100 Shame must be repelled by Prayer.
And when I had shaken him off then I began to sing :

"The trials that those men do meet withal,
That are obedient to the heavenly call,
Are manifoll and suited to the flesh,
And come, and come, and come again afresh;
That now, or sometime else, we by them may
Be taken, overcome, and cast away.
O let the Pilgrims, let the Pilgrims then

Be vigilant, and quit themselves like men.' Chr. I am glad, my brother, that thou didst withstand this villain so bravely; for of all, as thou sayest, I think he has the wrong name : for he is so bold as to follow us in the streets, and to attempt to put us to shame before all men; that is, to make us ashamed of that which is good. But if he was not himself audacious, he would never attempt to do as he does : but let us still resist him; for, notwithstanding all bis bravadoes, he promoteth the fool, and none else. “The wise shall inherit glory,” said Solomon; “but shame shall be the proinotion of fools."*

Faith. I think we must cry to him for help against Shame, that would have us be “valiant for truth upon the earth.”

Chr. You say true: but did you meet nobody else in that Valley ?

Faith. No, not I; for I had sun-shine all the rest of the way through that, and also through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. (1)

Chr. 'Twas well for you ; I am sure it fared far otherwise with me: I had for a long season, as soon almost as I entered into that Valley, a dreadful combat with that foul fiend Apollyon ; yea, I thought verily he would have killed me, especially when he got me down and crushed me under him as if he would have crushed me to pieces: for as he threw me, my sword flew out of my hand ; nay, he told me he was syre of me; but "I cried to God, and he heard me,

* Prov. ii. 35.

(1) Christian in great measure escaped the peculiar temptations that assaulted Faithfui ; yet he sympathized with him : nor did the latter deem the gloomy experiences of his brother visionary or inaginative, though he had been exempted from them. One man, from a complication of causes, is exposed to temptations of which another is ignorant ; and in this case he needs much sympathy, which he seldom meets with : while they, who are severe on him, are liable to be baffled in another way, which, for want of confidence in babit, temperature, and situation, he is equally prone to disregard. Thus Christians are often led reciprocally to censure, suspect, or dislike each other, on those very grounds which should render them useful and encouraging counsellors and companions !

The Pilgrints overtake Tálkative.

101 and delivered me out of all my troubles.” Then I entered into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and had no light for almost half the way through it. I thought I should have been killed there over and over : but at last day brake, and the sun rose, and I went through that which was behind with far more ease and quiet.

Moreover, I saw in my dream, that as they went on, Faithful, as he chanced to look on one side, saw a man, whose name is Talkative, walking at a distance beside them; for in this place there was room enough for them all to walk. He was a tall man, and something more comely at a disa tance than at hand. To this man Faithful addressed himself in this manner : (m)

Friend, whither away ? are you going to the heavenly country ?

Talk. I am going to that same place.

Faith. That is well; then I hope we may have your good company ?

Talk: With a very good will, will I be your companion.

Faith. Come on then, and let us go together, and let us spend our time in discoursing of things that are profitable.

Talk. To talk of things that are good to me is very acceptable to me, with you or with any other; and I am glad that I have met with those that incline to so good a work. For, to speak the truth, there are but few that care thus to spend their time as they are in their travels; but choose much rather to be speaking of things to no profit: and this hath been a trouble to me.

Faith. That is indeed a thing to be lamented: for what thing so worthy of the use of the tongue and mouth of men on earth, as are the things of the God of heaven?

(m) The character here introduced, under a most expressive name, is an admirable por-trail, drawn by a masterly hand from some striking original, but exactly resembling nunbers in every age and place, where the truths of the gospel are generally known.-Talkative is not so called mertly from his loquacity ; but also from the peculiarity of his religious profession, wbich gives scope to his natural propensity, by furnishing him with a copious subject, and enabling him to display his talents, or seek credit among pious persons, without the trouble and expense of practical godliness. Such vain talkers especially appear when religious profession is safe, and reputable, and even in many cases conducive to secular advantage. They may, therefore, be expected in our age and nation, particulariy in populous places, where the preaching or profession of any doctrine excites little attention or surprise, but ensures ri gard and favour from a numerous body who hold the same opinions." Such men appear abore others, pushing themselves into notice, and beconing more conspicuons than hinnble believers : but their profession, specious at a distance, will not endast * near and strict investigation.

102 Falcative's plausible Discourse with Faithful.

Talk. I like you wonderful well, for your saying is full of conviction : and, I will add, what thing is so pleasant, and what so profitable, as to talk of the things of God?

What things so pleasant ? that is, if a man hath any delight in things that are wonderful : for instance, if a man doth delight to talk of the history or the mystery of things; or if a man doth love to talk of 'miracles, wonders or signs ; where shall he find things recorded so delightful, and so sweetly penned, as in the Holy Scripture ?

Faith. That's true: but to be profited by such things in our talk, should be that which we design.

Talk. That is that I said; for to talk of such things is most profitable: for by so doing a man may get knowledge of many things; as, of the vanity of earthly things, and the benefit of things above. Thus in general, but more particuJarly, by this a man may learn the necessity of the new birth; the insufficiency of our works; the need of Christ's righteousness, &c. Besides, by this a man may learn by talk what it is to repent, to believe, to pray, to suffer, or the like : by this also a man may learn what are the great promises and consolations of the gospel, to his own comfort. Further, by this a man may learn to refute false opinions, to vindicate the truth, and also to instruct the ignorant.

Faith. All this is true, and glad am I to hear these things

Talk. Alas! the want of this is the cause that so few understand the need of faith, and the necessity of a work of grace in their soul, in order to eternal life; but ignorantly live in the works of the law, by which a man can by no means obtain the kingdom of heaven.

Faith. But, by your leave, heavenly knowledge of these is the gift of God; no man attaineth to them by human industry, or only by the talk of them.

Talk. All this 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

from you.

Faithful undeceived by Christian. 103 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. (n)

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


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 whereabout doth he dwell ?

Chr. He is son of one Say-well, he dwelt in Pratingrow; and he is known of all that are acquainted with him, by the name of Talkative in Prating-row; 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 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

(n) Zealous Christians, who are not well established in judgment and experience, are often greatly taken with the discourse of persons, who speak fluently and plausibly on various subjects, with a semblance of truth and piety : and they sometimes feel, as it were, a defect in their harangues, which makes them liesitate, though they are easily satisfied with specious explanations. Talkative's discourse is copied, with surprising exactness, from that of numbers who learn doctrinally to discuss even experimental subjects, of which they Dever 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 an ostentatious manner : but the humble believer forgets himself, while from his heart he expatiate's on topics which he longs to re commend to those whom he addresses. Humility and charity, lowever, dispose men to Take the best of others, and to distrust themselves : so that, unless connected with propor. rionable depth of judgment, and acuteness of discernment, they put them off their guard, in respect of vain-glorious talkers. It would be conuited and uncandid, they think, to suspect a man, who says so many good things, with great confidence and zeal; their dissas: isfaction with the conversatiou 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 motive, it might be inputed to their own pride and envy.-Thus they are seduced to sanction what they ought to protest against, and to admire those whom they should avoid ; anel that even by means of the most amiable dispositions !–What follows is peculiarly calculated to rectify such mistakes, and to expose the consequences of this ill-judged eandour.

you smiled.


Christian shews Faithful pictures shew best at a distance, but very near more unpleasing

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

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; all he hath lieth in his tongue, and his religion is to make a noise therewith.

Faith. Say you so! then am I 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 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 ;t it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he dwells, through him. Thus say

the common peo: ple 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 unreasonal le with, his servants, that they neither know how to do for, or speak to him. Men that have any dealings with him say, it is better to deal with a Turk than with him, for fairer dealing they shall have at his hands. This Talkative, if it be possible, will go beyond them, defraud, beguile, and over-reach them. Besides, he brings up his suns to follow his steps; and if he findeth in any of them a foolish timorousness, (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 commendation before others. For my part, I am of opinion that he has hy his wicked life caused many to stum

Matt, xxüi. 31 Cor. vi. 20.

+ Rom. ii. 23, 24,

« ForrigeFortsett »