knowledge of them, but in the doing of 1 Cor. 13. them. For there is a knowledge that is not

attended with doing: He that knoweth his mafer's will and dath it not. A man man may know like an angel, and yet be no chriftian; therefore your fign of it is not true. Indeed, to know, is a thing that pleaseth talkers and boafters ; . bat to do is that which pleafeth God: Not that the heart can be good without knowledge; for without That, that heart is naught. There are therefore two forts of knowledge: Knowledge that refteth in the bare fpeculation 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

thefe will ferve the talker; but without True knowledge the other; the true chriftian is not content. attended with Give me understanding and I shall keep thy endeavours, law; yea, I ball obferve it with my whole


Talk. You lie at the catch again; this is not for edifi cation.

Faith. Well, if you pleafe, propound another fign how this work of grace difcovereth itfelf where it is. Talk. Not I, for I fee we fhall not agree.

Faith. Well, if you will not, will you One good fign of give me leave to do it?

Talk You may ufe your liberty.


Faith. A work of grace in the foul difcovereth itself, sither to him that hath it, or to ftanders by.

To him that hath it, thus; it gives him conviction of fin, efpecially the defilement of his nature and the fin of unbelief (for the fake of which he is fure to be damn'd, if he findeth not mercy at God's hand, by faith in Jefus Chirit.) This fight and fenfe of things worketh in him forrow and shame for fin: He findeth, moreover, revealed in him the Saviour of the world, and the abfolute neceffity of clofing with him for life, at the which he findeth hungrings and thriftings after him to which hungrings, Fr.. the promife is made. Now, according to the ftrength or weakness of his faith in his Saviour, fo is his joy and peace, fo is his love to holiness, fo are his defires to know him more, and also to serve him in this world. But tho' I fày .... it discovereth itself thus unto him, yet it is but feldom that


[ocr errors]

he is able to conclude that this is a work of grace, becaufe 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 found judgment, before he can with Steadiness conclude that this is a work of

To others it is thus difcovered.


1. By an experimental confeffien of his faith in Chrift 2. By a life anfwerable to that confeffion, to wit, a life of holinefs; heart-holinefs; family-holiness, if he hath a family, and by converfation-holinefs in the world: which in the world teacheth him inwardly to abhor his fin, and himself for that, in fecret; to fupprefs it his family, and promote holiness in the world; nor by talk only, as an hypocrite or talkative perfon may do, but by a practical fubjection in faith and love to the power of the word: And now, Sir, as to this brief defcription of the work of grace, and alfo the difcovery of it, if you have ought to object; if not, then give me leave to propound to you a fecond question Talk. Nay, my part is not now to object, but to hear: Let me therefore have your fecond question.

Another good

fign of grace..

Faith. It is this: Do you experience this part of the defcription of it? And doth your life and converfation teflify the fame? Or ftandeth your religion in word or tongue, and not in deed and truth? Pray, if you incline to answer me in this, fay no more than you know the God above will fay Amen to And alfo nothing but what your confcience can justify you in: For not be that commendeth himself, is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." Befides, to fay, I am thus, when my converfation and my neighbours tell me I lye, is great wickedness.

Talk. Then Talkative at firft began to blufh; but reco vering himself, thus he replied: You come now to experience, to confcience, and God; and to appeal to him for juftification of what is fpoken; this kind of difcourfe I did not expect; nor am I difpofed to give an anfwer to fuch queftions, because I count not myself bound thereto, unless you take upon you to be a catechifer; and though you



hould fo do, yet I may refufe to make you my judge: But, pray, will you tell me why you ask me fuch questions? Faith Because I faw you forward to talk, and because knew not that you had ought elfe but notion.-Befides, o tell you all the truth, I have heard of you, that you are man whofe religion lies in talk, and that your converfaion gives this your profeffion the lye. They fay you are fpot among chriftians; and that religion fareth the worfe or your ungodly converfation; that fome already have tumbled not your wicked ways, and that more are in daner of being deftroyed hereby; your religion, and an alesoufe, and covetoufnefs, and uncleannefs, and fwearing, nd lying, and vain company-keeping, &c. will ftand toether. The proverb is true of you, which is faid of a whore, to wit, that he is a fhame to all women, so you are fhame to all profeffors.

Talk. Since you are ready to take up re- Talkative flings port, and to judge fo rafhly as you do, I can- away from mot but conclude you are fome peevish or Faithful. melancholy man, not fit to be difcourfed

with, and fo adieu.

Chr, Then came up Chriftian, and faid to his brother, told you how it would happen; your words and his lufts could not agree. He had rather leave your company than " form his life; but he is gone, as 1.faid; let him go; the ofs is no man's but his own; he has faved us the trouble of going from him; for he continuing (as I fuppofe he will do) as he is, he would have been but a blot in your Company: Befides, the Apoftle fays, From fuch witdraw thy felf.

Faith. But I am glad we had this little difcourfe 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 perifheth.

Chr. You did well to talk fo plainly to him as you did, there is but little of this faithful dealing with men new-adays, and that makes religion to flink fo 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 fo much admitted into the fellowship of the godly) do puzzle the world, blemish chrifianity, and grieve the fincere. I with that all men would


deal with fach as you have done; then should they either be made more conformable to religion, or the company of faints would be too hot for them. Then did Faithful fay,

How Talkative at firft lifts up his plumes!

: How bravely doth he fpeak! how he prefumes 3. To drive down all before him but fo foon

As Faithful talks of heart-work, like the moon
That's, past the full, into the wane he goes;
And fo will all, but he that heart-work knows

Thus they went on, talking of what they had feen by the way, and fo made that way, eafy, which would otherwife, no doubt, have been tedious to them; for they went through a wilderness,


Now, when they were got almost quite out of this wil derneft, Faithful chanced to caft, his eye back, and eípied one coming after them, and he knew him. Oh! faid Faithful to his brother, who comes yonder? Evangelift over- Then Chriftian looked, and faid, It is my takes them a- good friend Evangelist. Aye, and my good friend too, faid Faithful, for 'twas he that fet me the way to the gate, How was Evangelift come up unto them, and thus faluted them: Ewan. Peace be with you, dearly beloved; and peace be your helpers: 9

gain so


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ghe Welcome, welcome my good, Evangelift; the fight of thy countenance brings to my remembrance thy antient kindness and unwearied labours for my eternal good.

Faith. And a thousand times welcome, faid good Faithful, thy company, a fweet Evangelist!, how desirable is it to us poor pilgrims!

[ocr errors]

Evan. Then faid Evangelift, How hath it fared with you, my friends, fince the time of our last parting? What have you met with, and how have you behaved yourselvest Then Chriftian and Faithful told him of all things that had happened to him in the way; and how, and with with aloo difficulty they had arrived at that place. His exhortation. Eruan. Right glad am I, faid Evangelift,. not that you have met with trials, but that you have been victors; and for that you have, notwith

[ocr errors]


ffanding many weaknesses, continued in the way to this very day.

I fay, right glad am I of this thing, and that for mine own fake and yours; I have sowed, and you have reaped; and the day is coming, when both he that fowed and they that reaped fhall rejoice together; that is, if you hold out; for in due time ye fhall reap, if ye faint not. The crown is before you, and it is an incorruptible

one; fo run that you may obtain it. Rev. 3, 11. Some there be that fet out for this crown,

and, after they have gone far for it, another comes in, and takes it from them: Hold faft therefore that you have, let no man take your crown: You are not yet out of the gunhot of the devil: You are not yet refifted unto blood, ftriving against fin: Let the kingdom be always before you, and believe stedfaftly concerning things that are invisible: Let nothing that is on this fide the other world get within you: And, above all, look well to your own hearts and to the lufts thereof, for they are deceitful above all things. and defperately wicked; fet your faces like a flint; you have all power in heaven and earth on your fide.

Chr. Then Christian thanked him for his

sxhortation ; but told him withal, that they They do ibank would have him fpeak farther to them for him for his extheir help the rest of the way, and the ran bertation. ther, for that they well knew that he was i

a prophet, and could tell them of things that might happen unto them, and how they might refift and overcome them. To which request Faithful alfo confented. So Evangelist. began as followeth :

Evan. My fons, you have heard, in the He prediletb words of the truth of the gofpel, that you what troubles must thro' many tribulations enter into the they shall meet kingdom of heaven. And again, That in with in Vanity every city-bonds and afflictions abide you; fair. and therefore you cannot expect that you

hould go long on your pilgrimage without them, in fome fort or other: You have found fomething of the truth of thefe teftimonies upon you already, and more will imme diately follow; for now, as you fee, you are almoft out of this wilderness, and therefore you will foon come into a town that you will by and by fee before you; and in that


« 上一页继续 »