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, it 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 heav'nly 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.

O let the pilgrims, let the pilgrims, then

Be vigilant, and quit themselves like men.

Chr. I am glad, my brother, that thou didst withstand this villain so bravely; for of all, as thou sayest, I think he has the wrong name; for he is so bold as to follow us in the streets, and to attempt to put us to shame before all men; that is, to make us ashamed of that which is good. But if he was not himself audacious, he would never attempt to do as he does but let us still resist him; for, notwithstanding all his bravadoes, he promoteth the fool, and none else. "The wise shall inherit

glory," said Solomon, "but shame shall be the promo

tion of fools'."

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

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

Faith. No, not I, for I had sun-shine all the rest of the way through that, and also through the valley of the Shadow of Death.

Chr. It was well for you; I am sure it fared far otherwise with me: I had for a long season, as soon as almost 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

1 Prov. iii. 35.

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 into the valley of the Shadow of Death, and had no light for almost half the way through it. I thought I should have been killed there over and over: but at last day brake, and the sun rose, and I went through that which was behind with far more ease and quiet.


The picture of an empty professor, accurately drawn, in the character of Talkative, son of Mr. Say-well, of Prating-row.


OREOVER I saw in my dream, that, as they? went on, Faithful, as he chanced to look on one side, saw a man, whose name is Talkative,* walking at a distance beside them; for in this place there was room enough for them all to walk. He was a tall man, and something more comely at a distance than a hand. To this man Faithful addressed himself in this manner : Friend, whither away? are you going to the heavenly country?

Talk. I am going to the same place.

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

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

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

Talk. To talk of things that are good to me is very acceptable, with you or with any other: and I am glad that I have met with those that incline to so good a work; for, to speak the truth, there are but few that care thus to spend their time as they are in their travels;

* A man whose name is Talkative.] Too many professors content themselves with the mere science of religion, though strangers to its power and gracious influence, they can talk very fluently respecting it.

[ocr errors]

but choose much rather to be speaking of things to no profit; and this hath been a trouble to me.

Faith. That is indeed a thing to be lamented: for what thing so worthy of the use of the tongue and mouth of men on earth, as are the things of the God of heaven? Talk. I like you wonderfully well, for your sayings are full of conviction :—and, I will add, what things are 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 our chief 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, &c. 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 eternal life; but ignorantly live in the works of the law, by the which a man can by no means obtain the kingdom of heaven.

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

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

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

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

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

At this Christian modestly smiled, and said, This man, with whom you are so taken, will beguile with this tongue of his twenty of them who know him not. Faith. Do you know him then?

Chr. Know him! yes, better than he knows himself. Faith. Pray what is he?

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

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

Chr. He is the son of one Say-well; he dwelt in Prating-row; and is known, of all that are acquainted with him, by the name of Talkative in 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 a thorough ace quaintance with him; for he is best abroad, near home he is ugly enough: your saying that he is a pretty man, brings to my mind what I have observed in the work of the painter, whose pictures show best at a distance, but very near, more unpleasing.

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

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

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

Chr. Deceived! you may be sure of it: remember the proverb, "They say, and do not ;" but "the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" He talketh of prayer, of repentance, of faith, and of the new-birth; but he knows but only to talk of them. I have been in his family, and have observed him both at home and abroad; and I know what I say of him is the truth. His house is as empty of religion as the white of an egg is of savour. There is there neither prayer, nor sign of repentance for sin; yea, the brute, in his kind, serves God far better than he. He is the very stain, reproach, and shame of religion, to all that know him*: it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he dwells, through him. Thus say the common people that know him,- A saint abroad, and a devil at home. His poor family finds it so he is such a churl, such a railer at, and so unreasonable with his servants, that they neither know how to do for, or speak to him. Men that have any dealings with him say it is better to deal with a Turk than with him, for the fairer dealings they shall have at his 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 finds 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 commendations before others. For my part, I am

1 Matt. xxiii. 3. 1 Cor. iv. 20.

2 Rom. ii. 23, 24,

« 上一页继续 »