Heavenly rest for a weary soul; or, the pilgrim at his journey's end
PILGRIM at his Journey's End:
The Laſt LEGACY of a FATHER to his CHILDREN, when on his Death-Bed.
To which is added,
I. The Children's Duty to God, their Mother and Themſelves.
II. A COPY of VERSES, written by the Father, a little before his Death.
III. Some GODLY MEDITATIONS.
IV. The FATHER's laſt GIFT to his CHILDREN.
By the Reverend Mr. JOHN BUNYAN, late Miniſter of the Goſpel, at Bedford.
Printed and ſold by J. & M. ROBERTSON.
REST for a WEARY SOUL.
MY Children I muſt now leave you, I am going to a better place: my glaſs is almoſt run, I have fought a good fight, and have finiſhed my courſe, and henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of glory. In my youth I was wild and ungodly, as moſt were; I ſpent my time idly, and never regarded what I did, ſo I could but pleaſe and ſatisfy my appetite.———I have, ſince my converſion (thanks be to God) taken heed to my ways, and lived as uprightly as I could: for, if I did any wrong, it was againſt my will; I have lived according to the rules of the holy ſcriptures, as much as in me lay: I loved the worſt of my enemies (but hated their wicked ways) who caſt falſe aſperſions upon me, but I owe no man ill, heartily forgiving all who have been my enemies, as I hope to be forgiven thro' Chriſt Jeſus my dear Lord. My dear children, let me intreat you to be admoniſhed by my words, and take my, exhortation as a legacy; I having, you well know, very little to leave you.
Firſt, Let me put you in mind of your duty to God.
Secondly, To your mother: And,
Thirdly, To one another.———But,
Firſt, Of your duty to God.
'Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you,' James vi. 8.-This very exhortation, given by James an apoſtle of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, is enough to induce you, without any other, to draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you; if you fear God he will defend you, if you are willing to return from your evil ways, he will receive you: He deſires not the death of a ſinner, ſo that if you are not ſaved, it is your own fault.--And, indeed, the text comprehends a great deal of comfort, it brings ſalvation to a wretched ſinner, it ſpeaks to all men: ſo much by way of exhortation.
Let me now haſten to the firſt particular, which was to lay before you, your duty to God; Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, Eccleſ vii. 13. There you ſee your duty; fear to offend is your duty, though comprehended ſo ſhort. Be careful to ſerve him, fearful to offend him, diligent to keep his laws, and willing to obey his commands; abide all his corrections with patience, murmur at none of his ways, live honeſtly, love all men; lye not, ſwear not, cheat not, nor take the Lord's name in vain: covet not that which is another man's; love the Lord with your whole heart; fear him, and praiſe his name; mortify your luſts and unruly paſſions; reſiſt the devil, and he will fly from you: Suffer any thing for your religion; yea, death itſelf, and in all things ſubmit to the will of God. I ſhall conclude this head with theſe precepts, &c.
I. Fear to do any thing againſt that God whom you love, and you will not love to do anyagainſt that God whom you fear.
2. Let your prayers be as frequent as your wants, and your thankſgiving as your bleſſings.
3. In the morning, think what you have to do, for which aſk God's bleſſing; and, at night, think of what you have done that is ſinful, for which aſk him forgiveneſs.
4. Take an exact account of your life, be not afraid to look upon the ſcore, but to encreaſe it: To deſpair, becauſe a man is ſinful, is to be worſe, becauſe he hath been bad.
5. Conſider the ſhortneſs of your life, and certainty of judgment; the reward for the good, and the puniſhment for the wicked: and ſo you will have but one day to repent of before you die.
6. Do injury to no one; for by injuring others, you teach them to injure you.
7. Innocence will be the beſt guard.--He that dares be wicked, ſometimes for his advantage, will always be ſo, if his intereſt requires it.
And ſo much for the firſt head: I come now in the ſecond place, to tell you of the duty you owe to your mother.
'Honour your father and mother,' &c is the fifth commandment: 'A wiſe ſon heareth his father's inſtruction,' Prov. xiii. I. And again, Prov vi. 29. 'My ſon, keep thy father's commandments, and forſake not the law of thy mother.' Here you may ſee that duty to your parents, is a command of God. Solomon, the wiſeſt man that ever was, gives you this character of a wiſe ſon, (that is a dutiful ſon,) he hearkens to his father's inſtructions, and willingly obeys them.
Conſider then my ſon, on what I have ſaid, honour your mother when I am in my grave; I give you this charge in the fight of God, and Chriſt Jeſus our Lord.
Thirdly and Laſtly, I come to the duty we owe to one another.
My children, take warning by the vicious habits of other men, and you will do well; whilſt others ſtrive one againſt another: do you ſtrive to do good one for another; and whilſt others are at variance and revile each other, do you pray for and comfort one another.
To conclude, Mind what I have ſaid, and lay it up in your hearts, and implore God's bleſſing upon it. I muſt leave you, but I hope we ſhall one day meet face to face in the preſence of the Almighty, where pleaſures flow, and joys abide for evermore.
II. A COPY OF VERSES that he made upon himſelf, not long before his death.
FOrbear, fond man, and weep no more, 'tis vain
When heav'n decrees, 'tis folly to complain:
This worldly maſs is ſubject to decay,
And death and nature all things muſt obey:
The bluſhing roſe ſmiles with the morning fun,
Juſt then looks gay, now withers and is gone:
Pardon my ſins, Almighty God, I pray!
Forgive them all, then take me hence away;
Then my provoking ſoul ſhall upwards fly,
And leave with joy this world of vanity.
III. Some Godly MEDITATIONS.
NO creature under heaven can afford my ſoul any comfort, only thou, O Lord, the Phyſician of ſouls ; thou bringeſt man nigh unto death, and reſtoreſt him unto life again, thereby ſhewing his weakness and thy power: therefore all love and praiſe be to thee, O Lord.
O God, I extol thy name; and tho' I am a ſinful creature, I will not ceaſe to give thee thanks to the utmoſt of my ſtrength: I will declare thy juſtice and mercy, and whilſt I live, I will declare thy name.
As for man he is but duſt, and vaniſhes: his life is but a ſpan, and full of miſery.
O heavenly Father, let me not forget mine own frailty: Let me conſider what I am, and remember what I ſhall be: then ſhall I forget to leave myſelf, and long after thee.
My ſins, O Lord, are before thy face; I can turn no way but they purſue me: I intreat thee to pardon them———Conſider my neceſſity, moſt mighty God, and deliver me for thy Son's ſake.
Although my offences are more in number than the hairs of my head, yet Lord, ſhew mercy, and forgive them.---I know, though my ſins were as ſcarlet, yet thou canſt make them white as ſnow: therefore, O Lord, to thee be glory for ever more.
Truly, Lord, I ſee no cauſe why I ſhould long to abide in this life. if I was arrived to ſuch perfection as the apoſtle Paul was, I ſhould deſire earneſtly as he did, to be with Chriſt.
O God, I beſeech thee; to give me ſuch things as are for thy glory, and the good of them who love thee and walk uprightly
O my God, I pray thee, mortify the corruptions of my heart, cleanſe thou me from ſecret faults, and ſend thy good Spirit to write thy law upon my heart.
Thy ways, O Lord, are the ways of righteouſneſs, and all thy commandments are truth and holineſs: as for thy will, it is altogether upright; true and holy art thou, O Lord of hoſts.
O God of all truth, my panting ſoul longs after thee; thou art the fountain of all bleſſedneſs: I am thine, ſave thou me from treſpaſſing againſt thee.
Oh! my ſins are many, but do not ſurpaſs the power and glory of thy grace; and as for my iniquities thou ſhalt purge them away: I thank thee, therefore, O thou Lord of heaven and earth, for thy forgiving love and mercy in the face of Jeſus Chriſt, my only Lord and Saviour.
O my God, ariſe and deliver me from this vale of wickedneſs, where my temptations have been many: Create in me, O God, a clean heart; Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me, that the inmoſt receſs of my ſoul may be enlightened, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law and goſpel, and be made of quick underſtanding in the fear of the Lord: then ſhall I give thee praiſe for ever and ever, through Jeſus Chriſt my Lord.
I recommend ſoul into thy hands, for thou haſt redeemed me, O God of truth and righteouſneſs: Be thou my defence againſt the fears of death; that notwithſtanding the ſuggeſtions of the tempter, I may eſcape all his fatal ſnares, that he may not have power to do me any evil. Give thy angels charge over me to defend me, and carry me ſafe through the regions of the air, to Immanuel's Land, and to thy right hand in heaven above, where there are pleaſures for evermore; where we ſhall be made kings and prieſts unto God, and go no more out; where we ſhall throw down our crowns before thee, in token of our gratitude, crying, Worthy is the Lamb that was ſlain, (although we are unworthy) to receive all honour, power, glory, might, majeſty, dominion, bleſſing, and thankſgiving in the higheſt, for ever and ever, Amen.
IV. His laſt GIFT to his CHILDREN.
MY Children dear, a legacy
With you I now do leave:
Pray read it o'er, and you will ſoon
My purpoſes perceive:
Firſt to your God your duty ſhow,
And live up to his laws:
Then comfort you'll hereafter take,
And vindicate his cauſe.
Next give all honour that is due
Unto your mother dear;
Such will be happy, you will find
While they do tarry here:
Love to your brethren God commands,
That you will always ſhew:
You then ſhall ever live in peace,
In joy and honour too.
Pray love your neighbours as yourſelf,
Behave to the moſt juſt:
In all your thoughts, your words and works,
Then you in God may truſt:
Then he'll preſerve you in your ſteps
That you ſhall never fall:
He will be always your ſure friend,
Your God, your guide and all.