Pilgrims Progress

Index Page

 

Sleep in the Daytime

So MISTRUST and TIMOROUS ran down the hill; and CHRISTIAN went on his way. But thinking again of what he heard from the men, he felt in his bosom for his roll, that he might read therein, and be comforted; but he felt, and found it not. Then was CHRISTIAN in great distress, and knew not what to do; for he wanted that which used to relieve him, and that which should have been his pass into the Celestial City. Here, therefore, he began to be much perplexed, and knew not what to do; at last he thought himself that he had slept in the arbour that is on the side of the hill: and falling down upon his knees, he asked God forgiveness for that his foolish act, and then went back to look for his roll. But all the way he went back, who can sufficiently set forth the sorrow of CHRISTIAN’S heart? sometimes he sighed; sometimes he wept; and often times he chided himself for being so foolish as to fall asleep in that place, which was erected only for a little refreshment from his weariness.

Thus therefore, he went back; carefully looking on this side and on that, all the way as he went, if happily he might find his roll, that had been his comfort so many times in his journey. He went thus till he came again within sight of the arbour where he sat and slept; but that sight renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again even afresh his evil of sleeping into his mind. Thus therefore, he now went on bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, "Oh, wretched man that I am, that I should sleep in the daytime! that I should sleep in the midst of difficulty! (1Th 5:7,8 Re 2:4,5); that I should so indulge the flesh, as to use that rest for ease to my flesh, which the Lord of the hill hath erected only for the relief of the spirits of pilgrims! How many steps have I taken in vain! (thus it happened to Israel; for their sin they were sent back again by the way of the Red Sea); and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful sleep. How far might I have been on my way by this time! I am made to tread those steps thrice over which I needed not to have trod but once: yea, now also I am like to be benighted, for the day is almost spent. Oh that I had not slept!"

Now by this time he was come to the arbour again, where for a while he sat down and wept; but at last (as CHRISTIAN would have it) looking sorrowfully down under the settle, there he spied his roll, the which he with trembling and haste caught up, and put into his bosom; but who can tell how joyful this man was when he had gotten his roll again! For this roll was the assurance of his life and acceptance at the desired haven. Therefore he laid it up in his bosom; gave thanks to God for directing his eye to the place where it lay; and with joy and tears betook himself again to his journey. But oh, how nimbly now did he go up the rest of the hill! Yet before he got up, the sun went down upon CHRISTIAN; and this made him again recall the vanity of his sleeping, and thus he again began to condole with himself: "Oh, thou sinful sleep! how for thy sake am I like to be benighted in my journey! I must walk without the sun; darkness must cover the path of my feet; and I must hear the noise of the doleful creatures—because of my sinful sleep!" Now also he remembered the story that MISTRUST and TIMOROUS told him of—how they were frightened with the sight of the lions. Then said CHRISTIAN to himself again, "These beasts range in the night for their prey; and if they should meet with me in the dark, how should I shift them? how should I escape being by them torn in pieces?" Thus he went on his way; but while he was thus bewailing his unhappy miscarriage, he lift up his eyes, and behold, there was a very stately palace before him, the name of which was "Beautiful," and it stood just by the highway side.