As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain
place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and,
as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed
with rags, standing in a certainplace, with his face from his own house,
a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and
saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and
trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a
lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?
In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself as long
as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress;
but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased.
Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and
thus he began to talk to them: O my dear wife, said he, and you the
children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone by reason
of a burden that lieth hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed
that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; in which fearful
overthrow, both myself, with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall
miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of
escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered.
At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that
what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some
frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards
night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all
haste they got him to bed. But the night was as troublesome to him as
the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears.
So, when the morning was come, they would know how he did. He told them,
Worse and worse: he also set to talking to them again; but they began
to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh
and surly carriages to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they
would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he
began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and
also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the
fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some
days he spent his time.
Now, I saw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he
was, as he was wont, reading in his book, and greatly distressed in
his mind; and, as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying,
What shall I do to be saved?
I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run;
yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which
way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him,
who asked, Wherefore dost thou cry?
He answered, Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand, that I am condemned
to die, and after that to come to judgment; and I find that I am not
willing to do the first, nor able to do the second.
Christian no sooner leaves the World
Evangelist, who lovingly him greets
With tidings of another: and doth shew
Him how to mount to that from this below.
Then said Evangelist, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended
with so many evils? The man answered, Because I fear that this burden
that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall
fall into Tophet. And, Sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not
fit, I am sure, to go to judgment, and from thence to execution; and
the thoughts of these things make me cry.
Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?
He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment
roll, and there was written within, Flee from the wrath to come.
The man, therefore, read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully,
said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger
over a very wide field, Do you see yonder wicket-gate? The man said,
No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light? He said, I
think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go
up directly thereto: so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou
knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do. So I saw in my dream
that the man began to run. Now, he had not run far from his own door,
but his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to
return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying,
Life! life! eternal life! So he looked not behind him, but fled towards
the middle of the plain.
The neighbours also came out to see him run; and, as he ran, some mocked,
others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and, among those
that did so, there were two that resolved to fetch him back by force.
The name of the one was Obstinate and the name of the other Pliable.
Now, by this time, the man was got a good distance from them; but, however,
they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time
they overtook him. Then said the man, Neighbours, wherefore are ye come?
They said, To persuade you to go back with us. But he said, That can
by no means be; you dwell, said he, in the City of Destruction, the
place also where I was born: I see it to be so; and, dying there, sooner
or later, you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns
with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with
Obst. What! said Obstinate, and leave our
friends and our comforts behind us?
Chr. Yes, said Christian, for that was
his name, because that ALL which you shall forsake is not worthy to
be compared with a little of that which I am seeking to enjoy; and,
if you will go along with me, and hold it, you shall fare as I myself;
for there, where I go, is enough and to spare. Come away, and prove
Obst. What are the things you seek, since
you leave all the world to find them?
Chr. I seek an inheritance incorruptible,
undefiled, and that fadeth not away, and it is laid up in heaven, and
safe there, to be bestowed, at the time appointed, on them that diligently
seek it. Read it so, if you will, in my book.
Obst. Tush! said Obstinate, away with your
book; will you go back with us or no?
Chr. No, not I, said the other, because
I have laid my hand to the plough.
Obst. Come, then, neighbour Pliable, let
us turn again, and go home without him; there is a company of these
crazy-headed coxcombs, that, when they take a fancy by the end, are
wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Don't revile; if
what the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are
better than ours: my heart inclines to go with my neighbour.
Obst. What! more fools still! Be ruled
by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will
lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise.
Chr. Nay, but do thou come with thy neighbour,
Pliable; there are such things to be had which I spoke of, and many
more glorious besides. If you believe not me, read here in this book;
and for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold, all is confirmed
by the blood of Him that made it.
Pli. Well, neighbour Obstinate, said Pliable, I begin to come
to a point; I intend to go along with this good man, and to cast in
my lot with him: but, my good companion, do you know the way to this
Chr. I am directed by a man, whose name
is Evangelist, to speed me to a little gate that is before us, where
we shall receive instructions about the way.
Pli. Come, then, good neighbour, let us
be going. Then they went both together.
Obst. And I will go back to my place, said
Obstinate; I will be no companion of such misled, fantastical fellows.
Now, I saw in my dream, that when Obstinate was gone back, Christian
and Pliable went talking over the plain; and thus they began their discourse.
Chr. Come, neighbour Pliable, how do you
do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me. Had even Obstinate
himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what
is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pli. Come, neighbour Christian, since there
are none but us two here, tell me now further what the things are, and
how to be enjoyed, whither we are going.
Chr. I can better conceive of them with
my mind, than speak of them with my tongue: but yet, since you are desirous
to know, I will read of them in my book.
Pli. And do you think that the words of
your book are certainly true?
Chr. Yes, verily; for it was made by Him
that cannot lie.
Pli. Well said; what things are they?
Chr. There is an endless kingdom to be
inhabited, and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit
that kingdom for ever.
Pli. Well said; and what else?
Chr. There are crowns and glory to be given
us, and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament
Pli. This is very pleasant; and what else?
Chr. There shall be no more crying, nor
Sorrow: for He that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our
Pli. And what company shall we have there?
Chr. There we shall be with seraphims and
cherubims, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them. There
also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that have gone
before us to that place; none of them are hurtful, but loving and holy;
every one walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence
with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with
their golden crowns, there we shall see the holy virgins with their
golden harps, there we shall see men that by the world were cut in pieces,
burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love
that they bear to the Lord of the place, all well, and clothed with
immortality as with a garment.
Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish
one's heart. But are these things to be enjoyed? How shall we get to
be sharers thereof?
Chr. The Lord, the Governor of the country,
hath recorded that in this book; the substance of which is, If we be
truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely.
Pli. Well, my good companion, glad am I
to hear of these things: come on, let us mend our pace.
Chr. I cannot go so fast as I would, by
reason of this burden that is on my back.
Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk they drew
near to a very miry slough, that was in the midst of the plain; and
they, being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name
of the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a being
grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden
that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Pli. Then said Pliable; Ah! neighbour Christian,
where are you now?
Chr. Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
Pli. At this Pliable began to be offended,
and angrily said to his fellow, Is this the happiness you have told
me all this while of? If we have such ill speed at our first setting
out, what may we expect betwixt this and our journey's end? May I get
out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone for
me. And, with that, he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out
of the mire on that side of the slough which was next to his own house:
so away he went, and Christian saw him no more.
Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone:
but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that
was still further from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate; the
which he did, but could not get out, because of the burden that was
upon his back: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose
name was Help, and asked him, What he did there?
Chr. Sir, said Christian, I was bid go
this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder
gate, that I might escape the wrath to come; and as I was going thither
I fell in here.
Help. But why did not you look for the
Chr. Fear followed me so hard, that I fled
the next way, and fell in.
Help. Then said he, Give me thy hand: so
he gave him his hand, and he drew him out, and set him upon sound ground,
and bid him go on his way.
Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, Sir, wherefore,
since over this place is the way from the City of Destruction to yonder
gate, is it that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might
go thither with more security? And he said unto me, This miry slough
is such a place as cannot be mended; it is the descent whither the scum
and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and
therefore it is called the Slough of Despond; for still, as the sinner
is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many
fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them
get together, and settle in this place. And this is the reason of the
badness of this ground. It is not the pleasure of the King that this
place should remain so bad. His labourers also have, by the direction
of His Majesty's surveyors, been for above these sixteen hundred years
employed about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended:
yea, and to my knowledge, said he, here have been swallowed up at least
twenty thousand cart-loads, yea, millions of wholesome instructions,
that have at all seasons been brought from all places of the King's
dominions, and they that can tell, say they are the best materials to
make good ground of the place; if so be, it might have been mended,
but it is the Slough of Despond still, and so will be when they have
done what they can.
True, there are, by the direction of the Law-giver, certain good and
substantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this slough;
but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth
against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or, if they
be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside, and then
they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there; but
the ground is good when they are once got in at the gate.
Now, I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his
house again, so that his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them
called him wise man for coming back, and some called him fool for hazarding
himself with Christian: others again did mock at his cowardliness; saying,
Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base to
have given out for a few difficulties. So Pliable sat sneaking among
them. But at last he got more confidence, and then they all turned their
tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back. And thus
much concerning Pliable.
Now, as Christian was walking solitarily by himself, he espied one afar
off, come crossing over the field to meet him; and their hap was to
meet just as they were crossing the way of each other. The gentleman's
name that met him was Mr. Worldly Wiseman, he dwelt in the town of Carnal
Policy, a very great town, and also hard by from whence Christian came.
This man, then, meeting with Christian, and having some inkling of him,
-- for Christian's setting forth from the City of Destruction was much
noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began
to be the town talk in some other places, -- Mr. Worldly Wiseman, therefore,
having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by observing
his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk
World. How now, good fellow, whither away
after this burdened manner?
Chr. A burdened manner, indeed, as ever,
I think, poor creature had! And whereas you ask me, Whither away? I
tell you, Sir, I am going to yonder wicket-gate before me; for there,
as I am informed, I shall be put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.
World. Hast thou a wife and children?
Chr. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden
that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly; methinks I am
as if I had none.
World. Wilt thou hearken unto me if I give
Chr. If it be good, I will; for I stand
in need of good counsel.
World. I would advise thee, then, that
thou with all speed get thyself rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never
be settled in thy mind till then; nor canst thou enjoy the benefits
of the blessing which God hath bestowed upon thee till then.
Chr. That is that which I seek for, even
to be rid of this heavy burden; but get it off myself, I cannot; nor
is there any man in our country that can take it off my shoulders; therefore
am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.
World. Who bid thee go this way to be rid
of thy burden?
Chr. A man that appeared to me to be a
very great and honourable person; his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.
World. I beshrew him for his counsel! there
is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that
unto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou
wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something, as I perceive,
already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but
that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that
go on in that way. Hear me, I am older than thou; thou art like to meet
with, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger,
perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word,
death, and what not! These things are certainly true, having been confirmed
by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly cast away himself,
by giving heed to a stranger?
Chr. Why, Sir, this burden upon my back
is more terrible to me than all these things which you have mentioned;
nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in the way, if so be I can
also meet with deliverance from my burden.
World. How camest thou by the burden at
Chr. By reading this book in my hand.
World. I thought so; and it is happened
unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for
them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do
not only unman men, as thine, I perceive, have done thee, but they run
them upon desperate ventures to obtain they know not what.
Chr. I know what I would obtain; it is
ease for my heavy burden.
World. But why wilt thou seek for ease
this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? especially since, hadst
thou but patience to hear me, I could direct thee to the obtaining of
what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run
thyself into: yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that
instead of those dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship,
Chr. Pray, Sir, open this secret to me.
World. Why, in yonder village -- the village
is named Morality -- there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality,
a very judicious man, and a man of very good name, that has skill to
help men off with such burdens as thine are from their shoulders: yea,
to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; ay, and
besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their
wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped
presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place, and if he
should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son,
whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the
old gentleman himself; there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden;
and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, as,
indeed, I would not wish thee, thou mayest send for thy wife and children
to thee to this village, where there are houses now stand empty, one
of which thou mayest have at reasonable rates; provision is there also
cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy is,
to be sure, there thou shalt live by honest neighbours, in credit and
Now was Christian somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, if
this be true, which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to
take his advice; and with that he thus further spoke.
Chr. Sir, which is my way to this honest
World. Do you see yonder hill?
Chr. Yes, very well.
World. By that hill you must go, and the
first house you come at is his.
So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for
help; but, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so
high, and also that side of it that was next the wayside did hang so
much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill
should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still and wotted not
what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he
was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that
made Christian afraid that he should be burned. Here, therefore, he
sweat and did quake for fear.
When Christians unto carnal men give
Out of their way they go, and pay for't
For Master Worldly Wiseman can but shew
A saint the way to bondage and to woe.
And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman's
counsel. And with that he saw Evangelist coming to meet him; at the
sight also of whom he began to blush for shame. So Evangelist drew nearer
and nearer; and coming up to him, he looked upon him with a severe and
dreadful countenance, and thus began to reason with Christian.
Evan. What dost thou here, Christian? said he: at which words
Christian knew not what to answer; wherefore at present he stood speechless
before him. Then said Evangelist further, Art not thou the man that
I found crying without the walls of the City of Destruction?
Chr. Yes, dear Sir, I am the man.
Evan. Did not I direct thee the way to
the little wicket-gate?
Chr. Yes, dear Sir, said Christian.
Evan. How is it, then, that thou art so
quickly turned aside? for thou art now out of the way.
Chr. I met with a gentleman so soon as
I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might,
in the village before me, find a man that would take off my burden.
Evan. What was he?
Chr. He looked like a gentleman, and talked
much to me, and got me at last to yield; so I came hither; but when
I beheld this hill, and how it hangs over the way, I suddenly made a
stand lest it should fall on my head.
Evan. What said that gentleman to you?
Chr. Why, he asked me whither I was going,
and I told him.
Evan. And what said he then?
Chr. He asked me if I had a family? And
I told him. But, said I, I am so loaden with the burden that is on my
back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as formerly.
Evan. And what said he then?
Chr. He bid me with speed get rid of my
burden; and I told him that it was ease that I sought. And said I, I
am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive further direction how
I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would shew
me a better way, and short, not so attended with difficulties as the
way, Sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to
a gentleman's house that hath skill to take off these burdens, so I
believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might
be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld
things as they are, I stopped for fear (as I said) of danger: but I
now know not what to do.
Evan. Then, said Evangelist, stand still
a little, that I may shew thee the words of God. So he stood trembling.
Then said Evangelist, See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For
if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall
not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. He
said, moreover, Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw
back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. He also did thus apply
them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast
begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot
from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.
Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Woe is me, for
I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right
hand, saying, All manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto
men. Be not faithless, but believing. Then did Christian again a little
revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.
Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the things
that I shall tell thee of. I will now shew thee who it was that deluded
thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. -- The man that met
thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly, because
he savoureth only the doctrine of this world (therefore he always goes
to the town of Morality to church): and partly because he loveth that
doctrine best, for it saveth him best from the cross. And because he
is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways though
right. Now there are three things in this man's counsel, that thou must
1. His turning thee out of the way.
2. His labouring to render the cross odious to thee. And,
3. His setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration
First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; and thine own
consenting thereunto: because this is to reject the counsel of God for
the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, Strive
to enter in at the strait gate, the gate to which I sent thee; for strait
is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. From
this little wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked
man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction; hate,
therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening
Secondly, Thou must abhor his labouring to render the cross odious unto
thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures of Egypt. Besides
the King of glory hath told thee, that he that will save his life shall
lose it; and he that cometh after me, and hateth not his father, and
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and
his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. I say, therefore, for man
to labour to persuade thee, that that shall be thy death, without which,
THE TRUTH hath said, thou canst not have eternal life; this doctrine
thou must abhor.
Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth
to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom
he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from
He to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son
of the bond-woman which now is, and is in bondage with her children;
and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai, which thou hast feared will
fall on thy head. Now, if she, with her children, are in bondage, how
canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore,
is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever
rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be: ye cannot be justified
by the works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living can
be rid of his burden: therefore, Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien, and
Mr. Legality is a cheat; and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his
simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite and cannot help thee. Believe
me, there is nothing in all this noise, that thou hast heard of sottish
men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee
from the way in which I had set thee. After this, Evangelist called
aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said: and with
that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor
Christian stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words
were thus pronounced: As many as are of the works of the law are under
the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not
in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably;
even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman; still
calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel; he also
was greatly ashamed to think that this gentle-man's arguments, flowing
only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him as to cause
him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to
Evangelist in words and sense as follow:
Chr. Sir, what think you? Is there hope?
May I now go back and go up to the wicket-gate? Shall I not be abandoned
for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened
to this man's counsel. But may my sin be forgiven?
Evan. Then said Evangelist to him, Thy
sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils: thou hast
forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths; yet will
the man at the gate receive thee, for he has goodwill for men; only,
said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, lest thou perish
from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Then did Christian
address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him,
gave him one smile, and bid him God-speed. So he went on with haste,
neither spake he to any man by the way; nor, if any asked him, would
he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one that was all the while
treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe,
till again he was got into the way which he left, to follow Mr. Worldly
Wiseman's counsel. So, in process of time, Christian got up to the gate.
Now, over the gate there was written, Knock, and it shall be opened
He that will enter in must first without
Stand knocking at the Gate, nor need
That is A KNOCKER, but to enter in;
For God can love him, and forgive his
He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, saying --
May I now enter here? Will he within
Open to sorry me, though I have been
An undeserving rebel? Then shall I
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on
At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Good-will, who
asked who was there? and whence he came? and what he would have?
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I
come from the City of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that
I may be delivered from the wrath to come. I would therefore, Sir, since
I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are
willing to let me in?
Good-Will. I am willing with all my heart,
said he; and with that he opened the gate.
So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said
Christian, What means that? The other told him. A little distance from
this gate, there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is the
captain; from thence, both he and them that are with him shoot arrows
at those that come up to this gate, if haply they may die before they
can enter in.
Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when he was got in, the
man of the gate asked him who directed him thither?
Chr. Evangelist bid me come hither, and
knock, (as I did;) and he said that you, Sir, would tell me what I must
Good-Will. An open door is set before thee,
and no man can shut it.
Chr. Now I begin to reap the benefits of
Good-Will. But how is it that you came
Chr. Because none of my neighbours saw
their danger, as I saw mine.
Good-Will. Did any of them know of your
Chr. Yes; my wife and children saw me at
the first, and called after me to turn again; also, some of my neighbours
stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in
my ears, and so came on my way.
Good-Will. But did none of them follow
you, to persuade you to go back?
Chr. Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but
when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back,
but Pliable came with me a little way.
Good-Will. But why did he not come through?
Chr. We, indeed, came both together, until
we came at the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell.
And then was my neighbour, Pliable, discouraged, and would not venture
further. Wherefore, getting out again on that side next to his own house,
he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him; so he went
his way, and I came mine -- he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.
Good-Will. Then said Good-Will, Alas, poor
man! is the celestial glory of so small esteem with him, that he counteth
it not worth running the hazards of a few difficulties to obtain it?
Chr. Truly, said Christian, I have said
the truth of Pliable, and if I should also say all the truth of myself,
it will appear there is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is
true, he went back to his own house, but I also turned aside to go in
the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of
one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.
Good-Will. Oh, did he light upon you? What!
he would have had you a sought for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality.
They are, both of them, a very cheat. But did you take his counsel?
Chr. Yes, as far as I durst; I went to
find out Mr. Legality, until I thought that the mountain that stands
by his house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced
Good-Will. That mountain has been the death
of many, and will be the death of many more; it is well you escaped
being by it dashed in pieces.
Chr. Why, truly, I do not know what had
become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again, as I was
musing in the midst of my dumps; but it was God's mercy that he came
to me again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such
a one as I am, more fit, indeed, for death, by that mountain, than thus
to stand talking with my lord; but, oh, what a favour is this to me,
that yet I am admitted entrance here!
Good-Will. We make no objections against
any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they came hither.
They are in no wise cast out; and therefore, good Christian, come a
little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go.
Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow. way? THAT is the way thou
must go; it was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his
apostles; and it is as straight as a rule can make it. This is the way
thou must go.
Chr. But, said Christian, are there no
turnings or windings by which a stranger may lose his way?
Good-Will. Yes, there are many ways butt
down upon this, and they are crooked and wide. But thus thou mayest
distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being straight
Then I saw in my dream that Christian asked him further if he could
not help him off with his burden that was upon his back; for as yet
he had not got rid thereof, nor could he by any means get it off without
He told him, As to thy burden, be content to bear it, until thou comest
to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back of
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to
his journey. So the other told him, That by that he was gone some distance
from the gate, he would come at the house of the Interpreter, at whose
door he should knock, and he would shew him excellent things. Then Christian
took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God-speed.
Then he went on till he came to the house of the Interpreter, where
he knocked over and over; at last one came to the door, and asked who
Chr. Sir, here is a traveller, who was
bid by an acquaintance of the good-man of this house to call here for
my profit; I would therefore speak with the master of the house. So
he called for the master of the house, who, after a little time, came
to Christian, and asked him what he would have.
Chr. Sir, said Christian, I am a man that
am come from the City of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion;
and I was told by the man that stands at the gate, at, the head of this
way, that if I called here, you would shew me excellent things, such
as would be a help to me in my journey.
Inter. Then said the Interpreter, Come
in; I will shew that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded
his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him: so he had
him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when
he had done, Christian saw the picture of a very grave person hung up
against the wall; and this was the fashion of it. It had eyes lifted
up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written
upon his lips, the world was behind his back. It stood as if it pleaded
with men, and a crown of gold did hang over his head.
Chr. Then said Christian, What meaneth
Inter. The man whose picture this is, is
one of a thousand; he can beget children, travail in birth with children,
and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him
with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and
the law of truth writ on his lips, it is to shew thee that his work
is to know and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest
him stand as if he pleaded with men: and whereas thou seest the world
as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head, that is to
shew thee that slighting and despising the things that are present,
for the love that he hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the
world that comes next to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter,
I have shewed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture
this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art
going, hath author-ised to be thy guide in all difficult places thou
mayest meet with in the way; wherefore, take good heed to what I have
shewed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in
thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but
their way goes down to death.
Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlour
that was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had reviewed
a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now, when
he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian
had almost therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter to a damsel
that stood by, Bring hither the water, and sprinkle the room; the which,
when she had done, it was swept and cleansed with pleasure.
Chr. Then said Christian, What means this?
Inter. The Interpreter answered, This parlour
is the heart of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet grace of
the gospel; the dust is his original sin and inward corruptions, that
have defiled the whole man. He that began to sweep at first, is the
Law; but she that brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel.
Now, whereas thou sawest, that so soon as the first began to sweep,
the dust did so fly about that the room by him could not be cleansed,
but that thou wast almost choked therewith; this is to shew thee, that
the law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth
revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it doth
discover and forbid it, for it doth not give power to subdue.
Again, as thou sawest the damsel sprinkle the room with water, upon
which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to shew thee, that when
the gospel comes in the sweet and precious influences thereof to the
heart, then, I say, even as thou sawest the damsel lay the dust by sprinkling
the floor with water, so is sin vanquished and subdued, and the soul
made clean through the faith of it, and consequently fit for the King
of glory to inhabit.
I saw, moreover, in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the hand,
and had him into a little room, where sat two little children, each
one in his chair. The name of the eldest was Passion, and the name of
the other Patience. Passion seemed to be much discontented; but Patience
was very quiet. Then Christian asked, What is the reason of the discontent
of Passion? The Interpreter answered, The Governor of them would have
him stay for his best things till the beginning of the next year; but
he will have all now: but Patience is willing to wait.
Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of treasure,
and poured it down at his feet, the which he took up and rejoiced therein,
and withal laughed Patience to scorn. But I beheld but a while, and
he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but rags.
Chr. Then said Christian to the Interpreter,
Expound this matter more fully to me.
Inter. So he said, These two lads are figures:
Passion, of the men of this world; and Patience, of the men of that
which is to come; for as here thou seest, Passion will have all now
this year, that is to say, in this world; so are the men of this world,
they must have all their good things now, they cannot stay till next
year, that is until the next world, for their portion of good. That
proverb, 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,' is of more authority
with them than are all the Divine testimonies of the good of the world
to come. But as thou sawest that he had
quickly lavished all away, and had presently left him nothing but rags;
so will it be with all such men at the end of this world.
Chr. Then said Christian, Now I see that
Patience has the best wisdom, and that upon many accounts. First, because
he stays for the best things. Second, and also because he will have
the glory of his, when the other has nothing but rags.
Inter. Nay, you may add another, to wit,
the glory of the next world will never wear out; but these are suddenly
gone. Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience,
because he had his good things first, as Patience will have to laugh
at Passion, because he had his best things last; for first must give
place to last, because last must have his time to come; but last gives
place to nothing; for there is not another to succeed. He, therefore,
that hath his portion first, must needs have a time to spend it; but
he that hath his portion last, must have it lastingly; therefore it
is said of Dives, Thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things,
and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou
Chr. Then I perceive it is not best to
covet things that are now, but to wait for things to come.
Inter. You say the truth: For the things
which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
But though this be so, yet since things present and our fleshly appetite
are such near neighbours one to another; and again, because things to
come, and carnal sense, are such strangers one to another; therefore
it is, that the first of these so suddenly fall into amity, and that
distance is so continued between the second.
Then I saw in my dream that the Interpreter took Christian by the hand,
and led him into a place where was a fire burning against a wall, and
one standing by it, always casting much water upon it, to quench it;
yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered, This fire is the work of grace that is wrought
in the heart; he that casts water upon it, to extinguish and put it
out, is the Devil; but in that thou seest the fire notwithstanding burn
higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason of that. So he had
him about to the backside of the wall, where he saw a man with a vessel
of oil in his hand, of the which he did also continually cast, but secretly,
into the fire.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered, This is Christ, who continually, with the
oil of his grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart: by
the means of which, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls
of his people prove gracious still. And in that thou sawest that the
man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire, that is to teach thee
that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained
in the soul.
I saw also, that the Interpreter took him again by the hand, and led
him into a pleasant place, where was builded a stately palace, beautiful
to behold; at the sight of which Christian was greatly delighted. He
saw also, upon the top thereof, certain persons walking, who were clothed
all in gold.
Then said Christian, May we go in thither?
here to continue