Page images

alone, neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked up to the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him: but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, Whence come you ? and what would you have? He answered, I have eat and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught in our streets. Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King: so he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found

Then said they, Have you none? but the man answered never a word.* So they told the King, but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two shining ones, that conducted Christian and Hopeful to the City, to go out, and take Ignorance, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw in the side of the hill, and put him in


Hence see that ignorant, vain confident professors may keep up a profession, even unto the end ; yea, and keep a self-righteous hope to the very last, without any internal operation of the Spirit upon their hearts, slaying their natural self-confidence, and quickening them to a life of faith on the Son of God. Such, when they are called upon for their certificate, find themselves destitute of one. They set out in nature, and have nothing more about them than what their natural notions furnish them with. Spiritual revelations of Christ to the heart, through faith in the word, they despised; and therefore, when searched to the bottom, behold they are speechless. They could talk of their own free-will, moral powers, faithfulness to grace, &c. in life, but they have not one word to say of precious Christ and his finished salvationwhat he hath done for sinners, what he is to them, and what the Spirit has wrought in them, whereby Christ becomes altogether lovely in their eyes; and his truths, promises, and commands, the choice, the delight, and the glory of their hearts. Oh! without this, the profession of being a pilgrim will end in awful delusion!

there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the city of Destruction.* So I awoke, and behold, it was a dream.

* This is a most awful conclusion. Consider it deeply. Weigh it attentively, so as to get good satisfaction from the word, to these important questions: Am I in Christ the way, the only way to the kingdom, or not ? Do I see that all other ways, whether of sin or selfrighteousness, lead to hell ? Does Christ dwell in my heart by faith ? Am I a new creature in him ? Do I renounce my own righteousness, as well as abhor my sins ? Do I look to Christ alone for righteousness, and depend only on him for holiness ? Is he the only hope of my soul, and the only confidence of my heart ? and, Do I desire to be found in him, knowing by the word, and feeling by the teaching of his Spirit, that I am totally lost in myself? Thus, Is Christ formed in me, the only hope of glory? Do I study to please him, as well as hope to enjoy him ? Is fellowship with God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, so prized by me, as to seek it, and to esteem it above all things ? If so, though I may find all things in nature, in the world, and from Satan continually opposing this, yet I am in Christ the way; and he is in me, the truth and the life. I am one with him, and he is one with me. There is an inseparable, an everlasting, and an indissoluble union, which neither sin nor hell shall ever be able to destroy; for, this union is effected by no less than the almighty power of God the Holy Ghost. It is his work, and his alone, to take of the things of Christ, to show them to the sinner, and to glorify Christ in his eyes, and to make him the glory of his heart, so as that he can say, in the power of faith, Christ is my righteousness, life, hope, and salvation : He is the Lord, by whom we escape death, through whom we obtain eternal glory. To whom, with the Father and Holy Ghost, the One Jehovah, be endless praise and glory. Amen.


Now, Reader, I have told my Dream to thee,
See if thou can’st interpret it to me,
Or to thyself, or neighbour: but take heed
Of misinterpreting; for that, instead
Of doing good, will but thyself abuse:
By misinterpreting, evil ensues.

Take heed also that thou be not extreme
In playing with the outside of my Dream; ;
Nor let my figure or similitude
Put thee into a laughter or a feud.
Leave this for boys and fools; but as for thee,
Do thou the substance of my matter see.

Put by the curtains, look within my veil,
Turn up my metaphors, and do not fail.
There, if thou seekest them, such things thoul't find
As will be helpful to an honest mind.

What of my dross thou findest there, be bold
To throw away, but yet preserve the gold. .
What if my gold be wrapped up in ore?
None throws away the apple for the core ;
But if thou shalt cast all away as vain,
I know not but 'twill make me dream again.









“ I have used similitudes," Hos. xii. 10.

« PreviousContinue »