THE SECOND STAGE
THEN did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after
he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed; So he
went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if
any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one
that was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no
means think himself safe, till again he was got into the way which he
had left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel. So, in process of
time, Christian got up to the gate. Now, over the gate there was written,
"Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." He knocked, therefore, more
than once or twice, saying,
"May I now enter here? Will he within
Open to sorry me, though I have been
An undeserving rebel? Then shall I
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high."
At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Goodwill, who asked
who was there, and whence he came, and what he would have.
CHRISTIAN: Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of
Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from
the wrath to come; I would therefore, sir, since I am informed
 that by
this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in.
GOODWILL: I am willing with all my heart, said he; and with that he
opened the gate.
So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then
said Christian, What means that? The other told him, A little distance
from this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is
the captain: from thence both he and they that are with him, shoot
arrows at those that come up to this gate, if haply they may die before
they can enter in. Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when
he was got in, the man of the Gate asked him who directed him thither.
SO WHEN CHRISTIAN WAS STEPPING IN,
THE OTHER GAVE HIM A PULL.
CHRISTIAN: Evangelist bid me come hither and knock, as I did: and he
said, that you, sir, would tell me what I must do.
GOODWILL: An open door is set before thee, and no man can shut it.
CHRISTIAN: Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.
GOODWILL: But how is it that you came alone?
CHRISTIAN: Because none of my neighbors saw their danger as I saw mine.
GOODWILL: Did any of them know of your coming?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, my wife and children saw me at the first, and called
after me to turn again: also, some of my neighbors stood crying and
calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so
came on my way.
 GOODWILL: But did none of them follow you, to persuade you to go back?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when they saw that they
could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back; but Pliable came with
me a little way.
GOODWILL: But why did he not come through?
CHRISTIAN: We indeed came both together until we came to the Slough
of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my
neighbor Pliable discouraged, and would not venture farther. Wherefore,
getting out again on the side next to his own house, he told me I should
possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came
mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.
GOODWILL: Then said Goodwill, Alas, poor man; is the celestial glory of
so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the
hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?
CHRISTIAN: Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable;
and if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear there
is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true, he went back to
his own house, but I also turned aside to go in the way of death,
being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.
GOODWILL: Oh, did he light upon you? What, he would have had you have
seek for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality! They are both of them a
very cheat. But did you take his counsel?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. Legality,
until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have
fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.
GOODWILL: That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the
death of many more: it is well you escaped being by it dashed in pieces.
CHRISTIAN: Why truly I do not know what had become of me there, had
not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of
my dumps; but it was God's mercy that he came to me again, for else
I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more
fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with
my Lord. But O, what a favor is this to me, that yet I am admitted
 GOODWILL: We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that
they have done before they come hither; they in no wise are cast out.
And therefore good Christian, come a little way with me,
and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee;
dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was
cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it
is as strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.
CHRISTIAN: But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by
which a stranger may lose his way?
GOODWILL: Yes, there are many ways butt down upon this, and they are
crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the
wrong, the right only being strait and narrow.
Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him further, if he could
not help him off with his burden that was upon his back. For as yet he
had not got rid thereof; nor could he by any means get it off without
He told him, "As to thy burden, be content to bear it until thou
comest to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from thy
back of itself."
Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to
his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some
distance from the gate, he would come to the house of the Interpreter,
at whose door he should knock, and he would show him excellent things.
Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God
Then he went on till he came at the house of the Interpreter,66The
Holy Spirit. where he knocked over and over. At last one came to the
door, and asked who was there.
CHRISTIAN: Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid by an acquaintance
of the good man of this house to call here for my profit; I would
therefore speak with the master of the house. So he called for the
master of the house, who, after a little time,
came to Christian, and asked him what he would have.
CHRISTIAN: Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the city
of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the
man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I
here you would show me excellent things, such as would be helpful to
me on my journey.
INTERPRETER: Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that
which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light
the candle, and bid Christian follow him; so he had him into a private
room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian
saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was
the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in
his hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind
its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang
over its head.
CHRISTIAN: Then said Christian, What means this?
INTERPRETER: The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand: he can
beget children, travail in birth with children,
and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him
with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the
law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is to
know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him
stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as
cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show
thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the
love that he hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the world that
comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I
have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this
is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going
hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet
with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I
 have showed thee, and
bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet
with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.
Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlor
that was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had
reviewed it a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep.
Now, when he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about,
that Christian had almost therewith been choked. Then said the
Interpreter to a damsel that stood by, "Bring hither water, and
sprinkle the room;" the which when she had done, it was swept and
cleansed with pleasure.
CHRISTIAN: Then said Christian, What means this?
INTERPRETER: The Interpreter answered, This parlor is the heart of a
man that was never sanctified by the sweet grace of the Gospel. The
dust is his original sin, and inward corruptions, that have defiled
the whole man. He that began to sweep at first, is the law; but she
that brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now whereas
thou sawest, that so soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did
so fly about that the room by him could not be cleansed, but that
thou wast almost choked therewith; this is to show thee, that the
law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from sin, doth
revive, put strength into, and increase it
in the soul, even as it doth discover and forbid it; for
it doth not give power to subdue. Again, as thou sawest the damsel
sprinkle the room with water, upon which it was cleansed with
pleasure, this is to show thee, that when the Gospel comes in
the sweet and precious influences thereof to the heart, then,
I say, even as thou sawest the damsel lay the dust by sprinkling
the floor with water, so is sin vanquished and subdued, and the
soul made clean, through the faith of it, and consequently fit
for the King of glory to inhabit.
I saw moreover in my dream, that the Interpreter took him by the
hand, and had him into a little room, where sat two little children,
each one in his chair. The name of the eldest was Passion, and the
name of the other Patience. Passion seemed to be much disconted, but
Patience was very quiet. Then Christian asked, "What is the reason of
the discontent of Passion?" The Interpreter answered, "The governor
them would have him stay for his best things till the beginning of the
next year, but he will have all now; but Patience is willing to wait."
Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of treasure,
and poured it down at his feet: the which he took up, and rejoiced
therein, and withal laughed Patience to scorn. But I beheld but a
while, and he had lavished all away, and had nothing left him but rags.
CHRISTIAN: Then said Christian to the Interpreter, Expound this matter
more fully to me.
INTERPRETER: So he said, These two lads are figures; Passion of the men
of this world, and Patience of the men of that which is to come; for,
as here thou seest, passion will have all now, this year, that is to
say, in this world; so are the men of this world: They must have all
their good things now; they cannot stay till the next year, that is,
until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, "A bird
in the hand is worth two in the bush," is of more authority with them
than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come.
But as thou sawest that he had quickly lavished all away, and had
presently left him nothing but rags, so will it be with all such men
at the end of this world.
CHRISTIAN: Then said Christian, Now I see that Patience has the best
wisdom, and that upon many accounts. 1. Because he stays for the best
things. 2. And also because he will have the glory of his, when the
other has nothing but rags.
INTERPRETER: Nay, you may add another, to wit, the glory of the next
world will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone. Therefore
Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience because he had
his good things first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion
because he had his best things last; for first must give place to
last, because last must have his time to come: but last gives place
to nothing, for there is not another to succeed. He, therefore, that
hath his portion first, must needs have a time to spend it; but he
that hath his portion last, must have it lastingly: therefore it is
said of Dives, "In thy lifetime thou receivedst thy good things, and
likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art
CHRISTIAN: Then I perceive it is not best to cover things that are
now, but to wait for things to come.
INTERPRETER: You say truth: for the things that are seen are
tem-  poral, but the things that are not seen are eternal. But though
this be so, yet since things present and our fleshly appetite are such
near neighbors one to another; and again, because things to come and
carnal sense are such strangers one to another; therefore it is, that
the first of these so suddenly fall into amity, and that distance is
so continued between the second.
Then I saw in my dream, that the Interpreter took Christian by the
hand, and led him into a place where was a fire burning against a
wall, and one standing by it, always casting much water upon it, to
quench it; yet did the fire burn higher and hotter.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered, This fire is the work of grace that is
wrought in the heart; he that casts water upon it, to extinguish
and put it out, is the devil: but in that thou seest the fire,
notwithstanding, burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the
reason of that. So he had him about to the back side of the wall,
where he saw a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, of the which
he did also continually cast (but secretly) into the fire.
THIS FIRE IS THE WORK
OF GRACE THAT IS WROUGHT IN THE HEART; HE THAT CASTS WATER UPON IT,
TO EXTINGUISH AND PUT IT OUT, IS THE DEVIL.
Then said Christian, What means this?
The Interpreter answered, This is Christ, who continually, with the
oil of his grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart; by
the means of which, notwithstanding what the devil can do, the souls
of his people prove gracious still. And in that thou
sawest that the man stood behind the wall to maintain the fire; this
is to teach thee, that it is hard for the tempted to see how this
work of grace is maintained in the soul.
I saw also, that the Interpreter took him again by the hand, and
led him into a pleasant place, where was built a stately palace,
beautiful to behold; at the sight of which Christian was greatly
delighted. He saw also upon the top thereof certain persons walking,
who were clothed all in gold.
Then said Christian may we go in thither?
Then the Interpreter took him, and led him up towards the door of the
palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, as
desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little
distance from the door, at a table-side, with a book and his inkhorn
before him, to take the names of them that should enter therein; he
saw also that in the doorway stood many men in armor to keep it, being
resolved to do to the men that would enter, what hurt and
mis-  chief they
could. Now was Christian somewhat in amaze. At last, when every man
started back for fear of the armed men, Christian saw a man of a very
stout countenance come up to the man that sat there to write, saying,
"Set down my name, sir;" the which when he had done, he saw the man
draw his sword, and put a helmet on his head, and rush towards the
door upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly force; but the
man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely.
So after he had received and given many wounds to those that attempted
to keep him out, he cut his way through them
all, and pressed forward into the palace; at which there was a pleasant
voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon
the top of the palace, saying,
"Come in, come in,
Eternal glory thou shalt win."
So he went in, and was clothed with such garments as they. Then Christian
smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this.
Now, said Christian, let me go hence. Nay, stay, said the Interpreter,
till I have showed thee a little more, and after that thou shalt go on
thy way. So he took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark
room, where there sat a man in an iron cage.
SO HE TOOK HIM BY THE
HAND AGAIN, AND LED HIM INTO A VERY DARK ROOM, WHERE THERE SAT A
MAN IN AN IRON CAGE.
Now the man, to look on, seemed very sad; he sat with his eyes looking
down to the
 ground, his hands folded together, and he sighed as if he
would break his heart. Then said Christian, What means this? At which
the Interpreter bid him talk with the man.
Then said Christian to the man, What art thou? The man answered, I
am what I was not once.
CHRISTIAN: What wast thou once?
THE MAN: The man said, I was once a fair and flourishing professor,
both in mine own eyes, and also in the eyes of others: I
once was, as I thought, fair for the celestial city, and had then
even joy at the thoughts that I should get thither.
CHRISTIAN: Well, but what art thou now?
THE MAN: I am now a man of despair, and am shut up in it, as in this
iron cage. I cannot get out; Oh now I cannot!
CHRISTIAN: But how camest thou into this condition?
THE MAN: I left off to watch and be sober: I laid the reins upon the
neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the word, and the
goodness of God; I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; I tempted
the devil, and he is come to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he
has left me: I have so hardened my heart, that I cannot repent.
Then said Christian to the Interpreter, But is there no hope for
such a man as this? Ask him, said the Interpreter.
CHRISTIAN: Then said Christian, Is there no hope, but you must be
kept in the iron cage of despair?
THE MAN: No, none at all.
CHRISTIAN: Why, the Son of the Blessed is very pitiful.
THE MAN: I have crucified him to myself afresh, I have
despised his person, I have despised his righteousness;
I have counted his blood an unholy thing; I have done despite to the
spirit of grace, therefore I have shut myself out of all
the promises and there now remains to me nothing but threatenings,
dreadful threatenings, faithful threatenings of certain judgment and
fiery indignation, which shall devour me as an adversary.
CHRISTIAN: For what did you bring yourself into this condition?
THE MAN: For the lusts, pleasures, and profits of this world; in the
enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight: but now
every one of those things also bite me, and gnaw me like a burning worm.
CHRISTIAN: But canst thou not now repent and turn?
 THE MAN: God hath denied me repentance. His word gives me no
encouragement to believe; yea, himself hath shut me up in this
iron cage: nor can all the men in the world let me out. Oh
eternity! eternity! how shall I grapple with the misery that I
must meet with in eternity?
INTERPRETER: Then said the Interpreter to Christian, Let this man's
misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
CHRISTIAN: Well, said Christian, this is fearful! God help me to watch
and to be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's
misery. Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now?
INTERPRETER: Tarry till I shall show thee one thing more, and then
thou shalt go on thy way.
So he took Christian by the hand again and led him into a chamber
where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment,
he shook and trembled. Then said Christian, Why doth this man thus
tremble? The Interpreter then bid him tell to Christian the reason
of his so doing.
So he began, and said, "This night, as I was in my sleep, I dreamed,
and behold the heavens grew exceeding black; also it thundered and
lightened in most fearful wise, that it put me into an agony. So I
looked up in my dream, and saw the clouds rack at an unusual rate;
upon which I heard a great sound of a trumpet, and saw also a man
sitting upon a cloud, attended with the thousands of heaven: they
were all in flaming fire; also the heavens were in a burning flame.
I heard then a voice, saying, 'Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment.'
And with that the rocks rent, the
 graves opened, and the dead that
were therein came forth: some of them were exceeding glad, and looked
upward; and some sought to hide themselves under the mountains. Then I
saw the man that sat upon the cloud open the book, and bid the world
draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame that issued out
and came from before him, a convenient distance between him and them,
as between the judge and the prisoners at the bar. I
heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on the man that sat
on the cloud, 'Gather together the tares, the chaff, and stubble,
and cast them into the burning lake.' And with that
the bottomless pit opened, just whereabout I stood;
out of the mouth of which there came, in an abundant manner, smoke, and
coals of fire, with hideous noises. It was also said to the same persons,
'Gather my wheat into the garner.' And with that I saw many
catched up and carried away into the clouds, but I was left behind.
I also sought to hide myself, but I could not, for
the man that sat upon the cloud still kept his eye upon me; my sins
also came into my mind, and my conscience did accuse me on every side.
Upon this I awakened from my sleep."
CHRISTIAN: But what was it that made you so afraid of this sight?
THE MAN: Why, I thought that the day of judgment was come, and that
I was not ready for it: but this frightened me most, that the angels
gathered up several, and left me behind; also the pit of hell opened
her mouth just where I stood. My conscience too afflicted me; and,
as I thought, the Judge had always his eye upon me, showing
indignation in his countenance.
 Then said the Interpreter to Christian, "Hast thou considered
all these things?"
CHRISTIAN: Yes, and they put me in hope and fear.
INTERPRETER: Well, keep all things so in thy mind, that they may
be as a goad in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the way thou
must go. Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address
himself to his journey. Then said the Interpreter, "The Comforter be
always with thee, good Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads
to the city." So Christian went on his way, saying,
"Here I have seen things rare and profitable,
Things pleasant, dreadful, things to make me stable
In what I have begun to take in hand:
Then let me think on them, and understand
Wherefore they showed me were, and let me be
Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee."