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dient to the divine command, thou wouldst take more heed to thy steps, and slacken thy pace; for “ he that believeth shall not make haste," Isaiah xxviii. 16. Nay, all the road that thou hast run is evil, for “ he that hasteth with his feet sinneth,” Prov. xix. 2. He asked me where I was going. I told him that I was to continue on that crooked road until it appeared straight and narrow, and then I was to follow that until I came to a plowed field, Hosea x. 11, and a vineyard at the upper end thereof, and I was to enter into that by a gate, and when I had entered he told me I should see a seedsman sowing stars on the ground, and in the light of them I should see a glorious high mountain.
He answered me, and said, “Pray did not that same voice tell you to inquire as you ran? And did not the Lord tell you to follow them that you saw on the road before you?' Then said I, “ Yes, sir, I am much obliged to you, he really did say so; and I perceive, by your reminding me of it, that you are well acquainted with my Lord. But pray how is it that you are not on this road that I am going? My Lord told me that I was to keep on upon this road.' • But did he not tell you that the road was crooked?' · Yes, sir, he really did. Very well, then, this is one of the crooks that you are to turn at, and my station is fixed here to guide the Lord's servants right on their way. I have stood here for some hundreds of years, and many thousands have been turned right hy nie.' Then,' said I, • I hope, sir,
that the road which you have pointed me to is the right road to the field and the vineyard, which I find is walled in.' · As for the wall,' said he, ‘regard not that; that is a horrible construction that you have put on the Lord's word; it is the ploughed field, the vineyard, and the mountain, that you are to inquire for. True, sir,' said I, they are the chief things that I am aiming at; direct me to them, if you please.'
you please.” “Then turn down this public road,' said he, and you will find thousands travelling upon it; and inquire your way to Kadesh; it is in the land of Judea, and borders upon the wilderness; and when you come to that you will have the shining mountain full in your view; it is the mountain that you want; that is the summit of all perfection; and that is it which
Lord told you that you
should sooner or later arrive at.' • Indeed, sir,' said I, you are an excellent director, divinely skilled in my Lord's direction; and certainly you are an infallible guide, and have stood as such for a number of years. Pray what may call your name?' He answered, “ My name is Charity.' Charity,' said I! Oh, blessed be God that ever I met with thee! Thou hast been a sure guide to every inquiring soul ever since the world began. Walk in Charity is the King's command; and that charity never fails is his absolute assertion. I am sure never to miscarry by following thy direction. God Almighty bless thee; and God be for ever blessed for setting thee in the way to guide the feet of unstable and heedless souls.' I imme
diately set off on the broad road; and soon found legions on the way, all going for the shining mountain. Oh, how did my soul rejoice to see so many on that path as well as myself! But ere I had travelled far I heard a voice in my ears saying, “ wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; but straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” This secret voice much surprised me, and for a while damped all my joys; but I inquired of one or two if that was the road that led to the shining mountain, and they told me, ‘Yes; this road leads directly to Kadesh, and the mount is just before it; you cannot miss the road; we are all going to the same hill.' Finding them all unanimous in their direction, it chased all the damp of the former voice from my mind, and made me run with alacrity and delight, not doubting in the least but I should gain the hill. But I was all on a sudden disheartened again by another voice that sounded in my ears, saying, “ There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." And indeed so I found it; for, as soon as I came to Kadesh, I found it to be at the foot of mount Hor, where Aaron died, in the utmost border of the land of Judea, joining to the wilderness.
However, I travelled on toward the shining mountain; but, before I had gone six miles from Kadesh, I found a wilderness instead of a vineyard;
and a dimensionless continent, without any enclosure, instead of a fallow field walled in.
I again inquired if that was the way to the shining mountain; and they told me, Yes, I was just at it. Then I began to look for the man that sowed starš on the ground, and for the ploughed field. But alas! instead of that, I found nothing but poor starved inhabitants, comparable to the heath in the desart, which had no eyes to see when good cometh. These inhabited the parched places of the wilderness, in a salt land never inhabited by any real christians, Jer. xvii. 6. I had not gone much farther before I saw the mountain covered with fire and smoak, and roaring with such dreadful thunder that my hair stood an end upon my head. Alas,' said I, is this the mountain whereon a man is to gain the summit of happiness after he has laboured in the vineyard ? Surely this can never be it.' However, instead of seeing the vineyard, I found myself entirely blinded; I was almost as bad with respect to my eye-sight as I was before I had petitioned Emanuel at all. I heard a number of people praising the mount, and blessing God for bringing them thither; and Moses, the servant of God, was cried up continually. But, for my part, all to me was terror, blindness, and destruction. I had not stood there long bemoaning my blindness before I heard a voice, saying, “ Seeing that we have such hope, we use great plainness (or boldness] of speech; and not as Moses, who put a veil over his face,
that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: but their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is put upon their heart,” 2 Cor. iii. 12—15.
I sensibly felt the effect of this voice, for a mist had fallen upon me, and I went about seeking some to lead me, but found none. The thunder and smoak so filled my ears and eyes, that I was almost deaf and blind, and forcibly convinced that I was out of the way; for I had not found the road crooked, as my Lord declared it was; nor had I perceived it narrow, according to his account; nor had I beheld any thing of the wall, the gate, the fallow field, the vineyard, nor the shining hill.
Being inwardly stung with remorse, I put up a poor faint petition, saying, “ O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways? and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servant's sake,” Isaiah lxiii. 17.
But I obtained no answer, nor could I even listen for one, for the thunder and lightning rolled and flashed perpetually in my ears and eyes until I had almost lost my senses; and my mind was so filled with enmity against Emanuel, that I even wished I had never petitioned him at all. In the midst of my distress, I thought I heard the acclamations of happy souls; but the sound of their voice seemed to be quite behind me, saying, “ For