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and are met by Enemies.'
their idemselves wirhana and
“ Well (says she) my sons, you transgress, for that fruit is none of ours:” but she did not know that it did belong to the enemy: I'll warrant you, if she had, she would have been ready to die for fear. But that passed, and they went on their way Now, by that they were gone about two bow's-shot from the place that led them into the way, they spied two very ill-favoured ones coming down apace to meet them'. With that Christiana and Mercy her friend covered themselves with their veils, and kept also on their journey : the children also went on before: so that at last they met together. Then they that came down to meet them, came up just to the women as if they would embrace them: but Christiana said, "Stand back, or go peaceably as you should." Yet these two, as men that are deaf, regarded not Christiana's words, but began to lay hands upon them; at that Christiana waxed very wroth, and spurned at them with her feet. Mercy also, as well as she could, did what she could to shift them. Christiana again said to them, “ Stand back, and be gone, for we have no money to lose, being pilgrims, as you see, and such too as live upon the charity of our friends." * Ill-Fa. Then said one of the two men, We make
she did not know that it grew in the devil's garden. Parents, mind this. Suffer not your children in the least evil. Reprove them for the smallest fault. Sin is both deceitful and hardening. If no notice is taken of a small fault, it naturally will harden them, so as to commit a greater. Mark the consequence of their eating of this fruit hereafter. . ,'
9 What are these ill-favoured ones ? Such as you will be sure to meet with in your pilgrimage--some vile lusts, or cursed cora ruptions, which are suited to your carnal nature. These will attack you, strive to prevail against you, and overcome you. -Mind how these pilgrims acted, and follow their example. If one was to fix names to these ill-favoured ones, they might be called Unben lief and Licentiousness, which aim to rob Christ's virgins of their chastity to him.
The Pilgrims attacked by their Enemies.
no assault upon your money, but are come out to tell you, that if you will but grant one small request which we shall ask, we will make women of you for ever.
CHR. Now Christiana, imagining what they should mean, made answer again, “We will neither hear, nor regard, nor yield to what you shall ask. We are in haste, and cannot stay: our business is of life and death.” So again she and her companions made a fresh essay to go past them: but they letted them in their way.
Ill-Fa. And they said, We intend no hurt to your lives; it is another thing we would have.
CHR. " Ay (quoth Christiana) you would have lis body and soul, for I know it is for that your are come; but we will die rather upon the spot, than to suffer ourselves to be brought into such snares as shall hazard our well being hereafter.” And with that they both shrieked out, and cried, Murder! Murder! and so put themselves under those laws that are provided for the protection of women'. But the men still made their approach upon them, with design to prevail against them. They therefore cried out again'.
shall hazard aves to be brought on the spot, thar
1 Here we see that the most violent temptation to the greatest evil is not sin, if resisted and not complied with. Our dear Lord himself was tempted in all things like as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, ye dear followers of him, don't be dejected and cast down, though you should be exercised with temptations to the blackest crimes, and the most heinous sins. You cannot be as. saulted with worse than your Lord was : he was tempted to hellish unbelief, and abominable idolatry, and cruel self-murder, by the devil; but he resisted Satan, and overcame all in our nature. And he is faithful, and will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it, I Cor. x. 13. Oh, then cry to him. He is the precious deliverer, who will come to you in the hour of distress.
Deut. xxii. 25-27.
Now they being, as I said, not far from the gate in at which they came, their voice was heard from where they were thither: wherefore some of the house came out, and knowing that it was Chris. tiana's tongue, they made haste to her relief. But by that they were got within sight of them, the women were in a very great scuffle: the children *also stood crying by. Then did he that came in for their relief call out to the ruffians, saying, “What is that thing you do? Would you make my Lord's people to transgress ?” He also attempted to take them: but they did make their escape over the wall into the garden of the man to whom the great dog belonged: so the dog becaine their pro. tector. This Reliever then came up to the women, and asked them how they did. So they answered, “We thank thy Prince, pretty well; only we have been somewhat affrighted: we thank thee also, that thou camest in to our help, for otherwise we had been overcome.”
REL. So after a few more words, this Reliever said as followeth : I marvelled much, when you were entertained at the gate above, being ye know that ye were but weak women, that you petitioned not the Lord for a conductor: then might you have avoided these troubles and dangers; he would have granted you one
CHR. Alas! said Christiana, we were so taken with our present blessing, that dangers to come were forgotten by us: beside, who could have thought, that so near the King's palace there should have lurked such naughty ones? Indeed, it had been well for us, had we asked our Lord for one; but,
? Let this convince us of our backwardness to prayer, and make us ashamed of ourselves, that our conduct brings that cutting word against us, “ Ye have not, because ye ask not," James iv. 2.
since our Lord knew it would be for our profit, I wonder he sent not one along with us. .
Rel. It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, lest by so doing they become of little esteem: but when the want of a thing is felt, it then comes under, in the eyes of him that feels it, that estimate that properly is its due; and so consequently will be hereafter used. Had my Lord granted you a conductor, you would not, neither, so have bewailed that oversight of yours, in not asking for one, as now you have occasion to do. So all things work for good, and tend to make you more wary 4. i
Chr. Shall we go back again to my Lord, and confess our folly, and ask one?,
REL. Your confession of your folly will I present him with: to go back again, you need not; for in all places where you shall come you will find no want at all; for at every of my Lord's lodgings, which he has prepared for the reception of his pil. grims, there is sufficient to furnish them against all attempts whatsoever. But, as I said, "he will be enquired of by them, to do it for them." And it is a poor thing that is not worth asking for.
As It is well to be delighted with present blessings, to be joyful in them, and thankful for them; but it is wrong to forget our dangers, and grow secure. Though the Lord loves us so well as to withhold no good thing from us, yet what he does withhold he makes to work for good unto us, even to convict us of our remişsness. .
. 4 Whạt loving, what precious reasoning is this! With what těnder, affection does our Lord reprove his weak people ! See how kindly it works upon a pilgrim's soul. Poor Christiana was for going back to confess her folly, and make her request to her Lord. But she is forbidden and encouraged and comforted to go on. Oh, how does our Lord bear, and what pains does he take, with us, poor awkward creatures, who are ever prone to act amiss. Let us ever think most lowly of ourselves, and most highly of him.
: i dati . Ezek. xxxvi. 37.,,.
The Pilgrims converse respecting their Deliverance,
When he had thus said, he went back to his place, and the pilgrims went on their way.
MER. Then said Mercy, What a sudden blank' is here! I made account we had been past all danger, and that we should never sorrow more.
Chr. Thy innocency, my sister, said Christiana to Mercy, may excuse thee much; but as for me, my fault is so much the greater, for that I saw this danger before I came out of the doors, and yet did not provide for it where provision might have been had. I am much to be blamed. .
MER. Then said Mercy, How knew you this before you came from home? Pray, open to me this riddle.
Chr. Why, I will tell you. Before I set out of doors, one night, as I lay in my bed, I had a dream about this: for methought I saw two men, as like these as ever the world they could look, stand at my bed's feet, 'plotting how they might prevent my salvation. I will tell you their very words: they said it was when I was in my troubles) “What shall we do with this woman? for she cries out waking and sleeping for forgiveness: if she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband.” This, you know, might have made me take heed, and have provided when provision might have been had. :
MER. Well, said Mercy, as by this neglect we have an occasion ministered unto us to behold our imperfections, so our Lord has taken occasion
5 Here is a display of a truly Christian spirit, in that open and ingenuous confession of her fault, taking all the blame upon her. · self, exaggerating it, and excusing Mercy. This is not natural to us : for we are all prone to self-justification, and self-vindication. This is the real mark of our high spirit. But the grace of Christ humbles the heart, and silences the tongue to self-justifying pleas: Oh, for more of this precious grace!