Summary: Introduction - Christian in Trouble
The Pilgrim's Progress
by John Bunyan
Moody Bible Institute, Chicago: With the exception of the Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress has been read by more people than any other book in the English Language. It was written in 1675 while John Bunyan was in Jail for his faith in Christ. It is a fascinating allegory, true, and experienced by genuine Christians, with a searching portrayal of human life and character, with marvelous revelations of God, eternal truth and the way of salvation.
Introduction – Christian in trouble
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I came upon a certain place where there was a den, and I laid down in that place to sleep. As I slept, I dreamed I saw a man clothed with rags standing in a certain place, with his face turned away from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I saw him open the book, and read; and as he read, he wept and trembled;
Psalm 38:4 My sins have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
And, not being able any longer to contain himself, he broke out with a mournful cry, saying, "What shall I do?"
In this condition he went home, and restrained himself as long as he could, so that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because his trouble increased: So at length he opened his mind to his wife and children; and he began to talk to them: "O my dear wife," he said, "and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone, because of a burden that lies hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed, that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; And in that fearful overthrow, both myself, with you, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin; unless some way of escape (which I do not yet see) can be found, by which we may be delivered." At this his relations were greatly amazed; not that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some crazy distemper had gotten into his head. So, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; therefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears.
So, when the morning had come, they asked how he was: he told them, "Worse and worse." He also started talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also thought they could drive away his distemper by harsh and surly conduct toward him: sometimes they would deride him; sometimes they would chide him; and sometimes they would quite neglect him. So he began to retire to his chamber, to pray for then and pity them, and also to grieve over his own misery. He would also walk alone in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; and so for some days he spent his time.
Evangelist Provides Direction
Now I saw, when he was walking in the fields one time, that he was (as he usually did) reading in his book, and being greatly distressed in his mind as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, "What must I do to be saved?"
"And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 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. Then I looked and saw a man named EVANGELIST coming to him, and he asked, "Why are you crying?" He answered, "Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to Judgment;
"And as it is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27
and I find that I am not willing to do the first,
"His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; They are brought low, and he does not perceive it. But his flesh will be in pain over it, And his soul will mourn over it." Job 14:21, 22
nor able to do the second."
"Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and will do it." Ezekial 22:14