« ZurückWeiter »
that receiveth it, Rev. ii. 17; it is the name of Israel, Gen. xxxii. 28: Jacob obtained it by prevailing with God and man; and I give it to every overcomer, Rev. ii. 17, as an everlasting name, never to be cut off,' Isaiah lvi. 5.
Having mentioned these things to the prisoner, my Lord, he told me I might fall from this free grace and favour of my King; and further, that I might be taken again by the porter; feel the dreadful sword, which I thought to have been sheathed; be cut asunder with it as an unprofitable servant, and be imprisoned again till I could pay the uttermost mite. I credited this false report, and fancied I saw the porter pursuing me with his drawn sword and rigorous brow as before; slavish fear took hold of me, and I was entangled in the yoke of bondage, 2 Peter ii. 19.
Many witnesses who told me that I was a freeman for ever, I withstood, and called their testimony an idle tale, Luke xxiv. 11; and said in my heart, All men are liars; and I told the King that his promise failed, and that he had forgotten to be gracious. Thus Mr. Universal Charity set up my infirmities as a standard of truth; and by the force of his arguments I was overcome, and by him brought unjustly into bondage, or false imprisonment; where I lay till iny King sent a reprieve the second time; and told me Universal Charity had taught rebellion against him, Jer. xxviii. 16, and spoken lies in his name, Jer. xiv. 14, and a false vision out of his own heart; and that he ran of his
own head, but I sent him not; and this is what I know of him, my Lord.
Then said the Judge, You are sure this is all true?
Free-man. Yes, my Lord, I shall have cause ever to remember it to my sorrow; it is truth, and nothing else but the truth, my Lord; and I have no more to say.
Judge. Crier, tell Mr. Dim-sight, the King's witness, to stand forth.
Dim-sight. My Lord!
Dim-sight. Yes, my Lord, and have cause for ever to remember him to my sorrow.
Judge. Well said; What do you know against him?
Dim-sight. Be it known to your Lordship that I was born blind. I am the son of two blind persons; my parents were poor people, but too proud to beg, therefore they were maintained by the parish, and seemed very contented with coarse workhouse fare; but there happened to be a famine in that land, and our provisions got worse and worse; however, I fain would have fed on it, but I could not; therefore I was determined to turn out upon the highway and beg for my livelihood. Dig I could not, because I was blind; but blessed be God, I was not ashamed to beg.
As I was one day begging by the way side there came a person by, of whom I asked an alms. He told me that either gold or silver he had none, but
such as he had he would freely give me, because he had freely received it himself. I asked him what he had to bestow. He told me it was that which I much wanted, namely, instruction; and that I must have or starve, · for many perish,' said he, for want of knowledge.' I asked what his name was, He told me his name was Evangelical; and said moreover that himself was born blind as well as I; but by the skill of a good physician he had received sight. I asked who the Physician was that had cured him. He told me his name was Immanuel, and that he often visited this country to do cures gratis for some, and to blind the
of others, “ that they that see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind.” I told him that, as I was blind, I could not find my way to him. He said that, if I called on his name, he would find a way to me. I could grope for the wall, Isaiah lix. 10; and, if I was to do so after Immanuel, I should find him, for he said that he is not far from every one of us, if haply we might feel after him, Acts xvii. 27. ( If thou callest upon his name,' said he, he will open thine eyes, give thee food, and set thee to work too;' and then he departed, As soon as he was gone I felt a strong persuasion spring up in my mind that what the good man had said was true; I therefore betook myself to calling on Immanuel, that I might receive the blessing of sight. I had not called long before something of a glimmering was sensibly felt, and various objects were presented to my view;
and, among the rest, I thought I saw a man standing upon an eminence, and I heard a voice, saying, “ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing," Isaiah xxxv. 5, 6. These words encouraged me to petition again, which I did; and, in answer to my petitions, I heard a voice, saying, “ in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee." I found myself succoured indeed, sweetly refreshed, and abundantly satisfied. I cried out, Oh Lord, thou hast enlightened my darkness, I beseech thee to shew me thy way. He answered me, and said, Thou must keep on in this crooked path that thou art now in, which will appear straighter by and by; and, as thou goest, thou must inquire; and, when thou seest any before thee on this road, thou must follow them, until thou comest to a large plowed field with a wall round it, and a gate standing wide open, by which thou must enter in; and as soon as thou gettest within the gate thou wilt see a seedsman sowing seed; the grain that he sows will dazzle thine eyes, thou wilt think he is sowing stars upon the ground, thou must follow him, and walk in the light of his seed which he scatters. “ Light is sown for the righteous: and gladness for the upright in heart.”
At the upper end of the plowed field thou wilt find a vineyard; and just beyond that a glorious high mountain, the place of my sanctuary, which
thou shalt surely arrive at ere long. But before that thou must labour in the vineyard, thou must serve in thy day, and serve thy generation; thou must be a keeper of the vineyard, Song viii. 11, and guard it against thieves; and thou must set traps to take the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, which bear but tender grapes, Song ii. 15. Thou must endeavour to crop the superfluous branches, and to tack up the tender shoots by nails fastened in a sure place, Eccles. xii. 11; Isaiah xxii. 23; for which thou shalt receive one penny per day for thyself, and one penny per day for others; a penny as à dresser of the vineyard, and two-pence as an host to attend upon others, Luke x. 35; and when the night cometh, in which no man can work, then thou shalt receive thy wages, and spend a long eternity upon the summit of that shining hill, which thou shalt have a glimmering view of hereafter, Isaiah xxxiii. 16, 17. Observe what I have said unto thee; set up every word that I have spoken as a way mark, Jerem. xxxi. 21: set. thine heart toward the highway; see that thou turn not to the right hand or to the left: “ Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain.”
I immediately set off; and, before I had got a sabbath day's journey, a person called to me, and asked me the reason of my running so fast. I told him that it was in obedience to my Lord's command, who bade me escape for my life. He answered, If thou wast an obedient believer, and obe