You never read that Christian went to sleep when lions were in the way; he never slept when he was going through the river of death, or when he was in Giant Despair’s castle, or when he was fighting with Apollyon. Poor creature! He almost wished he could sleep then. But when he had got half way up the Hill Difficulty, and came to a pretty little arbour, in he went, and sat down and began to read his roll. Oh, how he rested himself! How he unstrapped his sandals and rubbed his weary feet! Very soon his mouth was open, his arms hung down, and he was fast asleep. Again the Enchanted Ground was a very easy smooth place, and liable to send the pilgrim to sleep. You remember Bunyan’s description of some of the arbours: “Then they came to an arbour, warm, and promising much refreshing to the weary pilgrims; for it was finely wrought above head, beautified with greens, and furnished with benches and settles. It had also in it a soft couch, where the weary might lean.” “The arbour was called the Slothful’s Friend, and was made on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims to take up their rest there when weary.” Depend upon it, it is in easy places that men shut their eyes and wander into the dreamy land of forgetfulness. Old Erskine said a good thing when he remarked: “I like a roaring devil better than a sleeping devil.” There is no temptation half so bad as not being tempted. The distressed soul does not sleep; it is after we get into confidence and full assurance that we are in danger of slumbering.
For meditation: What would have happened to the disciples in Gethsemane if Christ had not woken them up? Are you oblivious to spiritual danger even when God warns you in his Word (Revelation 3:2,3)?
Sermon no. 64 2 February (Preached 3 February 1856)