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LITTE- FAITH ROBBED BY PAINTHEART, MISTRUST, AND GUILT.
dowu the lane from Broadway-gate, three sturdy rogues, and their names were Faint-heart, Mistrust, and Guilt, three brothers; and they spying Little-Faith where he was, came galloping up with speed. Now, the good man was just awakened from his sleep, and was getting up to go on his journey. So they came up all to him, and with threatening language bid him stand. At this, Little-Faith looked as white as a clout, and had neither power to fight nor fly. Then said Faint-heart, Deliver thy purse; but he making no haste to do it (for he was loath to lose his money,) Mistrust ran up to him, and thrusting his hand into his pocket, pulled out thence a bag of silver. Then he cried out, “ Thieves, thieves !” THEY GET away With that, Guilt, with a great club that KNOCK HIM DOWN. was in his hand, struck Little-Faith on the head, and with that blow felled him flat to the ground; where he lay bleeding as one that would bleed to death. All this while the thieves stood by. But at last, they hearing that some were upon the road, and fearing lest it should be one Great Grace, that dwells in the town of Good Confidence, they betook themselves to their heels, and left this good man to shift for himself. Now, after a while, Little-Faith came to himself, and, getting up, made shift to scramble on his way. This was the story.*
Hope. But did they take from him all that ever he had ?
THEY GET AWAY HIS SILVER, AND
* Where there is a faint heart in God's cause, and mistrust of God's truths, there will be guilt in the conscience, and but little faith in the heart; and these rogues will prevail over and rob such souls of the comforts of God's love, and of Christ's salvation. O how many are overtaken by these, in sleepy fits and careless frames, and plundered ! Learn to be wise from others' harms.
LOST NOT HIS BEST
FORCED TO BEG TO
Chr. No; the place where his jewels were, they LITTLE - Paith never ransacked; so those he kept still.
But, as I was told, the good man was much afflicted for his loss, for the thieves got most of his spending-money. That which they got not (as I said) were jewels; also he had a little odd money left, but scarce enough to bring him to his journey's end. Nay,
LITTLE - FAITH (if I was not misinformed,) he was forced HIS JOURNEY'S END. to beg as he went, to keep himself alive, for his jewels he might not sell ; but, beg and do what he could, he went, as we say, with many a hungry belly the most part of the rest of the way. *
Hope. But is it not a wonder they got not from him his certificate, by which he was to receive his admittance at the Celestial Gate ?
Chr. It is a wonder: but they got not that, though HE KEPT NOT HIS they missed it not through any good cun
ning of his ; for he, being dismayed with their coming upon him, had neither power nor skill to hide any thing: so it was more by good providence than by his endeavour that they missed of that good thing. At
BEST THINGS BY HIS
el Pet. iv. 18.
d 2 Tim. i. 14.
2 Pet. ii. 9.
* By his jewels, we may understand those radical graces of the Spirit—faith, hope, and love. By his spending-money, understand the sealing and earnest of the Spirit in his heart, 2 Cor. i. 22. Of this divine assurance, and the sense of peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, he was robbed; so that though he still went on in the ways of the Lord, yet he dragged on but heavily and uncomfortably; for though safe in Jesus, yet he was not happy in himself. O how much evil and distress are brought upon us by neglecting to watch and pray!
+ What was this good thing ? His precious faith, whose author, finisher, and object is precious Jesus. And where he gives this precious gift of faith, though it be but little, even as a grain of mustardseed, not all the powers of earth and hell can rob the heart of it. Christ prayed for his disciple, that his faith should not fail, or be
Hope. But it must needs be a comfort to him, that they got not this jewel from him.
Chr. It might have been great comfort to him, had he used it as he should ; but they that told me the story said, that he made but little use of it all the rest of the way, and that because of the dismay that he had in their taking away his money. Indeed, he forgot it a great part of the rest of his journey; and besides, when at any time it came into his mind, and he began to be comforted therewith, then would fresh thoughts of his loss come again upon him, and these thoughts would swallow up all.
HOPE. Alas, poor man! this could not HE 18 PITIED but be a great grief to him.
Chr. Grief! ay, a grief indeed. Would it not have been so to any of us, had we been used as he, to be robbed and wounded too, and that in a strange place, as he was ? It is a wonder he did not die with grief, poor heart! I was told that he scattered almost all the rest of the way with nothing but doleful and bitter complaints : telling also to all that overtook him, or that he overtook in the way as he went, where he was robbed, and how; who they were that did it, and what he had lost; how he was wounded, and that he hardly escaped with life.*
Hope. But it is a wonder that his necessity did not put him upon selling or pawning some of his jewels, totally lost; therefore, though Peter lost his comforts for a season, yet not his faith totally, nor his soul eternally : for, says Jesus of all his dear flock, yea of those of little faith too,“ none shall pluck them out of my hand :” there is our blessed security—not in ourselves, but in our Lord.
* Here is a discovery of true, though it be but little faith. It mourns its loss of God's presence, and comforts of his Spirit, and laments its folly for sleeping when it should have been watching and
that he might have wherewith to relieve himself in his journey. Chr. Thou talkest like one upon whose head is the
shell to this very day : for what should he BETH HIS FELLOW pawn them? or to whom should he sell
them? In all that country where he was robbed, his jewels were not accounted of; nor did he want that relief which could from thence be administered to him. Besides, had his jewels been missing at the gate of the Celestial City, he had (and that he knew well enough) been excluded from an inheritance there; and that would have been worse to him than the appearance and villany of ten thousand thieves.
HOPE. Why art thou so tart, my brother ? Esau sold his birthright, and that for a mess of pottage;' and that birthright was his greatest jewel : and if he, why might not Little-Faith do so too?
Chr. Esau did sell his birthright indeed, and so do A DISCOURSE ABOUT many besides, and by so doing exclude
themselves from the chief blessing, as also that caitiff did : but you must put a difference betwixt Esau and Little-Faith, as also betwixt their estates. Esau's birthright was typical, but Little-Faith's jewels ESAU WAS RULED were not so. Esau's belly was his god,
but Little-Faith's belly was not so. Esau's want lay in his fleshly appetite, Little-Faith's did not so. Besides, Esau could see no further than to the fulfilling of his lusts : “For I am at the point to die, (said he,)
e Heb. xij. 16. praying. He that pines under the sense of the loss of Christ's love, has faith in his heart, and a measure of love to Christ in his soul : though he goes on his way weeping, yet he shall find joy in the end. Hold on, Little-Faith : O remember thou hast a strong Lord, the very same as Much-Faith has, and the same precious faithful promises to hang upon, and the same glory to hope for.
A DISCOURSE ABOUT ESAU AND LITTLEFAITH.
ESAU NEVER HAD
COULD NOT LIVE OX
and what good will this birthright do me?"! But Little-Faith, though it was his lot to have but a little faith, was by his little faith kept from such extravagances,* and made to see and prize his jewels more, than to sell them as Esau did his birthright. You read not any where that Esau had faith, no, ESA not so much as a little; therefore no PATT marvel, if, where the flesh only bears sway, (as it will in that man where no faith is to resist,) if he sells his birthright, and his soul and all, and that to the devil of hell; for it is with such as it is with the ass, “who in her occasions cannot be turned away :"when their minds are set upon their lusts, they will have them, whatever they cost. But Little-Faith was of another temper; his mind was on things divine; LITTLE - PAITA his livelihood was upon things that were ESAU's POTTAGE. spiritual and from above: therefore, to what end should he that is of such a temper sell his jewels, (had there been any that would have bought them,) to fill his mind with empty things ? Will a man give a penny to fill his belly with hay? or can you per- A COMPARISON BEsuade the turtle-dove to live upon carrion, DOVE AND THE CROW. like the crow? Though faithless ones can, for carnal lusts, pawn, or mortgage, or sell what they have, and themselves outright to boot, yet they that have faith, saving faith, though but a little of it, cannot do so. Here, therefore, my brother, is thy mistake.
Hope. I acknowledge it; but yet your severe reflection had almost made me angry.
f Gen. xxv. 32. & Jer. ii. 24. * Faith is said to be obtained by lot, 2 Pet. i. 1. O ye of little faith, wherefore do ye doubt ? Remember, it is your unspeakable mercy, not to be left shut up in unbelief. What you have, is by lot of free grace, by free gift. Bless the Giver, and glory in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TURTLE