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As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream.
I dreamed, and behold ' I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back?' I looked, and saw him open the book and read therein; and as he read he wept and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying " What shall I do? 2?
In this plight therefore he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: O my dear wife,
2 Acts ii. 37.
1 Isai. Ixiv. 6. Luke xiv. 33. Psal. xxxviii. 4. Hab. ii. 2.
THE PILGRIM'S DISTRESS.
said he, and you the children of my bowels, I your • dear friend am in myself undone by reason of a burden • that lieth hard upon me: moreover, I am certainly ' informed that this our city will be burned with fire < from heaven: in which fearful overthrow, both myself,
with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape may be found, whereby we may be delivered.'
At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come they would know how he did: he told them « Worse and ' worse. He also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriage to hîm : sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them; and also to condole his own misery. He would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; and thus for some days he spent his time.
Now I saw, upon a time when he was walking in the fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he
EVANGELIST INSTRUCTS HIM.
read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying “ What shall I do to be saved'?”
I saw also that he looked this way and that way as if he would run; yet he stood still because (as I perceived) he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named EVANGELIST coming to him, and he asked, “Wherefore dost thou cry?'
He answered, Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgement; and I find that I am not willing to do the first nor able to do the second?.
Then said EvANGELIST, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils ? The man answered, Because I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet. And, Sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit to go to judgement, and from thence to execution: and the thoughts of these things
make me cry.
Then said EVANGELIST, If this be thy condition why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within, “ Flee from the “ wrath to come 4."
The man therefore read it, and, looking upon EVANGELIST very carefully, said, Whither must I flee? Then said EVANGELIST, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder WICKET-GATES? The man said, No. Then said the other, Do you
I Acts xvi. 30, 31. 2 Heb. ix. 27. Job xvi. 21, 22.
Ezek. xxii. 14. 3 Isai. XXX. 33.
4 Matt. iii. 7.
5 Matt. vii. 13, 14,
OBSTINATE AND PLIABLE
see yonder shining light'? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which when thou knockest it shall be told thee what thou shalt do. So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door but his wife and children perceiving it began to cry
after him to return”; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying · Life! life! eternal life!' So he looked not behind him3 but fled towards the middle of the plain.
The neighbours also came out to see him run: and as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of one was OBSTINATE and the name of the other PLIABLE. Now by this time the man was got a good distance from them; but however they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him.
Then said the man, Neighbours, wherefore are ye come? They said, To persuade you to go back with us; but he said, That can by no means be: you dwell, said he, in the city of DESTRUCTION; the place also where I was born; I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me.
What, said OBSTINATE, and leave our friends and our comforts behind us!
* Psal. cxix. 105. 2 Pet. i. 19.
2 Luke xiv, 26.
3 Gen. xix. 17. 2 Cor. iv. 18.
Yes, said CHRISTIAN (for that was his name); because that all which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that that I am seeking to enjoy; and if you will go along with me, and hold it, you shall fare as I myself; for there where I go is enough and to spare": come away, and prove my words.
Obst. What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?
Chr. I seek an “ inheritance incorruptible, unde“ filed, and that fadeth not away; and it is laid up in “ heaven?,” and safe there, to be bestowed at the time appointed on them that diligently seek it. Read it so, if you will, in
book. Tush, said OBSTINATE, away with your book: will you go back with us or no?
No, not I, said the other, because I have laid my hand to the ploughs.
Obst. Come then, neighbour PLIABLE, let us turn again and go home without him : there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.
Then said PLIABLE, Don’t revile; if what the good CHRISTIAN says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours; my heart inclines to go with my neighbour.
Obst. What! more fools still? be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back and be wise.
I Luke xv. 17.
2 i Pet, i. 4–6. Heb. xi. 6. 16.
3 Luke ix. 62.