« ZurückWeiter »
“ of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man
living" can be rid of his burden: therefore Mr. WORLDLY-WISEMAN is an alien, and Mr. LEGALITY a cheat: and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his siinpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee. After this EVANGELIST called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor CHRISTIAN stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up.
The words were thus pronounced: “ As many as are of the works of the law are under the “ curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that “ continueth not in all things which are written in the « book of the law to do them!'
Now CHRISTIAN looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. WORLDLY-WISEMAN; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to EVANGELIST in words and sense as follows:
Sir, what think you? Is there hope? May I now go back and go up to the WICKET-GATE? Shall I not
1 Gal. ii. 10.
be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsel; but may my sin be forgiven?
Then said EvANGELIST to him, thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils; thou hast forsaken the way that is good to tread in forbidden paths: yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good will for men; only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, “ lest thou perish from the
way when his wrath is kindled but a little?.”—Then did CHRISTIAN address himself to go back; and EVANGELIST, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile and bid him God speed. So he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if any
asked him would he vouchsafe them any answer. He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe till again he was got into the way which he left to follow Mr. WORLDLY-WISEMAN's counsel. So in process of time CHRISTIAN got up to the gate. Now over the gate there was written, “ Knock, and it shall “ be opened unto you?.'
He knocked therefore more than once or twice, saying
• May I now enter here? Will he within
Open to sorry me, though I have been
At last there came a grave person to the gate, named
GOOD-will, who asked who was there? and whence he came? and what he would have ?
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of DESTRUCTION, but am going to mount Zion that I may be delivered from the wrath to come. I would, therefore, Sir, since I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if
thither, know if you are willing to let me in.
I am willing with all my heart, said he. And with that he opened the gate.
So when CHRISTIAN was stepping in the other gave him a pull. Then said CHRISTIAN, What means that? The other told him, ' A little distance from ! this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which • BEELZEBUB is the captain; from thence both he 6 and they that are with him shoot arrows at those that ' come up to this gate, if haply they may die before they can enter in.'
Then said CHRISTIAN, I rejoice and tremble. So when he was got in, the man of the gate asked him who directed him thither.
CHR. EVANGELIST bid me come hither and knock, as I did; and he said that you, Sir, would tell me what I must do.
Good. “An open door is before thee, and no man
Chr. Because none of my neighbours saw their danger, as I saw mine.
Good. Did any of them know of your coming?
Chr. Yes, my wife and children saw me at the first, and called after me to turn again: also some of my neighbours stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears and so came on my way.
Good. But did none of them follow you to persuade you to go back?
Chr. Yes, both OBSTINATE and PLIABLE: but when they saw that they could not prevail, OBSTINATE went railing back, but Pliable came with me a little way.
Good. But why did he not come through?
Chr. We indeed came both together until we came at the slough of DesPOND, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbour PLIABLE discouraged, and would not adventure further. Where
: fore, getting out again on that side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came mine; he after OBSTINATE, and I to this gate.
Then said GOOD-WILL, Alas, poor man! is the celestial glory of so small esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?
Truly, said CHRISTIAN, I have said the truth of PLIABLE; and if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear there is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true he went back to his own house, but I also turned aside to go into the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal argument of one Mr. WORLDLY-WISEMAN.
Good. Oh! did he light upon you? What, he would have had you have sought for ease at the hands
of Mr. LEGALITY! they are both of them very cheats. But did you take his counsel ?
CHR. Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. LEGALITY, until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.
Good. That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the death of many more. It is well you escaped; being by it not dashed in pieces.
Chr. Why, truly, I do not know what had become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of my dumps: but it was God's mercy that he came to me again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such an one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord. But, oh! what a favour is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here.
Good. We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither. “ They in no wise are cast out”;” and therefore, good CHRISTIAN, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? that is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ and his apostles, and it is as straight as a rule can make it: this is the way thou
But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?
* John vi. 37.