The Pilgrim's Progress/Part I/Section 1
THE Pilgrim's Progress
FROM THIS WORLD TO That which is to come: Delivered under the Similitude of a DREAM Wherein is Discovered, The manner of his setting out, His Dangerous Journey; And safe Arrival at the Desired Countrey.
I have used Similitudes, Hos. 12.10
By John Bunyan.
[Eleven editions in John Bunyan's lifetime published in 1678, 1679, 1680, 1681, 1682, 1683, 1684, 1685, 1688]
The AUTHOR'S Apology For His BOOK
- When at the first I took my Pen in hand,
- Thus for to write; I did not understand
- That I at all should make a little Book
- In such a mode; Nay, I had undertook
- To make another, which, when almost done,
- Before I was aware, I this begun.
- And thus it was: I writing of the Way
- And Race of Saints in this our Gospel-Day,
- Fell suddenly into an Allegory
- About their Journey, and the way to Glory,
- In more than twenty things, which I set down;
- This done, I twenty more had in my Crown,
- And they again began to multiply,
- Like sparks that from the coals of Fire do flie.
- Nay then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
- I’ll put you by your selves, lest you at last
- Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out
- The Book that I already am about.
- Well, so I did; but yet I did not think
- To shew to all the World my Pen and Ink
- In such a mode; I only thought to make
- I knew not what: nor did I undertake
- Thereby to please my Neighbour; no, not I,
- I did it mine own self to gratifie.
- Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
- In this my Scribble; Nor did I intend
- But to divert my self in doing this,
- From worser thoughts, which make me do amiss.
- Thus I set Pen to Paper with delight,
- And quickly had my thoughts in black and white.
- For having now my Method by the end;
- Still as I pull'd, it came; and so I penn'd
- It down, until it came at last to be
- For length and breadth the bigness which you see.
- Well, when I had thus put mine ends together,
- I shew'd them others, that I might see whether
- They would condemn them, or them justifie:
- And some said, let them live; some, let them die:
- Some said, John, print it; others said, Not so:
- Some said, It might do good; others said, No.
- Now was I in a straigt, and did not see
- Which was the best thing to be done by me:
- At last I thought, Since you are thus divided,
- I print it will, and so the case decided.
- For, thought I; Some I see would have it done,
- Though others in that Channel do not run;
- To prove then who advised for the best,
- Thus I thought fit to put it to the test.
- I further thought, if now I did deny
- Those that would have it thus, to gratifie,
- I did not know, but hinder them I might,
- Of that which would to them be great delight.
- For those that were not for its coming forth;
- I said to them, Offend you I am loth;
- Yet since your Brethren pleased with it be,
- Forbear to judge, till you do further see.
- If that thou wilt not read, let it alone;
- Some love the meat, some love to pick the bone:
- Yea, that I might them better palliate,
- I did too with them thus Expostulate.
- May I not write in such a stile as this?
- In such a method too, and yet not miss
- Mine end, thy good? why may it not be done?
- Dark Clouds bring Waters, when the bright bring none;
- Yea, dark or bright, if they their silver drops
- Cause to descend, the Earth, by yielding Crops,
- Gives praise to both, and carpeth not at either,
- But treasures up the Fruit they yield together:
- Yea, so commixes both, that in her Fruit
- None can distinguish this from that, they suit
- Her well, when hungry: but if she be full,
- She spues out both, and makes their blessing null.
- You see the ways the Fisher-man doth take
- To catch the Fish; what Engins doth he make?
- Behold! how he ingageth all his Wits;
- Also his Snares, Lines, Angles, Hooks and Nets:
- Yet Fish there be, that neither Hook nor Line,
- Nor Snare, nor Net, nor Engin can make thine;
- They must be grop'd for, and be tickled too,
- Or they will not be catcht, what e'er you do.
- How doth the Fowler seek to catch his Game,
- By divers means, all which one cannot name?
- His Gun, his Nets, his Lime-twigs, light and bell:
- He creeps, he goes, he stands; yea, who can tell
- Of all his postures? Yet there's none of these
- Will make him master of what Fowls he please.
- Yea, he must Pipe, and Whistle, to catch this;
- Yet if he does so, that Bird he will miss.
- If that a Pearl may in a Toads-head dwell,
- And may be found too in an Oister-shell;
- If things that promise nothing, do contain
- What better is then Gold; who will disdain,
- (That have an inkling of it,) there to look,
- That they may find it? Now my little Book,
- (Tho void of all those paintings that may make
- It with this or the other man to take,)
- Is not without those things that do excel,
- What do in brave, but empty notions dwell.
- Well, yet I am not fully satisfied,
- That this your Book will stand, when soundly try'd.
- Why, what's the matter? It is dark. What tho?
- But it is feigned, What of that I trow?
- Some men by feigning words as dark as mine,
- Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine.
- But they want solidness. Speak man thy mind:
- They drown'd the weak; Metaphors make us blind.
- Solidity, indeed becomes the Pen
- Of him that writeth things Divine to men:
- But must I needs want solidness, because
- By Metaphors I speak; was not Gods Laws,
- His Gospel-laws in older time held forth
- By Types, Shadows and Metaphors? Yet loth
- Will any sober man be to find fault
- With them, lest he be found for to assault
- The highest Wisdom. No, he rather stoops,
- And seeks to find out what by pins and loops,
- By Calves, and Sheep; by Heifers, and by Rams;
- By Birds and Herbs, and by the blood of Lambs;
- God speaketh to him: And happy is he
- That finds the light, and grace that in them be.
- Be not too forward therefore to conclude,
- That I want solidness; that I am rude:
- All things solid in shew, not solid be;
- All things in parables despise not we,
- Lest things most hurtful lightly we receive;
- And things that good are, of our souls bereave.
- My dark and cloudy words they do but hold
- The Truth, as Cabinets inclose the Gold.
- The prophets used much by Metaphors
- To set forth Truth; Yea, who so considers
- Christ, his Apostles too, shall plainly see,
- That Truths to this day in such Mantles be.
- Am I afraid to say that holy Writ,
- Which for its Stile, and Phrase, puts down all Wit,
- Is every where so full of all these things,
- (Dark Figures, Allegories,) yet there springs
- From that same Book that lustre, and those rayes
- Of light, that turns our darkest nights to days.
- Come, let my Carper, to his Life now look,
- And find There darker Lines, than in my Book
- He findeth any. Yea, and let him know,
- That in his best things there are worse lines too.
- May we but stand before impartial men,
- To his poor One, I durst adventure Ten,
- That they will take my meaning in these lines
- Far better then his lies in Silver Shrines.
- Come, Truth, although in Swadling-clouts, I find
- Informs the Judgement, rectifies the Mind,
- Pleases the Understanding, makes the Will
- Submit; the Memory too it doth fill
- With what doth our Imagination please;
- Likewise, it tends our troubles to appease.
- Sound words I know Timothy is to use;
- And old Wives Fables he is to refuse,
- But yet grave Paul him no where doth forbid
- The use of Parables; in which lay hid
- That Gold, those Pearls, and precious stones that were
- Worth digging for; and that with greatest care.
- Let me add one word more, O Man of God!
- Art thou offended? dost thou wish I had
- Put forth my matter in another dress,
- Or that I had in things been more express?
- Three things let me propound, then I submit
- To those that are my betters, (as is fit.)
- 1. I find not that I am denied the use
- Of this my method, so I no abuse
- Put on the Words, Things, Readers, or be rude
- In handling Figure or Similitude,
- In application; but, all that I may,
- Seek the advance of Truth, this or that way:
- Denyed did I say? Nay, I have leave,
- (Example too, and that from them that have
- God better pleased by their words or ways,
- Then any Man that breatheth now adays,)
- Thus to express my mind, thus to declare
- Things unto thee that excellentest are.
- 2. I find that men (as high as Trees) will write
- Dialogue-wise; yet no Man doth them slight
- For writing so: Indeed if they abuse
- Truth, cursed be they, and the craft they use
- To that intent; but yet let Truth be free
- To make her Salleys upon Thee, and Me,
- Which way it pleases God. For who knows how,
- Better then he that taught us first to Plow,
- To guide our Mind and Pens for his Design?
- And he makes base things usher in Divine.
- 3. I find that holy Writ in many places,
- Hath semblance with this method, where the cases
- Doth call for one thing to set forth another:
- Use it I may then, and yet nothing smother
- Truths golden beams; Nay, by this method may
- Make it cast forth its rayes as light as day.
- And now, before I do put up my Pen,
- I’le shew the profit of my Book, and then
- Commit both thee, and it unto that hand
- That pulls the strong down, and makes weak ones stand.
- This Book it chaulketh out before thine eyes,
- The man that seeks the everlasting Prize:
- It shews you whence he comes, whither he goes,
- What he leaves undone; also what he does:
- It also shews you how he runs, and runs,
- Till he unto the Gate of Glory comes.
- It shews too, who sets out for life amain,
- As if the lasting Crown they would attain:
- Here also you may see the reason why
- They lose their labour, and like fools do die.
- This Book will make a Traveller of thee,
- If by its Counsel thou wilt ruled be;
- It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
- If thou wilt its Directions understand:
- Yea, it will make the sloathful, active be;
- The Blind also, delightful things to see.
- Art thou for something rare, and profitable?
- Wouldest thou see a Truth within a Fable?
- Art thou forgetful? wouldest thou remember
- From New-Years-day to the last of December?
- Then read my fancies, they will stick like Burs,
- And may be to the Helpless, Comforters.
- This Book is writ in such a Dialect,
- As may the minds of listless men affect:
- It seems a Novelty, and yet contains
- Nothing but sound and honest Gospel-strains.
- Wouldst thou divert thy self from Melancholly?
- Would'st thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
- Would'st thou read Riddles, and their Explanation?
- Or else be drownded in thy Contemplation?
- Dost thou love picking-meat? or would'st thou see
- A man i' th Clouds, and hear him speak to thee?
- Would'st thou be in a Dream, and yet not sleep?
- Or would'st thou in a moment Laugh and Weep?
- Wouldest thou lose thy self, and catch no harm?
- And find thy self again without a charm?
- Would'st read thy self, and read thou know'st not what
- And yet know whether thou art blest or not,
- By reading the same lines? O then come hither,
- And lay my Book, thy Head and Heart together.
- JOHN BUNYAN
THE Pilgrims Progress: In the similitude of a DREAM.
[Flight from the City of Destruction]
As I walk'd through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a Denn; And I laid me down in that place to sleep: And as I slept I dreamed a Dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a Man cloathed with Raggs, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own House, a Book in his hand, and a great burden upon his Back. [Isa 64.6; Luke 14.33; Psalm 38.4; Hab. 2.2; Act. 16.30,31] I looked and saw him open the Book, and Read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled: and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry; saying, what shall I do?
In this plight therefore he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that his Wife and Children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: wherefore at length he brake his mind to his Wife and Children; and thus he began to talk to them, O my dear Wife, said he, and you the Children of my bowels, I your dear friend am in my self undone, by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me: moreover, I am for certain informed, that this our City will be burned with fire from Heaven, in which fearful overthrow, both my self, with thee, my Wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruine; except (the which, yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered. At this his Relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed, that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought, that some frenzy distemper had got into his head: therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all hast they got him to bed; but the night was as troublesome to him as the day: wherefore instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come, they would know how he did; and he told them worse and worse. He also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened; they also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriages to him: sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him: wherefore he began to retire himself to his Chamber to pray for, and pity them; and also to condole his own misery: he would also walk solitarily in the Fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time.
Now, I saw upon a time, when he was walking in the Fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading in his Book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, What shall I do to be saved?
I saw also that he looked this way, and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him, and he asked, Wherefore dost thou cry? He answered, Sir, I perceive, by the Book in my hand, that I am Condemned to die, and after that to come to Judgment[Heb. 9.27]; and I find that I am not willing to do the first [Job 16.21,22], nor able to do the second [Ezek. 22.14].
Then said Evangelist, Why not willing to die? since this life is attended with so many evils? The Man answered, Because, I fear that this burden that is upon my back, will sink me lower then the Grave; and I shall fall into Tophet [Isa. 30.33]. And Sir, if I be not fit to go to Prison, I am not fit (I am sure) to go to Judgement, and from thence to Execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry.
Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go, Then he gave him a Parchment-Roll, and there was written within, Fly from the wrath to come [Matt. 3.7].
The Man therefore Read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully; said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide Field, Do you see yonder Wicket-gate? [Mat. 7] The Man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light? [Psalm 119.105; 2 Pet. 1.19.] He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the Gate; at which when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.
So I saw in my Dream that the Man began to run; Now he had not run far from his own door, but his Wife and Children perceiving it, began to cry after him to return: [Luke 14.26] but the Man put his fingers in his Ears, and ran on crying, Life, life, Eternal Life: so he looked not behind him [Gen. 19.17.], but fled towards the middle of the Plain.
The Neighbors also came out to see him run [Jer. 20.10.], and as he ran, some mocked, others threatned; and some cried after him to return: Now among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate, and the name of the other Pliable. Now by this time the Man was got a good distance from them; But however they were resolved to pursue him; which they did and in a little time they over-took him. Then said the Man, Neighbours, Wherefore are you come? They said, To perswade you to go back with us; but he said, That can by no means be: You dwell, said he, in the City of Destruction, (the place also where I was born) I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the Grave, into a place that burns with Fire and Brimstone: Be content good Neighbours, and go along with me.
What! said Obstinate, and leave our Friends, and our Comforts behind us!
Yes, said Christian, (for that was his name) because that all, which you shall forsake, [2 Cor. 4.18,] is not worthy to be compared with a little of that that I am seeking to enjoy, and if you will go along with me, and hold it, you shall fare as I myself; for there where I go, is enough [Luke 15.], and to spare; Come away, and prove my words.
Obst. What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?
Chr. I seek an Inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away [1 Peter 1.4]; and it is laid up in Heaven, and fast there [Heb. 11:16], to be bestowed at the time appointed, on them that diligently seek it. Read it so, if you will, in my Book.
Obst. Tush, said Obstinate, away with your Book; will you go back with us, or no?
Chr. No, not I, said the other; because I have laid my hand to the Plow [Luke 9.62.].
Obst. Come then, Neighbour Pliable, let us turn again, and go home without him; there is a company of these Craz'd-headed Coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end, are wiser in their own eyes then seven men that can render a reason.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Don’t revile; if what the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours; my heart inclines to go with my Neighbour.
Obst. What! more Fools still? be ruled by me and go back; who knows whither such a brain- sick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise.
Chr. Come with me Neighbour Pliable, there are such things to be had which I spoke of, and many more Glories besides; If you believe not me, read here in this Book; and for the truth of what is exprest therein, behold, all is confirmed by the blood of him that made it [Heb. 13.20,21.].
Pli. Well Neighbour Obstinate (said Pliable) I begin to come to a point; I intend to go along with this good man, and to cast in my lot with him: But my good Companion, do you know the way to this desired place?
Chr. I am directed by a man whose name is Evangelist, to speed me to a little Gate that is before us, where we shall receive instruction about the way.
Pli. Come then, good Neighbour, let us be going: Then they went both together.
Obst. And I will go back to my place, said Obstinate: I will be no Companion of such mis-led, fantastical Fellows.
Now I saw in my Dream, that when Obstinate was gon back, Christian and Pliable went talking over the Plain; and thus they began their discourse,
Chr. Come Neighbour Pliable, how do you do? I am glad you are perswaded to go along with me; and had even Obstinate himself, but felt what I have felt of the Powers, and Terrours of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pliable. Come Neighbour Christian, since there is none but us two here, tell me now further, what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going.
Chr. I can better conceive of them with my Mind, then speak of them with my Tongue: But yet since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my Book.
Pli. And do you think that the words of your Book are certainly true?
Chr. Yes verily, for it was made by him that cannot lye [Tit. 1.2.].
Pli. Well said; what things are they?
Chr. There is an endless Kingdom to be Inhabited, and everlasting life to be given us; that we may Inhabit that Kingdom for ever [Isa. 45.17. John 10.27,28,29.]
Pli. Well said, and what else?
Chr. There are Crowns of Glory to be given us; and Garments that will make us shine like the Sun in the Firmament of Heaven [2 Tim. 4.8. Rev. 3.4. Matth. 13.]
Pli. This is excellent; And what else?
Chr. There shall be no more crying, nor sorrow; For he that is owner of the place, will wipe all tears from our eyes [Isa. 25.8. Rev. 7.16,17. Chap. 21.4.].
Pli. And what company shall we have there?
Chr. There we shall be with Seraphims, and Cherubins [Isa. 6.2. 1 Thess. 4.16,17. Rev. 5.11.], Creatures that will dazle your eyes to look on them: There also you shall meet with thousands, and ten thousands that have gone before us to that place; none of them are hurtful, but loving, and holy; every one walking in the sight of God; and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever: In a word, there we shall see the Elders with their Golden Crowns [Rev. 4:4]: There we shall see the Holy Virgins with their Golden Harps [Chap. 14.1,2,3,4,5.]. There we shall see Men that by the World were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of Beasts, drownded in the Seas, for the love that they bare to the Lord of the place [John 12.25.]; all well, and cloathed with Immortality, as with a Garment [2 Cor. 5.2,3,5.].
Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish ones heart; but are these things to be enjoyed? how shall we get to be Sharers hereof?
Chr. The Lord, the Governour of that Countrey, hath Recorded that in this Book [Isa. 55.12. John 7.37. Chap. 6.37. Rev. 21.6. Chap. 22.17.]: The substance of which is, If we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely.
Pli. Well, my good Companion, glad am I to hear of these things: Come on, let us mend our pace.
Chr. I cannot go as fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is upon my back.
[The Slough of Despond]
Now I saw in my Dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew near to a very Miry Slow that was in the midst of the Plain, and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bogg. The name of the Slow was Dispond. Here therefore they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; And Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the Mire.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Ah, Neighbour Christian, where are you now?
Chr. Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
Pli. At that Pliable began to be offended; and angerly, said to his Fellow, Is this the happiness you have told me all this while of? if we have such ill speed at our first setting out, What may we expect, 'twixt this and our Journeys end? May I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave Country alone for me. And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the Mire, on that side of the Slow which was next to his own House: So away he went, and Christian saw him no more.
Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavored to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate; the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him what he did there.
CHR. Sir, said Christian, I was bid to go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come. And as I was going thither, I fell in here.
HELP. But why did not you look for the steps?
CHR. Fear followed me so hard that I fled the next way, and fell in.
HELP. Then, said he, Give me thine hand: so he gave him his hand, and he drew him out, [Psalm 40:2], and he set him upon sound ground, and bid him go on his way.
Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, "Sir, wherefore, since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction to yonder gate, is it, that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might go thither with more security?" And he said unto me, "This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended: it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore it is called the Slough of Despond; for still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arise in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason of the badness of this ground.
"It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so bad. [Isa. 35:3,4.] His laborers also have, by the direction of his Majesty’ surveyors, been for above this sixteen hundred years employed about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to my knowledge," said he, "there have been swallowed up at least twenty thousand cart loads, yea, millions of wholesome instructions, that have at all seasons been brought from all places of the King’ dominions, (and they that can tell, say, they are the best materials to make good ground of the place,) if so be it might have been mended; but it is the Slough of Despond still, and so will be when they have done what they can.
"True, there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this slough; but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside, and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there: but the ground is good when they are once got in at the gate." [1 Sam. 12:23.]
Now I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his house. So his neighbors came to visit him; and some of them called him wise man for coming back, and some called him fool for hazarding himself with Christian: others again did mock at his cowardliness, saying, "Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base as to have given out for a few difficulties:" so Pliable sat sneaking among them. But at last he got more confidence, and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back. And thus much concerning Pliable.
[Mr. Worldly Wiseman]
Now as Christian was walking solitary by himself, he espied one afar off come crossing over the field to meet him; and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way of each other. The gentleman’ name that met him was Mr. Worldly Wiseman: he dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town, and also hard by from whence Christian came. This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some inkling 4 of him, (for Christian’ setting forth from the city of Destruction was much noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town-talk in some other places) - Mr. Worldly Wiseman, therefore, having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by observing his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.
WORLD. How now, good fellow, whither away after this burdened manner?
CHR. A burdened manner indeed, as ever I think poor creature had! And whereas you ask me, Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to yonder wicket-gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.
WORLD. Hast thou a wife and children?
CHR. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly: methinks I am as if I had none. [1 Cor. 7:29.]
WORLD. Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel?
CHR. If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.
WORLD. I would advise thee, then, that thou with all speed get thyself rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then: nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessings which God hath bestowed upon thee till then.
CHR. That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden: but get it off myself I cannot, nor is there any man in our country that can take it off my shoulders; therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.
WORLD. Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?
CHR. A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honorable person: his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.
WORLD. I beshrew him for his counsel! there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that into which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something, as I perceive, already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee: but that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me; I am older than thou: thou art like to meet with, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not. These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger?
CHR. Why, sir, this burden on my back is more terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.
WORLD. How camest thou by thy burden at first?
CHR. By reading this book in my hand.
WORLD. I thought so; and it has happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do not only unman men, as thine I perceive have done thee, but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.
CHR. I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.
WORLD. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? Especially since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of those dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.
CHR. Sir, I pray open this secret to me.
WORLD. Why, in yonder village (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of a very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders; yea to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; aye, and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, (as indeed I would not wish thee,) thou mayest send for thy wife and children to this village, where there are houses now standing empty, one of which thou mayest have at a reasonable rate: provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy is, to be sure there thou shalt live by honest neighbors, in credit and good fashion.
Now was Christian somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, If this be true which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice: and with that he thus farther spake.
CHR. Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?
WORLD. Do you see yonder high hill?
CHR. Yes, very well.
WORLD. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his.
So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality’ house for help: but, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next the way- side did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and wotted not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire, [Ex. 19:16, 18], out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burnt: here therefore he did sweat and quake for fear. Heb. 12:21. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman’ counsel; and with that he saw Evangelist coming to meet him, at the sight also of whom he began to blush for shame. So Evangelist drew nearer and nearer; and coming up to him, he looked upon him, with a severe and dreadful countenance, and thus began to reason with Christian.
EVAN. What doest thou here, Christian? said he: at which words Christian knew not what to answer; wherefore at present he stood speechless before him. Then said Evangelist farther, Art not thou the man that I found crying without the walls of the city of Destruction?
CHR. Yes, dear sir, I am the man.
EVAN. Did not I direct thee the way to the little wicket-gate?
CHR. Yes, dear sir, said Christian.
EVAN. How is it then thou art so quickly turned aside? For thou art now out of the way.
CHR. I met with a gentleman so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might, in the village before me, find a man that could take off my burden.
EVAN. What was he?
CHR. He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and got me at last to yield: so I came hither; but when I beheld this hill, and how it hangs over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.
EVAN. What said that gentleman to you?
CHR. Why, he asked me whither I was going; and I told him.
EVAN. And what said he then?
CHR. He asked me if I had a family; and I told him. But, said I, I am so laden with the burden that is on my back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as formerly.
EVAN. And what said he then?
CHR. He bid me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease that I sought. And, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive farther direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would show me a better way, and short, not so attended with difficulties as the way, sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman’ house that hath skill to take off these burdens: so I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped, for fear (as I said) of danger: but I now know not what to do.
EVAN. Then said Evangelist, Stand still a little, that I show thee the words of God. So he stood trembling. Then said Evangelist, "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven." Heb. 12:25. He said, moreover, "Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." [Heb. 10:38.] He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.
Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Woe is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right hand, saying, "All manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men." [Matt. 12:31.] "Be not faithless, but believing." [John 20:27.] Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.
Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the things that I shall tell thee of. I will now show thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The man that met thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly because he savoreth only the doctrine of this world, 1 John 4:5, (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church;) and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him best from the cross, Gal. 6:12: and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man’ counsel that thou must utterly abhor.
1. His turning thee out of the way. 2. His laboring to render the cross odious to thee. 3. And his setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.
First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting thereto; because this is to reject the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, "Strive to enter in at the straight gate," [Luke 13:24], the gate to which I send thee; "for strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." [Matt. 7:13,14.] From this little wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction: hate, therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening to him.
Secondly, Thou must abhor his laboring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures of Egypt. [Heb. 11:25,26.] Besides, the King of glory hath told thee, that he that will save his life shall lose it. And he that comes after him, and hates not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple. [Mark 8:38; John 12:25; Matt. 10:39; Luke 14:26.] I say, therefore, for a man to labor to persuade thee that that shall be thy death, without which, the truth hath said, thou canst not have eternal life, this doctrine thou must abhor.
Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.
He to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the bond-woman which now is, and is in bondage with her children, Gal. 4:21-27, and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai, which thou hast feared will fall on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be: ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his burden: Therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien, and Mr. Legality is a cheat; and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee. After this, Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, which made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were pronounced: "As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." [Gal. 3:10.]
Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman’ arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him so far as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelist in words and sense as follows.
CHR. Sir, what think you? Is there any hope? May I now go back, and go up to the wicket- gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man’ counsel; but may my sin be forgiven?
EVAN. Then said Evangelist to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils: thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths. Yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good-will for men; only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, lest thou "perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little." [Psalm 2:12.]
[The Wicket Gate]
Then did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed; So he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe, till again he was got into the way which he had left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman’ counsel. So, in process of time, Christian got up to the gate. Now, over the gate there was written, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." [Matt. 7:7.]
He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, saying,
- "May I now enter here? Will he within
- Open to sorry me, though I have been
- An undeserving rebel? Then shall I
- Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high."
At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Goodwill, who asked who was there, and whence he came, and what he would have.
CHR. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the wrath to come; I would therefore, sir, since I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in.
GOOD. I am willing with all my heart, said he; and with that he opened the gate.
So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said Christian, What means that? The other told him, A little distance from this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is the captain: from thence both he and they that are with him, shoot arrows at those that come up to this gate, if haply they may die before they can enter in. Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when he was got in, the man of the Gate asked him who directed him thither.
CHR. Evangelist bid me come hither and knock, as I did: and he said, that you, sir, would tell me what I must do.
GOOD. An open door is set before thee, and no man can shut it.
CHR. Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.
GOOD. But how is it that you came alone?
CHR. Because none of my neighbors saw their danger as I saw mine.
GOOD. Did any of them know of your coming?
CHR. Yes, my wife and children saw me at the first, and called after me to turn again: also, some of my neighbors stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so came on my way.
GOOD. But did none of them follow you, to persuade you to go back?
CHR. Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back; but Pliable came with me a little way.
GOOD. But why did he not come through?
CHR. We indeed came both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbor Pliable discouraged, and would not venture farther. Wherefore, getting out again on the side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.
GOOD. Then said Goodwill, Alas, poor man; is the celestial glory of so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?
CHR. Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable; and if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear there is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true, he went back to his own house, but I also turned aside to go in the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.
GOOD. Oh, did he light upon you? What, he would have had you have seek for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality! They are both of them a very cheat. But did you take his counsel?
CHR. Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. Legality, until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.
GOOD. That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the death of many more: it is well you escaped being by it dashed in pieces.
CHR. Why truly I do not know what had become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of my dumps; but it was God’ mercy that he came to me again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord. But O, what a favor is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here!
GOOD. We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither; they in no wise are cast out. John 6:37. And therefore good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it is as strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.
CHR. But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?
GOOD. Yes, there are many ways butt down upon this, and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow. [Matt. 7:14.]
Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him further, if he could not help him off with his burden that was upon his back. For as yet he had not got rid thereof; nor could he by any means get it off without help.
He told him, "As to thy burden, be content to bear it until thou comest to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back of itself."
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some distance from the gate, he would come to the house of the Interpreter, at whose door he should knock, and he would show him excellent things. Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God speed.
[The House of the Interpreter]
Then he went on till he came at the house of the Interpreter, where he knocked over and over. At last one came to the door, and asked who was there.
CHR. Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid by an acquaintance of the good man of this house to call here for my profit; I would therefore speak with the master of the house.
So he called for the master of the house, who, after a little time, came to Christian, and asked him what he would have.
CHR. Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I called here you would show me excellent things, such as would be helpful to me on my journey.
INTER. Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him; so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.
CHR. Then said Christian, What means this?
INTER. The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand: he can beget children, [1 Cor. 4:15], travail in birth with children, Gal. 4:19, and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’ service, he is sure in the world that comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.
Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlor that was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had reviewed it a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now, when he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian had almost therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter to a damsel that stood by, "Bring hither water, and sprinkle the room;" the which when she had done, it was swept and cleansed with pleasure.
CHR. Then said Christian, What means this?
INTER. The Interpreter answered, This parlor is the heart of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet grace of the Gospel. The dust is his original sin, and inward corruptions, that have defiled the whole man. He that began to sweep at first, is the law; but she that brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now whereas thou sawest, that so soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did so fly about that the room by him could not be cleansed, but that thou wast almost choked therewith; this is to show thee, that the law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth revive, [Rom. 7:9], put strength into, [1 Cor. 15:56], and increase it in the soul, [Rom. 5:20], even as it doth discover and forbid it; for it doth not give power to subdue. Again, as thou sawest the damsel sprinkle the room with water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure, this is to show thee, that when the Gospel comes in the sweet and precious influences thereof to the heart, then, I say, even as thou sawest the damsel lay the dust by sprinkling the floor with water, so is sin vanquished and subdued, and the soul made clean, through the faith of it, and consequently fit for the King of glory to inhabit. [John 15:3; Eph. 5:26; Acts 15:9; Rom. 16:25,26.]
I saw moreover in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the hand, and had him into a little room, where sat two little children, each one in his chair. The name of the eldest was Passion, and the name of the other Patience. Passion seemed to be much disconted, but Patience was very quiet. Then Christian asked, "What is the reason of the discontent of Passion?" The Interpreter answered, "The governor of them would have him stay for his best things till the beginning of the next year, but he will have all now; but Patience is willing to wait." Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of treasure, and poured it down at his feet: the which he took up, and rejoiced therein, and withal laughed Patience to scorn. But I beheld but a while, and he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but rags.
CHR. Then said Christian to the Interpreter, Expound this matter more fully to me.
INTER. So he said, These two lads are figures; Passion of the men of this world, and Patience of the men of that which is to come; for, as here thou seest, passion will have all now, this year, that is to say, in this world; so are the men of this world: They must have all their good things now; they cannot stay till the next year, that is, until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," is of more authority with them than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come. But as thou sawest that he had quickly lavished all away, and had presently left him nothing but rags, so will it be with all such men at the end of this world.
CHR. Then said Christian, Now I see that Patience has the best wisdom, and that upon many accounts. 1. Because he stays for the best things. 2. And also because he will have the glory of his, when the other has nothing but rags.
INTER. Nay, you may add another, to wit, the glory of the next world will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone. Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience because he had his good things first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion because he had his best things last; for first must give place to last, because last must have his time to come: but last gives place to nothing, for there is not another to succeed. He, therefore, that hath his portion first, must needs have a time to spend it; but he that hath his portion last, must have it lastingly: therefore it is said of Dives, "In thy lifetime thou receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." [Luke 16:25.]
CHR. Then I perceive it is not best to cover things that are now, but to wait for things to come.
INTER. You say truth: for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18. But though this be so, yet since things present and our fleshly appetite are such near neighbors one to another; and again, because things to come and carnal sense are such strangers one to another; therefore it is, that the first of these so suddenly fall into amity, and that distance is so continued between the second.
Then I saw in my dream, that the Interpreter took Christian by the hand, and led him into a place where was a fire burning against a wall, and one standing by it, always casting much water upon it, to quench it; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered, This fire is the work of grace that is wrought in the heart; he that casts water upon it, to extinguish and put it out, is the devil: but in that thou seest the fire, notwithstanding, burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason of that. So he had him about to the back side of the wall, where he saw a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, of the which he did also continually cast (but secretly) into the fire.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered, This is Christ, who continually, with the oil of his grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart; by the means of which, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls of his people prove gracious still. 2 Cor. 12:9. And in that thou sawest that the man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire; this is to teach thee, that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul.
I saw also, that the Interpreter took him again by the hand, and led him into a pleasant place, where was built a stately palace, beautiful to behold; at the sight of which Christian was greatly delighted. He saw also upon the top thereof certain persons walking, who were clothed all in gold.
Then said Christian may we go in thither?
Then the Interpreter took him, and led him up towards the door of the palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a table-side, with a book and his inkhorn before him, to take the names of them that should enter therein; he saw also that in the doorway stood many men in armor to keep it, being resolved to do to the men that would enter, what hurt and mischief they could. Now was Christian somewhat in amaze. At last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, "Set down my name, sir;" the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put a helmet on his head, and rush towards the door upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly force; but the man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely. So after he had received and given many wounds to those that attempted to keep him out, Matt. 11:12; Acts 14:22; he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the palace; at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the palace, saying,
- "Come in, come in,
- Eternal glory thou shalt win."
So he went in, and was clothed with such garments as they. Then Christian smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this.
Now, said Christian, let me go hence. Nay, stay, said the Interpreter, till I have showed thee a little more, and after that thou shalt go on thy way. So he took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, where there sat a man in an iron cage.
Now the man, to look on, seemed very sad; he sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, and he sighed as if he would break his heart. Then said Christian, What means this? At which the Interpreter bid him talk with the man.
Then said Christian to the man, What art thou? The man answered, I am what I was not once.
CHR. What wast thou once?
MAN. The man said, I was once a fair and flourishing professor, Luke 8:13, both in mine own eyes, and also in the eyes of others: I once was, as I thought, fair for the celestial city, and had then even joy at the thoughts that I should get thither.
CHR. Well, but what art thou now?
MAN. I am now a man of despair, and am shut up in it, as in this iron cage. I cannot get out; Oh now I cannot!
CHR. But how camest thou into this condition?
MAN. I left off to watch and be sober: I laid the reins upon the neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the word, and the goodness of God; I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; I tempted the devil, and he is come to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he has left me: I have so hardened my heart, that I cannot repent.
Then said Christian to the Interpreter, But is there no hope for such a man as this? Ask him, said the Interpreter.
CHR. Then said Christian, Is there no hope, but you must be kept in the iron cage of despair?
MAN. No, none at all.
CHR. Why, the Son of the Blessed is very pitiful.
MAN. I have crucified him to myself afresh, [Heb. 6:6]; I have despised his person, [Luke 19:14]; I have despised his righteousness; I have counted his blood an unholy thing; I have done despite to the spirit of grace, Heb. 10:29: therefore I have shut myself out of all the promises and there now remains to me nothing but threatenings, dreadful threatenings, faithful threatenings of certain judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour me as an adversary.
CHR. For what did you bring yourself into this condition?
MAN. For the lusts, pleasures, and profits of this world; in the enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight: but now every one of those things also bite me, and gnaw me like a burning worm.
CHR. But canst thou not now repent and turn?
MAN. God hath denied me repentance. His word gives me no encouragement to believe; yea, himself hath shut me up in this iron cage: nor can all the men in the world let me out. Oh eternity! eternity! how shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity?
INTER. Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Let this man’ misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
CHR. Well, said Christian, this is fearful! God help me to watch and to be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man’ misery. Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now?
INTER. Tarry till I shall show thee one thing more, and then thou shalt go on thy way. So he took Christian by the hand again and led him into a chamber where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment, he shook and trembled. Then said Christian, Why doth this man thus tremble? The Interpreter then bid him tell to Christian the reason of his so doing.
So he began, and said, "This night, as I was in my sleep, I dreamed, and behold the heavens grew exceeding black; also it thundered and lightened in most fearful wise, that it put me into an agony. So I looked up in my dream, and saw the clouds rack at an unusual rate; upon which I heard a great sound of a trumpet, and saw also a man sitting upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven: they were all in flaming fire; also the heavens were in a burning flame. I heard then a voice, saying, ’rise, ye dead, and come to judgment.’And with that the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the dead that were therein came forth: some of them were exceeding glad, and looked upward; and some sought to hide themselves under the mountains. Then I saw the man that sat upon the cloud open the book, and bid the world draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame that issued out and came from before him, a convenient distance between him and them, as between the judge and the prisoners at the bar. [1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 15; John 5: 28,29; 2 Thess. 1:8-10; Rev. 20:11-14; Isa. 26:21; Micah 7:16,17; Psa. 5:4; 50:1-3; Mal. 3:2,3; Dan. 7:9,10.] I heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on the man that sat on the cloud, Gather together the tares, the chaff, and stubble, and cast them into the burning Lake.’[Matt. 3:12; 18:30; 24:30; Mal. 4:1.] And with that the bottomless pit opened, just whereabout I stood; out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, smoke, and coals of fire, with hideous noises. It was also said to the same persons, Gather my wheat into my Garner.[Luke 3:17.] And with that I saw many catched up and carried away into the clouds, but I was left behind. [1 Thess. 4:16,17.] I also sought to hide myself, but I could not, for the man that sat upon the cloud still kept his eye upon me; my sins also came into my mind, and my conscience did accuse me on every side. [Rom. 2:14,15.] Upon this I awakened from my sleep."
CHR. But what was it that made you so afraid of this sight?
MAN. Why, I thought that the day of judgment was come, and that I was not ready for it: but this frightened me most, that the angels gathered up several, and left me behind; also the pit of hell opened her mouth just where I stood. My conscience too afflicted me; and, as I thought, the Judge had always his eye upon me, showing indignation in his countenance.
Then said the Interpreter to Christian, "Hast thou considered all these things?"
CHR. Yes, and they put me in hope and fear.
INTER. Well, keep all things so in thy mind, that they may be as a goad in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the way thou must go. Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. Then said the Interpreter, "The Comforter be always with thee, good Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads to the city."
So Christian went on his way, saying,
- "Here I have seen things rare and profitable,
- Things pleasant, dreadful, things to make me stable
- In what I have begun to take in hand:
- Then let me think on them, and understand
- Wherefore they showed me were, and let me be
- Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee."