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The Delectable Mountains


They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains, which mountains belong to the Lord of that hill of which we have spoken before; so they went up to the mountains, to behold the gardens and orchards, the vineyards and fountains of water; where also they drank and washed themselves, and did freely eat of the vineyards.‌222‌ Now there were on the tops of these mountains, shepherds feeding their flocks, and they stood by the highway side. The Pilgrims therefore went to them, and leaning upon their staves (as is common with weary pilgrims, when they stand to talk with any by the way), they asked, Whose Delectable Mountains are these? And whose be the sheep that feed upon them?

SHEP. These mountains are Immanuel’s Land, and they are within sight of His city; and the sheep also are His, and He laid down His life for them (John 10:11).

CHR. Is this the way to the Celestial City?

SHEP. You are just in your way.

CHR. How far is it thither? SHEP. Too far for any but those that shall get thither indeed.

CHR. Is the way safe or dangerous?

SHEP. Safe for those for whom it is to be safe; but the transgressors shall fall therein‌223‌ (Hosea 14:9).

CHR. Is there, in this place, any relief for pilgrims that are weary and faint in the way?

SHEP. The Lord of these mountains hath given us a charge not to be “forgetful to entertain strangers” (Heb. 13:2); therefore the good of the place is before you.

I saw also in my dream, that when the Shepherds perceived that they were wayfaring men, they also put questions to them, to which they made answer as in other places; as, Whence came you? And, How got you into the way? And, By what means have you so persevered therein? For but few of them that begin to come hither, do show their face on these mountains. But when the Shepherds heard their answers, being pleased therewith, they looked very lovingly upon them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable Mountains.‌224

The Shepherds, I say, whose names were Knowledge, Experience, Watchful, and Sincere, took them by the hand, and had them to their tents, and made them partake of that which was ready at present.‌225‌ They said, moreover, We would that ye should stay here a while, to be acquainted with us; and yet more to solace yourselves with the good of these Delectable Mountains. They then told them that they were content to stay; so they went to their rest that night, because it was very late.

Then I saw in my dream, that in the morning the Shepherds called up Christian and Hopeful to walk with them upon the mountains: so they went forth with them, and walked a while, having a pleasant prospect on every side. Then said the Shepherds one to another, Shall we show these Pilgrims some wonders? So when they had concluded to do it, they had them first to the top of a hill Error, which was very steep on the furthest side, and bid them look down to the bottom. So Christian and Hopeful looked down, and saw at the bottom several men dashed all to pieces by a fall that they had from the top. Then said Christian, What meaneth this? The Shepherds answered, Have you not heard of them that were made to err, by hearkening to Hymeneus and Philetus, as concerning the faith of the resurrection of the body? (2 Tim. 2:17, 18). They answered, Yes. Then said the Shepherds, Those that you see lie dashed in pieces at the bottom of this mountain are they; and they have continued to this day unburied, as you see, for an example to others to take heed how they clamber too high, or how they come too near the brink of this mountain.‌226

Then I saw that they had them to the top of another mountain, and the name of that is Caution, and bid them look afar off;‌227‌ which, when they did, they perceived, as they thought, several men walking up and down among the tombs that were there; and they perceived that the men were blind, because they stumbled sometimes upon the tombs, and because they could not get out from among them.‌228‌ Then said Christian, What means this?

The Shepherds then answered, Did you not see a little below these mountains a stile that led into a meadow, on the left hand of this way? They answered, Yes. Then said the Shepherds, From that stile there goes a path that leads directly to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, and these, pointing to them among the tombs, came once on pilgrimage as you do now, even till they came to that same stile; and because the right way was rough in that place, they chose to go out of it into that meadow, and there were taken by Giant Despair, and cast into Doubting Castle: where, after they had been a while kept in the dungeon, he at last did put out their eyes, and led them among those tombs, where he has left them to wander to this very day, that the saying of the wise man might be fulfilled, “He that wandereth out of the way of understanding, shall remain in the congregation of the dead” (Prov. 21:16).‌229‌ Then Christian and Hopeful looked upon one another, with tears gushing out, but yet said nothing to the Shepherds.‌230

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CHRISTIAN, HOPEFUL, AND THE SHEPHERDS

Then I saw in my dream, that the Shepherds had them to another place, in a bottom, where was a door in the side of a hill, and they opened the door, and bid them look in. They looked in, therefore, and saw that within it was very dark and smoky; they also thought that they heard there a rumbling noise as of fire, and a cry of some tormented, and that they smelt the scent of brimstone. Then said Christian, What means this? The Shepherds told them, This is a byway to hell, a way that hypocrites go in at; namely, such as sell their birthright, with Esau; such as sell their master, with Judas; such as blaspheme the Gospel, with Alexander; and that lie and dissemble, with Ananias and Sapphira his wife.‌231‌ Then said Hopeful to the Shepherds, I perceive that these had on them, even every one, a show of pilgrimage, as we have now; had they not?

SHEP. Yes, and held it a long time too.

HOPE. How far might they go on in pilgrimage in their day, since they notwithstanding were thus miserably cast away?

SHEP. Some further, and some not so far, as these mountains.‌232

Then said the Pilgrims one to another, We had need to cry to the Strong for strength.

SHEP. Aye, and you will have need to use it, when you have it, too.

By this time the Pilgrims had a desire to go forward, and the Shepherds a desire they should; so they walked together towards the end of the mountains. Then said the Shepherds one to another, Let us here show to the Pilgrims the gates of the Celestial City, if they have skill to look through our perspective glass.‌233‌ The Pilgrims then loving accepted the motion; so they had them to the top of a high hill, called Clear, and gave them their glass to look.

Then they essayed to look, but the remembrance of that last thing that the Shepherds had showed them, made their hands shake; by means of which impediment, they could not look steadily through the glass; yet they thought they saw something like the gate, and also some of the glory of the place.‌234‌ Then they went away, and sang this song—

Thus, by the Shepherds, secrets are reveal’d,

Which from all other men are kept conceal’d

Come to the Shepherds, then, if you would see

Things deep, things hid, and that mysterious be.‌235

When they were about to depart, one of the Shepherds gave them a note of the way. Another of them bid them beware of the Flatterer. The third bid them take heed that they sleep not upon the Enchanted Ground. And the fourth bid them God speed. So I awoke from my dream.‌236

And I slept, and dreamed again, and saw the same two Pilgrims going down the mountains along the highway towards the city. Now, a little below these mountains, on the left hand, lieth the country of Conceit;‌237‌ from which country there comes into the way in which the Pilgrims walked, a little crooked lane. Here, therefore, they met with a very brisk lad, that came out of that country; and his name was Ignorance. So Christian asked him from what parts he came, and whither he was going.

IGNOR. Sir, I was born in the country that lieth off there, a little on the left hand, and I am going to the Celestial City.

CHR. But how do you think to get in at the gate? for you may find some difficulty there.

IGNOR. As other good people do, said he.

CHR. But what have you to show at that gate, that may cause that the gate should be opened to you?

IGNOR. I know my Lord’s will, and I have been a good liver; I pay every man his own; I pray, fast, pay tithes, and give alms, and have left my country for whither I am going.‌238

CHR. But thou camest not in at the wicket-gate that is at the head of this way; thou camest in hither through that same crooked lane, and therefore, I fear, however thou mayest think of thyself, when the reckoning day shall come, thou wilt have laid to thy charge that thou art a thief and a robber, instead of getting admittance into the city.

IGNOR. Gentlemen, ye be utter strangers to me, I know you not; be content to follow the religion of your country, and I will follow the religion of mine. I hope all will be well. And as for the gate that you talk of, all the world knows that that is a great way off of our country. I cannot think that any man in all our parts doth so much as know the way to it, nor need they matter whether they do or no, since we have, as you see, a fine pleasant green lane, that comes down from our country, the next way into the way.

When Christian saw that the man was “wise in his own conceit,” he said to Hopeful, whisperingly, “There is more hope of a fool than of him” (Prov. 26:12). And said, moreover, “When he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to everyone that he is a fool” (Eccl. 10:3). What, shall we talk further with him, or out-go him at present, and so leave him to think of what he hath heard already, and then stop again for him afterwards, and see if by degrees we can do any good to him? Then said Hopeful—

Let Ignorance a little while now muse

On what is said, and let him not refuse

Good counsel to embrace, lest he remain

Still ignorant of what’s the chiefest gain.

God saith, those that no understanding have,

Although He made them, them He will not save.

HOPE. He further added, It is not good, I think, to say all to him at once; let us pass him by, if you will, and talk to him anon, even as he is able to bear it.‌239

So they both went on, and Ignorance he came after. Now when they had passed him a little way, they entered into a very dark lane, where they met a man whom seven devils had bound with seven strong cords, and were carrying of him back to the door that they saw on the side of the hill‌240‌ (Matt. 12:45; Prov. 5:22). Now good Christian began to tremble, and so did Hopeful his companion; yet as the devils led away the man, Christian looked to see if he knew him; and he thought it might be one Turn-away, that dwelt in the town of Apostasy. But he did not perfectly see his face, for he did hang his head like a thief that is found.‌241‌ But being once past, Hopeful looked after him, and espied on his back a paper with this inscription, “Wanton professor, and damnable apostate.”‌242‌ Then said Christian to his fellow, Now I call to remembrance, that which was told me of a thing that happened to a good man hereabout. The name of the man was Little-faith, but a good man, and he dwelt in the town of Sincere. The thing was this: At the entering in at this passage, there comes down from Broad-way Gate, a lane called Dead Man’s Lane;‌243‌ so called because of the murders that are commonly done there; and this Little-faith going on pilgrimage, as we do now, chanced to sit down there, and slept. Now there happened, at that time, to come down the lane from Broad-way Gate, three sturdy rogues, and their names were Faint-heart, Mistrust, and Guilt (three brothers), and they espying Little-faith, where he was, came galloping up with speed. Now the good man was just awake from his sleep, and was getting up to go on his journey. So they came up all to him, and with threatening language bid him stand. At this, Little-faith looked as white as a cloud, and had neither power to fight nor fly. Then said Faint-heart, Deliver thy purse. But he making no haste to do it (for he was loath to lose his money), Mistrust ran up to him, and thrusting his hand into his pocket, pulled out thence a bag of silver. Then he cried out, Thieves! Thieves! With that, Guilt, with a great club that was in his hand, struck Little-faith on the head, and with that blow felled him flat to the ground; where be lay bleeding as one that would bleed to death.‌244‌ All this while the thieves stood by. But, at last, they hearing that some were upon the road, and fearing lest it should be one Great-grace, that dwells in the city of good-confidence, they betook themselves to their heels, and left this good man to shift for himself. Now, after a while, Little-faith came to himself, and getting up, made shift to scrabble on his way.‌245‌ This was the story.

HOPE. But did they take from him all that ever he had?

CHR. No; the place where his jewels were they never ransacked, so those he kept still. But, as I was told, the good man was much afflicted for his loss, for the thieves got most of his spending-money. That which they got not (as I said) were jewels,‌246‌ also he had a little odd money left, but scarce enough to bring him to his journey’s end (1 Peter 4:18); nay, if I were not misinformed, he was forced to beg as be went, to keep himself alive; for his jewels he might not sell. But beg, and do what he could, he went (as we say) with many a hungry belly the most part of the rest of the way.‌247

HOPE. But is it not a wonder they got not from him his certificate, by which he was to receive his admittance at the Celestial Gate?

CHR. It is a wonder; but they got not that, though they missed it not through any good cunning of his; for he, being dismayed with their coming upon him, had neither power nor skill to hide anything; so it was more by good Providence than by his endeavour, that they missed of that good thing.‌248

HOPE. But it must needs be a comfort to him, that they got not this jewel from him.‌249

CHR. It might have been great comfort to him, had he used it as he should; but they that told me the story said, that he made but little use of it all the rest of the way, and that because of the dismay that he had in the taking away his money; indeed, he forgot it a great part of the rest of his journey; and besides, when at any time it came into his mind, and he began to be comforted therewith, then would fresh thoughts of his loss come again upon him, and those thoughts would swallow up all (1 Peter 1:9).

HOPE. Alas! poor man. This could not but be a great grief to him.

CHR. Grief! aye, a grief indeed. Would it not have been so to any of us, had we been used as he, to be robbed, and wounded too, and that in a strange place, as he was? It is a wonder he did not die with grief, poor heart! I was told that he scattered almost all the rest of the way with nothing but doleful and bitter complaints; telling also to all that overtook him, or that he overtook in the way as he went, where he was robbed, and how; who they were that did it, and what he lost; how he was wounded, and that he hardly escaped with his life.‌250

HOPE. But it is a wonder that his necessity did not put him upon selling or pawning some of his jewels,‌251‌ that he might have wherewith to relieve himself in his journey.

CHR. Thou talkest like one upon whose head is the shell to this very day; for what should he pawn them, or to whom should he sell them? In all that country where he was robbed, his jewels were not accounted of; nor did he want that relief which could from thence be administered to him. Besides, had his jewels been missing at the gate of the Celestial City, he had (and that he knew well enough) been excluded from an inheritance there; and that would have been worse to him than the appearance and villany of 10,000 thieves.

HOPE. Why art thou so tart, my brother? Esau sold his birthright, and that for a mess of pottage, and that birthright was his greatest jewel; and if he, why might not Little-faith do so too? (Heb. 12:16).

CHR. Esau did sell his birthright indeed, and so do many besides, and by so doing exclude themselves from the chief blessing, as also that caitiff did; but you must put a difference betwixt Esau and Little-faith, and also betwixt their estates. Esau’s birthright was typical, but Little-faith’s jewels were not so; Esau’s belly was his god, but Little-faith’s belly was not so; Esau’s want lay in his fleshly appetite, Little-faith’s did not so. Besides, Esau could see no further than to the fulfilling of his lusts; “Behold I am at the point to die (said he), and what profit shall this birthright do me?” (Gen. 25:32). But Little-faith, though it was his lot to have but a little faith, was by his little faith kept from such extravagances, and made to see and prize his jewels more than to sell them, as Esau did his birthright. You read not anywhere that Esau had faith, no, not so much as a little; therefore no marvel if, where the flesh only bears sway (as it will in that man where no faith is to resist), if he sells his birthright, and his soul and all, and that to the devil of hell; for it is with such, as it is with the ass, who in her occasions cannot be turned away (Jer. 2:24). When their minds are set upon their lusts, they will have them whatever they cost. But Little-faith was of another temper, his mind was on things divine; his livelihood was upon things that were spiritual, and from above; therefore, to what end should he that is of such a temper sell his jewels (had there been any that would have bought them) to fill his mind with empty things? Will a man give a penny to fill his belly with hay; or can you persuade the turtle-dove to live upon carrion like the crow? Though faithless ones can, for carnal lusts, pawn, or mortgage, or sell what they have, and themselves outright to boot; yet they that have faith, saving faith, though but a little of it, cannot do so. Here, therefore, my brother, is thy mistake.

HOPE. I acknowledge it; but yet your severe reflection had almost made me angry.‌252

CHR. Why, I did but compare thee to some of the birds that are of the brisker sort, who will run to and fro in untrodden paths, with the shell upon their heads; but pass by that, and consider the matter under debate, and all shall be well betwixt thee and me.

HOPE. But, Christian, these three fellows, I am persuaded in my heart, are but a company of cowards;‌253‌ would they have run else, think you, as they did, at the noise of one that was coming on the road? Why did not Little-faith pluck up a greater heart? He might, methinks, Have stood one brush with them, and have yielded when there had been no remedy.

CHR. That they are cowards, many have said, but few have found it so in the time of trial. As for a great heart, Littlefaith had none; and I perceive by thee, my brother, hadst thou been the man concerned, thou art but for a brush, and then to yield. And, verily, since this is the height of thy stomach, now they are at a distance from us, should they appear to thee as they did to him, they might put thee to second thoughts.

But, consider again, they are but journeymen thieves, they serve under the king of the bottomless pit, who, if need be, will come in to their aid himself, and his voice is as the roaring of a lion (Psa. 7:2; 1 Peter 5:8). I myself have been engaged as this Little-faith was, and I found it a terrible thing. These three villains set upon me, and I beginning, like a Christian, to resist, they gave but a call, and in came their master. I would, as the saying is, have given my life for a penny; but that, as God would have it, I was clothed with armour of proof. Aye, and yet, though I was so harnessed, I found it hard work to quit myself like a man. No man can tell what in that combat attends us, but he that hath been in the battle himself.‌254

HOPE. Well, but they ran, you see, when they did but suppose that one Great-grace was in the way.‌255

CHR. True, they have often fled, both they and their master, when Great-grace hath but appeared; and no marvel; for he is the King’s Champion. But, I trow,‌256‌ you will put some difference betwixt Little-faith and the King’s Champion. All the King’s subjects are not His champions, nor can they, when tried, do such feats of war as he. Is it meet to think that a little child should handle Goliath as David did? Or that there should be the strength of an ox in a wren? Some are strong, some are weak; some have great faith, some have little. This man was one of the weak, and therefore he went to the wall.

HOPE. I would it had been Great-grace for their sakes.

CHR. If it had been, he might have had his hands full; for I must tell you, that though Great-grace is excellent good at his weapons, and has, and can, so long as be keeps them at sword’s point, do well enough with them; yet, if they get within him, even Faint-heart, Mistrust, or the other, it shall go hard but they will throw up his heels. And when a man is down, you know, what can he do?

Whoso looks well upon Great-grace’s face, shall see those scars and cuts there, that shall easily give demonstration of what I say. Yea, once I heard that he should say (and that when he was in the combat), “We despaired even of life.”‌257‌ How did these sturdy rogues and their fellows make David groan, mourn, and roar? Yea, Heman and Hezekiah, too, though champions in their day, were forced to bestir them, when by these assaulted; and yet, notwithstanding, they had their coats soundly brushed by them. Peter, upon a time, would go try what he could do; but though some do say of him that he is the prince of the apostles, they handled him so, that they made him at last afraid of a sorry girl.

Besides, their king is at their whistle. He is never out of hearing; and if at any time they be put to the worst, he, if possible, comes in to help them; and of him it is said, “The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold; the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon: he esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee; sling stones are turned with him into stubble. Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear” (Job. 12:26–29). What can a man do in this case? It is true, if a man could, at every turn, have Job’s horse, and had skill and courage to ride him, he might do notable things; “for his neck is clothed with thunder, he will not be afraid of the grasshopper; the glory of his nostrils is terrible; he paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength, he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear, and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage, neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha! and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting” (Job 34:19–25).

But for such footmen as thee and I are, let us never desire to meet with an enemy, nor vaunt as if we could do better, when we hear of others that they have been toiled, nor be tickled at the thoughts of our own manhood; for such commonly come by the worst when tried.‌258‌ Witness Peter, of whom I made mention before. He would swagger, aye, he would; he would, as his vain mind prompted him to say, do better, and stand more for his Master than all men; but who so foiled, and run down by these villains, as he?‌259

When, therefore, we hear that such robberies are done on the King’s highway, two things become us to do:

1. To go out harnessed, and to be sure to take a shield with us; for it was for want of that, that he that laid so lustily at Leviathan could not make him yield; for, indeed, if that be wanting, he fears us not at all. Therefore, he that had skill hath said, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Eph. 6:16).

2. It is good, also, that we desire of the King a convoy,‌260‌ yea, that he will go with us Himself. This made David rejoice when in the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and Moses was rather for dying where he stood, than to go one step without his God (Exo. 33:15). O my brother, if He will but go along with us, what need we be afraid of ten thousands that shall set themselves against us? (Psa. 3:5–8; 27:1–3). But, without Him, the proud helpers “fall under the slain” (Isa. 10:4).

I, for my part, have been in the fray before now; and though, through the goodness of Him that is best, I am, as you see, alive; yet I cannot boast of my manhood: Glad shall I be, if I meet with no more such brunts; though, I fear, we are not got beyond all danger.‌261‌ However, since the lion and the bear have not as yet devoured me, I hope God will also deliver us from the next uncircumcised Philistine. Then sang Christian—

Poor Little-faith! Hast been among the thieves?

Wast robb’d? Remember this, whoso believes,

And gets more faith, shall then a victor be

Over ten thousand, else scarce over three.

So they went on, and Ignorance followed. They went then till they came at a place where they saw a way put itself into their way, and seemed withal to lie as straight as the way which they should go; and here they knew not which of the two to take, for both seemed straight before them; therefore, here they stood still to consider. And as they were thinking about the way, behold a man, black of flesh, but covered with a very light robe, came to them, and asked them why they stood there.‌262‌ They answered, they were going to the Celestial City, but knew not which of these ways to take. Follow me, said the man, it is thither that I am going. So they followed him in the way that but now came into the road, which by degrees turned, and turned them so from the city that they desired to go to, that, in little time, their faces were turned away from it; yet they followed him. But by and by, before they were aware, he led them both within the compass of a net, in which they were both so entangled, that they knew not what to do; and with that the white robe fell off the black man’s back. Then they saw where they were. Wherefore, there they lay crying some time, for they could not get themselves out.‌263

CHR. Then said Christian to his fellow, Now do I see myself in an error. Did not the Shepherds bid us beware of the flatterers? As is the saying of the wise man, so we have found it this day, “A man that flattereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet” (Prov. 29:5).

HOPE. They also gave us a note of directions about the way, for our more sure finding thereof; but therein we have also forgotten to read, and have not kept ourselves from the paths of the destroyer. Here David was wiser than we; for, saith he, “Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips, I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psa. 16:4). Thus they lay bewailing themselves in the net. At last they espied a Shining One coming towards them, with a whip of small cord in his hand. When he was come to the place where they were, he asked them whence they came, and what they did there. They told him that they were poor pilgrims going to Zion, but were led out of their way by a black man, clothed in white, who bid us, said they, follow him, for he was going thither too. Then said he with the whip, It is Flatterer, a false apostle, that hath transformed himself into an angel of light (Prov. 29:5; Dan. 11:32; 2 Cor. 11:13, 14). So he rent the net, and let the men out. Then said he to them, Follow me, that I may set you in your way again. So he led them back to the way which they had left to follow the Flatterer. Then he asked them, saying, Where did you lie the last night? They said, With the Shepherds, upon the Delectable Mountains. He asked them then, if they had not of those Shepherds a note of direction for the way. They answered, Yes. But did you, said he, when you were at a stand, pluck out and read your note? They answered, No. He asked them, Why? They said, they forgot. He asked, moreover, if the Shepherds did not bid them beware of the Flatterer. They answered, Yes, but we did not imagine, said they, that this fine-spoken man had been he‌264‌ (Rom. 16:18).

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); and as he chastised them, he said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19; 2 Chron. 6:26, 27). This done, he bid them 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 scourg’d to boot. Let this your caution be.

Now, after a while, 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 toward 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 unto them. His name was Atheist, and he asked them whither they were going.

CHR. We are going to the Mount Zion.

Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter.

CHR. What is 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 no such place as you dream of in all this world.‌265

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 this 20 years; but find no more of it than I did the first day I set out (Jer. 22:12; Eccl. 10:15).

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 further 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.‌266

CHR. Then said Christian to Hopeful his fellow, Is it true which this man hath said?

HOPE. Take heed, he is one of the flatterers; remember what it hath 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?‌267‌ Also, are we not now to walk by faith? Let us go on, said Hopeful, lest the man with the whip overtake us again‌268‌ (2 Cor. 5:7).

You should have taught me that lesson, which I will round‌269‌ you in the ears withal: “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge” (Prov. 19:17). I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and let us “believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:39).

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 I go on, knowing that we have belief of the truth, “and no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21).

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.