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$56 Despondenty, Much-aJ-aid, Huntil,
to be ready with the King by the next Lord's day, to shout for joy, for thy deliverance from all thy doublings.—And,' said the messenger,' that my message is true, take this for a proof:' so he gave " a grasshopper to be a burden unto him."—Now Mr. Despondency's daughter, whose name was Much-afraid, said, when she had heard what was done, ' that she should go with her father.' Then Mr. Despondency said to his friends, • Myself and my daughter, you know what we have been, and how troublesomely we have behaved ourselves in every company ;—my will, and my daughter's is that our desponds and slavish fears be by no m in ever received, from the day of our departure, for ever: for I know that after my death they will oiler themselves to others. For, to be plain with you, they are guests which we entertained when we first began to be Pilgrims, and could never shake them off after: and they will walk about and seek enteitainment of the Pilgrims; but, for our sakes shut the doors upon them.'
When the time was come for them to depart, they went up to the brink of the river. The last words of Mr. Despondency were, 'Farewell, night! Welcome day !'—His daughter went through the river singing, but none could understand what she said.
Then it came to pass a while after, that there was a post in the town, that inquired for Mr. Honest. So he came to his house, where he was, and delivered to his hands these lines' 'Thou art commanded to be ready against this day se'nnight to present thyself before thy Lord, at his Father's house. And, for a token that my message is true, " All the daughters of music shall be brought low."—Then Mr. Honest called for his friends, and said unto them, ' I die, but shall make no will. As for my honesty, it shall go with me; let him that comes after be told of this.'
When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed himself to go over the river. Now the river at that time overflowed the banks in some places; but Mr. Honest, in his lifetime, had spoken to one Good-conscience to meet him there; the which he also did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him over. The last words of Mr. Honest were, " Grace reigns!" So he left the world.
After this it was noised about that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a summons by the same post as the other; and had this for a token that the summons was true, that '' his pitcher
was broken at the fountain." When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then said he, 'I am going to my Father's; and though with great difficulty I got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me, that I have fought his battle, who now will be my Rewarder.'
When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went he said, "Death, where is thy sting °" and as he went down deeper, he said, " Grave, where is thy victory?" So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
Then there came forth a summons for Mr. Standfast. This Mr. Standfast was he that the Pilgrims found upon his knees in the Enchanted Ground, and the post brought it him open in his hands. The contents whereof were, that he must prepare for a change of life, for his Master was not willing that he should be so far from him any longer. At this Mr. Standfast was put into a muse. 'Nay,' said the messenger, 'you need not doubt of the truth of my message; for here is a token of the truth thereof.'—" Thy wheel is broken at the cistern." Then he called to him Mr. Great-heart, who was their guide, and said unto him, ' Sir, although it was not my hap to be much in your good company in the days of my pilgrimage, yet, since the time I knew you, you have been profitable to me. When I came from home, I left behind me a wife and five small children; let me entreat you, at your return, (for I know that you go and return to your Master's house, in hopes that you may be a conductor to more of the holy Pilgrims ;) that you send to my family, and let them be acquainted with all that hath and shall happen unto me. Tell them, moreover, of my happy arrival at this place, and of the present and late blessed condition that I am in. Tell them also of Christian and Christiana his wife, and how she and her children came after her husband. Tell them also of what a happy end she made, and whither she is gone.—I have little or nothing to send to my family, except it be my prayers and tears for them; of which it will suffice if you acquaint them, if peradventure they may prevail.'
When Mr. Standfast had thus set things in order, and the 568 Standfast'* passage. He speaks in the River,
time being come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the river. Now there was a great calm at that time in the river; wherefore Mr. Standfast, when he was about half way in, stood a while and talked to his companions that had waited upon him thither: and he said, * This river has been a terror to many: yea, the thoughts of it also have often frightened me: now, methinks, I stand easy; my foot is fixed upon that on which the feet of the priests that bare the ark of the covenant stood, while Israel went over this Jordan." The waters, indeed, are to the palate bitter, and to the stomach cold; yet the thoughts of what I am going to, and of the conduct that waits for me on the other side, doth lie as a glowing coal at my heart. I see myself now at the end of my journey; my toilsome days are ended. I am going to see that head that was crowned with thorns, and that face that was spit upon for me. I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith; but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be with Him in whose company I delight myself. I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of his shoe in the earth, there I have coveted to set my foot too. His name has been to me as kl civet-box; yea, sweeter than all perfumes. His voice to me has been most sweet; and his countenance I have more desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun. His words I did use to gather for my food, and for antidotes against my faintings. He has held me, and has kept me from mine iniquities; yea, my steps have been strengthened in his way.' (k)
* Josh. iii. U. • (k) This speech has been justly admired, as one of the most striking passages in the whole work: but it is so plain, that it only requires au attentive reader. It may, however, be worthy of our observation, that in all the instances before us the Pilgrims are represented as resting their only dependence, at the closing scene, on the mercy of God, through the righteousness and atonement of his Son: and yet recollecting their conscious integrity, boldness in professing and coutending for the truth, love to the cause, example, and words of Christ, obedience to his precepts, delight in his ways, preservation from their o wn iniquities, and consistent behaviour, as evidences that their faith was living, and their hope war ranted; and in this way the retrospect conduced to their encouragement Moreover, they all concur in declaring, that while they left their infirmities behind them, they should take their graces along with them, and that "their works would follow them."—Thus the scriptural mean is exactly maintained, between those who place their tuppoted good works as the Attd enten the City in inumyh.
Now, while he was thus in discourse, his countenance changed; his "strong man bowed under him:" and, after he had said, 'Take me, for I come unto thee,' he ceased to be seen of them.
But glorious it was to see, how the open region was filled with horses and chariots, with trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on stringed instruments, to welcome the Pilgrims as they went up, and followed one another in at the beautiful Gate of the City, (i)
foundation of their hopes. and those, who would exclude even real good works f rum being so much as looked upon, as evidential of saving faith, or as in any way giving encouragement to the believer in his dyiug hour.*
(A) The view given in this place, of the peaceful and joyful death of the Pilgrims, cannot but affect every reader in some degree; and many perhaps may be ready to say,■ Let me die the death of the righteous, mid let my last end be like his:" but, except they make it their principal concern to live the life of the righteous, such a with will most probably be frustrated; and every hope grounded on it is evidently presumptuous, as the example of Balaam sulhciently proves.—If any man, therefore, doubt whether this allegory do indeed describe the Rise and Progress ol religion in the soul; the beginning, continuance, and termination of the godly man's course to heaven; let him diligently search the scriptures, and fervently pray to God, from whom alone "cometh every good and perfect gift," to enable him to determine this question. But let such as own themselves to be satisfied that it does, beware lest they rest on this assent and notion, in the pleasure of reading an ingenious work on the subject, or in the ability of developing many of the author's emblems. Let them beware, lest they be fascinated, as it were, into a persuasion, that they actually accompany the Pilgrims in the life of faith, and walking with God, in the same measure, as they keep pace with the author, in discovering and approving the grand outlines of his plan. And let every one carefully examine his state, sentiments, experience, motives, tempers, affections and conduct, by the various characters, incidents, and observations, that pass under his review; assured that this is a matter of the greatest consequence. We ought not indeed to call any man master, or subscribe absolutely to all his sentiments; yet the diligent practical student of Scripture can scarcely doubt, but that the warnings, counsels, and instructions of this singular work, agree in general with that sacred touchstone; or that characters and actions will at last \a approved or condemned by the Judge of the world, in a great degree according to the sentence passed on them in this wise and faithful book. The Lord grant that both the writer and readers of these observations "may find mercy in that day," and be addressed in tnese gracious words, " Come, re blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world."
* 2 Tim. 17. ft—a.
As for Christiana's children, the four boys that Christiana brought, with their wives and children, I did not stay where I was till they were gone over. Also, since I came away, I heard one say, they were yet alive, and so would be for the increase of the church in that place where they were, for time.
Shall it be my lot to go that way again, I may give thoss Jiat desire it an account of what I here am silent about.— Meantime, I bid my reader