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Gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an Instrument made for that purpose.2 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 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 they 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 in sight of the Gate.
Now I further saw that betwixt them and the Gate was a River, but there was no Bridge to go over, the River was very deep: at the sight therefore of this River the Pilgrims were much stunned; but the men that went with them said, You must go through, or you cannot come at the Gate.
The Pilgrims then began to enquire if there was no other way to the Gate; to which they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the foundation of the World, nor shall, until the last Trumpet shall sound. The Pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to dispond in his mind, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the River. Then they asked the men if
1 Rev. xxi. 18.
2 2 Cor. iii. 18.
I Cor. xv. 51, 52.
the Waters were all of a depth? They said, No; yet they could not 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 entring, Christian began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, I sink in deep Waters; the Billows go over my head, all his Waves go over me, Selah.
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 sorrows of death have compassed me about, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also here he in great measure lost his senses, so that he could neither remember, nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his Pilgrimage. But all the words that he spake still tended to discover that he had horror of mind, and heart-fears that he should die in that River, and never obtain entrance in at the Gate. Here also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he had committed, both since and before he began to be a Pilgrim. 'Twas 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 he would rise up again half dead. Hopeful also would endeavour to comfort him, saying, Brother, I see the Gate, and men standing by to receive us.
Christian would answer, 'Tis you, 'tis you they wait for, 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 arise to help me; but for my sins he hath brought me into the snare, and hath left me. Then said Hopeful, My Brother, you have quite forgot the Text, where it is said of the wicked, There is no band in their death, but their strength is firm, they are not troubled as other men, neither are they plagued like other men.1 These troubles and distresses that you go through in these Waters are no sign that God hath forsaken you, but are sent to try you, whether you will call to mind that which heretofore you have received of his goodness, and live upon him in your distresses.
Then I saw in my Dream, that Christian was as in a muse a while. To whom also Hopeful added this word, 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 passest through the Waters, I will be with thee; and through the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee.2 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 was but shallow. Thus they got over. Now upon the bank 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 ministring Spirits, sent forth to minister for those that shall be heirs of salvation. Thus they went along towards the Gate. Now you must note that the City stood upon a mighty Hill, but the Pil
1 Ps. lxxiii. 4, 5.
2 Isa. xliii. 2.
grims went up that Hill with ease because they had these two men to lead them up by the arms; also they had left their mortal Garments behind them in the River, for though they went in with them, they came out without them. They therefore went up here with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which the City was framed was higher than the Clouds. They therefore went up through the Regions of the Air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted, because they safely got over the River, and had such glorious Companions to attend 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 the Mount Sion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company of Angels, and the Spirits of just men made perfect.1 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; 2 and when you come there, you shall have white Robes given you, and your walk and talk shall be every day with the King, even all the days of Eternity. 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. You are now going to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob, and to the Prophets, men that God hath taken
look how the holy Pilgrims ride,
Clouds are their Chariots, Angels are their Guide:
Who would not here for him all hazards run,
That thus provides for his when this World's done?
1 Heb. xii. 22-24.
3 Rev. iii. 4.
2 Rev. ii. 7.
4 Rev. xxi. 4; Isa. lvii. 1-2.
away from the evil to come, and that are now resting upon their beds, each one walking in his righteousness.1 The men then asked, What must we do in the holy place? To whom it was answered, You must there receive the comfort of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what you have sown,2 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. There also you shall serve him continually with praise, with shouting, and thanksgiving, whom you desired to serve in the World, though 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 one that follows into the holy place after you. There also shall you be cloathed 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.
1 Isa. lxv. 17.
2 Gal. vi. 7.
I John iii. 2.
4 1 Thess. iv. 13-16; Jude 14; Dan. vii. 9, 10; 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3.