(Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress. part 3)

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 do. 
GOOD-WILL.  An open door is set before thee, and no man can shut it. 
CHR.  Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards. 
GOOD-WILL.  But how is it that you came alone? 
CHR.  Because none of my neighbours saw their danger, as I saw mine. 
GOOD-WILL.  Did any of them know of your coming? 
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 to stop. 
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 [John vi.37]; 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 and narrow. 
[Matt 7:14] 
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 help. 
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 itself. 
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 show 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 was there. 
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 show me excellent things, 
such as would be a help to me in my journey. 
INTER.  Then said the Interpreter, Come in; I will show 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 hang 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 this? 
INTER.  The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand; 
he can beget children [1 Cor. 4:15], travail in birth with children 
[Gal. 4:19], 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 show 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 show 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 showed 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 authorised 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.  [Rom. 7:6; 1 Cor. 15:56; Rom. 5:20] 
Again, as thou sawest the damsel sprinkle the room with water, 
upon which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to show 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.  [John 15:3; Eph. 5:26; Acts 15:9; 
Rom. 16:25,26; John 15:13] 
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 art tormented." 
[Luke 16:25] 
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."  [2 Cor. 4:18] 
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.  [2 Cor. 12:9] 
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? 
Then the Interpreter took him, and led him up towards the door 
of the palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, 
as desirous to go in; but durst not.  There also sat a man 
at a little distance from the door, at a table-side, with a book 
and his inkhorn before him, to take the name of him that should 
enter therein; he saw also, that in the doorway stood many men in armour 
to keep it, being resolved to do the men that would enter 
what hurt and mischief they could.  Now was Christian somewhat in amaze. 
At last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, 
Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance come up to the man 
that sat there to write, saying, Set down my name, Sir:  the which 
when he had done, he saw the man draw his sword, and put a helmet 
upon his head, and rush toward the door upon the armed men, who laid 
upon him with deadly force; but the man, not at all discouraged, 
fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely.  So after he had received 
and given many wounds to those that attempted to keep him out, 
he cut his way through them all [Acts 14:.22], and pressed forward 
into the palace, at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those 
that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the palace, 
     "Come in, come in; 
     Eternal glory thou shalt win." 
So he went in, and was clothed with such garments as they. 
Then Christian smiled and said; I think verily I know the meaning 
of this. 
Now, said Christian, let me go hence.  Nay, stay, said the Interpreter, 
till I have shewed thee a little more, and after that thou shalt go 
on thy way.  So he took him by the hand again, and led him into 
a very dark room, where there sat a man in an iron cage. 
Now the man, to look on, seemed very sad; he sat with his eyes 
looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, 
and he sighed as if he would break his heart.  Then said Christian, 
What means this?  At which the Interpreter bid him talk with the man. 
Then said Christian to the man, What art thou?  The man answered, 
I am what I was not once. 
CHR.  What wast thou once? 
MAN.  The man said, I was once a fair and flourishing professor, 
both in mine own eyes, and also in the eyes of others; I once was, 
as I thought, fair for the Celestial City, and had then even joy 
at the thoughts that I should get thither.  [Luke 8:13] 
CHR.  Well, but what art thou now? 
MAN.  I am now a man of despair, and am shut up in it, 
as in this iron cage.  I cannot get out.  Oh, now I cannot! 
CHR.  But how camest thou in this condition? 
MAN.  I left off to watch and be sober.  I laid the reins, 
upon the neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the Word 
and the goodness of God; I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; 
I tempted the devil, and he is come to me; I have provoked God to anger, 
and he has left me:  I have so hardened my heart, that I cannot repent. 
Then said Christian to the Interpreter, But is there no hope for such 
a man as this?  Ask him, said the Interpreter.  Nay, said Christian, 
pray, Sir, do you. 
INTER.  Then said the Interpreter, Is there no hope, but you must be 
kept in the iron cage of despair? 
MAN.  No, none at all. 
INTER.  Why, the Son of the Blessed is very pitiful. 
MAN.  I have crucified him to myself afresh [Heb. 6:6]; 
I have despised his person [Luke 19:14]; I have despised 
his righteousness; I have "counted his blood an unholy thing"; 
I have "done despite to the Spirit of grace".  [Heb. 10:28-29] 
Therefore I have shut myself out of all the promises, 
and there now remains to me nothing but threatenings, 
dreadful threatenings, fearful threatenings, of certain judgement 
and fiery indignation, which shall devour me as an adversary. 
INTER.  For what did you bring yourself into this condition? 
MAN.  For the lusts, pleasures, and profits of this world; 
in the enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight; 
but now every one of those things also bite me, and gnaw me 
like a burning worm. 
INTER.  But canst thou not now repent and turn? 
MAN.  God hath denied me repentance.  His Word gives me no encouragement 
to believe; yea, himself hath shut me up in this iron cage; 
nor can all the men in the world let me out.  O eternity, eternity! 
how shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity! 
INTER.  Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Let this man's misery 
be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee. 
CHR.  Well, said Christian, this is fearful!  God help me to watch and 
be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's misery! 
Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now? 
INTER.  Tarry till I shall show thee one thing more, and then thou shalt 
go on thy way. 
So he took Christian by the hand again, and led him into a chamber, 
where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment, 
he shook and trembled.  Then said Christian, Why doth this man 
thus tremble?  The Interpreter then bid him tell to Christian 
the reason of his so doing.  So he began and said, This night, 
as I was in my sleep, I dreamed, and behold the heavens grew 
exceeding black; also it thundered and lightened in most fearful wise, 
that it put me into an agony; so I looked up in my dream, 
and saw the clouds rack at an unusual rate, upon which I heard 
a great sound of a trumpet, and saw also a man sit upon a cloud, 
attended with the thousands of heaven; they were all in flaming fire: 
also the heavens were in a burning flame.  I heard then a voice saying, 
"Arise, ye dead, and come to judgement"; and with that the rocks rent, 
the graves opened, and the dead that were therein came forth. 
Some of them were exceeding glad, and looked upward; and some sought 
to hide themselves under the mountains.  [1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16; 
Jude 14; John 5:28,29; 2 Thes. 1:7,8; Rev. 20:11-14; Isa. 26:21; 
Micah 7:16,17; Ps. 95:1-3;  Dan. 7:10]  Then I saw the man 
that sat upon the cloud open the book, and bid the world draw near. 
Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame which issued out 
and came from before him, a convenient distance betwixt him and them, 
as betwixt the judge and the prisoners at the bar.  [Mal. 3:2,3; 
Dan. 7:9,10]  I heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on 
the man that sat on the cloud, Gather together the tares, the chaff, 
and stubble, and cast them into the burning lake.  [Matt. 3:12; 13:30; 
Mal. 4:1]  And with that, the bottomless pit opened, just whereabout 
I stood; out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, 
smoke and coals of fire, with hideous noises.  It was also said 
to the same persons, "Gather my wheat into the garner."  [Luke 3:17] 
And with that I saw many catched up and carried away into the clouds, 
but I was left behind.  [1 Thes. 4:16,17]  I also sought to hide myself, 
but I could not, for the man that sat upon the cloud still kept his eye 
upon me; my sins also came into my mind; and my conscience did accuse me 
on every side.  [Rom. 3:14,15]  Upon this I awaked from my sleep. 
CHR.  But what is it that made you so afraid of this sight? 
MAN.  Why, I thought that the day of judgement was come, 
and that I was not ready for it:  but this frighted me most, 
that the angels gathered up several, and left me behind; 
also the pit of hell opened her mouth just where I stood. 
My conscience, too, afflicted me; and, as I thought, the Judge 
had always his eye upon me, shewing indignation in his countenance. 
Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Hast thou considered 
all these things? 
CHR.  Yes, and they put me in hope and fear. 
INTER.  Well, keep all things so in thy mind that they may be as a goad 
in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the way thou must go. 
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself 
to his journey.  Then said the Interpreter, The Comforter be always 
with thee, good Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads 
to the City.  So Christian went on his way, saying-- 
     "Here I have seen things rare and profitable; 
     Things pleasant, dreadful, things to make me stable 
     In what I have begun to take in hand; 
     Then let me think on them, and understand 
     Wherefore they showed me were, and let me be 
     Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee." 
Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, 
was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall 
was called Salvation.  [Isa. 26:1]  Up this way, therefore, 
did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, 
because of the load on his back. 
He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, 
and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, 
a sepulchre.  So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up 
with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, 
and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, 
till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, 
and I saw it no more. 
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, 
"He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." 
Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was 
very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus 
ease him of his burden.  He looked therefore, and looked again, 

(continued in part 4...)

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