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sight of such glorious things, and longed to be there; wherefore they desired the shepherds to give them leave to depart, which was granted them; only the shepherds first gave them directions concerning the way, bidding them have an especial care lest they slept upon the Enchanted Ground, which they must needs pass through before they could arrive at the heavenly city; and it lies on this side the region called Beulah.

CHAP. VIII.

The pilgrims proceed on their journey, and arrive at the valley of Vain-opinions, where they meet with Humanreason, at the cave of Natural Speculations.

OREOVER, I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims,

M having bid adieu to the shepherds, went down from

the mountain into the plain, having a large valley before, which was called the valley of Vain-opinions. Now, as they were going through this valley, they saw a company of men before them and as they drew nearer, they could hear them talk very eagerly one to another, as though it were about some weighty matter. So when they came up to them, they perceived that the men were talking about the King of the country; which made them dispute very passionately, and with a great deal of heat one asserting, that the King was of his opinion; another, that he was of his judgment; a third said, that he only had the right understanding of the royal mind, will, and pleasure; and each man quoted some article or sentence of the King's statute-book in confirmation of what he had said; so that there was a great noise and hurly-burly among them, insomuch that they were ready to go together by the ears, while every one thought himself in the right, and all the rest in the wrong. Thus contended they, till Spiritual-man spoke to them, and said, 'Good people, what is all this clamour for? Then they all ceased their loud talking, and gave attention to what he would say; who thus proceeded

I hear you very vehement and earnest in controversy about the King's pleasure; one saying he knows best, and another, that he is best acquainted with it. This puts me in mind of the words of Christ, where he says,

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"If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ; or lo, he is there, believe it not for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch, that (if it were possible) they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before: wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not: For, as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Therefore, I have reason to judge you all deceivers and false prophets, since you so exactly make good the character which our Lord has given of them: for whereas one boasteth that he knows the King's mind, another, that he is the best interpreter of his will, ye are all out of the way of truth; the King's mind is with none of you; Christ is not among you. It is the shepherds who are his privy counsellors, who know the secrets of his kingdom. Go, ye, therefore, and feed with the flocks, and frequent the places where they lie down at noon : so shall ye learn knowledge, and preserve your feet from stumbling into error. And, having spoken these words, he turned from them with all his company, and they kept on their way over the plain..

Now, they had not gone far, before a man bolted out upon them from a little cave on the side of the highway, which was called the cave of Natural Speculations, and his name by Human-reason. So he asked them whence they came, and whither they were going? To whom Spiritual-man made answer, We come from the valley of Destruction, and are going towards the heavenly Jerusalem, and shall be glad of thy company, thou wilt go along with us.'

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Human-reason. I am designed for the same place myself, and would gladly accept of any good company; but I suppose you intend to go the same way as yonder shepherds shewed you, who know no more of it than the anan in the moon; but only it is their livelihood to tell a parcel of strange stories to strangers and travellers, making them believe they are servants of the King, and 1 Mat. xxiv. 23, 24.

that it is their office to entertain pilgrims, and give them directions for the way. They pretend also to give them a prospect of the heavenly Jerusalem through a perspective glass, and to shew to them one of the mouths of hell whereas they are a pack of mere jugglers and religious cheats, amusing the credulous and unwary travellers with fiction, and romantic stories of heaven and hell, and using enchantments to delude them in their way thither, casting a mist before their eyes, when they pretend to give them a glimpse of the glories of that place for that is a deceitful glass through which you looked, and presents you not with the true appearance of things, as I can prove at large, if you will be pleased to hear me out. Nay, I can demonstrate before your eyes, without, the help of any glass, the situation and beauty of the celestial city, and shew you the nearest ready road thither, as plain as that two and three make five.

Spiritual-man. Thou art as blind as a beetle thyself, and wilt thou pretend to direct us in the way to a place which thou never sawest nor knowest? Go, get thee into thy den again, and go not about to seduce poor harmless pilgrims; for we will not hearken to thy insinuating discourse, but keep on our way, as the shepherds directed us.

Tender-con. Nay, pray let me hear what the man can say for himself, for he seems to be a smart man, and no fool; and therefore, I would fain hear his reasons.

Spiritual-man. Your curiosity is dangerous, and may cost you dear; therefore, pray be persuaded to turn away your ears from hearing of vanity and delusions. You have run well hitherto; do not halt so near your journey's end.

Tender-con. I cannot be satisfied in my mind, unless I hear this man's arguments; for he seems to have something extraordinary in his very face, and more in his words.

Zealous-mind. To the empty are empty things. If this man be so obstinate, that he will tarry, and hear this fellow prate, let him tarry alone: Why should we lose time for his folly? Let us hasten forward to run the race that is set before us.

Spiritual-man. No, brother; let us rather "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the royal law of Christ" our King. Let us pity his infirmity, as Paul exhorts us in the like case. Brethren (says he), if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted," And another apostle saith, "Brethren, if any of you err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." Now, therefore, since our brother is tempted with a vain curiosity to hear the arguments of Human-reason, let us stay a while, and I will undertake to confute him, which will be more to our brother's profit than if he had never heard him speak. Go to, then, said he, turning to Human-reason, let us hear what thou hast to argue against the way that we are going.

Then Human-reason, putting on a grave and serious countenance, spoke as follows: Gentlemen, It is not manly to fall into a passion, and abuse a stranger before you have a just cause given you, especially when you are ignorant of, or may mistake his quality. I am sprung of a right noble and illustrious family, and as ancient as any in the world by my father's side. Understanding is my father, who is a prince and courtier, and near of kin to the royal family of heaven. Therefore, as you are gentlemen, I hope you will use me with that respect which is due to my birth and extraction, and not run me down with reproachful names and scurrilous language.

Spiritual-man. I cry your mercy, sir; I know your father very well, and honour his noble birth and illustrious rank: but give me leave to tell you, your mother is but of mean and obscure quality, and a notorious harlot, and therefore you must excuse us if we esteem you at best a very degenerate son, partaking more of your mother's

*Human-reason.] The arguments of Human-reason are similar to those of the deistical writers of the present age, who place their vain reasonings in competition with the sacred scriptures, and boast a light which is in itself " perfect darkness."

1 Gal. vi. 1, 2.

vices than your father's virtues, so that you have no such reason to glory in your high birth, but rather to be ashamed of your father's infirmity, in committing folly with such an adulteress. He was once active and sincere, but now dull and treacherous: in this also you are like him; for you are heavy and dull in all your operations, and as uncertain and wavering as a weathercock. I could take notice of a great many more ill features and qualities in you, but that it would be too tedious and irksome to the company.

Zealous-mind. Aye, aye, it is not worth while to lose so much time in talking to this impostor, when we are on a journey.

Weary o'-the-world. No indeed, brother Spiritual-man, no more it is; and were you but half as tired as me, you would not stand reckoning up this fellow's genealogy, nor making comparisons betwixt him and his father. I long to be at my journey's end: come, let us be jogging.

Spiritual-man. Have patience, my brethren, whilst this man and I dispute the point farther, for the sake of Tender-conscience, who seems to be staggered at his first words, and has an itching desire to hear what he can say for himself, perhaps he will have a better opinion of the man, if we should refuse to converse with him. He might think that we were ashamed or afraid to stand the brunt of his boasted demonstrations, and so would conclude the truth is on his side: therefore, for his sake, have patience a while, and I doubt not but I shall convince this man of his error, and make him hold his peace, if not recant his ill-grounded opinions, to the glory of God, and the edification of us all, especially of poor wavering Tender-conscience.

Then they agreed to tarry and hear out the dispute between them: So Spiritual-man bid Human-reason wave all further preambles about his birth and family, and fall upon the point in hand, making as quick a dispatch as he could of the matter.

Human-reason. Well then, I tell you in short, you are out of your way, and if you follow my directions, I'll shew you a far nearer and more secure road to the heavenly country. I believe and know there is a God, as

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