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The Interpreter entertains Cbristian
INTER. Then said the Interpreter, Come in; I will shew thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded bis man to light the 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 lifted 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.
Chr. Then said Christian, what meaneth this ?
INTER. 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 show 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 hangs over his head; that is to shew thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to bis Master's service, he is sure in the world that comes next to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going, hath authorised to be thy guide in all difficult
babes," who “ desire the sincere milk of the word that they may grow thereby," and thus be “ strengthened for every good word and work." All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable in many respects to those who are strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
with various emblematical Representations.
places thou mayest meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death".
m By the “illumination" of the Holy Spirit the understanding of young christians is soon opened to perceive that evangelical, self-denying, zealous ministers, are alone divinely authorized to explain and enforce the holy scriptures; and that many persons who bear that name, and fill that office, are mere pretenders ; "the blind," who “ lead the blind," until “ both fall into the ditch.” The genuine christian pastor is easily known. His heart is in heaven. He seeks the honour that cometh from God only. The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the fountain from which he derives spiritual knowledge. He is sincere in his motives, and faithful in his instructions. He is not conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of his mind. He warns every man, and teaches every man in all wisdom, that; he may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. He has no hope of present reward, but takes the oversight of the flock of God, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; expecting that when the chief Shepherd shall appear, he shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away Such a man is, indeed, “ one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness,” Job xxxiii. 23. He can say to those who are converted by his ininistry, “ In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel," I Cor. iv. 15. He feels compassion for the souls of men, and earnestly desires their salvation. He is gentle among them, even as a nurse cherisheth her children ; and is affectionately desirous of them, being willing to impart unto them, not the gospel of God only, but also his own soul, because they are dear unto him. Such a minister was Paul ; such a minister was Bunyan ; and many such there are at the present day: but this cannot be said of any excepting those who resemble the picture which the “ Interpreter” showed to Christian.
The evangelical poet Cowper has sketched the same picture with his inimitable pencil : the sentiments are in exact union with those of Mr Bunyan, but much less concise.
“ There stands the messenger of truth. There standa
The dusty Parlour.
Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlour that was full of dust because never
Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart,
« I venerate the man, whose heart is warm,
" Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,