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CHRISTIAN INTERROGATES HIM. =1 ,_‘
The man said, I was once a fair and flourishing professor, both in mine own eyes and also in the eyes of others: I once was, as I thought, fair for the celestial city, and had then even joy at the thoughts that I should get thither‘.
CHR. Well, but what art thou now?
MAN. I am now a man of despair, and am shut up in it as in this iron cage. I cannot get out; 0 now I cannot.
CHR- But how earnest thou in this condition?
MAN. I left off to watch and be sober; I laid the reins upon the neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the word, and the goodness of God: I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; I tempted the Devil, and he is to come to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he has left me; I have so hardened my heart that I rannot repent. ‘
Then said CHRISTIAN to the INTERPRETER, But is there no hope for such a man as this? Ask him, said the INTERPRETER. ' ,
Then said CHRISTIAN, Is there no hope but you must be kept in the iron cage of despair?
MAN. No, none at all. _
CHR. Why? the Son of the Blessed is very pitiful.
MAN. I have crucified him to] myself afresh; Ihave despised his person, Ihave despised his righteousness, I have counted his blood an unholy thing, I have done despite to the Spirit of grace“: therefore I have shut myself out of all the promises, and there_ now remains to me nothing but threatenings, dreadful threatenings,
' Luke viii. 13. ‘1 Luke xix. 14.. Heb. vi. 4—6. x. :8, :9.
fearful threatenings, of certain judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour me as an adversary.
Cart. For what did you bring yourself into this condition? ‘
MAN. For the lusts, pleasures, and profits of this world; in the enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight: but now every one of those things also bite me and gnaw me like a burning worm.
CHR. But canst thou not repent and turn?
NIAN. God hath denied me repentance. His word gives me no encouragement to believe : yea, himself hath shut me up in this iron cage; nor can all the men in the world let me out. 0 eternity! eternity! how shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity?
Then said the INTERPRETER to CHRISTIAN, Let this man’s misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
Well, said CHRISTIAN, this is fearful! God help me to watch and be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man’s misery. Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now? ,
INTERP. Tarry till I shall show thee one thing more and then thou shalt go on thy way.
So he took CHRISTIAN by the hand again, and led him into a chamber where there was one rising out of - bed; and as he put on his raiment he shook and trembled. Then said CHRISTIAN, Why doth this man thus tremble? The INTERPRETER then bid him tell to CHRISTIAN the reason of his so doing. So he
began and said, This night as I was in my sleep I '
A DREAM CONCERNING THE DAY OF jUDGEMENT. 35 ==:
dreamed, and behold the heavens grew exceeding black; also it thundered and lightened in most fearful wise, that it put me into an agony: so I looked up in my dream, and saw the clouds rack at an unusual rate ; upon which I hearda great sound of a trumpet, and saw also a man sit upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven: they were all in flaming fire, 3150 the heavens were on a burning flame. I heard then a voice saying, ‘ Arise ye dead and come to judgement 5’: and with that the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the dead that were therein came forth‘: some of them were exceeding glad, and looked upwards; and some sought to hide themselves under the mountains‘: then I saw the man that sat upon the cloud open the book and bid the world draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame which issued out and came before him, a convenient distance betwixt him and them, as betwixt the judge and the prisoners at the bar’. I heard italso proclaimed to them that attended on the man that sat on' the cloud, ‘ Gather together the tares, the chaff, and -‘ stubble, and cast them into the burning la-ke:’ and with that the bottomless pit opened just whereabout I stood; out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, smoke, and coals of fire, with hideous noises. It was also said to the same persons, ‘ Gather ' my wheat into the garner‘.’ And with that 'I saw many catched up and carried away into the clOuds’, but I was left behind. Ialso sought to hide myself, but
1 John v. 28,29. 1 Cor. xv. 51—58. a Thessj. 7—10. jude r4, :5. Rev. n. "—15- ' Pi- L 1—3. 12.. 183i. nvi. 10, u. Mic. vii. 16, I7. 3 Dan. vii. 9, 10- \Mal iii. a, 3. 4 Mal. iv. I. Matt. iii. 1:. xiii. 30. Luke iii. 11. 5 I The". iv. 13—18. x
36 CHRISTIAN TAKES LEAVE OF THE INTERPRETBR.‘ ' a
I could not, for the man that sat upon the cloud still kept his eye upon me: my sins also came in my mind, and my conscience did accuse me on every side i. ‘ Upon this I awaked from my sleep. 7'
CHR. But what was it that made you so afraid of this sight P . MAN. Why I thought that the day of judgement was come, and that l was not ready for it: but this frighted me most, that the angels gathered up several and left me behind; also the pit of hell opened her mouth just where Istood. My conscience too afflicted me; and, as I thought, the judge had always his eye upon me, showing indignation in his countenance.
Then said the INTERPRETER to CHRISTIAN, Hast thou considered all these things?
CHR. Yes; and they put me in hope and‘fear.
INT'ERP. Well, keep all things so in thy mind that they may be as a goad in thy sides, to prick' thee forward in the way thou must go.—Then Cums-rm}; began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. Then said the INTERPRETER, The Coml forter be always with thee, good CHRISTIAN, ‘to guide thee in the way that leadS to the city. 50 CHRISTIAN went on his. way, saying—l
‘ Here I have seen things rare and profitable; , Things pleasant, dreadful, things to make me stable
In what I have begun to take in hand:
Then let me think on them, and understand
Wherefore they show’d me were; and let me be, ‘ ,
F Rom. ii. 14, 15.
Now I saw in my dream, that the highway, up which CHRISTIAN was to go, was fenced on either side with awall, and that wall was called SALVATION‘. Up this way therefore did burdened CHRTsTI'AN'run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. i I 4
He ran thus till he‘ came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a Cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a quulc/ire. So I saw in my dream, that just as CHRISTIAN came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from 'ofi‘ - his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre,’ where it fell in, and I saw it no more: I - I ‘ : Then was CHRISTIAN glad and lightsome, andisaid with a merry heart, ‘ He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.’ Then he'stood still a while to look and wonder; for it was very surprising td him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and lobked again, even till the springs" that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks“. Now, as he'stood looking and weeping, behold three shining ones came to him, and saluted him with “ Peace be to thee;” so the first said to him, “ Thy sins be forgiven thee‘;” the se-.. cond stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment; the third also set'a mark on his forehead, and gave him‘ a roll with a seal upon it‘, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the celestial gate; so they went their way.
1 Ini-nvi- I. ‘ chh.xii. lot 3 Markii. 5. & Zech. iii. 4. Eph. i. :3.