The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan - ebook
Kategoria: Religia i duchowość Język: angielski Rok wydania: 1678

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The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.

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The difficulty will not me offend; For I perceive the way to life lies here. Come, pluck up heart, let's neither faint nor fear; Better, though difficult, the right way to go, Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe."
"Shall they who wrong begin yet rightly end? Shall they at all have safety for their friend? No, no; in headstrong manner they set out, And headlong will they fall at last no doubt." {
The pilgrims now, to gratify the flesh, Will seek its ease; but oh! how they afresh Do thereby plunge themselves new griefs into! Who seek to please the flesh, themselves undo.  

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The Pilgrim's Progress


About Bunyan:

John Bunyan (28 November 1628 – 31 August 1688) was an English Christian writer and preacher, famous for writing The Pilgrim's Progress. In the Church of England, he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August. Bunyan was born in Harrowden (one mile southeast of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He was baptized John Bunyan, on November 30, 1628 as recorded in the Elstow parish register. The family has a long history in England and the name has been found spelled over thirty-four different ways: Binyan, Buniun, Bonyon, Buignon, being the most common - Bunyan being the most recent. John Bunyan was born to Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bently; she was also from Elstow and she, like her husband, was born in 1603. They married on May 27, 1627 and in 1628 Margaret's sister, Rose Bently, married Thomas' half-brother Edward Bunyan. (Thomas had married his first wife in 1623 and like his father before him, would marry two more times within months of being widowed.) They were working-class people with Thomas earning a living as a tinker or brazier; one who mends kettles and pots. Bunyan wrote of his modest origins, "My descent was of a low and inconsiderable generation, my father's house being of that rank that is meanest and most despised of all the families of the land". He had very little schooling (about 2–4 years). He was educated at his father's house with other poor country boys and what little education he received was to benefit his father and his own future trade. He followed his father in the Tarish Tinker's trade, which at the time had a reputation as being a lowly sort of occupation and was associated historically with the nomadic lifestyle of gypsies. In 1644, at the age of sixteen, Bunyan lost his mother and two sisters, all who died within months of each other; and his father married for the third time. It may have been the arrival of his stepmother that precipitated his estrangement and subsequent enlistment in the parliamentary army. He served in the parliamentary army at Newport Pagnell garrison (1644-1647) as the civil war was nearing the end of the first stage. He was saved from death by a fellow soldier who volunteered to go into battle in his place and was killed while walking sentry duty[1]. After the civil war was won by The Parliamentarians, Bunyan returned to his former trade and eventually found a wife. In 1649 (when he was about 21), he married a young woman, Mary, whose only dowry appears to have been two books, Arthur Dent's Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and Lewis Bayly's Practice of Piety, by which he was influenced towards a religious life. She was an orphan, her father leaving only those two books as her inheritance, and their life was modest to say the least. Bunyan writes that they were "as poor as poor might be", not even "a dish or spoon between them". In his autobiographical book, Grace Abounding, Bunyan describes himself as having led an abandoned life in his youth, and as having been morally reprehensible as a result. However, there appears to be no evidence that he was outwardly worse than the average of his neighbours. Examples of sins to which he confesses in Grace Abounding are profanity, dancing and bell-ringing. The increasing awareness of his un-Biblical life led him to contemplate acts of impiety and profanity; in particular, he was harassed by a curiosity in regard to the "unpardonable sin," and a prepossession that he had already committed it. He was known as an adept linguist as far as profanity was concerned, even the most proficient swearers were known to remark that Bunyan was "the ungodliest fellow for swearing they ever heard". While playing a game, Tip-cat, in the village square, Bunyan claimed to have heard a voice that asked: "Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven or have thy sins and go to hell?" He believed it was the voice of God chastising his indulgent ways, as Puritans held sacred the Sabbath day and permitted no sport. His spirituality was born from this experience and he struggled both with his sense of guilt and self-doubt and his belief in the Bible's promise of Christian damnation and salvation. As he struggled with his newfound faith, Bunyan became increasingly despondent and fell into mental as well as physical turmoil. During this time of conflict, Bunyan began a four year long discussion and spiritual journey with a few poor women of Bedford who belonged to a nonconformist sect which worshiped in St. John's Church. He increasingly identified himself with St. Paul, who had characterized himself as "the chief of sinners", and believed he was one of the spiritual elite, chosen by God. As a result of these experiences, he was received into the Congregational church in Bedford in 1653. On joining the Bedford Church, he began to follow the teachings of its Pastor, John Gifford. While it is commonly asserted by modern Baptists that John Bunyan was one of them, and was re-baptized (dipped) as an adult, there is no original historical record of the event or of either Gifford or Bunyan re-baptizing anyone in the church records or in Bunyan's own extensive and well known writings. John Bunyan was open to all who had biblical faith in Jesus Christ, and was opposed to those who caused divisions over the form and time of baptism. The first recorded assertion that Bunyan was a Baptist appears to come much later as repeated by a Dr. Armitage in 1887 from an anonymous source supposedly around 1690, after John's death. There remain church records of the infant baptisms of John himself in 1628, and of his infant children: Mary in 1650, Elizabeth in 1654, and Joseph in 1672. Bunyan again claimed to have heard voices and have visions similar to St. Theresa's and William Blake's religious experiences. While still in Elstow, Mary gave birth to a blind daughter, also named Mary, and a second daughter, Elizabeth, shortly followed by two more children, John and Thomas. In 1655, after moving his family to Bedford, both Bunyan's wife and his mentor, John Gifford, died. He was immersed in grief and his health declined, though the same year he became a deacon of St. Paul's Church, Bedford and began preaching, with marked success from the start. Bunyan fiercely disagreed with the teachings of the Quakers and took part in written debates during the years 1656-1657 with some of its leaders. First, Bunyan published Some Gospel Truths Opened in which he attacked Quaker beliefs. The Quaker Edward Burrough responded with The True Faith of the Gospel of Peace. Bunyan countered Burrough's pamphlet with A Vindication of Some Gospel Truths Opened, which Burrough answered with Truth (the Strongest of All) Witnessed Forth. Later, the Quaker leader George Fox entered the verbal fray by publishing a refutation of Bunyan's essay in his The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded. The Bedford Congregationalists were moderate in their views; they were considered more liberal on issues of church government than the Presbyterians and more conservative on church tenets than supposed antinomian sects, such as the Quakers. He attacked the Quakers for their reliance on their own "inner light" rather than the literal word of the Bible. The Puritans were diligent biographers of their own lives in relation to their faith and they sought clues religious meaning in their lives and literature. Bunyan writes to his readers in the conclusion of the first part of The Pilgrim's Progress: Now reader, I have told my dream to thee, See if thou canst interpret it to me, Or to thyself or neighbour: but take heed Of misinterpreting; for that instead Of doing good, will but thyself abuse: By misinterpreting evil ensues. His affinity for the oral tradition and his voracious reading lead to his work being primarily influenced by sermons, homilies in dialog form, folk tales, books of emblems and allegories. "Most of the didactic works of Bunyan's era have vanished into oblivion. His allegory's power derives from the imaginative force with which he brings didactic themes to life and the wonderfully living prose in which he dramatizes the conflicts of the spirit".

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THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

From This World To That Which Is To Come

 

by

John Bunyan

 

DELIVERED UNDER THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM BY JOHN BUNYAN


The Author's Apology for his Book

 

{1} When at the first I took my pen in hand
Thus for to write, I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode; nay, I had undertook
To make another; which, when almost done,
Before I was aware, I this begun.

And thus it was: I, writing of the way
And race of saints, in this our gospel day,
Fell suddenly into an allegory
About their journey, and the way to glory,
In more than twenty things which I set down.
This done, I twenty more had in my crown;
And they again began to multiply,
Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.

Nay, then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,
I'll put you by yourselves, lest you at last
Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out
The book that I already am about.

Well, so I did; but yet I did not think
To shew to all the world my pen and ink
In such a mode; I only thought to make
I knew not what; nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my neighbour: no, not I;
I did it my own self to gratify.

{2} Neither did I but vacant seasons spend
In this my scribble; nor did I intend
But to divert myself in doing this
From worser thoughts which make me do amiss.

Thus, I set pen to paper with delight,
And quickly had my thoughts in black and white.
For, having now my method by the end,
Still as I pulled, it came; and so I penned
It down: until it came at last to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.

Well, when I had thus put mine ends together,
I shewed them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justify:
And some said, Let them live; some, Let them die;
Some said, JOHN, print it; others said, Not so;
Some said, It might do good; others said, No.

Now was I in a strait, and did not see
Which was the best thing to be done by me:
At last I thought, Since you are thus divided,
I print it will, and so the case decided.

{3} For, thought I, some, I see, would have it done,
Though others in that channel do not run:
To prove, then, who advised for the best,
Thus I thought fit to put it to the test.

I further thought, if now I did deny
Those that would have it, thus to gratify.
I did not know but hinder them I might
Of that which would to them be great delight.

For those which were not for its coming forth,
I said to them, Offend you I am loth,
Yet, since your brethren pleased with it be,
Forbear to judge till you do further see.

If that thou wilt not read, let it alone;
Some love the meat, some love to pick the bone.
Yea, that I might them better palliate,
I did too with them thus expostulate:—

{4} May I not write in such a style as this?
In such a method, too, and yet not miss
My end—thy good? Why may it not be done?
Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none.
Yea, dark or bright, if they their silver drops
Cause to descend, the earth, by yielding crops,
Gives praise to both, and carpeth not at either,
But treasures up the fruit they yield together;
Yea, so commixes both, that in her fruit
None can distinguish this from that: they suit
Her well when hungry; but, if she be full,
She spews out both, and makes their blessings null.

You see the ways the fisherman doth take
To catch the fish; what engines doth he make?
Behold how he engageth all his wits;
Also his snares, lines, angles, hooks, and nets;
Yet fish there be, that neither hook, nor line,
Nor snare, nor net, nor engine can make thine:
They must be groped for, and be tickled too,
Or they will not be catch'd, whate'er you do.

How does the fowler seek to catch his game
By divers means! all which one cannot name:
His guns, his nets, his lime-twigs, light, and bell:
He creeps, he goes, he stands; yea, who can tell
Of all his postures? Yet there's none of these
Will make him master of what fowls he please.
Yea, he must pipe and whistle to catch this,
Yet, if he does so, that bird he will miss.

If that a pearl may in a toad's head dwell,
And may be found too in an oyster-shell;
If things that promise nothing do contain
What better is than gold; who will disdain,
That have an inkling of it, there to look,
That they may find it? Now, my little book,
(Though void of all these paintings that may make
It with this or the other man to take)
Is not without those things that do excel
What do in brave but empty notions dwell.

{5} 'Well, yet I am not fully satisfied,
That this your book will stand, when soundly tried.'
Why, what's the matter? 'It is dark.' What though?
'But it is feigned.' What of that? I trow?
Some men, by feigned words, as dark as mine,
Make truth to spangle and its rays to shine.

'But they want solidness.' Speak, man, thy mind.
'They drown the weak; metaphors make us blind.'

Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
Of him that writeth things divine to men;
But must I needs want solidness, because
By metaphors I speak? Were not God's laws,
His gospel laws, in olden times held forth
By types, shadows, and metaphors? Yet loth
Will any sober man be to find fault
With them, lest he be found for to assault
The highest wisdom. No, he rather stoops,
And seeks to find out what by pins and loops,
By calves and sheep, by heifers and by rams,
By birds and herbs, and by the blood of lambs,
God speaketh to him; and happy is he
That finds the light and grace that in them be.

{6} Be not too forward, therefore, to conclude
That I want solidness—that I am rude;
All things solid in show not solid be;
All things in parables despise not we;
Lest things most hurtful lightly we receive,
And things that good are, of our souls bereave.

My dark and cloudy words, they do but hold
The truth, as cabinets enclose the gold.

The prophets used much by metaphors
To set forth truth; yea, who so considers Christ,
his apostles too, shall plainly see,
That truths to this day in such mantles be.

Am I afraid to say, that holy writ,
Which for its style and phrase puts down all wit,
Is everywhere so full of all these things—
Dark figures, allegories? Yet there springs
From that same book that lustre, and those rays
Of light, that turn our darkest nights to days.

{7} Come, let my carper to his life now look,
And find there darker lines than in my book
He findeth any; yea, and let him know,
That in his best things there are worse lines too.

May we but stand before impartial men,
To his poor one I dare adventure ten,
That they will take my meaning in these lines
Far better than his lies in silver shrines.
Come, truth, although in swaddling clouts, I find,
Informs the judgement, rectifies the mind;
Pleases the understanding, makes the will
Submit; the memory too it doth fill
With what doth our imaginations please;
Likewise it tends our troubles to appease.

Sound words, I know, Timothy is to use,
And old wives' fables he is to refuse;
But yet grave Paul him nowhere did forbid
The use of parables; in which lay hid
That gold, those pearls, and precious stones that were
Worth digging for, and that with greatest care.

Let me add one word more. O man of God,
Art thou offended? Dost thou wish I had
Put forth my matter in another dress?
Or, that I had in things been more express?
Three things let me propound; then I submit
To those that are my betters, as is fit.

{8} 1. I find not that I am denied the use
Of this my method, so I no abuse
Put on the words, things, readers; or be rude
In handling figure or similitude,
In application; but, all that I may,
Seek the advance of truth this or that way
Denied, did I say? Nay, I have leave
(Example too, and that from them that have
God better pleased, by their words or ways,
Than any man that breatheth now-a-days)
Thus to express my mind, thus to declare
Things unto thee that excellentest are.

2. I find that men (as high as trees) will write
Dialogue-wise; yet no man doth them slight
For writing so: indeed, if they abuse
Truth, cursed be they, and the craft they use
To that intent; but yet let truth be free
To make her sallies upon thee and me,
Which way it pleases God; for who knows how,
Better than he that taught us first to plough,
To guide our mind and pens for his design?
And he makes base things usher in divine.

3. I find that holy writ in many places
Hath semblance with this method, where the cases
Do call for one thing, to set forth another;
Use it I may, then, and yet nothing smother
Truth's golden beams: nay, by this method may
Make it cast forth its rays as light as day.
And now before I do put up my pen,
I'll shew the profit of my book, and then
Commit both thee and it unto that Hand
That pulls the strong down, and makes weak ones stand.

This book it chalketh out before thine eyes
The man that seeks the everlasting prize;
It shews you whence he comes, whither he goes;
What he leaves undone, also what he does;
It also shows you how he runs and runs,
Till he unto the gate of glory comes.

{9} It shows, too, who set out for life amain,
As if the lasting crown they would obtain;
Here also you may see the reason why
They lose their labour, and like fools do die.

This book will make a traveller of thee,
If by its counsel thou wilt ruled be;
It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
If thou wilt its directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Art thou for something rare and profitable?
Wouldest thou see a truth within a fable?
Art thou forgetful? Wouldest thou remember
From New-Year's day to the last of December?
Then read my fancies; they will stick like burs,
And may be, to the helpless, comforters.

This book is writ in such a dialect
As may the minds of listless men affect:
It seems a novelty, and yet contains
Nothing but sound and honest gospel strains.
Wouldst thou divert thyself from melancholy?
Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Wouldst thou read riddles, and their explanation?
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or wouldst thou see
A man in the clouds, and hear him speak to thee?
Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep?
Wouldest thou lose thyself and catch no harm,
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read thou knowest not what,
And yet know whether thou art blest or not,

By reading the same lines? Oh, then come hither,
And lay my book, thy head, and heart together.

 

JOHN BUNYAN.