Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

for such commonly come by the worst when tried. PETER, of whom I made mention before, he would swagger, ay, he would; he would, as his vain mind prompted him to say, do better, and stand more for his Master than all men: but who so foiled and run down by those villains as he?

When therefore we hear that such robberies are done on the king's highway, two things become us to do: first to go out harnessed, and to be sure to take a shield with us; for it was for want of that that he that laid so lustily at Leviathan could not make him yield; for, indeed, if that be wanted, he fears us not at all. Therefore he that had skill hath said, “ Above “ all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be “ able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked'.”

It is good also that we desire of the King a convoy, that he will go with us himself. This made DAVID rejoice when in the valley of the SHADOW OF DEATH; and Moses was rather for dying where he stood than to go one step without his God'. O my brother, if he will but go along with us, what need we be afraid of ten thousand that shall set themselves against us? but without him the proud helpers fall under the slain'.

I, for my part, have been in the fray before now; and though, through the goodness of him that is best, I am, as you see, alive, yet I cannot boast of any manhood. Glad shall I be if I meet with no more such brunts; though I fear we are not got beyond all danger. However, since the lion and the bear have 1 Eph. vi. 16. 2 Ixod. xxxiii. 15.

3 Ps. iii. 5–8. xxvii. 1-3. Isa. X. 4.

not as yet devoured me, I hope God will deliver us from the next uncircumcised PhilisTINES. Then sung Christian

• Poor LITTLE-PAITH! hast been among the thieves?
Wast robb's ? remember this, whoso believes,
And get more faith, then shall yoụ victors be
Over ten thousand, else scarce over three.'

So they went on, and Ignorance followed. They went then till they came at a place where they saw a way put itself into their way, and seemed withal to lic as straight as the way which they should go; and here they knew not which of the two to take, for both seemed straight before them: therefore here they stood still to consider. And as they were thinking about the way, behold a man of black flesh, but covered with a very light robe, came to them, and asked them why they stood there? They answered, They were a going to the celestial city, but knew not which of these ways to take. • Follow me,' says the man, it is

thither that I am going.' So they followed him in the way

that but now came into the road, which by degrees turned, and turned them so from the city that they desired to go to, that in a little time their faces were turned away from it :

-yet they followed him. But by and by, before they were aware, he led them both within the compass of a net, in which they were both so entangled that they knew not what to do; and with that the white robe fell off the black man's back :they then saw where they were. Wherefore there they

lay crying some time, for they could not get themselves out.

Then said CHRISTIAN to his fellow, Now do I see myself in an error. Did not the shepherds bid us beware of the flatterers? As is the saying of the wise man, so have we found it this day, " A man that “ flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet'.”

Hope. They also gave us a note of directions about the way, for our more sure finding thereof; but herein we have also forgotten to read, and have not kept ourselves from the “ paths of the destroyer.” Herc David was wiser than we; for saith he, « concerning “ the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have “ kept me from the paths of the destroyer?.” Thus they lay bewailing themselves in the net.

At last they spied a shining one coming towards them with a whip of small cord in his hand. When he was come to the place where they were, he asked them whence they came, and what they did there? They told him that they were poor pilgrims going to Zion, but were led out of their way by a black man clothed in white, who bid us, said they, follow him, for he was going thither too. Then said he with the whip, It is a flatterer, “ a false apostle, that hath transformed himself into an

angel of light?.” So he rent the net, and let the men out. Then said he to them, Follow me, that I may set you in the way again :so he led them back to the way which they had left to follow the flatterer. Then he asked them, saying, Where did you

lie the last night? They said, With the shepherds upon the

Ps. xvii. 4. 3 2 Cor. xi. 13, 14. Dan. xi. 32.

Prov, xxix. 5.

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »