Now, as Christian went on his way, he came to a little ascent, which was cast tip on purpose, that pilgrims might see before them: up there, therefore, Christian went: and looking forward, he saw Faithful before him upon his journey: then said Christian aloud, Ho, ho! £o ho! Stay, and I will be your companion. At that Faithful looked behind him; to whom Christian cried again, Stay, stay, till I come up to you'. But Faithful answered, No, I am upon my fife', and the avenger of blood is behind me.
At this Christian was somewhat moved, and putting to all his strength, he quickly got up with Faithful, aml did also over-run him; so the last was first. Then did Christian vaiu-gloriously smile, because he Lad gotten the start of his brother; but not taking good heed to his feet, he suddenly stumbled and fell, and could not rise again, until Faithful came up to help him.
Then I saw in my dream, they went very lovingly on together, and had sweet discourse of all things that had happened to them in their pilgrimage; and thus Christian began:
Chr. My honoured and well-beloved brother Faithful, I am glad that I have overtaken you; and that 'God has so tempered our spirits, that we can walk as companions in this so pleasant a path.
Faith. I had thought, dear friend, to have had your company quite from our town, but you did get the start of me: wherefore I was forced to come thus much of the way alone.
Chr. How long did you stay in the city of Destruction, before you set out after me on your pilgrimage?
Faith. Till I could stay no longer; for there was great talk presently after you were gone out, that our city would, in a short time, with fire from heaven, be burned down to the ground.
dir. What! did your neighbours talk so?
Faith. Yes, 'twas for a while in every body's mouth.
Chr. What! and did no more of them but you come out to. escape the danger?
Faith. Though there was, as I said, a great talk thereabout, yet I do not think they did firmly believe it. For, in the heat of the discourse, I heard some of them deridingly speak of you, and of your desperate journey (for so they called this your pilgrimage): but I did believe, and do still, that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above: and therefore I have made my escape.
Chr, Did you hear no talk'of neighbour Pliable?
Faith. Yes, Christian, I heard that he follow ed you till he came to the Slough of Despond; where, as s:)me said, he fell in; but he would not be known to have so clone; but 1 am sure he was soundly.bedaubed with that kind of dirt.
Chr. And what said the neighbours to him?
Faith,. He hath, since his going back, been had greatly in derision, and that among all sorts of people; some do mock and despise him, and scarce will any set. him on work. He is now seven times worse than if he-had never gone out of the city.
dir. But why should they be so set against him, since they also despise the way that he forsook?
Faith. O, they say, hang him; he is a turn-coat! he was not true to his profession: I think God has stirred up'even his enemies to hiss at him, and make fcim a proverb, because he hath forsaken the way (a).
Chr. Had you no talk with him before you came out?
Faith. I met him once in the streets, but he leered away on the other side, as one ashamed of what he had done: so I spake not to him.
Chr. Well, at my first setting out I had hopes of that man, hut now I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the city. For it has happened to him according to the true proverb, "The dog is turned to. his vomit again; and the sow that was washed, to her .wallowing in the mire
Faith. They are my feurs of him too; but wh« caa hinder that wh'ch will he?
Chr. Wejl» neighbour Faithful, (said Christian) let us leave him, and talk of things that more immediately concern ourselves. Tell me now what you have met with in the way as you came: for I know you have met with some things, or else it may be writ for a wonder.
Faith. I escaped the slough that I perceive you fell into, and got up to the gale without that danger; only I met with one whose name was Wanton, that had like to have done me a mischief. . Chr. 'Twas well you escaped her net: Joseph was hard put to it by her, and he escaped her as you did; but it had like to have cost him his life (c). But what did she do to you?
Faith. You cannot think (but that you know something) what a flattering tongue she had: she lay at me hard to turn aside with her, promising m« all manner of content.
(a) Jer. xxix. 18, 19. '(i) 2 Pet. in 23,
(c) Gen. xxix. 11, 12, 13.
Chr. Nay, she did not promise you the content of a good conscience.
Faith. You know what I mean, all carnal and fleshly content.
Chr. Thank God you have escaped her: the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into her ditch (d).
Faith. Nay, I know not whether I did wholly escape her or no.
Chr. Why, I trow, you did not consent tojier desire?
Faith. No, not to defile myself; for I remembered an old writing that I had seen, which said, "Her steps take hold on hell (e)." So I shut mine eyes because I would not be bewitched with her looks (/). Then she railed on me, and I went my way.
Chr. Did you meet with no other assault as you came?
Faith. When I came to the foot of the hill, called Difficulty, I met with a very aged man, who asked ine what I was? and whither bound? I told him i was a pilgrim going to the coelestial city. Then said the old man, thou lookest like an honest fellow; wilt thou be content to dwell with me, for the wages that 1 shall give thee? Then 1 asked him his name, and where he dwelt? He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit. 1 asked him then, what was his work? and what the wages that he would give? He told me that Ins work was " many delights;" and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I farther asked him, what house he kept, and what other servants he had? So he told me, that his house was maintained with all the dainties in the world ; and that his servant* were those of his own begetting. Then I ask&l, how many children he had? He said, he had but three daughters, " The lust of the flesh, The lusi of the eyes, and The pride of life (g);" and that 1 sho.ild
marry one of them, if I would. Then I asked, how long time he would have me live with him? And he told me, as long as he lived himself.
Chr. Well, and what conclusion caaie the old man , and you to at last?
Faith. Why, at first I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with the man, for I thought he spike very fair; but looking in his forehead, as I talked with him, I saw there written, " Put off the old man with his deeds."
Chr. And how then?
Faith. Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a slave. So I bid him forbear to talk, for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me, that he would send such a one after me, that should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned to go away from him; but just as I turned myself to go hence, I felt liiin take hold of my flesh, and give me such a deadly twitch b .ck, that I thought he had pulled part of me after himself: this made me cry, " O wretched man (A)." So 1 wont on my way up the hill.
Now when I had got above half way up, I looked behind mc, and saw one coming after me, swift as the wind; so he overtook me just ubout the place where the settle stands.
Chr. Just there (said Chaistian,) did I sit down to vest me; but being overcome with sleep, I there . lost this rod out of my bosom.
Faith. But, good brother, here me out: so soon as the man overtook me, he was but a word and a blow, for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead. But when I was a little come to myself again, I asked him, Wherefore be served me so? He said,
because of my secret incli .'^g to Adam the First: And with that he struck me another deadly blow oti the breast, and beat me down backward: so I lay at his foot as dead as before. When I came to myself again, I cried him mercy: but he said, I know not how to show mercy; and with that knocked me down again. He had doubtk-s* matie an end of me, but that one came by, and bid him forbear.
Chr. Who was that that hid hitn forbear?
Faith. I did not know him at first; but as he went by, I perceived the holes in his hands, and 'in his side; then I concluded .that he was cur Lord. So I went up the hill.
Chr. The man that overtook you, was Moses. He spareth none, neither knowtth he how to show mercy to those that transgress his law.
Faith. I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met with me. 'Twas he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and tuat told me he would burn my house over my head, if I stayed there.
Chr. But did you not sen the house that stood there on the top of the hill, on the side of which Moses met you?
Faith. Yes, and the lions too, before I came at it; but for the lions, I think they were asleep; for it was about noon: and because I had so much of the day before me, I passed by the porter, and came down the hill.
Chr. He told me, indeed, that he saw you go by; but I wisu you had called at the house; for they would have showed you so many rarities, that you. would scarce have forgot them to the day of your death. But pray tell me, did you meet nobody in the Valley ot Humility?
Faith. Yes, I met with one Discontent, who would willingly have persuaded ine to go b„ck again with himhis reason was, for that the valley, was alto-, gether without honour. He told me, moreover, thus there to go, was to*t:soblige all my friends, as Pride, Arrogancy, Self-Conceit, Worldly-Glory, with others, who, he knew, as he said, would be very much offended, if I made such a fool of myself as to wade through this valley.
Chr. Wei}, and how did you answer him?
Faith. I told him, That although all these that he named might claim a kindred of me, and that rightly, (for indeed they were my relations, "according to the flesh") yet since I became a pilgrim, they have disowned me, as I have also rejected them; and therefore they were to me now, no more than if they had never been of my lineage; I told him, moreover, that as to this valley, he had quite misrepresented the thing; for before honour is humility, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Therefore, said I, I had rather go through this valley to the honour that was so accounted by the wisest, than clioose that which he esteemed most worthy oar affections. S
Chr. Met yo,u with nothing else in the valley?
Faith. Yes, I met with Shame; but of all the men that I met with in my pilgrimage, he, I think, bears the wrong name. The other would be said nay, after a little argumentation, and somewhat else, but this boldfaced Shame would never have done.
Chr. Why, what did he say to you?
Faith What! why he objected against religion itself; he said, 'Twas a pitiful, low, sneaking business for a man to mind religion; he said that a tender conscience was an unmanly thing; and that for a man to watch-'over his words and ways, so as to tie up himself from that hectoring liberty that the brave spirits of the times accustom themselves unto, would make him the ridrcule of the times. He objected also, that but few of the mighty, rich, or wise, were ever of my opinion; nor any of them neither, before they were persuaded to be fools, and »o be of a voluntary fondness to venture the loss of all, for nobody else knows what (i). He moreover objected the base and low estate and condition of those that were chiefly the pilgrims of the times in 'which tliey lived; also their ignorance, and want of understanding in all natural Science. Yea, he did hold me to it at that rate also, about a great many other things than here I relate; as that it was a shame to sit whining and mourning under a sermon, and a shame to come sighing and groaning home: that it was a shame to ask my neighbour forgiveness for petty faults, or to make restitution where 1 have taken from any. He said also, that religion made a man grow strange to the great, because of a few vices, (which he called by finer names,) and made him own and respect the base, because of the same religious fraternity: and is not this, said he, a shame?
Chr. And what did. you say to him? Faith. Say! I could not tell what to say at first. Yea, he put me so to it, that my blood came up in my face; even this Shame fetched it up, and had almost beat me quite off. But, at last, I began to consider, that that which is highly esteemed among men, is had in abomination with God (k)- And I thought again, this Shame tells me what men are; but it tells me nothing what God or the word of God is. And -I thought, moreover, that at the day of doom we shall not be doomed to death or life, according t9 the hectoring spirits of the world, but according to the wisdom and law of the Highest. Therefore, thought I, what God says, is best, though all the men in the world are against it: seeing then that God prefers his religion; seeing God prefers a tender conscience; seeing they that make themselves fools for the kingdom of heaven, are wisest; and that the poor man that loveth Christ, is richer than the greatest man in the world that hates him; Shame, depart, thou art an enemy to my salvation; shall I
entertain thee against my sovereign Lord? How then shall I look him in the face at his coming (/)? Should I now be ashamed of his ways and servants, how can T expect the blessing? But indeed thisShame was a bold villain-; I could scarce shake him out of my company: yea, he would be haunting of me, and continually whispering me in the ear with some one or other of the infirmities that attend religion; but at last I told him, it was but in vain to attempt farther in this business; for those things that he disdained, in those did I see most glory: and so at last I got past this importunate one. And when 1 had shaken him off, then 1 began to sing:
The trials that those men do meet withal,
That are obedient to the heavenly call,
Are manifold and suited to the flesh.
And come, and came, and come again afresh;
Th.it now, or some time else, we by thcin may
Be taken, overcome, and cast away.
O let the pilgrims, let the pilgrims then
Be vigilant, and quit themselves like men.
Chr. I am glad, brother, that thou didst withstand this villain so bravely; for of all, as thou sayest, I think he has the wrong name; for he is so bold as to follow us in the streets, and to attempt to put us ti. shame before all men; that is, to make us ashamed of that which is good; but if he was not himself audacious, he would never attempt tr> do as he does; but let us still resist him; for notwithstanding all his bravadoes, he protnoteth the fool, and none else. "1 he wise shall inherit glory, said Solomon; but shame shall be the promotion of fools (w)."
Faith. I think we must cry to Him for help against Shame, that would hare us to be valiant for truth upon the earth.
Chr. You say true: but did you meet nobody else in that valley?
(t) Mark viii. 38. (in) Prov. iii. 32.
Faith. No, hot I; for I had sun-shine all the rest of the way through that, and also through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Chr. It was well for you; I am sure, it fared far otherwise with me: I had fofr a long season, as soon almost as I entered into that valley, a dreadful combat with that foul fiend Apollyon; yea, I thought verily he would have killed me, especially when he got me down, and crushed nae under him, as if he would have crushed me to pieces: for as he threw . me, my sword flew out of my hand; nay, he told me he was sure of me; but I cried to God, and he heard me, and delivered me out of all my troubles. Then I entered into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and had no light for almost half the way through it. I thought I should have been killed, there over and over; but at last the day brake, and the sun rose, and I went through that which was. behind with far more ease and quiet.
CHRISTIAN, having surmouuted his late difficulties, Is allowed a breathing time. After Irving seasons, the .Lord's people are usually favoured with a time of refreshment and comfort; and from the little hills of promise, they look forward with pleasure and delight, From an eminence Christian discerned a traveller on the road, and calling aloud, offered his compmy; but Faithful, with a commendable jealousy, was afraid of joining him, much more of stopping for him. This is intended to show the need of caution in the choice of religious companions. Poor' Christian, moved rather by envy than zeal, made haste to overtake his brother, and then smiled wan self-applause; but as he smiled, he lei!. How readily docs spiritual pride creep into our hearts, and urge us, from mere amhition, to excel others I We are then in much danger of a fall, and may soon need the help of those whom we thought our inferiors. 'I his accident, however* united their hcails, and they rejoiced ia the opportunity of spiritual communion. It is very natural for lively christians to wish to know the dealings of God with each other; and it is the most useful way of spending their time when together.
Mr. Bunyan has discovered much judgment in the variation he describes between the particular experience of his pilgrims. Hence Faithful, who is supposed to be stronger in faith than his brother, is represented as having wholly escaped the Slough of Despond—as having found the lions fast asleep— as having no conflict with Apollyon; and as enjoying sunshine all through the valley. Our Author was too wise to make one christian a standard for all: and nothing is more hurtful to weak believers, than departing from the rule of God's word, and making this or that respectable character a standard for themselves. ^ '»-.
But let it be observed, that though the experience of Faithful differed from Christian's in some particulars, it was the same in the general and important parts of it. Like Christian, he was constrained to fly from the city of Destruction, having staid in it as long as he durst:—he also came in by the Wicket-gate. Neither was he a stranger to temptations ^ but they were in a different way: Mrs. Wanton assaulted him with many entreaties, and it was with great difficulty he escaped the snare. He was also hardly beset with the Old-Man of Sin, or corrupt nature, who made him flattering offers of worldly advantage. Satan (as has been observed before) suits his temptations to different tempers and constitutions. The weak and melancholy are tempted to fear and despair, while the strong and cheerful are tempted to the Justs of the flesh. He was preserved from outward sins, but was conscious of secret inclinings to evil, and for these his tender conscience smote him severely. The law shawed him no mercy ; but he was relieved by Jesus, the compass'onate
Faithful was also attacked by Discontent. Many moral and steady professors, whose walk is perhaps unblamable before men, arc in great danger from 'his quarter; becaus* discontent secretly and easily besets the mind. It is less observed, and less lamented than other sin'-, but not lest grieving to the Spirit, and contrary to our christian profession.
Above all, Faithful had a hard conflict with Shame, whom he justly calls a bold villain. He represented religion as a mean thing; its professors poor, and their infirmities many. All christians know something of this enemy, and what it is to blush with sinful shame. But those words of our Lord put him to flight a thousand times: "Whosoever shall, bt ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of bis father, with the holy angels," Mark viii. 38.