|THE AUTHOR'S APOLOGY FOR
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: nay,
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.
Nay, 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
Some said, "John, print it"; others said, "Not
Some said, "It might do good"; others said,
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
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 thou 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--thy 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, thy 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
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 thou offended? Dost thou 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? Nay, 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 thee, 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 thee 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; nay, 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 thee 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, whither 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 thee,
If by its counsel thou wilt ruled be;
It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
If thou wilt its directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.
Art thou for something rare and profitable?
Wouldst thou see a truth within a fable? Art thou forgetful?
Wouldst thou 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 thou divert thyself from melancholy,
Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Wouldst thou read riddles, and their explanation
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or wouldst thou see
A man in the clouds, and hear him speak to thee?
Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep?
Wouldst thou lose thyself and catch no harm?
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read thou know'st not what,
And yet know whether thou are blest or not,
By reading the same lines? Oh then, come hither,
And lay my book, thy head, and heart together.
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on 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 mine iniquities are gone
over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me."
"But we are all as an
unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and
we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have
taken us away." Isaiah
"So likewise, whosoever
he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my
"For if the word spoken
by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience
received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we
neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by
the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;"
Hebrews 2:2, 3
and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable
cry, saying, "What shall I do?"
- "Now when they heard this,
they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the
rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we
In this plight, therefore, he went home, and refrained himself as long
as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his
distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble
increased: wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and
children; and thus he began to talk to them: "O my dear wife,"
said he, "and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend,
am in myself undone, by reason 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; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with
thee, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin;
except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found,
whereby we may be delivered." At this his relations were sore
amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was
true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into
his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that
sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed: but
the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of
sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was come,
they would know how he did: he told them, "Worse and worse."
He also set to talking to them again; but they began to be hardened.
They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly conduct
to him: sometimes they would deride; sometimes they would chide; and
sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire
himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and also to condole
his own misery. He would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes
reading and sometimes praying; and thus for some days he spent his time.
Evangelist Provides Direction
I saw, upon a time when he was walking in the fields, that he was
(as he was wont) reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his
mind; and, as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying,
"What must I do to be saved?"
- "And brought them out, and
said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved, and thy house." Acts
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. I looked then, and saw a man named EVANGELIST coming to him, and
asked, "Wherefore dost thou cry?" 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 unto
men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
and I find that I am not willing to do the first,
- "His sons come to honour, and
he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he
perceiveth it not of them.
But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him
shall mourn." Job
nor able to do the second."
- "Can thine heart endure, or
can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee?
I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it."
Then said EVANGELIST, "Why not willing to die, since this life is
attended with so many evils?" The man answered, "Because I
fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the
grave, and I shall fall into Tophet.
- "For Tophet is ordained
of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it
deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much
wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth
kindle it." Isaiah
And, sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to
go to Judgment, and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these
things make me cry."
Then said EVANGELIST, "If this be thy condition, why standest thou
still?" He answered, "Because I know not where to go."
Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within,
"Flee from the wrath to come!"
- "But when he saw many of the
Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O
generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to
The man, therefore, read it; and looking upon EVANGELIST very carefully,
said, "Whither must I fly?" Then said EVANGELIST, pointing
with his finger over a very wide field, "Do you see yonder wicket
- "Because strait is the
gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few
there be that find it." Matthew
The man said, "No." Then said the other,
"Do you see yonder shining light?"
- "Thy word is a lamp
unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
"We have also a more sure
word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a
light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day
star arise in your hearts:"
2 Peter 1:19
He said, "I think I do." Then said EVANGELIST, "Keep that
light in your eye, and go up directly thereto; so shalt thou see the
gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou
So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far
from his own door, but his wife and children perceiving it, began to cry
after him to return;
- "If any man come to me, and
hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my
but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on,
crying, "Life! life! Eternal life!" So he looked not behind
him, but fled towards the middle of the plain.
- "And it came to pass, when
they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy
life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain;
escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed."
The Neighbours: Obstinate and
neighbours also came out to see him run; and, as he ran, some
- "For I heard the defaming of
many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will
report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying,
Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him,
and we shall take our revenge on him."
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; but,
however, they were resolved to pursue him; which they did, and in a
little time they overtook him. Then said the man, "Neighbours,
wherefore are ye come?" They said, "To persuade you to go back
with us." But he said, "That can by no means be. You dwell in
the city of Destruction the place also where I was born. I see it to be
so; and dying there, sooner or later, 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."
"What!" said OBSTINATE, "and leave our friends and our
comforts behind us !"
"Yes," said CHRISTIAN, for that was his name; "because
that all which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a
little of that that 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 shall fare as I
myself; for there where I go 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!"
Come away, and prove my words."
What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find
I seek an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away;
- "To an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in
heaven for you," 1
and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be bestowed, at the time
appointed, on them that diligently seek it.
- "But now they desire a better country,
that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called
their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Read it so, if you will, in my book.
"Tush," said OBSTINATE, "away with your book; will you go
back with us or not?"
"No, not I," said the other; "because I have laid my hand
to the plough".
- "And Jesus said unto him, No
man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for
the kingdom of God." Luke
Come then, neighbour PLIABLE, let us turn again, and go home without
him: there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that when they
take a fancy by the end are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that
can render a reason.
Then said PLIABLE, "Don't revile; if what the good CHRISTIAN says
is true, the things he looks after are better than ours: my heart
inclines to go with my neighbour."
What! more fools still? Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither
such a brainsick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise!
Nay. but do thou come with thy neighbour PLIABLE; there are such things
to be had which I spoke of, and many more glories besides; if you
believe not me, read here in this book; and, for the truth of what is
expressed therein, behold, all is confirmed by the blood of him that
- "Whereupon neither the first testament
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 of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and
sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is
the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the
vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged
with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was
therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens
should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves
with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into
the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the
true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God
for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high
priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the
world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put
away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto
men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once
offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him
shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
"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
I am directed by a man whose name is EVANGELIST, to speed me to a little
gate that is before us, where we shall receive instructions about the
Come then, good neighbour, let us be going.
Then they went both together.
"And I will go back to my place," said OBSTINATE; "I will
be no companion of such misled, fantastic fellow."
What To Look Forward To
I saw in my dream, that when OBSTINATE was gone back, CHRISTIAN and
PLIABLE went talking over the plain: and thus they began their
Come, neighbour PLIABLE, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to
go along with me. Had even OBSTINATE himself but felt what I have felt
of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus
lightly have given us the back.
Come, neighbour CHRISTIAN, since there is none but us two here, tell me
now further what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are
I can better conceive of them with my mind than speak of them with my
tongue: but yet, since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in
And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true?
Yes, verily; for it was made by him that cannot lie.
- "In hope of eternal life,
which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Well said. What things are they?
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
"My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal
life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man
pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is
greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out
of my Father's hand." John
Well said. And what else?
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 hath ears
to hear, let him hear." Matthew
"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 unto all
them also that love his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:8
"Thou hast a few names
even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall
walk with me in white: for they are worthy."
That is very pleasant. And what else?
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 hath spoken it."
"They shall hunger no
more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them,
nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall
feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and
God shall wipe away all tears 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
And what company shall we have there?
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."
"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 which 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;"
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;
- "And round about the throne were
four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty
elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their
heads crowns of gold." Revelation
there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps;
- "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb
stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and
four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as
the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers
harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before
the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man
could learn that song but the hundred and forty and
four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they
which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are
they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were
redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and
to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are
without fault before the throne of God."
there we shall see men that by the word were cut in pieces, burnt in
flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they
bore to the Lord of the place--all well, and clothed with immortality as
with a garment.
- "He that loveth his life shall
lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it
unto life eternal." John 12:25
"For in this we groan,
earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from
heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For
we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not
for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality
might be swallowed up of life."
2 Corinthians 5:2-4
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 thereof?
The Lord, the governor of the country, hath recorded it in this book;
the substance of which is, if we be truly willing to have it, he will
bestow it upon us freely.
- "Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and
eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and
your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently
unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul
delight itself in fatness." Isaiah
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John
"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the
fountain of the water of life freely." Revelation
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever
will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation
Well, my good companion, glad am I to hear of these things: come on, let
us mend our pace.
I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my
The Slough of Despond
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 midst of the plain; and they
being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the
slough was "Despond." Here, therefore, they wallowed for a
time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and CHRISTIAN, because of
the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Then said PLIABLE, "Ah! neighbour CHRISTIAN, where are you
"Truly," said CHRISTIAN, "I do not know."
At that PLIABLE began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow,
"Is this the happiness you have told me of all this while? If we
have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect 'twixt
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 next to his own house: so away he went, and CHRISTIAN saw him
Wherefore 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 next 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 he did there?
"Sir," said CHRISTIAN, "I was bidden to go this way by a
man called EVANGELIST, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might
escape the wrath to come; and as I was going thither, I fell in
But why did you not look for the steps?
Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the next way and fell in.
Then said he, "Give me thy hand." So he gave him his hand, and
he drew him out; and set him upon some ground, and bade him go on his
- "He brought me up also out of
an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and
established my goings." Psalm 40:2
Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, "Sir,
wherefore, since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction
to yonder gate, is it that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers
might go thither with more security?" And he said unto me,
"This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended: it is the
descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth
continually run; 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, which
all of them get together, and settle in this place: and this is the
reason of the badness of this ground.
"It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain
"Strengthen ye the weak hands,
and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful
heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with
vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and
save you." Isaiah 35:3, 4
his labourers also have, by the directions of his Majesty's surveyors,
been for above this sixteen hundred years employed about this patch of
ground to see if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to my
knowledge," said he, "here have been swallowed up at least
twenty thousand cartloads, yea, millions, of wholesome instructions. The
cartloads have, at all season, 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 so be it might have been mended.
But it is the Slough of Despond still, and so 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 midst of this
slough; but at such times as this place does spew out its filth, as it
doth against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or, if they
be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside, and then
they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there; but the
ground is good when they have once got in at 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 got home to his
house 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
hazarding himself with CHRISTIAN: others, again, did mock at his
cowardliness, saying, "Surely, since you began to venture, you
would not have been so base as to have given out for a few
difficulties:" so PLIABLE sat sneaking 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 thus much concerning
Mr. Worldly Wiseman
as CHRISTIAN was walking solitarily by himself, he spied one afar
off come crossing over the field to meet him and their hap was to meet
just as they were crossing the way of each other. The gentleman's name
that met him was Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN: he dwelt in the town of Carnal
Policy; a very great town, and also hard by from whence CHRISTIAN came.
This man, then, meeting with CHRISTIAN, and having some inkling of
him--for CHRISTIAN'S setting forth from the city of Destruction was much
noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to
be the town talk in some other places-- Master WORLDLY WISEMAN,
therefore, having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going,
by observing his sighs and groans and the like, began thus to enter into
some talk with CHRISTIAN.
How now, good fellow?--whither away after this burdened manner?
A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think, poor creature had! And
whereas you asked me, Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to
yonder wicket gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be
put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.
Hast thou a wife and children?
Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that
pleasure in them as formerly: methinks I am as if I had none.
- "But this I say, brethren, the
time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives
be as though they had none;" 1
Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel?
If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.
I would advise thee, then, that thou with all speed get thyself rid of
thy burden: for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then: nor
canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessing which God hath bestowed
upon thee till then.
That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden: but
get it off myself I cannot; 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.
Who bade you go this way to be rid of your burden?
A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person; his
name, as I remember, is EVANGELIST.
Avoid him for his counsel! There is not a more dangerous and troublesome
way in the world than is that unto which he hath directed thee; and that
thou shalt find if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with
something, as I perceive already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of
Despond upon thee; but that slough is the only beginning of the sorrows
that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me--I am older than
thou: thou art likely to meet with, in the way which thou goest,
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 cast away himself by giving heed to a
Why, sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me than are all
these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not what I
meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my
How camest thou by thy burden at first?
By reading this book in my hand.
I thought so. And it has happened unto thee as to other weak men, who,
meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy
distractions; which distractions do not only unman men (as thine I
perceive has done thee), but they run them upon desperate ventures, to
obtain they know not what.
I know what I would obtain; it is ease for my heavy burden.
But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend
it? Especially since, hadst thou but patience to hear me, I could direct
thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest without the dangers that
thou, in this way, wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at
hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of those dangers, thou shalt
meet with much safety, friendship, and content.
Sir, I pray, open this secret to me.
Why, in yonder village (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
thine are from their shoulders; yea, to my knowledge, he hath done a
great deal of good this way: aye, and besides, he hath skill to cure
those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him,
as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently. His house is not
quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself,
he hath a pretty young man, his son, whose name is CIVILITY, that can do
it as well as the old gentleman himself. There, I say, thou mayest be
eased of thy burden; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former
habitation, as indeed I would not wish thee, thou mayest send for thy
wife and children to come to thee to this village, where there are
houses now stand empty, one of which thou mayest have at reasonable
rates: provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make
thy life the more happy is there to be sure, for thou shalt live by
honest neighbours, in credit and good fashion.
Now was CHRISTIAN somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded,
"If this be true what this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is
to take his advice;" and with that he thus further spoke.
Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?
Do you see yonder high hill? (Mount Sinai.)
Yes, very well.
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 was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so
high, and also the side of it that was next the wayside did hang so much
over, that CHRISTIAN was afraid to venture farther, lest the hill should
fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and knew not what to
do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his
way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made
CHRISTIAN afraid that he should be burned:
- "And it came to pass on the
third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings,
and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet
exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp
trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet
with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount
Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it
in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace,
and the whole mount quaked greatly." Exodus
here, therefore, he sweat and did quake for fear.
- "And so terrible was the
sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake" Hebrews
And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN'S
counsel. And with that he saw EVANGELIST coming to meet him; at the
sight also of whom he began to blush for shame. So EVANGELIST drew
nearer and nearer; and coming up to him, he looked upon him with a
severe and dreadful countenance, and thus began to reason with
The Only Way
dost thou here, CHRISTIAN?" said he. At which words CHRISTIAN
knew not what to answer; wherefore at present he stood speechless before
him. Then said EVANGELIST further, "Art not thou the man that I
found crying outside the walls of the city of Destruction?"
Yes, dear sir, I am the man.
Did not I direct thee the way to the little Wicket gate?
"Yes, dear sir," said CHRISTIAN.
How is it, then, that thou art so quickly turned aside? for thou art now
out of the way.
I met with a gentleman, so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond,
who persuaded me that I might, in the village before me, find a man that
could take off my burden.
What was he?
He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and got me at last to
yield; so I came hither: but when I beheld this hill, and how it hangs
over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.
What said that gentleman to you?
Why, he asked me whither I was going; and I told him.
And what said he then?
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 formerly.
And what said he then?
He bade me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease
that I sought. And, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate to
receive further direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So
he said that he would show me a better way, and short, not so attended
with difficulties as the way, sir, that you set me in; this short way,
said he, 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, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to
this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped for fear, as I
said, of danger. But I now know not what to do.
Then said EVANGELIST, "Stand still a little, that I may show thee
the words of God." So he stood trembling. Then said EVANGELIST,
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not
who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall we not escape, if
we turn away from him that speaks from heaven".
- "See that ye refuse not him
that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on
earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away
from him that speaketh from heaven:" Hebrews
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 did thus apply them: "Thou art the man that art running
into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most
High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to
the hazarding of thy perdition."
Then CHRISTIAN fell down at his foot 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 unto men: be not faithless, but believing".
- "Wherefore I say unto you, All
manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven
unto men." Matthew 12:31
"Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold
my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my
side: and be not faithless, but believing." John
Then did CHRISTIAN again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at
first, before EVANGELIST.
Then EVANGELIST proceeded, saying, "Give more earnest heed to the
things that I shall tell thee of. I will now show thee who it was that
deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The man that met
thee 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 heareth 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
fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only
lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ."
and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeks to pervert
my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man's counsel
that thou must utterly abhor:
- "1. His turning thee out of the way.
"2. His labouring to render the cross odious to thee.
"3. And his setting thy feet in that way that leads unto the
administration of death.
"First, thou, must abhor turning thee out of the
Way-- yea, and thine own consenting thereto; because this is to reject
the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The
Lord says, 'Strive to enter in at the strait gate',
- "Strive to enter in at the
strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and
shall not be able." Luke
--the gate to which I sent thee; 'for strait is the gate that leads unto
life, and few there be that find it'.
- "Enter ye in at the strait
gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that
leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13, 14
From this little Wicket gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked
man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction. Hate,
therefore, his turning thee out of the way; and abhor thyself for
hearkening to him.
"Secondly, thou must abhor his labouring to render the cross odious
unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures in Egypt.
- "Esteeming the reproach of
Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had
respect unto the recompence of the reward." Hebrews
Besides, the King of Glory hath told thee, 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 brethren, and sisters,
yea, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple.
- "He that findeth his life
shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find
it." Matthew 10:39
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever
shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall
save it." Mark 8:35
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and
his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke
"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his
life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." John
I say, therefore, for man to labour to persuade thee that that shall be
thy death, without which, the Truth hath said, thou canst not have
eternal life-- this doctrine thou must abhor.
"Thirdly, thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that
leadeth to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to
whom he sent thee; and also how unable that person was to deliver thee
from thy burden.
"He to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name LEGALITY is the
son of the bondwoman who now is, and is in bondage with her children;
- "For it is written, that
Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a
freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the
flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things
are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the
mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this
Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now
is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is
above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written,
Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry,
thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children
than she which hath an husband." Galatians
and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai which thou hast feared will fall
on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou
expect by them to be made free? This LEGALITY, therefore, is not able to
set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever rid of his burden
by him; no, nor ever is like to be. Ye cannot be justified by the works
of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his
burden. Therefore Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN is an alien, and Mr. LEGALITY is a
cheat; and for his son CIVILITY, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he
is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing
in all his noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but at
design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in
which I had set thee."
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 pronounced: "As
many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is everyone that continues not 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
every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the
book of the law to do them." Galatians
Now CHRISTIAN looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out
lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. WORLDLY
WISEMAN, still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his
counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's
arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have that prevalency with
him as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied
himself again to EVANGELIST in words and sense as follows:
Sir, what think you?--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
thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsel; but
may my sin be forgiven.
Then said EVANGELIST to him, "Thy sin is very great; for by it thou
hast committed two evils: thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to
tread in forbidden paths; yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for
he has good will for men; only," said he, "take heed that thou
turn not aside again, lest thou perish from the way when his wrath is
kindled but a little".
- "Kiss the Son, lest he be
angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled
but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in
Then did CHRISTIAN address himself to go back; and EVANGELIST, after he
had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bade him Godspeed.