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Christ in his own person hath done without us ? this conceit would loosen the reins of our lust, and tolerate us to live as we list: for what matter how we live, if we may be justified by Christ's personal righteousness from all, when we believe it.
Chr. IGNORANCE is thy name, and as thy name is so art thou; even this thy answer demonstrateth what I say. Ignorant thou art of what justifying righteousness is, and as ignorant how to secure thy soul, through the faith of it, from the heavy wrath of God. Yea, thou also art ignorant of the true effect of saving faith in this righteousness of Christ, which is to bow and win over the heart to God in CHRIST, to love his name, his word, ways, and people, and not as thou ignorantly imaginest.
Hope. Ask him if ever he had CHRIST revealed to him from heaven?
IGNOR. What! you are a man for revelations! I do believe that what both you and all the rest of you say about that matter is but the fruit of distracted brains.
HOPE. Why man! Christ is so hid in God from the natural apprehensions of the flesh, that he cannot by any man be savingly known, unless God the Father reveals him to them.
IGNOR. That is your faith, but not mine: yet mine, I doubt not, is as good as yours, though I have not in my head so many whimsies as you.
Chr. Give me leave to put in a word:--you ought not to speak so slightly of this matter: forthis I boldly affirm, (even as my good companion hath done) that no man can know JESUS CHRIST but by the revelation
AND BREAKS OFF THE CONVERSATION.
of the Father; yea, and faith too, by which the soul layeth hold upon Christ, (if it be right) must be wrought by the exceeding greatness of his mighty power'; the working of which faith, I perceive, poor IGNORANCE, thou art ignorant of. Be awakened then, see thine own wretchedness, and flee to the Lord Jesus; and by his righteousness, which is the righteousness of God, (for he himself is God) thou shalt be delivered from condemnation.
Ignor. You go so fast I cannot keep pace with you:
you go on before: I must stay a while behind. Then they said
· Well, IGNORANCE, wilt thou yet foolish be
Then CHRISTIAN addressed himself thus to his fellow:
Chr. Well, come, my good HOPEFUL, I perceive that thou and I must walk by ourselves again.
So I saw in my dream, that they went on apace before, and IGNORANCE, he came hobbling after. Then said Christian to his companion, it pities me much for this poor man; it will certainly go ill with him at last.
THE NATURE AND ADVANTAGES OF RIGHT FEAR.
Hope. Alas! there are abundance in our town in this condition, whole families, yea, whole streets, and that of pilgrims too; and if there be so many in our parts, how many, think you, must there be in the place where he was born ?
Chr. Indeed the word saith, “ He hath blinded " their
eyes, lest they should see,” &c. But, now we are by ourselves, what do
think of such men? have they at no time, think you, convictions of sin, and so consequently fear that their state is dangerous ?
Hope. Nay, do you answer that question yourself, for
you are the elder man. Chr. Then I say, sometimes (as I think) they may; but they, being naturally ignorant, understand not that such convictions tend to their good; and therefore they do desperately seek to stifle thein, and presumptuously continue to flatter themselves in the way of their own hearts.
Hope. I do believe, as you say, that fear tends much to men’s good, and to make them right at their beginning to go on pilgrimage.
Chr. Without all doubt it doth, if it be right : for so says the word, “ The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom?.”
Chr. True or right fear is discovered by three things: 1. By its rise: it is caused by saving convictions for sin.-2. It driveth the soul to lay' fast hold of Christ for salvation.-3. It begetteth and conti
Job, xxviii. 28. Ps. cxi. 10, Prov. i. 70 ix, 10.
THE REASONS WHY MEN STIFLE CONVICTIONS,
nueth in the soul a great reverence of God, his word, and ways, keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left, to any thing that may dishonour God, break its
peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully.
Hope. Well said; I believe you have said the truth.—Are we now almost got past the ENCHANTED GROUND!
Chr. Why? art thou weary of this discourse?
Hope. No verily, but that I would know where we are.
CHR. We have not now above two miles further to go thereon.-But let us return to our matter. Now the ignorant know not that such convictions, that tend to put them in fear, are for their good, and therefore they seek to stifle them.
Hope. How do they seek to stifle them?
Chr. 1. They think that those fears are wrought by the devil, (though indeed they are wrought by God;) and, thinking so, they resist them, as things that directly tend to their overthrow. 2. They also think that these fears, tend to the spoiling of their faith; when, alas for them, poor men that they are, they have none at all!—and therefore they harden their hearts against them. 3. They presume they ought not to fear, and therefore in despite of them wax presumptuously confident. 4. They see that those fears tend to take away from them their pitiful old self-holiness, and therefore they resist them with all their might.
DISCOURSE CONCERNING TEMPORARY. HIS APOSTACY. 187
Hope. I know something of this myself: before I knew myself it was so with me.
CHR. Well, we will leave, at this time, our neighbour IGNORANCE by himself, and fall upon another profitable question.
Hope. With all my heart : but you shall still begin.
Chr. Well then, did you know, about ten years ago, one TEMPORARY in your parts, who was a forward man in religion then?
Hope. Know him! yes, he dwelt in GRACELESS, a town about two miles off of HONESTY, and he dwelt next door to one TURNBACK.
Chr. Right, he dwelt under the same roof with him. Well, that man was much awakened once; I believe that then he had some sight of his sins, and of the wages that were due thereto.
Hope. I am of your mind, for (my house not being above three miles from him) he would oft times come to me, and that with many tears. Truly I pitied the man, and was not altogether without hope of him: but, one may see, it is not every one that cries Lord, Lord.
Chr. He told me once that he was resolved to go on pilgrimage, as we go now; but all of a sudden he grew acquainted with one SAVESELF, and then he became a stranger to me.
Hope. Now since we are talking about him, let us a little enquire into the reason of the sudden backsliding of him and such others. Chr. It may be very profitable; but do you begin.