John Bunyan's dream, written
from a prison cell, has become the most famous allegory in English literature.
Written almost three hundred fifty years ago, this book has been read in prim parlors,
in sophisticated drawing rooms, in royal households, in religion classes, in schoolrooms,
in family worship- and still it is read by all those who, too, would be a pilgrim.
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
FROM THIS WORLD TO THAT WHICH IS TO COME;
DELIVERED UNDER THE SIMILTUDE OF A DREAM.
BY JOHN BUNYAN.
Timeline History of "The Pilgrim's Progress"*
*Note: At the website "Acacia John Bunyan", see
Timeline Chronicling the Life of John Bunyan ---New Window for more
about the events of John Bunyan's life.
THE FIRST STAGE.
Author's Apology for his Book - Christian's deplorable condition - Evangelist directs him - Obstinate and Pliable - Slough of Despond - Worldly Wiseman - Mount Sinai - Conversation with Evangelist
THE AUTHOR'S APOLOGY FOR HIS BOOK.
|HEN 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 fly.
Nay, then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
I'll put you by yourselves, 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 show 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 gratify.
Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself 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 pulled, it came; and so I penned
It down; until it came at last to be,
For length and breadth, the size which you see.
Well, when I had thus put my ends together,
I showed them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justify:
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 strait, 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 gratify,
I did not know but hinder them I might
Of that which would to them be great delight.
For those which 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 will not read, let it alone:
Some love the meat; some love to pick the bone.
Yea, that I might them better moderate,
I did too with them thus expostulate:
"May I not write in such a style as this;
In such a method too; and yet not miss
My 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 carps not at either;
But treasures up the fruit they yield together:
Yea, so mixes both, that in her fruit
None can distinguish this from that: they suit
Her well when hungry: but if she be full,
She spews out both, and makes their blessings null.
You see the ways the fisherman doth take
To catch the fish: what devices doth he make!
Behold how he engages 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 device, can make thine;
They must be groped for, and be tickled too,
Or they will not be caught whate'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 toad's head dwell,
And may be found too in an oyster shell;
If things that promise nothing do contain
What better is than gold; who will disdain
That have an inkling of it, there to look,
That they may find it? Now my little book
(Though 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 tried."
"Why, what's the matter?"
"It is dark." "What though?"
"But it is feigned." "What of that?" I trow
Some men by feigned words as dark as mine
Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine."
"But they want solidness."
"Speak, man, thy mind."
"They'd drown the weak; metaphors make us blind."
Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
Of him that writes things Divine to men;
But must I needs want solidness because
By metaphors I speak?
Were not God's laws, His gospel laws, in olden 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 speaks to him; and happy is he
That finds the light and grace that in them be.
continued at the top of the next column...
Be not too forward, therefore, to conclude
That I want solidness--that I am rude.
All things solid in show, not solid be:
All things in parables despise not we;
Lest things most harmful 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 enclose the gold.
The prophets used much by metaphors
To set forth truth; yea, whoso 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 style and phrase puts down all wit,
Is everywhere so full of all these things--
Dark figures; allegories; yet there springs
From that same book, that lustre, and those rays
Of light that turn our darkest nights todays?
Come, let my carper to his life now look,
And find there darker lines than in my book
He finds 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 dare adventure ten,
That they will take my meaning in these lines
Far better than his lies in silver shrines.
Come: Truth, although in swaddling clouts, I find
Informs the judgment; rectifies the mind;
Pleases the understanding; makes the will
Submit: the memory too it doth fill
With what doth our imaginations 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, he nowhere did 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.
Denied, did I say? Nay, I have leave--
(Examples too and that from them that have
God better pleased by their words or ways
Than any man that breathes now-a-days)--
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 sallies upon thee and me
Which way it pleases God: for who knows how
Better than he that taught us first to plough,
To guide our minds 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
Do call for one thing to set forth another.
Use it I may then, and yet nothing smother
Truth's golden beams; nay, by this method may
Make it cast forth its rays as light as day.
And now, before I do put up my pen,
I'll show 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 chalks out before thine eyes,
The man that seeks the everlasting prize:
It shows you whence he comes, whither he goes,
What he leaves undone; also what he does:
It also shows you how he runs, and runs
Till he unto the gate of glory comes.
It shows too who set 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 slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.
Art thou for something rare and profitable?
Wouldst thou see a truth within a fable? Art thou forgetful?
Wouldst thou remember
From New Year's day to the last of December?
Then read my fancies; they will stick like burrs
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 thyself from melancholy,
Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Wouldst thou read riddles, and their explanation
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or wouldst thou see
A man in the clouds, and hear him speak to thee?
Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep?
Wouldst thou lose thyself and catch no harm?
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read thou know'st not what,
And yet know whether thou are blest or not,
By reading the same lines? Oh then, come hither,
And lay my book, thy head, and heart together.
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
s I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den (the gaol), 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 clothed with rags standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. 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 myself undone, by reason of a burden that lies 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 myself, with thee, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin; 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 haste 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: 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 conduct 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.
Evangelist Provides Direction
ow 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 must 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 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;
and I find that I am not willing to do the first,
nor able to do the second."
Evangelist. 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 than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet.
And, sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to Judgment, 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 where to go." Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within, "Flee from the wrath to come!"
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?"
The man said, "No." Then said the other, "Do you see yonder shining light?"
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 shall 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;
but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, "Life! life! Eternal life!" So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain.
The Neighbours: Obstinate and Pliable
he neighbours also came out to see him run; and, as he ran, some mocked,
others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and 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 a good distance from them; but, however, they were resolved to pursue him; which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, "Neighbours, wherefore are ye come?" They said, "To persuade you to go back with us." But he said, "That can by no means be. You dwell 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."
Obstinate. "What!" said OBSTINATE, "and leave our friends and our comforts behind us !"
Christian. "Yes," said CHRISTIAN, for that was his name; "because that all which you shall forsake 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 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 fades not away;
and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, 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 not?"
Chr. "No, not I," said the other; "because I have laid my hand to the plough".
Obst. Come then, neighbour PLIABLE, let us turn again, and go home without him: there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.
Pliable. 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 brainsick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise!
Chr. Nay. but do thou come with thy 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 expressed therein, behold, all is confirmed by the blood of him that made it.
"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 instructions 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 misled, fantastic fellow."
What To Look Forward To
ow I saw in my dream, that when OBSTINATE was gone 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 persuaded to go along with me. Had even OBSTINATE himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pli. 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 than 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 lie.
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.
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.
Pli. That is very pleasant. 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.
Pli. And what company shall we have there?
Chr. There we shall be with seraphim and cherubim, creatures that will dazzle 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 harmful, but loving and holy; everyone 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;
there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps;
there we shall see men that by the word were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they bore to the Lord of the place--all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment.
Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish one's heart. But are these things to be enjoyed? how shall we get to be sharers thereof?
Chr. The Lord, the governor of the country, hath recorded it in this book; 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 so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.
The Slough of Despond
ow I saw in my dream that, just as they had ended this talk, they drew near to a very miry slough that was in the midst of the plain; and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was "Despond." 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 angrily said to his fellow, "Is this the happiness you have told me of all this while? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect 'twixt this and our journey's end? If I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone." And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of the slough 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 endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket gate: 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 bidden 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 you not 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 thy hand." So he gave him his hand, and he drew him out; and set him upon some ground, and bade 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 arises 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;
"Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you." Isaiah 35:3, 4
his labourers also have, by the directions of his Majesty's surveyors, been for above this sixteen hundred years employed about this patch of ground to see if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to my knowledge," said he, "here have been swallowed up at least twenty thousand cartloads, yea, millions, of wholesome instructions. The cartloads have, at all season, been brought from all places of the King's 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 evenly through the very midst of this slough; but at such times as this place does 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 have once got in at the gate".
Now I saw in my dream that by this time PLIABLE was got home to his house again. So his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them called him a wise man for coming back; and some called him a fool for hazarding himself with CHRISTIAN: others, again, did mock at his cowardliness, saying, "Surely, since you began to venture, you would not have been so base as to have given out for a few difficulties:" so PLIABLE sat sneaking among them. But at last got he more confidence; and then they all "turned tail," and began to deride poor CHRISTIAN behind his back. And thus much concerning PLIABLE.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman
ow as CHRISTIAN was walking solitarily by himself, he spied 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's 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 of him--for CHRISTIAN'S 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-- Master 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.
Worldly Wiseman. 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 asked 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.
W. Wise. 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.
W. Wise. 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.
W. Wise. 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 blessing 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.
W. Wise. Who bade you go this way to be rid of your burden?
Chr. A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person; his name, as I remember, is EVANGELIST.
W. Wise. Avoid him for his counsel! There is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that unto 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 upon thee; but that slough is the only beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me--I am older than thou: thou art likely 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 why should a man so carelessly cast away himself by giving heed to a stranger?
Chr. Why, sir, this burden upon 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.
W. Wise. How camest thou by thy burden at first?
Chr. By reading this book in my hand.
W. Wise. 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 has 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 for my heavy burden.
W. Wise. 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.
W. Wise. 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 are 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, his son, whose name is CIVILITY, that can do it 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 come to thee to this village, where there are houses now stand empty, one of which thou mayest have at reasonable rates: provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy is there to be sure, for thou shalt live by honest neighbours, in credit and good fashion.
Now was CHRISTIAN somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, "If this be true what this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice;" and with that he thus further spoke.
Chr. Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?
W. Wise. Do you see yonder high hill? (Mount Sinai.)
Chr. Yes, very well.
W. Wise. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come to is his.
So CHRISTIAN turned out of his way to go to Mr. LEGALITY'S house for help. But, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also the side of it that was next the wayside did hang so much over, that CHRISTIAN was afraid to venture farther, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and knew 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 out of the hill, that made CHRISTIAN afraid that he should be burned:
here, therefore, he sweat and did quake for fear.
And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN'S 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.
The Only Way
Evan. hat dost 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 further, "Art not thou the man that I found crying outside 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, that 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 loaded 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 bade 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 further 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; this short way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman's house that has 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 may 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 we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven".
He said, moreover, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him".
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 foot 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 blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: be not faithless, but believing".
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 savours only the doctrine of this world
(therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to Church) and partly because he loves that doctrine best, for it saves him from the cross;
and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeks to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man's counsel that thou must utterly abhor:
"First, thou, must abhor 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 strait gate',
--the gate to which I sent thee; 'for strait is the gate that leads unto life, and few there be that find it'.
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 labouring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures in Egypt.
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, his brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple.
I say, therefore, for man to labour 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 bondwoman who now is, and is in bondage with her children;
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 his noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but at 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, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus pronounced: "As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them".
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's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have that prevalency with him 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's 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".
Then did CHRISTIAN address himself to go back; and EVANGELIST, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bade him Godspeed.
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