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THEY OVERTAKE TALKATIVE. HIS PLAUSIBLE
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
CONVERSATION WITH FAITHFUL.
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 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 that so few understand the need of faith, and the necessity of a work of grace in their soul, in orde: to eternal life; but ignorantly live in the works of the law, by the which a man can by no means obtain Me 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 of them.
FAITHFUL BEGUILED BY HIM.
Talk. All that 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.
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 things circumstantial; provided that all be done to our profit.
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 excellent pilgrim.
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.
Faith. Do you know him then ?
Chr. Know him! yes, better than he knows himself?
Faith. Pray wnat 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 town is large.
Faith. Wlose son is he? and whereabouts doth he dwell?
Chr. He is the son of one SAY-WELL, he dwelt in PRATING-Iow; and is known, of all that are acquainted
CHRISTIAN KNOWS AND EXPOSES HIM.
a sorry fellow,
with him, by the name of TALKATIVE in PRATINGROW; and notwithstanding his fine. tongue he is but
. Faith. Well, he seems to be a very pretty man.
Chr. 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 the painter, whose pictures show best at a distance, but very near, more unpleasing,
Faith. I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled,
Chr, 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 ; and all he hath lieth in his tongue, and his religion is to make a noise therewith.
Faith. Say you so ? then I am in this man greatly deceived.
Chr. 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
TALKATIVE'S TRUE CHARACTER.
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 savour. 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 to 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 his hands. This TALKATIVE, if it be possible, will go beyond them, befraud, beguile, and overreach them. Besides, he brings up his sons to follow his steps; and if he finds in any of them a ' foolish timorous
ness,' (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 more,
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
For I cannot think that you speak those
i Rom. ii. 23, 24.