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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Through the River One by One

In process of time there came a post to the town again; and his business was with Mr. READY-TO-HALT. So he inquired him out, and said to him, "I am come to thee in the name of him whom thou hast loved and followed, though upon crutches. And my message is to tell thee, that he expects thee at his table to sup with him in his Kingdom the next day after Easter. Wherefore prepare thyself for this journey."

Then he also gave him a token that he was a true messenger; saying, "I have broken thy golden bowl, and loosed thy silver cord".

"Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern."
~ Ecclesiastes 12:6 ~

After this, Mr. READY-TO-HALT called for his fellow pilgrims, and told them, saying, "I am sent for; and God shall surely visit you also." So he desired Mr. VALIANT to make his will. And because he had nothing to bequeath to them that should survive him, but his crutches and his good wishes; therefore thus he said: "These crutches I bequeath to my son that shall tread in my steps; with a hundred warm wishes that he may prove better than I have done."

Then he thanked Mr. GREAT-HEART for his conduct and kindness; and so addressed himself to his journey. When he came at the brink of the river, he said, "Now I shall have no more need of these crutches; since yonder are chariots and horses for me to ride on." The last words he was heard to say were, "Welcome, life!" So he went his way.

After this Mr. FEEBLE-MIND had tidings brought him that the post sounded his horn at his chamber door. Then he came in and told him, saying, "I am come to tell thee that thy Master has need of thee; and that in very little time thou must behold his face in brightness. And take this as a token of the truth of my message: 'Those that look out at the windows shall be darkened".

"In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened"
~ Ecclesiastes 12:3 ~

Then Mr. FEEBLE-MIND called for his friends; and told them what errand had been brought unto him, and what token he had received of the truth of the message. Then he said, "Since I have nothing to bequeath to any, to what purpose should I make a will? As for my feeble mind, that I will leave behind me; for that I have no need of in the place whither I go; nor is it worth bestowing upon the poorest pilgrim: wherefore, when I am gone, I desire that you, Mr. VALIANT, would bury it in a dunghill. This done, and the day being come in which he was to depart, he entered the river as the rest. His last words were, "Hold out, faith and patience !" So he went over to the other side.

When many days had passed away, Mr. DESPONDENCY was sent for. For a post was come, and brought this message to him: "Trembling man, these are to summon thee to be ready with the King by the next Lord's day, to shout for joy for thy deliverance from all thy doubtings."

And said the messenger, "That my message is true, take this for a proof." So he gave him the grasshopper to be a burden unto him.

"Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:"
~ Ecclesiastes 12:5 ~

Now Mr. DESPONDENCY'S daughter, whose name was MUCH-AFRAID, said, when she heard what was done, that she would go with her father. Then Mr. DESPONDENCY said to his friends, "Myself and my daughter, you know what we have been; and how troublesomely we have behaved ourselves in every company. My will and my daughter's is, that our desponds and slavish fears be by no man ever received from the day of our departure for ever; for I know that after my death, they will offer themselves to others. For, to be plain with you, they are ghosts; the which we entertained when we first began to be pilgrims, and could never shake them off after. And they will walk about, and seek entertainment of the pilgrims: but for our sakes shut ye the doors upon them."

When the time was come for them to depart, they went to the brink of the river. The last words of Mr. DESPONDENCY were, "Farewell, night! welcome, day!" His daughter went through the river singing; but none could understand what she said.

Then it came to pass, awhile after, that there was a post in the town that inquired for Mr. HONEST. So he came to the house where he was, and delivered to his hand these lines:-- "Thou art commanded to be ready against this day seven nights, to present thyself before thy Lord at his Father's house. And for a token that my message is true, 'all the daughters of musick shall be brought low'".

"And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;"
~ Ecclesiastes 12:4 ~

Then Mr. HONEST called for his friends; and said unto them, "I die; but shall make no will. As for my honesty, it shall go with me: let him that comes after be told of this." When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed himself to go over the river. Now the river at that time overflowed the banks in some places. But Mr. HONEST, in his lifetime, had spoken to one GOOD-CONSCIENCE to meet him there; the which he also did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him over. The last words of Mr. HONEST were, "Grace reigns." So he left the world.

After this it was noised abroad that Mr. VALIANT-FOR-TRUTH was taken with a summons by the same post as the other; and had this for a token that the summons was true, that his pitcher was broken at the fountain.

"Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern."
~ Ecclesiastes 12:6 ~

When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then said he, "I am going to my Father's; and though with great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage; and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought his battles who now will be my Rewarder." When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the riverside; into which as he went he said, "Death, where is thy sting?" And as he went down deeper, he said, "Grave, where is thy victory?" So he passed over; and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

Then there came forth a summons for Mr. STANDFAST (this Mr. STANDFAST was he that the rest of the pilgrims found upon his knees in the Enchanted Ground); for the post brought it him open in his hands. The contents whereof were, that he must prepare for a change of life; for his Master was not willing that he should be so far from him any longer. At this Mr. STANDFAST was put into a muse; "Nay," said the messenger, "you need not doubt the truth of my message; for here is a token of the truth thereof: thy wheel is broken at the cistern".

"Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern."
~ Ecclesiastes 12:6 ~

Then he called to him Mr. GREAT-HEART, who was their guide; and said unto him, "Sir, although it was not my hap to be much in your good company in the days of my pilgrimage, yet, since the time I knew you, you have been profitable to me. When I came from home, I left behind me a wife and five small children. Let me entreat you at your return (for I know that you will go, and return to your Master's house, in hopes that you may yet be a conductor to more of the holy pilgrims), that you send to my family; and let them be acquainted with all that hath and shall happen unto me. Tell them, moreover, of my happy arrival at this place; and of the present blessed condition that I am in. Tell them also of CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA his wife; and how she and her children came after her husband. Tell them also of what a happy end she made, and whither she is gone. I have little or nothing to send to my family, except it be prayers and tears for them; of which it will suffice if thou acquaint them, if peradventure they may prevail." When Mr. STANDFAST had thus set things in order, and the time being come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the river. Now there was a great calm at that time in the river; wherefore Mr. STANDFAST, when he was about half way in, he stood awhile, and talked to his companions that had waited upon him thither. And he said:

"This river has been a terror to many; yea, the thoughts of it also have often frightened me. But now, methinks I stand easy; my foot is fixed upon that upon which the feet of the priests that bore the ark of the covenant stood, while Israel went over this Jordan.

"And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan."
~ Joshua 3:17 ~

The waters, indeed, are to the palate bitter, and to the stomach cold; yet the thoughts of what I am going to, and of the conduct that waits for me on the other side, doth lie as a glowing coal at my heart.

"I see myself now at the end of my journey; my toilsome days are ended. I am going now to see that head that was crowned with thorns, and that face that was spit upon for me.

"I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith; but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be with him in whose company I delight myself.

"I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of his shoe in the earth, there I have coveted to set my foot too.

"His name has been to me as a civet box, yea, sweeter than all perfumes. His voice to me has been most sweet; and his countenance I have more desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun. His Word I did use to gather for my food, and for antidotes against my fainting. He has held me, and I have kept me from mine iniquities; yea, my steps hath he strengthened in his way."

Now while he was thus in discourse, his countenance changed; his strong man bowed under him; and after he had said, "Take me, for I came unto Thee!" he ceased to be seen of them.

But glorious it was to see how the open region was filled with horses and chariots; with trumpeters and pipers; with singers and players on stringed instruments--to welcome the pilgrims as they went up, and followed one another in at the beautiful gate of the City.

As for CHRISTIAN'S children, the four boys that CHRISTIANA brought with her, with their wives and children, I did not stay where I was till they were gone over. Also, since I came away, I heard one say, that they were yet alive; and so would be for the increase of the Church in that place where they were for a time.

Shall it be my lot to go that way again, I may give those that desire it an account of what I here am silent about; meantime, I bid my reader



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
Back to Pilgrim's Homepage