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Puritan Book Reviews - The Pilgrim's Progress Part 3

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Pilgrim’s Progress Part 3 – There’s a part 3? Apparently so!

Puritan Book Reviews – The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 3
Reviewed by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

The Pilgrim’s Progress Part 3
by John Bunyan
Old Paths Publications, Willow Street, PA: 2000
86 Pages, Paperback

Outside of the Bible, what is the most beloved book of all time? No doubt it is Pilgrim’s Progress which has sold more copies and has been reprinted in more languages than any other book outside the Bible. What could happen to that beloved book that would improve upon it? You could add another chapter to it by the hand of Bunyan. It seems that Thomas Boston has a copy of the book with 3 parts to it, not just two. Part one of the original is the story of Christian, part two is the story of Christiana, and now, part three has been reprinted which details the “dream” concerning Tender Conscience and his journey through the Christian life and to heaven.

Though the work itself casts some doubt as to whether Bunyan was the original author, after reading this gem you will be convinced that it was the dreamer himself. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a reprise of the Pilgrim’s Progress when he penned “The Celestial Railroad.” But you can tell Hawthorne wrote it and that Bunyan did not. In this volume, you cannot tell – it seems very “Bunyanese.”. The dreamer dreams and explains his visions just as effectively as he had done before.

Walk with Tender Conscience as he travels through the country to reach the celestial city. Among others he will meet with helpful companions such as Elder and Young Matron, Good Resolution, Reformation and Contemplation. However, he also meets up with those who oppose his faith, such as Carnal Security, Arrogance, Self-Pride, Conceit and others.

There was only one thing in which I disliked about part 3 – its length. It was not long enough. For lovers of the original two parts, part three is far too short. I would have much more enjoyed the book if it was 186 pages instead of simply 86. But the 86 pages contains much by way of help for the Christian traveler. I would highly recommend this book to all who desire to traverse new ground in the allegory of the dreamer.

Some quotes:
“Then I saw in my dream, that Tender Conscience wept when he was to part with the Interpreter, being ravished in spirit with inexpressible love to his company, forasmuch as he had healed his wounds, entertained him most courteously, showed him many excellent and glorious things, and given him the King’s warrant or pass, whereby he should be enabled to travel more securely and quietly to the region of life; besides, he was naturally very affectionate, and could not brook the separation from such a friend without bursting into tears…”

“Now I saw in my dream, that Tender Conscience went forward a good pace till he came to the brow of the hill, where the way lay down into the valley of Humiliation; but because it was steep and dangerous going down, he was forced to slacken his pace, and lean hard upon his strong crutch…”

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