Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, , at sacred-texts.com
Section V. Now because it was somewhat late, and because the Pilgrims were weary with their Journey, and also made faint with the sight of the Fight and of the terrible Lions, therefore they desired as soon as might be, to prepare to go to rest. Nay, said those of the Family, refresh yourselves first with a morsel of Meat. For they had prepared for them a Lamb, with the accustomed Sauce belonging thereto; for the Porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had supped, and ended their Prayer with a Psalm, they desired they might go to rest. But let us, said Christiana, if we may be so bold as to chuse, be in that Chamber that was my Husband's when he was here. So they had them up thither, and they lay all in a room. When they were at rest, Christiana and Mercy entred into discourse about things that were convenient. Chris. Little did I think once, that when my Husband went on Pilgrimage, I should ever a followed. Mercy. And you as little thought of lying in his Bed and in his Chamber to rest, as you do now. Chris. And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him, and yet now I believe I shall. Mercy. Hark, don't you hear a noise? Chris. Yes, 'tis as I believe, a noise of Musick for joy that we are here. Mercy. Wonderful! Musick in the House, Musick in the Heart, and Musick also in Heaven, for joy that we are here. Thus they talked awhile, and then betook themselves to sleep. So in the morning, when they were awake, Christiana said to Mercy: Chris. What was the matter that you did laugh in your sleep to-night. I suppose you was in a Dream. Mercy. So I was, and a sweet Dream it was, but are you sure I laughed? Chris. Yes, you laughed heartily; but prithee Mercy, tell me thy dream. Mercy. I was a dreamed that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning of the hardness of my Heart. Now I had not sat there long, but methought many were gathered about me, to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened, and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my Heart. At this some of them laughed at me, some called me Fool, and some began to thrust me about. With that, methought I looked up, and saw one coming with Wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, Mercy, what aileth thee? Now when he had heard me make my complaint, he said, Peace be to thee. He also wiped mine eyes with his Handkerchief, and clad me in Silver and Gold: he put a Chain about my Neck, and Ear-rings in mine Ears, and a beautiful Crown upon my Head. Then he took me by the Hand, and said Mercy, come after me. So he went up, and I followed, till we came at a Golden Gate. Then he knocked; and when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a Throne, upon which one sat, and he said to me, Welcome Daughter. The place looked bright and twinkling like the Stars, or rather like the Sun, and I thought that I saw your Husband there. So I awoke from my Dream. But did I laugh? Chris. Laugh: ay, and well you might, to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you, that I believe it was a good Dream, and that as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a Dream, in a Vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumbering upon the bed. We need not, when a-bed, lie awake to talk with God. He can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oft-times wakes when we sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by Proverbs, by Signs and Similitudes, as well as if one was awake. Mercy. Well, I am glad of my Dream, for I hope ere long to see it fulfilled, to the making of me laugh again. Chris. I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do. Mercy. Pray, if they invite us to stay a while, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the willinger to stay a while here, to grow better acquainted with these Maids. Methinks Prudence Piety and Charity have very comely and sober countenances. Chris. We shall see what they will do. So when they were up and ready, they came down. And they asked one another of their rest, and if it was comfortable or not. Mercy. Very good, said Mercy; it was one of the best night's Lodging that ever I had in my life. Then said Prudence and Piety, If you will be persuaded to stay here a while, you shall have what the house will afford. Char. Ay, and that with a very good will, said Charity. So they consented, and stayed there about a month or above, and became very profitable one to another. And because Prudence would see how Christiana had brought up her Children, she asked leave of her to catechise them. So she gave her free consent. Then she began at the youngest, whose name was James. Prudence. And she said, Come James, canst thou tell who made thee? James. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Prud. Good Boy. And canst thou tell me who saves thee? James. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Prud. Good Boy still. But how doth God the Father save thee? James. By his Grace. Prud. How doth God the Son save thee? James. By his Righteousness, Death, and Blood, and Life. Prud. And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee? James. By his Illumination, by his Renovation, and by his Preservation. Then said Prudence to Christiana, You are to be commended for thus bringing up your Children. I suppose I need not ask the rest these questions, since the youngest of them can answer them so well. I will therefore now apply myself to the youngest next. Prud. Then she said, Come Joseph (for his name was Joseph) will you let me catechise you? Joseph. With all my heart. Prud. What is Man? Joseph. A Reasonable Creature, so made by God, as my Brother said. Prud. What is supposed by this word saved? Joseph. That Man by Sin has brought himself into a state of Captivity and Misery. Prud. What is supposed by his being saved by the Trinity? Joseph. That Sin is so great and mighty a Tyrant, that none can pull us out of its clutches but God; and that God is so good and loving to man, as to pull him indeed out of this miserable state. Prud. What is God's design in saving of poor Men? Joseph. The glorifying of his Name, of his Grace and Justice, & c. and the everlasting Happiness of his Creature. Prud. Who are they that must be saved. Joseph. Those that accept of his Salvation. Prud. Good Boy, Joseph, thy Mother has taught thee well, and thou hast hearkened to what she hath said unto thee. Then said Prudence to Samuel, who was the eldest but one. Prud. Come Samuel, are you willing that I should catechise you also? Samuel. Yes, forsooth, if you please. Prud. What is Heaven? Sam. A place and state most blessed, because God dwelleth there. Prud. What is Hell? Sam. A place and state most woful, because it is the dwelling place of Sin, the Devil, and Death. Prud. Why wouldst thou go to Heaven? Sam. That I may see God, and serve him without weariness; that I may see Christ, and love him everlastingly; that I may have that fulness of the Holy Spirit in me that I can by no means here enjoy. Prud. A very good Boy also, and one that has learned well. Then she addressed herself to the eldest, whose name was Matthew; and she said to him, Come Matthew, shall I also catechise you? Matthew. With a very good will. Prud. I ask then, if there was ever anything that had a being antecedent to or before God, Matt. No, for God is eternal, nor is there anything excepting himself that had a being until the beginning of the first day. For in six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the Sea and all that in them is. Prud. What do you think of the Bible? Matt. It is the Holy Word of God. Prud. Is there nothing written therein but what you understand? Matt. Yes a great deal. Prud. What do you do when you meet with such places therein that you do not understand.? Matt. I think God is wiser than I. I pray also that he will please to let me know all therein that he knows will be for my good. Prud. How believe you as touching the Resurrection of the Dead? Matt. I believe they shall rise, the same that was buried, the same in nature, tho' not in corruption. And I believe this upon a double account. First, because God has promised it. Secondly, because he is able to perform it. Then said Prudence to the Boys, You must still hearken to your Mother, for she can learn you more. You must also diligently give ear to what good talk you shall hear from others, for for your sakes do they speak good things. Observe also and that with carefulness, what the Heavens and the Earth do teach you; but especially be much in the meditation of that Book that was the cause of your Father's becoming a Pilgrim. I for my part, my Children, will teach you what I can while you are here, and shall be glad if you will ask me Questions that tend to godly edifying. Now by that these Pilgrims had been at this place a week, Mercy had a visitor that pretended some good will unto her, and his name was Mr. Brisk. A man of some breeding, and that pretended to Religion, but a man that stuck very close to the World. So he came once or twice or more to Mercy, and offered love unto her. Now Mercy was of fair countenance, and therefore the more alluring. Her mind also was, to be always busying of herself in doing, for when she had nothing to do for herself, she would be making of Hose and Garments for others, and would bestow them upon them that had need. And Mr. Brisk not knowing where or how she disposed of what she made, seemed to be greatly taken for that he found her never idle. I will warrant her a good housewife, quoth he to himself. Mercy then revealed the business to the Maidens that were of the house, and enquired of them concerning him, for they did know him better than she. So they told her that he was a very busy young man, and one that pretended to Religion, but was as they feared, a stranger to the Power of that which was good. Nay then, said Mercy, I will look no more on him, for I purpose never to have a clog to my soul. Prudence then replied, That there needed no great matter of discouragement to be given to him, her continuing so as she had began to do for the poor, would quickly cool his courage. So the next time he comes, he finds her at her old work, a making of things for the poor. Then said he, What always at it? Yes, said she, either for myself or for others. And what canst thou earn a day? quoth he. I do these things, said she, that I may be rich in Good Works, laying up in store a good Foundation against the time to come, that I may lay hold on Eternal Life. Why prithee what dost thou with them? said he. Cloath the naked, said she. With that his countenance fell. So he forbore to come at her again. And when he was asked the reason why, he said that Mercy was a pretty lass, but troubled with ill conditions. When he had left her, Prudence said, Did I not tell thee, that Mr Brisk would soon forsake thee? yea, he will raise up an ill report of thee; for notwithstanding his pretence to Religion, and his seeming love to Mercy, yet Mercy and he are of tempers so different, that I believe they will never come together. Mercy. I might a had Husbands afore now, tho' I spake not of it to any; but they were such as did not like my Conditions, though never did any of them find fault with my Person. So they and I could not agree. Prud. Mercy in our days is little set by any further than as to its Name; the Practice, which is set forth by thy Conditions, there are but few that can abide. Mercy. Well, said Mercy, if nobody will have me, I will die a Maid, or my Conditions shall be to me as a Husband. For I cannot change my nature, and to have one that lies cross to me in this, that I purpose never to admit of as long as I live. I had a Sister named Bountiful, that was married to one of these churls; but he and she could never agree; but because my Sister was resolved to do as she had began, that is, to shew kindness to the poor, therefore her Husband first cried her down at the Cross, and then turned her out of his doors. Prud. And yet he was a Professor, I warrant you. Mercy. Yes, such a one as he was, and of such as he the world is now full: but I am for none of them at all. Now Matthew the eldest Son of Christiana fell sick, and his sickness was sore upon him, for he was much pained in his Bowels, so that he was with it at times, pulled as 'twere both ends together. There dwelt also not far from thence, one Mr Skill, an ancient and well-approved Physician. So Christiana desired it, and they sent for him, and he came. When he was entered the room, and had a little observed the Boy, he concluded that he was sick of the Gripes. Then he said to his Mother. What diet has Matthew of late fed upon? Diet, said Christiana, nothing but that which is wholesome. The Physician answered, This Boy has been tampering with something that lies in his maw undigested, and that will not away without means. And I tell you he must be purged, or else he will die. Sam. Then said Samuel, Mother, Mother, what was that which my Brother did gather up and eat, so soon as we were come from the Gate that is at the head of this way? You know that there was an Orchard on the left hand, on the other side of the wall, some of the trees hung over the wall, and my Brother did plash and did eat. Chris. True my Child, said Christiana, he did take thereof and did eat, naughty Boy as he was. I did chide him, and yet he would eat thereof. Skill. I knew he had eaten something that was not wholesome food, and that food, to wit, that Fruit, is even the most hurtful of all. It is the Fruit of Beelzebub's Orchard. I do marvel that none did warn you of it; many have died thereof. Chris. Then Christiana began to cry, and she said, O naughty Boy, and O careless Mother, what shall I do for my Son? Skill. Come, do not be too much dejected; the Boy may do well again, but he must purge and vomit. Chris. Pray Sir, try the utmost of your skill with him whatever it costs. Skill. Nay, I hope I shall be reasonable. So he made him a Purge, but it was too weak. 'Twas said it was made of the Blood of a Goat, the Ashes of a Heifer, and with some of the Juice of Hyssop, Ec. When Mr Skill had seen that that Purge was too weak, he made him one to the purpose, 'twas made Ex Carne E Sanguine Christi. (You know Physicians give strange Medicines to their Patients.) And it was made up into Pills, with a Promise or two, and a proportionable quantity of Salt. Now he was to take them three at a time fasting, in half a quarter of a pint of the Tears of Repentance. When this Potion was prepared and brought to the Boy he was loth to take it, tho' torn with the Gripes as if he should be pulled in pieces. Come, come, said the Physician, you must take it. It goes against my stomach, said the Boy. I must have you take it, said his Mother. I shall vomit it up again, said the Boy. Pray Sir, said Christiana to Mr Skill, how does it taste? It has no ill taste, said the Doctor, and with that she touched one of the Pills with the tip of her tongue. Oh Matthew, said she, this Potion is sweeter than Hony. If thou lovest thy Mother, if thou lovest thy Brothers, if thou lovest Mercy, if thou lovest thy Life, take it. So with much ado, after a short prayer for the blessing of God upon it, he took it, and it wrought kindly with him. It caused him to purge, it caused him to sleep and rest quietly, it put him into a fine heat and breathing sweat, and did quite rid him of his Gripes. So in little time he got up and walked about with a staff, and would go from room to room, and talk with Prudence Piety and Charity of his Distemper, and how he was healed. So when the Boy was healed, Christiana asked Mr Skill, saying Sir, what will content you for your pains and care to and of my Child? And he said, You must pay the Master of the College of Physicians, according to rules made in that case and provided. Chris. But Sir, said she, what is this Pill good for else? Skill. It is a universal Pill, it is good against all the diseases that Pilgrims are incident to, and when it is well prepared, it will keep good time out of mind. Chris. Pray Sir, make me up twelve boxes of them, for if I can get these, I will never take other Physick. Skill. These Pills are good to prevent diseases, as well as to cure when one is sick. Yea, I dare say it, and stand to it, that if a man will but use this Physick as he should, it will make him live for ever. But good Christiana, thou must give these Pills no other way but as I have prescribed, for if you do, they will do no good. So he gave unto Christiana Physick for herself and her Boys and for Mercy, and bid Matthew take heed how he eat any more green Plums, and kissed them and went his way. It was told you before that Prudence bid the Boys, that if at any time they would, they should ask her some Questions that might be profitable, and she would say something to them. Matt. Then Matthew who had been sick, asked her, Why for the most part Physick should be bitter to our palates? Prud. To shew how unwelcome the Word of God and the effects thereof are to a Carnal Heart. Matt. Why does Physick, if it does good, purge, and cause that we vomit? Prud. To shew that the Word, when it works effectually, cleanseth the Heart and Mind. For look, what the one doth to the Body the other doth to the Soul. Matt. What should we learn by seeing the Flame of our Fire go upwards? and by seeing the Beams and sweet Influences of the Sun strike downwards? Prud. By the going up of the Fire we are taught to ascend to Heaven by fervent and hot desires; and by the Sun his sending his Heat Beams and sweet Influences downwards, we are taught that the Saviour of the world, tho' high, reaches down with his Grace and Love to us below. Matt. Where have the Clouds their water? Prud. Out of the Sea. Matt. What may we learn from that? Prud. That Ministers should fetch their Doctrine from God. Matt. Why do they empty themselves upon the Earth? Prud. To shew that Ministers should give out what they know of God to the World. Matt. Why is the Rainbow caused by the Sun? Prud. To shew that the covenant of God's Grace is confirmed to us in Christ. Matt. Why do the Springs come from the Sea to us through the Earth? Prud. To shew that the Grace of God comes to us through the Body of Christ. Matt. Why do some of the Springs rise out of the tops of high Hills? Prud. To shew that the Spirit of Grace shall spring up in some that are Great and Mighty, as well as in many that are Poor and Low. Matt. Why doth the fire fasten upon the Candlewick? Prud. To shew that unless Grace doth kindle upon the Heart, there will be no true Light of Life in us. Matt. Why is the Wick and Tallow and all, spent to maintain the light of the Candle? Prud. To shew that Body and Soul and all, should be at the service of, and spend themselves to maintain in good condition, that Grace of God that is in us. Matt. Why doth the Pelican pierce her own Breast with her Bill? Prud. To nourish her young ones with her Blood, and thereby to shew that Christ the blessed so loved his young, his people, as to save them from Death by his Blood. Matt. What may one learn by hearing the Cock to crow? Prud. Learn to remember Peter's sin, and Peter's repentance. The Cock's crowing shews also that Day is coming on; let then the crowing of the Cock put thee in mind of that last and terrible Day of Judgment. Now about this time their month was out, wherefore they signified to those of the house that 'twas convenient for them to up and be going. Then said Joseph to his Mother, It is convenient that you forget not to send to the house of Mr Interpreter, to pray him to grant that Mr Great-heart should be sent unto us, that he may be our Conductor the rest of our way. Good Boy, said she, I had almost forgot. So she drew up a Petition, and prayed Mr Watchful the Porter to send it by some fit man to her good Friend Mr Interpreter: who when it was come, and he had seen the contents of the Petition, said to the Messenger, Go tell them that I will send him.