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Pilgrim's Progress

Chapter 6

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When they were almost out of this wilderness, Faithful chanced to glance back and espied one coming after him, and he knew him.



“Oh!” said Faithful, “who comes yonder?” Then Christian looked, and said, “It is my good friend Evangelist.” “Ay, and my good friend, too,” said Faithful; “for it was he that set me in the way to the gate.” Now was Evangelist come up unto them, and this saluted them:

EVANGELIST.   Peace be with you, dearly beloved.

CHRISTIAN.   Welcome, welcome, good Evangelist. To see you brings to my thought your former kindness and unwearied laboring for my eternal good.

FAITHFUL.   And a thousand times welcome! thy company, O Evangelist, how desirable is it to us poor pilgrims!

EVANGELIST.   How has it been with you, my friend, since our last parting? What have you met with, and how have you behaved yourselves?

Then Christian and Faithful told him of all things that had happened to them in the way; and how, and with what difficulty, they had arrived to that place.

EVANGELIST.   Right glad am I, not that you met with trials, but that you have been victors, and that you have continued in the way to this very day.

The crown is before you, and it is an incorruptible one: so run that you may obtain it. Some there be that set out for this crown and, after they have gone far for it, another comes in and takes it from them. “Hold fast, therefore, that you have; let no man take your crown.”

Now, as you see, you are almost out of this wilderness. You will soon come into a town where you will be beset by enemies, who will try hard to kill you; one or both of you must seal the truth which you hold with blood. But be you faithful unto death, and the King will give you a crown or life.



Then I saw in my dreams, that, when they were out of the wilderness, they presently saw a town before them, and the name of that town is Vanity; and at the town there is a fair kept, called Vanity Fair. It is kept all the year long. It bears the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where it is kept is lighter that vanity, and also because all that is sold there, or that comes there, is vanity; as is the saying of the Wise, “All that cometh is vanity.”

This is no newly begun business, but a thing of ancient standing. I will show you the original of it.

Almost five thousand years ago, there were pilgrims walking to the Celestial city, as these as these two honest persons are; and Beelzebub, Apollyon, and Legion, with their companions seeing that the path of the pilgrims lay through this town of Vanity, set up a fair; a fair where they would see all sorts of vanity, and it should last all the year long. Therefore at this fair are all such things sold as houses, lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures, and delights of all sorts, as wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not.

At this fair there are at all times to be seen jugglings, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, and rogues, and that of every kind.

Also, there are several rows and streets under their proper names, where such and such wares are sold, such as Britain Row, the French Row, the Italian row, the Spanish Row, the German Row, where several sorts of vanities are to be sold. Also the wares of Rome are greatly promoted in this fair.

Now, as I said, the way to the Celestial city lies through the town where this lusty fair is kept. Even the Prince of princes Himself, when here, went through this town to his own country, and that upon a fair day too. It was Beelzebub, the chief lord of this fair, that invited Him to buy of his vanities; Beelzebub would have made Him lord of the fair, had He but have done him reverence. Because He was such a person of honor, Beelzebub led Him from street to street, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a little time, that he might, if possible, allure that Blessed One to ask for and buy some of his vanities; but He gave no mind to the merchandise.

Now, Christian and Faithful, as I said, must needs go through this fair. Well, so they did; but as they entered into the fair, all the people were moved and the town itself, as it were, in a hubbub about them, and that for several reasons; for their garments were very different from the kind sold at the fair; their speech was also strange since they spoke the language of Canaan. But, most of all the pilgrims took no interest in the goods offered for sale. They would not even look at them, and when called upon to buy, they would put their fingers in their ears, and cry, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity,” and look upward, signifying that their trade and traffic were in heaven.

One trader mockingly said unto them, “What will you buy?” But they, looking gravely upon him, said, “We buy the truth.” At that the pilgrims were taunted and mocked and some even threatened to strike them.

At last things came to a hubbub and great stir in the fair, insomuch that all order was gone. Word was sent to the great one of the fair, who quickly came down, and ordered his most trusty friends to take these men for trial, because the fair was almost overturned.



So they were brought to trial, and asked whence they came, whither they went, and what they did there in such unusual garb. The men told them that they were pilgrims and going to their own country, which was the heavenly Jerusalem. That they had given no occasion to the men of the town, nor to the merchants, to abuse them and hinder them in their journey, except when one asked them what they would buy, they said they would buy the truth.

But they that examined them believed them to be crazy people and mad, or else such as came to put all things into a confusion in the fair. Therefore they took them and beat them, and besmeared them with dirt, and then put them into a cage, that they might be made a spectacle to all the men of the fair.

There they lay for some time, and were made the objects of any man’s sport, or malice, or revenge; the great one of the fair laughing still at all that befell them. But the pilgrims were patient and returned good words for bad, until some men in the fair that were more observing and less opposed than the rest, began to blame the more cruel sort for their continual abuses to the men. And so, after angry words had passed on both sides (the pilgrims behaving themselves all the while very wisely and soberly before them) they fell to some blows, and did harm to one another.



Then the pilgrims were brought before the court again, and charged with being guilty of the late hubbub that had  been in the fair. So they beat them pitifully, clamped irons on them, and led them in chains up and down the fair, for an example and terror to others, lest any should speak in their behalf, or join themselves unto them. But Christian and Faithful behaved themselves yet more wisely, and received the wrongs and shame that were cast upon them with so much meekness and patience, that it won to their side (though but few in comparison with the rest) several of the men in the fair. This put the other party in a greater rage, so that they resolved upon the death of these two men. So they put them in the cage again and made their feet fast in the stocks.

The pilgrims then remembered what their friend Evangelist had said, and comforted each other, committing themselves to Him that ruleth all things. So, with much content, they abode in this condition until otherwise disposed of.



After a while they were brought before their enemies, and place on trial. The judge’s name was Lord Hategood. The charges against both were the same in substance, though somewhat varying in form; the contents whereof were: “That they were disturbers of their trade; that they had made riots and divisions in the town, and had won a party to their own most dangerous opinions, in contempt of the law of their prince.”

The Faithful said that he had opposed those only who were against Him who is higher than the highest. “As for disturbances,” said he, “I make none, being a man of peace. The parties that were won to us were won by beholding our truth and innocence, and they are only turned from worse to better. As to the king you talk of, since he is Beelzebub, the enemy of our Lord, I defy him and all his angels.”

Then it was ordered that all who had anything to say for the lord the king against the prisoner at the bar should appear and give their evidence. So there came in three witnesses: Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank.. they were then asked if they knew the prisoner at the bar, and what they had to say for their lord the king against him.

Then stood forth Envy, and said, “My lord, I have known this man a long time and, notwithstanding his name, Faithful, he is one of the vilest men in our country. He cares for neither prince nor people, law nor custom, but does all that he can to win men to certain of his disloyal notions, which he calls principles of faith and holiness. And I heard him once affirm that Christianity and the customs of our town of Vanity were opposite, and could not be reconciled. By which saying, my lord, he at once condemned not only all our laudable doings, but also us in the doing of them.”

Then they called Superstition and asked what he could say for their lord the king against the prisoner. So he began:

SUPERSTITION.   My lord, I have no great acquaintance with this man, nor do I desire to have. However, I know that he is a very pestilent fellow. I heard him say that our religion was such that it could by no means please God. Which saying of his, my lord, means that we worship in vain and finally shall be damned.

Then Pickthank was told to say what he knew against the prisoner at the bar.

PICKTHANK.   My lord, this fellow I have known a long time, and have heard him rail on our noble prince Beelzebub, and speak contemptuously of his honorable friends, whose names are, the Lord Old-man, the Lord Carnal-Delight, the Lord Luxurious, the Lord Desire-of-Vain-Glory, my old Lord Lust, Sir Having Greedy, with all the rest of our nobility.

Besides, he has not been afraid to rail on you, my lord, who are now appointed to be his judge, calling you an ungodly villain, with many other abusive terms.

JUDGE.   When Pickthank had told his tale, the judge said to the prisoner a the bar, “Runagate, heretic, and traitor! Have you heard what these honest gentlemen have said?”

FAITHFUL.   May I speak a few words in my own defense?

JUDGE.   Sir, you deserve to live no longer, but to be slain immediately; yet, that all men may see our gentleness toward you, let us hear what you, vile runagate, have to say.

FAITHFUL.   I say, then, in answer to what Mr. Envy said, I only said this: that what rule, or laws, or customs, or people were flat against the Word of God, are opposite to Christianity. If I am wrong in this, convince me of my error, and I am ready to take back my words.

As to Mr. Superstition and his charge against me, I said only this: that in the worship of God there is required true faith. But there can be no true faith without a knowledge of the will of God. Therefore, whatever is thrust into the worship of god that is not agreeable to the Word of God will not profit to eternal life.

As to Mr. Pickthank, I say that the prince of this town, with all his attendants, by this gentleman named, are more fit for hell than for this town and country. And so the Lord have mercy upon me!

Then the judge said to the jury (who all this while stood by to hear and observe), “Gentlemen of the jury, you see this man about whom this great uproar has been made; you have also heard what these worthy gentlemen have witnessed against him; also you have heard his reply and confession. It is now in your power to hang him or to save his life. But I must instruct you in our law.

There was an act made in the days of Pharaoh, the great servant to our prince, that, to prevent those of a contrary religion from growing too strong for him, their children should be thrown into the river. There was also an act made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, another of his servants, that whoever would not fall down and worship his golden image should be thrown into a fiery furnace. There was also an act made in the days of Darius, that whoso for some time called upon any god but him should be cast into the lions’ den. Now, the substance of these laws this rebel has broken, not only in thought, but also in word and deed, and for the reason that he hath confessed he deserveth to die the death.

Then went the jury out, whose names were Mr. Blind-man, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Heady, Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, and Mr. Implacable; every one spoke privately against him among themselves, and afterwards unanimously concluded to bring him in guilty before the judge. 



And so they did: therefore he was presently condemned to be put to the most cruel death that could be invented.

They brought him out, to do with him according to their law; and first they scourged him, then they stoned him, and cut him with their swords, and, last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake. Thus came Faithful to his end.

Now, I saw that there stood behind the multitude a chariot and horses waiting for Faithful, who (when his enemies had slain him) was taken up into it, and carried through the clouds with sound of trumpet to the Celestial Gate.

But as for Christian, he had some rest, and was sent back to prison. But He who overrules all things, having the power of their rage in His own hand, so brought it about that Christian escaped them, and went his way. And as he went, he sang, saying:


“Well, Faithful, thou hast faithfully professed

Unto thy Lord, with whom thou shalt be blest,

When faithless ones, with all their vain delights,

Are crying out under their hellish plights.

Sing, Faithful, sing, and let thy name survive;

For though they killed thee, thou are yet alive.”




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