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Chr. No, not I, said the other; because I have laid my hand to the plough (Luke ix. 62).
Obst. Come then, neighbour Pliable, let us turn again, and go home without him; there is a company of these crazedheaded coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end, are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render
Pli. Then said Pliable, Don't revile; if what. the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours; my heart inclines to go with my neighbour. Obst. What! more fools still? Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will lead ? Go back, go back, and be wise.
Chr. Nay, but do thou come with me, neighbour Pliable ; there are such things to be had which I spoke of, and many more glories besides; if you believe not me, read here in this book, and for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold all is confirmed by the blood of him that made it (Heb. ix. 17-21).
Pli. Well, neighbour Obstinate, said Pliable, I begin to come to a point; I intend to go along with this good man, and to cast in my lot with him; but, my good companion, do you know the way to this desired place ?
Chr. I am directed by a man whose name is Evangelist, to speed me to a little gate that is before us, where we shall receive instructions about the way.
Pli. Come, then, good neighbour, let us be going. Then they went both together.
Obst. And I will go back to my place, said Obstinate; I will be no companion of such misled fantastical fellows.
Now I saw in my dream that when Obstinate was gone back, Christian and Pliable went talking over the plain; and thus they began their discourse :
Chr. Come, neighbour Pliable, how do you do? I am
glad you are persuaded to go along with me; and had even Obstinate himself but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.
Pli. Come, neighbour Christian, since there are none but us two here, tel lme now further what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going?
Chr. I can better conceive of them with my mind than speak of them with my tongue; but yet since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my book.
Pli. And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true?
Chr. Yes verily, for it was made by him that cannot lie (Titus i. 2).
Pli. Well said; what things are they?
Chr. There is an endless kingdom to be inhabited, and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever (Isa. xlv. 17; John x. 27-29).
Pli. Well said; and what else?
Chr. There are crowns of glory to be given us, and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven (2 Tim. iv. 8; Rev. xxii. 5; Matt. xiii. 43).
Pli. That is very pleasant; and what else?
Chr. There shall be no more crying nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes (Isa. xv. 8; Rev. vii. 16, 17; xxi. 4).
Pli. And what company shall we have there?
Chr. There we shall be with sera hims, and cherubims, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them (Isa. vi. 2; 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17; Rev. v. 11). There also you shall meet with thousands, and ten thousands that have gone before us to that place; none of them are hurtful, but loving and holy, every one walking in
the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crowns (Rev. iv. 4); there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps (Rev. xiv. 1-5); there we shall see men that by the world were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love that they bare to the Lord of the place— all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment (John xii. 25; 2 Cor. v. 2-5).
Pli. The hearing of this is enough to ravish one s heart; but are these things to be enjoyed? How shall we get to be sharers thereof?
Chr. The Lord, the Governor of the country, hath recorded that in this book, the substance of which is, if we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely (Isa. lv. 12; John vi. 37; vii. 37; Rev. xxi. 6; xxii. 17).
Pli. Well, my good companion, glad am I to hear of these things; come on, let us mend our pace.
Chr. I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of this burden that is on my back.
Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew nigh to a very miry slough that was in the midst of the plain, and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was Despond. Here therefore they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Ah! neighbour Christian, where are you now?
Chr. Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
Pli. At that Pliable began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow, Is this the happiness you have told me
all this while of? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect 'twixt this and our journey's end? May I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone for me. And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of the slough which was next to his own house; so away he went, and Christian saw him no
Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was still further from his own house, and next to the wicket gate; the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back: But I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him, What he did there?
Chr. Sir, said Christian, I was directed 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 you not look for the steps?
Chr. 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 (Ps. xl. 2).
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 travellers might go thither with more security? 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