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and fancied they were tired of it. A fit of sickness, perhaps, which is very apt to reduce, had for a time brought their bodies into subjection, so that they were enabled just to get in at the gateway ; but as soon as health and spirits returned, the way grew narrower and narrower to them; they could not get on, but turned short, and got back into the world. I saw many attempt to enter who were stopped short by a large burden of worldly cares ; others by a load of idolatrous attachments ; but I observed that nothing proved a more complete bar than that vast bundle of prejudices with which multitudes were loaded. Others were fatally obstructed by loads of bad habits, which they would not lay down, though they knew it prevented their entrance.

Some few, however, of most descriptions, who bad kept their light alive by craving constant supplies from the King's treasury, got through at last by a strength which they felt not to be their own. One poor man, who carried the largest bundle of bad habits I had seen, could not get on a step ; he never ceased, however, to implore for light enough to see where his misery lay ; he threw down one of his bundles, then another, but all to little purpose; still he could not stir. At last, striving as if in agony, (which is the true way of entering,) he threw down the heaviest article in his pack; this was selfishness ; the poor fellow felt relieved at once, his light burnt brightly, and the rest of his pack was as nothing.

Then I heard a great noise as of carpenters at work. I looked what this might be, and saw many sturdy travellers, who finding they were too bulky to get through, took it into their heads not to reduce themselves, but to widen the gate : they hacked on this side, and hewed on that; but all their hacking, and hewing, and hammering, was to no purpose, they got only their labour for their

pains. It would have been possible for them to have reduced themselves, had they attempted it, but to widen the narrow way was impossible.

What grieved me most was, to observe that many who had got on successfully a good way, now stopped to rest and to admire their own progress. While they were thus valuing themselves on their own attainments, their light diminished. While these were boasting how far they had left others behind who had set out much earlier, some slower travellers, whose beginning had not been so promising, but who had walked meekly and circumspectly, now outstripped them. These last walked “not though they had already attained; but this one thing they did, forgetting the things which were behind, they pushed forward toward the mark for the prize of their high calling." These, though naturally weak, “yet by laying aside every weight, finished the race that was before them.” Those who had kept their “light burning," who were not “ wise in their own conceit,” who “ laid their help on One that is mighty," who had chosen to suffer affliction rather than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season, came at length to the Happy Land. They had indeed the Dark and shadowy Valley to cross, but even there they found a rod and a staff” to comfort them. Their light, instead of being put out by the damps of the Valley and of the Shadow of Death, often burned with added brightness Some indeed suffered the terrors of a short eclipse ; but even then their light, like that of a dark lantern, was not put ont; it was only turned for a while from him who carried it, and even these often finished their

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course with joy. But be that as it might, the instant they reached the
Happy Land, all tears were wiped from their eyes, and the King himself
came forth, and welcomed them into his presence, and put a crown upon
their heads, with these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

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There was once a certain nobleman, who had a house or castle situated in the midst of a great wilderness, but enclosed in a garden. Now there was a band of robbers in the wilderness, who had a great mind to plunder and destroy the castle ; but they had not succeeded in their endeavours, because the master had given strict orders to “ watch without ceasing.” To quicken their vigilance, he used to tell them, that their care would soon have an end; that though the nights they had to watch were dark and stormy, yet they were but few; the period of resistance was short, that of rest would be eternal.

The robbers, however, attacked the castle in various ways. They tried
at every avenue ; watched to take advantage of every careless moment;
looked for an open door or a neglected window. But though they often
made the bolts shake and the windows rattle, they could never greatly
hurt the house, much less get into it. Do you know the reason? it was,
because the servants were never off their guard. They heard the noises
plain enough, and used to be not a little frightened, for they were aware
both of the strength and perseverance of the enemies. But what seemed
rather odd to some of these servants, the Lord used to tell them, that
while they continued to be afraid they would be safe ; and it passed into
a sort of proverb in that family, “ Happy is he that feareth always."
Some of the servants, however, thought this a contradiction.

One day, when the master was going from home, he called his servants
all together, and spoke to them as follows: “I will not repeat to you the
directions I have so often given you; they are all written down in the
BOOK OF LAWS, of which every one of you has a copy. Remember, it is a
very short time that you are to remain in this castle ; you will soon remove
to my more settled habitation, to a more durable house, not made with
hands. As that house is never exposed to any attack, so it never stands
in need of any repair ; for that country is never infested by any sons of
violence. Here you are servants, there you will be princes. But mark
my words, and you will find the same in THE BOOK OF MY Laws, whether

ever attain to that house, will depend on the manner in which
you defend yourselves in this. A stout vigilance for a short time will
secure you certain happiness for ever. But everything depends on your
present exertions. Don't complain and take advantage of my absence,
and call me a hard master, and grumble that you are placed in the midst
cf a howling wilderness, without peace or security. Say not, that you



But among

seldom got

are exposed to temptations without any power to resist them. You have some difficulties, it is true, but you have many helps and many comforts to make this house tolerable, even before you get to the other. Yours is not a hard service, and, if it were,

the time is short. You have arms if you

will use them, and doors if you will bar them, and strength if you will use it. I would defy all the attacks of the robbers without, if I could depend on the fidelity of the people within. If the thieves ever get in and destroy the house, it must be by the connivance of one of the family ;--for it is a standing law of this castle, that mere outward attack can never destroy it, if there be no consenting traitor within. You will stand or fall as you observe this rule. If you are finally happy, it will be by my grace and favour ; if you are ruined, it will be your own fault.”

When the nobleman had done speaking, every servant repeated his assurance of attachment and firm allegiance to his master. them all, not one was so veliement and loud in his professions as old Parley the Porter. Parley, indeed, it was well known, was always talking, which exposed him to no small danger; for as he was the foremost to promise, so he was the slackest to perform : and, to speak the truth, though he was a civil-spoken fellow, his lord was more afraid of him, with all his professions, than he was of the rest who protested less. He knew that Parley was vain, credulous, and self-sufficient; and he always apprehended more danger from Parley's impertinence, curiosity, and love of novelty, than even from the stronger vices of some of his other servants. The rest, indeed,

into any scrape, of which Parley was not the cause in some shape or other.

I am sorry to be obliged to confess, that though Parley was allowed every refreshment, and all the needful rest which the nature of his place permitted, yet he thought it very hard to be forced to be so constantly on duty. “Nothing but watching !” said Parley. “I have, to be sure, many pleasures, and meat sufficient; and plenty of chat in virtue of my office; and I pick up a good deal of news of the comers and goers, by day ; but it is hard that at night I must watch as narrowly as a house-dog, and yet let in no company without orders, only because there is said to be a few straggling robbers here in the wilderness, with whom my master does not care to let us be acquainted. He pretends to make us vigilant through fear of the robbers, but I suspect it is only to make us mope alone. A merry companion and a mug of beer would make the night pass cheerily.” Parley, however, kept all these thoughts to himself, or uttered them only when no one heard ; for talk he must. He began to listen to the nightly whistling of the robbers under the windows with rather less alarm than formerly, and was sometimes so tired of watching, that he thought it was even better to run the risk of being robbed once, than to live always in the fear of robbers.

There were certain bounds in which the Lord allowed his servants to walk and divert themselves at all proper seasons. A pleasant garden surrounded the castle, and a thick hedge separated this garden from the wilderness which was infested by the robbers; in this garden they were permitted to amuse themselves. The master advised them always to keep within these bounds. " While


observe this rule," said he, "you will be safe and well ; and you will consult your own safety and happiness, as


well as show your love to me, by not venturing ever to the extremity of your

bounds; he who goes as far as he dares, always shows a wish to go farther than he ought, and commonly does so."

It was remarkable, that the ncarer these servants kept to the castle, and the farther from the hedge, the more ugly the wilderness appeared. And the nearer they approached the forbidden bounds, their own home appeared more dull, and the wilderness more delightful. And this the master knew when he gave his orders; for he never either did or said anything without a good reason. And when his servants sometimes desired an explanation of the reason, he used to tell them they would understand it when they came to the other house : for it was one of the pleasures of that house, that it would explain all the mysteries of this, and any little obscurities in the master's conduct would be then made quite plain.

Parley was the first who promised to keep clear of the hedge, and yet was often seen looking as near as he durst. One day he ventured close up to the hedge, put two or three stones one on another, and tried to peep over. He saw one of the robbers strolling as near as he could be on the forbidden side. This man's name was Mr. Flatterwell, a smooth civil man, “whose words were softer than butter, having war in his heart.” He made several low bows to Parley.

Now, Parley knew so little of the world, that he actually concluded all robbers must have an ugly look, which would frighten you at once, and coarse brutal manners, wlrich would at first sight show they were enemies. He thought, like a poor ignorant fellow as he was, that this mild, specious person could never be one of the band. Flatterwell accosted Parley with the utmost civility, which put him quite off his guard; for Parley had no notion that he could be an enemy, who was so soft and civil. For an open foe, he would have been prepared. Parley, however, after a little discourse, drew this conclusion, that either Mr. Flatterwell could not be one of the gang, or that, if he was, the robbers themselves could not be such monsters as his master had described, and therefore it was a folly to be afraid of them.

Flatterwell began, like a true adept in his art, by lulling all Parley's suspicions asleep, and instead of openly abusing his master, which would have opened Parley's eyes at once, he pretended rather to commend him in a general way, as a person who meant well himself, but was too apt to suspect others. To this Parley assented. The other then ventured to hint by degrees, that though the nobleman might be a good master in the main, yet he must say he was a little strict, and a little stingy, and not a little censorious ; that he was blamed by the gentlemen in the wilderness for shutting his house against good company, and his servants were laughed at by the people of spirit for submitting to the gloomy life of the castle, and the insipid pleasures of the garden, instead of ranging in the wilderness at large.

“ It is true enough,” said Parley, who was generally of the opinion of the person he was talking with, “my master is rather harsh and close ; but, to own the truth, all the barring, and locking, and bolting, is to keep out a set of gentlemen, who, he assures us, are robbers, and who are waiting for an opportunity to destroy us. I hope no offence, sir, but by your livery I suspect you, sir, are one of the gang he is so much afraid of.”





Flatterwell. Afraid of me? Impossible, dear Mr. Parley. You see I do not look like an enemy. I am unarmed ; what harm can a plain man like me do ? Parley. Why, that is true enough. Yet my master says,

that if we were once to let you into the house, we should be ruined soul and body.

Flatterwell. I am sorry, Mr. Parley, to hear so sensible a man as you are so deceived. This is mere prejudice. He knows we are cheerful, entertaining people, foes to gloom and superstition, and therefore he is so morose he will not let you get acquainted with us.

Parley. Well; he says you are a band of thieves, gamblers, murderers, drunkards, and atheists.

Flatterwell. Don't believe him; the worst we should do, perhaps, is, we might drink a friendly glass with you to your master's health, or play an innocent game of cards just to keep you awake, or sing a cheerful song with the maids : now, is there any harm in all this?

Parley. Not the least in the world. And I begin to think there is not a word of truth in all my master says.

Flatterwell. The more you know us, the more you will like us. But I wish there was not this ugly hedge between us. I have a great deal to say, and I am afraid of being overheard.

Parley was now just going to give a spring over the hedge, but checked himself, saying, “ I dare not come on your side, there are people about, and everything is carried to my master." Flatterwell saw by this, that his new friend was kept on his own side of the hedge by fear rather than by principle, and from that moment he made sure of him. « Dear Mr. Parley,” said he, “if you will allow me the honour of a little conversation with you, I will call under the window of your lodge this evening. I have something to tell you greatly to your advantage. I admire you exceedingly. I long for your friendship ; our whole brotherhood is ambitious of being known to so amiable a person.” “O dear,” said Parley, “ I shall be afraid of talking to you at night. It is so against my master's

But did you say you had something to tell me to my advantage ?" Flatterwell. Yes, I can point out to you how you may be a richer, a merrier, and a happier man. If you will admit me to-night under the window, I will convince you that it is prejudice, and not wisdom, which makes your master bar his door against us; I will convince you

that the mischief of a robber, as your master scurrilously calls us, is only in the name; that we are your true friends, and only mean to promote your happiness.

“ Don't say we," said Parley, “pray come alone: I would not see the rest of the gang for the world ; but I think there can be no great harm in talking to you through the bars, if you came alone ; but I am determined not to let you in. Yet I can't say but I wish to know what you can tell me so much to my advantage ; indeed, if it is for my good, I ought to know it."

Flatterwell. (going out, turns back.) Dear Mr. Parley, there is one thing I had forgotten. I cannot get over the hedge, at night, without assistance. You know there is a secret in the nature of that hedge ; you in the house may get over to us in the wilderness of your own accord, but we cannot get to your side by our own strength. You must look about,


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