and said, Sir, wherefore, since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction to yonder gate, is that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might go thither with some security? And he said unto me, This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended ; it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore it was called the slough of Despond : for still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arises in his soul many fears and doubts and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place. And this is the reason of the badness of the ground.

It is not the pleasure of the king that this place should remain so bad (Isa. xxxv. 3, 4) his labourers also have, by the direction of his majesty's surveyors, been for above this structions and consolatory topics : yet their success is not adequate to their wishes; for the Lord is pleased to permit numbers to be thus discouraged, in order to detect the false professor, and to render the upright more watchful and humble. Our author in a marginal note, explains the steps to mean, the promises of forgiveness and acceptance to life by faith in Christ;' which includes the general invitations, and the various encouragements given in Scripture to all who seek the salvation of the Lori, and diligently use the appointed means. It was evidently his opinion, that the path from destruction to life lies by this slough; and that none are indeed in the narrow way, who have neither struggled through it, nor gone over it by means of the steps. The chance of weather' seeins to denote those seasons when peculiar temptations, excepting sinful passions, confuse the minds of new converts ; and so, losing sighit of the promises, they sink into despondency during humiliating experiences: but faith in Christ, and in the mercy of God through bim, sets the pi'e grim's fcet on good ground.

sixteen hundred years employed about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been inended : yea, and to my knowledge, said ho, hcrc have been swallowed up at least twenty thousand cart-loads ; yea, inillions of wholesome instructions, that have at all seasons been brought from all places of the king's dominions (and they that can tell say, they are the best materials to make good the ground o. the place, if so be it might have been mended : but it is the slough of Despond still, and so will be when they have done what they can.

True there are, by the direction of the lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps placed even through the very midst of the slough ; but at such times as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against change o. weather, these steps are hardly seen; or i. they be, men through the dizziness of their heads step beside ; and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there : but the ground is good when they are once got in at the gate. (1 Sam. xii. 22.)

Now I saw* in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his house. So his neighbours came to visit him ; and some of them called him wise man for coming back ; and some called him fool for hazarding himself with Christian : others again did mock at his cowardliness, saying, Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base to have given out for a few difficulties:' so Pliable sat sneaking among them. But at last he got more confidence, and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back. And thus much concerning Pliable.

* Now I saw'—They, who affect to despise real Christians, often both express and feel great contempt for those that cast off their profession; fuch men are unable, for a time, to resume their wonted confidence among their former companions; and this excites them to pay court to them by reviling and deriding those whom they have forsaken.

Now as Christian was walking solitarily by himself, he spied one afar off, crossing over the field to meet him, and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way of each other. The gentleman's name, that met him, was Mr. Worldly-Wiseman ;* he

• Worldly-Wiseman'—The wise men of this worll care. fully notice those who begin to turn their thoughts to religion, and attempt to counteract their conviction before the case becomes desperate : from their desponding fears they take occasion to insinuate that they are deluded or disorder. et in their minds; that they make too much ado alwut relie gion; and that a decent regard to it (which is all that is requisite) consists with the enjoyment of this life, and even conduces to seculır advantage. Worldly-Wiseman, therefore, is a person of consequence, whose superiority gives hin influence over poor pilgrims : be is a reputable and successful man; prudent, sagacious, and acquainted with mankind; moral and religious in bis way, and qualified to give the very best counsel to those who wish to serve both God and Manmon : but he is decided in his judgment against all kinds and degrees of religion, which interfere with a man's worldly in. terest, disquiet his mind, or spoil his relish for outward enjoyments. He resides at Carnal-policy, a great town near the city of Destruction : for worldly prudence, modelling a man's religion, is as ruinous as open vice and impiety; though it be very prevalent among decent and virtuous people. Such men attend to the reports that are circulated about the conversion of their neighbours, and often watch the is opportunity of entering into discourse with thein. VOL. 1


dwelt in the town of Carnal-policy, a very great town, and also hard by from whence Christian came. This man then inceting with Christian, and having some inkling of him (for Christian's setting forth from the city of Destruction was much noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town talk in some other places) Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, therefore, having some guess of him by beholding his laborious going, by observing his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.

World. How now,* good fellow, whither away after this burthened manner ?

How now'—There is great beauty in this dialogue, arising from the exact regard to character preserved throughout. Indeed this forms one of our author's peculiar excellencies ; as it is a very difficult attainment, and always manifests a superiority of genius. The self-satisfaction of Worldly-Wiseman, his contempt of Christian's capacity, sentiments, and pursuits ; his affected sneering compassion, and his censure of Evangelist's advice ; bis representation of tle dangers and hardship of the way, and of the desperate ventures' of religious people to obtain they know not what :' and his confident assumption, that Christian's concern arose from weakness of intellect, meddling with things too high' for lin, hearkening to bad counsel (ihat is, reading the word of God, and attending to the preaching of the Gospe!,) and from distraction, as the natural consequence, are most admirably characteristic. I{is arguments also are very specious, though wholly deduced from worldly considerations Ile does not say, ihat Evangelist had not pointed out the way of salvation, or that wicked men are not in danger of luiure misery; but he urges, that soinuch concern about sin and the eternal world takes men off from a proper regard to their secular interests, to the injury of their families; that it pre. rents their enjoying comfort in domestic life, or in other prova kleotial blessings; that it leads them into perilous and lis

Chr. A burthened manner indeed, as ever, I think, poor creature had! And whereas you asked


whither away? I tell you, Sir, I am going to yonder wicket-gate before me ; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put in a way to be rid of my heavy burthen.

World. Hast thou a wife and children ?

Chr. Yes ; but I am so laden with this burthen that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly ; methinks I am as if I had none (1 Cor. vii. 29.)

World. Wilt thou hearken to me if I give thee counsel ? # Chr. If it be good I will ; for I stand in need of good counsel.

World. I would advise thee, then, that thou tressing situations, of which their first terrors and despondings are only an earnest ; that a troubled conscience may be quieted in a inore expeditious and easy manner; and that they may obtaio credit, comfort, and manifold advantages, by following prudent counsel. On the other hand, Christian not only speaks according to bis name, but consistently with the character of a young converi.

He makes no secret of bis disquietude and terrors, and declares, without reserve, the method in which he sought relief. He owns, that he had lost bis relish for every earthly comfort, and be desires to receive good counsel : bul while he is prepared to withstand all persuasions to return bome, he is not upon his guard against the insiduous proposal of his carnal counsellor. He fears the wrath to coine more than all the dreadful things which had been mentioned: but his carnestness to get present Tclief exposes him to the danger of seeking it in an unwaarranted way. He has obtained from the Scriptures a conviction of his guilt and danger ; but, not having also learned the instructions of life, he does not discern the fatal teruency of the plausible advice given him by so reputable a person. Every one, whɔ has been in the way of making observations on these matters, must perceive how exactly this suits the case of numbers, when first brought to mind the one thing weedful

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