Chapter I

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, 1 lighted on a certain place, where was a Den, and laid me down in that place to sleep ; and as I slept, . I dreamed a dream. 1 dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his hack. 1 looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as lie read, be wept and trembled; and, not being able lunger to contain, be broke out with a lamentable cry, saying, " What shall I dor"

In this plight therefore he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that h,s wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, hectare thai his trouble increased: wherelore at length be brake his mind to his wile and children: and thus he beg.-n to talk to them: " O my dear wile (said he), and you the "children of my bowels, I, 3'our dear friend, am in "myself undone, by reason of a burden that Jieth. "hard upon me: Moreover, I am certainly int{ formed, that this our city will be burned with fire "from heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both "myself, with thee my wife, and you mv sweet "babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except i,the "which yet I see not) some way of escape may be "found, whereby we may be delivered." At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what be said to them was true, but because they thought some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come, they would know how he did; he told them worse and worse; he also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriage to him: sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them ; and also to condole his own misery: he would also walk solitary in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; at:d thus for some days he spent his time.

Now I saw, upon u lime, when he was walking in the fields, that be was (as iie was wont) reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, "What shall I do to be saved?"

I saw also, that he looked this way, and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because (as I perceived) he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man, named Evangelist, cooling to him, and asked, Wherefore dost thou t ry?

He answered, Sir, I perceive, by the book in my hand, that 1 am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment; and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second (a).

Then said Evangelist, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils? The man answered, Because I fear that tins burden that is upon my back, will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet (b). And, Sir, if'I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit to go to judgment, and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry.

Then said Evangelist, if this be thy condition, Why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within, ,i Fly from the wrath to come (c)."

The man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said,. Whither must I rly? Then said Evangelist (pointing with his finger over a very wide field), Doyou seeyonder Wicket-gate (d)' The man said. No: then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light (e)? He said I think I do. Then said Evangelist, keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate ; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told the£ what thou shalt do.

Explanatory Notes.

Mr. Bunyan was imprisoned twelve years in Bedford gaol, for preaching the gofpel as a nonconformist, or dissenter. To this lit: refers, when he speaks of the " Den." Biessed be God for the Act of Toleration, and the religious liberty now cnjo\eiJ in consequence of it! Our Author, thus prevented fiom preaching, turned his thoughts to writing; and, during

his confinement, composed The PfLGiuM's Prochess, and many other useful works. '1 he Lord frequently causes " the .wraih of man to prjise him." The servants ot Christ, .when restrained by penal laws, from publishing the word of life from ti e pulpit, have become more abundauily use.ul bjr their writings.

The first c'npter exhibits, in a figurative manner, The Conviction Of A Sinner ; or that work of the Spirit of God, whereby a person, who, like the world in general, was careless about his soul, is deeply convinc d of his dangerous cnndi'ion. lie is represented as "clothed with rags:" for every awakemd sinner perceives that " I is own righteousness is as filthy rags," 1s t, Ixiv. 6. — He' turns his face from his own house;" that is, he foisakes the world, as Christ requires all his disciples to do, Luke xiv. 33.—He is seen with "a book in his hand."—He begins now to read his Bible, which before he neglected; perhaps, despised.— And he has also "a great burden on his back ;" that is, in the words of the Communion Service of the Church of England, "The remembrance of his sins is gtievous, and the burden of them is intolerable."

In this painful statp of mind (as in any other painful state), how natural is it to cry o:it, "VVha't sha'l I do?" Such was the language of conviction and fear, uttered by tire three thousand on the day of Pentecost, and bv the' Philippian jailer, Acts ii. 37. and xvi, 30, 31. — When distress of soul is ivlt in a great degr e, rt c.nnoi long be concealed. It will be discovered by die countenance .or the conduct, if not by word. Indeed, genuine concern for our own souls is always accompanied with concern lor the souls of others, more particularly of our derr relations. »

Persons, thus awak' ned to a just sense of their state, must not be surprised, if, like Chn ti. n, tin y become the objects of scorn or pity. '1 heir cariial friends wilt think them mad; and piopose coinpanj—amusements—and a cheerful glass, ;s i-xped'n nts to ch se away tlu-ir enthusiastic fears. In 'he m-oit tune, Christian betakes h'unse-l to prater. So certain i-' it, that a converted man will immediate y*4Htempt to pra\, though peihaps " witli groaning* which cannot be utteied," Rom. viil. 26. .

Reader!—be persuaded to pause a moment;—and if you uld uerive true advan age ftom this book, ask yourself the question—What is in\ case r—Did 1 ever feel a deep concern about mj S'-ul? Did 1 ever St e my ilanger, as a sinner?— Did 1 e\ er exclaim, in the agonj of my spirit, " What must I do to be saved ?"—If you are a stranger to this experience, all the rest of the Pilgrim's Progress will be a sealed book to you; and can please you only as a romance, or religious novel. Nevi rtlieless, be assured that real godliness begins in feeling the burden of »in.

The Author ha» judicousiy represented Christian, -as in a state of perplexity "He would have run—ye; stood »till— not knowing .which wa. to go." Convinced of s,n, and full of terror, the soul would do any tiling, however difficult, that seemed to promise help, Mic. vi. 6, &c.

In this condition, Evange'ist meets with Christian. The meaning is, that Christ, in compassion to an awakened sinner, brings him under the sound of the preached gospel. The Ministers of Christ (sigui6ed by Evangelist), of whatever d-nomination, love then- Ma ur, and their fellow-sinners; and they rejoice, wiien favoured with an opportunity to direct inquiring souls to the Lamb of God. The Christian Minister, not only exhorts his hearers to "fly from the wrath to come," but can tell litem whither to fly. And where can the heavy-laden soul find rest? Where can the wounded spirit obtain peace ?—In the pleasures of sense f 1n the haunts of dissipation t In the merit of works ? No, no. In Je«us Christ, and in him alone. This is intended by the Wicket-gate. A wicket-gale is a narrow one: and Christ is thus represented: not as if his power or will to save, were contracted ; but because those, who come to God by him, RHint renounce both sinful-self and righteous-self; and because those,-svho do so, are few indeed, compared with the multitude who press through the wide gate, and throng the broad way. to eternal death.

C hristi'iu, when asked, if he saw the Wicket-gate, answered, "No;" but " he thought he saw the shining light" about it. Thai: is to say, A persuu lately awakened may not yet have distinginshing views of the person, woik, and glory of the dear Redeemer; but he hus some apprehension of these* things, winch, like the dawning light, shall increase more'and more to the perfect day. By ihe' diligent use of the mtans, of grace, and the aid of the Holy Spirit, such a one shall b« effectual!} led to Jesus, the sinner's hope, the beiiever'* friend, and the only " Door" to heaven.