But let us, said Christiana, if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that chamber that was my husband's when he was here; so they had them up thither, and they all lay in a room. When they were at rest, Christiana and Mercy entered into discourse about things that were convenient.
CHR. Little did I think once, when my husband went on pilgrimage, that I should ever have followed him.
MER. And you as little thought of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest, as you do now.
CHR. And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshiping the Lord the King with him; and yet now I believe I shall.
MER. Hark, don't you hear a noise?
CHR. Yes, it is, as I believe, a noise of music, for joy that we are here.
MER. Wonderful! Music in the house, music in the heart, and music also in heaven, for joy that we are here! Thus they talked a while, and then betook themselves to sleep.
So in the morning when they were awake, Christiana said to Mercy, What was the matter that you did laugh in your sleep to-night? I suppose you were in a dream.
MER. So I was, and a sweet dream it was; but are you sure I laughed?
CHR. Yes, you laughed heartily; but prithee, Mercy, tell me thy dream.
MER. I was a dreaming that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning of the hardness of my heart. Now I had not sat there long but methought many were gathered about me to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened, and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my heart. At this, some of them laughed at me, some called me fool, and some began to thrust me about. With that, methought I looked up and saw one coming with wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, Mercy, what aileth thee? Now when he had heard me make my complaint, he said, Peace be to thee; he also wiped my eyes with his handkerchief, and clad me in silver and gold. Ezek. 16:8-11. He put a chain about my neck, and ear-rings in mine ears, and a beautiful crown upon my head. Then he took me by the hand, and said, Mercy, come after me. So he went up, and I followed till we came at a golden gate. Then he knocked; and when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a throne, upon which one sat; and he said to me, Welcome, daughter. The place looked bright and twinkling, like the stars, or rather like the sun, and I thought that I saw your husband there; so I awoke from my dream. But did I laugh?
CHR. Laugh! aye, and well you might to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you that it was a good dream; and that, as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. "God speaks once, yea, twice, yet man perceiveth it not; in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed." Job 33:14,15. We need not, when abed, to lie awake to talk with God; he can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oftentimes wakes when we sleep, and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake.
MER. Well, I am glad of my dream; for I hope ere long to see it fulfilled, to the making me laugh again.
CHR. I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do.
MER. Pray, if they invite us to stay a while, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the more willing to stay a while here, to grow better acquainted with these maids: methinks Prudence, Piety, and Charity, have very comely and sober countenances.
CHR. We shall see what they will do.
So when they were up and ready, they came down, and they asked one another of their rest, and if it was comfortable or not.
MER. Very good, said Mercy: it was one of the best night's lodgings that ever I had in my life.
Then said Prudence and Piety, If you will be persuaded to stay here a while, you shall have what the house will afford.
CHAR. Aye, and that with a very good will, said Charity. So they consented, and stayed there about a month or above, and became very profitable one to another. And because Prudence would see how Christiana had brought up her children, she asked leave of her to catechise them. So she gave her free consent. Then she began with her youngest, whose name was James.
PRUD. And she said, Come, James, canst thou tell me who made thee?
JAMES. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
PRUD. Good boy. And canst thou tell who saved thee?
JAMES. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
PRUD. Good boy still. But how doth God the Father save thee?
JAMES. By his grace.
PRUD. How doth God the Son save thee?
JAMES. By his righteousness, death and blood, and life.
PRUD. And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?
JAMES. By his illumination, by his renovation, and by his preservation.
Then said Prudence to Christiana, You are to be commended for thus bringing up your children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the next youngest.
PRUD. Then she said, Come, Joseph, (for his name was Joseph,) will you let me catechise you?
JOSEPH. With all my heart.
PRUD. What is man?
JOSEPH. A reasonable creature, so made by God, as my brother said.
PRUD. What is supposed by this word, saved?
JOSEPH. That man, by sin, has brought himself into a state of captivity and misery.
PRUD. What is supposed by his being saved by the Trinity?
JOSEPH. That sin is so great and mighty a tyrant that none can pull us out of its clutches but God; and that God is so good and loving to man, as to pull him indeed out of this miserable state.
PRUD. What is God's design in saving poor men?
JOSEPH. The glorifying of his name, of his grace, and justice, etc., and the everlasting happiness of his creature.
PRUD. Who are they that will be saved?
JOSEPH. They that accept of his salvation.
PRUD. Good boy, Joseph; thy mother hath taught thee well, and thou hast hearkened unto what she has said unto thee.
Then said Prudence to Samuel, who was the eldest but one,
PRUD. Come, Samuel, are you willing that I should catechise you?
SAM. Yes, forsooth, if you please.
PRUD. What is heaven?
SAM. A place and state most blessed, because God dwelleth there.
PRUD. What is hell?
SAM. A place and state most woful, because it is the dwelling-place of sin, the devil, and death.
PRUD. Why wouldst thou go to heaven?
SAM. That I may see God, and serve him without weariness; that I may see Christ, and love him everlastingly; that I may have that fullness of the Holy Spirit in me which I can by no means here enjoy.
PRUD. A very good boy, and one that has learned well.
Then she addressed herself to the eldest, whose name was Matthew; and she said to him, Come, Matthew, shall I also catechise you?
MATT. With a very good will.
PRUD. I ask then, if there was ever any thing that had a being antecedent to or before God?
MATT. No, for God is eternal; nor is there any thing, excepting himself, that had a being until the beginning of the first day. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.