« ForrigeFortsett »
Good. That mountain has been the death of
many, and will be the death of many more: 'tis well you escaped being dashed in pieces by it.
Chr. Why truly I do not know what would have become of me, had not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of It was God's mercy that he came to me again, elle I had never come hither. But I am come, such a one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord. Oh! what a favour is this, to be admitted here!
Good. We make no objections to any : notwithstanding all they have done before they come hither, they are in no wise cast out. Therefore, good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? This is the way which thou must go. It was cast up by the Patriarchs, Prophets, Christ and his Apoftles ; and it is as strait as a rule can make it: this is the way thou must go.
Chr. But are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?
Good. Yes, there are many ways which butt down upon this; and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow.
Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him farther, If he could not help him off with the burden that was upon his back? For as yet he had not got rid thereof, nor could he by any means get it off without help. He told him, as to his burden, to be content to bear it, until he came to the Place of Deliverance; and there it would fall from his back of itself. Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and address himself to his journey. The other told him, That at some distance from the gate he would come to the house of the Interpreter, at whose door he should knock, and he would shew him excellent things.
burden, a Christian comes to the house of the Interpreter, where he has many mysterious representations presented to him. The Christian at this houfe is taught to look for the spiritual meaning, mystery, and accomplishment of the Scriptures, in himfelf and others.
Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and again bid him God speed.
He went on till he came to the house of the Interpreter, where he knocked again and again: at last one came to the door, and asked, Who was there? Christian said, Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid by an acquaintance of the good man of this house to call here for my profit: I would therefore speak with the master of the house. So he called for the master of the house ; who, after a little time, came to Christian, and asked him what he would have ? Sir, said Christian, I am a man who am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to Mount Zion; and I was told by the man who stands at the
gate, at the head of this way, that if I called here, you would lew me excellent things, such as would be a help to me in my journey.
Then said the Interpreter, Come in; I will shew thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him. He then had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door: which when he had done, Christian saw the picture of a very grave person hanging up against the wallo; and this was the fashion of it: He had
lifted heaven; the best of books in his hand; the law of
• This picture represents a true minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Interpreter shews Christian this picture first, because none but those, who are truly and experimentally taught of God themselves, can be of service to others. Many pretend to be ministers of Christ who are strangers to the law of truth, and to the glorious liberty of the sons of God: these may not only appear very fanctified and very religious, but may adyance many glorious and blessed truths, so if possible, to deceive the very elect. Our blessed Lord has cautioned us against those who come crying out, “ Lo here, and lo there :” he has bid us beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. St. Paul has described the false teachers in his day as those who desired to make a fair fhew in the flesh. These
may plead moft earnestly; may cry out moft vehemently against fin; and may weep over the souls of men, as if they were made up of nothing else but candour and charity : yet, Mr. Hart says, they
Deserve not a moment's regard ;
But rather be boldly withstood,
truth was written upon his lips; "he world was bed hind his back; He stood as if he pleaded with men; and a crown of gold did hang over his head.
Chr. What meaneth this?
Inter. The man, whose picture this is, is one of a thousand; he can beget children; travel in birth with children; and nurse them himself when they are born. Whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to heaven; the best of books in his hand; and the law of truth written on his lips; this is to shew thee, that his work is to know and unfold dark things to sinners: also thou feeft him stand as if he pleaded with men; and whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and a crown hangs over his head; this is to shew thee, that, nighting and despising the things which are present, for the love which he hath to his master's service, he is sure, in the world to come, to have glory for his reward.
Now, said the Interpreter, I have shewed thee this picture first, because the man, whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place, whither thou art going, hath authorised to be thy guide in all the difficult places which thou mayest meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have shewed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou haft seen; left in thy journey thou meet with fome who may pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.
He then took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlour which was full of duft, because
never swept: which, after he had reviewed it a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now, when he began to sweep, the dust began abundantly to fly about, so that Christian was almost choked with it. Then said the Interpreter to a damsel that stood by, Bring hither the water, and sprinkle the room: which when she had done, it was swept and cleansed with pleasure.—Then, faid Christian, What means this ?—The Interpreter answered, This parlour is the heart of a man never fanctified by the sweet grace of the gospel"; the dust is his original sin, and the inward corruptions which have defiled the whole man. He, who began to sweep at first, is the law; but she who brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the gospel. Whereas thou sawest that, as soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did so fly about, that the room could not be cleansed by him; but that thou wast almost choked therewith ; this is to shew thee, that the law, instead of cleansing the heart from sin, by its working, doth revive it, put strength into it, and increase it in the soul : it doth likewise discover and forbid it, but it doth not give power to subdue it. Again, Thou fawest the damsel sprinkle the room with water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to shew
c Christian is next shewn the difference between law and gospel." Unless you can distinguish one from the other, by their different effects upon the heart and conscience, you will never clearly understand the scriptures, and you will be like children, toiled to and fro with every wind of doctrine.