Now I saw in my dream, that they went forward until they were come to the brow of the hill; where Piety bethinking herself, cried out, Alas! I have forgot what I intended to bestow upon Christiana and her companions; I will go back and fetch it; so she ran and fetched it. When she was gone, Christiana thought she heard in a grove,.a little way off, on the right hand, a most curious, melodious Dote, with words much like these:
Thro' all my life thy favour is
So frankly show'd to me,
That in thy house for evermore
My dwelling place shall be.
And listening still, she thought she heard another answer, saying,
For why? thr Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at ail times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
So Christiana asked Prudence, what it was that made those curious notes (a). They are, said she, our country hirds: they sing these notes but seldom, except it be at the spring, when the flowers appear, and the sun shines warm, and then you may hear them all the day long. I often, said she, go to hear them; we also oft-times keep them tame in our
; . . («)Song. ii.n.i2.
homo. . They are very fine company for us when we are melancholy; also they make the woods and grovel, and solitary places desirous to be in.
By this time Piety was come again; so she sa'?d to Christiana, Look here, I have brought thee a scheme of all those things that thou hast seen at our house, upon which thou mayst look when thou findest thyself forgetful, and call all those things again to remembrance for thy edification and com
Now they began to go down the hill into the Valley of Humiliation. It was a steep hill, and the way' was slippery; but they were very careful, so they got down pretty well. When they were down in the valley, Piety said to Christiana, This is the place where your husband met with the foul fiend Apollyon, and where they had the great fight that they had: I know you cannot but have heard thereof. But be of good courage, as long as you have here Mr. Great-heart to be your guide and conductor, we hope you will fare the better. So when these two had committed the pilgrims unto the conduct of their guide, he went forward, and they went after.
Great-heart. Then said Mr. Great-heart, We need not be so afraid of this valley, for here is nothing to hurt us, unless we procure it ourselves^ It is true, Christian did here meet with Apollyon, with whom he had also a sore combat; but that fray was the fruit of those slips that he got in his going down the hill: for they that get slips there, must look for combats here. (See Part L page 64.) And hence it is, that this valley has «ot so hard a name. P'orthe common people, when they hear that some frightful thing has befallen such a one in such a place, are of opinion that that place is haunted with some foul fiend or evil spirit; when, alas! it is for the fruit of their own doing, that such things do befal them there.
This Valley of Humiliation is of itself as fruitful
a place as any the crow flies over; and I am persuaded, il we could h:t upon it, we might find some* where hereabout something that might give us an account why Christian was so hardly beset in this place.
Then James said to his mother, Lo, yonder s'ands a pillar, and it looks as if something was written thereon; let us go and see what it is. So they went, and found there written: " Let Christian's slips, before he came hither, and the burden that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after." Lo, said their guide, did I not tell you that there was something hereabouts, that would give intimation of the reason why Christian was so hard beset in this place: then turning to Christiana, he said, No disparagement to Christian more tha't to many others, whose hap and lot it was; for it is easier going up than down this hill, and that can be said but of few hills in all these parts of the world. But we will leave the good man, he is at rest; he also had a bravo, victory over his enemy: let him fjrant that dwelleth above, that we fare no worse, when we come to be tried than he.
But we will come again to this Valley of Humiliation. It is the best and most useful piece of ground in all these parts. It is a fat ground, and, as you see, consisted] much in meadows; and if a man was to come here in the summer time, as we do now, if he knew not any thing before thereof, and if he also delighted himself in tne sight of his eye«, ho might see that when would be delightful to him. Behold how green this valley is, also how beautified witti lilies (b). I have also known many labouring men, that have got good estates in this Valley of Humiliation : (for God resisteth the proud, but gives more grace to the humble:) for indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handfuls.—Softie also have wished, that the next way to their Father's
lx use was hero, that they might be troubled no more with either hills or mountains to go over; but the way 'is the way, and there is an end.
Now as they were going along, and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father's sheep. The boy was in very mean clothes, but of afresh and we!ltavoured countenance; and as he sat by himself he sung. Hark, s lid Mr. Great-heart, to what the shepherd'* boy saith; so they hearkened, and lie said,
He that is down, needs fear no fall.;
He that is low, no pride (c):
He ihal is bumble, e»er shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,'
Little be it or much:
And, Lord, contentment still I crare,
Because thou savest such.
.Fullnes to such a burden is (ji),
That go on Pilgrimage:
Here little, and hereaftt-r bliss,
Is best from age to age.
Then said the guide, Do you hear him? I will dare to say, this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of the herb called Heart's-ease in his bosom, than he that is clad in silk and velvet: But we will proceed in our discourse'.
In this valley our Lord formerly had his countryhouse: he loved much to be here; he loved also to walk in these meadows, aud he found the air was pleasant. Besides, here a man shall be free from the noise, and from the hurryings of this life: all states are full of noise and confusion; only the Valley of Humiliation is that empty and solitary place. Here a man shall not be let and hindered in his contemplations, as in other places he is apt to be. This
is a valley that no body walks in, but those that lovh a pilgrim's life. And though Christian had the hard hap to meet with Apollyon, and to enter with him in a brisk encounter, yet I must tell you, that in former times men have met with angels hece, hare found pearls here, and have in this place found the words of life (r).
Did I say, Our Lord had here in former days his country-house, and that he loved here to walk? I, will add, in this place, and to the people that live and trace these grounds, he has left a yearly revenue tq be faithfully paid them at certain seasons, for their maintenance by the way, and for their farther encouragement to go on their pilgrimage.
Samusl. Now as they went on, Samuel said to Mr. Great-heart: Sir, 1 perceive that in this valley my father and Apollyon had their battle; but whereaVout was the fight, for I perceive this valley is large?
Great-heart. Your father had the battle with Apollyon at a place yonder before us, in a narrow passage, just beyond Forgetful Green. And indeed that place is the most dangerous place in all these purts. For if at any time pilgrims meet with any brunt, it is when they forget what favours they have received, and how unworthy they are of them: This is the place also where others have been hard put to it: But more of this place when we are come to it; for I persuade myself, that to this day there remains either some sign of the battle, or some monument to testify that such a battle there was fought.
Mereij. Then said Mercy, I think I am as well in this valley as I have been auy where else in our journey ; the place, methinks, suits with my spirit. I love to be in such places, where there is no rattling with coaches, nor rumbling with wheels. Alethinks, here one may, without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the king has called him: tiere
(e) llosea xii. 4, 5.
one m .y think and break at heart,- and melt in one's spirit, until one's eyes become as the iisli-pools in lJeslibon fj). I hey that go rightly through this valley of Laca, make it a well; the rain that God sends down from heaven upon them that are here s.Iso filleththe j ools. 'J his valley is that from whence :dso the King will give lo them \ ineyards; and they that go through it shall sing, as Christian did, for all be met with Apollyon.
(treat'-heart. It is true, said their guide, I have gone through this valley many a time, and nevef was better than when here.
I have also been a conductor to several pilgrim', and they have confessed the same: "To this' man will I look, saitii the King, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, und that trembleth at my word.*
Now ^ey were come to the place where the aforementioned battle was fought. Then said the guide to Christiana, her children, and Mercy, This is the place, on tliis ground Christian stood, and up there came Apollyon against him: and look, did not I tell you? here is some of your husband's blood upon these stones to this day. Behold, also, how here and there are yet to be seen upon the place some of the shiver- of Apollyon's broken darts: see also how they did beat the ground with their feet, as they fought, to make good their places against each other; how a'so with their by-blows, they did split the very stones in pieces; verily Christian did here play the man, and showed himself as stout as Hercules could, bad he been there, even to himself. 'When Apollyon was beat, he made his retreat to the next valley, that is c.dled, "The valley of the Shadow of Death," unto which we shall come anon. ^Lo yonder stands a monument, on which is engraven this battle, and Christian's victory, to his
fame throughout all ages;-so because it stood just on the »ay-side before them, they stepped to it, and read the writing, which word for word was this:
A monument of Christian's victory, (Part 1. p. 67.)
HarH by here was a hattle foughr,
Most strange and yet most trite;
\ Christian and Apollyon fought
Each oilier to subdue.
The man so biavely ptay'd the man,
lie mnde the fiend to fly; Of which a monument I stand,
The same to testify.
When they had passed by this place, they caroe upon the borders of the Shadow of Death: and this valley was longer than the other; a place also most strangely haunted with evil things, as many are able to testify: but these women and children went the bi-tter through it, because they had day-light, and because Mr. Great-heart was their conductor.
When they were entered upon this valley, they thought that they heard a groaning, as of dying men; a very great groaning. They thought also they did hear words of lamentation, spokey as of some in extreme torment. These things made the boys to quake, the women also looked p:de and wan; but their guide hid them be of good comfort.
So they went on a little farther, and they thought that they felt the ground begin to sh. ke under t cm, as if some hollow place was there; they heard also a kind of hissing, as of serpents, but nothing as yet uppeared. Then said the boys, Are we not yet at the end of this doleful place? but the guide also bid them be of good courage, and look well to their feet, lest haply, said he, ye be taken in 'iome snare.
Now James began to be sick, but I think the cause thereof was fear; so his mother gave him some of that glass of spirits that she had given her at the
Interpreter's house, and three of the pills that Mr. ^ Skill hail prepared, and the boy be^an to revive. Thus they went on, till they came to the middle of the valley; and then Christiana said, Methinks I see something yonder upon the road before us ; a thing of such a shape as I have not seen. Then said Joseph, Mother, what is it? An ugly tiling, child an ugly thing, said she. But, mother, what is it like? said he. 'Tis like I cannot tell what, said she. And now it is but a little way off: then said she, it is nigh.
Well, said Mr. Great-heart, let them that arc most afraid, keep close to me : So the fiend came on, and the conductor met it; but when it was jnst come to him, it vani-hed to all their sights: then remembered they what had been said some time ago: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
I hey went therefore on, as being a little refreshed: but they had not gone far, before Mercy, looking behind her, saw, as stie thought, something almost like a lion, and it came a great padding pace after; and it had a hollow voice of roaring; and at every roar that it gave; it made the valley echo, and all their hearts to ache, save the heart of him that was their guide. So it came up, and Mr. Great-heart went behind, and put the pilgrims all before him. 'I he lion also came on apace, and Mr. Great-heart addressed himself to give him battle^1). But when he saw that it was determined that resistance should be made, he also drew back, and came no farther. . Then they went on again, and their conductor did go before them, till they came to a place where was cast up a pit the whole breadth of the way, and, before they could be prepared to go over that, a great mist and a darkness fell upon them, so that they could not see—Then said the pilgrims, Alas! now what shall we do? but their guide made answer, Fear not, stand still, and see what an end will be.
put to this also: so they staid there, because their path was marred. They then also thought .that they did hear more apparently the noise and rushing of the enemies; the fire also, and smoke of the pir, was much easier to be discerned. Then said Christ iana to Mercy, Now I see what my poor husband went through ; I have heard much of this place, but I never was here afore now; poor man, he went here all alone in the night; he had night almost quite through tire way: also these fiends were busy . about him, as if they would have torn him in pieces. Many have spoke of it, but none can tell what the Yalley of the Shadow of Death should mean, till they co.ne ir» themselves. "The heart knows itsown bitterness; a stranger iutenneddietli not wiiti it> joy." To be here is a fearful thing.
Oreat-htart- This is like doing business in-grc-.it waiers, or like going down into die deep; this is like being in the heart of the sea, and Uk« going down to the bottoms of the mountains: now it see;n:i as if the earth, with its b.»rs, were about us for ever. "But let them that walk in darkness, and have 10 fight, irust in the n une of the Lord, and stay upon their God." For my part, as I have told you already, I have gone often through this valley, and have been much harder put to it than now I am; and yet you see I am alive. I would not boast, lotthat I am not my o-vn saviour: but I trust we shad have a good deliverance. Come, pray for light to him that can lighten our darkness, and can rebuke not only these, but all the S.itatis in hell. .
So they cried and prayed, and God sent light and deliverance, for there was now no let in their way; no not there, where but now they were stopt with a pit. Yet they were not got through tl e valley; so they went on still, and behold, great stinks and loathsome smells, to the great annoyance of them. Then said Mercy to Christiana, There is not such pleasure in being here as at the gate, or at the Interpreter's, or at the house where we lay last.
O but (said one of the boys) it is not so bad to go through here, as it is to ahide here always; and for ought I know, one reason why we must go this way to the houp? prepared for us, is, that our home might be made the sweeter to us.
Well said, Samuel, quoth the guide ; thou hast now spoke like a man. Why, if ever I get out here again, said the boy, I thii.k I shall prize light and good way better than ever I did in all my life. Then said the guide, We shall be out by and by.
So on they went, and Joseph s/ul, Cannot we see to the end of this valley as yet? Then said the guide, Look to your feet, for we shall presently be among snares. So they looked to their feet, and went on j but they were troubled much with the snares. Now when they were come among the snares, they espied a man cast into the ditch on the left hand, with his flesh all rent and torn. Then said the guide, That is one Heedless, that was going this way; be has Jain there a threat while: there was one Takeheed with him when he Whs taken and slain; but he escaped their hands. You cannot imagine how many are k l'ed hereabouts; iind yet men are so foolishly venturous, as to set out lightly on pilgrimage, and to come without a guide. Poor Christian! it was a wonder that he here escaped; but he w:*s beloved of his God: also he had a good heart of his own, or else he could never have done it. Now they drew towards the end of their way ; and ju>t there where Christian had seen the cave when he went by, (See Part I. p. 75.) out thence came forth Maul, a giant. This Maul did use to spoil young pilgrims with sophistry, and he called Great-heart by his name, and said unto him, How many times have vou been foihidden to do these things ? Then said Mr. Great-heart, What things? What things! quoth the giant: you know what things; but I will put an end to your trade. But pray, said Mr. Great-heart, before we fall to it, let us understand wherefore we muse fight. (Now the women and children stoo I trembling, and knew not what to do.) Quoth the giant, You rob the country, and rob it with the wor.'jt of thieves. These are but generals,\ysaid Mr. Great-heart ; come to particulars, man.'
Then said the giant, 'J'liou pruCtisest the craft of a kidnapper; thou gatherest up women and children, and c^rrie.st them into a strange country, to the weakening of my master's kingdom; But now Great-heart repled, I am a servant of the God of heaven; my business is to persuade sinners to repentance: I am commanded to do my endeavour to turn men, women, and children, from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; and "if. this be indeed the ground of thy quarrel, let us fall to it as soon as thou wi!t
Then the giant came up, and Mr. Great-hear* went to meet him; and as he went, he drew his sword, hut the giant had a club. So without more ado thev fell to it, and, at the first blow, the giant struck Mr. Great-heart down upon one of his knees; with that the women and children cried; so Mr. Great-heart recovering himself, laid ubout him in: full luity manner, and gave the giant a wound in his arm. Thus he fought for the space of an hour, to that height of heat, that the breath came out of the giant's nostrils, as the heat doth out of a boilmg caldron. \ „
Then thev sat down to rest them, but Mr Greatheart betook himself to prayer ; also (he women and' children did nothing but sigh and cry all the time that the battle did lasf.
When they had rested them, and taken breath, they both fell to it again; and Mr. Great-heart, with a full blow, fetched the giant down to the ground: Nay, hold, let me recover, quoth he. So Mr. Great-heart let him fairly get up: so to it they went again, and the giant missed but a little of breaking Mr. Great-heart's skull with his club.
Mr. Great-heart seeing that, runs to him in the full heat of his spirit, and pierced him under the lifth
lib; with that the giant began to fiiitir, and could hold np his club no longer. Then Mr. Great-heart seconded his blow, and smote the head of the giant tiom his shoulders. Then the women and children rc-jniced ; and Mr. Great-tieait also prated God, for the d« liverance he had wrought.
Whi n this wvis done, they among themselves erected a pillar, and fastened the giant's head thereon, and wrote under it, in lcticis that passengers might read,
He that did wear this head, was ope
Thai pilgrims' did misuse;
He stopt their way, he spared none,
Hut d'il I hem. all abuse;
Until that I, Gieat-hcart, arose, .
The pilgrims' guide to be;
I'util that I oid him oppose,
That was their enemy.
IN what a changeable world do we live ; and how great are the transitions experienced by Christians! Our pilgrims, so delightfully entertained at the house Beautiful, are now calhid to descend the hill, and tread the Valley of Humiliation. A fresh sight and sense of sin, in all its horrid ileforlYiitJ', with a view of the plague of our own hearts, and the dreadful power of remaining conuptions, are not pleasant: U|t, by the blessing of God, may he wonderfully profitable, llence this valley is described as being a fruitful spot. Lilies adorned its banks—Great wealth and affluer.ee blessed many of its inhabitants—Contentment seemed to flourish— The Pilgrims enjoyed perfect health; and (what enhanced its glory infinitely more) it was dignified by the residence of Immanuel himself; for " Christ, when in the flesh, had his country house in this valley." Thus beautifully does our author describe the precious grace of humility. O that every reader may know its excellence, by happy experience!
The tremendous horror* of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, figuratively represent t!i t gloomy frame of mind, in which fears rise hgh, ami temptations greatly abound; more especially \vh a they ari; augmented by oodily disorder. (See Part I. p. 77.) Few christans peihaps, are wholly exempted from such di treusing seasons; but all are not alike. Hence Christiana awl her companions were not so mm h alarmed as Christ an. They could not be said to walk in da'kness, and have no light, as lie did; for they had sufficient daylight to d scern the snares of the way: they had a'so the valuable assistance of a skilful and courageous guide. Happy for weaker believers, who are directed to the ministry of a scribe, wed instructed in the mysteries of the kingdom! The destruction of Heedless in this valley, is intended as a cant on to those who have lost their first love, and ihe wcet
secure and inactive in that awliil condition. Let the afflict- d, deserted, tempted soul, be instant in p ayer. When Christian found every other weapon useless, All-prayer prevailed. His wife, In r companions, and Great-heart too, had recourse to the same expedient. Prayer prevailed, and they .were delivered.
The furious attack made by Maul, the giant, on the conductor, is to show us, that lively and active ministers of the gospel, who are zealous to win souls, must expect the opposition of Satan and his emissaries. But must they therefore desist > God forbid! The Lord is on their side. let them be accounted "kidnappers," and treated as enthusiasts: the Master whom they serve wdl succeed their endeavours; hear the prayers cf his people; and make Ihem inoie than coi> querorsl Thus were the pilgrims brought our of the valley; while dinger and darkness rendered re'unrug light, and the thoughts of heaven, the sweeter; and many thanksgivings redounded to the glory of God.
By glimm'ring hopes; and gloomy fears,
W e trace the sacred road;
Thro' dismal deeps, and dang'rous snares,
We make our way to God.
Long nights and darkness dwell below,
With scarce a twinkling ny;
But the U. iff hi worlil to which we go
lest they remain contente ',