« EdellinenJatka »
HE FORETELLS THEIR APPROACHING TRIALS.
always before you, and believe stedfastly concerning things that are invisible : let nothing that is on this side the other world get within you : and, above all, look well to your own hearts and to the lusts thereof, for they are “ deceitful above all things, and desperately “ wicked :" set your faces like a flint ; you have all power in heaven and earth on your side.
Then CHRISTIAN thanked him for his exhortation; but told him withal that they would have him speak further to them for their help the rest of the way; and the rather for that they well knew that he was a prophet, and could tell them of things that might happen unto them, and how they might resist and overcome them. To which request FAITHFUL also consented. So EVANGELIST began as followeth :
My sons, you have heard in the words of the truth of the gospel, that “ you must through many tribula“ tions enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And again, that “ in every city, bonds and afflictions abide
on you;” and therefore you cannot expect that you should go long on your pilgrimage without them, in some sort or other. You have found something of the truth of these testimonies upon you already, and more will immediately follow : for now, as you see, you are almost out of this wilderness, and therefore
will soon come into a town that you will by and by see before you; and in that town you will be hardly beset with enemies, who will strain hard but they will kill you; and be you sure that one or both of you must seal the testimony, which you hold, with blood: but “ be you faithful unto death, and the King will give
VANITY FAIR. THINGS
you a crown of life.” He that shall die there although his death will be unnatural, and his pains perhaps great, he will yet have the better of his fellow not only because he will be arrived at the Celestial City soonest, but because he will escape many miseries that the other will meet with in the rest of his journey. But when you are come to the town, and shall find fulfilled what I have here related, then remember your friend, and quit yourselves like men; and “ commit the keep
ing of your souls to your God in well-doing, as unto « a faithful Creator."
Then I saw in my dream that, when they were got out of the wilderness, they presently saw a town before them; the name of that town is VANITY; and at that town there is a fair kept, called VANITY fair: it is kept all the year long: it beareth the name of Vanity fair, because the town where it is kept is “ lighter than
vanity,” and also because all that is there sold, or that cometh thither, is vanity. As is the saying of the wise, “ All that cometh is vanity'."
This fair is no new-erected business, but a thing of ancient standing : I will show you the original of it.
Almost five thousand years agone there were pilgrims walking to the Celestial City, as those two honest persons are ; and BEELZEBUB, APOLLYON, and Legion, with their companions, perceiving, by the path that the pilgrims made, that their way to the city lay through this town of VANITY, they contrived here to set up a fair ; a fair, wherein should be sold all sorts of vanity; and that it should last all the year long: therefore at
1 Eccles. i. 2. 14. ii. 11, 17. xi. 8. Isaiah, xl. 17.
THERE TO BE SEEN AND SOLD.
this fair are all such merchandise sold as houses, lands, trades, places, honours, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures ; and delights of all sorts, as whores, bawds, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not?
And moreover, at this fair there is at all times to be seen jugglings, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, and rogues, and that of every kind.
Here are to be seen too, and that for nothing, thefts, murders, adulteries, false-swearers, and that of a bloodred colour.
And as in other fairs of less moment there are several rows and streets under their proper names, where such wares are vended, so here likewise you have the proper places, rows, streets, (viz. countries and kingdoms) where the wares of this fair are soonest to be found. Here is the BRITAIN row, the French row, the ITALIAN row, the SPANISH row, the GERMAN row, where several sorts of vanities are to be sold. But as in other fairs some one commodity is as the chief of all the fair, so the ware of Rome and her merchandize is greatly promoted in this fair : only our English nation, with some others, have taken a dislike thereat.
Now, as I said, the way to the Celestial City lies just through the town where this lusty fair is kept; and he that will go to the city, and yet not go through this town, “must needs go out of the world.” The Prince of princes himself, when here, went through this town to his own country, and that upon a fair-day too : yea, and as I think, it was BEELZEBUB the chief lord of this
A HUBBUB IN THE FAIR.
fair that invited him to buy of his vanities; yea, would have made him lord of the fair, would he but have done him reverence as he went through the town: yea, because he was such a person of honour, BEELZEBUB had him from street to street, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a little time, that he inight, if possible, allure that Blessed One to cheapen and buy some of his vanities; but he had no mind to the merchandise, and therefore left the town without laying out so much as one farthing upon these vanities'. This fair, therefore, is an ancient thing, of long standing, and a very great fair.
Now these pilgrims, as I said, must need go through this fair. Well, so they did ; but behold, even as they entered into the fair, all the people in the fair were moved, and the town itself, as it were, in a hubbub about them; and that for several reasons : for,
First, the pilgrims were clothed with such kind of raiment as was diverse from the raiment of any that traded in that fair. The people, therefore, of the fair made a great gazing upon them : some said they were fools? ; sonie, they were bedlams, and some, they were outlandish men.
Secondly, And, as they wondered at their apparel, so they did likewise at their speech ; for few could understand what they said : they naturally spoke the language of CANAAN; but they that kept the fair were the men of this world : so that from one end of the fair to the other they seemed barbarians each to the other.
Thirdly, But that which did not a little amuse the
i Matt. iv. 8,9. Luke, iv. 5. 7.
i Cor, iv. 9, 10.
THE PILGRIMS APPREHENDED AND EXAMINED.
“ Turn away
merchandizers was, that these pilgrims set very light by all their wares : they cared not so much as to look upon them : and if they called upon them to buy, they would put their fingers in their ears, and cry, “ mine eyes from beholding vanity';" and look upwards, signifying that their trade and traffic was in heaven.
One chanced, mocking, beholding the carriages of the men, to say unto them, “What will ye buy?' but they looking gravely upon him, said, “ We “buy the “ truth?.” At that, there was an occasion taken to de, spise the men the more: some mocking, some taunting, some speaking reproachfully, and some calling upon others to smite them. At last things came to an hubbub and great stir in the fair, insomuch that all order was confounded. Now was word presently brought to the great one of the fair, who quickly came down, and deputed some of his most trusty friends to take those men into examination about whom the fair was almost overturned. So the men were brought to examination; and they that sat upon them, asked them whence they came, whither they went, and what they did there in such an unusual garb? The men told them that they were pilgrims and strangers in the world; and that they were going to their own country, which was the heavenly JERUSALEM); and that they had given no occasion to the men of the town, nor yet to the merchandizers, thus to abuse them, and to let them in their journey: except it was for that, when one asked them what they would buy, they said they would buy
I Pl. cxix. 37
2 Prov. xxiii. 23.
3 Heb, xi. 13-16.