Discourse with Faithful - Talkative and Faithful - Talkative's character

Christian Meets Faithful

Now as CHRISTIAN went on his way, he came to a little ascent, which had been heaped up on purpose that pilgrims might see before them; therefore, CHRISTIAN went up there, and looking forward, he saw FAITHFUL ahead of him on his journey. Then cried CHRISTIAN aloud, "Ho, ho! So-ho (wait, and I will be your companion)." At that, FAITHFUL looked behind him; to whom CHRISTIAN cried again, "Wait, wait! till I come up to you!"

Faithful. But FAITHFUL answered, "No, I am going for my life; and the Avenger of Blood is behind me!" At this, CHRISTIAN was somewhat moved; and exerting all his strength, he quickly caught up with FAITHFUL, and also overtook him, so the last was first. Then CHRISTIAN vain-gloriously smiled, because he had gotten ahead of his brother; but not taking good notice of 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 conversation of all the things that had happened to them on their pilgrimage; and so CHRISTIAN began:

Chr. My honoured 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 right from our town; but you started before me, so I was forced to come this much of the way alone.

Chr. 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 soon after you were gone out there was great talk that our city would, in a short time, be burned down to the ground with fire from heaven.

Chr. What! did your neighbours talk this way?

Faith. Yes; it was in everybody's mouth for a while.

Chr. What! and did no more of them come out with you to escape the danger?

Faith. Though there was, as I said, a great talk about it, yet I do not think they firmly believed it. For in the heat of the discussion, I heard some of them speak of you deridingly and of your desperate journey--for that is what they called this your pilgrimage; but I did believe, and do so still, that the end of our city will be with fire and brimstone from above, and therefore have made my escape.

Chr. Did you hear any talk of neighbour PLIABLE?

Faith. 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 admit to having done so; but I am sure he was soundly smeared with that kind of dirt.

Chr. And what did the neighbours say to him?

Faith. He has, since his going back, been held in great derision, and among all sorts of people: some mock and despise him, and hardly any will give him work. He is now seven times worse than if he had never gone out of the city.

Chr. 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 has forsaken the way.

"And I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence; and I will deliver them to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth—to be a curse, an astonishment, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, because they have not heeded My words, says the Lord, which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; neither would you heed, says the Lord." Jeremiah 29:18, 19

Chr. Did you 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 did not speak to him.

Chr. 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 happening 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".

"But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.'" 2 Peter 2:22

Faith. They are my fears of him too: but who can hold back that which will be?

Chr. "Well, neighbour 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 is a wonder."

Faith. I escaped the slough that I saw you fall into, and got up to the gate without that danger: only I met with one whose name was WANTON, that almost did me a mischief.

Chr. It was well you escaped her net; Joseph was assaulted by her, and he escaped her as you did; but it nearly cost him his life.

"But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside." Genesis 39:11-13

But what did she do to you?

Faith. You cannot believe (unless you know her) what a flattering tongue she has; she worked hard on me to turn aside with her, promising me all kinds of things.

Chr. No, she did not promise you the things that go with a good conscience.

Faith. You know what I mean, all kinds of carnal and fleshly things.

Chr. Thank God you have escaped her: the abhorred of the Lord shall fall into her ditch.

"The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there." Proverbs 22:14

Faith. No, I know not whether I did wholly escape her, or not.

Chr. Why, I do not think you consented to her desires?

Faith. No, not to defile myself; for I remembered an old writing that I had seen, which says, "Her steps take hold on hell".

"Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold of hell." Proverbs 5:5

So I shut my eyes, because I did not wish to be bewitched with her looks;

"I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" Job 31:1

then she called me names, and I went my way.

Chr. Did you meet with any other assault as you came?

Faith. When I came to the foot of the hill called "Difficulty," I met with a very old man, who asked me what I was, and where I was going? I told him that I was a pilgrim going to the Celestial City: then the old man said, You look like an honest fellow; will you be content to live with me for the wages that I shall give you? Then I asked him his name, and where he lived? He said his name was the first Adam; and that he lived in the town of Deceit.

"that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts," Ephesians 4:22

Then I asked him, 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 in 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;

"For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world." 1 John 2:16

and that I should marry them all, if I would. Then I asked how long he would have me live with him? And he told me, as long as he lived himself.

Chr. Well, and what agreement did the old man and you reach at last?

Faith. Why, at first I found myself somewhat inclined to go with the man, for I thought he spoke very fair; but, looking in his forehead as I talked with him, I saw written there, "Put off the old man with his deeds."

Chr. And what then?

Faith. Then it came burning hot into my mind, that whatever he said, and however he flattered, that if he got me home to his house he would sell me for a slave. So I told him to stop talking; for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he abused 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, 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!"

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24

So I went on my way up the hill.

Now when I had got about halfway 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 bench stands.

Chr. "Just there," said CHRISTIAN, "I sat down to rest; but, being overcome with sleep, I lost this roll. It fell out of my bosom there."

Faith. But, good brother, hear me out: as soon as the man overtook me, with but a word and a blow he knocked me down, and laid me out for dead. But when I had come to myself a little again, I asked him why he did this to me? He said, because of my secret inclination 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 feet as dead as before. So when I came to myself again, I cried to for him mercy; but he said, "I do not know how to show mercy," and with that knocked me down again. He would doubtless have made an end of me, but that one came by, and told him to stop.

Chr. Who was that that told him to stop?

Faith. I did not know him at first; but as he went by, I saw the holes in his hands and in his side; then I concluded that He was our Lord. So I went up the hill.

Chr. That man that overtook you was Moses; he spares none, neither does he know 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. It was 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.

Chr. But did you not see the house that stood there on the top of that hill, on the side of which Moses met you?

Faith. Yes, and the lions, too, before I came to it; but as 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.

Chr. He told me that he indeed saw you go by. But I wish you had called at the house; for they would have showed you so many rarities, which you would scarce have forgotton to the day of your death. But pray tell me, did you meet anybody in the Valley of Humility?

Faith. Yes, I met with one DISCONTENT, who would willingly have persuaded me to go back with him; his reason was, for that the valley was altogether without honour. He told me, as well, that to go there was the way to disobey all my friends, such 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.

Chr. Well, and how did you answer him?

Faith. I told him that although all these that he named might claim to be relations of mine, 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 also told him, that as to this valley, he had quite misrepresented the thing; for before honour is humility, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Therefore, I said, I had rather go through this valley to the honour that was so accounted by the wisest, than choose that which he esteemed most worthy of our affections.

Chr. Did you meet with anything 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 may have said No, after a little argumentation, and somewhat else; but this boldfaced SHAME would never have done.

Chr. 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 blustering liberty that the brave spirits of the times accustom themselves to doing, would make him the ridicule of the times. He also objected, that but few of the mighty, rich, or wise, were ever of my opinion;

"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." 1 Corinthians 1:26

nor any of them neither, before they were persuaded to be fools,

"Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise." 1 Corinthians 3:18

"But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" Philippians 3:7,8

and to have a voluntary fondness to venture the loss of all for nobody else knows what. He also objected to 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 lack of understanding in all natural science.

"Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?" John 7:48

Yes, he held me to it at that pace as he objected about many more things than I have related so far: insisting 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 had taken from any. He also said that religion made a man grow strange to the great, because of a few vices (which he called by finer names); while making him own and respect the lowly, because of the same religious fraternity. And is this not a shame he asked?

Chr. And what did you say to him?

Faith. Say! At first I could not tell what to say. Yes, he put me to it so much, that my blood came up in my face; even this SHAME brought it up, and had almost won me over. But at last I began to consider, that "that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God".

"And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15

And I thought again, this SHAME tells me what men are; but tells me nothing of 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 blustering spirits of the world; but according to the wisdom and law of the highest. Therefore, I thought 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 loves Christ is richer than the greatest man in the world that hates him-- SHAME, depart! you are an enemy to my salvation!--shall I entertain you against my sovereign Lord? How then shall I look him in the face at his coming? Should I be ashamed of his ways and servants now, how can I expect the blessing?

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38

But indeed this SHAME was a bold villain--I could scarce shake him out of my company! Yes, he would be haunting me, and continually whispering in my ear with some one or other of the infirmities that attend religion; but at last I told him it was in vain to continue in this business, for those things that he disdained, in those did I see most glory: and so at last I got past this persistent and troublesome 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.
Oh let the pilgrims, let the pilgrims then
Be vigilant, and quit themselves like men!"

Chr. I am glad, my brother, that you withstood this villain so bravely; for as you say, of all men, 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 so audacious, he would never attempt to do as he does. But let us still resist him; for notwithstanding all his bravadoes, he promotes the fool, and none else. "The wise shall inherit glory," said Solomon; "but shame shall be the promotion of fools".

"The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools." Proverbs 3:35

Faith. I think that we must cry to him that would have us to be valiant for the truth upon the earth, for help against SHAME.

Chr. You say true. But did you meet anybody else in that valley?

Faith. No, I did not: for I had sunshine all the rest of the way through there, and also through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Chr. It was well for you; I am sure it fared quite differently with me. For a long season I had, almost as soon as I entered into that valley, a dreadful combat with that foul fiend, APOLLYON. Indeed, I truly thought he was going to kill 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; now, 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 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 remained with far more ease and calm.


Moreover I saw in my dream, that as they went on, FAITHFUL, as he happened 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 for them all to walk. He was a tall man, and somewhat more comely at a distance than at hand. To this man FAITHFUL addressed himself in this manner:

Faith. Friend, where are you going? Are you going to the heavenly country?

Talkative. I am going to that same place.

Faith. That is good; then I hope we may have your good company?

Talk. With a very good will I will be your companion.

Faith. Come on then, and let us go together; and let us spend our time in discussing things that are profitable.

Talk. To talk of things that are good with you or with any other, to me is very acceptable; and I am glad that I have met with those that are inclined to so good a work. For, to speak the truth, there are but few that care to spend their time (as they are in their travels) this way, but much rather choose to be speaking of things to no profit; and this has been a problem to 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 wonderfully 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 has any delight in things that are wonderful: for instance, if a man delights to talk of the history or the mystery of things; or if a man loves 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 it should be our design to be profited by such things in our talk.

Talk. That is what I said: for to talk of such things is most profitable; for by so doing, a man may get knowledge of many things--such as, of the vanity of earthly things, and the benefit of things above (so it is 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, and so forth. Besides, by this a man may learn what it is to repent, to believe, to pray, to suffer, and 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 I am glad to hear these things from you.

Talk. Alas! the lack 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 gain eternal life; but they ignorantly live in the works of the law, by which a man can by no means obtain the Kingdom of Heaven.

Faith. But, if you will, heavenly knowledge of these things is the gift of God; no man attains them by human industry, or merely by talking 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.

Faith. "Well then," said FAITHFUL, "what is that one thing that we shall discuss at this time?"

Talk. Whatever you like: 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.

Faith. Now FAITHFUL began to wonder; and stepping up to CHRISTIAN (for he walked by himself all this while) he said to him (but softly), "What a brave companion have we got! Surely this man will make a very excellent pilgrim."

Chr. 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 do not know."

Faith. Do you know him, then?

Chr. Know him! yes, better than he knows himself.

Faith. Pray, what is he?

Chr. His name is TALKATIVE; he lives in our town: it's a wonder that you should be a stranger to him, only I consider that our town is large.

Faith. Whose son is he? And where does he live?

Chr. He is the son of one SAY-WELL; he lived in Prating-row, and he 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 handsome man.

Chr. That is to them that have not a thorough acquaintance with him: for he is best when he is away; near home he is ugly enough. Your saying that he is a handsome man, brings to my mind what I have observed in the work of the painter, whose pictures look good at a distance; but very near, much less pleasing.

Faith. But I am ready to think you are joking, because you smiled.

Chr. God forbid that I should joke--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 talks now with you, so will he talk when he is on the ale bench; and the more drink he has in his crown, the more of these things he has in his mouth; religion has, no place in his heart, or house, or conversation; all he has lies in his tongue, and his religion is to make a noise with it.

Faith. Do you say so! Then I am greatly deceived in this man.

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".

"Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do." Matthew 23:3

"For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." 1 Corinthians 4:20

He talks of prayer, of repentance, of faith, and of the new birth; but he only knows how to talk of them. I have been in his family, and have observed him both at home and abroad; and I know that 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; yes, 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;

"You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For 'the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,' as it is written." Romans 2:23,24

it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he lives, through him. The common people that know him say: "A saint abroad, and a devil at home;" his poor family finds it so; he is such a rude man, such an abuser, 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 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 commend them before others. For my part, I am of the opinion, that he has by his wicked life caused many to stumble and fall; and will be, if God does not prevent it, 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 you make your reports of men like a Christian. For I cannot think that you speak these things out of bad will; but because they are as you say.

Chr. Had I known him no more than you, I might perhaps have thought of him as you did at first; yes, had he received this report from only those that are enemies to religion, I would have thought it to be slander (a lot of that often falls from bad men's mouths upon good men's names and professions): but I can prove him guilty of all these things, yes, and a great many more as bad, from my own knowledge. 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 different things; and hereafter I shall better observe this distinction.

Chr. 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 carcase, so, "saying," if it be alone, is but a dead carcase 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 trouble, and to keep himself unspotted from the world".

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:22-27

TALKATIVE is not aware of these things; he thinks that hearing and saying will make a good Christian, and so he deceives 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.

"Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Matthew 13:3-9

"Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." Matthew 13:18-30

"Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, 'Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.' He answered and said to them: He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Matthew 13:36-43

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:47-50

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me." Matthew 25:31-43

It will not be said then, "Did you believe?" but, "Were you doers, or talkers only?" and they shall be judged accordingly. The end of the world is compared to our harvest; 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 on that day.

Faith. This brings to my mind that of the beast which Moses describes that is clean.

"Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: ‘Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. ‘Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; ‘the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; ‘the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; ‘and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. ‘Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.
‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat. ‘But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. ‘They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. ‘Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you.
‘And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, ‘the kite, and the falcon after its kind; ‘every raven after its kind, ‘the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; ‘the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; ‘the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; ‘the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.
‘All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. ‘Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. ‘These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. ‘But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.
‘By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening; ‘whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: ‘The carcass of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches it shall be unclean. ‘And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening. ‘Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you.
‘These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; ‘the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. ‘These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening. ‘Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. ‘Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: ‘in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean. ‘And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. ‘Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean. ‘And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean. ‘But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you.
‘And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening. ‘He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.
‘And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. ‘Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth—these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. ‘You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. ‘For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. ‘For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
‘This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, ‘to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.’" Leveticus 11:1-47

He is one of those that parts the hoof and chews the cud; not that parts the hoof only, or that chews the cud only. The hare chews the cud; but yet is unclean, because he does not part the hoof. And this truly resembles TALKATIVE: he chews the cud, he seeks knowledge, he chews upon the word; but he does not divide the hoof, he does not part with the way of sinners--but, as the hare, he retains the foot of a dog, or bear, and therefore is unclean.

Chr. For all I know you have spoken the true Gospel sense of those texts; and I will add another thing. Paul calls some men, yes--and those great talkers too--" sounding brass and tinkling cymbals;" that is, as he expounds them in another place, "things without life, giving sound".

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

"Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?" 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 it were the tongue or voice of an angel.

Faith. Well, at first I was not so fond of his company; but I am sick of it now. What shall we do to be rid of him?

Chr. Take my advice, and do as I tell you; and you shall find that he will soon be sick of your company too--unless God touches his heart and turns it.

Faith. What would you have me to do?

Chr. Why, go to him, and enter into some serious discussion 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.

Faith. Then FAITHFUL stepped forward again, and said to TALKATIVE: "Come, what happiness? how is it going now?"

Talk. Well, thank you. 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 does the saving grace of God reveal 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 causes there a great outcry against sin. Secondly--

Faith. No, wait; let us consider each one at a time: 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 sin, and the abhorring of sin?

Faith. Oh, a great deal! a man may cry out against sin out of policy; but he cannot abhor it, except by virtue of a godly repellance of it. I have heard many cry out against sin in the pulpit; who yet can abide it well enough in the heart, and 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.

"And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside." Genesis 39:15

Some cry out against sin, in the same way a mother cries out against her child in her lap; when she calls it "slut" and "naughty girl," and then falls to hugging and kissing it.

Talk. I see that you lie in wait to catch me.

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.

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2

Indeed, 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 had answered, Yes: he added, Blessed are you if you do them! He does 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 knows his Master's will, and does not do it." 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 pleases talkers and boasters; but to do is that which pleases God. Not that the heart can be good without knowledge; for without that the heart is nothing: there is, therefore, knowledge and knowledge. Knowledge that rests 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 Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart".

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart." Psalm 119:34

Talk. You are trying to catch me again; this is not for edification.

Faith. Well, if you please, propound another sign as to how this work of grace reveals itself.

Talk. Not I; for I see we shall not agree.

Faith. Well, if you will not, will you allow me to do it?

Talk. You may use your liberty.

Faith. A work of grace in the soul reveals itself either to him that has it, or to those who stand by. To him that has it, thus: it gives him conviction of sin, especially of the defilement of his nature, and the sin of unbelief--for which he is sure to be damned, if he does not find mercy at God's hand by faith in Jesus Christ. This sight and sense of things works in him sorrow and shame for sin; also he finds revealed in him the Saviour of the world, and the absolute necessity of uniting with him for life; which in turn reveals hungerings and thirstings after him, and to these 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 reveals itself this way to him, yet it is seldom that he is able to conclude that this is a work of grace; because now his corruptions, and his abused reason, cause his mind to misjudge in this matter: therefore in him that has this work there is required a very sound judgment, before he can conclude with steadiness that this is a work of grace

"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;" John 16:8,9

"O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24

"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:16

"For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." Psalm 38:18

"Surely, after my turning, I repented; And after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, Because I bore the reproach of my youth." Jeremiah 31:19

"knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." Galatians 2:16

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6

"And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." Revelation 21:6

"For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10

"Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern." Philippians 3:17

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

It is revealed to others:

1. By an experimental confession of his faith in Christ. 2. By a life answerable to that confession: that is, a life of holiness-- heart holiness, family holiness (if he has a family), and by holiness in behaviour in the world; which in general teaches him inwardly to abhor his sin, and himself for it, 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

"If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

"Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God." Psalm 50:23

"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5,6

"And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed." Ezekiel 20:43

And now, sir, as to this brief description of the work of grace, and also the outworking of it, if you have any objections, object; if not, then allow me to offer you a second question.

Talk. No, my part is not to object now, but to listen; therefore let me have your second question.

Faith. It is this: Do you experience the first part of this description of it? and does your life and behaviour testify the same? Or does your religion stand only 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 that God above will say Amen to; and also nothing but what your conscience can justify you in: for he that commends himself is not approved, but he whom the Lord commends. Besides, to say I am thus and thus, when my behaviour and all my neighbours tell me I lie, is great wickedness.

Talk. Then TALKATIVE began to blush at first; but recovering himself, he replied this way: "You come now to experience, to conscience, and God; and to appeal to him for justification of what is spoken. I did not expect this kind of discussion, nor am I inclined to give an answer to such questions; because I do not count myself bound to do such, unless you take it upon yourself to be a catechiser; and though you should so do, I may yet refuse to make you my judge. But I pray, will you tell me why you ask me such questions?

Faith. Because I saw you were quick to talk, and because I did not know that you had anything else but notion. Besides, to tell you all the truth, I have heard of you, that you are a man whose religion is all talk; and that your behaviour shows this mouth-profession of yours is a lie. They say you are a spot among Christians; and that religion fares the worse for your ungodly behaviour; that some have already stumbled at your wicked ways, and that more are in danger of being destroyed by it. Your religion stands together with an ale house, and covetousness, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and keeping vain company, etc. The proverb is true of you which is said of a whore, 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 rashly as you do, I can only conclude you are some peevish or melancholy man, not fit to be conversed with: and so adieu!

Chr. Then CHRISTIAN came up, and said to his brother, "I told you this would happen: your words and his lusts could not agree; he would 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 would have been but a blot in our company while he continues--as I suppose he will do--as he is; besides, the Apostle says, "From such withdraw yourself."

Faith. But I am glad we had this little discussion 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 perishes.

Chr. You did well to talk so plainly to him as you did. There is little of this faithful dealing with men nowadays, and that makes religion stink in the nostrils of many as it does; for they are these talkative fools whose religion is only in word, and are corrupt and vain in their behaviour, that (although being admitted into the fellowship of the godly) do stumble in the world, blemish Christianity, and grieve the sincere. I wish that all men would deal with such people as you have done: then they would either be made more conformable to religion; or the company of saints would be too hot for them.

Then FAITHFUL said:

"How TALKATIVE at first lifts up his plumes!
How bravely does 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 wave he goes;
And so will all but he that heart-work knows."

And so 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.