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INTER. Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Let this man's misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
CHR. Well, said Christian, this is fearful! God help me to watch and be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's misery. Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now?
INTER. Tarry till I shall shew thee one thing more, and then thou shalt go on thy way.
So he took Christian by the hand again, and led him into a chamber, where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment, he shook and trembled. Then said Christian, " Why doth this man thus tremble?” The Interpreter then bid him tell Christian the reason of his so doing. So he began, and said, “ This night, as I was in my sleep, I dreamed. and behold the heavens grew exceeding black: also it thundered and lightened in such fearful wise, that it put me into an agony. So I looked up in my
wished often, O that I could repent! O that God would wash me in the fountain of his Son's blood! O that I had faith that I could believe! I have been so great a sinner against God, and the people of God, that God will have no mercy for me. How deplorable a thing is this, that I, who have preached so much of the glory of another world, should now be deprived of it all! You will as surely see me damned as you now see me here. I am a hundred times greater sinner than Spira, a thousand times, ten thousand times, a hundred thousand times greater sinner than he, I have touched the apple of God's eye-1 an damned." Mr. Child's wife told the Rev. Benjamin Keach, that " she found sometimes in the night that the very ends of his hairs did stand in drops through the anguish of his spirit, continually crying out against himself for writing that cursed book* !” Such an example as this man's misery ought indeed to be an everlasting caution to all professors of religion ; and sincere christians will earnestly pray, while they realize the possibility of such a state, that God would help them to watch and be sober.
• The ahore is extracted from a pamphlet, published in 1628, by tbe Reve Thomas Plant and the Rev. Benjamin Dennis, Baptist ministers in London.
dream, and saw the clouds rack' at an unusual rate; upon which I heard a great sound of a trumpet, and saw also a man sit upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven; they were all in flaming fire ; also the heavens were in a burning flame. I heard then a voice, saying, 'Arise ye dead, and come to judgment. And with that the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the dead that were therein came forth: some of them were exceeding glad, and looked upward ; and some sought to hide themselves under the mountains. Then I saw the man that sat upon the cloud, open the book and bid the world draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame which issued out and came before bim, a convenient distance betwixt him and them, as betwixt the judge and the prisoners at the bar. (1 Cor xv. 1 Thess. iv. 16. Jude 15. John v. 28, 29. 2 Thess. j. 8–10. Rev. xx. 11-14. Isa. xxvi. 21. Mic. vii. 16, 17. Psa. i. 1–3. Mal. iii. 2, 3. Dan. vii. 9, 10.) I heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on the man that sat on the cloud,‘Gather together the tares, the chaff, and the stubble, and cast them into the burning lake.' (Matt. iii. 12. xiii. 30. xxiv. 30. Mal. iv. 1.) And with that the bottomless pit opened, just whereabout I stood; out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, smoke, and coals of fire, with bideous noises. It was also said to the same persons, ' Gather my wheat into the garner.' (Lukejii. 17.) And with that I saw many catched up and carried away in the clouds ; but I was left behind. (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.) I also sought to hide myself, but I could not ; for the man that sat upon the cloud still kept his eye upon me: my sins also came into my mind; and my conscience did accuse me on every side. (Rom. ii. 14, 15.) Upon this I awaked from my sleep."
Jo some parts of England, the clouds are said to “rack, when they are driven violently along by the wind
Christian leares the Interpreter's House.
CHR. But what was it that made you so afraid of this sight?
Man. Why I thought that the day of judgment was come, and that I was not ready for it : but what affrighted me most was, that the angels gathered up several, and left me behind: also the pit of hell opened her mouth just where I stood. My conscience too afflicted me; and, as I thought, the Judge bad always his eye upon me, shewing indignation in his countenance.
Then said the Interpreter to Christian, “ Hast thou considered all these things?"
CHR. Yes, and they put me in hope and fear".
Inter. Well, keep all things so in thy mind, that they may be as a goad in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the way thou must go. Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. Then said the Interpreter, “ The Comforter be always with thee, good Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads to the City *." So Christian went on his way, saying,
"The scene of the day of judgment, and the alarms felt by those who are conscious of not being ready for that solemn event, seem to have been suggested by the dreams which terrified Mr. Bunyan while he was living in sin and rebellion against God. “I have," says he, “ been greatly afflicted, while asleep, with the apprehensions of devils and wicked spirits, who still, as I then thought, laboured to draw me away with them, of which I could never get rid." IVIMEY'S LIFE OF BUNYAN, P. 14.
* The application made of these subjects by the Interpreter to Christian, is intended to show the effects which divine truth has Apon the heart of the believer, in producing both hope and fear. “ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth," John xvii. 17. If the reader will take another view of these seven instructive pictures in the house of the Interpreter, he will perceive how admirably adapted the subjects are to impress the heart of young convert with deep seriousness at the commencement of his religious life. He is to choose most scrupulously an evangelica. ministry ;-—to understand that peace of mind, and purity of heart, and holiness of life, will he promoted, not by looking for justification to the law, but by living a life of faith upon the son of God, Christian loses his Barden,
“Here I have seen things rare and profitable,
Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee." Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on each side with a wall, which wall was called Salvation. (Isa. xxvi. 1.) Up this way therefore did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.
He ran thus till he came to a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. ·
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said
- to reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the future glory of the saints ;-to depend upon the Holy Spirit of God for grace to help in time of need; resolutely to pursue the path of duty, though he may be exposed to sufferings and death ;-and to tremble at the thought of apostacy, keeping in mind the certainty of standing at the judgment seat of Christ, and of giving an account of the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad. A constant meditation upon these things will be the most powerful incentive to christian perseverance. While every christian is encouraged to hope in the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, the dangers and difficulties
o which he is exposed are so many and great, arising from the remaining corruptions of his heart, the temptations of the world and the malice and subtilty of the devil, that we may adopt Solomon's declaration, “ Happy is the man who feareth always,” Prov Xxviii. 14.--It is a cheering consideration that the Holy Spirit, who enlightens, sanctifies, and comforts the people of God, is also the companion and the “guide" of weary pilgrims all the way through the world till they arrive safely at the city of God. “ Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Ps. lxxii. 24