Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, , at sacred-texts.com
Section III. 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 his way. [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 discourse. 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! [2: Deed.] 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 High-way side. 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 going? 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 Shem. 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 your Pilgrimage. 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!