Then Christian went on till he came to the house of the Interpreter, where he knocked over and over; at last cue came to the door, and asked, Who was there?
Chr. Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid, by an acquaintance of the good man of ibis house, to call here for my profit; I would therefore speak with the master of the house: so he called for the master of the house; who, after a little time, came to Curistian, and asked him, What he would have i Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion ; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate, at the head of this way, that if I called here, you would , show use excellent things, such as would be an help to nie in my journey.
Interpreter. Then said the Interpreter, Come .in: I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the Candle, and bid Christian follow him: so he had him into.a private room, and hid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture of a very grave person hung up against the wall: and this was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in its hand, the law of truth was written on its lips; the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of glory did hang over its head.
Chr. Then said Christian, What meaneth this? Int. The man, whose picture this is, is one of a thousand; he can beget children, travail in hirth with children, and nurse them himself when the/ are born (a). And whereas thou scest him with his eyes lifted up to heaven, and the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth written on his lips; it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and unfold dark things to dinners; even as also thou seest him stand as it he pleaded with men: and whereis thou seest the world as cast behmd him, and that a crown hangs over his head ;. that is to show thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that lie hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the world that comes next, to have glory for bis reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place, whither thou art going, hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayst meet with in the way: wherefore, take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen: lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their ways go down to death.
Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlour, that was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had reviewed a
(a) 1 Cor. iv. 15. Gal. i. 19
little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now, when he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian had almost therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter, to a damsel that stood by, Bring hither the water, and sprinkle the room: the which when she had dune, it was swept and cleansed with pleasure.
Chr. Then said Christian, What means this?
Int. The Interpreter answered, This parlour is the hetrt of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet grace of the gospel: the dust is his original sin, and inward corruptions, that have defiled the whole man. He that began to sweep at first, is the Law; but she that brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. No w whereas thou sawest that as soon us the first began to sweep, the dust did so fly about, that the room by him could not be cleansed but th,it thou was almost choked therewith; this is to show thee, that the law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it doth discover and forbid it, for it doth not give power to subdue it (6).
Again, As thou sawest the damsel sprinkle the r'»om vvith water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure ; this is to show thee, that when the gospel conies in the sweet and precious influences thereof to the heart, then, 1 say, even as thou sawest the damsel lay the dust by sprinkling the floor with water, so is sin vanquished and subdued, and the soul made clean, through the faith of it, and consequently fit for the King of Glory to inhabit (c).
1 saw moreover in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the hand, and had him into a little room, where sat two little children, each one in his
chair. The name of the eldest was Passion, and the name of the other Patience. Passion seemed to be much discontented, but Patience was very quiet.— Then Christian asked, What is the reason of the discontent of Passion? The Interpreter answered, The governor of them would have him stay for h s best things till the beginning of the next year, but he will have all now; but Patience is willing to wait.
Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought hira a bag of treasure, and poured it down at Ins left, the which be took up and rejoiced therein, and withal laughed Patience to scorn. But l beheld but a while, and he had lavished all away, and bud nothing left but rags.
Chr. Then said Christian to the Interpreter, expound this matter more fully to me.
Int. So he said, these two lads are figures: Passion, cf the men of this worlJ; and Patience, of the men of that which is to come: for as here thou sees!, Passion, will have all now, this year; that is to say, in this world; so arc the men of this world: they must have all their good things now, they cannot stay till next year; that is, until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, " A hird "in the hand is worth two in the bush," is of more authority with them, than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come. But as thou sawest, that he had quickly lavished all away, and had presently left him nothing but rags; so will it be with all such men at the end of this world.
Chr. Then said Christian, Now I see that Patience has the be,st wisdom, and that upon many accounts. 1. Because he stays for the best things. 2. And also because he will have the glory of his, when the other lias nothing but rags.
Int. Nay, you may add another, to wit, the glory of the next world will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone. Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience, because he had his good tilings first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion,because he had his best things Ls?: tor first mu^t £ive place to last, because last must have its time to cume; but last gives place to nothing; for there is not another to succeed: he therefore that hath his portion first, must needs have a time to spend it; but he that hath his portion la*t, must have it lastingly; therefore it is said of Dives, "In thy life"time thou receive.-! thy good tilings, and likewise "Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and "thou are tormented (r/)."
Chr. Then I perceive it is not best to covet tilings that are now, but to wait for things to come.
Int. You sav truth ; " For the things that are seen "lire temporal; but the things that are not seen, "eternal (e)." But though this be so, yet since things present, and our fleshly appetite, are such near neighbours one to another; and again, because things to come, and carnal sense, are such grangers one ro another : therefore it is, tint the fi'st of these so suddenly fill into amity, and that distance is so cohtiiu-lly between the second's
T:icn I saw in my dream, that the Interpreter took Cnristian by the hind, arrd led him into a place where was a fire burning again a wall, and one ttahding by it, always casting much water upon it, to quench it j yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered: This fire is the work of grace that is wrought in the heart; he that casts vater upon it, to extinguish and put it out, is the devil; but in that thou seest the fire notwithstanding burns higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason of that. So he had him about to the backside of the wall, where he saw a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, of the which he did also continually cast (but secretly) into the fire.
(rf) 2 Luke xvi. \e) 2 Cor. iv. 18'.
Then said Christian, What means this? The Interpreter answered: This is Christ, who continually with the oil of his grace maintains the work already begun in the heart; by the means of nliich, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls oi his people prove gracious still. And in that thou sawest, that the man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire; this is to teach thee, that it is hard fox* the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul (i),
I saw also that the Interpreter took him again by the hand, and led him into a pleasant place, where was built a stately palace, beautiful to behold; at the sight of which Chrutian was greatly delighted; he saw also upon the top thereof ceriain persons walking, who were clothed all in gold. Then said Christian, Mav we go thither? Then the Interpreter took him and led him up towards the door of the palace;, and beliold, at the door stood a great company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a table side, with a bock, and his ink-horn before him, to lake the names of those that should enter therein: he saw also, that in the door-way stood many men in armour to keep it, being resolved to do to the men that would enter what hurt and mischief they could. Now was Christian somewhat in a maze: at last, when every man started back tor fear of the armed men, Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance, come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, Set down my name, Sir:. the winch when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put an helmet upon his head, and nuh towards the door, upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly torce; but the man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely. So after he had received and given many wounds to those ihat attempted to'
keep htm out, lie cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the palace; at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within even of those that walked upon the top of the palace, saying,
Come in, come in;
Eternal glory thou shalt win.
So he went in, and was clothed with such garinents as they. Then Christian smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this.
Now said Christian, let me go hence. Nay, stay (said the Interpreter) till I have showed thee a little more, and after that thou shalt go on thy way. So lie took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, *where there sat a man in an iron tage.
» Now the man, to look on, seemed very sad; ha sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, and he sighed as if he would break his heart. Then said Christian, what means this? At-which the Interpreter hid him talk with the man.
Then said Christian to the man, What are thou? The man answered, I am what I was not once. Chr. What wast thou once?
Man. The man said, I was once a fair and flourishing professor, both in mine own eyes, and also in trie eyes of others: I once was, as I thought, fair for t!ie ccelestial city, and had then even joy at the thoughts that I should get thither [k).
Chr. Well, but what art thou now?
Man. I am now a man of despair, and am shut up in it, as in this iron cage. J cannot get out; O now I cannot! s I ,
Chr. JJnt how earnest thou in this condition?
Man. I left off to watch, and be sober: I Jaid the reins upon the neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the word, and the goodness of God: I
(k) LuUe 13,
have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; I tempted the devil, and he is come to me; I have provoJ;ed God to anger, and he has left me; I have so hardened my heart, that I cannot repent.
Then said Christian to the Interpreter, But is there no hope for such a man as this? Ask him, said the Interpreter.
Chr. Then said Christian, is there no hope, hut you must be kept in the iron cage of despair?
Man. No, none at all,
Chr. Why? the Son of the Blessed is very pitiful.
Alan. I have crucified him to myself afresh; I have despised his person, I have despised his righteousness, I have counted his blood an unholy thing, I have done despite to the Spirit of grace: therefore I shut myself out of all the promises, and there now remains to me nothing but threatenings, dreadful threatenings, fearful threatenings of certain judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour me as an adversary (/). •
Chr. For what did you bring yourself into thiscondixion?
Man. For the lusts., pleasures, and profits of this world; in the enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight: but now every one of those things also bite me, and gnaw me like a burning worm.
Chr. But canst thou not now repent and turn?
Man. God hath denied me repentance. His word gives'me no encouragement to believe; yea, himself hath shut me up in this iron cage; nor can all the men in the world let me out. O eternity ! eternity t bow shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with iir eternity?
Int. Then said the Interpreter to Christian, let this man's misery be remembered by thee, and be an overlaying caution to thee.
Chr. Well, said Christian, this is fearful! God
(I) Hik vi, C. Lnk« six. 14. Heb. x. 28, 29.
help me to watch and be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's misery.—Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now? j
Int. Tarry till I shall show thee one thing more, srd then thou shalt go on thy way.
So he took Christian by the hand again, and led him into a chamber, where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment, he shook and trembled. Then said Christian, Why doth this mart thus tremble? The Interpreter then bid him tell to Christian the reason of his so doing; so he began and said, This night as I was asleep^ I dreamed, and , behold the heavens grew exceeding black: Also it thundered and lightened in most fearful wise, that it put me into an agony. So I looked up in my dream, and saw the clouds racked at an unusual rate; upon w hich I heard a great sound of a trumpet, and saw also a man sit upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven: They were all in flaming frtte, also the heavens were in a burning flame. I' beard then a voice, saying, " Arise, ye dead, and "come to judgment:" and with that the rocks rentr the graves opened, and the dead, that were therein, came forth ; some of them were exceeding glad, ands looked upwards; and some sought to hide themselves under the mountains: Then I saw the man that sat upon the cloud, open the book, and hid the worloV draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame which issued out and came before him, a convenient distance betwixt him and them, as betwixt the judge and the prisoners at the bar. I heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on the man that sat on the cloud, "Gather together the tare?, "the chaff and stubble, and cast them into the burn"ing Lke and with that the bottomless pit opened just whereabout, I stood: Out of the mouth of which there came, in an a-bundant manner, smoke and coals, of fire, with hideuus noises. It was also said to the sa:ne persons, " Gather my wisest into the gainer." And with that I saw many cached up and carried
away into the clouds ; but I was lefL,behind. I also sought to hide myself, but I could not, for the man that sat upon the cloud still kept his eye upon me: My sins also came into my mind, and my conscience did accuse nie on every side. Upon this I awaked from ray sleep (m).
Chr. But what was it, that made you so afraid of this sight?
Man. Why I thought that the day of judgment was com?, and that I was not ready for it: But this . frighted me the most, that the angels gathered up several, and left me behind; also the pit of hell opened her mouth just where I stood. My conscience too afflicted me; and, as I thought, the Judge had always his eye upon me, showing indignation in his countenance.
Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Hast thou considered all these things?
Chr. Yes, and they put me in' hope and fear.
Int. Well, keep all tilings so in thy mind, that they may be as a goad in thy sides to prick thee forward in the way thou must go. Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to hisjourney. Then said the Interpreter, The Comforter be always with thee, good Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads to the city. So Christian went on his way, saying,.
Here I fiave seen things rare and profitable;
Things pleasant, dreadful; things to make me stable
In what 1 have begun to lake in hand:
Then let me think on them, and understand
Wherefore they show'd me were, and let me be
Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee..
(/».) 1 Cor. xv. 1 Thes. iv. Jude 13. John v. 28. 2Tlies. ,. 8. Rev? xx. 11—14. Isa. xxvi. 21. Mic. vii. 16, 17. Psal. 1. 1—3. Mai. iii. 2, 3. Dan. vii. 9. 10. Mat. iii. 12. chap. xxiv. 30. Mai. iv. I. Luke iii. 17. I Thes. iv. 1$, 17 Rom. ii. 14, 15.
By the Interpreter, we are to understand the Holy Ghost, a divine person, equal with the Father and the Son And he is called the Interpreter, because by his inward teaching, the Christian is made experimentally acquainted with the great truths of God. He does not reveal new truths to the believer's mind, but explains and applies those already revealed in the Bible. This work of the Spirit is much reviled in our day, from the pulpit, the press, and the stage: and ail who profess an acquaintance with his gracious influences, are deemed enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the scriptures cannot be broken. It is therein promised to the church in all ages, that the Spirit of Truth shall convince, enlighten, renew, sanctify, seal, and comfort the elect people of God. It is declared, that "no man can call Jeses Lord, but by the "Holy Ghost;" and that "if any man have not the Spirit "of Christ, he is none of his." Our author well knew the necessity and value of the Spirit's work, and therefore represents the Pilgrim as receiving a variety of useful lessons in his house, namely, by the means of grace, and his blessing upon them.
t. The first lesson he learns, is, how to choose a minister. The picture he draws of a good one, is a striking contrast td many of our age and country. "He had eyes lifted up to "heaven:" he was a praying minister, not a swearing one. ** He had the Bible in his hand;" not a play or romance. "The law of truth was on his lips:" he was apt to teach the great truths of the gospel, not merely to read over a flimsy essay on virtue, perhaps purchased ready-made. "The "world was behind his back:" he was not a frequenter of the card table, the ball-room, the play-house, or the tavern. "He "stood as if he pleaded with men ;" not a hasty reader of the service; who, like a school-boy, huddles up his work, because he hates the task. "A crown of glory hung over his head;" for glorious will, the reward of a faithful pastor- be. blessed; be* God, there are some such even now, of various denominations; and may their number be daily increased !—Reader, ]earn hence how to choose a minister for yourself.
2. The dusty parlour never swept, fitly represents the human heart; the depravity of which is never perceived, till the law convinces of sin, and the false peace that reigned there is 'disturbed. Then ** the commandment comes" with proper force, and "the sinner dies," as to all hopes founded on merit, Rom. vii. 9. But it is only the cordial belief of'gospel truth, and the application of the Redeemer's blood, which can either produce solid peace of conscience, or real' holiness of heart.
3. The two lads, Passion and Patience, include the leading characters of all mankind. Most men, like Dives, grasp at all their good things now; while a happy few renouace the 'world, and patiently wait for the blessings of eternity.
4. The fire, secretly supplied, is a beautiful illustration of the manner in which spiritual life is maintained in the soul. It is the wonder of saints, angels, and devils. Every Christian may adopt the poet's words, and say.
Turn aside, a sight t' admire,
I the living wonder am!
See a bush, that burns with fire,
Unconsum'd amidst the flame!
See a stone that hangs in air!
See a spark in oceans dwell!
Kept alive with death so near,
I am—I am out of hell.
5. ** The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the "violent take it by force," Mat. xi. .12. Opposition cannot stop the soul, that is truly in earnest for eternal glory. May God give this holy resolution to every reader!
6. The man confined in the iron cage of despair, was an awful, but instructive sight! A sight which may be too often seen. O professor, remember thy Lord's words, " Watch "and pray," or you may be in the situation described, or even in a worse, with a hardened and insensible heart. There is a certain looseness, levity, and carnality of behaviour, dress, and talk, among modern professors, that makes this caution perculiarly seasonable. But it should be observed, that what the unhappy man thought and said of himself, is no proof that the greatest backslider may not be restored. Such a view as he had of sin, seems to be a mark of grace; and we are sure, that all manner of sin aud blasphemy may be forgiven. Yet God forhid, this encouragement should make any one careless and fearless. Let all take warning, lest the iron cage should be their portion.
7. The last sight Christian was favoured with, was the man terrified with dreaming of judgment. This was intended also as a warning against carnal security. An hahitual remembrance of the certainty of eternal judgment, will have a happy tendency to make us watchful.