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THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

   

Part II

 


Section 3

Accompanied by Great-Heart - the Cross - justified by Christ - Sloth and his companions hung - the hill Difficulty - the Arbour


 

 

ACCOMPANIED BY GREAT-HEART

The INTERPRETER then called for a manservant of his, one GREAT-HEART, and bade him take sword, and helmet, and shield. "And take these my daughters," said he, "and conduct them to the house called Beautiful, at which place they will rest next." So he took his weapons, and went before them; and the INTERPRETER said, "God speed!" Those also that belonged to the family sent them away with many a good wish; so they went on their way, and sung:


"This place has been our second stage:
Here we have heard and seen
Those good things that, from age to age,
To others hid have been.
The Dunghill raker, Spider, Hen,
The Chicken, too, to me
Hath taught a lesson: let me then
Conformed to it be.
The Butcher, Garden, and the Field,
The Robin, and his bait--
Also the Rotten Tree--doth yield
Me argument of weight:
To move me for to watch and pray;
To strive to be sincere;
To take my cross up day by day,
And serve the Lord with fear."



Righteousness

Now I saw in my dream, that they went on, and GREAT-HEART went before them; so they went and came to the place where CHRISTIAN'S burden fell off his back and tumbled into a sepulchre. Here, then, they made a pause; and here also they blessed God. "Now," said CHRISTIANA, "it comes to my mind what was said to us at the gate; to wit, that we should have pardon by word and deed: by word, that is, by the promise; by deed, to wit, in the way it was obtained. What the promise is, of that I know something; but what is it to have pardon by deed, or in the way that it was obtained? Mr. GREAT-HEART, I suppose you know? wherefore, if you please, let us hear your discourse thereof."

Great-heart. Pardon by the deed done is pardon obtained by some one for another that hath need thereof; not by the person pardoned, but in the way, saith another, in which I have obtained it. So, then, to speak to the question more largely, the pardon that you and MERCY and these boys have attained was obtained by another: to wit, by him that let you in at the gate. And he hath obtained it in this double way: he has performed righteousness to cover you; and spilt blood to wash you in.

Chris. But if he parts with his righteousness to us, what will he have for himself?

Great-heart. He has more righteousness than you have need of, or than he needs himself.

Chris. Pray make that appear.

Great-heart. With all my heart; but first I must premise that he of whom we are now about to speak is one that has not his fellow. He has two natures in one person--plain to be distinguished, impossible to be divided. Unto each of these natures a righteousness belongs; and each righteousness is essential to that nature. So that one may as easily cause the nature to be extinct, as to separate its justice or righteousness from it. Of these righteousnesses, therefore, we are not made partakers so as that they, or any of them, should be put upon us that we might be made just, and live thereby. Besides these, there is a righteousness which this Person has, as these two natures are joined in one. And this is not the righteousness of the Godhead as distinguished from the Manhood, nor the righteousness of the Manhood as distinguished from the Godhead; but a righteousness which stands in the union of both natures, and may properly be called the righteousness that is essential to his being prepared of God to the capacity of the mediatory office which he was to be intrusted with. If he parts with his first righteousness, he parts with his Godhead; if he parts with his second righteousness, he parts with the purity of his Manhood; if he parts with this third, he parts with that perfection that capacitates him to the office of mediation. He has, therefore, another righteousness which stands in performance, or obedience to a revealed will: and that is it that he puts upon sinners, and that by which their sins are covered. Wherefore he saith, "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous".

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Romans 5:19

Chris. But are the other righteousnesses of no use to us?

Great-heart. Yes; for though they are essential to his natures and office, and so cannot be communicated unto another, yet it is by virtue of them that the righteousness that justifies is, for that purpose, efficacious. The righteousness of his Godhead gives virtue to his obedience; the righteousness of his Manhood gives capability to his obedience to justify; and the righteousness that stands in the union of these two natures to his office, gives authority to that righteousness to do the work of which it is ordained.

So then, here is a righteousness that Christ, as God, had no need of, for he is God without it; here is a righteousness that Christ, as man, has no need of to make him so, for he is perfect man without it; again, here is a righteousness that Christ, as God-man, has no need of, for he is perfectly so without it. Here, then, is a righteousness that Christ, as God, as man, as God-man, has no need of with reference to himself; and therefore he can spare it,--a justifying righteousness, that he, for himself, wants not, and therefore he gives it away. Hence 'tis called "The gift of righteousness".

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17

This righteousness, since Christ Jesus the Lord was made himself under the law, must be given away; for the law doth not only bind him that is under it to do justly, but to use charity: wherefore he must--he ought by the law--if he hath two coats, to give one to him that hath none. Now our Lord indeed hath two coats, one for himself and one to spare; wherefore he freely bestows one upon those that have none. And thus, CHRISTIANA, and MERCY, and the rest of you that are here, doth your pardon come by deed, or by the work of another man. Your Lord Christ is he that has worked, and has given away what he wrought for to the next poor beggar he meets.

But again, in order to pardon by deed, there must something be paid to God as a price, as well as something prepared to cover us withal. Sin has delivered us up to the just curse of a righteous law. Now from this curse we must be justified by way of redemption, a price being paid for the harms we have done; and this is by the blood of your Lord, who came and stood in your place and stead, and died your death for your transgressions.

"But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;" Romans 4:24

Thus has he ransomed you from your transgressions by blood, and covered your polluted and deformed souls with righteousness. For the sake of which God passes by you, and will not hurt you, when he comes to judge the world.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" Galatians 3:13

Chris. This is brave. Now I see that there was something to be learnt by our being pardoned by word and deed. Good MERCY, let us labour to keep this in mind; and, my children, do you remember it also. But, Sir, was not this it that made my good CHRISTIAN'S burden fall from off his shoulder, and that made him give three leaps for joy?

Great-heart. Yes, 'twas the belief of this that cut those strings that could not be cut by other means; and 'twas to give him a proof of the virtue of this that he was suffered to carry his burden to the cross.

Chris. I thought so; for though my heart was lightsome and joyous before, yet it is ten times more lightsome and joyous now. And I am persuaded by what I have felt, though I have felt but little as yet, that if the most burdened man in the world were here, and did see and believe as I now do, 'twould make his heart the more merry and blithe.

Great-heart. There is not only comfort and ease of a burden brought to us by the sight and consideration of these, but an endeared affection begot in us by it. For who can, if he doth but once think that pardon comes--not only by promise, but thus--but be affected with the way and means of his redemption, and so with the Man that hath wrought it for him?

Chris. True; methinks it makes my heart bleed to think that he should bleed for me. O thou loving One! O thou blessed One! Thou deservest to have me; Thou hast bought me. Thou deservest to have me all; Thou hast paid for me ten thousand times more than I am worth. No marvel that this made the water stand in my husband's eyes; and that it made him trudge so nimbly on. I am persuaded he wished me with him; but, vile wretch that I was, I let him come all alone! O MERCY, that thy father and mother were hear; yea, and Mrs. TIMOROUS also! Nay, I wish now with all my heart that here was MADAM WANTON too. Surely, surely their hearts would be affected; nor could the fear of the one, nor the powerful lusts of the other, prevail with them to go home again, and to refuse to become good pilgrims.

Great-heart. You speak now in the warmth of your affections; will it, think you, be always thus with you? Besides, this is not communicated to everyone; nor to everyone that did see your Jesus bleed. There were that stood by, and that saw the blood run from his heart to the ground: and yet were so far off this, that instead of lamenting, they laughed at him; and instead of becoming his disciples, did harden their hearts against him. So that all that you have, my daughters, you have by a peculiar impression made by a divine contemplating upon what I have spoken to you. Remember that 'twas told you, that the hen, by her common call, gives no meat to her chickens: this you have, therefore, by a special grace.



The End of Simple, Sloth and Presumption

Now I saw, still in my dream, that they went on until they were come to the place that SIMPLE and SLOTH and PRESUMPTION lay and slept in when CHRISTIAN went by on pilgrimage; and behold, they were hanged up in irons a little way off on the other side.

Mercy. Then said MERCY to him that was their guide and conductor, "What are those three men? and for what are they hanged there?"

Great-heart. These three men were men of very bad qualities: they had no minds to be pilgrims themselves; and whomsoever they could they hindered. They were for sloth and folly themselves; and whoever they could persuade they made so too; and withal taught them to presume that they should do well at last. They were asleep when CHRISTIAN went by; and now you go by, they are hanged.

Mercy. But could they persuade any to be of their opinion?

Great-heart. Yes, they turned several out of the way. There was SLOW-PACE that they persuaded to do as they. They also prevailed with one SHORT-WIND; with one NO-HEART; with one LINGER-AFTER-LUST; and with one SLEEPY-HEAD; and with a young woman--her name was DULL--to turn out of the way and become as they. Besides, they brought up an ill report of your Lord, persuading others that he was a taskmaster. They also brought up an evil report of the good land, saying 'twas not half so good as some pretend it was. They also began to defame his servants, and to count the very best of them meddlesome, troublesome busybodies: further, they would call the bread of God, husks: the comforts of his children, fancies; the travel and labour of pilgrims, things to no purpose.

Chris. "Nay," said CHRISTIANA, "if they were such, they shall never be bewailed by me; they have but what they deserve, and I think it is well that they hang so near the highway, that others may see and take warning. But had it not been well if their crimes had been engraven in some plate of iron or brass, and left here, even where they did their mischiefs, for a caution to other bad men?

Great-heart. So it is, as you well may perceive, if you will go a little to the wall.

Mercy. No, no; let them hang, and their names rot, and their crimes live for ever against them. I think it a high favour that they were hanged afore we came hither: who knows else what they might have done to such poor women as we are?

Then she turned it into a song, saying:


"Now then, you three, hang there, and be a sign
To all that shall against the truth combine;
And let him that comes after fear this end,
If unto pilgrims he is not a friend.
And thou, my soul, of all such men beware,
That unto holiness opposers are."

   

The Pilgrim's Progress - the lions

 


 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents