Now as Christian was walking solitarily by himself, he 'spied one afar off, crossing over the tieid to meet liim, and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way to each other. The gentleman's •cite tUat met him, was Mr. Worldly Wiseman; b« dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town, and also bard by from whence Christian came. This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some knowledge of him; (for Christian's setting forth from the city of Destruction, was much noised abroad,, not only in the town where he dwelt, but also it began to be the town-talk in some other places;) Mr. Worldly Wiseman therefore having some guess of him, by beholding his laborious going, by obsering his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.
World. How now, good fellow; whither away after this burdened manner?
Chr. A burdened manner indeed, as ever, I think,, poor creature had! And whereas you ask me, Whither away ; 1 tell you, Sir, I am going to yonder Wicket-gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put in a way to be rid of my heavy burden..
World. Hast thou a wife and children?
Chr. Yes: but I am so laden with this burden, that I cannot take that pleasure in them as formerly; Methinks I am as if I had none (a).
World. Wilt thou hearken to me if I give thee counsel?
Chr. If it be good, I will: for I stand in need of
World. I would advise thee then, that thou with all speed get thyself rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then: nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessmgs which God hath bestowed upon thee till then.
Chr. That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden ; but get it oft'myself,I cannot: nor is there a man in our own country, that can take it ofFiny shoulders; therefore am I going this way, as 1 told you, that I may be rid of my burden.
World, Who hid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?
(a) 1 Cor. vii. 25:
Chr. A man that appeared unto me to be a very preat and honourable person: his name,'as I remember, is Evangelist.
World. Beshrew him for his counsel; there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world, than is that unto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something (as I perceive) already: I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way ! Hear me, I am older than thou: thou art like to meet with, on the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger,peri!s,nakedness, sward, lions, darkness, dragons; and, in a word, death and what not: these things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger f
Chr. Why, Sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me, than are all these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks, I care not what I meet with in my way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.
World. How earnest thou by the buulen at first?
Chr. By reading this book in my hand.
World. I thought so; and it has happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do not only unman men, (as thine I perceive hath done thee,) but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.
Chr. I know what I would obtain: it is ease from my heavy burden.
World. But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? especially, since (hadst thou but patience to hear mc) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desires', without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into: y€3, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of these dangers, thou' shah meet with much safety, friendship, and content.
Chr. Pray, Sir, open this secret to me.
World. Why, in yonder village, (the Tillage i* named Morality,) there dwells a gentleman, whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man. of very good name, that has skill to-help men-off with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders yea, to mv knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this war. And besides, he hath skill to ctrre those th:,t are somewhat ciazed in their wits with their burdens To him, as I s^id, thou mayst go and be helped presently. His oouse is uot quite a mile from tnis place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, who-e name is Civility. that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself. There, I sav, thou m.'iyst be eased of thy burden; and if thou art not uuuded to go hack to thv former habitation, as indeed I wauld not wish thee, thoutnayst send for thy wife and children to thee to this village^ where there are houses now standing empty, one of which thou mayst have at a reasonable rate; provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy, is, to be sure, there thou shalt live by honest neighbours, in credit 3nd good fashion.
Now was Christian somewhat at a stand ; but presently he concluded, if this be true which this gentleman ' hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice; and with that be thus farther spake:—
Chr. Si r, which is my way to this .honest man's house?
World. Do you sec yonder hill?
Chr. Yes,-very well.
World. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his.
So Christian turned out of his way, to go to Mr. Legality's house for help i but behold, wheu he Wji* got now hard by the hill, it seemed so hisb, and also that side of it that was next the wav-side, did hang so mach over, that Christian was afraid to venture farther, lest the hill should fall on his head; 'wherefore there he stood still, and knew not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should he burned (b): here thereiore he sweats, and did quake for fear. And now lie began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel: and with that he saw Evangelist coming to meet him; at the sight aiso of whom he began to blusii for shame. So Evangelist drew nearer and nearer, and coming up to him, he looked upon him with a severe and dreadful countenance: and thus began to reason with Christian.
Evan. What dost thou here, Christian? said he: at which words Christian knew not what to answer: wherefore at present he stood speechless before hnn. Then said Evangelist farther, ait not thou the man that I found crying without the walls of the city of Destruction?
Chr. Yes, dear Sir, I am the man. Evan. Did not I direct thee the way f-o the little Wicket-gate?
Chr. Yes, dear Sir.
Evan. How is it then that thou art so quickly turned aside, for thou art now out of the way?
Chr. I met with a gentleman so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me, that I might, in the village before me, find a man that could take off my burden.
Evan. What was he r
Chr. He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and got me at last to yield; so I came hither: but when I beheid this hill, and how it hangs
(6) Exod. xix, 16, 13. Heb. xii. 21.
over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.
Evan. What said that gentleman to you?
Chr. Why, he asked me whither.I was going; and I told him.
Evan. And what said he then?
Chr. He asked nie if I had a family; and I told him: hut, said I, 1 am so loaded with the burden that is on my hack, that 1 cannot take pleasure in them as formerly.
Evan. And what said he then?
Chr. He bid me with speed get rid, of my burden; and I told him, it was ease that I sought: and, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive farther direction how 1 may get to the place of deliverance. So he said, that he would show me a better way, and shorter; not so attended with difficulties as the way, Sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman's house that has skill to take oii these burdens. So I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped for fear, as 1 said, of danger; but I now know not what to do.
Evan. Then said Evangelist, stand still'a little, that I may show thee the words of God. So lie stood trembling. Then said Evangelist: "See that "ye refuse not him that speakah: for if they "escape not who refused him that spake on earth, "much moie shall not we escape, if we turn away "from him that speaketh from heaven (c):" he said moreover: "Now the just shall live by faith ; but if "any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure "in him (d)." He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High,
and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to be hazarding of thy perdition.
Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Who is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right-hand, saying, " All manner of sins and blasphemies shall "be forgiven unto men (e). Be not faithless, but "believing (/ )." Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.
Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the tilings that I shall tell thee of. 1 will now show thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The m m that met thee, is one Worldly Wiseman ; and rightly he is so called: partly, because he savoureth only of the doctrine of this world (g); (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church ;) and partly, because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him from the cross; and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways, though risr'it.—Now there are three tilings in this man's counsel that thou must utterly abhor.
1. His turning thee out of the way.
2. His labouring to render the cross odious to thee.
3. And his setting thy feet in that way that leadetlx unto the administration of death.
First, thou must abhor his turning thee out of" the way; yea, and thine own consenting thereto; because this is to reject the counsel of God, for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, "Strive to enter in at the strait
"gate (/;)." The gate to which I sent thee: " for "strait is the gate that lcdeth unto 1 fe, and few "there he that find it (i)." From this link- Wicketgate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction; hate therefore his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening to him.
Secondly. Thou must abhor his labouring to re rider the cross odious to thee; for thou art to prefer it before " the treasures of Egypt (£).". Besides the King of Glory hath told thee, "that he .that will "save' his life shall lose it (/)." And, "he that "comes after him, and hates not his father and "mother, and wife and children, anJ brethren and "siiters; yea, and his own life also, he cannot be "my disciple ('«)." 1 say, therefore, for a man tolabour to persuade thee that that shall be thy death, without which, the Truth hath said, thou canst not have eternal life; this doctrine thou must abbor.
Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom (he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.
He to whom thou was sent for ease, being by name Legality (»), is the son of the bond-woman which now is, «nd is in bondage with her children, and is in a mystery this Mourf'iSinai, which thou hast feared will fall on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free! This Legality therefore is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man v as as yet ever nd of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be. Ye cannot be justified by tha
works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living ca-' be rid of his burden. Therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman is a liar, and Mr Legality is a cheat; as for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cnnot help thee. Believe me, there is nohing in all this noise, that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to iieguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I h-.d set thee. After this Evangelist called aloud to 'he heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, that made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were thus pronounced: "As many as are of (he works of the law "are under the curse: for it is writ'en, Curs;;d is "every one that continueth rot in all things which "are written in the book of the law to do them (o)."
Now Christian -looked for nothing but death, and bi g. ti to cry out lamentaby; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman; still calh-d himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel: he also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman's arguments, iiowing only from the flesh, should have the preva^ency with him, to cause him to forsake the rigiit way. '1 his done, he applied himself again to Evangelist, in words and sense as follows:
C/ir. Sir, what think you; is there any hope? May i now go hack, and go up to the Wicket-g.te; Shall I not be ahandoned for this, and sent back from thence aslurhed; I am sorry I have hearkened to this man's counsel; but may my sin be forgiven?
E-van. Then said Evangel,st to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast commited two evils: thou hast forsiken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths; ye,t wi 1 the man at the ga.e receive thee, for he has good-wi:l for men ; only, said
(o) Gal. iii. 10.
he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, lest thou perish from the wav, " when his wrath is "kindled butalittle(/i)." Then did Christian address himself to go hack; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him Godspeed . so he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way ; nor if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one that was all the whiL treading on forhidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe, .till again he was got inro the way which he left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel.
IN this chapter, Christian meets with afresh difficulty. He is accosted by a person rightly called Mr. Worldly Wiseman; for his advice savours not of heavenly wisdom, but of carnal policy. Having surmounted the difficulty of forsaking the world, and having struggled through the slough of desponding fears, he is exposed to a greater snare, by "going about "to establish his own righteousness; not submitting to the "righteousness of God," Rom. x. 3.
Mr Worldly Wiseman condemns the counsel of Evangelist, or the directions of the gospel, to fly to Christ;—represents the ways of God as full of misery ;—" does not like that men "should be serious in reading the Bible,"—and warmly recommends morality in preference to Christ. In short, he wishes him neither to be over-much wicked, nor over-much righteous: approves of his reformation, but scorns experimental religion.
Header, behold in Mr. Worldly Wiseman, the very picture of many self-righteous teachers of this day. What is constantly heard from their pulpits? Morality, morality, morality! and no hing more. Man's utter ruin by sin—his recovery by Christ alone—the new-birth—and the work of the Holy Spirit, are never insisted upon. While all heart-religion is
(p) Psal. ii. 12.
discarded as irrational, methodistical and enthusiastic, it is astonishing, that the Pilgrim'» Progress should bi; generally admired, when these despised truths of God are so warmly maintained throughout it!
Poor Christian, deluded by this specious advice, is permitted to turn out of the right way for a time, but what did he get by it? Tremendous horrors soon possessed his mind. The burning mountain seemed falling upon his head. The author alludes to the giving the law at Mount Sinai, which was attended with such awful circumstances, that Moses himself said, *.* I exceedingly fear and quake," Heb. xii. 21. The meaning is, that if an awakened soul looks for peace of conscience frem his own imperfect righteousness, and not from the perfect righteousness of Christ, his guilt and fear, instead of being removed, will most certainly increase.
Many young christians, like our pilgrim, are, through ignorance and temptation, led to " seek righteousness as it were "by the works of the law," but they cannot find it, Rom. ix. 30, &c. Happy for them, if God cast their lot under the clear preaching of the Gospel.—Evangelist meets with Christian again, chides and chastises'him for his folly, and directs his feet into the way of peace. Thus the apostle Paul dealt with the Gatatians; "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched "you, that ye should not obey The Truth!"—What was that truth which they had departed from, by the persuasion of false teachers ! It was the great gospel doctrine of justification alone bv Jesus Christ, through faith in him. From this if the professor depart, he is in the utmost danger; Tor thus the whole gospel is subverted, as the scripture says; "if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain," Gal. iii. I. and ii. 21. *
Christian, convinced of his error, and comforted with the hopes of the gospel, "addressed himself to go back;" arid with caution, taught by painful experience, pursues the way to the gate. Thus the sincere believe'' will profit by his mistakes, and never rest till he obtain forgiveness of sin, through the blood of Christ.
Beware, reader, of that worldly wisdom which places all religion in a moral conduct, and so tries to shun the cross. A man may live morally in the world, and be commended by his neighbours; but depend upon it, that he who will live godly In Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.