« ForrigeFortsett »
but they concluded, as they went, that not Mr. Bya ends, but old Mr. Hold-the-World should propound the question to them, because, as they supposed, their answer to him would be without the remainder of that heat which was kindled between Mr. By-ends and them, at their parting a little before.
So they came up to each other, and after a short falutation, Mr. Hold-the-World propounded the question to Christian and his fellow, and bad them answer it if they could.
Then said Christian, Even a babe in religion may answer ten thousand such questions. For, if it be unlawful to follow Christ for loaves, as it is, John vi. how much more abominable is it to make of him and religion a stalking-horse, thereby to get and enjoy the world? Nor do we find any other than heathens, hypocrites, devils, and witches, who are of this opinione. 1. Heathens; for when Hamor and Sechem had a mind to the daughter and cattle of Jacob, and saw that there was no way to come at thèm, but by becoming circumcised, they said to their companions, If every male of us be circumcised, as they are circumcised, shall not their catcle, and their substance, and every beast of theirs, be ours? Their daughters and their cattle were that which they
e Let me recommend this answer to the serious confideration of those who set up for Preachers of the Gospel without a clear and special call to the work, and leave their lawful calling and worldly occupations to make merchandise of fouls. What swarms of such locusts are there in this day!
sought to obtain, and religion was the stalking-horse they made use of to, come at them. Read the whole story, Gen. xxxiv. 20, 21, 22, 23. 2. The hypocritical Pharisees were also of this religion: long prayers were their pretence; but to get widows' houses was their intent. Greater damnation was their judgment from God.
Luke xx. 46, 47. 3. Judas the devil was also of this religion; he was religious for the bag, that he might be possessed of what was therein ; but he was lost, cast away, and the very fon of perdition. 4. Simon the witch was of this religion too; for he would have had the Holy Ghost, that he might have got money therewith : his sentence from Peter's mouth was according, Aēts viii. 19, 20, 21, 22. 5. Neither will it go out of my mind, but that the man who takes
up ligion for the world, will throw away religion for the world; for so surely as Judas designed the world in becoming religious, so surely did he also sell religion and his Master for the same. To answer the question therefore affirmatively, as I perceive you have done, and to accept of, as authentic, such anfwer; is both heathenish, hypocritical, and devilish: and your reward will be according to your works.
Then they stood staring one upon another, but had not wherewith to answer Christian. Hopeful also approved of the foundness of Christian's answer; so there was a great silence among them. Mr. Byends and his company also staggered and kept be
hind, that Christian and Hopeful might out-go theni. Then said Christian to his fellow, If these men cannot stand before the sentence of men, what will they do with the sentence of God? And if they are mute when dealt with by vessels of clay, what will they do when they shall be rebuked by the flames of a devouring fire?
Then Christian and Hopeful out-went them again, and went till they came at a delicate plain, called Ease, where they went with much content; but that plain was but narrow, so they quickly got over it. Now, at the farther side of that plain was a little hill called Lucre, and in that hill a silver mine, which some of them who had formerly gone that way, because of the rarity of it, had turned aside to see ; but, going too near the brink of the pit, the ground, being deceitful under them, broke, and they were Nain. Some also had been maimed there, and could not, to their dying day, be their own men again.
Then I saw, in my dream, that a little off the road, over against the silver mine, stood Demas (gentleman-like) to call passengers to come and see; who said to Christian and his fellow, Ho, turn aside hither, and I will shew you something.
Chr. What thing so deserving as to turn us out of the way?
Demas. Here is a silver mine, and some digging in it for treasure; if you will come, with a little pains, you may richly provide for yourselves.
Hope. Then said Hopeful, Let us go see f.
Chr. Not I, said Christian; I have heard of this place before now, and how many have been sain there; and, besides that, treasure is a snare to those who seek it; for it hindereth them in their pilgrimage.
Then Christian called to Demas, saying, Is not the place dangerous ? Hath it not hindered many in their pilgrimage?
Demas. Not very dangerous, except to those who are careless; but withal he blushed as he spake.
Then said Christian to Hopeful, Let us not ftir a ftep, but still keep on our way.
Hope. I will warrant you, when By-ends comes up, if he hath the same invitation as we, he will turn in thither to fee.
Chr. No doubt thereof, for his principles lead him that way, and a hundred to one but he dies there.
Then Demas called again, saying, But will you not come over and see?
Hopeful was inclined at least to go and see this filver mine. He might perhaps have concluded within himself that there could possibly be no harm in going to see such a place, only out of curiosity; but Christian was aware of the danger of going even in the way of temptation. Indeed, indeed, my Chriftian friends, we cannot be too careful in avoiding whatever may be to us an occasion of falling. The heart is deceitful ; the world is alluring ; Satan, like a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour ; therefore our Lord has said, « Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.”
Then Christian roundly answered him, saying, Demas, thou art an enemy to the right ways of the Lord of this way; thou hast been already condemned for thine own turning aside, by one of his Majesty's judges; and why seekest thou to bring us into the like condemnation ? Besides, if we at all turn aside, our Lord the King will certainly hear thereof, and will there put us to shame, where we would stand with boldness before him.
Demas cried again, that he also was one of their fraternity; and that, if they would tarry a little, he also himself would walk with them.
Then said Christian, What is thy name? Is it not the same by which I have called thee?
Demas. Yes, my name is Demas; I am the son of Abraham.
Chr. I know you; Gehazi was your great grandfather, and Judas your father, and you have trod in their steps; it is but a devilish prank which thou usest: thy father was hanged for a traitor, and thou deservest no better reward. Assure thyself, that when we come to the king we will tell him of this thy behaviour. Thus they went their way.
By this time By-ends and his companions were come again within sight, and they, at the first beck, went over to Demas. Now, whether they fell into the pit by looking over the brink thereof; or whether they went down to dig; or whether they were smothered in the bottom by the damps which.com3