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Part II


Section 4

The Lions - Giant Grim slain by Great-Heart - the Pilgrims entertained - the children catechised by Prudence - Mr Brisk - Matthew sick - the remedy - sights shown the Pilgrims




Now when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their guide said to them, "The day wears away; if you think good, let us prepare to be going." So they got up to go, and the little boys went before; but CHRISTIANA forgot to take her bottle of spirits with her, so she sent her little boy back to fetch it. Then said MERCY, "I think this is a losing place. Here CHRISTIAN lost his roll; and here CHRISTIANA left her bottle behind her: Sir, what is the cause of this?" So their guide made answer and said, "The cause is sleep or forgetfulness: some sleep when they should keep awake; and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause why often, at the resting places, some pilgrims in some things come off losers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyments; but for want of doing so, oft times their rejoicing ends in tears, and their sunshine in a cloud: witness the story of CHRISTIAN at this place."

When they were come to the place where MISTRUST and TIMOROUS met CHRISTIAN to persuade him to go back for fear of the lions, they perceived as it were a stage; and before it, towards the road, a broad plate, with a copy of verses written thereon, and underneath, the reason of raising up of that stage in that place rendered.

The verses were these:

"Let him that sees this stage take heed
Unto his heart and tongue;
Lest, if he do not, here he speed
As some have long agone."

The words underneath the verses were, "This stage was built to punish such upon, who, through timorousness or mistrust, shall be afraid to go farther on pilgrimage. Also on this stage both MISTRUST and TIMOROUS were burned through the tongue with a hot iron, for endeavouring to hinder CHRISTIAN in his journey."

Then said MERCY, "This is much like to the saying of the Beloved, 'What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper'".

"What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper." Psalms 120:4


So they went on till they came within sight of the lions.

Now Mr. GREAT-HEART was a strong man, so he was not afraid of a lion; but yet when they were come up to the place where the lions were, the boys that went before were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions: so they stepped back and went behind. At this their guide smiled, and said, "How now, my boys, do you love to go before when no danger doth approach; and love to come behind as soon as the lions appear?"

Now as they went up, Mr. GREAT-HEART drew his sword, with intent to make a way for the pilgrims in spite of the lions. Then there appeared one that it seems had taken upon him to back the lions. And he said to the pilgrim's guide. "What is the cause of your coming hither?" Now the name of that man was GRIM, or BLOODY-MAN, because of his slaying of pilgrims; and he was of the race of the giants.

Great-heart. Then said the pilgrims' guide, "These women and children are going on pilgrimage; and this is the way they must go: and go it they shall, in spite of thee and the lions ."

Grim. This is not their way; neither shall they go therein. I am come forth to withstand them; and to that end will back the lions.

Now to say truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and of the grim carriage of him that did back them, this way had of late lain much unoccupied, and was almost all grown over with grass.

Chris. Then said CHRISTIANA, "Though the highways have been unoccupied heretofore, and though the travellers have been made in time past to walk through bypaths, it must not be so now I am risen: 'Now I am risen a mother in Israel'".

"In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel." Judges 5:6, 7

Grim. Then he swore by the lions but it should; and therefore bade them turn aside, for they should not have passage there.

But GREAT-HEART their guide made first his approach unto GRIM; and laid so heavily at him with his sword, that he forced him to a retreat.

Grim. Then said he that attempted to back the lions, "Will you slay me upon mine own ground?"

Great-heart. "'Tis the King's highway that we are in, and in his way it is that thou hast placed thy lions; but these women and these children, though weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy lions." And with that he gave him again a downright blow, and brought him upon his knees. With this blow he also broke his helmet; and with the next he cut off an arm. Then did the giant roar so hideously, that his voice frightened the women; and yet they were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground. Now the lions were chained, and so of themselves could do nothing. Wherefore, when old GRIM that intended to back them was dead, Mr. GREAT-HEART said to the pilgrims, "Come now, and follow me, and no hurt shall happen to you from the lions." They therefore went on; but the women trembled as they passed by them, the boys also looked as if they would die; but they all got by without further hurt.

Welcomed to the House Called "Beautiful"

Now then, they were within sight of the porter's lodge, and they soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because 'tis dangerous travelling there in the night. So, when they were come to the gate, the guide knocked; and the porter cried, "Who is there?" But as soon as the guide had said, "It is I," he knew his voice, and came down; for the guide had oft before that come thither as a conductor of pilgrims. When he was come down, he opened the gate, and seeing the guide standing just before it (for he saw not the women, for they were behind him), he said unto him, "How now, Mr. GREAT-HEART; what is your business here so late tonight?" "I have brought," said he, "some pilgrims hither, where, by my Lord's commandment, they must lodge. I had been here some time ago, and I had not been opposed by the giant that did use to back the lions. But I, after a long and tedious combat with him, have cut him off, and have brought the pilgrims hither in safety."

Porter. Will you not go in, and stay till morning?

Great-heart. No, I will return to my Lord tonight.

Chris. Oh, sir, I know not how to be willing you should leave us in our pilgrimage: you have been so faithful and so loving to us; you have fought so stoutly for us; you have been so hearty in counselling of us--that I shall never forget your favour toward us.

Mercy. Then said MERCY, "Oh that we might have thy company to our journey's end! How can such poor women as we hold out in a way so full of troubles as this way is without a friend and defender?"

James. Then said JAMES, the youngest of the boys, "Pray, sir, be persuaded to go with us, and help us; because we are so weak, and the way so dangerous as it is."

Great-heart. I am at my Lord's commandment. If he shall allot me to be your guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you: but here you failed at first; for when he bade me come thus far with you, then you should have begged me of him to have gone quite through with you; and he would have granted your request. However, at present I must withdraw; and so, good CHRISTIANA, MERCY, and my brave children, adieu!

Then the porter, Mr. WATCHFUL, asked CHRISTIANA of her country and of her kindred; and she said, "I came from the city of Destruction; I am a widow woman; and my husband is dead; his name was CHRISTIAN the pilgrim." "How?" said the porter, "was he your husband?" "Yes," said she, "and these are his children; and this" (pointing to MERCY) "is one of my townswomen." Then the porter rang the bell, as at such times he is wont; and there came to the door one of the damsels, whose name was HUMBLE-MIND. And to her the porter said, "Go, tell it within that CHRISTIANA, the wife of CHRISTIAN, and her children, are come hither on pilgrimage." She went in, therefore, and told it. But oh, what a noise for gladness was there within when the damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth !

So they came with haste to the porter; for CHRISTIANA stood still at the door. Then some of the most grave said unto her, "Come in, CHRISTIANA: come in, thou wife of that good man; come in, thou blessed woman; come in, with all who are with thee." So she went in; and they followed her that were her children and her companions. Now when they were gone in, they were had into a very large room, where they were bidden to sit down; so they sat down, and the chief of the house was called to see and welcome the guests. Then they came in; and, understanding who they were, did salute each other with a kiss, and said, "Welcome, ye vessels of the grace of God; welcome to us your friends!"

Now, because it was somewhat late, and because the pilgrims were weary with their journey, and also made faint with the sight of the fight and of the terrible lions, therefore they desired, as soon as might be, to prepare to go to rest. "Nay," said those of the family, "refresh yourselves first with a morsel of meat." For they had prepared for them a lamb, with the accustomed sauce belonging thereto;

"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:" Exodus 12:3

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29

for the porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had supped, and ended their prayer with a psalm, they desired they might go to rest. "But let us," said CHRISTIANA, "if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that chamber that was my husband's when he was here." So they had them up thither, and they lay all in a room. When they were at rest, CHRISTIANA and MERCY entered into discourse about things that were convenient.

Chris. Little did I think once, that when my husband went on pilgrimage, I should ever have followed.

Mercy. And you as little thought of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest, as you do now.

Chris. And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him; and yet now I believe I shall.

Mercy. Hark, don't you hear a noise?

Chris. Yes, 'tis, as I believe a noise of music, for joy that we are here.

Mercy. Wonderful! Music in the house; music in the heart; and music also in heaven--for joy that we are here.

Mercy's Dream

Thus they talked awhile, and then betook themselves to sleep. So in the morning, when they were awake, CHRISTIANA said to MERCY,

Chris. What was the matter, that you did laugh in your sleep tonight? I suppose you were in a dream.

Mercy. So I was, and a sweet dream it was: but are you sure I laughed?

Chris. Yes, you laughed heartily; but prithee, MERCY, tell me thy dream.

Mercy. I was a dreaming that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning the hardness of my heart. Now I had not sat there long, but methought many were gathered about me to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened; and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my heart. At this, some of them laughed at me; some called me fool; and some began to thrust me about. With that methought I looked up, and saw one coming with wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, "MERCY, what aileth thee?" Now when he had heard me make my complaint, he said, "Peace be to thee!" He also wiped mine eyes with his handkerchief, and clad me in silver and gold; he put a chain about my neck; and earrings in mine ears; and a beautiful crown upon my head.

"Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck." Ezekiel 16:8-11

Then he took me by the hand, and said, "MERCY, come after me." So he went up, and I followed, till we came at a golden gate. Then he knocked; and when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a throne, upon which One sat, and he said to me, "Welcome, daughter!" The place looked bright and twinkling like the stars, or rather like the sun; and I thought that I saw your husband there. So I awoke from my dream: but did I laugh?

Chris. Laugh! Aye, and well you might, to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you, that I believe it was a good dream, and that as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. "God speaks once, yea, twice; yet man perceives it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumbering upon the bed".

"For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed" Job 33:14, 15

We need not when a-bed lie awake to talk with God; he can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oft times wakes when we sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one were awake.

Mercy. Well, I am glad of my dream; for I hope ere long to see it fulfilled to the making of me laugh again.

Chris. I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do.

Mercy. Pray, if they invite us to stay awhile, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the more willing to stay awhile here, to grow better acquainted with these maids; methinks PRUDENCE, PIETY, and CHARITY, have very comely and sober countenances.

Chris. We shall see what they will do.

So when they were up and ready, they came down. And they asked one another of their rest; and if it was comfortable or not.

Mercy. "Very good," said MERCY; "it was one of the best night's lodging that ever I had in my life."

Prudence Catechises the Boys

Then said Prudence and Piety, "If you will be persuaded to stay here awhile, you shall have what the house will afford."

Charity. "Aye, and that with a very good will," said CHARITY.

So they consented, and stayed there about a month or above, and became very profitable one to another. And because PRUDENCE would see how CHRISTIANA had brought up her children, she asked leave of her to catechise them. So she gave her free consent. Then she began at the youngest, whose name was JAMES.

Pru. And she said, "Come, JAMES, canst thou tell who made thee?"

James. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

Pru. Good boy. And canst thou tell who saves thee?

James. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

Pru. Good boy, still. But how doth God the Father save thee?

James. By his grace.

Pru. How doth God the Son save thee?

James. By his righteousness, death, and blood, and life.

Pru. And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?

James. By his illumination; by his renovation; and by his preservation.

Then said PRUDENCE to CHRISTIANA, "You are to commended for thus bringing up your children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the youngest next."

Pru. Then said she, "Come, JOSEPH" (for his name was Joseph), "will you let me catechise you?"

Joseph. With all my heart.

Pru. What is man?

Jos. A reasonable creature, so saved by God, as my brother said.

Pru. What is supposed by this word "saved?"

Jos. That man by sin has brought himself into a state of captivity and misery.

Pru. What is supposed by his being saved by the Trinity?

Jos. That sin is so great and mighty a tyrant that none can pull us out of its clutches but God; and that God is so good and loving to man as to pull him indeed out of this miserable state.

Pru. What is God's design in saving of poor men?

Jos. The glorifying of his name, of his grace and justice, etc.; and the everlasting happiness of his creatures.

Pru. Who are they that must be saved?

Jos. Those that accept of his salvation.

Pru. Good boy, JOSEPH; thy mother has taught thee well, and thou hast hearkened to what she has said unto thee.

Then said PRUDENCE to SAMUEL, who was the eldest but one:

Pru. Come, SAMUEL, are you willing that I should catechise you also?

Samuel. Yes, forsooth, if you please.

Pru. What is heaven?

Sam. A place and state most blessed, because God dwells there.

Pru. What is hell?

Sam. A place and state most woeful; because it is the dwelling place of sin, the devil, and death.

Pru. Why wouldest thou go to heaven?

Sam. That I may see God, and serve him without weariness; that I may see Christ, and love him everlastingly; that I may have that fulness of the Holy Spirit in me, that I can by no means here enjoy.

Pru. "A very good boy also, and one that has learned well." Then she addressed herself to the eldest, whose name was MATTHEW; and she said to him, "Come, MATTHEW, shall I also catechise you?"

Matthew. With a very good will.

Pru. I ask, then, if there was ever anything that had a being antecedent to, or before God?

Mat. No, for God is eternal; nor is there anything, excepting himself, that had a being until the beginning of the first day: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is."

Pru. What do you think of the Bible?

Mat. It is the holy Word of God.

Pru. Is there nothing written therein but what you understand?

Mat. Yes, a great deal.

Pru. What do you do when you meet with such places therein that you do not understand?

Mat. I think God is wiser than I. I pray also that he will please to let me know all therein that he knows will be for my good.

Pru. How believe you as touching the resurrection of the dead?

Mat. I believe they shall rise the same that was buried; the same in nature, though not in corruption. And I believe this upon a double account: first, because God has promised it; secondly, because he is able to perform it.

Then said PRUDENCE to the boys, "You must still hearken to your mother; for she can learn you more. You must also diligently give ear to what good talk you shall hear from others; for, for your sakes do they speak good things. Observe also, and that with carefulness, what the heavens and the earth do teach you; but especially be much in the meditation of that Book that was the cause of your father's becoming a pilgrim. I, for my part, my children, will teach you what I can while you are here; and shall be glad if you will ask me questions that tend to godly edifying."


The Pilgrim's Progress - Mr Brisk



The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents