Chapter VI

Now by that these pilgrims had been at this place a week, Mercy, had a visiter, that preten ded some good will unto her, and his name was Mr. Brisk ; a man of some breeding, and that pretended to religion; but a man that stuck very close to the world. So he came once or twice or more, to Mercy, and offered love unto her. Now Mercy wasof a fair countenance, and therefore the' mow alluring.

Her mind also was, to be always busying of her* self in doing; for when she had nothing to do for lierself, she would he making of hose and garments for-others, and would bestow them upon them thst had need. And Mr. Brisk not.knowing where or how she disposed of what she ma.de, seemed to be. greatly taken, for that he found her never idle. I will warrant here a good housewife, quoth he to himself. . '' '.' .

Mercy then revealed the business to the maidensthat were of the house, and inquired of them concerning him, for they did know him better than she. So they told her, That lie was a very busy yroung man, and ouethat pretended to. religion ; Bivt was, as they feared, a stranger to the power of that which is good* r. «(, v.,.'' j r :' '. ' - t . .

Nay then, said Mercy, I will look no more oa him, for I purpose never to have a clog to my soul.

Prudence then replied, That there needed no great matter of discouragement to be given to hin|j

N d

for continuing so as she had begun to do for the poor, would quickly cool his. courage.

So the next time he comes, he finds her at her old work, a making of things for the poor. Then said he, What! always at it? Yes, said she, either for myself or for others. And what canst thou earn a day, quoth he? I do those things, said she, "That I may be rich in good works, laying a good foundation against the time to come, that I may lay hold of eternal life (o)." Why, prithee, what dost thou with them? said he. -Clothe the naked, said she. With that his countenance fell. So he forbore to come at her again. And when he was asked the reason why, he said, that Mercy was a pretty lass, but troubled with ill conditions.

When he had left her, Prudence said, Did I not tell thee, that Mr. Brisk would soon forsake thee; yea, he will raise up an ill-report of thee: for notwithstanding his pretence to religion, and his seeming love to Mercy, yet Mercy and he are of tempers so different, that I believe they will never come together.

Mercy. I might have had hushands before now, though I spoke not of it to any : buj they were such as did not like my conditions, though never did any of them find fault with my person. So they and I could not agree.

Trud. Mercy in our days i* little set by, any further than as to its name: the practice, which is set forth by the conditions, there are but few that can abide.

Mercy. Well, said Mercy, if nobody will have me, I will die a maid, or my conditions shall be to me as a hushand. For I cannof change my nature; and to have one that lies cross to me in this, that I purpose never to admit of as long as Hive. I had a

(a) I Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19.

sister named Bountiful, married to one of these churls, but he and she could never agree: but because.my sister was resolved to do as she had begun, that is, to show kindness to the poor, therefore her hushand first cried her down at the cross, and then turned her out of his doors.

Prud. And yet he was a professor, I warrant you.

Merer/. Yes, such a one as he was, and of such as the world is now full: but I am for none of themr all.

Now Matthew, the eldest son of Christiana, fell sick, and bis sickness was sore upon him, for he was much pained in his bowels, so that he was with it, at times, pulled as it were both ends together. There dwelt also not far from thence, one Mr. Skill, an ancient and well-approved physician. So Christiana desired it, and they sent for him, and lie came: When he was entered the room, and had a little- observed the boy, he concluded that he was sick of the gripes. Then be said to his mother.* What diet hath Matthew of late fed upon > Diet, said Christiana, nothing but what is wholesome. The physician answered, This boy has been tampering with something that lies in his maw undigested, and that will not away without means. And I tell you he must be purged, or else he wdl die. „!

Sam. Then said Samuel, Mother, what was that which my brother did gather and eat, so soon as we were come from the gate that is at the head of this way? You know that there was an orchard on the left hand, on the other side of the wall, and some of the trees hung over the wall, and my brother did pluck, and did eat

Christ. True, my child, said Christiana; he did tdke thereof and did eat; naughty boy as he was, I chid him, and yet he would eat thereof.

Skill, I knew he had eaten something that was not wholesome food; and that food, to wit, that fruit, is even the most hurtful of all. It is the fruit of Beelzebub's orchard. I do marvel, that none did 'warn vou of it; many have died thereof.

Christ. Then Christiana began to cry; and she said, O naughty boy, and O careless mother, what shall I do for my son?

Skill. Come, do not be too much dejected; the boy may do well again, but he must purge and vomit.

Christ. Pray, Sir, try the utmost of your skill witb him, whatever it costs.

Skill. Nay, I hope I shall be reasonable. So he made him a purgej but it was too weak; it wa^ said, it was made of the blood of a goat, the ashes of a heifer (6), and with some of the juice of hyssop, &c. When Mr. Skill had seen that that purge was too weak, he made him one to the purpose; it was made ex came et sanguine Christi (c), (you know physicians give strange medicines to their patients) and it was made into pills, with a promise or two, and a proportionable quantity of salt. Now he was to take them three at a time fasting, in half a quarter of a pint of the tears of repentance. When this potion was prepared, and brought to the boy, he was loath to take it, though torn with the gripes, as if he should be pulled in pieces. Come, come, said the physician, you must take it. It goes against my stomach, said the boy. I must have you take it (d), said the mother. I shall vomit it up again, said the boy. Pray, Sir, said.Christiana, to Mr. Skill, how does it taste? It 'has no ill taste, said the doctor; and with that she touched one of the pills with the tip of her tongue. Oh, Matthew, said she, this potion is sweeter than honey. If thou lovest thy mother, if thou lovest thy brothers, if thou lovest Mercy, if thou lovest

(5) Heb. ix. 13. (c) JohB vi. 54—57. Mark ix. 4& Heb. ix. 14. (d) Zegh. xii. 10. ...

thy life, take it. So with much ado, after a short prayer for the blessing of God upon it, he took it, and it wrought kindly with him. It caused him to purge, to sleep and rest quietly : it put him into a fine heat and breathing sweat, and rid him of his gripes»

*

So in a little time he got up, and walked about with a staff, and would go from room to room, and talk with Prudence, Piety, and Charity, of his distemper, and how he was healed.

So when the boy was healed, Christiana asked Mr. Skill, saying, Sir, what will content you for your pains and care to me, and of my child? And he said, You must pay the Master of the college of physicians (e), according to the rules made in that case and provided.

Christ. But, Sir, said she, what is this pill good for else?

Skill. It is an universal pill; it is good against all diseases that Pilgrims are incident to ; and when it is well prepared, will keep good time out of mind.

Christ. Pray, Sir, make me up twelve boxes of them; for if I can get these, I will never take other physic.

Skill. These pills are good to prevent diseases, as well as to cure when one is sick. Yea, I dare say it, and stand to it, that if a man will but use this physic as be should, it will make him live for ever (J). But, good Christiana, thou must give these pills no other way, but as I have prescribed; for if you do, they will do no good: So he gave unto Christiana physic for herself, and her boys, and for Mercy ; and bid Matthew take heed how he eat any more green plums, and kissed them, and went his way.

It was told you before, that Prudence bid the

boys, that if at any time they would, they should ask ber some questions that might be profitable, and she would say something to them.

Matt. Then Matthew, who har! been sick, asked" her, Why, for the most part, physic should be hitter to our palates?

Prud. To show how* unwelcome the word of God, and the effects thereof, are to a carnal heart.

Matt. Why does physic, if it does good, purge, and cause to vomit?

Prud. To show that the word, when it works effectually, cleanseth the heart and mind : for look, what the one doth to the body, the other doth to the soul.

Malt. What should we learn by seeing the flame of our fire go upwards? and by seeing the beams and sweet influences ot the sun strike downwards?

Piitd. By the going up of the fire, we are taught to ascend to heaven by fervent and hot desires. And by the sun's sending his heat, beams, and sweet influences downward we are taught, that the Saviour of the world, though high, reacheth down with his grace and love to us below.

Mutt. Where have-the clouds their water?

Prud. Out of the sea.

Matt. What may we learn from that?

Prud. That ministers should fetch their doctrine from God.

Matt. Why do they empty themselves upon the earth?

Prud. To show that ministers should give out what they know of God to the world.

Matt. Why is the rainbow caused by the sun?

Prud. To show that the covenant of God's grace is confirmed to us in Christ.

Matt. Why do the springs come from the sea to us through the earth?

^ Prud. To show, that the grace of God comes to us through the body of Christ.

Matt. Why do some of the springs rise out of the top of high hills?

Prud. To show that the spirit of grace shall spring up in some that are great and mighty, as well as in manv that are poor and low.

Matt. Why doth the fire fasten upon the candlewick?' . 1

Prud. To show, that unless grace doth kindle upon the heart, there will be no true light of life in us.

Matt. Why is the wick and the tallow, and all spent to maintain the light of the candle?

Prud. To show, that body and soul, and all , should be at the service of, and spend themselves to mamtain in good-condition, that grace of God that is in us.

Matt. Why doth the pelican pierce her own breast with her hill?

Prud. To nourish her young ones with her blood, and thereby to show, that Christ the blessed so loveth his .young (his people), as to save them from death by his blood.

Malt. What may one learn by hearing of the coik crow?

Prud. Learn to remember Peter's sin, and Peter's tepentance. The cock's crowing, shows also, that day is coming on; let then the crowing of the cock put thee in mind of that last and terrible day of judgment.

Now about this time their month was out, wherefore they signified to those of the house, that it was convenient for them to up and be going. Then said Joseph to his mother, It is convenient that you forget not to send to the house of Mr. Interpreter, to pray him to grant that Mr. Great-heart should be sent unto us, that he may be our conductor the rest of our way, Good boy, said she, I had almost forgot. So she drew up a petition, and prayed Mr. Watchful, the porter, to send it by some fit man, to her good friend Mr. Interpreter; who, when it was come, and he had seen the contents of the petition, said to the messenger, Go, tell them that I will send him,

When the family where Christiana was, saw that they had a purpose to go forward, they called the whole house together, to give thanks to their King, for sending them such profitable guests as these. Which done, they said unto Christiana, and shall we not show thee something according as our custom is to pilgrims, on which thou raayst meditate, when xhou art on the way? So they took Christiana, l>er children, and Mercy, into the closet, and showed them one of the apples that Eve eat of, and that she also did give to her husband, and for the eating of which they were both turned out of Paradise; and asked her what she thought that was? Then Christiana said, It is food or poison, I know not which. So they opened the matter to her, atid she held up her hands and wondered (g).

Then they had her to a place, and showed her Jacob's ladder. Now at that time there were some angels ascending upon it. So Christiana looked and looked to see the angels go up; so did the rest of the company. Then they were going into another place, to show them something else; but James said to his mother, Pray hid them stay a little longer, for this is a curious sight. So they turned again, and stood feeding their eyes with this so pleasant a prospect (h).

After this, they had them into a place were did hang up a goldeu anchor, so they hid Christiana take it down; for, 'Said they, you shall have it with you ({), for it is of absolute necessity that you should, that you may lay hold of that within the vail, and stand steadfast in case you should meet

(g) Gen. iii. 6. Rom. vii. 24,
(A) Gen. xxviii, 12. (i) Rom. viii. 24.

with turbulent weather: So they were glad thereof (k). Then they took them, and had them to the mount upon which Abraham oar father had offered up Isaac his son, and showed them the altar, the wood, the fire, and the knife, for they remain to be seen to this very day. When they had seen it, they held up their hands, and blessed themselves, and said, Oh! what a man for love to his Master, and for denial to himself, was Abraham? After they had showed them all these things, Prudence took them into a dining-room, where stood a pair of excellent virginals: So she played upon them, and turned what she had showed them into this excellent song, saying:

Eve's apple we have show'd to you;

Of that be you aware:
You have seen Jacob's ladder too, i

Upon which angels are.
An anchor you received have,

But let not this suffice,
Until with Abra'm you have gave

Your best of sacrafice.

Now about this time one knocked at the door: So the porter opened, and behold Mr. Great-heart was there; but when he was come in, what joy was there! for it came now afres'i again into their minds, how but awhile ago he had slain old Grim Bloodytnan, the giant, and had delivered them from the lions.

Then s-sid Ms. Great-heart'to Christiana, and to Mercy, My Lord has sent each of you a bottle of wine, and also some parched corn, togetl»er with a couple of pomegranates: he also sent tlie boys some figs and raisins, to refresh them in their way.

Then they addressed themselves to their journey; and Prudence and Piety went along with them.

. (A) Hosea ii. 15. Joel hi. 16. Heb. vi, 19

When they came to the gate, Chcistiann asked the porter, if any of late went by. He said, No; only one some time since, who also told me, that of late there had been a great robbery committed on the

are taken, and will shortly be tried for their lives. Then Christiana and Mercy were afraid; but Matthew said, Mother, fear nothing, as long as Mr> Great-heart is to go with us, and to be our cbnductor.

. Then said Christiana to the porter, Sir, I am much obliged to you for all the kindnesses that you have showed me since I came hither; and also that you have been so loving and kind to my children; I know not how to gratify your kindness: wherefore, pray, as a token of my respects to you, accept of this small rnite ; so she put a golden angel in his hand and he made her a low obeisance, and said, Let thy garments be always white, and let thy head want no ointment. Let Mercy live and. not die, and let not her works he few. And to the boyshesaid,,Do you fly youthful lusts, and follow after godliness with; them that are grave and wise: so shall you put gladness into your mosher's heart, and obtain praise of all that are sober-minded. So tlTey thanked the" porter, and departed.

THE conduct of Mercy, with respect to Mr. Brisk, is wisely inserted, as an ex-ample worthy the imitation of allyoung christians. The grand scripture rule, which should direct their choice of a partner for life, is too plain to be mistaken, and too important to be slighted; yet too, too often forgot!—Marry only in the Lord, 1 Cor. vii. 39. A suitor, who does not make a credible profession of Christ, a» a believer in union with him, ought not to be encouraged in the leu'»t»degroe. The approbation, presence, and. blessing.

but said he, the thieves

ExpiANAVosr Notes.

of God cannot reasonably be expected, if this rule be neglected. Mercy gave an excellent reason for discarding Mr. Brisk: "I will look no more on him (said she), for I propose never lo have a clog to my soul." What a heavy clog is a carnal husband or wife! The unavoidable cares of a family, will be exercise enough to the most gracious heart, without the addition of that intolerable burden, a partner, who instead of helping, will hinder the soul, in its heavenly progress. What expectation can there be of supporting family 'worship with comfort and advantage, unless both are resolved, to serve the Lord.? What union can there be in the religious education of children, unless both are " heirs together of the grace of life?" What consolation can be hoped for in the day of adversity—on the sick-bed—on disappointments in trade—on the loss of children, or in the trying hour of dissolution—from a husband or wife, who is a stranger, an enemy to Christ? Dear young reader, think of this, before you venture to change your condition; lest you add to the melancholy number of those, who severely smart for their want of caution in this important matter. Obey therefore the Apostle's injunction, '2 Cor. vi. 14. "Be ye not unequally yoked tegether with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath, righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath-light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth, with an unbeliever?"

The relation of Matthew's sickness, and the method of his cure, may be justly esteemed among the fiuest passages of this work. The cause of his disorder, was eating some of the fruit of Beelzebub's orchard. Sin is the disease of the soul, and threatens its eternal death. Sm may be sweet in the mouth, but will be hitter in the belly. Multitudes have actually died of it, and multitudes more are dying. But it is an unspeakable mercy to feel the disease; to have an enlighteaed and awakened conscience, griped and exceedingly pained with it. Such need the physician. Such will apply for his help. Blessed be God, there is a remedy; and the servants of Christ will most gladly recommend that only medicine in the world, sufficient to cure the disease of sin, " The flesh "and blood of Christ." Excellent are these liues of Mr. Hartr

Nothing but thy blood, O Jesus!
Can relieve us irom our smart;
Nothing else from guilt release us;
Nothing else can melt the heart.

The convinced and afflicted sinner may, indeed, through ignorance and legality of mind, be inclined to try other remedies; but finding their insufficiency, will at length be glad to apply to Christ, His blood is the true Panacea, or universal medicine, adapted not only to the cure, but the prevention also, of every spiritual disease. Those who know its sovereign efficacy, jn purging the conscience from tormenting fear, will, like Christiana, wish to have it always at hand, and resolve, as she did, never to take any other physic.

Among the improving objects, with which the pilgrims were entertained, was Eve's apple:—an explanation of the first sin and its awful consequences, caused Christiana to hold up her hands and wonder; for" a true sight of sin is amazing," eve» to a confirmed believer. It is necessary frequently to meditate on the evil of sin, that our aversion to it may be increased, and our love to Jesus inflamed.

Jacob's ladder was a sight as pleasing, as the former was affecting. This represented to them, not only the condescensions of Divine Providence, in behalf of the afflicted, and the ministry of angels in favour of the heirs of salvation, but afforded a figure of Christ himself, who is the blessed medium of communication between heaven and earth. In the person of Immanuel, the human and divine natures are united; and by his mediation, a path is made for the approach of God to sinners, that he may dwell with them on earth; and for their access to him, that they may dwell with him in glory. On this pleasing object, the pilgrims fixed and feasted their admiring eyes.

The golden anchor of hope, was not only beheld, but received by them; this precious grace lays hold of that within the vail, and keeps the soul steady, even in the s'orms of temptation and affliction. No wonder that the pilgrims were thankful for their kind entertainment, or that they testified their esteem of the gospel and its glorious Author, by the present they made to the porter; for, says St. Paul, in behalf of the mimsters of the word, " If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?"