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So they heartily agreed with the sentence of the Lord, and a petition was forthwith drawn up for them. But now who shall carry it, that was the next. But the Secretary advised that captain Credence fhould carry it, for he was a well-spoken man. They therefore called for him, and propounded to him the businefs. Well, said the cap-. tain, I gladly accept of the motion; and though I am lame, I will do this business for you, with as much speed, and as well as I can. (a) The contents of the petition were to this purpose:
« O our Lord and Sovereign Prince EMA- The petition of NUEL, the potent, the long-suffering Prince: Mansoul to the Grace is poured into thy lips, and to thee Prince Ema. belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against thee. We who are no more worthy to be called thy Mansoul, nor yet fit to partake of common benefits, do beseech thee, and thy Father by thee, to do away our transgressions. We confess that thou mightest cast us away for them, but do it not for thy name's sake'; let the Lord rather take an opportunity, at our miserable condition, to let out his bowels of compassion to us; we are compassed on every side; Lord, our own backslidings reprove us, our Diabolonians within our town fright us, and the army of the angel of the bottomless pit distress us. Thy grace can be our salvation, and whither to go but to thee we know not.
“ Furthermore, O gracious Prince, we have weakened our captains, and they are discouraged, sick, and of late. some of them grievoully worsted, and beaten out of the field by the power and force of the tyrant. Yea, even those of our captains, in whose valour we formerly used to put most of our confidence, they are as wounded men.
(a) The prayer of faith, how feeble foever, grounded on the word of promise, will not return void to the waiting
sides, Lord, our enemies are lively, and they are strong, they vaunt and boast themselves, and threaten to part us among themselves for a booty. They are fallen also upon us, Lord, with many thousand Doubters, such as with whom we cannot tell what to do; they are all grimlooked, and unmerciful ones, and they bid defiance to us and thee.
“Our wisdom is gone, our power is gone, because thou art departed from us, nor have we what we may call our's, but lin, shame, and confusion of face for sin.(a) Take pity upon us, O Lord, take pity upon us thy miserable town of Mansoul, and save us out of the hands of our enemies. Amnen.” : This petition, as was touched afore, was handed by the lord Secretary, and carried to the court by the brave and most stout captain Credence. Now he carried it out at Mouth-gate, for that, as I said, was the sally-port of the town; and he went, and came to Emanuel with it. Now how it came out, I do not know, but for certain it did, and that so far as to reach the ears of Diabolus. Thus I conclude, because that the tyrant had it presently by the end, and charged the town of Mansoul with it, saying, “ Thou rebellious and stubborn-hearted Mansoul,
I will make thee to leave off petitioning; art Satan cannot
thou yet for petitioning? I will make thee
to leave off.” Yea, he also knew who the messenger was that carried the petition to the Prince, and it made him both fear and rage. Wherefore he commanded that his drum should be beat again, a thing that Mansoul could not abide to hear; but when Diabolus would have his drum beat, Mansoul must abide the noise. Well, the drum was beat, and the Diabolonians were gathered together.
(a) All our addresses to the throne should be cloathed with the profoundeft felf-abasement and humility: nevertheless, let us remember our God is more ready to hear, and bestow blessings, that we are to ask or receive them.
Then said Diabolus, “Oye stout Diabolonians, be it known unto you, that there is treachery hatched against us in the rebellious town of Mansoul; for albeit the town is in our poffeffion, as you see, yet these miserable Mansoulians have attempted to dare, and have been so hardy as yet to send to the court of EMANUEL for help. This I give you to understand, that ye may yet know how to carry it to the wretched town of Mansoul. Wherefore, O iny trusty Diabolonians, I command that Diabolus is enyet more and more ye distress this town of raged against the Mansoul, and vex it with your wiles, ravith town of Mantheir women, deflower their virgins, llay their children, brain their ancients, fire their town, and do what other mischief you can; (a) and let this be the reward of the Mansoulians from me, for their defperate rebellion against me."
This you fee was the charge, but something stept in betwixt that and execution, for as yet there was but little more done than to rage.
Moreover, when Diabolus had done thus, he went the next day up to the castle gates, and demanded that, upon pain of death, the gates should be opened to him, and ihat entrance should be given him and his men that followed after. To whom Mr. Godly-fear replied (for he it was that had the charge of that gate,) “That the gate should not be opened unto him, nor to the men that followed after him.” He said moreover, “ That Mansoul, when she had suffered awhile, should be made perfect, strengthened, and settled.”
Then said Diabolus, “ Deliver me then the men that have petitioned against me, especi- abide faith. ally captain Credence that carried it to your Prince, deliver that varlet into my hands, and I will depart from the town.”
(a) When temptations beset, sin invades, lusts rage, and evil tempers rise, and we are in danger of falling, let us look up, and say, “ Lord save, or I perish."
Then upstarts a Diabolonian, whose name was Mr. Fooling, and said, “ My lord offereth you fair, it is better for you that one man perish, than that your whole Mansoul should be undone."
But Mr. Godly-fear made him this replication, “ How long will Mansoul be kept out of the dungeon, when the hath given up her faith to Diabolus! As good lose the town as lose captain Credence; (a) for if one be gone, the other must follow.” But to that Mr. Fooling said nothing.
Then did my lord-mayor reply, and said, “O thou devouring tyrant, be it known unto thee, we shall hearken to none of thy words; we are resolved to resist thee as ļong as a captain, a man, a sling, and a stone to throw at thee, shall be found in the town of Mansoul.”
But Diabolus answered, “ Do you hope, Diabolus rages.
do you wait, do you look for help and deliverance ? You have sent to EMANUEL, but your wickedness sticks too close in your skirts, to let innocent prayer come out of your lips. Think you, that you shall be prevailers, and prosper in this design? You will fail in your with, you will fail in your attempts; for it is not only I, but your EMANUEL is against you. Yea, it is he that hath sent me against you to subdue you ; for what then do you hope, or by what means will you escape?
Then said my lord-mayor, “ We have The lord.may, finned indeed, but that shall be no help to or's speech just
thee, for our EMANUEL hath said it, and the return of that in great faithfulness, “ And him that captain Cie:
cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” dènce.
He hath also told us ( our enemy) that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to the
at the time of
(a) When the shield of faith is wanting, the foul is exposed to all the fiery darts of the wicked-one ; * this is the victory even your faith."
sons of men." Therefore we dare not despair, but will look for, 'and wait for mercy. (a)
And now by this time captain Credence was come from the court from EMANUEL to the castle of Mansoul, and he returned to them with a packet. So my lord-mayor, hearing that captain, Credence was come, withdrew himself from the noise of the roaring of the tyrant, and left him to yell at the wall of the town, or against the gates of the castle. He then came up to the captain's lodgings, and, saluting him, asked him of his welfare, and what was the best news at court? But when he asked captain Credence that, the water stood in his eyes. Then said the captain, Chear up, my lord, for all will be well in time. And with that he first produced his packet, and laid it by, but that the lord-mayor and the rest of the captains took for a fign of good tidings. (Now a season of grace being come, he sent for all the captains and elders of the town that were here and there in their lodgings, in the castle, and upon their guard, to let them know that captain Credence was returned from the court, and that he had something in general, and something in special to communicate to them.) So they all came up to him, and faluted him, and asked him concerning his journey, and what was the best news at court? And he answered them as he had done the lordmayor before, that all would be well at faft.
Now when the captain had thus faluted them, he opened his packet, and thence drew The packet
opened. out of it several notes for those that he had sent for. And the first note was for my lord-mayor, wherein was signified: “The Prince EMANUEL had taken it well, that my lord-mayor had
A note for my
lord-mayor. been so true and trusty in his office, and the great concerns that lay upon him for the town and people
(a) The vision is for an appointed time--though it tarry, wait for it in the Lord's best time, it shall come, and not tarry," Hab. ii.g.