Pilgrim's Progress: Part One, Section III.
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Now I saw in my Dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was
fenced on either side with a Wall, and that Wall is called Salvation. Up this
way therefore did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty,
because of the load on his back.
He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that
place stood a Cross, and a little below in the bottom, a Sepulchre. So I saw
in my Dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his Burden loosed
from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and
so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the Sepulchre, where it fell
in, and I saw it no more.
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, He
hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death. Then he stood still
awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight
of the Cross should thus ease him of his Burden. He looked therefore, and
looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down
his cheeks. Now as he stood looking and weeping, behold three Shining Ones
came to him and saluted him with Peace be to thee; so the first said to him,
Thy sins be forgiven: the second stript him of his Rags, and clothed him with
Change of Raiment; the third also set a mark in his forehead, and gave him a
Roll with a Seal upon it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he
should give it in at the Coelestial Gate. So they went their way.
Who's this? the Pilgrim. How! 'tis very true,
Old things are past away, all's become new.
Strange! he's another man, upon my word,
They be fine Feathers that make a fine Bird.
Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing,
Thus far did I come laden with my sin;
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in
Till I came hither: What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the Burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest Cross! blest Sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me.
I saw then in my Dream that he went on thus, even until he came at a
bottom, where he saw, a little out of the way, three men fast asleep, with
fetters upon their heels. The name of the one was Simple, another Sloth, and
the third Presumption.
Christian then seeing them lie in this case, went to them, if
peradventure he might awake them, and cried, You are like them that sleep on
the top of a mast, for the Dead Sea is under you, a gulf that hath no bottom.
Awake therefore and come away; be willing also, and I will help you off with
your Irons. He also told them, If he that goeth about like a roaring lion
comes by, you will certainly become a prey to his teeth. With that they looked
upon him, and began to reply in his sort: Simple said, I see no danger; Sloth
said, Yet a little more sleep; and Presumption said, Every Fat must stand
upon his own bottom. And so they lay down to sleep again and Christian went on
[1: I.e., Vat or tub.]
Yet was he troubled to think that men in that danger should so little
esteem the kindness of him that so freely offered to help them, both by
awakening of them, counselling of them, and proffering to help them off with
their Irons. And as he was troubled thereabout he espied two men come tumbling
over the Wall, on the left hand of the narrow way; and they made up apace to
him. The name of the one was Formalist, and the name of the other Hypocrisy.
So, as I said, they drew up unto him, who thus entered with them into
Chr. Gentlemen, Whence came you, and whither do you go?
Form. and Hyp. We were born in the land of Vainglory, and are going for
praise to Mount Sion.
Chr. Why came you not in at the Gate which standeth at the beginning of
the Way? Know you not that it is written, That he that cometh not in by the
Door, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a Thief and a Robber?
Form. and Hyp. They said, That to go to the Gate for entrance was by all
their countrymen counted too far about; and that therefore their usual way was
to make a short cut of it, and to climb over the wall, as they had done.
Chr. But will it not be counted a Trespass against the Lord of the City
whither we are bound, thus to violate his revealed will?
Form. and Hyp. They told him, That as for that, he needed not to trouble
his head thereabout; for what they did they had custom for; and could produce,
if need were, Testimony that would witness it for more than a thousand years.
Chr. But, said Christian, will your practice stand a Trial at Law?
Form. and Hyp. They told him, That custom, it being of so long a standing
as above a thousand years, would doubtless now be admitted as a thing legal by
an impartial Judge; and besides, said they, if we get into the way, what's
matter which way we get in? if we are in, we are in; thou art but in the way,
who, as we perceive, came in at the Gate; and we are also in the way, that
came tumbling over the wall; wherein now is thy condition better than ours?
Chr. I walk by the Rule of my Master; you walk by the rude working of
your fancies. You are counted thieves already, by the Lord of the way;
therefore I doubt you will not be found true men at the end of the way. You
come in by yourselves, without his direction; and shall go out by yourselves,
without his mercy.
To this they made him but little answer; only they bid him look to
himself. Then I saw that they went on every man in his way, without much
conference one with another; save that these two men told Christian, that as
to Laws and Ordinances, they doubted not but they should as conscientiously do
them as he; therefore, said they, we see not wherein thou differest from us
but by the Coat that is on thy back, which was, as we trow, given thee by some
of thy Neighbors, to hide the shame of thy nakedness.
Chr. By Laws and Ordinances you will not be saved, since you came not in
by the door. And as for this Coat that is on my back, it was given me by the
Lord of the place whither I go; and that, as you say, to cover my nakedness
with. And I take it as a token of his kindness to me, for I had nothing but
rags before. And besides, thus I comfort myself as I go: Surely think I, when
I come to the gate of the City, the Lord thereof will know me for good, since
I have this Coat on my back; a Coat that he gave me freely in the day that he
stript me of my rags. I have moreover a Mark in my forehead, of which perhaps
you have taken no notice, which one of my Lord's most intimate associates
fixed there in the day that my Burden fell off my shoulders. I will tell you
moreover, that I had then given me a Roll sealed, to comfort me by reading as
I go in the way; I was also bid to give it in at the Coelestial Gate, in token
of my certain going in after it; all which things I doubt you want, and want
them because you came not in at the Gate.
To these things they gave him no answer; only they looked upon each other
and laughed. Then I saw that they went on all, save that Christian kept
before, who had no more talk but with himself, and that sometimes sighingly,
and sometimes comfortably; also he would be often reading in the Roll that one
of the Shining Ones gave him, by which he was refreshed.
I beheld then, that they all went on till they came to the foot of the
Hill Difficulty, at the bottom of which was a Spring. There was also in the
same place two other ways besides that which came straight from the Gate; one
turned to the left hand and the other to the right, at the bottom of the Hill;
but the narrow way lay right up the Hill, and the name of the going up the
side of the Hill is called Difficulty. Christian now went to the Spring, and
drank thereof to refresh himself, and then began to go up the Hill, saying,
The Hill, tho' high, I covet to ascend,
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way to life lies here:
Come, pluck up, Heart, let's neither faint nor fear;
Better, tho' difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is wo.
The other two also came to the foot of the Hill; but when they saw that
the Hill was steep and high, and that there was two other ways to go; and
supposing also that these two ways might meet again with that up which
Christian went, on the other side of the Hill; therefore they were resolved to
go in those ways. Now the name of one of those ways was Danger, and the name
of the other Destruction. So the one took the way which is called Danger,
which led him into a great Wood; and the other took directly up the way to
Destruction, which led him into a wide field, full of dark Mountains, where he
stumbled and fell, and rose no more.
Shall they who wrong begin yet rightly end?
Shall they at all have Safety for their friend?
No, no; in headstrong manner they set out,
And headlong will they fall at last no doubt.
I looked then after Christian to see him go up the Hill, where I
perceived he fell from running to going, and from going to clambering upon his
hands and his knees, because of the steepness of the place. Now about the mid
- way to the top of the Hill was a pleasant Arbor, made by the Lord of the
Hill for the refreshing of weary travellers; thither therefore Christian got,
where also he sat down to rest him. Then he pulled his Roll out of his bosom,
and read therein to his comfort; he also now began afresh to take a review of
the Coat or Garment that was given him as he stood by the Cross. Thus pleasing
himself awhile, he at last fell into a slumber, and thence into a fast sleep,
which detained him in that place until it was almost night; and in his sleep
his Roll fell out of his hand. Now as he was sleeping, there came one to him
and awaked him, saying, Go to the Ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and
be wise. And with that Christian suddenly started up, and sped on his way, and
went apace till he came to the top of the Hill.
Now when he was got up to the top of the Hill, there came two men running
against him amain; the name of the one was Timorous, and the other, Mistrust;
to whom Christian said, Sirs, what's the matter you run the wrong way?
Timorous answered, that they were going to the City of Zion, and had got up
that difficult place; but, said he, the further we go, the more danger we meet
with; wherefore we turned, and are going back again.
Yes, said Mistrust, for just before us lie a couple of Lions in the way,
(whether sleeping or waking we know not) and we could not think, if we came
within reach, but they would presently pull us in pieces.
Chr. Then said Christian, You make me afraid, but whither shall I fly to
be safe? If I go back to mine own country, that is prepared for Fire and
Brimstone, and I shall certainly perish there. If I can get to the Coelestial
City, I am sure to be in safety there. I must venture: To go back is nothing
but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I
will yet go forward. So Mistrust and Timorous ran down the Hill, and Christian
went on his way. But thinking again of what he heard from the men, he felt in
his bosom for his Roll, that he might read therein and be comforted; but he
felt, and found it not. Then was Christian in great distress, and knew not
what to do; for he wanted that which used to relieve him, and that which
should have been his pass into the Coelestial City. Here therefore he began to
be much perplexed, and knew not what to do. At last he bethought himself that
he had slept in the Arbor that is on the side of the Hill; and falling down
upon his knees he asked God's forgiveness for that his foolish fact and then
went back to look for his Roll. But all the way he went back, who can
sufficiently set forth the sorrow of Christian's heart? Sometimes he sighed,
sometimes he wept, and oftentimes he chid himself for being so foolish to fall
asleep in that place, which was erected only for a little refreshment for his
weariness. Thus therefore he went back, carefully looking on this side and on
that, all the way as he went, if happily he might find his Roll, that had been
his comfort so many times in his Journey. He went thus till he came again
within sight of the Arbor where he sat and slept; but that sight renewed his
sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his evil of sleeping into his
mind. Thus therefore he now went on bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, O
wretched man that I am, that I should sleep in the daytime! that I should
sleep in the midst of difficulty! that I should so indulge the flesh, as to
use that rest for ease to my flesh, which the Lord of the Hill hath erected
only for the relief of the spirits of Pilgrims? How many steps have I took in
vain! (Thus it happened to Israel for their sin, they were sent back again by
the way of the Red Sea), and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which
I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful sleep. How far
might I have been on my way by this time! I am made to tread those steps
thrice over, which I needed not to have trod but once; yea now also I am like
to be benighted, for the day is almost spent. O that I had not slept!
Now by this time he was come to the Arbor again, where for a while he sat
down and wept; but at last, as Christian would have it, looking sorrowfully
down under the settle, there he espied his Roll; the which he with trembling
and haste catched up, and put it into his bosom. But who can tell how joyful
this man was when he had gotten his Roll again! for this Roll was the
assurance of his life and acceptance at the desired Haven. Therefore he laid
it up in his bosom, gave thanks to God for directing his eye to the place
where it lay, and with joy and tears betook himself again to his Journey. But
Oh how nimbly now did he go up the rest of the Hill! Yet before he got up, the
Sun went down upon Christian; and this made him again recall the vanity of his
sleeping to his remembrance; and thus he again began to condole with himself.
O thou sinful sleep: how for thy sake am I like to be benighted in my Journey!
I must walk without the Sun, darkness must cover the path of my feet, and I
must hear the noise of doleful creatures, because of my sinful sleep. Now also
he remembered the story that Mistrust and Timorous told him of, how they were
frighted with the sight of the Lions. Then said Christian to himself again,
These beasts range in the night for their prey; and if they should meet with
me in the dark, how should I shift them? How should I escape being by them
torn in pieces? Thus he went on his way. But while he was thus bewailing his
unhappy miscarriage, he lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately
Palace before him, the name of which was Beautiful; and it stood just by the
So I saw in my Dream that he made haste and went forward, that if
possible he might get Lodging there. Now before he had gone far, he entered
into a very narrow passage, which was about a furlong off of the Porter's
Lodge; and looking very narrowly before him as he went, he espied two Lions in
the way. Now, thought he, I see the dangers that Mistrust and Timorous were
driven back by. (The Lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he
was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them, for he thought
nothing but death was before him: But the Porter at the lodge, whose name is
Watchful, perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried
unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Fear not the Lions, for they are
chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for
discovery of those that have none. Keep in the midst of the Path, and no hurt
shall come unto thee.
Difficulty is behind, Fear is before,
Though he's got on the Hill, the Lions roar;
A Christian man is never long at ease,
When one fright's gone, another doth him seize.
Then I saw that he went on, trembling for fear of the Lions, but taking
good heed to the directions of the Porter; he heard them roar, but they did
him no harm. Then he clapt his hands, and went on till he came and stood
before the Gate where the Porter was. Then said Christian to the Porter, Sir,
what house is this? and may I lodge here to-night? The Porter answered, This
house was built by the Lord of the Hill, and he built it for the relief and
security of Pilgrims. The Porter also asked whence he was, and whither he was
Chr. I am come from the City of Destruction, and am going to Mount Zion;
but because the Sun is now set, I desire, if I may, to lodge here to-night.
Por. What is your name?
Chr. My name is now Christian, but my name at the first was Graceless; I
came of the race of Japheth, whom God will persuade to dwell in the Tents of
Por. But how doth it happen that you come so late? The Sun is set.
Chr. I had been here sooner, but that, wretched man that I am! I slept in
the Arbor that stands on the Hillside; nay, I had notwithstanding that, been
here much sooner, but that in my sleep I lost my evidence, and came without it
to the brow of the Hill; and then feeling for it, and finding it not, I was
forced with sorrow of heart to go back to the place where I had slept my
sleep, where I found it, and now I am come.
Por. Well, I will call out one of the Virgins of this place, who will, if
she likes your talk, bring you in to the rest of the Family, according to the
rules of the house. So Watchful the Porter, rang a bell, at the sound of which
came out at the door of the house, a grave and beautiful damsel named
Discretion, and asked why she was called.
The Porter answered, This man is in a Journey from the City of
Destruction to Mount Zion, but being weary and benighted, he asked me if he
might lodge here tonight; so I told him I would call for thee, who, after
discourse had with him, mayest do as seemeth thee good, even according to the
Law of the house.
Then she asked him whence he was, and whither he was going; and he told
her. She asked him also, how he got into the way; and he told her. Then she
asked him, what he had seen and met with in the way; and he told her. And last
she asked his name; so he said, It is Christian, and I have so much the more a
desire to lodge here to-night, because, by what I perceive, this place was
built by the Lord of the Hill, for the relief and security of Pilgrims. So she
smiled, but the water stood in her eyes; and after a little pause, she said, I
will call forth two or three more of the Family. So she ran to the door, and
called out Prudence, Piety, and Charity, who after a little more discourse
with him, led him in to the Family; and many of them, meeting him at the
threshold of the house, said, Come in thou blessed of the Lord: this house was
built by the Lord of the Hill, on purpose to entertain such Pilgrims in. Then
he bowed his head, and followed them into the house. So when he was come in
and set down, they gave him something to drink, and consented together, that
until supper was ready, some of them should have some particular discourse
with Christian, for the best improvement of time; and they appointed Piety,
and Prudence, and Charity to discourse with him; and thus they began:
Piety. Come good Christian, since we have been so loving to you, to
receive you into our house this night, let us, if perhaps we may better
ourselves thereby, talk with you of all things that have happened to you in
Chr. With a very good will, and I am glad that you are so well disposed.
Piety. What moved you at first to betake yourself to a Pilgrim's life?
Chr. I was driven out of my Native Country, by a dreadful sound that was
in mine ears: to wit, that unavoidable destruction did attend me, if I abode
in that place where I was.
Piety. But how did it happen that you came out of your Country this way?
Chr. It was a God would have it; for when I was under the fears of
destruction, I did not know whither to go; but by chance there came a man,
even to me, as I was trembling and weeping, whose name is Evangelist, and he
directed me to the Wicket-gate, which else I should never have found, and so
set me into the way that hath led me directly to this house.
Piety. But did you not come by the house of the Interpreter?
Chr. Yes, and did see such things there, the remembrance of which will
stick by me as long as I live; specially three things: to wit, How Christ, in
despite of Satan, maintains his work of Grace in the heart; how the man had
sinned himself quite out of hopes of God's mercy; and also the Dream of him
that thought in his sleep the day of Judgment was come.
Piety. Why, Did you hear him tell his dream?
Chr. Yes, and a dreadful one it was. I thought it made my heart ake as he
was telling of it; but yet I am glad I heard it.
Piety. Was that all that you saw at the house of the Interpreter?
Chr. No: he took me and had me where he shewed me a stately Palace, and
how the people were clad in Gold that were in it; and how there came a
venturous man and cut his way through the armed men that stood in the door to
keep him out, and how he was bid to come in, and win eternal Glory. Methought
those things did ravish my heart; I would have stayed at that good man's house
a twelve-month, but that I knew I had further to go.
Piety. And what saw you else in the way?
Chr. Saw! Why, I went but a little further, and I saw one, as I thought
in my mind, hang bleeding upon the Tree; and the very sight of him made my
Burden fall off my back (for I groaned under a heavy Burden), but then it fell
down from off me. 'Twas a strange thing to me, for I never saw such a thing
before; yea, and while I stood looking up (for then I could not forbear
looking) three Shining Ones came to me. One of them testified that my sins
were forgiven me; another stript me of my Rags, and gave me this broidered
Coat which you see; and the third set the Mark which you see in my forehead,
and gave me this sealed Roll: (and with that he plucked it out of his bosom.)
Piety. But you saw more than this, did you not?
Chr. The things that I have told you were the best; yet some other
matters I saw, as namely I saw three men, Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, lie
asleep a little out of the way as I came, with Irons upon their heels; but do
you think I could awake them? I also saw Formalist and Hypocrisy come tumbling
over the wall, to go, as they pretended, to Zion; but they were quickly lost;
even as I myself did tell them, but they would not believe. But, above all, I
found it hard work to get up this Hill, and as hard to come by the Lions'
mouths; and truly if it had not been for the good man, the Porter that stands
at the Gate, I do not know but that after all I might have gone back again;
but now I thank God I am here, and I thank you for receiving of me.
Then Prudence thought good to ask him a few questions, and desired his
answer to them.
Prud. Do you not think sometimes of the Country from whence you came?
Chr. Yes, but with much shame and detestation: Truly, if I had been
mindful of that Country from whence I came out, I might have had opportunity
to have returned; but now I desire a better Country, that is, a Heavenly.
Prud. Do you not yet bear away with you some of the things that then you
were conversant withal?
Chr. Yes, but greatly against my will; especially my inward and carnal
cogitations, with which all my countrymen, as well as myself, were delighted;
but now all those things are my grief; and might I but chuse mine own things,
I would chuse never to think of those things more; but when I would be doing
of that which is best, that which is worst is with me.
Prud. Do you not find sometimes, as if those things were vanquished,
which at other times are your perplexity?
Chr. Yes, but that is seldom; but they are to me golden hours in which
such things happen to me.
Prud. Can you remember by what means you find your annoyances at times,
as if they were vanquished?
Chr. Yes, when I thing what I saw at the Cross, that will do it; and when
I look upon my broidered Coat, that will do it; also when I look into the Roll
that I carry in my bosom, that will do it; and when my thoughts wax warm about
whither I am going, that will do it.
Prud. And what is it that makes you so desirous to go to Mount Zion?
Chr. Why, there I hope to see him alive that did hang dead on the Cross;
and there I hope to be rid of all those things that to this day are in me an
annoyance to me; there, they say, there is no death; and there I shall dwell
with such Company as I like best. For to tell you truth, I love him, because I
was by him eased of my Burden, and I am weary of my inward sickness; I would
fain be where I shall die no more, and with the Company that shall continually
cry, Holy, Holy, Holy.
Then said Charity to Christian, Have you a family? Are you a married man?
Chr. I have a Wife and four small Children.
Char. And why did you not bring them along with you?
Chr. Then Christian wept, and said, Oh how willingly would I have done
it, but they were all of them utterly averse to my going on Pilgrimage.
Char. But you should have talked to them, and have endeavoured to have
shewn them the danger of being behind.
Chr. so I did, and told them also what God had shewed to me of the
destruction of our City; but I seemed to them as one that mocked, and they
believed me not.
Char. And did you pray to God that he would bless your counsel to them?
Chr. Yes, and that with much affection; for you must think that my Wife
and poor Children were very dear unto me.
Char. But did you tell them of your own sorrow, and fear of destruction?
for I suppose that destruction was visible enough to you.
Chr. Yes, over, and over, and over. They might also see my fears in my
countenance, in my tears, and also in my trembling under the apprehension of
the Judgment that did hang over our heads; but all was not sufficient to
prevail with them to come with me.
Char. But what could they say for themselves, why they came not?
Chr. Why, my Wife was afraid of losing this World, and my Children were
given to the foolish Delights of youth: so what by one thing, and what by
another, they left me to wander in this manner alone.
Char. But did you not with your vain life, damp all that you by words
used by way of persuasion to bring them away with you?
Chr. Indeed I cannot commend my life; for I am conscious to myself of
many failings therein: I know also, that a man by his conversation may soon
overthrow, what by argument or persuasion he doth labour to fasten upon others
for their good. Yet, this I can say, I was very wary of giving them occasion,
by any unseemly action, to make them averse to going on Pilgrimage. Yea, for
this very thing they would tell me I was too precise, and that I denied myself
of things (for their sakes) in which they saw no evil. Nay, I think I may say,
that if what they saw in me did hinder them, it was in my great tenderness in
sinning against God, or of doing any wrong to my Neighbor.
Char. Indeed Cain hated his Brother, because his own works were evil, and
his Brother's righteous; and if thy Wife and Children have been offended with
thee for this, they thereby shew themselves to be implacable to good, and thou
hast delivered thy soul from their blood.
Now I saw in my Dream, that thus they sat talking together until supper
was ready. So when they had made ready, they sat down to meat. Now the Table
was furnished with fat things, and with Wine that was well refined: and all
their talk at the Table was about the Lord of the Hill; as namely, about what
He had done, and wherefore He did what He did, and why He had builded that
House: and by what they said, I perceived that he had been a great Warriour,
and had fought with and slain him that had the power of Death, but not without
great danger to himself, which made me love him the more.
For, as they said, and as I believe (said Christian) he did it with the
loss of much blood; but that which put Glory of Grace into all he did, was,
that he did it out of pure love to his Country. And besides, there were some
of them of the household that said they had seen and spoke with him since he
did die on the Cross; and they have attested that they had it from his own
lips, that he is such a lover of poor Pilgrims, that the like is not to be
found from the East to the West.
They moreover gave an instance of what they affirmed, and that was, He
had stript himself of his glory, that he might do this for the Poor; and that
they heard him say and affirm, That he would not dwell in the Mountain of Zion
alone. They said moreover, that he had made many Pilgrims Princes, though by
nature they were Beggars born, and their original had been the dunghill.
Thus they discoursed together till late at night; and after they had
committed themselves to their Lord for protection, they betook themselves to
rest: the Pilgrim they laid in a large upper chamber, whose window opened
towards the Sun rising: the name of the chamber was Peace, where he slept till
break of day, and then he awoke and sang,
Where am I now? Is this the love and care
Of Jesus for the men that Pilgrims are
Thus to provide! That I should be forgiven
And dwell already the next door to Heaven!