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chrysalis is man laid in the tomb, when this earth with all its concerns and delights shall have passed from him for ever; and the butterfly is man risen again with a more glorious body, and soaring far above the sensual pleasures that once engrossed his dull thoughts.
“Right,” said the Interpreter; “that is the obvious meaning: but though such is the natural state of man, he is enabled, through faith and Divine assistance, to look forward to his future state, and thence to overlook many of the earthly trifles that seem so important in the view of the worldling, who, like a young child, holding up his hat to screen his eyes from the sun, and thus hiding it from his sight, should imagine the hat to be the largest of the two.
Now I saw in my dream that it was time for the pilgrims to leave the Interpreter's house and betake themselves to their journey, so thanking him for all he had shewn them, and for his hospitality, they bade him a grateful farewell. He reminded them of the Hill Difficulty, which was but a few hours' walk farther on, and told them not to be discouraged by its appearance, for that all good pilgrims travelling that way, besides their grand
father, Christian, had ascended it. They remembered this, and had also seen it marked down in the map, as well as the Palace Beautiful, which was situated at no great distance beyond. He recommended them to the good virgins who dwelt there, and giving them his blessing, they once more set forward on the way, which I observed lay pleasantly enough between verdant fields with neat hedges. The dew-drops glittered in the sun-beams, and the lark's clear and joyous matin song was heard as he mounted high in air; the hearts of the cousins also felt light and cheerful as they faced the mild breath of morning, and they walked briskly on, conversing of their agreeable. visit at the Interpreter's. But I beheld that this did not last very long, for when I looked again, the sky was overcast with dark heavy clouds, the soft breeze had turned to a chilling wind, the sun was thickly veiled, and the birds were mute.
“ Thus," observed Paul, perceiving the change, do we often see the bright prospects of youth clouded over, before middle age has well begun!”
“Even so,” answered Luke; “ for though still in early youth myself, I have known it in others : yet when all their mid-day has been dark, cold, and
cheerless, the evening of their lives has frequently become warm and genial like the morning, and their sun has set in bright and peaceful serenity."
Now I saw in my dream that they had advanced some distance, and the Hill Difficulty appeared in sight.
See you the hill before us?” asked Paul. "Yes, and very steep it looks,” said Luke ; " and the road has become so rugged, and bad for walking, that I feel almost tired already, before we begin the ascent.” “ You must try not to give way to weariness, how
it we must go,” said Paul, Just as he had spoken these words, a cry was heard, as of one in distress.
“ Hark!” said Luke ; " what is that?” They listened, and again they heard (as far as they could judge from the distance) a female lamenting.
“Wait here, Luke," cried Paul, “ while I go and see what it is.” He ran off along a little path to the right, in the direction from whence the sound came ; it led him to a copse or thicket, which gradually increased to a wood, with numerous paths so intricate, that by the time he was fairly in he could not tell by which he had come, nor which to take :
all he could do was to follow that which seemed to lead towards the part from whence the voice proceeded, but which now sounded but faintly, and at intervals. He advanced as quickly as the briery underwood allowed him, and at last discerned something white at a short distance : scrambling along, he soon came up to it, and what was his surprise to behold, sitting on the ground, nearly insensible from exhaustion, Luke's sister Grace. A look of glad surprise beamed on her countenance for a moment, when she recognised her cousin, and then she again sank, pale and fainting. Paul suddenly bethought him of the fruit he had received from the Interpreter, and supporting her against a fallen tree, instantly gave her some; even the smell of it began to revive her, and when she had tasted it her strength gradually returned, and she rose up. After expressing her grateful joy at the timely assistance of Paul, she, at his request, promised to relate the cause of the piteous situation in which he found her.
“ But, before I begin my narrative,” said she, let us try to find our way out of this labyrinth, for such it appears to be.'
Such, indeed, it was, and to emerge from it was no easy matter, especially as they were now sur
LABYRINTH OF ERROR.
rounded by a thick fog: they tried three or four paths, but the farther they advanced in each, the more they became entangled in the bewildering
Poor Grace began to despair, and her companion was equally at a loss, but after a little consideration he exclaimed : “What ought we to do, when in any trouble or perplexity? Should we not petition our Lord and King to deliver us from it, all means being possible with Him?”
"Ah, indeed !" replied his cousin, “I ought to have thought of that sooner, nor required to be reminded of it, for do I not know that He is a very present help in time of need ? '
Then I saw that they both fell on their knees, and humbly besought the Giver of all good to extricate them from their present strait; and they arose with more tranquillised spirits when they had * cast all their care on Him who careth for us ; knowing that “to our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him."
It was not long before their prayer was answered, for suddenly there appeared before them a bright and majestic person, clad in white raiment, with a girdle of crystal; bearing in one hand a sharp