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will you carry me and my children with you, that we may also go and worship the King ?
Then said the visiter, Christiana, the bitter is before the sweet, Thou must, as he did who went before thee, enter the celestial city through tribulations. Wherefore I advise thee to do as Christian thy husband did: go to the wicket-gate yonder, over the plain, for that stands at the head of the way by which thou must go; and I wish thee good speed, I advise thee also, that thou put this letter in thy bofom; that thou read therein to thyself, and to thy children; until they have got it by heart: for it is one of the songs which thou must sing whilst thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage : also thou must deliver it in at the farther
gate. Now I saw, in my dream, that this old gentleman, as he told me this story, did himself seem to be greatiy affected therewith. He moreover proceeded and said, that Christiana called her sons together, and began thus to address herself unto them; My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul, about the death of your father; not that I doubt at all of his happiness; for I am fatisfied now that he is well. I have likewise been much affected with thoughts concerning mine own state and yours, which I verily believe by nature is miserable. My carriage also to your father in his distress is a great load to my conscience ; for I hardened both my own heart and yours against him, and refused to go with him on pilgrimage,
The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but for a dream which I had last night , and for the encouragement which this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children, let us pack up, and go to the gate which leads to that celestial country, that we may see your father, and be with him and his companions in peace, accord- . ing to the laws of that land.
Then did her children burst out into tears, for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined; so that the visiter bade them farewell: and they began to prepare for their journey.
But while they were thus about to set out, two women who were Christiana's neighbours, came up to her house, and knocked at the door. To whom The said as before. At this the women were stunned; for they had not been used to hear this kind of language, or perceive any thing like this to drop from the lips of Christiana. So they came in ; and behold, they found the good woman preparing to go from her house. Upon this they began their discourse, and said, Neighbour, pray what is your meaning by this?
5 Though dreams, in general, may be considered as nothing more than confused, inconsistent, and incoherent vagaries of the imagination, yet the Lord has certainly spoken to his people in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men : but, in such dreams and visions as these, there is not only a deep impression ; but the representation made to the mind is uniform and confiftent.
Christiana $ Those who are itrangers to the powerful influence of the spirit of grace upon the heart, ascribe the change which is made on the renewed foul, to the persuafion of men, or to some foolish fancy, or to some disorder of the brain. Herein they err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God; not knowing the necesity nor the nature of such a change.
Christiana answered and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. Timorous, I am preparing for a journey. (This Timorous was daughter to him who met Christian upon the hill Difficulty, and would have had him have gone back for fear of the lions.)
Tin. For what journey, I pray you?
Christ. Even to go after my late husband: with that the fell a weeping,
Tim. I hope not fo, good neighbour; pray, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself
, for your poor children's fake.
Chrijt. Nay, my children shall go with me: not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Tim. I wonder in my heart, what or who has brought you into this mind”.
Christ. Oh, neighbour, did you but know as much as I do, I doubt not but
go along with me.
Tin. Prithee, what new knowledge hast thou got which so taketh off thy mind from thy friends, and tempteth thee to go, no body knows where?
Christ. I have been forely afflicted since my husband's departure from me; but especially since he
went over the river. But that which troubleth me most, is my churlish carriage to him, when he was under his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me, but going on pilgrimage. I was dreaming last night that I saw him. O that my
foul was with him! He dweileth in the presence of the King of the country; he sits and eats with him at his table ; he is become a companion of immortals; and has a house now given him to dwell in, to which the best palaces on earth, if compared, seem to me but as a dunghill. The Prince of the palace has also sent for me, with promises of entertainment, if I will come to him; his messenger was here even now, and brought me a letter, which invites me to come. With that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them, What now will you say to this ?
Tim. Oh! What madness has possessed thee and thy husband, to run yourselves upon such disficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even, in a manner, at the first step which he took on his way, as our neighbour Obstinate can yet testify, for he went along with him; yea, and Pliable too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any further. We also heard over and above, that he met with the lions, Apollyon, the shadow of death, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with at Vanity-Fair to be forgotten by thee. For if he, though a man, was so hard put to it, what canst thou do, being but a
poor woman? Consider also, that these four sweet babes are thy children, thy fesh, and thy bones. Therefore, though thou shouldest be so rafh as to caft away thyself, yet, for the sake of the fruit of thy body, keep at home.
Christ. Tempt me not, my neighbour. I have noi a prize put into my hand, and I should be a fool of the greatest fort, if I should have no heart to Atrike in with the opportunity. As for what you tell me of the troubles which I am like to meet with in the way, these are so far from being a discouragement to me, that they shew I am in the right; for the bitter must come before the sweet, and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore, since you came not to iny house in God's name, as I said, I pray you
gone, and do not disquiet me further.
Then Timorous also reviled her, and said to her fellow, Come, neighbour Mercy, let us leave her to herself; she scorns our counsel and company. But Mercy was at a stand; and could not so readily comply with her neighbour, and that for a two-fold reason, ist, Her bowels yearned over Christiana ; so that she faid within herself, If my neighbour will go, I will go a little way with her, and help her. 2dly, Her bowels yearned over her own foul (for what Christiana had said had taken some hold
upon her mind). Wherefore she said within herself again, : I will yet have more talk with this Chriftiana, and if I find truth and life in what she shall say, I my