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began to cry out lamentably ; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly-Wiseman; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself- again to Evangelist in words and sense as follows:
CHR. Sir, what think you', is there any hope? May I now go back, and go up to the Wicket-Gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsel : but may my sin be forgiven?
Evan. Then said Evangelist to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils : thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths: yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good will for men: only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, “lest thou perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little."
. Then did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he' had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed”. So he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one that was all the while
i Christian enquires if he may yet be happy. False hopes will bring on distress of soul and despondence of spirit, as well as outward sins; there is no hope of a sinner's being comforted by the crose of Christ, till he is made sensible of the insufficiency of all things else for salvation.
2 Nothing but the gospel of Christ can direct our steps in the right way, and bring peace and comfort to our souls. It salutes us with a cheering smile, a kiss of peace, and a blessing of con- . solation; and hence it wings our speed to Christ and holiness.
Psal. ij. 12.
Christian knucks at the Wicket-Gate.
treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe, till again he was got into the way which he had left to follow Mr. Worldly Wise-man's counsel ; so in process of time, Christian got up to the gate. Now over the gate there was written, “ Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt. vii. 7.)
He knocked therefore more than once or twice, saying,
- May I now enter here? Will he within
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high."
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the wrath to come: I would therefore, Sir, since I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in.
Good. I am willing with all my heart, said he ; and with that he opened the gateb.
So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said Christian, “ What means that?” The other told him, “ A little distance from this gate, there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is the captain ; and from thence both he and they that are with him, shoot arrows at those that come up to the gate, if haply they may die before
a Below the picture of Christian at the gate ;
“ He that would enter in, must first without
For God can love him, and forgive his sin."
they can enter ino:? Then said Christian, “ I rejoice and tremble.” So when he was got in, the man of the gate asked him who directed him thither. . .
CHR. Evangelist bid me come hither and knock, as I did: and he said, that you, Sir, would tell me what I must do.
Good. An open door is before thee, and no man can shut it.
Chr. Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.
Good. But how is it that you are come alone ?
Chr. Because none of my neighbours say their danger, as I saw mine.
Good. Did any of them know of your coming ?
Chr. Yes, my wife and children saw me at first, and called after me to turn again : also some of my neighbours stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so came on my way.
Good. But did none of them follow you, to persuade you to go back :
Chr. Yes, both Obstinate 'and Pliable: but when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back, but Pliable came with me a little way..
Good. But why did he not come through?
Chr. Weindeed came both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbour Pliable dis. couraged, and would not adventure farther. Where. fore getting out again on that side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this gate ".
c Satan envies those that enter the strait gate.
A man may have company when he sets out for heaven, and yet go thither alone.