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 Main Index : Writings : John Bunyan : Holy War Index : The Holy War - Part 7
The Holy War - Part 6 | Index | The Holy War - Part 8

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR.

PART SEVEN

Mr. Loth-to-stoop yet added further, saying, 'But, great sir, since my master hath many friends, and those that are dear to him, in Mansoul, may he not, if he shall depart from them, even of his bounty and good-nature, bestow upon them, as he sees fit, some tokens of his love and kindness that he had for them, to the end that Mansoul, when he is gone, may look upon such tokens of kindness once received from their old friend, and remember him who was once their king, and the merry times that they sometimes enjoyed one with another, while he and they lived in peace together?'

Then said Emmanuel, 'No; for if Mansoul come to be mine, I shall not admit of nor consent that there should be the least scrap, shred, or dust of Diabolus left behind, as tokens of gifts bestowed upon any in Mansoul, thereby to call to remembrance the horrible communion that was betwixt them and him.'

'Well, sir,' said Mr. Loth-to-stoop, 'I have one thing more to propound, and then I am got to the end of my commission. Suppose that, when my master is gone from Mansoul, any that shall yet live in the town should have such business of high concerns to do, that if they be neglected the party shall be undone; and suppose, sir, that nobody can help in that case so well as my master and lord, may not now my master be sent for upon so urgent an occasion as this? Or if he may not be admitted into the town, may not he and the person concerned meet in some of the villages near Mansoul, and there lay their heads together, and there consult of matters?'

This was the last of those ensnaring propositions that Mr. Loth-to-stoop had to propound to Emmanuel on behalf of his master Diabolus; but Emmanuel would not grant it; for he said, 'There can be no case, or thing, or matter fall out in Mansoul, when thy master shall be gone, that may not be solved by my Father; besides, it will be a great disparagement to my Father's wisdom and skill to admit any from Mansoul to go out to Diabolus for advice, when they are bid before, in everything, by prayer and supplication to let their requests be made known to my Father. Further, this, should it be granted, would be to grant that a door should be set open for Diabolus, and the Diabolonians in Mansoul, to hatch, and plot, and bring to pass treasonable designs, to the grief of my Father and me, and to the utter destruction of Mansoul.'

When Mr. Loth-to-stoop had heard this answer, he took his leave of Emmanuel, and departed, saying that he would carry word to his master concerning this whole affair. So he departed, and came to Diabolus to Mansoul, and told him the whole of the matter, and how Emmanuel would not admit, no, not by any means, that he, when he was once gone out, should for ever have anything more to do either in, or with any that are of the town of Mansoul. When Mansoul and Diabolus had heard this relation of things, they with one consent concluded to use their best endeavour to keep Emmanuel out of Mansoul, and sent old Ill-Pause, of whom you have heard before, to tell the Prince and his captains so. So the old gentleman came up to the top of Ear-gate, and called to the camp for a hearing, who when they gave audience, he said, 'I have in commandment from my high lord to bid you tell it to your Prince Emmanuel, that Mansoul and their king are resolved to stand and fall together; and that it is in vain for your Prince to think of ever having Mansoul in his hand, unless he can take it by force.' So some went and told to Emmanuel what old Ill-Pause, a Diabolonian in Mansoul, had said. Then said the Prince, 'I must try the power of my sword, for I will not (for all the rebellions and repulses that Mansoul has made against me) raise my siege and depart, but will assuredly take my Mansoul, and deliver it from the hand of her enemy.' And with that he gave out a commandment that Captain Boanerges, Captain Conviction, Captain Judgment, and Captain Execution should forthwith march up to Ear-gate with trumpets sounding, colours flying, and with shouting for the battle. Also he would that Captain Credence should join himself with them. Emmanuel, moreover, gave order that Captain Good-Hope and Captain Charity should draw themselves up before Eye-gate. He bid also that the rest of his captains and their men should place themselves for the best of their advantage against the enemy round about the town; and all was done as he had commanded.

Then he bid that the word should be given forth, and the word was at that time, 'EMMANUEL.' Then was an alarm sounded, and the battering-rams were played, and the slings did whirl stones into the town amain, and thus the battle began. Now Diabolus himself did manage the townsmen in the war, and that at every gate; wherefore their resistance was the more forcible, hellish, and offensive to Emmanuel. Thus was the good Prince engaged and entertained by Diabolus and Mansoul for several days together; and a sight worth seeing it was to behold how the captains of Shaddai behaved themselves in this war.

And first for Captain Boanerges, (not to under-value the rest,) he made three most fierce assaults, one after another, upon Ear-gate, to the shaking of the posts thereof. Captain Conviction, he also made up as fast with Boanerges as possibly he could, and both discerning that the gate began to yield, they commanded that the rams should still be played against it. Now, Captain Conviction, going up very near to the gate, was with great force driven back, and received three wounds in the mouth. And those that rode reformades, they went about to encourage the captains.

For the valour of the two captains, made mention of before, the Prince sent for them to his pavilion, and commanded that a while they should rest themselves, and that with somewhat they should be refreshed. Care also was taken for Captain Conviction, that he should be healed of his wounds. The Prince also gave to each of them a chain of gold, and bid them yet be of good courage.

Nor did Captain Good-Hope nor Captain Charity come behind in this most desperate fight, for they so well did behave themselves at Eye-gate, that they had almost broken it quite open. These also had a reward from their Prince, as also had the rest of the captains, because they did valiantly round about the town.

In this engagement several of the officers of Diabolus were slain, and some of the townsmen wounded. For the officers, there was one Captain Boasting slain. This Boasting thought that nobody could have shaken the posts of Ear-gate, nor have shaken the heart of Diabolus. Next to him there was one Captain Secure slain: this Secure used to say that the blind and lame in Mansoul were able to keep the gates of the town against Emmanuel's army. This Captain Secure did Captain Conviction cleave down the head with a two-handed sword, when he received himself three wounds in his mouth.

Besides these there was one Captain Bragman, a very desperate fellow, and he was captain over a band of those that threw firebrands, arrows, and death: he also received, by the hand of Captain Good-Hope at Eye-gate, a mortal wound in the breast.

There was, moreover, one Mr. Feeling; but he was no captain, but a great stickler to encourage Mansoul to rebellion. He received a wound in the eye by the hand of one of Boanerges' soldiers, and had by the captain himself been slain, but that he made a sudden retreat.

But I never saw Willbewill so daunted in all my life; he was not able to do as he was wont, and some say that he also received a wound in the leg, and that some of the men in the Prince's army have certainly seen him limp as he afterwards walked on the wall.

I shall not give you a particular account of the names of the soldiers that were slain in the town, for many were maimed, and wounded, and slain; for when they saw that the posts of Ear-gate did shake, and Eye-gate was well-nigh broken quite open, and also that their captains were slain, this took away the hearts of many of the Diabolonians; they fell also by the force of the shot that were sent by the golden slings into the midst of the town of Mansoul.

Of the townsmen, there was one Love-no-Good; he was a townsman, but a Diabolonian; he also received his mortal wound in Mansoul, but he died not very soon.

Mr. Ill-Pause also, who was the man that came along with Diabolus when at first he attempted the taking of Mansoul, he also received a grievous wound in the head; some say that his brain-pan was cracked. This I have taken notice of, that he was never after this able to do that mischief to Mansoul as he had done in times past. Also old Prejudice and Mr. Anything fled.

Now, when the battle was over, the Prince commanded that yet once more the white flag should be set upon Mount Gracious in sight of the town of Mansoul, to show that yet Emmanuel had grace for the wretched town of Mansoul.

When Diabolus saw the white flag hung out again, and knowing that it was not for him, but Mansoul, he cast in his mind to play another prank, to wit, to see if Emmanuel would raise his siege and begone, upon promise of reformation. So he comes down to the gate one evening, a good while after the sun was gone down, and calls to speak with Emmanuel, who presently came down to the gate, and Diabolus saith unto him:

'Forasmuch as thou makest it appear by thy white flag that thou art wholly given to peace and quiet, I thought meet to acquaint thee that we are ready to accept thereof upon terms which thou mayest admit.

'I know that thou art given to devotion, and that holiness pleaseth thee; yea, that thy great end in making a war upon Mansoul is, that it may be a holy habitation. Well, draw off thy forces from the town, and I will bend Mansoul to thy bow.

'First, I will lay down all acts of hostility against thee, and will be willing to become thy deputy, and will, as I have formerly been against thee, now serve thee in the town of Mansoul. And more particularly,

'1. I will persuade Mansoul to receive thee for their Lord; and I know that they will do it the sooner when they shall understand that I am thy deputy.

'2. I will show them wherein they have erred, and that transgression stands in the way to life.

'3. I will show them the holy law unto which they must conform, even that which they have broken.

'4. I will press upon them the necessity of a reformation according to thy law.

'5. And, moreover, that none of these things may fail, I myself, at my own proper cost and charge, will set up and maintain a sufficient ministry, besides lectures, in Mansoul.

'6. Thou shalt receive, as a token of our subjection to thee, year by year, what thou shalt think fit to lay and levy upon us in token of our subjection to thee.'

Then said Emmanuel to him, 'O full of deceit, how movable are thy ways! How often hast thou changed and rechanged, if so be thou mightest still keep possession of my Mansoul, though, as has been plainly declared before, I am the right heir thereof! Often hast thou made thy proposals already, nor is this last a whit better than they. And failing to deceive when thou showedst thyself in thy black, thou hast now transformed thyself into an angel of light, and wouldst, to deceive, be now as a minister of righteousness.

'But know thou, O Diabolus, that nothing must be regarded that thou canst propound, for nothing is done by thee but to deceive. Thou neither hast conscience to God, nor love to the town of Mansoul; whence, then, should these thy sayings arise but from sinful craft and deceit? He that can of list and will propound what he pleases, and that wherewith he may destroy them that believe him, is to be abandoned, with all that he shall say. But if righteousness be such a beauty- spot in thine eyes now, how is it that wickedness was so closely stuck to by thee before? But this is by-the-bye.

'Thou talkest now of a reformation in Mansoul, and that thou thyself, if I will please, wilt be at the head of that reformation; all the while knowing that the greatest proficiency that man can make in the law, and the righteousness thereof, will amount to no more, for the taking away of the curse from Mansoul, than just nothing at all; for a law being broken by Mansoul, that had before, upon a supposition of the breach thereof, a curse pronounced against him for it of God, can never, by his obeying of the law, deliver himself therefrom (to say nothing of what a reformation is like to be set up in Mansoul when the devil is become corrector of vice). Thou knowest that all that thou hast now said in this matter is nothing but guile and deceit; and is, as it was the first, so is it the last card that thou hast to play. Many there be that do soon discern thee when thou showest them thy cloven foot; but in thy white, thy light, and in thy transformation, thou art seen but of a few. But thou shalt not do thus with my Mansoul, O Diabolus; for I do still love my Mansoul.

'Besides, I am not come to put Mansoul upon works to live thereby; should I do so, I should be like unto thee: but I am come that by me, and by what I have and shall do for Mansoul, they may to my Father be reconciled, though by their sin they have provoked him to anger, and though by the law they cannot obtain mercy.

'Thou talkest of subjecting of this town to good, when none desireth it at thy hands. I am sent by my Father to possess it myself, and to guide it by the skilfulness of my hands into such a conformity to him as shall be pleasing in his sight. I will therefore possess it myself; I will dispossess and cast thee out; I will set up mine own standard in the midst of them; I will also govern them by new laws, new officers, new motives, and new ways; yea, I will pull down this town, and build it again; and it shall be as though it had not been, and it shall then be the glory of the whole universe.'

When Diabolus heard this, and perceived that he was discovered in all his deceits, he was confounded, and utterly put to a nonplus; but having in himself the fountain of iniquity, rage, and malice against both Shaddai and his Son, and the beloved town of Mansoul, what doth he but strengthen himself what he could to give fresh battle to the noble Prince Emmanuel? So, then, now we must have another fight before the town of Mansoul is taken. Come up, then, to the mountains, you that love to see military actions, and behold by both sides how the fatal blow is given, while one seeks to hold, and the other seeks to make himself master of the famous town of Mansoul.

Diabolus, therefore, having withdrawn himself from the wall to his force that was in the heart of the town of Mansoul, Emmanuel also returned to the camp; and both of them, after their divers ways, put themselves into a posture fit to give battle one to another.

Diabolus, as filled with despair of retaining in his hands the famous town of Mansoul, resolved to do what mischief he could (if, indeed, he could do any) to the army of the Prince and to the famous town of Mansoul; for, alas! it was not the happiness of the silly town of Mansoul that was designed by Diabolus, but the utter ruin and overthrow thereof, as now is enough in view. Wherefore, he commands his officers that they should then, when they see that they could hold the town no longer, do it what harm and mischief they could, rendering and tearing men, women, and children. 'For,' said he, 'we had better quite demolish the place, and leave it like a ruinous heap, than so leave it that it may be an habitation for Emmanuel.'

Emmanuel again, knowing that the next battle would issue in his being made master of the place, gave out a royal commandment to all his officers, high captains, and men of war, to be sure to show themselves men of war against Diabolus and all Diabolonians; but favourable, merciful, and meek to the old inhabitants of Mansoul. 'Bend, therefore,' said the noble Prince, 'the hottest front of the battle against Diabolus and his men.'

So the day being come, the command was given, and the Prince's men did bravely stand to their arms, and did, as before, bend their main force against Ear-gate and Eye-gate. The word was then, 'Mansoul is won!' so they made their assault upon the town. Diabolus also, as fast as he could, with the main of his power, made resistance from within; and his high lords and chief captains for a time fought very cruelly against the Prince's army.

But after three or four notable charges by the Prince and his noble captains, Ear-gate was broken open, and the bars and bolts wherewith it was used to be fast shut up against the Prince, were broken into a thousand pieces. Then did the Prince's trumpets sound, the captains shout, the town shake, and Diabolus retreat to his hold. Well, when the Prince's forces had broken open the gate, himself came up and did set his throne in it; also he set his standard thereby, upon a mount that before by his men was cast up to place the mighty slings thereon. The mount was called Mount Hear-well. There, therefore, the Prince abode, to wit, hard by the going in at the gate. He commanded also that the golden slings should yet be played upon the town, especially against the castle, because for shelter thither was Diabolus retreated. Now, from Ear-gate the street was straight even to the house of Mr. Recorder that so was before Diabolus took the town; and hard by his house stood the castle, which Diabolus for a long time had made his irksome den. The captains, therefore, did quickly clear that street by the use of their slings, so that way was made up to the heart of the town. Then did the Prince command that Captain Boanerges, Captain Conviction, and Captain Judgment, should forthwith march up the town to the old gentleman's gate. Then did the captains in the most warlike manner enter into the town of Mansoul, and marching in with flying colours, they came up to the Recorder's house, and that was almost as strong as was the castle. Battering- rams they took also with them, to plant against the castle gates. When they were come to the house of Mr. Conscience, they knocked, and demanded entrance. Now, the old gentleman, not knowing as yet fully their design, kept his gates shut all the time of this fight. Wherefore Boanerges demanded entrance at his gates; and no man making answer, he gave it one stroke with the head of a ram, and this made the old gentleman shake, and his house to tremble and totter. Then came Mr. Recorder down to the gates, and, as he could, with quivering lips he asked who was there? Boanerges answered, 'We are the captains and commanders of the great Shaddai and of the blessed Emmanuel, his Son, and we demand possession of your house for the use of our noble Prince.' And with that the battering-ram gave the gate another shake. This made the old gentleman tremble the more, yet durst he not but open the gate: then the King's forces marched in, namely, the three brave captains mentioned before. Now, the Recorder's house was a place of much convenience for Emmanuel, not only because it was near to the castle and strong, but also because it was large, and fronted the castle, the den where now Diabolus was, for he was now afraid to come out of his hold. As for Mr. Recorder, the captains carried it very reservedly to him; as yet he knew nothing of the great designs of Emmanuel, so that he did not know what judgment to make, nor what would be the end of such thundering beginnings. It was also presently noised in the town how the Recorder's house was possessed, his rooms taken up, and his palace made the seat of the war; and no sooner was it noised abroad, but they took the alarm as warmly, and gave it out to others of his friends, and you know, as a snowball loses nothing by rolling, so in little time the whole town was possessed that they must expect nothing from the Prince but destruction; and the ground of the business was this, the Recorder was afraid, the Recorder trembled, and the captains carried it strangely to the Recorder. So many came to see, but when they with their own eyes did behold the captains in the palace, and their battering-rams ever playing at the castle gates to beat them down, they were riveted in their fears, and it made them all in amaze. And, as I said, the man of the house would increase all this; for whoever came to him, or discoursed with him, nothing would he talk of, tell them, or hear, but that death and destruction now attended Mansoul.

'For,' quoth the old gentleman, 'you are all of you sensible that we all have been traitors to that once despised, but now famously victorious and glorious Prince Emmanuel; for he now, as you see, doth not only lie in close siege about us, but hath forced his entrance in at our gates. Moreover, Diabolus flees before him; and he hath, as you behold, made of my house a garrison against the castle where he is. I, for my part, have transgressed greatly, and he that is clean, it is well for him. But I say I have transgressed greatly in keeping silence when I should have spoken, and in perverting justice when I should have executed the same. True, I have suffered something at the hand of Diabolus for taking part with the laws of King Shaddai; but that, alas! what will that do? Will that make compensation for the rebellions and treasons that I have done, and have suffered without gainsaying to be committed in the town of Mansoul? Oh! I tremble to think what will be the end of this so dreadful and so ireful a beginning!'

Now, while these brave captains were thus busy in the house of the old Recorder, Captain Execution was as busy in other parts of the town, in securing the back streets and the walls. He also hunted the Lord Willbewill sorely; he suffered him not to rest in any corner; he pursued him so hard that he drove his men from him, and made him glad to thrust his head into a hole. Also this mighty warrior did cut three of the Lord Willbewill's officers down to the ground: one was old Mr. Prejudice, he that had his crown cracked in the mutiny. This man was made by Lord Willbewill keeper of the Ear-gate, and fell by the hand of Captain Execution. There was also one Mr. Backward-to-all-but- naught, and he also was one of Lord Willbewill's officers, and was the captain of the two guns that once were mounted on the top of Ear-gate; he also was cut down to the ground by the hands of Captain Execution. Besides these two there was another, a third, and his name was Captain Treacherous; a vile man this was, but one that Willbewill did put a great deal of confidence in; but him also did this Captain Execution cut down to the ground with the rest.

He also made a very great slaughter among my Lord Willbewill's soldiers, killing many that were stout and sturdy, and wounding many that for Diabolus were nimble and active. But all these were Diabolonians; there was not a man, a native of Mansoul, hurt.

Other feats of war were also likewise performed by other of the captains, as at Eye-gate, where Captain Good-Hope and Captain Charity had a charge, was great execution done; for the Captain Good-Hope, with his own hands, slew one Captain Blindfold, the keeper of that gate. This Blindfold was captain of a thousand men, and they were they that fought with mauls; he also pursued his men, slew many, and wounded more, and made the rest hide their heads in corners.

There was also at that gate Mr. Ill-Pause, of whom you have heard before. He was an old man, and had a beard that reached down to his girdle: the same was he that was orator to Diabolus: he did much mischief in the town of Mansoul, and fell by the hand of Captain Good-Hope.

What shall I say? The Diabolonians in these days lay dead in every corner, though too many yet were alive in Mansoul.

Now, the old Recorder and my Lord Understanding, with some others of the chief of the town, to wit, such as knew they must stand and fall with the famous town of Mansoul, came together upon a day, and after consultation had, did jointly agree to draw up a petition, and to send it to Emmanuel, now while he sat in the gate of Mansoul. So they drew up their petition to Emmanuel, the contents whereof were these: That they, the old inhabitants of the now deplorable town of Mansoul, confessed their sin, and were sorry that they had offended his princely Majesty, and prayed that he would spare their lives.

Unto this petition he gave no answer at all, and that did trouble them yet so much the more. Now, all this while the captains that were in the Recorder's house were playing with the battering-rams at the gates of the castle, to beat them down. So after some time, labour, and travail, the gate of the castle that was called Impregnable was beaten open, and broken into several splinters, and so a way made to go up to the hold in which Diabolus had hid himself. Then were tidings sent down to Ear-gate, for Emmanuel still abode there, to let him know that a way was made in at the gates of the castle of Mansoul. But, oh! how the trumpets at the tidings sounded throughout the Prince's camp, for that now the war was so near an end, and Mansoul itself of being set free.

Then the Prince arose from the place where he was, and took with him such of his men of war as were fittest for that expedition, and marched up the street of Mansoul to the old Recorder's house.

The Holy War - Part 6 | Index | The Holy War - Part 8




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