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When the Interpreter had done, he takes then out into his garden again, and had them to a tree, whose inside was all rotten and gone, and yet
and had leaves. Then said Mercy, What means this?-This tree, said he, whose outside is fair, and whose inside is rotten, is it, to which many may be compared that are in the garden of God: who with their mouths speak high in behalf of God, but indeed will do nothing for him ; whose leaves are fair, but their heart good for nothing, but to be tinder for the devil's tinder-box.
Now supper was ready, the table spead, and all things set on board ; so they sat down and did eat, when one had given thanks. And the Interpreter did usually entertain those that lodged with him, with music at meals ; 80 the minstrels played. There was also one that did sing, and a very fine voice he had His
song was this
• The Lord is only my support,
And he that doth me feed;
Whereof I stand in need ?'
When the song and music were ended, the is sufficient for all, though only effectual to some; namely, in one view of the subject, to the elect, in another to all who by faith apply for an interest in it. This makes way for general invitations, and shews it to be every one's duty to repent and believe the Gospel; as nothing but pride, the carnal mind, and enmity to God and religion, influence inen to neglect so great a salvation : and, when the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit accompanies the word, sinners are made willing to except the proffered mercy, and encour. Aged by the general invitations, which before they sinfully slighted
Interpreter asked Christiana, what it was that at first did move her thus to betake herself to e pilgrim's life? Christiana answered, First the loss of my husband came into my mind, at which I was heartily grieved: but all that was but natural affection. Then, after that, came the troubles and pilgrimage of my hus band into my mind, and also how like a churl I had carried it to him as to that. So guilt took hold of my mina, and would have drawn me into the pond ; but that opportunely I had a dream of the well-being of my husband, and a letter sent me by the King of that country where my husband dwells, to come to him. The dream and the letter together so wrought upon my mind, that they forced me
to this way
Inter. But met you with no opposition be fore you set out of doors ?
Chr. Yes, a neighbour of mine, one Mrs Timorous (she was kin to him that would have persuaded my husband to go back, for fear of the lions), she also so betooled for, as she called it, my intended desperate adventure ; she also urged what she could to dishearten me from it; the hardship and troubles that my husband met with in the way ; but ali this I got over pretty well. But a dream that I had of two ill-looked ones, that I thought did plot how to make me miscarry in my journey, that hath troubled me : yea, it still runs in my mind, and makes me afraid of every one that I mect lest they should meet me to do me a mischief, and to turn me out of the way. Yea, I may tell my Lord, though I would not every body knew it, that between this and the gate by which we got into the way, we were both so sorely assaulted, that we were made to cry out murder ; and the two, that made this assult upon us, were like the two that I saw in my dream.
Then said the Interpreter, Thy beginning is good, thy latter end shall greatly increase. So he addressed him to Mercy, and said unto her, And what moved thee to come hither, sweetheart?
Then Mercy blushed and trembled, and for awhile continued silent.
Then said he, Be not afraid, only believe, and speak thy mind.
Then she began, and said, Truly, Sir, my want of experience is that which makes me covet to be in silence, and that also that filleth me with fears of coming short at last. I cannot tell of visions and dreams, as my friend Christiana can : nor know I what it is to mourn for my refusing of the counsel of those that were good relations.
Inter. What was it then, dear heart, that hath prevailed with thee to do as thou hast done ?
Mercy. Why, when our friend here was packing up to be gone from our town, I and another went accidentally to see her. So we knocked at the door, and went in. When we were within, and sceing what she was doing, we asked her what she meant ? She said, she was sent for to go to her husband ; and then she up and told us how she had seen him in a dream, dwelling in a curious place, among immortals, wearing a crown, playing upon a harp, eating and drinking at his Prince's table, and singing praises to him for the bring. ing him thither, &c. Now methought whilo she was telling these things unto us, my heart burned within me. And I said in my heart if this be true, I will leave my father and my mother, and the land of my nativity, and will, if I may, go along with Christiana.
So I asked her farther of the truth of these things, and if she would let me go with her; for I saw now, that there was no dwelling, but with the danger of ruin, any longer in our town. But yet I came away with a heavy heart ; not for that I was unwilling to come away, but for that so many of my relations were left behind. And I am come with all my heart, and will, if I may, go with Christiana to her husband, and his King.
Inter. Thy setting out is good, for thou hast given credit* to the truth; thou art a Ruth,
• "Given credit—This is a most simple definition of faith; it is the belief of the truth,' as the sure testiinony of God, relative to our most important concerns. When we thes credit those truths that teach us the peril of our situation as justly condemned sinners, we are moved with fear, and buin. bled in repentance ; when we thus believe the report of a refuge provided for us, our hopes are excited; those truths that relate to inestimable blessings attainable by us, when really credited, kindle our servant desires; while such as shew us the glory, excelleney, and mercy of God our Saviour, and our obligations to his redecining grace, produce, and work by, love, gratitude, and esery servant affection. This living faith indluences a man's judginent, choice, ani conduct; and especially induces !rico lo receive Jesus Christ sor all the who did for the love she bare to Naomi, and to the Lord her God, leave father and mother, and the land of her nativity, to come out and go with a people that she knew not before. "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come lo trust' (Ruth ii. 11, 12). purposes of salvation, and to yield himself to luis service, as constrained by love of him ani zeal for his glory. We need no other ground for this faith than the authenticated word of God. This may be brought to our recollection by means of distress or danger, or even in a dream, or with some very strong impression on the the mind ; yet true faith rests only on the word of God, according to its meaning as it stands in the Bible; and not on the manner in which it occurs to the thoughts, or according to any new sense put upon it in a dream, or by an impression; as this would be a new revelation. For if the words, • Thy sins are forgiven thec,' should be impressed on my mind; they would contain a declaration nowhere made in Scripture concerning me; consequently the belief of them on this ground would be a faith not warranted by the word of God. Now as we have no reason to expect such new revelations, and as Satan can counterfeit any of these impressions; we inust consider every thing of this kind as opening a door to enthusiasm, and the most dangerous delusions ; though many, who rest their contidence on them, have also scriptural evidence of their acceptance, which they overlook. On the other hand, should the following words be powerfully impressed on my mind, Him that cometli to me I will in rio wisc cast out, or, · He that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find mercy;' I may deduce encourage. ment from the words, according to the genuine meaning of them as they stand in Scripture, without any dread of delusion, or any pretence to new revelations; provided I be conscions that I do come to Christ, and conless my sins with the sincere purpose of forsaking them.