[ocr errors]

Christian arrives at the gate.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsels. But may my sin be forgiven ?

Evan. Then said Evangelist to him, thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils; thou hast forsaken the way that is good to tread in forbidden paths, yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has Good-will for men! only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, lest thou perish from the way, when his wrath is * kindled but a little.

Then did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed. (n). So he went on with haste; neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if any asked him, would he vouchsafe to answer. He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe, till again he was got into the way which he left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel. So in process of time Christian got up to the gate. Now over the gate there was written,f “Knock and it shall be opened unto you.

He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, (o) saying,

May I now enter here? Will he within

Open to sorry me, though I have been An undeserving rebel ? Then sball I

“ Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high.” At last there came a grave person to the gate,

* Psal. ii. 12.

+ Matt. vii. 8. (n) Nothing but the gospel of Christ can direct our steps in the right way, and bring peace and comfort to our souls. It salutes us with a cheering'smile, a kiss of peace, and a blessing of consolation; and hence it wings our speed to Christ and holiness.

(o) This is praying and pleading in faith wish God, for mercy and forgiveness of sin, through the blood of Jesus Christ.

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Christian arrives at the Gate.

named Good-will, who asked, who was there and whence he came? and what he would have!

Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the City of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the wrath to come; I would, therefore, sir, since I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in?

Good-will. (p) I am willing, with all my heart, said he; and with that he opened the gate.

So, when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull: (9) Then, said Christian, What means that? The other told him, a little distance from this gate, there is erected a strong castle, of which Belzebub is the Captain; from thence, both he, and them that are with him, shoot arrows at those that come up to the gate, if haply they may die before they can enter in.

Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when he was got in, the man of the gate asked him, Who directed him thither?

Chr. Evangelist bid me come hither and knock (as I did), and he said, that you, sir, would tell me what I must do.

Good-w. An open door is before thee, and no man can shut it.

Chr. Now I begin to reap the benefit of my hazards.

Good-w. But how is it you come alone? (p) The gate will be open to broken-hearted sinners. Here bebold the love of Jesus, in freely and heartily receiving every poor sinner who comes unto him. No matter how vile they have been, nor what sins they have committed; he loves them freely, and receives them graciously. For he has nothing but good will to them. Hence, the heavenly host sang at his birth, Good will towards men. Luke ii. 14.

(9) Every saved sinner is a brand plucked out of the fire by the. loving arm of Christ. · Zech. iii. 2.


Conversation between Good-will and Christian.

to go

danger, as I saw mine.

Good-w. Did any of them know of your coming!

Chr. Yes, my wife and my children saw me at the first, and called after me to return again ; also some of my neighbours stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears and só came on my way.

Good-w. But did none of them follow you to persuade you to back?

Chr. Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when they saw they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back, but Pliable came with me a little way.

Good-w. But why did he not come through?

Chr. We, indeed, went both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbour Pliable discouraged, and would not adventure farther. (r) Wherefore, getting out again on that side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him: So be went his way and I came mine, he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.

Good-w. Then said Good-will, Alas, poor man! is the celestial glory of so small esteem with him, thạt 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 will appear there is no difference between him and myself. It is true, he went back to

(r) A man may have company when he sets out for heaven, and yet go thither alone. “Many be called, but few are chosen." Matt. xx. 16.

« ForrigeFortsett »