The Death of Faithful

Christian and Faithful in Vanity Fair

Written by John Bunyan
Taken and adapted from the “Young People’s Pilgrim’s Progress” 
Rewritten and modernized by, S. J. Reid, D.D., 

NOW Envy stood forth and said…

“My lord, this man, in spite of his name, is one of the vilest men in our country. He has no regard for prince or people, law or custom, but does all he can to fill other men with his disloyal notions, which he calls faith and holiness. And I myself heard him say that Christian faith and the customs of our town Vanity were opposed to one another, and would always be, by which saying, my lord, he not only condemns these customs, but us also who observe them.”

Next came Superstition, who said, “My lord, I do not know much about this man, nor do I want to know him. But this I do know, that he is a very bad man, for when I had a talk with him the other day in this town he said that our religion was such that it could by no means please God, which saying, my lord, simply means that we worship in vain, are yet in our sins, and shall at last be punished. This is all I have to say.”

Pickthank then came forward and said, “My lord, I have known this fellow for a long time, and have heard him say things he ought not to have said. He mocked our noble prince, Beelzebub, and spoke with great contempt Of his friends, whose names are Lord Old Man, the Lord Carnal Delight, the Lord Desire of Vain Glory, my old Lord Lechery, Sir Having Greedy, with all the rest of our noble friends. Besides, he has not been afraid to speak ill of you, my lord, who are now his judge, calling you an ungodly and bad man.”
When Pickthank had finished, the judge said to Faithful, “Thou runagate, heretic and traitor, have you heard what these honest gentlemen have said against you Faithful: “May I say a few words in my defense Judge? Sir, sir, you deserve to live no longer, but to be slain at once. But that all men may see how gentle we are towards you, let us hear what you, vile runagate, have to say. ”

Faithful: I say, then, in answer to Mr. Envy, that I never said anything but this: That what rules, or laws, or customs, or people, were flat against the Word of God, are opposed to the Christian faith. If I said what was wrong, convince me of my error and I will take it back. In reply to Mr. Superstition, let me say that in the worship of God there is required a divine faith. There can be no divine faith unless it is divinely revealed by the will of God. What is brought into the worship of God that was not divinely revealed is a human faith, and that faith will not profit to eternal life.

And as for Mr. Pickthank, I say that the prince of this town, with all his attendants, as already named, are more fit for hell than for this town and country and so may the Lord have mercy on me.” Then the judge said to the jury Gentlemen of the jury, you see this man, about whom so great an uproar has been made in this town. You have heard what these worthy gentlemen have said against him. You have heard his reply. It is now for you to hang him or save his life. But I think I must first instruct you in our laws. There was an act made in the days of Pharaoh the Great, a servant of our prince, against those of a different religion . In order that they might not increase too fast and become too strong for him, all their young children were thrown into the river. ‘There was another act made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, that all who did 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 if any called on any other god but him, they should be cast into the lions’ den. Now the prisoner at the bar has broken these laws, not only in thought, but also in word and deed.

Then the jury went into another room.

Their names were: Mr. Blindman, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Heady Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light and Mr. Implacable. Among them elves they concluded to say that Faithful was guilty. Mr. Blind-man, the foreman, said, I see clearly that this man is a heretic.” Mr. No-good “Away with such a fellow from the earth.” Mr. Malice “Aye, for I hate the very looks of him.” Mr. Love-lust: “I could never endure him.” Mr. Live-loose: “Nor I, for he would ever condemn my way.” Mr. Heady “Hang him Hang him Mr. High-min d “A sorry scrub.” Mr. Enmity “My heart riseth against him.” Mr. Liar: “He is a rogue and a liar.” Mr. Cruelty “Hanging is too good for him.” Mr. Hate-light: “Let us dispatch him out-of-the-way.” Mr. Implacable “If I had all the world given to me I could not like him. Let us bring him in guilty of death.” And so they did, and he was taken from the place where he was to the place whence he came and put to a cruel death. They whipped him and beat him, and cut hi m with knives, and stoned him with stones, and, last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake.

Thus, Faithful died.

Now there stood behind the crowd a chariot and a span of horses waiting for Faithful. As soon as he passed away he was taken into it, and was carried up through the clouds, with sound of trumpet, the nearest way to the Celestial City.

But as for Christian, he had a rest, and was put back into prison, where he stayed for a time. But he who rules all things so brought it about that at last Christian escaped them, and went on his way.