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Es harnessed, and goes on his way.
Then I saw, in my dream, that on the morrow he got up to go forwards; but they desired him to stay till the next day also; and then, said they, we will, if the day be clear, show you the Delectable Mountains;" which, they said, would yet further add to his comfort, because they were nearer the desired haven than the place where at present he was: so he consented and staid. When the morning was up, they had him to the top of the house, and bid him look south (Isa. xxxiii. 16, 17.); so he did; and behold, at a great distance, he saw a most pleasant mountainous country, beautified with woods, vineyards, fruits of all sorts, flowers also, with springs and fountains, very
delectable to behold. Then he asked the name of the country? they said, it was Immanuel's Land; and it is as common, said they, as this hill is, to and for all the Pligrims; and when thou comest there, from thence thou mayest see to the Gate of the Celestial City, as the shepherds that live there will make appear.
Now he bethought himself of setting forward, and they were willing he should: But first, said they, let us go again into the Armoury.” So they did; and, when he came there, they harnessed him from head to foot with what was of proof, lest perhaps he should meet with assaults in the way.
He, being therefore thus accoutred, walked out with his friends to the gate, and there he asked the porter, if he saw any Pilgrim pass by? Then the porter answered, Yes.
Pray, did you know him ? said he.
O! said Christian, I know him! he is my townsman, my near neighbour; he comes from the place where I was born. How far do you think he may be before ?
Por. He is got by this time below the hill.
The Delectable Mountains, as seen at a distance, represent those distinct views of the privileges and consolations, attainable in this life, with which believers are sometimes favoured when attending on divine ordinances; or diligently making a subsequent improvement of them.
2 The ordinances of public or social worship are only the means of being religious, not the essence of religion itself. Having renewed our strength by waiting on the Lord, we must go forward, by attending with greater diligence to the duties of our several stations; preparing to resist temptations, which often assault us after special seasons of divine consolation.
3 Ministers and experienced believers, should warn converts to expect trials and conflicts, and recommend to them such companions as may be a comfort and help in their pilgrimage.
The Valley of Humiliation.
Well, said Christian, good porter, the Lord be with thee, and add to all thy blessings much increase, for the kindness thou hast showed to me.
Then he began to go forward; but Discretion, Piety, Charity, and Prudence, would accompany him down to the foot of the hill. So they went on together, reiterating their former discourses, till they came to go down the hill. Then said Christian, As it was difficult coming up, so far as I can see, it is dangerous going down. Yes, said Prudence, so it is; for it is a hard matter for a man to go down into the Valley of Humiliation, as thou art now, and to catch no slip by the way; therefore, said they, we are come out to accompany thee down the hill.” So he began to go down the hill, but very warily; yet he caught a slip or two.
Then I saw in my dream, that these good companions (when Christian was got down to the bottom of the hill) gave him a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and a cluster of raisins; and then he went on
Whilst Christian is among his godly friends,
in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it; for he had gone but a little way, before he espied a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon.” Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back, or to stand his ground: But he considered again that he had no armour for his back; and therefore thought, that to turn the back to him might give him greater advantage with ease
The humiliation requisite for receiving Christ, obtaining peace, and making a good confession of faith, is general and indistinct, compared with that which may be acquired by subsequent study, observation, and experience, especially amidst trials and conflicts. The Valley of Humiliation, therefore, is judiciously placed beyond the house Beautiful.
2 In going down into the Valley of Humiliation the believer will greatly need the assistance of DISCRETION, PIETY, CHARITY, and PRUDENCE, and the recollection of the instructions, and counsels of such Christians as are eminent for these endowments.
Apollyon signifies the destroyer, Rev. ix. 11: and in carrying on the work of destruction, fallen angels endeavour, by various devices, to deter men from prayer, and to render them afraid of those things without which the life of faith cannot be maintained.