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 Main Index : Writings : John Bunyan : Holy War Index : The Holy War - Part 13
The Holy War - Part 12 | Index | The Holy War - Part 14

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR.

PART THIRTEEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then said Mr. Carnal-Security, 'Why?'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, when the Sabbath day was come, they went to hear their subordinate preacher; but oh, how he did thunder and lighten this day! His text was that in the prophet Jonah: 'They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.' But there was then such power and authority in that sermon, and such a dejection seen in the countenances of the people that day, that the like hath seldom been heard or seen. The people, when sermon was done, were scarce able to go to their homes, or to betake themselves to their employs the week after; they were so sermon-smitten, and also so sermon-sick by being smitten, that they knew not what to do.

He did not only show to Mansoul their sin, but did tremble before them, under the sense of his own, still crying out of himself, as he preached to them, 'Unhappy man that I am! that I should do so wicked a thing! That I, a preacher! whom the Prince did set up to teach to Mansoul his law, should myself live senseless and sottishly here, and be one of the first found in transgression! This transgression also fell within my precincts; I should have cried out against the wickedness; but I let Mansoul lie wallowing in it, until it had driven Emmanuel from its borders!' With these things he also charged all the lords and gentry of Mansoul, to the almost distracting of them.

About this time, also, there was a great sickness in the town of Mansoul, and most of the inhabitants were greatly afflicted. Yea, the captains also, and men of war, were brought thereby to a languishing condition, and that for a long time together; so that in case of an invasion, nothing could to purpose now have been done, either by the townsmen or field officers. Oh, how many pale faces, weak hands, feeble knees, and staggering men were now seen to walk the streets of Mansoul! Here were groans, there pants, and yonder lay those that were ready to faint.

The garments, too, which Emmanuel had given them were but in a sorry case; some were rent, some were torn, and all in a nasty condition; some also did hang so loosely upon them, that the next bush they came at was ready to pluck them off.

After some time spent in this sad and desolate condition, the subordinate preacher called for a day of fasting, and to humble themselves for being so wicked against the great Shaddai and his Son. And he desired that Captain Boanerges would preach. So he consented to do it; and the day being come, and his text was this, 'Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?' And a very smart sermon he made upon the place. First, he showed what was the occasion of the words, namely, because the fig-tree was barren; then he showed what was contained in the sentence, namely, repentance, or utter desolation. He then showed, also, by whose authority this sentence was pronounced, and that was by Shaddai himself. And, lastly, he showed the reasons of the point, and then concluded his sermon. But he was very pertinent in the application, insomuch that he made poor Mansoul tremble. For this sermon, as well as the former, wrought much upon the hearts of the men of Mansoul; yea, it greatly helped to keep awake those that were roused by the preaching that went before. So that now throughout the whole town, there was little or nothing to be heard or seen but sorrow, and mourning, and woe.

Now, after sermon, they got together and consulted what was best to be done. 'But,' said the subordinate preacher, 'I will do nothing of mine own head, without advising with my neighbour Mr. Godly-Fear. For if he had aforehand understood more of the mind of our Prince than we, I do not know but he also may have it now, even now we are turning again to virtue.'

So they called and sent for Mr. Godly-Fear, and he forthwith appeared. Then they desired that he would further show his opinion about what they had best to do. Then said the old gentleman as followeth: 'It is my opinion that this town of Mansoul should, in this day of her distress, draw up and send an humble petition to their offended Prince Emmanuel, that he, in his favour and grace, will turn again unto you, and not keep anger for ever.'

When the townsmen had heard this speech, they did, with one consent, agree to his advice; so they did presently draw up their request, and the next was, But who shall carry it? At last they did all agree to send it by my Lord Mayor. So he accepted of the service, and addressed himself to his journey; and went and came to the court of Shaddai, whither Emmanuel the Prince of Mansoul was gone. But the gate was shut, and a strict watch kept thereat; so that the petitioner was forced to stand without for a great while together. Then he desired that some would go into the Prince and tell him who stood at the gate, and what his business was. So one went and told to Shaddai, and to Emmanuel his Son, that the Lord Mayor of the town of Mansoul stood without at the gate of the King's court, desiring to be admitted into the presence of the Prince, the King's Son. He also told what was the Lord Mayor's errand, both to the King and his Son Emmanuel. But the Prince would not come down, nor admit that the gate should be opened to him, but sent him an answer to this effect: 'They have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but now in the time of their trouble they say to me, Arise, and save us. But can they not now go to Mr. Carnal-Security, to whom they went when they turned from me, and make him their leader, their lord, and their protection now in their trouble; why now in their trouble do they visit me, since in their prosperity they went astray?'

The answer made my Lord Mayor look black in the face; it troubled, it perplexed, it rent him sore. And now he began again to see what it was to be familiar with Diabolonians, such as Mr. Carnal-Security was. When he saw that at court, as yet, there was little help to be expected, either for himself or friends in Mansoul, he smote upon his breast, and returned weeping, and all the way bewailing the lamentable state of Mansoul.

Well, when he was come within sight of the town, the elders and chief of the people of Mansoul went out at the gate to meet him, and to salute him, and to know how he sped at court. But he told them his tale in so doleful a manner, that they all cried out, and mourned, and wept. Wherefore they threw ashes and dust upon their heads, and put sackcloth upon their loins, and went crying out through the town of Mansoul; the which, when the rest of the townsfolk saw, they all mourned and wept. This, therefore, was a day of rebuke and trouble, and of anguish to the town of Mansoul, and also of great distress.

After some time, when they had somewhat refrained themselves, they came together to consult again what by them was yet to be done; and they asked advice, as they did before, of that reverend Mr. Godly-Fear, who told them that there was no way better than to do as they had done, nor would he that they should be discouraged at all with that they had met with at court; yea, though several of their petitions should be answered with nought but silence or rebuke: 'For,' said he, 'it is the way of the wise Shaddai to make men wait and to exercise patience, and it should be the way of them in want, to be willing to stay his leisure.

Then they took courage, and sent again and again, and again, and again; for there was not now one day, nor an hour that went over Mansoul's head, wherein a man might not have met upon the road one or other riding post, sounding the horn from Mansoul to the court of the King Shaddai; and all with letters petitionary in behalf of, and for the Prince's return to Mansoul. The road, I say, was now full of messengers, going and returning, and meeting one another; some from the court, and some from Mansoul; and this was the work of the miserable town of Mansoul, all that long, that sharp, that cold and tedious winter.

Now if you have not forgot, you may yet remember that I told you before, that after Emmanuel had taken Mansoul, yea, and after that he had new modelled the town, there remained in several lurking places of the corporation many of the old Diabolonians, that either came with the tyrant when he invaded and took the town, or that had there, by reason of unlawful mixtures, their birth and breeding, and bringing up. And their holes, dens, and lurking places were in, under, or about the wall of the town. Some of their names are the Lord Fornication, the Lord Adultery, the Lord Murder, the Lord Anger, the Lord Lasciviousness, the Lord Deceit, the Lord Evil-eye, the Lord Blasphemy, and that horrible villain, the old and dangerous Lord Covetousness. These, as I told you, with many more, had yet their abode in the town of Mansoul, and that after that Emmanuel had driven their prince Diabolus out of the castle.

Against these the good Prince did grant a commission to the Lord Willbewill and others, yea, to the whole town of Mansoul, to seek, take, secure, and destroy any or all that they could lay hands of, for that they were Diabolonians by nature, enemies to the Prince, and those that sought to ruin the blessed town of Mansoul. But the town of Mansoul did not pursue this warrant, but neglected to look after, to apprehend, to secure, and to destroy these Diabolonians. Wherefore what do these villains but by degrees take courage to put forth their heads, and to show themselves to the inhabitants of the town. Yea, and as I was told, some of the men of Mansoul grew too familiar with some of them, to the sorrow of the corporation, as you yet will hear more of in time and place.

Well, when the Diabolonian lords that were left perceived that Mansoul had, through sinning, offended Emmanuel their Prince, and that he had withdrawn himself and was gone, what do they but plot the ruin of the town of Mansoul. So upon a time they met together at the hold of one Mr. Mischief, who was also a Diabolonian, and there consulted how they might deliver up Mansoul into the hands of Diabolus again. Now some advised one way, and some another, every man according to his own liking. At last my Lord Lasciviousness propounded, whether it might not be best, in the first place, for some of those that were Diabolonians in Mansoul, to adventure to offer themselves for servants to some of the natives of the town; 'for,' said he, 'if they so do, and Mansoul shall accept of them, they may for us, and for Diabolus our Lord, make the taking of the town of Mansoul more easy than otherwise it will be.' But then stood up the Lord Murder, and said, 'This may not be done at this time; for Mansoul is now in a kind of a rage, because by our friend, Mr. Carnal-Security, she hath been once ensnared already, and made to offend against her Prince; and how shall she reconcile herself unto her lord again, but by the heads of these men? Besides, we know that they have in commission to take and slay us wherever they shall find us; let us, therefore, be wise as foxes: when we are dead, we can do them no hurt; but while we live, we may.' Thus, when they had tossed the matter to and fro, they jointly agreed that a letter should forthwith be sent away to Diabolus in their name, by which the state of the town of Mansoul should be showed him, and how much it is under the frowns of their Prince. 'We may also,' said some, 'let him know our intentions, and ask of him his advice in the case.'

So a letter was presently framed, the contents of which were these:-

'To our great lord, the Prince Diabolus, dwelling below in the infernal cave:

'O great father, and mighty Prince Diabolus, we, the true Diabolonians yet remaining in the rebellious town of Mansoul, having received our beings from thee, and our nourishment at thy hands, cannot with content and quiet endure to behold, as we do this day, how thou art dispraised, disgraced, and reproached among the inhabitants of this town; nor is thy long absence at all delightful to us, because greatly to our detriment.

'The reason of this our writing unto our lord, is for that we are not altogether without hope that this town may become thy habitation again; for it is greatly declined from its Prince Emmanuel; and he is uprisen, and is departed from them: yea, and though they send, and send, and send, and send after him to return to them, yet can they not prevail, nor get good words from him.

'There has been also of late, and is yet remaining, a very great sickness and fainting among them; and that not only upon the poorer sort of the town, but upon the lords, captains, and chief gentry of the place, (we only who are of the Diabolonians by nature remain well, lively, and strong,) so that through their great transgression on the one hand, and their dangerous sickness on the other, we judge they lie open to thy hand and power. If, therefore, it shall stand with thy horrible cunning, and with the cunning of the rest of the princes with thee, to come and make an attempt to take Mansoul again, send us word, and we shall to our utmost power be ready to deliver it into thy hand. Or if what we have said shall not by thy fatherhood be thought best and most meet to be done, send us thy mind in a few words, and we are all ready to follow thy counsel to the hazarding of our lives, and what else we have.

The Holy War - Part 12 | Index | The Holy War - Part 14




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