Зображення сторінки

Thou talkest now of a reformation in Mansoul, and that thou thyself, if I will please, will be at the head of 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 of God, can never by his obeying of the law, deliver him therefrom, (to say nothing of what a reformation is likely to be set up in Mansoul, when the devil is become the corrector of vice). Thou knowest that all thou hast now said in this matter is nothing but guile and deceit; and as it was the first, so is it the last card that thou hast to play. Many there be that do discern thee, when thou shewest 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 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 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 my 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 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 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 Emanuel.. 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 walls to his force that was in the heart of the town of Mansoul, Emanuel also returned to the camp, and both of them after their divers ways, put themselves in a posture fit to give battle one to another. Diabolus, as filled with despair of retaining in his hands the far mous 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, Mark xxvi. 27. Wherefore he commands his officers that they should then when they saw that they could hold the town no longer, do it what harm and mischief they could, rending and tearing of men, women, and children. For said he, we had better quite demolish the place, and leave it like a ruinous heap, than to leave it that it may be an habitation for Emanuel.

Emanuel 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 shew themselves men of war against Diabolus and all Diabolians; but favourable, merciful and meek to all 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, Eargate 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 trumpet sound, the captains shout, the town shake, and Diabolus retreat into 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 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 was so 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 thereof did quickly clear the 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 Judgnient, should forth with march up the town to the old gentleman's gate. Then did the captains in the most warlike manger, 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 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 gate, and as well 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 Emanuel 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 Emanuel, not only because it was near 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 Emanuel; so that he did not know what judgment to make, nor what would be the end of such thundering beginnings. It was also noised in the town how the Recorder's house was possessed, his rooms


taken up, and his palace made the seat of 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 a 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 trembled, and the captains carried it strangely to him; so many came to see, but when they with their own eyes did behold the captains in the palace, and their batterring-rams ever played at the castle gates to beat them down, they were riveted in their fears, and it made them as in amaze. And as I said, the men of the house would increase all this, for whoever came to him, or discoursed with him, nothing would be 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 have all been traitors to that once despised but now famously victorious and glorious Prince Emanuel; for he now, as you see, doth not only lie in close siege about us, but hath forced his entrance in at our gates; morcover Diabolus flies 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 of silence when I should have spoken, and in perverting of justice when I should have executed the same. True, I have suffered something at the hands 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? O, I tremble to think what will be the end of this so dreadful and so ireful a beginning!


« НазадПродовжити »