« 上一頁繼續 »
us consider, again, that nil laws are not in the hand of Giant Despair: others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hands. Who knows but that God, who made the world, may cause that Giant Despair may die; or that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in; or that he may in a short time have another of his fits before us, and may lose the use of his limbs? and if ever that should come to pass again, for my part I am resolved to pluck up the heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from under his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but, however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure awhile: the time may come that he may give us a happy release ; but let us not be our own murderers. With these words Hopeful at present did moderate the mind of his brother; so they continued together (in the dark) that day in their sad and doleful condition.
Well, towards the evening, the giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But, I say, he found them alive: at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them, that seeing the}- had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their disccurse about the giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best take it or no. Now, Christian again seemed to be for doinff it; but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth :—
Hovt. My brother, said he, rememlerest thou not how valiant thou nast been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel in the Yalley of the Shadow of Death: what hardships, terror, and amazement hast thou already gone through, and art thou now nothing but fear? Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art; also this giant has wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water frcm my mouth, and with the« I mourn without the light. But let us eiercise a little more patience: remember how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain nor the cage, nor yet of bloody death; wherefore let us (at least to aToid th« shame that becomes not a Christian to be found in) bear up with patience as well as we can.
Now, night being come again, and the giant and his wife bein? a-bed, she asked concerning the prisoners, and if they .had taJcen his counsel; to which he replied. They are sturdy rogues; they choose rather to bear all hardships than to make away with themselves. Then said she, Take them into the castle-yard to-morrow, and show them the bones and skulls of those thou hast already despatched, and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou wilt also tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.
So when the morning was come, the giant goes to them again, e#d takes them into the castle-yard, and shows them as his wife had bidden him. These, said he, were pilgrims, as you are, once: and they trespassed in my grounds, as you have done: and, when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces, and so within ten days I will do you; go, get ye down to your den again; and with that he beat them all the way thither.
They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before. Now, when night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence and her husband the giant were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse of their prisoners; and, withal, the old giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with that his wife replied, I fear, said she, that they live in hope that some will come to relieve them, or that they have picklocks about them, by the means of which they hope to escape. And sayest thou so, my dear? said the giant; I will therefore search them in the morning.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.1
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out in this passionate speech: What a fool (quoth he) am I thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful, That's good news, good brother; pluck it out of thy bosom and try.'
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon-door, whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outer door that leads into the
1 "What I pray la custody of Giiuit Despair, In the mUlBt of Doubting CosUe; and when their foll> Drought them there, too 1 Tea. Mind this, ye pilgrims. Ye are exhorted, 'I win tliat men ,imy everywhere, without doubting.' 1 Tint. 11. 8. We can be in no place but Qod can hear; nor in any jlrcumstAnce but God Is able to deliver froin. And be assured, when tno spirit of prayer couics, deliverance is nigh at hand. So It was here."
1 u Precious promise t The promises of God in Christ arc the life of faith, and the qulckeners of prayer. O how oft do we neglect God's great and precious promises in Christ Jesus, while donbts axid despair keep us prisoners. So it was with these pilgrims: they were kept under hard bondage of soul for four days. Hence we see what It is to grieve the Spirit of God, and should dread it; tor be only Is the Comforter; and if lie withdraws his Influences, who or -what can comfort us l*»
castle-yard, and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went very hard, yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the door to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a cracking, that it waked Giant Despair, who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail; for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the king's highway, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.
Now, when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves what they should do at that stile to prevent those that should come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the stile thereof this sentence:—"Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims." Many, therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and escaped the danger.1
ROBERT BARCLAY. 1648—1690.
Robert Barclat, the distinguished writer of the Society of Friends, was born in Elginshire, in the north of Scotland,2 south-east of the Aloray frith, December 23, 1648, of a highly respectable family. After receiving the rudiments of his education at home, he was sent to Paris to pursue his studies under the direction of his uncle, who was rector of the Scots' College in that capital. It was a dangerous experiment, and might have proved permanently injurious, had not young Barclay been possessed of the strictest moral principles, and the highest sense of filial obligation: for he, by his deportment and character, had endeared himself so to his uncle that he offered to make him his heir, and to settle a large estate immediately rwon him, if he would remain in France. But his father, knowing that his son was strongly inclined to join the Papal church, directed him to return home. He did not hesitate between what earned interest and duty, and at once abandoned all his prospects of wealth and aggrandizement, to comply with his father's wishes. Such filial obedience is never left without a witness. In Barclay's case the blessing that attended it was most signal. Had he remained in France, though his wealth might have surrounded him with a crowd of flatterers, in all probability he would never have been known after his death. But he returned, and gained a world-wide fame. He returned, and became the ablest expounder of a sect, that at a ted has taken the lead of all others in three great
1 1 Recording our own observations, and the experience we have had In Ood's dealing with our souls, are made of special and peculiar use to our fellow-Christians." t Not In Edlnt-ura-h, as stated by William Penn.
subjects, inseparably connected with practical' Christianity,—Intemperance, Slavery, and War.2
A short time before young Barclay left France, his father had been converted to the views and principles of a sect which had existed only ten years —the Quakers. On his return, Robert, after giving to the subject a degree of thought and investigation almost beyond his years, followed the example of his father, though only nineteen. He applied himself diligently to the study of the original languages of the Bible, of the Fathers, and of ecclesiastic al history; and seeing how much the Friends were misunderstood and abused, he wrote several works in their defence, and in explanation of their principles. But the great work on which his fame rests is entitled "An Apology for the true Christian Divinity, as the same is held forth and practised by the People called, in scorn, Quakers." The effect produced by this able work soon became visible, for it proved beyond dispute that this proscribed sect professed a system of theology that was capable of being defended by strong, if not unanswerable arguments. Some portions of this work became die subject of very animated controversy, not in England only, but on the continent. This occasioned Barclay to appear again in defence of his principles. He also wrote to vindicate the internal arrangements and government of the Friends. He wrote, besides, two treatises on Peace, declaring his opinion that all war is indefensible, on account of its incompatibility with the principle of universal benevolence. One of these he addressed to the ambassadors of the several princes of Europe, then assembled at Nimeguen.
u The latter years of Robert Barclay's life were spent in the quiet of his family, in which his mild and amiable virtues found their happiest sphere of exercise. He died October 3, 1690, in the forty-second year of his age!—the prime of Ufe—his death having been occasioned by a violent fever, which came on immediately after his return from a religious visit in some parts of Scotland. His moral character was free from every reproach, and his temper was so well regulated, that he was never seen in anger. In all the relations of life, and in his intercourse with the world, he was conspicuous for the exercise of those virtues which are the best test of right principles, and the most unequivocal proof of their practical influence."
The following is a part of the Dedication of his great work, the "Apology," to Charles II. It has been justly praised for its high and fearless tone of Christian faithfulness and independent truth; the more to be admired, as it was written and published in times of great licentiousness, and servility to the reizuing monarch.
DEDICATION TO CHARLES SECOND.
As it is inconsistent with the truth I bear, so it is far from me to use this epistle as an engine to flatter thee, the usual design of such works: and therefore I can neither dedicate it to thee, nor
1 And what other than practical Is of any worth t "He ahall reward every man according to his Works Matt. xvl. 27. "Inasmuch as ye have Dove tt unto one of the least, ye have Dove It unto Me:" Matt. axv. M. "Te see then how that by works a man Is Justified, nnd not by faith only James II. 24. "What doth the Lord require of tbee but to no JusUy, and to love mercy, and to Tralx humbly with thy God T" Mlcah vl. 8. "If no faith be living nor yet available to JusOflcauoD without works, then works are necessary to juaUflcaUon."—Bareliy.
2 The three great scourges of the human race, which have done more than every thing else to degrade and brutalize man, and therefore are most diametrically opposed to the principles and teach logs of Him, who came to bring "rr Ace on earth and ooon-wti L to man."
crave thy patronage, as if thereby I might have more confidence to present it to the world, or be more hopeful of its success. To God alone I owe what I have, and that more immediately in matters spiritual, and therefore to Him alone, and to the service of His truth, I dedicate whatever work He brings forth in me, to whom only the praise and honor appertain, whose truth needs not the patronage of worldly princes, His arm and power being that alone by which it is propagated, established, and confirmed. * *
There is no king in the world, who can so experimentally testify of God's providence and goodness; neither is there any, who rules so many free people, so many true Christians; which thing renders thy government more honorable, thyself more considerable, than the accession of many nations filled with slavish and superstitious souls.
Thou hast tasted of prosperity and adversity; thou knowcst what it is to be banished thy native country, to be overruled, as well as to rule and sit upon the throne; and being oppressed, thou hast reason to know how hateful the oppressor is to both God and man:1 if after all these warnings and advertisements, thou dost not turn unto the Lord with all thy heart, but forget Him, who remembered thee in thy distress, and give up thyself to follow lust and vanity; surely great will be thy condemnation.
Against which snare, as well as the temptation of those that may or do feed thee, and prompt thee to evil; the most excellent and prevalent remedy will be, to apply thyself to that light of Christ, which shineth in thy conscience, which neither can nor will flatter thee, nor suffer thee to be at ease in thy sins; but doth and will deal plainly and faithfully with thee, as those that are followers thereof have also done.
God Almighty, who hath so signally hitherto visited thee with His love, so touch and reach thy heart, ere the day of thy visitation be expired, that thou mayest effectually turn to Him, so as to improve thy place and station for His name. So wisheth, so prayeth,
Thy faithful friend and subject,
Against Titles Of Honor.
We affirm positively, that it is not lawful for Christians either to give or receive these titles of honor, as Your Holiness, Your Majesty, Your Excellency, Your Eminency, &c.
1 A similar sentiment was expressed by William Plnckney, In the Maryland House of Delegates In 1789: "It Trill not do thus to Talk like philosophers, and, as slaveholders, Act like unrelenting tyrants; to be perpetually sermonizing it, with liberty for our text, and actual oppression tbr our commentary." So, also, Edward ltushton, in his letter to General Washington: "Man la never so truly odious as when he Indicts upon others that which he himself abominates."