(Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress. part 2)

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.  [Titus 1:2] 
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.  [Isa. 45:17; 
John 10:28,29] 
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 of heaven. 
[2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 3:4; Matt. 13:43] 
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 eyes.  [Isa. 25.6-8; 
Rev. 7:17, 21:4] 
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.  [Isa. 6:2] 
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. 
[1 Thess. 4:16,17; Rev. 5:11]  In a word, there we shall see the elders 
with their golden crowns [Rev. 4:4], there we shall see the holy virgins 
with their golden harps [Rev. 14:1-5], 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 bare to the Lord 
of the place, all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment. 
[John 12:25; 2 Cor. 5:4] 
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 time, 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 steps? 
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.  [Ps. 40:2] 
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. 
[Isa. 35:3,4]  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. 
[1 Sam. 12:23] 
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 with Christian. 
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. 
[1 Cor 7:29] 
WORLD.  Wilt thou hearken unto me if I give thee counsel? 
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 first? 
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, 
and content. 
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 good fashion. 
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 man's house? 
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. 
[Ex. 19:16,18]  Here, therefore, he sweat and did quake for fear. 
[Heb. 12:21] 
     When Christians unto carnal men give ear, 
     Out of their way they go, and pay for 't dear; 
     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 show 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."  [Heb. 12:25] 
He said, moreover, "Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man 
draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."  [Heb. 10:38] 
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." [Matt. 12:31, Mark 3:28] 
"Be not faithless, but believing."  [John 20:27]  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 show 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, 
[1 John 4:5] (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.  [Gal 6:12]  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 utterly abhor. 
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 of death. 
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" [Luke 13:24], 
the gate to which I sent thee; for "strait is the gate that leadeth 
unto life, and few there be that find it." [Matt. 7:14] 
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 to him. 
Secondly, Thou must abhor his labouring to render the cross 
odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it "before the treasures 
in Egypt."  [Heb. 11:25,26]  Besides the King of glory hath told thee, 
that he that "will save his life shall lose it."  [Mark 8:35; 
John 12:25; Matt. 10:39]  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."  [Luke 14:26]  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 thy burden. 
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 [Gal 4:21-27]; 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 these 
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.'  [Gal. 3:10] 
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 gentleman'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.'  [Ps. 2:12] 
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 
unto you.' [Matt 7:8] 
     "He that will enter in must first without 
     Stand knocking at the Gate, nor need he doubt 
     That is A KNOCKER but to enter in; 
     For God can love him, and forgive his sin." 
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 high." 
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, 

(continued in part 3...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-03:pilgr-02.txt