said CHRISTIAN to his fellow,
"Now I call to remembrance that which was told me of a thing that
happened to a good man hereabout. The name of the man was LITTLE-FAITH; but
a good man, and he dwelt in the town of Sincere. The thing was
this: at the entering in of this passage, there comes down from Broadway
gate a lane called Deadman's Lane; so called because of the murders that are
commonly done there. And this LITTLE-FAITH going on pilgrimage, as we do
now, chanced to sit down there, and slept. Now there happened, at that time,
to come down the lane from Broadway gate three sturdy rogues, and their
names were FAINT-HEART, MISTRUST, and GUILT (three brothers); and they,
espying LITTLE-FAITH where he was, came galloping up with speed. Now the
good man was just awaked from his sleep, and was getting up to go on his
journey; so they came all up to him, and, with threatening language, bade
him stand. At this, LITTLE-FAITH looked as white as a clout; and had neither
power to fight nor fly. Then said FAINT-HEART, 'Deliver thy purse;' but he
making no haste to do it (for he was loth to lose his money), MISTRUST ran
up to him, and thrusting his hand into his pocket, pulled out thence a bag
of silver. Then he cried out, 'Thieves! thieves!' With that, GUILT, with a
great club that was in his hand, struck LITTLE-FAITH on the head, and with
that blow felled him flat to the ground; where he lay bleeding, as one that
would bleed to death. All this while the thieves stood by; but at last, they
hearing that some were upon the road, and fearing lest it should be one
GREAT-GRACE, that dwells in the city of Good-confidence, they betook
themselves to their heels, and left this good man to shift for himself. Now,
after awhile, LITTLE-FAITH came to himself; and getting up, made shift to
scrabble on his way. This was the story."
But did they take from him all that ever he had?
No; the place where his jewels were they never ransacked, so those he kept
still; but, as I was told, the good man was much afflicted for his loss, for
the thieves got most of his spending money. That which they got not (as I
said) were jewels; also he had a little odd money left, but scarce enough to
bring him to his journey's end;
if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner
appear?" 1 Peter 4:18
(if I was not misinformed), he was forced to beg as he went, to keep himself
alive (for his jewels he might not sell). But beg, and do what he could, he
went (as we say) "with many a hungry belly" the most part of the
rest of the way.
But is it not a wonder they got not from him his certificate by which he was
to receive his admittance at the Celestial Gate?
'T is a wonder but they got not that, though they missed it not through any
good cunning of his; for he being dismayed with their coming upon him, had
neither power nor skill to hide anything: so 't was more by good providence
than by his endeavour that they missed of that good thing.
good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which
dwelleth in us." 2 Timothy 1:14
Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the
unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" 2 Peter 2:9
But it must be a comfort to him that they got not his jewels from him.
It might have been great comfort to him, had he used it as he should; but
they that told me the story, said, That he made but little use of it all the
rest of the way; and that because of the dismay that he had in their taking
away of his money: indeed, he forgot it a great part of the rest of the
journey. And besides, when at any time it came into his mind, and he began
to be comforted therewith, then would fresh thoughts of his loss come again
upon him; and those thoughts would swallow up all.
Alas, poor man, this could not but be a great grief unto him.
Grief! Aye, a grief indeed; would it not have been so to any of us, had we
been used as he, to be robbed and wounded too, and that in a strange place,
as he was? 'Tis a wonder he did not die with grief, poor heart! I was told,
that he scattered almost all the rest of the way with nothing but doleful
and bitter complaints. Telling also to all that overtook him, or that he
overtook in the way as he went, where he was robbed, and how; who they were
that did it, and what he lost; how he was wounded, and that he hardly
escaped with life.
Hope. But 'tis a wonder that his necessities did not put him upon
selling or pawning some of his jewels, that he might have wherewith to
relieve himself in his journey.
Thou talkest like one upon whose head is the shell to this very day; for
what should he pawn them? or to whom should he sell them? In all that
country where he was robbed his jewels were not accounted of, nor did he
want that relief which could from thence be administered to him; besides,
had his jewels been missing at the gate of the Celestial City, he had (and
that he knew well enough) been excluded from an inheritance there; and that
would have been worse to him than the appearance and villainy of ten
Why art thou so tart, my brother? Esau sold his birthright, and that for a
mess of pottage; and that birthright was his greatest jewel:
there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one
morsel of meat sold his birthright." Hebrew
if he, why might not LITTLE-FAITH do so too?
Esau did sell his birthright indeed, and so do many besides; and by so
doing, exclude themselves from the chief blessing, as also that knave did.
But you must put a difference betwixt Esau and LITTLE-FAITH; and also
betwixt their estates. Esau's birthright was typical; but LITTLE-FAITH'S
jewels were not so. Esau's belly was his god; but LITTLE-FAITH'S belly was
Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall
this birthright do to me?" Genesis 25:32
want lay in his fleshly appetite; LITTLE-FAITH'S did not so. Besides, Esau
could see not further than to the fulfilling of his lusts: "For I am at
the point to die," said he; "and what good will this birthright do
me?" But LITTLE-FAITH, though it was his lot to have but a little
faith, was by his little faith kept from such extravagances, and made to see
and prize his jewels more than to sell them, as Esau did his birthright. You
read not anywhere that Esau had faith, no, not so much as a little:
therefore no marvel, if where the flesh only bears sway (as it will in the
man where no faith is to resist), if he sells his birthright, and his soul
and all, and that to the devil of hell; for it is with such as it is with
the ass, who in her occasion cannot be turned away.
wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her
pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will
not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her." Jeremiah 2:24
their minds are set upon their lusts, they will have them, whatever they
cost. But LITTLE-FAITH was of another temper, his mind was on things divine;
his livelihood was upon things that were spiritual, and from above:
therefore, to what end should he that is of such a temper sell his jewels
(had there been any that would have bought them), to fill his mind with
empty things? Will a man give a penny to fill his belly with hay? or can you
persuade the turtledove to live upon carrion, like the crow? Though
faithless ones can, for carnal lusts, pawn, or mortgage, or sell what they
have, and themselves outright to boot; yet they that have faith, saving
faith, though but a little of it, cannot do so. Here, therefore, my brother,
is thy mistake.
I acknowledge it; but yet your severe reflection had almost made me angry.
Why, I did but compare thee to some of the birds that are of the brisker
sort, who will run to and fro in trodden 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.
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 up
a greater heart? He might, methinks, have stood one brush with them, and
have yielded when there had been no remedy.
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.
consider again – they are but journeymen-thieves, they serve under the
king of the bottomless pit; who, if need be, will come in to their aid
himself, and his voice is as the roaring of a lion.
sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8
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 but 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 myself like a man; no man can tell what in that
combat attends us, but he that hath been in the battle himself.
Well, but they ran, you see, when they did but suppose that one GREAT-GRACE
was in the way.
True, they have often fled, both they and their master, when GREAT-GRACE
hath but appeared; and no marvel, for he is the King's champion: but I trow,
you will put some difference between LITTLE-FAITH 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.
I would it had been GREAT-GRACE for their sakes.
If it had been he, he might have had his hands full: for I must tell you,
that though GREAT-GRACE is excellent good at his weapons, and has done –
and can do, so long as he keeps them at sword's point – well enough with
them; yet if they get within him, even FAINT-HEART, MISTRUST, or the other,
it shall go hard but they will throw up his heels. And when a man is down,
you know – what can he do?
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 these sturdy rogues and their fellows make David
groan, moan, and roar? Yea, Heman and Hezekiah too, though champions in
their day, were forced to bestir them when by these assaulted; and yet, that
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 the Prince of the Apostles, they handled him so that they made him at
last afraid of a sorry girl.
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 lays at him cannot hold: the
spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. He esteems 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 laughs at the shaking of a
sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor 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."
can a man do in this case? 'Tis 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
the grasshopper; the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paws in the
valley, rejoices in his strength, and goes out to meet the armed men. He
mocks at fear, and is not affrighted, neither turns back from the sword. The
quiver rattles against him; the glittering spear, and the shield. He
swallows the ground with fierceness and rage; neither believes he that it is
the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smells
the battle afar off, the thundering of the captains, and the shouting".
thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? 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 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 shouting." Job 39:19-25
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 thoughts of our own manhood, for
such commonly come by the worst when tried. Witness 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 was so foiled and run down by these villains as he?
therefore, we hear that such robberies are done on the king's highway, two
things become us to do; first, to go out harnessed, and to 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 wanting, 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".
all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all
the fiery darts of the wicked." Ephesians 6:16
good also that we desire of the King a convoy, yea, 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
he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up
my brother, if he will but go along with us, what need we be afraid of ten
thousands that shall set themselves against us? but without him, the proud
helpers fall under the slain.
laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be
afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against
me round about. Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all
mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the
ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is
upon thy people. Selah." Psalm 3:5-8
LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is
the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even
mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and
fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:
though war should rise against me, in this will I be
confident." Psalm 27:1-3
me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the
slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is
stretched out still." Isaiah 10:4
for my part, have been in the fray before now; and though (through the
goodness of him that is best) I am, as you see, alive, yet I cannot boast of
my 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
hath not as yet devoured me, I hope God will also deliver us from the next
LITTLE-FAITH! hast been among the thieves?
Wast robbed? Remember this: whoso believes,
And gets more faith, shall then a victor be
Over ten thousand, else scarce over three."