Bii'ghA and! dl»y; wherefore i.fc w*s beyond the Vittfey of the SSjadtev* off D.atb, ami also o»aft of the tcaeS* of Gtaai* Despair; neither co»t'd they horn. this: place so' mush as: see Doubttng-Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were groing to; also here met them some of the inhahitants: thereof: for in this laud the Shining Ones (Angels) commonly walked, because it was upon the borders, of heaven. In this land also the contract betwcea the bride and the bridegroom was renewed: yea, here, " as tiie bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them (c)." Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met abundance of what they had .sought 'for in all their pilgrimage (d). Here they heard voices from out of the city, loud voices, saying, "Say ye to the daughter of Si on, Behold thy salvation cometh! Behold his reward is with him (e)." Here all the inhabitants of the country called them,
"The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord, 'Sought out, &c.(/)."
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound ; and drawing nearer to the city yet, they had a more perfect view thereof: It was built of pearls and precious stones, alsothe streets thereof were paved with gold ; so that by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflt ction of the sun-beams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of fhe sams disease; wherefore here they lay by it awhile, crying out because of their pangs, " If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love.
But being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way,. and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened into the highway. Nor as they came up, to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way, to wham the pilgrims said, Whose goodly vineyards and gardens are these r He answered, 7'hey are the King's, and are planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims. So the gardener had them into the vineyards, and hid them refiesh themselves with dainties; he also showed them there the King's walks and arbours, where he delighted to be: and here they tarried and slept (g).
Now I.beheld in my dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this time, than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou at the matter? It is the nature of the frint of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed
(J) I&a. lxii. 12. (g) Deut. xxiii. S4.
themselves to go up to the city: but as T said, the reflections of the sun upon the city (for the city was pure gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose (A). So I saw that as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold, also their faces shone as the light.
These men asked the pilgrims whence they came? and they told them. They also asked them, where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures they had met with in the way? And they told them. Then said the men that met them, You have but two difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the city.
Christian then and his companion asked the men to go along with them, so they told them that ihey would: But, said they, you must obtain it by your own faith. So I saw in my dream, that they went on together 'till they came within si;jlit of the i^ate.
Now I farther saw, that^ betwixt them and the gate was a river, but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the sight therefore of this river, the pilgrims were much stunned, but the men that were with them, said, You must ^o through, or you cannot come at the gate.
The pilgrims then began to inquire, if there was no other way to the gate; to wind) they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enocii and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the foundation of the world, nor shall until the last trumpet shall sound (i). The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that, but no way could ba found by them, by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men, if the waters were all of a depth ? I hey said, No; yet they could not
(A) Rev. xxi. 18. 2 Cor. iii. 1 8. (i) 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52.
help them in that case: for, said they, you shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place.
They then addressed themselves to the Water, and entering, Christian began to sink; and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, " 1 sink in deep waters; the hillows go over tuy head; all the wares go over me. Selab."
Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother, I feel the bottom, and it is good. Then said Christian, Ah, my friend! the sorrow of death huthv compassed mc about, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great <tarkr!ess and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also here he in a great measure lost iais sense?, so n'h.it he can Id neither re-' nsaialunr uar «rc.!ciiy talk of any of these Street re-' firwiitReBitsi tfctt be had mx& wirEs in the watt- of hi* pu\£H triage.. Bui all: t&e words tisat fee: spate still tehtiied, to discover, tint lie bad horror of tuindi ^tndi heart-fears that be s&oold die m that river, and' ■cverabtim eatrau.ee in at the gate. Here aWT as they that stood: by perceived,, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he bad committed, both since and before he began, to be a. pilgrim. 'Twa& also observed, that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins, and evil spirits; for ever and anon he would intimate so much by words-. Hopeful therefore here had much ado to keep his brother's head above water; yea, sometimes he would be quite gone down, and then ere a while lie would rise up again half dead. Hopeful did also* endeavour to comfort him, saying, Brother, I see' the gate, and men standing by to receive us; butChristian would answer, 'lis you, 'tis you they wait far; you have been hopeful ever since I knew .you. And so have you, said he to Christian. Ah, brother! said he, surely if I was right, he would now' rise to help me, but for my sins he hath brought me into the snare, and left me. Then said Hopeful, My
brother, you have quite forgot the text, where it is said of the wicked, "There are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm: they are not troubled as other men, neither are they plagued like other men (/:)." These troubles and distresses thajfc you go through in these waters, are no sign that God hath forsaken you, but are sent to try you, whether you w ill call to mind thaf which heretofore
ou have received of his goodness, and live upon
im in your distresses.
Then I saw in my dream, That Christian xns in a muse awhile. To whom also Hopeful added these words, Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: And with that Christian brake out with a loud voice, Oh, I see him again! and he tells me, "When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee ; and when through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee (/).". Then they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as still as a stone, until they were gone over. Christian therefore presently found ground to stand upon: and so it followed, that the rest of the river wus but shallow; but thus they got over. Now upon the hank of the river on the other side, they saw the two shining men again, who there waited for them: Wherefore being come out of the river, they saluted them,' saying, " We are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those that shall be-neirs of salvation." Thus they went along towards the gate. Now you must note, that the city stood upon a mighty hill, but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two men to lead them up by the arms; they had likewise left their mortal garments behind them in the river; for though they went in with them, tney c*me out without them. They therefore went up herewith much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which the city was
framed, was higher than the clouds; they therefore went up through the region of the air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted, because they safely got over the river, and had such glorious company to attend to them.
The talk that they had with the shining Ones, was about the glory of the place, who told them that the beauty and glory of it was inexpressible. There, said they, is "Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect (??/)." You are going now, said they, to the paradise of God, wherein you shall see " The Tree of Life," and eat of the never-fading fruits thereof: and when you come there, you snail have white robes given you, and your walk and talk shall he every day with the King, even ail the days cf eternity (n). There you, shall not see again such things as you saw when you were in the lower region upon the earth; to wit, sorrow, sickness, affliction, and death, " for the former things are passed away (o)." You are now going to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to the prophets; men that God hath taken away from the evil to come, and that are now resting upon their beds, each one walking in his righteousness. The men then asked, Wtiat muit we do in the holy place r To whom it was answered, You must there receive the comforts of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow ; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your prayers, and tears, and sufferings for the King by the way. In that place you must wear crowns of gold, and enjoy the perpetual sight and vision of the Holy ONE, "for there you shall see Him as he is (/i)." There also yen shall serve him continually with praise, with shouting and
(m) Heb. xii. . 22, 23, 24. (m) fiev. ii. 7. and iii 4.
Bev. xxit. 5. (o) Ita. xxxiii. 24. Kev. xxi. 4. (p) fJohn iii. 2.
thanksgiving, whom you desired to serve in the world, plough with much difficulty, because of the infirmity "'of your flesh. There your eyes shall be delighted with seeing, and your ears with hearing the pleasant voice of the Mighty . ONE. There you shall enjoy your friends again, that are gone thither before you; and there you shall with joy receive even every ons that follows into the holy places after you. There also you shall be clothed with glory and majesty, and put into an equipage fit to ride out with the King of Glory. When he shall come with sound of trumpet in the clouds, as upon the wings of the wind, you shall come with him: and when he shall sit upon the throne of judgment, you shall sit by him; yea, and when he shall pass sentence upon all the workers of iniquity, let them be angels or men, you also shall .have a voice in that judgment, because they were his and your enemies. Also when he shall again return to the city, you shall go too with sound of trumpet, and be ever with him (y).
Now while they were thus drawing towards the gate, behold a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them ; to whom it was said by the other two shining One*, These are the men that have loved our Lord, when they were in the world, and that have forsaken ail, for his holy name, and he hath sent us to letch them; and we have brought them thus far on their desired journey, that they may go in and look their Redeemer in the face with joy. Then the heavenly hosts gave a great shout, saying, ** Blessed are they triat are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb (/')." There came out also at this time to meet them, several of the King's trumpeters, clothed in white and shining raiment, who, with melodious noises, and loud,
I turned my bead to look hack, and saw Ignorance coming up to the river side: but lie soon got over, and that without half the difficulty which the oiher two men met with. For it happened that there was then in that place one Vain-Hope a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over; so he, as the f ther, I saw, did ascend the hill, to come up to the gate, only he came alone; neither did anv man meet him with the Ie..st encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked up to the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him: but be was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, Whence come you? and what would you have? He answered, I have eat and drank in the presence of the King, *nd he h;:s taught in our strtets. Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King; so he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, Have you none? But the man answered never a word. So they told the King, but be would not come down to see him, but commanded the two Shining Ones that conducted Christian and Hopeful to the city, ts go out and take Ignorance, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw on the side of the hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to Hell, even from the gates of Heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction.
So I awoke, and behold it was a dream.
THE reader will >u'-ely exclaim, on the conclusion of this chapter, .' Let me d e the death of the righteous, and lei iny lait end be like Til- !' O how different is the death of Igno
these pilgrims are come from the city of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the King of this place; and then the pilgrims gave in unto them, each man his certificate, \vhich they had received in the beginning; those therefore were carried into the King, who, when he had read them, said, Where are the men? To whom it was answered, They are standing without the gate, The King then commanded to open the gate, " That ,the righteous nation (said he) that keepeth the truth may enter in (/)."
Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; audio, as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There was also that met them, with harps and crowns, and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the city rang again for joy; and that jt was said unto them, "Enter ye into the jov of our Lord." I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice$ saying, " Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever («)."
Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold the city . shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in tlieiM walked many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.
There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one a"Other without intermission, paving, '. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord." And afer tha', they shut up the gates; which when I lud seen, I wished myself among them.
Now while I was .gazitig upon all these things,
(/) Isa. xxvi. 1. (',) Rev. r. 13.
fmset, ami show gieat wrath, because he knoweth that his lime is short. Christian, in a great measure, lost his senses; the violer.ee of bodily disease frequently hinders the exercise of thAse graces which are evident* at other limes. He could hot recollect life .former deliverances and refreshments; aud, what was worse* than all— troublesome thoughts of his sins, htitli before ami after conversion, assaulted him. O let us take care not to p'art thorns in our dying pillows, but t'i maintain a conscience void of offence, both towards God and man. At length, the cloud was di persed, and light broke forth again. The word and promise of God was applied to his mind, and mixed with faith. Nothing but the word of God can support the soul in a dying hcur. Nothing but preiious faith can disarm the monster, and bcljevcr to say, "O death, where .is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
We have great reason to believe, from the scriptures, and especially from the case of Lazarus, that those benevoleat spirits, who minister to the saints through life, conduct the separated soul to glory. And if they rejoice when a sinner is translated from Satan's Kingdom, how much tht * exult when the saint is transplanted to heaven!—liut. we must now take leave of our pilgrims, and can only congratulate them on their safe arrival in g'ory. It doth not yet appear what we shall be, for a veil is thrown over tjie glories of the upper world, A city of gold—gates of pearl—glittering robes— splendid jewels—concerts of music—diadems of beauty— crowns of glory—and palms of victory, afford but comparatively mean idea*, of what God hath prepared for them that love him. '! he best, and the most that ian be known of it here below, is when we enjoy by faith sweet communion with Christ ;—when happy in his love, and glorying in his cross, we look down with indifference and contempt on the p-rinteW beauties of this world;—when mines of gold, sceptres and crowns, are empty bubbles; and we pity their deluded owners, w ho know nbtGocL \\ ith this experience we must remain content, till our appointed hour arrives, when Jt-sirs shall say, '"Come up hither"—and " enter into the joy of your Lord."
Cease, ye pilgrims, cease to mourn:
Press onward to the ptize;
Soon 'twill be your happy turn
I o mount tbe upper skie<i:
Yet a season, and you know,
llappv entrar.ee will be given;
A!: vour sorrows left below,
And earth exchang'd for heaven.