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Then said Christian to the INTERPRETER, Expound this matter more fully to me.
So he said, These two lads are figures : Passion of the men of this world, and Patience of the men of that which is to come. For as here thou seest PASSION will have all now this year, that is to say, in this world; so are the men of this world: they must have all their good things now, they cannot stay till next year, that is, until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, ` A bird in the hand is worth two in the • bush,' is of more authority with them than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come. But as thou sawest that he had quickly lavished all away and had presently left him nothing but rags; so will it be with all such men at the end of this world.
Then said CHRISTIAN, Now I see that PATIENCE has the best wisdom, and that upon many accounts : because he stays for the best things :-and also because he will have the glory of his, when the other has nothing
INTERP. Nay, you may add another, to wit,---the glory of the next world will never wear out: but these are suddenly gone. Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at PATIENCE, because he had his good things first, as PATIENCE will have to laugh at Passion, because he had his best things last; for first must give place to last, because last must have its time to come; but last gives place to nothing for there is not another to succeed: he, therefore, that hath his portion first must needs have a time to spend it; but he that has his portion last must have it lastingly:
therefore it is said of Dives, “ In thy life-time thou “ receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus “ evil things; but now he is comforted and thou art “ tormented!."
Chr. Then I perceive it is not best to covet things that are now, but to wait for things to come.
INTERP. You say truth: “ For the things that are “ seen are temporal; but the things that are not seen are “ eternal":” but, though this be so, yet, since things present and our fleshly appetite are such near neighbours one to another; and again, because things to come and carnal sense are such strangers one to another; therefore it is that the first of these so suddenly fall into amity, and that distance is so continually between the second.
Then I saw in my dream that the INTERPRETER took CHRISTIAN by the hand, and led him into a place where was a fire burning against a wall, and one standing by it always casting much water upon it to quench it; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.
Then said CHRISTIAN, What means this?
The INTERPRETER answered, This fire is the work of grace that is wrought in the heart; he that casts water upon it to extinguish and put it out, is the Devil: but in that thou seest the fire notwithstanding burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason of that. So he had him about to the backside of the wall, where he saw a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, of which he did also continually cast, but secretly, into the fire.
THE VALIANT MAN'S CONFLICT AND VICTORY.
Then said ChrisTIAN, What means this?
The INTERPRETER answered, This is Christ, who continually with the oil of his grace maintains the work already begun in the heart : by the means of which, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls of his people prove gracious still'. And in that thou sawest that the man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire; this is to teach thee that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul.
I saw also that the INTERPRETER took him again by the hand, and led him into a pleasant place where was builded a stately palace, beautiful to behold; at the sight of which CHRISTIAN was greatly delighted : he saw also
thereof certain persons walking, who were clothed all in gold.
Then said Christian, May we go in thither?
Then the INTERPRETER took him and led him up towards the door of the palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a table-side, with a book and his inkhorn before him, to take the name of him that should enter therein: he saw also that in the door-way stood many men in armour to keep.it, being resolved to do to the men that would enter what hurt and mischief they could. Now was CHRISTIAN somewhat in amaze: at last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, CHRISTIAN saw a man of a very stout countenance come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, “ Set down my name,
Sir:' the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put an helmet upon his head, and rush toward the door upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly force; but the man was not at all discouraged, but fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely.
So after he had received and given many wounds to those that attempted to keep him out, he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the palace; at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the palace, saying,
• Come in, come in;
So he went in and was clothed with such garments as they. Then CHRISTIAN smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this.
Now, said CHRISTIAN, let me go hence. Nay, stay, said the INTERPRETER, till I have showed thee a little more, and after that thou shalt go on thy way. So he took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room where there sat a man in an iron cage.
Now the man, to look on, seemed very sad. He sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, and he sighed as if he would break his heart. Then said CHRISTIAN, What means this? At which the INTERPRETER bid him talk with the man.
Then said CHRISTIAN to the man, What art thou? The man answered, I am what I was not once.
Chr. What wert thou once?