Now after awhile, they perceived afar off, one coming softly, and alone, all along the highway to meet them. Then said Christian to his fellow, Yonder is a man with his back towards Zion, and he is coming to meet us.
Hope, I see him; let us take heed to oursdvps now, lest he should prove a flatterer also. So he drew nearer and nearer, and at last came ap to them. His name was Atheist, and he asked tiiem whither they were going?
Chr. We are going to Mount Zion. Then Atheist fell into a v.:ry great laughter. Chr. What is the meaning of your laughter? Ath. I laugh to see what ignorant persons you are to take upon you so tedious a journey, and yet are like to have nothing but your travel for your pains.
Chr. Why, man! do you think we shall not be received?
Alh. Received! there is no such place as you dream of in all this world.
Chr. But there is in the world to come.
Alh. When I was at home in mine own country, I heard as y»u now affirm, and from that hearing went ont to sec, and have been seeking this city these twenty years, but find no more of it than I did the first day I set out (a).
Chr. We have both heard, and believe that there is such a place to be found.
Ath. Had not I, when at home, believed, I had not come thus far to seek; but finding none, (and yet I should, had there been such a place to be found, for I have gone to seek it farther than you) s I am going back again, and will seek to refresh myself with the things 'hat I then past away, for the hopes of that which I now see is not.
Chr. Then said C hristian to Hopeful, Ins companion, Is it true which this man hath said?
Hope. Take heed, he is one of the Flatterers; remember what it hath cost us once already for ourhearkening to such kind of fellows. What! no' Mount Zion! Did we not see from the Delecta!)Je Mountains the gate of the city? A!so, are we not now to walk by faith (b)? Let us go on, said Hopeful, lest the man with the whip overtake us again.
You should have taught me that lesson, Wjiica !~ will round you in the ears withal: ** Cease, my son, .. "tc hear the instruction that causeth to err from 44 the words of knowledge (c)." I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and let us believe to the saving of the soul (d). v
Chr. My brother, I did not put the question to thee, for that I-doubted of the truth of your belief myself; but to prove to thee, and to fetch from thee a fruit of the honesty of thy heart. As for this man, I know that he is blinded by the god of this world. Let thee and I go on, knowing that we have belief of the truth, " and no lie is of the truth («)."
Hope. Now I do rejoice in hope of the glory of God: so they turned away from the man; and he, laughing at them, went his way.
I saw then in my dream, that they went till they came into a certain country, whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy if he came a stranger into it. And here Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy to sleep; wherefore he said unto Christian, I do now begin to grow so drowsy that 1 can scarcely hold open mine eyes: let us lie down here and take one nap.
Chr. By no means (said the other) lest sleeping, we never awake more.
Hope. Why, my brother? sleep is sweet to the labouring man; we may be refreshed if we take a nap.
Chr. Do you not remember that one of the Shepherds bid us beware of the Enchanted Ground? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping: "wherefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us "watch and be sober (/)."
Hope. I acknowledge myself in a fault; and had I been here alone, I had by sleeping run the danger of death. I see it is true that the wise man saith: "Two are better than one (g)." Hitherto hath thy company been my mercy, and thou shalt have a good reward for tliy labour.
Chr. Now then, said Christian, to prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse4
Hope. With all my heart, said the other.
Chr. Where shall we begin?
Hope. Where God began with'us. But do you begin if you please.
Chr. 1 will sing you first a song.
When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together:
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep ope their drowsy slumb'ring eyes;
Saints fellowship, if it be manag'd well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell^
Then Christian began, and said, I will ask you a question. How came you to think at first of so doing as you do now?
Hope. Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my soul?
Clir. Yes, that is my meaning.
Hope. I continued a great while in the delight of those things which were seen and sold at our Fair; things which 1 believe now would have, had I continued in them still, drowned me in perdition and do. struction.
Chr. What things were they?
Hope. All the treasures and riches of the. word. Also 1 delighted much in rioting, revelling, drinking, swearing, lying, uncbanness, sabbath breaking, and what not, that tended to destroy the soul. Hut I found at last, by hearing and considering of things that are divine, which indeed 1 hear of you, as also of beloved Faithful, who was put to death for his fai'h and goodness in Vanity-Fair, that " the end of "these things is death (A)." And that, for these "things sake, the wrath of God cooieth upon tu» "children of disobedience (*)."
Chr. And did you presently, full under the po wer of this conviction r
Hope. No; I was not willing presently to know the evil of sin, nor the damnation that follows upon the commission of it; but endeavoured, when my mind at first began to be shaken with the word, to shut mine eyes against the light thereof.
Chr. But what wa> tiie cause of your carrying ofit thus to the first workings of God's blessed Spirit upon you?
Hope. The causes were, 1. I was ignorant that this was the work of God upon me. ] never thought that by awakenings for sin, God at first begins the conversion of a sinner. 2. Sin was .yet very sweet to my flesh, and I was loath to leave it. 3. 1 couli
not tall how to part with mine old companions, their presence and actions were so desirable unto me. 4. The hours in which convictions were upon me, were such troublesome and such heart-affrighted hours, that I could not bear, no not so much as the remembrance of them upon my heart.
Chr. Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your trouble.
Hope. Yes, vcrily; but it would come into my mind again, and then I should be as had, nay worse than I was before.
dir. Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again?
Hope. Many things : as,
1. If I did but meet a good man in the streets; or, i. If I have heard any read in the bible ; or,
3. If mine head did begin to ache; or,
4. If I were told that some of my neighbours were sick ; or,
5. If I heard the bell toll for some tliat were dead; or,
6. If I thought of dying myself; or,
7. If I heard that sudden death happened to others.
8. Hut especially when I thought of myself, that I must quickly come to judgment.
C/ir. And could you at any time, with ease, get off the guilt of sin, when by any of these ways it came upon you?
Hope. No, not I; for then they got faster hold of my conscience; and then, if I did but think of goini; hack to sin (though my mind was turned against it), it would be double torment to me.
Chr. And how did you then?
Hope. I thought I must endeavour to mend my life; for else, thought 1, I am sure to be damned.
dir. And did you eudeavour to mend?
Hope. Yes; and fled from, not only my sins, but sinful company too, and betook me to religious duties; as praying, -reading, weeping for sin, speaking truth to my neighbours, &c. These things did I, with many others, too much here to relate.
Chr, And did you think yourself well then?
Hope. Yes, for awhile; but at last my trouble came tumbling upon me again, and that over the neck of all my reformation.
Chr. How came that about, since you were now reformed?
Hope. There were several things brought it upon me, especially such sayings as these: "All our "righteousnesses are as filthy rags. By the works "of the law, no man shall be justified. When M ye have done all these things, say, We are un"profitable (k):" with many more such like. From whence I began to reason with myself thus: If all my righteousnesses are as'filthy rags; if by the deeds of the law no man cans be justified; and if, when we have done all, we are unprofitable, then 'tis but folly to think of heaven by the law. I farther thought thus: If a man runs a hundred pounds into the shopkeeper's debt, and after that shall pay for all that he shall fetch; yet if this old debt stands still in the book uncrossed, the shop-keeper may sue him for it, and cast him iuto prison tilt he shall pay the debt.
Chr. Well, and how did you apply this to yourself?
Hope. Why, I thought thus with myself; I have by my sins run a great way into God's book, and that my now reforming will not pay off that score; therefore I should think still, under all my present amendments. But how shall I be freed from that damnation that I brought myself in danger of by my former transgressions)
Chr. A very good application ; but pray go on.
Hope. Another thing that hath troubled me ever since my late amendments is, that if 1 look narrowly into the best of what I do now, I still see sin, new
(*) Isa. Ixiv. 6. Gal. ii. 16. Luke xvii. 10.
sin, mixing itself with the best of what I do; so that now I am forced to conclude, that notwithstanding my former fond conceits of myself and duties, I have committed sin enough in one day to send me to hell, though my former life had been faultless.
Chr. And what did you do then?
Hope. Do! I could not tell what to do, ?till I broke my mind to Faithful; for he and I were well acquainted. And he told me, that unless I could obtain the righteousness of a man that never had sinned, neither mine own, nor all the righteousness of the world, could save me.
Chr. And did you think he spake true?
Hope. Had he told me so, when I was pleased and satisfied with mine own -amendments, I had called him fool for his pains; but now since I see mine own infirmity, and the sin which cleaves to my best performance, I have been forced to be of his opinion.
Chr. But did you think, when at first he suggested it be you, that there was such a man'to be found, of whom it might be justly be said, that he never committed sin?
Hope. I must confess the words at first sounded strangely, but after a little more talk and company with him, I had full conviction about it.
Chr. And did you ask him what man this was, and how you must be justified by him?
Hope. Yes, and he told me it was the Lord Jesus, that dwelled] on the right-hand of the Most High(/). And thus, said he, you must be justified by him, even by trusting to what he hath done by himself in the days of his flesh, and suffered when he did hang on the tree. 1 asked him farther, how that man's righteousness could be of that efficacy, as to justify another before God? and he told me, He was the mighty God, and did what he did, and died the death also, not for himself, but for me; to whom
his doings, and the worthiness of them, should be imputed, if I believed on him. Chr. And what did you do then? Hope. I made my objections against my believing, for that I thought he was not willing to save me. Chr. And what said Faithful to you then? Hope. He hid me go to him and see. Then I said it was presumption. He said no, for I was invited to come (»»). Then he gave me a book of Jesus1 s inditing, to encourage me the more freely to come; and he said concerning that book, that every jot and tittle thereof stood firmer than heaven and earth (n). Then I asked him, what I must do when I came: and he told me, I must entreat upon my knees, with all my heart and soul, the Father to reveal him to me (o). Then I asked him further, how I must make my supplication to him? And he said, Go, and thou shalt find him upon a mercy-seat, where he sits all the year long, to give pardon and forgiveness to them that come (p). I told him, that I knew not what to sa'y when I came. And he hid me say to this effect: God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy son Jesus Chri>t should be the saviour of the world: And, moreover, that thou art willing to bestow upon sui h a poor sinner as I am (and I am a sinner indeed); Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Chr. And did you do as you were hidden?
Hope. Yes, over, and over, and over.
*C'/ir. And did the Father reveal the son to you?
Hope. Not at first, nor second, nor third, nor fourth, nor fifth; no, nor at 1ic sixth time neither Chr. What did you do then r Hope. What! why I could not tell what to do. Chr. Had you not thoughts of leaving oiF praying? Hope. Yes, and a hundred times twice told. Chr. And what was the reason you did riot? Hope. I hclieved that that was true, which hath been told me, to wit, That without the righteousness of t'lia Christ, all the world could not save me; and therefore thought 1 nith myself, if 1 leave off", I die, and I can but die at the throne of grace. And withal this came into my mind, "1i it tarry, "wait for it; because it will surely come, it will "not tarry (y)." So I continued praying until the Father showed me his Son.
Chr. And how was he revealed unto you? Hope- 1 did not see him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes of my understanding (r). And thus it was: One day I was very sad, 1 think sadder than at any one time of my life; and this sadness was through a fresh sight of the greatness and vileness of my sins. And as I was then looking for nothing but hell, and the everLsting damnation of my soul, suddenly, as I thought, 1 saw the Lord Jesus look down from Heaven upon me, and saying, "Believe f on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be "saved (.>.)."
But I replied, Lord, I am a great, a very great sinner: and he answered, " My grace is sufficient "for thee (/)." Then I said, But, Lord, what is believing? And then I saw i'rom that saying, '* He "that comcth to me shall never hunger, and he that bcheveth on me shall never thirst («)," that believing and coming was all one; and that he that came, that is, ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ, be indeed believed tn Christ.
'I hen the water stooJ in mine eyes, and I asked further. But Lord, may such a great sinner as I am, be indeed accepted of thee, and be saved by thee? And I heard him say, " And him that cometh to "me, I will in no wjse e st out (a)." Then I said, But how, Lord, must I consider of thee in my coming to thee, that my faith may be placed aright upon thee? Then he said, Christ came into the Wi rid to save sinners: he is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that belicveth: lie died for our sins, and rose again for our justification: he loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; he is a mediator betwixt God aml us: he ever lireth to make iiitercession for us (j/). From all which I gathered, that I must look for righteousness in his person, and for satisfaction for my sins by his blood; that what he did in obedience to his Father's law, and in submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself, but for him that will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful. And now was my heart full of joy, mine eyes full of tears, and mine affections running over with love to the name, people, and w.iys of Jesus Christ.
Chr. This was a revelation of Christ to your soul indeed: but tell me particularly what eflcct this had upon your Spirit.
Hope. It made me see that all the world, notwithstanding all the righteousness thereof, is -in a state of condemnation: it made me see that God the Father, though he be just, can justly justify the coming sinner: it made me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense of mine own ignorance; for there never came a thought into my heart before now, that showed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ: it made me love a holy life, and Jong to do something for the honour and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus:
yea, I thought th.it if I.had now a thousand gallons of blood in my body, I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus.
VARIOUS are the dispositions and artifice* of those who oppose tlie Christian: The Pilgrims, haviDg escaped tire Flatterer's net, are now accosted by an avowed enemy of revelation: Yet (awful to think) he too had been a professor. None become so vile and profane as apostate:. Because there was no reality in their religion, they conclude there is no reality in religion at all. But experienced christians are not to be "persuaded out of their spiritual senses." The plainest believer is possessed of a demonstration of unseen things, which surpasses all the arguments in the world.
Christian and Hopeful now enter on the Enchanted Ground; by which we are to understand this present evil world, especially in a season of ease and prosperity. Many are the worldly enchantments which dispose the soul to slumber, and become careless and slothful about the concerns of eternity. Happy are those who associate with lively and faithful ' christians; who, by example and reproof, prevent their "sleeping, as do others." ' We have need to be much on our guard agaii^t this Enchanted Ground, in this day of outward ease and prosperity.
By singing hymns, and kei ping up spiritual conversation, the pilgrims were kept awake. The more we abound in using the means of grace, the more lively we shall be. Hopeful relates his own experience. He had been awakened to see the vanity of the world, and the danger of his natural state. But he had nothing to boast of: he could not ascribe any thing to free-will; for he tried to resist the light and convictions of the Spirit of God. But grace prevailed. If he saw a good-man in the street, his uueasiness was renewed. This is a common case; for though carnal men affect to despise and ridicule the people of God, they have a serr"' veneration for their ciiaracter, and feel themselves condemned, in their presence. By this and other means Hopeful was I d to amend his life, avoid his carnal companions, ami abound iu religious duties. To these he trusted for life, for a time. But God would not leave him here. He was at length convinced, that notwithstanding his amendment, he was still unrighteous—a sinner—a condemned man, under the curse, Sad e.sposed to hell. Hence he was constrained to see the neiessity of the righteousness of another, even of Christ, to justify him. The doctrine of imputed righteousness doe? not suit an whole-hearted boaster, but is desirable above all things, to a broken hearted sinner. For this blessing Hopeful ardently prayed again and again, till Christ, in all the fulness of his grace, and lore of his heart, as able and willing to save, was revealed to him. Then was his heart filled with j»y, his eyes flowed with tears of repentance, and his affections ran over with love to the name, people, and ways of Jesus Christ. Then did he blush with shame for past sin; then was Jesus exceedingly precious to his soul ; he even hungered and thirsted after holiness, and was willing both to live and die for Christ! O blessed scriptural experience! Not every sincere christian can trace the work of God in his soul 'with the regularity of Hopeful; but let every reader ask himself, whether, like him, he has been convinced of his own unrighteousness and danger on that account? Whether he has been Isd to renounce himself, and depend on Christ's righteousness alone? and whether his faith in that righteousness has worked by love to Christ, producing a deep aversion to sin, and an earnest desire after holiness? Where these things are found, in any reader, let him know, that his name is Hopeful.