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Garments that will make us shine like the Sun in the firmament of Heaven.1
Pli. This is excellent; 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.2
Pli. And what company shall we have there?
Chr. There we shall be with Seraphims and Cherubins, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them: 4 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.5 In a word, there we shall see the Elders with their golden Crowns, there we shall see the Holy Virgins with their golden Harps, 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 cloathed with Immortality as with a garment.7
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 hereof?
Matt. xiii. 43.
1 2 Tim. iv. 8; Rev. iii. 4; 2 Isa. xxv. 8; Rev. vii. 17;
chap. xxi. 4.
3 Seraphims and Cherubins. The plural form of seraph and cherub sanctioned by the best authorities is made simply by the addition of the syllable im; thus, scraphim and cherubim. Yet in the common version of the Bible, the plurals uniformly used are seraphims and cherubims. Milton uses still another form:
"Thou sitst between the cherubs bright."
4 Isa. vi. 2.
5 I Thess. iv. 16, 17; Rev. v. II.
7 John xii. 25; 2 Cor. v. 2-4.
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.1
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 upon my back.
Now I saw in my Dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew near 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 Dispond. Here therefore they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with dirt; and Christian, because of the Burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.
Pli. Then said Pliable, Ah, Neighbor 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 more.
Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Dispond alone: but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the Slough that was still further from his
1 Isa. lv. 1, 2; John vi. 37; chap. vii. 37; Rev. xxi. 6; chap. xxii. 17.
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 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 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.1
Then I stepped to him that pluckt 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 Dispond; for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, 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.2 His labourers also have, by the direction of His Majesties Surveyors, been for above these sixteen hundred years imployed about this patch
1 Ps. xl. 2.
2 Isa. xxxv. 3, 4.
of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to my knowledge, said he, here hath been swallowed up at least twenty thousand cart-loads, yea, millions 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 good ground of the place), if so be it might have been mended, but it is the Slough of Dispond still, and so will be when they have done what they can.
THE INTERPRETER'S HOUSE.
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his Journey. So the other told him, That by that 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 shew him excellent things. Then Christian took his leave of his Friend, and he again bid him God speed.
Then he went on till he came at the house of the Interpreter, where he knocked over and over; at last one came to the door, and asked Who was there?
Chr. Sir, here is a Traveller, who was bid by an acquaintance of the good man of this house to call here for my profit; I would therefore speak with the Master of the house. So he called for the Master of the house, who after a little time came to Christian, and asked him what he would have?
Chr. Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the City of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the Man that stands at the Gate, at the head of this way, that if I called here, you
would shew me excellent things, such as would be a help to me in my Journey.
Inter. Then said the Interpreter, Come in, I will shew thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the Candle, and bid Christian follow him so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the Picture of a very grave Person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it. It had eyes lifted up to Heaven, the best of Books in his hand, the Law of Truth was written upon his lips, the World was behind his back. It stood as if it pleaded with men, and a Crown of Gold did hang over his head.
Chr. Then said Christian, What means this?
Inter. The Man whose Picture this is, is one of a thousand; he can beget children, travel in birth with children, and nurse them himself when they are born.1 And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to Heaven, the best of Books in his hand, and the Law of Truth writ on his lips, it is to shew thee that his work is to know and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men; and whereas thou seest the World as cast behind him, and that a Crown hangs over his head, that is to shew thee that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the world that comes next to have Glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have shewed thee this Picture first, because the Man whose Picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way:
11 Cor. iv. 15; Gal. iv. 19.