as CHRISTIAN was walking
solitarily by himself, he spied one afar off come crossing over the field to
meet him and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way of
each other. The gentleman's name that met him was Mr. WORLDLY WISEMAN: he
dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy; a very great town,
and also hard by from whence CHRISTIAN came. This man, then, meeting with
CHRISTIAN, and having some inkling of him--for CHRISTIAN'S setting forth
from the city of Destruction was much noised abroad, not only in the town
where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town talk in some other places--
Master WORLDLY WISEMAN, therefore, having some guess of him, by beholding
his laborious going, by observing his sighs and groans and the like, began
thus to enter into some talk with CHRISTIAN.
Wiseman. How now, good fellow? – whither away after this burdened
Chr. A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think, poor creature had!
And whereas you asked me, Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to
yonder wicket gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put
into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.
W. Wise. Hast thou a wife and children?
Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in
them as formerly: methinks I am as if I had none.
this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they
that have wives be as though they had none;" 1 Corinthians
Wise. Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel?
If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.
Wise. I would advise thee, then, that thou with all speed get thyself
rid of thy burden: for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then: nor
canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessing which God hath bestowed upon
thee till then.
That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden: but get
it off myself I cannot; nor is there any man in our country that can take it
off my shoulders. Therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may
be rid of my burden.
Wise. Who bade you go this way to be rid of your burden?
A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person; his
name, as I remember, is EVANGELIST.
Wise. Avoid him for his counsel! There is not a more dangerous and
troublesome way in the world than is that unto which he hath directed thee;
and that thou shalt find if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met
with something, as I perceive already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of
Despond upon thee; but that slough is the only beginning of the sorrows that
do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me – I am older than thou:
thou art likely to meet with, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness,
painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness,
and, in a word, death, and what not! These things are certainly true, having
been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly cast
away himself by giving heed to a stranger?
Why, sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me than are all these
things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not what I meet with
in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.
Wise. How camest thou by thy burden at first?
By reading this book in my hand.
Wise. I thought so. And it has happened unto thee as to other weak men,
who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy
distractions; which distractions do not only unman men (as thine I perceive
has done thee), but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they
know not what.
I know what I would obtain; it is ease for my heavy burden.
Wise. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers
attend it? Especially since, hadst thou but patience to hear me, I could
direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest without the dangers that
thou, in this way, wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand.
Besides, I will add, that instead of those dangers, thou shalt meet with
much safety, friendship, and content.
Sir, I pray, open this secret to me.
Wise. Why, in yonder village (the village is named Morality) there
dwells a gentleman whose name is LEGALITY, a very judicious man, and a man
of a very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as
thine are from their shoulders; yea, to my knowledge, he hath done a great
deal of good this way: aye, and besides, he hath skill to cure those that
are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said,
thou mayest go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from
this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young
man, his son, whose name is CIVILITY, that can do it as well as the old
gentleman himself. There, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden; and if
thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, as indeed I would
not wish thee, thou mayest send for thy wife and children to come to thee to
this village, where there are houses now stand empty, one of which thou
mayest have at reasonable rates: provision is there also cheap and good; and
that which will make thy life the more happy is there to be sure, for thou
shalt live by honest neighbours, in credit and good fashion.
was CHRISTIAN somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, "If this
be true what this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his
advice;" and with that he thus further spoke.
Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?
Wise. Do you see yonder high hill? (Mount Sinai.)
Yes, very well.
Wise. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come to is his.