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siderate persons do, look out if perhaps I might mend myself.*
APOL. There is no prince that will thus lightly lose his subjects, neither will I as yet lose thee: but since thou complainest of thy service and wages, be content to go back; what our country will afford, I do here promise to give thee.
Chr. But I have let myself to another, even to the King of princes; and how can I with fairness go back with thee?
APOL. Thou hast done in this according to the proverb, “ changed a bad for a worse :” but it is ordinary for those that have professed themselves his servants, after a while to give him the slip, and return again to me. Do thou so too, and all shall be well.
Chr. I have given him my faith, and sworn ny allegiance to him ; how then can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor ?
APOL. Thou didst the same by me, and yet I am willing to pass by all, if now thou wilt yet turn again, and go
A POL LYON UNDERVALUES CHRIST'S SERVICES.
* All this is the effect of believing God's word, and the conviction which it brings to the mind of the evil of sin, of the deplorable state the sinner finds himself in, and of the grace and salvation of the Son of God. As soon as a man believes these truths, he quits the service of the father of lies; and, by the faith of the truth, he is armed to resist Satan : for it is the glory of faith, to draw all its reasonings from divine truth.
† Here the father of lies delivers a most awful truth; but, like himself, backs it with a lying promise. Most dreadful to think of, to set out in the possession of Jesus, and again to turn back to the service of Satan! yet how common is this! Such reject Christ's truth, and believe the devil's lie, “ that all shall be well." But their end is ill, and their death damnation.
THE GRIEVOUS ENDS
Chr. What I promised thee was in my nonage; and besides, I count that the Prince under whose banner now I stand is able to absolve me; yea, and to pardon also what I did as to my compliance with thee : and besides, Othou destroying Apollyon, to speak truth, I like his service, his wages, his servants, his government, his company, and country, better than thine ; and therefore leave off to persuade me further : I am his servant, and I will follow him.
Apol. Consider again, when thou art in cool blood, A POLLYON PLEADS what thou art like to meet with in the DISSUADET CHRISTI way that thou goest. Thou knowest that,
for the most part, his servants come to an ill end, because they are transgressors against me and my ways. How many of them have been put to shameful deaths! And besides, thou countest his service better than mine; whereas, he never yet came from the place where he is, to deliver any that served him out of their hands : but as for me, how many times, as all the world very well knows, have I delivered, either by power or fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though taken by them: and so will I deliver thee.*
Chr. His forbearing at present to deliver them is on purpose to try their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end : and as for the ill end thou sayest they come to, that is most glorious in their account: For, for present deliverance, they do not much expect it; for they stay for their glory, and then they shall have it,
* Mark the many subtle ways and artful reasonings of Satan, to prevent pilgrims from persevering in the ways of the Lord. Happy for us not to be ignorant of Satan's devices !
A POLLYON PLEADS CHRISTIAN'S INFIR
when their Prince comes in his, and the glory of the angels. *
APOL. Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him; and how dost thou think to receive wages of him?
Chr. Wherein, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him?
APOL. Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the gulf of Despond. Thou didst attempt wrong ways MITIES to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou HIM. shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off. Thou didst sinfully sleep, and lose thy choice things. Thou wast also almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions: and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vainglory in all that thou sayest or doest.T
Chr. All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honour is merciful, and ready to forgive. But, besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country, for there I sucked them in, and I have groaned under them, being sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.
• Here is the precious reasoning of faith. Well might Paul say, Above all, (or over all,) taking the shield of faith, wherewith
shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one,” Eph. vi. 16.
+ Satan is justly styled the accuser of the brethren of Christ, Rev. xii. 10, for he accuseth them before God, and to their own consciences. they overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony," Rev. xii. 11, namely, “ that they have redemption in the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of their sins,” Eph. i. 7.
This is the best way—to own Satan's charges if they be true, yea, to exaggerate them also, to exalt the riches of the grace of Christ
A POLLYON IN RAGE,
APOL. Then Apollyon broke out into a grievous rage,
saying, I am an enemy to this Prince;
I hate his person, his laws, and people : I am come out on purpose to withstand thee.
Chr. Apollyon, beware what you do, for I am in the King's highway, the way of holiness; therefore take heed to yourself.
Apol. Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said, I am void of fear in this matter. Prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den that thou shalt go no farther : here will I spill thy soul. And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast; but Christian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so prevented the danger of that.*
Then did Christian draw, for he saw it was time to bestir him; and Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail ; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded
him in his head, his hand, and foot. UNDER: This made Christian give a little back :
Apollyon, therefore, followed his work amain, and Christian again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite
above all, in pardoning all of them freely. By thus humbling ourselves, and exalting Christ, Satan can get no advantage over us, though this will put him into a rage against us.
* The shield of faith; the belief of what Christ had done for him, was to him, had done in him, and what he was in Christ-pardoned, justified, and sanctified. This glorious confession of faith honours Christ, repels and quenches all the fiery darts of Satan, and gets the victory over him. This is what Peter exhorts—to “ resist the devil, steadfast in the faith,” 1 Pet. v. 9.
APOL LYON CASTET K CHRISTIAN DOWN TO
CHRISTIAN'S VIC. TORY OVER A POLLYOX.
spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker. *
Then Apollyon, espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to Christian, and, wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall; and with that Christian's sword flew out of his hand. THE GROUND. Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now : and with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life. But, as God would have it,f while Apollyon was fetching his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly reached out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying, Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy! when I fall, I shall arise !s and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound. Christian, perceiving that, made at him again, saying, Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us. And, with that, Apollyon spread forth his dragon's wings, and sped him away, that Christian saw him no more.
In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard, as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all
h Rom. viii, 37, 39. Jam. iv. 7. * We
may think this is hard work ;-why should a Christian be so severely attacked by Satan? The Lord does not give us armour to be useless, but to fight with, and to prove its excellency, and in the use of it to experience his almighty power and unchangeable love; for though we are weak, he is almighty to strengthen us, therefore we are called upon to be “ strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," Eph. vi. 10.
+ Mind that—the Lord does not look on as a mere spectator of our conflicts; but he strengthens us in every evil day, and in every fight of faith, and brings us off at last more than conquerors through his love.
A BRIEP RELATION OF THE COMBAT BY TIE SPECTATOR.
g Mic. vii. 8.