John Bunyan (16281688). The Pilgrims Progress. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
The Pilgrims Progress, in the Similitude of a Dream; The First Part
That they were enemies to and disturbers of their Trade; that they had made Commotions and Divisions in the Town, and had won a party to their own most dangerous Opinions in contempt of the Law of their Prince.
Then Faithful began to answer, that he had only set himself against that which had set itself against Him that is higher than the highest. And said he, as for Disturbance, I make none, being myself a man of Peace; the parties that were won to us, were won by beholding our Truth and Innocence, and they are only turned from the worse to the better. And as to the King you talk of, since he is Beelzebub, the enemy of Our Lord, I defy him and all his Angels.
Then Proclamation was made, that they that had ought to say for their Lord the King against the Prisoner at the Bar, should forthwith appear and give in their evidence. So there came in three witnesses, to wit, Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank. They were then asked if they knew the Prisoner at the Bar; and what they had to say for their Lord the King against him.
So they sware him. Then he said, My Lord, this man, notwithstanding his plausible name, is one of the vilest men in our Country. He neither regardeth Prince nor People, Law nor Custom; but doth all that he can to possess all men with certain of his disloyal notions, which he in the general calls Principles of Faith and Holiness. And in particular, I heard him once myself affirm That Christianity and the Customs of our Town of Vanity were diametrically opposite, and could not be reconciled. By which saying, my Lord, he doth at once not only condemn all our laudable doings, but us in the doing of them.
Envy. My Lord, I could say much more, only I would not be tedious to the Court. Yet if need be, when the other Gentlemen have given in their Evidence, rather than anything shall be wanting that will dispatch him, I will enlarge my Testimony against him. So he was bid stand by.
Super. My Lord, I have no great acquaintance with this man, nor do I desire to have further knowledge of him; however, this I know, that he is a very pestilent fellow, from some discourse that the other day I had with him in this Town; for then talking with him, I heard him say, That our Religion was naught, and such by which a man could by no means please God. Which sayings of his, my Lord, your Lordship very well knows, what necessarily thence will follow, to wit, That we still do worship in vain, are yet in our sins, and finally shall be damned; and this is that which I have to say.
Pick. My Lord, and you Gentlemen all, This fellow I have known of a long time, and have heard him speak things that ought not to be spoke; for he hath railed on our noble Prince Beelzebub, and hath spoken contemptibly of his honourable Friends, whose names are the Lord Old Man, the Lord Carnal Delight, the Lord Luxurious, the Lord Desire of Vain Glory, my old Lord Lechery, Sir Having Greedy, with all the rest of our Nobility; and he hath said moreover, That if all men were of his mind, if possible, there is not one of these Noble men should have any longer a being in this Town; besides, he hath not been afraid to rail on you, my Lord, who are now appointed to be his Judge, calling you an ungodly villain, with many other such-like vilifying terms, with which he hath bespattered most of the Gentry of our Town.
When this Pickthank had told his tale, the Judge directed his speech to the Prisoner at the Bar, saying, Thou Runagate, Heretick, and Traitor, hast thou heard what these honest Gentlemen have witnessed against thee?
Faith. 1. I say then, in answer to what Mr Envy hath spoken, I never said ought but this, That what Rule, or Laws, or Customs, or People, were flat against the Word of God, are diametrically opposite to Christianity. If I have said amiss in this, convince me of my error, and I am ready here before you to make my recantation.
2. As to the second, to wit, Mr Superstition, and his charge against me, I said only this, That in the worship of God there is required a Divine Faith; but there can be no Divine Faith without a Divine Revelation of the will of God: therefore whatever is thrust into the Worship of God that is not agreeable to Divine Revelation, cannot be done but by a human faith, which faith will not be profit to Eternal Life.
3. As to what Mr Pickthank hath said, I say, (avoiding terms, as that I am said to rail, and the like) that the Prince of this Town, with all the rabblement his attendants, by this Gentleman named, are more fit for a being in Hell, than in his Town and Country: and so, the Lord have mercy upon me.
Then the Judge called to the Jury (who all this while stood by, to hear and observe) Gentlemen of the Jury, you see this man about whom so great an uproar hath been made in this Town: you have also heard what these worthy Gentlemen have witnessed against him: also you have heard his reply and confession: It lieth now in your breasts to hang him, or save his life; but yet I think meet to instruct you into our Law.
There was an Act made in the days of Pharaoh the Great, Servant to our Prince, that lest those of a contrary Religion should multiply and grow too strong for him, their Males should be thrown into the river. There was also an Act made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, another of his Servants, that whoever would not fall down and worship his Golden Image, should be thrown into a Fiery Furnace. There was also an Act made in the days of Darius, that whoso, for some time, called upon any God but him, should be cast into the Lions Den. Now the substance of these Laws this Rebel has broken, not only in thought (which is not to be borne) but also in word and deed; which must therefore needs be intolerable.
For that of Pharaoh, his Law was made upon a supposition, to prevent mischief, no Crime being yet apparent; but here is a Crime apparent. For the second and third, you see he disputeth against our Religion; and for the Treason he hath confessed, he deserveth to die the death.
Then went the Jury out, whose names were, Mr Blindman, Mr No-good, Mr Malice, Mr Love-lust, Mr Live-loose, Mr Heady, Mr High-mind, Mr Enmity, Mr Lyar, Mr Cruelty, Mr Hate-light, and Mr Implacable; who every one gave in his private Verdict against him among themselves, and afterwards unanimously concluded to bring him in guilty before the Judge. And first among themselves, Mr Blind-man the Foreman, said, I see clearly that this man is an Heretick. Then said Mr Nogood, Away with such a fellow from the earth. Ay, said Mr Malice, for I hate the very looks of him. Then said Mr Love-lust, I could never endure him. Nor I, said Mr Live-loose, for he would always be condemning my way. Hang him, hang him, said Mr Heady. A sorry Scrub, said Mr High-mind. My heart riseth against him, said Mr Enmity. He is a Rogue, said Mr Lyar. Hanging is too good for him, said Mr Cruelty. Let us dispatch him out of the way, said Mr Hate-light. Then said Mr Implacable, Might I have all the world given me, I could not be reconciled to him; therefore let us forthwith bring him in guilty of death. And so they did; therefore he was presently condemned to be had from the place where he was, to the place from whence he came, and there to be put to the most cruel death that could be invented.
They therefore brought him out, to do with him according to their Law; and first they Scourged him, then they Buffeted him, then they Lanced his flesh with Knives; after that they Stoned him with stones, then pricked him with their Swords; and last of all they burned him to ashes at the Stake. Thus came Faithful to his end.
Now I saw that there stood behind the multitude a Chariot and a couple of Horses, waiting for Faithful, who (so soon as his adversaries had dispatched him) was taken up into it, and straitway was carried up through the Clouds, with sound of Trumpet, the nearest way to the Clestial Gate.
But as for Christian, he had some respite, and was remanded back to prison; so he there remained for a space: But he that over-rules all things, having the power of their rage in his own hand, so wrought it about, that Christian for that time escaped them, and went his way. And as he went he sang, saying,
Well Faithful, thou hast faithfully profest
Unto thy Lord; with whom thou shalt be blest,
When faithless ones, with all their vain delights,
The Song that Christian made of Faithful after his death
Now I saw in my Dream, that Christian went not forth alone, for there was one whose name was Hopeful, (being made so by the beholding of Christian and Faithful in their words and behaviour, in their sufferings at the Fair) who joined himself unto him, and entering into a brotherly covenant, told him that he would be his Companion. Thus one died to make Testimony to the Truth, and another rises out of his ashes to be a Companion with Christian in his Pilgrimage. This Hopeful also told Christian, that there were many more of the men in the Fair that would take their time and follow after.
So I saw that quickly after they were go out of the Fair, they overtook one that was going before them, whose name was By-ends: so they said to him, What Country-man, Sir? and how far go you this way? He told them that he came from the Town of Fair-speech, and he was going to the Clestial City, (but told them not his name.)
By-ends. Almost the whole Town; and in particular, my Lord Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech, (from whose ancestors that Town first took its name) also Mr Smooth-man, Mr Facing-both-ways, Mr Anything; and the Parson of our Parish, Mr Two-tongues, was my Mothers own Brother by Fathers side; and to tell you the truth, I am become a Gentleman of good Quality, yet my Great Grandfather was but a waterman, looking one way and rowing another; and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.
By-ends. Yes, and my Wife is a very virtuous woman, the Daughter of a virtuous woman; she was my Lady Feignings Daughter, therefore she came of a very honourable Family, and is arrived to such a pitch of breeding, that she knows how to carry it to all, even to Prince and Peasant. Tis true we somewhat differ in Religion from those of the stricter sort, yet but in two small points: First, we never strive against Wind and Tide: Secondly, we are always most zealous when Religion goes in his Silver Slippers; we love much to walk with him in the Street, if the Sun shines, and the people applaud him.
Then Christian stepped a little aside to his fellow Hopeful, saying, It runs in my mind that this is one By-ends of Fair-speech, and if it be he, we have as very a Knave in our company as dwelleth in all these parts. Then said Hopeful, Ask him; methinks he should not be ashamed of his name. So Christian came up with him again, and said, Sir, you talk as if you knew something more than all the world doth; and if I take not my mark amiss, I deem I have half a guess of you: Is not your name Mr. By-ends of Fair-speech?
By-ends. Never, never! The worst that ever I did to give them an occasion to give me this name, was, that I had always the luck to jump in my Judgment with the present way of the times whatever it was, and my chance was to get thereby; but if things are thus cast upon me, let me count them a blessing, but let not the malicious load me therefore with reproach.
Chr. If you will go with us, you must go against Wind and Tide, the which, I perceive, is against your opinion; you must also own Religion in his Rags, as well as when in his Silver Slippers, and stand by him too, when bound in Irons, as well as when he walketh the Streets with applause.
Then said By-ends, I shall never desert my old Principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you, I must do as I did before you overtook me, even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company.
Now I saw in my Dream that Christian and Hopeful forsook him, and kept their distance before him; but one of them looking back, saw three men following Mr By-ends, and behold, as they came-up with him, he made them a very low congee, and they also gave him a compliment. The mens names were Mr Hold-the-world, Mr Money-love, and Mr Save-all; men that Mr By-ends had formerly been acquainted with; for in their minority they were School-fellows, and were taught by one Mr Gripe-man, a School-master in Love-gain, which is a Market-town in the County of Coveting, in the North. This School-master taught them the Art of Getting, either by violence, cousenage, flattery, lying, or by putting on a guise of Religion; and these four Gentlemen had attained much of the Art of their Master, so that they could each of them have kept such a School themselves.
By-ends. We are so indeed; but the men before us are so rigid, and love so much their own notions, and do also so lightly esteem the opinions of others, that let a man be never so godly, yet if he jumps not with them in all things, they thrust him quite out of their company.
Save-all. Thats bad; but we read of some that are righteous overmuch; and such mens rigidness prevails with them to judge and condemn all but themselves. But I pray what, and how many, were the things wherein you differed?
By-ends. Why they after their head-strong manner, conclude that it is duty to rush on their Journey all weathers, and I am for waiting for Wind and Tide. They are for hazarding all for God at a clap, and I am for taking all advantages to secure my Life and Estate. They are for holding their notions, though all other men are against them; but I am for Religion in what, and so far as the times and my safety will bear it. They are for Religion when in Rags and Contempt; but I am for him when he walks in his Golden Slippers in the Sunshine, and with applause.
Hold-the-world. Ay, and hold you there still, good Mr By-ends; for for my part I can count him but a Fool, that having the liberty to keep what he has, shall be so unwise as to lose it. Let us be wise as Serpents; tis best to make hay when the Sun shines; you see how the Bee lieth still all winter, and bestirs her only when she can have Profit with Pleasure. God sends sometimes Rain, and sometimes Sun-shine; if they be such fools to go through the first, yet let us be content to take fair weather along with us. For my part I like that Religion best that will stand with the security of Gods good blessings unto us; for who can imagine that is ruled by his Reason, since God has bestowed upon us the good things of this Life, but that he would have us keep them for his sake? Abraham and Solomon grew rich in Religion. And Job says, that a good man shall lay up Gold as Dust. But he must not be such as the men before us, if they be as you have described them.
Money-love. No, there needs no more words about this matter indeed; for he that believes neither Scripture nor Reason (and you see we have both on our side) neither knows his own liberty, nor seeks his own safety.
Suppose a man, a Minister, or a Tradesman, &c. should have an advantage lie before him to get the good blessings of this life, yet so as that he can by no means come by them, except in appearance at least, he becomes extraordinary zealous in some points of Religion that he meddled not with before; may he not use this means to attain his end, and yet be a right honest man?
Money-love. I see the bottom of your question, and, with these Gentlemens good leave, I will endeavour to shape you an answer. And first, to speak to your question as it concerns a Minister himself: Suppose a Minister, a worthy man, possessd but of a very small benefice, and has in his eye a greater, more fat and plump by far; he has also now an opportunity of getting of it, yet so as by being more studious, by preaching more frequently and zealously and because the temper of the people requires it, by altering of some of his principles; for my part I see no reason but a man may do this, (provided he has a Call) ay, and more a great deal besides, and yet be an honest man. For why?
2. Besides, his desire after that benefice makes him more studious, a more zealous Preacher, &c. and so makes him a better man; yea makes him better improve his parts, which is according to the Mind of God.
3. Now as for his complying with the temper of his people, by dissenting, to serve them, some of his Principles, this argueth, 1. That he is of a self-denying temper; 2. Of a sweet and winning deportment; 3. And so more fit for the Ministerial function.
4. I conclude then, that a Minister that changes a small for a great, should not for so doing be judged as covetous; but rather, since he has improved in his parts and industry thereby, be counted as one that pursues his Call, and the opportunity put into his hand to do Good.
And now to the second part of the question, which concerns the Tradesman you mentioned. Suppose such an one to have but a poor employ in the world, but by becoming Religious, he may mend his Market, perhaps get a rich Wife, or more and far better Customers to his shop; for my part I see no reason but this may be lawfully done. For why?
3. Besides, the man that gets these by becoming religious, gets that which is good of them that are good, by becoming good himself; so then here is a good Wife, and good Customers, and good Gain, and all these by becoming religious, which is good; therefore to become religious, to get all these, is a good and profitable design.
This answer thus made by this Mr Money-love to Mr By-ends question was highly applauded by them all; wherefore they concluded upon the whole that it was most wholesome and advantageous. And because, as they thought, no man was able to contradict it, and because Christian and Hopeful were yet within call, they jointly agreed to assault them with the question as soon as they overtook them, and the rather because they had opposed Mr By-ends before. So they called after them, and they stopt, and stood still till they came up to them; but they concluded as they went that not Mr By-ends, but old Mr Hold-the-world, should propound the question to them, because, as they supposed, their answer to him would be without the remainder of that heat that was kindled betwixt Mr By-ends and them, at their parting a little before.
Chr. Then said Christian, Even a babe in Religion may answer ten thousand such questions. For if it be unlawful to follow Christ for loaves, as it is John 6. how much more abominable is it to make of him and Religion a Stalking-horse, to get and enjoy the world. Nor do we find any other than Heathens, Hypocrites, Devils, and Witches, that are of this opinion.
1. Heathens; for when Hamor and Shechem had a mind to the Daughter and Cattle of Jacob, and saw that there was no ways for them to come at them, but by becoming circumcised; they said to their companions, If every male of us be circumcised, as they are circumcised, shall not their Cattle, and their substance, and every beast of theirs, be ours? Their Daughter and their Cattle were that which they sought to obtain, and their Religion the Stalking-horse they made use of to come at them. Read the whole story, Gen. 34. 20, 21, 22, 23.
2. The Hypocritical Pharisees were also of this Religion; Long Prayers were their Pretence, but to get widows houses was their Intent; and greater damnation was from God their Judgment, Luke 20. 46,47.
5. Neither will it out of my mind, but that that man that takes up Religion for the World, will throw away Religion for the World; for so surely as Judas designed the World in becoming religious, so surely did he also sell Religion and his Master for the same. To answer the question therefore affirmatively, as I perceive you have done, and to accept of as authentic such answer, is both Heathenish, Hypocritical, and Devilish, and your Reward will be according to your Works. Then they stood staring one upon another, but had not wherewith to answer Christian. Hopeful also approved of the soundness of Christians answer; so there was a great Silence among them. Mr By-ends and his company also staggered and kept behind, that Christian and Hopeful might outgo them. Then said Christian to his fellow, If these men cannot stand before the sentence of men, what will they do with the sentence of God? And if they are mute when dealt with by vessels of Clay, what will they do when they shall be rebuked by the flames of a devouring Fire?
Then Christian and Hopeful out-went them again, and went till they came to a delicate Plain called Ease, where they went with much content; but that Plain was but narrow, so they were quickly got over it. Now at the further side of that Plain was a little Hill called Lucre, and in that Hill a Silver-Mine, which some of them that had formerly gone that way, because of the rarity of it, had turned aside to see; but going too near the brink of the pit, the ground being deceitful under them, broke, and they were slain; some also had been maimed there, and could not to their dying day be their own men again.
The ease that pilgrims have is but little in this life
Lucre Hill a dangerous hill
Then I saw in my Dream, that a little off the road, over against the Silver-Mine, stood Demas (gentleman-like) to call to Passengers to come and see; who said to Christian and his fellow, Ho, turn aside hither, and I will shew you a thing.
Hopeful tempted to go, but Christian holds him back
Chr. Not I, said Christian; I have heard of this place before now, and how many have there been slain; and besides that Treasure is a snare to those that seek it, for it hindereth them in their Pilgrimage. Then Christian called to Demas, saying, Is not the place dangerous? Hath it not hindered many in their Pilgrimage?
Chr. Then Christian roundly answered, saying, Demas, thou art an Enemy to the right ways of the Lord of this way, and hast been already condemned for thine own turning aside, by one of his Majesties Judges; and why seekest thou to bring us into the like condemnation? Besides, if we at all turn aside, our Lord the King will certainly hear thereof, and will there put us to shame, where we would stand with boldness before him.
Chr. I know you, Gehazi was your Great Grandfather, and Judas your Father, and you have trod in their steps. It is but a devilish prank that thou usest; thy Father was hanged for a Traitor, and thou deservest no better reward. Assure thyself, that when we come to the King, we will do him word of this thy behaviour. Thus they went their way.
By this time By-ends and his Companions were come again within sight, and they at the first beck went over to Demas. Now whether they fell into the Pit by looking over the brink thereof, or whether they went down to dig, or whether they were smothered in the bottom by the damps that commonly arise, of these things I am not certain; but this I observed, that they never were seen again in the way. Then sang Christian,
Now I saw, that just on the other side of this Plain, the Pilgrims came to a place where stood an old Monument, hard by the High-way-side, at the sight of which they were both concerned, because of the strangeness of the form thereof; for it seemed to them as if it had been a Woman transformed into the shape of a Pillar; here therefore they stood looking and looking upon it, but could not for a time tell what they should make thereof. At last Hopeful espied written above upon the head thereof, a writing in an unusual hand; but he being no Scholar, called to Christian (for he was learned) to see if he could pick out the meaning; so he came, and after a little laying of letters together, he found the same to be this, Remember Lots Wife. So he read it to his fellow; after which they both concluded that that was the Pillar of Salt into which Lots Wife was turned, for her looking back with a covetous heart, when she was going from Sodom for safety. Which sudden and amazing sight gave them occasion of this discourse.
Chr. Ah my Brother, this is a seasonable sight; it came opportunely to us after the invitation which Demas gave us to come over to view the Hill Lucre; and had we gone over as he desired us, and as thou wast inclining to do, my Brother, we had, for ought I know, been made ourselves like this Woman, a spectacle for those that shall come after to behold.
Hope. I am sorry that I was so foolish, and am made to wonder that I am not now as Lots Wife; for wherein was the difference twixt her sin and mine? she only looked back, and I had a desire to go see: let Grace be adored, and let me be ashamed that ever such a thing should be in mine heart.
Chr. Let us take notice of what we see here, for our help for time to come: This woman escaped one Judgment, for she fell not by the destruction of Sodom; yet she was destroyed by another, as we see she is turned into a Pillar of Salt.
Hope. True, and she may be to us both Caution and Example; caution, that we should shun her sin, or a sign of what Judgment will overtake such as shall not be prevented by this caution: so Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with the two hundred and fifty men that perished in their sin, did also become a sign or example to others to beware. But above all, I muse at one thing, to wit, how Demas and his fellows can stand so confidently yonder to look for that treasure, which this Woman, but for looking behind her after (for we read not that she stept one foot out of the way) was turned into a pillar of salt; especially since the Judgment which overtook her did make her an example, within sight of where they are: for they cannot chuse but see her, did they but lift up their eyes.
Chr. It is a thing to be wondered at, and it argueth that their hearts are grown desperate in the case; and I cannot tell who to compare them to so fitly, as to them that pick pockets in the presence of the Judge, or that will cut purses under the Gallows. It is said of the men of Sodom, That they were sinners exceedingly, because they were sinners before the Lord; that is, in his eye-sight, and notwithstanding the kindnesses that he had shewed them; for the land of Sodom was now, like the Garden of Eden heretofore. This therefore provoked him the more to jealousy, and made their plague as hot as the fire of the Lord out of Heaven could make it. And it is most rationally to be concluded, that such, even such as these are, that shall sin in the sight, yea, and that too in despite of such examples that are set continually before them, to caution them to the contrary, must be partakers of severest Judgments.
Hope. Doubtless thou hast said the truth; but what a mercy is it, that neither thou, but especially I, am not made myself this example: this ministreth occasion to us to thank God, to fear before him, and always to remember Lots Wife.