Honest. He was a very zealous man, as one may see by what relation you have given of him. Difficulties, lions, or Vanity Fair, he feared not at all; ‘t was only sin, death, and hell that were to him a terror, because he had some doubts about his interest in that celestial country.
Great-heart. You say right: those were the things that were his troublers, and they, as you have well observed, arose from the weakness of his mind thereabout; not from weakness of spirit as to the practical part of a pilgrim’s life. I dare believe, that, as the proverb is, he could have bit a firebrand, had it stood in his way; but the things with which he was oppressed, no man ever yet could shake off with ease.
Chris. Then said CHRISTIANA, “This relation of Mr. FEARING has done me good. I thought nobody had been like me; but I see there was some semblance ‘twixt this good man and I, only we differed in two things: his troubles were so great they brake out; but mine I kept within. His also lay so hard upon him, they made him that he could not knock at the houses provided for entertainment; but my trouble was always such as made me knock the louder.”
Mercy. If I might also speak my heart, I must say, that something of him has also dwelt in me. For I have ever been more afraid of the lake and the loss of a place in paradise, than I have been of the loss of other things. Oh, thought I, may I have the happiness to have a habitation there, ‘t is enough, though I part with all the world to win it!
Matt. Then said MATTHEW, “Fear was one thing that made me think that I was far from having that within me that accompanies salvation; but if it was so with such a good man as he, why may it not also go well with me?”
James. “No fears, no grace,” said JAMES. “Though there is not always grace where there is the fear of hell, yet to be, there is no grace where there is no fear of God.”
Great-heart. Well said, JAMES, thou hast hit the mark: for the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”; and, to be sure, they that want the beginning have neither middle nor end. But we will here conclude our discourse of Mr. FEARING. from Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2 by John Bunyan