go therein. I am come forth to withstand them, and to that end I will back the lions.

Now, to say the truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and the grim carriage of him who did back them, this way of late had lain much unoccupied, and was almost all grown over with grass.

Then said Christiana, Though the highways have been unoccupied heretofore, and though the travellers have been made in times past to walk through by-paths, it must not be fo, Now I am risen, now I am risen a mother in Israel, Judges v. 6, 7.

Then Grim swore by the lions but it should, and bad them turn aside, for they should not have passage there. But Great-heart, their guide, made first his approach unto Grim, and laid so heavily on him with his sword, that he forced him to retreat.

Then said he who attempted to back the lions, Will you say me upon my own ground?

Great-heart answered, We are in the King's highway, and in this way thou hast placed the lions; but these women, and these children, though weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy lions. With that he

gave him again a downright blow, which brought him upon

his knees. With this blow he broke his helmet, and with the next cut off an arm. Then did the giant roar fo hideously, that his voice frighted the women, yet they were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground. Now the lions were chained, and so, of themselves, could do nothing. Wherefore, when old Grim, who intended to back


them, was dead, Mr. Great-heart faid to the pilgrims, Come now, and follow me, and no hurt shall happen to you from the lions. Therefore they went on; but the women trembled as they passed by; the boys also looked as if they would die; but they all got by without further hurt.

Now they were within fight of the porter's lodge, and soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because it is dangerous travelling there in the night. So when they were come to the gate, the guide knocked, and the porter cried, Who is there ? As soon as the guide had said, It is I, he knew his voice, and came down (for the guide had oft, before that, come thither as a conductor of pilgrims); when he was come down he opened the gate, and seeing the guide standing just before it (for he saw not the women, for they were behind him), he said unto him, How now, Mr. Great-heart, what is your business here so late at night? I have brought, said he, fome pilgrims hither; where, by my Lord's commandment, they must lodge: I had been here some time ago, had I not been opposed by the giant who was used to back the lions. But, after a long and tedious combat with him, I have cut him off, and brought the pilgrims hither in safety.

Porter. Will you not go in, and stay till morn


Great-heart. No, I will return to my Lord to night.


Christ. Oh, Sir, I know not how to consent to your leaving us in our pilgrimage ; you have been fo faithful and so loving to us; you have fought so stoutly, for 'us ; you have been fo hearty in counseling us: I shall never forget your favour towards


Then said Mercy, O that we might have thy company to our journey's end! How can such poor women as we are hold out in a way, so full of troubles as this, without a friend and defender?

Then said James, the youngest of the boys, Pray, Sir, be persuaded to go with us, and help us, because we are so weak, and the way fo dangerous.

Great-beart. I am at my Lord's commandment: if he shall allot me to be your guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you: but in this you

failed at the first; when he bad me come thus far with

you, then you

should have begged of him to have let me have gone quite through with you; he would have granted your request. However at present I must withdraw; and so, good Christiana, Mercy, and my brave children, adieu.

Then the porter, Mr. Watchful, asked Christiana of her country and kindred. She said, I am come from the city of Destruction ; I am a widow woman, and my husband is dead, his name was Christian the pilgrim. How, said the


husband? Yes, said she; and these are his children; and this, pointing to Mercy, is one of my town's women. . Then the porter rang his bell, as at such times he


porter, was he

is wont, and there came to the door one of the damfels, whose name was Humble-mind. To her the porter said, Go tell it within, that Christiana, the wife of Christian, and her children, are come hither on pilgrimage. She went in therefore, and told it. But, oh, what noise was there for gladness, when the damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth!

So they came with haste to the porter, for Chriftiana stood still at the door. Then some of the most grave faid unto her, Come in, Christiana, come in, thou wife of that good man; come in, thou blessed woman, come in, with all that are with thee. So she went in, and the rest followed her, her children and companion. Now when they were gone in, they were had into a very large room, where they were bidden to sit down: here they fat down, and the chief of the house was called to see and welcome the guests. Then they came in; and, understanding who they were, did falute each other with a kiss, saying, Welcome, ye vessels of the grace of God; welcome to us, your faithful friends.

Now, because it was somewhat late, and because the pilgrims were weary with their journey, and also made faint with the fight of the fight and the terrible lions, therefore they desired, as soon as might be, to go to rest, Exod. xii. 31. Nay, said those of the family, refresh yourselves with a morsel of meat, for they had prepared for them a lamb, with the accustomed fauce belonging to it, John i. 29.


For the porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had fupped, and ended their prayer with a psalm, they desired to go to rest. But let us, said Christiana, if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that chamber in which my husband lay when he was here ; fo they had them up thither, and they lay all in a room. When they were at rest, Christiana and Mercy entered into discourse about things which were convenient.

Cbrift. Little did I think once, when my husband went on pilgrimage, that I should ever have followed him..

Mercy. And as little did you think of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest, as now you do.

Christ. Much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him: yet now I believe I shall. Mercy. Hark! Don't


hear a noise ? Christ. Yes, it is, as I believe, a noise of music, for joy that we are here.

Mercy. Wonderful! Music in the house, music in the heart, and music also in heaven, for joy that we are here y.

y There is joy among the angels of God over one finner that repenteth ; there is likewise joy among the saints on earth, for if one member be honoured all the rest rejoice : this, St. John says, was the reason of his writing his first epiftle, that the children of God might have fellowship with them and with each other, and that their joy might be full.


« ForrigeFortsett »