Illustrated edition of the select works of John Bunyan : with an original sketch of the author's life and times ; (Volume 1) online

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straw, and brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him fly ; sling-
stones are turned with him into stubble; darts are counted as stubble;
he laugheth at the shaking of a spear." What can a man do in this
case ? It is true, if a man could at eveiy turn have Job's horse, and had
skill and courage to ride him, he might do notable things ; "for his neck
is clothed with thunder ; he will not be afraid of the grasshopper ; the
gloiy of his nostrils is ten-ible ; he paweth in the valley, rejoiceth in his
strength, and goeth forth to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear,
and is not affrighted ; neither turneth back fi-om the sword. The quiver
rattleth against him, the glittering spear, and the shield. He swalloweth
the ground with fierceness and rage ; neither believeth he that it is the
sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha! ha! and
he smelleth the battle afar off, the thundering of the captains, and the

But for such footmen as thee and I are, let us never desire to meet
with an enemy, nor vaunt as if we could do better, when we hear of others
that they have been foiled, nor be tickled at the thoughts of our own
manhood ; for such commonly come by the worst when tried. Witness
Peter, of whom I made mention before, he would swagger, aye he would ;
he would, as his vain mind prompted him to say, do better ; and stand
more for his master than all men ; but who so foiled and run down by
these villains as he ?

When therefore we hear that such robberies are done on the Khig's
highway, two things become us to do : 1. To go out harnessed, and to be
sure to take a shield with us ; for it was for want of that, that he that
laid so lustily at Leviathan could not make him yield ; and indeed, if that
be wanting, he fears us not at all. Therefore, he that had skill, hath


said, " Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

2. It is good also that we desire of the king a convoy ; yea, that he
will go with us himself.^ This made David rejoice when in the Valley of
the Shadow of Death ; and Moses was rather for dying where he stood,
than to go one step without his God. O! my brother, if he will but go
along with us, what need we be afraid of ten thousands that shall set
themselves against us ? but without him the proud helpers fall under the

I, for my part, have been in the fray before now ; and though (through
the goodness of him that is best) I am, as you see, alive, yet I cannot boast
of my manhood. Glad shall I be, if I meet with no more such brunts ;
though I fear we are not got beyond all danger. However, since the Hon
and the bear have not as yet devoured me, I hope God will also deliver us
from the next uncircumcised Philistine. Then sang Christian :

Poor Little-Faith ! hast been among the thieves ?
Wast robb'd ? Remember this, whoso behaves.
And get more faith ; then shall you victors be
Over ten thousand, else scarce over three.

So they went on, and Ignorance followed. They went then till they
came at a place where they saw a way put itself into their way, and seemed
withal to lie as straight as the way which they should go ; and here they
knew not which of the two to take, for both seemed straight before them ;
therefore here they stood still to consider. And as they were thinking
about the way, behold a man, black of flesh, but covered with a verj' light
robe, came to them, and asked them why they stood there ? They an-
swered, They were going to the celestial city, but knew not which of these
ways to take. Follow me, said the man, it is thither that I am going.
So they followed him in the way that but now came into the road, which
by degi'ees turned, and turned them so from the city that they desired to
go to, that in a little time their faces were turned away from it ; yet they
followed him. But, by-and-by, before they were aware, he led them both

8 The meek, anxious Christian, desiring that the king spoken of in the text should go with
hini as his convoy, must not fail to be a dutiful subject. His cry will be —

•* One prayer I have — all prayers ia oue —
When I am wholly thine;
Thy will, my God, thy will be done,
And let that will bo mine."


within the compass of a net,*" in which they were both so entangled, that
they knew not what to do ; and with that the white robe fell off the black
man's back : then they saw where they were. Wherefore there they lay
crying some time, for they could not get themselves out.

Chr. Then said Christian to his fellow. Now do I see myself in an error.
Did not the shepherds bid us beware of the Flatterers. As is the saying
of the wise man, so we have found it this day: "A man that flattereth
his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet."

Hope. They also gave us a note of directions about the way for our
more certain finding thereof; but therein we have forgotten to read, and
have not kept ourselves from the paths of the destroyer. Here David was
wiser than we; for, saith he, " Concerning the works of men, by word of
thy lips, I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer." Thus they lay
bewailing themselves in the net. At last they espied a Shining One com-
ing towards them with a whip of small cord in his hand. When he was
come to the place where they were, he asked them whence they came, and
what they did there ? They told him, that they were poor pilgrims going
to Zion, but were led out of their way by a black man clothed in white,
who bid us, said they, follow him, for he was going thither too. Then said
he with the whip, It is Flatterer, a fasle apostle, that hath transformed
himself into an angel of light. So he rent the net, and let the men out.
Then said he to them, Follow me, that I may set you in your way again.
So he led them back to the way which they had left to follow the Flatterer.
Then he asked them, saying. Where did you lie the last night ? They
said, With the shepherds upon the Delectable Mountains. He asked them
then, If they had not a note of directions for the way ? They answered,
Yes. But did you, said he, when you were at a stand, pluck out and read
your note ? They answered, No. He asked them, Why ? They said they
forgot. He asked moreover, If the shepherds did not bid them be-
ware of the Flatterer? They answered. Yes. But we did not imagine,
said they, that this fine-spoken man had been he.

Then I saw in my dream, that he commanded them to lie down ; which,

^ Men are easily persuaded to take that path which is agreeable, without making due
inquiry whither it may lead. Such was the case with Hopeful and Christian here. The man
with black flesh, though very thinly disguised, found it an easy thing to lead them out of their
road. They would not have been drawn into his net if, like Faul, each had considered himself
" a prisoner of the Lord," and admonished his fellow to " walk worthy of the vocation where-
with ye are called."


when they did, he chastised them sore, to teach them the good way where-
in they should walk ; and as he chastised them, he said, " As many as 1
love, I rebuke and chasten ;' be zealous, therefore, and repent." This
done, he bid them go on in their way, and take good heed to the other di-
rections of the shepherds. So they thanked him for all his kindness, and
went softly along the right way, singing,

Come hither you that walk along the way,
See how the pilgrims fare that go astray ;
They catched are in an entangled net,
'Cause they good counsel lightly did forget :
'Tis true they rescued were ; but yet you see
They're scourg'd to boot : let this your caution be.

Now, after awhile, they perceived afar off, one coming softly, and alone,
aU along the highway, to meet them. Then said Christian to his fellow,
yonder is a man with his back towards Zion, and he is coming to meet us.

Hope. I see him ; let us take heed to ourselves now, lest he should
prove a flatterer also. So he drew nearer and nearer, and at last came up
to them. His name was Atheist, and he asked them whither they were

Chr. We are going to Mount Zion.

Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter.

Chr. What is the meaning of your laughter ?

Atheist. I laugh to see what ignorant persons you are, to take upon
you so tedious a journey, and yet are like to have nothing but your travel
for your pains.

' To suffer rebuke and humiliatioh is among the signs that a penitent finds grace. For a
time the chastising rod causes great suffering, but the uses of affliction are great. This is
ably set forth in a Sermon by the Rev. G. S. Drew : " Of that illustrious company which the
inspired Apostle beheld standing before the throne of God, it was asked," he tells us, " ' Who
are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they? ' The inijuiry may be again
made ; and perchance, respecting some of us. The occupant of some other world, entering,
hereafter, that scene of bliss, which we have happily attained, may repeat the question, in his
desire to learn our origin and course, as he beholds us rejoicing amongst the most happy and
honoured citizens of heaven. ' Who are these, whom I see so near the throne of God; whose
countenances are so radiant with immortal joy; whose voices are lifted up in such rapturous
tones? Who are these, and whence came they?' The reply will be the same. 'These are
they who came out of great tribulation;' great tribulation, but it was well and wisely borne.
By the grace of Him in whose society you see them now rejoicing, they turned it too, to good
account. And now it is all over ; for, in this world, there is ' no more death, neither sorrow,
nor wailing, neither shall there be any more pain ; for all these things,' with which those
beings in their mortal state were so familiar, ' have for ever passed away.'"


Chr. Why, man ! do you think we shall not be received ?

Atheist. Received ! There is no such place as you dream of in all this

Chr. But there is in the world to come.

Atheist. When I was at home in mine own country, I heard as you now
affirm, and from that hearing went out to see, and have been seeking this
city these twenty years, but find no more of it than I did the first day I
set out.

Chr. We have both heard and believe that there is such a place to
be found.

Atheist. Had not I, when at home, believed, I had not come thus far
to seek ; but finding none (and yet I should, had there been such a place
to be found, for T have gone to seek it further than you), I am going back
again, and will seek to refresh myself with the things that I then cast
away, for hopes of that which I now see is not.

Chr. Then said Christian to Hopeful, his companion, Is it true which
this man hath said ?

Hope. Take heed, he is one of the Flatterers ; remember what it hath'
cost us once already for our hearkening to such kind of fellows. What !
no Mount Zion ? Did we not see from the Delectable Mountains the gate
of the city ? Also are we not now to walk by faith ? Let us go on, said
Hopeful, lest the man with the whip overtake us again.''

You should have taught me that lesson, which I will round you in the
ears withal ; " Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err
from the words of knowledge :" I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and
let us believe to the saving of the soul.

Chr. My brother, I did not put the question to thee, for that I doubted
of the truth of your belief myself ; but to prove thee, and to fetch from
thee a fruit of the honesty of thy heart. As for this man, I know that he
is blinded by the god of this world. Let thee and I go on, knowing that
we have beUef of the truth, and no lie is of the truth.

' The saving influence of the chastisement the Pilgrims had received is here exemplified.
They are no longer to be led away by any pretended giiide, but are to " walk by faith," that
is, by faith in the God who created them, which, in the truly awakened Christian, can never

" The frame of nature shall decay,

Time's changes break her rusty chain ;
Yea, heaven and earth shall pass away,
But faith's foundations firm remain "


Hope. Now I do rejoice in hope of the gloiy of God. So they turned
awaj' from the man ; and he, laughing at them, went his way.

I saw then in my dream, that they went until they came into a certain
countiy, whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy, if he came a
stranger into it. And here Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy to
sleep ; wherefore he said unto Christian, I do now begin to gi-ow so drowsy,
that I can scarcely hold open mine eves ; let us lie down here and take
one nap.

Chr. By no means (said the other), lest sleeping we never awake more.

Hope. Why, my brother ? Sleep is sweet to the labouring man ; we
may be refreshed if we take a nap.

Chr. Do you not remember, that one of the shepherds bid us beware of
the enchanted ground? He meant by that, that we should beware of
sleeping ; wherefore let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and
be sober.

Hope. I acknowledge myself in a fault ; and had I been here alone, I had
by sleeping run the danger of death. I see it is true that the wise man
saith, "Two are better than one." Hitherto hath thy company been my
mercy ; and thou shalt have a good reward for thy labour.

Chr. Now then, said Christian, to pi-event drowsiness in this place, let
us fall into good discourse.

Hope. With all my heart, said the other.

Chr. Where shall we begin ?

Hope. Where God began with us ; but do you begin, if you please.

Chr. I will sing you first a song, —

When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither.

And hear how these two pilgrims talk together ;

Yea, let them learn of them in any wise.

Thus to keep ope' their drowsy slurab'ring eyes ,

Saints' fellowship, if it be manag'd well.

Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.

Chr. Then Christian began, and said, I will ask you a question. How
came you to think at first of so doing as you do now ?

Hope. Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my

Chr. Yes, that is my meaning.

Hope. I continued a great while in tiie delight of those things which


were seen and sold at our fair ; things wliich I believe now would have,
had I continued in them still, drowned me in perdition and destruction.

Chr. What things were they ?

Hope. All the treasures and riches of the world. Also I delighted
much in rioting, revelling, drinking, swearing, lying, uncleanness, sabbath-
breaking, and what not, that tended to destroy the soul. But I found at
last, by hearing and considering of things that ai*e divine, which indeed I
heard of you, as also of beloved Faithful, that was put to death for his
faith and good living, in Vanity Fair, " That the end of these things is
death ;" and that " for these things' sake, the wrath of God cometh upon
the children of disobedience."

Chr. And did you presently fall under the power of this conviction ?

Hope. No ; I was not willing presently to know the evil of sin, nor the
damnation that follows upon the commission of it; but endeavoured,
when my mind at first began to be shaken with the word, to shut mine
eyes against the light thereof.

Chr. But what was the cause of your carrying of it thus to the first
workings of God's blessed Spirit upon you ?

Hope. The causes were : 1 . I was ignorant that this was the work of
God upon me. I never thought that by awakenings for sin, God at first
begins the conversion of a sinner. 2. Sin was yet very sweet to my flesh,
and I was loth to leave it. 3. I could not tell how to part with mine
old companions, their presence and actions were so desii'able unto me.
4. The hours in which convictions were upon me were such troublesome
and such heart- affi-igh ting hours, that I could not bear, no not so much
as the remembrance of them upon my heart.

Chr. Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your trouble ?

Hope. Yes, verily ; but it would come into my mind again, and then I
should be as bad, nay worse, than I was before.

Chr. Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again ?

Nope. Many things ; as,

1 . If I did but meet a good man in the streets ; or,

2. If I have heard any read in the bible ; or,

3. If mine head did begin to ache ; or,

4. If I were told that some of my neighbours were sick ; or,

5. If I heard the bell toll for some that were dead ; or

6. If I thought of dying myself; or.


7. If I heard that sudden death happened to others :

8. But especially when I thought of myself, that I must quickly come
to judgment.

Chr. And could you at any time, with ease, get off the guilt of sin
when by any of these ways it came upon you ?

Hope. No, not I ; for then they got faster hold of conscience ; and
then, if I did but think of going back to sin, (though my mind was turned
against it), it would be double torment to me.

Chr. And how did you then ?

Hope. I thought I must endeavour to mend my life ; for else, thought
I, I am sure to be damned.'

Chr. And did you endeavour to mend ?

Hope. Yes ; and fled from, not only my sins, but sinful company too,
and betook me to religious duties, as praying, reading, weeping for sin,
speaking truth to my neighbours, &c. These things did I, with many
others, too much here to relate.

Chr. And did you think yourself well then ?

Hope. Yes, for awhile ; but at the last my trouble came tumbling upon
me again, and that over the neck of all my reformations.

Chr. How came that about, since you were now reformed ?

Hope. There were several things brought it upon me, especially such
sa5nngs as these : " All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. By the
works of the law no man shall be justified. When ye have done all these
things, say. We are unprofitable ;" with many more such like. From
whence I began to I'eason with myself thus ; If all my righteousnesses are
filthy rags ; if by the deeds of the law no man can be justified; and if,
when we have done all, we are unprofitable ; then it is but folly to think
of heaven by the law. I further thought thus : If a man runs a hundred
pounds into the shopkeeper's debt, and after that shall pay for all that he

Such misgivings prove conscience to be awake, and encourage a hope that in time reflec-
tion will do its duty. In Bunyan's experience we meet with a reprobate so hardened that he
could jest on the awful hereafter. Our author, when he had adopted serious habits, avoided
his dissolute companions. One he mentions in particular, and says, " About a quarter of a
year after I had left him I met him in a certain lane, and asked him how he did ; he, after his
old swearing mad way, answered he was well. ' But, Harry,' said I, ' why do you curse and
swear thus? What will become of you if you die in this condition ?' He answered me in a
great chafe, 'What would the devil do for company if it were not for such as 1 am?'" — Grace


shall fetch ; yet if this old debt stands still in the book uncrossed, the
shopkeeper may sue him for it, and cast him into prison, till he shall pay
the debt.

Chr. Well, and how did you apply this to yourself?

Hope. Why I thought thus with myself: I have, by my sins, run a
great way into God's book, and that my now reforming will not pay off
that score : therefore I should think still, under all my present amend-
ments, but how shall I be freed from that damnation that I brought my-
self in danger of by my former transgressions.

Chr. A very good application : but pray go on.

Hope. Another thing that hath troubled me ever since my late amend-
ment is, that if I look narrowly into the best of what I do now, I still see
sin, new sin, mixing itself with the best of what I do : so that now I am
forced to conclude, that notwithstanding my former fond conceits of my-
self and duties, I have committed sin enough in one day to send me to
hell, though my former Hfe had been faultless.

Chr. And what did you do then ?

Hope. Do ! I could not tell what to do, until I brake my mind to Faith-
ful : for he and I were well acquainted ; and he told me, that unless I
could obtain the righteousness of a man that never had sinned, neither
mine own, nor all the righteousness of the world, could save me.

Chr. And did you think he spake true ?

Hope. Had he told me so when I was pleased and satisfied with mine
own amendments, I had called him fool for his pains ; but now, since 1
see mine own infirmity, and the sin which cleaves to my best performance,
I have been forced to be of his opinion.

Chr. But did you think, when at first he suggested it to you, that there
was such a man to be found, of whom it might justly be said, that he
never committed sin ?

Hope. I must confess the words at first sounded strangely ; but
after a little more talk and company with him, I had full conviction
about it.

Chr. And did you ask him what man this was, and how you must be
justified by him ?

Hope. Yes ; and he told me it was the Lord Jesus, that dwelleth on
the right hand of the Most High ; and thus, said he, you must be justified
by him, even by trusting to what he hath done by himself in the days of



his flesh, and suffered when he did hang on the tree. I asked him
further, how that man's righteousness could he of that efficacy as to
justify another before God ? and he told me, He was the Mighty God, and
did what he did, and died the death also, not for himself, but for me ; to
whom his doings, and the worthiness of them, should be imputed, if I
believed on him.

C/tr. And what did you do then ?

Hope. I made my objections against my believing ; for that I thought
he was not wilUng to save me.

Chr. And what said Faithful to you then ?

Hope. He bid me go to him and see. Then I said it was presumption.
He said, no ; for I was invited to come. Then he gave me a book of
Jesus's inditing, to encourage me the more freely to come ; and he said
concerning that book, that every jot and tittlt thereof stood firmer than
heaven and earth. Then I asked him what I must do when I came? and
he told me, I must entreat upon my knees, with all my heart and soul,
the Father to reveal him to me. Then I aked him further, how I must
make my supplication to him? And he said. Go, and thou shalt find
him upon a mercy-seat, where he sits all the year long, to give pardon and
forgiveness to them that come. I told him, that I knew not what to say
when I came. And he bid me say to this eff'ect : God be mercifiul to me
a sinner, and make me to know and beheve in Jesus Christ ; for I
see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that
righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that thou art
a mercifiil God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be
the Saviour of the world : and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow
upon such a poor sinner as I am (and I am a sinner indeed), Lord, take
therefore this opportunity, and magnify* thy grace in the salvation of my
soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chr. And did you do as you were bidden ?

Hope. Yes, over, and over, and over.

Chr. And did the Father reveal the Son to you ?

Hope. Not at first, nor second, nor third, nor fourth, nor fifth ; no, nor
at the sixth time neither.

Chr. What did you do tnen?

Hope. What ! why I could not tell what to do.

Chr. Had you not thoughts of leaving off" praying ?


Hope. Yes, and a hundred times twice told.

Chr. A.nd what was the reason you did not ?

Hope. I believed that it was true which hath been told me, to wit, That
without the righteousness of this Christ, all the world could not save me ;
and therefore thought I vnth. myself, if I leave off I die, and I can but die
at the throne of grace. And withal, this came into my mind, if it tarry,
wait for it, because it will surely come, and will not tarry. So I continued
praying until the Father showed me his Son.

Chr. And how was he revealed unto you ?

Hope. I did not see him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes of my
understanding ; and thus it was : One day I was very sad, I think sadder
than at any one time of my life ; and this sadness was through a fresh
sight of the greatness and vileness of my sins. And as I was then
looking for nothing but hell, and the everlasting damnation of my soul,
suddenly, as I thought, I saw the Lord Jesus look down from heaven
upon me, and saying, Believe on the Lord Jesus Cb-ist, and thou shalt be

Online LibraryUnknownIllustrated edition of the select works of John Bunyan : with an original sketch of the author's life and times ; (Volume 1) → online text (page 12 of 67)