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Christian describes his Conflict.
they that have faith, saving faith, though but little of it, cannot do so. Here, therefore, my brother, is thy mistake.
Hope. I acknowledge it; but yet your severe reflection had alınost made me angry.
Chr. Why! I did but compare thee to some of the birds that are of the brisker sort, who will run to and fro in untrodden paths with the shell upon their heads :--- but pass by that, and consider the matter under debate, and all shall be well betwixt thee and me.
HOPE. But, Christian, these three fellows, I am persuaded in my heart, are but a company of cowards: would they have run else, think you, as they did, at the noise of one that was coming on the road? Why did not Little-Faith pluck a greater heart ? he might, methinks, have stood one brush with them, and have yielded when there had been no remedy.
Chr. That they are cowards, many have said, but few have found it so in the time of trial. As for a great heart, Little-Faith had none; and I perceive by thee, my brother, hadst thou been the man concerned, thou art but for a brush, and then to yield. And, verily, since this is the height of thy stomach now they are at a distance from us, should they appear to thee, as they did to him, they might put thee to second thoughts.
But consider again, they are but journeymen thieves, they serve under the king of the bottomless pit: who, if need be, will come to their aid himself, and his voice is as the roaring of a lion. 1. Pet. v. 8. I myself have been engaged as this Little-Faith was; and I found it a terrible thing. These three villains set upon me, and I beginning like a Christian to resist, they gave out a call, and in came their master; I would, as the saying is, have given my life for a penny, but that, as God would have it, I was clothed with armour of proof. Aye, and yet, though I was so harnessed, I found it hard work to quit my
Character of Great-Grace.
self like a man: no man can tell what in that com. bat attends us, but he that hath been in the battle himself.
HOPE. Well, but they ran, you see, when they did but suppose that one Great-Grace was in the way.
CHR. True, they have often fled, both they' and their master, when Great-Grace hath appeared ; and no marvel, for he is the King's champion; but, I trow, you will put some difference between LittleFaith and the King's champion. All the King's subjects are not his champions ; nor can they, when tried, do such feats of war as he. Is it meet to think, that a little child should handle Goliath as David did ? or that there should be the strength of an ox in a wren? Some are strong, some are weak; some have great faith, some have little; this man was one of the weak, and therefore he went to the wall.
Hope. I would it had been Great-Grace for his sake.
Chr. If it had been he, he might have had his hands full : for I must tell you, that though GreatGrace is excellent good at his weapon, and has, and can, so long as he keeps them at sword's point, do well enough with them, yet if they get within him, even Faint-Heart, Mistrust, or the other, it will go hard but that they will throw up his heels: and when a man is down, you know, what can he do?
Whoso looks well upon Great-Grace's face, shall see those scars, and cuts there that shall easily give demonstration of what I say. Yea, once I heard that he should say (and that when he was in the combat) “ We despaired even of life.” How did those sturdy rogues and their fellows make David'. groan, mourn, and roar? Yea, Heman and Hezekiah too, though champions in their days, were forced to bestir them when by these assaulted; and yet, notwithstanding, they had their coats soundly brushed by them. Peter, upon a time, would go try what he could do; but, though some do say of him that he is
Character of Faint-Heart, Mistrust, and Guilt.
the prince of the apostles, they handled himn so, that they made him at last afraid of a sorry girl.
Besides, their king is at their whistle; he is never out of hearing; and if at any time they be put to the worst, he, if possible, comes in to help them; and of him it is said, “ the sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold; the spear, the dart, por the habergeon: he: esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood: the arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones are turned with him into stubble ; darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.” Job xli. 26—29. What can a man do in this case? It is true, if a man could at every turn have Job's horse, and had skill and courage to ride him, he might do notable things; for “his neck is clothed with thunder; he will not be afraid as a grasshop. per; the glory of his nostrils is terrible; he paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men: he mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth he back from the sword : the quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield: he swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage, neither believeth he that it is i the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shoutings.” Job xxxix. 19–25. .
But for such footmen as thee and I are, let us never desire to meet with an enemy, nor vaunt as if we could do better, when we hear of others that they have been foiled; nor be tickled at the thought of our own manhood, for such commonly come by the worst when tried. Peter, of whom I made mention before, he would swagger, aye, he would ; he would, as his vain mind prompted him to say, do better and stand more for his Master than all men: but who so foiled and run down by those villains as he.
When therefore we hear that such robberies are
The Pilgrims pursue their journey.
done on the King's highway, two things become us to do: first, to go out harnessed, and be sure to take a shield with us : for it was for want of that, that he that laid so lustily at Leviathan could not make him yield; for, indeed, if that be wanted, he fears us not at all. Therefore he that had skill hath said, “ Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph. vi. 16.
It is good also that we desire of the King a convoy, that he will go with us himself. This made David rejoice when in the valley of the Shadow of Death; and Moses was rather for dying where he stood than to go one step without his God. Exod. xxxij. 15. O my brother, if he will but go along with us, what need we to be afraid of ten thousand that shall set themselves against us: but without him the proud helpers fall under the slain. Psal. iii. 5.--8. xxvii. 1---3. Isa. X. 4.
I for my part, have been in the fray before now; and though through the goodness of hin that is best, I am, as you see, alive, yet I cannot boast of any manhood. Glad shall I be if I meet with no more such brunts; though I fear we are not got beyond all danger. However, since the lion and the bear have not yet devoured me, I hope God will de. liver us from the next uncircumcised Philistines. Then sung Christian--
Poor Little-Faith! hast been among the thieves ?
Over ten thousand, else scarce over three.” So they went on, and Ignorance followed. They went then till they came at a place where they saw a way put itself into their way, and seemed withal to lie as straight as the way which they should go ; and here they knew not which of the two to take, for both seemed straight before them : therefore
The Pilgrims turn out of the way,
here they stood still to consider. And as they were thinking about the way, behold a man of black flesh, but covered with a very light robe, came to them, and asked them why they stood there? They answered, they were going to the Celestial City, but knew not which of these ways to take. “ Follow me, said the man, “it is thither that I am going.” So they followed him in the way that bụt now came into the road, which by degrees turned, and turned them so from the city that they desired to go to, that in a little time their faces were turned away from it: ---yet they followed him. But by and by, before they were aware, he led them both within the compass of a net, in which they were both so entangled that they knew not what to do; and with that the white robe fell off the black man's back :---they then saw where they were. Wherefore there they lay crying some time, for they could not get themselves out. · Chr. Then said Christian to his fellow, Now do I see myself in an error. Did not the shepherds bid us beware of the flatterer ? As is the saying of the wise man, so have we found it this day, “ A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.” Prov. xxix. 5.
HOPE. They also gave us a note of directions about the way, for our more sure finding thereof; but herein we have also forgotten to read, and have not kept ourselves from the paths of the destroyer." Here David was wiser than we; for saith he, “ Concerning the works of men, by the words of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” Psal. xvii. 4.
Thus they lay bewailing themselves in the net. At last they spied a shining one coming towards them with a whip of small cord in his hand. When he was come to the place where they were, he asked them whence they came, and what they did there? They told him, that they were poor pilgrims going