The Pilgrim's Progress - Part Two
The Author's Way of Sending Forth His Second Part of the Pilgrim | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26
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Matthew's Sickness

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, and some of the trees hung over the wall, and my brother did pluck 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, "Oh, naughty boy; and oh, 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 an heifer, and with some of the juice of hyssop, etc.

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
~ Hebrews 10:1-4 ~

When Mr. SKILL had seen that that purge was too weak, he made him one to the purpose. 'Twas made ex Carne et 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.

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."
~ John 6:54-57 ~

"For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."
~ Mark 9:49 ~

Now he was to take them three at a time, fasting, in half a quarter of a pint of the tears of repentance.

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
~ Hebrews 9:14 ~

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
~ Zechariah 12:10 ~

When this potion was prepared and brought to the boy, he was loath to take it, though 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 honey. 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 a 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.

"For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
~ Hebrews 13:11-15 ~

Chris. "But, sir," said she, "what else is this pill good for?"

Skill. It is an universal pill: 'tis 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 physic.

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 physic as he should, it will make him live for ever.

"This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die."
~ John 6:50 ~

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 physic for herself, and her boys, and for MERCY; and bade MATTHEW take heed how he ate any more green plums, and kissed them, and went his way.

Questions for Prudence

It was told you before that PRUDENCE bade 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.

Mat. Then MATTHEW, who had been sick, asked her, "Why, for the most part, physic should be bitter to our palates ?"

Pru. To show how unwelcome the Word of God and the effects thereof are to a carnal heart.

Mat. Why does physic, if it does good, purge and cause that we vomit?

Pru. To show that the Word, when it works effectually, cleanses the heart and mind. For look, what the one doth to the body, the other doth to the soul.

Mat. 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?

Pru. 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, though high, reaches down with his grace and love to us below.

Mat. Where have the clouds their water?

Pru. Out of the sea.

Mat. What may we learn from that?

Pru. That ministers should fetch their doctrine from God.

Mat. Why do they empty themselves upon the earth?

Pru. To show that ministers should give out what they know of God to the world.

Mat. Why is the rainbow caused by the sun?

Pru. To show that the covenant of God's grace is confirmed to us in Christ.

Mat. Why do the springs come from the sea to us through the earth?

Pru. To show that the grace of God comes to us through the body of Christ.

Mat. Why do some of the springs rise out of the tops of high hills?

Pru. To show 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.

Mat. Why doth the fire fasten upon the candlewick?

Pru. To show that unless grace doth kindle upon the heart, there will be no true light of life in us.

Mat. Why is the wick and tallow, and all, spent to maintain the light of the candle?

Pru. To show 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.

Mat. Why doth the pelican pierce her own breast with her bill?

Pru. To nourish her young ones with her blood; and thereby to show that Christ the blessed so loves his young, his people, as to save them from death by his blood.

Mat. What may one learn by hearing the cock crow?

Pru. Learn to remember Peter's sin and Peter's repentance. The cock's crowing shows 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.

The Pilgrim's Progress - Part Two
The Author's Way of Sending Forth His Second Part of the Pilgrim | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26
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