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The crystals

her beams around with great splendour. are both alike, but only one of them is sullied and furred, as it were, with smoke and vapours, and the other is transparent and clean. These are emblems of moderation and riot in eating and drinking. The soul of man is a lamp, which will burn and shine with great splendour, if the body be kept clean and purified by temperance, abstinence, and fasting; but if a man, by excessive eating and drinking, does pollute and stain his body, his spirits, which are the crystal of his soul, become clouded and thickened with vapour and smoke, so that he neither shines in good works to others, nor has much delight in himself; "and if the light that is in him be darkness, how great must that darkness be?

Tender. Pray give me leave to trouble you with one question more about fasting, because I think you mentioned that just now as one means to purify and cleanse the body, and render it more instrumental to the operations of the soul. I desire to be informed what example you have of fasting in scripture, and whether it be now requisite and profitable for a Christian to fast; and what are the proper effects of it?

Temp. It will be no trouble to me, but a delight, to satisfy you in this point, according to my ability, as it is my office.

Know, then, that fasting is a practice frequently recommended in the book of God, and warranted by the examples of sundry good and holy men. We read that Mcses fasted forty days and forty nights in the mountain; and though no mention be made of fasting before the flood, yet the lives of men in that infancy of the world, in all probability, was a daily fast, or at least a continual abstinence from flesh; so that what seems now so grievous and burdensome a discipline, was theu, peradventure, esteemed but a natural and universal diet, observed by all mankind, whereby they preserved their bodies in an inviolable health and vigour, and prolonged their days almost to a thousand years: But now, in these latter ages of the world, the bodies of men are grown weaker, and they count it a heavy task to fast once a month; nay, once a year seems too much for some dainty constitutions.

There were several occasions of fasting among the people of God in old time." There was a day of atonement commanded to be yearly observed by the Israelites throughout their generations for ever, in which they were to fast and afflict their souls from even to even. This was an annual day of public humiliation, enjoined to the people for ever. It was customary also to fast on any mournful occasion, as David fasted when his child lay sick. And the men of Jabesh Gilead fasted seven days, when they buried the bones of Saul, and Jonathan his son, under a tree at Jabesh. And as soon as David heard the news of their death, "both he, and all the men that were with him, took hold of their clothes, and rent them; and they mourned and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel." Moreover the people of Israel used to fast in any time of public calamity; and not only they, but other nations also, as the inhabitants of the great city Nineveh, when the prophet Jonah foretold the destruction of that stately city would come to pass in forty days, "they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least; for word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes; and he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, "Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing; let them not feed, nor drink water."

But, besides these solemn and public fasts, we read of some private men who practised it; as the prophet Daniel, who fasted three full weeks; in which time he eat no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine within his mouth." And this fast of his was so acceptable to God, that he sent one of his holy angels to him, who saluted him with the title of "A man greatly beloved." bidding him not to fear or be troubled; for, (says he) from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. Now, I am 1 Lev. xxiii. 27-32. 2 2d Sam. xii. 16, 17. 3 1st Sam, xxxi. 13, 4 2d Sam. i. 11, 12. 5 Jonah iii. 5, 6.

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come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days." And when he had thus comforted and strengthened Daniel, he revealed many -wonderful and secret things that should come to pass in the world. So that, by these great favours shewed to Daniel, we may plainly see how acceptable religious fasting is to God. Many more examples of this kind might be produced out of the Old Testament; but these may suffice to shew, that fasting was a duty often practised by the people of God, and by holy men under the law of Moses. And the gospel recommends it, from the beginning to the end, by the examples of Christ and John the Baptist, of Peter, Paul, and the rest of the apostles, as well as by their counsels and exhortations; nothing is more frequently inculcated than this duty of fasting, throughout the writings of the New Testament. And, without all doubt, it is now as requisite as ever it was, since we are liable to the same infirmities, exposed to the same dangers, as the former Christians were; against all which evils fasting is the proper remedy. Fasting mortifies the body, and tames concupiscence; it quenches lust, and kindles devotion; it is the handmaid of prayer, and the nurse of meditation; it refines the understand ing, subdues the passions, regulates the will, and sublimates the whole man to a more spiritual state of life: it is the life of angels, the enamel of the soul, the great advantage of religion, the best opportunity for retirements of devotion. While the smoke of carnal appetites is suppressed and extinguished, the heart breaks forth with holy fire, till it be burning like the cherubim, and the most extasied order of pure and unpolluted spirits. These are the proper and genuine effects of religious and frequent fasting, as they can witness, who make it their private practice.

Tender. You have made me in love with fasting, by giving so fair an account of it, and discovering its consequences of the soul and body, and I am resolved to make trial of it myself hereafter; for, in my opinion, as you describe it, it causes a man to draw nearer unto God, while his soul being, by abstinence and fasting, with

1 Dan, x. 1-15.

drawn, as it were, from the body, and abstracted from all outward things, retires into herself, and in the secret tabernacle within, she sits under the shadow of the divinity, and enjoys a more close communion and intimate union with God.

When Tender-conscience had made an end of these words, he began to think of his journey; and giving them all his thanks for the kind entertainment he had met with in this place, and especially for their edifying discourse, he rose up to take his leave; then they rose up with him, and accompanied him to the armoury, which stood by the gate, and there they armed him all over with armour and weapons of proof, as was the custom to do all pilgrims, because the rest of his way was like to be more dangerous, the ways being infested with thieves and robbers, with sons of Belial and murderers, as also with fiends and devils. Also they gave him his pass, which he had delivered to them at his first coming thither; now they had all set their hands to it, to confirm and strengthen it the more, bidding him be sure to have a great care of it, so they conducted him to the gate, and wishing him a prosperous journey, he parted from them with tears in his eyes.

CHAP. VI.

Tender-conscience crosses the bridge Self-denial, in the valley of Humiliation.-He is pursued by Worldlyhonour, Arrogancy, &c. and is wounded by Shame. He enters the valley of the Shadow of Death, and meets with Seek-truth and his companions at the cave of Reformation.

OW I saw in my dream, that Tender-conscience

went forward at a good place, till he came to the brow of the hill, where the way lay down into the valley of Humiliation: but because it was steep and dangerous going down, he was forced to slacken his pace, and lean hard upon his strong crutch, yet he was apt to slip, and could hardly stop himself from running, or rather tumbling down the hill: but, at length, with much ado, he got sate to the bottom, and came to the valley of Humiliation.

Now all this valley was a kind of marshy boggy ground, and was at this time all overflowed with water, so that there was but one way to pass through it with safety, and that was over certain planks fastened to stumps or posts, and joined to one another: for it was but one plank's breadth all the whole way, and that a very narrow one: this set of planks was called the bridge of Selfdenial, and it reached quite over the valley of Humiliation: now, the waters were very high, and touched the planks; nay, in some places they covered them, so that a man could hardly discern his way. The sight of this dangerous and narrow bridge did not a little discourage Tender-conscience; but, considering that it drew towards night, he was resolved to venture over; so he went on courageously, but with a very slow pace, because of the exceeding narrowness of the planks, which also now and then would seem to yield and bend under him, which often put him in a fright, lest they should break, and he be drowned in the waters. And the more to increase his trouble, when he was got about half way over, the air was all hung full of nets, and traps, and gins, which were placed so low, that a man could not walk upright, but he must be caught in some of them: these were planted here by the prince of the power of the air, to catch such pilgrims in as were high minded, and walked with stretched out necks. Therefore, when Tender-conscience perceived the danger that was spread before him, he stooped down, and crept along upon his hands and knees, and so escaped the nets and the gins; and he had this advantage, moreover, that he could go faster in this manner, and more securely, without danger of tottering over on either side of the planks into the water, as he was often like to do when he walked upright. In this manner crawled he along, till he was almost got over, when he saw several boats making towards him on either side of the bridge, and in the boats there were men that rowed them, who hallooed and called after Tender-conscience ;· but he regarded them not, for he was afraid lest they were some of the robbers or murderers which infest that country, and therefore he kept on his pace; but they rowed hard after him, and shot several arrows at him; some of which

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