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FAITHFUL SHOWS THE SIGNS OF A WORK OF GRACE;
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, &c, 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 his work there is required a very sound judgement 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 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 aught to object, object;
Pl. xxxviii. 18. Jer. xxxi. 19. Mat. v. 6. A&ts, iv. 12. Gal. i. 15, 16. Rev. xxi. 6. 2 Pf. 1. 23. Ezek. IX. 43. Matt. v. 8. John, xiv. 15. Rom, x. 9, 10. Phil. ii, 17-20.
AND APPLIES THEM TO TALKATIVE'S CONSCIENCE.
if not, then give me leave to propound to you a second question.
Talk. Nay, my part is not now to object but to hear : 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 commendeth himself is approved, “ but whom the LORD commendeth.” Besides, to say I am thus and thus, when my coversation and all my neighbours 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 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 catechizer; and though you should so do, yet I may refuse to make you my judge. But I me why you ask me such questions?
FAITH. 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
TALKATIVE DEPARTS OFFENDED.
among christians; and that religion fareth the worse for your 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 covetousness, 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 are a shame to all professors.
TALK. Since you are ready to take up reports, and to judge so rashiy as you do, I cannot but conclude you are some peevish or melancholic man, not fit to be discoursed with :-and so, adieu.
Then came up 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, he would have been but a blot in your company : besides, the apostle says, “ From such withdraw thyself.”
Faith. 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.
Chr. 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 words, and are debauched
EVANGELIST OVERTAKES THEM.
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 be either 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 !
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.
Now, when they were got almost quite out of this wilderness, FAITHFUL chanced to cast his eye back, and spied one coming after them, and he knew him. Oh! said FAITHFUL to his brother, Who comes yonder? Then CHRISTIAN looked, and said, It is my good friend EVANGELIST. Aye, and my good friend too, said FAITHFUL, for it was he that set me the way
Now as EVANGELIST came up unto them, he thus saluted them :
Peace be with you, dearly beloved; and peace be to your helpers.
Chr. Welcome, welcome, my good EVANGELIST; the sight of thy countmance brings to my remembrance
to the gate.
HIS EARNEST EXHORTATION.
thy antient kindness and unwearied labours for my eternal good.
And a thousand times welcome, said good FAITHFUL, thy company, O sweet EVANGELIST, how desirable is it to us poor pilgrims!
Then said EVANGELIST, How hath it fared with you, my friends, since the time of our last parting? what have you met with, and how have yourselves?
Then CHRISTIAN and FAITHFUL told him of all things that had happened to them in the way; and how, and with what difficulty, they had arrived to that place.
Right glad am I, said EVANGELIST, not that you have met with trials, but that you have been victors, and for that you have, notwithstanding many weaknesses, continued in the way to this very day. I say, right glad am I of this thing, and that for my own sake and your's. I have sowed and you have reaped ; and the day is coming, when “ both he that “ sowed and they that reaped shall rejoice together;" that is, if you hold out; “ for in due time
reap, “ if you faint not'.” The crown is before you, and it is an incorruptible one; “ so run, that you may obtain - it.” Some there be that set out for this crown, and after they have gone far for it another comes in and takes it from thein; “ hold fast therefore that you have, “let no man take your crown? :"you are not yet out of the gun-shot of the devil: “ you have not resisted unto “ blood, striving against sin:” 'let the kingdom be
? Juhn, iv. 36. Gal. vi. 9. i Con ix. 24–27. Rev. iii. 11.