Pilgrim’s Progress: Palace Beautiful

I am away on a mission, so while I am away I thought I’d share seven sections of the best book (save the Bible) that anyone could ever read and from which this blog acquired its name. I hope you are spurred on to pick up a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress and read it.

‘And what is it that makes you so desirous to go to Mount Zion? Prudence questioned.

‘Why, there I hope to see Him alive that did hang dead on the cross;’ Christian told her, ‘and there I hope to be rid of all these things that to this day are in me an annoyance to me: there they say there is no death, and there I shall dwell with such company as I like best. For, to tell you the truth, I love Him because I was by Him eased of my burden; and I am weary of my inward sickness. I would fain be where I shall die no more, and with the company that shall continually cry, “Holy, holy, holy.”‘

Then said Charity to Christian, ‘Have you a family; Are you a married man?’

‘I have a wife and four small children,’ Christian acknowledged.

‘Charity asked him, ‘And why did you not bring them along with you?’

Then Christian wept, and said, ‘Oh, how willingly would I have done it! But they were all of them utterly averse to my going on pilgrimage.’

‘But you should have talked to them,’ she exclaimed, ‘and have endeavoured to show them the danger of staying behind.’

‘So I did;’ he asserted ‘and told them also what God had shown to me of the destruction of our city; but I seemed to them as one that mocked, and they believed me not.’

‘And did you pray to God that he would bless your counsel to them?’

‘Yes, and that with much affection,’ professed Christian. ‘For you must think that my wife and poor children were very dear to me.’

‘But did you tell them of your own sorrow, and fear of destruction? For I suppose that destruction was visible enough to you,’ Charity asked.

‘Yes, over and over, and over. They might also see my fears in my countenance, in my tears, and also in my trembling under the apprehension of the judgment that did hang over our heads; but all was not sufficient to prevail with them to come with me.’

Charity quizzed Christian further about his family left behind. ‘What could they say for themselves, why they came not?’

‘Why, my wife was afraid of losing this world,’ proclaimed Christian, ‘and my children were given to the foolish delights of youth; so, what by one thing, and what by another, they left me to wander in this manner alone.’

‘But did you not, with your vain life, disuade them from coming with you – despite what you said?’

‘Indeed,’ Christian said, ‘I cannot commend my life, for I am conscious to myself of many failings therein. I know also, that a man, by his conversation, may soon overthrow what, by argument of persuasion, he doth labour to fasten upon others for their good. Yet this I can say, I was very wary of giving them occasion, by any unseemly action, to make them averse to going on pilgrimage. Yea, for this very thing, they would tell me I was too precise, and that I denied myself of things (for their sakes) in which they saw no evil. Nay, I think I may say, that if what they saw in me did hinder them, it was my great tenderness in sinning against God, or of doing any wrong to my neighbour.’

‘Indeed,’ agreed Charity, ‘Cain hated his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous, and if thy wife and children have been offended with thee for this, they thereby show themselves to be implacable to good; thou hast delivered thy soul from their blood’.