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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Welcomed to the House Called "Beautiful"

Now then, they were within sight of the porter's lodge, and they soon came up unto it; but they made the more haste after this to go thither, because 'tis dangerous travelling there in the night. So, when they were come to the gate, the guide knocked; and the porter cried, "Who is there?" But as soon as the guide had said, "It is I," he knew his voice, and came down; for the guide had oft before that come thither as a conductor of pilgrims. When he was come down, he opened the gate, and seeing the guide standing just before it (for he saw not the women, for they were behind him), he said unto him, "How now, Mr. GREAT-HEART; what is your business here so late tonight?" "I have brought," said he, "some pilgrims hither, where, by my Lord's commandment, they must lodge. I had been here some time ago, and I had not been opposed by the giant that did use to back the lions. But I, after a long and tedious combat with him, have cut him off, and have brought the pilgrims hither in safety."

Porter. Will you not go in, and stay till morning?

Great-heart. No, I will return to my Lord tonight.

Chris. Oh, sir, I know not how to be willing you should leave us in our pilgrimage: you have been so faithful and so loving to us; you have fought so stoutly for us; you have been so hearty in counselling of us--that I shall never forget your favour toward us.

Mercy. Then said MERCY, "Oh that we might have thy company to our journey's end! How can such poor women as we hold out in a way so full of troubles as this way is without a friend and defender?"

James. Then said JAMES, the youngest of the boys, "Pray, sir, be persuaded to go with us, and help us; because we are so weak, and the way so dangerous as it is."

Great-heart. I am at my Lord's commandment. If he shall allot me to be your guide quite through, I will willingly wait upon you: but here you failed at first; for when he bade me come thus far with you, then you should have begged me of him to have gone quite through with you; and he would have granted your request. However, at present I must withdraw; and so, good CHRISTIANA, MERCY, and my brave children, adieu!

Then the porter, Mr. WATCHFUL, asked CHRISTIANA of her country and of her kindred; and she said, "I came from the city of Destruction; I am a widow woman; and my husband is dead; his name was CHRISTIAN the pilgrim." "How?" said the porter, "was he your husband?" "Yes," said she, "and these are his children; and this" (pointing to MERCY) "is one of my townswomen." Then the porter rang the bell, as at such times he is wont; and there came to the door one of the damsels, whose name was HUMBLE-MIND. And to her the porter said, "Go, tell it within that CHRISTIANA, the wife of CHRISTIAN, and her children, are come hither on pilgrimage." She went in, therefore, and told it. But oh, what a noise for gladness was there within when the damsel did but drop that word out of her mouth !

So they came with haste to the porter; for CHRISTIANA stood still at the door. Then some of the most grave said unto her, "Come in, CHRISTIANA: come in, thou wife of that good man; come in, thou blessed woman; come in, with all who are with thee." So she went in; and they followed her that were her children and her companions. Now when they were gone in, they were had into a very large room, where they were bidden to sit down; so they sat down, and the chief of the house was called to see and welcome the guests. Then they came in; and, understanding who they were, did salute each other with a kiss, and said, "Welcome, ye vessels of the grace of God; welcome to us your friends!"

Now, because it was somewhat late, and because the pilgrims were weary with their journey, and also made faint with the sight of the fight and of the terrible lions, therefore they desired, as soon as might be, to prepare to go to rest. "Nay," said those of the family, "refresh yourselves first with a morsel of meat." For they had prepared for them a lamb, with the accustomed sauce belonging thereto;

"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:"
~ Exodus 12:3 ~

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
~ John 1:29 ~

for the porter had heard before of their coming, and had told it to them within. So when they had supped, and ended their prayer with a psalm, they desired they might go to rest. "But let us," said CHRISTIANA, "if we may be so bold as to choose, be in that chamber that was my husband's when he was here." So they had them up thither, and they lay all in a room. When they were at rest, CHRISTIANA and MERCY entered into discourse about things that were convenient.

Chris. Little did I think once, that when my husband went on pilgrimage, I should ever have followed.

Mercy. And you as little thought of lying in his bed, and in his chamber to rest, as you do now.

Chris. And much less did I ever think of seeing his face with comfort, and of worshipping the Lord the King with him; and yet now I believe I shall.

Mercy. Hark, don't you hear a noise?

Chris. Yes, 'tis, as I believe a noise of music, for joy that we are here.

Mercy. Wonderful! Music in the house; music in the heart; and music also in heaven--for joy that we are here.

Mercy's Dream

Thus they talked awhile, and then betook themselves to sleep. So in the morning, when they were awake, CHRISTIANA said to MERCY,

Chris. What was the matter, that you did laugh in your sleep tonight? I suppose you were in a dream.

Mercy. So I was, and a sweet dream it was: but are you sure I laughed?

Chris. Yes, you laughed heartily; but prithee, MERCY, tell me thy dream.

Mercy. I was a dreaming that I sat all alone in a solitary place, and was bemoaning the hardness of my heart. Now I had not sat there long, but methought many were gathered about me to see me, and to hear what it was that I said. So they hearkened; and I went on bemoaning the hardness of my heart. At this, some of them laughed at me; some called me fool; and some began to thrust me about. With that methought I looked up, and saw one coming with wings towards me. So he came directly to me, and said, "MERCY, what aileth thee?" Now when he had heard me make my complaint, he said, "Peace be to thee!" He also wiped mine eyes with his handkerchief, and clad me in silver and gold; he put a chain about my neck; and earrings in mine ears; and a beautiful crown upon my head.

"Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck."
~ Ezekiel 16:8-11 ~

Then he took me by the hand, and said, "MERCY, come after me." So he went up, and I followed, till we came at a golden gate. Then he knocked; and when they within had opened, the man went in, and I followed him up to a throne, upon which One sat, and he said to me, "Welcome, daughter!" The place looked bright and twinkling like the stars, or rather like the sun; and I thought that I saw your husband there. So I awoke from my dream: but did I laugh?

Chris. Laugh! Aye, and well you might, to see yourself so well. For you must give me leave to tell you, that I believe it was a good dream, and that as you have begun to find the first part true, so you shall find the second at last. "God speaks once, yea, twice; yet man perceives it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumbering upon the bed".

"For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;"
~ Job 33:14, 15 ~

We need not when a-bed lie awake to talk with God; he can visit us while we sleep, and cause us then to hear his voice. Our heart oft times wakes when we sleep; and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one were awake.

Mercy. Well, I am glad of my dream; for I hope ere long to see it fulfilled to the making of me laugh again.

Chris. I think it is now high time to rise, and to know what we must do.

Mercy. Pray, if they invite us to stay awhile, let us willingly accept of the proffer. I am the more willing to stay awhile here, to grow better acquainted with these maids; methinks PRUDENCE, PIETY, and CHARITY, have very comely and sober countenances.

Chris. We shall see what they will do.

So when they were up and ready, they came down. And they asked one another of their rest; and if it was comfortable or not.

Mercy. "Very good," said MERCY; "it was one of the best night's lodging that ever I had in my life."

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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