Home Pilgrim meets Mr. Worldly Wiseman! Part 3.

T. Austin Sparks - Messages.

Pilgrim meets Mr. Worldly Wiseman! Part 3.


                                                                                     PART 3.   



   Now as Christian was walking solitary by himself, he espied one afar

   off come crossing over the field to meet him; and their hap was to meet

   just as they were crossing the way of each other. The gentleman's name

   that met him was Mr. Worldly Wiseman: he dwelt in the town of Carnal

   Policy, a very great town, and also hard by from whence Christian came.

   This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some inkling [4] of

   him, (for Christian's setting forth from the city of Destruction was

   much noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it

   began to be the town-talk in some other places)--Mr. Worldly Wiseman,

   therefore, having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going,

   by observing his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter

   into some talk with Christian.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: How now, good fellow, whither away after this

   burdened manner?


   Christian: A burdened manner indeed, as ever I think poor creature had!

   And whereas you ask me, Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to

   yonder wicket-gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be

   put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Hast thou a wife and children?


   Christian: Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take

   that pleasure in them as formerly: methinks I am as if I had none.  1

   Cor. 7:29.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel?


   Christian: If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: I would advise thee, then, that thou with all

   speed get thyself rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never be settled in

   thy mind till then: nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessings

   which God hath bestowed upon thee till then.


   Christian: That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy

   burden: but get it off myself I cannot, nor is there any man in our

   country that can take it off my shoulders; therefore am I going this

   way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?


   Christian: A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honorable

   person: his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: I beshrew [5] him for his counsel! there is not a

   more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that into which

   he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled

   by his counsel. Thou hast met with something, as I perceive, already;

   for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee: but that

   slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on

   in that way. Hear me; I am older than thou: thou art like to meet with,

   in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger,

   perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word,

   death, and what not. These things are certainly true, having been

   confirmed by many testimonies. And should a man so carelessly cast away

   himself, by giving heed to a stranger?


   Christian: Why, sir, this burden on my back is more terrible to me than

   are all these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not

   what I meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance

   from my burden.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: How camest thou by thy burden at first?


   Christian: By reading this book in my hand.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: I thought so; and it has happened unto thee as to

   other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, do

   suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do not only

   unman men, as thine I perceive have done thee, but they run them upon

   desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.


   Christian: I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing

   so many dangers attend it? especially since (hadst thou but patience to

   hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest,

   without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into. Yea,

   and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of those

   dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.


   Christian: Sir, I pray open this secret to me.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Why, in yonder village (the village is named

   Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality, a very

   judicious man, and a man of a very good name, that has skill to help

   men off with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders; yea to my

   knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; aye, and

   besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their

   wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be

   helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if

   he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his

   son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as

   the old gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy

   burden; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation,

   (as indeed I would not wish thee,) thou mayest send for thy wife and

   children to this village, where there are houses now standing empty,

   one of which thou mayest have at a reasonable rate: provision is there

   also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy

   is, to be sure there thou shalt live by honest neighbors, in credit and

   good fashion.


   Now was Christian somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, If

   this be true which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to

   take his advice: and with that he thus farther spake.


   Christian: Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Do you see yonder high hill?


   Christian: Yes, very well.


   Mr. Worldly Wiseman: By that hill you must go, and the first house you

   come at is his.


   So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for

   help: but, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so

   high, and also that side of it that was next the way-side did hang so

   much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill

   should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and wotted not

   what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was

   in his way. There came also flashes of fire,  Ex. 19:16, 18, out of the

   hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burnt: here

   therefore he did sweat and quake for fear.  Heb. 12:21. And now he began

   to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel; and with

   that he saw Evangelist coming to meet him, at the sight also of whom he

   began to blush for shame. So Evangelist drew nearer and nearer; and

   coming up to him, he looked upon him, with a severe and dreadful

   countenance, and thus began to reason with Christian.


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