Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of the Hill Difficulty (see Part I. p. 45.), where again their good friend Mr. Great-heart took an occasmn to tell them what happened there when Christian himself went by. So he had them first to the spring: Lo, said he, this is the spring that Christian drank of before he went up this hill; and then it w:is clear and good, but now it is dirty with the feet of some that are not desirous that pilgrims here should quench their thirst. Thereat Mercy said, a,id why so envious now? But, said the guide, it will do, if taken up and put into a vessel that is sweet and ^i od; tor then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear. Tnus, therefore, Christiana and her companion were compelled to do. They took it-up, and put it into an earthen pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom, and then thry drank thereof.
Next he showed them the two by-ways that were at the loot of the hill, 'where Formality and Hypo\ crisy lost themselves: And, said he, tuese are danS gerous paths: two were here cast away when Christian came by. And although you see these ways are since stopped up with chains, posts, and a ditch, yet there are them that choose to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this hill.
Chrijl. The way of transgressors is hard [a). It is a wonder that they can get into those ways without danger of breaking their necks.
Great-heart. They will venture; yea, if at any time any of the King's servants do happen to see them, and do call upon them, and tell them that they are in the wrong way, and do hid them beware of the danger: tlien they will railingly return them answer, and say, " As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the King, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our mouths," &c. (b). Nay, if you look a little farther, you shall see that these ways are made cautionary enough, not only by these posts, and ditch, and chain, but also by being hedged up, yet they will choose to go there.
Chrijl. They are idle; they love not to take pains; up-hill way is unpleasant to them. So it is fulfilled unto them as it was written, "The way of the slothful man is an hedge of thorns ;" yea, they will rather choose to walk upon a snare, than to go up this hill, and the rest of this way to the city.
Then they set forward, and began to go up the hill, and up the hill they went; but before they got up to the top, Christiana began to pant, and said, I dare say, this is a breathmg hill; no marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls, choose to themselves a smoother way. Then said Mercy, I must sit down; also the least of the children began to cry: Come, come, said Great-heart, sit not down here, for a little above is the Prince's arbour. Then he took the little boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.
When they were come to the arbour (see Part I. page 46), they were very willing to sit do-vn, for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said Mercy, How sweet is rest to them that labour (c)! And
(a) Prov. xiii. 15. (A) Jer. xliv. 16, 17. (c) Matt. xi. (28. how good in the Prince of Pilgrims to provide such resting places for them! Of this harbour I have heard much; but I never saw it before But here let us beware of sleeping; for, as I have heard, for that it cost poor Christian dear..
Then said Mr. Great-heart to the little ones, Come, my pretty boys, how do you do? What think you now of going on pilgrimage? Sir, said the least, I was almost beat out of heart; but I thank you for lending me a hand at my need. And I remember now what my mother hath told me, namely, That the way to heaven is as a ladder, and the way to hell is as down a hill. But I had rather go up the ladder to life, than down the hill to death.
Then said Mercy, But the proverb is, to go down the hill is easy; but James said (for that was his name), the day is coming, when, in my opinion, going down the hill will be the hardest of all. That's a good boy, said his Master, thou hast given her a right answer. Then Mercy smiled, but the little boy did blush.
Christ. Come, said Christiana, will you eat a hit, to sweeten your mouths while you sit here to rest 3 our legs? for I have here a piece of pomegranate, which Mr. Interpreter put-into my hand, just when I came out of his doors j be gave me also a piece of an honey-comb, and a little bottle of spirits. I thought he gaveyou something, said Mercy, because he called you aside. Yes, so he did, said the other: but, said Christiana, it shall be still as I said it should, when at first we came from home; thou shalt be a sharer in all the good that I have, because thou so willingly didst become my companion. Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both Mercy and the boys. And said Christiana to Mr. Great-heart, Sir, will ye do as we? But he answered, You are going on pilgrimage, and presently I shall return: much good may what you have do to you. At home I eat the same every day. Now when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted
little longer, their guide said to them, the day wears away, if you think good, let us prepare to be going. So they got up to go, and the little boys went before; but Christiana forgot to take her bottle of spirits with her; so she. sent her little boy back to fetch it. Then said Mercy, I think this is a losing place. Here Christian lost his roll; and here Christiana left her bottle behind her: Sir, what is the cause of this ? So their guide made answer, and said, The cause is sleep, or forgetfulness; some sleep when they should keep awake; Mid some forget when they should 'remember; and this is the very cause, why often, at the resting places, some pilgrims, in some things, come off iosers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyments; but for want of doing so, oftentimes their rejoicing ends in tears, and their sun-shine in a cloud; witness the story of Christian at this place. —See Part I. p. 47, &c
When they were come to the place where Mistrust and' Timorous met Chrirtian, to persuade him to go back, for fear of the lions, they perceived as it were a stage, and before it, towards the road, a broad plate, with a copy of verses written thereon, and, underneath, the reason of raising up of that stage in that place rendered : The verses were these:
Let him that sees this stage take heed
Unto his heart and tongue;
Lest if he do not, here he speed
As soipe have long agone.
The words underneath the verses were: " This stage was built to punish such upon, who, through timorousness or mistrust, shall be afraid to go farther on pilgrimage: also on this stage, both Mistrust and Timorous were burnt through the tongue with a hot iron, for endeavouring to hinder Christian on his journey."
Then said Mercy, This is much like to the saying of the Beloved, "What shall be given utto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper (d)."
So they went on till they came within sight of the lions. (See Part I. p. 50.) Now Mr. Greatheart was a strong man, so he was not afraid of a lion : but yet, when they were come up to the place where the lions were, the boys that went before were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions, so they stept back, and went behind. At this, the guide smiled, and said: How now, my boys, do you love to go before when no danger doth approach, and love to come behind as soon as the lions appear?
Now as they went on, Mr. Great-heart drew his sword, with intent to make a way for the pilgrims in spite of the lions. Then there appeared one that, it seems, had taken upon him to back the lions: and he said to the pilgrims' guide, What is the cause of your coming hither? Now the name of that man was Grim, or Bloody-man, because of his slaying of pilgrims, and he was of the race of the giants.
Great-heart. Then said the pilgrims' guide, These women and children are going on pilgrimage, and this is the way they must go; and go it they shall, in spite of thee and the lions.
Grim. This is not their way, neither shall they go therein. I am come forth to withstand them, and to that end will back the lions.
Now, to say the truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and of the grim carriage of him that did back them, this way had of late lain much unoccupied, and was almost all grown over with grass.
Christ. Tnen said Christiana, though the highways have been unoccupied heretofore, and though the travellers have heen made, in times past, to walk through by-paths, it must not be so now I am risen—"Now I am risen a mother in Israel (e)."
Grim. Then he swore by the lions, but it should; and therefore hid them turn aside, for they should not have passage there.
But Great-heart, their guide, made his first approach unto Grim, and laid so heavily at him with his sword, that he forced him to retreat.
Grim. Then, said he, (that attempted to back the lions) Will you slay me upon my own ground?
Great-heart. It is the King's highway that we are in, and in this way it is that thou hast placed the lions; but these women, and these children, though weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy lions. And with that he gave him again a downright blow, and brought him upon his knees. With this blow he also broke his helmet, and with the next cut off an arm. Then did the giant roar so hideously, that his voice frightened the women, and yet they . were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground. Now the lions were chained, and so of themselves could do nothing. Wherefore, when old Grim, that intended to back them, was dead, Mr. Great-heart said to ihe pilgrims, Come now, and follow me, and no hurt shall happen to you from tho lions. They therefore went on, but the women trembled as they passed by them ; tbe boys also looked as if they would die, but they all got by without further hurt.'
Now when they were within sight of the porter's lodge, they soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because it is dangerous travelling there in the night. So when they were come to. the gate, the guide knocked, and the porter cryed, Who is there? But as soon as the
(«; Judg, v, 6, 7.
$?n:de had said, It is I, he knew his voice, and came down (for the guide had oft before that come thither *^ u conductor of pilgrims): when he was come down, he opened the gate, and seeing the guide standing just before it (for he saw not the women, for thev were behind him), he said unto him, How now, Mr. Great-heart, what is your business here so late at night? I have brought, said he, some pilgrims hither, where, by my Lord's commandment, they must lodge: I had been here some time ago, h:id I not been opposed by the giant that did use to back the lions; but I, after .a long and tedious combat with him, have cut him off, and have brought the pilgrims hither i« safety.
Porter. Will you not go in and stay till morning?
Great'hearl. No, I will return to my Lord to-night?
Christ. Oh, Sir, 1 know not how to be willing you should leave us in our pilgrimage, you have been so faithful and so loving to us; you have fought s-o ('toutly for us, you have been so hearty in counselling of us; that I shall never forget your favour towards us.
Mercy. Then said Mercy, O that we might have thy company to our journey's end! How can such poor women as we hold out in a way so full of troubles as this way is, without a friend and defender?
James. Then said James, the youngest of the boys, Pray, Sir, be persuaded to go with us, and help us, because we are so weak, and the way so dangerous as it is. .
Great-heart. I am at my Lord's commandment: if be shall allot me to be your guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you; but here your failed at first; for when he hid me come thus far with you, then you should have begged me of him to have gone quite through with you, and he would have granted your request. However, at present, I must withdraw, and so good Christiana, Mercy, and my brave children, adieu.
Then the porter, Mr. Watchful, asked Christiana of her country, and of her kindred, and she said, I come from the city of Destruction; I am a widow woman, and my hushand is dead, his name was Christian the pilgrim. How! said the porter, wis he your hushand? Yes, said she, and these are his children; and this, pointing to Mercy, is one of my town's-women. Then the porter rang his bell, as at such times he is wont, and there cams to the door one of the damsels, whose name was Humblemind. And to her the porter said, Go tell it within, That Christiana, the wife of Christian, and her children, are come hither on pilgrimage. She went in therefore and told it. But, oh, what noise for gladness was there, when the damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth!
So they came with haste to the porter, for Christiana stood still at the door. Then some of the most grave said unto her, "Coma in, Cnristian.i, come in, thou wife of that good man; come in, thou blessed woman; come in with all that are with thee." So she went in, and they followed her that were her children and her companions. Now, when they were gone in, they were had into a very large room, where they were bidden to sit down: So they sat down, and the chief of the house was called to see and welcome the guests. Then they came in, and understanding who they were, did salute each oilier with a kiss, and siid, Welcome, ye vessels of the grace of God ; welcome to us your faithful friends.
Now, because it was somewhat late, and because the pilgrims were weary wi.h their journey, and also made faint with the sight, of the light, and of the terrible lions, therefore they desired, as soon as might be, to prepa' o to go to rest. Nay, said those of the family, refresh yourselves with a morsel of niejt: for they had prepared for them a lamb, with t o accustomed sauce belonging thereto (/); for the porter had beard before of their coming, and had told it to them within; So when they had supped, and ended their prayer with a psalm, they desired they might go to rent. But let us, said Christiana, if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that 'chamber that was my husband's, when he was here: (See I'art I. p. 58.) So they had them up thither, and they lay all in jMOom. When they were at rest, , Christiana and Mercy entered into discourse about thing* that were convenient.
Christ. Little did I think once, when my husband went on pilgrimage, that 1 should ever have followed btnv.
Mercy. And you as little thought of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest, as you do now.
ChrijU And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him; and yet now I believe I shall.
Mercy. Hark! Don't you hear a noise?
Cliriji. Yes, it is, ut I believe, a noise of music, for joy that we are here.
Mercy. Wonderful music in the house, music in the heart, and music also in heaven, for joy that we are here!
Thus they talked awhile, and then betook themselves to sleep. So in the morning, when they were awaked, Christiana said to Mercy,
Chrijl. What was the matter that you did laugh in your.sleep last night? I suppose you was in a dream.
Mercy. So I was, and a sweet dream it was; but are you sure I laughed?
Clirift. Yes, you laughed heartily; but, prithee, Mercy, tell me thy dream.
Mercy. I was dreaming that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning of the hardness of my heart.
Now, I had not sat there long, but methouglit many were gathered about me to see me, and tohear what it was that I said. So they hearkened, and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my heart. At this some of them laughed at me, some called me fool, and some began to thrust me about. With that, methought l looked up anil saw one coming with wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, Mere)', what aileth thee? Now when hehad heard me make my complaint, he said, "Pea*:e "be to thee:" he also* wiped mine eyes with his* handkerchief, and chid me in silver and gold He put a chain about my neck, and eur-r.ngs m mine ears, and a beautiful crown upon, my Ileal. Then he took me by the hand, and said, Mercy, come after me-. So he went up and h followed ti£ we came at a golden gate. Then he knocked, and, when they within had opened, the man went m, and I followed him up to a throne, upon which onesat, and he said to me, Welcome, daughter. The place looked bright and twinkling, like the stars, or rather like the sun, and I thought I saw your husband there; so t awoke from my dream. But did 1 laugh i
Christ. Laugh! av, and well you might, to sea yourself so well. For you must give Hie leave to tell you, that it was a good dream; and that as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. ** God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not; in- a dream, in a vision of the mght, when deep , sleep fatteth upon, men, in slumbermg upon the bed (A)-." We need not, when a-bed, to lie awake to talk with God; he can. visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oft-times wiikus when we sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake.
Mercy. Well, I am glad of my dream, for I hope, ere long, to see it fulfilled to the making me laugh again.
Christ. I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do.
Mercy. Pray, if they invite us to stay awhile, let us willingly accept the proffer. I am the wtllinger to stay awhile here, to grow better acquainted with these maids: methhiks Prudence, Piety, and Charity, have very comely and sober countenances.
Christ. We shall see what they will do. So when they were up and ready, they came down, and they asked one another of their rest, and if it was comfortable or not.
Mercy. Very good, said Mercy; it was one of the best night's lodgings that ever I had in my life.
Then said Prudence and Piety, If you will be persuaded to stay here awhile, you shall have what the house will afford.
C/iar. Ay, and that with a very good will, said Charity. So they consented and staid there about a month or above, and became very profitable one to another. And because Prudence would see how Christiana had brought up her children; she asked leave .of l>er to catechise them; so she gave her free consent: then she began with the youngest, whose name was James.
Prudence. And she said, Come, James, canst thou tell me who made thee?
James. God iue Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
find. Good boy. And canst thou tell who saved thee?
James. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Gnost.
frud. Good boy still. But how does God the Father save thee f
James. By his grace.
find. How does God the Son save thee?
James. By his satisfaction and intercession.
Prud. How docs God the Holy Ghost save thee? James. By his illumination, by his renovation, and by his preservation.'
Then said Prudence to Christiana, you are to bu commended for thus bringing Tap your children I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the next youngest.
Prud. Then shesaLl, Come, Joseph, (for his nuine was Joseph J will you let nie catechise you? Joseph. With all my heart. Prud. What is man?
Joseph. A reasonable creature, made so by Gdi, as my brother said.
Prud, What is supposed by this word, saved? .
Joseph. That man, by sin, has brostglu b.mscif into a state of captivity and miserj-.
Prud. What is supposed by his being saved by the Trinity?
Joseph. That sin is so great and mighty a tyrant, that none can pull us out of his clutches but God; and that God is so good and loving to man, as to pull him indeed out of this miserable state.
Prud. What is God's design in saving poor man?
Joseph. The glorifying ot his name, of his grace, and justice, &c. and the everlasting happiness of his creatures.
Prud. Who are they that must be saved?
Joseph. 1 hose that accept of Ids salvation.
Prud. Good boy, Joseph; thy mother has taughtthee well, and thou hast hearkened unto what she hath said unto thee.
Then said Prudence to Samuel, who was the eldest Son but one, "^'
Prud. Come, Samuel, are you willing that I should catechise you? «;
Samuel. Yes, forsooth, if you please.
Prud. What is heaven?
Sam. A place and state most blessed, because God dwelletb there.
Prud. What is hdl?
Sam. A place and stale most woeful, because it is the dwelling place of sin, the devil, and death.
Prud. Why wouldst thou go to heaven?
Sam. That I may sec God and serve him, without weariness; that I may sec Christ, and love him everlastingly; that I may have the fulness of the Holy Spirit in me, that I can by no means here enjoy.
Prud. A very good boy also, and one that has learned well
Tlien she addressed herself to the eldest, whose nf.cne was Matthew, and she said to him, Come, Matthew, shall I also catechise you?
Matthew. With a very good will.
Prud. I ask then, if there was ever any thing that had a b*inii antecedent to or before God?
Matt. No, for Cod is eternal; nor is there any thing, excepting himself, that had a being, until the beginning of the first flay: "For iu six days the Lcrd made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is."
Prud. What do you think of the Bible?
Matt. It is the holy word of God.
Prud. Is there nothing written therein but what you understand? , .
Matt. Yes, a p,reat deal.
Prud. What do you do when yon meet with places therein that you do not.understand?
Matt. I think God is wiser than I. I pray also that he will please to let me know all therein that he knows will be for my good.
Prud. How believe you as touching the resurrection of the dead?
Matt. I believe they shall rise the same that was buried? the same in nature, though not ip corruption. And I believe this upon a double account: First, Because God hath promised it; secondly, Because he is able to perform it.
Then said Prudence to the boys, You must still hearken to your mother, for she can learn you more. You must also diligently give ear to what good talk you shall hear from others; for your sakes do they speak good things. Observe also, and that with carefulness, what the heavens and the earth do teach you; but especially be much in the meditation of that book that was the cause of your father's becoming a pilgrim. 1, for my part, my children, will teach you what I can while you are here, and, shall be glad if you will ask me questions that tend, to godly edifying.
OUR Pilgrims proceed on their journey ; when, behold 1 th* formidable hill, called Difficultyr presents itself to their view! This is to teach us, that difficulties are unavoidable in the way to heaven. Self-denial, mortification of sin, with the opposition of the world and the devil, are necessary trials of faith, however unpleasing to nature, llcnce, those who love their ease more than the:r souls, choose a smoother pat it This narrow way is however the king s hieh-way ; and he wna has appointed it, has graciously consulted the benefit of his. tried people, by providing a refreshing spring at the no torn of the hill, and an harbour for rest in the mid-way. Before, in, and after difliculti. s, the dear ohldren of God tind refreshment from the precious promises: and amidst the greate t hardships, are supported liy this conviction, that going down the hill will eventually prove the hardest of all; therefore they would rather go up a ladder to life, than down the hill to death.
Another trial is prepared for the faith of the pilgrims. The lions appear! or, the World and the Devil, «s we have before explained them. (Part I. p. 50.) The danger of a christian from these enemies, is increased by the prevalence ol unbe
lief; which is fitlv represented by Giant Grim. If we forj get that the world and the devil are chained foes; or, ia other words, that their power is limited, and under divine control, we give way to distressing fears: this is intimated by the shrinking and cringing of the boys or those who were weak in faith. But the sword of the Spirit, wielded by the hand of strong faith, laid the haughty Giant low, and the pilgrims avoided the threatened danger. "Thanks be to (lad, who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord!'
The kind inhahitants of the house Beautiful, or, a church of Christ, gave a joyful welcome to Christiana and her companions. It is saiif of Barnabas, that " when he saw the grace of God, he was glad ;" and this is the temper of every real Christian. Whenever we behold the trophies of invincible grace, we, like the angelic host, should rejoice, and say, Welcome, ye vessels'of the grace of God ! And if sp«ctators should be glad, how much more reason have the subjects of grace to rejoice? Little, said Christiana, did I think of following my husband in his pilgrimage—enjoying the privileges of a church of Christ, or th« assured hope of seeing my Saviour's face in glory. O happy souls that are in such a frame, admiring the rich, free, and sovereign grace "of God! '1 hen there is music in the house, music in the heart, and music in heaven.
A circumstance in this chapter, respecting Christiana's children, deserves the notice of all serious ministers and parents. When she was admitted into the house Beautiful (a church of Christ), care was taken to inquire into the religious knowledge of her children. They were catechised by Prudence. This is an important branch of parental and minitterial duty, too little practised in this day: But would we wish and rationally hope, that the good effects of the present revival of religion should extend to future generations, 3 greater attention must be paid to the instruction of youth, in tlie fundamentals of gospel doctrine. The answers given by Christiana's children do her honour, and prdve she had not laboured in vain. Let every pious parent imitate bet example, and hope for her success.