Reading: Pp. 26 ~ 37
As they walk, they drew near
a very filthy, muddy slough in the middle of the path. Not watching where they
were walking, the two fell into the slough, the name of which was the Slough
of Despond. Here they were stuck for sometime, unable to get out, and, Christian,
with the burden on his back, began to sink. Pliable gets offended and becomes
angry, discouraged by this slough. If we have such disaster this early, he
says, imagine what we would meet up with the rest of the journey! Thus,
Pliable eventually struggles out of the mire on the side closest to his home
and abandons Christian. Christian, now alone, still struggles through to get
to the other side near the Wicket Gate; as he went, however, he was unable to
get out because of that burden on his back. A man then comes to him, though,
one named Help, and asks what Christian was doing. After Christian explains
that a man named Evangelist had advised him to go this way to the Wicket Gate
to escape from the wrath to come and that he had fallen into the Slough, Help
questions why Christian didn’t look for the steps across the Slough. Christian
explains that he was so scared while trying to escape that he missed the safe
way across, to which Help replies, “Then give me your hand.” Upon stretching
out his hand, Christian is pulled out of the Slough of Despond by Help, and
thus Christian heads on his way to the Wicket Gate once again. Just then,
during the dream, Bunyan approaches Help, asking that, since the way from the
City of Destruction to the Wicket Gate runs directly through the Slough of
Despond, why doesn’t anybody repair it? He is given the response that the
Slough cannot be mended, since it is low-lying and attracts a continuous
stream of scum and filth. Help further explains, that no matter what the King
has tried, they haven’t been able to mend the Slough. He says, however, that
reliable and solid steps have been placed through the middle of the Slough,
but, due to a lot of filth covering it, the steps are hardly noticeable, and
that, even if they are noticed, travelers’ feet miss the steps from
guilt-induced dizziness. Therefore, travelers are stuck, even with the steps.
This particular part of Christian’s journey represents sinful temptations that
might dissuade a Christian, aspects of giving up things for God that may
discourage and stop Christians originally on the path to salvation. Just like
Christian’s journey, however, other Christians will have help in coming out of
the Slough. The steps in the Slough represent a way for lost Christians to get
back on the path to Salvation, but, since the amount of sin is so great, many
a times these steps are covered and Christians lose their way again.
Meanwhile, Pliable arrived back home, where some called him wise for
returning, others called him a fool for going with Christian in the first
place, while others called him a coward for turning back. Joshua Ma
- The Wicket Gate (page 26), representing the narrow entrance
to salvation achieved through a commitment to the Christian life.
The House of the Interpreter (page 29-39), where Christian
receives further instructions in how to lead the Christian life and in how to
interpret symbolism. The Interpreter's instructions can then be used by the
reader to help explicate or understand the images that Bunyan offers to us.
To Pilgrim's Progress Main Page
How does Christian
meet Good Will? What does the latter want to know from him?
--back to top--
Good Will at the entrance of the Wicket Gate. Good Will wanted to know who
Christian was, where he was from, and what he would have. After Christian
was let in through the Wicket Gate, Good Will also asked him who had
directed him this way, why did he come alone, and if anyone knew he had come
and had tried to stop him from continuing his journey. Emily Lu
Christian meets Good
Will through knocking on the wicket gate: after knocking multiple times, it
is Good Will that opens the door for him. Good Will then asks about who was
there, where he can from, and what he wanted. Christian, in reply, says that
he was a “poor burdened sinner” coming from the “City of Destruction” going
to Mount Zion to be delivered from the “wrath to come.” In addition, he asks for
Good Will to let him in through the wicket gate. Good Will responds, “I am
willing with all my heart.” Joshua Ma
Christian meets Good
Will at the Wicket Gate. Good Will wants to know who he (Christian) is,
where he came from, and why he seeks to enter the gate. Vicki Shen
Christian meets Good
Will when he goes to the Wicket Gate. Good Will wanted to know who directed
Christian to go to the Wicket Gate, why he went alone, did anyone know about
his journey, and if anyone followed him to persuade him to go back. Jennifer Lee
Christian meets good
will when he is at the gate to salvation. Good-Will wants to know about
Christian’s journey as a pilgrim. Angela Zhou
Christian meets Good
Will at the wicket gate where Evangelist has directed him. Good Will wants
to know where Christian came from and how he came to be at the wicket gate.
When Christian was
walking on the path Evangelist directed him on, he got to the gate that
Evangelist told him to go there. When Christian knocked on the gate, it
opened and a person named Good Will came out, which is how Christian meet
Good Will. Good Will wants to learn from Christian many things like why is
he alone, who directed him to come to the gate, if anyone tried to persuade
him to come back, who knew of his leaving, and if he took Mr.
Worldly-Wiseman’s counsel. Elaine Lee
Christian meets Good
Will when he goes to the Wicket-Gate. Good Will wanted to know from
Christian who directed him there, how is it that he came alone, did anyone
know of his coming, and did any of them follow him to persuade him to go
back. Michelle Lee
Christian knocks at the wicket gate and meets Good Will. Good
Will wanted to know where Christian came from, why he came alone, and also
if anyone tried to stop him from leaving. He also wanted to know who
directed him to the wicket gate and what he would have. Samuel Lu
Christian met Good Will at Wicket Gate. Good Will wanted to
know who Christian was, where he came from, and why he wanted to go in.
How does Christian meet Interpreter? What does
Christian learn from each demonstration from Interpreter?
Interpreter shows him various things -
- The portrait of
the man (p. 30).
- The distinction between the law and the gospel (p. 30).
- The virtue of
patience contrasted with passion (p. 31).
- The grace of
Christ conquers the assailed heart (p. 33).
persevering, valiant pilgrim (p. 33).
- The despairing
man in the iron cage (p. 34).
- The warning of
the final Day of Judgment (p. 36).--back to top--
The Portrait of
the Man- Christian learns that the man represents a preacher or is somewhat
like a teacher, a person that can help someone see right from wrong and show
the sinners the dark evils in the world. The man in the portrait has a world
that is cast behind and a crown on his head to show the things he hates in the
present for the love he has for the Lord.
The distinction between
the Law and the Gospel- Christian learns that the law will only further
increase a person’s sin within themselves. While the gospel will cleanse the
heart and soul of their sins. In the book, dust represents our sins and once
in a while, our conscience needs to be cleaned.
The Virtue of
Patience contrasted with Passion- Basically Christian learns that Passion is a
man that wants everything right then and can’t wait while on the other hand,
Patience is quiet and has the will to wait and therefore has greater wisdom
The Grace of
Christ conquers the assailed heart- In this case, the fire stands for the
grace of Christ. The man on the other side of the wall pouring oil into the
fire, keeps the grace going. While the Devil was pouring water on the fire,
trying to extinguish the grace of God. In our lives the devil is the one that
will keep trying to trick us but the ones who have God in their hearts will be
able to withstand his evil.
Valiant Pilgrim- Christian learns that those who have the desire and
determination to keep going and never give up are the ones that will truly
The Despairing Man
in the Iron Cage- The man in the iron cage was filled with sadness and despair
in his eyes. The man had sinned against the goodness of God and had no hope in
himself. He had chosen the luxuries and pleasure of the world over God and
therefore has no way out of the cage he is in.
The Warning of the
Final Day of Judgment- Christian learned that to follow the goodness of God
will help prepare for the day when it will really come instead of hiding and
fearing it. Emily Lu
Christian meets Interpreter after talking with
Good Will, who advised Christian to visit the Interpreter’s house. Thus, after
going through the wicket gate, Christian soon arrives at the Interpreter’s
house, where he knocks several times after which the Interpreter answers the
door. After entering his house, Christian is shown multiple things:
He is shown the
portrait of a grave person. “It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of
books in its hand; the law of truth was written upon its lips; the world was
behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did
hang over its head.” Christian learns from this that the man fathers and
nourishes children, and that he shows the truth to sinners, despises the world
though serving his master, and is “authorized” to guide through difficulties.
Next, he is shown
a room coated with dust, representing the man’s polluted heart, polluted with
sin. A sweeper comes in, representing the law, which arouses corruption even
more, spreading dust everywhere. Thus, it is saying the law doesn’t cleanse;
instead, it strengthens sin even more. Next, however, a damsel comes in,
representing the cleansing gospel messenger, and cleanses the sins.
goes into a little room, where he sees two children, Patience and Passion.
Passion eagerly accepts a bag of treasure, while Patience waits in rags; this
represents the self-loving men of the world, unwilling to wait. Patience,
those who are prepared to wait for that to come, will soon be rewarded with
glory that lasts forever in heaven, far after Passion’s treasure has run out
and has been reduced to rags.
sees a raging fire and water trying to put it out. Instead of going out,
however, the fire rises even higher. This represents, Christian learns, the
devil, represented by the water, trying to put out the grace in the believer’s
heart, represented by the fire, while the fire rages even higher. The fire
growing bigger represents the work of Christ, who kindles the fire even
Next, Christian is
led into a pleasant place, where he sees a stately palace with people robed in
gold. Christian asks to go in, and the Interpreter takes him and leads him up
to the palace door. There, a group of men stood, wanting to go in, but not
daring to; in the doorway, there stood armed men, determined to hurt those who
entered. A persevering, valiant pilgrim, however, cuts his way through, and
his work is rewarded with the palace he can now enter. Thus, a Christian must
be persevering and committing, willing to sacrifice, to be rewarded.
Then, Christian enters a very
dark room, where a man sat in an iron cage. He says he is without the “light
of hope,” he has without hope in God, and that he is caged in iron and cannot
escape. His hard heart finds no mercy, his caged heart is locked up in
remorse, and his unbelieving heart is denied repentance. Thus, he serves as a
warning to Christian, where Christian prays, “God help me to watch and be
sober and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man’s misery.”
goes to a next room, and sees a man waking from a dream, trembling. Upon being
asked of the reason for his trembling, the man replies that he is very fearful
from a dream which he then describes. The dream is a description of Judgment
Day, and Christ calls, “Arise you who are dead, and come to your Judgment!”
Some are happy, those who know they will be rewarded by going to heaven, while
those going to hell are sad. It shows a warning of the final Judgment Day,
where those who have been faithful and repenting will go to heaven, while the
sinful and not repenting are sent to hell. Joshua Ma
The Portrait of
the Man – From this portrait, Christian learns that since he is a new pilgrim,
he will need someone to guide him through his pilgrimage, such as the man in
the portrait, who is portrayed as a preacher. In the portrait, the man is
dignified and humble. He doesn’t boast about himself. Also, he holds the Bible
in his hand and his eyes are looking towards heaven, which shows that he is a
man of God. In addition, he is truthful, faithful, and isn’t worldly. The man
in the portrait set an excellent example for Christian to follow.
between the Law and the Gospel – In this demonstration, the room of dust
represents a man’s corrupted heart, while the dust itself represents
corruption. The sweeper (who by sweeping the room, made it even dirtier and
cause Christian to choke) resembles the law, which doesn’t cleanse the heart
but causes it to be more sinful. The damsel that sprinkled the room with water
(which made the room easier to clean) symbolizes the gospel, which purifies
your heart, if you believe in it, since it (the Gospel) proclaims the good
news of Jesus Christ.
The Virtue of
Patience contrasted with Passion – At this demonstration, Christian observes
the two children, Passion and Patience. He sees that Passion is greedy and
wants his treasure immediately, whereas Patience is willing to wait. Although
Passion “received” his treasure first, it soon wasted away and he was left
with rags. However, Patience received a treasure that would last forever
because he waited patiently. This demonstration showed Christian that to go to
heaven; he would need to be more like Patience and less like Passion.
The Grace of
Christ conquers the Assailed Heart – This demonstration showed a man trying to
quench the fire in a fireplace with water. But with each passing moment the
man spent in trying to quench the fire, the fire just grew hotter and hotter,
higher and higher. The fire in this display symbolizes the grace in a
Christian heart. The man, who represents the devil, is trying to put out the
fire, just as the devil tries to lead us away from God. Lastly, the man that
was secretly pouring oil into the burning fire signifies Jesus, because if you
trust in him, he will rescue you from all temptations.
Valiant Pilgrim – In this demonstration, Heaven is symbolized by the beautiful
and stately palace. There are many people that want to go into heaven, just
like the crowd that wanted to go into the palace. However, entering Heaven
won’t be easy, which was symbolized by the guards that blocked everyone and
frightened them from entering the palace. Nonetheless, if you are perseverant
and valiant, like the man who opposed the guards and kept fighting them
without giving up, you will eventually succeed and be able to go in Heaven.
The Despairing Man
in the Iron Cage – Here, when Christian talks with the man imprisoned in the
iron cage, he discovers that the man was once a fair and flourishing
professor. However, as the man prospered, he began to sin against God. He put
worldly, materialistic objects before godly things and he eventually began to
despise God and everything else that was holy. As a result of his sinful
actions, the man was imprisoned in an iron cage for all eternity. From this,
Christian learns that he should watch, be sober, and to pray so that he would
not end up with the same miserable fate as that man.
The Warning of the final Day of Judgment – At
this demonstration, a man tells Christian about his dream where the final Day
of Judgment came; however, he was unprepared for it. As a result, when God
lifted everyone else into Heaven, only he was left behind and fell into hell
shortly afterwards. The lesson from this demonstration is actually quite
simple: Always be prepared for the final Day of Judgment because no one knows
when it may come. Vicki Shen
The portrait of
the man— Christian learns that the man in the portrait is a man that is a
guide to all difficult places, and that people will be needing him, especially
Christian, when met people like Mr. Worldly Wiseman. People like Mr. Worldly
Wiseman pretended to lead to the right places, but their ways actually led to
between the law and the gospel— Christian learns that the dust represented the
law, and the water represented the gospel. When the man swept the dust, it
"kind of" cleaned the room; it didn’t really clean the room. But when the
damsel sprinkled the room with water, it actually cleaned the room. So
Christian learned that the law wouldn’t really clean the heart, but the gospel
The virtue of
patience contrasted with passion— Patience and Passion are children. Passion
is impatient and Patient is patient. Passion represents the men of this world,
and Patience represents the men of which to come. Patience would have the
glory of his, but Passion would have nothing but rags. Chrisitan learns that
it is much better to be like Patience than Passion.
The grace of
Christ conquers the assailed heart— Christian learns that the fire represents
the grace of God that is wrought in the heart. The water trying the extinguish
it represents the Devil. The oil represents the continuing grace of God, and
that the water can no longer extinguish it. It is hard for the tempted to
maintian this grace in the soul.
valiant pilgrim— The man who puts on the helmet and draws his sword represents
Christian. The men at the door represent the difficulties Christian went
through on his journey. As the man rushed towards the door, he gave many
wounds to the people who tried to keep him out. Eventually, he got through the
door, which represented Christian going to his destination. Also, the men who
stood back in fear represented other pilgrims who turned back when they faced
difficulties, like Pliable.
The despairing man
in the iron cage— There is a man who was once a flourishing professor, but
ended up in misery. He ended up in an iron cage. Christian learns that since
the man was severely against God, and that the man thought Jesus’s blood as
"very unholy." Because of this, God denied him, and that man ended up in the
horrible cage, which represented hell.
The warning of the
final day of judgment— On the day, the dead arise, and would be separated into
two groups. One group would be going to heaven, and one group would be going
to hell. The man on the cloud is Christ, and decideds who goes where. The
trembling man represents sin or maybe doubt. Christian learns that he should
believe in God. Jennifer Lee
Christian meets the interpreter because Good-Will
told him to stop by. There he learns certain things about God and what not to
do to get into Heaven. The interpreter shows the portrait of the man to show
Christian what to be like. The distinction between the law and the gospel is
to warn Christian of men like Worldly Wiseman who follow the law but not
God’s. Interpreter shows Christian patience and passion to help him remember
that good things come to those who wait. The flame is to show Christian that
no matter what the devil tries to do to quench the flames that are the grace
of Christ, he will not succeed. The persevering pilgrim is to show Christian
that he must never give up or lower his guard. The despairing man in the iron
cage is to warn Christian to love Jesus and to not fear him totally or sin
against him. The warning of the final day of judgment is to make sure
Christian will do right and not let down his guard and sin and not be accepted
to heaven. Angela Zhou
Good Will tells Christian that the Interpreter is
a little way from the path of the wicket gate. He meets the Interpreter and
tells him his “History”. Christian learns many things from the Interpreter,
but I believe the main thing he learned is right from wrong and what to expect
on the way. Janna Qiao
As Christian is going down the path Good Will
told him to go, he came to a house, which Good Will also told him to go to.
Christian knocked on the door and he sent for Interpreter. While Christian was
in the house, Interpreter showed him each thing in the house and told him each
meaning of it. The man in the picture should Christian remember for the man is
a guide for difficult places so Christian would not take counsel of evil men
that would lead to death. The dust swept around and the water sprinkled around
the large parlor represents that the dust is the law and the water is the
gospel. The dust cannot clean the room as law cannot clean the heart but the
water can clean the room as the gospel can clean the heart. Patience and
passion are shown as children in whom they are to wait for the best things.
But Passion wants his things first as Patience can wait. So Passion gets his
things and laughs at Patience but realizes his things turn to rags. Passion is
the men of this of this world and Patience is the men to come. The men of this
world will get their things as it would just disappear. The fire and the water
are the work of grace and the devil. The water or devil tries to put out the
fire or grace but it just keeps growing and growing. This is because there is
a man secretly putting oil into the fire. The man is Christ and the oil is his
grace. This means God can overpower the devil. The man with the helmet and the
sword represents Christian who battles the armed men, who represent
difficulties in the journey. The beautiful palace is Christian’s destination.
The men who want to go in but stood back in fear are other people want to go
inside Christian’s destination but turn back in fear of the difficulties. This
means that Christian reaches his destination. The man in the cage is a man who
completely turned against God for he had many sins against God and has
hardened his own heart he could not repent. Therefore, the cage is
representing hell. This means that you should not turn against God. The man
sitting on the bed had a dream that there was going to be a day of judgment.
On that day, the dead rise and were going to be separated as one is going to
heaven and one is going to hell. The man on the cloud is Christ separating the
people and the man trembling is probably sin and of course is against God. But
the main purpose is to believe in God. Elaine Lee
Christian meets Interpreter by going to his
house. 1st Demo: Portrait of the Man-Christian learns from this demonstration
to watch out for men like the one in the portrait—whose job it is to know and
"unfold" dark things to sinners—during his journey. 2nd Demo: The Distinction
Between the Law and the Gospel-Christian learns from this demonstration that
the Gospel is more important than the Law. 3rd Demo: The Virtue of Patience
Contrasted With Passion-Christian learns from this demonstration that
Passion—who represents the men of the world—gets what he wants in the present,
but in the end, is left with rags. Patience—who represents the men of the
world that is yet to come—is vice versa. Therefore, it is like a vision of the
future. 4th Demo: The Grace of Christ Conquers the Assailed Heart-Christian
learns from this demonstration that the grace of Christ—which represents
"water"—will conquer the Devil—who represents "fire". 5th Demo: The Despairing
Man in the Iron Cage-Christian learns from this demonstration to have
everlasting caution. Christian also sees another demonstration, the warning
day of judgment. Christian learns that he must remember all these
demonstrations during his journey. Michelle Lee
Good Will tells Christian that there is a house
up ahead, a person named Interpreter lives there that has excellent things he
can show you. So Christian knocks at the door of the Interpreters house and a
man answers the door. Then he gets his master the Interpreter.
The Portrait of
the Man- Christian learns that the man in the picture stands for guide or a
preacher that helps sinners see the evil that is in the world.
between the Law and the Gospel- Christian learns that people commit sins all
the time and once in a while, their hearts need to be cleaned.
The Virtue of Patience contrasted with Passion- Passion just can’t wait and
wants things right away. Patience can wait and will get the greater reward in
The Grace of
Christ conquers the assailed heart- Christian learns that the Devil is trying
to get rid of God’s good grace by pouring water on the fire but on the other
side, a man is pouring oil into the fire to keep the grace.
Valiant Pilgrim- keep going and don’t give up and you will never fail.
The man in the
Iron Cage- The man had sinned against God and therefore is in this cage and
cannot get out. He is in great despair.
The Warning of the
Final Day of Judgment- Follow God’s way and you will not hide in fear of the
Day of Judgment. Samuel Lu
The portrait of the man – Christian learns to be serious and
unselfish like the man in the portrait. He learns not to boast about himself.
Also, he learns to be God-centered and to respect God. Now, he knows to read
and respect the Bible and to be truthful like the Bible. Additionally, he
knows to be honest, faithful, and not worldly, and to guide people to God like
the man in the portrait.
The distinction between the law and the gospel – When
Interpreter shows Christian the room, he sees that the polluted room is like a
man’s sinful heart and the dust is like the sin. The sweeper is like the law,
because when the sweeper sweeps, he makes the room dirtier just like the law
causes corruption. The lady is like the gospel because the lady helps to make
the room clean and the gospel teaches about Jesus and Jesus makes our heart
The virtue of patience contrasted with passion – Christian
looks at the two children named Passion and Patience. He learns that patience
is good and passion is bad. He learns that passion is bad because when you are
passionate, you are impatient and you want something fast. So when you are
patient, you can wait as long as it takes. Only the people that are patient
get to go to heaven.
The grace of Christ conquers the assailed heart – From this,
Christian sees that the man that tried to put out the fire was a demon.
Christian learns that the fire is like a Christian heart. Also, he learns not
to be tempted by the devil which is like the demon trying to quench the fire;
and if he is tempted by the devil, he can trust that God will help him, like
the angel that was secretly pouring oil into the fire.
The persevering, valiant pilgrim – The palace is like heaven.
The guards are like the people that try to stop you from believing in God. The
crowd of people represents the people that want to go into heaven. But when
Christian sees the man that fights the guards and eventually gets into the
palace, he learns to be valiant and perseverant. He learns not to give up and
stay brave the whole way so he can succeed.
The despairing man in the iron cage – In here, the man in the
cage was once a good and happy person. But he sinned against God and he put
worldly things before godly things. That’s why God put him in the cage because
it was his punishment. Christian learns from this that he has to watch and be
sober and he has to pray because he doesn’t want to be miserable like the man
in the cage.
The warning of the final Day of Judgment – Christian learned
that you have to be ready at all times for the final Day of Judgment. David Shen
Verses For The Pilgrim’s Progress pgs 26-37
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- Revelation 3:8-I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open
door no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept
my word and have not denied my name.
- John 6:37-All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever
comes to me I will never drive away.
- Matthew 7:13-14-Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and
broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But
small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few
- Galatians 4:19-My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of
childbirth until Christ is formed in you.
- Luke 16:25-But Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received
bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony."
- 2 Corinthians 4:18—So we fix our eyes not on
what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what
is unseen is eternal.
- Hebrews 10:29—How much more severely do you
think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under
foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that
sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
- Luke 3:17—His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to
gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with
- Mark 2:5—When Jesus saw their faith, he said to
the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
- Zechariah 3:3-5—Now Joshua was dressed in
filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were
standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua,
"See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." Then I
said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head
and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
- Proverbs 23:24—The father of a righteous man
has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.
- 1 Peter 5:8—Be self-controlled and alert. Your
enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to
Lesson 4 Vocabulary Angela Zhou
--back to top--
- Amity- friendship
- Tares- an undesirable thing
- Chaff- something worthless
- Raiment- clothing
- Garner- something that is collected
- Goad- spur into action
- Peradventure- perhaps