The neighbours also came out to see him run; and, as he
ran, some mocked,
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;
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.
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
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.
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".
Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking
back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
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
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
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
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.
then, good neighbour, let us be going.
Then they went both
"And I will go back to my place," said OBSTINATE; "I will be
no companion of such misled, fantastic fellow."
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
Chr. Yes, verily; for it was made by him that cannot lie.
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.
behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be
remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17
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.
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
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
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
Chr. There shall be no more crying nor sorrow; for he that is
owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes.
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
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 , 17
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
Chr. There we shall be with seraphim and cherubim, creatures that
will dazzle your eyes to look on them.
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
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 , 17
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
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;
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
I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on themountSion, 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Chr. I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is
on my back.