set themselves against us?* But without Him, the proud helpers fall under the slain.†

I, for my part, have been in the fray before now; and though (through the goodness of Him that is best) I am, as you see, alive; yet cannot I boast of my manhood. Glad shall I be, if I meet with no more such brunts; though I fear we are not gone beyond all danger. However, since the lion and the bear have not as yet devoured me, I hope God will also deliver us from the next uncircumcised Philistine.

Then sang Christian :

Poor Little-faith! hast been among the thieves?
Wast robb'd? remember this whoso believes;
And get more faith; then shall you victors be
Over ten thousand; else scarce over three.

So they went on, and Ignorance followed. They went then till they came at a place where they saw a way put itself into their way, and seemed withal to lie as straight as the way which they should go; and there they knew not which of the two to take, for both seemed straight before them; therefore here they stood still to consider. And as they were thinking about the way; behold, a man black of flesh, but covered with a very light robe, came to them, and asked them, why they stood there? They answered, "They were going to the Celestial City, but know not which of these ways to take." "Follow me, (said the man;) it is thither that I am going." So they followed him in the way that but now came into the road; which by degrees turned, and turned them, so from the city that they desired to go to, that in a little time their faces were turned away from it; yet they followed him. But, by and by, before they were aware, he led them both within the compass of a net, in which they were both so entangled, that they knew not what to do: and with that, the white robe fell off the black man's back: Then they saw where they were. Wherefore there they lay crying some time, for they could not get themselves out.

Then said Christian to his fellow; "Now do I see myself in an error. Did not the Shepherds bid us beware of the Flatterers? As is the saying of the Wise-man, so we have found it this day: A man that flattereth his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet.""I

Hopeful. They also gave us a note of directions about the way, for our more certain finding thereof: but therein we have also forgotten to read, and have not kept ourselves + Prov. xxix. 5.

* Psalm iii. 5. 8. & xxvii. 1, 2, 3. † Isaiah x. 4.

from the paths of the destroyer. Here David was wiser than we: for, said he' Concerning the works of men, by the words of thy lips, I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.**

Then said he

Thus they lay bewailing themselves in the net. At last they espied a shining one coming towards them with a whip of small cord in his hand. When he was come to the place where they were, he asked them, whence they came, and what they did there? They told him, "That they were poor Pilgrims going to Zion, but were led out of their way by a black man clothed in white; who bade us (said they) follow him, for he was going thither too." Then said he with the whip, "It is the Flatterer, a false apostle, that hath transformed himself into an angel of light."+ So he rent the net, and let the men out. to them, "Follow me, that I may set you in your way again." So he led them back to the way which they had left to follow the Flatterer. Then he asked them, saying, "Where did you lie the last night?" They said, "With the Shepherds upon the Delectable Mountains." He asked them then, "If they had not a note of directions for the way?" They answered, "Yes." "But did you, (said he,) when you were at a stand, pluck out and read your note?" They answered, "No." He asked them, "Why?" They said, "They forgot." He asked moreover, "If the Shepherds did not bid them beware of the Flatterer?" They answered, Yes. But we did not imagine (said they) that this finespoken man had been he."

[ocr errors]

Then I saw in my dream, that he commanded them to lie down; which when they did, he chastised them sore, to teach them the good way wherein they should walk: and as he chastised them, he said, ' As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent.' This done, he bade them go their way, and take good heed to the other directions of the Shepherds. So they thanked him for all his kindness, and went softly along the right way, singing:

Come hither, you that walk along the way;
See how the Pilgrims fare, that go astray:
They catched are in an entangled net,

'Cause they good counsel lightly did forget:
'Tis true, they rescued were; but yet you see

They're scourged to boot: Let this your caution be.

Now, after a while, they perceived afar off, one coming softly, and alone, all along the highway to meet them. Then

Psalm xvii. 4. † 2 Cor. xi. 11. 13, 14. Deut. xxv. 2. Rev. iii. 19.

said Christian to his fellow, "Yonder is a man with his back toward Zion; and he is coming to meet us.'

Hopeful. I see him; let us take heed to ourselves now, lest he should prove a Flatterer also.

So he drew nearer, and nearer, and at last came up to them. His name was Atheist; and he asked them whither they were going?

Christian. We are going to Mount Zion.

Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter.

Christian. What is the meaning of your laughter?

Atheist. I laugh to see what ignorant persons you are, to take upon you so tedious a journey, and yet are like to have nothing but your travel for your pains.

Christian. Why, man? Do you think we shall not be received?

Atheist. Received! There is no such place as you dream of, in all this world.

Christian. But there is in the world to come.

Atheist. When I was at home in mine own country, I heard as you now affirm; and from that hearing, went out to see, and have been seeking this city these twenty years, but find no more of it than I did the first day I set out.*

Christian. We have both heard, and believe, that there is such a place to be found.

Atheist. Had not I, when at home, believed, I had not come thus far to seek; but finding none, (and yet I should, had there been such a place to be found, for I have gone to seek it farther than you,) I am going back again, and will seek to refresh myself with the things that I then past away, for hopes of that which I now see is not.

Then said Christian to Hopeful his companion, "Is it true which this man has said?"

Hopeful. Take heed; he is one of the Flatterers; remember what it has cost us once already for our hearkening to such kind of fellows. What! No Mount Zion! Did we not see, from the Delectable Mountains, the gate of the city? Also, are we not now to walk by faith?' Let us go on, lest the man with the whip overtake us again. You should have taught me that lesson, which I will round you in the ears withal, Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge:'t I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and let us believe to the saving of the soul.'{

[ocr errors]

Christian. My brother, I did not put the question to thee, for that I doubted of the truth of your belief myself; but

Eccles. x. 15.

† 2 Cor. v. 7.

Prov. xix. 27.

Heb. x. 39.

to prove thee, and to fetch from thee a fruit of the honesty of thy heart. As for this man, I know that he is blinded by the god of this world. Let thou and I go on, knowing that we have belief of the truth, and no lie is of the truth.*

Hopeful. Now do I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. So they turned away from the man: and he, laughing at them, went his way.

I saw then in my dream, that they went until they came into a certain country, whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy, if he came a stranger into it. And here Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy to sleep; wherefore he said unto Christian, "I do now begin to grow so drowsy, that I can scarcely hold open my eyes: let us lie down here, and take one nap.”

Christian. By no means, lest, sleeping, we never awake


Hopeful. Why, my brother? Sleep is sweet to the laboring man; we may be refreshed, if we take a nap.

Christian. Do you not remember, that one of the Shepherds bade us beware of the Enchanted Ground? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping; wherefore 'let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober.'†

Hopeful. I acknowledge myself in a fault; and, had I been here alone, I had by sleeping run the danger of death. I see it is true that the Wise-man saith; Two are better than one.' Hitherto hath thy company been my mercy; ' and thou shalt have a good reward for thy labor.'

Christian. Now then, to prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.

Hopeful. With all my heart.

Christian. Where shall we begin?

Hopeful. Where God began with us: but do you begin if you please.

Christian. I will sing you first a song:

When Saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,

And hear how these two Pilgrims talk together;

Yea, let them learn of them in any wise

Thus to keep ope' their drowsy slumb❜ring eyes:
Saint's fellowship, if it be managed well,

Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.

Then Christian began, and said, "I will ask you a question. How came you to think at first of so doing as you do now?"

Hopeful. Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my soul?

* 1 John i. 6.

† 1 Thes. v. 6.

Eccles. iv. 9.


Christian. Yes; that is my meaning.

Hopeful. I continued a great while in the delight of those things which were seen and sold at our Fair; things which 'I now believe would, had I continued in them still, have drowned me in perdition and destruction.

Christian. What things were they?

Hopeful. All the treasures and riches of the world: also I delighted much in rioting, revelling, drinking, swearing, lying, uncleanness, sabbath-breaking, and what not, that tended to destroy the soul. But I found at last, by hearing and considering of things that are divine, (which indeed I heard of you, as also of beloved Faithful, that was put to death for his faith and good-living in Vanity-Fair,) That the end of these things is death:** and that, for these things' sake,' the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience.'t

[ocr errors]

Christian. And did you presently fall under the power of this conviction?

Hopeful. No: I was not willing presently to know the evils of sin, nor the damnation that follows, upon the commission of it; but endeavored, when my mind at first began to be shaken with the Word, to shut mine eyes against the light thereof.

Christian. But what was the cause of your carrying of it thus to the first workings of God's Spirit upon you?

Hopeful. The causes were; 1. I was ignorant that this was the work of God upon me. I never thought that by awakenings for sin, God at first begins the conversion of a sinner. 2. Sin was yet very sweet to my flesh, and I was loth to leave it. 3. I could not tell how to part with my own companions; their presence and actions were so desirable unto me. 4. The hours in which convictions were upon me, were such troublesome and heart-affrighting hours, that I could not bear, no, not so much as the remembrance of them upon my heart.

Christian. Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your trouble?

Hopeful. Yes, verily, but it would come into my mind again, and then I would be bad, nay, worse than I was before.

Christian. Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again?

Hopeful. Many things; as, 1. If I did but meet a good man in the streets; or, 2. If I have heard any read in the Bible; or, 3. If mine head did begin to ache; or, 4. If I were

* Rom. vi. 21, 22, 23.

† Ephes. v. 6.

« 上一页继续 »