Gate - conversation with Good-Will -
the Interpreter's House - Christian
entertained - the sights there shown him
GATE - CONVERSATION WITH GOOD-WILL
So he went on with haste, neither spake
he to any man by the way; nor, if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an
answer. He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden
ground, and could by no means think himself safe, till again he was got into
the way which he left to follow Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN'S counsel. So, in
process of time, CHRISTIAN got up to the gate. Now, over the gate there was
written, "Knock; and it shall be opened unto you".
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and
ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"
He knocked therefore, more than once or twice,
"May I now enter here? Will he within
Open to sorry me, though I have been
An undeserving rebel? Then shall I
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high."
last there came a grave person to the gate, named GOODWILL, who asked who
was there? and whence he came? and what he would have?
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of
am going to
I may be delivered from the wrath to come. I would, therefore, sir, since I
am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to
let me in.
Goodwill. "I am willing, with all my heart," said he. And
with that he opened the gate.
So when CHRISTIAN was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said
CHRISTIAN, "What means that?" The other told him, "A little
distance from this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub
is the captain; from thence both he and them that are with him shoot arrows
at those that come up to this gate, if haply they may die before they can
enter in." Then said CHRISTIAN, "I rejoice and tremble." So
when he was got in, the man of the gate asked him who directed him thither.
Chr. EVANGELIST bade me come hither and
knock, as I did; and he said that you, sir, would tell me what I must do.
Goodw. An open door is before thee; and
no man can shut it.
Chr. Now I begin to reap the benefits of
Goodw. But how is it that you came alone?
Chr. Because none of my neighbours saw
their danger as I saw mine.
Goodw. Did any of them know of your
Chr. Yes, my wife and children saw me at
the first, and called after me to turn again; also some of my neighbours
stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my
ears, and so came on my way.
Goodw. But did none of them follow you,
to persuade you to go back?
Chr. Yes, both OBSTINATE and PLIABLE; but
when they saw that they could not prevail, OBSTINATE went railing back; but
PLIABLE came with me a little way.
Goodw. But why did he not come through?
Chr. We indeed came both together until
we came to the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And
then was my neighbour PLIABLE discouraged, and would not adventure farther.
Wherefore, getting out again on that side next to his own house, he told me
I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I
came mine; he after OBSTINATE, and I to this gate.
Goodw. Then said GOODWILL, "Alas,
poor man! Is the celestial glory of so small esteem with him, that he counts
it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?"
Chr. "Truly," said CHRISTIAN,
"I have said the truth of PLIABLE; and if I should also say all the
truth of myself, it will appear there is no betterment 'twixt him and
myself. 'Tis true he went back to his own house; but I also turned aside to
go in the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of
one Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN."
Goodw. Oh, did he light upon you? What!
he would have had you seek for ease at the hands of Mr. LEGALITY, they are
each of them a very cheat. But did you take his counsel?
Chr. Yes, as far as I dared. I went to
find out Mr. LEGALITY, until I thought that the mountain that stands by his
house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.
Goodw. That mountain has been the death
of many, and will be the death of many more: 'tis well you escaped being by
it dashed in pieces.
Chr. Why, truly I do not know what had
become of me there, had not EVANGELIST happily met me again as I was musing
in the midst of my dumps; but 'twas God's mercy that he came to me again,
for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am,
more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with
my lord. But oh, what a favour is this to me, that yet I am admitted
Goodw. We make no objections against any;
notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither, they in no
wise are cast out
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, therefore, good CHRISTIAN, come a little way with me, and I will teach
thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee: dost thou see this narrow
way? that is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs,
prophets, Christ, and his apostles; and it is as straight as a rule can make
it: this is the way thou must go.
Chr. "But," said CHRISTIAN,
"are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his
Goodw. Yes, there are many ways butt down
upon this, and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish
the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow.
strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto
life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14
Then I saw in my
dream that CHRISTIAN asked him further if he could not help him off with his
burden that was upon his back; for as yet he had not got rid thereof, nor
could he by any means get it off without help.
He told him, "As
to thy burden, be content to bear it until thou comest to the place of
deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back of itself."
Then CHRISTIAN began
to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. So the other
told him that when he was gone some distance from the gate, he would come at
the house of the INTERPRETER, at whose door he should knock, and he would
show him excellent things. Then CHRISTIAN took his leave of his friend; and
he again bade him Godspeed.
Pilgrim's Progress - The Interpreter's house
Pilgrim's Progress - Contents