« ForrigeFortsett »
break of day, they came not nigh, yet they were discovered to him, according to that which is written, “ He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth to light the shadow of death.”
Now was Christian much affected with his deliverance from all the dangers of his folitary way"; which dangers, though he feared them more before, yet he saw them more clearly now, because the light of the day made them conspicuous to him: about this time the sun was rising, and this was another mercy to Christian ; for
note, that though the first part of the Valley of the Shadow of Death was dangerous, yet the second part, which he was yet to go, was, if possible, far more dangerous : for, from the place where he now stood, even to the end of the valley, the way was all along full of snares, traps, gins, and nets, and so full of pits, pitfails, deep holes, and shelvings down, that had it been dark, as it was when he came the first part
of the way, if he had had a thousand fouls, they must, in the judgment of reason, been all caft away; but, as I said, just now the fun was rising. Then said he, “ His candle shineth on my head, and by his light I go through darkness.”
In this light therefore he came to the end of the valley. Now I saw in my dream, that at the end
Now Christian perceives, of a truth, that his merciful and compassionate High Priest, who was tempted in all points as he was, knows how to pity and fuccour them that are tempted, and can, with the temptation, also make a way for his efcape.
of this valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims who had gone this way formerly: and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a cave, where two giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in old time; by whose power
and the men, whose bones, blood, ashes, &c. lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered: but I have learnt since, that Pagan has been dead many a day; and, as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many threwd brushes which he met with in his younger days, grown
crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now do little more than fit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails, because he cannot come at them.
So I saw that Christian went on his way; yet, at the sight of the old man who sat at the moutla of the cave, he could not tell what to think; especially becaufe he spake to him, though he could not go
after him; saying, You will never mend, till more of you be burnt. But he held his peace, and set a good face on't, and so went by, and catched no hurt. Then sang Christian,
O world of wonders ! (I can say no less).
gons of the pit: we heard also, in that valley, a continual howling and yelling, as of people under unutterable misery, who sat there bound in amfiction and irons ; over that valley hangs the discouraging clouds of confusion; Death also doth always spread his wings over it; in a word, it is dreadful, being utterly without order.
Chr. I perceive not yet, from any thing that you have said, but this is still my way to the desired ha
Men. Be it thy way; we will not choose it for
So they parted; and Christian went on his way; but still with his sword drawn in his hand, for fear left he should be assaulted.
I saw then in my dream, that as far as this valley reached there was on the right hand a very deep ditch: that is the ditch into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and both have there miferably perished. Again, on the left hand, there was a very dangerous quag, into which, even if a good man falls, he finds no bottom for his foot to stand on: into that quag King David once did fall; and had, no doubt, been smothered in it, had not he, who is able, plucked him out. The pathway here was exceedingly narrow, and therefore good Christian was the more put to it: when he fought, in the dark, to shun the ditch on the one hand, he was ready to tip over into the mire on the other; and when he fought to escape the mire, without
great carefulness he would be ready to fall into the ditch! Thus he went on, and here I heard him sigh most bitterly: for besides the danger mentioned, the pathway itself was so dark, that ofttimes, when he lift up his foot to set forward, he knew not where, or upon what, he should set it
About the midst of this valley, I perceived was the mouth of Hell, and it stood also hard by the way-side: now, thought Christian, what shall I do? And ever and anon the fame and smoke would come out in such abundance, with sparks and hideous noises (things that cared not for Christian's fword, as Apollyon did), that he was forced to put up his sword, and betake himself to another weapon, called All Prayer: so he cried, in my hearing, “O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.” Thus he went on a great while, yet still the flames would be reaching towards him. He heard also doleful voices, and rushings to and fro, so that sometimes he thought he should be torn in pieces, or trodden down like mire in the streets. This frightful light was seen, and these dreadful noises were heard, by him for several miles together: and, coming to a place where he thought he heard a company of fiends coming forward to meet him, he stopt, and began to muse about what he had best do: sometimes he had half
1 The ditch, on the right hand of that narrow path which led through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, may mean presumption, or vain confidence: and the quag on the left hand may mean despair.
Yea, snares, and pits, and traps, and nets did lie
But since I live, let Jesus wear the crown. Now, as Christian went on his way, he came to a little ascent, which was cast up on purpose, that pilgrims might see before them: therefore up there Christian went; and looking forward, saw Faithful before him on his journey. Then said Christian aloud, Ho, ho: so ho: stay, and I will be your companion. At that Faithful looked behind him ; to whom Christian cried again, Stay, stay, till I come up to you. But Faithful answered, No, I am upon my life, and the avenger of blood is be
At this Christian was somewhat moved, and puting forth all his strength, quickly got up to Faithful, and did also over-run him: so the last was first. Then did Christian vain-gloriously smile, because he had gotten the start of his brother: but, not taking good heed to his feet, he suddenly stumbled and fell, and could not rise again, until Faithful came up to
Then I saw in my dream, that they went very lovingly on together, and had sweet discourse of the things which had happened to them in their pilgrimage"; and thus Christian began.
Though Faithful's experience, in some respects, was different from Christian's, yet it was materially the same ; for both had experienced a spiritual conviction of fin, and a spiritual discovery of Christ.