The Pilgrim’s Progress is one of my perennial Sunday morning books, and this morning I was reading along, minding my own business, when one of the characters tried to deliver a confessional blow to my federal vision sympathies. He said, and I quote . . .
“For to talk of such things is most profitable; for by so doing, a man may get Knowledge of many things; as of the vanity of Earthly things, and the benefit of things Above . . . by this a man may learn the necessity of the New Birth; the insufficiency of our Works; the need of Christ’s righteousness, &c. Besides, by this a man may learn what it is to repent, to believe, to pray, to suffer, or the like: By this also, a Man may learn what are the great Promises and consolations of the Gospel, to his own comfort. Farther, by this a Man may learn to refute false opinions, to vindicate the Truth, and also to instruct the Ignorant . . . Alas! the want of this is the cause that so few understand the need of Faith, and the necessity of a work of Grace in their soul, in order to Eternal Life; but ignorantly live in the works of the Law, by which a man can by no means obtain the Kingdom of Heaven . . . For a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven; all is of Grace, not of works: I could give you an hundred Scriptures for the confirmation of this.”
Fortunately, another character came to my rescue, and said, just in the nick of time . . .
“Heavenly knowledge of these is the Gift of God; no man attaineth to them by human industry, or only by the talk of them.”
So, then, three guesses as to who said what.