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Hope. With all

my heart: but you shall still begin. Chr. Well then, did you know, about ten years ago, one Temporary, in your parts, who was a forward man in religion then?

Hope. Know him! yes; he dwelt in Graceless, a town about two miles off of Honesty, and he dwelt next door to one Turnback.

Chr. Right; he dwelt under the same roof with him. Well, that man was much awakened once; I believe that then he had some sight of his sins, and of the wages that were due thereto.

Hope. I am of your mind, for (my house not being above three miles from him) he would oft-times come to me, and that with many tears. Truly I pitied the man, and was not altogether without hope of him: but one may see, it is not every one that cries Lord, Lord.

Chr. He told me once that he was resolved to go ou pilgrimage, as we go now; but all of a sudden he grew acquainted with one Saveself, and then he became a stranger to me.

Hope. Now, since we are talking about him, let us a little inquire into the reason of the sudden backsliding of him and such others.

Chr. It may be very profitable; but do you begin. Hope. Well then, there are in my judgment four reasons for it.

1. Though the consciences of such men are awakened,', yet their minds are not changed: therefore, when the power of guilt weareth away, that which provoketh them to be religious ceaseth: wherefore they naturally return to their old course again; even as we see the dog that is sick of what he hath eaten, so long as his sickness prevails, he vomits and casts up all: not that he doeth this of free mind (if we may say a dog has a mind), but because it troubleth his stomach: but now, when his sickness is over, and so his stomach eased, his desires being not at all alienated from his vomit, he turns him about, and licks up all; and so it is true which is written, "The dog is turned to his own vomit again." Thus, I say, being hot for heaven, by virtue only of the sense and fear

12d Pet. i, 22.

of the torments of hell, as their sense of hell, and fear of damnation, chills and cools, so their desires for heaven and salvation cool also. So then it comes to pass that, when their guilt and fear is gone, their desires for heaven and happiness die, and they return to their course again.

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2. Another reason is, they have slavish fears that do overmaster them:-I speak now of the fears that they have of men: "for the fear of men bringeth a snare.' So then, though they seem to be hot for heaven so long as the flames of hell are about their ears, yet when that terror is a little over, they betake themselves to second thoughts, namely, that it is good to be wise, and not to run (for they know not what) the hazard of losing all, or at least of bringing themselves into unavoidable and unnecessary troubles; and so they fall in with the world again,

3. The shame that attends religion lies also as a block in their way: they are proud and haughty, and religion in their eye is low and contemptible: therefore when they have lost their sense of hell and wrath to come, they return again to their former course.

4. Guilt, and to meditate terror, are grievous to them; they like not to see their misery before they come into it; though perhaps the sight of it first, if they loved that sight, might make them flee whither the righteous flee and are safe; but because they do as I hinted before, even shun the thoughts of guilt and terror, therefore, when once they are rid of their awakenings about the terrors and wrath of God, they harden their hearts gladly, and choose such ways as will harden them more and more.

Chr. You are pretty near the business, for the bottom of all is, for want of a change in their mind and will.— And therefore they are but like the felon that standeth before the judge: he quakes and trembles, and seems to repent most heartily: but the bottom of all is, the fear of the halter; not that he hath any detestation of the offences; as it is evident, because, let but this man bave his liberty, and he will be a thief, and so a rogue 1 Prov. xxix. 25.

still whereas, if his mind was changed, it would be otherwise.

Hope. Now I have showed you the reason of their going back, do you show me the manner thereof.

Chr. So I will, willingly.-They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come :-then they cast off by degrees private duties and closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, &c. then they shun the company of lively and warm christians: after that they grow cold to public duty; as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like: then they begin to pick holes as we say, in the coats of some of the godly, and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming colour to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmities they have spied in them) behind their backs :-then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men :-then they give way to wanton and carnal discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example. After this, they begin to play with little sins openly:and then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulph of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.

CHAP. XX,

The Pilgrims travel the pleasant country of Beulah.Safely pass the river of Death, and are admitted into the glorious City of God.

OW I saw in my dream that by this time the pil

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grims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah,' whose air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced themselves there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land.-In this country the 1 Sol. Song, ii, 10---12. Isa. lxii. 4---12,

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sun shineth night and day; wherefore this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of heaven. In this land also the contract between the bride and the bridegroom was renewed: yea, here, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city, loud voices, saying, "Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh! Behold his reward is with him!" Here all the inhabitants of the country called them "the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out."-&c.

Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing near to the city, they had yet a more perfect view thereof. It was builded of pearls and precious stones, also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflection of the sun-beams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease: wherefore here they lay by it a while, crying out because of their pangs, "If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love."

But, being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened into the highway.Now as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way; to whom the pilgrims said, Whose goodly vineyards and gardens are these?' He answered, They are the King's, and are planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims." So the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid

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them refresh themselves with the dainties; he also showed them there the King's walks and arbours where he delighted to be: and here they tarried and slept.

Now I beheld in my dream that they talked more in their sleep at this time, than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, 'Wherefore musest thou at the matter? it is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards "to go down so sweetly as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.

So I saw that when they awoke they addressed themselves to go up to the city. But as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city (for the city was pure gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose. 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 with 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

1 Deut. xxiii. 24.

2 Rev, xxi. 18. 2d Cor. iii. 18.

Betwixt them and the gate was a river.] What a beautiful allusion to the situation of the Israelites of old. The river Jordan separated them from the Land of Promise, and Death is that river which separates us from the heavenly Canaan. To pass this river, Oh! what need of heavenly grace, of divine consolation: How must the glory of Christ beam upon the believer's soul, to encourage him at that awful moment when the world recedes and disappears from his view. At this period the firmest faith is exercised---the greatest of saints are

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