Monday, December 10, 2007

Mr. Worldly Wiseman in Pilgrim's Progress

We are starting a study on Pilgrim's Progress in our women's Sunday School next month, and I'm getting a jump start by listening to Max McLean's narration of the book, which is very helpful. The current section is called "Worldly Wiseman" and he adds a little rhyming summary to the end that I thought I'd share here. First here is a copy/paste from the Christian Ethereal Classics Library to give you the context (hey, one of the cool things about the "classics" is that most of them are free, "in the public domain" unlike the modern writers):


CHRISTIAN: Why, sir, this burden on my back is more terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden...

MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN: Why, in yonder village (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of a very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as thine is from their shoulders; yea to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; aye, and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself: there, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden; and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, (as indeed I would not wish thee,) thou mayest send for thy wife and children to this village, where there are houses now standing empty, one of which thou mayest have at a reasonable rate: provision is there also cheap and good; and that which will make thy life the more happy is, to be sure there thou shalt live by honest neighbors, in credit and good fashion.


Now was Christian somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, If this be true which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice: and with that he thus farther spake.

CHRISTIAN: Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?
MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN: Do you see yonder high hill?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, very well.
MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN: By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his.

So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for help: but, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next the way-side did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and wotted not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire, Ex. 19:16, 18, out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burnt: here therefore he did sweat and quake for fear. Heb. 12:21. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly Wiseman's counsel;

When Christians unto carnal men give ear,
Out of their way they go and pay for it dear.

For master worldly wisemen can but show
a saint the way to bondage and to woe.

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