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Now I saw, in my dream, that it pleased the Lord of pilgrims, after a time, to stretch forth his arm for the preservation of the child. And behold, Evangelist came to him as he stood before the door of the school-house, and said, “Humble Mind, what doest thou here? Did I not visit thee in thy father's house ? and did I not warn thee to fee from this country? Knowest thou not that sure destruction awaits such as continue to dwell in this place ?"
On hearing the words of Evangelist, Humble Mind began to tremble. Inbred-Sin also drew into the background; still however keeping close enough to the ear of Humble Mind to whisper therein the answers which he should make to Evangelist.
“ Did I not point out,” said Evangelist, “the dangers which awaited thee on remaining in this place ? and did I not charge thee to flee by the gate which is erected at the head of the way of life? What, then, art thou doing here ?"
To this Humble Mind replied, “ Sir, fearing that I might be too weak to wrestle with the enemies which I was told would meet me in the way, I was persuaded to come hither, in order to learn the art of attack and defence, and to obtain such other kinds of knowledge as might fit me to contend with the adversaries of our
“And what is that art of war ? and what is that knowledge,” asked Evangelist,“which thou hast been acquiring in this place? Knowest thou not, my son, that he only is strong who walks in the strength of the Lord ? and that he only is mighty in arms who puts on the whole armour of God ?!!
“I have acquired the knowledge of many estimable things in this school,” replied Humble Mind, “ where my master has endeavoured to confirm my belief in the holy Book of God by making me study the writings of ancient authors; several of whom are found so far to agree with the sacred Scriptures as to cast some light upon them.”
“And hast thou not,” said Evangelist,“ while looking at these lesser lights, forgotten to fix thine eye on that diviner light which will not fail to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day ?"
I heard also that Evangelist proceeded to pronounce certain dreadful threatenings in the ear of Humble Mind ; under the terrors of which he broke into tears and cries, saying, “ Sir, I confess that I have done amiss, and desire to do better : but I am held in such a state of bondage by this my companion, even this sin which so easily besets me, that the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.'” Rom. vii. 19.
Then spake Evangelist="Know, my son, that this Inbred-Sin which dwelleth with thee is so exceedingly powerful, that no man hath ever been able, by his own strength, to break the yoke of that wicked one from off his neck. When Adam transgressed the law of God by eating the forbidden fruit, this Inbred-Sin was then conceived in his heart; and from thenceforward the nature of every man, who is of the offspring of Adam, has been very far drawn aside from original righteousness, and strongly inclined to evil; so that the flesh lusteth always against the Spirit. Moreover, this contrary tendency so far prevails in every person born into the world, as to deserve God's wrath and damnation. Wherefore no man is counted righteous before God, excepting and only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for his own works or deservings. That holy Book therefore which I delivered to thee doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.' (Articles of the Church.) The Lord Jesus Christ hath mercifully opened a way for sinners unto salvation-He is the way, the truth, and the life ;' and 'no man cometh unto the Father but by him.' John xiv. 6. Now I formerly pointed out to thee this way of salvation, which is thus described—Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life; and few there be that find it: but wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction; and many there be which go in thereat.'” Matt. vii. 13, 14. _ I heard then that Evangelist spake of Mr. WorldlyPrudence and his followers. “These are the men,” said he, “who think themselves wiser than their Maker, and who turn aside many young persons from the right way,
in order to fill them with such knowledge as only puffeth up, and tendeth to destruction. They take the sling and the stone from the hand of the youthful pilgrim, and put on him the armour of Saul; they rob him of his Bible, and fill his mouth with the words of man's wisdom: so that more young pilgrims are destroyed by this Worldly-Prudence than by thousands of the open enemies of our Lord.”
In this manner spake Evangelist; after which I saw, in my dream, that he again put into Humble Mind's hand the Book of God, bidding him beware, and never again part with it; “For it shall be," said he, “ a lamp unto thy feet, and a light unto thy path.” Psalm cxix. 105.
So Humble Mind received the book; and, placing it in his bosom, he gave his hand unto Evangelist; saying, “ God be merciful to me a sinner!”
Then Evangelist took the hand of the child, and drew him forward towards the gate which led from the schoolyard.
Now I perceived that, when those scholars who were in the yard saw Humble Mind going out from among them in the hand of Evangelist, they raised such a hue and cry, that the master and his assistants, with all those who were in the school-house, came running out to see what was the matter.
I heard also that there arose a very warm and vehement dispute between Mr. Worldly-Prudence and Evangelist ; wherein Mr. Worldly-Prudence maintained that he was one of the best friends of young pilgrims, and that the object of his instructions was to bring them so far acquainted with the writings of the best and wisest of the ancients that they might have a decided advantage in arguing with the enemies of religion. .
In reply to which, Evangelist read from his book the following passage-"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise ? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ?" 1 Cor. i. 19, 20.
Upon which, I heard that Mr. Worldly-Prudence charged Evangelist with enthusiasm and folly, saying that he was the friend of indolence and ignorance, a hater of learning, and a despiser of all the wisdom of past ages.
At this the whole school broke forth into loud taunts and scoffs; whereat Humble Mind trembled exceedingly, more especially as Inbred-Sin began, at the same time, to whisper in his ears such things as filled him with shame, and brought the blood up into his cheeks. Nevertheless, through the secret help of God, he drew not his hand from Evangelist, but kept close to him, till that divine instructêr had conveyed him out of the school-yard, and brought him to a place from whence the gate which leadeth to salvation might clearly be distinguished.
By this time Humble Mind had got out of the sound of the scoffings and blasphemies of his late companions in Mr. Worldly Prudence's school. Notwithstanding which, his mind was as yet by no means at ease: since no sooner had he begun to move towards the Way of Salvation, than such a strife arose between him and Inbred-Sin as would surely have proved too much for him, had not the child received assistance from on high, although he knew it not. Inbred-Sin first sprang upon his back, where he lay like a drag upon a wheel; so that the boy could hardly advance at all. I saw then that Humble Mind tried to shake him off; but as fast as he freed himself from him in one part, this tormentor fixed upon some other; 'now hanging on him by one limb, and now by another; sometimes taking him by the hair of the head, sometimes twitching him by the back; sometimes by one elbow, sometimes by the other; but still, as it were, in a sly and underhand way, though without rest or intermission; for, as I said before, one of the qualities of this family of Inbred-Sin is, that they know not what it is to be fatigued or weary. In spite, however, of the tormentor, Humble Mind, being led by Evangelist, proceeded towards the gate which is at the head of the Way of Salvation.
Then said Evangelist to the child, “My son, what seest thou ?”
Humble Mind. I see a light, which grows brighter and brighter as I look thereon.
Evangelist. I am well pleased that thou art enabled to discern that light. « Blessed art thou: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but thy Father which is in heaven.” Matt. xvi. 17. This is “the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star”
(Rev. xxii. 16); the leading star which hath brought many to Zion.
Then Evangelist rejoiced in spirit, and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." Matt. xi. 25, 26. So Evangelist kissed the boy; and bidding him hasten to the gate, and there knock boldly for admission, he withdrew himself from the eyes of the child.
Now I saw, in my dream, that when he which was sent from God, to wit, Evangelist, had departed, InbredSin immediately faced about : and coming before the little pilgrim, began openly and without disguise to impede him in his way. And first, he would have him to Btand still while he argued with him; and so pressing was he, that the boy for quietness' sake, stood still to hear what he had to say. Then began he to plead and argue with Humble Mind, and that after such a fashion as I had never witnessed before. He assured him, that if he persevered in following the counsel of Evangelist, he would become the laughing-stock of all the country; that he would lose all the good things of this world, and be generally considered as a fool and a madman. And when he found that these arguments would not prevail, he was for having Humble Mind just to go back and take a handsome leave of his master and his schoolfellows: "For who knows,” said this arch-tempter, “but God may give you power to persuade a few of your old playmates to come on pilgrimage with you ?—and thus you may become the instrument of saving some whom you love.” He spake unto him also of his sisters, and those of his father's house, earnestly pleading with him to turn back, for the purpose of securing their company.
Thus Inbred-Sin sought to entice and entangle Humble * Mind through the affection he bore to his earthly friends. But when this would not do (for Humble Mind was too hot upon his journey to be thus put by), Inbred-Sin shifted his ground again, and asked him how he could "think of appearing before the Lord of the gate clothed
in those filthy rags, and with Inbred-Sin as his compan* ion? “ for,” added he, spitefully, “wherever thou goest I will follow thee, Humble Mind, and will be thy torment and thy shame; for I am thy brother, the son of thy