Home Pilgrim's Progress Continued from Part 21 - Clips/Read more/Lists Pilgrim and Hopeful Enter the Enchanted Ground. Part 27a.
Pilgrim and Hopeful Enter the Enchanted Ground. Part 27a. | Print |

        

                                                                Part 27a.

  

      

 

   ¶ 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.

 

   Christian: By no means, said the other; lest, sleeping, we never awake

   more.

 

   Hopeful: Why, my brother? sleep is sweet to the laboring man; we may be

   refreshed, if we take a nap.

 

   Christian: 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.

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: Now, then, said Christian, to prevent drowsiness in this

   place, let us fall into good discourse.

 

   Hopeful: With all my heart, said the other.

 

   Christian: Where shall we begin?

 

   Hopeful: Where God began with us. But do you begin, if you please.

 

   Christian: 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?

 

   Hopeful: Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my

   soul?

 

   Christian: Yes, that is my meaning.

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: What things were they?

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: And did you presently fall under the power of this

   conviction?

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: But what was the cause of your carrying of it thus to the

   first workings of God's blessed Spirit upon you?

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your trouble?

 

   Hopeful: Yes, verily, but it would come into my mind again; and then I

   should be as bad, nay, worse than I was before.

 

   Christian: Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again?

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: And could you at any time, with ease, get off the guilt of

   sin, when by any of these ways it came upon you?

 

   Hopeful: 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.

 

   Christian: And how did you do then?

 

   Hopeful: I thought I must endeavor to mend my life; for else, thought

   I, I am sure to be damned.

 

   Christian: And did you endeavor to mend?

 

   Hopeful: Yes, and fled from, not only my sins, but sinful company too,

   and betook me to religious duties, as praying, reading, weeping for

   sin, speaking truth to my neighbors, etc. These things did I, with many

   others, too much here to relate.

 

   Christian: And did you think yourself well then?

 

   Hopeful: Yes, for a while; but at the last my trouble came tumbling

   upon me again, and that over the neck of all my reformations.

 

   Christian: How came that about, since you were now reformed?

 

   Hopeful: There were several things brought it upon me, especially such

   sayings as these: "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Isa.

   64:6. "By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."  Gal. 2:16.

   "When ye have done all these things, say, We are unprofitable,"  Luke

   17:10; with many more such like. From whence I began to reason with

   myself thus: If all my righteousnesses are as filthy rags; if by the

   deeds of the law no man can be justified; and if, when we have done

   all, we are yet unprofitable, then is it but a folly to think of heaven

   by the law. I farther thought thus: If a man runs a hundred pounds into

   the shopkeeper's debt, and after that shall pay for all that he shall

   fetch; yet if his old debt stands still in the book uncrossed, the

   shopkeeper may sue him for it, and cast him into prison, till he shall

   pay the debt.

 

   Christian: Well, and how did you apply this to yourself?

 

   Hopeful: Why, I thought thus with myself: I have by my sins run a great

   way into God's book, and my now reforming will not pay off that score;

   therefore I should think still, under all my present amendments, But

   how shall I be freed from that damnation that I brought myself in

   danger of by my former transgressions?

   Christian: A very good application: but pray go on.

 

   Hopeful: Another thing that hath troubled me ever since my late

   amendments, is, that if I look narrowly into the best of what I do now,

   I still see sin, new sin, mixing itself with the best of that I do; so

   that now I am forced to conclude, that notwithstanding my former fond

   conceits of myself and duties, I have committed sin enough in one day

   to send me to hell, though my former life had been faultless.

 

             <<< Previous               Next: Hopeful shares his Testimony >>>