The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

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Part 2, Chapter 8 Summary

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At last the band of pilgrims comes to Beulah Land, where the Celestial City lies. They are welcomed into the town outside the Golden Gates beside the River separating them from the City.

There is nothing that is offensive to any of the senses. There is a record of all the pilgrims who have made it thus far. The children of the town gather flowers from the King’s Gardens to present to the pilgrims.

A summons from the City comes for Christiana. It is from the Master of the City, telling her that she will cross the River and enter the Gates in ten days. Along with the letter is the token of an arrow whose point is sharpened with Love and enters Christiana’s heart, preparing her to leave her loved ones.

Christiana tells Mr. Great-Heart that she will be the first of the company to go over the River. He tells her that those who will be left behind will join her at the riverside.

On the day of her departure, her family and friends gather by the river. She blesses each of her companions on the journey, giving each of them some token or word of advice to ease their own journeys.

Christiana crosses the River and is welcomed into the Celestial City, leaving her weeping children but joyous friends behind.

In the course of time, Mr. Ready-to-halt also receives a summons that he will join the Master the day after Easter. He leaves his crutches to his son as his legacy. He thanks Mr. Great-Heart for his guidance, proceeding on to the City where he will leave his physical handicap behind.

Mr. Feeble-minded is next to go, asking Mr. Valiant-for-truth to bury his feeble mind in a dunghill when he leaves it behind. Mr. Despondency is also called for. His daughter decides she will join her father when he crosses the River.

Mr. Honest and Mr. Valiant-for-truth eventually leave this world and enter the Celestial City. Mr. Valiant leaves his sword for the next pilgrim who has need of it. Mr. Standfast is the last of the company to cross over to the other side.

The River that separates this world from the next has been a terror to many, yet the narrator states that he is now ready to cross over it himself, unafraid. He did not stay long enough to hear what happened to the sons and daughters-in-law of Christiana, although he hears that they are still alive, bearing more children for the Church.

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Part 2, Chapter 7 Summary