January 24, 2013
Then the judge called to the jurymen (who were standing by and had observed all that had been said and done), “Gentlemen of the jury, you see this man about whom so great an uproar has been made in this town. You have also heard what these worthy gentlemen have witnessed against him. Also you have heard his reply and confession. It is now your responsibility to hang him or save his life. But before you decide, I think I need to instruct you in our law. There was an Act made in the days of Pharaoh the Great, servant to our prince, that to prevent those of a contrary religion from multiplying and growing too strong, the male children of those troublesome people should be drowned in the river.
“There was also an Act made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, another of our lord’s servants, that whoever would not fall down and worship his golden image should be thrown into a fiery furnace.
“There was also an Act made in the days of Darius that anyone who called upon any god except for him should be cast into the lions’ den. Now this rebel before you has broken the substance of these laws, not only in thought but also in word and deed. This is intolerable.
“Consider that the law made by Pharaoh was made to prevent mischief, no crime having yet been committed. But here before you is a crime apparent. As far as the second and third laws I told you of, you can see for yourself that he disputes against our religion, and for the treason he has confessed he deserves to die by execution.”
After hearing all this, the jury went to private quarters to deliberate. The jurors’ names were Mr. Blind-man, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Hothead, Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, Mr. Implacable.
Each one submitted his private verdict against Faithful to the other jurors, and after that, they unanimously concluded to bring a verdict of “guilty” against Faithful.
They went before the judge with their verdict. The first juror to speak was Mr. Blind-man, the foreman, who said, “I see clearly that this man is a heretic.”
Then Mr. No-good said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth!”
“I agree,” said Mr. Malice, “for I hate the very looks of him.”
Then Mr. Love-lust said, “I could never stand the sight of him.”
“Nor I,” said Mr. Live-loose, “for he would always be condemning me.”
“Hang him, hang him!” said Mr. Hothead.
“A sorry vermin,” said Mr. High-mind.
“My heart rises against him,” said Mr. Enmity.
“He is a rogue,” said Mr. Liar.
“Hanging is too good for him!” said Mr. Cruelty.
“Let us kill him quickly and get him out of the way,” said Mr. Hate-light.
Then said Mr. Implacable, “Even if I was offered all the world to make peace with this man, I could not. Therefore, let us quickly bring in a guilty verdict and put him to death.”
And so they did. Faithful was condemned and was taken to a place where he was put to the most cruel death they could invent. First they scourged him, then they beat him, then they lanced his flesh with knives. After that, they stoned him with stones and pierced him with their swords. Last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake. This is how Faithful came to his end.
Now I saw in my dream that there stood behind this brutal multitude a chariot and a couple of horses, waiting for Faithful. So as soon as his adversaries had killed him, he was taken into it and was immediately carried up through the clouds, with the sound of trumpets, heading straightaway to the Celestial Gate.
But as for Christian, he had a temporary delay and was returned to prison where he stayed for some time. But He who overrules all things, having the power of even His enemies’ rage in His own hand, brought about Christian’s escape from their evil plans. So Christian went on his way, singing:
“Well, Faithful, thou hast faithfully professed
Unto thy Lord, with whom thou shalt be blessed.
When faithless ones, with all their vain delights,
Are crying out under their hellish plights,
Sing, Faithful, sing, and let thy name survive;
For though they killed thee, thou art yet alive.”
This special printing of The Pilgrim's Progress, written by John Bunyan, is made available through Truth For Life by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.