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The Spider upon the Wall.
is in her.” The Interpreter then looked pleasantly on her, and said, “ Thou hast said the truth.” This made Mercy blush, and the boys to cover their faces; for they all began now to understand the riddle'.
Then said the Interpreter again, « The spider taketh hold with her hands (as you see) and is in kings' palaces.” And wherefore is this recorded, but to shew you, that how full of the vemon of sin soever. you be, yet you may, by the hand of faith, lay hold of, and dwell in, the best room that belongs to the King's house above?
Chr. I thought, said Christiana, of something of this, but I could not imagine it all. I thought, that we were like spiders, and that we looked like ugly creatures, in what fine rooms soever we were; but that by this spider, this venomous and ill-fa. voured creature, we were to learn how to act faith, that came not into my head. In this manner she
1 It is not a little thing to know ourselves. Such is the deceitfulness of the heart, that if it be not closely examined, and constantly watched, there will be found lurking some unsuspected evil. more venomous than that of the spider. Yet the blood of Christ. can cleanse the soul from all unrighteousness, and make the heart a delightful palace for the King of kings. May we know the hope of our calling, and the exceeding greatness of his power to them that believe.
* Here is the mystery of God's grace, that, however hateful sin is in the sight of a holy God, however full of sin the sinner is, yet he can receive the sinner, in Christ the Son of his love, by whom a perfect atonement is made for sin; his precious blood cleanses the souls of men from sin, and will present them without spot or sin before God. This, faith apprehends; and then the soul dwells in the best room indeed, even in the favour of God in Christ. The Lord increase our faith in this precious truth, that we may more constantly love and glorify the God of grace and truth! Oh, let not our venom of sin deject us, while there is the blood of Christ to cleanse us! For however great our guilt, or deep our depravity, one grain of living faith in Christ will remove the mountain, and appy the healing cleansing blood.
worketh with her hands; and, as I see, dwells in the best room in the house. God has made nothing in vain.
Then they seemed all to be glad; but the water stood in their eyes : yet they looked one upon another, and also bowed before the Interpreter.
He had them into another room, where was a hen and chickens, and bid them observe a while. So one of the chickens went to the trough to drink, and every time she drank she lifted up her head and her eyes towards heaven. ·6 See,” said he, “what this little chick doeth, and learn of her to acknowledge whence your mercies come, by receiving them with looking up.-Yet again (said he) observe and look :” so they gave heed, and perceived that the hen did walk in a fourfold method towards her chickens. 1. She had a common call, and that she had all the day long. 2. She had a special call, and that she had but sometimes. 3. She had a brooding note. And, 4. She had an outcry'. . .
Now, said, he, compare this hen to your King, and these chickens to his obedient ones. For, answerable to her, himself has his methods, which he walketh in towards his people : by his common call he gives, nothing; by his special call he always has something to give; he has also a brooding voice for them that are under his wing; and he has an outcry, to give the alarm when he seeth the enemy come.. I choose, my darlings, to lead you into the room where such things are, because you are women, and they are easy for you?.
3 This simile cannot be fully reconciled to the language and 'doctrines of Jesus Christ, who when he beheld the city of Jerusalem, wept over it, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her chickens under her
* Matt. xxiii. 37.
The Flower-garden. · Chr. “Then, Sir,” said Christiana, '“ pray, let us see some more.” So he had them into the slaughter+ · house, where was a butcher killing of a sheep: and, behold, the sheep was quiet, and took her death patiently. Then said the Interpreter, “ You must learn of this sheep to suffer, and to put up wrongs without murmurings and complaints. Behold how quietly she takes her death; and, without objecting, she suffereth her skin to be pulled over her ears. Your king doth call you his sheep."
After this he led them into his garden, where was great variety of flowers : and he said, “ Do you see all these?” So Christiana said, “ Yes.” Then said he again, “ Behold, the flowers are diverse in nature, in quality, and colour, and smell, and virtue: and some are better than some; also, where the gardener hath set them, there they stand, and quarrel not one with another 5.".
wings, but ye would not." And the apostle assures us, "that God is no respecter of persons." . May we timely know his gracious call of mercy! Then shall we gladly sing, with David, * In the shadow of thy wings will - I rejoice," Psal. Ixii. 7. “ I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet unto my taste," Song ii. 3. Oh, for more of these precious brooding notes, to be gathered under the wing of our Emmanuel! But be our frames and experiences what they may, still we are ever in danger; for our enemies surround us on every side, and our worst are within us. Therefore our Lord has an outcry; he gives the alarm, calls upon us, and warns us of danger. Why? that we should flee to him, and run into him. For “ the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe,” Prov. xviii. 10.
4 Were we as sheep going astray? Are we now returned to thee, O Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls? Lord, give us more and more of thy meek and lowly spirit ! ..5..Christ's church is his garden ; his people are planted in it by the power of his grace, and they, if faithful, shall soon be transa planted into his kingdom of glory. Though there may be little unessential differences of judgment, yet why should they fall out? Oh, for more love and peace from Jesus, and then there will be more among each other.
Again, he had them into his field, which he had sown with wheat and corn : but, when they beheld, the tops of all were cut off, only the straw remained. He said again, « This ground was dunged, and sowed; but what shall we do with the crop ?” Then said Christiana, “Burn some, and make muck of the rest." Then said the Interpreter again, “ Fruit, you see, is that thing you look for, and for want of that you condemn it to the fire, and to be trodden under foot of men : beware that in this you con. demn not yourselves.”
Then, as they were coming in from abroad, they spied a robin with a great spider in his mouth : so the Interpreter said, “ Look here." So they looked, and Mercy wondered ; but Christiana said, “What a disparagement is it to such a little pretty bird as the robin-red-breast is! he being also a bird above many, that loveth to maintain a kind of sociableness with men: I had thought they had lived upon crumbs of bread, or upon such other harmless matter : I like him worse than I did.”
The Interpreter then replied, This robin is an emblem, very apt to set forth some professors ; for to sight they are, as this robin, pretty of note, colour, and carriage; they seem also to have a very great love for professors that are sincere; and above all other to desire to associate with them, and to be in their company; as if they could live upon the good man's crumbs. They pretend also, that therefore it is that they frequent the house of the godly, and the appointments of the Lord: but when they are by. themselves, as the robin, they can catch and gobble
that lovercast is! heuch a little
of th that in the
6 A precious caution. See to it, Christians, that you avoid those things which causé deadness and unfruitfulness, and follow those things which tend to quicken and make your souls fruitful in good works, to the glory of God.
The Interpreter's Proverbs.
up spiders, they can change their diet, drink and swallow down sin like water 7. :: f inish
So when they were come again into the house, because supper as yet was not ready, Christiana again desired that the Interpreter would either shew or tell some other things that are profitable."
Then the Interpreter began, and said: The fatter the sow is, the more she desires the mire, the fatter the .os is, the more gamesomely he goes to the slaughter; and the more healthy the lusty man is, the more prone is he unto evil. . There is a desire in women to go neat and fine: and it is a comely thing to be adorned with that which in God's sight is of great price. ' onor
It is easier watching a night or two, than to sit up a whole year together : so it is easier for one to begin to profess well, than to hold out as he should to the end. ...
.insol! ;-).. Every ship-master, when in a storm, will willingly cast that overboard that is of the smallest value in the vessel : but who will throw the best out first? None but he that feareth not God. Dissol ditt 7!"} i One leak will sink a ship: and one sin will destroy a sinner. 1. He that forgets his friend is ungrateful unto him: but he that forgets his Saviour is unmerciful to him self.
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? A very striking emblem this, and most pertinently applied ; and if your soul be sincere, it will cause a holy fear, create a godly jealousy, put you upon self-examination, and make you sigh out in some such words as David, “Search me, 0 Gød, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me into the way, everlasting;' Psal. cxxxix. 23, 24. Oh, what will it arail in a dying hour, or in the judgment-day, that we have worn the mask of profession, and seemed to man what we were not in heart and reality of life before God! From all self-deceiving, good Lord, deliver us ! for we are naturally prone to it,