aA
aA
aA
aA
aA
aA
Holy War
« Prev Chapter 10 Next »

CHAPTER 10

When the Prince had thus far new-modelled the town of Mansoul, and had instructed them in such matters as were profitable for them to know, then he appointed another day in which he intended, when the townsfolk came together, to bestow a further badge of honour upon the town of Mansoul,-a badge that should distinguish them from all the people, kindreds, and tongues that dwell in the kingdom of Universe. Now it was not long before the day appointed was come, and the Prince and his people met in the King’s palace, where first Emmanuel made a short speech unto them, and then did for them as he had said, and unto them as he had promised.

‘My Mansoul,’ said he, ‘that which I now am about to do, is to make you known to the world to be mine, and to distinguish you also in your own eyes, from all false traitors that may creep in among you.’

Then he commanded that those that waited upon him should go and bring forth out of his treasury those white and glistening robes ‘that I,’ said he, ‘have provided and laid up in store for my Mansoul.’ So the white garments were fetched out of his treasury, and laid forth to the eyes of the people. Moreover, it was granted to them that they should take them and put them on, ‘according,’ said he, ‘to your size and stature.’ So the people were put into white, into fine linen, white and clean.

Then said the Prince unto them, ‘This, O Mansoul, is my livery, and the badge by which mine are known from the servants of others. Yea, it is that which I grant to all that are mine, and without which no man is permitted to see my face. Wear them, therefore, for my sake, who gave them unto you; and also if you would be known by the world to be mine.’

But now, can you think how Mansoul shone? It was fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.

The Prince added further, and said, ‘No prince, potentate, or mighty one of Universe giveth this livery but myself: behold, therefore, as I said before, you shall be known by it to be mine.

‘And now,’ said he; ‘I have given you my livery, let me give you also in commandment concerning them; and be sure that you take good heed to my words.

‘First. Wear them daily, day by day, lest you should at some times appear to others as if you were none of mine.

‘Second. Keep them always white; for if they be soiled, it is dishonour to me.

‘Third. Wherefore gird them up from the ground, and let them not lag with dust and dirt.

‘Fourth. Take heed that you lose them not, lest you walk naked, and they see your shame.

‘Fifth. But if you should sully them, if you should defile them, the which I am greatly unwilling you should, and the prince Diabolus will be glad if you would, then speed you to do that which is written in my law, that yet you may stand, and not fall before me, and before my throne. Also, this is the way to cause that I may not leave you, nor forsake you while here, but may dwell in this town of Mansoul for ever.’

And now was Mansoul, and the inhabitants of it, as the signet upon Emmanuel’s right hand. Where was there now a town, a city, a corporation, that could compare with Mansoul? A town redeemed from the hand, and from the power of Diabolus; a town that the King Shaddai loved, and that he sent Emmanuel to regain from the prince of the infernal cave; yea, a town that Emmanuel loved to dwell in, and that he chose for his royal habitation; a town that he fortified for himself, and made strong by the force of his army. What shall I say, Mansoul has now a most excellent Prince, golden captains and men of war, weapons proved, and garments as white as snow. Nor are these benefits to be counted little, but great; can the town of Mansoul esteem them so, and improve them to that end and purpose for which they are bestowed upon them?

When the Prince had thus completed the modelling of the town, to show that he had great delight in the work of his hands, and took pleasure in the good that he had wrought for the famous and flourishing Mansoul, he commanded, and they set his standard upon the battlements of the castle. And then-

First. He gave them frequent visits; not a day now but the elders of Mansoul must come to him, or he to them, into his palace. Now they must walk and talk together of all the great things that he had done, and yet further promised to do, for the town of Mansoul. Thus would he often do with the Lord Mayor, my Lord Willbewill, and the honest subordinate preacher Mr. Conscience, and Mr. Recorder. But oh, how graciously, how lovingly, how courteously, and tenderly did this blessed Prince now carry it towards the town of Mansoul! In all the streets, gardens, orchards, and other places where he came, to be sure the poor should have his blessing and benediction; yea, he would kiss them, and if they were ill, he would lay hands on them, and make them well. The captains, also, he would daily, yea, sometimes hourly, encourage with his presence and goodly words. For you must know that a smile from him upon them would put more vigour, more life, and stoutness into them, than would anything else under heaven.

The Prince would now also feast them, and be with them continually: hardly a week would pass, but a banquet must be had betwixt him and them. You may remember that, some pages before, we make mention of one feast that they had together; but now to feast them was a thing more common: every day with Mansoul was a feast-day now. Nor did he, when they returned to their places, send them empty away; either they must have a ring, a gold chain, a bracelet, a white stone, or something; so dear was Mansoul to him now; so lovely was Mansoul in his eyes.

Second. When the elders and townsmen did not come to him, he would send in much plenty of provision unto them; meat that came from court, wine and bread that were prepared for his Father’s table; yea, such delicates would he send unto them, and therewith would so cover their table, that whoever saw it confessed that the like could not be seen in any kingdom.

Third. If Mansoul did not frequently visit him as he desired they should, he would walk out to them, knock at their doors, and desire entrance, that amity might be maintained betwixt them and him; if they did hear and open to him, as commonly they would, if they were at home, then would he renew his former love, and confirm it too with some new tokens and signs of continued favour.

And was it not now amazing to behold, that in that very place where sometimes Diabolus had his abode, and entertained his Diabolonians to the almost utter destruction of Mansoul, the Prince of princes should sit eating and drinking with them, while all his mighty captains, men of war, trumpeters, with the singing-men, and singing-women, of his Father, stood round about to wait upon them! Now did Mansoul’s cup run over, now did her conduits run sweet wine, now did she eat the finest of the wheat, and drink milk and honey out of the rock! Now she said, How great is his goodness! for since I found favour in his eyes, how honourable have I been!

The blessed Prince did also ordain a new officer in the town, and a goodly person he was, his name was Mr. God’s-Peace: this man was set over my Lord Willbewill, my Lord Mayor, Mr. Recorder, the subordinate preacher, Mr. Mind, and over all the natives of the town of Mansoul. Himself was not a native of it, but came with the Prince Emmanuel from the court. He was a great acquaintance of Captain Credence and Captain Good-Hope; some say they were kin, and I am of that opinion too. This man, as I said, was made governor of the town in general, especially over the castle, and Captain Credence was to help him there. And I made great observation of it, that so long as all things went in Mansoul as this sweet-natured gentleman would, the town was in most happy condition. Now there were no jars, no chiding, no interferings, no unfaithful doings in all the town of Mansoul; every man in Mansoul kept close to his own employment. The gentry, the officers, the soldiers, and all in place observed their order. And as for the women and children of the town, they followed their business joyfully; they would work and sing, work and sing, from morning till night: so that quite through the town of Mansoul now, nothing was to be found but harmony, quietness, joy, and health. And this lasted all that summer.

But there was a man in the town of Mansoul, and his name was Mr. Carnal -Security; this man did, after all this mercy bestowed on this corporation, bring the town of Mansoul into great and grievous slavery and bondage. A brief account of him and of his doings take as followeth:—

When Diabolus at first took possession of the town of Mansoul, he brought thither, with himself, a great number of Diabolonians, men of his own conditions. Now, among these, there was one whose name was Mr. Self-Conceit, and a notable brisk man he was, as any that in those days did possess the town of Mansoul. Diabolus, then, perceiving this man to be active and bold, sent him upon many desperate designs, the which he managed better, and more to the pleasing of his lord, than most that came with him from the dens could do. Wherefore, finding him so fit for his purpose, he preferred him, and made him next to the great Lord Willbewill, of whom we have written so much before. Now the Lord Willbewill being in those days very well pleased with him, and with his achievements, gave him his daughter, the Lady Fear-Nothing, to wife. Now, of my Lady Fear-Nothing, did this Mr. Self-Conceit beget this gentleman, Mr. Carnal-Security. Wherefore, there being then in Mansoul those strange kinds of mixtures, it was hard for them, in some cases, to find out who were natives, who not, for Mr. Carnal-Security sprang from my Lord Willbewill by mother’s side, though he had for his father a Diabolonian by nature.

Well, this Carnal-Security took much after his father and mother; he was self-conceited, he feared nothing, he was also a very busy man: nothing of news, nothing of doctrine, nothing of alteration, or talk of alteration, could at any time be on foot in Mansoul, but be sure Mr. Carnal-Security would be at the head or tail of it: but, to be sure, he would decline those that he deemed the weakest, and stood always with them, in his way of standing, that he supposed was the strongest side.

Now, when Shaddai the mighty, and Emmanuel his Son, made war upon Mansoul, to take it, this Mr. Carnal-Security was then in town, and was a great doer among the people, encouraging them in their rebellion, putting them upon hardening themselves in their resisting the King’s forces; but when he saw that the town of Mansoul was taken, and converted to the use of the glorious Prince Emmanuel: and when he also saw what was become of Diabolus, and how he was unroosted, and made to quit the castle in the greatest contempt and scorn; and that the town of Mansoul was well lined with captains, engines of war, and men, and also provision; what doth he but slyly wheel about also; and as he had served Diabolus against the good Prince, so he feigned that he would serve the Prince against his foes.

And having got some little smattering of Emmanuel’s things by the end, being bold, he ventures himself into the company of the townsmen, and attempts also to chat among them. Now he knew that the power and strength of the town of Mansoul was great, and that it could not but be pleasing to the people, if he cried up their might and their glory. Wherefore he beginneth his tale with the power and strength of Mansoul, and affirmed that it was impregnable; now magnifying their captains, and their slings, and their rams; then crying up their fortifications and strongholds; and, lastly, the assurances that they had from their Prince, that Mansoul should be happy for ever. But when he saw that some of the men of the town were tickled and taken with his discourse, he makes it his business, and, walking from street to street, house to house, and man to man, he at last brought Mansoul to dance after his pipe, and to grow almost as carnally secure as himself; so from talking they went to feasting, and from feasting to sporting; and so to some other matters. Now Emmanuel was yet in the town of Mansoul, and he wisely observed their doings. My Lord Mayor, my Lord Willbewill, and Mr. Recorder were also all taken with the words of this tattling Diabolonian gentleman, forgetting that their Prince had given them warning before to take heed that they were not beguiled with any Diabolonian sleight; he had further told them, that the security of the now flourishing town of Mansoul did not so much lie in her present fortifications and force, as in her so using of what she had, as might oblige her Emmanuel to abide within her castle. For the right doctrine of Emmanuel was, that the town of Mansoul should take heed that they forgot not his Father’s love and his; also, that they should so demean themselves as to continue to keep themselves therein. Now this was not the way to do it, namely, to fall in love with one of the Diabolonians, and with such an one too as Mr. Carnal-Security was, and to be led up and down by the nose by him; they should have heard their Prince, feared their Prince, loved their Prince, and have stoned this naughty pack to death, and took care to have walked in the ways of their Prince’s prescribing; for then should their peace have been as a river, when their righteousness had been like the waves of the sea.

Now when Emmanuel perceived that through the policy of Mr. Carnal-Security, the hearts of the men of Mansoul were chilled and abated in their practical love to him-

First. He bemoans them, and condoles their state with the Secretary, saying, ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and that Mansoul had walked in my ways! I would have fed them with the finest of the wheat; and with honey out of the rock would I have sustained them.’ This done, he said in his heart, ‘I will return to the court, and go to my place, till Mansoul shall consider and acknowledge their offence.’ And he did so, and the cause and manner of his going away from them was, that Mansoul declined him, as is manifest in these particulars :—

1. They left off their former way of visiting him, they came not to his royal palace as afore.

2. They did not regard, nor yet take notice, that he came or came not to visit them.

3. The love-feasts that had wont to be between their Prince and them, though he made them still, and called them to them, yet they neglected to come to them, or to be delighted with them.

4. They waited not for his counsels, but began to be headstrong and confident in themselves, concluding that now they were strong and invincible, and that Mansoul was secure, and beyond all reach of the foe, and that her state must needs be unalterable for ever.

Now, as was said, Emmanuel perceiving that by the craft of Mr. Carnal-Security, the town of Mansoul was taken off from their dependence upon him, and upon his Father by him, and set upon what by them was bestowed upon it; he first, as I said, bemoaned their state, then he used means to make them understand that the way that they went on in was dangerous: for he sent my Lord High Secretary to them, to forbid them such ways; but twice when he came to them, he found them at dinner in Mr. Carnal-Security’s parlour; and perceiving also that they were not willing to reason about matters concerning their good, he took grief and went his way; the which when he had told to the Prince Emmanuel, he took offence, and was grieved also, and so made provision to return to his Father’s court.

Now, the methods of his withdrawing, as I was saying before, were thus:—

1. Even while he was yet with them in Mansoul, he kept himself close, and more retired than formerly.

2. His speech was not now, if he came in their company, so pleasant and familiar as formerly.

3. Nor did he, as in times past, send to Mansoul, from his table, those dainty bits which he was wont to do.

4. Nor when they came to visit him, as now and then they would, would he be so easily spoken with as they found him to be in times past. They might now knock once, yea, twice, but he would seem not at all to regard them; whereas formerly at the sound of their feet he would up and run, and meet them half-way, and take them too, and lay them in his bosom.

But thus Emmanuel carried it now, and by this his carriage he sought to make them bethink themselves, and return to him. But, alas! they did not consider, they did not know his ways, they regarded not, they were not touched with these, nor with the true remembrance of former favours. Wherefore what does he but in private manner withdraw himself, first from his palace, then to the gate of the town, and so away from Mansoul he goes, till they should acknowledge their offence, and more earnestly seek his face. Mr. God’s-Peace also laid down his commission, and would for the present act no longer in the town of Mansoul.

Thus they walked contrary to him, and he again, by way of retaliation, walked contrary to them. But, alas! by this time they were so hardened in their way, and had so drunk in the doctrine of Mr. Carnal-Security, that the departing of their Prince touched them not, nor was he remembered by them when gone; and so, of consequence, his absence not condoled by them.

Now, there was a day wherein this old gentleman, Mr. Carnal-Security, did again make a feast for the town of Mansoul; and there was at that time in the town one Mr. Godly-Fear, one nowbut little set by, though formerly one of great request. This man, old Carnal-Security had a mind, if possible, to gull, and debauch, and abuse, as he did the rest, and therefore he now bids him to the feast with his neighbours. So the day being come, they prepare, and he goes and appears with the rest of the guests; and being all set at the table, they did eat and drink, and were merry, even all but this one man: for Mr. Godly-Fear sat like a stranger, and did neither eat nor was merry. The which, when Mr. Carnal-Security perceived, he presently addressed himself in a speech thus to him:—

‘Mr. Godly-Fear, are you not well? you seem to be ill of body or mind, or both. I have a cordial of Mr. Forget-Good’s making, the which, sir, if you will take a dram of, I hope it may make you bonny and blithe, and so make you more fit for us, feasting companions.’

Unto whom the good old gentleman discreetly replied, ‘Sir, I thank you for all things courteous and civil; but for your cordial I have no list thereto. But a word to the natives of Mansoul: You, the elders and chief of Mansoul, to me it is strange to see you so jocund and merry, when the town of Mansoul is in such woful case.’

Then said Mr. Carnal-Security, ‘You want sleep, good sir, I doubt. If you please, lie down, and take a nap, and we meanwhile will be merry.’

Then said the good man as follows: ‘Sir, if you were not destitute of an honest heart, you could not do as you have done and do.’

Then said Mr. Carnal-Security, ‘Why?’

Godly.Nay, pray interrupt me not. It is true the town of Mansoul was strong, and, with a proviso, impregnable; but you, the townsmen, have weakened it, and it now lies obnoxious to its foes. Nor is it a time to flatter, or be silent; it is you, Mr. Carnal-Security, that have wilily stripped Mansoul, and driven her glory from her; you have pulled down her towers, you have broken down her gates, you have spoiled her locks and bars.

And now, to explain myself: from that time that my lords of Mansoul, and you, sir, grew so great, from that time the Strength of Mansoul has been offended, and now he is arisen and is gone. If any shall question the truth of my words, I will answer him by this, and such like questions. ‘Where is the Prince Emmanuel? When did a man or woman in Mansoul see him? When did you hear from him, or taste any of his dainty bits?’ You are now a-feasting with this Diabolonian monster, but he is not your Prince. I say, therefore, though enemies from without, had you taken heed, could not have made a prey of you, yet since you have sinned against your Prince, your enemies within have been too hard for you.

Then said Mr. Carnal-Security, ‘Fie! fie! Mr. Godly-Fear, fie!-will you never shake off your timorousness? Are you afraid of being sparrow-blasted? Who hath hurt you? Behold, I am on your side; only yon are for doubting, and I am for being confident. Besides, is this a time to be sad in? A feast is made for mirth; why, then, do you now, to your shame and our trouble, break out into such passionate, melancholy language, when you should eat and drink, and be merry?’

Then said Mr. Godly-Fear again, ‘I may well be sad, for Emmanuel is gone from Mansoul. I say again, he is gone, and you, sir, are the man that has driven him away; yea, he is gone without so much as acquainting the nobles of Mansoul with his going; and if that is not a sign of his anger, I am not acquainted with the methods of godliness.

‘And now, my lords and gentlemen, for my speech is still to you, your gradual declining from him did provoke him gradually to depart from you, the which he did for some time, if perhaps you would have been made sensible thereby, and have been renewed by humbling yourselves; but when he saw that none would regard, nor lay these fearful beginnings of his anger and judgment to heart, he went away from this place; and this I saw with mine eye. Wherefore now, while you boast, your strength is gone; you are like the man that had lost his locks that before did wave about his shoulders. You may, with this lord of your feast, shake yourselves, and conclude to do as at other times; but since without him you can do nothing, and he is departed from you, turn your feast into a sigh, and your mirth into lamentation.’

Then the subordinate preacher, old Mr. Conscience by name, he that of old was Recorder of Mansoul, being startled at what was said, began to second it thus:—

‘Indeed, my brethren,’ quoth he, ‘I fear that Mr. Godly-Fear tells us true: I, for my part, have not seen my Prince a long season. I cannot remember the day, for my part; nor can I answer Mr. Godly-Fear’s question. I doubt, I am afraid that all is naught with Mansoul.’

Godly.Nay, I know that you shall not find him in Mansoul, for he is departed and gone; yea, and gone for the faults of the elders, and for that they rewarded his grace with unsufferable unkindness.

Then did the subordinate preacher look as if he would fall down dead at the table; also all there present, except the man of the house, began to look pale and wan. But having a little recovered themselves, and jointly agreeing to believe Mr. Godly-Fear and his sayings, they began to consult what was best to be done (now Mr. Carnal-Security was gone into his withdrawing-room, for he liked not such dumpish doings), both to the man of the house for drawing them into evil, and also to recover Emmanuel’s love.

And, with that, that saying of their Prince came very hot into their minds, which he had bidden them do to such as were false prophets that should arise to delude the town of Mansoul. So they took Mr. Carnal-Security (concluding that he must be he), and burned his house upon him with fire; for he also was a Diabolonian by nature.

So when this was passed and over, they bespeed themselves to look for Emmanuel their Prince; and they sought him, but they found him not. Then were they more confirmed in the truth of Mr. Godly-Fear’s sayings, and began also severely to reflect upon themselves for their so vile and ungodly doings; for they concluded now that it was through them that their Prince had left them.

Then they agreed and went to my Lord Secretary (him whom before they refused to hear-him whom they had grieved with their doings), to know of him, for he was a seer, and could tell where Emmanuel was, and how they might direct a petition to him. But the Lord Secretary would not admit them to a conference about this matter, nor would admit them to his royal place of abode, nor come out to them to show them his face or intelligence.

And now was it a day gloomy and dark, a day of clouds and of thick darkness with Mansoul. Now they saw that they had been foolish, and began to perceive what the company and prattle of Mr. Carnal-Security had done, and what desperate damage his swaggering words had brought poor Mansoul into. But what further it was likely to cost them they were ignorant of. Now Mr. Godly-Fear began again to be in repute with the men of the town; yea, they were ready to look upon him as a prophet.

« Prev Chapter 10 Next »

Advertisements


| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |