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by reminding him of his former Deliverances.
dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken bis 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 not. Now Christian again seemed to be 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: Apollyon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou didst bear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. · What hardship, terror, and amazement hast thou already gone through! and art thou now nothing but fear? Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art. Also this giant has wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from my mouth, and with thee I mourn without the light. 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 a bloody death: wherefore let us (at least to avoid the shame which it becomes not a christian to be found in) bear up with patience as well as we can.
It is well to remind melancholy christians of the deliverances which they have experienced, and of their having in times past manfully resisted temptations, and borne up under severe trials and afflictions. These things, however, are insufficient to relieve the agony of the heart, which is an affliction by far more insupportable than any other. “The spirit of a man will sustain his bodily infirmity ; but a wounded spirit who can bear ?" Prov. xviii. 14.
The Giant svows the Pilgrims the Bones of those be had destroyed.
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 bis counsel : to which be 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 to-morrow, and show them the bones and sculls of those whom thou hast already despatched, and make them believe, that ere a week comes to an end, thou wilt also tear them in pieces, as thou hast done their fellows before them.”
So when the morning was come, the giant went to them again, and took them into the castle-yard, and showed them as his wife had bidden him. “ These," said he, “ were once pilgrims, as you are, and they trespassed in my grounds as you have done; and wben I thought fit I tore them in pieces, and so within ten days I will do you ; go, 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 lamentable case, as before. Now when night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence and her husband, the giant, were gone 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.” “Sayest thou so, my dear?” said the giant, “I will therefore search them in the morning.”
• There is nothing more terrifying to a depressed and melancholy believer, that when he hears the history of some, who, after, having been for years professors of religion, have committed suicide, (which in a state of insanity bas frequently been the case,) and thus have ended their pilgrimage in Doubting-castle. There are, however, i many instances, in which christian principle has contributed such divine support, even when the mind has not been relieved from its
The Pilgrimas escape from Doubting-castle,
Well, on Saturday about midnight they began to pray, and continued in prayer till alipost break of lay.
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out in this passionate speech; “What a fool," quoth, he “ am I, thus to lie in a stink. ing dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that 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. Afterwards he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went very 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 bis 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.
darkness and misery, that neither the suggestions of “ Diffidence,' nor the counsel of « Despair," bave been able to drive them to the commission of the dreadful act. By these conversations between the allegorical personages after they had retired to bed, Mr. Bunyan perhaps designed to intimate, that as melancholy persons seldom get rest at night, the gloominess of the season contributes to the distress of their mind. So Asaph complains; “My sore ran in the night, and ceased not; my soul refused to be comforted," Ps. lxxvii. 2.
d Here is an affecting implication, that in seasons of great mental anguish prayer is neglected ; at least believing, importunate prayer No sooner did the pilgrims begin to “pray without ceasing," than light broke in upon their minds, and hope revived in their hearts,
The Pilgrims record their Deliveranoe.
Now when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves what they should
The scene which is here presented to our view is similar to that recorded in the 77th psalm, where, after the psalmist had been uttering his woes, he suddenly breaks forth, “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is bis mercy clean gone for ever ? doth his PROMISE fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? And I said, This is my infirmity : but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High," &c. One “promise of the gospel, where it is really believed, will be sufficient to remove all the doubts which sin and unbelief have occasioned, and to restore the soul to joy and peace in believing. The deliverance is not more surprising, than the pleasure is overwhelming, where hope returns after long days and nights of anguish and despair. So our pious poet Cowper describes it, and he well knew what he said. After describing the joys which a pardoned felon may be supposed to feel, who receives a reprieve when brought out to execution, he adds,
“ Joy far superior joy, that much outweighs
It is probable that the following quotation from the Life of Mr. Bunyan, records the facts upon which this allegorical key, and its wonderful uses, are founded. “ After 1 had been in this condition ["a great cloud of darkness," &c.] some three or four days, as I was sitting by the fire, I suddenly felt this word to sound in my heart, I must go to Jesus. At this, my former darkness and atheism fled away, and the blessed things of heaven were set in my view. While I was on this sudden thus overtaken with surprise, “Wife,' said I, “is there such a scripture, I must go to Jesus ?' She said she could not tell. Therefore I stood still musing to see if I could remember such a place, I had not sat above three or four minutes, but that came rushing in upon me, 'And to an innumerable company of angels ;' and withal the 12th chapter of Hebrews, about the mount Zion, was set before my eyes. Then with joy I told my wife, 'Oh! now I know, I know. But that night