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The Pilgrim’s Progress | Part Six


Chapter Nine—Refreshment at God’s River

Christian and Hopeful’s reflections on the monument to Lot’s wife are a model of how to respond to those that have fallen to destruction. The failures of others should always lead us to self-examination rather than self-congratulation. If we escape the temptations that have caused others to fall, it will only be by the grace of God, not by any inherent goodness of our own.

Chapter Ten—Prisoners of Despair

Christian had already won many battles. He had even faced down death itself in Vanity Fair. Yet a careless decision to head down an easier path led him into such darkness that, apart from Hopeful’s encouragement, he would have taken his own life. Though we can and must grow in grace, we will never be able to safely leave the narrow way, no matter how short the detour seems to be.

Chapter Eleven—Shepherd’s Warnings, Dangers Avoided

Though the narrow way to the Celestial City is beset with many difficulties, it is also attended by great delights. Apart from our union with our Savior, the greatest of these is the communion with the saints that we find in the local church. No matter how far we have come on our pilgrimage, we are never beyond the need for wise leadership and Christ-centered fellowship.

Chapter Twelve—Faith under Attack

The story of Little-Faith reminds us that it is the Object, not the strength, of our faith that saves. Weakness is miserable but it is not damning. Yet at the same time, the misery of Little-Faith was by no means inevitable. If he had not fallen asleep alone in a dangerous place, the rest of his pilgrimage would have looked very different.