« 上一页继续 »
der confcience was an unmanly thing; and that, for a man to watch over his words and ways, was to tie up himself from that hectoring liberty to which the brave fpirits of the times accuftom themselves; and that it would make a man the ridicule of the times. He objected alfo, that few of the mighty, rich, or wife, were of my opinion; and of those few not one of them were of my opinion, before they were perfuaded to be fools, and by a voluntary fondness to venture the loss of all, for nobody else knows what. He moreover objected the bafe and low eftate and condition of those who were chiefly the pilgrims of the times in which they lived; also their ignorance, and want of understanding in all natural science. Yea, he did hold me to it at this rate about a great many more things than I here relate; as, that it was a fhame to fit whining and mourning under a fermon; a fhame to come home fighing and groaning; a fhame to ask my neighbour forgiveness for petty faults, or make reftitution where I have taken any thing from any. He faid alfo, that religion made a man grow ftrange to the great, because of their vices (which he called by finer names), and made him own and refpect the bafe, because of the fame religious fraternity: and is not all this, faid he, a fhame?
Chr. And what did you fay to him?
Faith. Say! I could not tell what to say at first. Yea, he put me to it fo, that my blood came up in H my
my face; even this Shame fetched it up, and had almost beat me quite off from being a pilgrim. But, at laft, I began to confider, that what is highly esteemed among men, is an abomination with God. Again I thought, though this Shame tells me what men are, yet he tells me nothing what God or the Word of God is. I thought moreover, that at the day of our final doom we fhall not be doomed to death or life according to the hectoring spirit of the world, but according to the wisdom and law of the Highest. Therefore, thought I, what God has faid muft be best, though all the men in the world should speak against me. Seeing then that God prefers his own religion; seeing that God prefers a tender confcience; feeing that those who make themfelves fools for the kingdom of heaven are wifeft; feeing that the poor man who loveth Chrift is richer than the greatest man in the world who hates him; therefore depart, Shame, thou art an enemy to my falvation: fhall I entertain thee against my sovereign Lord? If I do, how fhall I look him in the face at his coming? Should I now be ashamed of his ways and fervants, how can I expect the bleffing? But oh this Shame was a bold villain: I could scarce shake him out of my company; yea, he would be haunting me, and continually whispering in my ear fome one or other of the infirmities which attend religion. But at laft I told him, it was but in vain to attempt further in this business; for in those things that he difdained,
dained, in those did I see most glory: and so at last I got paft this importunate one. When I had fhaken him off, then I began to fing:
The trials which those men do meet withal,
And come, and come, and come again afresh;
O let the pilgrims, let the pilgrims then
Be vigilant, and quit themselves like men.
Chr. I am glad, brother, that thou didst withftand this villain fo bravely; for of all villains, as thou fayeft, I think he has the wrong name: he is fo bold as to follow us in the streets, and will attempt to put us to fhame before all men, even to make us afhamed of that which is good. If he were not himfelf fo audacious, he would never attempt to do as he does: but let us ftill refift him; for notwithstanding all his bravados, he promoteth the fool, and none else. "The wife fhall inherit glory (faith Solomon); but shame fhall be the promotion of fools."
Faith. I think we muft cry to him for help against Shame, who would have us be valiant for truth upon the earth.
Chr. You fay true: but did you meet no body elfe in that valley?
Faith. No, not I; for I had funfhine all the rest of the way through it, and alfo through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Chr. It was well for you; I am fure, it fared far otherwise with me; and that too for a long season. As foon almost as I entered into that valley, I had a dreadful combat with that foul fiend Apollyon; yea, I thought verily he would have killed me, efpecially 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 fword flew out of my hand; and he then told me he was fure 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 almoft half the way through it. I thought I fhould have been killed there over and over again; but, at laft, day brake, and the fun rofe, and I went through that which was behind with far more ease and quiet.
Moreover I faw in my dream, that as they went on, Faithful, as he chanced to look on one fide, faw a man whose name is Talkative, walking at a distance befide them (for in this place there was room enough for them all to walk). He was a tall man, and fomething more comely at a distance than near. To this man Faithful addressed himself in this man
Faith. Friend, whither away? Are you going to the heavenly country?
Talk. I am going to the fame 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 ut go together, and let us spend our time in difcourfing of things which are profitable.
Talk. To talk of things which are good, with you, or with any other, is very acceptable to me; and I am glad that I have met with those who are inclined to fo good a work: for, to speak the truth, there are but few who care thus to spend their time (as they are on their travels), but choofe much rather to be speaking to no profit; this hath been a great trouble to me.
Faith. Indeed it is a thing to be lamented; for what thing fo worthy of employing the tongue and mouth of men on earth, as the things of the God of heaven?
Talk. I like you wonderfully well; your fayings are full of conviction; and I will add, what things fo pleasant, and what fo profitable, as to talk of the things of God?
What things fo 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 figns; where shall we find things recorded fo delightfully, and fo fweetly penned, as in the Holy Scriptures?
Faith. That's true; but to be profited by fuch things in our taik should be our chief defign.