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He to whom* thou was sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the bondwoman, which now is, and is in bondage with her children' (Gal. iv. 21--27 ;) and is, in a mystery, this mount Sinai, which thou has feared will fall on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burthen. No man was as yet ever rid of his bur:hen by him ; no, nor ever is like to be. 'Ye cannot be justified by the works of the law ; for by deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his burthen: therefore, Mr. Worldly-Wiseman is an alien, and Mr. Legality a cheat ; and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of those sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee. After this Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said ; and with that, there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus pronounced : “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse : for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them' (Gal. iii. 10.)
**He to whom'- When Christ had finished his work on earth, the Sinai covenant with Israel was abrogated. The Jews, therefore, by cleaving to the Mosaic law as a complex covenant of works, were left in bondage and under condenination; and all professed Christians, who thus depend on notions, sacraments, religious duties, and morality, to the neglect of Christ and the new covenant in his blood, are entangled in the same filtal error. Legality can only lead a man to a false peace; it can never deliver a sinner from guilt, or quiet the conscience of one who is really burnbled and enlightened. The Scriptures adduced by Evangelist are so pertinent and conclusive against the fashionable religion, which has at present almost superseded the Gospel, that they can never be fairly answered : nay, the more any man considers them as the testimony of God, the greater must be his aları (even as if he heard the voice from inount Sinai out of the midst of the fire ;) unless he be conscious of naving renounced every other confidence, to ' fee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us' in the Gospel. Such alarins prepare men to attend to the counsel of those who preach salva. tion by faith in Christ alone, provided there may yet be hope ; of which there is no reason to doubt.
Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably, even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly-Wiseman ; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelist, in words and sense as follows:-
Sir, what think you? Is there hope ? May I now go back, and go up to the wicket-gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed ? I am sorry I have harkened to this man's counsel ; but may my sin be forgiven ?
Then said Evangelist, to him, thy* sin ig 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' (Psal. ii. 12.) Then did Christian address himselfto go and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed. So he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way ; nor if any asked him would he vouchsafo them any answer. He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himselfsafe till again he was got into the way which he left to tollow Mr. Worldly-Wiseman's counsel. So in process of time Christian got up tot the gate.
*• Thy sin'-In attempting to encourage those who despul, we should by no means persuade them that their sins are few or trivial, or even that tiey judge too hardly of their own con luct; nay, we should endeavour to convince thein, that their guilt is even fur greater than they suppose ; though not too great to be pardoned by the infinite merey of God in Christ Jesus : for this tends to take them off more speedily froin every vain attempl to justily theinselves, and renders thein more unreserved in relying on Christ for acceptance.
In thic muikt of the most affecuonate encouragements, the faithtul minister must also solemnly warn young converts nut to turn asile; nor can the humble ever final condilence or comfort, till they are conscious of having regained the way they liad forsaken.
Got up to'--'The gate, at which Christian desired ad mission, represents Christ hinsell, as received by the penitent sinner in all his vllices, and for all the purposes of salvation, according to the measure of his explicit knowledge; by which
Now over the gate there was written, Knock,
• He that would enter in, must first without
He knocked therefore more than once or twice, saying
May I now enter here? Will he within
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Goodwill,* who asked who was there ? and whence he came ? and what he would have ?
Chr. Here is a poor burthened 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.
* Goodwill'_ Goodwill seems to be an allegorical person, the emblem of the compassionate love of God to sinnews, in and through Jesus Christ (Luke ii. 11.) He came from heaven to do the will of him that sent bin,' and he will in no wise cast out any that come to hiin,' either on account of their former sins, or their present mistakes, infirmities, evil propensities and habits, or peculiar temptations. 'Ile waits tu bc gracious,' till sinners apply by earnest persevering prayer for his salvation ; and even the preparation of heart which leads to this is not requisite to induce the Lord 10 receive them, but to make them willing to apply to him. Nunie bers give themselves no concern about their souls; others, after convictions, turn back with Pliable, or finally cleave 10 the counsels of worldly wisdom : but all, who come to Christ with a real desire of his whole salvation, are cordially wel. comed; over them angels rejoice, and in them the Redeener
sers of the travail of bis soul and is satisfied.' So this inquirers are greatly mistaken when they fear lest Christ shonid reject them; since they need only dread bring sempitel 10 joco him, or being partial and lis pocritical in their applicativa to him.