and Hopeful - By-ends and his companions - plain
of Ease - Demas - Lot's wife - the River of Life - Vain-Confidence - Giant
Despair - the Pilgrims beaten - the Dungeon - the Key of Promise
then that they went on their way
to a pleasant river, which David the king called "the
;" but John,
"the River of the water of life".
visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the
, which is
full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for
it." Psalm 65:9
he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out
of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and
on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare
twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month:
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
Revelation 22:1, 2
he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued
out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the
house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from
the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then
brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way
without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold,
there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line
in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he
brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.
Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were
to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the
waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it
was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen,
waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto
me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused
me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at
the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the
said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down
into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into
the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that
every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come,
shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these
waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall
live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the
fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place
to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the
fish of the great sea, exceeding many.
the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they
shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side
and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade,
neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit
according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the
sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for
medicine." Ezekiel 47:1-12
their way lay just upon the bank of the river: here, therefore, CHRISTIAN
and his companion walked with great delight; they drank also of the water of
the river, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits:
besides, on the banks of this river, on either side, were green trees, that
bore all manner of fruit; and the leaves of the trees were good for
medicine; with the fruit of these trees they were also much delighted; and
the leaves they ate to prevent surfeits, and other diseases that are
incident to those that heat their blood by travels. On either side of the
river was also a meadow, curiously beautiful with lilies; and it was green
all the year long. In this meadow they lay down and slept; for here they
might lie down safely.
LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in
green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalm
the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in
safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy
remnant." Isaiah 14:30
they awoke, they gathered again of the fruit of the trees, and drank again
of the water of the river; and then lay down again to sleep. Thus they did
several days and nights. Then they sang:
ye how these crystal streams do glide,
To comfort pilgrims, by the highway side;
The meadows green, besides their fragrant smell,
Yield dainties for them: and he that can tell
What pleasant fruit, yea, leaves, these trees do yield,
Will soon sell all, that he may buy this field."
when they were disposed to go on – for they were not, as yet, at their
journey's end – they ate and drank, and departed.
I beheld in my dream,
that they had not journeyed far but the river and the way for a time parted.
At which they were not a little sorry; yet they durst not go out of the way.
Now the way from the river was rough, and their feet tender by reason of
their travels; so the souls of the pilgrims were much discouraged because of
they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land
of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the
way." Numbers 21:4
still as they went on, they wished for a better way. Now a little before
them, there was on the left hand of the road a meadow, and a stile to go
over into it; and that meadow is called "By-path Meadow." Then
said CHRISTIAN to his fellow, "If this meadow lies along by our
wayside, let us go over into it." Then he went to the stile to see; and
behold a path lay along by the way on the other side of the fence.
"'Tis according to my wish," said CHRISTIAN; "here is the
easiest going; come, good HOPEFUL, and let us go over."
Hope. But how if this path should lead us out of the way?
"That's not like," said the other; "look, doth it not go
along by the wayside?" So HOPEFUL, being persuaded by his fellow, went
after him over the stile. When they were going over, and were got into the
path, they found it very easy for their feet; and withal, they looking
before them, espied a man walking as they did (and his name was
VAIN-CONFIDENCE.); so they called after him, and asked him whither that way
led? He said, "To the Celestial Gate." "Look," said
CHRISTIAN, "did not I tell you so? By this you may see we are
right." So they followed; and he went before them. But behold, the
night came on, and it grew very dark; so that they that were behind lost the
sight of him that went before.
He therefore that went before (VAIN-CONFIDENCE by name), not seeing the way
before him, fell into a deep pit,
the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are
led of them are destroyed." Isaiah 9:16
was on purpose there made by the prince of those grounds, to catch
vain-glorious fools withal, and was dashed in pieces with his fall.
CHRISTIAN and his fellow heard him fall. So they called, to know the matter;
but there was none to answer--only they heard a groaning. Then said HOPEFUL,
"Where are we now?" Then was his fellow silent, as mistrusting
that he had led him out of the way. And now it began to rain, and thunder,
and lighten in a dreadful manner; and the water rose suddenly.
HOPEFUL groaned in himself, saying, "Oh that I had kept on my
Who could have thought that this path should have led us out of the way!
I was afraid of it at the very first; and therefore gave you that gentle
caution. I would have spoken plainer, but that you are older than I.
Good brother, be not offended; I am sorry I have brought thee out of the
way, and that I have put thee into such imminent danger. Pray, my brother,
forgive me; I did not do it of an evil intent.
Be comforted, my brother, for I forgive thee; and believe, too, that this
shall be for our good.
I am glad I have with me a merciful brother. But we must not stand thus; let
us try to go back again.
But, good brother, let me go before.
No, if you please, let me go first; that if there be any danger, I may be
first therein: because by my means we are both gone out of the way.
"No," said HOPEFUL, "you shall not go first; for your mind
being troubled, may lead you out of the way again." Then, for their
encouragement, they heard the voice of one saying, "Set thine heart
toward the highway, even the way that thou wentest; turn again".
"Set thee up waymarks, make thee
high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which
thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy
cities." Jeremiah 31:21
by this time the waters were greatly risen; by reason of which the way of
going back was very dangerous. (Then I thought that it is easier going out
of the way when we are in, than going in when we are out.) Yet they
adventured to go back; but it was so dark, and the flood was so high, that
in their going back, they had like to have been drowned nine or ten times.
Pilgrim's Progress - Giant Despair - the pilgrims beaten - the Key of
Pilgrim's Progress - Contents