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326 Objections against a Pilgrim's Life.
Gr.-H. And what did they say else 36
Val. Why, they told me that it was a dangerous way: yea, the most dangerous way in the world, say they, is that which the Pilgrims gols
Gr.-H. Did they shew you wherein this way is dangerVal. Yes ; and that in many particulars.
toals bis Gr.-H. Name some of them.
so disg d Val. They told me of the Slough of Despond, where Christian was well nigh smothered. They told me, that there were archers standing ready in Beelzebub-Castle, to shoot them who should knock at the Wicket-Gate for entrance. They told me also of the Wood and dark Mountains, of the Hill Difficulty, of the Lions ; and also of the three Giants, Bloody-man, Maul, and Slay.good : they said, moreover, that there was a foul Fiend haunted the Valley of Humiliation; and that Christian was by bim almost bereft of life. Besides, said they, you must go over the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where the hobgoblins are, where the light is darkness, where the way is full of snares, pits, traps, and gins. They told me also of Giant Des. pair, of Doubting-Castle, and of the ruin that the Pilgrims met with there. Further, they said I must go over the Enchanted Ground, which was dangerous. And that after all this, I should find a River over which I should find no bridge, and that that River did lie betwixt me and the Celestial Country.
Gr.-H. And was this all ?
Val. No ; they also told me, that this way was full of deceivers
and of persons that lay in wait there, to turn good men out of their path. Wasted : should a Christian therefore employ as many hours every week, in reading the seriptures, in secret and social prayer, in pious discourse, and in attending on public ordinances, as his neighbour devotes to amusement and sensual indulgence ; an outcry would speedily be made, about his idling away his time, and being in the way to beggar his family! As this must be expected, it behoves all b«lievers to avoid every appearance of evil, and by exemplary diligence in their proper employments, a careful redemption of time, a prudent frugality in their expencos, and a good management of all their affairs, to "put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” For there are too many favourers of the gospel, who give plausibility to these slanders, by running from place to place, that they may hear every new preacher ; while the duty of the family, and of their station in the community is miserably neglected. They “walk disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies :" from these we ought to withdraw, and against such professors we should protest : for they are "ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the ứuth.”
Fearing, Despondency, and Christian.
Gr.-H. But how did they make that out ?
Val. They told me that Mr. Worldly-wiseman did lie there in wait to deceive. They also said, that there was Formality and Hypocrisy continually on the road. They said also, that By-ends, Talkative, or Demas, would go near to gather me up: that the Flatterer would catch me in his net; or that,
with green-headed Ignorance, I would presume go Hole, that was in the side of the hill, and made to go the By-way to hell.
Gr.-H. I promise you, this was enough to discourage thee. But did they make an end there?
Val. No, stay. They told me also of many that tried that way of old, and that had gone a great way therein, to see if they could find something of the glory then, that 80 znany had so much talked of from time to time : and how they came back again, and befooled themselves for setting a foot out of doors in that path ; to the satisfaction of the country. . And they named several that did so, as Obstinate and Pliable, Mistrust and Timorous, Turn-away and old Atheist, with several more ; who, they said, had some of them gone far to see what they could find ; but not one of them found so much advantage by going, as amounted to the weight of a feather. (y)
Gr.-II. 'Said they any thing more to discourage you :
Val. Yes ; they told me of one Mr. Fearing, who was á Pilgrim; and how he found his way so solitary, that he never had a comfortable hour therein : also that Mr. Despondency had like to have been starved therein : yea, and also (which I had almost forgot,) Christian himself, about
(y) Worldly people, in opposing the gospel, descart abundantly on the folly and hypoc. risy of religious persons ; they pick up every vague report that they hear to their disadvantage, and narrowly watch for the halting of such as they are acquainted with ; and then they form general conclusions, from a few particular, distorted, and uncertain stories ! Thus they endeavour to prove, that there is no reality in religion, that it is impossible to find the way to heaven, and that it is better to be quiet than to bestow pains to no purpose. This frivolous sophistry is frequently employed, after all other arguments have been silenced.—But it is vain to deny the existence of hypocrites and deceivers ; or to excuse the evils to wbich they object : on the contrary, we should allow these representations, as far as there is any appearance of truth in them; and then shew that this teaches us to beware lest wė be decived, and to try every doctrine by the touchstone of God's word; that coun. terfeits prove the value of the thing counterfeited ; that we should learn to distinguisha between the precious and the vile; and, finally, that while danger may attend a religious profession, irreligion ensures destructioni.
Carnal Reasonings opposed by Faith. whom there has been such a noise, after all his ventures for a Celestial Crown, was certainly drowned in the black River, and never went a foot further, however it was smoth
Gr.-H. And did none of these things discourage you?
Val. Why, I still believed wbat Mr. Tell-true had said, and that carried me beyond them all.
Gr.-H. Then this was your victory, even your faith?
Val. It was so : I believed, and therefore came out, got into the way, fought all that set themselves against me, and, by believing, am come to this place.
"Who would true valour see
Let him come hither;
Come wind, come weather ;.
To be a Pilgrim
With dismal stories,
His strength the more is.
To be a Pilgrim.
Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit ;
Shall life inherit.
To be a Pilgrim By this time, they were got to the Enchanted Ground, where the air naturally tended to make one drowsy :* and that place was all grown over with briers and thorns, excepting here and there, where was an Enchanted Arbour, upon which if a man sits, or in which if a man sleeps, 'tis a question,
# Part i.
Dangers of the Enchanted Ground.
329 say some, whether ever he shall rise or wake again in this world. Over this forest therefore they went, both one and another; and Mr. Great-heart went before, for that he was the Guide, and Mr. Valiant-for-truth came behind, being Rear-guard ; for fear lest peradventure some Fiend, or Dragon, or Giant, or Thief, should fall upon their rear, and só do mischief. They went on here, each man with his sword drawn in his hand, for they knew it was a dangerous place. Also they cheered up one another, as well as they could ; Feeble-mind, Mr. Great-heart commanded, should come up after him, and Mr. Despondency was under the eye of Mr. Valiant.
Now they had not gone far, but a great mist and darkness fell upon them all ; so that they could scarce, for a great while, one see the other: wherefore they were forced, for some time, to feel for one another by words, for they walked not by sight. But any one must think, that here was but sorry going for the best of them all ; but how much the worse was it for the women and children, who both of feet and heart also were but tender! Yet nevertheless so it was, that through the encouraging words of him that led in the front, and of him that brought them up behind, they made a pretty good shift to wag along.
The way was also here very wearisome, through dirt and slabbiness. Nor was there, on all this ground, so much as one inn or victualling-house, therein to refresh the feebler sort. Here therefore was grunting, and puffing, and sighing; while one tumbled over a bush, another sticks fast in the dirt ; and the children, some of them lost their shoes in the mire : wbile one cries out, 'I am done ;' and an. other, 'Ho, where are you ?? And a third, "The bushes have got such fast hold on me, I think I cannot get away from them.'
Then they came to an Arbour, warm, and promising much refreshing to the Pilgrims : for it was finely wrought abovehead, beautified with greens, furnished with benches and settles. It had in it a soft couch, where the weary might lean. This, you must think, all things considered, was tempting; for the Pilgrims already began to be foiled with the baddeos of the way ; but there was not one of them that made so much as a motion to stop there. Yea, for aught I could perceive, they continually gave so good heed to the
Great-heart consults his Map. advice of their Guide; and he did so faithfully tell them of dangers, and of the nature of dangers, when they were at them, that usually, when they were nearest to them, they did most pluck up their spirits, and hearten one another to deny the Hesh.--The Arbour was called the Slothful's Friend, on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the Pilgrims there to take up their rest when weary. (z)
I saw then in my dream, that they went on in this their solitary ground, till they came to a place at which a man is apt to lose his way. Now, though when it was light, their Guide could well enough tell how to miss those ways that led wrong, yet in the dark he was put to a stand: but he had in his pocket a map of all ways leading to or from the Celestial City ; wherefore he struck a light (for he never goes also without his tinder-box,) and takes a view of his book or map, which bids him be careful, in that place to turn to the right-hand. And had he not here been careful to look in his map, they had in all probability been smothered in the mud ; for just a little before them, and that at the end of the cleanest way too, was a pit, none knows how deep, full of nothing but mud, there made on purpose to destroy the Pilgrims in.
(2) This view of the Enchanted Ground seems to vary from that which has been come sidered in the First Part.-The circumstances of believers who are deeply engaged in business, and constrained to spend much time among worldly people, may here be partie ularly intended. This may sometimes be unavoidable ; but it is enchanted ground : many professors, fascinated by the advantages and connexions thus presented to them, fall asleep, and wake no more : and others are entangled by those thorns and briers, which "choke the word, and render it unfruitful.” The more soothing the scene the greater the danger, and the more urgent need is there for watchfulness and circumspection : the more vigilant Ixlievers are, the greater uneasiness will such scenes occasion them ; as they will be se lang out of their proper element : and the weaker and more unestablished men are, the more apt will they be, in such circnmstances, to yield to discouragement. The society and counsel of faithful ministers and Christian friends may help them to get on : but they will often feel that their path is miry and slippery, entangling and perplexing, dark and wearisome to their souls. Yet if this be the case, their sighs, complaints, and prayers, are hopeful symptoms : but when worldly employments and connexions, which perhaps at Arst were in a sense unavoidable, induce prosperity ; and men seek comfort from this prosperity, instead of considering it as a snare or burden, or improving it as a talent ; then the professor falls asleep in the enchanted arbour. It behoves, however, all who love their souls, to shun that hurry of business, and multiplicity of affairs and projects, into which many are betrayed by degrees, in order to supply increasing expences, that might be avoided by strict frugality and more moderate desires : for these things lade the soul with thick clay; are a heavy weight to the most upright ; renler a man's way doubtful and joyless ; and “drown many in destruction and perdition.”