Edited for ease of reading and accompanied by 30 full-page illustrations, this deluxe edition of John Bunyan's Christian allegory makes the original story come to life. Journey once again with Christian to the Celestial City.
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About the Author
John Bunyan(1628–1688) was a Reformed Baptist preacher in the Church of England. He is most famous for his celebrated Pilgrim's Progress, which he penned in prison. Bunyan was author of nearly sixty other books and tracts, including The Holy Warand Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.
C. J. Lovik graduated from Westmont College California with a degree in Education and Communication and taught elementary school in Southern California. After teaching for many years, he started a manufacturing business and developed an online family-friendly Internet search engine. The Pilgrim's Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come is Lovik's first book.
Mike Wimmeris an award-winning illustrator of many children’s books, including Robert Burleigh’sOne Giant LeapandStealing Home.
Read an Excerpt
Pilgrim's Great Distress
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I came to a certain place where there was a cave; and I lay down in that place to sleep. As I slept, I dreamed a dream, and in this dream I saw a man clothed in rags, standing in a place with his face turned away from his own house. He had a book in his hand and a heavy burden upon his back.
I looked and saw him open the book and begin to read; and as he read, he wept and trembled. Not being able to contain himself, he cried out in a loud voice, "What shall I do?"
In this condition he went home and tried to keep to himself for as long as he could, so that his wife and children would not see him in distress. But after a short time his anguish had increased so much that he could not remain silent. So he began to share with his wife and children what was on his troubled mind; and this is what he told them:
"Dear wife and children, I am greatly troubled by this burden that torments me and grows and weighs so heavily upon me. Moreover, I have received information that the city in which we live will be burned with fire from Heaven. When this happens, all of us will be destroyed, unless (by a way I do not as yet see) some way of escape can be found, so that we may be delivered."
Hearing this, his family was greatly amazed, not because they believed what he said to them was true, but because they thought that he was losing his mind. So as the evening approached, hoping that sleep might settle his mind, they quickly put him to bed.
But the night was as troublesome to him as the day. Instead of sleeping, he spent the night in sighs and tears. So when morning came, his family came to find out how he was doing. "Worse and worse," he told them. He started speaking to them again about his fears and concerns, but they became cold toward him. They tried to change his outlook by treating him rudely. Sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and other times they would just ignore him.
So he began retiring to his private room to pray for them and to pity them, and also to try to find consolation for his own misery. He would often walk alone in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; and for a long time this is how he spent his days.
Then one day I saw the man walking in the fields (which he often did), reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind. As he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, "What shall I do to be saved?" I noticed that he looked this way and then that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because he could not decide which way to go. Just then I looked and saw someone named Evangelist coming toward him. Evangelist came up to the man and asked, "Why are you crying out?"
He answered, "Sir, I understand from reading the book in my hand that I am condemned to die and after that to come to judgment. I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second."
Then Evangelist asked, "Why are you not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?"
The man answered, "Because I am afraid that this burden that is on my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Hell.
"And, sir," continued the man, "if I am not ready to die, then I am not prepared to go to judgment and from there to execution. Thinking about these things distresses me greatly."
Then Evangelist said, "If this is your condition, why are you standing still?"
The man responded, "Because I do not know where to go."
Then Evangelist gave him a parchment and unrolled it so that the man could read, "Flee from the wrath to come." When he had read it, the man looked at Evangelist very carefully and said, "Which way should I run?"
Then Evangelist, pointing with his finger to a very wide field asked, "Do you see the distant narrow gate?"
"No," the man replied.
Then Evangelist asked, "Do you see the distant shining light?"
"I think I do," the man answered.
Then Evangelist said, "Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly toward it, and soon you will see the narrow gate. And when you finally come to the gate, knock and you will be told what to do."
So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. He had not run very far from his home when his wife and children, realizing what was happening, cried after him to return. But the man put his fingers in his ears and ran on crying, "Life! Life! Eternal life!" So without looking back, he fled toward the middle of the valley.
The neighbors also came out to see what was going on, and when they saw who it was that was running, some mocked him, others yelled out threats, and some cried after the man to return. Among those were two who decided to bring him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate, and the name of the other was Pliable.
Now by this time the man was a good distance away. But Obstinate and Pliable were determined to pursue him, which they did. Soon they caught up with him, and he asked them, "Why have you run after me?" The neighbors answered, "To persuade you to go back with us."
"But that is not possible," the man replied. "You live in the City of Destruction, the place where I was born; and I believe that if you stay in that city you will die sooner or later, and then you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns with fire and brimstone. Please consider, good neighbors, coming along with me."
"What!" said Obstinate. "And leave our friends and comforts behind us?"
"Yes," said the fleeing man Christian (for that was his name), "because all that you leave behind is not worthy to be compared with even a little of what I am seeking to enjoy. And if you will come along with me and not give up, we will both be blessed with treasure to spare, beyond anything we can imagine. Come along with me and see if what I am telling you is not true."
"What are you looking for?" Obstinate replied. "What is so valuable that you would turn your back on all the world to find it?"
"I am looking," Christian explained, "for an 'inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven.' It is kept safe there to be given at the appointed time to those who diligently seek it. You can read about it in my book."
"Nonsense!" said Obstinate. "Away with your book. Will you come back with us or not?"
"No!" said Christian. "I have laid my hand to the plow and cannot look back. I have started this journey, and I must finish it."
"Come on, Pliable," Obstinate urged his companion. "Let's turn around and go home without him. There is a group of these mixed-up lunatics who get a crazy idea in their head and are wiser in their own eyes than seven men who can render a reason."
Then Pliable said, "Don't be so harsh. If what the good Christian says is true, the things he is looking for are better than anything we have. I feel like I should go along with my neighbor."
"What! More fools still?" Obstinate replied. "Do what I say, and go back. Who knows where this lunatic will lead you? Go back; go back and be wise."
"Don't listen to him," Christian urged. "Come with me, Pliable. There are things to be gained such as I was telling you about, and many more glories besides. If you don't believe me, read about it in this book; and as far as the trustworthiness of this book goes, it is all confirmed by the blood of Him who made it." "Well, neighbor Obstinate," said Pliable, "I have come to a decision. I have decided to go along with Christian and to cast in my lot with him." Pliable thought for a second and then turned to Christian and asked, "But do you know the way to the desired place?"
"I was given directions by a man whose name is Evangelist," Christian said. "He told me to go as quickly as I could to the little gate that is just up ahead, and once there we will receive instructions about the way before us."
"Come then, good neighbor," Pliable replied. "Let's be going." Then they went on together.
"And I will go back to my home," said Obstinate. "I will not be a companion of such misled fanatical fellows."
Now I saw in my dream, after Obstinate returned to the City of Destruction, that Christian and Pliable began to talk as they walked together through the middle of the valley. Thus they began to converse.
"I am glad," Christian said, "that you were persuaded to come along with me. I am surprised that Obstinate returned so quickly to the City of Destruction. I think if he had felt the power and terror of the unseen, as I have, he would have been persuaded to come along with us."
"Come, neighbor Christian, since it is just the two of us, tell me more about the wonderful things that await us when we arrive at the place to which we are going."
"I can better conceive of them with my mind," Christian explained, "than talk about them. But since you are interested, I will read about them from my book."
"And do you think that the words of your book are true?" Pliable asked.
"Yes, very sure, for the words were written by the One who cannot lie," Christian replied.
"Well said; please tell me about the things that await us." "There is an endless Kingdom to be inhabited and everlasting life to be given to us so that we may live in that Kingdom forever," Christian explained. "Well said. What else?" Pliable asked.
"We will be given crowns of glory and clothing that will make us shine like the sun!"
"This sounds very pleasant. What else?"
"There shall neither be crying nor sorrow, for He who is owner of the place will wipe all tears from our eyes." "And what company shall we have there?" Pliable asked.
"We will be with seraphim and cherubim and creatures who will dazzle your eyes when you look at them. You will meet with thousands who have gone before us to that place. None of them are hurtful, but all of them are loving and holy, every one walking in the sight of God and standing in His presence with acceptance forever. In a word, there we will see the elders with their golden crowns. There we will see the holy virgins with their golden harps. There we will see men who were cut in pieces by the world, burnt in flames, eaten by beasts, drowned in the seas, suffering all this and more for the love they have for the Lord of the place. Everyone in that place is clothed with immortality, as with a robe."
"Hearing about this is enough to excite my heart," Pliable replied. "But are these things to be enjoyed by anyone? What do we have to do to share in all these things?"
"The Lord," Christian replied, "the governor of the country, has recorded in this book that if we are truly willing to have it, He will give it to us freely."
"Well, my good companion, I am glad to hear about these things. Come, let's hasten our pace," Pliable replied.
"I cannot go as fast as I would like because of this burden that is on my back."
Now I saw in my dream, just as they had finished talking, that they came near to a very miry swamp that was in the middle of the valley. Then suddenly both Christian and Pliable, who were not paying attention to where they were walking, fell into the swamp. The name of the swamp was Despond. They wallowed there until they were both completely covered with mud. Christian, weighed down by the burden on his back, began to sink.
Then Pliable said, "Ah, neighbor Christian, where are you now?"
"Honestly," said Christian, "I don't know."
Christian's answer offended Pliable, who angrily said to Christian, "Is this the happiness you have been telling me about all the time we have been together? If we have this much difficulty at the beginning of our journey, what may we expect between now and the end of our journey? If I get out of this swamp alive, you can have the brave country that you're so fond of talking about without me." And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two and got out of the mire on the side of the swamp that was nearest to the City of Destruction. So away he went, and Christian never saw him again.
Christian was left to struggle in the Swamp of Despond alone. In spite of the difficulty, Christian still tried to get to the side of the swamp that was the furthest from the City of Destruction and nearest the narrow gate. He finally reached the edge of the swamp, but he could not, no matter how hard he tried, lift himself out of the swamp because of the heavy burden that was on his back. Just then I saw in my dream that a man whose name was Help came to him and asked, "What are you doing here?"
"Sir," said Christian, "I was told to go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to the narrow gate so that I would escape the wrath to come. And as I was going there, I fell in here."
"But why didn't you look for the steps?" Help asked.
"I was so frightened that I stepped the wrong way and fell into the swamp."
Then Help said, "Give me your hand." So Christian gave him his hand, and he pulled him out, set him on solid ground, and told him to go on his way.
Going over to the man who had pulled him out of the swamp, Christian asked, "Sir, since this swamp is right between the City of Destruction and the narrow gate, why hasn't someone filled this swamp so that travelers could walk over it safely?"
"This miry swamp," Help replied, "cannot be filled or repaired. It is the low spot where collects all the scum and filth that goes along with conviction for sin, and that is why it is called the Swamp of Despond. When a sinner is awakened to his lost condition, then doubts, fears, and discouraging apprehensions swell up in his soul, along with other miseries, which all get together and settle in this swamp. And that is why the ground is so bad in this place.
"It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so bad. His laborers, at the direction of his Majesty's surveyors, have been trying to repair it for sixteen hundred years. To the best of my knowledge, this place has swallowed up twenty thousand wheelbarrows of wholesome instruction brought from all corners of the King's dominion. But even after all the best material for mending this swamp has been applied, it still remains the Swamp of Despond. There are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, good solid steps placed through the middle of the swamp, but the poor weather and filth that spews from the swamp make them hard to see. Even when the weather is good and the steps plainly seen, some men are so confused and mixed-up that they miss the steps and end up in the swamp. One thing you can be sure of, though — once you go through the narrow gate, the ground is good."CHAPTER 2
The Way of the World or the Narrow Way
Now I saw in my dream that by this time Pliable had returned to his home. Upon his arrival his neighbors came to visit him. Some of his neighbors called him a wise man for coming back. Some called him a fool for starting such a hazardous journey with Christian in the first place. Others mocked Pliable for his cowardliness, saying, "If we had begun such a journey, we would not have abandoned it because of a few difficulties." Embarrassed and pouting, Pliable hid himself for a time. But at last he got a little of his confidence back and joined in with the others in deriding poor Christian behind his back.
Now as Christian was walking by himself, he spied someone faroff, crossing over the field to meet him. When their paths crossed, the gentleman who met up with Christian introduced himself as Mr. Worldly-Wiseman. He lived in the town of Carnal Policy, a very great town that was near the place from which Christian had come.
Mr. Worldly-Wiseman immediately suspected that Christian was the person who had set out from the City of Destruction, since news of his departure had spread as far as the cities and towns surrounding Christian's former home. As Mr. Worldly-Wiseman viewed Christian's disheveled appearance and heard his sighs and groans, he was convinced that this was the rumored man and began to talk to him. "Where are you going?" Mr. Worldly-Wiseman asked. "How did you get yourself into such bad shape, and what are you doing with this great burden on your back?"
"Indeed," Christian replied, "a burden heavy as any creature ever had! And since you ask me, 'Where are you going?' I will tell you, sir. I am going to the small sheep gate that lies ahead, for I am informed that there will I enter into a way where I will soon get rid of my heavy burden."
"Do you have a wife and children?" Worldly-Wiseman asked.
"Yes, but I am so oppressed by this burden that I cannot take pleasure in my family as I used to. I now feel as if I am a man who has no family."
"Will you listen to me if I give you counsel?"
"If it is good I will, for I stand in need of good counsel," Christian replied.
"I advise you to quickly get rid of your burden," WorldlyWiseman explained, "for you will never be settled in your mind until then, nor will you enjoy the benefits of the blessings that God has given you."
"That is what I am seeking," said Christian. "I want nothing more than to be rid of this heavy burden. But I cannot free myself from it, nor is there any man in our country who can take it off my shoulders. That is why I am going toward the small gate ahead, as I told you, so that I may be rid of my burden."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Pilgrim's Progress"
Copyright © 2009 C. J. Lovik.
Excerpted by permission of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS,
EDIT'S NTRODUCTION by C. J. Lovik,
Chapter One PILGRIM'S GREAT DISTRESS,
Chapter Two THE WAY OF THE WORLD OR THE NARROW WAY,
Chapter Three A BURDEN LIFTED AND A JOURNEY BEGUN,
Chapter Four A FIERCE BATTLE AND A DARK VALLEY,
Chapter Five A FAITHFUL FRIEND,
Chapter Six A FAITH BEYOND WORDS,
Chapter Seven ON TRIAL FOR THE GOSPEL,
Chapter Eight CONFRONTING WORLDLY ATTACHMENTS,
Chapter Nine REFRESHMENT AT GOD'S RIVER,
Chapter Ten PRISONERS OF DESPAIR,
Chapter Eleven SHEPHERDS' WARNINGS, DANGERS AVOIDED,
Chapter Twelve FAITH UNDER ATTACK,
Chapter Thirteen FLATTERING ENEMIES AND RENEWED TRUST,
Chapter Fourteen STUBBORN IGNORANCE,
Chapter Fifteen HOME IN THE CELESTIAL CITY,
What People are Saying About This
"This classic has refreshed my spirit time and again when my soul has longed for Christ-centered guidance through a maze of modern detours and diversions. I'm so grateful this special edition of The Pilgrim's Progress is now available not only to a new generation of Christians but also to believers like myself who need direction and refreshment along our journey toward Home."
Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder, Joni and Friends
"If any smoothing of Bunyan's seventeenth-century language plus new colored pictures can set The Pilgrim's Progress aglow in the hearts of today's young readers, this lovely book will surely do it."
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College
"Every generation is heir to John Bunyan's timeless allegory, and to each generation falls the task of commending this tale anew. The collaboration of editor C. J. Lovik and illustrator Mike Wimmer has yielded a book that could well be a classic for our time. With great care, Lovik has combined the best elements of Bunyan's rich, evocative prose with accessibility for the modern reader. And in Wimmer, Bunyan has met his illustrator for the twenty-first century. The thirty illustrations that grace this edition are a world in themselves-the equal of any that appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's books."
Kevin Belmonte, author,John Bunyan
"If you are looking for a classic edition of The Pilgrim's Progress, with a simplified form of Bunyan's original text, traditional color illustrations, and explanatory notes, this is undoubtedly the version for you."
Tim Dowley, author,The Christians
"For two centuries following its publication (Part 1 in 1678, Part 2 in 1684), The Pilgrim's Progress gained the status of best-read book (apart from the Bible). This magnificent production by Crossway with stunning illustrations by Mike Wimmer should help reinstate Bunyan's classic allegory to the status it belongs. It should be a question we ask ourselves: Have I read The Pilgrim's Progress? If not, repent immediately, for in taking up this volume you will find pastoral insights from a pastor of souls to help you discover the biblical way of salvation and aid you in the journey home."
Derek W. H. Thomas,Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries; Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina
"C. J. Lovik's new edition of The Pilgrim's Progress almost takes one's breath away. The text is readable, the notes are clear, and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. This is a book to be in everyone's library and will definitely occupy a prominent place in the libraries provided for Rafiki's children and adults in Africa. It is a joy to know that Lovik's edition of the Bunyan classic will be read by and to thousands of children throughout the world."
Rosemary Jensen, Founder and President, Rafiki Foundation; author of Praying the Attributes of God and Living the Words of Jesus
"This is one of the best books I've ever read."
Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; President, 9Marks
"The Pilgrim's Progress has long been a favorite of many. Now there is even more to love with this beautiful, updated edition. Editor's notes clarify the ideas in John Bunyan's classic allegory, while footnotes show where in Scripture Bunyan found them. The detailed color illustrations will delight both new readers and long-time lovers of this beloved tale."
Starr Meade, author, Training Hearts, Teaching Minds; The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study; and Give Them Truth
"Like countless others, I have been greatly influenced by The Pilgrim's Progress. Charles Spurgeon called it 'next to the Bible, the book that I value most.' It has already inspired generations, and I am confident that this new edition will inspire the rising generation. It is refreshingly readable while remaining true to this timeless classic. The illustrations, Scripture references, and study notes make it a superb resource for family devotions and study groups."
Susan Hunt,Former Director of Women's Ministries, PCA; coauthor, Women's Ministry in the Local Church
"The longer I journey through our dear Immanuel's land, the more grateful I am for John Bunyan's 'dream' and the cruel imprisonment that occasioned it. What a gift weary travelers have been given in this precious, timeless classic-and what beauty, insight, and encouragement was borne out of his suffering! Unafraid to challenge the outward trials of moralism, materialism, and persecution, humble enough to confess his own doubts and despair, Bunyan leads us on our way to the Celestial City we long to see. And what a gift modern readers have been blessed with in C. J. Lovik's careful editing and Mike Wimmer's luminous illustrations! This book is beautiful! The Pilgrim's Progress has always been a cherished treasure, but this edition makes Christian's story-our story-sing! I'm so thankful for it!"
Elyse Fitzpatrick, author, Give Them Grace
"If a picture truly does speak a thousand words, this version of The Pilgrim's Progress will be the best of all. Combining the beauty of Mike Wimmer's illustrations with this timeless classic is a stroke of genius."
Steve Murphy, Publisher, Homeschooling Today magazine
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had been searching for an 'authentic' translation of Pilgrim's Progress when I stumbled upon Cheryl V. Ford's unabridged, modern version of this terrific book. This particular translation includes many margin notes which are helpful in the full understanding of such a powerful work
I've wanted to finish the Old English, original version of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress this year. I've finally done it. I have to admit, there were some tough times trying to get through this version. Case in point: "...for there was now no let in their way, no, not there where but now they were stopped with a pit." That one made the kids chuckle. But making it through the entire book was worth it. Knowing the context in which this wonderful allegory was written and experiencing that humble tinker painting pictures in my mind using beautiful language is worth every page. Some have said that The Pilgrim's Progress is the most widely read book of all time, next to the Bible. If you take the time to read through it, you'll understand why. Bunyan knew the human heart well, he knew the struggles of living the Christian life well and he knew the many different strengths and weaknesses of God's people, even after they are saved. He captured these things throughout this work and the story comes across not only highly entertaining and engaging, but also instructive and encouraging. If you have ever wanted to read this 17th century classic, but are scared or turned off by some of the archaic language, I would highly recommend Edward Hazelbaker's modern English version. It has excellent retention of the original flow of thought, but includes great cross references and thorough explanatory notes at the end of each chapter.
I loved it !! Its a great book for young and old! Its' awsome!! It's the perfect book too teach christians how to handel the trials that come into their lives. Read it . . . it will do you good!! God Bless! ~ Cerasi =)
A true classic for both the Christian and the non-Christian world. Excellent example of allegory.
Written in the 1600's while John Bunyan was in prison for his criticism of the "Church". The book however, supports the "Church" ... maybe he had a change of heart while in prison? It begins with the author entering into a dream where Christian foresees the destruction of his city and desires to travel to the Celestial city. He longs for his family to join him but they aren't convinced and refuse to go. Along the way he meets many different characters which try to distract him and convince him to turn back. Some of whom he comes in contact with are: good will, faith, by-ends, hope, ignorance, giant despair, etc. All of which teach him a different lesson. Eventually he does make it to the Celestial city and is welcome in. Part two is Christian's wife Christiana who decides she was foolish to stay behind and longs to join her husband. She sets off with her 4 sons along the same journey with Mercy accompanying her. They come across some of the same challenges as Christian but have more help along the way. An interesting read on the struggles in life and the desire to live with God again.
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan is a landmark work in both Christian theology and English literature. Since its publication in 1678, it has encouraged countless Christians on their journey from this world to the next, and its impact on the literary tradition of England has been profound.Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory in the purest sense of the word; everything in the book has a one-to-one correlation with a spiritual principle. In part one, a man living in the City of Destruction becomes troubled by what he reads in a book (the Bible) and leaves his home, warning his scoffing family and neighbors that their city is going to be destroyed. He carries a heavy weight on his back and initially undertakes his journey to find a way to take it off. Along the way he meets a man named Evangelist who speaks truth to him, but not all fellow travelers are so congenial. He meets with characters with names like Mr. Worldly-wiseman, Formalist, Hypocrisy, Timorous, Mistrust, and Wanton, as well as Apollyon (an archdevil) and the Giant Despair, among others. Through a landscape of theological traps and oases Christian (for that is now his name) must make his way ever onward to the Celestial City, sustained on his travels by the Lord of Pilgrims.The second part recounts the story of Christiana, Christian's wife, who eventually follows her husband's path from the City of Destruction to eternal life in the Celestial City. In terms of sheer dramatic effect, part two is far inferior to part one; instead of fleeing her city in despair over its coming destruction, Christiana receives an invitation from the Lord of Pilgrims to join Him and her husband in His city. She takes along her four sons and her handmaid Mercy, and they are aided on their journey by a Mr. Great-heart. There seems to be less action and more catechizing in this section of the book, but there are some valuable theological refinements as well. There are some pilgrims who probably wouldn't have been considered worthy of pilgrimage in the first part, like Mr. Fearing, Mr. Despondency, and his daughter Much-Afraid. These pilgrims are characterized by fear and weakness, but they are still loved by their Lord and they too eventually come to the Celestial City.Nowadays I think there is an attitude of amused condescension that many feel toward Pilgrim's Progress because of its theological themes sticking out in plain sight under the see-through fictional covering. I know I felt that way... oh Bunyan, my dear man, you mean well but must you be so hamfisted? Can't you cover things up a little more artistically, add some adornment to your catechismic dialogues? Don't you know that straight allegory is far, far out of fashion just now? But this was before I read it, before I understood the narrative power that can come from an author being completely honest about his themes and intentions. By stripping away every non-essential, Bunyan can get down to the theology while still working within his fictional frame. The result is rich doctrine with the immediacy of a gripping story ¿ a heady mix that is very rarely imitated successfully.And you can't doubt the man's sincerity. Bunyan knew what it meant to be persecuted; he started the book from a prison cell where he ultimately spent twelve years of his life, imprisoned for holding church services outside the bounds of the Church of England. His imprisonment was costly not just to him, but to his family. His message is given weight by his experiences ¿ here is a man who knows what it means to be on pilgrimage through lands ruled by the enemy. Persecution is inevitable; Christians will suffer in this world. But equally true is our reward in the Celestial City, where our Lord Himself will welcome us home. What a hope, what a joy on our journey!I have said that Pilgrim's Progress is stripped down, but maybe a truer statement would be that our conceptions of the Christian life are covered in needless accretions that both
I know exactly how Christian feels. His non-conformity has estranged him not only from the world, but from his wife and children, who laugh at him and his philosophy with the others. Why would Christian choose this lonely path? It is because he has had revelation of the future, which brings realization of the present and past. He simply does not find his lifestyle appealing anymore. It was not a fondness of isolation that brought Christian to his pilgrimage, it was Divine Providence--the Revealer. He did not ignore it and go back to his life of illusion. He asked "What shall I do?", and he was given answer. As we come to learn, setting forth on the pilgrimage is only a first step. Bunyan was not only allegory, Bunyan was life, truth, experience. Spending much of his time in prison, Bunyan related to us why his choices were right. He brought to Christianity something no one had. He brought simple truth, logical reasoning, a map to a map. As our protangonist, Christian, comes to his last step, the world and his family take note of his accomplishments. They become open to the Holy Spirit's whispers. They follow, as Christian showed them how, as Christian learned from Christ. They go from this world, to that which is to come. All Faiths will enjoy this read, as all Faiths have. The book's age is a testament to the wisdoms within. You will recognize all of the characters here--their names reveal them.
This is a classic for good reason. While it was written three hundred years ago, the characters come to life and shed light on the struggle of living as a Christian. This is a must read.
I throughly enjoyed this book. There are so many references to this work throughout modern and classic literature that it was interesting to finally hear the original work. Furthermore, I highly recommend listening to the public domain audio recording of this book found at librivox.com. Although these audio files are not professionally done, the English woman who reads this work for Librivox has a wonderful voice that really compliments the work and brings the book to life.
This is the complete edition,. including the wife's journey to the Celestial City and JB's afterword. I was raised on the first part of the book. I attended a summer camp called Pilgrim Camp on the north end of Brant Lake, New York, where they studied this book as hard or harder than the Bible (at least, in the younger years of under 10), and I am glad they did. PP is a wonderfully spiritual allegory every child should read WITH his family.Publishing just the first section, however, seems to be the rule rather than the exception. I had a lovely 16" x 12" 1898 volume with aleather-covered and etched cover, engravings by Andre Dore on every few pages, I bought in Daytona Beach in 1968 for $80.00. Heaven knows how much it goes for now. This story gets better in quality as our lives get more spiritless in quantity.
This is a book that must have been groundbreaking for its time. I did not enjoy it too much. Christian, the main character has almost an obstacle course of sinners and evil to pass through to get to his final destination. I found myself hoping he would fail rather than succeed.