« PreviousContinue »
shall be opened unto you."-He knocked therefore more than once or twice, saying,
May I now enter here? Will he within
At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Good-will, who asked, Who was there? and whence he came? and what he would have ?
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of Destruction, and am going to mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the wrath to come; I would therefore, Sir, since I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in.
Good. I am willing with all my heart.
With that he opened the gate ; and, as Christian was stepping in, he gave him a pull y.--Then said Christian, What means that? The other told him, At a little distance from this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which Belzebub is the captain ; from thence both he, and they who are with him, shoot arrows at those who come up to the gate, if haply they may die before they can enter in,
* Christian goes up to the gate and knocks; that is, he cries unto the Lord in earnest prayer, as the poor publican did, God be merciful to me a finner !
y Good-will, the porter, opens the gate, and pulls Christian in, snatching him as a brand out of the fire.
Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble, So, when he was got in, the man of the gate asked him who directed him thither?
Chr. Evangelist bid me come hither and knock (as I did), and he said, that you, Sir, would tell me what I must do 2.
Good. An open door is before thee, and no man can shut it.
Cbr. Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.
Good. But how is it that you come alone ?
Chr. Because none of my neighbours saw their danger, as I saw mine,
Good. Did any of them know of your coming ?
Chr. Yes, my wife and children saw me set out, and called after me to turn again: also some of my neighbours stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so came on my way
Good. But did none of them follow you, in order to persuade you to go back ?
Chr. Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable: but when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went
? Discourse between Christian and Good-will; in which Christian gives an account of Obstinate and Pliable, and ascribes all the difference betwixt him and them to free discriminating grace; and Good-will directs Chriftian in the way he should go; a way which never can be found out by the wisdom of man, without particular directions from above, by the special teachings of the Holy Spirit.
railing back, but Pliable came with me a little way.
Good. But why did he not come through?
Chr. Indeed we came both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into which we fuddenly fell. Then was my neighbour Pliable discouraged, and would not adventure farther. Wherefore, geting out again on that side next to his own house, he told me, I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came mine. He went after Obstinate, and I came on to this gate.
Good. Alas, poor man, was the celestial glory of so small efteem with him, that he counted it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?
Chr. Truly, I have said the truth of Pliable, and, if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear that there is no difference betwixt him and myself. 'Tis true, he went back to his own house, but I also turned aside into the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman,
Good. Oh! did he light on you? He would have had you sought for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality; they are both of them very cheats. But, did you
take his counsel? Chr. Yes, as far as I durst; I went to find out Mr. Legality, until I thought the mountain which stands by his house would have fallen upon my heads wherefore I was forced to stop there,