The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

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Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary

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Hopeful and Christian continue on their journey until the come to the Delectable Mountains. There they see many orchards, vineyards, and fountains, where they refresh themselves.

They see shepherds tending their flocks by the side of the road. The shepherds’ names are Knowledge, Experience, Watchful, and Sincere. The shepherds explain to the pilgrims that the mountains belong to the King of Celestial City.

Christian asks how far it is to the City, and the shepherds tell him that it is still far and accessible only to the faithful. The shepherds invite the travels to stay and rest for a while in the Mountains.

The next morning, the shepherds show Christian and Hopeful some of the sights to be seen from the Delectable Mountains. They show the pilgrims a hill called Error. From there, they see the bodies of men who have strayed from the Truth at the bottom. The shepherds explain that these have been left there as a warning to those who are tempted into false teachings.

Next the shepherds show the pilgrims a cemetery, where men stumble among the tombs. The shepherds explain that these are men who left the path at the stile by the Wayside and found themselves imprisoned by the Giant Despair, who tortured them, blinded them, and then placed them among the tombs to wander around. Christian and Hopeful look at each other, knowing how close they themselves came to this fate, but say nothing to the shepherds.

Next the pilgrims are shown a doorway in the side of the hill. Behind the door they hear cries and see smoke streaming out. This is the path that hypocrites go. Hopeful sees that all these people had been pilgrims on the way to the Celestial City. The shepherds admit this, stating that some got further on the road even than Christian and Hopeful have but still fell by the way.

Christian and Hopeful say that they will need to cry to the Strong for strength. The shepherds tell them that they will need it as they go on their way.

Christian and Hopeful have appreciated their rest in the Delectable Mountains but know that they must continue their journey. The shepherds first take them up to a hill called Clear and bid them look through a Glass to see the gates of the Celestial City. The pilgrims look, but their hands are still shaking from all that they have seen lately, so all they can see is a vague sight of the Gate, along with some of the Glory that surrounds the city.

The shepherds give them a Note of the Way, a warning to beware the Flatter and not to sleep upon the Enchanted Grounds. They bid the travelers God Speed.

The narrator states that he woke from his dream.

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