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XIV.-CHRISTIAN AND HOPEFUL CROSS THE RIVER.
"The style of Bunyan is delightful to every reader, and invaluable as a study to every person who wishes to obtain a wide command over the English language. The vocabulary is the vocabulary of the common people. There is not an expres sion, if we except a few technical terms of theology, which would puzzle the rudest peasant. We have observed several pages which do not contain a single word of more than two syllables. Yet no writer has said more exactly what he meant to say. For magnificence, for pathos, for vehement exhortation, for subtle disquisition, for every purpose of the poet, the orator, and the divine, this homely dialect, the dialect of plain working men, was perfectly sufficient. There is no book in our literature on which we would so readily stake the fame of the unpolluted English language, no book which shows so well how rich that language is in its own proper wealth, and how little it has been improved by all it has borrowed."-T. B. Macaulay.
Now I further saw, that betwixt them and the gate was a river, but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the sight therefore of this river, the pilgrims were much stunned, but the men that were with them, said, You must go through, or you cannot come at the gate.
The pilgrims then began to inquire, if there was no other way to the gate? to which they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the foundation of the world, nor shall until the last trumpet shall sound. The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their mind, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men, if the waters were all of a depth? They said, No; yet they could not help him in that case: for, said they, you shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place.
They then addressed themselves to the water, and entering, Christian began to sink; and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, "I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all the waves go over me. Selah."
Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother, I feel the bottom, and it is good. Then said Christian, Ah, my friend! the sorrow of death hath compassed me about, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also here he, in a great measure, lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of any of these sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. But all the words that he spake still tended to discover, that he had horror of mind and heart-fears that he should die in that river, and
never obtain entrance in at the gate. Here also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he had committed, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim. 'Twas also observed, that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins, and evil spirits; for ever and anon he would intimate so much by words. Hopeful therefore here had much ado to keep his brother's head above water; yea, sometimes he would be quite gone down, and then ere a while he would rise up again half dead. Hopeful did also endeavour to comfort him, saying, Brother, I see the gate, and men standing by to receive us; but Christian would answer, 'Tis you, tis you they wait for; you have been hopeful ever since I knew you. And so have you, said he to Christian. Ah, brother! said he, surely if I was right, he would now rise to help me, but for my sins he hath brought me into the snare, and left me. Then said Hopeful, My brother, you have quite forgot the text, where it is said of the wicked, "There are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm: they are not troubled as other men, neither are they plagued like other men." These troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters, are no sign that God hath forsaken you, but are sent to try you, whether you will call to mind that which heretofore you have received of his goodness, and live upon him in your distresses.
Then I saw in my dream, That Christian was in a muse awhile. To whom also Hopeful added these words, Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole and with that Christian brake out with a loud voice, Oh, I see him again! and he tells me, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and when through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee." Then they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as still as a stone, until they were gone over. Christian therefore presently found ground to stand upon and so it followed, that the rest of the river was but shallow; but thus they got over. Now upon the bank of the river on the other side, they saw the two shining men again, who there waited for them; wherefore being come out of the river, they saluted them, saying, "We are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those that shall be heirs of salvation." Thus they went along towards the gate. Now you must note, that the city stood upon a mighty hill,
but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two men to lead them up by the arms; they had likewise left their mortal garments behind them in the river; for though they went in with them, they came out without them. They therefore went up here with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which the city was framed, was higher than the clouds; they therefore went up through the region of the air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted, because they safely got over the river, and had such glorious company to attend to them.
Now, when they were come up to the gate, there was written over it, in letters of gold, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
Then I saw in my dream, that the shining men bid them call at the gate; the which when they did, some from above looked over the gate, to wit, Enoch, Moses, and Elijah, &c., to whom it was said, these pilgrims are come from the city of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the King of this place; and then the pilgrims gave in unto them, each man his certificate, which they had received in the beginning; those therefore were carried in unto the King, who, when he had read them, said, Where are the men? To whom it was answered, They are standing without the gate. The King then commanded to open the gate, "that the righteous nation," said he, "that keepeth the truth, may enter in."
Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There was also that met them, with harps and crowns, and gave them to them: the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the city rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, "Enter ye into the joy of our Lord.,' I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, "Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever." Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold the city shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked
many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.
There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one another without intermission, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord." And after that, they shut up the gates; which when I had seen, I wished myself among them. -BUNYAN.
My young friends will, I am sure, now read with pleasure Cowper's beautiful apostrophe to Bunyan.
O thou, whom borne on fancy's eager wing
Whose humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style,
1. What river is here meant, and what gate?
2. Have any mortals ever got to the gate without crossing the river?
3. What answer was returned to the question," Are the waters all of a depth?" 4. What did Christian say when he began to sink?
5. What did Hopeful say to cheer him? 6. What did Christian say to this, and what happened to him afterwards?
7. How was Christian harassed in the passage over the river?
8. With what words did Hopeful cheer him?
9. Quote the words about the death of the wicked.
10. What words of Hopeful dispelled the darkness of Christian's mind?
11. What did Christian then say, and what of the enemy after that?
12. Who met them on the other side? 13. Where was the city placed?
14. What made their ascent of the hill
15. What words were written over the gate?
16. Who looked over the gate?
17. What did the pilgrims hand in? 18. What command did the king of the celestial city give?
19. Tell what took place when the men entered in at the gate?
20. From the glimpse of the glorious city which the dreamer got, what does he say about it?
21. When Bunyan says "I wished myself among them," are you not each disposed to say, I wish I was there too?
22. If we were wise, should we not all become Christian pilgrims?
THE distribution of animals over the surface of the globe is, like that of plants, greatly influenced by climate and temperature. Animals, also, like plants, belong to particular regions, or have their natural stations and habitations, though, since a considerable number of animals possess the power of transporting themselves from one region to another, these cannot in all cases be so determinately fixed.
The arrangement of the animal kingdom proposed by the celebrated Cuvier, is that which is now generally adopted. He distributes the different forms of animal life into four grand divisions, viz., 1. Vertebrated animals. 2. Soft-bodied animals. 3. Articulated animals. 4. Radiated animals. Vertebral animals are such as have a back-bone, which is called the vertebral column, as consisting of segments of the skeleton which turn one upon the other, and as being