In this plight therefore he went home, and did all he could to hide his distress from his wife and children. But he could not be silent long, because his trouble increased. Wherefore at length he began to talk to his wife and children thus: “O my dear wife,” said he, “and you my children, I am in despair by reason of a burden that lieth heavy on me. Moreover I am for certain told that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven, when both myself, with thee, my wife, and you, my sweet babes, shall be ruined, except some way of escape can be found.” At this his wife and children were sore amazed, not because they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought he must be ill to talk in so strange a way. Therefore, as it was evening, and they hoped sleep might soothe him, 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 asked him how he did. He told them, “Worse and worse,” and began to talk to them again in the same strange manner, but they began to be careless of his words. They also thought to drive away his fancies by harsh and rough behavior to him. Sometimes they would mock, sometimes they would scold, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to stay in his room to pray for and pity them, and also to comfort his own misery. He would also walk alone in the fields, sometimes reading and sometimes praying, and thus for some days he spent his time.
Now I saw in my dream that when he was walking in the fields, he was reading his book and greatly distressed in mind. And as he read, he burst out crying, “What shall I do to be saved?” I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run. Yet he stood still, because, as I saw, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man, named Evangelist, coming to him, who asked, “Wherefore dost thou cry?”
He answered, “Sir, I see by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to be judged. And I find I am not willing to die, nor able to be judged.”
Then said Evangelist, “Why not willing to die, since in this life you are so unhappy?”
The man answered, “Because I fear this burden will sink me lower than the grave, and the thought of that makes me cry.”
Then said Evangelist, “If this be thy fear, why standest thou still?”
He answered, “Because I know not whither to go.”
So Evangelist gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, “Fly from the wrath to come.” The man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, “Whither must I fly!”
Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, “Do you see yonder Wicket-gate?”
The man said, “No.”
“Well,” said the other, “do you see yonder shining light?”