Now all this while poor Mercy did stand without, trembling and crying for fear that she was rejected. But when Christiana had gotten admittance for herself and her boys, then she began to make intercession for Mercy.
Christiana: And she said, “My Lord, I have a companion of mine that stands yet without, that is come hither upon the same account as myself: one that is much dejected in her mind; for that she comes, as she thinks, without sending for, whereas I was sent to by my husband’s King to come.”
Now Mercy began to be very impatient, for each minute was as long to her as an hour; wherefore she prevented Christiana from a fuller interceding for her, by knocking at the gate herself: and she knocked then so loud, that she made Christiana to start. Then said the keeper of the gate, “Who is there?” And said Christiana, “It is my friend.”
So he opened the gate, and looked out; but Mercy was fallen down without in a swoon, for she fainted, and was afraid that no gate would be opened to her.
Then he took her by the hand, and said, “Damsel, I bid you arise.”
“Oh, sir,” said she, “I am faint; there is scarce life left in me.” But he answered that “one once said, ‘When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came in unto You, into Your holy temple.’
Fear not, but stand upon your feet, and tell Me why you have come.”
Mercy: I am come for that unto which I was never invited, as my friend Christiana was. Hers was from the King, and mine was but from her; wherefore I fear I presume.
Keeper of the Gate: “Did she desire you to come with her to this place?”
Mercy: Yes; and, as my Lord sees, I am come. And if there is any grace or forgiveness of sins to spare, I beseech that I, your poor handmaid, may be partaker thereof.
Then he took her again by the hand, and led her gently in, and said, “I pray for all them that believe on Me, by what means soever they come unto Me.” Then said he to those that stood by, “Fetch something, and give it to Mercy to smell on, thereby to stay her fainting.” So they fetched her a bundle of myrrh, and awhile after she was revived.
Notes and Commentary
While sounds of music celebrate the arrival of Christiana and her children, Mercy is still outside the Gate. She has been fearful from the beginning that she would not be received. Now it seems her fears are coming true.
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.
Return to A Guide to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2