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ON SATURDAY THE GIANT THREATENED WOULD PULL THEM IN PIECES.
shows them as his wife had bidden him. These, said he, were pilgrims, as you are, once, and they trespassed in my grounds, as you have THAT SHORTLY HE done; and when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces; and so within ten days I will do you. Get you down to your den again : and with that he beat them all the way thither. They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a lamentable case, as before. Now, when night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence and her husband the giant were got to bed, they began to renew their discourse of their prisoners ; and, withal, the old giant wondered that he could neither by his blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with that his wife replied, I fear, said she, that they live in hopes that some will come to relieve them, or that they have picklocks about them, by the means of which they hope to escape. And sayest thou so, my dear? said the giant; I will therefore search them in the morning.
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.*
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out into this passionate speech : What a fool, quoth he, am I, thus to lie in a stinking
alone object of faith and hope, and see the reasoning on past experiences of God's mercy; for it is he, “who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver ; in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us," 2 Cor. i. 10.
in custody of Giant Despair, in the midst of Doubting Castle; and when their own folly brought them there, too! Yes. Mind this, ye pilgrims. Ye are exhorted,
“ I will that men pray every where, without doubting," 1 Tim. ii. 8. We can be in no place, but God can hear; nor in any circumstance, but God is able to deliver from. And be assured, when the spirit of prayer comes, deliverance is nigh at hand. So it was here.
A KEY IN CHRISTIAN'S BOSOM, CALLANY LOCK IN DOUBTING CASTLE.
dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have
a key in my bosom, called Promise, that, ED PROMISE, OPENS will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle.
Then said Hopeful, That's good news, good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.*
Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outward door that leads into the castle-yard, and with his key opened that door also. After, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went damnable hard; yet the key did open
it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate as it opened made such a creaking, that it waked Giant Despair, who hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King's highway, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.t
* Precious promise! The promises of God in Christ are the life of faith, and the quickeners of prayer. O how oft do we neglect God's great and precious promises in Christ Jesus, while doubts and despair keep us prisoners. So it was with these pilgrims: they were kept under hard bondage of soul for four days. Hence see what it is to grieve the Spirit of God, and dread it: for he, only, is the Comforter; and if he withdraws his influences, who or what can comfort us? Though precious promises are revealed in the word, yet we can get no comfort from them but by the grace of the Spirit.
† Mind, though the Spirit works deliverance and brings comfort, yet it is by means of the word of promise; for as we depart from and dishonour God by unbelief, so we come back to and honour him by believing his word of grace to us in his beloved Son. In this way the Spirit brings deliverance.
Now, when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves what they should do at that stile to prevent those that shall come after from falling into the hand of Giant Despair. So they consented to erect there a pillar, and to engrave upon the side thereof this sentence, “Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.” Many, therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and escaped the danger.* This done, they sang as follows
A PILLAR ERECTED BY
CHRISTIAN AND HIS YELLOW
Out of the way we went, and then we fond
THE DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS.
They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains, which mountains belong to the Lord of that hill of which we have spoken before; so they went up to the mountains, to behold the gardens and orchards, the vineyards and fountains of water; where also they drank, and washed themselves, and did freely eat of the vineyards. Now, there were on the the tops of these mountains Shepherds feeding their flocks, and
THEY ARE REFRESHED IN THE MOUNTAINS.
Recording our own observations, and the experience we have had of God's dealing with our souls, are made of special and peculiar use to our fellow-christians. But let us ever take heed of self-exalting, ever remembering that all christian experience is designed to humble the soul and exalt the Saviour. As here these two pilgrims by their own folly got into Doubting Castle, but it was by free promise that they escaped from it; so this pillar was a memento to their shame, while it was a monument of God's free favour in Christ to them.