Click the links below to listen to the previous episodes 1, 2, and 3
Here is the transcript from the original book used for today’s episode and the scripture references.
But I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him what he did there?24Isa. 55:1, 2, 12; John 7:37; 6:37; Psa. 21:6; 22:17
CHRISTIAN. Sir, said Christian, I was bid go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come. And as I was going thither, I fell in here.HELP. But why did not you look for the steps?CHRISTIAN. Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the next way, and fell in.HELP. Then said he, Give me thy hand; so he gave him his hand, and he drew him out, and set him upon sound ground, and bid him go on his way. Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, Sir, wherefore (since over this place is the way from the City of Destruction, to yonder gate) is it that this plat is not mended, that poor travelers might go thither with more se-curity? And he said unto me, This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended. It is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin, doth continually run, and therefore it is called the Slough of Despond: for still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging appre-hensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place. And this is the reason of the badness of this ground.It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so bad;26 his labourers, also, have, by the directions of his Majesty’s surveyors, been, for above these 1,600 years, employed about this patch of ground, if, perhaps, it might have been mended; yea, and to my knowledge, said he, here have been swallowed up at least 20,000 cart-loads; yea, mil-lions of wholesome instructions, that have, at all seasons, been brought from all places of the King’s dominions, and they that can tell, say, they are the best materials to make 25Psa. 40:226Isa. 35:3, 4
good ground of the place, if so be it might have been mend-ed; but it is the Slough of Despond still; and so will be when they have done what they can.True, there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this slough; but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against change of weath-er, these steps are hardly seen; or if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step besides, and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there; but the ground is good, when they are once got in at the gate.27Now I saw in my dream, that, by this time, Pliable was got home to his house again; so that his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them called him wise man for com-ing back, and some called him fool for hazarding himself with Christian; others, again, did mock at his cowardliness, saying, “Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base to have given out for a few difficulties.” So Pliable sat sneaking among them. But, at last, he got more confidence, and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back. And thus much concerning Pliable.