Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

husks; the comforts of his children, fancies; the travel and labour of pilgrims, things to no purpose.

Chrift. Nay, said Christiana, if they were such, they shall never be bewailed by me; they have but what they deserve; and I think it well that they stand so near the highway, that others may see and take warning. But had it not been well if their crimes had been engraven on some pillar of iron or brass, and left here where they did the mischief, for a caution to other bad men ?

Great-heart. It is so, as you may perceive, if you will go a little to the wall.

Mercy. No, no; let them hang, and their names rot, and their crimes live for ever against them: I think it is a high favour that they are hanged before we came hither: who knows what they might have done to such poor women as we are ? Then she turned it into a song, saying,

Now then you three hang there, and be a fign
To all that shall against the truth combine ;
And let him that comes after fear this end,
If unto pilgrims he is not a friend.
And thou, my soul, of all such men beware,

That unto holiness opposers are,
Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of
the hill Difficulty, where their good friend Mr.
Great-heart took occasion to tell them what hap-
pened there when Christian himself went by. He

had

U 2

[ocr errors]

had them first to the spring : Lo, said he, this is the spring of which Christian drank before he went up this hill; it was then clear and good, but now it is dirty with the feet of some who are not desirous that pilgrims should quench their thirst heres. Thereat Mercy faid, And are they fo envious, trow? Nevertheless, said the guide, it will do, if taken up

and

put into a vessel which is sweet and good; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear. Therefore Christiana and her companions were compelled to do thus: they took it up, and put it into an earthen pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom, and then they drank thereof.

Next he shewed them the two by-ways at the foot of the hill, where Formality and Hypocrisy loft themselves. These, said he, are dangerous paths: two here were cast away when Christian came by. And although you see these ways are since stopped up with chains, posts, and a ditch, yet there are some

s It is the business of gospel perverters to muddy the waters ; and this they do by darkening counsel, by abstract reasoning, or, as the Apostle says, by philosophy and vain deceit. How many sermons may you hear, and how many books may you read, in which there is little or nothing said to the point, as it - respects the gospel of salvation! Such sermons and books confist chiefly in disputing about what might have been, or how such things can be: What is this but vain jangling? What good can this do a poor convinced finner who wants to hear of a Saviour!

will choose to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this hillt.

Christ. The way of transgressors is hard, Prov. xiii. 15. It is a wonder that they can get into those ways without danger of breaking their necks.

Great-beart. They will venture, yea, if at any time any of the King's servants do happen to see them, and do call to them, and tell them, that they are in the wrong way, and do bid, them beware of the danger; yet they will railingly return them anfwer, and say, “ As for the word that thou haft

spoken unto us in the name of the King, we will “ not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do “ whatsoever thing goeth out of our mouths,” &c. Jer. xliv. 16, 17. Nay, if you look a little farther, you shall see that these ways are made with cautions enough, not only by these posts, ditch, and chain, but also being hedged up, yet they will choose to

go there,

[ocr errors]

Some are ready to suppose that all the difficulty in religion lies in a strict and punctual observance of ordinances; in a regular and close attendance upon public worship; or, it may be, occasionally in fafting, or in stated times for reading : but if these things are all which make up the difficulties of religion, I am persuaded that a formalift and hypocrite will not shrink from these. Heart-work is hard work; it is hard work to be stripped ; it is hard work to deny self, take up your crofs, and follow Jesus; it is hard work to fight the fight of faith ; it is hard work against hope to believe in hope. A formalist and hypocrite will go, in outward things, as far as the real Christian ; but couch him on the inward work, and he'll start afide.

Chrift,

[merged small][ocr errors]

U 3

Christ. They are idle; they love not to take pains; the up-hill way is unpleasant to them. So it is fulfilled unto them what is written, The way of the Nothful man is a hedge of thorns: yea, they will rather choose to walk upon a snare, than to go up this hill, and the rest of this way to the city.

Then they set forward, and began to go up the hill, and up the hill they went; but before they got up to the top, Christiana began to pant, and said, I dare say, this is a breathing hill : no marvel if they who love eafe more than their souls choose to themselves a smoother way. Then faid Mercy, I must sit down; also the least of the children began to cry. Come, come, said Great-heart, fit not down here, for a little above is the Prince's arbour. Then he took the little boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.

When they were come to the arbour, they were very willing to sit down, for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said Mercy, How sweet is rest to those who labour ! How good is the Prince of pilgrims to provide such resting places for them! Of this arbour I have heard much; but I never saw it before. But let us beware of Neeping here; for, as I have heard, that cost poor Christian dear.

Then said Mr. Great-heart to the little ones, Come, my pretty boys, how do you do? What think you now of going on pilgrimage ? Sir, said the least, I was almost out of heart; but I thank you for lending me a hand in time of need. I remem

ber

[ocr errors]

ber now what my mother told me, namely, That the way to heaven is as a ladder, and the way to hell is down hill. But I had rather go up the ladder to life, than down the hill to death.

Then said Mercy, But the proverb is, To go down the hill is easy: but James said (for that was his name), The day is coming, when, in my opinion, going down the hill will be the hardest of all. Good boy, said his master, thou hast given her a right answer. Then Mercy smiled, but the little boy did blush.

Christ. Come, said Christiana, will you eat a bit, to sweeten your mouths, while you sit here to rest your legs? For I have here a piece of pomegranate, which Mr. Interpreter put into my hand just as I came out of his doors; he gave me also a piece of an honeycomb, and a little bottle of spirits : I thought he gave you something, said Mercy, because he called you aside. Yes, so he did, said the other. But, faid Chriftiana, it shall be still, as I said it should, when at first we came froin home; thou shalt be a sharer in all the good I have", be

P

u This is the very spirit of one who has tasted the love of God; as he has freely received, fo he freely gives : he does not wish to eat his morsel alone. Oh! it is a pleasing fight, when the word goes from the heart of one to the heart of another; when Christians drink into the same spirit; are comforted together by the mutual faith of each other; and have communion and fellowship with each other, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, their living head,

caufe

U 4

« ForrigeFortsett »