Then I saw in my dream, that he commanded them to lie down; which when they did, he chastised them sore, to teach them the good way wherein they should walk, Deut. 25:2; 2 Chron. 6:27; and as he chastised them, he said, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent." Rev. 3:19. This done, he bids them to go on their way, and take good heed to the other directions of the shepherds. So they thanked him for all his kindness, and went softly along the right way, singing,
"Come hither, you that walk along the way,
See how the pilgrims fare that go astray:
They catched are in an entangling net,
Cause they good counsel lightly did forget:
'Tis true, they rescued were; but yet, you see,
They're scouged to boot; let this your caution be."
Now, after awhile, they perceived afar off, one coming softly, and alone, all along the highway, to meet them. Then said Christian to his fellow, Yonder is a man with his back towards Zion, and he is coming to meet us.
HOPE. I see him; let us take heed to ourselves now, lest he should prove a Flatterer also. So he drew nearer and nearer, and at last came up to them. His name was Atheist, and he asked them whither they were going.
CHR. We are going to Mount Zion.
Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter.
CHR. What's the meaning of your laughter?
ATHEIST. I laugh to see what ignorant persons you are, to take upon you so tedious a journey, and yet are like to have nothing but your travel for your pains.
CHR. Why, man, do you think we shall not be received?
ATHEIST. Received! There is not such a place as you dream of in all this world.
CHR. But there is in the world to come.
ATHEIST. When I was at home in mine own country I heard as you now affirm, and from that hearing went out to see, and have been seeking this city these twenty years, but find no more of it than I did the first day I set out. Eccles. 10:15; Jer. 17:15.
CHR. We have both heard, and believe, that there is such a place to be found.
ATHEIST. Had not I, when at home, believed, I had not come thus far to seek; but finding none, (and yet I should, had there been such a place to be found, for I have gone to seek it farther than you,) I am going back again, and will seek to refresh myself with the things that I then cast away for hopes of that which I now see is not.
CHR. Then said Christian to Hopeful his companion, Is it true which this man hath said?
HOPE. Take heed, he is one of the Flatterers. Remember what it cost us once already for our hearkening to such kind of fellows. What! no Mount Zion? Did we not see from the Delectable Mountains the gate of the city? Also, are we not now to walk by faith? 2 Cor. 5:7.
Let us go on, lest the man with the whip overtake us again. You should have taught me that lesson, which I will sound you in the ears withal: "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge." Prov. 19:27. I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and let us believe to the saving of the soul.
CHR. My brother, I did not put the question to thee, for that I doubted of the truth of our belief myself, but to prove thee, and to fetch from thee a fruit of the honesty of thy heart. As for this man, I know that he is blinded by the God of this WORLD. Let thee and me go on, knowing that we have belief of the truth; and no lie is of the truth. 1 John, 5:21.
HOPE. Now do I rejoice in hope of the glory of God. So they turned away from the man; and he, laughing at them, went his way.
I then saw in my dream, that they went on until they came into a certain country whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy, if he came a stranger into it. And here Hopeful began to be very dull, and heavy to sleep: wherefore he said unto Christian, I do now begin to grow so drowsy that I can scarcely hold open mine eyes; let us lie down here, and take one nap.
CHR. By no means, said the other; lest, sleeping, we never awake more.
HOPE. Why, my brother? sleep is sweet to the laboring man; we may be refreshed, if we take a nap.
CHR. Do you not remember that one of the shepherds bid us beware of the Enchanted Ground? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping; wherefore "let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." 1 Thess. 5:6.
HOPE. I acknowledge myself in a fault; and had I been here alone, I had by sleeping run the danger of death. I see it is true that the wise man saith, "Two are better than one." Eccl. 4:9. Hitherto hath thy company been my mercy; and thou shalt have a good reward for thy labor.
CHR. Now, then, said Christian, to prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.
HOPE. With all my heart, said the other.
CHR. Where shall we begin?
HOPE. Where God began with us. But do you begin, if you please.
CHR. I will sing you first this song:
"When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them in any wise,
Thus to keep ope their drowsy, slumb'ring eyes.
Saints' fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell."
Then Christian began, and said, I will ask you a question. How came you to think at first of doing what you do now?
HOPE. Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my soul?
CHR. Yes, that is my meaning.
HOPE. I continued a great while in the delight of those things which were seen and sold at our fair; things which I believe now would have, had I continued in them still, drowned me in perdition and destruction.
CHR. What things were they?
HOPE. All the treasures and riches of the WORLD. Also I delighted much in rioting, reveling, drinking, swearing, lying, uncleanness, Sabbath- breaking, and what not, that tended to destroy the soul. But I found at last, by hearing and considering of things that are divine, which, indeed, I heard of you, as also of beloved Faithful, that was put to death for his faith and good living in Vanity Fair, that the end of these things is death, Rom. 6:21-23; and that for these things' sake, the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience. Eph. 5:6.
CHR. And did you presently fall under the power of this conviction?
HOPE. No, I was not willing presently to know the evil of sin, nor the damnation that follows upon the commission of it; but endeavored, when my mind at first began to be shaken with the word, to shut mine eyes against the light thereof.
CHR. But what was the cause of your carrying of it thus to the first workings of God's blessed Spirit upon you?
HOPE. The causes were, 1. I was ignorant that this was the work of God upon me. I never thought that by awakenings for sin, God at first begins the conversion of a sinner. 2. Sin was yet very sweet to my flesh, and I was loth to leave it. 3. I could not tell how to part with mine old companions, their presence and actions were so desirable unto me. 4. The hours in which convictions were upon me, were such troublesome and such heart-affrighting hours, that I could not bear, no not so much as the remembrance of them upon my heart.
CHR. Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your trouble?
HOPE. Yes, verily, but it would come into my mind again; and then I should be as bad, nay, worse than I was before.
CHR. Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again?
HOPE. Many things; as,
1. If I did but meet a good man in the streets; or,
2. If I have heard any read in the Bible; or,
3. If mine head did begin to ache; or,
4. If I were told that some of my neighbors were sick; or,
5. If I heard the bell toll for some that were dead; or,
6. If I thought of dying myself; or,
7. If I heard that sudden death happened to others.
8. But especially when I thought of myself, that I must quickly come to judgment.
CHR. And could you at any time, with ease, get off the guilt of sin, when by any of these ways it came upon you?
HOPE. No, not I; for then they got faster hold of my conscience; and then, if I did but think of going back to sin, (though my mind was turned against it,) it would be double torment to me.
CHR. And how did you do then?
HOPE. I thought I must endeavor to mend my life; for else, thought I, I am sure to be damned.