bible study tools
Index Bibles History Writings Devotionals Commentary Concordances Dictionaries Biographies Link To Us bible commentaries
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content
Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

Search the Bible
Use the:
 Main Index : Writings : John Bunyan : Holy War Index : The Holy War - Part 12
The Holy War - Part 11 | Index | The Holy War - Part 13

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR.

PART TWELVE

When this was over, the Prince sent again for the elders of the town of Mansoul, and communed with them about a ministry that he intended to establish among them; such a ministry that might open unto them, and that might instruct them in the things that did concern their present and future state.

'For,' said he, 'you, of yourselves, unless you have teachers and guides, will not be able to know, and, if not to know, to be sure not to do the will of my Father.'

At this news, when the elders of Mansoul brought it to the people, the whole town came running together, (for it pleased them well, as whatever the Prince now did pleased the people,) and all with one consent implored his Majesty that he would forthwith establish such a ministry among them as might teach them both law and judgment, statute and commandment; that they might be documented in all good and wholesome things. So he told them that he would grant them their requests, and would establish two among them; one that was of his Father's court, and one that was a native of Mansoul.

'He that is from the court,' said he, 'is a person of no less quality and dignity than my Father and I; and he is the Lord Chief Secretary of my Father's house: for he is, and always has been, the chief dictator of all my Father's laws, a person altogether well skilled in all mysteries, and knowledge of mysteries, as is my Father, or as myself is. Indeed he is one with us in nature, and also as to loving of, and being faithful to, and in the eternal concerns of the town of Mansoul.

'And this is he,' said the Prince, 'that must be your chief teacher; for it is he, and he only, that can teach you clearly in all high and supernatural things. He, and he only, it is that knows the ways and methods of my Father at court, nor can any like him show how the heart of my Father is at all times, in all things, upon all occasions, towards Mansoul; for as no man knows the things of a man but that spirit of a man which is in him, so the things of my Father knows no man but this his high and mighty Secretary. Nor can any, as he, tell Mansoul how and what they shall do to keep themselves in the love of my Father. He also it is that can bring lost things to your remembrance, and that can tell you things to come. This teacher, therefore, must of necessity have the pre-eminence, both in your affections and judgment, before your other teacher; his personal dignity, the excellency of his teaching, also the great dexterity that he hath to help you to make and draw up petitions to my Father for your help, and to his pleasing, must lay obligations upon you to love him, fear him, and to take heed that you grieve him not.

'This person can put life and vigour into all he says; yea, and can also put it into your heart. This person can make seers of you, and can make you tell what shall be hereafter. By this person you must frame all your petitions to my Father and me; and without his advice and counsel first obtained, let nothing enter into the town or castle of Mansoul, for that may disgust and grieve this noble person.

'Take heed, I say, that you do not grieve this minister; for if you do, he may fight against you; and should he once be moved by you to set himself against you in battle array, that will distress you more than if twelve legions should from my Father's court be sent to make war upon you.

'But, as I said, if you shall hearken unto him, and shall love him; if you shall devote yourselves to his teaching, and shall seek to have converse, and to maintain communion with him, you shall find him ten times better than is the whole world to any; yea, he will shed abroad the love of my Father in your hearts, and Mansoul will be the wisest, and most blessed of all people.'

Then did the Prince call unto him the old gentleman, who before had been the Recorder of Mansoul, Mr. Conscience by name, and told him, That, forasmuch as he was well skilled in the law and government of the town of Mansoul, and was also well-spoken, and could pertinently deliver to them his Master's will in all terrene and domestic matters, therefore he would also make him a minister for, in, and to the goodly town of Mansoul, in all the laws, statutes, and judgments of the famous town of Mansoul. 'And thou must,' said the Prince, 'confine thyself to the teaching of moral virtues, to civil and natural duties; but thou must not attempt to presume to be a revealer of those high and supernatural mysteries that are kept close in the bosom of Shaddai, my Father: for those things knows no man, nor can any reveal them but my Father's Secretary only.

'Thou art a native of the town of Mansoul, but the Lord Secretary is a native with my Father; wherefore, as thou hast knowledge of the laws and customs of the corporation, so he of the things and will of my Father.

'Wherefore, O Mr. Conscience, although I have made thee a minister and a preacher to the town of Mansoul, yet as to the things which the Lord Secretary knoweth, and shall teach to this people, there thou must be his scholar and a learner, even as the rest of Mansoul are.

'Thou must therefore, in all high and supernatural things, go to him for information and knowledge; for though there be a spirit in man, this person's inspiration must give him understanding. Wherefore, O thou Mr. Recorder, keep low and be humble, and remember that the Diabolonians that kept not their first charge, but left their own standing, are now made prisoners in the pit. Be therefore content with thy station.

'I have made thee my Father's vicegerent on earth, in such things of which I have made mention before: and thou, take thou power to teach them to Mansoul, yea, and to impose them with whips and chastisements, if they shall not willingly hearken to do thy commandments.

'And, Mr. Recorder, because thou art old, and through many abuses made feeble; therefore I give thee leave and license to go when thou wilt to my fountain, my conduit, and there to drink freely of the blood of my grape, for my conduit doth always run wine. Thus doing, thou shalt drive from thine heart and stomach all foul, gross, and hurtful humours. It will also lighten thine eyes, and will strengthen thy memory for the reception and keeping of all that the King's most noble Secretary teacheth.'

When the Prince had thus put Mr. Recorder (that once so was) into the place and office of a minister to Mansoul, and the man had thankfully accepted thereof, then did Emmanuel address himself in a particular speech to the townsmen themselves.

'Behold,' said the Prince to Mansoul, 'my love and care towards you; I have added to all that is past, this mercy, to appoint you preachers; the most noble Secretary to teach you in all high and sublime mysteries; and this gentleman,' pointing to Mr. Conscience, 'is to teach you in all things human and domestic, for therein lieth his work. He is not, by what I have said, debarred of telling to Mansoul anything that he hath heard and received at the mouth of the lord high Secretary; only he shall not attempt to presume to pretend to be a revealer of those high mysteries himself; for the breaking of them up, and the discovery of them to Mansoul lieth only in the power, authority, and skill of the lord high Secretary himself. Talk of them he may, and so may the rest of the town of Mansoul; yea, and may, as occasion gives them opportunity, press them upon each other for the benefit of the whole. These things, therefore, I would have you observe and do, for it is for your life, and the lengthening of your days.

'And one thing more to my beloved Mr. Recorder, and to all the town of Mansoul: You must not dwell in, nor stay upon, anything of that which he hath in commission to teach you, as to your trust and expectation of the next world; (of the next world, I say, for I purpose to give another to Mansoul, when this with them is worn out;) but for that you must wholly and solely have recourse to, and make stay upon his doctrine that is your Teacher after the first order. Yea, Mr. Recorder himself must not look for life from that which he himself revealeth; his dependence for that must be founded in the doctrine of the other preacher. Let Mr. Recorder also take heed that he receive not any doctrine, or point of doctrine, that is not communicated to him by his Superior Teacher, nor yet within the precincts of his own formal knowledge.'

Now, after the Prince had thus settled things in the famous town of Mansoul, he proceeded to give to the elders of the corporation a necessary caution, to wit, how they should carry it to the high and noble captains that he had, from his Father's court, sent or brought with him, to the famous town of Mansoul.

'These captains,' said he, 'do love the town of Mansoul, and they are picked men, picked out of abundance, as men that best suit, and that will most faithfully serve in the wars of Shaddai against the Diabolonians, for the preservation of the town of Mansoul. 'I charge you therefore,' said he, 'O ye inhabitants of the now flourishing town of Mansoul, that you carry it not ruggedly or untowardly to my captains, or their men; since, as I said, they are picked and choice men - men chosen out of many for the good of the town of Mansoul. I say, I charge you, that you carry it not untowardly to them: for though they have the hearts and faces of lions, when at any time they shall be called forth to engage and fight with the King's foes, and the enemies of the town of Mansoul; yet a little discountenance cast upon them from the town of Mansoul will deject and cast down their faces, will weaken and take away their courage. Do not, therefore, O my beloved, carry it unkindly to my valiant captains and courageous men of war, but love them, nourish them, succour them, and lay them in your bosoms; and they will not only fight for you, but cause to fly from you all those the Diabolonians that seek, and will, if possible, be, your utter destruction.

'If, therefore, any of them should at any time be sick or weak, and so not able to perform that office of love, which, with all their hearts, they are willing to do (and will do also when well and in health), slight them not, nor despise them, but rather strengthen them and encourage them, though weak and ready to die, for they are your fence, and your guard, your wall, your gates, your locks, and your bars. And although, when they are weak, they can do but little, but rather need to be helped by you, than that you should then expect great things from them, yet, when well, you know what exploits, what feats and warlike achievements they are able to do, and will perform for you.

'Besides, if they be weak, the town of Mansoul cannot be strong; if they be strong, then Mansoul cannot be weak; your safety, therefore, doth lie in their health, and in your countenancing them. Remember, also, that if they be sick, they catch that disease of the town of Mansoul itself.

'These things I have said unto you because I love your welfare and your honour: observe, therefore, O my Mansoul, to be punctual in all things that I have given in charge unto you, and that not only as a town corporate, and so to your officers and guard, and guides in chief, but to you as you are a people whose well-being, as single persons, depends on the observation of the orders and commandments of their Lord.

'Next, O my Mansoul, I do warn you of that, of which, notwithstanding that reformation that at present is wrought among you, you have need to be warned about: wherefore hearken diligently unto me. I am now sure, and you will know hereafter, that there are yet of the Diabolonians remaining in the town of Mansoul, Diabolonians that are sturdy and implacable, and that do already while I am with you, and that will yet more when I am from you, study, plot, contrive, invent, and jointly attempt to bring you to desolation, and so to a state far worse than that of the Egyptian bondage; they are the avowed friends of Diabolus, therefore look about you. They used heretofore to lodge with their Prince in the Castle, when Incredulity was the Lord Mayor of this town; but since my coming hither, they lie more in the outsides and walls, and have made themselves dens, and caves, and holes, and strongholds therein. Wherefore, O Mansoul! thy work, as to this, will be so much the more difficult and hard; that is, to take, mortify, and put them to death according to the will of my Father. Nor can you utterly rid yourselves of them, unless you should pull down the walls of your town, the which I am by no means willing you should. Do you ask me, What shall we do then? Why, be you diligent, and quit you like men; observe their holes; find out their haunts; assault them, and make no peace with them. Wherever they haunt, lurk, or abide, and what terms of peace soever they offer you, abhor, and all shall be well betwixt you and me. And that you may the better know them from those that are the natives of Mansoul, I will give you this brief schedule of the names of the chief of them; and they are these that follow:- The Lord Fornication, the Lord Adultery, the Lord Murder, the Lord Anger, the Lord Lasciviousness, the Lord Deceit, the Lord Evil-Eye, Mr. Drunkenness, Mr. Revelling, Mr. Idolatry, Mr. Witch-craft, Mr. Variance, Mr. Emulation, Mr. Wrath, Mr. Strife, Mr. Sedition, and Mr. Heresy. These are some of the chief, O Mansoul! of those that will seek to overthrow thee for ever. These, I say, are the skulkers in Mansoul; but look thou well into the law of thy King, and there thou shalt find their physiognomy, and such other characteristical notes of them, by which they certainly may be known.

'These, O my Mansoul, (and I would gladly that you should certainly know it,) if they be suffered to run and range about the town as they would, will quickly, like vipers, eat out your bowels; yea, poison your captains, cut the sinews of your soldiers, break the bars and bolts of your gates, and turn your now most flourishing Mansoul into a barren and desolate wilderness, and ruinous heap. Wherefore, that you may take courage to yourselves to apprehend these villains wherever you find them, I give to you, my Lord Mayor, my Lord Willbewill, and Mr. Recorder, with all the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, full power and commission to seek out, to take, and to cause to be put to death by the cross, all, and all manner of Diabolonians, when and wherever you shall find them to lurk within, or to range without the walls of the town of Mansoul.

'I told you before that I had placed a standing ministry among you; not that you have but these with you, for my first four captains who came against the master and lord of the Diabolonians that was in Mansoul, they can, and if need be, and if they be required, will not only privately inform, but publicly preach to the corporation both good and wholesome doctrine, and such as shall lead you in the way. Yea, they will set up a weekly, yea, if need be, a daily lecture in thee, O Mansoul! and will instruct thee in such profitable lessons, that, if heeded, will do thee good at the end. And take good heed that you spare not the men that you have a commission to take and crucify.

'Now, as I have set before your eyes the vagrants and runagates by name, so I will tell you, that among yourselves, some of them shall creep in to beguile you, even such as would seem, and that in appearance are, very rife and hot for religion. And they, if you watch not, will do you a mischief, such an one as at present you cannot think of.

'These, as I said, will show themselves to you in another hue than those under description before. Wherefore, Mansoul, watch and be sober, and suffer not thyself to be betrayed.'

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 sometimes 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 befall 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.

The Holy War - Part 11 | Index | The Holy War - Part 13




More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Like This Page?