Part the First

The Pilgrim's Progress,



The Author's imprisonment and dreamChristian, convinced of sin, flies Jrom the wrath to come, and is directed by the Gospel, to Christ.

Ls 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.


Christian proceedsObstinate refuses to accompany htm, Pliable goes as far as the Slough, and returns.

So I saw in my dream that the man began to run; now he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears (a), and ran on crying, " Life! life! eternal life!" So he looked not behind him, but fled towards tiie middle of the plain {b).

The neighbours ,ilso came out to see him run; as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and soma cried alter him to return; and amongst tins; that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate, and the name of the other Pliable. Now by this time the man was got a good distance from them : but however they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, Neighbours, wherefore are ye come? They said, To persuade you to go back with us; but he said, That can by no means be: You dwell, said be, in the city of Destruction, the place also where I was born: I see it to be so; and dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: Be content, good neighbours, and go along with me.

What, said Obstinate, and leave our friends, and our comforts behind us!

Yes, said Christian (for that was his name); because that all which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that which I am seeking to enjoy (c); and if you will go along with me,

(a) Luke xiv. 26. (i) Gen.xix. 17. (c) 2 Cor. iv. 18.

and hold it, you shall fare as myself; for there where I go, is enough and to spare (d.) Come away, and prove my words.

Obst. What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?

Chr. I st:ek an inheritance incorruptible, undented, and that fadeth not away (c), and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be bestowed, at the time appointed, on ihem thatdiligently seek it (/). Read it so, if you will, in my book.

Obst. Tush, ':iid Obstinate, away with your book! Will vou go back with us, or no?

Chr. No, not I, said the other; because I have laid my hand to the plough (g).

Obst. Come then, neighbour Pliable, let us turn again, and go home without him: there is a company of these crazy-headed coxcombs, that when they take a fancy by the end, are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.

PH. Then said Pliable, Don't revile; if what the good Christian says is true, the tilings he looks after are better than ours; my heart inclmes to go wkh my neighbour. \

Obst. What! more fools still! Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will lead you? Go b ick, go back and be wise.

Chr. Nay, but do thou come with thy neighbour, Piiable; there are such tilmgs to be had which I spoke of, and many more glories besides; if you believe not me, here in this book, and for the truth of what is expressed therein, behold all is confirmed by the blood of him that made it (A).

PH. Well, neighbour Obstinate (saith Pliable), I begin to come to a point; I intended to go along with this good man, and to cast in my lot with him: But, my good companion, do you know the way to this desired place ?

(d)Lukexv. 17. (e) 1 Pet. i. 4. (/) Heb. xi. 16. .(g) Luke :x. 02. [h] Heb. ix. 17, 22.

Chr. I am directed by a man, whose name is Evangelist, to speed me to a little gate that is before us, where we shall receive instructions about the way.

Pit. Come then; good neighbour, let us be going. Then they went both together.

Obst. And I will go back to my'place, said Obstinate: I will be no companion of such misled fantastical fellows.

Now I siw in my dream, that when Obstinate was going back, Christian and Pliable went talking over the piaiii; and thus they began their discourse:

Chr. Come, neighbour Pliable, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me: had even Obstmate himself, but felt what I have felt of the powers and terrors of what is yet unseen, he would not thus lightly have given us the back.

Pii. Co,ne, neighbour Christian, sinqe there are none i»it us two here, tell me now farther, what the things.are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going.

Chr. I can better conceive of them with my mind, than speak of them with my tongue: but yet, since you are desirous to know, I will read of them in my book.

Pit. And do you think that the words of your book are certamly true?

Chr. Yes verily, for it was made by Him that cannot he (»).

PH. Well said: What things are they?

Chr. Tbere is an endless kingdom to be inhahited, and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabt'that kingdom for ever (k).

Pli. Well said: and wnat else?

Chr. There are crowns of glory to lfe given us; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven (/).

(i) Titus i. 2. (k) Isa. xlv. !7. JohD x. 27, 28,29.
(/) 2 fun. iv. 8. Rev. xxii. 5. Matt. xiii. 43.

PH. This is very pleasant: and what else? Chr. There shall be no more crying, nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe, away all tears from our eyes (m).

Plt\ And what company shall we have there? Chr. There we shall bo with seraphims and cheruhims; creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them :There also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands tint have gone before us to that place; none of them are hurtful, but loving and holy ; every one walking in the sight of God, and standing in his presence with acceptance for ever. In a word, there we shall see the elders with their golden crowns (*>): there we shall see the holy virgins with their golden harps (p): there we s!iall see men, that by the world were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love they bore to the Lord of the place'; all well, and clothed with immortality, as with'a gai=ment (q.}

Ph. l he hearing of this is enough to ravish one's, heart: but are these things to be enjoyed? How shall we get to be sharers thereof?

Chr. The Lord, the Governor of the country, hath recorded in this book: the substa »,e of wisich is,, ii we be truly wilUng to have it, he will bellow it upon us freely (/).

Ph. Weli, my good companion, giad am I tohearof these things: come on, let us mend our pace.

Chr. I cannot go so fast as I would, by reason of* this burden that is on my back.

Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew' nigh to a very miry slough that was in tlie midst of the plain ; and they bemg heedless, did both,fall suddenly into, the bog. The same of the slough was Despond. Here therefore

(o») Isa. xv. 8. Rev. vii. 16,.17, and xxl 4 (o) Isa. vi 2. 1 thes. iv. 16, 17. Rev. v. 11. (<?) Rev. iv. 4. (p) Rev xiv.. 1—S.-Hf) John xii. 25. 2 Cor. v. 2, 3, 4. (r> Isa. lr. 12*. John vii. 37, and vi. 37. Rev.xxi. 6. and xxii. 17.

they wallowed for a time, being grieviously bedaubed with dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his hack, began to sink in the mire.

Pli. Then said Pliable, Ah! neighbour Christian, where are you now?

Chr. Truly, said Christian, I do not know.

Pli. At this Pliable began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow: Is this the happiness you have told me all this while of? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect betwixt this and Our journey's end? May I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone for me. And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of the slough which was next his own house: so away he went, and Christian saw him no more.

Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next the Wicket-gate; the which he did; but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his hack: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him, What he did there?

Chr. Sir, said Christian, I was hid to go this way, by a man called Evangelist; who directed me also to yonder gate, that 1 might escape the wratli tocome. And as I was going thither, I fell in here.

Help. But why did you not look for the steps?

Chr. Fear folfowed me so hard, that I fled the next way, and fell in.

Help. Then said he, Give me thy hand: so he gave him his hand, amd he drew him out, and set -him upon sound ground, and bid hhn go on his way.

Then 1 stepped tc him that plucked him out, and said, Sir, wherefore, since over this place is the uay from the city of Destruction to yonder gate, is it, tl»at this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might go thither with more security? And he said unto me, This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended: it is the descent whither the scum and tilth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore is it called, The .Slough of Despond; for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arise in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason of the hadness of this ground.

It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so had (s); his labourers also have, by the directions of his Majesty's surveyors, beea for above this sixteen hundred years employed about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might nave been mended : yea, and to my knowledge, said he, here have been swallowed up at least twenty thousand cart loads; yea, millions of wholesome instructions, that have at all seasons been brought from all places of the King's dominions, (and they that can tell, say, they are the best materials to make good ground, of the place,) if so be it might have been mended; but it is the Slough of Despond still; and so will be, when they have done what they can.

True, there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and substantial steps placed even thro'' the very -midst of this slough; but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against the change of weather,, these steps-are hardly seen: or if they be, men, through the dizzinessof their heads, step besides; and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there; but the ground is good when they are oncegot in at the gate {().

Now I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got honje to his house. So his neighbours came to visit him; and some of them called him wise man for coming hack; and some called him fool for', hazarding himself with Christian; others again, didi

mock at his cowardliness; saying, surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base to have given out for a few difficulties. So Pliable sat sneaking arnvng them; but at last he got more confidence, and then they all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his back. And thus much concerning Pliable.


THE christian no sooner sets out in good earnest for heaven, than he becomes " a gazing stock to the world." Relations, friends, and neighbours (if camal), will strive to prevent his progress ; but if the work be of God, they will strive n vain.

True grace diicovers itselfin "good-will to men." Christian 'would fain persuade his family and friends to go with him. He tries to alarm them by a view of their danger—he tries to allure them by a description of heaven; but all in vain. The dispositions of natural men are various; some are obstinate, others are pliable; but all are ignorant of divine things., and av. r<. from them. Hence Obstmate soon becomes impatient, passionate, and contemptuous; while Pliable, like the stonyground hearer in the parable, listen; to the word with joy, but having not root, soon'withers away.

Christian deals wisHy with his neighbour Obstinate. For the truth of his assertions, he refers to the Bible:—" Read-it," savs he, "in my book."—But the Bible is a bo»k so unfriendly* in its aspect to carnal men, that they cannot endure it, ard seldom attempt to answer what is plainly proved by it. He therefore cries " Away with your book, .—* Away with the Bible," is at least the practical language of too many persons who call themselves christians!

How affectionately does Christian labour lo persuade his more pliable neighbour to go with iiim. From the fulness of hit heart, he most beautifully paints the joys of the glorified.. Pliable, entertamingcarnal ideas of heaven,, asa fineplace, glittering uitb gold and pearls, seems ravished witfHhe prospect Elated with hopes of a Mahometan Paradise, be outstrip* Christian him<elf. the fleshly joys' and transports of some carnal men seem to exceed the zeal of true believers for a •t asOu, But that j^ason is short. Where s'n is not burden*oiue Lo the heart, religion., like Pliable's, is too hoi to iioiii.