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“I dare say, (quoth I,) I am glad on it; I am glad for the poor man's sake, for that now he has rest from his labor,*
that he now reaps the benefits of his tears with joy:t and for that he has got beyond the gun-shot of his enemies, and is out of the reach of them that hate him. I am alsó glad, for that a rumor of these things is noised abroad in this country; who can tell but that it may work some good effect on some that are left behind ? But, pray, sir, (while it is fresh in my mind,) do you hear any thing of his wife and children? Poor hearts! I wonder in my mind what they do?"
Sagacity. Who! Christiana and her sons ? They are like to do well, as did Christian himself; for though they all played the fool at first, and would by no means be persuaded either by the tears or entreaties of Christian; yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them; so they have packed up, and are also gone after him.
“Better and better, (quoth I:) But what! wife and children and all !!!
Sagacity. It is true; I can give you an account of the matter, for I was upon the spot at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair. “Then, (said I,) a man may report it for a truth?”
Sagacity. You need not fear to affirm it. I mean that they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys. And being we are, as I perceive, going some considerable way together, I will give you some account of the whole matter.
“ This Christiana, (for that was her name,) from the day that she with her children betook themselves to a pilgrim's life, after her husband was gone over the river,f and she could hear of him no more; her thoughts began to work in her mind: first, for that she had lost her husband; and for that the loving bond of that relation was utterly broken betwixt them. For you know, (said he to me.) nature can do no less but entertain the living with many a heavy cogitation in the remembrance of the loss of loving relations. This therefore of her husband did cost her many a tear. But this was not all; for Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, whether her unbecoming behaviour towards her husband was not one cause that she saw him no more; and that in such sort he was taken away from her? And upon this, came into her mind by swarms, all her unkind, unnat. ural, and ungodly carriage to her dear friend; which also clogged her conscience, and did load her with guilt. She was moreover much broken with calling to remembrance the restless groans, the brinish tears, and self-bemoaning of her husband; and how she did harden her heart against all his entreaties, and loving persuasions (of her and her sons) to go with him; yea, there was not any thing that Christian either said to her, or did before her, all the while that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart asunder, especially that bitter outcry of his,* · What shall I do to be saved?' did ring in her ears most dolefully.
* Rev. xiv. 13.
Part I. p. 43. Mark this, you that are churlish to your goodly relations.
Then said she to her children; 'Sons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father; and he is gone: he would have had us with him, but I would not go myself; I also hindered you of life. With that the boys fell into tears, and cried to go after their father. '0, (said Christiana,) that it had been but our lots to have gone with him; then it had fared well with us beyond what it is like to do now. For though I formerly foolishly imagined concerning the troubles of your father, that they proceeded of a foolish fancy that he had, or for that he was overrun with melancholy humors; yet now it will not out of my mind, but that they sprang from another cause; to wit, for that the light of life was given him; by the help of which, as I perceive, he has escaped the snares of death.' Then they wept all again, and cried out, ‘O, wo worth the day.'
night, Christiana had a dream; and behold, she saw as if a broad parchment was opened before her, in which were recorded the sum of her ways, and the crimes, as she thought, looked very black upon her. Then she cried out aloud in her sleep, 'Lord have mercy upon me a sinner;'t and the little children heard her.
After this, she thought she saw two very ill-favored ones standing by her bed-side, and saying ; 1 “What shall we do with this woman? For she cries out for mercy, waking and sleeping: if she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband. Wherefore we must, by some way, seek to take her off from the thoughts of what shall be hereafter: else all the world cannot help but she will become a pilgrim."
Now she awoke in a great sweat; also a trembling was upon her; but after a while, she fell to sleeping again. And then she thought she saw Christian her husband in a place of bliss among many immortals, with a harp in his hand, standing and playing upon it before One that sat upon a throne, with a rainbow about his head. She saw
* Part I. p. 1, 2.
Luke xviii. 13.
also as if he bowed his head with his face to the paved-work that was under his Prince's feet, saying, I heartily thank my Lord and King for bringing me into this palace. Then shouted a company of them that stood around about and harped with their harps : but no man living could tell what they said, but Christian and his companions.
and talked with her children awhile, one knocked hard at the door; to whom she spake out, saying, “If thou coinest in God's name, come in.' So he said Amen;' and opened the door, and saluted her with ‘Peace on this house. The which when he had done, he said, Christiana, knowest thou wherefore I am come?' Then she blushed and trembled; also her heart began to wax warm with desires * to know from whence he came, and what was his errand to her. So he said to her, 'My name is Secret ; I dwell with those that are high. It is talked of where I dwell, as if thou hast a desire to go thither; also there is a report that thou art aware of the evil thou hast formerly done to thy husband, in hardening of thy heart against his way, and in keeping of these babes in their ignorance. Christiana, the Merciful One hath sent me to te ready to forgive, and that he taketh delight to multiply the pardon of offences. He also would have thee to know, that he inviteth thee to come into his presence, to his table; and that he will feed thee with the fat of his house, and with the heritage of Jacob thy father. There is Christian, thy husband that was, with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that doth minister life to beholders : and they will all be glad when they shall hear the sound of thy feet step over thy Father's threshold.'
Christiana at this was greatly abashed in herself, and bowed her head to the ground. This vision proceeded, and said; Christiana, here is also a letter for thee, which I have brought from thy husband's King:' so she took it and opened it; but it smelt after the manner of the best perfüme:t also it was written in latters of gold. The contents of the letter were this; 'That the King would have her to do as did Christian her husband; for that was the way to come to his city, and to dwell in his presence with joy for ever. At this, the good woman was quite overcome: so she cried out to her Visiter, “Sir, will you carry me and
filled her mind.
Song i. 3,
Then said the Visiter, Christiana! the bitter is before the sweet. Thou must through troubles, as he did that went before thee, enter this Celestial City; wherefore I advise thee to do as did Christian thy husband; Go to the Wicketgate yonder over the plain; for that stands in the head of the way which thou must go; and I wish thee all good speed. Also I advise thee, that thou put this letter in thy bosom: that thou read therein to thyself, and to thy children, until they have got it by heart; for it is one of the songs* that thou must sing while thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage: also this thou must deliver in at the farther
Now I saw in my dream, that this old gentleman, as he told me this story, did himself seem to be greatly affected therewith. He moreover proceeded and said: “So Christiana called her sons together, and began to address herself unto them: My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul, about the death of your father: not for that I doubt at all of his happiness; for I am satisfied now that he is well: I have been also much affected with due thoughts of mine own state and yours, which I verily believe is by nature miserable. My carriage also to your father in his distress, is a grea load to my conscience: for I hardened both my own heart and yours against him, and refused to go with him on pilgrimage. The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but that for a dream which I had last night, and but that for the encouragement that this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children, let us pack up, and be gone to the gate that leads to the Celestial country, that we may see your father, and be with him and his companions in peace, according to the laws of that land.'
Then did her children burst out into tears, for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So the Visiter bade them farewell: and they began to prepare to set out for their journey.
But while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women that were Christiana's neighbors, came up to her house, and knocked at the door: to whom she said as be. fore. At this, the women were stunned; for this kind of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of Christiana: yet they came in. But behold, they found the good woman preparing to be gone from her house.
So they began, and said, 'Neighbor, pray what is your meaning by this ?
* Psalm cxix. 55.
Christiana answered, and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. Timorous; 'I am preparing for a journev.' (This Timorous was daughter to him that met Christian upon the Hill of Difficulty, and would have had him gone back for fear of the lions. *
Timorous. For what journey, I pray you?
Christiana. Even to go after my old husband.-And with that she fell a weeping.
Timorous. I hope not so, good neighbor: pray, for your children's sake, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself.
Christiana. Nay, my children shall go with me; not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Timorous. I wonder in my heart, what or who has brought you into this mind.
Christiana. Oh, neighbor, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would go along with me.
Timorous. Prythee, what new knowledge hast thou got that so worketh off thy mind from thy friends; and that tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?
Christiana. I have been sorely afflicted since my husband's departure from me; but especially since he went over the River :t but that which troubleth me most, is my churlish carriage to him, when he was under his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me, out going on pilgrimage.--I was dreaming last night that I saw him. O, that my soul was with him! He dwelleth in the presence of the King of the country: he sits and eats with him at his table; he is become a companion of immortals, and has a housef now given him to dwell in, to which the best places on earth, if compared, seem to me but as a dunghill. The Prince of the palace has also sent for me, with promises of entertainment, if I shall come to him; his messenger was here even now, and brought me a letter, which invites me to come. (And with that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them, 'What now will you say to this?')
Timorous. Oh! the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband! to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even in a manner at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbor Obstinate can testify; for he went along with him; yea, and Pliable too; until they, like wise men, were
how he met with the lions, Apollyon, the Shadow of Death, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with * Part I. p. 29., | Death. I 2 Cor. v. 1. 4. Part I. p. 11, &c.