Gambar halaman

then come out again, satisfied to have neither poverty nor riches. But this is a temptation, where one step draws on another, so that no man can tell how far he is going ; and the damps in this mine are such, that the further men go in, the greater danger they encounter, and the more incapacitated they are from turning back. For they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil ; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

In our day there are many such hills Lucre, and such men Demas, to be encountered in our pilgrimage. But the air of the mines, it is observable, is in all those regions, and the Pilgrims who turn aside, generally get so infected with it that they are ever after either greatly hindered and weakened in their course, or entirely disabled from pursuing their pilgrimage. There are also certain wild lands stretching off behind the hill Lucre, where some Pilgrims wandering in search of treasure have lost their way, and never been heard of more. By divine grace the vigilance of Christian carried him and Hopeful past this danger, though Byends and all his company went into the mine at the first invitation from Demas, and these men were never more seen on their pilgrimage.

The habits of conformity to the world in Christians, and the love of money in the church of Christ, are the two forms of sin and danger especially brought to view in this portion of the

Pilgrim's Progress. There are certain passages of Scripture, certain declarations of our blessed Lord, which are “sharp arrows in the hearts of the King's enemies” on these subjects. What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? This is a sum in profit and loss, which it will take eternity to cypher out. Therefore let no man try it ; leave it to the Saviour. Turn you to him and say, Lord thou knowest; thou knowest perfectly what the soul is, and what eternity is, and I do not know either; and what it is to lose the soul, God grant I may never know. Lord keep me from making this experiment. And yet, there are multitudes who are making it, multitudes who are playing at this game, working at this sum in arithmetic, What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? This is the arithmetic of a great part of the world in Vanity Fair.

Now you may gain the world if you seek it. Its comforts, luxuries, sinful pleasures, may be



you be willing to barter your soul for them; they almost always come at that price; so you may gain the world, you may know what that part of the sum is; but what it is to lose the soul, that computation you are to make, that column you are to add up, in eternity ; and that is an experiment which you cannot make but by making it forever.

Then there is that other passage, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon? Cannot! Yea, cannot; it is an absolute impossibility. Then the life of a great many persons is a perpetual strife after what is impossible, for many are striving to serve God

and Mammon. Hard working people they are ; there are no greater drudges in the word, than those By-ends and Money-Loves and Demases, who, in the Christian church, are working away at this problem, to serve God and Mammon. That also is a tremendous sentence, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than, for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. “Often as the motley reflexes of my experience move in long processions of manifold groups before me,” says a great writer, and certainly not a cynical man, Mr. Coleridge, “ the distinguished and worldhonored company of Christian Mammonists appear to the eye of my imagination as a drove of camels heavily laden, yet all at full speed, and each in the confident expectation of passing through the eye of the needle, without stop or halt, both beasts and baggage!" From such sad and fearful madness may the grace of our God deliver us!

Fulness to such a burden is

Who go on pilgrimage ;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,

Is best from age to age.

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