Gambar halaman

They go to rest at the House Beautiful.

for they had prepared for them a lamb, with the accustomed sauce thereto. For the porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had supped, and ended their prayer with a psalm, they desired they might go to rest'.

« But let us,” said Christiana, “ if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that chamber that was my husband's, when he was here.” So they had them up thither, and they all lay in a room. When they were at rest, Christiana and Mercy entered into discourse about things that were convenient. . Chr. Little did I think once, when my husband went on pilgrimage, that I should ever have followed hiin.

MER. And you as little thought of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest as you do now?

CHR. And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him, and yet now I believe I shall.

Mer. Hark! don't you hear a noise ? :

Chr. Yes; 'tis, as I believe, a noise of music, for joy that we are here.

"The Lamb of God is the food of pilgrims, and the end of their conversation. Reader, can you feed upon Christ by faith? · Is the Lamb the nourishment of thy soul, and the portion of thy

heart? Canst thou say, from sweet and blessed experience, His flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed ? Is it thy delight to think of him, hear of him, speak of him, abide in hin, and live upon him ? Oh, bless him and praise him for his abundant mercy, this spiritual appetite. It is a blessing peculiar to his saved


& Pray, mind the above sweet note.“ Christ's bosom is for all pilgrims." It is there the weary find rest, and the burdened soul easę. Oh, for more reclinings of soul upon the precious bosom of our gracious Lord! We can be truly happy no where else..

• Exod."xii. 3. John i. 29.

Mercy relates her Dream.

MER. Wonderful! Music in the house, music in the heart, and music also in heaven, for joy that we are here?!

Thus they talked a while, and then betook them. selves to sleep. So in the morning when they were awaked, Christiana said to Mercy, “ What was the matter that you did laugh in your sleep to-night? I suppose you was in a dream.”

MER. So I was, and a sweet dream it was; but are you sure I laughed ?

Chr. Yes; you laughed heartily; but pr’ythee, Mercy, tell me thy dream.

MER. I was dreaming that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning of the hardness of my heart. Now I had not sat there long, but methought many were gathered about me to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened, and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my heart. At this, some of them laughed at me, some called me fool, and some began to thrust me about.

With that methought I looked up, and saw one coming with wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, “ Mercy, what aileth thee?” Now when he had heard me make my complaint, he said, “ Peace be to thee:" he also wiped mine eyes with his handkerchief, and clad me in silver and gold. He put a chain upon my neck, and earrings in mine ears, and a beautiful crown upon my head.

s Oh, what precious harmony is this ! how joyful to be the subjects of it, and to join in it! The free abundant grace of God is the delightful theme, and glory to God in the highest the universal chorus. It is the wonder and joy of believers on earth, and of angels in heaven.

a Ezek. xvi. 8--13,

Mercy relates ber Dream.

Then he took me by the hand and said, “ Mercy, come after me.” So he went up, and I. followed, till we came at a golden gate. Then he knocked : and, when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a throne, upon which one sat, and he said to me, “ Welcome, daughter.” The place looked bright and twinkling, like the stars, or rather like the sun, and I thought that I saw your husband there. So I awoke from my dream. But did I laugh*?

Chr. Laugh! aye, and well you might, to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you, that it was a good dream, and that as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. “God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not; in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumbering upon the bed."-We need not, when a-bed, to lie awake to talk with God; he can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oft-times wakes when we

4 Pray observe this dream: it is a most precious one indeed. We find it true in the broad day of sweet experience; for then it is we get the most blessed visits from our gracious Lord, when we get by ourselves and bemoan the deadness of our hearts. True, we may be laughed at, called fools, and be despised by the profane and self-righteous, who do not feel the hardness of their hearts, nor bemoan themselves for it; yet the loving, compassionate, tender-hearted Saviour, is ever near to us; he feels for us, syinpathizes with us, will manifest himself to us, and revive us with the sense of peace, the joy of hope, and the cornforts of love ; and assure us, that where he is there we shall soon be, where pain of heart and sorrow of soul shall be no more for ever. Therefore, so far from thinking yourself not to be a pilgrim, because you feel any hardness of heart, and bemoan it, be assured, notwithstanding, that this is a blessed sign that Christ's heart of love is set upon you.

• Job xxxiii, 14-16.

The Pilgrims remain some time at the House Beautiful.

sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awakes:

MER. Well, I am glad of my dream, for I hope ere long to see it fulfilled, to the making me laugh again.

Chr. I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do.

MER. Pray, if they advise us to stay a while, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the willinger to stay a while here, to grow better acquainted with these maids : methinks Prudence, Piety, and Chan rity, have very comely and sober countenances.

Chr. We shall see what they will do.—So when they were up and ready, they came down, and they asked one another of their rest, and if it was comfortable or not?

MER. Very good, said Mercy; it was one of the best night's lodgings that ever I had in my life.

Then said Prudence and Piety, If you will be .persuaded to stay here a while, you shall have what the house will afford.

CHAR. Aye, and that with a very good will, said Charity.

So they consented, and staid there about a month or above, and became very profitable one to another. And, because Prudence would see how Christiana had brought up her children, she asked leave of her to catechise them: so she gave her free consent. Then she began with the youngest, whose name was James..

PRUD. And she said, “ Come, James, canst thou tell me who made thee?”

5 Oh, how blessed are they that are watching and waiting continually to hear the small still voice of the Spirit, speaking rest and peace to their souls through the blood of the Lamb! Oh, how condescending is our Lord, thus to visit us, and converse with us in the way to his kingdom!

Prudence undertakes to catechise

Jam. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

PRUD. Good boy. And canst thou tell who saved thee?

JAM. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

Prud. Good boy still. But how doth God the Father save thee?

Jam. By his grace.
PRUD. How doth God the Son save thee?

JAM. By his righteousness, and blood, and death, and life.

PRUD. And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?

Jam. By his illumination, by his renovation, and by his preservation”.

Then said Prudence to Christiana, You are to be commended for thus bringing up your children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the next youngest.

PRUD. Then she said, Come, Joseph (for his name was Joseph) will you let me catechise you?

Jos. With all my heart.
PRUD. What is man?

Jos. A reasonable creature, made so by God, as my brother said.

PRUD. What is supposed by this word, saved ?

o The infinite love of the Father, and the redeeming grace of the adorable Saviour, however great and glorious, will never bring a soul to heaven without an enlightening, regenerating, and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. A deep conviction of the truth of this would cut off many presumptuous hopes, and lead souls to cry for mercy and salvation. They would be afraid to rest in notions, in professions, or formality; and would see the necessity of being made new creatures in Christ, in order to their having a title to, or meetness of soul for heaven and happiness.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »