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
Faith. Friend, whither away? Are you going to the heavenly country?
I am going to that same place.
That is well; then I hope we may have your good company?
With a very good will I will be your companion.
Come on then, and let us go together; and let us spend our time in
discoursing of things that are profitable.
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?
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?
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?
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.
All this is true; and glad am I to hear these things from you.
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.
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.
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.
"Well then," said FAITHFUL, "what is that one thing that we
shall at this time found our discourse upon?"
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
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
Do you know him, then?
Know him! yes, better than he knows himself.
Pray, what is he?
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.
Whose son is he? And whereabout doth he dwell?
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.
Well, he seems to be a very pretty man.
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.
But I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled.
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.
Say you so! Then am I in this man greatly deceived.
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
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
the kingdom of Godis not in word, but in power." 1 Corinthians 4:20
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;
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
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.
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.
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!
Well, I see that saying and doing are two things; and hereafter I shall
better observe this distinction.
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".
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
This brings to my mind that of Moses, by which he describes the beast that
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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." Leviticus 11:1-47
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".
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
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.
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?
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.
What would you have me to do?
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.
Then FAITHFUL stepped forward again, and said to TALKATIVE: "Come, what
cheer? how is it now?"
Thank you, well. I thought we should have had a great deal of talk by this
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?
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.
Why, what difference is there between crying out against, and abhorring of,
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.
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
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.
You lie at the catch, I perceive.
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?
Great knowledge of Gospel mysteries.
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.
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
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
me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my
whole heart." Psalm 119:34
You lie at the catch again; this is not for edification.
Well, if you please, propound another sign how this work of grace discovers
itself where it is.
Not I; for I see we shall not agree.
Well, if you will not, will you give me leave to do it?
You may use your liberty.
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
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
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
I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." Psalm 38:18
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
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
is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven
given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts
are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they
shall be filled." Matthew 5:6
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
with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10
be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for
an ensample." Philippians 3:17
are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
others it is thus discovered:
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
ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15
offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his
conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God." Psalm
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
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
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.
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?
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.
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!
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."
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.
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:
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."
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.