Pilgrims Progress

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Evangelist Provides Direction

Now I saw, upon a time when he was walking in the fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and, as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, "What must I do to be saved?" (Ac 16:30,31)

I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because (as I perceived) he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named EVANGELIST coming to him, and asked, "Wherefore dost thou cry?" He answered, "Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to Judgment (Heb 9:27); and I find that I am not willing to do the first (Job 14:21,22), nor able to do the second" (Eze 22:14).

Evangelist. Then said EVANGELIST, "Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?" The man answered, "Because I fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet (Isa 30:33). And, sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to Judgment, and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry."

Then said EVANGELIST, "If this be your condition, why are you standing still?" He answered, "Because I know not where to go." Then he gave him a parchment roll; and there was written within, "Flee from the wrath to come!" (Mt 3:7).

The man, therefore, read it; and looking upon EVANGELIST very carefully, said, "Whither must I fly?" Then said EVANGELIST, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, "Do you see yonder wicket gate?" (Mt 7:14) The man said, "No." Then said the other, "Do you see yonder shining light?" (Ps 119:105 2Pe 1:19) He said, "I think I do." Then said EVANGELIST, "Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly there; you will see the gate; at which, when you knock, it shall be told thee what thou shall do."

So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children perceiving it, began to cry after him to return (Lu 14:26); but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, "Life! life! Eternal life!" So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain (Ge 19:17).