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Christian: I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: But why wilt thou seek for ease this way, seeing so many dangers attend it? especially since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining of what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou in this way wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of those dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.

Christian: Sir, I pray open this secret to me.

 

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Why, in yonder village (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of a very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders; yea to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; aye, and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens.

To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, (as indeed I would not wish thee,) thou mayest send for thy wife and children to this village, where there are houses now standing empty, one of which thou mayest 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 neighbors, in credit and good fashion. Worldly-Wiseman

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 he thus farther spake.

Christian: Sir, which is my way to this honest man’s house?
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Do you see yonder high hill?
Christian: Yes, very well.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: 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: but, behold,

when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next the way-side did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and wotted 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, Ex. 19:16, 18, out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burnt: here therefore he did sweat and quake for fear. Heb. 12:21. And now he 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 also of whom he began to blush 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.

Legality

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Now as Christian was walking solitary by himself, he espied one afar off come crossing over the field to meet him; and their hap was to meet just as they were crossing the way of each other. The gentleman’s name that met him was Mr. Worldly Wiseman: he dwelt in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town, and also hard by from whence Christian came. This man then, meeting with Christian, and having some inklingof 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 ob- serving his sighs and groans, and the like, began thus to enter into some talk with Christian.

 

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: How now, good fellow, whither away after this burdened manner?

 

Christian: A burdened manner indeed, as ever I think poor creature had! And whereas you ask me, Whither away? I tell you, sir, I am going to yonder wicket-gate before me; for there, as I am informed, I shall be put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden.

 

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Hast thou a wife and children?

Christian: 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.

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Wilt thou hearken to me, if I give thee counsel?
Christian: If it be good, I will; for I stand in need of good counsel.

 
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: 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 blessings which God hath bestowed upon thee till then.

 

Christian: That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this heavy burden: but get it off myself I cannot, nor is there any man in our country that can take it off my shoulders; therefore am I going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden.

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?

 

Christian: A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honorable person: his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: I beshrew him for his counsel! there is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that into 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; for 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, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not. These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testi- monies. And should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger?

 

Christian: Why, sir, this burden on 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 the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.

Mr. Worldly Wiseman: How camest thou by thy burden at first?


Christian: By reading this book in my hand.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: 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 have done thee, but they run them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what

Christian: I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.

 

 

05 Pliable

Now I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his house(in the city of destruction).

 

So his neighbors came to visit him; and some of them called him wise man for coming back, and

some called him fool for hazarding himself with Christian: others again did mock at his cowardliness, saying, “Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so base as to have given out for a few difficulties:” so Pliable sat sneaking among 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.

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Observations:

Pliable represents those who hear the gospel and immediately manifest an interest.

He is also like those who want a crown without a cross

Pliable is like a jellyfish being swept along by each passing tide

 

“Christian is led by Principle; while Pliable is urged on only by impulse”

Pliable is like Temporary and Talkative, who are like the shallow ground (rocky soil) hearer, who have “no root in themselves, but is temporary”  Matt 13:20-21

The Slough of Despond

Bunyan —  February 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

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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 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.

Pliable: Then said Pliable, Ah, neighbor Christian, where are you now?
Christian: Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
Pliable: 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 en- deavored 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.

Christian: 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.

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Help: But why did not you look for the steps?
Christian: Fear followed me so hard that I fled the next way, and fell in.


Help: Then, said he, Give me thine hand: so he gave him his hand, and he drew him

out, and he set him upon sound ground, and bid him go on his way.
Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, “Sir, wherefore, since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction to yonder gate, is it, that 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 filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore it is 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 badness of this ground.
“It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so bad. His laborers also have, by the direction of his Majesty’s surveyors, been for above this sixteen hundred years employed about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended: yea, and to my knowledge,” said he, “there 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 mater- ials 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 through the very midst of this slough; but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or if they be, men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside, and then they are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there: but the ground is good when they are once got

in at the gate.” Psalm 40:2; Isa 35:3-4, 1 Sam 12:23  

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The Promises of God are the steps:

Psalm 55:22    Cast  your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;    He will never allow the righteous to   be shaken.
Psalm 50:15  Call upon Me in the day of trouble;   I shall  rescue you, and you will  honor Me.”

 

Alexander Whyte “Help is one of the King’s officers who are planted all along the way to the Celestial City, in order to assist and counsel all Pilgrims.  Evangelist was one, Help is another, Goodwill will yet  be another.”

Pliable Falls Away

Bunyan —  February 12, 2014 — Leave a comment

obstinate.pliable

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

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, neighbor 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, neighbor 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.

Pliable: This is very pleasant; and what else?

05 Pliable

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.

 

Tit 1:2; Isa 65:17; John 10:27f; 2 Tim 4:8; Rev. 22:5; Matt 13:43; Isa 25:8, 6:2; 1 Thess 4:16-17; Rev. 4:4, 14:1-5; John 12:25; 2 Cor. 5:2; Is. 55:1-2; John 6:37;

Rev. 21:6

Obstinate and Pliable

Bunyan —  February 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

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

Christian: Yes, said Christian, (for that was his name,) because that all which you forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that I am seeking to enjoy,  and if you will go along with me, and hold it, you shall fare as I myself; for there, where I go, is enough and to spare. Come away, and prove my words.

Obstinate: What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?

 

Christian: I seek an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away; and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be bestowed, at the time appointed, on them that diligently seek it. Read it so, if you will, in my book.

Obstinate: Tush, said Obstinate, away with your book; will you go back with us or no?

Christian: No, not I, said the other, because I have laid my hand to the plough. 

04 Obstinate

2 Cor. 4:18; Luke 15:17; 1 Pter 1:14; Heb. 11:16; Luke 9:62; Heb. 9:17-21  Obstinate: Come then, neighbor 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.
Pliable: Then said Pliable, Don’t revile; if what the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are better than ours: my heart inclines to go with my neighbor. Obstinate: What, more fools still! Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brain-sick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise.
Christian: Nay, but do thou come with thy neighbor Pliable; there are such things to be had which I spoke of, and many more glories besides. If you believe not me, read 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.
Pliable: Well, neighbor Obstinate, said Pliable, I begin to come to a point; I intend 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? Christian: 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. Pliable: Come then, good neighbor, let us be going. Then they went both together. Obstinate: And I will go back to my place, said Obstinate: I will be no companion of such misled, fantastical fellows.

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Obstinate is Stubborn, inflexible, worldly, self-willed, scornful, abusive and hard hearted.

He represents those who oppose the gospel and ultimately reject it.  Mark 4:3-4, Acts 17:22

Alexander Whyte “ Little Obstinate was born in the city of destruction. His father was old spare-the-rod, and his mothers name was spoil-the-child. Little Obstinate was the only child of his parents…….they gave him his way in everything. Everything he asked for, he got, and if he did not immediately get it, you would have heard his screams and kicks 3 house down”

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

The neighbors also came out to see him run; and as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those 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, “Neighbors, wherefore are you come?” They said, “To persuade you to go back with us.” But he said, “That can by no means be: you dwell,” said he, “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 neighbors, and go along with me.”

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What does his burden represent?

Rom 3:20  For through the law comes the knowledge of sin

His Sin!  A growing consciousness of his personal sin and guilt, which is stimulated by reading his book

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.

Luke 18:13 the tax collector would not even look up to heaven but  said, “God be Merciful to me, the sinner”

 

Luke 14:26, Gen. 19:17, Jer. 20:10

Evangelist Shows the way

Bunyan —  February 6, 2014 — 1 Comment

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Now I noticed on a particular occasion, when he was walking in the fields, that he was (according to his habit) 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 also saw 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 then looked and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him who asked, “For what reason are you crying?” He answered, “Sir, I understand by the book in my hand that I 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.

 

Then said Evangelist, “Why are you not willing to die since this life is accompanied with so many evils?” The man answered, “Because I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave; and I shall fall into Tophet.And sir, if I am not fit to go to prison, I am quite sure I am not fit to go to judgment, and as a consequence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry.”

   Then said Evangelist, “If this is your condition, then why are you standing still?” He answered, “Because I do not know which way to go.” Then Evangelist gave him a parchment

scroll on which was written within, “Fly from the wrath to come.”

 

Therefore the man read the scroll, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, “Which way must I go to escape?” Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger beyond a very large field, “Do you see a Wicket-gate over there?” The man replied, “No.” Then he was asked, “Do you see a shining lightnot quite so far away?” He said, “I think I do.” Then said Evangelist, “Keep that light before your eye, and go directly toward it, and then you shall see the gate, at which, when you knock, you will be told what you are to do.


Christian.departing.wife

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I came upon a certain place where there was a den; and I lay down in that place to sleep; and as I slept I dreamed a dream.I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed in ragsstanding in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden on his back. I looked and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled: and not being able to contain himself any longer, he broke out with a lamentable cry, saying,“What shall I do?”

 

Therefore in this plight he went home, and restrained himself as long as he could, so that his wife and children would not notice his distress. But he could not be silent long for the reason that his trouble increased. Therefore at length he broke his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them. “Oh my dear wife,” he said, “and you the children of my bowels, I your dear friend am myself undone, by reason of a burden that weighs heavily upon me: moreover, I am certainly informed that this our city will be burned with fire from Heaven, in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with you my wife and sweet babes, shall come to a miserable ruin, except (which alternative is not apparent) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered.”

At this these close relatives of his were greatly amazed. It was not that they believed to be true what he said to them, but rather because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head. Consequently, with the night approaching, and with the hope that sleep might settle his brains, they got him to bed with all haste. However instead of sleeping, he spent that evening in sighs and tears.

            So when the morning was come, they enquired as to how he was feeling, and he told them, “Worse and worse.”  He also intended to talk to them again, but they began to firmly resist him. They also contrived to drive away his demented frame of mind by means of surly carriages toward him. Sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and at other times they would quite neglect him. Therefore he began to retire to his

chamber to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time

 

 

 

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There is one book in our language, with which the Pilgrim’s Progress may be compared, as a reality with a theory, a personification with an abstraction, and that is Edwards on the Religious Affections. This book is the work of a holy, but rigid metaphysician, analyzing and anatomizing the soul, laying the heart bare, and, I had almost said, drying it for a model. As you study it, you know it is truth, and you know that your own heart ought to be like it; but you cannot recognize in it your own flesh and blood…

Jonathan Edwards--Religious Affections--2

“…Edwards’ delineations are like the skeleton leaves of the forest, through which, if you hold them to the sun, you can see every minute fiber in the light; Bunyan’s work is like the same leaves as fresh foliage, green and glossy in the sunshine, joyfully whispering to the breathing air, with now and then the dense rain-drops glittering on them from a June shower. In Edwards’ work you see the Divine life in its abstract severity and perfection; in Bunyan’s work you see it assuming a visible form, like your own, with your own temptations and trials, touched with the feeling, and colored with the shade of your own infirmities. Yet both these books are well-nigh perfect in their way, both equally adapted to their purpose.

          

 “We love the work of Bunyan as a bosom friend, a sociable confiding companion on our pilgrimage. We revere the work of Edwards, as a deep, grave teacher, but its stern accuracy makes us tremble. Bunyan encourages, consoles, animates, delights, sympathizes with us; Edwards cross-examines, probes, scrutinizes, alarms us. Bunyan looks on us as a sweet angel, as one of his own shining ones, come to take off our burden, and put on our robe; Edwards, as a sort of military surveyor of the king’s roads, meets us with his map, and shows us how we have wandered from the way, and makes us feel as if we never were in it”