Pilgrim's Progress.



Christiana, with her four Sons, and a Neighbour, set out on Pilgrimage.



OME time since, to tell you a dream that I had of Christian the pilgrim, and of his dangerous journey towards the celestial country, was pleasant to me, and profitable to you. I told you then also what I saw concerning his wife and children, and how unwilling they were to go with him on pilgrimage: insomuch that he was forced to go on his progress without them; for he durst not run the danger of that destruction, which he feared would come by staying with them in the city of Destruction: wherefore, as I then showed yon, he left them, and departed.

Now it hath so happened, through the multiplicity of business, that I have been much hindered and kept back from my wonted travels into those parts where he went, and so could not, till now, obtain an opportunity to make further inquiry after whom he left behind, that I might give you an account of them. But, having had some concerns that way of late, I went down again thitherward. Now having taken up my lodging in a wood, about a mile off the place, as I slept I dreamed again.


And, as I was in my dream, behold, an aged gentleman came by where I lay and because he was to go some part of the way that I was travelling, methought I got up and went with him. So, as we walked, and as travellers usually do, I was as if we fell into a discourse, and our talk happened to be about Christian' aud his trayels for thus I began with the old man :

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Sir, said I, what town is that there below, that lieth on the left hand of our way?

Then said Mr. Sagacity, (for that was his name), It is the city of Destruction, a populous place, but possessed with a very ill conditioned and idle sort of people.

I thought that was that city, quoth I; I went once myself through that town: and therefore I know that this report you give of it is true.

Sag. Too true! I wish I could speak truth in speaking better of them that dwell therein.

Well, Sir, quoth I, then I perceive you to be a wellmeaning man, and so one that takes pleasure to hear and tell of that which is good: pray did you never hear what happened to a man some time ago in this town, (whose name was Christian), that went on a pilgrimage up towards the higher regions?

Sag. Hear of him! Ay, and I also heard of the molestations, troubles, wars, captivities, cries, groans, frights, and fears, that he met with and had on his journey. Besides, I must tell you, all our country rings of him; there are but few houses, that have heard of him and his doings, but have sought after and got the records of his pilgrimage: yea, I think I may say, that this hazardous journey has got many well-wishers to his ways; for, though when he was here, he was fool in every man's mouth, yet now he is gone he is highly commended of all. For it is said he lives bravely where he is: yea, many of them that are resolved never to run his hazards, yet have their mouths water at his gains.

They may, quoth I, well think, if they think any thing that is true, that he liveth well where he is; for he now lives at and in the Fountain of life, and has what he has without labour and sorrow, for there is no grief mixed therewith. but pray, what talk have the people about him?

Sag. Talk! the people talk strangely about him: some say, that he now walks in white; that he has a chain of gold about his neck; that he has a crown of gold, beset with pearls, upon his head: others say, that the shining ones, that sometimes showed themselves to him in his

1 Rev. iii. 4. Chap. vi. 11.

journey, are become his companions, and that he is as familiar with them in the place where he is, as here one neighbour is with another.' Besides, it is confidently affirmed concerning him, that the King of the place where he is has bestowed upon him already a very rich and pleasant dwelling at court, and that he every day eateth, and drinketh, and walketh, and talketh with him, and receiveth the smiles and favours of him that is Judge of all there. Moreover, it is expected of some, that his Prince the Lord of that country, will shortly come into these parts, and will know the reason, if they can give any, why his neighbours set so little by him, and had him so much in derision, when they perceived that he would be a pilgrim.2

For they say, that now he is so in the affections of his Prince, and that this his sovereign is so much concerned with the indignities that were cast upon Christian, when he became a pilgrim, that he will look upon all as if done to himself: and no marvel, for it was for the love that he had to his Prince, that he ventured as he did.3

I dare say, quoth I, I am glad of it; I am glad for the poor man's sake, for that now he has rest from his labour, and for that he now reaps the benefits of his tears with joy; and for that he has got beyond the gun-shot of his enemies, and is out of the reach of them that hate him. I also am glad, for that a rumour of these things is noised abroad in this country; who can tell but that it may work some good effect on some that are left behind ?--But pray, Sir, while it is fresh in my mind, do you hear any thing of his wife and children? Poor hearts! I wonder in my mind what they do.

Sag. Who? Christiana and her sons? They are like to do as well as did Christian himself; for, though they all played the fool at first, and would by no means be persuaded by either the tears or intreaties of Christian, yet second thoughts have wrought wonderfully with them: so they have packed up, and are also gone after him. Better, and better, quoth I: but, what! wife and children and all?

2 Jude, 14, 15. 3 Luke x. 16.
5 Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6.

1 Zech. iii. 7.
4 Rev. xiv. 13.

Sag. It is true: I can give you an account of the ' matter, for I was upon the spot at the instant, and was thoroughly acquainted with the whole affair.

Then, said I, may a man report it for a truth?

Sag. You need not fear to affirm it: I mean, that they are all gone on pilgrimage, both the good woman and her four boys. And being we are, as I perceive, going some considerable way together, I will give you an account of the whole matter.

This Christiana (for that was her name from the day that she with her children betook themselves to a pilgrim's life), after her husband was gone over the river,' and she could hear of him no more, her thoughts began to work in her mind. First, for that she had lost her husband, and for that the loving bond of that relation was utterly broken betwixt them. For you know, said he to me, nature can do no less but entertain the living with many a heavy cogitation, in remembrance of the loss of loving relations. This, therefore, of her husband did cost her many a tear.* But this was not all; for Christiana did also begin to consider with herself, whether her unbecoming behaviour towards her husband was not one cause that she saw him no more; and that in such sort he was taken away from her. And upon this came into her mind, by swarins, all her unkind, unnatural, and ungodly

1 Part i. p. 142–144.

*The loss of her husband did cost her many a tear.] The dissolution of the nearest and dearest ties of nature by the stroke of death, is one of the heaviest trials to which the christian is called.

"The fondness of a creature's love,
How deep it strikes the sense;
Thither the warm affections move,
Nor can we call them thence.

[Dr. Watts.

The loss of a tender husband or beloved wife excite the emotions of weeping sensibility. Nothing can reconcile the soul to such an afflicting event, but the voice of divine inspiration speaking peace and consolation. Faith points the eye of the weeping believer to the mansions of celestial glory. There he contemplates the departed spirit shining in a clothing of splendid beauty, bowing with the glorious seraphs before the throne of God, and he looks forward with believing joy and rapture, to that period when a inal reunion shall take place in the world of everlasting happiness.

Carriage to her dear friend; which also clogged her conscience and did load her with guilt. She was moreover much broken with calling to remembrance the restless groans, the brinish tears, and self bemoaning of her husband, and how she did harden her heart against all his entreaties, and loving persuasions of her and her sons, to go with him; yea, there was not any thing that Christian either said to her, or did before her, all the while that his burden did hang on his back, but it returned upon her like a flash of lightning, and rent the caul of her heart in sunder; especially that bitter outcry of his, "What shall I do to be saved?" did ring in her ears most dolefully


Then said she to her children,* Sons, we are all undone. I have sinned away your father, and he is gone: he would have had us with him, but I would not go myself: I also have hindered you of life.' With that the boys fell into tears, and cried to go after their father. Oh! said Christiana, that it had been but our lots to go with him; then it had fared well with us, beyond what it is like to do now. For, though I formerly foolishly imagined concerning the troubles of your father, that they proceeded of a foolish fancy that he had, or for that he was over-run with melancholy humours; yet now it will not out of my mind, but that they sprang from another cause; to wit, for that the light of life was given him; by the help of which, as I perceive, he has escaped the snares of death.' Then they wept all again, and cried out, Oh, wo worth the day!

The next night Christiana had a dream; and behold she saw as if a broad parchment was opened before her, in which were recorded the sum of her ways; and the 2 John, viii. 12.

1 Part i. p. 1---3.

* Then said she to her children, &c.] Religion is a very serious concern; it is the one thing needful, and children ought carefully to be instructed and brought up in a saving knowledge of it. Many pious parents, like Christiana, use every endeavour, but in vain, to promote godliness in their families; but their children often, like the sons in law of Lot, hear their counsels with scoffing and indifference.

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