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2.1.1 Mr Sagacity tells the author about Christiana (cont.)

From John Bunyan's classic The Pilgrim's Progress, Part II, Section 1, Step 1.3.

"There is Christian, thy husband that was, with legions more, his companions, ever beholding that face that doth minister life to beholders; and they will all be glad when they shall hear the sound of thy feet step over thy Father's threshold."

Christiana at this was greatly abashed in herself, and bowed her head to the ground. This visitor proceeded, and said, "Christiana, here is also a letter for thee, which I have brought from thy husband's King." So she took it, and opened it, but it smelt after the manner of the best perfume. (Song. 1:3). Also it was written in letters of gold. The contents of the letter were these, That the King would have her to do as did Christian her husband; for that was the way to come to his city, and to dwell in his presence with joy for ever. At this the good woman was quite overcome; so she cried out to her visitor, Sir, will you carry me and my children with you, that we also may go and worship the King?

Then said the visitor, Christiana, the bitter is before the sweet. Thou must through troubles, as did he that went before thee, enter this Celestial City. Wherefore I advise thee to do as did Christian thy husband: go to the Wicket-gate yonder, over the plain, for that stands at the head of the way up which thou must go; and I wish thee all good speed. Also I advise that thou put this letter in thy bosom, that thou read therein to thyself and to thy children until you have got it by heart; for it is one of the songs that thou must sing while thou art in this house of thy pilgrimage (Ps. 119:54); also this thou must deliver in at the further gate.

Now I saw in my dream, that this old gentleman, as he told me the story, did himself seem to be greatly affected therewith. He moreover proceeded, and said, So Christiana called her sons together, and began thus to address herself unto them: "My sons, I have, as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul about the death of your father: not for that I doubt at all of his happiness, for I am satisfied now that he is well. I have also been much affected with the thoughts of my own state and yours, which I verily believe is by nature miserable. My carriage also to your father in his distress is a great load to my conscience; for I hardened both mine own heart and yours against him, and refused to go with him on pilgrimage.

The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but that for a dream which I had last night, and but that for the encouragement which this stranger has given me this morning. Come, my children, let us pack up, and begone to the gate that leads to the Celestial country, that we may see your father, and be with him and his companions in peace, according to the laws of that land.

Then did her children burst out into tears, for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So their visitor bid them farewell; and they began to prepare to set out for their journey.

But while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women that were Christiana's neighbours came up to her house, and knocked at her door. To whom she said as before, If you come in God's name, come in. At this the women were stunned; for this kind of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of Christiana. Yet they came in: but behold, they found the good woman preparing to be gone from her house.

So they began, and said, neighbour, pray what is your meaning by this?

Christiana answered, and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs Timorous, I am preparing for a journey. (This Timorous was daughter to him that met Christian upon the Hill of Difficulty, and would have had him go back for fear of the lions).

Mrs Timorous: For what journey, I pray you?

Christina: Even to go after my good husband. And with that she fell a weeping.

Mrs Timorous: I hope not so, good neighbour; pray, for your poor children's sake, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself.

Christina: Nay, my children shall go with me; not one of them is willing to stay behind.

Mrs Timorous: I wonder in my very heart what or who has brought you into this mind!

Christina: O neighbour, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that you would go along with me.

Mrs Timorous: Prithee, what new knowledge hast thou got, that so worketh off thy mind from thy friends, and that tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?


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