« ForrigeFortsett »
groans, frights, and fears, which he met with and experienced in his journey; besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him; there are but few houses who have heard of him and his doings, but have fought after, and got the records of his pilgrimage ; yea, I think I may fay, that this hazard ous journey has got many well-wishers to his ways: for though when he was here he was fool in every man's mouth, yet now he is gone, he is highly commended of all b. For, it is said, he lives bravely where he is ; so that many who are resolved never to run his hazards, yet have their mouths water at
They may well think, quoth I, if they think any thing that is true, that he liveth well where he is; for he now lives at and in the fountain of life; and has what he has without labour and forrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith. But pray, what talk have the people about him?
Sag. Talk! The people talk strangely about him: some fay, that he now walks in white; that
b That those, who in their life-time were perfecuted, should, after their death, be highly commended, is not uncommon. Thus our Lord told the Pharisee, “ Ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the fepulchres of the righteous.” This is the case with John Bunyan himself, who, as appears by his writings, was much opposed in his day, but is now highly commended, even by thofe who are strangers to his principles, and to that power which he invariably infifted upon, as necessary to conviction and conversion, and to the life and walk of
he has a chain of gold about his neck; that he has a crown of gold, beset with pearls, upon his head; others say, that the shining ones, who sometimes thewed themselves to him in his journey, are become his companions ; that he is as familiar with them, in the place where he is, as one neighbour here is with another: besides, it is confidently affirmed concerning him, that the King of the place where he is, has bestowed upon him already a very rich and pleasant dwelling at court; that every day he eateth and drinketh, and walketh and talketh with him; and that he receiveth there the smiles and favours of him who is judge of all. Moreover, it is expected of fome, that this Prince, the Lord of that country, will shortly come into these parts, and will know the reason, if they can give any; why his neighbours set fo little by him, and had him so much in derision, when they perceived that he would be a pilgrim. They fay, that now he is so much in the affections of his Prince, that his sovereign is so much concerned about the indignities cast upon Christian, when he became a pilgrim, that he will look upon all as done to himself"; and no
• What a thunderbolt is this ! Art thou engaged in opposition to the principles of any man, or set of men? How careful shouldest thou be! What proof, evidence, and convi&tion, oughtest thou to have in thine own foul, that thou art right and they are wrong! If thou shouldest be wrong, and they should be right,--remember, “ He will look upon all as done
marvel, because it was for the love which he had to his prince, that he ventured as he did 4.
I dare say, quoth I, that all this is true, and I am glad of it: I am glad for the poor man's fake, for he now rests from his labours, and reaps the benefits of his tears with joy; he has now got beyond gun-shot of his enemies, and is out of the reach of those who hate him. I am glad also that a rumour of these things is noised abroad in this country; who can tell but it may have some good effect on some of those who are left behind? But, pray, Sir, let me alk, while it is fresh in my mind, do you hear any thing of his wife and children! Poor hearts, I wonder in my mind how they do !
Sag. Who? Christiana and her sons ? They are like to do as well as Christian himself; for though they all played the fool at first, and would by no means be persuaded either by the tears or entreaties of Christian", yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them; they have packed up all, and are gone after him.
to bim.” The Lord of Hofts hath said, that whoso touchethi a child of his, toucheth the apple of his eye. Read this, and tremble, ye who speak evil of those things which ye know not. One thing we may depend upon, that a spirit of persecution is not the spirit of the gospel; and though we are to contend earnestly for the faith, once delivered to the saints, yet the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but fpiritual.
d Love is the only principle of all true obedience. Faith works love in the heart, and then works by love as the motive. Love is strong as death. What great things will men do or fuffer for those whom they love! What great things have Chriflians done and suffered for the love of Chrift! What cruel and painful deaths have they not suffered, and that cheerfully, for the love of Chrilt, and for his truth's fake!
Better and better, quoth I: But, what? Wife and children, and all ?
Sag. It is true: I can give you an account of the matter, for I was upon the spot at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.
Then, said I, I may report it for a truth.
Sag. You need not fear to affirm it. I mean, that they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys. And, as I perceive that we are going some considerable way together, I will give you an account of the whole matter.
This is the way in which Christiana (for that was her name), with her children, betook themselves to a pilgrim's life. After her husband was gone over the river, and she could hear of him no more, then The began to think within herself, first, That she had lost her husband, and that the loving bond of that relationship was utterly broken betwixt them. (And you know, said he to me, natural affection can do no less but raise in the living many a heavy cogitation at the remembrance of the loss of loving relations.) The remembrance therefore of her husband did cost her many a tear.
e Till the set time is come, till the Lord puts forth his sovereign and almighty power, nothing can work a saving change on the finner's heart; but when he opens, none can Tut; and if he works, none can hinder.
But this was not all : Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, Whether her unbecoming behaviour towards her husband was not one cause that she saw him no more ; and that he was taken away from her in such fort: upon this, all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly carriage to her dear friend, came into her mind by swarms; this did clog her conscience, and load her with guilt. Her heart was moreover much broken when the called to remembrance the restlefs groans, the brinish tears, and the self-bemoaning of her husband; and how she had hardened her heart against all his entreaties, and loving persuasions, to prevail upon her and her sons to go with him: yea, there was not any thing which Christian either had said to her, or had done before her, all the while his burden did hang on his back; bur it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart asunder: especially that bitter outcry of his, What shall I do to be saved! did now ring in her ears most dolefully.
Then said she to her children, Sons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone: he would have had us have gone with him, but I would not go myself, and I also hindered you from going. With that the boys fell into tears, and cried to go after their father. Oh! said Christiana, that it had been but our lots to have gone with him, then it had fared better with us than it is like to do now. Though I formerly foolishiy imagined con