« ForrigeFortsett »
STANDFAST SUMMONED AND PREPARED.
accompanied him to the river side, into which as he went he said, “ Death where is thy sting?" and as he went down deeper, he said, “ Grave, where is thy
victory?” So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
Then there came forth a summons for Mr. STAND. FAST. This Mr. STANDFAST was he that the pilgrims found upon
his knees in the ENCHANTED GROUND, and the post brought it him open in his hands. The contents whereof were, that he must prepare for a change of life, for his Master was not willing that he should be so far from him any longer. At this Mr. STANDFAST was put into a
Nay, said the messenger,
you need not doubt of the truth • of my message ; for here is a token of the truth " thereof,'_“ Thy wheel is broken at the cistern.” Then he called to him Mr. GREAT-HEART, who was their guide, and said unto him, Sir, although it was • not my hap to be much in your good company in • the days of my pilgrimage, yet, since the time • I knew you, you have been profitable to me. When
I came from home, I left behind me a wife and five • small children; let me intreat you, at your return, • (for I know that you go and return to your Master's • house, in hopes that you may be a conductor to • more of the holy pilgrims;) that you send to my
family, and let them be acquainted with all that hath • and shall happen unto me. Tell them, moreover, • of my happy arrival at this place, and of the present 6 and late blessed condition that I am in. Tell them
also of CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA his wife, and
HIS SPEECH IN THE RIVER.
• how she and her children came after her husband. • Tell them also of what a happy end she made, and
whither she is gone.--I have little or nothing to send ' to my family, except it be my prayers and tears for • them: of which it will suffice if you acquaint them, • if peradventure they may prevail.'
When Mr. STANDFAST had thus set things in order, and the time being come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the river. Now there was a great calm at that time in the river; wherefore Mr. STANDFAST when he was about half way in, stood awhile and talked to his companions that had waited upon him thither: and he said, “This river has been a terror ' to many: yea, the thoughts of it also have often frigh• tened me: now, methinks, I stand easy; my foot • is fixed upon that on which the feet of the priests « that bare the ark of the covenant stood, while • ISRAEL went over this JORDAN'. • indeed, are to the palate bitter, and to the stomach • cold; yet the thoughts of what I am going to, and • of the conduct that waits for me on the other side, • doth lie as a glowing coal at my heart. I see myself
now at the end of my journey; my toilsome days • are ended. I am going to see that head that was
crowned with thorns, and that face that was spit upon • for me. I have formerly lived by hear-say and faith; but now I go where I shall live
where I shall live by sight, and shall be with him in whose company I delight myself. I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of his shoe in the
2 Joth, iii, 17.
THE PILGRIMS ENTER THE CITY TRIUMPHANTLY.
earth, there. I have coveted to set my foot too. « His name has been to me as a civet box; yea, • sweeter than all perfumes. His voice to me has • been most sweet; and his countenance I have more • desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun.
His words I did use to gather for my food, and for antidotes against my faintings. He • has held me, and has kept me from mine iniquities;
yea, my steps have been strengthened in his way.' i
Now, while he was thus in discourse, his countenance changed; his “ strong man bowed under him:” and, after he had said, " Take me, for I come unto
thee,' he ceased to be seen of them.
But glorious it was to see, how the open region was filled with horses and chariots, with trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on stringed instruments,, to welcome the pilgrims as they went up, and followed one another in at the beautiful gate of the city.
As for CHRISTIANA's children, the four boys that Christiana brought, with their wives and children, I did not stay where I was till they were gone over. Also since I came away, I heard one say, they were yet alive, and so would be for the increase of the church in that place where they were, for a time.
Shall it be my lot to go that way again, I may give those that desire it, an account of what I here am silent about; mean time, I bid my