I beheld in my dream, that they had not journeyed far, but the river
and the way for a time parted; at which they were not a little sorry;
yet they durst not go out of the way. Now the way from the river was
rough, and their feet tender, by reason of their travels; so the souls
of the pilgrims were much discouraged because of the way. Wherefore,
still as they went on, they wished for better way. Now, a little before
them, there was on the left hand of the road a meadow, and a stile to
go over into it; and that meadow is called By-path Meadow. Then said
Christian to his fellow, If this meadow lieth along by our wayside,
let us go over into it. Then he went to the stile to see, and behold,
a path lay along by the way, on the other side of the fence. It is according
to my wish, said Christian. Here is the easiest going; come, good Hopeful,
and let us go over.
Hope. But how if this path should lead
us out of the way?
Chr. That is not like, said the other.
Look, doth it not go along by the wayside? So Hopeful, being persuaded
by his fellow, went after him over the stile. When they were gone over,
and were got into the path, they found it very easy for their feet;
and withal, they, looking before them, espied a man walking as they
did, (and his name was Vain-confidence;) so they called after him, and
asked him whither that way led. He said, To the Celestial Gate. Look,
said Christian, did not I tell you so? By this you may see we are right.
So they followed, and he went before them. But, behold, the night came
on, and it grew very dark; so that they that were behind lost the sight
of him that went before.
He, therefore, that went before, (Vain-confidence by name,) not seeing
the way before him, fell into a deep pit, which was on purpose there
made, by the Prince of those grounds, to catch vain-glorious fools withal,
and was dashed in pieces with his fall.
Now Christian and his fellow heard him fall. So they called to know
the matter, but there was none to answer, only they heard a groaning.
Then said Hopeful, Where are we now? Then was his fellow silent, as
mistrusting that he had led him out of the way; and now it began to
rain, and thunder, and lighten in a very dreadful manner; and the water
Then Hopeful groaned in himself, saying, Oh, that I had kept on my way!
Chr. Who could have thought that this path
should have led us out of the way?
Hope. I was afraid on it at the very first,
and therefore gave you that gentle caution. I would have spoken plainer,
but that you are older than I.
Chr. Good brother, be not offended; I am
sorry I have brought thee out of the way, and that I have put thee into
such imminent danger; pray, my brother, forgive me; I did not do it
of an evil intent.
Hope. Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive
thee; and believe, too, that this shall be for our good.
Chr. I am glad I have with me a merciful
brother; but we must not stand thus: let us try to go back again.
Hope. But, good brother, let me go before.
Chr. No, if you please, let me go first,
that if there be any danger, I may be first therein, because by my means
we are both gone out of the way.
Hope. No, said Hopeful, you shall not go
first; for your mind being troubled may lead you out of the way again.
Then, for their encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, Set
thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest; turn
again. But by this time the waters were greatly risen, by reason of
which the way of going back was very dangerous. (Then I thought that
it is easier going out of the way, when we are in, than going in when
we are out.) Yet they adventured to go back, but it was so dark, and
the flood was so high, that in their going back they had like to have
been drowned nine or ten times.
Neither could they, with all the skill they had, get again to the stile
that night. Wherefore, at last, lighting under a little shelter, they
sat down there until the daybreak; but, being weary, they fell asleep.
Now there was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle called
Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair; and it was in
his grounds they now were sleeping: wherefore he, getting up in the
morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, caught Christian
and Hopeful asleep in his grounds. Then, with a grim and surly voice,
he bid them awake; and asked them whence they were, and what they did
in his grounds. They told him they were pilgrims, and that they had
lost their way. Then said the Giant, You have this night trespassed
on me, by trampling in and lying on my grounds, and therefore you must
go along with me. So they were forced to go, because he was stronger
than they. They also had but little to say, for they knew themselves
in a fault. The Giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them
into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the
spirits of these two men. Here, then, they lay from Wednesday morning
till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or
light, or any to ask how they did; they were, therefore, here in evil
case, and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now in this place
Christian had double sorrow, because it was through his unadvised counsel
that they were brought into this distress.
The pilgrims now, to gratify the flesh,
Will seek its ease; but oh! how they
Do thereby plunge themselves new griefs
Who seek to please the flesh, themselves
Now, Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence. So when
he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done; to wit, that
he had taken a couple of prisoners and cast them into his dungeon, for
trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also what he had best
to do further to them. So she asked him what they were, whence they
came, and whither they were bound; and he told her. Then she counselled
him that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without any
mercy. So, when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crab-tree cudgel,
and goes down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating
of them as if they were dogs, although they never gave him a word of
distaste. Then he falls upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such
sort that they were not able to help themselves, or to turn them upon
the floor. This done, he withdraws and leaves them there to condole
their misery and to mourn under their distress. So all that day they
spent the time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations. The next
night, she, talking with her husband about them further, and understanding
they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away themselves.
So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner as before,
and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given
them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to
come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an
end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison, for why, said
he, should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?
But they desired him to let them go. With that he looked ugly upon them,
and, rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself, but
that he fell into one of his fits, (for he sometimes, in sunshiny weather,
fell into fits,) and lost for a time the use of his hand; wherefore
he withdrew, and left them as before, to consider what to do. Then did
the prisoners consult between themselves whether it was best to take
his counsel or no; and thus they began to discourse: --
Chr. Brother, said Christian, what shall
we do? The life that we now live is miserable. For my part I know not
whether is best, to live thus, or to die out of hand. My soul chooseth
strangling rather than life, and the grave is more easy for me than
this dungeon. Shall we be ruled by the Giant?
Hope. Indeed, our present condition is
dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me than thus for ever
to abide; but yet, let us consider, the Lord of the country to which
we are going hath said, Thou shalt do no murder: no, not to another
man's person; much more, then, are we forbidden to take his counsel
to kill ourselves. Besides, he that kills another, can but commit murder
upon his body; but for one to kill himself is to kill body and soul
at once. And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave;
but hast thou forgotten the hell, whither for certain the murderers
go? For no murderer hath eternal life, &c. And let us consider,
again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant Despair. Others,
so far as I can understand, have been taken by him, as well as we; and
yet have escaped out of his hand. Who knows, but the God that made the
world may cause that Giant Despair may die? or that, at some time or
other, he may forget to lock us in? or that he may, in a short time,
have another of his fits before us, and may lose the use of his limbs?
and if ever that should come to pass again, for my part, I am resolved
to pluck up the heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from under
his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but, however,
my brother, let us be patient, and endure a while. The time may come
that may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers.
With these words Hopeful at present did moderate the mind of his brother;
so they continued together (in the dark) that day, in their sad and
Well, towards evening, the Giant goes down into the dungeon again, to
see if his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there he
found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of
bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat
them, they could do little but breathe. But, I say, he found them alive;
at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they
had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they
had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian fell into
a swoon; but, coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse
about the Giant's counsel; and whether yet they had best to take it
or no. Now Christian again seemed to be for doing it, but Hopeful made
his second reply as followeth: --
Hope. My brother, said he, rememberest
thou not how valiant thou hast been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush
thee, nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley
of the Shadow of Death. What hardship, terror, and amazement hast thou
already gone through! And art thou now nothing but fear! Thou seest
that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than
thou art; also, this Giant has wounded me as well as thee, and hath
also cut off the bread and water from my mouth; and with thee I mourn
without the light. But let us exercise a little more patience; remember
how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of
the chain, nor cage, nor yet of bloody death. Wherefore let us (at least
to avoid the shame, that becomes not a Christian to be found in) bear
up with patience as well as we can.
Now, night being come again, and the Giant and his wife being in bed,
she asked him concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel.
To which he replied, They are sturdy rogues, they choose rather to bear
all hardship, than to make away themselves. Then said she, Take them
into the castle-yard to-morrow, and shew them the bones and skulls of
those that thou hast already despatched, and make them believe, ere
a week comes to an end, thou also wilt tear them in pieces, as thou
hast done their fellows before them.
So when the morning was come, the Giant goes to them again, and takes
them into the castle-yard, and shews them, as his wife had bidden him.
These, said he, were pilgrims as you are, once, and they trespassed
in my grounds, as you have done; and when I thought fit, I tore them
in pieces, and so, within ten days, I will do you. Go, get you down
to your den again; and with that he beat them all the way thither. They
lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before.
Now, when night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence and her husband,
the Giant, were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse of their
prisoners; and withal the old Giant wondered, that he could neither
by his blows nor his counsel bring them to an end. And with that his
wife replied, I fear, said she, that they live in hope that some will
come to relieve them, or that they have picklocks about them, by the
means of which they hope to escape. And sayest thou so, my dear? said
the Giant; I will, therefore, search them in the morning.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued
in prayer till almost break of day.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed,
brake out in this passionate speech: -- What a fool, quoth he, am I,
thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty!
I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded,
open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful, That is good news,
good brother; pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon
door, whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back, and the door flew
open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went
to the outward door that leads into the castle-yard, and, with his key,
opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must
be opened too; but that lock went damnable hard, yet the key did open
it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed,
but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked Giant
Despair, who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs
to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go
after them. Then they went on, and came to the King's highway, and so
were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.
when they were over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves
what they should do at that stile to prevent those that should come
after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they consented
to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the side thereof this sentence
-- 'Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by
Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and
seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.' Many, therefore, that followed
after read what was written, and escaped the danger. This done, they
sang as follows: --
Out of the way we went, and then we found
What 'twas to tread upon forbidden ground;
And let them that come after have a care,
Lest heedlessness makes them, as we,
Lest they for trespassing his prisoners
Whose castle's Doubting, and whose name's
They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains, which mountains
belong to the Lord of that hill of which we have spoken before; so they
went up to the mountains, to behold the gardens and orchards, the vineyards
and fountains of water; where also they drank and washed themselves,
and did freely eat of the vineyards. Now there were on the tops of these
mountains Shepherds feeding their flocks, and they stood by the highway
side. The Pilgrims therefore went to them, and leaning upon their staves,
(as is common with weary pilgrims when they stand to talk with any by
the way,) they asked, Whose Delectable Mountains are these? And whose
be the sheep that feed upon them?
Mountains delectable they now ascend,
Where Shepherds be, which to them do
Alluring things, and things that cautious
Pilgrims are steady kept by faith and
Shep. These mountains are Immanuel's Land,
and they are within sight of his city; and the sheep also are his, and
he laid down his life for them.
Chr. Is this the way to the Celestial City?
Shep. You are just in your way.
Chr. How far is it thither?
Shep. Too far for any but those that shall
get thither indeed.
Chr. Is the way safe or dangerous?
Shep. Safe for those for whom it is to
be safe; but the transgressors shall fall therein.
Chr. Is there, in this place, any relief
for pilgrims that are weary and faint in the way?
Shep. The Lord of these mountains hath
given us a charge not to be forgetful to entertain strangers, therefore
the good of the place is before you.
I saw also in my dream, that when the Shepherds perceived that they
were wayfaring men, they also put questions to them, to which they made
answer as in other places; as, Whence came you? and, How got you into
the way? and, By what means have you so persevered therein? For but
few of them that begin to come hither do shew their face on these mountains.
But when the Shepherds heard their answers, being pleased therewith,
they looked very lovingly upon them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable
The Shepherds, I say, whose names were Knowledge, Experience, Watchful,
and Sincere, took them by the hand, and had them to their tents, and
made them partake of that which was ready at present. They said, moreover,
We would that ye should stay here awhile, to be acquainted with us;
and yet more to solace yourselves with the good of these Delectable
Mountains. They then told them, that they were content to stay; so they
went to their rest that night, because it was very late.
Then I saw in my dream, that in the morning the Shepherds called up
to Christian and Hopeful to walk with them upon the mountains; so they
went forth with them, and walked a while, having a pleasant prospect
on every side. Then said the Shepherds one to another, Shall we shew
these pilgrims some wonders? So when they had concluded to do it, they
had them first to the top of a hill called Error, which was very steep
on the furthest side, and bid them look down to the bottom. So Christian
and Hopeful looked down, and saw at the bottom several men dashed all
to pieces by a fall that they had from the top. Then said Christian,
What meaneth this? The Shepherds answered, Have you not heard of them
that were made to err by hearkening to Hymeneus and Philetus as concerning
the faith of the resurrection of the body? They answered, Yes. Then
said the Shepherds, Those that you see lie dashed in pieces at the bottom
of this mountain are they; and they have continued to this day unburied,
as you see, for an example to others to take heed how they clamber too
high, or how they come too near the brink of this mountain.
Then I saw that they had them to the top of another mountain, and the
name of that is Caution, and bid them look afar off; which, when they
did, they perceived, as they thought, several men walking up and down
among the tombs that were there; and they perceived that the men were
blind, because they stumbled sometimes upon the tombs, and because they
could not get out from among them. Then said Christian, What means this?
The Shepherds then answered, Did you not see a little below these mountains
a stile, that led into a meadow, on the left hand of this way?
They answered, Yes. Then said the Shepherds, From that stile there goes
a path that leads directly to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant
Despair, and these, pointing to them among the tombs, came once on pilgrimage,
as you do now, even till they came to that same stile; and because the
right way was rough in that place, they chose to go out of it into that
meadow, and there were taken by Giant Despair, and cast into Doubting
Castle; where, after they had been a while kept in the dungeon, he at
last did put out their eyes, and led them among those tombs, where he
has left them to wander to this very day, that the saying of the wise
man might be fulfilled, He that wandereth out of the way of understanding,
shall remain in the congregation of the dead. Then Christian and Hopeful
looked upon one another, with tears gushing out, but yet said nothing
to the Shepherds.
Then I saw in my dream, that the Shepherds had them to another place,
in a bottom, where was a door in the side of a hill, and they opened
the door, and bid them look in. They looked in, therefore, and saw that
within it was very dark and smoky; they also thought that they heard
there a rumbling noise as of fire, and a cry of some tormented, and
that they smelt the scent of brimstone. Then said Christian, What means
this? The Shepherds told them, This is a by-way to hell, a way that
hypocrites go in at; namely, such as sell their birthright, with Esau;
such as sell their master, with Judas; such as blaspheme the gospel,
with Alexander; and that lie and dissemble, with Ananias and Sapphira
his wife. Then said Hopeful to the Shepherds, I perceive that these
had on them, even every one, a show of pilgrimage, as we have now; had
Shep. Yes, and held it a long time too.
Hope. How far might they go on in pilgrimage
in their day, since they notwithstanding were thus miserably cast away?
Shep. Some further, and some not so far,
as these mountains.
Then said the Pilgrims one to another, We have need to cry to the Strong
Shep. Ay, and you will have need to use
it, when you have it, too.
By this time the Pilgrims had a desire to go forward, and the Shepherds
a desire they should; so they walked together towards the end of the
mountains. Then said the Shepherds one to another, Let us here shew
to the Pilgrims the gates of the Celestial City, if they have skill
to look through our perspective glass. The Pilgrims then lovingly accepted
the motion; so they had them to the top of a high hill, called Clear,
and gave them their glass to look.
Then they essayed to look, but the remembrance of that last thing that
the Shepherds had shewn them, made their hands shake; by means of which
impediment, they could not look steadily through the glass; yet they
thought they saw something like the gate, and also some of the glory
of the place. Then they went away, and sang this song --
Thus, by the Shepherds, secrets are reveal'd,
Which from all other men are kept conceal'd.
Come to the Shepherds, then, if you would
Things deep, things hid, and that mysterious
When they were about to depart, one of the Shepherds gave them a note
of the way. Another of them bid them beware of the Flatterer. The third
bid them take heed that they sleep not upon the Enchanted Ground. And
the fourth bid them God-speed. So I awoke from my dream.
And I slept, and dreamed again, and saw the same two Pilgrims going
down the mountains along the highway towards the city. Now, a little
below these mountains, on the left hand, lieth the country of Conceit;
from which country there comes into the way in which the Pilgrims walked,
a little crooked lane. Here, therefore, they met with a very brisk lad,
that came out of that country; and his name was Ignorance. So Christian
asked him from what parts he came, and whither he was going.
Ignor. Sir, I was born in the country that
lieth off there a little on the left hand, and I am going to the Celestial
Chr. But how do you think to get in at
the gate? for you may find some difficulty there.
Ignor. As other people do, said he.
Chr. But what have you to shew at that
gate, that may cause that the gate should be opened to you?
Ignor. I know my Lord's will, and I have been a good liver; I
pay every man his own; I pray, fast, pay tithes, and give alms, and
have left my country for whither I am going.
Chr. But thou camest not in at the wicket-gate that is at the
head of this way; thou camest in hither through that same crooked lane,
and therefore, I fear, however thou mayest think of thyself, when the
reckoning day shall come, thou wilt have laid to thy charge that thou
art a thief and a robber, instead of getting admittance into the city.
Ignor. Gentlemen, ye be utter strangers
to me, I know you not; be content and follow the religion of your country,
and I will follow the religion of mine. I hope all will be well. And
as for the gate that you talk of, all the world knows that that is a
great way off of our country. I cannot think that any man in all our
parts doth so much as know the way to it, nor need they matter whether
they do or no, since we have, as you see, a fine, pleasant green lane,
that comes down from our country, the next way into the way.
When Christian saw that the man was wise in his own conceit, he said
to Hopeful, whisperingly, There is more hope of a fool than of him.
And said, moreover, When he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom
faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool. What, shall
we talk further with him, or out-go him at present, and so leave him
to think of what he hath heard already, and then stop again for him
afterwards, and see if by degrees we can do any good to him?
Then said Hopeful --
Let Ignorance a little while now muse
On what is said, and let him not refuse
Good counsel to embrace, lest he remain
Still ignorant of what's the chiefest
God saith, those that no understanding
Although he made them, them he will not
Hope. He further added, It is not good,
I think, to say all to him at once; let us pass him by, if you will,
and talk to him anon, even as he is able to bear it.
So they both went on, and Ignorance he came after. Now when they had
passed him a little way, they entered into a very dark lane, where they
met a man whom seven devils had bound with seven strong cords, and were
carrying of him back to the door that they saw on the side of the hill.
Now good Christian began to tremble, and so did Hopeful his companion;
yet as the devils led away the man, Christian looked to see if he knew
him; and he thought it might be one Turn-away, that dwelt in the town
of Apostasy. But he did not perfectly see his face, for he did hang
his head like a thief that is found. But being once past, Hopeful looked
after him, and espied on his back a paper with this inscription, Wanton
professor and damnable apostate. Then said Christian to his fellow,
Now I call to remembrance, that which was told me of a thing that happened
to a good man hereabout. The name of the man was Little-faith, but a
good man, and he dwelt in the town of Sincere. The thing was this: --
At the entering in at this passage, there comes down from Broad-way
Gate, a lane called Dead Man's Lane; so called because of the murders
that are commonly done there; and this Little-faith going on pilgrimage,
as we do now, chanced to sit down there, and slept. Now there happened,
at that time, to come down the lane, from Broad-way Gate, three sturdy
rogues, and their names were Faint-heart, Mistrust, and Guilt, (three
brothers,) and they espying Little-faith, where he was, came galloping
up with speed. Now the good man was just awake from his sleep, and was
getting up to go on his journey. So they came up all to him, and with
threatening language bid him stand. At this Little-faith looked as white
as a clout, and had neither power to fight nor fly.
Then said Faint-heart, Deliver thy purse. But he making no haste to
do it (for he was loath to lose his money,) Mistrust ran up to him,
and thrusting his hand into his pocket, pulled out thence a bag of silver.
Then he cried out, Thieves! Thieves! With that Guilt, with a great club
that was in his hand, struck Little-faith on the head, and with that
blow felled him flat to the ground, where he lay bleeding as one that
would bleed to death. All this while the thieves stood by. But, at last,
they hearing that some were upon the road, and fearing lest it should
be one Great-grace, that dwells in the city of Good-confidence, they
betook themselves to their heels, and left this good man to shift for
himself. Now, after a while, Little-faith came to himself, and getting
up, made shift to scrabble on his way. This was the story.
Hope. But did they take from him all that
ever he had?
Chr. No; the place where his jewels were
they never ransacked, so those he kept still. But, as I was told, the
good man was much afflicted for his loss, for the thieves got most of
his spending-money. That which they got not (as I said) were jewels,
also he had a little odd money left, but scarce enough to bring him
to his journey's end; nay, if I was not misinformed, he was forced to
beg as he went, to keep himself alive; for his jewels he might not sell.
But beg, and do what he could, he went (as we say) with many a hungry
belly the most part of the rest of the way.
Hope. But is it not a wonder they got not
from him his certificate, by which he was to receive his admittance
at the Celestial Gate?
Chr. It is a wonder; but they got not that,
though they missed it not through any good cunning of his; for he, being
dismayed with their coming upon him, had neither power nor skill to
hide anything; so it was more by good Providence than by his endeavour,
that they missed of that good thing.
Hope. But it must needs be a comfort to
him, that they got not his jewels from him.
Chr. It might have been great comfort to
him, had he used it as he should; but they that told me the story said,
that he made but little use of it all the rest of the way, and that
because of the dismay that he had in the taking away his money; indeed,
he forgot it a great part of the rest of his journey; and besides, when
at any time it came into his mind, and he began to be comforted therewith,
then would fresh thoughts of his loss come again upon him, and those
thoughts would swallow up all.
Hope. Alas! poor man! This could not but
be a great grief to him.
Chr. Grief! ay, a grief indeed. Would it
not have been so to any of us, had we been used as he, to be robbed,
and wounded too, and that in a strange place, as he was? It is a wonder
he did not die with grief, poor heart! I was told that he scattered
almost all the rest of the way with nothing but doleful and bitter complaints;
telling also to all that overtook him, or that he overtook in the way
as he went, where he was robbed, and how; who they were that did it,
and what he lost; how he was wounded, and that he hardly escaped with
Hope. But it is a wonder that his necessity
did not put him upon selling or pawning some of his jewels, that he
might have wherewith to relieve himself in his journey.
Chr. Thou talkest like one upon whose head
is the shell to this very day; for what should he pawn them, or to whom
should he sell them? In all that country where he was robbed, his jewels
were not accounted of; nor did he want that relief which could from
thence be administered to him. Besides, had his jewels been missing
at the gate of the Celestial City, he had (and that he knew well enough)
been excluded from an inheritance there; and that would have been worse
to him than the appearance and villainy of ten thousand thieves.
Hope. Why art thou so tart, my brother?
Esau sold his birthright, and that for a mess of pottage, and that birthright
was his greatest jewel; and if he, why might not Little-faith do so
Chr. Esau did sell his birthright indeed,
and so do many besides, and by so doing exclude themselves from the
chief blessing, as also that caitiff did; but you must put a difference
betwixt Esau and Little-faith, and also betwixt their estates. Esau's
birthright was typical, but Little-faith's jewels were not so; Esau's
belly was his god, but Little-faith's belly was not so; Esau's want
lay in his fleshly appetite, Little-faith's did not so. Besides, Esau
could see no further than to the fulfilling of his lusts; Behold, I
am at the point to die, (said he,) and what profit shall this birthright
do me? But Little-faith, though it was his lot to have but a little
faith, was by his little faith kept from such extravagances, and made
to see and prize his jewels more than to sell them, as Esau did his
birthright. You read not anywhere that Esau had faith, no, not so much
as a little; therefore, no marvel if, where the flesh only bears sway,
(as it will in that man where no faith is to resist,) if he sells his
birthright, and his soul and all, and that to the devil of hell; for
it is with such, as it is with the ass, who in her occasions cannot
be turned away. When their minds are set upon their lusts, they will
have them whatever they cost. But Little-faith was of another temper,
his mind was on things divine; his livelihood was upon things that were
spiritual, and from above; therefore, to what end should he that is
of such a temper sell his jewels (had there been any that would have
bought them) to fill his mind with empty things? Will a man give a penny
to fill his belly with hay; or can you persuade the turtle-dove to live
upon carrion like the crow? Though faithless ones can, for carnal lusts,
pawn, or mortgage, or sell what they have, and themselves outright to
boot; yet they that have faith, saving faith, though but a little of
it, cannot do so. Here, therefore, my brother, is thy mistake.
Hope. I acknowledge it; but yet your severe
reflection had almost made me angry.
Chr. Why, I did but compare thee to some
of the birds that are of the brisker sort, who will run to and fro in
untrodden paths, with the shell upon their heads; but pass by that,
and consider the matter under debate, and all shall be well betwixt
thee and me.
Hope. But, Christian, these three fellows,
I am persuaded in my heart, are but a company of cowards; would they
have run else, think you, as they did, at the noise of one that was
coming on the road? Why did not Little-faith pluck up a greater heart?
He might, methinks, have stood one brush with them, and have yielded
when there had been no remedy.
Chr. That they are cowards, many have said, but few have found
it so in the time of trial. As for a great heart, Little-faith had none;
and I perceive by thee, my brother, hadst thou been the man concerned,
thou art but for a brush, and then to yield. And, verily, since this
is the height of thy stomach, now they are at a distance from us, should
they appear to thee as they did to him they might put thee to second
But, consider again, they are but journeymen thieves, they serve under
the king of the bottomless pit, who, if need be, will come into their
aid himself, and his voice is as the roaring of a lion. I myself have
been engaged as this Little-faith was, and I found it a terrible thing.
These three villains set upon me, and I beginning, like a Christian,
to resist, they gave but a call, and in came their master. I would,
as the saying is, have given my life for a penny, but that, as God would
have it, I was clothed with armour of proof. Ay, and yet, though I was
so harnessed, I found it hard work to quit myself like a man. No man
can tell what in that combat attends us, but he that hath been in the
Hope. Well, but they ran, you see, when
they did but suppose that one Great-grace was in the way.
Chr. True, they have often fled, both they
and their master, when Great-grace hath but appeared; and no marvel;
for he is the King's champion. But, I trow, you will put some difference
betwixt Little-faith and the King's champion. All the King's subjects
are not his champions, nor can they, when tried, do such feats of war
as he. Is it meet to think that a little child should handle Goliath
as David did? Or that there should be the strength of an ox in a wren?
Some are strong, some are weak; some have great faith, some have little.
This man was one of the weak, and therefore he went to the wall.
Hope. I would it had been Great-grace for
Chr. If it had been, he might have had
his hands full; for I must tell you, that though Great-grace is excellent
good at his weapons, and has, and can, so long as he keeps them at sword's
point, do well enough with them; yet, if they get within him, even Faint-heart,
Mistrust, or the other, it shall go hard but they will throw up his
heels. And when a man is down, you know, what can he do?
Whoso looks well upon Great-grace's face, shall see those scars and
cuts there, that shall easily give demonstration of what I say. Yea,
once I heard that he should say, (and that when he was in the combat,)
We despaired even of life. How did these sturdy rogues and their fellows
make David groan, mourn, and roar? Yea, Heman, and Hezekiah, too, though
champions in their day, were forced to bestir them, when by these assaulted;
and yet, notwithstanding, they had their coats soundly brushed by them.
Peter, upon a time, would go try what he could do; but though some do
say of him that he is the prince of the apostles, they handled him so,
that they made him at last afraid of a sorry girl.
Besides, their king is at their whistle. He is never out of hearing;
and if at any time they be put to the worst, he, if possible, comes
in to help them; and of him it is said, The sword of him that layeth
at him cannot hold the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon; he esteemeth
iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee;
sling stones are turned with him into stubble. Darts are counted as
stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. What can a man do in
this case? It is true, if a man could, at every turn, have Job's horse,
and had skill and courage to ride him, he might do notable things; for
his neck is clothed with thunder, he will not be afraid of the grasshopper;
the glory of his nostrils is terrible: he paweth in the valley, and
rejoiceth in his strength, he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh
at fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth he back from the sword.
The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear, and the shield.
He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage, neither believeth
he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets,
Ha, ha! and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains,
and the shouting.
But for such footmen as thee and I are, let us never desire to meet
with an enemy, nor vaunt as if we could do better, when we hear of others
that they have been foiled, Nor be tickled at the thoughts of our own
manhood; for such commonly come by the worst when tried. Witness Peter,
of whom I made mention before. He would swagger, ay, he would; he would,
as his vain mind prompted him to say, do better, and stand more for
his Master than all men; but who so foiled, and run down by these villains,
When, therefore, we hear that such robberies are done on the King's
highway, two things become us to do: --
1. To go out harnessed, and to be sure to take a shield with us; for
it was for want of that, that he that laid so lustily at Leviathan could
not make him yield; for, indeed, if that be wanting, he fears us not
at all. Therefore, he that had skill hath said, Above all, taking the
shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked.
2. It is good, also, that we desire of the King a convoy, yea, that
he will go with us himself. This made David rejoice when in the Valley
of the Shadow of Death; and Moses was rather for dying where he stood,
than to go one step without his God. Oh, my brother, if he will but
go along with us, what need we be afraid of ten thousands that shall
set themselves against us? But, without him, the proud helpers fall
under the slain.
I, for my part, have been in the fray before now; and though, through
the goodness of him that is best, I am, as you see, alive, yet I cannot
boast of my manhood. Glad shall I be, if I meet with no more such brunts;
though I fear we are not got beyond all danger. However, since the lion
and the bear have not as yet devoured me, I hope God will also deliver
us from the next uncircumcised Philistine. Then sang Christian --
Poor Little-faith! Hast been among the
Wast robb'd? Remember this, whoso believes,
And gets more faith, shall then a victor
Over ten thousand, else scarce over three.
So they went on and Ignorance followed. They went then till they came
at a place where they saw a way put itself into their way, and seemed
withal to lie as straight as the way which they should go: and here
they knew not which of the two to take, for both seemed straight before
them; therefore, here they stood still to consider. And as they were
thinking about the way, behold a man, black of flesh, but covered with
a very light robe, came to them, and asked them why they stood there.
They answered they were going to the Celestial City, but knew not which
of these ways to take. Follow me, said the man, it is thither that I
am going. So they followed him in the way that but now came into the
road, which by degrees turned, and turned them so from the city that
they desired to go to, that, in little time, their faces were turned
away from it; yet they followed him. But by and by, before they were
aware, he led them both within the compass of a net, in which they were
both so entangled that they knew not what to do; and with that the white
robe fell off the black man's back. Then they saw where they were. Wherefore,
there they lay crying some time, for they could not get themselves out.
Chr. Then said Christian to his fellow,
Now do I see myself in error. Did not the Shepherds bid us beware of
the flatterers? As is the saying of the wise man, so we have found it
this day. A man that flattereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his
Hope. They also gave us a note of directions
about the way, for our more sure finding thereof; but therein we have
also forgotten to read, and have not kept ourselves from the paths of
the destroyer. Here David was wiser than we; for saith he, Concerning
the works of men, by the word of thy lips, I have kept me from the paths
of the destroyer. Thus they lay bewailing themselves in the net. At
last they espied a Shining One coming towards them with a whip of small
cord in his hand. When he was come to the place where they were, he
asked them whence they came, and what they did there. They told him
that they were poor pilgrims going to Zion, but were led out of their
way by a black man, clothed in white, who bid us, said they, follow
him, for he was going thither too. Then said he with the whip, It is
Flatterer, a false apostle, that hath transformed himself into an angel
of light. So he rent the net, and let the men out. Then said he to them,
Follow me, that I may set you in your way again. So he led them back
to the way which they had left to follow the Flatterer. Then he asked
them, saying, Where did you lie the last night? They said, With the
Shepherds upon the Delectable Mountains. He asked them then if they
had not of those Shepherds a note of direction for the way. They answered,
Yes. But did you, said he, when you were at a stand, pluck out and read
your note? They answered, No. He asked them, Why? They said, they forgot.
He asked, moreover, if the Shepherds did not bid them beware of the
Flatterer? They answered, Yes, but we did not imagine, said they, that
this fine-spoken man had been he.
Then I saw in my dream that he commanded them to lie down; which, when
they did, he chastised them sore, to teach them the good way wherein
they should walk; and as he chastised them he said, As many as I love,
I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. This done,
he bid them go on their way, and take good heed to the other directions
of the shepherds. So they thanked him for all his kindness, and went
softly along the right way, singing --
Come hither, you that walk along the
See how the pilgrims fare that go astray.
They catched are in an entangling net,
'Cause they good counsel lightly did
'Tis true they rescued were, but yet
They're scourged to boot. Let this your
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