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because they have no instruction, nor any to tell them what is to come.
Christ. Bowels become pilgrims: and thou doft for thy friends as my good Christian did for me, when he left me; he mourned that I would not heed nor regard him; but his Lord and ours did gather up his tears, and put them into his bottle, and now, both I and thou, and these my sweet babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope, Mercy, that these tears of thine will not be lost; for the truth hath said, They that fow in tears, shall reap in joy, and with singing. And he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious feed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his Iheaves with him.
Then said Mercy :
If't be his blessed will,
Up to his holy hill :
To swerve or turn afide
Whate'er shall me betide.
Whom I have left behind ;
With all their heart and mind.
Now my old friend proceeded, and said, When Christiana came to the Slough of Defpond, she began to be at a stand; for, said she, this is the place
in in which my dear husband had like to have been fmothered with mud. She perceived also that, notwithstanding the command of the King to make this place for pilgrims good, yet it was rather worse than formerly. I asked if that was true. Yes, said the old gentleman, too true. There be many who pretend to be the King's labourers, and say, that thcy are for mending the King's highway, who bring dirt and dung instead of stones, and so mar it instead of mending it", Here Christiana and her boys did make a stand; but said Mercy, Come, let us venture, only let us be wary. Then they looked well to their steps, and made a shift to get staggering over. Yet Christiana had like to have been in, and that not once nor twice. They had no sooner got over, but they thought they heard these words spoken unto them, “Blessed is she that believeth, “ for there shall be a performance of what has been $ told her from the Lord.”
As they went on again, Mercy said to Christiana, Had I as good ground to hope for a loving recepțion at the wicket-gate as you, I think no Slough of Despond would discourage me. Well, said the other, you know your fore, and I know mine •; and, my good friend, we shall all have enough evil before we come to our journey's end. For it cannot be imagined, that people who design to attain such excellent glories as we do, and who are so envied their happiness as we are; but we shall meet with what fears and snares, with what troubles and afflictions they can possibly assault us with, who hate
n The apostle Paul found this to be the case in his day; there were some who, instead of mending the way, marred it; instead of taking the stumbling blocks out of the way, more properly may be said to have laid stumblings in the way of souls truly convinced ; instead of help for Zion's travellers, the ancient land-marks are removed, falfe fignals are given, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, instead of being preached freely and fully, is perverted, and Zion's children are troubled. 8
Now Mr. Sagacity left me to dream out my dream by myself. Wherefore, methought I saw Christiana and Mercy, and the boys, go all of them up to the gate : to which, when they came, they betook themselves to a short debate, about how they must manage their calling at the gate; and what should be said unto him who might open unto them. It was concluded, since Christiana was the eldest, that she should knock for entrance, and that she should speak to him who might open, for the rest. So Christiana began to knock, and, as her band had done, she knocked, and knocked again; but, instead of any answer, they all thought that they, heard as if a dog was coming, barking at them; a dog, and a great one too: this made the women
Every one is apt to think his own cross the heaviest; and, when the trial comes, is ready to fay, Any thing but this : but know, what the Lord appoints will be found, in the end, to have been the best way that could possibly have been taken, to subdue our rebellious and disobedient wills, and to bring us to the wisdom of the just.
and children afraid; nor durft they, for a while, knock any more, for fear the mastiff should fly upon them. Now therefore they were greatly tumbled up and down in their minds, and knew not what to do: knock they durst not, for fear of the dog; go back they durft not, for fear that the keeper of the gate should espy them as they went, and be offended with them: at last they thought of knocking again, and knocking more vehemently than they did at first. Then said the keeper of the gate, Who is there? So the dog left off barking, and the porter opened unto them.
Then Christiana made a low obeisance, and said, Let not our Lord be offended with his hand-maidens, that we have knocked at his princely gate.' Then faid the keeper, Whence came ye? And what is it that you would have ?
Christiana answered, We are come from whence Christian came, and
the same errand; to wit, to be, if it shall please you, graciously admitted, by this
gate, into the way which leads unto the celeftial city. Furtherinore, I answer, my Lord, that I am Christiana, once the wife of Christian, who now is gotten above.
With that the keeper of the gate seemed to marvel, saying, What are you now become a pilgrim, who but a while ago abhorred that life? Then she bowed her head, and faid, Yea, and so are these my sweet babes also. Then he took her by the hand, and let her in,
and said also, « Suffer the little children to come unto me;" with that he shut the gate, and having done this, he called to a trumpeter who was above, over the gate, to entertain Christiana with shouting, and sound of trumpet, for joy; who obeyed and immediately founded, filling the air with his melodious notes.
Now all this while poor Mercy did stand without trembling and crying, for fear she should be rejected. But when Christiana had
admittance for herself and her boys, then she began to make intercession for Mercy: and said, My Lord, I have a companion who stands yet without, who is come hither upon the same account as myself: one much dejected in her mind, because she comes, as the thinks, without being sent for; whereas I was invited by my husband's King to come.
Now Mercy began to be very impatient, and each minute was as long to her as an hour; wherefore she prevented Christiana from interceding for her any more, by knocking at the gate herself: and The knocked then so loud, as to make Christiana start. Then said the keeper of the gate, Who is there ? And Christiana faid, It is my
friend. So he opened the gate and looked out, but Mercy was fallen down in a swoon, for she fainted, being afraid that the gate would not be opened to her. Then he took her by the hand, and said, Damsel, I bid thee arise. O Sir, said she, I am faint; there is scarce any life left in me, But he answered, It was