Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pilgrim 7

{104} The other two also came to the foot of the hill; but when
they saw that the hill was steep and high, and that there were two
other ways to go, and supposing also that these two ways might meet
again, with that up which Christian went, on the other side of the
hill, therefore they were resolved to go in those ways.  Now the
name of one of these ways was Danger, and the name of the other
Destruction.  So the one took the way which is called Danger,
which led him into a great wood, and the other took directly up the
way to Destruction, which led him into a wide field, full of dark
mountains, where he stumbled and fell, and rose no more.

"Shall they who wrong begin yet rightly end?  Shall they at all
have safety for their friend?  No, no; in headstrong manner they
set out, And headlong will they fall at last no doubt."

{105} I looked, then, after Christian, to see him go up the hill,
where I perceived he fell from running to going, and from going to
clambering upon his hands and his knees, because of the steepness
of the place.  Now, about the midway to the top of the hill was a
pleasant arbour, made by the Lord of the hill for the refreshing
of weary travellers; thither, therefore, Christian got, where also
he sat down to rest him.  Then he pulled his roll out of his bosom,
and read therein to his comfort; he also now began afresh to take
a review of the coat or garment that was given him as he stood by
the cross.  Thus pleasing himself awhile, he at last fell into a
slumber, and thence into a fast sleep, which detained him in that
place until it was almost night; and in his sleep, his roll fell
out of his hand.  Now, as he was sleeping, there came one to him,
and awaked him, saying, 
Prov. 6:6: go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her
ways and be wise.  []

 And with that Christian started
up, and sped him on his way, and went apace, till he came to the
top of the hill.`

{106} Now, when he was got up to the top of the hill, there came
two men running to meet him amain; the name of the one was Timorous,
and of the other, Mistrust; to whom Christian said, Sirs, what's
the matter?  You run the wrong way.  Timorous answered, that they
were going to the City of Zion, and had got up that difficult
place; but, said he, the further we go, the more danger we meet
with; wherefore we turned, and are going back again.

Yes, said Mistrust, for just before us lie a couple of lions in
the way, whether sleeping or waking we know not, and we could not
think, if we came within reach, but they would presently pull us
in pieces.

{107} CHR. Then said Christian, You make me afraid, but whither
shall I fly to be safe?  If I go back to mine own country, that
is prepared for fire and brimstone, and I shall certainly perish
there.  If I can get to the Celestial City, I am sure to be in
safety there.  I must venture.  To go back is nothing but death;
to go forward is fear of death, and life-everlasting beyond it.  I
will yet go forward.  So Mistrust and Timorous ran down the hill,
and Christian went on his way.  But, thinking again of what he had
heard from the men, he felt in his bosom for his roll, that he
might read therein, and be comforted; but he felt, and found it
not.  Then was Christian in great distress, and knew not what to
do; for he wanted that which used to relieve him, and that which
should have been his pass into the Celestial City.  Here, therefore,
he begun to be much perplexed, and knew not what to do.  At last
he bethought himself that he had slept in the arbour that is on
the side of the hill; and, falling down upon his knees, he asked
God's forgiveness for that his foolish act, and then went back to
look for his roll.  But all the way he went back, who can sufficiently
set forth the sorrow of Christian's heart?  Sometimes he sighed,
sometimes he wept, and oftentimes he chid himself for being so
foolish to fall asleep in that place, which was erected only for
a little refreshment for his weariness.  Thus, therefore, he went
back, carefully looking on this side and on that, all the way as he
went, if happily he might find his roll, that had been his comfort
so many times in his journey.  He went thus, till he came again
within sight of the arbour where he sat and slept; but that sight
renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his
evil of sleeping into his mind.  
[Rev. 2:5; 1 Thes. 5:7,8] 

therefore, he now went on bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, O
wretched man that I am that I should sleep in the day-time!  that I
should sleep in the midst of difficulty!  that I should so indulge
the flesh, as to use that rest for ease to my flesh, which the
Lord of the hill hath erected only for the relief of the spirits
of pilgrims!

{108} How many steps have I took in vain!  Thus it happened
to Israel, for their sin; they were sent back again by the way of
the Red Sea; and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which
I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful
sleep.  How far might I have been on my way by this time!  I am
made to tread those steps thrice over, which I needed not to have
trod but once; yea, now also I am like to be benighted, for the
day is almost spent.  O, that I had not slept!

{109} Now, by this time he was come to the arbour again, where for
a while he sat down and wept; but at last, as Christian would have
it, looking sorrowfully down under the settle, there he espied his
roll; the which he, with trembling and haste, catched up, and put
it into his bosom.  But who can tell how joyful this man was when
he had gotten his roll again!  for this roll was the assurance of
his life and acceptance at the desired haven.  Therefore he laid
it up in his bosom, gave thanks to God for directing his eye to the
place where it lay, and with joy and tears betook himself again to
his journey.  But oh, how nimbly now did he go up the rest of the
hill!  Yet, before he got up, the sun went down upon Christian;
and this made him again recall the vanity of his sleeping to his
remembrance; and thus he again began to condole with himself:  O
thou sinful sleep; how, for thy sake, am I like to be benighted in
my journey!  I must walk without the sun; darkness must cover the
path of my feet; and I must hear the noise of the doleful creatures,
because of my sinful sleep.  

[1 Thes. 5:6,7] Now also he remembered
the story that Mistrust and Timorous told him of; how they were
frighted with the sight of the lions.  Then said Christian to
himself again, These beasts range in the night for their prey; and
if they should meet with me in the dark, how should I shift them?
How should I escape being by them torn in pieces?  Thus he went on
his way.  But while he was thus bewailing his unhappy miscarriage,
he lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace
before him, the name of which was Beautiful; and it stood just by
the highway side.

From bunyan-traveller

Illustrations to Pilgrim's Progress
Plate 17

Christian at the Arbor
Matthew  7:14
In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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