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The Valley of the Shadow of Death.
any thing that he met with before, even to think that he should blaspheme Him that he loved so much before ; yet if he could have helped it he would not have done it: but he had not the discretion either to stop his ears, or to know from whence those blasphemies cameo.
When Christian had travelled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no ill, for thou art with
Then he was glad, and that for these reasons :
First. Because he gathered from thence, that some who feared God were in this valley as well as himself.
Secondly. For that he perceived God was with them, though in that dark and dismal state : and why not, thought he, with me? though, by reason of the impediment that attends this place, I cannot perceive it!
Thirdly. For that he hoped (could he overtake them) to have company by and by.
So he went on, and called to him who was before , but he knew not what to answer; for that he also thought himself to be alone. And by and by the day broke: then said Christian, He hath “ turned the shadow of death into the morning®.8”?
6 Now here the conscience manifests its tenderness by abhorring the evil of Satan's suggestions. Oh, what easy access has the enemy of our peace and holiness to our hearts! But the Lord is also nigh, to save to the uttermost all who trust in him; he will hear their cry, and save them, Psal. civ. 19.
7 The experience of other saints is very encouraging, for the Christian finds that others have gone before him in the same paths, of suffering in their way to heaven. • When a pious person is brought out of a sore trial, it is like * Psal. xxiii. iv, Job ix. ll. « Amos v. 8.
The Dangers of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Now morning being come, he looked back, not out of desire to return, but to see, by the light of the day, what hazards he had gone through in the dark : so he saw more perfectly the ditch that was on the one hand, and the quag that was on the other; also how narrow the way was which led betwixt them both; also now he saw the hobgoblins, and satyrs, and dragons of the pit, but all afar off, for after the break of the day they came not nigh; yet they were discovered to him, according to that which is written, " He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth to light the shadow of death.”
Now was Christian much affected with his deliverance from all the dangers of his solitary way; which dangers, though he feared them more before, yet he
saw them more clearly now, because the light of the · day made them conspicuous to him. And about
this time the sun was rising; and this was another mercy to Christian : for you must note, that though the first part of the valley of the Shadow of Death was dangerous ; yet this second part which he was yet to go, was, if possible far more dangerous': for from the place where he now stood, even to the end of the valley, the way was all along set so full of snares, traps, gins, and nets, here ; and so full of pits, pitfalls, deep holes, and shelvings down, there; that had it been dark, as it was when he came the
the morning sun after a dark and dreary night; and the joy that is then experienced, is an earnest of future blessedness : not to rejoice and be thankful for it, is impossible.
9 This means the raging of Romish persecution of those who contended for the truth, and those dreadful deaths which the martyrs suffered in the cause of Christ, and his glorious gospel and precious salvation. But here Christian had the blessed light of the glorious Reformation.
Job xii. 22. . . .
Pope and Pagan.
first part of the way, had he had a thousand souls, they had in reason been cast away: but, as I said, just now the sun was rising. Then said he, “ His candle shineth on my head, and by his light I go through darkness.”
In this light therefore he came to the end of the valley. Now I saw in my dream, that at the end of this valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims that had gone this way formerly: and while I was musing what should be the reason, I spied a little before me a cave, where two giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in old time; by whose power and tyranny the men, whose bones, blood, ashes, &c. lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered: but I have learnt since, that Pagan has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he now can do little more than sit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them'.
So I saw that Christian went on his way; yet, at the sight of the old man that sat in the mouth of the cave, he could not tell what to think ; especially because he spake to him, though he could not go after him, saying, “ You will never mend till more of you be burned.” But he held his peace, and set
· Pagan darkness has been expelled from our land by the light of the glorious gospel. Romish superstition and idolatry, and all the corrupt doctrines of that church, with the Pope's power and supremacy, are abolished by the blessed Reformation. On, may we Protestants see our great mercies, be truly thank to God for them, and study to walk worthy of them!
Job xxix. 3.
Christian meets with Faithful.
a good face on it, and so went by, and catched no hurt. Then sang Christian :
“O world of wonders! (I can say no less)
Now as Christian went on his way he came to a little ascent, which was cast up on purpose that pilgrims might see before them. Up there therefore Christian went; and looking forward, he saw Faithful before him, upon his journey.
Then said Christian aloud, “Ho, ho, so ho! stay, and I will be your companion.” At that Faithful looked behind him; to whom Christian cried, “ Stay, stay, till I come up to you ;” but Faithful answered, “ No; I am upon my life, and the avenger of blood is behind me.”
At this Christian was somewhat moved, and putting to all his strength, he quickly got up with Faithful, and did also overrun him ; so the last was first. Then did Christian vain-gloriously smile, because he had gotten the start of his brother: but not taking good heed to his feet, he suddenly stumbled and fell, and could not rise again until Faithful came up to help him?.
.. It is good to beware, and be jealous of what company we fall into. Many have joined hurtful professors instead of profitable pilgrims.
How exceedingly odious is pride in a Christian, if he be led to suppose he has outstripped another, danger is near, a fall is at hand : for pride goeth before destruction, and a baughty spirit before a fall.
Then I saw in my dream they went very lovingly on together, and had sweet discourse of all things that had happened to them in their pilgrimage : and thus Christian began :
Chr. My honoured and well-beloved brother Faithful, I am glad that I have overtaken you : and that God has so tempered our spirits“, that we can walk as companions in this so pleasant a path.
Faith. I had thought, dear friend, to have had your company quite from our town, but you did get the start of me: wherefore I was forced to come thus much of the way alone.
Chr. How long did you stay in the City of Destruction, before you set out after me on your pilgrimage?
FAITH. Till I could stay no longers; for there was great talk presently after you were gone out, that our city would in a short time, with fire from heaven, be burned down to the ground.
Chr. What! did your neighbours talk so?
Faith. Yes, it was for a while in every body's mouth. CHR. What! and did no more of them but
you come out to escape the danger ?
Faith. Though there was, as I said, a great talk thereabout, yet I do not think they firmly believed it. For, in the heat of the discourse, I heard some of them deridingly speak of
your desperate journey (for so they called your pilgrimage.) But I did believe, and do still, that the end of our city will
4 Two cannot walk together, except they are agreed that by nature they are poor miserable sinners, that Christ is a precious Saviour, and that they both alike accept salvation and eternal life through him only.
5 This is the case with every pilgrim. A keen sense of danger alone, or a discovery of the pearl of great price, will bring a sinner from a course of sin, and engage his heart to Christ Jesus.