Pilgrim's Progress: Part One, Section VIII.

Sacred Texts  Pilgrim's Progress Index  Previous: Pilgrim's Progress: Part One, Section VII.  Next: Pilgrim's Progress: Part One, Section IX. 

Section VIII.

     Now night being come again, and the Giant and his Wife being in bed, she
asked him concerning the Prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel: To
which he replied, They are sturdy Rogues, they chuse rather to bear all
hardship, than to make away themselves. Then said she, Take them into the
Castle-yard to-morrow, and shew them the Bones and Skulls of those that
thou hast already dispatch'd, and make them believe, e'er a week comes to an
end, thou also wilt tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows
before them.

     So when the morning was come, the Giant goes to them again, and takes
them into the Castle-yard and shews them as his Wife had bidden him. These,
said he, were Pilgrims as you are, once, and they trespassed in my grounds, as
you have done; and when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces, and so within
ten days I will do you. Go get you down to your Den again; and with that he
beat them all the way thither. They lay therefore all day on Saturday in a
lamentable case, as before. Now when night was come, and when Mrs Diffidence
and her Husband the Giant were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse
of their Prisoners; and withal the old Giant wondered, that he could neither
by his blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with that his Wife replied,
I fear, said she, that they live in hope that some will come to relieve them,
or that they have pick-locks about them, by the means of which they hope to
escape. And sayest thou so, my dear? said the Giant, I will therefore search
them in the morning.

     Well on Saturday about midnight they began to pray, and continued in
Prayer till almost break of day.

     Now a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake
out in passionate speech: What a fool, quoth he, am I, thus to lie in a
stinking Dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty. I have a Key in my bosom
called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any Lock in Doubting Castle.
Then said Hopeful, That's good news; good Brother pluck it out of thy bosom
and try.

     Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the
Dungeon door, whose bolt (as he turned the Key) gave back, and the door flew
open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the
outward door that leads into the Castle-yard, and with his Key opened that
door also. After he went to the iron Gate, for that must be opened too, but
that Lock went damnable hard, yet the Key did open it. Then they thrust open
the Gate to make their escape with speed; but that Gate as it opened made such
a creaking, that it waked Giant Despair, who hastily rising to pursue his
Prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his Fits took him again, so that he
could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King's
High-way again, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.

     Now when they were gone over the Stile, they began to contrive with
themselves what they should do at that Stile, to prevent those that should
come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they consented to
erect there a Pillar, and to engrave upon the side thereof this sentence, Over
this Stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who
despiseth the King of the Coelestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy
Pilgrims. Many therefore that followed after read what was written, and
escaped the danger. This done, they sang as follows:

Out of the way we went, and then we found
What 'twas to tread upon forbidden ground;
And let them that come after have a care,
Lest heedlessness makes them, as we, to fare.
Lest they for trespassing his prisoners are,
Whose Castle's Doubting, and whose name's Despair.

     They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains, which
Mountains belong to the Lord of that Hill of which we have spoken before; so
they went up to the Mountains, to behold the Gardens and Orchards, the
Vineyards and Fountains of water; where also they drank, and washed
themselves, and did freely eat of the Vineyards. Now there were on the tops of
these Mountains Shepherds feeding their flocks, and they stood by the High -
way side. The Pilgrims therefore went to them, and leaning upon their staves
(as is common with weary Pilgrims, when they stand to talk with any by the
way) they asked, Whose Delectable Mountains are these? And whose be the sheep
that feed upon them?

Mountains Delectable they now ascend,
Where Shepherds be, which to them do commend
Alluring things, and things that Cautious are,
Pilgrims are steady kept by Faith and Fear.

     Shep. These mountains are Immanuel's Land, and they are within sight of
his City; and the sheep also are his, and he laid down his life for them.

     Chr. Is this the way to the Coelestial City?

     Shep. You are just in your way.

     Chr. How far is it thither?

     Shep. Too far for any but those that shall get thither indeed.

     Chr. Is the way safe or dangerous?

     Shep. Safe for those for whom it is to be safe, but transgressors shall
fall therein.

     Chr. Is there in this place any relief for Pilgrims that are weary and
faint in the way?

     Shep. The Lord of these Mountains hath given us a charge not to be
forgotten to entertain strangers; therefore the good of the place is before

     I saw also in my Dream, that when the Shepherds perceived that they were
way-faring men, they also put questions to them (to which they made answer
as in other places) as, Whence came you? and, How got you into the way? and,
By what means have you so persevered therein? For but few of them that begin
to come hither do shew their face on these Mountains. But when the Shepherds
heard their answers, being pleased therewith, they looked very lovingly upon
them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable Mountains.

     The Shepherds, I say, whose names were Knowledge, Experience, Watchful,
and Sincere, took them by the hand, and had them to their Tents, and made them
partake of that which was ready at present. They said moreover, We would that
ye should stay here a while, to be acquainted with us; and yet more to solace
yourselves with the good of these Delectable Mountains. They then told them,
that they were content to stay; and so they went to their rest that night,
because it was very late.

     Then I saw in my Dream, that in the morning the Shepherds called up
Christian and Hopeful to walk with them upon the Mountains; so they went forth
with them, and walked a while, having a pleasant prospect on every side. Then
said the Shepherds one to another, Shall we shew these Pilgrims some wonders?
So when they had concluded to do it, they had them first to the top of a Hill
called Error, which was very steep on the furthest side, and bid them look
down to the bottom. So Christian and Hopeful looked down, and saw at the
bottom several men dashed all to pieces by a fall, that they had from the top.
Then said Christian, What meaneth this? The Shepherds answered, Have you not
heard of them that were made to err, by hearkening to Hymeneus and Philetus,
as concerning the Faith of the Resurrection of the Body? They answered, Yes.
Then said the Shepherds, Those that you see lie dashed in pieces at the bottom
of this Mountain are they; and they have continued to this day unburied (as
you see) for an example to others to take heed how they clamber too high, or
how they come too near the brink of this Mountain.

     Then I saw that they had them to the top of another Mountain, and the
name of that is Caution, and bid them look afar off; which when they did, they
perceived, as they thought, several men walking up and down among the Tombs
that were there; and they perceived that the men were blind, because they
stumbled sometimes upon the Tombs, and because they could not get out from
among them. Then said Christian, What means this?

     The Shepherds then answered, Did you not see a little below these
Mountains a Stile, that led into a Meadow, on the left hand of this way? They
answered, Yes. Then said the Shepherds, From that Stile there goes a path that
leads directly to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair; and these
men (pointing to them among the Tombs) came once on Pilgrimage, as you do now,
even till they came to that same Stile; and because the right way was rough in
that place, they chose to go out of it into that Meadow, and there were taken
by Giant Despair, and cast into Doubting Castle; where, after they had been
awhile kept in the Dungeon, he at last did put out their eyes, and led them
among those Tombs, where he has left them to wander to this very day, that the
saying of the Wise Man might be fulfilled, He that wandereth out of the way of
understanding, shall remain in the congregation of the dead. Then Christian
and Hopeful looked upon one another, with tears gushing out, but yet said
nothing to the Shepherds.

     Then I saw in my Dream, that the Shepherds had them to another place, in
a bottom, where was a door in the side of a Hill, and they opened the door,
and bid them look in. They looked in therefore, and saw that within it was
very dark and smoky; they also thought that they heard there a rumbling noise
as of Fire, and a cry of some tormented, and that they smelt the scent of
Brimstone. Then said Christian, What means this? The Shepherds told them, This
is a by-way to Hell, a way that Hypocrites go in at; namely, such as sell
their Birth-right, with Esau; such as sell their Master, as Judas; such as
blaspheme the Gospel, with Alexander; and that lie and dissemble, with Ananias
and Sapphira his Wife. Then said Hopeful to the Shepherds, I perceive that
these had on them, even everyone, a shew of Pilgrimage, as we have now; had
they not?

     Shep. Yes, and held it a long time too.

     Hope. How far might they go on in Pilgrimage in their day, since they
notwithstanding were thus miserably cast away?

     Shep. Some further, and some not so far as these Mountains.

     Then said the Pilgrims one to another, We had need to cry to the Strong
for strength.

     Shep. Ay, and you will have need to use it when you have it too.

     By this time the Pilgrims had a desire to go forwards, and the Shepherds
a desire they should; so they walked together towards the end of the
Mountains. Then said the Shepherds one to another, Let us here shew to the
Pilgrims the Gates of the Coelestial City, if they have skill to look through
our Perspective-Glass. The Pilgrims then lovingly accepted the motion; so
they had them to the top of a high Hill, called Clear, and gave them their
Glass to look.

     Then they assayed to look, but the remembrance of that last thing that
the Shepherds had shewed them, made their hands shake, by means of which
impediment they could not look steadily through the Glass; yet they thought
they saw something like the Gate, and also some of the Glory of the place.

     Then they went away and sang this song,

Thus by the Shepherds Secrets are reveal'd:
Which from all other men are kept conceal'd
Come to the Shepherds then if you would see
Things deep, things hid, and that mysterious be.

     When they were about to depart, one of the Shepherds gave them a Note of
the way. Another of them bid them beware of the Flatterer. che third bid them
take heed that they sleep not on the Inchanted Ground. And the fourth bid them
Godspeed. So I awoke from my Dream.

     And I slept, and Dreamed again, and saw the same two Pilgrims going down
the Mountains along the Highway towards the City. Now a little below these
Mountains, on the left hand lieth the Country of Conceit; from which Country
there comes into the way in which the Pilgrims walked, a little crooked Lane.
Here therefore they met with a very brisk Lad, that came out of that Country;
and his name was Ignorance. So Christian asked him From what parts he came,
and whither he was going?

     Ignor. Sir, I was born in the Country that lieth off there a little on
the left hand, and I am going to the Coelestial City.

     Chr. But how do you think to get in at the Gate, for you may find some
difficulty there?

     Ignor. As other good people do, said he.

     Chr. But what have you to shew at that Gate, that may cause that the Gate
should be opened to you?

     Ignor. I know my Lord's will, and I have been a good liver; I pay every
man his own; I Pray, Fast, pay Tithes, and give Alms, and have left my Country
for whither I am going.

     Chr. But thou camest not in at the Wicket-Gate that is at the head of
this way; thou camest in hither through that same crooked Lane, and therefore
I fear, however thou mayest think of thyself, when the reckoning day shall
come, thou wilt have laid to thy charge that thou art a Thief and a Robber,
instead of getting admittance into the City.

     Ignor. Gentlemen, ye be utter strangers to me, I know you not; be content
to follow the Religion of your Country, and I will follow the Religion of
mine. I hope all will be well. And as for the Gate that you talk of, all the
world knows that that is a great way off of our Country. I cannot think that
any man in all our parts doth so much as know the way to it, nor need they
matter whether they do or no, since we have, as you see, a fine pleasant Green
Lane, that comes down from our Country the next way into the way.

     When Christian saw that the man was wise in his own conceit, he said to
Hopeful whisperingly, There is more hopes of a fool than of him. And said
moreover, When he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him,
and he saith to every one that he is a fool. What, shall we talk further with
him, or outgo him at present, and so leave him to think of what he hath heard
already, and then stop again for him afterwards, and see if by degrees we can
do any good of him? Then said Hopeful,

Let Ignorance a little while now muse
On what is said, and let him not refuse
Good counsel to embrace, lest he remain
Still ignorant of what's the chiefest gain.
God saith, Those that no understanding have,
(Although he made them) them he will not save.

     Hope. He further added, It is not good, I think, to say all to him at
once; let us pass him by, if you will, and talk to him anon, even as he is
able to bear it.

     So they both went on, and Ignorance he came after. Now when they had
passed him a little way, they entered into a very dark Lane, where they met a
man whom seven Devils had bound with seven strong cords, and were carrying of
him back to the Door that they saw on the side of the Hill. Now good Christian
began to tremble, and so did Hopeful his Companion; yet as the Devils led away
the man, Christian looked to see if he knew him, and he thought it might be
one Turn-away that dwelt in the Town of Apostacy. But he did not perfectly
see his face, for he did hang his head like a Thief that is found. But being
gone past, Hopeful looked after him, and espied on his back a paper with this
inscription, Wanton Professor and damnable Apostate. Then said Christian to
his fellow, Now I call to remembrance that which was told me of a thing that
happened to a good man hereabout. The name of the man was Little-faith, but
a good man, and he dwelt in the Town of Sincere. The thing was this; At the
entering in of this passage, there comes down from Broad-way Gate, a Lane
called Dead Man's Lane; so called because of the Murders that are commonly
done there; and this Little-faith going on Pilgrimage as we do now, chanced
to sit down there and slept. Now there happened at that time, to come down the
Lane from Broad-way Gate, three sturdy Rogues, and their names were Faint -
heart, Mistrust, and Guilt. (three Brothers) and they espying Little-faith
where he was, came galloping up with speed. Now the good man was just awaked
from his sleep, and was getting up to go on his Journey. So they came up all
to him, and with threatening language bid him stand. At this Little-faith
looked as white as a Clout, and had neither power to fight nor fly. Then said
Faint-heart, Deliver thy Purse. But he making no haste to do it (for he was
loth to lose his Money) Mistrust ran up to him, and thrusting his hand into
his Pocket, pull'd out thence a bag of silver. Then he cried out, Thieves,
Thieves. With that Guilt with a great Club that was in his hand, struck Little
- faith on the head, and with that blow fell'd him flat to the ground, where
he lay bleeding as one that would bleed to death. All this while the Thieves
stood by. But at last, they hearing that some were upon the road, and fearing
lest it should be one Great-grace that dwells in the City of Good -
confidence, they betook themselves to their heels, and left this good man to
shift for himself. Now after a while Little-faith came to himself, and
getting up made shift to scrabble on his way. This was the story.

     Hope. But did they take from him all that ever he had?

     Chr. No; the place where his Jewels were they never ransacked, so those
he kept still; but as I was told, the good man was much afflicted for his
loss, for the Thieves got most of his spending Money. That which they got not
(as I said) were Jewels, also he had a little odd Money left, but scarce
enough to bring him to his Journey's end; nay, if I was not misinformed, he
was forced to beg as he went, to keep himself alive, for his Jewels he might
not sell. But beg, and do what he could, he went (as we say) with many a
hungry belly the most part of the rest of the way.

     Hope. But is it not a wonder that they got from him his Certificate, by
which he was to receive his admittance at the Coelestial Gate?

     Chr. 'Tis a wonder but they got not that, though they missed it not
through any good cunning of his; for he being dismayed with their coming upon
him, had neither power nor skill to hide anything; so 'twas more by good
Providence than by his endeavour, that they miss'd of that good thing.

     Hope. But it must needs be a comfort to him that they got not this Jewel
from him.

     Chr. It might have been great comfort to him, had he used it as he
should; but they that told me the story said that he made but little use of it
all the rest of the way, and that because of the dismay that he had in their
taking away his Money; indeed he forgot it a great part of the rest of his
Journey; and besides, when at any time it came into his mind, and he began to
be comforted therewith, then would fresh thoughts of his loss come again upon
him, and those thoughts would swallow up all.

     Hope. Alas poor man! This could not but be a great grief to him.

     Chr. Grief! ay, a grief indeed. Would it not have been so to any of us,
had we been used as he, to be robbed, and wounded too, and that in a strange
place, as he was? 'Tis a wonder he did not die with grief, poor heart! I was
told that he scattered almost all the rest of the way with nothing but doleful
and bitter complaints; telling also to all that over-took him, or that he
over-took in the way as he went, where he was robbed, and how; who they were
that did it, and what he lost; how he was wounded, and that he hardly escaped
with his life.

     Hope. But 'tis a wonder that his necessity did not put him upon selling
or pawning some of his Jewels, that he might have wherewith to relieve himself
in his Journey.

     Chr. Thou talkest like one upon whose head is the Shell to this very day;
for what should he pawn them, or to whom should he sell them? In all that
Country where he was robbed, his Jewels were not accounted of; nor did he want
that relief which could from thence be administered to him. Besides, had his
Jewels been missing at the Gate of the Coelestial City, he had (and that he
knew well enough) been excluded from an Inheritance there; and that would have
been worse to him than the appearance and villainy of ten thousand Thieves.

     Hope. Why art thou so tart my Brother? Esau sold his Birth-right, and
that for a mess of Pottage, and that Birth-right was his greatest Jewel; and
if he, why might not Little-faith do so too?

     Chr. Esau did sell his Birth-right indeed, and so do many besides, and
by so doing exclude themselves from the chief blessing, as also that caitiff
did; but you must put a difference betwixt Esau and Little-faith, and also
betwixt their Estates. Esau's Birth-right was typical, but Little-faith's
Jewels were not so: Esau's belly was his god, but Little-faith's belly was
not so: Esau's want lay in his fleshly appetite, Little-faith's did not so.
Besides, Esau could see no further than to the fulfilling of his lusts: For I
am at the point to die, said he, and what good will this Birth-right do me?
But Little-faith, though it was his lot to have but a little faith, was by
his little faith kept from such extravagancies, and made to see and prize his
Jewels more than to sell them, as Esau did his Birth-right. You read not
anywhere that Esau had faith, no not so much as a little; therefore no marvel
if where the flesh only bears sway (as it will in that man where no faith is
to resist) if he sells his Birth-right, and his Soul and all, and that to
the Devil of Hell; for it is with such, as it is with the Ass, who in her
occasions cannot be turned away. When their minds are set upon their lusts,
they will have them whatever they cost. But Little-faith was of another
temper, his mind was on things Divine; his livelihood was upon things that
were Spiritual, and from above; therefore to what end should he that is of
such a temper sell his Jewels (had there been any that would have bought them)
to fill his mind with empty things? Will a man give a penny to fill his belly
with Hay? or can you persuade the Turtle-dove to live upon Carrion like the
Crow? Though faithless ones can, for carnal Lusts, pawn or mortgage, or sell
what they have, and themselves outright to boot; yet they that have faith,
saving faith, though but a little of it, cannot do so. Here therefore my
Brother is thy mistake.

     Hope. I acknowledge it; but yet your severe reflection had almost made me

     Chr. Why, I did but compare thee to some of the Birds that are of the
brisker sort, who will run to and fro in trodden, paths, with the Shell upon
their heads; but pass by that, and consider the matter under debate, and all
shall be well betwixt thee and me.

     Hope. But Christian, these three fellows, I am persuaded in my heart, are
but a company of Cowards; would they have run else, think you, as they did, at
the noise of one that was coming on the road? Why did not Little-faith pluck
up a greater heart? He might, me-thinks, have stood one brush with them, and
have yielded when there had been no remedy.

     Chr. That they are Cowards, many have said, but few have found it so in
the time of Trial. As for a great heart, Little-faith had none; and I
perceive by thee, my Brother, hadst thou been the man concerned, thou art but
for a brush, and then to yield. And verily since this is the height of thy
stomach, now they are at a distance from us, should they appear to thee as
they did to him, they might put thee to second thoughts.

     But consider again, they are but journeymen Thieves; they serve under the
King of the bottomless Pit, who, if need be, will come in to their aid
himself, and his voice is as the roaring of a Lion. I myself have been engaged
as this Little-faith was, and I found it a terrible thing. These three
Villains set upon me, and I beginning like a Christian to resist, they gave
but a call, and in came their Master: I would, as the saying is, have given my
life for a penny; but that, as God would have it, I was cloathed with Armor of
proof. Ay, and yet though I was so harnessed, I found it hard work to quit
myself like a man: no man can tell what in that Combat attends us, but he that
hath been in the Battle himself.

     Hope. Well, but they ran, you see, when they did but suppose that one
Great-grace was in the way.

     Chr. True, they have often fled, both they and their Master, when Great -
grace hath but appeared; and no marvel, for he is the King's Champion. But I
tro you will put some difference between Little-faith and the King's
Champion. All the King's Subjects are not his Champions, nor can they when
tried do such feats of War as he. Is it meet to think that a little child
should handle Goliath as David did? Or that there should be the strength of an
Ox in a Wren? Some are strong, some are weak; some have great faith, some have
little: this man was one of the weak, and therefore he went to the wall.

     Hope. I would it had been Great-grace for their sakes.

     Chr. If it had been he, he might have had his hands full; for I must tell
you, that though Great-grace is excellent good at his Weapons, and has, and
can, so long as he keeps them at Sword's point, do well enough with them; yet
if they get within him, even Faint-heart, Mistrust, or the other, it shall
go hard but they will throw up his heels. And when a man is down, you know,
what can he do?

     Whoso looks well upon Great-grace's face, shall see those scars and
cuts there, that shall easily give demonstration of what I say. Yea, once I
heard he should say, (and that when he was in the Combat) We despaired even of
life. How did these sturdy Rogues and their fellows make David groan, mourn,
and roar? Yet, Heman and Hezekiah too, though Champions in their day, were
forced to bestir them when by these assaulted; and yet notwithstanding they
had their Coats soundly brushed by them. Peter upon a time would go try what
he could do; but though some do say of him that he is the Prince of the
Apostles, they handled him so, that they made him at last afraid of a sorry

     Besides their King is at their whistle. He is never out of hearing; and
if at any time they be put to the worst, he if possible comes in to help them;
and of him it is said, The Sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold, the
Spear, the Dart, nor the Habergeon: he esteemeth Iron as Straw, and Brass as
rotten Wood. The Arrow cannot make him fly; Sling-stones are turned with him
into Stubble, Darts are counted as Stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a
Spear. What can a man do in this case? 'Tis true, if a man could at every turn
have Job's Horse, and had skill and courage to ride him, he might do notable
things; for his Neck is cloathed with Thunder, he will not be afraid as the
Grasshopper, the glory of his Nostrils is terrible, he paweth in the Valley,
rejoiceth in his strength, and goeth out to meet the armed men. He mocketh at
fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth back from the Sword. The Quiver
rattleth against him, the glittering Spear, and the Shield. He swalloweth the
ground with fierceness and rage, neither believeth he that it is the sound of
the Trumpet. He saith among the Trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the Battle
afar off, the thundering of the Captains, and the Shoutings.

     But for such footmen as thee and I are, let us never desire to meet with
an enemy, nor vaunt as if we could do better, when we hear of others that they
have been foiled, nor be tickled at the thoughts of our own manhood; for such
commonly come by the worst when tried. Witness Peter, of whom I made mention
before. He would swagger, ay he would; he would, as his vain mind prompted him
to say, do better, and stand more for his Master than all men; but who so
foiled and run down by these Villains as he?

     When therefore we hear that such Robberies are done on the King's High -
way, two things become us to do: First, To go out harnessed and to be sure to
take a Shield with us; for it was for want of that, that he that laid so
lustily at Leviathan could not make him yield; for indeed if that be wanting
he fears us not at all. Therefore he that had skill hath said, Above all take
the Shield of Faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts
of the wicked.

     'Tis good also that we desire of the King a Convoy, yea that he will go
with us himself. This made David rejoice when in the Valley of the Shadow of
Death: and Moses was rather for dying where he stood, than to go one step
without his God. O my Brother, if he will but go along with us, what need we
be afraid of ten thousands that shall set themselves against us? But without
him, the proud helpers fall under the slain.

     I for my part have been in the fray before now, and though (through the
goodness of him that is best) I am, as you see, alive; yet I cannot boast of
my manhood. Glad shall I be, if I meet with no more such brunts, though I fear
we are not got beyond all danger. However, since the Lion and the Bear have
not as yet devoured me, I hope God will also deliver us from the next
uncircumcised Philistine. Then sang Christian,

Poor Little-faith! Hast been among the Thieves?
Wast robb'd Remember this: Whoso believes
And gets more Faith, shall then a victor be
Over ten thousand, else scarce over three.