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90 Two Giants, Pope and Pagan.
though he feared them more before, yet he saw them more clearly now, because the light of the day made them conspi. cuous 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 now been dark, as it was when he came the 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.” (z) 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 Pisgrims that had gone this way formerly; and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied 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 Fetalive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd rushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now 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 in the cave, he could * Job xxix. 3.
(*) Various interpretations are given of this second part of the Valley, which only shew, * the author's precise idea in it lies more remote from general apprehension, than in other passages * for they all coincide with some of the difficulties or dangers that are clearly described under other emblems.-In general we are taught by it, that believers are not most
in danger when under the deepest distress; that the snares and devices of the enemy are o ** the several stages of our pilgrimage, as to baffle all descripShadow of . . o that all the emblems of the valley of Humiliation, and of the therefore that no o: not fully represent the thousandth part of them. were it not, they nor roundertakes to guide his people, by the light of his word and Spirit,
could possibly escape them all.”
Christian overtakes Faithful. 91
not tell what to think; specially because he spake to him, though he could not go after him, o ‘You will never u
mend till more of you be burned.” the held his peace,
and set a good face on it, and so went by and caught no hurt. (a) 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 up cast 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, “Hoho, so ho; stay, and I will be your companion.” . At that Faithful looked behind him; to whom Christian cried again, “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 is feet, he suddenly stumbled and fell, and could not rise again until Faithful came up to help him. (b)
(a) The inhabitants of Britain are not thought to be in any immediate danger, either from Pope or Pagan. Yet something very like the philosophical part of paganism seems to be rising from the dead; and as, even by the confession of the late king of Prussia, who was a steady friend to the philosophical infidels, they are by no means favourable to general toleration, it is not improbable but pagan persecution may also in due time revive. Nay it may be questioned, whether popery may not yet so far recover its vigour, as to make one more alarming struggle against vital Christianity, before that Man of Sin be finally destroyed.—Our author, however, has described no other persecution than what protestants in his time carried on against one another with very great alacrity.
(h) This ascent may denote those moments of encouragement, in which tempted believers rise superior to their difficulties; and are animated to desire the company of their brethren, whom dojection under humiliating experiences disposes them to shun.-The conduct of Christian intimates, that believers are sometimes ready to hind r one another, by making their own attainments and progress a standard for their brethren ; but the lively exercise of faith rendors men intent on pressing forward, and more apt to scar the society of such "
92 They converse about their City.
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: My honoured and well-beloved brother Faithful, I am glad that } have overtaken you; and that God has so tempered our spirit that we can walk as companions in this so pleasant apath. 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 2 Faith. Till I could stay no longer; for there was great talk presently after you were gone out, that our city would in a short time with i. from heaven be burned down to the ound. Chr. What! did your neighbours talk so P Faith. Yes, ’twas 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 did firmly believe it. For in the heat of the discourse, I heard some of them deridingly speak of you, and of your desperate journey, for so they called this your pilgrimage. But I did believe, and do still, that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above; and therefore I have made mine escape. (c)
would influence them to loiter, than to stop for them. This tends to excite an useful emt. lation: but, while it promotes diligence, it often gives occasion to those risings of vain-glory and self-preference, which are the fore-runners of some humiliating fall: and thus believers often feel their need of help from those very persons whom they have foolishly under-vakied. Yet this gives occasion to those mutual good offices, which unite them more closely in the nearest ties of tender affection.
(c) This episode, so to speak, and others of the same kind, give our author a happy ad. vantage of varying the characters and experiences of Christians, as found in real life; and of thus avoiding the common fault of making one man a standard for others, in the circumstances of his religious progress-It often happens, that they who have been acquainted before their conversion, and hear little of each other for some time after, find at length that they were led to attend to religion about the same period, without having opportunity or °ourage to confer together respecting it. The decided separation of a sinner from his old companions and pursuits, to walk with God in all his ordinances and commandments, from avowed dread of “the wrath to come,” as well as the hope of eternal life, frequently excites serious thoughts in the minds of others, which they are not able wholly to shake off. In many indeed this is a mere transient alarm, insufficient to overcome the propensities of the
* mind; but when it arises from a real belief of God's testimony it win at length Produce a happy change. - - Angu
Chr. Did you hear no talk of neighbour Pliable P Faith. Yes, Christian, I heard that he followed you till he came at the Slough of Despond; where, as some said, he fell in ; but he j not be known to have so done ; but I am sure he was soundly bedabbled with that kind of dirt. Chr. And what said the neighbours to him * Faith. He hath since his going back been had greatly in derision, and that among all sorts of people; some do mock and despise him, and scarce will any set him on work. He is now seven times worse than if he had never gone out of the city. Chr. But why should they be so set against him, since they also despised the way that he forsook Faith. Oh, they say, ‘Hang him ; he is Turncoat he was not true to his profession.’ I think God has stirred up even his enemies to hiss at him, and make him a proverb, because he hath forsaken the way.” Chr. Had you no talk with him before you cane out P Faith. I met him once in the streets, but he leered away on the other side, as one ashamed of what he had done : so I spalee not to him. Chr. Well, at Iny nrst setting out I had hopes of that man; but now I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the city: for “it hath happened to him according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in her mire.”f Faith. They are my fears of him too : but who can hinder that which will be P Well, neighbour Faithful, said Christian, let us leave him, and talk of things that more immediately concern ourselves. (d) Tell me now what you have met with in the way as you came: for Iknow you have met with some things, or else it may be writ for a wonder. Faith. I escaped the Slough that I perceive you fell into, and got up to the Gate without that danger; only I met with one, whose name was Wanton, that had like to have done me a mischief.
* Jer. xxix. 18, 19. t 2 Pet. ii. 22.
(d) Apostates are often ashamed to own they have had convictions. Even their former companions assume a superiority over them, do not think them hearty in the cause of ungodliness, and despise their cowardice and instability: while feeling that they want an apology, they have recourse to lies and slanders with abject servility. On the other hand they shun religious people, as afraid of encountering their arguments, warnings, and expor ulations; and thus are in all respects exceedingly contemptible and wretched,
94 Christian converses with Faithful.
Chr. It was well you escaped her net: Joseph was hard É. to it by her, and he escaped her as you did; but it had ike to have cost him his life.” But what did she do to you ? Faith. You cannot think, but that you know o, what a flattering tongue she had; she lay at me hard to turn aside with her, promising me all manner of content. Chr. Nay, she did not promise you the content of a good conscience. Faith. You know what I mean; all carnal and fleshly content. Chr. Thank God you have escaped her: “the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into her ditch.”f Faith. Nay, I know not whether I did wholly escape her Ol' no. Chr. Why, I trow you did not consent to her desires. Faith. No, not to defile myself, for I remembered an old writing that I had seen, which saith, “her steps take hold of hell.”f . So I shut mine eyes, because I would not be bewitched with her looks:–then she railed on me, and I went mv wav. ( •) "Chr. Did you meet with no other assault as you came * Faith. When I came to the foot of the hill called Difficulty, I met with a very aged man, who asked me what I was, and whither bound ; I told him that I was a Pilgrim going to the Celestial City. Then said the old man, Thou lookest like an honest fellow : wilt thou be content to dwell with me, for the wages that I shall give thee ? Then I asked him his name, and where he dwelt P. He said, His name was Adam the First, and I dwell in the town of Deceit. § I asked him then what was his work P and what the wages that he would give He told me, that his work was many delights; and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I further asked him, what house he kept, and what other servants he had So he told me, that his house was maintained with all the dainties in the world: and that his servants
*Gen. xxxix. 11—13. t Prov. xxii. 14. #Prov. v. 5. Job xxxi. 1. § Eph. iv. 22.
(e) Some men are preserved from desponding fears, and the suggestions of worldly wisdom, by receiving more distinct views of the truths of the gospel; and thus they proceed with less hesitation and interruption, in seeking to Christ for salvation: yet, perhaps, their *mperature,turn of mind, habits of life, and peculiar situation, render them more accessible to temptations of another sort; and they are more in danger from the fascinations of fleshly lusts. Thus in different ways the Lord makes his people sensible of their depravity, weakness, and exposed situation; while he so moderates the temptation, or interposes for their deliverance, that they are Preserved, and taught to ascribe all the glory to his name.