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:: The Pilgrims received' at the Wicket-Gạte.
way I obtained it. Take the first from my lips with a kiss, and the other as it shall be revealed.” (Song. 1. 2. John xx. 20.)
Now I saw in my dream, that he spake many good words unto them, whereby they were greatly gladdened. He also had them up to the top of the gate, and showed them by what deed they were saved ; and told them withal, that that sight they would have again as they went along in the way to their comfort.
Application must be made to the Lord Jesus Christ for pardon by fervent and believing prayer ; and if an answer of peace be not iminediately obtained, such petitions must be repeated. It is not surprising that the devil should by his artifices raise fears in the minds of sincere christians, and endeavour to frighten them from a throne of grace; but these suggestions, instead of driving them back to the world, will make them pray the more earnestly.- Ardent desires for salvation will be certainly heard and answered ; and divine help will be imparted, to enable them who seek God to depend wholly upon the Lord Jesus.-If children cannot find words to make known their requests to God, yet, if they unite in heart with a praying mother, they will be graciously received by him who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Where persons unite together in prayer, one may obtain peace and joy before another.—They who have experienced the joy of God's salyation themselves, will intercede for their companions, who are still labouring under doubts and fears : but the prayers of others for then will not satisfy awakened sinners; their fears and distress will lead them to pray the more earnestly and importunately for themselves. When hope is at the last extremity, the Lord Jesus will discover his boundless compassion, and speak good words and comfortable words to them who are ready to perish; and by what means soever sinners are brought to his feet, he will save them that call upon his name, because “ he ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by him.”—The promises of the gospel will revive the despairing heart; and the influences of the Holy Spirit will strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.-Confession of sin, and supplication for forgiveness and divine teaching, will accompany faith in Christ, which is the instrument of reconciliation between God and sinners, and the way in which the enjoyment of divine love is conveyed to the heart. “ Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"' Rom. v. I. And“ if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," I John i, 9."
The Pilgrims entertained at the Wicket-Gate.
So he left them a while in a summer parlour below, where they entered into talk by themselves : and thus Christiana began : “O Lord, how glad am I that we are got in hither!": - Mer. So you may well; but I of all have cause to leap for joy.! ...Chr. I thought one time as I stood at the gate (because I had knocked, and none did answer) that all our labour had been lost, especially when that ugly cur made such a heavy barking at us. .
MER. But my worst fear was, after I saw that you were taken into his favour, and that I was left behind. Now, thought I, it is fulfilled which it is written, “ Two women shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken and the other left?." I had much ado to forbear crying out, Undone?! And afraid I was to knock any more: but when I looked up to what was written over the gate, I took courage. I also thought, that I must either knock
6 The devil often rages most at us, and brings his heaviest accusations against us, when mercy, peace, comfort, and salvation, are nearest to us.
“Press on, nor fear to win the day,
? See the blessed effect of deep conviction.' When one and another is brought into liberty, a person who is thoroughly awakened will be led by it to greater importunity at the throne of grace, yet without murmuring at the Lord's seeming delay; without envying those who can rejoice in his salvation, he will silently wait in patient hope, or fervently plead for inercy as a lost ruined sinner, unless saved by the mere grace of God. He will be encouraged to this, like Mercy, by what was written, over the gate, “Knock, and it shall be opened.” The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Here is a blessed example of deep humility, and of holy boldness, excited by the divine word. Go, thou ruined sinner, and do likewise. .
* Matt. xxiv. 41., Part I. page 33.
The Pilgrims entertained at the Wicket-Gate.
again or die: so I knocked, but I cannot tell how; for my spirit now struggled between life and death.
. CHR. Can you not tell how you knocked? I am sure your knocks were so earnest, that the very sound made me start: I thought I never heard such knocking in all my life; I thought you would come in by a violent band, or take the kingdom by stormb.
MER. Alas, to be in my case! who that so was could but have done so? You saw that the door was shut upon me, and that there was a most cruel dog thereabout. Who, I say, that was so faint-hearted
as I, would not have knocked with all their might? · But, pray, what said my Lord unto my rudeness? Was he not angry with me?
Chr. When he heard your lumbering noise, he gave a wonderful innocent smile : I'believe what you did pleased him well, for he shewed no sign to the contrary. But I marvel in my heart why he keeps such a dog : had I known that before, I should not have had heart enough to have ventured myself in this manner. But now we are in, we are in, and I am glad with all my heart.
Mer. I will ask, if you please, next time he comes down, why he keeps such a filthy cur in his yard : I hope he will not take it amiss.
Do so, said the children, and persuade him to hang him, for we are afraid he will bite as when we go hence. Si
So at last he came down to them again, and Mercy fell to the ground on her face before him, and worshipped, and said, “ Let my Lord accept the sacrifice of praise which I now offer unto him with the calves of my lips.” :. So he said unto her, “ Peace be to thee; stand up." But she continued upon her face, and said,
b Matt. xi. 12.
are readyred and went close it barking we He answer is also beinis hear see ther
“ Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee; yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments":" wherefore dost thou keep so cruel a dog in thy yard, at the sight of which such women and children as we are ready to flee from the gate for fear ?
He answered and said, That dog has another owner: he is also kept close in another man's ground, only my pilgrims hear his barking: he be. longs to the castle which you see there at a distance", but can come up to the walls of this place. He has frighted many an honest pilgrim from worse to better, by the great voice of his roaring. Indeed, he that owneth him doth not keep him out of any good will to me or mine, but with intent to keep the pilgrims from coming to me, and that they may be afraid to come and knock at this gate for entrance. Soinetimes also he has broken out, and has worried some that I loved; but I take all at present patiently. I also give my pilgrims tiinely help, so that they are not delivered up to his power, to do to them what his doggish nature would prompt him to. But what! my purchased one, I trow, hadst thou known never so much beforehand, thou wouldest not have been afraid of a dog. The beggars that go from door to door, will, rather than they will lose a supposed alms, run the hazard of the bawling, barking, and biting too, of a dog: and shall a dog in another man's yard, a dog whose barking I turn to the profit of pilgrims, keep any from coming to me? I deliver them from the lions, and “my darling from the power of the dog."
Mer. Then said Mercy, I confess my ignorance ; I speak what I understand not: I acknowledge that thou doest all things well.
Chr. Then Christiana began to talk of their jour,
9-Jer. xii: 1, 2; -1.4 Part 1. page 34.
.' Psal. xxii. 20, 81,
The Pilgrims go on their way,
ney, and to enquire after the way. So he fed them, and washed their feet, and set them in the way of his steps, according as he had dealt with her husband. before. - So I saw in my dream, that they went on their way; and the weather was comfortable to them.
Then Christiana began to sing, saying, ..
Now there was on the other side of the wall, that fenced in the way up, which Christiana and her companions were to go, à garden, and that belonged to him whose was that barking dog, of whom mention was made before. And some of the fruit-trees that grew in the garden shot their branches over the wall; and being mellow, those that found them did gather them up, and ate of them to their hurt. So Christiana's boys (as boys are apt to do) being pleased with the trees, and with the fruit that did hang thereon, did pluck them, and began to eat. Their mother did also chide them for so doing, but still the boys went on .
8 What is this garden, but the world.? What is the fruit they here found ? 'The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, 1 John ii. 16. Of this the boys ate. The mother chides them, for taking that which did not belong to them ; but