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respecting the real Cbaracter of Talkative.
This man, with whom you are so taken, will beguile with this tongue of his twenty of them that know himn not.
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: be dwelleth in our town. I wonder that you should be a stranger to hin; only I consider that our town is large.
Faith. Whose son is he? And whereabout does he dwell?
Chr. He is the son of one Say-well. He dwells 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 pretty man.
Chr. That is, to them who have not a thorough acquaintance with him; for he is best abroad: near home he is ugly enough. Your saying that he is a pretty man, brings to my mind what I have observed in the work of the painter, whose pictures show best at a distance, but very near are more unpleasing.
Faith. But I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled.
CHR. God forbid that I should jest (though I smiled) in this matter, or that I should accuse any falsely. I will give you a further discovery of him. This man is for any company, and for any talk; as he talketh now with you, so will be 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 bis religion is to make a noise therewith.
Faith. Say you so ? then I am in this man great! deceived.
The real Character of Talkatire
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. (Matt. xxiii. 3. 1 Cor. iv. 20.). He talketh of prayer, pentance, 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 savour. There is there neither prayer, nor sign of repentance for sin; yea, the brute, in his kind, serves God far better than be. He is the very stain, reproach, and shame of religion, to all that know him ; (Rom. ii. 24, 25.) it can bardly 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 find 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 his hands. This Talkative (if it be possible) will go beyond them, defraud, beguile, and over-reach 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 appear ance of a tender conscience, he calls them fools and blockheads, and by no means will employ them in much, or speak to their commendation, 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.
Farth. 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
For I cannot think that you speak these things of ill-will, but because it is even so as you say.
antolded by Christian.
Chr. Had I known him no more than you, I might perhaps have thought of him as at the first you did: yea, had I 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 inakes them blush, it they know him.
Faith. Well, I see that saying and doing are two things, and hereafter I shall better observe this distinction.
Chr. They are two things indeed, and are as di. verse as are the soul and the body; for as the budy 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 affliction, and to keep hinself unspotted from the world.” (James i. 27. See also verses 22–26.) 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 fruit. (Matt. xiii. 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; Matt. xii. 30.) and you know men at barvest re. gard nothing but fruit. Not that any thing can be accepted that is not of faith ; but I speak this to show
Christian and Faithful's Discourse
you how insignificant the profession of Talkative will be at that day.
Faith. This brings to my mind that of Moses, by which he described the beast that is clean. (Lev. xi. Deut. xiv.) It is one that parteth the hoof, and cheweth the cud; not that parteth the hoof only, or cheweth the cud only. The hare cheweth the cod, put yet is unclean, because he parteth not the boof. And this truly resembleth Talkative: he cheweth the end, he seeketh knowledge; he cheweih 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 is unclean.°
• The description of the real character of Talkative was designed to show, that " a man with a fine tongue might be a very sorry fellow." They who know such persons intimately, and who indge of religion by a holy life and blameless conversation, will got be deceived by them. Talking of religion with all sorts of Dersons, in ale-houses, and most loudly where the persons are intlamed with liquor, is a decisive proof of a corrupt heart, destitute of prayer, repentance, faith, and regeneration. The houses of such persons are destitute of all appearance of religion ; their families, instead of being improved by their influence, are corrupted by their example; and their acquaintances are stumbled and ruined Dy being led to conclude that there is no reality in religion. These are the conceited, presumptuous, captious, and talkative hearers of the gospel, “who say, but do not;" whose religion is in their “ tongues" only, and not at all in their “ hearts ;'' who “say they have faith," (James ii. 14.) but whose works prove them to be destitute of that pure and holy principle. “ Can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear olive-berries ? either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh," James iii
. 12. Mr. Bunyan has introduced an illustration drawn from the ceremonial distinction of clean and unclean beasts, which is a quotation from his “ Grace abounding." See his Life p. 34. He there says, “I was made, about this time, to see something concerning the beasts that Moses counted clean and unclean. I thought those beasts were types of men ; the clean, types of them that were the people of God; but the unclean, types of such as were the children of the wicked one. Now I read that the clean beasts 'chewed the cud ;' that is, thought I, they show us, we must feed upon the word of God. They also 'parted the hoof;' I thought that signified, we
respecting the real Cbaracter of Talkative.
Chr. 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 : (1 Cor. xiii. 1-3.) that is, as he expounds them in another place, things without life, giving sound. (1 Cor. xiv. 7.) Things without life; that is, with. out 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.
must part, if we would be saved, with the ways of ungodly men. And also, in further reading about them, I found that though we did chew the cud, as the hare; yet if we walked with claws, like a dog ;-or if we did part the hoof, like the swine, yet if we did not chew the cud, as the sheep, we were still, for all that, but un. clean. For I thought the hare to be a type of those that talk of the word, yet walk in the ways of sin ; and that the swine was like him that parteth with his outward pollution, but still wanteth the word of faith, without which there can be no way of salvation, let a man be never so devout." The practical nature of genuine faith in Christ is fully shown in this inimitable allegory. No man who understands and admires the principles of the Pilgrim s Progress, will ever be able to charge practical preaching with being legal, if exhortations to duty are founded upon the obligations which believers are under to the love of Christ ; for a living faith will always produce good works.
P As an outward profession, without a holy life, is no evidence of religion ; neither are excellent gifts any proof that the persons who possess them are partakers uf grace. It is an awful fact, that some have edified the church by their gifts, who have themselves been destitute of the spirit of life. In Mr. Bunyan's LIFE, p. 110, he says, in reference to the above passage of Scripture, “ Just thus I saw it was, and will be, with them that have gifts, but want sav. ing grace. They are in the hand of Christ, as the cymbal in the hand of David : and as David could with the cymbal make that mirth in the service of God, as to elevate the hearts of the worshippers, so Christ can use these gifted men, as with them to affect the souls of his people in his church; yet when he hath done all, bang them by, as lifeless though sounding cymbals * * * * * Besides, I knew it was love should never die; but those must cease and vanish : so I concluded, a little grace, a little love, a little of the true fear of God, is b ter than all gifts. Yeu, and I