Pilgrim’s Progress text to follow along with
After this, Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said: and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus pronounced: “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are writ-ten in the book of the law to do them.42Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly-wiseman; still calling himself a thou-sand fools for hearkening to his counsel: he also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman’s arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelist, in words and sense as follows:—CHRISTIAN. Sir, what think you? Is there hope? May I now go back, and go up to the wicket-gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I 42Gal. 3:1024ThePilgrim’sProgressam sorry I have hearkened to this man’s counsel. But may my sin be forgiven?EVANGELIST. Then said Evangelist to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast committed two evils; thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths; yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good-will for men; only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, “lest thou perish from the way, when His wrath is kin-dled but a little”.43Then did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God-speed. 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”44He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, say-ing—“May I now enter here? Will He withinOpen to sorry me, though I have beenAn undeserving rebel? Then shall INot fail to sing His lasting praise on high.”At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Good-will, who asked who was there? and whence he came? and what he would have?CHRISTIAN. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come 43Psa. 2:1244Matt. 7:825EvangelistFindethChristianUnderMountSinaifrom the City of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that 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!GOOD-WILL. 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?CHRISTIAN. Evangelist bid me come hither, and knock (as I did); and he said that you, Sir, would tell me what I must do.GOOD-WILL. An open door is set before thee, and no man can shut it.CHRISTIAN. Now I begin to reap the benefits of my haz-ards.GOOD-WILL. But how is it that you came alone?CHRISTIAN. Because none of my neighbours saw their danger, as I saw mine.GOOD-WILL. Did any of them know of your coming?CHRISTIAN. 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.GOOD-WILL. But did none of them follow you, to per-suade you to go back?CHRISTIAN. Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when 26ThePilgrim’sProgressthey saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back, but Pliable came with me a little way.GOOD-WILL. But why did he not come through?CHRISTIAN. We, indeed, came both together, until we came at the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbour, Pliable, discour-aged, and would not adventure further. 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.GOOD-WILL. Then said Good-will, Alas, poor man! is the celestial glory of so small esteem with him, that he coun-teth it not worth running the hazards of a few difficulties to obtain it?CHRISTIAN. 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 betwixt him and myself. It is 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.GOOD-WILL. Oh! did he light upon you? What! he would have had you a sought for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality. They are, both of them, a very cheat. But did you take his counsel?CHRISTIAN. Yes, as far as I durst; 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.GOOD-WILL. That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the death of many more; it is well you escaped being by it dashed in pieces.CHRISTIAN. Why, truly, I do not know what had be-come of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again, 27EvangelistFindethChristianUnderMountSinaias I was musing in the midst of my dumps; but it was 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, O! what a favour is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here!GOOD-WILL. We make no objections against any, not-withstanding all that they have done before they come hither. They are “in no wise cast out”45 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.CHRISTIAN. But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?GOOD-WILL. 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 straight and narrow.