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Forgetfulness is no excuse for errors.
said it should, when at first we came from home; thou shalt be a sharer in all the good that I have, because thou so willingly didst become my companion. Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both Mercy and the boys. And said Christiana to Mr. Great-beart, Sir, will you do as we do?But He answered, you are going on pilgrimage. and presently I shall return : Much good may what you have do to yon. At home, I eat the same, every day. Now when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their guide said to them, The day wears away; if you think good, let us prepare to be going. So they got up to go, and the little boys went before : but Christiana forgot to take her bottle of spirits with her; so she sent her litile boy back to fetch it. Then said Mercy, I think this is a losing place. Here Christian lost his roll; and here Christiana left her bottle behind her: Sir, what was the cause of this? So their guide made answer, and said, The cause is sleep, or forgetfulness, some sleep when they should keep awake; and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause, why often, at the resting-places, some pilgrims, in some things come off losers. Pilgrims should watch and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyments ; but for want of doing so, oftentimes their rejoicings end in tears, and their sunshine in a cloud ; witness the story of Christian, at this place. (1)
(1) Reader, mind this well! remember it often; and it will do thee good. I am a witness against myself, of how much I have lost by indulging the flesh, and bow much I have suffered by forgetfulness. But I, what a gracious Lord do we serve! this is no excuse for our folly, but an aggravation of our faults ought to sink as lower in shame, and excite us to greater care, diligence, and
The stage where Mistrust and Timorous were burnt ihrough the Tongue.
When they were come to the place where Mistrust and Timorous met Christian to persuade bim to go back for fear of the lions, they perceived as it were a stage, and before it, towards the road, a broad plate, with a copy of verses written thereon, and, underneath, the reason of raising up of that stage in that place, rendered. The verses were these :
“Let him that sees this stage take leed
"Upon bis heart and tongue :
“ As some have long agone." The words underneath the verses were, This stage was built to punish such upon, who, through Timorous or Mistrust, should be afraid to go farther on pilgrimage; also on this stage both Mistrust and Timorous were burnt through the tongue with a hot iron, for endeavouring to hinder Christian on bis journey. (u)
Then said Mercy, this is much like to the saying of the Beloved. Psal. cxx. 3, 4. “ What shall be given unto thee; or, what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the Mighty, with coals of juniper.
So they went on, till they came within sight of the lions. Now Mr. Great-heart was a strong man, so he was not afraid of a lion; but yet, when they were come to the place where the lions were, the
watchfulness ; else we sball surely smart for our folly, if not in hell, yet in our consciences.
(u) Christians, take heed to your tongues. O beware, beware, Test in any wise you make a report of the good land, through fear or mistrust! The Lord notes what you boldly speak for his ways, and to his glory; and he marks your words which in any wise have a contrary tendency. The tongue is an unruly evil, " If any man offend not in word (in speaking contrary to the truth, as it is in, Jesus,) the same is a perfect man.” James iii. 2.
Greatheart and the Pilgrims approaching the Lions "come now, and follow me and no hurt shall happen to you"
Giant Grim and the Lions.
boys that went before were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions; so they stepped back and went behind. At this their guide smiled, and said, How now, my boys, do you love to go before when no danger doth approach, and love to come behind as soon as the lions appear? Now as they went on, Mr. Great-heart drew his sword, with intent to make way for the pilgrims in spite of the lious. Then there appeared one, that it seems had taken upou him to back the lions : and he said to the pilgrim's guide, What is the cause of your coming hither? Now the name of the man was Grim, or bloody-man, because of his staying of pilgrims, and he was of the race of the giants. (x)
Great-heart. Then said the pilgrims guide, These women and children are going on pilgrimage; and this is the way they must go, and go it they shall, in spite of thee and the lions.
Grim. This is not their way, neither shall they go therein. I am come forth to withstand them, and to that end will back the lions.
Now to say the truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and of the grim carriage of him that did back them, this way bad of late laid much unoccupied, and was almost grown over with grass.
(x) Who is this Giant Grim, who backs the lions and terrifies the hearts of pilgrims with a sense of danger in the right way to the kingdom? It is an evil heart of unbelief. This Great-heart will fight with, and conquer. O how does unbelief multiply dangers, and magnify difficulties, call up fear, and deject our hearts! Unbeliet makes every danger wear a grim and terrible aspect. The only weapon to slay this enemy is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. vi. 17. O pilgrim, when dangers beset you, and fears rise in you, hear wliat the Lord speaks to you; and in the belief of this truth, quit yourself manfully; fight the good fight of faith; ever remembering, that you are more than conqueror through Christ who bath loved
Faith will exalt the love and power of Christ above the fear of every enemy.