Home Pilgrim at The Slough of Despond! Part 2.

T. Austin Sparks - Messages.

Pilgrim at The Slough of Despond! Part 2.


                                                                                  Part 2.  


  Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone;

   but still he endeavored to struggle to that side of the slough that was

   farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate; the which he

   did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his

   back: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was

   Help, and asked him what he did there.

   Christian: Sir, said Christian, I was bid to go this way by a man

   called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might

   escape the wrath to come. And as I was going thither, I fell in here.


   Help: But why did not you look for the steps?


   Christian: Fear followed me so hard that I fled the next way, and fell in.


   Help: Then, said he, Give me thine hand: so he gave him his hand, and

   he drew him out, Psalm 40:2, and he set him upon sound ground, and bid

   him go on his way.


   Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, "Sir, wherefore,

   since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction to yonder

   gate, is it, that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might

   go thither with more security?" And he said unto me, "This miry slough

   is such a place as cannot be mended: it is the descent whither the scum

   and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and

   therefore it is called the Slough of Despond; for still, as the sinner

   is awakened about his lost condition, there arise in his soul many

   fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get

   together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason of the

   badness of this ground.


   "It is not the pleasure of the King that this place should remain so

   bad.  Isa. 35:3,4. His laborers also have, by the direction of his

   Majesty's surveyors, been for above this sixteen hundred years employed

   about this patch of ground, if perhaps it might have been mended: yea,

   and to my knowledge," said he, "there have been swallowed up at least

   twenty thousand cart loads, yea, millions of wholesome instructions,

   that have at all seasons been brought from all places of the King's

   dominions, (and they that can tell, say, they are the best materials to

   make good ground of the place,) if so be it might have been mended; but

   it is the Slough of Despond still, and so will be when they have done

   what they can.


   "True, there are, by the direction of the Lawgiver, certain good and

   substantial steps, placed even through the very midst of this slough;

   but at such time as this place doth much spew out its filth, as it doth

   against change of weather, these steps are hardly seen; or if they be,

   men, through the dizziness of their heads, step beside, and then they

   are bemired to purpose, notwithstanding the steps be there: but the

   ground is good when they are once got in at the gate."  1 Sam. 12:23.


   ¶ I saw in my dream, that by this time Pliable was got home to his


   house. So his neighbors came to visit him; and some of them called him

   wise man for coming back, and some called him fool for hazarding

   himself with Christian: others again did mock at his cowardliness,

   saying, "Surely, since you began to venture, I would not have been so

   base as to have given out for a few difficulties:" so Pliable sat

   sneaking among them. But at last he got more confidence, and then they

   all turned their tales, and began to deride poor Christian behind his

   back. And thus much concerning Pliable.

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