« ForrigeFortsett »
Chr. My honoured and well-beloved brother Faithful, I am glad that I have overtaken you; and that God has so tempered our spirits, that we can walk as companions in this fo pleasant a path.
Faith. I had thought, dear friend, to have had your company quite from our town, but you did get the start of me: wherefore I was forced to come thus much of the way alone. .
Chr. How long did you stay in the city of Destruction, before you set out after me on your pilgrimage?
Faith. Till I could stay no longer: there was great talk, prefently after you was gone, that our city would, in a short time, with fire from heaven, be burned down to the ground.
Chr. What! did your neighbours talk fo?
Faith. Yes, 'twas for a while in every body's mouth.
Chr. What! and did no more of them but you come out, to escape the danger ?
Faith. Though there was, as I said, a great talk about it, yet I do not think that they did firmly believe it. For, in the heat of the discourse, I heard some of them deridingly speak of you and of your desperate journey (for so they called this your pilgrimage): but I did believe, and do still, that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above: and therefore I have made my escape.
Chr. Did you hear no talk of neighbour Pliable?
Faith. Yes, Christian, I heard that he followed you till he came to the Slough of Defpond; where, as some faid, he fell in: but he would not have it be known: but sure I am he was foundly bedaubed with that kind of dirt.
Chr. And what said the neighbours to him ?
Faith. He hath, since his going back, been had greatly in derision, and that among all sorts of people; fome do mock and despise him, and scarce any will set him to work. He is now seven times worse than if he had never gone out of the city.
Chr. But why should they be fo fet against him, since they also despise the way that he forsook?
Faith. O, they say, hang him; he is a turn-coat: he was not true to his profession. I think God has stirred up even his enemies to hiss at him, and make him a proverb, because he hath forsaken the way.
Chr. Had you no talk with him before you came out?
Faith. I met him once in the streets, but he leered away on the other side, as one ashamed of what he had done: fo I spake not to him.
Chr. Well, at my first setting out, I had hopes of that man; but now I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the city. It has happened to him according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his vomit again; and the fow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.
Faith. My fears of him are the same: but who can hinder that which will be ?
Chr. Well, neighbour Faithful, let us leave him, and talk of things which more immediately concern ourselves. Tell me now what you have met with in the way, as you came : for I know you have met with some things, or else it may be written for a wonder.
Faith. I escaped the Slough P which I perceived you fell into, and got up to the gate without that danger; only I met with one whose name was Wanton, who had like to have done me a mischief.
Chr. 'Twas well you escaped her net; Joseph was hard put to it by her; and he escaped her as you did; but it had like to have cost him his life. But what did she do to you?
Faith. You cannot think (but you know fomething of her) what a flattering tongue she had; she lay hard at me to turn aside with her, promising me all manner of content.
Chr. Nay, she did not promise you the content of a good conscience.
Faith. You know what I mean; all carnal and fleshly content.
Chr. Thank God you have escaped her: the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into her ditch.
Faith. Nay, I know not whether 'I did wholly escape her, or no.
P By Faithful's escaping the Slough is not meant that he had not spiritual conviction of fin; but that he did not sink in the mire as Chriftian had done.
Chr. Why, I trow, you did not consent to her desire ?
Faith. No, not to defile myself, for I remembered an old writing which I had seen, which said, Her steps take hold of hell. So I shut mine eyes, because I would not be bewitched with her looks; then she railed on me, and I went my way..'
Chr. Did you meet with no other assault as you came?
Faith. When I came to the foot of the hill called Difficulty, I met with a very aged man, who asked me what I was, and whither bound ? I told him, that I was a pilgrim, going to the celestial city. Then said the old man, thou lookest like an honest fellow; wilt thou be content to dwell with me for the wages that I shall give thee? Then I asked him his name, and where he dwelt. He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit. I afked him then, What was his work, and what the wages that he would give? He told me, that his work was many delights; and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I farther asked him, what house he kept, and what other servants he had? He told me, that his house was maintained with all the dainties in the world, and that his fervants were those of his own begetting. Then I asked how many children he had? He said, that he had but three daughters, the Luft of the Flesh, the Luft of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life ; and that I should
marry one of them, if I would. Then I afked, how long time he would have me live with him? and he told me, As long as he lived himself.
Chr. Well, and what conclusion came the old man and
you to at last? Faith. Why, at first I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with him, for I thought he spake very fairly; but, looking in his forehead as I talked with him, I saw it written there, Put off the Old Man with his deeds.
Chr. And how then?
Faith. Then it came burning hot into my mind, that whatever he might say, and however he might flatter, yet when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a Nave. So I bid him forbear to talk, for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me, that he would send one after me, who should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned to go away from him; but just as I turned myself to go away, I felt him take such hold of my Aesh, and give me such a deadly twitch, that I thought he had pulled part of me after himself 4: this made me cry out, o wretched man! So I went on my way up the hill. Now when I had
above half way up I looked behind me, and saw one coming after me, swift as
9 Self is very near. It is a hard lesson to deny self-to ab. hor felf. It is the great end of a work of grace
so to work a man out of himself, as to make him grow up into Christ.