I’m reading Pilgrim’s Progress again, and each time through I see some other aspect of Bunyan’s spiritual insight. Faithful is telling Christian about his journey and his encounter with a character aptly named Shame. He is trying to convince Faithful that it is just not cool to be religious.
“Why he objected against religion itself; he said it was a pitiful, low, sneaking business for a man to mind religion; he said that a tender conscience was an unmanly thing, and that for a man to watch over his words and ways, so as to tie up himself from that hectoring liberty that the brave spirits of the times accustom themselves unto, would make him the ridicule of the times. He objected also that but few of the mighty, rich, or wise were ever of my opinion; nor any of them neither before they were persuaded to be fools and to be of a voluntary fondness* to venture the loss of all, for nobody else knows what. He moreover objected the base and low estate and condition of those that were chiefly the pilgrims, also their ignorance of the times in which they lived and want of understanding in all natural science. Yea, he did hold me to it at that rate, also, about a great many more things than here I relate; as, that is was a shame to sit whining and mourning under a sermon and a shame to come sighing and groaning home, that it was a shame to ask my neighbour forgiveness for petty faults, or to make restitution where I had taken from any.”
*want of sense or judgement