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THE FOURTH STAGE.
THEN he began to go forward; but Discretion, Piety, Charity, and Prudence would accompany him down to the foot of the hill. So they went on together, reiterating their former discourses, till they came to go down the hill.
Then said Christian , “As it was difficult coming up, so, so far as I can see, it is dangerous going down.” “Yes,” said Prudence , “so it is; for it is a hard matter for a man to go down into the Valley of Humiliation, as thou art now, and to catch no slip by the way; therefore,” said they, “we are come out to accompany thee down the hill.” So he began to go down, but very warily; yet he caught a slip or two.
Then I saw in my dream that these good companions, when Christian was gone to the bottom of the hill, gave him a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and a cluster of raisins; and then he went on his way. “While Christian is among his godly friends, Their golden mouths make him sufficient mends For all his grief’s; and when they let him go, He’s clad with northern steel from top to toe.” But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it; for he had gone but a little way, before he espied a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him: his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground.
But he considered again that he had no armor for his back; and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts. Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground: “for,” thought he, “had I no more in mine eye than the saving of my life, it would be the best way to stand.”
So he went on, and Apollyon met him. Now the monster was hideous to behold: he was clothed with scales, like a fish, and they are his pride; he had wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke, and his mouth was as the mouth of a lion. When he was come up to Christian, he beheld him with a disdainful countenance, and thus began to question with him. Apollyon . Whence come you, and whither are you bound? Christian. I am come from the city of Destruction, which is the place of all evil, and am going to the city of Zion. Apollyon . By this I perceive thou art one of my subjects; for all that country is mine, and I am the prince and God of it. How is it, then, that thou hast run away from thy king? Were it not that I hope thou mayest do me more service, I would strike thee now, at one blow, to the ground. Christian. I was born indeed, in your dominions, but your service was hard, and your wages such as a man could not live on; for the wages of sin is death; Romans 6:23 therefore, when I was come to years, I did, as other considerate persons do, look out, if, perhaps, I might mend myself. Apollyon . There is no prince that will thus lightly lose his subjects, neither will I as yet lose thee; but since thou complainest of thy service and wages, be content to go back: what our country will afford, I do here promise to give thee. Christian. But I have let myself to another, even to the King of princes; and how can I, with fairness, go back with thee? Apollyon . Thou hast done in this, according to the proverb, “changed a bad for a worse;” but it is ordinary for those that have professed themselves his servants, after a while to give him the slip, and return again to me. Do thou so too, and all shall be well. Christian. I have given him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to him; how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor? Apollyon . Thou didst the same to me, and yet I am willing to pass by all, if now thou wilt yet turn again and go back. Christian. What I promised thee was in my nonage; and, besides, I count the Prince under whose banner now I stand is able to absolve me, yea, and to pardon also what I did as to my compliance with thee; and besides, O thou destroying Apollyon, to speak truth, I like his service, his wages, his servants, his government, his company, and country, better than thine; and, therefore, leave off to persuade me further; I am his servant, and I will follow him. Apollyon . Consider, again, when thou art in cool blood, what thou art like to meet with in the way that thou goest. Thou knowest that, for the most part, his servants come to an ill end, because they are transgressors against me and my ways. How many of them have been put to shameful deaths! And, besides, thou countest his service better than mine, whereas he never yet came from the place where he is to deliver any that served him out of their hands; but as for me, how many times, as all the world very well knows, have I delivered, either by power, or fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though taken by them; and so I will deliver thee. Christian. His forbearing at present to deliver them is on purpose to try their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end; and as for the ill end thou sayest they come to, that is most glorious in their account; for, for present deliverance, they do not much expect it, for they stay for their glory, and then they shall have it when their Prince comes in his and the glory of the angels. Apollyon . Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him; and how dost thou think to receive wages of him? Christian. Wherein, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him? Apollyon . Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of Despond; thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldst have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice thing; thou wast, also, almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vain-glory in all that thou sayest or doest. Christian. All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honor is merciful, and ready to forgive; but, besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country, for there I sucked them in; and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.
Then Apollyon broke out into a grievous rage, saying, “I am an enemy to this Prince; I hate his person, his laws, and people: I am come out on purpose to withstand thee.” Christian. Apollyon, beware what you do; for I am in the King’s highway, the way of holiness; therefore take heed to yourself.
Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said, “I am void of fear in this matter: prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further: here will I spill thy soul.”
Then did Christian draw, for he saw it was time to bestir him; and Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot. This made Christian give a little back; Apollyon, therefore, followed his work amain, and Christian again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker.
Then Apollyon, espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to Christian, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall; and with that Christian’s sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, “I am sure of thee now.” And with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life. But, as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall I shall arise,” Micah 7:8; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound. Christian perceiving that, made at him again, saying, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37. And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season saw him no more. James 4:7.
In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all the time of the fight; he spoke like a dragon; and, on the other side, what sighs and groans burst from Christian’s heart. I never saw him all the while give so much as one pleasant look, till he perceived he had wounded Apollyon with his two edged sword; then, indeed, he did smile, and look upward; but it was the dreadfullest sight that ever I saw.
So when the battle was over, Christian said, I will here give thanks to him that delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, to him that did help me against Apollyon. And so he did, saying, “Great Beelzebub, the captain of this fiend, Designed my ruin; therefore to this end He sent him harnessed out; and he with rage That hellish was, did fiercely me engage.
But blessed Michael helped me, and I, By dint of sword, did quickly make him fly; Therefore to Him let me give lasting praise, And thank and bless his holy name always.” Then there came to him a hand, with some of the leaves of the tree of life, the which Christian took, and applied to the wounds that he had received in the battle, and was healed immediately. He also sat down in that place to eat bread, and to drink of the bottle that was given him a little before; so, being refreshed, he addressed himself to his journey, with his sword drawn in his hand; for he said, “I know not but some other enemy may be at hand.” But he met with no other affront from Apollyon quite through this valley.
Now, at the end of this valley was another, called the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and Christian must needs go through it, because the way to the Celestial City lay through the midst of it. Now, this valley is a very solitary place. The prophet Jeremiah thus describes it: “A wilderness, a land of deserts and of pits, a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, a land that no man” but a Christian “passed through, and where no man dwelt.” Jeremiah 2:6.
I saw then in my dream, that when Christian was got to the borders of the shadow of Death, there met him two men, children of them that brought up an evil report of the good land, Numbers 13:32, making haste to go back; to whom Christian spake as follows. Christian. Whither are you going?
The Men said, “Back, back; and we would have you to do so too, if either life or peace is prized by you.” “Why, what’s the matter?” said Christian. “Matter!” said they; “we were going that way as you are going, and went as, far as we durst: and indeed we were almost past coming back; for had we gone a little further, we had not been here to bring the news to thee.” “But what have you met with?” said Christian. Men. Why, we were almost in the valley of the Shadow of Death; but that, by good hap, we looked before us, and saw the danger before we came to it. Psalm 44:19; <19A719> Psalm 107:19. “But what have you seen?” said Christian.
Men. Seen! Why, the valley itself, which is as dark as pitch; we also saw there the hobgoblins, satyrs, and dragons of the pit; we heard also in that Valley a continual howling and yelling, as of a people under unutterable misery, who there sat bound in affliction and irons; and over that Valley hangs the discouraging clouds of confusion. Death also doth always spread his wings over it. In a word, it is every whit dreadful, being utterly without order. Job 3:5; Job 10:22. “Then,” said Christian , “I perceive not yet, by what you have said, but that this is my way to the desired haven.” Psalm 44:18,19; Jeremiah 2:6. Men. Be it thy way; we will not choose it for ours.
I saw then in my dream, so far as this valley reached, there was on the right hand a very deep ditch; that ditch is it into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and have both there miserably perished. Again, behold, on the left hand, there was a very dangerous quag, into which, if even a good man falls, he can find no bottom for his foot to stand on. Into that quag King David once did fall, and had no doubt therein been smothered, had not He that is able plucked him out. Psalm 69:14.
The pathway was here also exceeding narrow, and therefore good Christian was the more put to it; for when he sought, in the dark, to shun the ditch on the one hand, he was ready to tip over into the mire on the other; also when he sought to escape the mire, without great carefulness he would be ready to fall into the ditch. Thus he went on, and I heard him here sigh bitterly; for, besides the dangers mentioned above, the pathway was here so dark, and ofttimes, when he lift up his foot to set forward, he knew not where or upon what he should set it next.
About the midst of this valley, I perceived the mouth of hell to be, and it stood also hard by the wayside. “Now,” thought Christian, “what shall I do?” And ever and anon the flame and smoke would come out in such abundance, with sparks and hideous noises, (things that cared not for Christian’s sword, as did Apollyon before,) that he was forced to put up his sword, and betake himself to another weapon called All-prayer, Ephesians 6:18; So he cried, in my hearing, “O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.” <19B604> Psalm 116:4.
Thus he went on a great while, yet still the flames would be reaching towards him. Also he heard doleful voices, and rushings to and fro, so that sometimes he thought he should be torn in pieces, or trodden down like mire in the streets. This frightful sight was seen, and these dreadful noises were heard by him for several miles together; and, coming to a place where he thought he heard a company of fiends coming forward to meet him, he stopped, and began to muse what he had best to do. Sometimes he had half a thought to go back; then again he thought he might be half way through the valley; he remembered also how he had already vanquished many a danger, and that the danger of going back might be much more than for to go forward; so he resolved to go on. Yet the fiends seemed to come nearer and nearer; but when they were come even almost at him, he cried out with a most vehement voice, “I will walk in the strength of the Lord God.” So they gave back, and came no further.
Just when he was come over against the mouth of the burning pit, one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stept up softly to him, and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to him, which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind. This put Christian more to it than anything that he met with before, even to think that he should now blaspheme him that he loved so much before; yet, if he could have helped it, he would not have done it; but he had not the discretion either to stop his ears, or to know from whence these blasphemies came.
When Christian had traveled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, “Though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” Psalm 23:4.
Then he was glad, and that for these reasons: First, Because he gathered from thence, that some who feared God were in this valley as well as himself. Secondly, For that he perceived God was with them, though in that dark and dismal state. “And why not,” thought he, “with me? though, by reason of the impediment that attends this place, I cannot perceive it.” Job 9:11. Thirdly, For that he hoped, could he overtake them, to have company by and by. So he went on, and called to him that was before; but he knew not what to answer; for that he also thought himself to be alone. And by and by the day broke; then said Christian, “He hath turned the shadow of death into the morning.” Amos 5:8.
Now morning being come, he looked back, not out of desire to return, but to see, by the light of the day, what hazards he had gone through in the dark. So he saw more perfectly the ditch that was on the one hand, and the quag that was on the other; also how narrow the way was which led between them both; also now he saw the hobgoblins, and satyrs, and dragons of the pit, but all afar off, for after break of day, they came not nigh; yet they were discovered to him, according to that which is written, “He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.” Job 12:22.
Now was Christian much affected with his deliverance from all the dangers of his solitary way; which dangers, though he feared them more before, yet he saw them more clearly now, because the light of the day made them conspicuous to him. And about this time the sun was rising, and this was another mercy to Christian; for you must note, that though the first part of the Valley of the Shadow of Death was dangerous, yet this second part, which he was yet to go, was, if possible, far more dangerous; for from the place where he now stood, even to the end of the valley, the way was all along set so full of snares, traps, gins, and nets here, and so full of pits, pitfalls, deep holes, and shelvings down there, that, had it now been dark, as it was when he came the first part of the way, had he had a thousand souls, they had in reason been cast away; but, as I said just now, the sun was rising. Then said he, “His candle shineth upon my head, and by his light I walk through darkness.” Job 29:3.
In this light, therefore, he came to the end of the valley. Now I saw in my dream, that at the end of this valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims that had gone this way formerly; and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a cave, where two giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in old time; by whose power and tyranny the men whose bones, blood, and ashes, etc., lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered; but I have learnt since, that Pagan has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now do little more than sit in his cave’s mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.
So I saw that Christian went on his way; yet, at the sight of the Old Man that sat in the mouth of the cave, he could not tell what to think, especially because he spake to him, though he could not go after him, saying, “You will never mend till more of you be burned.” But he held his peace, and set a good face on it, and so went by and catched no hurt. Then sang Christian, “O world of wonders — I can say no less — That I should be preserved in that distress That I have met with here! O blessed be That hand that from it hath delivered me!
Dangers in darkness, devils, hell, and sin, Did compass me, while I this vale was in; Yea, snares, and pits, and traps, and nets, did lie My path about, that worthless, silly I Might have been catched, entangled, and cast down; But since I live, let Jesus wear the crown.” Christian SEES FAITHFUL.
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; Soho; 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.”
Then did Christian vain gloriously 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 help him.
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. Faith. I had thought, 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? Faith. Till I could stay no longer; for there was great talk presently after you were gone out that our city would, in short time, with fire from heaven, be burned down to the ground. Christian. What, did your neighbors talk so? Faith. Yes, it was for a while in everybody’s mouth. Christian. What, and did no more of them but you come out to escape the danger? Faith. 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? Faith. Yes, Christian, I heard that he followed you till he came at 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? Faith. 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? Faith. Oh, 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. Jeremiah 29:18,19. Christian. Had you no talk with him before you came out? Faith. 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 is happened to him according to the true proverb, “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22. Faith. These are my fears of him too; but who can hinder that which will be? “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.” Faith. I escaped the Slough that I perceived you fell into, and got up to the gate without that danger; only I met with one whose name was Wanton, who had like to have done me a 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. Genesis 39:11-13. But what did she do to you? Faith. 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. Faith. You know what I mean; all carnal and fleshly content. Christian. Thank God you have escaped her: the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into her pit. Proverbs 22:14. Faith. Nay, I know not whether I did wholly escape her or no. Christian. Why, I trow, you did not consent to her desires? Faith. No, not to defile myself; for I remembered an old writing that I had seen, which said, “Her steps take hold on hell.” Proverbs 5:5. So I shut mine eyes, because I would not be bewitched with her looks. Job 31:1.
Then she railed on me, and I went my way. Christian. Did you meet with no other assault as you came? Faith. 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 am 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 him his name, and where he dwelt. He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit. Ephesians 4:22. I asked him then what was his work, and what the wages 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 in the world; and that his servants were those of his own begetting. Then I asked if he had any children. He said that he had but three daughters: The Lust of the Flesh, The Lust of the Eyes, and The Pride of Life,1 John 2:16; and that I should marry them all 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? Faith. 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? Faith. Then it came burning hot into my mind, 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.” Romans 7:24. So I went on my way up the hill.
Now when I had got about half way up, I looked behind, and saw one coming after me, swift as the wind; so he overtook me just about the place where the settle stands. “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.” Faith. But, good brother, hear me out. So soon as the man overtook me, he 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? Faith. 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 show mercy to those that transgress his law. Faith. 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? Faith. 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? Faith. 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 there to go was the way to disobey 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? Faith. I told him, that although all these that he named might claim 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, as 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 our affections.” Christian. Met you with nothing else in that valley? Faith. Yes, I met with Shame; but of all the men that I met with in my pilgrimage, he, I think, bears the wrong name. The others 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? Faith. 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 accustom 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. 1 Corinthians 1:26; Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:7-9; John 7:48. 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? Faith. Say! I could not tell what to say at the 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 abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15. 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 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? Mark 8:38. 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, 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 sometime 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.” Proverbs 3:35. Faith. I think we must cry to Him for help against Shame, who would have us to be valiant for the truth upon the earth. Christian. You say true; but did you meet nobody else in that valley? Faith. 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 broke, 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 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. 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 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 for me. Faith. That is indeed a thing to be lamented; for what things 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 is true; but to be profited by such things in our talk should be that which we 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, etc. Besides, by this a man may learn, by talk, 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 why 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. 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. 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 a 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 that tongue of his, twenty of them that know him not.” Faith. Do you know him, then? Christian. Know him! Yes, better than he knows himself. Faith. 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. Faith. Whose son is he? And whereabout does he dwell? Christian. He is the son of one Say well; he dwelt in Prating Row; and 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. Christian. That is, to them who have not 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. But I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled. Christian. God forbid that I should jest (although 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. Faith. 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. Matthew 23:3; 1 Corinthians 4:20. 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, Romans 2:23,24; 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 dealing 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 findeth 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 prevent 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 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 he 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. Faith. 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.” See James 1:22-27. 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. Matthew 13:23. 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, Matthew 13:30. and you know men at harvest regard nothing but fruit.
Not that anything 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 describeth the beast that is clean. Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14. He is such a 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 a dog or bear, and therefore he is unclean. Christian. You have spoken, for aught 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, <461301> Corinthians 13:1, 3; that is, as he expounds them in another place, things without life, giving sound. 1 Corinthians 14:7. 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. Faith. 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. Faith. 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 conversation.
Then Faithful stepped 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, 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. 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. Genesis 39:15. 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. 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 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. 1 Corinthians 13:2. When Christ said, “Do you know all these things?” and the disciples had answered, Yes; he addeth, “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 masters 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 is, therefore, two sorts of knowledge — Knowledge that resteth 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.” <19B934> Psalm 119:34. Talk. You lie at the catch again: this is not for edification. Faith. Well, if you please, propound another sign how this work of grace discovereth itself where it is. Talk. Not I, for I see we shall not agree. Faith. Well, if you will not, will you give me leave to do it? Talk. You may use your liberty. Faith. 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 of 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. Psalm 38:18; Jeremiah 31:19; John 16:8; Romans 7:24; Mark 16:16; Galatians 2:16; Revelation 1:6. He findeth, moreover, revealed in him the Savior 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 Savior, 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. John 16:9; Galatians 2:15,16; Acts 4:12; Matthew 5:6; Revelation 21:6.
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. Job 42:5,6; Psalm 50:23; Ezekiel 20:43; Ezekiel 36:25; Matthew 5:8; John 14:15; Romans 10:10 Philippians 1:27; Philippians 3:17-20. 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 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 this description of it? and doth your life and conversation testify the same? or standeth your religion in word or in 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 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?” 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 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 alehouse, 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 whore, to wit, “That she is a shame to all women;” so are you a shame to all professors. Talk. Since you are 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, he would have been but a blot in our 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. 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-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 godly) do puzzle the world, blemish Christianity, and grieve the sincere.
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 knows.” 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.