The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
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 religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.
Christian, an everyman character, is the protagonist of the allegory, which centers itself in his journey from his hometown, the “City of Destruction” (“this world”), to the “Celestial City” (“that which is to come”: Heaven) atop Mt. Zion. Christian is weighed down by a great burden, the knowledge of his sin, which he believed came from his reading “the book in his hand,” (the Bible). This burden, which would cause him to sink into Tophet (hell), is so unbearable that Christian must seek deliverance. He meets Evangelist as he is walking out in the fields, who directs him to the “Wicket Gate” for deliverance. Since Christian cannot see the “Wicket Gate” in the distance, Evangelist directs him to go to a “shining light,” which Christian thinks he sees. He begins his journey, going through danger and despair, and in the end reaches the Celestial City.
“Now it must be noted that the city stood upon a mighty hill, but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because the two ministering spirits led them up by the arms, and because they had left their mortal garments behind them in the river. So they ran up the hill with agility and speed, though the top of the mountain was higher than the clouds. As they went up, they talked and sang and laughed, because they had made it safely across the river and because they had such glorious new companions.”
Do you identify with this inspired story? Is your life journey like it? The Christian life is not easy, but its end is glorious. May your highest aim be to reach that “Eternal City.” Don’t give up in your walk of faith; through Christ, you will make it to the top.