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15-year-old Invents New “Pilgrims Progress” Character: Forgiven

Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) teaches and promotes the American View of law and government, as well as the faith of our founders. The American founders believed wholeheartedly that in order to maintain a free nation, teaching the Bible and morality must be the foundation of education. Because of this, IOTC encourages any young person to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

The following commentary is by 15-year-old Dominic MacAulay, titled, “Forgiven.”  Its purpose was to insert a new character to the timeless classic literary work of John Bunyan called Pilgrims Progress.  This work is second only to the bible as the most popular book ever to be published.  We hope you enjoy this essay, as Dominic inserts himself into the classic tale as a character called “Forgiven.”


“I saw the One…hang bleeding upon the tree; and the very sight of him made my burden fall off my back.”

–Pilgrim’s Progress-

            Pilgrim’s Progress is truly one of the best books ever written. The story follows a man named Christian who is set on a journey to heaven, encountering many spiritual and physical traits (both good and bad.) The simply-put terms and allegories make it perfect even for a modern day reader. Now if I were to be injected into this fantastic story, who would I be? After analyzing myself, I have come to a conclusion. My name would be Forgiven; Forgiven would come into play when Christian is sinking deep into the river of doubt; and Forgiven will be there to show Christian that he is truly forgiven.

I believe my name would be Forgiven. The reason I chose Forgiven and not Forgiveness is because I am not forgiveness and I would not be in the story. I am simply a testimony of God’s forgiveness. I am forgiven. In my life, I have been able to rely greatly on God’s forgiveness for whatever sins I commit. My need for God’s forgiveness makes me rely and trust God. One time, I made a huge mistake in my life and, when I realized that God had already forgiven me at the cross and moved on, I could do nothing more than love Christ for His sacrifice. My name is Forgiven.

I would become apart of the story when Christian is crossing the river of doubt. Christian had come through many trials and tribulations, but the thing that he was about to take on, would not be something he could handle by himself.  As Christian crosses, the ground beneath him gives way just as his faith had, and he begins descending down into the depths of his doubting doom. Christian is conflicted by himself because the devil, once again, is shooting for his faith. The devil wants to make him doubt himself and God’s salvation at the cross, and he indeed succeeds for a time.

Forgiven now arrives to help this poor pilgrim on his path to God. Since it is clear that he has lost sight of God and the cross, Forgiven comes to remind him of what he has been shown. While the devil circles Christian’s mind, Forgiven breaks through like a battering ram and earnestly conveys to Christian a message of forgiveness. Their dialogue goes somewhat like this:

Christian: “Leave me alone! I don’t deserve anything! God can’t love me despite all of this! Leave me alone! Leave me alone!”

Forgiven: “ No Christian! I will not!”

Christian: “ Why? Surely you know what I’ve done.”

Forgiven: “Yes! But surely you know what was done because of that.”

Christian: “No! It wasn’t for me.”

Forgiven: “And who are you to deem false what the Almighty has done? Who are you to pass judgment on the sacrifice of the King?”

Christian: “I… I”

Forgiven: “The King has always known your actions and thoughts, but He went and fought at Calvary despite of it.  No amount of wrong can ever stand in your way. You fight no more, but the King fights for you.”

Christian: “He fights for me?”

Forgiven: “What the King has done, no man can undo.”

Christian: “ Yes! Yes my friend! I have been forgiven! My sins are no more, for I serve the Almighty King! My fate is sealed! I am a son of the King! Thank you! Oh thank you my friend”

Forgiven: “Thank the Giver! He is the one who gave.”

Christian: “Praise the King! He will live forever! Praise the king!”

Forgiven: “Now look, Christian! You are standing on firm ground! Go! Meet the King!”

Thus Forgiven helps Christian renew his faith and cross the river of doubt.

If I were in the story of Pilgrim’s Progress, my name would be Forgiven; Forgiven would come into play when Christian is sinking deep into the river of doubt; and Forgiven will be there to show Christian that he is truly forgiven. Forgiven helps Christian get across the river because he showed Christian the importance of knowing that he is forgiven. This principle not only applies to Christian, but the whole world itself.

-Dominic MacAulay

 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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