图书图片
PDF
ePub

their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayest go and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself. There, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden, and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, as indeed I would not wish thee, thou mayest send for thy wife and children to thee to this village, where there are houses now standing empty, one of which thou mayest have at a rea sonable rate; provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy, is, to be sure there thou shalt live by honest neighbours, in good credit and fashion.

Now was Christian somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, if this be true which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice; and with that he thus farther spake :

Chr. Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house? World. Do you see yonder high hill ?

Chr. Yes, very well.

World. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his.

So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for help: but behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next the way-side, did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture farther, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and knew not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill,* that made Christian afraid that he should be burned:" here therefore he sweat and did quake for fear. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly 1 Exod. xix. 16, 18. Heb. xii. 21.

* Flashes of fire out of the hill,] The thunders of the law strike terror to the soul; and when on Mount Sinai, even Moses himself did exceedingly fear and quake.

Wiseman's counsel: and with that he saw Evangelist coming to meet him; at the sight also of whom he began to blush for shame. So Evangelist drew nearer and nearer; and coming up to him, he looked upon him with a severe and dreadful countenance, and thus he began to reason with Christian.

What dost thou here Christian? said he. At which words Christian knew not what to answer; wherefore at present he stood speechless before him. Then said Evangelist further, Art not thou the man that I found crying without the walls of the city of Destruction? Chr. Yes, dear Sir, I am the man.

Evan. Did I not direct thee the way to the little Wicket-gate?

Yes, dear Sir, said Christian.

Evan. How is it then that thou art so quickly turned aside, for thou art now out of the way?

Chr. I met with a gentleman as soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might, in the village before me, find a man who could take off my burden.

Evan. What was he?

Chr. He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and got me at last to yield; so I came hither: but when I beheld this hill, and how it hangs over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.

Evan. What said that gentleman to you?

Chr. Why, he asked me whither I was going: and I told him.

Evan. And what said he then ?

Chr. He asked me if I had a family and I told him. But, said I, I am so loaded with the burden that is on my back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as formerly. Evan. And what said he then?

Chr. He bid me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease that I sought and said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive further direction, how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would shew me a better way, and

shorter, not so attended with difficulties as the way, Sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman's house that has skill to take off these burdens: so I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped for fear, as I said, of danger: but I now know not what to do.

I

Evan. Then said Evangelist, stand still a little, that may shew thee the words of God. So he stood trembling. Then said Evangelist, See that ye refuse not him that speaketh: for if they escape not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. He said, morcover, Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.2 He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.

Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Woe is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right hand, saying, All manner of sins and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men :3 Be not faithless, but believing.4. Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.

Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the things that I shall tell thee of. I will now shew thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The man that met thee, is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly because he savoureth only of the doctrine of this world, (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church"), and partly because he loveth that doc

1 Heb. xii. 25. 2 Heb. x. 38. 3 Matt. xii. 31. 4 John xx. 27. 5 1John, iv. 5.

To the town of Morality to church,] Mr. Bunyan evidently alludes to a mode of preaching prevalent in his day, and still more so in the

trine best, for it saveth him best from the cross; and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he feeketh to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man's counfel that thou must utterly abhor: 1. His turning thee out of the way.

2. His labouring to render the crofs odious to thee. 3. And his setting thy feet in that way which leadeth unto the administration of death.

First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting thereto; because this is to reject the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord saith, Strive to enter in at the strait gate,', (the gate to which I send thee), for strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. From this little Wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction. Hate, therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening unto him.

Secondly, Thou must abhor his labouring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures of Egypt.3 Besides, the King of Glory hath told thee, That he that will save his life shall lose it: And, He that comes after me, and hateth not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters; yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.5 I say, therefore, for a man to labour to persuade thee that that shall be thy death, without which the truth hath said thou canst not have eternal life: this doctrine thou must abhor.

Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. And for 1 Luke xiii. 24. 2 Matt. vii. 13, 14. 3 Heb. xi. 25, 26. 4 Mark viii. 35. John xii. 25. Matt. x. 39. 5 Luke xiv. 26.

present; in which Morality was represented as the sum and substance of the Gospel. Such preaching savours more of Heathen Philosophy than of Christ crucified; and it is a remarkable circumstance, that the period when this Moral Essay kind of preaching first became general, the manners of the age were more immoral than at any period of our history.

this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.

He to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the bond-woman which now is, and is in bondage with her children; and is in a mystery this Mount Sinai, which thou hast feared will fall on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be. Ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his burden: Therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman is a liar, and Mr. Legality a cheat as for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee. After this Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus pronounced: As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.2

Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have had the prevalency with him, to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelist, in words and sense as follows:

1 Gal. iv. 21,---27. 2 Gal. iii. 10

« 上一页继续 »