Besides, to say, I am thus, and thus, when my conversation, and all my neighbours, tell me I lie, is great wickedness.

Talkative at first began to blush; but, recovering himself, he thus replied : You come now to experience, to conscience, and God; and to appeal to him for justification of what is spoken : this kind of discourse I did not expect; nor am I disposed to give an answer to such questions, because I count not myself bound thereto, unless you take upon you to be a catechiser; and though you should do this, yet I may refuse to make you my judge: but, I pray, will

you tell me why you ask me such questions? Faith. Because I saw you forward to talk, and because I knew not that you had aught else but notion, Besides, to tell you the truth, I have heard of you, that you are a man whose religion lies in talk, and that your conversation gives your profession the lie: they say you are a spot among Christians; that religion fareth the worse for your ungodly conversation; that some already have stumbled at your wicked ways, and that more are in danger of being destroyed thereby. Your religion and an alehouse, , and covetoufness, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and vain company, keeping, &c. will stand together. The proverb is true of you, which is said of a whore, that she is a shame to all women, so you are a shame to all professors.

Talk. Since you are so ready to take up report, and to judge fo rafhly as you do, I cannot but con


clude you are some peevish or melancholy man, not fit to be discoursed with: fo adieu.

Chr. (Then came up Christian, and said to his brother) I told you how it would happen ; your word and his lusts could not agree. He had rather leave your company than reform his life: he is gone, as I said ; let him go, the loss is no man's but his own; he has saved us the trouble of going from him; for he continuing (as I suppose he will do) as he is, would have been but a blot in our company : besides, the apostle fays, From such withdraw thyself.

Faith. I am glad that we have had this little difcourse with him; it may happen that he will think of it again; however, I have dealt plainly with him, and so am clear of his blood, if he perisheth.

Chr. You did well to talk so plainly to him as you did; there is but little of this faithful dealing with men now-a-days: the want of this makes religion stink so in the noftrils of many, as it doth: these talkative fools, whose religion is only in word, who are debauched and vain in their conversation, who nevertheless are admitted into the fellowship of the godly, do puzzle the world, blemish Christianity, and grieve the sincere. I wish that all men would deal with such as you have done; fo should they be made either more conformable to religion, or the company of saints would be too hot for them. I 2


Then did they say
How Talkative at first lifts


his plumes!
How bravely doth he speak! How he presumes
To drive down all before him! But fo foon
As Faithful talks of heart-work, like the moon
That's past the full, into the wane he goes ;
And so will all, but he who heart-work knows.

Thus they went on, talking of what they had seen by the way, and so made that way easy, which otherwise, no doubt, would have been tedious to them, for they went through a wilderness.

Now, when they were got almost quite out of this wilderness, Faithful chanced to cast his eye back, and espied one coming after them, and he knew him. Oh! said Faithful to his brother, who comes yonder? Then Christian looked, and said, It is my good friend Evangelist. Ay, and my good friend too, said Faithful, for 'twas he who set me in the way to the gate. Now Evangelift came up unto them, and thus faluted them.

Evan. Peace be with you, dearly beloved; and peace be your helpers.

Chr. Welcome, welcome, my good Evangelist ; the fight of thy countenance brings to my remembrance thy ancient kindness and unwearied labours for my eternal good.

Faith. A thousand times welcome, O sweet Evangelist; how desirable is thy company to us poor pilgrims ! 3


Evan. How hath it fared with you, my friends, since the time of our last parting? What have you met with? And how have


behaved yourselves ? Then Christian and Faithful told him all things which had happened to them in the way; and in what manner, and with what difficulty, they had arrived to that place. Evan. Right glad am I, not that you

have met with trials, but that you have been victors : and, for that you have, notwithstanding many weaknesses, continued in the way to this very day, I say, I am right glad of this thing, and that for mine own fake as well as yours: I have fowed, and you have reaped; and the day is coming, when both he that sowed, and they who reaped, shall rejoice together ; that is, if you hold out; for in due time ye shall reap, if you faint not.

The crown is before you, and it is an incorruptible one ; fo run, that you may obtain it. Some there be, who set out for this crown, and after they have gone far for it, there comes in one who takes it from them; therefore, hold fast that you have, let no man take your crown: you are not yet out of the gun-shot of the devil; you have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Let the kingdom be always before you; and believe stedfastly concerning the things which are invisible, that nothing which is on this side the other world may get within you. Above all things, look well to your own hearts, and to the lusts thereof, for they are deceitful above all things, and desperately


I 3

[ocr errors]

wicked; and set your faces like a flint, for you have

in heaven and earth on your side.
Christian thanked him for his exhortation; and
told him withal, that they begged of him to speak
further to them, for their help the rest of the way;
and the rather, because they well knew that he was
a prophet, and could tell them of things which might
happen unto them, and how they might resist and
overcome them. To this request Faithful also con-
sented. So Evangelist began as followeth :

Evan. My sons, you have heard, in the words of the truth of the gospel, that you must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom of heaven: and again, that in every city bonds and afflictions abide

you cannot expect that you should go long on your pilgrimage without them, in some fort or other. You have found something of the truth of these testimonies upon you already, and more will follow immediately; for now, as you see, you are almost out of this wilderness, and therefore you

will soon come into a town which by and by you will fee before you: in that town you will be hard beset with enemies, who will strain hard but they will kill you: and be sure that one, or both of you, must seal the testimony which you þold with blood”;

you; therefore

2 How seasonably does Evangelift meet these pilgrims! He prepares their minds by forewarning them of their fufferings Thus our Lord forewarned his disciples, and added moreover, When these things come to pass, remember that I told you of them,”


« ForrigeFortsett »