By John Bunyan, 1678.
Divided into 36 readings
Courteous Companions: Some time since, to tell you my dream that I had of Christian the Pilgrim, and of his dangerous journey towards the Celestial Country, was pleasant to me, and profitable to you. I told you then, also, what I saw concerning his wife and children, and how unwilling they were to go with him on pilgrimage, insomuch that he was forced to go on his progress without them; for he durst not run the danger of that destruction which he feared would come by staying with them in the City of Destruction. Wherefore, as I then showed you, he left them and departed.
Now it hath so happened, through the multiplicity of business, that I have been much hindered and kept back from my wonted travels into those parts whence he went, and so could not, till now, obtain an opportunity to make further inquiry after whom he left behind, that I might give you an account of them. But having had some concerns that way of late, I went down again thitherward. Now, having taken up my lodgings in a wood, about a mile off the place, as I slept, I dreamed again.
And as I was in my dream, behold, an aged gentleman came by where I lay; and because he was to go some part of the way that I was travelling, methought I got up and went with him. So as we walked, and as travelers usually do, I was as if we fell into discourse, and our talk happened to be about Christian and his travels; for thus I began with the old man:
Sir, said I, what town is that there below, that lieth on the left hand of our way?
Then said Mr. Sagacity (for that was his name), It is the City of Destruction, a populous place, but possessed with a very ill-conditioned and idle sort of people.
I thought that was that city, quoth I; I went once myself through that town, and, therefore, know that this report you give of it is true.
Mr. Sagacity: Too true; I wish I could speak truth in speaking better of them that dwell therein.
Well, Sir, quoth I, then I perceive you to be a well-meaning man; and so one that takes pleasure to hear and tell of that which is good. Pray, did you never hear what happened to a man some time ago in this town, whose name was Christian, that went on pilgrimage up towards the higher regions?
Mr. Sagacity: Hear of him! Aye, and I also heard of the molestations, troubles, wars, captivities, cries, groans, frights, and fears that he met with and had in his journey; besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him. There are but few houses that have heard of him and his doings but have sought after and got the records of his pilgrimage; yea, I think I may say that that his hazardous journey, has got a many well-wishers to his ways; for though, when he was here, he was fool in every man's mouth, yet, now he is gone, he is highly commended of all. For, it is said, he lives bravely where he is; yea, many of them that are resolved never to run his hazards, yet have their mouths water at his gains.
They may, quoth I, well think, if they think anything that is true, that he liveth well where he is; for he now lives at and in the Fountain of Life, and has what he has without labour and sorrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith. [But, pray, what talk have the people about him?]
Mr. Sagacity: Talk! the people talk strangely about him; some say that he now walks in white; that he has a chain of gold about his neck; that he has a crown of gold, beset with pearls, upon his head. Others say that the Shining Ones, that sometimes showed themselves to him in his journey, are become his companions, and that he is as familiar with them in the place where he is as here one neighbour is with another. Besides, it is confidently affirmed concerning him, that the King of the place where he is has bestowed upon him already a very rich and pleasant dwelling at court; and that he every day eateth, and drinketh, and walketh, and talketh with Him; and receiveth of the smiles and favours of Him that is Judge of all there. Moreover, it is expected of some, that his Prince, the Lord of that country, will shortly come into these parts, and will know the reason, if they can give any, why his neighbours set so little by him, and had him so much in derision, when they perceived that he would be a pilgrim. For, they say, that now he is so in the affections of his Prince, and that his Sovereign is so much concerned with the indignities that were cast upon Christian, when he became a pilgrim, that He will look upon all as if done unto Himself; and no marvel, for it was for the love that he had to his Prince that he ventured as he did.
I dare say, quoth I, I am glad on it; I am glad for the poor man's sake, for that he now has rest from his labour; and for that he now reapeth the benefit of his tears with joy; and for that he has got beyond the gunshot of his enemies, and is out of the reach of them that hate him. I also am glad, for that a rumour of these things is noised abroad in this country; who can tell but that it may work some good effect on some that are left behind? But, pray Sir, while it is fresh in my mind, do you hear anything of his wife and children? Poor hearts! I wonder in my mind what they do.
Mr. Sagacity: Who! Christiana and her sons? They are like to do as well as did Christian himself; for though they all played the fool at the first, and would by no means be persuaded by either the tears or entreaties of Christian, yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them; so they have packed up, and are also gone after him.
Better and better, quoth I. But what! wife and children, and all?
Mr. Sagacity: It is true; I can give you an account of the matter, for I was upon the spot at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.
Then, said I, a man, it seems, may report it for a truth?
Mr. Sagacity: You need not fear to affirm it; I mean that they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys. And being (we are, as I perceive) going some considerable way together, I will give you an account of the whole of the matter.
This Christiana (for that was her name from the day that she, with her children, betook themselves to a pilgrim's life), after her husband was gone over the river, and she could hear of him no more, her thoughts began to work in her mind. First, for that she had lost her husband, and for that the loving bond of that relation was utterly broken betwixt them. For you know, said he to me, nature can do no less but entertain the living with many a heavy cogitation in the remembrance of the loss of loving relations. This, therefore, of her husband did cost her many a tear. But this was not all; for Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, whether her unbecoming behaviour towards her husband was not one cause that she saw him no more; and that in such sort he was taken away from her. And upon this, came into her mind, by swarms, all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly carriages to her dear friend; which also clogged her conscience, and did load her with guilt. She was, moreover, much broken with calling to remembrance the restless groans, brinish tears, and self-bemoanings of her husband, and how she did harden her heart against all his entreaties, and loving persuasions, of her and her sons, to go with him; yea, there was not anything that Christian either said to her or did before her all the while that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart in sunder. Specially that bitter outcry of his, 'What shall I do to be saved?' did ring in her ears most dolefully.
Then said she to her children, Sons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone; he would have had us with him, but I would not go myself. I also have hindered you of life. With that the boys fell all into tears, and cried out to go after their father. O! said Christiana, that it had been but our lot to go with him, then had it fared well with us, beyond what it is like to do now; for though I formerly foolishly imagined, concerning the troubles of your father, that they proceeded of a foolish fancy that he had, or for that he was overrun with melancholy humours; yet now it will not out of my mind but that they sprang from another cause, to wit, for that the Light of light was given him; by the help of which, as I perceive, he has escaped the snares of death. Then they all wept again, and cried out, O woe worth the day!
The next night Christiana had a dream; and, behold, she saw as if a broad parchment was opened before her, in which were recorded the sum of her ways; and the times, as she thought, looked very black upon her. Then she cried out aloud in her sleep, 'Lord, have mercy upon me a sinner!' and the little children heard her.
After this, she thought she saw two very ill-favoured ones standing by her bedside, and saying, What shall we do with this woman? for she cries out for mercy waking and sleeping; if she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband. Wherefore we must, by one way or other, seek to take her off from the thoughts of what shall be hereafter, else all the world cannot help it but she will become a pilgrim.
Now she awoke in a great sweat, also a trembling was upon her; but after a while she fell to sleeping again. And then she thought she saw Christian her husband in a place of bliss, among many immortals, with a harp in his hand, standing and playing upon it before One that sat on a throne, with a rainbow about His head. She saw also as if he bowed his head, with his face to the paved work that was under the Prince's feet, saying, I heartily thank my Lord and King, for bringing of me into this place. Then shouted a company of them that stood round about, and harped with their harps; but no man living could tell what they said, but Christian and his companions.
Next morning, when she was up, had prayed to God, and talked with her children a while, one knocked hard at the door, to whom she spake out, saying, If thou comest in God's name, come in. So he said, Amen, and opened the door, and saluted her with 'Peace be to this house.' The which, when he had done, he said, Christiana, knowest thou wherefore I am come? Then she blushed and trembled, also her heart began to wax warm with desires to know whence he came, and what was his errand to her. So he said unto her, My name is Secret; I dwell with those that are high. It is talked of, where I dwell, as if thou hadst a desire to go thither; also, there is a report, that thou art aware of the evil thou hast formerly done to thy husband, in hardening of thy heart against his way, and in keeping of these thy babes in their ignorance.
Christiana, the Merciful One has sent me to tell thee, that He is a God ready to forgive, and that He taketh delight to multiply to pardon offences. He also would have thee know, that He inviteth thee to come into His presence, to His table, and that He will feed thee with the fat of His house, and with the heritage of Jacob thy father.
There is Christian thy husband (that was), with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that doth minister life to beholders; and they will all be glad when they shall hear the sound of thy feet step over thy Father's threshold.
Christiana at this was greatly abashed in herself, and bowing her head to the ground, this Visitor proceeded, and said, Christiana, here is also a letter for thee, which I have brought from thy husband's King. So she took it and opened it, but it smelt after the manner of the best perfume; also it was written in letters of gold. The contents of the letter was, That the King would have her do as did Christian her husband; for that was the way to come to His city, and to dwell in His presence with joy forever. At this the good woman was quite overcome; so she cried out to her visitor, Sir, will you carry me and my children with you, that we also may go and worship this King?
Then said the visitor, Christiana, the bitter is before the sweet. Thou must through troubles, as did he that went before thee, enter this Celestial City. Wherefore I advise thee to do as did Christian thy husband. Go to the wicket-gate yonder, over the plain, for that stands in the head of the way up which thou must go, and I wish thee all good speed. Also I advise that thou put this letter in thy bosom; that thou read therein to thyself, and to thy children, until you have got it by rote of heart, for it is one of the songs that thou must sing while thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage; also this thou must deliver in at the further gate. Now I saw in my dream, that this old gentleman, as he told me this story, did himself seem to be greatly affected therewith. He, moreover, proceeded and said, So Christiana called her sons together, and began thus to address herself unto them: My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul, about the death of your father; not for that I doubt at all of his happiness, for I am satisfied now that he is well. I have been also much affected with the thoughts of mine own state and yours, which I verily believe is by nature miserable. My carriages, also, to your father in his distress, is a great load to my conscience; for I hardened both my own heart and yours against him, and refused to go with him on pilgrimage.
The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but that for a dream which I had last night, and but for the encouragement that this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children, let us pack up and begone to the gate that leads to the Celestial Country, that we may see your father, and be with him and his companions in peace, according to the laws of that land.
Then did her children burst out into tears for joy, that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So their visitor bade them farewell; and they began to prepare to set out for their journey.
But while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women, that were Christiana's neighbours, came up to her house, and knocked at her door. To whom she said as before, If you come in God's name, come in. At this the women were stunned; for this kind of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of Christiana. Yet they came in; but, behold, they found the good woman a-preparing to be gone from her house.
So they began and said, Neighbour, pray what is your meaning by this?
Christiana answered and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. Timorous, I am preparing for a journey. (This Timorous was daughter to him that met Christian upon the Hill Difficulty, and would have had him go back for fear of the lions).
Mrs. Timorous: For what journey, I pray you?
Christiana: Even to go after my good husband. And with that she fell a-weeping.
Mrs. Timorous: I hope not so, good neighbour; pray, for your poor children's sakes, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself.
Christiana: Nay, my children shall go with me, not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Mrs. Timorous: I wonder, in my very heart, what, or who has brought you into this mind.
Christiana: Oh! neighbour, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would go with me.
Mrs. Timorous: Prithee, what new knowledge hast thou got, that so worketh off thy mind from thy friends, and that tempteth thee to go, nobody knows where?
Christiana: Then Christiana replied, I have been sorely afflicted since my husband's departure from me; but especially since he went over the river. But that which troubleth me most, is my churlish carriages to him, when he was under his distress. Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me but going on pilgrimage. I was a-dreaming last night that I saw him. O that my soul was with him! He dwelleth in the presence of the King of the country; he sits and eats with Him at His table; he is become a companion of immortals, and has a house now given him to dwell in, to which the best palaces on earth, if compared, seem to me to be but as a dunghill. The Prince of the place has also sent for me, with promise of entertainment if I shall come to Him; His messenger was here even now, and has brought me a letter, which invites me to come. And with that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them, What now will ye say to this?
Mrs. Timorous: O the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband, to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even, in a manner, at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbour Obstinate can yet testify, for he went along with him; yea, and Pliable too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any further. We also heard, over and above, how he met with the lions, Apollyon, the Shadow of Death, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with at Vanity Fair to be forgotten by thee; for if he, though a man, was so hard put to it, what canst thou, being but a poor woman, do? Consider also, that these four sweet babes are thy children, thy flesh and thy bones. Wherefore, though thou shouldest be so rash as to cast away thyself; yet, for the sake of the fruit of thy body, keep thou at home.
But Christiana said unto her, Tempt me not, my neighbour. I have now a price put into my hand to get gain, and I should he a fool of the greatest size, if I should have no heart to strike in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that I am like to meet with in the way, they are so far off from being to me a discouragement, that they show I am in the right. 'The bitter must come before the sweet,' and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore, since you came not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you to be gone, and not to disquiet me farther.
Then Timorous also reviled her, and said to her fellow, Come, neighbour Mercy, let us leave her in her own hands, since she scorns our counsel and company. But Mercy was at a stand, and could not so readily comply with her neighbour, and that for a twofold reason. First, her bowels yearned over Christiana. So she said within herself, If my neighbour will needs be gone, I will go a little way with her and help her. Secondly, her bowels yearned over her own soul, for what Christiana had said had taken some hold upon her mind. Wherefore she said within herself again, I will yet have more talk with this Christiana, and if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart shall also go with her. Wherefore Mercy began thus to reply to her neighbour Timorous.
Mercy: Neighbour, I did, indeed, come with you to see Christiana this morning; and since she is, as you see, a-taking of her last farewell of her country, I think to walk, this sun-shine morning, a little way with her, to help her on the way. But she told her not of the second reason, but kept that to herself.
Timorous: Well, I see you have a mind to go a-fooling too, but take heed in time, and be wise. While we are out of danger, we are out; but when we are in, we are in. So Mrs. Timorous returned to her house, and Christiana betook herself to her journey. But when Timorous was got home to her house, she sends for some of her neighbours, to wit, Mrs. Bat's-eyes, Mrs. Inconsiderate, Mrs. Light-mind, and Mrs. Know-nothing. So when they were come to her house, she falls to telling of the story of Christiana, and of her intended journey. And thus she began her tale.
Timorous: Neighbours, having had little to do this morning, I went to give Christiana a visit; and when I came at the door, I knocked, as you know it is our custom. And she answered, If you come in God's name, come in. So in I went, thinking all was well. But when I came in, I found her preparing herself to depart the town, she, and also her children. So I asked her what was her meaning by that. And she told me, in short, that she was now of a mind to go on pilgrimage, as did her husband. She told me also a dream that she had, and how the King of the country where her husband was, had sent her an inviting letter to come thither.
Then said Mrs. Know-nothing, what! do you think she will go?
Timorous: Aye, go she will, whatever come on't; and methinks I know it by this; for that which was my great argument to persuade her to stay at home (to wit, the troubles she was like to meet with in the way) is one great argument with her to put her forward on her journey. For she told me in so many words, 'The bitter goes before the sweet.' Yea, and forasmuch as it so doth, it makes the sweet the sweeter.
Mrs. Bat's-Eyes: O, this blind and foolish woman! said she; will she not take warning by her husband's afflictions? For my part, I see, if he were here again, he would rest him content in a whole skin, and never run so many hazards for nothing.
Mrs. Inconsiderate also replied, saying, Away with such fantastical fools from the town! A good riddance, for my part, I say, of her. Should she stay where she dwells, and retain this her mind, who could live quietly by her? for she will either be dumpish or unneighbourly, or talk of such matters as no wise body can abide; wherefore, for my part, I shall never be sorry for her departure. Let her go, and let better come in her room. It was never a good world since these whimsical fools dwelt in it.
Then Mrs. Light-mind added as followeth--Come, put this kind of talk away. I was yesterday at Madam Wanton's, where we were as merry as the maids. For who do you think should be there, but I and Mrs. Love-the-flesh, and three or four more, with Mr. Lechery, Mrs. Filth, and some others. So there we had music, and dancing, and what else was meet to fill up the pleasure. And, I dare say, my lady herself is an admirably well-bred gentlewoman, and Mr. Lechery is as pretty a fellow.
By this time, Christiana was got on her way, and Mercy went along with her. So as they went, her children being there also, Christiana began to discourse. And, Mercy, said Christiana, I take this as an unexpected favour, that thou shouldst set foot out of doors with me, to accompany me a little in my way.
Mercy: Then said young Mercy (for she was but young), If I thought it would be to purpose to go with you, I would never go near the town any more.
Christiana: Well, Mercy, said Christiana, cast in thy lot with me; I well know what will be the end of our pilgrimage. My husband is where he would not but be for all the gold in the Spanish mines. Nor shalt thou be rejected, though thou goest but upon my invitation. The King who hath sent for me and my children is one that delighteth in mercy. Besides, if thou wilt, I will hire thee, and thou shalt go along with me as my servant; yet we will have all things in common betwixt thee and me; only, go along with me.
Mercy: But how shall I be ascertained that I also shall be entertained? Had I this hope but from one that can tell, I would make no stick at all, but would go, being helped by him that can help, though the way was never so tedious.
Christiana: Well, loving Mercy, I will tell thee what thou shalt do. Go with me to the wicket-gate, and there I will further inquire for thee; and if there thou shalt not meet with encouragement, I will be content that thou shalt return to thy place. I also will pay thee for thy kindness which thou showest to me and my children, in thy accompanying us in our way, as thou dost.
Mercy: Then will I go thither, and will take what shall follow; and the Lord grant that my lot may there fall, even as the King of Heaven shall have His heart upon me.
Christiana then was glad at her heart, not only that she had a companion, but also that she had prevailed with this poor maid to fall in love with her own salvation. So they went on together, and Mercy began to weep. Then said Christiana, Wherefore weepeth my Sister so?
Mercy: Alas! said she, who can but lament, that shall but rightly consider, what a state and condition my poor relations are in that yet remain in our sinful town? and that which makes my grief the more heavy is, because they have no instructor, nor any to tell them what is to come.
Christiana: Bowels becometh pilgrims; and thou dost for thy friends as my good Christian did for me when he left me; he mourned for that I would not heed nor regard him; but his Lord and ours did gather up after his tears and put them into His bottle; and now both I and thou, and these my sweet babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope, Mercy, these tears of thine will not be lost; for the truth hath said, that 'They that sow in tears shall reap in joy' in singing. And 'he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.'
Then said Mercy--
Let the Most Blessed be my guide,
If't be His blessed will;
Unto His gate, into His fold,
Up to His holy hill.
And let Him never suffer me
To swerve or turn aside
From His free grace, and holy ways,
Whate'er shall me betide.
And let Him gather them of mine,
That I have left behind;
Lord, make them pray they may be Thine,
With all their heart and mind.
Now my old friend proceeded, and said: But when Christiana came up to the Slough of Despond, she began to be at a stand; for, said she, this is the place in which my dear husband had like to have been smothered with mud. She perceived, also, that notwithstanding the command of the King to make this place for pilgrims good, yet it was rather worse than formerly. So I asked if that were true. Yes, said the old gentleman, too true; for that many there be that pretend to be the King's labourers, and that say they are for mending the King's highway, that bring dirt and dung instead of stones, and so mar instead of mending. Here Christiana, therefore, with her boys, did make a stand; but, said Mercy, Come, let us venture, only let us be wary. Then they looked well to the steps, and made a shift to get staggeringly over. Yet, Christiana had like to have been in, and that not once nor twice. Now they had no sooner got over, but they thought they heard words that said unto them, 'Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.'
Then they went on again; and said Mercy to Christiana, Had I as good ground to hope for a loving reception at the wicket-gate as you, I think no Slough of Despond would discourage me. Well, said the other, you know your sore, and I know mine; and, good friend, we shall all have enough evil before we come at our journey's end.
For can it be imagined, that the people that design to attain such excellent glories as we do, and that are so envied that happiness as we are; but that we shall meet with what fears and scares, with what troubles and afflictions they can possibly assault us with, that hate us?
And now Mr. Sagacity left me to dream out my dream by myself. Wherefore, methought I saw Christiana and Mercy, and the boys, go all of them up to the gate; to which, when they were come, they betook themselves to a short debate about how they must manage their calling at the gate, and what should be said to Him that did open to them. So it was concluded, since Christiana was the eldest, that she should knock for entrance, and that she should speak to Him that did open, for the rest. So Christiana began to knock; and, as her poor husband did, she knocked, and knocked again. But, instead of any that answered, they all thought that they heard as if a dog came barking upon them; a dog, and a great one too, and this made the women and children afraid: nor durst they, for a while, to knock any more, for fear the mastiff should fly upon them. Now, therefore, they were greatly tumbled up and down in their minds, and knew not what to do: knock they durst not, for fear of the dog; go back they durst not, for fear the Keeper of that gate should espy them as they so went, and should be offended with them; at last they thought of knocking again, and knocked more vehemently than they did at the first. Then said the Keeper of the gate, Who is there? So the dog left off to bark, and He opened unto them. Then Christiana made low obeisance, and said, Let not our Lord be offended with his handmaidens, for that we have knocked at His princely gate. Then said the Keeper, Whence come ye, and what is that you would have?
Christiana answered, We are come from whence Christian did come, and upon the same errand as he; to wit, to be, if it shall please You, graciously admitted by this gate into the way that leads to the Celestial City. And I answer, my Lord, in the next place, that I am Christiana, once the wife of Christian, that now is gotten above.
With that the Keeper of the gate did marvel, saying, What! is she become now a pilgrim that, but a while ago, abhorred that life Then she bowed her head, and said, Yes, and so are these my sweet babes also.
Then He took her by the hand, and let her in, and said also, 'Suffer the little children to come unto Me'; and with that He shut up the gate. This done, He called to a trumpeter that was above, over the gate, to entertain Christiana with shouting and sound of trumpet for joy. So he obeyed, and sounded, and filled the air with his melodious notes.
Now all this while poor Mercy did stand without, trembling and crying, for fear that she was rejected. But when Christiana had gotten admittance for herself and her boys, then she began to make intercession for Mercy.
Christiana: And she said, My Lord, I have a companion of mine that stands yet without, that is come hither upon the same account as myself; one that is much dejected in her mind, for that she comes, as she thinks, without sending for; whereas I was sent to by my husband's King to come.
Now Mercy began to be very impatient, for each minute was as long to her as an hour; wherefore she prevented Christiana from a fuller interceding for her, by knocking at the gate herself. And she knocked then so loud, that she made Christiana to start. Then said the Keeper of the gate, Who is there? and said Christiana, It is my friend.
So He opened the gate and looked out, but Mercy was fallen down without, in a swoon, for she fainted, and was afraid that no gate would he opened to her.
Then He took her by the hand, and said, Damsel, I bid thee arise. O Sir, said she, I am faint; there is scarce life left in me. But He answered, That one once said, 'When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple.' Fear not, but stand upon thy feet, and tell Me wherefore thou art come.
Mercy: I am come for that unto which I was never invited, as my friend Christiana was. Hers was from the King, and mine was but from her. Wherefore I fear I presume.
Keeper: Did she desire thee to come with her to this place?
Mercy: Yes; and, as my Lord sees, I am come. And, if there is any grace or forgiveness of sins to spare, I beseech that I, thy poor handmaid, may be partaker thereof.
Then He took her again by the hand, and led her gently in, and said, I pray for all them that believe on Me, by what means soever they come unto Me. Then said He to those that stood by, Fetch something, and give it Mercy to smell on, thereby to stay her fainting. So they fetched her a bundle of myrrh; and a while after, she was revived.
And now was Christiana and her boys, and Mercy, received of the Lord at the head of the way, and spoke kindly unto by Him. Then said they yet further unto Him, We are sorry for our sins, and beg of our Lord His pardon, and further information what we must do. I grant pardon, said He, by word and deed: by word, in the promise of forgiveness; by deed, in the way I obtained it. Take the first from My lips with a kiss; and the other as it shall be revealed.
Now, I saw in my dream, that He spake many good words unto them, whereby they were greatly gladded. He also had them up to the top of the gate, and showed them by what deed they were saved; and told them withal, That that sight they would have again, as they went along in the way, to their comfort.
So He left them a while in a summer parlour below, where they entered into talk by themselves; and thus Christiana began: O Lord! how glad am I that we are got in hither.
Mercy: So you well may; but I of all have cause to leap for joy.
Christiana: I thought one time, as I stood at the gate (because I had knocked, and none did answer), that all our labour had been lost, especially when that ugly cur made such a heavy barking against us.
Mercy: But my worse fear was after I saw that you was taken into His favour, and that I was left behind. Now, thought I, it is fulfilled which is written, 'Two women shall he grinding together, the one shall be taken and the other left.' I had much ado to forbear crying out, Undone! undone!
And afraid I was to knock any more; but when I looked up to what was written over the gate, I took courage. I also thought that I must either knock again, or die; so I knocked, but I cannot tell how, for my spirit now struggled betwixt life and death.
Christiana: Can you not tell how you knocked? I am sure your knocks were so earnest that the very sound of them made me start; I thought I never heard such knocking in all my life; I thought you would have come in by violent hands, or have taken the kingdom by storm.
Mercy: Alas! to be in my case, who that so was could but have done so? You saw that the door was shut upon me, and that there was a most cruel dog thereabout. Who, I say, that was so faint-hearted as I, that would not have knocked with all their might? But, pray, what said my Lord to my rudeness? Was He not angry with me?
Christiana: When He heard your lumbering noise, He gave a wonderful innocent smile; I believe what you did pleased Him well enough, for He showed no sign to the contrary. But I marvel in my heart, why He keeps such a dog; had I known that before, I fear I should not have hadCan you not tell how you knocked heart enough to have ventured myself in this manner. But now we are in, we are in; and I am glad with all my heart.
Mercy: I will ask, if you please, next time He comes down, why He keeps such a filthy cur in His yard; I hope He will not take it amiss,
Aye, do, said the children, and persuade Him to hang him; for we are afraid he will bite us when we go hence.
So at last He came down to them again, and Mercy fell to the ground on her face before Him, and worshipped, and said, Let my Lord accept of the sacrifice of praise which I now offer unto Him with the calves of my lips.
So He said unto her, 'Peace be to thee, stand up.' But she continued upon her face, and said, 'Righteous art Thou, O Lord, when I plead with Thee: yet let me talk with Thee of Thy judgments.' Wherefore dost Thou keep so cruel a dog in Thy yard, at the sight of which, such women and children as we, are ready to fly from Thy gate for fear?
He answered and said, That dog has another owner, he also is kept close in another man's ground, only My pilgrims hear his barking; he belongs to the castle which you see there at a distance, but can come up to the walls of this place. He has frighted many an honest pilgrim from worse to better, by the great voice of his roaring. Indeed, he that owneth him doth not keep him of any goodwill to Me or Mine, but with intent to keep the pilgrims from coming to Me, and that they may be afraid to knock at this gate for entrance. Sometimes also he has broken out, and has worried some that I loved; but I take all at present patiently. I also give My pilgrims timely help, so they are not delivered up to his power, to do to them what his doggish nature would prompt him to. But what! my purchased one, I trow, hadst thou known never so much beforehand, thou wouldst not have been afraid of a dog.
The beggars that go from door to door will, rather than they will lose a supposed alms, run the hazard of the bawling, barking, and biting, too, of a dog; and shall a dog--a dog in another man's yard, a dog whose barking I turn to the profit of pilgrims--keep any from coming to Me? I deliver them from the lions, their darling from the power of the dog.
Mercy: Then said Mercy, I confess my ignorance; I spake what I understood not; I acknowledge that Thou dost all things well.
Christiana: Then Christiana began to talk of their journey, and to inquire after the way. So He fed them, and washed their feet, and set them in the way of His steps, according as He had dealt with her husband before. So I saw in my dream, that they walked on in their way, and had the weather very comfortable to them.
Then Christiana began to sing, saying--
Blessed be the day that I began
A pilgrim for to be;
And blessed also be that man
That thereto moved me.
'Tis true, 'twas long ere I began
To seek to live forever:
But now I run fast as I can;
'Tis better late then never.
Our tears to joy, our fears to faith,
Are turned, as we see,
That our beginning, as one saith,
Shows what our end will be.
Now there was, on the other side of the wall that fenced in the way up which Christiana and her companions were to go, a garden, and that garden belonged to him whose was that barking dog of whom mention was made before. And some of the fruit-trees that grew in that garden shot their branches over the wall; and being mellow, they that found them did gather them up, and oft eat of them to their hurt. So Christiana's boys, as boys are apt to do, being pleased with the trees, and with the fruit that did hang thereon, did plash them, and began to eat. Their mother did also chide them for so doing, but still the boys went on.
Well, said she, my sons, you transgress, for that fruit is none of ours; but she did not know that they did belong to the enemy; I will warrant you, if she had, she would have been ready to die for fear. But that passed, and they went on their way. Now, by that they were gone about two bow-shots from the place that let them into the way, they espied two very ill-favoured ones coming down apace to meet them. With that, Christiana and Mercy, her friend, covered themselves with their veils, and so kept on their journey; the children also went on before; so that at last they met together. Then they that came down to meet them, came just up to the women, as if they would embrace them; but Christiana said, Stand back, or go peaceably by, as you should. Yet these two, as men that are deaf, regarded not Christiana's words, but began to lay hands upon them. At that Christiana, waxing very wroth, spurned at them with her feet. Mercy also, as well as she could, did what she could to shift them. Christiana again said to them, Stand back, and begone; for we have no money to lose, being pilgrims, as you see, and such, too, as live upon the charity of our friends.
Ill-Favoured: Then said one of the two of the men, We make no assault upon you for money, but are come out to tell you, that if you will but grant one small request, which we shall ask, we will make women of you forever.
Christiana: Now Christiana, imagining what they should mean, made answer again, We will neither bear, nor regard, nor yield to what you shall ask. We are in haste, cannot stay; our business is a business of life and death. So, again, she and her companions made a fresh essay to go past them; but they letted them in their way.
Ill-Favoured: And they said, We intend no hurt to your lives; it is another thing we would have.
Christiana: Ah, quoth Christiana, you would have us body and soul, for I know it is for that you are come; but we will die rather upon the spot, than suffer ourselves to be brought into such snares as shall hazard our well-being hereafter. And with that they both shrieked out, and cried, Murder! murder! and so put themselves under those laws that are provided for the protection of women. But the men still made their approach upon them, with design to prevail against them. They, therefore, cried out again.
Now, they being, as I said, not far from the gate in at which they came, their voice was heard from where they were, thither; wherefore some of the house came out, and knowing that it was Christiana's tongue, they made haste to her relief. But by that they were got within sight of them, the women were in a very great scuffle, the children also stood crying by. Then did he that came in for their relief call out to the ruffians, saying, What is that thing that you do? Would you make my Lord's people to transgress? He also attempted to take them, but they did make their escape over the wall, into the garden of the man to whom the great dog belonged; so the dog became their protector. This Reliever then came up to the women, and asked them how they did. So they answered, We thank thy Prince, pretty well; only we have been somewhat affrighted; we thank thee also, for that thou camest in to our help, for otherwise we had been overcome.
Reliever: So after a few more words, this Reliever said as followeth: I marveled much when you were entertained at the gate above, being, [as] ye knew, that ye were but weak women, that you petitioned not the Lord there for a conductor; then might you have avoided these troubles and dangers, for He would have granted you one.
Christiana: Alas! said Christiana, we were so with our present blessing, that dangers to come were forgotten by us; besides, who could have thought, that so near the King's palace, there should have lurked such naughty ones? Indeed, it had been well for us, had we asked our Lord for one; but, since our Lord knew it would be for our profit, I wonder He sent not one along with us!
Reliever: It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, lest, by so doing, they become of little esteem; but when the want of a thing is felt, it then comes under, in the eyes of him that feels it, that estimate that properly is its due, and so, consequently, will be thereafter used. Had my Lord granted you a conductor, you would not neither so have bewailed that oversight of yours, in not asking for one, as now you have occasion to do. So all things work for good, and tend to make you more wary.
Christiana: Shall we go back again to my Lord, and confess our folly, and ask one?
Reliever: Your confession of your folly I will present Him with. To go back again you need not; for in all places where you shall come, you will find no want at all; for in every of my Lord's lodgings, which He has prepared for the reception of His pilgrims, there is sufficient to furnish them against all attempts whatsoever. But, as I said, 'He will be inquired of by them, to do it for them.' And it is a poor thing that is not worth asking for. When he had thus said, he went back to his place, and the Pilgrims went on their way.
Mercy: Then said Mercy, What a sudden blank is here! I made account we had now been past all danger, and that we should never see sorrow more.
Christiana: Thy innocency, my sister, said Christiana to Mercy, may excuse thee much; but as for me, my fault is so much the greater, for that I saw this danger before I came out of the doors, and yet did not provide for it where provision might have been had. I am therefore much to be blamed.
Mercy: Then said Mercy, How knew you this before you came from home? Pray open to me this riddle.
Christiana: Why, I will tell you. Before I set foot out of doors, one night, as I lay in my bed, I had a dream about this; for, methought I saw two men, as like these as ever the world they could look, stand at my bed's feet, plotting how they might prevent my salvation. I will tell you their very words. They said (it was when I was in my troubles), What shall we do with this woman? for she cries out, waking and sleeping, for forgiveness. If she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her, as we have lost her husband. This, you know, might have made me take heed, and have provided when provision might have been had.
Mercy: Well, said Mercy, as by this neglect we have an occasion ministered unto us, to behold our own imperfections; so our Lord has taken occasion thereby, to make manifest the riches of His grace; for He, as we see, has followed us with unasked kindness, and has delivered us from their hands that were stronger than we, of His mere good pleasure.
Thus, now when they had talked away a little more time, they drew nigh to a house which stood in the way, which house was built for the relief of pilgrims; as you will find more fully related in the First Part of these Records of the Pilgrim's Progress. So they drew on towards the house (the House of the Interpreter), and when they came to the door, they heard a great talk in the house. They then gave ear, and heard, as they thought, Christiana mentioned by name. For you must know that there went along, even before her, a talk of her and her children's going on pilgrimage. And this thing was the more pleasing to them, because they had heard that she was Christian's wife, that woman who was sometime ago so unwilling to hear of going on pilgrimage. Thus, therefore, they stood still, and heard the good people within commending her, who, they little thought, stood at the door. At last Christiana knocked, as she had done at the gate before. Now, when she had knocked, there came to the door a young damsel, named Innocent, and opened the door and looked, and behold two women were there.
Damsel: Then said the damsel to them, With whom would you speak in this place?
Christiana: Christiana answered, We understand that this is a privileged place for those that are become pilgrims, and we now at this door are such; wherefore we pray that we may be partakers of that for which we at this time are come; for the day, as thou seest, is very far spent, and we are loath tonight to go any further.
Damsel: Pray, what may I call your name, that I may tell it to my
Christiana: My name is Christiana; I was the wife of that pilgrim, that some years ago did travel this way, and these be his four children. This maiden also is my companion, and is going on pilgrimage too.
Innocent: Then ran Innocent in (for that was her name) and said to those within, Can you think who is at the door? There is Christiana and her children, and her companion, all waiting for entertainment here. Then they leaped for joy, and went and told their Master. So He came to the door, and looking upon her, He said, Art thou that Christiana whom Christian, the good man, left behind him, when he betook himself to a pilgrim's life?
Christiana: I am that woman that was so hard-hearted, as to slight my husband's troubles, and that left him to go on in his journey alone, and these are his four children; but now I also am come, for I am convinced that no way is right but this.
Interpreter: Then is fulfilled that which also is written of the man that said to his son, 'Go, work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented and went.'
Christiana: Then said Christiana, So be it, Amen. God make it a true saying upon me, and grant that I may be found at the last of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless!
Interpreter: But why standest thou thus at the door? Come in, thou daughter of Abraham. We were talking of thee but now, for tidings have come to us before, how thou art become a pilgrim. Come, children, come in; come, maiden, come in. So He had them all into the house.
So, when they were within, they were bidden sit down and rest them; the which when they had done, those that attended upon the Pilgrims in the house, came into the room to see them. And one smiled, and another smiled, and they all smiled, for joy that Christiana was become a pilgrim. They also looked upon the boys. They stroked them over the faces with the hand, in token of their kind reception of them. They also carried it lovingly to Mercy, and bid them all welcome into their Master's house.
After a while, because supper was not ready, the Interpreter took them into his significant rooms, and showed them what Christian, Christiana's husband, had seen some time before. Here, therefore, they saw the man in the cage, the man and his dream, the man that cut his way through his enemies, and the picture of the biggest of them all, together with the rest of those things that were then so profitable to Christian.
This done, and after these things had been somewhat digested by Christiana and her company, the Interpreter takes them apart again, and has them first into a room where was a man that could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand. There stood also one over His head with a celestial crown in His hand, and proffered him that crown for his muck-rake; but the man did neither look up, nor regard, but raked to himself the straws, the small sticks, and dust of the floor.
Then said Christiana, I persuade myself that I know somewhat the meaning of this; for this is a figure of a man of this world, is it not, good Sir?
Interpreter: Thou hast said the right, said He, and his muck-rake doth show his carnal mind. And whereas thou seest him rather give heed to rake up straws and sticks, and the dust of the floor, than to what He says that calls to him from above with the celestial crown in His hand, it is to show that Heaven is but as a fable to some, and that things here are counted the only things substantial. Now, whereas, it was also showed thee, that the man could look no way but downwards, it is to let thee know that earthly things, when they are with power upon men's minds, quite carry their hearts away from God.
Christiana: Then said Christiana, O deliver me from this muck-rake!
Interpreter: That prayer, Said the Interpreter, has lain by till it is almost rusty. 'Give me not riches,' is scarce the prayer of one of ten thousand. Straws, and sticks, and dust, with most, are the great things now looked after. With that Mercy and Christiana wept, and said, It is, alas! too true.
When the Interpreter had shown them this, He has them into the very best room in the house; a very brave room it was. So He bid them look round about, and see if they could find anything profitable there. Then they looked round and round; for there was nothing there to be seen but a very great spider on the wall: and that they overlooked.
Mercy: Then said Mercy, Sir, I see nothing; but Christiana held her peace.
Interpreter: But, said the Interpreter, look again, and she therefore looked again, and said, Here is not anything but an ugly spider, who hangs by her hands upon the wall. Then said He, Is there but one spider in all this spacious room? Then the water stood in Christiana's eyes, for she was a woman quick of apprehension; and she said, Yea, Lord, there is here more than one. Yea, and spiders whose venom is far more destructive than that which is in her. The Interpreter then looked pleasantly upon her, and said, Thou hast said the truth. This made Mercy blush, and the boys to cover their faces, for they all began now to understand the riddle.
Then said the Interpreter again, 'The spider taketh hold with their hands (as you see), and is in kings' palaces.' And wherefore is this recorded, but to show you, that how full of the venom of sin soever you be, yet you may, by the hand of faith, lay hold of, and dwell in the best room that belongs to the King's house above!
Christiana: I thought, said Christiana, of something of this; but I could not imagine it all. I thought that we were like spiders, and that we looked like ugly creatures, in what fine room soever we were; but that by this spider, this venomous and ill-favoured creature, we were to learn how to act faith, that came not into my mind. And yet she has taken hold with her hands, as I see, and dwells in the best room in the house. God has made nothing in vain.
Then they seemed all to be glad; but the water stood in their eyes; yet they looked one upon another, and also bowed before the Interpreter.
He had them then into another room, where was a hen and chickens, and bid them observe a while. So one of the chickens went to the trough to drink, and every time she drank, she lift up her head, and her eyes towards Heaven. See, said He, what this little chick doth, and learn of her to acknowledge whence your mercies come, by receiving them with looking up. Yet again, said He, observe and look; so they gave heed, and perceived that the hen did walk in a fourfold method towards her chickens. 1. She had a common call, and that she hath all day long. 2. She had a special call, and that she had but sometimes. 3. She had a brooding note. And 4. She had an outcry.
Now, said He, compare this hen to your King, and these chickens to His obedient ones. For, answerable to her, Himself has His methods, which He walketh in towards His people; by His common call, He gives nothing; by His special call, He always has something to give; He has also a brooding voice, for them that are under His wing; and He has an outcry, to give the alarm when He seeth the enemy come. I chose, My darlings, to lead you into the room where such things are, because you are women, and they are easy for you.
Christiana: And Sir, said Christiana, pray let us see some more. So He had them into the slaughter-house, where was a butcher killing of a sheep; and behold the sheep was quiet, and took her death patiently. Then said the Interpreter, You must learn of this sheep to suffer, and to put up wrongs without murmurings and complaints. Behold how quietly she taketh her death, and without objecting, she suffereth her skin to be pulled over her ears. Your King doth call you His sheep.
After this He led them into His garden, where was great variety of flowers; and he said, Do you see all these? So Christiana Said, Yes. Then said He again, Behold the flowers are diverse in stature, in quality, and colour, and smell, and virtue; and some are better than some; also where the gardener hath set them, there they stand, and quarrel not with one another.
Again, He had them into His field, which He had sowed with wheat and corn; but when they beheld, the tops of all were cut off, only the straw remained; He said again, This ground was dunged, and ploughed, and sowed; but what shall we do with the crop? Then said Christiana, Burn some, and make muck of the rest. Then Said the Interpreter again, Fruit, you see, is that thing you look for, and for want of that you condemn it to the fire, and to be trodden under foot of men: beware that in this you condemn not yourselves.
Then, as they were coming in from abroad, they espied a little robin with a great spider in his mouth; so the Interpreter said, Look here. So they looked, and Mercy wondered; but Christiana said, What a disparagement is it to such a little pretty bird as the robin-redbreast is, he being also a bird above many, that loveth to maintain a kind of socialbleness with man; I had thought they had lived upon crumbs of bread, or upon other such harmless matter; I like him worse than I did.
The Interpreter then replied, This robin is an emblem, very apt to set forth some professors by; for to sight, they are, as this robin, pretty of note, colour, and carriage. They seem also to have a very great love for professors that are sincere; and above all other, to desire to sociate with them, and to be in their company, as if they could live upon the good man's crumbs. They pretend also, that therefore it is that they frequent the house of the godly, and the appointments of the Lord; but, when they are by themselves, as the robin, they can catch and gobble up spiders, they can change their diet, drink iniquity, and swallow down sin like water. So, when they were come again into the house, because supper as yet was not ready, Christiana again desired that the Interpreter would either show or tell of some other things that are profitable. Then the Interpreter began, and said, The fatter the sow is, the more she desires the mire; the fatter the ox is, the more gamesomely he goes to the slaughter; and the more healthy the lusty man is, the more prone he is unto evil.
There is a desire in women to go neat and fine, and it is a comely thing to be adorned with that that in God's sight is of great price. It is easier watching a night or two, than to sit up a whole year together. So it is easier for one to begin to profess well, than to hold out as he should to the end.
Every shipmaster, when in a storm, will willingly cast that overboard that is of the smallest value in the vessel; but who will throw the best out first? None but he that feareth not God. One leak will sink a ship; and one sin will destroy a sinner. He that forgets his friend, is ungrateful unto him; but he that forgets his Saviour, is unmerciful to himself.
He that lives in sin, and looks for happiness hereafter, is like him that soweth cockle, and thinks to fill his barn with wheat or barley. If a man would live well, let him fetch his last day to him, and make it always his company keeper.
Whispering, and change of thoughts, prove that sin is in the world. If the world, which God sets light by, is counted a thing of that worth with men; what is Heaven, which God commendeth?
If the life that is attended with so many troubles, is so loath to be let go by us, what is the life above?
Everybody will cry up the goodness of men; but who is there that is, as he should, affected with the goodness of God?
We seldom sit down to meat, but we eat and leave; so there is in Jesus Christ more merit and righteousness than the whole world has need of.
When the Interpreter had done, He takes them out into His garden again, and had them to a tree, whose inside was all rotten and gone, and yet it grew and had leaves. Then said Mercy, What means this? This tree, said He, whose outside is fair, and whose inside is rotten, it is to which many may be compared, that are in the garden of God; who with their mouths speak high in behalf of God, but indeed will do nothing for Him; whose leaves are fair, but their heart good for nothing but to be tinder for the devil's tinder box. Now supper was ready, the table spread, and all things set on the board; so they sat down and did eat, when one had given thanks. And the Interpreter did usually entertain those that lodged with Him, with music at meals; so the minstrels played. There was also one that did sing, and a very fine voice he had. His song was this:
The Lord is only my support,
And he that doth me feed;
How can I then want anything
Whereof I stand in need?
When the song and music was ended, the Interpreter asked Christiana what it was that at first did move her to betake herself to a Pilgrim's life. Christiana answered, First, the loss of my husband came into my mind, at which I was heartily grieved; but all that was but natural affection. Then, after that, came the troubles and pilgrimage of my husband into my mind, and also how like a churl I had carried it to him as to that. So guilt took hold of my mind, and would have drawn me into the pond; but that opportunely I had a dream of the well-being of my husband, and a letter sent me by the King of that country where my husband dwells, to come to Him. The dream and the letter together so wrought upon my mind, that they forced me to this way.
Interpreter: But met you with no opposition before you set out of doors?
Christiana: Yes, a neighbour of mine, one Mrs. Timorous (she was akin to him that would have persuaded my husband to go back, for fear of the lions). She all to befooled me for, as she called it, my intended desperate adventure; she also urged what she could to dishearten me to it; the hardship and troubles that my husband met with in the way, but all this I got over pretty well. But a dream that I had of two ill-looked ones, that I thought did plot how to make me miscarry in my journey, that hath troubled me much; yea, it still runs in my mind, and makes me afraid of everyone that I meet, lest they should meet me to do me a mischief, and to turn me out of the way. Yea, I may tell my Lord, though I would not have everybody know it, that between this and the gate by which we got into the way, we were both so sorely assaulted that we were made to cry out, Murder! and the two them made this assault upon us were like the two that I saw in my dream.
Then said the Interpreter, thy beginning is good, thy latter end shall greatly increase. So He addressed Himself to Mercy, and said unto her, And what moved thee to come hither, sweet heart?
Then Mercy blushed and trembled, and for a while continued silent.
Interpreter: Then, said He, be not afraid, only believe, and speak thy mind.
Mercy: So she began, and said, Truly, Sir, my want of experience is that which makes me covet to be in silence, and that also that fills me with fears of coming short at last. I cannot tell of visions and dreams as my friend Christiana can; nor know I what it is to mourn for my refusing of the counsel of those that were good relations.
Interpreter: What was it then, dear heart, that hath prevailed with thee to do as thou hast done?
Mercy: Why, when our friend here was packing up to be gone from our town, I and another went accidentally to see her; so we knocked at the door and went in. When we were within, and seeing what she was doing, we asked what was her meaning. She said, she was sent for to go to her husband; and then she up and told us how she had seen him in a dream, dwelling in a curious place, among immortals, wearing a crown, playing upon a harp, eating and drinking at his Prince's table, and singing praises to Him for bringing him thither, &c. Now, methought, while she was telling these things unto us, my heart burned within me; and I said in my heart, If this be true, I will leave my father and my mother, and the land of my nativity, and will, if I may, go along with Christiana. So I asked her further of the truth of these things, and if she would let me go with her; for I saw now that there was no dwelling, but with the danger of ruin, any longer in our town. But yet I came away with a heavy heart, not for that I was unwilling to come away, but for that so many of my relations were left behind. And I am come, with all the desire of my heart, and will go, if I may, with Christiana, unto her husband, and his King.
Interpreter: Thy setting out is good, for thou hast given credit to the truth. Thou art a Ruth, who did, for the love she bare to Naomi, and to the Lord her God, leave father and mother, and the land of her nativity, to come out, and go with a people that she knew not heretofore. 'The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.'
Now supper was ended, and preparation was made for bed; the women were laid singly alone, and the boys by themselves. Now when Mercy was in bed, she could not sleep for joy, for that now her doubts of missing at last, were removed further from her than ever they were before. So she lay blessing and praising God, who had had such favour for her.
In the morning they rose with the sun, and prepared themselves for their departure; but the Interpreter would have them tarry awhile, for, said He, you must orderly go from hence. Then, said He to the damsel that first opened unto them, Take them and have them into the garden to the bath, and there wash them, and make them clean from the soil which they have gathered by travelling. Then Innocent the damsel took them, and had them into the garden, and brought them to the bath; so she told them that there they must wash and be clean, for so her Master would have the women to do that called at His house, as they were going on pilgrimage. They then went in and washed, yea, they and the boys and all; and they came out of that bath, not only sweet and clean, but also much enlivened and strengthened in their joints. So when they came in, they looked fairer a deal than when they went out to the washing.
When they were returned out of the garden from the bath, the Interpreter took them, and looked upon them, and said unto them, Fair as the moon. Then he called for the seal, wherewith they used to be sealed that were washed in His bath. So the seal was brought, and He set His mark upon them, that they might be known in the places whither they were yet to go. Now the seal was the contents and sum of the passover which the children of Israel did eat when they came out from the land of Egypt, and the mark was set between their eyes. This seal greatly added to their beauty, for it was an ornament to their faces. It also added to their gravity, and made their countenances more like them of angels.
Then said the Interpreter again to the damsel that waited upon these women, Go into the vestry and fetch out garments for these people; so she went and fetched out white raiment, and laid down before Him; so He commanded them to put it on. 'It was fine linen, white and clean.' When the women were thus adorned, they seemed to be a terror one to the other; for that they could not see that glory each one on herself, which they could see in each other. Now, therefore, they began to esteem each other better than themselves. 'For you are fairer than I am,' said one; and 'you are more comely than I am,' said another. The children also stood amazed to see into what fashion they were brought.
The Interpreter then called for a man-servant of His, one Great-heart, and bid him take sword, and helmet, and shield; and take these My daughters, said He, and conduct them to the house called Beautiful, at which place they will rest next. So he took his weapons and went before them; and the Interpreter said, God speed. Those also that belonged to the family, sent them away with many a good wish. So they went on their way and sang--
This place has been our second stage;
Here we have heard and seen
Those good things that, from age to age,
To others hid have been.
The dunghill-racer, spider, hen,
The chicken, too, to me
Hath taught a lesson; let me then
Conformed to it be.
The butcher, garden, and the field,
The robin and his bait,
Also the rotten tree doth yield
Me argument of weight;
To move me for to watch and pray,
To strive to be sincere;
To take my cross up day by day,
And serve the Lord with fear.
Now I saw in my dream, that they went on, and Great-heart went before them: so they went and came to the place where Christian's burden fell off his back, and tumbled into a sepulchre. Here then they made a pause; and here also they blessed God. Now, said Christiana, it comes to my mind, what was said to us at the gate, to wit, that we should have pardon by word and deed; by word, that is, by the promise; by deed, to wit, in the way it was obtained. What the promise is, of that I know something; but what it is to have pardon by deed, or in the way that it was obtained, Mr. Great-heart, I suppose you know; wherefore, if you please, let us hear you discourse thereof.
Great-Heart: Pardon by the deed done, is pardon obtained by someone, for another that hath need thereof: not by the person pardoned, but in the way, saith another, in which I have obtained it. So then, to speak to the question more [at] large, the pardon that you and Mercy, and these boys have attained, was obtained by another, to wit, by Him that let you in at the gate; and He hath obtained it in this double way. He has performed righteousness to cover you, and spilt blood to wash you in.
Christiana: But if He parts with His righteousness to us, what will
He have for Himself?
Great-Heart: He has more righteousness than you have need of, or than He needeth Himself.
Christiana: Pray make that appear.
Great-Heart: With all my heart; but first I must premise, that He of whom we are now about to speak is one that has not His fellow. He has two natures in one Person, plain to be distinguished, impossible to be divided. Unto each of these natures a righteousness belongeth, and each righteousness is essential to that nature; so that one may as easily cause the nature to be extinct, as to separate its justice or righteousness from it. Of these righteousnesses, therefore, we are not made partakers, so as that they, or any of them, should be put upon us, that we might be made just, and live thereby. Besides these, there is a righteousness which this Person has, as these two natures are joined in one: and this is not the righteousness of the Godhead, as distinguished from the manhood; nor the righteousness of the manhood, as distinguished from the Godhead; but a righteousness which standeth in the union of both natures, and may properly be called, the righteousness that is essential to His being prepared of God to the capacity of the mediatory office, which He was to be intrusted with. If He parts with His first righteousness, He parts with His Godhead; if He parts with His second righteousness, He parts with the purity of His manhood; if He parts with this third, He parts with that perfection that capacitates Him to the office of mediation. He has, therefore, another righteousness, which standeth in performance, or obedience, to a revealed will; and that is it that He puts upon sinners, and that by which their sins are covered. Wherefore He saith, 'As by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous.'
Christiana: But are the other righteousnesses of no use to us?
Great-Heart: Yes; for though they are essential to His natures and office and so cannot be communicated unto another, yet it is by virtue of them, that the righteousness that justifies, is, for that purpose, efficacious. The righteousness of His Godhead gives virtue to His obedience; the righteousness of His manhood giveth capability to His obedience to justify; and the righteousness that standeth in the union of these two natures to His office, giveth authority to that righteousness to do the work for which it is ordained.
So then, here is a righteousness that Christ, as God, has no need of, for He is God without it; here is a righteousness that Christ, as man, has no need of to make Him so, for He is perfect man without it; again, here is a righteousness that Christ, as God-man, has no need of, for He is perfectly so without it. Here, then, is a righteousness that Christ, as God, as man, as God-man, has no need of, with reference to Himself, and therefore He can spare it; a justifying righteousness, that He for Himself wanteth not, and therefore He giveth it away; hence it is called 'the gift of righteousness.' This righteousness, since Christ Jesus the Lord has made Himself under the law, must be given away; for the law doth not only bind him that is under it 'to do justly,' but to use charity. Wherefore he must, he ought, by the law, if he hath two coats, to give one to him that hath none. Now, our Lord, indeed, hath two coats, one for Himself, and one to spare; wherefore He freely bestows one upon those that have none. And thus, Christiana, and Mercy, and the rest of you that are here, doth your pardon come by deed, or by the work of another man. Your Lord Christ is He that has worked, and has given away what he wrought for, to the next poor beggar He meets.
But, again, in order to pardon by deed, there must something be paid to God as a price, as well as something prepared to cover us withal. Sin has delivered us up to the just curse of a righteous law; now, from this curse we must be justified by way of redemption, a price being paid for the harms we have done; and this is by the blood of your Lord, who came and stood in your place and stead, and died your death for your transgressions. Thus has He ransomed you from your transgressions by blood, and covered your polluted and deformed souls with righteousness. For the sake of which, God passeth by you, and will not hurt you, when He comes to judge the world.
Christiana: This is brave. Now, I see there was something to be learned by our being pardoned by word and deed. Good Mercy, let us labour to keep this in mind; and my children, do you remember it also. But, Sir, was not this it that made my good Christian's burden fall from off his shoulder, and that made him give three leaps for joy?
Great-Heart: Yes, it was the belief of this, that cut those strings, that could not be cut by other means; and it was to give him a proof of the virtue of this, that he was suffered to carry his burden to the Cross.
Christiana: I thought so; for though my heart was lightful and joyous before, yet it is ten times more lightsome and joyous now. And I am persuaded by what I have felt, though I have felt but little as yet, that if the most burdened man in the world was here, and did see and believe as I now do, it would make his heart the more merry and blithe.
Great-Heart: There is not only comfort, and the ease of a burden brought to us, by the sight and consideration of these, but an endeared affection begot in us by it; for who can, if he doth but once think that pardon comes not only by promise, but thus, but be affected with the way and means of his redemption, and so, with the Man that hath wrought it for him?
Christiana: True; methinks it makes my heart bleed to think that He should bleed for me. O Thou loving One! O Thou blessed One! Thou deservest to have me; Thou hast bought me; Thou deservest to have me all; Thou hast paid for me ten thousand times more than I am worth! No marvel that this made the water stand in my husband's eyes, and that it made him trudge so nimbly on; I am persuaded he wished me with him; but, vile wretch that I was, I let him come all alone. O Mercy, that thy father and mother were here; yea, and Mrs. Timorous also; nay, I wish now with all my heart, that here was Madam Wanton too. Surely, surely their hearts would be affected; nor could the fear of the one, nor the powerful lusts of the other, prevail with them to go home again, and to refuse to become good pilgrims.
Great-Heart: You speak now in the warmth of your affections. Will it, think you, be always thus with you? Besides, this is not communicated to everyone that did see your Jesus bleed. There were that stood by, and that saw the blood run from His heart to the ground, and yet were so far off this, that, instead of lamenting, they laughed at Him; and, instead of becoming His disciples, did harden their hearts against Him. So that all that you have, my daughters, you have by a peculiar impression made by a Divine contemplating upon what I have spoken to you. Remember that it was told you, that the hen, by her common call, gives no meat to her chickens. This you have, therefore, by a special grace.
Now, I saw still in my dream, that they went on until they were come to the place that Simple, and Sloth, and Presumption, lay and slept in, when Christian went by on pilgrimage; and, behold, they were hanged up in irons a little way off on the other side.
Mercy: Then said Mercy to him that was their guide and conductor,
What are those three men? and for what are they hanged there?
Great-Heart: These three men were men of very bad qualities. They had no mind to be pilgrims themselves, and whosoever they could they hindered. They were for sloth and folly themselves, and whoever they could persuade with, they made so too; and, withal, taught them to presume that they should do well at last. They were asleep when Christian went by; and now you go by, they are hanged.
Mercy: But could they persuade any to be of their opinion?
Great-Heart: Yes; they turned several out of the way. There was Slow-pace that they persuaded to do as they. They also prevailed with one Short-wind, with one No-heart, with one Linger-after-lust, and with one Sleepy-head, and with a young woman, her name was Dull, to turn out of the way, and become as they. Besides, they brought up an ill report of your Lord, persuading others that He was a taskmaster. They also brought up an evil report of the good land, saying it was not half so good as some pretend it was. They also began to vilify His servants, and to count the very best of them meddlesome, troublesome, busybodies. Further, they could call the bread of God husks; the comforts of His children, fancies; the travel and labour of pilgrims, things to no purpose.
Christiana: Nay, said Christiana, if they were such, they shall never be bewailed by me. They have but what they deserve; and I think it is well that they hang so near the highway, that others may see and take warning. But had it not been well if their crimes had been engraven on some plate of iron or brass, and left here, even where they did their mischiefs, for a caution to other bad men?
Great-Heart: So it is, as you well may perceive, if you will go a little to the wall.
Mercy: No, no; let them hang, and their names rot, and their crimes live forever against them. I think it a high favour that they were hanged before we came hither; who knows else what they might have done to such poor women as we are? Then she turned it into a song, saying--
Now then, you three, hang there, and be a sign
To all that shall against the truth combine.
And let him that comes after fear this end,
If unto pilgrims he is not a friend.
And thou, my soul, of all such men beware,
That unto holiness opposers are.
Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of the Hill Difficulty, where, again, their good friend, Mr. Great-heart, took an occasion to tell them of what happened there when Christian himself went by. So he had them first to the spring. Lo, said he, this is the spring that Christian drank of, before he went up this hill; and then it was clear and good, but now it is dirty with the feet of some that are not desirous that pilgrims here should quench their thirst. Thereat Mercy said, And why so envious, trow? But, said their guide, it will do, if taken up, and put into a vessel that is sweet and good; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear. Thus, therefore, Christiana and her companions were compelled to do. They took it up, and put it into an earthen pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom, and then they drank thereof. Next, he showed them the two by-ways that were at the foot of the hill, where Formality and Hypocrisy lost themselves. And, said he, these are dangerous paths. Two were here cast away when Christian came by. And although, as you see, these ways are since stopped up with chains, posts, and a ditch, yet there are that will choose to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this hill.
Christiana: 'The way of transgressors is hard.' It is a wonder that they can get into those ways without danger of breaking their necks.
Great-Heart: They will venture. Yea, if at any time any of the King's servants do happen to see them, and do call unto them, and tell them that they are in the wrong ways, and do bid them beware the danger, then they will railingly return them answer, and say, 'As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth,' &c. Nay, if you look a little further, you shall see that these ways are made cautionary enough, not only by these posts, and ditch, and chain; but also by being hedged up, yet they will choose to go there.
Christiana: They are idle; they love not to take pains; uphill way is unpleasant to them. So it is fulfilled unto them as it is written, 'The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns.' Yea, they will rather choose to walk upon a snare, than to go up this hill, and the rest of this way to the city.
Then they set forward, and began to go up the hill, and up the hill they went; but before they got to the top, Christiana began to pant; and said, I dare say, this is a breathing hill. No marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls, choose to themselves a smoother way. Then said Mercy, I must sit down; also the least of the children began to cry. Come, come, said Great-heart, sit not down here, for a little above is the Prince's arbour. Then took he the little boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.
When they were come to the arbour, they were very willing to sit down, for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said Mercy, How sweet is rest to them that labour. And how good is the Prince of pilgrims, to provide such resting-places for them! Of this arbour I have heard much; but I never saw it before. But here let us beware of sleeping; for, as I have heard, for that it cost poor Christian dear.
Then said Mr. Great-heart to the little ones, Come, my pretty boys, how do you do? What think you now of going on pilgrimage? Sir, said the least, I was almost beat out of heart? but I thank you for lending me a hand at my need. And I remember now what my mother hath told me, namely, that the way to Heaven is as up a ladder, and the way to hell is as down a hill. But I had rather go up the ladder to life, than down the hill to death.
Then said Mercy, But the proverb is, To go down the hill is easy. But James said (for that was his name), The day is coming, when, in my opinion, going down hill will be the hardest of all. 'Tis a good boy, said his Master, thou hast given her a right answer. Then Mercy smiled; but the little boy did blush.
Christiana: Come, said Christiana, will you eat a bit, a little to sweeten your mouths, while you sit here to rest your legs? For I have here a piece of pomegranate, which Mr. Interpreter put in my hand, just when I came out of His doors. He gave me also a piece of a honeycomb, and a little bottle of spirits. I thought He gave you something, said Mercy, because He called you aside. Yes; so He did, said the other. But, said Christiana, it shall still be, as I said it should, when at first we came from home, thou shalt be a sharer in all the good that I have, because thou so willingly didst become my companion. Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both Mercy and the boys. And, said Christiana to Mr. Great-heart, Sir, will you do as we? But he answered, You are going on pilgrimage, and presently I shall return. Much good may what you have do to you. At home I eat the same every day. Now, when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their guide said to them. The day wears away, if you think good, let us prepare to be going. So they got up to go, and the little boys went before. But Christiana forgot to take her bottle of spirits with her; so she sent her little boy back to fetch it. Then said Mercy, I think this is a losing place. Here Christian lost his roll; and here Christiana left her bottle behind her. Sir, what is the cause of this? So their guide made answer, and said, The cause is sleep or forgetfulness. Some sleep when they should keep awake; and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause why, often at the resting-places, some pilgrims, in some things, come off losers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyments; but for want of doing so, ofttimes their rejoicing ends in tears, and their sunshine in a cloud. Witness the story of Christian at this place.
When they were come to the place where Mistrust and Timorous met Christian to persuade him to go back for fear of the lions, they perceived as it were a stage, and before it, towards the road, a broad plate, with a copy of verses written thereon, and underneath, the reason of raising up of that stage in that place, rendered. The verses were these--
Let him who sees this stage take heed
Unto his heart and tongue;
Lest if he do not, here he speed,
As some have long agone.
The words underneath the verses were, 'This stage, was built to punish such upon, who through Timorousness or Mistrust, shall be afraid to go further on pilgrimage; also, on this stage, both Mistrust and Timorous were burned through the tongue with a hot iron, for endeavouring to hinder Christian in his journey.' Then said Mercy, This is much like to the saying of the Beloved, 'What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.'
So they went on, till they came within sight of the lions. Now Mr. Great-heart was a strong man, So he was not afraid of a lion; but yet when they were come up to the place where the lions were, the boys that went before were glad when to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions; so they stepped back, and went behind. At this their guide smiled, and said, How now, my boys, do you love to go before, when no danger doth approach, and love to come behind so soon as the lions appear?
Now, as they went up, Mr. Great-heart drew his sword, with intent to make a way for the Pilgrims, in spite of the lions. Then there appeared one, that it seems, had taken upon him to back the lions; and he said to the Pilgrims' guide, What is the cause of your coming hither? Now the name of that man was Grim, or Bloody-man, because of his slaying of Pilgrims, and he was of the race of the giants.
Great-Heart: Then said the Pilgrims' guide, These women and children are going on pilgrimage; and this is the way they must go, and go it they shall, in spite of thee and the lions.
Grim: This is not their way, neither shall they go therein. I am come forth to withstand them, and to that end will back the lions.
Now, to say truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and of the grim carriage of him that did back them, this way had of late lain much unoccupied, and was almost all grown over with grass.
Christiana: Then said Christiana, Though the highways have been unoccupied heretofore, and though the travelers have been made in time past to walk through by-paths, it must not be so now I am risen. Now 'I am risen a mother in Israel.'
Grim: Then he swore by the lions, but it should; and therefore bid them turn aside, for they should not have passage there.
Great-Heart: But their guide made first his approach unto Grim, and laid so heavily at him with his sword, that he forced him to a retreat.
Grim: Then said he that attempted to back the lions, Will you slay me upon mine own ground?
Great-Heart: It is the King's highway that we are in, and in His way it is that thou hast placed thy lions; but these women and these children, though weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy lions. And with that he gave him again a downright blow, and brought him upon his knees. With this blow he also broke his helmet, and with the next he cut off an arm. Then did the giant roar so hideously, that his voice frighted the women, and yet they were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground. Now the lions were chained, and so of themselves could do nothing. Wherefore, when old Grim, that intended to back them, was dead, Mr. Great-heart said to the Pilgrims, Come now, and follow me, and no hurt shall happen to you from the lions. They therefore went on, but the women trembled as they passed by them; the boys also looked as if they would die, but they all got by without further hurt. Now then they were within sight of the Porter's Lodge, and they soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because it is dangerous travelling there in the night. So when they were come to the gate, the guide knocked, and the Porter cried, Who is there? But as soon as the guide had said, It is I, he knew his voice, and came down (for the guide had oft before that, come thither, as a conductor of pilgrims). When he was come down, he opened the gate, and seeing the guide standing just before it (for he saw not the women, for they were behind him), he said unto him, How now, Mr. Great-heart, what is your business here so late tonight? I have brought, said he, some pilgrims hither, where, by my Lord's commandment, they must lodge; I had been here some time ago, had I not been opposed by the giant that did use to back the lions; but I, after a long and tedious combat with him, have cut him off, and have brought the Pilgrims hither in safety.
Porter: Will you not go in, and stay till morning?
Great-Heart: No, I will return to my Lord tonight.
Christiana: Oh, Sir, I know not how to be willing you should leave us in our pilgrimage, you have been so faithful and so loving to us, you have fought so stoutly for us, you have been so hearty in counseling of us, that I shall never forget your favour towards us.
Mercy: Then said Mercy, O that we might have thy company to our journey's end! How can such poor women as we hold out in a way so full of troubles as this way is, without a friend and defender?
James: Then said James, the youngest of the boys, Pray, Sir, be persuaded to go with us, and help us, because we are so weak, and the way so dangerous as it is.
Great-Heart: I am at my Lord's commandment; if He shall allot me to be your guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you. But here you failed at first; for, when He bid me come thus far with you, then you should have begged me of Him to have gone quite through with you, and He would have granted your request. However, at present, I must withdraw; and so, good Christiana, Mercy, and my brave children, Adieu.
Then the Porter, Mr. Watchful, asked Christiana of her country, and of her kindred; and she said, I came from the City of Destruction; I am a widow woman, and my husband is dead; his name was Christian, the Pilgrim. How! said the Porter, was he your husband? Yes, said she, and these are his children; and this, pointing to Mercy, is one of my townswomen. Then the Porter rang his bell, as at such times he is wont, and there came to the door one of the damsels, whose name was Humble-mind; and to her the Porter said, Go tell it within, that Christiana, the wife of Christian, and her children, are come hither on pilgrimage. She went in, therefore, and told it. But O what noise for gladness was there within, when the damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth!
So they came with haste to the Porter, for Christiana stood still at the door. Then some of the most grave said unto her, Come in, Christiana, come in, thou wife of that good man; come in, thou blessed woman; come in, with all that are with thee. So she went in, and they followed her that were her children and her companions. Now when they were gone in, they were had into a very large room, where they were bidden to sit down; so they sat down, and the chief of the house was called to see and welcome the guests. Then they came in, and understanding who they were, did salute each other with a kiss, and said, Welcome, ye vessels of the grace of God; welcome to us your friends.
Now, because it was somewhat late, and because the Pilgrims were weary with their journey, and also made faint with the sight of the fight, and of the terrible lions, therefore they desired, as soon as might be, to prepare to go to rest. Nay, said those of the family, refresh yourselves first with a morsel of meat; for they had prepared for them a lamb, with the accustomed sauce belonging thereto; for the Porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had supped, and ended their prayer with a psalm, they desired they might go to rest. But let us, said Christiana, if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that chamber that was my husband's when he was here; so they had them up thither, and they lay all in a room. When they were at rest, Christiana and Mercy entered into discourse about things that were convenient.
Christiana: Little did I think once, that when my husband went on pilgrimage, I should ever have followed.
Mercy: And you as little thought of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest, as you do now.
Christiana: And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him; and yet now I believe I shall.
Mercy: Hark! Don't you hear a noise?
Christiana: Yes; it is, as I believe, a noise of music, for joy that we are here.
Mercy: Wonderful! music in the house, music in the heart, and music also in Heaven, for joy that we are here! Thus they talked a while, and then betook themselves to sleep. So, in the morning, when they were awake, Christiana said to Mercy:
Christiana: What was the matter that you did laugh in your sleep tonight? I suppose you were in a dream.
Mercy: So I was, and a sweet dream it was; but are you sure I laughed?
Christiana: Yes; you laughed heartily; but, prithee, Mercy, tell me thy dream.
Mercy: I was a-dreamed that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning of the hardness of my heart. Now, I had not sat there long, but methought many were gathered about me, to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened, and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my heart. At this, some of them laughed at me, some called me fool, and some began to thrust me about. With that, methought I looked up, and saw one coming with wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, Mercy, what aileth thee? Now, when he had heard me make my complaint, he said 'Peace be to thee.' He also wiped mine eyes with his handkerchief, and clad me in silver and gold. He put a chain about my neck, and ear-rings in mine ears, and a beautiful crown upon my head. Then he took me by the hand, and said, Mercy, come after me. So he went up, and I followed, till we came at a golden gate. Then he knocked; and when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a throne, upon which one sat, and He said to me, Welcome, daughter. The place looked bright and twinkling, like the stars, or rather like the sun; and I thought that I saw your husband there. So I awoke from my dream. But did I laugh?
Christiana: Laugh! aye, and well you might, to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you, that I believe it was a good dream; and that, as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. 'God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed.' We need not, when a-bed, lie awake to talk with God. He can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear His voice. Our heart ofttimes wakes when we sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake.
Mercy: Well, I am glad of my dream; for I hope, ere long, to see it fulfilled, to the making me laugh again.
Christiana: I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do.
Mercy: Pray, if they invite us to stay awhile, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the willinger to stay awhile here, to grow better acquainted with these maids. Methinks Prudence, Piety, and Charity have very comely and sober countenances.
Christiana: We shall see what they will do. So when they were up and ready, they came down, and they asked one another of their rest, and if it were comfortable, or not.
Mercy: Very good, said Mercy; it was one of the best night's lodging that ever I had in my life.
Then said Prudence and Piety, If you will be persuaded to stay here awhile, you shall have what the house will afford.
Charity: Aye, and that with a very good will, said Charity. So they consented and staid there about a month, or above, and became very profitable one to another. And because Prudence would see how Christiana had brought up her children, she asked leave of her to catechise them. So she gave her free consent. Then she began at the youngest, whose name was James.
Prudence: And she said, Come, James, canst thou tell me who made thee?
James: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
Prudence: Good boy. And canst thou tell me who saves thee?
James: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
Prudence: Good boy still. But how doth God the Father save thee?
James: By his grace.
Prudence: How doth God the Son save thee?
James: By His righteousness, death, and blood, and life.
Prudence: And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?
James: By His illumination, by His renovation, and by His preservation.
Then said Prudence to Christiana, You are to be commended for thus bringing up your children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the next youngest.
Prudence: Then she said, Come, Joseph (for his name was Joseph), will you let me catechise you?
Joseph: With all my heart.
Prudence: What is man?
Joseph: A reasonable creature, so made by God, as my brother said.
Prudence: What is supposed by this word 'saved'?
Joseph: That man, by sin, has brought himself into a state of captivity and misery.
Prudence: What is supposed by his being saved by the Trinity?
Joseph: That sin is so great and mighty a tyrant, that none can pull us out of its clutches, but God; and that God is so good and loving to man, as to pull him indeed out of this miserable state.
Prudence: What is God's design in saving, of poor men?
Joseph: The glorifying of His name, of His grace, and justice, &c., and the everlasting happiness of His creature.
Prudence: Who are they that must be saved?
Joseph: Those that accept of His salvation.
Prudence: Good boy, Joseph; thy mother has taught thee well, and thou hast hearkened to what she hath said unto thee. Then said Prudence to Samuel, who was the eldest but one,
Prudence: Come, Samuel, are you willing that I should catechise you also?
Samuel: Yes, forsooth, if you please.
Prudence: What is Heaven?
Samuel: A place and state most blessed, because God dwelleth there.
Prudence: What is hell?
Samuel: A place and state most woeful, because it is the dwelling-place of sin, the devil, and death.
Prudence: Why wouldest thou go to Heaven?
Samuel: That I may see God, and serve Him without weariness; that I may see Christ, and love Him everlastingly; that I may have that fullness of the Holy Spirit in me that I can by no means here enjoy.
Prudence: A very good boy also, and one that has learned well. Then she addressed herself to the eldest, whose name was Matthew; and she said to him, Come, Matthew, shall I also catechise you?
Matthew: With a very good will.
Prudence: I ask, then, if there were ever anything that had a being antecedent to, or before God?
Matthew: No; for God is eternal; nor is there anything excepting Himself, that had a being until the beginning of the first day. 'For in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.'
Prudence: What do you think of the Bible?
Matthew: It is the holy Word of God.
Prudence: Is there nothing written therein but what you understand?
Matthew: Yes. A great deal.
Prudence: What do you do when you meet with such places therein that you do not understand?
Matthew: I think God is wiser than I. I pray also that He will please to let me know all therein that He knows will be for my good.
Prudence: How believe you, as touching the resurrection of the dead?
Matthew: I believe they shall rise, the same that was buried; the same in nature, though not in corruption. And I believe this upon a double account: First, because God has promised it secondly, because He is able to perform it.
Then said Prudence to the boys, You must still hearken to your mother, for she can learn you more. You must also diligently give ear to what good talk you shall hear from others; for, for your sakes do they speak good things. Observe, also, and that with carefulness, what the heavens and the earth do teach you; but especially be much in the meditation of that Book that was the cause of your father's becoming a pilgrim. I, for my part, my children, will teach you what I can while you are here, and shall be glad if you will ask me questions that tend to godly edifying. Now, by that these Pilgrims had been at this place a week, Mercy had a visitor that pretended some goodwill unto her, and his name was Mr. Brisk, a man of some breeding, and that pretended to religion; but a man that stuck very close to the world. So he came once or twice, or more, to Mercy, and offered love unto her. Now Mercy was of a fair countenance, and therefore the more alluring. Her mind also was, to be always busying of herself in doing; for when she had nothing to do for herself, she would be making of hose and garments for others, and would bestow them upon them that had need. And Mr. Brisk, not knowing where or how she disposed of what she made, seemed to be greatly taken, for that he found her never idle. I will warrant her a good housewife, quoth he to himself.
Mercy then revealed the business to the maidens that were of the house, and inquired of them concerning him, for they did know him better than she. So they told her, that he was a very busy young man, and one that pretended to religion; but was, as they feared, a stranger to the power of that which was good. Nay then, said Mercy, I will look no more on him; for I purpose never to have a clog to my soul.
Prudence then replied that there needed no great matter of discouragement to be given to him, her continuing so as she had begun to do for the poor, would quickly cool his courage. So the next time he comes, he finds her at her old work, a-making of things for the poor. Then said he, What! always at it? Yes, said she, either for myself or for others. And what canst thou earn a day? quoth he. I do these things, said she, 'that I may he rich in good works, laying up in store a good foundation against the time to come, that I may lay hold on eternal life.' Why, prithee, what dost thou with them? said he. Clothe the naked, said she. With that his countenance fell. So he forbore to come at her again; and when he was asked the reason why, he said, that Mercy was a pretty lass, but troubled with ill conditions. When he had left her, Prudence said, Did I not tell thee, that Mr. Brisk would soon forsake thee? yea, he will raise up an ill report of thee; for, notwithstanding his pretence to religion, and his seeming love to Mercy, yet Mercy and he are of tempers so different, that I believe they will never come together.
Mercy: I might have had husbands afore now, though I spake not of it to any; but they were such as did not like my conditions, though never did any of them find fault with my person. So they and I could not agree.
Prudence: Mercy in our days is little set by, any further than as to its name; the practice, which is set forth by thy conditions, there are but few that can abide.
Mercy: Well, said Mercy, if nobody will have me, I will die a maid, or my conditions shall be to me as a husband. For I cannot change my nature; and to have one that lies cross to me in this, that I purpose never to admit of as long as I live. I had a sister named Bountiful, that was married to one of these churls; but he and she could never agree; but because my sister was resolved to do as she had begun, that is, to show kindness to the poor, therefore her husband first cried her down at the cross, and then turned her out of his doors.
Prudence: And yet he was a professor, I warrant you.
Mercy: Yes, such a one as he was, and of such as he, the world is now full; but I am for none of them all.
Now Matthew, the eldest son of Christiana, fell sick, and his sickness was sore upon him, for he was much pained in his bowels, so that he was with it, at times, pulled as it were both ends together. There dwelt also not far from thence, one Mr. Skill, an ancient and well approved physician. So Christiana desired it, and they sent for him, and he came. When he was entered the room, and had a little observed the boy, he concluded that he was sick of the gripes. Then he said to his mother, What diet has Matthew of late fed upon? Diet, said Christiana, nothing but that which is wholesome. The physician answered, This boy has been tampering with something that lies in his maw undigested, and that will not away without means. And I tell you, he must he purged, or else he will die.
Samuel: Then said Samuel, Mother, mother, what was that which my brother did gather up and eat, so soon as we were come from the gate that is at the head of this way? You know that there was an orchard on the left hand, on the other side of the wall, and some of the trees hung over the wall, and my brother did plash and did eat.
Christiana: True, my child, said Christiana, he did take thereof, and did eat; naughty boy as he was, I did chide him, and yet he would eat thereof.
Mr. Skill: I knew he had eaten something that was not wholesome food; and that food, to wit, that fruit, is even the most hurtful of all. It is the fruit of Beelzebub's orchard. I do marvel that none did warn you of it; many have died thereof.
Christiana: Then Christiana began to cry; and she said, O naughty boy! and O careless mother! What shall I do for my son!
Mr. Skill: Come, do not be too much dejected; the boy may do well again, but he must purge and vomit.
Christiana: Pray, Sir, try the utmost of your skill with him, whatever it costs.
Mr. Skill: Nay, I hope I shall be reasonable. So he made him a purge, but it was too weak; it was said, it was made of the blood of a goat, the ashes of a heifer, and with some of the juice of hyssop, &c. When Mr. Skill had seen that that purge was too weak, he made him one to the purpose; it was made excarne et sanguine Christi. (You know physicians give strange medicines to their patients). And it was made up into pills, with a promise or two, and a proportionable quantity of salt. Now he was to take them three at a time fasting, in half a quarter of a pint of the tears of repentance. When this potion was prepared, and brought to the boy, he was loath to take it, though torn with the gripes, as if he should be pulled in pieces. Come, come, said the physician, you must take it. It goes against my stomach, said the boy. I must have you take it, said his mother. I shall vomit it up again, said the boy. Pray, Sir, said Christiana to Mr. Skill, how does it taste? It has no ill taste, said the doctor; and with that she touched one of the pills with the tip of her tongue. Oh, Matthew, said she, this potion is sweeter than honey. If thou lovest thy mother, if thou lovest thy brothers, if thou lovest Mercy, if thou lovest thy life, take it. So with much ado, after a short prayer for the blessing of God upon it, he took it, and it wrought kindly with him. It caused him to purge, it caused him to sleep, and rest quietly; it put him into a fine heat and breathing sweat, and did quite rid him of his gripes. So in little time he got up, and walked about with a staff, and would go from room to room, and talk with Prudence, Piety, and Charity, of his distemper, and how he was healed.
So when the boy was healed, Christiana asked Mr. Skill, saying, Sir, what will content you for your pains and care to, and of my child? And he said, You must pay the Master of the College of Physicians, according to rules made in that case and provided.
Christiana: But, Sir, said she, what is this pill good for else?
Mr. Skill: It is an universal pill; it is good against all the diseases that Pilgrims are incident to; and when it is well prepared, it will keep good, time out of mind.
Christiana: Pray, Sir, make me up twelve boxes of them; for if I can get these, I will never take other physic.
Mr. Skill: These pills are good to prevent diseases, as well as to cure when one is sick. Yea, I dare say it, and stand to it, that if a man will but use this physic as he should, it will make him live forever. But, good Christiana, thou must give these pills no other way but as I have prescribed; for, if you do, they will do no good. So he gave unto Christiana physic for herself, and her boys, and for Mercy; and bid Matthew take heed how he eat any more green plums, and kissed them, and went his way.
It was told you before, that Prudence bid the boys, that if at any time they would, they should ask her some questions that might be profitable, and she would say something to them.
Matthew: Then Matthew, who had been sick, asked her, Why, for the most part, physic should he bitter to our palates.
Prudence: To show how unwelcome the Word of God, and the effects thereof, are to a carnal heart.
Matthew: Why does physic, if it does good, purge, and cause that we vomit?
Prudence: To show that the Word, when it works effectually, cleanseth the heart and mind. For look, what the one doth to the body, the other doth to the soul.
Matthew: What should we learn by seeing the flame of our fire go upwards? and by seeing the beams and sweet influences of the sun strike downwards?
Prudence: By the going up of the fire we are taught to ascend to Heaven, by fervent and hot desires. And by the sun's sending his heat, beams, and sweet influences downwards, we are taught that the Saviour of the world, though high, reacheth down with His grace and love to us below.
Matthew: Where have the clouds their water?
Prudence: Out of the sea.
Matthew: What may we learn from that?
Prudence: That ministers should fetch their doctrine from God.
Matthew: Why do they empty themselves upon the earth?
Prudence: To show that ministers should give out what they know of God to the world.
Matthew: Why is the rainbow caused by the sun?
Prudence: To show that the covenant of God's grace is confirmed to us in Christ.
Matthew: Why do the springs come from the sea to us, through the earth?
Prudence: To show that the grace of God comes to us through the body of Christ.
Matthew: Why do some of the springs rise out of the tops of high hills?
Prudence: To show that the spirit of grace shall spring up in some that are great and mighty, as well as in many that are poor and low.
Matthew: Why doth the fire fasten upon the candlewick?
Prudence: To show, that unless grace doth kindle upon the heart there will be no true light of life in us.
Matthew: Why is the wick and tallow, and all, spent to maintain the light of the candle?
Prudence: To show that body and soul, and all, should be at the service of, and spend themselves to maintain, in good condition, that grace of God that is in us.
Matthew: Why doth the pelican pierce her own breast with her bill?
Prudence: To nourish her young ones with her blood, and thereby to show that Christ the blessed so loveth His young, His people, as to save them from death by His blood.
Matthew: What may one learn by hearing the cock crow?
Prudence: Learn to remember Peter's sin, and Peter's repentance. The cock's crowing shows also that day is coming on; let then the crowing of the cock put thee in mind of that last and terrible day of judgment.
Now, about this time their month was out; wherefore they signified to those of the house that it was convenient for them to up and be going. Then said Joseph to his mother, It is convenient that you forget not to send to the house of Mr. Interpreter, to pray him to grant that Mr. Great-heart should be sent unto us, that he may be our conductor the rest of our way. Good boy, said she, I had almost forgot. So she drew up a petition, and prayed Mr. Watchful, the Porter, to send it by some fit man, to her good friend Mr. Interpreter; who, when it was come, and He had seen the contents of the petition, said to the messenger, Go tell them that I will send him.
When the family where Christiana was, saw that they had a purpose to go forward, they called the whole house together, to give thanks to their King for sending of them such profitable guests as these. Which done, they said to Christiana, And shall we not show thee something, according as our custom is to do to pilgrims, on which thou mayest meditate when thou art upon the way? So they took Christiana, her children, and Mercy, into the closet, and showed them one of the apples that Eve did eat of, and that she also did give to her husband, and that for the eating, of which they both were turned out of Paradise; and asked her what she thought that was? Then Christiana said, It is food or poison, I know not which. So they opened the matter to her, and she held up her hands and wondered.
Then they had her to a place, and showed her Jacob's ladder. Now at that time there were some angels ascending upon it. So Christiana looked, and looked, to see the angels go up; and so did the rest of the company. Then they were going into another place, to show them something else; but James said to his mother, Pray, bid them stay here a little longer, for this is a curious sight. So they turned again, and stood feeding their eyes with this so pleasant a prospect. After this, they had them into a place where did hang up a golden anchor, so they bid Christiana take it down; for, said they, you shall have it with you, for it is of absolute necessity that you should, that you may lay hold of that within the veil, and stand steadfast, in case you should meet with turbulent weather; so they were glad thereof. Then they took them, and had them to the mount upon which Abraham our father had offered up Isaac his son, and showed them the altar, the wood, the fire, and the knife, for they remain to be seen to this very day. When they had seen it, they held up their hands and blessed themselves, and said, O what a man for love to his Master, and for denial to himself, was Abraham! After they had showed them all these things, Prudence took them into the dining-room, where stood a pair of excellent virginals; so she played upon them, and turned what she had showed them into this excellent song, saying--
Eve's apple we have showed you,
Of that be you aware;
You have seen Jacob's ladder, too,
Upon which angels are.
An anchor you received have;
But let not these suffice,
Until, with Abr'am, you have gave
Your best a sacrifice.
Now, about this time, one knocked at the door; so the Porter opened, and behold Mr. Great-heart was there; but when he was come in, what joy was there! For it came now fresh again into their minds, how but a while ago he had slain old Grim Bloody-man the giant, and had delivered them from the lions.
Then said Mr. Great-heart to Christiana, and to Mercy, My Lord hath sent each of you a bottle of wine, and also some parched corn, together with a couple of pomegranates; He has also sent the boys some figs and raisins, to refresh you in your way.
Then they addressed themselves to their journey; and Prudence and Piety went along with them. When they came at the gate, Christiana asked the Porter if any of late went by? He said, No; only one some time since, who also told me, that of late there had been a great robbery committed on the King's highway, as you go; but, he said, the thieves are taken, and will shortly he tried for their lives. Then Christiana and Mercy were afraid; but Matthew said, Mother, fear nothing, as long as Mr. Great-heart is to go with us, and to be our conductor.
Then said Christiana to the Porter, Sir, I am much obliged to you for all the kindnesses that you have showed me since I came hither; and also for that you have been so loving and kind to my children; I know not how to gratify your kindness. Wherefore, pray, as a token of my respects to you, accept of this small mite; so she put a gold angel in his hand, and he made her a low obeisance, and said, Let thy garments be always white, and let thy head want no ointment. Let Mercy live, and not die, and let not her works be few. And to the boys he said, Do you fly youthful lusts, and follow after godliness with them that are grave and wise; so shall you put gladness into your mother's heart, and obtain praise of all that are sober-minded. So they thanked the Porter, and departed.
Now I saw in my dream, that they went forward until they were come to the brow of the hill, where Piety, bethinking herself, cried out, Alas! I have forgot what I intended to bestow upon Christiana and her companions; I will go back and fetch it. So she ran and fetched it. While she was gone, Christiana thought she heard in a grove, a little way off, on the right hand, a most curious melodious note, with words much like these--
Through all my life Thy favour is
So frankly show'd to me,
That in Thy house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
And, listening still, she thought she heard another answer it, saying--
For why? The Lord our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
So Christiana asked Prudence what it was that made those curious notes? They are, said she, our country birds; they sing these notes but seldom, except it be at the spring, when the flowers appear, and the sun shines warm, and then you may hear them all day long. I often, said she, go out to hear them; we also ofttimes keep them tame in our house. They are very fine company for us when we are melancholy; also they make the woods, and groves, and solitary places, places desirous to be in.
By this time Piety was come again; so she said to Christiana, Look here, I have brought thee a scheme of all those things that thou hast seen at our house, upon which thou mayest look when thou findest thyself forgetful, and call those things again to remembrance for thy edification and comfort.
Now they began to go down the hill into the Valley of Humiliation. It was a steep hill, and the way was slippery; but they were very careful, so they got down pretty well. When they were down in the Valley, Piety said to Christiana, This is the place where Christian your husband met with the foul fiend Apollyon, and where they had that dreadful fight that they had; I know you cannot but have heard thereof, But be of good courage, as long as you have here Mr. Great-heart to be your guide and conductor, we hope you will fare the better. So when these two had committed the Pilgrims unto the conduct of their guide, he went forward, and they went after.
Great-Heart: Then said Mr. Great-heart, We need not to be so afraid of this Valley, for here is nothing to hurt us, unless we procure it to ourselves. It is true, Christian did here meet with Apollyon, with whom he also had a sore combat; but that fray was the fruit of those slips that he got in his going down the hill; for they that get slips there, must look for combats here. And hence it is, that this Valley has got so hard a name. For the common people, when they hear that some frightful thing has befallen such a one in such a place, are of an opinion, that that place is haunted with some foul fiend, or evil spirit; when, alas! it is for the fruit of their doing, that such things do befall them there.
This Valley of Humiliation is of itself as fruitful a place, as any the crow flies over; Christian was and I am persuaded, if we could hit upon it, we might find somewhere hereabouts, something that might give us an account why Christian was so hardly beset in this place.
Then James said to his mother, Lo, yonder stands a pillar, and it looks as if something was written thereon; let us go and see what it is. So they went, and found there written, 'Let Christian's slips, before he came hither, and the battles that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after.' Lo, said their guide, did not I tell you, that there was something hereabouts, that would give intimation of the reason why Christian was so hard beset in this place? Then, turning himself to Christiana, he said, No disparagement to Christian, more than to many others, whose hap and lot his was; for it is easier going up, than down this hill, and that can he said but of few hills in all these parts of the world. But we will leave the good man, he is at rest, he also had a brave victory over his enemy; let Him grant that dwelleth above, that we fare no worse, when we come to be tried, than he.
But we will come again to this Valley of Humiliation. It is the best and most useful brave piece of ground in all those parts. It is fat ground, and, as you see, consisteth much in meadows; and if a man were to come here in the summer-time, as we do now, if he knew not anything before, thereof, and if he also delighted himself in the sight of his eyes, he might see that that would be delightful to him. Behold how green this Valley is, also how beautified with lilies. I have also known many labouring men that have got good estates in this Valley of Humiliation 'for God resisteth the proud, but gives grace unto the humble,' for indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handfuls. Some also have wished, that the next way to their Father's house were here, that they might be troubled no more with either hills or mountains to go over; but the way is the way, and there is an end.
Now, as they were going along and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father's sheep. The boy was in very mean clothes, but of a very fresh and well-favoured countenance; and as he sat by himself, he sang. Hark, said Mr. Great-heart, to what the shepherd's boy saith. So they hearkened, and he said--
He that is down needs fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble, ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it, or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because Thou savest such.
Fullness to such a burden is,
That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from age to age.
Then said the guide, Do you hear him? I will dare to say, that this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of that herb called heart's-ease in his bosom, than he that is clad in silk and velvet; but we will proceed in our discourse.
In this Valley our Lord formerly had His country house; He loved much to be here; He loved also to walk these meadows, for He found the air was pleasant. Besides, here a man shall be free from the noise, and from the hurryings of this life. All states are full of noise and confusion, only the Valley of Humiliation is that empty and solitary place. Here a man shall not be so let and hindered in his contemplation, as in other places he is apt to be. This is a Valley that nobody walks in, but those that love a pilgrim's life. And though Christian had the hard hap to meet here with Apollyon, and to enter with him a brisk encounter, yet I must tell you, that in former times men have met with angels here, have found pearls here, and have in this place found the words of life.
Did I say, our Lord had here in former days his country-house, and that He loved here to walk? I will add, in this place, and to the people that live, and trace these grounds, He has left a yearly revenue, to be faithfully paid them at certain seasons, for their maintenance by the way, and for their further encouragement to go on in their pilgrimage.
Samuel: Now, as they went on, Samuel said to Mr. Great-heart;
Sir, I perceive that in this Valley my father and Apollyon had
their battle; but whereabout was the fight? for I perceive this
Valley is large.
Great-Heart: Your father had that battle with Apollyon, at a place yonder, before us, in a narrow passage, just beyond Forgetful Green. And indeed, that place is the most dangerous place in all these parts. For if at any time the pilgrims meet with any brunt, it is when they forget what favours they have received, and how unworthy they are of them. This is the place also, where others have been hard put to it; but more of the place when we are come to it; for I persuade myself, that to this day there remains either some sign of the battle, or some monument to testify that such a battle there was fought.
Mercy: Then said Mercy, I think I am as well in this Valley, as I have been anywhere else in all our journey; the place, methinks, suits with my spirit. I love to be in such places where there is no rattling with coaches, nor rumbling with wheels; methinks, here one may, without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the King has called him; here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one's spirit, until one's eyes become like 'the fish-pools of Heshbon.' They that go rightly through this Valley of Baca, make it a well, the rain that God sends down from Heaven upon them that are here, also filleth the pools. This Valley is that from whence also the King will give to His their vineyards; and they that go through it, shall sing, as Christian did, for all he met with Apollyon.
Great-Heart: It is true, said their guide, I have gone through this Valley many a time, and never was better than when here. I have also been a conductor to several pilgrims, and they have confessed the same. 'To this man will I look (saith the King), even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word.'
Now they were come to the place where the afore-mentioned battle was fought. Then said the guide to Christiana, her children, and Mercy, This is the place, on this ground Christian stood, and up there came Apollyon against him. And look, did not I tell you? here is some of your husband's blood upon these stones to this day; behold, also, how here and there are yet to be seen upon the place, some of the shivers of Apollyon's broken darts; see also, how they did beat the ground with their feet as they fought, to make good their places against each other; how also, with their by-blows, they did split the very stones in pieces. Verily, Christian did here play the man, and showed himself as stout, as could, had he been there, even Hercules himself. When Apollyon was beat, he made his retreat to the next Valley, that is called, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, unto which we shall come anon.
Lo, yonder also stands a monument, on which is engraven this battle, and Christian's victory, to his fame throughout all ages. So, because it stood just on the wayside before them, they stepped to it, and read the writing, which word for word was this--
Hard by, here was a battle fought,
Most strange, and yet most true;
Christian and Apollyon sought
Each other to subdue.
The man so bravely play'd the man,
He made the fiend to fly;
Of which a monument I stand,
The same to testify.
When they had passed by this place, they came upon the borders of the Shadow of Death; and this Valley was longer than the other; a place, also, most strangely haunted with evil things, as many are able to testify; but these women and children went the better through it, because they had daylight, and because Mr. Great-heart was their conductor.
When they were entered upon this Valley, they thought that they heard a groaning, as of dead men, a very great groaning. They thought, also, they did hear words of lamentation spoken, as of some in extreme torment. These things made the boys to quake, the women also looked pale and wan; but their guide bid them be of good comfort.
So they went on a little further, and they thought that they felt the ground begin to shake under them, as if some hollow place was there; they heard also a kind of a hissing, as of serpents, but nothing as yet appeared. Then said the boys, Are we not yet at the end of this doleful place? But the guide also bid them be of good courage, and look well to their feet, lest haply, said he, you be taken in some snare.
Now James began to be sick, but I think the cause thereof was fear; so his mother gave him some of that glass of spirits that she had given her at the Interpreter's house, and three of the pills that Mr. Skill had prepared, and the boy began to revive. Thus they went on, till they came to about the middle of the Valley, and then Christiana said, Methinks I see something yonder upon the road before us, a thing of such a shape such as I have not seen. Then said Joseph, Mother, what is it? An ugly thing, child; an ugly thing, said she. But, mother, what is it like? said he. It is like I cannot tell what, said she. And now it was but a little way off; then said she, It is nigh.
Well, well, said Mr. Great-heart, Let them that are most afraid, keep close to me. So the fiend came on, and the conductor met it; but when it was just come to him, it vanished to all their sights. Then remembered they what had been said some time ago, 'Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.'
They went therefore on, as being a little refreshed; but they had not gone far, before Mercy, looking behind her, saw, as she thought, something most like a lion, and it came a great padding pace after; and it had a hollow voice of roaring; and at every roar that it gave, it made all the Valley echo, and their hearts to ache, save the heart of him that was their guide. So it came up; and Mr. Great-heart went behind, and put the Pilgrims all before him. The lion also came on apace, and Mr. Great-heart addressed himself to give him battle. But when he saw that it was determined that resistance should be made, he also drew back, and came no further.
Then they went on again, and their conductor did go before them, till they came at a place where was cast up a pit the whole breadth of the way; and, before they could be prepared to go over that, a great mist and darkness fell upon them, so that they could not see. Then said the Pilgrims, Alas! now what shall we do? But their guide made answer, Fear not, stand still, and see what an end will be put to this also. So they staid there, because their path was marred. They then also thought that they did hear more apparently the noise and rushing of the enemies; the fire, also, and the smoke of the pit, was much easier to be discerned. Then said Christiana to Mercy, Now I see what my poor husband went through; I have heard much of this place, but I never was here before now. Poor man, he went here all alone in the night; he had night almost quite through the way; also, these fiends were busy about him, as if they would have torn him in pieces. Many have spoke of it, but none can tell what the Valley of the Shadow of Death should mean, until they come in it themselves. 'The heart knows its own bitterness; and a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy.' To be here is a fearful thing.
Great-Heart: This is like doing business in great waters, or like going down into the deep; this is like being in the heart of the sea, and like going down to the bottoms of the mountains; now it seems as if the earth, with its bars, were about us forever. But let them that walk in darkness, and have no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon their God. For my part, as I have told you already, I have gone often through this Valley, and have been much harder put to it than now I am, and yet you see I am alive. I would not boast, for that I am not mine own saviour; but I trust we shall have a good deliverance. Come, let us pray for light to Him that can lighten our darkness, and that can rebuke not only these, but all the Satans in hell.
So they cried and prayed, and God sent light and deliverance, for there was now no let in their way; no not there, where but now they were stopped with a pit. Yet they were not got through the Valley; so they went on still, and behold great stinks and loathsome smells, to the great annoyance of them. Then said Mercy to Christiana, There is not such pleasant being here, as at the gate, or at the Interpreter's, or at the house where we lay last.
O but, said one of the boys, it is not so bad to go through here, as it is to abide here always; and for aught I know, one reason why we must go this way to the house prepared for us, is, that our home might be made the sweeter to us.
Well said, Samuel, quoth the guide, thou hast now spoke like a man. Why, if ever I get out here again said the boy, I think I shall prize light and good way better than ever I did in all my life. Then said the guide, We shall he out by and by.
So on they went, and Joseph said, Cannot we see to the end of this Valley as yet? Then said the guide, Look to your feet, for you shall presently be among the snares. So they looked to their feet, and went on; but they were troubled much with the snares. Now, when they were come among the snares, they espied a man cast into the ditch on the left hand, with his flesh all rent and torn. Then said the guide, That is one Heedless, that was agoing this way; he has lain there a great while. There was one Take-heed with him, when he was taken and slain; but he escaped their hands. You cannot imagine how many are killed hereabout, and yet men are so foolishly venturous, as to set out lightly on pilgrimage, and to come without a guide. Poor Christian! it was a wonder that he here escaped; but he was beloved of his God: also, he had a good heart of his own, or else he could never have done it. Now they drew towards the end of the way; and just there where Christian had seen the cave when he went by, out thence came forth Maul, a giant. This Maul did use to spoil young pilgrims with sophistry; and he called Great-heart by his name, and said unto him, How many times have you been forbidden to do these things? Then said Mr. Great-heart, What things? What things? quoth the giant; you know what things; but I will put an end to your trade. But pray, said Mr. Great-heart, before we fall to it, let us understand wherefore we must fight. Now the women and children stood trembling, and knew not what to do. Quoth the giant, You rob the country, and rob it with the worst of thefts. These are but generals, said Mr. Great-heart; come to particulars, man. Then said the giant, Thou practisest the craft of a kidnapper; thou gatherest up women and children, and carriest them into a strange country, to the weakening of my master's kingdom. But now Great-heart replied, I am a servant of the God of Heaven; my business is to persuade sinners to repentance; I am commanded to do my endeavour to turn men, women, and children, 'from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God': and if this be indeed the ground of thy quarrel, let us fall to it as soon as thou wilt.
Then the giant came up, and Mr. Great-heart went to meet him; and as he went, he drew his sword, but the giant had a club. So without more ado, they fell to it, and at the first blow the giant struck Mr. Great-heart down upon one of his knees; with that the women and children cried out; so Mr. Great-heart recovering himself, laid about him in full lusty manner, and gave the giant a wound in his arm; thus he fought for the space of an hour, to that height of heat, that the breath came out of the giant's nostrils, as the heat doth out of a boiling caldron.
Then they sat down to rest them, but Mr. Great-heart betook him to prayer; also the women and children did nothing but sigh and cry all the time that the battle did last.
When they had rested them, and taken breath, they both fell to it again, and Mr. Great-heart with a full blow, fetched the giant down to the ground. Nay, hold, and let me recover, quoth he; so Mr. Great-heart fairly let him get up. So to it they went again, and the giant missed but little of all-to-breaking Mr. Great-heart's skull with his club.
Mr. Great-heart seeing that, runs to him in the full heat of his spirit, and pierceth him under the fifth rib; with that the giant began to faint, and could hold up his club no longer. Then Mr. Great-heart seconded his blow, and smote the head of the giant from his shoulders. Then the women and children rejoiced, and Mr. Great-heart also praised God, for the deliverance He had wrought. When this was done, they among them erected a pillar, and fastened the giant's head thereon, and wrote underneath in letters, that passengers might read--
He that did wear this head, was one
That pilgrims did misuse;
He stopp'd their way, he spared none,
But did them all abuse;
Until that I, Great-heart, arose,
The pilgrim's guide to be;
Until that I did him oppose,
That was their enemy.
Now I saw, that they went to the ascent that was a little way off, cast up to be a prospect for pilgrims (that was the place from whence Christian had the first sight of Faithful his brother); wherefore here they sat down, and rested; they also here did eat and drink, and make merry, for that they had gotten deliverance from this so dangerous an enemy. As they sat thus, and did eat, Christiana asked the guide if he had caught no hurt in the battle. Then said Mr. Great-heart, No, save a little on my flesh; yet that also shall be so far from being to my detriment, that it is at present a proof of my love to my Master and you, and shall be a means, by grace, to increase my reward at last.
Christiana: But were you not afraid, good Sir, when you saw him come out with his club?
Great-Heart: It is my duty, said he, to distrust my own ability, that I may have reliance on Him that is stronger than all.
Christiana: But what did you think when he fetched you down to the ground at the first blow?
Great-Heart: Why, I thought, quoth he, that so my Master Himself was served, and yet He it was that conquered at the last.
Matthew: When you all have thought what you please, I think God has been wonderful good unto us, both in bringing us out of this Valley, and in delivering us out of the hand of this enemy; for my part, I see no reason, why we should distrust our God any more, since He has now, and in such a place as this, given us such testimony of His love as this.
Then they got up and went forward. Now a little before them stood an oak; and under it, when they came to it, they found an old pilgrim fast asleep; they knew that he was a pilgrim by his clothes, and his staff, and his girdle.
So the guide, Mr. Great-heart, awaked him, and the old gentleman, as he lift up his eyes, cried out, What's the matter? Who are you? and what is your business here?
Great-Heart: Come, man, be not so hot, here is none but friends; yet the old man gets up, and stands upon his guard, and will know of them what they were. Then said the guide, My name is Great-heart; I am the guide of these Pilgrims, which are going to the Celestial Country.
Mr. Honest: Then said Mr. Honest, I cry you mercy; I feared that you had been of the company of those that sometime ago did rob Little-faith of his money; but now I look better about me, I perceive you are honester people.
Great-Heart: Why, what would, or could you have done, to have helped yourself, if we indeed had been of that company. HON. Done! why I would have fought as long as breath had been in me; and had I so done, I am sure you could never have given me the worst on it; for a Christian can never be overcome, unless he should yield of himself.
Great-Heart: Well said, father Honest, quoth the guide; for by this I know thou art a cock of the right kind, for thou hast said the truth.
Mr. Honest: And by this, also, I know that thou knowest what true pilgrimage is; for all others do think that we are the soonest overcome of any.
Great-Heart: Well, now we are so happily met, pray let me crave your name, and the name of the place you came from.
Mr. Honest: My name I cannot; but I came from the town of Stupidity; it lieth about four degrees beyond the City of Destruction.
Great-Heart: Oh! are you that countryman, then? I deem I have half a guess of you; your name is Old Honesty, is it not? So the old gentleman blushed, and said, Not Honesty, in the abstract, but Honest is my name; and I wish that my nature shall agree to what I am called.
Mr. Honest: But, Sir, said the old gentleman, how could you guess that I am such a man, since I came from such a place?
Great-Heart: I had heard of you before, by my Master; for He knows all things that are done on the earth; but I have often wondered that any should come from your place, for your town is worse than is the City of Destruction itself.
Mr. Honest: Yes, we lie more off from the sun, and so are more cold and senseless; but was a man in a mountain of ice, yet if the Sun of Righteousness will arise upon him, his frozen heart shall feel a thaw; and thus it hath been with me.
Great-Heart: I believe it, father Honest, I believe it; for I know the thing is true.
Then the old gentleman saluted all the Pilgrims with a holy kiss of charity; and asked them of their names, and how they had fared since they set out on their pilgrimage.
Christiana: Then said Christiana, My name, I suppose you have heard of; good Christian was my husband, and these four were his children. But can you think how the old gentleman was taken, when she told him who she was! He skipped, he smiled, and blessed them with a thousand good wishes, saying:
Mr. Honest: I have heard much of your husband, and of his travels and wars, which he underwent in his days. Be it spoken to your comfort, the name of your husband rings over all these parts of the world: his faith, his courage, his enduring, and his sincerity under all, has made his name famous. Then he turned him to the boys, and asked them of their names, which they told him. And then said he unto them: Matthew, be thou like Matthew the publican, not in vice, but in virtue. Samuel, said he, be thou like Samuel the Prophet, a man of faith and prayer. Joseph, said he, be thou like Joseph in Potiphar's house, chaste, and one that flees from temptation. And James, be thou like James the Just, and like James the brother of our Lord. Then they told him of Mercy, and how she had left her town and her kindred to come along with Christiana and with her sons. At that the old honest man said, Mercy is thy name; by Mercy shalt thou be sustained, and carried through all those difficulties that shall assault thee in thy way, till thou shalt come thither, where thou shalt look the Fountain of Mercy in the face with comfort. All this while the guide, Mr. Great-heart, was very much pleased, and smiled upon his companion.
Now, as they walked along together, the guide asked the old gentleman, if he did not know one Mr. Fearing, that came on pilgrimage out of his parts?
Mr. Honest: Yes, very well, said he. He was a man that had the root of the matter in him; but he was one of the most troublesome pilgrims that ever I met with in all my days.
Great-Heart: I perceive you knew him; for you have given a very right character of him.
Mr. Honest: Knew him! I was a great companion of his; I was with him most an end; when he first began to think of what would come upon us hereafter, I was with him.
Great-Heart: I was his guide from my Master's house to the gates of the Celestial City.
Mr. Honest: Then you knew him to be a troublesome one.
Great-Heart: I did so, but I could very well bear it; for men of my calling are oftentimes intrusted with the conduct of such as he was.
Mr. Honest: Well then, pray let us hear a little of him, and how he managed himself under your conduct.
Great-Heart: Why, he was always afraid that he should come short of whither he had a desire to go. Everything frightened him that he heard anybody speak of, that had but the least appearance of opposition in it. I hear that he lay roaring at the Slough of Despond for about a month together; nor durst he, for all he saw several go over before him, venture, though they, many of them, offered to lend him their hand. He would not go back again neither. The Celestial City, he said, he should die if he came not to it; and yet was dejected at every difficulty, and stumbled at every straw that anybody cast in his way. Well, after he had lain at the Slough of Despond a great while, as I have told you, one sunshine morning, I do not know how, he ventured, and so got over; but when he was over, he would scarce believe it. He had, I think, a Slough of Despond in his mind; a slough that he carried everywhere with him, or else he could never have been as he was. So he came up to the gate, you know what I mean, that stands at the head of this way; and there also he stood a good while, before he would adventure to knock. When the gate was opened, he would give back, and give place to others, and say that he was not worthy. For, for all he got before some to the gate, yet many of them went in before him. There the poor man would stand, shaking and shrinking. I dare say, it would have pitied one's heart to have seen him; nor would he go back again. At last, he took the hammer that hanged on the gate in his hand, and gave a small rap or two; then One opened to him, but he shrank back as before. He that opened stepped out after him, and said, Thou trembling one, what wantest thou? With that he fell down to the ground. He that spoke to him wondered to see him so faint. So he said to him, Peace be to thee; up, for I have set open the door to thee. Come in, for thou art blessed. With that he got up, and went in trembling; and when he was in, he was ashamed to show his face. Well, after he had been entertained there a while, as you know how the manner is, he was bid go on his way, and also told the way he should take. So he came till he came to our house. But as he behaved himself at the gate, so he did His behaviour at my Master the Interpreter's door. He lay thereabout in the cold a good while, before he would adventure to call; yet he would not go back, and the nights were long and cold then. Nay, he had a note of necessity in his bosom to my Master, to receive him and grant him the comfort of His house, and also to allow him a stout and valiant conductor, because he was himself so chicken-hearted a man; and yet, for all that, he was afraid to call at the door. So he lay up and down thereabouts, till, poor man! he was almost starved. Yea, so great was his dejection, that though he saw several others, for knocking, get in, yet he was afraid to venture. At last, I think, I looked out of the window, and perceiving a man to be up and down about the door, I went out to him, and asked what he was; but, poor man! the water stood in his eyes; so I perceived what he wanted. I went, therefore, in and told it in the house, and we showed the thing to our Lord. So He sent me out again, to entreat him to come in; but, I dare say, I had hard work to do it. At last he came in; and I will say that for my Lord, He carried it wonderfully lovingly to him. There were but a few good bits at the table, but some of it was laid upon his trencher. Then he presented the note, and my Lord looked thereon, and said his desire should he granted. So, when he had been there a good while, he seemed to get some heart, and to be a little more comfortable; for my Master, you must know, is one of very tender bowels, especially to them that are afraid; wherefore He carried it so towards him, as might tend most to his encouragement. Well, when he had had a sight of the things of the place, and was ready to take his journey to go to the city, my Lord, as He did to Christian before, gave him a bottle of spirits, and some comfortable things to eat. Thus we set forward, and I went before him; but the man was but of few words, only he would sigh aloud.
When we were come to where the three fellows were hanged, he said that he doubted that that would be his end also. Only he seemed glad when he saw the Cross and the Sepulchre. There, I confess, he desired to stay a little to look, and he seemed, for a while after, to be a little cheery. When we came at the Hill Difficulty, he made no stick at that, nor did he much fear the lions; for you must know that his trouble was not about such things as those; his fear was about his acceptance at last.
I got him in at the House Beautiful, I think, before he was willing. Also, when he was in, I brought him acquainted with the damsels that were of the place; but he was ashamed to make himself much for company. He desired much to be alone, yet he always loved good talk, and often would get behind the screen to hear it. He also loved much to see ancient things, and to be pondering them in his mind. He told me afterwards that he loved to be in those two houses from which he came last, to wit, at the gate, and that of the Interpreter, but that he durst not be so bold to ask.
When we went also from the House Beautiful, he went down the hill, into the Valley of Humiliation, he went down as well as ever I saw man in my life; for he cared not how mean he was, so he might he happy at last. Yea, I think, there was a kind of a sympathy betwixt that valley and him; for I never saw him better in all his pilgrimage than when he was in that valley.
Here he would lie down, embrace the ground, and kiss the very flowers that grew in this valley. He would now be up every morning by break of day, tracing and walking to and fro in this valley.
But when he was come to the entrance of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I thought I should have lost my man; not for that he had any inclination to go back; that he always abhorred; but he was ready to die for fear. Oh! the hobgoblins will have me! the hobgoblins will have me! cried he; and I could not beat him out on it. He made such a noise, and such an outcry here, that, had they but heard him, it was enough to encourage them to come and fall upon us.
But this I took very great notice of, that this valley was as quiet while he went through it, as ever I knew it before or since. I suppose these enemies here had now a special check from our Lord, and a command not to meddle until Mr. Fearing was passed over it.
It would he too tedious to tell you of all. We will, therefore, only mention a passage or two more. When he was come at Vanity Fair, I thought he would have fought with all at the men at the fair. I feared there we should both have been knocked on the head, so hot was he against their fooleries. Upon the Enchanted Ground, he was also very wakeful. But when he was come at the river, where was no bridge, there again he was in a heavy case. Now, now, he said, he should be drowned forever, and so never see that Face with comfort that he had come so many miles to behold.
And here, also, I took notice of what was very remarkable; the water of that river was lower at this time than ever I saw it in all my life. So he went over at last, not much above wet-shod. When he was going up to the gate, I began to take his leave of him, and to wish him a good reception above. So he said, I shall, I shall. Then parted we asunder, and I saw him no more.
Mr. Honest: Then, it seems, he was well at last.
Great-Heart: Yes, yes; I never had doubt about him; he was a man of a choice spirit, only he was always kept very low, and that made his life so burdensome to himself, and so troublesome to others. He was, above many, tender of sin. He was so afraid of doing injuries to others, that he often would deny himself of that which was lawful, because he would not offend.
Mr. Honest: But what should be the reason that such a good man should be all his days so much in the dark?
Great-Heart: There are two sorts of reasons for it: One is, the wise God will have it so; some must pipe, and some must weep. Now Mr. Fearing was one that played upon this bass; he and his fellows sound the sackbut, whose notes are more doleful than the notes of other music are; though, indeed, some say the bass is the ground of music. And, for my part, I care not at all for that profession that begins not in heaviness of mind. The first string that the musician usually touches is the bass, when he intends to put all in tune. God also plays upon this string first, when he sets the soul in tune for Himself. Only here was the imperfection of Mr. Fearing, he could play upon no other music but this, till towards his latter end.
I make bold to talk thus metaphorically, for the ripening of the wits of young readers; and because, in the book of the Revelations, the saved are compared to a company of musicians that play upon their trumpets and harps, and sing their songs before the throne.
Mr. Honest: He was a very zealous man, as one may see by what relation you have given of him; difficulties, lions, or Vanity Fair, he feared not at all. It was only sin, death, and hell that was to him a terror, because he had some doubts about his interest in that celestial country.
Great-Heart: You say right. Those were the things that were his troublers, and they, as you have well observed, arose from the weakness of his mind thereabout, not from weakness of spirit as to the practical part of a pilgrim's life. I dare believe that, as the proverb is, 'he could have bit a firebrand, had it stood in his way'; but the things with which he was oppressed, no man ever yet could shake off with ease.
Christiana: Then said Christiana, This relation of Mr. Fearing has done me good. I thought nobody had been like me; but I see there was some semblance betwixt this good man and I; only we differed in two things: His troubles were so great, they break out; but mine I kept within. His, also, lay so hard upon him, they made him that he could not knock at the houses provided for entertainment; but my trouble was always such as made me knock the louder.
Mercy: If I might also speak my heart, I must say, that something of him has also dwelt in me; for I have ever been more afraid of the lake, and the loss of a place in Paradise, than I have been of the loss of other things. O, thought I, may I have the happiness to have a habitation there, it is enough, though I part with all the world to win it!
Matthew: Then said Matthew, Fear was one thing that made me think that I was far from having that within me that accompanies salvation; but if it were so with such a good man as he, why may it not also go well with me?
James: No fears, no grace, said James. Though there is not always grace where thereis the fear of hell, yet, to be sure, there is no grace where there is no fear of God.
Great-Heart: Well said, James, thou hast hit the mark; for the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; and, to be sure, they that lack the beginning, have neither middle nor end. But we will here conclude our discourse of Mr. Fearing, after we have sent after him this farewell.
Well, Master Fearing, thou didst fear
Thy God, and wast afraid
Of doing anything, while here,
That would have thee betray'd.
And didst thou fear the lake and pit?
Would others did so too!
For, as for them that want thy wit,
They do themselves undo.
Now I saw, that they still went on in their talk; for after Mr. Great-heart had made an end with Mr. Fearing, Mr. Honest began to tell them of another, but his name was Mr. Self-will. He pretended himself to be a pilgrim, said Mr. Honest; but I persuade myself he never came in at the gate that stands at the head of the way.
Great-Heart: Had you ever any talk with him about it?
Mr. Honest: Yes, more than once or twice; but he would always be like himself, self-willed. He neither cared for man, nor argument, nor yet example; what his mind prompted him to, that he would do, and nothing else could he be got to.
Great-Heart: Pray, what principles did he hold? for I suppose you can tell.
Mr. Honest: He held, that a man might follow the vices as well as the virtues of the pilgrims; and that if he did both, he should be certainly saved.
Great-Heart: How! if he had said, It is possible for the heart to be guilty of the vices, as well as to partake of the virtues of pilgrims, he could not much have been blamed; for indeed we are exempted from no vice absolutely, but on condition that we watch and strive. But this, I perceive, is not the thing; but if I understand you right, your meaning is, that he was of that opinion, that it was allowable so to be.
Mr. Honest: Aye, aye, so I mean; and so he believed and practised.
Great-Heart: But what ground had he for his so saying?
Mr. Honest: Why, he said he had the Scripture for his warrant.
Great-Heart: Prithee, Mr. Honest, present us with a few particulars.
Mr. Honest: So I will. He said, To have to do with other men's wives, had been practised by David, God's beloved; and therefore he could do it. He said, To have more women than one, was a thing that Solomon practised; and therefore he could do it. He said, That Sarah and the godly midwives of Egypt lied, and so did saved Rahab; and therefore he could do it. He said, That the disciples went at the bidding of their Master, and took away the owner's esgal; and therefore he could do so too. He said, That Jacob got the inheritance of his father in a way of guile and dissimulation; and therefore he could do so too.
Great-Heart: Highly base! indeed. And you are sure he was of this opinion?
Mr. Honest: I have heard him plead for it, bring Scripture for it, bring argument for it, &c.
Great-Heart: An opinion that is not fit to be with any allowance in the world.
Mr. Honest: You must understand me rightly. He did not say that any man might do this; but that those that had the virtues of those that did such things, might also do the same.
Great-Heart: But what more false than such a conclusion? for this is as much as to say, that because good men heretofore have sinned of infirmity, therefore he had allowance to do it of a presumptuous mind; or if, because a child by the blast of the wind, or for that it stumbled at a stone, fell down, and defiled itself in mire, therefore he might willfully lie down and wallow like a boar therein. Who could have thought that anyone could so far have been blinded by the power of lust? But what is written must be true: They 'stumble at the Word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.'
His supposing that such may have the godly men's virtues, who addict themselves to their vices, is also a delusion as strong as the other. It is just as if the dog should say, I have, or may have, the qualities of the child, because I lick up its stinking excrements. To eat up the sin of God's people, is no sign of one that is possessed with their virtues. Nor can I believe, that one that is of this opinion, can at present have faith or love in him. But I know you have made strong objections against him; prithee, what can he say for himself?
Mr. Honest: Why, he says, To do this by way of opinion, seems abundance more honest, than to do it, and yet hold contrary to it in opinion.
Great-Heart: A very wicked answer; for though to let loose the bridle to lusts, while our opinions are against such things, is bad; yet, to sin, and plead a toleration so to do, is worse. The one stumbles beholders accidentally, the other pleads them into the snare.
Mr. Honest: There are many of this man's mind, that have not this man's mouth; and that makes going on pilgrimage of so little esteem as it is.
Great-Heart: You have said the truth, and it is to be lamented; but he that feareth the King of Paradise, shall come out of them all.
Christiana: There are strange opinions in the world; I know one that said, It was time enough to repent when they come to die.
Great-Heart: Such are not over wise. That man would have been loath, might he have had a week to run twenty miles in for his life, to have deferred that journey to the last hour of that week.
Mr. Honest: You say right; and yet the generality of them, that count themselves pilgrims, do indeed do thus. I am, as you see, an old man, and have been a traveler in this road many a day; and I have taken notice of many things.
I have seen some that have set out as if they would drive all the world afore them, who yet have, in few days, died as they in the wilderness, and so never got sight of the promised land. I have seen some that have promised nothing, at first setting out to be pilgrims, and that one would have thought could not have lived a day, that have yet proved very good pilgrims.
I have seen some who have run hastily forward, that again have, after a little time, run as fast just back again.
I have seen some who have spoken very well of a pilgrim's life at first, that, after a while, have spoken as much against it. I have heard some, when they first set out for Paradise, say positively there is such a place; who when they have been almost there, have come back again, and said there is none.
I have heard some vaunt what they would do, in case they should he opposed, that have, even at a false alarm, fled faith, the pilgrim's way, and all.
Now, as they were thus in their way, there came one running to meet them, and said, Gentlemen, and you of the weaker sort, if you love life, shift for yourselves, for the robbers are before you.
Great-Heart: Then said Mr. Great-heart, They be the three that set upon Little-faith heretofore. Well, said he, we are ready for them; so they went on their way. Now, they looked at every turning, when they should have met with the villains; but whether they heard of Mr. Great-heart, or whether they had some other game, they came not up to the Pilgrims.
Christiana then wished for an inn for herself and her children, because they were weary. Then said Mr. Honest, There is one a little before us, where a very honourable disciple, one Gaius, dwells. So they all concluded to turn in thither, and the rather, because the old gentleman gave him so good a report. So when they came to the door, they went in, not knocking, for folks use not to knock at the door of an inn. Then they called for the master of the house, and he came to them. So they asked if they might lie there that night.
Gaius: Yes, gentlemen, if ye be true men, for my house is for none but pilgrims. Then was Christiana, Mercy, and the boys, the more glad, for that the Inn-keeper was a lover of pilgrims. So they called for rooms, and he showed them one for Christiana and her children, and Mercy, and another for Mr. Great-heart and the old gentleman.
Great-Heart: Then said Mr. Great-heart, Good Gaius, what hast thou for supper? for these pilgrims have come far today, and are weary.
Gaius: It is late, said Gaius, so we cannot conveniently go out to seek food; but such as we have, you shall be welcome to, if that will content.
Great-Heart: We will be content with what thou hast in the house; forasmuch as I have proved thee, thou art never destitute of that which is convenient.
Then he went down and spake to the cook, whose name was Taste-that-which-is-good, to get ready supper for so many pilgrims. This done, he comes up again, saying, Come, my good friends, you are welcome to me, and I am glad that I have a house to entertain you; and while supper is making ready, if you please, let us entertain one another with some good discourse. So they all said, Content.
Gaius: Then said Gaius, Whose wife is this aged matron? and whose daughter is this young damsel.
Great-Heart: The woman is the wife of one Christian, a Pilgrim of former times; and these are his four children. The maid is one of her acquaintance; one that she hath persuaded to come with her on pilgrimage. The boys take all after their father, and covet to tread in his steps; yea, if they do but see any place where the old Pilgrim hath lain, or any print of his foot, it ministereth joy to their hearts, and they covet to lie or tread in the same.
Gaius: Then said Gaius, Is this Christian's wife? and are these Christian's children? I knew your husband's father, yea, also his father's father. Many have been good of this stock; their ancestors dwelt first at Antioch. Christian's progenitors (I suppose you have heard your husband talk of them) were very worthy men. They have, above any that I know, showed themselves men of great virtue and courage, for the Lord of the Pilgrims, His ways, and them that loved Him. I have heard of many of your husband's relations, that have stood all trials for the sake of the truth. Stephen, that was one of the first of the family from whence your husband sprang, was knocked on the head with stones. James, another of this generation, was slain with the edge of the sword. To say nothing of Paul and Peter, men anciently of the family from whence your husband came, there was Ignatius, who was cast to the lions; Romanus, whose flesh was cut by pieces from his bones, and Polycarp, that played the man in the fire. There was he that was hanged up in a basket in the sun, for the wasps to eat; and he who they put into a sack, and cast him into the sea to be drowned. It would be utterly impossible to count up all of that family that have suffered injuries and death, for the love of a pilgrim's life. Nor can I but be glad, to see that thy husband has left behind him four such boys as these. I hope they will bear up their father's name, and tread in their father's steps, and come to their father's end.
Great-Heart: Indeed, Sir, they are likely lads; they seem to choose heartily their father's ways.
Gaius: That is it that I said; wherefore Christian's family is like still to spread abroad upon the face of the ground, and yet to be numerous upon the face of the earth; wherefore, let Christiana look out some damsels for her sons, to whom they may be betrothed, &c., that the name of their father and the house of his progenitors may never be forgotten in the world.
Mr. Honest: It is pity this family should fall and be extinct.
Gaius: Fall it cannot, but be diminished it may; but let Christiana take my advice, and that is the way to uphold it.
And, Christiana, said this Innkeeper, I am glad to see thee and thy friend Mercy together here, a lovely couple. And may I advise, take Mercy into a nearer relation to thee; if she will, let her be given to Matthew, thy eldest son; it is the way to preserve you a posterity in the earth. So this match was concluded, and in process of time they were married; but more of that hereafter.
Gaius also proceeded, and said, I will now speak on the behalf of women, to take away their reproach. For as death and the curse came into the world by a woman, so also did life and health: 'God sent forth His Son made of a woman.' Yea, to show how much those that came after, did abhor the act of the mother, this esgal, in the Old Testament, coveted children, if happily this or that woman might be the mother of the Saviour of the world.
I will say again, that when the Saviour was come, women rejoiced in Him before either man or angel. I read not, that ever any man did give unto Christ so much as one groat; but the women followed Him, and ministered to Him of their substance. It was a woman that washed His feet with tears, and a woman that anointed His body to the burial. They were women that wept, when He was going to the Cross, and women that followed Him from the Cross, and that sat by His sepulchre, when he was buried. They were women that were first with Him at His resurrection-morn; and women that brought tidings first to His disciples, that He was risen from the dead. Women, therefore, are highly favoured, and show by these things that they are sharers with us in the grace of life.
Now the cook sent up to signify that supper was almost ready, and sent one to lay the cloth, the trenchers, and to set the salt and bread in order.
Then said Matthew, The sight of this cloth, and of this fore-runner of the supper, begetteth in me a greater appetite to my food than I had before.
Gaius: So let all ministering doctrines to thee, in this life, beget in thee a greater desire to sit at the supper of the great King in His kingdom; for all preaching, books, and ordinances here, are but as the laying of the trenchers, and as setting of salt upon the board, when compared with the feast that our Lord will make for us when we come to His house.
So supper came up; and first, a heave-shoulder, and a wave-breast, were set on the table before them, to show that they must begin their meal with prayer and praise to God . The heave-shoulder, David lifted his heart up to God with; and with the wave-breast, where his heart lay, with that he used to lean upon his harp when he played. These two dishes were very fresh and good, and they all eat heartily well thereof.
The next they brought up, was a bottle of wine, red as blood. So Gaius said to them, Drink freely; this is the juice of the true vine, that makes glad the heart of God and man. So they drank and were merry.
The next was a dish of milk well crumbed; but Gaius said, Let the boys have that, that they may grow thereby. Then they brought up in course a dish of butter and honey. Then said Gaius, Eat freely of this; for this is good to cheer up, and strengthen your judgments and understandings. This was our Lord's dish when He was a child: 'Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.'
Then they brought them up a dish of apples, and they were very good tasted fruit. Then said Matthew, May we eat apples, since they were such, by, and with which, the serpent beguiled our first mother?
Then said Gaius--
Apples were they with which we were beguil'd
Yet sin, not apples, hath our souls defil'd.
Apples forbid, if eat, corrupt the blood;
To eat such, when commanded, does us good.
Drink of His flagons, then, thou church, His dove,
And eat His apples, who are sick of love.
Then said Matthew, I made the scruple, because I awhile since was sick with eating of fruit.
Gaius: Forbidden fruit will make you sick but not what our Lord has tolerated.
While they were thus talking, they were presented with another dish, and it was a dish of nuts. Then said some at the table, Nuts spoil tender teeth, especially the teeth of children; which when Gaius heard, he said--
Hard texts are nuts (I will not call them cheaters),
Whose shells do keep their kernels from the eaters.
Ope then the shells, and you shall have the meat;
They here are brought for you to crack and eat.
Then were they very merry, and sat at the table a long time, talking of many things. Then said the old gentleman, My good landlord, while we are cracking your nuts, if you please, do you open this riddle:
A man there was though some did count him mad,
The more he cast away, the more he had.
Then they all gave good heed, wondering what good Gaius would say; so he sat still awhile, and then thus replied--
He that bestows his goods upon the poor,
Shall have as much again, and ten times more.
Then said Joseph, I dare say, Sir, I did not think you could have found it out.
Oh! said Gaius, I have been trained up in this way a great while; nothing teaches like experience; I have learned of my Lord to be kind; and have found by experience, that I have gained thereby. 'There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet; but it tendeth to povert' 'There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches'.' Then Samuel whispered to Christiana, his mother, and said, Mother, this is a very good man's house, let us stay here a good while, and let my brother Matthew be married here to Mercy, before we go any further.
The which Gaius the host overhearing, said, With a very good will, my child.
So they staid there more than a month, and Mercy was given to Matthew to wife.
While they staid here, Mercy, as her custom was, would be making coats and garments to give to the poor, by which she brought up a very good report upon the Pilgrims.
But to return again to our story. After supper the lads desired a bed; for that they were weary with travelling: then Gaius called to show them their chamber; but said Mercy, I will have them to bed. So she had them to bed, and they slept well; but the rest sat up all night; for Gaius and they were such suitable company, that they could not tell how to part. Then after much talk of their Lord, themselves, and their journey, old Mr. Honest, he that put forth the riddle to Gaius, began to nod. Then said Great-heart, What, Sir, you begin to be drowsy; come, rub up; now here is a riddle for you. Then said Mr. Honest, Let us hear it. Then said Mr. Great-heart,
He that will kill, must first be overcome,
Who live abroad would, first must die at home.
Ha! said Mr. Honest, it is a hard one, hard to expound, and harder to practise. But come, landlord, said he, I will, if you please, leave my part to you; do you expound it, and I will hear what you say. No, said Gaius, it was put to you, and it is expected that you should answer it. Then said the old gentleman,
He first by grace must conquer'd be,
That sin would mortify;
And who, that lives, would convince me,
Unto himself must die.
It is right, said Gaius; good doctrine and experience teaches this. For, first, until grace displays itself, and overcomes the soul with its glory, it is altogether without heart to oppose sin; besides if sin is Satan's cords, by which the soul lies bound, how should it make resistance, before it is loosed from that infirmity?
Secondly, nor will any, that knows either reason or grace, believe that such a man can be a living monument of grace that is a slave to his own corruptions.
And now it comes in my mind, I will tell you a story worth the hearing. There were two men that went on pilgrimage; the one began when he was young, the other when he was old. The young man had strong corruptions to grapple with; the old man's were decayed with the decays of nature. The young man trod his steps as even as did the old one, and was every way as light as he. Who now, or which of them, had their graces shining clearest, since both seemed to be alike
Mr. Honest: The young man's, doubtless. For that which heads it against the greatest opposition, gives best demonstration that it is strongest; especially when it also holdeth pace with that that meets not with half so much; as, to be sure, old age does not. Besides, I have observed that old men have blessed themselves with this mistake, namely, taking the decays of nature for a gracious conquest over corruptions, and so have been apt to beguile themselves. Indeed, old men that are gracious, are best able to give advice to them that are young, because they have seen most of the emptiness of things. But yet, for an old and a young [man] to set out both together, the young one has the advantage of the fairest discovery of a work of grace within him, though the old man's corruptions are naturally the weakest.
Thus they sat talking till break of day. Now, when the family was up, Christiana bid her son James that he should read a chapter; so he read the fifty-third of Isaiah. When he had done, Mr. Honest asked, why it was said that the Saviour is said to come 'out of a dry ground'; and also, that 'He had no form or comeliness in him?'
Great-Heart: Then said Mr. Great-heart, To the first, I answer, Because the church of the Jews, of which Christ came, had then lost almost all the sap and spirit of religion. To the second, I say, The words are spoken in the person of the unbelievers, who, because they want that eye that can see into our Prince's heart, therefore they judge of Him by the meanness of His outside. Just like those that know not that precious stones are covered over with a homely crust; who, when they have found one, because they know not what they have found, cast it again away, as men do a common stone.
Well, said Gaius, now you are here, and since, as I know, Mr. Great-heart is good at his weapons, if you please, after we have refreshed ourselves, we will walk into the fields, to see if we can do any good. About a mile from hence, there is one Slay-good, a giant that does much annoy the King's highway in these parts; and I know whereabout his haunt is. He is master of a number of thieves; it would be well if we could clear these parts of him. So they consented, and went, Mr. Great-heart with his sword, helmet, and shield, and the rest with spears and staves. When they came to the place where he was, they found him with one Feeble-mind in his hands, whom his servants had brought unto him, having taken him in the way. Now the giant was rifling him, with a purpose, after that, to pick his bones, for he was of the nature of flesh-eaters.
Well, so soon as he saw Mr. Great-heart and his friends at the mouth of his cave, with their weapons, he demanded what they wanted.
Great-Heart: We want thee; for we are come to revenge the quarrel of the many that thou hast slain of the pilgrims, when thou hast dragged them out of the King's highway; wherefore, come out of thy cave. So he armed himself and came out; and to a battle they went, and fought for above an hour, and then stood still to take wind.
Slay-good: Then said the giant, Why are you here on my ground?
Great-Heart: To revenge the blood of pilgrims, as I also told thee before. So they went to it again, and the giant made Mr. Great-heart give back; but he came up again, and, in the greatness of his mind, he let fly with such stoutness at the giant's head and sides, that he made him let his weapon fall out of his hand; so he smote him, and slew him, and cut off his head, and brought it away to the inn. He also took Feeble-mind, the pilgrim, and brought him with him to his lodgings. When they were come home, they showed his head to the family, and then set it up, as they had done others before, for a terror to those that shall attempt to do as he hereafter.
Then they asked Mr. Feeble-mind how he fell into his hands?
Feeble-Mind: Then said the poor man, I am a sickly man, as you see; and, because death did usually once a day knock at my door, I thought I should never be well at home; so I betook myself to a pilgrim's life, and have traveled hither from the town of Uncertain, where I and my father were born. I am a man of no strength at all of body, nor yet of mind; but would, if I could, though I can but crawl, spend my life in the pilgrim's way. When I came at the gate that is at the head of the way, the Lord of that place did entertain me freely; neither objected He against my weakly looks, nor against my feeble mind; but gave me such things that were necessary for my journey, and bid me hope to the end. When I came to the house of the Interpreter, I received much kindness there; and because the Hill Difficulty was judged too hard for me, I was carried up that by one of His servants. Indeed, I have found much relief from pilgrims, though none were willing to go so softly as I am forced to do; yet still, as they came on, they bid me be of good cheer, and said that it was the will of their Lord that comfort should be given to the feeble-minded, and so went on their own pace. When I was come up to Assault Lane, then this giant met with me, and bid me prepare for an encounter; but, alas! feeble one that I was, I had more need of a cordial. So he came up and took me. I conceited he should not kill me. Also, when he had got me into his den, since I went not with him willingly, I believed I should come out alive again; for I have heard, that not any pilgrim that is taken captive by violent hands, if he keeps heart-whole towards his Master, is, by the laws of Providence, to die by the hand of the enemy. Robbed I looked to be, and robbed to be sure I am; but I am, as you see, escaped with life; for the which I thank my King as author, and you as the means. Other brunts I also look for; but this I have resolved on, to wit, to run when I can, to go when I cannot run, and to creep when I cannot go. As to the main, I thank Him that loves me, I am fixed. My way is before me, my mind is beyond the river that has no bridge, though I am, as you see, but of a feeble mind.
Mr. Honest: Then said old Mr. Honest, Have you not, some time ago, been acquainted with one Mr. Fearing, a pilgrim.
Feeble-Mind: Acquainted with him! Yes; he came from the town of Stupidity, which lieth four degrees to the northward of the City of Destruction, and as many off of where I was born; yet we were well acquainted, for, indeed, he was my uncle, my father's brother. He and I have been much of a temper. He was a little shorter than I, but yet we were much of a complexion.
Mr. Honest: I perceive you know him; and I am apt to believe also, that you were related one to another; for you have his whitely look, a cast like his with your eye, and your speech is much alike.
Feeble-Mind: Most have said so that have known us both; and besides, what I have read in him, I have, for the most part, found in myself.
Gaius: Come, Sir, said good Gaius, be of good cheer, you are welcome to me, and to my house, and what thou hast a mind to, call for freely; and what thou wouldest have my servants do for thee, they will do it with a ready mind.
Then said Mr. Feeble-mind, This is unexpected favour, and as the sun shining out of a very dark cloud. Did Giant Slay-good intend me this favour when he stopped me, and resolved to let me go no further? Did he intend, that after he had rifled my pockets, I should go to Gaius, mine host? Yet so it is.
Now, just as Mr. Feeble-mind and Gaius were thus in talk, there comes one running, and called at the door, and told that, about a mile and a half off, there was one Mr. Not-right, a pilgrim, struck dead upon the place where he was with a thunder-bolt.
Feeble-Mind: Alas! said Mr. Feeble-mind, is he slain? He overtook me some days before I came so far as hither, and would be my company-keeper. He also was with me when Slay-good, the giant, took me; but he was nimble of his heels, and escaped. But, it seems, he escaped to die, and I was took to live.
What, one would think, doth seek to slay outright,
Ofttimes delivers from the saddest plight.
That very providence, whose face is death,
Doth ofttimes to the lowly life bequeath.
I taken was, he did escape and flee;
Hands cross'd gives death to him, and life to me.
Now, about this time, Matthew and Mercy were married. Also Gaius gave his daughter Phoebe to James, Matthew's brother, to wife; after which time they yet staid above ten days at Gaius' house, spending their time, and the seasons, like as pilgrims used to do.
When they were to depart, Gaius made them a feast, and they did eat and drink, and were merry. Now the hour was come that they must be gone; wherefore, Mr. Great-heart called for a reckoning; but Gaius told him, that at his house it was not the custom for pilgrims to pay for their entertainment. He boarded them by the year, but looked for his pay from the good Samaritan, who had promised him, at his return, whatsoever charge he was at with them, faithfully to repay him. Then said Mr. Great-heart to him,
Great-Heart: 'Beloved, thou dost faithfully whatsoever thou dost to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church; whom if thou (yet) bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well.' Then Gaius took his leave of them all, and of his children, and particularly of Mr. Feeble-mind. He also gave him something to drink by the way.
Now Mr. Feeble-mind, when they were going out of the door, made as if he intended to linger; the which when Mr. Great-heart espied, he said, Come, Mr. Feeble-Mind, pray do you go along with us, I will be your conductor, and you shall fare as the rest.
Feeble-Mind: Alas! I want a suitable companion; you are all lusty and strong; but I, as you see, am weak; I choose, therefore, rather to come behind, lest, by reason of my many infirmities, I should be both a burden to myself and to you. I am, as I said, a man of a weak and feeble mind, and shall be offended and made weak at that which others can bear. I shall like no laughing; I shall like no gay attire; I shall like no unprofitable questions. Nay, I am so weak a man, as to be offended with that which others have liberty to do. I do not yet know all the truth; I am a very ignorant Christian man; sometimes, if I hear some rejoice in the Lord, it troubles me, because I can not do so too. It is with me, as it is with a weak man among the strong, or as with a sick man among the healthy, or as a lamp despised ('He that is ready to slip with his feet, is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease'), so that I know not what to do.
Great-Heart: But, brother, said. Mr. Great-heart, I have it in commission to 'comfort the feeble-minded,' and to 'support the weak.' You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you; we will lend you our help; we will deny ourselves of some things, both opinionative and practical, for your sake, we will not enter into doubtful disputations before you; we will be made all things to you, rather than you shall be left behind.
Now all this while they were at Gaius' door; and behold, as they were thus in the heat of their discourse, Mr. Ready-to-halt came by, with his crutches [promises] in his hand; and he also was going on pilgrimage.
Feeble-Mind: Then said Mr. Feeble-mind to him, Man, How camest thou hither? I was but just now complaining, that I had not a suitable companion, but thou art according to my wish. Welcome, welcome, good Mr. Ready-to-halt, I hope thee and I may be some help.
Ready-to-Halt: I shall be glad of thy company, said the other; and good Mr. Feeble-mind, rather than we will part, since we are thus happily met, I will lend thee one of my crutches.
Feeble-Mind: Nay, said he, though I thank thee for thy goodwill, I am not inclined to halt before I am lame. Howbeit, I think, when occasion is, it may help me against a dog.
Ready-to-Halt: If either myself or my crutches can do thee a pleasure, we are both at thy command, good Mr. Feeble-mind.
Thus therefore they went on; Mr. Great-heart and Mr. Honest went before, Christiana and her children went next, and Mr. Feeble-mind and Mr. Ready-to-halt, came behind with his crutches. Then said Mr. Honest,
Mr. Honest: Pray, Sir, now we are upon the road, tell us some profitable things of some that have gone on pilgrimage before us.
Great-Heart: With a good will. I suppose you have heard how Christian of old did meet with Apollyon in the Valley of Humiliation; and also what hard work he had, to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Also I think you cannot but have heard how Faithful was put to it with Madam Wanton, with Adam the first, with one Discontent, and Shame, four as deceitful villains as a man can meet with upon the road.
Mr. Honest: Yes, I have heard of all this; but indeed, good Faithful was hardest put to it with Shame; he was an unwearied one.
Great-Heart: Aye; for, as the Pilgrim well said, he of all men had the wrong name.
Mr. Honest: But pray, Sir, where was it that Christian and Faithful met
Talkative? That same was also a notable one.
Great-Heart: He was a confident fool, yet many follow his ways.
Mr. Honest: He had like to have beguiled Faithful.
Great-Heart: Aye, but Christian put him into a way quickly to find him out. Thus they went on till they came at the place where Evangelist met with Christian and Faithful, and prophesied to them of what should befall them at Vanity Fair.
Great-Heart: Then said their guide, Hereabouts did Christian and Faithful meet with Evangelist, who prophesied to them of what troubles they should meet with at Vanity Fair.
Mr. Honest: Say you so? I dare say it was a hard chapter that then he did read unto them.
Great-Heart: It was so; but he gave them encouragement withal. But what do we talk of them? they were a couple of lion-like men; they had set their faces like flint. Don't you remember how undaunted they were when they stood before the judge?
Mr. Honest: Well, Faithful bravely suffered.
Great-Heart: So he did, and as brave things came on it; for Hopeful and some others, as the story relates it, were converted by his death.
Mr. Honest: Well, but pray go on; for you are well acquainted with things.
Great-Heart: Above all that Christian met with after he had passed through Vanity Fair, one By-ends was the arch one.
Mr. Honest: By-ends! What was he?
Great-Heart: A very arch fellow; a downright hypocrite. One that would be religious which way ever the world went; but so cunning, that he would be sure neither to lose nor suffer for it. He had his mode of religion for every fresh occasion; and his wife was as good at it as he. He would turn and change from opinion to opinion; yea, and plead for so doing too. But, so far as I could learn, he came to an ill end with his by-ends; nor did I ever hear that any of his children were ever of any esteem with any that truly feared God.
Now, by this time, they were come within sight of the town of Vanity, where Vanity Fair is kept. So, when they saw that they were so near the town, they consulted with one another, how they should pass through the town; and some said one thing, and some another. At last Mr. Great-heart said, I have, as you may understand, often been a conductor of pilgrims through this town; now I am acquainted with one Mr. Mnason, a Cyprusian by nation, an old disciple, at whose house we may lodge. If you think good, said he, we will turn in there.
Content, said old Honest; Content, said Christiana; Content, said Mr. Feeble-mind; and so they said all. Now, you must think, it was even-tide by that they got to the outside of the town; but Mr. Great-heart knew the way to the old man's house. So thither they came; and he called at the door, and the old man within knew his tongue so soon as ever he heard it; so he opened, and they all came in. Then said Mnason their host, How far have ye come today? So they said, From the house of Gaius our friend. I promise you, said he, you have gone a good stitch, you may well be a weary; sit down. So they sat down.
Great-Heart: Then said their guide, Come, what cheer, Sirs? I dare say you are welcome to my friend.
Mr. Mnason: I also, said Mr. Mnason, do bid you welcome, and, whatever you want, do but say, and we will do what we can to get it for you.
Mr. Honest: Our great want, a while since, was harbour and good company, and now I hope we have both.
Mr. Mnason: For harbour, you see what it is; but for good company, that will appear in the trial.
Great-Heart: Well, said Mr. Great-heart, will you have the Pilgrims up into their lodging?
Mr. Mnason: I will, said Mr. Mnason. So he had them to their respective places; and also showed them a very fair dining-room, where they might be, and sup together, until time was come to go to rest.
Now, when they were set in their places, and were a little cheery after their journey, Mr. Honest asked his landlord, if there were any store of good people in the town?
Mr. Mnason: We have a few, for indeed they are but a few, when compared with them on the other side.
Mr. Honest: But how shall we do to see some of them? for the sight of good men to them that are going on pilgrimage, is like to the appearing of the moon and the stars to them that are sailing upon the seas.
Then Mr. Mnason stamped with his foot, and his daughter Grace came up; so he said unto her, Grace, go you, tell my friends, Mr. Contrite, Mr. Holy-man, Mr. Love-saint, Mr. Dare-not-lie, and Mr. Penitent; that I have a friend or two at my house that have a mind this evening to see them.
So Grace went to call them, and they came; and, after salutation made, they sat down together at the table.
Then said Mr. Mnason, their landlord, My neighbours, I have, as you see, a company of strangers come to my house; they are Pilgrims; they come from afar, and are going to mount Zion. But who, quoth he, do you think this is? pointing with his finger to Christiana; it is Christiana, the wife of Christian, that famous Pilgrim, who, with Faithful his brother, were so shamefully handled in our town. At that they stood amazed, saying, We little thought to see Christiana, when Grace came to call us; wherefore this is a very comfortable surprise. Then they asked her of her welfare, and if these young men were her husband's sons? And when she had told them they were, they said, The King whom you love and serve, make you as your father, and bring you where he is in peace!
Mr. Honest: Then Mr. Honest (when they were all sat down) asked Mr. Contrite, and the rest, in what posture their town was at present?
Mr. Contrite: You may be sure we are full of hurry in fair-time. It is hard keeping our hearts and spirits in any good order, when we are in a cumbered condition. He that lives in such a place as this is, and that has to do with such as we have, has need of an item, to caution him to take heed, every moment of the day.
Mr. Honest: But how are your neighbours for quietness?
Mr. Contrite: They are much more moderate now than formerly. You know how Christian and Faithful were used at our town; but of late, I say, they have been far more moderate. I think the blood of Faithful lieth with load upon them till now; for since they burned him, they have been ashamed to burn any more. In those days we were afraid to walk the streets, but now we can show our heads. Then the name of a professor was odious; now, especially in some parts of our town (for you know our town is large), religion is counted honourable.
Then said Mr. Contrite to them, Pray how fareth it with you in your pilgrimage? How stands the country affected towards you?
Mr. Honest: It happens to us as it happeneth to wayfaring men; sometimes our way is clean, sometimes foul, sometimes up hill, sometimes down hill; we are seldom at a certainty; the wind is not always on our backs, nor is everyone a friend that we meet with in the way. We have met with some notable rubs already; and what are yet behind, we know not; but for the most part, we find it true, that has been talked of, of old, A good man must suffer trouble.
Mr. Contrite: You talk of rubs; what rubs have you met withal?
Mr. Honest: Nay, ask Mr. Great-heart, our guide, for he can give the best account of that.
Great-Heart: We have been beset three or four times already. First, Christiana and her children were beset with two ruffians, that they feared would a took away their lives. We were beset with Giant Bloody-man, Giant Maul, and Giant Slay-good. Indeed we did rather beset the last, than were beset of him. And thus it was: After we had been some time at the house of 'Gaius, mine host, and of the whole church,' we were minded upon a time to take our weapons with us, and so go see if we could light upon any of those that were enemies to pilgrims (for we heard that there was a notable one thereabouts). Now Gaius knew his haunt better than I, because he dwelt thereabout; so we looked, and looked, till at last we discerned the mouth of his cave; then we were glad, and plucked up our spirits. So we approached up to his den, and lo, when we came there, he had dragged, by mere force, into his net, this poor man, Mr. Feeble-mind, and was about to bring him to his end. But when he saw us, supposing, as we thought, he had had another prey, he left the poor man in his hole, and came out. So we fell to it full sore, and he lustily laid about him; but in conclusion, he was brought down to the ground, and his head cut off, and set up by the way-side, for a terror to such as should after practise such ungodliness. That I tell you the truth, here is the man himself to affirm it, who was as a lamb taken out of the mouth of the lion.
Feeble-Mind: Then said Mr. Feeble-mind, I found this true, to my cost, and comfort; to my cost, when he threatened to pick my bones every moment; and to my comfort, when I saw Mr. Great-heart and his friends with their weapons, approach so near for my deliverance.
Mr. Holy-Man: Then said Mr. Holy-man, There are two things that they have need to be possessed with, that go on pilgrimage; courage, and an unspotted life. If they have not courage, they can never hold on their way; and if their lives be loose, they will make the very name of a Pilgrim stink.
Mr. Love-Saint: Then said Mr. Love-saint, I hope this caution is not needful amongst you. But truly, there are many that go upon the road, that rather declare themselves strangers to pilgrimage, than strangers and pilgrims in the earth.
Mr. Dare-Not-Lie: Then said Mr. Dare-not-lie, It is true, they neither have the pilgrim's need, nor the pilgrim's courage; they go not uprightly, but all awry with their feet; one shoe goes inward, another outward, and their hosen out behind; there a rag, and there a rent, to the disparagement of their Lord.
Mr. Penitent: These things, said Mr. Penitent, they ought to be troubled for; nor are the pilgrims like to have that grace put upon them and their pilgrim's progress, as they desire, until the way is cleared of such spots and blemishes.
Thus they sat talking and spending the time, until supper was set upon the table; unto which they went and refreshed their weary bodies; so they went to rest. Now they stayed in this fair a great while, at the house of this Mr. Mnason, who, in process of time, gave his daughter Grace unto Samuel, Christiana's son, to wife, and his daughter Martha to Joseph.
The time, as I said, that they lay here, was long (for it was not now as in former times). Wherefore the Pilgrims grew acquainted with many of the good people of the town, and did them what service they could. Mercy, as she was wont, laboured much for the poor; wherefore their bellies and backs blessed her, and she was there an ornament to her profession. And, to say the truth for Grace, Phoebe, and Martha, they were all of a very good nature, and did much good in their place. They were also all of them very fruitful; so that Christian's name, as was said before, was like to live in the world.
While they lay here, there came a monster out of the woods, and slew many of the people of the town. It would also carry away their children, and teach them to esgal its whelps. Now, no man in the town durst so much as face this monster; but all men fled when they heard of the noise of his coming.
The monster was like unto no one beast upon the earth; its body was like a dragon, and it had seven heads and ten horns. It made great havoc of children, and yet it was governed by a woman. This monster propounded conditions to men, and such men as loved their lives more than their souls, accepted of those conditions. So they came under.
Now this Mr. Great-heart, together with these that came to visit the pilgrims at Mr. Mnason's house, entered into a covenant to go and engage this beast, if perhaps they might deliver the people of this town from the paws and mouth of this so devouring a serpent.
Then did Mr. Great-heart, Mr. Contrite, Mr. Holy-man, Mr. Dare-not-lie, and Mr. Penitent, with their weapons go forth to meet him. Now the monster, at first, was very rampant, and looked upon these enemies with great disdain; but they so belaboured him, being sturdy men at arms, that they made him make a retreat; so they came home to Mr. Mnason's house again.
The monster, you must know, had his certain seasons to come out in, and to make his attempts upon the children of the people of the town; also these seasons did these valiant worthies watch him in, and did still continually assault him; insomuch, that in process of time he became not only wounded, but lame; also he has not made that havoc of the townsmen's children, as formerly he has done. And it is verily believed by some, that this beast will die of his wounds.
This, therefore, made Mr. Great-heart and his fellows of great fame in this town; so that many of the people that wanted their taste of things, yet had a reverend esteem and respect for them. Upon this account therefore it was, that these pilgrims got not much hurt here. True, there were some of the baser sort, that could see no more than a mole, nor understand more than a beast; these had no reverence for these men, nor took they notice of their valour or adventures.
Well, the time grew on that the Pilgrims must go on their way, wherefore they prepared for their journey. They sent for their friends; they conferred with them; they had some time set apart, therein to commit each other to the protection of their Prince. There were again, that brought them of such things as they had, that were fit for the weak and the strong, for the women and the men, and so laded them with such things as were necessary.
Then they set forward on their way; and their friends accompanying them so far as was convenient, they again committed each other to the protection of their King, and parted. They, therefore, that were of the Pilgrims' company went on, and Mr. Great-heart went before them. Now the women and children being weakly, they were forced to go as they could bear; by this means Mr. Ready-to-halt and Mr. Feeble-mind had more to sympathize with their condition.
When they were gone from the townsmen, and when their friends had bid them farewell; they quickly came to the place where Faithful was put to death; there therefore they made a stand, and thanked Him that had enabled him to bear his cross so well; and the rather because they now found that they had a benefit by such a manly suffering as his was.
They went on, therefore, after this, a good way further, talking of Christian and Faithful; and how Hopeful joined himself to Christian after that Faithful was dead.
Now they were come up with the Hill Lucre, where the silver mine was, which took Demas off from his pilgrimage, and into which, as some think, By-ends fell and perished; wherefore they considered that. But when they were come to the old monument that stood over against the Hill Lucre, to wit, to the pillar of salt that stood also within view of Sodom and its stinking lake; they marveled, as did Christian before, that men of that knowledge and ripeness of wit, as they were, should be so blinded as to turn aside here. Only they considered again, that nature is not affected with the harms that others have met with, especially if that thing upon which they look, has an attracting virtue upon the foolish eye.
I saw now that they went on, till they came at the river that was on this side of the Delectable Mountains. To the river where the fine trees grow on both sides; and whose leaves, if taken inwardly, are good against surfeits, where the meadows are green all the year long, and where they might lie down safely.
By this river side, in the meadow, there were cotes and folds for sheep, a house built for the nourishing and bringing up of those lambs, the babes of those women that go on pilgrimage. Also there was here one that was intrusted with them, who could have compassion, and that could gather these lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and that could gently lead those that were with young. Now to the care of this man, Christiana admonished her four daughters to commit their little ones, that by these waters they might be housed, harboured, succoured, and nourished, and that none of them might be lacking in time to come. This Man, if any of them go astray, or be lost, He will bring them again; He will also bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen them that are sick. Here they will never want meat, and drink, and clothing; here they will be kept from thieves and robbers; for this Man will die before one of those committed to His trust shall be lost.
Besides, here they shall be sure to have good nurture and admonition, and shall be taught to walk in right paths, and that you know is a favour of no small account. Also here, as you see, are delicate waters, pleasant meadows, dainty flowers, variety of trees, and such as bear wholesome fruit; fruit not like that that Matthew ate of, that fell over the wall out of Beelzebub's garden; but fruit that procureth health where there is none, and that continueth and increaseth it where it is.
So they were content to commit their little ones to Him; and that which was also an encouragement to them so to do, was, for that all this was to be at the charge of the King, and so was as an hospital for young children and orphans.
Now they went on; and when they were come to By-path Meadow, to the stile over which Christian went with his fellow Hopeful, when they were taken by Giant Despair, and put into Doubting Castle; they sat down and consulted what was best to be done; to wit, now they were so strong, and had got such a man as Mr. Great-heart for their conductor, whether they had not best to make an attempt upon the Giant, demolish his castle, and, if there were any pilgrims in it, to set them at liberty, before they went any further. So one said one thing, and another said the contrary. One questioned if it were lawful to go upon unconsecrated ground; another said they might, provided their end was good; but Mr. Great-heart said, Though that assertion offered last cannot be universally true, yet I have a commandment to resist sin, to overcome evil, to fight the good fight of faith; and, I pray, with whom should I fight this good fight, if not with Giant Despair? I will, therefore, attempt the taking away of his life, and the demolishing of Doubting Castle. Then said he, Who will go with me? Then said old Honest, I will. And so will we too, said Christiana's four sons, Matthew, Samuel, James, and Joseph; for they were young men and strong. So they left the women in the road, and with them Mr. Feeble-mind and Mr. Ready-to-halt with his crutches, to be their guard, until they came back; for in that place though Giant Despair dwelt so near, they keeping in the road, a little child might lead them. So Mr. Great-heart, old Honest, and the four young men, went to go up to Doubting Castle, to look for Giant Despair. When they came at the Castle-gate, they knocked for entrance with an unusual noise. At that the old Giant comes to the gate, and Diffidence, his wife, follows. Then said he, Who, and what is he that is so hardy, as after this manner to molest the Giant Despair?
Mr. Great-heart replied, It is I, Great-heart, one of the King of the Celestial Country's conductors of pilgrims to their place; and I demand of thee that thou open thy gates for my entrance. Prepare thyself also to fight, for I am come to take away thy head, and to demolish Doubting Castle.
Now Giant Despair, because he was a giant, thought no man could overcome him; and, again, thought he, since heretofore I have made a conquest of angels, shall Great-heart make me afraid! So he harnessed himself, and went out. He had a cap of steel upon his head, a breast-plate of fire girded to him, and he came out in iron shoes with a great club in his hand. Then these six men made up to him, and beset him behind and before. Also when Diffidence, the giantess, came up to help him, old Mr. Honest cut her down at one blow. Then they fought for their lives, and Giant Despair was brought down to the ground, but was very loath to die. He struggled hard, and had, as they say, as many lives as a cat; but Great-heart was his death, for he left him not till he had severed his head from his shoulders.
Then they fell to demolishing Doubting Castle, that you know might with ease be done, since Giant Despair was dead. They were seven days in destroying of that; and in it of pilgrims they found one Mr. Despondency, almost starved to death, and one Much-afraid, his daughter; these two they saved alive. But it would have made you a-wondered to have seen the dead bodies that lay here and there in the castle-yard, and how full of dead men's bones the dungeon was.
When Mr. Great-heart and his companions had performed this exploit, they took Mr. Despondency, and his daughter Much-afraid, into their protection; for they were honest people, though they were prisoners in Doubting Castle, to that tyrant Giant Despair. They, therefore, I say, took with them the head of the Giant, for his body they had buried under a heap of stones, and down to the road and to their companions they came, and showed them what they had done. Now when Feeble-mind and Ready-to-halt saw that it was the head of Giant Despair indeed, they were very jocund and merry. Now Christiana, if need was, could play upon the viol, and her daughter Mercy upon the lute; so, since they were so merry disposed, she played them a lesson, and Ready-to-halt would dance. So he took Despondency's daughter, named Much-afraid, by the hand, and to dancing they went in the road. True, he could not dance without one crutch in his hand; but, I promise you, he footed it well. Also the girl was to be commended, for she answered the music handsomely.
As for Mr. Despondency, the music was not much to him; he was for feeding rather than dancing, for that he was almost starved. So Christiana gave him some of her bottle of spirits, for present relief, and then prepared him something to eat; and, in little time, the old gentleman came to himself, and began to be finely revived.
Now I saw in my dream, when all these things were finished, Mr. Great-heart took the head of Giant Despair, and set it upon a pole by the highway side, right over against the pillar that Christian erected for a caution to pilgrims that came after, to take heed of entering into his grounds.
Though Doubting Castle be demolish'd,
And the Giant Despair hath lost his head,
Sin can rebuild the Castle, make't remain,
And make Despair the Giant live again.
Then he writ under it, upon a marble stone these verses following:
This the head of him, whose name only
In former times did pilgrims terrify.
His Castle's down; and Diffidence, his wife,
Brave Master Great-heart has bereft of life.
Despondency, his daughter Much-afraid,
Great-heart for them also the man has play'd;
Who hereof doubts, if he'll but cast his eye
Up hither, may his scruples satisfy.
This head also, when doubting cripples dance,
Doth show from fears they have deliverance.
When these men had thus bravely showed themselves against Doubting Castle, and had slain Giant Despair, they went forward; and went on till they came to the Delectable Mountains, where Christian and Hopeful refreshed themselves with the varieties of the place. They also acquainted themselves with the shepherds there, who welcomed them, as they had done Christian before, unto the Delectable Mountains.
Now the Shepherds, seeing, so great a train follow Mr. Great-heart, for with him they were well acquainted, they said unto him, Good Sir, you have got a goodly company here. Pray, where did you find all these?
Then Mr. Great-heart replied:
First, here is Christiana and her train,
Her sons, and her sons' wives, who like the wain,
Keep by the pole, and do by compass steer,
From sin to grace, else they had not been here;
Next, here's old Honest come on pilgrimage,
Ready-to-halt, too, who, I dare engage,
True-hearted is, and so is Feeble-mind,
Who willing was not to be left behind;
Despondency, good man, is coming after,
And so also is Much-afraid his daughter.
May we have entertainment here, or must
We further go? Let's know whereon to trust.
Then said the Shepherds, This is a comfortable company. You are welcome to us, for we have [comfort] for the feeble as for the strong. Our Prince has an eye to what is done to the least of these; therefore infirmity must not be a block to our entertainment. So they had them to the palace door, and then said unto them, Come in, Mr. Feeble-mind; Come in, Mr. Ready-to-halt; come in, Mr. Despondency, and Mrs. Much-afraid, his daughter. These, Mr. Great-heart, said the Shepherds to the guide, we call in by name, for that they are most subject to draw back; but as for you, and the rest that are strong, we leave you to your wonted liberty. Then said Mr. Great-heart, This day I see that grace doth shine in your faces, and that you are my Lord's Shepherds indeed; for that you have not pushed these diseased neither with side nor shoulder, but have rather strewed their way into the palace with flowers, as you should. So the feeble and weak went in, and Mr. Great-heart and the rest did follow. When they were also set down, the Shepherds said to those of the weaker sort, What is it that you would have? for, said they, all things must be managed here to the supporting of the weak, as well as the warning of the unruly.
So they made them a feast of things easy of digestion, and that were pleasant to the palate, and nourishing; the which, when they had received, they went to their rest, each one respectively unto his proper place. When morning was come, because the mountains were high, and the day clear, and because it was the custom of the Shepherds to show to the Pilgrims, before their departure, some rarities; therefore, after they were ready, and had refreshed themselves, the Shepherds took them out into the fields, and showed them first what they had showed to Christian before. Then they had them to some new places. The first was to Mount Marvel, where looked, and beheld a man at a distance, that tumbled the hills about with words. Then they asked the Shepherds what that should mean? So they told them, that that man was a son of one Great-grace, of whom you read in the First Part of the Records of the Pilgrim's Progress. And he is set there to teach pilgrims how to believe down, or to tumble out of their way, what difficulties they shall meet with, by faith. Then said Mr. Great-heart, I know him. He is a man above many.
Then they had them to another place, called Mount Innocent; and there they saw a man clothed all in white, and two men, Prejudice and Ill-will, continually casting dirt upon him. Now, behold, the dirt, whatsoever they cast at him, would in little time fall off again, and his garments would look as clear as if no dirt had been cast thereat.
Then said the Pilgrims, What means this? The Shepherds answered, This man is named Godly-man, and this garment is to show the innocency of his life. Now, those that throw dirt at him, are such as hate his well-doing; but, as you see the dirt will not stick upon his clothes, so it shall be with him that liveth truly innocently in the world. Whoever they be that would make such men dirty, they labour all in vain; for God, by that a little time is spent, will cause that their innocence shall break forth as the light, and their righteousness as the noon-day.
Then they took them, and had them to Mount Charity, where they showed them a man that had a bundle of cloth lying before him, out of which he cut coats and garments for the poor that stood about him; yet his bundle or roll of cloth was never the less. Then said they, What should this be? This is, said the Shepherds, to show you, that he that has a heart to give of his labour to the poor, shall never want wherewithal. He that watereth shall be watered himself. And the cake that the widow gave to the Prophet did not cause that she had ever the less in her barrel.
They had them also to a place where they saw one Fool, and one Want-wit, washing of an Ethiopian, with intention to make him white; but the more they washed him the blacker he was. They then asked the Shepherds what that should mean. So they told them, saying, Thus shall it be with the vile person. All means used to get such a one a good name shall, in conclusion, tend but to make him more abominable. Thus it was with the Pharisees, and so shall it be with all hypocrites.
Then said Mercy, the wife of Matthew, to Christiana, her mother, Mother, I would, if it might be, see the hole in the hill, or that commonly called the by-way to hell. So her mother brake her mind to the Shepherds. Then they went to the door. It was in the side of a hill, and they opened it, and bid Mercy hearken awhile. So she hearkened, and heard one saying, Cursed be my father, for holding of my feet back from the way of peace and life; and another said, O that I had been torn in pieces, before I had, to save my life, lost my soul! and another said, If I were to live again, how would I deny myself, rather than come to this place! Then there was as if the very earth had groaned and quaked under the feet of this young woman for fear. So she looked white, and came trembling away, saying, Blessed be he and she that are delivered from this place. Now when the Shepherds had shown them all these things, then they had them back to the palace, and entertained them with what the house would afford. But Mercy being a young and breeding woman, longed for something that she saw there, but was ashamed to ask. Her mother-in-law then asked her what she ailed; for she looked as one not well. Then said Mercy, There is a looking-glass hangs up in the dining-room, off which I cannot take my mind: if, therefore, I have it not, I think I shall miscarry. Then said her mother, I will mention thy wants to the Shepherds, and they will not deny it thee. But she said, I am ashamed that these men should know that I longed. Nay, my daughter, said she, it is no shame but a virtue, to long for such a thing as that. So Mercy said, Then, mother, if you please, ask the Shepherds if they are willing to sell it.
Now the glass was one of a thousand. It would present a man, one way, with his own features exactly; and, turn it but another way, and it would show one the very face and similitude of the Prince of Pilgrims Himself. Yea, I have talked with them that can tell, and they have said, that they have seen the very crown of thorns upon His head, by looking in that glass; they have therein also seen the holes in His hands, in His feet, and His side. Yea, such an excellency is there in that glass, that it will show Him, to one where they have a mind to see Him; whether living or dead; whether in earth or Heaven; whether in a state of humiliation, or in His exaltation; whether coming to suffer, or coming to reign.
Christiana, therefore, went to the Shepherds apart--now the names of the Shepherds are Knowledge, Experience, Watchful, and Sincere--and said unto them, There is one of my daughters, a breeding woman, that I think doth long for something that she hath seen in this house; and she thinks she shall miscarry, if she shall by you be denied.
Experience: Call her, call her; she shall assuredly have what we can help her to. So they called her, and said to her, Mercy, what is that thing thou wouldst have? Then she blushed, and said, The great glass that hangs up in the dining-room. So Sincere ran and fetched it, and, with a joyful consent, it was given her. Then she bowed her head, and gave thanks, and said, By this I know that I have obtained favour in your eyes.
They also gave to the other young women such things as they desired, and to their husbands great commendations, for that they had joined with Mr. Great-heart, to the slaying of Giant Despair, and the demolishing of Doubting Castle.
About Christiana's neck, the Shepherds put a bracelet, and so they did about the necks of her four daughters; also they put earrings in their ears, and jewels on their foreheads.
When they were minded to go hence, they let them go in peace, but gave not to them those certain cautions which before were given to Christian and his companion. The reason was, for that these had Great-heart to be their guide, who was one that was well acquainted with things, and so could give them their cautions more seasonably; to wit, even then when the danger was nigh the approaching.
What cautions Christian and his companion had received of the Shepherds, they had also lost, by that the time was come that they had need to put them in practice. Wherefore, here was the advantage that this company had over the other.
From hence they went on singing, and they said,
Behold, how fitly are the stages set
For their relief that pilgrims are become!
And how they us receive without one let,
That makes the other life our mark and home!
What novelties they have to us they give,
That we, though Pilgrims, joyful lives may live;
They do upon us, too, such things bestow,
That show we Pilgrims are, where'er we go.
When they were gone from the Shepherds, they quickly came to the place where Christian met with one Turn-away, that dwelt in the town of Apostasy. Wherefore of him Mr. Great-heart, their guide, did now put them in mind, saying, This is the place where Christian met with one Turn-away, who carried with him the character of his rebellion at his back. And this I have to say concerning this man; he would hearken to no counsel, but once falling, persuasion could not stop him.
When he came to the place where the Cross and the Sepulchre were, he did meet with one that did bid him look there, but he gnashed with his teeth, and stamped, and said, he was resolved to go back to his own town. Before he came to the gate, he met with Evangelist, who offered to lay hands on him, to turn him into the way again. But this Turn-away resisted him, and having done much despite unto him, he got away over the wall, and so escaped his hand.
Then they went on; and just at the place where Little-faith formerly was robbed, there stood a man with his sword drawn, and his face all bloody. Then said Mr. Great-heart, What art thou? The man made answer, saying, I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth. I am a pilgrim, and am going to the Celestial City. Now, as I was in my way, there were three men did beset me, and propounded unto me these three things: 1. Whether I would become one of them. 2. Or go back from whence I came. 3. Or die upon the place. To the first, I answered, I had been a true man a long season, and therefore it could not be expected that I now should cast in my lot with thieves. Then they demanded what I would say to the second. So I told them that the place from whence I came, had I not found incommodity there, I had not forsaken it at all; but finding it altogether unsuitable to me, and very unprofitable for me, I forsook it for this way. Then they asked me what I said to the third. And I told them, My life cost more dear far, than that I should lightly give it away. Besides, you have nothing to do thus to put things to my choice; wherefore, at your peril be it, if you meddle. Then these three, to wit, Wild-head, Inconsiderate, and Pragmatic, drew upon me, and I also drew upon them.
So we fell to it, one against three, for the space of above three hours. They have left upon me, as you see, some of the marks of their valour, and have also carried away with them some of mine. They are but just now gone. I suppose they might, as the saying is, heard your horse dash, and so they betook them to flight.
Great-Heart: But here was great odds, three against one.
Valiant-for-Truth: It is true; but little or more are nothing to him that has the truth on his side. 'Though an host should encamp against me,' said one, 'my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.' Besides, saith he, I have read in some records, that one man has fought an army. And how many did Samson slay with the jaw-bone of an ass?
Great-Heart: Then said the guide, Why did you not cry out, that some might have come in for your succour?
Valiant-for-Truth: So I did, to my King, who, I knew, could hear, and afford invisible help, and that was sufficient for me.
Great-Heart: Then said Great-heart to Mr. Valiant-for-truth, Thou hast worthily behaved thyself. Let me see thy sword. So he showed it him. When he had taken it in his hand, and looked thereon a while, he said, Ha! it is a right Jerusalem blade.
Valiant-for-Truth: It is so. Let a man have one of these blades, with a hand to wield it and skill to use it, and he may venture upon an angel with it. He need not fear its holding, if he can but tell how to lay on. Its edges will never blunt. It will cut flesh and bones, and soul and spirit, and all.
Great-Heart: But you fought a great while; I wonder you was not weary.
Valiant-for-Truth: I fought till my sword did cleave to my hand; and when they were joined together, as if a sword grew out of my arm, and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage.
Great-Heart: Thou hast done well. Thou hast 'resisted unto blood, striving against sin.' Thou shalt abide by us, come in and go out with us, for we are thy companions.
Then they took him, and washed his wounds, and gave him of what they had to refresh him; and so they went on together. Now, as they went on, because Mr. Great-heart was delighted in him, for he loved one greatly that he found to be a man of his hands, and because there were with his company them that were feeble and weak, therefore he questioned with him about many things; as, first, what countryman he was?
Valiant-for-Truth: I am of Dark-land; for there I was born, and there my father and mother are still.
Great-Heart: Dark-land, said the guide; doth not that lie up on the same coast with the City of Destruction?
Valiant-for-Truth: Yes, it doth. Now, that which caused me to come on pilgrimage was this; we had one Mr. Tell-true came into our parts, and he told it about what Christian had done, that went from the City of Destruction; namely, how he had forsaken his wife and children, and had betaken himself to a pilgrim's life. It was also confidently reported, how he had killed a serpent that did come out to resist him in his journey, and how he got through to whither he intended. It was also told, what welcome he had at all his Lord's lodgings, especially when he came to the gates of the Celestial City; for there, said the man, he was received with sound of trumpet, by a company of Shining Ones. He told it also, how all the bells in the city did ring for joy at his reception, and what golden garments he was clothed with, with many other things that now I shall forbear to relate. In a word, that man so told the story of Christian and his travels, that my heart fell into a burning haste to be gone after him; nor could father or mother stay me! So I got from them, and am come thus far on my way.
Great-Heart: You came in at the gate, did you not?
Valiant-for-Truth: Yes, yes; for the same man also told us that all would be nothing, if we did not begin to enter this way at the gate.
Great-Heart: Look you, said the guide to Christiana, the pilgrimage of your husband, and what he has gotten thereby, is spread abroad far and near.
Valiant-for-Truth: Why, is this Christian's wife?
Great-Heart: Yes, that it is; and these are also her four sons.
Valiant-for-Truth: What! and going on pilgrimage too?
Great-Heart: Yes, verily; they are following after.
Valiant-for-Truth: It glads me at heart. Good man! how joyful will he be when he shall see them that would not go with him, yet to enter after him in at the gates into the City!
Great-Heart: Without doubt it will be a comfort to him; for, next to the joy of seeing himself there, it will be a joy to meet there his wife and children.
Valiant-for-Truth: But, now you are upon that, pray let me hear your opinion about it. Some make a question, Whether we shall know one another when we are there.
Great-Heart: Do they think they shall know themselves then, or that they shall rejoice to see themselves in that bliss? and if they think they shall know and do these, why not know others, and rejoice in their welfare also?
Again, since relations are our second self, though that state will be dissolved there; yet why may it not be rationally concluded, that we shall be more glad to see them there, than to see they are wanting?
Valiant-for-Truth: Well, I perceive whereabouts you are as to this. Have you any more things to ask me about my beginning to come on pilgrimage?
Great-Heart: Yes. Was your father and mother willing that you should become a pilgrim?
Valiant-for-Truth: O no! They used all means imaginable to persuade me to stay at home.
Great-Heart: What could they say against it?
Valiant-for-Truth: They said it was an idle life; and if I myself were not inclined to sloth and laziness, I would never countenance a pilgrim's condition.
Great-Heart: And what did they say else?
Valiant-for-Truth: Why, they told me that it was a dangerous way; yea, the most dangerous way in the world, said they, is that which the pilgrims go.
Great-Heart: Did they show wherein this way is so dangerous?
Valiant-for-Truth: Yes; and that in many particulars.
Great-Heart: Name some of them.
Valiant-for-Truth: They told me of the Slough of Despond, where Christian was well nigh smothered. They told me that there were archers standing ready in Beelzebub Castle, to shoot them that should knock at the wicket-gate for entrance. They told me also of the wood, and dark mountains; of the Hill Difficulty; of the lions; and also of the three giants, Bloody-man, Maul, and Slay-good. They said, moreover, that there was a foul fiend haunted the Valley of Humiliation, and that Christian was by him almost bereft of life. Besides, said they, you must go over the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where the hobgoblins are; where the light is darkness; where the way is full of snares, pits, traps, and gins. They told me also of Giant Despair, of Doubting Castle, and of the ruin that the Pilgrims met with there. Further they said I must go over the Enchanted Ground: which was dangerous. And that, after all this, I should find a river, over which I should find no bridge, and that that river did be betwixt me and the Celestial Country.
Great-Heart: And was this all?
Valiant-for-Truth: No. They also told me that this way was full of deceivers, and of persons that laid in wait there to turn good men out of the path.
Great-Heart: But how did they make that out?
Valiant-for-Truth: They told me that Mr. Worldly-wiseman did there lie in wait to deceive. They also said, that there was Formality and Hypocrisy continually on the road. They said also that By-ends, Talkative, or Demas would go near to gather me up; that the Flatterer would catch me in his net; or that, with green-headed Ignorance, I would presume to go on to the gate, from whence he always was sent back to the hole that was in the side of the hill, and made to go the by-way to hell.
Great-Heart: I promise you this was enough to discourage; but did they make an end here?
Valiant-for-Truth: No; stay. They told me also of many that had tried that way of old, and that had gone a great way therein, to see if they could find something of the glory there, that so many had so much talked of from time to time; and how they came back again, and befooled themselves for setting a foot out of doors in that path, to the satisfaction of all the country. And they named several that did so; as Obstinate and Pliable, Mistrust and Timorous, Turn-away and old Atheist, with several more, who, they said, had some of them, gone far to see if they could find; but not one of them found so much advantage by going as amounted to the weight of a feather.
Great-Heart: Said they anything more to discourage you?
Valiant-for-Truth: Yes. They told me of one Mr. Fearing who was a pilgrim; and how he found this way so solitary, that he never had comfortable hour therein. Also that Mr. Despondency had like to have been starved therein; yea, and also, which I had almost forgot, that Christian himself, about whom there has been such a noise, after all his ventures for a celestial crown, was certainly drowned in the Black River, and never went foot further, however it was smothered up.
Great-Heart: And did none of these things discourage you?
Valiant-for-Truth: No; they seemed but as so many nothings to me.
Great-Heart: How came that about?
Valiant-for-Truth: Why, I still believed what Mr. Tell-true had said, and that carried me beyond them all.
Great-Heart: Then this was your victory, even your faith.
Valiant-for-Truth: It was so. I believed, by the grace of God, and therefore came out, got into the way, fought all that set themselves against me, and, by believing, am come to this place.
Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather.
There's no discouragement
Shall make him once relent,
His first avow'd intent
To be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound.
His strength the more is;
No lion can him fright,
He'll with a giant fight;
But he will have a right
To be a pilgrim.
Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He'll fear not what men say;
He'll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.
By this time they were got to the Enchanted Ground, where the air naturally tended to make one drowsy; and that place was all grown over with briars and thorns, excepting here and there, where was an Enchanted Arbour, upon which if a man sits, or in which, if a man sleeps, it is a question, say some, whether ever he shall rise or wake again in this world. Over this forest, therefore, they went, both one and the other, and Mr. Great-heart went before, for that he was the guide; and Mr. Valiant-for-truth, he came behind, being there a guard, for fear, lest peradventure some fiend, or dragon, or giant, or thief, should fall upon their rear, and so do mischief. They went on here, each man with his sword drawn in his hand, for they knew it was a dangerous place. Also they cheered up one another as well as they could; Feeble-mind, Mr. Great-heart commanded, should come up after him, and Mr. Despondency was under the eye of Mr. Valiant.
Now they had not gone far, but a great mist and darkness fell upon them all, so that they could scarce, for a great while, see the one the other; wherefore they were forced, for some time, to feel for one another by words; for they walked not by sight.
But anyone must think that here was but sorry going for the best of them all; but how much worse for the women and children, who both of feet and heart, were but tender. Yet so it was, that through the encouraging words of he that led in the front, and of him that brought them up behind, they made a pretty good shift to wag along.
The way also was here very wearisome, through dirt and slabbiness. Nor was there on all this ground so much as one inn, or victualling house, therein to refresh the feebler sort. Here, therefore, was grunting, and puffing, and sighing. While one tumbleth over a bush, another sticks fast in the dirt; and the children, some of them, lost their shoes in the mire. While one cries out, I am down; and another, Ho! where are you? and a third, The bushes have got such fast hold on me, I think I cannot get away from them.
Then they came at an arbour, warm, and promising much refreshing to the Pilgrims; for it was finely wrought above the head, beautified with greens, furnished with benches and settles. It also had in it a soft couch, whereon the weary might lean. This, you must think, all things considered, was tempting; for the Pilgrims already began to be foiled with the badness of the way; but there was not one of them that made so much as a motion to stop there. Yea, for aught I could perceive, they continually gave so good heed to the advice of their guide, and he did so faithfully tell them of dangers, and of the nature of dangers, when they were at them, that usually, when they were nearest to them, they did most pluck up their spirits, and hearten one another to deny the flesh. This arbour was called The Slothful's Friend, on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims there to take up their rest when weary.
I saw then in my dream, that they went on in this their solitary ground, till they came to a place at which a man is apt to lose his way. Now, though when it was light, their guide could well enough tell how to miss those ways that led wrong, yet in the dark he was put to a stand; but he had in his pocket a map of all ways leading to, or from the Celestial City; wherefore he struck a light, for he never goes also without his tinder-box, and takes a view of his book or map, which bids him be careful, in that place, to turn to the right-hand way. And had he not here been careful to look in his map, they had all, in probability, been smothered in the mud; for, just a little before them, and that at the end of the cleanest way too, was a pit, none knows how deep, full of nothing but mud, there made on purpose to destroy the Pilgrims in.
Then thought I with myself, who that goeth on pilgrimage, but would have one of these maps about him, that he may look when he is at a stand, which is the way he must take.
They went on, then, in this Enchanted Ground, till they came to where there was another arbour, and it was built by the highway-side. And in that arbour there lay two men, whose names were Heedless and Too-bold. These two went thus far on pilgrimage; but here, being wearied with their journey, they sat down to rest themselves, and so fell fast asleep. When the Pilgrims saw them, they stood still, and shook their heads; for they knew that the sleepers were in a pitiful case. Then they consulted what to do, whether to go on and leave them in their sleep, or to step to them, and try to awake them. So they concluded to go to them, and awake them; that is, if they could; but with this caution, namely, to take heed that themselves did not sit down nor embrace the offered benefit of that arbour.
So they went in, and spake to the men, and called each by his name, for the guide, it seems, did know them; but there was no voice nor answer. Then the guide did shake them, and do what he could to disturb them. Then said one of them, I will pay you when I take my money. At which the guide shook his head. I will fight so long as I can hold my sword in my hand, said the other. At that one of the children laughed.
Then said Christiana, What is the meaning of this? The guide said, They talk in their sleep. If you strike them, beat them, or whatever else you do to them, they will answer you after this fashion; or, as one of them said in old time, when the waves of the sea did beat upon him, and he slept as one upon the mast of a ship, 'When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.' You know, when men talk in their sleep, they say anything, but their words are not governed either by faith or reason. There is an incoherency in their words now, as there was before, betwixt their going on pilgrimage, and sitting down here. This, then, is the mischief of it, when heedless ones go on pilgrimage, it is twenty to one but they are served thus; for this Enchanted Ground is one of the last refuges that the enemy to pilgrims has. Wherefore it is, as you see, placed almost at the end of the way, and so it standeth against us with the more advantage. For when, thinks the enemy, will these fools be so desirous to sit down, as when they are weary? and when so like to be weary, as when almost at their journey's end? Therefore it is, I say, that the Enchanted Ground is placed so nigh to the Land Beulah, and so near the end of their race. Wherefore, let pilgrims look to themselves, lest it happen to them as it has done to these, that, as you see, are fallen asleep, and none can wake them.
Then the Pilgrims desired, with trembling, to go forward; only they prayed their guide to strike a light, that they might go the rest of their way by the help of the light, of a lantern. So he struck a light, and they went by the help of that through the rest of this way, though the darkness was very great.
But the children began to be sorely weary; and they cried out unto Him that loveth pilgrims, to make their way more comfortable. So by that they had gone a little further, a wind arose, that drove away the fog; so the air became more clear.
Yet they were not off, by much, of the Enchanted Ground, only now they could see one another better, and the way wherein they should walk.
Now, when they were almost at the end of this ground, they perceived that, a little before them, was a solemn noise of one that was much concerned. So they went on and looked before them; and behold, they saw, as they thought, a man upon his knees, with hands and eyes lift up, and speaking, as they thought, earnestly to One that was above. They drew nigh, but could not tell what he said. So they went softly till he had done. When he had done, he got up, and began to run towards the Celestial City. Then Mr. Great-heart called after him, saying, Soho! friend, let us have your company, if you go, as I suppose you do, to the Celestial City. So the man stopped, and they came up to him. But so soon as Mr. Honest saw him, he said, I know this man. Then said Mr. Valiant-for-truth, Prithee, who is it? It is one, said he, who comes from whereabouts I dwelt. His name is Stand-fast; he is certainly a right good pilgrim.
So they came up one to another; and presently Stand-fast said to old Honest, Ho, father Honest, are you there? Aye, said he, that I am, as sure as you are there. Right glad am I, said Mr. Stand-fast, that I have found you on this road. And as glad am I, said the other, that I espied you upon your knees. Then Mr. Stand-fast blushed, and said, But why, did you see me? Yes, that I did, quoth the other, and with my heart was glad at the sight. Why, what did you think? said Stand-fast. Think! said old Honest, what should I think? I thought we had an honest man upon the road, and therefore should have his company by and by. If you thought not amiss [said Stand-fast], how happy am I; but if I be not as I should, I alone must bear it. That is true, said the other; but your fear doth further confirm me, that things are right betwixt the Prince of Pilgrims and your soul; for, saith he, 'Blessed is the man that feareth always.'
Valiant-for-Truth: Well, but brother, I pray thee tell us what was it that was the cause of thy being upon thy knees even now? Was it for that some special mercies laid obligations upon thee, or how?
Stand-Fast: Why, we are, as you see, upon the Enchanted Ground; and as I was coming along, I was musing with myself of what a dangerous road the road in this place was, and how many that had come even thus far on pilgrimage had here been stopped, and been destroyed. I thought also of the manner of the death with which this place destroyeth men. Those that die here, die of no violent distemper. The death which such die is not grievous to them; for he that goeth away in a sleep, begins that journey with desire and pleasure; yea, such acquiesce in the will of that disease.
Mr. Honest: Then Mr. Honest, interrupting of him, said, Did you see the two men asleep in the arbour?
Stand-Fast: Aye, aye, I saw Heedless and Too-bold there; and, for aught I know, there they will lie till they rot. But let me go on in my tale. As I was thus musing, as I said, there was one, in very pleasant attire, but old, who presented herself unto me, and offered me three things; to wit, her body, her purse, and her bed. Now, the truth is, I was both a-weary and sleepy; I am also as poor as an owlet, and that, perhaps, the witch knew. Well, I repulsed her once and twice, but she put by my repulses, and smiled. Then I began to be angry; but she mattered that nothing at all. Then she made offers again, and said, If I would be ruled by her, she would make me great and happy; for, said she, I am the mistress of the world, and men are made happy by me. Then I asked her name, and she told me it was Madam Bubble. This set me further from her; but she still followed me with enticements. Then I betook me as you saw, to my knees; and with hands lift up, and cries, I prayed to Him that had said He would help. So, just as you came up, the gentlewoman went her way. Then I continued to give thanks for this my great deliverance; for I verily believe she intended no good, but rather sought to make stop of me in my journey.
Mr. Honest: Without doubt her designs were bad. But stay, now you talk of her, methinks I either have seen her, or have read some story of her.
Stand-Fast: Perhaps you have done both.
Mr. Honest: Madam Bubble! is she not a tall, comely dame, something of a swarthy complexion?
Stand-Fast: Right, you hit it, she is just such a one.
Mr. Honest: Doth she not speak very smoothly, and give you a smile at the end of a sentence?
Stand-Fast: You fall right upon it again, for these are her very actions.
Mr. Honest: Doth she not wear a great purse by her side; and is not her hand often in it, fingering her money, as if that was her heart's delight?
Stand-Fast: It is just so; had she stood by all this while, you could not more amply have set her forth before me, nor have better described her features.
Mr. Honest: Then he that drew her picture was a good limner, and he that wrote of her said true.
Great-Heart: This woman is a witch, and it is by virtue of her sorceries that this ground is enchanted. Whoever doth lay their head down in her lap, had as good lay it down upon that block over which the axe doth hang; and whoever lay their eyes upon her beauty, are counted the enemies of God. This is she that maintaineth in their splendour all those that are the enemies of pilgrims. Yea, this is she that hath bought off many a man from a pilgrim's life. She is a great gossipper; she is always, both she and her daughters, at one pilgrim's heels or another, now commending, and then preferring the excellencies of this life. She is a bold and impudent slut; she will talk with any man. She always laugheth poor pilgrims to scorn; but highly commends the rich. If there be one cunning to get money in a place, she will speak well of him from house to house; she loveth banqueting and feasting mainly well; she is always at one full table or another. She has given it out in some places, that she is a goddess, and therefore some do worship her. She has her times and open places of cheating; and she will say and avow it, that none can show a good comparable to hers. She promiseth to dwell with children's children, if they will but love and make much of her. She will cast out of her purse gold like dust, in some places, and to some persons. She loves to be sought after, spoken well of, and to lie in the bosoms of men. She is never weary of commending her commodities, and she loves them most that think best of her. She will promise to some crowns and kingdoms, if they will but take her advice; yet many hath she brought to the halter, and ten thousand times more to hell.
Stand-Fast: O, said Stand-fast, what a mercy is it that I did resist! for whither might she have drawn me!
Great-Heart: Whither! nay, none but God knows whither. But, in general, to be sure, she would have drawn thee into 'many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.'
It was she that set Absalom against his father, and Jeroboam against his master. It was she that persuaded Judas to sell his Lord, and that prevailed with Demas to forsake the godly pilgrims' life; none can tell of the mischief that she doth. She makes variance betwixt rulers and subjects, betwixt parents and children, betwixt neighbour and neighbour, betwixt a man and his wife, betwixt a man and himself, betwixt the flesh and the heart.
Wherefore, good Master Stand-fast, be as your name is, and 'when you have done all, Stand.'
At this discourse there was, among the Pilgrims, a mixture of joy and trembling; but at length they brake out, and sang--
What danger is the pilgrim in!
How many are his foes!
How many ways there are to sin
No living mortal knows.
Some of the ditch shy are, yet can
Lie tumbling in the mire;
Some, though they shun the frying-pan,
Do leap into the fire.
After this, I beheld until they were come unto the Land of Beulah, where the sun shineth night and day. Here, because they were weary, they betook themselves a while to rest; and, because this country was common for pilgrims, and because the orchards and vineyards that were here belonged to the King of the Celestial country, therefore they were licensed to make bold with any of His things. But a little while soon refreshed them here; for the bells did so ring, and the trumpets continually sound so melodiously, that they could not sleep; and yet they received as much refreshing, as if they had slept their sleep ever so soundly. Here also all the noise of them that walked in the streets, was, More pilgrims are come to town. And another would answer, saying, And so many went over the water, and were let in at the golden gates today. They would cry again, There is now a legion of Shining Ones just come to town, by which we know that there are more pilgrims upon the road; for here they come to wait for them, and to comfort them after all their sorrow. Then the Pilgrims got up, and walked to and fro; but how were their ears now filled with heavenly noises, and their eyes delighted with celestial visions! In this land they heard nothing, saw nothing, felt nothing, smelled nothing, tasted nothing, that was offensive to their stomach or mind; only when they tasted of the water of the river over which they were to go, they thought that tasted a little bitterish to the palate, but it proved sweeter when it was down.
In this place there was a record kept of the names of them that had been pilgrims of old, and a history of all the famous acts that they had done. It was here also much discoursed how the river to some had had its flowings, and what ebbings it has had while others have gone over. It has been in a manner dry for some, while it has overflowed its banks for others.
In this place the children of the town would go into the King's gardens, and gather nosegays for the Pilgrims, and bring them to them with much affection. Here also grew camphire, with spikenard, and saffron, calamus, and cinnamon, with all its trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, with all chief spices. With these the Pilgrims' chambers were perfumed, while they staid here; and with these were their bodies anointed, to prepare them to go over the river when the time appointed was come.
Now, while they lay here, and waited for the good hour, there was a noise in the town, that there was a post come from the Celestial City, with matter of great importance to one Christiana, the wife of Christian the Pilgrim. So inquiry was made for her, and the house was found out where she was; so the post presented her with a letter; the contents whereof were, 'Hail, good woman! I bring thee tidings that the Master calleth for thee, and expecteth that thou shouldest stand in His presence, in clothes of immortality, within these ten days.'
When he had read this letter to her, he gave her therewith a sure token that he was a true messenger, and was come to bid her make haste to be gone. The token was, an arrow with a point sharpened with love, let easily into her heart, which by degrees wrought so effectually with her, that at the time appointed she must be gone.
When Christiana saw that her time was come, and that she was the first of this company that was to go over, she called for Mr. Great-heart her guide, and told him how matters were. So he told her he was heartily glad of the news, and could have been glad had the post come for him. Then she bid that he should give advice how all things should be prepared for her journey. So he told her, saying, thus and thus it must be; and we that survive will accompany you to the river side.
Then she called for her children, and gave them her blessing, and told them, that she yet read with comfort the mark that was set in their foreheads, and was glad to see them with her there, and that they had kept their garments so white. Lastly, she bequeathed to the poor that little she had, and commanded her sons and her daughters to be ready against the messenger should come for them. When she had spoken these words to her guide and to her children, she called for Mr. Valiant-for-truth, and said unto him, Sir, you have in all places showed yourself truehearted; 'be faithful unto death,' and my King will give you 'a crown of life.' I would also entreat you to have an eye to my children; and if at any time you see them faint, speak comfortably to them. For my daughters, my sons' wives, they have been faithful, and a fulfilling of the promise upon them will be their end. But she gave Mr. Stand-fast a ring. Then she called for old Mr. Honest, and said of him, 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.' Then said he, I wish you a fair day, when you set out for Mount Zion, and shall be glad to see that you go over the river dry-shod. But she answered, Come wet, come dry, I long to be gone; for, however the weather is in my journey, I shall have time enough when I come there to sit down and rest me, and dry me.
Then came in that good man Mr. Ready-to-halt, to see her. So she said to him, Thy travel hither has been with difficulty; but that will make thy rest the sweeter. But watch and be ready; for at an hour when you think not, the messenger may come. After him came in Mr. Despondency, and his daughter Much-afraid, to whom she said, You ought with thankfulness, forever to remember your deliverance from the hands of Giant Despair, and out of Doubting Castle. The effect of that mercy is, that you are brought with safety hither. Be ye watchful, and cast away fear; 'be sober and hope to the end.'
Then she said to Mr. Feeble-mind, Thou wast delivered from the mouth of Giant Slay-good, that thou mightest live in the light of the living forever, and see thy King with comfort; only I advise thee to repent thee of thine aptness to fear and doubt of His goodness, before He sends for thee; lest thou shouldest, when He comes, be forced to stand before Him, for that fault, with blushing. Now the day drew on, that Christiana must be gone. So the road was full of people to see her take her journey. But, behold, all the banks beyond the river were full of horses and chariots, which were come down from above to accompany her to the city gate. So she came forth, and entered the river, with a beckon of farewell to those that followed her to the river side. The last words that she was heard to say here, were, I come, Lord, to be with Thee, and bless Thee.
So her children and friends returned to their place, for that those that waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight. So she went and called, and entered in at the gate with all the ceremonies of joy that her husband Christian had done before her.
At her departure her children wept. But Mr. Great-heart and Mr. Valiant played upon the well-tuned cymbal and harp for joy. So all departed to their respective places.
In process of time there came a post to the town again, and his business was with Mr. Ready-to-halt. So he inquired him out, and said to him, I am come to thee in the name of Him whom thou hast loved and followed, though upon crutches; and my message is to tell thee, that He expects thee at His table to sup with Him, in His kingdom, the next day after Easter; wherefore prepare thyself for this journey.
Then he also gave him a token that he was a true messenger, saying, I have broken thy golden bowl, and loosed thy silver cord.
After this, Mr. Ready-to-halt called for his fellow-pilgrims, and told them, saying, I am sent for, and God shall surely visit you also. So he desired Mr. Valiant to make his will; and because he had nothing to bequeath to them that should survive him, but his crutches, and his good wishes, therefore thus he said, These crutches I bequeath to my son that shall tread in my steps, with a hundred warm wishes that he may prove better than I have done. Then he thanked Mr. Great-heart for his conduct and kindness, and so addressed himself to his journey. When he came at the brink of the river, he said, Now I shall have no more need of these crutches, since yonder are chariots and horses for me to ride on. The last words he was heard to say was, Welcome life! So he went his way.
After this, Mr. Feeble-mind had tidings brought him, that the post sounded his horn at his chamber door. Then he came in, and told him, saying, I am come to tell thee, that thy Master hath need of thee; and that, in very little time, thou must behold His face in brightness. And take this as a token of the truth of my message, 'Those that look out of the windows shall be darkened.'
Then Mr. Feeble-mind called for his friends, and told them what errand had been brought unto him, and what token he had received of the truth of the message. Then he said, Since I have nothing to bequeath to any, to what purpose should I make a will As for my feeble mind, that I will leave behind me, for that I have no need of that in the place whither I go. Nor is it worth bestowing upon the poorest pilgrim; wherefore, when I am gone, I desire that you, Mr. Valiant, would bury it in a dunghill. This done, and the day being come in which he was to depart, he entered the river as the rest. His last words were, Hold out, faith and patience. So he went over to the other side.
When days had many of them passed away, Mr. Despondency was sent for; for a post was come, and brought this message to him: Trembling man, these are to summon thee to be ready with thy King by the next Lord's Day, to shout for joy for thy deliverance from all thy doubtings.
And, said the messenger, that my message is true, take this for a proof; so he gave him the grasshopper to be a burden unto him. Now, Mr. Despondency's daughter, whose name was Much-afraid, said, when she heard what was done, that she would go with her, father. Then Mr. Despondency said to his friends, Myself and my daughter, you know what we have been, and how troublesomely we have behaved ourselves in every company. My will and my daughter's is, that our desponds and slavish fears be by no man ever received, from the day of our departure, forever; for I know that after my death they will offer themselves to others. For, to be plain with you, they are ghosts the which we entertained when we first began to be pilgrims, and could never shake them off after; and they will walk about and seek entertainment of the pilgrims; but, for our sakes, shut ye the doors upon them.
When the time was come for them to depart, they went to the brink of the river. The last words of Mr. Despondency were, Farewell night, welcome day. His daughter went through the river singing, but none could understand what she said.
Then it came to pass, a while after, that there was a post in the town that inquired for Mr. Honest. So he came to his house where he was, and delivered to his hand these lines: Thou art commanded to be ready against this day sevennight, to present thyself before thy Lord, at His Father's house. And for a token that my message is true, 'All thy daughters of music shall he brought low.' Then Mr. Honest called for his friends, and said unto them, I die, but shall make no will. As for my honesty, it shall go with me; let him that comes after be told of this. When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed himself to go over the river. Now the river at that time overflowed the banks in some places; but Mr. Honest in his lifetime had spoken to one Good-conscience to meet him there, the which he also did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him over. The last words of Mr. Honest were, Grace reigns. So he left the world.
After this, it was noised abroad, that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a summons, by the same post as the other; and had this for a token that the summons was true, 'That his pitcher was broken at the fountain.' When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then, said he, I am going to my Father's; and though with great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me, that I have fought His battles, who now will be my Rewarder. When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, 'Death, where is thy sting?' And as he went down deeper, he said, 'Grave, where is thy victory?' So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
Then there came forth a summons for Mr. Stand-fast--this Mr. Stand-fast was he that the rest of the Pilgrims found upon his knees in the Enchanted Ground--for the post brought it him open in his hands. The contents whereof were, that he must prepare for a change of life, for his Master was not willing that he should be so far from Him any longer. At this Mr. Stand-fast was put into a muse. Nay, said the messenger, you need not doubt of the truth of my message, for here is a token of the truth thereof: 'Thy wheel is broken at the cistern.' Then he called unto him Mr. Great-heart, who was their guide, and said unto him, Sir, although it was not my hap to be much in your good company in the days of my pilgrimage; yet, since the time I knew you, you have been profitable to me. When I came from home, I left behind me a wife and five small children; let me entreat you, at your return (for I know that you will go, and return to your Master's house, in hopes that you may yet be a conductor to more of the holy pilgrims), that you send to my family, and let them be acquainted with all that hath, or shall happen unto me. Tell them, moreover, of my happy arrival to this place, and of the present [and] late blessed condition that I am in. Tell them also of Christian, and Christiana his wife, and how she and her children came after her husband. Tell them also of what a happy end she made, and whither she is gone. I have a little or nothing to send to my family, except it be prayers and tears for them; of which it will suffice if thou acquaint them, if peradventure they may prevail.
When Mr. Stand-fast had thus set things in order, and the time being come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the river. Now there was a great calm at that time in the river; wherefore Mr. Stand-fast, when he was about half-way in, stood a while and talked to his companions that had waited upon him thither; and he said, This river has been a terror to many; yea, the thoughts of it also have often frightened me. Now, methinks, I stand easy, my foot is fixed upon that upon which the feet of the priests that bare the ark of the covenant stood, while Israel went over this Jordan. The waters, indeed, are to the palate bitter, and to the stomach cold; yet the thoughts of what I am going to, and of the conduct that waits for me on the other side, doth lie as a glowing coal at my heart.
I see myself now at the end of my journey, my toilsome days are ended. I am going now to see that Head that was crowned with thorns, and that Face that was spit upon for me.
I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith; but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be with Him in whose company I delight myself.
I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of His shoe in the earth, there I have coveted to set my foot too.
His name has been to me as a civet-box; yea, sweeter than all perfumes. His voice to me has been most sweet; and His countenance I have more desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun. His Word I did use to gather for my food, and for antidotes against my faintings. 'He has held me, and hath kept me from mine iniquities; yea, my steps hath He strengthened in His way.'
Now, while he was thus in discourse, his countenance changed, his strong man bowed under him; and after he had said, Take me, for I come unto Thee, he ceased to be seen of them.
But glorious it was to see how the open region was filled with horses and chariots, with trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on stringed instruments, to welcome the Pilgrims as they went up, and followed one another in at the beautiful gate of the city.
As for Christian's children, the four boys that Christiana brought with her, with their wives and children, I did not stay where I was till they were gone over. Also, since I came away, I heard one say that they were yet alive, and so would be for the increase of the Church in that place where they were, for a time.
Shall it be my lot to go that way again, I may give those that desire it an account of what I here am silent about. Meantime, I bid my reader Adieu.
|AO is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.|
Copyright © 2002-2020 AmblesideOnline. All rights reserved. Use of this curriculum subject to the terms of our License Agreement.
KEEP AO FREE by respecting our copyrights and License   Header and Menus by Aidan Bennett, Apr 2020