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EVANGELIST COMFORTS HIM.
Chr. Sir, what think you ? is there any hope ? May I now go back, and go up to the Wicket-Gate? Shall I
not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsel : but may my sin be forgiven ?
Then said Evangelist to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils: thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden
paths; yet will the Man at the Gate
receive thee, for he has good-will for men; only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, “ lest thou perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little."4 Then did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed. So he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor, if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer.
He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden ground; and could by no means think himself safe, till again he was got into the way which he had left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel. So, in process of time, Christian got up to the Gate. Now, over the Gate there was written, “ Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, saying,
May I now enter here? Will he within
4 Psal. ii. 12.
5 Matt. vii. 8.
At last there came a grave person to the Gate, named Good-will, who asked, Who was there? and whence he came? and what he would have ?
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner; I come from the city of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the wrath to come: I would therefore, Sir, since I am informed that by this Gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let
THE GATE WILL BE
I am willing with all my heart, said he; and with that he opened HEARTED Sinners.
OPENED TO BROKENthe Gate.
So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said Christian, What means that ? The other told him, A little distance from this Gate there is erected a strong Castle, of which Beelzebub
is the captain : from thence both he and them that are with him shoot arrows at those that come up to this
Gate, if haply they may die before hey an enter in.
Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when he was got in, the Man at the Gate asked him, Who directed him thither?
Chr. Evangelist bid me come hither and knock (as I did); and he said that
you, Sir, would tell me what I must do? Good. An Door is set before thee, and no man can shut it. Chr. Now I begin to reap the benefit of my
hazards. Good. But how is it that you came alone ?
Chr. Because none of my neighbours saw their danger as I saw mine.
Good. Did any of them know of your coming ?
Chr. Yes, my wife and children saw me at the first, and called after me to turn again : also some of my neighbours stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so came on my way. Good. But did none of them follow you to persuade go
back? Chr. Yes; both Obstinate and Pliable. But when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back, but Pliable came with me a little way.
Good. But why did he not come through?
Chr. We indeed came both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into the which we also sud
A MAN MAY HAVE
AT THE GATE.
denly fell ; and then was my neighbour Pliable discouraged, and would not adventure farther. Wherefore, getting HEAVEN, AND YET out again, on the side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave Country alone for him ; so he went his way, and I came mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this Gate.
Then said Good-will, Alas! poor man; is the celestial glory of so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?
Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable; and if I should also say the truth of myself, it will appear there is no betterment ’twixt him and myself. BEFORE THE MAN Tis true, he went back to his own house ; but I also turned aside to go into the Way of Death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal argument of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.
Good. Oh, did he light upon you ? what, he would have had you seek for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality? they are both of them a very cheat. But did you take his counsel ?
Chr. Yes, as far as I durst: I went to find out Mr. Legality, until I thought that the Mountain that stands by his house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.
Good. That Mountain has been the death of and will be the death of many more : 'tis well you escaped being by it dashed in pieces.
Chr. Why, truly, I do not know what had become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met ine again,
as I was musing in the midst of my dumps; but 'twas God's
mercy that he came to me again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that Mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord: but oh! what a favour is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here !
Good. We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither, they “in no wise are cast out;"and therefore,
good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee,
dost thou see this narrow way? THAT is the way thou must go: it was cast up by the Patriarchs, Prophets, Christ, and his Apostles; and it is as straight as a rule can make it: this is the way thou
CHRISTIAN IS COM-
But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a
stranger may lose his way? Good. Yes, there are many ways butt down upon this; and they are crooked and wide : but thus thou mayst distinguish the right from the wrong; the right only being straight and narrow.?
Then I saw, in my dream, that CHRISTIAN WEARY Christian asked him further, if he
could not help him off with his burden that was upon his back; for as yet he had not got rid thereof, nor could he by any means get it off without help
6 John vi. 37.
OF HIS BURDEN.
7 Matt. vii. 14.