« 上一页继续 »
Now, faid Chriftian, let me go hence. Nay, ftay (faid the Interpreter) till I have fhewed thee a little more, and after that thou fhalt go on thy way. So he took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, where fat a man in an iron cage %. The man, to look on, feemed very fad; he fat, with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, and fighed as if he would break his heart. Then faid Chriftian, What means this? At which the Intérpreter bid him. talk with the man. Then faid Chriftian to the man, What art thou? The man answered, I am what I was not once.
Chr. What waft thou once?
Man. I was once a fair and flourishing profeffor, both in mine own eyes, and also in the eyes of others: I once was, as I thought, in a fair way for the celeftial city, and had even joy at the thoughts that I fhould get thither,
Chr. Well, but what art thou now?
Man. I am now a man in despair, and am fhut up in it, as in this iron cage. I cannot get out; O! I cannot.
Chr. But how cameft thou in this condition?
Man. I left off to watch, and be fober; I laid the reins upon the neck of my lufts; I finned against the light of the word, and the goodness of God; I
If the horrors of despair are so great in this world, what muft they be in the world to come? One fays that fuch a view of fin feems to be a mark of grace; if fo, what gracious fouls muft Cain, Efau, and Judas have been!
have grieved the spirit, and he is gone; I tempted the devil, and he is come to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he has left me; I have fo hardened my heart that I cannot repent.
Then faid Chriftian to the Interpreter, But is there no hope for such a man as this? Ask him, faid the Interpreter.
Chr. Then faid Chriftian to the man, Is there no hope for you? Muft you be kept always in this iron cage of defpair?
Man. No hope; none at all.
Chr. Why? the Son of the Bleffed is very pitiful.
Man. I have crucified him to myself afresh; I have despised his perfon; I have despised his righteoufnefs; I have counted his blood an unholy thing; I have done despite to the spirit of grace: therefore I have shut myself out of all the promises, and there now remains to me nothing but threatenings, dreadful threatenings, fearful threatenings of certain judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour me as an adversary.
Chr. For what did you bring yourself into this condition?
Man. For the lufts, pleasures, and profits of this world; in the enjoyment of which, I did then promife myself much delight: but now every one of thofe things alfo bite me, and gnaw me, like a burning worm.
Chr. But canft thou not now repent and turn?
Man. God hath denied me repentance; his word gives me no encouragement to believe; yea, he himself hath fhut me up in this iron cage: nor can all the men in the world let me out. O eternity! eternity! How fhall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity?
Int. Then faid the Interpreter to Chriftian, Let this man's misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
Chr. Well, this is fearful! God help me to watch and be fober, and to pray, that I may fhun the cause of this man's mifery. Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now?
Int. Tarry till I fhall fhew thee one thing more, and then thou fhalt go on thy way.
So he took Chriftian by the hand again, and led him into a chamber, where there was one rifing out of bed; and as he put on his raiment he shook and trembled. Then, faid Christian, Why doth this man thus tremble? The Interpreter then bad him tell Christian the reason of his doing fo. He began and faid, This night, as I was in my sleep, I dreamed; and behold the heavens grew exceeding black; also it thundered and lightened in fuch a fearful man
If this man was so terrified with dreaming about the day of judgment, how inexpreffibly terrible must be the coming of the Son of Man; when he fhall be revealed from heaven with his holy angels, in flaming fire, to take vengeance upon them who know not God, and obey not the gospel.
ner, that it put me into an agony. I looked up in my dream, and faw the clouds racked at an unusual rate; upon which, I heard a great found of a trumpet, and faw also a man fitting upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven: they were all in flaming fire; the heavens alfo were in a burning flame. I heard then a voice, faying, "Arife, ye dead, and come to judgment." With that, the rocks rent, the graves opened, the dead, that were therein, came forth; fome of them were exceeding glad, and looked upward: fome fought to hide themselves under the mountains. Then I faw the man that fat upon the cloud, open the book, and bid the world draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame which iffued out and came before him, a convenient distance betwixt him and them, as betwixt the judge and the prifoners at the bar. I heard it alfo proclaimed to them that attended on the man who fat on the cloud, "Gather together the tares, "the chaff and ftubble, and caft them into the burn
ing lake." With that, the bottomless pit opened just whereabout I stood: out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, fmoke, and coals of fire, with hideous noises. It was also faid to the fame perfons, "Gather my wheat into the "garner." With that, I faw many catched up and carried away into the clouds. But I was left behind, I alfo fought to hide myself, but I could not, for the man who fat upon the cloud ftill kept his eye upon
me: my fins alfo came into my mind; and my conscience did accufe me on every fide. Upon this I awaked from my sleep.
Ch. But what was it that made you so afraid of this fight?
Man. Why, I thought that the day of judgment was come, and that I was not ready for it: but this frightened me the moft, that the angels gathered up several, and left me behind; also the pit of hell opened her mouth just where I ftood. My conscience too afflicted me: and, as I thought, the judge had always his eye upon me, fhewing indignation in his counte
Then faid the Interpreter to Chriftian, " Haft thou confidered all these things?"
Chr. Yes, and they put me in hope and fear.
Int. Well, keep all these things in thy mind, that fo they may be as goads in thy fides, to prick thee forward in the way thou must go.
Christian now began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. Then faid the Interpreter, The Comforter be always with thee, good Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads to the city. So Christian went on his way, saying,
Here I have seen things rare and profitable,