Pilgrim's Progress: Part One, Section II.
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Then Christian fell down at his foot as dead, crying, Wo 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; 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 shew 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 savoureth only the
doctrine of this world, (therefore he always goes to the Town of Morality to
church); and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him
from the Cross. And because he is of this carnal temper, teerefore he seeketh
to prevent my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man's
counsel that thou must utterly abhor.
1. His turning thee out of the way.
2. His labouring 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 strait gate, the gate to which I sent thee; for strait is the gate that
leadeth 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 of 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, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot
be my Disciple. I say therefore, for a 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 was sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the Son of
the Bond-woman which 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 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 this sottish man,
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, that made the hair of his
flesh stand. The words were thus pronounced, As many as are 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
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 hopes? 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
goodwill 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 bid him God speed. So he went on with haste,
neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if any man 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 left to follow Mr Worldly Wiseman's 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.
He that will enter in must first without
Stand knocking at the Garet, nor need he doubt
That is a knocker but to enter in,
For God can love him, and forgive his sin.
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 Good-Will, 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-will. 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-will. 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-will. But how is it that you came alone?
Chr. Because none of my Neighbors saw their danger, as I saw mine.
Good-will. 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-will. 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
Good-will. But why did he not come through?
Chr. We indeed came both together, until we came to the Slough of
Dispond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my Neighbor
Pliable discouraged, and would not adventure further. Wherefore getting out
again on that 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-will. Then said Good-will, Alas, poor man, is the coelestial
glory of so small esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the
hazards 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
'twixt him and myself. 'Tis 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-will. O, did he light upon you? What! he would have had you a
sought 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-will. That Mountain has been the death of many, and will be the
death of many more; 'tis 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
'twas God's 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 favour is this
to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here.
Good-will. We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that
they have done before they come hither, they in no wise are cast out; 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 straight as a rule can make it: This is
the way thou must go.
Chr. But said Christian, Is there no turnings nor windings, by which a
Stranger may lose the way?
Good-will. 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 straight and narrow.
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 they Burden, be content to bear it, until thou comest
to the place of Deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back 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 at the house of the Interpreter, at whose door he
should knock, and he would shew him excellent things. Then Christian took his
leave of his Friend, and he again bid him God speed.
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
shew me excellent things, such as would be a help to me in my Journey.
Inter. Then said the Interpreter, Come in, I will shew 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 of 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 his lips, the World was behind his back. It stood as if it
pleaded with men, and a Crown of Gold did hang over his head.
Chr. Then said Christian, What means this?
Inter. The Man whose Picture this is, is one of a thousand; he can beget
children, travel in birth with children, 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 shew 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 shew thee
that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he
hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the world that comes next to have
Glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have shewed 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 with in the way; wherefore take good heed to
what I have shewed 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 Parlour that
was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had reviewed 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 choaked. Then said the Interpreter to a Damsel that stood by,
Bring hither the 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 parlour 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 choaked therewith; this is to shew thee,
that the Law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth
revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, 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 shew 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.
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 discontent; 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 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
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 be 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.
Chr. Then I perceive 'tis not best to covet things that are now, but to
wait for things to come.
Inter. You say truth: For the things which are seen are Temporal; but the
things that are not seen are Eternal. 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 fell 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
backside 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. And in that thou sawest that the man stood behind the wall to
maintain the Fire, that 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 builded 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 cloathed all in gold.
Then said Christian, May we go in thither?
Then the Interpreter took him, and led him up toward 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 name of
him that should enter therein; He saw also, that in the door-way stood many
men in armour to keep it, being resolved to do the men that would enter what
hurt and mischief they could. Now was Christian somewhat in a maze. 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 an Helmet upon his head, and rush toward 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, 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 cloathed 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 shewed 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, both in
mine own eyes, and also in the eyes of others; I once was, as I thought, fair
for the Coelestial City, and had then even joy at the thoughts that I should
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; O now I cannot.
Chr. But how camest thou in 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 are there no hopes for such a
man as this? Ask him, said the Interpreter.
Chr. Then said the 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, I have despised his Person, I
have despised his Righteousness, I have counted his Blood an unholy thing; I
have done despite to the Spirit of Grace: Therefore I have shut myself out of
all the Promises, and there now remains to me nothing but threatnings,
dreadful threatnings, fearful threatnings 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. O 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's misery be
remembred by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
Chr. Well, said Christian, this is fearful; God help me to watch and be
sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's misery. Sir, is it
not time for me to go on my way now?
Inter. Tarry till I shall shew thee one thing more, and then thou shalt
go 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 thundred and lightned 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 sit 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, Arise 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 which
issued out and came from before him, a convenient distance betwixt him and
them, as betwixt the Judge and the Prisoners at the bar. 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. 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 the Garner. And with that I saw many catch'd up and carried away
into the Clouds, but I was left behind. 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.
Upon this I awaked 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 frighted 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, shewing indignation in his countenance.
Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Hast thou considered all these
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 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 shew'd me was, and let me be
Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee.