Home Pilgrim's Progress Continued from Part 21 - Clips/Read more/Lists Pilgrim and Hopeful share more with Ignorance. Part 28.
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                                                                          Part 28.

 

   

   ¶ I saw then in my dream, that Hopeful looked back, and saw Ignorance,

   whom they had left behind, coming after. Look, said he to Christian,

   how far yonder youngster loitereth behind.

 

          

 

   Christian: Aye, aye, I see him: he careth not for our company.

 

   Hopeful: But I trow it would not have hurt him, had he kept pace with

   us hitherto.

 

   Christian: That is true; but I warrant you he thinketh otherwise.

 

   Hopeful: That I think he doth; but, however, let us tarry for him. (So

   they did.)

 

   ¶ Then Christian said to him, Come away, man; why do you stay so behind?

 

   Ignorance: I take my pleasure in walking alone, even more a great deal

   than in company, unless I like it the better.

 

   ¶ Then said Christian to Hopeful, (but softly,) Did I not tell you he

   cared not for our company? But, however, said he, come up, and let us

   talk away the time in this solitary place. Then, directing his speech

   to Ignorance, he said, Come, how do you do? How stands it between God

   and your soul now?

 

   Ignorance: I hope, well; for I am always full of good motions, that

 

               

       

   come into my mind to comfort me as I walk.

 

   Christian: What good motions? Pray tell us.

 

   Ignorance: Why, I think of God and heaven.

 

   Christian: So do the devils and damned souls.

 

   Ignorance: But I think of them, and desire them.

 

   Christian: So do many that are never like to come there. "The soul of

   the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing."  Prov. 13:4.

 

   Ignorance: But I think of them, and leave all for them.

 

   Christian: That I doubt: for to leave all is a very hard matter; yea, a

   harder matter than many are aware of. But why, or by what, art thou

   persuaded that thou hast left all for God and heaven?

 

   Ignorance: My heart tells me so.

 

   Christian: The wise man says, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a

   fool."  Prov. 28:26.

 

   Ignorance: That is spoken of an evil heart; but mine is a good one.

 

   Christian: But how dost thou prove that?

 

   Ignorance: It comforts me in hopes of heaven.

 

   Christian: That may be through its deceitfulness; for a man's heart may

   minister comfort to him in the hopes of that thing for which he has yet

   no ground to hope.

 

   Ignorance: But my heart and life agree together; and therefore my hope

   is well-grounded.

 

   Christian: Who told thee that thy heart and life agree together?

 

   Ignorance: My heart tells me so.

 

   Christian: "Ask my fellow if I be a thief." Thy heart tells thee so!

   Except the word of God beareth witness in this matter, other testimony

   is of no value.

 

   Ignorance: But is it not a good heart that hath good thoughts? and is

   not that a good life that is according to God's commandments?

 

   Christian: Yes, that is a good heart that hath good thoughts, and that

   is a good life that is according to God's commandments; but it is one

   thing indeed to have these, and another thing only to think so.

 

   Ignorance: Pray, what count you good thoughts, and a life according to

   God's commandments?

 

   Christian: There are good thoughts of divers kinds; some respecting

   ourselves, some God, some Christ, and some other things.

 

   Ignorance: What be good thoughts respecting ourselves?

 

   Christian: Such as agree with the word of God.

 

   Ignorance: When do our thoughts of ourselves agree with the word of

   God?

 

   Christian: When we pass the same judgment upon ourselves which the word

   passes. To explain myself: the word of God saith of persons in a

   natural condition, "There is none righteous, there is none that doeth

   good." It saith also, that, "every imagination of the heart of man is

   only evil, and that continually."  Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3. And again, "The

   imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth."  Gen. 8:21. Now,

   then, when we think thus of ourselves, having sense thereof, then are

   our thoughts good ones, because according to the word of God.

 

   Ignorance: I will never believe that my heart is thus bad.

 

   Christian: Therefore thou never hadst one good thought concerning

   thyself in thy life. But let me go on. As the word passeth a judgment

   upon our hearts, so it passeth a judgment upon our ways; and when the

   thoughts of our hearts and ways agree with the judgment which the word

   giveth of both, then are both good, because agreeing thereto.

 

   Ignorance: Make out your meaning.

 

   Christian: Why, the word of God saith, that man's ways are crooked

   ways, not good but perverse; it saith, they are naturally out of the

   good way, that they have not known it.  Psa. 125:5; Prov. 2:15; Rom.

   3:12. Now, when a man thus thinketh of his ways, I say, when he doth

   sensibly, and with heart-humiliation, thus think, then hath he good

   thoughts of his own ways, because his thoughts now agree with the

   judgment of the word of God.

 

   Ignorance: What are good thoughts concerning God?

 

   Christian: Even, as I have said concerning ourselves, when our thoughts

   of God do agree with what the word saith of him; and that is, when we

   think of his being and attributes as the word hath taught, of which I

   cannot now discourse at large. But to speak of him with reference to

   us: then have we right thoughts of God when we think that he knows us

   better than we know ourselves, and can see sin in us when and where we

   can see none in ourselves; when we think he knows our inmost thoughts,

   and that our heart, with all its depths, is always open unto his eyes;

   also when we think that all our righteousness stinks in his nostrils,

   and that therefore he cannot abide to see us stand before him in any

   confidence, even in all our best performances.

 

   Ignorance: Do you think that I am such a fool as to think that God can

   see no further than I; or that I would come to God in the best of my

   performances?

 

   Christian: Why, how dost thou think in this matter?

 

   Ignorance: Why, to be short, I think I must believe in Christ for

   justification.

 

   Christian: How! think thou must believe in Christ, when thou seest not

   thy need of him! Thou neither seest thy original nor actual

   infirmities; but hast such an opinion of thyself, and of what thou

   doest, as plainly renders thee to be one that did never see the

   necessity of Christ's personal righteousness to justify thee before

   God. How, then, dost thou say, I believe in Christ?

 

   Ignorance: I believe well enough, for all that.

 

   Christian: How dost thou believe?

 

   Ignorance: I believe that Christ died for sinners; and that I shall be

   justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance of

   my obedience to his laws. Or thus, Christ makes my duties, that are

   religious, acceptable to his Father by virtue of his merits, and so

   shall I be justified.

 

   Christian: Let me give an answer to this confession of thy faith.

 

   1. Thou believest with a fantastical faith; for this faith is nowhere

   described in the word.

 

   2. Thou believest with a false faith; because it taketh justification

   from the personal righteousness of Christ, and applies it to thy own.

 

   3. This faith maketh not Christ a justifier of thy person, but of thy

   actions; and of thy person for thy action's sake, which is false.

 

   4. Therefore this faith is deceitful, even such as will leave thee

   under wrath in the day of God Almighty: for true justifying faith puts

   the soul, as sensible of its lost condition by the law, upon flying for

   refuge unto Christ's righteousness; (which righteousness of his is not

   an act of grace by which he maketh, for justification, thy obedience

   accepted with God, but his personal obedience to the law, in doing and

   suffering for us what that required at our hands;) this righteousness,

   I say, true faith accepteth; under the skirt of which the soul being

   shrouded, and by it presented as spotless before God, it is accepted,

   and acquitted from condemnation.

 

   Ignorance: What! would you have us trust to what Christ in his own

   person has done without us? This conceit would loosen the reins of our

   lust, and tolerate us to live as we list: for what matter how we live,

   if we may be justified by Christ's personal righteousness from all,

   when we believe it?

 

   Christian: Ignorance is thy name, and as thy name is, so art thou: even

   this thy answer demonstrateth what I say. Ignorant thou art of what

   justifying righteousness is, and as ignorant how to secure thy soul,

   through the faith of it, from the heavy wrath of God. Yea, thou also

   art ignorant of the true effects of saving faith in this righteousness

   of Christ, which is to bow and win over the heart to God in Christ, to

   love his name, his word, ways, and people, and not as thou ignorantly

   imaginest.

 

   Hopeful: Ask him if ever he had Christ revealed to him from heaven.

 

   Ignorance: What! you are a man for revelations! I do believe, that what

   both you and all the rest of you say about that matter, is but the

   fruit of distracted brains.

 

   Hopeful: Why, man, Christ is so hid in God from the natural

   apprehensions of the flesh, that he cannot by any man be savingly

   known, unless God the Father reveals him to him.

 

   Ignorance: That is your faith, but not mine, yet mine, I doubt not, is

   as good as yours, though I have not in my head so many whimsies as you.

 

   Christian: Give me leave to put in a word. You ought not so slightly to

   speak of this matter: for this I will boldly affirm, even as my good

   companion hath done, that no man can know Jesus Christ but by the

   revelation of the Father: yea, and faith too, by which the soul layeth

   hold upon Christ, (if it be right,) must be wrought by the exceeding

   greatness of his mighty power,  Matt. 11:27; 1 Cor. 12:3; Eph.

  1:17-19; the working of which faith, I perceive, poor Ignorance, thou art

   ignorant of. Be awakened, then, see thine own wretchedness, and fly to

   the Lord Jesus; and by his righteousness, which is the righteousness of

   God, (for he himself is God,) thou shalt be delivered from

   condemnation.

 

   Ignorance: You go so fast I cannot keep pace with you; do you go on

   before: I must stay a while behind.

 

   ¶ Then they said,

 

   "Well, Ignorance, wilt thou yet foolish be,

 

   To slight good counsel, ten times given thee?

 

   And if thou yet refuse it, thou shalt know,

 

   Ere long, the evil of thy doing so.

 

   Remember, man, in time: stoop, do not fear:

 

   Good counsel, taken well, saves; therefore hear.

 

   But if thou yet shalt slight it, thou wilt be

   The loser, Ignorance, I'll warrant thee."

 

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