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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


 

MR SELF-WILL AND SOME PROFESSORS

Now I saw that they still went on in their talk; for after Mr. GREAT-HEART had made an end with Mr. FEARING, Mr. HONEST began to tell them of another, but his name was Mr. SELF-WILL. "He pretended himself to be a pilgrim," said Mr. Honest; "but I persuade myself he never came in at the gate that stands at the head of the way."

Great-heart. Had you ever any talk with him about it?

Honest. Yes, more than once or twice; but he would always be like himself, self-willed. He neither cared for man, nor argument, nor yet example; what his mind prompted him to, that he could do, and nothing else could he be got to.

Great-heart. Pray, what principles did he hold--for I suppose you can tell?

Honest. He held that a man might follow the vices as well as the virtues of the pilgrims; and that if he did both, he should be certainly saved.

Great-heart. How? If he had said, 't is possible for the best to be guilty of the vices as well as to partake of the virtues of pilgrims, he could not much have been blamed; for, indeed, we are exempted from no vice absolutely, but on condition that we watch and strive. But this I perceive is not the thing. But, if I understand you right, your meaning is that he was of that opinion that it was allowable so to be.

Honest. Aye, aye, so I mean; and so he believed and practised.

Great-heart. But what ground had he for his so saying?

Honest. Why, he said he had the Scripture for his warrant.

Great-heart. Prithee, Mr. HONEST, present us with a few particulars.

Honest. So I will. He said--to have to do with other men's wives had been practised by David, God's beloved; and therefore he could do it. He said--to have more women than one was a thing that Solomon practised; and therefore he could do it. He said--that Sarah and the godly midwives of Egypt lied, and so did saved Rahab; and therefore he could do it. He said--that the disciples went at the bidding of their Master, and took away the owner's ass; and therefore he could do so too. He said--that Jacob got the inheritance of his father in a way of guile and dissimulation; and therefore he could do so too.

Great-heart. High bass, indeed! and you are sure he was of this opinion?

Honest. I have heard him plead for it; bring Scripture for it; bring argument for it, etc.

Great-heart. An opinion that is not fit to be, with any allowance, in the world.

Honest. You must understand me rightly. He did not say that any man might do this; but, that those that had the virtues of those that did such things, might also do the same.

Great-heart. But what more false than such a conclusion? For this is as much as to say, that because good men heretofore have sinned of infirmity, therefore he had allowance to do it of a presumptuous mind. Or if because a child, by the blast of the wind, or for that it stumbled at a stone, fell down and defiled itself in mire--therefore he might wilfully lie down and wallow like a boar therein. Who could have thought that anyone could so far have been blinded by the power of lust? But what is written must be true: "They stumble at the Word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed".

"And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." 1 Peter 2:8

His supposing that such may have the godly man's virtues who addict themselves to their vices, is also a delusion as strong as the other. 'T is just as if the dog should say, "I have, or may have, the qualities of the child; because I lick up its stinking excrements." To eat up the sin of God's people is no sign of one that is possessed with their virtues.

"They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity." Hosea 4:8

Nor can I believe that one that is of this opinion can at present have faith or love in him. But I know you have made strong objections against him; prithee, what can he say for himself?

Honest. Why, he says, "To do this by way of opinion, seems abundance more honest than to do it, and yet hold contrary to it in opinion."

Great-heart. A very wicked answer; for though to let loose the bridle to lusts while our opinions are against such things is bad: yet to sin, and plead a toleration so to do, is worse. The one stumbles beholders accidentally; the other leads them into the snare.

Honest. There are many of this man's mind that have not this man's mouth; and that makes going on pilgrimage of so little esteem as it is.

Great-heart. You have said the truth; and it is to be lamented. But he that fears the King of Paradise shall come out of them all.

Chris. There are strange opinions in the world; I know one that said, 't was time enough to repent when they come to die.

Great-heart. Such are not over wise. That man would have been loath, might he have had a week to run twenty miles in for his life, to have deferred that journey to the last hour of that week.

Honest. You say right; and yet the generality of them that count themselves pilgrims, do indeed do thus. I am, as you see, an old man, and have been a traveller in this road many a day; and I have taken notice of many things.

I have seen some that have set out as if they would drive all the world afore them; who yet have, in a few days, died as they in the wilderness, and so never got sight of the promised land.

I have seen some that have promised nothing at first setting out to be pilgrims, and that one would have thought could not have lived a day, that have yet proved very good pilgrims.

I have seen some that have run hastily forward, that again have, after a little time, run just as fast back again.

I have seen some who have spoken very well of a pilgrim's life at first, that, after awhile, have spoken as much against it.

I have heard some, when they first set out for paradise, say positively there is such a place; who, when they have been almost there, have come back again, and said there is none.

I have heard some vaunt what they would do in case they should be opposed, that have, even at a false alarm, fled faith, the pilgrim's way, and all.

Now as they were thus in their way, there came one running to meet them, and said, "Gentlemen, and you of the weaker sort, if you love life, shift for yourselves; for the robbers are before you."

Great-heart. Then said Mr. GREAT-HEART, "They be the three that set upon LITTLE-FAITH heretofore. Well," said he, "we are ready for them"; so they went on their way. Now they looked at every turning when they should have met with the villains; but whether they heard of Mr. GREAT-HEART, or whether they had some other game, they came not up to the pilgrims.


At the House of Gaius

CHRISTIANA then wished for an inn for herself and her children, because they were weary. Then said Mr. HONEST, "There is one a little before us, where a very honourable disciple, one GAIUS, dwells".

"Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother." Romans 16:23

So they all concluded to turn in thither; and the rather, because the old gentleman gave him so good a report. So when they came to the door, they went in; not knocking, for folks used not to knock at the door of an inn. Then they called for the master of the house; and he came to them. So they asked if they might lie there that night.

Gaius. "Yes, gentlemen, if you be true men; for my house is for none but pilgrims." Then was CHRISTIANA, MERCY, and the boys the more glad; for that the innkeeper was a lover of pilgrims. So they called for rooms: and he showed them one for CHRISTIANA, and her children, and MERCY; and another for Mr. GREAT-HEART and the old gentlemen.

Great-heart. Then said Mr. GREAT-HEART, "Good GAIUS, what hast thou for supper ? for these pilgrims have come far today, and are weary."

Gaius. "It is late," said GAIUS, "so we cannot conveniently go out to seek food; but such as we have, you shall be welcome to, if that will content."

Great-heart. We will be content with what thou hast in the house; for as much as I have proved thee, thou art never destitute of that which is convenient.

Then he went down and spake to the cook, whose name was TASTE-THAT-WHICH-IS-GOOD, to get ready supper for so many pilgrims. This done, he comes up again, saying, "Come, my good friends, you are welcome to me, and I am glad that I have a house to entertain you; and while supper is making ready, if you please, let us entertain one another with some good discourse." So they all said, "Content."

Gaius. Then said GAIUS, "Whose wife is this aged matron? and whose daughter is this young damsel?"

Great-heart. The woman is the wife of one CHRISTIAN, a pilgrim of former times; and these are his four children. The maid is one of her acquaintance, one that she hath persuaded to come with her on pilgrimage. The boys take all after their father, and covet to tread in his steps. Yea, if they do but see any place where the old pilgrim hath lain, or any print of his foot, it ministers joy to their hearts, and they covet to lie or tread in the same.

Gaius. Then said GAIUS, "Is this CHRISTIAN'S wife, and are these CHRISTIAN'S children? I knew your husband's father; yea, also his father's father. Many have been good of this stock; their ancestors dwelt first at Antioch.

"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26

CHRISTIAN'S progenitors (I suppose you have heard your husband talk of them) were very worthy men. They have, above any that I know, showed themselves men of great virtue and courage for the Lord of the pilgrims, his ways, and them that loved him. I have heard of many of your husband's relations that have stood all trials for the sake of the truth. STEPHEN, that was one of the first of the family from whence your husband sprang, was knocked o' the head with stones.

"And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59, 60

JAMES, another of this generation, was slain with the edge of the sword.

"And he killed James the brother of John with the sword." Acts 12:2

To say nothing of PAUL and PETER, men anciently of the family from whence your husband came. There were-- IGNATIUS, who was cast to the lions; ROMANUS, whose flesh was cut by pieces from his bones; and POLYCARP, that played the man in the fire. There was he that was hanged up in a basket in the sun, for the wasps to eat; and he whom they put into a sack, and cast him into the sea, to be drowned. 'T would be impossible utterly to count up all of that family that have suffered injuries and death for the love of a pilgrim's life. Nor can I but be glad to see that thy husband has left behind him four such boys as these. I hope they will bear up their father's name; and tread in their father's steps; and come to their father's end.

Great-heart. Indeed, sir, they are likely lads: they seem to choose heartily their father's ways.

Gaius. That is it that I said, wherefore CHRISTIAN'S family is like still to spread abroad upon the face of the ground, and yet to be numerous upon the face of the earth. Wherefore let CHRISTIANA look out some damsels for her sons, to whom they may be betrothed; that the name of their father, and the house of his progenitors, may never be forgotten in the world.

Honest. 'T is pity this family should fall and be extinct.

Gaius. "Fall, it cannot, but be diminished it may; but let CHRISTIANA take my advice, and that's the way to uphold it. And, CHRISTIANA," said this innkeeper, "I am glad to see thee and thy friend MERCY together here, a lovely couple. And may I advise, take MERCY into a nearer relation to thee. If she will, let her be given to MATTHEW, thy eldest son. 'T is the way to preserve you a posterity in the earth." So this match was concluded; and in process of time they were married. But more of that hereafter.

GAIUS also proceeded, and said, "I will now speak on the behalf of women, to take away their reproach. For as death and the curse came into the world by a woman, so also did life and health: 'God sent forth his Son made of a woman'.

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:" Genesis 3:1-22

Yea, to show how much those that came after did abhor the act of their mother, this sex, in the Old Testament, coveted children, if happily this or that woman might be the mother of the Saviour of the world. I will say again, that, when the Saviour was come, women rejoiced in him before either man or angel.

"And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." Luke 1:39-55

I read not that ever any man did give unto Christ so much as one coin; but the women followed him, and ministered to him of their substance. 'T was a woman that washed his feet with tears; and a woman that anointed his body to the burial. They were women that wept when he was going to the cross; and women that followed him from the cross; and that sat by his sepulchre when he was buried. They were women that were first with him at his resurrection morn; and women that brought tidings first to his disciples that he was risen from the dead.

"And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." Luke 7:37-50

"And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance." Luke 8:2, 3

"And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him." Luke 23:27

"Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. Luke 24:22, 23

"And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine." John 2:3

"(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)" John 11:2

"Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre." Matthew 27:25-61

Women, therefore, are highly favoured; and show by these things that they are sharers with us in the grace of life."

Now the cook sent up to signify that supper was almost ready; and sent one to lay the cloth, the trenchers, and to set the salt and bread in order.

Then said MATTHEW, "The sight of this cloth, and of this forerunner of a supper, begets in me a greater appetite to my food than I had before."

Gaius. So let all ministering doctrines to thee in this life beget in thee a greater desire to sit at the supper of the great King in his Kingdom; for all preaching, books, and ordinances here, are but as the laying of the trenchers, and as setting of salt upon the board, when compared with the feast that our Lord will make for us when we come to his house.

So supper came up, and first a heave shoulder and a wave breast was set on the table before them, to show that they must begin their meal with prayer and praise to God

"And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel." Leviticus 7:32-34

"And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel. The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the LORD; and it shall be thine, and thy sons' with thee, by a statute for ever; as the LORD hath commanded." Leviticus 10:14, 15

"Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul." Psalms 25:1

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." Hebrews 13:15

With the heave shoulder David lifted up his heart to God; and with the wave breast, where his heart lay, with that he used to lean upon his harp when he played. These two dishes were very fresh and good; and they all ate heartily well thereof.

The next they brought up was a bottle of wine, red as blood. So GAIUS said to them, "Drink freely; this is the juice of the true vine, that makes glad the heart of God and man." So they drank and were merry.

"Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape." Deuteronomy 32:14

"And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?" Judges 9:13

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." John 15:1

The next was a dish of milk well crumbed. But GAIUS said, "Let the boys have that, that they may grow thereby".

"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" 1 Peter 2:1, 2

Then they brought up in course a dish of butter and honey. Then said GAIUS, "Eat freely of this; for this is good to cheer up and strengthen your judgments and understandings. This was our Lord's dish when he was a child: 'Butter and honey shall he eat; that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good'".

"Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good." Isaiah 7:15

Then they brought them up a dish of apples; and they were very good tasting fruit. Then said MATTHEW, "May we eat apples, since they were such by and with which the serpent beguiled first our mother?"

Then said GAIUS:


"Apples were they with which we were beguiled;
Yet sin, not apples, hath our souls defiled.
Apples forbid, if ate, corrupts the blood;
To eat such, when commanded, does us good.
Drink of his flagons, then, thou Church, his dove,
And eat his apples, who are sick of love."


Then said MATTHEW, "I made the scruple, because I, awhile since, was sick with eating of fruit."

Gaius. Forbidden fruit will make you sick; but not what our Lord has tolerated.

While they were thus talking, they were presented with another dish, and 't was a dish of nuts.

"I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded." Song of Solomon 6:11

Then said some at the table, "Nuts spoil tender teeth, especially the teeth of children." Which when GAIUS heard, he said:


"Hard texts are nuts (I will not call them cheaters),
Whose shells do keep their kernels from the eaters.
Ope, then, the shells; and you shall have the meat,-
They here are brought for you to crack and eat."


Then were they very merry, and sat at the table a long time, talking of many things. Then said the old gentleman, "My good landlord, while we are cracking your nuts, if you please, do you open this riddle:


"A man there was, though some did count him mad,
The more he cast away, the more he had."


Then they all gave good heed, wondering what good GAIUS would say; so he sat still awhile, and then thus replied:


"He that bestows his goods upon the poor,
Shall have as much again and ten times more."


Then said JOSEPH, "I dare say, sir, I did not think you could have found it out."

"Oh," said GAIUS, "I have been trained up in this way a great while. Nothing teaches like experience; I have learned of my Lord to be kind; and have found by experience that I have gained thereby. 'There is that scatters, yet increases; and there is that withholds more than is meet, but it tends to poverty.' 'There is that makes himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that makes himself poor, yet hath great riches'".

"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Proverbs 11:24

"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches." Proverbs 13:7

Then SAMUEL whispered to CHRISTIANA his mother, and said, "Mother, this is a very good man's house; let us stay here a good while, and let my brother MATTHEW be married here to MERCY, before we go any farther."

The which, GAIUS the host overhearing, said, "With a very good will, my child."

So they stayed there more than a month; and MERCY was given to MATTHEW to wife.

While they stayed here, MERCY, as her custom was, would be making coats and garments to give to the poor; by which she brought up a very good report about the pilgrims.

But to return again to our story. After supper, the lads desired a bed; for that they were weary with travelling. Then GAIUS called to show them their chamber; but said MERCY, "I will have them to bed." So she had them to bed, and they slept well, but the rest sat up all night; for GAIUS and they were such suitable company, that they could not tell how to part. Then, after much talk of their Lord, themselves, and their journey, old Mr. HONEST--he that put forth the riddle to GAIUS --began to nod. Then said GREAT-HEART, "What, sir! you begin to be drowsy! come, rub up; now here's a riddle for you."

Then said Mr. HONEST," Let's hear it."

Then said Mr. GREAT-HEART:


"He that will kill must first be overcome;
Who live abroad would, first must die at home."


"Ha," said Mr. HONEST, "it is a hard one: hard to expound, and harder to practise. But come, landlord," said he, "I will, if you please, leave my part to you; do you expound it, and I will hear what you say."

"No," said GAIUS, "'t was put to you, and 't is expected that you should answer it."

Then said the old gentleman:


"He first by grace must conquered be
That sin would mortify;
And who that lives would convince me,
Unto himself must die."

"It is right," said GAIUS; "good doctrine and experience teaches this.

For, first, until grace displays itself, and overcomes the soul with its glory, it is altogether without heart to oppose sin. Besides, if sin is Satan's cords, by which the soul lies bound, how should it make resistance before it is loosed from that infirmity?

"2. Nor will any that knows either reason or grace believe that such a man can be a living monument of grace, that is a slave to his own corruptions.

"And now it comes in my mind, I will tell you a story worth the hearing. There were two men that went on pilgrimage; the one began when he was young, the other when he was old. The young man had strong corruptions to grapple with; the old man's were decayed with the decays of nature. The young man trod his steps as even as did the old one, and was every way as light as he: who now, or which of them, had their graces shining clearest, since both seemed to be alike?"

Honest. The young man's, doubtless. For that which heads it against the greatest opposition, gives best demonstration that it is strongest: especially when it also holds pace with that that meets not with half so much; as, to be sure, old age does not.

Besides, I have observed that old men have blessed themselves with this mistake: namely, taking the decays of nature for a gracious conquest over corruptions; and so have been apt to beguile themselves. Indeed, old men that are gracious, are best able to give advice to them that are young; because they have seen most of the emptiness of things. But yet, for an old and a young to set out both together, the young one has the advantage of the fairest discovery of a work of grace within him; though the old man's corruptions are naturally the weakest.

Thus they sat talking till break of day. Now when the family was up, CHRISTIANA bade her son JAMES that he should read a chapter: so he read the 53rd of Isaiah. When he had done, Mr. HONEST asked why it was said, "That the Saviour is said to come out of a dry ground; and also that he had no form nor comeliness in him?"

Great-heart. Then said Mr. GREAT-HEART, "To the first I answer, Because the Church of the Jews, of which Christ came, had then lost almost all the sap and spirit of religion. To the second I say, The words are spoken in the person of the unbelievers; who, because they want that eye that can see into our Prince's heart, therefore they judge of him by the meanness of his outside.

"Just like those that know not that precious stones are covered over with a homely crust; who, when they have found one, because they know not what they have found, cast it away again, as men do a common stone."  

     

The Pilgrim's Progress - Giant Slay-good killed

 


 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents