Christian Meets Faithful

Now as CHRISTIAN went on his way, he came to a little ascent, which was cast up on purpose that pilgrims might see before them; up there, therefore, CHRISTIAN went, and looking forward, he saw FAITHFUL before him upon his journey. Then said CHRISTIAN aloud, "Ho, ho! So-ho (stay, and I will be your companion)." At that, FAITHFUL looked behind him; to whom CHRISTIAN cried again, "Stay, stay! till I come up to you!"

Faithful. But FAITHFUL answered, "No, I am upon my life; and the Avenger of Blood is behind me!" At this, CHRISTIAN was somewhat moved; and putting to all his strength, he quickly got up with FAITHFUL, and did also overrun him, so the last was first. Then did CHRISTIAN vain-gloriously smile, because he had got the start of his brother; but not taking good heed to his feet, he suddenly stumbled and fell, and could not rise again until FAITHFUL came up to help him.

Then I saw in my dream, they went very lovingly on together, and had sweet discourse of all things that had happened to them in their pilgrimage; and thus CHRISTIAN began:

Chr. My honoured and well-beloved brother, FAITHFUL, I am glad that I have overtaken you; and that God has so tempered our spirits, that we can walk as companions in this so pleasant a path.

Faith. I had thought, dear friend, to have had your company quite from our town; but you did get the start of me, wherefore I was forced to come this much of the way alone.

Chr. How long did you stay in the city of Destruction before you set out after me on your pilgrimage?

Faith. Till I could stay no longer; for there was great talk presently, after you were gone out, that our city would in short time, with fire from heaven, be burned down to the ground.

Chr. What! did your neighbours talk so?

Faith. Yes; 't was for awhile in everybody's mouth.

Chr. What! and did no more of them but you come out to escape the danger?

Faith. Though there was, as I said, a great talk thereabout, yet I do not think they did firmly believe it. For in the heat of the discourse, I heard some of them deridingly speak of you and of your desperate journey--for so they called this your pilgrimage; but I did believe, and do so still, that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above, and therefore have made mine escape.

Chr. Did you hear no talk of neighbour PLIABLE?

Faith. Yes, CHRISTIAN; I heard that he followed you till he came at the Slough of Despond, where, as some said, he fell in. But he would not be known to have so done; but I am sure he was soundly bedabbled with that kind of dirt.

Chr. And what said the neighbours to him?

Faith. He hath, since his going back, been had greatly in derision, and that among all sorts of people: some do mock and despise him, and scarce will any set him on work. He is now seven times worse than if he had never gone out of the city.

Chr. But why should they be so set against him, since they also despise the way that he forsook?

Faith. "Oh," they say, "hang him: he is a turncoat; he was not true to his profession!" I think God has stirred up even his enemies to hiss at him, and make him a proverb, because he hath forsaken the way.
"And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD." Jeremiah 29:18, 19

Chr. Had you no talk with him before you came out?

Faith. I met him once in the streets; but he leered away on the other side, as one ashamed of what he had done: so I spake not to him.

Chr. Well, at my first setting out, I had hopes of that man; but now I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the city: for it is happening to him according to the true proverb, "The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire".

"But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." 2 Peter 2:22

Faith. They are my fears of him too: but who can hinder that which will be?

Chr. "Well, neighbour FAITHFUL," said CHRISTIAN, "let us leave him, and talk of things that more immediately concern ourselves. Tell me now what you have met with in the way as you came; for I know you have met with some things, or else it may be writ for a wonder."

Faith. I escaped the slough that I perceive you fell into, and got up to the gate without that danger: only I met with one whose name was WANTON, that had like to have done me a mischief.

Chr. 'T was well you escaped her net; Joseph was hard put to it by her, and he escaped her as you did; but it had like to have cost him his life.

"And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth." Genesis 39:11-13

But what did she do to you?

Faith. You cannot think (but that you know something) what a flattering tongue she hath; she laid at me hard to turn aside with her, promising me all manner of content.

Chr. Nay, she did not promise you the content of a good conscience.

Faith. You know what I mean, all carnal and fleshly content.

Chr. Thank God you have escaped her: the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into her ditch.

"The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein." Proverbs 22:14

Faith. Nay, I know not whether I did wholly escape her, or not.

Chr. Why, I trow you did not consent to her desires?

Faith. No, not to defile myself; for I remembered an old writing that I had seen, which saith, "Her steps take hold on hell".

"Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell." Proverbs 5:5

So I shut mine eyes, because I would not be bewitched with her looks;

"I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" Job 31:1

then she railed on me, and I went my way.

Chr. Did you meet with no other assault as you came?

Faith. When I came to the foot of the hill called "Difficulty," I met with a very aged man, who asked me what I was, and whither bound? I told him that I was a pilgrim going to the Celestial City: then said the old man, Thou lookest like an honest fellow; wilt thou be content to dwell with me for the wages that I shall give thee? Then I asked him his name, and where he dwelt? He said his name was Adam the first; and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit.

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;" Ephesians 4:22

I asked him then, What was his work? and what the wages that he would give? He told me that his work was many delights; and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I further asked him, what house he kept, and what other servants he had? So he told me that his house was maintained with all the dainties in the world; and that his servants were those of his own begetting. Then I asked how many children he had? He said that he had but three daughters,--the lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes; and the pride of life;

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:16

and that I should marry them all, if I would. Then I asked how long time he would have me live with him? And he told me, as long as he lived himself.

Chr. Well, and what conclusion came the old man and you to at last?

Faith. Why, at first I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with the man, for I thought he spake very fair; but, looking in his forehead as I talked with him, I saw there written, "Put off the old man with his deeds."

Chr. And how then?

Faith. Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house he would sell me for a slave. So I bid him forbear to talk; for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me that he would send such a one after me, that should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned to go away from him; but just as I turned myself to go thence, I felt him take hold of my flesh, and give me such a deadly twitch back, that I thought he had pulled part of me after himself: this made me cry, "O wretched man!"

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24

So I went on my way up the hill.

Now when I had got about halfway up, I looked behind me, and saw one coming after me, swift as the wind; so he overtook me just about the place where the bench stands.

Chr. "Just there," said CHRISTIAN, "did I sit down to rest me; but, being overcome with sleep, I there lost this roll out of my bosom."

Faith. But, good brother, hear me out: so soon as the man overtook me, he was but a word and a blow; for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead. But when I was a little come to myself again, I asked him wherefore he served me so? He said, because of my secret inclining to Adam the first; and with that he struck me another deadly blow on the breast, and beat me down backward, so I lay at his foot as dead as before. So when I came to myself again, I cried him mercy; but he said, "I know not how to show mercy," and with that knocked me down again. He had doubtless made an end of me, but that one came by, and bade him forbear.

Chr. Who was that that bade him forbear?

Faith. I did not know him at first; but as he went by, I perceived the holes in his hands and in his side; then I concluded that He was our Lord. So I went up the hill.

Chr. That man that overtook you was Moses; he spares none, neither knows he how to show mercy to those that transgress his law.

Faith. I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met with me. 'Twas he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and that told me he would burn my house over my head if I stayed there.

Chr. But did you not see the house that stood there on the top of that hill, on the side of which Moses met you?

Faith. Yes, and the lions, too, before I came at it; but for the lions, I think they were asleep, for it was about noon; and because I had so much of the day before me, I passed by the porter, and came down the hill.

Chr. He told me, indeed, that he saw you go by. But I wish you had called at the house; for they would have showed you so many rarities, that you would scarce have forgot them to the day of your death. But pray tell me, did you meet nobody in the Valley of Humility?

Faith. Yes, I met with one DISCONTENT, who would willingly have persuaded me to go back with him; his reason was, for that the valley was altogether without honour. He told me moreover, that there to go was the way to disobey all my friends, as PRIDE, ARROGANCY, SELF-CONCEIT, WORLDLY-GLORY, with others; who he knew, as he said, would be very much offended if I made such a fool of myself as to wade through this valley.

Chr. Well, and how did you answer him?

Faith. I told him that although all these that he named might claim kindred of me, and that rightly--for indeed they were my relations according to the flesh,--yet since I became a pilgrim, they have disowned me, as I also have rejected them; and therefore they were to me now no more than if they had never been of my lineage. I told him moreover, that as to this valley, he had quite misrepresented the thing; for before honour is humility, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Therefore, said I, I had rather go through this valley to the honour that was so accounted by the wisest, than choose that which he esteemed most worth our affections.

Chr. Met you with nothing else in that valley?

Faith. Yes, I met with SHAME; but of all the men that I met with in my pilgrimage, he, I think, bears the wrong name. The other would be said Nay, after a little argumentation, and somewhat else; but this boldfaced SHAME would never have done.

Chr. What did he say to you?

Faith. What! why he objected against religion itself! He said it was a pitiful, low, sneaking business for a man to mind religion; he said that a tender conscience was an unmanly thing; and that for a man to watch over his words and ways, so as to tie up himself from that blustering liberty that the brave spirits of the times accustom themselves unto, would make him the ridicule of the times. He objected also, that but few of the mighty, rich, or wise, were ever of my opinion;

"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:" 1 Corinthians 1:26

nor any of them neither, before they were persuaded to be fools,

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise." 1 Corinthians 3:18

"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ"
Philippians 3:7, 8

and to be of a voluntary fondness to venture the loss of all for nobody else knows what. He moreover objected the base and low estate and condition of those that were chiefly the pilgrims of the times in which they lived; also their ignorant and want of understanding in all natural science.

"Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?" John 7:48

Yea, he did hold me to it at that rate also, about a great many more things than here I relate: as, that it was a shame to sit whining and mourning under a sermon, and a shame to come sighing and groaning home; that it was a shame to ask my neighbour forgiveness for petty faults, or to make restitution where I had taken from any. He said also, that religion made a man grow strange to the great, because of a few vices (which he called by finer names); and made him own and respect the base, because of the same religious fraternity. And is not this, said he, a shame?

Chr. And what did you say to him?

Faith. Say! I could not tell what to say at the first. Yea, he put me so to it, that my blood came up in my face; even this SHAME fetched it up, and had almost beat me quite off. But at last I began to consider, that "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God".

"And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15

And I thought again, this SHAME tells me what men are; but tells me nothing what God or the word of God is. And I thought moreover, that at the day of doom we shall not be doomed to death or life according to the blustering spirits of the world; but according to the wisdom and law of the highest. Therefore, thought I, what God says is best, indeed is best; though all the men in the world are against it. Seeing, then, that God prefers his religion; seeing God prefers a tender conscience; seeing they that make themselves fools for the kingdom of heaven are wisest; and that the poor man that loves Christ is richer than the greatest man in the world that hates him-- SHAME, depart! thou art an enemy to my salvation!
--shall I entertain thee against my sovereign Lord? How then shall I look him in the face at his coming? Should I now be ashamed of his ways and servants, how can I expect the blessing?

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38

But indeed this SHAME was a bold villain--I could scarce shake him out of my company! Yea, he would be haunting of me, and continually whispering me in the ear with some one or other of the infirmities that attend religion; but at last I told him 't was but in vain to attempt further in this business, for those things that he disdained, in those did I see most glory: and so at last I got past this importunate one. 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 manifold, and suited to the flesh,
And come, and come, and come again afresh;
That now, or some time else, we by them may
Be taken, overcome, and cast away.
Oh 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 his bravadoes, he promotes the fool, and none else. "The wise shall inherit glory," said Solomon; "but shame shall be the promotion of fools".

"The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools." Proverbs 3:35

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

Chr. You say true. But did you meet nobody else in that valley?

Faith. No, not I: for I had sunshine all the rest of the way through that, and also through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Chr. 'T was 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 sure of me: but I cried to God, and he heard me, and delivered me out of all my troubles. Then I entered 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 remained 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 for them all to walk. He was a tall man, and somewhat more comely at a distance than at hand. To this man FAITHFUL addressed himself in this manner:

Faith. Friend, whither away? Are you going to the heavenly country?

Talkative. 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 I will 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 with you or with any other, to me is very acceptable; 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 things so worthy of the use of the tongue and mouth of men on earth, as are the things of the God of heaven?

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 it 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 particularly, by this a man may learn the necessity of the new birth; the insufficiency of our works; the need of Christ's righteousness, and so forth. Besides, by this a man may learn 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 from you.

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 gain 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 attains 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 a hundred scriptures for the confirmation of this.

Faith. "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.

Faith. 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."

Chr. 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 dwells in our town: 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 the son of one SAY-WELL; he dwelt in Prating-row, 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 pictures show best at a distance; but very near, more unpleasing.

Faith. But 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 talks 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".

"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matthew 23:3

"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."
1 Corinthians 4:20

He talks 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 that 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;

"Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written." Romans 2:23, 24

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 speak to him. Men that have any dealings with him, say 'tis better to deal with a Turk than with him: for fairer dealing they shall have at their hands. This TALKATIVE, if it be possible, will go beyond them--defraud, beguile, and overreach them. Besides, he brings up his sons 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 by his wicked life caused many to stumble and fall; and will be, if God prevent 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 men. For I cannot think that you speak these 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 practical 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".

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 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." James 1:22-27

This, TALKATIVE is not aware of; he thinks that hearing and saying will make a good Christian, and thus he deceives 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 to their fruits.

"And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:3-9

"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." Matthew 13:18-30

"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:36-43

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:47-50

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." Matthew 25:31-43

It will not be said then, "Did you believe?" 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 anything 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 describes the beast that is clean.

"And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you. These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.

Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.

And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you. Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean. And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you. And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even.

And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten."
Leveticus 11:1-47

He is such a one that parts the hoof and chews the cud; not that parts the hoof only, or that chews the cud only. The hare chews the cud; but yet is unclean, because he parts not the hoof. And this truly resembles TALKATIVE: he chews the cud, he seeks knowledge, he chews upon the word; but he divides not the hoof, he parts not with the way of sinners--but, as the hare, he retains the foot of a dog, or bear, and therefore is unclean.

Chr. You have spoken, for aught I know, the true Gospel sense of those texts; and I will add another thing. Paul calls 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".

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

"And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?"
1 Corinthians 14:7

"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.

Faith. Well, I was not so fond of his company at first; but I am as sick of it now. What shall we do to be rid of him?

Chr. Take my advice, and do as I bid you; and you shall find that he will soon be sick of your company too--except God shall touch his heart and turn it.

Faith. What would you have me to do?

Chr. Why, go to him, and enter into some serious discourse about the power of religion; and ask him plainly (when he has approved of it, for that he will) whether this thing be set up in his heart, house or conversation.

Faith. Then FAITHFUL stepped forward again, and said to TALKATIVE: "Come, what cheer? how is it now?"

Talk. Thank you, well. I thought we should have had a great deal of talk by this time.

Faith. Well, if you will, we will fall to it now; and since you left it with me to state the question, let it be this: How doth the saving grace of God discover itself, when it is in the heart of man?

Talk. I perceive, then, that our talk must be about the power of things; well, 'tis a very good question, and I shall be willing to answer you. And take my answer in brief, thus: First, Where the grace of God is in the heart, it causes there a great outcry against sin. Secondly--

Faith. Nay, hold; let us consider of one at once: I think you should rather say, it shows itself by inclining the soul to abhor its sin.

Talk. Why, what difference is there between crying out against, and abhorring of, sin?

Faith. Oh, a great deal! a man may cry out against sin of policy; but he cannot abhor it, but by virtue of a godly antipathy against it. I have heard many cry out against sin in the pulpit; who yet can abide it well enough in the heart, and house, and conversation. Joseph's mistress cried out with a loud voice, as if she had been very holy; but she would willingly, notwithstanding that, have committed uncleanness with him.

"And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out." Genesis 39:15

Some cry out against sin, even as the mother cries out against her child in her lap; when she calls it "slut" and "naughty girl," and then falls to hugging and kissing it.

Talk. You lie at the catch, I perceive.

Faith. No, not I; I am only for setting things right. But what is the second thing whereby you would prove a discovery of a work of grace in the heart?

Talk. Great knowledge of Gospel mysteries.

Faith. This sign should have been first; but first or last, it is also false: for knowledge, great knowledge, may be obtained in the mysteries of the Gospel, and yet no work of grace in the soul.

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2

Yea, if a man have all knowledge, he may yet be nothing; and so consequently be no child of God. When Christ said, Do you know all these things? and the disciples had answered, Yes: he added, Blessed are ye if ye do them! He doth not lay the blessing in the knowing of them; but in the doing of them. For there is a knowledge that is not attended with doing: "he that knows his Master's will, and does it not." A man may know like an angel, and yet be no Christian; therefore your sign of it is not true. Indeed, to know is a thing that pleases talkers and boasters; but to do is that which pleases God. Not that the heart can be good without knowledge; for without that the heart is naught: there is, therefore, knowledge and knowledge. Knowledge that rests in the bare speculation of things; and knowledge that is accompanied with the grace of faith and love, which puts a man upon doing even the will of God from the heart: the first of these will serve the talker; but without the other the true Christian is not content. "Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart".

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." Psalm 119:34

Talk. You fie at the catch again; this is not for edification.

Faith. Well, if you please, propound another sign how this work of grace discovers itself where it is.

Talk. Not I; for I see we shall not agree.

Faith. Well, if you will not, will you give me leave to do it?

Talk. You may use your liberty.

Faith. A work of grace in the soul discovers itself either to him that hath it, or to standers by. To him that hath it, thus: it gives him conviction of sin, especially of the defilement of his nature, and the sin of unbelief--for the sake of which he is sure to be damned, if he finds not mercy at God's hand by faith in Jesus Christ. This sight and sense of things works in him sorrow and shame for sin; he finds moreover revealed in him the Saviour of the world, and the absolute necessity of closing with him for life; at the which he finds hungerings and thirstings after him, to which hungerings, etc., the promise is made. Now, according to the strength or weakness of his faith in his Saviour, so is his joy and peace; so is his love to holiness; so are his desires to know him more; and also to serve him in this world. But though I say it discovers itself thus unto him, yet it is but seldom that he is able to conclude that this is a work of grace; because his corruptions now, and his abused reason, make his mind to misjudge in this matter: therefore in him that hath this work there is required a very sound judgment, before he can with steadiness conclude that this is a work of grace

"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me;" John 16:8, 9

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
Romans 7:24

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16

"For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin."
Psalm 38:18

"Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth."
Jeremiah 31:19

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 2:16

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
Matthew 5:6

"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
Revelation 21:6

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Romans 10:10

"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample." Philippians 3:17

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:8

To others it is thus discovered:

1. By an experimental confession of his faith in Christ. 2. By a life answerable to that confession: to wit, a life of holiness-- heart holiness, family holiness (if he hath a family), and by conversation holiness in the world; which in the general teaches him inwardly to abhor his sin, and himself for that, in secret; to suppress it in his family; and to promote holiness in the world--not by talk only, as a hypocrite or talkative person may do, but by a practical subjection in faith and love to the power of the Word

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

"Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God."
Psalm 50:23

"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Job 42:5, 6

"And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed."
Ezekiel 20:43

And now, sir, as to this brief description of the work of grace, and also the discovery of it, if you have ought to object, object; if not, then give me leave to propound to you a second question.

Talk. Nay, my part is not now to object, but to hear; let me, therefore, have your second question.

Faith. It is this: Do you experience the first part of this description of it? and doth your life and conversation testify the same? Or standeth your religion in word or in tongue, and not in deed and truth? Pray, if you incline to answer me in this, say no more than you know the God above will say Amen to; and also nothing but what your conscience can justify you in: for not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth. Besides, to say I am thus and thus, when my conversation and all my neighbours tell me I lie, is great wickedness.

Talk. Then TALKATIVE at first began to blush; but recovering himself, thus he 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 so do, 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 all the truth, I have heard of you, that you are a man whose religion lies in talk; and that your conversation gives this your mouth-profession the lie. They say you are a spot among Christians; and that religion fares 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 ale house, and covetousness, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and vain company keeping, etc., will stand together. The proverb is true of you which is said of a whore, to wit, that "she is a shame to all women": so you are a shame to all professors.

Talk. Since you are ready to take up reports, and to judge so rashly as you do, I cannot but conclude you are some peevish or melancholy man, not fit to be discoursed with: and so adieu!

Chr. Then came up CHRISTIAN, and said to his brother, "I told you how it would happen: your words and his lusts could not agree; he had rather leave your company than reform his life. But 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, he would have been but a blot in our company; besides, the Apostle says, "From such withdraw thyself."

Faith. But I am glad we had this little discourse 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 perish.

Chr. You did well to talk so plainly to him as you did. There is but little of this faithful dealing with men nowadays, and that makes religion to stink in the nostrils of many as it doth; for they are these talkative fools whose religion is only in word, and are debauched and vain in their conversation, that (being so much admitted into the fellowship of the godly) do stumble the world, blemish Christianity, and grieve the sincere. I wish that all men would deal with such as you have done: then should they either be made more conformable to religion; or the company of saints would be too hot for them.

Then did FAITHFUL say:

"How TALKATIVE at first lifts up his plumes!
How bravely doth he speak! how he presumes
To drive down all before him! but so soon
As FAITHFUL talks of heart-work, like the moon
That's past the full, into the wave he goes;
And so will all but he that heart-work knows."

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


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