As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den (the gaol), and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed; and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled;
by John Bunyan
"For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me."
~ Psalm 38:4 ~
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
~ Isaiah 64:6 ~
"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
~ Luke 14:33 ~
"For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;"
~ Hebrews 2:2, 3 ~
and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, "What shall I do?"
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
~ Acts 2:37 ~
In this plight, therefore, he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: "O my dear wife," said he, "and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone, by reason of a burden that lies hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed, that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin; except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered." At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed: but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was come, they would know how he did: he told them, "Worse and worse." He also set to talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly conduct to him: sometimes they would deride; sometimes they would chide; and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery. He would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying; and thus for some days he spent his time.