Thursday, May 19, 2011

Despair and promises...

Today I'm sharing more from my reading in Pilgrim's Progress. I'm  thankful for the reminder of the promises, also for the reminder to be hopeful, and to remember all the Lord has done for me.There is so much to learn from this book!

Key"....Now there was, not far from the place where they lay, a castle, called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair, and it was in his grounds they now were sleeping: wherefore he, getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds. Then with a grim and surly voice, he bid them awake, and asked them whence they were, and what they did in his grounds. They told him they were pilgrims, and that they had lost their way. 

Then said the giant, "You have this night trespassed on me by trampling in and lying on my grounds, and therefore you must go along with me."
So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say, for they knew themselves in a fault. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirits of these two men. Here, then, they lay from Wednesday morning till Saturday night, without one bit of bread, or drop of drink, or light, or any to ask how they did; they were, therefore, here in evil case, and were far from friends and acquaintance. Psa. 88:18. Now in this place Christian had double sorrow, because it was through his unadvised counsel that they were brought into this distress.

Now Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence: so when he was gone to bed he told his wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of prisoners, and cast them into his dungeon for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also what he had best do further to them. So she asked him what they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound, and he told her. Then she counseled him, that when he arose in the morning he should beat them without mercy.....This done, he withdraws and leaves them there to condole their misery, and to mourn under their distress: so all that day they spent the time in nothing but sighs and bitter lamentations. 

The next night, she, talking with her husband further about them, and understanding that they were yet alive, did advise him to counsel them to make away with themselves. So when morning was come, he goes to them in a surly manner, as before, and perceiving them to be very sore with the stripes that he had given them the day before, he told them, that since they were never like to come out of that place, their only way would be forthwith to make an end of themselves...
"for why," said he, "should you choose to live, seeing it is attended with so much bitterness?"
But they desired him to let them go..... Then did the prisoners consult between themselves whether it was best to take his counsel or no; and thus they began to discourse:

"Brother," said Christian, "what shall we do? The life that we now live is miserable. For my part, I know not whether it is best to live thus, or to die out of hand. My soul chooseth strangling rather than life, and the grave is more easy for me than this dungeon. Job. 7:15. Shall we be ruled by the giant?"

Hopeful: "Indeed our present condition is dreadful, and death would be far more welcome to me than thus for ever to abide; but yet, let us consider, the Lord of the country to which we are going hath said, “Thou shalt do no murder, And let us consider again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant Despair: others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hands. Who knows but that God, who made the world, may cause that Giant Despair may die; or that, at some time or other, he may forget to lock us in....But, however, my brother, let us be patient, and endure a while: the time may come that may give us a happy release....." With these words Hopeful at present did moderate the mind of his brother; so they continued together in the dark that day, in their sad and doleful condition.

Well, towards evening the giant goes down into the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken his counsel. But when he came there he found them alive; and truly, alive was all; for now, what for want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds they received when he beat them, they could do little but breathe. But I say, he found them alive; at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them, that seeing they had disobeyed his counsel, it should be worse with them than if they had never been born.


At this they trembled greatly, and I think that Christian fell into a swoon; but coming a little to himself again, they renewed their discourse about the giant’s counsel, and whether yet they had best take it or no. Now Christian again seemed for doing it; but Hopeful made his second reply as followeth:


Hopeful: "My brother, said he, rememberest thou not how valiant thou hast been heretofore? Apollyon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. What hardship, terror, and amazement hast thou already gone through; and art thou now nothing but fears! Thou seest that I am in the dungeon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou art. Also this giant hath wounded me as well as thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from my mouth, and with thee I mourn without the light. But let us exercise a little more patience."


Well, on Saturday, about midnight they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.



Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out into this passionate speech: "What a fool," quoth he, "am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle."

Then said Hopeful, "That is good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try."


Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon-door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outward door that leads into the castle-yard, and with his key opened that door also. After he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went desperately hard, yet the key did open it. They then thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed.....Then they went on, and came to the King’s highway, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction."
Pilgrim's Progress

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5 comments:

  1. This book is in my stack to read, and I am wondering if it is something you think I can read with my 11 year old?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely! I loved this story as a child and I know my Pastor has recommended that the children in our church read it and familiarize themselves with it. I will say as I've gotten older I've gotten more out of it because I've experienced more of it, but it's a great story that I think a child will enjoy. I could say the same for Hind's Feet On High Places (check out my posts under that label)
    Just a thought, I remember my parents had a pictorial version of Pilgrim's Progress that I loved when I was little. You may want to look for that too:-)
    Have a blessed day,
    Stefanie

    ReplyDelete
  3. After prayer Christian remembered the Promise key. A good reminder to remain in prayer, aware of God's faithful promises.

    Thanks for sharing this passage today!

    ReplyDelete
  4. hopping by, nice page, but the gray and black is hard on the words, especially the black background. happy reading. enjoyed what i could read.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds pretty interesting...have always wanted to read this, but never have.

    Stopping by from the Blog Hop.

    Stop by if you like.

    Elizabeth

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1