Holy war 3

A RELATION OF THE HOLY WAR – Chapter VI

CHAPTER VI

[CONTENTS:—Lord Understanding and Mr. Conscience imprisoned as authors of the disturbance—A conference of the besieging officers, who agree to petition Shaddai for further assistance—The petition approved at court—Emmanuel, the King’s son, is appointed to conquer the town—Marches with a great army and surrounds Mansoul, which is strongly fortified against him.]

Lord Understanding and Mr. Conscience imprisoned as authors of the disturbance

Now when the uproar was over, Diabolus sends for my Lord Understanding, and Mr. Conscience, and claps them both up in prison, as the ring-leaders and managers of this most heavy riotous rout in Mansoul. So now the town began to be quiet again, and the prisoners were used hardly; yea, he thought to have made them away, but that the present juncture did not serve for that purpose, for that war was in all their gates.

But let us return again to our story. The captains, when they were gone back from the gate, and were come into the camp again, called a council of war, to consult what was further for them to do. Now some said, Let us go up presently and fall upon the town, but the greatest part thought rather better it would be to give them another summons to yield; and the reason why they thought this to be best was, because, that so far as could be perceived, the town of Mansoul now was more inclinable than heretofore. And if, said they, while some of them are in a way of inclination, we should by ruggedness give them distaste, we may set them further from closing with our summons, than we would be willing they should.

Wherefore to this advice they agreed, and called a trumpeter, put words into his mouth, set him his time, and bid him God speed. Well, many hours were not expired before the trumpeter addressed himself to his journey. Wherefore, coming up to the wall of the town, he steereth his course to Ear-gate, and there sounded, as he was commanded. They, then, that were within came out to see what was the matter, and the trumpeter made them this speech following:

‘O hard-hearted, and deplorable town of Mansoul, how long wilt thou love thy sinful, sinful simplicity, and ye fools delight in your scorning? As yet despise you the offers of peace, and deliverance? As yet will ye refuse the golden offers of Shaddai, and trust to the lies and falsehoods of Diabolus? Think you when Shaddai shall have conquered you, that the remembrance of these your carriages towards him, will yield you peace and comfort; or that, by ruffling language, you can make him afraid as a grasshopper? Doth he entreat you, for fear of you? Do you think that you are stronger than he? Look to the heavens, and behold, and consider the stars, how high are they? Can you stop the sun from running his course, and hinder the moon from giving her light? Can you count the number of the stars, or stay the bottles of heaven? Can you call for the waters of the sea, and cause them to cover the face of the ground? Can you behold every one that he is proud, and abase him, and bind their faces in secret? Yet these are some of the works of our King, in whose name, this day, we come up unto you, that you may be brought under his authority. In his name, therefore, I summon you again, to yield up yourselves to his captains.’

At this summons the Mansoulians seemed to be at a stand, and knew not what answer to make.; wherefore Diabolus forthwith appeared, and took upon him to do it himself, and thus he begins, but turns his speech to them of Mansoul:

‘Gentlemen,’ quoth he, ‘and my faithful subjects, if it is true that this summoner hath said concerning the greatness of their King, by his terror you will always be kept in bondage, and so be made to sneak. Yea, how can you now, though he is at a distance, endure to think of such a mighty one? And if not to think of him, while at a distance, how can you endure to be in his presence? I, your prince, am familiar with you, and you may play with me as you would with a grasshopper. Consider, therefore, what is for your profit, and remember the immunities that I have granted you. Farther, if all be true that this man hath said, how comes it to pass that the subjects of Shaddai are so enslaved in all places where they come? None in the universe so unhappy as they, none so trampled upon as they. Consider, my Mansoul. Would thou wert as loath to leave me as I am loath to leave thee! But consider, I say, the ball is yet at thy foot; liberty you have, if you know how to use it; yea, a king you have too, if you can tell how to love and obey him.’

Upon this speech, the town of Mansoul did again harden their hearts yet more against the captains of Shaddai. The thoughts of his greatness did quite quash them, and the thoughts of his holiness sunk them in despair. Wherefore, after a short consultation, they, of the Diabolonian party they were, sent back this word by the trumpeter, ‘That, for their parts, they were resolved to stick to their king; but never to yield to Shaddai.’ So it was but in vain to give them any further summons, for they had rather die upon the place than yield. And now things seemed to be gone quite back, and Mansoul to be out of reach or call; yet the captains, who knew what their Lord could do, would not yet be beat out of heart. They therefore sent them another summons, more sharp and severe than the last; but the oftener they were sent to, to be reconciled to Shaddai, the further off they were. ‘As they called them, so they went from them’: yea, ‘though they called them to the Most High’ (Hosea 11:2, 7).

A conference of the besieging officers, who agree to petition Shaddai for further assistance

So they ceased that way to deal with them any more, and inclined to think of another way. The captains, therefore, did gather themselves together, to have free conference among themselves, to know what was yet to be done to gain the town, and to deliver it from the tyranny of Diabolus. And one said after this manner, and another after that. Then stood up the right noble, the Captain Conviction, and said, ‘My brethren, mine opinion is this:

‘First. That we continually play our slings into the town, and keep it in a continual alarm, molesting of them day and night; by thus doing we shall stop the growth of their rampant spirit. For a lion may be tamed by continual molestation.

‘Second. This done, I advise that, in the next place, we, with one consent, draw up a petition to our Lord Shaddai; by which, after we have showed our King the condition of Mansoul, and of affairs here, and have begged his pardon for our no better success, we will earnestly implore his Majesty’s help, and that he will please to send us more force and power; and some gallant and well-spoken commander to head them; that so his Majesty may not lose the benefit of these his good beginnings, but may complete his conquest upon the town of Mansoul.’
To this speech of the noble Captain Conviction, they, as one man, consented; and agreed that a petition should forthwith be drawn up, and sent by a fit man, away to Shaddai with speed. The contents of the petition were thus:

‘Most gracious and glorious King, the Lord of the best world, and the builder of the town of Mansoul: We have, dread Sovereign, at thy commandment, put our lives in jeopardy, and at thy bidding made a war upon the famous town of Mansoul. When we went up against it, we did, according to our commission, first offer conditions of peace unto it. But they, great King, set light by our counsel, and would none of our reproof (Matt 22:5; Prov 1:25–30; Zech 10:11, 12). They were for shutting of their gates, and for keeping us out of the town. They also mounted their guns, they sallied out upon us, and have done us what damage they could; but we pursued them, with alarm upon alarm, requiting of them with such retribution as was meet, and have done some execution upon the town.

Diabolus, Incredulity, and Will-be-will are the great doers against us; now we are in our winter quarters, but so as that we do yet with an high hand molest and distress the town. Once, as we think, had we had but one substantial friend in the town, such as would but have seconded the sound of our summons as they ought, the people might have yielded themselves. But there were none but enemies there, nor any to speak in behalf of our Lord to the town; wherefore, though we have done as we could, yet Mansoul abides in a state of rebellion against thee. Now, King of kings, let it please thee to pardon the unsuccessfulness of thy servants, who have been no more advantageous in so desirable a work as the conquering of Mansoul is; and send, Lord, as we now desire, more forces to Mansoul, that it may be subdued; and a man to head them, that the town may both love and fear. We do not thus speak because we are willing to relinquish the wars—for we are for laying of our bones against the place—but that the town of Mansoul may be won for thy Majesty. We also pray thy Majesty for expedition in this matter, that after their conquest, we may be at liberty to be sent about other thy gracious designs. Amen.’

The petition thus drawn up was sent away with haste to the King, by the hand of that good man, Mr. Love-to-Mansoul.

When this petition was come to the palace of the King, who should it be delivered to but to the King’s Son. So he took it and read it, and because the contents of it pleased him well, he mended, and also in some things, added to the petition himself. So after he had made such amendments and additions as he thought convenient, with his own hand, he carried it in to the King; to whom when he had with obeisance delivered it, he put on authority, and spake to it himself.

The petition approved at court

Now the King, at the sight of the petition, was glad; but how much more think you, when it was seconded by his Son? It pleased him also to hear that his servants that camped against Mansoul were so hearty in the work, and so steadfast in their resolves, and that they had already got some ground upon the famous town of Mansoul.

Emmanuel, the King’s son, is appointed to conquer the town

Wherefore the King called to him Emmanuel his Son, who said, Here am I, my Father. Then said the King, Thou knowest, as I do myself, the condition of the town of Mansoul, and what we have purposed, and what thou hast done to redeem it. Come now, therefore, my Son, and prepare thyself for the war, for thou shalt go to my camp at Mansoul. Thou shalt also there prosper, and prevail, and conquer the town of Mansoul.

Then said the King’s Son, Thy law is within my heart. I delight to do thy will (Heb 10). This is the day that I have longed for, and the work that I have waited for all this while. Grant me, therefore, what force thou shalt in thy wisdom think meet, and I will go, and will deliver from Diabolus, and from his power, thy perishing town of Mansoul. My heart has been often pained within me for the miserable town of Mansoul; but now it is rejoiced, but now it is glad. And with that he leaped over the mountains for joy, saying, I have not, in my heart, thought anything too dear for Mansoul; the day of vengeance is in mine heart for thee, my Mansoul; and glad am I that thou, my Father, hast made me the Captain of their salvation (Heb 2:10). And I will now begin to plague all those that have been a plague to my town of Mansoul, and will deliver it from their hand.

When the King’s Son had said thus to his Father, it presently flew like lightning round about at court; yea, it there became the only talk what Emmanuel was to go to do for the famous town of Mansoul. But you cannot think how the courtiers too were taken with this design of the Prince. Yea, so affected were they with this work, and with the justness of the war, that the highest Lord and greatest peer of the kingdom did covet to have commissions under Emmanuel, to go to help to recover again to Shaddai the miserable town of Mansoul.

Then was it concluded that some should go and carry tidings to the camp that Emmanuel was to come to recover Mansoul, and that he would bring along with him so mighty, so impregnable a force, that he could not be resisted. But oh, how ready were the high ones at court to run like lackeys to carry these tidings to the camp that was at Mansoul! Now when the captains perceived that the King would send Emmanuel his Son, and that it also delighted the Son to be sent on this errand by the great Shaddai, his Father, they also, to show how they were pleased at the thoughts of his coming, gave a shout that made the earth rend at the sound thereof. Yea, the mountains did answer again by echo, and Diabolus himself did totter and shake.

For you must know, that though the town of Mansoul itself was not much, if at all, concerned with the project—for, alas for them, they were woefully besotted, for they chiefly regarded their pleasure and their lusts—yet Diabolus their governor was; for he had his spies continually abroad, who brought him intelligence of all things, and they told him what was doing at court against him, and that Emmanuel would shortly certainly come with a power to invade him. Nor was there any man at court, nor peer of the kingdom, that Diabolus so feared as he feared this Prince. For if you remember, I showed you before that Diabolus had felt the weight of his hand already. So that, since it was he that was to come, this made him the more afraid. Well, you see how I have told you that the King’s Son was engaged to come from the court to save Mansoul, and that his Father had made him the Captain of the forces. The time, therefore, of his setting forth being now expired, he addressed himself for his march, and taketh with him, for his power, five noble captains and their forces.

The first was that famous captain, the noble Captain Credence. His were the red colours, and Mr. Promise bore them, and for a scutcheon he had the holy lamb and golden shield. And he had ten thousand men at his feet (John 1:29; Eph 6:16).

The second was that famous captain, the Captain Good-hope. His were the blue colours, his standard-bearer was Mr. Expectation, and for a scutcheon he had the three golden anchors.143 And he had ten thousand men at his feet (Heb 6:19).

The third captain was that valiant captain, the Captain Charity. His standard-bearer was Mr. Pitiful, his were the green colours, and for his scutcheon he had three naked orphans embraced in the bosom. And he had ten thousand men at his feet (1 Cor 13).

The fourth was that gallant commander, the Captain Innocent. His standard-bearer was Mr. Harmless, his were the white colours, and for his scutcheon he had the three golden doves (Heb 10:16).

The fifth was the truly loyal and well-beloved captain, the Captain Patience. His standard-bearer was Mr. Suffer-long, his were the black colours, and for a scutcheon he had three arrows through the golden heart (Heb 6:12).

Marches with a great army and surrounds Mansoul, which is strongly fortified against him.

These were Emmanuel’s captains, these their standard-bearers, their colours, and their scutcheons, and these the men under their command. So, as was said, the brave Prince took his march to go to the town of Mansoul. Captain Credence led the van, and Captain Patience brought up the rear. So the other three, with their men, made up the main body; the Prince himself riding in his chariot at the head of them.

But when they set out for their march, oh how the trumpets sounded, their armour glittered, and how the colours waved in the wind! The Prince’s armour was all of gold, and it shone like the sun in the firmament. The captains’ armour was of proof, and was in appearance like the glittering stars. There were also some from the court that rode reformades, for the love that they had to the King Shaddai, and for the happy deliverance of the town of Mansoul.
Emmanuel also, when he had thus set forward to go to recover the town of Mansoul, took with him, at the commandment of his Father, forty-four battering-rams, and twelve slings, to whirl stones withal. Every one of these was made of pure gold; and these they carried with them in the heart and body of their army, all along as they went to Mansoul.

So they marched till they came within less than a league of the town. And there they lay till the first four captains came thither, to acquaint him with matters. Then they took their journey to go to the town of Mansoul, and unto Mansoul they came. But when the old soldiers that were in the camp saw that they had new forces to join with, they again gave such a shout before the walls of the town of Mansoul, that it put Diabolus into another fright. So they sat down before the town, not now as the other four captains did, to wit, against the gates of Mansoul only; but they environed it round on every side, and beset it behind and before; so that now, let Mansoul look which way it will, it saw force and power lie in siege against it. Besides, there were mounts cast up against it.

The Mount Gracious was on the one side, and Mount Justice was on the other; further, there were several small banks and advance-ground-as Plain-truth Hill, and No-sin Banks—where many of the slings were placed against the town. Upon Mount Gracious were planted four, and upon Mount Justice were planted as many; and the rest were conveniently placed in several parts round about the town. Five of the best battering-rams—that is, of the biggest of them—were placed upon Mount Hearken; a mount cast up hard by Ear-gate, with intent to break that open.

Now, when the men of the town saw the multitude of the soldiers that were come up against the place, and the rams and slings, and the mounts on which they were planted, together with the glittering of the armour and the waving of their colours, they were forced to shift and shift, and again to shift their thoughts, but they hardly changed for thoughts more stout, but rather for thoughts more faint. For though before they thought themselves sufficiently guarded, yet now they began to think that no man knew what would be their hap or lot.
When the good Prince Emmanuel had thus beleaguered Mansoul; in the first place he hangs out the white flag, which he caused to be set up among the golden slings that were planted upon Mount Gracious. And this he did for two reasons:

1. To give notice to Mansoul that he could and would yet be gracious if they turned to him.

2. And that he might leave them the more without excuse, should he destroy them, they continuing in their rebellion.

So the white flag, with the three golden doves on it, was hanged out for two days together, to give them time and space to consider. But they, as was hinted before, as if they were unconcerned, made no reply to the favourable signal of the Prince. Then he commanded, and they set the red flag upon that mount called Mount Justice. It was the red flag of Captain Judgment, whose scutcheon was the burning fiery furnace, and this also stood waving before them in the wind for several days together. But look how they carried it under the white flag when that was hanged out, so did they also when the red one was, and yet he took no advantage of them.

Then he commanded again that his servants would hang out the black flag of defiance against them, whose scutcheon was the three burning thunder-bolts. But as unconcerned was Mansoul at this as at those that went before. But when the Prince saw that neither mercy, nor judgment, nor execution of judgment, would or could come near the heart of Mansoul, he was touched with much compunction, and said, ‘Surely this strange carriage of the town of Mansoul doth rather arise from ignorance of the manner and feats of war, than from a secret defiance of us, and abhorrence of their own lives; or, if they know the manner of the war of their own, yet not the rites and ceremonies of the wars in which we are concerned, when I make wars upon mine enemy Diabolus.’

Therefore, he sent to the town of Mansoul, to let them know what he meant by those signs and ceremonies of the flag, and also to know of them which of the things they would choose, whether grace and mercy, or judgment and the execution of judgment. All this while they kept their gates shut with locks, bolts, and bars, as fast as they could; their guards, also, were doubled, and their watch made as strong as they could. Diabolus also did pluck up what heart he could to encourage the town to make resistance.

The townsmen also made answer to the Prince’s messenger, in substance, according to that which follows:

‘Great Sir, as to what by your messenger you have signified to us, whether we will accept of your mercy or fall by your justice, we are bound by the law and custom of this place, and can give you no positive answer. For it is against the law, government, and the prerogative royal of our king, to make either peace or war without him. But this we will do, we will petition that our prince will come down to the wall, and there give you such treatment as he shall think fit, and profitable for us.’

When the good Prince Emmanuel heard this answer, and saw the slavery and bondage of the people, and how much content they were to abide in the chains of the tyrant Diabolus, it grieved him at the heart. And, indeed, when at any time he perceived that any were contented under the slavery of the giant, he would be affected with it.

But to return again to our purpose. After the town had carried this news to Diabolus, and had told him, moreover, that the Prince that lay in the leaguer without the wall, waited upon them for an answer, he refused, and huffed as well as he could, but in heart he was afraid.

Then, said he, I will go down to the gates myself, and give him such an answer as I think fit. So he went down to Mouth-gate, and there addressed himself to speak to Emmanuel, but in such language as the town understood not, the contents whereof were as follows:

‘O thou great Emmanuel, Lord of all the world, I know thee that thou art the Son of the great Shaddai! Wherefore art thou come to torment me, and to cast me out of my possession? This town of Mansoul, as thou very well knowest, is mine, and that by twofold right.

1. It is mine by right of conquest, I won it in the open field. And shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive be delivered?

2. This town of Mansoul is mine also by their subjection. They have opened the gates of their town unto me, they have sworn fidelity to me, and have openly chosen me to be their king. They have also given their castle into my hands; yea, they have put the whole strength of Mansoul under me.

Moreover, this town of Mansoul hath disavowed thee; yea, they have cast thy law, thy name, thy image, and all that is thine, behind their back, and have accepted, and set up in their room, my law, my name, mine image, and all that ever is mine. Ask else thy captains, and they will tell thee that Mansoul hath, in answer to all their summons, shown love and loyalty to me; but always disdain, despite, contempt, and scorn to thee and thine. Now thou art the Just One and the Holy, and shouldest do no iniquity; depart then, I pray thee, therefore, from me, and leave me to my just inheritance, peaceably.’

This oration was made in the language of Diabolus himself. For although he can, to every man, speak in their own language—else he could not tempt them all as he does—yet he has a language proper to himself, and it is the language of the infernal cave, or black pit.
Wherefore the town of Mansoul, poor hearts, understood him not, nor did they see how he crouched and cringed, while he stood before Emmanuel their Prince. Yea, they all this while took him to be one of that power and force that by no means could be resisted. Wherefore, while he was thus entreating that he might yet have his residence there, and that Emmanuel would not take it from him by force, the inhabitants boasted even of his valour, saying, ‘Who is able to make war with him?’

Well, when this pretended king had made an end of what he would say, Emmanuel, the golden Prince, stood up and spake, the contents of whose words follow:

‘Thou deceiving one,’ said he, ‘I have in my Father’s name, in mine own name, and on the behalf and for the good of this wretched town of Mansoul, somewhat to say unto thee. Thou pretendest a right, a lawful right, to the deplorable town of Mansoul, when it is most apparent to all my Father’s court, that the entrance which thou hast obtained in at the gates of Mansoul was through thy lies and falsehood. Thou beliedst my Father, thou beliedst his law, and so deceivedst the people of Mansoul. Thou pretendest that the people have accepted thee for their king, their captain, and right liege—Lord, but that also was by the exercise of deceit and guile. Now, if lying wiliness, sinful craft, and all manner of horrible hypocrisy, will go in my Father’s court for equity and right, in which court thou must be tried, then will I confess unto thee that thou hast made a lawful conquest. But alas, what thief, what tyrant, what devil is there that may not conquer after this sort? But I can make it appear, O Diabolus, that thou, in all thy pretences to a conquest of Mansoul, hast nothing of truth to say. Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou didst put the lie upon my Father, and madest him, to Mansoul, the greatest deluder in the world?

And what sayest thou to thy perverting, knowingly, the right purport and intent of the law? Was it good also that thou madest a prey of the innocency and simplicity of the now miserable town of Mansoul? Yea, thou didst overcome Mansoul by promising to them happiness in their transgressions against my Father’s law, when thou knewest, and couldest not but know, hadst thou consulted nothing but thine own experience, that that was the way to undo them. Thou hast also thyself—O thou master of enmity, of despite—defaced my Father’s image in Mansoul, and set up thy own in its place, to the great contempt of my Father, the heightening of thy sin, and to the intolerable damage of the perishing town of Mansoul. Thou hast, moreover—as if all these were but little things with thee—not only deluded and undone this place, but, by thy lies and fradulent carriage hast set them against their own deliverance.

How hast thou stirred them up against my Father’s captains, and made them to fight against those that were sent of him to deliver them from their bondage! All these things and very many more thou hast done against thy light, and in contempt of my Father and of his law; yea, and with design to bring under his displeasure forever the miserable town of Mansoul. I am therefore come to avenge the wrong that thou hast done to my Father, and to deal with thee for the blasphemies wherewith thou hast made poor Mansoul blaspheme his name. Yea, upon thy head, thou prince of the infernal cave, will I require it.

‘As for myself, O Diabolus, I am come against thee by lawful power, and to take, by strength of hand, this town of Mansoul out of thy burning fingers. For this town of Mansoul is mine, O Diabolus, and that by undoubted right, as all shall see that will diligently search the most ancient and most authentic records, and I will plead my title to it, to the confusion of thy face.

‘First. For the town of Mansoul, my Father built and did fashion it with his hand. The palace also that is in the midst of that town, he built it for his own delight. This town of Mansoul therefore is my Father’s, and that by the best of titles; and he that gainsays the truth of this must lie against his soul.

‘Second. O thou master of the lie, this town of Mansoul is mine.

‘1. For that I am my Father’s heir, his firstborn, and the only delight of his heart. I am therefore come up against thee in mine own right, even to recover mine own inheritance out of thine hand (Heb 1:2; John 16:15).

‘2. But further, as I have a right and title to Mansoul, by being my Father’s heir, so I have also by my Father’s donation. His it was, and he gave it me (John 17); nor have I at any time offended my Father, that he should take it from me and give it to thee. Nor have I been forced by playing the bankrupt to sell, or set to sale to thee, my beloved town of Mansoul (Isa 1:1). Mansoul is my desire, my delight, and the joy of my heart. But,

‘3. Mansoul is mine by right of purchase. I have bought it, O Diabolus, I have bought it to myself. Now, since it was my Father’s and mine, as I was his heir; and since also I have made it mine by virtue of a great purchase, it followeth that, by all lawful right the town of Mansoul is mine, and that thou art an usurper, a tyrant, and traitor, in thy holding possession thereof. Now, the cause of my purchasing of it was this: Mansoul had trespassed against my Father; now my Father had said, that in the day that they broke his law they should die. Now it is more possible for heaven and earth to pass away, than for my Father to break his word (Matt 5:18). Wherefore, when Mansoul had sinned indeed by hearkening to thy lie, I put in and became a surety to my Father, body for body, and soul for soul, that I would make amends for Mansoul’s transgressions; and my Father did accept thereof. So when the time appointed was come, I gave body for body, soul for soul, life for life, blood for blood, and so redeemed my beloved Mansoul.

‘4. Nor did I do this to the halves; my Father’s law and justice that were both concerned in the threatening upon transgression, are both now satisfied, and very well content that Mansoul should be delivered.

‘5. Nor am I come out this day against thee but by commandment of my Father; it was he that said unto me, Go down and deliver Mansoul.
‘Wherefore, be it known unto thee, O thou fountain of deceit, and be it also known to the foolish town of Mansoul, that I am not come against thee this day without my Father.

‘And now,’ said the golden-headed Prince, ‘I have a word to the town of Mansoul’; but so soon as mention was made that he had a word to speak to the besotted town of Mansoul, the gates were double-guarded, and all men commanded not to give him audience, so he proceeded, and said, ‘O unhappy town of Mansoul, I cannot but be touched with pity and compassion for thee. Thou hast accepted of Diabolus for thy king, and art become a nurse and minister of Diabolonians against thy Sovereign Lord. Thy gates thou hast opened to him, but hast shut them fast against me; thou hast given him an hearing, but hast stopped thine ears at my cry; he brought to thee thy destruction, and thou didst receive both him and it: I am come to thee bringing salvation, but thou regardest me not.

Besides, thou hast, as with sacrilegious hands, taken thyself with all that was mine in thee, and hast given all to my foe, and to the greatest enemy my Father has. You have bowed and subjected yourselves to him; you have vowed and sworn yourselves to be his. Poor Mansoul! what shall I do unto thee? Shall I save thee? shall I destroy thee? What shall I do unto thee? shall I fall upon thee and grind thee to powder, or make thee a monument of the richest grace? What shall I do unto thee? Hearken, therefore, thou town of Mansoul, hearken to my word, and thou shalt live. I am merciful, Mansoul, and thou shalt find me so; shut me not out of thy gates (Cant 5:2).

‘O Mansoul, neither is my commission, nor inclination, at all to do thee hurt; why fliest thou so fast from thy friend, and stickest so close to thine enemy? Indeed, I would have thee, because it becomes thee, to be sorry for thy sin; but do not despair of life, this great force is not to hurt thee, but to deliver thee from thy bondage, and to reduce thee to thy obedience (Luke 9:56; John 12:47).

‘My commission, indeed, is to make a war upon Diabolus thy king, and upon all Diabolonians with him; for he is the strong man armed that keeps the house, and I will have him out; his spoils I must divide, his armour I must take from him, his hold I must cast him out of, and must make it an habitation for myself. And this, O Mansoul, shall Diabolus know, when he shall be made to follow me in chains, and when Mansoul shall rejoice to see it so.

‘I could, would I now put forth my might, cause that forthwith he should leave you and depart; but I have it in my heart so to deal with him, as that the justice of the war that I shall make upon him may be seen and acknowledged by all. He hath taken Mansoul by fraud, and keeps it by violence and deceit; and I will make him bare and naked in the eyes of all observers. All my words are true, I am mighty to save, and will deliver my Mansoul out of his hand.’

This speech was intended chiefly for Mansoul, but Mansoul would not have the hearing of it. They shut up Ear-gate, they barricaded it up, they kept it locked and bolted; they set a guard thereat, and commanded that no Mansoulonian should go out to him, nor that any from the camp should be admitted into the town; all this they did, so horribly had Diabolus enchanted them to do, and seek to do for him, against their rightful Lord and Prince; wherefore no man, nor voice, nor sound of man that belonged to the glorious host, was to come into the town.

John Bunyan, The Holy War,

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