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the art of their master, fo that they were qualified each of them to keep such a school themselves.
Well, when they had, as I said, thus faluted 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 view.
By-ends. They are a couple of far country-men, who after their mode are going on pilgrimage.
Money-love. Alas! why did not they stay that we might have had their good company; for they, and we, and you, Sir, I hope, are going on pilgrimage.
By-ends. We are fo indeed; but the men before us are fo rigid, and love so much their own notions, and do also so lightly esteem the opinion of others, that let a man be never fo godly, yet if he
4 This charge is often brought agaitist those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in fincerity. Because they infift upon heartfelt experience, and endeavour to fhew the danger which those are in, who have only a form of godliness, but are strangers to the power, therefore they are said to judge uncharitably: because they contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the faints, and endeavour to oppose and expose error, therefore they are called obstinate, and are said to be too strict in their principles. Pretended friends come, one after another, with such seemingly kind expoftulations as these: Why, dear Sir, will you give such offence to the friends of the gospel? How much would it be for your comfort and interest in the world, if you would be but a little more complying, and give way in some particular points and phrases.-Oh! what a fyren fong! May the Lord help every faithful servant to reply, “ Get thee behind me, Satan."
does not jump in with them, in all things, they thruft him quite out of their company.
Mr. Save-all. That's bad; but we read of fome who 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?
By-ends. Why they, after their head-strong manner, conclude, that it is their duty to rush on their journey in 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 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 Nippers, in the sunshine, and with applause.
Mr. Hold-the-world. Ay, and hold you there still, good Mr. By-ends: for my part, I can count him but a fool, who, 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 all winter, and bestirs herself only when she can have profit with pleasure. God sends sometimes rain, and sometimes sun-shine: if they be such fools as 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, which will stand with the security of God's
good blessings unto us : for who can imagine, who is ruled by his reason, but that God, who has bestowed upon us the good things of this life, would have us keep them for his fake. Abraham and Solomon grew rich in religion. And Job says, that a good man shall lay up gold as dust. Therefore, he must not be such as the men before us, if they be such as you have described them.
Mr. Save-all. I think that we are all agreed in this matter, and therefore there needs no more words about it.
Mr. Money-love. No, there needs no more words about this matter indeed; for he who believes neither scripture nor reason (and you see we have both on our side), neither knows his own liberty, nor seeks his own safety.
Mr. By-ends. My brethren, we are, as you see, going all on pilgrimage; and, for our better diverfion 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?
Mr. Money-love. 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 minifter. Suppose a minister, a worthy man, possessed but of a very small benefice, and has in his eye a greater, more fat and plump by far, and he has now an opportunity of getting it, by being more ftudious, by preaching more frequently and zealously, and, because the temper of the people requires it, by altering some of his principles; for my part, I see no reason but a man may do this (provided he has a call); ay, and may do a great deal more besides, and yet be an honest man. For why?
First, His desire of a greater benefice is lawful (this cannot be contradicted), since it is set before him by Providence; so that he may get it if he can, making no question for conscience-fake. Secondly, Besides, his defire after that benefice makes him more studious, a more zealous preacher, &c. and fo' makes him a better man, yea, makes him improve
parts, which is according to the mind of God. Thirdly, As for his complying with the temper of his people, by deserting some of his principles to serve his turn, this argueth, 1. That he is of a self-denying temper.
2. That he is of a sweet and winning deportment. 3. That he is more fit for the ministerial function. Fourthly, I conclude then, that a minister who changes a small living for a great one, should not, for so doing, be judged as covetous; but rather, since he is improved in his parts and industry hereby, he should be counted as
one who pursues his call, and the opportunity puc into his hands of doing good.
And now to the second part of the question, which concerns the tradesman you mentioned. Suppose such a one to have but a poor employ in the world, and, by becoming religious, he may mend his market, perhaps get a rich wife, or more or better customers to his shop: for my part, I see no reason but this may be lawfully done. For why? 1. To become religious is a virtue, by what means soever a man becomes fo.
2. Nor is it unlawful to get a rich wife, or more custom to my shop. 3. Besides, the man who gets these by becoming religious, gets that which is good of them who are good, by becoming good himself; fo then, here is a good wife, good customers, good gain, and all these by becoming religious, which is good: therefore, to become religious to get all these, is a good and profitable design.
This answer, thus made by this Mr. Money-love to Mr. By-ends's question, was highly applauded by them all; wherefore they concluded, upon the whole, that this was most wholesome and advantageous. And because, as they thought, no man was able to contradict it, and because Christian and Hopeful were yet within call, they jointly agreed to assault them with the question as soon as they overtook them; and the rather because they had opposed Mr. By-ends before. So they called after them, and they stopt, and stood still till they came up to them;