1795-puritan-john-bunyan-holy-war

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR – Chapter III

CHAPTER III

[CONTENTS:—Information of the revolution carried to the court of King Shaddai—His great resentment of the rebellion—His gracious intention of restoring Mansoul—Some intimations of this published—Care of Diabolus to suppress them—His artifices to secure the town, and prevent its return to Shaddai.]

Information of the revolution carried to the court of King Shaddai

Now you may well think, that long before this time word, by some or other, could not but be carried to the good King Shaddai, how his Mansoul in the continent of Universe was lost; and that the runagate giant Diabolus, once one of his Majesty’s servants, had, in rebellion against the King, made sure thereof for himself; yea, tidings were carried and brought to the King thereof, and that to a very circumstance.
At first, how Diabolus came upon Mansoul—they being a simple people, and innocent, with craft, subtlety, lies, and guile.

Item, That he had treacherously slain the right noble and valiant captain, their Captain Resistance, as he stood upon the gate, with the rest of the townsmen.

Item, How my brave Lord Innocent fell down dead—with grief, some say, or with being poisoned with the stinking breath of one Ill-pause, as say others—at the hearing of his just Lord and rightful prince Shaddai so abused by the mouth of so filthy a Diabolian as that varlet Ill-pause was.

The messenger further told, that after this Ill-pause had made a short oration to the townsmen, in behalf of Diabolus, his master, the simple town believing that what was said was true, with one consent did open Ear-gate, the chief gate of the corporation, and did let him, with his crew into a possession of the famous town of Mansoul.

He further showed how Diabolus had served the Lord Mayor and Mr. Recorder, to wit, that he had put them from all place of power and trust.

Item, He showed also that my Lord Will-be-will was turned a very rebel and renegade, and that so was one Mr. Mind, his clerk; and that they two did range and revel it all the town over, and teach the wicked ones their ways. He said, moreover, that this Will-be-will was put into great trust; and, particularly, that Diabolus had put into Will-be-will’s hand all the strong places in Mansoul; and that Mr. Affection was made my Lord Will-be-will’s deputy in his most rebellious affairs. Yea, said the messenger, this monster, Lord Will-be-will, has openly disavowed his King Shaddai, and hath horribly given his faith and plighted his troth to Diabolus.

‘Also,’ said the messenger, ‘besides all this, the new king, or rather rebellious tyrant, over the once famous, but now perishing, town of Mansoul, has set up a Lord Mayor and a Recorder of his own. For Mayor, he has set up one Mr. Lustings, and for Recorder, Mr. Forget-good; two of the vilest of all the town of Mansoul.’ This faithful messenger also proceeded, and told what a sort of new burgesses Diabolus had made, also that he had builded several strong forts, towers, and strongholds in Mansoul. He told too, the which I had almost forgot, how Diabolus had put the town of Mansoul into arms, the better to capacitate them on his behalf to make resistance against Shaddai their king, should he come to reduce them to their former obedience.

His great resentment of the rebellion

Now this tidings-teller did not deliver his relation of things in private, but in open court, the King and his Son, high lords, chief captains, and nobles, being all there present to hear. But by that they had heard the whole of the story, it would have amazed one to have seen, had he been there to behold it, what sorrow and grief, and compunction of spirit, there was among all sorts, to think that famous Mansoul was now taken; only the King, and his Son foresaw all this long before, yea, and sufficiently provided for the relief of Mansoul, though they told not everybody thereof. Yet, because they also would have a share in condoling of the misery of Mansoul, therefore they also did, and that at a rate of the highest degree, bewail the losing of Mansoul. The King said plainly, ‘That it grieved him at his heart,’ and you may be sure that his Son was not a whit behind him (Gen 6:5, 6). Thus gave they conviction to all about them, that they had love and compassion for the famous town of Mansoul.

Well, when the King and his Son were retired into the privy-chamber, there they again consulted about what they had designed before, to wit, that as Mansoul should in time be suffered to be lost, so as certainly it should be recovered again; recovered I say, in such a way as that both the King and his Son would get themselves eternal fame and glory thereby. Wherefore after this consult, the Son of Shaddai, a sweet and comely person, and one that had always great affection for those that were in affliction, but one that had mortal enmity in his heart against Diabolus, because he was designed for it, and because he sought his crown and dignity. This Son of Shaddai, I say, having stricken hands with his Father, and promised that he would be his servant to recover his Mansoul again, stood by his resolution, nor would he repent of the same (Isa 49:5; 1 Tim 1:15; Heb 13:14). The purport of which agreement was this: to wit, That at a certain time prefixed by both, the King’s Son should take a journey into the country of Universe; and there, in a way of justice and equity, by making of amends for the follies of Mansoul, he should lay a foundation of her perfect deliverance from Diabolus, and from his tyranny.

His gracious intention of restoring Mansoul

Moreover, Emmanuel resolved to make, at a time convenient, a war upon the giant Diabolus, even while he was possessed of the town of Mansoul; and that he would fairly, by strength of hand, drive him out of his hold, his nest, and take it to himself, to be his habitation.
This now being resolved upon, order was given to the Lord Chief Secretary, to draw up a fair record of what was determined, and to cause that it should be published in all the corners of the kingdom of Universe. A short breviate of the contents thereof you may, if you please, take here as follows:

Some intimations of this published

‘Let all men know who are concerned, That the Son of Shaddai, the great King, is engaged, by covenant to his Father, to bring his Mansoul to him again; yea, and to put Mansoul too, through the power of his matchless love, into a far better, and more happy condition than it was in before it was taken by Diabolus.’

These papers, therefore, were published in several places, to the no little molestation of the tyrant Diabolus, for now, thought he, I shall be molested, and my habitation will be taken from me.

But when this matter, I mean this purpose of the King and his Son, did at first take air at court, who can tell how the high lords, chief captains, and noble princes, that were there, were taken with the business. First, they whispered it one to another, and after that it began to ring out throughout the King’s palace; all wondering at the glorious design that between the King and his Son was on foot for the miserable town of Mansoul. Yea, the courtiers could scarce do anything, either for the King or kingdom, but they would mix with the doing thereof a noise of the love of the King and his Son, that they had for the town of Mansoul.

Nor could these lords, high captains, and princes be content to keep this news at court, yea, before the records thereof were perfected, themselves came down and told it in Universe. At last it came to the ears, as I said, of Diabolus, to his no little discontent. For you must think it would perplex him to hear of such a design against him; well, but after a few casts in his mind, he concluded upon these four things.

Care of Diabolus to suppress them

First. That this news, this good tidings, if possible, should be kept from the ears of the town of Mansoul. For, said he, if they shall once come to the knowledge that Shaddai, their former King, and Emmanuel, his Son, are contriving of good for the town of Mansoul; what can be expected by me, but that Mansoul will make a revolt from under my hand and government, and return again to him.

Now, to accomplish this his design, he renews his flattery with my Lord Will-be-will, and also gives him strict charge and command, that he should keep watch by day and by night at all the gates of the town, especially Ear-gate and Eye-gate. For I hear of a design, quoth he, a design to make us all traitors, and that Mansoul must be reduced to its first bondage again. I hope they are but flying stories, quoth he; however, let no such news by any means be let into Mansoul, lest the people be dejected thereat; I think, my Lord, it can be no welcome news to you, I am sure it is none to me. And I think that at this time it should be all our wisdom and care to nip the head of all such rumours as shall tend to trouble our people.

Wherefore, I desire, my Lord, that you will in this matter do as I say, let there be strong guards daily kept at every gate of the town. Stop also and examine from whence such come, that you perceive do from far come hither to trade; nor let them by any means be admitted into Mansoul, unless you shall plainly perceive that they are favourers of our excellent government. I command, moreover, said Diabolus, that there be spies continually walking up and down the town of Mansoul, and let them have power to suppress, and destroy, any that they shall perceive to be plotting against us, or that shall prate of what by Shaddai and Emmanuel is intended.

This, therefore, was accordingly done; my Lord Will-be-will hearkened to his Lord and master, went willingly after the commandment, and, with all the diligence he could, kept any that would from going out abroad, or that sought to bring this tidings to Mansoul, from coming into the town.

Secondly. This done, in the next place, Diabolus, that he might make Mansoul as sure as he could, frames and imposes a new oath and horrible covenant upon the townsfolk: to wit, ‘That they should never desert him, nor his government, nor yet betray him, nor seek to alter his laws; but that they should own, confess, stand by, and acknowledge him for their rightful king, in defiance to any that do, or hereafter shall, by any pretence, law, or title whatever, lay claim to the town of Mansoul.’ Thinking belike that Shaddai had not power to absolve them from this covenant with death, and agreement with hell (Isa 28:15). Nor did the silly Mansoul stick or boggle at all at this most monstrous engagement, but, as if it had been a sprat in the mouth of a whale, they swallowed it without any chewing. Were they troubled at it? Nay, they rather bragged and boasted of their so brave fidelity to the tyrant, their pretended King, swearing that they would never be changelings, nor forsake their old Lord for a new.

Thus did Diabolus tie poor Mansoul fast; but jealousy, that never thinks itself strong enough, put him, in the next place, upon another exploit, which was yet more, if possible, to debauch this town of Mansoul. Wherefore he caused, by the hand of one Mr. Filth, an odious, nasty, lascivious piece of beastliness to be drawn up in writing, and to be set upon the castle gates; whereby he granted and gave license to all his true and trusty sons in Mansoul, to do whatsoever their lustful appetites prompted them to do, and that no man was to let, hinder, or control them, upon pain of incurring the displeasure of their prince.

Now, this he did for these reasons:

1. That the town of Mansoul might be yet made weaker and weaker, and so more unable, should tiding come that their redemption was designed, to believe, hope, or consent to the truth thereof. For reason says, the bigger the sinner, the less grounds of hopes of mercy.

2. The second reason was, If perhaps, Emmanuel, the Son of Shaddai their king, by seeing the horrible and profane doings of the town of Mansoul, might repent, though entered into a covenant of redeeming them, of pursuing that covenant of their redemption; for he knew that Shaddai was holy, and that his Son Emmanuel was holy; yea, he knew it by woeful experience; for, for his iniquity and sin was Diabolus cast from the highest orbs. Wherefore what more rational than for him to conclude, that thus for sin it might fare with Mansoul. But fearing also lest this knot should break, he bethinks himself of another, to wit:

3. To endeavour to possess all hearts in the town of Mansoul that Shaddai was raising of an army, to come to overthrow and utterly to destroy this town of Mansoul, and this he did to forestall any tidings that might come to their ears of their deliverance; for, thought he, if I first rumor this widely, the tidings that shall come after, will all be swallowed up of this; for what else will Mansoul say, when they shall hear that they must be delivered, but that the true meaning is, Shaddai intends to destroy them; wherefore, he summons the whole town into the market-place, and there, with deceitful tongue, thus he addresses himself unto them:—

‘Gentlemen, and my very good friends, You are all, as you know, my legal subjects, and men of the famous town of Mansoul; you know how, from the first day that I have been with you until now, I have behaved myself among you, and what liberty, and great privileges you have enjoyed under my government, I hope to your honour, and mine, and also to your content and delight. Now, my famous Mansoul, a noise of trouble there is abroad, of trouble to the town of Mansoul, sorry I am thereof for your sakes. For I received but now by the post from my Lord Lucifer—and he useth to have good intelligence—that your old King Shaddai is raising of an army to come against you, to destroy you root and branch: and this, O Mansoul, is now the cause that at this time I have called you together; namely, to advise what in this juncture is best to be done; for my part, I am but one, and can with ease shift for myself, did I list to seek my own ease, and to leave my Mansoul in all the danger. But my heart is so firmly united to you, and so unwilling am I to leave you, that I am willing to stand and fall with you, to the utmost hazard that shall befall me. What say you, O my Mansoul? Will you now desert your old friend, or do you think of standing by me?’ Then as one man, with one mouth, they cried out together, ‘Let him die the death that will not.’

Then said Diabolus again, ‘It is in vain for us to hope for quarter, for this King knows not how to show it: true, perhaps, he at his first sitting down before us will talk of, and pretend to, mercy, that thereby, with the more ease, and less trouble, he may again make himself the master of Mansoul. Whatever therefore he shall say, believe not one syllable or tittle of it, for all such language is but to overcome us, and to make us, while we wallow in our blood, the trophies of his merciless victory. My mind is, therefore, that we resolve, to the last man, to resist him, and not to believe him upon any terms; for in at that door will come our danger. But shall we be flattered out of our lives? I hope you know more of the rudiments of politics than to suffer yourselves so pitifully to be served.

‘But suppose he should, if he get us to yield, save some of our lives, or the lives of some of them that are underlings in Mansoul, what help will that be to you that are the chief of the town; especially of you whom I have set up, and whose greatness has been procured by you through your faithful sticking to me? And suppose again, that he should give quarter to every one of you, be sure he will bring you into that bondage under which you were captivated before, or a worse; and then what good will your lives do you? Shall you with him live in pleasure as you do now? No, no, you must be bound by laws that will pinch you, and be made to do that which at present is hateful to you; I am for you, if you are for me, and it is better to die valiantly, than to live like pitiful slaves.  But I say, the life of a slave will be counted a life too good for Mansoul now; blood, blood, nothing but blood is in every blast of Shaddai’s trumpet against poor Mansoul now.

His artifices to secure the town, and prevent its return to Shaddai.

Pray, be concerned, I hear he is coming up; and stand to your arms, that now while you have any leisure, I may learn you some feats of war. Armour for you I have, and by me it is; yea, and it is sufficient for Mansoul from top to toe; nor can you be hurt by what his force can do, if you shall keep it well girt and fastened about you. Come therefore to my castle, and welcome, and harness yourselves for the war. There is helmet, breastplate, sword, and shield, and what not, that will make you fight like men.

1. ‘My helmet, otherwise called an head-piece, is hope of doing well at last, what lives soever you live. This is that which they had, who said, that they should have peace though they walked in the wickedness of their heart, “to add drunkenness to thirst” (Deut 29:19). A piece of approved armour this is, and whoever has it and can hold it, so long no arrow, dart, sword, or shield can hurt him; this therefore, keep on, and thou wilt keep off many a blow, my Mansoul.

2. ‘My breastplate is a breastplate of iron; I had it forged in mine own country, and all my soldiers are armed therewith; in plain language it is a hard heart, a heart as hard as iron, and as much past feeling as a stone; the which if you get, and keep, neither mercy shall win you, nor judgment fright you (Rev 9:9). This, therefore, is a piece of armour most necessary for all to put on that hate Shaddai, and that would fight against him under my banner.

3. ‘My sword is a tongue that is set on fire of hell (Psa 57:4), and that can bend itself to speak evil of Shaddai, his Son, his ways, and people (Psa 64:3). Use this; it has been tried a thousand times twice told; whoever hath it, keeps it, and makes that use of it as I would have him, can never be conquered by mine enemy (James 3:3–5).

4. ‘My, shield is unbelief, or calling into question the truth of the Word, or all the sayings that speak of the judgment that Shaddai has appointed for wicked men. Use this shield (Job 15:26). Many attempts he has made upon it, and sometimes, it is true, it has been bruised (Psa 76:3). But they that have writ of the wars of Emmanuel against my servants, have testified that he could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5, 6).

Now, to handle this weapon of mine aright, it is not to believe things because they are true, of what sort or by whomsoever asserted. If he speak of judgment, care not for it; if he speak of mercy, care not for it; if he promise, if he swear that he would do to Mansoul, if it turn, no hurt but good, regard not what is said; question the truth of all; for this is to wield the shield of unbelief aright, and as my servants ought and do; and he that doth otherwise loves me not, nor do I count him but an enemy to me.

5. ‘Another part or piece,’ said Diabolus, ‘of mine excellent armour is a dumb and prayerless spirit—a spirit that scorns to cry for mercy; wherefore be you, my Mansoul, sure that you make use of this. What! cry for quarter, never do that if you would be mine; I know you are stout men, and am sure that I have clad you with that which is armour of proof; wherefore, to cry to Shaddai for mercy, let that be far from you. Besides all this, I have a maul, fire-brands, arrows and death, all good hand-weapons, and such as will do execution.’

After he had thus furnished his men with armour and arms, he addressed himself to them in such like words as these:—’Remember,’ quoth he, ‘that I am your rightful king, and that you have taken an oath, and entered into covenant to be true to me and my cause; I say, remember this, and show yourselves stout and valiant men of Mansoul. Remember also the kindness that I have always showed to you, and that without your petitions: I have granted to you external things, wherefore the privileges, grants, immunities, profits and honours wherewith I endowed you, do call for at your hands returns of loyalty, my lion-like men of Mansoul; and when so fit a time to show it as when another shall seek to take my dominion over you, into their own hands? One word more, and I have done, Can we but stand, and overcome this one shock or brunt, I doubt not but in little time all the world will be ours; and when that day comes, my true hearts, I will make you kings, princes, and captains, and what brave days shall we have then?’

Diabolus having thus armed, and forearmed his servants and vassals in Mansoul, against their good and lawful King Shaddai; in the next place, he doubleth his guards at the gates of the town, and he takes himself to the castle, which was his stronghold. His vassals also, to show their wills, and supposed, but ignoble, gallantry, exercise themselves in their arms every day, and teach one another feats of war; they also defied their enemies, and sang up the praises of their tyrant; they threatened also what men they would be, if ever things should rise so high as a war between Shaddai and their king.

John Bunyan, The Holy War

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