Entertained at the House of Gaius
GAIUS. Yes, gentlemen, if ye be true men, for my house is for none but pilgrims. Then was Christiana, Mercy, and the boys, the more glad, for that the Inn-keeper was a lover of pilgrims. So they called for rooms, and he showed them one for Christiana and her children, and Mercy, and another for Mr. Great-heart and the old gentleman.
GREAT-HEART. Then said Mr. Great-heart, Good Gaius, what hast thou for supper? for these pilgrims have come far today, and are weary.
GAIUS. It is late, said Gaius, so we cannot conveniently go out to seek food; but such as we have, you shall be welcome to, if that will content.230
GREAT-HEART. We will be content with what thou hast in the house; forasmuch as I have proved thee, thou art never destitute of that which is convenient.
Then he went down and spake to the cook, whose name was Taste-that-which-is-good, to get ready supper for so many pilgrims. This done, he comes up again, saying, Come, my good friends, you are welcome to me, and I am glad that I have a house to entertain you; and while supper is making ready, if you please, let us entertain one another with some good discourse. So they all said, Content.
GAIUS. Then said Gaius, Whose wife is this aged matron? and whose daughter is this young damsel.
GREAT-HEART. The woman is the wife of one Christian, a Pilgrim of former times; and these are his four children. The maid is one of her acquaintance; one that she hath persuaded to come with her on pilgrimage. The boys take all after their father, and covet to tread in his steps; yea, if they do but see any place where the old Pilgrim hath lain, or any print of his foot, it ministereth joy to their hearts, and they covet to lie or tread in the same.
GAIUS. Then said Gaius, Is this Christian’s wife? and are these Christian’s children? I knew your husband’s father, yea, also his father’s father. Many have been good of this stock; their ancestors dwelt first at Antioch (Acts 11:26). Christian’s progenitors (I suppose you have heard your husband talk of them) were very worthy men. They have, above any that I know, showed themselves men of great virtue and courage, for the Lord of the Pilgrims, His ways, and them that loved Him. I have heard of many of your husband’s relations, that have stood all trials for the sake of the truth. Stephen, that was one of the first of the family from whence your husband sprang, was knocked on the head with stones (Acts 7:59, 60). James, another of this generation, was slain with the edge of the sword (Acts 12:2). To say nothing of Paul and Peter, men anciently of the family from whence your husband came, there was Ignatius, who was cast to the lions;231 Romanus, whose flesh was cut by pieces from his bones, and Polycarp, that played the man in the fire. There was he that was hanged up in a basket in the sun, for the wasps to eat; and he who they put into a sack, and cast him into the sea to be drowned. It would be utterly impossible to count up all of that family that have suffered injuries and death, for the love of a pilgrim’s life. Nor can I but be glad, to see that thy husband has left behind him four such boys as these. I hope they will bear up their father’s name, and tread in their father’s steps, and come to their father’s end.
GREAT-HEART. Indeed, Sir, they are likely lads; they seem to choose heartily their father’s ways.
GAIUS. That is it that I said; wherefore Christian’s family is like still to spread abroad upon the face of the ground, and yet to be numerous upon the face of the earth; wherefore, let Christiana look out some damsels for her sons, to whom they may be betrothed, etc., that the name of their father and the house of his progenitors may never be forgotten in the world.232
HON. It is pity this family should fall and be extinct.
GAIUS. Fall it cannot, but be diminished it may; but let Christiana take my advice, and that is the way to uphold it.
And, Christiana, said this Innkeeper, I am glad to see thee and thy friend Mercy together here, a lovely couple. And may I advise, take Mercy into a nearer relation to thee; if she will, let her be given to Matthew, thy eldest son; it is the way to preserve you a posterity in the earth. So this match was concluded, and in process of time they were married; but more of that hereafter.
THE PILGRIMS ENTERTAINED AT THE HOUSE OF GAIUS
Gaius also proceeded, and said, I will now speak on the behalf of women, to take away their reproach. For as death and the curse came into the world by a woman, (Gen. 3), so also did life and health: “God sent forth His Son made of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). Yea, to show how much those that came after, did abhor the act of the mother, this sex, in the Old Testament, coveted children, if happily this or that woman might be the mother of the Saviour of the world.
I will say again, that when the Saviour was come, women rejoiced in Him before either man or angel (Luke 2). I read not, that ever any man did give unto Christ so much as one groat; but the women followed Him, and ministered to Him of their substance (Luke 8:2, 3). It was a woman that washed His feet with tears, and a woman that anointed His body to the burial (Luke 7:37, 50; John 11:2; 12:3). They were women that wept, when He was going to the Cross, and women that followed Him from the Cross, and that sat by His sepulchre, when he was buried (Luke 23:27; Matt. 27:55, 56, 61). They were women that were first with Him at His resurrection-morn; and women that brought tidings first to His disciples, that He was risen from the dead (Luke 24:22, 23). Women, therefore, are highly favoured, and show by these things that they are sharers with us in the grace of life.
Now the cook sent up to signify that supper was almost ready, and sent one to lay the cloth, the trenchers, and to set the salt and bread in order.
Then said Matthew, The sight of this cloth, and of this fore-runner of the supper, begetteth in me a greater appetite to my food than I had before.
GAIUS. So let all ministering doctrines to thee, in this life, beget in thee a greater desire to sit at the supper of the great King in His kingdom; for all preaching, books, and ordinances here, are but as the laying of the trenchers, and as setting of salt upon the board, when compared with the feast that our Lord will make for us when we come to His house.
So supper came up;233 and first, a heave-shoulder, and a wave-breast (Lev. 7:32–34; 10:14, 15), were set on the table before them, to show that they must begin their meal with prayer and praise to God (Psa. 25:1; Heb. 13:15). The heave-shoulder, David lifted his heart up to God with; and with the wave-breast, where his heart lay, with that he used to lean upon his harp when he played. These two dishes were very fresh and good, and they all eat heartily well thereof.
The next they brought up, was a bottle of wine, red as blood (Deut. 32:14). So Gaius said to them, Drink freely; this is the juice of the true vine, that makes glad the heart of God and man (Judg. 9:13; John 15:1). So they drank and were merry.
Then they brought up in course a dish of butter and honey. Then said Gaius, Eat freely of this; for this is good to cheer up, and strengthen your judgments and understandings. This was our Lord’s dish when He was a child: “Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isa. 7:15).
Then they brought them up a dish of apples, and they were very good tasted fruit. Then said Matthew, May we eat apples, since they were such, by, and with which, the serpent beguiled our first mother?
Then said Gaius—
Apples were they with which we were beguil’d
Yet sin, not apples, hath our souls defil’d.
Apples forbid, if eat, corrupt the blood;
To eat such, when commanded, does us good.
Drink of His flagons, then, thou church, His dove,
And eat His apples, who are sick of love.
Then said Matthew, I made the scruple, because I awhile since was sick with eating of fruit.
GAIUS. Forbidden fruit will make you sick but not what our Lord has tolerated.
While they were thus talking, they were presented with another dish, and it was a dish of nuts (Song. 6:11). Then said some at the table, Nuts spoil tender teeth, especially the teeth of children; which when Gaius heard, he said—
Hard texts are nuts (I will not call them cheaters),
Whose shells do keep their kernels from the eaters.
Ope then the shells, and you shall have the meat;
They here are brought for you to crack and eat.
Then were they very merry, and sat at the table a long time, talking of many things. Then said the old gentleman, My good landlord, while we are cracking your nuts, if you please, do you open this riddle:234
A man there was though some did count him mad,
The more he cast away, the more he had.
Then they all gave good heed, wondering what good Gaius would say; so he sat still awhile, and then thus replied—
He that bestows his goods upon the poor,
Shall have as much again, and ten times more.
Then said Joseph, I dare say, Sir, I did not think you could have found it out.
Oh! said Gaius, I have been trained up in this way a great while; nothing teaches like experience; I have learned of my Lord to be kind; and have found by experience, that I have gained thereby. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet; but it tendeth to poverty” (Prov. 11:24). “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches”235 (Prov. 13:7).
Then Samuel whispered to Christiana, his mother, and said, Mother, this is a very good man’s house, let us stay here a good while, and let my brother Matthew be married here to Mercy, before we go any further.236
The which Gaius the host overhearing, said, With a very good will, my child.
So they staid there more than a month, and Mercy was given to Matthew to wife.
While they staid here, Mercy, as her custom was, would be making coats and garments to give to the poor, by which she brought up a very good report upon the Pilgrims.237
But to return again to our story. After supper the lads desired a bed; for that they were weary with travelling: then Gaius called to show them their chamber; but said Mercy, I will have them to bed. So she had them to bed, and they slept well; but the rest sat up all night; for Gaius and they were such suitable company, that they could not tell how to part. Then after much talk of their Lord, themselves, and their journey, old Mr. Honest, he that put forth the riddle to Gaius, began to nod. Then said Great-heart, What, Sir, you begin to be drowsy; come, rub up; now here is a riddle for you. Then said Mr. Honest, Let us hear it.
Then said Mr. Great-heart,
He that will kill, must first be overcome,
Who live abroad would, first must die at home.
Ha! said Mr. Honest, it is a hard one, hard to expound, and harder to practise. But come, landlord, said he, I will, if you please, leave my part to you; do you expound it, and I will hear what you say.
No, said Gaius, it was put to you, and it is expected that you should answer it.
Then said the old gentleman,
He first by grace must conquer’d be,
That sin would mortify;
And who, that lives, would convince me,
Unto himself must die.238
It is right, said Gaius; good doctrine and experience teaches this. For, first, until grace displays itself, and overcomes the soul with its glory, it is altogether without heart to oppose sin; besides if sin is Satan’s cords, by which the soul lies bound, how should it make resistance, before it is loosed from that infirmity?
Secondly, nor will any, that knows either reason or grace, believe that such a man can be a living monument of grace that is a slave to his own corruptions.
And now it comes in my mind, I will tell you a story worth the hearing. There were two men that went on pilgrimage; the one began when he was young, the other when he was old. The young man had strong corruptions to grapple with; the old man’s were decayed with the decays of nature. The young man trod his steps as even as did the old one, and was every way as light as he. Who now, or which of them, had their graces shining clearest, since both seemed to be alike
HON. The young man’s, doubtless. For that which heads it against the greatest opposition, gives best demonstration that it is strongest; especially when it also holdeth pace with that that meets not with half so much; as, to be sure, old age does not.239
Besides, I have observed that old men have blessed themselves with this mistake, namely, taking the decays of nature for a gracious conquest over corruptions, and so have been apt to beguile themselves. Indeed, old men that are gracious, are best able to give advice to them that are young, because they have seen most of the emptiness of things. But yet, for an old and a young [man] to set out both together, the young one has the advantage of the fairest discovery of a work of grace within him, though the old man’s corruptions are naturally the weakest.
Thus they sat talking till break of day. Now, when the family was up, Christiana bid her son James that he should read a chapter; so he read the fifty-third of Isaiah. When he had done, Mr. Honest asked, why it was said that the Saviour is said to come “out of a dry ground”; and also, that “He had no form or comeliness in him?”
GREAT-HEART. Then said Mr. Great-heart, To the first, I answer, Because the church of the Jews, of which Christ came, had then lost almost all the sap and spirit of religion. To the second, I say, The words are spoken in the person of the unbelievers, who, because they want that eye that can see into our Prince’s heart, therefore they judge of Him by the meanness of His outside. Just like those that know not that precious stones are covered over with a homely crust; who, when they have found one, because they know not what they have found, cast it again away, as men do a common stone.
Well, said Gaius, now you are here, and since, as I know, Mr. Great-heart is good at his weapons, if you please, after we have refreshed ourselves, we will walk into the fields, to see if we can do any good.240 About a mile from hence, there is one Slay-good, a giant that does much annoy the King’s highway in these parts; and I know whereabout his haunt is. He is master of a number of thieves; it would be well if we could clear these parts of him.
So they consented, and went, Mr. Great-heart with his sword, helmet, and shield, and the rest with spears and staves.241
When they came to the place where he was, they found him with one Feeble-mind in his hands, whom his servants had brought unto him, having taken him in the way. Now the giant was rifling him, with a purpose, after that, to pick his bones, for he was of the nature of flesh-eaters.
Well, so soon as he saw Mr. Great-heart and his friends at the mouth of his cave, with their weapons, he demanded what they wanted.
GREAT-HEART. We want thee; for we are come to revenge the quarrel of the many that thou hast slain of the pilgrims, when thou hast dragged them out of the King’s highway; wherefore, come out of thy cave. So he armed himself and came out; and to a battle they went, and fought for above an hour, and then stood still to take wind.
SLAY. Then said the giant, Why are you here on my ground?
GREAT-HEART. To revenge the blood of pilgrims, as I also told thee before. So they went to it again, and the giant made Mr. Great-heart give back; but he came up again, and, in the greatness of his mind, he let fly with such stoutness at the giant’s head and sides, that he made him let his weapon fall out of his hand; so he smote him, and slew him, and cut off his head, and brought it away to the inn. He also took Feeble-mind, the pilgrim, and brought him with him to his lodgings. When they were come home, they showed his head to the family, and then set it up, as they had done others before, for a terror to those that shall attempt to do as he hereafter.242
Then they asked Mr. Feeble-mind how he fell into his hands?
FEEBLE-MIND. Then said the poor man, I am a sickly man, as you see; and, because death did usually once a day knock at my door, I thought I should never be well at home; so I betook myself to a pilgrim’s life, and have traveled hither from the town of Uncertain, where I and my father were born. I am a man of no strength at all of body, nor yet of mind; but would, if I could, though I can but crawl, spend my life in the pilgrim’s way.243 When I came at the gate that is at the head of the way, the Lord of that place did entertain me freely; neither objected He against my weakly looks, nor against my feeble mind; but gave me such things that were necessary for my journey, and bid me hope to the end. When I came to the house of the Interpreter, I received much kindness there; and because the Hill Difficulty was judged too hard for me, I was carried up that by one of His servants. Indeed, I have found much relief from pilgrims, though none were willing to go so softly as I am forced to do; yet still, as they came on, they bid me be of good cheer, and said that it was the will of their Lord that comfort should be given to the feeble-minded, and so went on their own pace (1 Thess. 5:14). When I was come up to Assault Lane, then this giant met with me, and bid me prepare for an encounter; but, alas! feeble one that I was, I had more need of a cordial. So he came up and took me. I conceited he should not kill me. Also, when he had got me into his den, since I went not with him willingly, I believed I should come out alive again; for I have heard, that not any pilgrim that is taken captive by violent hands, if he keeps heart-whole towards his Master, is, by the laws of Providence, to die by the hand of the enemy. Robbed I looked to be, and robbed to be sure I am; but I am, as you see, escaped with life; for the which I thank my King as author, and you as the means. Other brunts I also look for; but this I have resolved on, to wit, to run when I can, to go when I cannot run, and to creep when I cannot go. As to the main, I thank Him that loves me, I am fixed. My way is before me, my mind is beyond the river that has no bridge, though I am, as you see, but of a feeble mind.244
HON. Then said old Mr. Honest, Have you not, some time ago, been acquainted with one Mr. Fearing, a pilgrim.
FEEBLE. Acquainted with him! Yes; he came from the town of Stupidity, which lieth four degrees to the northward of the City of Destruction, and as many off of where I was born; yet we were well acquainted, for, indeed, he was my uncle, my father’s brother. He and I have been much of a temper. He was a little shorter than I, but yet we were much of a complexion.
HON. I perceive you know him; and I am apt to believe also, that you were related one to another; for you have his whitely look, a cast like his with your eye, and your speech is much alike.
FEEBLE. Most have said so that have known us both; and besides, what I have read in him, I have, for the most part, found in myself.
GAIUS. Come, Sir, said good Gaius, be of good cheer, you are welcome to me, and to my house, and what thou hast a mind to, call for freely; and what thou wouldest have my servants do for thee, they will do it with a ready mind.
Then said Mr. Feeble-mind, This is unexpected favour, and as the sun shining out of a very dark cloud. Did Giant Slay-good intend me this favour when he stopped me, and resolved to let me go no further? Did he intend, that after he had rifled my pockets, I should go to Gaius, mine host? Yet so it is.245
Now, just as Mr. Feeble-mind and Gaius were thus in talk, there comes one running, and called at the door, and told that, about a mile and a half off, there was one Mr. Not-right, a pilgrim, struck dead upon the place where he was with a thunder-bolt.246
FEEBLE. Alas! said Mr. Feeble-mind, is he slain? He overtook me some days before I came so far as hither, and would be my company-keeper. He also was with me when Slay-good, the giant, took me; but he was nimble of his heels, and escaped. But, it seems, he escaped to die, and I was took to live.247
What, one would think, doth seek to slay outright,
Ofttimes delivers from the saddest plight.
That very providence, whose face is death,
Doth ofttimes to the lowly life bequeath.
I taken was, he did escape and flee;
Hands cross’d gives death to him, and life to me.
Now, about this time, Matthew and Mercy were married. Also Gaius gave his daughter Phoebe to James, Matthew’s brother, to wife; after which time they yet staid above ten days at Gaius’ house, spending their time, and the seasons, like as pilgrims used to do.248
When they were to depart, Gaius made them a feast, and they did eat and drink, and were merry. Now the hour was come that they must be gone; wherefore, Mr. Great-heart called for a reckoning; but Gaius told him, that at his house it was not the custom for pilgrims to pay for their entertainment. He boarded them by the year, but looked for his pay from the good Samaritan, who had promised him, at his return, whatsoever charge he was at with them, faithfully to repay him (Luke 10:34, 35). Then said Mr. Great-heart to him,
GREAT-HEART. “Beloved, thou dost faithfully whatsoever thou dost to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church; whom if thou (yet) bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well” (3 John 5, 6).
Then Gaius took his leave of them all, and of his children, and particularly of Mr. Feeble-mind. He also gave him something to drink by the way.
Now Mr. Feeble-mind, when they were going out of the door, made as if he intended to linger; the which when Mr. Great-heart espied, he said, Come, Mr. Feeble-Mind, pray do you go along with us, I will be your conductor, and you shall fare as the rest.
FEEBLE. Alas! I want a suitable companion; you are all lusty and strong; but I, as you see, am weak; I choose, therefore, rather to come behind, lest, by reason of my many infirmities, I should be both a burden to myself and to you. I am, as I said, a man of a weak and feeble mind, and shall be offended and made weak at that which others can bear. I shall like no laughing; I shall like no gay attire; I shall like no unprofitable questions. Nay, I am so weak a man, as to be offended with that which others have liberty to do. I do not yet know all the truth; I am a very ignorant Christian man; sometimes, if I hear some rejoice in the Lord, it troubles me, because I can not do so too. It is with me, as it is with a weak man among the strong, or as with a sick man among the healthy, or as a lamp despised (“He that is ready to slip with his feet, is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease” Job 12:5), so that I know not what to do.249
GREAT-HEART. But, brother, said. Mr. Great-heart, I have it in commission to “comfort the feeble-minded,” and to “support the weak” (1 Thess. 5:14). You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you; we will lend you our help (Rom. 14:1); we will deny ourselves of some things, both opinionative and practical, for your sake (1 Cor. 8), we will not enter into doubtful disputations before you; we will be made all things to you, rather than you shall be left behind250 (1 Cor. 9:22).
Now all this while they were at Gaius’ door; and behold, as they were thus in the heat of their discourse, Mr. Ready-to-halt came by, with his crutches [promises] in his hand (Psa. 38:17); and he also was going on pilgrimage.
FEEBLE. Then said Mr. Feeble-mind to him, Man, How camest thou hither? I was but just now complaining, that I had not a suitable companion, but thou art according to my wish. Welcome, welcome, good Mr. Ready-to-halt, I hope thee and I may be some help.
READY-TO-HALT. I shall be glad of thy company, said the other; and good Mr. Feeble-mind, rather than we will part, since we are thus happily met, I will lend thee one of my crutches.251
FEEBLE. Nay, said he, though I thank thee for thy goodwill, I am not inclined to halt before I am lame. Howbeit, I think, when occasion is, it may help me against a dog.252
READY. If either myself or my crutches can do thee a pleasure, we are both at thy command, good Mr. Feeble-mind.
Thus therefore they went on; Mr. Great-heart and Mr. Honest went before, Christiana and her children went next, and Mr. Feeble-mind and Mr. Ready-to-halt, came behind with his crutches.253 Then said Mr. Honest,
HON. Pray, Sir, now we are upon the road, tell us some profitable things of some that have gone on pilgrimage before us.
GREAT-HEART. With a good will. I suppose you have heard how Christian of old did meet with Apollyon in the Valley of Humiliation; and also what hard work he had, to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Also I think you cannot but have heard how Faithful was put to it with Madam Wanton, with Adam the first, with one Discontent, and Shame, four as deceitful villains as a man can meet with upon the road.
HON. Yes, I have heard of all this; but indeed, good Faithful was hardest put to it with Shame; he was an unwearied one.
GREAT-HEART. Aye; for, as the Pilgrim well said, he of all men had the wrong name.
HON. But pray, Sir, where was it that Christian and Faithful met Talkative? That same was also a notable one.
GREAT-HEART. He was a confident fool, yet many follow his ways.
HON. He had like to have beguiled Faithful.
GREAT-HEART. Aye, but Christian put him into a way quickly to find him out. Thus they went on till they came at the place where Evangelist met with Christian and Faithful, and prophesied to them of what should befall them at Vanity Fair.
GREAT-HEART. Then said their guide, Hereabouts did Christian and Faithful meet with Evangelist, who prophesied to them of what troubles they should meet with at Vanity Fair.
HON. Say you so? I dare say it was a hard chapter that then he did read unto them.254
GREAT-HEART. It was so; but he gave them encouragement withal. But what do we talk of them? they were a couple of lion-like men; they had set their faces like flint. Don’t you remember how undaunted they were when they stood before the judge?
HON. Well, Faithful bravely suffered.
GREAT-HEART. So he did, and as brave things came on it; for Hopeful and some others, as the story relates it, were converted by his death.
HON. Well, but pray go on; for you are well acquainted with things.
GREAT-HEART. Above all that Christian met with after he had passed through Vanity Fair, one By-ends was the arch one.
HON. By-ends! What was he?
GREAT-HEART. A very arch fellow; a downright hypocrite. One that would be religious which way ever the world went; but so cunning, that he would be sure neither to lose nor suffer for it. He had his mode of religion for every fresh occasion; and his wife was as good at it as he. He would turn and change from opinion to opinion; yea, and plead for so doing too. But, so far as I could learn, he came to an ill end with his by-ends; nor did I ever hear that any of his children were ever of any esteem with any that truly feared God.