Man with his deeds had beset him. Then Discontent beset him in the Valley of Humiliation, and told him how he was offending all his worldly friends by making such a fool of himself. But of all his bold enemies, Shame, in that Valley, was the worst to deal with, the most distressing to Faithful's spirit, whom indeed he could scarce shake out of his


The delineation of this character by Bunyan, is a masterly grouping together of the arguments used by men of this world against religion, in ridicule and contempt of it, and of their feelings and habits of opinion in regard to it. Faithful's account of him and of his arguments is a piece of vigorous satire, full of truth and life. Faithful was hard put to it to get rid of this fellow, but he met with no other difficulty quite through the Valley, and as to the Shadow of Death, to him it was sunlight.

The next character brought into view is that of Talkative, a professor of religion by the tongue, but not in the life, a hearer of the word, but not a doer, a great disgrace to religion, and in the description of the common people, a saint abroad, and a devil at home. But he was a great talker. He could talk “ of things heavenly or things

earthly; things moral or things evangelical; things sacred or things profane; things past or things to come; things foreign or things at home; things more essential, or things circumstantial :-provided that all be done to profit.” Faithful was much taken with this man. What a brave companion have we got, said he to Christian ! surely this man will make a very excellent pilgrim. Christian, who knew him well, related his parentage and character, and afterwards Faithful proceeded, according to Christian's directions, to converse with Talkative in such a way upon the subject of religion, as very soon proved what he was in reality, and delivered them of his company. Then went they on, talking of all that they had seen by the way, with such deep interest as made the wilderness, through which they were passing, appear well nigh like a fruitful field. And now they rejoiced again to meet Evangelist, and listen to his encouraging and animating exhortations, of which, as they were now near the great town of Vanity Fair, they would stand in special need. ' Indeed, it was partly for the purpose of forewarning them of what they were to meet with there, and to exhort them, amidst all persecutions, to quit themselves like men, that Evangelist now came to them. His voice, so solemn and deep, yet so inspiring and animating, sounded like the tones of a trumpet on the eve of battle.

The subject of the trials and temptations of the Christian in this part of the Pilgrim's Pro

gress finds a beautiful commentary in the hymn to which I have referred, by Newton.

I ask'd the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

'Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust, has answer'd pray'r,
But answer came in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hop'd that in some favor'd hour,
At once he'd grant me my request,
And by his love's constraining pow'r,
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry pow'rs of hell
Assault my soul in ev'ry part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seem'd
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Cross'd all the fair designs I schem'd,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this ?" I trembling cried,
“Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death ?"
“ 'Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
"I answer pray’r for grace and faith :

“ These inward trials I employ,
“From self and pride to set thee free;
“ And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
“That thou may’st seek thine all in me.”


[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »