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MonkeyNotes-The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
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"Christian meets the Interpreter"

Good-will opens the gate for Christian and ushers him in quickly, warning him that a man named Beezlebub lives across the way and tries to kill anyone who knocks at the door. Inside, Good-will asks Christian about his journey and shows him a long narrow road. He tells Christian all he needs to do is stay on this very straight, very narrow path and he will find relief from his burdens. He then tells Christian about a man named Interpreter whom he will meet. Interpreter will tell him many great things.

In the Interpreter's home, Christian is led into a room and shown a picture of a man. The man looks very somber, very pious, and very dedicated. The Interpreter tells Christian to study this face; it is the face of a true preacher, and Christian will need to know it well to distinguish between genuine piety and self-righteous imposters. The Interpreter takes Christian into a room filled with dust and orders a man to sweep the room. The clouds of dust cause Christian to choke and cough. Then a young woman comes in and sprinkles water in the dusty room, cleaning it completely of its filth. The Interpreter tells Christian that this room represents the human heart full of sin. The sweeper removes the corruption and the lady with the water acts as the Gospel, cleaning the heart and making it livable.


The Interpreter also takes him to two children named Passion and Patience. The Interpreter explains that Passion signifies the men of this world, who live for the instant gratification of their hearts and are able to keep nothing lasting because of their fiery impetuousness. Patience, however, has more wisdom. He retains what he has and lives for a future reward, in heaven. Christian is next led to a place where a fire burns against a wall and a man tries in vain to put the fire out. On the other side of the wall, another man adds oil to the flames, keeping the fire burning. He is Christ, saving the souls of the people. The Devil, with his bucket of water, can never extinguish the flames of Christ's passion.

Christian is led to the gates of a beautiful palace, where crowds of people clamor to enter. Armed guards keep them out. The Interpreter tells Christian that the gates lead to eternal glory, but that Satan has posted guards to scare people away.

Christian thinks he should be on his way, but the Interpreter has two more things to show him. The first is a man in the iron cage of Despair. The prisoner tells Christian that he was once a Christian as well, heading for the Celestial City. But he slid backward into sin and renounced his Christianity. He can never again be saved, and must always suffer in his chains. The second thing the Interpreter shows Christian is a man terrified that Judgement Day has come. The man has an unclear conscience.

Having shown Christian these visions and explained them, the Interpreter asks if Christian understands. He tells Christian he must always remember that which he has seen. The Interpreter then advises Christian to continue his journey toward the Celestial City.

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MonkeyNotes-The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
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