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Mercy's Reasons for going on Pilgrimage.

INTER. What was it then, dear heart, that hath prevailed with thee to do as thou hast done?

MER. Why, when our friend here was packing up to be gone from our town, I and another went accidentally to see her. So we knocked at the door, and went in. When we were within, and seeing what she was doing, we asked her what she meant. She said, she was sent for to go to her husband ; and then she up and told us how she had seen him in a dream, dwelling in a curious place among immortals, wearing a crown, playing upon a harp, eating and drinking at his Prince's table, and singing praises to him for the bringing him thither, &c. Now methought, while she was telling these things unto us, my heart burned within me. And I said in my heart, If this be true, I will leave my father and my mother, and the land of my nativity, and will, if I may, go along with Christiana.

So I asked her further of the truth of these things, and if she would let me go with her: for I saw now, that there was no dwelling, but with the danger of ruin, any longer in our town." But yet I came away with a heavy heart; not for that I was unwilling to come away, but for that so many of my relations were left behind. And I am come with all my heart; and will, if I may, go with Christiana, to her husband, and his King.

Inter. Thy setting out is good, for thou hast

to abhor ourselves, the paths of sin, and to cast off all self-righteous hopes. If this be effected in thy heart, reader, no matter whether thou canst tell of visions and dreams, and talk high of experiences. Many are, and have been deceived by these things, and come to nothing. But where the soul is rooted and grounded in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and love to his ways, though there may be many fears, yet the Lord will not despise the day of small things i he will not break a bruised reed.' ,

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given credit to the truth; thou art a Ruth, who did, for the love she bare to Naomi, and to the Lord her God, leave father and mother, and the land of her nativity, to come out and go with a people that she knew not before. 6 The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trustm.”, dini

Now supper was ended, and preparation was made foc, bed: the women were laid singly alone, .and the boys by themselves. Now when Mercy was in bed, she could not sleep for joy, for that now her doubts of missing at last were removed further from

3 The giving credit to the truth of threatenings against sin, will prepare the heart to receive and credit the invitations and promises of the gospel, and to venture on Christ alone for pardon and peace. This is more than a bare belief of the truth; it implies a holy de. pendence on Jesus Christ as the only Mediator of the covenant, and a reception of the truth in the love of it. Hence not only the assent of the understanding is necessary, but also the embracing affectionately the truths of the gospel, and receiving Christ in his promises. This is far beyond the bare notion of a formal professor, who has never felt his want of mercy, nor sought an interest in Christ according to his word. The Christian's faith is of the operation of the Holy Spirit. On, how are many poor pilgrims dejected and distressed about the faith of the gospel, by the strange perplexing, unscriptural definitions, which have been given of it! Whereas faith is the most simple thing in the world; it is a believe ing and receiving of the truth as it is in Jesus ; tliat we are lost sinners in ourselves ; and that there is salvation for us in him. Where this is believed in the heart, it causes a sinper to become a pilgrim; believing the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the perfect purity of God's law, his own ruined state, the preciousness of Christ, the glory of his salvation, the necessity of holiness, and the hope of glory; this faith will influence the conduct, bring love into the heart, and cause the soul to persevere, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Oh! if thou hast ja grain of this precious faith in thy heart, bless Jesus for it, and go on thy way režoicing.. .


to . I m Ruth ii. 11, 12. ab mis

at the House of the Interpreter.

pared themid have the go from hennto them, bath,

her than ever they were before. So she lay blessing and praising God, who had such favour for her?. :

In the morning they arose with the sun, and prepared themselves for their departure; but the Interpreter would have them tarry a while; “ for (said he) you must orderly go from hence.” Then said he to the damsel that first opened unto them, “ Take them, and have them into the garden to the bath, and there wash them and make them clean from the soil which they have gathered by travelling.”. Then Innocent the damsel took them, and led them into the garden, and brought them to the bath; so she told them, that there they must wash and be clean, for so her Master would have the women to do, that called at his house as they were going on pilgrimage. Then they went and washed, yea, they and the boys and all; and they came out of that bath not only sweet and clean, but also much enlivened and strengthened in their joints. So when they came in, they looked fairer a deal than when they went out to the washing 4. "..

s Here now is the comfort of faith. As our faith grows strong, it expels our doubts, enlivens our hearts, and sets our souls a blessing and praising our Emmanuel. This prayer, “Lord, increase qur faith!” is ever peculiarly suitable to the humble followers of Christ.

4 There are very few who travel on pilgrimage without gathering soil. There are no pilgrims but daily need to have recourse to this bath of sanctification. . What may we understand by it? The blood of Jesus, which cleanses us from all sin, 1 John i. 7. Christ is the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, Zech. xiii.' Christ is the soul's only bath. As all baths are for the health and purification of the body; such is this bath to the soul. But unless a bath be used, and water applied, this cannot be effected : so, unless we have recourse to Christ, we cannot enjoy the comfort of health and purification of soul. But the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, convinces us of sin, shews us our fresh-contracted spots and defilements, and leads us to the blood of the Lamb. The Spirit bears witness to this blood, and purifies and comforts by the

The Pilgrims prepare to leave

When they were returned out of the garden from the bath, the Interpreter took them, and looked upon them, and said unto them, “Fair as the moon.” Then he called for the seal, wherewith they used to be sealed that were washed in his bath. So the seal was brought, and he set his mark upon them, that they might be known in the places whither they were yet to go. Now the seal was the contents and sum of the passover which the children of Israel did eat when they came out of the land of Egypt"; and the mark was set between their eyes. This seal greatly added to their beauty, for it was an ornament to their faces. It also added to their gravity, and made their countenances more like those of angels.

application of his blood only. Oh, how does this enliven and strengthen our souls, by filling our consciences with joy and peace in believing! Let us bless our gracious Saviour for such a bath. Let us pray him to keep us from being so hardened, through the deceitfulness of sin, as not to feel our want of it; or so blinded by a false notion of our own rectitude, as not to see our constant need of this fountain.

Behold! for me the Victim bleeds,

His wounds are open’d wide;
For me the blood of sprinkling pleads,

And speaks me justify?d.
Oh! may the least omission pain

My well instructed soul,
And drive me to the blood again

Which makes the wounded whole. 5 This means the sealing of the Spirit, whereby they were scaled unto the day of redemption, Eph. iv. 30. Oh, this is blessed sealing! None knows the comfort and joy of it but those who have experienced it. It confirms our faith, establishes our hope, and inflames our affections to God the Father for his infinite love, to God the Son for his ever-blessed atonement and salvation, and to God the Spirit for his enlightening mercy, regenerating grace, quickening, sanctifying, testifying, and assuring influences, whereby

366, .2Exod. xii. 8-10.

the House of the Interpreter.

Then said the Interpreter again to the damsel that waited upon the women, “Go into the vestry, and fetch out garments for these people.” So she went and fetched out white raiment, and laid it down before him: so he commanded them to put it on: it was “ fine linen, white and clean.” When the women were thus adorned, they seemed to be a terror one to the other; for that they could not see that glory each one had in herself, which they could see in each other. Now therefore they be. gan to esteem each other better than themselves. “ For you are fairer than I am," said one; and, “ You are more comely than I am,” said another. The children also stood amazed to see into what fashion they were brought?.

The Interpreter then called for a manservant of his, one Great-Heart, and bid him take a sword and

we know that we are passed from death to life; for “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God," Rom. viii. 16. All the comfort of our souls lies in keeping this seal clear in our view, and constant in our sight. Therefore grieve not the Holy Spirit.

O“ To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is imputed to him for righteousness." Hence it is called the righteousness of God, 2 Cor. v. 21; and the righteousness of faith, Rom. i. 6. The method or plan of our salvation by grace, through faith, was formed by the Lord; his. beloved Son harmonized all the attributes of Deity in it; the abi. lity to believe is given us by him, and it is accepted only through the precious Saviour. 1.

.? This is always the case when souls are clothed in the garment of salvation. They are little and mean in their own eyes, and they esteem each other better than themselves; whereas they who at all look to, trust in, or depend upon, their own righteousness, in any degree, for their justification before God, always look down with an air of supercilious contempt upon others, who they think are not so righteous as themselves. This is contrary to living by faith upon, and looking wholly to Jesus. Lord, hide self-righteous pride from - my heart, and sink me into the depth of deepest humility, that I may ever glory of thee, and in thee, in whom alone I am made righteous !

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