First, here is Chriftiana and her train,
Her sons, and her sons' wives, who, like the wain,
Keep by the pole, and do my compass feer,
From fin to grace, else they had not been here :
Next here's old Honest come on pilgrimage,
Ready-to-halt too, who, I dare engage,
True-hearted is, and so is Feeble-mind,
Who willing was not to be left behind.
Despondency, good man, is coming after,
And so alo is Much-afraid, his daughter.
May we have entertainment here, or must
We further go? Let's know whereon to trust.

Then said the shepherds, This is a comfortable company; you are welcome to us, for we have entertainment for the feeble, as well as for the strong: our Prince has an eye to what is done to the least of these; therefore infirmity must not be a bar to our entertainment. So they had them to the palacedoors, and then said unto them, Come in, Mr. Feeble-mind, come in, Mr. Ready-to-halt, come in, Mr. Despondency, and Mrs. Much-afraid his daughter. These, Mr. Great-heart, said the shepherds to the guide, we call in by name, because they are most subject to draw back; but as for you, and the rest, who are strong, we leave you to your wonted liberty. Then said Mr. Great-heart, This day I see that grace doth shine in your faces, and that you are my Lord's shepherds indeed; because you have not pushed these diseased neither with side nor shoulder, but have rather strewed their way into che palace with flowers, as you should.


So the feeble and the weak went in, and Mr. Great-heart and the rest did follow. When they were all fat down, the shepherds said to those of the weaker fort, What is it that you would have? For, faid they, all things must be managed here so as to support the weak, as well as to warn the unruly.

So they made them a feast of things easy of digestion, pleasant to the palate, and nourishing ; which when they had received, they went to rest, each one respectively to his proper place. When morning was come, because the mountains were high, and the day clear; and, because it was the custom of the shepherds to shew the pilgrims, before their departure, some rarities; therefore, after they were ready, and had refreshed themselves, the shepherds took them out into the fields, and shewed them first what they had shewn to Christian before.

Then they had them to some new places. The first was Mount Marvel, where they looked, and behold a man at a distance, that tumbled the hills about with words m. Then they asked the shepherds what that should mean? So they told them, That that man was the son of one Mr. Great-grace, of whom you read in the First Part of the records of

m This is a glorious description of the efficacy of the word, and of the power of faith ; which enables the soul to say to the mountain, Be removed, and it is done ; and to take up the triunphant language which is recorded in Zechariah, “ Who art thou, O great mountain ! Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain."


the Pilgrim's Progress. And he is set there to teach pilgrims how, by believing, to cast down, or to tumble out of their ways, what difficulties they should meet with. Then said Mr. Great-heart, I know him ; he is a man above many.

Then they had them to another place, called Mount Innocence ', where they saw a man clothed all in white, and two men, Prejudice and Ill-will, continually casting dirt at him. Behold the dirt, whatsoever they cast at him, would in a little time fall off again, and his garment would look as clear as if no dirt had been cast at him. Then said the pilgrims, What means this? The shepherds answered, This man is named Godly-man, and the garment is to shew the innocency of his life. Now those that throw dirt at him, are such as hate his well-doing; but, as you fee, the dirt will not stick upon his clothes, so it shall be with him who lives innocently in the world. Whoever they are who would make such men dirty, they labour all in vain; for God, after a little time, will cause that their innocence shall break forth as the light, and their righteousness as the noon day.

Then they took them, and had them to Mount

✓ This is an encouraging view to those who are falsely accused for their good conversation in Christ. Such need not go about to justify themselves before men, for however their enemies may appear to triumph for a time, and their falfe and malicious aspersions be received and credited, nevertheless in the end their lies shall be detected and exposed.



[ocr errors]

Charity, where they shewed them a man who had a bundle of cloth lying before him, out of which he cut coats and garments for the poor who stood about him; yet his bụndle or roll of cloth was never the lefs. Then said they, What should this be? This is, said the shepherds; to fhew you, that he who has a heart to give of his labour to the poor, Ahall never want wherewithal. He that watereth, shall be watered himself. And the cake which the widow gave the prophet, did not cause that she had ever the less meal in her barrel.

They had them also to the place, where they saw one Fool, and one Want-wit, washing an Ethiopian? : their intention was to make him white; but the more they washed him, the blacker he was. Then they asked the shepherds, What that should mean? They told them, that thus it is with the vile person; all means used to get such a one a good name, shall in conclusion tend but to make him more abominable. Thus it is with the Pharisees ; and thus it shall be with all hypocrites.

Then said Mercy, the wife of Matthew, to Chriftiana her mother, I would, if it might be permitted, see the hole in the hill; or that which is commonly called the By-way to Hell. So her mother brake

2 This represents the folly of those who go about to reform the manners, without aiming at the conversion of the heart Nature, in its highest state of cultivation and improvement, is nature still. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and chat which is born of the Spirit is fpirit.


her mind to the shepherds. Then they went to the door; it was on the side of an hill; they opened it, and bad Mercy hearken a while. So the hearkened, and heard one faying, Cursed be my father for holding of my feet back from the way of peace

and life ; and another said, O that I had been torn in pieces, before I had, to save my life, lost my soul ! and another said, If I were to live again, how would I deny myself, rather than come to this place. Then it was, as if the very earth groaned and quaked under the feet of this young woman for fear; so she looked white, and came trembling away, saying, Blessed be he and she, who is delivered from this place.

When the shepherds had shewn them all these things, they had them back to the palace, where they entertained them with what the house would afford : but Mercy, being a young and breeding woman, longed for fomething which she saw there, but was ashamed to ask for it. Her mother-in-law then asked her what she ailed, for the looked as one not well. Then said Mercy, There is a looking-glass which hangs up in the dining-room, from off which I cannot take my mind; if I have it not, I think I shall miscarry. Then said her mother, I will mention thy wants to the shepherds, and they will not deny it thee. But she said, I am alhamed that these men should know that I long. Nay, my daughter, said she, it is no shame, but a virtue, to long for such a thing as that. So Mercy faid, Then, mother, if you please, ask the shepherds, if they are willing

Dd 2


« ForrigeFortsett »