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she told me it was Madam Bubble t. This set me further from her; but she still followed me with enticements. Then I betook me, as you see, to my knees, and with hands lifted up, and cries, prayed to him who had said he would help. So, just as you came up, the gentlewoman went her way. Then I continued to give thanks for this great deliverance; for I verily believe she intended no good, but rather sought to stop me in my journey.
Hon. Without doubt her designs were bad. But stay, now you talk of her, methinks I either have feen her, or have read fome story of her.
Standfast. Perhaps you have done both.
Hon. Madam Bubble, is fhe not a tall, comely dame, something of a swarthy complexion ?
Standfaft. Right, you hit it, she is just such an Hon. Doth she not speak very smoothly, and give you a smile at the end of
? Is she not rightly named Bubble? Yes. Art thou convinced that she is nothing more? Why then doft thou not break loose from her hold ? I fay-Why has the world such hold of thee? Why doft thou listen to her enchantments ? For shame-Stir up thy strength-call forth thy powers.- What ! be convinced that the world is a bubble, and be led captive by her ! You ought-you should—it is your duty. Why do not you live above the world ? Why do not you hang loose to the world? Those who have this power seem to have greatly the advantage of this poor pilgrim, Mr. Standfast. His earnest and folemn prayers plainly prove the sense he had of his own weakness and inability to extricate himself from her enchantments. Though some may despise the dominion of fin, I am convinced it must be a divine power to deliver me from it.
sentence? Standfaft. You hit right upon it again ; these are her very actions.
Hon. Doth she not wear a great purse by her side, and is not her hand often in it, fingering her money, as if that were her heart's delight ?
Stan:lfast. It is just fo; had she stood by all this while, you could not more exactly have set her forth before me, and have better described her features.
Hon. Then he who drew her picture was a good limner, and he who wrote of her faid true.
Great-heart. This woman is a witch, and it is by virtue of her forceries that this ground is enchanted: whoever doth lay his head down in her lap, had as good lay it down upon that block over which the axe doth hang; and whoever fixeth his eye upon her beauty, is counted the enemy of God. This is fhe who maintaineth in their fplendour all those who are the enemies of pilgrims; yea, this is she who hath brought off many a man from a pilgrim's life: she is a great gossip; she is always, both she and her daughters, at one pilgrim's heels or another's, now commending, and then preferring the excellencies of this life : she is a bold and impudent Nut; she will talk with any man: she always laugheth poor pilgrims to scorn, but highly commends the rich: if there be one cunning to get money in a place, she will speak well of him from house to house : she loveth banqueting and feasting mainly 8
well: she is always at one full table or another : The has given it out at some places that she is a goddess, and therefore some do worship her: she has her time, and open places of cheating: she will say and avow it, that none can shew a good comparable to hers: she promiseth to dwell with children's children, if they will but love and make much of her: she will cast out of her purse gold like duft, in some places, and to some persons: the loves to be fought after, spoken well of, and to lie in the bosoms of men: she is never weary of commending her commodities, and she loves them most who think best of her: she will promise crowns and kingdoms to those who will take her advice; yet she hath brought many to the halter, and ten thousand times more to hell.
Oh! said Standfast, what a mercy is it that I did resist her; for whither might she have drawn me?
Great-heart. Whither! nay, none but God knows. But in general, to be sure, she would have drawn thee into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. It was she who set Abfalom against his father; and Jeroboam against his master. It was she who persuaded Judas to sell his Lord; and who prevailed with Demas to forfake the godly pilgrim's life: none can tell the mischief which she hath done. She makes variance betwixt rulers and subjects; betwixt parents and children; betwixt neighbour and neighbour; betwixt a man and his wife ; between a man and him
self, self, betwixt flesh and the spirit. Wherefore, good Master Standfast, be as your name is, and when you have done all, ftand.
At this discourse there was among the pilgrims a mixture of joy and trembling; but at length they brake out and fang:
What danger is the pilgrim in!
How many are his foes !
No living mortal knows.
Lie tumbling in the mire ;
Yet leap into the fire.
After this, I beheld until they came unto the land of Beulah, where the sun shineth night and day. Here, because they were weary, they betook themselves a while to rest. And because this country was common for pilgrims, and because the orchards and vineyards which were here belonged to the King of the celestial country, therefore they were licensed to make bold with any of his things. But in a short time they foon refreshed themselves here; for the bells did so ring, and the trumpets did continually found fo melodiously, that they could not sleep; and yet they received as much refreshment as if they had Nept their feep never so foundly. Here also all the noise of them who walked in the streets was, More pilgrims are come to town.
And another would answer, saying, So many went over the wa
ter, and were let in at the golden gates to-day. Again, they would cry, There is now a legion of shining ones just come to town: by which we know that there are more pilgrims upon the road; for here they come to wait for them, and comfort them after their sorrow. Then the pilgrims got up, and walked to and fro: but how were their eyes now filled with celestial visions? In this land they heard nothing, saw nothing, felt nothing, smelt nothing, tasted nothing, which was offensive to their stomach or mind; only when they tasted the water of the river, over which they were to go, they thought that it tasted a little bitterish to the palate, but it proved sweet when it was down.
In this place there was a record kept of the names of them who had been pilgrims of old, and a hiftory of all the famous acts which they had done. It was here also much discoursed on, how the river to some had its flowings; and what ebbings it has had while others have gone over u: how it has been in a manner dry for some; while it has overflowed its banks for others.
In this place, the children of the town would go into the King's gardens, and gather nosegays for the pilgrims, which they would bring to them with affection. Here also grew camphire, and spikenard,
"The dying testimony of departing Christians, and their various experiences, are not only profitable, but pleasing. The difference clearly proves the sovereignty of God ia the dispenfations of his grace.