Moreover 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 besides 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 at hand: To this man Faithful addressed himself in this manner:
Faith. 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 yery 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), but choose much rather to be
speaking of things to no profit; and this hath been, a trouble to me.
Faith. This 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 wonderful well; for your sayings are full of conviction; and I will add, what thing is 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 di'lightin things that are wonderful) for instance: lf 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 is true; but to be profited by such things in our talk, should be our chief design.
Tulk. 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 maity 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 ouf-works; the need of Christ's righteousness, &e. 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. Farther, by this a man may learn torefute false opinions, to vindicate the truth, and also - to instruct the ignorant.
Faith. Ail 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 ef works of grace in their soul, 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 is the gift of God; no man attaineth to them by human industry, or only by the talk mi 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 scriptures for the confirmation of this.
Faith. 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 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 tilings circumstantial; provided that all be done to our profit. .
Faith. Now did Faithful begin to wonder; and stepping to Christian (for he walked all this while by himself), he said to him, but soft!',-, What a brave companion have we got r surely this man will make a very excellent pilgrim.
Chr. At this Christian modestly smiled, and said, this man, with whom you are so taker., will beguile with this tongue of his, twenty of them that 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 that you should be a stranger to him, only I consider that our to vn is large.
Faith. Whose son is he! and whereabout does he dwell?
Chr. 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.
Faith. Well, he seems to be a very pretty man.
Clir. 1 hat i , to them that have not a thorough acquaintance with him; for he is best abroad, near home he is ugly enough: your saving that he is a pretty h.an, brmgs to my mind what I have observed in the work of the painter, whose pictures showiest at a distance; but very near more unpieasiog.
Faith. But I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled.
Chr. God forhiu that I should jest (tho' I smiled) in this matter, or that I should accuse any one falsely: I will give you a farther discovery of him. This man is for any company, and for any talk; as he , talketb 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 cf 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 l am in this man greatly deceived.
Chr. Deceived! you may be sure of it: remember the proverb, " 1 hey say, and do not;' but the kingdom cf God is not in word, but in power (a)." He talketh i f prayer, of repentance, of faith, and of the new-hirth; 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 1 know what I say of him is the truth. His house is as empty of religion, as thc white of an egg is of savour. There is there neither prayer, nor sign of repentance for sin: yea, the brute in his kindxserves 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 the end of the town where he
dwells, thro' him (b). 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 thev 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 have had at their hands. This Talkative (if it be possible) will go bevond them, defraud, beguile, and over-reach 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 of opinion, that he has, by his wicked life, caused many to stumble and fall; and will be, if God prevents not, the ruin of many others.
Faith. 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.
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, that are enemies to religion, I should have thought it had been a slander. (A loi that often falls from had men's mouths, upon good men's names and professions:) But all these things, yea, and a great many more as had, 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.
Faith. Well, I see that saying and doing are tvre
things, and hereafter I shall better observe this distinction.
Chr. 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 carcass, so saying, if it be alone, is but a dead carcass 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, "ami to keep himself unspotted from the world (c)." This Talkative is not aware of; he thinks that hearing and saying will mak'' auood christian; and thus lie deceiveth 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 ot doom, men shall be judged according to their fruit (d;. It will not be suid tben, 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 any thing 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.
Faith. This brings to my mind that of Moses, by which he described the beast that is clean. He is such an one that parteth the hoof, and cheweth the cud; not that parteth the hoof only, or that chew eth the cud only. The hare cheweth the cud, but yet he is unclean, because he parteth not the hoof (e). And this truly resembleth Talkative; he cheweth the cud, he seekcth knowledge, he cheweth upon the word; but he divideth not the hoof, he parteth not with the way of sinners; but as the bare, he retaineth the f'iot of a dog or bear, and therefore he is unclean.
* Chr. You have spoken, for ought I know, the true
gospel sense of those texts. And I will add another thing: Paul calleth some men, yea, and those great talkers too, sounding brass and tinkling cymbals j that is, as he expounds them in another place, thiogs withoutlife, giving sound. Things 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 (/).
Faith. Well, I was not so fond of bis company at first, but I am.as sick of it now. What shall we do to be rid cf htm?
Chr. Take my advice, and do as I hid you, and you shall find that he will soon be sick of your company too, except God shall touch his heart and turn it.
Faith. What would you have me to do?
Chr. 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.
Faith. Then Faithful stept forward again, and said to Talkative, Come, what cheer? How is it now?
Talk- Thank you; well, I thought we should have had a great deal of talk by this time.
Faith. 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?
Talk. 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 t ike my answer in brief, thus: First, when the grace of God is in the heart, it causeth 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.
Talk. Why, what difference is there between crying out against, and abhorring of sin;
Faith. 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, 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 (g). Some cry out against sin, even as her mother cries out against her child in her lap, when she calleth it slut and naughty girl, and then falls to hugging and kissing it.
Talk. You lie at the catch, I perceive.
Faith. 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?
Talk. Great knowledge of gospel mysteries.
Faith. 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 works of grace in the soul (h). Yea, 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 ve, if ye do them." He doth not lay the blessing in the knowledge of them, but in the doing of them. For there is a knowledge that is not at, tended with doing: " He that knoweth his master's "will, and doth it not," &c. 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 pleaseth talkers and boasters; but to do,
<g) Gen. xxxix, 15. (A) .1 Cor. xiii.
is that Which pleaseth God. Not that the heart can he gnod without knowledge; for without that, the heart is naught. There are therefore two sorts of knowledge ; knowledge that resteth in the hare spe. culation 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 ot these will serve the talker; hut 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 whole heart (/)."
Talk. You lie at the catch again; this is not for edification.
Faith. Well, if you please, propound another sign how this work or grace discoveredi itself where it is.
Talk. Not I, for I see we shall not .igree.
Faith. Well, if you wifl- not, will you give leave to do it?
Talk. You n ay use your liberty.
Faith. A work of grace iti the soul discovered) iu self, either to him that hath it, or to standers bv.
To him that hath it, thus: it gives him conviction of sin, especially ti e defilement of his nature, and the sin of unbelief (for the sake of which he is sure to be damnod, if he findeth nottljSercy at God's hand, bv faith in Jems Christ). This sight and sense of thing* wotkc.h in bioi sorrow and shame for sin: he findeth, mm cover, revealed in him the Saviour of the world, and the absolute nece ssity of closing with him lor life, at the which be rindedi hungerings and tbirstings after him; to which burtgerings, &c. the promise is made (/.). N w accord ng to the . strength or weakness ot his fait!i in his Saviour, so is his joy and peace, so is his love to holiness, so are his desires 10 know him more, and also to serve him
in this world. But though I say it discovcieth itself thus unto him, yet it is but seldom that he is able to conclude, that this is a woik of grace, because his corruptions now, and his abused reason, make his mind to misjudge in this matter ; 'therefore in him that hath this woik, there is required a very sound judgment, before he can with steadiness conclude that this is a work of grace.
To others it is thus discovered:
1. 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, familyholiness, if he hath a family; and by conversationholiness in the world ; which in the general teacheth 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 an hypocrite or talkative person may do, but by a practical subjection in faith and love to the power of the word (/). And 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 ohject, but to bear: let me therefore have your second question.
Faith. It is this: Do you experience this first part of the description of it? and doth your life and conversation testify the same? or standeth your religion in word or 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 conamendeth himself, is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth. Besides, to say, I am thus, and thus, when my conversation,
(Z)Rom. x. 10. Phil. iii. 17. Matt. v. 8. Job. xxiv. 25. Tsalia li. Eztik. »sxxvi. 25, 8tc.
and all my neighbours tell me I lie, is great wickedness.
Talk. 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, unle.-s you take upon you to be acatechizer; arid though you should do so, yet I may refuse to make you mv judge ; but I pray, will you tell n:e why you ask me such questions?
Faith. Because I saw you forward to talk, and because I knew not that you had ought 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 profession the lie. They say you are a spot among christians;, and that religion fsreth the worse for j our 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 alehouse, and coveiousitets, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and vain company keeping, &c. 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 area shame to all professors.
Talk. Sihce you are ready to take up report, and to 'judge so rashly as you do, I cannot but conclude you aie some peevish or melancholy man, not fit i« be discouised with, and so adieu.
C/rr. Then came up Christian, and said to his brother, I told you how it would happen; your word* and his lusts could not agree. He had rather leave your company than reform his life; but he is* gone, a< 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 the continuing (.us 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."
Faith. But I am £'lud 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 perisiieth.
C/ir. You did well to talk so plainly to him, as you did; there is hut little of this faithful dealing with men now a-days and that makes religion to stink so 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 godiy) do puzzle 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,
How Talkative at first lifts up his plumps!
How bravely doth he speak! How he prcsames
To dri\e down all before him! But so soon
As Faithful talks of heart-work, like the moon
That's past the full, into the wane he goes:
And so will all, but be that heart-work knows.
Thus they went on talking of what they had seen by the way, and so made their way easy, which would otherwise, no doubt, have been tedious to them, for they went through a wilderness.
IF this chapter was adapted to the days of Mr. Bunyan, when manv were persecuted for righteousness' sake, how much more is it "suited to this day of great profession, and periect libeity f " A name to live," was never procured at a cheaper Kite than now; and consists with many in prating aLout re
Hgion, as Talkative did. In his character, as in a glass, multitudes may behold themselves ; and would to God, that every reader would examine himself, for " the kingdom of God is "not in word, but in power." When the doctrines of the gospel are opposed and vilified, asthey have long been in this nation, it is certainly necessary to . contend earnestly for them: but sad expeiierce pro-, es, how ready people are to value themselves upon a little superficial -knowledge of them, and to think that they are thereby constituted christians.
But it can never be too often repeated, that though we are justified alone by the righteousness of Christ, through faith, and not lor our own works; yet, that good works are ihe necessary fruits of a lively faith, ft is the grand eudence uf true faith, that it work-- by, love, and purifies the-heart. The proof of an interest in Christ, and love to him, is obedienie to his-commandments; and this will be 11*: evidence of it before assembled worlds, at the areat day of Ch-iit. "Let no man then deceive himself with vain words, lo,- in "this the children of God are manifest, and 'he children of "the devil: he thai doth righteousness is righteous, and he "that doeth not righteousness is not of God,'-' 1 John iii. 7, 10.
It was the wretched character of Talkative, that he wat fond of displaying his knowledge in many words; but'the humble chri tian is seldom a great-talker; he is so conscious of his own ignorance, so diffident of his own attainments, that he i more di po ed to hear, than to offer the sacrifice of fools. Talkative Cwuld suit himself to all companies,-se:ious or profane; and, what is a very bad ,-ign, loved to prate about religion on the ale-bench. Chri t'ans have lit'le to da .with (Juh!ic-hou es; and less still, with discourses of religion there. Talkative had no family religion; no appearai.ee of it. His tempers »ere io vile and niisanc'iuVd.-that none could live with hi in He was ?o di-honest in his trade that no mart" could deal w th him. In siioit, he was the gri-.il uf all good men, and the leproach of all hi' neighbour?.
Such a character a? this, by fluency of speech, may deceive an honest-heaited Granger, "who-'e love hopeth all things." But when faithful, being apprised of his uypouiey, bigui to talk of " the power of ludgiou," lie was ut a lo.". Alas! he wa-s a stranger to every thi.:g out the form. He was ignorant of the true signs, an i genuine effects of grace; and therefore piopo is false ones, eon intent with a state of nature. Close dealing ai-out tiie power oi godline s in the heart, and the ho!', fruits oi it ii. the life, did not uit him; he blushed ami ;oon foiiook the company of his faithful reprover: ilappy uouid it be, if all mere talkers were Uiu» dealt with, ami the church oi Ooi fairly -rid of them,