Pilgrim's Progress: Part One, Section X.
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I saw then in my Dream that Hopeful looked back and saw Ignorance, whom
they had left behind, coming after. Look, said he to Christian, how far yonder
youngster loitereth behind.
Chr. Ay, ay, I see him; he careth not for our company.
Hope. But I tro it would not have hurt him, had he kept pace with us
Chr. That's true, but I warrant you be thinketh otherwise.
Hope. That I think he doth, but however let us tarry for him. So they
The Christian said to him, Come away man, why do you stay so behind?
Ignore. I take my pleasure in walking alone, even more a great deal than
in Company, unless I like it the better.
Then said Christian to Hopeful (but softly) Did I not tell you he cared
not for our company? But however, said he, come up, and let us talk away the
time in this solitary place. Then directing his speech to Ignorance, he said,
Come, how do you? How stands it between God and your Soul now?
Ignor. I hope well; for I am always full of good motions, that come into
my mind to comfort me as I walk.
Chr. What good motions? pray tell us.
Ignor. Why, I think of God and Heaven.
Chr. So do the Devils and damned Souls.
Ignor. But I think of them and desire them.
Chr. So do many that are never like to come there. The Soul of the
Sluggard desires, and hath nothing.
Ignor. But I think of them and leave all for them.
Chr. That I doubt, for leaving all is an hard matter, years a harder
matter than many are aware of. But why, or by what, art thou persuaded that
thou hast left all for God and Heaven?
Ignor. My heart tells me so.
Chr. The wise man says, He that trusts his own heart is a fool.
Ignor. this is spoken of an evil heart, but mine is a good one.
Chr. But how dost thou prove that?
Ignor. It comforts me in hopes of Heaven.
Chr. That may be through its deceitfulness, for a man's heart may
minister comfort to him in the hopes of that thing for which ye has no ground
Ignor. But my heart and life agree together, and therefore my hope is
Chr. Who told thee that they heart and life agree together?
Ignor. My heart tells me so.
Chr. Ask my fellow if I be a Thief! They heart tells thee so! Except the
Word of God beareth witness in this matter, other testimony is of no value.
Ignor. But is it not a good heart that has good thoughts? and is not that
a good life that is according to God's Commandments?
Chr. Yes, that is a good heart that hath good thoughts, and that is a
good life that is according to God's Commandments; but it is one thing indeed
to have these and another thing only to think so.
Ignor. Pray, what count you good thoughts, and a life according to God's
Chr. There are good thoughts of divers kinds, some respecting ourselves,
some God, some Christ, some other things.
Ignor. What be good thoughts respecting ourselves?
Chr. Such as agree with the Word of God.
Ignor. When do our thoughts of ourselves agree with the Word of God?
Chr. When we pass the same Judgment upon ourselves which the Word passes.
To explain myself, the Word of God saith of persons in a natural condition,
There is none righteous, there is none that doth good. It saith also, That
every imagination of he heart of man is only evil, and that continually. And
again, The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Now then, when
we think thus of ourselves, having sense thereof, then are our thoughts good
ones, because according to the Word of God.
Ignor. I will never believe that my heart is thus bad.
Chr. Therefore thou never hadst one good thought concerning thyself in
thy life. But let me go on: As the Word passeth a Judgment upon our Heart, so
it passeth a Judgment upon our Ways; and when our thoughts of our Hearts and
Ways agree with the Judgement which the Word giveth go both, then are both
good, because agreeing thereto.
Ignor. Make out your meaning.
Chr. Why, the Word of God saith that man's ways are crooked ways, not
good, but perverse. It saith they are naturally out of the good way, that they
have not known it. Now when a man thus thinketh of his ways, I say, when he
doth sensibly, and with heart-humiliation thus think, then hath he good
thoughts of his own ways, because his thoughts now agree with the Judgment of
the Word of God.
Ignor. What are good thoughts concerning God?
Chr. Even as I have said concerning ourselves, when our thoughts of God
do agree with what the Word saith of him; and that is, when we think of his
Being and Attributes as the Word hath taught, of which I cannot now discourse
at large: but to speak of him with reference to us, then we have right
thoughts of God, when we think that he knows us better than we know ourselves,
and can see sin in us when and where we can see none in ourselves; when we
think he knows our inmost thoughts, and that our heart with all its depths is
always open unto his eyes; also when we think that all our Righteousness
stinks in his nostrils, and that therefore he cannot abide to see us stand
before him in any confidence, even in all our best performances.
Ignor. Do you think that I am such a fool as to think God can see no
further than I? or that I would come to God in the best of my performances?
Chr. Why, how dost thou think in this matter?
Ignor. Why, to be short, I think I must believe in Christ for
Chr. How! think thou must believe in Christ, when thou seest not thy need
of him! Thou neither seest thy original or actual infirmities; but hast such
an opinion of thyself, and of what thou doest, as plainly renders thee to be
one that did never see a necessity of Christ's personal righteousness to
justify thee before God. How then dost thou say I believe in Christ?
Ignor. I believe well enough for all that.
Chr. How dost thou believe?
Ignor. I believe that Christ died for sinners, and that I shall be
justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance of my
obedience to his Law. Or thus, Christ makes my Duties that are religious,
acceptable to his Father by virtue of his Merits; and so shall I be justified.
Chr. Let me give an answer to this Confession of thy Faith.
1. Thou believest with a fantastical Faith, for this Faith is nowhere
described in the Word.
2. Thou believest with a false Faith, because it taketh Justification
from the personal righteousness of Christ, and applies it to thy own.
3. This Faith maketh not Christ a Justifier of thy person, but of thy
actions; and of thy person for thy actions' sake, which is false.
4. Therefore this Faith is deceitful, even such as will leave thee under
wrath in the day of God Almighty; for true Justifying Faith puts the soul (as
sensible of its lost condition by the Law) upon flying for refuge unto
Christ's righteousness, (which righteousness of his is not an act of grace, by
which he maketh for Justification thy obedience accepted by God; but his
personal obedience to the Law, in doing and suffering for us what that
required at our hands.) This righteousness, I say, true Faith accepteth; under
the skirt of which the soul being shrouded, and by it presented as spotless
before God, it is accepted, and acquit from condemnation.
Ignor. What! would you have us trust to what Christ in his own person has
done without us? This conceit would loosen the reins of our lust, and tolerate
us to live as we list. For what matter how we live, if we may be Justified by
Christ's personal righteousness from all, when we believe it?
Chr. Ignorance is thy name, and as thy name is, so art thou; even this
thy answer demonstrated what I say. Ignorant thou art of what Justifying
Righteousness is, and as ignorant how to secure thy Soul through the Faith of
it from the heavy wrath of God. Yea, thou also art ignorant of the true
effects of saving Faith in this Righteousness of Christ, which is to bow and
win over the heart to God in Christ, to love his Name, his Word, Ways, and
People, and not as thou ignorantly imaginest.
Hope. Ask him if ever he had Christ revealed to him from Heaven.
Ignor. What! you are a man for revelations! I believe that what both you,
and all the rest of you, say about that matter, is but the fruit of distracted
Hope. Why man! Christ is so hid in God from the natural apprehensions of
all flesh, that he cannot by any man be savingly known, unless God the Father
reveals him to them.
Ignor. That is your Faith, but not mine; yet mine I doubt not is as good
as yours, though I have not in my head so many whimsies as you.
Chr. Give me leave to put in a word: You ought not so slightly to speak
of this matter: for this I will boldly affirm (even as my good Companion hath
done) that no man can know Jesus Christ but by the revelation of the Father;
yea, and Faith too, by which the soul layeth hold upon Christ, (if it be
right) must be wrought by the exceeding greatness of his mighty power; the
working of which Faith, I perceive, poor Ignorance, thou art ignorant of.
Be awakened then, see thine own wretchedness, and fly to the Lord Jesus;
and by his righteousness, which is the righteousness of God, (for he himself
is God) thou shalt be delivered from condemnation.
Ignor. You go so fast I cannot keep pace with you, do you go on before, I
must stay a while behind.
Then they said,
Well Ignorance, wilt thou yet foolish be,
To slight good Counsel, ten times given thee?
And if thou yet refuse it, thou shalt know
E're long the evil of thy doing so:
Remember, man, in time; stoop, do not fear,
Good Counsel taken well, saves; therefore hear:
But if thou yet shall slight it, thou wilt be
The loser, Ignorance, I'll warrant thee.
Then Christian addressed thus himself to his fellow.
Chr. Well, come my good Hopeful, I perceive that thou and I must walk by
So I saw in my Dream that they went on apace before, and Ignorance he
came hobbling after. Then said Christian to his Companion, It pities me much
for this poor man, it will certainly go ill with him at last.
Hope. Alas, there are abundance in our Town in his condition, whole
families, yea, whole Streets, and that of Pilgrims too; and if there be so
many in our parts, how many think you, must there be in the place where he was
Chr. Indeed the Word saith, He hath blinded their eyes, lest they should
see, &c. But now we are by ourselves, what do you think of such men? Have they
at no time, think you, convictions of sin, and so consequently fears that
their state is dangerous?
Hope. Nay, do you answer that question yourself, for you are the elder
Chr. Then I say, sometimes (as I think) they may, but they being
naturally ignorant, understand not that such convictions tend to their good;
and therefore they do desperately seek to stifle them, and presumptuously
continue to flatter themselves in the way of their own hearts.
Hope. I do believe, as you say, that fear tends much to men's good, and
to make them right at their beginning to go on Pilgrimage.
Chr. Without all doubt it doth, if it be right; for so says the Word, The
fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.
Hope. How will you describe right fear?
Chr. True or right fear is discovered by three things:
1. By its rise; it is caused by saving convictions for sin.
2. It driveth the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation.
3. It begetteth and continueth in the soul a great reverence of God, his
Word, and Ways, keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to
the right hand or to the left, to anything that may dishonour God, break its
peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the Enemy to speak reproachfully.
Hope. Well said; I believe you have said the truth. Are we now almost got
past the Inchanted Ground?
Chr. Why, art thou weary of this discourse?
Hope. No, verily, but that I would know where we are.
Chr. We have not now above two miles further to go thereon. But let us
return to our matter. Now the Ignorant know not that such convictions as tend
to put them in fear are for their good, and therefore they seek to stifle
Hope. How do they seek to stifle them?
Chr. 1. They think that those fears are wrought by the Devil, (though
indeed they are wrought of God) and thinking so, they resist them as things
that directly tend to their overthrow. 2. They also think that these fears
tend to the spoiling of their Faith, when alas for them, poor men that they
are, they have none at all! and therefore they harden their hearts against
them. 3. They presume they ought not to fear, and therefore in despite of them
wax presumptuously confident. 4. They see that these fears tend to take away
from them their pitiful old self-holiness, and therefore they resist them
with all their might.
Hope. I know something of this myself; for before I knew myself it was so
Chr. Well, we will leave at this time our Neighbor Ignorance by himself,
and fall upon another profitable question.
Hope. With all my heart, but you shall still begin.
Chr. Well then, did you not know about ten years ago, one Temporary in
your parts, who was a forward man in Religion then?
Hope. Know him! yes, he dwelt in Graceless, a town about two miles off of
Honesty, and he dwelt next door to one Turn-back.
Chr. Right, he dwelt under the same roof with him. Well, that man was
much awakened once; I believe that then he had some sight of his sins, and of
the wages that were due thereto.
Hope. I am of your mind, for (my house not being above three miles from
him) he would oft-times come to me, and that with many tears. Truly I pitied
the man, and was not altogether without hope of him; but one may see it is not
every one that cries, Lord, Lord.
Chr. He told me once, That he was resolved to go on Pilgrimage, as we do
now; but all of a sudden he grew acquainted with one Saveself, and then he
became a stranger to me.
Hope. Now since we are talking about him, let us a little enquire into
the reason of the sudden backsliding of him and such others.
Chr. It may be very profitable, but do you begin.
Hope. Well then, there are in my judgment four reasons for it.
1. Though the consciences of such men are awakened, yet their minds are
not changed; therefore when the power of guilt weareth away, that which
provoked them to be religious ceaseth. Wherefore they naturally turn to their
own course again, even as we see the Dog that is sick of what he has eaten, so
long as his sickness prevails, he vomits and casts up all; not that he doth
this of a free mind, (if we may say a Dog has a mind) but because it troubleth
his Stomach; but now when his sickness is over, and so his Stomach eased, his
desire being not at all alienate from his vomit, he turns him about and licks
up all; and so it is true which is written, The Dog is turned to his own vomit
again. This I say, being hot for Heaven by vertue only of the sense and fear
of the torments of Hell, as their sense of Hell and the fears of damnation
chills and cools, so their desires for Heaven and Salvation cool also. So then
it comes to pass, that when their guilt and fear is gone, their desires for
Heaven and Happiness die, and they return to their course again.
2. Another reason is, they have slavish fears that do over-master them;
I speak now of the fears that they have of men, For the fear of men bringeth a
snare. So then, though they seem to be hot for Heaven, so long as the flames
of Hell are about their ears, yet when that terror is a little over, they
betake themselves to second thoughts; namely, that 'tis good to be wise, and
not to run (for they know not what) the hazard of losing all; or at least, of
bringing themselves into unavoidable and unnecessary troubles, and so they
fall in with the world again.
3. The shame that attends Religion lies also as a block in their way;
they are proud and haughty, and Religion in their eye is low and contemptible;
therefore when they have lost their sense of Hell and wrath to come, they
return again to their former course.
4. Guilt, and to meditate terror, are grievous to them; they like not to
see their misery before they come into it. Though perhaps the sight of it
first, if they loved that sight, might make them fly whither the righteous fly
and are safe. But because they do, as I hinted before, even shun the thoughts
of guilt and terror, therefore when once they are rid of their awakenings
about the terrors and wrath of God, they harden their hearts gladly, and chuse
such ways as will harden them more and more.
Chr. You are pretty near the business, for the bottom of all is, for want
of a change in their mind and will. And therefore they are but like the Felon
that standeth before the Judge, he quakes and trembles, and seems to repent
most heartily, but the bottom of all is the fear of the Halter, not that he
hath any detestation of the offence; as is evident, because, let but this man
have his liberty, and he will be a Thief, and so a Rogue still; whereas, if
his mind was changed, he would be otherwise.
Hope. Now I have shewed you the reasons of their going back, do you show
me the manner thereof.
Chr. So I will willingly.
1. They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance
of God, Death and Judgment to come.
2. Then they cast off by degrees private Duties, as Closet-prayer,
Curbing their Lusts, Watching, Sorrow for Sin, and the like.
3. Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.
4. After that they grow cold to public Duty, as Hearing, Reading, Godly
Conference, and the like.
5. Then they begin to pick holes, as we say, in the Coats of some of the
Godly; and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming colour to throw
Religion (for the sake of some infirmity they have spied in them) behind their
6. Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with carnal,
loose and wanton men.
7. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad
are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they
may the more boldly do it through their example.
8. After this, they begin to play with little sins openly.
9. And then, being hardened, they shew themselves as they are. Thus being
launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a Miracle of Grace prevent it,
they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.
Now I saw in my Dream, that by this time the Pilgrims were got over the
Inchanted Ground, and entering into the Country of Beulah, whose air was very
sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced themselves
there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of Birds, and
saw every day the Flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the
Turtle in the land. In this Country the Sun shineth night and day; wherefore
this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach
of Giant Despair, neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting
Castle. Here they were within slight of the City they were going to, also here
met them some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land the Shining Ones
commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven. In this land also
the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewed; yea here, as
the Bridegroom rejoiceth over the Bride, so did their God rejoice over them.
Here they had no want of Corn and Wine; for in this place they met with
abundance of what they had sought for in all their Pilgrimage. Here they heard
voices from out of the City, loud voices, saying, Say ye to the daughter of
Zion Behold thy salvation cometh, behold his reward is with him. Here all the
inhabitants of the Country called them, The holy People, The redeemed of the
Lord, Sought out, &c.
Now as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts
more remote from the Kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing near to the
City, they had yet a more perfect view thereof. It was builded of Pearls and
Precious Stones, also the Street thereof was paved with Gold; so that by
reason of the natural glory of the City, and the reflections of the Sun -
beams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick, Hopeful also had a fit or two
of the same disease. Wherefore here they lay by it a while, crying out because
of their pangs, If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love.
But being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness,
they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were Orchards,
Vineyards, and Gardens, and their gates opened into the High-way. Now as
they came up to these places, behold the Gardener stood in the way, to whom
the Pilgrims said, Whose goodly Vineyards and Gardens are these? He answered,
They are the King's and are planted here for his own delights, and also for
the solace of Pilgrims. So the Gardener had them into the Vineyards, and bid
them refresh themselves with Dainties. He also shewed them there the King's
walks, and the Arbors where he delighted to be; and here they tarried and
Now I beheld in my Dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this
time than ever they did in all their Journey; and being in a muse thereabout,
the Gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou at the matter? It is the
nature of the fruit of the Grapes of these Vineyards to go down so sweetly as
to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the
City. But, as I said, the reflection of the Sun upon the City (for the City
was pure Gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open
face behold it, but through an Instrument made for that purpose. So I saw that
as they went on, there met them two men, in Raiment that shone like Gold, also
their faces shone as the light.
These men asked the Pilgrims whence they came? and they told them. They
also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what
comforts and pleasures they had met in the way? and they told them. Then said
the men that met them, You have but two difficulties more to meet with, and
then you are in the City.
Christian then and his Companion asked the men to go along with them, so
they told them they would. But, said they, you must obtain it by your own
Faith. So I saw in my Dream that they went on together till they came in sight
of the Gate.
Now I further saw that betwixt them and the Gate was a River, but there
was no Bridge to go over, the River was very deep: at the sight therefore of
this River the Pilgrims were much stunned; but the men that went with them
said, You must go through, or you cannot come at the Gate.
The Pilgrims then began to enquire if there was no other way to the Gate;
to which they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch
and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the foundation of the
World, nor shall, until the last Trumpet shall sound. The Pilgrims then,
especially Christian, began to dispond in his mind, and looked this way and
that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the River.
Then they asked the men if the Waters were all of a depth? They said, No; yet
they could not help them in that case, for said they, you shall find it deeper
or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place.
They then addressed themselves to the Water; and entring, Christian began
to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, I sink in deep
Waters; the Billows go over my head, all his Waves go over me, Selah.
Then said the other, Be of good cheer my Brother, I feel the bottom, and
it is good. Then said Christian, Ah my friend, the sorrows of death have
compassed me about, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey.
And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he
could not see before him. Also here in great measure lost his senses, so that
he could neither remember, nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments
that he had met with in the way of his Pilgrimage. But all the words that he
spake still tended to discover that he had horror of mind, and heartfears that
he should die in that River, and never obtain entrance in at the Gate. Here
also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts
of the sins that he had committed, both since and before he began to be a
Pilgrim. 'Twas also observed that he was troubled with apparitions of
Hobgoblins and evil Spirits, for ever and anon he would intimate so much by
words. Hopeful therefore here had much ado to keep his Brother's head above
water; yea sometimes he would be quite gone down, and then ere a while he
would rise up again half dead. Hopeful also would endeavour to comfort him,
saying, Brother, I see the Gate, and men standing by to receive us. But
Christian would answer, 'Tis you, 'tis you they wait for, you have been
hopeful ever since I knew you. And so have you, said he to Christian. Ah
Brother, said he, surely if I was right, he would now arise to help me; but
for my sins he hath brought me into the snare, and hath left me. Then said
Hopeful, My Brother, you have quite forgot the Text, where it is said of the
wicked, There is no band in their death, but their strength is firm, they are
not troubled as other men, neither are they plagued like other men. These
troubles and distresses that you go through in these Waters are no sign that
God hath forsaken you, but are sent to try you, whether you will call to mind
that which heretofore you have received of his goodness, and live upon him in
Then I saw in my Dream, that Christian was as in a muse a while. To whom
also Hopeful added this word, Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee
whole; and with that Christian brake out with a loud voice, Oh I see him
again, and he tells me, When thou passest through the Waters, I will be with
thee; and through the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee. Then they both
took courage, and the Enemy was after that as still as a stone, until they
were gone over. Christian therefore presently found ground to stand upon, and
so it followed that the rest of the River was but shallow. Thus they got over.
Now upon the bank of the River on the other side, they saw the two shining men
again, who there waited for them; wherefore being come out of the River, they
saluted them saying, We are ministering Spirits, sent forth to minister for
those that shall be heirs of salvation. Thus they went along towards the Gate.
Now, now, look how the holy Pilgrims ride,
Clouds are their Chariots, Angels are their Guide:
Who would not here for him all hazards run,
That thus provides for his when this World's done?
Now you must note that the City stood upon a mighty Hill, but the
Pilgrims went up that Hill with ease because they had these two men to lead
them up by the arms; also they had left their mortal Garments behind them in
the River, for though they went in with them, they came out without them. They
therefore went up here with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon
which the City was framed was higher than the Clouds. They therefore went up
through the Regions of the Air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted,
because they safely got over the River, and had such glorious Companions to
The talk that they had with the Shining Ones was about the glory of the
place, who told them that the beauty and glory of it was inexpressible. There,
said they, is the Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company
of Angels, and the Spirits of just men made perfect. You are going now, said
they, to the Paradise of God, wherein you shall see the Tree of Life, and eat
of the never-fading fruits thereof; and when you come there, you shall have
white Robes given you, and your walk and talk shall be every day with the
King, even all the days of Eternity. There you shall not see again such things
as you saw when you were in the lower Region upon the earth, to wit, sorrow,
sickness, affliction, and death, for the former things are passed away. You
are now going to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob, and to the Prophets, men that
God hath taken away from the evil to come, and that are now resting upon their
beds, each one walking in his righteousness. The men then asked, What must we
do in the holy place? To whom it was answered, You must there receive the
comfort of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what
you have sown, even the fruit of all your Prayers and Tears, and sufferings
for the King by the way. In that place you must wear Crowns of Gold, and enjoy
the perpetual sight and vision of the Holy one, for there you shall see him as
he is. There also you shall serve him continually with praise, with shouting,
and thanksgiving, whom you desired to serve in the World, though with much
difficulty, because of the infirmity of your flesh. There your eyes shall be
delighted with seeing, and your ears with hearing the pleasant voice of the
Mighty One. There you shall enjoy your friends again, that are gone thither
before you; and there you shall with joy receive even every one that follows
into the holy place after you. There also shall you be cloathed with Glory and
Majesty, and put into an equipage fit to ride out with the King of Glory. When
he shall come with sound of Trumpet in the Clouds, as upon the wings of the
Wind, you shall come with him; and when he shall sit upon the Throne of
Judgment, you shall sit by him; yea, and when he shall pass sentence upon all
the workers of iniquity, let them be Angels or Men, you also shall have a
voice in that Judgment, because they were his and your Enemies. Also when he
shall again return to the City, you shall go too, with sound of Trumpet, and
be ever with him.
Now while they were thus drawing towards the Gate, behold a company of
the Heavenly Host came out to meet them; to whom it was said by the other two
Shining Ones, These are the men that have loved our Lord when they were in the
World, and that have left all for his Holy Name, and he hath sent us to fetch
them, and we have brought them thus far on their desired Journey, that they
may go in and look their Redeemer in the face with joy. Then the Heavenly Host
gave a great shout, saying, Blessed are they that are called to the Marriage
Supper of the Lamb. There came out also at this time to meet them, several of
the King's Trumpeters, cloathed in white and shining Raiment, who with
melodious noises and loud, made even the Heavens to echo with their sound.
These Trumpeters saluted Christian and his fellow with ten thousand welcomes
from the World, and this they did with shouting and sound of Trumpet.
This done, they compassed them round on every side; some went before,
some behind, and some on the right hand, some on the left, (as 'twere to guard
them through the upper Regions) continually sounding as they went with
melodious noise, in notes on high: so that the very sight was to them that
could behold it, as if Heaven itself was come down to meet them. Thus
therefore they walked on together; and as they walked, ever and anon these
Trumpeters, even with joyful sound, would, by mixing their music with looks
and gestures, still signify to Christian and his Brother, how welcome they
were into their company, and with what gladness they came to meet them; and
now were these two men as 'twere in Heaven before they came at it, being
swallowed up with the sight of Angels, and with hearing of their melodious
notes. Here also they had the City itself in view, and they thought they heard
all the Bells therein ring to welcome them thereto. But above all, the warm
and joyful thoughts that they had about their own dwelling there, with such
company, and that for ever and ever. Oh, by what tongue or pen can their
glorious joy be expressed! And thus they came up to the Gate.
Now when they were come up to the Gate, there was written over it in
Letters of Gold, Blessed are they that do his Commandments, that they may have
right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the Gates into the City.
Then I saw in my Dream, that the Shining Men bid them call at the Gate;
the which when they did, some from above looked over the Gate, to wit, Enoch,
Moses, and Elijah, Ec., to whom it was said, These Pilgrims are come from the
City of Destruction for the love that they bear to the King of this place; and
then the Pilgrims gave in unto them each man his Certificate, which they had
received in the beginning; those therefore were carried in to the King, who
when he had read them, said, Where are the men? To whom it was answered, They
are standing without the Gate. The King then commanded to open the Gate, That
the righteous nation, saith he, that keepeth Truth may enter in.
Now I say in my Dream that these two men went in at the Gate; and lo, as
they entered, they were transfigured, and they had Raiment put on that shone
like Gold. There was also that met them with Harps and Crowns, and gave them
to them, the Harps to praise withal, and the Crowns in token of honour. Then I
heard in my Dream that all the Bells in the City rang again for joy, and that
it was said unto them, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord. I also heard the
men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, Blessing, Honour,
Glory, and Power, be to him that sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lamb for
ever and ever.
Now just as the Gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after
them, and behold, the City shone like the Sun: the Streets also were paved
with Gold, and in them walked many men, with Crowns on their heads, Palms in
their hands, and golden Harps to sing praises withal.
There were also of them that had wings, and they answered one another
without intermission, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord. And after that
they shut up the Gates. Which when I had seen, I wished myself among them.
Now while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look
back, and saw Ignorance come up to the River-side; but he soon got over, and
that without half that difficulty which the other two men met with. For it
happened that there was then in that place one Vain-hope a Ferry-man, that
with this Boat helped him over; so he, as the other I saw, did ascend the Hill
to come up to the Gate, only he came alone; neither did any man meet him with
the least encouragement. When he was come up to the Gate, he looked up to the
writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance
should have been quickly administered to him; but he was asked by the men that
looked over the top of the Gate, Whence came you? and what would you have? He
answered, I have eat and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught
in our Streets. Then they asked him for his Certificate, that they might go in
and shew it to the King. So he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none.
Then said they, Have you none? But the man answered never a word. So they told
the King, but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two Shining
Ones that conducted Christian and Hopeful to the City, to go out and take
Ignorance, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him
up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw in the side of the
Hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to Hell even from
the Gates of Heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction. So I awoke, and
behold it was a Dream.
Now Reader, I have told my Dream to thee;
See if thou can'st interpret it to me,
Or to thyself, or Neighbor; but take heed
Of mis-interpreting; for that, instead
Of doing good, will but thyself abuse:
By mis-interpreting, evil ensues.
Take heed also, that thou be not extreme,
In playing with the out-side of my Dream:
Nor let my figure or similitude
Put thee into a laughter or a feud;
Leave this for Boys and Fools; but as for thee,
Do thou the substance of my matter see.
Put by the Curtains, look within my Vail;
Turn up my Metaphors, and do not fail
There, if thou seekest them, such things to find
As will be helpful to an honest mind.
What of my dross thou findest there, be bold
To throw away, but yet preserve the Gold;
What if my Gold be wrapped up in Ore?
None throws away the Apple for the Core.
But if thou shalt cast away all as vain,
I know not but 'twill make me Dream again.