Author's Apology for his Book - Christian's deplorable condition - Evangelist directs him - Obstinate and Pliable - What To Look Forward To - Slough of Despond - Worldly Wiseman - Mount Sinai - Conversation with Evangelist


WHEN at the first I took my pen in hand
Thus for to write,
I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode: no,
I had undertook
To make another, which when almost done,
Before I was aware, I this begun.

And thus it was:
I, writing of the way
And race of saints in this our gospel day,
Fell suddenly into an allegory
About their journey and the way to glory,
In more than twenty things, which I set down.
This done, I twenty more had in my crown;
And they again began to multiply,
Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.
No, then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
I'll put you by yourselves, lest you at last
Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out
The book that I already am about.

Well, so I did: but yet I did not think
To show to all the world my pen and ink
In such a mode;
I only thought to make I knew not what.
Nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my neighbour--no, not I!
I did it mine own self to gratify.

Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself in doing this,
From worser thoughts, which make me do amiss.

Thus I set pen to paper with delight,
And quickly had my thoughts in black and white,
For having now my method by the end,
Still as I pulled, it came; and so I penned
It down; until it came at last to be,
For length and breadth, the size which you see.

Well, when I had thus put my ends together,
I showed them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justify:
And some said, "Let them live"; some, "Let them die";
Some said, "John, print it"; others said, "Not so";
Some said, "It might do good"; others said, "No."

Now was I in a strait, and did not see
Which was the best thing to be done by me:
At last I thought, "Since you are thus divided:
I print it will"; and so the case decided:
"For," thought I, "some, I see, would have it done,
Though others in that channel do not run."
To prove then who advised for the best,
Thus I thought fit to put it to the test.

I further thought: if now I did deny
Those that would have it thus to gratify,
I did not know but hinder them I might
Of that which would to them be great delight.

For those which were not for its coming forth,
I said to them, "Offend you I am loth;
Yet, since your brethren pleased with it be,
Forbear to judge, till you do further see.

If that you will not read, let it alone:
Some love the meat; some love to pick the bone.
Yea, that I might them better moderate,
I did too with them thus expostulate:

"May I not write in such a style as this;
In such a method too; and yet not miss
My end--your good?
Why may it not be done?
Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none.
Yea, dark or bright, if they their silver drops
Cause to descend, the earth, by yielding crops
Gives praise to both, and carps not at either;
But treasures up the fruit they yield together:
Yea, so mixes both, that in her fruit
None can distinguish this from that: they suit
Her well when hungry: but if she be full,
She spews out both, and makes their blessings null.

You see the ways the fisherman doth take
To catch the fish: what devices doth he make!
Behold how he engages all his wits;
Also his snares, lines, angles, hooks, and nets:
Yet fish there be that neither hook nor line,
Nor snare, nor net, nor device, can make thine;
They must be groped for, and be tickled too,
Or they will not be caught whate'er you do.

How doth the fowler seek to catch his game
By divers means, all which one cannot name!
His gun, his nets, his lime twigs, light, and bell:
He creeps, he goes, he stands; yea, who can tell
Of all his postures? Yet there's none of these
Will make him master of what fowls he please.
Yea, he must pipe and whistle to catch this;
Yet if he does so, that bird he will miss.

If that a pearl may in a toad's head dwell,
And may be found too in an oyster shell;
If things that promise nothing do contain
What better is than gold; who will disdain
That have an inkling of it, there to look,
That they may find it? Now my little book
(Though void of all those paintings that may make
It with this or the other man to take),
Is not without those things that do excel
What do in brave but empty notions dwell.

"Well, yet I am not fully satisfied
That this your book will stand when soundly tried."
"Why, what's the matter?"
"It is dark." "What though?"
"But it is feigned." "What of that?" I trow
Some men by feigned words as dark as mine
Make truth to spangle, and its rays to shine."
"But they want solidness."
"Speak, man, your mind."
"They'd drown the weak; metaphors make us blind."

Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
Of him that writes things Divine to men;
But must I needs want solidness because
By metaphors I speak?
Were not God's laws, His gospel laws, in olden time held forth
By types, shadows, and metaphors? Yet loth
Will any sober man be to find fault
With them, lest he be found for to assault
The highest wisdom. No, he rather stoops,
And seeks to find out what by pins and loops,
By calves and sheep, by heifers and by rams,
By birds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs,
God speaks to him; and happy is he
That finds the light and grace that in them be.

continued at the top of the next column...


Be not too forward, therefore, to conclude
That I want solidness--that I am rude.
All things solid in show, not solid be:
All things in parables despise not we;
Lest things most harmful lightly we receive,
And things that good are of our souls bereave.

My dark and cloudy words they do but hold
The truth, as cabinets enclose the gold.

The prophets used much by metaphors
To set forth truth; yea, whoso considers
Christ, his apostles too, shall plainly see
That truths to this day in such mantles be.

Am I afraid to say that Holy Writ,
Which for its style and phrase puts down all wit,
Is everywhere so full of all these things--
Dark figures; allegories; yet there springs
From that same book, that lustre, and those rays
Of light that turn our darkest nights todays?

Come, let my carper to his life now look,
And find there darker lines than in my book
He finds any; yea, and let him know
That in his best things there are worse lines too.
May we but stand before impartial men,
To his poor one I dare adventure ten,
That they will take my meaning in these lines
Far better than his lies in silver shrines.
Come: Truth, although in swaddling clouts, I find
Informs the judgment; rectifies the mind;
Pleases the understanding; makes the will
Submit: the memory too it doth fill
With what doth our imaginations please;
Likewise it tends our troubles to appease.

Sound words, I know, Timothy is to use,
And old wives' fables he is to refuse;
But yet grave Paul, he nowhere did forbid
The use of parables, in which lay hid
That gold, those pearls, and precious stones that were
Worth digging for, and that with greatest care.

Let me add one word more: O man of God,
Art you offended? Dost you wish I had
Put forth my matter in another dress?
Or that I had in things been more express?
Three things let me propound, then I submit
To those that are my betters, as is fit.

1. I find not that I am denied the use
Of this my method, so I no abuse
Put on the words, things, readers; or be rude
In handling figure or similitude
In application: but, all that I may,
Seek the advance of truth, this or that way.
Denied, did I say? No, I have leave--
(Examples too and that from them that have
God better pleased by their words or ways
Than any man that breathes now-a-days)--
Thus to express my mind, thus to declare
Things unto you, that excellentest are.

2. I find that men (as high as trees) will write
Dialogue wise; yet no man doth them slight
For writing so: indeed, if they abuse
Truth, cursed be they and the craft they use
To that intent; but yet let truth be free
To make her sallies upon you and me
Which way it pleases God: for who knows how
Better than he that taught us first to plough,
To guide our minds and pens for his design
And he makes base things usher in divine.

3. I find that Holy Writ in many places
Hath semblance with this method, where the cases
Do call for one thing to set forth another.
Use it I may then, and yet nothing smother
Truth's golden beams; no, by this method may
Make it cast forth its rays as light as day.

And now, before I do put up my pen,
I'll show the profit of my book, and then
Commit both you and it unto that hand
That pulls the strong down, and makes weak ones stand.

This book it chalks out before thine eyes,
The man that seeks the everlasting prize:
It shows you whence he comes, where he goes,
What he leaves undone; also what he does:
It also shows you how he runs, and runs
Till he unto the gate of glory comes.

It shows too who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting crown they would attain:
Here also you may see the reason why
They lose their labour, and like fools do die.

This book will make a traveller of you,
If by its counsel you wilt ruled be;
It will direct you to the Holy Land,
If you wilt its directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Art you for something rare and profitable?
Wouldst you see a truth within a fable? Art you forgetful?
Wouldst you remember
From New Year's day to the last of December?
Then read my fancies; they will stick like burrs
And may be, to the helpless, comforters.

This book is writ in such a dialect,
As may the minds of listless men affect:
It seems a novelty, and yet contains
Nothing but sound and honest gospel strains.

Wouldst you divert thyself from melancholy,
Wouldst you be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Wouldst you read riddles, and their explanation
Or else be drowned in your contemplation?
Dost you love picking meat? Or wouldst you see
A man in the clouds, and hear him speak to you?
Wouldst you be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or wouldst you in a moment laugh and weep?
Wouldst you lose thyself and catch no harm?
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read you know'st not what,
And yet know whether you are blest or not,
By reading the same lines? Oh then, come hither,
And lay my book, your head, and heart together.



Title Screen


As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I came upon a certain place where was a den (the gaol), and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed; and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled;

"For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me." Psalm 38:4

"But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6

"So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:33

"For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard him;" Hebrews 2:2, 3

and, not being able any longer to contain himself, he broke out with a lamentable cry, saying, "What shall I do?"

"Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Acts 2:37

In this plight, then, he went home, and restrained himself as long as he could, so that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because his trouble increased: So at length he opened his mind to his wife and children; and he began to talk to them: "O my dear wife," he said, "and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone, because of a burden that lies hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed, that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; And in that fearful overthrow, both myself, with you, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin; unless some way of escape (which I do not yet see) can be found, by which we may be delivered." At this his relations were greatly amazed; not that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some crazy distemper had gotten into his head. So, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; therefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning had come, they asked how he was: he told them, "Worse and worse." He also started talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also thought they could drive away his distemper by harsh and surly conduct toward him: sometimes they would deride him; sometimes they would chide him; and sometimes they would quite neglect him. So he began to retire to his chamber, to pray for then and pity them, and also to grieve over his own misery. He would also walk alone in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; and so for some days he spent his time.

Evangelist Provides Direction

Now I saw, when he was walking in the fields one time, that he was (as he usually did) reading in his book, and being greatly distressed in his mind as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, "What must I do to be saved?"

"And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30, 31

I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because (as I perceived) he could not tell which way to go. Then I looked and saw a man named EVANGELIST coming to him, and he asked, "Why are you crying?" He answered, "Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to Judgment;

"And as it is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27

and I find that I am not willing to do the first,

"His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.
But his flesh will be in pain over it, And his soul will mourn over it." Job 14:21, 22

nor able to do the second."

"Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and will do it." Ezekial 22:14

Evangelist. Then said EVANGELIST, "Why are you not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?" The man answered, "Because I fear that this burden that is on my back will sink me lower than the grave, and that I shall fall into Tophet (a place of cremation).

"For Tophet was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared.
He has made it deep and large; Its pyre is fire with much wood;
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it." Isaiah 30:33

And, sir, if I am not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to Judgment, and from there to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry."

Then said EVANGELIST, "If this be your condition, why are you standing still?" He answered, "Because I do not know where to go." Then he gave him a roll of parchment ; and there was written within it, "Flee from the wrath to come!"

"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" Matthew 3:7

Then the man read it; and looking upon EVANGELIST very carefully, said, "Where must I flee?" Then EVANGELIST said, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, "Do you see that wicket gate there?"

"Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:14

Do you see yonder shining light?

The man said, "No." Then the other said, "Do you see the shining light there?"

"Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;" 2 Peter 1:19

He said, "I think I do." Then EVANGELIST said, "Keep that light in your eye, and go directly up to it so that you can see the gate; at which, when you knock, it shall be told you what you shall do."

So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door when his wife and children, seeing him, began to call after him to return;

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:26

I Must Have Eternal Life!

but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, "Life! life! Eternal life!" So he did not look behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain.

"So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed." Genesis 19:17

The Neighbours: Obstinate and Pliable

The neighbours also came out to see him run; and, as he ran, some mocked,

"For I heard many mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report,” they say, “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; Then we will prevail against him, And we will take our revenge on him.”" Jeremiah 20:10

others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was OBSTINATE, and the name of the other PLIABLE. Now by this time the man was a good distance from them; however, they were resolved to pursue him; which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then the man said, "Neighbours, why have you come?" They said, "To persuade you to go back with us." But he said, "That can by no means be. You live in the city of Destruction, the place where I also was born. I see it to be so. And sooner or later, dying there, you will sink lower than the grave into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me."

Obstinate. "What!" said OBSTINATE, "and leave our friends and our comforts behind us !"

Christian. "Yes," said CHRISTIAN, for that was his name; "because all of that which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that which I am seeking to enjoy;

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

and if you will go along with me, and hold it, you will receive the same as I myself; for where I am going, there is enough and to spare.

"And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" Luke 15:17

Come away, and prove my words."

Obst. What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?

Chr. I seek an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away;

"to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you," 1 Peter 1:4

and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be bestowed, at the appointed time, on them that diligently seek it.

"But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:16

If you will, read that it is so, in my book.

Away with your book!

Obst. "Tush," said OBSTINATE, "away with your book; will you go back with us or not?"

Chr. "No, not I," said the other; "because I have laid my hand to the plough".

"But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62

Obst. Come then, neighbour PLIABLE, let us turn back and go home without him: there are a lot of these crazy-headed fools, that once they take a fancy by the end are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can give a reason.

Pliable. Then PLIABLE said, "Don't revile him; if what the good CHRISTIAN says is true, that the things he looks after are better than ours: my heart is inclined to go with my neighbour."

Obst. What! more fools still? Be guided by me, and go back; who knows where such a brainsick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise!

Chr. No, but do come with your neighbour PLIABLE; there are such things to be had which I spoke of, and many more glories besides; if you do not believe me, read here in this book; and, for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold, all is confirmed by the blood of him who wrote it.

"Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." Hebrews 9:18-28

"Well, neighbour OBSTINATE," said PLIABLE, "I begin to come to a point; I intend to go along with this good man, and to cast in my lot with him: but, my good companion, do you know the way to this desired place?"

Chr. I am directed by a man whose name is EVANGELIST, to speed me toward a little gate that is before us, where we shall receive instructions about the way.

Pli. Come then, good neighbour, let us be going.

Then they both went together.

Obst. "And I will go back to my place," said OBSTINATE; "I will be no companion of such misled, fantastic fellows."

What To Look Forward To

Now I saw in my dream, that when OBSTINATE had gone back, CHRISTIAN and PLIABLE went talking over the plain: and thus they began their discourse.

Chr. Come, neighbour PLIABLE, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me. If even OBSTINATE himself had but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not so lightly have given us the back.

Pli. Come, neighbour CHRISTIAN, since there is none but us two here, tell me more now, what the things are and how they are to be enjoyed at the place where we are going.

Chr. I can better think of them with my mind than speak of them with my tongue: but still, since you desire to know, I will read of them in my book.

Pli. And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true?

Chr. Yes, truly; for it was written by him that cannot lie.

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;" Titus 1:2

Pli. Well said. What things are they?

Chr. There is an endless kingdom to be inhabited; and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever.

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand." John 10:27-29

Pli. Well said. And what else?

Chr. There are crowns of glory to be given us; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven.

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:43

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8

"You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." Revelation 3:4

Pli. That is very pleasant. And what else?

Chr. There shall be no more crying nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes.

"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it." Isaiah 25:8

"They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Revelation 7:16, 17

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

Pli. And what company shall we have there?

Chr. There we shall be with seraphim and cherubim, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them.

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;" Revelation 5:11

There also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that have gone before us to that place. None of them are harmful, but loving and holy; everyone walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crowns;

"Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads." Revelation 4:4

there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps;

"Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God." Revelation 14:1-5

there we shall see men that for the word were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten by beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they bore to the Lord of the place--all of them well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment.

"He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25

"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life." 2 Corinthians 5:2-4

Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish one's heart. But are these things to be enjoyed? How shall we get to be sharers of them?

Chr. The Lord, the governor of the country, has recorded that in this book; the substance of which is, if we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely.

"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance." Isaiah 55:1-2

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." John 6:37

"And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." Revelation 21:6

"And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17

Pli. Well, my good companion, I am glad to hear of these things: come on, let us change our pace.

Chr. I cannot go as fast as I desire, by reason of this burden that is on my back.

The Slough of Despond

Now I saw in my dream that, just as they had ended this talk, they drew near to a very miry slough that was in the middle of the plain; and not noticing it, they both fell suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was "Despond." Here, then, they wallowed for a time, being grievously smeared with the dmud; and CHRISTIAN, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.

Pli. Then PLIABLE said, "Ah! neighbour CHRISTIAN, where are you now?"

Chr. "Truly," said CHRISTIAN, "I do not know."

Pli. At that PLIABLE began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow, "Is this the happiness you have been telling me about all this time? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect between this and our journey's end? If I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone." And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of the slough which was nearest to his own house: so away he went, and CHRISTIAN saw him no more.

So CHRISTIAN was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and nearest to the wicket gate: which he did, but could not get out, because of the burden that was upon his back. But I beheld, in my dream, that a man came to him whose name was HELP, and asked him, What are you doing there?

Chr. "Sir," said CHRISTIAN, "I was told to go this way by a man called EVANGELIST, who directed me also to the gate over there, so that I might escape the wrath to come; and as I was going there, I fell in here."

Help. But why did you not look for the steps?

Chr. Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the nearest way and fell in.

Give me your hand.

Help. Then he said, "Give me your hand." So he gave him his hand, and he drew him out; and set him upon some ground, and bid him to go on his way.

"He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps." Psalm 40:2

Then I stepped up to him that plucked him out, and said, "Sir, why, since this place is the way from the city of Destruction to that gate, is it that this place is not repaired, so that poor travellers might go there with more safety?" And he said to me, "This miry slough is such a place as cannot be repaired: it is the descent where the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin continually runs; and therefore it is called the Slough of Despond. For still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arises in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, all of which get together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason this ground is so bad.

"It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so bad;

"Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you."Isaiah 35:3, 4

his labourers by the directions of his Majesty's surveyors, have been employed employed about this patch of ground for more than sixteen hundred years to see if perhaps it might have been repaired: yet, to my knowledge," he said, " at least twenty thousand cartloads, yes, millions of wholesome instructions, have been swallowed up here. The cartloads have, at all times, been brought from all places of the King's dominions (and they that can tell say they are the best materials to make good ground of the place), if by such it might have been repaired. But it is still the Slough of Despond, and still will be, when they have done what they can.

"True, there are, by the direction of the lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps placed evenly through the very middle of this slough; but at such times as this place spews out its filth, as it does when the weather changes, these steps can hardly be seen; or, if they are, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step to the side of them, and then they are mired down on purpose, even though the steps are there; but the ground is good once they are inside the gate".

"Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:" 1 Samuel 12:23

Now I saw in my dream that by this time PLIABLE was at his home again. So his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them called him a wise man for coming back; and some called him a fool for endangering himself with CHRISTIAN: others, again, mocked him for his cowardliness, saying, "Surely, since you began to explore, you would not have been so low as to have given up for a few difficulties:" so PLIABLE sat ashamed among them. But at last got he more confidence; and then they all "turned tail," and began to deride poor CHRISTIAN behind his back. And so much concerning PLIABLE.

Mr. Worldly Wiseman

Now as CHRISTIAN was walking alone by himself, he spied one at a distance coming across the field to meet him. And they happened to meet just as they were crossing the each others way. The gentleman's name that met him was Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN: he lived in the town of Carnal Policy; a very great town, and also near the one CHRISTIAN came from. This man, then, meeting with CHRISTIAN, and having some knowledge of him--for CHRISTIAN'S journey from the city of Destruction was much talked about, not only in the town where he lived, but also it began to be the town talk in some other places-- Master WORLDLY WISEMAN, therefore, having some opinion of him, by seeing how laboriously he went, by observing his sighs and groans and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with CHRISTIAN.

Will you listen to me?

Worldly Wiseman. Good fellow?--why are you going away in this burdened manner?

Chr. A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think, a poor creature had! And since you ask me where I am going, I will tell you, sir, that I am going to that wicket gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.

W. Wise. Have you a wife and children?

Chr. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as I did formerly: It seems to me I am as if I had none.

"But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none," 1 Corinthians 7:29

W. Wise. Will you listen to me if I give you advice?

Chr. If it is good, I will; for I stand in need of good advice.

W. Wise. I would advise you, then, that you with all speed should get rid of your burden: for you will never be settled in your mind untill then: nor can you enjoy the benefits of the blessing which God has given you till then.

Chr. That is what I seek, even to be rid of this heavy burden: but I cannot get it off myself; nor is there any man in our country that can take it off my shoulders. Therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.

W. Wise. Who told you go this way to be rid of your burden?

Chr. A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person; his name, as I remember, is EVANGELIST.

W. Wise. Avoid him for his advice! There is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than the one into which he has directed you; and that you will find if you will be ruled by his advice. You have met with something, I see, already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond upon you; but that slough is only the beginning of the sorrows that go with those that go on in that way. Hear me--I am older than you. The way you are going you are likely to meet with wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not! These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly throw away himself by giving heed to a stranger?

Chr. Why, sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned: no, I think I do not care what I meet with in the way, if it is possible I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.

W. Wise. How did you come by your burden in the first place?

Chr. By reading this book in my hand.

W. Wise. I thought so. And it has happened to you as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, have suddenly fallen into your distractions. These distractions do not only unman men (as I see yours has done to you), but they run them into desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.

Chr. I know what I desire to obtain; it is to be eased from my heavy burden.

W. Wise. But why do you seek to be eased this way, seeing so many dangers go with it? Especially since, had you the patience to hear me, I could direct you to obtaining what you desire without the dangers that you, in this way, will run yourself into. Yes, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of those dangers, you will meet with much safety, friendship, and content.

Chr. Sir, I pray, open this secret to me.

W. Wise. Why, in that village there (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is LEGALITY, a very judicious man, and a man of a very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as yours from their shoulders; yes, to my knowledge, he has done a great deal of good this way: yes, and besides, he has skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, you may go, and be helped at once. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he has a pretty young man, his son, whose name is CIVILITY, that can do it as well as the old gentleman himself. There, I say, you may be eased of your burden; and if you are not of a mind to go back to your former home, as indeed I would not advise you, you may send for your wife and children to come to you to this village, where there are houses now standing empty, one of which you may have at a reasonable rate: provisions there are also cheap and good; and that which will make your life more happy is this, that you will live beside honest neighbours, in credit and good standing.

Now CHRISTIAN was somewhat at a standstill; but presently he concluded, "If what this gentleman has said is true, my wisest course is to take his advice;" and with that he spoke further.

Chr. Sir, what is the way to this honest man's house?

W. Wise. Do you see the high hill over there? (Mount Sinai.)

Chr. Yes, very well.

W. Wise. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come to is his.

So CHRISTIAN turned out of his way to go to Mr. LEGALITY'S house for help. But, behold, when he had come near the hill, it seemed so high, and also the side of it that was next to the road hung so much over, that CHRISTIAN was afraid to venture further, lest the hill should fall on his head; so he stood still there, and did not know what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There also came flashes of fire out of the hill, which made CHRISTIAN afraid that he would be burned:

"Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly." Exodus 19:16-18

so here he sweated quaked for fear.

"And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I am exceedingly afraid and trembling." Hebrews 12:21

And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN'S advice. And with that he saw EVANGELIST coming to meet him; and at the sight him he began to blush for shame. So EVANGELIST drew nearer and nearer; and coming up to him, he looked at him with a severe and dreadful face, and began to reason with CHRISTIAN in this way.

The Only Way

Evan. What are you doing here, CHRISTIAN?" he said. At these words CHRISTIAN did not know what to answer; so for the time he stood speechless before him. Then EVANGELIST further inquired, "Are not you the man that I found crying outside the walls of the city of Destruction?"

Chr. Yes, dear sir, I am the man.

Evan. Did not I direct you the way to the little Wicket gate?

Chr. "Yes, dear sir," said CHRISTIAN.

Evan. How is it, then, that you have so quickly turned aside? for you are now out of the way.

Chr. I met with a gentleman, so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might find a man in the village before me, that could take off my burden.

Evan. What was he like?

Chr. He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and at last got me to yield; so I came here: but when I saw this hill, and how it hangs over the road, I suddenly stopped, for fear it would fall on my head.

Evan. What did that gentleman say to you?

Chr. Why, he asked me where I was going; and I told him.

Evan. And what did he say then?

Chr. He asked me if I had a family; and I told him. But, said I, I am so loaded with the burden that is on my back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as I did before.

Evan. And what did he say then?

Chr. He told me to hurry and get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease I was seeking. And, I said, I am therefore going to that gate over there to receive further direction as to how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would show me a better way, and shorter, with not so many difficulties as the way, sir, that you set me in; this short way, he said, will direct you to a gentleman's house that has skill to take off these burdens. So I believed him, and turned out of that way into this one, hoping I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and saw things as they are, I stopped for fear, as I said, of danger. But now I do not know what to do.

Evan. Then said EVANGELIST, "Stand still a while, so that I may show you the words of God." So he stood trembling. Then said EVANGELIST, "See that you do not refuse him that speaks. For if they did not escape who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven".

"See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven," Hebrews 12:25

He said, moreover, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him".

"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:38

He also applied them in this way: "You are the man that is running into this misery; you have begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back your foot from the way of peace, even almost to the danger of your everlasting ruin."

Then CHRISTIAN fell down at his feet as dead, crying, "Woe is me, for I am undone!" At the sight of which, EVANGELIST caught him by the right hand, saying, "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men: be not faithless, but believing".

"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men." Matthew 12:31

"Then He said to Thomas, Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." John 20:27

Then again CHRISTIAN revived, and stood up trembling, as at first, before EVANGELIST.

Then EVANGELIST continued, saying, "Give more earnest care to the things that I shall tell you. I will now show you who it was that deluded you, and also who it was to whom he sent you. The man that met you is one WORLDLY WISEMAN: and rightly is he so called; partly because he savours only the doctrine of this world

"They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world listens to them." 1 John 4:5

(therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to Church) and partly because he loves that doctrine best, for it saves him from the cross;

"As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ." Galatians 6:12

and because he is of this carnal temper, he therefore seeks to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man's counsel that you must utterly abhor:

  1. His turning you out of the way.
  2. His labouring to render the cross odious to you.
  3. And his setting your feet in that way that leads to the execution of death.

"First, you, must hate the fact that he turns you out of the Way-- yes, and your own consent to do it; because this is to reject the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, 'Labour to enter in at the narrow gate',

"Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Luke 13:24

--the gate to which I sent you; 'for narrow is the gate that leads unto life, and few there are that find it'.

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13, 14

This wicked man turned you from this little Wicket gate, and from the way to it, almost bringing you to destruction. Therefore, hate the fact that he has turned you out of the way; and abhor yourself for listening to him.

"Secondly, you must hate the fact that he laboured to make the cross offensive to you; for you are to prefer it before the treasures in Egypt.

"esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward." Hebrews 11:26

Besides, the King of Glory has told you, that he that will save his life shall lose it; and, he that comes after him, and hates not his father, and mother, and wife and children, his brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple.

"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:39

"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it." Mark 8:35

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:26

"He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25

Therefore, I say you must hate that teaching which will persuade you that the Truth, without which you cannot have eternal life, will be death to you.

"Thirdly, you must hate his setting of your feet in the way that leads to the execution of death. And for this you must consider who he sent you to; and also how unable that person was to deliver you from your burden.

"The one to whom you were sent for ease, is named LEGALITY, the son of the slave-woman who is now in bondage with her children;

"For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written:

“Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband.”" Galatians 4:22-27

and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai which you have feared will fall on your head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how can you expect by them to be made free? This LEGALITY, therefore, is not able to set you free from your burden. As yet no man has ever been rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is likely to be. Ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; for no man living can be rid of his burden by the deeds of the law. Therefore Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN is an alien, and Mr. LEGALITY is a cheat; and for his son CIVILITY, notwithstanding his false smile, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help you. Believe me, there is nothing in all that you have heard from these stupid men, but a desire to rob you of your salvation, by turning you from the way in which I had set you."

Words and fire came out of the mountain.

After this, EVANGELIST called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor CHRISTIAN stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus spoken: "As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them".

"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." Galatians 3:10

Now CHRISTIAN looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out pitifully; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN, still calling himself a thousand fools for listening to his advice. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have prevailed with him so much to cause him to leave the right way. This done, he applied himself again to EVANGELIST in words and sense as follows:

Chr. Sir, what do you think?--Is there any hope? May I now go back, and go up to the Wicket gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from there ashamed? I am sorry I have listened to this man's counsel; but may my sin be forgiven.

Evan. Then said EVANGELIST to him, "Your sin is very great; for by it you have committed two evils: you have left the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths; yet the man at the gate will receive you, for he has only good will for men;" he said, "take care that you do not turn aside again, lest you perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little".

"Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." Psalm 2:12

Then CHRISTIAN address himself to go back; and EVANGELIST, after he had kissed him, gave him a smile, and prayed that God would go with him.