Christian and Hopeful - By-ends and his companions - plain of Ease - Lucre-hill - Demas - Lot's Wife - Respite the River of Life - By-Path Meadow - Vain-Confidence - Giant Despair - the Dungeon - the Pilgrims beaten - the Key of Promise
Christian and Hopeful
ow I saw in my dream that CHRISTIAN did not go alone; for there was one whose name was HOPEFUL (who became this way by observing CHRISTIAN and FAITHFUL, in their words and behaviour, in their sufferings at the fair), who joined himself to him;
and entering into a brotherly covenant, told him that he would be his companion. Thus one died to bear testimony to the truth, and another rose out of his ashes to be a companion with CHRISTIAN in his pilgrimage. This HOPEFUL also told CHRISTIAN that there were many more of the men in the fair that would take their time and follow after.
o I saw that, soon after they left the fair, they overtook one that was ahead of them, whose name was BY-ENDS; So they said to him, "Are you one our countrymen sir? and how far are you going this way?" He told them that he came from the town of Fairspeech; and he was going to the Celestial City (but did not tell them his name).
Chr. "From Fairspeech!" said CHRISTIAN; "is there any that be good that live there?"
"When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart;" Proverbs 26:25
By-ends. "Yes," said BY-ENDS, "I hope."
Chr. "Pray, sir, what is your name?" said CHRISTIAN.
By-ends. I am a stranger to you, and you to me: if you are going this way, I shall be glad of your company: if not, I must be content.
Chr. "This town of Fairspeech," said CHRISTIAN, "I have heard of it; and, as I remember, they say it is a wealthy place."
By-ends. Yes, I can assure you that it is; and I have very many rich relatives there.
Chr. Please tell me, who are your relatives there, if a man may be so bold?
By-ends. Almost the whole town: and in particular, my Lord TURN-ABOUT; my Lord TIME-SERVER; my Lord FAIRSPEECH (from whose ancestors that town first took its name); also Mr. SMOOTH-MAN; Mr. FACING-BOTH-WAYS; Mr. ANY-THING; and the parson of our parish, Mr. TWO-TONGUES, was my mother's own brother by father's side. And to tell you the truth, I have become a gentleman of good quality; yet my great-grandfather was only an oarsman, looking one way and rowing another-- and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.
Chr. Are you a married man?
By-ends. Yes; and my wife is a very virtuous woman--the daughter of a virtuous woman. She is my Lady FEIGNING'S daughter; therefore she came from a very honourable family, and has arrived to such a pitch of breeding, that she knows how to carry it to all, even to prince and peasant. It is true, we somewhat differ in religion from those of the stricter sort; yet only in two small points: First, we never strive against wind and tide; secondly, we are always most zealous when religion goes in his silver slippers--we really love to walk with him in the street if the sun shines, and the people applaud it.
Then CHRISTIAN stepped a little aside to speak to his fellow HOPEFUL, saying, "It runs in my mind that this is one BY-ENDS, of Fairspeech and if it is him, we have as true a knave in our company as lives in all these parts." Then HOPEFUL replied, "Ask him; I think he should not be ashamed of his name." So CHRISTIAN came up with him again, and said, "Sir, you talk as if you knew something more than all the world knows; and if I take my mark not to be amiss, I deem I have half an idea who you are: Is not your name Mr. BY-ENDS, of Fairspeech?"
By-ends. That is not my name: but it is indeed a nickname that was given to me by some that cannot tolerate me: and I must be content to bear it as a reproach, as other good men have borne theirs before me.
Chr. But have you never given an occasion for men to call you by this name?
By-ends. Never, never! the worst that I ever did to give them an occasion to give me this name was, that I always had the luck to jump in on my judgment with the present way of the times, whatever it was, and so to gain from my opportunity; but if things are thus thrust upon me, let me count them a blessing, but let not the malicious load me therefore with reproach.
Chr. Indeed, I thought that you were the man I had heard of; and to tell you what I think, I fear this name belongs to you more properly than you are willing we should think it does.
By-ends. Well, if you will believe that, I cannot help it. You will find me a fair company-keeper, if you will still admit me as your associate.
Chr. If you will go with us, you must go against wind and tide, of which, I perceive, is against your opinion; you must also own religion in his rags as well as when in his silver slippers; and stand by him too when bound in irons, as well as when he walks the streets with applause.
By-ends. You must not impose nor lord it over my faith; leave me to my liberty, and let me go with you.
Chr. Not a step farther, unless like us, you will accept what I have proposed.
By-ends. Then said BY-ENDS, "I shall never desert my old principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you, I must do as I did before you overtook me: even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company."
Now I saw in my dream that CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL abandoned
him, and kept their distance ahead of him; but one of them looking back,
saw three men following Mr. BY-ENDS; and behold, as they came up to him,
he bowed very low to them, and they also gave him a compliment. The men's
names were, Mr. HOLD-THE-WORLD, Mr. MONEY-LOVE, and Mr. SAVE-ALL
--men that Mr. BY-ENDS had formerly been acquainted with; for in their minority they were schoolfellows, and were taught by one Mr. GRIPEMAN, a schoolmaster in Love-gain, which is a market town in the county of Coveting, in the north. This schoolmaster taught them the art of getting, either by violence, fraud, flattery, lying, or by putting on a guise of religion; and these four gentlemen had attained so much of the art of their master, that each of them could have kept such a school themselves.
Well, when they had, as I said, thus saluted each other, Mr. MONEY-LOVE said to Mr. BY-ENDS, "Who are they on the road in front of us?" For CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL were still within view.
By-ends. They are a couple of far countrymen, who, in their way, are going on pilgrimage.
Money-love. Alas! why did they not stay, that we might have had their good company; for they, and we, and you, sir, I hope, are all going on a pilgrimage?
By-ends. We are indeed; but the men ahead of us are so rigid, and love their own notions so much, yet so lightly esteem the opinions of others, that even if a man is never so godly, if he does not jump with them in everything, they thrust him quite out of their company.
Mr. Save-all. That's bad; but we read of some that are over-righteous, and such men's rigidness dominates them so much that they judge and condemn all but themselves. But, I pray, what and how many were the things whereby you differed?
By-ends. Why, they, after their headstrong manner, conclude that it is their duty to rush on their journey in all weathers; and I am for waiting for wind and tide. They are for hazarding all for God at a clap; and I am for taking all advantages to secure my life and estate. They are for holding to their convictions, though all other men be against them; but I am for religion in and so far as the times and my safety will bear it. They are for religion when in rags and contempt; but I am for him when he walks in his golden slippers in the sunshine, and with applause.
Mr. Hold-the-World. Right, and you stay with that, good Mr. BY-ENDS; for, for my part, I can count him but a fool, that, having the liberty to keep what he has, should be so unwise as to lose it. Let us be wise as serpents; it is best to make hay when the sun shines: you see how the bee lies still all winter, and stirs herself only when she can have profit with pleasure. Sometimes God sends rain, and sometimes sunshine; if they be such fools as to go through the first, yet let us be content to take fair weather along with us. For my part, I like best that religion that will stand with the security of God's good blessings to us; for who can imagine, this is determined by our reason, since God has bestowed upon us the good things of this life, then he would have us keep them for his sake? Abraham and Solomon grew rich in religion. And Job says, "That a good man shall lay up gold as dust." But he must not be such as the men ahead of us, if they are as you have described them.
Mr. Save-all. I think that we are all agreed in this matter; and therefore there need be no more words about it.
Mr. Money-love. No, there need be no more words about this matter indeed; for he that believes neither Scripture nor reason (and you see we have both on our side), neither knows his own liberty nor seeks his own safety.
Mr. By-ends. My brethren, we are, as you see, all going on pilgrimage; and for our better diversion from things that are bad, give me permission to put to you this question:
Suppose a man--a minister, or a tradesman,--should have something beneficial set before him to get the good blessings of this life; yet in such a way that he can by no means come by them except-- in appearance at least--he becomes extraordinarily zealous in some points of religion that he had not meddled with before: may he not use this means to attain his end, and yet be a right honest man?
Mr. Money-love. I see the bottom of your question; and, with these gentlemen's consent, I will endeavour to shape you an answer. And first, to speak to your question as it concerns a minister himself: Suppose a minister, a worthy man, possessed but of a very small position, and has in his eye a greater, more fat and plump by far; he has also, now an opportunity of getting of it; yet so as by being more studious, by preaching more frequently and zealously, and because the temper of the people requires it, by altering of some of his principles; for my part, I see no reason that a man may not do this--provided he has a call. Yes, and a great deal more besides, and yet be an honest man. Why?
- His desire of a greater position is lawful (this cannot be contradicted), since it is set before him by Providence; so, then, he may get it if he can, making no question, for conscience' sake.
- Besides, his desire after that position makes him more studious, a more zealous preacher, and so on; and so makes him a better man. Yea, makes him better improve his parts, which is according to the mind of God.
- Now, as for his complying with the temper of his people by dissenting--to serve them--some of his principles, this argues, 1st, that he is of a self-denying temper; 2nd, of a sweet and willing deportment; 3rd, and so more fit for the ministerial function.
- I conclude then, that a minister that changes a small for a great, should not be judged as covetous for so doing; but rather, since he is improved in his parts and industry by this, be counted as one that pursues his call, and the opportunity put into his hand to do good.
And now to the second part of the question, which concerns the tradesman you mentioned: Suppose such a one to be in a poor paying area in the world, but by becoming religious he may better his market, perhaps get a rich wife, or more and far better customers to his shop--for my part, I see no reason why this may not be lawfully done. And why?
- To become religious is a virtue, by whatever means a man so becomes.
- Nor is it unlawful to get a rich wife, or more customers to my shop.
- Besides, the man that gets these by becoming religious, gets that which is good of them that are good, by becoming good himself; so, then, here is a good wife, and good customers, and good gain, and all these by becoming religious, which is good. Therefore, to become religious, to get all these things, is a good and profitable design.
This answer, made by this Mr. MONEY-LOVE to Mr. BY-ENDS' question, was highly applauded by them all; therefore they concluded upon the whole, that it was most wholesome and advantageous. And because, as they thought, no man was able to contradict it; and because CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL were still within reach, they joyfully agreed to assault them with the question as soon as they overtook them, and especially because they had opposed Mr. BY-ENDS before. So they called after them; and they stopped, and stood still till they caught up to them. But they concluded as they went, that not Mr. BY-ENDS, but old Mr. HOLD-THE-WORLD, should propound the question to them; because, as they supposed, their answer to him would be without the remainder of that heat that was kindled between Mr. BY-ENDS and them at their parting a little before.
So they came up to each other; and after a short salutation, Mr. HOLD-THE-WORLD put forward the question to CHRISTIAN and his fellow, and bid them to answer if they could.
Chr. Then CHRISTIAN said, "Even a babe in religion may answer ten thousand such questions. For if it be unlawful to follow Christ for loaves, as it is written:
"After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.' One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 'There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?' Then Jesus said, 'Make the people sit down.' Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, 'Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.' Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, 'This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.'
Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.' Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks— when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did You come here?' Jesus answered them and said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 'Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.' Then they said to Him, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.' Therefore they said to Him, 'What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 'Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' ' Then Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 'For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Then they said to Him, 'Lord, give us this bread always.' And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 'But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 'All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 'For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 'This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 'And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.'
The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, 'I am the bread which came down from heaven.' And they said, 'Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?' Jesus therefore answered and said to them, 'Do not murmur among yourselves. 'No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 'It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 'Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 'Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 'I am the bread of life. 'Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 'This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 'I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.' The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?' Then Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 'Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 'For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 'He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 'As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 'This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.' These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, 'This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'" John 6:1-60
how much more abominable is it to make of him and religion a stalking-horse to get and enjoy the world! nor do we find any other than heathens, hypocrites, devils, and witches, that are of this opinion.
- "When Hamor and Shechem desired the daughters and cattle of Jacob,
and saw that there was no way for them to have them, but by becoming
circumcised, these heathens said to their companions: 'If every male
of us be circumcised, as they are circumcised, shall not their cattle,
and their substance, and every beast of theirs be ours?' They sought
to obtain their daughters and their cattle; and their religion was the
stalking-horse they made use of to obtain them. Read the whole story.
"And Hamor and Shechem his son came to the gate of their city, and spoke with the men of their city, saying: 'These men are at peace with us. Therefore let them dwell in the land and trade in it. For indeed the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us as wives, and let us give them our daughters. 'Only on this condition will the men consent to dwell with us, to be one people: if every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. 'Will not their livestock, their property, and every animal of theirs be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell with us.'" Genesis 34:20-23
- "The hypocritical Pharisees were also of this religion; long prayers
was their pretence, but their intent was to get widows' houses; and
greater damnation from God was their judgment.
"Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation." Luke 20:46, 47
- "Judas the devil was also of this religion; he was religious for
the purse, that he might possess its contents; but he was lost, cast
away, and the very son of perdition.
- "Simon the sorcerer was of this religion too; for he would have
had the Holy Ghost, that he might have made money with this, and his
sentence from Peter's mouth was accordingly.
"saying, 'Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.' But Peter said to him, 'Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 'You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.'" Acts 8:19-22
- "Neither will I forget that the man that takes up religion for the world will throw away religion for the world; for so surely as Judas schemed to obtain the world in becoming religious, so surely did he also sell religion and his Master for the same. To answer the question in the affirmative, as I perceive you have done, and to accept as authentic such an answer, is both heathenish, hypocritical, and devilish; and your reward will be according to your works."
Then they stood staring at one another, but had not the means to answer
CHRISTIAN. HOPEFUL also approved of the soundness of CHRISTIAN'S answer;
so there was a great silence among them. Mr. BY-ENDS and his company also
staggered, and kept behind, that CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL might stay ahead
of them. Then CHRISTIAN said to his fellow, "If these men cannot stand before
the sentence of men, what will they do with the sentence of God? and if
they are mute when dealt with by vessels of clay, what will they do when
they shall be rebuked by the flames of a devouring fire?"
hen CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL, outwent them again, and went till they arrived at a delicate plain, called Ease, where they went with much content; but that plain was narrow, so they quickly crossed it. Now at the further side of that plain was a little hill called Lucre, and in that hill a silver mine, which some of them that had formerly gone that way, because of the rarity of it, had turned aside to see; but going too near the brink of the pit, the ground being unstable under them, broke, and they were slain; some also had been maimed there, and could not to their dying day be their own men again.
Then I saw in my dream, that a little off the road, over against the silver mine, stood DEMAS (gentleman-like), to call to passengers to come and see; who said to CHRISTIAN and his fellow, "Ho, turn aside, come this way, and I will show you a thing."
Chr. What thing is so deserving as to turn us out of the way to see it?
Demas. Here is a silver mine, and some digging in it for treasure; if you will come, with a little pain you may richly provide for yourselves.
Hope. Then said HOPEFUL, "Let us go and see."
Chr. "Not I," said CHRISTIAN; "I have heard of this place before now and how many have there been slain; and besides, that treasure is a snare to those that seek it, for it hinders them in their pilgrimage." Then CHRISTIAN called to DEMAS, saying, "Is not the place dangerous? Has it not hindered many in their pilgrimage?"
"For Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn calf; Now the Lord will let them forage Like a lamb in open country. Ephraim is joined to idols, Let him alone. Their drink is rebellion, They commit harlotry continually. Her rulers dearly love dishonor. The wind has wrapped her up in its wings, And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices." Hosea 4:16-19
Demas. "Not very dangerous; except to those that are careless;" nevertheless he blushed as he spoke.
Chr. Then CHRISTIAN said to HOPEFUL, "Let us not stir a step, but still keep on our way."
Hope. I will warrant you, when BY-ENDS comes up, if he has the same invitation as we, he will turn in there to see.
Chr. No doubt of that, for his principles lead him that way; and a hundred to one that he dies there.
Demas. Then DEMAS called again, saying, "But will you not come over and see?"
Chr. Then CHRISTIAN roundly answered, saying, "DEMAS, you are an enemy to the right ways of the Lord of this way, and have been already condemned for your own turning aside by one of his Majesty's judges; and why do you seek to bring us into the same condemnation?
"for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia" 2 Timoyour4:10
Besides, if we turn aside at all, our Lord the King will certainly hear of it, and will there put us to shame, where we would stand with boldness before him."
Demas cried again, That he also was one of their fraternity; and that if they would wait a little, he himself would walk with them also.
Chr. Then Christian asked, "What is your name? is it not the same by the which I have called you?"
Demas. Yes, my name is DEMAS; I am the son of Abraham.
Chr. I know you; Gehazi was your great-grandfather, and Judas your father, and you have trod their steps. It is but a devilish prank that you use: your father was hanged for a traitor; and you deserve no better reward.
"But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him." 2 Kings 5:20
"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14,15
"When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself." Matthew 27:1-5
Assure yourself, that when we come to the King, we will tell him of this your behaviour.
So they went their way.
By this time BY-ENDS and his companions had come within sight again; and at the first call they went over to DEMAS. Now, whether they fell into the pit by looking over the brink of it, or whether they went down to dig, or whether they were smothered in the bottom by the damps that commonly arise, of these things I am not certain; but this I observed, that they never were seen again in the way. Then sang CHRISTIAN:
"BY-ENDS and SILVER-DEMAS doth agree;
One calls, the other runs, that he may be
A sharer in his lucre: so these two
Take up in this world, and no farther go."
Remember Lot's Wife
ow I saw that, just on the other side of this plain, the pilgrims came to a place where there stood an old monument right by the highway side, at the sight of which they were both concerned, because of the strangeness of this form; for it seemed to them as if it had been a woman transformed into the shape of a pillar. Therefore, they stood looking here and looking at it; but, for a time, could not tell what they should make of it. At last, HOPEFUL noticed written above upon its head a writing in an unusual hand; but he, being no scholar, called to CHRISTIAN (for he was scholarly) to see if he could pick out the meaning; so he came and after a little laying of letters together, he found the same to be this, "REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE!" So he read it to his fellow; after which, they both concluded that that was the pillar of salt into which Lot's wife was turned for her looking back with a covetous heart when she was going from Sodom for safety,
"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19:26
so sudden and amazing sight gave them occasion of this discussion.
Chr. Ah, my brother, this is a seasonable sight; it came opportunely to us after the invitation which DEMAS gave us to come over to view the hill Lucre; and had we gone over as he desired of us, and as you were inclining to do, my brother, we would have, for all I know, ourselves been made like this woman, a spectacle for those that will come after to see.
Hope. I am sorry that I was so foolish, and am made to wonder that I am not now as Lot's wife; for where lays the difference between her sin and mine? she only looked back, and I had a desire to go and see. Let grace be adored; and let me be ashamed that such a thing should ever have been in my heart!
Chr. Let us take notice of what we see here, for our help in time to come. This woman escaped one judgment, for she fell not by the destruction of Sodom; yet she was destroyed by another--as we see, she is turned into a pillar of salt.
Hope. True; and she may be to us both a caution and example: caution, that we should shun her sin; or a sign of what judgment will overtake such as shall not be prevented by this caution. So Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with the two hundred and fifty men that perished in their sin, also became a sign or example to others to beware:
"The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram, representatives of the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the Lord; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah when that company died, when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; and they became a sign." Numbers 26:9, 10
but above all, I muse at one thing, namely, how DEMAS and his fellows can stand so confidently over there to look for that treasure, which this woman, but for looking behind her (for we read not that she stepped one foot out of the way), after was turned into a pillar of salt; especially since the judgment which overtook her made her an example within sight of where they are; for they cannot choose but to see her, but did they lift up their eyes.
Chr. It is a thing to be wondered at, and it argues that their hearts are grown desperate in the case; and I cannot tell who to compare them to so fitly as to them that pick pockets in the presence of the judge, or that will cut purses under the gallows. It is said of the men of Sodom, that they were exceedingly wicked,
"And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar." Genesis 13:10
"But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord." Genesis 13:13
because they were sinners "before the Lord," --that is, in his eyesight; and notwithstanding the kindness that he had showed them, for the land of Sodom was like the Garden of Eden before. This, therefore, provoked him to even more to jealousy; and made their plague as hot as the fire of the Lord out of heaven could make it. And it is most rationally to be concluded, that such, even such as these are, that shall sin in his sight, yes, and that too in despite of such examples that are set continually before them, to caution them to the contrary, must be partakers of severest judgments.
Hope. Doubtless you have spoken the truth: but what a mercy is it that neither you, but especially I, am not myself made this example! this ministers occasion to us to thank God; to fear before him; and always to "remember Lot's wife."
saw then that they went on their way to a pleasant river, which David the king called "the River of God;" but John, "the River of the water of life".
"You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; The river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, For so You have prepared it." Psalm 65:9
"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Revelation 22:1, 2
"Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.
He said to me, 'Son of man, have you seen this?' Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: 'This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 'And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 'It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. 'But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. 'Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.'" Ezekiel 47:1-12
Now their way lay just along the bank of the river: here, therefore, CHRISTIAN and his companion walked with great delight; also they drank of the water of the river, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits: besides, on the banks of this river, on either side, were green trees, that bore all manner of fruit; and the leaves of the trees were good for medicine; with the fruit of these trees they were also much delighted; and they ate the leaves to prevent overindulgence, and other diseases that are incident to those that heat their blood by travels. On either side of the river was also a meadow, curiously beautiful with lilies; and it was green all the year long. In this meadow they lay down and slept; for here they could lie down safely.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake." Psalm 23:1-3
"The firstborn of the poor will feed, And the needy will lie down in safety; I will kill your roots with famine, And it will slay your remnant." Isaiah 14:30
When they awoke, they gathered the fruit of the trees again, and drank again of the water of the river; and then lay down again to sleep. They did this for several days and nights. Then they sang:
"Behold ye how these crystal streams do glide,
To comfort pilgrims, by the highway side;
The meadows green, besides their fragrant smell,
Yield dainties for them: and he that can tell
What pleasant fruit, yea, leaves, these trees do yield,
Will soon sell all, that he may buy this field."
So when they were ready to go on--for they were not, as yet, at their
journey's end--they ate and drank, and departed.
ow I saw in my dream, that they had not journeyed far before the river and the way parted for a time. They were quite sorry because of this; yet they dared not go out of the way. Now the way from the river was rough, and their feet tender by reason of their travels; so the pilgrims souls were much discouraged because of the way:
"Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way." Numbers 21:4
which is why, as they went on, they wished for a better way. Now a little before them, there was on the left hand of the road a meadow, and a stile over which to go into it; and that meadow is called "By-path Meadow." Then CHRISTIAN said to his fellow, "If this meadow lies along by our wayside, let us go over into it." Then he went to the stile to see; and behold a path lay along by the way on the other side of the fence. "'Tis according to my wish," said CHRISTIAN; "here is the easiest going; come, good HOPEFUL, and let us go over."
Hope. But what if this path should lead us out of the way?
Chr. "It's not like that," said the other; "look, does it not go along by the wayside?" So HOPEFUL, being persuaded by his fellow, went after him over the stile. When they were going over, and had got into the path, they found it very easy for their feet; and besides, looking ahead, they caught sight of a man walking as they did (and his name was VAIN-CONFIDENCE.); so they called after him, and asked him where this way led? He said, "To the Celestial Gate." "Look," said CHRISTIAN, "did I not tell you so? By this you may see we are right." So they followed; and he went before them. But behold, the night came on, and it grew very dark; so that they that were behind lost the sight of him that went before.
Therefore, he that went before (VAIN-CONFIDENCE by name), not seeing the way before him, fell into a deep pit,
"For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed." Isaiah 9:16
which was there on purpose, made by the prince of those grounds, to catch vain-glorious fools and such, and he was dashed in pieces with his fall.
Now CHRISTIAN and his fellow heard him fall. So they called, to know what happened; but there was none to answer--they only heard a groaning. Then HOPEFUL asked, "Where are we now?" Then his fellow was silent, wondering if he had led him out of the way. And now it began to rain, and thunder, and lightening in a dreadful manner; and the water rose suddenly.
Then HOPEFUL groaned in himself, saying, "Oh that I had kept on my way!"
Chr. Who could have thought that this path should have led us out of the way!
Hope. I was afraid of it at the very first; and therefore gave you that gentle caution. I would have spoken plainer, but that you are older than I.
Chr. Good brother, be not offended; I am sorry I have brought you out of the way, and that I have put you into such imminent danger. Pray, my brother, forgive me; I did not do it of an evil intent.
Hope. Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive you; and believe, too, that this shall be for our good.
Chr. I am glad I have with me a merciful brother. But we must not stand thus; let us try to go back again.
Hope. But, good brother, let me go in front.
Chr. No, if you please, let me go first; that if there be any danger, I may be first in it: because by my means we have both gone out of the way.
Hope. "No," said HOPEFUL, "you shall not go first; for your mind being troubled, may lead you out of the way again." Then, for their encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, "Set you heart toward the highway, even the way that you went; turn back".
"Set up signposts, Make landmarks; Set your heart toward the highway, The way in which you went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, Turn back to these your cities." Jeremiah 31:21
But by this time the waters had risen greatly; so the way of going back was very dangerous because of this. (Then I thought that it is easier going out of the way when we are in it, than going in it when we are out of it.) Yet they undertook to go back; but it was so dark, and the flood was so high, that in their going back, they had reason to have been drowned nine or ten times.
either could they, with all the skill they had, get to the stile again that night. So, at last, settling under a little shelter, they sat down there until the day broke; but being weary, they fell asleep. Now not far from the place where they lay was a castle called "Doubting Castle," and the owner was GIANT DESPAIR, and it was in his grounds they were now sleeping; so, he getting up early in the morning, and walking up and down in his fields, caught CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL asleep in his grounds. Then, with a grim and surly voice, he ordered them to wake up; and asked them where they had come from, and what they were doing in his grounds. They told him they were pilgrims; and that they had lost their way.
Giant Despair. Then the Giant said, "You have trespassed on me this night, by trampling in and lying on my grounds; and therefore you must come along with me." So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say; for they knew themselves to be at fault. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirit of these two men.
"Loved one and friend You have put far from me, And my acquaintances into darkness." Psalm 88:18
So here they lay, from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or any light, or any to ask how they were. They were, therefore, here in a terrible situation; and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now in this place CHRISTIAN had double sorrow; because it was through his unadvised counsel that they were brought into this distress.
Now Giant DESPAIR had a wife, and her name was DIFFIDENCE; so when he had gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and cast them into his dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds. Then also he asked her what he should do further to them. So she asked him who they were; where they came from; and where they were bound: and he told her. Then she counselled him, that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without any mercy: so when he arose, he got a grievous crab tree cudgel, and went down into the dungeon to them,
and there first falls to berating of them as if they were dogs, although they never gave him a word of distaste; then he suddenly attacked them, and beat them fearfully, in such manner, that they were not able to help themselves, or to move themselves on the floor. This done, he withdrew and left them, there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress; so all that day they spent the time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations. The next night, she talking about them further with her husband, and understanding that they were still alive, advised him to counsel them to do away with themselves. So when morning came, he went to them in a surly manner, as before; and seeing they were very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, told them that since they were never likely to come out of that place, their only way would be, to make an end of themselves at once, either with knife, noose, or poison: "For why," he said, "should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?" But they asked him to let them go; with that he looked ugly upon them, and rushing to them, would doubtless have made an end of them himself, except that he fell into one of his fits; for sometimes in sunshine weather he fell into fits, and lost (for a time) the use of his hand; so he withdrew, and left them (as before) to consider what to do. Then the prisoners consulted between themselves, whether it was best to take his counsel or not: and so they began to discourse.
Chr. "Brother," said CHRISTIAN, "what shall we do? the life that we now live is miserable: for my part I do not know which is best--to live this way, or to die out of control. 'My soul chooses strangling rather than life';
"So that my soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life." Job 7:15
and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon. Shall we be ruled by the Giant?"
Hope. Indeed our present condition is dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me than forever to abide in this; but yet let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going has said, "You shall not commit murder," no, not even to another man's person. How much more, then, are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves. Besides, he that kills another can only commit murder upon his body; but for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once. And, moreover, my brother, you talk of ease in the grave; but have you forgotten about hell, where murderers go for certain? "for no murderer has eternal life." And let us consider again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant DESPAIR; others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as us, and yet have escaped out of his hand: who knows but that God who made the world may cause that Giant DESPAIR to die, or that at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in?--or, he may soon have another one of his fits in front of us, and may lose the use of his limbs? And if that should ever happen again, for my part I am resolved to pluck up the heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from under his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure a while; the time may come that may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers.
With these words HOPEFUL at present moderated the mind of his brother; so they continued together (in the dark) that day, in their sad and doleful condition.
Well, towards evening, the Giant went down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his advice. But when he came there, he found them alive; and truly, alive was all: for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it would be worse for them than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly; and I think that CHRISTIAN blacked out; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their disussion about the Giant's advice, and whether it was best they take it or not. Now CHRISTIAN again seemed to be for doing it; but HOPEFUL made his second reply, as follows:
Hope. "My brother," he said, "do you remember how valiant you have been up to now? APOLLYON could not crush you; nor could all that you heard, or saw, or felt, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. What hardship, terror, and amazement, you have already gone through--and are you now nothing but fear? You see that I am in the dungeon with you, a far weaker man by nature than you are! Also, this Giant has wounded me as well as you, and has also cut off the bread and water from my mouth; and with you I mourn without the light: but let us exercise a little more patience. Remember how you played the man at Vanity Fair, and was neither afraid of the chain nor cage, nor yet of bloody death; therefore let us--at least to avoid the shame that does not become a Christian to be found in--bear up with patience as well as we can."
Now night having come again, and the Giant and his wife being in bed, she asked him concerning the prisoners; and if they had taken his counsel? To which he replied, "They are sturdy rogues; they choose to bear all hardship rather than to take their own lives." Then she said, "Take them into the castle yard tomorrow, and show them the bones and skulls of those that you have already slain; and make them believe, before the week comes to an end, you also will tear them in pieces, as you have done their fellows before them."
So when the morning came, the Giant went to them again, and took them into the castle yard, and showed them as his wife had told him. "These," he said, "were pilgrims as you are, once, and they trespassed' in my grounds, as you have done; and when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces; and so within ten days I will do to you: go, get down to your den again!" And with that he beat them all the way there. Therefore they lay all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before. Now when night hadcome, and when Mrs. DIFFIDENCE, and her husband the Giant, were in bed, they began to renew the discussion of their prisoners; and in addition the old Giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with that his wife replied: "I fear," she said, "that they live in hope that someone will come to rescue them; or that they have picklocks with them; by which means they hope to escape." "Is that what you think, my dear?" said the Giant; "Then I will search them in the morning."
Well, on Saturday, about midnight the pilgrims began to pray; and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now a little before it was day, good CHRISTIAN, as one half amazed, broke out in this passionate speech: "What a fool," he uttered, "am I to lie this way in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom called Promise; that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle." Then HOPEFUL said, "That's good news; good brother, pluck it out of your bosom, and try."
Then CHRISTIAN pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try the dungeon door; whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave way, and the door flew open with ease: and CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL both came out. Then he went to the outer door that led into the castle yard; and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went exceedingly hard: yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it woke Giant DESPAIR:
who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs fail him, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the king's highway again; and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.
Now when they were over the stile, they began to formulate a plan between themselves about what they should do at that stile, to prevent those that should come after from falling into the hands of Giant DESPAIR. So they agreed to erect a pillar there, and to engrave upon the side of it this sentence: "Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle; which is kept by Giant DESPAIR, who despises the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims." Many, therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and escaped the danger. This done, they sang as follows: