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pointed out to him, the dangerous state of the unconverted man, and assured him, that the Christian religion was the only one upon earth which offered any adequate means of salvation, or was in any way adapted to the wants of mankind.

"But," said Shahsuovara Bot Pureste, 66 we desire you to bring forward what other reasons you have for supposing your religion to be true. Is it not confessedly of modern date compared with ours?"

"Our religion, namely, the religion of Christ," answered Bartholomew, "existed from the foundation of the world, (Matt. xxv. 34.) as we find from our sacred books."

"But we are told," answered the others, "that the Christians have corrupted their sacred books."

"That cannot be," replied Bartholomew, "because the first part of our sacred book is in the hands of the Jews, who are the declared enemies of the Christians; and think you not that if the Christians had corrupted this book, the Jews would have eagerly exposed those corruptions? And the second part," added the pilgrim, "namely, the Engel, is in the hands of Christians of every sect; many of whom, not being united in the bonds of amity with one another, would instantly detect any attempt to alter the original. Moreover, there are manuscripts of this holy book existing of very great antiquity, all of which generally agree with the copies now in use."

"Another proof of the truth of these books," added Nazareenee, "is, that they account for ancient customs established among mankind from time immemorial. Thus we read in the books of Moses of the institution of sacrifices, which are now observed by every nation under the sun who are not Christians. Now every sacrifice was originally intended as a type of the great sacrifice to

be once made for the sins of mankind, namely, the sacrifice of Christ, the Son of God: and though this rite is now misunderstood and profaned, yet is it nevertheless a standing proof of the authenticity of our ancient books, and an evidence of the antiquity of our holy religion."

Bartholomew would have proceeded to speak of the many prophecies contained in the Holy Scriptures, several of which, though uttered some thousand years ago, are still receiving their accomplishment; together with the assurance held out in those Scriptures, that mankind shall ultimately become one fold under one shepherd. Shahsuovara Bot Pureste however would hear no more; but rising up in haste, and taking his companion with him, he departed on his return to the City of the Wrath of God: yet, not before he had uttered certain threats, from which the pilgrims collected that they must look for further hindrances in their heavenly course from the idolaters around them.

So they departed, while I looked after the pilgrims, who betook themselves again to their journey, being grieved at their unsuccessful attempt to persuade their brethren to forsake all, and throw in their lot with them. Thus they travelled on till evening; when being weary, after commending themselves to the care of the chief Shepherd, they laid themselves down by the way-side and slept in peace. Then thought I of these words of the prophet: And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and my people shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. (Ezek. xxxiv. 25.)

They arose the next morning before it was light, and went on their way rejoicing. And behold, when it was day-light, they found themselves

within the long shadow of a mountain, the summits of which seemed to pierce the very clouds; and it lay directly in the face of the pilgrims, so that they must needs go over it, or turn out of the King's highway.

"If I mistake not," said the pilgrim Bartholomew, "yonder is the hill Difficulty, on the very top of which dwell certain sages, who are fed with bread from heaven. Those sages are called the Virtues, of which many wonderful things are reported: and some of my neighbours in the City of the Wrath of God, I remember, when a young man, entertained me with tales of certain heroes and mighty men, who had by their own proper strength climbed this hill, and dwelt with these sages; nay, some boasted that they had done as much themselves. But it is now evident to me, from the accounts which they gave of these aged men, that, so far from having visited them, they were not even acquainted with their names: and I have lately been informed, that no mere man was ever able by his own unassisted strength to climb this hill, or to visit the dwelling of these sages. Notwithstanding it is well known that weak women, and even little children, having their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, have been enabled, without extraordinary difficulty, to reach the very summit of these lofty heights.

Now I saw, in my dream, that as the pilgrims advanced, the hill which was before them appeared to be exceedingly beautiful. The base thereof was a rock of marble, from which poured many springs of water, clear as crystal, while the upper part was covered with trees whose fruit never withereth, (Jude 12.) among which the slender-shafted palm tree, the teeke and the mulberry, with the citron and the orange, afforded a perpetual and variegated shade from the mid-day sun. Many

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melodious birds were heard in these woods, and the young antelopes bounded over these steeps, cropping the tender leaves of the low shrubs, without fear from evil beasts, of which there were none upon this hill.

The pilgrims were ravished with the delightful appearance of this hill, where the Virtues abide: nevertheless, when they came near and saw the steepness of the ascent, they stopped for a while to consult with each other what were best to be done. And behold, while they were engaged in consultation with each other, there came across the country several persons of different nations and complexions: one of whom was a religious mendicant or fakeer, bedaubed all over with mud; another was a Bramhun; and the third a learned Mussulmaun. So all these met together at the foot of the hill Difficulty; where being nearly overcome by the sultry heat of the mid-day sun, they agreed with one accord to take rest and refreshment; deferring their journey till the cool of the day.

For these purposes they seated themselves under the shade of a rock which bulged over the wayside, and near which a spring of water poured from the hill.

Here I listened to the discourse that passed between these travellers, as they sat in the shade refreshing themselves with such provision as they had brought with them. And, first, the strangers questioned the pilgrims, whence they came, and whither they were going: to which answer being made; they in their turn were questioned by their companions.

Now I perceived that all the strangers, to wit, the fakeer, the Bramhun, and the Mussulmaun doctor, made the same reply, to wit, that they were come from the city of their birth-place, and

had travelled thus far, in order to gain repute among their brethren. That they intended to climb the heights of the hill Difficulty, and to dwell awhile with the Virtues there, that they might have whereof to glory among their neighbours on their return.

The old pilgrim then said, "I have it written in my book, that he who would build a tower, should first sit down and count the cost. Now, my brethren, it would be well for you to mark, before you attempt to mount this hill, how steep and difficult the way is; and to consider whether you are able to ascend it."

Bramhun. Able! do you say, old man. What is to hinder me from doing as much as others have done?

Old Pilgrim. There is good reason to believe that no mere man by his proper strength was ever able to climb this hill Difficulty: nay, as the story goes, your gods were not able to do it; since, by your own accounts of them, so far were they from being virtuous, that they were murderers, robbers, and adulterers.

Then spake the Mussulmaun doctor, "Your reproof, brother, is just; for what can be more vile, than the characters which these Bramhuns give of their gods?"

The old Christian ventured next to remind the Mussulmaun, that the person in whom he professed to believe, namely, the prophet Mahomet, had not attained to any greater height of virtue than the heroes of the Hindoos.

To this the Mussulmaun doctor replied in a rage, "If our holy prophet, when on earth, was not capable of reaching the most exalted heights of virtue; tell me who has done it?"

The pilgrim Bartholomew meekly answered, "It is, my brethren, because ye have not a clear

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