home :: site contents :: contact     




The Holy Bible (with Commentary)
The Psalms (for singing)

Scottish Gaelic Turkish

Foreign Languages
Law and Grace
Short Articles

Doctrinal Articles
Stories of Faithful Christians
Famous Letters
Sermons

Summary of Bible Teaching

The Christianís Great Interest
Gospel Mystery of Sanctification

Pilgrimís Progress

Christian Clothing

Other Online Books

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

   

Part II

 


Section 6

Discourse with Old Honest - character and history of Mr Fearing - Mr Self-will and some professors - Gaius' house - conversation - the supper - Old Honest and Great-Heart's riddles and discourse - Giant Slay-good killed - Mr Feeble-mind's history - Mr Ready-to-halt - Vanity Fair - Mr Mnason's house - cheering entertainment and converse - a Monster


 

DISCOURSE WITH OLD HONEST

Now I saw that they went to the ascent that was a little way off, cast up to be a prospect for pilgrims (that was the place from whence CHRISTIAN had the first sight of FAITHFUL, his brother). Wherefore here they sat down, and rested; they also here did eat and drink and make merry, for that they had gotten deliverance from this so dangerous an enemy. As they sat thus and did eat, CHRISTIANA asked the guide, "If he had caught no hurt in the battle?" Then said Mr. GREAT-HEART, "No, save a little on my flesh; yet that also shall be so far from being to my determent, that it is, at present, a proof of my love to my Master and you, and shall be a means, by grace, to increase my reward at last."

"But were you not afraid, good sir, when you saw him come out with his club?"

"It is my duty," said he, "to distrust mine own ability, that I may have reliance on him that is stronger than all."

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

"But what did you think when he fetched you down to the ground at the first blow?"

"Why, I thought," quoth he, "that so my Master himself was served; and yet he it was that conquered at the last."

Matt. When you all have thought what you please, I think God has been wonderful good unto us, both in bringing us out of this valley, and in delivering us out of the hand of this enemy; for my part I see no reason why we should distrust our God any more, since he has now, and in such a place as this, given us such testimony of his love as this.

They then got up and went forward. Now a little before them stood an oak; and under it, when they came to it, they found an old pilgrim, fast asleep; they knew that he was a pilgrim by his clothes, and his staff, and his girdle.

So the guide, Mr. GREAT-HEART, awakened him; and the old gentleman as he lift up his eyes, cried out, "What's the matter? who are you? and what is your business here?"

Great-heart. "Come, man, be not so hot; here are none but friends." Yet the old man gets up and stands upon his guard, and will know of them what they were. Then said the guide, "My name is GREAT-HEART; I am the guide of these pilgrims, which are going to the celestial country."

Honest. Then said Mr. HONEST, "I cry you mercy; I feared that you had been of the company of those that some time ago did rob LITTLE-FAITH of his money; but now I look better about me, I perceive you are honester people."

Great-heart. Why, what would or could you have done, to have helped yourself, if we indeed had been of that company?

Honest. Done! why I would have fought as long as breath had been in me; and had I so done, I am sure you could never have given me the worst on't; for a Christian can never be overcome, unless he shall yield of himself.

Great-heart. "Well said, father HONEST," quoth the guide; "for by this I know thou art a cock of the right kind, for thou hast said the truth."

Honest. And by this also I know that thou knowest what true pilgrimage is; for all others do think that we are the soonest overcome of any.

Great-heart. Well, now we are so happily met, pray let me crave your name and the name of the place you came from?

Honest. My name I cannot; but I came from the town of Stupidity: it lies about four degrees beyond the city of Destruction.

Great-heart. Oh, are you that countryman, then? I deem I have half a guess of you; your name is OLD HONESTY, is it not?

Honest. So the old gentleman blushed, and said, "Not Honesty in the abstract, but HONEST is my name; and I wish that my nature shall agree to what I am called. But, sir," said the old gentleman, "how could you guess that I am such a man, since I came from such a place?"

Great-heart. I had heard of you before by my Master; for he knows all things that are done on the earth. But I have often wondered that any should come from your place; for your town is worse than is the City of Destruction itself.

Honest. Yes, we lie more off from the sun, and so are more cold and senseless; but were a man in a mountain of ice, yet if the Sun of Righteousness will arise upon him, his frozen heart shall feel a thaw; and thus it hath been with me.

Great-heart. I believe it, father HONEST, I believe it; for I know the thing is true.

Then the old gentleman saluted all the pilgrims with a holy kiss of charity, and asked them of their names, and how they had fared since they set out on their pilgrimage.

Chris. Then said CHRISTIANA, "My name I suppose you have heard of; good CHRISTIAN was my husband, and these four were his children." But can you think how the old gentleman was taken when she told him who she was! He skipped; he smiled; and blessed them with a thousand good wishes, saying:

Honest. "I have heard much of your husband, and of his travels and wars which he underwent in his days. Be it spoken to your comfort, the name of your husband rings all over these parts of the world: his faith, his courage, his enduring, and his sincerity under all, has made his name famous." Then he turned to the boys, and asked them of their names; which they told him: and then he said unto them, "MATTHEW, be thou like Matthew the publican--not in vice, but in virtue. SAMUEL," said he, "be thou like Samuel the prophet, a man of faith and prayer. JOSEPH," said he, "be thou like Joseph in Potiphar's house, chaste, and one that flies from temptation. And JAMES, be thou like James the Just, and like James the brother of our Lord."

"Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;" Matthew 10:3

"Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them." Psalms 99:6

"And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out." Genesis 39:1-18

Then they told him of MERCY; and how she had left her town and her kindred, to come along with CHRISTIANA and with her sons. At that the old honest man said, "MERCY is thy name? by mercy shalt thou be sustained, and carried through all those difficulties that shall assault thee in thy way; till thou shall come thither, where thou shalt look the fountain of mercy in the face with comfort."

All this while the guide, Mr. GREAT-HEART, was very much pleased, and smiled upon his companion.


The Story of Mr Fearing

Now as they walked along together, the guide asked the old gentleman, if he did not know one Mr. FEARING that came on pilgrimage out of his parts.

Honest. "Yes, very well," said he; "he was a man that had the root of the matter in him, but he was one of the most troublesome pilgrims that I ever met with in all my days."

Great-heart. I perceive you knew him; for you have given a very right character of him.

Honest. Knew him! I was a great companion of his, I was with him when he first began to think of what would come upon us hereafter.

Great-heart. I was his guide from my master's house to the gates of the Celestial City.

Honest. Then you knew him to be a troublesome one.

Great-heart. I did so; but I could very well bear it: for men of my calling are oftentimes entrusted with the conduct of such as he was.

Honest. Well then, pray let us hear a little of him, and how he managed himself under your conduct.

Great-heart. "Why, he was always afraid that he should come short of whither he had a desire to go. Everything frightened him that he heard anybody speak of, that had but the least appearance of opposition in it. I hear that he lay roaring at the Slough of Despond for above a month together; nor durst he, for all he saw several go over before him, venture, though they, many of them, offered to lend him their hand. He would not go back again neither. The Celestial City, he said, he should die if he came not to it; and yet was dejected at every difficulty, and stumbled at every straw that anybody cast in his way. Well, after he had lain at the Slough of Despond a great while, as I have told you, one sunshiny morning, I do not know how, he ventured, and so got over. But when he was over, he would scarce believe it. He had, I think, a Slough of Despond in his mind, a slough that he carried everywhere with him; or else he could never have been as he was. So he came up to the gate--you know what I mean--that stands at the head of this way; and there also he stood a good while before he would adventure to knock. When the gate was opened, he would give back; and give place to others, and say that he was not worthy. For, for all he got before some to the gate, yet many of them went in before him. There the poor man would stand shaking and shrinking; I dare say it would have pitied one's heart to have seen him; nor would he go back again. At last he took the hammer that hanged on the gate in his hand, and gave a small rap or two; then one opened to him, but he shrunk back as before. He that opened stept out after him, and said, "Thou trembling one, what wantest thou?" With that he fell down to the ground. He that spoke to him wondered to see him so faint. So he said to him, 'Peace be to thee; up, for I have set open the door to thee; come in, for thou art blest.' With that he got up, and went in trembling; and when he was in, he was ashamed to show his face.

"Well, after he had been entertained there awhile, as you know how the manner is, he was bid go on his way, and also told the way he should take. So he came till he came to our house; but as he behaved himself at the gate, so he did at my master the INTERPRETER'S door. He lay thereabout in the cold a good while before he would adventure to call; yet he would not go back. And the nights were long and cold then. Nay, he had a note of necessity in his bosom to my Master, to receive him, and grant him the comfort of his house; and also to allow him a stout and valiant conductor, because he was himself so chicken hearted a man; and yet for all that he was afraid to call at the door. So he lay up and down thereabouts till, poor man, he was almost starved; yea, so great was his dejection, that though he saw several others for knocking get in, yet he was afraid to venture.

"At last, I think I looked out of the window; and perceiving a man to be up and down about the door, I went out to him, and asked what he was; but, poor man, the water stood in his eyes. So I perceived what he wanted. I went therefore in, and told it in the house; and we showed the thing to our Lord. So he sent me out again to entreat him to come in; but I dare say I had hard work to do it. At last he came in; and I will say that for my Lord, he carried it wonderful lovingly to him. There were but a few good bits at the table; but some of it was laid upon his trencher. Then he presented the note; and my Lord looked thereon, and said his desire should be granted. So when he had been there a good while, he seemed to get some heart, and to be a little more comfortable; for my Master, you must know, is one of very tender bowels, especially to them that are afraid: wherefore he carried it so towards him, as might tend most to his encouragement. Well, when he had had a sight of the things of the place, and was ready to take his journey to go to the city, my Lord, as he did to CHRISTIAN before, gave him a bottle of spirits, and some comfortable things to eat. Thus we set forward, and I went before him; but the man was but of few words, only he would sigh aloud.

"When we were come to where the three fellows were hanged, he said that he doubted that that would be his end also. Only he seemed glad when he saw the cross and the sepulchre. There I confess he desired to stay a little to look; and he seemed for awhile after to be a little cheery. When we came at the Hill Difficulty, he made no stick at that, nor did he much fear the lions; for you must know that his trouble was not about such things as those, his fear was about his acceptance at last.

"I got him in at the house Beautiful I think before he was willing; also when he was in, I brought him acquainted with the damsels that were of the place; but he was ashamed to make himself much for company. He desired much to be alone; yet he always loved good talk, and often would get behind the screen to hear it. He also loved much to see ancient things, and to be pondering them in his mind. He told me afterwards that he loved to be in those two houses from which he came last; to wit, at the Gate, and that of the INTERPRETER'S, but that he durst not be so bold as to ask.

When we went also from the house Beautiful down the hill, into the Valley of Humiliation, he went down as well as ever I saw a man in my life; for he cared not how mean he was, so he might be happy at last. Yea, I think there was a kind of a sympathy betwixt that valley and him; for I never saw him better in all his pilgrimage than when he was in that valley.

Here he would lie down, embrace the ground, and kiss the very flowers that grew in this valley.

"It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope." Lamentations 3:27-29

He would now be up every morning by break of day, tracing, and walking to and fro in this valley.

But when he was come to the entrance of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I thought I should have lost my man; not for that he had any inclination to go back--that he always abhorred,--but he was ready to die for fear. 'Oh, the hobgoblins will have me, the hobgoblins will have me!' cried he; and I could not beat him out on't. He made such a noise and such an outcry here, that, had they but heard him, 't was enough to encourage them to come and fall upon us.

"But this I took very great notice of: that this valley was as quiet while he went through it, as ever I knew it before or since. I suppose those enemies here had now a special check from our Lord; and a command not to meddle until Mr. FEARING was passed over it.

"It would be too tedious to tell you of all, we will therefore only mention a passage or two more. When he was come at Vanity Fair, I thought he would have fought with all the men in the fair; I feared there we should both have been knocked o' the head, so hot was he against their fooleries. Upon the enchanted ground he was also very wakeful. But when he was come at the river where was no bridge, there again he was in a heavy case; now, now, he said, he should be drowned for ever, and so never see that face with comfort that he had come so many miles to behold.

"And here also I took notice of what was very remarkable: the water of that river was lower at this time than ever I saw it in all my life; so he went over at last not much above wetshod. When he was going up to the gate, Mr. GREAT-HEART began to take his leave of him, and to wish him a good reception above; so he said, 'I shall, I shall.' Then parted we asunder, and I saw him no more."

Honest. Then it seems he was well at last.

Great-heart. Yes, yes; I never had a doubt about him. He was a man of a choice spirit, only he was always kept very low; and that made his life so burdensome to himself, and so troublesome to others.

"O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness." Psalms 88:1-18

He was, above many, tender of sin; he was so afraid of doing injuries to others, that he often would deny himself of that which was lawful because he would not offend.

"It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." Romans 14:21

"Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." 1 Corinthians 8:13

Honest. But what should be the reason that such a good man should be all his days so much in the dark?

Great-heart. There are two sorts of reasons for it: one is, the wise God will have it so; some must pipe, and some must weep:

"But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil." Matthew 11:16-18

now Mr. FEARING was one that played upon the bass. He and his fellows sound the sackbut, whose notes are more doleful than the notes of other music are. Though, indeed, some say, the bass is the ground of music. And for my part, I care not at all for that profession that begins not in heaviness of mind. The first string that the musician usually touches is the bass, when he intends to put all in tune; God also plays upon this string first when he sets the soul in tune for himself. Only here was the imperfection of Mr. FEARING: he could play upon no other music but this till towards his latter end.

I make bold to talk thus metaphorically for the ripening of the wits of young readers; and because, in the book of the Revelation, the saved are compared to a company of musicians that play upon their trumpets and harps, and sing their songs before the throne.

"And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets." Revelation 8:2

"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." Revelation 14:2, 3

Honest. He was a very zealous man, as one may see by what relation you have given of him. Difficulties, lions, or Vanity Fair, he feared not at all; 't was only sin, death, and hell that were to him a terror, because he had some doubts about his interest in that celestial country.

Great-heart. You say right: those were the things that were his troublers, and they, as you have well observed, arose from the weakness of his mind thereabout; not from weakness of spirit as to the practical part of a pilgrim's life. I dare believe, that, as the proverb is, he could have bit a firebrand, had it stood in his way; but the things with which he was oppressed, no man ever yet could shake off with ease.

Chris. Then said CHRISTIANA, "This relation of Mr. FEARING has done me good. I thought nobody had been like me; but I see there was some semblance 'twixt this good man and I, only we differed in two things: his troubles were so great they brake out; but mine I kept within. His also lay so hard upon him, they made him that he could not knock at the houses provided for entertainment; but my trouble was always such as made me knock the louder."

Mercy. If I might also speak my heart, I must say, that something of him has also dwelt in me. For I have ever been more afraid of the lake and the loss of a place in paradise, than I have been of the loss of other things. Oh, thought I, may I have the happiness to have a habitation there, 't is enough, though I part with all the world to win it!

Matt. Then said MATTHEW, "Fear was one thing that made me think that I was far from having that within me that accompanies salvation; but if it was so with such a good man as he, why may it not also go well with me?"

James. "No fears, no grace," said JAMES. "Though there is not always grace where there is the fear of hell, yet to be sure, there is no grace where there is no fear of God."

Great-heart. Well said, JAMES, thou hast hit the mark: for the "fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"; and, to be sure, they that want the beginning have neither middle nor end. But we will here conclude our discourse of Mr. FEARING after we have sent after him this farewell:


"Well, Master FEARING, thou didst fear
Thy God; and wast afraid
Of doing anything, while here,
That would have thee betrayed.
And thou didst fear the Lake and Pit--
Would others did so too!
For, as for them that want thy wit,
They do themselves undo."

     

The Pilgrim's Progress - Mr Self-will and some professors

 


 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents