I read that “The Pilgrim’s Progress” is the most-read book written in English. If you’ve read it you know why. One of the most powerful sections comes from “The Tenth Stage”.

Hope and Christian journey to the Celestial City as companions. After meeting Ignorance they enter into a conversation. Here is the second half. I posted the first part yesterday.

Firts Edition 1678. Photo credit Wikipedia

Firts Edition 1678. Photo credit Wikipedia

Hope: Now I have showed you the reason of their sliding back, you show me how it happens.

Christian: So I will willingly.

1. They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.

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

3. Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.

4. After that, they grow cold to public duty, as hearing, reading, godly discussion, and the like.

5. They then begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly, and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming tendency to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmities they have noticed in them) behind their backs.

6. Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton people

7. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.

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

9. And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own self-deceptions.

(The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, Part One, The Tenth Stage – I modernized some of the language)