As Mr. Great Heart is on his way to the Celestial City, he comes to a place where Mr. Little Faith had formerly been robbed and he sees a man standing there. His sword is drawn, and his face is bloodied. Mr. Great Heart asks who he is, and the man replies.
“I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth, a pilgrim headed to the Celestial City. I was on my journey when I was confronted with three robbers, Wild-head, Inconsiderate, and Pragmatic, who gave me an ultimatum. 1. I could join them and become one of them 2. I could go back to where I came from (a place called the Dark Land) or 3. I could die.”
The choices Valiant-for-truth was confronted with were those of compromise. To join them was no choice at all, because he would have to betray his King and master and become something he wasn’t. To return to where he came from wasn’t a possibility, either, for that would be to deny His King and turn back on his repentance in returning to the Dark Land. And 3. Being killed in battle with these foes could happen, but it wasn’t a choice that he was going to willingly allow in the name of peace or by negotiating what his name is – Valiant for truth.
And so, the men rose upon him, and he struggled with them, battling them sword in hand for over three hours. He was wounded and bloodied, but not without inflicting his own marks of valor upon his adversaries. When Mr. Great Heart asks to see his sword, he inspects it and exclaims:
“Ha, it is a right Jerusalem blade.”
And Mr. Valiant replies to him, “It is so. Let a man have one of these blades, with a hand to wield it and skill to use it, and he may venture upon an angel with it. He need not fear its holding, if he can but tell how to lay on. Its edges will never blunt. It will cut flesh and bones, and soul and spirit, and all.”
And then he tells him this, “I fought till my sword did cleave to my hand; and when they were joined together, as if a sword grew out of my arm, and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage.”
Adapted from the Pilgrim’s Progress Part II: Christiana’s Story