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Ile told him, As to thy burthen, be content to bear it until thyu comest to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from ihy back of itself.
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some distance from the gate he would come at the house of* the Interpreter, at whose door he should knock, and he would shew him excellent things. Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God speed.
Then he went on till he came to the house of the Interpreter, where he knocked over and over : at last one came to the door, and asked who was there?
Chr. Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid ** House of?- We continually mect with fresh proofs of our author's exact acquaintance with the Scriptures, his sound udgment, deep experience, and extensive observation. With great propriety he places the house of the Interpreter beyond the strast gate : for the knowledge of divine things, which precedes conversion to God by faith in Christ, is very scanty, compared with the diligent believer's subsequent attainments. A few leading truths deeply impressed on the heart, and produring efficacious fears, hopes, desires, and affections, characterize the state of a new-born babe : but reliance on the merey of God through Jesus Christ prepares him to receive farther instruction : and, having tasted that the Lord is gracious, le desires the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow thereby.' The Interpreter is an emblem of the teaching of the Holy Spirit, according to the Scripture, by means of reading, hearing, praying, and meditating, accompanied, Ly daily experience and observation. Believers depend on this continual teaching, and are not satisfied with human instruction, but look to the fountain of wisdom, that they may be delivered from prejudice, preserved from error, and enabled to profit by the ministry of the word.
by an acquaintance of the good man of this house to call here for my profit. I would therefore speak with the master of the house, So he called for the master of the house, who after a little time came to Christian, and asked him what ne would have ?
Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to the mount Zion; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I called here you would shew me excellent things, such as would be a help to me in my journey.
Then said the * Interpreter, Come in ; I will shew thee that which will be profitable to
Then said'-The condescending love of the Holy Spirit, in readily granting the desires of those who apply for his teaching, notwithstanding their eins, prejudices, and slow, ness of heart to understand, can never sufficiently be admired (Psalm cxliii. 10). He employs men as his instruments, who, by explaining the Scriptures, may be said to light the candle but he alone efficaciously opens the mind to instruction. · The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him? (Psalm xxv. 14). The Interpreter leads them apart to communicate to them heavenly wisdom, which is bidden from the most sagacious of worldly men. The first lesson here inculcated relates to the character of the true minister : for nothing can be more important to every one who inquires the way to heaven, than to be able to distinguish faithful pastors froin hirelings, blind guides, and false teachers; who are Satan’s principal agents in deceiving mankind, and in prevent. ing the stability, consistency, and fruitfulness of believers. This portrait and its key need no explanation : but all, who sustain, or mean to assume, the sacred office, should serious. ly exauline it, clause by clause, with the Scriptures from which it is deduced; inquiring impartially how far the resemble it, and praying carnestly for more exact conformity ; and every one should be extremely careful not to intrust his soul to the guidance of those who are wholly unlike this cmblematic repVol I.
thee. So he commanded his man to light a candle, and bid Christian follow him : so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door, the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture of a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it : it had eyes litted up to heaven, the best of books in its hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind its back ; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.
Then said Christian, What meaneth this?
Interp. The man, whose picture this is, is one of a thousand ; he can beget children (1 Cor. iv. 15.) travail in birth with children (Gal. iv. 19.) and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth written on his lips ; it is to shew thee, that his work is to know and unfold dark things to sinners ; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men : and whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown resentation. For surely a slothful, frivolous, dissipated, licentious, ambitious, profane, or contentious man, in the garb of a ninister, cannot safely be trusted as a guide in the way to heaven! He, who never studies, or studies any thing in preference to the Bible, cannot be qualilied to unfold dark things to sinners ! and he, who is abundantly more careful about his income, ease, or consequence, than about the souls of his flock, cannot be followed without the most evident danger and the most inexcusabie folly! For who woull employ an ignorant, indolent, or fraudulert lawyer, or physician, merely because he happened to live in the same parish!