Talk. All that I know very well : for a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven; all is of grace not of works: I could give you an hundred scriptures for the confirmation of this.

Well then, said Faithful, what is that one thing that we shall at this time found our discourse upon ?

TALK. What you will: I will talk of things heavenly or things earthly; things moral or things evangelical ; things sacred or things profane; things past or things to come; things foreign or things at home; things more essential or things circumstantial; provided that all be done to our profit.

Now did Faithful begin to wonder; and stepping to CHRISTIAN (for he walked all this while by himself) he said to him, but softly, What a brave companion have we got ! surely this man will make a very excellent pilgrim.

At this CHRISTIAN modestly smiled and said, This man, with whom you are so taken, will beguile with this tongue of his twenty of them that know him not.

FAITH. Do you know him then ?

Chr. Know him! yes, better than he knows himself?

Faith. Pray what is he?

Chr. His name is TALKATIVE; he dwelleth in our town; I wonder that you should be a stranger to him ; only I consider that our town is large.

Faith. Whose son is he? and whereabouts doth he dwell?

Chr. He is the son of one SAY-WELL, he dwelt in PRATING-ROW; and is known, of all that are acquainted

with him, by the name of TALKATive in PRATINGROW; and notwithstanding his fine tongue he is but a sorry fellow

. Faith. Well, he seems to be a very pretty man.

Chr. That is, to them that have not a thorough acquaintance with him; for he is best abroad, near home he is ugly enough: your saying, that he is a pretty man, brings to my mind what I have observed in the work of the painter, whose pictures show best at a distance, but very near, more unpleasing.

Faith. I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled,

Chr, God forbid that I should jest (though I smiled) in this matter, or that I should accuse any falsely.“I will give you a further discovery of him : this man is for any company, and for any talk; as he talketh now with you, so will he talk when he is on the ale bench; and the more drink he hath in his crown the more of these things he hath in his mouth : religion hath no place in his heart, or house, or conversation ; and all he hath lieth in his tongue, and his religion is to make a noise therewith.

Faith. Say you so ? then I am in this man greatly deceived.

Chr. Deceived ! you may be sure of it: remember the proverb, “ They say, and do not:” but “ the “ kingdom of God is not in word, but in power'." He talketh of prayer, of repentance, of faith, and of the new-birth; but he knows but only to talk of them. I have been in his family, and have observed him both

* Matt. xxiii. 3. Cor. iv, 20.

at home and abroad; and I know what I say of him is the truth. His house is as empty of religion as the white of an egg is of savour. There is there neither

prayer, nor sign of repentance for sin ; yea, the brute, in his kind, serves God far better than he. He is the very stain, reproach, and shame, of religion, to all that know him': it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he dwells, through him. Thus say the common people that know him, — A saint • abroad, and a devil at home.' His poor family finds it so : he is such a churl, such a railer at, and so unreasonable with, his servants, that they neither know how to do for, or to speak to, him. Men that have any dealings with him say it is better to deal with a Turk than with him, for fairer dealings they shall have at his hands. This TALKATIVE, if it be possible,

go beyond them, befraud, beguile, and overreach them. Besides, he brings up his sons to follow his steps; and if he finds in any of them a foolish timorous? ness,' (for so he calls the first appearance of a tender conscience) he calls them fools and blockheads, and by no means will employ them in much, or speak to their commendations before .others. For my part, I am of opinion that he has by his wicked life caused many to stumble and fall; and will be, if God prevents not, the ruin of many more.

Faith. Well, my brother, I am bound to believe you ; not only because you say you know him, but also because like a christian you make your reports of

For I cannot think that you speak thosc



i Rom, č. 23, 24.

things of ill-will, but because it is even so as you say.

Chr. Had I known him no more than you, I might perhaps have thought of him as at the first you did : yea, had he received this report at their hands only that are enemies to religion, I should have thought it had been a slander (a lot that often falls from bad men's mouths upon good men's names and professions): but all these things, yea, and a great many more as bad, of my own knowledge, I can prove him guilty of. Besides, good men are ashamed of him ; they can neither call him brother nor friend: the very naming of him among

them makes them blush if they know him. Faith. Well, I see that saying and doing are two things, and hereafter I shall better observe this distinction.

Chr. They are two things indeed, and are as diverse as are the soul and the body; for, as the body without the soul is but a dead carcase, so saying, if it be alone, is but a dead carcase also. The soul of religion is the practic part : “ pure religion and undefiled, “ before God and the Father, is this : to visit the « fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep “ himself unspotted from the world'.” This TALKATive is not aware of; he thinks that hearing and saying will make a good christian; and thus he deceiveth his own soul. Hearing is but as the sowing of the seed; talking is not sufficient to prove that fruit is indeed in the heart and life: and let us assure ourselves that at the day of doom men shall be judged according

James, i. 22-27

to their fruit': it will not be said then, ' Did you be• lieve ?' but, · Were you doers, or talkers only?' and accordingly shall they be judged. The end of the world is compared to our harvest ; and you know men at harvest regard nothing but fruit. Not that any thing can be accepted that is not of faith ; but I speak this to show you how insignificant the profession of TALKATIVE will be at that day.

Faith. This brings to my mind that of Moses, by which he described the beast that is clean:-he is such an one that parteth the hoof, and cheweth the cud; not that parteth the hoof only, or that cheweth the cud only. The hare cheweth the cud, but yet is unclean because he parteth not the hoof. And this truly resembleth TALKATIVE; he cheweth the cud, he seeketh knowledge; he cheweth upon the word; but he divideth not the hoof, he parteth not with the way of sinners; but, as the hare, he retaineth the foot of a dog or bear, and therefore he is unclean.

Chr. You have spoken, for aught I know, the true gospel sense of those texts. And I will add another thing : Paul calleth some men, yea, and those great talkers too, “ sounding brass and tinkling cymbals ;" that is, as he expounds them in another place, “ things “ without life giving sound.” “ Things without life;" that is, without the true faith and grace of the gospel ; and consequently things that shall never be placed in the kingdom of heaven among those that are the children of life, though their sound, by their talk, be as it were the tongue or voice of an angel.

3 i Cor, xiii. 1—3. xiv. 7.

I Matt. xii. 23.

2 Lev. xi, Deut, xiv,

« ForrigeFortsett »