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discontent; and tempted to repine, that the way to heaven lies through such bumiliations and worldly disappointments; till the considerations, adduced in FAITHFUL's answer, enabie him at length to overcome this assailant, and to " seek " the honour that cometh from God only.”
80..8. Yes, I met...Persons of a peculiar turn of mind, when enabled to overcome temptations to discontent about worldly degradation, are exceedingly prone to be influenced by a false shame, and to prosess religion in a timid and cautious manner; to be afraid of speaking all their mind in some places and companies, even when the most favourable opportunity occurs; to shun in part the society of those whom they most love and esteem, lest they should be involved in the contempt which is cast on them; to be reserved and inconstant in attending on the ordinances of God, entering a protest against vice and irreligion, bearing testimony to the truth, and in attempting to promote the gospel : being apprehensive lest these things should deduct from their reputation for good sense, prudence, learning, or liberality of sentiment. Men, who are least exposed to those conflicts in which CHRISTIAN was engaged, are often most baffled by this enemy: nor can others make proper allowances for them in this case, any more than they can for such as experience those dark temptations, of which they have ng conception. Constitution, habits, connections, extensive acquaintance with mankind, and an excess of sensibility, united to that pride which is common to man, continually suggest objections to every thing that the world despises, which they can hardly answer to themselves, and excite such alarms as they cannot get over : while a delicate sense of propriety, and the specious name of prudence, supply them with a kind of haif excuse for their timidity. The excessive trouble which this criminal and unreasonable shame occa. sions some persons, contrary to their judgement, convictions, arguments, endeavours, and prayers, gave our author the idea, that ! this enemy bears a wrong name.' Many a
suggestion made to the mind in this respect from time to time, is so natural, and has so strong a party within, (especially in those who are more desirous of honour than of wealth or pleasure ;) that men can scarcely help feeling for the moment as if there were truth in it, though they know, upon reflection, that it is most irrational. Nay these feelings insensibly warp men's conduct; though they are continually self-condemned on the retrospect.
There are some who hardly ever get the better of this false shame; and it often brings their sincerity into doubt, both with themselves and others : but flourishing christians at length in good measure rise superior to it, by such considerations as are here adduced, and by earnest persevering prayer.
83..9. No, not I...CHRISTIAN in great measure escaped the peculiar temptations that assaulted FAITHFUL; yet he sympathized with him: nor did the latter deem the gloomy experiences of his brother visionary or imaginative, though he had been exempted from such trials. One man, from a complication of causes, is exposed to temptations of which another is ignorant; in this case he needs much sympathy, which he seldom meets with : while they, who are severe on him, are liable to be harassed and baffled in another way, which, for want of coincidence in habit, temperature, and situation, he is equally prone to disregard. Thus believers are often led reciprocally to censure, suspect, despise, or dislike each other, on those very grounds which should render them useful and encouraging counsellors and compa. nions.
..29. Whose name... The character next introduced, under a most expressive name, is an admirable portrait, drawn by a masterly hand from some striking original, but exactly resembling numbers in every age and place, where the truths of the gospel are generally known.-TALKATIVE is not thus called merely on account of his loquacity, but from the peculiarity of his religious profession, which gave scope to his natural propensity, by furnishing him with a copious
subject, and enabling him to display his talents, or seek credit in the church, without the trouble and expence of experimental and practical godliness. Such vain talkers especially appear when religious profession is safe, cheap, and reputable; numbers keeping one another in countenance, preventing the odium of singularity, and even giving a prospect of secular advantage by connection with religious societies. They may, therefore, be expected in our age and nation, particularly in populous places, where the preaching or profession of any doctrine excites little attention or surprise, but ensures regard and favour from a numerous body who hold the same opinions. Such men appear above others, pushing themselves into notice, and becoming more conspicuous than humble believers: but their profession, specious at a distance, will not endure a near and strict investigation.
85.29. But, by...Zealous and lively christians, who are not well established in judgement and experience, are often greatly taken with the discourse of persons who speak with great fluency and speciousness on various subjects, with a semblance of truth and piety: yet they sometimes feel, as it were, a defect in their harangues, which makes them hesitate, though they are easily satisfied with plausible explanations.-TALKATIVE's discourse is copied with surprising exactness from that of numbers who learn doctrinally to discuss experimental subjects, of which they never felt the energy and efficacy in their own souls. Men of this stamp can take up any point in religion with great ease, and speak on it in a pompous ostentatious manner : but the humble believer forgets himself, while from his inmost heart he expatiates on topics which he longs to recommend to those whom he addresses. Humility and charity, however, dispose the possessors to make the best of others, and to distrust themselves: so that, unless these graces be connected with proportionable depth of judgement, and acuteness of discernment, they render them open to deception, and liable to be deceived by vain-glorious talkers. It would be conceited and
uncandid, they think, to suspect a man, who says so many good things, with great confidence and zeal; their dissatisfaction with the conversation or sermon they suppose was their own fault; if they disagreed with the speaker, probably they were in an error; if a doubt arose in their minds about his spirit or motives, it might be imputed to their own pride and envy.--Thus men are seduced to sanction what they ought to protest against, and to admire those whom they should avoid; and that even by means of their most amiable dispositions.-What follows is peculiarly calculated to rectify such mistakes, and to expose the consequences of this ille judged candour.
86.. 18. At this... Those believers, who have made the most extensive and accurate observation on the state of religious profession in their own age and place, and are most acquainted with the internal history of the church in other lands or former periods, may be deemed inferior in charity to their brethren; because they surpass them in penetration, and clearly perceive the mischiefs which arise from countenancing loose professors. They would vie with them in “ doing good to all men,” “ bearing with the infirmities of " the weak,"
restoring such as are overtaken in a fault," or in making allowances for the tempted: but they dare not sanction such professors, as talk about religion and disgrace it, as mislead the simple, stumble the hopeful, prejudice the observing, and give enemies a plausible objection to the truth. Here charity constrains us to run the risque of being deemed uncharitable, by unmasking a hypocrite, and undeceiving the deluded. We must not indeed speak needlessly against any one, nor testify more than we know to be true even against a suspected professor: but we should show, that vain talkers belong to the world, though numbers class them among religious people, to the great discredit of the cause.
89..14. I see that...TALKATIVE seems to have been introduced on purpose that the author might have a fair opportunity of stating his sentiments concerning the practical
nature of religion, to which, numbers in his day were too inattentive. This admired allegory has fully established the important distinction, between a dend and a living faith, on which the whole matter depends. We may boldly state every doctrine of grace, with all possible strength and clearness, and every objection must ultimately fall to the ground, all abuses be excluded, provided this distinction be fully and constantly insisted on: for they arise without exception from substituting some false notion of faith in the place of that living, active, and efficacious principle, which the scriptures 80 constantly represent as the grand peculiarity of vital godliness. The language used in this passage is precisely the same, as is now branded with the opprobrious epithet of legal, by numbers who would be thought to admire the PILGRIM; as any impartial person must perceive, upon an attentive perusal of it: and indeed some expressions are used which they, who are accustomed to stand their trial before such as “ make a man an offender for a word," have learned to avoid. • The practic part' is more accurately defined to be the unfailing effect of that inward life which is the soul of religion, than the soul itself. True faith justi. fies indeed, as it forms the sinner's relation to, and union with, CHRIST; but it always “ works by love," and influ . ences to obedience: hence the enquiry at the day of judgement will be rather about the inseparable fruits of faith, than its essential properties and nature.
91..1. Well... When we speak to loose professors, we should always keep two things in view; either to get rid of such ensnaring and dishonourable companions, or to use proper means to convince them of their fatal mistake. There is indeed more hope of the most ignorant and careless sinners than of them: yet" with God all things are possible," and we should not despair of any, especially as the very same method is suited to both the ends proposed; which the subsequent discourse most clearly evinces. Very plain and particular declarations of those things, by which true believers