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

his way.

Whilst Christian is among his godly friends,
Their golden mouths make him sufficient mends
For all his griefs; and when they let him go
He's clad with northern steel from top to toe.

But now, 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

1 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.


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