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Talk. That is what I have faid; to talk of fuch things is most profitable; for, by fo doing, a man may get knowledge of many things; fuch 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 neceffity of the new birth; the infufficiency of our works; the need of Chrift's righteousness, &c. Befides, by this a man may learn what it is to repent, to believe, to pray, to fuffer, or the like: by this also a man may learn what are the great prontifes and confolations of the gofpel, to his own comfort. Further, by this a man may learn to refute falfe opinions, to vindicate the truth, and also to inftruct 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 why fo few understand the need of faith, and the neceffity of the work of grace in their foul, in order to eternal life; but ignorantly live in the works of the law, by which a man can by no means obtain the kingdom of heaven.
Faith. But, by your leave, heavenly knowledge of these things is the gift of God; no man attaineth to them by human industry, or only by the hearing of them.
Talk. All this I know very well. For a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven; all is of grace, not of works: I could give you an hundred fcriptures for the confirmation of this.
Faith. Well then, faid Faithful, what is that one thing on which we fhall found our discourse at this time?
Talk. What you will: I will talk of things heavenly, or things earthly; things moral, or things evangelical; things facred, or things profane; things past, or things to come; things foreign, or things at home; things more effential, or things circumftantial; provided all be done to profit.
Now did Faithful begin to wonder; and stepping to Christian (for he walked all this while by himfelf), said to him, but foftly, What a brave-companion have we got! Surely this man will make a very ex-cellent pilgrim. At this Christian modestly smiled, and faid, This man with whom you are so taken will beguile with that tongue of his twenty of them who know him not.
Faith. Do you know him then?
Chr. Know him! Yea, better than he knows himself.
Faith. Pray, what is he?
Chr. His name is Talkative; he dwelleth in our town; I wonder you should be a stranger to him, only I confider that our town is large.
Faith. Whofe fon is he? And whereabouts does he dwell?
Chr. He is the fon of one Say-well, he dwelt in Prating-row; he is known by all who are acquainted with him by the name of Talkative of Prating-row; H 4 notwithstanding
notwithstanding his fine tongue, he is but a forry fellow.
Faith. Well, he seems to be a very pretty man. Chr. That is, to them who have not a thorough acquaintance, with him: he is beft abroad, near home he is ugly enough. Your faying that he is a pretty man brings to my mind what I have obferved in the work of fome painters, whofe pictures fhew beft at a distance; but very near are more unpleasing.
Faith. But I am ready to think you do but jeft, because you fmiled.
Chr. God forbid that I fhould jeft (though I smiled) in this matter, or that I should accuse any one falfely; 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, fo 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, his house, or his converfation; all the religion he hath lieth in his tongue, and all the ufe it is of to him is to make a noise with it.
Faith. Say you fo! then I am greatly deceived in this man.
Chr. Deceived! you may be fure of it: remember the proverb, "They fay, 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; he knows nothing of them, but only to talk of them. I have been in his family, and have obferved him both at home and abroad; and I know what I fay of him is the truth. His house is as empty of religion as the white of an egg is of favour. There is there neither prayer, nor any fign of repentance for fin: yea, the brewer, in his kind, ferves God far better than he. He is the very stain, reproach, and shame of religion, to all who know him; it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he dwells, through him. The common people who know him fay of him, that he is a faint abroad, and a devil at home. His poor family finds it fo; he is fuch a churl, fuch a railer at his fervants, and fo unreasonable with them, that they neither know what to do for him, or how to speak to him; those who have any dealings with him, fay, 'tis better to deal with a Turk, than with him, for they fhall have fairer dealing at their hands; this Talkative (if it be poffible) will go beyond them in defrauding, beguiling, and overreaching them. Befides, he brings up his fons to follow his fteps: if he finds in any of them a foolish timorousness (for fo he calls the first appearance of a tender confcience), he calls them fools and blockheads, and will by no means employ them in much, or fpeak in their commendations to others. For my part, I am of opinion, that he has, by his wicked life, caused many to ftumble and fall; and will
will be, if God prevents not, the ruin of many
Faith. Well, my brother, I am bound to believe you; not only because you say you know him, but also because, like a Chriftian, you make your reports of men: for I cannot think that you speak these things of ill-will, but because it is even 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, who are enemies to religion, I fhould have thought it had been a flander: (a lot which often falls from bad men's mouths upon good men's names and profeffions.) But all these things, yea, and a great many more as bad, I can prove him guilty of, from my own knowledge: befides, 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 fee that faying and doing are two things, and hereafter I fhall better obferve this diftinction.
Chr. They are two things indeed, and as diverse as the foul and the body; for as the body without the
Our Lord fays, "He, who hath these fayings of mine, and doeth them, is the only wife builder; and in another place he fays, "Not every one that faith, Lord, Lord, but he that doeth the will of my Father." These are the questions I would feriously recommend to all; not, how fluently can I speak?