From Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, ll. 497ff. The following reminded me of some recent events.
At last things came to a hubbub and great stir in the Fair, insomuch that all order was confounded. Now was word presently brought to the Great One of the Fair, who quickly came down and deputed some of his most trusty friends to take those men into examination, about whom the Fair was almost overturned. So the men were brought to examination; and they that sat upon them, asked them whence they came, whither they went, and what they did there in such an unusual Garb? The men told them that they were Pilgrims and Strangers in the World, and that they were going to their own Country, which was the Heavenly Jerusalem; and that they had given no occasion to the men of the Town, nor yet to the Merchandizers, thus to abuse them, and to let them in their Journey, except it was for that, when one asked them what they would buy, they said they would buy the Truth. But they that were appointed to examine them did not believe them to be any other than Bedlams and Mad, or else such as came to put all things into a confusion in the Fair. Therefore they took them and beat them, and besmeared them with dirt, and then put them into the Cage, that they might be made a spectacle to all the men of the Fair.
Then a convenient time being appointed, they brought them forth to their Tryal, in order to their condemnation. When the time was come, they were brought before their enemies, and arraigned. The Judge’s name was Lord Hategood. Their Indictment was one and the same in substance, though somewhat varying in form, the contents whereof was this:
That they were enemies to and disturbers of their Trade; that they had made Commotions and Divisions in the Town, and had won a party to their own most dangerous Opinions in contempt of the Law of their Prince.
Now Faithful play the Man, speak for thy God:
Fear not the wicked’s malice, nor their rod:
Speak boldly man, the Truth is on thy side;
Die for it, and to Life in triumph ride.
Then Faithful began to answer, that he had only set himself against that which had set itself against Him that is higher than the highest. And said he, as for Disturbance, I make none, being myself a man of Peace; the parties that were won to us, were won by beholding our Truth and Innocence, and they are only turned from the worse to the better. And as to the King you talk of, since he is Beelzebub, the enemy of Our Lord, I defy him and all his Angels.
Then Proclamation was made, that they that had ought to say for their Lord the King against the Prisoner at the Bar, should forthwith appear and give in their evidence. So there came in three witnesses, to wit, Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank. They were then asked if they knew the Prisoner at the Bar; and what they had to say for their Lord the King against him.
Then stood forth Envy, and said to this effect: My lord, I have known this man a long time, and will attest upon my Oath before this honourable Bench, that he is—
Judge. Hold! Give him his Oath.
So they sware him. Then he said, My Lord, this man, notwithstanding his plausible name, is one of the vilest men in our Country. He neither regardeth Prince nor People, Law nor Custom; but doth all that he can to possess all men with certain of his disloyal notions, which he in the general calls Principles of Faith and Holiness. And in particular, I heard him once myself affirm That Christianity and the Customs of our Town of Vanity were diametrically opposite, and could not be reconciled. By which saying, my Lord, he doth at once not only condemn all our laudable doings, but us in the doing of them.
Then went the Jury out, whose names were, Mr Blindman, Mr No-good, Mr Malice, Mr Love-lust, Mr Live-loose, Mr Heady, Mr High-mind, Mr Enmity, Mr Lyar, Mr Cruelty, Mr Hate-light, and Mr Implacable; who every one gave in his private Verdict against him among themselves, and afterwards unanimously concluded to bring him in guilty before the Judge. And first among themselves, Mr Blind-man the Foreman, said, I see clearly that this man is an Heretick. Then said Mr Nogood, Away with such a fellow from the earth. Ay, said Mr Malice, for I hate the very looks of him. Then said Mr Love-lust, I could never endure him. Nor I, said Mr Live-loose, for he would always be condemning my way. Hang him, hang him, said Mr Heady. A sorry Scrub, said Mr High-mind. My heart riseth against him, said Mr Enmity. He is a Rogue, said Mr Lyar. Hanging is too good for him, said Mr Cruelty. Let us dispatch him out of the way, said Mr Hate-light. Then said Mr Implacable, Might I have all the world given me, I could not be reconciled to him; therefore let us forthwith bring him in guilty of death. And so they did; therefore he was presently condemned to be had from the place where he was, to the place from whence he came, and there to be put to the most cruel death that could be invented.
They therefore brought him out, to do with him according to their Law; and first they Scourged him, then they Buffeted him, then they Lanced his flesh with Knives; after that they Stoned him with stones, then pricked him with their Swords; and last of all they burned him to ashes at the Stake. Thus came Faithful to his end