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phet Isaiah calleth it The way of holiness ; (Isa. xxxv. 8.) blessed are they who walk therein. But, said I, are those persons, whom I see, walking thereon, or walking in the plain? for the mist lieth thick at the bottom, and my eye cannot pierce through it. Then said the Interpreter, The Lord knoweth them that are his. (2 Tim. ii. 19.) But consider the thing more diligently.
Then I looked again, and I saw that many of those that seemed to be walking on the causeway, but went arm in arm with those upon the plain, were, by degrees, drawn quite away into the plain, nay, into the remotest parts thereof, and were lost in the fog, and I saw them no more. Then remembered I that it was written, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers : for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness ? (2 Cor. vi. 14.)
Then I sought to know what it was that made the atmosphere so clear at the top of this raised way: and behold, immediately beyond the river was a city, having the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal ; (Rev. xxi. 11.) and the light from this city streamed directly on to the causeway of salvation, dispersing the mist, and cheering the eyes and gladdening the hearts of those who walked thereon. And the light, as I said, was stronger, and the atmosphere clearer, the higher any one walked on the raised way, diminishing the blackness thereof; yea, sometimes making it look sparkling and beautiful. And on the other side of the river stood winged ones, ready to bear those who crossed it from the causeway to the shining city. And the light that
proceeded from the city was more glorious than any that my eye ever beheld, for the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it. (Rev. xxi. 23, 24.)
But I saw that the light from the city did not always shine across the river on to the causeway with equal brightness. Nay, sometimes, by reason of the fog, which at those times grew thicker, they who were thereon walked in darkness, and had no light. (Isaiah 1. 10.) Then was I anxious to know how they could keep on their way without stumbling. And I saw that each one on the causeway was furnished with a lamp, the light of which did not, indeed, always reach far into the surrounding gloom, but never failed brightly to illuminate a small circle round the feet of him that carried it; so that he who attended thereto was never in doubt where he ought to set, at least, his next step. And I remembered that David was furnished with one of these lights; for he said, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm cxix. 105.) But one thing was very observable, that whereas, at the worst, the dimness here was nothing equal to that upon the plain, yet those who walked in it complained much of it, and were grievously troubled by it; but they in the plain, as I said before, knew not that they were in the midst of a thick fog.
Now, when I saw how clear, comparatively speaking, the atmosphere was, and how pleasant the walking at the top of the causeway, I could not but wonder that so many were content to walk low down on the sides, where the light was dimmer, and the walking more uneven and uneasy. And setting myself to find out the reason thereof, I saw that it was two-fold; for, first, the sides of the causeway were steep; and, secondly, those who were walking towards the bottom of it were but too busy in picking up the stones and weeds that I mentioned before, and which were strewed there, as well as upon the plain. Then, considering their folly, who, walking in a clearer light, could more clearly discern the real nature, and size, and colour of these things, and yet would stoop so eagerly to pick them up, neglecting thereby the sight of the glorious city, and forbearing to climb higher up the causeway, I marvelled and grieved, and would fain have called out to them, that, laying aside every weight, and the sin which did so easily beset them, they should run with patience the race set before them. (Heb. xii. 1.)
Moreover, it grieved me to observe with how much complacency some of them on the raised way did look down into the plain, and how eagerly they watched what was going on there; nay, some, I verily thought, at times, would fain have returned thither, had it not been that they feared the faces and phantoms which appeared out of the thick fog that lay upon the river. It was so of old, when the Israelites said, It was well with us in Egypt. (Numb. xi. 18.) But there were
I saw, who looked into the plain with another motive; even to call them, who walked in the fog and thick darkness thereof, up to the raised way, that they also might be the children of the light, and the children of the day. (1 Thess. v. 5.) Whom when I observed, I wished them God speed.
Now, when I had attentively considered these things awhile, the Interpreter led me to another window, and bade me look out therefrom. So, when I looked, I saw a large village, and the streets thereof were very filthy, and the houses were very poor, and mean, and decayed, and dirty, and miserable. Moreover, the people who inhabited therein were squalid, and diseased, and wretched in their appearance. And without the village, on a hill, stood a large and beautiful man. sion, which I understood to be that of the Lord of the Manor. Then said I, Why doth the Lord of the Manor suffer this village to remain in this miserable state? It is not, answered the Interpreter, his desire that it should thus remain. He is the best of lords, and many are the schemes which he hath devised for the bettering the condition of the villagers; but they will not hear of any. Rather wonder, therefore, that having, as he hath, ful] power for the same, he doth not entirely pull down the village, which looketh like a disgrace to his property, and banish the inhabitants out of his demesne. And this he hath, indeed, said that he will do, and will build another and a very different town, which will join even to his own
mansion, and into which there shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth. (Rev. xxi. 27.) But he is very patient, and trieth all methods to bring the inhabitants of the present village to a better mind. Nay, in order hereto, some of his own sons are living in the midst of the village, away from their Father's house, to try if they may induce any one to adopt their Father's wise and beautiful plans for the bettering of the village, and for the cleansing and healing themselves of the loathsome disease under which they labour. Now, observe.
Then I looked, and saw the sons of the Lord of the Manor, and they went about from street to street, and from house to house, in the village; and wherever they came, they found the villagers speaking evil of their Father, and doing whatever was most disagreeable to him, and most strictly forbidden by him ; wasting his property, mocking at his threatenings, and utterly despising all his kind offers. Also, they cast dirt at his sons as they walked about, and laughed them and their plans to scorn. Then I looked to see what the sons of the Lord of the Manor would do ; and they cast their eyes towards their Father's house, and said, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name ; thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Then was I conscious how often I had used those words, and not felt their meaning.
After this, I was had into the house to see some of the sights therein. And in one room I