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 Main Index : Writings : John Bunyan : Holy War Index : The Holy War - Part 6
The Holy War - Part 5 | Index | The Holy War - Part 7

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR.

PART SIX

For you must know, that though the town of Mansoul itself was not much, if at all concerned with the project, (for, alas for them! they were wofully besotted, for they chiefly regarded their pleasure and their lusts,) yet Diabolus their governor was; for he had his spies continually abroad, who brought him intelligence of all things, and they told him what was doing at court against him, and that Emmanuel would shortly certainly come with a power to invade him. Nor was there any man at court, nor peer of the kingdom, that Diabolus so feared as he feared this Prince; for, if you remember, I showed you before that Diabolus had felt the weight of his hand already; so that, since it was he that was to come, this made him the more afraid.

Well, you see how I have told you that the King's Son was engaged to come from the court to save Mansoul, and that his Father had made him the Captain of the forces. The time, therefore, of his setting forth being now expired, he addressed himself for his march, and taketh with him, for his power, five noble captains and their forces.

1. The first was that famous captain, the noble Captain Credence. His were the red colours, and Mr. Promise bare them; and for a scutcheon he had the holy lamb and golden shield; and he had ten thousand men at his feet.

2. The second was that famous captain, the Captain Good-Hope. His were the blue colours; his standard-bearer was Mr. Expectation, and for his scutcheon he had the three golden anchors; and he had ten thousand men at his feet.

3. The third was that valiant captain, the Captain Charity. His standard-bearer was Mr. Pitiful: his were the green colours, and for his scutcheon he had three naked orphans embraced in the bosom; and he had ten thousand men at his feet.

4. The fourth was that gallant commander, the Captain Innocent. His standard-bearer was Mr. Harmless: his were the white colours, and for his scutcheon he had the three golden doves.

5. The fifth was the truly loyal and well-beloved captain, the Captain Patience. His standard-bearer was Mr. Suffer- Long: his were the black colours, and for a scutcheon he had three arrows through the golden heart.

These were Emmanuel's captains; these their standard-bearers, their colours, and their scutcheons; and these the men under their command. So, as was said, the brave Prince took his march to go to the town of Mansoul. Captain Credence led the van, and Captain Patience brought up the rear; so the other three, with their men, made up the main body, the Prince himself riding in his chariot at the head of them.

But when they set out for their march, oh, how the trumpets sounded, their armour glittered, and how the colours waved in the wind! The Prince's armour was all of gold, and it shone like the sun in the firmament; the captains' armour was of proof, and was in appearance like the glittering stars. There were also some from the court that rode reformades for the love that they had to the King Shaddai, and for the happy deliverance of the town of Mansoul.

Emmanuel also, when he had thus set forwards to go to recover the town of Mansoul, took with him, at the commandment of his Father, fifty-four battering-rams, and twelve slings to whirl stones withal. Every one of these was made of pure gold, and these they carried with them, in the heart and body of their army, all along as they went to Mansoul.

So they marched till they came within less than a league of the town; there they lay till the first four captains came thither to acquaint them with matters. Then they took their journey to go to the town of Mansoul, and unto Mansoul they came; but when the old soldiers that were in the camp saw that they had new forces to join with, they again gave such a shout before the walls of the town of Mansoul, that it put Diabolus into another fright. So they sat down before the town, not now as the other four captains did, to wit, against the gates of Mansoul only; but they environed it round on every side, and beset it behind and before; so that now, let Mansoul look which way it will, it saw force and power lie in siege against it. Besides, there were mounts cast up against it. The Mount Gracious was on the one side, and Mount Justice was on the other. Further, there were several small banks and advance-grounds, as Plain-Truth Hill and No-Sin Banks, where many of the slings were placed against the town. Upon Mount Gracious were planted four, and upon Mount Justice were placed as many, and the rest were conveniently placed in several parts round about the town. Five of the best battering-rams, that is, of the biggest of them, were placed upon Mount Hearken, a mount cast up hard by Ear-gate, with intent to break that open.

Now when the men of the town saw the multitude of the soldiers that were come up against the place, and the rams and slings, and the mounts on which they were planted, together with the glittering of the armour and the waving of their colours, they were forced to shift, and shift, and again to shift their thoughts; but they hardly changed for thoughts more stout, but rather for thoughts more faint; for though before they thought themselves sufficiently guarded, yet now they began to think that no man knew what would be their hap or lot.

When the good Prince Emmanuel had thus beleaguered Mansoul, in the first place he hangs out the white flag, which he caused to be set up among the golden slings that were planted upon Mount Gracious. And this he did for two reasons: 1. To give notice to Mansoul that he could and would yet be gracious if they turned to him. 2. And that he might leave them the more without excuse, should he destroy them, they continuing in their rebellion.

So the white flag, with the three golden doves in it, was hung out for two days together, to give them time and space to consider; but they, as was hinted before, as if they were unconcerned, made no reply to the favourable signal of the Prince.

Then he commanded, and they set the red flag upon that mount called Mount Justice. It was the red flag of Captain Judgment, whose scutcheon was the burning fiery furnace; and this also stood waving before them in the wind for several days together. But look how they carried it under the white flag, when that was hung out, so did they also when the red one was; and yet he took no advantage of them.

Then he commanded again that his servants should hang out the black flag of defiance against them, whose scutcheon was the three burning thunderbolts; but as unconcerned was Mansoul at this as at those that went before. But when the Prince saw that neither mercy nor judgment, nor execution of judgment, would or could come near the heart of Mansoul, he was touched with much compunction, and said, 'Surely this strange carriage of the town of Mansoul doth rather arise from ignorance of the manner and feats of war, than from a secret defiance of us, and abhorrence of their own lives; or if they know the manner of the war of their own, yet not the rites and ceremonies of the wars in which we are concerned, when I make wars upon mine enemy Diabolus.'

Therefore he sent to the town of Mansoul, to let them know what he meant by those signs and ceremonies of the flag; and also to know of them which of the things they would choose, whether grace and mercy, or judgment and the execution of judgment. All this while they kept their gates shut with locks, bolts, and bars, as fast as they could. Their guards also were doubled, and their watch made as strong as they could. Diabolus also did pluck up what heart he could, to encourage the town to make resistance.

The townsmen also made answer to the Prince's messenger, in substance according to that which follows:-

'Great Sir, - As to what, by your messenger, you have signified to us, whether we will accept of your mercy, or fall by your justice, we are bound by the law and custom of this place, and can give you no positive answer; for it is against the law, government, and the prerogative royal of our king, to make either peace or war without him. But this we will do, - we will petition that our prince will come down to the wall, and there give you such treatment as he shall think fit and profitable for us.'

When the good Prince Emmanuel heard this answer, and saw the slavery and bondage of the people, and how much content they were to abide in the chains of the tyrant Diabolus, it grieved him at the heart; and, indeed, when at any time he perceived that any were contented under the slavery of the giant, he would be affected with it.

But to return again to our purpose. After the town had carried this news to Diabolus, and had told him, moreover, that the Prince, that lay in the leaguer without the wall, waited upon them for an answer, he refused, and huffed as well as he could; but in heart he was afraid.

Then said he, 'I will go down to the gates myself, and give him such an answer as I think fit.' So he went down to Mouth-gate, and there addressed himself to speak to Emmanuel, (but in such language as the town understood not,) the contents whereof were as follows:-

'O thou great Emmanuel, Lord of all the world, I know thee, that thou art the Son of the great Shaddai! Wherefore art thou come to torment me, and to cast me out of my possession? This town of Mansoul, as thou very well knowest, is mine, and that by a twofold right. 1. It is mine by right of conquest; I won it in the open field; and shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive be delivered? 2. This town of Mansoul is mine also by their subjection. They have opened the gates of their town unto me; they have sworn fidelity to me, and have openly chosen me to be their king; they have also given their castle into my hands; yea, they have put the whole strength of Mansoul under me.

'Moreover, this town of Mansoul hath disavowed thee, yea, they have cast thy law, thy name, thy image, and all that is thine, behind their back, and have accepted and set up in their room my law, my name, my image, and all that ever is mine. Ask else thy captains, and they will tell thee that Mansoul hath, in answer to all their summonses, shown love and loyalty to me, but always disdain, despite, contempt, and scorn to thee and thine. Now, thou art the Just One and the Holy, and shouldest do no iniquity. Depart, then, I pray thee, therefore, from me, and leave me to my just inheritance peaceably.'

This oration was made in the language of Diabolus himself; for although he can, to every man, speak in their own language, (else he could not tempt them all as he does,) yet he has a language proper to himself, and it is the language of the infernal cave, or black pit.

Wherefore the town of Mansoul (poor hearts!) understood him not; nor did they see how he crouched and cringed while he stood before Emmanuel, their Prince.

Yea, they all this while took him to be one of that power and force that by no means could be resisted. Wherefore, while he was thus entreating that he might have yet his residence there, and that Emmanuel would not take it from him by force, the inhabitants boasted even of his valour, saying, 'Who is able to make war with him?'

Well, when this pretended king had made an end of what he would say, Emmanuel, the golden Prince, stood up and spake; the contents of whose words follow:-

'Thou deceiving one,' said he, 'I have, in my Father's name, in mine own name, and on the behalf and for the good of this wretched town of Mansoul, somewhat to say unto thee. Thou pretendest a right, a lawful right, to the deplorable town of Mansoul, when it is most apparent to all my Father's court that the entrance which thou hast obtained in at the gates of Mansoul was through thy lie and falsehood; thou beliedst my Father, thou beliedst his law, and so deceivedst the people of Mansoul. Thou pretendest that the people have accepted thee for their king, their captain, and right liege lord; but that also was by the exercise of deceit and guile. Now, if lying, wiliness, sinful craft, and all manner of horrible hypocrisy, will go in my Father's court (in which court thou must be tried) for equity and right, then will I confess unto thee that thou hast made a lawful conquest. But, alas! what thief, what tyrant, what devil is there that may not conquer after this sort? But I can make it appear, O Diabolus, that thou, in all thy pretences to a conquest of Mansoul, hast nothing of truth to say. Thinkest thou this to be right, that that didst put the lie upon my Father, and madest him (to Mansoul) the greatest deluder in the world? And what sayest thou to thy perverting knowingly the right purport and intent of the law? Was it good also that thou madest a prey of the innocency and simplicity of the now miserable town of Mansoul? Yea, thou didst overcome Mansoul by promising to them happiness in their transgressions against my Father's law, when thou knewest, and couldest not but know, hadst thou consulted nothing but thine own experience, that that was the way to undo them. Thou hast also thyself, O thou master of enmity, of spite defaced my Father's image in Mansoul, and set up thy own in its place, to the great contempt of my Father, the heightening of thy sin, and to the intolerable damage of the perishing town of Mansoul.

'Thou hast, moreover, (as if all these were but little things with thee,) not only deluded and undone this place, but, by thy lies and fradulent carriage, hast set them against their own deliverance. How hast thou stirred them up against my Father's captains, and made them to fight against those that were sent of him to deliver them from their bondage! All these things, and very many more, thou hast done against thy light, and in contempt of my Father and of his law, yea, and with design to bring under his displeasure for ever the miserable town of Mansoul. I am therefore come to avenge the wrong that thou hast done to my Father, and to deal with thee for the blasphemies wherewith thou hast made poor Mansoul blaspheme his name. Yea, upon thy head, thou prince of the infernal cave, will I requite it.

'As for myself, O Diabolus, I am come against thee by lawful power, and to take, by strength of hand, this town of Mansoul out of thy burning fingers; for this town of Mansoul is mine, O Diabolus, and that by undoubted right, as all shall see that will diligently search the most ancient and most authentic records, and I will plead my title to it, to the confusion of thy face.

'First, for the town of Mansoul, my Father built and did fashion it with his hand. The palace also that is in the midst of that town, he built it for his own delight. This town of Mansoul, therefore, is my Father's, and that by the best of titles, and he that gainsays the truth of this must lie against his soul.

'Secondly, O thou master of the lie, this town of Mansoul is mine.

'1. For that I am my Father's heir, his firstborn, and the only delight of his heart. I am therefore come up against thee in mine own right, even to recover mine own inheritance out of thine hand.

'2. But further, as I have a right and title to Mansoul by being my Father's heir, so I have also by my Father's donation. His it was, and he gave it me; nor have I at any time offended my Father, that he should take it from me, and give it to thee. Nor have I been forced, by playing the bankrupt, to sell or set to sale to thee my beloved town of Mansoul. Mansoul is my desire, my delight, and the joy of my heart. But,

'3. Mansoul is mine by right of purchase. I have bought it, O Diabolus, I have bought it to myself. Now, since it was my Father's and mine, as I was his heir, and since also I have made it mine by virtue of a great purchase, it followeth that, by all lawful right, the town of Mansoul is mine, and that thou art an usurper, a tyrant, and traitor, in thy holding possession thereof. Now, the cause of my purchasing of it was this: Mansoul had trespassed against my Father; now my Father had said, that in the day that they broke his law they should die. Now, it is more possible for heaven and earth to pass away than for my Father to break his word. Wherefore when Mansoul had sinned indeed by hearkening to thy lie, I put in and became a surety to my Father, body for body, and soul for soul, that I would make amends for Mansoul's transgressions, and my Father did accept thereof. So, when the time appointed was come, I gave body for body, soul for soul, life for life, blood for blood, and so redeemed my beloved Mansoul.

'4. Nor did I do this by halves: my Father's law and justice, that were both concerned in the threatening upon transgression, are both now satisfied, and very well content that Mansoul should be delivered.

'5. Nor am I come out this day against thee, but by commandment of my Father; it was he that said unto me, "Go down and deliver Mansoul."

'Wherefore be it known unto thee, O thou fountain of deceit, and be it also known to the foolish town of Mansoul, that I am not come against thee this day without my Father.

'And now,' said the golden-headed Prince, 'I have a word to the town of Mansoul.' But so soon as mention was made that he had a word to speak to the besotted town of Mansoul, the gates were double-guarded, and all men commanded not to give him audience. So he proceeded and said, 'O unhappy town of Mansoul, I cannot but be touched with pity and compassion for thee. Thou hast accepted of Diabolus for thy king, and art become a nurse and minister of Diabolonians against thy sovereign Lord. Thy gates thou hast opened to him, but hast shut them fast against me; thou hast given him an hearing, but hast stopped thine ears at my cry. He brought to thee thy destruction, and thou didst receive both him and it: I am come to thee bringing salvation, but thou regardest me not. Besides, thou hast, as with sacrilegious hands, taken thyself, with all that was mine in thee, and hast given all to my foe, and to the greatest enemy my Father has. You have bowed and subjected yourselves to him, you have vowed and sworn yourselves to be his. Poor Mansoul! what shall I do unto thee? Shall I save thee? - shall I destroy thee? What shall I do unto thee? Shall I fall upon thee, and grind thee to powder, or make thee a monument of the richest grace? What shall I do unto thee? Hearken, therefore, thou town of Mansoul, hearken to my word, and thou shalt live. I am merciful, Mansoul, and thou shalt find me so: shut me not out of thy gates.

'O Mansoul, neither is my commission nor inclination at all to do thee hurt. Why fliest thou so fast from thy friend, and stickest so close to thine enemy? Indeed, I would have thee, because it becomes thee to be sorry for thy sin, but do not despair of life; this great force is not to hurt thee, but to deliver thee from thy bondage, and to reduce thee to thy obedience.

'My commission, indeed, is to make a war upon Diabolus thy king, and upon all Diabolonians with him; for he is the strong man armed that keeps the house, and I will have him out: his spoils I must divide, his armour I must take from him, his hold I must cast him out of, and must make it a habitation for myself. And this, O Mansoul, shall Diabolus know when he shall be made to follow me in chains, and when Mansoul shall rejoice to see it so.

'I could, would I now put forth my might, cause that forthwith he should leave you and depart; but I have it in my heart so to deal with him, as that the justice of the war that I shall make upon him may be seen and acknowledged by all. He hath taken Mansoul by fraud, and keeps it by violence and deceit, and I will make him bare and naked in the eyes of all observers.

'All my words are true. I am mighty to save, and will deliver my Mansoul out of his hand.'

This speech was intended chiefly for Mansoul, but Mansoul would not have the hearing of it. They shut up Ear-gate, they barricaded it up, they kept it locked and bolted, they set a guard thereat, and commanded that no Mansoulonian should go out to him, nor that any from the camp should be admitted into the town. All this they did, so horribly had Diabolus enchanted them to do, and seek to do for him, against their rightful Lord and Prince; wherefore no man, nor voice, nor sound of man that belonged to the glorious host, was to come into the town.

So when Emmanuel saw that Mansoul was thus involved in sin, he calls his army together, (since now also his words were despised,) and gave out a commandment throughout all his host to be ready against the time appointed. Now, forasmuch as there was no way lawfully to take the town of Mansoul but to get in by the gates, and at Ear-gate as the chief, therefore he commanded his captains and commanders to bring their rams, their slings and their men, and place them at Eye-gate and Ear-gate, in order to his taking the town.

When Emmanuel had put all things in a readiness to give Diabolus battle, he sent again to know of the town of Mansoul, if in peaceable manner they would yield themselves, or whether they were yet resolved to put him to try the utmost extremity? They then, together with Diabolus their king, called a council of war, and resolved upon certain propositions that should be offered to Emmanuel, if he will accept thereof, so they agreed; and then the next was, who should be sent on this errand. Now, there was in the town of Mansoul an old man, a Diabolonian, and his name was Mr. Loth- to-stoop, a stiff man in his way, and a great doer for Diabolus; him, therefore, they sent, and put into his mouth what he should say. So he went and came to the camp to Emmanuel, and when he was come, a time was appointed to give him audience. So at the time he came, and after a Diabolonian ceremony or two, he thus began and said, 'Great sir, that it may be known unto all men how good-natured a prince my master is, he has sent me to tell your lordship that he is very willing, rather than go to war, to deliver up into your hands one half of the town of Mansoul. I am therefore to know if your Mightiness will accept of this proposition.'

Then said Emmanuel, 'The whole is mine by gift and purchase, wherefore I will never lose one half.'

Then said Mr. Loth-to-stoop, 'Sir, my master hath said that he will be content that you shall be the nominal and titular Lord of all, if he may possess but a part.'

Then Emmanuel answered, 'The whole is mine really, not in name and word only; wherefore I will be the sole lord and possessor of all, or of none at all, of Mansoul.'

Then Mr. Loth-to-stoop said again, 'Sir, behold the condescension of my master! He says, that he will be content, if he may but have assigned to him some place in Mansoul as a place to live privately in, and you shall be Lord of all the rest.'

Then said the golden Prince, 'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and of all that he giveth me I will lose nothing - no, not a hoof nor a hair. I will not, therefore, grant him, no, not the least corner of Mansoul to dwell in; I will have all to myself.'

Then Loth-to-stoop said again, 'But, sir, suppose that my Lord should resign the whole town to you, only with this proviso, that he sometimes, when he comes into this country, may, for old acquaintance' sake, be entertained as a wayfaring man for two days, or ten days or a month, or so. May not this small matter be granted?'

Then said Emmanuel, 'No. He came as a wayfaring man to David, nor did he stay long with him, and yet it had like to have cost David his soul. I will not consent that he ever should have any harbour more there.'

Then said Mr. Loth-to-stoop, 'Sir, you seem to be very hard. Suppose my master should yield to all that your lordship hath said, provided that his friends and kindred in Mansoul may have liberty to trade in the town, and to enjoy their present dwellings. May not that be granted, sir?'

Then said Emmanuel, 'No; that is contrary to my Father's will; for all, and all manner of Diabolonians that now are, or that at any time shall be found in Mansoul, shall not only lose their lands and liberties, but also their lives.'

Then said Mr. Loth-to-stoop again, 'But, sir, may not my master and great lord, by letters, by passengers, by accidental opportunities, and the like, maintain, if he shall deliver up all unto thee, some kind of old friendship with Mansoul?'

Emmanuel answered, 'No, by no means; forasmuch as any such fellowship, friendship, intimacy, or acquaintance, in what way, sort, or mode soever maintained, will tend to the corrupting of Mansoul, the alienating of their affections from me, and the endangering of their peace with my Father.'

The Holy War - Part 5 | Index | The Holy War - Part 7




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