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or whether to assault it with words and ways of deceit?
Fourthly, Whether they had not best give out private orders, to some of their companions, to take the advantage, if they see one or more of the principal townsmen, to shoot them; if thereby they ihall judge their caufé and design will the better be promoted.
It was answered, to the first of these proposals, in the negative; to wit, that it would not be belt that all should Thew themselves before the town, because the appearance of many of them might alarm and frighten the town; whereas a few, or but one of them, was not so likely to do it. And to cause this advice to take place, it was added further, that if Mansoul was frighted, Diabolus gives or did take the alarm, it is impossible, said his advices Diaboļus (for he spoke now), that we should whichisadopted. take the town : for that none can enter into it without it's own consent. (a) Let therefore but a few, or but one, assault Manfoul, and, in my opinion, said Diabolus, let me be he. Wherefore to this they all agreed : and then to the second proposal they came, namely,
II. Whether they had best to go and sit down before Mansoul, in their now ragged and beggarly guife?
To which it was answered also in the negative, By no means; and that because, though the town of Mansoul
(a) Şatan could gain no advantage over Adam in para. dise, without the concurrence of his judgment, and consent of his will; but these being weakened, and at length overe come, by listening to the temptation, he became an ealy prey to his subtle and powerful enemy. Even so it is now: fnas. mach as Satan cannot compel men to commit fin, but only tempt them to it; for, as the apostle James remarks, ch. í. 4. Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own luft, and enticed:" the tempter works upon our corrupt nature, which is ever prone to, and susceptible of evil; for, by reason of that depravity inherent in, and ever cleaving to us éven believers themselves are equally liable with the unregenerate, were it not for the 'reltraining power of divine grace, to yield to any temptation, as tindér 'is apt to catch the spark, No. 1
had been made to know, and to have to do with, before now, things that are invisible; they never did as yet see any of their fellow creatures in so bad and rascally a condi
tion as they: and this was the advice of the Alecto.
fierce Alecto. (a) Then said Apollyon, (6) The Apollyon.
advice is pertinent ; for even one of us appearing to them as we are now, mult needs both beget and multiply such thoughts in them, as will both put them into a consternation of spirit, and necesitate them to put themselves upon their guard : and if so, said he, then, as Diabolus said but now, it is in vain for us to think of taking the town. Then said that mighty giant Beelzebub,
(c) The advice that is already given is fafe ; Beelzebub's
for though the men of Mansoul have seen fuch
things as we once were, yet hitherto they did never behold such things as we now are.
And it is best, in my opinion, to come upon them in such a guise as is common to, and most familiar among them. (d) To this
(a) An heathen appellative for one of the furies of hell. 16) A name given to one of the devils : a destroyer.
c) Or Belzebub, the lord of fiesa a suppoled prince of devils, next in command to Satan.
(d) We perceive, above, the unanimity that prevailed among those malevolent spirits, in conferring about the mode of attack to be made on man; and, for that purpose, their agreeing to prefer the assumed form of one of the creatures, to such an appearance as might create a suspicion of their hellish intentions. Would to God there were as firm concord and union amongst christians, to promote the glory of God, his interest, and their own happiness in the world! and this the rather, as the devils are as full of subtlety and malicious rage now, in their attempts to prevent the good of mankind, and destroy immortal souls, as they were upwards of 5000 years ago : they also well know the believer's weak fide, his most predominant appetite, which they stimulate and work upon : it therefore behoves all who belong to Chrift, and are not ignorant of Satan's devices, to be sober and vigilant, as well as earnest at the throne of mercy, for grace, wisdom, and the whole armour of God, wherewith to oppose and frustrate all the mischievous attempts of this restless and irreconcileable foe to our peace and salvation; so that we may be enabled to withstand in the evil day; and having done all, to stand, Eph. vi, 13.
when they had consented; the next thing to be considered, was, in what shape, hue, or guise, Diabolus had best to Thew himself, when he went about to make Mansoul his own. Then one faid one thing, and another the contrary. At last Lucifer (a) answered, That, in his
Lucifer also opinion, it was best that his lordship should gives his advice, allume the body of one of those creatures that which is ap; they of the town had dominion over : for, plauded by all. quoth he, those are not only familiar to them, but, being under them, they will never imagine that any attempt should by them be made upon the town; and, to blind all, let him assume the body of one of those beasts that Mansoul deems to be wiser than any of the rest, Gen. iii. 1. Rev. xx. 1, 2. This advice was applauded of all; so it was determined that the giant Diabolus should affume, the dragon ; for that he was, in those days, as familiar with the town of Mansoul, as now is the bird with the boy; for nothing that was in it's primitive state was at all amazing to them. They then proceeded to the third thing, which was, /
III. Whether they had best shew their inclinations, or the design of their coming to Mansoul, or no ?
This also was answered in the negative, because of the weight that was in their former - reasons, to wit, for that Mansoul were a strong people, a strong people in a strong town, whose wall and gates were impregnable (to say nothing of their castles), nor can they by any means be won but by their own consent.. Besides, faid (b) Legion (for he gave answer to this), a discovery of our intentions may
ra) Literally, light-bearer; the morning-star: the name of one of the fallen angels; the arch-devit.
(6) A military term ; it antiently fignified a body of Ro. man soldiers, consisting, according to some, of about five thousand men.
We find this name assumed in the New Testament, by the furious dæmoniac who issued from the tombs, of whom Jesus asked, saying, “ What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered in. to him." See Mark v. g. and Luke viii. 30,
dissimulation and craft.
make them send 10 their King for aid ; (a) and if that be done, I know what time of the day it will be with us : therefore let us affault them in all pretended fairness, coLegion advises vering our intentions with all manner of lyes,
flatteries, delusive words : feigning things
that will never be, and promising that to them which they shall never find : this is the way to win Mansoul, and to make them willingly open their gates to Ús; yea, and desire us also to come in to them.
And the reason why I think that this project will do, is, because the people of Manloul are now every one simple and innocent; all honest and true: nor do they as yet know what it is to be assaulted with fraud, guile, and hypocrify... They are strangers to lying and dissembling lips ; wherefore we cannot, if thus we be disguised, by them at all be discerned ; our lyes shall go for true sayings, and our diffimulation för upright dealings. What we promise them, they will in that believe us ; especially if in all our lyes and feigned words we pretend great love to them, and that our delign is only their advantage and honour. Now there was not one bit of a reply against this, for it went as current down as doth the water down a steep descent : wherefore they go to consider of the last proposal, which was,
ra) Craft and disfimulation are here described as destruc tive weapons in the hand of our grand adversary, in which he placed his chief hopes of success. The danger, weakness, and ruin of our first parents arose, if not from too great confidence in their own strength, yet at least from not fufpecting the baneful views of the tempter : therefore Satan accosts them in fuch a guise as might beft cover his design, induce them to turn away their eye from God, and consent to a parley with a too potent enemy.-May this teach us, who are by nature infinitely weaker than they were, to look to the Arong for strength, and apply incessantly to the God of all grace, by prayer; which as we shall find it a source of new strength, so it will be a certain forerunner of victory : “ Pray without ceasing," fhould be the chriftian's motto, engraved upon his shield of faith,
IV. Whether they had not best to give out orders to some of their company, to shoot some one or more of the principal of the townsmen ; if they judge that their cause might be promoted thereby.
This was carried in the affirmative; and the man that was designed by this stratagem to be destroyed, was one Mr. Resistance, (a) otherwise called Captain Re
Of captain Rea sistance, and a great man in Mansoul this
Sistance, captain Resistance was ; and a man that the giant Diabolus, and his band, more feared, than they feared the whole town of Mansoul besides. Now who should be the actor to do the murder; that was the next : and they appointed one Tisiphone, (b) a fury of the lake; to do it.
They thus having ended the council of war, rose up, and allayed to do as they had The result of
their council, determined: they marched towards Mansoul, but all in a manner invisible, save only one; nor did he approach the town in his own likeness, but under the shape and in the body of the dragon.
(a) OBSTA PRINCIPIIS, withstand the beginnings,' is a wise maxim among physicians; becaufe it is much ealier to nip a disorder in the bud, than to remove it when it has taken root in the constitution. This rule is not lefs useful in fpiritual concerns: Had Eve resisted with abhorrence the first suggestion of the tempter, she would undoubtedly have repulled him, and retained her integrity. In like manner, for our better security, we are exhorted to resist the devil, and he will flee from us, James iv. 7. Satan is a coward, when manfully relfted; but grows bolder, and the tempted Soul weaker, by yielding. But a victory cannot be obtained, unless we be strong in the LORD, and go forth in the power of his might, Eph. vi. 10. In our own ftrength, which is perfect weak ness, we shall be unequal to the combat; but in the strength of Christ, the captain of our salvation, we shall come off more than conquerors. The Lord give us watchful hearts, and an earneft looking for grace and Itrength in every time of need, that, being stedfast in tho faith, we may be enabled to resist, and escape the fnares of the wickedone!.. Pet. v. 9.
(b) Literally, the avenger of murder. In heathen mythology, one of the furies, whose head was said to be covered with snakes instead of hair,