(Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress. part 12)

that unless I could obtain the righteousness of a man that never 
had sinned, neither mine own, nor all the righteousness of the world 
could save me. 
CHR.  And did you think he spake true? 
HOPE.  Had he told me so when I was pleased and satisfied 
with mine own amendment, I had called him fool for his pains; 
but now, since I see mine own infirmity, and the sin that cleaves 
to my best performance, I have been forced to be of his opinion. 
CHR.  But did you think, when at first he suggested it to you, 
that there was such a man to be found, of whom it might justly be said 
that he never committed sin? 
HOPE.  I must confess the words at first sounded strangely, 
but after a little more talk and company with him, 
I had full conviction about it. 
CHR.  And did you ask him what man this was, and how you must 
be justified by him? 
HOPE.  Yes, and he told me it was the Lord Jesus, that dwelleth on 
the right hand of the Most High.  And thus, said he, you must 
be justified by him, even by trusting to what he hath done by himself, 
in the days of his flesh, and suffered when he did hang on the tree. 
I asked him further, how that man's righteousness could be 
of that efficacy to justify another before God?  And he told me 
he was the mighty God, and did what he did, and died the death also, 
not for himself, but for me; to whom his doings, and the worthiness 
of them, should be imputed, if I believed on him.  [Heb. 10, Rom. 6, 
Col. 1, 1 Pet. 1] 
CHR.  And what did you do then? 
HOPE.  I made my objections against my believing, for that I thought 
he was not willing to save me. 
CHR.  And what said Faithful to you then? 
HOPE.  He bid me go to him and see.  Then I said it was presumption; 
but he said, No, for I was invited to come.  [Matt. 11:28] 
Then he gave me a book of Jesus, his inditing, to encourage me 
the more freely to come; and he said, concerning that book, 
that every jot and tittle thereof stood firmer than heaven and earth. 
[Matt. 24:35]  Then I asked him, What I must do when I came; and he 
told me, I must entreat upon my knees, with all my heart and soul, 
the Father to reveal him to me.  [Ps. 95:6, Dan. 6:10, Jer. 29:12,13] 
Then I asked him further, how I must make my supplication to him? 
And he said, Go, and thou shalt find him upon a mercy-seat, 
where he sits all the year long, to give pardon and forgiveness 
to them that come.  I told him that I knew not what to say when I came. 
  And he bid me say to this effect: 
God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe 
in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, 
or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. 
Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained 
that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Saviour of the world; 
and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon 
such a poor sinner as I am, (and I am a sinner indeed); Lord, 
take therefore this opportunity and magnify thy grace 
in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ.  Amen. 
[Exo. 25:22, Lev. 16:2, Num. 7:89, Heb. 4:16] 
CHR.  And did you do as you were bidden? 
HOPE.  Yes; over, and over, and over. 
CHR.  And did the Father reveal his Son to you? 
HOPE.  Not at the first, nor second, nor third, nor fourth, nor fifth; 
no, nor at the sixth time neither. 
CHR.  What did you do then? 
HOPE.  What! why I could not tell what to do. 
CHR.  Had you not thoughts of leaving off praying? 
HOPE.  Yes; an hundred times twice told. 
CHR.  And what was the reason you did not? 
HOPE.  I believed that that was true which had been told me, 
to wit, that without the righteousness of this Christ, 
all the world could not save me; and therefore, thought I with myself, 
if I leave off I die, and I can but die at the throne of grace. 
And withal, this came into my mind, "Though it tarry, wait for it; 
because it will surely come, it will not tarry."  [Heb. 2:3] 
So I continued praying until the Father showed me his Son. 
CHR.  And how was he revealed unto you? 
HOPE.  I did not see him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes 
of my understanding; [Eph. 1:18,19] and thus it was: 
One day I was very sad, I think sadder than at any one time in my life, 
and this sadness was through a fresh sight of the greatness and vileness 
of my sins.  And as I was then looking for nothing but hell, 
and the everlasting damnation of my soul, suddenly, as I thought, 
I saw the Lord Jesus Christ look down from heaven upon me, and saying, 
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." 
[Acts 16:30,31] 
But I replied, Lord, I am a great, a very great sinner. 
And he answered, "My grace is sufficient for thee."  [2 Cor.12:9] 
Then I said, But, Lord, what is believing?  And then I saw 
from that saying, "He that cometh to me shall never hunger, 
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst", that believing 
and coming was all one; and that he that came, that is, 
ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ, 
he indeed believed in Christ.  [John 6:35]  Then the water 
stood in mine eyes, and I asked further.  But, Lord, 
may such a great sinner as I am be indeed accepted of thee, 
and be saved by thee?  And I heard him say, "And him that cometh to me, 
I will in no wise cast out."  [John 6:37]  Then I said, But how, Lord, 
must I consider of thee in my coming to thee, that my faith may be 
placed aright upon thee?  Then he said, "Christ Jesus came 
into the world to save sinners."  [1 Tim. 1:15]  "He is the end 
of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."  [Rom. 10:4] 
"He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification." 
[Rom. 4:25]  "He loved us, and washed us from our sins 
in his own blood."  [Rev. 1:5]  "He is mediator betwixt God and us." 
[1 Tim. 2:5]  "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." 
[Heb. 7:24,25]  From all which I gathered, that I must 
look for righteousness in his person, and for satisfaction for my sins 
by his blood; that what he did in obedience to his Father's law, 
and in submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself, 
but for him that will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful. 
And now was my heart full of joy, mine eyes full of tears, 
and mine affections running over with love to the name, people, 
and ways of Jesus Christ. 
CHR.  This was a revelation of Christ to your soul indeed; 
but tell me particularly what effect this had upon your spirit. 
HOPE.  It made me see that all the world, notwithstanding all 
the righteousness thereof, is in a state of condemnation. 
It made me see that God the Father, though he be just, 
can justly justify the coming sinner.  It made me greatly ashamed 
of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense 
of mine own ignorance; for there never came thought into my heart 
before now that showed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ. 
It made me love a holy life, and long to do something for 
the honour and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus; yea, 
I thought that had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my body, 
I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus. 
I saw then in my dream that Hopeful looked back and saw Ignorance, 
whom they had left behind, coming after.  Look, said he to Christian, 
how far yonder youngster loitereth behind. 
CHR.  Ay, ay, I see him; he careth not for our company. 
HOPE.  But I trow it would not have hurt him had he 
kept pace with us hitherto. 
CHR.  That is true; but I warrant you he thinketh otherwise. 
HOPE.  That, I think, he doth; but, however, let us tarry for him. 
So they did. 
Then Christian said to him, Come away, man, why do you stay so behind? 
IGNOR.  I take my pleasure in walking alone, even more a great deal 
than in company, unless I like it the better. 
Then said Christian to Hopeful, (but softly), Did I not tell you 
he cared not for our company?  But, however, said he, come up, 
and let us talk away the time in this solitary place. 
Then directing his speech to Ignorance, he said, Come, how do you? 
How stands it between God and your soul now? 
IGNOR.  I hope well; for I am always full of good motions, 
that come into my mind, to comfort me as I walk. 
CHR.  What good motions? pray, tell us. 
IGNOR.  Why, I think of God and heaven. 
CHR.  So do the devils and damned souls. 
IGNOR.  But I think of them and desire them. 
CHR.  So do many that are never like to come there. 
"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing."  [Prov. 13:4] 
IGNOR.  But I think of them, and leave all for them. 
CHR.  That I doubt; for leaving all is a hard matter:  yea, 
a harder matter than many are aware of.  But why, or by what, 
art thou persuaded that thou hast left all for God and heaven. 
IGNOR.  My heart tells me so. 
CHR.  The wise man says, "He that trusts his own heart is a fool." 
[Prov. 28:26] 
IGNOR.  This is spoken of an evil heart, but mine is a good one. 
CHR.  But how dost thou prove that? 
IGNOR.  It comforts me in hopes of heaven. 
CHR.  That may be through its deceitfulness; for a man's heart 
may minister comfort to him in the hopes of that thing for which 
he yet has no ground to hope. 
IGNOR.  But my heart and life agree together, and therefore 
my hope is well grounded. 
CHR.  Who told thee that thy heart and life agree together? 
IGNOR.  My heart tells me so. 
CHR.  Ask my fellow if I be a thief! Thy heart tells thee so! 
Except the Word of God beareth witness in this matter, 
other testimony is of no value. 
IGNOR.  But is it not a good heart that hath good thoughts? 
and is not that a good life that is according to God's commandments? 
CHR.  Yes, that is a good heart that hath good thoughts, 
and that is a good life that is according to God's commandments; 
but it is one thing, indeed, to have these, and another thing 
only to think so. 
IGNOR.  Pray, what count you good thoughts, and a life according 
to God's commandments? 
CHR.  There are good thoughts of divers kinds; some respecting 
ourselves, some God, some Christ, and some other things. 
IGNOR.  What be good thoughts respecting ourselves? 
CHR.  Such as agree with the Word of God. 
IGNOR.  When do our thoughts of ourselves agree with the Word of God? 
CHR.  When we pass the same judgment upon ourselves 
which the Word passes.  To explain myself--the Word of God 
saith of persons in a natural condition, "There is none righteous, 
there is none that doeth good."  [Rom. 3]  It saith also, 
that "every imagination of the heart of man is only evil, 
and that continually."  [Gen. 6:5]  And again, "The imagination 
of man's heart is evil from his youth."  [Rom. 8:21]  Now then, 
when we think thus of ourselves, having sense thereof, 
then are our thoughts good ones, because according to the Word of God. 
IGNOR.  I will never believe that my heart is thus bad. 
CHR.  Therefore thou never hadst one good thought concerning thyself 
in thy life.  But let me go on.  As the Word passeth a judgment 
upon our heart, so it passeth a judgment upon our ways; and when 
OUR thoughts of our hearts and ways agree with the judgment which 
the Word giveth of both, then are both good, because agreeing thereto. 
IGNOR.  Make out your meaning. 
CHR.  Why, the Word of God saith that man's ways are crooked ways; 
not good, but perverse.  [Ps. 125:5, Prov. 2:15]  It saith 
they are naturally out of the good way, that they have not known it. 
[Rom. 3]  Now, when a man thus thinketh of his ways,--I say, 
when he doth sensibly, and with heart-humiliation, thus think, 
then hath he good thoughts of his own ways, because his thoughts 
now agree with the judgment of the Word of God. 
IGNOR.  What are good thoughts concerning God? 
CHR.  Even as I have said concerning ourselves, when our thoughts of God 
do agree with what the Word saith of him; and that is, 
when we think of his being and attributes as the Word hath taught, 
of which I cannot now discourse at large; but to speak of him 
with reference to us:  Then we have right thoughts of God, 
when we think that he knows us better than we know ourselves, 
and can see sin in us when and where we can see none in ourselves; 
when we think he knows our inmost thoughts, and that our heart, 
with all its depths, is always open unto his eyes; also, 
when we think that all our righteousness stinks in his nostrils, 
and that, therefore, he cannot abide to see us stand before him 
in any confidence, even in all our best performances. 
IGNOR.  Do you think that I am such a fool as to think God can see 
no further than I? or, that I would come to God in the best 
of my performances? 
CHR.  Why, how dost thou think in this matter? 
IGNOR.  Why, to be short, I think I must believe in Christ 
for justification. 
CHR.  How! think thou must believe in Christ, when thou seest not thy 
need of him!  Thou neither seest thy original nor actual infirmities; 
but hast such an opinion of thyself, and of what thou dost, 
as plainly renders thee to be one that did never see a necessity 
of Christ's personal righteousness to justify thee before God. 
How, then, dost thou say, I believe in Christ? 
IGNOR.  I believe well enough for all that. 
CHR.  How dost thou believe? 
IGNOR.  I believe that Christ died for sinners, and that I shall be 
justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance 
of my obedience to his law.  Or thus, Christ makes my duties, 
that are religious, acceptable to his Father, by virtue of his merits; 
and so shall I be justified. 
CHR.  Let me give an answer to this confession of thy faith:-- 
1.  Thou believest with a fantastical faith; for this faith is nowhere 
described in the Word. 
2.  Thou believest with a false faith; because it taketh justification 
from the personal righteousness of Christ, and applies it to thy own. 
3.  This faith maketh not Christ a justifier of thy person, 
but of thy actions; and of thy person for thy actions' sake, 
which is false. 
4.  Therefore, this faith is deceitful, even such as will leave thee 
under wrath, in the day of God Almighty; for true justifying faith 
puts the soul, as sensible of its condition by the law, upon flying 
for refuge unto Christ's righteousness, which righteousness of his 
is not an act of grace, by which he maketh for justification, 
thy obedience accepted with God; but his personal obedience to the law, 
in doing and suffering for us what that required at our hands; 
this righteousness, I say, true faith accepteth; under the skirt 
of which, the soul being shrouded, and by it presented 
as spotless before God, it is accepted, and acquit from condemnation. 
IGNOR.  What! would you have us trust to what Christ, in his own person, 
has done without us?  This conceit would loosen the reins of our lust, 
and tolerate us to live as we list; for what matter how we live, 
if we may be justified by Christ's personal righteousness from all, 
when we believe it? 
CHR.  Ignorance is thy name, and as thy name is, so art thou; 
even this thy answer demonstrateth what I say.  Ignorant thou art 
of what justifying righteousness is, and as ignorant how to secure 
thy soul, through the faith of it, from the heavy wrath of God. 
Yea, thou also art ignorant of the true effects of saving faith 
in this righteousness of Christ, which is, to bow and win over 
the heart to God in Christ, to love his name, his word, ways, 
and people, and not as thou ignorantly imaginest. 
HOPE.  Ask him if ever he had Christ revealed to him from heaven. 
IGNOR.  What! you are a man for revelations!  I believe that what 
both you, and all the rest of you, say about that matter, 
is but the fruit of distracted brains. 
HOPE.  Why, man! Christ is so hid in God from the natural apprehensions 
of the flesh, that he cannot by any man be savingly known, 
unless God the Father reveals him to them. 
IGNOR.  That is your faith, but not mine; yet mine, I doubt not, 
is as good as yours, though I have not in my head so many whimsies 
as you. 
CHR.  Give me leave to put in a word.  You ought not so slightly 
to speak of this matter; for this I will boldly affirm, 
even as my good companion hath done, that no man can know Jesus Christ 
but by the revelation of the Father; [Matt. 11:27] yea, and faith too, 
by which the soul layeth hold upon Christ, if it be right, 
must be wrought by the exceeding greatness of his mighty power; 
the working of which faith, I perceive, poor Ignorance, 
thou art ignorant of.  [1 Cor. 12:3, Eph. 1:18,19]  Be awakened, then, 
see thine own wretchedness, and fly to the Lord Jesus; 
and by his righteousness, which is the righteousness of God, 
for he himself is God, thou shalt be delivered from condemnation. 
IGNOR.  You go so fast, I cannot keep pace with you. 
Do you go on before; I must stay a while behind. 
Then they said-- 
     Well, Ignorance, wilt thou yet foolish be, 
     To slight good counsel, ten times given thee? 
     And if thou yet refuse it, thou shalt know, 
     Ere long, the evil of thy doing so. 
     Remember, man, in time, stoop, do not fear; 
     Good counsel taken well, saves:  therefore hear. 
     But if thou yet shalt slight it, thou wilt be 
     The loser, (Ignorance), I'll warrant thee. 
Then Christian addressed thus himself to his fellow:-- 
CHR.  Well, come, my good Hopeful, I perceive that thou and I 
must walk by ourselves again. 
So I saw in my dream that they went on apace before, 
and Ignorance he came hobbling after.  Then said Christian 
to his companion, It pities me much for this poor man, 
it will certainly go ill with him at last. 
HOPE.  Alas! there are abundance in our town in his condition, 
whole families, yea, whole streets, and that of pilgrims too; 
and if there be so many in our parts, how many, think you, 
must there be in the place where he was born? 
CHR.  Indeed the Word saith, "He hath blinded their eyes, 
lest they should see", &c.  But now we are by ourselves, 
what do you think of such men?  Have they at no time, think you, 
convictions of sin, and so consequently fears that their state 
is dangerous? 
HOPE.  Nay, do you answer that question yourself, for you are 
the elder man. 
CHR.  Then I say, sometimes (as I think) they may; but they being 
naturally ignorant, understand not that such convictions tend 
to their good; and therefore they do desperately seek to stifle them, 
and presumptuously continue to flatter themselves in the way of 
their own hearts. 
HOPE.  I do believe, as you say, that fear tends much to men's good, 
and to make them right, at their beginning to go on pilgrimage. 
CHR.  Without all doubt it doth, if it be right; for so says the Word, 
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." 
[Prov. 1:7, 9:10, Job 28:28, Ps. 111:10] 
HOPE.  How will you describe right fear? 
CHR.  True or right fear is discovered by three things:-- 
1.  By its rise; it is caused by saving convictions for sin. 
2.  It driveth the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation. 
3.  It begetteth and continueth in the soul a great reverence of God, 
his Word, and ways, keeping it tender, and making it afraid 
to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left, 
to anything that may dishonour God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, 
or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully. 
HOPE.  Well said; I believe you have said the truth. 
Are we now almost got past the Enchanted Ground? 
CHR.  Why, art thou weary of this discourse? 
HOPE.  No, verily, but that I would know where we are. 
CHR.  We have not now above two miles further to go thereon. 
But let us return to our matter.    Now the ignorant 
know not that such convictions as tend to put them in fear 
are for their good, and therefore they seek to stifle them. 
HOPE.  How do they seek to stifle them? 
CHR.  1.  They think that those fears are wrought by the devil, 
(though indeed they are wrought of God); and, thinking so, 
they resist them as things that directly tend to their overthrow. 
2.  They also think that these fears tend to the spoiling 
of their faith, when, alas, for them, poor men that they are, 
they have none at all! and therefore they harden their hearts 
against them. 
3.  They presume they ought not to fear; and, therefore, 
in despite of them, wax presumptuously confident. 
4.  They see that those fears tend to take away from them 
their pitiful old self-holiness, and therefore they resist them 
with all their might. 
HOPE.  I know something of this myself; for, before I knew myself, 
it was so with me. 
CHR.  Well, we will leave, at this time, our neighbour Ignorance 
by himself, and fall upon another profitable question. 
HOPE.  With all my heart, but you shall still begin. 
CHR.  Well then, did you not know, about ten years ago, 
one Temporary in your parts, who was a forward man in religion then? 
HOPE.  Know him! yes, he dwelt in Graceless, a town about two miles 
off of Honesty, and he dwelt next door to one Turnback. 
CHR.  Right, he dwelt under the same roof with him.  Well, 
that man was much awakened once; I believe that then he had 
some sight of his sins, and of the wages that were due thereto. 
HOPE.  I am of your mind, for, my house not being above three miles 
from him, he would ofttimes come to me, and that with many tears. 
Truly I pitied the man, and was not altogether without hope of him; 
but one may see, it is not every one that cries, Lord, Lord. 
CHR.  He told me once that he was resolved to go on pilgrimage, 

(continued in part 13...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-03:pilgr-12.txt