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Then Goonah Purist in great amazement lifted up his hands and his eyes towards that beauteous light; while the Christian messenger thus addressed him-"Brother, thy prayer is heard; for upon thee the Sun of Righteousness is now arisen, with healing on his wings. (Malachi iv. 2.) Hasten, my brother; follow that light: look not behind thee, neither stay thou in the plain, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity thereof. (Gen. xix. 17.) And behold, thou shalt find before thee a door of escape, even that gate of the Lord, into which the righteous man runneth, and is safe. (Prov. xviii. 10.)

So Goonah Purist lost no time, but set his face eastward, and began to run: yet before he departed, I saw that the Christian teacher gave him the book which he held in his hand. Now that book had been carefully translated into the native tongue of Goonah Purist; and the Christian teacher bade him to keep it as the apple of his eye, that it might

once direct and comfort him through the journey, which he was about to undertake. So, bidding him God-speed, he went about his master's business in the city, while Goonah Purist hastened towards the rising light as fast as he could.

CHAPTER V.

Shewing how Goonah Purist was received at the Gate which is at the Head of the Way of Salvation,

"Then Jesus said, I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved."-John x. 9.

So I looked wistfully after Goonah Purist, who went joyfully forward towards the shining light which had burst upon his view. And, for a while, he met not with any difficulty, but proceeded, solacing himself as he went, with the prospect of being speedily delivered from his burden, and freed from the plague of his leprosy. And I heard him, from time to time, breaking forth in the praises of him whom he looked to as his deliverer.

In this manner he went on, till he came to a place where, owing to the inequality of the ground, he lost sight of the shining light. Moreover, the place was an exceedingly dismal one, full of pits and black pools of water. And the land brought forth frogs, whose dismal croaking, added to the rankness of the vegetation, should have warned the pilgrim to step carefully along; nevertheless, being in haste, he took no heed, and was up to his knees in a bog, or quagmire, before he was aware. No sooner did Goonah Purist feel the ground giving way beneath

his feet, than he found a sensible depression of spirit, occasioned by the influence of the air in that place; for this was that Slough of Despondency, into which all sinners, on their first setting out from the City of the Wrath of God, are liable to fall, before they have experienced the mighty power of God unto salvation.

And now, while he was tumbling and tossing in the mire, endeavouring to extricate himself by his own exertions, behold, there came forth from the city a number of his neighbours and old companions. And who should be at the head of the company but that very Brahmun, who had formerly been his teacher; and with him came certain Mussulmauns, sent by the Sheik Olislam: for, by this time, it was noised in the town, that Goonah Purist had left the gods of his fathers, renounced his kindred, broken his cast, and was gone after the god of the feringhees: so they came forth, big and little, to compel his return. And in this crowd I saw his aged parents, his brethren and sisters, his wives and children, together with his kinsfolk of various descriptions. And behold, they all opened their mouths with much noise and vehemence: using vile and filthy language, some mocking, and others lamenting; among whom the Bramhun cursed him in the name of his gods. Moreover, his wives and his mother laid hold on him, trying all the force of tears and entreaties to draw him back: so that, indeed, the poor man was hard put to it. Then thought I on these words, A man's foes shall be they of his own house: (Matt. x. 36.) but God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able; but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape. (1 Cor. x. 13.) So was it with the pilgrim: he escaped; but not till the idolaters had handled him roughly. For, as I before said, his wives and his mother

some

·laid hold on him, and, with the assistance of certain crafty deceivers, they bound him with seven new cords, which no man could break. These are the chains with which the prince of the city loads his slaves, more commonly termed the usages and customs of the world. And with these cords the kinsfolk of Goonah Purist intended to have dragged him back to the city. But the Spirit of God helping the pilgrim, he brake the bonds of Satan from his arms like a thread; and, shaking off those that would have held him, he sprang forward, plunging headlong into the green swamp, or bog, and so escaped from them. Then I looked after him, fearing that he would be swallowed up in the bog: but he cried unto the Lord of pilgrims, who caused a gentle wind to blow, which, clearing away the thick fog, which exhaled from the marshy ground, Goonah Purist was enabled to distinguish certain stepping-stones, laid at moderate intervals throughout the marsh for the convenience of pilgrims. These stepping-stones are called, the promises of God, and very firm they are; for no traveller ever found them to fail, they having been cut from the Rock of salvation. (Deut. xxxii. 15.) Borg

Never did I behold so confused a scene as now took place among the idolatrous rabble, when they found that Goonah Purist had escaped them: they resembled a pack of hungry jackals, when pouring from the ravines, they first snuff the effluvia of some putrid corpse, thrown up by the stream, on the banks of Gunga. The air rang with the shrill cries of the women and children, to which were added the deeper voices of the men; while the loud curses of the Bramhun filled up the horrible concert.

The pilgrim, however, paid no heed to their outcries, having, for the present, escaped their hands. So the idolaters went back, murmuring, to their

place. And behold, the Bramhun, when he was come to his own house, gathered his brethren together, to consult what could be done to molest Goonah Purist on his journey: but I learnt not at that time, what might be the result of their deliberation. Now Goonah Purist, being delivered from the persecutions of the idolaters, began to muse upon his present condition; and, casting his eyes upon his body, which was covered with leprosy, he began thus to reason with himself: "May I, who am so exceeding vile, hope to be received by the Saviour?. Am I not utterly unworthy of such a favour? Truly I am unworthy. Nevertheless, I will go to him, I will fall at his feet, I will plead his merits, I will speak of his death, I will shew him his letter of invitation." So the pilgrim travelled on,wards towards the shining light, and behold, it appeared brighter and brighter. And, as he advanced, he could distinguish a gateway, and at gate; and the light proceeded from within the gate, which was built upon a rock.

Then was he encouraged to proceed; and, as he drew nearer, he could read over the gate, in letters of gold, the following words-" Jesus saith, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John xiv. 6.)

So the poor burdened sinner went up to the gate, where he waited a little while, to see if any man would open it; but no one did so. After waiting therefore a while, he bethought himself of consulting the book which the Christian messenger had given him; and, on opening it, he lighted upon this passage, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Matt. vii. 7.) Encouraged with these words, the pilgrim began to knock at the gate, at the same time prostrating himself before it, and crying out, "Lord, have mercy upon me a miserable sinner!"

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