« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
THE FRUITS OY SERVILE YEAR.
spective-glass. The pilgrims lovingly accepted the motion : so they had them to the top of a high hill, called Clear, and gave them the glass to look.
Then they tried to look, but the remembrance of that last thing that the Shepherds had shown them made their hands shake; by means of which impediment they could not look steadily through the glass ;* yet they thought they saw something like the gate, and also some of the glory of the place. Then they went away,
Things deep, things hid, and that mysterious be. When they were about to depart, one of the Shepherds gave
them a note of the way. Another of them bid them beware of the flatterer. The third bid them take heed that they slept not upon enchanted ground. And the fourth bid them God speed. So I awoke from my dream.
A TWO - FOLD CAUTION.
And I slept, and dreamed again, and saw the same two pilgrims going down the mountains along the highway towards the city. Now, a little below these mountains, on the left hand, lieth the country of Conceit,t from which country there comes into the way in which the pilgrims walked NORANCE.
THE COUNTRY OP CONCEIT, OUT OP WHICH CAME IG
The glass of God's word of grace and truth held up by the hand of faith to the eye of the soul. So Paul speaks : “ beholding as in a glass (the gospel) the glory of the Lord,” &c. 2 Cor. iii. 18. But unbelieving doubts and fears will make the hand tremble and the sight grow dim.
+ This country we are all born in, and are all ignoramuses by nature. Some live long in the country of Conceit, and many end their days in it. Are you come out of it? So was Ignorance; but
CHRISTIAN AND IGNORANCE HAVE SOME TALK.
a little crooked lane. Here, therefore, they met with a very brisk lad that came out of that country, and his
name was Ignorance. So Christian asked
him from what parts he came, and whither he was going ?
IGNOR. Sir, I was born in the country that lieth off there a little on the left hand, and I am going to the Celestial City.
Chr. But how do you think to get in at the gate ? for you may find some difficulties there.
IGNOR. As other good people do, said he.
Chr. But what have you to show at that gate, that the gate should be opened to you? IGNOR. I know my Lord's will, and have been a
good liver; I pay every man his own; I
pray, fast, pay tithes, and give alms, and have left my country for whither I am going.
Chr. But thou camest not in at the Wicket-gate that is at the head of this way; thou camest in hither through that same crooked lane; and therefore I fear, however thou mayest think of thyself, when the reckoning-day shall come, thou wilt have laid to thy charge
THE GROUNDS OF IGNORANCE'S HOPE.
he breathed his native air. So long as any sinner thinks he can do any thing towards making himself righteous before God, his name is Ignorance, he is full of self-conceit, and destitute of the faith of Christ.
* Now, is it not very common to hear professors talk at this rate ? Yes, and many who make a very high profession too: their hopes are plainly grounded upon what they are in themselves, and how they differ from their former selves and other sinners, instead of what Christ is to us, and what we are in Christ. But the profession of such is begun with an ignorant, whole, self-righteous heart; it is continued in pride, self-seeking, and self-exalting; and will end in awful disappointment. For such are called by our Lord thieves and robbers : they rob him of the glory of his grace, and the gift of his imputed righteousness.
HE TELLETX EVERY ONE HE IS BUT A
that thou art a thief and a robber, instead of getting admittance into the city. Ignor. Gentlemen, ye be utter strangers to me,
I know you not; be content to follow the religion of your country, and I will follow rool. the religion of mine. I hope all will be well. And, as for the gate that you talk of, all the world knows that it is a great way off of our country. I cannot think that any man in all our parts doth so much as know the way to it; nor need they matter whether they do or no, since we have, as you see, a fine pleasant green late that comes down from our country, the next way into
HOW TO CARRY IT TO A FOOL.
When Christian saw that the man was wise in his own conceit, he said to Hopeful, whisperingly, “ There is more hope of a fool than of him ;” and said, moreover, “ When he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool." What! shall we talk further with him, or outgo him at present, and so leave him to think of what he hath heard already, and then stop again for him afterwards, and see if by degrees we can do any good to him? Then said Hopeful
Let Ignorance a little while now muse
Although he made them, them he will not save. HOPE. He further added, It is not good, I think, to say so to him all at once ; let us pass him by, if you will, and talk to him anon, even as he is “ able to bear it."
THE DESTRUCTION OP ONE TURN-AWAY.
So they both went on, and Ignorance he came after. Now, when they had passed him a little way, they entered into a very dark lane, where they met a man whom seven devils had bound with seven strong cords, and were a-carrying him back to the door that they saw on the side of the hill. Now, good Christian began to tremble, and so did Hopeful his companion; yet as the devils led away the man, Christian looked to see if he knew him; and he thought it might be one Turn-away,
that dwelt in the town of Apostacy. But
he did not perfectly see his face, for he did hang his head like a thief that is found. But being gone past, Hopeful looked after him, and spied on his back a paper with this inscription, “ Wanton professor, and damnable apostate. Then said Christian to his fellow, Now I call to
remembrance that which was told me, of a thing that happened to a good man
hereabout. The name of the man was Little-Faith ; but a good man, and he dwelt in the town of Sincere. The thing was this :-at the entering in
at this passage, there comes down from
Broadway-gate a lane called Deadman'slane; so called because of the murders that are commonly done there; and this Little-Faith going on pilgrimage, as we do now, chanced to sit down there, and sleep: now there happened at that time to come
D Matt. xii. 46. Prov, v. 22
* O beware of a light, trifling spirit, and a wanton behaviour. It is often the forerunner of apostacy from God. It makes one tremble to hear those who profess to follow Christ in the regeneration, crying, What harm is there in this game, or in the other diversion ? They plainly discover what spirit they are got into. The warmth of love is gone, and they are become cold, dead, and carnal. O how many instances of these abound !