Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Now supper was ended, and preparation was made for bed : the women were laid singly alone, and the boys by themselves, Now when Mercy was in bed, she could not sleep for joy, for that now her doubts of missing at last were removed farther from her than ever they were before. So she lay blessing and praising God, who had such favour for her.

In the morning they arose with the sun, and prepared themselves for their departure; but the Interpreter would have them tarry awhile ; for, said he, you must orderly go from hence. Then said he to the damsel that first opened unto them, Take them and have them into the garden to the Bath,* and there wash them and make them clean from the soil which they have gathered by travel

** Bath'-The author calls this the bath of sanctification' in a marginal note : whence we may infer, that he specially meant to intimate, that believers should constantly seek fresh supplies of grace from the Holy Spirit, to purify their hearts from the renewed defilement of sin, which their intercourse with the world will continually occasion; and to revive and invigorate those holy affections, which in the same manner are apt to grow languid. Yet he did not intend to exclude their habitual reliance on the blood of Christ for pardon and acceptance : for in both respects we need daily washing. The sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, warrants the true Christian's peace and joy in believing :' il gives him beavty in the sight of his brethren; it strengthens him for every conflict and service; and the image of Christ, discernible in Iris spirit and conduct, seals trim as a child of God and an heir of glory; while the inward consciousness of living by faith in the Son of God for all the blessings of salvation, and of experiencing all filial affections toward God as his reconciled Father, inspires him with humble joy and confidence in bais love.

ling. Then Innocent the damsel took them, and led them into the garden, and brought them to the Bath ; so she told them, that there they must wash and be clean, for so her Master would have the women to do, that called at his house as they were going on pilgrimage. Then they went in and washed, yea, they and the boys and all; and they came out of that Bath not only sweet and clean, but also much enlivened and strengthened in their joints. So when they came in, they looked fairer a deal than when they went out to the washing.

When they were returned out of the garden from the Bath, the Interpreter took them, and looked upon them, and said unto them,

Fair as the moon.' Then he called for the seal, wherewith they used to be sealed that were washed in his Bath. So the scal was brought, and he set his mark upon them, that they might be known in the places whither they were yet to go.

Now the seal was the contents and sum of the passover which the children of Israel did eat when they came out of the land of Egypt (Exod. xiii. 8—10); and the mark was set between their eyes. This seal greatly added to their beauty, for it was an ornament to their faces. It also added to their gravity, and made their countenances more like them of angels.

Then said the Interpreter again to the damsel that waited upon the women, 'Go into the vestry, and fetch out garments for these people : so she went and fetched out white rai

ment,* and laid it down before him : so he commanded them to put it on : it was 'tine linen, white and clean.' When the women were thus adorned, they seemed to be a terfor one to the other ; for that they could not see that glory each one in himself, which they could see in each other. Now therefore they began to esteem each other better than themselves. For you are fairer than I am, said ore ; and you are more comely than I am, said another. The children also stood amazed, to see into what fashion they were brought.

The Interpreter then called for a manservant of his, one Great-heart,† and bid him take a sword, and helmet, and shield ;

** White raiment'—'The pilgrims are supposed to bave veen justified on their adınission at the gate ; the Interpreter is the emblem of the Holy Spirit; and the raimeni hero mentioned rendered those who are adorned with it comely in the eyes of their companions. We cannot, therefore, with propriety explain it to signify the righteousness of Christ imputed to the believer, but the renewal of the soul to holiness ; for this alone is visible to the eyes of men. They, who have put on this raiinent, are also · clothed with humility: so tha: they readily perceive the excellences of other believers, but cannot discern their own, except when they look in the glass of God's word. At the same time they become very obserFant of their own defects, and severe in animadverting on them, but proportionably candid to their brethren : and thus they learn the hard lesson of esteemning others better than theniselves.'

+Great heart'—The stated pastoral care of a vigilant minister, who is strong in faith, and courageous in the canse of God, is represented by the conductor of the pilgriins. We shall have repeated opportunities of shewing how desirous the author was to reconunend this advantage to his readers, to excite them to be hankful for it, and to avail themse ves of it when graciously añorded thcın. Vol. II.

6

and take these my daughters, said he, con. duct them to the house called Beautiful, at which place they will rest next. So he took his weapons, and went before them; and the Interpreter said, God speed. Those also that belonged to the family sent them away with many a good wish. So they went on their way, and sang

This place has been our second stage

Here we have heard and seen
Those good things, that from age to age

To others hid have been.
The dunghill-raker, spider, hen,

The chicken too, to me
Hath taught a lesson ; let me then

Couformed to it be.
The butcher, garden, and the field,

The robin and his bait,
Also the rutten tree doth yield

Me argument of weight;
To move me for to watch and pray,

To strive to be sincere :
To take my cross up day by day,

And serve the Lord with fear. Now I saw in my dream, that those went on, and Great-heart before them; so they went and came to the place where Christian's burthen fell of his back, and tumbled into a sepulchre (P. i. p. 90). Here then they made a pause ; here also they blessed God. Now, said Christiana, it comes to my

mind what was said to us at the gate, to wit, that we should have pardon by word and deed ; by word, that is, by the promise ; by deed, to wit, in the way it was obtained. What the promise is, of that I know something : but what it is to have pardon by deed,

[graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »