So he took Christian by the hand again, and led him into a chamber, where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment, he shook and trembled. Then said Christian, "Why doth this man thus tremble?" The Interpreter then bade him to tell Christian the reasons of his so doing.

So he began and said, "This night as I was in my sleep, I dreamed, and behold, the heavens grew exceeding black; also it thundered and lightened in most fearful wise, that it put me into an agony. So I looked up in my dream, and saw the clouds racked at an unusual rate; upon which I heard a great sound of a trumpet,* and saw also a Man sit upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven: they were all in flaming fire, also the heavens were in a burning flame. I heard then a voice, saying, Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment: and with that the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the dead, that were therein, came forth:|| some of them were exceeding glad, and looked upward; and some sought to hide** themselves under the mountains. Then I saw the Man that sat upon the cloud, open the book, and bid the world draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a flame which issued out and came before him,tt a convenient distance betwixt him and them, as betwixt the judge and the prisoners at the bar. I heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on the Man that sat on the cloud, "Gather together the tares, the chaff and stubble, and cast them into the burning lake:" and with that the bottomless pit opened, just whereabout I stood: out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, smoke, and coals of fire, with hideous noises. It was also said to the same persons, "Gather my wheat into the garner." And with that I saw many catched up, and carried away into the clouds ;|||| but I was left behind. I also sought to hide myself, but could not; for the man that sat upon the cloud, still kept his eye upon me: my sins also came into my mind; and my conscience did accuse me¶¶ on every side. Upon this, I awaked from my sleep."

Christian. But what was it that made you so afraid of this sight?

Man. Why, I thought the Day of Judgment was come, and that I was not ready for it. But this frighted me most, that the angels gathered up several, and left me behind: also,

* 1 Cor. xv. 52.-1 Thes. iv. 16.

† Jude xiv.

John v. 28. Rev. xx. 11. 14.-Isaiah xxvi. 21. **Micah vii. 16, 17.

2 Thes. i. 8. Psalm v. 1, 2, 3.

tt Mal. iii. 2, 3.-Dan. vii. 9, 10.
1 Thes. iv. 16, 17,

Matt. iii. 12.-Mal. iv. 1. TT Rom. ii. 14, 15.

Ø Luke iii. 17.

[ocr errors]

the pit of hell opened her mouth just where I stood. My conscience too afflicted me; and, as I thought, the Judge had always his eyes upon me, showing indignation in his countenance.

Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Hast thou considered all these things?

Christian. Yes; and they put me in hope and fear.

Interpreter. Well, keep all things so in thy mind, that they may be as a goad in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the way thou must go.

Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. Then said 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;

Things pleasant, dreadful things to make me stable
In what I have begun to take in hand:

Then let me think on them, and understand
Wherefore they showed me where, and let me be
Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee.

Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation.* Up this way therefore did burthened Christian run; but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.

He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burthen loosed from his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre; when it fell in, and I saw it no more!

Then was Christian glad and lightsome,† and said with a merry heart, "He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder: for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him from his burthen. He looked therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head, sent the waters down his cheeks.1

Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold three shining ones came to him and saluted him, with, Peace be to thee: So the first said to him, Thy sins be forgiven thee; the second stripped him of his rags,|| and clothed him with change

* Isaiah xxvi. 1.

† Note.-When God releases us of our guilt and burthen, we are as those that leap for joy. Zech. xii. 18. Mark iii. 5. Zech. iii. 4.

of raiment; the third also set a mark on his forehead,* and gave him a roll, with a seal upon it, which he bade him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate. So they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing:†

Thus far did I come, laden with my sin;

Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither: What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burthen fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bind it to me, crack?
Blest Cross! blest Sepulchre ! blest rather be
The MAN that there was put to shame for me!

I saw then in my dream, that he went on thus, even until he came at the bottom, where he saw, a little out of the way, three men fast asleep, with fetters upon their heels. The name of the one was Simple, another Sloth, and the third Presumption.

Christian, then, seeing them lie in this case, went to them, if peradventure he might awake them; and cried, "You are like them that sleep on the top of a mast, for the dead sea is under you, a gulf that has no bottom: Awake, therefore, and come away: be willing also, and I will help you off with your irons." He also told them, "If he that goeth about like a roaring lion, comes by, you will certainly become a prey to his teeth." With that they looked upon him, and began to reply in this sort: Simple said, I see no danger; Sloth said, Yet a little more sleep; and Presumption said, every tub must stand upon his own bottom. And so they lay down to sleep again,|| and Christian went on his way. Yet was he troubled to think, that men in that danger, should so little esteem the kindness of him that so freely offered to help them, both by the awakening of them, counselling of them, and proffering to help them off with their irons. And as he was troubled thereabout, he espied two men come tumbling over the wall, on the left hand of the narrow way; and they made up apace to him. The name of the one was Formalist, and the name of the other Hypocrisy. So, as I said, they drew up unto him, who thus entered with them into discourse.

Christian. Gentlemen, whence came you, and whither go you?

* Ephes. i. 13.

Note-A Christian can sing, though alone, when God doth give him the joy of his heart. Ø 1 Pet. v. 8.

Prov. xxiii. 24.

There is no persuasion will do, if God openeth not the eyes.

Formalist and Hypocrisy. We were born in the land of Vain-glory, and are going for praise to Mount Zion.

Christian. Why came you not in at the gate which standeth at the beginning of the way? Know you not that it is written, that "he that cometh not in by the door, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber?"*

Formalist and Hypocrisy then said, That to go to the gate for entrance, was by all their countrymen counted too far about; and therefore, the usual way was to make a short cut of it, and to climb over the wall as they had done.

Christian. But will it not be counted a trespass against the Lord of the City, whither we are bound, thus to violate his revealed will?

Formalist and Hypocrisy then told him,† That as for that, he needed not to trouble his head thereabout: for what they did, they had custom for, and could produce, if need were, testimony that would witness it, for more than a thousand years.

Christian. But will your practice stand a trial at law?

Formalist and Hypocrisy then told him, That custom, it being of so long standing as above a thousand years, would doubtless now be admitted as a thing legal by an impartial judge. And besides, (say they,) if we get into the way, what's matter which way we get in? If we are in, we are in. Thou art but in the way, who, as we perceive, came in at the gate; and we are also in the way, that came tumbling over the wall. Wherein now is thy condition better than ours?

Christian. I walk by the rule of my master; you walk by the rule working of your fancies. You are counted thieves already by the Lord of the way; therefore I doubt you will not be found true men at the end of the way. You came in by yourselves, without his direction; and shall go out by yourselves, without his mercy.

To this they made him but little answer; only they bade him look to himself.

Then I saw, that they went on every man in his way, without much conference one with another; save that these two men told Christian, that as to laws and ordinances, they doubted not but they should as conscientiously do them as he. "Therefore (say they) we see not wherein thou differest from us, but by the coat that is on thy back, which was, as we trow, given thee by some of thy neighbors, to hide the shame of thy nakedness."

* John x. 1.

†They that come into the way, and not by the door, think that they can say something in vindication of their own practice.


Christian. By laws and ordinances you will not be saved,* since you came not in by the door. And as for this coat that is on my back, it was given me by the Lord of the place whither I go; and that, as you say, to cover my nakedness with. And I take it as a token of kindness to me; for I had nothing but rags before; and besides, thus I comfort myself as I go: Surely (think I,) when I come to the gate of the city, the Lord thereof will know me for good, since I have his coat on my back; a coat that he gave me freely in the day that he stripped me of my rags.' I have moreover a mark in my forehead, (of which perhaps you have taken no notice,) which one of my Lord's most intimate associates fixed there in the day that my burthen fell off my shoulders. I will tell you, moreover, that I had then given me a roll sealed, to comfort me by reading, as I go on the way: I was also bid to give it in at the Celestial Gate, in token of my certain going in after it. All which things I doubt you want, and want them, because you came not in at the gate. To these things they gave him no answer; only they looked upon each other and laughed. Then I saw that they went on all, save that Christian kept before, who had no more talk but with himself, and that sometimes sighing, and sometimes comfortably: also he would be often reading in the roll, that one of the shining-ones gave him, by which he was refreshed.

I beheld then, that they all went on till they came to the foot of the Hill Difficulty,† at the bottom of which was a spring. There was also in the same place two other ways besides that which came straight from the gate; one turned to the left hand, and the other to the right, at the bottom of the Hill; but the narrow way lay right up the Hill, and the name of the going up the side of the Hill is called Difficulty. Christian now went to the spring,‡ and drank thereof to refresh himself, and then began to go up the Hill, saying: The hill, though high, I covet to ascend; The difficulty will not me offend,

For I perceive, the way to life lies here:
Come, pluck up heart, let's neither faint nor fear;
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,

Than wrong, though easy, where the end is wo.

The other two also came to the foot of the Hill: but when

* Gal. ii. 16.

† Difficult is behind, Fear is before;

Tho' he's got on the hill, the lions roat.

A Christian man is never long at ease;

When one fright's gone, another doth him seize.
Isaiah xlix. 10.

« 上一页继续 »