Home Pilgrim at The Gate! Part 5.

T. Austin Sparks - Messages.


                                                                  PART 5.




   He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, saying,


   "May I now enter here? Will he within


   Open to sorry me, though I have been


   An undeserving rebel? Then shall I


   Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high."


   At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Goodwill, who

   asked who was there, and whence he came, and what he would have.


   Christian: Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of

   Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from

   the wrath to come; I would therefore, sir, since I am informed that by

   this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in.


   Goodwill: I am willing with all my heart, said he; and with that he

   opened the gate.


   So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said

   Christian, What means that? The other told him, A little distance from

   this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is the


   captain: from thence both he and they that are with him, shoot arrows

   at those that come up to this gate, if haply they may die before they

   can enter in. Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when he

   was got in, the man of the Gate asked him who directed him thither.


   Christian: Evangelist bid me come hither and knock, as I did: and he

   said, that you, sir, would tell me what I must do.


   Goodwill: An open door is set before thee, and no man can shut it.


   Christian: Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.


   Goodwill: But how is it that you came alone?


   Christian: Because none of my neighbors saw their danger as I saw



   Goodwill: Did any of them know of your coming?


   Christian: Yes, my wife and children saw me at the first, and called

   after me to turn again: also, some of my neighbors stood crying and

   calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so

   came on my way.


   Goodwill: But did none of them follow you, to persuade you to go back?


   Christian: Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when they saw that they

   could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back; but Pliable came with

   me a little way.


   Goodwill: But why did he not come through?


   Christian: We indeed came both together until we came to the Slough

   of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my

   neighbor Pliable discouraged, and would not venture farther. Wherefore,

   getting out again on the side next to his own house, he told me I should

   possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came

   mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.


   Goodwill: Then said Goodwill, Alas, poor man; is the celestial glory of

   so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the

   hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?


   Christian: Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable; and

   if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear there is

   no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true, he went back to his

   own house, but I also turned aside to go in the way of death, being

   persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.


   Goodwill: Oh, did he light upon you? What, he would have had you seek

   for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality! They are both of them a very

   cheat. But did you take his counsel?


   Christian: Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. Legality,

   until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have

   fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.


   Goodwill: That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the

   death of many more: it is well you escaped being by it dashed in



   Christian: Why truly I do not know what had become of me there, had

   not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of my

   dumps; but it was God's mercy that he came to me again, for else I had

   never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more fit

   indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my

   Lord. But O, what a favor is this to me, that yet I am admitted

   entrance here!


   Goodwill: We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that

   they have done before they come hither; they in no wise are cast out.

    John 6:37. And therefore good Christian, come a little way with

   me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee;

   dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was cast

   up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it is as

   strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.


   Christian: But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by

   which a stranger may lose his way?


   Goodwill: Yes, there are many ways butt down upon this, and they are

   crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the

   wrong, the right only being strait and narrow.  Matt. 7:14.


   Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him further, if he could

   not help him off with his burden that was upon his back. For as yet he

   had not got rid thereof; nor could he by any means get it off without



   He told him, "As to thy burden, be content to bear it until thou comest

   to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back of



   Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to

   his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some

   distance from the gate, he would come to the house of the Interpreter,

   at whose door he should knock, and he would show him excellent things.

   Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God


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