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Simple, Sloth, and Presumption.
“ Thy sins be forgiven thee:” the second stripped him of his rags,
and clothed him with change of raiment." The third also " set a mark on his forehead,”? and gave him a Roll, with a seal upon it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate; so they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing, (Zech. xii. 10. Mark ii. 5. Zech. iii. 4. Eph. i. 13.)
Thus far did I come loaden with my sin;
The Man that there was put to shame for me. 4 I saw then, in my dream, that he went on thus, even until he came at a bottom, where he saw, a little out of the way, three men fast asleep, with fetters upon their heels. The name of the one was Simple, another Sloth, the third Presumption.
Christian then seeing them lie in this case, went to them, if peradventure he might awake them; and cried, You are like them that sleep on the top of a mast; for the Dead Sea is under you, a gulph that hath no bottom: awake, therefore, and come away; be willing also, and I will help you off with your irons. He also told them, If he that goeth about like a roaring lion comes by, you will certainly become a prey to his teeth. With that they looked upon him, and began to answer him in this sort: Simple said, I see no danger; Sloth
1 The nature of an allegory led him to this method of describing the happy change that takes place in the pilgrim's experience, when he obtains “peace and joy in believing."
2 The 'mark in the forehead' evidently signifies the renewal of the soul to holiness.
3 The 'roll with the seal upon it' denotes such an assurance of acceptance, as appears most clear and satisfactory. Here again we meet with an engraving, and the following lines,
“Who's this? The Pilgrim. How! "Tis very true:
They be fine feathers that make a fine bird." 5 We were before informed, that other ways" butted down upon' the straight way; and the connexion of the allegory required the introduction of various characters, besides that of the true believer.—The three allegorical persons next introduced are nearly related; they appear to be Pilgrims, but are a little out of the way, asleep, and fettered.
Formalist and Hypocrisy.
said, Yet a little more sleep! and Presumption said, Every vat must stand upon
its own bottom. And so they laid down to sleep again, and Christian went on his way. (Prov. xxiii. 34. 1 Pet. v. 8.)
Yet he was troubled to think, that men in that danger should so little esteem the kindness of him that so freely offered to help them, both by awakening of them, counselling of them, and proffering to help them off with their irons. And as he was troubled thereabout, he espied two men come tumbling over the wall, on the left hand of the narrow way; and they made up apace to him. The name of the one was Formalist, and the name of the other Hypocrisy.” So, as I said, they drew up unto him, who thus entered with them into discourse:
Chr. Gentlemen, whence come you, and whither go you?
Form. and Hyp. We were born in the land of Vain-glory, and are going for praise to Mount Zion.
Chr. Why came you not in at the Gate which standeth at the beginning of the way? Know ye not that it is written, “That he that cometh not in by the door, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber?” (John x. 1.)
They said, That to go to the Gate for entrance was, by all their countrymen, counted too far about; and that therefore their usual
way was to make a short cut of it, and to climb over the wall, as they had done.
Chr. But will it not be counted a trespass against the Lord of the City whither we are bound, thus to violate his revealed will?
They told him, that, as for that, he needed not to trouble his head thereabout; for what they did they had custom for; and could produce, if need were, testimony that would witness it for more than a thousand years.
But, said Christian, will it stand a trial at law?
They told him, that custom, it being of so long standing as above a thousand
would doubtless now be admitted as a thing legal by
1 Formalist represents such as by notions and external observances deceive themselves.
Hypocrisy represents those who more grossly attempt to impose upon others. By a much shorter cut,' they become a part of the visible church, are satisfied with a form of godliness, and kept in countenance by the example of great numbers of professed Christians, in every age and place.