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Story of Turn-Away


From hence they went on singing, and they said,

Behold, how fitly are the stages set

For their relief that pilgrims are become!

And how they us receive without one let,

That makes the other life our mark and home!

What novelties they have to us they give,

That we, though Pilgrims, joyful lives may live;

They do upon us, too, such things bestow,

That show we Pilgrims are, where’er we go.

When they were gone from the Shepherds, they quickly came to the place where Christian met with one Turn-away, that dwelt in the town of Apostasy. Wherefore of him Mr. Great-heart, their guide, did now put them in mind, saying, This is the place where Christian met with one Turn-away, who carried with him the character of his rebellion at his back. And this I have to say concerning this man; he would hearken to no counsel, but once falling, persuasion could not stop him.

When he came to the place where the Cross and the Sepulchre were, he did meet with one that did bid him look there, but he gnashed with his teeth, and stamped, and said, he was resolved to go back to his own town. Before he came to the gate, he met with Evangelist, who offered to lay hands on him, to turn him into the way again. But this Turn-away resisted him, and having done much despite unto him, he got away over the wall, and so escaped his hand (Heb. 10:26–29).

Then they went on; and just at the place where Little-faith formerly was robbed, there stood a man with his sword drawn, and his face all bloody. Then said Mr. Great-heart, What art thou? The man made answer, saying, I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth. I am a pilgrim, and am going to the Celestial City. Now, as I was in my way, there were three men did beset me, and propounded unto me these three things: 1. Whether I would become one of them. 2. Or go back from whence I came. 3. Or die upon the place.‌282‌ To the first, I answered, I had been a true man a long season, and therefore it could not be expected that I now should cast in my lot with thieves (Prov. 1:10–14). Then they demanded what I would say to the second. So I told them that the place from whence I came, had I not found incommodity there, I had not forsaken it at all; but finding it altogether unsuitable to me, and very unprofitable for me, I forsook it for this way. Then they asked me what I said to the third. And I told them, My life cost more dear far, than that I should lightly give it away. Besides, you have nothing to do thus to put things to my choice; wherefore, at your peril be it, if you meddle. Then these three, to wit, Wild-head, Inconsiderate, and Pragmatic, drew upon me, and I also drew upon them.

So we fell to it, one against three, for the space of above three hours. They have left upon me, as you see, some of the marks of their valour, and have also carried away with them some of mine. They are but just now gone. I suppose they might, as the saying is, heard your horse dash, and so they betook them to flight.

GREAT-HEART. But here was great odds, three against one.

VALIANT. It is true; but little or more are nothing to him that has the truth on his side. “Though an host should encamp against me,” said one, “my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident” (Psa. 27:3). Besides, saith he, I have read in some records, that one man has fought an army. And how many did Samson slay with the jaw-bone of an ass?‌283‌ (Judg. 15:15, 16).

GREAT-HEART. Then said the guide, Why did you not cry out, that some might have come in for your succour?

VALIANT. So I did, to my King, who, I knew, could hear, and afford invisible help, and that was sufficient for me.

GREAT-HEART. Then said Great-heart to Mr. Valiant-for-truth, Thou hast worthily behaved thyself. Let me see thy sword. So he showed it him. When he had taken it in his hand, and looked thereon a while, he said, Ha! it is a right Jerusalem blade (Isa. 2:3).

VALIANT. It is so. Let a man have one of these blades, with a hand to wield it and skill to use it, and he may venture upon an angel with it. He need not fear its holding, if he can but tell how to lay on. Its edges will never blunt. It will cut flesh and bones, and soul and spirit, and all (Eph. 6:12–17; Heb. 4:12).

GREAT-HEART. But you fought a great while; I wonder you was not weary.

VALIANT. I fought till my sword did cleave to my hand; and when they were joined together, as if a sword grew out of my arm, and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage‌284‌ (2 Sam. 23:10).

GREAT-HEART. Thou hast done well. Thou hast “resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Thou shalt abide by us, come in and go out with us, for we are thy companions.

Then they took him, and washed his wounds, and gave him of what they had to refresh him; and so they went on together. Now, as they went on, because Mr. Great-heart was delighted in him, for he loved one greatly that he found to be a man of his hands, and because there were with his company them that were feeble and weak, therefore he questioned with him about many things; as, first, what countryman he was?‌285

VALIANT. I am of Dark-land; for there I was born, and there my father and mother are still.

GREAT-HEART. Dark-land, said the guide; doth not that lie up on the same coast with the City of Destruction?

VALIANT. Yes, it doth. Now, that which caused me to come on pilgrimage was this; we had one Mr. Tell-true came into our parts, and he told it about what Christian had done, that went from the City of Destruction; namely, how he had forsaken his wife and children, and had betaken himself to a pilgrim’s life. It was also confidently reported, how he had killed a serpent that did come out to resist him in his journey, and how he got through to whither he intended. It was also told, what welcome he had at all his Lord’s lodgings, especially when he came to the gates of the Celestial City; for there, said the man, he was received with sound of trumpet, by a company of Shining Ones. He told it also, how all the bells in the city did ring for joy at his reception, and what golden garments he was clothed with, with many other things that now I shall forbear to relate. In a word, that man so told the story of Christian and his travels, that my heart fell into a burning haste to be gone after him; nor could father or mother stay me! So I got from them, and am come thus far on my way.

GREAT-HEART. You came in at the gate, did you not?

VALIANT. Yes, yes; for the same man also told us that all would be nothing, if we did not begin to enter this way at the gate.‌286

GREAT-HEART. Look you, said the guide to Christiana, the pilgrimage of your husband, and what he has gotten thereby, is spread abroad far and near.

VALIANT.Why, is this Christian’s wife?

GREAT-HEART. Yes, that it is; and these are also her four sons.

VALIANT.What! and going on pilgrimage too?

GREAT-HEART. Yes, verily; they are following after.

VALIANT. It glads me at heart. Good man! how joyful will he be when he shall see them that would not go with him, yet to enter after him in at the gates into the City!

GREAT-HEART. Without doubt it will be a comfort to him; for, next to the joy of seeing himself there, it will be a joy to meet there his wife and children.

VALIANT. But, now you are upon that, pray let me hear your opinion about it. Some make a question, Whether we shall know one another when we are there.

GREAT-HEART. Do they think they shall know themselves then, or that they shall rejoice to see themselves in that bliss? and if they think they shall know and do these, why not know others, and rejoice in their welfare also?‌287

Again, since relations are our second self, though that state will be dissolved there; yet why may it not be rationally concluded, that we shall be more glad to see them there, than to see they are wanting?

VALIANT. Well, I perceive whereabouts you are as to this. Have you any more things to ask me about my beginning to come on pilgrimage?‌288

GREAT-HEART, Yes. Was your father and mother willing that you should become a pilgrim?

VALIANT. O no! They used all means imaginable to persuade me to stay at home.

GREAT-HEART, What could they say against it?

VALIANT. They said it was an idle life; and if I myself were not inclined to sloth and laziness, I would never countenance a pilgrim’s condition.‌289

GREAT-HEART. And what did they say else?

VALIANT. Why, they told me that it was a dangerous way; yea, the most dangerous way in the world, said they, is that which the pilgrims go.

GREAT-HEART. Did they show wherein this way is so dangerous?

VALIANT. Yes; and that in many particulars.

GREAT-HEART. Name some of them.

VALIANT. They told me of the Slough of Despond, where Christian was well nigh smothered. They told me that there were archers standing ready in Beelzebub Castle, to shoot them that should knock at the wicket-gate for entrance. They told me also of the wood, and dark mountains; of the Hill Difficulty; of the lions; and also of the three giants, Bloody-man, Maul, and Slay-good. They said, moreover, that there was a foul fiend haunted the Valley of Humiliation, and that Christian was by him almost bereft of life. Besides, said they, you must go over the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where the hobgoblins are; where the light is darkness; where the way is full of snares, pits, traps, and gins. They told me also of Giant Despair, of Doubting Castle, and of the ruin that the Pilgrims met with there. Further they said I must go over the Enchanted Ground: which was dangerous. And that, after all this, I should find a river, over which I should find no bridge, and that that river did be betwixt me and the Celestial Country.

GREAT-HEART. And was this all?

VALIANT. No. They also told me that this way was full of deceivers,‌290‌ and of persons that laid in wait there to turn good men out of the path.

GREAT-HEART. But how did they make that out?

VALIANT. They told me that Mr. Worldly-wiseman did there lie in wait to deceive. They also said, that there was Formality and Hypocrisy continually on the road. They said also that By-ends, Talkative, or Demas would go near to gather me up; that the Flatterer would catch me in his net; or that, with green-headed Ignorance, I would presume to go on to the gate, from whence he always was sent back to the hole that was in the side of the hill, and made to go the by-way to hell.

GREAT-HEART. I promise you this was enough to discourage; but did they make an end here?

VALIANT. No; stay. They told me also of many that had tried that way of old, and that had gone a great way therein, to see if they could find something of the glory there, that so many had so much talked of from time to time; and how they came back again, and befooled themselves for setting a foot out of doors in that path, to the satisfaction of all the country. And they named several that did so; as Obstinate and Pliable, Mistrust and Timorous, Turn-away and old Atheist, with several more, who, they said, had some of them, gone far to see if they could find; but not one of them found so much advantage by going as amounted to the weight of a feather.‌291

GREAT-HEART. Said they anything more to discourage you?

VALIANT. Yes. They told me of one Mr. Fearing who was a pilgrim; and how he found this way so solitary, that he never had comfortable hour therein. Also that Mr. Despondency had like to have been starved therein; yea, and also, which I had almost forgot, that Christian himself, about whom there has been such a noise, after all his ventures for a celestial crown, was certainly drowned in the Black River, and never went foot further, however it was smothered up.‌292

GREAT-HEART. And did none of these things discourage you?

VALIANT. No; they seemed but as so many nothings to me.

GREAT-HEART. How came that about?

VALIANT. Why, I still believed what Mr. Tell-true had said, and that carried me beyond them all.

GREAT-HEART. Then this was your victory, even your faith.

VALIANT. It was so. I believed, by the grace of God, and therefore came out, got into the way, fought all that set themselves against me, and, by believing, am come to this place.‌293

Who would true valour see,

Let him come hither;

One here will constant be,

Come wind, come weather.

There’s no discouragement

Shall make him once relent,

His first avow’d intent

To be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round

With dismal stories,

Do but themselves confound.

His strength the more is;

No lion can him fright,

He’ll with a giant fight;

But he will have a right

To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend

Can daunt his spirit;

He knows he at the end

Shall life inherit.

Then fancies fly away,

He’ll fear not what men say;

He’ll labour night and day

To be a pilgrim.

By this time they were got to the Enchanted Ground,‌294‌ where the air naturally tended to make one drowsy; and that place was all grown over with briars and thorns, excepting here and there, where was an Enchanted Arbour, upon which if a man sits, or in which, if a man sleeps, it is a question, say some, whether ever he shall rise or wake again in this world.‌295‌ Over this forest, therefore, they went, both one and the other, and Mr. Great-heart went before, for that he was the guide; and Mr. Valiant-for-truth, he came behind, being there a guard, for fear, lest peradventure some fiend, or dragon, or giant, or thief, should fall upon their rear, and so do mischief. They went on here, each man with his sword drawn in his hand, for they knew it was a dangerous place. Also they cheered up one another as well as they could; Feeble-mind, Mr. Great-heart commanded, should come up after him, and Mr. Despondency was under the eye of Mr. Valiant.‌296

Now they had not gone far, but a great mist and darkness fell upon them all, so that they could scarce, for a great while, see the one the other; wherefore they were forced, for some time, to feel for one another by words; for they walked not by sight.

But anyone must think that here was but sorry going for the best of them all; but how much worse for the women and children, who both of feet and heart, were but tender. Yet so it was, that through the encouraging words of he that led in the front, and of him that brought them up behind, they made a pretty good shift to wag along.

The way also was here very wearisome, through dirt and slabbiness. Nor was there on all this ground so much as one inn, or victualling house, therein to refresh the feebler sort. Here, therefore, was grunting, and puffing, and sighing. While one tumbleth over a bush, another sticks fast in the dirt; and the children, some of them, lost their shoes in the mire. While one cries out, I am down; and another, Ho! where are you? and a third, The bushes have got such fast hold on me, I think I cannot get away from them.

Then they came at an arbour, warm, and promising much refreshing to the Pilgrims; for it was finely wrought above the head, beautified with greens, furnished with benches and settles.‌297‌ It also had in it a soft couch, whereon the weary might lean. This, you must think, all things considered, was tempting; for the Pilgrims already began to be foiled with the badness of the way; but there was not one of them that made so much as a motion to stop there. Yea, for aught I could perceive, they continually gave so good heed to the advice of their guide, and he did so faithfully tell them of dangers, and of the nature of dangers, when they were at them, that usually, when they were nearest to them, they did most pluck up their spirits, and hearten one another to deny the flesh. This arbour was called The Slothful’s Friend, on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims there to take up their rest when weary.

I saw then in my dream, that they went on in this their solitary ground, till they came to a place at which a man is apt to lose his way.‌298‌ Now, though when it was light, their guide could well enough tell how to miss those ways that led wrong, yet in the dark he was put to a stand; but he had in his pocket a map of all ways leading to, or from the Celestial City; wherefore he struck a light, for he never goes also without his tinder-box, and takes a view of his book or map, which bids him be careful, in that place, to turn to the right-hand way. And had he not here been careful to look in his map, they had all, in probability, been smothered in the mud; for, just a little before them, and that at the end of the cleanest way too, was a pit, none knows how deep, full of nothing but mud, there made on purpose to destroy the Pilgrims in.‌299

Then thought I with myself, who that goeth on pilgrimage, but would have one of these maps about him, that he may look when he is at a stand, which is the way he must take.‌300

They went on, then, in this Enchanted Ground, till they came to where there was another arbour, and it was built by the highway-side. And in that arbour there lay two men, whose names were Heedless and Too-bold.‌301‌ These two went thus far on pilgrimage; but here, being wearied with their journey, they sat down to rest themselves, and so fell fast asleep. When the Pilgrims saw them, they stood still, and shook their heads; for they knew that the sleepers were in a pitiful case. Then they consulted what to do, whether to go on and leave them in their sleep, or to step to them, and try to awake them. So they concluded to go to them, and awake them; that is, if they could; but with this caution, namely, to take heed that themselves did not sit down nor embrace the offered benefit of that arbour.

So they went in, and spake to the men, and called each by his name,‌302‌ for the guide, it seems, did know them; but there was no voice nor answer. Then the guide did shake them, and do what he could to disturb them. Then said one of them, I will pay you when I take my money. At which the guide shook his head. I will fight so long as I can hold my sword in my hand, said the other. At that one of the children laughed.

Then said Christiana, What is the meaning of this? The guide said, They talk in their sleep. If you strike them, beat them, or whatever else you do to them, they will answer you after this fashion; or, as one of them said in old time, when the waves of the sea did beat upon him, and he slept as one upon the mast of a ship, “When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again” (Prov. 23:34, 35). You know, when men talk in their sleep, they say anything, but their words are not governed either by faith or reason. There is an incoherency in their words now, as there was before, betwixt their going on pilgrimage, and sitting down here.‌303‌ This, then, is the mischief of it, when heedless ones go on pilgrimage, it is twenty to one but they are served thus; for this Enchanted Ground is one of the last refuges that the enemy to pilgrims has. Wherefore it is, as you see, placed almost at the end of the way, and so it standeth against us with the more advantage. For when, thinks the enemy, will these fools be so desirous to sit down, as when they are weary? and when so like to be weary, as when almost at their journey’s end? Therefore it is, I say, that the Enchanted Ground is placed so nigh to the Land Beulah, and so near the end of their race.‌304‌ Wherefore, let pilgrims look to themselves, lest it happen to them as it has done to these, that, as you see, are fallen asleep, and none can wake them.‌305

Then the Pilgrims desired, with trembling, to go forward; only they prayed their guide to strike a light, that they might go the rest of their way by the help of the light, of a lantern.‌306‌ So he struck a light, and they went by the help of that through the rest of this way, though the darkness was very great (2 Peter 1:19).

But the children began to be sorely weary; and they cried out unto Him that loveth pilgrims, to make their way more comfortable. So by that they had gone a little further, a wind arose, that drove away the fog; so the air became more clear.

Yet they were not off, by much, of the Enchanted Ground, only now they could see one another better, and the way wherein they should walk.

Now, when they were almost at the end of this ground, they perceived that, a little before them, was a solemn noise of one that was much concerned. So they went on and looked before them; and behold, they saw, as they thought, a man upon his knees, with hands and eyes lift up, and speaking, as they thought, earnestly to One that was above.‌307‌ They drew nigh, but could not tell what he said. So they went softly till he had done. When he had done, he got up, and began to run towards the Celestial City. Then Mr. Great-heart called after him, saying, Soho! friend, let us have your company, if you go, as I suppose you do, to the Celestial City. So the man stopped, and they came up to him. But so soon as Mr. Honest saw him, he said, I know this man. Then said Mr. Valiant-for-truth, Prithee, who is it? It is one, said he, who comes from whereabouts I dwelt. His name is Stand-fast; he is certainly a right good pilgrim.

So they came up one to another; and presently Stand-fast said to old Honest, Ho, father Honest, are you there? Aye, said he, that I am, as sure as you are there. Right glad am I, said Mr. Stand-fast, that I have found you on this road. And as glad am I, said the other, that I espied you upon your knees. Then Mr. Stand-fast blushed, and said, But why, did you see me? Yes, that I did, quoth the other, and with my heart was glad at the sight. Why, what did you think? said Stand-fast. Think! said old Honest, what should I think? I thought we had an honest man upon the road, and therefore should have his company by and by. If you thought not amiss [said Stand-fast], how happy am I; but if I be not as I should, I alone must bear it. That is true, said the other; but your fear doth further confirm me, that things are right betwixt the Prince of Pilgrims and your soul; for, saith he, “Blessed is the man that feareth always.”

VALIANT. Well, but brother, I pray thee tell us what was it that was the cause of thy being upon thy knees even now? Was it for that some special mercies laid obligations upon thee, or how?

STAND-FAST. Why, we are, as you see, upon the Enchanted Ground; and as I was coming along, I was musing with myself of what a dangerous road the road in this place was, and how many that had come even thus far on pilgrimage had here been stopped, and been destroyed. I thought also of the manner of the death with which this place destroyeth men. Those that die here, die of no violent distemper. The death which such die is not grievous to them; for he that goeth away in a sleep, begins that journey with desire and pleasure; yea, such acquiesce in the will of that disease.

HON. Then Mr. Honest, interrupting of him, said, Did you see the two men asleep in the arbour?

STAND-FAST. Aye, aye, I saw Heedless and Too-bold there; and, for aught I know, there they will lie till they rot (Prov. 10:7). But let me go on in my tale. As I was thus musing, as I said, there was one, in very pleasant attire, but old, who presented herself unto me, and offered me three things; to wit, her body, her purse, and her bed. Now, the truth is, I was both a-weary and sleepy; I am also as poor as an owlet,‌308‌ and that, perhaps, the witch knew. Well, I repulsed her once and twice, but she put by my repulses, and smiled. Then I began to be angry; but she mattered that nothing at all. Then she made offers again, and said, If I would be ruled by her, she would make me great and happy; for, said she, I am the mistress of the world, and men are made happy by me. Then I asked her name, and she told me it was Madam Bubble.‌309‌ This set me further from her; but she still followed me with enticements. Then I betook me as you saw, to my knees; and with hands lift up, and cries, I prayed to Him that had said He would help.‌310‌ So, just as you came up, the gentlewoman went her way. Then I continued to give thanks for this my great deliverance; for I verily believe she intended no good, but rather sought to make stop of me in my journey.‌311

HON. Without doubt her designs were bad. But stay, now you talk of her, methinks I either have seen her, or have read some story of her.

STAND-FAST. Perhaps you have done both.

HON. Madam Bubble! is she not a tall, comely dame, something of a swarthy complexion?

STAND-FAST. Right, you hit it, she is just such a one.

HON. Doth she not speak very smoothly, and give you a smile at the end of a sentence?

STAND-FAST. You fall right upon it again, for these are her very actions.

HON. Doth she not wear a great purse by her side; and is not her hand often in it, fingering her money, as if that was her heart’s delight?

STAND-FAST. It is just so; had she stood by all this while, you could not more amply have set her forth before me, nor have better described her features.

HON. Then he that drew her picture was a good limner, and he that wrote of her said true.‌312

GREAT-HEART. This woman is a witch, and it is by virtue of her sorceries that this ground is enchanted. Whoever doth lay their head down in her lap, had as good lay it down upon that block over which the axe doth hang; and whoever lay their eyes upon her beauty, are counted the enemies of God (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15). This is she that maintaineth in their splendour all those that are the enemies of pilgrims. Yea, this is she that hath bought off many a man from a pilgrim’s life. She is a great gossipper; she is always, both she and her daughters, at one pilgrim’s heels or another, now commending, and then preferring the excellencies of this life. She is a bold and impudent slut; she will talk with any man. She always laugheth poor pilgrims to scorn; but highly commends the rich. If there be one cunning to get money in a place, she will speak well of him from house to house; she loveth banqueting and feasting mainly well; she is always at one full table or another. She has given it out in some places, that she is a goddess, and therefore some do worship her. She has her times and open places of cheating; and she will say and avow it, that none can show a good comparable to hers. She promiseth to dwell with children’s children, if they will but love and make much of her. She will cast out of her purse gold like dust, in some places, and to some persons. She loves to be sought after, spoken well of, and to lie in the bosoms of men. She is never weary of commending her commodities, and she loves them most that think best of her. She will promise to some crowns and kingdoms, if they will but take her advice; yet many hath she brought to the halter, and ten thousand times more to hell.

STAND-FAST. O, said Stand-fast, what a mercy is it that I did resist! for whither might she have drawn me!

GREAT-HEART. Whither! nay, none but God knows whither. But, in general, to be sure, she would have drawn thee into “many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Tim. 6:9).

It was she that set Absalom against his father, and Jeroboam against his master. It was she that persuaded Judas to sell his Lord, and that prevailed with Demas to forsake the godly pilgrims’ life; none can tell of the mischief that she doth. She makes variance betwixt rulers and subjects, betwixt parents and children, betwixt neighbour and neighbour, betwixt a man and his wife, betwixt a man and himself, betwixt the flesh and the heart.

Wherefore, good Master Stand-fast, be as your name is, and “when you have done all, Stand.”‌313

At this discourse there was, among the Pilgrims, a mixture of joy and trembling; but at length they brake out, and sang—

What danger is the pilgrim in!

How many are his foes!

How many ways there are to sin

No living mortal knows.

Some of the ditch shy are, yet can

Lie tumbling in the mire;

Some, though they shun the frying-pan,

Do leap into the fire.