The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

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"One Leak Will Sink A Ship, And One Sin Will Destroy A Sinner"

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 248

Context: As Part I of this work recounted the trials of Christian to avoid temptation and save his soul in reaching the Heavenly Jerusalem, so this part of the work tells of the remorse that struck Christiana, Christian's wife, when she realized that she should have accompanied her husband on his journey. In a mood of contrition she and her children set out to follow Christian to salvation. On the way they pass the same temptations that beset Christian earlier and benefit from the same assistance. Christiana and the children stop at the house of Interpreter, and, as he had done for Christian before them, the good man gives them a store of pious advice to follow on the road ahead:

'Tis easier watching a night or two, than to sit up a whole year together. So 'tis easier for one to begin to profess well, than to hold out as he should to the end.
Every shipmaster, when in a storm, will willingly cast that overboard that is of the smallest value in the vessel; but who will throw the best out first? None but he that feareth not God.
One leak will sink a ship; one sin will destroy a sinner.
He that forgets his friend is ungrateful unto him; but he that forgets his Saviour is unmerciful to himself.
He that lives in sin, and looks for happiness hereafter, is like him that soweth cockle, and thinks to fill his barn with wheat or barley.

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