Excerpt from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress Part One
…Then at an appointed time, Christian and Faithful were brought forth to their trial, and hence to their condemnation. They were brought before their enemies to be arraigned. The Judge’s name was Lord Hate-good. Their indictment was one and the same in substance, though somewhat varying in form, the contents whereof were this: “That they were enemies to, and disturbers of the trade of the city; that they had made disruptions and divisions in the town; and had won some over to their own most dangerous opinions, in contempt of the law of their prince.”
Then Faithful responded: “I have only set myself against that which has set itself against Him who is higher than the highest. And, as for any disturbance, I made none, being myself a man of peace. Those who were won over to our sentiments, were won by beholding our truth and innocence. They have only turned from the worse, to the better. And as to the king you talk of, since he is Beelzebub, the enemy of our Lord, I defy him and all his minions!”
Then a proclamation was made, that those who had anything to say for their lord the king against the prisoner at the bar, should now appear and present their evidence. So three witnesses came in, namely, Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank*. They were then asked if they knew the prisoner at the bar and what they had to say for their lord the king against him.
So Envy came forth and said: “My lord, I have known this man a long time, and will attest upon my oath before this honorable bench, that he is . . .”
Lord Hate-good interrupted: “Wait! Give him his oath.”
So they swore him in, and Envy continued: “My lord, this man, notwithstanding his plausible name, is one of the vilest men in our country! He neither regards prince nor people, law nor custom, but does all that he can to influence others with certain of his disloyal notions which he calls principles of faith and holiness. And, in particular, I myself heard him once affirm that Christianity and the customs of our town of Vanity, were diametrically opposite, and could not be reconciled. By saying this, my lord, he at once condemns both all our laudable doings and us in the doing of them.”
Then the Judge, Lord Hate-good, said to him, “Have you any more to say?”
ENVY: “My lord, I could say much more, but this would be tedious to the court. Yet, if need be, when the other gentlemen have given forth their evidence, if anything shall be lacking which would condemn Faithful, I will then enlarge my testimony against him.”
So Envy was told to stand by. Then they called Superstition, and asked him what he could say for their lord the king against Faithful. Then they swore him in and so he began.
SUPERSTITION: “My lord, I have no great acquaintance with this man, nor do I desire to have any further knowledge of him! However, this I know from a discourse which I had with him the other day that he is a very pestilent fellow! He said that our religion was worthless, and could by no means please God and therefore we worship in vain, are yet in our sins, and shall finally be damned!”
Then Pickthank was sworn in, and ordered to say what he knew on behalf of their lord the king, against the prisoner at the bar.
PICKTHANK: “My lord, and all you gentlemen. I have known this fellow for a long time, and have heard him speak things that ought not to be spoken! He has railed against our noble prince Beelzebub, and has spoken contemptibly of his honorable friends, Lord Old Man, Lord Carnal Delight, Lord Luxurious, Lord Desire of Vain Glory, old Lord Lechery, Sir Having Greedy, along with all the rest of our nobility!
“He has said, moreover, that if all men were of his mind, that these noblemen would all be run out of town. He has also not been afraid to rail at you, my lord, who is now appointed to be his judge, calling you an ungodly villain, along with many other such vilifying terms, with which he has bespattered most of the aristocracy of our town!”
When Pickthank had told his tale, the Judge directed his speech to the prisoner at the bar, saying, “You renegade, heretic, and traitor! Have you heard what these honest gentlemen have witnessed against you?”
FAITHFUL: “May I speak a few words in my own defense?”
LORD HATE-GOOD: “You scoundrel! You do not deserve to live, but to be slain immediately right where you are standing! Yet, so that all men may see our gentleness towards you, let us hear what you, vile rebel, have to say.”
FAITHFUL: “First. I say in answer to what Mr. Envy has spoken that I never said anything but this: That whatever rules, or laws, or customs, or people, which are contrary to the Word of God, are diametrically opposite to Christianity. If I have said anything amiss in this, then convince me of my error, and I will make my recantation before you.
“Secondly, to answer Mr. Superstition and his charge against me, I said only this: That a divine faith is required in the worship of God, and there can be no divine faith without a Divine revelation of the will of God. Therefore, whatever is thrust into the worship of God which does not agree with Divine revelation is nothing but man’s vain religion, and will never lead to eternal life.
“Thirdly, in answer to what Mr. Pickthank has charged, I did say that the prince of this town, with all his rabblement and attendants, are more fit for being in Hell, than in this town and country! And so, may the Lord have mercy upon me!”
Then Judge Hate-good called to the jury, who all this while stood by to hear and observe: “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, and have heard his reply and confession. It lies now in your power to either hang him, or save his life. Yet first, I think it necessary to instruct you concerning our law.
“There was an Act made in the days of Pharaoh the Great, servant of our prince, that lest those of a contrary religion should multiply and grow too strong for him, their males should be thrown into the river.
“There was also an Act made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, another of our prince’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 whoever called upon any god but him, should be cast into the lions’ den.
“Now this rebel here, has broken the substance of all of these laws, not only in thought (which is not to be tolerated) but also in word and deed, which is absolutely intolerable!
“For Pharaoh’s law was made upon a supposition, to prevent mischief, no crime being yet apparent. Yet here is an obvious crime. And as for the laws of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, you plainly see that Faithful openly disputes against our religion! For the treason which he has confessed, he deserves to die!”
Then the jury went out — their names were, Mr. Blind-man, 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. Each of the jury gave their verdict against Faithful and unanimously concluded to charge him as guilty before Lord Hate-good.
First, Mr. Blind-man, the foreman, exclaimed, “I see clearly that this man is a heretic!”
Then Mr. No-good added, “Away with such a fellow from the earth!”
“Absolutely!” said Mr. Malice, “For I hate the very looks of him!”
Then Mr. Love-lust remarked, “I could never stomach him!”
“Neither could I!” added Mr. Live-loose, “For he would always be condemning my way!”
“Hang him, hang him!” Mr. Heady demanded.
“He is a sorry base fellow!” exclaimed Mr. High-mind.
“My heart revolts against him!” sniveled Mr. Enmity.
“He is a rogue!” Mr. Liar declared.
“Hanging is too good for him!” snarled Mr. Cruelty.
“Let us dispatch him out of the way!” snapped Mr. Hate-light.
Then Mr. Implacable exclaimed, “I would not be reconciled to him for all the world! Therefore, let us immediately charge him to be deserving of death!”
And so they did. Therefore Faithful was condemned at once. He was taken from the court, and back to his cage, and from there, he was to be put to the most cruel death that could be invented.
They then brought him out, to punish him according to their law. First, they scourged him, then they buffeted him, then they lanced his flesh with knives! After that, they stoned him with stones, then pierced him with their swords. Last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake! Thus Faithful came to his end.
Now I saw that behind the multitude, there was a chariot with horses waiting for Faithful, who, as soon as his adversaries had murdered him, was taken up into it. He was immediately carried up through the clouds, with the sound of the trumpet, to the nearest way to the Celestial Gate….
*a person who seeks favor by flattery or gossip; sycophant; also called Gain-glory