INTER. You say truth: _For the things which are seen are_ Temporal; _but the things that are not seen are_ Eternal. But though this be so, yet since things present and our fleshly appetite are such near neighbors one to another; and, again, because things to come and carnal sense are such strangers one to another; therefore it is that the first of these so suddenly fell into _amity_, and that _distance_ is so continued between the second.
Then I saw in my Dream that the _Interpreter_ took _Christian_ by the hand, and led him into a place where was a Fire burning against a wall, and one standing by it, always casting much Water upon it, to quench it; yet did the Fire burn higher and hotter.
Then said _Christian,_ What means this?
The _Interpreter answered,_ This Fire is the work of Grace that is wrought in the heart; he that casts Water upon it, to extinguish and put it out, is the _Devil;_ but in that thou seest the Fire notwithstanding burn higher and hotter, thou shalt also see the reason of that. So he had him about to the backside of the wall, where he saw a man with a Vessel of Oil in his hand, of the which he did also continually cast (but secretly) into the Fire.
Then said _Christian,_ What means this?
The _Interpreter answered,_ This is Christ, who continually, with the Oil of his Grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart: by the means of which notwithstanding what the Devil can do, the souls of his people prove gracious still. And in that thou sawest that the man stood behind the wall to maintain the Fire, that is to teach thee that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of Grace is maintained in the soul.
I saw also that the _Interpreter_ took him again by the hand, and led him into a pleasant place, where was builded a stately Palace, beautiful to behold; at the sight of which _Christian_ was greatly delighted: He saw also upon the top thereof, certain persons walking, who were cloathed all in gold.
Then said _Christian,_ May we go in thither?
Then the _Interpreter_ took him, and led him up toward the door of the Palace; and behold, at the door stood a great company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a table-side, with a Book and his Inkhorn before him, to take the name of him that should enter therein; He saw also, that in the door-way stood many men in armour to keep it, being resolved to do the men that would enter what hurt and mischief they could. Now was _Christian_ somewhat in a maze. At last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, _Christian_ saw a man of a very stout countenance come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, _Set down my name, Sir_: the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his Sword, and put an Helmet upon his head, and rush toward the door upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly force; but the man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely. So after, he had received and given many wounds to those that attempted to keep him out, he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the Palace, at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the Palace, saying,
Come in, Come in; Eternal Glory thou shalt win.
So he went in, and was cloathed with such garments as they. Then _Christian_ smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this.
Now, said _Christian_, let me go hence. Nay, stay, said the _Interpreter_, till I have shewed thee a little more, and after that thou shalt go on thy way. So he took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, where there sat a man in an Iron Cage.
Now the Man, to look on, seemed very sad; he sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together; and he sighed as if he would break his heart. Then said _Christian_, _What means this?_ At which the _Interpreter_ bid him talk with the Man.
Then said _Christian_ to the Man, _What art thou?_ The Man answered, _I am what I was not once._
CHR. What wast thou once?
MAN. The Man said, I was once a fair and flourishing Professor, both in mine own eyes, and also in the eyes of others; I once was, as I thought, fair for the Coelestial City, and had then even joy at the thoughts that I should get thither.
CHR. Well, but what art thou now?
MAN. I am now a man of _Despair_, and am shut up in it, as in this Iron Cage. I cannot get out; O _now_ I cannot.
CHR. But how camest thou in this condition?
MAN. I left off to watch and be sober; I laid the reins upon the neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the Word and the goodness of God; I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; I tempted the Devil, and he is come to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he has left me; I have so hardened my heart, that I _cannot_ repent.
Then said _Christian_ to the _Interpreter_, But are there no hopes for such a man as this? Ask him, said the _Interpreter_.
CHR. Then said _Christian_, Is there no hope, but you must be kept in the Iron Cage of Despair?
MAN. No, none at all.
CHR. Why? The Son of the Blessed is very pitiful.
MAN. I have crucified him to myself afresh, I have despised his Person, I have despised his Righteousness, I have counted his Blood an unholy thing; I have done despite to the Spirit of Grace: Therefore I have shut myself out of all the Promises, and there now remains to me nothing but threatnings, dreadful threatnings, fearful threatnings of certain Judgment and fiery Indignation, which shall devour me as an Adversary.
CHR. For what did you bring yourself into this condition?
MAN. For the Lusts, Pleasures, and Profits of this World; in the enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight; but now every one of those things also bite me, and gnaw me like a burning worm.
CHR. But canst thou not now repent and turn?
MAN. God hath denied me repentance: his Word gives me no encouragement to believe; yea, himself hath shut me up in this Iron Cage; nor can all the men in the world let me out. O Eternity! Eternity! how shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in Eternity!
INTER. Then said the _Interpreter_ to _Christian_, Let this man's misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee.
CHR. Well, said _Christian_, this is fearful; God help me to watch and be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's misery. Sir, is it not time for me to go on my way now?
INTER. Tarry till I shall shew thee one thing more, and then thou shalt go thy way.
So he took _Christian_ by the hand again, and led him into a Chamber, where there was one rising out of bed; and as he put on his raiment, he shook and trembled. Then said _Christian_, Why doth this man thus tremble? The _Interpreter_ then bid him tell to _Christian_ the reason of his so doing. So he began and said, This night, as I was in my sleep, I dreamed, and behold the Heavens grew exceeding black; also it thundred and lightned in most fearful wise, that it put me into an agony; so I looked up in my Dream, and saw the Clouds rack at an unusual rate, upon which I heard a great sound of a Trumpet, and saw also a Man sit upon a Cloud, attended with the thousands of Heaven; they were all in flaming fire, also the Heavens were in a burning flame. I heard then a Voice saying, _Arise ye dead, and come to Judgment_; and with that the Rocks rent, the Graves opened, and the Dead that were therein came forth. Some of them were exceeding glad, and looked upward; and some sought to hide themselves under the Mountains. Then I saw the Man that sat upon the Cloud open the Book, and bid the World draw near. Yet there was, by reason of a fierce flame which issued out and came from before him, a convenient distance betwixt him and them, as betwixt the Judge and the Prisoners at the bar. I heard it also proclaimed to them that attended on the Man that sat on the Cloud, _Gather together the Tares, the Chaff, and Stubble, and cast them into the burning Lake_. And with that, the bottomless pit opened, just whereabout I stood; out of the mouth of which there came in an abundant manner, smoke and coals of fire, with hideous noises. It was also said to the same persons, _Gather my Wheat into the Garner_. And with that I saw many catch'd up and carried away into the Clouds, but I was left behind. I also sought to hide myselfs but I could not, for the Man that sat upon the Cloud still kept his eye upon me: my sins also came into my mind; and my Conscience did accuse me on every side. Upon this I awaked from my sleep.
CHR. But what was it that made you so afraid of this sight?
MAN. Why, I thought that the day of Judgment was come, and that I was not ready for it: but this frighted me most, that the Angels gathered up several, and left me behind; also the pit of Hell opened her mouth just where I stood: my Conscience too afflicted me; and as I thought, the Judge had always his eye upon me, shewing indignation in his countenance.
Then said the _Interpreter_ to _Christian, Hast thou considered all these things_?
CHR. Yes, and they put me in _hope_ and _fear_.
INTER. Well, keep all things so in thy mind that they may be as a Goad in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the way thou must go.
Then _Christian_ began to gird up his loins, and address himself to his Journey. Then said the _Interpreter_, The Comforter be always with thee, good _Christian_, to guide thee in the way that leads to the City. So _Christian_ went on his way.
CHRISTIAN'S FIGHT WITH THE MONSTER APOLLYON
By John Bunyan
In the Valley of _Humiliation_, poor _Christian_ was hard put to it; for he had gone but a little way, before he espied a foul _Fiend_ coming over the field to meet him; his name is _Apollyon_. Then did _Christian_ begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground: But he considered again that he had no Armour for his back, and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his Darts.
Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground; For, thought he, had I no more in mine eye than the saving of my life, 'twould be the best way to stand.
So he went on, and _Apollyon_ met him. Now the Monster was hideous to behold; he was cloathed with scales like a Fish (and they are his pride); he had wings like a Dragon, feet like a Bear, and out of his belly came Fire and Smoke; and his mouth was as the mouth of a Lion. When he was come up to _Christian_, he beheld him with a disdainful countenance, and thus began to question with him.
APOL. Whence come you? and whither are you bound?
CHR. I am come from the City of _Destruction_, which is the place of all evil, and am going to the City of _Zion_.
APOL. By this I perceive thou art one of my Subjects, for all that country is mine, and I am the Prince and God of it. How is it then that thou hast run away from the King? Were it not that I hope thou mayest do me more service, I would strike thee now at one blow to the ground.
CHR. I was born indeed in your dominions, but your service was hard, and your wages such as a man could not live on, _for the wages of sin is death_; therefore when I was come to years, I did as other considerate persons do, look out, if perhaps I might find something better.