Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

114

CHRISTIAN ENQUIRES INTO HIS PRINCIPLES.

FEIGNING's daughter, therefore she came of a very honourable family, and is arrived to such a pitch of breeding that she knows how to carry it to all, even to prince and peasant. It is true we somewhat differ in religion from those of the stricter sort, yet but in two small points : First, we never strive against wind and tide:--Secondly, we are always most zealous when religion goes in his silver slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street, if the sun shines, and the people applaud him,

Then CHRISTIAN stepped a little aside to his fellow HOPEFUL, saying, It runs in my mind that this is one By-ENDS of FAIR-SPEECH; and if it be he, we have as very a knave in our company as dwelleth in all these parts. Then said HOPEFUL, Ask him; methinks he should not be ashamed of his name. So CHRISTIAN came up with him again, and said, Sir, you talk as if you knew something more than all the world doth ; and, if I take not my mark amiss, I deem I have half

you: is not your name Mr. BY-ENDS, of FAIR-SPEECH?

By. This is not my name, but indeed it is a nickname that is given me by some that cannot abide me, and I must be content to bear it as a reproach, as other good men have borne their's before me,

Chr. But did you never give occasion to men to call you by this name?

By. Never, never! the worst that ever I did to give them an occasion to give me this name was, that I had always the luck to jump in my judgement with the present way of the times, whatever it was; and

a guess of

1

HE AND HOPEFUL WITHDRAW FROM HIM.

115

my chance was to get thereby. But if things are thus cast upon me, let me count them a blessing; but let not the malicious load me therefore with reproach.

Chr. I thought indeed that you were the man that I heard of; and, to tell you what I think, I fear this name belongs to you more properly than you are willing we should think it doth.

By. Well, if you will thus imagine, I cannot help it: you will find me a fair company-keeper if you will still admit me your associate.

Chr. If you will go with us you must go against wind and tide; the which, I perceive, is against your opinion : you must also own religion in his rags as well as when in his silver slippers; and stand by him too when bound in irons as well as when he walketh the streets with applause.

By. You must not impose, nor lord it over my faith; leave me to my liberty, and let me go with you.

Chr. Not a step further, unless you will do in what I propound as we.

Then said By-ENDS, I shall never desert my old principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you I must do as I did before

you overtook me, even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company.

Now I saw in my dream that Christian and HOPEFUL forsook him, and kept their distance before him; but one of them looking back saw three men following Mr. By-ENDS, and behold as they came up with him he made them a very low congee; and they

116

HOLD-THE-WORLD, MONEY-LOVE, AND SAVE-ALL

also gave him a compliment. The men's names were, Mr. HOLD-THE-WORLD, Mr. MONEY-LOVE, and Mr. SAVE-ALL; men that Mr. By-Ends had formerly been acquainted with; for in their minority they were schoolfellows, and were taught by one Mr. GRIPEMAN, a school-master in Love-GAIN, which is a market-town in the county of COVETING, in the north. This schoolmaster taught them the art of getting, either by violence, cozenage, flattery, lying, or by putting on a guise of religion; and these four gentlemen had attained much of the art of their master, so that they could each of them have kept such a school themselves.

Well, when they had, as I said, thus saluted each other, Mr. MONEY-LOVE said to Mr. By-ENDS, Who are they upon the road before us for CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL were yet within their view.

By. They are a couple of far countrymen, that after their mode are going on pilgrimage.

Money. Alas! why did they not stay, that we might have had their good company? for they, and we, and you, Sir, I hope, are all going on pilgrimage.

By.. We are so indeed : but the men before us are so rigid, and love so much their own notions, and do also so lightly esteem the opinions of others, that let a man be ever so godly, yet if he jumps not with them in all things they thrust him quite out of their company.

Save. That's bad : but we read of some that are righteous over much, and such men's rigidness prevails with them to judge and condemn all but themselves; but I pray what and how many were the things wherein you differed?

DISCOURSE WITH BY-ENDS ABOUT THE PILGRIMS.

117

By. Why they, after their headstrong manner, conclude, that it is their duty to rush on their journey all weathers; and I am for waiting for wind and tide. They are for hazarding all for God at a clap, and I am for taking all advantages to secure my life and estate. They are for holding their notions though all other men be against them; but I am for religion in what, and so far

as, the times and my safety will bear it. They are for religion when in rags and contempt; but I am for him when he walks in his golden slippers, in the sunshine, and with applause.

Hold. Ay, and hold you there still, good Mr. BY-ENDS : for my part, I can count him but a fool that having the liberty to keep what he has shall be so unwise as to lose it. Let us be wise as serpents; it is best to make hay when the sun shines; you see how the bee lieth still in winter, and bestirs her only when she can have profit with pleasure. God sends sometimes rain and sometimes sun-shine : if they be such fools to go through the first, yet let us be content to take fair weather along with us.

For my part, I like that religion best that will stand with the security of God's good blessings unto us: for who can imagine, that is ruled by his reason, since God has bestowed upon us the good things of this life, but that he would have us keep them for his sake? ABRAHAM and Solomon grew rich in religion. And Job says that a good man “ shall lay up gold as dust.” But he must not be such as the men before us, if they be as you have described them.

SAVE. I think that we are all agreed in this

118

BY-ENDS PROPOSES A QUESTION.

matter, and therefore there needs no more words about it.

Money. No, there needs no more words about this matter indeed; for he that believes neither scripture nor reason, (and you see we have both on our side) neither knows his own liberty, nor seeks his own safety.

By. My brethren, we are, you see, going all on pilgrimage, and for our better diversion from things that are bad, give me leave to propound unto you this question :

Suppose a man, a minister or a tradesman, &c, should have an advantage lie before him to get the good blessings of this life, yet so as that he can by no means come by them except, in appearance at least, he becomes extraordinary zealous in some points of religion that he meddled not with before,-may he not use this means to attain his end, and yet be a right honest man?

Money. I see the bottom of your question; and, with these gentlemen's good leave, I will endeavour to shape you an answer.

And first, to speak to your question, as it concerns a minister himself. Suppose a minister, a worthy man, possessed but of a very small benefice, and has in his eyes a greater, more fat and plump by far : he has also now an opportunity of getting of it, yet so as by being more studious, by preaching more frequently and zealously, and, because the temper of the people requires it, by altering of some of his principles : for my part, I see no reason but a man may do this, provided he has a call, ay, and more

« ForrigeFortsett »