So the man drew nearer and nearer, and at last came up to them. His name was Atheist, and he asked them where they were going.
CHRISTIAN: “We are going to the Celestial City.”
Then Atheist burst into laughter.
CHRISTIAN: “What is the meaning of your laughter?”
ATHEIST: “I laugh because I see what ignorant people you are, to take so tedious a journey, and yet are likely to gain nothing for your travel but pains.”
CHRISTIAN: “Why do you think we shall not be received?”
ATHEIST: “Received! There is no such place as you dream of in all this world!”
CHRISTIAN: “That is true, but there is in the world to come.”
ATHEIST: “When I was at home in my own country, I heard of that place which you speak of. So I went out to find it, and have been seeking this City for these past twenty years; but I have not found it in all this time!”
CHRISTIAN: “We have both heard and believe that there is such a place to be found!”
ATHEIST: “Had not I, when at home, also believed I would not have come thus far to seek it. If there had been such a place, I would have surely found it by now, for I have gone much further than you. So not finding it, I am going back home again, and will seek the pleasures which I had then cast away, for the vain hope of a world to come.”
You can purchase John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress with 525 Illustrations Spanning 250 Years, Part One here.