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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 neighbour 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 are 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?
Chr. And what did you say to him?
Faith. 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 it 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 fire, 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 indeed, is 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
I Luke, xvi. 13.
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 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,
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
1 Mark, viii. 38.
bravadoes, he promoteth the fool, and none else. “The “ wise shall inherit glory,” said SOLOMON; “ but “ shame shall be the promotion 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 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 is TALKATIVE, walking at a distance besides them; for in this place there was room enough
1 Prov. iii. 35
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 :
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 ; 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 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 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 ig. norant.
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 hy human industry, or only by the talk of them.