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the Blessings of Humility.
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, to be faithfully paid them at certain seasons for their maintenance by the way, for their further encouragenent to go on their pilgrimage. : :
Sam. Now, as they went on, Samuel said to Mr.. Great-Heart, “ Sir, i perceive that in this valley my father and Apolljon had their battle; but where about was the fight for 1 perceive this valley is large.”
Great. 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 are of them. This is the place also where others have been put hard to it. But more of the place when we are come to it; for I persuade myself, that to this day there reinains
* O pilgrims, attend to this! Pride and ingratitude go hand in hand. Study, ever study, the favours of your Lord : how freely they are bestowed upon you; and how utterly unworthy you are of the least of them. Beware of Forgetful Green. Many, after going some way on pilgrimage, get into this green, and continue here; forget their dependence on Christ for assistance in, or the acceptance of their performances, and their obligations to hin who gave his life a ransom for their souls. They forget, and then forsake, the Fountain of living waters; and it is a wonderful mercy that this forgetfulness is not punished with final hardness and impenitency of heart. May we never like the children of Israel, forget the wonderful works of the Lord ; nor, like the disciples of Christ, the miracles of his mercy and love, Psal. Ixxviii. 14; Mark viii. 17, 18. A proper remembrance of past mercies has a most happy tendency to promote gratitude, to increase faith, and to excite holy diligence in the way to heaven.
The Blessings of Humility.
either some sign of the battle, or some monument to testify that such a battle there was fought.
MER. 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 fishpools of Hesh. bon.” They that go rightly through this “ valley of Bacha, 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 them their vineyards”; and they that go through it shall sing as Christian did, for all he met with Apollyon. :
GREAT. It is 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 contrité spirit, and that trembleth at my word'.".
ir l; afar of, anders and pum pride. human he
9 Of all the evils found in the human heart, none seems to be more hateful to God than pride. It is directly contrary to his nature, his promise, and purpose. He resisteth the proud, seeth them afar off, and will at last burn them up, Psal. cxxxviii, 6; Mal. iv. 1; 1 Pet. v. 5. No sin so easily besets men in general as pride. It is deeply seated on the heart, not readily detected, and varies its form and mode of attacking conscientious persons. But how abo. minable must it be for a sinner saved by grace, to think highly of himself!-a brand plucked out of the fire; a'criminal pardoned, and taken into favour! a poor needy creature, who cannot do one
- Song vii. 4. Psal. Ixxxiv. 5 7. Hos. ii. 15. ..
They arrive at the Place where Christian fought with Apollyon.
Now they 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 this ground Christian stood, and up there came Apollyon against him: and, look, did I not 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 shivers of Apollyon's broken darts : see also how they did beat the ground with their feet as they fought, toʻmake good their places against each other: how also, with their by-blows, they did split the very stones in pieces; verily Christian did here play the man, and shewed himself as stout as Hercules could had he been there, even he himself. When Apollyon was beat, he made his retreat to the next valley, that is called the valley of the Shadow of Death, unto which we shall come anon'. Lo, yonder also 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 way-side before them, they stepped to it, and read the writing, which word for word 'was this :
“ Hard by here was a battle fought, .
Most strange and yet most true;
Each other to subdue.
He made the fiend to fly;
The same to testify 2."
thing well without the aid of divine grace! Lord, clothe me with humility, and give me in my greatest prosperity true poverty of spirit!
* If Satan be driven back from one attack, prepare for another. Bless God for your armour. Never put it off.
* Monuments of victory over Satan, are to God's glory, and are
They enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
When they had passed by this place, they came 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 better through it, becausė they had daylight, and because Mr. Great-Heart was their conductor.'
When they were entered upon this valley, they thought they heard a groaning, as of dying men; a very great groaning. They thought also that they did, hear words of lamentation, spoken as of some in extreme torment. These things made the boys to quake, the womey also looked pale and wan: but there guide bid them be of good comfort.
So they went on a little further, and they thought that they felt the ground begin to shake under them, as if some hollow place was there; they heard also a kind of hissing, as of serpents, but nothing as yet appeared. 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, you be taken in some snare?. Lis n,
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
very animating and encouraging to those who come after.- Proclaim, O Christians, your mercies with thankfulness, and your victories with shouts of humility, to the honour of the Captain of your salvation.
9 None know the nature and strength of those temptations that haunt pilgrims in this valley, but those who have been in it. The hissings, revilings, and injections, of that old serpent, with all his infernal malice, seem to be let loose upon them here. Asaph seems to have been walking in this valley, when he said, “ As for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipt," Psal. Ixxiii. 7.
The Dangers attending the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
uglyher, what is said she..". It is nigh let them that
that Mr. Skill had prepared; and the boy began to revive. Thus they went on till they came about the middle of the valley; and then Christiana said, “ Me. thinks I see something yonder upon the road before lis: a thing of a shape such as I have not seen." Then said Joseph, Mother, what is it?"-". An ugly thing, child; an ugly thing,” said she. “ But mother, what is it like ??' said he. 6 'Tis like I can not tell what,” said she. " And now it is but a little way off.” Then said she, “ It is nigh.”
"Well,” said Mr. Great-Heart, 6 let them that are most afraid, keep close to me." So the fiend came on, and the conductor met it; but when it was just come to him, it vanished to all their sights; then remembered they what had been said some time ago, “ Resist the devil, and he will flee from you4.”.
They went therefore on, as being a little refresh, ed; but they had not gone far, before Mercy look. ing behind her, saw, as she 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 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. The lion also came on apace, and Mr. Great-Heart addressed himself to give him battle. But when he saw that it was determined that resistance should be made, he also drew back, and came no furthers.*
sawd it came aces of roaring; and all
* Let Satan appear in what shape he will, we ought ever to put on a great heart, that is, a good courage. For the faith of what Jesus is to us will inspire this. Let us ever look to Christ our Conqueror, and stedfastly resist our adversary.
5 Satan is often most dreadful at a distance, and courageously resisted when he is advanced nearer. This advice is ever needful,
ai Pet, v. 8.