Return to Lincoln's Reading Education and Books He Liked
by John Bunyan,  & Abraham Lincoln, an Avid
Because of the widespread
longtime popularity of The Pilgrim's
Progress, Christian's hazards—whether
originally from Bunyan or borrowed by him
from the Bible—the
"Slough of Despond", the
"Valley of the Shadow of Death",
"Doubting Castle", and the
"Enchanted Ground", his temptations (the
wares of "Vanity Fair" and the pleasantness of "By-Path
Meadow"), his foes ("Apollyon" and
"Giant Despair"), and the helpful stopping
places he visits (the
"House of the Interpreter", the
"House Beautiful", the
"Delectable Mountains", and the
"Land of Beulah") have become commonly used
proverbial in English. For
example, "One has one's own Slough of
Despond to trudge through."
Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory of a
Christian's journey (here represented by a
character called 'Christian') from the "City
of Destruction" to the "Celestial City".
Along the way he visits such locations as
the Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, the
Doubting Castle, and the Valley of the
Shadow of Death.
Progress tells the story of a
man's journey from the City of Destruction
to the Celestial City.
Click here to see the Sacred Text Archive to
see the illustrated map of this journey.
Bunyan, the author, had very little formal
education and a humble background.
Nonetheless Pilgrim's Progress is considered
one of the masterpieces of English
literature, and is required reading for
Christians who are on the spiritual path in
a world of temptations.
Click Here to read the entire book of
Pilgrim's Progress on-line
Internet Sacred Text Archive
largest freely available archive of online
books about religion, mythology, folklore
and the esoteric on the Internet. The site
is dedicated to religious tolerance and
scholarship, and has the largest readership
of any similar site on the web.)
An excerpt from the Apology of the original
This Book is writ in such a Dialect As may
the minds of listless men affect: It seems
a novelty, and yet contains nothing but sound and honest Gospel
READ THIS SAMPLE FROM THE BOOK
Would'st thou divert thyself from
Would'st thou be pleasant, yet be far from
Would'st thou read Riddles, and their
Or else be drowned in thy Contemplation?
Dost thou love picking meat? Or would'st
A man i' th' Clouds, and hear him speak to
Would'st thou be in a Dream, and yet not
Or would'st thou in a moment laugh and weep?
Would'st thou lose thyself, and catch no
And find thyself again without a charm?
Would'st read thyself, and read thou know'st
And yet know whether thou art blest or not,
By reading the same lines? O then come
And lay my Book, thy Head, and Heart
From Part One: Section Two
He that will enter in must first without
Stand knocking at the Garet, nor need he
That is a knocker but to enter in,
For God can love him, and forgive his sin.
He knocked therefore more than once or
May I now enter here? Will he within
Open to sorry me, though I have been
An undeserving Rebel? Then shall I
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high.
At last there came a grave person to
the gate named Good-Will, who
asked Who was there? and whence he came? and
what he would have?
Chr. Here is a poor burdened sinner. I
come from the City of Destruction, but am
going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered
from the wrath to come. I would therefore,
Sir, since I am informed that by this Gate
is the way thither, know if you are willing
to let me in.
Good-will. I am willing with all my
heart, said he; and with that he opened the
Part Two: Section VII
But when he was come to the entrance of
the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I thought
I should have lost my man; not for that he
had any inclination to go back, that he
always abhorred, but he was ready to die for
O, the Hobgoblins will have me, the
Hobgoblins will have me, cried he, and I
could not beat him out on't. He made such a
noise and such an outcry here, that, had
they but heard him, 'twas enough to
encourage them to come and
fall upon us.
But this I took very great notice of,
that this Valley was as quiet while he went
through it, as ever I knew it before or
since. I suppose these Enemies here had now
a special check from our Lord, and a command
not to meddle until
Mr Fearing was past over it.
A Newspaper clipping describing
President Theodore Roosevelt and the former
President Lincoln's love of the Great Heart
in the Pilgrims Progress Story
for a Study Guide and
Plot Summary to Follow while Reading
16th President Topics Index
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