Courteous Reader, >
Some time since, to tell you my Dream that 1 had of Christian the Pilgrim, and of his dangerous journey towards the Coelestial Country, was pleasant 'to me, and profitable to you. I told you then also what I saw concerning his wife and children, and how unwilling they were to go with him on pilgrimage; insomuch that he was forced to go on his progress without them; for he durst not run the danger of that destruction, which he feared would come, by staying with them in the city of Destruction.' Wherefore, as I then showed you,1 he left them and departed.
Now it hath so happened, through the multiplicity of business, that 1 have been much hindered and kept back from my wonted travels into those parts where be went, and so could not, till now, obtain an .opportunity to make further inquiry after whom he left behind, that I might give an account of them. But having had some concerns that way of late, I went down again thitherward. Now having taken up my lodgings in a wood, about a mile off the puce, as I slept, I dreamed again.
And as I was in my dream, behold an aged gentleinun dme by where I lay; and because he was to go '*oihe part of the way that I was travelling, niethought I got up and went with him. So as wa walked, and as travaiters usually do, I was as if we fell into a d siourse, and our talk happened to be about Christian, and his travels: for thus I began with the old man.
Sir, said I, what town is that there below, that lieth on the left hand of our way?
Then said Mr. Sagacity, for that was his name, it is the city of Destruction, a populous place, but possessed with a very ill-conditioned and idle sort of people.
I thought that was that city, quoth I: I went once myself through that town; and therefore I know that this report you give of it is true.
Sag. Too true; I wish I could speak truth io speaking better of them that d well therein.
Well Sir, quoth I, then i perceive you to be a well-meaning man, and* so one that ukes pleasure to hear and tell of that which is goo'd: Pray, did you never heur what happened to a man sometime ago in this town (whose name was Chri-tan) that Went on a pilgrimage up towards the higher regions?
Sag. Hear of him! ay, and I also heard of the molestations, troubles, w..rs, captivities, cries, groans, frights, and fears that he met with, and had in his journey; besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him; there are but few houses that hare heard of him and his doings, but have sought after and got the records of his pilgrimage; yea, I think I may say, that this hazardous journey has got many well-wishers to his ways; tor though when be was here, he was a fool in every man's mouth, yet now he is gone, he is highly commended of all. For, 'tis said, he lives bravely where he is; ea, many of them that are resolved never to run is hazards, yet have their mouths water at his gain.
They may, quoth I, well think, if thev think any thing that is true, that he liveth well where he is: for now lie lives at, and in the fountain of life, and has what he has without labour and sorrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith. But pray, what talk have the people about him?
Sag. Talk! the people talk strangely about him: some say, that he now walks in white; that he has a chain of gold about his neck; that he has a crown of gold, beset with pearls, upon his head (a). Others say, that the Shining Ones, that sometimes showed themselves to him and his journey, are become hia companions, and that he is as familiar with them in the place where he is, as here one neighbour is with another. Besides, 'tis confidently affirmed concerning him, that the King of the place where he is, has bestowed upon him already a very rich and pleasant dwelling at Court, and that he every day eateth and drinketh, arid walked) and talketh with him, and receiveth the smiles and favours of him that is judge of all there (6). Moreover, it is expected of some, that this prmce, the Lord of that country, will shortly come into these parts, and will know the reason, if they can give any, why hit neighbours set so little by him, and had him so much in derision, when they perceived that he would he a Pilgrim.
For they say, That now he is so in the affections of his Prince, and that his Sovereign is so much concerned with the indignities that were cast upon Christian, when he became a Pilgrim, that he will look upon all as done to himself; and no marvel, for it was for the love that he had to his Prince that the ventured as he did.
I dare say, quoth I, I am glad on't: I am glad for the poor man's sake, for that now lie has rest from'hi s. labour, and for that he now reaps the benefits of his tears with joy; and for that he has got beyond the gun-shot of his enemies, and is out of the reach of tliem that hate him (c). I also am glad, for that a rumour of these things is noised abroad in this country ; who can tell but that it may work some good effect on some that are left behind? But pray, Sir, while it is fresh in my mind, do you hear any thing of his wife and children? Poor hearts, I wonder in. my mind what they do!
Sag. Who! Christiana and her sons! They ar-e like to do well, as did Christian himself; for though they all played the fool at first, and would by no means be persuaded by either the tears or intreaties of Christian, yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them; so they have plucked up, and are also gone after him.
Better and better, quoth I: but, what! wife and children and all!
Sag. 'Tistruej I can give you an account of the matter, for I was upon the spot at the ins'ant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.
Then said I, a man may report it for a truth.
Sag. You need not fear to affirm it; I mean, that' they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys. And seeing we are, as I perceive, going some considerable way together, 1 will give you an account of the whole matter.
This Christiana (for that was her name) from t!>e day that she with ber children betook themselves to a Pilgrim's life, after her husband was gone over the river', (Part I. p. 189.) and she could hear of' him no more, her thoughts began to work in her mind. First, For that she had lost her husband, and for that the loving bond of that relation was utterly
(c) Rev. xiv. 13. Psalm exxvi. 5, 6,
broken betwixt them. For you know, said he to me, nature can do no less but entertain the living with many a heavy cogitation in the remembrance of the loss of loving relations. This therefore of her husband did cost her many a tear. 'But this was not for Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, Whether her unbecoming behaviour towards her husband, was not one came that she saw him no more; and that in such sort be was taken away from her. And upon this came into her mind t>y swarms, all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly carriage to her dear friend; which also clogged her conscience, and did load her with guilt. She was moreover much broken with calling to remembrance 'the restless groans, the brinish tears, and self-bemoaning of her husband, and how she did htrden her heart against all his intreaties, and loving persuasions (of her and her sons) to go with him; ycji, there was not any thing that Christian either said to her, or did before her, all the while that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart in sunder; especially that bitter out-cry of his, *" What shall I do to be saved r" (Part f. pages I, 2.) did ring in her ears most dolefully.
T hen, she said to her children, Rons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone: he would have had us with him, but I would not go' myself; I also hindered you of life. With that t!:e boys fell into tears, and cried to go alter their father. Oh! said Christiana, that it had been but our lots to go with him, then it had fared well with i:s, beyond what it is like to do now. For though I formerly foolishly imagined concerning the .troubles of your father, that they proceeded of a foolish fancy that he had, or for that he was overrun with melancholy humours; yet now it will not be out of mv mind, but that they sprahu from another cause, to wit, for that the light of life \vas given hivA; by the help of which, as I perceive, he has escaped the snares of death [d). Then they wept all again, and cried out, "On, Wo worth the day !*'
The next night Christiana had a dream: and behold, she saw us if a broad parchment was opened before her, in which were recorded the sum of her ways; and the crimes, as she thought, looked very black upon her. Then she cried out aloud in her sleep, "Lord h ive mercy upon me, a sinner (e);" and the little children heard her.
After this, she thought she saw two very il?favoured ones standing by her bedside, and saying', M What shall we do with this woman? for she cries "out for mercy waking and sleeping; if she be "suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her "as we have lost her hushand. Wherefore we musr^ "by some way, seek to take her off from the thoughts "of what shall be hereafter, else all the world can"uot help but she will become a pilgrim."
Now she awoke in a great sweat, also a trembling was upon her; but after awhile she fell to s/leeping again. And then she thought she saw Christian, her hushand, in the place of bliss, among many immortals, with a harp Id his hand, g anding and playing upon it before One that sat on a throne, with a rainbow about his head. She saw also as if he bowed his head with his face to the paved work that was under his Prince's feet, saving, "I heartily "thank my Lord and King for bringing me into "this place." Then shouted a company of them that stood round about, and harped with their harp*; but no man living could leli what they said but Christian and his companions.
Next morning, when she w,.s up, had prayed to God, and talked with her children awhile, one knocked hard at ti e door; to whom she sp./ke out, saying, "If thou comest in God's name, come in."
(rf) Prov. siv. S7, (r) Luke xviii. 13.
So he said, "Amen.:" and opened the door, arid saluted her with "Peace on tins house." The which, when he had done, he said, Christiana, knowest thou wherefore I am come? Tnen she blushed and trembled, also her heart began to wax warm with desires to know from whence he came, and what his errand was to her. So lie said unto her, Mv name is Secret, I dwell with those that are high. It is talked of where I dwell, as if thou liadst a desire to go thither; also there is a report that thou art aware of the evil thou hast formerly done to thy husband, in hardening of thy heart against his way, and in keeping of these habes in their ignorance. Christiana, the Merciful One has sent me to tell thee, that he is a God ready to forgive, and that he taketh delight to multiply the pardon of offences. He also would have thee to know, that he invitetli thee to come into his presence, to his table, and that he will feed thee with the fat of his house, and with the heritage of Jacob thy father.
There is Christian, that was thy hushand, with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that doth minister life to beholders: and they will all be glad when they shall hear the sound of thy feet step over thy father's threshold.
Christiana at this was gre.itly ahashed in herself, and bowed her head to the ground. This vision proceeded, and saitl, Christiana, here is also a letter for thee, which I have brought from thy husband's King; so she took it and opened it, but it smelt after the manner of the be-.t perfume (f j. Also it was written in letters of gold. The contents of the letter was this; That the King would have her to do as did Christian her bu>hand, fur th .t was the way to come to his city, and to dwell iu his presence with joy for ever. At this the good woman was quite overcome: so she crieJ out to her visiter,
(/) Song i.3.
Sir, will you carry me and my children with you, that we may also go aud worship the King?
Then said the visiter: .Christiana! the hitter is before the sweet. Thou must through troubles, as he did, that went before thee, enter this ccelestial city, wherefore I advise thee to do as did Christianthy husband: go to the Wicket-gate yonder over the plain, for that stands in the head of the way up which thou must go, and I wish thee all good speed. Also I advise thee that thou put this letter in thy bosom; that thou read therein ' to thyself, and to thy chili'ren, until they have got it by heart, for it is one of the songs that thou must sing while thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage (g). Also this thou must deliver in at the farther gate.
Now, I saw in my dream, that this old gentlnian, as he told me this story, did himself seem to be greatly aitVctcd therewith: he moreover proceeded, and said—So Christiana called her sons together, and began to address herself unto them: My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul, about the death of your father; not for that I doubt at all of his happiness, for I am satisfied now that he is well. I have been also much affected with due thoughts of mine own state and yours, which I verily believe is by nature miserable. My carriage also to your father in his distress is a great load on my conscience: for I hardened both my own heart and yours against him, and refused to gcvith him on pilgrimage.
The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but that for a dream which 1 h-ul last mght, and but that for the encouragement t.iat this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children,, let us pack up, and begone to the gate that leads to that ccelestial country, that we may see your father
and be with him and his companions in peace, according to the laws of that land..
Then did her children burst out into tears, for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined: so their visiter bid them farewell: and they began to prepare to set out on their journey.
But while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women that were Christiana's neighbours tame up to her house, and knocked at the dior. To whom she said as before. At this the women were, stunned, for this kind of language they used not to hear or to perceive to drop from thelips of Christiana. Yet they came in : but behold, they found the good woman preparing to be gone from her house.
So they began, and said, Neighbour, pray what is your meaning by tliisf
Christiana auswercd, and said to the eldest of them, wliONe.name was Mrs, Timorous, 1 am preparing for a journey. (This Timorous was daughter to him that met Christian upon the hill of Dubt. culty, and would have had him gone hack for tear ofthe lions).-—See Part I. p. 46.
Tim. For what journey, I pray you? Chrift. Even to go after my old hushand; and with that she fell a weeping.
Tim. I hope not so, good neighbour; pray, for. your poor children's sake, do not so unworn inly cast away yourself.
-Chrift. Nay, my children shall go with me, not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Tim. I wonder in my heart, what or who has brought you into this mind.
Chrift. Oh, neighbour, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would gd along with me.
Tim. Prithee, what new knowledge hast thou got, that so worketh off thy mind from thy friends, and that tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?
Chrift. Then Christiana replied, I have breu sorely afflicted since my hushand's departure from me'; but especially since he went over the river. But
that which troubleth me most, is my churlish carriage to him when he was tmder his distress. Besides, I am now, as he was then; nothing will serve me but going on pilgrimage. I was dreaming l.istniirlit that I saw him. O that oiv soul was with him! Me dwelled) in the presence of the King of the country.; he sits and eats with him at his table; he is become a companion of immortals, and has a house novr given him to dwell in, to which the best pal.ices on earth, if compared, seem to me but as a dunghill (h). 'J he Prince of the pa'ace has also sent for me, with promises of entertainment, if I shall come to him; his messenger was here even now, and brought me a letter, which invites me to come. And with that she plucked out her letter and read it, and said to them, What now will you say to this?
Tim. Oh! the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband ! to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even, in a manner, at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbour Obstinate can yet testify, for he went along with him; yea, and Pliable too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any further. (See Part I. p. 6—10. ) We also heard, over and'above, how he met with lions, Apollyon, and the Shadow of Death, aud many other tliing-s. Nor is the danger that he met .' with at Vanity Fair to be forgotten by thee; for if he, though a man, was so hard put to it, what canst thou, being hut a poor woman, do? Consider also, that these four sweet babes are thy children, thy flesh,- and thy bones. Therefore, though thou shouldest be so rash as to cast away thyself; yet for the sake of the fruit of thy body, keep thou at home.
But Christiana said unto her, Tempt me not, my neighbour; I have now a prize put into my hand, to get gain, and I should be a fool of the greatest sort, if I should have no heart to strike in with the
(A) 2 Cor': T. 1—I
opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that I am like to meet with in the way, they are so far from being to me a discouragement, that they show I am in the right. Tue hitter must come before the sweet, and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore since you came not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you be gone, and do not disquiet me farther.
Then Timorous also reviled her, and said to her fellow, Come, neighbour Mercy, let's leave her in her own hands; she scorns our counsel and company. But Mercy was at a stand, and could not so readily comply with her neighbour, and that for a two-fold reason: 1st. Her bowels yearned over Christiana. So she said within herself, if my neighbour will be gone, I will go a little way with her, and help her. 9dly, Her bowels yearned over her own soul (for what Christiana had said, had taken some hold upon her mind). Wherefore she said within herself again, I will yet have more talk with this Christiana, and if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart fhall also go with her. Wherefore Mercy began thus to reply to her neighbour Timorous.
Mercy. Neighbour, I did indeed come with you to see Christiana this morning 5 and since she is, as vou See, a taking her last farewell of the country, I think to walk this sun-shiny morning a Lttle with her, to help her on that way. But she told her not of the second reason, but kept it to herself.
Tim. Well, I see you have a mind to go a fooling too; but tike heed in time and he wise: while we are out danger, we aie out; but when we are in, we are in. So Mrs. Timorous returned to her house, and Christian;! betook herself to her journey. But when Timorous was got home to her house, she sends (or some of her neigl hours, to wit, Mrs. B.it's-E\fS, Mrs. Inconsiderate, Mrs. Light-mind, and Mrs. Know-nothing. S> when they were come to her house, she falls to .tellmg of ihe story of Christiana, and of her imended journey. And thus »he began her tale:
Tim. Neighbours, having but little to do this morning, I went to give Christiana a visit; and v hen 1 came at the door, I knocked, as you know it is our custom : and she answered, "If you come in God's name, come in." So in I went, thinking all was well; but when I came in, I found her preparing her.^elf to depart the town, she, and also her children. So I asked her what was her meaning by tint? And she told me in short, That she was now of a mind to go on pilgrimage, as did her husband. - She told me also a dream that she had, and how the King of the country, where her husband was, had sent her an inviting letter to come thither.
Then said Mrs. Know-nothing. And what do you think she will go?
Tim. Ay, go she will, whatever comes on't: and mcthiuks I know it by this ; for that which was my great argument to persuade her to stay at home (to wit, the troubles she was like to meet with in the way) is one great argument with her, to put her forward on her journey. For she told me in so many Avoids, The hitter goes before the sweet: yea, and forasmuch as it doth, it makes the sweet the sweeter.
Mrs. BaCs-Eyes. Oh, this blind and foolish woman, paid she; and will she not take warning by her husband's hflhciions? For my part, I see, if he were here again, he would rest him content in a whole skin, and never run so many hazards for nothing.
Mrs. Inconsiderate also replied, saying, Away with such fantastical fools from the town ; a good rid, dance, for my part, I say, of her; shouta she stay where she dwells, and retain this mind, who could live quietly by her? for she will either be dumpish or unneighbourly, to talk of such matters as no wise body can ahide; wherefore, for my part, I shall never be sorry tor her departure; let her go, and let better come in her room; it was never a good world since these whimsical fools dwelt in it.
Then Mrs. Light-mind added as follovveth: Come, put this kind of talk away. I was yes erday at Madam Wanton's, where we were as merry as the maids. (See Part I. p. 80.) Fur who do you think should be there but 1, and Mrs. Love-the-rlesh, and three or four more, with Mrs. Lechery, Mis. Filth, and some others: so there we had music, and dancing, and what else was meet to fill up the pleasure And 1 d.jre say, my lady herself is an admirable well-bred gentlewoman, and Mr. Lechery is as prttty a fellow.
By this time Christiana was gat on her way, and Mercy went along with her: so as they went, her children being then*, also, Christiana began to uiscour»e : And Mercy, said Christiana, I take this us an unexpected favour, that thou shouldest set foot out of doors with me, to acco.npany me a 1 tt.e m my way.
Mercy. Then said young Mercy, (for she was but young), If I thought it would be to purpo.e to £0 with you, I would never go near the town.
Chrift. Well, Mercy, said Christiana, cast in thy lot with me, I well know^what will be the end of our pilgrimage ; my husband is where he would not but be for all the gold in the Spanish mines. Nor shalt thou be rejected, though thou goest but upon my invitation. The King, who hath sent for me and chiidien, is one that delightcth in mercy. Besides, if thou wilt, I will hire thee, and thon s lalt go along with me as my servant. Yet we will have ,I1 things in common betwixt thee and me, only g*» along with me.
Mercy. But how shall I be ascertained .that I also should be entertained? Had ! this hope from one that can tell, I would make no stick at ail, but would go, being helped by him that cim help, though the way was never so tedious.
Chrifl. Well, loviug Mercy, I will tell thee what thou shalt do; go w ith me to the Wicket-gate, and there I wiil further inquire for thee; and if there thou shalt not meet with encouragement; I will be content that thou return to thy place; I aLo will pay thee for t'ly k mhu-ss which thou showest to me and my c ildren, in the accompanying of us in our way as thou dost.
Mercy. 1 hen will I go thither, and wili take what shall follow; aud the Lord grant that my lot u ay the:e fall, even as the King of Heaven shall have his hea t upon me.
Christiana was then glad at her heart, not only that she had a companion, but also for that she had prevailed with this poor maid to fall in love with her own salvation. So they went on together, and Mercy began to weep. Then said Christiana, Wherefore veepeth my sister so?
Meriy. Alas! said she, who can but 1 ment, that shall but rightly consider, what astaU' and condition my poor relation, are in, that yet remain \» our sinful town : and that which makes my grief the more, is because they have no instruction, nor any to tell 'them what is to come.
Chriji. Bowels become pilgrims: and thou dost for thy friends, as my good Chris ian did for me \\ hen he left me; he mourned for that I would not lieed nor regard him, but his Lord and ours did gather up his tears, and put them into his bottle, and now both I and thou, and these my sweet babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope» Mercy, that these tears of thine will not be lost; for the truth hath said, "That they that sow in tears, shall reap in joy and singing. And he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, hill doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring, rig his sheaves with him," Psalm rxxvi. 5, 6.
Then said Mercy;
*» Let the most Blessed be my guide,
If't be his b'essed will,
Unto his gite, into his fold,
Up to ais holy hill:
And never let him seller me '.
To swerve, or turn aside,
Finm h.s free grace, and holy ways,
VVliate'er shall me betide.
A nl Vt hiiu gather them of mine,
That I li ivt left behmd;
Lord, make I hem pray they may be thine,
With all their bean and mind.
THOUGH the second part of the Pilgrim's Progress will not strike the reader with the novelty ol the first, because the same scenes are repeated; yet they are presented with such agTeeable variations, as make it an equal source of profit and delight. The author explains, in this part, what was left more dark in the first, as he tells us in his Preface, On this accouut the Explanatory Notes will be brief on those parts a'ready noticed, while the newer matter will be more largely impioved. The second part is peculiarly adapted to d reel and encourage female christians, and young ptrsons; aud it is hoped will be particularly attended to by such. It is, perhaps, needless to remark, that no reasonable doubt can be entertained as to the air lunticity of this work: Mr. Bunyau cannot be imtiated; and the sweet simplicity that characterises the firs; part, is equall) obvious in the second.
JT is no .wonder that (he opinions of the world concerning real christian should be strange and various since even "the great things of God's law" are ai counted " si range," by the carnal mind Y*l it is observable, that those who could not speak a good word of Christian iii his life-tuhe, commended him greatly when d ad. This is a common case, and fulfils that scripture, "The memory of the just is blessed." All men wish to go to h-aven, and they are sure that the godly do: " their minds therefore wa'er at a pi'pirn's gains, while they are resolved never to run a pilgrim's hazards."
"O let me die his deatli !"— all nature ciies:
"Then li»e his life."'—All nature falters llieie.
However, this may help to encourage u-: under the weight . of reproach. Li t every saint commit his chaiacter, as well as his soul, to Chust; the latter he will safely k. ep, the former he will fully vinU.caie. lie has now a wtness lor his
people in every man's conscience; and he will one day nckon with ungodly sinners, for ** all their hard speeches," which they have uttered against them," Jude 13.
The first serious thoughts which impressed the mind of Christiana, commenced at her husband's death. Nature felt 4 be heavy less, ar.d sovereign grace improved the feelings of nature. Happy is that death which brings the believer to heaven, and the surviving relative to Christ;—which opens the gate of glory to one, and the door of conversion to theother! Then ali her unkind treatment of Christian, on account ol religion, rushed into her memory, and stung her with the keenest remorse. '* Mark this, you who are churlish to godly relations:" should you survive them, every hitter word, and every ungenerous action, will prove a dagger to yc ur breast, and you will be ready to think yourself their murderer. Happy for her, she recollected also, the deep concern her husband felt for his soul, and especially his hitter outcry, "What shall I do to be saved!" This concern, which she once despised, became her own; and she was convinced, that what she then thought madness and folly, was the perfection of human wi- dom. Let this be a spur to the diligence of profe-sors, to pray and labour hard for the conversion of their relations. The seed they sow in tears, ansl prayers, and entreaties, may be buried long in the dust, and never shoot a blade while they live: but " who can tell ?"— It may spring up when they are in glory, and angels may bring them the welcome news!
The trouble of Christiana's mind could not be concealed; she soon iommunicated it to her children. Every serious wvher will ^eek the spiritual good of her offspring, and (-specially of the fatherless: or, when the father, like Gallic, "cares for none of these things." No wonder, that in tikis afflicted state, her very dreams should be religious. "M«tcv" was her cry, sleeping and waking. But "mat k (sa\s the margin), mark the quintessence of hell "the devils (as she dreamed) consulted how to divert her thoughts from eternal things; " or," said they, " we shall lose her for ever, and all the world cannot hinder her from becoming a pilgrim." How many study to do the devil's work, in stilling the convictions of serious minds! but, Messed be God, neither devils nor men shall succeed, but invincible grace shall prevail! Christiana *:ts favoured with an help against her discouragements—she dreamed that she saw Iter husband happy with immortals, shouting the praise of his Prince. A word of caution may be proper here. Dreims are sometimes of use, to warn and encourage a christian, aad seem to be really from God ; but great caution is necessary, lest they mislead us, as they often do weak and enthusiastic persons ; and they should never be depended ou, as the ground of our hope, or the test pf our state, The word of God is the christian's guide; and those who duly prize it, will be jealous of putting any thing in its place.
Soon was the conversion of Christiana publicly known, by her speech and behaviour, which occasioned the reproach of her neighbours. Rut the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him (Psalm xxv. 14.); and the hope of pardon, and acceptance with God, prevailed against all opposition. In vain are the objections urged by Mrs. Timorous. To a soul born of God, heaven is worth every thing, and every thing will be ventured for it. The invitation of Christ in the gospel, intimated by the letter brought by Secret, was a stronger inducement for her going, than all the world could propose for her staying at home. The secret influence of God on the mind, will powerfully persuade a man to leave all for Christ. She admitted that danger must be expected, and this was one argument with her to go, for '' the bitter must come before the sweet."' Excellent maxim indeed! Let every chrstiau pilgrim adopt it, and fet it be an answer to fleshly reasonings, whentver they would impede our progress to heaven.
We have now another, and a very amiable character introduced. Mercy, a neighbour of a sweet natural disposition, was inclined to accompany Christiana a little way; partly through affection to her, and partly through concern for her own soul. It was grace alone that made the difference between her and Mrs. Timorous, for both had listened to Christiana's sory. Thus it is under the preached word; one is taken, another left. While the wretehed crew of carnal females
sweetly working on the mind of this young disciple, and accompanying the heavenly eloquence of Christiana with divine power. O for more of this persuasion, that, like her, we might travail in birth for the conversion of souls? This is the true love of our neighbour; this is fulfilling the royal law. And O how happy are they, who arc instrumental in causing any to "fall in love with their own salvation '."
Poor Mercy, not being called in the remarkable manner of some others, was tempted to doubt whether she was called at all. The author's judgment appears iu this circumstance; he well knew that many oi' his readers, finding nothing in their own experience so striking as in that of Christian and his wife, would suspect the reality of their call. This is fcquently the case with persons of a moral character, and mild disposition, especially if they have had a religious education.
were profanely ridiculi
pilgrims, the Lord was
But Mercy clearly discovered a work of grace on her heart. She was anxious about her acceptance at last—she began to p.av—she threw herself on the mere mercv of Christ's heart, and proved "the bowels of a pilgrim." by lamenting the tad iondition of ber carnal relations. Happy are those, who have these marks of a christian, though they cannot ascertai» the particular time or mean of their conversion.