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tures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them.* 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; 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 they bare to the Lord of the place; all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment.
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.I
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 The slough of Dessuddenly into the bog; the name of the slough was pond. 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.
Then said Pliable, Ah, neighbour Christian, where are you now?
Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
At this, Pliable began to be offended, and angerly 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 It is not enough to out again with my life, you shall possess the brave be pliable. 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 Des
*Isa. vi. 2. 1 Thess. iv. 17. Rev. v. 11.
Christian in trou.
pond alone; but still he endeavoured to struggle ble, seeks still to to that side of the slough that was farthest from get farther from his 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?
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; and, as I was going thither, I fell in here.
Help. But why did not you look for the steps ? The promises.
Chr. Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the next way, and fell in. Then said he, Give me thine hand! So he gave him his hand,
What makes the
and he drew him out, and set him, upon sound
Help Lifts him out. 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 there
slough of Despond. fore it is 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:ť his labourers also have, by the direction 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 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 Despond still, and so will be, when they have done what they can.
True, there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps placed even through the very
The promise of for. midst of this slough; but at such time as this place giveness and ac doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against ceptance to life, by change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or, if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside; and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there: but the ground is good, when they are once got in at the gate. I Now I saw in my dream, that, by this time, Pli
Pliable is visited by able was got home to his house. So his neighbours
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 as to have given out for a few difficulties. So Pliable sat
faith in Christ.
• Psalm xl. 2
* Isaiah, xxxv.3, 4.
11 Sam. xii. 23.
meets with Chris. tian.
Talk between Mr.
sneaking among them. But at last he got more confidence; and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride
Christian behind his back. And thus much concerning Pliable. Now as Christian was walking solitary by himself, he espied one
afar off, come crossing over the field to meet him; Worldy Wiseman and their hap was to meet just as they were cros
sing the way of 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 inkling 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 sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.
Wor. How now, good fellow; whither away after this burdened manner?
Chr. A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think, Worldly Wiseman poor creature had! And whereas you ask me,
Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to yonder wicket-gate before me ; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put in a way to be rid of my heavy burden
Wor. 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.*
Wor. Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel ?
Wor. I would advise thee, then, that with all speed get thyself Worldly
rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never be settled in man's counsel to thy mind till then; nor canst thou enjoy the ben
efits 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 any man 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.
Wor. Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?
Chr. A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honourable person; his name, as I remember, is Evangelist. Wor. Beshrew him for his counsel! there is not a more danger
• 1 Cor. vii. 29.
The frame of the
He does not like
ous and troublesome way in the world than is that
Mr. Worldly Wiseinto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou Evangelist's counhast met with something, as I perceive, already; for 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 that go on in that way. Hear me, I am older than thou; thou art like to meet with, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, swords, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not. These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And 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 are all these things which heart of a young you have mentioned; nay, methinks I care not Christian. what I meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliv. erance from my burden.
Wor. How camest thou by the burden at first?
Wor. I thought so; and it is happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things that men should be too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy dis- serious in reading traction; which distractions do not only unman the Bible. men, (as thine I perceive have done thee,) but they run them upon desperate adventures, to obtain they know not what.
Chr. I know what I would obtain; it is ease for my heavy burden.
Wor. 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. Sir, I pray open this secret to me.
Wor. 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 a 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 He prefers Moraliway. Ay, and besides, he hath skill to cure those ty before the strait that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their gate, burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayst go and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place: and if he