« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
have laid down at their feet, and have been trampled upon by them-their name, their garb, and work did so intoxicate and bewitch me.
But all this while I was not sensible of the danger and evil of sin; I was kept from considering that sin would damn me, what religion soever I followed, unless I was found in Christ. Nay, I never thought whether there was such a one or no. Thus man, while blind, doth wander, for he knoweth not the way to the eity of God, Eccles. x. 15.
But one day, amongst all the sermons our parson made, his subject was to treat of the Sabbath-day, and of the evil of breaking that, either with labour, sports, or otherwise; wherefore I fell in my conscience under his sermon, thinking and believing that he made that sermon on purpose to show me my evil doing. And at that time I felt what guilt was, though never before that I can remember; but then I was for the present greatly loaded therewith, and so went home, when the sermon was ended, with a great burden upon my spirit. This, for that instant, did embitter my former pleasures to me; but hold, it lasted not, for before I had well dined, the trouble began to go off my mind, and my heart returned to its old course; but oh, how glad was I that this trouble was gone from me, and that the fire was put out, that I might sin again without control! Wherefore, when I had satisfied nature with my food, I shook the sermon out of my mind, and to my old custom of sports and gaming I returned with great delight.
But the same day, as I was in the midst of a game of cat, and having struck it one blow from the hole, just as I was about to strike it the second time, a voice did suddenly dart from heaven into my soul, which said, Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell?' At this I was put to an exceeding maze; wherefore, leaving my cat upon the ground, I looked up to heaven, and was as if I had, with the eyes of my understanding, seen the Lord Jesus look down upon me, as being very hotly displeased with me, and as if he did severely threaten me with some grievous punishment for those and other ungodly practices.
than many are aware of, yet they continually have a secret conclusion within them, that there are no hopes for them; for they have loved sins, therefore after them they will go, Jer. ii. 25. xviii. 12.
Now, therefore, I went on in sin, still grudging that I could not be satisfied with it as I would. This did continue with me about a month or more; but one day, as I was standing at a neighbour's shop window, and there cursing and swearing after my wonted manner, there sat within the woman of the house, who heard me; and though she was a very loose and ungodly wretch, yet protested that I swore and cursed at that most fearful rate, that she was made to tremble to hear me; and told me further, that I was the ungodliest fellow for swearing that she ever heard in all her life; and that I, by thus doing, was able to spoil all the youth in the whole town, if they came but in my company. At this reproof I was silenced, and put to secret shame, and that, too, as I thought, before the God of heaven; wherefore, while I stood there, hanging down my head, wished that I might be a little child again, that my father might learn me to speak without this wicked way of swearing; for, thought I, I am so accustomed to it, that it is in vain to think of a reformation, for that could never be. But how it came to pass I know not, I did from this time forward so leave my swearing, that it was a great wonder to myself to observe it; and whereas before I knew not how to speak unless I put an oath before, and another behind, to make my words have authority, now I could without it speak better, and with more pleasantness, than ever I could before. All this while I knew not Jesus Christ, neither did leave my sports and plays.
But quickly after this, I fell into company with one poor man that made profession of religion, who, as I then thought, did talk pleasantly of the Scriptures and of religion; wherefore, liking what he said, I betook me to my Bible, and began to take great pleasure in reading, especially with the historical part thereof; for, as for Paul's epistles, and such like scriptures, I could not away with them, being as yet ignorant either of my nature, or of the want and worth of Jesus Christ to save us. Wherefore I fell to some outward reformation both in my words and life, and did set the commandments before me for my way to heaven; which commandments I also did strive to keep, and, as I thought, did keep them pretty well sometimes, and then I should have comfort; yet now and then should break one, and so afflict my conscience; but then I should repent, and say I was sorry for it, and promise God to do better next time, and there got help again; for then I thought I pleased God as well as any man in England.
Thus I continued about a year, all which time our neighbours did take me to be a very godly and religious man, and did marvel much to see such great alteration in my life and manners; and, indeed, so it was, though I knew not Christ, nor grace, nor faith, nor hope; for, as I have since seen, had I then died, my state had been most fearful. But, I say, my neighbours were amazed at this my great conversion-from prodigious profaneness to something like a moral life and sober man. Now, therefore, they began to praise, to commend, and to speak well of me, both to my face and behind my back. Now I was, as they said, become godly; now I was become a right honest man. But oh when I understood those were their words and opinions of me, it pleased me mighty well; for though as yet I was nothing but a poor painted hypocrite, yet I loved to be talked of as one that was truly godly. I was proud of my godliness, and, indeed, I did all I did either to be seen of or well spoken of by men; and thus I continued for about a twelve
I had no sooner thus conceived in my mind, but suddenly this conclusion fastened on my spirit (for the former hint did set my sins again before my face), that I had been a great and grievous sinner, and that it was now too late for me to look after heaven; for Christ would not forgive me nor pardon my transgressions. Then, while I was thinking of it, and fearing lest it should be so, I felt my heart sink in despair, concluding it was too late, and therefore I resolved in my mind to go on in sin; for, thought I, if the case be thus, my state is surely miserable; miserable if I leave my sins, and but miserable if I follow them: I can but be damned; and if I must be so, I had as good be damned for many sins as be damned for few. Thus I stood in the midst of my play, before all that then were present; but yet I told them nothing; but, say, having made this conclusion, I returned desperately to my sport again; and I well remember, that presently this kind of despair did so possess my soul, that I was persuaded I could never attain to other comfort than what I should get in sin; for heaven was gone already, so that on that I must not think; wherefore I found within me great desire to take my fill of sin, that I might taste the sweetness of it; and I made as much haste as I could to fill my belly with its delicates, lest I should die before I had my desires; for that I feared greatly. In these things, I protest before God I lie not, neither do I frame this sort of speech; these were really, strongly, and with all my heart, my desires; the good Lord, whose mercy is unsearchable, forgive my transgressions. And I am very confident that this temp-month or more. tation of the devil is more usual among poor creatures
Now you must know, that before this I had taken
much delight in ringing, but my conscience beginning to be tender, I thought such practice was but vain, and therefore forced myself to leave it; yet my mind hankered; wherefore I would go to the steeple-house and look on, though I durst not ring; but I thought this did not become religion neither; yet I forced myself and would look on still. But quickly after, I began to think,How, if one of the bells should fall?' Then I chose to stand under a main beam that lay overthwart the steeple, from side to side, thinking here I might stand sure; but then I thought again, should the bell fall with a swing, it might first hit the wall, and then rebounding upon me, might kill me for all this beam. This made me stand in the steeple-door; and now, thought I, I am safe enough; for if a bell should then fall, I can slip out behind these thick walls, and so be preserved notwithstanding. So after this I would yet go to see them ring, but would not go any farther than the steeple-door; but then it came into my head, How, if the steeple itself should fall? And this thought (it may, for aught I know, when I stood and looked on) did continually so shake my mind, that I durst not stand at the steeple-door any longer, but was forced to flee, for fear the steeple should fall upon my head.
Another thing was my dancing; I was a full year before I could quite leave that. But all this while, when I thought I kept that or this commandment, or did by word or deed anything I thought was good, I had great peace in my conscience, and would think with myself, God cannot choose but be now pleased with me; yea, to relate it in my own way, I thought no man in England could please God better than I. But, poor wretch as I was, I was all this while ignorant of Jesus Christ, and going about to establish my own righteousness; and had perished therein, had not God in his mercy showed me more of my state by
what I saw to others for edification; therefore they desired me, with much earnestness, that I would be willing at some times to take in hand, in one of the meetings, to speak a word of exhortation unto them. The which, though at the first it did much dash and abash my spirit, yet being still by them desired and intreated, I consented, and did twice, at two several assemblies, but in private, though with much weakness, discover my gift amongst them; at which they did solemnly protest, as in the sight of the great God, they were both affected and comforted, and gave thanks to the Father of mercies for the grace bestowed on me.
And now I am speaking my experience, I will in this place thrust in a word or two concerning my preaching the word, and of God's dealing with me in that particular also. After I had been about five or six years awakened, and helped to see both the want and worth of Jesus Christ our Lord, and to venture my soul upon him, some of the most able among the saints with us for judgment and holiness of life, as they conceived, did perceive that God counted me worthy to understand something of his will in his holy word, and had given me utterance to express
After this, sometimes, when some of them did go into the country to teach, they would also that I should go with them, where, though as yet I durst not make use of my gift in an open way, yet more privately, as I came amongst the good people in those places, I did sometimes speak a word of admonition unto them also, the which they received with rejoicing at the mercy of God to me-ward, professing their souls were edified thereby. Wherefore, to be brief, at last being still desired by the church, I was more particularly called forth, and appointed to a more ordinary and public preaching of the word, not only to and amongst them that believed, but also to offer the gospel to those who had not yet received the faith thereof: about which time I did evidently find in my mind a secret pricking forward thereto, though at that time I was most sorely afflicted with fiery darts of the devil concerning my eternal state.
Wherefore, though of myself, of all the saints the most unworthy, yet I, with great fear and trembling at my own weakness, did set upon the work, and did, according to my gift, preach that blessed gospel that God hath shown me in the holy word of truth; which, when the country understood, they came in to hear the word by hundreds, and that from all parts, though In these days, when I have heard others talk of upon divers and sundry accounts. And I thank God what was the sin against the Holy Ghost, then would he gave unto me some measure of bowels and pity the tempter so provoke me to desire to sin that sin, for their souls, which also put me forward to labour that I was as if I could not, must not, neither should with great earnestness to find out such a word as be quiet until I had committed it; now no sin would might, if God would bless it, awaken the conscience, serve but that: if it were to be committed by speak-in which also the good Lord had respect to the desire ing of such a word, then I have been as if my mouth of his servant; for I had not preached long before would have spoken that word whether I would or no; some began to be greatly afflicted in their minds at and in so strong a measure was the temptation upon the greatness of their sin, and of their need of Jesus me, that often I have been ready to clap my hands Christ. under my chin, to hold my mouth from opening; at other times, to leap with my head downward into some muck-hill hole, to keep my mouth from speaking. Now, again, I counted the estate of everything that God had made far better than this dreadful state of mine was; yea, gladly would I have been in the condition of a dog or a horse, for I knew they had no souls to perish under the everlasting weight of hell or sin, as mine was like to do. Nay, though I saw this and felt this, yet that which added to my sorrow was, that I could not find that with all my soul I did de-out against men's sins, and their fearful state because sire deliverance. That scripture did also tear and of them. After which the Lord came in upon my own rend my soul in the midst of these distractions, "The soul with some sure peace and comfort through Christ: wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, wherefore now I altered in my preaching (for still I whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no preached what I saw and felt); now therefore I did peace to the wicked, saith my God,' Isaiah Ivii. much labour to hold with Jesus Christ in all his 20, 21. offices, relations, and benefits unto the world, and did strive also to condemn and remove those false supports and props on which the world doth lean, and by them fall and perish. On these things also I stayed as long as on the other.
But I first could not believe that God should speak by me to the heart of any man, still counting myself unworthy; yet those who were thus touched would have a particular respect for me; and though I did put it from me that they should be awakened by me, still they would affirm it before the saints of God: they would also bless God for me (unworthy wretch that I am!), and count me God's instrument that showed to them the way of salvation. Thus I went on for the space of two years, crying
After this, God led me into something of the mysstery of the union of Christ; wherefore that I discovered and showed to them also. And when I had travelled through these three points of the word of God, about the space of five years or more, I was caught in my present practice, and cast into prison, where I have lain above as long again to confirm the
truth by way of suffering, as I was before in testifying
I never cared to meddle with things that were controverted, and in dispute among the saints, especially things of the lowest nature; yet it pleased me much to contend with great earnestness for the word of faith, and the remission of sins by the death and sufferings of Jesus; but, I say, as to other things, I would let them alone, because I saw they engendered strife; and because that they neither in doing nor in leaving undone did commend us to God to be his: besides, I saw my work before me did run into another channel, even to carry an awakened word; to that therefore I did stick and adhere.
to answer for all these things (with all the rest of their iniquities), unless God shall give them repentance for them, for the which I pray with all my heart.
Having made profession of the glorious gospel of Christ, and preached the same about five years, I was apprehended at a meeting of good people in the country (among whom I should have preached that day, but they took me from amongst them), and had me before a justice, who, after I had offered security for my appearance the next sessions, yet committed me, because my sureties would not consent to be bound that I should preach no more to the people
At the sessions after, I was indicted for a maintainer of unlawful assemblies and conventicles, and for not conforming to the church of England; and after some conference there with the justices, they taking my plain dealing with them for a confession, as they termed it, of the indictment, did sentence me to a perpetual banishment, because I refused to conform. So being again delivered up to the jailer's hands, I was had to prison, and there laid a complete twelve years, waiting to see what God would suffer these men to do with me. In which condition I have continued with much content, through grace, but have met with many turnings and goings upon my heart, both from the Lord, Satan, and my own corruption, by all which (glory be to Jesus Christ) I have also received much conviction, instruction, and understanding, of which I shall not here discourse; only give you a hint or two that may stir up the godly to bless God, and to pray for and also to take encouragement, should the case be their own, 'not to fear what man can do unto them.'
[Christian in the Hands of Giant Despair.]
If any of those who were awakened by my ministry did after that fall back (as sometimes too many did), I can truly say their loss hath been more to me than if my own children, begotten of my own body, had been going to their grave. I think verily, I may speak it without any offence to the Lord, nothing has gone so near me as that, unless it was the fear of the loss of the salvation of my own soul. I have counted as if I had goodly buildings and lordships in those places where my children were born: my heart hath been so wrapped up in the glory of this excellent work, that I counted myself more blessed and honoured of God by this than if he had made me the emperor of the Christian world, or the Lord of all the glory of the Now there was, not far from the place where they earth without it. lay, a castle, called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof But in this work, as in all other, I had my temp- was Giant Despair, and it was in his grounds they tations attending me, and that of divers kinds; as now were sleeping; wherefore he, getting up in the sometimes I should be assaulted with great discourage-morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, ment therein, fearing that I should not be able to caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds. speak a word at all to edification; nay, that I should Then, with a grim and surly voice, he bid them awake, not be able to speak sense to the people; at which and asked them whence they were, and what they did times I should have such a strange faintness seize upon in his grounds? They told him they were pilgrims, my body, that my legs have scarce been able to carry and that they had lost their way. Then said the me to the place of exercise. giant, You have this night trespassed on me, by trampling and lying on my ground, and therefore you must go along with me. So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say, for they knew themselves in fault. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, in a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirits of those two men. Here they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did: they were therefore here in evil case, and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now, in this place Christian had double sorrow, because it was through his unadvised haste that they were brought into this distress
Sometimes, when I have been preaching, I have been violently assaulted with thoughts of blasphemy, and strongly tempted to speak the words with my mouth before the congregation. I have also at times, even when I have begun to speak the word with much clearness, evidence, and liberty of speech, been, before the ending of that opportunity, so blinded and so estranged from the things I have been speaking, and have been also so straitened in my speech as to utterance before the people, that I have been as if I had not known what I have been about, or as if my head had been in a bag all the time of my exercise.
But when Satan perceived that his thus tempting and assaulting of me would not answer his design, to wit, to overthrow the ministry, and make it ineffectual as to the ends thereof, then he tried another way, which was, to stir up the minds of the ignorant and malicious to load me with slanders and reproaches. Now therefore I may say, that what the devil could devise and his instruments invent, was whirled up and down the country against me, thinking, as I said, by that means they should make my ministry to be abandoned. It began therefore to be rumoured up and down among the people that I was a witch, a Jesuit, a highwayman, and the like. To all which I shall only say, God knows that I am innocent. But as for mine accusers, let them provide themselves to meet me before the tribunal of the Son of God, there
Now, Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence: so when he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners and cast them into his dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also what he had best to do further to them. So she asked him what they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound, and he told her. Then she counselled him, that when he arose in the morning, he should beat them without mercy. So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crab-tree cudgel, and goes down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating them as if they were dogs, although they never gave him a word of distaste: then he falls
upon them, and beats them fearfully, in such sort that they were not able to help themselves, or turn them upon the floor. This done, he withdraws, and leaves them there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress: so all that day they spent their time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamenta. tions. The next night she talked with her husband about them further, and understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away with themselves. So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner, as before, and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison: For why, said he, should you choose life, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness? But they desired him to let them go; with which he looked ugly upon them, and rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself, but that he fell into one of his fits (for he sometimes in sun-shiny weather fell into fits), and lost for a time the use of his hands: wherefore he withdrew, and left them, as before, to consider what to do. Then did the prisoners consult between themselves whether it was best to take his counsel or no; and thus they began to discourse :—
Chr. Brother, said Christian, what shall we do? The life that we now live is miserable. For my part, I know not whether it is best to live thus, or die out of hand. My soul chooseth strangling rather than life,' and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon! Shall we be ruled by the giant?
Hope. Indeed our present condition is dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me, than thus for ever to abide; but let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going hath said, Thou shalt do no murder: no, not to any man's person; much more then are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves. Besides, he that kills another can but commit murder on his own body; but for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once. And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave; but hast thou forgotten the hell, whither for certain the murderers go? For no murderer hath eternal life, &c. And let us consider, again, that all laws are not in the hand of Giant Despair: others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hands. Who knows but that God, who made the world, may cause that Giant Despair may die; or that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in; or that he may in a short time have another of his fits before us, and may lose the use of his limbs? and if ever that should come to pass again, for my part I am resolved to pluck up the heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from under his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do it before; but, however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure a while: the time may come that he may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers. With these words Hopeful at present did moderate the mind of his brother; so they continued together (in the dark) that day in
their sad and doleful condition.
Well, towards the evening, the giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel; but when he came there he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But, I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them, that seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that
Christian fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best take it or no. Now, Christian again seemed to be for doing it; but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth :Hope. My brother, said he, rememberest thou not how valiant thou hast been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death: what hardships, terror, and amazement, hast thou already gone through, and art thou now nothing but fear? Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art; also this giant has wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from my mouth, and with thee I mourn without the light. But let us exercise a little more patience: remember how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain nor the cage, nor yet of bloody death; wherefore let us (at least to avoid the shame that becomes not a Christian to be found in) bear up with patience as well as we can.
Now, night being come again, and the giant and his wife being a-bed, she asked concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel; to which he replied, They are sturdy rogues; they choose rather to bear all hardships than to make away with themselves. Then said she, Take them into the castleyard to-morrow, and show them the bones and skulls of those thou hast already despatched, and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou wilt also tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.
So when the morning was come, the giant goes to them again, and takes them into the castle-yard, and shows them as his wife had bidden him. These, said he, were pilgrims, as you are, once; and they trespassed in my grounds, as you have done; and, when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces, and so within ten days will do you; go, get ye down to your den again; and with that he beat them all the way thither.
They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before. Now, when night was come, and when Mrs Diffidence and her husband the giant were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse of their prisoners; and, withal, the old giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with that his wife replied, I fear, said she, that they live in hope that some will come to relieve them, or that they have picklocks about them, by the means of which they hope to escape. And sayest thou so, my dear? said the giant; I will therefore search them in the morning.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out in this passionate speech: What a fool (quoth he) am I thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty? I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful, That's good news, good brother; pluck it out of thy bosom and try.
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and be gan to try at the dungeon-door, whose bolt (as he turned the key) gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outer door that leads into the castle-yard, and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went very hard, yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the door to make their escape with speed, but that gate, as it opened, made such a cracking, that it waked Giant
Despair, who hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail; for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the king's highway, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.
Now, when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves what they should do at that stile to prevent those that should come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the stile thereof this senter ce-Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.' Many, therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and escaped the danger.
[The Golden City.]
Now I saw in my dream that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced them there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day; wherefore it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to; also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof: for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven. In this land, also, the contract between the bride and bridegroom was renewed; yea, here, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them.' Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city, loud voices, saying, 'Say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold thy salvation cometh! Behold, his reward is with him! Here all the inhabitants of the country called them 'The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out,' &c.
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing nearer to the city yet, they had a more perfect view thereof: it was built of pearls and precious stones, also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease: wherefore here they lay by it awhile, crying out, because of their pangs, If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love.'
But being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way, to whom the pilgrims said, Whose goodly vineyards and gardens are these? He answered, They are the king's, and are planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims: so the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves with dainties; he also showed them there the king's walks and arbours, where he delighted to be; and here they tarried and slept.
Now, I beheld in my dream that they talked more in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou at
the matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the city. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city (for the city was pure gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold; also their faces shone as the light. These men asked the pilgrims whence they came? and they told them. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures, they had met with in the way? and they told them. Then said the men that met them, You have but two difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the city.
Christian and his companion then asked the men to go along with them; so they told them that they would. But, said they, you must obtain it by your own faith. So I saw in my dream that they went on together till they came in sight of the gate.
Now, I further saw that betwixt them and the gate was a river, but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the sight, therefore, of this river, the pilgrims were much stunned; but the men that went with them said, You must go through, or you cannot come to the gate.
The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate? To which they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall, until the last trumpet shall sound. The pilgrims then (especially Christian) began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that; but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all of a depth? They said, No; yet they could not help them in that case; For, said they, you shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place.
They then addressed themselves to the water, and entering, Christian began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, I sink in deep waters: the billows go over my head; all the waters go over me. Selah.
Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother; I feel the bottom, and it is good. Then said Christian, Ah! my friend, the sorrow of death hath encompassed me about; I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also here, in a great measure, he lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. But all the words that he spake still tended to discover that he had horror of mind, and heart fears that he should die in that river, and never obtain entrance in at the gate. Here, also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he had committed, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim. It was also observed that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins and evil spirits; for ever and anon he would intimate so much by words. Hopeful, therefore, here had much ado to keep his brother's head above water; yea, sometimes he would be quite gone down, and then ere awhile he would rise up again half dead. Hopeful did also endeavour to comfort him, saying, Brother, I see the gate, and men standing by to receive us; but Christian would answer, It is you; it is you they wait for; you have been Hopeful ever since I knew you. And so have you, said he to Christian. Ah! brother, said he, surely if I was right, he would now rise to help me; but for my sins