he is armed - Valley of Humiliation - conflict with Apollyon - Valley of the Shadow of Death - Giants Pope and Pagan

Leaving the Hill

Now he thought of setting off, and they were willing that he should; but first, they said, let us go again into the armoury: so they did. And when he came there, they harnessed him from head to foot with armour that had been proven, lest perhaps he should meet with assaults in the way. He, being therefore thus equipped, walked 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. Please, do you know him? he asked.

Watchful, the Porter. 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 ahead?"

Watch. He would be below the hill by now.

Chr. "Well," said CHRISTIAN, "good porter, the Lord be with you, and add to all your blessings much increase for the kindness that you have shown me!"

Then he began to go forward; but DISCRETION, PIETY, CHARITY, and PRUDENCE desired to accompany him to the foot of the hill. So they went on together, reiterating their former dicussions, 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 you are now, and not to slip by the way; therefore," they said, "we have come out to accompany you down the hill." So he began to go down, but very warily; yet he slipped a time or two.

Then I saw in my dream that these good companions, when CHRISTIAN had gone down 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 noticed a foul fiend coming over the field to meet with him; his name was APOLLYON. Then CHRISTIAN began to be afraid, and to toss 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 his back to him might give him a greater advantage, so that he could pierce him with ease with his darts; therefore he resolved to be bold, and stand his ground. For, he thought, had I no more in my sights 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 look upon; 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 had come up to CHRISTIAN, he looked at him with a disdainful expression, and began to question him this way:

Apollyon. Where have you come from, and where are you going?

Chr. I have 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 you are one of my subjects; for all that country is mine, and I am the prince and god of it. How is it, then, that you have run away from your king? If it were it not that I hope you may do me more service, I would strike you now at one blow to the ground.

Chr.Indeed, I was born 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;

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

so, when I was of age, I did as other considerate persons do, look to see, if perhaps, I might reform myself.

Apol. There is no prince that will so lightly lose his subjects; neither will I lose you. But since you complain of your service and wages, be content to go back and I hereby promise to give you whatever our country will afford.

Chr. But I have given myself to another, even to the king of princes; and how can I with fairness go back with you?

Apol. You have acted according to the proverb, "changed a bad for a worse"; but it is common for those that have professed to be his servants, after a while to give him the slip, and return again to me: you do 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. You did the same to me; and yet I am willing to forget all, if now you will just turn again and go back.

Chr. What I promised you was in my immaturity; and besides, I believe that the Prince under whose banner now I stand is able to absolve me; yes, and also to pardon what I did in my compliance with you. And besides, you destroying APOLLYON, speaking truthfully, I like his service, his wages, his servants, his government, his company and country, better than yours. Therefore stop trying to persuade me further: I am his servant, and I will follow him.

Apol. Consider again, when your blood has cooled, what you are likely to meet with in the way that you go. You know 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, you think his service better than mine, yet he has never come from the place where he is, to deliver any that served him out of our 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 you!

Chr. His forbearing at present to deliver them, is on purpose to try their love, to see whether they will cleave to him to the end; and as for the ill end you say they come to, that is most glorious in their account. For, for present deliverance, they do not much expect it; for they wait for their glory, and then they shall have it, when their Prince comes in his, and the glory of the angels.

Apol. You have already been unfaithful in your service to him; so how do you think to receive wages from him?

Chr. How, O APOLLYON, have I been unfaithful to him?

Apol. You fainted when first setting out, when you were almost choked in the Gulf of Despond; you attempted wrong ways to be rid of your burden, when you should have waited till your Prince had taken it off; you sinfully slept and lost your choice thing; you were also almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and when you talk of your journey, and of what you have heard and seen, you are inwardly desirous of vain-glory in all that you say or do.

Chr. All this is true; and much more which you have left out: but the Prince whom I serve and honour is merciful and ready to forgive. But besides, these infirmities seized upon me in your country; for there I sucked them in, and I have groaned under them, being sorry for them, and have obtained pardon from 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 have come out on purpose to oppose you."

Chr. APOLLYON, beware what you do; for I am in the King's highway, the way of holiness: therefore pay attention to yourself!

Apol. Then APOLLYON straddled himself over the whole breadth of the way, and said, "I am void of fear in this matter: prepare yourself to die! for I swear by my infernal den that you shall go no further; here I will spill your 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 CHRISTIAN drew his sword, for he saw it was time to act; and APOLLYON very quickly assaulted him, throwing darts as thick as hail, 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 ground; APOLLYON therefore followed his work furiously, and CHRISTIAN again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This hot combat lasted for above half a day, even till CHRISTIAN was almost quite exhausted. For you must know that CHRISTIAN, because of his wounds, grew weaker and weaker.

Then APOLLYON, seeing his opportunity, began to get up closer to CHRISTIAN, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful plunge: and with that, CHRISTIAN'S sword flew out of his hand.

A Dreadful Fall

Then APOLLYON said, "I am sure of you 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 making his last blow, by which to make a full end of this good man, CHRISTIAN nimbly reached out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying, "Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I shall arise";

"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me." Micah 7:8

and with that, gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give ground, as one that had received his mortal wound. Seeing this, CHRISTIAN swung at him again, saying, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us".

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:37

And with that, APOLLYON spread out his dragon's wings, and fled,

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

and CHRISTIAN for a season 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 the time of the fight--he spoke 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 one of the most dreadfull sights that ever I saw!

So when the battle was over, CHRISTIAN said, "I will here give thanks to him who has delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, to him that helped me against APOLLYON"; and so he did, saying:

"Great Beelzebub, the captain of this fiend,
Designed my ruin; therefore to this end
He sent him harnessed 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 thanks, 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 do not know, but some other enemy may be at hand." But he met with no other confrontation from APOLLYON through the rest of this valley.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Now at the end of this valley was another, called the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and CHRISTIAN had to go through it, because the way to the Celestial City lay through the middle of it. Now this valley is a very solitary place; the prophet Jeremiah describes it thus: "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) passes through, and where no man dwells".

Neither did they say, ‘Where is the Lord, Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, Who led us through the wilderness, Through a land of deserts and pits, Through a land of drought and the shadow of death, Through a land that no one crossed And where no one dwelt?’ Jeremiah 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 arrived at the borders of the shadow of death, he met two men, children of them that brought up an evil report of the good land, hurrying to go back,

"And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature." Numbers 13:32

to whom CHRISTIAN spoke as follows:

Chr. Where are you going?

The Two Men. They said, "Back, back; and we would have you do so too, if you prize either life or peace."

Chr. "Why, what is the matter?" said CHRISTIAN.

Men. "Matter!" they said; "we were going the way you are going, and went as far as we dared; and indeed we were almost past coming back, for had we gone a little farther, we would have not been here to bring the news to you."

Chr. "But what have you met with?" asked CHRISTIAN.

Men. Why, we were almost in the Valley of the Shadow of Death;

"But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals, And covered us with the shadow of death." Psalm 44:19

"Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons" Psalm 107:10

except by good fortune we looked ahead, and saw the danger before we came to it.

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 also heard in that valley a continual howling and yelling, as of a people in unutterable misery, who there sat bound in affliction and irons; and over that valley hangs the discouraging clouds of confusion; also death always spread his wings over it; in a word, it is every little bit dreadful, being utterly without order.

"May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it." Job 3:5

"A land as dark as darkness itself, As the shadow of death, without any order, Where even the light is like darkness." Job 10:22

Chr. Then said CHRISTIAN, "I do not see by what you have said, but I see that this is the way to the desired haven."

Men. "Let it be your 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 that 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 miserably perished there. Also, on the left hand there was very dangerous quagmire, into which, if even a good man falls, he can find no bottom for his foot to stand on. Into that quagmire King David once fell; and, no doubt, would have been smothered in there, had not he that is able plucked him out.

"Deliver me out of the mire, And let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, And out of the deep waters." Psalm 69:14

The pathway here was also exceedingly narrow, and therefore good CHRISTIAN was in greater difficulty; for when he sought in the dark to avoid the ditch on the one hand, he was ready to tip over into the quagmire on the other; and when he sought to escape the quagmire, without great carefulness, he would be ready to fall into the ditch. So he went on, and I heard him sigh bitterly here; for besides the dangers mentioned above, the pathway here was so dark, that oftentimes when he lifted up his foot to go forward, he knew not where, or upon what, he should put it next.

I perceived the mouth of hell to be in the middle of this valley; and it also stood close by the wayside. Now, thought CHRISTIAN, what shall I do? All the time flames 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 take up another weapon, called "All Prayer".

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-" Ephesians 6:18

So he cried in my hearing, "O Lord, I implore you, deliver my soul!"

"Then I called upon the name of the Lord: O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!" Psalm 116:4

He went on a great while in this manner; yet the flames still would reach toward 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. Then, 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 do. Sometimes he had half a thought to go back; then again he thought he might be halfway 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 going forward: so he resolved to go on. Yet the fiends seemed to come nearer and nearer; but when they were come even almost at him, he cried out with a most intense voice, "I will walk in the strength of the Lord God"; so they drew back, and came no further.

One thing I will not forget. I noticed that now poor CHRISTIAN was so confounded, that he did not know his own voice. And so I saw it happen: just when he was coming over, across from the mouth of the burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and softly stepped up to him; and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to him--which he truly thought had proceeded from his own mind. This made CHRISTIAN more troubled than anything that he met with before, even to think that he should now blaspheme him that he loved so much before! Yet could he have helped it, he would not have done it; but he did not have the discretion either to stop his ears, or to know from where those blasphemies came.

After 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 evil; for You are with me".

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

Then he was glad; and that for these reasons:

First, because he gathered from this that some who feared God were in this valley as well as himself.

Secondly, he perceived God was with them, though in that dark and dismal state. Then why not with me, he thought, though, by reason of the hindrances in this place, I cannot perceive it?

"If He goes by me, I do not see Him; If He moves past, I do not perceive Him;" Job 9:11

Thirdly, he hoped (could he overtake them) to have company by and by. So he went on, and called to the one that had gone before him; but that one knew not what to answer, for that he also thought himself to be alone. And by and by the day broke; then CHRISTIAN said, "He has turned the shadow of death into the morning".

He made the Pleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning And makes the day dark as night; He calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth; The Lord is His name." Amos 5:8

Now, morning having 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 one side, and the quagmire that was on the other; also how narrow the way was between them both. Also now he saw the hobgoblins, and satyrs, and dragons of the pit; but all afar off, for after break of day they did not come near. Yet they were discovered by him according to that which is written, "He discovers deep things out of darkness and brings out to light the shadow of death".

"He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light." Job 12:22

Now CHRISTIAN was much affected with this deliverance from all the dangers of his solitary way; these dangers, though he feared them more before, he now saw them more clearly, because the light of the day made them conspicuous to him. 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, through which he was yet to go, was, if possible, far more dangerous: for from the place where he now stood, right to the end of the valley, was set so full of snares, traps, gins, and nets here, and so full of pits, pitfalls, deep holes, and ledges 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 would have reason to be cast away. But, as I said just now, the sun was rising. Then he said, "His candle shines on my head; and by his light I go through darkness".

"When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by His light I walked through darkness;" Job 29:3

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 caught sight, a little before me, of a cave, where two giants, POPE and PAGAN, dwelt in old time, by whose power and tyranny, the men whose bones, blood, ashes, etc., lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place CHRISTIAN went without much danger; at which I somewhat wondered. But I have learnt since, that PAGAN had 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 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 of the cave he could not tell what to think, especially because he spoke to him--though he could not go after him--saying, "You will never mend your ways, till more of you be burned." But he held his peace, and set a good face on it; and so went by without any harm. Then CHRISTIAN sang:

"Oh, world of wonders !--I can say no less--
That I should be preserved in that distress
That I have met with here! Oh, blessed be
That hand that from it hath delivered me ·
Dangers in darkness, devils, hell, and sin,
Did compass me, while I this vale was in:
Yea, snares, and pits, and traps, and nets, did lie
My path about, that worthless silly I
Might have been caught, entangled, and cast down:
But since I live, let Jesus wear the crown!"