« ForrigeFortsett »
out of that way into this, if haply I might be foon cased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped, as I said, for fear of danger: and now I know not what to do.
Evan. Then stand still a little, that I may shew thee the words of God.
So he stood trembling.
Evan. See that you refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. He said moreover, Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. He also did thus apply them, Thou art the man who art running into this misery: thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.
Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Wo is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which, Evangelift caught him by the right hand, saying, All manner of fin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men; be not faithless, but believing. Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.
Then Evangelift proceeded, saying, Give more carneft heed to the things that I shall tell thee of.
I will now shew thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he fent thee. The man who met thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and he is rightly so called, partly because he favoureth only of the doctrine of this world; therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church : and partly, because he loveth that doctrine best which saveth him from the cross; and becaufe he himself is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to prevent my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man's counsel which thou must utterly abhor.
1. His turning thee out of the way,
3. And his setting thy feet in that way which leadeth unto the administration of death.
First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting thereto; because this is to reject the counsel of God for the fake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, Strive to enter in at the strait gate, that is the gate to which I send thee; for strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. From this little wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, this wicked man hath turned thee, even to the bringing of thee almost to destruction: hate, therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening to him.
Secondly, Thou must abhor his labouring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to
prefer prefer that before the treasures in Egypt: besides, the King of Glory hath told thee, “ He that will « save his life shall lose it:” And, “ He that cometh « after me, and hates not his father and mother, « and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters,
yea, and his own life also, cannot be my disciple.” I say, therefore, for a man to labour to persuade thee that that shall be thy death, without which, the truth hath said, thou canst not have eternal life: this doctrine thou must abhor.
Thirdly, Thou must hate his turning thy feet into the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. Thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.
He, to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the bond-woman, who now is, and is in bondage with her children, and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai, which thou hast feared will fall on thy head. · Now, if she, with her children, are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man, as yet, was ever rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be: ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; so then by the deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his burden. Therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien; and Mr. Legality is a cheat ; and as for his fon Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypoC4
crite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise, which thou hast heard from these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee.
After this, Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and, with that, there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, which made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus pronounced, " As many as are of the « works of the law are under the curse; for it is « written, Cursed is every one that continueth not “ in all things which are written in the book of the « law to do them."
Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman ; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel : he also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have such prevalency with him as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelift in words and sense as follows:
s Christian is terrified with the words and the fire which came out of the mountain. This is agreeable to the description which St. Paul gives of this mountain, Heb. xii. 18, 19. This shews the nature, end, and use of the law; as Dr. Watts says, To convince and to condemn is all the law can do.
Chr. Chr. Sir, What think you? Is there any hope ? May I now go back, and go up to the wicket-gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsel; but may my sin be forgiven?
Evan. Thy sin is yery great, for by it thou hast committed two evils; thou hast forsaken the
way that is good; thou hast trodden in forbidden paths; yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good will for men; only take heed that thou turn not aside again, left thou perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little !
Then did Christian address himself to go back "; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed: so he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor, if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one who was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe, till he was got into the way. which he left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel.
In process of time, Christian got up to the gate: and over the gate there was written, “Knock, and it
1 Chriftian is comforted by Evangelift ; though at first he used great sharpness of speech, yet it was in love, in order to make Chriftian sensible of his fault. ♡ Christian goes back by the way
This is the fruit of their labour who are going about to establish their own righteousness: if ever they are truly convinced of sin, they must cast all away: