hold a path lay along by the way, on the other side of the fence. 'Tis according to my wish, said Chriftian, here is the easiest going; come, good Hopeful, and let us go over.

Hope. But how if this path should lead us out of the way?

Chr. That's not likely, said the other. Look, doth it not go along by the way-side? So Hopeful, being persuaded by his fellow, went after him over the stile. When they were gone over, and were got into the path, they found it very easy for their feet; and withal, looking before them, they espied a man walking as they did (his name was Vain Confidence), so they called after him, and asked him, whither that way led? He said, to the celestial gate. Look, said Christian, did not I tell you so ? By this you may see we are right; so they followed, and he went before them. But behold, the night came on, and it grew very dark; so that they who were behind lost the light of him who went before.

He therefore who went before (Vain Confidence by name) not seeing the way before him, fell into a deep pit; which was made there on purpose by the prince of those grounds, to catch vain-glorious fools withal; and was dashed in pieces with his fall.

of men, nor to build our faith upon the opinion of men ; but to make the scriptures our only rule of faith and practice; to look up to God for the teaching of his blessed Spirit, that he might lead us into all truth, give us a right judgment in all things, and keep our feet from the ways of death.


Now Christian and his fellow heard him fall. So they called to know the matter, but there was none to answer, only they heard a groaning. Then said Hopeful, Where are we now? But his fellow was filent, as mistrusting that he had led him out of the way: and it now began to rain, and thunder and lighten in a most dreadful mannerk, so that the waters rose amain.

Then Hopeful groaned in himself, saying, Oh, that I had kept on my way!

Chr. Who would have thought that this path would have led us out of the way?

Hope. I was afraid of it at the very first, and therefore gave you that gentle caution. I would have spoken plainer, but that you are older than I.

Chr. Good brother, be not offended, I am sorry I have brought thee out of the way, and that I have put thee into fuch imminent danger: pray, my brother, forgive me; I did not do it with an evil in


Hope. Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive thee; and believe too, that this shall be for our good.

Chr. I am glad I have met with a merciful brother: but we must not stand thus; let's try to go back again.

k The thunder and lightning plainly shews where this bypath leads ; not to Zion, but to Sinai. If you set one step over the stile, by giving way to the workings of a legal and self-righteous spirit, you are immediately within the territories pf despair.


Hope. But, good brother, let me go before. .

Chr. No, if you please, let me go first; that, if there be any danger, I may be first therein; because by my means we are both gone out of the way.

Hope. No, faid Hopeful, you shall not go first; for your mind being troubled, may lead you out of the way again,

Then, for their encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, “Let thine heart be towards the high-way; even the way that thou wentest, turn again.” But; by this time, the waters were greatly risen, by reason of which the way of going back was very dangerous, (Then, thought Í, it is easier going out of the way when we are in, than going in when we are out.) Yet they adventured to go back, but it was so dark, and the flood was so high, that in their going back they had like to have been drowned nine or ten times. Neither could they, with all the skill they had, get again to the stile that night, Wherefore at last, lighting under a little shelter, they sat down there till the day-break; but, being weary, they fell asleep.

There was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle, called Doubting-Castle', the owner


I There is a difference between Doubting-Caftle, in which these pilgrims were confined, and the iron cage, in which Chris. tian faw the man at the Interpreter's house. The man confined in the iron cage had no hope; but this was not the case with these pilgrims. Though forely beaten by Despair, and


whereof was Giant Despair, and it was in his grounds that they now were sleeping; wherefore he, getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds: then with a grim and furly voice, he bid them awake, and asked them whence they were, and what they did in his grounds. They told him they were pilgrims, and that they had lost their way. Then faid the giant, you have this night trespassed on me, by trampling upon and lying in, my ground, and therefore you must go along with me. So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say, for they knew themselves in a fault. The giant

confined in a loathsome dungeon, yet, even at the worst, they never acknowledged the giant's authority, nor yielded obedience to his commands. “ His servants ye are,” says the Apoftle, “ to whom ye obey." It may

be asked, How can it be, that two such pilgrims as these, who had been in the way so long, and had tasted so much of the Lord's goodness, should be confined by Giant Despair in Doubting-Castle ? I answer, to prove the necessity of being kept by a divine power; of being guided and directed continually by divine wisdom; and of receiving every moment fresh supplies of grace. If left to themselves and their own wisdom, the oldest and most experienced Christians may turn aside in by-paths. I know that the depravity of my fallen nature is such, that there is no sin which I am not liable to commit, and no error into which I am not liable to fall, unless continually kept by restraining grace, and unless led and taught by that unerring wisdom which cometh only from above. Oh! let me not forget what a poor worm I am!


[ocr errors]

Here they

therefore drove them before him, and put them into his castle, in a very dark dungeon, nafty and stinking to the spirits of these two men. lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any one to ask how they did: they were here therefore in evil case, far from friends and acquaintance. Now in this place Christian had double forrow, because 'twas through his unadvised hasțe that they were brought into this distress.

Now giant Despair had a wife, whose name was Diffidence. When he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done: to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and cast them into his dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also, what he had best to do further ta them. She asked him what they were ? whence they came ? and whither they were bound ? and he told her. Then the counselled him, that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without mercy. So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crab-tree cudgel, and goes down into the dungeon to them. First he falls to rating of them as if they were dogs, although they gave him never a word of distaste: then he falls upon them, and beats. them fearfully, in such fort, that they were not able to help themselves, or turn upon the floor. This done, he withdraws, and leaves them there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress: so all that day they spent their time in nothing but

« ForrigeFortsett »