saffron, calamus, and cinnamon ; with all trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, with all chief spices. With these the pilgrims' chambers were perfumed while they staid here; and with these their bodies were anointed, to prepare them to go over the river, when the time appointed was come.

Now while they lay here waiting for the good hour, there was a noise in the town, that there was a post come from the celestial city, with matters of great importance to one Christiana, the wife of Chriftian the pilgrim. Inquiry was

Inquiry was made for her, and when the house was found out where she was, the post presented her with a letter: the contents were, Hail, good woman! I bring thee tidings, that the Master calleth for thee, and expecteth that thou shouldest stand in his presence, in clothes of immortality, within these ten days.

When he had read this letter to her, he gave her therewith a true token that he was a true messenger, and was come to bid her make haite to be gone. The token was, An arrow sharpened with love, let easily into her heart, which, by degrees, wrouglit fo effectually with her, that at the time appointed she must be gone.

When Christiana saw that her time was come, and that she was the firit of this company who was to go over, she called for Mr. Great-heart, her guide, and told him how matters were.

He told her he was heartily glad of the news, and could have been glad had the post come for him. Then she

bid bid him give advice how all things should be prepared for her journey. So he told her, saying, Thus and thus it must be, and we that survive will accompany you to the river side. Then she called for her children, and gave

them her blessing, and told them, that she had read with comfort the mark which was set in their foreheads, and was glad to see them with her there, and to see that they had kept their garments so white. Lastly, The bequeathed to the poor what little she had, and commanded her sons and daughters to be ready against the messenger should come for them.

When she had spoken these words to her guide and to her children, she called for Mr. Valiant-fortruth, and said unto him, Sir, you have in all places shewed yourself true-hearted; be faithful unto death, and my King will give you a crown of glory. I would also entreat you to have an eye to my children; and if at any time you see them faint, speak comfortably to them. For my daughters, my sons' wives, they have been faithful, and a fulfilling of the promise unto them will certainly be their end. But the gave

Mr. Standfast a ring. Then she called for old Mr. Honest, and said of him, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” Then said he, I wish you a fair day; and when you set out for Mount Sion, I shall be glad to see that you go over the river dry-shod. But she answered, Come wet, come dry, I long to be gone; for however the weather is in my journey, I


Thall have time enough when I come there to sit down and reft me, and dry me.

Then came in the good man, Mr. Ready-tohalt, to see her. So she said to him, Thy travel hitherto has been with difficulty; but that will make thy rest the sweeter. Watch and be ready; for at an hour when you think not, the messenger may


Be yet

After him came Mr. Despondency, and his daughter Much-afraid. To them she said, You ought with thankfulness, for ever, to remember your déliverance from the hand of giant Defpair, and out of Doubting-Castle. The effect of that mercy is, that you are brought with safety hither. watchful, and cast away fear; be sober, and hope to the end.

Then she said to Mr. Feeble-mind, Thou wast delivered from the mouth of giant Slay-good, that thou mightest live in the light of the living for ever, and see the King with comfort. I advise thee to repent of thy aptness to fear and to doubt of his goodness, before he sends for thee; left thou shouldest, when he comes, be forced to stand before him for that fault with blushing.

Now the day drew on, that Christiana must be gone. The road was full of people, to see her take her journey: and behold, all the banks beyond the river were full of horses and chariots, which were come down from above, to accompany her to the city gate. So she came forth, and entered the river

with a beckon of farewell to those who followed her to the river-side. The last words that she was heard to say, were, I come, Lord, to be with thee, and bless thee.

Her children and friends returned to their place, for those who waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight. And she went and called, and entered in at the gate with all the ceremonies of joy that her husband Christian had entered with before her.

At her departure the children wept. But Mr. Great-heart and Mr. Valiant played upon the welltuned cymbal and harp for joy. So all departed to their respective places.

In process of time there came a post to the town again, whose business was with Mr. Ready-to-halt. He enquired him out, and said, I am come to thee in the name of him whom thou hast loved and followed, though upon crutches. My message is to tell thee, that he expects thee at his table to sup with him in his kingdom the next day after Easter: wherefore prepare thyself for thy journey.

Then he also gave him a token that he was a true messenger, saying, I have broken the golden bowl, and loosed the silver cord.

After this, Mr. Ready-to-halt called for his fellow pilgrims, and told them, saying, I am sent for, and God shall surely visit you also. So he desired Mr. Valiant to make his will. And because he had nothing to bequeath to them who should survive him, but his crutches, and his good wishes, therefore he said thus, These crutches I bequeath to my son, that shall tread in my steps, with an hundred warm wishes that he may prove better than I have been.

Then he thanked Mr. Great-heart for his conduct and kindness, and so addressed himself to his journey. When he came to the brink of the river, he said, Now I shall have no more need of these crutches, since yonder are chariots and horses for me to ride on. The last words which he was heard to say were, Welccine life. So he went his way.

After this, Mr. Feeble-mind had tidings brought him, that the post founded his horn at his chamberdoor ; who came in, and told him, saying, I am come to tell thee, that thy Master hath need of thee, and that in a very little time thou must behold his face in brightness: and take this as a token of the truth of my message, Those that look out at the windows shall be darkened.

Then Mr. Feeble-mind called for his friends, and told them what errand had been brought to him, and what token he had received of the truth of the message. Then he said, Since I have nothing to bequeath, to what purpose shall I make a will ? As for my feeble mind, that indeed I will leave behind, for I have no need of it in the place whither I am going; nor is it worth bestowing upon the poorest pilgrims: wherefore, when I am gone, I desire that you, Mr. Valiant, will bury it in a dunghill. This



« ForrigeFortsett »