'iSo T saw in my dream, that he made haste and went forward, that if possible he might get lodging there. Now before he had gone far, Iff entered into a very narrow passage, which was about a furlong off the porter's lodge, and looking very narrowly before him, as he went, he espied two lions in the way. Now, thought he, I see the danger that Mistrust and Timorous were driven back bv. (The lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them: for he thought nothing but death. was before him: but the porter at the lodge, whose
made a halt as if he would go hack, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith, where it is, and for discovery of those that have none: keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come to thee.
Than I saw that he went on trembling for fear of the lions; but taking good heed to the directions of the porter, he heard them roar, but they did him no harm. Then he clapt his hands, and went on till he came and stood before the gate where the porter was. Then said Christian to the porter, Sir, what house is this? and, May I lodge here to night? The porter answered, This house was built by the Lord of the hill, .and he built it for the relief and security of pilgrims. The porter also asked, Whence he was, and whither he was going?
Chr. I am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to Mount Zion; but because the sun is now set, I desire, if I may, to lodge here to-night. Porter. What is your name? Chr. My name is now Christian; but my name at .the first was Graceless: I came of the race of Japheth, whom God will persuade to dwell in the tents of Shem (b).
Por. But how doth it happen that you came so late? The sun is set.
Chr. I had been here sooner, but that, wretched man that I am, 1 slept in the arbour that stands on the hill side! Nay, I had, notwithstanding that, been here much sooner, but that in my sleep, I lost my evidence,'and came without it to the brow of the hill, and then feeling for it, and finding; it not, I was forced, with sorrow of heart, to go hack to the place where I slept my sleep, where I found it, and now 1 am come.
name is Watchful (a)
Por. Well, I will call out one of the virgins of this place, who will (if she likes your talk) bring you in to the rest o\ the family, according to the rules of the house. So Watchful, the porter, rang a hell, at the sound of w hich came out of the door of the house, a .grave and beautiful damsel, named Discretion, and asked why she was called?
The porter answered, This man is on a journey from the city of Destruction to Mount Zion, but being weary and benighted, he asked me if he might lodge here to-night: so 1 told him 1 would call for thee, who, after discourse had with him, mayst do as secnieth thee good, even according to the law of the. house.
Then she asked him, whence he was, and whither he was going? and he told her. She asked him also how he got into the way? and he told her. Then she asked him, what he had seen and met with within the way? and he told her. And at last she asked his name? so he said, it is Christian; and I have so much the more a desire to lodge here tonight, because by what I perceive, this place was built by the Lord of the I,ill, for the relief and security of pilgrims; so she smiled, but the water stood in her eyes; and after a little pause, she said, I will call forth two or three more of my family. So she ran to the door, and called out Prudence, Piety, and Charity, who after a little more discourse with him, had him into the family; and many of them meeting him at the threshold of the house, said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, this house was built by the Lord of the hill on purpose to entertain such pilgrims in. Then he bowed his head, and followed them into the house: so when he was come in and sat down, they gave him something to drink, and consented together that until supper was ready, seme of them should have some particular discourse with Christian, for the best improvement of time; and
they appointed Piety, and Prudence, and Charity, to discourse with him; and thus they began:
Piety. Come, good Christian, since we have been so loving to you, to receive you into our house this night, let us, if perhaps we may better ourselves thereby, to talk with you of all things that have happened to you in your pilgrimage.
Chr. With a very good will, and I am glad that you are so well disposed.
Pitty. What moved you at first to betake yourself to a pilgrim's life?
Chr. 1 was driven out of my native country by a dreadful sound that was in mine ears; to wit, that unavoidable destruction did attend me, if I abode in that place where I was.
Piety. But how did it happen that you came out of your country this way?
Chr. It was as God would have it; for when I was under the fears of destruction, 1 did not know whither to go; but by chance there came a man, even to me, as I was trembling ami Weeping, whose name is Evangelist, and he directed me to the Wicketgate, which else I should never have found, and so set me into the way that hath led me directly to this house.
Piety. But did you not come by the house of the Interpreter?
Chr. Yes, and did see such things there, the remembrance of which will stick by me as long as I live; especially three things, to wit, How Christ, in despite of Satan, maintains his work of grace in the heart; how the man had sinned himself quite out of hopes of God's mercy; and also the dream of him that thought in his sleep the day of judgment wa* . come.
PMy. Why, did you hear htm tell his dream?
Chr. Yes, and a dreadful one it was, I thought; it made my htart ache as he was telling of it; but vet I am p'lad I heard it.
Piety. Was this all you saw at the house of the Interpreter?
Chr. No; he took me, and had me where he showed me a stately palace, and how the people were clad in gold that were in it; and how there tame a venturous man and cut his way through the armed men that stood in the door to keep him out; and how he was hid to come him, and win eternal glory: methought those things did ravish my heart! 1 would have staid at that good man's house a twelve month, but that I knew I had farther to go.
Piety. And w hat saw you else in the way?
Chr. Saw! Why, I went but a little farther, and I saw One, as I thought in my mind, hang bleeding upon a tree; and the very sight of him made my burden fall off my back, (for I groaned under a very heavy burden,) but then it fell down from off me. 'J was a strange thing to me, for I never saw such a thing before: Yea, and while I stood looking up, (for then I could not forbear looking,) three Shining Ones came to me; one of them testified that my sins were forgiven me; another stript me of my rags, and gave me this 'broidered coat which you see; and the third set the mark which you see in my forehead', and gave me this sealed roll (and with that he plucked it out of his bosom).
Piety. But you saw more than this, did you not.
Chr. The things that I have told you, were the best; yet some other matters I saw, as namely: I saw three men, Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, lie asleep a little out of the way as I came, with irons upon their heels; but do you think I could awake them? I also saw Formalist and Hypocrisy come tumbling over the wall, to go, as they pretended, to Zion, but they were quickly lost; even as I myself did tell them, but they would not believe; but, above all,' I found it hard work to get up this hill, and as hard to come by the lions' mouths; and truly, if it had not been for the good man, the Porter, that stands at the gate, I do not know, but that after all, I might have gone back again; but now I thank God I am here, and thank you for receiving of me.
Then Prudence thought good to ask him a few questions, and desired his answer to them.
Prud. Do you not think sometimes of the country from whence you came?
Chr. Yes, but with much shame and detestation: truly, if I had been mindful of that country from whence I came out, I might have had opportunity to have returned ; but now I desire a better country; that is, a heavenly one (c).
Prud. Do you not yet bear away with you some of the things that then you were conversant withal?
Chr. Yes, but greatly against my will; especially my inward and carnal cogitations, with which all my countrymen, as well as myself, were delighted: but now all those things are my grief; and might I but choose mine own things, I would choose never., to think of those things more; but when I would be doing of that which is best, that which is worst is with me (d).
Prud. Do you not find sometimes,, as if those things were vanished, which at other times are your perplexity?
Chr. Yes, but that is but seldom; but they are to me golden hours, in which such things happen to me.
Prud. Can you remember by what means you find your annoyances at times, as if they were vanqui shed?
Chr. Yes; when I think on what I saw at the cross, that will do it; and when I look upon my 'broidered coat, that will do it; and when I look into the roll that I carry in my bosom, that will da
(e) Heb. xi. 15, 16. (d) Rom. vii.
it; and when my thoughts wax warm about whither I am going, that will do it.
Prud. And what is it, that makes you so desirous to go to Mount Z on?
Chr. Why, there I hope to see him alive that did hang dead on the cross; and there I hope to be rid of all those things, that to this day are in me, an annoyance to me; there they say there is no death, and there I shall dwell with s<ch company as I like best. For, to tell you the truth, I love him, because I was by him eased of my burden; and I ars wetvy of my inward sickness: I would fain be where I shall die no more, and with the company that shall continually cry, Holy, holy, holy (e).
Then said Charity to Christian, Have you a family? Are you a married man?
Chr. I have a wife and four small children. Char. And why did you not bring them *long with you?
Chr. Then Christian wept, and said, Oh! how willingly would I have done it! but they were all ofthem utterly averse to my going on pilgrimage.
Char. But you should have talked to them, and have endeavoured to have shown them the danger of staying behind.
Chr. So I did; and told them also what God had shown to me of the destruction of our city ; but I seemed to them as one that mocked, and they believed ilie not (/).
Char. And did you pray to God that he would bless your counsel to them?
Chr. Yes, and that with much affection; for you must think that my wife and poor children were very dear unto me.
Char. But did you tell them of your own sorrow, * i ■
(r) ha. vi: 3. Rev. iv. 8. (J) Gen. six. U.
and fear of destruction? for I suppose that destruction was visible enough to you?
Ghr. Yes, over, and over, and over. They might sho see my fears in my countenance, in my tears, and also in my trembling, under the apprehension of the judgment that did hang over our heads; but all was not sufficient to prevail with tiicm to come with rae.
Char. But what could they say for themselves whv they cahie not?
Chr. Why, my wife was afraid of losing this world ; and my children were given to the foolish .delights of youth; so what by one thing aud what by anether, they left me to wander in tnis manner alone.
Char. But did you not with your vain life d:imp all that you by words used b) way of persuasion to bring them along with you?
Chr. Indeed I cannot commend my life, for I am conscious to myself of many failings therein. I k';OW also, that a man by his conversation may soon overthrow what by arguments of persuasion he doth labour to fasten upon others for their good. Yet this I can say, I was very wary of giving them occasion, by any unseemly action, to make them a verse to going on pilgrimage. Yea, for th s very thing, ,they would tell me 1 was too precise, and thai I denied myself of things, (for their sake:-,) in which they saw no evil. Nay I think I may say, that if what they saw in me did hinder them, it was my great tenderness in sinning agamst God, or of doing any wrong to my neighbour.
Char. Indeed Cam hated his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous; .rftfd if thy wife and children uuve been offended with thee for-this, they thereby show themselves to be implacable to good; and thou hast delivered thy soul Irom their blood (g).
(g) 1 John iii. 1^. )£zek. xxxifi. 9.
Now I saw in my dream, that thus they sat talking together until supper was ready. So when they had made ready, they sat down to meat: now the table was furnished with fat things, and with wine that was well refined; and all their talk at the table was about the Lord of the hill; as, namely, about what he had done, and wherefore he had what he did, and why he had built that house; and by what they said, I perceived that he had been a great warrior J and had fought with, and slain him that had the power of death, but not without great danger to himself, which made me to love him the more (A).
For as they said, and, as I believe (said Christian), he did it with the loss of much blood; but that which put glory of grace into all he did, was that he did it of pure love to his country. And besides, there were some of them of the household that said, they had been and spoke with him since he did die on the cross; and they have attested, that they had it from his own lips, that he is such a lover of poor pilgrims, that the like is not to be found from the east to the west.
They moreover gave an instance of what they affirmed, and that was, he had stript himself of that glory, that he might do this for the poor; and that they heard him say and affirm, "That he would not i'.well in the mountain of Zion alone." They said, moreover, that he had made many pilgrims princes, though by nature they were beggars born, and their original had been the dunghill (i).
Thus they discoursed together till late at night; and after they had committed themselves to their Li.rd for protection, they betook themselves to rest. The pilgrim they laid in a large upper chamber whose window opened towards the suu-rising: the name of the chamber was Pei,co, where he slept till bieak of day, and then he awoke and sang,
Where am I now» is this the love and care
Of Jesus, for the men that pilgrims are,
Thus to provide! that I should be forgiveu,
And dwell already the next door to heaven..
So, in the morning, they all got up; and, after some more discourse, they told him that he should not depart till they had showed him the rarities of that place. And first they had. him into the stud)',, where they showed him records of the greatest antiquity ; in which, as I remember my dream, they showed him first the pedigree of the Lord of the hill, that he was the Son of the Ancient of Days, and came by that eternahgeneration : here also was morefully recorded the acts thai he had done; and the names of many hundreds that he had taken into his service; and how he had placed them in such habitations, that could neither by length of days, nor decay of nature, be di.-3olved..
Then they read to him some of the worthy actsthat some of his servants had done: as how they had. subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained ptomises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens (A).
Then they read again in another part of the records of the hou&e, where it was showed how willing their Lord was to receive into his favour, any, even any,, though they in time past had offered great affronts to his person and proceedings. Here also were several other histories of many other famous things,, of all which Christian had a view: as of things both ancient and modern: together with prophecies and, predictions of things that have their certain accomplishment, both to the dread and amazement ot\ enemies, and the comfort aad solace of pilgrims.'
The next day they took him, and had him into .
(k) Heb. xi. 33, 34.
*' the armory, where they showed, him all manner of furniture, which their^Lord had provided for pilgrims', as sword, shield, helmet, breast-plate, all prayer, and shoes that would not wear out. And there was here enough of this to harness out as many men, for the service of their Lord, as there be stars in the heaven for multitude.
They also showed him some of the engines with which some of his servants had done wonderful things. They showed him Moses's rod; the hammer and nail with which Jael slew Sisera; the pitchers, trumpets, and lamps too, with which Gideon put to flight the armies of Midian-. Then they showed him the ox's goad, wherewith Shamgar slew six hundred men. They showed him also the jaw-bone with .which Samson did such mighty feats: They showed moreover the sling and stone with which David slew Goliah of Gath; and the sword also with which their Lord will kill the Man of Sin, in the day that he shall rise up to the prey. They showed him besides many excellent things, with which Christian was much delighted. This done, they went to their rest again.
Then I saw in my dream, that on the morrow lift got up to go forward?, but they desired him to stay till the next day also; and then, said they, we will, if the day be clear, show you the Delectable Mountains; whieh, they said, would yet farther add to his comfort, because they were nearer the desired haven than the place where at present he was; so he consented and staid. When the morning was up, lh.vy had him to the top of the house, and bid him look south (I): So he did; and behold, at a great distance, he saw a most pleasant mountainous country, beautified with woods, vineyards, fruits of all sorts, flowers also, with springs and fountains, very delectable .0 behold. Then be asked the name of the country. They said, it was Emmanuel's Land;
and it is as common, said they, as this hill is to and for all the pilgrims. And when thou' comest there, from thence thou mayst see to the gate of the celestial city ; as the shepherds that live there will make appear.
THE house called Beautiful, signifies a visible church of Christ, or a society of regenerate persons, who voluntarily associate to enjoy the means of grace, for the glory of God, and their mutual edification. Such a church is beautiful indeed ; far surpassing all the painted glories of this vain world. Christian, who had as yet pursued his journey alone, is now introduced to the communion of saints. Man was formed for society; audit is both the duty and privilege of real christians to glorify God, by a professed subjection to the gospel of Christ, in joining with his people in all his appointments.
In his approach to the house, he was terrified with the sight of two lions; which may signify,, the world and the devil, .whoever oppose a full profession of religion, and frequently deter timorous professors from church fellowship. They were chained indeed, but not seeing the chains, he was filled with fear. Marry of the fears of sincere persons are needless and unscriptural; and they would cease, if faith were in exercise to see, that all enemies are restrained by Divine Power. It is .well for the feeble-miaded, if they enjoy the ministry of some faithful pastor, like Watchful, to encourage them in such circumstances.
The conversation between the pilgrim and several persons belonging to the family, intimates the necessity of Discretion - in the admission of church members. None but such who make a credible profession of faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are proper subjects of communion; and in forming a judgment of their qualification?, Prudence, Piety, and Charity are indispensably necessary.
Christian relates to Piety a brief account of his conreision, and ascribes it only tp the distinguishing grace of God, saying, "It was as God would have it." Prudence asked several questions (quite in character); to which he answers in a, manner sweetly experimental. The methods he adopted to vanquish carnal thoughts, deserve particular regard: namely, "thinking on what he saw at the cross," or dwelling on the dying lore of Christ; " looking upon his embroidered coast," or contemplating the all-glorious and perfect righteousness of the adorable Redeemer, which clothed his naked soul ;— "looking into his roll," or reviewing his evidences of interest in Christ :—and, lastly, meditating on the glory and happiness of the heavenly world, to which he was hastening Happysouls, who thus oppose their corruptions! The hope he expresses of glory is founded on right views. For while carnal men wish lor heaven, only that they may avoid hell, the believer desires it, because he '' hopes to be with Jesus-; to see "him alive who once hung dead on the cross ; to be perfectly "free from sin, and enjoy the company he likes best."
Charity asks Christian one question, which every one, who professes to wish for the salvation of iithers, should ask himself. Christian had used many arguments to persuade his family and friends to accompany hivn: "But did you not *' (said she) with your vain life damp all your persuasions?" Happy is the man who can answer with h'un: " Nay, I think "I may say, that if what they.saw in me did hinder them, it *' was my great tenderness in sinning against God, or doing "any wrong to my neighbour." O for more of his holy love to God and souls i
Their supper, at the house Beautiful, seems to intend the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which is a feast of fat things, &c. Their whole conversation was about the Lord of the hill, and his unparalleled love to poor sinners; and k would be happy, if christians, when they meet together, .would labour to promote spiritual and edifying conversation, to the exclusion of levity and scandal.
Christian slept in the chamber of peace with God, and was led in the morning into the study. Christians are biblestudents; and the morning is a very proper time to read the .word of Christ, that it may dwell in us richly all the day. From the top of the house he beheld the Delectable Mountains. Lively christians, in the diligent improvement of ordinances, a'e sometimes favoured with such views of greater attainments and richer privileges yet before them, that they are animated to " press forward toward the mark, for the . ? prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Great is the Lord our God,
And let his praise be great;
He makes his churches his abode.
His most delightful seat.
These temples of his grace,
How beautiful they stand!
The honours of our native place,
And bulwarks of our land.