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The Pilgrims converse together. on, thereby to stay her faintings. So they fetched her a bundle of myrrh. A while after she was revived.
And now was Christiana, and her boys, and Mercy, received of the Lord at the head of the way, and spoke kindly unto by him. Then said they yet further unto him, "We are sorry for our sins, and beg of our Lord his pardon, and further information what we must do.'
'I grant pardon,' said he, by word and deed ; by word in the promise of forgiveness; by deed in the way I obtained it. Take the first from my lips with a kiss, and the other as it shall be revealed.'*
Now I saw in my dream, that he spake many good words unto them, whereby they were greatly gladded. He also had them up to the top of the Gate, and shewed them by what deed they were saved ; and told them withal, that that sight they would have again as they went along in the way, to their comfort. (n)
So he left them awhile in a summer-parlour below, where they entered into talk by themselves : and thus Christiana began : 0 Lord how glad am I that we are got in hither !! Mer. So
may: but I of all have cause to leap
Chr. I thought one time as I stood at the Gate, (because I had knocked and none did answery) that all our labour had been lost, especially when that ugly cur made such a heavy barking at us.
Mer. But my worst fear was, after I saw that you was taken into his favour, and that I was left behind. Now, thought I, it is fulfilled which is written, “ Two women shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken and the other left.”+ I had much ado to forbear crying out, Undone ! And afraid I was to knock any more: but, when I looked up to what was written over the Gate, I took courage. I * Sol. Song i. 2. John XX. 19. +Matt. xxiv. 41. Part i. p. 41.
(n) Pardon by word seems to denote the general discovery of free salvation by Jestas Christ to all that believe; which, being depended on by the humble sinner, is sealed by transient comforts and lively affections. Pardon by deed may relate to the manner,
in which the blessing was purehased by the Saviour; and when this is clearly understood, the believer attains to stable peace and hope. This coincides with the explanation already given of the Gate, the Cross, and the Sepulchre ; and it will be further confirmed in the sequel. The ‘pardon by deed' must be waited for; $et the Pilgrims obtained a distant glimpse of the deed by which they were saved ; for some general apprehensions of redemp. tion by the cross of Christ are commonly connected with the believer's first comforts, though the nature and glory of it be more fully perceived as he proceeds
Mercy's Reasons for knocking loudly. 227 also thought, that I must either knock again or die; so I knocked, but I cannot tell how; for my spirit now struggled between life and death. (0)
Chr. Can you not tell how you knocked ? I am sure your knocks were so earnest, that the very sound made me start: I thought I never heard such knocking in all my life : I thought you would come in by a violent hand, or take the kingdom by storm.*
Mer. Alas, to be in my case! who that so was could but a done so? You saw that the door was shut upon me, and that there was a most cruel dog thereabout. Who, I say, that was so faint-hearted as I, would not have knocked with all their might ? --But pray, What said my Lord unto my rudeness? Was he not angry with me ?
Chr. When he heard your lumbering noise, he gave a wonderful innocent smile : I believe what you did pleased him .well, for he shewed no sign to the contrary: (P) But I marvel in my heart why he keeps such a dog: had I known that before, I should not have had heart enough to have ventured myself in this manner. () But now we are in, we are in, and I am glad with all my heart.
Matt. xi. 12
(0) The express words of scriptural invitations, exhortations and promises prove more eflectual to encourage those who are ready to give ap their hopes, than all the consolatory topics that can possibly be substituted in their place. It is, therefore, much to be lamenteil, that pious men, by addering to a systematical exactness of expression, should clog their addresses to sinners with exceptions and limitation, which the Spirit of God did not see goal to insert. They will not say that the omission was an oversight in the inspired writers ; or admit the thought for a moment, that they can improve on their plan ; why then calinot they be satisfied to speak according to the oracles of God,” without affecting a more entire consistency ? Great mischief has thus been done by very different descriptions of men, who undesignedly concur in giving Satan an occasion of suggesting to the trembling inquirrr, that perhaps he may persevere in asking, sceking and knocking, with the greatest carnesiness and importunity, and yet finally be a cast-away!
(A) When the sinner prays under the urgent fear of perishing, he is cxcited to peculiar fervency of spirit : and the more fervent our prayers are, the better are they approved by the Lord, how much soever men may object to the manner or expressions of them.
(7) Couli soldiers, when they enlist, foresee all the dangers and harılships to be encourtened ; or coukl mariners, when about to set sail, be fully aware of all the difficultics of the voyage; their reluctancy or discourage merit would be increased by the prospect. But when they have engagexl, they find it impossible to rccede ; and thus they press forwardi through one labour and peril after another, till the campaign or voyage be accomplisheri. Thus it is with the Christian : bu they strive for corruptible things, which they may never live to obtain; while he seeks for an incorruptible crown of glory, of which no event can deprive him. If he knew all irom the first, it would be bis guy wisdom to vw thre: whereas the ease with them is oftea willy diilirool.
Conversation respecting the Dog. Mer. I will ask, if you please, next time he comes down, why he keeps such a filthy cur in his yard ; I hope he will not take it amiss.
Do so, said the children, and persuade him to hang him, for we are afraid he will bite us when we go hence.
So at last he came down to them again, and Mercy fell to the ground on her face, before him, and worshipped, and said, 'Let my Lord accept the sacrifice of praise which I now offer unto him, with the calves of my lips.
So he said unto her, “Peace be to thee ; stand up. But she continued upon her face, and said, “Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee, yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments :** wherefore dost thou keep so cruel a dog in thy yard, at the sight of which such women and children as we, are ready to flee from the Gate for fear
He answered and said, That dog has another owner; he also is kept close in another man's ground, only my Pilgrims hear his barking : he belongs to the Castle which you see there at a distance,t but can come up to the walls of this place. He has frighted many an honest Pilgrim from worse to better, by the great voice of his roaring. Indeed he that owneth him doth not keep him out of any good will to me or mine, but with intent to keep the Pilgrims from coming to me, and that they may be afraid to come and knock at this Gate for entrance. Sometimes also he has broken out, and has worried some that I loved ; but I take all at present patiently. I also give my Pilgrims timely help, so that they are not delivered up to his power, to do them what his dog gish nature would prompt him to. But what! my purchased one, I trow, hadst thou known never so much beforehand, thou wouldest not have been afraid of a doy. The beggars that go from door to door, will, rather than they will lose a supposed alms, run the hazard of the bawling, barking, and biting too, of a dog : and shall a dog in another man's yard, a dog whose barking I turn to the profit of Pilgrims, keep any from coming to me "I deliver them from the lions, and my darling from the power of the dog."
Then said Mercy, I confess my ignorance : I speak what I understand not: I acknowledge that thou doest all things well.
Then Christiana began to talk of their journey, and to inquire after the way. So he fed them and washed their feet, and set them in the way of his steps, according as he had dealt with her husband before.
Jei, xii. 1,2. 4 Part 1. p. 47: | Part i. ps 44:
A Pilgrim for to be; 5198 tigo gal to
That thereunto mov'd me. il moment dans
To seek to live forever
Are turned, as we see ;
Shews what our end will be.'
"Well,' said she, 'my sons, you transgress, for that fruit is none of ours :' but she did not know that they did belong to the enemy : I'll warrant you, if she had, she would have been ready to die for fear. But that passed, and they went on their way.-Now, by that they were gone about two bow'sshot from the place that led them into the way, they espied two very ill-favoured ones coming down apace to meet thein.
Matt. XX. 16. (1) The terrifying suggestions of Satan give believers much present uneasiness ; yet they aften do tliem great good, and seldom eventually hurt them : but the allurements of those worldly objects which he throws in their way, are far more dangerous and pernicious. Many of these, for which the aged have no longer any relish, are very attractive to young persons : but, all those parents or aged persons, who love the souls of their children and young friends, instead of conniving at them in their self-indulgence, from a notion, that allowance must be made for youth, should employ all their influence and authority to restrain them from those vain pleasures which "war against the soul,” and are most dangerous when least sus. pected-This fruit may be found in the Pilgrim's path ; but it grows in Beelzebub's gar den, and should be shunned as poison. Many diversions and pursuits, both in high and low life, are of this nature, though often pleaded fur as innocent, by some prisons who sogint to know better.
The Women are assaulted by two Men, With that Christiana and Mercy her friend covered them. selves with their veils, and kept also on their journey : the children also went on before : so that at last they met together. Then they that came down to meet them, came just up to the women, as if they would embrace them : but Christiana said, “Stand back, or go peaceably as you should. Yet these two, as men that are deaf, regarded not Christiana's words, but began to lay hands upon them : at that Christiana waxed very wroth, and spurned at them with her feet. Mercy also, as well as she could, did what she could to shift them : Christiana again said to them, "Stand back, and be gone, for we have no money to lose, being Pilgrims as you see, and such too as live upon the charity of our
friends. Then said one of the two men, We make no assault upon your money, but are come out to tell you, that if you will but grant one small request which we shall ask, we will make women of you forever.
Now Christiana, imagining what they should mean, made answer again, We will neither hear nor regard, nor yield to what you shall ask. We are in baste, and cannot stay : our business is of life and death.' So again she and her companions made a fresh essay to go past them : but they letted them in their way.
And they said, We intend no hurt to your lives ; 'tis another thing we would have.
'Ay,' quoth Christiana, 'you would have us body and soul, for I know 'tis for that you are come ; but we will die rather
the spot, than to suffer ourselves to be brought into such snares as shall hazard our well-being hereafter. And with that they both shrieked out, and cried, Murder ! Murder! and so put themselves under those laws that are provided for the protection of women.* But the men still made their approach upon them, with design to prevail against them. They therefore cried out again.
Now they being, as I said, not far from the Gate, in at which they came, their voice was heard from where they were thither : wherefore some of the house came out, and knowing that it was Christiana's tongue, they made haste to her relief. But by that they were got within sight of them, the women were in a very great scuffle ; the children also stood crying by. Then did he that came in for their relief call out to the ruffians, saying, "What is that thing you do? Would
* Deut. xxi. 23-27.