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The Pilgrim's Progress       224 pages          159 x 235

John Bunyan

First published in 1678, the full title of Bunyan's celebrated book is The Pilgrim's Progress, from this World to that which is to come. Part One describes Christian's adventures after he sets out to be a pilgrim, leaving his wife and children behind.

Part Two, which followed a few years later in 1684, saw his wife, Christiana, also set out to follow in his footsteps. Our edition covers the better known first part only.

The entire book is an allegorical study of the spiritual pitfalls that await anyone setting out on the religious path to spiritual wholeness, and all Christian's adventures must be seen as inward experiences and states of mind. He starts off carrying a heavy burden (of sin and guilt) which he is unable to throw off, becomes bogged down in the Slough of Despond, passes through the Wicket Gate ('Knock, and it shall be opened unto you'), then the Interpreter's House. He loses his unwanted burden and enters the Palace Beautiful where he meets with Discretion, Piety, Charity and Prudence. Thereafter he reaches the Valley of Humiliation where he fights with Apollyon, the devil, before entering the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He faces danger at Vanity Fair, where he loses one companion and is joined by another. Together they blunder into Doubting Castle where they are held prisoners by the Giant Despair. Finally escaping from his clutches, they reach the Delectable Mountains, where shepherds point out the way to the Celestial City, through the Enchanted Ground, and the various pitfalls to be avoided.

Finally they reach the Land of Beulah, within sight of the Celestial City itself. Here they meet the final obstacle: a deep river which they must cross as best they can. With the help of faith, they reach the other side and enter the City with much rejoicing.

John Bunyan lived from 1628 to 1688, and after a varied early career became a Nonconformist preacher. His radical views got him into trouble with the authorities, and he was imprisoned for more than twelve years. He spent his time there writing, and it was during his second spell in prison that he wrote this first part of The Pilgrim's Progress.

The Pilgrims Progress

Contents


 1.   The Den and the Dreamer ..............

 2.     The Slough of Despond .................

 3.     Worldly Wiseman .........................

 4.     The Wicket Gate ...........................

 5.     The Interpreter's House .................

 6.     The Cross and the Contrast ............

 7.     The Hill Difficulty ..........................

 8.     The Palace Beautiful ......................

 9.     Apollyon ........................................

10.    The Valley of the Shadow of Death .

11.    Christian and Faithful ......................

12.    Talkative ........................................

13.    Vanity Fair .....................................

14.    Christian and Hopeful .....................

15.    Doubting Castle and Giant Despair ..

16.    The Delectable Mountains ...............

17.    The Enchanted Ground ...................

18.    Ignorance .......................................

19.    The Land of Beulah .......................

Index of allegorical characters ..................

Index of allegorical places .........................


Sample Pages

The Slough of Despond

 

NOW I SAW IN MY DREAM, that when Obstinate was gone back, Christian and Pliable went talking over the plain; and thus they began their discourse.

     Christian: "Come, neighbour Pliable, how do you do? I am glad you are persuaded to go along with me. Had even Obstinate 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."

     Pliable: "Come, neighbour Christian, since there are none but us two here, tell me now farther, what the things are, and how to be enjoyed, whither we are going."

     Christian: "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."

     Pliable: "And do you think that the words of your book are certainly true?"

     Christian: "Yes, verily; for it was made by Him that cannot lie."

     Pliable: "Well said; what things are they?"

     Christian: There is an endless kingdom to be inhabited, and everlasting life to be given us, that we may inhabit that kingdom for ever. "

     Pliable: "Well said; and what else?"

     Christian: "There are crowns of glory to be given us; and garments that will make us shine like the sun in the firmament of heaven."

THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

the plain: and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.

       Then said Pliable, "Ah, neighbour Christian, where are you now?"

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

     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 between 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 to 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 to the wicket gate; the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him what he did there.

     "Sir," said Christian, "I was bid to go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come. And as I was going thither, I fell in here."

     Help: "But why did not you look for the steps?"

 

THE SLOUGH OF DESPOND

   Pliable: "This is very pleasant; and what else?"

     Christian: "There shall be no more crying, nor sorrow; for he that is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes."

     Pliable: "And what company shall we have there?"

     Christian: "There we shall be with seraphims and cherubims, creatures that will dazzle your eyes to look on them. There also you shall meet with thousands and ten thousands that 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, there we shall see men, that by the world were cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts, drowned in the seas, for the love they bare to the Lord of the place, all well, and clothed with immortality as with a garment."

     Pliable: "The 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?"

     Christian: "The Lord, the governor of the country, hath recorded that in this book, the substance of which is, if we be truly willing to have it, he will bestow it upon us freely."

     Pliable: "Well, my good companion, glad am I to hear of these things: come on, let us mend our pace."

     Christian: "I cannot go as 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 the midst of

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