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at the Wicket-Gate.
Good. Then said Goodwill, Alas, poor man! is the celestial glory of so small esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?
Chr. Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable; and if I should also say all the truth of myself, it would appear there is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true, he went back to his own house, but I also tarned aside to go in the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal argument of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.
Good. Oh! did he light upon you? What, he would have had you seek for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality! They are both of them very cheats. But did you take his counsel :
Chr. Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. Legality, until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have fallen upon my head: wherefore I was forced to stop.
Good. That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the death of many more: it is well you escaped being dashed in pieces by it.
Chr. Why truly I do not know what had become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of my dumps; but it was God's mercy that he came to ine again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord. But, oh! what a favour is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here!
Good. We make no objections against any, not. withstanding all that they have done before they came hither: they in no wise are cast out®. (John
e Encouraged by the general invitations of the gospel, and believing the ability of Christ to save to the uttermost, , christians, weary and heavy-laden, come to Jesus Christ, as the way to ever
Goodwill directs Christian
vi. 37.). And therefore, good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this
lasting life. “No man,” said our Lord, “ cometh to the Father but by me.” Christian prays again and again for mercy, acknowledges that he is an undeserving rebel, feeling the guilt of sin, wishing to escape the wrath to come, and anxious to know if Christ is willing to receive him. The favour which Christ bears to men is represented by Goodwill's opening the gate, and being “ willing with all his heart to answer his petitions.” But to shew, further, that the agency of the Holy Spirit is necessary in the conversion of a sinner, (for “ no man,” said our Lord, “ can come to me except the Father who hath sent me draw him,") Goodwill, as Christian is entering the gate, “ gives him a pull," assigning as the reason, that except such supernatural assistance were granted, the nalice and envy of the devil, and the corruptions of the human heart, would efectually prevent even an awakened sinner from venturing wholly upon Christ for salvation. With this statement the experience of Christian agrees, as he attributes his finding the gate entirely to divine mercy. Such a display of sovereign and irresistible grace working mightily in the heart, and causing a guilty sinner to believe the record which God has given, that there is eternal life for all who believe in the name of his only begotten Son, will produce holy joy, and humble fear, in the heart of the genuine believer. “I rejoice and tremble,” said Christian. To shew that salvation is entirely of grace, Christian acknowledges that he was no better than Pliable; and exclaiins, “ But oh! what a favour is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here!" This representation of efficacious grace in the conversion of a sinner to God, accords with the whole tenor of scripture. See among others the following passages. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,'' Psa, cx. 3. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but, of God that sheweth mercy,'* Rom. ix. 16. “ As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” John i. 12, 13. “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his worknianship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Eph. ii. 8--10. “ For who maketh thee to differ from another ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive ? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?" I Cor. iv. 7. “ By the grace of God I am what I am," I Cor. xv. 10.,
to the Narrow Way.
narrow way? That is the way thou must go.' It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles', and it is as straight as a rule can make it ; this is the way thou must go.
Chr. But, said Christian, are there no turnings por windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?
Good. Yes, there are many ways, which abut down upon this; and they are crooked and wide: but thus
"“ 'Twas the same love that spread the feast,
Watrs. Let Mr. Bunyan be again heard relating the manner of his coming to Christ." That scripture did also most sweetly visit my soul, “And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, John. vi. 37. O the comfort that I had from this word, “ in no wise !” As who should say, ' By no means, for nothing whatever he hath done.' But Satan would greatly labour to pull this promise from me, telling me that Christ did not mean me, and such as I, but sinners of a lower rank, that had not done as I had done. But I would answer him again, -Satan, here is in these words no exception; but him that comes, - him, any him : " Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." And this I well remember still, that of all the sleights that Satan used to take this scripture from me, yet he never did so much as put this question, 'But do you come aright?' And I have thought the reason was, because he thought I knew full well what coming aright was ; for I saw that to come aright was to come as I was, a vile and ungodly sinner, and so cast myself at the feet of mercy, condemning myself for sin. If ever Satan and I did strive for any word of God in all my life, it was for this good word of Christ; he at one end, and I at the other. Oh! what work we made! It was for this in John, I say, that we did so tug and strive; he pulled, and I pulled: but God be praised, I overcame him; I got sweetness from it.” See Ivimey’s Life of Bunyan, Third Edition, 1823, p. 78, 79.
f.“ Jesus, my all, to heaven is gone;
Christian directed by Goodwill
thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, thi' right only being strait and narrow . (Matt. vii. 14.)
Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him farther, if he could not help him off with the burden that was upon his back. For as yet he had not got rid thereof, nor could he by any means get it off without help.
He told him, “ As to thy burden, be content to bear it, until thou come to the place of deliverance ; for there it will fall from thy back of itself.”
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some distance from the gate, he would come at the house of the Interpreter, at whose door he should knock, and he would show him excellent things. Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God speed.
8 Our excellent author here confounds“ strait" with “straight.” Strait is opposed to wide ; straight, to crooked. See 2 Kings vi. 1. and Acts ix. 11. The path of the Christian, however, is both strait or narrow, (Matt. vii. 14,) and straight, as opposed to crooked ; "I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble ; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born,” Jer. xxxi. 9.
1 There is no deliverance from the guilt and burden of sin, but by the death and blood of Christ.
i A person may be a real believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, while his knowledge is very imperfect, and his faith very weak. He may know so, much of the willingness and ability of Christ to save them who hope in his mercy, as to be encouraged and comforted, and yet be so ignorant of the manner in which God justifies the ungodly, as still to have the load of sin upon his mind. But he will express his anxiety to be relieved from it, and be fully convinced that he is unable to get it off himself. Like the man whose eyes were partially opened, and who “ saw men as trees walking,” the weak believer has very indistinct conceptions of spiritual objects; but being sincere, cautious, and prayerful, he will be led forward in the way in which he should go ; in that “ highway" which is “ called the way of holiness," Isa, xxxv. 3.'the “ narrow way," which is thus distinguished from the broad road that leadeth to destruction. To support the mind of the weak and trem