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His Bold. ness at last.
i Cor. 8. 13.
good men are so in the
saw it in all my Life; so he went over at last, not much above wet-shod. When he was going up to the Gate, Mr. Great-beart began to take his Leave 'of him, and to wish him a good Reception above; So he said, I shall, I shall. Then parted we asunder, and I saw him no more.
Hon. Then it seems he was well at last.
GREATH. Yes, yes, I never had doubt about him, he was a man of a choice Spirit, only he was always kept very low, and Ps. 88.
that made his Life so burthensome to himself, and so trouble10 some to others. He was above many, tender of Sin; he was
so afraid of doing injuries to others, that he often would Rom. 14. 21. deny himself of that which was lawful, because he would not offend.
Hon. But what should be the reason that such a good Man should be all his days so much in the dark?
GREATH. There are two sorts of Reasons for it; one is, Reason why The wise God will have it so, Some must Pipe, and some must Weep: Now Mr. Fearing was one that played upon this Base.dark.
He and his Fellows sound the Sackbut, whose Notes are more Matt. 11. 16, 20 doleful, than the Notes of other Musick are.
Tho' indeed 17, 18. some say, The Base is the Ground of Musick. And for my part I care not at all for that Profession, that begins not in heaviness of Mind. The first string that the Musician usually touches, is the Base, when he intends to put all in tune. God also plays upon this string first, when he sets the Soul in tune for himself. Only here was the imperfection of Mr. Fearing, he could play upon no other Musick but this till towards his latter end.
I make bold to talk thus Metaphorically, for the ripening of 30 the Wits of young Readers, and because in the Book of the Rev. 8. 2.
Revelations, the Saved are compared to a company of Musicians that play upon their Trumpets and Harps, and sing their Songs before the Throne.
Hon. He was a very zealous man, as one may see by what Relation you have given of him. Difficulties, Lions, or Vanity Fair, he feared not at all: 'Twas only Sin, Death, and Hell, that was to him a Terror; because he had some Doubts about his Interest in that Cælestial Country.
Chap.14.2, 3 A Close
GREATH. You say right. Those were the things that were about him. his Troublers, and they, as you have well observed, arose
from the weakness of his Mind thereabout, not from weak-
CHRIS. Then said Christiana, This relation of Mr. Fearing has
MERCY. If I might also speak my Heart, I must say that
Matt. Then said Matthew, Fear was one thing that made me think that I was far from having that within me, that accompanies Salvation ; but if it was so with such a good man as be,
why may it not also go well with me?
always Grace where there is the fear of Hell; yet to be sure
GREATH. Well said, James, thou hast hit the Mark, for the
Well, Master Fearing, thou didst fear
Their Fare well about him.
Would others did so too:
They do themselves undo. Now I saw, that they still went on in their Talk. For after Mr. Greatbeart had made an end with Mr. Fearing, Mr. Honest began to tell them of another, but his Name was Mr. Selfwill. Of Mr. SelfHe pretended himself to be a Pilgrim, said Mr. Honest; But I perswade my self, he never came in at the Gate that stands at the head of the way.
GREATH. Had you ever any talk with him about it?
Hon. Yes, more than once or twice; but he would always old Honest be like himself, self-willed. He neither cared for man, nor with him. Argument, nor yet Example; what his Mind prompted him to, that he would do, and nothing else could he be got to.
GREATH. Pray what Principles did he hold, for I suppose you can tell? Hon. He held that a Man might follow the Vices, as well selfwill's
opinions. as the Virtues of the Pilgrims, and that if he did both, he should be certainly saved.
GREATH. How? If he had said, 'tis possible for the best to be guilty of the Vices, as well as to partake of the Virtues of Pigrims, he could not much a been blamed. For indeed we are exempted from no Vice absolutely, but on condition that we Watch and Strive. But this I perceive is not the thing. But if I understand you right, your meaning is, that he was of that Opinion, that it was allowable so to be ?
Hon. Ay, ay, so I mean, and so he believed and practised.
Hon. Why, he said he had the Scripture for his Warrant. 30 GREATH. Prithee, Mr. Honest, present us with a few Particulars.
Hon. So I will, He said To have to do with other men's Wives, had been practised by David, God's Beloved, and therefore he could do it. He said to have more Women than one, was a thing that Solomon practised, and therefore he could do it. He said that Sarah, and the godly Midwives of Egypt lied, and so did saved Rahab, and therefore he could do it. He said that the Disciples went at the bidding
of their Master, and took away the Owner's Ass, and therefore he could do so too. He said that Jacob got the Inheritance of his Father in a way of Guile and Dissimulation, and therefore he could do so too.
GREATH. High base! indeed, and you are sure he was of this Opinion?
Hon. I have heard him plead for it, bring Scripture for it, bring Argument for it, &c. GREATH. An Opinion that is not fit to be, with
any Allowance, in the World.
Hon. You must understand me rightly. He did not say that any man might do this; but, that those that had the Virtues of those that did such things, might also do the same.
GREATH. But what more false than such a Conclusion? For this is as much as to say, that because good men heretofore have sinned of Infirmity, therefore he had allowance to do it of a presumptuous Mind. Or if because a Child, by the blast of the Wind, or for that it stumbled at a stone, fell down and defiled it self in Mire, therefore he might wilfully lie down and wallow like a Boar therein. Who could a thought that any one could so far a 20 been blinded by the power of Lust? But what is written must be true. They stumble at the Word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed.
His supposing that such may have the godly Man's Virtues, who addict themselves to their Vices, is also a Delusion as strong as the other. 'Tis just as if the Dog should say, I have, or may have the Qualities of the Child, because I lick up its stinking Excrements. To eat up the Sin of God's People, is no sign of one that is possessed with their Virtues. Nor can I believe that one that is of this Opinion, can at present have Faith or Love in him. 30 But I know you have made strong Objections against him, prithee what can be say for himself?
Hon. Why, he says, to do this by way of Opinion, seems abundance more honest, then to do it, and yet hold contrary to it in Opinion.
GREATH. A very wicked Answer, for tho' to let loose the Bridle to Lusts, while our Opinions are against such things, is bad; yet to sin and plead a Toleration so to do, is worse; the one
Pet. 2. 8.
Hos. 4. 8.
stumbles Bebolders accidentally, the other pleads them into the Snare.
Hon. There are many of this man's mind, that have not this man's mouth, and that makes going on Pilgrimage of so little esteem as it is.
GREATH. You have said the Truth, and it is to be lamented. But he that feareth the King of Paradise shall come out of them all.
Chris. There are strange Opinions in the World. I know 10 one that said, 'twas time enough to repent when they come to die.
GREATH. Such are not over wise. That man would a been loth, might be have had a week to run twenty mile in for his Life, to bave deferred that Journey to the last hour of that Week.
Hon. You say right, and yet the generality of them that count themselves Pilgrims, do indeed do thus. I am, as you see, an old Man, and have been a Traveller in this Road many a day; and I have taken notice of many things.
I have seen some that have set out as if they would drive 20 all the World afore them, who yet have in few days died as
they in the Wilderness, and so never gat sight of the promised Land.
I have seen some that have promised nothing at first setting out to be Pilgrims, and that one would a thought could not have lived a day, that have yet proved very good Pilgrims.
I have seen some, that have run hastily forward, that again have after a little time, run as fast just back again.
I have seen some who have spoke very well of a Pilgrim's Life at first, that after a while, have spoken as much 30 against it.
I have heard some, when they first set out for Paradise, say positively, there is such a place, who when they have been almost there, have come back again, and said there is none.
I have heard some vaunt what they would do in case they should be opposed, that have even at a false Alarm fled Faith, the Pilgrim's way, and all.
Now as they were thus in their way, there came one run- Fresh new ning to meet them, and said, Gentlemen, and you of the