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great carefulness he would be ready to fall into the ditch. Thus he went on, and here I heard him figh most bitterly: for befides the danger mentioned, the pathway itself was fo dark, that ofttimes, when he lift up his foot to set forward, he knew not where, or upon what, he fhould fet it next. About the midst of this valley, I perceived. was the mouth of Hell, and it stood also hard by the way-side: now, thought Chriftian, what fhall I do? And ever and anon the flame and fmoke would come out in fuch abundance, with fparks and hideous noifes (things that cared not for Christian's fword, as Apollyon did), that he was forced to put his fword, and betake himself to another weapon, up called All Prayer: fo he cried, in my hearing, "O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my foul." Thus he went on a great while, yet ftill the flames would be reaching towards him. He heard also 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 fight was feen, and thefe 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 ftopt, and began to muse about what he had beft do: fometimes he had half
The ditch, on the right hand of that narrow path which led through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, may mean prefumption, or vain confidence: and the quag on the left hand may mean despair. a thought
a thought to go back, but then he thought he might now be half way through the valley: he remembered allo, how he had already vanquished many a danger; and that the danger of going back might be much more than of going forward; fo he refolved to go on: yet the fiends feemed to come nearer and nearer; but, when they were come even almost to him, he cried out with a moft vehement voice, "I will walk in the ftrength of the Lord God." Upon this they drew back, and came no farther.
One thing I would not let flip, of which I took notice; that poor Christian was fo confounded, that he did not know his own voice: and I perceived it thus: juft when he was come over against the mouth of the burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stept up foftly to him, and whispering, fuggefted many grievous blafphemies to him, which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind ". This put Chriftian more to it than any thing else that he had met with before; to think that he should now blafpheme him whom before he loved fo much; yet, if he could have helped it, he would not have done it: but he had not the difcretion either to stop his ears, or to know from whence thofe blafphemies came.
m In fuch feafons of temptation the Christian may afcribe that to himself which proceeds immediately from the fuggeftions of Satan. On the other hand, 'tis not uncommon for perfons to afcribe that to Satan which proceeds from their own hearts.
When Chriftian had travelled in this difconfolate condition fome confiderable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, faying, Though I walk through the valley of the "fhadow of death, I will fear no ill, for thou art " with me."
Then was he glad; and for these reasons :
Firft, Because he gathered from thence, that some who feared God were in this valley as well as himfelf.
Secondly, Because he perceived that God was with them, though in that dark and difmal ftate: and why not, thought he, with me? Though, by reason of the impediment which attends this place, I cannot perceive it.
Thirdly, Because 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 anfwer: for that he alfo thought himself to be alone. By-and-by the day broke: then faid Chriftian, "He hath turned "the fhadow of death into the morning."
Now, morning being come, he looked back; not out of any defire to return, but to fee, by the light of the day, what hazards he had gone through. He faw more perfectly the ditch which was on the one hand, and the quag which was on the other: he faw likewise how narrow the way was which led betwixt them both he faw too the hobgoblins, and fatyrs, and dragons of the pit; but all afar off: for, after G 3 break