Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

blesome, busy-bodies. Farther, they would call the bread of God, husks; the comforts of his children, fancies; the travel and labor of pilgrims, things to no purpose.

Christiana. Nay, if they were such, they should never be bewailed by me: they have but what they deserve; and i think it well that they stand so near the bighway, that others may see and take warning. But, had it not been well if their crimes had been engraven on some pillar of iron or brass, and left here where they did their mischiefs, for a caution to other bad men ?

Great-Heart. So it is, you may well perceive, if you will go a little to the wall.

Mercy. No, no; let them hang, and their names rot, and their crimes live for ever against them.' I think it is a high favor that they are hanged before we came hither; who knows else what they might have done to such poor women as we are? Then she turned it into a song, saying,

Now then you three hang there; and be a sign,
To all that shall against the truth combine;
And let him that comes after fear this end,

If unto pilgrims he is not a friend.
. And thou, my soul, of all such men beware,

That unto holiness opposers are. Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of the hill Difficulty;* where again their good friend Mr. Great-Heart took an occasion to tell them what happened there when Christian' himself went by. So he had them first to the spring. “Lo, (said he,) this is the spring that Christian drank of before he went up this hill. Then it was clear and good; but now it is dirty with the feet of some that are not desirous that pilgrims here should quench their thirst.”+ Thereat Mercy said, “And why so envious, trow?" “ But (said the Guide) it will do, if taken up and put into a vessel that is sweet and good; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear." Thus therefore Christiana and her companions were com

pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom; and then they drank thereof.

Next, he showed them the two by-ways that were at the foot of the hill, where Formality and Hypocrisy lost themselves. “And (said he) these are dangerous paths. Two were here cast away when Christian came by. And although you see these ways are since stopped up with D chains, posts, and a ditch; yet there are those that will choose to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this hill.

* Part I. p. 27.

† See Ezekiel, chap. xxxiv. ver. 18.--Under a pretty Scriptural allusion, our author here sets forth the difficulty of getting good doctrine in erro. neous times.

*Christiana. "The way of transgressors is hard ;' (Prov. xiii. 15.) It is a wonder that they can get into those ways,

Great-Heart. They will venture; yea, if at any time any of the King's servants do happen to see them, and do call upon them, and tell them that they are in the wrong way, and do bid them beware of the danger; then they will railingly return them answer, and say, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the King, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own mouths,' &c.; (Jer. xliv. 16, 17.) Nay, if you look a little farther, you shall see that these ways are made cautiously enough, not only by these posts, and ditch, and chain, but also by being hedged up; yet they will choose to go there.

Christiana, They are idle; they love not to take pains : up hill way is unpleasant to them. So it is fulfilled unto them as it is written: 'The way of the slothful man is a hedge of thorns :* Yea, they will rather choose to walk upon a snare, than to go up this hill, and the rest of this way to the City.

Then they set forward, and began to go up the hill; and up the hill they went: but before they got up to the top, Christiana began to' pant, and said, “I dare say, this is a breathing hill; no marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls, choose to themselves a smoother way.” Then said Mercy, “I must sit down;" also the least of the children began to cry.'+ “Come, come, (said Great-Heart,) șit not down here; for a little above is the Prince's Arbor." Then he took the little boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.

When they were come to the Arbor, they were very willing to sit down; for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said Mercy, “How sweet is rest to them that labor!

& By-paths, though barred up, will not keep all from going in them, * Prov. xv. 19.

† Though the Pilgrims had Great-Heart for their conductor, yet the hill puts them to it:--the kingdom of Heaven is not to be obtained by speculations and theoretical notions. He that is the Truth, hath declared, that as many as believe on him, "shall, in the world, have tribulation :" but at the same time he bids them “be of good cheer, for that He has overcome the world." John xvi. 38. Part I. p. 28.

Matt. xi. 23.

And how good is the Prince of pilgrims, to provide such resting-places for them. Of this Arbor I have heard much; but I never saw it before. But here let us beware of sleeping; for, as I have heard, it cost poor Christian dear."

Then said Mr. Great-Heart to the little ones, “ Come, my pretty boys, how do you do? What think you now of going on pilgrimage?” “Sir, (said the least,) I was almost beat out of heart; but I thank you for lending me a hand at my need. And I remember now what my mother hath told me; namely, that the way to heaven is as a ladder, and the way to hell is as down a hill. But I had rather go up the ladder to life, than down the hill to death."

Then said Mercy, “But the proverb is, To go down the hill is easy." But James said, (for that was his name,) 6 The day is coming, when, in my opinion, goin hill will be the hardest of all." "It is a good boy, (said his master;) thou hast given her a right answer.” Then Mercy smiled; but the little boy did blush.

" Come, (said Christiana,) will you eat a bit to sweeten your mouths, while you sit here to rest your legs? For I have here a piece of pomegranate, which Mr. Interpreter put into my hand just when I came out of his doors; he gave me also a piece of honeycomb, and a little bottle of spirits.” “I thought he gave you something, (said Mercy,) because he called you aside." " Yes, so he did, (said Christiana :). but, it shall be still as I said it should, when at first we came from home: thou shalt be a sharer in all the good I have, because thou so willingly didst become my companion." Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both Mercy and the boys. And, said Christiana to Mr. GreatHeart, “Sir, will you do as we?” But he answered, “ You are going on pilgrimage; and presently I shall return: much good may what you have, do to you. At home I eat the same every day.”

Now, when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their Guide said to them, “ The day wears away; if you think good, let us prepare to be going.".

So they got up to go; and the little boys went before; but Christiana forgot to take her bottle of spirits with her: so she sent her little boy back to fetch it. Then said Mercy, I think this is a losing place. Here Christian lost his roll; and here Christiana left her bottle behind her. Sir, what is the cause of this ?”

So their Guide made answer, and said ; “ The cause is sleep or forgetfulness; some sleep when they should keep awake; and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause, why often at the resting-places, some pilgrims, in some things, come off losers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyments: but for want of doing so,*** oftentimes their rejoicing ends in tears, and their sunshine in a cloud: witness the story of Christian at this place."*

When they were come to the place where Mistrust and Timorous met Christian to persuade him to go back for fear of the lions, they perceived, as it were, a stage, and before it, towards the road, a'broad plate with a copy of verses written thereon; and underneath, the reason of raising up that stage, in that place, rendered. The verses were these:

“Let him that sees this stage, take heed

Unto his heart and tongue;
. Lest, if he do not, here he speed, '. i

As some have long agone.” The words underneath the verses were; “ This stage was built to punish such upon, who, through timorousness or mistrust, shall be afraid to go farther on pilgrimage. Also on this stage both Mistrust and Timorous were burnt through the tongue with a hot iron, for endeavoring to hinder Christian on his journey."

Then said Mercy, “This is much like to the saying of the Beloved, Psalm cxx. 3,4: : What shall be given unto thee? Or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.'.

So they went on, till they came within sight of the lions. Now, Mr. Great-Heart was a strong man; so he was not afraid of a lion : but yet, when they were come up to the place where the lions were, the boys that went before, were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions; so they stepped back, and went behind.f At this, their Guide smiled and said; “How now, my boys; do you love to go before when no danger doth approach, and love to come behind so soon as the lions appear?"

Now as they went on, Mr. Great-Heart drew his sword, with intent to make a way for the Pilgrims in spite of the lions. Then there appeared one that, it seems, had taken upon him to back the lions: and he said to the Pilgrims' Guide, “ What is the cause of your coming hither?"

Now, the name of that man was Grim, or Bloody-man; because of his slaying of pilgrims; and he was of the race of the giants. ** Mark this. * Part I. p. 29.

f Part I. 29. I An emblem of those that go on bravely when there is no danger, but shrink when troubles come.

Great-Heart. These women and children are going on pilgrimage, and this is the way they must go; and go it they shali, in spite of thee and thy lions.

Grim. This is not their way; neither shall they go therein: I am come forth to withstand them, and to that end will back the lions,

Now, to say the truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and of the grim carriage of him that did back them,

all grown over with grass..

Then said Christiana, “ Though the highways have been unoccupied heretofore, and though the travellers have been made in times past to walk through by-paths, it must not be so, now I am risen, now I am risen a mother in Israel;" Judges v. 6,7...

Then swore he by the lions, But it should, and therefore bade them turn aside, for they should not have passage there.

But their Guide made first his approach unto the Giant, and laid so heavily at him with his sword, that he forced him to retreat...

Then said he that attempted to back the lions, “ Will you slay me upon my own ground?”

Great-Heart. It is the King's highway that we are in; and in this way it is that thou hast placed the lions; but these women, and these children, though weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy lions.

And with that he gave him again a downright blow, and brought him upon his knees; with this blow he also broke his helmet, and with the next cut off his arm. Then did the Giant roar so hideously, that his voice frighted the women, and yet they were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground.

Now, the lions were chained, and so of themselves could do nothing. Wherefore, when old Grim, that intended to back them, was dead, Mr. Great-Heart said to the pilgrims, “ Come now, and follow me; and no hurt shall happen to you from the lions." They therefore went on; but the women trembled as they passed by them; the boys also looked as if they would die; but they all got by without further hurt.

Now, when they were within sight of the Porter's Lodge, they soon came up unto it: but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because it is dangerous travelling there in the night. So when they were come to the gate, the Guide knocked, and the Porter cried, “Who is there?" But as soon as the Guide had said, “ It is I,” he knew his

« ZurückWeiter »