« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Evangelist 'directs Christian.
upon my because I fear so many ev.
to come to judgment; and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second?. · Then said Evangelist, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils? The man answered, Because I fear that this burden that is upon my back & will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophets. And, Sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit to go to judgment, and from thence to execution: and the thoughts of these things make me cry.
Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest thou still ? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, “ Fleet from the wrath to come.”
The man therefore read it; and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder Wicket-Gatei? The man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light'? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what
9 A true confession of an enlightened sensible sinner. "
8 The convictions of the Spirit of God in the heart make a man feel the insupportable burden of sin upon his back, and to dread the wrath of God revealed from heaven against sin. .
9 The gospel never leaves a convinced sinner in the miserable situation in which it finds him, without hope and relief; but points him to Jesus for safety and salvation, that he may flee from himself and the wrath he feels in himself, to the fulness of the grace of Christ, signified by the Wicket-Gate.
1 Christ, and the way to him, cannot be found without the word. The word directs to Christ, and the Spirit shines into the heart, whereby the sinner sees Christ in the word. This makes God's word precious.
fEzek. xxii. 14. Isa. xxx. 33. * Matt. ii. 7. Matt. vii. 14. *Ps: cxix. 1, 5. 2 Pet. i. 19.
thou shalt do. So I saw in my dream, that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return'; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and run' on, crying, “ Life, life! eternal life !” So he looked not behind him", but fled towards the middle of the plain?. .
The neighbours also came out to see 3 him run; and, as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate, and the name of the other Pliable. Now by this time the man was got a good distance from them; but, however, they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, Neighbours, wherefore are ye come? They said, To persuade you to go back with us: but he said, That can by no means be: you dwell, said he, in the City of Destruction (the place also where I was born); I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns with fire and brimstone. Be content, good neighbours, and go along with me.
2 When a sinner begins to flee from destruction, carnal relations will strive to prevent him; but it is wiser to stop our ears against the reasonings of flesh and blood, than to parley with them. Carnal affections cannot prevail over spiritual convictions. The sinner who is in earnest for salvation, will be deaf to invitations to go back. The more he is solicited by them, the faster he will flee from them.
• They who flee from the wrath to come are a gazing stock to the world.
4 The genuine spirit of a sinner, convinced of sin, and fleeing from destruction. He would gladly persuade other poor sinners to go with him. The least spark of grace from God in the heart discovers itself in good will to men.
i Luke xiv, 26. * Gen, xiv, 17.
Pliable consents to go with Christian.
· What, said Obstinate, and leave our friends and our comforts behind us !
Yes, said Christian (for that was his name); because that “all which you shall forsaken” is not worthy to be compared with a little of that that I am seeking to enjoy: and if you will go along with: me, and behold it, you shall fare as I myself; for there, where I go, is enough and to spareo: come away, and prove my words.
OBSTINATE. What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?
CHRISTIAN. I seek an “inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away P;' and it is laid up in heaven”, and safe there to be bestowed at the time appointed on them that diligently seek it. Read it so, if you will, in my book.
Obst. Tush, said Obstinate ; away with your book: will you go back with us or no?
CHR. No, not I, said the other; because I have laid my hand to the plough'.
Obst. Come then, neighbour Pliable, let us turn again, and go home without him; there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end, are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.
· Pli. Then said Pliable, Don't revile; if what the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours; my heart inclines to go with my neighbour.
Obst. What! more fools still! Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will lead you ? Go back, go back, and be wise 5.
5 He who never became a fool in the eyes of the world for Christ, is not yet made wise unto salvation through the faith of Christ. * 2 Cor. iv. 18. ° Luke xv. 17. Pl Pet. i. 4. 4 Heb. xi. 'Luke ix.62.
Chr. Nay, but do thou come with thy neighbour Pliable; there are such things to be had which I spake of, and many more glories besides : if you believe not me, read here in this book; and for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold all is confirmed by the blood of Him that made it”.
Pli. Well, neighbour Obstinate, saith Pliable, I begin to come to a point; I intend to go along with this good man, and to cast in my lot with him : but, my good companion, do you know the way to this desired place?
CHR. I am directed by a man whose name is. Evangelist, to speed me to a little gate that is before us, where we shall receive instructions about the way.
Pli. Come then, good neighbour, let us be going: then they went both together.
Obst. And I will go back to my place, said Obstinate : I will be no companion of such misled fantas
tical fellow. w in my cand Pliab
Now I saw in my dream that when Obstinate was gone back, Christian and Pliable went talking over the plain ; and thus they began their discourse:
CHR. Come, neighbour Pliable, how do you? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me; had even Obstinate himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pli. Come, neighbour Christian, since there are none but us two here, tell me now further, what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going?
Chr. I can better conceive of them with my mind
6 Here see the different effects which gospel truths have upon natural men. Obstinate totally rejects them. Pliable hears them with joy, believes somewhat of them for a season, and accompanies Christian a little way. ..
· Heb. ix, 17-22.
Christian entertains Pliable with heavenly Discourse.
than speak of them with my tongue; but yet, since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my book.
Pli. And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true ? · Chr. Yes, verily; for it was made by Him that cannot liet.
Pli. Well said; what things are they? .
Chr. There is an endless kingdom to be inha. bited, and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever".
PLI. Well said ; and what else ?
Chr. There are crowns of glory to be given us ; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven..
Pli. This is very pleasant; and what else?
CHR. There shall be no more crying, nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe all tears
from our eyes'. · Pli. And what company shall we have there?
CHR. There we shall be with seraphims and cherubims, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them?. There also we shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that have gone before us to that lovely place; none of them are hurtful, but loving and holy, every one walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever; in a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crownsa; there we shall see holy virgins with their golden harps b; there we shall see men, that by the world were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they bare to the Lord of the place; all
Tit. i. 2. Isà. xlv. 17. John x. 27-29. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Rev. xxii. 5. Matt. xii. 43. Isa. xv. 8. Rev. vii, 16, 17; xxi. 4. a Isa. vi. 2. 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. Rev. v.ll. •Rev. iv. 4. Rev. xiv. 1-5.