Mercy: Then said Mercy, “What a sudden blank is here! I made account we had now been past all danger, and that we should never see sorrow more.”
Christiana: “Your innocency, my sister,” said Christiana to Mercy, “may excuse you much; but as for me, my fault is so much the greater, for that I saw this danger before I came out of the doors, and yet did not provide for it, where provision might have been had. I am, therefore, much to be blamed.”
Mercy: Then said Mercy, “How did you know this before you came from home? Pray open to me this riddle.”
Christiana: Why, I will tell you. Before I set foot out of doors, one night, as I lay in my bed, I had a dream about this; for I thought to myself that I saw two men, as like these as ever the world they could look, stand at my bed’s feet, plotting how they might prevent my salvation. I will tell you their very words. They said (’twas when I was in my troubles), “What shall we do with this woman; for she cries out, waking and sleeping, for forgiveness? If she be suffered to go on as she begins, we shall lose her as we have lost her husband.” This, you know, might have made me take heed and have provided when provision might have been had.
Mercy: “Well,” said Mercy, “as by this neglect we have an occasion ministered unto us to behold our own imperfections, so our Lord has taken occasion thereby to make manifest the riches of his grace. For he, as we see, has followed us with unasked kindness; and has delivered us from their hands that were stronger than we of his mere good pleasure.”
Notes and Commentary
As Christiana and Mercy resume their journey, they reflect on their recent peril. Though neither one was expecting danger, they were caught off guard for different reasons.
Mercy was truly surprised by the encounter. She did not see the danger coming. She had been accepted at the Gate and was joyfully following the Way to Life. Her expectations were unrealistic, believing that now safely through the Gate, the dangers of the journey were past. She confesses to Christiana, “What a sudden blank is here!”
The text for The Pilgrim’s Progress and images used are public domain.
Notes and Commentary for Part II ©2014, 2023 Ken Puls
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from
the New King James Version (NKJV) ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.