« AnteriorContinuar »
&c. &c. &c.
It was lately my chance to walk alone in the
wilderness of this world, where I saw many things which were grievous and doleful to my eyes, and where I heard of many inore which did even make
hair to stand on end ; for behold! the earth was filled with violence, and the number of the faithless ones was increased. Now, as I mused thereon, and was wearied through the length of my way ; at the last, my eyes grew heavy, and I laid me down to sleep : and in my sleep I dreamed ; and methought I was in a wide plain, where many were pailing to and fro; and after a time there came towards me an old gentleman, whom, when I saw him, I knew. to be Mr. SAGACITY; the fame who had formerly recounted to one who had visited those parts t'i adventures of certain pilgrims, in their road from the city of Desirullion to the Celestial Country : fo wlien lie accolteu m2, I was glad ; and, after the first greetings vere
past, I began to speak with him of the pilgrim CHRISTIAN ; also of CHRISTIANA his wife, with her children and companions ; and of all the dangers and difficulties which had encountered them in their journey: and I found it some solace to my thoughts, which had been occupied with the deeds of ungodly men, to turn them to the remembrance of the righteous of former days, and of the glorious rewards which had attended such at the last.
Now as I knew that CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA had left behind them four fons, and that to those fons also children had been born, I asked Mr. SAGACITY whether any of their lineage were yet remaining unto this day and whether, if there were, they were mindful of the good example which their ancestors had set them?
“ The family hath multiplied exceedingly,” answered he ; “ and all who have belonged to « it, ever fince the days of CHRISTIAN, have “ held themselves obliged to set out on the same " pilgrimage, which was so happily performed " by that good man: yea, though some of them “ have perished by the way, yet there have been “ many who have accomplished their appointed " course, and who are now partakers in those
glorious rewards which are laid up for all 6 faithful pilgrims in the Cæleftial Citr."
as I ain
“ I am glad," quoth I, “ to hear of their good cs success ; yet it grieves me that there should “ have been any, among the descendants of such
a man as CHRISTIAN, who have not walked “ worthy of the vocation whereunto they were 6 called.”
" Why truly,” replied the old gentleman,
you have less cause to wonder that some should « have forsaken the right path, than that any “ should have kept on their course in it un« shaken ; for though, in the time of CHRIS
TIAN, the road of the pilgrims was both « difficult and perilous, the dangers which beset < it now are much more numerous, and the al. “ 'urements to turn aside from it less easy to be < refifted.”
“. I can scarcely think that possible," answered I; “ for, besides that the things which hap“ pened unto CHRISTIAN must have served < both for ensample and for warning to all suc. “ ceeding pilgrims, I imagined that all the “ most formidable enemies of their way had " long since been removed. Did not the foul “ fiend, APOLLYON, spread his wings, when “ he felt the edge of CHRISTIAN's sword, and « Aee to the place from which he came ? Did not " Mr. VALIANT-FOR-TRUTH defeat the rob« bers? And were not the giants GRIM, MAUL, " and SLAY-Good, and above all that fierce
«s and terrible giant, the giant DesPAIR, cut " off by the hand of Mr. GREAT-HEART ?
Truly you will not easily persuade me that
any new foes, who may in later times have " arisen to annoy the pilgrims, can have equal
power with those I have named to work their “ final destruction.”
At that Mr. SAGACITY smiled, but withal he shook his head. « There are many,” said he, “even among the pilgrims themselves, who “ reason as you do, and accordingly set out on " their course with much confidence ; but fo « much the less as they fear the dangers which « await them, so much the more easily are they
brought to perdition. If, however, you de56 fire any proof of what I say, you may quickly
I “ fee and judge for yourself: for turn your eyes “ yonder ;»--And as he spoke, he pointed with his hand“ Do you perceive that young
" " man, who is crossing the plain with such " cheerful demeanour, and is speeding towards « the wicket gate? -
Very plainly,” quoth I; “there are many « whose tteps tend the same way, but the youth 6 " in white garments far outgoes the rest ; and as “ I fee, he haih already fifely passed the flough “ of Defpond, and bath almost reached the gate.”
“ Kep him in your view, then,” rejoined my companion, “and-obfrve what shall befal , 6
« him on his pilgrimage. He is of the family “ of CHRISTIAN ; so that, for the sake of his “fathers, you will take the greater interest in « his adventures: and when next we meet, you “ shall tell me whether the way has proved less “ perilous to him, than it did of old time to " those who trod it before him.”
When he had thus spoken, Mr. SAGACITY took his leave of me; and I, pleased with the opportunity of beholding the progress of a youth, with whose countenance and deportinent I was so greatly taken, continued to watch him, and that with more attention than at first.
Then I perceived that he had in his hand a book, like unto that which EVANGELIST had given to the pilgrim CHRISTIAN; and as he walked, he sometimes read therein, and soinetimes he fixed his eyes on the shining light which was over the gate, towards which he bent his course. Also it was not long before he reached the gate; a:d being at it, he put forth his hand and knocked. Now I saw not the any arrows were shot at him from the castle BEELZEBUB, neither did the terrible dog con forth to assault him; but the porter, who was named GOOD-WILL, quickly opened the gate unto him, and demanded of him who he was, and whence he came.