I’ve read Pilgrim’s Progress before. Twice. Once it was a children’s edition with gorgeous full-color pictures. Then, when I was older, I read the full book but re-written in modern English. This time I’m reading an edition closer to the original, which John Bunyan wrote in the 1600’s.
Pilgrim’s progress is an allegory. It’s the daring adventure of a man who left his family and home on a hazardous journey to the Celestial City. At face value, it’s a tale of adventure, but it’s also symbolic of the Christian life. What I recently learned was that the author wrote it while in prison for his faith. Doesn’t that just make his message all the more strong?
I’m currently on page forty-seven of the three-hundred-and-some paged book. This seems like an appropriate time to stop and share my first impressions. I find the Old English difficult to understand. But as I got caught up in the story, it quickly became a non-issue. It probably helps, too, that I’ve already read other editions of this book, so I have pictures in my head to help fill in the blanks.
I’m already pleased with the way Pilgrim’s Progress engages my mind in matters of eternity. The person sitting next to me must think I have a strange way of reading when she sees me frequently look up from my book to stare pensively at thin air for a few moments. Though not yet a fifth of my way through the book, I can already testify to it being thick with allegory.
I look forward to being engaged with still more thought-provoking narrative. If what I’ve already read is representative of the rest of the book, I don’t think I will be too disappointed.