(Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress. part 5)

CHAR.  But you should have talked to them, and have endeavoured 
to have shown them the danger of being behind. 
CHR.  So I did; and told them also of what God had shown to me 
of the destruction of our city; "but I seemed to them as one 
that mocked", and they believed me not.  [Gen. 19:14] 
CHAR.  And did you pray to God that he would bless your counsel to them? 
CHR.  Yes, and that with much affection:  for you must think 
that my wife and poor children were very dear unto me. 
CHAR.  But did you tell them of your own sorrow, and fear 
of destruction? for I suppose that destruction was visible enough 
to you. 
CHR.  Yes, over, and over, and over.  They might also see my fears 
in my countenance, in my tears, and also in my trembling under 
the apprehension of the judgement that did hang over our heads; 
but all was not sufficient to prevail with them to come with me. 
CHAR.  But what could they say for themselves, why they came not? 
CHR.  Why, my wife was afraid of losing this world, and my children 
were given to the foolish delights of youth:  so what by one thing, 
and what by another, they left me to wander in this manner alone. 
CHAR.  But did you not, with your vain life, damp all that you 
by words used by way of persuasion to bring them away with you? 
CHR.  Indeed, I cannot commend my life; for I am conscious to myself 
of many failings therein; I know also that a man by his conversation 
may soon overthrow what by argument or persuasion he doth labour 
to fasten upon others for their good.  Yet this I can say, 
I was very wary of giving them occasion, by any unseemly action, 
to make them averse to going on pilgrimage.  Yea, for this very thing 
they would tell me I was too precise, and that I denied myself 
of things, for their sakes, in which they saw no evil.  Nay, 
I think I may say, that if what they saw in me did hinder them, 
it was my great tenderness in sinning against God, or of doing 
any wrong to my neighbour. 
CHAR.  Indeed Cain hated his brother, "because his own works were evil, 
and his brother's righteous" [1 John 3:12]; and if thy wife and children 
have been offended with thee for this, they thereby show themselves 
to be implacable to good, and "thou hast delivered thy soul 
from their blood".  [Ezek. 3:19] 
Now I saw in my dream, that thus they sat talking together 
until supper was ready.  So when they had made ready, 
they sat down to meat.    Now the table 
was furnished "with fat things, and with wine that was well refined": 
and all their talk at the table was about the Lord of the hill; 
as, namely, about what he had done, and wherefore he did what he did, 
and why he had builded that house.  And by what they said, 
I perceived that he had been a great warrior, and had fought with 
and slain "him that had the Power of death", but not without 
great danger to himself, which made me love him the more. 
[Heb. 2:14,15] 
For, as they said, and as I believe (said Christian), he did it with 
the loss of much blood; but that which put glory of grace 
into all he did, was, that he did it out of pure love to his country. 
And besides, there were some of them of the household that said 
they had been and spoke with him since he did die on the cross; 
and they have attested that they had it from his own lips, 
that he is such a lover of poor pilgrims, that the like is not 
to be found from the east to the west. 
They, moreover, gave an instance of what they affirmed, and that was, 
he had stripped himself of his glory, that he might do this 
for the poor; and that they heard him say and affirm, 
"that he would not dwell in the mountain of Zion alone." 
They said, moreover, that he had made many pilgrims princes, 
though by nature they were beggars born, and their original 
had been the dunghill.  [1 Sam 2:8; Ps. 113:7] 
Thus they discoursed together till late at night; and after 
they had committed themselves to their Lord for protection, 
they betook themselves to rest:  the Pilgrim they laid 
in a large upper chamber, whose window opened towards the sun-rising: 
the name of the chamber was Peace; where he slept till break of day, 
and then he awoke and sang-- 
     "Where am I now?  Is this the love and care 
     Of Jesus for the men that pilgrims are? 
     Thus to provide! that I should be forgiven! 
     And dwell already the next door to heaven!" 
So in the morning they all got up; and, after some more discourse, 
they told him that he should not depart till they had shown him 
the rarities of that place.  And first they had him into the study, 
where they showed him records of the greatest antiquity; in which, 
as I remember my dream, they showed him first the pedigree of the Lord 
of the hill, that he was the son of the Ancient of Days, and came by 
that eternal generation.  Here also was more fully recorded the acts 
that he had done, and the names of many hundreds that he had taken 
into his service; and how he had placed them in such habitations that 
could neither by length of days, nor decays of nature, be dissolved. 
Then they read to him some of the worthy acts that some of his servants 
had done:  as, how they had "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, 
obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence 
of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness 
were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight 
the armies of the aliens."  [Heb 11:33,34] 
They then read again, in another part of the records of the house, 
where it was shewed how willing their Lord was to receive 
into his favour any, even any, though they in time past had offered 
great affronts to his person and proceedings.  Here also were 
several other histories of many other famous things, of all which 
Christian had a view; as of things both ancient and modern; 
together with prophecies and predictions of things that have 
their certain accomplishment, both to the dread and amazement 
of enemies, and the comfort and solace of pilgrims. 
The next day they took him and had him into the armoury, 
where they showed him all manner of furniture, which their Lord 
had provided for pilgrims, as sword, shield, helmet, breastplate, 
ALL-PRAYER, and shoes that would not wear out.  And there was here 
enough of this to harness out as many men for the service of their Lord 
as there be stars in the heaven for multitude. 
They also showed him some of the engines with which some of his servants 
had done wonderful things.  They shewed him Moses' rod; 
the hammer and nail with which Jael slew Sisera; the pitchers, trumpets, 
and lamps too, with which Gideon put to flight the armies of Midian. 
Then they showed him the ox's goad wherewith Shamgar slew 
six hundred men.  They showed him also the jaw-bone with which Samson 
did such mighty feats.  They showed him, moreover, the sling and stone 
with which David slew Goliath of Gath; and the sword, also, 
with which their Lord will kill the Man of Sin, in the day 
that he shall rise up to the prey.  They showed him, besides, 
many excellent things, with which Christian was much delighted. 
This done, they went to their rest again. 
Then I saw in my dream, that on the morrow he got up to go forward; 
but they desired him to stay till the next day also; 
and then, said they, we will, if the day be clear, show you 
the Delectable Mountains, which, they said, would yet further add 
to his comfort, because they were nearer the desired haven 
than the place where at present he was; so he consented and stayed. 
When the morning was up, they had him to the top of the house, 
and bid him look south; so he did:  and behold, at a great distance, 
he saw a most pleasant mountainous country, beautified with woods, 
vineyards, fruits of all sorts, flowers also, with springs 
and fountains, very delectable to behold.  [Isa. 33:16,17] 
Then he asked the name of the country.  They said it was 
Immanuel's Land; and it is as common, said they, as this hill is, 
to and for all the pilgrims.  And when thou comest there from thence, 
said they, thou mayest see to the gate of the Celestial City, 
as the shepherds that live there will make appear. 
Now he bethought himself of setting forward, and they were willing 
he should.  But first, said they, let us go again into the armoury. 
  So they did; and when they came there, 
they harnessed him from head to foot with what was of proof, 
lest, perhaps, he should meet with assaults in the way.  He being, 
therefore, thus accoutred, walketh out with his friends to the gate, 
and there he asked the porter if he saw any pilgrims pass by. 
Then the porter answered, Yes. 
CHR.  Pray, did you know him? said he. 
POR.  I asked him his name, and he told me it was Faithful. 
CHR.  Oh, said Christian, I know him; he is my townsman, 
my near neighbour; he comes from the place where I was born. 
How far do you think he may be before? 
POR.  He is got by this time below the hill. 
CHR.  Well, said Christian, good Porter, the Lord be with thee, 
and add to all thy blessings much increase, for the kindness that thou 
hast showed to me. 
Then he began to go forward; but Discretion, Piety, Charity, 
and Prudence would accompany him down to the foot of the hill. 
So they went on together, reiterating their former discourses, 
till they came to go down the hill.  Then said Christian, 
As it was difficult coming up, so, so far as I can see, it is dangerous 
going down.  Yes, said Prudence, so it is, for it is a hard matter 
for a man to go down into the Valley of Humiliation, as thou art now, 
and to catch no slip by the way; therefore, said they, are we come out 
to accompany thee down the hill.  So he began to go down, 
but very warily; yet he caught a slip or two. 
Then I saw in my dream that these good companions, when Christian 
was gone to the bottom of the hill, gave him a loaf of bread, 
a bottle of wine, and a cluster of raisins; and then he went on his way. 
But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put 
to it; for he had gone but a little way, before he espied a foul fiend 
coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. 
Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind 
whether to go back or to stand his ground.  But he considered again 
that he had no armour for his back; and therefore thought 
that to turn the back to him might give him the greater advantage 
with ease to pierce him with his darts.    Therefore he resolved to venture 
and stand his ground; for, thought he, had I no more in mine eye 
than the saving of my life, it would be the best way to stand. 
So he went on, and Apollyon met him.  Now the monster was 
hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales, like a fish, 
(and they are his pride,) he had wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, 
and out of his belly came fire and smoke, and his mouth was as 
the mouth of a lion.  When he was come up to Christian, he beheld him 
with a disdainful countenance, and thus began to question with him. 
APOL.  Whence come you? and whither are you bound? 
CHR.  I am come from the City of Destruction, which is the place 
of all evil, and am going to the City of Zion. 
APOL.  By this I perceive thou art one of my subjects, 
for all that country is mine, and I am the prince and god of it. 
How is it, then, that thou hast run away from thy king? 
Were it not that I hope thou mayest do me more service, 
I would strike thee now, at one blow, to the ground. 
CHR.  I was born, indeed, in your dominions, but your service was hard, 
and your wages such as a man could not live on, "for the wages of sin 
is death" [Rom 6:23]; therefore, when I was come to years, I did, 
as other considerate 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 my allegiance to him; 
how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor? 
APOL.  Thou didst the same to me, and yet I am willing to pass by all, 
if now thou wilt yet turn again and go back. 
CHR.  What I promised thee was in my nonage; and, besides, 
I count 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, O thou 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, 
what thou art like to meet with in the 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 came yet 
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 I will 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 
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 
to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldst have stayed 
till thy Prince had taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep 
and lose thy choice thing; 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 vain-glory in all that thou sayest or doest. 
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, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince. 
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 further; 
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. 
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 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. 
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, while Apollyon 
was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end 
of this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, 
and caught it, saying, "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; 
when I fall I shall arise" [Micah 7:8];  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".  [Rom. 8:37]  And with that Apollyon spread forth 
his dragon's wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season 
saw him no more.  [James 4:7] 
In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard 
as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all the time 
of the fight--he spake like a dragon; and, on the other side, 
what sighs and groans burst from Christian's heart.  I never saw him 
all the while give so much as one pleasant look, till he perceived 
he had wounded Apollyon with his two-edged sword; then, indeed, 
he did smile, and look upward; but it was the dreadfullest sight 
that ever I saw. 
     A more unequal match can hardly be,-- 
     CHRISTIAN must fight an Angel; but you see, 
     The valiant man by handling Sword and Shield, 
     Doth make him, tho' a Dragon, quit the field. 
So when the battle was over, Christian said, "I will here give thanks 
to him that delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, 
to him that did help me against Apollyon."  And so he did, saying-- 
     Great Beelzebub, the captain of this fiend, 
     Design'd my ruin; therefore to this end 
     He sent him harness'd out:  and he with rage 
     That hellish was, did fiercely me engage. 
     But blessed Michael helped me, and I, 
     By dint of sword, did quickly make him fly. 
     Therefore to him let me give lasting praise, 
     And thank and bless his holy name always. 
Then there came to him a hand, with some of the leaves 
of the tree of life, the which Christian took, and applied to the wounds 
that he had received in the battle, and was healed immediately. 
He also sat down in that place to eat bread, and to drink of the bottle 
that was given him a little before; so, being refreshed, 
he addressed himself to his journey, with his sword drawn in his hand; 
for he said, I know not but some other enemy may be at hand.  But he met 
with no other affront from Apollyon quite through this valley. 
Now, at the end of this valley was another, called the Valley of 
the Shadow of Death, and Christian must needs go through it, 
because the way to the Celestial City lay through the midst of it. 
Now, this valley is a very solitary place.  The prophet Jeremiah 
thus describes it:  "A wilderness, a land of deserts and of pits, 
a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, a land that no man" 
(but a Christian) "passed through, and where no man dwelt."  [Jer. 2:6] 
Now here Christian was worse put to it than in his fight with Apollyon, 
as by the sequel you shall see. 
I saw then in my dream, that when Christian was got to the borders of 
the Shadow of Death, there met him two men, children of them 
that brought up an evil report of the good land [Num. 13], 
making haste to go back; to whom Christian spake as follows:-- 
CHR.  Whither are you going? 
MEN.  They said, Back! back! and we would have you to do so too, 
if either life or peace is prized by you. 
CHR.  Why, what's the matter? said Christian. 
MEN.  Matter! said they; we were going that way as you are going, 
and went as far as we durst; and indeed we were almost past coming back; 
for had we gone a little further, we had not been here to bring the news 
to thee. 
CHR.  But what have you met with? said Christian. 
MEN.  Why, we were almost in the Valley of the Shadow of Death; 
but that, by good hap, we looked before us, and saw the danger 
before we came to it.  [Ps. 44:19; 107:10] 
CHR.  But what have you seen? said Christian. 
MEN.  Seen!  Why, the Valley itself, which is as dark as pitch; 
we also saw there the hobgoblins, satyrs, and dragons of the pit; 
we heard also in that Valley a continual howling and yelling, 
as of a people under unutterable misery, who there sat bound 
in affliction and irons; and over that Valley hangs 
the discouraging clouds of confusion.  Death also doth always 
spread his wings over it.  In a word, it is every whit dreadful, 
being utterly without order.  [Job 3:5; 10:22] 
CHR.  Then, said Christian, I perceive not yet, by what you have said, 
but that this is my way to the desired haven.  [Jer. 2:6] 
MEN.  Be it thy way; we will not choose it for ours.  So, they parted, 
and Christian went on his way, but still with his sword 
drawn in his hand, for fear lest he should be assaulted. 
I saw then in my dream, so far as this valley reached, 
there was on the right hand a very deep ditch; that ditch is it 
into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and have both 
there miserably perished.  [Ps. 69:14,15]  Again, behold, 
on the left hand, there was a very dangerous quag, into which, 
if even a good man falls, he can find no bottom for his foot 
to stand on.  Into that quag King David once did fall, and had no doubt 
therein been smothered, had not HE that is able plucked him out. 
The pathway was here also exceeding narrow, and therefore good Christian 
was the more put to it; for when he sought, in the dark, 
to shun the ditch on the one hand, he was ready to tip over 
into the mire on the other; also when he sought to escape the mire, 
without great carefulness he would be ready to fall into the ditch. 
Thus he went on, and I heard him here sigh bitterly; for, 
besides the dangers mentioned above, the pathway was here so dark, 
and ofttimes, when he lift up his foot to set forward, 
he knew not where or upon what he should set it next. 
     Poor man! where art thou now? thy day is night. 
     Good man, be not cast down, thou yet art right, 
     Thy way to heaven lies by the gates of Hell; 
     Cheer up, hold out, with thee it shall go well. 
About the midst of this valley, I perceived the mouth of hell to be, 
and it stood also hard by the wayside.  Now, thought Christian, 
what shall I do?  And ever and anon the flame and smoke 
would come out in such abundance, with sparks and hideous noises, 
(things that cared not for Christian's sword, as did Apollyon before), 
that he was forced to put up his sword, and betake himself 
to another weapon called All-prayer.   [Eph. 6:18]  So he cried 
in my hearing, "O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul!"  [Ps. 116:4] 
Thus he went on a great while, yet still the flames would be 
reaching towards him.  Also he heard doleful voices, and rushings 
to and fro, so that sometimes he thought he should be torn in pieces, 
or trodden down like mire in the streets.    This frightful sight was seen, and these 
dreadful noises were heard by him for several miles together; 
and, coming to a place where he thought he heard a company of fiends 
coming forward to meet him, he stopped, and began to muse 
what he had best to do.  Sometimes he had half a thought to go back; 
then again he thought he might be half way through the valley; 
he remembered also how he had already vanquished many a danger, 
and that the danger of going back might be much more than for 
to go forward; so he resolved to go on.  Yet the fiends seemed to come 

(continued in part 6...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-03:pilgr-05.txt