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 Main Index : Writings : John Bunyan : Holy War Index : The Holy War - Part 5
The Holy War - Part 4 | Index | The Holy War - Part 6

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR.

PART FIVE

These three summonses, and especially the last two, did so distress the town that they presently call a consultation, the result of which was this - That my Lord Willbewill should go up to Ear-gate, and there, with sound of trumpet, call to the captains of the camp for a parley. Well, the Lord Willbewill sounded upon the wall; so the captains came up in their harness, with their ten thousands at their feet. The townsmen then told the captains that they had heard and considered their summons, and would come to an agreement with them, and with their King Shaddai, upon such certain terms, articles, and propositions as, with and by the order of their prince, they to them were appointed to propound; to wit, they would agree upon these grounds to be one people with them.

1. If that those of their own company, as the now Lord Mayor and their Mr. Forget-Good, with then brave Lord Willbewill, might, under Shaddai, be still the governors of the town, castle, and gates of Mansoul.

2. Provided that no man that now serveth under their great giant Diabolus be by Shaddai cast out of house, harbour, or the freedom that he hath hitherto enjoyed in the famous town of Mansoul.

3. That it shall be granted them, that they of the town of Mansoul shall enjoy certain of their rights and privileges; to wit, such as have formerly been granted them, and that they have long lived in the enjoyment of, under the reign of their king Diabolus, that now is, and long has been, their only lord and great defender.

4. That no new law, officer, or executioner of law or office, shall have any power over them, without their own choice and consent.

'These be our propositions, or conditions of peace; and upon these terms,' said they, 'we will submit to your King.'

But when the captains had heard this weak and feeble offer of the town of Mansoul, and their high and bold demands, they made to them again, by their noble captain, the Captain Boanerges, this speech following:

'O ye inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, when I heard your trumpet sound for a parley with us, I can truly say I was glad; but when you said you were willing to submit yourselves to our King and Lord, then I was yet more glad; but when, by your silly provisos and foolish cavils, you laid the stumbling-block of your iniquity before your own faces, then was my gladness turned into sorrows, and my hopeful beginnings of your return, into languishing fainting fears.

'I count that old Ill-Pause, the ancient enemy of Mansoul, did draw up those proposals that now you present us with as terms of an agreement; but they deserve not to be admitted to sound in the ear of any man that pretends to have service for Shaddai. We do therefore jointly, and that with the highest disdain, refuse and reject such things, as the greatest of iniquities.

'But, O Mansoul, if you will give yourselves into our hands, or rather into the hands of our King, and will trust him to make such terms with and for you as shall seem good in his eyes, (and I dare say they shall be such as you shall find to be most profitable to you,) then we will receive you, and be at peace with you; but if you like not to trust yourselves in the arms of Shaddai our King, then things are but where they were before, and we know also what we have to do.'

Then cried out old Incredulity, the Lord Mayor, and said, 'And who, being out of the hands of their enemies, as ye see we are now, will be so foolish as to put the staff out of their own hands into the hands of they know not who? I, for my part, will never yield to so unlimited a proposition. Do we know the manner and temper of their King? It is said by some that he will be angry with his subjects if but the breadth of an hair they chance to step out of the way; and by others, that he requireth of them much more than they can perform. Wherefore, it seems, O Mansoul, to be thy wisdom to take good heed what thou dost in this matter; for if you once yield, you give up yourselves to another, and so you are no more your own. Wherefore, to give up yourselves to an unlimited power, is the greatest folly in the world; for now you indeed may repent, but can never justly complain. But do you indeed know, when you are his, which of you he will kill, and which of you he will save alive; or whether he will not cut off every one of us, and send out of his own country another new people, and cause them to inhabit this town?'

This speech of the Lord Mayor undid all, and threw flat to the ground their hopes of an accord. Wherefore the captains returned to their trenches, to their tents, and to their men, as they were; and the Mayor to the castle and to his King.

Now Diabolus had waited for his return, for he had heard that they had been at their points. So, when he was come into the chamber of state, Diabolus saluted him with - 'Welcome, my lord. How went matters betwixt you to-day?' So the Lord Incredulity, with a low congee, told him the whole of the matter, saying, 'Thus and thus said the captains of Shaddai, and thus and thus said I.' The which when it was told to Diabolus, he was very glad to hear it, and said, 'My Lord Mayor, my faithful Incredulity, I have proved thy fidelity above ten times already, but never yet found thee false. I do promise thee, if we rub over this brunt, to prefer thee to a place of honour, a place far better than to be Lord Mayor of Mansoul. I will make thee my universal deputy, and thou shalt, next to me, have all nations under thy hand; yea, and thou shalt lay bands upon them, that they may not resist thee; nor shall any of our vassals walk more at liberty, but those that shall be content to walk in thy fetters.'

Now came the Lord Mayor out from Diabolus, as if he had obtained a favour indeed. Wherefore to his habitation he goes in great state, and thinks to feed himself well enough with hopes, until the time came that his greatness should be enlarged.

But now, though the Lord Mayor and Diabolus did thus well agree, yet this repulse to the brave captains put Mansoul into a mutiny. For while old Incredulity went into the castle to congratulate his lord with what had passed, the old Lord Mayor, that was so before Diabolus came to the town, to wit, my Lord Understanding, and the old Recorder, Mr. Conscience, getting intelligence of what had passed at Ear- gate, (for you must know that they might not be suffered to be at that debate, lest they should then have mutinied for the captains; but, I say, they got intelligence of what had passed there, and were much concerned therewith,) wherefore they, getting some of the town together, began to possess them with the reasonableness of the noble captains' demands, and with the bad consequences that would follow upon the speech of old Incredulity, the Lord Mayor; to wit how little reverence he showed therein either to the captains or to their King; also how he implicitly charged them with unfaithfulness and treachery. 'For what less,' quoth they, 'could be made of his words, when he said he would not yield to their proposition; and added, moreover, a supposition that he would destroy us, when before he had sent us word that he would show us mercy!' The multitude, being now possessed with the conviction of the evil that old Incredulity had done, began to run together by companies in all places, and in every corner of the streets of Mansoul; and first they began to mutter, then to talk openly, and after that they run to and fro, and cried as they run, 'Oh the brave captains of Shaddai! would we were under the government of the captains, and of Shaddai their King!' When the Lord Mayor had intelligence that Mansoul was in an uproar, down he comes to appease the people, and thought to have quashed their heat with the bigness and the show of his countenance; but when they saw him, they came running upon him, and had doubtless done him a mischief, had he not betaken himself to house. However, they strongly assaulted the house where he was, to have pulled it down about his ears; but the place was too strong, so they failed of that. So he, taking some courage, addressed himself, out at a window, to the people in this manner:

'Gentlemen, what is the reason that there is here such an uproar to-day?'

Then answered my Lord Understanding, 'It is even because that thou and thy master have carried it not rightly, and as you should, to the captains of Shaddai; for in three things you are faulty. First, in that you would not let Mr. Conscience and myself be at the hearing of your discourse. Secondly, in that you propounded such terms of peace to the captains that by no means could be granted, unless they had intended that their Shaddai should have been only a titular prince, and that Mansoul should still have had power by law to have lived in all lewdness and vanity before him, and so by consequence Diabolus should still here be king in power, and the other only king in name. Thirdly, for that thou didst thyself, after the captains had showed us upon what conditions they would have received us to mercy, even undo all again with thy unsavoury, unseasonable, and ungodly speech.'

When old Incredulity had heard this speech, he cried out, 'Treason! treason! To your arms! to your arms! O ye, the trusty friends of Diabolus in Mansoul.'

UND. - Sir, you may put upon my words what meaning you please; but I am sure that the captains of such an high lord as theirs is, deserved a better treatment at your hands.

Then said old Incredulity, 'This is but little better. But, Sir,' quoth he, 'what I spake I spake for my prince, for his government, and the quieting of the people, whom by your unlawful actions you have this day set to mutiny against us.'

Then replied the old Recorder, whose name was Mr. Conscience, and said, 'Sir, you ought not thus to retort upon what my Lord Understanding hath said. It is evident enough that he hath spoken the truth, and that you are an enemy to Mansoul. Be convinced, then, of the evil of your saucy and malapert language, and of the grief that you have put the captains to; yea, and of the damages that you have done to Mansoul thereby. Had you accepted of the conditions, the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war had now ceased about the town of Mansoul; but that dreadful sound abides, and your want of wisdom in your speech has been the cause of it.'

Then said old Incredulity, 'Sir, if I live, I will do your errand to Diabolus, and there you shall have an answer to your words. Meanwhile we will seek the good of the town, and not ask counsel of you.'

UND. - Sir, your prince and you are both foreigners to Mansoul, and not the natives thereof; and who can tell but that, when you have brought us into greater straits, (when you also shall see that yourselves can be safe by no other means than by flight,) you may leave us and shift for yourselves, or set us on fire, and go away in the smoke, or by the light of our burning, and so leave us in our ruins?

INCRED. - Sir, you forget that you are under a governor, and that you ought to demean yourself like a subject; and know ye, when my lord the king shall hear of this day's work, he will give you but little thanks for your labour.

Now while these gentlemen were thus in their chiding words, down come from the walls and gates of the town the Lord Willbewill, Mr. Prejudice, old Ill-Pause, and several of the new-made aldermen and burgesses, and they asked the reason of the hubbub and tumult; and with that every man began to tell his own tale, so that nothing could be heard distinctly. Then was a silence commanded, and the old fox Incredulity began to speak. 'My lord,' quoth he, 'here are a couple of peevish gentlemen, that have, as a fruit of their bad dispositions, and, as I fear, through the advice of one Mr. Discontent, tumultuously gathered this company against me this day, and also attempted to run the town into acts of rebellion against our prince.'

Then stood up all the Diabolonians that were present, and affirmed these things to be true.

Now when they that took part with my Lord Understanding and with Mr. Conscience perceived that they were like to come to the worst, for that force and power was on the other side, they came in for their help and relief; so a great company was on both sides. Then they on Incredulity's side would have had the two old gentlemen presently away to prison; but they on the other side said they should not. Then they began to cry up parties again: the Diabolonians cried up old Incredulity, Forget-Good, the new aldermen, and their great one Diabolus; and the other party, they as fast cried up Shaddai, the captains, his laws, their mercifulness, and applauded their conditions and ways. Thus the bickerment went awhile; at last they passed from words to blows, and now there were knocks on both sides. The good old gentleman, Mr. Conscience, was knocked down twice by one of the Diabolonians, whose name was Mr. Benumbing; and my Lord Understanding had like to have been slain with an arquebuse, but that he that shot did not take his aim aright. Nor did the other side wholly escape; for there was one Mr. Rashhead, a Diabolonian, that had his brains beaten out by Mr. Mind, the Lord Willbewill's servant; and it made me laugh to see how old Mr. Prejudice was kicked and tumbled about in the dirt; for though, a while since, he was made captain of a company of the Diabolonians, to the hurt and damage of the town, yet now they had got him under their feet, and, I'll assure you, he had, by some of the Lord Understanding's party, his crown cracked to boot. Mr. Anything also, he became a brisk man in the broil; but both sides were against him, because he was true to none. Yet he had, for his malapertness, one of his legs broken, and he that did it wished it had been his neck. Much more harm was done on both sides, but this must not be forgotten; it was now a wonder to see my Lord Willbewill so indifferent as he was: he did not seem to take one side more than another, only it was perceived that he smiled to see how old Prejudice was tumbled up and down in the dirt. Also, when Captain Anything came halting up before him, he seemed to take but little notice of him.

Now, when the uproar was over, Diabolus sends for my Lord Understanding and Mr. Conscience, and claps them both up in prison as the ringleaders and managers of this most heavy, riotous rout in Mansoul. So now the town began to be quiet again, and the prisoners were used hardly; yea, he thought to have made them away, but that the present juncture did not serve for that purpose, for that war was in all their gates.

But let us return again to our story. The captains, when they were gone back from the gate, and were come into the camp again, called a council of war, to consult what was further for them to do. Now, some said, 'Let us go up presently, and fall upon the town;' but the greatest part thought rather better it would be to give them another summons to yield; and the reason why they thought this to be best was, because that, so far as could be perceived, the town of Mansoul now was more inclinable than heretofore. 'And if,' said they, 'while some of them are in a way of inclination, we should by ruggedness give them distaste, we may set them further from closing with our summons than we would be willing they should.' Wherefore to this advice they agreed, and called a trumpeter, put words into his mouth, set him his time, and bid him God speed. Well, many hours were not expired before the trumpeter addressed himself to his journey. Wherefore, coming up to the wall of the town, he steereth his course to Ear-gate, and there sounded, as he was commanded. They then that were within came out to see what was the matter, and the trumpeter made them this speech following:

'O hard-hearted and deplorable town of Mansoul, how long wilt thou love thy sinful, sinful simplicity, and, ye fools, delight in your scorning? As yet despise you the offers of peace and deliverance? As yet will ye refuse the golden offers of Shaddai, and trust to the lies and falsehoods of Diabolus? Think you, when Shaddai shall have conquered you, that the remembrance of these your carriages towards him will yield you peace and comfort, or that by ruffling language you can make him afraid as a grasshopper? Doth he entreat you for fear of you? Do you think that you are stronger than he? Look to the heavens, and behold and consider the stars, how high are they? Can you stop the sun from running his course, and hinder the moon from giving her light? Can you count the number of the stars, or stay the bottles of heaven? Can you call for the waters of the sea, and cause them to cover the face of the ground? Can you behold every one that is proud, and abase him, and bind their faces in secret? Yet these are some of the works of our King, in whose name this day we come up unto you, that you may be brought under his authority. In his name, therefore, I summon you again to yield up yourselves to his captains.'

At this summons the Mansoulians seemed to be at a stand, and knew not what answer to make. Wherefore Diabolus forthwith appeared, and took upon him to do it himself; and thus he begins, but turns his speech to them of Mansoul.

'Gentlemen,' quoth he, 'and my faithful subjects, if it is true that this summoner hath said concerning the greatness of their King, by his terror you will always be kept in bondage, and so be made to sneak. Yea, how can you now, though he is at a distance, endure to think of such a mighty one? And if not to think of him while at a distance, how can you endure to be in his presence? I, your prince, am familiar with you, and you may play with me as you would with a grasshopper. Consider, therefore, what is for your profit, and remember the immunities that I have granted you.

'Farther, if all be true that this man hath said, how comes it to pass that the subjects of Shaddai are so enslaved in all places where they come? None in the universe so unhappy as they, none so trampled upon as they.

'Consider, my Mansoul: would thou wert as loath to leave me as I am loath to leave thee. But consider, I say, the ball is yet at thy foot; liberty you have, if you know how to use it; yea, a king you have too, if you can tell how to love and obey him.'

Upon this speech, the town of Mansoul did again harden their hearts yet more against the captains of Shaddai. The thoughts of his greatness did quite quash them, and the thoughts of his holiness sunk them in despair. Wherefore, after a short consult, they (of the Diabolonian party they were) sent back this word by the trumpeter, That, for their parts, they were resolved to stick to their king, but never to yield to Shaddai; so it was but in vain to give them any further summons, for they had rather die upon the place than yield. And now things seemed to be gone quite back, and Mansoul to be out of reach or call, yet the captains who knew what their Lord could do, would not yet be beat out of heart; they therefore sent them another summons, more sharp and severe than the last; but the oftener they were sent to, to reconcile to Shaddai, the further off they were. 'As they called them, so they went from them - yea, though they called them to the Most High.'

So they ceased that way to deal with them any more, and inclined to think of another way. The captains, therefore, did gather themselves together, to have free conference among themselves, to know what was yet to be done to gain the town, and to deliver it from the tyranny of Diabolus; and one said after this manner, and another after that. Then stood up the right noble the Captain Conviction, and said, 'My brethren, mine opinion is this:

'First, that we continually play our slings into the town, and keep it in a continual alarm, molesting them day and night. By thus doing, we shall stop the growth of their rampant spirit; for a lion may be tamed by continual molestation.

'Secondly, this done, I advise that, in the next place, we with one consent draw up a petition to our Lord Shaddai, by which, after we have showed our King the condition of Mansoul and of affairs here, and have begged his pardon for our no better success, we will earnestly implore his Majesty's help, and that he will please to send us more force and power, and some gallant and well-spoken commander to head them, that so his Majesty may not lose the benefit of these his good beginnings, but may complete his conquest upon the town of Mansoul.'

To this speech of the noble Captain Conviction they as one man consented, and agreed that a petition should forthwith be drawn up, and sent by a fit man away to Shaddai with speed. The contents of the petition were thus:-

'Most gracious and glorious King, the Lord of the best world, and the builder of the town of Mansoul, we have, dread Sovereign, at thy commandment, put our lives in jeopardy, and at thy bidding made a war upon the famous town of Mansoul. When we went up against it, we did, according to our commission, first offer conditions of peace unto it. But they, great King, set light by our counsel, and would none of our reproof. They were for shutting their gates, and for keeping us out of the town. They also mounted their guns, they sallied out upon us, and have done us what damage they could; but we pursued them with alarm upon alarm, requiting them with such retribution as was meet, and have done some execution upon the town.

'Diabolus, Incredulity, and Willbewill are the great doers against us: now we are in our winter quarters, but so as that we do yet with an high hand molest and distress the town.

'Once, as we think, had we had but one substantial friend in the town, such as would but have seconded the sound of our summons as they ought, the people might have yielded themselves; but there were none but enemies there, nor any to speak in behalf of our Lord to the town. Wherefore, though we have done as we could, yet Mansoul abides in a state of rebellion against thee.

'Now, King of kings, let it please thee to pardon the unsuccessfulness of thy servants, who have been no more advantageous in so desirable a work as the conquering of Mansoul is. And send, Lord, as we now desire, more forces to Mansoul, that it may be subdued; and a man to head them, that the town may both love and fear.

'We do not thus speak because we are willing to relinquish the wars, (for we are for laying of our bones against the place,) but that the town of Mansoul may be won for thy Majesty. We also pray thy Majesty, for expedition in this matter, that, after their conquest, we may be at liberty to be sent about other thy gracious designs. Amen.'

The petition, thus drawn up, was sent away with haste to the King by the hand of that good man, Mr. Love-to-Mansoul.

When this petition was come to the palace of the King, who should it be delivered to but to the King's Son? So he took it and read it, and because the contents of it pleased him well, he mended, and also in some things added to the petition himself. So, after he had made such amendments and additions as he thought convenient, with his own hand, he carried it in to the King; to whom, when he had with obeisance delivered it, he put on authority, and spake to it himself.

Now the King, at the sight of the petition, was glad; but how much more, think you, when it was seconded by his Son! It pleased him also to hear that his servants who camped against Mansoul were so hearty in the work, and so steadfast in their resolves, and that they had already got some ground upon the famous town of Mansoul.

Wherefore the King called to him Emmanuel, his Son, who said, 'Here am I, my Father.' Then said the King, 'Thou knowest, as I do myself, the condition of the town of Mansoul, and what we have purposed, and what thou hast done to redeem it. Come now, therefore, my Son, and prepare thyself for the war, for thou shalt go to my camp at Mansoul. Thou shalt also there prosper and prevail, and conquer the town of Mansoul.'

Then said the King's Son, 'Thy law is within my heart: I delight to do thy will. This is the day that I have longed for, and the work that I have waited for all this while. Grant me, therefore, what force thou shalt in thy wisdom think meet; and I will go and will deliver from Diabolus, and from his power, thy perishing town of Mansoul. My heart has been often pained within me for the miserable town of Mansoul; but now it is rejoiced, but now it is glad,'

And with that he leaped over the mountains for joy, saying, 'I have not, in my heart, thought anything too dear for Mansoul: the day of vengeance is in mine heart for thee, my Mansoul: and glad am I that thou, my Father, hast made me the Captain of their salvation. And I will now begin to plague all those that have been a plague to my town of Mansoul, and will deliver it from their hand.'

When the King's Son had said thus to his Father, it presently flew like lightning round about at court; yea, it there became the only talk what Emmanuel was to go to do for the famous town of Mansoul. But you cannot think how the courtiers, too, were taken with this design of the Prince; yea, so affected were they with this work, and with the justness of the war, that the highest lord and greatest peer of the kingdom did covet to have commissions under Emmanuel, to go to help to recover again to Shaddai the miserable town of Mansoul.

Then was it concluded that some should go and carry tidings to the camp, that Emmanuel was to come to recover Mansoul, and that he would bring along with him so mighty, so impregnable a force, that he could not be resisted. But, oh! how ready were the high ones at court to run like lackeys to carry these tidings to the camp that was at Mansoul. Now, when the captains perceived that the King would send Emmanuel his Son, and that it also delighted the Son to be sent on this errand by the great Shaddai his Father, they also, to show how they were pleased at the thoughts of his coming gave a shout that made the earth rend at the sound thereof. Yea, the mountains did answer again by echo, and Diabolus himself did totter and shake.

The Holy War - Part 4 | Index | The Holy War - Part 6




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