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Τ Η Ε
IN THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den?, and laid me down in that place to Neep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and, behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying,
" What shall I dob?
By the den is meant the jail; in which John Bunyan was confined twelve years for non-conformity; and in which he wrote this book.
• This is the cry of a convinced finner. Those who were pricked to the heart under Peter's sermon, Acts ii. 37, cried out, " What shall we do?"_This was the cry of the jailor at Philippi, “ Sirs, what Mall I do to be saved ?"-The finner,
In this plight therefore he went home, and rea frained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because his trouble increased : wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to themo: “O, my dear wife,” said he, “ and you, the “ children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in
myself undone, by reason of a burden that lieth hard
upon me: moreover, I am certainly informed, that « this our city will be burned with fire from heaven: “ in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee
my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably “ come to ruins except, which I yet see not, fome
way of escape may be found, whereby we may be “ delivered.”--At this his relations were fore amazed; not because they believed what he had faid to them was true, but, because they thought some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they, hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all hafte got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs when first awakened, naturally supposes that his salvation must, in some measure, depend upon something which he must do. Nothing but the spirit of God can convince us of this truth, That by grace we are faved through faith; and that even faith is not of ourselves, but the gift of God.
· The Pilgrim warned his wife and children of their danger, but they did not believe what he said ; nor could they, unless it liad been given them from above.
and and tears.
When the morning was come, they asked him how he did: he told them worse and worse; he also set to, talking to them again, but they began to be hardened, and thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and furly carriage to him: sometimes they would deride ; sometimes they would chide ; and sometimes they would quite neg, lect him. Wherefore he began to retire to his chamber, and pray for and pity them; and also condole his own misery: he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying; and thus, for some days, he spent his time.
Now I faw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, “ What shall I do to be saved ?"-I saw also that he looked this way, and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I then looked, and saw a man, named Evangelist', coming to him, who asked, " Wherefore dost thou cry?” He answered, Sir, I perceive, by the book
4 Thus Philip met the Eunuch.-Thus Peter was sent to Cornelius. It is to be observed, that Evangelist gives no other direction to the Pilgrim than to knock at the gate; he does not advise him to reform, or to purify his own heart, or to get rid of his burden first, and then to knock at the gate. Christ invites the heavy laden; he receives finners, and justifies the ungodly.
hand, that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment; and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the secondThen said Evangelist, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils ? The man answered, Because, I fear that this burden which is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave; and I shall fall into Tophet. And, Sir, if I am not fit to go to prison, I am not fit to go to judgment, and, from thence, to execution ;—the thoughts of these things make me cry. Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why ftandest thou still? He answered, Because I know 'not whither to go. Then Evangelist gave him a parchment roll, in which there was written, “ Fly from the wrath to come.” The man read it, and, looking very carefully upon Evangelist, faid, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelift, pointing with his finger over a wide field, Do you see yonder wicketgate? The man said, No. Then, said the other, Do
you fee yonder shining light? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelift, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly to it, fo fhalt thou fee the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.
So I saw in my dream that the inan began to run: now he had not run far from his own door, before his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying, Life : life: eternal life !". So he looked