Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

The Doubters

yock in the town.

town of Mansoul. Yea, the subordinate Preacher's house was as ful of these ourlandish Doubters as ever it could hold; and so was my lord-mayor's, and my lord Will-bewill's also. Yea, where was there a corner, a cottage, a barn, or a hog-sty, that now was not full of these vermin? Yea, they turned the men of the town out of their houses, and would lie in their beds, and sit at their tables themselves. Ah, poor Mansoul! now thou feelest the fruits of sin, and what venom was in the flattering words of Mr. Carnal-security! They made great havock of whatever they

laid their hands on; yea, they fired the town make great ha- in fevral places; many young children also

were by them dalhed in pieces, yea, those

that were yet unborn they destroyed in their mother's wombs; for you must needs think that it could not now be otherwise ; for what conscience, what pity, what bowels of compassion can any expect at the hands of outlandish Doubters(a) Many in Mansoul that were women, both young and oli, they forced, ravished, and beastlike abused, so that they swooned, miscarried, and many of them died, and so lay at the top of every street, and in all by-places of the town.

And now did Mansoul feem to be nothing but a den of dragons, an emblem of hell, and a place of total darkness, Now die Mansoub lie alınost like the barren wilderness; nothing but nettles, briers, thorns, weeds, and finking things seem now to cover the face of Mansoni. I told

you before, how that these Diabolonian Doubters turned ihe men of Mansoul out of their beds, and now I will add, they wounded them, they mauled them, yea, and almost brained many of them. Many, did I say? yea, most, if not all of

them,

(a) Unbelieving doubts and guilty fears impeach God's veracity: Oh be infant in prayer for a removal of them, and an increase of faith in the infallible promise of unalterable truth,

them. Mr. Conscience they fo wounded, yea, and his wounds so fèstered, that he could have no ease day nor night, but lay as if continually upon a rack

Sad work among (but that SHADDAI rules all, certainly they the townsmen. had flain him outright). My lord-mayor they fo abused, that they almost put out his eyes; my lord Will-be-will got into the castle, they intended to have chopt him all to pieces, for they looked Satan has a parupon him (as his heart now stood) to be one ticular spite of the very worst that was in Mansoul against a fanctie against Diabolus and his crew. And indeed he shewed himself a man, and more of his exploits you will hear of afterwards.

fied will

Now a man might have walked for many days together in Mansoul, and scarce have feen one in the town that looked like a religious man. Oh the fearful state of Manfoul now! now every corner swarmed with outlandish Doubters; red-coats and black-coats walked The foul full of the town by clusters, and filled up all the idle thoughts houses with hideous noises, vain songs, lying and blafphestories, and blasphemous language against SHADDAI and his Son. (a) Now also those Diabolonians that lurked in the walls, and dens, and holes that were in the town of Mansoul, came forth and thewed themselves; yea, walked with open face in company with the Doubters that were in Mansoul. Yea, they had more boldness now to walk the streets, to haunt the houses, and to thew themselves abroad, than had any of the honest inhabitants of the now woeful town of Mansoul. But Diabolus and his outlandish men were not at peace in Mansoul; for they were not there entertained as were the captains and forces of EMANUEL; the townsmen browbeat them what they could: nor did they partake or make destruction of any of the necessaries of Mansoul, but that which they

seized

(a) Such is the dreadful nature of unbelief! It is the minister of confusion, lying, vanity, and blafpheming against the faithfulness of a covenant God,

!

seized on against the townsmen's will; what they could they hid from them, and what they could not they had with an ill will. They, poor hearts, had rather have had their room than their company, but they were at present their captives, and their captives for the present they were forced to be, Rom. vii. But I say, they discountenanced them as much as they were able, and thewed them all the dislike that they could.

The captains also from the castle held them in continual play with their slings, to the chafing and fretting of the minds of the enemies. True, Diabolus made a great many attempts to have broken open the gates of the castle, Mr. Godly-fear but Mr. Godly-fear was made the keeper of is made keeper that; and he was a man of courage, conduct, of the castle and valour, fo that it was in vain, as long as gates.

life lasted within him, to think to do that work, though mostly desired; wherefore all the attempts that Diabolus made against him, were fruitless (I have wished sometimes that that man had had the whole rule of the town of Mansoul). (a) The town of Well, this was the condition of the town Manfoul the

of Mansoul, for about two years and an feat of war.

half; the body of the town was the seat of war; the people of the town were driven 'into holes, and the glory of Mansoul was laid in the duft; what rest then could be to the inhabitants, what peace could Mansoul have, and what fun could shine upon it? Had the enemy lain so long without in the plain against the town, it had been enough to famith them; but now when they shall be within, when the town fhall be their tent, their trench, and fort against the castle that was in the town, when the town shall be against the town, and shall serve to be a defence to

the

(a) The fear of God is a sovereign preservative against fin: let us beseech the Lord, according to his promise, to put his fear in our hearts, that we depart not from him; Jere xxxii. 40.

the enemies of her strength and life; I say, when they Thall make use of the forts and town-holds to secure themfelves in, even till they shall take, spoil, and demolish the castle, this was terrible, and yet this was now

The heart. the state of the town of Mansoul.

After the town of Mansoul had been in this sad and lamentable condition for so long a time as I have told you, and no petitions that they had presented their Prince with (all this while) could prevail; the inhabitants of the town, to wit, the elders and chief of Mansoul, gather together, and after some time spent in condoling their miserable ftate, and this miserable judgment coming upon them, they agreed together to draw up yet another petition, and to send it away to EMANUEL for relief. But Mr. Godly-fear stood up, and answered, “ That he knew his Lord the Prince never did, nor ever would receive a fear's advice

Mr. Godly. petition for these matters from the hand of about drawing any whoever, unless the lord Secretary's hand up a petition to

the Prince. was to it (and this, quoth he, is the reason you prevailed not all this while).” Then they said they would draw up one, and get the lord Secretary's hand to it.(aBut Mr. Godly-fear answered again, « That he knew also that the lord Secretary would not set his hand to any petition that himself had not an hand in composing and drawing up; and besides, said he, the Prince doth know my lord Secretary's hand from all the hands in the world ; wherefore he cannot be deceived by any pretence whatever; wherefore my advice is, that you go to my lord, and implore him to lend you bis aid.” (Now:he abode in the castle, where all the captains and men at arms were.) So they heartily thanked Mr. Godly-fear, took his counfel, and did as he had bidden them; so they departed and came to my lord, and made known the cause of their coming to him: to wit, that since Mansoul was in so deplorable a condition, his Highness would be pleased to undertake to draw up a petition for them to EMANUEL, the Son of the mighty SHADDAI, and to their King and his Father, by him.

came

laj We are exhorted to pray with the Spirit and the understanding also: the prayer of faith only, in the name of Christ, is available.

Then said the Secretary to them, “ What petition is it that you would have me draw up for you?” But they said, Our Lord knows best the state and condition of the town of Mansoul, and how we are backflidden and degenerated from the Prince; thou also knowest who is come up to war against us, and how Mansoul is now the seat of war.(a) My Lord knows moreover, what barbarous usage our men, women, and children have suffered at their hands, and how our home-bred Diabolonians walk now with more boldness

than dare the townsmen in the streets of The Secretary Mansoul. Let our Lord therefore, accordrequested to draw up a peti. ing to the wisdom of God that is in him, tion for Man

draw up a petition for his poor servants to soul. our Prince EMANUEL.

“ Well (said the lord Secretary,) I will draw up a petition for you,

and will also set my hand thereto.” Then said they, “ But when shall we call for it at the hand of our Lord !" He answered, “ Yourselves must be present at the doing of it. Yea, you must pat your desires to it. True, the hand and

pen

Thall be mine, but the ink and paper must be your's, else how can you say, it is your petition? Nor have I need to petition for myself, because I have not offended.”

He also added as followeth: “No petition goes from me in my name to the Prince, and so to his Father by him, but when the people, that are chiefly concerned therein, join in heart and soul in the matter, for that must be inserted therein."

So

(a) Thus it will ever be. The christian life is a warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil: but an evil heart of unbelief is that spiritual Goliath, which we should constantly intreat the Captain of our salvation to subdue,

« НазадПродовжити »