Great-beart. I promise you, this was enough to discourage thee ; but did they make an end here?

Valiant. No; stay. They told me also of many who had tried that way of old, and who had gone a great way therein, to see if they could find something of the glory that so many had so much talked of from time to time; but that they came back again, and called themselves fools for setting a foot out of doors in that path: their account gave great satisfaction to the country. And they named several who had done so; as Obstinate and Pliable, Mistrust and Timorous, Turnaway and old Atheist, with several more; who, they said, had some of them gone far, to see what they could find, but not one of them found so much advantage by going as amounted to the weight of a feather.

Great-heart. Said they any thing more to discourage you?

Valiant. Yes; they told me of one Mr. Fearing, who was a pilgrim; and how he found his way

so folitary, that he never had a comfortable hour therein: also that Mr. Despondency had like to have been ftarved therein ; yea, and also (which I had almost forgot) Christian himself, about whom there has been such a noise, after all his ventures for a celeftial crown, was certainly drowned in the Black river, and never went a foot farther, however it was fmothered up.


Great-heart. And did none of these things difcourage you?

Valiant. No; they seemed as so many nothings to me.

Great-beart. How came that about?

Valiant. Why I still believed what Mr. Tell-true had said, and that carried me beyond them all.

Great-beart. Then this was your victory, even

your faith?

Valiant. It was so; I believed, and therefore came out, got into the way, fought all that set themselves against me, and by believing am come to this place.

Who would true valour fee,

Let him come hither;
Here's one will constant be,

Come wind, come weather :
There's no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avow'd intent

To be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round

With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound,

His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright;
He'll with a giant fight,
But he will have a right

To be a pilgrim.


[merged small][ocr errors]

By this time they were got to the Enchanted Ground', where the air naturally tended to make one drowsy; and that place was all grown over with briars and thorns, excepting here and there : here was an enchanted arbour, upon which if a man sits, or in which if a man sleeps, it is a question, say some, whether he shall ever rise or wake. again in this world. Over this forest therefore they went, both one and another, and Mr. Great-heart went before, for he was the guide, and Mr. Valiant-for-truth came behind, being rear-guard, for fear left peradventure some fiend, or dragon, or giant, or thief, should fall upon their rear, and so do mischief.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

r Various are the enemies we are to meet with in our Chris. tian warfare. The world, with its enchantments, has a tendency to stupify and bring on a fatal lethargy. How many professors receive Antinomian principles, by which they harden themselves in carnal pursuits and sensual gratifications; and others, still preserving a religious name and character, are as dead in their souls, as devoted to the world, as these, though contending for legal principles, and high in their religious pretensions !


They went on here, each man with his sword drawn in his hand, for they knew it was a dangerous place. Also they cheered up one another as well as they could ;

Mr. Great-heart commanded Feeble-mind to come up after him, and Mr. Despondency was under the eye of Mr. Valiant. .

Now they had not gone far before a great mist and darkness fell upon them all; so that they could scarce, for a great while, see one another. Wherefore they were forced, for some time, to feel for one another by words ; for they walked not by sight. Any one must think, that here was but sorry going for the best of them all; but how much worse for the women and children, who were tender both of feet and heart. Yet so it was, that through the encouraging words of him who led the way in the front, and of him who brought them up behind, they made a pretty good shift to wag along. The way was also here very wearisome through dirt and Nabbiness. Nor was there, on all this ground, so much as one inn, or victualling-house, wherein to refresh the feebler fort. Here therefore was grunting, and puffing, and sighing: one tumbled over a bulh ; another sticks fast in the dirt; the children, some of them lose their shoes in the mire ; one cries out, I am down; and another, Halloo, where are you? And a third, The bushes have got fuch fast hold on me, I think I cannot get away from them.

Then they came to an arbour, warm, and promising much refreshment to the pilgrims: for it was


finely finely wrought above head, beautified with greens, furnished with benches and settles. It had in it a foft couch, where the weary might lean. This, you must think, all things considered, was tempting; for the pilgrims already began to be foiled with the badness of the way; but there was not one of them who made so much as a motion to stop there. Yea, for aught I could perceive, they continually gave

fo good heed to the advice of their guide, and he did so faithfully tell them of dangers, and of the nature of dangers when they were at them, that usually when they were nearest to them, they did most pluck up their fpirits, and hearten one another to deny the flesh. This arbour was called the Slothful's Friend, on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims to take up their rest there when weary.

I saw then in my dream, that they went on in this solitary ground, till they came to a place at which a man is apt to lose his way. Now, though when it was light their guide could well enough tell how to miss those ways which lead wrong, yet in the dark he was put to a ftand: but he had in his pocket a map

of all the ways leading to or from the celestial city; wherefore he struck a light (for he never travelled without his tinder-box), and takes a view of his book or map, which bids him be careful in that place to turn to the right-hand. Had he not here been careful to look in his map, they had in all probability been smothered in the mud; for just a little before them, and that at the end of the cleanest way


« ForrigeFortsett »