Trivium Pursuit

We Never Studied Rocks

January 15th, 2018

This is my 3rd year homeschooling my sons. They are in 2nd, 5th, and 6th grades. I have been slowly trying to incorporate some of the principles of classical education into our homeschool effort. For example, we have begun the study of Latin this year. I am increasingly concerned that I have missed doing the grammar stage properly with my two oldest sons. Is there any way to assess gaps they might have, and catch up? E.C.

I’ve heard people discuss this topic, but could never quite understand what people meant by gaps. Do they mean that they are worried because their children didn’t study rocks in the 3rd grade like most public and private school children do, or that they didn’t study the planets in 4th grade?

We’re talking here about children not learning the facts in a certain area of study by a certain age level. I think lots of people worry about this. One person I once talked to was quite concerned because her ten-year-old child knew nothing about the Depression of the ’30’s, and another mother felt like a failure because her son couldn’t recite all the states and capitals by age twelve. These types of worries could drive parents crazy, especially if they stop and think about all the minute facts their child probably doesn’t know, and the even greater number of facts he learned but immediately forgot.

Now, I have a confession to make. We never studied rocks. Never. In fact, we never studied earth science at all. But that’s OK, because I plan on studying the subject with my grandchildren when I have more time. I’m actually looking forward to it.

Classical education is not like the education we parents got in the public school, where we memorized a bunch of facts, took a test, and then went on to the next subject. Classical education is about training minds and developing proper appetites. It’s developing the imagination and creativity. It’s having time to play and explore in the old fashioned way. It’s encouraging a love for learning. It’s building a firm foundation in the child’s mind with memorization and narration. And it’s about learning to obey and serve our heavenly Father. It’s a way of life.

But perhaps the gaps you are worried about are the skill type gaps and foundational knowledge that are important to learn in the early years ­– things such as basic formal English grammar knowledge which could be started at age ten; the basics of formal mathematics which also could begin at age ten (and informal math at earlier ages); and intensive phonics instruction which should begin as soon as the child is ready. These all are foundational stones to the building you are constructing, and any gaps here would need to be repaired.


Suggestions to Combat Homeschool Burnout

January 15th, 2018

We hear a lot today about burnout in homeschooling.

    I lie in bed at night and dread the thought of starting school
 the next day.
    A life of drudgery is not what I envisioned a few short 
months ago.
    It’s such a struggle to get the kids to do anything.

The only time I disliked homeschooling was from 1980-83, the first 
three years that we formally homeschooled. We were following a rigid
 correspondence type curriculum. There was a pile of workbooks to get 
through each day, a long list of subjects to check off on my notepad, a
 schedule to keep, and all that in addition to the normal things which must 
be accomplished in the home, such as changing diapers, cooking, and

By 1983 I was so thoroughly tired of the schooling routine, and our oldest
 had become so reluctant to do school, that I threw out the
 school-in-a-box mindset, and the Lord began to show us a different way.

The first 
change I made was to start reading to the children ­– not just the baby 
picture books (although we still read those), but the long chapter books — ­
the books I wanted to read, like Treasure Island, the works of Jules Verne, and the Little House series. At 
the beginning, the babies didn’t get anything out of the reading, but the
 older ones loved it. Yet, I suppose the person who loved it the most was 
me. Through the years I read to them all the books I had always wanted to 
read but never had the time, and I certainly paid no attention to grade 
level. I read to my own grade level. And they learned to love reading because they saw how much pleasure it gave me.

I soon learned to apply that same philosophy to other areas as well and
 pursued an education for myself, bringing the children along side me. Many 
days were spent in libraries ­– both local and university level ­– with the
 children helping me do research on our current topic, and the baby playing
 beside us in a laundry basket (strollers weren’t allowed). We must have been a strange sight to the college students.

Yes, we did the grammar and
 math like we were supposed to, but we majored on projects — history and
 science projects, learning writing skills and much more in the

If you’re not enjoying the adventure of homeschooling ­– and it truly 
is an adventure ­– but are rather seeing it as a job which must be
 endured, perhaps you might consider changing your perspective. Look on
 homeschooling as primarily an opportunity to educate yourself, and bring 
the kids along side.

Laurie Bluedorn


Concordia Classical Studies Showcase

January 12th, 2018

Concordia University Chicago understands and appreciates the significant advantages of a classical education and homeschooling and seeks to be a welcoming institution for those looking to continue their classical liberal arts education in a university setting. Rooted in more than 150 years of Lutheran educational tradition, Concordia-Chicago has developed a new initiative to intentionally build upon the principles that classically educated students expect at the university level.

You are invited to a campus visit day to learn more about undergraduate Classical Education program at Concordia University Chicago.

Friday, February 9
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Concordia University Chicago
River Forest, IL
Continental breakfast and full lunch provided
RSVP required by February 2

For those who wish to extend their stay, various supplemental activities are also being planned.

This initiative includes:
– Classical Liberal Studies Major/Minor
– Classical Teacher Education Minor
– CUC Honors Program
– Center for Advancement of Lutheran Liberal Arts (CALLA)
– Existing academic programs that complement Classical Education
– Welcoming environment for those who have taken part in an alternative form of education (homeschooling, online, etc)

Learn more about the programs and reserve your spot online today.


Switch on Your Brain Book Study

December 28th, 2017

Science is finally catching up with the Bible, showing us the proof that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. –2 Timothy 1:7

Starting January 4, 2018, join James and Stacy McDonald for an 8-week online book study using Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book, Switch On Your Brain.

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. Since the early 1980’s she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection, focusing heavily on neuropoplasticity. Fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones. Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses. Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf (always writing from a distinctly Christian perspective) gives readers a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns, declaring that we are not victims of our biology. She shows us how to choose life, get our minds under control, and reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life.

These concepts, combined with the power of therapeutic grade essential oils and the brain-nourishing abilities of YL supplements like NingXia Red, MindWise, and Omegagize, could truly change your life. We can’t wait to see how God uses every bit of it to “switch on our brains” in a mighty way.

Join the Facebook book study group here.

Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.


Part 30 Pilgrim’s Progress — The Celestial City

December 10th, 2017

Part 30 — The Celestial City by John Bunyan audio

The Celestial City by John Bunyan read-along text

Now, upon the bank of the river, on the other side — they saw the two Shining Men again, who were waiting for them. Therefore, having come out of the river, the Shining Men greeted them, saying, “We are ministering spirits, sent forth to serve those who are heirs of salvation!” Thus they went along together towards the gate.

crossing the river 2

Now that City stood upon a mighty hill — but the Pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two Shining Men to lead them up by their hands. Also, they left their mortal garments behind them in the river — for though they went in with them, they came out without them.

They, therefore, went up towards the City with much agility and speed — though the foundation upon which the City was framed, was higher than the clouds. They went up through the regions of the air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted — because they had safely gotten over the river, and had such glorious companions to attend them.

The conversation they had with the Shining Ones was about the splendor of that place. They told the Pilgrims that the beauty and glory of it was inexpressible.

“There,” said they, “is Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect! You are now going to the paradise of God, wherein you shall see the tree of life, and eat of its never-fading fruits! When you arrive there, you shall have white robes given to you, and you shall walk and talk with the King every day — even through all the days of eternity!

“There you shall never again see such things as you saw when you were in the lower region of earth, namely — sorrow, sickness, affliction, and death, for the former things have passed away! You are now going to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and to the prophets — men whom God has taken away from the evil to come, and who are now at rest, each one walking in his righteousness.”

The Pilgrims then asked, “What will we do in the holy City?”

The Shining Ones answered, “You will there receive the comforts of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow! You will reap what you have sown — even the fruit of all your prayers, and tears, and sufferings for the King along the way! In that place you will wear crowns of gold, and enjoy the perpetual sight and vision of the Holy One, for there you shall see Him as He is!

“You shall also serve Him — whom you desired to serve while in the world, though with much difficulty because of the infirmity of your flesh. There you shall continually worship Him with praise, and shouting and thanksgiving! There your eyes shall be delighted with seeing Him — and your ears with hearing the pleasant voice of the Mighty One!

“There you shall enjoy your friends again, who have gone there before you — and you shall joyfully receive everyone who follows you into that holy place.

“There also, you shall be clothed with glory and majesty — fit to accompany the King of glory. When He shall come with trumpet sound in the clouds, as upon the wings of the wind — you shall come with Him! And when He shall sit upon the throne of judgment — you shall sit with Him. Yes, and when He shall pass sentence upon all the workers of iniquity, whether they are angels or men — you also shall have a voice in that judgment, because they were both His and your enemies. And so you will be with the Lord forever!”

Now, while they were thus drawing towards the gate, behold a company of the heavenly hosts came out to meet them.

The two Shining Ones exclaimed, “These are the men who have loved our Lord while they were in the world, and who have left all for His holy name. He has sent us to fetch them, and we have brought them thus far on their desired journey — that they may go in and look upon their Redeemer’s face with joy!”

Then the heavenly hosts gave a great shout, saying, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”

At this time, several of the King’s trumpeters came out to meet them. They were arrayed in shining white clothing — and with loud and melodious voices, they made even the heavens to echo with their sound. These trumpeters greeted Christian and Hopeful with ten thousand welcomes! This done, they surrounded the Pilgrims — so as to guard them through the upper regions, continually singing with melodious voices as they went — as if Heaven itself had come down to meet them!

Bunyan One of the Kings trumpeters

Thus, therefore, they walked on together. As they walked, these trumpeters, with joyful sound, would always by mixing their music with pleasant looks and gestures — signify to Christian and Hopeful, how welcome they were in their company, and with what gladness they came to receive them.

Bunyan The Kings Trumpeter

Now Christian and Hopeful were as if in Heaven, before they came there — being swallowed up with the sight of angels, and with the hearing of their melodious voices. Here also they had the City itself fully in view, and they thought that they heard all the City bells ringing to welcome them in. But above all, they were encouraged by the warm and joyful thoughts of their own dwelling there, with such company — and that forever and ever! O what tongue or pen could express their glorious joy! And thus they came up to the gate.

Now, there was written over the gate, in letters of gold, “Blessed are those who obey His commandments — that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter through the gates into the City!”

Then I saw in my dream, that the Shining Men bid them to call at the gate. And when they did, some looked over the gate — namely Enoch, Moses, Elijah and others, to whom it was told: “These Pilgrims have come from the city of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the King of this place!”

Then each Pilgrim handed in their certificate which they had received in the beginning of their journey. These certificates were carried to the King, who, when He had read them, said, “Where are the men?”

To whom it was answered, “They are standing outside the gate.”

The King then commanded, “Open the gates to all who are righteous — allow the faithful to enter in!”

Now I saw in my dream that these two men went in at the gate. And behold! as they entered, they were transfigured, and they were arrayed with clothing which shone like gold. Some met them with harps and crowns, which were given to the Pilgrims. The harps were given for worship — and the crowns were given as a token of honor.

Then I heard in my dream that all the bells in the City rang again for joy, and that it was said to the Pilgrims, “Enter into the joy of your Lord!”


I also heard Christian and Hopeful themselves singing with a loud voice, saying, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power — be unto Him who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Now just as the gates were opened to let the men in, I looked in after them — and, behold, the City shone like the sun! The streets also were paved with gold, and on them walked many men, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises with! There were also some angelic beings with wings, and they sang back and forth without intermission, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord!” After that, they closed up the gates. When I had seen all of this — I wished that I myself was among them.

Now while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw Ignorance come up to the river side. He soon got over the river, and without half of the difficulty which Christian and Hopeful met with. For it happened that one called Vain-hope, a ferryman, was there — and with his boat he helped Ignorance cross the river.

Then I saw that Ignorance ascended the hill, and came up to the gate all alone. There was no man to meet him with the least encouragement. When he arrived at the gate, he looked up to the writing that was above it, and then began to knock — supposing that entrance would quickly be given to him. But he was asked by the men who looked over the top of the gate, “Where have you come from? What do you want?”

He answered them, “I have eaten and drank in the presence of the King — and He has taught in our streets!”

Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King. So he fumbled in his bosom for one — but found none.

Then they asked, “Have you no certificate?”

But the man answered not a word.

So they told the King about Ignorance — but He would not go down to see him. Instead He commanded the two Shining Ones who had conducted Christian and Hopeful to the City — to go out and take Ignorance, bind him hand and foot, and cast him away.

So they took Ignorance up, and carried him through the air, to the door which I had seen in the side of the hill — and threw him in there!

Bunyan Then

Then I saw that there was a way to Hell, even from the very gates of Heaven — as well as from the city of Destruction!

So I awoke, and behold — it was a dream!


Part 29 Pilgrim’s Progress — The River of Death

December 10th, 2017

Part 29 — The River of Death by John Bunyan audio

The River of Death by John Bunyan read-along text

Now, I further saw, that between them and the gate was a river — but there was no bridge to pass over it, and the river was very deep. At the sight of this river, the Pilgrims were bewildered.

But the men said to them, “You must go through the river — or you cannot enter in at the gate.”

The Pilgrims then began to inquire if there was any other way to the gate — to which the men answered, “Yes, but only two since the foundation of the world have been permitted to tread that path — namely, Enoch and Elijah. Nor shall any others go that way until the last trumpet shall sound!”

crossing the river

The Pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to lose heart. They looked this way and that — but they could find no way by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all the same depth.

“No,” they replied, “You shall find it deeper or shallower — just as you believe in the King of the City.”

The Pilgrims then approached the water. Upon entering it, Christian began to sink! Crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he shouted, “I am sinking in deep waters! The billows are rolling over my head — all His waves are washing over me!”


Then Hopeful replied, “Take courage, my brother — I feel the bottom, and it is firm!”

Christian then cried out, “Ah! my friend, the sorrows of death have compassed me about! I shall not see the land which flows with milk and honey!”


With that, a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see ahead of him. He also, in great measure, lost his senses — so that he could neither remember, nor talk coherently of any of those sweet refreshments which he had met with along the way of his pilgrimage. But all the words that he spoke still tended to manifest his horror of mind and heart-fears — that he would die in that river, and never obtain entrance at the gate.

Here also, as those two men who stood by perceived, Christian was much in troublesome thoughts concerning the sins that he had committed — both before and since he began to be a Pilgrim. It was also observed by his words, that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins and evil spirits.

Hopeful, therefore, labored hard to keep his brother’s head above water. Yes, sometimes Christian almost drowned — but then, in a short time, he would surface again, half dead.

Hopeful helps Christian

Hopeful would also endeavor to encourage him, saying, “Brother, I see the gate — and men standing ready to receive us!”

But Christian would answer, “It is you — it is you they are waiting for! You have been Hopeful ever since I first knew you!”

“And so have you,” responded Hopeful.

“Ah, brother!” cried Christian, “Surely if I were right with Him — then He would now arise to help me. Because of my sins, He has brought me into the snare, and has left me.”

Hopeful reminded him, “My brother, you have quite forgotten the text where it is said of the wicked, ‘They have no struggles in their death — but their strength is firm. They are not troubled as other men, neither are they plagued like other men.’ These troubles and distresses that you are going through in these waters, are no indication that God has forsaken you. Rather, they are only sent to test you — as to whether you will call to mind what you have hitherto received of His goodness, and live upon Him in your present distresses.”

Then I saw in my dream, that Christian was in deep thought for a while.

Hopeful then added this word, “Take courage — Jesus Christ makes you whole!”

With that, Christian cried out with a loud voice, “O! I see Him again, and He tells me, ‘When you pass through the waters — I will be with you. When you go through the rivers — they shall not overflow you!'”

Bunyan Christian brake out with a loud voice Oh I see him again

Then they both took courage. After that, the enemy was as still as a stone, and could no longer hinder them. Christian therefore felt firm ground to stand upon — and found that the rest of the river was but shallow. Thus they both crossed over the river.

Bunyan Thus they got over


Part 28 Pilgrim’s Progress — Beulah Land

December 10th, 2017

Part 28 — Beulah Land by John Bunyan audio

Beulah Land by John Bunyan read-along text

Now I saw in my dream, that by this time the Pilgrims were now beyond the Enchanted Ground, and had entered into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant. As their way went directly through Beulah Land — they delighted themselves there for a season. Yes, here they continually heard the singing of birds, and every day saw new flowers appear, and heard the song of the turtle-dove in the land. In this country the sun shines night and day. As it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair — they could not so much as see Doubting Castle.


Here they were within sight of the City they were traveling to. They also met some of the inhabitants of that City — for in this land the Shining Ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven.


In this land also, the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewed. Yes, here, ‘As the Bridegroom rejoices over His Bride — so does their God rejoice over them.’ Here they had no lack of grain or wine — for in this place they met with abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the City — loud voices, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion: Behold, your salvation comes! Behold, His reward is with Him!’ Here all the inhabitants of the country called them, ‘The holy people.’ ‘The redeemed of the Lord.’ ‘Sought out ones.’



Now, as they walked in this land, they rejoiced more than they had in all the former parts of their journey. Drawing near to the City, they had even a more perfect view of it. It was built of pearls and precious stones — and the great street of the City was pure gold. So that by reason of the natural splendor of the City, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it — Christian became lovesick with longing for it. Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same lovesickness. Therefore, they stayed here for a while, calling out, because of their longings, “If you find my Beloved — tell Him that I am lovesick!”

Now, being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their lovesickness — they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer. They saw orchards, vineyards, and gardens — and their gates opened into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold, the gardener was standing there — and the Pilgrims asked, “Whose lovely vineyards and gardens are these?”

The gardener answered, “They are the King’s, and are planted here for His own delight — and also for the refreshment of Pilgrims.”

So the gardener brought them into the vineyards, and bid them to refresh themselves with the delicacies. He also showed them the King’s walkways, and the arbors, where He delighted to be. So here they tarried and slept.

Now I beheld in my dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this time, than they ever did in all their journey.

As I was in deep thought about this, the gardener said to me: “Why are you pondering the matter? It is the nature of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of those who are asleep, to speak.”

So I saw that when the Pilgrims awoke, they prepared to go up to the City. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the City — for ‘the City was pure gold’ — was so resplendent, that they could not, as yet, behold it with open face — but only through an instrument made for that purpose.

So I saw, that as they went on — that two men, in clothing which shone like gold, met them. Their faces also shone as the light.

These men asked the Pilgrims where they came from — and they told them. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, and what comforts and pleasures they met with along the way — and they told them.

Then the men said, “You have but two more difficulties to meet with — and then you are in the City!”

Christian and Hopeful asked the men to go along with them — and they told them that they would.

“But,” said they, “you must obtain it by your own faith.”

So I saw in my dream that they went on together, until they came within sight of the gate of the City.


Part 27 Pilgrim’s Progress — Ignorance Rejoins the Pilgrims

December 10th, 2017

Part 27 — Ignorance Rejoins the Pilgrims by John Bunyan audio

Ignorance Rejoins the Pilgrims by John Bunyan read-along text

Then I saw in my dream, that Hopeful looked back and saw Ignorance, whom they had left behind, following after them.

“Look,” he said to Christian, “Ignorance is still lagging behind us!”

CHRISTIAN: “Yes, yes, I see him — he does not care for our company.”

HOPEFUL: “It would not have hurt him — had he stayed with us thus far.”

CHRISTIAN: “That is true — but I guarantee that he thinks otherwise.”

HOPEFUL: “I agree — however, let us wait for him.”

So they did.

Then Christian called to Ignorance, “Come join us — why do you stay so far behind?”

IGNORANCE: “It pleases me to walk alone, rather than in company — unless of course, the company suits me better.”

Then Christian whispered to Hopeful, “Did I not tell you that he did not care for our company?”

Then, calling out to Ignorance, Christian said, “Come up, and let us talk away the time in this solitary place. Say, how are you doing? How does it now stand between God and your soul?”

IGNORANCE: “I hope well — for I am always full of good notions that come into my mind, to comfort me as I walk.”

Bunyan I Am Always Full Of Good Motions

CHRISTIAN: “What good notions? Please tell us.”

IGNORANCE: “Why, I think of God and Heaven.”

CHRISTIAN: “So do the devils and damned souls.”

IGNORANCE: “But I think of them — and desire them.”

CHRISTIAN: “So do many who are never likely to get to Heaven. The soul of the sluggard desires — and gets nothing!”

IGNORANCE: “But I think of God and Heaven — and leave all for them.”

CHRISTIAN: “That I doubt, for leaving all is a hard matter — yes, a harder matter than many are aware of. But why do you think that you have left all for God and Heaven?”

IGNORANCE: “Because my heart tells me so.”

CHRISTIAN: “But the wise man says, ‘He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.'”

IGNORANCE: “That was spoken of an evil heart — but mine is a good one.”

CHRISTIAN: “But how do you prove that?”

IGNORANCE: “It comforts me in hopes of Heaven.”

CHRISTIAN: “That may be through your heart’s deceitfulness; for a man’s heart may minister comfort to him in the hope of Heaven — and yet be a false hope.”

IGNORANCE: “But my heart and my life agree together — and therefore my hope is well grounded.”

CHRISTIAN: “Who told you that your heart and life agree together?”

IGNORANCE: “My heart tells me so.”

CHRISTIAN: “Your heart tells you so! Except the Word of God bears witness in this matter — any other testimony is of no value!”

IGNORANCE: “But is it not a good heart, which has good thoughts? And is it not a good life, which is according to God’s commandments?”

CHRISTIAN: “Yes, that is a good heart, which has good thoughts; and that is a good life, which is according to God’s commandments. But it is one thing, indeed, to have a good heart and life — and it is another thing only to think so.”

IGNORANCE: “Tell me please, what you think are good thoughts, and a life according to God’s commandments?”

CHRISTIAN: “There are good thoughts of many kinds — some respecting ourselves, some of God, some of Christ, and some of other things.”

IGNORANCE: “What are good thoughts respecting ourselves?”

CHRISTIAN: “Such as agree with the Word of God.”

IGNORANCE: “When do our thoughts of ourselves agree with the Word of God?”

CHRISTIAN: “When we pass the same judgment upon ourselves, which the Word passes. To explain myself — the Word of God says of people in their natural condition, ‘There are none righteous, there are none who do good.’ It says also, that ‘every imagination of the heart of man is only evil, and that continually.’ And again, ‘The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.’ Now then, when we think thus of ourselves — then our thoughts are good ones, because they are according to the Word of God.”

IGNORANCE: “I will never believe that my heart is that bad!”

CHRISTIAN: “Therefore you never had one good thought concerning yourself in all of your life! But let me go on. As the Word passes a judgment upon our heart — so it passes a judgment upon our ways. When our thoughts concerning our hearts and our ways agree with the judgment which the Word gives of both — then are both good, because they are in agreement with the Word of God.”

IGNORANCE: “Explain what you mean by this.”

CHRISTIAN: “Why, the Word of God says that man’s ways are crooked and perverse — and not good. It says that no one seeks God — but all have turned away from Him. Now, when a man sincerely thinks thus of his ways, and with heart humiliation — then his thoughts now agree with the judgment of the Word of God.”

IGNORANCE: “Further, what are good thoughts concerning God?”

CHRISTIAN: “Just as I have said concerning ourselves — when our thoughts of God agree with what the Word says of Him. That is, when we think of His being and attributes just as the Word teaches, of which I cannot presently discourse at length.

“To speak of Him with reference to ourselves — we have right thoughts of God, when we understand that He knows us better than we know ourselves, and can see sin in us when and where we can see no sin in ourselves. Also when we realize that He knows our inmost thoughts — and that our heart, with all its depths, is always open before His eyes. Also, when we think that all our righteousness is a stench in His nostrils — and that, therefore, He cannot endure to have us stand before Him in any self-confidence, even in all our best duties.”

IGNORANCE: “Do you think that I am such a fool as to imagine that God can see no further than I can — or, that I would come to God in the best of my duties?”

CHRISTIAN: “Well, what do you think concerning this matter?”

IGNORANCE: “Why, to be brief, I think I must believe in Christ for justification.”

CHRISTIAN: “How can you believe in Christ — when you do not see your need of Him? You neither see your original nor actual sins! You have such a high opinion of yourself, and of what you do — so that you never see the necessity of Christ’s personal righteousness to justify you before God. How, then, can you say that you believe in Christ?”

IGNORANCE: “My beliefs are fine — in spite of all that you have just said.”

CHRISTIAN: “What exactly then, do you believe?”

IGNORANCE: “I believe that Christ died for sinners — and that I shall be justified before God from the curse, through His gracious acceptance of my obedience to His law. To state it another way, Christ makes my religious duties acceptable to His Father, by virtue of His merits — and so I shall be justified.”

CHRISTIAN: “Let me give an answer to your beliefs on this issue.

“First, you believe with an imaginary faith — for this kind of faith is nowhere described in the Word.

“Secondly, you believe with a false faith — because you trust that you are justified by your own righteousness, rather than the righteousness of Christ.

“Thirdly, your beliefs make Christ a justifier of your actions — but not of your person. You think that your person is justified for your action’s sake, which is false.

“Therefore, your faith is deceitful — even such as will leave you under divine wrath, in the day of Almighty God’s judgment. For true justifying faith causes the soul, being sensible of its lost condition by the law, to flee for refuge unto Christ’s righteousness. It is not that Christ graciously makes a person’s obedience acceptable to God — but true faith accepts Christ’s righteousness by His personal obedience to the law, in doing and suffering for us what that law required at our hands. The soul, thus covered in Christ’s righteousness and presented as spotless before God — is accepted by God and acquitted from condemnation.”

IGNORANCE: “What! Would you have us trust to only what Christ, in His own person, has done for us? This belief would loosen the reins of our lusts, and allow us to live any sinful way we desire. For what would it matter how we live — if we believe that we are justified by Christ’s personal righteousness alone?”

CHRISTIAN: “Ignorance is your name — and as your name is, so you are! Your answer demonstrates what I say. You are ignorant of what justifying righteousness is — and just as ignorant how to secure your soul from the dreadful wrath of God, through Christ’s righteousness alone. Yes, you are also ignorant of the true effects of saving faith, such as — to submit the heart to God, to love His Name, His Word, His ways and His people — and not as you ignorantly imagine.”

Hopeful then joined in and asked, “Ignorance — has God ever revealed Christ to your heart?”

IGNORANCE: “What! You are a man for revelations! I think that what both of you, and all the rest of your kind say — is but the fruit of your disordered brains!”

HOPEFUL: “Why, Sir! Christ is so hidden from the natural understanding of men — that He cannot be savingly known, unless God the Father reveals Him to them.”

IGNORANCE: “That is your belief — but not mine! My beliefs are as good as yours — though I do not have so many foolish notions in my head as you do.”

CHRISTIAN: “Allow me to put in a word. You ought not to speak of this matter so lightly. I will boldly affirm, even as my good companion has done — that no man can know Jesus Christ but by the revelation of the Father.

“Also, that faith by which a soul truly lays hold upon Christ, must be wrought by the exceeding greatness of God’s mighty power. Poor Ignorance, I perceive that you are ignorant of the working of this faith in your own soul. Be awakened then — see your own wretchedness and flee to the Lord Jesus! By His divine righteousness alone, can you be delivered from condemnation.”

IGNORANCE: “You go too fast — I cannot keep pace with you. Go ahead of me — I must stay behind for a while.”

Then they said,

“Well, Ignorance — will you yet foolish be,
To slight good counsel, ten times given thee?
And if you yet refuse it, you shall know,
Before long, the evil of your doing so.
Remember, man, in time, bow, do not fear,
Good counsel taken well, saves — therefore hear.
But if you yet shall slight it, you will be
The loser (Ignorance) I’ll warrant thee.”

Christian then addressed Hopeful: “Come, my good fellow, I see that you and I must walk by ourselves again.”

So I saw in my dream that they went on quickly — while Ignorance lagged behind.

Then Christian said to his companion, “I feel much pity for this poor man — it will certainly go badly with him at the last.”

HOPEFUL: “Alas! There are many in our town in his condition — whole families, yes, whole streets, and some claiming to be Pilgrims also. If there are so many in our parts, how many, do you think — must there be in the place where Ignorance was born?”

CHRISTIAN: “Indeed the Word says, ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts — lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts, and turn — and I would heal them.’ But now that we are by ourselves — what do you think of such men as Ignorance? Do you think that they ever have real convictions of sin — and subsequent fears that their state is dangerous?”

HOPEFUL: “Nay, I think that you should answer that question yourself, for you are older in experience.”

CHRISTIAN: “Then, I think that they may sometimes have convictions of sin; but being naturally ignorant, they do not understand that such convictions tend to their good. Therefore they desperately seek to stifle them, and presumptuously continue to flatter themselves in the way of their own hearts.”

HOPEFUL: “I do believe, as you say, that fear tends much to men’s good — to set them right at their beginning to go on pilgrimage.”

CHRISTIAN: “Without doubt it does — if it is right fear; for so says the Word, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'”

HOPEFUL: “How would you describe the right fear?”

CHRISTIAN: “True or right fear is manifested by three things:

“First. By its rise — it is caused by saving convictions for sin.

“Second. It drives the soul to lay fast hold on Christ for salvation.

“Third. It begets and continues in the soul a great reverence of God, His Word, and His ways — keeping the soul tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left — to anything that may dishonor God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully.”

HOPEFUL: “Well said! I believe you have explained the truth. Have we now almost gotten past the Enchanted Ground?”

CHRISTIAN: “Why, are you weary of this discourse?”

HOPEFUL: “No, truly — I would only like to know where we are.”

CHRISTIAN: “We have less than two miles further to go. So let us return to our discussion. Now the ignorant do not understand that such convictions which tend to put them in fear, are for their good — and therefore they seek to stifle them.”

HOPEFUL: “How do they seek to stifle them?”

So Christian explained,

“First, they think that those fears are wrought by the devil (though they are actually wrought by God); and, thinking so, they resist them as things which directly tend to their overthrow.

“Secondly, they also think that these fears tend to the destruction of their faith — when, alas for them, poor men that they are — they have no faith at all! So therefore they harden their hearts against them.

“Thirdly, they presume that they ought not to fear. Therefore, despite their fears — they increasingly become more presumptuous and self-confident.

“Finally, they see that those fears tend to take away their pathetic former self-righteousness, and therefore they resist them with all their might.”

HOPEFUL: “I know something of this myself — for, before I truly knew myself, it was the same with me.”

CHRISTIAN: “Well, let us now leave our neighbor Ignorance to himself, and talk about another profitable question.”

HOPEFUL: “With all my heart — and you shall begin.”

CHRISTIAN: “Well then, did you know, about ten years ago, one named Temporary in your parts — who was then a prominent man in religion?”

HOPEFUL: “Know him! Yes, he dwelt in Graceless — a town about two miles away from Honesty, and he lived next door to a person named Turnback.”

CHRISTIAN: “Yes, and he actually dwelt under the same roof with Turnback. Well, that man was once much awakened — I believe that he then had some sight of his sins, and of the wages which were due for them.”

HOPEFUL: “I agree, for my house, being less than three miles from his — he would often visit me with many tears. Truly, I pitied the man, and had some hope for him. But, as you know, not everyone who cries, ‘Lord, Lord!’ is saved.”

CHRISTIAN: “He once told me that he was resolved to go on pilgrimage, just as we are now doing. But all of a sudden he grew acquainted with one named Save-self — and then he became as a stranger to me.”

HOPEFUL: “Now, since we are talking about him — let us investigate into the reason of his sudden backsliding, and others like him.”

CHRISTIAN: “This may be very profitable — so please begin.”

HOPEFUL: “Well then, in my judgment there are four reasons for backsliding:

“First, though the consciences of such men are awakened — yet their minds are not changed. Therefore, when the power of guilt wears off — then that which caused them to become religious ceases, and they naturally turn to their own sinful course again. We see this illustrated in how a sick dog vomits what he has eaten, because it troubles his stomach. When his sickness is over, and his stomach is eased — the desire for what he has vomited returns and he licks it all up. And so that which is written is true, ‘The dog returns to its own vomit!’

“They initially are eager for Heaven — but only out of the fear of the torments of Hell. But when their sense of Hell, and their fears of damnation chill and cool — so their desires for Heaven and salvation cool also. It then comes to pass, that when their guilt and fear is gone — their desires for Heaven and its happiness die, and they return to their sinful course again.

“Another reason for backsliding, is that they have slavish fears which overmaster them. I speak now of the fears that they have of men — for ‘the fear of man brings a snare.’ Though they seem to be eager for Heaven, so long as the flames of Hell are about their ears — yet, when that terror diminishes, they begin to have second thoughts. They then think that it is wise not to run the hazard of losing all — or, at least, of bringing themselves into unavoidable and unnecessary troubles — and so they return to their worldly ways again.

“Another stumbling-block which lies in their way, is the shame which attends religion. They are proud and haughty — and religion is base and contemptible in their eyes. Therefore, when they have lost their sense of Hell and the wrath to come — they return again to their former sinful course.

“And finally, the feelings of guilt, and meditation on terrifying things — are grievous to them. They do not like to see their misery before they come into it; though perhaps, if they truly believed the sight of their coming misery — it might make them flee where the righteous flee and are safe. But, as I hinted before, because they shun even the thoughts of guilt and terror — when once they are rid of their awakenings about the terrors and wrath of God, they gladly harden their hearts, and choose such ways as will harden them more and more.”

CHRISTIAN: “You are pretty near the root of the issue — which is their lack of a true change of mind and will. They are therefore like the felon who quakes and trembles before the judge, and seems to repent most heartily; but the reason is his fear of the noose — not that he has any true remorse for his crime. This is evident, because, if you but let this man have his liberty — he will continue to be a thief and a rogue. Whereas, if his mind and heart were really changed, he would be far otherwise.”

HOPEFUL: “I have shown you my reasons for their going back to their sinful course. Now, please show me the path of their backsliding.”

CHRISTIAN: “So I will, gladly.

1. They purposely draw off their thoughts from any remembrance of God, death, and the judgment to come.

2. Then by degrees, they cast off private religious duties — such as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.

3. Then they shun the company of enthusiastic and fervent Christians.

4. After that, they grow cold in public religious duties — such as hearing the Word preached, reading the Word, godly fellowship, and the like.

5. Then they begin, as we say, to pick holes in the coats of some of the godly — trying to find some blemish in them. They do so devilishly — that they may have an excuse to throw religion behind their backs.

6. Then they begin to associate and join themselves with fleshly, immoral, and worldly men.

7. Then they give way to fleshly and immoral discourses in secret. They are glad if they can see such things in any who are reputed to be honest — for the example of these hypocrites emboldens them.

8. After this, they begin to openly play with little sins.

9. Being hardened, they then show themselves as they truly are.

“Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, they will everlastingly perish by their own deceptions — unless a miracle of grace prevents it.”


Part 26 Pilgrim’s Progress — The Enchanted Ground

December 10th, 2017

Part 26 — The Enchanted Ground by John Bunyan audio

The Enchanted Ground by John Bunyan read-along text

Then I saw in my dream, that they went on until they came to a certain country, whose air naturally tended to make travelers drowsy.

So Hopeful began to be very dull and sleepy, and said to Christian, “I am starting to grow so drowsy that I can scarcely hold my eyes open. Let us lay down here, and take a nap.”


CHRISTIAN: “By no means — lest by sleeping, we never wake up again!”

HOPEFUL: “Why, my brother? Sleep is sweet to the laboring man — we may be refreshed if we take a nap.”

CHRISTIAN: “Do you not remember that one of the Shepherds warned us to beware of the Enchanted Ground? Therefore let us not sleep, as others do — but let us keep awake and watch.”

HOPEFUL: “I acknowledge my fault. Had I been here alone, I would have slept and been in danger of death. I see that what the wise man said is true: ‘Two are better than one.’ Your company been a mercy to me — and you shall have a good reward for your labor.”

“Now then,” Christian said, “to prevent drowsiness in this place, let us have a wholesome discussion.”

“With all my heart,” said Hopeful.

CHRISTIAN: “Where shall we begin?”

HOPEFUL: “Where God began with us. Please start.”

CHRISTIAN: “First I will sing this song to you:

When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,

And hear how these two Pilgrims talk together.

Yes, let them learn of them, in any wise,

Thus to keep open their drowsy, slumbering eyes.

Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,

Keeps them awake, and that in spite of Hell.”

Then Christian began, “I will ask you a question. How did you come at first, to think of going on this pilgrimage?”

HOPEFUL: “Do you mean, how did I first come to look after the good of my soul?”

CHRISTIAN: “Yes, that is my meaning.”

HOPEFUL: “I continued a great while in the delight of those vain things which were seen and sold at our fair. These things I now believe, had I continued in them still, would have drowned me in perdition and destruction!”

CHRISTIAN: “What things were they?”

HOPEFUL: “All the treasures and riches of the world. I also delighted much in carousing, drinking, swearing, lying, impurity, Sabbath-breaking, and what not — all of which lead to the destruction of the soul. But I found at last, by hearing and considering divine things, which I heard from you and beloved Faithful, (who was put to death for his faith and holy living in Vanity Fair) that the end of these things is death! And that for these things, the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience!”

CHRISTIAN: “Did you immediately fall under the power of this conviction?”

HOPEFUL: “No, I was not initially willing to know the evil of sin, nor the damnation which follows the commission of sin. Rather, when my mind at first began to be shaken with the Word, I endeavored to shut my eyes against its light.”

CHRISTIAN: “But what was the cause for your resistence to the first workings of God’s blessed Spirit upon you?”

HOPEFUL: “There were several causes:

“First, I was ignorant that this was the work of God upon me. I never thought that God begins the conversion of a sinner through convictions of sin.

“Secondly, sin was yet very sweet to my flesh — and I was reluctant to leave it.

“Thirdly, I could not tell how to part with my old companions — their presence and actions were so desirable to me.

“Finally, my convictions of sin were so troublesome and heart-affrighting — that I could not endure the thought of them in my heart.”

CHRISTIAN: “Then, as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your convictions of sin?”

HOPEFUL: “Yes, truly — but they would come into my mind again, and then I would be as bad — nay, worse than I was before.”

CHRISTIAN: “Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again?”

HOPEFUL: “Many things, such as,

1. If I did but meet a godly man in the streets; or,

2. If I heard anyone read in the Bible; or,

3. If my head began to ache; or,

4. If I was told that some of my neighbors were sick; or,

5. If I heard the death-bell toll for someone who had died; or,

6. If I thought of dying myself; or,

7. If I heard that another had died by sudden death.

8. But especially, when I thought of myself — that I must quickly come to judgment!”

CHRISTIAN: “And could you easily at any time, get off the guilt of sin — when, by any of these ways, conviction came upon you?”

HOPEFUL: “No, not I — for then they got a tighter hold on my conscience. And then, if I did but think of going back to sin — though my mind was turned against it — it would be double torment to me.”

CHRISTIAN: “And what did you do then?”

HOPEFUL: “I reckoned that I must endeavor to mend my life — for I thought that otherwise, I was sure to be damned.”

CHRISTIAN: “And did you ever attempt to mend your life?”

HOPEFUL: “Yes, and I fled not only from my sins — but from sinful company too. I also began religious duties — such as prayer, reading, weeping for sin, speaking truth to my neighbors, and so forth. These things I did, along with many others — too many to recount.”

CHRISTIAN: “And did you think yourself well then?”

HOPEFUL: “Yes, for a while — but eventually my troubling convictions came tumbling upon me again, in spite of all my reformations.”

CHRISTIAN: “How so, since you were now reformed?”

HOPEFUL: “There were several things which brought these convictions upon me, especially such sayings as these: ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ ‘By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’ ‘When we have done everything we should — we are unworthy servants, doing but our duty’ — along with many more similar sayings. Hence I began to reason thus with myself: If ALL my righteousnesses are filthy rags — and if, by the deeds of the law, NO man can be justified — and if, when we have done ALL our duty, we are yet unprofitable servants — then it is but folly to think of gaining Heaven by keeping the law.

“I further thought thus: If a man runs a hundred dollars into debt to the shopkeeper, and from then on, he pays for everything that he purchases; yet, if his old debt still remains unpaid in the ledger book — the shopkeeper will sue him for that, and cast him into prison until he shall pay the full debt.”

CHRISTIAN: “So how did you apply this to yourself?”

HOPEFUL: “Why, I thought thus with myself: I have, by my sins, accumulated a great debt in God’s Book — and that my now reforming will not pay off that debt. Therefore even with all my present amendments — I would not be freed from that damnation which my former transgressions still deserved.”

CHRISTIAN: “A very good application — but please go on.”

HOPEFUL: “Another thing which troubled me, even since my recent amendments, is that if I look closely into the best of whatever I do — I still see sin, new sin, mixing itself with my best deeds. So I am forced to conclude, that notwithstanding my former good opinion of myself and my duties, I have committed enough sin in one duty to send me to Hell — even if my former life had been faultless!”

CHRISTIAN: “And what did you do then?”

HOPEFUL: “Do! I did not know what to do, until I shared my thoughts with Faithful — for we were well acquainted. He told me that unless I could obtain the righteousness of a Man who never had sinned — that neither my own, nor all the righteousness of the world, could save me.”

CHRISTIAN: “And did you think he spoke the truth?”

HOPEFUL: “Had he told me this while I was yet pleased and satisfied with my own amendments — I would have called him a fool for his counsel. But now, since I see my own error, and the sin which cleaves to even my best performances — I was forced to embrace his opinion.”

CHRISTIAN: “But did you think, when at first he suggested it to you — that there was such a Man to be found, of whom it might justly be said, that He never committed any sin?”

HOPEFUL: “I must confess that his words did sound strange at first — but after a little more conversation with him, I was fully convinced.”

CHRISTIAN: “And did you ask Faithful who this Man was — and how you must be justified by Him?”

HOPEFUL: “Yes, and he told me it was the Lord Jesus, who dwells on the right hand of the Most High God. And thus he said that I must be justified by Him — even by trusting in what He Himself has done during His earthly life — and what He suffered when He hung on the tree.

“I asked him further — how that Man’s righteousness could be effectual to justify another before God? And he told me that He was the mighty God, and that both His life and His death, was not for Himself — but for me, to whom the worthiness of His doings would be imputed, if I believed on Him.”

CHRISTIAN: “And what did you do then?”

HOPEFUL: “I made objections against my believing — for I thought that He was not willing to save me.”

CHRISTIAN: “And what did Faithful say to you then?”

HOPEFUL: “He bid me to go to Him and see. And I told him that this would be presumption. But he said, ‘Not so — for I was invited to come.’ Then he gave me a Book of Jesus, in His own words, to encourage me to come the more freely. He also said, concerning that Book, that its every jot and tittle stood firmer than Heaven and earth.

Bunyan He said no for I was invited to come

“Then I asked Faithful what I must do when I go to Him. He told me that I must entreat the Father upon my knees and with all my heart and soul — to reveal the Lord Jesus to me.

“Then I asked him further, how I must make my petition to Him? And he said, ‘Go, and you shall find Him upon a mercy-seat, where He sits all the year long, to give pardon and forgiveness to those who come.’

“I told him that I did not know what to say when I go. And he bid me to say something to this effect: ‘God be merciful to me a sinner — and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ. For I see that if He had not provided His perfect righteousness, or if I have not faith in His righteousness — then I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that You are a merciful God, and have ordained that Your Son Jesus Christ should be the Savior of the world; and moreover, that you are willing to bestow Him upon such a poor sinner as I am — and I am a poor sinner indeed. Lord, be pleased to magnify Your grace in the salvation of my soul, through Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.'”

CHRISTIAN: “And did you do as you were bidden?”

HOPEFUL: “Yes — over, and over, and over.”

CHRISTIAN: “And did the Father reveal His Son to you?”

HOPEFUL: “Not at the first, nor the second, nor the third, nor the fourth, nor the fifth — no, not even at the sixth time.”

CHRISTIAN: “What did you do then?”

HOPEFUL: “What! Why I could not tell what to do!”

CHRISTIAN: “Did you ever consider giving up praying?”

HOPEFUL: “Yes, a hundred times, twice over!”

CHRISTIAN: “And what was the reason why you did not?”

HOPEFUL: “I believed that what Faithful told me was true, namely, that without the righteousness of Christ — all the world could not save me. Therefore, I thought that if I cease praying, I would die — and I dare not die, except at the throne of grace. Then this thought came into my mind, ‘Though it seems slow in coming — wait patiently, for it will surely take place.’ So I continued praying until the Father revealed His Son to me.”

CHRISTIAN: “And how was He revealed unto you?”

HOPEFUL: “I did not see Him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes of my understanding. It happened in this way: One day I was very sad, perhaps sadder than at any other time in my life. This sadness sprang from a fresh sight of the immensity and vileness of my sins. As I was then expecting nothing but Hell and the everlasting damnation of my soul — suddenly I thought I saw the Lord Jesus look down from Heaven upon me, and say, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved.’

“But I replied, ‘Lord, I am a dreadful sinner — a very dreadful sinner.’

“And He answered, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’

“Then I said, ‘but, Lord, what is believing?’

“And then I saw from that saying, ‘He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes on Me shall never thirst’ — that believing and coming were one and the same; and that he who came, that is, he who ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ — he indeed believed in Christ.

“Then the water stood in my eyes, and I asked further: ‘But Lord, may such a vile sinner as I am — indeed be accepted by You, and be saved by You?’

“And I heard Him say, ‘Whoever comes to Me, I will never cast out.’

“Then I said, ‘But how Lord, in my coming to You, must I properly think of You — that my faith may be rightly placed upon You?’

“And He said, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ ‘He is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.’ ‘He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification.’ ‘He loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.’ ‘He is the mediator between God and men.’ ‘He ever lives to make intercession for us.’

“From all of this, I gathered that I must look for righteousness in His person, and for atonement for my sins by His blood. Also, that what He did in obedience to His Father’s law, and in submitting to its penalty, was not for Himself — but for the one who will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful.

“And now my heart was full of joy, my eyes were full of tears, and my affections were running over — with love to the name, ways and people of Jesus Christ.”

CHRISTIAN: “This was a revelation of Christ to your soul indeed! But tell me particularly, what effect this encounter had upon your spirit.”

HOPEFUL: “First, it made me see that all the world, notwithstanding all its boasted righteousness — is in a state of condemnation.

“Secondly, it made me see that God the Father is both just — and the Justifier of the one who believes in Jesus.

“Thirdly, it made me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense of my own ignorance; for I never had a thought in my heart before now, that so showed me the beauty of Jesus Christ.

“Lastly, it made me love a holy life, and long to do something for the honor and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus. Yes, I thought that had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my body — I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”


Part 25 Pilgrim’s Progress — Atheist

December 9th, 2017

Part 25 — Atheist by John Bunyan audio

Atheist by John Bunyan read-along text

Now, after a while, they perceived afar off, one coming softly along the highway to meet them.

Then Christian said to his fellow, “Yonder is a man with his back toward the Celestial City, and he is coming to meet us.”

HOPEFUL: “I see him. Let us be careful now — lest he should prove to be a flatterer also.”

So the man drew nearer and nearer, and at last came up to them. His name was Atheist, and he asked them where they were going.

CHRISTIAN: “We are going to the Celestial City.”

Then Atheist burst into laughter.

Bunyan Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter

CHRISTIAN: “What is the meaning of your laughter?”

ATHEIST: “I laugh because I see what ignorant people you are — to take so tedious a journey, and yet are likely to gain nothing for your travel but pains.”

CHRISTIAN: “Why do you think we shall not be received?”

ATHEIST: “Received! There is no such place as you dream of in all this world!”

CHRISTIAN: “That is true — but there is in the world to come.”

ATHEIST: “When I was at home in my own country, I heard of that place which you speak of. So I went out to find it — and have been seeking this City for these past twenty years; but I have not found it in all this time!”

CHRISTIAN: “We have both heard and believe that there is such a place to be found!”

ATHEIST: “Had not I, when at home, also believed — I would not have come thus far to seek it. If there had been such a place, I would have surely found it by now — for I have gone much further than you. So not finding it, I am going back home again, and will seek the pleasures which I had then cast away — for the vain hope of a world to come.”

Then Christian said to Hopeful, “Do you think that what this man has said is true?”

HOPEFUL: “Take heed — he is one of the flatterers! Remember what it has cost us once already for our hearkening to such a fellow. What! No Celestial City? Did we not see, from the Delectable Mountains, the gate of the City? Also, we are now to walk by faith. Let us go on, lest the man with the whip overtake us again.

“You should have taught me that lesson, which I will now remind you of: ‘Do not listen to any advice which would lead you to stray from the words of knowledge.’ I say, my brother — do not listen to him — but let us believe to the saving of our souls!”

CHRISTIAN: “My brother, I did not ask the question of you, because I doubted the truth myself — but to test you, and to hear your heartfelt response. As for this man, I know that he is blinded by the god of this world. Let us go on, knowing that we believe the truth, and that no lie is of the truth.”

HOPEFUL: “Now I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!”

So they turned away from the man — and he, laughing at them, went on his way back home.