Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS. He asked them then if they had not a note of direction for the way? They answered, Yes. But did

you,

said he, when you were at a stand, pluck out and read your note? They answered, No. He asked them, Why? They said they forgot. He asked morever, If the shepherds did not bid them beware of the flatterer? They answered, Yes; but we did not imagine, said they, that this fine-spoken man had been he'.

Then I saw in my dream that he commanded them to lie down”; which when they did, he chastised them sore, to teach them the good way wherein they should walks: and, as he chastised them, he said, “ As many as I love I rebuke and chasten; be “ zealous, therefore, and repent“.” This done, he bid them go on their way, and take good heed to the other directions of the shepherds. So they thanked him for all his kindness, and went softly along the right way, singing

• Come hither, you that walk along the way,
See how the pilgrims fare that go astray:
They catched are in an entangling net,
'Cause they good counsel lightly did forget:
'Tis true, they rescu'd were, but yet, you see,

They're scourg'd to boot: let this your caution be.' Now after a while they perceived, afar off, one coming softly, alone all along the highway to meet them. Then said CHRISTIAN to his fellow, Yonder is a man with his back towards Zion, and he is coming to meet us.

i Rom. xvi. 17, 18.

2 Deut. xxix. 2.

3 2 Chron. vi. 26, 27. ^ Rev, iij. 19.

Hope. I see him, let us take heed to ourselves now, lest he should prove a flatterer also. So he drew nearer and nearer, and at last came up to them. His name was ATHEIST; and he asked them whither they were going?

Chr. We are going to mount Zion.
Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter.
Chr. What is the meaning of your laughter?

Ath. I laugh to see what ignorant persons you are, to take upon you so ridiculous a journey; and yet are like to have nothing but your travel for your pains.

Chr. Why, man? do you think we shall not be received?

Ath. Received! there is no such place as you dream of in all the world.

CHR. But there is in the world to come.

Ath. When I was at home, in mine own country, I heard as you now affirin, and from that hearing went out to see, and have been seeking this city twenty years, but find no more of it than I did the first day I set out'.

CHR. We have both heard and believe that there is such a place to be found.

Ath. Had not I, when at home, 'believed, I had not come thus far to seek; but finding none, (and yet I should had there been such a place to be found, for I have gone to seek it further than you) I am going back again, and will seek to refresh myself with the things that I then cast away for hopes of that which I now see is not.

5 Eccl. X. 15. Jer. xvii. 15.

Then said CHRISTIAN to HOPEFUL his companion, Is it true which this man hath said?

Hope. Take heed, he is one of the flatterers: remember what it has cost us once already for our hearkening to such kind of fellows. What! no mount Zion? Did we not see from the DeLECTABLE MOUNTAINS the gate of the city? Also, are we not now to walk by faith'? Let us go on, said Hopeful, lest the man with the whip overtake us again. You should have taught me that lesson which I will round you in the ears withal : “ Cease, my son, to hear the “ instruction that causeth to err from the words of

knowledge”;" I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and let us believe to the saving of the soul.

Chr. My brother, I did not put the question to thee for that I doubted of the truth of your belief myself, but to prove thee, and to fetch from thee a fruit of the honesty of thy heart. As for this man, I know that he is blinded by the god of this world. Let thee and I go on, knowing that we have belief of the truth, and “ no lie is of the truth."

Hope. Now I do rejoice in hope of the glory of God.–So they turned away from the man, and he, laughing at them, went his way.

I saw then in my dream that they went till they came into a certain country whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy, if he came a stranger into it. And here HOPEFUL began to be very dull and heavy of sleep: wherefore he said unto CHRISTIAN, I now begin to grow so drowsy that I can scarcely hold up

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

up mine eyes; let us lie down here, and take one nap.

By no means, said the other, lest sleeping we never awake more.

Hope. Why, my brother? sleep is sweet to the labouring man; we may be refreshed if we take a nap.

Chr. Do you not remember that one of the shepherds bid us beware of the ENCHANTED GROUND? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping; “ wherefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us « watch and be sober."

Hope. I acknowledge myself in a fault; and, had I been here alone, I had by sleeping run the danger of death. I see it is true that the wise man saith, “ Two “ are better than one?.” Hitherto hath thy company been my mercy; and thou shalt “ have a good reward “ for thy labour.”

Now then, said CHRISTIAN, to prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.

With all my heart, said the other.
Chr. Where shall we begin?

Hope. Where God began with us:--but do you begin, if you please.

Chr. I will sing you first this song.-

• When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together:
Yea, let them learn of them in any wise
Thus to keep ope their drowsy slumb'ring eyes.
Saints' fellowship, if it be manag'd well,
Keeps them awake, and that, in spite of hell."

[blocks in formation]

Then Christian began, and said, I will ask you a question: how came you to think at first of doing what you do now?

Hope. Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my

soul? Chr. Yes, that is my meaning.

Hope. I continued a great while in the delight of those things which were seen and sold at our fair ; things which I believe now would have, had I continued in them still, drowned me in perdition and destruction.

Chr. What things are they?

Hope. All the treasures and riches of the world. Also I delighted much in rioting, revelling, drinking, swearing, lying, uncleanness, sabbath-breaking, and what not that tended to destroy the soul? But I found, at last, by hearing and considering of things that are divine, which indeed I heard of you, as also of the beloved FAITHFUL, that was put to death for his faith and good living in VANITY-FAIR, that “ the end of these things is death ;” And that “ for “ these things' sake, the wrath of God cometh upon “ the children of disobedience'."

Chr. And did you presently fall under the power of this conviction?

Hope. No, I was not willing presently to know the evil of sin, nor the damnation that follows upon the commission of it; but endeavoured, when my mind at first began to be shaken with the word, to shut mine eyes against the light thereof.

i Rom. vi. 21-23. Eph. v. 6.

« ForrigeFortsett »