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we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely.'

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 bedawbed with 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 this 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 betwixt 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 his own house; so away he went, and Christian saw him no more.

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 farthest from his own house, and next 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?

1 Isa. lv. 12. John vii. 37. and vi. 37. Rev. xxi. 6. and xxii. 17. * The name of the slough was Despond.] The slough of Despond means that state of mind in which doubts and fears terribly prevail, and from which few beginners in religion wholly escape.

+ Whose name was Help,] That is, a minister of religion, who by the preaching of the word, points the desponding soul to the precious promises of the Gospel.

Chr. Sir, said Christian, I was bid to go this way, by' a man called Evangelist; who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come. as I was going thither, I fell in here.

Help. But why did you not look for the steps?

And

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.

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 is it called The Slough of Despond; for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arise 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; his labourers also have, by the directions of his Majesty's surveyors, been for above these sixteen hundred 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 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 who 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 Despond still; and so will be, when they have done what they can.

True there are, by the direction of the Law-giver, certain good and substantial steps placed even through

1 Isa. xxxv. 3, 4.

Substantial steps] The promises of forgiveness and acceptance to life, by faith in Christ.

the very midst of this slough; but at such times as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen: or if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step besides, and then they are bemired to some purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there; but the ground is good when they are once got in at the gate.'

Now I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his house. So his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them called him wise man for coming 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.

CHAP III.

Christian being deceived by the advice of Mr. Worldly Wiseman, turns out of the way. He is greatly alarmed; but happily meeting with Evangelist, returns to the right path, and proceeds on his journey.

TOW as Christian was walking solitarily by himself,

NOW

he espied one afar off, crossing over the field to meet him, and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way to each other. The gentleman's name that met him, was Mr. Worldly Wiseman; he dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town, and also hard-by from whence Christian came. This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some knowledge of him, (for Christian's setting forth from the city of Destruction, was much noised abroad, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town-talk in some other places), Mr. Worldly Wiseman therefore having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by observing his sighs and groans, and the like began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.

1.1 Sam. xii. 22.

World. How now, good fellow; whither away after this burdened manner?

Chr. A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think, poor creature had! And whereas you ask me, Whither away ? I tell you, Sir, I am going to yonder Wicketgate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put in a way to be rid of my heavy burden.

World. Hast thou a wife and children?

Chr. Yes; but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly: Methinks I am as if I had none.'

World. Wilt thou hearken to me if I give thee counsel ? Chr. If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.

World. I would advise thee then, that thou with all speed get thyself rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then: nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessings which God hath bestowed upon thee, till then.

Chr. That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden; but get it off myself I cannot, nor is there a man in our own country, that can take it off my shoulders: therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.

World. Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?

Chr. A man who appeared unto me to be a very great and honourable person; his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.

World. Beshrew him for his counsel; there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world, than is that unto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something (as I perceive) already; I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those who go on in that way! Hear me, I am older than thou thou art like to meet with, on the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and in a word

1 1 Cor. vii. 29.

death, and what not: These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger?

Chr. Why, Sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me, than all these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.

World. How camest thou by the burden at first?
Chr. By reading this book in my hand.

World. I thought so; and it has happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do not only unman men, (as thine I perceive have done thee) but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.

Chr. I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.

World. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? especially, since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run, thyself into: yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of these dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.

Chr. Pray, Sir, open this secret to me.

*

World. Why, in yonder village, (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman, whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as thine is, from their shoulders: yea, to my knowledge he hath done a great deal of good this way. And besides he hath skill to cure those who are somewhat crazed in

* A gentleman whose name is Legality,] Man, though originally invested with legal perfection, hath lost his honour and dignity. All flesh hath corrupted its way: most certain it is, that "All have sin"ned, and are come short of the glory of God." It is the wisdom of this world which makes a man depend upon his own righteousness, and which talks of legal perfection.

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