This Commentary is both a summary and a paraphrasing of John Bunyan's remarkable book, "Pilgrim's Progress" - a book that has never been out of print since it was first published in 1678.
Pilgrim's Progress takes its place amongst the classics of Christian writing, but for the modern reader the original is not an easy read, and so it is hoped that this Commentary will provide easier access for the interested reader to a valuable tale.
"Children should be brought up in such a way that they will fall in love with virtue and hate vice" - Plato
These words of wisdom, written so many years ago and now accepted as self-evident in moulding the character of children and adults young and old, have stood the test of time in all the best cultures of the civilised world and brought success and joy to all who have followed the advice set forth in Socratic teaching, so that today, no-one is likely to dispute the truth of this statement.
In our oral teaching and in the books we read, if we are wise enough in choosing our books and sources, and in accepting the guidance of those whose opinions we value, we may fulfil the ideal of Plato.
The kind of story-telling that we find in "Pilgrim's Progress", in which emphasis is laid on the conflict between good and evil and the ultimate victory of love over hatred and evil, is probably the most important spiritual issue in our lives and those of our children.
Bearing this in mind, we intend to follow the account of the "Pilgrim's Progress", that "World Classic" written by John Bunyan, who at his death on the third of September 1688 bequeathed us his masterpiece of Spiritual writing which over the years has never yet been "out of print" and is still popular worldwide.
Our story concerns a man called "Christian" who is in deep distress because he is someone who believes and trusts in the Lord Jesus, but who has come to the conclusion as a result of reading from the Bible that he, his wife and four sons are so far from truly loving God that he is in utter despair, as he believes that God cannot possibly love him so sinful and worthless his life has been since he reached man's estate. These thoughts so fill him with fear and trepidation that he cries through his tears "What shall I do?" but he resolves to overcome his fears by stoutly asserting "I will walk in the strength of the Lord God" for he knew that he was not able to face alone the dangers and difficulties of a journey through life which would involve him in wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, indeed death itself.
Having made the bold decision to take the path that leads from his home in the city of Destruction (to come) and to make his way to the "Celestial (Heavenly) City" where God dwells, Christian naturally longed to take his family (his wife and four children) with him but he was further dismayed to be told that they were unwilling to set out on such an arduous adventure despite all his pleading and tears.
His friends and neighbours were of the same mind as his family and tried to change his mind by pleading with him, but he was determined to undertake the journey to the Celestial City at all costs.
Many of his friends, as they realised his determination, scoffed at him, laughed and threatened him and declared he was out of his mind, but he stood fast to his decision, but with a heavy heart declared that if no-one will come with him, he will go alone.
All journeys have a goal and such a journey as that which Christian was intent on taking, is what we call a "pilgrimage". We all have a journey to make through life, and we all are pilgrims on the way to God's Kingdom. So began in sorrow Christian's pilgrimage, but joy and hope and trust supported Christian on his way.
When Christian, sorely troubled in his mind, fled from his home, he looked in all directions not knowing which way to go, but there met him a man called "Evangelist", to whom he told the reason for his tears. Evangelist, taking pity upon him said, "Do you see the small gate over there?"
"No", Christian replied.
"Can you see a shining light over there?" said Evangelist.
"I think I do" said Christian.
"Very well." said Evangelist, "Keep your eye upon it, take this parchment scroll, go straight up to the gate, knock upon the door and you will receive instructions about the way to go."
Having given this help and advice, Evangelist left Christian, but there were two of Christian's fellow townspeople who persisted in trying to persuade him to give up the idea of starting on his pilgrimage. One named "Obstinate", realising that to accompany Christian would mean leaving his friends and comforts behind, soon decided that he would certainly not go with him. "Pliable" his friend however, hearing from Christian how many blessings lay ahead for pilgrims, a life of joy where there shall be no more tears or sorrows and life everlasting given free to those who enter it, was more ready to go with Christian. Pliable, as his name suggests, in his enthusiasm urged Christian to hurry so that they could together hasten on their way to the "Celestial Country"
Christian, however, though willing to do as Pliable asked, replied that he could not go as fast as he would like to because of the heavy burden which he was carrying on his back.
No sooner had he said this than they both fell suddenly into a deep and muddy bog, known as the "Slough of Despond"
Pliable began to be angry at this misfortune and so despondent that he swore that if he could not get out of it again Christian could have the "Splendid Country" all to himself. After some struggles Pliable managed to free himself from the bog and set off for his own home which he reached in a muddy condition and Christian saw him no more.
Meanwhile, Christian was left to struggle alone in the bog, but he could not get out because of the heavy burden upon his back. But a man called "Help" came to him and asked him why he had not used the stepping stones in the bog. Christian confessed that he had been in such a panic that he lost his way and had fallen into the bog, whereupon Help said, "Give me your hand", drew him out of the bog and set him on firm ground and bade him go on his way.
By this time, Pliable had reached his own home and was listening shame-faced to the opinions of his friends on his escapade. Some congratulated him for his wisdom in coming back, some called him a fool for his rashness in going in the first place, yet others accused him of cowardice in not continuing in a venture that appeared to have little difficulty and danger and laughed at Pliable behind his back.
Christian, now on the right path, was met by one "Mr Worldly Wiseman" who came upon him struggling on his way burdened by his heavy load and advised him to shed his burden as soon as possible otherwise he would never find peace and joy. This was exactly what Christian was earnestly hoping to do.
"You are going the wrong way about this", said Mr Worldly Wiseman. "Listen to me and I will direct you to someone who is skilled in removing such burdens. I am older than you, take my advice. How did you come by this burden on your back in the first place?"
"By reading this book in my hand", said Christian.
"I thought so", said Mr Worldly Wiseman, "Do you see that hill over there? If you go up that hill, the first house you see is his."
So Christian turned out of the way, but as he approached the hill the burden became heavier and flashes of fire darted out of the hill causing Christian to quake with fear of being burnt alive.
To add to his shame and misery, Christian now saw Evangelist coming towards him with a severe and dreadful look upon his face.
"What are you doing here?" said Evangelist to Christian. "Are you not the man whom I set on the road to salvation?"
"I am dear Sir" he replied.
"Why then have you turned aside so quickly from the way?"
At first Christian was speechless, but then recounted with sorrow the whole tale of his shameful behaviour. Then Christian fell down at his feet in a dead faint, but Evangelist took him by the right hand and began to comfort him reminding him that all his sins and blasphemies can be forgiven, but that he must take more heed of the advice given to him and to reject the advice of all who would lead him away. Now Christian began to cry out in fear and trembling, "Sir, is there any hope for me that I may return to the little gate and not be abandoned? May my sin be forgiven?"
"Your sin is very great" said Evangelist, "but if you are truly sorry and make sure you do not follow the wrong path again, no sin is beyond forgiveness. Do not be faithless but believing." Evangelist gave him a kiss, one smile, and bid him God speed. So Christian went on his way by the right path, taking care not to make any mistakes and even avoiding conversation with anyone he met. So he arrived at the gate.
Over the gate were the words "Knock and it shall be opened unto you". The gate keeper whose name was "Goodwill", readily opened the gate and welcomed Christian in. Christian was filled with joy as he heard Goodwill tell him that he would show him wonderful sights. "Do you see this narrow way? That is the way by which you must go".
"Are there turnings and windings by which a stranger might lose his way?" asked Christian.
"It was the way cast up by the great Patriarchs, Prophets, Christ and his Apostles, and it is as straight as it can be. There are indeed many crooked and wide roads, but only the straight and narrow paths you must follow."
Christian then asked him whether he could not help him off with his burden that was upon his back, for he was still very anxious to have it off. "You must be patient and content to bear it" said Goodwill, "until you come to the "Place of Deliverance", for there it will fall off your back by itself.
Then Christian began to set off again upon his journey but was told that he would pass by the house of an "Interpreter" where he should knock and he would be shown "excellent things".
Christian again set off on his journey taking leave of his friend Goodwill who also bade him God speed. At the house of the Interpreter, Christian knocked and introduced himself and asked to see the excellent things that would help him on his journey.
"Come in" said the Interpreter and took Christian into a private room where he saw a wonderful picture hanging on the wall. It showed a figure of a very grave person with eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth written upon his lips, the world behind his back as if he pleaded with men, and a crown of gold hanging over his head.
Next Christian was shown into a very large room that was full of dust because it was never swept. After a while the Interpreter called a man to sweep it. The dust began to fly about the room, so that Christian was nearly choked by it. Then the Interpreter called a girl to bring water and sprinkle the room with it. When she had done this, the room was swept and cleaned with pleasant results. "What does this mean?" said Christian.
"This room is like the heart of a man not made holy by the sweet grace of the Gospel. The one who first tried to clean the room is the Law, but the girl who brought water to sprinkle and settle the dust is the Gospel. Even so, the sweet influence of the sprinkled water has power to subdue the dust, mankind's sin, and render sweet and clean the pollution of the dust, (mankind's sin and dirt), making clean the soul and heart."
Next the Interpreter showed Christian two little boys seated on chairs. One was named "Patience" and the other "Passion". Patience seemed very quiet but Passion was very discontented. Patience was content to wait for the good things of this life, but Passion must have them all now. "This" said the Interpreter" is how it is with men; some will patiently await their blessings but others will not wait with patience and risk losing all through their greedy haste. So it often is for the impatient who may end up in rags and poverty at the end of their days."
Finally, before sending Christian on his way, the Interpreter showed him a foretaste of the joys of those who now lived in a beautiful and stately palace because they had continued faithfully and lovingly to the end of their lives.
As Christian set out once more on his journey, the Interpreter said to him, "May the Comforter be always with you good Christian to guide you in the way that leads you to the Celestial City."
Now the highway up which Christian was to go was fenced on both sides with a wall called "Salvation". With great difficulty, Christian bearing the heavy burden on his back ran up this highway until at a rise in the ground he saw a Cross and a little below it a burial tomb. Just as Christian came up to the Cross his burden loosened from his shoulders, fell off his back and tumbled into the mouth of the Sepulchre where it fell in and Christian saw it no more. At that, Christian was filled with joy and wonder saying, "He has given me rest by His sorrow and life by His death".
Before him appeared three shining figures who greeted him with the words "Peace be with you!" The first said "May your sins be forgiven", the second stripped him of his rags and clothed him with a new change of clothes. The third set a mark on his forehead and gave him a parchment roll with a seal upon it to study as he travelled on and to hand over at the celestial city on his arrival there.
Christian gave three leaps for sheer joy and went forward singing for joy. His tears which now ran down his cheeks were tears of joy as he sang "Blest Cross! Blest Sepulchre! Blest rather be the One that was put to shame for me!"
Christian travelled on until at the bottom of a little valley he saw three men fast asleep. Their names were "Simple", "Slothful" and "Careless". "Wake up" said Christian "and let me help you, otherwise, if a roaring lion comes by, you will certainly become a prey to his teeth." They then woke up but Simple said "I see no danger." Slothful said, "Yet a little more sleep", and Careless said, "Everyone must look after himself". So they lay down to sleep again and Christian went on his way. But he was troubled at their careless attitude and irresponsible behaviour when they rejected his well-meant help. To add to his concern, he saw two men tumbling over the wall onto the enclosed path and said to them, "Don't you know it is written "The one who does not come in by the door but climbs up some other way is a thief and a robber? Why did you not come in by the door?" They replied that it was too long a way to their country. We take a short cut this way." "But hasn't the Lord of the City where we are going declared this is a trespass against him?"
"What does it matter? You came in by the gate, we are tumbling over the wall. How much better off are you than we are? You look after yourself. We are where we want to be."
Christian was not satisfied with this reasoning. "I walk by the rules of my Master, but you by your fancy way. I doubt whether you will be found true men at the end of the way. You came in by yourselves without His direction, you will surely go out by yourselves without His mercy."
"We can't see any difference between you and ourselves except the fine coat you wear."
"It was an act of kindness from my Master to give me a coat to recognise me by in place of my rags. I have also a mark printed on my forehead when my burden fell off my back and a scroll to read on my journey and to hand in at the Celestial City."
The rogues had no answer to make, but laughed him to scorn, but Christian went ahead of them refreshing himself by reading from his scroll.
So they went on till they came to the "Hill of Difficulty". Here their path became three tracks, one to the left, one to the right, but the steepest path straight ahead. Christian took a drink from a spring here and plucking up his courage, set about climbing the hill by the direct path before him. The two rogues seeing the hill so steep and high, decided to go each his own way and supposing these two paths called "Destruction" and "Danger" would meet higher up, one took the way to Destruction and the other the path called Danger and both were lost. Meanwhile, Christian continued his climb up the steep hill at first running, then clambering on hands and knees until he reached a pleasant Arbour made by the Lord of the Hill for weary pilgrims. Here Christian sat in comfort for a while and read some of his scroll for encouragement but then fell into a deep sleep until nearly nightfall, not aware that in his sleep he had dropped his scroll. Now someone came to him and said, "Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise" whereupon he suddenly awoke and in panic hastened on to the top of the hill. There he met two men running towards him. Their names were "Timorous" and "Mistrust" who reported two lions on the pathway from whom they were running. Whether the lions were sleeping or awake they could not tell but they were fleeing from them and running for safety.
"You make me afraid", said Christian, "But where shall I go? If I go back I shall die in the destruction of the city. If I go on and reach the Celestial City I am sure to be safe there; to go back is nothing but death; to go on means fear of death and after it life everlasting beyond it. I will go forward. So Mistrust and Timorous ran down the hill and Christian went forward.
In his distress and perplexity Christian fell on his knees and asked God's forgiveness for his foolish act in falling asleep and losing his scroll. "Oh what a wretched man that I am" said he, to fall asleep in the daytime. The day is far spent." Who could imagine the sorrow, shame fear and misery of Christian as he retraced his steps searching for his lost scroll. "Oh that I had not slept" he said.
By now he had reached the Arbour where he had slept, but who can describe the joy he felt when searching tearfully around the Arbour where he had slept when he espied his scroll which with haste and trembling he snatched up and secured in his bosom. He thanked God for his good fortune in recovering his scroll which meant so much to him - a matter of life or death. How swiftly did Christian, before the light failed, race back to the place where he had heard the report of Mistrust and Timorous of the lions in the pathway. As he looked around, there by the Highway was a very stately palace called "Beautiful" where if he reached it before dark he might ask shelter for the night. So he hurried forward along the narrow passage where to his fear and dismay he espied two lions in the way. Such was his fear that he was tempted to do as Mistrust and Timorous did - to go back, until at the Porter's Lodge he heard a voice "Is your strength so small? Do not fear the lions, they are chained and are there to test the faith of those who come this way. No harm will come to you!"
Greatly relieved and cheered by the words of the Porter, Christian went slowly, for naturally he still felt fear of the lions and was welcomed into the Palace by a beautiful girl summoned by the Porter. Her name was "Discretion".
The grave and beautiful girl "Discretion" who on behalf of the Family of The Palace Beautiful welcomed Christian , called on "Prudence", "Piety", and "Charity", other members of the Family to join in greeting Christian and to hear the tale of his journey. This, Christian was happy to relate, and to share in their friendship and love as a member of the Family, assured that he would be sent on his way later with God's love and blessing upon him, and with loving remembrances of the family that he had unhappily been forced to leave behind when he began his pilgrimage.
Until late in the night, Christian and the occupants of Palace Beautiful talked about their experiences, their exploits and lives, and great were the mysteries and joys they shared. When they retired to bed they gave Christian the large bedchamber called "Peace" with a view of the rising sun.
In the morning, they invited Christian to see rare and wonderful records of the acts of the servants of the Lord and on the next day they showed him the beautiful sight of the "Delectable Mountain" and a distant view of the Celestial city and its Gate.
They showed him also the Armour provided by the Lord for the protection of pilgrims - swords, shields, breast-plates, All-prayer and shoes that would not wear out. At the end of the day they went to their rest.
On the next day they took Christian again to the armoury and armed him fully for his journey in case any attack were made upon him. As Christian, now fully armed and prepared to continue his pilgrimage, was about to start, he asked the Porter whether any other pilgrim had passed by the Palace. The Porter replied, "Only one called "Faithful" had passed that way. "Oh" said Christian, "I know him, he is my Townsman, my near neighbour." Having thanked and blessed the Porter for his kindness, Christian set off to go down the hill to the "Valley of Humiliation" whereupon his friends, Discretion, Piety, Charity and Prudence, knowing the way down to be even more difficult than the way up, offered to help Christian lest he slipped, (which happened once or twice). Having received gratefully their help and gifts of food for his journey, he set off on his way.
In the Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian found himself in serious trouble, for he was confronted by a foul fiend named "Apollyon", ("The Destroyer"). In his fear and anxiety he did not know whether to go back or to stand his ground, but since he had no armour for his back, he considered that it would be unwise to turn his back upon Apollyon and expose his back to the darts of the Evil One. Therefore, he went on and met the monster who was hideous to look upon, for he was clothed with scales like a fish, wings like a dragon, feet like a bear and issuing from his mouth came fire and smoke. When this awful creature came closer to Christian he despised him and began to question his parentage, his prowess, his achievements and attempted to entice Christian to cast in his lot with him and to abandon the Prince whom he now served and to accept Beelzebub instead as his leader. Christian declared that he had placed his faith and trust in the Prince whom he loved and trusted and would not prove false to him. Apollyon finally sought to overcome Christian's resolution by reminding him that he had already proved false on various occasions to his Prince. In his heart, Christian acknowledged he had failed him, but declared that he trusted his Prince's love and willingness to pardon his sins and weakness and that he would be loyal to him.
When Apollyon realised that he had failed to win over or to force him to change his mind, he fell into a terrible rage, declaring his hatred of Christian's Prince, and warned Christian that nothing but a fight could now take place between the two of them. Apollyon cried, "Prepare yourself to die!" and thereupon threw a flaming dart at Christian's breast, but Christian had a shield with which he caught the dart but was wounded in the hand, head and foot and was forced a little back. A sore battle raged between them for more than half a day until Christian was weakened by the wounds he had suffered, yet he did not yield.
Apollyon, seizing an opportunity to advance upon Christian, wrestled with him and gave him a dreadful fall. Christian's sword flew from his hand and Apollyon cried, "I am sure of you now!", but as God would have it, while Apollyon was about to strike a mortal blow, Christian nimbly reached out for his sword and caught it crying, "Rejoice not against me O my enemy, when I fall I shall arise!", and dealt such a deadly blow that he quite vanquished Apollyon. Again Christian attacked him shouting, "Nay! In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!" With that, Apollyon spread his dragon wings and sped away, and Christian did not see him again for many a season. Then there came to him a hand with some of the leaves of the "Tree of Life" which Christian took and applied to the wounds he had received in the battle and was healed immediately.
Having refreshed himself with some of the food and drink he had been given, and with his drawn sword in his hand lest there be another enemy near at hand, Christian thanked God for his protection and went on his way.
Now at the end of this valley was another called the "Valley of the Shadow of Death" and whereas the noise of the battle with Apollyon was made hideous with the yelling and shouting of Apollyon, and the sighs and groans made by Christian in his struggle, the noise in this valley far exceeded the terrible noise of that fight, for here was the very "Mouth of Hell" from which poured out flames and smoke and hideous noises too terrible to describe. So great was Christian's fear, that having determined that he would not run back to safety and trusting not to his sword but to "All-prayer", (the whole armour of God), he cried as Fiends came nearer and nearer in a very loud voice; "I will walk in the strength of the Lord God!" and the roaring and terrible crowds gave way and came no further.
When Christian had travelled some time in this wretched condition he heard a voice saying, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no ill for Thou art with me", and received some comfort.
At last, morning broke and Christian looked back to see what terrible sights he had passed in the dark, the Hobgoblins, Satyrs, and Dragons of the Pit, the quagmires, the ditches and the pitfalls. The first part of the Valley was set full of Snares, Traps, Gins, Nets, Pits and danger.
Now as Christian went on his way, he came to a rise in the ground which gave him a view of the road before him and whom should he see but his old friend "Faithful" to whom he shouted, "Ho there! Stay till I come up to you!"
Christian was overjoyed to meet with his former companion and the two of them went forward joyfully, sharing each other's news and enjoying each other's company, which was a joy to them as they came out of the Valley and passed through a dreary wilderness on their way.
When they had come to the end of the wilderness, Faithful chanced to look back and saw someone following them whom he did not recognise at first, but Christian looked back too and said to faithful, "It is my good friend Evangelist". "My good friend too" said Faithful. "Peace be with you my dear friend" said Evangelist as he drew near them. "A thousand times welcome!" said good Faithful, "How glad I am to see you!"
"How have you fared since we last met? What has happened to you, and have you behaved yourselves?" asked Evangelist.
Christian and Faithful told Evangelist of their experiences on the way. "I am so glad you have conquered difficulties and dangers", said Evangelist, but you are not out of range of the Evil One yet. Your trials and tribulations are not yet at an end. Set your faces like a flint; you have all power in heaven and earth on your side.
Christian thanked him warmly for his exhortation.
"You are nearly out of the Wilderness but there lurk before you extreme danger of enemies. Be faithful to the death. One of you at least will assuredly die in that city, but commit your souls to God your faithful Creator."
Having passed through the Wilderness, they entered this town called "Vanity" where a fair is held all the year round and all kinds of disgraceful articles and entertainments were sold and games, plays and roguery practised.
Because Christian and Faithful refused to join in with the "fun of the fair" the local people took offence at them and some particularly evil and envious men of the Fair seized Christian and Faithful and beat them and flung dirt at them and sorely abused them, but Christian and Faithful obeyed the advice of Evangelist and showed themselves kind and forgiving to their persecutors even when fastened into a cage to be maltreated, threatened and abused. A small number however realised that the men were innocent of any offence. This caused disagreement among their persecutors. The two poor men were again beaten and ill-treated and such a hubbub followed that it was decided to condemn them to death as disturbers of the peace. They loaded them with heavy chains showing them off as a spectacle to all at the Fair.
It was decided by their captors that the men should be put on trial and accused of various charges which would lead to their condemnation and death.
Meanwhile, it was privately decided by Christian and faithful that if only one of them was to accept martyrdom they would abide contentedly by the will of God and accept His decision as to who should die first.
When the trial of these two men took place, it was Faithful who began their defence. He boldly spoke the truth and refuted all the false accusations that were made against him and Christian, but not with hatred and rancour. As expected, the verdict on these two men was "guilty". Faithful was condemned to a terrible death, but for a time Christian escaped while faithful went up to glory in Heaven to meet his Lord and to abide with Him for ever.
Christian was thrown into prison once more, but after a while was released and continued on his pilgrimage to the Celestial city. As he went, he was accompanied by one called "Hopeful", who was moved to go with him by witnessing the glorious death of Faithful and desired to give his life as Faithful had done.
As Christian set out from Vanity Fair, he sang this song in praise of Faithful:
"Well Faithful, you have faithfully proclaimed
Love to your Lord; with him you shall be blessed.
When Faithless ones with all their vain delights
Are crying out under their hellish plights,
Sing Faithful, sing, and let your name survive;
For though they have killed you, you are yet alive!"
As Christian and his companion, Hopeful, travelled on, they came to a pleasant plain called "Ease" where they walked beside a beautiful River called the "River of God", or "River of the Water of Life". Here they found comfort, refreshment and joy for their weary feet. Here they ate, drank and slept for several days for there was no risk of danger or trespassing in that area. Now at the further side of that plain was a little Hill called "Lucre" and in that Hill, a silver mine which had a bad reputation for enticing people to turn aside to visit it, whereupon many in the past had gone too close to the brink of the pit or on treacherous ground fallen into the pit and were injured or even killed and never seen again.
Hopeful was in favour of going close to the mine, but Christian wisely counselled that they should have nothing to do with the Silver Mine, and Hopeful apologised to his companion for entertaining the foolish thought and they continued on their journey.
Now the path from the River became arduous and their feet sore so that when Christian noticed that there was another way leading in the same direction he drew hopeful's attention to it and recommended that they should try this path because it was clear that they had already taken the wrong path. "Good brother, do not be offended," said Christian, "I am sorry I have brought you out of the way, please forgive me."
"Be comforted my brother, for I forgive you", said Hopeful.
"I am glad that I have a merciful brother" said Christian. "We must not stay here" said Christian, "let's try to go back again." Meanwhile, it was beginning to rain, and to thunder and lightning in a dreadful manner, and the water was rising around them.
"Oh that I had kept on my way!" said Hopeful. At finding a little shelter they discovered a Castle called "Doubting Castle", the home of the Giant "Despair" who owned the grounds where in their extreme weariness they had taken refuge and fallen asleep.
In the morning, early, the Giant, walking around his fields caught the two pilgrims sleeping in his grounds.
In a grim and surly voice he roused the sleepers and having discovered how they had come to be in his grounds angrily exclaimed: "You have this night trespassed on me by trampling in and lying on my grounds; you must go along with me." So they were forced to go with him because he was stronger than they were and they knew they were at fault. The Giant drove them before him and shut them into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking. From Wednesday morning till Saturday night there they lay without food, drink or light, and Christian had double sorrow because he felt that his unadvised haste had brought them to this distress.
When the giant told his wife what he had done and asked her advice how he should deal with his prisoners, she advised him to beat them without mercy next morning which he did with a crab Tree cudgel until they could not move upon the dungeon floor yet they did not speak a word against the Giant. The next night his wife, hearing that the prisoners were still alive advised the giant to counsel them to make an end of themselves by knife, or better, poison, since they had no hope of escape. Christian and Hopeful spent the day in trying to decide whether they should take the advice of the Giant and take their own lives. Christian was inclined to make an end of their miserable existence but true to his name, Hopeful counselled patience and regard for the sanctity of human life. He argued that the issue of life and death are in the hand of God. "Let us not be our own murderers", said Hopeful.
When night fell, the Giant and his wife again discussed how they should dispose of the prisoners. "Since they choose not to die", said she, "in the morning take them out into the Castle Yard and show them the bones and skulls of those you have already killed and tell them before the end of the week their turn will come to be rent in pieces."
On Saturday, about midnight, the pilgrims began to pray and continued in prayer till almost daybreak at which time Christian suddenly broke out in a passionate speech. "What a fool I am ", said he, "to lie in a stinking dungeon when I might walk freely out of here! I have a key in my bosom called "Promise" that I am sure will open any lock in Doubting Castle!"
"That's good news, good brother!" said Hopeful, "Please try it out!"
So Christian tried the key which opened the dungeon bolts and set the prisoners free. They used the key to go into the Castle yard and with difficulty succeeded in opening the gate to freedom. The Gate opened with such a creaking noise that it awakened Giant despair who, setting off in hasty pursuit of his prisoners felt his limbs fail so that he could not chase after them.
Free at last, and grateful for their deliverance, the pilgrims came to the King's highway again and safely out of the power and jurisdiction of the Giant.
Before they left the grounds of Giant Despair they erected a pillar upon which they engraved a warning for any who came that way of the danger of falling into the hands of Giant Despair and made their way on the path that led to the Delectable Mountain.
When Christian and Hopeful came to the Delectable Mountain they viewed the gardens, orchards, vineyards and water fountains where they drank, washed themselves, and freely ate from the vineyards. All of these facilities were freely provided by the Lord of the Hill.
There were sheep and shepherds on the mountains. The shepherds explained that this was "Immanuel's Land" within sight of His city; "The sheep are his and he laid down his life for them" said the shepherds when the pilgrims asked about this wonderful place. "
If you wish", said the shepherds, "you may stay here in your journeying."
"The Lord of the Mountains has charged us not to be forgetful to entertain strangers. Welcome to the Delectable Mountains! We would like you to stay with us." The shepherds, whose names were: "Knowledge", "Experience", "Watchful" and "Sincere" took them by the hand to their tents. Great was the joy and hospitality offered and gratefully accepted.
In the morning, the shepherds called up the two pilgrims to walk with them upon the mountain to enjoy the pleasant views on every side.
When having glimpsed the gate to the Celestial City and some of the glory of the place, the pilgrims took leave of the shepherds. One of them gave the pilgrims a note of the way to follow, a second gave them a warning to avoid the false guides, and a third bid them take care not to sleep upon the "Enchanted ground" and the fourth bid them "God speed".
As the two pilgrims pursued their way, Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy of sleep, and said to Christian, "I can scarcely hold open my eyes. Let us lie down here and take a nap".
"By no means!" said Christian, "lest sleeping we never wake again!"
"Why, my brother?" said Hopeful, "sleep is sweet; we may be refreshed if we take a nap."
"Don't you remember?" said Christian, "one of the shepherds warned us not to sleep on the Enchanted ground! Let us watch and be sober".
"I acknowledge my fault" said penitent Hopeful.
"Let us keep awake" said Christian, "by lively talk together. Tell me" said he, "how did you first come to take care of the good of your soul?"
"I continued", said Hopeful, "in my bad behaviour until I realised that pursuing the Treasures and Riches of the world would end in disaster and death, as you and Faithful have taught me by your faith and good living in Vanity fair and I have renounced them"
"What were the things that you renounced?"
Hopeful replied: "All the Treasures and Riches of the World and the delight of rioting, revelling, drinking, swearing, lying, uncleanness, Sabbath-breaking and similar sins that tend to destroy the soul, for the end of these things is death and for these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
After the pilgrims had discussed the steps by which they and others had renounced sin and sought the path of salvation, they had passed safely the "Enchanted ground and entered the fair land of Beulah.
The pilgrims, having left the Enchanted Ground, entered the country of Beulah" where the air was very sweet and pleasant and there enjoyed the continual singing of birds, the daily blooming of flowers; the sun shone night and day and they were out of the reach and sight of Giant Despair and Doubting Castle. Here they met some of the inhabitants of the Celestial city. Here they had a closer view of the City built of pearls and precious stones and streets paved with gold. As they came closer to the City they saw orchards, vineyards, gardens, the produce of which the gardeners invited them to share.
Here the pilgrims met two men in cloth of gold whose faces shone as the light. The pilgrims asked the men to accompany them into the City. To this they readily agreed, but told them that to reach the City gate, they must go through the river in their own faith. "There is no bridge across this river. To reach the gate you must go through the river" they said. When the pilgrims asked the men whether the water was all of a depth they were told that the depth depended on belief in the King of the place. So they both entered the water and Christian began to sink, despairing of his life. Hopeful had great difficulty in keeping Christian's head above water and encouraging him to keep his faith that he would pass through the water and join the two men on the bank who were waiting to receive them on the other shore. "God has not forsaken you." said Hopeful.
Christian at last gained a vision of help from above. He found sure footing, the water became shallower, their courage increased and they saw their escorts awaiting them who cheered them and aided them in climbing swiftly and safely the hill on which the City was founded being comforted because they had safely got over the river and had such glorious companions to attend them. As Christian and hopeful passed through the Gate into the Celestial city, all the bells in the City rang again for joy and it was said to them; "Enter into the joy of your Lord!"
In Part 1 of the account of the Pilgrim's Progress, Mr Sagacity, who was noted for the pleasure he took in hearing and telling of that which is good, continued the story of Christian who reached the Celestial City but still grieved sorely that he had been obliged to abandon his wife Christiana and four sons. To a fellow traveller he recounted the "bitter sweet" ending of Christian's story.
Mr Sagacity has made known the Assaults, Troubles, Wars, Captivities, Cries, Groans, Frights and Fears that Christian met with and experienced on his journey. When Christian was here on earth he was spoken of as a "Fool" but now he is gone, he is beyond all blame and pain and is praised for entering into the joy of his present enviable abode, for it was for the love he bore to his "Prince" that he ventured as he did.
When asked whether he had ever had news of Christian's wife and children and how they fared, he replied "They have all gone on Pilgrimage after Christian, for they all played the fool at first, yet on reflection they have changed their minds and packed up and have also gone after him. When Christian had "gone over the River" and Christiana could hear of him no more, she began to sorrow for the loss of her husband and to believe that their relationship was utterly broken between them and this caused her many tears and that her behaviour towards him in the past was partly the cause of his leaving her and the children despite his appeals to them all to join him in the pilgrimage. To her sons she confessed her sins in causing the breaking up of the family. One night she had a vision of two ill-favoured men plotting how they might overcome her family since they had already "lost" her husband who had fallen back under the power of the Almighty.
She also had had a vision of Christian himself in a place of joy and bliss and of one called "Secret" sent by those on High to tell her that although she had committed evil in keeping her sons in ignorance of her sin against her husband yet the "Merciful One" had sent to her a message that he is a God ready to forgive and longs to do so and moreover, he (Secret) was bearing a letter to her bidding her to follow the example of her husband whereby she might come to his city and dwell in the King's house with joy for ever.
Then "Secret" said "I advise you Christiana to do as your husband did. Go to the wicket gate yonder and I wish you 'good speed'. Take this letter in your bosom, read it to yourself and your children - a letter that you must deliver in at the further gate."
"This is a dream" said Christiana, "I had last night and the encouragement this stranger has given me this morning moves me to follow in your father's footsteps for I know not one of you is willing to stay behind." Then her children all burst into tears of joy and straight away they began to prepare to set out on their journey.
As Christiana and her little ones were about to leave their home a knock was heard on the door. "If you come in God's name, come in" said Christiana, and two of her near neighbours unused to hearing such a cordial greeting came in and found Christiana preparing to leave home. They said "Why? What is the meaning of this?" Christiana told them about the intended journey and why it was necessary. "But you must not cast yourself away in this manner" Said Timorous, "Pray for your poor children's sake."
"No" said Christiana, "my children shall go with me; not one of them is willing to stay behind. I am resolved to go. I dreamed last night I saw my husband. His Prince has sent me a letter inviting me to come to be with him." With that she plucked out her letter and read it. There followed a sharp disagreement between Christiana and Timorous who reminded her of all the dangers and difficulties Christian met with in his pilgrimage and tried to convince Christiana of the folly of following after him, but met with no success. Timorous then urged Mercy her companion to leave Christiana to herself and let her suffer for her own folly and obstinacy.
Mercy however, showed a more kindly feeling for Christiana and said that she would go with her at least part of the way because it was a lovely day, but her real reason for this she did not disclose. Not only Timorous, but several others of the women added their reproaches and warnings to Christiana, reviling her and attempting to shame her into abandoning her resolve but Mercy alone was prepared to show her love and understanding and support in her decision.
The decision for Christiana was to accept the company and love of Mercy at least to the wicket gate and there to consider the way forward. Mercy was invited to go with the little family but was reassured by Christiana that if she cast in her lot with the pilgrims she would be loved, protected and accepted as a pilgrim on the journey. "I will repay your kindness" said Christiana, "if you cast in your lot with me and the little ones."
Before they reached the wicket gate, Mercy had pledged her love and loyalty to Christiana and the family and despite her tears which she shed at the thought of leaving her own loved ones with no-one to guide them, (for Mercy herself was but a young maiden), committed herself wholeheartedly to the love of God and her "new family" to share with them all that the future had in store for them.
Then said Mercy:
"Let the most blessed be my guide,
If it be his blessed will
Unto his Gate, into his fold,
Up to his holy hill.
And let him never suffer me
To swerve, or turn aside
From his free grace, and Holy ways,
Whatever shall happen to me.
And let him gather those of mine,
That I have left behind.
Lord make them pray they may be thine,
With all their heart and mind.
When Christiana came up to the Slough of Despond, she came to a halt realising that it was here that her dear husband was nearly smothered with mud and despite the command of the King to make the place good for the pilgrims, it was even worse than it had formerly been; since instead of bringing stones to repair the surface, the labourers had brought dirt and rubbish and had spoilt the surface. At this sight, Christiana and her boys came to a halt, but Mercy said "Come let us venture but let us be wary" so they looked carefully for the stepping stones and with only a few slips managed to cross the Slough safely.
It was agreed that Christiana as the eldest of the party should knock on the door and speak for them all when they came to the door. Unfortunately, the only response to the knocking on the door was the barking of a huge mastiff whose barking filled the boys and the women with dire anxiety and fear. They were at a loss as to what to do for they dared not run back and feared to encounter the savage dog. At last they summoned up sufficient courage to knock again more vehemently than before. Then the dog stopped barking and its keeper opened the door to them, and they, (but not all), went in through the gate - but poor Mercy, because she hesitated, was left outside! Her plight was desperate, poor soul, but Christiana, having quickly introduced the others, drew the Gate-Keeper's attention to Mercy outside the door. Poor Mercy had meanwhile become so anxious all alone, isolated from her companions, fearful that she was abandoned and had no hope of rescue from her predicament was by now only fit to die of fear and when at last the Gate-Keeper came to her rescue, had fainted away, but through his love and care and a bundle of myrrh recovered.
When Mercy and her companions had quietened their fears and anxieties, they spoke further to the Gate Keeper who rejoiced that Christian's wife and children had taken the step of coming on a pilgrimage to the celestial city. He calmed their anxiety that they had been rude and apologised for their imprudence and importunity which he willingly pardoned and granted them joy and a quiet conscience. Mercy, relieved of her fears and anxiety, worshipped in thankfulness for her escape and took comfort from the fact that there is always help and salvation in times of difficulty and danger for those who trust in the Lord and make their requests for help known to Him.
It was well for Christiana and Mercy that they were so soon to face danger and to experience the blessing of salvation in a situation that required help on their journey. They had not gone far upon their way when two very ill-favoured men accosted them and bid fair to assault and molest them. Christiana and Mercy began to fight them off with anger and violence. It soon became clear that these ruffians were not intent upon stealing their money but of common and indecent assault upon their persons. The two women, being in danger of being overpowered shrieked out and cried: "Murder! Murder!" They were not far from the gate, and so it was that their voices were recognised and speedily came a party to their relief and fought off their aggressors and rescued the women and denounced the ruffians and pursued them, but they made their escape over the wall into the garden of the man to whom the great dog belonged, so the dog became their protector! Mercy, being so much younger than Christiana was much more shaken and disturbed by this unwelcome and frightening experience but Christiana spoke words of comfort to her and solaced her in her innocency, blaming herself for not having had the foresight to warn her companion of the unruly and disgraceful tendencies of some unruly men.
Resuming their journey, the pilgrims drew near to the Interpreter's House where even before they reached the door they heard the good people of the house commending Christiana, the woman who was formerly unwilling to go on pilgrimage. They little thought that she now stood at the door. At last, having heard what they were saying, Christiana knocked at the door which was opened by a young girl named "Innocent" who ran back into the house and gave the good news to her companions. "Come in!" cried the Master of the house, "Welcome!" and he brought them all into the house to spend the night.
When it was known to those in the house that the Master was so delighted to welcome them into the house there was great excitement and joy in the welcome given to the pilgrims. Then they leaped for joy and went and told their Master who came straightway to confirm the exciting news. "But why are you standing at the door?" he cried. "Come in" said he, "We have already heard you have become a pilgrim. Come children, come in Maiden, come in all of you" and brought them all into the house to spend the night and to receive love and hospitality. They were bidden to sit down and rest while supper was prepared and those who attended the pilgrims continually smiled upon them, studying their faces and showing their welcome, love and joy to all the pilgrims.
While the meal was being prepared, the Interpreter showed the pilgrims into a room where a man with a muck rake was busy raking to himself the straw, the small sticks and dust of the floor. His eyes were all the time down-cast and he failed completely to perceive above his head one who called to him offering a Celestial Crown in his hand, offering it in exchange for the muck rake. "This" said the Interpreter, "is to show that for many foolish people Heaven is but as a Fable and not a reality, for earthly things when they have power over the minds of men quite carry their hearts away from God. Straws, sticks and dust with most are the great things now valued by many." The meaning of this riddle was solved by Christiana who won praise from the Interpreter for her perception. After the Interpreter had shown the pilgrims further object lessons such as the chicken that always after sipping, always looks up to the sky in gratitude for the water that it receives; the hen that varies its calls according to the gift that she intends to give her chicks or the warning she gives to them when danger threatens and the patience and quietness of the lamb about to be slaughtered. "Your King calls you His sheep" said he. From these examples and various others did the Interpreter teach his little band of pilgrims in the manner of the proverbs of Holy Scripture.
By now the supper was ready, and after giving thanks they sang their Grace and began their meal to the accompaniment of minstrels and skilled vocalists:
The Lord is my only support
And he that doth me feed
How can I then want anything
Whereof I stand in need?
After supper at the request of the Interpreter, Christiana gave testimony to those circumstances and inducements which caused her to become a pilgrim though she had formerly set her mind and will to reject such a course of action.
After this it was the turn of Mercy to tell the assembled company how she came to join Christiana in the venture. With due and sincere modesty, blushing and trembling, Mercy told her story and concluded by declaring that following the example of Christiana she had said in her heart that if all that Christiana had said about the joys of Eternal Life are true, she would also leave her Father and Mother and the Land of her nativity, and would if she might, go along with Christiana to her husband and his King. At the end of her avowal, the Interpreter said: "You are "Ruth". The Lord recompense your work and a full reward be given to you by the Lord God of Israel under whose wings you have come to trust."
In the morning the girl, Innocence, was asked to take the pilgrims to the bath in the garden so that they might be cleansed and refreshed for their journey. They all returned to the house sweet and clean and strengthened for their journey, and the Interpreter, having approved of their appearance, took his seal and marked them between the eyes so that they might be known in the places where they would be going in the future. The Interpreter then bade Innocence go into the Vestry and to bring garments of fine linen white and clean for the pilgrims to wear. The Interpreter called for "Great heart" a man of his servants to take Sword Helmet and Shield and take "these my 'daughters'" to the house called Beautiful where they will next stay. "Good Speed" said they to Great Heart, and the family sent them away with many a good word singing on their way.
As the pilgrims, led by Mr Great Heart travelled on, they reached the Hill Difficult. Here their guide told them of the folly and tragedy of Christian's two fellow-travellers, Formality and Hypocrisy. Where the way branched into three paths, Christian wisely chose to follow the steep and difficult path that went straight ahead, but the other two took each of them a by-path to either side and were never seen again. Although there were signs and a chain and ditches to warn pilgrims to keep away from the forbidden paths, these two rash and foolish men deliberately chose to ignore the warning sign and in their folly became lost.
Before they reached the top of the hill, Mercy said, "I must sit down. I can understand why they chose what seemed a better path and the little boys began to cry. Mr Great heart said to the little ones, "Come my pretty boys, let us go a little further to the Prince's Arbour but we must not sleep in it for it cost poor Christian dear. So he took the youngest by the hand and helped him to the Arbour. "Thank you" said the little boy "for lending me a hand in my need. Mother has told me the way to Heaven is up a ladder and the way to Hell is as down a Hill. I had rather go up the ladder to Life than down the hill to death."
Having rested awhile, Christiana shared with all, some of the food the Interpreter had given her before they left his house, reminding Mercy that she would be a sharer in all the good things because she had so willingly become her companion on the way. Refreshed and rested, they went on till they came within sight of the lions which caused great fear to fall upon all except their guide and protector, Mr Great Heart, who after a long and tedious battle with a giant that backed the lions, slew him and brought his little party through the danger and up to the porter's door and safety where they gave thanks for their safe journey and pleaded, all of them, that Mr Great Heart should accompany them to their journey's end. With great joy they were welcomed into a large room in the house with a loving kiss. Although it was late and they were tired because of the strain of the journey and the sights they had seen, they accepted the invitation of their hosts to eat and drink before retiring to bed in the room where Christian had slept.
In the morning, Mercy asked whether the pilgrims might stay in the house for a considerable time. "Certainly" was the answer, and it was agreed by all that they should stay about a month or more to their mutual satisfaction, and Prudence asked leave of Christiana to question the boys to see how well Christiana had brought up her children. Prudence then did this and was very impressed and delighted at the result of her questioning. At this time, Mercy worked very hard with her needle making socks and garments which she gave away to those who had need of them. While Mercy was busy at her work, a young man named "Mr Brisk" came often to court her but she repulsed his offers when he appeared not to approve of her generosity and Mercy was warned by Prudence of his unworthy motives.
Now Matthew, the eldest son of Christiana fell ill and his sickness became severe. Christiana heard of a doctor named "Skill" who, being called to the lad declared that he would die unless he was treated, for he had some noxious substance undigested in his throat. "What diet has he been fed upon lately?" asked the doctor. "Only what is good and wholesome" said Christiana. Thereupon Samuel urgently reminded his mother that despite her disapproval, Matthew had taken some of the fruit of Beelzebub's orchard and eaten it. Dr Skill made a potion which at first was too weak and bore no result. He next made a potion that the boy was loath to take, but after being urged to do so he at last agreed and was finally cured of his illness, to the great relief of his mother and all who loved him.
Now about this time there was a knock at the door, and when the Porter opened it there was Mr Great Heart bearing gifts of food and drink from his Lord for the pilgrims on their journey. Great was their rejoicing and their confidence in their friends and guide. Christiana thanked the Porter for all his kindness to them all. She put a gold coin, "Angel", in his hand and he bowed low to her in thanks and earnestly besought the boys to shun youthful sins and to put gladness into their mother's heart. So they thanked the Porter and departed, and as they went on their way they heard melodious music accompanied by beautiful birdsong:
Through all my life your favour is
So frankly shown to me,
That in your house for evermore
My dwelling place shall be.
And Prudence, still listening thought she heard another bird answer it saying:
For why the Lord our God is good
His mercy is for ever sure
His truth at all times firmly stood
And shall from age to age endure.
Now they began to go down the hill into the valley of Humiliation. It was a steep hill and the way was slippery, but they were very careful and came down safely.
When they were down in the valley, Piety said to Christiana, "This is the place where Christian your husband met with the foul fiend "Apollyon" whose name means "Destroyer", and had that dreadful fight, but as long as you have Mr Great Heart as your guide and protector, we hope you will not come to harm. Then said Mr Great Heart, "We do not need to fear this valley, for there is nothing to hurt us unless we bring it upon ourselves. It is a delightful place. See how green is this valley, it has a very fruitful soil."
Now as they were going along and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father's sheep. He wore very mean clothes but he had a very fresh and cheerful face as he sat by himself and sang. "Listen" said Mr Great Heart, "to what the shepherd boy says." As they listened, he sang:
He that is down, needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride:
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it, or much:
And, Lord, Contentment still I crave,
Because you save all such.
Then said their guide, "Do you hear him? I am sure he lives a merrier life than he that is clad in silk and velvet. Men have met with Angels here and have in this place found the "words of life".
As they reached the middle of the valley they felt the ground shake under them. They heard, to the pilgrims' dismay a hollow and fearsome roaring as though they were being pursued by a lion or frightful fiend whereupon all except Mr Great Heart were stricken with fear and dread. Their guide however sent all the pilgrims before him and awaited the approach of the roaring beast. "Resist the Devil and he will fly from you!" said Mr Great Heart, and prepared to battle with the beast which when it came close to him, vanished from all their sights.
They went on their way until they arrived at a great pit that gave out fire and smoke, a hideous noise and loathsome smell. Christiana said to Mercy "Now I see what my poor husband went through with these fiends busy about him ready to tear him in pieces. To be here is a dreadful thing."
"Fear not, stand still, see what an end will be made to this" said their guide.
The giant Maul accused Mr Great Heart of kidnapping women and children and transporting them into a strange country, but Great Heart said: "I am a servant of the God of Heaven and my task is to turn men, women and children from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God and if this indeed is the ground of your quarrel, let us settle the issue in battle as soon as you like." Then the giant came up and Mr Great Heart went to meet him. As he went he drew his sword, but the giant had a club with which he struck him down upon one of his knees, whereupon the women and children cried out in dismay, but Mr Great Heart, recovering himself, laid about him in lusty manner and wounded the giant in the arm, for the space of an hour with such ferocity that the breath came out of the giant's nostrils as the heat out of a boiling cauldron. Then they sat down to rest, but Mr Great Heart betook himself to prayer. The women and children did nothing but sigh and cry all the time the battle lasted. When they had rested a while and taken breath, they both fell to blows again and Mr Great Heart with a full blow brought the giant down to the ground. "Hold!" cried the giant, "Let me recover!" he cried. So Mr Great Heart fairly let him get up. So to it they went again and the giant very nearly broke Mr Great Heart's head with his club. Mr Great Heart, seeing this, ran up to the giant in the full heat of his spirit and pierced him under the fifth rib, so that the giant began to faint and he could no longer hold up his club. Then Mr Great Heart followed up his first blow and smote the head of the giant from his shoulders. The women and children rejoiced and Mr Great Heart also praised God for the deliverance he had wrought. Here they all sat down and rested and here they ate and drank and made merry because by God's grace they had been delivered from so dangerous an enemy and brought safely on their way.
Who would true valour see
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather.
There's no discouragement,
Shall make him once relent,
His first avow'd Intent,
To be a Pilgrim.
Who so beset him round,
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He'll with a giant fight,
But he will have a right,
To be a Pilgrim.
Hobgoblin, nor foul fiend,
Can daunt his spirit:
He knows he in the end,
Shall Life inherit.
Then fancies flee away,
He'll fear not what men say,
He'll labour night and day,
To be a Pilgrim
Now the Day drew on that Christiana must be gone. The road was full of people to see her take her journey and all the banks of the river were full of horses and chariots which had come from above to accompany her to the City Gate. So she came out and entered the river with a wave of farewell to those that followed her to the riverside. The last word she was heard to say was "I come, Lord, to be with you and to bless your holy name."
So ends the story of Christian and Christiana, who, by the grace of God, were reunited in love in God's kingdom with Mercy, their children and all their friends who rejoiced in this happy ending.
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