The Third Part of the Pilgrim's Progress
The THIRD PART
Delivered under the SIMILITUDE of a DREAM; SHEWING The several DIFFICULTIES and DANGERS he met With, and the many Victories he obtained over the WORLD, the FLESH, and the DEVIL: TOGETHER WITH His happy Arrival at the Coelestial City, and the Glory and Joy he found to his Eternal comfort.
The Preface to the Christian ReaderEdit
Reader, in this Book is set forth a tedious pilgrimage, through the many dangerous hazards of the wilderness of this world, to the heavenly Canaan of eternal rest and peace: In which, tho’ under the Similitude of a Dream, is lively represented the state of our christian warfare; wherein fighting valiantly under the banner of Christ, the great captain of our salvation, we shall assuredly overcome our spiritual enemies, and be victorious conquerors over those temptations that beset frail human nature, and would hinder us from leaving in good time, the city of Destruction (which is this world, and its fruitless pleasures, cares, and incumbrances) to journey towards the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the true centre of our endless happiness, in the fruition of unspeakable and soul-ravishing joys, that know no date nor consumption.
This has been in the former, as well as present age, a way of writing that has been extreamly taking, representing to the mind things that command our serious thoughts and attention, and work more upon the minds of men, than if delivered in plainer terms; however, to the discerning christian there is nothing in this that is obscure and difficult to understood, nothing but what is grounded upon sacred truths, and the mercies of God in Jesus Christ, held forth to us by his assured word.
It is a piece so rare and transcending what has hitherto been publish’d of this kind, that I dare, without any further apology, leave it to the censure of all mankind, who are not partial or biased. And so, not doubting but it will render comfort and delight, I subscribe myself, as heretofore, Your soul’s hearty well-wisher, and fellow-labourer In the vineyard of our Lord Jesus, J.B.
To his worthy Friend, the Author of The Third Part of the Pilgrim’s Progress, Upon Perusal thereof, &c.
- THO’ many things are writ to please the age
- Amongst the rest, for this I dare engage,
- Where virtue dwells, it will acceptance find,
- And to your pilgrim, most that read, be kind,
- But all to please, would be a task as hard,
- As fro the winds from blowing to be barr’d.
- The pious christian in a mirrour here
- May see the promis’d land, and without fear
- Of threaten’d danger, bravely travel on
- Until his journey he has safely gone,
- And does arrive upon the happy shore,
- Where joys increase, and sorrow is no more.
- This is a DREAM not fab’lous, as of old,
- In this express the sacred truths are told
- That do to our eternal peace belong
- And after mourning change unto a song
- Of glorious triumphs, that are without end,
- If we but bravely for the prize contend.
- No Pilgrimage like this can make us blest,
- Since it us brings to everlasting rest.
- So well in every part the scene is laid,
- That it to charm the reader, may be said
- With curious fancy, and create delight,
- Which to an imitation must invite.
- And happy are they, that through stormy seas,
- And dangers, seek adventures like to these;
- Who sell the world for this great pearl of price,
- Which, once procur’d, will purchase Paradise:
- He who in such a bark does spread his sails,
- Need never fear at last those prosp’rous gales,
- That will conduct him to a land where he
- Shall feel no storms, but in a calm shall be;
- Where, crown’d with glory, be shall sit and sing
- Eternal praise to his redeeming king,
- Who conqu’ring death despoil’d of his sting.
- So wishes your faithful friend, B.D.
These Lines are humbly Recommended to the READER; [Written upon the Perusal of this Book, & c.]
- IN reading of this Book, I plainly find,
- The thoughts are suited to the author’s mind:
- For he who virtue loves, of virtue speaks,
- And the strong chain of vice with courage breaks;
- What here at first seem’d clouded, soon reveals
- The pilgrim’s joys, which he no more conceals;
- But till he tires his patience and his love,
- To travel tow’rds the kingdom that’s above,
- Some interposing fears have time to reign;
- But those by faith expell’d his soul again
- Clears up, and like the bow that paints the skies
- After a shower, (on which mankind relies
- As a sure pledge, the deluge shall no more
- Make all one boundless sea without a shore)
- Gives certain hopes that heaven’s anger’s past,
- And he his lot in a bless’d Land has cast.
- You write so plainly, that the weakest mind,
- Under similitudes may comfort find.
- A guide you give, that by the hand does lead
- Those pilgrims that the heavenly roads do tread,
- And tells them always where the danger is;
- How to step over, or to wisely miss
- The stumbling-blocks that satan daily lays
- To overthrow them that mind not their ways:
- So being bruis’d against rocks of despair,
- Or doubt, or fear they know not how nor where,
- They faint and languish in the middle way,
- Or back to Egypt haste without delay,
- Preferrring darkness to the glorious day
- They were approaching. This book has my voice,
- And is, of all in this kind, the most choice;
- Peruse it well, and you will find it reach
- From earth to heav’n, in what it well does teach:
- If you’d be blest, then mind what it does preach.
AFTER the two former dreams concerning Christian, and Christiana his wife, with their children and companions pilgrimage from the city of Destruction, to the region of Glory; I fell asleep again, and the visions of my head returned upon me. I dreamed another dream, and behold, there appeared unto me a great multitude of people, in several distinct companies and bands, traveling from the city of Destruction, the town of Carnal Policy, the village of Morality, and from the rest of the cities, towns, villages, and hamlets that belong to the valley of Destruction: For so was the whole country called that lay on this side of the wicket-gate, which the man Evangelist shewed unto Christian; and so was also all that country called, that was situated wide of the gate on the right-hand, and on the left extending itself along the walls and borders of that region, wherein lay the way to the heavenly country. This was the name of that country, even the valley of Destruction.
Now I saw in my dream, that all the highway roads, and lanes, that led from the valley of Destruction towards the gate of the way of life, were full of people, who were traveling toward that gate, and some of them walked along very vigorously, others halted, and grew weary, through the violent heat of the season, which made them even ready to faint; for it was in the hottest time of all the year; and the sun burnt up the herb of the field, and scorched the poor travelers, so that many of them were forced to sit down and rest themselves; and in the night time many of them returned back again to their old habitations;
[The Slough of Despond]Edit
others more hardy than the rest, went on till they came to the Slough-of-Despond, where Pliable forsook Christian, and there falling into the filth and mire of that place, were so disheartened, that they returned in whole droves to their own dwellings again; and very few there were who would venture through the Slough; yet some got very dextrously over the steps, without being in the least bemired, whilst others, through ignorance, or heedlesness, missing those steps, were forced to wade through the dirt, which was very deep, and made their passage exceeding painful; but at length, with much ado, they weather’d the point, and master’d the difficulties of that horrid quagmire, and got safe upon dry ground.
Among the rest of the travelers that got over this Slough, I saw a young man of an amiable countenance, walking by himself, after he had got clear of the Slough; but he was all over bedaubed with the filth of that place, which made him go very heavily on; for what with struggling to get thro’, and what with the apprehensions he lay under during his passage, he was extreamly weakned, and his joints were loosened: Besides, it was the nature of the dirt of this place, to cause a trembling and disorder in the limbs of those that were defiled with it, and to whatsoever part of their body it stuck, there it would do them some injury. Now the young man being all over clammed with it, he went with a very slow pace, his head hanging down, his hands quivering, and his feet tripping at the least unevenness or ruggedness in the way, and a speck or two of the diret being spatter’d in his eyes, made him dim-sighted, so that he groped along like one that is blind, and sometimes stepped out of the path.
In this condition he was, when at length I saw in my dream, that he sat down upon the ground to bemoan his sad estate, and he wept very bitterly; and behold, a bright cloud hovered over his head, which gradually descending, overshadowed him, and out of the cloud a hand was reached forth, which, with the tears that ran like rivers from his eyes, washed the dirt from off his face and his whole body, so that in a moment (as it were) his sight and his strength were restored to him again, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, Son of man, go on in the strength of the Lord thy God. So he was mightly comforted and refreshed after this, and began to rouze up himself, being more nimble and active, more vigorous and strong than ever he was before; and his eyes being healed also, he clearly saw the shining light that Evangelist shewed to Christian. Then he tript along over the plain, and made directly up to the shining light, by means of which he quickly found the wicket-gate; at which he knocked aloud, minding what was written over the gate, viz. "Knock, and it shall be opened."
[The Wicket Gate]Edit
Now I saw in my dream, that as soon as he had knocked at the wicket-gate, a whole shower of arrows shot at him from the castle of Belzebub, so that he was wounded in several places, and extreamly frighted at the adventure; which made him knock again and again, very hard, for fear that those that shot at him should come and kill him outright, before he could get in: But presently, to his great comfort, the gate was open’d to him, and when he that open’d the gate saw the arrows sticking in his flesh, he bid him haste in, for fear of more danger:
So he stepped in, and made obeysance to the man that open’d the gate, for he seem’d to be a person worthy of reverence, by his grave countenance and compos’d behaviour. So he spake to the man, whose name was Good-will, and said, Sir, having heard of the fame of the heavenly country, and being inform’d by several travelers, that the way to it was by this gate, I being weary of living in the valley of Destruction, and earnestly desirous to see that region of bliss, humbly made bold to knowck at this gate, which you have been graciously pleased to open to me; for which high favour I return you my humble and hearty thanks: But as I stood at the gate, after I had knocked the first time, I was shot with these arrows, which you see sticking in my flesh, and fear I am mortally wounded, for my spirits fail me, and there is a mist before my eyes. And with that he fell at Good-will’s feet, begging him to tell him where he might find one that had skill to probe his wounds, and cure him if not mortal.
So Good-will taking compassion on the young man, asked his name: My name, replied the young man, is Tender-conscience, I was born and bred in the town of Vain-delights. Then Good-will, having register’d the young man’s name, wrote a certificate and gave it to him, bidding him deliver it at the next house, which was the house of the Interpreter, withal shewing him the way to it, for it was but a little way off from the gate: There, says he, you will find a remedy for your wounds, and see many glorious things.
Then I saw in my dream, that Good-will gave to Tender-conscience a strong crutch made of Lignum-Vitæ, or the tree of life, to rest himself upon, and ease his feet as he went along, he having nothing before in his hand, but a weak twig of Vain-opinions, which he gather’d from the tree of Knowledge, growing on the banks of the waters of Confusion. This weak read was all the staff that Tender-conscience leaned upon in his journey; till such time as Good-will, bidding him throw it away, gave him the aforesaid crutch, which he bid him be sure not to part with, for that it would be of singular use to him all the way, and especially now he was wounded; for it had a particular virtue to stay the bleeding of wounds. So Good-will having given Tender-conscience ample directions to find the way, bid him farewel, and left him to go forward on his journey.
[The House of the Interpreter]Edit
Then Tender-conscience began to pluck up his spirits, being much comforted, eased, and supported by the crutch which Good-will had given him; for no sooner was he in possession of it, but his wounds abated in bleeding, and by that time it grew warm in his hand, it sent forth a certain odoriferous perfume, which exceedingly refreshed his spirits, and he found himself grow stronger and stronger, by the healing virtue of this wonderful crutch. Thus travell’d he, till at length he arrived at the house of the Interpreter, where knocking at the door, one presetly opened it, and asked his business; Tender-conscience made answer, I would speak with the interpreter, who I understand is the master of the house: So he called the Interpreter, who came forthwith to Tender-conscience, and demanded what he would have.
Tender-conscience. Sir, said Tender-conscience, I was recommended to you by one Good-will, who keeps yonder wicket-gate: For traveling from the town where I was born, in the valley of Destruction, toward the region of life, I came to the wicket-gate, as I was directed, and as soon as I had knock’d there, I was shot with these arrows that you see now sticking in my flesh, and when the gate was open’d, I made my condition known to Good-will, and told him, I was afraid some of my wounds were mortal, desiring him to acquaint me where I might find a physician; so he recommended me to you, giving me this certificate of his hand, and bidding me deliver it to you, assuring me, that in this place I should find a remedy for my wounds, and see many glorious things: He likewise gave me this strong crutch, which you see in my hand, which has afforded me great comfort and assistance, by refreshing my fainting spirits, supporting me in the way, and putting a stop to the excessive bleeding of my wounds; but ’tis from you that I hope for the finishing cure.
Interp[reter]. Welcome, young man, said the Interpreter, after he had read the certificate, come in and partake of the good things of this house; and before you go away, I hope to see you whole and sound.
So he conducted him into a parlour, and ask’d him several questions concerning his country, and the manner of his life there; to all which Tender-conscience gave particular answers; giving him an exact account of his education, and how he had spent the time of his life ’till that day; after which the Interpreter narrowly search’d the wounds which he had received by the arrows that day, and applied a sovereign balsam to them, whereby Tender-conscience became straightways whole and sound; and the Interpreter caused the arrows that he had pulled out of his body to be laid up safe, as a memorial of his narrow escape from death. Then he carried him into the dining-room, and entertained him at a rich, yet frugal banquet, feasting him with the best restoratives in the world, for he consider’d that Tender-conscience was weak and feeble, and had a tedious journey to go; therefore he judged it necessary to treat him with diet of strong nourishment, that he might be the better enable to undergo the hardships of travel in that tiresome road.
After the banquet was over, he carried him into the several apartments of the house, and shew’d him all the excellent things which Christian and Christiana his wife, with their children and companions had seen in this place. And when it grew toward the going down of the sun, he conducted Tender-conscience into the dining-room, where they took a moderate repast together, and spent the residue of the evening in profitable discourse; the Interpreter taking that opportunity to inform him fully of the laws and customs of that country, and to instruct him in his way, with directions what company he should keep or avoid, and how he should behave himself all along the road. Then he shewed him to his chamber, and left him to his repose.
[The two farms]Edit
The next morning, by break of day, Tender-conscience arose, and prepared for his journey; and the Interpreter having performed all the good offices of compleat hospitality, told him, he would bear him company a little way; which kind offer Tender-conscience gladly embrac’d, both because he was a stranger altogether in those parts, and because he was in love with the Interpreter’s good conversation. So they walked out together, and taking their way over a large corn-field, through which there lay a path into the high road from the Interpreter’s house, they came to a lane, on each side of which there stood a manor-house, with lands belonging to each of them.
Then Tender-conscience took notice, that the grounds of one farm were all in a flourishing and prosperous condition, a plentiful crop of corn, lovely fat pastures, and those well stocked with cattle; the fences every where strong and close, and all things in exceeding good case: Whereas on the other side, the opposite farm lay at sixes and sevens (as the old saying is), some part of the ground was over-grown with nettles, briars, and thorns, and all manner of unprofitable weeds; the other part was uncultivated, and lay covered with stones, the fences down, and wild beasts brouzing up and down on what they could find, all things lying at rack and manger; so that there was not the least sign of a future harvest. At which Tender-conscience greatly marveled, and asked the Interpreter the reason, why there was so great a difference between the two farms, which lying so close together, the one was a daily reproach to the other?
To which the Interpreter replied, He that owns that farm on the right-hand, which you behold is so fair and flourishing a condition, is the king’s tenant, as likewise is the other, for both the manors belong to the king of the country. Now upon a time, the king taking a progress this way, and being informed that he had two fair farms in this place, un-tenanted, and that for want of looking after, they were both run to ruin; (for at that time they were both alike); he put them presently into the hands of those two men who live in them now, telling them withal, for their encouragement, that they should not only live rent-free, (saving some homage to be paid at his court) but should also be removed to places of inestimable dignity and value, provided they would be industrious, and cleanse his farms, and improve them with the best husbandry they could, because he loved not that any of the crown-lands should run to ruin: So these two men were put in possession of the farms, and each had his house and lands apart.
Now the man on the left hand taking a survey of his new farm, and finding it all over-grown with weeds and briars, cover’d with stones, and fences down, wild beasts ranging up and down in the grounds, and all things like a wilderness, he sat down and folded his arms, despairing ever to cleanse his farm, or bring it into any order: So he fell to rioting and drunkenness, to gaming and wantonness, never regarding his farm, or so much as once thinking of it, so that he is run deeply in debt, and has lost his reputation among all his neighbours; and unless he speedily take up, and set himself to cleansing and manuring his farm, he will certainly fall into the king’s displeasure, who will cast him into prison for neglecting his farm (for so he threatened them at the first) whence he cannot escape, till he has made full satisfaction to the king for his heinous offence.
But on the contrary, the tenant on the right-hand, having survey’d his farm in like manner as the other did, and finding it in the same condition, all to ruin and disorder, he consider’d with himself the great favour he had received in being entrusted with one of the king’s farms, and how heinous a crime it would be to slight such a benefit as was proposed to him, both for the present and future, if he would but improve his gift. Then he consider’d likewise, that though it was a great farm, and in a manner like a wilderness, yet by endeavouring every day to cleanse it, in time he should compass the whole.
These considerations made him set about it with all speed, and he began by little and little to weed it, and remove the stones from off the ground; and so by daily labouring at it, he at length reduced it to this good order that you see it in now; and now he is in assured hopes of obtaining the king’s promise, and of being removed to a more noble and honourable station.
In my opinion, said Tender-conscience, the farmer on the left-hand is very much to blame, in neglecting so fair an opportunity of raising himself: Had he but followed the steps of his opposite neighbour, and done something every day toward the cleansing of his farm, he might by this time have reaped the benefit of it, and had the return of plentiful crops, besides the continuation and increase of the king’s favour, who would, no doubt, in time have been as good as his word, and preferred him to higher dignity.
Interp[reter]. Just such, said the Interpreter, is the condition of you travelers, who come from the Valley-of-Destruction, and are going to the region of life and glory: The king of that place only requires of you to husband well his gifts and graces, to improve your talents, and persevere to the end of your pilgrimage, and then you will [be] translated to eternal mansions. Now the way to this, is not to be discouraged with the length of your journey, nor frighted with the apprehensions you may have of the difficulties to be overcome, and the dangers to be encounter’d by the way: But you must arm yourself with a firm resolution to go through all, making some progress every day, for to stand still is to go back: And therefore, like the wise and industrious farmer on the right-hand, who every day weeded and stoned some part of his grounds, so must you daily go on and gain ground; thus, like him, you will in due time perfect your labour and travel, and finish your course with joy.
The Interpreter gave him many more good counsels and admonitions, as they walked along, till they came to the highway that was fenced in on either side with the wall of salvation, and there the Interpreter gave to Tender-conscience the king’s royal pass, signifying to him, that it would be of singular use to him throughout his journey to the heavenly country: So wishing him a prosperous journey and eternal happiness, he bid him eternally farewel.
Then I saw in my dream, that Tender-conscience wept when he was to part with the Interpreter, being ravished in spirit with inexpressible love for his company, forasmuch as he had healed his wounds, entertained him most courteously, shewed him many excellent and glorious things, and given him the king’s warrant to pass, whereby he should be enabled to travel more securely and quietly to the region of life: Besides, he was naturally very affectionate, and could not brook a separation from such a friend, without bursting into tears. But at length, overcoming his passion, he set forward on his journey, and came to the place where the cross stood, where Christian’s burden fell off from his back, and tumbling into the sepulcher (which was at the bottom of the rising ground whereon the cross stood) was there buried.
[The House of Mirth and the House of Mourning]Edit
Now I saw in my dream, that hard by the cross were built two houses, the one was called the House-of-Mourning, and the other was called the House-of-Mirth, and they were situated on each side of the cross, the one on the right-hand, and the other on the left. Now as Tender-conscience kept the path up the hill, there came out of the House-of-Mirth some young men to meet him, and they spake to him, saying, Whence comest thou? And whither art thou going?
Then Tender-conscience made answer, I come from the Valley-of-Destruction, and am going to the heavenly city, the region of life and glory; but I perceive it grows late, and I am a stranger in the way, and therefore would gladly take my repose this night somewhere here abouts, if I might find so much favour among the inhabitants of this place. Then the young men made answer, and said, There were none but these two houses which thou seest in all this parish, that give entertainment to strangers, and if thou wilt go along with us to yonder house (pointing to that on the left-hand) there you will find good usage, merry company, and all things your heart can wish for; and in the morning we will travel along with you, for we only lodge there to-night, and in the morning will set forward toward the heavenly city. By such enticing words and persuasions as these, they prevailed upon Tender-conscience to go along with them. So as he drew near to the house, he heard a great noise, as of them that make merry, singing, dancing, and playing on musical instruments, with much laughter; at which Tender-conscience was greatly astonish’d; but as he drew near to the house, he saw written over the door these words, viz. THIS IS THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. Then he remembered the words of the wise man. [Ecclesiastes 7:2] That it is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to house of feasting. And again, [Ecclesiastes 7:4] The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the hearts of fools is in the house of mirth. So he asked the young men, what that house was called, on the other side of the cross? And they told him it was called the House of Mourning. Moreover, they railed and scoffed at the people that lived in it, and told him that none but a few dull phlegmatic fools ever frequented it: but Tender-conscience weighed more the words of the wise man than their slanderous tongues; and told them he would go seek a lodging at the House-of-Mourning. Then they laughed at him, and called out the rest of their companions to deride him; but he departed from them, and passed by the cross, at the sight of which he was transported with unspeakable love, grief, compassion, and such like affections; the young men and their companions all the while following him, and making a mock at his tenderness; and as he wept at the foot of the cross, they fell a laughing, ranting, and roaring, till at length he rose up, and made haste to go to the House-of-Mourning; where he was no sooner arrived, but two grave, yet comely women bid him kindly welcome, saying to him, We saw how you were like to be seduced into the House-of-Mirth, and were rejoiced to see your resolution not to enter into that seat of vanity; we also saw your constancy in withstanding their taunting scoffs and mockery, and how you were not ashamed of the cross, but the sight of it pierced your heart with divine love, and caused your eyes to pour out rivers of tears, while those profane wretches laughed you to scorn; all this we beheld with great satisfaction: and now come in, thou blessed of the Lord, and rest in this place till to-morrow, and then thou mayest go in peace. So Tender-conscience went in along with the courteous matrons, who washed his feet; and having refreshed him with a morsel of bread and a little wine, with a few figs, raisins, and almonds, they fell into discourse about the person who suffered on the cross, and the eldest matron spoke to this effect:
Eld[est] Mat[ron]. How vain and profane are these poor wretches who despise the cross of Christ, and are become bitter enemies both to him and his sufferings! They profess to believe in God, and worship him, yet, at the same time, give both him and themselves the lie in their practice. They profess to believe Christ crucified for our sins; yet, at the same time, they crucify him to themselves afresh, and put him to an open shame. They put an embargo on their faith, and suffer it not to launch beyond the narrow limits of their senses; and, taking up their religion on the credit of flesh and blood, their carnal passions are made the standards of its practice; and whatsoever thwarts their lusts is banished their conversation. Hence it comes to pass, that what at first was esteemed dull and unpleasing, was by degrees slighted and neglected, till at length it is become the object of their derision and scorn, as you see experience in the House-of-Mirth this evening.
Young Mat[ron]. And that which is the more surprising is, that these very persons pretend to be honourers of the cross, and disciples of Christ Jesus. Their house is built as near the cross outwardly as our is; and yet, at the same time, they are enemies to those tread in the steps of him who suffered an ignominious death for our sakes.
Ay, said Tender-conscience, the three young men told me they were going toward the heavenly city as well as I, and if I would repose myself in the House-of-Mirth this night, they would bear me company on the morrow: But as soon as they perceived that I would seek a lodging in the House-of-Mourning, they turned their compliments into scoffs, their pretended civility into real rudeness, and their feigned pious purposes into open profaneness; railing at you, and your house, and all your guests; deriding and laughing at me for a fool and madman, like those Greeks to whom the cross of Christ was foolishness, and all that took it up, or bore any affection to it, were esteemed as the off-scourings of all things. Such was my entertainment among them; for whereas before they were merry in the house, singing, dancing, and playing on instruments of music, so soon as the three young men gave intimation to them of my design, they forsook their melody, and came running out of the house to mock and deride me, running and roaring while I sat weeping by the cross.
Eld[est] Mat[ron]. It is worth one’s observation to see by what degrees men arrive at that ridiculous vanity, as well as notorious impiety. First, they let loose the reins to their wanton humour in trivial and small matters, delighting in nothing so much as a jest or droll in common and ordinary conversation. Thus, having habituated and used themselves to a jocular vein, they can hardly forbear to play the wag with things of more serious importance, as the affairs of justice and the public state: Then being, as it were, steeled and hardened in this wanton humour, they at last fall to mocking and jesting at the most holy and religious things, verifying the saying of the wise man, "He that contemns little things, shall fall by little and little.” Certainly, vain mirth and excessive laughter do but raise a dust in the eyes of the soul, and interrupt her more serene and steady prospect of better things; and the most innocent jests may be reckoned mushrooms, which, well ordered and spiced, my do no harm, but can do no good. Whatsoever habit the soul gets, it is hard to remove it; and the habit of excessive laughter is most difficult to be overcome, because it is a faculty essential to our nature to laugh; and he that gives way to it, and to common jesting, betrays his mind to an unmanly likeness and an habitual vanity, which afterwards he will find difficult to root out. And therefore, seasonable was the advice of the holy apostle St. Paul, when he counselled the Ephesians to "avoid foolish talking and jesting;" and the Thessalonians, to "abstain from all appearance of evil." Now, what was said to them, no doubt, was written for our instruction; and all Christians are obliged to observe their sage counsels in this as well as other matters, and not to pick and choose what precepts and counsels we please to obey, as if we would compound with God for the quarter or half performance of his will. And though this prohibition of vain jests and foolish mirth seems to be of small moment with some, yet it is good to observe every tittle of the word of God with great reverence. And you have done the part of a wise man in forsaking the House-of-Mirth, and coming to the House-of-Mourning; for they think this life to be but a pastime, or a market for gain: [Isaiah 5:12,14] They drink wine in bowls: The harp and the viol, the timbrel and the pipe are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider they the operation of his hands. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure, and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth in them, shall descend into it.
Young Matr[on]. Neither is it less worthy of remark, by what artifices and misrepresentations, the people belonging to the House-of-Mirth, do endeavour to frighten travelers from coming to our house, bringing an ill name upon it, and telling them we are sad melancholy folks, nothing to be heard but sighing, lamenting, and groaning, and that many poor travelers have been driven to despair in this place, and made away with themselves: Whereas there is nothing of this true; for our sorrow is not worldly sorrow, which bringeth death, but mourning and repentance unto life, which needeth not to be repented of. In our sighs we rejoice, and in our tears we smile, as it is written, They that sow in tears shall reap in joy: And the deepest of our groans are but fore-runners of the soul’s triumph over sin and death; and there is so near a neighbourhood betwixt this kind of grief, and the most exalted pleasure, that it is hard to distinguish between one and the other: Whilst our eyes rain tears, the clouds that cause them, are scatter’d from our hearts; and that very tempest of sighs and groans which threatens to rend our breasts in pieces, dies but sweep and cleanse the air of our souls, and renders it more calm and serene than it was before; thus springeth light from darkness, peace from war, and life from death. And so far is this house from leading any to despair, or from being the occasion of their destroying themselves; that on the contrary, many who have come from the House-of-Mirth in that condition, when their means were all spent in riotting and mirth, have desir’d harbour with us, and in a little time have recover’d their judgment, reason and strength again; and have gone away full of comfort and satisfaction.
Now by this time it grew late, and they broke up company, causing one of the household to shew Tender-conscience to his lodgings, having wished him a good repose, he returning them hearty thanks for their good counsel, and edifying discourse, took his leave for that evening, and went to rest. In the morning he rose early, and prepared for his journey, being extreamly pleased with the entertainment he found in this place, so that he burst out a singing in his chamber:
- Blessed be God, who travelers doth guide,
- And with his wing doth them from dangers hide:
- My feet had well nigh slipt, when I was led
- Within the House-of-Mirth to take a bed:
- But better things rememb’ring, I retir’d,
- And I was by the grace of God inspir’d.
- They laugh’d, I wept; they mock’d, while I did wail,
- And at the House-of-Mourning solid joys does bring,
- Whilst that of Mirth behind it leaves a sting.
Now whilst he was singing the last words, he heard a great noise without, and looking out of the window, he saw several that belonged to the House-of-Mirth, who had beset the House-of-Mourning, and demanded to have the man delivered to them, that came in there the last night. This put Tender-conscience into no small fright, so that he fell to prayer; and behold three Shining-Ones appeared to him, and bid him be of good cheer, for they would deliver him out of his enemies hands; then one of them breathed on him, saying, Be thou changed, and he was immediately transformed, and became a new creature, and his face, which before looked meager and pale, now became ruddy and shining, his eyes sparkling like diamonds, so that those that had seen him before, could not know him now. The second presented him with a white robe, whereas before he was in a crimson-colour’d garment. The third also set a mark on his forehead, giving him such a roll, with a seal upon it, as Christian had give to him; so that three Shining-Ones pronounced a blessing on him, and bid him go away in peace, for that no evil should befall him. Then Tender-conscience acquainted the matrons with what had happened to him, and taking his leave of them, went boldly out with his crutch in his hand, and passed through the midst of the liers-in-wait, and no man knew him, or had power to say to him, Who art thou? But departed from them in peace, as the Shine-ing-Ones had foretold him.
Then I saw in my dream, that Tender-conscience walked a great pace, till he was out of sight of the house, and of the liers-in-wait; for he had still some dread remaining upon him, which spurred him on to hasten out of their reach: Thus he walked till he came to the foot of the hill Difficulty, and having drank nothing that day, he stooped down and drank of the spring that ran by the bottom of the hill. Then he sat down awhile, and consider’d which way to go; for there were three paths, one right up the hill, and the other two went round by the bottom of the hill to the right-hand and to the left.
That path which went straight up the hill, was very steep and cragged; and that which went round the bottom on the left hand was broad and even, curiously shaded with rows of trees on each side, and the spring winding along by the path-side, which was very pleasant and inviting: Again, that on the right-hand was smooth and even, shady and pleasant, and seemed to wind about upwards. So that Tender-conscience thinking this path would bring him to the top of the hill, as well as the steep one, he made choice of it: Now the name of this path was Danger, and the name of the other on the left-hand was Destruction. So he went on in the path of Danger, which brought him up round by the side of the hill into a great wood, which he entered, the path leading him thro’ the middle of the wood; now the wood seemed very pleasant and delightful at the first entrance, for the birds singing in the trees, and the winds ruffling the leaves, made a very sweet harmony, and the path was green and smooth; but as he walked farther in, the trees over-shadowed it, and stood so thick, that it seem’d dark and dismal; moreover he heard the howlings and roarings of wild beasts: For the wood was infested with wolves, bears, leopards, dragons, and other fierce creatures of prey, which made Tender-conscience to tremble for fear, and his heart failed him, so that he immediately returned again by the same way by which he came in, and ran as fast as he could, till he got clear back again out of the wood; and then he slacken’d his pace by degrees; till at length he came to the spring at the bottom of the hill Difficulty, and there he sat down again to consider which way to go, or what course to take.
At length, after much musing, he called to mind that saying, "Narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it." And again, "Broad is the way that leads to death, and many there be that enter in thereat." So he viewed that path that led directly up the hill, and it was exceeding narrow, and the other two paths that went round by the bottom were very broad. Upon which he presently concluded, that he must take the steep and narrow path, how difficult soever it seemed to flesh and blood. So he went panting and gaping for breath, so tiresome was that way; and by that time he had gone up half way the hill, he was very much spent, and grew so faint and giddy, by reason of the great height and steepness of the ascent, that he was ready to tumble down backwards again.
[The cave of Good-Resolution and the cave of Contemplation]Edit
At length he came up to the place, where was a cave in the side of a hill, and at the mouth of the cave sat a man, whose name was Good-Resolution. Now he seeing Tender-conscience coming up the hill panting and gasping, and almost beat off his legs, saluted him in this manner:
Good-Resolut[ion]. Brother, I see thou art weary and faint, therefore I pray thee turn in here with me into this cave, and rest thyself awhile, and when thou has refreshed thyself, and gathered strength, then go forward in the name of the Lord. I am placed here by the king’s order, to administer relief to poor, tired pilgrims.
Tender-cons[cience]. Then said Tender-conscience, Sir, I thank you for your kind invitation, which I gladly accept of ; for indeed I am quite spent, and my heart fails me.
So he went along with the man into the cave, and they sat down together on seats cut out of the solid rock.
Now I saw in my dream, that the room where they sat was pure alabaster, and did let in certain sky-lights at the top, which gave Tender-conscience a view of many rare pieces of antiquity cut out of the rock. [Hebrews 9:4,5,7,8] There was the figures and representations of many famous worthies, and renowned men of old, who through faith had done many marvelous things: There was the representation of Abel offering a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain; and of Enoch, who walked with God, and was translated without seeing death; of Noah, who was an hundred and twenty years building the ark, for the saving his household, and all kinds of living creatures. There was also the representation of Abraham, who when he was called, obeyed God, to go out into a place, which he should afterwards receive for inheritance, and he went out, not knowing whither he went. There was also represented, how by faith he abode in the land of promise, as in a strange country, as one that dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise: For they looked for a city having a foundation, whose builder and maker is God. All these men lived in faith, believing the promises, and receiving them thankfully, confessing they were pilgrims and strangers on earth; for they that say such things, declare plainly, that they seek another country. For if they had been mindful of their own country from whence they came out, they had leisure to have returned: but they desired a better, that is, an heavenly one; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, and hath prepared for them a city.
Now, as Tender-conscience was greatly pleased, and much comforted with the sight and consideration of these things; so he looked farther, and there he saw the representation of Abraham offering up Isaac (to whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed by called) and of Isaac blessing Jacob and Esau; and of Jacob blessing his sons, the twelve patriarchs. Then he looked on that side of the room which was opposite to the entrance of the cave, and there was represented in alabaster-work, how Moses, when he came to age, refus’d to be call’d the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer adversity with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: And how he forsook Egypt, not fearing the king’s wrath, but regarding him that is invisible: And how he led the people of Israel thro’ the Red-Sea as on dry land, which the Egyptians attempting to do, were all drowned. Bnd how the walls of Jericho fell down at the sound of their rams horns. Many more things were there represented, as the famous acts of Joshua, Gideon, Baruc, Sampson, and Jephtha, also of David, Samuel, and the prophets; who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained the promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword; of weak were made strong, waxed valiant in battle, turn’d to flight the armies of aliens. And of others who had been tried by cruel mockings and scourgings, by bonds and imprisonments, who were stoned and hewn asunder, tempted and slain, wandring up and down in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destituted, afflicted, tormented, whom the world was not worthy of; they wandered in wildernesses and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth; and these all thro’ faith, having obtained a good report, and received the promises.
The whole room where they sat was adorned round with such kind of figures as these; which Tender-conscience view’d with a great deal of delight; and he took courage from these glorious patterns: His spirit which before languished, now began to revive and flourish within him; so that he burst out a singing in this manner:
- Ah, puny soul! Faint-hearted mind!
- Weak as the chaff before the wind!
- Long have I waver’d to and fro;
- But forward now I’ll boldly go:
- Since me such noble pattersn move,
- I’ll mount the bill on wings of love;
- Methinks my heart within me burns,
- And, all inflam’d, to God-ward turns;
- What tho’ in the seraphic fire,
- My ravish’d spirit should expire?
- Yet Phœnix like it will revive,
- And in immortal glory live.
Then Good-resolution seeing Tender-conscience so mightily refreshed with the things he had seen, told him, That he had yet greater things than these to shew him, such as would e’en ravish his soul with joy to behold. So he had him out of that room, by a long entry or passage cut out of the rock, and full of sky-lights that were let in at the top, and brought him to another cave, where dwelt a man named Contemplation: The man sat still in a chair of pure diamond, musing and silent, neither said they any thing to him, or he to them; but just as he saw them enter, he drew back a curtain which hung before the farthest part of the room, and veiled half the room; so that when any one came in first, he could not see what was in the farther part of the room. But so soon as the man Contemplation had, with a string, which he held in his hand, drawn back the curtain, what a goodly and glorious sight was there! How dazzling were the things that there presented themselves! For that part of the room was so contrived, that by letting in a certain skylight from the roof of the cave, your eyes were immediately surprised with a thousand splendors, that part of the cave being all an entire rock of diamond, yet so artificially polished, that by the reflexion of the sun-beams, it represented to you a most glorious city, whose streets were paved with pure gold, and the walls of precious stones, the inhabitants walking up and down in long robes, and glittering like the stars. Also it represented the king of that place, sitting on a throne of glory, a fiery stream issuing from before him, where thousands of thousands ministred unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him, whose faces were like the lightning, their eyes like lamps of fire, and their arms and their feet like to the polished brass; in short, the whole appearance was full of luster and magnifice.
Tender-conscience was astonished above measure at the sight of these glorious things, and ravished with an inexpressible delight, insomuch that he wished to live and die in that place; for he had never yet seen such a goodly sight before in all his life. He continued gazing on the lovely objects, neither could he take his eyes off from looking, till such time as Good-resolution drew the curtain again, and so veiled them from his sight, for he was afraid, lest by too long gazing on so much brightness, his eyes might receive some damage; remembering the saying of the Wise-Man, He that gazeth upon majesty, shall be oppressed with glory. So he had him back again thro’ the passage that led to his own cave, and when they were come into the cave, he desired Tender-conscience to sit down and meditate on what he had seen; so Tender-conscience sat down to meditate, while Good-resolution got ready a small collation of fruits, of herbs, and of wine, to refresh him, and make him more vigorous and active in going up the rest of the hill.
Oh sir, said Tender-conscience, trouble not yourself for me, not take any care about meat and drink; for what I have seen since my coming into this place, is both meat and drink to me: I feel myself strengthened by it, and my spirits enliven’d, so that methinks I could even fly up the rest of the hill.
Then Good-resolution made answer, If the bare sight of these glorious things has wrought such a wonderful effect upon you, how much greater influence may be expected from the mature consideration and application of them? If the bare view of the landschape be so pleasant, how much more delightful will it be to think, that the city there represented, is the place whither you are going; and that you shall live there for ever, and be cloath’d and crown’d with robes and crowns of endless glory? But I must warn you of one thing that will happen to you a little after your departure from this place, as it does usually happen to all pilgrims who have seen the glorious things of this cave: For lest they should be exalted above measure, thro’ the abundance of Revelations, there is generally given unto them a thorn in the flesh, a minister of satan, to buffet them, because they should not be exalted above measure. And thus it is like to befal you, when you are gone from this place: Now, to the end you may not be dishearten’d when this thing comes to pass, I tell you of it now, that being forewarn’d, you may also be fore-arm’d; and I exhort you to have always in your mind the famous examples of these worthies which you see represented before your eyes, who stemmed the tide of wordly crosses and persecutions, stood the brunt of all manner of temptations, ’till having at last weather’d the point,and got the start of the world, the flesh, and the devil, they ener’d into the joy of their Lord, and took possession of an everlasting inheritance. These things you ought always to have in remembrance, as you travel along, and especially when you meet with any temptations or dangers, as you must expect in this journey: At such a time you ought to reflect on the glorious things you saw in my cave, and in the cave of Contemplation, and in so doing you shall find comfort and relief. So he desired Tender-conscience to refresh himself with such entertainment as his cave afforded, assuring him, that tho’ it was plain and homely diet, yet he was heartily welcome to it, and would find the benefit of it as he went up the rest of the hill. Then Good-resolution, after the repast was over, renew’d his counsels to Tender-conscience, and told him what houses and inns he should use thereabout in his way, and what he should refuse and avoid, adding many wholesome instructions; at length Tender-conscience, full of courage and joy, took his leave, giving him humble thanks for the favours he had done him.
Now I saw in my dream, that, by the time Tender-conscience was got a pretty distance upward from the cave, he was met by a man whose name was Spiritual-pride; but Tender-conscience knew not his name at first; so the man saluted him in this manner:
Hail! Thou beloved among the sons of men, thou darling of the King of Heaven, who hast undertaken a great and tedious pilgrimage from the valley of Destruction, towards the region of life and glory; who hast escaped the temptations of the House-of-Mirth, and rather chosen to go into the House-of-Mourning; who hast escaped the path of Danger and Destruction, and hast nobly ventured to ascend up the unpleasant and rugged path of the steep hill Difficulty; and hast entered into the cave of Good-resolution, and seen the glorious things of the cave, and the more glorious things in the cave of Contemplation: Now I am sent to congratulate thy good success, and to tell thee thy journey is at an end; thou hast all along fought a good fight, thou hast kept the faith, and now thy course is finish’d, and there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness: come turn in with me, and I will shew thee thy reward, which is secured for thee, and thou needest not travel or toil thyself any more, but take up thy rest with me.
Then Tender-conscience was much astonish’d at the man’s words, and wonder’d how he could tell him exactly what he had done, and where he had been; and said within himself, Surely this man is a prophet, or greater than a prophet! So he began to be puffed up in his mind, to think how the man called him the beloved among the sons of men, and darling of the king of heaven, Surely, said he in his heart, My lot is fallen in goodly places, I have a fair inheritance. So he follow’d the man, who led him aside out of the path that went directly up the hill, and brought him to an exceeding high tower, whose top was higher than the top of the hill itself; but before they came to the tower, even as they were going along, Tender-conscience cast his eye upon the back of the man, and there he saw written SPIRITUAL-PRIDE; so he remember’d the counsel of Good-resolution, how, among the rest of his wholesome instructions, he had bid him beware of Spiritual-pride, who would certainly meet him on the road, and endeavour to seduce him to the tower of Lofty-thoughts, and when he had got him to the top, would cast him down head-long, and break him to pieces. So Tender-conscience made no more ado, but ran away as fast as he could back to the path again, so he went forward up the hill, rejoicing that he had escap’d from Spiritual-pride. who with flattering speeches, and deceitful words, sought to entice him out of the way, and bring him to ruin and swift destruction.
Then I looked after Tender-conscience, and saw that he went a great pace upward, till at length he came to the top of the hill, even to the stage that was built to punish such upon, who should be afraid to go farther on pilgrimage, where Mistrust and Timorous had their tongues bored through with an hot iron, for endeavouring to hinder Christian in his journey, as was to be read on the plates that hung before the stage.
[The palace of Carnal-Security]Edit
Now I saw in my dream, as Tender-conscience went along, that an old man met him on the way, whose name was Carnal-security, and he spake to Tender-conscience in this manner: Friend, whence comest thou, and whither art thou going?
Tender-cons[cience]. To whom Tender-conscience reply’d, Sir, I came from the Valley-of-Destruction, and am traveling towards the heavenly country.
Carnal-security. Truly you have undertaken a great and hazardous journey, and the perils you have gone through are many: But now the worst of your way is past, the rest being pleasant, safe, and easy: It is convenient for you to rest yourself awhile after your toils, and the wearisome steps you have trodden since you first set forth from your native country; and especially since you must needs be tired and quite out of breath, through the extreme steepness of the hill Difficulty, which you last ascended. Therefore if you please to take up your quarters with me, you shall be heartily welcome; and you will be the better strengthened, and enabled to go forward on your journey. My house stands not far from this place, and if you will accept of my offer, I will be your guide to my habitation.
Tender-cons[cience]. Sir, I must confess your civility is very acceptable to me, and very seasonable at this time; for indeed I am pretty well beat out with travel, and besides, it grows towards night; therefore, if you please, I will go along with you.
So they went along together, and the old man had him through a lane on the left-hand of the high-road, which brought him to a stately palace, whose gates stood wide open; and they came into the first court, which was all green, and full of flowers, having several delight-arbours artificially built round it, and a crystal fountain in the middle of the court: There were also beautiful trees planted round it, on whose boughs innumerable birds of several kinds sat chirping and singing with admirable harmony. So as they walked together cross the court, there they met an antient lady, accompanied by two beautiful young damsels, and on whom she leaned: The name of the lady was Intemperance, and she was the wife of Carnal-security. Now it seems these two had built this palace here, to inveigle pilgrims, and seduce them out of their way to the heavenly country; as the palace called Beautiful, was built for the relief, comfort, and direction of pilgrims in their journey. But poor Tender-conscience knew nothing of all this; he that had so lately escaped the snare that Spiritual-pride had laid for him, was now caught in the gins of Carnal-security.
Now I saw in my dream, that the lady Intemperance bid Tender-conscience welcome to her house; and so did the two young damsels that attended her, who were her daughters, the name of the one was Wantonness, and the name of the other was Forgetfulness. Then she desir’d him to approach nearer to the house; so they walked together through the first court, and came to the entrance of the second; there the lady Intemperance desir’d them all to sit down, whilst she reached several bunches of grapes, which hung down from a vine that cover’d the place where they sat, and squeezed them into the golden cup which she held in her hand, and having tasted thereof, presented it to Tender-conscience, bidding him drink it off; so he did accordingly, and presently he was intoxicated therewith, and began to dally with Mrs. Wantonness, at which the lady Intemperance, and her husband Carnal-security seem’d not to be displeas’d, but rather to encourage him, by giving him another cup full of the juice of the grapes, which work’d so mightily upon his weak head, that having tumbled and dallied awhile with Mrs. Wantonness on a bank of sweet flowers, at length he fell asleep in the arms of Mrs. Forgetfulness.
Then they caus’d him to be carried into the palace by two of their servants, and laid on a soft bed in the best chamber of the whole house, resolving, if possible, to win him by all means to tarry with them, and not go forward on his journey. To this end they prepared an excellent concert of musick, who were planted out of sight on the bed whereon Tender-conscience lay, yet so as they might be heard as plain as tho’ they had been by his bedside, but could not be seen by him, if he should awake out of his sleep: And they were order’d to play the sweetest airs and most melodious tunes that art could furnish them with, all the while he was asleep; and likewise to keep on playing, if he should chance to awake. For it was the nature of these grapes, of whose liquor he had drank so plentifully, to make some people sleep many years together, others to sleep all their life-time; and very few had the power to awaken, especially in any short time; and it was the nature of the musick to create dreams in them that slept, pleasant, delightful, and inchanting dreams: And those who died sleeping, were carried out of the palace to a certain place, where they were tumbled into the lake of Destruction, which lake is at the end of the path which led to the left-hand, at the bottom of the hill Difficulty. It is a burning lake, and has burned from the beginning of the world, and will do for ever and ever. Now this was the end of those poor wretches, who being seduced to the house of Carnal-security, and having drunk of the wine of intemperance, and committed folly with Wantonness, at length fell asleep with Forgetfulness; who, if they die sleeping, are forthwith cast into the burning lake, which is the second death.
Now it came to pass, that tho’ Tender-conscience slept a great while, being lulled by the sound of such incomparable melody; yet they having not taken notice of his strong crutch which he had in his hand, nor knowing its secret and wonderful virtues, did not remove it from him; by which means he at length awoke from his sleep, rousing himself up, and wondering from whence all this delicious harmony should come. For his crutch being in his hand all the while he slept, at length, as he went to turn himself in his sleep, he hit himself a blow on the eyes with his crutch, which awakened him. Then he began to wonder, as I said, where he was, and how he came there, and what musick that was. At length he called to mind, how an old man had invited him into his house very kindly, and how his lady had given him of her wine to drink, and how he had dallied with Mrs. Wantonness; but he could not call to mind how he came upon this bed, but concluded that he had been drunk, and so brought into the palace; and with this thought, and the pleasant harmony of the musick, he was just ready to fall asleep again, but that at the same instant there came such a terrible clap of thunder, as was almost enough to have awaked the very dead. At this his heart quaked within him, and the musick ceased playing. So he arose from his bed, and looking out at the windows, he saw the air extreamly darkned, saving only some intervals of lightning, which, accompanied with thunder, seemed to threaten the destruction of the world. Poor Tender-conscience wept bitterly when he perceived such a dreadful tempest hanging over his head, and he in a strange place, not half way his journey; this made him very melancholly and pensive, and he burst out into these mournful expressions by himself.
Wretch that I am, what will become of me! Where shall I hide myself from the fierce anger of the Lord, or how shall I escape his heavy displeasure? I doubt I have done amiss in coming to this place and sleeping away my precious time, which is the reason that God is angry, and thunders in the ears of my soul: Horror and confusion flash thro’ my conscience like lightning: I know not what to do, nor where to turn my face for comfort.
Then he look’d for his crutch, and could not find it at first, which made him lament very grievously; but at last he bethought himself of the bed wherein he slept, so he ran thither, and there he found it, to his small comfort and joy. Then he prepared himself to go down stairs, but just as he was about to go from the window where he stood, there came another clap of thunder, which made the very house to shake, and after the thunder he heard a voice whispering him in the ear, and saying
Get thee out of this place, and beware of the woman with the golden cup in her hand, and of all that belongeth unto her, for her ways are the ways of death: Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee.
This made poor Tender-conscience to tremble afresh, so that the joints of his knees smote one against another, and he hasted to go down stairs; at which the musick began to play again so sweetly, that he had much ado to leave it. But remembering the thunder and lightning, and the voice he heard, he went resolutely down; and, as he was going thro’ the hall, he saw the table spread with all manner of dainties, and heard the voices of the young men and maidens, as he thought, singing deliciously, which made him again stand still awhile to listen to their musick. Then came one to him named Mr. Gluttony, and desired him to sit down, and eat what liked him best, telling him withal, That the entertainment he saw there before his eyes, was prepared on purpose for pilgrims; and how that many that were traveling toward the city of Sion, did call in here, and partake of the dainties this place afforded, it being built for the ease and pleasure of pilgrims. Then the young men and maidens seconded Mr. Gluttony in their song, while several instruments of musick played to them in concert; and this was their song:
- Poor pilgrims here may eat and sleep,
- Whilst them in safety their good Lord will keep.
- Fall to, fall to, poor man, and take thy fill,
- In nature’s plasure there can be no ill.
- In vain our king’s indulgent hand supplies
- What peevish man his longing soul denies.
This was enough to have stagger’d a stouter man than Tender-conscience, and he himself could not have resisted so powerful a temptation, had it not been for the remembrance of the thunder and the voice: Also he called to mind that saying of the holy Jesus, To do the will of my heavenly father, is both my meat and my drink. So he turned away from Mr. Gluttony, and went apace out of the hall, without giving him one word, tho’ he followed him, and intreated him to sit down, and make merry with the good cheer that was before him. Then old Carnal-security met him at the hall-door, which opened into the inner court of the palace, and took him by the hand, asking him, Whither he was going in such haste?
Tender-cons[cience]. To whom Tender-conscience replied, I am going forward on my journey.
Carnal-secu[rity]. Aye, but tarry and eat first, for you have a long way to walk, before you find another house; and therefore it is not convenient for you to go out fasting from hence, lest you faint by the way.
Tender-cons[cience]. It is written, Man lives not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Carnal-secu[rity]. That is not applicable to your case, you must not expect to be fed by miracles; meat and drink are appointed for the support of our frail bodies, and therefore it is a foolish preciseness to abstain from eating, when we have absolute need of it.
Tender-cons[cience]. Aye, but I have no such absolute need of eating or drinking either, at this time, it being early in the morning; I have read in a certain book thus; Woe to thee, O land, when thy princes eat in the morning; but blessed is the land whose princes eat in the due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness.
Carnal-secu[rity]. Neither is this saying any-ways applicable to you; for you are no prince, but a poor pilgrim, and this is spoken altogether of princes.
Tender-cons[cience]. Yes, I am a prince, and am going to take possession of my crown and kingdom: For we are made kings and princes, and priests unto God, and we shall reign with him for ever; and therefore cease to persuade me in this manner, or to retard my journey, for I will go on in the strength of the Lord my God.
Carnal-secu[rity]. Well, since you are so obstinate, that you will not hearken to my counsel in this point, pray be advised to drink before you go, at yonder vine, where you see the grapes hang so thick and plump.
Tender-cons[cience]. No; neither will I drink in this place; for I remember how I drank of the juice of those fatal grapes, and they intoxicated me, so that I committed folly with Mrs. Wantonness, and slept away my time, when I should have been going forward on my journey; and I believe you have a design upon me to make me drunk again, or else you would not press me so hard.
Now by this time, as they went on talking together, they came to a fountain of water clear as crystal, and Mrs. Wantonness was bathing herself in the fountain, who when she saw Tender-conscience coming out of the court with her father, she ran out of the fountain, naked as she was, and embraced him, and prayed him to tarry awhile longer. This was a grievous temptation, and he knew not how to resist it, for she used such alluring arts, and fawning tricks, as had almost conquered him; but at length, calling to mind the terrible thundering and lightning, with the voice which followed them, he suddenly sprang out of her arms, and ran away as fast as he could; neither did he stop till he came out of the outermost gate of the palace, and till he was got into the highway again, where Carnal-security first seduced him. Then he went on singing,
- My soul like a bird, from fowler’s snare,
- Escaped is, while after me they stare:
- Their ways are pleasant, but they sting at last:
- Woe be to them that in their nets are cast.
- They spread their gins on e’ery side for men,
- Seducing souls to their enchanted den:
- All’s fair without, but rotten is within;
- Fair is the form, but black the guilt of sin.
At length he came to the place where the lions lay, who began to roar at the sight of him, which put him into a great fright; so that he stood still at first, but calling to mind what he had seen in the cave of Good-resolution, concerning the dangers which those brave worthies had encountered and overcome, he took courage, and went boldly on his way, brandishing his crutch toward the lions; at which they immediately ceased their roaring, and lay still while he passed by, and came up to the gate of the place called Beautiful, where the porter stood ready to receive him; but first he examined from whence he came, and whither he was going?
Tender-cons[cience]. Sir, I am come from the Valley-of-Destruction, and am going toward the holy Sion, or heavenly Jerusalem.
Porter. But did you come in by the Wicket-gate, which is at the head of the way of Life?
Tender-cons. Yes, sir, and was directed by one Good-will who kept that gate, to call at the house of the Interpreter.
Porter. Let me see your pass, that I may shew it to one of the virgins; who, if she be satisfy’d in your truth, will receive you hospitably, and shew you the civilities of this house.
So Tender-conscience pulled out his pass, and gave it to Watchful the porter, who immediately rang a little bell, at which the virgin Discretion came out, and the porter told her what Tender-conscience was, and whither he was going; withal, giving her the Interpreter’s pass to read, which, when she had perused, and marked the seal, she desired him to walk in. So she had him to the hall, and there came to him, Prudence, Piety, and Charity, and welcomed him to the house, and brought him a little wine and a few figs, to refresh himself at present, till dinner should be ready; for they supposed him to be weary and spent, in getting up the hill Difficulty, not knowing that he had taken a long rest and sleep in the house of Carnal-security. But we voluntarily told them how he met with an old man, as soon as he was past the stage on the top of the hill, who invited him into his house, which, said he, is a stately palace on the left-hand of the high road: So he told them all that happened to him in that place, and how he was forced at last to take up his heels, and run away from Mrs. Wantonness.
Then Piety desired to know his name, and he told her, saying, My name is Tender-conscience.
Well, says she, Tender-conscience, You have escap’d one of the greatest dangers on the road: For the old man who entic’d you into his house, is called Carnal-security, and his wife is the lady Intemperance, who is always to be seen with a golden cup in her hand, full of enchantments, whereby she intoxicates those that drink out of it.
Tender-cons[cience]. Aye, says Tender-conscience, I believe that was the lady who gave me the juice of grapes to drink out of a golden cup, when we were entering the second court.
Piety. And did not you see her two daughters, Mrs. Wantonness, and Mrs. Forgetfulness.
Tender-cons[cience]. I know not their names, said he, but I saw two beautiful young damsels, waiting upon the lady Intemperance; and I, being overcome with the strength of the wine, fell to dallying with one of them, till at length I fell asleep in the other’s arms.
Piety. These are the same I mean, and they use to bewitch men to destruction, if once they are within their arms, especially if they fall asleep therein. But how could you get away from them again? For they use to have so many tricks and artifices to entangle those that come once within their doors, that not one in ten gets out of their clutches without suffering some great damage.
Tender-cons[cience]. Oh, said he, I tarried talking and arguing the case with the old man so long, that I almost lost the day; for as we were discoursing together, his daughter came out of a fountain stark naked, and embraced me, using all the enticing words imaginable, to hinder my going away; but I finding myself not able to struggle, or resist so powerful a temptation, on a sudden gave a spring out of her arms, and ran away as fast as I could drive.
Piety. In this I commend your conduct; for tho’ it be said, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you; yet it is to be understood of other temptations. For when any one is tempted to unchaste, or lascivious actions, there is not time for disputing. A resolute and speedy flight is the only way to secure the victory. The soul may stand the battle against adversities, persecutions, crosses and the like; but pleasures of the flesh must be subdu’d by retreating from them. He that touches pitch shall be defil’d, says the Wise-man; And he that stands capitulating with the temptations of uncleanness is in danger to fall. The soul, like wax, is hardened by cold and stormy weather; but in the sun-shine of prosperity, and the heat of lusts, he melts and becomes effeminate and yielding. Therefore, well said one of old, Flee youthful lusts, which war against the soul; he does not say, stand and face them, and resist them, but run away from them. It is in some degree the same in that common vice which this age does so much, shamefully abound in, I mean excessive drinking: Men think they may safely venture into company, without being obliged do drink, and when they are in company, they think they may drink a little, without doing themselves any harm; not considering, that that little does but embolden ’em to venture on more; every glass they pour down depriving them of so much of their resolution and strength to resist; and when they come to be doubtful, whether they shall let this one glass more go down, they throw down the sense of their soul, their reason, and expose her to be polluted by the height of debauchery and folly, letting into their unguarded breasts, a flood of vain passions, with their superfluity of drink: Thus by little and little the poor soul comes [then] to suffer shipwreck. In such a case, the only remedy is, to fly the first occasions and temptations, to stop the avenues of the soul, to set a guard upon the senses, and restrain the imagination within its proper limits. A man ought not so much as to fancy that company pleasant or delightful, by keeping of which he runs the hazard of his soul’s health. Much less ought he to follow them, and court them: It is much better to be thought ill-natur’d, and uncomplaisant to others, than to be really so to one’s self, by ruining myself to oblige our acquaintance.
Charity. There are some souls that are naturally so affable and courteous, so soft and pliant, that they comply oftentimes with company, more through flexibleness and sweetness of their own disposition, than out of any real inclination to debauchery; nay, while they loath the drink, they cannot forbear obliging their unreasonable companions: This is a great weakness, and though it may be capable of admitting some excuse, on the account of that sweetness of temper from whence it flows; yet it is nevertheless dangerous, and therefore must not be palliated, lest, in so doing, we turn advocates for vice.
Prudence. If you please, let us break off our discourse for the present, and go to dinner, which is now ready, for the bell rings.
So they all arose, and went into the refectory, or dining-room, where were more virgins of that society waiting for their coming, who all welcom’d Tender-conscience to the house, every one saluting him with a particular congratulation; and then they sat down in exquisite order and silence. After the divine blessing was invoked, one of the virgins, whose name was Temperance, carved out for the rest, for that was her office, while another of them, named Decency, waited at the table. Here was no loud laughter to be heard, no offensive or unseemly jests broached, but a modest chearfulness crowned the entertainment. They had plenty without riot, variety without extravagance; and Frugality and Bounty seemed to hand in the dishes together. They are to nourish nature, not to pamper lust, or cloy the appetite, and they rose from the table lightsome and well refreshed, having returned thanks to the sovereign giver of all good gifts, to the creator and preserver of all mankind, for refreshing them with his good creatures.
Then one of the virgins named Health, proposed to the company, that it would be convenient and pleasant to take the air in the garden after dinner: To which they all readily consented, and Discretion, Prudence, Piety, Charity, and Temperance took Tender-conscience along with ’em unto a mount, which gave them a lovely prospect of the country round about it. And there they sat down under the shade of a broad-spreading sycamore, and fell afresh into discourse: Tender-conscience being desirous to learn the reason of their living thus in a society together and to know the rule and manner of their life; to whom Piety thus replied:
Piety. When we were young and lived at home with our friends, we were daily exposed to innumerable vanities and follies, and were carried away with the flood of custom: yet being religiously inclined from our childhood, we, by degrees, as we grew up, began to grow sick of our carnal education, and to despise the vanities and fooleries of the world; and sought for a place where we might be free from them, and where we might serve the Lord both night and day in all holiness and purity of life. So, after much enquiry, and diligent search, at length we were inform’d, that a certain holy woman, named Religion, had built her a house in this place, and that she being an especial favourite of the king of this country, was permitted to gather together a certain number of virgins, who were willing to renounce the world, and live in this retirement with her; having a particular charter granted them, whereby they should be for ever free from certain taxes, imposts, and homages, on condition they would make it their business to observe such laws and statutes as the aforesaid holy woman Religion should prescribe unto them, and to live in true obedience to her commands all the days of their lives. Whereupon we were presently inflamed with a fervent desire to see this woman, and if possible, to come and live with her, (I speak for us all, because I have heard the rest of my companions here own the same inclination as I myself had;) so we consulted no longer with flesh and blood, but immediatly resolv’d to wait on her, and declare our intentions, hoping to find favour in her eyes, and to be admitted into her society; which we did accordingly. And having made her a visit, and heard her heavenly voice, we were ravish’d more than ever, and grew impatient till we were taken into the house. At length our wishes were fulfilled, our desires granted, and here we have lived ever since, and would nto change our life for the whole world; for this woman is of a sweet temper, and all her laws pleasant; her yoke is easy, and her burden light.
Charity. Not that we condemn all those who do not live in such a state, or just according to our rules; for without doubt many do live mix’d with the rest of the world, yet keep themselves unspotted from the vices of the world; but they are exposed to greater danger. They run the risqué of more temptations than we. For here one spirit and soul (as it were) animates us all; holiness and purity are all that we aim at, and we mutually encourage one another, assist one another, and forward one another in the practice of it. We have no cares to imbitter us, nor vain pleasures to debauch us; we have no honours to tempt us to ambition, nor riches to make us covetous. All our ambition is to approve ourselves blameless in the sight of God; and all the riches we covet, are those which never fade away, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.
Tender-cons[cience]. But I suppose you have some particular laws and rules, to which you are obliged to conform yourselves, which I should be glad to know.
Piety. Yes, we have so, and I will acquaint you with them, in the best manner I can.
- We are obliged to rise every morning before the sun, and then we join all together in prayer and praises to the great God of heaven, thanking him for his past blessings, and imploring his favour and protection over us.
- Then every one goes to their proper business; as belongs to their office, till the time of refreshment, and so again till dinner.
- We are obliged to entertain all pilgrims that are traveling toward the heavenly country; provided they shew their pass, or give such an account of themselves, as may be thought equivalent.
- At the close of the day, we are obliged to join all again in prayer and praises, as in the morning.
- We are obliged to keep and maintain the king’s armoury, and to furnish all pilgrims with weapons and armour of proof against all dangers and disasters whatsoever.
These are the general and most important laws of our society; but besides these, we have many particular rules of less note, tho’ very good, and in a manner necessary to our well-being: All which it would be too tedious to rehearse.
Temp[erance]. Only give me leave to insist upon the statute of moderation in eating and drinking, which we are strictly charged to keep under severe penalties, which I suppose you have forgot.
Piety. It is true indeed, I had forgot to mention it, and am very glad of that forgetfulness, since I have thereby given you an opportunity of discoursing more at large upon that subject, who are best able to do it, as being appointed the particular interpreter of this statute; there pray inform the pilgrim about it.
Temperance. This statute of moderation in eating and drinking, is grounded on this consideration: That Adam fell by eating the forbidden fruit; the first sin that was committed in the world by mankind was by eating. Now, though, it be not certain whether it proceeded from some natural contagion in the fruit which Adam did eat, or from the venomous breath of the serpent, that recommended it to Eve, or from any other hidden cause; yet we are sure that whereas Adam was before in the full perfection of human nature, being the lively image of the glorious God; his soul being very full of the beams of eternal light, his understanding clear and serene as the morning, his will regular and obedient to his reason, his body in perfect vigour and health, beauty and proportion, impassible and immortal; no sooner had he tasted the fatal morsel, but a strange alteration befel him: The image of God was immediately defaced and sullied, his soul grew dark and cloudy, his understanding and reason became dull and inactive, and his will went retrograde; in short, all the faculties of his soul were dislocated and disjointed. As for his body, it became weak and unhealthful, subject to divers casualties, sicknesses, and infirmities, and at last to death itself. This was the effect of irregular eating. Nor did the mischief rest here, but he transmitted it to his posterity, conveying all these evil qualities of body and soul to his children, whereby all the generations of men in the world are under the same misfortunes, corrupted both in body and soul, conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity. But as if we were not unhappy enough in this orginal depravation of our nature, the greatest part of mankind endeavour to increase the misery, by their own actual repetition, and continual practice of the same crime; gluttony and drunkenness reigning over the greatest part of the world. This is the reason why the stature of moderation in eating and drinking is so strictly enjoined to society; and well it were if all the world would observe it, then would there be found minds in sound bodies.
Tender-cons[cience]. Wherein does this moderation in eating and drinking consist?
Temp[erance]. It consists in bridling and regulating the appetite, as to the quantity and quality of meats and drinks.
Tender-cons[cience]. Pray shew me how it consists in bridling the appetite as to quantity.
Temp[erance]. It teaches us to eat and drink no more at a time, nor no oftener in a day, than is requisite to reserve the body in health, to suffice nature, and to refresh the spirit. It is a taming of the body, and bringing it into subjection to the soul, so that the inferior faculties may be subservient to the superior.
Tender-cons[cience]. But how shall a man know how much will exactly serve to keep the body in health, to suffice nature, and refresh the spirit, since there are as many different constitutions in the world as there are fancies?
Temp[erance]. The way to know this, is for every one to observe his own temper, and then they will quickly find out the true measure, and proper time for eating and drinking. But take this for a general rule: That it is by all means convenient to rise from table with an appetite, and to have a mind, after a meal, as well disposed for labour, for exercise, or for prayer, as it was before. He that eats drinks beyond this, breaks the rule of moderation; for the end of eating and drinking is to refresh nature, and make it more vigorous and active, and not to render it dull and heavy.
Tender-cons[cience]. Pray tell me what good effects this moderation produces in the soul, and how it works there?
Temp[erance]. Great certainty, and manifold are the benefits which redound to the soul, from the constant practice of this moderation in eating and drinking: For tho’ the soul be of itself an immortal and impassible essence, yet while it is joined with our mortal body, it partakes of all its conveniencies and inconveniencies: If the body be in pain, the soul suffers with it, if the body feels pleasure, the soul enjoys it likewise. Nay, rather ’tis the soul that alone is sensible of every thing that happens to the body; for the body of itself is but dead and unactive matter, uncapable of sense or motion in itself; ’tis the soul which gives life, motion, and sense to it. Now therefore as the body is maintain’d in health and vigour, so does the soul flourish and triumph within herself; on the contrary, when the body is sickly and weak, the soul languishes by sympathy. He therefore that eats and drinks to excess, and thereby cloys his stomach, fills his body full of contagious humours, and sows the seed of many diseases in his own bowels: This man is no friend to his soul, for she by this means grows dull and sluggish, dark and cloudy, sad and melancholy, and void of all pleasure and comfort: whereas, on the contrary, he that bridles his appetites, and eats and drinks no more, nor oftner than suffices nature, and refreshes his spirit, his soul is always lively and vigorous, sprightly as youth, and serene as the morning, full of light and comfort; and, in a holy triumph, she often soars aloft, and basks in the rays of eternal brightness, despising the world, and all that is in it, excepting her own tabernacle, which is always kept neat and clean, and therefore she takes delight to repose herself therein, when, like the eagle, she is tired with her lofty flights. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and he that pollutes them with riot and uncleanness, is guilty of sacrilege. And therefore well said Solomon, Be not a companion of wine-bibbers, and riotous eaters of flesh.
Tender-cons[cience]. I thank you for your good and wholesome talk: Now pray shew me how moderation in eating and drinking consists in bridling the appetite, as to the quality of meats, &c.
Temp[erance]. In order to the better clearing up of this point, it is necessary to look back to Adam, who, we find, had permission and leave given him to eat of all the fruits in the garden of Eden, but only he was forbid to taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And afterwards, to intimate that God took an especial regard to the qualities of man’s food, he was told by God what sorts of fruits and herbs should be his diet, and which should be food for the beasts: Of every herb bearing see, and of every tree bearing fruit, he was allowed to eat: And the grass of the field was appointed for the beasts. Here we may observe, that there was no mention made as yet of flesh or fish to be eaten, no not till after the flood; so that many are of opinion, that the fathers before the flood did eat no manner of flesh, and it is not improbable, that this was the reason of their living so very long, nothing more conducing to health and long life, than an ascetick diet, that is, a diet of fruits, roots, and herbs, honey, oil, &c. without flesh or fish.
The first time we read that God gave to man a license to eat flesh, was after the flood, when he blessed Noah and his sons, saying unto them, Be ye fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth; and the fear of you, and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea, into your hands are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things; but flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, you shall not eat. So that you may see that even in this first license to eat flesh, man was restrained from eating it with the blood, which restraint was afterwards more particularly confirm’d in the law of Moses, when the fat was also forbidden to be eaten in these words, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, of sheep, or of goat, &c, [Leviticus 7:23,24] which prohibition must needs have regard to the quality of fat. And a little afterwards, there is a separation made between the meats that were to be eaten, and those that were not; between the clean and the unclean beasts, birds, and fishes.[Leviticus 6:23 to the end] Which law was strictly observed by the children of Israel throughout their generations, and it is to this day: Now, without doubt, it was on the account of the different good or ill qualities that resided in the flesh of these creatures, that some were forbidden, and others allowed.
And though this law was abolished by the coming of Christ, yet we find the apostles in their council at Jerusalem, forbid the eating of things strangled, and commanded the christians to abstain from blood. [Acts 15:19,20] And in the lives of the apostles, it is recorded that some of them abstained from all flesh, during their lives. And not only the apostles, but other christians in those days were abstemious, living chiefly upon herbs, or the like substance, as Paul witnesses in his epistle to the Corinthians.
Upon the whole matter, we may conclude, that all this caution and care about the difference of meats from the beginning of the world to the flood, and from the flood to the giving of the Mosaick law, and from thence to the times of the apostles of Jesus Christ, would not have been, had there not been some greater reason for it, than barely to try mens obedience, or to furnish them with emblems of virtue and vice, as some hold. There must be something in the nature of living creatures, some different qualities, that occasioned one sort to be forbidden and another allowed. And though we are not now obliged to keep the law of Moses, yet I cannot find upon what grounds many Christians take the liberty to act contrary to the ordinance of the apostles of Christ, in eating blood and things strangled.
Tender-cons[cience]. I remember I have heard this point handled before by some disputants; and to this last part of your discourse it has been answer’d, that Jesus said, Not that which goeth into a man defileth him, but that which cometh out. And Paul says, To the pure all things are pure. And he called the doctrine of, Touch not, taste not, handle not, a doctrine of worldly elements, and beggarly rudiments.
Discretion. But then if that saying of Christ be taken literally, one may venture on all manner of venomous living creatures without danger of hurt. Without doubt, there is a discreet choice to be made in our diet, as to the qualities of the things we eat and drink, and every one in this is left to his own conduct; only this general rule ought to be observed, that we forbear eating and drinking such things as we find by experience, or know by common observation to be prejudicial to health, impediments of virtue and devotion, spurs to the vice and passion, by intoxicating the brain, heightening the blood, disordering the spirits, or by any other ways being subservient to the works of the flesh, or the temptations of the devil. In so doing we shall do well.
Prudence. And as to the saying of Paul, To the pure all things are pure; it may well be retorted, that the same apostle said in another place, [1 COR. vi.12.] All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any thing. To which he immediately subjoins these words, (Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but the Lord shall destroy both it and them.) Now by this coherence of the text it is plain, that he spoke in reference to the liberty that was given to christians in eating; shewing, that tho’ they were freed from the strict and punctual observation of the Mosaick law, according to the letter; yet, that nevertheless, they were obliged by the law of prudence and christian virtue, to make such an election of meats, as might neither offend charity, nor interfere with the grand design of religion, which is to make us more holy and pure, not more licentious and profane.
Charity. Your mentioning the offence which may be given to Charity, by dissolute libertinism in eating, puts me in mind of another passage of the same apostle, where he says, [1 Corinthians 8:13] If meat make my brother to offend (or be scandaliz’d) I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I give scandal to my brother. Certainly charity is the very flower and quintessence of all christian virtues, the particular glory of the christian religion, and the fulfilling both the law and the prophets. He that pretends to christianity, and has not Charity, is an infidel in masquerade, a spy upon the faith, a religious juggler, a dead mimick of divine life: He runs with the hare and holds with the hounds; he mocks God, cheats man, and damns himself; he is the very sink of sin, for in him all the vices in the world disembogue themselves, as in a common emunctory. But lest I be mistaken by those that here give me this character of a man that wants charity, I will explain myself more at large, and give you a particular description of this radical virtue. I do not mean by charity only, that branch of it which bears the fruits of material good works, in feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, cloathing the naked, visiting and redeeming the prisoners and captives, harbouring those that want a place to lay their heads in, visiting and relieving, comforting and healing the sick; and the like acts of mercy. Charity is of a far larger and more spiritual extent than all these good works amount to: Nay, some of them may be perform’d without charity, as good Paul witnesses, when he says, [1 Corinthians 13:3] Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. In which words he plainly supposes, that many outward good works may be done, and yet the doer of them may want charity: Therefore when I speak of charity, I understand that divine accomplishment of the soul, which the same apostle in the following words describes: [1 Corinthians 13:3-4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly; seeketh not her own; is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. This is the compleat character of Charity, and he that makes it good in his practice, is a perfect christian, a believer in his true colours, a champion of the faith, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile, a living stone in the temple of God. He runs with patience the race that is set before him: He practices sobriety, righteousness, and godliness toward God, man, and himself: His soul is the receptacle of goodness, the center of piety, in which all virtues delight to inhabit. In all things he has a holy tenderness, and acts even to the curiosity and niceness of divine love. Tho’ his body dwells on earth, his soul lives in heaven; he couches under the shadow of the trees of paradise; he breathes immortal air, and often tastes of the fruit of the tree of life.
Now to apply this to the subject you have been handling: I say, that a man endued with this divine and supernatural gift of charity, as he love God above all things, so he loves his neighbour as himself, and will in all things so compose himself, as to be void of offence both toward GOD and man. He will (in all things indifferent) comply with the prepossessions, prejudices, and customs of his weak brother, [1 Corinthians 9:20,21,22] To the Jews he became as a Jew, that he might win the Jews: To them that are under the law, as under the law, that he might gain them that are under the law. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that he might gain them that are without law: To the weak, he will become as weak, that he may gain the weak: He made all things to all men, that by any means he may save some. With them that eat flesh, he will eat likewise, asking no questions for conscience sake, for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof. With those that abstain, he will practice abstinence. [1 Corinthians 11:31,32,33] Whether he eats or drinks, or whatever he does, he does all to the glory of God; giving none offence, neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God; but pleasing all men in all things, not seeking his own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. This is the practice of the perfect christian; this is the ultimate end of the commandments, the non ultra of both the law and the gospel, and the aim of our statute of moderation in eating and drinking.
To this discourse of Charity the whole company agreed, and Tender-conscience expressed a more than ordinary satisfaction and complacency in her grave and moderate decision of a controversy which he had raised. He had long been disturbed in his mind about this point, but was not convinced of the truth, and gave them all most hearty thanks for their edifying discourse, making a particular acknowledgment and address to Charity for the evangelical conclusion.
Then the virgin Temperance, who began this discourse of moderation in eating and drinking, and whose proper office it was to interpret and expound that statute, called for two lamps, which were immediately brought by Obedience, one of the waiters. Now one of the lamps gave but a dim light, so that you could hardly discern whether it was burning or not. On the contrary, the other shin’d very bright and clear.
Then said Temperance. You see the difference between these two lamps, how the one affords but a weak faint light, and the other sheds her beams round with great splendor: The crystals are both alike, but only one of ’em is sullied and sooted (as it were) with smoak and vapours, the other is transparent and clean. These are emblems of moderation and riot in eating and drinking. The soul of man is a lamp, which will burn and shine with great splendor, if the body be kept clean and purified by temperance, abstinence and fasting: But if a man by excessive eating and drinking does pollute and stain his body, his spirits (which are the crystal of his soul) are clouded and thickned with vapours and smoak, so that he neither shines in good works to others, nor has much light to himself; and if the light that’s in him be darkness, how great must that darkness be?
Tender-cons[cience]. Pray give me leave to trouble you with one question more about fasting, because I think you mention’d that just now, as one means to purify and cleanse the body, and render it more instrumental to the operations of the soul. I desire to be inform’d what example you have of fasting in the Scripture, and whether it be now requisite and profitable for a christian to fast, and what are the proper effects of it?
Temp[erance]. It will be no trouble to me, but a delight to satisfy you in this point, according to my ability, as it is my office: Know then, that fasting is a practice frequently recommended in the book of God, and warranted by the example of sundry good and holy men: We read that Moses fasted forty days and forty nights in the mountain; and tho’ no mention be made of fasting before the flood, yet the lives of men in that infancy of the world, in all probability were a daily fast, or at least a continual abstinence from flesh. So that what now seems so grievous and troublesome a discipline, was then peradventure esteemed by a natural and universal diet, observed by all manking, whereby they preserved their body in an inviolable health and vigour, prolonged their lives almost to a thousand years. But now, in these latter ages of the world, the bodies of men are grown weaker, and men count it a heavy task to fast once a month; nay, once a year seems too much for some dainty constitutions. There were several occasions of fasting among the people of God in old time. [Leviticus 23:27-32] There was a day of atonement commanded to be yearly observ’d by the Israelites, throughout their generations for ever, in which day they were to fast and afflict their soul from even to even. This was an annual day of publick humiliation, enjoined to that people for ever. It was customary also to fast on any mournful occasion, and [2 Samuel 12:16,17] David fasted when his child lay sick. And the men of Jabesh Gilead [2 Samuel 31:13] fasted seven days when they buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son under a tree at Jabish. And as soon as David heard the news of their death, both he and all the men that were with him, took hold of their cloaths and rent them: [2 Samuel 1] And they mourned and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel, because they were fallen by the sword. Moreover, the people of Israel used to fast in time of any publick calamity, and not only they, but other nations also, as the inhabitants of the great city of Nineveh, when the prophet Jonah foretold the destruction of that stately city would come to pass in forty days, they proclaimed a [Jonah 3:5-7] fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them even to the least: For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne and laid his robes aside, covering himself with sackcloth, and sitting in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed throughout Nineveh, (by a decree of the king and his nobles) saying; Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock taste any thing; let them not feed, nor drink water.
But, besides those solemn and publick fasts, we read of some private men who practiced it, as the prophet Daniel, [Daniel 10:2,3] who fasted three full weeks, in which time he eat no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine within his mouth. And this fast of his was so acceptable to God, that he sent one of the holy angels to him, and saluted him with the title of, A man greatly beloved, bidding him not to fear or be troubled: For, says he, from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. Now I come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days. And when he had thus comforted and strengthened Daniel, he revealed to him many wonderful and secret things that should come to pass in the world. So that by these great favours shewed to Daniel, we may plainly see how acceptable religious fasting is to God. Many more examples of this kind might be produced out of the Old Testament; but these may suffice to shew, that fasting was a duty often practiced by the people of God, and by holy men under the law of Moses. And the gospel recommends it from the beginning to the end, by the examples of Christ and John-the-Baptist, or Peter, Paul, and the rest of the holy apostles, as well as by their counsels and exhortations, nothing more frequently inculcated than this duty of fasting throughout the writings of the New Testament.
And without all doubt, it is now as requisite as ever it was; since we are liable to the same infirmities, exposed to the same temptations, and beset with the same dangers as the former christians were, against all which evils, fasting is the proper remedy. Fasting mortifies the body, and tames concupisence; it quenches lust, and kindles devotion; it is the handmaid of prayer, and the nurse of meditation: It refines the understanding, and subdues the passions; it regulates the will, and sublimates the whole man to a more spiritual state of life. It is the life of angels, the animater of the soul, the great advantage of religion, the best opportunity for retirements of devotion. Whilst the smoak of carnal appetites is suppressed and extinguished, the heart breaks forth with holy fears, till it be burning like the cherubim, and the most extasy’d order of pure and unpolluted souls. These are the proper and genuine effects of religious and frequent fasting, as they can witness who make it their private practice.
Tender-cons[cience]. You have made me in love with fasting, by giving so fair an account of it, and discovering the good consequences of it to the soul and body, and I am resolved to make trial of it myself hereafter; for in my opinion, as you describe, it causes a man to draw near unto God, while his soul, being by abstinence and fasting withdrawn (as it were) from the body, and abstracted from all out outward things, retires into herself, and in the secret tabernacle within, she sits under the shadow of the divinity, and enjoys a more close communion and intimate union with God.
When Tender-conscience had made an end of these words, he began to think of his journey; and giving them all his thanks for the kind entertainment he had met with in this place, and especially for their edifying discourse, he rose up to take his leave; then they rose up with him, and accompanied him to the armoury, which stood by the gate, and there they armed him all over with armour and weapons of proof, as was the custom to do to all pilgrims, because the rest of the journey was like to be more dangerous, the ways being infested with thieves and robbers, with sons of Belial, and murderers, also with fiends and devils. Also they gave him his pass, which he had deliver’d to them at his first coming thither; now they had all set their hands to it, to confirm and strengthen it the more; bidding him be sure to have a care of it. So they conducted him to the gate, and wishing him a prosperous journey, he parted with tears in his eyes.
Now I saw in my dream, that Tender-conscience went forward a good pace, till he came to the brow of the hill, where the way led down into the Valley-of-Humiliation; but because it was steep and dangerous going down, he was forced to slacken his pace, and lean hard upon his strong crutch; yet he was apt to slip, and could hardly stop himself from running, or rather tumbling down the hill; but at length, with much ado, he got safe to the bottom, and came to the Valley-of-Humiliation. Now all this valley was a kind of a marshy boggy ground, and was at this time all over-flowed with water, so that there was but one way to pass thro’ it with safety, and that was over certain planks fastened to stumps or posts, and joined one to another, that is, the end of one plank to the end of another, for it was but one plank’s breadth all the way, and that a very narrow one. This set of planks was called the bridge of Self-denial, and it reached quite over the Valley-of-Humiliation. Now the waters were very high, and touched the planks; nay, in some places they covered them so, that a man could hardly discern his way. The sight of this dangerous and narrow bridge did not a little discourage Tender-conscience; but considering that it grew toward night, he was resolved to venture over it: So on he went courageously, but with a very slow pace, because of the exceeding narrowness of the planks, which also now and then would seem to yield and bend under him, which often put him in a fright, lest they should break, and he be drowned in the waters.
And the more to encrease his troubles, when he was got half way over, the air was all hung full of nets and traps and gins, which were placed so low, that a man could not walk upright, but he must be caught in some of them; these were planted here by the prince of the power of the air, to catch such pilgrims in as were high-minded, and walked with out-stretched necks; therefore when Tender-conscience perceived the danger that was spread before him, he stooped down, and crept along upon his hands and knees, and so he escaped the nets and gins; and he had this advantage moreover, that he could go faster in this manner, and more securely without danger of tottering over on either side of the planks into the water, as he was often like to do, when he walked upright.
In this manner crawled he along, till he was almost got over, when he saw several boats making towards him on either side of the bridge, and in the boats there were men that rowed them, who hallooed and called after Tender-conscience, but he regarded them not: For he was afraid, lest they were some of the robbers or murderers which infested that country, and therefore he kept on his pace; but they rowed hard by him, and shot several arrows at him, some of which missed him, others he received with the shield of faith that was given him out of the king’s armoury; now the names of those men that rowed in the boats, and shot at Tender-conscience so fiercely, were Worldly-honour, Arrogancy, Pride, Self-conceit, Vain-glory, and Shame; which last happened to let fly an arrow, that wounded Tender-conscience slightly in the cheek, fetching up all the blood into his face, but did him no greater harm; so at length he got to the end of the bridge, and then he was past the danger of nets and gins, so that he could now walk upright, and that upon ground: and he went on singing:
- Through many toils and dangers I have run,
- Much pain and hardship I have undergone;
- Yet still my God hath mingled sweet with soure;
- Oft-times he smil’d when he did seam to loure.
- O’er hills and dales he leads me by the hand,
- Thro’ bogs and fens, by water and by land:
- He feeds, and cloaths, and arms his pilgrims still,
- Protecting them from danger, death, and ill.
- Tho’ satan spreads his nets, and lays his gins,
To trap their souls in labyrinth of sins, Yet by God’s grace I have escap’d his wiles, The humble pilgrim satan ne’er beguiles. Humility the soul’s pure refuge is, The lowest step that leads to highest bliss.
[The Valley of the Shadow of Death]Edit
[The Pillar History and the cave of Reformation]Edit
Then I saw in my dream, that Tender-conscience enter’d the Valley-of-the-Shadow-of-Death, and night overtook him, so that his feet stumbled in the dark, and he was ready to fall into the ditch, or the quag, which were on each side of the narrow way: But being in the midst of summer, the sun arose within few hours, and so he enjoy’d the day-light, which was exceeding comfortable to him, tho’ he met with dismal and frightful objects; for the valley is of itself very dark, and there hangs perpetually over it such black and thick clouds of confusion, that what for them, and what for death, who spreads his wings over this valley, the sun gives but a very dim and faint light here: yet that which shined at this time, served to light Tender-conscience along the hollow dreadful way, where he heard, as he went along, a continual howling and yelling; but at length he got clear of all, and came to the end of the valley, even to the place where Christian saw blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men lying on the ground; but now they were buried, and a pillar was erected in the place, as a standing memorial of all the cruelties that were acted by the two giants that lived in the cave hard by this place.
There was an inscription on the pillar also, giving an account of all the righteous blood that had been shed in the world on the score of religion, from Abel’s to that day. There was also a summary of all the bloody sanguinary laws that had been enacted on that account by cruel tyrants, as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezar, Darius, Antiochus, Nero, &c. There was a relation of a woman and her seven sons, that were all barbarously tormented with exquisite tortures, and afterwards put to death, because they would not taste of swine’s flesh, contrary to their conscience and the law of God; on the same account also, a venerable old man called Eleazar, was cruelly scourged to death, by the command of a tyrant.
Many curious memorials were there engraven on this pillar, which Tender-conscience took great delight to read. Now the name of the pillar is History, and hard by it, even over-against the cave of the two giants, Pagan and Pope, there is another cave, wherein Tender-conscience saw a middle aged man sitting, of a mild, grave, and venerable countenance, and his name was Reformation: Now it was this man’s charge to look after this pillar, and to see that no injury be done to it by the thieves and robbers that infest that road, nor by any giant of the pope’s party; for he maintained a great army under ground, his cave being of a vast extent, and his army used sometimes to issue out and commit great spoils and ravages in the neighbouring countries. But now Reformation kept as strong a party as he, and had as much room in his cave to lodge them in, and sometimes they would go out and skirmish, sometimes come to a pitch’d battle, and then the ground would be afresh strew’d with dead bodies, and stained with blood, till they were buried out of the way. All this Tender-conscience learned from one that came out of the cave of Reformation, and fell into discourse with him, telling these and many other matters to him, as they stood talking by the pillar. At length the man having understood that Tender-conscience came from the Valley-of-Destruction, and was going to the heavenly Jerusalem, was very inquisitive after his country, and the place of his birth:
For, said he, I have heard my father say, that I was born in that country too, and brought from thence very young, and when my father came to this place, he left me in the custody of Reformation, with whom I have continued ever since, and what is become of my father I know not, nor whether I shall ever see him again or no; but I remember he used to talk of going to the cœlestial city, which I suppose is the same place whither you are now traveling, and therefore if you will accept of my company, I will gladly travel along with you, having great hopes of seeing my father there, or hearing some tidings of him; and besides, they say it is brave living in that city, and that it is the richest place in the world, therefore I would fain go along with you, in hopes of getting into that famous city to dwell.
Tender-cons[cience]. I like your motion very well, for I have traveled alone hitherto, which made the way seem more tedious to me, and a companion in the rest of the journey would divert melancholy, and we should encourage each other in our pilgrimage. But I must acquaint you with one thing first, and that is, That your journey will prove ineffectual, I doubt, unless you came in by the wicket-gate, that is at the head of the narrow way, and produce your certificate or pass, from the Interpreter: For, as I am certainly informed, the king has given strict orders that none shall be admitted into the heavenly city, that are not thus qualified.
Then Seek-truth (for so was the other man called) replied, I have a pass by me, which my father procured for me when he brought me along with him, and he told me he had it from the Interpreter, giving me a strict charge to have a care of it.
Tender-cons[cience]. What was your father’s name, and from whence came he?
Seek-truth. His name was Little-faith, and he came from the town of Sincere.
Tender-cons[cience]. Oh, I believe I have heard talk of him; if he be the same man that I mean, there goes a report, as if he had been robbed in a place called Deadman’s-Lane.
Seek-truth. I hope not so, for I am sure he had store of silver and gold about him, besides some very rich jewels; nay, I may say, he carried his whole estate about him, so that if he was robbed upon the road, he is utterly ruined and undone: I am very much concerned at this sad news, and shall not be at rest till I have enquired farther about it. Therefore, if you please, let us hasten to go forward on our journey, and it is ten to one, but I shall be more particularly informed of this matter by the way. I will only call two or three more friends of mine, who are very desirous to travel toward the heavenly country, and would be glad to take the opportunity of your good company: So he ran into the cave, and called for Zealous-mind, Weary-o’th’-World, Convert, and Yielding, who all came out to know what he would have.
Zealous-mind. Have! says Zealous-mind, you may be sure, that ’tis no hurt he would have, when Seek-truth calls us.
Seek-truth. No, my friends, I call you for your good, I hope, and to fulfil you own wisher; for you have often told me how desirous you were to travel towards the heavenly Jerusalem, and now here is a man going that way, that would be glad of your company; for my part, I am resolved to go along with him, do as you please.
Weary-o’th’-World. And I, said Weary-o’th’-World, for here’s nothing in this country but trouble, vexation, cares, grief, and all manner of evil; I would not tarry a day longer in it, if I might be a king: Come, let’s be going.
Convert. I burn with desire to go to that glorious place, of which I have heard so many renowned things. I care not what hardships I undergo, nor what torments I suffer, provided I may get thither at last.
Yielding. And for my part, I like your companies so well, that I will go with you to the end of the world with all my heart. For you talk so wisely, and tell such pretty stories, that you have won my very heart; I am ready to melt, when I hear Seek-truth discourse of such strange things as are in the heavenly country, and tells his father’s travels from the Valley-of-Destruction, and how kindly he was entertained by the way at some good houses.
Seek-truth. Well, if you are all agreed, come follow me, and I will bring you to the man that is now on his pilgrimage to Sion, he stands not far off from the cave’s mouth, hard by the pillar of History. So they all followed him by one consent, and went out of the cave, where they found Tender-conscience waiting for their appearance: Then they went up to him, and saluted him one by one, and after some questions passed on both sides, they all set forward together.
[Spiritual-man joins them]Edit
Now I saw in my dream, that as they were going up a kind of rising ground, they saw before them a man walking an even moderate pace, and they made haste to overtake him; for by his gait they guessed he was no ordinary man, as a certain wise man observed, By a man’s gait you may know what he is. So when they came up to him, thy saluted him courteously, and he returned their salutations with an air, which discover’d the tranquility and peace of his soul. Then Tender-conscience said to him, Sir, if a stranger may take the liberty to ask you a question, I intreat you to tell me, Whether your name be nod Spiritual-man; for I think I have seen you before, and was told that you were called by that name.
Spiritual-man. Yes, said Spiritual-man, I am the same you take me for, and tho’ your knowledge of me be but as yet imperfect, yet I very well know you, and all your company, and I am glad to see you so far in your journey towards the heavenly city, whither we are all going.
Tender-cons[cience]. I do not wonder that you know me and my fellow-travellers here with me; for I have heard a very learned and holy man, one Paul the apostle say, That you know [1 Corinthians 2:15] all things, and judge all things; and therefore I am very glad that we are so happy as to overtake you upon the road: I hope we shall have your good company to our journey’s end.
Spiritual-man. With a very good will, for it is my delight to keep company with those that set their faces Sion-wards, and are going thither, as I perceive you are at this time; but I ’spy a young man in your company, who, I doubt, will not be able to go thro’ this tedious journey, but will either faint by the way, or turn aside with the flatterer, or take up his abode in Vanity-Fair. Then turning himself to Yielding, he said unto him, Young man, you are the person I mean; do you think you shall be able to hold out to the heavenly Jerusalem?
Yielding. I make no doubt of it sir, for I find myself in good health, and as able to foot it as any of the company.
[The altar of incense]Edit
Then they went on together till they came to a great wilderness, where were several paths leading divers ways; so that had it not been for Spiritual-man, (who alone knew the right way) they had wandered no doubt into some dangerous parts or other, and had either been devoured by wild beasts, or taken prisoners by some cruel giants, whose castles stood in the remote corner of the wilderness. This made ’em all shew a great deal of respect and obedience to Spiritual-man, and to esteem him as their guide and patron: So they went along together till they came to a place where was an altar built, and there was incense burning thereon, and the smell of the incense was very fragrant, refreshing the spirits of the pilgrims.
Then Spiritual-man spake to this effect, My brethren, you must know that this wilderness is much haunted with wild beasts, as also by thieves and murderers, spirits and hobgoblins, which oftentimes assault poor pilgrims in the night-time, and sometimes by day: Now had we taken any other path, we had been in danger falling into their clutches; but now, I hope, there will be no such danger, if you will follow my counsel.
Tender-cons[cience]. We will readily obey thee in all things, for we see that thou art a man of God, and hast the mind of Christ. Tell us therefore what we shall do to be safe from the dangers that threaten us in this place.
Spiritual-man. You see this altar of incense here perpetually smoaking and sending up clouds of a sweet smelling savour to heaven. Now the smoak of this incense keeps off all spirits and hobgoblins, and the fire upon the altar keeps off all wild beasts. If then you would be free from the danger of wild beasts, let every man take a coal from the altar, and carry along with him; and if he would be free from the spirits and hobgoblins, let him take of the incense that is in the treasury of the altar, and carry it along with him, and as he travels thro’ the wilderness, let him often kindle a fire with a coal from the altar, and burn the incense therein, so shall he be protected from all evil. Let him awaken the spirit of Prayer, and kindle true devotion in himself, by making a good use of the grace of God: For the heart of a devout man, and one that fears God, is an altar of incense always sending up holy ejaculations, which are a sweet savour or perfume before God. Such a man attracts the divine blessing and protection.
Tender-cons[cience]. But how shall a man pray? In form or without? With words, or in silence?
Spiritual-man. That you may be the better satisfied in this point, you ought to consier, that prayer is the soul’s discourse, or conversation with God. Now seeing that God knoweth all things, and discerneth the secret thoughts of our hearts, it is a thing indifferent in private prayer, whether we use words or not; for the soul may discourse and converse with God as well in silence as with words; nay, better sometimes, because silence preserves her attention, and prevents wandering thoughts, whereas when the soul is occupied in verbal prayer, it often proves little better than lip-service; as God complained of old, This people serve me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. But however this silent or mental prayer is a gift which all men are not capable of. Some have not the recollection of spirit, that composedness of mind as to pray in this manner; and it is convenient that such men should use words. But whether they use a set form or no, in private prayer, is not material; only let me give this seasonable caution, That those who use extemporary prayer be careful of committing any indecency, by uttering improper expressions, vain repetitions, or using too many words, which must needs by offensive to the divine majesty, who knows our necessities before we declare them, and only requires an humble an fervent application of our hearts to him for what we stand in need of . All the fine words in the world without this, all the rhetorical flourishes, the elegant cadences, the softest periods without this, are but sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal in the ears of God; and therefore good was the advice of Solomon, When thou comest in the house of God, let thy words be few, and be more ready to hear then to offer the sacrifice of fools. Intimating hereby, that multiplicity of words in prayer, is but a sacrifice of fools. And a greater man than Solomon has said, [Matthew 6:7,8] When ye pray use no vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them, for your father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him. And therefore the form of prayer which Christ here prescribed them as a pattern, was very short, but comprehensive, including in less than an hundrded words, all the several parts of prayer, as adoration, thanksgiving, petition, oblation, intercession, &c. And this no doubt, he prescrib’d for a pattern to others, that all who call upon God my do it with reverence and godly majesty, using but few words, and those pity and significant, comprehensive and full, proper and becoming his majesty we address ourselves to.
Tender-cons[cience]. You have given me great satisfaction, as to this matter, which has often disturbed my mind, and kept me at too remote a distance from God, not knowing certainly how to pray acceptably: But now I am convinced that God requires chiefly the heart, for it is but reason, that he who is a spirit, and the purest of all spirits, should be served in spirit and in truth, which cannot be done where the heart goes not along with the lips; and if it does, then it matters not whether it be in a set form of words or no; the fervency and attention of the mind, the regularity of the affections, and the lawfulness of our petitions being the chief thing regarded of by the sovereign majesty of heaven.
Seek-truth. How happy am I to light into such good company! Have been long searching and enquiring into the nature and obligation of christian duties, and particularly this of prayer, which puzzles good many well-meaning people; but I never met with so much comfort and satisfaction as now I have found in your discourse.
Weary-o’th’-World. I approve of what has been said concerning prayer; for I find so many defects in the best of my devotion, that I have no heart to venture on vocal prayer at some times; for if I should, my heart would afterwards check me, with putting an affront upon God, whilst in the midst of passionate words, and devout expressions, my thoughts were employ’d clear another way, while my tongue chatter’d like a magpie to God, and my heart was upon the devil’s ramble, starting a thousand vain and foolish thoughts, amidst the most serious and religious, the most fervent and pious words of the world. I know not how it fares with other people, or what advantages they may find; but for my part, so long as I carry flesh and blood about me, I cannot presume to be free from distractions, alienation of mind, coldness, indifference, and impertinent suggestions, even in the calmest minutes, the most recollected seasons, and the severest applications of my mind to the duty I am engaged in. Much less can I hope for an immunity from such failings, when I give the reins to my tongue, and suffer my lips to prate over a multitude of formal words: For then I find it falls out to me, as I have heard say it does to musicians, who by long accustoming themselves to play on any instruments, at length get such a habit, that they can run over the familiar tunes, without minding or giving attention ot what they are doing. Not that I thereby condemn the use of vocal prayer, for without doubt it is expedient for some people, and in a manner necessary in the publick worship of God, where many people are to join together in offering up the same petitions, thanksgivings, intercessions, &c. which cannot be performed without a form of words, which are the only proper means of conveying our conceptions and thoughts one to another; and consequently making each other sensible what we all pray for. In short, my judgment is, That it is all one, in respect to God’s hearing us, whether we use words or not, in publick or in private; but for the sake of human necessities, words are necessary in publick, and a fervent application of mind is absolutely required both in publick and private, as the only efficacious means to render our prayers acceptable to the divine majesty.
Then I heard in my dream, that as they walked along the wilderness, the wild beasts roared, and sent forth hideous noises, which put some of them into no small disorder and consternation; but the rest, who had more courage, heartened them on.
So at last they got out of the wilderness, and came in sight of the town of Vanity, where Faithful was put to death for his testimony to the truth. Now the town was very magnificent and stately to the eye, full of temples and other publick structures; whose lofty towers being adorned with gold, and other costly embellishments, made a glittering shew in the sun-shine. Likewise it was exceeding large and populous, so that there was a perpetual noise to be heard at a distance, like the roaring of the sea, because of the multitude of people that were in it, the chariots and the horses that were always running up and down the streets, which made poor Yielding think that it was the city whither they were all going to. He was so taken with the glorious figure this town made, that he could hardly contain himself from running thither before the rest of his company. Which, when Spiritual-man perceived, he said,
Spiritual-man. Young man, mistake not this place; for it is not the heavenly city, as you imagine, but a meer counterfeit; it is Babylon, the town of Confusion and Vanity: Though our way be thro’ it, yet we are not to take up our rest there. We may abide there for a short time, as in an inn, but we must not think of settling there for ever.
Yielding. Sir, I thought by the description that had been given me of the heavenly Jerusalem, that this had been the very place indeed, but now you have satisfied me to the contrary.
So the pilgrims went forward and entred into the town, but they met with a great many affronts and injuries by the way, by reason of the strange dresses they were in, and because they had not the mark of the beast in their foreheads, nor on their right-hands, as all the inhabitants in the town had; therefore the boys hooted and hallooed at them, and gathered a rabble about them; nay, some of the graver sort threw dirt upon them as they went by their doors, they mocked and derided them, they fastned all manner of slanders and reproaches upon them, and very few there were in all that place that shewed any compassion or common civility to them.
[The fate of Yielding]Edit
But this did not at all dishearten any of them, saving the young man to whom Spiritual-man spake last, whose name was Yielding: He indeed being discouraged by the inhospitable humour and carriage of the townsmen towards his companions, and being strongly invited, by a very courteous-spoken man, to leave that giddy-brain’d company of fools, (for so he termed the pilgrims) and come and dwell with him, and he should find all things to his content; he accordingly complied, and forsaking his company, followed the man, who conducted him to a tavern in the market-place, and sending for some of his boon companions, they fell to carousing and making merry; also they drank confusion to the pilgrims that were going to the heavenly city: But Yielding got little by the bargain, for being surfeited with excess of wine, he died suddenly in the night-time.
In the mean while the rest of the pilgrims passed thro’ the streets of the town, molested on all hands by the ruder sort of people, and unpitied of them that, according to their age and stations, ought to have shewn more wit and humanity.
[The place called "Exchange"]Edit
Thus they went on, till they came to a place called the Exchange, where the merchants used to meet and traffick: Men of all nations and families, men of all tribes and languages, each one busy in his particular occupation, or commerce. But when the pilgrims came amongst them, they all with one accord left off their business and talk, and stood gazing on these strangers, saying among themselves, What countrymen are those that appear in so strange a dress, so differing from all those that use to frequent this place?
Then I saw in my dream that Zealous-mind, one of the pilgrims, stood up and spoke to the multitudes saying, "Men and brethren, pertakers of the same flesh and blood with us, why stand ye gazing on us, as though some new thing had happened unto you, which you have never seen before? Have you forgot the days wherein Christian and Faithful passed through your town, whereof the one was burned for the testimony which he bore to the truth, and the other, tho’ imprisoned, yet by the mighty power and providence of God, escaped your rage and malice? Are these things out of your memory already? Or are your records silent in the matter? We are come upon the same account as they, and are going to the same country whither they bent their course; therefore wonder not at our unusual dress, for it is necessary, that all those who travel Sion-ward, should be appareled after the fashion of that city, that so their entrance thereunto may be easy, and without blame. This is the reason why we are not cloathed after the manner of this town, or of this world; for we have no abiding city here, but we seek one to come, whose builder and maker is God."
[The Plain Ease and the Hill Lucre]Edit
After Zealous-mind had made an end of speaking, some of the merchants left their affairs, and joined themselves unto the pilgrims, others mocked and derided them. But they shook the dust off their feet, and departed from that place, and the merchants who had left their merchandize, went along with them. And the people followed them out of the town, halooing and hooting at them; but they remembring the saying of Christ, (Cursed be he that hath set his hand to the plough of the kingdom and looketh back:) regarded not the ridiculous noise they made, but kept on their course on the king’s high-way, neither turning to the right-hand, nor to the left, but walked directly forward in the way of the Lord, till they came to the plain of Ease, where the merchants hearkened to the enticing words of Demas, and were persuaded to go down into the silver mine to dig for treasure that corrupteth; but the rest of the pilgrims would not turn aside out of the way to follow after filthy lucre.
[The pillar of salt]Edit
Yet they had not gone far, before one of them, whose name was Weary-o’th’-World, was turning about to look back toward the silver-mine, when Spiritual-man observing him, catched hold of his arm, as he was facing about, and stopped him, saying, Brother, here is a sight just before you, which will convince you of the danger of looking back in this place. So he shewed him the pillar of salt into which Lot’s wife was turned, which stood directly before them on the way-side. Then Weary-o’th’-World thanked him for his friendly admonition and assistance, confessing that he was tempted with a thought of covetousness, which made him attempt to look back toward the silver-mine, but that he was glad he had so timely prevented both his crime and his punishment, by shewing him the example of Lot’s wife, who, for looking back on Sodom, was turned into a pillar of salt.
[The River of God and Doubting Castle]Edit
Now in my dream, I saw that the pilgrims went forward till they came to the river of God, their way lying along by the river-side, where grew trees bearing all manner of delightful fruits, which the pilgrims tasted to their wonderful refreshments: They also drink of the waters of the river, whose virtue is to rejoice the heart more than wine; and there being pleasant green pastures all along the banks of the river, they laid down sometimes to repose themselves there, and then rose up to prosecute their journey; coming at length to the place that led down to Doubting-Castle, which was demolished in the days of Christiana her pilgrimage; so they passing by the stile that Christian and Hopeful went over, when they were taken prisoners by giant Despair, kept the high-way, never stopping till they came to the Delectable-Mountains, where they again refreshed themselves in the gardens and vineyards, eating freely of the fruits that were growning therein.
[The Delectable Mountains]Edit
Now as they went up these Delectable-Mountains, they came at last to a mountain that was at the top of all the mountains, and established above the rest of the hills, and it was called The Mountain of the house of the Lord. Now there were shepherds feeding of their flocks all over this mountain, and there were men of all nations, tribes and languages walking up and down on the mountain, and sometimes they talked with the shepherds, at other times they talked amongst one another.
So I saw in my dream, that as the pilgrims went along the high-way, there stood some shepherds by the way-side tending on their flocks; and the shepherds asked the pilgrims whence they came, and whither they were going. To whom Spiritual-man replied, Sirs, We are come from the Valley-of-Destruction, and are going to the cœlestial city.
Shepherds. Ye are welcome thus far in your journey; for now you are on the top of the Delectable-Mountains, even on the mountain of the Lord’s house; and here be men of all nations, tribes, and languages, that are going the same journey with you; only they tarry a-while here to take the air of these Delectable-Mountains, and to partake of the fruits that grow on this holy ground, which are good to refresh and strengthen them after their wearisome travel. Moreover, we shepherds have remedies for all the diseases that pilgrims are subject to in their toilsome journey, and we minister freely unto them of such things as we have; giving advice and physick to the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, and the ears of the deaf, and loosening the tongues of the dumb, causing them to shew forth the praise and glory of God. To this end we are placed here, and our tents are open to all comers, where we entertain the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, the young and the old, at the king’s cost, who prepares a table for all that will come to it, and hath made us his stewards to portion out to every one what they need; we have milk for babes, and meat for them that are ripe of age. Our doors are not shut day nor night, neither do we cease crying out, Ho! Every one that is thirsty, let him buy milk without money, and wine without price. For the Lord hath prepared a feast of set things, of wine well refined, and he inviteth all men to his table.
Then the Shepherds conducted them into their pavilions, an set before them such dainties as they had not met with before in all their journey. So they eat and drank cheerfully, and were mightily refreshed, and afterwards the shepherds invited them to walk out and take the air of the mountain, which they did, and found it the wholesomest, purest, and pleasantest air in the world: For it was perfumed with the odour of oranges and lemons, pomegranates and citrons, and all manner of spice-trees, which grew upon the mountain in abundance; so that what with the admirable diet, and what with the delicious air of this place, their strength was renewed like eagles, for they rested there with the shepherds two or three days, who shewed them great hospitality; for they had all things common among themselves, and therefore the pilgrims went freely up and down from one tent to another, and were kindly receiv’d every where; for this is Emanuel’s Land, the holy mountain of the kingdom of peace, where their spears were turned into pruning-hooks, and their swords into plough-shares, every one sitting peaceably under his own vine, and under his own fig-tree, and no man did harm to another, but all lived together in unity, love, and peace.
The shepherds also shewed them many wonderful things of the mountain, as the hill of Error, and the hill of Caution; and when the time came that the pilgrims were desirous to pursue their journey, the shepherds had them to their overseer, whom the king had set over them, even one of their brethren, and a shepherd: To this man they brought the pilgrims, who, when they came before him, blessed them, saying, Peace be unto you: And when the shepherds had told him who they were, and how far they had traveled, and whither they were going, he anointed them with a certain rich and sovereign ointment, which would exceedingly strengthen them in the rest of their journey. Then the pilgrims bowing their heads down to the ground, took their leave of the venerable old man, giving him thanks for the kindness he had shewed them.
Then the shepherds went along with them, and showed them the door in the side of the hill, which is a by-way to hell: And lent them their prospective-glass to take a prospect of the cœlestial city thro’ it. Which when the pilgrims had a glimpse of, they were ravished at the sight of such glorious things, and longed to be there; wherefore they desired the shepherds to give them leave to depart, which was granted them, only the shepherds first gave them directions concerning the way, bidding them to have an especial care lest they slept upon the Inchanted-Ground, which they must needs pass thro’ before they could arrive at the heavenly city, and it lies just on this side the region called Beulah.
Moreover, I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims having bid adieu to the shepherds, when down from the mountain into the plain, having a large valley before them, which was called the valley of Vain-Opinions: Now as they were going through this valley, they saw a company of men before them, and as they drew nearer, they could hear them talk very eagerly one to another, as though it were about some weighty matter. So when they came up to them, they perceived that the men were talking about the king of the country, which made them dispute very passionately, and with a great deal of heat: One asserting, That the king was of his opinion, another, That he only had the right understanding of the royal mind, will and pleasure; and each man quoted some article or sentence of the king’s statute-book, in confirmation of what he had said: So that there was a great noise and hurly-burly among them, insomuch that they were ready to go together by the ears, while every one thought himself in the right, and all the rest in the wrong: Thus contended they till Spiritual-man spoke to them, and said, Good people, What is all this clamour for? Then they all ceased their loud talking, and gave attention to what he would say, who thus proceeded:
Spiritual man. I hear you very vehement and earnest in controversy about the king’s pleasure, one saying, he knows best, and another, that he is best acquainted with it. This puts me in mind of the words of Christ, where he says, [Matthew 24:23-27] If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or he is there, believe it not; For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that (if it were possible) they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before, Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold he is in the desart, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Therefore I have reason to judge of you all as deceivers and false prophets, since you so exactly make good the character which our Lord has given them. For whereas one boasteth that he knows the king’s mind; another that he is the best interpreter of his will; ye are all out of the way of truth; the king’s mind is with none of you, Christ is not among you: ’Tis the shepherds who are his privy-counsellors, who know the secrets of the kingdom; go ye therefore and feed with the flocks, and frequent the places where they lie down at noon, so shall ye learn knowledge, and preserve your feet from stumbling into error. And having spoken these words, he turned from them with all his company, and they kept on their way over the plain. Now they had not gone far, before a man bolted out upon them from a little cave, on the side of the high-way, which was called the cave of Natural-Speculation, and the name of the man was Human-reason: So he asked them, Whence they came, and whither they were going? To whom Spiritual-man made answer, We came from the Valley-of-Destruction, and we are going towards the heavenly Jerusalem, and shall be glad of thy company, if thou wilt go along with us.
Human-reason. I am designing for the same place myself, and would gladly accept of any good company; but I suppose you intend to go the same way as yonder shepherds shewed you, who know no more of it than the man in the moon, but only ’tis their livelihood to tell a parcel of strange stories to strangers and travelers, making them believe, that they are servants to the king, and that it is their office to entertain pilgrims, and give them directions for the way. They pretended also to give them a prospect of the heavenly Jerusalem, through a prospective-glass, and to shew them one of the mouths of hell; whereas they are a pack of meer jugglers and religious cheats, amusing the credulous and unwary travelers with fictions and romantick stories of heaven and hell, and using enchantments to delude them in their way thither, casting a mist before their eyes, when they pretend to give them a glimpse of the glories of that place. For that is a deceitful glass thro’ which you looked, and presents you not with the true appearance of things; as I can prove at large, if you would be pleased to hear me out. Nay, I can demonstrate before your eyes, without the help of any glass, the situation and beauty of the cœlestial city, and shew you the nearest road thither, and as plain, as that two and three make five.
Spiritual-man. Thou art as blind as a beetle thyself, and wilt thou pretend to direct us in the way to a place which thou never sawest nor knowest? Go, get thee into thy den again, and go not about to seduce poor harmless pilgrims; for we will not hearken to they insinuating discourse, but keep on our way, as the shepherds directed us.
Tender-cons[cience]. Nay, pray let us hear what the man can say for himself; for he seems to be a smart man, and no fool: And therefore I would fain hear his reasons.
Spiritual-man. Your curiosity is dangerous, and may cost you dear; therefore pray be persuaded to turn away your ears from hearing of vanity and delusions. You have run well hitherto, do not halt so near your journey’s end.
Tender-cons[cience]. I cannot be satisfy’d in my mind unless I hear this man’s arguments; for he seems to have something extraordinary in his very face, and more in his words.
Zealous-mind. To the empty are empty things; if this man be obstinate, that he will tarry and hear the fellow prate, let him tarry alone; why should we lose time for his folly? Let us hasten forwards to run the race that is set before us.
Spiritual-man. No, brother, let us rather bear one another’s burden, and so fulfil the royal law of Christ our king. Let us pity his infirmity, as Paul exhorts us in the like case: [Galatians 6:1,2] Brethren, says he, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. And another apostle saith, [James 5:19,20] Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a-multitude of sins. Now therefore since this our brother is tempted with a vain curiosity to hear the arguments of Human-reason, let us stay awhile, and I will undertake to confute him; which will be more to my brother’s profit, than if he had never heard him speak. Go to then, said he, turning to Human-reason, let us hear what thou hast to argue against the way that we are going.
Human-reason. Then Human-reason putting on a grave and serious countenance, spoke as follows: Gentlemen, it is not manly to fall into a passion, and abuse a stranger, before you have a just cause given you, especially when you are ignorant of, or mistake his quality. I am sprung of a right noble and illustrious family, and as antient as any in the World, by my father’s side: Understanding is my father, who is a prince and courtier, and of near king to the royal family of heaven. Therefore, as you are gentlemen, I hope you’ll use me with that respect which is due to my birth and extraction, and not run me down with reproachful names and scurrilous language.
Spiritual-man. Cry you mercy, sir, I know your father very well, and honour his noble birth and illustrious quality; and give me leave to tell you, your mother is but of mean and obscure quality, and a notorious strumpet; and therefore you must excuse us, if we esteem no better of you than a bastard, or at best a very degenerate son, a mongrel breed, partaking more of your mother’s vices than your father’s virtues, who surely was much overseen, when he suffered himself to be debauched by such a common drab as she. Her name was Sense, the daughter of Animal-life, an old doating sot, that minded nothing else but eating, drinking, and sleeping, his birthplace being no better than a dunghil; this was your goodly grandfather by your mother’s side. Now he used to prostitute your mother, and she was young, to all comers and goers; and, among the rest, the prince your father fell in love with her once upon a time, and lay with her, and begot you: So that you have no such reason to glory in your high birth, but rather to be ashamed of your father’s infirmity, in committing folly with such an adultress as your mother. Besides, what signifies your being his son, unless you were also endued with his princely virtues? And he himself lost those virtues after he had defiled himself by copulation with your mother. For he was once quick-sighted as an eagle, but now his eyes are dim: In this you resemble him to the life, for you are purblind. He was active and sincere, but now is dull and treacherous; in this also you are like him, for you are heavy and slow in all your operations, and as uncertain and wavering as a weather-cock. I could take notice of a great many more ill features and qualities in you, but that it would be tedious and irksome to the company.
Zealous-mind. Aye, eye, it is not worth while to lose so much time in talking to this impostor, when we are on a journey.
Weary-o’th’-World. No, indeed, brother Spiritual-man, no more it is; and were you but half so tired as I, you would not stand reckoning up this fellow’s genealogy, or making comparisons between him and his father, I long to be at my journey’s end; come, let’s be jogging.
Spiritual-man. Have patience, my brethren, whilst this man and I discourse this point farther, for the sake of Tender-conscience, who seems to be stagger’d at his first words, and has an itching desire to hear what he can say for himself: Perhaps he will have a better opinion of the man, if we should refuse to converse with him, he might think that we are ashamed or afraid to stand the brunt of his boasted demonstration, and so would conclude the truth on his side. Therefore, for his sake have patience awhile, and I doubt not but I shall convince this man of his error, and make him hold his peace, if not recant his ill-grounded opinions, to the glory of God, and the edification of us all, especially of poor wavering Tender-conscience.
Then they agreed to tarry and hear out the dispute between them, So Spiritual-man bid Human-reason waive all farther preamble about his birth and family, and fall upon the point in hand, making as quick dispatch as he could.
Human-reason. Well then, I tell you in short, you are out of the way, and if you will follow my directions, I will shew you a far nearer and more secure road to the heavenly country. I believe, and know there is a God, as well as you, and worship him day and night; but I take not up this belief, nor practice this worship on other mens credits; I do not blindly pin my faith on other mens sleeves, nor worship God according to the traditions of me, as you do; but I lay a sure foundation of my faith, I behold and contemplate this wonderful and glorious fabrick of the world, an by a regular deduction I trace the footsteps of an eternal divinity, whilst climbing up the chain of inferior and second causes, I at length fasten upon the uppermost link, and clearly see the first and supreme cause, source and spring of all things visible and invisible. Thus as common bodily objects are the first and lowermost of this chain of causes, so my senses are the first and lowest step to my faith, whilst by a chain of rational inferences, I join the first and last things together, and make my senses, reason and faith to be all proportionably subservient to the adoration I pay to the eternal Godhead. Thus I observe a due order in letting that which is natural first take place, and then afterwards that which is spiritual. Whereas you take a quite contrary course, and so do all that hearken to those blind guides, the shepherds on yonder mountains. For they teach you to begin at the wrong end, and laying aside the service of your senses and reasons, which are the essential properties of your nature, to believe by an implicit blind faith, the doctrines and opinions of such a number of men, pretending they were divinely inspired; and not only so, but to believe doctrines that are diametrically opposite to your reason, an the common sense and experience of the whole world. As for example, They teach, and you must believe, that one can be three, and three are but one, contrary to the first principles of natural reason: That God is man, and man is God: That a virgin could conceive a son without the help of a man, and after her child-birth remain a virgin: With many more opinions of the like nature, inconsistent in themselves, and with other fundamental principles of nature.
Tender-cons[cience]. If all be true as this man says, then for ought I see, we are guilty of downright popery. I have heard many wise and learned men say, That the great secret of that religion is to make its proselytes believe, by a blind implicit faith, things directly contrary to sense and reason; and if we are guilty of the same error, wherein do we differ from the papists? For my part, I am wonderfully taken with this man’s discourse, he speaks home to the purpose, and I can’t see what can be objected against it, or how he can be answered.
Spiritual-man. Be not carried away with every wind of false doctrine, but let your heart be established in the truth. Be not credulous, but examine well his discourse, and you shall find it all sophistry and deceit; as I shall make apparent, if you give me the hearing.
In the first place, therefore, he goes upon a wrong ground, in supposing our reason to be perfect in exercising itself upon its proper objects. Before the fall of Adam indeed it was so, but now it is imperfect and frail; it was then one intire shining diamond, but now is shattered into pieces. We only retain some fragments or sparks of the original jewel; we can boast of nothing but some broken remnants of reason, escaped from that fatal shipwreck of human nature, which still float up and down in a sea of uncertainties. We grope as in the dark, and can hardly discern the things that are familiar to us. Our notions of things are liable to a thousand mistakes, our inferences loose and incoherent, and all our faculties turned upside down. Our discourse commonly is rather rhetorick than reason, and has either a smatch of the serpent’s subtle sophistry, or the woman’s soft and insinuating eloquence: These generally supply the place of true masculine reason, whilst the sophist does but mimick the philosopher, and both they and the orator act the divine: As this man does in his specious accusation of the shepherds, and vindication of his own way. For,
In the second place, Suppose we grant his ground to be good, and that reason is perfect in its exercising itself on its proper objects; yet his inferences from thence are but the effort of his eloquence and sophistry, while he would endeavour to persuade us, that divine and supernatural things are the objects of natural reason also. It is but just the same thing as if he would go about to convince us, that we may hear with our noses, and see with our ears. We may as well do this, as discern divine and supernatural things by natural and human reason. God has endued us with different faculties, suitable and proportionable to the different objects that engage them. We discover sensible things by our senses, rational things by our reason, things intellectual by understanding, but divine and cœlestial things he has reserved for the exercise of our faith, which is a kind of divine and superior sense in the soul. Our reason and understanding may sometimes snatch a glimpse, but cannot make a steady and adequate prospect of things so far above their reach and sphere. Thus by the help of natural reason I may know there is a God, the first cause and original of all things; but his essence, attributes, and will, are hid within the veil of inaccessible light, and can’t be discerned by us, but thro’ faith in his divine revelation. He that walks without this light, walks in darkness, tho’ he may strike out some faint and glimmering sparkles of his own. And he that out of the gross and wooden dictates of his natural reason, carves out a religion to himself, is but a more refined idolator than those who worship stocks and stones, hammering an idol out of his fancy, and adoring the work of his vain imagination. For this reason God is no where said to be jealous, but upon the account of his worship. To this end he was so particularly nice, (if I may so speak with reverence) in all these strict injunctions he laid on the children of Israel, as to his worship. He gave to Moses in the mount an exact pattern of the tabernacle, and all its vessels, instruments, an appurtenances: He prescrib’d the particular times and seasons, the particular manner, and rites, and ceremonies of his worship, not a tittle of which they were to transgress under pain of death. Now what needed all this caution and severity, if it were a matter so indifferent as this man makes it, how God is worshipped? He thinks, if by patching up half a dozen natural reasons together, he can prove a deity, and pay some homage or acknowledgment to him as such, that all is well with him; nay, that he is in the nearest and most ready way to heaven, in the mean while concluding that we go round about, if not a quite contrary way, to take up our religion on no less credit and authority than that of divine revelation.
This he calls laying aside our senses and our reason, to believe by a blind and implicit faith, the doctrines and opinions of a certain number of men, pretending to be divinely inspired; and not only so, but believing doctrines diametrically opposite to our reason, and the common sense and experience of the whole world. But tell me, O vain man! How do we lay aside our senses and our reason, when we use both in a due subordination to our faith? Faith itself comes by hearing, which is one of our senses: We hear the glad tidings of the gospel preached to us, and our hearts are brought into subjection to the power thereof! Natural reason taught us to believe there is a God, but faith teaches us how to believe in him, and how to worship him. The things which we believe of him are indeed far above our sense and reason, but not contrary to them. Nay, in this our sense and reason are instrumental to our faith, that when we read or hear of the miracles which were done by Christ and his apostles, our reason tells us they could not be done but by the mighty power of God, and that God would not bye such miracles give testimony to a lie; therefore, consequently, our reason teaches us to believe, that Christ and his apostles were really such as they professed themselves to be: He the Son of God, they his servants, and men inspired by the Holy Ghost, and consequently, that all their doctrines were true. How then can I stumble at the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, his being conceived without help of man, and brought forth by a virgin, she remaining a pure virgin? Thus far my reason is serviceable to my faith. The one leads by the hand to the veil; the other draws it back, and discovers all the sacred mysteries. Yet still let reason keep her distance: she is but the handmaid, faith the mistress: Sense and reason attend in the outer courts of the temple, but faith enters into the holy of holies. Now, without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. This is that faith which thou, O Human-reason much contemned and vilified! This is that faith which the shepherds recommended to us; this is that perspective-glass thro’ which we saw the glories of the cœlestial Jerusalem; therefore cease henceforward to speak evil of the way of the Lord; cease to pervert the souls of such as seek the Lord in sincerity, and with an humble faith.
When he had made an end of these words, Tender-conscience burst out in tears for grief and joy; for grief that he had suffered his mind to be warped by the seducing eloquence of Human-reason, and for joy that Spiritual-man had so well answered and confuted his arguments, which made him address himself thus to Spiritual-man.
Tender-cons. I am heartily sorry that my foolishness should hinder all the company of such time, while we might have been a good way on our journey: Now I am fully satisfied that Human-reason is but an ignis fatuus to the mind, a false light, a deceiver, and therefore let us leave him to his den of shadows, and prosecute our journey.
Now I saw in my dream that they went forward, while Tender-conscience sang,
- Vain Human-reason boasts himself a light,
- Tho’ but a wand’ring meteor of the night,
- Bred in the bogs and fens of common earth,
- A dunghill was the place of his high birth;
- Yet the impostor would aspire to be
- Esteem’d a son of noble pedigree:
- Vaunting his father’s titles and high race,
- Tho’ you see Mungrel written in his face.
- A better herald has unmask’d the shame,
- And prov’d a strumpet was the juggler’s dame.
- In vain he seeks on pilgrims to impose;
- In vain he strives to lead them by the nose;
- The cheat’s discover’d, and bright truth prevails,
- When humble faith does hold the sacred scales.
- Reason and sense are but deceitful guides;
- A better convoy God for us provides.
- Cœlestial truth dwells in th’ abyss of light,
- Wrapt up in clouds, from Human-reason’s sight.
- He that would see her, as she’s thus conceal’d,
- Must look by faith, believing what’s reveal’d.
- Reason may well at her own quarry fly,
- But finite cannot grasp infinity.
- Rest then, my soul, from endless anguish freed,
- Meer reason’s not thy guide, nor sense thy creed:
- Faith is the best insurer of thy bliss,
- The bank above must fail before the venture miss.
Now as they went along, they came to the place where the Flatterer had seduced Christian and Hopeful out of the road into a By-way, which might easily be done; for tho’ it was a By-way, yet it seemed to lie as strait before them as the true way. But however our pilgrims had the good fortune to escape the way that led to the nets, by means of Spiritual-man’s company, who had a shrewd insight into the road.
[The Enchanted Ground]Edit
Now I saw in my dream, that they had not gone far, before they all began to grow very drowsy, insomuch that Weary-o’th’-World began to talk of lying down and taking a nap. At which Convert, who had not spoken a word since they parted from the cave of Reformation till this time, fetched a deep sigh, and wept bitterly; but amidst his tears he called out very earnestly to Weary-o’th’-World, warning him not to sleep in that place. This sudden passion and extraordinary carriage of Convert, who had been silent all the way before, made every body curious to learn the occasion of it, and Spiritual-man desir’d him to acquaint the company with the occasion of this sudden motion. Then Convert telling them, if they would escape death, or the very near danger of it, they must not offer to sleep on that ground, and promised to give them an account of his life in short, desiring them to give good attention to his words, which would be a means to keep them waking. So he began.
Conv[ert]. You may remember, the shepherds at parting, among other good and wholesome advices, bid us an especial care not to sleep on the Inchanted-Ground. Now when I saw some of the company inclin’d to sleep, I call’d to mind the shepherds exhortation, and also my own former miscarriage in this point, which made me burst into tears, to think how far I had gone back from heavenward, by reason of sleeping in this place; and what danger you would all have run, should you but have lain down on this Inchanted-Ground. This is the place the shepherds told us of.
Spiritual-man. Blessed art thou of the Lord, O happy young man, who hast prevented us from sleeping in this place. Pray entertain us with a relation of your past travels, for I perceive by your discourse, that you have been this way before now.
Convert. ’Tis possible that you may have heard of one Atheist, who met Christian and Hopeful a little way off from this place, as they were traveling towards the heavenly city. I am the man, tho’ my name be now changed, neither was that my proper name, but was given me after my sleep on the Inchanted-Ground: For my name before was Well-meaning, and now my name is Convert.
I was born in the Valley-of-Destruction, and brought out from thence very young by my father; but as we came along by that man behind us, even by Human-reason, I was so pleased with his deluding discourse, that my father could not get me along with him, but I must needs tarry awhile to converse with Human-reason; telling my father, That he being old and crazy, I should soon overtake him. But Human-reason had such enticing ways with him, that I had not power to leave my company a great while; nay, and at last, when he saw that I would go, he would needs accompany me to this place, and at parting he gave me something to drink out of a vial, which he told me was an excellent cephalic, and good against all distempers of the brain, to which travelers are liable, by reason of heats and colds, and the like; so he took his leave, and went back to his cave.
But he was no sooner gone, than I fell asleep on the ground, whether thro’ the influence of the liquor he gave me, or thro’ the nature of the vapours which arise out of the ground, I know not, but my sleep seem’d very sweet to me; and I believe I had slept my last here, had I not been used from my childhood to walk in my sleep: For getting up in my sleep, I walked back again the same way by which I came, till I was quite off from the Inchanted-Ground, and there I met with Christian and Hopeful, who were going forward to mount Sion. So when they told me whither they were going, I fell a laughing heartily at them, calling them a hundred fools, for taking upon them so tedious a journey, when they were like to have nothing for their pains, but meer labour and travel.
Now all this while my brains were so stupefied with that liquor which Human-reason had made me drink, that I was not sensible I had been asleep, but was as one in a dream, and my fancy was possessed with an imagination, that I had been as far as any pilgrims could go, but could find no such place as the heavenly Jerusalem, and therefore I believed there was none, and so I told them: But however, they would not hearken to my foolish words, but went forwards on their journey, and I kept on my course backward, till I came to the town of Vanity, where I took up my lodging for a great while; till once upon a time, being at one of the publick shows in the fair, I was struck with a thunderbolt from heaven, which had almost cost me my life; for I was forced to keep my chamber a whole year upon it. Now in this time of my confinement, I began to think of my former life, and the miserable condition I was in, if it should please God to take me away.
This made me weep day and night by myself; I fasted also and prayed, and humbled myself before the Lord in secret, and vowed a vow unto God, That if it would please God to restore me to health again, I would undertake a pilgrimage to mount Sion, the first opportunity that I could meet with to have company.
So God heard my prayers, my vows, and my tears, and restored me again in a little time, and I walked abroad, and soon left that wicked town, and remembring that I had an acquaintance or two in the cave of Reformation, men of sober dispositions and religious lives, I resolved to go and see them, if perhaps I might prevail upon them to go along with me. So I went according to the aforesaid cave, and found my two friends there, whom I often broke my mind to about this matter: But they put me off till we could get more company, telling me, that it would not be long before some pilgrims would come by, which made me long for that happy hour, when I might hear of any travelers that were going that way.
In the mean while I abode in the cave, and conversed with a great many men there, and among the rest, I prevailed on Zealous-mind and Yielding to go along with us: For my friends names were Seek-truth and Weary-o’th’-World, whom we have in our company now. So when Tender-conscience came by, and was looking on the pillar of History, Seek-truth happen’d to see him, and knowing by his habit that he was a pilgrim, he presently struck up a bargain with him to bear him company, and called the rest of us out of the cave, a little way off which we overtook Spiritual-man, and so we all joined company, and came along together, not one of us but Yielding being lost. He must needs follow the seducer in the town of Vanity, and so got a surfeit with excess of wine, which killed him.
[The Land of Beulah]Edit
Now I saw in my dream, that the pilgrims by this time were got over the Inchanted-Ground, and entered into the country of Beulah, whose air was sweetened with all manner of aromatick perfumes; which revived their drooping spirits, grown heavy, and almost stupefied, with walking over the Inchanted-Ground. Here were trees growing, whose fruits never fade away, and whose leaves are always green. In this place there is a perpetual spring, the birds always singing, the meadows adorned with flowers, and all things abounding that are delightful. For it lies within sight of Paradise, and the shadow of the cœlestial city reaches it.
Here they walked and comforted themselves with the pleasures which this goodly land afforded; reflecting back upon the toils and hardships they had undergone, they solac’d themselves with the thought that they were now near their journey’s end, and within plain view of the cœlestial Jerusalem, which they had so long, and so fervently desired to see. The farther they walked, the plainer might the glory of that place be seen, and the more earnestly did they long to come to it.
So that they spurred one another forward with comfortable words, saying, Come, let us go up to the house of the Lord, our feet shall be standing in they courts, O Jerusalem. In the sight of angels we will sing unto thee, O Lord, and will adore in they holy temple. And as they passed along, thtey came to certain vineyards which belonged to the king; and those who had the custody of the vineyards, invited them in, saying, Come in, ye blessed of the Lord, and taste the wine that rejoiceth the heart of God and Man [Judges 9:13].
So the pilgrims went into the vineyards, and drank of the wine thereof, which inebriated them with love and joy, with desire and hope to see the king’s face; of whom the keepers of the vineyards told them many glorious things, saying, That he was the fairest among ten thousand; therefore the virgins loved him, and ran after him, to obey his commands. They said also, That he was a great love of pilgrims, and that he himself took once upon him to be a pilgrim. Many more good commendations they gave of him, which made these men impatient till they got to the city.
[The River of Death]Edit
So they left the vineyards, and went forward, and ran as it were for their lives. Thus they continued running, till they came in sight of the gate; but in a kind of a bottom they were stopped by a river, which was very deep, and had no bridge to go over it. Moreover, I saw in my dream, that there sat there a multitude of men, women, and children, of all nations, tribes, and languages, on the banks of the river, and many were in the river.
So when the pilgrims came down to the river-side, they sat down likewise on the bank, and began to question one another how they should get over; also they asked of some that were sitting there before them, whether there was no other way to go into the city? And they answered them, No. Then they were greatly perplexed in mind, to think, how they should do to get over this river.
But Weary-o’th’-World said to his companions, Be not discourag’d because of the river, for I will venture in first, and according as it fares with me you may act. If I get over in safety, then ye may securely follow; but if I sink and perish in these deep waters, then you have your choice before you: Do what seems good in your own eyes.
So he boldly rushes into the river, plunging himself over head and ears in a moment, and they never saw him rise again: Which did greatly dishearten the rest of the pilgrims, and they knew not what to do, or which way to turn themselves.
Whilst they were thus disconsolate and melancholly, there came flying to them a man in bright cloathing, who said, peace be unto you, let not your hearts be troubled, because of the man who just now enter’d the river, and presently sunk out of your sight: His name was Weary-o’th’-World, and his circumstances answer his name: For he has a long time lain under great discontent, because the affairs of this life went not smoothly on his side; he has met with a great many crosses and losses, vexations, and troubles in this world. He has been crossed in body, soul, and estate; in wife, children, and friends. Now all these together made him weary of the world, and resolved to go out of it. But he suffered none of these things for righteousness sake, or for the name of Christ, but for his own ambition, covetousness, and envy, which made him odious to all people that knew him; nay, he thereby put himself out of the protection of providence, so that nothing thrived which he took in hand. His corn was blasted in the field; his barns were burned down to the ground, when they were filled with the fruits of a plentiful harvest. His body was afflicted with many diseases, which were occasioned by his lusts. His wife and children cursed him to his face, because of his tyranny and cruelty. His friends and his neighbours mocked and derided at his calamities; and all things went against him. So in a pet he took up a resolution to leave the world, but he did it not for the love of God; which was the reason why you saw him sink in the waters in this river, and rise no more. It is not enough to be weary of the world, but to be weary of sin is that which is acceptable in the sight of God, and of great price. Besides, he ought not presumptuously to have rushed into the river himself without orders, but should have waited till the king’s pleasure was manifested to him, as you see many sitting along the river-side, and waiting for the king’s command. And now I am sent with a message to Tender-conscience, to tell him it is the king’s pleasure he should come over next.
So Tender-conscience prepared himself to obey the king’s summons, but his heart panted, and all his limbs trembled, to think of what was become of Weary-o’th’-World, and for fear he should sink likewise. Whom when Spiritual-man saw in this agony, he comforted him bidding him be of good cheer, saying, You are not the first, neither will you be the last that must pass through this river; all that have been before you since Adam, have been forced to go through this river, except Enoch and Elijah, and so must all that come after you. Death is a debt we all owe to God and nature, and it must be paid one time or other, earlier or later. There is an appointed time for all men once to die, and after death to come to judgment; therefore be not afraid of that which cannot be avoided.
Tender-cons[cience]. I am not so much afraid of death, as of what will come after; I fear I shall never see the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, whose glittering wall and turrets ravished my eyes, when we passed through the land of Beulah. I fear I am going down into a land of darkness, where my feet will stumble on the dark mountains; a land without light or order, where there dwells nothing but sempiternal horror and confusion. This is that which makes my heart-strings ready to break, and my knees to smite one against another. Oh, that some one would hide me till the fury of his anger be over-passed! O that he would protect me in the secret of his tabernacle! And shelter me under the shadow of his wings! For yet a little while, and the eye that seeth me shall see me no more.
And with that word he enter’d the river, and finding the waters shallow at first he was comforted; but as he waded along, they rose up even to his mouth and nostrils, so that he could hardly fetch his breath.
Then he cried aloud, saying, Save me, God, for the waters are come into my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I am come into the deep waters, where the floods overflow me. Make hast to deliver me, O God, make hast to help me, O Lord, my flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Thus cried he, and still waded on till he came to the middle of the river, where he could find no bottom, so that his head was covered with water; and he had sunk away, had not the Shining-One, that invited him, come flying to his assistance, and, catching him by the hair of the head, held his head above water till he came over toward the opposite bank; where it grew shallower, and he began to walk with ease, till he got safe out of the river, and when he stood on the bank on the other side, he leaped for joy, finding himself so marvellous light and active, that he thought he could fly; for the garments which he wore all the way were very heavy, and they fell off from him in the river, so that now he was as light as a bird.
Now I saw in my dream, that the Shining-One had no sooner set him on the shallow side of the river, but he went to the other side, and bid Spiritual-man, Zealous-mind, Seek-truth, and Convert, follow him into the river; which they all did, whilst the Shining-One flew over their heads to the other side, where Tender-conscience stood encompassed by five or six men in bright cloathing: So the four men waded through the river with different circumstances; for Spiritual-man having been in deep waters before, though not altogether so deep as these, had got some skill in swimming and keeping his head above water; but poor Convert and Seek-truth, where at a great loss, when they came toward the middle of the river, where the waters were at the deepest, so that they cried out for help unto him that is able to save, and their prayers were heard, and a hand was reached forth, which bore them up till they came to the shallow ground.
So they walked through the rest of the river with ease, and came to their brethren on the other side; but as for Zealous-mind, he thought to get over safer than any of them, and therefore privately he had gathered a bundle of reeds, which grew by the river-side, and he rested himself on them, but when he came to the middle of the river, the violence of the current carried away his reeds, and he sunk to the bottom, and never was seen more.
So in my dream, I asked one that stood by me, What was the reason that he who had appeared so forward all along in his journey, should now sink at last? And he answered me, It is not enough to be zealous and forward, but to be humble and charitable also is requisite. This man was of a fiery temper, and had a zeal indeed, but it was a disorderly zeal, not tempered with charity and prudence. Likewise he trusted in his own strength, as you saw by his leaning on the bundle of reeds. Now this was his pride; for had he called on God for help, peradventure he might have been saved.
[Carried up in a cloud to the "heaven of heavens" and the Ancient of Days]Edit
So I saw in my dream, that the four men, even Tender-conscience, Spiritual-man, Seek-truth, and Convert, welcomed each other to that side of the river, and the Shining-Ones welcomed them likewise; and there came a bright cloud and covered them all, and they were carried up in the cloud, through untracked paths of air; and as they went up, the men in bright cloathing told them, that they had watched over them all the way of their pilgrimage, and had observed all their actions, which were written down in a book; and that they had saved them from many dangers, though unseen by them.
Thus the cloud was carried up through the boundless orbs above, and as they went through the skies, they saw the glorious stars shining like suns in the firmament. At length, when they came near to the heaven of heavens, a troop of holy ones came out of the city to meet them. Now the foundations of the city were laid on the top of the eternal hills; and all around about it were fields of endless light, wherein the saints and angels walk: Then they came to the place where the antient of days was sitting, whose garment was as white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was like fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came out from before him. Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
Then they came up to the gate of the city, and the pilgrims were bid to call there; which they did accordingly, and one looked over the gate, to whom the men in bright cloathing said, These men are come from the Valley-of-Destruction: These have gone through great tribulation for the love they bare to their king; and they spoke to the pilgrims to give in their certificates, which they did: And the certificates were presented to the king, who gave orders that the gate should be opened unto the pilgrims. So they entered in, and just at the entrance, one met them, and said unto them, Come in, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Enter into the joy of our Lord!
Then a multitude of the heavenly host, with harps in their hands, met them, and sung a song which no man understood, nor could sing but themselves, and such as are thought worthy to be admitted into that blessed place.
So I awoke, and behold, it was a dream!
- Tho’ many things are writ to please the age,
- Among the rest for this I dare engage,
- Where virtue dwells, it will acceptance find,
- And, to your pilgrim, most that read, be kind.
- But all to please would be a task as hard,
- As for the winds from blowing to be barr’d.
- The pious Christian, in a mirror here,
- May see the promis’d land, and, without fear
- Of threaten’d danger, bravely travel on,
- Until his journey he has safely gone,
- And does arrive upon the happy shore,
- Where joys increase, and sorrow is no more.
- This is a dream, not fabled as of old;
- In this express the sacred truths are told,
- That do to our eternal peace belong,
- And, after mourning, changes to a song
- Of glorious triumphs, that are without end,
- If we but bravely for the prize contend.
- No pilgrimage like this can make us blest,
- Since it brings us to everlasting rest:
- So well in every part the sense is laid,
- That it to charm the reader may be said,
- With curious fancy, and create delight,
- Which to an imitation must invite.
- And happy are they, that through stormy seas
- And dangers, seek adventures like to these!
- Who sell the world for this great pearl of price,
- Which once procur’d, will purchase Paradise!
- He who in such a bark doth spread his sails,
- Needs never fear at last these prosp’rous gales
- That will conduct him to a land, where he
- Shall feel no storms, but in a calm shall be:
- Where, crown’d with glory, he shall sit and sing
- Eternal praise to his redeeming King,
- Who, conqu’ring death, despoil’d him of his sting.
- So wishes your faithful friend, B.D.
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter I, cf. John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, (Taunton: J. Poole, 1806), 297.
- An old marginal note denotes this as "Time of persecution."
- The 1806 edition supplies this footnote here: "A strong crutch.] The promises of God, as revealed to the weary and wounded soul in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which are his support throughout this earthly pilgrimage, and the bond of his acceptance at the gate of the Celestial City," cf. ibid., 300.
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter II, cf. ibid., 305.
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter III, cf. ibid., 312
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter IV, cf. ibid., 318.
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter V, cf. ibid., 326.
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter VI, cf. ibid., 344.
- Some editions read "Victory" in place of "History," cf. e.g. John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That which is to Come Deliv'rd under the Similitude of a Dream In Three Parts, 30th edition, (London: n.p., 1758), pt. 3, p. 40.
- The 1806 edition ends its Chapter VI at this point in the narrative and begins its Chapter VII with the next paragraph, cf. ibid., 355.
- The 1806 edition marks this place in the narrative as the beginning of its Chapter VIII, cf. ibid., 361.
- The 1806 edition ends its Chapter VIII at this point in the narrative and begins its Chapter IX with the next paragraph, cf. ibid., 371.