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LEY OF HUMILIA-
slips that he got in his going down the hill ; for they that get slips there must look for combats here. And hence it is that this Valley has got so hard a name ; for the 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 befall them there. THE REASON WHY
This Valley of Humiliation is of itCHRISTIAN WAS SO self as fruitful a place as any the crow BESET IN THE VAL
flies over; and I am persuaded, if we
could hit upon it, we might find, somewhere hereabouts, something that might give us an account why Christian was so hardly beset in this place.
Then said James to his mother, Lo ! yonder stands a pillar, and it looks as if something was written thereon:
let us go and see what it is. So they INSCRIPTION ON IT. went, and found there written, “ Let Christian's slips, before he came hither, and the battles that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after.” Lo! said their Guide, did not I 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 himself to Christiana, he said, No disparagement to Christian more than 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 brave victory over his Enemy:
A PILLAR WITH AN
THIS VALLEY A
let Him grant, 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 fruitful piece of ground in all these parts. It is fat ground, and, as you see, consisteth 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 the sight of his eyes, he might see that which would be delightful to him. Behold how green this Valley is ! also how beautified with lilies !5 I have known many labouring men that have got good estates in this Valley of Humiliation.6 “ For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble;"? THE VALLEY OF for indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handfuls. Some also have wished that the next way to their Father's house were here, that they might be troubled no more with either hills or mountains to go over; but the way is the way,
and there 's 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 a fresh and well-favoured countenance, and as he sat by himself, he sung. Hark, said Mr. Great-heart, to what the shepherd's boy saith! so they hearkened, and he said,
MEN THRIVE IN
He that is down needs fear no fall;
He that is low no pride ;
Have God to be his Guide.
5 Sol. Song ii. 1.
6 1 Pet. v. 5.
7 James iv. 6.
Then said their Guide, Do you hear him? I will dare to say, this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of that 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 FLESH HAD HIS COUN- had His Country-House. He loved
much to be here ; He loved also
to walk these meadows, for He & Heb. xiii. 5. Phil. iv. 12, 13.
CHRIST WHEN IN THE
TRY-HOUSE IN THE
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 so let and hindered in his contemplation, as in other places he is apt to be. This is a Valley that nobody walks in, but those that love a Pilgrim's life. And though Christian had the hard hap to meet here 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 here; have found pearls here; and have in this place found the words of life.'
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 love and trace these grounds, He has left a yearly revenue, to be faithfully paid them at certain seasons, for their maintenance by the way, and for their further encouragement to go on in their pilgrimage.
Now, as they went on, Samuel said to Mr. Greatheart, Sir, I perceive that in this Valley my father and Apollyon had their battle; but whereabout 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 parts. For if at any time Pilgrims meet with any brunt, it is when they forget what favours they have received, and how unworthy they
9 Hos. xii. 4, 5.
i Matt. x. 29.
HUMILITY A SWEET GRACE.
are of them. This is the place, also, where others have been hard put to it. But more of the 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 was fought there.
Then said Mercy, I think I am as well in this Valley as I have been any where else in all 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. Methinks 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. Here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one's spirit, until one's eyes become as the “ fish-pools of Heshbon.” They that go rightly through this valley of Baca make it a well; the rain that God sends down from Heaven upon them that are here, “ also filleth the pools.” This Valley is that from whence also the King will give to His their vineyards ;4 and they that go through it shall sing, as Christian did, for all he met with Apollyon.
'Tis true, said their Guide, I have
gone through this Valley many a time, and never was better than when here. I have also been a Conductor to several Pilgrims, and they have confessed the same. “ To this man will I look, (saith the King, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word.” Now they were come to the place where the afore2 Sol. Song vii. 4. 3 Psal. lxxxiv. 6.
4 Hon. ii. 15.