SKILL. These pills are good to prevent diseases, as well as to cure when one is sick. Yea, I dare say it, and stand to it, that if a man will but use this physic as he should, it will make him live for ever. John 6:51. But, good Christiana, thou must give these pills no other way but as I have prescribed; for if you do, they will do no GOOD. So he gave unto Christiana physic for herself, and her boys, and for Mercy; and bid Matthew take heed how he ate any more green plums; and kissed them, and went his way.
It was told you before, that Prudence bid the boys, that if at any time they would, they should ask her some questions that might be profitable and she would say something to them.
MATT. Then Matthew, who had been sick, asked her, why for the most part physic should be bitter to our palates.
PRUD. To show how unwelcome the word of God and the effects thereof are to a carnal heart.
MATT. Why does physic, if it does good, purge, and cause to vomit?
PRUD. To show that the word, when it works effectually, cleanseth the heart and mind. For look, what the one doth to the body, the other doth to the soul.
MATT. What should we learn by seeing the flame of our fire go upwards, and by seeing the beams and sweet influences of the sun strike downwards?
PRUD. By the going up of the fire, we are taught to ascend to heaven by fervent and hot desires. And by the sun sending his heat, beams, and sweet influences downwards, we are taught the Saviour of the world, though high, reaches down with his grace and love to us below.
MATT. Whence have the clouds their water?
PRUD. Out of the sea.
MATT. What may we learn from that?
PRUD. That ministers should fetch their doctrine from God.
MATT. Why do they empty themselves upon the earth?
PRUD. To show that ministers should give out what they know of God to the world.
MATT. Why is the rainbow caused by the sun?
PRUD. To show that the covenant of God's grace is confirmed to us in Christ.
MATT. Why do the springs come from the sea to us through the earth?
PRUD. To show that the grace of God comes to us through the body of Christ.
MATT. Why do some of the springs rise out of the tops of high hills?
PRUD. To show that the Spirit of grace shall spring up in some that are great and mighty, as well as in many that are poor and low.
MATT. Why doth the fire fasten upon the candle-wick?
PRUD. To show that unless grace doth kindle upon the heart, there will be no true light of life in us.
MATT. Why are the wick, and tallow and all, spent to maintain the light of the candle?
PRUD. To show that body and soul, and all, should be at the service of, and spend themselves to maintain in good condition that grace of God that is in us.
MATT. Why doth the pelican pierce her own breast with her bill?
PRUD. To nourish her young ones with her blood, and thereby to show that Christ the blessed so loved his young, (his people,) as to save them from death by his blood.
MATT. What may one learn by hearing the cock to crow?
PRUD. Learn to remember Peter's sin, and Peter's repentance. The cock's crowing shows also, that day is coming on: let, then, the crowing of the cock put thee in mind of that last and terrible day of judgment.
Now about this time their month was out; wherefore they signified to those of the house, that it was convenient for them to up and be going. Then said Joseph to his mother, It is proper that you forget not to send to the house of Mr. Interpreter, to pray him to grant that Mr. Great- Heart should be sent unto us, that he may be our conductor for the rest of the way. Good boy, said she, I had almost forgot. So she drew up a petition, and prayed Mr. Watchful the porter to send it by some fit man to her good friend Mr. Interpreter; who, when it was come, and he had seen the contents of the petition, said to the messenger, Go, tell them that I will send him.
When the family where Christiana was, saw that they had a purpose to go forward, they called the whole house together, to give thanks to their King for sending of them such profitable guests as these. Which done, they said unto Christiana, And shall we not show thee something, as our custom is to do to pilgrims, on which thou mayest meditate when thou art upon the way? So they took Christiana, her children, and Mercy, into the closet, and showed them one of the apples that Eve ate of, and that she also did give to her husband, and that for the eating of which they were both turned out of paradise, and asked her what she thought that was. Then Christiana said, It is food or poison, I know not which. So they opened the matter to her, and she held up her hands and wondered. Gen. 3:6; Rom. 7:24.
Then they had her to a place, and showed her Jacob's ladder. Gen. 28:12. Now at that time there were some angels ascending upon it. So Christiana looked and looked to see the angels go up: so did the rest of the company. Then they were going into another place, to show them something else; but James said to his mother, Pray, bid them stay here a little longer, for this is a curious sight. So they turned again, and stood feeding their eyes with this so pleasant a prospect.
After this, they had them into a place where did hang up a golden anchor. So they bid Christiana take it down; for said they, You shall have it with you, for it is of absolute necessity that you should, that you may lay hold of that within the veil, Heb. 6:19, and stand stedfast in case you should meet with turbulent weather, Joel 3:16: so they were glad thereof.
Then they took them, and had them to the mount upon which Abraham our father offered up Isaac his son, and showed them the altar, the wood, the fire, and the knife, for they remain to be seen to this very day. Gen. 22:9. When they had seen it, they held up their hands, and blessed themselves, and said, Oh, what a man for love to his Master, and for denial to himself, was Abraham!
After they had showed them all these things, Prudence took them into a dining room, where stood a pair of excellent virginals; 8 so she played upon them, and turned what she had showed them into this excellent song, saying,
"Eve's apple we have showed you;
Of that be you aware:
You have seen Jacob's ladder too,
Upon which angels are.
An anchor you received have;
But let not these suffice,
Until with Abra'm you have gave
Your best, a sacrifice."
Now, about this time, one knocked at the door; so the Porter opened, and behold, Mr. Great-Heart was there. But when he was come in, what joy was there! for it came now afresh again into their minds, how but a while ago he had slain old Grim Bloody-man the giant, and had delivered them from the lions.
Then said Mr. Great-Heart to Christiana and to Mercy, My Lord has sent each of you a bottle of wine, and also some parched corn, together with a couple of pomegranates; he has also sent the boys some figs and raisins; to refresh you in your way.
Then they addressed themselves to their journey, and Prudence and Piety went along with them. When they came to the gate, Christiana asked the Porter if any of late went by. He said, No; only one, some time since, who also told me, that of late there had been a great robbery committed on the King's highway as you go. But, said he, the thieves are taken, and will shortly be tried for their lives. Then Christiana and Mercy were afraid; but Matthew said, Mother, fear nothing, as long as Mr. Great-Heart is to go with us, and to be our conductor.
Then said Christiana to the Porter, Sir, I am much obliged to you for all the kindnesses that you have showed to me since I came hither; and also for that you have been so loving and kind to my children. I know not how to gratify your kindness; wherefore, pray, as a token of my respect to you, accept of this small mite. So she put a gold angel 9 in his hand; and he made her a low obeisance, and said, "Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head want no ointment." Eccles. 9:8. Let Mercy live and not die, and let not her works be few. Deut. 33:6. And to the boys he said, Do you fly youthful lusts, and follow after godliness with them that are grave and wise, 2 Tim. 2:22: so shall you put gladness into your mother's heart, and obtain praise of all that are sober-minded. So they thanked the Porter, and departed.