« ForrigeFortsett »
way he went back, who can sufficiently set forth the sorrow of Christian's heart ? sometimes he sighed, sometimes he wept, and oftentimes he chid himself for being so foolish to fall asleep in that place, which was erected only for a little refreshment for his weariness. Thus, therefore, he went back, carefully looking on this side and on that, all the way as he went, if happily he might find his Roll that had been his comfort so many times in his journey. He went thus, till he came again within sight of the arbour where he sat and slept; but that sight renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his evil of sleeping into his mind. Thus, therefore, he now went on, bewailing his sinful sleep, walls his foolsaying, “ O wretched man that I am! " that I should sleep in the day-time! that I should sleep in the midst of difficulty! that I should so indulge the flesh, as to use that rest for ease to my flesh, which the Lord of the hill hath erected only for the relief of the spirits of Pilgrims! How many steps have I taken in vain! (Thus it happened to Israel, for their sin they were sent back again by the way of the Red Sea,) and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful sleep. How far might I have been on my way by this time! I am made to tread those steps thrice over, which I needed not to have trod but once : yea, now also I am like to be benighted, for the day is almost spent. Oh that I had not slept !
Now, by this time, he was come to the arbour again, where, for a while, he sat down and wept; but, at last, (as Providence ETH HIS ROLL would have it,) looking sorrowfully
WHERE HE LOST IT.
down under the settle, there he espied his Roll; the which he, with trembling and haste, catched up, and put into his bosom. But who can tell how joyful this man was when he had gotten his Roll again! for this Roll was the assurance of his life and acceptance at the desired haven. Therefore he laid it up in his bosom, gave thanks to God for directing his eye to the place where it lay, and with joy and tears betook himself again to his journey. But, oh how nimbly now did he go up the rest of the hill! Yet, before he got up, the sun went down upon Christian; and this made him again recall the vanity of his sleeping to his remembrance ; and thus he again began to condole with himself: 0 thou sinful sleep! how, for thy sake, am I like to be benighted in my journey! I must walk without the sun, darkness must cover the path of my feet, and I must hear the noise of the doleful creatures, because of my sinful sleep. Now, also, he remembered the story that Mistrust and Timorous told him, of how they were frighted with the sight of the Lions. Then said Christian to himself again, These beasts range in the night for their prey, and if they should meet with me in the dark, how should I shift them? how should I escape being by them torn in pieces ? Thus he went on ; but while he was thus bewailing his unhappy miscarriage, he lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him, the name of which was Beautiful; and it stood just by the highway side.
So I saw in my dream, that he made haste and went forward, that, if possible, he might get lodging there. Now, before he had gone far, he entered into a very narrow passage, which was about a furlong off
8 Rev. iii. 2. 1 Thess. v. 7, 8.
of the Porter's lodge ; and looking very narrowly before him as he went, he espied two Lions in the way. Now, thought he, I see the danger that Mistrust and Timorous were driven back by. (The Lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them, for he thought nothing but death was before him; but the Porter at the lodge, whose name is Watchful, perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? fear not the Lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that have none; keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee.
Then I saw that he went on, trembling for fear of the Lions; but, taking good heed to the directions of the Porter, he heard them roar, but they did him no
harm. Then he clapped his hands, and went on till he came and stood before the gate where the Porter was. Then said Christian to the Porter, Sir, What house is this ? and may I lodge here to-night? The Porter answered, This house was built by the Lord of the hill, and he built it for the relief and security of Pilgrims. The Porter also asked, Whence he was ? and whither he was going ?
Chr. I am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to Mount Zion; but because the sun is now set, I desire, if I may, to lodge here to-night.
Por. What is your name?
Chr. My name is now Christian; but my name at the first was Graceless : I came of the race of Japheth, whom God will persuade to dwell in the tents of Shem.'
Por. But how doth it happen that you come so late ? the sun is set.
Chr. I had been here sooner, but that, wretched man that I am, I slept in the arbour that stands on the hill-side. Nay, I had, notwithstanding that, been here much sooner, but that, in my sleep, I lost my Evidence, and came without it to the brow of the hill; and then feeling for it, and not finding it, I was forced, with sorrow of heart, to go back to the place where I slept my sleep; where I found it, and now I am come.
Por. Well, I will call out one of the Virgins of this place, who will (if she likes your talk) bring you in to the rest of the family, according to the rules of the house. So Watchful the Porter rang a bell ; at the sound of which came out of the door of the house a
.. 9 Ger. ix. 27.
grave and beautiful damsel, named Discretion, and asked, Why she was called ?
The Porter answered, This man is on a journey from the city of Destruction to Mount Zion, but, being weary and benighted, he asked me if he might lodge here to-night; so I told him I would call for thee, who, after discourse had with him, mayst do as seemeth thee good, even according to the law of the house.
Then she asked him, Whence he was ? and whither he was going ? and he told her. She asked him also, How he got into the way ? and he told her. Then she asked him, What he had seen and met with in the way? and he told her. And at last she asked his name? So he said, It is Christian ; and I have so much the more a desire to lodge here to-night, because, by what I perceive, this place was built by the Lord of the hill, for the relief and security of Pilgrims. So she smiled, but the water stood in her eyes : and, after a little pause, she said, I will call forth two or three more of the family. So she ran to the door, and called out Prudence, Piety, and Charity, who, after a little more discourse with him, had him into the family; and many of them meeting him at the threshold of the house, said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord ; this house was built by the Lord of the hill, on purpose to entertain such Pilgrims in. Then he bowed his head, and followed them into the house : so, when he was come in, and sat down, they gave him something to drink, and consented together, that, until supper was ready, some of them should have some particular discourse with Christian, for the best improvement of time; and they appointed Piety, Prudence, and Charity, to discourse with him; and thus they began :