Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS.

181

out below and above them. There were several pretty rustic cottages erected, since Christian's time, on some level patches on the declivity of the hill : near the largest of these was a cherry-orchard, sloping gradually down to a bright running brook, over which was thrown a small bridge covered with ivy. This little brook dashed its sparkling waters into the river below, on which they had sailed, and whose picturesque windings they could discern from their elevated position to a great extent. By-and-by they arrived at the habitation of the shepherds, two of whom, “ Watchful" and Sincere," * were conversing together in front of their house, a neat and commodious one.

They advanced and accosted the party, whom they perceived to be pilgrims; and when, in answer to their questions, they found that they were descendants of the good

Christian,” they welcomed them with equal surprise and gladness, conducting them into the house, where they introduced them to their two other brethren,“ Knowledge” and “Experience," who also received them in the most friendly manner; and all urged them to sojourn for a time with them,

* See “ Pilgrim's Progress,"

as their ancestors had done, saying, “ that the air of these mountains was particularly salubrious, and that many

invalids had been cured by staying amongst them.”

To this they answered with thanks, that, though none of them were invalids, the kind proposal was too agreeable to be refused, and so there they remained. The rest of that day was passed in pleasant and profitable discourse. When they had risen next morning they saw the shepherds, who had been stirring early, returning together towards the house; but instead of four, there seemed to be five of them. So they went out to meet them, and when they joined the party, lo! who should the fifth person be but their old friend Mr. Evangelist! They rejoiced greatly at seeing him again so unexpectedly, and learned that he had arrived very soon after themselves, in the vessel they had observed at a distance, and which they were told was the Devotion. He had come to the mountains with two pilgrims in his charge, who were staying at that pleasant cottage they had noticed, with the orchard adjoining it.

“ Let us re-enter the house now,” said one of the shepherds, “and carry on our conversation at breakfast, which I dare say we shall find ready."

MEETING WITH EVANGELIST.

183

So they all went in, except Myra, who lingered a little after the others to examine a beautiful passionflower which grew against one side of the house.

Then said the Evangelist to Paul, “You, my friend, and your amiable cousin, I well remember; for did I not join your hands at the Palace Beautiful ? and Luke, her good brother, I remember; but who is the pretty innocent-looking damsel in your company ? she was not with you at that time.

So Paul told him her name, and how they first met with her, and her having remained with them ever since.

And I do not think she is likely to quit us any more: do you, Luke ?” added he, with an arch smile to his friend and brother.

Mr. Evangelist was not slow in interpreting the speech and the look ; but Myra, entering the room at this moment, prevented any further questions.

Grace presented her to the good Evangelist, and then changed the subject by asking him," who were the pilgrims whom he had mentioned having brought with him to the mountains ?"

Evangelist. They are a very worthy woman, named Elizabeth Church, and her adopted son Isaac. I will tell you the particulars I am acquainted with concerning them, if you wish it. To this the pilgrims, and the shepherds too, assented, and he continued :—“ The youth is of an inquiring, candid, and well-disposed mind, and comes of a very ancient family, which once enjoyed great prosperity and favour with its Sovereign, while remaining loyal to Him; but, though He is the King of kings and Lord of lords,' they (with some few exceptions)

rebelled against Him,' with the greatest obstinacy and ingratitude, and were afflicted with a fatal blindness, affecting them all; insomuch, that when their great King's only and beloved Son came to visit them, according to a promise made long before, they did not know Him! And because He condescended to come amongst them in a lowly and familiar manner, devoid of regal splendour or glorious apparel, but clothed with humility, they despised and rejected Him. All the time He passed with them was spent in doing good to their souls and bodies, for He taught them, speaking 'as never man spake,' healing their various diseases, and even restoring some of their dead to life; yet were their eyes and their hearts still closed against Him, till at last, like wild beasts eager for their prey, they brought Him as a • lamb to the slaughter,' and filled up the measure

ISAAC, AND HIS ANCESTORS.

185

of their crimes by putting Him to a shameful and cruel death! After these dreadful events the downfall of this stiff-necked generation' began: their habitation was utterly destroyed, and they became (and have continued to this day) homeless wanderers over the face of the earth; insulted and scorned wherever they are found, as they had scorned and insulted their divine Prince and Master.

But to return now to Isaac. He was a youth of a studious and reflective turn of mind from a boy, and, by the Divine grace, his eyes were opened to discern the truth, and how sadly and fatally his ancestors had erred. He, therefore, came out from among them, and is received to the bosom of that good and kind • Mother Church,' by whom he is adopted.”

“ He has happily escaped, indeed," said the shepherd Experience ; " and I hope you will bring him to our house with you, that we may see and know him.”

“ That will I, gladly,” answered the Evangelist. “ It is, indeed, foretold that all the members of that wandering family shall at last be converted and pardoned, and then restored to their King and country, and, with other faithful people of all nations, be gathered as one fold under one shepherd.'”

« AnteriorContinuar »