Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
THE FIFTH STAGE
NOW, as Christian went on his way, he came to a little ascent, which was cast up
on purpose that pilgrims might see before them: up there, therefore, Christian
went; and looking forward, he saw Faithful before him upon his journey: Then
said Christian aloud, Ho, ho; so-ho; stay, and I will be your companion. At
that Faithful looked behind him; to whom Christian cried again, Stay, stay,
till I come up to you. But Faithful answered, No, I am upon my life, and the
avenger of blood is behind me.
At this Christian was somewhat moved, and putting to all his strength, he
quickly got up with Faithful, and did also overrun him; so the last was
first. Then did Christian vaingloriously smile, because he had gotten the
start of his brother; but not taking good heed to his feet, he suddenly
stumbled and fell, and could not rise again until Faithful came up to
Then I saw in my dream, they went very lovingly on together,
 and had
sweet discourse of all things that had happened to them in their
pilgrimage; and thus Christian began.
CHRISTIAN: My honored and well-beloved brother Faithful, I am glad that I
have overtaken you, and that God has so tempered our spirits that we can
walk as companions in this so pleasant a path.
FAITHFUL: I had thought, my dear friend, to have had your company quite
from our town, but you did get the start of me; wherefore I was forced to
come thus much of the way alone.
CHRISTIAN: How long did you stay in the city of Destruction before you set
out after me on your pilgrimage?
FAITHFUL: Till I could stay no longer; for there was a great talk presently
after you were gone out, that our city would, in a short time, with fire
from heaven, be burnt down to the ground.
CHRISTIAN: What, did your neighbors talk so?
FAITHFUL: Yes, it was for a while in every body's mouth.
CHRISTIAN: What, and did no more of them but you come out to escape the danger?
FAITHFUL: Though there was, as I said, a great talk thereabout, yet I do
not think they did firmly believe it; for, in the heat of the discourse,
I heard some of them deridingly speak of you and of your desperate journey,
for so they called this your pilgrimage. But I did believe, and do still,
that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above; and
therefore I have made my escape.
CHRISTIAN: Did you hear no talk of neighbor Pliable?
FAITHFUL: Yes, Christian, I heard that he followed you till he came to
the Slough of Despond, where, as some said, he fell in; but he would not
be known to have so done: but I am sure he was soundly bedabbled with that
kind of dirt.
CHRISTIAN: And what said the neighbors to him?
FAITHFUL: He hath, since his going back, been had greatly in derision, and
that among all sorts of people: some do mock and despise him, and scarce
will any set him on work. He is now seven times worse than if he had never
gone out of the city.
CHRISTIAN: But why should they be so set against him, since they also
despise the way that he forsook?
FAITHFUL: O, they say, Hang him; he is a turncoat; he was not
 true to his
profession! I think God has stirred up even His enemies to hiss at him,
and make him a proverb, because he hath forsaken the way.
CHRISTIAN: Had you no talk with him before you came out?
FAITHFUL: I met him once in the streets, but he leered away on the other
side, as one ashamed of what he had done; So I spake not to him.
CHRISTIAN: Well, at my first setting out I had hopes of that man; but now
I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the city. For it has happened to
him according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his vomit again,
and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
FAITHFUL: These are my fears of him too; but who can hinder that which will be?
CHRISTIAN: Well, neighbor Faithful, said Christian, let us leave him, and
talk of things that more immediately concern ourselves. Tell me now what
you have met with in the way as you came; for I know you have met with
some things, or else it may be writ for a wonder.
FAITHFUL: I escaped the slough that I perceive you fell into, and got
 up to the gate without that danger; only I met with one whose name was
Wanton, that had like to have done me mischief.
CHRISTIAN: It was well you escaped her net: Joseph was hard put to it
by her, and he escaped her as you did; but it had like to have cost him
his life. But what did she do to you?
FAITHFUL: You cannot think (but that you know something) what a flattering
tongue she had; she lay at me hard to turn aside with her, promising me all
manner of content.
CHRISTIAN: Nay, she did not promise you the content of a good conscience.
FAITHFUL: You know what I mean; all carnal and fleshly content.
CHRISTIAN: Thank God that you escaped her: the abhorred of the Lord shall
fall into her pit.
FAITHFUL: Nay, I know not whether I did wholly escape her or no.
CHRISTIAN: Why, I trow you did not consent to her desires?
FAITHFUL: No, not to defile myself; for I remembered an old writing that
I had seen, which said, "Her steps take hold on Hell." So I
shut mine eyes, because I would not be bewitched with her looks.
Then she railed on me, and I went my way.
CHRISTIAN: Did you meet with no other assault as you came?
FAITHFUL: When I came to the foot of the hill called Difficulty, I met with
a very aged man, who asked me what I was, and whither bound. I told him that
I was a pilgrim, going to the Celestial City. Then said the old man, Thou
lookest like an honest fellow; wilt thou be content to dwell with me for
the wages that I shall give thee? Then I asked his name, and where he dwelt?
He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of
Deceit. I asked him then what was his work, and what the wages
that he would give. He told me that his work was many delights; and his
wages, that I should be his heir at last. I further asked him, what house
he kept, and what other servants he had. So he told me that his house was
maintained with all the dainties of the world, and that his servants were
those of his own begetting. Then I asked how many children he had. He said
that he had but three daughters, the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the
Eyes, and the Pride of Life, and that I should marry them
if I would. Then I asked, how long time he would have me live with him;
And he told me, as long as he lived himself.
CHRISTIAN: Well, and what conclusion came the old man and you to at last?
 FAITHFUL: Why, at first I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with the
man, for I thought he spake very fair; but looking in his forehead, as I
talked with him, I saw there written, "Put off the old man with his deeds."
CHRISTIAN: And how then?
FAITHFUL: Then it came burning hot into my mind, that, whatever he said,
and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house he would sell
me for a slave. So I bid him forbear to talk, for I would not come near
the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me that he would send
such a one after me that should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned
to go away from him; but just as I turned myself to go thence, I felt him
take hold of my flesh, and give me such a deadly twitch back, that I thought
he had pulled part of me after himself: this made me cry, "O wretched man."
So I went on my way up the hill.
Now, when I had got above half-way up, I looked behind me, and saw one coming
after me, swift as the wind; so he overtook me just about the place where the
CHRISTIAN: Just there, said Christian, did I sit down to rest me; but being
overcome with sleep, I there lost this roll out of my bosom.
FAITHFUL: But, good brother, hear me out. So soon as the man overtook me,
it was but a word and a blow; for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead.
But when I was a little come to myself again I asked him wherefore he served
me so. He said because of my secret inclining to Adam the First. And with
that he struck me another deadly blow on the breast, and beat me down
backward; so I lay at his foot as dead as before. So when I came to myself
again I cried him mercy: but he said, I know not how to show mercy; and with
that he knocked me down again. He had doubtless made an end of me, but that
one came by and bid him forbear.
CHRISTIAN: Who was that that bid him forbear?
FAITHFUL: I did not know him at first: but as he went by, I perceived the
holes in his hands and in his side: Then I concluded that he was our Lord.
So I went up the hill.
CHRISTIAN: That man that overtook you was Moses. He spareth none; neither
knoweth he how to shew mercy to those that transgress the law.
THAT MAN THAT OVERTOOK YOU
WAS MOSES. HE SPARETH NONE; NEITHER KNOWETH HE HOW TO SHEW MERCY TO
THOSE THAT TRANSGRESS THE LAW.
 FAITHFUL: I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met
with me. 'Twas he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and that
told me he would burn my house over my head if I stayed there.
CHRISTIAN: But did you not see the house that stood there on the top of
the hill, on the side of which Moses met you?
FAITHFUL: Yes, and the lions too, before I came at it. But, for the lions,
I think they were asleep, for it was about noon; and because I had so much
of the day before me, I passed by the Porter, and came down the hill.
CHRISTIAN: He told me, indeed, that he saw you go by; but I wish you had
called at the house, for they would have showed you so many rarities that
you would scarce have forgot them to the day of your death. But pray tell
me, Did you meet nobody in the Valley of Humility?
FAITHFUL: Yes, I met with one Discontent, who would willingly have persuaded
me to go back again with him: his reason was, for that
 the valley was
altogether without honor. He told me, moreover, that to go there was the
way to disoblige all my friends, as Pride, Arrogancy, Self-Conceit,
Worldly Glory, with others, who he knew, as he said, would be very much
offended if I made such a fool of myself as to wade through this valley.
CHRISTIAN: Well, and how did you answer him?
FAITHFUL: I told him, that although all these that he named, might claim
a kindred of me, and that rightly, (for indeed they were my relations
according to the flesh,) yet since I became a pilgrim they have disowned
me, and I also have rejected them; and therefore they were to me now no
more than if they had never been of my lineage. I told him, moreover, that
as to this valley, he had quite misrepresented the thing; for before honor
is humility, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Therefore, said I, I had
rather go through this valley to the honor that was so accounted by the
wisest, than choose that which he esteemed most worthy of our affections.
CHRISTIAN: Met you with nothing else in that valley?
FAITHFUL: Yes, I met with Shame; but of all the men that I met with on my
pilgrimage, he, I think, bears the wrong name. The other would be said nay,
after a little argumentation, and somewhat else; but this bold-faced Shame
would never have done.
CHRISTIAN: Why, what did he say to you?
FAITHFUL: What? why, he objected against religion itself. He said it was a
pitiful, low, sneaking business for a man to mind religion. He said, that a
tender conscience was an unmanly thing; and that for a man to watch over
his words and ways, so as to tie up himself from that hectoring liberty
that the brave spirits of the times accustomed themselves unto, would make
him the ridicule of the times. He objected also, that but few of the mighty,
rich, or wise, were ever of my opinion; nor any of them neither, before they
were persuaded to be fools, and to be of a voluntary fondness to venture the
loss of all for nobody knows what.
He, moreover, objected the base and low estate and condition of those that
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 that rate also, about a great many more things than here
I relate; as, that it was a shame to sit whining and mourning under a sermon,
and a shame to come
 sighing and groaning home; that it was a shame to ask my
neighbor forgiveness for petty faults, or to make restitution where I have
taken from any. He said also, that religion made a man grow strange to the
great, because of a few vices, which he called by finer names, and made him
own and respect the base, because of the same religious fraternity: And is
not this, said he, a shame?
CHRISTIAN: And what did you say to him?
FAITHFUL: Say? I could not tell what to say at first. Yea, he put me so to
it, that my blood came up in my face; even this Shame fetched it up, and
had almost beat me quite off. But at last I began to consider, that that
which is highly esteemed among men, is had in abomination with God.
And I thought again, this Shame tells me what men are; but
he tells me nothing what God, or the word of God is. And I thought,
moreover, that at the day of doom we shall not be doomed to death or
life according to the hectoring spirits of the world, but according to
the wisdom and law of the Highest. Therefore, thought I, what God says
is best, is indeed best, though all the men in the world are against it.
Seeing, then, that God prefers his religion; seeing God prefers a tender
Conscience; seeing they that make themselves fools for the kingdom of
heaven are wisest, and that the poor man that loveth Christ is richer
than the greatest man in the world that hates him; Shame, depart, thou
art an enemy to my salvation. Shall I entertain thee against my sovereign
Lord? How then shall I look him in the face at his coming?
Should I now be ashamed of his ways and servants, how can I expect the
blessing? But indeed this Shame was a bold villain; I could scarcely 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, that it was but in vain to attempt
farther 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 heavenly 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."
CHRISTIAN: 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 promotion of fools." Prov. 3:35.
FAITHFUL: I think we must cry to Him for help against Shame, that would have
us to be valiant for truth upon the earth.
CHRISTIAN: You say true; but did you meet nobody else in that valley?
FAITHFUL: No, not I; for I had sunshine all the rest of the way through that,
and also through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
CHRISTIAN: 'Twas well for you; I am sure it fared far otherwise with me. I
had for a long season, as soon almost as 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 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.
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 was 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 at hand. To this man Faithful addressed himself in this manner.
 FAITHFUL: Friend, whither away? Are you going to the heavenly country?
TALKATIVE: I am going to the same place.
FAITHFUL: That is well; then I hope we shall have your good company?
TALKATIVE: With a very good will, will I be your companion.
FAITHFUL: Come on, then, and let us go together, and let us spend our
time in discoursing of things that are profitable.
TALKATIVE: 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 who 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.
FAITHFUL: 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?
TALKATIVE: I like you wonderful well, for your saying is 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 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?
FAITHFUL: That is true; but to be profited by such things in our talk,
should be our chief design.
TALKATIVE: That's 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, etc. 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 to refute false opinions, to
vindicate the truth, and also to instruct the ignorant.
 FAITHFUL: All this is true; and glad am I to hear these things from you.
TALKATIVE: 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 which a man
can by no means obtain the kingdom of heaven.
FAITHFUL: 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.
TALKATIVE: 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
a hundred scriptures for the confirmation of this.
FAITHFUL: Well, then, said Faithful, what is that one thing that we shall at
this time found our discourse upon?
TALKATIVE: 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 things circumstantial: provided that all be done to our profit.
FAITHFUL: 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
CHRISTIAN: 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 that know him not.
FAITHFUL: Do you know him, then?
CHRISTIAN: Know him? Yes, better than he knows himself.
FAITHFUL: Pray what is he?
CHRISTIAN: 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.
FAITHFUL: Whose son is he? And whereabout doth he dwell?
CHRISTIAN: He is the son of one Say-well. He dwelt in Prating-Row; and he
is known to all that are acquainted with him by the name of Talkative of
Prating-Row; and, notwithstanding his fine tongue, he is but a sorry fellow.
FAITHFUL: Well, he seems to be a very pretty man.
 CHRISTIAN: That is, to them that have not a thorough acquaintance 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
a painter, whose pictures show best at a distance; but very near, more
FAITHFUL: But I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled.
CHRISTIAN: 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.
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.
FAITHFUL: Say you so? Then am I in this man greatly deceived.
CHRISTIAN: 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 savor. 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 fairer dealings they shall have at their 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 commendation
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 more.
"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.
FAITHFUL: 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.
CHRISTIAN: Had I known him no more than you, I might, perhaps, have thought
of him as at the first you did; yea, had I received this report at their
hands only that are enemies to religion, I should have thought it had been
a slander-a lot that often falls from bad men's mouths upon good men's
names and professions. But all these things, yea, and a great many more
as bad, 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.
FAITHFUL: Well, I see that saying and doing are two things, and hereafter I
shall better observe this distinction.
CHRISTIAN: 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,
and to keep himself unspotted from the world." This, Talkative is not aware of; he thinks that hearing
and saying will make a good Christian; and thus he 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 of doom men shall be judged according to their
fruits. It will not be said then, 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.
 FAITHFUL: This brings to my mind that of Moses, by which he describeth
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
cheweth the cud only. The hare cheweth the cud, but yet is unclean, because
he parteth not the hoof. And this truly resembleth Talkative: he cheweth the
cud, he seeketh knowledge; he cheweth upon the word, but he divideth not the
hoof. He parteth not with the way of sinners; but, as the hare, he retaineth
the foot of the dog or bear, and therefore he is unclean.
CHRISTIAN: You have spoken, for aught I know, the true gospel sense of these
texts. And I will add another thing: Paul calleth some men, yea, and those
great talkers too, sounding brass, and tinkling cymbals,
that is, as he expounds them in another place, things without life 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 if it were the tongue or voice of an angel.
FAITHFUL: Well, I was not so fond of his company at first, but I am as sick
of it now. What shall we do to be rid of him?
CHRISTIAN: Take my advice, and do as I bid you, and you shall find that he
will soon be sick of your company too, except God shall touch his heart,
and turn it.
FAITHFUL: What would you have me to do?
CHRISTIAN: 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
FAITHFUL: Then Faithful stepped forward again, and said to Talkative,
Come, what cheer? How is it now?
TALKATIVE: Thank you, well: I thought we should have had a great deal of
talk by this time.
FAITHFUL: 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?
TALKATIVE: I perceive, then, that our talk must be about the power of
 things. Well, it is a very good question, and I shall be willing to
answer you. And take my answer in brief, thus: First, where the grace
of God is in the heart, it causeth there a great outcry against sin.
FAITHFUL: Nay, hold; let us consider of one at once. I think you
should rather say, it shows itself by inclining the soul to abhor
TALKATIVE: Why, what difference is there between crying out against,
and abhorring of sin?
FAITHFUL: 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.
Some cry out against sin, even as the 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.
TALKATIVE: You lie at the catch, I perceive.
FAITHFUL: 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
TALKATIVE: Great knowledge of gospel mysteries.
FAITHFUL: 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 work of grace in the soul. 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 answered, Yes, he added, "Blessed are ye if ye do them." He
doth not lay the blessing in the knowing of them, but in the doing of them.
For there is a knowledge that is not attended with doing: "He that knoweth
his Master's will, and doeth it not." 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 is that which pleaseth
God. Not that the heart can be good without knowledge, for without that the
heart is naught. There are, therefore, two sorts of knowledge, knowledge that
 in the bare speculation 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 these will serve the talker; but 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."
TALKATIVE: You lie at the catch again: this is not for edification.
FAITHFUL: Well, if you please, propound another sign how this work of grace
discovereth itself where it is.
TALKATIVE: Not I, for I see we shall not agree.
FAITHFUL: Well, if you will not, will you give me leave to do it?
TALKATIVE: You may use your liberty.
FAITHFUL: A work of grace in the soul discovereth itself, either to him
that hath it, or to standers-by.
To him that hath it, thus: It gives him conviction of sin, especially the
defilement of his nature, and the sin of unbelief, for the sake of which
he is sure to be damned, if he findeth not mercy at God's hand, by faith
in Jesus Christ. This sight and sense of things worketh in him sorrow and
shame for sin. He findeth, moreover, revealed in him the Saviour of
the world, and the absolute necessity of closing with him for life; at the
which he findeth hungerings and thirstings after him; to which hungerings,
etc., the promise is made. Now, according to the strength or weakness of his
faith in his Saviour, so is his joy and peace, so is his love to holiness, so
are his desires to know him more, and also to serve him in this world. But
though, I say, it discovereth itself thus unto him, yet it is but seldom that
he is able to conclude that this is a work of grace; because 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 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,
family-holiness, (if he hath a family,) and by conversation-holiness 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 a 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 aught to
object, object; if not, then give me leave to propound to you a second
TALKATIVE: Nay, my part is not now to object, but to hear; let me,
therefore, have your second question.
FAITHFUL: 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 commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Besides, to say I am thus and thus, when my conversation, and all my neighbors,
tell me I lie, is great wickedness.
Then Talkative at first began to blush; but, recovering himself, thus he
replied: You come now to experience, to conscience, and to 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, unless you take upon you to be
a catechiser; and though you should so do, yet I may refuse to make you my
judge. But I pray, will you tell me why you ask me such questions?
FAITHFUL: Because I saw you forward to talk, and because I knew not that
you had aught 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 mouth-profession the lie. They say you are a
spot among Christians, and that religion fareth the worse for your ungodly
conversation; that some have already stumbled at your wicked ways, and that
more are in danger of being destroyed thereby: your religion, and an ale-house,
and covetousness, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and vain
company-keeping, etc., will stand together. The proverb is true of you
which is said of a harlot, to wit, "That she is a shame to all women:"
so are you a shame to all professors.
 TALKATIVE: Since you are so ready to take up reports, and to judge so
rashly as you do, I cannot but conclude you are some peevish or melancholy
man, not fit to be discoursed with; and so adieu.
Then up came Christian, and said to his brother, I told you how it would
happen; your words and his lusts could not agree. He had rather leave your
company than reform his life. But he is gone, as 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 he continuing (as I suppose he will do) as he is, would have been
but a blot in our company: besides, the apostle says, "From such withdraw
FAITHFUL: But I am glad 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 perisheth.
CHRISTIAN: You did well to talk so plainly to him as you did. There is but
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 who are debauched and vain in
their conversation, that (being so much admitted into the fellowship of
the godly) 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 plumes!
How bravely doth he speak! How he presumes
To drive 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 he that heart-work know."
Thus they went on, talking of what they had seen by the way, and so made
that way easy, which would otherwise no doubt have been tedious to them,
for now they went through a wilderness.