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spake him thus,“ Why faintest thou, my brother? The Lord is our Shepherd; we shall not want. Yea, though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil: for the Lord is with us: his rod and his staff will comfort us.” (Psalm xxiii. 1, 4.)
Thus the elder pilgrim encouraged his brother, who needed all the support that could be afforded him. And now they were come to the mouth of the valley: and behold, the whole scene before them was dark and dreary, the light of day being effectually excluded from it by those dusky clouds which perpetually hung upon that valley. I perceived also that the pathway through it was exceedingly narrow, without fence or wall on either side; instead of which there lay on the right a dangerous bog, and on the left a deep ditch. A cold and dismal wind blew through the valley, and every blast was loaded with the dreadful sound of groans and lamentations. Towards the middle of the valley there opened a yawning gulph, which was one of the mouths of hell, and in which many have beheld things of the most fearful and indescribable kind: yet near this place of terrors the way of salvation held its course. Now the pilgrim Nazareenee was more and more affrighted as he passed into the valley: and it was easy to perceive that Bartholomew himself was not a little moved, though he slackened not his pace as the other would have done, but marched forward. And as he entered the valley, he began to pray, still leaning upon his staff, and feeling his way with it; while the other followed him trembling. Thus they kept on their course, the valley becoming darker and darker as they penetrated it further: and behold, they were surrounded with evil spirits, whose malignant suggestions were like internal whisperings charged with blasphemies against the Most High.
Then Nazareenee, being frightened, caught hold of his companion's garment; but the old man besought him not to do so, saying, “Confide not in man, but put thy trust in the Lord, for blessed is he that maketh the Lord his trust.” (Psalm xl. 4.)
So Nazareenee let go his hold of the old pilgrim's garment, and leaned more strongly on his staff, even the staff of faith: and it was happy for him that he did so, for the pilgrim Bartholomew presently afterwards missing the footpath, plunged up to his middle in the bog. However, the old man held fast his staff; through the help of which, with his brother's arm, he speedily recovered the pathway again. And now the pilgrims
come to the dreadful abyss of which I spoke; when falling on the ground, they groped their way upon the
hands and knees amid unutterable terrors and tremblings. The groans and cries from beneath, with the whisperings of the evil spirits, were here exceedingly grievous and perplexing, insomuch that the pilgrims were not able to pray with any degree of composure: yet they continued to call upon the Lord, in broken sentences; and the chief of their cry was, “O Lord, let it be thy pleasure to deliver us-make haste, O Lord, to help us.”
It was not long however before they reached a safer path; and behold, the valley became, as they advanced, more lightsome. So they arose from their hands and knees, and walked cautiously on their way; while the pilgrim Bartholomew gave thanks unto Him, who had enabled them to walk by faith through a night of darkness that might be felt.
Then said Nazareenee, for they were now able to talk as they went, whereas, before, they were too much troubled to hold any conversation with each other; “Ah! could I have believed, when I was crowned with joy on the day of my espousals, God, my
that I should ever again have known such estrangement from
my God, why dost thou hide thy face from me? and why go I thus heavily on my way?" (Psalm xxx.)
“We draw but the common lot,” said the pilgrim Bartholomew: “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. A woman may forget her sucking child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb; but God will not forget his children. No; as one whom his mother comforteth, so will the Lord comfort us, and we shall be comforted in Zion.”
I perceived then that the pilgrims were come to the end of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and were entering upon a pleasant country; where finding themselves delivered from their late discouragements, they knelt down to ascribe thanksgiving and praise to their mighty deliverer: after which they quietly pursued their journey by morning-light. Now, not far before them, they perceived a well, near which was an old castle built on the way-side, by a giant called Pagan, for the annoyance of pilgrims. Out of this, in former times, he and his followers used to issue forth and threaten all such as attempted to draw water from the well, which had been anciently dug for the convenience of pilgrims. But this castle was at present forsaken, the giant having been driven by the Christians from many of his strong holds, and compelled to take refuge in his chief fortress, which lay in the eastern quarter of the City of Vanity, an immense city not far from thence. Now this castle being vacated by the giant, had become the habitation of all manner of foul birds, unclean beasts, and odious reptiles; but these could hurt pilgrims no further than by teasing and troubling them. The castle however looked terrific at a distance, standing as it did on a considerable eminence, and having many of its towers
still entire. Nevertheless as the pilgrims drew nearer they dismissed their apprehensions, perceiving by the low shrubs, heath, and brushwood, which grew under the walls, and even within the arches of the gateway, that the place had been long forsaken. So they went up to the well; but behold, while they were preparing to draw water in their lotas, there came all manner of unclean birds, vile beasts, wolves and jackalls, screaming baying and howling from among the old buildings: but upon the pilgrims waving their stout staves at them, they ran off, and troubled them
So the pilgrims sat by the way-side, and refreshed themselves; after which they proceeded on their journey.
Shewing how the Pilgrims arrived at the great
City of Vanity, with what befel them there.
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou, therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”—Luke iv. 5-7.
Now I saw, in my dream, that the pilgrims continued their journey for several days, and I could not but admire the uniform course which the old man kept, leaning upon his staff at every step, and neither turning aside to the right hand nor to the left: and as he went he oft refreshed himself with the precious promises which his book contained. In the meanwhile I perceived that he had frequent occasion either to urge his brother forward; or to restrain his wanderings from their proper path, for the purpose of obtaining, as he said, a sight of the surrounding country.
After travelling thus some days, the pilgrims came to a wide plain; but by reason of the jungle and long grass growing on each side of the way, their prospect was shut up on every side. At length the travellers arrived at a more open country, where the fields were adorned with