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The Pilgrim's Progress from this world to that which is to come   By: (1628-1688)

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1. Legends: = Sidenotes [Bible reference] = Bible references

2. Sections are numbered for future reference. These sections have been chosen arbitrarily, i.e., {1}, {2}

3. This is 'Part 1', but is a complete work in itself. Bunyan wrote a sequel ('Part 2') some years after the first part, hence the 'Parts'.


From This World To That Which Is To Come


John Bunyan

Part One


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... Continue reading book >>

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