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OP THEIR IMPRISON-
THE Grievousness to the spirits of these two men. Here
then they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did : they were, therefore, here in evil case, and were far from friends and acquaintance. Now in this place Christian had double sorrow, because it was through his unadvised counsel that they were brought into this distress.*
Now Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence : so, when he was gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done; to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and cast them into his dungeon for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also wbat he had best do further to them? So she asked what they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound; and he told her. Then she counselled him, that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without mercy. So when he arose, he getteth him a grievous crab-tree cudgel, and goes down into the dungeon to them, and there first falls to rating of them as if they were dogs, although they gave him never a ON THURSDAY GIANT word of distaste: then he falls upon them,
and beats them fearfully, in such sort that they were not able to help themselves, or turn to them upon the floor. This done, he withdraws, and leaves
DESPAIR BEATS HIS
s Psalm lxxxviii. 8. * What! these highly favoured Christians, in Doubting Castle ? Is it possible, after having travelled so far in the way of salvation, seen so many glorious things in the way, experienced so much of the grace and love of their Lord, and having so often proved his faithfulness, yet after all this to get into Doubting Castle! Is not this strange ? No, it is common ! the strongest Christians are liable to err, and get out of the way, and then to be beset with very great and distressing doubts. But though in Doubting Castle, yet it is their peculiar mercy not to be shut up in the iron cage of despair.
ON FRIDAY GIANT
THEM TO KILL TIEM.
them there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress : so all that day they spent their time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations. The next night she, talking with her husband further about them, and understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away with themselves. So, when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner as before, and DESPAIR COUNSELS perceiving them to be very sore with the SELV stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end of themselves, either with knife, halter, or poison : for why, said he, should you choose to live, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness? But they desired him to let them go. With that he looked ugly upon them, and, rushing to them, had doubtless made an end of them himself, but that he fell into one of his fits, (for he sometimes, in sun-" shiny weather, fell into fits,) and lost for a time the use of his hands. Wherefore he withdrew, and left them, as before, to consider what to do. Then did the prisoners consult between themselves whether it was best to take his counsel, or no; and thus they began to discourse :*
Chr. Brother, said Christian, what shall we do? The life that we now live is miserable. For my part,
THE GIANT SOMETIMES HAS FITS.
* See the workings of despair. Where is now their faith in, love to, and dependence upon their Lord ? Alas! all seems as at the last gasp. But observe, under their prevailing distress and black despondency, even when despair had almost made an end of them, they had a lucid interval when Giant Despair is seized with a fit, so that Christians are never left of God to total despair; for, says Paul, “ we are perplexed, but not in despair," 2 Cor. iv, 8. For God never casts away his people whom he foreknew, Rom. xi. 2.
I know not whether it is best, to live thus, D. or to die out of hand; “my soul chooseth strangling rather than life,” and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon! Shall we be ruled by the giant ? *
Hope. Indeed our present condition is dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me than thus for ever to abide : but yet let us consider; the Lord of the country to which we are going hath said, “ Thou shalt do no murder;" no, not to another man's person ; much more then are we forbidden to take his counsel to kill ourselves. Besides, he that kills another can but commit murder upon his body; but, for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once. And, moreover, my
CON- brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave;
but hast thou forgotten the hell whither for certain the murderers go? for “ no murderer hath eternal life,” &c. And let us consider again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant Despair : others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hands. Who knows but that God, who made the world, may cause that Giant Despair may die, or that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in ; or that he may in a short time have another of his fits before us, and may lose the use of his limbs? And if ever that should come to pass again, for my part, I am resolved to pluck up the
HOPEFCL COMPORTS HIM.
t Job vii. 15.
* Poor Christian! what! tempted to destroy thyself ? Lord, what is man! But see, despairing soul, mark the truth of that word— “ There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to men;" but God is Faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that we may be able to hear it,” I Cor. x. 13.
heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from under his hand.* I was a fool that I did not try to do it before: but, however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure a while; the time may come that may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers. With these words Hopeful at present did moderate the mind of his brother; so they continued together in the dark that day, in their sad and doleful condition.
Well, towards evening the giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel : but when he came there, he found them alive; and, truly, alive was all, for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But, I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them that, seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.
At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian fell into a swoon; but, coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the giant's counsel : and whether yet they had best take it, or no. Now, Christian again seemed for doing it, but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth :
HOPE. My brother, said he, rememberest thou not how valiant thou hast been heretofore ? HOPEFUL COMApollyon could not crush thee, nor could BY CALLING FORMER all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel in BRANCE. the Valley of the Shadow of Death; what hardship, terror, and amazement, hast thou already gone through, and art thou now nothing but fears! Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art; also this giant hath wounded me as well thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from my mouth, and with thee I mourn without the light. But let us exercise a little more patience; remember how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and wast neither afraid of the chain nor cage, nor yet of bloody death : wherefore let us, (at least to avoid the shame that becomes not a Christian to be found in,) bear up with patience as well as we can.*
HOPEFUL COMFORTS HIM AGAIN
THINGS TO REMEM
* Mark how a fit of despair robs a Christian of his courage, reason, and graces. But one single thought of the love, power, and grace of a covenant God in Christ, elevates the Christian's mind with hope.
Now, night being come again, and the giant and his wife being in bed, she asked him concerning the prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel : to which he replied, They are sturdy rogues, they choose rather to bear all hardships than to make away with themselves. Then said she, Take them into the castle-yard tomorrow, and show them the bones and skulls of those thou hast already despatched, and make them believe, ere a week comes to an end, thou wilt tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.
So when the morning as come, the giant goes to them again, and takes them into the castle-yard, and
* Here is the blessing of a hopeful companion. Here is excellent counsel. Let vain professors say what they may against experience, and looking back to past experience. It is most certainly good and right so to do; though not to encourage present sloth and presumption, but to excite fresh confidence of hope in the Lord. We have David's example, and Paul's word, to encourage us to this : says David—“ The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this uncircumcised Philistine," 1 Sam. xvii. 37. And says Paul, we have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raiseth the dead. There mind the