The Pilgrim's Progress - Part Two
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The Hill of Difficulty

Thus they went on till they came at the foot of the hill Difficulty; where again their good friend, Mr. GREAT-HEART, took an occasion to tell them of what happened there when CHRISTIAN himself went by. So he had them first to the spring. "Lo," saith he, "this is the spring that CHRISTIAN drank of before he went up this hill, and then 'twas clear and good; but now 'tis dirty with the feet of some that are not desirous that pilgrims here should quench their thirst".

"Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?"
~ Ezekiel 34:18 ~

Thereat MERCY said, "And why so envious trow?" But said their guide, "It will do, if taken up, and put into a vessel that is sweet and good; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear." Thus, therefore, CHRISTIANA and her companions were compelled to do. They took it up and put it into an earthen pot, and so let it stand till the dirt was gone to the bottom; and then they drank thereof.

Next he showed them the two byways that were at the foot of the hill, where FORMALITY and HYPOCRISY lost themselves. And said he, "These are dangerous paths; two were here cast away when CHRISTIAN came by. And although, as you see, these ways are since stopped up with chains, posts, and a ditch, yet there are those who will choose to adventure here, rather than take the pains to go up this hill."

Chris. "The way of transgressors is hard".

"Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard."
~ Proverbs 13:15 ~

'Tis wonder that they can get into those ways without danger of breaking their necks.

Great-heart. They will venture; yea, if at any time any of the King's servants doth happen to see them, and doth call unto them, and tell them that they are in the wrong ways, and do bid them beware of the danger: then they will railingly return them answer, and say, "As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the King, we will not hearken unto thee: but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goes out of our own mouths," etc.

"As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil."
~ Jeremiah 44:16, 17 ~

Nay, if you look a little farther, you shall see that these ways are made cautionary enough; not only by these posts, and ditch, and chain, but also by being hedged up: yet they will choose to go there.

Chris. They are idle, they love not to take pains; the uphill way is unpleasant to them. So it is fulfilled unto them as it is written: "The way of the slothful man is a hedge of thorns".

"The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain."
~ Proverbs 15:19 ~

Yea, they will rather choose to walk upon a snare, than to go up this hill and the rest of this way to the city.

Then they set forward, and began to go up the hill, and up the hill they went; but before they got to the top, CHRISTIANA began to pant, and said, "I daresay this is a breathing hill; no marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls choose to themselves a smoother way." Then said MERCY, "I must sit down"; also the least of the children began to cry. "Come, come," said GREAT-HEART; "sit not down here, for a little above is the Prince's arbour." Then took he the little boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.

When they were come to the arbour, they were very willing to sit down; for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said MERCY, "How sweet is rest to them that labour! And how good is the Prince of pilgrims to provide such resting places for them!

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
~ Matthew 11:28 ~

Of this arbour I have heard much; but I never saw it before. But here let us beware of sleeping; for as I have heard, that it cost poor CHRISTIAN dear."

Then said Mr. GREAT-HEART to the little ones, "Come, my pretty boys, how do you do? what think you now of going on pilgrimage?" "Sir," said the least, "I was almost beat out of heart; but I thank you for lending me a hand at my need. And I remember now what my mother has told me, namely, 'That the way to heaven is as up a ladder; and the way to hell is as down a hill.' But I had rather go up the ladder to life, than down the hill to death."

Then said MERCY, "But the proverb is, 'To go down the hill is easy.'" But JAMES said (for that was his name), "The day is coming when, in my opinion, going down hill will be the hardest of all." "'Tis a good boy," said his Master; "thou hast given her a right answer." Then MERCY smiled; but the little boy did blush.

Chris. "Come," said CHRISTIANA, "will you eat a bit, a little to sweeten your mouths, while you sit here to rest your legs? For I have here a piece of pomegranate which Mr. INTERPRETER put in my hand just when I came out of his doors; he gave me also a piece of a honeycomb and a little bottle of spirits." "I thought he gave you something," said MERCY, "because he called you aside." "Yes, so he did," said the other; "but, MERCY, it shall still be as I said it should, when at first we came from home; thou shalt be a sharer in all the good that I have, because thou so willingly didst become my companion." Then she gave to them, and they did eat, both MERCY and the boys. And said CHRISTIANA to Mr. GREAT-HEART, "Sir, will you do as we?" But he answered, "You are going on pilgrimage, and presently I shall return; much good may what you have do to you. At home I eat the same every day." Now when they had eaten and drank, and had chatted a little longer, their guide said to them, "The day wears away; if you think good, let us prepare to be going." So they got up to go, and the little boys went before; but CHRISTIANA forgot to take her bottle of spirits with her, so she sent her little boy back to fetch it. Then said MERCY, "I think this is a losing place. Here CHRISTIAN lost his roll; and here CHRISTIANA left her bottle behind her: Sir, what is the cause of this?" So their guide made answer and said, "The cause is sleep or forgetfulness: some sleep when they should keep awake; and some forget when they should remember; and this is the very cause why often, at the resting places, some pilgrims in some things come off losers. Pilgrims should watch, and remember what they have already received under their greatest enjoyments; but for want of doing so, oft times their rejoicing ends in tears, and their sunshine in a cloud: witness the story of CHRISTIAN at this place."

When they were come to the place where MISTRUST and TIMOROUS met CHRISTIAN to persuade him to go back for fear of the lions, they perceived as it were a stage; and before it, towards the road, a broad plate, with a copy of verses written thereon, and underneath, the reason of raising up of that stage in that place rendered.

The verses were these:

"Let him that sees this stage take heed
Unto his heart and tongue;
Lest, if he do not, here he speed
As some have long agone."

The words underneath the verses were, "This stage was built to punish such upon, who, through timorousness or mistrust, shall be afraid to go farther on pilgrimage. Also on this stage both MISTRUST and TIMOROUS were burned through the tongue with a hot iron, for endeavouring to hinder CHRISTIAN in his journey."

Then said MERCY, "This is much like to the saying of the Beloved, 'What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper'".

"What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper."
~ Psalms 120:4 ~


So they went on till they came within sight of the lions.

Now Mr. GREAT-HEART was a strong man, so he was not afraid of a lion; but yet when they were come up to the place where the lions were, the boys that went before were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions: so they stepped back and went behind. At this their guide smiled, and said, "How now, my boys, do you love to go before when no danger doth approach; and love to come behind as soon as the lions appear?"

Now as they went up, Mr. GREAT-HEART drew his sword, with intent to make a way for the pilgrims in spite of the lions. Then there appeared one that it seems had taken upon him to back the lions. And he said to the pilgrim's guide. "What is the cause of your coming hither?" Now the name of that man was GRIM, or BLOODY-MAN, because of his slaying of pilgrims; and he was of the race of the giants.

Great-heart. Then said the pilgrims' guide, "These women and children are going on pilgrimage; and this is the way they must go: and go it they shall, in spite of thee and the lions ."

Grim. This is not their way; neither shall they go therein. I am come forth to withstand them; and to that end will back the lions.

Now to say truth, by reason of the fierceness of the lions, and of the grim carriage of him that did back them, this way had of late lain much unoccupied, and was almost all grown over with grass.

Chris. Then said CHRISTIANA, "Though the highways have been unoccupied heretofore, and though the travellers have been made in time past to walk through bypaths, it must not be so now I am risen: 'Now I am risen a mother in Israel'".

"In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel."
~ Judges 5:6, 7 ~

Grim. Then he swore by the lions but it should; and therefore bade them turn aside, for they should not have passage there.

But GREAT-HEART their guide made first his approach unto GRIM; and laid so heavily at him with his sword, that he forced him to a retreat.

Grim. Then said he that attempted to back the lions, "Will you slay me upon mine own ground?"

Great-heart. "'Tis the King's highway that we are in, and in his way it is that thou hast placed thy lions; but these women and these children, though weak, shall hold on their way in spite of thy lions." And with that he gave him again a downright blow, and brought him upon his knees. With this blow he also broke his helmet; and with the next he cut off an arm. Then did the giant roar so hideously, that his voice frightened the women; and yet they were glad to see him lie sprawling upon the ground. Now the lions were chained, and so of themselves could do nothing. Wherefore, when old GRIM that intended to back them was dead, Mr. GREAT-HEART said to the pilgrims, "Come now, and follow me, and no hurt shall happen to you from the lions." They therefore went on; but the women trembled as they passed by them, the boys also looked as if they would die; but they all got by without further hurt.

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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