Pardon at the Gate

Mercy fainting by the Gate

And now was Christiana and her boys, and Mercy, received of the Lord at the head of the way, and spoke kindly unto by him.

Then said they yet further unto him, “We are sorry for our sins, and beg of our Lord his pardon; and further information what we must do.”

“I grant pardon,” said he, “by word and deed: by word, in the promise of forgiveness; by deed, in the way I obtained it. Take the first from my lips with a kiss, and the other as it shall be revealed.”

Now I saw in my dream that he spoke many good words unto them, whereby they were greatly gladdened. he also had them up to the top of the gate, and showed them by what deed they were saved; and told them withal, that that sight they would have again as they went along in the way, to their comfort.

So he left them awhile in a summer parlor below, where they entered into talk by themselves. And thus Christiana began, “O Lord, how glad am I that we are got in hither!”

Mercy: So you well may; but I, of all, have cause to leap for joy.

Christiana: I thought one time, as I stood at the gate (because I had knocked, and none did answer), that all our labor had been lost; specially when that ugly cur made such a heavy barking against us.

Mercy: But my worst fear was after I saw that you were taken into his favor, and that I was left behind. Now, thought I, “tis fulfilled which is written, Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

I had much ado to forbear crying out, Undone, undone! And afraid I was to knock any more; but when I looked up to what was written over the gate, I took courage. I also thought that I must either knock again, or die. So I knocked; but I cannot tell how, for my spirit now struggled between life and death.

Christiana: Can you not tell how you knocked? I am sure your knocks were so earnest, that the very sound of them made me start. I thought I never heard such knocking in all my life. I thought you would have come in by violent hands, or have taken the Kingdom by storm.

Mercy: Alas! to be in my case, who that so was could but have done so? You saw that the door was shut upon me; and that there was a most cruel dog thereabout. Who, I say, that was so fainthearted as I, that would not have knocked with all their might? But pray, what said my Lord to my rudeness? Was he not angry with me?

Christiana: When he heard your lumbering noise, he gave a wonderful innocent smile. I believe what you did pleased him well enough; for he showed no sign to the contrary. But I marvel in my heart why he keeps such a dog. Had I known that afore, I fear I should not have had heart enough to have ventured myself in this manner. But now we are in, we are in; and I am glad with all my heart.

Mercy: I will ask, if you please, next time he comes down, why he keeps such a filthy cur in his yard. I hope he will not take it amiss.

“Aye, do,” said the children; “and persuade him to hang him, for we are afraid he will bite us when we go hence.”

Notes and Commentary

Mercy now joins Christiana and the children within the Gate. Each of them willingly set out on the journey as pilgrims. Now they are all lovingly welcomed. They enter by faith, not with boasting or presumption, but rather with humility and repentance. They confess to the Gate Keeper, “We are sorry for our sins, and beg of our Lord his pardon; and further information what we must do.” 

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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