The History of Little Faith
Dialogue the Tenth.
Steward. O Shepherd! how have I been wearied in body, and buffeted in mind by the Adversary, in my searches and researches after you! I had almost despaired of finding you; and, in my heart, was turning back to the palace. You have served me as Jacob served his highly-favoured son: you told me that you should be feeding the flock in Shechem, when I have found you in the suburbs of Dothan.
Shepherd. I believe Joseph's brethren and I had different motives: they left all their flocks in Shechem, and came to Dothan; whereas I came to seek a strayed sheep in Dothan, that I might take it back to the flock in Shechem. There was but one parcel of ground in all the land of Canaan that Jacob gave (by special will) to his son Joseph, John, iv. 5: and it certainly is the most fertile spot, for herbage, in all the Holy Land; and yet, from this highly-favoured spot the flocks, one and all, are prone to stray, and at this season of the year especially: so that a shepherd seldom knows where to find them.
Steward. Servitude is often found to be grievous, and the yoke of it is seldom easy long together: but it will not be long, at most, before we shall hear the soul-satisfying invitation of-" Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord!"
Shepherd. That sweetens all; and the frequent foretastes of it keep Hope and Expectation on their watch-tower. Pray, how comes Little Faith on? Has he taken his final leave of the sand-bank? And, are the hornets all dead, or all fled yet? Or is he like one of the old inhabitants of Canaan, still flying before them?
Steward. Little Faith is unstable, still, in all the ways, works, fights, acts and actings, of credence: for his felicity, after his last deliverance by a dream, lasted for some few weeks; at which time he went on cheerfully and comfortably, and therefore suspected that he never should experience in future, even a single frown from the King; and thought that there was hardly a labyrinth, maze, wilderness, ride, path, or walk, in all the royal territories, but he had travelled through, and was perfectly acquainted with-yea; and that he was so well read in all the laws and records of the realm, that it would be impossible for the most subtle Hagarene ever to beguile, seduce; or deceive him, again.
Shepherd. That is a bad sign. Little Faith has not properly considered the counsel and caution of wisdom: "Trust in the King with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding."
Steward. Excellent advice: but many of our young princes permit their zeal to carry them where credence will not keep them company; and, as they do not tread their ground in faith, they are sure to have all that ground to go over again; for it is treading in the steps of the faith of the ancients that is to bring the Seed-royal to the promised throne and dignity. But, alas! poor Little Faith had heard of a certain orator being appointed to deliver an oration at Hagar's castle; and that he was a singular man; one that enforced all the laws of Zion; spoke the language, and defended the doctrines, of the Chapel-royal: that all his orations were delivered with well-tempered zeal, unaffected language was used, and undissembled loyalty appeared in every harangue.
Shepherd. That strumpet "hath cast down many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death." Prov. vii. 26.
Steward. It is true: but caution is not sufficient; they must be made to feel it. Little Faith set off to make full proof of his wisdom and understanding. And, by what I can learn, the report that Little Faith had heard was in a great measure true: he heard the laws of Zion enforced, the language of the court spoken, and the doctrines of the Chapel-royal advanced: but, at the close, a secret DASH was given to the whole; but suddenly backed with such a stern look and zealous warning to all who were disloyal, that Little Faith was zealously affected; confusion began to operate on his mind; his consistent views of the mystery of faith, and the sweet harmony of Zion's laws in his soul, vanished; universal charity grasped his heart, and fleshly passions put him in motion to his fingers ends; till his deluded soul began to shake the wing, and hover over every reprobate in the tents of Kedar.
Shepherd. Universal Charity is a false name; it extends itself to all the Hagarenes, it is true, but not to the Seed-royal; much less to the King, and those who are in Paradise. Love to the Hagarenes is always attended with rebellion against the King. Well may Wisdom counsel her children to keep their heart with all diligence; for, if the affections of the heart stray, every thought goes after them. It is with the affections as it is with a flock of sheep: drive one over the hedge, or through the ditch, and if there be a thousand behind every one will follow.
Steward. Little Faith found it so: his comforts, meditations, pleasing thoughts, and soul-satisfying promises, withdrew, and he began to look shy and cold upon all his brothers and sisters; and often shunned me, if he met me, as if he did not see me, or was too deep in thought to notice any one that passed him. But he did not deceive me so: for I knew where he was as well as he did, and therefore I was determined to try him. So, one day, as he was coming through the palace-gate, looking another way, as if he was determined not to notice me, I stopped him, and said unto him-" Shouldest thou help the disloyal, and love them that hate the King? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the King. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee; in that thou hast prepared thine heart to seek the King." 2 Chron. ix. 2, 3. He replied-" Hast thou found me?" I answered-" I have found thee, and, I suppose, I am become thine enemy, because I tell thee the truth? They zealously affect thee, but not well." I then turned on my heel, and left him with disdain.
Shepherd. Reproof is grievous to him that forsaketh the way.
Steward. Yet it is an excellent oil, that shall not break the head. Hence Wisdom's counsel, "Let thy garments be always white, and let thine head lack no ointment." And Little Faith found it an unction to him; for he went with his petitions to the King, but there was neither voice nor hearing; and, after he had gone sulky, and pouted about a week, he came creeping into the Steward.'s room again, "What!" said I, "have you got the heart-burn?" He said he had not. "What, then?-the belly-ache?" He answered, "No." But, he said, there was another man, or something that could talk, that followed him perpetually, go wherever he would. If he said any thing of the King, that contradicted him; if he spoke good, that spoke evil; if he thought of the King, that put other thoughts into his mind; if he attempted to pray, that resisted him; if to read, that set him to gaping, or sleeping, or thinking of other things. If he ran, that ran. In short, it pulled against every thing he did, and contradicted all he said. He looked on the right hand, and on the left hand, behind him, and all around him, but he could see nothing, and yet he knew it was always there: he could hear him inwardly, and feel him, but could never see him. "And this," said he, "drives me almost to despair." And he breathed out another dying speech-" I shall go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death." Job, x. 21.
Shepherd. This is always the case, if the children of Zion go over to the old mount; it genders to bondage, and invigorates the old man; and, when fleshly passions are stirred up, "the motions of sins, which are by the law, do work in the members, to bring forth fruit unto death." Rom. vii. 5. The old man gets both his food and his fuel there. The flesh lusteth against the spirit; and the flesh finds no resistance by the spirit from that quarter, but rather encouragement, for sin takes occasion by the commandment: but the grace of God gives it no such occasion, but subdues it. Grace shall reign, and sin shall not have dominion over the subjects of grace.
Steward. It is either pride, ignorance, or a seducing spirit, that always leads them there. The liberties, privileges, and blessings of loyalty, were never known by any of the Hagarenes; nor shall an heir of promise ever enjoy these things while he affects them. These are the blessed effects of a warm attachment to the King and of a firm reliance upon his clemency. The old dispensation secures not these things; nor does he that advances them know what he says, or whereof he affirms. It is the new dispensation that secures the Throne to the King's seed, and that for evermore.
Shepherd. It is true; and he that advances and maintains those things, may know assuredly what he says, and whereof he affirms. And it is clear that the old dispensation sets no such hope before us: that promises no throne, but the better covenant does. "The Lord has sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it: of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne." That promise secures the eternal reign of the King. And the next verse reaches to all the King's seed: "If thy children will keep my Covenant and my Testimony, that I shall teach them, their children also shall sit upon thy throne for evermore," Psalm, cxxxii. 12.
Steward. It is clear that the inheritance is not of the law, for that had been in being long before the above promise was revealed. The throne is to be obtained by a covenant and a testimony that was to be taught in future: "If thy children will keep my COVENANT, and my TESTIMONY, that I SHALL teach them, they shall sit upon thy throne." The promise reaches both to the King and HIS SEED, Isa. lix. 21, and is handed down to us by the King himself: "And to him that overcometh [in the fight of credence] will I grant to sit with me in my Throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his Throne," Rev. iii. 21.
Shepherd. He that fights the good fight, and keeps the faith, shall inherit the crown, and throne too, let the Hagarenes say what they will. Pray, how is Little Faith now? Does the strange man follow him? Does he pull him back still? And contradict all that he says still, according to his former complaint?
Steward. No; he seems to have got rid of him for the present; and he, poor little fellow! vainly supposes that he is gone for ever: he says, "he hopes that he is dead."
Shepherd. Little Faith is right enough. He hath been arraigned, condemned, crucified, and buried: nevertheless, he exists still; yea, he lives, and will pursue, hinder, gainsay, and resist Little Faith at times, as long as he remains in the lowland palace, let him continue in it as long as he may. Pray, how did he get rid of the strange man?
Steward. It was by a dream, as he told me. He one night dreamed that he saw a narrow road lead right through the terraqueous globe; and the end of it reached to the eastern part of the world, at the extremity of which stood a ghastly phantom, with a barbed dart in his hand; and on the other side of the spectre appeared a brilliant crown suspended from under the portals of Paradise. Some parts of this road seemed to be very rough, others very crooked. On some parts there were insurmountable hills; on others, valleys altogether as deep. Some parts, again, were very stony; and others were covered with blocks of wood. On this road, too, he perceived numbers of men employed: some were endeavouring to make the crooked parts straight, others the rough places plain; some were casting up the road, in order to make the middle thereof lie round; others were taking up the stumbling-blocks out of the way; some were making high heaps of stones, others were fixing landmarks, and others were lifting up standards. Some were endeavouring to lower the hills, others to raise the valleys. And here and there one was fixing hand-posts; and upon every hand-post there was a different inscription written. One read-" Refuge! refuge!" Another-" So run, that you may obtain." Another after this manner-" Set thine heart to the highway." Another bore this inscription-" Ponder the path of thy feet, and let thine eyes look right before thee." Another-"Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left." And the last that he read was this-"Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither tarry in all the plain."
Shepherd. A singular dream, full of wholesome instruction. Wisdom says-"A dream cometh through a multitude of business, as a fool's voice is known by a multitude of words." But such dreams as these come from another quarter.
Steward. They do, and so Little Faith found it. But, to proceed. He told me that he saw a beam of light run through the whole path; and it seemed to shine more and more as it drew towards the eastern point. This ray, he said, appeared to him to cast a light right on the middle or crown of the road. And he saw several people walking thereon: here and there, one was right under this shining light, and they seemed, at times, to go on cheerfully; others were foundering among the stumbling blocks, while others were endeavouring to take them out of their way. Some were clambering up the hills, others, with the greatest difficulty, were descending into the valleys; while some were perplexed in the crooked parts of the road, and the souls of others were much discouraged because of [the roughness of] the way. Among the numbers on this path Little Faith saw one travel very slowly on; and to him he appeared to have fetters about his feet, which he dragged at his heels; and presently he perceived him to stumble; but a hand, hardly perceptible, caught hold of him, and helped him up; at which he cried out-"When my feet slipped, thy mercy, O Lord! helped me up." But, what surprised Little Faith most, was, that his fetters were not taken off; and yet the man went on, and in a holy triumph said-" Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?" Psalm, xlix. 5.
Shepherd. And pray, was this dream attended with a comforting power, so as to deliver Little Faith from the strange man? Or, how did he get rid of him?
Steward. I will tell you what it was that was made a blessing to Little Faith, if you will hear me patiently. Among all the travellers that he saw on this road, he perceived one who seemed to outrun all the rest, and he kept right under the light in the middle of the way. He had not looked long on that man, before he perceived him descend into a deep valley, so that he lost sight of him. Little Faith fixed his eyes on the next rising hill, expecting him every minute to ascend that, as he seemed to be so swift of foot: but it was a long time before he began to ascend the hill; and, when he did, he appeared to be so burdened, that he could scarcely move. He looked to see what the load was that he carried; and, to the best of his discernment, it was the body of a dead man that he had got, which appeared to be made fast to his neck, to his shoulders and to his waist. He could just move under his load, and that was all; and yet seemed very eager to get on; but, when he found that he could not get forward, he rested upon his staff, and fetched a bitter sigh, as if he would have broke his heart, and cried out-"O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Rom. vii. 24.
Shepherd. One would have thought that that man had been a Roman malefactor, who had been guilty of murder, and so was condemned to carry the body that fell a victim to his cruelty till he perished with it; for I have been informed that such a law was once (if not now) in force among the Romans.
Steward. I know nothing of Romish laws; but this was the case with the poor man whom Little Faith saw in his dream, as he told me. But that which puzzled Little Faith most was, that he saw the man whom he thought to be dead move, and at times struggle, as the other man carried him along.
Shepherd. If he moved and struggled, there must be life; for if he was, in the strictest sense, dead, there could be no motion in him.
Steward. Very true. However he did struggle hard, as Little Faith told me: and all his struggling was, as he thought, to get back again from whence he came; for the face of the dead man was towards the west, while the face of him that carried him was towards the east. And, notwithstanding the heavy load, and the struggling and kicking of the dead man, the other still kept his face to the eastern point, without ever looking behind him, or even to the right hand or to the left, as he went. And sometimes he seemed so earnest to get on, that Little Faith told me he could compare him to nothing but a bird, with a stone tied to its foot, spreading the wing, and fluttering for flight, earnest for its own element while the stone confined it to the earth. That which seemed for a while to perplex Little Faith was, how a corpse should move: but he was presently relieved from that perplexity, by discerning a most ghastly figure, all over black, with wings on his back, a dart in his hand, and a barbed tail behind; who fled up to the dead man, breathed into him, unit animated him with fresh strength and vigour; which made him struggle with so much strength and violence, that it was difficult to tell which gained ground, the living man or the dead one. From hence Little Faith perceived that the motion and vigour of the dead man were communicated by that ghastly monster, but he wist not what to call him.
Shepherd. This is a singular dream; and, I suppose that the dead man would soon have ceased to struggle, had not the other animated him.
Steward. So Little Faith said; for, when he first breathed on him, he kicked and hung till the other gained no ground, but seemed weary, and quite out of breath; therefore he rested upon his staff, and repeated his former cry-"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He had no sooner uttered his lamentable complaint, than Little Faith saw a most glorious form descend from the upper regions by the way of the east, and come to the living man that carried the dead one, and breathe upon him; which so animated him, that he cried out, in a heavenly rapture, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Phil. iv. 13. "I am strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering, with joyfulness." Coloss. i. 11. And, as soon as he had uttered these expressions, he put his staff under his arm, off he set, and up the hill he went; and all the time he was going up the hill, the dead man hardly moved either hand or foot.
Shepherd. The life of the one seems to be the death of the other: for when the black, ugly figure, animated the dead man, the living one halted; but, when the shining form breathed on the living man, the other seemed motionless.
Steward. So it seemed to Little Faith. But, just as the living man gained the summit of the hill, he saw the ugly beast with wings and tail come again to the dead man, open his bosom, and write in dark, gloomy characters, or revive a kind of law, which was not legible enough for Little Faith to make it all out; but what little he could discern seemed to be of a rebellious and destructive nature; worse, if possible, than either the laws of Mahomet, or of the Brahmins. He then closed his bosom, breathed on him afresh, and departed; and then (if possible) the dead man plunged and kicked worse than ever he had done before, insomuch that Little Faith could not tell which would be master. Sometimes one seemed to have the advantage, and sometimes the other. At last, the living man took his staff from under his arm, fixed it before him, and leaned all his weight upon it; and so stood his ground, but could not get one step forward. And presently he poured out this complaint-"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin." Rom. vii. 23. As soon as he had uttered that complaint, he fixed his eyes on a large rock that projected from the side of the road, and laboured hard to get at it, the dead man kicking and struggling with all his might to hinder him. Nevertheless, he got hold of the rock, and there he hung, trembling at every joint, saying "I was pressed above measure, and despaired even of life. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his." 2 Tim. ii. 19.
Shepherd. I suppose the dead man ceased to struggle while he held fast by the rock; for that rock is a rock of offence to the dead, and what is an offence is often shunned.
Steward. Little Faith said that, if it were possible, the dead man struggled harder than ever he had done before; that, if possible, he seemed determined to pull him from the rock. But presently he saw the same shining form come again to the living man; and, at his approach, he opened his bosom; while the shining form put forth his finger, and wrote, or revived, something on his breast, in brilliant characters, which he could not read for the glory that appeared on them. After this, he breathed on the living man again, which animated him afresh; so that he set off with more alacrity than ever, fixing his eyes on the crown that hung under the portals of Paradise, and saying-"I thank God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. So, then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin," Rom. vii. 25. But, he had not gone far, before the black beast came again to the dead man, breathed on him afresh, and wrote on his forehead the name of Blasphemy, Rev. xiii. 1. After this, he seemed still more desperate and rebellious than ever: however, the other still lugged him on; he could neither throw him down nor pull him back; and presently the shining form appeared again, and wrote the word ADOPTION on the forehead of the living man, saying, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar; and I will write upon him my NEW NAME," Rev. iii. 12; and then departed. At which the living man, in an holy triumph, said-"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, distress, peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that hath loved us. For I am persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Rom. viii. 37, 38, 39.
Shepherd. O the superabounding clemency of the King! who succours the tempted, and shields and defends the immortal principle that himself hath implanted, that the living, the living may praise him! How sweetly must the living man go on after this!
Steward. He did, as it was exhibited to Little Faith: for he saw him ascend the following hill as if he had nothing to carry; but, as soon as he came upon a long plain, which seemed to be even ground for a very great distance, he appeared to slacken his pace; and, to the best of Little Faith's view of things, the road was very rough, and the man was so perplexed with entanglements, that he did not seem to gain any ground at all, but kept going cross and cross the road, in order to shun some evils, as if that place was beset with snares, gins, and traps. In short, he seemed to be in worse perils than ever he had been before: the dead man began to plunge again; and the ugly figure that appeared before came a fourth time, and shot three fiery darts at the living man; but every one missed him, and hit the dead one, which enflamed him with a desperate rage, insomuch that the living man could not get on, but rested on his staff, as before, saying, "Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! and it setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell," James, iii. 5, 6, 7. All the motion, at this time, seemed to be in the dead man: the living one had nothing but difficulties before him; he eyed the crown at the end of his race; and put forth his hand, as if he caught at it; nevertheless, he could not get on, but cried out-"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus-forgetting those things which are behind, and REACHING forth unto those things which are before." Phil. iii. 13, 14.
Shepherd. It appears a little fire, indeed; but, when set on fire of hell, it blazes with a witness! At such a time he might reach out his hand, and press forward, but could gain very little ground; yea, it is good work if a man can keep, and not lose ground.
Steward. It is so. However, the shining form appeared to the living man again, as he was striving to move on by the help of his staff; and he opened his bosom, and breathed sparks of fire into his breast; and then he whispered in his ear, bid him go forward, and departed. The man leaped like a roe, and cried out, "My soul melteth, Psalm, cxix. 28; yea, my heart burned within me while be communed with me by the way." Upon this Little Faith awoke, and his sleep was sweet unto him.
Shepherd. And it was this dream that frightened Little Faith's strange man away: was it?
Steward. Yes: this, he said, had driven him away; for, when he awoke, he was filled with joy; nor could he either hear him speak or feel him work, and he hoped that he never should again.
Shepherd. If he never does, it is plain that he will have better success than the living man had whom he saw on the King's highway; for he seemed to be joyful if the dead man ceased to struggle only for a little time. Little Faith never saw the dead man taken from the other's back; so that he could not draw such a conclusion from any thing exhibited to him in the dream: his inference, therefore, is groundless; and so Little Faith will find it.
Steward. I shall leave Little Faith to find these things out by his feelings, as he goes on. I do not love to set a number of difficulties before him, to damp his joys. What surprised me most was, that Little Faith did not see a cross upon the back of the dead man; for the old man was crucified, and he is nailed to the cross to this day; so that he cannot ascend the throne, to reign over the living man; and, the more he struggles for mastery, the more the nails gall him.
Shepherd. But why is he called a dead man?
Steward. He goes by various names; such as Corruption, that cannot inherit incorruption; he is called Flesh, because the poor body is called upon to gratify his brutal desires: he is called Sin, that dwelleth in us; the Old Man, that is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: the travelling, or Wayfaring Man, that eat the poor man's ewe-lamb that lay in his bosom, 2 Sam. xii. 4; the Body of Sin, Rom. vi. 6; being a law, a mystery of evil, a body of iniquity: so that he is neither the body nor the soul of the living man, but the body of sin, that cleaves to both. This old man, or this body of sin, was imputed to our great Surety, who undertook our cause, and engaged to discharge our debts; and was condemned when the sentence was passed upon him. Jehovah sent his own Son in the "likeness of sinful flesh; and for sin, [that we had committed] condemned sin in the flesh" of him, Rom. viii. 3. First, here is the Surety in our nature, in the likeness of sinful flesh, with our burden on him, which he bore in his own body. Next is the sentence, Condemned sin in the flesh. Thirdly, here is his execution. The "old man is crucified," Rom. vi. 6. And, fourthly, his destruction, That the body of sin might be destroyed. On account of the above cited imputation, sentence, execution, and destruction, in the Surety's flesh, he is emphatically called, by the living man, "a body of death." "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Rom. vii. 24.
Shepherd. I thank you, Sir, for your instruction, I perceive clearly that this dead man is neither the body nor the soul of the living man, but sin that dwells in both; consequently, he must be an enemy to the King, to his clemency, to his seed; yea, an enemy to the King, and to the bodies and souls of all the Royal Family. Nor has that old man any real friend in all the lowland palace, nor in the celestial realms; but only in the usurped empire of that ugly monster who appeared with wings in the dream of Little Faith, who is called "the Prince of the power of the air," because he flies about in the air.
Steward. What you have said is true: and certain it is that that dead man, under the animating power of that black monster, has done, and is justly charged with, all the evils that have ever been done in the Palace-royal; for the Royal Seed would never offend his Majesty in thought, word, or deed, if that villain, and the other that helps him, would let them alone. This the King knows, and therefore he hath blessed them; and unto them He will not impute SIN, Rom. iv. 8; for "it is not they that do evil, but SIN that dwelleth in them," Rom. vii. 17. "The Royal Seed would do good; to will [good] is present with them; they delight in the law after the inner man, and with the mind they serve the law, but not in the oldness of the letter. The body is the King's temple; the soul his resting-place, his delight, and his chief treasure; and both are consecrated to his service: therefore they neither obey the dead man, nor the ugly monster. It is captivity, not obedience, Rom. vii. 23; for they all long, struggle, cry, and pray, to be exactly like the King, in feature, purity, and holiness; and it is that dead man pulling against them that is the sole cause of all their trouble and misery."
Shepherd. This appeared plain in the dream exhibited to Little Faith: for, when the dead man lay still, the living man was like one upon the wing; but, whenever the dead man got fresh vigour, and began to struggle and pull against him, then the other groaned, and cried for help. Therefore it is plain that, when he resisted the dead man, and him that helped him, he shewed his valour for the King; and by his unutterable triumphs, whenever the King appeared to strengthen him, he shewed his unfeigned loyalty; and proved by ocular demonstration whose son, servant, and subject, he was.
Steward. The Royal Seed are wholly at the King's service, and devoted thereunto. All and every thing belonging to them is engaged in seeking his glory, except that dead man: for, when the understanding is enlightened to see the King, the will, under a divine power, bows to him, and makes choice of him. The understanding works into the King's mind, will, and pleasure; and commits all his discoveries to the judgment, to be considered and examined, and so to be approved or rejected according to the judgment of right and wrong; while a jury of thoughts attend the court of conscience, to know his mind, whose sentence fixes it, that he may receive no damage. The mind labours to get above and out of the noise of the world, and that life and peace may be enjoyed by minding heavenly things. What the understanding discovers to be suitable, if upon judgment made it be found to be so, then, if conscience acquiesce, the will chooses, or makes his choice; and what the will chooses, the affections love. Thus, under the influence of the Spirit of clemency, the whole soul becomes loyal. The body, also, becomes a temple of the King, in which he dwells; and it bears his name, and his treasure. The feet willingly move in his ways; the hands work for the support of the tabernacle; the eyes pore on the records; the ear attends to the joyful sound made by his heralds; while the mouth speaks forth his praises, his mighty acts, and wonderful works. In short, every member becomes a servant to righteousness, Rom. vi. 9, There is nothing that stands out against the King but that dead or old man, and that wicked king that helps him, who will never be gained over to the King's party; nor will either of them ever become loyal, for the old man has neither fear nor feeling, and the other is quite desperate.
Shepherd. And it appears by Little Faith's dream, that the old man has got a law contrary to all laws, for it "wars against the law of the mind."
Steward. It does. That ugly figure stirs up and works in the old man, to blind the understanding, to influence the will with stubbornness, the mind with infidelity and vanity, the judgment with confusion, the conscience with insensibility, and to make the affections inordinate. He labours to make the feet go the wrong way, to defile the hands, to charm the ears with instrumental and false sounds, to make the eyes look on vain objects, and the mouth to utter perverse things. And thus is the old man stirred up by that ugly figure, who infuses his old leaven in him, in order, if possible, to leaven the whole lump; and is therefore justly styled MAN, because he works in every part of man, yea, in every faculty of the soul; and labours to employ every member of the body in the service of sin, which is himself, he being expressly called a body of sin. He is called the old man also, because of his antiquity: he is the oldest man upon earth, and almost as old as the world. He is corrupt, his law is a system of villainy, his deeds are evil, and he is pregnant with nothing but deceit and mischief. He will never be changed, mended, nor made better. He has been arraigned, tried, condemned, crucified, dead, and buried, and yet exists; and is to be denied, resisted, mortified, and put off daily, and every day. And this is Little Faith's strange man; and the body of death that follows, and plagues every living man in the lowland palace, whether he be soldier, servant, or son.
Shepherd. This old man bears the worst character of any that I ever heard of. Loyalists and rebels both fear and tremble. The dog smut trembles before the Chief Shepherd: but this man neither feels, fears, nor trembles; neither King nor Judge ever put him into a panic.
Steward. He is void of all fear and feeling, indeed; and is a most desperate enemy to every one that favours the King. But I must withdraw, otherwise I shall bring myself into trouble. My interviews with you are somewhat like Jacob's apprenticeship, when he served seven years for a wife; which, according to the ancient Records, seemed but a day, for the love that he had unto her.
Shepherd. I did not think that it was so late as it really is. I do not like to over-stay my time; for, when I am obliged to hurry back to my business, and can hardly get there in time, it is apt to make me fretful and peevish; and, when that is the case, I am sure to be stripped of all comfort, and unfitted for meditation.
Steward. Very true. Well, the first opportunity I have, I will call on you at your little hut.
Shepherd. At which place I shall be glad to see you. You know my leisure hours.
Steward. O yes. Till then, peace and prosperity be with you.
Shepherd. The same be with you.