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and graces, to improve your talents, and persevere to the end of your pilgrimage, and then you will be translated to eternal mansions. Now the way to do this is, not to be discouraged with the length of your journey, nor frightened with the apprehensions you may have of the difficulties to be overcome, and the dangers to be encountered by the way; but you must arm yourself with a firm resolution to go through all, making some progress every day; for to stand still is to go back: and, therefore, like the wise and industrious farmer on the right hand, who every day weeded and stoned some part of his grounds, so you must daily go on, and gain ground: thus, like him, you will in due time perfect your labour and travel, and finish your course with joy.

The Interpreter gave him many more good counsels and admonitions, as they walked along, till they came to the highway that was fenced in on either side with the wall of salvation; and there the Interpreter gave to Tender-conscience the King's royal pass, signifying to him, that it would be of singular use to him throughout his journey to the heavenly country. So, wishing him a prosperous journey, and eternal happiness, he bid him. heartily farewell.

CHAP. II.

Tender-conscience arrives at a place where stand the House of Mourning, and the House of Mirth-His entertainment at the House of Mourning-He is in imminent danger from the Inhabitants of the House of Mirth, but a great change being wrought upon him, he escapes.

THENI saw was Yo part with the Interpreter, being HEN I saw in my dream, that Tender-conscience wept ravished in spirit with inexpressible love to his company, forasmuch as he had healed his wounds, entertained him most courteously, shewed him many excellent and glorious things, and given him the King's warrant or pass, whereby he should be enabled to travel more securely and quietly to the region of life. Besides, he was naturally very affectionate, and could not brook a separation from such a friend, without bursting into tears; but at length overcoming his passion, he set forward on.

his journey, and came to the place where the cross stood, where Christian's burden fell from off his back, and tumbling into the sepulchre (which was at the bottom of the rising ground whereon the cross stood), was there buried.

Now I saw in my dream, that, hard by the cross, were built two houses; the one was called the House of Mourn» ing, and the other was called the House of Mirth; and they were situated on each side of the cross, the one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Now, as Tender-conscience kept the path up the hill, there came out of the house of mirth some young men to meet him; and they spake to him, saying, 'Whence comest thou, and whither art thou going?' Then Tender-conscience made answer, I am come from the valley of Destruction, and am going to the heavenly city, the region of life and glory; but I perceive it grows late, and I am a stranger in the way, and therefore would gladly take my repose this night somewhere hereabouts, if I might find so much fa vour among any of the inhabitants of this place.' Then the young men made answer, and said, 'There are none but these two houses which thou seest, in all this parish, that give entertainment to strangers; and if thou wilt go along with us to yonder house (pointing to that on the left hand), there thou wilt find good usage, a merry and joyful company, and all things that your heart can wish for; and in the morning we will travel along with you (for we only lodge there to-night) forward toward the heavenly city. By such enticing words and persuasions as these, they prevailed upon Tender-conscience to go along with them: But as he drew near the house, he heard a great noise, as of them that make merry, singing, dancing, and playing upon musical instruments, with much laughter; at which Tender-conscience was greatly astonished but as he came up to the house, he saw written over the door these words, "This is the House of Mirth." Then he remembered the words of the wise man, that "it is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting :" and again, "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth."

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1 Eccl. vii. 2.4.

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So he asked the young men, What the house was called on the other side of the cross? and they told him it was alled the House of Mourning. Moreover, they railed and scoffed at the people that lived in it, and told him that none but a few dull phlegmatic fools ever frequented it but Tender-conscience weighed more the words of the wise man than their slanderous tongues; and told them, he would go seek a lodging at the House of Mourning. Then they laughed at him, and called out the rest of their companions to deride him; but he departed from them, and passed by the cross, at the sight of which he was transported with unspeakable love, grief, compassion, and such like affections; the young men and their companions all the while following him, and making a mock at his tenderness; and as he wept at the foot of the cross, they fell a laughing, ranting, and roaring, till at length he rose up, and made haste to go to the House of Mourning; where he was no sooner arrived, but two grave, yet comely women bid him kindly welcome, saying to him, "We saw how you was like to be seduced into the House of Mirth, and were rejoiced to see your resolution not to enter into that seat of vanity; we saw also your constancy in withstanding their taunting scoffs and mockery, and how you were not ashamed of the cross, but the sight of it pierced your heart with divine love, and caused your eyes to pour out rivers of tears, while those prophane wretches laughed you to scorn.All this we beheld with great satisfaction: and now come in, thou blessed of the Lord, and rest in this place till to-morrow, and then thou mayst go in peace. So Tender-conscience went in along with the courteous matrons, who washed his feet; and having refreshed him with a morsel of bread and a little wine, with a few figs, raisins, and almonds, they fell into discourse about the person who suffered on the cross, and the eldest matron spoke to this effect:

Eld. Mat. How vain and profane are these poor wretches who despise the cross of Christ, and are become bitter enemies both to him and his sufferings! They profess to believe in God, and worship him, yet, at the same time, give both him and themselves the lie in their prac

tice. They profess to believe Christ crucified for our sins; yet, at the same time, they crucify him to them selves afresh, and put him to an open shame. They put an embargo on their faith, and suffer it not to launch beyond the narrow limits of their senses; and, taking up their religion on the credit of flesh and blood, their carnal passions are made the standards of its practice; and whatsoever thwarts their lusts is banished their conversation. Hence it comes to pass, that what at first was esteemed dull and unpleasing, was by degrees slighted and neglected, till at length it is become the object of their derision and scorn, as you see experienced in the House of Mirth this evening.

Young Mat. And that which is the more surprising is, that these very persons pretend to be honourers of the cross, and disciples of Christ Jesus. Their house is built as near the cross outwardly as ours is; and yet, at the same time, they are enemies to those who tread in the steps of him who suffered an ignominious death for our sakes.

Ay, said Tender-conscience, the three young men told me they were going toward the heavenly city as well as I, and if I would repose myself in the House of Mirth this night, they would bear me company on the morrow: but as soon as they perceived that I would seek a lodging in the House of Mourning, they turned their compliments into scoffs, their pretended civility into real rudeness, and their feigned pious purposes into open profaneness; railing at you, and your house, and all your guests; deriding and laughing at me, for a fool and madman, like those Greeks to whom the cross of Christ was foolishness, and all that took it up, or bore any affection to it, were esteemed as the off-scourings of all things. Such was my entertainment among them; for whereas before they were merry in the house, singing, dancing, and playing on instruments of music, so soon as the three young men gave intimation to them of my design, they forsook their melody, and came running out of the house to mock and deride me, running and roaring while I sat weeping by

the cross.

Eld. Mat. It is worth one's observation to see by what degrees men arrive at that ridiculous vanity, as well as

notorious impiety. First, they let loose the reins to their wanton humour in trivial and small matters, delighting in nothing so much as a jest or droll in common and ordinary conversation. Thus, having habituated and used themselves to a jocular vein, they can hardly forbear to play the wag with things of more serious importance, as the affairs of justice and the public state: then being, as it were, steeled and hardened in this wanton humour, they at last fall to mocking and jesting at the most holy and religious things, verifying the saying of the wise man, "He that contemns little things, shall fall by little and little." Certainly, vain mirth and excessive laughter do but raise a dust in the eyes of the soul, and interrupt her more serene and steady prospect of better things; and the most innocent jests may be reckoned mushrooms, which, well ordered and spiced, may do no harm, but can do no good. Whatsoever habit the soul gets, it is hard to remove it; and the habit of excessive laughter is most difficult to be overcome, because it is a faculty essential to our nature to laugh; and he that gives way to it, and to common jesting, betrays his mind to an unmanly likeness and an habitual vanity, which afterwards he will find difficult to root out. And, therefore, seasonable was the advice of the holy apostle St. Paul, when he counselled the Ephesians to "avoid foolish talking and jesting;" and the Thessalonians, to "abstain from all appearance of evil." Now, what was said to them, no doubt, was written for our instruction; and all Christians are obliged to observe their sage counsels in this as well as other matters, and not to pick and ehoose what precepts and counsels we please to obey, as if we would compound with God for the quarter or half performance of his will. And though this prohibition of vain jests and foolish mirth seems to be of small moment with some, yet it is good to observe every tittle of the word of God with great reverence. And you have done the part of a wise man in forsaking the House of Mirth, and coming to the House of Mourning; for they hnk this life to be but a pastime, or a market for gain They drink wine in bowls: the harp and the viol, the 1 Eph. v. 4.

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2 1st Thess. v. 2..

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