Tears in a Bottle

Tear Drops

So they went on together; and Mercy began to weep. Then said Christiana, “Wherefore weeps my sister so?”

Mercy: “Alas!” said she, “who can but lament that shall but rightly consider what a state and condition my poor relations are in that yet remain in our sinful town? and that which makes my grief the more heavy is, because they have no instructor, nor any to tell them what is to come.”

Christiana: “Bowels becomes pilgrims. And you do for your friends as my good Christian did for me when he left me; he mourned for that I would not heed nor regard him; but his Lord and ours did gather up his tears, and put them into his bottle; and now both I, and your, and these my sweet babes, are reaping the fruit and benefit of them. I hope, Mercy, these tears of yours will not be lost: for the truth has said, that ‘they that sow in tears shall reap in joy, in singing. And he that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.’”

Then said Mercy:

Let the Most Blessed be my guide,
If it be his blessed will,
Unto his gate, into his fold,
Up to his holy hill.

And let him never suffer me
To swerve or turn aside
From his free grace and holy ways,
Whate’er shall me betide.

And let him gather them of mine
That I have left behind.
Lord, make them pray they may be Thine,
With all their heart and mind.

Notes and Commentary

No sooner does the journey to the Celestial City begin, that Mercy begins to weep. Though she has determined to leave the City of Destruction, she is leaving behind many friends and family members. She laments that their souls remain in danger. Christiana’s words of comfort imply that Mercy has pled with them and tried to warn them. Mercy could not convince them to join her and now she fears they will have no one else to warn them of the judgment to come.

As her name implies, Mercy is caring and compassionate. Christiana says of Mercy: “Bowels becomes pilgrims.” Bowels were considered the seat of deep emotion.

Continue Reading Notes and Commentary

The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress and images used are public domain.

Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2022 Ken Puls

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from 
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc

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