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THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

JOHN BUNYAN  


Section 1

Author's Apology for his Book - Christian's deplorable condition - Evangelist directs him - Obstinate and Pliable - Slough of Despond - Worldly Wiseman - Mount Sinai - Conversation with Evangelist


 

 

OBSTINATE AND PLIABLE

The neighbours also came out to see him run; and, as he ran, some mocked,

"For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him." Jeremiah 20:10

others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was OBSTINATE, and the name of the other PLIABLE. Now by this time the man was a good distance from them; but, however, they were resolved to pursue him; which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, "Neighbours, wherefore are ye come?" They said, "To persuade you to go back with us." But he said, "That can by no means be. You dwell in the city of Destruction the place also where I was born. I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me."

Obstinate. "What!" said OBSTINATE, "and leave our friends and our comforts behind us !"

Christian. "Yes," said CHRISTIAN, for that was his name; "because that all which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that that I am seeking to enjoy;

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

and if you will go along with me, and hold it, you shall fare as I myself; for there where I go is enough and to spare.

"And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" Luke 15:17

Come away, and prove my words."

Obst. What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?

Chr. I seek an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away;

"To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you," 1 Peter 1:4

and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be bestowed, at the time appointed, on them that diligently seek it.

"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16

Read it so, if you will, in my book.

Obst. "Tush," said OBSTINATE, "away with your book; will you go back with us or not?"

Chr. "No, not I," said the other; "because I have laid my hand to the plough".

"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God ." Luke 9:62

Obst. Come then, neighbour PLIABLE, let us turn again, and go home without him: there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.

Pliable. Then said PLIABLE, "Don't revile; if what the good CHRISTIAN says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours: my heart inclines to go with my neighbour."

Obst. What! more fools still? Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brainsick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise!

Chr. Nay. but do thou come with thy neighbour PLIABLE; there are such things to be had which I spoke of, and many more glories besides; if you believe not me, read here in this book; and, for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold, all is confirmed by the blood of him that made it.

"Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:18-28

"Well, neighbour OBSTINATE," said PLIABLE, "I begin to come to a point; I intend to go along with this good man, and to cast in my lot with him: but, my good companion, do you know the way to this desired place?"

Chr. I am directed by a man whose name is EVANGELIST, to speed me to a little gate that is before us, where we shall receive instructions about the way.

Pli. Come then, good neighbour, let us be going.

Then they went both together.

Obst. "And I will go back to my place," said OBSTINATE; "I will be no companion of such misled, fantastic fellow."

 

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Now I saw in my dream, that when OBSTINATE was gone back, CHRISTIAN and PLIABLE went talking over the plain: and thus they began their discourse.

Chr. Come, neighbour PLIABLE, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me. Had even OBSTINATE himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.

Pli. Come, neighbour CHRISTIAN, since there is none but us two here, tell me now further what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going.

Chr. I can better conceive of them with my mind than speak of them with my tongue: but yet, since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my book.

Pli. And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true?

Chr. Yes, verily; for it was made by him that cannot lie.

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;" Titus 1:2

Pli. Well said. What things are they?

Chr. There is an endless kingdom to be inhabited; and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever.

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." John 10:27-29

Pli. Well said. And what else?

Chr. There are crowns of glory to be given us; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven.

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:43

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8

"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy." Revelation 3:4

Pli. That is very pleasant. And what else?

Chr. There shall be no more crying nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes.

"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it." Isaiah 25:8

"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7:16 , 17

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

Pli. And what company shall we have there?

Chr. There we shall be with seraphim and cherubim, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them.

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16 , 17

"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;" Revelation 5:11

There also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that have gone before us to that place. None of them are harmful, but loving and holy; everyone walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crowns;

"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." Revelation 4:4

there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps;

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Revelation 14:1-5

there we shall see men that by the word were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they bore to the Lord of the place--all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment.

"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." John 12:25

"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." 2 Corinthians 5:2-4

Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish one's heart. But are these things to be enjoyed? how shall we get to be sharers thereof?

Chr. The Lord, the governor of the country, hath recorded it in this book; the substance of which is, if we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely.

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Isaiah 55:1-2

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37

"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." Revelation 21:6

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17

Pli. Well, my good companion, glad am I to hear of these things: come on, let us mend our pace.

Chr. I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.

 

 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Slough of Despond

 


 

The Pilgrim's Progress - Contents