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The Holy War (Updated, Modern English): Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the Re

I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of [John Bunyan’s] and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, ‘Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline; the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.

Charles Spurgeon

It was during this second detention that he wrote the work which has set him finally among the English immortals, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Many controversies have raged as to whether he owed the allegorical type of narrative to anything before him, but all the allegories mentioned in this connection are almost as unlike The Pilgrim’s Progress as they are unlike Vanity Fair. The Elstow tinker produced an original thing, if an original thing was ever produced. Nothing stronger can be said of it than that it dwarfs altogether into insignificance Grace Abounding published before it, and The Holy War published afterwards.

G. K. Chesterton

Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence sharpened; one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself. That is why an uneducated believer like Bunyan was able to write a book that has astonished the whole world.

C. S. Lewis

John Owen, probably the most prominent and respected academic leader of Bunyan’s own era, once went to hear Bunyan preach. Charles II, hearing of it, asked the learned doctor of divinity why someone as thoroughly educated as he would want to hear a mere tinker preach. Owen replied, “May it please your Majesty, if I could possess the tinker’s abilities to grip men’s hearts, I would gladly give in exchange all my learning.”

Charles II, king of Great Britain

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Battle Between the Mansoulians and Diabolonians

The Holy War

Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the
Regaining of the Metropolis of the World

John Bunyan

[]

Contents

Preface

To the Reader

[*Ch. 1: *]Mansoul: Its Origin

[*Ch. 2: *]The Fall of Mansoul

[*Ch. 3: *]The Enslavement of Mansoul

[*Ch. 4: *]The King’s Message of Mercy

[*Ch. 5: *]Shaddai Sends His Army

[*Ch. 6: *]The King’s Offer

[*Ch. 7: *]Winter in Mansoul

[*Ch. 8: *]Diabolus Offers Compromise

[*Ch. 9: *]The Coming of Emmanuel

[*Ch. 10: *]Diabolus Offers Compromise

[*Ch. 11: *]Emmanuel Confronts Diabolus

[*Ch. 12: *]Emmanuel’s Victory

[*Ch. 13: *]Petitions from Prison

[*Ch. 14: *]Prisoners Set Free

[*Ch. 15: *]Emmanuel Enters Mansoul

[*Ch. 16: *]Mansoul Made New

[*Ch. 17: *]Trials of the Diabolians

[*Ch. 18: *]Mansoul Is Made New

[*Ch. 19: *]Deceived by Carnal-Security

[*Ch. 20: *]Godly-Fear Speaks Out

[*Ch. 21: *]Diabolus’s Plan

[*Ch. 22: *]Diabolians Prepare for War

[*Ch. 23: *]Mansoul Prepares

[*Ch. 24: *]Drummings and Deceit

[*Ch. 25: *]Attack on Mansoul

[*Ch. 26: *]Petition to the Prince

[*Ch. 27: *]Plans to Take the Castle

[*Ch. 28: *]Battle on the Plains

[*Ch. 29: *]Emmanuel Restored to Mansoul

[*Ch. 30: *]Final Attack

[*Ch. 31: *]Judgment Day

[*Ch. 32: *]Emmanuel’s Message

Bonus Section: The Life of John Bunyan

Glossary of Names Used in The Holy War

About the Author

“I have used similitudes.” I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the hand of the prophets. (Hosea 12:10)

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Preface

In the year 1682, Dorman Newman published a volume at the King’s Arms in the Poultry, and Benjamin Alsop published the same manuscript at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry. This book was entitled The Holy War Made by King Shaddai Upon Diabolus, to Regain the Metropolis of the World, or The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul. It was the work of John Bunyan, who had published the story of his own spiritual struggle sixteen years before, under the title of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and had produced The Pilgrim’s Progress (Part 1) four years before. Bunyan quickly followed The Pilgrim’s Progress with the Life and Death of Mr. Badman, a grimly factual picture of English life and character as seen through his eyes.

In The Holy War, Bunyan returned to allegory, and as a piece of literature, the book is in no way inferior to The Pilgrim’s Progress. If Bunyan had written nothing else, The Holy War would have established his place among the masters of English prose. In its appeal to the conscience, it is no less effective than The Pilgrim’s Progress; however, it is not as successful at holding the reader’s attention. Nevertheless, Macaulay suggests that if there had been no Pilgrim’s Progress, then The Holy War would have been the first of religious allegories.

In working out the details of The Holy War, Bunyan seems to have kept in mind his own experience. The fortifications of the city, the movements of opposing forces, and the changes in the municipal offices of Mansoul were reproductions of scenes and events he had recently witnessed. He adapted these real-life experiences with extraordinary success and used them to present the doctrine of grace and the temptations present in the Christian life.

The characters and the incidents are, in effect, the characters and incidents of every age. This element gives the story of Mansoul an undying freshness, which suits the needs of men throughout the world. The Holy War has been translated into many languages, including some with very little literature. (As the 1907 edition was being prepared for the press, the Religious Tract Society helped with the printing of The Holy War in Kongo.)

– A. R. Buckland

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To the Reader

’Tis strange to me, that they who love to tell

Things done of old, yes, and who do excel

Their equals in the knowledge of history,

Do not speak of Mansoul’s wars, but let them lie

Dead, like old fables, like such worthless things,

Knowledge of which no advantage brings.

Let men make what they will their own,

But till they know this, to themselves are unknown.

Of stories, I well know there are various sorts,

Some foreign, some domestic, and some reports

Created and written as thought leads the writers:

(By books a man may speculate about the composers)

Some will repeat that which never was,

Nor will be, to tear it down (and that without a cause)

Such subjects raise mountains from things small, tell such things

Of men, of laws, of countries, and kings.

While their story seems to be quite sage,

Such gravity clothes every page,

Though their front illustration says all is vain,

Yet, in this way, disciples they obtain.

But, readers, I have other important things to do,

Than to write worthless stories to thus trouble you.

What I say here, some men know so well,

They can with tears of joy the story tell.

The town of Mansoul is well known to many,

Her troubles are not doubted by any

Be familiar with those histories and reflect

That Mansoul and her wars dissect.

Then lend your ear to hear what I relate,

Regarding the town of Mansoul and her state.

How she was lost, took captive, made a slave,

And set against Him who would her save;

How by hostile ways she did oppose

Her Lord, and with his enemy arose.

For it is true: he that will them deny

Must then the best of records vilify.

For my part, I myself was in the town,

Both when ‘twas set up, and falling down.

I saw Diabolus take Mansoul into his possession,

And cause her to live under his oppression.

Yes, I was there when she avowed him as Lord,

And to him did submit with one accord.

When Mansoul trampled upon things divine,

And wallowed in filth as does a swine;

Then she actually resorted to arms,

Fought Emmanuel; abhorred His charms.

I admit I was there, and rejoiced to see

Diabolus and Mansoul so agree.

Let no men, then, deem me a fable-maker,

Nor mark my name or credit me a partaker.

Of their derision: what is here in view,

From my own knowledge, I dare say is true.

I saw the Prince’s armed men come down

By troops, by thousands, to besiege the town;

I saw the captains, heard the trumpets sound,

And how his forces covered all the ground.

Yes, how they set themselves in battle array,

I shall remember it to my dying day.

I saw the colored flags waving in the wind,

And the intent on harm from those within

To ruin Mansoul and to take away

Her very soul without delay.

I saw the mounts cast up against the town,

And how the slings were placed to beat it down.

I heard the stones whizz by my ears,

A sound I won’t forget; filled me with fears.

I heard them fall, and saw what work they made

And how old Mors did cover with his shade

The face of Mansoul; and I heard her cry,

“Woe be the day, in dying I shall die!”

I saw the battering rams in the great raid

Beat open Ear-gate; and I was much afraid.

Not only Ear-gate, but the very town

Would by those battering rams be beaten down.

I saw the fights, heard the captains shout,

And in each battle saw who faced about.

I saw those wounded and who were slain;

And who, when dead, would come to life again.

I heard the cries of those wounded call out,

While others like men deprived of fear, fought about.

And while the cry, ‘Kill, kill,’ was in my ears,

The gutters ran, not so much with blood as tears.

Indeed, the captains did not always fight,

But then they still troubled us day and night;

Their cry, “Up, fall on, let us take the town,”

Kept us from sleeping or from lying down.

I was there when the gates were broken ope,

And saw how Mansoul was stripped of hope;

I saw the captains march into the town,

How they fought and their foes cut down.

I heard the Prince bid Boanerges go

Up to the castle and there seize his foe;

And saw him and his fellows bring him down,

In chains of great contempt through the town.

I saw Emmanuel, when He possessed

His town of Mansoul; and how greatly blest.

Oh, how splendid His town of Mansoul was,

When she received His pardon and loved His laws.

When the Diabolians were caught,

When tried, and when to execution brought,

Then I was there; yes, I was standing by

When Mansoul the rebels did crucify.

I also saw Mansoul clad all in white,

I heard her Prince call her His heart’s delight.

I saw Him put upon her chains of gold,

Rings, and bracelets, pleasant to behold.

What shall I say? I heard the people’s cries,

Saw the Prince wipe tears from Mansoul’s eyes.

I heard the groans but saw the joy of many,

Tell you about it all, neither will nor can I.

But by what I say here, you well may see

That Mansoul’s matchless wars no fables be.

With Mansoul, the desire of both princes was:

One would keep his gain, t’other gain his loss.

Diabolus would cry, “The town is mine!”

Emmanuel would plead a right divine

Unto His Mansoul then to blows they go,

And Mansoul cries, “These wars will me undo.”

Mansoul, her wars seemed endless in her eyes,

She’s lost by one, becomes another’s prize.

And he again who lost her last would swear,

“Have her I will or into pieces I’ll tear.”

Mansoul, it was the very seat of war;

Therefore, her troubles greater were by far

Than only where the noise of war is heard,

Or where the shaking of a sword is feared;

Or only where small skirmishes are fought,

Or where the false notion fights with a thought.

She saw the swords of fighting men made red,

And heard cries of those wounded and bled.

Must not her frights, then, be much more by far

Than theirs who to such doings strangers are?

Or theirs who hear the beating of a drum,

But, for fear, do not flee from house and home?

Mansoul not only heard the trumpet’s sound,

But saw her brave gasping on the ground.

Therefore, we must not think that she could rest,

With them, whose greatest longing is but jest.

Or where the blustering threatening of great fights,

End in discussions of mutual concern or debates.

Mansoul, her mighty wars, they did portend

Her strength or grief and that world without end.

Therefore, she must be more concerned than they

Whose fears begin and end the selfsame day.

Or where no other harm comes to him

Who is engaged but loss of life or limb.

As all need to confess who now do dwell

In heaven and earth and can this story tell.

Do not count me with them who to amaze

Set the people’s eyes on the stars to gaze,

Insinuating with much confidence,

That each of them is now the residence

Of some brave creatures as if for a world they will

Have in each a star, though it be past their skill.

To make it clearly visible to man in any case,

Either by reason or that his fingers can embrace.

But I have too long held you in the porch,

And kept you from the sunshine with a torch.

Well, go forward now; step within the door,

And there behold five hundred times much more.

Of all such rarities seated in the mind and soul

That will both please the mind and feed the eyes.

With those, which, if a Christian, you will see

Not small but things of greatest value be.

Nor should you go to work without my key;

For in mysteries men soon lose their way;

For it can help turn it right if you would know

My riddle, and would with my heifer plough;

It lies there in the window. Fare thee well,

My next may be to ring thy passing bell.

– John Bunyan

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Chapter 1

Mansoul: Its Origin

In my travels, as I walked through many regions and countries, I happened upon that famous continent of Universe. This very large and spacious country lies between the two poles, amid the four points of the heavens, and is well watered, richly adorned with hills and valleys, and splendidly located. For the most part, at least where I was, this country was fruitful, well populated, and blessed with clean, sweet air.

The people are diverse with different skin colors, languages, customs, and ways of religion. They differ as much as the planets differ one from another. Some are right and some are wrong, even as it happens to be in lesser regions.

I had the fortune to travel in this country, for my Master sent me there to do business for Him and oversee business done. I spent enough time there that I learned much of the people’s mother tongue and their customs and manners. And, to tell the truth, it delighted me very much to see and hear many things among them. I even lived and died a native among them, for I was so enamored with them and their ways.

Now in this fine and noble country of Universe, an honest town is regulated by the close observance of a proprietor, a united people called Mansoul. This town is known for its buildings, which are artfully crafted with care, and its location, which is convenient and easily adapted to meet the wants and needs of those who live there. Mansoul is also recognized for its privileges and profitable origin. Just like the continent on which it is placed, this town has no equal under the whole heaven.

The location of this town is between the two worlds and, according to the best and most authentic records, its founder and builder was one Shaddai. He built it for His own delight, and the pattern and splendor were beyond anything else He did in that country. ([_Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and virtue; for thou hast created all things, and by thy will they have their being and were created. _]– Revelation 4:11) Mansoul was such a pleasant town that when He first built it, some said the gods came down to see it and sang for joy. As much as He made it enjoyable to look at, He also made it mighty – to have dominion over all the country around it. All were commanded to acknowledge Mansoul as their capital and were commanded to do homage to it. Yes, the town itself had a direct mandate and power from her King to demand service of all and subdue any who in any way denied the command.

In the midst of this town stood a most famous and stately palace. For its strength, it might be called a castle; for its pleasantness, a paradise; for largeness, a place so copious as to contain all the world. King Shaddai intended this place for Himself alone, partly because of His own delights and partly because He didn’t want the terror of strangers to fall upon the town. Shaddai also made a stronghold of this place but gave charge of its keeping to the men of the town.

The walls of the town were well built, fixed and solid and compactly knit together. Had it not been for the townsmen themselves, these walls would have remained forever and could not have been shaken or broken. For He who built Mansoul, in His excellent wisdom, fashioned the walls so they could never be broken down or damaged by even the mightiest adversarial potentate, unless the townsmen gave consent. (Who shall separate us from the charity of Christ? shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? Nevertheless, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Therefore I am certain that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any creature shall be able to separate us from the charity of God, which is in Christ, Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35, 37-39)

This famous town of Mansoul had five gates used to enter and exit. These were built in conformity with the walls; that is to say, they were impregnable. They could not be opened or forced by any outsider but only by the will and permission of those within. The names of the gates were Ear-gate, Eye-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate.

Other things found in the town of Mansoul will give you an even clearer picture of the glory and strength of the place. The town always had sufficient means of provision within its walls. It had the best, most wholesome, and excellent Law that existed in the whole world. Not a mean fellow, dishonest rogue, or faithless person could be found within its walls. All were honest, faithful men and tightly united; and this is an important matter. ([_Blessed are those who walk in the perfect way, who walk in the law of the LORD. _]– Psalm 119:1) As long as Mansoul had the goodness to keep true to Shaddai the King, these men enjoyed His favor, His protection, and they were His delight.

After a time, a mighty giant by the name of Diabolus made an assault upon this famous town of Mansoul to overtake it and make it his own. This giant was king of the dark world and a raving, mad prince. Before we talk of his taking of this famous town of Mansoul, if you please, we will first discuss the origin of this Diabolus.

While Diabolus was a great and mighty prince, he was also both poor and beggarly. As to his origin, he was once one of the servants of King Shaddai, created and placed by Him in a high and mighty position. Yes, Diabolus was granted superiority and power such as belonged to the best of Shaddai’s territories and dominions. This Diabolus was made “son of the morning,” and granted a dignified place, which brought him much glory and gave him much brightness. (Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering: the sardius, topaz, diamond, turquoise, onyx, and beryl, the sapphire, ruby, and emerald, and gold; the works of the tambourines and of thy pipes were prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. – Ezekiel 28:13)

His position also presented him with an income that might have contented his Luciferian heart had it not been insatiable and as enlarged as hell itself. He saw himself exalted to this degree of greatness and honor, and he desired more.

His mind raged for a higher rank of honor and distinction. He began to think about how he might gain the position of lord over all and have sole power under Shaddai. ([_Thou who said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven; upon high next to the stars of God I will exalt my throne: and I will sit upon the mount of the testimony and in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. _]– Isaiah 14:13-14)

However, the King reserved that position for His Son and had already bestowed it upon Him. (Therefore, God also has highly exalted him [His Son][_ and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is Lord in the glory of God the Father._] – Philippians 2:9-11)

Before Diabolus made a move, he considered how best to accomplish his goal and then shared his thoughts with some of his companions. They agreed with him, and together they discussed this issue with cunning. They planned how they could attempt to destroy the King’s Son, so the inheritance might become theirs. (But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us take his inheritance. – Matthew 21:38)

To keep it short, they determined to commit treason and decided on the appointed time. Then together they vowed to accomplish it. The rebels assembled in a predetermined place and attempted the assault.

Now the King and His Son, being all-seeing, could not help but perceive every incident that occurred in their dominions. The King always loved His Son and was greatly provoked and offended by what He saw. Therefore, He took out the rebels at the very time they made their first trip to carry out their plan. He convicted them of the treason, horrid rebellion, and conspiracy they had devised and were attempting to put into practice. As a group, He cast them out of all places of trust, benefit, honor, and higher office. With this done, He banished them from the King’s residence, turned them upside down, and dropped them into the horrible pit where He bound them firmly in chains, never again to expect the least favor from His hands. There they would abide the judgment He had appointed forever. (And the angels who did not keep their first estate but left their own habitation, he has reserved in eternal chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. – Jude 1:6)

Diabolus Cast Out of Heaven

After they had been cast out and banished from His residence and thrown into the horrible pit, they knew they had lost their Prince’s favor forever, being removed from all places of trust, profit, and honor. You can rest assured they now added malice and rage against Shaddai and against His Son to their former pride. Therefore, they walked about in much fury from place to place, methodically looking for something belonging to the King and, to retaliate against Him, render it useless.

At last, without knowing where they were going, the rebels came into this spacious country of Universe and directed their course towards the town of Mansoul. They knew that town to be one of the significant works and delights of King Shaddai, so they devised a plan and made an assault against it.

The reason they knew Mansoul belonged to Shaddai was that they were there when He built it and adorned it for Himself. So when they found the place, they shouted horribly for joy and roared like a lion upon its prey: “Now we have found the prize, the way to attain revenge on King Shaddai for what He has done to us!” (Be temperate and vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. – 1 Peter 5:8) They called a council of war and sat down to discuss what ways and methods were best to engage Mansoul in order to win this famous town for themselves. These four ideas were offered for consideration:

First, they questioned whether all of them should show themselves in this scheme to take the town of Mansoul.

Secondly, they talked about whether they should go and sit down before Mansoul, dressed in the ragged and beggarly guise they now wore.

Thirdly, they discussed whether it would be prudent to reveal their intentions to Mansoul and the plan they had designed or whether they should attack it with words and deceitful means.

Fourthly, they deliberated over whether it would be better if some among them were given secret orders to shoot the principal townsmen, if they saw them. For in this way, they decided their cause and plan would advance more effectively.

The first of these proposals they decided against, for they determined it would not be best if they all revealed themselves before the town, because the appearance of so many might alarm and frighten the town. They determined a few or perhaps only one of them should show themselves so as not to frighten or alarm Mansoul in this way. However, Diabolus said, “It is impossible for us to take the town, for no one can enter it without its owner’s consent. Therefore, let there be but a few – or only one – who assaults Mansoul.” Diabolus gauged his companions’ reactions and said, “And in my opinion, it should be me.” They all offered hearty nods and agreed to this plan.

To the second proposal, they discussed whether they should sit down before Mansoul in their ragged and beggarly appearance. “Certainly not,” the fierce Alecto said. For though Mansoul knew about them and had even dealt with things invisible, they had never been seen in such a sad and vile condition as theirs.

Then Apollyon said, “The advice is pertinent.” He smeared his bony fingers across the chest of his beggarly rags. “For even one of us appearing to them as we are now would generate and multiply anxious thoughts within them, which will make them worry and cause them to be cautious and watchful on all sides. And if that happens, then, as my Lord Diabolus said just now, there is no reason for us to think of taking the town.”

The Advice of Apollyon

Then the mighty giant Beelzebub ignored the flies attracted to his stench as they crawled along his neck and head. “The advice already given is safe, for though the men of Mansoul have seen such things as we once were, until now they’ve never beheld such things as we have become. It is best, in my opinion, to come upon them in such a guise as is common and more familiar among them.”

When they had all consented to this, the next thing to be determined was what shape, color, or guise Diabolus should take to show himself when he went about to make Mansoul his own. One said one thing and another suggested something else. At last, Lucifer answered that he thought it was best that his lordship, Diabolus, assume the body of a creature that the town had dominion over. (For every nature of beasts and of birds and of serpents and of beings in the sea may be tamed and is tamed by mankind. – James 3:7)

“These aren’t just familiar to people of the town of Mansoul, but being under their authority, they will never suspect an attempt upon the town would be made by such creatures. To dim their understanding, let him assume the body of one of those beasts Mansoul deems wiser than any of the rest.”

Every one of the ghoulish rebels applauded this advice. So it was determined the giant Diabolus should assume the form of a dragon, for dragons in those days were as familiar to the town of Mansoul as a bird is to a boy now. (Behold now Behemoth, which I made with thee; he eats grass as an ox. Behold now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He is the beginning of the ways of God; he that made him shall make his sword draw near unto him. – Job 40:15-16, 19)

When they came to the third proposal of whether they should make their intentions known or adhere to the method Diabolus intended to use, the rebels quickly decided to do neither. For the previous discussion reminded them that the inhabitants of Mansoul were a strong people in a strong town, whose wall and gates were impregnable (to say nothing of their castle). It also reminded them of the fact that these people could not be won by any means other than their own consent.

“Besides,” Legion said, “if they discover our intentions, they may send to their King for aid. If they do that, I know very well what it will mean for us. For this reason, let us assault them with the false appearance of fairness, covering our true intentions with all manner of lies, flatteries, and deceptive words; feigning things that never will be, and promising that which they shall never find. This is the way to win Mansoul and make them open their gates to us and even make them desire us to come in to them.

“The reason I think this approach will be best is that the people of Mansoul are all simple and innocent. Every one of them is honest and true, and they don’t even know what it is to be assaulted with deception, cunning, and hypocrisy. They are strangers to lying and misleading lips. Therefore, we won’t be detected by them at all, if disguised in this way. Our lies shall be accepted as true sayings, and our counterfeit transactions as upright dealings. What we promise them, they will believe, especially if we pretend to have great love for them and that our intention is only for their benefit and honor, as we deliver all our lies and contrived words.” (For these false apostles are deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. – 2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

For a moment, the rebels sat in silence. Not one offered a reply against this advice, and its acceptance moved things along like a current of water flowing down a steep descent. They went on to consider the last proposal, which was whether it was best to give orders to various members of their company to shoot some of the principal townsmen, if they judged that it would promote their cause.

This proposal carried with unanimous agreement, and the townsman designated to be destroyed by this stratagem was Captain Resistance. He was a great man in Mansoul and one whom the giant Diabolus and his band feared more than they feared the whole town.

That brought them to the next question: Who should perform the murder? They appointed one Tisiphone, a fury of the lake, to do the deed. Thus, they ended their council of war, rose up, and attempted to do as they had determined. They all marched towards Mansoul in an invisible form – except for one and only one. And that one did not approach the town in his own likeness but rather under the guise and in the body of the dragon.

They drew up and sat before Ear-gate, the place of hearing from all outside the town, as Eye-gate was the place for viewing objects outside the gate. So, as I said, he came up to the gate to trick the people of Mansoul and to put in place his secret attack on Captain Resistance. With all in place, the giant in dragon form ascended close to the gate and called to the town of Mansoul for an audience in order to lure Captain Resistance within bowshot of the town. The only one he took with him was one Ill-Pause, who was his orator in all difficult matters.

Diabolus and His Companions Seek Mansoul

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Chapter 2

The Fall of Mansoul

Now, as I said, Diabolus, in dragon form, arrived at the gate in the manner of those times and sounded his trumpet for an audience. This brought the leaders of the town of Mansoul, including Lord Innocent, Lord Willbewill, Lord Mayor Understanding, Mr. Recorder, and Captain Resistance, down to the wall to see who was there and what they wanted. Lord Willbewill, when he looked and saw who stood at the gate, demanded to know what he was, for what reason he had come, and why he aroused the town of Mansoul with such an unusual sound.

Diabolus, as if a lamb, began his speech and said, “Gentlemen of the famous town of Mansoul, as you can see, I am not one who lives far from you but near. I am one who is bound by the King to do homage and what service I can for you. In order that I may be faithful to myself and to you, I have somewhat of a concern to report to you. I’m asking you to grant me the opportunity to appear before you and to hear me patiently. And before I say anything, let me assure you, it is not for myself but for you – not for my benefit but yours – that I seek to speak with you. This will be made very clear once I share what’s on my mind. For, gentlemen, to tell you the truth, I have come to show you how you may obtain great deliverance from a bondage which holds you captive and which you are enslaved under, and yet you are unaware of.”

At this, the town of Mansoul began to prick up their ears. And what is it? Pray what is it? they thought.

And Diabolus said, “I have something to say to you concerning your King, concerning His Law, and also relating to yourselves. Regarding your King, I know He is great and powerful; yet all He has said to you is neither true nor to your advantage.

“First of all, what He has said is not true. For He has struck you with fear, saying certain consequences shall happen if you do such a thing as He has forbidden, but in fact, it shall not come to pass nor be fulfilled. However, if there is a danger, it is the living in constant slavery of the fear of the greatest of punishments just for doing so small and trivial a thing as eating a little fruit. (And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou dost eat of it thou shalt surely die. – Genesis 2:16-17)

“Secondly, regarding His Laws, I say they are unreasonable, complicated, and intolerable. Unreasonable, as was hinted before, for the punishment does not fit the offense. A great difference and disproportion exists between life and a piece of fruit, yet an individual must apply oneself or face punishment by the Law of your Shaddai.

“Plus, it is also complicated. First, He says you may eat from all trees, and yet concludes by forbidding the eating from one.

“And finally, it must also be considered intolerable in view of the fact that the fruit which you are forbidden to eat, if you are truly forbidden, is just that – fruit and nothing else. When you eat it, it is able to supply a benefit to you, which until now is unknown by you. This is obvious by the very name of the tree, which is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Ask yourself, do you have that knowledge as yet? No, you do not, nor can you even imagine how good, how pleasant, and how much it is desired to make one wise, as long as you adhere to your King’s commandment. Why should you be bound in ignorance and blindness? Why shouldn’t you expand your knowledge and understanding?

“And now, you inhabitants of the famous town of Mansoul, to speak in a manner principally to you – you are not a free people! You are kept in bondage and slavery by an oppressive threat with no reason connected to it other than, ‘So I will have it; so it shall be.’

“And isn’t it burdensome to think that the very thing you are forbidden to do, if you did do it, might yield both wisdom and honor to you? For then your eyes will be opened, and you shall be as gods. (For God knows that in the day ye eat of it then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3:5)

“Now, since this is the case,” he tilted his dragon head to the side and asked, “is it possible for you to be enslaved more or to be in greater bondage by any prince than you are this day? As I have clearly shown you, He has made you nothing more than underlings who are wrapped up in inconveniences, which make things difficult and create disadvantages. For what bondage is greater than to be kept blind to the truth? Doesn’t reason itself tell you it is better to have eyes than to be without them, and better to be free than to be shut up in a dark and stinking cave?”

While Diabolus spoke these words to Mansoul, Tisiphone shot at Captain Resistance who stood on the gate and mortally wounded him in the head. To the amazement of the townsmen and with the encouragement of Diabolus, the captain fell quite dead over the wall. Now, Captain Resistance had been the only man of war in the town, and once he was dead, poor Mansoul lacked courage. His death left her without the heart to resist, which was exactly what the Devil had planned all along.

Then Mr. Ill-Pause, whom Diabolus brought along as his orator, stepped forth and addressed the town of Mansoul. The substance of his speech went like this:

“Gentlemen, my master is happy that today he has enjoyed a quiet and enlightening hearing with you. We hope we shall prevail and you won’t cast off good advice. For my master has a very great love for you, and though he clearly knows he runs the hazard of King Shaddai’s anger, because of his love for you, he is willing to do even more than that.

“Nothing else needs to be said to confirm the truth of what he has said, for there is no stronger evidence than the very name of the tree which can put an end to the controversy. At this time, under the authority and with the permission of my lord, I add only this advice to you.” He bowed very low to Diabolus and said, “Consider his words; look at the tree and the promising fruit hanging from its branches. Remember also that you only know a little, and the fruit of this tree is the way to know more. And if you still have doubts regarding such good counsel, then you are not the men I took you to be.”

Diabolus’s trick worked. The townsfolk saw the tree was good for food and pleasant to look at, and they desired it. They wanted it to make them wise. And so they did what old Ill-Pause advised. They plucked the fruit from the tree and ate it. (And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was desirable to the eyes, and a tree of covetousness to understand, she took of its fruit and ate and gave also unto her husband with her; and he ate. – Genesis 3:6)

Now I should have mentioned this earlier, but when Ill-Pause was making his speech to the townsmen, Lord Innocency fell down dead right there in the place where he stood and could not be brought to life again. It’s unknown whether he was shot from the camp of the giant, suffered from some sinking feeling that suddenly overtook him, or whether it was the stinking breath of that treacherous villain, old Ill-Pause; but I tend to think it was most likely the latter.

Thus, these two brave men died, Resistance and Innocency – brave men, I say, for they were the beauty and glory of Mansoul while they lived there. Now, there no longer remained a noble spirit in Mansoul, for all the townsmen fell down and yielded obedience to Diabolus, and just as you might expect, they became his slaves and vassals as you shall hear. (No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. – Matthew 6:24)

Now with these brave men dead, what did the rest of the townsfolk do? They acted like men who had found a fool’s paradise. As I hinted at earlier, in a short time they fell because they failed to establish the truth of the giant’s words. First, they did as Ill-Pause taught them and directed their eyes toward the forbidden fruit. It captivated their thoughts, until they plucked it from the tree and ate it. Once they ate from the tree, they immediately became drunk by it, and as a result, they opened the gates, both Ear-gate and Eye-gate. In this way, they let Diabolus with all his bands into Mansoul, and they quite forgot their good Shaddai, His Law, and the judgment and solemn threat He had connected to any who broke it. (I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, for there is not another; but there are some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of the Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, were to preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema. – Galatians 1:6-8)

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Chapter 3

The Enslavement of Mansoul

After Diabolus gained entry at the gates of the town, he marched up to the middle of Mansoul to make his conquest as certain as he could. As he did, he found the affections of the people warmly inclined toward him and figured it was best to take advantage of the situation, so he made another deceptive speech to them.

“Alas, my poor Mansoul,” he said. “I have done this service to raise you to a position of honor and increase your freedom, but now you’ll want someone to defend you. For I’m sure when Shaddai hears what has happened, He will come. He will be sorry you have broken His bonds and have flung His cords away. So what will you do? After expanding your knowledge, will you allow your privileges to be infringed upon and taken away? If not, what will you resolve to do?”

Then all in one accord they said to him, “Please, we want you to reign over us.” (But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge us. … And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them. – 1 Samuel 8:6-7)

So he accepted the proposal and became the king of the town of Mansoul. After this was accomplished, the next thing was to give him possession of the castle and with it all of the town’s strength. Therefore, he entered the castle which Shaddai had built in Mansoul for His own delight and pleasure, and it became a den and hold for the giant Diabolus.

Once he had possession of this grand palace, he turned it into a military base for himself, and made preparations to strengthen and fortify it with all sorts of provisions against the King Shaddai and any others who would endeavor to regain it for Him and restore obedience to His Law again.

Diabolus still didn’t think his position secure enough, however. He thought about how he might refashion the town by installing one influential person and deposing another as he pleased. Therefore, he stripped the Lord Mayor, whose name was Understanding, and Mr. Recorder, whose name was Mr. Conscience, of their positions and power.

As for the Lord Mayor, though he was an understanding man and had complied with the rest of the town of Mansoul in admitting the giant into the town, Diabolus didn’t think it best for him to stay in his position of distinction and honor, because he was a seeing man. Therefore, he deprived the Lord Mayor of seeing what he was doing, not only by taking his office and power from him but also by building a high, strong tower. It stood between the sun’s light and the windows of Understanding’s palace and so darkened his entire house. It blocked the sun so thoroughly that his entire residence was made as black as darkness itself. And Diabolus confined him to his house like a prisoner. Even if he was allowed to leave with an agreed time to return, limitations restricted him from going any farther than the bounds of his property. Due to his alienation from the light, he became like one born blind. And now, even if he had the heart to do something for Mansoul, what could he do? How can I do anything profitable for her? he wondered. As long as Mansoul is under the power and government of Diabolus, the town remains obedient to him. As long as this is the case, it will be impossible for me to help. So Lord Mayor Understanding became a weakness rather than an advantage to the famous town of Mansoul, until the town could be rescued out of Diabolus’s hand by a war.

As for Mr. Recorder, or Mr. Conscience, as he was known, before the town was taken, he was a man well versed in the Law of his King. He was courageous and faithful to speak truth at every opportunity, for he was equipped with a brave tongue and a head filled with sound judgment. Now, Diabolus could not allow such a man as this to continue as he had, for though he had given consent to his coming into the town, Diabolus knew Mr. Recorder would not agree to all the tricks, trials, schemes, and devices he had planned to make him wholly his own.

So even though Mr. Recorder had fallen from his original standing with his former King, and was pleased with many of the giant’s laws and his service, this arrangement would not do, because Recorder was not wholly his. Diabolus knew he would think upon Shaddai now and then and experience dread of His Law; then he would speak against Diabolus with a voice as great as a roaring lion. He would also, at certain times, experience terrible fits that made the whole town of Mansoul shake with his voice. For these reasons the now king of Mansoul could not tolerate him; he feared the Recorder more than any others left alive in the town of Mansoul.

As I said, Recorder’s words shook the whole town like rattling thunder mixed with thunderclaps. Since the giant could not make him wholly his own, what he did was look for any way to corrupt the old gentleman and seduce him from duty and allegiance, and blunt his mind and harden his heart to steer him in the ways of fruitless, empty labor that does no good. And he accomplished his plan. He corrupted the man’s morals and purity of character, and little by little drew him into sin and wickedness. (Be not deceived: evil companions corrupt good character. – 1 Corinthians 15:33) Recorder became so defiled he was almost past all consciousness of sin, but this was as far as Diabolus could go. With this accomplished, he started to think of another project.

He focused on persuading the men of the town that Mr. Conscience was mad and could not be respected or paid attention to. He pointed to his fits and said, “If he is himself and in his right mind, then why isn’t he always this way? But, as all mad folks have fits filled with their raving language, so has this old and foolish gentleman.”

So by one means or another, he influenced Mansoul to slight, neglect, and despise whatever Mr. Conscience said; for in addition to what you have already heard, Diabolus had a way to make the old gentleman, when he was merry with drink, contradict and deny what he had affirmed in his fits. This made him appear ridiculous, and it caused the people to disregard him.

After all this, Mr. Conscience no longer spoke freely for King Shaddai but rather by force and constraint. At one time he would be hot against something that at another time he would say nothing about. He became so unbalanced in his actions that sometimes he acted as if he were fast asleep and other times like one dead, while the whole town of Mansoul raced after vain, empty endeavors and danced to the tune played by the giant’s pipe. (That we no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. – Ephesians 4:14)

As a result, sometimes the message delivered by the thundering voice of the Recorder frightened Mansoul, and people reported it to Diabolus. He told them that what the old gentleman said was not because of love or pity for them. He explained it as a “foolish fondness he has for prattling about trivial matters” and that the old man would eventually be quiet again. But in fact, every outcry Mr. Recorder made against the sin of Mansoul was the voice of God in him to them. But Diabolus, the liar and deceiver, twisted the people’s perception and forced every argument he could think of to make his position in Mansoul secure.

He often said, “Oh Mansoul! Consider that in spite of the old gentleman’s rage and the rattle of his high and thundering words, you hear nothing from Shaddai Himself. You see, He doesn’t value the loss or rebellion of the town of Mansoul. Neither will He trouble himself with calling His town to a reckoning for their giving themselves to me. He knows that though you were His, now you are lawfully mine. So He now has shaken His hands at us, leaving us one to another.”

Then he said, “Consider how I have served you to the greatest extent of my power and with the best I have, could get, or obtain for you in the entire world. Likewise, the laws and customs you are under now and by which you show me reverence yield more comfort and peace for you than the paradise you first possessed. Your freedom, as you very well know, has been expanded by me. I found you a bridled people and freed you. I have laid no restraints on you. I have placed no law, statute, or judgment on you to frighten you. And I call none of you into account for your actions, except the madman – you know who I mean. I have granted each of you the opportunity to live like princes with as little control from me as I myself have from you.”

In such a manner, Diabolus quieted the town of Mansoul at the times when the Recorder battered the people with his cursed speeches. For the old gentleman’s lectures set the whole town in a rage against him. The crew of scoundrels of Mansoul often called for the Recorder’s destruction and, in my hearing, often wished he lived a thousand miles away from them – he and his company, his words, and yes, even the sight of him – especially when they remembered how he threatened, condemned, and severely terrified and afflicted them. But now when they looked at him, all they saw was a man of corrupted character.

However, all their ill wishes were fruitless. I don’t know how his life was preserved among them, except that it was the power of Shaddai and His wisdom. Besides, his house was as strong as a castle and stood firm as a stronghold in the town. Furthermore, if any of the crew or mob attempted to make the Recorder go away, he could pull open the floodgates and let in such floods as would drown all those around him. (The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. – Psalm 27:1-2)

But I want to leave the subject of Mr. Recorder for now and talk about Lord Willbewill, who had good breeding and was another of those educated elite of the famous town of Mansoul. This Willbewill was as highborn as any man in Mansoul and, if I remember right, owned more land than many of the others. In fact, he had privileges unique to himself in the famous town.

He was also a man of great strength, determination, and courage, and no one could ignore his influence. But whether he was proud of his estate, privileges, strength, or what, I cannot say, but it was through pride of something that he was as despised as a slave in Mansoul. As a result, he decided to acquire an office under Diabolus, even if it might be as an insignificant ruler or governor.

Being such a determined individual, he wasted no time. He placed himself to be considered for such a position. When Diabolus made his speech at Ear-gate, Willbewill stepped forward as one of the first to consent to and accept Diabolus’s counsel as wholesome. He was also one of the first who was willing to open the gate to let the enemy of Shaddai into the town. As a result, Diabolus felt good will toward him and planned a place for him among his great ones to act in matters of the highest concern, for Diabolus perceived the valor and strength of the man.

He sent for Willbewill and talked with him about this secret matter in order to set it in his heart; but in this case, it took very little persuasion. For from the beginning, he was willing for Diabolus to be allowed into the town and now proved to be just as willing to serve him. When the tyrant recognized the willingness of Willbewill to serve him and that his mind was inclined to stand with him, Diabolus made him the captain of the castle, governor of the wall, and keeper of the gates of Mansoul.

His commission included a clause which said nothing could be done in all the town of Mansoul without him. He was second only to Diabolus himself, and nothing could be done except by his will and pleasure.

Lord Willbewill Receives His Commission

Diabolus also had Mr. Mind for his clerk. This man spoke on every matter like his master, for he and his lord were unified in principle and not far apart in practice. As a result, Mansoul was brought under the influence of the plan and made to fulfill the lusts of the will and of the mind.

But I cannot stop thinking about what an eager one this Willbewill was when power was put into his hand. First, he flatly denied he owed any obedience or service to his former Prince and faithful Lord. Once he did this, he also took an oath and swore loyalty and faithfulness to his great master Diabolus. With this done, he was advanced and settled in to his new rank and higher position, and you wouldn’t believe the strange work this workman accomplished in the town of Mansoul, unless you witnessed it with your own eyes.

First, Willbewill slandered Mr. Recorder (Conscience) to death, and he wouldn’t even look at him or listen to the words of his mouth. Willbewill would shut his eyes when he saw him and cover his ears when he heard him speak. He couldn’t tolerate even a fragment of the Law of Shaddai to be seen anywhere in the town. For example, his clerk, Mr. Mind, had some old, torn parchments of the Law of Shaddai in his house, but when Willbewill saw them, Mr. Mind flung them behind his back. Mr. Recorder had some of the laws in his study, but Willbewill had no way to get at them.

He also said, “The windows of old Lord Mayor’s house are always too light for the benefit of the town of Mansoul.” He couldn’t endure the light of a candle at this time, and nothing pleased Willbewill at all except for what pleased Diabolus his lord. (For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. – John 3:20)

No one else proclaimed the superior nature, shrewd conduct, and great pride of the king Diabolus like him. (Those that forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them. – Proverbs 28:4) Willbewill traveled throughout the streets of Mansoul and shouted out in a loud voice for all to hear about his illustrious lord. He even disguised himself to appear like one cast out as worthless among the immoral and disreputable crowd for an opportunity to speak out about his powerful prince. And I tell you that whenever he found these mindless wards, he made himself like one of them and participated in every evil way without needing an invitation or command. (When thou didst see a thief, then thou didst consent with him and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou didst give thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frames deceit. Thou didst sit and speak against thy brother; thou didst slander thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; … but I will reprove thee and set them in order before thine eyes. – Psalm 50:18-21)

Lord Willbewill also had a deputy under him, and his name was Mr. Affection. He too was greatly corrupted in his principles and lived his life accordingly. He wholly gave himself over to the flesh, so they called him Vile-Affection.

Now he and Carnal-Lust, the daughter of Mr. Mind, were the same sort. With the two so well matched, they fell in love and married. As I understand it, they had several children, including Impudent, Darkmouth, and Hate-Reproof. These three were atrociously wicked boys. And besides these, they had three daughters, Scorn-Truth and Slight-God, and the name of the youngest was Revenge. These grew up and were all married in the town and yielded vile offspring, too many to list here.

When the giant had established and protected himself with the garrison in the town of Mansoul, and had removed some from office and set up others whom he thought had the qualities he desired, he took it upon himself to deface any representation of the blessed King Shaddai. For example, in the marketplace in Mansoul and upon the gates of the castle, an image of the blessed King was so accurately engraved in gold that it closely resembled Shaddai Himself more than anything else in the world. With despicable meanness, Diabolus commanded this image to be defaced, and No-Truth shamelessly accomplished the deed.

In the same manner in which Diabolus commanded the image of Shaddai be defaced by the hand of Mr. No-Truth, he likewise ordered him to set up in its place the horrid and dreadful image of Diabolus as a way to show great contempt for the former King and degrade His town of Mansoul.

The Image of Diabolus Is Set Up

Diabolus also laid waste to all that remained of the Laws and statutes of Shaddai in the town of Mansoul. This included anything that contained the teaching of morals within all the civil documents, and even laws which governed events and natural things like feelings. He even sought to eliminate any punishments related to these. In brief, nothing good remained in Mansoul that he and Willbewill didn’t seek to destroy, for their plan was to turn Mansoul into a brute savage at heart and to make it like a carnal swine by the hand of No-Truth.

After Diabolus destroyed what he could of the Law and the good condition of the town, he pushed the influence of his plan even further. His goal was to alienate Mansoul from Shaddai, her King. To accomplish this, he commanded worthless edicts, statutes, and commandments be set in all places of active power or assembly in Mansoul. These changes provided freedom to practice the lusts of the flesh, including the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, which are not of Shaddai but are of the world. (For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. – 1 John 2:16) He encouraged, approved, and promoted all ungodliness and the abandonment of lustful restraint. ([_Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. _]– Galatians 5:19-21)

Diabolus did this and more to encourage wickedness in the town of Mansoul. He promised them peace, contentment, joy, and pleasure by following his commands. (And that which fell among thorns are those who when they have heard go forth and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life and bring no fruit to perfection. – Luke 8:14) “You will never have to answer to anyone for not doing the opposite,” he promised. “Instead, this will serve as a sample for those who love to hear about things done far off in other countries – things they know nothing about.”

Now Mansoul became entirely subservient to Diabolus, coming when he called with the nod of his head, bowing, and even kneeling before him. Nothing was heard or seen any longer within the town unless it exalted him. But Diabolus saw that the town was the most ancient of establishments in the world, and he feared if he didn’t maintain its greatness, the people might oppose him because he’d done Mansoul harm. He needed to show the people he didn’t intend to lessen their grandeur or take away any of their beneficial things. And since he had disabled Mayor Understanding and Mr. Conscience the Recorder by removing them from office in Mansoul, he decided to choose a Lord Mayor and a Recorder himself. Only this time, he made sure to select replacements who gladdened the hearts of the people and pleased him as well.

Diabolus named the Lord Lustings as Mayor of Mansoul. He had neither eyes nor ears. All he did, whether as a man or as the Mayor, he did like a beast – by sheer natural impulse. And the thing that made him most shameful to those who saw and grieved for the ruin of Mansoul was that he never favored good but only chose evil.

Under Diabolus, the Recorder was known by the name Forget-Good, and he too was a very sorry fellow. He delighted in disobedience and remembered nothing of submission. He was naturally prone to do hurtful things to the town of Mansoul and all who lived there. (He shall die because he did not submit to chastening; and due to the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. – Proverbs 5:23)

These two, by their power and practice and examples and preferences toward evil, did much speaking and writing in order to establish the common people in ways hurtful to them. However, the people didn’t perceive that when those who sit in positions of authority are evil and corrupt, they in turn corrupt the whole region and country. (And he did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin with which he caused Israel to sin. – 1 Kings 15:34)

After filling these two positions, Diabolus made several appointments of people over boroughs as aldermen in Mansoul. From these, the people of the town could choose officers, governors, and magistrates when needed. These are the names of the leading men among them: Mr. Incredulity, Mr. Haughty, Mr. Swearing, Mr. Whoring, Mr. Hard-Heart, Mr. Pitiless, Mr. Fury, Mr. No-Truth, Mr. Stand-to-Lies, Mr. False-Peace, Mr. Drunkenness, Mr. Cheating, and Mr. Atheism. They numbered thirteen in all. Among the group, Mr. Incredulity was the oldest and Mr. Atheism the youngest. An election of common councilmen and some like bailiffs, sergeants, constables, and others was also held, but all of them were related to those already mentioned, being either fathers, brothers, cousins, or nephews to them.

As the giant proceeded with his plan, he decided his next step would be to build some strongholds within the town. So he built three holds that seemed impregnable. The first he called the Hold of Defiance, because it was constructed as a command center to the whole town to keep it from the knowledge of its ancient King. The second he called Midnight Hold, because it was built purposely to keep Mansoul from the true knowledge of itself. The third was called Sweet-Sin Hold, because by it he protected Mansoul against all good desires.

The first of these holds stood strategically close enough to Eye-gate to darken the light there as much as possible. The second was built solidly by the old castle with the goal of making it more blind, if possible. And the third stood in the marketplace.

Diabolus made Spite-God governor over the first of these, for he was a most blasphemous wretch. He came with the whole disorderly, vulgar crowd which came against Mansoul in the beginning, for he was one of them.

The one made governor of Midnight Hold was Love-no-Light. He too belonged to the mob that first came against the town. And the man who was made governor of the Sweet-Sin Hold was Love-Flesh, one given over to the unlawful indulgence of lust. He was addicted to fornication and had no limit to his desires. This fellow found more sweetness when he stood drinking of a lust than he did in all the paradise of God.

With all these safeguards in place, Diabolus thought himself safe. He had overtaken Mansoul, had it garrisoned with troops, removed the former officers and set up new ones. He’d also damaged the image of Shaddai and set up his own image in its place. In an effort to promote his own vain lies, he stripped the town of the old law books, put his own new judge in place, and set up new aldermen. Plus, he built new defenses and manned them. All this he did to make himself secure, in case the good Shaddai or His Son decided to intrude with hostile intentions toward him. (But if our gospel is hid, it is hid to those that are lost, In whom the god of this age has blinded the understanding of those who do not believe, that the light of the gospel of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine in them. – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

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Chapter 4

The King’s Message of Mercy

With all this going on, you might think someone would have carried word to the good King Shaddai long before this to report about the condition of His Mansoul in the continent of Universe. Someone could have told Him Mansoul was lost and the apostate giant Diabolus, who once served as one of His Majesty’s servants, had turned against the King in rebellion and taken over the town for himself. Yes, messages were carried and delivered to the King, telling Him of Mansoul’s state. They reported how Diabolus first came against the simple and innocent people of Mansoul with cunning, subtlety, lies, and deceit. How he treacherously slew the just, noble, and valiant Captain Resistance as he stood upon the gate with the rest of the townsmen.

They described how the brave Lord Innocent fell dead when he heard his Lord and rightful King, Shaddai, so verbally abused by the filthy Diabolian scoundrel Ill-Pause. Some said his death was due to grief, while others suggested it was caused by the poisoned stinking breath of Ill-Pause. The messenger further reported that Ill-Pause made a short speech to the townsmen on behalf of his master, Diabolus. The simple town believed what he said as true, and they all agreed to open Ear-gate, the chief gate of the famous town of Mansoul, and let him and his crew take possession.

Reports included information about how Diabolus treated the Lord Mayor and Mr. Recorder, and how they were no longer in a place of power and trust. The messenger pointed out how Lord Willbewill rebelled and became a traitor with Mr. Mind, his clerk; he told how the two of them traveled all over town, carousing with loose and noisy merriment, and how they taught the wicked ones their ways. The messenger went on to explain, “Willbewill was placed in a position of trust by Diabolus. He stationed him over the fortified places in Mansoul, and Mr. Affection, whom some call Vile-Affection, serves as his deputy in his most rebellious affairs. This monster, Lord Willbewill, has openly rejected his King Shaddai and has put his faith in and pledged his fidelity to Diabolus.

“And the new king, or should I say the rebellious tyrant over the once-famous but now-perishing town of Mansoul, has set up a Lord Mayor and a Recorder of his own.” The messenger’s face grew serious. “For Mayor, he has set up Mr. Lustings, and for Recorder, Mr. Forget-Good. These are two of the vilest men found in all the town of Mansoul.”

This faithful messenger went on with his report, detailing the sort of magistrates Diabolus had chosen and that he had built several strong forts, towers, and strongholds in Mansoul. He also explained how Diabolus equipped the town with weapons and armor for his own benefit to resist Shaddai their King, in case He tried to bring them back to their former obedience.

Now this harbinger did not deliver his message in private, but rather in open court before the King and His Son, high lords, chief captains, and nobles. Those who heard the whole story experienced great sorrow of spirit at the thought that the famous Mansoul had been taken, for they did not understand that the King and His Son had foreseen this would take place far in advance and had sufficiently planned a way of escape for Mansoul. (Knowing that ye have been ransomed from your vain conversation … with the precious blood of the Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without contamination, already ordained from before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for love of you. – 1 Peter 1:18-20)

Tidings Brought of the Loss of Mansoul

Those who heard the message grieved for the loss and misery of Mansoul with loud wailing and moaning. The King admitted plainly that it grieved His heart also, and His Son joined Him in that sorrow, but because of their plan, they proved their love and compassion for the famous town of Mansoul to all around them.

When the King and His Son retired into the private chamber, they discussed further what they had planned from the beginning, namely, that Mansoul would be permitted to be lost for a time, and that it would certainly be recovered again and recovered in such a way that both the King and His Son would gain eternal fame and glory. (For God enclosed everyone in disobedience, that he might have mercy upon everyone. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments and his ways past finding out! – Romans 11:32-33)

Emmanuel, the Son of Shaddai, was mild and righteous and one who always had great affection for those in affliction. His heart was set against Diabolus; Emmanuel was intended for this purpose, and He promised He would fulfill His mission to recover Mansoul. And so the Son stood firm in His purpose and wouldn’t change His mind, all while the evil Diabolus sought Emmanuel’s crown and dignity.

Therefore, the King and His Son determined beforehand that at a certain time, Emmanuel would journey into the country of Universe and, once there, make amends for the sinful acts of Mansoul with justice and impartiality, by laying a foundation of perfect deliverance from Diabolus and from his tyranny. (For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. – John 3:16-17)

Emmanuel determined to make war against the giant Diabolus at the proper time, while he was in possession of the town of Mansoul. So Emmanuel agreed that by the strength of His hand He would justly drive Diabolus out of his hold, and He would take Mansoul for Himself to be His dwelling place. (And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. – Genesis 17:7)

With all this agreed upon, an order was given to the Lord Chief Secretary to draw up a trustworthy record of all that had been determined and to make it known in all the corners of the kingdom of Universe. This is a short summary of the contents:

“Let all who are concerned about the condition of Mansoul know that the Son of Shaddai, the great King, is appointed by covenant with His Father to return Mansoul to Him again. Through the power of His matchless love, He will put Mansoul in a far better and happier condition than she was in before being taken by Diabolus.”

These papers were published in several places, which greatly annoyed the tyrant Diabolus. He thought, Now I shall be ill-treated and my dwelling taken from me.

When the purpose of the King and His Son was first announced at court, the high lords, chief captains, and noble princes repeated it to one another in whispers. From there it began to ring out throughout the King’s palace and everyone marveled at the glorious plan the King and His Son Emmanuel designed for the miserable town of Mansoul. Those who frequented the court could do little for the King or kingdom, but they joined in making known the love the King and His Son had for the town of Mansoul. For none of these lords, high captains, and princes could keep this good news to themselves. Before the records were even perfected, they journeyed and delivered the glad tidings in Universe. (But the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you a gospel of great joy, which shall be to all the people. … And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will in man. – Luke 2:10, 13-14)

Finally, the news made it to Diabolus. You can imagine his dissatisfaction when he heard such a plan was conceived against him. But after he thought about it for a time, he concluded four things.

First, he decided this good news should be kept from the ears of the town of Mansoul. He said, “If Mansoul learns that Shaddai, their former King, and Emmanuel, His Son, are planning good for the town, all I can expect is that Mansoul will revolt from being under my control and the government will turn and follow Him again.”

So Diabolus made a plan of his own. Again, he flattered Lord Willbewill, and with strict orders delegated the responsibility for him to keep watch day and night at all the gates of the town, especially Ear-gate and Eye-gate. (Hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive; for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed. – Acts 28:26-27a) “For I hear of a plan,” he said to Willbewill, “a plan that makes us all traitors and requires Mansoul to be brought back into bondage to Him. I hope they are only rumors. However, to be safe, don’t let any such news into Mansoul because the people will become depressed if they hear it.

“I’m sure such news is no more welcome by you than it is to me. For this reason,” Diabolus arched one ridged brow, “I think it best if we use our wisdom to nip such rumors in the bud, before they trouble our people. I desire you to do as I say in this matter. Set up strong guards daily at every gate of the town. Stop and examine everyone entering the gates and learn where they are coming from so you know their true purpose for coming here to trade. Unless you see clearly that they favor our excellent government, by no means admit them into Mansoul.

“I also command spies be set in place to continually walk throughout the town of Mansoul. Give them the power to suppress and destroy anyone they perceive to be plotting against us or who prattle about what Shaddai and Emmanuel intend to do.”

Lord Willbewill bowed and willingly did as his lord and master commanded with all the diligence he could muster. He kept anyone he could from going out beyond the walls of Mansoul and prevented any who sought to bring Shaddai’s news into the town from entering.

Secondly, once this was accomplished, Diabolus secured Mansoul further by composing and imposing a new oath and horrible covenant upon the townsfolk. In it, they agreed they would never desert him or his government. They said they would not betray him or seek in any way to alter his laws. Instead, they were expected to own, confess, stand by, and acknowledge him as their rightful king, in defiance of any who might by some trick, law, or title lay claim to the town of Mansoul. For he thought that perhaps Shaddai didn’t have the power to absolve them from this covenant with death and agreement with hell. And silly Mansoul didn’t stop or even hesitate to agree to this most monstrous obligation. They swallowed it without even chewing, as if it were nothing more than a small fish in the mouth of a whale.

In fact, not only were they not troubled at all by this, they also even bragged and boasted about their brave loyalty to the tyrant, their pretended king, swearing they would never change from following him or forsake him as their lord for someone new. (But now ye boast in your arrogance; all such glory is evil. – James 4:16) In this way, Diabolus bound poor Mansoul tightly.

Thirdly, his jealousy propelled him to another great act of wickedness, which would corrupt this town of Mansoul even more. He accomplished this by the hand of Mr. Filth, who drew up an odious, nasty, lustful piece of beastliness in writing and posted it on the castle gates. In it, he granted permission to all his true and trusted sons in Mansoul to do whatever their lustful appetites prompted them to do. No man was to let anything hinder or control them, or they would incur the displeasure of their prince. He had reasons for doing this.

The town of Mansoul might be made weaker and weaker and thus more unable to believe, hope, or consent to the truth of Shaddai’s news of redemption, if it should happen to reach the town. Plus, it reinforced the reasoning which says, the bigger the sinner, the less hope of mercy.

If Emmanuel, the Son of Shaddai their King, saw the horrible and irreverent deeds of the town of Mansoul, He might change His mind regarding the covenant of their redemption, for Diabolus knew Shaddai was holy and His Son Emmanuel was holy. He knew this for certain, based on his own unhappy experience; for remember, Diabolus was cast from the highest orbs as the result of his iniquity and sin. (How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, who didst claim the Gentiles as an inheritance! – Isaiah 14:12)

As a result of his own fate, Diabolus concluded Mansoul might fare the same for sin. But fearing his bond with Mansoul could break, he thought of another way to thwart Shaddai’s plan.

Fourthly, he decided to attempt to possess all hearts in the town of Mansoul in a very crafty way – by saying Shaddai was raising an army to come overthrow and utterly destroy this town of Mansoul. He did this to pre-empt any news they might hear of their deliverance. For, he thought, if I suggest this lie first, the news they hear later will all be swallowed up as if it is the lie. For what else will Mansoul say when they hear that they must be delivered, but that the true meaning is that Shaddai intends to destroy them?

Therefore, he called the entire town into the marketplace and with a deceitful tongue addressed the town of Mansoul. “My very good friends, you are all my legal subjects and men of the famous town of Mansoul. You know how from the first day of my arrival, until now, I have behaved myself among you. You are also aware of the freedom and great privileges you have enjoyed under my government – I hope to your good name and mine and to your satisfaction and delight. Now, my famous Mansoul, I am here to report the sound of trouble ringing from beyond your walls, and I am grieved for your sakes. For I just received a letter from Lord Lucifer, who is quite intelligent, that says your old King Shaddai is raising an army to come against you to destroy you totally. This is why I have called you together – to offer my opinion as to what I see is the best course of action at this time.

“For my part, I am just one person and could easily change where I live, if I were to seek my own interest and to leave my Mansoul in all the danger. But I could never do that! My heart is firmly united to you, and I am unwilling to leave you. In fact, I am willing to stand and fall with you, even if the greatest risk or danger were to befall me. What do you say, my Mansoul? Will you desert your old friend now or will you stand with me?”

They cried out in one accord, “Let him who does not stand with you die!” (And it was given unto him to endue the image of the beast with spirit, so that the image of the beast should speak, and he shall cause those that do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. – Revelation 13:15)

A smile of satisfaction tugged at the corner of Diabolus’s thin lips for a brief moment. “It is worthless for us to hope for sympathy, for this King doesn’t know how to show it. True, when He first sits down to talk before us, He may talk of and pretend to show mercy, but only to put you at ease so you cause less trouble. He will only do this to make Himself the master of Mansoul again.

“Therefore, don’t believe a single word of anything He says, for His words will be designed to overcome us and to make us the trophies of His merciless victory, while we wallow in our blood. In my mind, I have determined we should agree to resist Him to the last man and not to believe Him on any terms. For our danger will come through that door in the guise of merciful words, but shall we be flattered out of our lives? I hope you understand the basics of politics enough not to permit yourselves to be served so pitifully.

“Suppose He gets us to surrender or even saves some of our lives or the lives of some minions in Mansoul. What help will that be to you – you who are the most important people of the town? Especially you whom I have set up – you who have attained greatness by your faithful support to me? And suppose He should spare the life of every one of you; you can be sure He will bring you under that same bondage with which you were made a prisoner before or worse. Then what good will your lives do you?

Diabolus Incites Mansoul to Arms

“Do you think you will live in pleasure with Him as you do now under me? The answer to that is no. With Him, you must be bound by laws that will oppress you with want, and you’ll be made to do the very things you loathe now. I am ready to stand with you, if you are ready to stand with me, for 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.”

Diabolus shook his head sadly. “Blood, blood, nothing but blood is in every blast of Shaddai’s trumpet against poor Mansoul. I entreat you! Be concerned! I hear He is coming! Stand up and grab your weapons now, so I can teach you some feats of war while we have time. I have armor fit for Mansoul to cover you from the top of your head to your toes. If you wear this, you cannot be hurt by what His forces do, as long as you keep it well secured and fastened about you. For this purpose, I welcome you to my castle. Come and equip yourselves for the war. There is a helmet, breastplate, sword, shield, and whatnot that will prepare you to fight like men.

“My helmet is worn in the hope of doing well for the rest of your lives. Those who have worn this reported having peace, even though they walked in the wickedness of their heart in order to add drunkenness to thirst. Whoever can keep possession of this piece of approved armor cannot be hurt by any arrow, dart, sword, or shield. For this reason, keep it on and you will thwart many a blow, my Mansoul.

“My breastplate is a breastplate of iron. I had it forged in my own country and all my soldiers there are armed with one. In plain language, it is a hard heart – a heart as hard as iron and as much past feeling as a stone. If you get it and keep it, mercy shall not win you, and judgment will not frighten you. For this reason, this is a most necessary piece of armor for all to put on who hate Shaddai and are willing to fight against Him under my banner. (And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. – Revelation 9:9)

“My sword is a tongue set on fire of hell that can bend itself to speak evil of Shaddai, His Son, His ways, and His people. Use this. It is well known that it has been tried a thousand times. Whoever possesses it keeps it, and makes use of it, as I desire him to do, and can never be conquered by my enemy. (Thy tongue devises wickedness like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou dost love evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. – Psalm 52:2-3)

“My shield is unbelief. It calls into question the truth of the Word and all the sayings, which speak of the judgment Shaddai has appointed for wicked men. Use this shield. He has made many attempts upon it. Sometimes it has been broken, but those who have written of the wars of Emmanuel against my servants have testified He could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief. (And he did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. – Matthew 13:58) To handle this weapon of mine correctly, you must not believe things because they are asserted to be true. If He speaks of judgment, care nothing about it. If He speaks of mercy, don’t pay attention to Him, even when He promises to extend that mercy to Mansoul if she turns back to Him. If He promises no harm but only good, don’t believe what is said. Instead, question the truth and wield the shield of unbelief correctly, as my servants ought. Anyone who does otherwise doesn’t love me, and I count him as an enemy.

“Another piece or part of my excellent armor is a dumb and prayerless spirit – a spirit that distains the very thought of crying for mercy. Be sure you make use of this, my Mansoul. Never beg for mercy if you want to be mine. I know you are strong men, and I am confident I have clad you with proven armor. Therefore, don’t even consider crying to Shaddai for mercy. Cast such thoughts far from yourself. Besides all this armor, I have useful hand weapons all ready to perform. These include a heavy wooden hammer, firebrands, arrows, and death.”

After he finished speaking to his men about armor and arms, he went on to say, “Remember, I am your rightful king. You have taken an oath and entered into a covenant to be true to me and my cause. With this in mind, men of Mansoul, show yourselves strong and valiant. Don’t forget the kindness I have always shown you without your asking. I have granted you things – external visible things. However, these privileges, grants, protections, profits, and honors I’ve bestowed on you call for returns of loyalty, my lion-like men of Mansoul, as when another seeks to take my dominion over you into His own hands.

“One word more and I am done. Can we stand together and overcome this one offense or violent blow? I don’t doubt it. In a short time all the world will be ours, and when that day comes, I will make you kings, princes, and captains, and what grand days we shall have then!” (And a valiant king shall stand up, that shall rule over a great dominion and do according to his will. – Daniel 11:3)

Once Diabolus prepared and armed his subjects and servants in Mansoul against their good and lawful King Shaddai, he doubled his guards at the gates of the town. Then he departed to his castle stronghold. To show their determination and supposed (but worthless) bravery, his subjects practiced with their weapons every day. They taught one another feats of war, defied their enemies, and sang the praises of their tyrant. They also talked about what type of men they would be if it ever came to war between Shaddai and their king.

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Chapter 5

Shaddai Sends His Army

Now all this time the good King, the King Shaddai, prepared to send an army to recover the town of Mansoul from under the tyranny of their false king Diabolus. He thought it best not to send them by the hand and leadership of brave Emmanuel, His Son. Instead, He placed His army in the control of some of His servants to see if He could reduce the violence and excess of Mansoul and determine whether Mansoul would be won to the obedience of their King. The army consisted of about forty thousand, all true men, for the King chose them from His own court by His own hand.

They came up to Mansoul under the command of four brave generals, each man being a captain of ten thousand men. The name of the first was Boanerges (And James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed them Boanerges, which is The sons of thunder. – Mark 3:17); the name of the second was Captain Conviction (And those who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one. – John 8:9a); the third was Captain Judgment (And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in me. – John 16:8-9), and the fourth was Captain Execution (But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is a minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil. – Romans 13:4). These were the captains Shaddai sent to regain Mansoul.

The King thought these four were qualified to be sent to Mansoul first, because He generally sent them to the front line in all His wars, and they were very brave and often able to shape the course of the war. They were trained to initiate conversations in order to get something started, as well as to make their way by the power of the sword. Plus, their men were like them.

King Shaddai gave each of these captains a banner to display because of the goodness of His cause and the right He had to Mansoul. (Thou hast given a banner to those that fear thee that they raise up for the truth. – Psalm 60:4) Ten thousand men were given to Captain Boanerges, for he was the chief, and his banner’s name was Mr. Thunder. He wore black colors, and the emblem on his shield was the three burning thunderbolts.

The second captain, Captain Conviction, also had charge of ten thousand men. On his banner was the name Mr. Sorrow. He wore the pale colors and on his shield was the book of the Law, wide open with a fiery flame issuing from it.

The third captain, Captain Judgment, also had ten thousand men in his charge; on his banner was written the name Mr. Terror. He wore red colors and his shield burned like a fiery furnace.

The fourth captain was Captain Execution, and he too was given ten thousand men. The name upon his banner was Mr. Justice. He also wore red colors and on his shield was a fruitless tree with an axe lying at the root. (And now the axe is also laid unto the root of the trees; therefore, every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. – Matthew 3:10)

The ten thousand men under the command of each of these four captains were all of good faith to the King and brave military men. Once the captains, their men, and under-officers had gathered to Shaddai and were in the field, they were called by name to come and put on armor needed for the level of service they were about to perform for their King.

The Captains of Emmanuel

Now, when the King mustered His forces (for it was He who rallied the army to the battle), He gave several orders to the captains and entrusted them with their duties and issued commands in the presence of all the soldiers. He said they must listen to His commands faithfully, and courageously execute them in the same way. (Today the LORD thy God has commanded thee to comply with these statutes and rights; take care, therefore, to keep and do them with all thine heart and with all thy soul. – Deuteronomy 26:16) The essence of these orders was the same for each of the captains except for the name, title, place, and specific tasks with small variations. Here is a summary of what He sent them to accomplish:

A Commission from the great Shaddai, King of Mansoul, to His trusted and noble captain, the Captain Boanerges, for his making war upon the town of Mansoul.

“Boanerges, one of My brave and thundering captains whom I have placed over ten thousand of My valiant and faithful servants, go forward in My name with this force to the miserable town of Mansoul. When you come to it, offer them conditions of peace and command them to cast off the yoke and tyranny of the wicked Diabolus and return to Me, their rightful Prince and Lord. Also, command them to cleanse themselves from all that is his in the town of Mansoul and pay attention to the satisfaction perceived from the truth of their obedience.

“So when you have commanded them, if they in truth submit to the commands, then do all within your power to set up for Me a garrison in Mansoul. Don’t hurt the least of those who were born and live there, if they willingly submit themselves to Me. Instead, treat those who respond in this way as your friend or brother, for I love them and hold them dear. Tell them I will set a time to come to them and be sure to let them know I am merciful.

“But if they resist your summons and the show of your authority – if they oppose, stand up against you, and rebel – then I command you to make use of all your cunning, power, might, and force to bring them into subjection by the strength of your hand. Farewell.”

This review of His commission offers insight into the sum of all their directives, for as I said, the substance of the commands issued for all the captains was the same.

Therefore, each commander received his authority at the hand of their King. (Then he called his twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to cure diseases. – Luke 9:1) The day was appointed and the place of their rendezvous determined beforehand. Each commander appeared in splendor appropriate to his cause and calling. After a commissioning from Shaddai, they set out with flying colors to march towards the famous town of Mansoul. Captain Boanerges led the army; Captain Conviction and Captain Judgment made up the main body, and Captain Execution brought up the rear. The town of Mansoul was far off from the court of Shaddai, so they marched through the regions and countries of many people, not hurting or abusing any, but rather blessing the people wherever they traveled. They also lived at the King’s expense for the entire journey.

Having traveled in this manner for many days, they came within sight of Mansoul. When they saw it, the captains’ hearts mourned over the condition of the town, for they quickly saw how it bowed to the will of Diabolus and to his ways and plans.

The captains marched up to Ear-gate and sat down there before the town, for it was the place of hearing. (So then faith comes by hearing, and the ear to hear by the word of God. – Romans 10:17) When they had pitched their tents and entrenched themselves, they discussed their assault strategy.

Now when the townsfolk first laid eyes on such a magnificent company, so splendidly dressed and equipped, and so excellently disciplined, displaying flying colors and wearing glittering armor, they couldn’t help but come out of their houses and gaze upon it all. But the cunning fox Diabolus, fearing the people might open the gates to the captains after this sight, hurried from the castle and made them withdraw into the center of the town. Once he corralled them there, he made this lying, deceitful speech to them:

“Gentlemen,” he said, “although you are my loyal and well-beloved friends, I cannot help but scold you a little for your recent careless action. I am talking about how you went out to gaze upon that great and mighty force, which sat down before our Ear-gate just yesterday. Do you not see they have entrenched themselves in order to sustain a siege against the famous town of Mansoul? Do you know who they are or where they come from? Do you know their purpose in sitting down before the town of Mansoul?

“They are the very ones whom I warned you about long ago. They come to destroy this town. In fact, I have gone to great expense to arm you from head to toe to protect your body against them and have made great fortifications for your mind. When you first caught sight of them, why didn’t you cry out, ‘Sound the alarm!’ If you had warned the whole town concerning them, we might have been in a position to defend against them and meet them with the highest level of defiance. If you had acted in this way, you would have proved yourselves to be men to my liking. Now, with what you have done, you make me half-afraid that when we meet with them in hand-to-hand combat, I shall find you lack courage to stand against them.

“Didn’t I command you to double your guards at the gates? Haven’t I endeavored to make you as hard as iron and your hearts as inflexible as a piece of a lower millstone? What did you think? That you might show yourselves to be like women, untrained for war so you could go out like a band of innocents to gaze on your mortal foes? Aargh! Get ready! Put yourselves into a state of defensive readiness. Beat the drum! Gather together in a warlike manner so our foes know there are valiant men in the town of Mansoul, before they decide to conquer this town and its citizens.

“I will stop scolding now and will not reprimand you further. But it is your duty from now on to make certain that I see no more of such actions. From this point forward, don’t allow a man of you to so much as show his head over the wall of the town of Mansoul without first obtaining the order from me. You have heard me; now do as I have commanded. You and I shall dwell securely with me as your superior, and I will take care to keep you safe and to protect your honor. Farewell.”

The townsmen were strangely altered by this speech. They acted like panicked men stricken with fear. They ran to and fro through the streets of the town of Mansoul, and as they ran, they cried out, “Help! Help! The men who turn the world upside down have come here also!” (But the disobedient Jews, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort and gathered a company and set all the city on an uproar … crying, These that have turned the world upside down have come here also. – Acts 17:5-6)

Not one of them remained quiet but rather they acted like men deprived of any sense. They cried out again saying, “The destroyers of our peace and our people have come!”

This message rang through the air, and when Diabolus heard it, he said, “Ah, this I like very much. Now you behave as I would have it, for now you show your obedience to your prince. Stay just like this and then let them take the town if they can.” (In time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the will of the prince of the power of this air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience. – Ephesians 2:2)

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Chapter 6

The King’s Offer

Three days before the King’s forces reached Mansoul, Captain Boanerges commanded his trumpeter to go down to Ear-gate. There, in the name of the great Shaddai, he was to summon Mansoul to listen to the message he was commanded to deliver to them in his Master’s name. So the trumpeter, whose name was Take-Heed-What-You-Hear, went up to Ear-gate and sounded his trumpet for a hearing, but no one appeared or responded in any way. Remember, this is how Diabolus had commanded the people of Mansoul to behave. So the trumpeter hurried back to deliver the news to his captain. The report grieved the captain, and he told the trumpeter to go to his tent.

The next day Captain Boanerges sent his trumpeter to Ear-gate a second time to sound his trumpet again for a hearing, but again the gate remained closed. No one came. In fact, they didn’t even give him an answer, because they obediently observed the command of Diabolus their king.

Then the captains and other field officers called a council of war to consider what more could be done to gain the town of Mansoul. After they came together and debated the specifics thoroughly regarding their commissions, they decided to send another summons to the town by the hand of the same trumpeter. But this time, if the town of Mansoul decided to refuse to hear the message, the trumpeter was to tell them the captains, their officers, and the troops would endeavor by whatever means they could to compel them by force to obey their King.

So Captain Boanerges commanded his trumpeter to go up to Ear-gate again and in the name of the great King Shaddai, to deliver a very loud summons to come down without delay to Ear-gate to give a public reception to hear what the King’s most noble captains had to say. So the trumpeter went and did as he was commanded.

He stepped up to Ear-gate, sounded his trumpet, and gave a third summons to Mansoul. (Blessed is the man that hears me, keeping vigil at my gates, waiting at the threshold of my doors. – Proverbs 8:34) This time he warned them that if they still refused to give audience to the captains of his Prince, they would come down upon them with might and endeavor to bring them to repentance by force.

Then Lord Willbewill (the apostate I mentioned before), who was the governor of the town and the keeper of the gates of Mansoul, stood up. He responded with considerable and disturbing words, as he demanded to know who the trumpeter was, where he came from, and asked him, “For what reason are you making such a dreadful noise at the gate by speaking such intolerable words against the town of Mansoul?”

The trumpeter stood straight and called out with a loud voice. “I am a servant to the most noble Captain Boanerges, general of the forces of the great King Shaddai, against whom you and the whole town of Mansoul have rebelled and whom you continue to oppose. My master, the captain, has a special message to deliver to this town and to you, if you will peaceably hear it. If not, you must suffer the consequences.”

Willbewill said, “I will deliver your message to my lord, and we shall see what he will say.”

But the trumpeter quickly replied, “Our message is not to the giant Diabolus but to the miserable town of Mansoul. We shall not regard any answer from Diabolus at all or any who speak for him. We are sent to this town to recover it from under his cruel tyranny and persuade it to submit, as it did in former times to the most excellent King Shaddai.” ([_Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. _]– Psalm 66:3)

Willbewill said, “I will deliver your message to the town.”

The trumpeter replied, “Sir, do not deceive us, for if you do, you’ll only be deceiving yourself much more.” He paused and then added, “If you don’t submit in a peaceable manner, we are determined to make war with you and bring you under His hand by force. And to show what I’m saying is the truth, this shall be a sign unto you – you shall see the black flag with its hot, burning thunderbolts set upon the mountain tomorrow as a token of defiance against your prince and our resolution to bring you back to your Lord and rightful King.”

So Lord Willbewill left the wall and the trumpeter marched back into the camp. When he arrived, the captains and officers of the mighty King Shaddai met with him to find out if he had success in obtaining a hearing, and if so, how it went. So the trumpeter made his report: “When I sounded my trumpet and called aloud to the town for a hearing, Lord Willbewill, the governor of the town who also has charge of the gates, responded to my trumpet sound. He looked over the wall and asked what I was doing there, where I had come from, and the reason I was making so much noise. I told him the purpose of my errand and by whose authority I brought the message. He said he would deliver the message to the governor and to Mansoul, and then I returned to my lords.”

The brave Boanerges said, “Let us wait a little longer here in our trenches and see what these rebels decide to do.”

When the time drew near for the public reception of the brave Boanerges and his companions to deliver the King’s message to Mansoul, all the men of war throughout the whole camp of Shaddai were commanded to stand fully armed as one. They were to be prepared, if the town of Mansoul accepted the message of mercy, and if it did not, they were to bring it under the dominion of the King with force.

When the day arrived, the trumpeters sounded the signal through the whole camp for the men of war to make themselves ready for the work of the day. Within the town of Mansoul, the inhabitants heard the sound of the trumpets within Shaddai’s camp. All they could think when they heard the sound was that it must be a signal to storm the town. At first they were horrified at the thought and didn’t know what to do, but after a little time they settled down and started to make what preparations they could for war. At the very least, they took steps to keep themselves safe in the event that the troops stormed the town of Mansoul.

When the maximum amount of time allotted had come and gone, Boanerges sent out his trumpeter again to call upon Mansoul for a public reception to hear their response to the message they had brought from Shaddai.

The trumpeter went and announced his presence with the shrill call of his trumpet. The townsmen came up, but it wasn’t to give an audience to the trumpeter. Instead, they made Ear-gate as safe and permanent as they could. When they came to the top of the wall, Captain Boanerges wished to obtain an audience with the Lord Mayor, but at that time, Lord Incredulity showed up as Lord Mayor in the place of Lord Lustings.

Incredulity’s Speech from the Walls

So Incredulity showed himself at the top of the wall and introduced himself as the Lord Mayor. However, as soon as Captain Boanerges set his eyes upon him, he cried out, “This is not the Lord Mayor! Where is Lord Understanding, the ancient Lord Mayor of the town of Mansoul? It is to him I will deliver my message!”

The giant Diabolus had also come down to the gate, and he was the one to answer the captain this time. “Mr. Captain, you have boldly given Mansoul at least four summonses to subject herself to your King, whose authority I neither recognize nor dispute at this moment. However, I do ask for what reason all this commotion has been stirred up, or do you even know yourselves why you approach?”

Captain Boanerges, whose colors were black and whose coat of arms upon his shield was the three burning thunderbolts, paid no attention to the giant or what he said. Instead, he addressed the town of Mansoul. “I am here to make certain you know, O wretched and rebellious Mansoul, that the most gracious King, the great King Shaddai, my Master, has sent me to you with this authority.” He showed them his broad seal, which indicated Shaddai’s sovereignty. “I am here to bring you back to obedience to Him. He has commanded me, in case you surrender to His will upon my summons, to carry His message to you as if you were my friends or brothers. However, He also has ordered that if you refuse to submit and choose rather to rebel, then we should endeavor to take you by force.” (And the LORD hastened upon the chastisement and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is just in all his works which he has done, for we did not listen to his voice. – Daniel 9:14)

Then Captain Conviction stepped forward dressed in his pale colors. Upon his shield was the book of the Law standing wide open. He said, “Hear, O Mansoul! You were once famous for your innocence, but now you have degenerated into telling lies and practicing deceit. You have heard what my brother Captain Boanerges has said. It would be wise to accept the conditions of peace and mercy offered, and especially when presented by One whom you have rebelled against, One powerful enough to tear you in pieces, for so is Shaddai, our King. When He is angry, nothing can stand before Him.

“Even if you say you have not sinned or acted in rebellion against our King, all of your actions since the day you cast aside His service (this was the beginning of your sin) sufficiently testify against you. (If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:10)

“What else do you think it means when you listen to the tyrant and even accept him as your king? What else can it mean when you reject the Laws of Shaddai and obey Diabolus? For that matter, what else can it mean when you shut your gates and take up arms against us, the faithful servants of your King? (And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by the hand of his messengers, rising up early, and sending because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God and despised his words and misused his prophets until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, and there was no remedy. – 2 Chronicles 36:15-16)

“Be governed by the King then and accept my brother’s invitation. Don’t think the price too high. Accept His mercy and agree with your adversary quickly. Ah, Mansoul! Don’t forbid or hinder yourself from accepting His mercy, for if you do, you will run into a thousand miseries by the flattering tricks of Diabolus. Perhaps he has even deceived you into thinking we seek our own reward in what we do here today. Let me tell you clearly, that is not the case. We are here in obedience to our King and His love for you. We desire your happiness. That is the reason for this undertaking.

“Again I say to you, Mansoul, think about it. Is it anything but amazing grace that Shaddai should humble Himself in this way now? That through us He attempts to earnestly petition and reason with you by agreeable persuasions, so you will subject yourselves to Him? Does He need anything from you? No. But we are sure you have need of Him. He is merciful, and it is His will that Mansoul turn to Him to live and not die.” (The Lord is not late concerning his promise, as some count lateness, but is patient with us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9)

Captain Judgment stepped forth dressed in red. The symbol on his shield was the burning fiery furnace. He said, “Inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, you who have lived so long in rebellion and committed acts of treason against King Shaddai. Know that we came here today, in this manner, not to carry our own message or to inflict pain or injury because of our own quarrel with you. It is the King, my Master, who has sent us to bring you back to obedience to Him. If you refuse to surrender in a peaceable way, we have authority to use force to urge you to do so.

“And never think to yourselves or allow the tyrant Diabolus to persuade you to think our King is not able, for by His power He is able to bring you down to lay you beneath His feet. For He is so powerful that if He even touches the mountains, they smoke. (Let the glory of the LORD endure for ever; let the LORD rejoice in his works. He looks on the earth, and it trembles: he touches the mountains, and they smoke. – Psalm 104:31-32)

“Know this too, that the King’s disposition to forgive or spare will not always remain before you like an open gate, for the day is before Him that burns like an oven. It comes quickly and does not slumber. (Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:6-7)

“O Mansoul, is it trivial in your eyes that our King offers you mercy, even after so many provocations? He still holds out His golden scepter of grace to you and will not allow His gate to be shut against you yet. (For he saith, I have heard thee in an acceptable time, and in the day of saving health I have succoured thee; behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of saving health. – 2 Corinthians 6:2) Will you then provoke Him to do it? If so, consider what I’m telling you now; the way will not be opened to you forever.

“Even if you say you will not see or stand before Him, judgment is still His. Therefore, trust in Him, for I tell you plainly, wrath is to come. (But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to everyone according to his deeds. – Romans 2:5-6) Be aware of this and fear, for He may take you away with one blow, and once this happens, even a great ransom cannot deliver you.

“Will He judge the merit of your riches? No, not when it comes to things like gold or forces of strength. He has prepared His throne for judgment, for He will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind to render His anger with fury and His rebukes with flames of fire. (For, behold, the LORD will come with fire and with his chariots like a whirlwind to render his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire. – Isaiah 66:15) For this reason, Mansoul, pay attention to our message. After you have fulfilled the judgment of the wicked, justice and judgment will take hold of you.”

Now while Captain Judgment delivered his speech to the town of Mansoul, some noticed Diabolus trembling at the captain’s words while he continued building his case. “O you woeful town, Mansoul, do you still refuse to open your gate to receive us? We are the deputies of your King and would rejoice to see you live. Can your heart continue on in this condition without perishing? Or can you remain strong on the day He pronounces your judgment? I ask – can you bear to be forced to drink from the sea of wrath that our King has prepared for Diabolus and his angels? Think about this briefly and decide what you must do.”

Then the fourth captain, the noble Captain Execution, stepped forward. “Town of Mansoul, you were once famous but now are like a fruitless branch. You were once delightful and praised for excellence, but now you are nothing but a den for Diabolus. Listen and pay attention to the words I speak in the name of the great Shaddai. Be aware that the axe is laid at the root of the trees. Every tree that doesn’t bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. (And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; every tree therefore which does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. – Luke 3:9) O town of Mansoul, until this time, you have been this fruitless tree. You bear nothing but thorns and briars. Your evil fruit shows you are not a good tree; your grape clusters are extremely bitter. You have rebelled against your King, and look!” Captain Execution made a wide, sweeping gesture toward the troops standing with him. “The power and force of Shaddai stands before you. We are the axe laid to your root. What do you say? Will you change sides?”

No one answered. After a pause, the captain said, “I ask one more time. Tell me before the first blow is struck: Will you turn to follow your King? Our axe must first be laid to your root as a clear threat – one you should not disregard. If you do, it will be laid at your root, and judgment will be carried out. Between the positioning of the axe and judgment, your repentance is required.” (But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed and keep all my statutes and live according to judgment and righteousness, he shall surely live, he shall not die. – Ezekiel 18:21)

“Your time is up. What will you do? Will you turn or shall I strike? If I bring my blow against you, Mansoul, down you’ll go, for I have authority to lay my axe at and to your roots. Nothing but surrendering to our King will prevent the execution of His plan. If mercy does not prevent it, you are only fit to be hewn down and cast into the fire and burned.

“Be aware that the King’s patience and restraint won’t prevent the consequences of your actions forever. In His loving-kindness He may delay a year, or two, or three, but if you provoke Him by rebelling for three years, and you’ve already done this and more, then what can you expect but the order to ‘Cut it down’? And after that, you shall be cut down. (Then he said unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none; cut it down; why does it cumber the ground? – Luke 13:7)

“Do you think what I’m telling you is nothing more than idle threats? Or that our King isn’t powerful enough to bring what He has said to pass? Mansoul, you will find that when sinners make light of the words of our King, they soon learn the threats are real. His words are filled not only with impending wrath but also with burning coals of fire.

“You have been totally worthless for a long while already. Do you plan to continue to live this way? It is because of your sin that this army stands at your walls. We remain here ready to bring judgment and, with it, punishment to your town. Is this what you really want? You have heard what the captains have said, but still your gates are shut to us. Speak out, Mansoul, and give us your answer. Will you accept conditions of peace or do you plan to continue on in your sin?”

Mansoul refused to hear these bold speeches from the four noble captains, and even though the sound of the words beat against Ear-gate, the force wasn’t enough to break it open. (We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God does not hear us. – 1 John 4:6) The town said, “We desire time to prepare our answer to the demands laid down by the captains.”

The captains, in turn, agreed to more time, but only if Mansoul was willing to turn over to them Ill-Pause, so they could repay him according to his works. If Mansoul refused to cast him out over the wall, however, the captains would not consider allotting more time. They said, “We know that as long as Ill-Pause draws breath in Mansoul, all good, serious deliberation will be put to shame and silenced, and nothing but harm will result.”

Now remember, while all this was going on, Diabolus was present. Being unwilling to lose Ill-Pause because he was his orator, Diabolus decided rashly to answer them on his own at that very instant. However, before he opened his mouth, he changed his mind and commanded the current Mayor, the Lord Incredulity, to do it. He said, “Give these vagabonds an answer and be sure to speak out loud enough that Mansoul can hear and understand you.”

So at Diabolus’s command, Incredulity spoke to the townsfolk of Mansoul and said, “Gentlemen, you can see what we have here are interlopers trying to take from our prince the lawful and peaceable enjoyment of his right as our prince.”

Then he turned his attention to the captains and armies and said, “You are disturbing the town of Mansoul. You have camped against it, but we don’t know where you’ve come from, and we will never know where you come from or what you are. We will not believe! You come here delivering terrible threats in your speeches and claim you have authority from Shaddai to do so. (I say unto you, He that hears my word and believes him that sent me has eternal life and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death unto life. – John 5:24) But what right does He have to command you to do it? That is what we don’t understand.

“By this same authority, you have also called this town to desert her lord and, for protection, to surrender to the great Shaddai your King. In the same breath, you tell her if she will do it, He will not charge her with her past sins. Further, you have terrorized the town of Mansoul and threatened her with great and violent destruction as punishment if she doesn’t consent to do as you command.

“Now, captains, from wherever it is you come, and even if your plans and purpose are right, know this – neither my Lord Diabolus, nor I, his servant, Incredulity, nor our brave Mansoul have any regard for either you, your message, or the King you say sent you. We do not fear His power, His greatness, or His vengeance. Nor will we surrender at all to your commands.

“As for the war you threaten to make against us, when that happens, we will defend ourselves as well as we can. So know we are not without the ability to attempt to defy you. And I won’t drag this out, so let me make it clear. We think you are nothing more than some vagabond rebel troop, which has shaken off obedience to your King. Now you have gathered in a riotous manner and are roving from place to place to see if you can convince some silly town, city, or country to desert their place and leave it to you, based on the flatteries you are so skilled at making on the one hand. Then on the other hand, you deliver threats in the hope of frightening us. I tell you now, Mansoul is not one of them.

“I conclude with this. We do not dread you. We do not fear you, nor will we obey your missive. Our gates will remain closed to you, for we intend to keep you out. (The wise man fears and departs from evil, but the fool rages and is confident. – Proverbs 14:16) Nor will we put up with you sitting before our gate for long, for our people must live in quiet. Your very appearance prevents that because the sight of you disturbs them. Therefore arise, gather your belongings, and be gone, or we will unleash an attack against you from the walls.”

This proclamation made by old Incredulity was seconded by desperate Willbewill. “Gentlemen,” he said, “we have heard your demands and the clamor of your threats. We’ve heard your summons, but we do not fear your force, nor do we regard your threats. We have no intention to change and will continue to live in the same manner in which you found us.” (I have seen this people, and for certain it is a stiffnecked people. – Exodus 32:9) He raised his voice a bit more forcefully. “Now we command [_you _]to leave these parts within three days’ time, or you shall learn firsthand what it means to rouse the lion Diabolus when asleep in his town of Mansoul.”

The Recorder, whose name was Forget-Good, also added his outlook. He said, “As you can see, my lords have answered your rough and angry speeches with mild and gentle words. In my own hearing, they have asked you to depart quietly and to return to wherever it is you came from. Understand that we could come out against you with force and strike a blow with our swords, but we love to live free of any unrest or annoyance and so desire to love and not to hurt or trouble others. Therefore, accept their kind offering and be gone.”

In response to this, the town of Mansoul rang the bells, celebrated, danced upon the walls, and shouted for joy as if Diabolus and his crew had gotten the upper hand over the captains.

Satisfied with this response, Diabolus returned to the castle, and the Mayor and Recorder also went home. However, Willbewill stayed and took special care to be sure the gates were secured. He doubled the guards, put in place twice as many bolts, and doubled the locks and bars. He especially paid attention to securing the Ear-gate because the King’s forces sought most to enter that gate.

Willbewill promoted old Mr. Prejudice, an angry, ill-tempered fellow, to captain the area at that gate. Then he placed sixty deaf men under his authority, for they were strategically beneficial for that particular service, because anything the captains or soldiers had to say would not matter, because they could not hear it. (Yet he sent prophets to them to bring them again unto the LORD, and they testified against them, but they would not give ear. – 2 Chronicles 24:19)

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Chapter 7

Winter in Mansoul

Now when the captains heard the answer of those over Mansoul and saw they couldn’t get a hearing from the old natives of the town, it was clear Mansoul was determined to battle the King’s army. They prepared to pursue them in battle and win them by the power and influence of the army.

First, they fortified their troops against Ear-gate, because they knew that unless they could penetrate that gate, no good could be done for the town. After they finished positioning troops at Ear-gate, they put the rest of their men in strategic places. Then they passed this message on with a shout, “You must be born again!” (Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a person be born again from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God. – John 3:3) They followed this with the sounding of the trumpet. Those in the town answered them with shout for shout, order against order, and so the battle began. (And when ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets. – Numbers 10:9a)

Now those in the town had installed two great guns upon the tower over Ear-gate. The one gun was called High-Mind and the other Heady. They put much trust in these two weapons, which were cast in the castle by Diabolus’s founder, Puff-Up. He was one skilled in casting metals in various forms; he crafted these guns to do much harm, with which the townsfolk meant to annoy the camp of Shaddai and secure the gate. However, the captains’ vigilant and watchful eyes spotted the guns straightaway, and they were prepared. As a result, the shots whizzed by their ears without doing them harm. The townsmen also had other small fragments which they made use of against the camp of Shaddai, but other than that, they didn’t accomplish much to boast about.

The King’s captains had brought with them several slings used to throw stones and two or three battering rams. With these instruments of war, those from the camp returned fire upon the town and targeted Ear-gate. They performed their duty with such strength of purpose that, in truth, it could only be described as valor. They battered the houses and people of the town, and with their rams they sought to break Ear-gate open, for they knew that unless they broke open Ear-gate, battering the wall would be futile.

The First Attack on Ear Gate

The camp and the town had several skirmishes and brisk encounters. The captains made numerous brave attempts to break open or beat down the tower over Ear-gate with their instruments of war. But Mansoul stood her ground, as they drew energy from the rage of Diabolus, the bravery of Willbewill, and the actions of old Incredulity. Plus, the Mayor and Mr. Forget-Good, the Recorder, encouraged them by saying Mansoul had “regained the advantage” and that the “King’s side seems to be losing this summer’s wars.”

When the captains saw how it was going, they made a clean retreat and entrenched themselves in their winter quarters. While you might think there was much loss on both sides of the battle in this war, this is what happened.

The King’s captains, when they marched from the court to come up against Mansoul, had crossed through the country. On the way, they happened upon three young fellows who desired to become soldiers. They were polite men, who looked to be men of courage and skill. Their names were Tradition (Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. – Mark 7:9), Human-Wisdom (There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. – Proverbs 16:25), and Man’s-Invention (And now they sin more and more, and of their silver they have made molten images according to their own intelligence, idols, all of it the work of the craftsmen. – Hosea 13:2a). These three approached the captains and offered their services to Shaddai. The captains explained their plans and suggested the young men not be too hasty with their offers.

But the three said, “We have considered our decision for some time, for we have heard about your plans. We purposely came to meet you with the hope that we might be enlisted under your charge.”

Captain Boanerges studied them, as he considered their offer, and because they seemed to be men of courage, he enlisted them into his company, and away they went to the war. Now, when the war began, during one of the briskest skirmishes, a company of the Lord Willbewill’s men rushed out from a back gate and attacked Captain Boanerges’s men from the rear. These three fellows happened to be at the back of the ranks; during this heated skirmish, they were taken as prisoners and carried away into the town.

They hadn’t been there long when talk of their capture spread through the streets with people saying, “Lord Willbewill’s men have taken three notable prisoners out of the camp of Shaddai.” This news about the prisoners finally reached the ears of Diabolus in his castle, and Diabolus called for Willbewill to learn the details of this matter.

Willbewill gave his account of the battle and the capture of the three men, and when he’d finished, the giant sent for the prisoners. When they appeared before him, Diabolus demanded, “Who are you? Where did you come from? And what did you do in the camp of Shaddai?”

The three prisoners didn’t hesitate to answer. When they finished, he sent them back to prison under guard. Not many days later, he sent for them again. This time he asked if they would be willing to serve him against their former captains. The three looked at each other, shrugged, and nodded. This offer seemed agreeable to them. They said, “We don’t so much live by religion as by the fates of fortune. Since his lordship is willing to treat us with hospitality, we are willing to serve him.” (And his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after greed, receiving bribes and perverting that which is right. – 1 Samuel 8:3)

Diabolus then sent these men to one Captain Anything with a note to receive them into his company. This captain, known for performing whatever needed to be done in the town of Mansoul, read the note, which said:

My Dearest Anything,

The three men carrying this letter desire to serve me in the war. I know no better command to entrust them to than yours. Receive them in my name and make use of them against Shaddai and His men as needed.

Farewell

So Anything received the young men and made two of them sergeants. However, the third, Man’s-Invention, he made his flag bearer.

While all this was going on, the camp of Shaddai continued their assault upon the town of Mansoul. They beat down the roof of the Lord Mayor’s house, and with a sling they almost slew Willbewill, but he made a turn for the better and recovered. However, not everyone was so fortunate, for the captains had made a notable slaughter among the aldermen. With just one shot they cut off six of them, including Mr. Swearing, Mr. Whoring, Mr. Fury, Mr. Stand-to-Lies, Mr. Drunkenness, and Mr. Cheating. They also took out the two guns upon the tower over Ear-gate and laid them flat in the dirt.

As I mentioned earlier, the King’s noble captains had pulled back to their winter quarters. They entrenched themselves with all their supplies and situated their troops to bring the best advantage to their King. The greatest annoyance to the enemy, while they were embedded in this way, was the captains’ passionate outcries to the town of Mansoul about the impending wrath to come and the mercy offered by the King. (The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion, but his favour is as dew upon the grass. – Proverbs 19:12) This plan hit the mark, as they did all they could to trouble the town.

Mansoul could no longer sleep without fear, and they were unable to enjoy excess pleasures of the table like gluttony and overindulgence. The war also prevented them from participating in habitual lewdness and the excessive pleasures of lust, as they had in the past.

The fervent messages from the camp of Shaddai came frequently with terrifying warnings upon warnings. First they were heard at one gate and then delivered at another and then again at all the gates at once. With such frequent threats of things to come when the nights were at their longest and the weather the coldest, the townsfolk no longer enjoyed peace as they once did. Consequently, that winter was most unseasonable for the town of Mansoul.

Sometimes the trumpets sounded, and from time to time, the slings whirled stones into the town. At times, ten thousand of the King’s soldiers ran round the walls of Mansoul at midnight, shouting a battle cry. Occasionally, some in the town were wounded, and their mournful cries multiplied, to the great annoyance of the now-languishing town of Mansoul. Yes, those in Mansoul were very distressed with those who laid siege against them. I dare say even Diabolus, their king, lost much sleep.

In these days, new opinions began to run counter one to another in the minds of the men of the town of Mansoul. Some would say, “There’s no living like this.”

Others would reply, “This will be over shortly.”

Then a third would pipe up and say, “Let us turn to King Shaddai and put an end to these troubles.”

But a fourth came in with fear and said, “I doubt He will receive us.”

The old gentleman, Mr. Conscience, who served as the Recorder before Diabolus took Mansoul, also began to talk aloud. His words were like great claps of thunder to the town of Mansoul. No other outcry heard in the town was as dreadful as his, especially when combined with the noise of the soldiers and the shouting of the captains. (To whom shall I speak, and give warning that they may hear? behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken, behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. – Jeremiah 6:10)

Within the town, things began to grow scarce. The things her soul lusted after were vanishing and pleasant things were being damaged and burned. Instead of beauty, wrinkles with signs of the shadow of death etched the faces of the inhabitants of Mansoul. How Mansoul longed to enjoy quietness and satisfaction of mind once again while joined with the most contemptible condition in the world!

During the deep winter, the captains sent a message by the mouth of Boanerges’s trumpeter. It was a missive to Mansoul to surrender to the great King Shaddai. They not only sent him once, but three times in hopes there might be some willingness to submit in Mansoul – that they might see things differently in response to the invitation. (And the LORD has sent unto you all his slaves the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. – Jeremiah 25:4)

As far as I could gather, the town would have surrendered before this time if it hadn’t been for the resistance of old Incredulity and the fickle thoughts of Willbewill. Diabolus also began to talk in a manner contrary to reason, and therefore Mansoul didn’t come together in agreement regarding surrender. They remained distressed under a host of perplexing fears.

As I told you, over the winter, the King’s army sent three times to Mansoul to submit herself to Shaddai. The first time the trumpeter went, he carried words of peace, telling them the noble captains of Shaddai felt pity for the perishing town. He expressed deep sorrow at Mansoul’s misery and was troubled to see them so strongly resist their own deliverance. The trumpeter told them, “The captains told me to tell you that if poor Mansoul will humble herself and turn to Shaddai, her former rebellions and most notorious treasons will be forgiven and forgotten by your merciful King.” (If my people, upon whom my name is invoked, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from the heavens and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14)

He went on to tell them not to act against their own best interest but to guard against standing in their own way, for it would only make them losers. Once the message was delivered, he returned to the camp.

The second time the trumpeter went to Mansoul, he treated them a little more harshly. After he sounded the trumpet, he told them their continuing rebellion provoked and inflamed the spirit of the captains who were committed to victoriously acquiring Mansoul or to give their lives in the effort. (Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD, that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. – Jeremiah 25:7)

When he went the third time, he dealt with them even more directly, telling them that because they had been so entirely irreverent and impure, he didn’t know whether the captains would be inclined to show mercy or judgment. “They only commanded me to give you an order to open the gates to them.” With his message delivered, he returned to the camp once again.

The Third Summons

These three summonses, especially the last two, distressed the town so much that they decided to gather to deliberate and share their opinions as to what to do. The result was this: Lord Willbewill would go up to Ear-gate and sound the trumpet to call the captains of the camp to come and engage in a mutual conversation.

So Willbewill sounded the trumpet from the wall, and the captains arrived, dressed in their armor with their ten thousands. Everything appeared favorable. The townsmen told the captains, “We have heard and considered your summons and are willing to come to an agreement with you and your King Shaddai. However, we will only do so based on certain terms, articles, and propositions. By the order of our prince, we have been appointed to offer the following terms for consideration. We will agree to be one people with you upon these grounds:

“First, that Lord Mayor, Mr. Forget-Good, and the brave Willbewill might be the governors of the town, castle, and gates of Mansoul under Shaddai.

“Second, that no men who now serve under our great giant Diabolus will be thrown out of their homes or shelters by Shaddai, and that they be allowed to enjoy the freedom they have experienced until now in the famous town of Mansoul.

“Third, that the town of Mansoul will enjoy the same rights and privileges we’ve had formerly under the reign of King Diabolus, who is now and long has been our only lord and great defender.

“Fourth, that no new law, officer, or executioner of law or office will have any power over us, unless by our choice and with our consent.

“These are our propositions – our conditions of peace. Upon these terms, we will submit to your King.” Willbewill finished with his head held high.

When the captains heard this weak and feeble offer of the town of Mansoul with their abstruse and bold demands, once again the noble Captain Boanerges addressed them. “O inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, when I heard your trumpet signaling us to come and discuss terms, I can truly say I was glad. And when you said you were willing to submit yourselves to our King and Lord, it pleased my heart even more. However, by your silly conditions and foolish, frivolous objections, you have laid the stumbling block of your iniquity before your own faces. (Son of man, these men have caused their uncleanness to come up over their heart and have established the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? – Ezekiel 14:3) My gladness turned to sorrow, and my rising hope of your return faded into a dreaded expectation of evil.

“I think old Ill-Pause, the ancient enemy of Mansoul, is the one who drew up such proposals, as you now present to us as terms of an agreement, but they don’t deserve to be heard by any man who claims to serve Shaddai. Therefore, we jointly and with the highest disdain, refuse and reject such things as the greatest of iniquities. (For he flatters himself in his own eyes until his iniquity is found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit; he has left off to be wise and to do good. – Psalm 36:2-3)

“But, Mansoul, if you give yourselves into our hands, or rather into the hands of our King and trust Him and agree to His terms, I dare say you will find them to be most profitable for you. For when you come on His terms, we will receive you and be at peace with you. However, if you do not place yourselves in the arms of Shaddai our King and rely on Him, then nothing has changed. Things are as they were before, and as a result, we know what we must do.”

Old Incredulity, the Lord Mayor, grew red in the face and cried out to Mansoul, “And who, being free of their enemies, as we are now, would be so foolish as to relinquish the staff of authority out of their own hands into the hands of they know not whom? I, for my part, will never surrender to such unlimited terms. After all, we don’t know how their King executes law or justice, nor do we know the nature of His mind, particularly with regard to cravings and affections.

“It is said by some that He will be angry with His subjects if, by chance, they step away from His ways or plan for how to live regarding one’s behavior in even the smallest way. Others say He requires much more from them than they can do. Therefore, it seems, Mansoul, it is wise for you to regard with care what you do in this matter, because once you surrender, you give up yourselves to another, and you are no longer your own. And to give yourselves up to an unlimited power goes against all reason. Think about it. You may indeed repent now, but once you do, you can never utter expressions of criticism or resentment. There can be no complaining or finding fault. Do you know that once you are His, which of you He will kill or which He will let live? You don’t even know whether He might strike every one of us dead and send for new people to come and repopulate in order to establish His own country and have them come live in this town.”

This speech of the Lord Mayor brought the people low and dashed their hopes of an agreement. Because of this, the captains returned to their trenches, to their tents, and to their men, and the Mayor went back to the castle and to his king.

Now Diabolus had waited for his return, because he had heard that each side had reiterated their points. So when the Lord Mayor walked into the chamber of state, Diabolus greeted him. “Welcome, my lord. How did matters go between you and them today?”

Lord Incredulity presented himself to his king with a low, ceremonious bow and gave him an account of the whole matter, saying this is what the captains of Shaddai said, and this is what he said.

Upon hearing what had transpired, Diabolus became very pleased. He commended Incredulity by saying, “Lord Mayor, my faithful Incredulity, you have made your loyalty evident more than ten times already, and I have never found you untrue. I promise you, if we collide with Shaddai’s army over this contention, I will place you in a position far better than Lord Mayor of Mansoul. I will make you my universal deputy, and next to me, you will have all nations under your supervision. You shall restrain them with chains so they cannot resist you. None of our subjects shall walk at liberty any longer, except for those who are content to walk in your shackles.”

Now the Lord Mayor left Diabolus’s chamber with a smile on his face, for he had obtained the king’s high regard. He returned to his house feeling dignified and exalted, and anticipated the time when his greatness would be expanded. (Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18)

Now it turned out that even though the Lord Mayor and Diabolus agreed on this plan, this rejection of the brave captains put Mansoul into an uprising. So while old Incredulity went into the castle to congratulate his lord regarding all that took place, something else they were quite unaware of was happening.

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Chapter 8

Diabolus Offers Compromise

News of all that occurred at Ear-gate had reached the ears of Lord Understanding, the old mayor who held that position before Diabolus came to the town, and the old Recorder, Mr. Conscience. They were not permitted to attend that debate, because Diabolus feared they would refuse to obey his orders in favor of the captains. But even though they were not there, they received word about all that was said and done. Understanding and Conscience were concerned about what had transpired. They gathered some of the town, helped them see the reasonableness of the noble captains’ demands, and helped them grasp the bad consequences that would result from the speech old Incredulity had delivered. They pointed out how little reverence he showed to either the captains or their King in what he said and how he indirectly charged them with unfaithfulness and treachery.

“What else could they think He meant when He said He would not concede to their proposition?” the two reasoned. “Likewise, he concluded King Shaddai would destroy us when, in fact, He sent word He would show us mercy!” (He shall have mercy on the poor and destitute and shall save the souls of the poor in spirit. – Psalm 72:13)

The multitude listened to the evidence presented by Understanding and Conscience and were convinced that what old Incredulity had done was evil. They began to meet in groups on every street corner and throughout Mansoul. First, they talked quietly among themselves, but then started to talk openly. Finally, they went back and forth throughout the town crying out, “Oh, the brave captains of Shaddai! We wish we were under the authority of the captains and of Shaddai their King!”

When Lord Mayor Incredulity received news that Mansoul was in an uproar, he hurried down to calm the people. He thought he could pacify their enthusiasm by his importance and the look on his face, but when they saw him, they were not impressed by any such thing. They approached to attack him, and without a doubt they would have done him harm if he hadn’t hurried to his house. The people followed him there and battered the house, trying to pull it down around him. However, their efforts failed because the house was solid and strong. So Incredulity took courage and spoke to the people from one of the windows. “Gentlemen,” he said, “what is the reason for this violent uproar today?”

Old Incredulity Assailed by Understanding

Lord Understanding answered, “It is because you and your master have not led according to truth and fact, as you should in regard to the captains of Shaddai. (No one calls for righteousness, nor do any judge by the truth; they trust in vanity, and speak vanities; they conceive trouble and bring forth iniquity. – Isaiah 59:4) You are guilty of three things.

“First, you did not allow Mr. Conscience or me to attend the hearing of your speech. Secondly, you offered terms of peace to the captains that by no means could be granted, unless they intended Shaddai should be a prince in title only, and that Mansoul should live on in the unlawful indulgence of lust, lewdness, and adultery, and in the empty pursuit of things to satisfy their desires. (The way of peace they did not know; nor is there anything straight about their ways; they have willfully made themselves crooked paths; whosoever goes therein shall not know peace. – Isaiah 59:8) It is easy to see that would result in Diabolus still being in power here while Shaddai would only be king in name. Thirdly, after the captains revealed the conditions by which they would mercifully receive us, you ruined it with your disgusting and ungodly speech which was not suited to the time or occasion.”

When old Incredulity heard this response, he cried out, “Treason! Treason! To arms! To arms! O you who are trusted friends of Diabolus in Mansoul!”

Understanding said, “Sir, you can try to twist my words to mean what you please, but I am sure the captains of such a high lord as theirs deserves better treatment than what you are giving.”

Old Incredulity frowned. “That’s a little better, sir.” He held his chin a little higher and said, “What I said, I said for my prince, for his government, and to quiet the people, whom you have caused to rebel against us by your unlawful actions.”

The old Recorder, Mr. Conscience, said, “Sir, you must not answer Lord Understanding in such a way. It is evident enough that he speaks the truth and you are an enemy to Mansoul. Be assured that your rude, disrespectful language is evil, and you have caused the captains grief. You have caused Mansoul harm because, if you had accepted the conditions they offered, the warning of the trumpet and the terror of war would have already ceased around Mansoul. But that dreadful sound continues because of the lack of wisdom in your speech.” (My people were cut off because they lacked wisdom; because thou hast rejected wisdom, I will cast thee out of the priesthood. – Hosea 4:6a)

Old Incredulity answered with a snarl. “Sir, if I live through this, I will deliver your message to Diabolus, and then you shall have an answer. Until then, we will seek the good of the town and will not be asking advice from you.” He jabbed his finger at the Lord Mayor.

Understanding was not thwarted by Incredulity’s response. He said, “Sir, your prince and you are foreigners to Mansoul. By your actions you have brought us into greater difficulties. Be aware the only way you can be safe is to flee. Leave us and manage the best you can on your own or set us on fire and disappear in the smoke or leave by the light of our burning. Either way, just leave us in our ruins.”

Understanding’s words soured the expression of Incredulity’s face further. “Sir, you forget you are under a governor. Me!” He slapped his palm against his chest. “You ought to behave like a subject. You can be sure when my lord the king hears about what you’ve done here today, he will be displeased.”

Now while these gentlemen engaged in scolding reprimands, Lord Willbewill, Mr. Prejudice, old Ill-Pause, and several of the newly appointed magistrates came down from the town’s walls and gates. They asked, “What is the reason for all this chaos and great uproar?”

Everyone began to answer at once. In the riotous confusion, nothing could be heard distinctly. After they ordered silence, sly old Incredulity spoke first. He said, “My lord, here are a couple of irritable, cranky gentlemen, who by their bad dispositions and complaining, and I fear through the advice of one Mr. Discontent, have gathered this crowd against me. They have attempted to drive the town into acts of rebellion against our prince.”

All the Diabolians who were present stood up and confirmed these things to be true.

When it became apparent to those who supported Lord Understanding and Mr. Conscience that things were turning for the worse, they stepped forward to help them. The crowd split with a multitude gathered on each side.

Those on Incredulity’s side shouted for the two old gentlemen to be taken away to prison, while those who supported them bellowed that they should not. The two sides proclaimed loudly whom they favored. The Diabolians shouted out support for old Incredulity, Forget-Good, the new magistrates, and the great one Diabolus. The other side yelled, “We support Shaddai, His Laws, the captains and their mercifulness, and commend their conditions and ways!”

This bickering went on for a while until their heated words turned to blows with fists flying on both sides. Good old Mr. Conscience was knocked down twice by one of the Diabolians, whose name was Benumbing. And Lord Understanding had a close call with a handgun, but thankfully, the one who shot it was a poor aim.

The other side didn’t escape unscathed, for Mr. Rashhead, a Diabolian, had his brains beaten out by Mr. Mind, Lord Willbewill’s servant. And I laughed to see old Mr. Prejudice kicked and tumbled about in the dirt, because he had done nothing but hurt and damage to the town since he’d been made captain of a company of Diabolians. As they tumbled about, he fell beneath their feet, and some of Lord Understanding’s party cracked the top of his head.

Mr. Anything proved lively in the noisy conflict, but both sides were against him because he never remained true to either side. For his bold friendship with both sides, he had one of his legs broken, and the one who did it wished it had been his neck.

The skirmish went on and more harm befell both sides. It was a wonder to see Lord Willbewill act so indifferently. He didn’t seem to favor one side more than another, though one could see a smile play across his lips when old Prejudice took a tumble in the dirt. And when Captain Anything came limping up before him, he took little notice of him.

The uproar finally died down, and Diabolus sent for Lord Understanding and Mr. Conscience. He treated them harshly and threw them in prison, charging them as the ringleaders of this violent, unlawful riot in Mansoul. (And that which is right has departed, and righteousness withdrew afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity could not enter. And the truth was taken captive; and he that departed from evil was imprisoned. – Isaiah 59:14-15a) With these two men out of the way, Diabolus hoped the town would settle down again, but this situation did not serve that purpose, for war was in all the gates.

Understanding and Conscience Sent to Prison

Let us return to the captains in our story. When they retreated from the gate and arrived back at the camp, they called a council of war to discuss what more they could do. Some said, “Don’t waste time. Let’s rush upon the town.” The majority of them, however, thought it better to go to the town again and ask them to surrender, because it appeared Mansoul was leaning more in that direction than before. They reasoned, “If we offend them by acting rashly in a fit of temper, we may push even those who are inclined to follow us from agreeing with our call to follow the King.”

They all agreed with this advice and called a trumpeter. They gave him the message to deliver, bid him Godspeed, and sent him on his way. Not many hours later, the trumpeter neared the wall of the town and headed to Ear-gate where he sounded his trumpet as he was commanded.

Those within Mansoul came out to see what was the matter, and the trumpeter delivered his speech. “O hard-hearted and wretched town of Mansoul, how long will you love the ease of your sinful, sinful life? And how long will you delight in your ignorance? (How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and the fools hate knowledge? – Proverbs 1:22) Do you still despise offers of peace and deliverance? Do you still refuse the precious offers of Shaddai and trust the lies of Diabolus? Do you think when Shaddai conquers you, and you remember the way you acted towards Him, that such memories will bring you peace and comfort? Or do you think by your disturbing language you can make Him bound away like a grasshopper? Why do you think He pleads to you? Do you think it is because of fear that you are stronger than He?” (Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of the hosts is his name: he shall thoroughly plead their cause that he may give rest to the land. – Jeremiah 50:34)

He gestured with an outstretched arm to the sky. “Look to the heavens. See the stars and consider how high they are. Can you stop the sun from running its course, or hinder the moon from giving light? Can you count the number of the stars or stop the rains of heaven? Can you call for the waters of the sea to cover the face of the ground? Can you see every person who is proud and blindfold their faces in secret? (Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Cause me to know, if thou hast understanding. Who ordered its dimensions, if thou knowest? Or who has stretched the line upon it? Upon what are its foundations founded? Or who laid its corner stone; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked searching out the deep? – Job 38:4-8, 16)

“Yet these very things are just some of the works of our King, in whose name we call upon you this day, so you may be brought under His authority. In His name, therefore, I summon you again to surrender to His captains.”

When he finished delivering his speech, the Mansoulians seemed unsure of how to answer. Diabolus didn’t want to give them time to think about it, so he took it upon himself to answer. First, he addressed his speech to the Mansoulians.

“Gentlemen,” he offered them a toothy smile, “and my faithful subjects, think about it. If what this summoner has said concerning the greatness of their King is true, by His awful majesty, which is calculated to strike fear in the hearts of man, you will always be kept in bondage. As a result, you will be forced to sneak about to do what you want to do. Even now, while He is at a distance, how can you bear to think of such a mighty One? And if you can’t bear to think of Him while He is at a distance, how will you ever tolerate being in His presence?” He rubbed his palms together eagerly. “Instead, think about what is advantageous for you.” He gestured toward them with an inclusive sweep of his hand. “Remember the freedoms from obligations I have granted you – all of you.

“If all this man has said is true, how come the subjects of Shaddai are enslaved wherever they go? No one else in the universe is as unhappy or trampled upon as them.

“My dear Mansoul,” he reached toward them with outstretched arms, “wouldn’t you hate to leave me as much as I would hate to leave you? Think about it, for the choice is now yours. It’s your play. You have the freedom to do what you want. If you know how to use that wisdom, then you’ll discover how to love and obey your king.”

When they heard this speech, the town of Mansoul hardened their hearts again even more against the captains of Shaddai, because thoughts of Shaddai’s greatness overwhelmed them. Thinking about His holiness sunk them into despair. (And all the people saw the thunderings and the lightnings and the noise of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us lest we die. – Exodus 20:18-19)

After consulting together, those of the Diabolian party sent the trumpeter back to the captains with this message: As far as they were concerned, they planned to stick with their king and never surrender to Shaddai. They went on to say that from their way of thinking, it was pointless for the captains to deliver any further summons, for they would rather die where they were than surrender. (O sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, generation of evildoers, corrupt sons! They have forsaken the Lord; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger; they have turned back. – Isaiah 1:4)

Now, based on this report, Mansoul seemed out of reach once again, but the captains knew what their Lord could do and did not lose hope. They sent another summons to Mansoul, sterner than the last, but the more they tried to reconcile Mansoul to Shaddai, the more the people responded by going further from them, even though they called them to the Most High. (But now, having known God, or rather being known of God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, in which ye desire again to be in slavery? – Galatians 4:9)

So they ceased dealing with them in this manner, and going forward they searched for another way to reach Mansoul. The captains gathered and talked freely among themselves to determine what they could do to gain the town and deliver it from the tyranny of Diabolus. They tossed about possible plans with one saying one thing and another something else.

Then the noble Captain Conviction stood up and said, “My brothers, this is what I think we should do. First, we must continue to employ our slings against the town to generate a sense of urgent alarm – to trouble them day and night. In this way, we shall curb their enthusiastic spirit, for even a lion can be tamed by continual provocation.

“Secondly, I suggest we come together and draw up a petition to our Lord Shaddai to make clear to our King the matters taking place here and the condition of Mansoul. We should beg His pardon for our lack of success, implore His Majesty’s help, and ask that He please send more forces and power. To be sure His Majesty doesn’t lose the ground He has gained and may complete His conquest of the town of Mansoul, we should ask Him to send a courageous, well-spoken commander to head them.”

The others agreed with everything the noble Captain Conviction said and arranged for a petition to be drawn up and sent by a runner to Shaddai with speed. This is what the petition said:

“Most gracious and glorious King, Lord of the world and builder of the town of Mansoul, we live in awe of You, our Sovereign King. At Your command, we willingly placed our lives in jeopardy. At Your bidding, we made war upon the famous town of Mansoul. When we went up against it, we followed our orders. First, we offered conditions of peace, but they did not accept our admonition. They shut their gates to keep us out of the town and chose to continue to live according to their own standards. They mounted guns, which they used to attack us and have done what they can to bring us harm. Even so, we warned them again and again and gave them notice that suitable retribution would fall upon them as a result. We have even executed some in the town.

“Diabolus, Incredulity, and Willbewill are, in large part, those who act against us. We are currently held up in our winter quarters, so at this time we can only badger and distress the town.

“As we think further about this situation, we realize if we’d had even one solid friend in the town, such a friend would have stepped up and supported the truth of our summons. Then the people might have surrendered themselves, but the town housed only enemies. No one spoke on behalf of our Lord. Even though we have done what we could, Mansoul still lives in a state of rebellion against You.

“Now, King of kings, please forgive us. For we, Your servants, have been unsuccessful and of no use to You in the desirable work of conquering Mansoul. For this reason, Lord, we ask that You send more forces and a man to lead them to Mansoul, so the town will both love and fear You and be subdued.

“We don’t speak this way because we want to abandon our post, for we are willing to lay down our lives for this war. We say these things because we desire the town of Mansoul to be won for You. With this in mind, we pray forces will be dispatched quickly in this matter, and after their conquest, we may have the opportunity to take part in some of Your other merciful plans. Amen.”

Once the petition was drawn up, they sent it away to the King by the hand of that good man, Mr. Love-to-Mansoul.

When this petition arrived at the King’s palace, it was delivered into the hand of the King’s Son. He opened the message and read it and thought it proper to carry the petition to the King Himself. After He bowed before His Father and delivered the petition, He stepped into His position of authority and spoke about His support of the petition.

Now when the King saw the petition, it gladdened His heart, and even more so when His Son supported it. It pleased Him to hear that His servants who camped against Mansoul were so zealous and sincere in the work He sent them to do, not to mention they were so unwavering in their determination and had already gained some ground near to the famous town. And when He finished reading the petition, the King called Emmanuel, His Son.

“I am here, My Father.”

The King said, “You know as well as I do the condition of Mansoul, what we have planned, and what You have done to purchase it back. (So also the Christ is offered once to take away the sins of many; and unto those that wait for him without sin he shall appear the second time unto saving health. – Hebrews 9:28) Come now, My Son, and prepare Yourself for the war, for I am sending You to My camp at Mansoul. You shall prosper and prevail and conquer the town of Mansoul.”

Emmanuel bowed His head in respect. “Your Law is within My heart. I delight to do Your will. (And this is the Father’s will who has sent me, that of all whom he has given me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, That every one who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. – John 6:39-40) This is the day I have waited for all this while. (For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward everyone according to their works. – Matthew 16:27) Please, grant me whatever force You in Your wisdom think proper, and I will go and deliver Your perishing Mansoul from Diabolus and from his power. (When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he shall sit upon the throne of his glory. – Matthew 25:31) My heart has often hurt for the miserable town of Mansoul, but now it rejoices and is glad.” (The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to preach good tidings unto those who are cast down; to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound. – Isaiah 61:1)

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Chapter 9

The Coming of Emmanuel

Emmanuel leaped over the mountains for joy and said, “Until now, I have held Mansoul very dear in My heart, but this day the need for vengeance is also in My heart for Mansoul, and I am very glad, Father, that You have made Me the captain of their salvation. (And it shall be said in that day, Behold, this is our God, whom we have waited for, and he has saved us: this is the LORD, whom we have waited for, we will be glad and rejoice in his saving health. – Isaiah 25:9) I will begin to afflict all those who have afflicted My town of Mansoul and will deliver it from their hand.”

After the King’s Son spoke to His Father in this way, news of what He said spread like lightning throughout the court. Soon, Emmanuel’s plan to go to the famous town of Mansoul and what He was going to do there was the only thing anyone talked about. Even the companions and advisors to the King were taken with the Prince’s plan and with the justness of the war. Everyone longed to serve under Emmanuel, even the highest lord and greatest noble of the kingdom. All wanted to go and help recover the miserable town of Mansoul again for Shaddai.

It was decided. News would be sent ahead to the camp to let the captains know Emmanuel was coming to claim Mansoul. (Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, and the angel of the covenant, whom ye desire: behold, he comes, said the LORD of the hosts. – Malachi 3:1) Oh, you should have seen how eager the high ones at court were to run like a servile footboy to carry this news to the camp at Mansoul.

When news arrived that the great King Shaddai was sending Emmanuel, His Son, and that Emmanuel was delighted at being sent on this errand, the captains showed their pleasure with a great shout loud enough to split the earth. The mountains echoed the sound, and even Diabolus tottered and shook. But as for the town of Mansoul, they were an unwise lot with minds bent on foolishness, dwelling chiefly on their pleasure and lust. For this reason, they weren’t concerned with this development. (The foolishness of man perverts his way, and his heart is wroth against the LORD. – Proverbs 19:3)

However, Diabolus, their governor, was disturbed. He had spies outside of Mansoul who brought him intelligence about everything. He had heard about the plans formulated against him and knew Emmanuel would arrive soon with power to invade him. Diabolus feared no other man – whether at court or a noble of the kingdom – the way he feared this Prince. For, if you remember, I showed you earlier that Diabolus had already felt the weight of His hand, and the memory of this made him even more afraid.

The time drew near for the King’s Son to depart from the court and set out to save Mansoul. His Father had made Him the captain of the forces, and His preparations were complete. He focused on marching out with five noble captains and their forces, whom He planned to take with Him.

The first captain, the famous Captain Credence, wore red colors, and Mr. Promise carried his standard. (O LORD, according unto thy word, which teaches me discernment and knowledge, for I have believed thy commandments. – Psalm 119:65b-66) The holy lamb was the symbol on his golden shield, and under his command he had ten thousand men.

The second captain of renown was Captain Good-Hope. (My soul, rest thou only in God, for my hope is from him. – Psalm 62:5) He wore the blue colors and his standard-bearer was Mr. Expectation. The three golden anchors marked his shield, and he too had ten thousand men under his command.

The third was the valiant Captain Charity. (Charity works no evil to a neighbor; therefore, charity is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:10) His standard-bearer was Mr. Pitiful and he wore the green colors. On his shield was the symbol of three naked orphans embraced against a bosom. He too brought with him ten thousand men.

The fourth was the gallant commander Captain Innocency. (Do all things without murmurings and doubts, that ye may be blameless and innocent. – Philippians 2:14-15a) His standard-bearer was Mr. Harmless. Captain Innocency wore white and on his shield were three golden doves.

The fifth was the truly loyal and well-loved Captain Patience. (For patience is necessary, so that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. – Hebrews 10:36) He dressed in black and his standard-bearer was Suffer-Long. On his shield were three arrows run through the golden heart.

Captain Patience and His Standard-Bearer, Mr. Sufferlong

These were Emmanuel’s captains and their standard-bearers, their colors, and the markings on their shields. With them were the thousands under their command. So the brave Prince marched to the town of Mansoul with Captain Credence leading the foremost division and Captain Patience bringing up the rear. The other three captains and their men made up the main body of the army.

They set out with much fanfare. Trumpets sounded, armor glittered in the sunshine, and the standards of various colors waved in the wind. The Prince wore armor crafted of gold, and it shone like the sun in the sky as He rode in His chariot at the head of the march. The captains’ armor had been proven to withstand shots discharged from firearms or cannons, and looked like glittering stars as they advanced. Some from the court also rode along because of their love for King Shaddai and their desire for the successful deliverance of the town of Mansoul.

As Emmanuel set out to recover the town of Mansoul, His Father commanded Him to take along fifty-four battering rams and twelve slings to whirl stones all at once. Every one of these was made of pure gold, and they were carried at the heart of the army as they traveled to Mansoul.

They marched until they came to within three miles of the town. They waited there until the first four captains who had been entrenched at Mansoul met with them to become familiar with the plan. Then they headed toward the town. When they arrived at Mansoul, the old soldiers who’d been camped there for some time brightened when they saw the new forces arriving to join them in the battle. They shouted a mighty shout outside the walls of the town, and the powerful noise frightened Diabolus again.

The army accompanying the first four captains settled outside the town, while the other four captains focused their forces at the gates of Mansoul. Altogether, the army encompassed the town on every side and hemmed it in on all sides, so no matter which way the Mansoulians looked, they saw the force and power-laying siege against the town.

Bulwarks created by great mounds of earth protected the massive troops from cannon fire. Mount Gracious stood on the one side with Mount Justice on the other. Several small banks were then created to help the army advance, including Plain-Truth Hill and No-Sin Banks. This is where they set up many of the slings against the town, with four set on Mount Gracious and another four on Mount Justice. The rest were placed in several places around the town. Five of the best and biggest battering rams were placed upon Mount Hearken, a mount firmly situated against Ear-gate with intent to break it open.

Now when the men of the town saw the great multitude of soldiers advancing in their glittering armor, the colorful standards waving in the breeze with the rams, slings, and bulwarks that provided additional offensive protection – all coming against Mansoul – they were forced to change position. The circumstances forced them to change their thinking. At first, they grew more obstinate, thinking they were sufficiently protected, but now with the large army approaching, they grew disheartened and said, “No one can tell what might happen.”

When good Prince Emmanuel surrounded Mansoul in this way, He hung out the white flag among the golden slings on Mount Gracious. He did this for two reasons: first, to make it clear to Mansoul that He could and would still be gracious, if they turned to Him. (Unto him all prophets give witness, that whosoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins through his name. – Acts 10:43) And secondly, He wanted to leave them without excuse and to know if they continued in their rebellion, He would destroy them. (If I had not come and spoken unto them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. – John 15:22)

So the white flag bearing three golden doves hung in plain sight for two days to give the Mansoulians time and space to consider His offer; but even though the whole town could see the Prince’s favorable signal, they acted unconcerned and ignored it.

Then He commanded, “Set the red flag upon Mount Justice.” This was the red flag of Captain Judgment, whose shield bore the emblem of the burning fiery furnace. It represented the Prince’s right and power to pass sentence. (For we are sure that the judgment of God is according to the truth against those who do such things. – Romans 2:2) This red flag stood waving in the wind in the view of all for several days, but above it waved the white flag. Yet He didn’t advance on them.

When they did not respond, He sent out another command. “Hang the black flag of defiance against them.” This flag bore the emblem of three burning thunderbolts and represented a challenge to fight. But again, it didn’t matter to Mansoul, for they remained as unconcerned as before.

When the Prince witnessed Mansoul’s lack of response to mercy, judgment, and even execution of judgment, His heart filled with sorrow. (Because of my strong sorrow, my heart is faint in me. – Jeremiah 8:18) When He considered the fact that none came close to touching the heart of Mansoul, He said, “Surely Mansoul’s strange behavior must come from ignorance of the traditions and exploits of war rather than from a hidden rebelliousness toward us and an abhorrence of their own lives. (Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart. – Ephesians 4:18) Or perhaps they only know their own customs and don’t know the meaning of the practices used when I go to war against My enemy Diabolus.”

Therefore, He sent a messenger to the town of Mansoul to make clear to them the meaning of the flags and ask them which of the things they would choose: grace and mercy, or judgment and the execution of judgment.

All this time, Mansoul kept their gates shut, locked, bolted, and barred to make it as secure as they knew how, and increased their vigilance by doubling their guards and watchmen. Diabolus mustered what influence he could to encourage the town to resist with all their might.

When Prince Emmanuel’s messenger delivered His communication, the townsmen sent back this answer:

“Great sir, regarding the message sent to us in which You asked whether we will accept Your mercy or fall by Your justice, we cannot answer. We are bound by the law and custom of this place and aren’t allowed to give You a favorable or any other answer. It is against the law of the government put in place by our king. It is his privileged royal power to make either peace or war. Without him we can do nothing in this regard. However, this is what we will do: we will petition our prince to come to the wall and treat You in whatever way he thinks best for us.”

When the good Prince Emmanuel heard this answer and witnessed the slavery and bondage of the people and how content they were to live in the chains of the tyrant Diabolus, it grieved His heart. (Forty years long I was grieved with this generation and said, It is a people that err from the heart, who have not known my ways. – Psalm 95:10) And when He realized without a doubt that they were content to live enslaved under the hand of the giant, it influenced His decision. But for now, let’s get back to the story.

The town carried this news to Diabolus. They told him about the Prince, the forces He amassed outside the wall, and His petition regarding mercy or judgment. Then they waited for an answer.

Diabolus refused the Prince’s mercy and huffed about in an angry fit, but inwardly his heart filled with fear. He pounded his chest and said, “I will go down to the gates myself and give Him my answer as I see fit.” So Diabolus stomped down to Mouth-gate and directed his speech to Emmanuel, but he spoke in a language the town didn’t understand and stayed out of the line of sight of the people.

“O the great Emmanuel, Lord of all the world, I know who You are.” Diabolus cowered as he spoke. “I know You are the Son of the great Shaddai! (Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well; the demons also believe and tremble. – James 2:19) Have You come to torment me and to cast me out of my possession?” (And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come here to torment us before the time? – Matthew 8:29) He flinched as if expecting Emmanuel to strike. “As You very well know, this town of Mansoul is mine, for my ownership rights are twofold.

Diabolus’s Appeal to Emmanuel

“First of all, it is mine by right of conquest. I won it. Shall the booty be taken from the mighty or the lawful captive be delivered?” (Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? – Isaiah 49:24) Again, he recoiled from the greatness of the Prince.

“Secondly, this town of Mansoul is mine because they have been brought under my dominion. They opened the gates of their town to me, swore loyalty to me, and openly chose me to be their king. They even placed their castle under my control.” His top lip curled in a smile that stretched into a sneer, but he continued to cower, for he could not stand in His greatness. “Yes, they have put all the strength of Mansoul under my authority.

“Not only that, but Mansoul has renounced You.” Diabolus crouched, expecting the Prince to respond. “They have thrown away everything related to You – Your Law, Your name, Your image – and in Your place they have accepted me. They have embraced my law, my name, my image, and all that is mine.” He flinched and for a moment closed his eyes. When Emmanuel said nothing, Diabolus opened one eye and then the other. “If You don’t believe me, talk to Your captains. They will tell You how Mansoul has shown love and loyalty to me every time they answered Your captains’ warnings.” Again, he cowered in fear. When Emmanuel didn’t respond, he pushed to finish his point. “But they always showed disdain, violent hatred, contempt, and scorn for You,” he jabbed his crooked finger toward the Prince, “and anything to do with You.” He pulled his finger back and looked at the ground and then back at the Prince. “You are the Just One, the Holy One who should do no injustice or unrighteousness. (Who did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth, who, when he was cursed, did not return the curse; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but committed himself to him that judges righteously. – 1 Peter 2:22-23) So I ask You to leave, for this is my rightful inheritance.”

Even though he could speak to the men in their own language, Diabolus made this judicial plea to stay in Mansoul in his own language – the language of the lower regions from the black pit of hell. And because the town of Mansoul couldn’t understand a word he said and couldn’t see how he crouched and cringed while he stood before Emmanuel, their true Prince, they thought of Diabolus as a powerful force that couldn’t be resisted.

The inhabitants boasted about his valor: “Who is able to make war with him?” while in reality they didn’t realize Diabolus pleaded his case so Emmanuel wouldn’t take Mansoul from him by force but would allow him to continue his residence there.

When this counterfeit king finished speaking, Emmanuel, the golden Prince, stood up and spoke. “You deceiving one,” He began. “In My Father’s name, in My name, and for the good of this wretched town of Mansoul, I have something to say to you.

“You pretend to have a right, a lawful right, to the deplorable town of Mansoul, but it is clear to all My Father’s court that you gained entrance at the gates of Mansoul through your lies and untrue assertions. (The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of those that seek death. – Proverbs 21:6) You falsely represented My Father and His Law and deceived the people of Mansoul. You pretend the people have accepted you for their king, their captain, and are bound to serve you as lord, but this too was brought about by deceit and cunning.

“Now, if lying, deviousness, sinful tricks, and all types of horrible hypocrisy are allowed in My Father’s court where you must be tried to claim the right to Mansoul, then I agree you have made a lawful conquest. But oh, what a thief you are. What tyrant or Devil is there that can’t conquer by following such tactics as these? You see I can make a case that shines light on you in all your false and hypocritical pretenses to a conquest of Mansoul, for you speak no truth.

“Do you think it was right that you made it look like My Father was the one lying and made Him appear to Mansoul like the greatest deluder in the world? And what do you have to say about the way you knowingly perverted the true purpose and intent of the Law? ([_Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. _]– Galatians 3:24) Was it good that you plundered the innocence and simplicity of the now-miserable town of Mansoul?

“Yes, you overcame Mansoul by promising them happiness while they violated My Father’s Law. If you had referred to anything but your own experience, you couldn’t help but know that was the way to bring them to everlasting destruction and misery. (And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence upon them until they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers. – Jeremiah 24:10)

“O you master of malevolence and spite, you have defaced My Father’s image in Mansoul and set up your own in its place to the great disrespect of My Father, thus exalting your own sin and doing intolerable damage to the perishing town of Mansoul.

“As if all these were but trivial matters to you, you’ve not only deluded and ruined this place, but by your lies and fraudulent acquisition of Mansoul, you have also turned them against their own deliverance. How is it that you have galvanized them against My Father’s captains and made them fight against those who were sent to deliver them from bondage?

“You have done all these things and more in contempt of My Father and of His Law, and it will all be held against you, for you’ve done all this to stir My Father’s anger against the miserable town of Mansoul forever.

“For this reason, I’ve come to avenge the wrong you have done to My Father and to deal with you for the contemptuous and irreverent words you have spoken against Him and which you have used to cause poor Mansoul to blaspheme His name. (And shall not God avenge his own elect who cry day and night unto him though he bears long regarding them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. – Luke 18:7-8a) You prince of the lower regions of hell, I will repay you for this.

“As for Myself, Diabolus, I have come against you to take this town of Mansoul by force out of your burning fingers, for it is Mine. That’s an indisputable claim as all who search the most ancient and authentic records shall see. And to your shame, I argue this in defense of My right to it.

“First, my Father fashioned the town of Mansoul. With His hand He built every part of it, including the palace at the center of town. He built it for His delight. Therefore, this town of Mansoul is My Father’s by rights of highest power, and he who denies the truth of this is a liar.

“Secondly, O you master of the lie, this town of Mansoul is Mine. I am My Father’s heir, His firstborn, and the only delight of His heart. Therefore, I come against you in My own right to recover My inheritance from out of your hand.

“By being My Father’s heir, I have a right and claim to Mansoul. I have My Father’s contract, which wills it to Me as a gift. It was His, and He gave it to Me. I have never, at any time, offended My Father so that He would take it from Me and give it to you. Nor have I ever been forced to sell My beloved town of Mansoul to you or even put it up for sale. It is My heart’s desire and joy to possess Mansoul.

“Mansoul is also Mine by right of purchase, for I have bought it for Myself, Diabolus. Now, since it was My Father’s and Mine, as I was His heir, I have also made it Mine because I have purchased it. (Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of the promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance unto the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13b-14) It follows that by all lawful claims, the town of Mansoul is Mine and you are a usurper, a tyrant, and a traitor who seized and occupied My property and are holding possession of it without any right.

“Now, the reason I purchased Mansoul was this: It voluntarily violated My Father’s divine Law and commands. On the day they broke His Law, My Father said they would die. (For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived in the rebellion. – 1 Timothy 2:13-14) And My Father’s Word is true, for it is more possible for heaven and earth to pass away than for My Father to break His Word. (The grass withers, the open flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. – Isaiah 40:8)

“Therefore, when Mansoul sinned by listening to your lie, I became a surety to My Father on their behalf and put in body for body and soul for soul. (By so much better testament is Jesus made surety – Hebrews 7:22). In this way, I made amends for Mansoul’s transgressions, and My Father accepted My sacrifice. When the appointed time came, I gave body for body, soul for soul, life for life, blood for blood, and so redeemed My beloved Mansoul. (For the Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in spirit. – 1 Peter 3:18)

“I didn’t do this half-heartedly or incompletely but with all My heart. As far as My Father’s Law and justice were concerned, regarding the impending consequences, both are now satisfied and agree Mansoul should be delivered.

“Nor have I come here today against you, but rather by the command of My Father who sent Me as He said, ‘Go down and deliver Mansoul.’

“Therefore, know this, you fountain of deceit and you too, foolish town of Mansoul, that I haven’t come against you this day without My Father.”

The golden-haired Prince then addressed the town of Mansoul directly. “I also want to speak to you, town of Mansoul.” But as the words fell from His lips, the gates were double-guarded, and all men were commanded not to listen to a word He said. However, the Prince was not thwarted. He said, “O unhappy town of Mansoul, I can’t help but feel pity and compassion for you. You have accepted Diabolus as your king and have been nurtured and served as Diabolians against your sovereign Lord.

“You have opened your gates to him but have shut them fast against Me. You listen to him, but you have stopped your ears to anything I have to say. He brought to you your destruction, and you received both him and it.

“I come to you bringing salvation, but you won’t listen or pay attention to Me. (For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live temperately, righteously, and godly in this present world. – Titus 2:11-12)

“With polluted hands that have violated and profaned sacred things, you’ve taken yourself and all that was Mine and given it to My enemy – 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 to you? Shall I save you? Shall I destroy you? What, oh what, shall I do to you? Should I fiercely attack you and grind you to powder or make you a monument and reminder of the richest grace? Listen to Me, Mansoul; pay attention to what I’m saying to you and you shall live. I am merciful and you shall find Me, so don’t shut Me out of your gates. (I have sent also unto you all my slaves the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Turn ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and ye shall live in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. – Jeremiah 35:15)

“Mansoul, I haven’t been ordered, neither am I inclined, to harm you. Why do you flee from your friend and yet cling to your enemy? Don’t feel all is hopeless,” He encouraged. “This great force assembled isn’t here to hurt you. It is sent to deliver you from your bondage and to bring you back to obedience. It is to your advantage to be sorry for your sin and to receive Me within your gates. (Behold, I stand at the door and call; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me. – Revelation 3:20)

“My assignment is to make war upon Diabolus, your king, and upon all Diabolians who stand with him. He is the armed strong man who possesses the house, and I will evict him. I must take his spoils and divide his weapons. I must take his castle from him and occupy the house myself. And when all this comes to pass, Diabolus shall be made to follow Me in chains, and Mansoul will rejoice to see it. (No man can enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods except he will first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house. – Mark 3:27)

“If I wanted to, I could enforce My might right now and cause him to leave you and go away. But in My heart, I desire to deal with him, so the justice delivered through the war upon him may be seen and acknowledged by all. He has taken Mansoul by deception, and he keeps it by violence and duplicity. I will make him bare and naked in the eyes of every observer, so they may see him as he truly is.

“All my words are true. I am powerful and strong enough to save and will deliver My Mansoul out of his hand.”

This speech was intended chiefly for Mansoul, but they wouldn’t listen to a word of it. They shut Ear-gate tight and barricaded it. (But they refused to hearken and pulled away the shoulder and stopped their ears that they should not hear. – Zechariah 7:11) They kept it locked and bolted, set up a guard, and commanded that no Mansoulian should go out to Him. They forbade any from the camp to be admitted into the town. They acted like this because Diabolus had dreadfully bewitched them to do and seek what he desired and to go against their rightful Lord and Prince. (O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you that ye should not trust in the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you? – Galatians 3:1) For this reason, no thing or person representing the Prince or what He had to say was allowed to come into the town.

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Chapter 10

Diabolus Offers Compromise

When Emmanuel saw the extent of Mansoul’s sin and that even His words were despised, He called His army together and ordered them to ready themselves for the appointed time. (Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has made void his commandment, that person shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. – Numbers 15:31)

Now Ear-gate was the gate with the most influence; so in view of this and the fact that there wasn’t another lawful way to take the town of Mansoul except to enter by the gates, Emmanuel commanded His captains and commanders to position their battering rams, their slings, and their men at Eye-gate and Ear-gate to take the town.

With His troops in place and ready for battle against Diabolus, Emmanuel sent one more message to the town of Mansoul to ask if there had been any change of heart and a willingness to surrender in a peaceable manner, or if they were still determined to force Him to exert the power of His fury.

In response to His message, the townsfolk of Mansoul and Diabolus their king called a council of war. First, they voted on whether or not counterpropositions should be offered to Emmanuel. They agreed it was a good idea to bargain with the Prince, but they had to decide which Diabolian to send on this errand. They chose an old man, a Diabolian in the town of Mansoul by the name of Loth-to-Stoop. He was a stubborn man set in his ways and one who did much for Diabolus. So they told him exactly what to say to Emmanuel.

Mr. Loth-to-Stoop Sent to the Camp of Emmanuel

Loth-to-Stoop traveled into Emmanuel’s camp at the appointed time, and they gave him a public reception. After a Diabolian rite of politeness or two, he delivered his message. “Great sir, in order that it may be known to everyone how good-natured a prince my master is, he has sent me to tell Your Lordship that he is willing to deliver into your hands one-half of the town of Mansoul rather than go to war. I am here to find out whether or not Your Mightiness will accept this proposition.”

Emmanuel studied the stubborn little man for a moment and said, “The entire town of Mansoul belongs to Me. My Father gave it to Me as a gift, and it is also Mine because I purchased it; therefore, I will not agree to lose one-half.” (My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. – John 10:27-29)

Loth-to-Stoop didn’t allow Emmanuel’s words to sway him from his task. He countered, “Sir, my master has said he will be happy to give You the nominal title ‘Lord of all,’ if he may possess but a part of Mansoul.”

Emmanuel shook His head. “In reality, the whole town is Mine, not just in name and word. Therefore, I will be the sole Lord and possessor of all or of none at all.”

The muscles in Loth-to-Stoop’s jaw twitched. “Sir, consider my master’s voluntary relinquishment of his rank! He says he will be content just to be assigned some place in Mansoul to live privately, and you shall be Lord of all the rest.”

The golden Prince said, “All the Father has given Me shall come to Me, and of all He has given Me I will lose nothing – not even a hair. (All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. – John 6:37) So I will not grant him even a little corner of Mansoul to live in, for I will have it all to myself.”

Loth-to-Stoop didn’t give up. He persisted in his master’s plan. “But sir, suppose my lord should resign the whole town to you with just this provision – that sometimes, when he comes into this country for old acquaintance’s sake, he might be allowed to be entertained as a traveler for two days, or ten days, or maybe a month or so. Would you grant this one small matter?”

“No.” Emmanuel answered with a tone of finality. “He came as a traveling man to David and didn’t stay long with him, and yet it almost cost David his soul. I will not consent for Diabolus to take up lodging in Mansoul anymore.”

Loth-to-Stoop’s brow knit into a scowl. “Sir, you’ve become very difficult. Suppose my master surrenders all your Lordship has said, provided his friends and family in Mansoul can still have the freedom to do business in the town and enjoy living in their current homes. Can’t you at least grant that, sir?”

Once again, the golden Prince Emmanuel did not agree to the man’s terms. “No, that cannot be allowed, for it goes against My Father’s will. Any Diabolians who now inhabit or who are found at any time in Mansoul shall not only lose their lands and freedoms but also their lives.”

Loth-to-Stoop’s eyes grew round with astonishment. “But sir, won’t you at least let my master and great lord communicate by letter through travelers by chance opportunities and things like that, so he doesn’t lose his friendship with Mansoul, if he delivers up everything to you?”

“By no means!” Emmanuel said. “If any such fellowship, friendship, intimacy, or relationship is maintained in any way whatsoever, it would tend to corrupt Mansoul. (Therefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 6:17a) Instead of the love or friendship they once showed Me, it would cause them to grow indifferent or antagonistic – alienating them from Me. And it would endanger their peace with My Father.”

Loth-to-Stoop did his best not to take no for an answer. He addressed the issue with Emmanuel from another direction. “But, great sir, if my master departs from them, since he has many friends and dear ones in Mansoul, would you permit him to give them tokens of his love from his bountifulness and good nature? I’m talking about keepsakes of kindness from their old friend. Things to remember him by as the one who was once their king and the happy times they sometimes enjoyed with one another while they lived in peace.”

“No.” Emmanuel shook His head. “If Mansoul becomes Mine, I won’t admit or consent to the least scrap, shred, or particle of dust left behind by Diabolus as tokens or gifts given to anyone in Mansoul. What purpose would they serve except to function as a reminder of the horrible relationship they had?”

“Well, sir,” Loth-to-Stoop paused and pursed his lips, “I have one more thing to propose, and then I will have completed the task for which I was sent.

“Suppose, after my master has left Mansoul, someone still living in the town has important business to conduct, and if they neglect to handle this business, they will be ruined. And suppose that nobody else can help them as well as my master and lord. Could my master be sent for on such an urgent occasion? Or, if he isn’t allowed admittance into the town, would he and the person concerned be allowed to meet in some of the villages near Mansoul, so they could put their heads together and discuss these matters?”

This was the last proposition with which Loth-to-Stoop hoped to ensnare Emmanuel on behalf of his master Diabolus, but Emmanuel did not fall for it. He said, “Once your master is gone, there will be no case, disagreement, or anything else in Mansoul that cannot be solved by My Father. Allowing anyone from Mansoul to go to Diabolus for advice would be a great disparagement to My Father’s wisdom and skill, when they are all invited to make every one of their requests known to My Father by prayer and petition. (Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7) If I were to grant such a request, it would open the door for Diabolus and the Diabolians in Mansoul to scheme, plot, and come up with seditious plans, which would bring grief to My Father and Myself, as well as the utter destruction of Mansoul.”

When Mr. Loth-to-Stoop heard this, he said, “I will carry Your answer concerning this whole affair to my master.” With that, he turned his back to Emmanuel and departed. When he came to Mansoul, he headed directly to Diabolus and told him everything that had transpired. “Once you leave Mansoul, Emmanuel will not allow you to enter again by any means. You will never have anything more to do in Mansoul or with anyone from the town.”

When Mansoul and Diabolus heard this news, they, in one accord, decided it best to try to keep Emmanuel out of Mansoul, so they sent old Ill-Pause to tell the Prince and His captains that they were rejecting His offer.

The old gentleman walked to the top of Ear-gate and called out to Emmanuel’s camp for an audience, and when they granted it, this is the message he delivered: “I have been commanded by my high lord to deliver this answer to you for your Prince Emmanuel.

“Mansoul and their king have determined to stand and fall together. You and your Prince will be unsuccessful if you think Mansoul will ever be in His hand, unless He can take it by force.”

At hearing this rejection, some from the camp went in haste to Emmanuel and told Him what the old Diabolian, Ill-Pause, had said. When the Prince heard the sad news, he said, “I must try the power of My sword. For even though they have rebelled and rejected My message until now, I will not raise My siege and just walk away. I will most assuredly deliver Mansoul from the hand of her enemy and take it as My own.” (The high praises of God shall be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the Gentiles and punishments upon the peoples. – Psalm 149:6-7)

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Chapter 11

Emmanuel Confronts Diabolus

Emmanuel ordered Captain Boanerges, Captain Conviction, Captain Judgment, and Captain Execution to immediately march up to Ear-gate while sounding their trumpets and flying their colors. He then ordered Captain Credence to join them. And to emphasize this show of strength, He told them to approach with a battle shout.

After adding Captain Credence to the attacking force, Emmanuel ordered Captain Good-Hope and Captain Charity to draw up their troops before Eye-gate. He strategically placed the remaining captains and their men around the town for the best advantage against the enemy. All those under His authority did everything they were commanded. Then He ordered that the Word should go before them, and the Word at that time was Emmanuel. (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1) An alarm sounded and the battering rams were put into motion along with the slings, which whirled huge stones into the main part of town. And so this is how the battle began.

Diabolus himself controlled and directed the townsmen who were positioned at every gate. Their resistance was stronger and more wicked and aggressive toward Emmanuel. Diabolus and Mansoul kept the good Prince busy by for several days, and it was a sight to behold how the captains of Shaddai handled themselves in this war.

Captain Boanerges started the fight by making three fierce assaults upon Ear-gate, one after another, causing the posts of the gate to shake. Captain Conviction caught up with Boanerges, and both men perceived the gate was beginning to yield. Armed with this knowledge, they commanded the battering rams to continue the surge against the gate.

Now Captain Conviction rode up near the gate, but he was driven back with great force. He received three wounds in the mouth, but some of the military, who had been driven back in this fashion, still went about to encourage the captains.

When the Prince heard about the valor shown by these two captains, He sent for them to come to His pavilion and commanded them to rest awhile to refresh themselves. Care was also shown for Captain Conviction to heal his wounds, and the Prince gave each of them a chain of gold and told them to take courage. (Wait for the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, for the LORD. – Psalm 27:14)

Captain Good-Hope and Captain Charity fought well in this desperate fight, as they came against Eye-gate and almost broke it open. These captains also received a reward from their Prince because they fought valiantly.

The Captains Rewarded

In this engagement, several of Diabolus’s officers were slain and some of the townsmen wounded. Among the slain officers was Captain Boasting who thought nobody could shake the posts of Ear-gate or raise doubt in the heart of Diabolus. Captain Secure was killed. He was the captain who said even the blind and lame in Mansoul could protect against Emmanuel’s army and keep the gates from falling. Captain Conviction cut off the head of this Captain Secure with a two-handed sword, but he received the three wounds in his mouth at that time.

At Eye-gate, Captain Good-Hope inflicted a mortal wound in the breast of Captain Bragman, a popular fellow who was captain over a company of soldiers that threw firebrands and arrows.

Beyond that, Mr. Feeling, who wasn’t a captain, was wounded in the eye by one of Boanerges’s soldiers. Mr. Feeling was a great one for standing on the sidelines to encourage Mansoul to rebellion and would have been killed by the captain himself if he hadn’t made a hasty retreat.

And I’d never seen Willbewill so intimidated in all my life. He wasn’t able to do as he customarily did, and some of the men in the Prince’s army saw him limp after he’d walked upon the wall and said he had received a leg wound.

I won’t go on with all the details and names of the soldiers who were slain in the town, for many were maimed, wounded, and slain. Projectiles flung by the golden slings hit their mark, and the force of the strike knocked the Diabolians from their feet and sent them tumbling through the air into the midst of the town of Mansoul. They lay scattered on the ground watching as the posts of Ear-gate shook and Eye-gate splintered. With the gate close to being broken open and some of their captains slain, the courage of many of them melted away.

Love-no-Good, who was a townsman but also a Diabolian, was mortally wounded, but his life lingered for a time. And remember Mr. Ill-Pause? He’s the one who came with Diabolus when he first attempted to take Mansoul. He received a serious head wound. Some reported that he suffered from a cracked skull. One thing I can tell you for sure is that since this incident, he’s never been able to harm Mansoul as he’d done in the past. Plus, old Prejudice and Mr. Anything fled.

Now, when the battle was over, the Prince commanded the white flag be set upon Mount Gracious once more in sight of the town of Mansoul. He did this to show the wretched town of Mansoul that Emmanuel still offered the gift of grace. (For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9)

Diabolus saw the white flag hung out again and knew it wasn’t for him but for Mansoul. So he figured out another trick to play to see if he could get Emmanuel to remove His besieging army and relinquish His attempt to take Mansoul: Maybe if Diabolus promised reformation of Mansoul. With this plan in mind, he came down to the gate one evening a good while after the sun had set and called to speak with Emmanuel.

Emmanuel responded and came down to the gate. Diabolus addressed Him: “Seeing that Your white flag makes it appear You are devoted to peace and quiet, I thought it a good idea to let You know we are ready to accept this, if You permit these terms.

“I know You are dedicated to devotion and that holiness pleases You.” The corner of Diabolus’s mouth lifted in a half-smile. “Yes, I understand Your purpose in making war upon Mansoul so it may be a holy habitation. (Now therefore ye are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord, in whom ye also are being built together for the habitation of God in the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:19-22) I am here to say that if You withdraw Your forces from the town, I will make Mansoul submissive and cause them to bow to You.

“First, I will put hostility against You to rest and shall willingly become Your deputy. Putting forth the same effort I formerly used to work against You, I will now serve You in the town of Mansoul. I will persuade Mansoul to receive You as their Lord. Once they see I am Your deputy, I know they will do it sooner.

“I will also show them where they have erred and how sin stands in the way to life. I’ll share the Holy Law with them, show them how they have broken it, and explain they must conform to it.

“I will impress upon them the necessity of a life reformed according to Your Law. I can put things in place so none of these things fail. I will even pay for the cost of setting up and maintaining a competent ministry with lectures in Mansoul. And as a token of our coming under Your control, You will receive whatever You see fit to levy upon us.”

Emmanuel listened patiently but wasn’t fooled by Diabolus’s ploy. He said, “O you who are full of deceit, your ways are ever changing! ([_His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity _]– Psalm 10:7). How often you have changed what you say and do and then changed again – all to pretend you are mighty enough to keep possession of My Mansoul. The fact is, I have been declared the rightful heir of Mansoul!

“You often make proposals, and these you’ve most recently fabricated are no better than the ones that came before. The point is, you fail to deceive when you show your true colors, but now you transformed yourself into an angel of light and are trying to deceive Me into thinking you are now as a minister of righteousness. (And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works. – 2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

“But Diabolus, you know nothing can be respected that you propose, for your only motive is to deceive. You have no conscience toward God, nor do you love the town of Mansoul. For this reason, is it not obvious that the things you have said arise from sinful purposes and deceit? And to that point, if righteousness is such a beautiful thing in your eyes now, how is it you have stuck so closely to wickedness in the past?

“He who proposes whatever he pleases with the intent to destroy those who believe him should be abandoned, and everything he has said should be discounted. You talk about reformation in Mansoul and even say you will head that reformation. You say this, knowing the best that man can accomplish through the righteousness of the Law will amount to nothing in regard to taking away the curse from Mansoul. For Mansoul cannot be delivered from a curse pronounced by God for breaking a law by obeying the law – to say nothing of a reformation set up in Mansoul in which the Devil is to become the corrector of evil.

“You know all you have said in this matter is nothing but craftily disguised deceit. It is the first and last card you have to play. For now, only a few see through the disguise you wear, and while you may be dressed in white light, soon many will discern what you really are when you show them your cloven feet. For you will not deceive My Mansoul in this way, Diabolus, for I still love My Mansoul.

“I didn’t come to push Mansoul to live by works. If I did, I would be like you. I’ve come so that by Me – and by what I have done and will do for Mansoul – they may be reconciled to My Father even though they have provoked Him to anger by their sin and can’t obtain mercy by the law. (And all this by God, who reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; for certainly God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them and having placed in us the word of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

“You talk about placing Mansoul under the power of good, when no one desires it at your hands. My Father sent Me to possess the town and guide it to be pleasing in His sight by bringing it into conformity to His will. (And be not conformed to this age, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your soul that ye may experience what is that good and well pleasing and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2)

“Consequently, I will possess Mansoul and will strip you of your position and cast you out. I will pull this town down and rebuild it. I’ll set up sovereign power for Myself in the heart of them and will govern them by new laws, new officers, new motives, and in a new way. (Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are made new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17) It will be as though the old never existed, for it will become the glory of the whole universe.”

When Diabolus heard this, it became clear to him that Prince Emmanuel had discovered his deceptions. He was put to shame and so embarrassed that at first he couldn’t decide what to do, but then he tapped into the fountain of iniquity, rage, and malice which sprung up within him. In his heart churned all he held against Shaddai and His Son and the beloved town of Mansoul. Deliberating on this renewed his strength and readied him for a fresh battle against the noble Prince Emmanuel, and with his renewed determination, he demanded another fight take place before the town of Mansoul could be taken.

For those of you who love to see military action, come up to the mountains and watch both sides of the battle and you’ll witness how the fatal blow is delivered. You’ll see how one seeks to hold, while the other seeks to make Himself Master of the famous town of Mansoul.

Diabolus withdrew from the wall and returned to his strength and power at the heart of the town of Mansoul. Emmanuel also returned to His camp. With their differences and intentions clear, both drew into a battle posture ready to fight.

Filled with despair about losing control of the famous town of Mansoul, Diabolus decided to do what harm he could to the army of the Prince and to the famous town of Mansoul. Unfortunately for Mansoul, he wasn’t concerned about the happiness of the silly town. His plan was to bring it to utter ruin and to destroy everything within sight. With this plan in mind, he commanded his officers to render what harm and damage they could by drawing men, women, and children apart. And when the time should come that they saw the town could no longer be held, he said, “Be sure to demolish the place and leave it a ruinous heap. Better that, than to leave it for Emmanuel to move in and make it His home.”

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Chapter 12

Emmanuel’s Victory

Emmanuel knew the outcome of the next battle would result in His being made master of the place. He issued a royal command to all His officers, high captains, and men of war: “Against Diabolus and all Diabolians, be sure to show yourselves men of war; but to the old inhabitants of Mansoul – the natives – show yourselves favorable, merciful, and meek. With this in mind, direct the fury of the frontline of battle against Diabolus and his men.”

When the day of battle arrived, the command was given. The Prince’s men bravely put on their armor and weapons and headed into battle. (Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand firm against the wiles of the devil. – Ephesians 6:11) They followed the Prince’s command and focused most of their strength and energy against Ear-gate and Eye-gate. Word spread, “Mansoul is won!” and so they made their assault upon the town.

Diabolus responded to the Prince’s arm as quickly as possible, placing the main power of his high lords and chief captains to resist from within Mansoul. For a time, they fought cruelly against the Prince’s army.

But after three or four remarkable charges by the Prince and His noble captains, Ear-gate was broken open. The bars and bolts, which had once worked to secure the town against the Prince, broke into a thousand pieces. The Prince’s trumpets sounded, the captains shouted, and the town shook. Diabolus retreated to his hold.

But when the Prince’s forces broke the gate open, He made His way to the castle and set His throne up in it. Then He set His standard on a nearby mountain where His men had set up the mighty slings. The mountain was close to Ear-gate and was called Mount Hear-Well. The Prince stayed there because it was close to the gate. The Prince commanded the golden slings be put in motion against the town, especially against the castle, because Diabolus had retreated there for shelter.

Now, from Ear-gate, the street stretched straight to the house of Mr. Recorder who spoke out with the voice of God against the sin of Mansoul before Diabolus took the town. Near his house stood the castle, which Diabolus had turned into his troublesome den for a long time. For this reason, the captains used their slings to empty that street and clear the way to the heart of the town.

With this accomplished, the Prince commanded Captain Boanerges, Captain Conviction, and Captain Judgment to march into Mansoul and up that street to the old gentleman’s gate. They marched forward into the town of Mansoul in a most warlike advancement with flying colors. They came to the Recorder’s house, which was almost as strong as the castle, and they brought battering rams to plant against the castle gates.

When they came to the house of Mr. Conscience, they knocked and demanded entrance. Now, the old gentleman didn’t understand their plan at this point, so he kept his gates shut during the entire fight.

Boanerges once again demanded to be let in at his gates, and when no one answered, he struck the gates with the head of a battering ram. It hit with such force that the house trembled and tottered and the old gentleman shook. All this commotion brought Mr. Recorder down to the gates, where he asked with quivering lips, “Who’s there?”

Boanerges answered, “We are captains and commanders of the great Shaddai and of the blessed Emmanuel, His Son. We require possession of your house for the use of our noble Prince.” With that, the battering ram struck the gate a second time, which made the old gentleman tremble even more. He didn’t dare ignore the order but quickly opened the gate.

The King’s three brave captains marched through the gates and into the Recorder’s house. It turned out to be a suitable place for Emmanuel, not only because it was near to the castle and strong, but also because it was large and it faced the den where Diabolus hid, and he was too afraid to come out of his fortress.

With such a thunderous start, Mr. Recorder was unsure how all this would end, because he didn’t know or understand enough to make a sound judgment. For this reason, the captains carefully explained Emmanuel’s great plans. (For he is our peace, who of both has made one, breaking down the middle wall of separation, abolishing in his flesh the enmity, which was the law of commandments in the order of rites, to edify in himself the two in one new man, making peace, and to reconcile both with God by the cross in one body, having slain the enmity thereby. – Ephesians 2:14-16)

Word spread throughout the town about how the Recorder’s house had been taken over and his rooms seized. His house became the command post of the war, and as soon as it was spoken of openly, the Recorder shared the news with his friends. The frustration of these affairs was that the Recorder was afraid. He trembled with fear, even though the captains explained the plan to him. So, like a snowball rolling in the snow a little at a time, it didn’t take long for his jitters to spread. Soon the whole town understood the Prince held Mansoul by lawful title, and they must expect nothing from the Prince but destruction.

Many came to see for themselves what was going on. But when they saw the captains in the house with their own eyes, and the commotion caused by their battering rams pounding at the castle gates, they too were riveted with fear and stood amazed and perplexed by it all. Unfortunately, Mr. Recorder added to all this because whenever someone talked with him about what was happening, all he could talk about was the death and destruction ready to be served to Mansoul.

The old gentleman said, “You’re all sensible and discerning. It’s clear that we all once despised the now-victorious and glorious Prince Emmanuel, and we betrayed Him. We’re all traitors! But now, as you can see, He not only endeavors to gain possession of Mansoul but has also forced His way in at our gates. Diabolus flees before Him! The Prince has made my house a fortification against the castle where Diabolus hides.”

Mr. Recorder wrung his hands. “I, for my part, have transgressed greatly.” (We have sinned, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly, and we have been rebels, and we have departed from thy commandments and from thy judgments. – Daniel 9:5) He let out a deep sigh. “For the one who is innocent, it is fine for him. But I confess I have sinned greatly by keeping silent when I should have spoken, and by perverting justice when I should have put it into effect.

“True, I suffered somewhat at the hand of Diabolus for taking part in the laws of King Shaddai.” He glanced at the ground and shook his head. “Unfortunately, what good will that do now? Can that make up for my disloyalties and the rebellions I’ve committed and the way I’ve permitted the town of Mansoul to follow the ways of Diabolus without opposition?”

The loud sound of the battering rams almost drowned out his voice. He placed his hands over his ears and said, “With such a dreadful and angry beginning as this, I shudder to think how all this will end.”

Now, while these brave captains were busy in the house of the old Recorder, Captain Execution was just as busy elsewhere in the town. His task was to secure the back streets and walls surrounding the town. He also hunted the Lord Willbewill and didn’t permit him a moment’s rest. He pursued him hard and even killed three of his officers, slaughtered many who were brave and strong among his soldiers, and wounded numerous others who vigorously pursued business for Diabolus. This caused Willbewill’s remaining followers to be driven from him. In fact, even Willbewill himself was ready to thrust his head into a hole to hide.

The three officers cut down by this mighty warrior included old Mr. Prejudice who had his head cracked during the mutiny. Lord Willbewill had placed him as keeper of Ear-gate, and this is where he fell by the hand of Captain Execution. The second officer to fall by the hand of the captain was one Mr. Backward-to-all-but-naught who was the captain of the two guns that once were mounted on the top of Ear-gate. Besides these two, a vile man by the name of Captain Treacherous was the third. Willbewill placed a great deal of confidence in this man, but Captain Execution cut him down just the same as the rest. All these who were slain were Diabolians, but among the natives of Mansoul, not a single soul was hurt.

Other feats of war were performed by Captain Good-Hope and Captain Charity, as they executed the charge at the Eye-gate. With his own hands, Captain Good-Hope slew Captain Blindfold, the keeper of that gate. This Blindfold was captain of a thousand who fought with claws. Captain Good-Hope not only killed this Blindfold but also pursued and slew countless numbers of his men and wounded even more. The rest of them hid their heads blindly in corners.

Mr. Ill-Pause stood at that gate. I mentioned him before – an old man with a beard that reached to his belt. This is the same man who served as orator to Diabolus and bore much responsibility for a great amount of the trouble in the town of Mansoul. But after the charge on Eye-gate, he would no longer trouble Mansoul, for he fell by the hand of Captain Good-Hope.

It’s hard to describe the scene. Diabolians lay dead everywhere at this time, but too many still remained alive in Mansoul.

Now, the old Recorder, the Lord Understanding, and others who knew they must stand and fall with the famous town of Mansoul came together and deliberated as to how to proceed. They agreed to draw up a petition to send to Emmanuel, while He sat in the gate of Mansoul.

Conscience and Understanding Draw up a Petition

So they drew up their petition to Emmanuel, and in it, the old inhabitants of the now-deplorable town of Mansoul confessed their sin, expressed their sorrow for offending His princely Majesty, and prayed He would spare their lives. (For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. Therefore I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. – Psalm 38:17-18) Once finished, they sent it off to the Prince, but to their dismay He returned no answer, and that troubled them even more.

All the while, the captains in the Recorder’s house were employing the battering rams at the gates of the castle to beat them down. After much time, hard work, and effort, the castle’s gate Impregnable was beaten open. It splintered and broke into several pieces, making a way into the hold where Diabolus hid himself.

News of this accomplishment was sent to Emmanuel at Ear-gate to let Him know they’d made a way in at the gates of the castle of Mansoul. After receiving this news, trumpets sounded throughout the Prince’s camp, because the war was near an end, and Mansoul itself was about to be set free.

The Prince arose and gathered some of His fittest men of war for this mission. He marched up the street of Mansoul, dressed in His armor of gold with His standard displayed before Him. As He marched to the old Recorder’s house, the townsfolk came out at every door to see Him. While they couldn’t help but be taken with the glory of His person, His countenance remained reserved as He went. By the look on His face, the people couldn’t determine if it meant love or hatred, and they wondered at the reserved nature of His countenance, for up to this point He spoke more by His actions and deeds than by words or smiles.

But poor Mansoul interpreted the way Emmanuel carried Himself much the same way Joseph’s brothers had interpreted his behavior toward them – in quite a contrary way (which is apt to happen in such cases). (And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. – Genesis 50:15) For they thought, If Emmanuel loved us, He would show it by what He says and how He behaves toward us, but He does none of these. As a result, they determined Emmanuel hated them. With this mistaken notion, they thought, If Emmanuel hates us, then Mansoul shall be slain and become nothing but a heap of rubbish.

They knew they had transgressed His Father’s Law and had been against Him with Diabolus, His enemy. They also were aware that Prince Emmanuel knew all this, for they were convinced He was an angel of God who knew all things done on the earth. (But my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know that which is done in the earth. – 2 Samuel 14:20) And being aware of all this made them think their condition was miserable and that the good Prince would make them destitute and uninhabited. They thought, There isn’t a more suitable time to do this than now, when He has the bridle of Mansoul in His hand.

And as I watched this take place, the inhabitants cringed, bowed, bent, and were ready to lick the dust off His feet when they saw Him march through the town. They couldn’t help themselves, for they wished a thousand times over that He would become their Prince and Captain – their protection.

They turned to one another, talking about how He looked and how His glory and valor was far above other great ones in the world. (God, … has in these last times spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the ages; who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his substance and upholding all things by the word of his power. – Hebrews 1:1a, 2-3) But even as the words fell from their lips, the thoughts of these poor hearts vacillated from one extreme to another until Mansoul became like a tossed ball rolling before the whirlwind. (For he that doubts is like the wave of the sea which is driven of the wind and is tossed from one side to another. – James 1:6)

Now, when He arrived at the castle gates, He commanded Diabolus to appear and to surrender himself into His hands. But oh, how unwilling the beast was to appear! He fell and cringed! But he was forced to come out to the Prince. Emmanuel issued the command, and they grasped Diabolus and bound him in chains to hold him for the judgment He had predetermined for him. But Diabolus stood to make an earnest appeal for himself, asking Emmanuel not to send him into the deep but to allow him to depart out of Mansoul in peace.

Diabolus Overthrown

Emmanuel took him bound in chains and led him into the marketplace. There, before Mansoul, He stripped the giant of his armor in which he had boasted so much. This was one act of triumph of Emmanuel over His enemy. While Diabolus was being stripped of his armor, the trumpets of the golden Prince sounded, the captains shouted, and the soldiers sang for joy.

Mansoul was called to witness the beginning of Emmanuel’s triumph over the one in whom they’d trusted so much – the very one in which they’d boasted in the days when he flattered them.

After stripping Diabolus of his garments in sight of Mansoul and before the commanders of the Prince, Emmanuel commanded that he be bound with chains to his chariot; then He rode through the entire town of Mansoul in triumph and out the gate called Eye-gate to the plain where His camp was set up.

Emmanuel left behind some of His forces, including Captain Boanerges and Captain Conviction, to guard the castle gates in case any resistance might be made on the giant’s behalf, or in case any who had followed Diabolus should attempt to possess Mansoul again.

Unless you had been there, you can’t imagine the celebratory noise that sprang forth in Emmanuel’s camp. For a great shout went out when they saw the tyrant bound by the hand of their noble Prince and tied to his chariot!

They said, “He has led His captive into captivity and rendered his power useless. Diabolus is subjected to the power of His sword and made the object of all derision.” (But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contends with thee, and I will save thy sons. – Isaiah 49:25)

Among those gathered to see the battle stood those Diabolus had deprived of their command. When they saw the giant in chains, they shouted with a great voice and joined the others in song. They sang with such melodious notes that they caused those who lived in the celestial orbs to open their windows and look to see the cause of that glory.

Many of the townsmen also saw this sight. For them, it felt surreal, like they were between earth and the heavens. They had no idea what the ultimate result would be for them, but all things were done in such an excellent manner, it seemed like a smile was cast towards the town. As a result, their eyes, heads, hearts, minds, and all they had were captivated while they observed Emmanuel’s order. (O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he has done marvellous things; his right hand has gotten him the victory, even the arm of his holiness. The LORD has made known his saving health; he has openly showed his righteousness. – Psalm 98:1-2)

So the brave Prince finished this part of His triumph over His foe Diabolus, and in the midst of all those watching, He informed the giant of his contempt and shame and issued an order that he no longer be a possessor of Mansoul. Then Diabolus went out from Emmanuel and out of the midst of His camp to inherit the parched places in a salt land, seeking rest, but finding none. (When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, I will return unto my house from which I came out. – Luke 11:24)

Now, Captain Boanerges and Captain Conviction were men of great dignity. Their faces were like the faces of lions, their words like the roaring of the sea, and they continued to stay in Mr. Conscience’s house.

When the exalted, mighty Prince finished His triumph over Diabolus to this point, the townsmen had the freedom to pay attention to what these noble captains were doing. But in all they did, the captains conveyed an awful majesty calculated to impress with terror and dread, and you can be sure they received private instructions to carry out. As a result, they held the town under continual heartache, and with the Mansoulians’ uneasiness of mind, this all worked to cause the future well-being of Mansoul to hang in doubt, for they didn’t know what rest, ease, peace, or hope meant for a considerable time. (Let us therefore make hast to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience. – Hebrews 4:11)

The Prince Himself didn’t dwell in the town of Mansoul. He stayed in His royal pavilion within the camp in the midst of His Father’s forces. At a suitable time, He sent orders to Captain Boanerges to call all of the townsmen of Mansoul into the castle yard. Then, right before their faces, He ordered Lord Understanding, Mr. Conscience, and the notable Lord Willbewill to be taken into custody and placed under strong guard, until His intentions concerning them were made known.

When the captains acted upon these orders, the town of Mansoul grew more fearful, for to their way of thinking, all of this confirmed their former fears of the ruin of Mansoul. They thought about the three men placed under guard and wondered by what manner of death they would die and how much they would suffer in the process. What most bewildered their minds and hearts was the fear that Emmanuel would command them all into the deep, the place the prince Diabolus was afraid of. They knew they deserved it.

It troubled and grieved them to think they could die by the sword in the sight of the town and they could be disgraced by the hand of such a good and holy Prince. The town also worried for the men placed under guard, for they were their support and guides. They believed, if those men were put to death, their execution would be only the beginning of the ruin of the town of Mansoul.

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Chapter 13

Petitions from Prison

Therefore, they met with the men in prison, drew up a petition to the Prince, and sent it to Emmanuel by the hand of Mr. Would-Live. This is the sum of what it said:

“Great and wonderful Prince, victor over Diabolus and conqueror of the town of Mansoul, we, the miserable inhabitants of that most wretched town, humbly beg compassion in Your sight and ask that You forget our former transgressions. Please don’t hold them against us. We ask that You forget the sins of the leading men of our town. Spare us according to the greatness of Your mercy. (Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we are exceedingly weary of being held in contempt. – Psalm 123:3) Don’t let us die but rather let us live in Your sight, for we are willing to be Your servants, and if You think suitable, to gather our food under Your table. Amen.”

So the petitioner carried this petition to the Prince, and the Prince took it from his hand but sent him away without an answer. This troubled Mansoul with further grief and distress as they considered what else they could do. It left them with two choices: They could either petition or die. They talked it over again and decided to send a second petition, which, when written, was similar in form and approach to the first. But when they finished drawing up this petition they asked, “By whom should we send it?”

They decided they wouldn’t send it by the hand of Would-Live who carried the first petition, because they thought perhaps the Prince had taken some offense at the manner in which he had conducted himself. So they asked Captain Conviction to be their messenger, but to their dismay he declined.

“I wouldn’t dare petition Emmanuel for traitors,” he said, “for I refuse to be an advocate for rebels to the Prince. Yet, our Prince is good, and you may venture to send it by the hand of one from your town, provided he goes humbly with a rope about his head and pleads nothing but mercy.” (Then his slaves said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings; let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins and ropes upon our heads and go out to the king of Israel; peradventure he will give thee thy life. – 1 Kings 20:31)

Because the Mansoulians were afraid, they delayed sending the petition for as long as they could. They tried to convince themselves that longer delays were good. Finally, fearing the danger procrastination presented, many lost strength and courage and thought it best to send their petition by Mr. Desires-Awake. He lived in a humble cottage in Mansoul, and he came at his neighbor’s request. They explained to him what they had done, what they planned to do about petitioning the Prince, and concluded by telling him they desired him to carry their petition to Emmanuel.

Desires-Awake nodded. “Why shouldn’t I do the best I can to save so famous a town as Mansoul from deserved destruction?”

Upon hearing of his willingness, they eagerly handed him the petition and instructed him regarding how to deliver it, what to say to the Prince, and wished him safe journey and farewell.

Desires-Awake carried the petition to Emmanuel, and upon his arrival, the Prince came out to the man. When Desires-Awake saw the Prince, he fell flat with his face to the ground and cried out, “Oh, that Mansoul might live before You!” He lay at His feet, crying, and stretched out his hand to present the petition. The Prince accepted it from his hand and read it. Then He turned away and wept. After He gathered Himself, He turned toward the man, who lay crying at His feet, and said to him, “Go to your place, and I will consider your requests.”

While this transpired, the Mansoulians who sent him struggled with guilt mingled with fear that their petition would be rejected. (O God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my guiltiness is not hid from thee. – Psalm 69:5) They kept watching for Desires-Awake’s return, and as they waited, unfamiliar workings of the heart took place within them; they wondered what would become of their petition. At last they saw their messenger returning. When he came into their midst, they gathered around and asked him how he fared. “What did Emmanuel say?” one asked, while another said, “What became of the petition?”

He raised his hands and said, “I will not talk about it until I go to the prison to see Lord Mayor, Lord Willbewill, and Mr. Recorder.” Then he headed straight towards the prison house where these men of Mansoul lay bound. But he didn’t go alone! A multitude flocked after him to hear what he would say.

When he showed himself at the gate of the prison, Lord Mayor Understanding turned as pale as a piece of white linen. The Recorder, Mr. Conscience, trembled, but they asked, “Good sir, tell us what the great Prince said to you.”

Desires-Awake approached and said, “When I came to my Lord’s pavilion, I called and He came out to meet me. I fell prostrate at His feet and delivered the petition to Him. The greatness of His person and the glory of His countenance wouldn’t allow me to stand. (And the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD. – 1 Kings 8:11) As He received the petition from my hand, I cried out, ‘Oh, that Mansoul might live before You!’

“He read the petition for a time and turned away from me. Finally, He said, ‘Go to your place, and I will consider your requests.’

“Let me say, the Prince to whom you sent me is beautiful and glorious, and whoever sees Him must both love and fear Him. (And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. – John 1:14) For my part, I can do no less, but I don’t know what the end of these things will be.”

When they heard this answer, all those in the prison and those who followed the messenger to the prison stood wondering how to interpret what the Prince had said.

When most of the crowd cleared from the prison, the prisoners talked among themselves about Emmanuel’s words. Lord Mayor Understanding said, “The answer does not appear to be harsh.”

Willbewill shook his head slowly and said, “It foreshadows evil.”

The Recorder looked from one to the other and said, “It is a messenger of death.”

Now, a remnant of those who lingered behind at the prison couldn’t entirely hear what the prisoners said, but they caught a piece of a sentence here and there. They took hold of what they thought the messenger said and some of the prisoners’ judgments regarding the message. No one had the right understanding of the message, and it caused quite a stir. You can’t begin to imagine the agitated thinking it brought about or the confusion which arose in Mansoul. They didn’t know what to think, as they were tossed from one side to another.

Those who overheard what was said rushed about the town, repeating mixed messages regarding what they thought they’d heard. One announced one thing and another quite the opposite. Yet both were sure they spoke the truth. “I heard it with my own ears,” they all said and therefore thought they could not be mistaken. One said, “We must all be killed,” while another said, “We must all be saved.” A third said the Prince wasn’t concerned with Mansoul in the least, and a fourth said that the prisoners must be put to death.

Every one of these stood firm, believing he declared the account of what was spoken in its truest form, and all others were in error. With such conflicting information being disseminated throughout the town, annoyances and disturbances grew more common within Mansoul. It reached the point that if someone heard his neighbor tell his tale as he was walking by, he’d stop and tell a conflicting view. To make it more confusing, both stood firm that what was said was the truth, so no man knew where to stand on the matter or what to think. Some said the Prince intended to put Mansoul to the sword. With poor Mansoul shrouded in confusion, daylight faded, and as it began to grow dark, it left the town bewildered all that night until the morning.

As far as I could gather from the best information I could get, all this hubbub came when the Recorder, Mr. Conscience, told them that in his judgment the Prince’s answer was a messenger of death. It was this statement that fired up the town and instilled fear in Mansoul. In former times, Mansoul considered the Recorder a seer and thought his pronouncements equal to the best orators. It was for this reason Mansoul became a terror to itself. And at this time they began to feel the effects of stubborn rebellion and unlawful resistance against their Prince. (Woe to the sons that leave, saith the LORD, to make counsel, but not of me; to cover themselves with a covering, and not by my spirit, adding sin unto sin! – Isaiah 30:1)

What I mean by this is they began to feel guilt and fear, so much that it swallowed them up. Some were more immersed in the guilt than the fear, but among those who were most fearful were the important heads of the town of Mansoul.

In brief, when a public report said sudden, violent fear was outside the town, the prisoners recovered a little and took heart. They decided to petition the Prince for life again and drew up a third petition. This is what it said:

“Prince Emmanuel the Great, Lord of all worlds and Master of mercy, we, Your poor, wretched, miserable, dying town of Mansoul confess to Your great and glorious Majesty that we have sinned against Your Father and You. We are not worthy to be called Your Mansoul but rather deserve to be cast into the pit. If You slay us, it is because we have deserved it. If You condemn us to the deep, we can only say, You are righteous. We cannot complain about whatever You do or however You choose to display Your judgment towards us. But oh, let mercy reign and let it be extended to us! Let mercy take hold of us and free us from our transgressions, and we will sing of Your mercy and of Your judgment. Amen.” (For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations. I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. – Psalm 100:5; 101:1)

This petition was drawn up to be sent to the Prince just like the first, but once again they had to decide who should carry it. This question generated a good deal of discussion. Some said, “Let Would-Live deliver it, because he carried the first petition.” However, others didn’t think him a good choice.

Now, there was an old man in the town, and his name was Mr. Good-Deed. While he bore this name, it had nothing to do with the nature of who he was. While some were in favor of sending him, the Recorder was against the idea. He said, “At this time we stand in need of and are pleading for mercy. To send our petition by a man of this name seems to stand in opposition to the petition itself. Do you really think we should make Good-Deed our messenger, when our petition cries for mercy?”

The old gentleman paused to let his words sink in. “If the Prince receives the petition and asks him, ‘What is your name?’ and he answers, ‘Old Good-Deed,’ what do you think Emmanuel would say but, ‘Truly is old Good-Deed still alive in Mansoul? Then let old Good-Deed save you from your distresses.’ And if that is what He says, I am sure we are lost, for not a thousand old Good-Deeds can save Mansoul.” (Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. – Titus 3:5)

After the Recorder presented his reasons for why old Good-Deed shouldn’t carry this petition to Emmanuel, the rest of the prisoners and important heads of Mansoul opposed the idea as well. So old Good-Deed was removed from consideration, and they agreed to send Desires-Awake again. Therefore, they sent for him and asked if he would be willing to carry their petition to the Prince a second time, and he accepted the task. Once he did, they cautioned him to be careful not to offend the Prince in any manner by word or deed. “Because for all we know, by doing so, you may bring Mansoul to total destruction.”

Now when Desires-Awake accepted this errand, he requested that his nearby neighbor Mr. Wet-Eyes might go with him. He was a poor man with a broken spirit but one who could speak well to a petition, so they granted that he could go with him. (The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. – Psalm 51:17) Therefore, as the two men tackled the business before them, Mr. Desires-Awake put a rope upon his head to show his life was at Emmanuel’s disposal, and Mr. Wet-Eyes wrung his hands as he went. So in this way they arrived at the Prince’s pavilion carrying a petition this third time. As they approached, they couldn’t help but think they might be a burden to the Prince coming so often, so when they arrived at the door of His pavilion, the first thing they did was to make an apology for troubling Emmanuel so often.

“We come here today not to be troublesome or to hear ourselves talk, but necessity brings us before His Majesty, for we can find no rest day or night because of our transgressions against Shaddai and against Emmanuel, His Son.”

They also thought perhaps some improper conduct on the part of Mr. Desires-Awake on his last visit might have displeased His Highness in some way that caused him to return empty-handed and without good will from so merciful a Prince. After they made their apology, Mr. Desires-Awake cast himself prostrate on the ground at the feet of the mighty Prince, just as he had on his first visit. He said, “Oh, that Mansoul might live before You!” Then he stretched out his hand and delivered his petition.

The Prince read the petition, and filled with emotion, turned aside for a time. When He collected Himself, He returned to the petitioner who lay upon the ground. “What is your name?” He asked. “And why have you been chosen for this errand above all the multitude in Mansoul?”

The man kept his face toward the ground as he pleaded with the Prince. “Oh, my Lord, please don’t be angry. Why do You ask my name? I am nothing but a dead one. I implore You to take no notice of me. You know there is a great disparity between me and You. Why the townsmen chose to send me on this errand to my Lord only they know, but it can’t be because they thought I had favor in your sight.

“As for me, I cannot judge myself favorably, so who can love me then? Yet I wish to live and desire that my townsmen live, because we are all guilty of great transgressions. (For all have sinned and are made destitute of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23) Therefore, they have sent me, and I have come in their names to beg my Lord for mercy. May it please You to lean toward mercy but not to ask what Your servants are.” (Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my rebellions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD. – Psalm 25:7)

Then the Prince asked, “And who is this companion who has accompanied you in this important matter?”

“He is a poor neighbor and one of my closest friends. His name, may it please Your most excellent Majesty, is Wet-Eyes of the town of Mansoul. I know many who bear that name who are of no use, but I hope it will not offend You, Lord, that I have brought my poor neighbor with me.”

At this exchange, Wet-Eyes fell with his face to the ground and apologized for coming with his neighbor to his Lord. “O my Lord,” he said. “What I am myself I don’t know, nor whether my name is a pretense or true, especially when I begin to think what some have said, such as that this name was given to me because Mr. Repentance was my father.

“Good men can have bad children, and the sincere oftentimes produce hypocrites. My mother also called me by this name from the cradle, but whether because of the tears of my affections or because of the softness of my heart, I can’t say. (Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. – James 4:10)

“Even in my tears I see dirt,” he sobbed, “and filthiness in the foundation of my prayers.” The old gentleman’s voice shuddered as he wept and wept. “But,” he said, “I pray You won’t remember our transgressions and hold them against us nor take offense at our lack of qualifications. Rather, I pray You will mercifully pass by the sin of Mansoul and no longer hold back from the glorifying of Your grace.” ([_Who is a God like unto thee that pardons iniquity, and passes over the rebellion with the remnant of his heritage? He did not retain his anger for ever because he delights in mercy. _]– Micah 7:18)

The Prince bid the two men to stand. As they did, their knees shook, and they trembled before Him. He said, “The town of Mansoul has rebelled against My Father. They rejected Him from being their King and chose instead a liar, a murderer, and a rebel slave for their captain. This false prince Diabolus, though once esteemed by you, rebelled against My Father and Me, even in Our palace and highest court there. He thought to become a prince and king. But after being there for a sufficient time, he was discovered and apprehended. For his wickedness he was bound in chains and thrown into the pit with his companions.” (And he laid hold on the dragon, the serpent of old, which is the Devil and Satan and bound him a thousand years and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon it. – Revelation 20:2-3a)

Sadness filled the Prince’s face. “He offered himself to you, and you received him.” Righteous anger flashed in His eyes. “This openly defiant action against My Father has gone on for a long time. Therefore, My Father sent a powerful army to lead you to obedience. But you did not value these men, their captains, or their instructions. You know how you responded to them. You rebelled. You shut your gates to them. (For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart and should be converted, and I should heal them. – Matthew 13:15) In fact, you challenged them in battle. You fought for Diabolus against those sent by My Father. So they sent a request to My Father asking for more power, and My men and I have come to subdue you. But as you treated the servants, so you have treated their Lord. (And the husbandmen took his slaves and beat one and killed another and stoned another. Again, he sent other slaves more than the first, and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. – Matthew 21:35-37)

“You stood against Me with hostility, shut your gates against Me, and turned a deaf ear to Me. You resisted for as long as you could, but now I have made a conquest of you. As long as you had hope that you might prevail against Me, did you cry for mercy from Me? No. But now that I have taken the town, you cry out. Why didn’t you ask for mercy when I flew the white flag of My mercy, the red flag of justice, and the black flag that threatened execution? They were set in place to officially call you to My mercy. Now I have conquered Diabolus, and you come to Me for favor, but why didn’t you help Me against the mighty? Yet I will consider your petition and will answer it for My glory.” (It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed because his mercies never diminish. They are new every morning. – Lamentations 3:22-23a)

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Chapter 14

Prisoners Set Free

Go, tell Captain Boanerges and Captain Conviction to bring the prisoners to Me tomorrow, and tell Captain Judgment and Captain Execution to stay in the castle and keep things quiet in Mansoul until they hear further from Me.”

After He said these things, He turned and walked into His royal pavilion. So the petitioners turned to go back to their companions in Mansoul with the answer they had received from the Prince. They hadn’t gone far when they began to worry that the Prince wasn’t ready to show mercy to Mansoul yet. When they finally arrived at the gates of the town, they were met by townsmen awaiting their return. Many surrounded them, asking, “What news from the Prince? What did Emmanuel say regarding our petition?”

Once again, they said, “We must first go up to the prison to deliver our message.” The crowd followed at their heels as they went to the prison, and on the way, their worrisome thoughts gained such strong power over them that by the time they arrived to where the prisoners lay bound, they were so concerned about what would become of Mansoul they were hardly able to deliver their message.

At the gates of the prison, they delivered the first part of Emmanuel’s speech to the prisoners. They told how He reflected upon their disloyalty to His Father and Himself. “He talked about how you chose to side with Diabolus and ended up fighting for him. He said you despised Him and His men, while you obeyed Diabolus and were ruled by him.”

Upon hearing this, the prisoners grew pale, but the messengers pressed on. “The Prince said that in spite of all this, He will still consider your petition and give an answer in keeping with His glory.” As these words were spoken, Wet-Eyes heaved a great sigh, and the spirits of all who were listening fell. Fear controlled them in an incredible way, and death seemed to stare them in the face. They all stood there mute, for not one of them knew what to say.

Now, within the crowd was a notable, clever fellow who lived in impoverished circumstances. His name was old Inquisitive, and he asked the petitioners, “Have you told us every bit of what Emmanuel said?”

“Truthfully, no,” they admitted.

Inquisitive nodded. “I thought so. Please tell us what else He said unto you.”

Desires-Awake and Wet-eyes paused and considered how to answer. At last, they decided to share the entire message, which was, “The Prince told us to request that Captain Boanerges and Captain Conviction bring the prisoners down to Him tomorrow. He also said Captain Judgment and Captain Execution should take charge of the castle and town until they hear further from Him.”

The crowd listened while the two finished telling how once the Prince had commanded them what to do, He turned His back to them and went into His royal pavilion. The return of these two men and the last part of the message that the prisoners be brought to the Prince’s camp shattered the people’s vigor. They cried out with one voice that reached up to the heavens.

After this, the Recorder said, “This was the thing I feared,” and each of the three prisoners prepared himself to die, for they thought by the time the sun went down the next day, they would be dead. The whole town looked on and felt much the same way, thinking that in due time they would all be forced to face the same fate.

Therefore, the town of Mansoul spent that night in mourning, wearing sackcloth and ashes. (And I turned my face unto the Lord God, seeking him in prayer and supplication, in fasting and sackcloth, and ashes. – Daniel 9:3) When the time came for the prisoners to go before the Prince, they too dressed in mourning attire with ropes upon their heads to signify that they humbly placed themselves at the Prince’s disposal. When the three prisoners exited the gates, the whole town of Mansoul, except for the busybodies, stood upon the wall, all dressed in mourning garments, thinking perhaps the Prince might see them and be moved with compassion.

The Repentance of Mansoul

However, the busybodies in the town of Mansoul didn’t concern themselves with any of this. They ran in a disorderly manner through the streets, scuttling here and there through the town in groups, crying out as they ran. Some would say one thing, while others blathered on about things quite contrary, and all this drivel nearly led Mansoul to complete distraction.

The time arrived for the prisoners to go down to the camp and appear before the Prince. Captain Boanerges accompanied them with a guard walking before them, while Captain Conviction walked behind them. The guard marched with colors flying in front of and behind the prisoners who walked bound in chains between them.

The prisoners strode down toward the camp in mourning and with drooping spirits. As they walked, they humbly struck their breasts, beating at the gates of their inner world and not daring to lift their eyes to heaven. (The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honour is humility. – Proverbs 15:33) In this manner, they strode out the gate of Mansoul, until they reached the Prince’s camp. They soon found themselves standing in the midst of the Prince’s army, the sight and glory of which heightened their grief and distress. They could no longer hold back, but cried out for all to hear, “O wretched men of Mansoul!” The clinking and clanking of their chains mixed doleful notes with the cries of the prisoners and created an even more mournful cacophony.

When the prisoners were delivered to the door of the Prince’s pavilion, they fell prostrate upon the ground. One of the men went in and told his Lord the prisoners had arrived; when He heard it, the Prince ascended a throne of state and ordered the prisoners be brought in.

The three bound prisoners were escorted to stand before the Prince. Once before Him, they trembled and covered their faces with shame, as they drew near to the throne. They threw themselves down before Him. (My flesh trembles for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments. – Psalm 119:120)

The Prisoners Before Emmanuel

The Prince said to Captain Boanerges, “Tell the prisoners to stand.”

And so they stood quivering before Him, and He said, “Are you the men who were formerly the servants of Shaddai?”

“Y-y-yes, Lord, yes,” they said.

“Are you the men who permitted yourselves to be corrupted and defiled by that abominable one, Diabolus?”

They nodded and stared at the ground. “We did more than permit it, Lord. We chose it with our own free will.”

The Prince asked, “Could you have been content in your slavery if you continued under his tyranny for as long as you lived?”

The prisoners cast sideward glances at each other and admitted they could have. “Yes, Lord, for his ways were pleasing to our human nature, and we grew separated from the better condition.”

“And when I came up against this town of Mansoul,” the Prince asked, “did you eagerly wish that I might not have the victory over you?”

“Yes, Lord.”

The Prince gave them a moment to consider the gravity of their actions and asked, “What punishment do you think you deserve at My hand for these and other high and mighty sins of yours?”

“We deserve both death and the grave, Lord.”

He asked again if they had anything to say for themselves as to why the sentence they confessed they deserved shouldn’t be passed upon them.

“We can say nothing, Lord. You are just, and we have sinned.”

Then the golden-haired Prince asked, “What is the purpose of those ropes on your heads?”

The prisoners answered, “These ropes signify that we put ourselves at the Prince’s disposal. If it does not please You to extend mercy to us in Your sight, these ropes bind us so we may face the place of execution together.”

“Do all the men in the town of Mansoul join you in this confession?” (For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto saving health. – Romans 10:10)

“All the native Mansoulians do, Lord, but as for the Diabolians who came into our town when the tyrant gained possession of us, we can say nothing for them.”

The Prince commanded a herald be called and ordered him to sound the trumpet and proclaim throughout the camp of Emmanuel that the Prince, the Son of Shaddai, had acquired a perfect conquest and victory over Mansoul in His Father’s name and for His Father’s glory. Then He instructed the prisoners to follow Him and say “amen.”

They did as He commanded, and music flowed from the heights above, filling the camp with a melodious harmony. The captains who were in the camp shouted, and the soldiers sang songs of triumph to the Prince. The colorful standards waved in the wind, and great joy filled the camp. The only thing lacking at this point was that the hearts of the men of Mansoul still needed to be reached.

The Prince called for the prisoners to come into His presence once more. Again, they stood before Him trembling, and He said, “The sins, trespasses, and iniquities that you and the whole town of Mansoul have committed against my Father and Me over time, I have power and authority from my Father to forgive. And I do forgive you accordingly.” (And you, being dead in sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. – Colossians 2:13)

And having said this, He gave them a written parchment sealed with seven seals. It contained a broad, general pardon which He commanded the Lord Mayor, Lord Willbewill, and Mr. Recorder to proclaim, so that by sun-up the following day, the whole town of Mansoul would have heard it.

Furthermore, the Prince stripped the prisoners of their mourning garments and dressed them in beauty instead of ashes; the oil of joy replaced mourning, and the garment of praise displaced the spirit of heaviness. (Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; to the end that I may sing glory unto thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. – Psalm 30:11-12)

He gave each of the three men jewels of gold and precious stones and took away their ropes. In their place, He put chains of gold about their necks and earrings in their ears. When the prisoners heard the gracious words of Prince Emmanuel and saw all that was done to them, they grew quite faint. For the grace, the benefit, and the sudden and glorious pardon felt so enormous they couldn’t take it all in without staggering.

In fact, Lord Willbewill immediately swooned, but the Prince stepped over to him and placed His everlasting arms under him. He embraced him, kissed him, and said, “Take courage and be bold, for all shall be performed according to My Word.” He also kissed and embraced Willbewill’s other two companions with a smile and said, “Accept these as further tokens of My love, favor, and compassion toward you. And Mr. Recorder, I charge you to tell the town of Mansoul what you have heard and seen here today.” (That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that ye also may have communion with us; and truly our communion is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. – 1 John 1:3)

Then their shackles broke to pieces and were thrown into the air, and their steps were enlarged under them. (Thou shall enlarge my steps under me, and my knees shall not tremble. – Psalm 18:36)

They fell before the Prince, kissed His feet, and wet them with their tears. As they did, they cried out in a strong voice, “Blessed be the glory of the Lord!”

“Rise, go to the town,” the Prince said. “Tell Mansoul what I have done.” He commanded a flute and small drum play before them all the way into the town. Then what they had never looked for was accomplished for them. They now possessed something greater than they ever dreamed of. (Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ; according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in charity; having marked out beforehand the way for us to be adopted as sons by Jesus Christ in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he has made us accepted in the beloved; in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace, which has over abounded in us in all wisdom and prudence. – Ephesians 1:3-8)

The Prince called for the noble Captain Credence and commanded that he and some of his officers should march before these noble men of Mansoul into the town with flying colors marking this victory. He charged Captain Credence to have the Recorder, Mr. Conscience, read the general pardon in the town of Mansoul at the very time he marched in at the Eye-gate with his ten thousands and flying colors.

The captain followed orders to continue through the town in this way, until he came to the high street of the town and reached the castle gates. Once there he was to take possession until his Lord arrived. He commanded Captain Judgment and Captain Execution to withdraw from Mansoul and return to the Prince in the camp, and leave the stronghold to him. In this way, the town of Mansoul was delivered from the terror of the first four captains and their men.

Remember how I told you the prisoners enjoyed hospitality at the hand of the noble Prince Emmanuel and how they behaved before Him? And remember how He sent them home accompanied by flute and drum? After hearing all this, you might think those waiting in the town for news about the death of the prisoners would have been consumed by sad thoughts that pricked like thorns, but their thoughts actually became so distracted, they couldn’t focus on any one thing. However, all this time great uncertainties buffeted them like a strong wind until their hearts became like a balance disturbed by a shaking hand.

After many long looks over the wall of Mansoul, they thought they saw people returning to the town. They wondered who they could be, but as those approaching drew closer, the people of the town recognized the prisoners, but they looked changed. The sight surprised them and filled them with wonder – not just because the prisoners were being sent home, but even more because of the body of troops accompanying the prisoners with honor. They had gone down to the camp dressed in black but returned dressed in white. (He that overcomes shall likewise be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. – Revelation 3:5) They had worn ropes and came back wearing gold chains. When they left for the camp, their feet were shackled, but now they came back with their feet released and their steps unrestricted. They had gone to the camp, expecting death, but came back with the assurance of life. (Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts purified from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. – Hebrews 10:22) And they had gone to the camp with heavy hearts, but came back with the flute and drum playing before them.

As soon as they arrived at the Eye-gate, the depressed, unsteady town of Mansoul ventured to give a shout. In fact, they shouted loud enough it made the captains in the Prince’s army jump at the sound. And who could blame the town for such a reaction? Their dead friends had come to life again, for to them it was like life from the dead to see the ancients of the town of Mansoul shine in such splendor. (I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20) They had gone to the camp, expecting nothing but the axe and chopping block, but returned with joy and gladness, comfort and consolation, and accompanied by music able to make a sick man well.

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Chapter 15

Emmanuel Enters Mansoul

When they came to the gate, the people greeted them with “Welcome, welcome! Blessed be He who spared you!” They gathered around wanting to know more. “We see it is well with you, but what is to become of the town of Mansoul?” And with hope mingled with uncertainty, they asked, “Will it go well with the town of Mansoul?”

The Recorder and Lord Mayor answered. “Oh! We have news! Happy news! Good news of great joy to deliver to poor Mansoul!” (Sing with joy unto the LORD, all the earth; lift up thy voice and rejoice and sing praises. – Psalm 98:4)

The townsfolk gave another resounding shout and inquired more about how things went in the camp. “What message do you have from Emmanuel to the town?” they asked.

So they told them all that had occurred while at the camp and everything the Prince said. At hearing the good news, Mansoul marveled at the wisdom and grace of Prince Emmanuel. (And all bore him witness and marvelled at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth. – Luke 4:22) Then the Recorder, Mr. Conscience, delivered the message he was to carry from the Prince for the whole town of Mansoul. “Pardon, pardon, pardon for Mansoul! All Mansoul shall know pardon tomorrow!” He went on to command them to summon Mansoul to meet the following day in the marketplace to hear the reading of their general pardon.

You can imagine how this changed things. This hint of promising things encouraged the Mansoulians and made a difference in their attitude. They were so filled with joy that no one could even sleep that night. Music streamed from every house, accompanied by sounds of singing, feasting, and laughter. Mansoul’s happiness was all everyone talked about, and this was repeated in all their songs. “Oh! More of this at the rising of the sun! More of this tomorrow!” (Cause me to hear thy mercy in the morning, for in thee do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto thee. – Psalm 143:8)

Conversations included statements like “Yesterday, who thought this day would have turned out like this for us?” and “Who, after seeing our prisoners go down in irons to the camp, could have thought they would return wearing chains of gold?” and “They who reckoned themselves to be judged by their Judge were acquitted by His mouth, not because they were innocent but because of the Prince’s mercy. He even sent them home, accompanied by flute and drum. Is this normally the custom of princes? No. They don’t show such kind favor to traitors. Such actions are only attributed to Shaddai and Emmanuel, His Son!”

Time passed quickly and the sun dawned on the new day. The Lord Mayor Understanding, Willbewill, and Mr. Conscience the Recorder went to the marketplace at the time the Prince had appointed. They wore the robes the Prince had clothed them in the day before, and the street lit up with their glory. When they arrived at the marketplace, the townsfolk were waiting for them. The Mayor, Recorder, and Lord Willbewill moved to Mouth-gate at the lower end of the marketplace, because in times past, this was the place where public matters were read. So they came to that gate, dressed in their robes, with their drums beating before them. The people eagerly anticipated what they had to say, for they wanted to know the full sequence of things.

The Recorder stood up and motioned with his hand for silence. After the townsfolk quieted, Mr. Conscience read the pardon with a loud voice for all to hear. “The Lord, the Lord God – Who is merciful and gracious, pardoning iniquity, transgressions, and sins – declares all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven.” (Thou has forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered all their sin. – Psalm 85:2)

The people couldn’t hold back their gladness and jumped for joy. For you must know, every man’s name in Mansoul was associated with the seals of the pardon, and it created a magnificent spectacle.

When the Recorder finished reading the pardon, the townsmen ran upon the walls of the town and leaped and skipped for joy, before bowing seven times with their faces toward Emmanuel’s pavilion. Then with one voice they shouted out, “Let Emmanuel live forever!” Following this, an order was given to the young men in Mansoul to ring the bells for joy, so the bells rang and the people sang. Music could be heard in every house in Mansoul.

When the Prince had sent the three prisoners of Mansoul home with joy, accompanied by flute and drum, He had commanded His captains, field officers, and soldiers to be ready to promote His will after the Recorder read the pardon. (And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, with which they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their sins, with which they have sinned against me and with which they rebelled against me. – Jeremiah 33:8) So that morning, just as the Recorder finished reading the pardon, Emmanuel commanded all the trumpets in the camp to sound and the colors of victory to be flown. “Display half of the flags upon Mount Gracious and the other half upon Mount Justice,” He commanded.

He ordered all the captains to dress in their full armor and the soldiers to shout for joy. Even Captain Credence, who was in the castle, sounded the trumpet to Mansoul and the Prince’s camp from the top of the fortified castle.

In this manner, Emmanuel recovered the town of Mansoul from the hand and power of the tyrant Diabolus. When He completed these outward ceremonies commemorating His joy, He commanded His captains and soldiers to exhibit to Mansoul feats of war. They directed their efforts to this task with great agility, nimbleness, dexterity, and bravery as these military men revealed their skill in feats of war before the gazing town of Mansoul.

Joy in the Camp of Emmanuel

They marched, countermarched, performed maneuvers to the right and left, divided, subdivided, and closed ranks. Then they changed direction as they wheeled about and strengthened their front and rear positions with their right and left wings. They showcased many more tactics, and the hearts of Mansoul were overcome as they witnessed it. Plus, the skill with which they handled their arms and managed their weapons of war captivated Mansoul and me.

When they finished performing these feats of war, the whole town of Mansoul came out as one man to the Prince in the camp. They thanked and praised Him for His abundant favor and begged Him to come into Mansoul with His men and take up residence forever. They did this in a most humble manner, bowing to the ground before Him seven times.

The Prince answered, “All peace be to you.” (Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27)

So the town came near, touched the top of His golden sceptre, and said, “Oh, that Prince Emmanuel and His captains and men of war would live within Mansoul forever, and His battering rams and slings might remain within her for the use and service of the Prince to strengthen Mansoul. For we have room for You, Your men, Your weapons of war, and a place to store arms for Your conquest of the enemy.

“Do this, Emmanuel, and You shall be King and Captain in Mansoul forever. Govern us according to the desires of Your soul. Make governors and princes of Your captains and men of war under You. We will become Your servants and Your laws shall guide us.”

Then they asked the Prince to consider this: “Now that You have bestowed all this grace upon us, Your miserable town of Mansoul, if You and Your captains should happen to withdraw, the town will die. For if You depart from us now, blessed Emmanuel, after You have done so much good for us and showed so much mercy to us, what will happen to us? It will be as if this joy we have now never happened, and our enemies will come upon us a second time with more rage than the first time.

“Therefore, we urgently ask You to accept this request. Come and live within our midst, and let us be Your people. You are the desire of our eyes and the strength and life of our poor town. (Whom have I in heaven but thee? And apart from thee there is nothing upon the earth that I desire. My flesh and my heart fail; the strength of my heart is that God is my portion for ever. – Psalm 73:25-26) Lord, we cannot be certain many Diabolians aren’t still lurking within the town of Mansoul to this day and that they won’t betray us. When You leave us, we’ll fall into the hand of Diabolus again, and who knows what plans, plots, or devices they have shared since these things came about. We would hate to fall into his horrible hands again. Please, please accept our palace for Your place of residence and the houses of the best men in our town to receive Your soldiers and their equipment.”

The Prince said, “If I come to your town, will you allow Me to continue further endeavors to complete that which is in My heart against My enemies and yours? Will you help Me in such undertakings?”

They answered, “We don’t know what we shall do! We never thought we would have been such traitors to Shaddai as we proved to be. Knowing this, what shall we say to our Lord? Let Him put no trust in His saints, but let the Prince dwell in our castle and make our town a fortress manned with His troops. Let Him set His noble captains and His warlike soldiers over us. Let Him conquer us with His love and overcome us with His grace. Surely, He shall be with us and help us just as He did that morning our pardon was read to us. We shall comply with this our Lord and with His ways and agree with His word against the mighty.

“Let us say just one more thing, and Your servants will be done and will trouble our Lord no more. We cannot know the depth of Your wisdom. Who could have thought the pleasing satisfaction we now enjoy could have come out of those bitter trials we experienced! But Lord, let light go before us and let love follow us. Take us by the hand and lead us by Your instruction. (For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake thou shalt lead me and guide me. Thou shalt pull me out of the net that they have laid in secret for me; for thou art my strength. Into thy hand shall I commit my spirit. – Psalm 31:3-5a) Continue forever with us so all things shall be brought to their greatest perfection for Your servants. Come to our Mansoul and do what pleases You. Or, Lord, come to our Mansoul, do what You will to keep us from sinning and make us serviceable to Your Majesty.”

The Prince responded to the town of Mansoul. “Go, return to your houses in peace. I will comply with your desires. Tomorrow I will move My royal pavilion and draw up My forces before Eye-gate. From there I will march into the town of Mansoul and take possession of your castle. I will set My soldiers over you and do things in Mansoul that cannot be paralleled in any nation, country, or kingdom under heaven.” (And I will set my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. – Leviticus 26:11-12)

The men of Mansoul received the news with a great joyful shout and returned to their houses in peace. They told family and friends the good news that Emmanuel promised to Mansoul. “And tomorrow He will march into our town and take up residence in Mansoul – He and His men.”

Then the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul hurried out and gathered boughs and flowers from the meadows and forests and spread them in the streets in preparation for receiving their Prince, the Son of Shaddai. They crafted garlands and other fine tokens to signify how joyful they were to receive Emmanuel into Mansoul.

They covered the street with flowers and boughs from Eye-gate to the castle gate where the Prince would enter. They prepared for His coming by practicing on their instruments, so they might play before Him on His way to the palace.

The appointed time finally arrived for the Prince to make His approach to Mansoul. The gates were opened to Him, and the ancients and elders of Mansoul greeted Him with a thousand welcomes. (Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. – Isaiah 35:5)

Emmanuel arose and entered Mansoul with all His servants. The elders of Mansoul danced before Him until He came to the castle gates. He traveled up to the palace, riding in His royal chariot and dressed in His golden armor. Trumpets sounded all around Him, and the colors of victory flew in the breeze. His ten thousands went up at His feet, and the inhabitants of Mansoul lined the walls in order to view the approach of the blessed Prince and His royal army. They watched from large and small windows and crowded onto balconies and housetops, filling them with people of all sorts. Everyone gathered to see how their town was to be filled with good.

The Triumph of Emmanuel

When the Prince came into the town, He rode as far as the Recorder’s house. From there He sent a messenger to Captain Credence to learn whether the castle of Mansoul was ready to accommodate His royal presence. The messenger returned and reported the palace ready to receive the Prince, so Captain Credence was ordered to come meet the Prince.

In obedience, Captain Credence responded and conducted the Prince into the castle, and to the joy of Mansoul, the Prince stayed in the castle that night with His mighty captains and men of war.

In the meantime, the townsfolk concerned themselves with how the captains and soldiers of the Prince’s army would be stationed among them. This nervousness wasn’t related to denying them admission but rather how to accommodate them. Every man in Mansoul now held Emmanuel and His men in high esteem, and nothing grieved them more than the fact they weren’t numerous enough to receive the whole army of the Prince. (Serve the LORD with gladness; come before his presence with joy. Know ye that the LORD he is God; it is he that has made us and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. – Psalm 100:2-3) They counted it an honor to wait upon them and in those days ran to do their bidding like servants.

Finally, they came to this conclusion:

  1. {color:#000;}Captain Innocency would live at Mr. Reason’s house.
  2. {color:#000;}Captain Patience would lodge at Mr. Mind’s. This Mr. Mind was formerly Lord Willbewill’s clerk at the time of the rebellion.
  3. {color:#000;}Captain Charity should be quartered at Mr. Affection’s house.
  4. {color:#000;}Captain Good-Hope would stay at Lord Mayor’s. Now, as for the house of the Recorder, because his house was next to the castle and he was ordered by the Prince to sound the alarm to Mansoul, if needed, he desired Captain Boanerges and Captain Conviction and all their men board with him.
  5. {color:#000;}As for Captain Judgment and Captain Execution, Lord Willbewill took them and their men in, because he was to rule under the Prince for the good of the town of Mansoul, as he had under the tyrant Diabolus, to the detriment of the town.
  6. {color:#000;}Emmanuel’s forces were accommodated throughout the rest of the town, but Captain Credence and his men still lived in the castle. So the Prince, His captains, and His soldiers were all boarded within the town of Mansoul.

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Chapter 16

Mansoul Made New

The ancients and elders of the town of Mansoul thought they couldn’t have enough of Prince Emmanuel; His person, His actions, and His words were so pleasing and desirable to them. Even though the castle of Mansoul was His place of residence, they asked Him to reside there forever. As He visited the streets, houses, and people of Mansoul, they said, “We look to You with fear united with respect, Sovereign. Your presence, looks, smiles, and Your words are the life, strength, and muscle of the town of Mansoul.” (The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. – Psalm 12:6)

They craved continual access to Him, so they might experience right of entry without difficulty or interruption. Therefore, He commanded the gates stand open, so they could see all He did, the fortifications of the place, and the royal mansion house of the Prince.

When He spoke, everyone stopped talking and listened to His words, and when He walked, they delighted in imitating everything He did.

On one occasion, Emmanuel scheduled a feast for the town of Mansoul. The townsfolk came to the castle to partake of His banquet. He entertained them sumptuously with all kinds of foreign food – food not grown in the fields of Mansoul. In fact, it wasn’t from anywhere within the whole kingdom of Universe. It was food from His Father’s court, and they were commanded to freely eat dish after dish set before them.

However, when each fresh dish was set before them, they would whisper to one another, “What is it?” for they didn’t know what to call it. (And when the sons of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna (What is it?): for they did not know what it was. Then Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. – Exodus 16:15) Music played all the while as they ate angels’ food with honey given out of the rock. (And God would have fed them also the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock I would have satisfied thee. – Psalm 81:16) They drank water turned to wine and were merry with Him. So Mansoul ate their full of this peculiar food.

I must not forget to tell you that the musicians at this table were not from the town of Mansoul or even of the country either. Instead, they were masters of the songs sung at the court of Shaddai.

After the feast was over, Emmanuel entertained the town of Mansoul with riddles dealing with secrets drawn up by His Father’s skill and wisdom. These riddles were related to King Shaddai Himself, Emmanuel, His Son, and His wars and actions with Mansoul.

Emmanuel explained some of those riddles to them, and oh, they were enlightened! With His help, they saw what they never saw before. They never imagined such finds could be couched in so few ordinary words. And as I told you, these riddles concerned Shaddai, Emmanuel, and His dealings with Mansoul. As the meanings of the riddles were unlocked, the people agreed they were true. As their eyes were opened to these truths, they understood the things they learned were an illustration of Emmanuel Himself. For when they read how the riddles were written and how things connected and looked in the face of the Prince, the two very much resembled one another.

Mansoul couldn’t help but say, “This is the Lamb! This is the sacrifice! This is the rock! This is the red heifer! This is the door! And this is the way!” and a great many other similar statements. (The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him and said, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world – John 1:29; Jesus said unto him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6)

Emmanuel dismissed the town of Mansoul, and you can imagine how the people were captivated with what they learned from their discussion! They were carried away with joy and overwhelmed with wonder. They saw, understood, and considered all Emmanuel had talked about with them, and the mysteries He opened to their understanding. And when they were back home in their houses and in their most secluded places, they couldn’t help but sing about Him and all He’d done. The townsmen were now so taken with their Prince that they even sang of Him in their sleep.

Now within His heart, Prince Emmanuel desired to remodel the town of Mansoul, make it most pleasing to Himself, and protect the now-flourishing town, so it might best move forward. He had such love for Mansoul that He made it ready against insurrections at home and invasions from outside the walls.

He commanded the great slings brought from His Father’s court to be mounted – some on the castle’s battlements and some on the new towers Emmanuel had built since His arrival. Emmanuel also invented a machine designed to throw stones from the castle of Mansoul out toward Mouth-gate. This effective machine didn’t miss its mark. Even though it was so impressive, it went without a name but was committed to the care and management of the brave Captain Credence – to be used in the event of war.

Emmanuel then called Lord Willbewill and commanded him to take care of the gates, the wall, and the towers in Mansoul. The Prince gave him control of the militia and a special order to “resist all rebellion, disorder, or disturbances that might brew within Mansoul against the peace of our Lord the King and the peace and tranquility of the town of Mansoul.” He was told that if he found any Diabolian lurking in any corner of Mansoul, he should apprehend them. “You are to restrain them or consign them to safe custody, so they can be dealt with according to Law.”

Then he called the Lord Understanding to come to Him. If you remember, Lord Understanding was the old Lord Mayor before he was removed from office when Diabolus took the town. The Prince returned him to his former office, and it became a lifetime position. He told him to build himself a palace near Eye-gate. “It should be built in a manner similar to a tower for defense.” He also told him he should read in the Revelation of mysteries all the days of his life, that he might know how to perform his office correctly. (Let us reckon men as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. – 1 Corinthians 4:1)

Emmanuel then made Mr. Knowledge the Recorder, not due to contempt of old Mr. Conscience who had been Recorder, but because in His princely mind He planned to award another position to Mr. Conscience. He told the old gentleman, “You shall learn more about your new position in the future.”

Then He issued this command: “The image of Diabolus should be taken down. Destroy it, beat it into powder, and cast the remains into the wind outside the town wall.” ([And he _][Moses] _took the calf which they had made and burnt it in the fire and ground it to powder and scattered it upon the waters and made the sons of Israel drink it. – Exodus 32:20) He went on to say, “The image of Shaddai, My Father, should be set up again with My own likeness upon the castle gates.” As part of this commission, He said the images should be more beautifully drawn than ever, because with all things considered, both His Father and He had come to Mansoul with more grace and mercy than ever before. His name was to be engraved on the front of the town, using the best gold, for the honor of the town of Mansoul.

The Image of Diabolus Is Thrown Down

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Chapter 17

Trials of the Diabolians

After this was done, Emmanuel commanded that three Diabolians, namely, the two former Lord Mayors, Incredulity and Lustings, and Mr. Forget-Good, the Recorder, be apprehended. In addition to these, the now-valiant, right, noble, and brave Lord Willbewill arrested more of Diabolus’s representatives and aldermen. These included Alderman Atheism, Alderman Hard-Heart, and Alderman False-Peace, and representatives No-Truth, Pitiless, Haughty, and others like them. They were taken into custody by the jailer, Mr. True-Man. This True-Man was one of those whom Emmanuel brought from His Father’s court when He first made war upon Diabolus in the town of Mansoul.

After this, the Prince ordered the three strongholds Diabolus commanded be built by the Diabolians in Mansoul to be pulled down and demolished, and their captains and governors destroyed, which you read about earlier. However, this took a long time to accomplish, because the places were large, and the stones, timber, iron, and all the remaining rubbish had to be carried outside the town.

When this was done, the Prince ordered the Lord Mayor and the aldermen of Mansoul to call a court of justice for the trial and execution of the Diabolians within the town who were now under the charge of Mr. True-Man, the jailer.

When the time for court was set, the Prince sent a command to the jailer to bring the prisoners down to the bar of the court. This was done with the prisoners shackled and chained together, which was the custom of the town of Mansoul. When they were presented before the Lord Mayor, the Recorder, and the rest of the honorable judges seated on the bench, the names of the jurors were written down and the witnesses sworn in. The names of those on the jury included: Mr. Belief, Mr. True-Heart, Mr. Upright, Mr. Hate-Bad, Mr. Love-God, Mr. See-Truth, Mr. Heavenly-Mind, Mr. Moderate, Mr. Thankful, Mr. Good-Work, Mr. Zeal-for-God, and Mr. Humble.

The names of the witnesses were Mr. Know-All, Mr. Tell-True, Mr. Hate-Lies, with Lord Willbewill and his servant, if needed.

So the prisoners were led to the bar where the town clerk Do-Right said, “Have Atheism stand up to the bar, jailer.”

Once he was positioned at the bar, the clerk said, “Atheism, raise your hand. You are here accused under the name of Atheism to be an intruder within the town of Mansoul. For you have destructively and stupidly taught and maintained that there is no God and therefore you have no need to believe in the reality and perfections of God. (The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. – Psalm 14:1a) You have done this against the existence, honor, and glory of the King and against the peace and safety of the town of Mansoul. What do you have to say? Are you guilty of this accusation or not?”

Atheism held his chin high and said, “Not guilty.”

The town crier called out, “Call Mr. Know-All, Mr. Tell-True, and Mr. Hate-Lies into the courtroom.” So the three were called to appear.

Then the clerk said, “You, the witnesses for the King, look at the prisoner standing at the bar. Do you know him?”

Mr. Know-All nodded and said, “Yes, my lord, we know him. His name is Atheism. He has been a noxious fellow for many years in the miserable town of Mansoul.”

“You are sure you know him?” the clerk asked.

“Know him! Yes, my lord. Absolutely! I have been in his company too often to not know who he is. He is a Diabolian, the son of a Diabolian. I knew his grandfather and his father.”

“Well said,” the clerk said. “He stands here accused under the name of Atheism and is charged with maintaining and teaching there is no God and no need to be engaged in any religion. As the King’s witnesses, what do you say? Is he guilty of this or not?”

Know-All looked at the clerk and said, “My lord, there was a time when the two of us hung out together in Villain’s Lane. At that time, he vigorously talked of different opinions, and I heard him say, for his part, he believed there was no God. But he also said he could profess to be religious too, if the company and the circumstances he was in should put him up to it.”

The clerk’s eyes narrowed. “You are sure you heard him say this?”

Mr. Know-All bobbed his head once with determination. “Upon my oath, I heard him say this.”

Then the clerk turned to Mr. Tell-True and asked, “What do you say to the King’s judges concerning the prisoner at the bar?”

Mr. Tell-True looked at the prisoner and then back at the clerk. “My lord, I was a companion of his for a great while, for which I have now repented. During that time, I often heard him say with perverse obstinacy that he believed there was neither God, angel, nor spirit.”

“Where did you hear him say this?”

“In Darkmouth Lane and in Blasphemer’s Row and many other places.”

“Do you know much about him?”

Mr. Tell-True avoided looking at the prisoner. “I know him to be a Diabolian, the son of a Diabolian, and a horrible man who denies the existence of a God. His father’s name was Never-be-good, and he had more children in addition to this Atheism.” He let out a deep breath. “I have no more to say.”

The clerk turned his attention to Mr. Hate-Lies. (The righteous man hates lying: but the wicked man makes himself loathsome, and abominable. – Proverbs 13:5) “Look upon the prisoner at the bar. Do you know him?”

Mr. Hate-Lies glanced at the prisoner with hooded eyes and turned his attention back to the clerk. “My lord, this is Atheism – one of the vilest miserable wretches I ever came into contact with in all my life. I have heard him say there is no God. I have also heard him say there is no world to come, no sin, nor punishment hereafter, and I even heard him say it was as good to go to a whorehouse as to go hear a sermon.”

“Where did you hear him say these things?” the clerk asked.

Hate-Lies glanced toward the prisoner and said, “In Drunkard’s Row at the end of Rascal-Lane at a house in which Mr. Impiety lived.”

The clerk ordered Atheism to sit beside the jailer and asked Mr. Lustings to step up to the bar. When he did, the clerk said, “Mr. Lustings, you are indicted by the name Lustings as an intruder in the town of Mansoul, for you have diabolically and traitorously taught by practice and filthy words that it is lawful and profitable for a man to give in to his carnal desires. (Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. – James 1:15) You never have and never will deny yourself of any sinful pleasure or satisfaction of mind as long as your name is Lustings. How do you plead? Are you guilty of this indictment or not?”

Mr. Lustings stood straight and proud. He said, “My lord, I am a man of high birth and have enjoyed a multitude of pleasures and pastimes. I am not accustomed to being reprimanded for my actions but have been left to follow my own will as if it were law. It seems strange to me that today I am being called into question for my behavior, because I am not alone in this. Almost all men, either secretly or openly, love and approve of living in this way.”

The clerk was not thwarted by Mr. Lustings’ airs. He said, “Sir, we are not concerned with your greatness, although the higher your standing, the better your behavior should have been. (But he that knew not and did commit things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom much was committed, more will be asked of him. – Luke 12:48) What we are concerned with is this indictment against you. Are you guilty of it or not? What do you say?”

“Not guilty.”

The clerk ordered the crier to call the witnesses to come forth and give their evidence.

The crier called out, “Witnesses for the King come in and give your evidence for our Lord the King against the prisoner at the bar!”

Once again, the clerk addressed Know-All as a witness for the King. He said, “Look at the prisoner at the bar. Do you know him?”

Mr. Know-All nodded. “Yes, my lord, I know him.”

“What is his name?”

“His name is Lustings. He was the son of Beastly, and his mother left him naked on Flesh Street. She’s the daughter of Evil-Concupiscence [evil desire or lust]. I knew all these generations of his family.”

The clerk turned toward Mr. Lustings but spoke to Mr. Know-All. “You have heard his indictment; what do you say? Is he guilty of the things charged against him or not?”

“My lord, as he said, he’s indeed been a distinguished man, but he is a thousandfold greater in wickedness than in pedigree.”

The clerk folded his hands in front of himself and asked, “What do you know of his particular actions, especially in reference to his indictment?”

“I know him to be a swearer, a liar, and a Sabbath-breaker. I know him to be a lewd person, an idolater, and he fornicates with those he is not married to. He is an unclean person. I know him to be guilty of an abundance of evils. To my knowledge, he has been a very filthy man.” (Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil lust, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience. – Colossians 3:5-6)

The clerk raised his brows at such allegations. “Where did he commit his wickedness? Did he do such things in private corners or more open and shamelessly?”

“All over the town, my lord.”

The clerk dismissed Know-All and called the next witness. “Come, Mr. Tell-True, what do you have to say for our Lord the King against the prisoner at the bar?”

Tell-True said, “My lord, all the first witness has said I know to be true and a great deal more besides.”

The clerk turned back to the prisoner. “Mr. Lustings, do you hear what these gentlemen have said?”

The prisoner said, “I was always of the opinion that the happiest life a man could live on earth was to allow himself all he desired in the world. I’ve never expressed anything contrary to this opinion at any time but have lived by and loved such sentiments all my life. I was never so selfish or narrow-minded as to not recommend the same for others after having found such sweetness in them myself.” (But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. – 2 Timothy 3:13)

The court stopped him there and said, “Enough evidence has proceeded from his own mouth to declare him guilty. Therefore, place him by the jailer and bring Mr. Incredulity to the bar.”

Incredulity stepped up to the bar, glanced over his shoulder at the other prisoners, and then focused on the clerk when he began to speak.

“Mr. Incredulity,” the clerk began. “You are here indicted by the name of Incredulity as an intruder in the town of Mansoul. You acted with deliberate and wicked intentions when you were an officer in the town of Mansoul and resisted the captains of the great King Shaddai, when they came and demanded possession of Mansoul. In fact, you attempted defiance to the name, forces, and cause of the King because you followed Diabolus as your captain and stirred up and encouraged the town of Mansoul to resist the King’s forces. What do you say regarding this indictment? Are you guilty or not?”

Incredulity’s lip curled in distain. “I don’t know Shaddai, and I love my old prince Diabolus. I thought it my duty to be true to the one in which I placed my confidence and to do what I could to possess the minds of the men of Mansoul to do all they could to resist strangers and foreigners and to fight against them with all their might. I have not and do not plan to change my opinion about this for fear of trouble, even though you hold the power now.” (And chiefly those that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise dominion; presumptuous, arrogant, they are not afraid to speak evil of the higher powers. – 2 Peter 2:10)

The court had heard enough and the clerk said, “It is clear this man is too depraved to be corrected. He upholds and defends his wickedness by bold, obstinate words and his rebellion with shameless confidence. Sit him by the jailer and have Mr. Forget-Good come to the bar.”

Forget-Good walked up to the bar, rolled his eyes, and let out a sigh.

The clerk addressed the prisoner. “Mr. Forget-Good, you are indicted by the name of Forget-Good as an intruder to the town of Mansoul. When the affairs of the town of Mansoul were under your control, you neglected to serve them in what was good. You fell in with the tyrant Diabolus and worked against Shaddai the King, against His captains, and against all who stood with Him. You broke His Law and endangered Mansoul with destruction. What do you say regarding these charges? Are you guilty or not guilty?”

Forget-Good motioned with his hand as he spoke. “My dear gentlemen and judges, in regard to the charges for which I stand here accused before you, please attribute my forgetfulness to my age and not to willfulness, craziness, or careless thinking. I hope by your benevolence you will excuse me from great punishment, even though I am guilty.”

The court did not fall prey to his excuses, and the clerk responded, “Forget-Good, your forgetfulness to do good wasn’t due simply to frailty of mind. Rather, it was a purposeful choice. You hate to ponder or consider virtuous things, and for this reason you retained what was bad. But what was good you couldn’t stand to think about. You are trying to use your age and your pretended craziness to blind the court like a cloak to cover your fraud. We shall see what the King’s witnesses have to say against you.”

He asked the witnesses, “Is he guilty of this indictment or not?”

Hate-Lies was the first witness to speak. “My lord, I have heard this Forget-Good say he could never continue to think of goodness for even a quarter of an hour.”

“Where did you hear him say this?” the clerk asked.

“While in All-base Lane at a house next door to the sign of the Conscience-seared-with-a-hot-iron.” (Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, listening to spirits of error and doctrines of demons; that in hypocrisy shall speak lies; having their conscience seared as with a hot iron. – 1 Timothy 4:1-2)

The clerk asked Know-all for his testimony. “Mr. Know-All, what can you say for our Lord the King against the prisoner standing at the bar?”

“My lord, I know this man well,” Know-All said. “He is a Diabolian, the son of a Diabolian. His father’s name was Love-Naught, and as for the prisoner, I have often heard him say he counted the very thoughts of goodness to be the most burdensome thing in the world.”

“Where have you heard him say these things?”

Know-All glanced at the prisoner. “In Flesh Lane, right across from the church.”

Then the clerk called the third witness. “Come, Mr. Tell-True, and give your evidence concerning the prisoner regarding the charges for which he stands here indicted by this honorable court.”

“My lord, I have heard him often say he’d rather think of the vilest thing than the Holy Scriptures.”

“Where did you hear him say such grievous words?” the clerk asked.

Tell-True rubbed his chin as he considered his answer. “Where? That is harder to answer than you would think, because I heard him say such things in a great many places, but particularly on Nauseous Street in the house of one by the name of Shameless, and in Filth Lane at the sign of the Reprobate next door to the Descent-into-the-Pit.”

Based on this testimony, the court said, “Gentlemen, you have heard the indictment, his plea, and the testimony of the witnesses. Sit him by the jailer and bring Mr. Hard-Heart to the bar.”

Hard-Heart stepped up to the bar with a disinterested air.

The clerk addressed him. “Mr. Hard-Heart, you are indicted by the name of Hard-Heart as an intruder within the town of Mansoul. For you most desperately and wickedly possessed the town of Mansoul without showing even a hint of contrition or sorrow, but instead you displayed an inflexible persistence in sin. All that time while they departed from their faith and walked in rebellion against the blessed King Shaddai, your actions kept the town of Mansoul from showing any remorse or sorrow for their natural and moral evils. What do you say to this indictment? Are you guilty or not guilty?”

Hard-Heart waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “My lord, I’ve never known what remorse or sorrow means. The admonitions of the gospel cannot reach me. (For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them, but it did not profit those that heard the word without mixing it with faith. – Hebrews 4:2) I care about no one, and I can’t be bothered with men’s grief. When I harm or wrong someone, to me their mourning is music to my ears, for their groans won’t enter into my heart.”

The Trial of Hard-Heart

The court decided his case and the clerk said, “You are surely a Diabolian and have convicted yourself. Have him sit by the jailer and bring Mr. False-Peace to the bar.”

False-Peace stepped up to the bar looking like a man without a care in the world.

“Mr. False-Peace,” the clerk said, “you are indicted by the name False-Peace as an intruder upon the town of Mansoul, for you acted most wickedly. You satanically brought, held, and kept the town of Mansoul in her apostasy and hellish rebellion, steeped in a false, groundless, and dangerous peace and damnable security. All of this was to the dishonor of the King and the transgression of His Law, and you brought great damage to the town of Mansoul. What do you say regarding these charges? Are you guilty or not?”

False-Peace answered quietly but firmly. “Gentlemen, and those of you who are now appointed to be my judges, I acknowledge my name is Mr. Peace – but that my name is False-Peace I utterly deny.” (They treat also the destruction of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. – Jeremiah 6:14) He looked directly at his judges. “Your honors, if you will please send for any who intimately know me, the midwife who assisted in my birth or the gossips who attended my christening, they will all prove my name isn’t False-Peace but Peace. For this reason, I can’t plead to this indictment, because the charges are not filed against my true name and so are not properly attributed.”

False-Peace crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I was always a man who loved to live quietly doing what I loved that others might enjoy doing the same. Therefore, when I saw any of my neighbors burdened with an uneasy or troubled mind, I endeavored to help them. I did what I could. In the case of this good disposition of mine, I tried to help many in a number of ways.

“First, in the beginning, when our town of Mansoul declined to follow the ways of Shaddai, some of the people were troubled afterwards. As they reflected on what they had done, they began to have distressing thoughts. Seeing them like this troubled me, and I sought to find a way to free them from their alarming thoughts again.

“Second, when the ways of the old world and Sodom were popular, if anything happened to disturb the customs of that lifestyle, I worked to quiet the trouble, so everyone could live doing as they pleased without being bothered in this way.

“Third, and even closer to home, when the wars broke out between Shaddai and Diabolus, if I saw anyone from the town of Mansoul feeling worried or afraid of destruction, I often found some way to help them stop worrying and to bring them a sense of peace again. (Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own counsel. – Proverbs 1:31) Since I have always been a man of virtuous temperament, some have called me a peacemaker. As a peacemaker, gentlemen, should I be deemed by you who stand for justice and fairness in Mansoul as a man who deserves this inhuman treatment? No! Instead I deserve not only my freedom, but also that I should be granted the authority to seek damages from those accusing me in this way.”

The clerk did not reply to the prisoner but announced, “Officer of the court, make a proclamation.”

The officer of the court called for silence. Then he said, “At this point the prisoner claims to be free from guilt. Seeing the prisoner has denied his name to be the one mentioned in the indictment, if there is anyone here who can provide pertinent information regarding his correct name to the court, we ask that they come forward and give their evidence.”

The two witnesses came into the court to tell what they knew concerning the prisoner. The name of the first was Search-Truth and the name of the other Vouch-Truth. (And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. – John 8:32) The court questioned these men, asking if they knew the prisoner. “What can you say concerning him?” they asked, “for he denies the accusations.”

Search-Truth began to answer first. He said, “My lord, I …”

But the court interrupted him. “Stop. Refrain from answering. First you must take the oath.”

They swore him in, and once he took the oath to tell the truth, Search-Truth began again. “My lord, I know this man and have known him since he was a child. I can attest that his name is False-Peace. I know his father whose name was Mr. Flatter. His mother, before she was married, went by the name of Ms. Sooth-Up. The two of them didn’t live together for very long before they had this son. When he was born, they called him False-Peace. I was his playmate, even though I was somewhat older than him. When the time came for his mother to call him home, she used to call out, ‘False-Peace! False-Peace! Come home now or I shall come fetch you!’

“Yes, I knew him back when he suckled at his mother’s breast, and even though I was little, I remember when his mother used to sit and play with him in her arms; she would coo and sweetly call him ‘My little False-Peace! My pretty False-Peace!’ and ‘Oh! My sweet little rogue, False-Peace!’ Again and again she used that name, saying things like, ‘My little bird, False-Peace! How much I love my child!’ And even though he has had the audacity to deny it in open court, the gossips also know this to be fact.”

Once Search-Truth finished giving his testimony, the second witness, Vouch-Truth, was called upon to speak. They swore him in and asked him, “What do you know of the prisoner standing at the bar?”

Vouch-Truth said, “My lord, all that the former witness said is true. His name is False-Peace, the son of Mr. Flatter and of Ms. Sooth-Up. In times past, I have seen him angry with those who have called him anything other than False-Peace. His anger was toward any who mocked or nicknamed him, but this was during the time when False-Peace was considered an important man and when the Diabolians were the noble men in Mansoul.”

Based on the testimony of these two witnesses, the clerk said, “Gentlemen, you have heard what these two men have sworn against the prisoner at the bar.” (At the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to death, but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. – Deuteronomy 17:6)

He turned and looked at the prisoner. “Mr. False-Peace, you have denied your name is False-Peace, yet these honest men have sworn it is indeed your name. As to your plea, you aren’t being charged for evildoing because you are a man of peace or a peacemaker among your neighbors. In fact, you are being charged because you acted wickedly. You satanically held the town of Mansoul in the bondage of apostasy and rebellion against its King. You lulled them into a false and damnable peace that was disobedient to the Law of Shaddai, and you put the miserable town of Mansoul at risk of destruction.

“Until now, all you have pleaded is the denial of your name and claim you are a peacemaker. But here we have witnesses who prove you are the man False-Peace, and the peace you boast about creating among your neighbors is not the peace that accompanies truth and holiness. Rather, it is built upon a lie and is both deceitful and worthy of eternal punishment. (Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye desire to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it. – John 8:44) The great Shaddai has said as much.”

Then he turned from the prisoner and addressed the court. “The prisoner’s plea does not acquit him from the charges. The indictment against him remains. However, in fairness, we shall call the witnesses who are to testify to the facts of the matter and see what they have to say for our Lord the King against the prisoner.”

Know-All was the first of the witnesses to be sworn in. The clerk asked him, “What do you have to say for our Lord the King against the prisoner at the bar?”

Know-All’s lips thinned into a straight line. “My lord,” he said, “to my knowledge this man has made it his business for a long time to keep the town of Mansoul in a sinful quietness. This he did in the midst of all her unlawful indulgence of lust, filthiness, and disorder. I heard him say, ‘Come, let’s flee from all trouble no matter the grounds or extent of it. Let’s stand for a quiet and peaceable life even though it lacks a good foundation.’”

The clerk dismissed Know-All and called the next witness. “Come, Mr. Hate-Lies, and tell us what have you to say in this matter.”

“My lord,” Hate-Lies said, “I have heard the prisoner say that peace reached by way of unrighteousness is better than trouble with truth.”

The clerk’s brow furrowed as he looked from the witness to the prisoner and back. “Where did you hear him say this?”

“I heard him say those exact words in Folly-yard at the house of Mr. Simple next door to the sign of the Self-Deceiver. In fact, to my knowledge he has said this at least twenty times in that very place.”

The clerk looked to the judges and shrugged. “We may spare further witnesses. This evidence is clear and expresses the guilt in the whole matter.” He said to the officer, “Have him sit by the jailer and bring Mr. No-Truth to the bar.”

When the next prisoner stepped up to the bar, the clerk read the charges. “Mr. No-Truth, you are here indicted by the name of No-Truth as an intruder in the town of Mansoul. To the dishonor of Shaddai, you have always endangered the town of Mansoul with utter ruin. After Mansoul’s total desertion from her King – when she turned to the envious tyrant Diabolus – you defaced and spoiled all that remained of the Law and the image of Shaddai found in the town. (Who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil and delight in wicked perversion. – Proverbs 2:13-14) What do you say? Are you guilty of this indictment or not?”

No-Truth shook his head. “Not guilty, my lord.”

Again, the witnesses were called, and Know-All was the first to present his evidence against the prisoner.

“My lord,” Know-All said, “this man pulled down the image of Shaddai with his own hands, and he did it at Diabolus’s command. I saw him do that and more, for he set up the horned image of the beast Diabolus where Shaddai’s image had been – again at the bidding of Diabolus. He also tore away every last shred he could find of the Law of the King in Mansoul and had it destroyed.”

“Were there any others who saw him do this?” the clerk asked.

Hate-Lies raised his hand. “I did, my lord, and so did many others, for this wasn’t done in secret or hidden in some corner. It took place in open view of all.” Hate-Lies glanced toward the prisoner. The two locked eyes as Hate-Lies said, “He chose to do it publicly, and he delighted in doing it.”

The clerk stood before the prisoner and asked, “Mr. No-Truth, how could you have the confidence and boldness to plead not guilty, when you were so clearly the perpetrator of all this wickedness?”

No-Truth spoke matter-of-factly. “Sir, I figured I must say something, and as my name is, so I speak. Until now, it has served as an advantage. I didn’t realize that by speaking no truth, I would reap the same result as if I’d told the truth.”

The clerk dismissed him with a wave. “Have him sit by the jailer and bring Mr. Pitiless to the bar.”

Mr. Pitiless was brought to the bar and the clerk addressed him with his charges. “Mr. Pitiless, you are indicted by the name of Pitiless as an intruder within the town of Mansoul where you most traitorously and wickedly shut up all kindness, tenderness, and compassion. You wouldn’t allow Mansoul to grieve or feel the pain of her own misery resulting from the abandonment of the faith and principles which she had professed from her rightful King. Instead, you eluded such consequences and turned her mind from the truth and any thoughts that would have led her to repentance. What do you say to this indictment? Are you guilty or not guilty?”

“I am not guilty of being pitiless. In fact, I did all I could to cheer Mansoul up, according to my name, which is not Pitiless but Cheer-Up. I couldn’t bear to see Mansoul in such a gloomy state of mind.”

The clerk raised his brows in surprise. “You deny your name? You mean to say your name is Cheer-Up rather than Pitiless?” He turned to the officer of the court and told him to call for the witnesses. When they gathered before him, he asked, “Witnesses, what do you have to say regarding this plea?”

Know-All spoke first. “My lord, his name is Pitiless. He himself has signed it as such on all the important papers he has filed or recorded. But these Diabolians love to counterfeit their names: Mr. Covetousness covers himself with the name of Good-Husbandry or some similar name. Mr. Pride can, when needed, call himself Mr. Neat, Mr. Handsome, and other such names. The Diabolians are known for this.”

The clerk nodded his understanding and turned to Mr. Tell-True. “And what do you say regarding the prisoner’s claim?”

Tell-True spoke without hesitation. “His name is Pitiless, my lord. I have known him from a child, and he has done all the wickedness for which he stands charged in the indictment. But he isn’t alone. A multitude of them aren’t familiar with the danger of being doomed to eternal punishment. For this reason, they tell all those who are depressed or dejected that they should avoid such thoughts because they seriously think about the damning of their souls.”

After Pitiless took his seat, the clerk ordered Mr. Haughty to be brought to the bar by the jailer. When the prisoner stood at the rail, the clerk said, “Mr. Haughty, you are indicted under the name of Haughty as an intruder within the town of Mansoul. You are accused of traitorously and devilishly teaching the town of Mansoul to move loftily and boldly against the summons delivered by the captains of King Shaddai. (Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who deals in proud wrath. – Proverbs 21:24)

“You also taught the town of Mansoul to speak contemptuously against the great King Shaddai and encouraged them to vilify their King by word and example. In fact, you urged Mansoul to take up arms against the King and His Son Emmanuel. So how do you plead? Are you guilty of this indictment or not?”

Haughty looked at the clerk and witnesses with an over-confident stare. “Gentlemen, I have always been a man of courage and valor. I’ve never snuck about with my head hanging like the head of a bulrush. Nor has it ever pleased me to see men disguise permanent minor defenses outside of a principal fortification. For even though their adversaries seemed to have ten times the advantage, these outer defenses are designed to limit those who oppose them. I didn’t consider who my enemy was or even the reason or motive behind my actions. It was enough to me if I bore it bravely, fought like a man, and came out as a victor.”

After hearing this, the court read the charges. “Mr. Haughty, you aren’t being indicted for being a valiant man, nor for your courage and bravery in times of distress. You are being charged because you made use of this pretended valor to draw the town of Mansoul into acts of rebellion against the great King and His Son Emmanuel. This is the crime you are charged with by this indictment.”

But the prisoner didn’t answer a word. (He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whosoever confesses and forsakes them shall attain mercy. – Proverbs 28:13)

Once the court addressed all the charges against the prisoners, then they handed them over to the jury for the official verdict. They were given these instructions: “Gentlemen of the jury, you have witnessed all that has happened here. You have heard the indictments, the prisoners’ pleas, and what the witnesses have testified against them. Now it is up to you. Withdraw to the private chambers and consider a just verdict in the ways of truth and righteousness, and suitably include what the King has against them.”

Then the jury, which was made up of Mr. Belief, Mr. True-Heart, Mr. Upright, Mr. Hate-bad, Mr. Love-God, Mr. See-Truth, Mr. Heavenly-Mind, Mr. Moderate, Mr. Thankful, Mr. Humble, Mr. Good-Work, and Mr. Zeal-for-God, withdrew, and while sequestered, they fell into deliberation to decide on a verdict.

Mr. Belief, the foreman of the jury, spoke first to the others seated around the table. “Gentlemen, as far as I am concerned, I believe they all deserve death.”

“Spot on,” True-Heart agreed. “I am in complete agreement.”

“Oh, what a blessing it is that such criminals as these have been apprehended!” Hate-Bad added.

“Agreed!” Love-God said. “This is one of the most joy-filled days I’ve ever experienced.”

Mr. See-Truth nodded. “And I know if we judge them worthy of a sentence of death, our verdict shall be upheld by Shaddai Himself.”

“Without question,” said Heavenly-Mind. “When all manner of beasts such as these are cast out of Mansoul, what a desirable town it will be!”

Mr. Moderate leaned his elbows on the table and steepled his fingers. “I don’t usually pass judgment rashly, but these crimes are so notorious, and the witnesses so substantial, that a man who says the prisoners ought not to die must be willfully blind.”

“Blessed be God,” said Thankful, “that the traitors are safely in custody.”

Mr. Humble knelt on his bare knees and said, “I agree with you in this.”

“I am also glad of this,” Good-Work added.

Then the ardent, truehearted Mr. Zeal-for-God stood and loudly said, “Cut them off! They have been like the plague and have sought the destruction of Mansoul!”

In this manner, they were all in agreement regarding their verdict, so they entered into the court to deliver their decision.

The clerk checked to be sure all were present with a roll call. “Gentlemen of the jury, answer all to your names: Mr. Belief, one; Mr. True-Heart, two; Mr. Upright, three; Mr. Hate-Bad, four; Mr. Love-God, five; Mr. See-Truth, six; Mr. Heavenly-Mind, seven; Mr. Moderate, eight; Mr. Thankful, nine; Mr. Humble, ten; Mr. Good-Work, eleven; and Mr. Zeal-for-God, twelve. Good men and true, do you stand together in your verdict? Are you all in agreement?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Who shall speak for you?” the clerk asked.

“Our foreman, Mr. Belief.”

The clerk nodded. “You, the gentlemen of the jury being listed as jurors for our Lord the King to serve here in a matter of life and death, have heard the trials of each of these prisoners at the bar. What do you say? Are they guilty of the crimes for which they stand here indicted or are they not guilty?”

The foreman, Mr. Belief, answered, “Guilty, my lord.”

The court accepted the verdict and said to the jailer, “Look after your prisoners until sentencing.”

This all happened in the morning, and in the afternoon they received the sentence of death according to the Law. After receiving his orders, the jailer put all the prisoners in the most secure cell at the heart of the prison to hold them until the next morning when they were to be executed.

All seemed to be going as it should; however, in the interval between the sentencing and the time of execution, one of the prisoners by the name of Incredulity broke out of prison and escaped. He found his way out of the town of Mansoul, traveled quite a distance, and lay lurking in holes and crevices until he found an opportunity to go back to Mansoul to cause harm for the way they had treated him.

Old Incredulity Escapes from Prison

When Mr. True-Man, the jailer, realized he’d lost his prisoner, he took it very hard, because that prisoner was the worst of all the gang. First, the jailer went to the Lord Mayor Understanding, Mr. Recorder, and Lord Willbewill and told them about what had happened, in order to make a thorough search for the escapee throughout the town of Mansoul. He received an order to make the search for the prisoner, but he could not find him.

From the evidence gathered, they determined he had lurked outside of the town for a while. Some had caught a glimpse of him here and there, as he made his escape out of Mansoul, and one or two also affirmed they saw him outside the town, scrambling over the plain. After he’d been gone for quite some time, it was affirmed by Mr. Did-See that the prisoner was spotted cutting across dry places until he met with Diabolus, his friend, upon Hell-gate Hill.

Incredulity and Diabolus Meet at Hellgate-Hill

And what a pitiful story the old gentleman delivered to Diabolus, concerning what he called “depressing corrections” Emmanuel had brought about in Mansoul. He said, “First, after some delays, Mansoul received a general pardon at the hands of Emmanuel. (For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity; for it is great. – Psalm 25:11) And Mansoul invited Him into the town and gave Him possession of the castle.” Incredulity then added, “They called His soldiers into the town, and the townsfolk were eager for the opportunity to offer lodging to most of them. They entertained Him with the timbrel, song, and dance. However, the thing that bothers me most is that He has pulled down your image and set up His own. He also removed your officers and set up His own.

“On top of all this, Willbewill, that rebel whom I never thought would have turned from us, is now standing in great favor with Emmanuel, just as he once did with you! But Willbewill has received a special commission from his Master to search for, apprehend, and put to death all the Diabolians he finds in Mansoul.” Incredulity motioned with his hands as his tone grew more severe. “Willbewill has already captured and imprisoned eight of my lord’s most trusted friends in Mansoul.” Incredulity turned, unable to look at Diabolus. “It is with grief I tell you this, my lord, for they have all been arraigned and condemned to death. In fact, they have probably already been executed.” He glanced back at his lord. “I told my lord of eight, but I myself was the ninth. I would have drunk of the same cup, if I hadn’t made my escape as you can see.”

When Diabolus heard this rather ludicrous story, he yelled and drew in a deep breath like a dragon and let out a great roar, making the sky dark. He swore he would get revenge on Mansoul for this. So he and his old friend, Incredulity, put their heads together and consulted about how they might take possession of the town of Mansoul again.

However, the day arrived when the prisoners in Mansoul were to be executed. They were brought to the cross in a most solemn manner by the town, for the Prince said this task should be accomplished by the town of Mansoul. He said, “In this way I will see the cheerful readiness of my now-redeemed Mansoul to keep My Word and follow My commandments, that I may bless Mansoul in doing this deed. Proof of freedom of hypocrisy pleases Me very much. Therefore, let Mansoul lay their hands upon these Diabolians to destroy them.”

So the town of Mansoul slew them, according to the word of their Prince, but when they were brought to the cross to die, the Diabolians made it troublesome work for the men. Every one of them harbored irreconcilable enmity and anger in their hearts toward Mansoul, and because they knew they must die, they grew bold at the cross and resisted the men of the town of Mansoul. (Because the prudence of the flesh is enmity against God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, neither indeed can it. – Romans 8:7) In fact, they struggled so much that the men of Mansoul cried out for help to the captains and men of war.

Now the great Shaddai had an officer who managed His affairs in the town. This officer loved the men of Mansoul and was present at the place of execution. When he heard the sounds of struggling and the unruliness of the prisoners against the men of Mansoul as they cried out for help, he joined the men of Mansoul to help them finish the job. Together they crucified the Diabolians who had been a plague, a grief, and an offense to the town of Mansoul.

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Chapter 18

Mansoul Is Made New

When this good work was done, the Prince came down to visit the men of Mansoul, speak to them in a comforting manner, and strengthen their hands in such work. He said to them, “By this act, I have tried you and found you love Me. For you observe and respect My Laws and in this way honor Me.”

Then to show them the town would not lose or be weakened in any way by the loss of the prisoners, He said, “I will make another captain from among you, and this captain will be the ruler of a thousand for the good and benefit of the town of Mansoul, which is now flourishing.” He called a man by the name of Waiting to come to Him and said, “Go quickly up to the castle gate and inquire there for a young man by the name of Mr. Experience who waits upon Captain Credence. Ask him to come here to Me.”

The good Prince Emmanuel’s messenger hurried and delivered the message as commanded. He found the young gentleman, Mr. Experience, lingering in the castle yard as he watched the captain train and muster his men. Mr. Waiting said to him, “Sir, the Prince asks that you come down to His Highness straightaway.” So he brought the young man to Emmanuel, and when he arrived before the Prince, the young man bowed respectfully.

Now the men of the town knew Mr. Experience well, for he was born and bred in Mansoul. He was known to be a man of admirable conduct and valor, and he was a person sensible and wise in matters. He was a handsome person, well-spoken, and very successful in his undertakings.

When the people saw the Prince was so taken with Mr. Experience, they were filled with joy that He would make him a captain over a band of men. With one mind, they bowed the knee before Emmanuel and shouted, “Let Emmanuel live forever!”

Then the Prince said to the young gentleman, “Mr. Experience, I have deemed it good to bestow upon you a position of trust and honor within My town of Mansoul.” (For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also abounds in much thanksgiving unto God; that by the experience of this ministration, they glorify God for the obedience of your consent unto the gospel of the Christ and in your liberal distribution unto them and unto everyone. – 2 Corinthians 9:12-13)

Upon hearing this, the young man bowed his head and worshipped.

Emmanuel said, “The position of which I speak is that of a captain over a thousand men in My beloved town of Mansoul.”

Then the newly appointed captain said, “Let the King live!”

The Prince gave orders to the King’s officer over such matters to draw up a commission for Mr. Experience to make him a captain over a thousand men. “And when you have written it, bring it to me, so I may set My seal to it.”

All was accomplished as He commanded. The commission was drawn up, brought to Emmanuel, and He set His seal to it. Then He sent the commission to the captain by the hand of Mr. Waiting.

As soon as the captain received his commission, he sounded his trumpet calling for volunteers. Young men quickly answered the call and joined him where he stood. Among them were sons of the greatest and most important men in the town who sent their sons to be enlisted under his command. Therefore, Captain Experience came under Emmanuel’s command for the good of the town of Mansoul. For his lieutenant, he selected Mr. Skillful, and for command of his company of cavalry, Mr. Memory. I don’t need to name his under-officers, but I will say his colors were white and the symbol on his shield was the dead lion and dead bear.

When the Prince returned to His royal palace, the elders of the town of Mansoul, namely, the Lord Mayor, the Recorder, and Lord Willbewill, went to congratulate Him. They wanted to thank Him in a special way for His love, care, and tender compassion which He showed to His ever-indebted town of Mansoul. After a time of sweet communion, the townsmen solemnly ended their celebration and returned to their residences.

At this time, Emmanuel appointed a day on which He would renew their charter. He planned to renew it but also enlarge it to fix several defects in it, so Mansoul’s yoke might be made easier. (Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30)

He did this on His own, freely, with open communication and honorable intentions, without any requests or petitions on the part of Mansoul. So when He sent for the old charter and saw it, He laid it aside.

The Prince said, “Now that which decays and grows old is ready to vanish. And the town of Mansoul shall have another charter, a new and better one which is perpetual and by far more certain.” (For this is the testament that I will ordain to the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my laws into their soul and write them upon their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and no one shall teach his neighbour nor anyone his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will reconcile their iniquities and their sins, and their iniquities I will remember no more. In that he says, New, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away. – Hebrews 8:10-13)

The essence of this new charter is as follows: “I am Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, and a great lover of the town of Mansoul. In the name of My Father and in My own merciful disposition, I do treat My beloved town of Mansoul with tenderness and mercy; I forgive, spare, grant, and bestow the following:

“First: free, full, and everlasting forgiveness of all wrongs, injuries, and offenses done by them against My Father, Me, their neighbor, or themselves. (He will turn again, he will have mercy on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:19)

“Second: I give them the Holy Law and My testament. All that is contained within it is for their everlasting comfort and consolation.

“Third: I give them a portion of the self-same grace and goodness that dwells in My Father’s heart and Mine. (I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you in Christ Jesus, that in every thing ye are enriched in him in all word and in all knowledge. – 1 Corinthians 1:4-5)

“Fourth: I grant and bestow upon them freely the world and what is in it for their good. (Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning. – James 1:17) They shall have power over them and will stand with the honor of My Father, My glory, and their comfort. Yes, I grant them the benefits of life and death, things present, and things to come. No other city, town, or company shall have this privilege, but only my Mansoul.

“Fifth: I grant them permission and free access to come to Me in My palace at all times – to My palace above or below, so they can make known their wants to Me. I promise them I will hear and make right all their grievances. (Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of his grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16)

“Sixth: I grant the town of Mansoul full power and authority to seek out, take, enslave, and destroy all manner of Diabolians at any time from wherever they are found in or about the town of Mansoul.

“Seventh: I grant to my beloved town of Mansoul authority to not allow any foreigner or stranger or their offspring to be free within the blessed town of Mansoul. Nor shall they share in Mansoul’s valuable privileges. All the grants, privileges, and immunities I bestow upon Mansoul shall be for those who are native born and thus true inhabitants. All I give is to them and to their offspring after them.

“But all Diabolians of every sort born in another country or kingdom shall be hindered from sharing in these privileges.” ([_Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness? and what communion does light have with darkness? And what concord does Christ have with Belial? or what part do the faithful have with the unfaithful? And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them and walk in them and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. _]– 2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

When the town of Mansoul received their gracious charter from the hand of Emmanuel, it embodied even more than I’ve explained to you here, but what I’ve offered provides the essence of it. They carried it to the public in the marketplace, and there Mr. Recorder read it in the presence of all the people. After this, they carried it to the castle gates and engraved it upon the doors in letters of gold, so the town of Mansoul might always view it and be reminded of what a blessed freedom their Prince had bestowed upon them. This was done so their joy might be increased and their love renewed for their great and good Emmanuel. ([_These things I have spoken unto you that my joy may abide in you and that your joy might be fulfilled. _]– John 15:11)

The Charter Is Read in the Market Place

At this point, you can’t imagine what joy, comfort, and relief possessed the hearts of the men of Mansoul! A great celebration followed. The bells rang, the minstrels played, and people danced. The captains shouted with joy, the silk flags waved in the wind displaying the colors, and the silver trumpets sounded. While all this was going on, the Diabolians hid their heads like those long dead.

And when it was over, the Prince sent for the elders of the town of Mansoul and talked with them about a ministry He intended to establish among them – a ministry that might open them to instruction in things that concerned both their present and future state. (Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did exhort you by us; we beseech you in Christ’s name, be ye reconciled to God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20)

When the elders of Mansoul brought this news to the people, the whole town came running, united in purpose, for whatever the Prince did pleased the people very much. With one accord, they implored His Majesty to establish such a ministry among them that might teach them both Law and judgment, statute and commandment, so they might be familiar in all things good and wholesome. (Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that has nothing to be ashamed of, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15) So He said, “I will grant your requests and will establish two among you – one from My Father’s court and one who is a native of Mansoul.

“He who is from the court is a person of the same quality and dignity as my Father and Me. He is the Lord Chief Secretary of My Father’s house. For He is and always has been the chief dictator of all My Father’s laws – a person altogether well skilled in all mysteries and knowledge of mysteries as is My Father or Myself. He is one with Us in nature and as loving and faithful in the eternal concerns of the town of Mansoul.

“And this is He,” said the Prince, “who must be your chief teacher; for it is He and He only who can teach you clearly in all exalted and supernatural things. (But the anointing which ye have received of him abides in you, and ye do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you of all things and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, abide ye in him. – 1 John 2:27) Only He knows the ways and methods of My Father at court. None other can show the inclination of My Father’s heart at all times, in all things, upon all occasions towards Mansoul. For no man knows the things of a man but the spirit of a man in him, and in the same way, no man knows the things of my Father but His high and mighty Secretary. (For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so no one has known the things of God, but the Spirit of God – 1 Corinthians 2:11) Nor can any other tell Mansoul how and what they shall do to keep themselves in the love of My Father like the Secretary.

“He is the One who can bring forgotten things to your remembrance, and who can tell you things to come. For this reason, this Teacher must have pre-eminence in your desires, inclinations, and judgment, before any other teacher. (But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all the things that I have said unto you. – John 14:26)

“His personal dignity, the excellency of His teaching, and the great skill He has to help you make and draw up requests, supplications, and prayer to My Father to ask for help in a manner pleasing to Him requires that you love the Teacher, fear Him, and pay attention that you don’t grieve Him. (And likewise also the Spirit helps our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself makes entreaty for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. – Romans 8:26)

“This Person can put life, power, and strength into all He says, and He can put it into your heart. This Person can make a prophet of you and can make you tell about future events. Through this Person, you must compose all your petitions to my Father and Me, always obtaining His advice and counsel first, before you let anything enter the town or castle of Mansoul. If you don’t do this, it may very well disgust and grieve this noble Person. (And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with which ye are sealed for the day of redemption. – Ephesians 4:30)

“Listen to what I’m telling you – do not grieve this Minister, for if you do, He may fight against you. If He is once forced to set Himself against you in battle array because of your actions, it will distress you more than twelve legions sent from my Father’s court to make war upon you.

“But, as I said, if you listen to Him and love Him; if you devote yourselves to His teaching and seek to be turned from your way and go His way to seek communion with Him, you shall find Him ten times better than anything in the whole world. For He will shed the love of My Father in your hearts and beyond the walls of Mansoul. And native Mansoulians will be the wisest, most blessed of all people.”

Then the Prince called the old gentleman to come to Him who had previously been the Recorder of Mansoul, Mr. Conscience. He said to him, “In view of the fact you are well skilled in the Law and government of the town of Mansoul and because you are well-spoken, you are qualified to deliver My Master’s will to people in all the earth and in domestic matters.” He went on to say He would make him a minister for, in, and to the town of Mansoul, regarding all the laws, statutes, and judgments of the town.

“And,” the Prince said, “you must limit yourself to teaching moral virtues and how they apply to civil duties in the natural course of things. However, you must not attempt to presume to be a revealer of those high and supernatural mysteries kept close in the bosom of Shaddai, My Father. For those things no man knows, and they can only be revealed by My Father’s Secretary. ([_Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will cause you to know the things which are to come. He shall clarify me, for he shall take of that which is mine and shall cause you to know it. _]– John 16:13-14)

“You are a native of the town of Mansoul, but the Lord Secretary is a native of My Father. Therefore, as you have knowledge of the laws and customs of the town, so He has knowledge of deep things and the will of My Father.

“Therefore, Mr. Conscience, although I have made you a minister and a preacher to the town of Mansoul, you and the rest of Mansoul shall be students taught by the Lord Secretary, as He teaches this people.

“For this reason, you must go to Him for information and knowledge about all exalted and supernatural things, for though there is a spirit in man, this Person’s inspiration must give him understanding.

“Therefore, Mr. Recorder, keep yourself humble and remember that the Diabolians, who didn’t hold true to their first responsibility but left their own assignment, are the same who are now prisoners in the pit. With this in mind, be content with your situation in life.

“I have made you my Father’s proxy on earth in things which I mentioned to you earlier. Now use this power to teach Mansoul these things and, yes, even force them with whips and rebukes, if they don’t listen to do your instruction.

“And, Mr. Recorder, because you are old and have become feeble due to many abuses, I’m giving you permission to go to My fountain whenever you wish. From here, you may drink freely of the blood of My grape, for My conduit always runs with wine. Doing so shall drive out foul, gross, and hurtful thoughts, moods, or fixed evil from your heart. It will brighten your eyes and strengthen your memory to help you retain and recall all that the King’s most noble Secretary teaches you.”

Emmanuel’s Fountain

When the Prince returned Mr. Recorder into the place and office of a minister to Mansoul, the man thankfully accepted. Emmanuel then turned to address the townsmen.

“Fix your eyes and attention on My love and care towards you,” He said. “To all that is in the past, I have added this mercy with the most noble Secretary. He will teach you in all exalted and heavenly mysteries.” He glanced at all those standing before Him. “I now appoint you preachers.”

He gestured toward the Recorder, Mr. Conscience, and said, “This gentleman is to teach you all things human and domestic, for this is his work, and he is not prohibited from telling Mansoul anything he has heard and received from the mouth of the Lord High Secretary. However, he should not attempt to pretend to be one who makes known those exalted mysteries himself, for the revealing and the discovery of them to and by Mansoul lies only in the power, authority, and skill of the Lord High Secretary Himself.

“However, Mr. Conscience may talk of them and so may the rest of Mansoul, and you may impress these truths upon each other for the benefit of the whole body. Therefore, observe and do these things throughout your life, and you will enjoy a long life blessed with peace. (My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my commandments: For they shall add length of days and long life and peace unto thee. – Proverbs 3:1-2)

“And now one more thing,” Emmanuel said to His beloved Mr. Recorder and to all the town of Mansoul. “Regarding things in which High Secretary has authority to teach, you must not dwell upon such things using your own reasoning. In regard to your trust and what you expect in the next world, which I intend to give to Mansoul when they and this world are worn out, you must hold to His doctrine. He is your Teacher after the first order.

“And Mr. Conscience mustn’t look for direction on how to live based on that which he discovers himself. His dependence must be founded in the doctrine of the other Teacher. For even the Recorder must pay close attention, so he doesn’t receive any doctrine based on the confines of his own formal knowledge. The only acceptable doctrine or point of doctrine is that communicated by his Superior Teacher.”

After the Prince settled things within the town of Mansoul, He proceeded to give the elders of the town a necessary caution about how they should carry this message to the high and noble captains whom He had brought with Him from His Father’s court to the town of Mansoul. These captains loved the town of Mansoul. They were handpicked men chosen from an abundance of the best-suited men who would faithfully serve in the wars of Shaddai against the Diabolians for the salvation of the town of Mansoul.

Emmanuel said, “I now charge you, the inhabitants of the currently flourishing town of Mansoul, not to bring this message in a rough or reluctant manner to My captains or their men, since they are handpicked and choice men – men chosen from many of the best for the good of the town of Mansoul. I command you, therefore, to deliver it willingly to them. For though they have the hearts and faces of lions, a little discouragement flung in their direction from the town of Mansoul will depress their spirits and diminish their courage. This will affect their ability when called to engage and fight with the King’s foes and the enemies of the town of Mansoul, which can happen at any time.

“For this reason, My beloved, do not bring My message in an unkind manner to My valiant captains and courageous men of war. Instead, love and nourish them, run to support them, and place them next to your heart. (Let every soul submit itself to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God. – Romans 13:1) They will not only fight for you but will also cause all those Diabolians who seek your utter destruction to flee from you.

“If any of them should fall sick or weak at any time and not be able to perform that office of love which they are willing to carry out with all their hearts, don’t slight them or despise them. Instead, strengthen and encourage them, because though they may feel weak and ready to die, they are your fence, your guard, your wall, your gates, your locks, and your bars of defense. When they are weak, they can do little. They need to be helped by you, and when you do help, you can expect great things from them. (For this cause ye also pay them tribute, for they are God’s ministers, attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues. – Romans 13:6-7a) And when they are well, you know what heroic acts and feats of war they are able to achieve and will perform for you.

“If they are weak, the town of Mansoul cannot be strong. If they are strong, Mansoul cannot be weak. For this reason, your safety depends on their health and in your encouraging them. Remember, if they are sick, they will catch that disease of the town of Mansoul itself.

“These things I have said to you because I care about your welfare and honor. Therefore, Mansoul, observe these principles. Be punctual in all things I charge you to do. I’m not only talking about what you do as a town corporately, in which you depend on your officers, guards, and guides. I’m also speaking to you as individuals whose well-being depends on following the orders and commandments of your Lord.

“Next, My dear Mansoul, in spite of the present reformation taking place among you, I warn you to listen to Me. I am now sure, and you will know for yourselves after this, that Diabolians are still within the town of Mansoul – Diabolians who are foolishly obstinate and harbor irreconcilable enmity and anger. While I am with you, and even more when I am no longer with you, the Diabolians will study, plot, contrive, invent, and attempt to bring you to ruin and to a state far worse than the Egyptian bondage.

“They are declared friends of Diabolus; therefore, be aware of who is around you. When Incredulity was the Lord Mayor of this town, they lived with their prince in the castle. Since My arrival here, they stay more to the outskirts and along the walls where they’ve made dens, caves, holes, and strongholds for themselves. Because of their presence, Mansoul, your work will be much more difficult. When you find them, take hold of them, subdue them, and put them to death according to the will of My Father. You will not be able to rid yourselves of them completely, unless you tear down the walls of your town, but I by no means want you to do this. Do you ask, ‘What shall we do then?’ I tell you: Be diligent and carry through to the end. (See that I command thee to be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for I, the LORD thy God, am with thee wherever thou goest. – Joshua 1:9) Observe their holes and search out any place where they hang about, lurk, or live. Overtake them and make no peace with them; and whatever terms of peace they try to offer you, detest and reject it. If you do this, all will be well between you and Me.

“To help you identify them from those who are natives of Mansoul, I will give you this brief list, which includes names of the topmost Diabolians: Lord Fornication, Lord Adultery, Lord Murder, Lord Anger, Lord Lasciviousness, Lord Deceit, Lord Evil-Eye, Mr. Drunkenness, Mr. Reveling, Mr. Idolatry, Mr. Witchcraft, Mr. Variance, Mr. Emulation, Mr. Wrath, Mr. Strife, Mr. Sedition, and Mr. Heresy. These are some of the primary Diabolians who will seek to overthrow you forever. They lurk within Mansoul. The solution is found within the Law of your King. Look into and study it. You’ll learn about the character of their minds and other specific explanations regarding them by which you will be able to recognize them.

“These Diabolians, My dear Mansoul, if allowed to run free and roam about the town unhindered wherever they like, will eat out your bowels like vipers. Yes, they shall poison your captains, cut the sinews of your soldiers, break the bars and bolts of your gates, and turn your now-flourishing Mansoul into a barren and desolate wilderness and a ruinous heap.

“For this reason, I give to you Lord Mayor, Lord Willbewill, Mr. Recorder, and all the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul. They will have full power and command to seek out, take hold of all manner of Diabolians, and cause them to be put to death by the cross when and wherever you find them lurking inside or outside the town of Mansoul. So take courage and apprehend these villains wherever you find them. (For they intended evil against thee; they imagined a wicked device, but they did not prevail. Therefore shalt thou separate them; thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. – Psalm 21:11-12)

“I told you before that I had placed an established ministry among you. You don’t only have these with you,” as He motioned toward the captains and troops, “but you also have My first four captains who came against the master and lord of the Diabolians when he was in Mansoul. If they are needed, they can carry the message and preach the good and wholesome doctrine to the entire town both privately and publicly. They will help lead you in the way you should go and will set up a weekly, and if need be, a daily lecture in Mansoul. They will instruct you in useful lessons that, if followed, will do you good in the end. Just be sure you don’t release the men whom you have ordered to be crucified.

A Daily Lecture Is Set up in Mansoul

“Now, I have listed the names of these vagrants and apostates to warn you. Some of them shall creep in among you to deceive you. They may even give the appearance of someone predominant and passionate for religion, but if you don’t watch out, they will do you unthinkable harm.

“As I said, these Diabolians will show themselves in another light than what I have described. (For these false apostles are deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 11:13) Therefore, Mansoul, watch and be sober minded. Don’t permit yourself to be betrayed.”

When the Prince fashioned the town of Mansoul to this point and instructed them in these useful matters, He scheduled another day for the townsfolk to come together. He desired to bestow upon the town of Mansoul an additional badge of honor – a badge that would distinguish them from all people and languages that dwell in the kingdom of Universe.

Not long before the appointed day arrived, the Prince and His people met in the King’s palace where Emmanuel first made a short speech to them. Here He did for them as He had promised. “My Mansoul,” He said, “I am about to let the world know you are Mine and grant you the ability to distinguish those who are Mine from all false traitors who may creep in among you.”

He then commanded those who waited upon Him to go and bring white, glistening robes from out of His treasury. “Bring the white garments I have provided and laid up in store for My Mansoul.” The garments were carried from His treasury and laid out for all the people to see. He told them to put them on “according to your size and stature.” So the people dressed in fine white linen, which was bright and clean.

“This, My Mansoul, is My attire given to you as the badge by which those who belong to Me can be recognized from the servants of others. I grant this to all who are Mine. Without wearing it, no one is permitted to see My face. Therefore, wear them for My sake, for I am the One who gave them to you, so the world would know you are Mine.”

Can you imagine how Mansoul shone? She was as bright as the sun, as clear as the moon, and as impressive as an army flying banners. (And the city had no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in her, for the clarity of God has illuminated it, and the Lamb is its lamp. – Revelation 21:23) The Prince said, “No prince, monarch, or mighty one of Universe gives this form of dress except Me, and you shall be acknowledged as Mine by this attire.

“And now that I have dressed you in My fine linens, white and clean, let Me command you concerning them. First, wear them daily so you won’t at times appear to others as if you are not Mine.

“Second, always keep them white; for if they become soiled, it dishonors Me.

“Third, gird them up and don’t let them drag in the dust and dirt of the ground.

“Fourth, take care you don’t misplace them, lest you walk about naked, and they see your shame.

“Fifth, if you soil or defile them, which I am unwilling for you to do because it will make the prince Diabolus glad, then follow what is written in My Law to restore your standing before Me and My throne. For I will never leave or forsake you but will dwell in this town of Mansoul forever.” (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9)

Mansoul and its inhabitants became like the signet ring upon Emmanuel’s right hand. Nowhere was there a town, city, or other establishment that could compare with Mansoul – a town redeemed from the hand and power of Diabolus! A town which King Shaddai loved and to which He sent Emmanuel to regain from the prince of the infernal cave. Yes, a town which Emmanuel loved to dwell in and which He chose for His royal residence – a town which He fortified for Himself and made strong by the force of His army.

What shall I say except that Mansoul now has an excellent Prince, golden captains, men of war, proven weapons, and garments as white as snow. These benefits should not be considered insignificant but great, for the town of Mansoul can consider them valuable and work to improve them for the very purpose for which they are freely given to them.

When the Prince completed fashioning the town to show He delighted in the work of His hands, and took pleasure in the good which He had stirred into action for the famous and flourishing Mansoul, He commanded that they set His flag upon the battlements of the castle. And they did so.

Their obedience garnered benefits – first of which was that He frequently visited. Not a day passed that the elders of Mansoul didn’t come to Him in His palace or He to them. They walked and talked together about all the great things He had done and the things He promised to do in the future for the town of Mansoul. These talks were often held with the Lord Mayor, Lord Willbewill, and the honest secondary preacher Mr. Conscience, the Recorder.

Oh, how graciously, lovingly, courteously, and tenderly this blessed Prince conveyed His love towards the town of Mansoul! He visited all the streets, gardens, orchards, and other places to be sure the poor received His blessing and approval. He kissed them, and if they were ill, He laid hands on them and made them well. (And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every weakness among the people. – Matthew 9:35) He spent time with the captains daily, and sometimes hourly, to encourage them with His presence and graceful words. For you must know that a smile from Him filled them with more vigor, life, and bravery than anything else under heaven did.

The Prince also feasted with them. Hardly a week passed without a banquet shared between Him and them. If you remember, I mentioned some pages back that they had feasted together; but now it was a more common event. Every day with Mansoul was a feast day now. And the Prince didn’t send them away empty, for when they returned to their residences, they had a ring, a gold chain, a bracelet, a white stone, or something else that He had given them. Mansoul was dear to Him now and lovely in His eyes.

Secondly, if the elders and townsmen didn’t come to Him, He sent plenty of provisions to them, including meat from Shaddai’s court, wine and bread prepared for His Father’s table, and such delicacies as to cover their table. Whoever saw this bounty confessed that nothing like it had ever been seen in any kingdom.

Thirdly, if Mansoul didn’t visit Him as often as He desired, He walked out to them, knocked at their doors, and asked to come in so a friendship of goodwill could be maintained between them and Him. They commonly opened the door and invited Him in, if they were home, and with the time spent together, He renewed His love and confirmed it with new tokens and signs of continued favor.

It was truly an amazing sight to see; in the very place where Diabolus had once made his home and entertained his Diabolians, almost to the total destruction of Mansoul, the Prince of princes was now sitting, eating, and drinking with them. And while He did so, His mighty captains, men of war, trumpeters, and the singing men and singing women of His Father all stood round to wait upon them. Mansoul’s cup was filled to overflowing with conduits of sweet wine. She ate the finest wheat and drank milk and honey out of the rock. (Thou shalt prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup is running over. – Psalm 23:5) And now Mansoul said, “How great is His goodness, for since I found favor in His eyes, how honorable have I been!”

The blessed Prince also ordained a new officer in the town, a pleasant person by the name of Mr. God’s-Peace. He set this man over Lord Willbewill, Lord Mayor, Mr. Recorder, the secondary preacher, Mr. Mind, and over all the native Mansoulians. But Mr. God’s-Peace wasn’t a native of Mansoul, for he came with Prince Emmanuel from Shaddai’s court and was a well-known acquaintance of Captain Credence and Captain Good-Hope. Some said they were related, and I admit I hold this opinion too.

This man was made governor of the town in general, especially over the castle, and Captain Credence was to help him. I couldn’t help but notice that as long as all things in Mansoul went as this sweet-natured gentleman directed, the town remained most prosperous and had a secure possession of good. They had no quarrels, no angry scolding, no meddling, or unfaithful goings-on in all the town of Mansoul. Every man in Mansoul paid close attention to his own service. The nobility, officers, and soldiers all observed their order. And the women and children of the town followed their duties joyfully and sang as they worked from morning until night. Throughout the town of Mansoul, nothing was found but harmony, quietness, joy, and health. And this lasted all that summer.

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Chapter 19

Deceived by Carnal-Security

But after the Prince bestowed all this mercy, a man in the town of Mansoul by the name of Mr. Carnal-Security brought Mansoul into great and severe slavery and bondage. Let me offer you a brief account about him and his doings to give you a better understanding of what happened.

When Diabolus first took possession of the town of Mansoul, he brought with him a great number of Diabolians. These men all shared in his sinful condition, and among them was a man by the name of Mr. Self-Conceit. (He that trusts in his own heart is a fool. – Proverbs 28:26a) He was a notable man with as bold an attitude as any who possessed the town of Mansoul in those days. Diabolus recognized that this man was active and bold and used him in many wretched plans, which he happened to manage better than most who came with him from the dens.

This pleased Diabolus, his lord, very much. Therefore, since he found him suited for his purposes, he preferred him over the others and ranked him next to the great Lord Willbewill. Now Lord Willbewill was pleased with him and his achievements in those days, so he gave him his daughter, the Lady Fear-Nothing, as his wife. (God shall hear and bring them down, even he that abides from of old. Because they do not change, nor do they fear God. – Psalm 55:19) Together, Lady Fear-Nothing and Mr. Self-Conceit conceived a child who grew to be this gentleman, Mr. Carnal-Security. (Behold, this is the man that did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and strengthened himself in his wickedness. – Psalm 52:7)

With these kinds of relationships, it was hard in cases like this to determine who were natives of Mansoul and who were not. For Mr. Carnal-Security sprang from Lord Willbewill on his mother’s side, but his father was a Diabolian by nature.

Well, Carnal-Security tended to take after his father and mother. He proved to be conceited, feared nothing, and was a very busy man. No news or doctrine, no changes or even talk of changes circulated about in Mansoul unless Carnal-Security was at the beginning or end of it. To be sure he controlled things, he shunned those whom he deemed the weakest, and always stood with those moving in his direction whom he supposed to be the strongest.

Now when the mighty Shaddai and Emmanuel, His Son, made war upon Mansoul to take it, this Carnal-Security was in town at that time. As a great doer among the people, he encouraged them in their rebellion. He took advantage of their good nature and encouraged them to harden themselves in resisting the King’s forces. When he saw the town of Mansoul was taken and converted to the purposes of the glorious Prince Emmanuel, and then saw what became of Diabolus when he was uprooted and forced to leave the castle amid much contempt and scorn, he slyly made a turnabout. He pretended he would serve the Prince against His foes in the same way that he had served Diabolus.

After acquiring a smattering of Emmanuel’s things, being the bold sort, he ventured amid the townsmen and attempted to strike up a chat among them. He knew the power and strength of the town of Mansoul was great, and he knew it would please the people if he talked up their might and glory. Therefore, he began his tale by talking about the power and strength of Mansoul. He declared it to be impregnable and talked about the greatness of their captains, their slings, and their rams, and boasted about their fortifications and strongholds. Lastly, he mentioned the assurances they had from their Prince that Mansoul would be happy forever. (Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will rest in the house of the LORD for ever. – Psalm 23:6) When he saw that some of the men of the town were entertained and interested in his discourse, he made it his business to walk from street to street, house to house, and man to man to talk. Finally, he led Mansoul while playing the flute as they danced. It felt good and right, and as they danced, they grew almost as carnally secure as he was. And this was only the beginning, for they moved on from talking to feasting and from feasting to amusing themselves and making merry; so they followed their appetites in these and other matters.

Emmanuel was still in the town of Mansoul, and He observed their behavior. Lord Mayor, Lord Willbewill, and Mr. Recorder were also captivated with the words of this idle-talking Diabolian gentleman. (For there are many insubordinate and vain talkers and deceivers of souls. – Titus 1:10) But they forgot their Prince had warned them to take care not to be misled or deluded with any Diabolian sly trick.

He had told them the security of the now-flourishing town of Mansoul didn’t lie so much in her present fortifications and strength, but in how she used what she had, that might oblige her Emmanuel to abide within her castle. For the true doctrine of Emmanuel was that the town of Mansoul should take care not to forget His Father’s love and His love and that they should humbly continue in that love.

What they were doing now was not the way to do it. They had fallen in love with one of the Diabolians and were being led by the nose by such a one as Mr. Carnal-Security. They should have listened to their Prince and responded in fear and love. They should have stoned this naughty pack of Diabolian followers to death and taken care to walk in the ways of their Prince. For if they had done so, they would be enjoying peace like a river, and their righteousness would be like the waves of the sea. (O that thou would look unto my commandments! Then thy peace would be as a river and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. – Isaiah 48:18)

Now it was apparent to Emmanuel that the policy of Carnal-Security chilled the hearts of the men of Mansoul and diminished their practical love for Him. He mourned for them and grieved their condition with the Secretary, as He said, “Oh, that My people had listened to me and Mansoul had walked in My ways! I would have sustained them with the finest of wheat and with honey out of the rock.” With this done, He said in his heart, “I will return to the court – to My place, until Mansoul considers what they have done and acknowledges their offense.”

And He returned to his Father’s court, because Mansoul’s relationship with Him reflected that it had waned in a number of ways:

  1. {color:#000;}They broke fellowship with Him and no longer visited Him or came to His royal palace.
  2. {color:#000;}They didn’t regard or take notice that He no longer came to visit them.
  3. {color:#000;}Though He continued to hold love feasts between their Prince and them as was the custom, they neglected to come to them or be delighted with them.
  4. {color:#000;}They no longer waited for His guidance but became headstrong. They considered themselves strong and invincible and thought Mansoul secure. They thought Mansoul was beyond all reach of the enemy and her state would be unalterable forever.

Now, as was said, Emmanuel noticed that through Mr. Carnal-Security’s craftiness, the town of Mansoul no longer depended upon Him or His Father, and so He put in place what was bestowed upon it. First, He mourned their state, then He implemented measures to make them understand the way they were following was dangerous.

He sent the Lord High Secretary to forbid them to follow such ways, but twice when the Secretary came to them, He found them at dinner in Carnal-Security’s parlor satiating their appetites with his delights. He recognized they weren’t willing to reason about matters concerning their good. It grieved Him and He went His way. When He told Prince Emmanuel what had transpired, He took offense and was grieved too. So He made prearrangements to return to his Father’s court. (And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for certainly he is flesh. – Genesis 6:3)

Even while He was still with them in Mansoul, He stayed secluded and more withdrawn than before. Mansoul no longer perceived His speech to be as pleasant and familiar when He came into their company. Plus, He no longer sent dainty bits from His table, as He had been accustomed to doing in the past. If they came to His gate, they might knock once or twice, but He didn’t seem to regard them, whereas in the past, He would run to meet them halfway at the sound of their approach, invite them in, and hold them close. Now when they came to visit Him, they found He wasn’t so easily spoken with as in the past.

For now, Emmanuel tolerated it and sought to make them reflect on all that had transpired in hopes they would return to Him with their hearts. But, alas! They didn’t consider or regard His ways, because the changes in their relationship with Him didn’t bother them. They didn’t really think about the Prince’s former favors. As a result, He withdrew, first from His palace, then He moved to the gate of the town, and finally He moved away from Mansoul, waiting for them to acknowledge their offense and earnestly seek His face. Mr. God’s-Peace also laid down his commission and for the time being no longer exerted His influence in the town of Mansoul.

Thus, Mansoul walked contrary to His ways and He, by way of reprisal, walked in an opposite direction from them. (Can two walk together except they be agreed? – Amos 3:3) But unfortunately, by this time they were hardened, obstinate, and set in their ways, because they had swallowed so much of Carnal-Security’s doctrine. So when their Prince departed, it didn’t bother them in the least. They didn’t even think of Him once He was gone, so His absence didn’t grieve them in even a little.

Emmanuel Departs Mansoul

Part 2

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Chapter 20

Godly-Fear Speaks Out

Now, a day arrived when this old gentleman, Carnal-Security, prepared a feast for the town of Mansoul. At that time Mr. Godly-Fear was in the town. (The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. – Psalm 111:10a) In times past, his presence was requested, but now he was asked to participate very little. Old Carnal-Security had a plan in mind. If possible, his idea was to mislead this man and deceive him as he had all the rest, so he invited Godly-Fear to the feast with his neighbors. When all the preparations had been made, Godly-Fear arrived with the rest of the guests. All were seated at the table and served food and drink. They feasted and made merry, all except for this one man. Godly-Fear sat like a stranger among the crowd. He didn’t eat or make merry. When Carnal-Security saw this, he went over to talk with the man.

He said, “Mr. Godly-Fear, are you not well? You seem to be mentally or physically ill, or perhaps both. I have a medicine crafted by Mr. Forget-Good, which gives life and cheerfulness to a person. It raises the spirits of one who is weak and depressed. Try a sip, for I hope it will make you merry and carefree and more fit as a feasting companion to us.”

Godly-Fear discreetly replied, “Sir, I thank you for all things courteous and civil, but for your cordial I have no desire to imbibe. However, I do have a word for the natives of Mansoul: you, the elders and important citizens of Mansoul, it is strange to see you so lively and merry, when the town of Mansoul is in such a miserable situation.”

Carnal-Security tried to dismiss Godly-Fear’s statement. “I believe you need sleep. I offer you a comfortable room. Please, go lie down and take a nap, and in the meantime, we will be merry.”

Godly-Fear looked directly at Carnal-Security and said, “Sir, if you had an honest heart, you couldn’t do what you have done and continue to do.”

“Why not?” Carnal-Security shrugged.

“Don’t interrupt me,” Godly-Fear scolded. “It’s true the town of Mansoul was strong, and with a conditional stipulation that affects the agreement with Shaddai, it was impregnable. But you townsmen have weakened our famous town. Mansoul now lies accountable to its enemies. It’s not the time to either flatter or be silent.” Godly-Fear gestured toward Carnal-Security. “You have stripped Mansoul and driven her glory from her. You’ve pulled down her towers, broken down her gates, and rendered the security of her locks and bars useless.

“To make it clear what I mean, from the time you, sir, and your lords of Mansoul have grown so great, the Strength of Mansoul has been offended. He has risen and is gone. If anyone wants to question the truth of my words, I ask this: Where is the Prince Emmanuel? When’s the last time a man or woman in Mansoul saw Him? When did you last hear from Him or taste any of His dainty bits? You now feast with this Diabolian monster, but he is not your Prince. (But these, … shall utterly perish in their own corruption, … These are spots and blemishes, who eat together with you, while at the same time they revel in their deceit, … who forsaking the right way have erred. – 2 Peter 2:12-15a)

“If you had paid attention to enemies outside your walls to make sure they did not breach our walls, they could not have made a prey of you. But since you have sinned against your Prince, your enemies are now within and have been too hard for you.”

Carnal-Security waved a dismissive hand toward Godly-Fear. “Bah! Godly-Fear, will you never shake off your fearfulness and lack of courage? Are you afraid of being dumfounded? Who has hurt you?” He tipped his head to the side, feigning sincerity. “Look, I’m on your side, but you doubt, while I am confident.” He shrugged with his palms toward the ceiling. “Besides, is this a time to be sad? A feast is made for laughter. So why, to your shame and our trouble, do you break into such depressing language, when you should be eating, drinking, and being merry?”

Godly-Fear at Carnal Security’s Feast

Godly-Fear let out a long sigh. “I am sad because Emmanuel has gone from Mansoul. Do you hear me? I said He is gone, and you, sir, are the man who drove Him away. He is gone without so much as giving notice to the nobles of Mansoul that He was leaving. If that’s not a sign of His anger, then I’m not familiar with godly nature.

“And now, my lords and gentlemen, for I’m still speaking to you, your gradual dropping away from fellowship with Him provoked Him to slowly depart from you. He’s been doing so for some time. Perhaps if you had noticed, had come to your senses, and had renewed your standing with Him by humbling yourselves ….” Sadness glistened in Godly-Fear’s eyes. “When He saw no one noticed these dreadful early stages of His anger and judgment, nor took them to heart, He went away from this place. I saw this with my own eyes.

“Therefore, now, while you boast, your Strength is gone. You’re like the man who lost his shoulder-length locks while he slept, and with them his strength. (And she caused him to sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. – Judges 16:19) You may, with this lord of your feast, shake yourselves awake and think you can do everything as you did before. However, He has departed from you, and without Him you can do nothing, so turn your feast into moaning and your laughter into weeping.”

These words startled the secondary preacher, Mr. Conscience, who was the old Recorder of Mansoul. He said, “My brothers, I’m afraid what Godly-Fear tells us is true. I, for my part, haven’t seen my Prince for a long time. I can’t even remember the last time. I can’t answer Godly-Fear’s question. I’m afraid all is dire with Mansoul.”

Godly-Fear agreed. “I know you won’t find Him in Mansoul, for He has gone because of the elders’ inattention and lack of wisdom in their actions, for they rewarded His grace with intolerable unkindness.”

Mr. Conscience grew pale and looked ready to fall down dead at the table – and he wasn’t the only one. All those at the feast, except for Carnal-Security, began to turn an ashen hue. Now Carnal-Security disliked such depressing goings-on and withdrew into a room behind the feasting hall. Those who had heard Godly-Fear speak recovered a little and together agreed to believe what he had said. They consulted as to how best to act, both in regard to the man of the house for drawing them into evil and also to regain Emmanuel’s love.

As they said this, they recalled what their Prince had told them to do when such false prophets arose among them to delude the town of Mansoul. Under the conviction of those words burning within them, they concluded Carnal-Security was a false prophet and thus burned his house down upon him with fire, for he was a Diabolian by nature. (But the prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. – Deuteronomy 18:20)

Then they decided to look for Emmanuel their Prince. They sought Him but did not find Him. This confirmed the truth of what Godly-Fear had said, and it caused them to judge themselves and reflect upon the vile and ungodly things they had done. They realized that it was because of them that their Prince had left.

They agreed to go see the Lord Secretary, whom they had refused to hear from and whom they had grieved with their actions. He was a seer, and they wanted to ask Him if He could tell them where Emmanuel was and how they might send a petition to Him. But the Lord Secretary wouldn’t admit them to discuss this matter, nor would He allow them to enter His royal abode. He didn’t even show His face to them, inform them, or instruct them.

Gloomy clouds hung like a thick blanket of darkness upon Mansoul, and they saw they had been foolish. For the first time, they perceived the wretched damage Carnal-Security’s companionship, swaggering words, and continual idle chatter had brought upon poor Mansoul. They thought about what further cost they would have to pay. With these thoughts milling about in their minds, the men of the town once again looked at Godly-Fear as one of good reputation; they were ready to consider him a prophet.

When the Sabbath day came, they went to hear their secondary preacher, Mr. Conscience. His sermon was fearsomely filled with thunder and lightning! His text was found in the book of the prophet Jonah: [_Those that observe lying vanities forsake his mercy _](Jonah 2:8). He preached with such power and authority that the countenance of the people fell that day. The message was unlike what they usually heard or saw. By the time the sermon concluded, the people were scarcely able to go to their homes or to work the following week. The sermon made such an impact on them that they didn’t know what to do.

In the sermon, Mr. Conscience didn’t only show Mansoul their sin, but he also trembled before them because of the sense of his own sin. So he cried out for himself, as he preached to them, “Unhappy man that I am, that I should do so wicked a thing! That I, a preacher whom the Prince set up to teach Mansoul His Law, should myself live senselessly and without reason and be one of the first found in transgression! This transgression occurred within my precincts. I should have cried out against the wickedness, but I let Mansoul wallow in it, until it drove Emmanuel from its borders!” He also charged all the lords and nobility of Mansoul with these same things.

About this time, a great sickness fell upon the town of Mansoul and most of the inhabitants were afflicted. This included the captains and men of war too. They languished in this condition for a long time. It was serious enough that if an invasion took place, nothing of consequence could be done by either the townsmen or the field officers. The faces of people everywhere were pale and their hands weak. With shaky knees, men staggered on the streets of Mansoul amid groans and pants. And in the distance, more were ready to faint. (Therefore I have also made thee weak in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied. – Micah 6:13-14a)

They still wore the garments Emmanuel had given them, but they were in a sorry state. Some had holes, and others were torn, but all were in a nasty condition. Some no longer fit and hung so loosely on them that if they got snagged upon a bush, they would be plucked from them and leave them naked.

After they spent some time in this sad, bleak condition, the secondary preacher, Mr. Conscience, called for a day of fasting and prompted the people to humble themselves for being so wicked against the great Shaddai and His Son. And he desired that Captain Boanerges would preach, and he agreed to do it.

When the day arrived, his message was based upon this text: “Cut it down; why should it even waste the soil?” (And He spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit upon it and found none. Then he said unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none; cut it down; why does it cumber the ground? – Luke 13:6-7)

He delivered a vivacious sermon, which first showed his reason for choosing this text, namely, that the fig tree was barren. Then he followed this by showing what else was contained in the text – specifically, a choice between repentance or utter desolation. He showed them it was by Shaddai’s authority that this sentence was pronounced. Lastly, he presented reasons that supported his point, and then he concluded his sermon.

What he had to say to Mansoul was relevant in the application so much that poor Mansoul trembled. For this sermon, as well as the former sermon, worked upon the hearts of the men of Mansoul. It helped to keep those awake who were roused by the prior preaching, and as a result, sorrow, mourning, and woe could be heard throughout the whole town.

After the sermon, the town gathered to talk about the best thing they could do. Mr. Conscience spoke up and said, “I will do nothing based on my own decisions without talking it over with my neighbor Godly-Fear. For he provided more understanding of the mind of our Prince than we did, and I don’t know for sure, but I think he may have the same insight now, as we are turning again to moral goodness.”

So they sent for Godly-Fear and he appeared immediately. Upon his arrival, they made known their desire for him to reveal his feelings about what was best for them to do.

The old gentleman answered directly. “It is my opinion that this town of Mansoul should, in this day of her distress, draw up and send a humble petition to their offended Prince Emmanuel, so that He, in His favor and grace, will turn again to you and not stay angry forever.” (For the humble shall not always be forgotten: the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever. – Psalm 9:18)

When the townsmen heard this, they agreed as one to his advice and drew up their request. Then they had to decide who should carry it to the Prince; they agreed to send it by the hand of the Lord Mayor Understanding, and he accepted the opportunity to serve in this way. He committed himself to his journey, departed, and arrived at the gate of the court of Shaddai, where Emmanuel the Prince of Mansoul had gone. But the gate was shut, and a vigilant guard kept watch there, so the petitioner was forced to stand outside the gate for a great while. He made it known to some that he desired the Prince be told who stood at the gate and what his business was. Finally, someone agreed to do so and went in and told Shaddai and Emmanuel, His Son, that the Lord Mayor of the town of Mansoul stood outside the gate of the King’s court, desiring to be admitted into the presence of the Prince, the King’s Son.

The Lord Mayor Waiting at the Gate

The messenger explained the reason for the Lord Mayor’s errand, both to the King and to His Son Emmanuel. However, the Prince would not come to the gate or agree that the gate should be opened to him. Instead, He sent this answer: “They have turned their back to Me and not their face, and now in the time of their trouble, they say to Me, ‘Arise and save us.’ Why don’t they go to Mr. Carnal-Security, as they did when they turned from Me, and make him their leader, their lord, and their protection now in their trouble? In their prosperity, they went astray. Why is it that in their trouble they visit Me?”

With this answer the Lord Mayor’s face turned a dark purple, for it not only troubled and perplexed him but also caused him to grieve. He saw again the consequences of being familiar with Diabolians, such as Mr. Carnal-Security.

When he looked toward the court, he understood little help could be expected for himself or his friends in Mansoul. He humbly struck his breast and returned, weeping and grieving over the deplorable state of Mansoul the entire way.

When he came within sight of the town, the elders and leading people of Mansoul went out at the gate to greet him and learn how he fared at court.

With a downcast countenance, he told them his tale, and they all cried out, mourned, and wept at the news. They responded with humility by throwing ashes and dust upon their heads and dressing their loins in sackcloth. In this manner, they went crying throughout the town of Mansoul. (For this, gird yourselves with sackcloth; lament and howl; for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us. – Jeremiah 4:8) When the rest of the townsfolk saw this, they too mourned and wept. And thus it was a day of rebuke, trouble, and anguish for the town of Mansoul, a day of great distress.

After some time, when they had somewhat renounced their ways, they came together to consult again about the best thing for them to do. They asked advice, as they did before, from the reverend Godly-Fear, who told them, “There is no way better than to do as you did before.” He went on to tell them they should not be discouraged at all by the treatment they met with at court previously, even if several of their petitions should be answered with nothing but silence or a reprimand. “For it is the way of the wise Shaddai to make men wait and exercise patience. And it should be the way of those who fall short to be willing to wait for His timing.” (Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those that fear him, upon those that wait for his mercy. – Psalm 33:18)

They took courage from his words and sent petitions again and again, and again, and again. Not a day or hour went by in Mansoul in which a man didn’t meet another upon the road who was sounding the horn from Mansoul to the court of the King Shaddai and delivering letters petitioning the Prince’s return to Mansoul. Yes, the road filled with messengers meeting in their comings and goings. Some traveled from the court and some from Mansoul. All this was the work of the miserable town of Mansoul during that long, harsh, cold, and tedious winter.

Messengers Going to and from Mansoul

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Chapter 21

Diabolus’s Plan

Now, you may remember I told you that after Emmanuel had taken Mansoul and rebuilt the town, many of the old Diabolians remained lurking about in several places. Some of them had arrived with the tyrant when he invaded and took over the town; others were the result of illegal relationships resulting in unlawful breeding and births. And the holes and dens where they lurked were in, under, and around the wall of the town. Some of the names of these Diabolians are Lord Fornication, Lord Adultery, Lord Murder, Lord Anger, Lord Lasciviousness, Lord Deceit, Lord Evil-Eye, Lord Blasphemy, and that horrible villain, the old and dangerous Lord Covetousness. (Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; which I denounce, as I have also told you in time past that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21) These, as I told you, still resided in the town of Mansoul, even after Emmanuel had driven their prince Diabolus out of the castle.

The good Prince had given Lord Willbewill and the whole town of Mansoul an order to seek, take, secure, and destroy these and all other Diabolians they could lay hands on, because by nature they were enemies of the Prince. In fact, they were among the very ones who sought to ruin the blessed town of Mansoul.

However, the town didn’t pursue this warrant. They neglected to follow the order and didn’t work at apprehending, securing, or destroying these Diabolians. Therefore, these villains took courage and, little by little, poked their heads out from their hiding places. They gradually showed themselves to the inhabitants of the town. And as I was told, some of the men of Mansoul grew too familiar with some of them – to the detriment of the town.

When these Diabolian lords who were left in the town realized Mansoul’s sinning had offended Emmanuel their Prince, and He had withdrawn from them and was gone, they plotted the ruin of Mansoul. So at a set time, they met at the den of Mr. Mischief, who was also a Diabolian. (These are the men that devise mischief and give wicked counsel in this city. – Ezekiel 11:2b) They talked about how they might deliver Mansoul into the hands of Diabolus again.

As the discussion progressed, some advised one way and some another, with every man offering an opinion according to his own liking. Lord Lasciviousness proposed an idea suggesting it might be best for some of the Diabolians in Mansoul to offer themselves as servants to some of the natives of the town. He said, “For if they do this and Mansoul accepts them, they may make the taking of the town easier than it would be otherwise for us and for Diabolus our lord.”

But Lord Murder stood to present his own thoughts on the subject. “This might not work at this time, because Mansoul is currently eager to reconcile herself to her Lord again, because of what happened with our friend, Carnal-Security. The town was seduced by deceit once already and made to offend her Prince. How shall she reconcile herself except by the heads of these men? We know they have an order to capture and slay us wherever they find us. Therefore, let’s be wise as foxes. If we are dead, we can’t hurt them, but while we live, we may bring them harm.”

So once they had tossed the matter back and forth for a time, they agreed a letter should be sent to Diabolus in their name. They would explain the current state of the town of Mansoul and how it had fallen under the displeasure of their Prince. “We can also let him know our intentions and ask his advice as to how we should proceed.”

So a letter was drafted and this is what it said:

“To our great lord, the prince Diabolus, who dwells below in the infernal cave:

“O great father and mighty prince Diabolus, we, the true Diabolians who still remain in the rebellious town of Mansoul, having received our existence from you and our nourishment from your hands, cannot sit back and endure watching without doing anything as you are blamed, disgraced, and criticized by the inhabitants of this town, and your long absence is to our disadvantage.

“The reason we are writing to our lord is that we have hope this town may be inhabited by you once again. Mansoul has waned from its relationship with Prince Emmanuel so much that He has departed from them. And even though they have sent petitions over and over again, asking Him to return, until now their petitions have accomplished nothing. At this point, they haven’t received a single good word from Him. (They cried out, but there was no one to save them: even unto the LORD, but he did not answer them. – Psalm 18:41)

“Recently, a great sickness and fainting has spread among them and continues even now. This sickness isn’t limited to the poor of the town but has even befallen the lords, captains, and important nobility. We who are Diabolians by nature remain well, lively, and strong, so we are writing to let you know Mansoul lies vulnerable to your power as a result of their transgression against Shaddai’s Law. We believe now is the time for you to act. Your cunning, combined with the sly craftiness of the rest of the princes with you, makes it the perfect opportunity to attempt to take Mansoul again. We await your word in this matter; in the meantime, we shall do all within our power to be ready to deliver it into your hand.

“If you don’t think what we have said meets with what you believe is the best course of action, send us your thoughts in a few words. We are all ready to follow your counsel, even if it puts our lives in peril or costs us whatever else we possess.

“This petition is imparted by our hands on the day and date written above. It was drawn up after close consultation at the house of Mr. Mischief, who is still alive and keeps his residence in our desirable town of Mansoul.”

The Diabolians chose Mr. Profane to carry their message. When he arrived with the letter at Hell-gate Hill, he knocked at the brass gates and awaited entrance. Cerberus, the monstrous hound of Hades that served as the porter and keeper of that gate, opened to him. Profane stepped through the gate with the letter from the Diabolians who lived in Mansoul and presented it to Diabolus his lord.

“Greetings, my lord, from Mansoul,” Profane said as he delivered the letter into Diabolus’s hand. “This letter is from our trusted friends in Mansoul.”

Profane at the Gate of the Pit

A rowdy crowd made up of scoundrels gathered from the dens of Beelzebub, Lucifer, and Apollyon to hear the news from Mansoul. The letter was opened and read while Cerberus stood by. When the letter had been read in the hearing of those present, news of what it said spread into all the corners of the den, and a command was given that the dead man’s bell should be rung in celebration. So the bell rang out, and the princes rejoiced that Mansoul was likely to come to ruin. Now, the clapper of the bell rang this out: “The town of Mansoul is coming to dwell with us! Make room for the town of Mansoul!” This bell rang out this message nonstop, and they all hoped to have Mansoul again.

When they completed this horrible celebration, they came together to figure out how to answer their friends in Mansoul. Some advised one thing and some another. Finally, because the business required a swift response and they judged Diabolus the lord most particularly suited for making this choice, they left the whole decision to their prince. So he drew up a letter as he thought fit and sent his response by the hand of the same Mr. Profane to the Diabolians who lived in Mansoul.

This is what it said:

“To our offspring, the high and mighty Diabolians who still live in the town of Mansoul, Diabolus, the great prince of Mansoul, wishes a prosperous outcome to the many brave enterprises, conspiracies, and plans you have in your hearts to perform against Mansoul because of your love and respect for our honor.

“Beloved children and disciples, my Lord Fornication, Lord Adultery, and the rest, we received and welcomed your letter delivered by the hand of our trusted Mr. Profane here in our desolate den. It is with utmost joy and satisfaction that we read your message and in response rang our bell with gladness. In fact, we rejoiced as much as we could, when we realized we still had friends in Mansoul who sought our honor and revenge in the ruin of the town of Mansoul. We rejoiced to hear Mansoul is in a fallen condition, and they have offended their Prince; He is gone. Their sickness pleases us, and we are delighted to hear of your health, might, and strength. We cannot put into words how glad we would be to get this town into our clutches again, and we shall not spare our cleverness, cunning, craft, or hellish ingenuity in order to bring about our desired conclusion.

“And consider these comforting words, dear offspring. We shall again surprise Mansoul and take it. We will attempt to put all your enemies to the sword and will promote you to be the great lords and captains of the place. If we take Mansoul again, you will no longer need to fear being cast out ever again, for this time we will come with more strength and hold fast and control more than we did the first time. It is the Law of that Prince Emmanuel to whom they claim to belong that if we conquer them a second time, then they shall be ours forever.

“We ask that you, our trusted Diabolians, attempt to weaken Mansoul more and more. Pry into their everyday dealings. Endeavour to spy out their weakness. Then send us word about what you find and how you think we have the best chance to recover the town – whether by persuasion to live a vain and loose life, by tempting them to doubt and despair, or by blowing up the town with the gunpowder of pride and self-conceit.

“My brave Diabolians and true sons of the pit, be ready to make a hideous assault from within Mansoul at the time when we are ready to storm Mansoul from outside the walls. Make haste in your preparations. In our interests to possess Mansoul, we will tap into the maximum power of the gates of Hades. Your great Diabolus, Mansoul’s enemy, and he who trembles when he thinks of judgment to come closes this letter, wishing all the blessings of the pit be upon you.

“This letter is given by the mutual consent of all the princes of darkness at the pit’s mouth to be sent by the hand of Mr. Profane to the remaining force and power still in Mansoul from me, Diabolus.”

This letter was sent from the dark dungeon of Diabolus to the Diabolians who still lived in Mansoul and inhabited the wall. It was delivered by the hand of Profane, and when he returned to Mansoul, he went straight to the house of Mr. Mischief, as this was the place where the schemers met. It was here the conclave awaited his arrival.

When they saw their messenger approach the house safe and sound, they were filled with gladness. Then he presented them with the letter he carried from Diabolus. They opened it eagerly and read it. The contents boosted their morale and filled them with delight. They asked about the welfare of their Lord Diabolus, Lucifer, and Beelzebub; they asked how the rest of their friends from the den fared.

Mr. Profane stood tall and proud, quite enjoying all the attention his role in the plan provided. He said, “Well, my lords. They are well – at least as well as can be expected in that place.” His thin lips stretched into a smile that looked more like a sneer. “They rang the bell for joy after the reading of your letter,” Profane pointed to the open letter in their hands, “as you can see by this letter.”

And it was true. When they read their letter, it encouraged them in their work, and they plotted a Diabolian strategy for how they might complete their plan against Mansoul. “Don’t let it be known,” one said.

The others agreed. “Yes, we need to be sure Mansoul is not informed regarding the plans we have against it.” So the first thing they agreed upon was to keep all their plans as hidden as possible from Mansoul.

Then they discussed what tactics they should use to bring about the ruin and overthrow of Mansoul. Again, each had his own opinion, but Mr. Deceit stood up and said, “My just Diabolian friends, if we look to the letter we have received, our lords and the high ones of the deep dungeon have proposed three ways by which we may accomplish this task.

“First we need to decide if it is best for us to seek its ruin by making Mansoul careless and vain. The second option they offered was to drive Mansoul to doubt and despair, and the third was to endeavor to blow it up by the gunpowder of pride and self-conceit.”

Deceit hooked his thumbs around the straps holding up his trousers and rocked back and forth from heel to toe. “Now if we tempt them to pride, that may accomplish something.” (Pride shall certainly give birth to contention. – Proverbs 13:10a) A smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth. “And if we tempt them to excessive indulgence because of their freedom and instill contempt against the restraints of the Law regarding morality and good behavior, that may help. (But each one is tempted, when they are drawn away of their own lust and enticed. – James 1:14) But, in my mind,” he stopped rocking and placed his long fingers flat on the table around which they sat. He look at each of the Diabolians and said, “If we could drive them into desperation, that would hit the nail on the head. For that would cause them to question the truth of the love of the heart of their Prince towards them.” His thin lips stretched into a toothy smile. “And that will disgust Him. If it works as well as I think it will, it shall put a stop to those petitions they are sending to Him. Say good-bye to their earnest requests for help and supplies.” Deceit straightened and hooked his thumbs about the straps again. “The natural conclusion will be to do nothing, for in their eyes it shall serve no purpose.” All the Diabolians nodded and gave their unanimous consent to Deceit’s plan.

As excited as they were with this plan, it still raised the question of how they could bring it to pass. Deceit rubbed his hands together and said, “This might be the best way to do it.” He leaned in close and everyone drew near to listen carefully. “Let all of our friends who are willing to risk their lives for promoting this cause, disguise themselves. Let them alter how they dress, change their names, and visit the market, pretending to be from a far-off country. While in the marketplace, let them offer themselves as servants to the famous town of Mansoul.

“Once they are accepted in this role, let them pretend to help and support their masters, but once Mansoul hires them, they can corrupt and defile the entire town a little at a time. And this will further offend her Prince and He shall spew them out of His mouth. (But I fear that as the serpent deceived Eve through his craftiness, so your senses should be corrupted in some way, and ye should fall from the simplicity that is in the Christ. – 2 Corinthians 11:3)

“And when this is done, they’ll become easy prey for our prince Diabolus.” Deceit nodded with glee and the others agreed. “Yes, they shall fall into the mouth of the buyer.” The specifics of this plan were no sooner proposed than they became accepted by all the Diabolians who were ready to engage in this subtle venture. However, they decided it wasn’t a task fit for all to take part in. Therefore, they chose three: Lord Covetousness, Lord Lasciviousness, and Lord Anger. Lord Covetousness called himself by the name of Prudent-Thrifty. Lord Lasciviousness called himself Harmless-Mirth, and Lord Anger called himself Good-Zeal.

On market day, these three impudent fellows came into the marketplace, dressed in sheep’s clothing, which was as white as the white robes of the men of Mansoul. (Keep yourselves also from the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. – Matthew 7:15) These men could speak the language of Mansoul well, and when they arrived in the marketplace, they offered to lease their services to the townsmen. In a short time, their offers were accepted, because they asked for low wages and promised to do their masters great service.

Mr. Mind hired Prudent-Thrifty (Covetousness), and Mr. Godly-Fear hired Good-Zeal (Anger), while Harmless-Mirth (Lasciviousness) had a little more trouble being hired, because the town of Mansoul was observing Lent. However, when Lent was almost over, the Lord Willbewill hired Harmless-Mirth to wait on him as his personal servant and lackey.

So all three villains now had masters. The plan progressed when they were invited into the houses of the men of Mansoul. They wasted no time to execute great harm within their homes, for they were morally impure, cunning, and artfully resourceful in performing things secretly. As a result, they quickly corrupted the families and their masters as well, especially Prudent-Thrifty and the one they called Harmless-Mirth. (Let no one deceive you with vain words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Be not ye, therefore, partakers with them. – Ephesians 5:6-7)

However, the Lord Anger, who went under the mask of Good-Zeal, wasn’t as well liked by his master, for Godly-Fear recognized he was nothing but a counterfeit rogue. When Lord Anger realized he was found out, he escaped from the house. If he hadn’t, I don’t doubt his master would have hanged him.

Up to this point, these vagabonds carried on with their scheme and corrupted the town as much as they could on their own, and wondered when their prince Diabolus would attempt to seize Mansoul. They all agreed a market day would be best for that effort, because the townsfolk would be distracted with their business. You see, the rule of thumb says when people are most busy in the world, they least fear the unexpected.

They reasoned, “If we take action on a market day such as this, we’ll be able to meet to lay the groundwork for our friends and lords with less suspicion. And if they do happen to notice what we’re doing, and we are forced to retreat, it will be easier to hide in the crowd and make our escape.”

Once they agreed on these things, they wrote another letter to Diabolus and sent it by the hand of Mr. Profane. This is what it said:

“From the lords of Looseness to the great and high Diabolus from our dens, caves, holes, and strongholds in and about the wall of the town of Mansoul, greetings.

“Our great lord and the nourisher of our lives, Diabolus – how glad we were when we heard that you, our father, are ready to carry our plan forward with us in our attempt to ruin Mansoul. No one can tell, except those who set themselves against all appearances of good, as we do, when and wherever we find it.

“Concerning the encouragement your greatness was pleased to give us to devise, contrive, and fix our minds upon the complete desolation of Mansoul, let us say we are not anxious about it. We know it can be nothing but pleasing and advantageous for us to see our enemies and those who seek our lives die at our feet or flee before us. We continue to scheme and deceive our enemy to the best of our ability to make this work easy and accomplish it for your lordships and for us.

“First, we considered that hellishly cunning, threefold project you proposed to us in your last communication. We decided that blowing them up with the gunpowder of pride would do well, and tempting them to be loose and vain would work quite effectively. However, we think the best approach is to bring them into the gulf of hopelessness.

“Now we who wait for your direction have thought of two ways to do this. First, we will make these Mansoulians as vile as we can. Then when you join us at the appointed time, you’ll be able to fall upon them with the greatest force. And of all the nations awaiting your call, we think an army of Doubters would most likely be able to attack and overcome the town of Mansoul with success.

“With this plan we shall overcome these enemies; otherwise the pit shall open and desperation shall thrust them into it. We’ve already embedded three of our trusted Diabolians among them. Covetousness, Lasciviousness, and Anger are wearing disguises and have changed their names, and they are now accepted by the Mansoulians.

“The name of Covetousness has been changed to Prudent-Thrifty, and he has been hired by Mr. Mind who has become almost as bad as our friend. Lasciviousness has changed his name to Harmless-Mirth, and he now serves as Lord Willbewill’s lackey. He has made his master very self-indulgent. Anger changed his name to Good-Zeal and was invited to live with Godly-Fear, but that irritable old gentleman was suspicious and kicked our companion out of his house. Since that time, Anger informed us that if he hadn’t run away from the old man, his master would have hanged him for what he had done.

“These three have helped move our work forward in Mansoul, for even with the spite and quarrelsome temper of the old gentleman, the other two Diabolians have applied their efforts and are likely to have their work bring results.

“As we see it, the next step in this project is for you to come against the town on a market day while the town is caught up in the heat of business. For when they are consumed with such affairs, they will feel most secure and least expect an assault will be made upon them. They will also be less able to defend themselves or to displease you as you put our plan into action.

“When you make your furious assault outside the gates, we, your trusted and beloved ones, shall be ready to help from within. So in all likelihood, we will be able to put Mansoul into total confusion and swallow them up before they realize what’s going on. (For where there is envy and contention, there is confusion and every perverse work. – James 3:16) Our highly esteemed lords and most elusive dragons, if your serpentine heads can find a better way than this, let us know what is on your minds.

“We send this to the monsters of the infernal cave from the house of Mr. Mischief in Mansoul by the hand of Mr. Profane.”

While the raging rebels and hellish Diabolians planned the ruin of the town of Mansoul, the town fell into a sad and miserable state. This was partly because they had offended Shaddai and His Son and partly because their enemies had renewed their strength within. The many unanswered petitions sent to Prince Emmanuel and His Father Shaddai asking for their pardon and favor added to their despondency. Through the craft and slyness of the domestic Diabolians, the cloud hanging over Mansoul grew blacker and blacker, and their Emmanuel seemed to stand even farther away.

The sickness still raged in Mansoul, both among the captains and the inhabitants of the town, but their enemies remained lively and strong. If things continued in this way, the Diabolians were likely to become the head, while Mansoul became the tail.

The Sickness of Mansoul

The letter written by the Diabolians who still lurked in the town of Mansoul was on its way to be delivered to Diabolus by the hand of Mr. Profane. (He sits in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places he murders the innocent: his eyes are secretly set against the poor. – Psalm 10:8) He planned to carry the letter past Hell-gate Hill and deliver it to Cerberus to place into the hand of his lord. But when Cerberus and Profane met, since both were about as distinguished as beggars, they fell into a conversation about Mansoul and the plans against her.

“Old friend!” Cerberus said in greeting. “You’ve come to Hell-gate Hill again! I’m glad to see you!”

The wicked Profane, feeling important, returned the greeting and said, “Yes, I’ve come again about the concerns of the town of Mansoul.” He showed the letter to Cerberus who took it from his hand.

The two stood at the gate talking. “Please, do tell me about that town of Mansoul and what condition it is in,” Cerberus said.

“For us and the lords of this place, it is in magnificent condition,” Profane began. “As to godliness, I believe they have deteriorated. That’s about the best we can wish for. And their Lord is out of sorts with them, and that pleases us as well. We have access to some of their homes, for our Diabolian friends have gained their acceptance. What more do we need to become masters of the place! Our trusted friends plot daily to betray the lords of this town. The sickness continues to rage bitterly among them. When you add it all up, we hope to prevail in the end.”

The dog of Hell-gate agreed. He said, “There’s no better time than this to assault them. I wish the plan would be put into practice, and the desired success achieved soon. I wish it for the sake of the poor Diabolians who live in continual fear of their lives in that traitorous Mansoul.”

“Devising of the plan is almost finished,” Profane said. “The lords in Mansoul who are Diabolians are working at it day and night, while the Mansoulians are like silly doves. ([_He lies in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lies in wait to catch the poor: he catches the poor when he draws him into his net. He crouches and hides himself, and many are those who fall under his power. _]– Psalm 10:9-10) They cannot see what is going on around them. They’d need understanding to be concerned with their state and recognize ruin is at hand. You can’t help but conclude Diabolus will prevail if he moves quickly.”

Cerberus agreed. “You can say that again. I am glad things are at this point.” He gestured with his head toward the den beyond Hell-gate. “I have sent your letter in already. Go in to my lords, my brave Profane; they will welcome you as a bearer of good news, which the whole kingdom will send forth.”

Profane walked into the den. His Lord Diabolus stepped from the shadows and greeted him. “Welcome, my trusty servant. Your letter has made me very happy.”

The rest of the lords of the pit greeted him in a similar manner, and after Profane bowed low and paid homage to them all, he said, “Let Mansoul be given to my Lord Diabolus, and let him be her king forever.” In response, the hollow belly and yawning gorge of hell issued a loud, hideous groan, for that was the music of that place. The mountains trembled as if they would crumble and fall into pieces.

Profane’s Interview with Diabolus

After the monsters of the infernal cave read and reflected on what the letter said, they talked about how to reply. The first to speak his opinion was Lucifer. He said, “The initial project of the Diabolians in Mansoul is likely to meet with good success, as they can make Mansoul even more vile and filthy. There is no better way to destroy a soul than this. Our old friend Balaam did this and prospered many years ago. (Who forsaking the right way have erred, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. – 2 Peter 2:15)

“As a general rule for Diabolians in all ages, let this bolster our confidence to attain the greatest number of souls possible. For nothing can make this approach fail except grace, of which I hope this town has no share. (To the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he has made us accepted in the beloved; in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace. – Ephesians 1:6-7)

“However, whether or not to attack them on a market day because they would be hindered while doing business – that, I think, should be under debate. This approach should be debated because it is essential to the success of our plan. If we don’t time it well, our whole plan may fail.

“Our friends, the Diabolians, say a market day is best because Mansoul will be busiest then and won’t be thinking of a surprise attack. But what if they happen to double their guards on those days? Nature and reason would teach them such steps should be taken on market day. And what if they keep watch on those days as their current circumstances require? Think about it. What if their men are always armed on those days? If such is the case, you, my lords, may be disappointed in your attempts and may even place our friends in the town in danger of unavoidable ruin.”

The great Beelzebub stood. Flickering firelight danced across his hideous reptilian features. “My lord has made a good point, but his speculation may or may not come about. Nor has he explained what must not be surrendered again. I know he said what he did to provoke a heated debate about the topic. With that in mind, we must learn whether the town of Mansoul has a sense or knowledge of her decayed state or not. Does she know anything of the plan we have? Does she realize we already have admission to her? If she has such knowledge, it would rouse her to set a watchguard at her gates and to double this security on market days. But, if after we look into it we find they are asleep and unaware regarding our actions, then in my judgment any day will do, but a market day would be best.”

Diabolus tapped his clawed finger against his pointed chin as he pondered what had been said. “How would we know this?”

A voice among the group called out, “Ask Mr. Profane. He lives there and will know of such goings on.” So Profane was called in and asked the question.

Profane felt quite important as his lords looked to him for vital information. “My lords,” he said, “so far as I can gather at this time, the condition of the town of Mansoul is that their faith and love has dwindled. (Nevertheless I have against thee that thou hast left thy first love. – Revelation 2:4) They haven’t made much of an attempt to correct or amend their lives, and Emmanuel, their Prince, has turned His back on them. They send petitions asking Him to come to them again and again, but He has not responded to their requests in a timely manner.”

Diabolus smiled broadly, showing his nasty, jagged teeth. “I am glad to hear they have backslidden in this way, but I’m still troubled by their petitioning of Emmanuel. However, their loose living is a sign that there isn’t much heart in these efforts, and if the heart isn’t involved, such things are of little value. But go on with what you have to say. I won’t distract you further.”

Beelzebub closed his ideas in the matter. “If Mansoul’s condition is as Profane has described it to us, it won’t matter what day we assault it, because their prayers and even their power will do them little good.” (But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. – Isaiah 59:2)

When Beelzebub finished presenting his opinion, Apollyon followed with his insights. He said, “My opinion concerning this matter is that we move forward, but without force, not doing things in a hurry. Let our friends in Mansoul go on with their work, polluting and defiling her by seeking to draw her further into sin. There is nothing like sin to devour Mansoul.

“If this is done and it takes effect, Mansoul will forget about sending further petitions. In fact, she won’t do anything to increase her security and safety, for she will forget her Emmanuel and will not desire His company. If she can be drawn into living this way, her Prince won’t hurry to her aid. Our trusted friend, Carnal-Security, drove Him out of the town with one of his tricks. Remembering this, I ask, why wouldn’t Lord Covetousness and Lord Lasciviousness keep Him out of the town by what they do?

“I tell you this, not that you don’t already know it, but two or three Diabolians working from the inside, if retained and supported by the town of Mansoul, will do more toward keeping Emmanuel from them and toward making the town of Mansoul your own than a legion sent out from us to oppose Him could accomplish.

“Therefore, let this first segment of the project our friends in Mansoul have begun be carried on. With all cunning and craft imaginable, let them send more of their men to practice deception among the people of Mansoul while living under one disguise or another. If we follow this method, we won’t need to rush upon them to make war. If it does become a necessity, the more sinful they are, the more unable they will be to resist us, and the easier it will be for us to overcome them.

“If you look at it from the worst-case scenario – that Emmanuel actually comes to them again – wouldn’t this same approach likely drive Him away from them once more? When He sees how they have slipped into sin again, why wouldn’t their actions drive Him from them forever, for the same reason which He was driven from them in the first place? And if this happens, He’ll go away with His battering rams, slings, and His captains and soldiers. This would leave Mansoul naked and bare. When the town sees she’s utterly forsaken by her Prince, don’t you think she’ll open her gates to you again of her own accord? (For my enemies speak against me, and those that lay in wait for my soul take counsel together, saying, God has forsaken him; persecute and take him for there is no one to deliver him. – Psalm 71:10-11) Don’t you think she will restore you to the place you held in the days of old? But this will be accomplished over time. It’s going to take more than a few days to cause such a great work as this to take place.”

As soon as Apollyon finished speaking, Diabolus spewed his own malice and pleaded his cause. He said, “My lords and powers of the cave, my true and trusted friends, I have listened to your long and tedious orations with much impatience. Now I ask that you listen to me. My hunger and thirst are unquenchable, and I lust after a repossession of my famous town of Mansoul. Whatever the outcome, I can’t wait any longer to see how things turn out as we drag out our plans. Without further delay, I must seek by all the means at my disposal to fill my insatiable chasm with the soul and body of the town of Mansoul. Therefore, I ask that you lend me your heads, hearts, and your help. For I am going to recover my town of Mansoul – now!” He pounded his clenched claw to emphasize his point.

When the lords and princes of the pit saw the flaming desire within Diabolus to devour the miserable town of Mansoul, they decided not to raise any more objections even though they knew that if they had followed Apollyon’s advice, they would have distressed the town of Mansoul far more fearfully. Instead, they consented to lend him what strength they could, just in case they might need him in the future for one of their own schemes. So they moved on to the next subject to be discussed, namely, how many soldiers they had that could join with Diabolus when he went up against the town of Mansoul to take it.

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Chapter 22

Diabolians Prepare for War

After some debate, the fiends who had assembled from the dens, caves, holes, and strongholds agreed to follow the suggestion put forth by the Diabolians in the letter. For this march against Mansoul, none would be better than an army of terrible Doubters, so they decided to send an army of hardy Doubters numbering between twenty and thirty thousand against Mansoul.

The great council of those high and mighty lords decided Diabolus should speak to the men in the land of Doubting, which lies near the borders of Hell-gate Hill. He was to persuade them to join his ranks against the miserable town of Mansoul.

It was decided these lords should help Diabolus in this war effort by serving as commanders who would manage his men. So they drew up a letter and sent it back to the Diabolians who lurked in Mansoul and were awaiting Profane’s return. In the letter, they made known the method by which the plan was to move forward. This is what it said:

“From the dark and horrible dungeon of hell, Diabolus, with all the princes of darkness, send this to our trusted ones who dwell in and about the walls of the town of Mansoul. We know how impatiently you are waiting for our most devilish answer to your venomous and most poisonous plan against the town of Mansoul.

“You are our offspring in whom we boast every day and in whose actions we delight all year long. We received your valuable letter at the hand of our trusted and beloved Mr. Profane, and to your amazing credit, we want you to know when we opened and read the contents, our yawning, hollow-bellied abyss made a hideous, bellowing noise for joy. The great sound shook the mountains around Hell-gate Hill to pieces.

“We admire your faithfulness and the slyness of your plan and how it has shown us that you stand ready to serve us against the town of Mansoul. In fact, you have invented such an excellent approach for our proceeding against that rebellious people that we don’t believe a more effectual approach could be thought of by all the wits of hell. Therefore, since we saw the proposals you have sent us, we have admired and approved them.

“We want to encourage you with insights regarding your cunning and let you know that at a full assembly and conclave of our princes and principalities, we discussed your proposal at length and agreed a better or more fit way to proceed could not be devised to surprise, take, and make the rebellious town of Mansoul our own.

“As the plan was discussed, anything which varied from what you laid out in your letter fell aside, and only your ideas stuck as the way to move forward for Diabolus, the prince. His heart burns hot to put your plan into action.

“We therefore wanted you to understand our brave, furious, and unmerciful Diabolus is raising more than twenty thousand Doubters to come against Mansoul, for your relief and the ruin of that rebellious town. These men are all valiant, strong, and accustomed to war. He is doing this work with all possible speed, for his heart and spirit are dominated by it. We desire you to join with us, as you have in the past, and we ask that you continue to give us both advice and encouragement. If you continue to pursue our plan, you will not lose out but shall be rewarded, for we intend to make you the lords of Mansoul.

“Those of us here desire every one of you who are in Mansoul to use all your power, cunning, and skill with deceptive persuasion to draw the town of Mansoul into more sin and wickedness with the goal of drawing them into that sin that brings forth death. (But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. – Hebrews 3:13)

“With this in mind, we’ve decided the more vile, sinful, and corrupt the town of Mansoul is, the more unwilling Emmanuel will be to come to her aid, either by His actual presence or in some other form of relief. The more sinful she becomes, the weaker and the more unable the Mansoulians will be to resist when we make our assault to overtake them. (When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. – Matthew 13:19) Their mighty Shaddai Himself will cast them out of His protection. If this were to happen, He would also send for His captains and soldiers to return home with His slings and rams and leave them vulnerable. Then the town of Mansoul would open to us and fall as a ripe fig into the mouth of the eater. Yes, this would make it a great deal easier to come against her and overcome her.

“As to the timing of our plan to come against Mansoul, we haven’t resolved that point as yet. Some of us agree with your thinking that a market day or even the night of a market day would be best. However, be ready at all times. When you hear the loud, continual roar of our drum outside the wall, do your best to create the most horrible confusion within the walls of the town. In this way, Mansoul will be distressed inside and outside, and they won’t know which way to turn for help.

“Lord Lucifer, Lord Beelzebub, Lord Apollyon, Lord Legion, and all the others greet you, as does the Lord Diabolus. We wish everything you do or possess to produce the very same fruit and success as we enjoy for our efforts.

“From our dreadful boarders in the most fearful pit, we greet you, and so do the many legions here with us. We all wish that you may be as hellishly prosperous as we desire to be ourselves. By the letter carrier, Mr. Profane.”

Mr. Profane then concentrated on getting ready for his return to Mansoul and his errand to deliver the letter from the horrible pit to the Diabolians who lived in that town. When he walked up the stairs from the deep pit and reached the mouth of the cave, Cerberus saw him and asked, “How did matters go below regarding the town of Mansoul?”

Profane shrugged. “Things went as well as we can expect. The letter I carried here from Mansoul was well liked by all my lords and highly approved. I’m returning to tell our Diabolians this news, and I carry an answer to it here.” He patted the pocket over his heart where he’d placed the letter for safekeeping. “I’m sure it will make our masters who sent me glad, because the contents of the letter are written to encourage them to pursue their plan to the fullest. It instructs them to be ready at any time to attack from within, when they see Lord Diabolus surrounding the town of Mansoul.”

Cerberus’s canine brow wrinkled with surprise. “You mean he intends to go against them himself?”

Profane’s thin lips pulled into a half-smirk. “Does he? Yes! And he plans to take more than twenty thousand men of war with him – all strong Doubters, handpicked men from the land of Doubting who will serve him in the mission.”

Profane Returns from the Pit

Cerberus was glad to hear this news. He said, “Are such bold preparations being made to go against the miserable town of Mansoul? I hope I might be put in charge of a thousand of them in order to show my own valor.”

“Your wish may come to pass,” Profane said. “You look like one who has courage enough, and my lord will bring with him those who are valiant and brave.” He patted Cerberus on the back. “I must be on my way. My business requires haste.”

Cerberus nodded. “So it does. Hurry and be on your way to Mansoul with all its troublemakers. And when you arrive at the house of Mr. Mischief, tell the Diabolians who meet there that Cerberus wishes to serve them. And tell them I hope to come with the army against the famous town of Mansoul.” (They gather themselves together as an army against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent blood. – Psalm 94:21)

“I will pass along your message,” Profane said. “And I know my lords will be glad to hear it and to see you also.”

After they passed a few more compliments back and forth like this, Mr. Profane said good-bye to his friend Cerberus who sent him off with a thousand pit-wishes and told him to hurry on his way to his masters. Profane bowed with respect one last time and turned on his heels to run to Mansoul.

He returned to Mansoul in this way and went straight to the house of Mr. Mischief, as he did following the delivery of the first letter. There he found the Diabolians assembled and waiting for his return. He delivered the letter to them with the compliments to go with it. He started reading the message to them. “My lords, from the confines of the pit, the high and mighty principalities and powers of the den greet you, the true Diabolians of the town of Mansoul. (For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the lords of this age, rulers of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in the heavens. – Ephesians 6:12) We are thankful for the great service, vigorous efforts, and valiant achievements you’ve taken upon yourselves for the restoring of this to our prince Diabolus.”

This was the state of the miserable town of Mansoul: she had offended her Prince; He was gone; and she had encouraged the powers of hell to come against her to seek her complete destruction.

True, the town of Mansoul could still perceive moral good from evil and was aware of her sin, but the Diabolians had affected her at the core, at the seat of her pity and kindness and, therefore, affected her tenderness, compassion, and scriptural sense.

She cried, but Emmanuel was gone, and her cries didn’t bring Him back. She didn’t know whether He would ever return to His Mansoul again. Plus they were ignorant of the power and diligence of the enemy – how they were moving forward with the scheme of hell they had devised against her.

They sent petition after petition to the Prince, but He answered all of them with silence. They still neglected to correct or amend their lives from transgressing the moral law. They continued in corrupt conduct, which is exactly how Diabolus wanted it. He knew if they regarded iniquity in their heart, their King would not hear their prayer. ([_If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. _]– Psalm 66:18) They therefore grew weaker and weaker, being driven like a tumbleweed in the whirlwind.

They cried to their King for help, while maintaining a friendship with the Diabolians. What could a King do? For now, a mixture of Diabolians and Mansoulians walked the streets together. The Diabolians began to seek peace with the Mansoulians, because the sickness had become so life threatening in Mansoul that fighting in such close quarters with them would be in vain. Mansoul’s weakness had become her enemies’ strength, and the sins of Mansoul were to the Diabolians’ advantage. (For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he weighs all his goings. His own iniquities shall take hold of the wicked, and he shall be imprisoned with the cords of his sins. He shall die because he did not submit to chastening; and due to the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. – Proverbs 5:21-23)

The foes of Mansoul began to promise themselves possession of the town, because there wasn’t much difference now between Mansoulians and Diabolians. In fact, both seemed to be masters of Mansoul. It was a sad sight to see the Diabolians increase and grow while the town of Mansoul diminished, with more than eleven thousand men, women, and children dying from the sickness.

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Chapter 23

Mansoul Prepares

But now, Shaddai provided one who loved the people of Mansoul. His name was Mr. Prywell. He walked the streets of Mansoul and paid close attention to everything, trying to see or hear any plans against it. He was vigilant and always feared some harm would befall Mansoul, either from the Diabolians within the town or from some power outside the walls.

One time as Prywell walked about with his ears perked to listen, he came to a place called Vile-hill in Mansoul. A house stood there, and Diabolians used it for meeting. One night Prywell heard some muttering from this house, and he tiptoed closer to hear. He stood at the corner of the house where he could listen for quite a long time. Someone inside affirmed, “It won’t be long before Diabolus possesses Mansoul again.” This person also said that when this happened, the Diabolians intended to put all Mansoulians to the sword! They even planned to kill and destroy the King’s captain and drive all His soldiers out of the town. Prywell stood still with a sinking heart. He forced himself to stay long enough to hear the one talking say, “Diabolus has prepared more than twenty thousand fighting men to accomplish this plan, and it will be accomplished soon.”

When Prywell heard this, he didn’t doubt it was true. He hurried to the Lord Mayor Understanding’s house and recounted all he’d heard. Understanding sent for Mr. Conscience and broke the news to him. Mr. Conscience sounded the alarm to the town, for he was now the chief preacher in Mansoul, because the Lord Secretary was the secondary preacher. He alerted the town that same hour by ringing the lecture bell, so the people came together in one place. He offered them short but encouraging advice, telling them to be watchful. (Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41) Then he shared Mr. Prywell’s news.

He said, “A horrible plot has been contrived against Mansoul to massacre all of us in a day. This information cannot be ignored because Prywell is the source, and he loves Mansoul and always has. He’s a serious man of sound judgment and is no idle talker or one to raise false reports. However, he is one who loves to get to the bottom of things and doesn’t just talk about the latest news but bases what he tells on very solid arguments. I will call him, so you can hear what he has to say with your own ears.”

So he called Mr. Prywell who came and told his tale. All he said was affirmed as truth with an abundance of facts, and as a result, Mansoul fell under conviction of the truth.

The preacher also backed him by saying, “It isn’t irrational for us to believe this, for we have provoked Shaddai to anger. We have sinned Emmanuel out of the town, and we’ve had too much communication and dealings with Diabolians. We have forsaken our former mercies. It’s no surprise then that the enemy should have a scheme in place, both within and without, to plot our ruin. What better time to do it? The sickness of sin is now in the town, and we have been weakened by it. (I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and I have not hid my iniquity. I said, I will confess (against myself) my rebellions unto the LORD, and thou shalt forgive the iniquity of my sin. – Psalm 32:5) Many a good-meaning man is dead, and the Diabolians grow stronger and stronger.”

Mr. Conscience continued, “I’ve received from this good truth-teller, Mr. Prywell, even more insight as to the harm planned against us. He overheard that several letters have passed between the furies and the Diabolians to plan our destruction.”

When Mansoul heard all this, they were unable to deny it. They lifted their voices as one and wept. Prywell stepped forward in the presence of the townsmen and confirmed the truth of all their preacher had said. They again expressed deep sorrow for their depravity of mind and doubled the number of requests sent to Shaddai and His Son. They broke the news to the captains, high commanders, and men of war in the town of Mansoul and asked them to use the intervening time to be strong and to take courage. (Be of good courage and strengthen your hearts, all ye that wait in the LORD. – Psalm 31:24)

They told them to look after their armor and other equipment and make themselves ready to face Diabolus in battle night or day, so they’d be ready whenever he chose to beleaguer the town of Mansoul.

Now the captains loved the town of Mansoul, and when they heard this, they gathered like many Samsons and shook themselves awake. They put their heads together and plotted how to defeat the bold and hellish plans put in place by Diabolus and his friends against the now sick, weak, and impoverished town of Mansoul. They agreed upon these steps:

First, the gates of Mansoul were to be kept shut and made secure with bars and locks. Security measures were to be put in place that required everyone who went out or came in to be inspected by the captains of the guards, who said, “In order that those who live deceptively among us and are leaders in this plot for our ruin may be taken into custody.”

Second, a strict search was to be made for every Diabolian throughout the whole town of Mansoul. Every house was to be searched from top to bottom for these Diabolian leaders and others who might have a hand in these plans.

Third, Mansoul decided that even those of the town of Mansoul, who had provided a house and lodging to the Diabolians, should repent in a public place as a warning to others.

Fourth, the town of Mansoul determined that the entire town should hold a public fast – a day to show they accepted their Prince as just and to humble themselves before Him for their violations against Him and against Shaddai, His Father. (But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer rose up in my bosom. – Psalm 35:13) It was decided that anyone in Mansoul who didn’t keep the fast or humble themselves for their faults, but who continued to devote their minds to worldly works or wandering about doing as they pleased, should suffer as Diabolians for their wicked actions.

Fifth, they decided to waste no time in renewing their humiliation for their sin, and with enthusiasm and zeal they sent off petitions to Shaddai asking for help. They also decided to let the court know about what Mr. Prywell had told them.

Sixth, the town of Mansoul determined that thanks should be given to Prywell for his diligence in seeking after the welfare of their town and for his natural inclination to seek their good and undermine the intentions of their enemies. They commissioned him as Scoutmaster-General for the good of the town of Mansoul.

The Council of the Captains of Mansoul

When the entire assembly and their captains had finished planning this course of action, they followed through with every item. First, they shut up their gates, then they began a strict search for all the Diabolians. Those with whom Diabolians were found were expected to repent in the open, and the town kept their fast and renewed their appeals to their Prince. Mr. Prywell managed the task Mansoul had put into his hands with great integrity and dependability. (Moreover, it is required in stewards that each one be found faithful. – 1 Corinthians 4:2) He devoted his attention and effort both in the town and outside the walls to pry, see, and hear.

After a few days, he made provision for his journey and went towards Hell-gate Hill into the country where the Doubters lived. Here he heard about all that he had overheard in Mansoul, and he sensed that Diabolus was almost ready for his march against them. So he returned to Mansoul and called the captains and elders together. He told them where he had been and what he’d heard and seen. Particularly, he told them, “Diabolus is almost ready for his march against Mansoul, and he has made old Mr. Incredulity – the very same man who once broke out of prison in Mansoul – the general of his army.”

Prywell spoke urgently about these matters. “Diabolus’s army consists of Doubters; every one of them is a Doubter. They number more than twenty thousand. With these forces, he intends to bring the chief princes of the infernal pit. He plans to make them his chief captains over his Doubters.” He also told them it was true that several of those from the dark den who had been driven back with Diabolus planned to reduce the town of Mansoul in obedience to Diabolus, their prince.

He said, “I understand the Doubters, for I was once one myself.” He went on to explain that old Incredulity was made general over the whole army because “there’s no one truer to the tyrant. He is motivated by merciless spite against the well-being of Mansoul. He remembers the poor treatment Mansoul showed him, and he intends to spitefully punish them in return. So while the dark princes will be made high commanders, only Incredulity will be in charge, because he can easily and more adeptly surround the town with an army in a way to preclude escape better than any of the princes can.”

When the captains of Mansoul and the elders of the town heard this news delivered by Prywell, they thought it beneficial to enact the laws that were already in place against the Diabolians – the very laws their Prince had made for them in order to restrain the Diabolians. Now they enforced them without further delay. They were so diligent and impartial that a search was made in every house in Mansoul for all manner of Diabolian.

In the house of Mr. Mind and in the house of the great Lord Willbewill, two Diabolians were found. In Mr. Mind’s house, they discovered Lord Covetousness, even though he had changed his name to Prudent-Thrifty. In Lord Willbewill’s house, Lasciviousness was found, but he’d changed his name to Harmless-Mirth. The captains and elders of the town of Mansoul took these two Diabolians and committed them to the custody of Mr. True-Man, the jailer. He handled them quite harshly and placed them in irons, so after a short time they both wasted away and died in the prison house. In accordance with the agreement of the captains and elders, their masters were brought out to publicly do penance to their shame as a warning to the rest of the town of Mansoul. (And this is the condemnation, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness more than the light because their deeds were evil. – John 3:19)

The method of penance in those days was to make the offending persons aware of the evil they had done, so they were ordered to confess their faults and correct their lives going forward.

After this, the captains and elders of Mansoul continued the search for more Diabolians. They sought them out in all the places where they lurked, whether it be in dens, caves, holes, vaults, or anywhere else in or about the wall or town of Mansoul. (For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. – John 3:20) But even though they plainly followed the Diabolians’ scents and tracked them to the mouths of their caves and dens, they were unable to take them into custody to bring them to justice, because their ways were so crooked and their holds so strong that they quickly took sanctuary there. (Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. – 1 Corinthians 4:5)

Even with the stiff rules in place, Mansoul wasn’t able to eradicate the Diabolians. Any remaining Diabolians gladly shrank into corners and stayed out of sight rather than dare to walk out in the open during the day, as they had been doing. But now they were forced to live in seclusion, and at night, the Mansoulians, who were once their companions, now counted them as deadly enemies. This good change resulted from the intelligence Prywell delivered to the famous town of Mansoul.

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Chapter 24

Drummings and Deceit

By this time, Diabolus had finished building his army. He had his captains and other field officers in place, and all of them admired his intense anger. He considered himself lord supreme with Incredulity as the general of his army; I’ll name the chief captains later. For now, the officers, colors, symbols, and standards had all been put in place to ruin Mansoul. These officers included:

Captain Rage, who was first captain, was placed over the Election-doubters. (Therefore, brethren, give all the more diligence to make your calling and election sure. – 2 Peter 1:10) His colors were red and his standard-bearer was Mr. Destructive; the coat of arms on his shield was the great red dragon.

The second captain was Captain Fury, who was placed over the Vocation-doubters. (There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. – Ephesians 4:4) Mr. Darkness served as his standard-bearer, and the silk flags marking his unit were pale colors with the fiery flying serpent the symbol used for his coat of arms.

The third captain, Captain Damnation, was captain over the Grace-doubters. (But unto each one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of the Christ. – Ephesians 4:7) His red colors were carried by Mr. No-Life. The symbol on his shield was the black den.

The fourth captain, Captain Insatiable, served as captain over the Faith-doubters. (Faith, therefore, is the substance of things waited for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1) His standard-bearer, Mr. Devourer, flew the red colors; the symbol for his coat of arms was the yawning jaws.

The fifth captain, Captain Brimstone, was captain over the Perseverance-doubters, and his standard-bearer, Mr. Burning, also carried the red colors with the symbol of the blue stinking flame. (Therefore, my beloved brothers, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 15:58)

The sixth captain, Captain Torment, oversaw the Resurrection-doubters. (And with great power the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. – Acts 4:33) He flew the pale colors and his shield bore the symbol of the black worm. Mr. Gnaw served as his standard-bearer.

The seventh captain, Captain No-Ease, was set as captain over the Salvation-doubters. (But the salvation of the righteous is the LORD; he is their strength in the time of trouble. – Psalm 37:39) Mr. Restless was his standard-bearer and also flew flags of red. His symbol was the ghastly picture of death.

The eighth captain, Captain Sepulcher, was placed over the Glory-doubters, and his standard-bearer carried the pale colors and bore the symbol of a skull and dead men’s bones. (To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery in the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27)

The ninth captain, Captain Past-Hope, served as captain of those who are called the Felicity-doubters. (Happy is the man whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are thy ways. – Psalm 84:5) His standard-bearer was Mr. Despair, and his unit also flew the red colors. His coat of arms bore the symbol of a hot iron and the hard heart.

The great Diabolus also placed seven superior captains. The names of these chief captains were Lord Beelzebub, Lord Lucifer, Lord Legion, Lord Apollyon, Lord Python, Lord Cerberus, and Lord Belial, and Incredulity was lord-general. Over all of them, Diabolus was king. Others were made captains of hundreds, and some were made captains of more, and the army under Incredulity was completed as they rendezvoused at Hell-gate Hill.

So they set out in great numbers from Hell-gate Hill and marched straight toward the town of Mansoul. As I hinted earlier, the town wasn’t taken by surprise, for as Shaddai planned, Mansoul received the warning of their coming from Mr. Prywell. Thanks to this warning, the town had set up a watchman at the gates and doubled the guards. They mounted their slings in strategic places from which they could cast great stones against their furious enemy.

Mansoul put in place measures to restrict and eliminate those Diabolians who had been designated to bring harm to Mansoul from within her walls, so they were unable to fulfill their role. Mansoul was now awake. But oh, the poor people were afraid when they caught sight of their enemies marching toward them. Once those troops sat outside the town, the thunder of their drums filled Mansoul with even more dread. It was an amazingly hideous sound to hear and sight to see with the streaming colors unfurled in the breeze. Such a presence frightened every man within seven miles and discouraged them even further. ([_Give ear to my prayer, O God, … because of the voice of the enemy because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. … Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. _]– Psalm 55:1a, 3, 5)

When Diabolus came up against the town, he approached Ear-gate first and furiously assaulted it. He must have thought his friends in Mansoul were in place and ready to help him from within to overtake Mansoul. However, due to the vigilance of Shaddai’s captains, those Diabolian troublemakers were taken out of commission. Because Diabolus lacked the help that he expected and the stones from the slingers pounded his army, he was forced to retreat from Mansoul. So he entrenched himself and his men in the field outside the reach of the slings.

Considering the lingering weakness of Shaddai’s captains from the long sickness which had bothered the town of Mansoul, they performed gallantly.

Once Diabolus entrenched himself, he set up four bulwarks against the town. The first of these mounds he called Mount Diabolus, giving it his own name to frighten the town of Mansoul more. The other three he called Mount Alecto, Mount Megara, and Mount Tisiphone, after the dreadful furies of hell. He did this to toy with Mansoul like the lion does with its prey to make it drop with terror. But, as I said, Mansoulian captains and soldiers resisted, as they slung their stones against the enemy and forced them to retreat. Mansoul therefore took courage.

Now, upon Mount Diabolus, which was raised on the north side of the town, the tyrant set up his standard. He fashioned it, using devilish art that looked like a coat of arms and included a picture of Mansoul burning – making it a fearful thing to look at.

With his standard raised, Diabolus said, “I now have a mind to negotiate with the trembling town of Mansoul.” So he commanded his drummer to approach the walls of the town of Mansoul every night and beat out the call for a parley – a signal for holding a conference with the enemy. He chose to do this at night, because during the day their slings inconvenienced him. He also thought that if the drums beat every night, he might wear them down. He reasoned that even if Mansoul was unwilling to consider meeting with him, they might become weary and be forced to do it.

So his drummer did as commanded. He arose and beat his drum, and it was a dreadful sound. If one looked toward the town of Mansoul, only darkness and sorrow could be seen. (And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea; and if one looks unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof. – Isaiah 5:30) No noise ever heard on earth was more dreadful, except the voice of Shaddai when He spoke. But Diabolus’s tactic worked, because Mansoul trembled and thought they’d be swallowed up instantly.

As this drummer beat his drum for a parley, he made a speech to Mansoul. “My master has told me to tell you that if you submit, you will enjoy the good of the earth. But if you choose to be stubborn, he is determined to take you by force.”

When the drummer finished delivering his message and beating his drum, the people of Mansoul had already run to the captains who were in the castle, so no one considered what the drummer said or gave him an answer. So he said no more, but returned to the camp and his master.

When Diabolus realized that drumming didn’t work to make Mansoul bend to his will, he sent his drummer without his drum to again make known to the townsmen his hope to talk with them. But his parley turned into a summons for the town to deliver themselves up to Diabolus. They wouldn’t listen or pay attention to anything he said, because they remembered how it cost them to hear just a few words from him.

The next night he sent his messenger again to Mansoul, but this time it was none other than the terrible Captain Sepulcher. So Captain Sepulcher approached the walls of Mansoul and made this speech to the town:

“Inhabitants of the rebellious town of Mansoul! I summon you in the name of the prince Diabolus. Without further fuss, throw open the gates of your town and admit the great lord. Be warned, if you still choose to rebel, we will swallow you up like the grave after we’ve taken the town by force. Let me know whether or not you accept my summons.”

Before they said anything, he went on to present the reasons behind the summons. “This summons is brought by my lord, who is undoubtedly your prince and lord as you yourselves formerly admitted. The prince plans to recover what belongs to him – to reinstate the right he lost at the hand of Emmanuel when He dealt so dishonorably with the prince and prevailed. Consider this, Mansoul, are you going to be peaceable in this regard or not? If you surrender yourself, then our old friendship shall be renewed as if nothing has ever changed; but if you refuse and rebel, then you can expect nothing but fire and sword in response.”

The Terrible Captain Sepulchre with His Standard-Bearer Corruption

When the languishing town of Mansoul heard this summons as it was delivered to the captain, they fell deeper into the doldrums, but gave the captain no answer at all. (Our soul is exceedingly weary of the scorning of those that are at ease and of the contempt of the proud. – Psalm 123:4) So the summoner went away the same way he had come.

After discussing this among themselves and with some of their captains, Mansoul again joined themselves to the Lord Secretary, their chief preacher. They asked for His counsel and advice, but now He was ill at ease, so they begged His favor in these few things:

They wanted Him to look upon them in a comforting manner and not stay so withdrawn but to draw nearer to them. They hoped He would listen as they confessed their miserable condition to Him. But to this He said, “I am ill at ease and as a result can’t do the work I formerly did.” (Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophecies. Examine all things; retain that which is good. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)

Then they desired that He would give them His advice about their current situation, for Diabolus camped before the town with no less than twenty thousand Doubters. They said, “Moreover, he and his captains are cruel men! We fear them!”

But to this He said, “You must look to the Law of the Prince. There you shall see what you should do.” (But whosoever has looked attentively into the perfect law of liberty and has persevered in it, not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, the same shall be blessed in their deed. – James 1:25)

They also desired His help in putting together a petition to Shaddai and His Son Emmanuel with His own signature as a token sign that He was in agreement with them.

They went on to say, “My Lord, we’ve sent many petitions, but get no answer of peace. But surely, if we send one with your signature on it, we will obtain good for Mansoul.”

But He answered, “You have offended your Emmanuel and have grieved Me. Therefore, you must admit your part in all this.”

This answer from the Lord Secretary fell like a millstone upon them. Yes, it crushed them to the point that they didn’t know what to do. The one thing they knew was that they dare not comply with the demands of Diabolus or the demands of his captain. (For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation. – 2 Corinthians 7:10a) So the town of Mansoul was in a difficult position. They knew that when the enemy came upon them, they would be swallowed up, but their friends refused to help.

Then the Lord Mayor Understanding stood and began to pick and pick, until he handpicked bits of comfort from what the Lord Secretary had said. “First,” he said, “it does not escape notice that this follows my Lord saying that we must yet suffer for our sins. Secondly,” He counted off on his finger, “what He has said sounds as if we will be saved from our enemies in the end, and after enduring the mental anguish of a few more frustrated hopes of good, Emmanuel will come and be our help.”

Now Understanding was more accurate in his dealing with the High Secretary’s words, because He was more than a prophet. His words were important at all times and most precise according to principle, justice, and righteousness, and the townsmen were allowed to delve into and expound upon them to their best advantage.

So they left Understanding and returned to the captains and told them what Lord High Secretary had said. When the captains heard it, they all agreed with Lord Understanding. They drew courage from this and took steps to make some brave attempt upon the camp of the enemy and wipe out all Diabolians and the roving Doubters the tyrant brought with him to destroy Mansoul.

They all departed to their places – the captains to theirs, the Lord Mayor to his, the secondary preacher to his, and Lord Willbewill to his place. The captains were itching to do something for their Prince, for they delighted in warlike achievements, so the next day they came together and talked; they determined to answer the captain of Diabolus with slings.

As the sun brightened the sky the next morning, Diabolus ventured nearer to Mansoul again, but the slings hurled stones toward his troops and pestered him like a stirred hornet’s nest. Diabolus’s drum roared, but since there’s nothing as formidable as the accurate aim of Emmanuel’s slings, Diabolus was forced to make another retreat even farther from the famous town of Mansoul. (Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7)

Diabolus Discomfited by the Slings of Emmanuel

When the Lord Understanding saw this, he ordered the bells to be rung. He said, “Thanks should be sent to the Lord High Secretary by the mouth of the secondary preacher, Mr. Conscience, for by his words the captains and elders of Mansoul were strengthened against Diabolus.”

When Diabolus saw his captains and soldiers, high lords and renowned men quaver with fear, beaten down by the stones flung from the golden slings of the Prince of the town of Mansoul, he came up with an idea to trick Mansoul. He said to himself, “I will try to ensnare them by flattering them into my net.”

Therefore, after a while, he came down to the wall again – this time without his drum and without Captain Sepulcher. Instead, he came near with treacherous lips, feigning to be sweet as sugar. (He that hides hatred has lying lips. – Proverbs 10:18a) He acted like a very sweet-mouthed, peaceable prince, planning no revenge on Mansoul for the injuries done to him, but instead, he appeared interested in the welfare and good of Mansoul. He told the people his only plan was for the benefit of the town and people. So after he called for a hearing, he made it known that he desired the townsfolk to give Mansoul to him. He proceeded in his oration.

With lying lips he sugarcoated his words: “Oh Mansoul, the desire of my heart! How many nights have I watched and how many weary steps have I taken, thinking that perhaps I might do you good! My desire isn’t to wage war upon you. All you need to do is willingly and quietly deliver yourselves up to me.” (The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit. – Psalm 36:3a) He gestured toward them with an open hand. “You know you were mine in days of old. Remember those days? As long as you enjoyed me as your lord, and I enjoyed you as my subjects, you lacked nothing of all the delights of the earth. I, your lord and prince, could get or invent anything you desired to make you happy.

“Think about it. You never had so many hard, dark, troublesome, and heart-afflicting times while you were mine, as you’ve had to suffer since you revolted against me. You won’t ever have peace again, until you and I become united. Just embrace me again and I will grant and even expand your old freedoms with an abundance of privileges. You’ll be free to take, hold, enjoy, and make everything that is pleasant your own from the east to the west.

“And none of those discourtesies with which you’ve offended me will ever be charged against you as long as the sun and the moon shine. Nor will any of those dear Diabolian friends of mine, who now live in fear as they lurk in dens and holes and caves, be hurtful toward you any longer. Instead, they’ll be your servants and will minister to you, using their own property and whatever else becomes available. I don’t need to say any more about them. You know them and at times have even been delighted with their company. Why should we live at such odds as we do now?” His lipless reptilian mouth stretched into a wide smile as he extended his arms in a gesture of welcome. “Let’s renew our old familiarity and friendship again. ([_Whosoever therefore that desires to be a friend of the world, makes himself the enemy of God. _]– James 4:4b)

“Bear with your friend,” he placed his claw-like fingers against his chest, “as I take the liberty to speak freely to you. The love I have for you presses me to do this as does the passion of my heart for my friends.” He laid his talons over his heart for a moment and offered a sad look, as he said, “So don’t cause me further trouble or more fear and anxiety for yourselves.” His forced smile curled into more of a sneer. “I will have you one way or another, whether by peace or war. Don’t flatter yourselves thinking the power and force of your captains is enough or that your Emmanuel will come soon to help you, because such strength will do you no good.” His face filled with arrogant pride.

“I’ve come against you with a brave and valiant army and all the chief princes of the den to lead. My captains are swifter than eagles, stronger than lions, and greedier for prey than wolves in the evening. What is Og of Bashan! (For only Og, king of Bashan, had remained of the remnant of giants. – Deuteronomy 3:11) What is Goliath of Gath! They and one hundred more like them are equal to one of the least of my captains! So how does Mansoul think they will escape my hand and power?”

After Diabolus delivered his flattering, ingratiating, deceitful, and lying speech to the famous town of Mansoul, the Lord Mayor Understanding replied, “O Diabolus, prince of darkness and master of all deceit, we’ve already tried your lying flatteries and have tasted too deeply of that destructive cup. Should we listen to you again and break the commandments of our great Shaddai to join with you? If we did that, wouldn’t our Prince reject us and cast us off forever? And, being cast off by Him, can the place which He has prepared for you be a place of rest for us? (And he laid hold on the dragon, the serpent of old, which is the Devil and Satan and bound him a thousand years and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon it. – Revelation 20:2-3a) O you who are empty and void of all truth, we would rather die by your hand than fall in with your flattering and lying deceits.”

When the tyrant saw there was little to be gained by negotiating with Lord Understanding, he fell into a hellish rage and determined he and his army of Doubters would assault the town of Mansoul another time.

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Chapter 25

Attack on Mansoul

So Diabolus called for his drummer, who signaled for his men to make ready for battle with Mansoul. When Mansoul heard the beat of the drum, she shook as they watched Diabolus draw near with his army and position his men. Captain Cruel and Captain Torment drew up against Feel-gate and were stationed there for the war. Diabolus appointed Captain No-Ease as their relief if needed.

At Nose-gate he placed Captain Brimstone and Captain Sepulcher and ordered them to be vigilant and defend their position on that side of the town of Mansoul. At Eye-gate he placed the grim-faced Captain Past-Hope who set up his terrible standard.

Now Captain Insatiable looked after the conquest and acquisitions of Diabolus. He was ordered to take into custody those people and things that should be taken from the enemy as plunder.

As for Mouth-gate, the inhabitants of Mansoul kept it primarily as a private, well-fortified gate, because it was by this gate that the townsfolk sent their petitions to Emmanuel, their Prince. At the top of this gate, the captains deployed their slings against the enemies, for this gate was situated uphill and was an ideal site for letting the stones fly against the tyrant’s army. Therefore, Diabolus sought to take Mouth-gate.

As Diabolus prepared to make his assault upon the town of Mansoul from outside the walls, within the town the captains and soldiers mounted their slings, set up their banners, sounded their trumpets, and strategically placed themselves to upset and injure the enemy for the benefit of Mansoul. Then the captains ordered their soldiers to be ready to act when the trumpet of war sounded.

Lord Willbewill had his own orders. He was given the responsibility of watching for the rebels who still lived in Mansoul and to do his best to capture them when they came out of hiding or smother them within their caves, dens, and holes in the town wall. And for those who may wonder if Willbewill could be trusted, I must say that ever since he accepted the penance imposed on him for his wrongdoing, he showed as much honesty and bravery of spirit as any in Mansoul. His actions showed true repentance as he took Jolly and his brother Griggish, the two sons of his servant Harmless-Mirth who lived in his house, and with his own hands he put them to the cross. (Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance. – Luke 3:8)

The reason he hanged them on the cross? Well, after their father was placed in the custody of True-Man, the jailer, his sons played the same mischief they had learned from their father and toyed with the daughters of their lord. When it was brought to his attention, he became fearful that these young men were too familiar with his daughters. However, Willbewill was one who felt unwilling to put any man to death, so he didn’t kill them right then but decided to put spies in place to see if the thing was true. He chose two servants, Find-Out and Tell-All, to see if they could catch the sons of Harmless-Mirth in such an uncivil manner more than once or twice.

These two faithful servants, Find-Out and Tell-All, did as their lord told them, and when Lord Willbewill had sufficient proof that the charges he’d heard were true, he took the two young Diabolians and brought them to Eye-gate, where he raised a very high cross right in front of Diabolus and his army. Upon this cross, he hung the young villains in defiance of Captain Past-Hope and the horrible standard he displayed.

Now this Christian act of the brave Lord Willbewill humiliated Captain Past-Hope and discouraged the army of Diabolus. It put fear into the Diabolian rebels hiding out in Mansoul, while it strengthened and encouraged Emmanuel’s captains and fortified the resolve of Mansoul to fight the army gathered outside the walls as well as the Diabolians in town, so they couldn’t help Diabolus. This brave act of Lord Willbewill wasn’t the only proof of his honest heart toward the town or his loyalty to his Prince, as I will show you soon enough.

The children of Prudent-Thrifty, who lived with Mr. Mind, were also left behind when Prudent-Thrifty was taken into custody. Their names were Gripe and Rake-All and they were born to Mr. Mind’s illegitimate daughter, Ms. Hold-Fast-Bad.

When these Diabolian children saw how Willbewill treated those who lived with him, they made plans to escape to avoid the same consequences. But that night, as they attempted to make their getaway, Mr. Mind found out about it. He took them captive and held them in custody in his house until morning. Then he remembered that according to the Law of Mansoul, all Diabolians were to die. So what did he do? He placed them in chains and led them to the same place where Willbewill hanged his two Diabolians earlier. Here, in the same manner, Mr. Mind hung those Diabolians from his house too.

Mr. Mind’s action encouraged the townsmen and spurred them on to take more of the Diabolian troublers of Mansoul captive. However, the rest of the Diabolians lay so low they couldn’t be apprehended. In their efforts against them, the town set up a diligent watch and every man returned to his place. (Watch diligently, and sin not; for some do not know God. – 1 Corinthians 15:34a)

I told you a little earlier that Diabolus and his army were somewhat confused with shame and discouraged when they saw what Willbewill did, when he hung those two young Diabolians on the cross. But the tyrant’s discouragement turned into intense madness and rage against the town of Mansoul. This fueled his determination to fight.

But the hopes and expectations of townsmen and captains within Mansoul heightened. They finally believed that the victory would be theirs, so they feared the Diabolians less. Their secondary preacher, Mr. Conscience, even delivered a sermon about it. His theme was based on the prophecy to Gad – Gad, an army shall invade him, but he shall invade at the last (Genesis 49:19). From this source, he showed Mansoul they would be confronted with terrible difficulty at first, but in the end, the victory would be Mansoul’s.

So Diabolus commanded his drummer to beat a charge against the town. Inside the town, Emmanuel’s captains had no drum, but they sounded a charge on trumpets of silver.

The armies from the camp of Diabolus marched on the town to take it. When the captains in the castle saw them, they ordered the slingers at Mouth-gate to put the attack into motion. Within Diabolus’s camp, all that could be heard was horrible rage and blasphemy, while within the town, good words, prayer, and singing of psalms could be heard. (Be filled with the Spirit, speaking among yourselves with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising the Lord in your hearts. – Ephesians 5:18-19)

The Captains Continue the Defence

The enemy responded with horrible protests, accompanied by the discordant beat of their drum, but the town answered in their own way with the slapping of their slings and the melodious noise of their trumpets. The fight lasted for several days, only stopping for an occasional short intermission, during which the townsmen refreshed themselves and the captains made ready for another assault.

Emmanuel’s captains were clad in silver armor, and the soldiers dressed in proven armor, while Diabolus’s soldiers wore iron, which yielded to Emmanuel’s engine-shot. Casualties in town included some who were slightly hurt and others who were gravely wounded. The scarcity of services of a surgeon in Mansoul because of Emmanuel’s absence made matters worse. Nevertheless, with natural remedies made from the leaves of a tree, the wounded were kept from dying; however, their wounds putrefied.

The wounded townsmen included Lord Reason with a wound to the head, the brave Lord Mayor Understanding with an eye wound, and Mr. Mind with a wound around his stomach. The honest secondary preacher, Mr. Conscience, also took a shot not far from his heart, but none of these were mortal wounds. Many soldiers of lower stations, however, weren’t just wounded but were slain outright.

In the camp of Diabolus the wounded and slain amounted to a considerable number. Among the wounded were Captain Rage and Captain Cruel. Captain Damnation was forced to retreat and entrench farther away from Mansoul. And that horrible standard flown by Diabolus was beaten down and his standard-bearer, Captain Much-Hurt, had his brains beaten out with a sling stone. This last casualty brought prince Diabolus much grief and shame.

Many of the other Doubters were also slain, but even with the loss of many Doubters, enough were left alive to make Mansoul shake and falter. However, the victory that day belonged to Mansoul, which filled the townsmen and captains with courage. (For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. – 1 John 5:4) In Diabolus’s camp, it had a different effect. Mansoul’s victory not only covered the camp with a cloud but also made them far more furious. So the next day Mansoul rested and commanded the bells be rung and the trumpets be joyfully sounded, and the captains shouted all around the town.

Willbewill wasn’t idle but performed service worthy of notice against the Diabolians who remained in the town. He kept them living in fear and dread, for he seized Mr. Anything. If you remember, he is the one who brought the three fellows to Diabolus, whom the Diabolians took captive from Captain Boanerges’s troops. He is the one who persuaded them to enlist under the tyrant to fight against the army of Shaddai.

Lord Willbewill also captured a notable Diabolian by the name of Loose-Foot. He was a scout and messenger to the vagabonds in Mansoul. In the past, he carried news out of Mansoul to the camp and out of the camp to the enemies in Mansoul. Willbewill placed them in the custody of Mr. True-Man, the jailer, telling him to “keep them in irons.” His intentions were to have them crucified at a time best for the town and for the discouragement of the enemy camp.

Lord Mayor Understanding, while he couldn’t move about as much as formerly because of the recent wound he’d received, still issued orders to all the natives of Mansoul. He said, “Look to your watch and stand guard. When the opportunity arises, prove yourselves men.” (The destroyer is risen up against thee: keep the fortress, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily. – Nahum 2:1)

Mr. Conscience, the preacher, did his best to keep all his good moral instruction kindled within the hearts of the people of Mansoul.

The captains and brave townsfolk of Mansoul agreed on a time to make an attack against the besiegers within the camp of Diabolus. “It must take place at night,” they determined. But this turned out to reveal a profound lack of understanding on the part of Mansoul, for the night is always best for the enemy and the worst for Mansoul to fight. Yet they determined this is what they would do, since they were filled with courage from the memory of their last victory.

So when darkness fell, the Prince’s brave captains cast lots to decide who should lead the foremost division in this new and desperate expedition against Diabolus and his army. The lot to lead the mission of uncommon peril and little hope fell to Captain Credence, followed by Captain Experience and Captain Good-Hope. (Captain Experience was made a captain by the Prince Himself during the time He resided in the town of Mansoul.)

So they rushed upon the Diabolian army, which lay in siege against them. As it happened, they fell into battle not against a flank, the frontline, or at the rear of the troops, but came up against the main body of enemy forces.

Now Diabolus and his men were experts at night work, so at the sound of the alarm, they were as instantly ready for battle as if they’d been sent word of their coming. They entered the sortie with their full force and strength. Hard-hitting blows landed on every side, while in the background the hell drum beat furiously, almost drowning out the sweet sound of the trumpets of the Prince. The two sides fought and Captain Insatiable looked to the enemy’s conquests and acquisitions and eagerly waited for the right opportunity to pounce on available prey.

The Prince’s captains fought bravely, beyond what could be expected of them. They suffered many wounded but forced the whole army of Diabolus to retreat. I can’t tell you how they did it, but the brave Captain Credence, Captain Good-Hope, and Captain Experience were in full pursuit, cutting down the enemy in their path and following hard after the enemy in the rear as they fled.

Captain Credence stumbled, fell, and was so severely injured that he couldn’t get up until Captain Experience helped him to his feet. The men with him were thrown into confusion, and as the captain came to his feet, the pain was so severe he couldn’t suppress a scream of anguish. When the other two captains heard this, they thought it meant Captain Credence had received a mortal wound, and the two of them fainted. This stirred even more confusion among their men, who lost their desire to engage in the fight.

Even though Diabolus was caught up in the height of the battle, he stayed observant. He noticed a halt among the men pursuing him and took it for granted that the captains were either wounded or dead, so he pounced on the opportunity to turn around to make his stand. He stood face to face with the Prince’s army and came against them with as much fury as hell could provide him. He entered the mix at the very place the three captains, Captain Credence, Captain Good-Hope, and Captain Experience, were fighting, and the tyrant cut, wounded, and pierced them so dreadfully they had to battle their own discouragement, the confusion of their forces, and the loss of blood from their wounds just to get back to Mansoul. They never would have made it into the hold again if they didn’t have the power of the three best hands in Mansoul.

When the Prince’s army saw how these three captains fared the worst, they thought it wise to make a safe retreat, so they ended their attempt to thwart the enemy and returned to Mansoul by the back gate.

Flushed from this night’s work, Diabolus promised himself to make an easy and complete conquest of the town of Mansoul within a few days. With his ambition at a fever pitch, the next day he marched up to the walls of Mansoul and demanded entrance. “Deliver yourselves over to me now!” he shouted. Within the walls, the Diabolians who lived in hiding took courage when they heard their master’s voice, and they became somewhat lively, as you will see.

But the valiant Lord Mayor answered the tyrant. “What you get of Mansoul will only be by force, for as long as Emmanuel, our Prince, is alive [though He wasn’t currently with them as they wished], we will never agree to yield Mansoul up to another.” (Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13)

Upon hearing Understanding’s response, Lord Willbewill stood up and shouted out a response of his own. “Diabolus, you master of the den and enemy to all that is good, we poor inhabitants of the town of Mansoul are well acquainted with your rule and government. We know with certainty how things will end for those who submit to you. The first time you came to us we lacked knowledge and permitted you to gain possession of us. We were like a bird that doesn’t see the snare and falls into the hands of the fowler. However, things have changed since that time. We have turned from darkness to light and have turned from the power of Satan to God.” (To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and inheritance among those who are sanctified by the faith that is in me. – Acts 26:18)

Willbewill stood a little straighter and gained even more boldness in his words. He said, “It is through your cunning and the trickery of the Diabolians within the town that we have sustained much loss. We plunged ourselves into much embarrassment of mind from doubt and uncertainty. As a result, we gave ourselves up and laid down our arms to yield to so horrid a tyrant as you.” Willbewill pointed an accusing finger toward the tyrant and said, “We will not do so again. We’d rather die where we stand.” He emphasized his words by thrusting his finger toward the ground on which he stood and arched one brow confidently. “We have hope that in due time, deliverance will come from Shaddai’s court to us, and we will continue our war against you.” (When I am poor and needy; the Lord will remember me; thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. – Psalm 40:17)

Willbewill’s brave speech and that of the Lord Mayor Understanding somewhat diminished Diabolus’s boldness. However, while it kindled the fury of his rage, it reassured the townsmen and captains and worked like a medicinal balm applied to the brave Captain Credence’s wound. For a brave speech, after the captains of the town and their men of war came home defeated, and the enemy gathered courage and boldness to demand entrance, was perfect timing to be advantageous to the townsmen.

Lord Willbewill had contended from within the walls, while the captains and soldiers were in the field. He armed himself with others in the town, and whenever he spotted a Diabolian, they met with his heavy hand and the penetrating edge of his sword. He’d wounded many Diabolians, including Lord Cavil, Lord Brisk, Lord Pragmatic, and Lord Murmur; plus, he maimed several of the meaner sort too.

Willbewill was able to accomplish this because the captains had gone out to fight the enemy in the field. And the Diabolians within the town thought they had the advantage, thinking, Now is our time to stir up trouble and cause an uproar in the town. The captains no sooner left with their troops than the Diabolians gathered as one and surged throughout the town of Mansoul like a hurricane.

Lord Willbewill took this opportunity to fall in among them with his men, cutting and slashing with undaunted courage. (I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. – Psalm 27:13) As soon as the Diabolians realized what was happening around them, they dispersed and hastened back to their holds.

This brave act of Willbewill somewhat avenged the wrong done by Diabolus to the captains, and it let the enemy know they wouldn’t be leaving Mansoul because of the loss of a victory or two. Plus, his actions clipped the wings of the tyrant when it came to boasting, because the Diabolians had hoped to damage the town as much as he had harmed the captains.

Diabolus didn’t let that deter his plans though, for he determined to have another bout with Mansoul. He reasoned, Since I beat them once, I may beat them twice. Therefore, he commanded his men to be ready to make a fresh assault upon the town the next night. He ordered his officers and soldiers to turn all their force against Feel-gate to break into the town. “If we break in upon them, as I hope we do, either with some or all our forces, let those who break in see to it that they never forget the word Hell-fire. Let it be heard throughout the town of Mansoul. ‘Hell-fire! Hell-fire! Hell-fire!’”

The drummer was told to beat his drum without a pause, and the standard-bearers were to display their colorful flags. The soldiers too were to take what courage they could and execute their part manfully against the town.

When the sun set and darkness fell across the town, the tyrant had everything in place to make his move. Without hesitation, he assaulted Feel-gate, and after a struggle he threw the gate wide open. The truth be told, those gates were weak and the easiest to give way. Once Diabolus made it this far with his attempt, he placed his captains Torment and No-Ease there and attempted to press forward, but the Prince’s captains fought him and made his entrance into Mansoul more difficult than he had hoped.

They did their best to resist, but with three of their finest and most valiant captains wounded and incapable of joining the foray, they were overpowered and couldn’t keep the Doubters and their captains out of the town. When the Prince’s men saw the truth of the matter, they and their captains moved to the castle – the stronghold of the town – partly for their own security and partly for the security of the town, but the biggest reason was to preserve the authority and privilege belonging to the sovereign Shaddai alone, for the castle of Mansoul belonged to Him.

While the captains fled into the castle, the enemy met with little resistance, and they possessed the rest of the town and spread into every corner of Mansoul. As they marched, they cried out, “Hell-fire! Hell-fire! Hell-fire!” This caused such a ruckus that nothing else could be heard throughout the town of Mansoul except the dreadful noise of “Hell-fire!” paired with the thunder of Diabolus’s drum.

Mansoul Is Taken

Black clouds hung over Mansoul like a shroud, leaving the Mansoulians to think all was ruined. Diabolus put his soldiers up in the houses of the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul. Even Mr. Conscience’s house was full of these foreign Doubters – as many as it could hold, and the same held true for the house of Lord Mayor Understanding and that of Lord Willbewill.

The fact is, there wasn’t a corner, cottage, barn, or pigsty that wasn’t full of these vermin. They threw the men of the town out of their houses and made themselves comfortable, lying in their beds and sitting at their tables. Poor Mansoul! Now she felt the fruits of sin, including the venom in the flattering words of Carnal-Security. (Do not deceive yourselves; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows that shall he also reap. – Galatians 6:7)

The enemy wreaked great havoc throughout the town. They started several fires, dashed young children to pieces, and even destroyed countless unborn children in their mothers’ wombs. Many women, both young and old, were ravished and abused in a beastlike manner, so many lay dead in every street. But what else could you expect? The hearts of the enemy had no pity, kindness, tenderness, or compassion. Can anyone expect alien Doubters to determine right from wrong?

After this dreadful night, Mansoul seemed to be nothing more than a den of dragons (a symbol of hell) and a place of total darkness, filled with nettles, briars, thorns, weeds, and stinking things. The town looked like a barren wilderness.

These Diabolian Doubters turned the men of Mansoul out of their beds, and they wounded and beat them. In fact, they almost dashed out the brains of many of them. Did I say many? I probably should say most, if not all of them. They wounded Mr. Conscience so badly that his wounds festered, and he couldn’t rest day or night, but lay in continual pain like one tormented upon a rack. If it wasn’t for the fact that Shaddai rules all, they would have slain him outright.

They abused Lord Mayor Understanding and almost put out his eyes. Thankfully, Lord Willbewill escaped into the castle, for they intended to chop him into pieces; they detested him now that his heart stood against Diabolus and his crew in Mansoul, for he’d proven himself a man for Shaddai and His Son. I promise you’ll hear more of his exploits.

The town seemed somewhat deserted by the Mansoulians. A man could walk for days on end in Mansoul and scarcely see anyone in the town who looked like a God-fearing sort. Oh, the appalling condition of Mansoul! Every corner swarmed with Doubter soldiers who walked the town in clusters. They filled the houses with hideous noises, worthless songs, stories thick with lies, and blasphemous language against Shaddai and His Son. (For there is no uprightness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue. – Psalm 5:9)

Even the Diabolians who lurked within the walls, dens, and holes around the town came out of hiding and walked openly in the company of the Doubters who now occupied Mansoul. Yes, Diabolus’s recent victory gave them the boldness to walk the streets, hang out within the houses, and show themselves beyond the walls, while the honest inhabitants of the town did their best to remain unseen.

The Desolation of Mansoul

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Chapter 26

Petition to the Prince

Even with his recent conquest, Diabolus and his rude men were not at peace in Mansoul. They weren’t amused or pleased with how the captains and forces of Emmanuel were held up in the castle. They didn’t like the stern looks given to them by the townsmen; after all, they didn’t destroy any of the necessities of Mansoul, except those they seized against the townsmen’s will. Now, the townspeople hid what they could from them, and what they couldn’t hide, they held with an ill will. These poor hearts longed to have their own room rather than the company of these Doubters, but they were forced to be captives in their own homes. However, I have to say they discouraged them as much as possible and showed them all the disapproval they could.

The captains in the castle did what they could too. They employed their slings, much to the worrying and fretting of the enemies.

Diabolus made a great-many attempts to break open the gates of the castle, but Godly-Fear, the gatekeeper, was a man of great courage, conduct, and valor. As long as Godly-Fear lived, all attempts to break into the castle were in vain. So even though Diabolus desired to break open those gates, all his attempts were fruitless. I have sometimes wished Godly-Fear would have had rule over the whole town of Mansoul.

The town of Mansoul remained in this pitiful condition for about two and a half years. The main army of the town stayed within the castle – the seat of war, while the people of the town were driven into holes; all this time the glory of Mansoul lay in the dust. This left the inhabitants with little rest under these circumstances; what peace could Mansoul have and how could the sun shine upon it?

With the enemy entrenched against the town outside the walls, it was enough to starve them. With the enemy living within the walls and their forts and entrenchment against the castle in the midst of the town, an inner struggle of the town against the town grew. (The LORD is my light and my salvation; … Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. – Psalm 27:1a, 3) The enemy made use of the forts and town holds to secure themselves, until they could take the spoil and demolish the castle. It was a terrible situation! But this was now the state of the town of Mansoul.

After the town of Mansoul had remained in this sad and lamentable condition for a long time, and none of the petitions they presented to their Prince were answered, the elders and important inhabitants of the town gathered. They consoled each other regarding their miserable state and the miserable judgment upon them, and agreed to draw up yet another petition to send to Emmanuel for relief.

However, Godly-Fear stood up in their midst and said, “I know my Lord the Prince never has received nor ever will receive a petition for these matters from the hand of anyone, unless the Lord Secretary’s signature is on it. And this,” he folded his hands behind his back and rocked back and forth heel to toe, “is the reason you haven’t prevailed all this while.” (And likewise also the Spirit helps our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself makes entreaty for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. But he that searches the hearts knows what is the desire of the Spirit, that according to the will of God, he makes entreaty for the saints. – Romans 8:26-27)

“That’s what we shall do,” they said. “We will draw one up and get the Lord Secretary’s signature on it.”

Godly-Fear shook his head. “The Lord Secretary won’t set His hand to any petition that He doesn’t have a hand in composing. Besides, the Prince knows the Lord Secretary’s handwriting; He can’t be deceived by any pretense whatsoever. Therefore, my advice is that you go to my Lord and beg Him to lend you His aid.”

Now the Lord Secretary still lived in the castle, where all the captains and men-at-arms were held up. So they all thanked Godly-Fear and took his advice. They hurried to the castle and came before the Lord Secretary to explain the reason they wanted to see Him. “Since Mansoul is in such a deplorable condition, would Your Highness please undertake the drawing up of a petition for us to Emmanuel, the Son of the mighty Shaddai and to our King His Father?”

The Secretary studied them for a moment and said, “What petition would you have Me draw up for you?”

They looked at one another, wondering where to start. “Our Lord knows best the state and condition of the town of Mansoul,” they said. “You know we are backslidden and have slipped in the wrong direction, away from the Prince. You also know that Diabolus has come against us to wage war, and Mansoul has become the seat of that war. Likewise, my Lord knows the cruelty our men, women, and children have suffered at their hands and how our homebred Diabolians walk boldly in the streets while the townsmen dare not show themselves.

“Therefore, we pray that our Lord draw up a petition for His poor servants to our Prince Emmanuel according to the wisdom of God in Him.”

The Lord Secretary nodded thoughtfully. “I will draw up a petition for you and will sign My name to it.”

Those standing before the Lord Secretary gained hope. “When shall we call for the petition from the hands of our Lord?”

He answered, “For the writing of this petition, you must be present, for you must include your desires in it.” The men glanced at one another. The Lord Secretary said, “True, the pen shall be Mine, and the signature will be Mine, but the ink and paper must be yours. Otherwise, how can you say it is your petition? After all, I have no need to petition for Myself, because I have not offended.” He finished by saying, “No petition goes from Me in My name to the Prince and to His Father, but I put My name to those sent by the people who are concerned and have joined heart and soul in the matter. That element must be inserted within the petition.”

His words didn’t discourage them in any way. Instead, they agreed with the Lord Secretary’s decree, and a petition was drawn up for them. Then they were faced with the decision of who should carry it. The Secretary advised, “Captain Credence should carry it, for he is well-spoken.”

They called Captain Credence and proposed the idea of him carrying the petition to Shaddai and to His Son Emmanuel. After hearing their business, the captain said, “Even though I am lame, I gladly accept and will accomplish this business for you with as much speed as I am able.”

The purpose of the contents of the petition is as written:

“Our Lord, and Sovereign Prince Emmanuel, the powerful, the longsuffering Prince! Grace pours from Your lips and to You belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against You. (Thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God has blessed thee for ever. – Psalm 45:2) We who are not worthy to be called Your Mansoul or fit to share in commonplace benefits bestowed from Your hand, implore You and Your Father through You to do away with our transgressions against Your Law and commands. We agree we deserve to be driven away for these offenses but ask that You do not do so for Your name’s sake. Instead, let the Lord use this opportunity to show His compassion and mercy toward our miserable condition. For Lord, we are surrounded on every side. Our own backslidings accuse us, as the Diabolians within our town frighten us; the army of the angel of the bottomless pit distresses us. Your grace is our salvation, for there is no place else to turn. (Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusts in thee; and in the shadow of thy wings I will make my refuge until these calamities are overpast. – Psalm 57:1)

“Furthermore, gracious Prince, we have weakened our captains. They are discouraged, sick, and some of them were beaten in battle and hammered from the field by the power and force of the tyrant Diabolus. We used to put our confidence in these captains and their valor, and now they are wounded men.

“While our captains are in such poor shape, Lord, our enemies are energetic and strong. They show off and boast, as they threaten to divide us among them as if we are booty. And they have not come alone, Lord, but have thousands of Doubters with them, and we don’t know what to do about them! They all move about with a stern, unmerciful countenance and declare defiance against us and You.

“Our wisdom is gone. Our power is drained, because You have departed from us. We have nothing we can count on. What we do have is our sin, shame, and a confused look on our faces. We don’t know what to do. Please, Lord, take pity upon us, Your miserable town of Mansoul. Save us out of the hands of our enemies. Amen.” (For my enemies are alive, and they are strong, and those that hate me wrongfully are multiplied; … Forsake me not, O LORD; O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. – Psalm 38:19, 21-22)

As mentioned before, the Lord Secretary crafted and signed this petition; it was then delivered to the court by the brave and most valiant Captain Credence. To accomplish this, he left by Mouth-gate – the back gate of the town. From there, he made his way to the court and handed the message to Emmanuel.

Now, somehow news of this petition being carried to Emmanuel reached the ears of Diabolus. The tyrant charged Mansoul with what he considered treachery. He said, “You rebellious and stubborn-hearted Mansoul, I will force you to stop petitioning.” He raised an angry, clenched fist and shook it at them. “I promise you – I will make you stop!”

I’m not sure how he received his information, but he knew the valiant Captain Credence was the messenger who carried the petition to the Prince. This knowledge made him fearful and filled him with rage. He commanded his drummer, “Start beating the drum again!” Mansoul couldn’t bear the sound, but they had no choice. When Diabolus ordered his drum to beat, Mansoul was forced to put up with the noise. As a result, the drum pounded its wretched beat, and the Diabolians gathered together.

Diabolus stood before his men and called out in a loud voice, “O you brave Diabolians, let it be known that the rebellious town of Mansoul has hatched treachery against us. Although the town is in our possession, these miserable Mansoulians have dared to send to the court for Emmanuel’s help.” His chest heaved with each angry breath. “This I tell you so you can understand what we are up against, and so you will know how to treat the wretched town of Mansoul.

“My trusted Diabolians, I command you to distress Mansoul more and more. Vex it with your deception and duplicity, ravish their women, take their virgins by force, slay their children, dash in the brains of their old men, burn their town, and cause whatever other harm you can think of.” He raised his arms in a show of power as he clenched his fists. “Let this be the reward of the Mansoulians from me, for their desperate rebellions against me.” He pumped his fists into the air to make his point.

This, you see, is what he threatened, but something stepped in between the delivery of this warning and its execution. At this point, little more was done than for him to vent his rage. Then Diabolus went up to the castle gates and demanded that, upon pain of death, the gates be opened to him and entrance granted to him and his men.

Godly-Fear, who had charge of that gate, replied, “The gate will not be opened to you or the men who followed after you.” Then he said, “When Mansoul has suffered a while, she will be made perfect, strengthened, and settled.” ([_And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather glory in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content in weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong. _]– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Diabolus said, “Then deliver the men to me who have petitioned against me, especially Captain Credence, who carried your most recent petition to your Prince. Deliver that rascal into my hands, and I will depart from the town.”

Then a Diabolian named Mr. Fooling started up. “What my lord offers you is fair. It is better for you that one man perish, than your whole Mansoul be destroyed.” (And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation be lost. – John 11:49-50)

Godly-Fear replied, “When Mansoul has given up her faith to Diabolus, how long will she be kept out of the dungeon? If we lose Captain Credence, it’s as good as losing the town of Mansoul, because if one goes to Diabolus, the other must follow.”

At this, Mr. Fooling said nothing.

Lord Mayor Understanding spoke up next. “You devouring tyrant! Let this be clear. We won’t listen to any of your words. We are determined to resist you as long as a captain, a man, a sling, or a stone can be found in the town of Mansoul.”

Diabolus glared at the Mayor with hooded eyes. “Do you hope, do you wait, do you look for help and deliverance? You have sent to Emmanuel, but your wickedness clings to you. It is too close to let innocent prayers come out of your lips. Do you really think you will prevail and succeed in this plan? I’m telling you that you will fail in your wish and in your attempts, because I’m not the only one against you. Don’t forget your Emmanuel is against you too. He is the one who sent me against you in the first place. Knowing this, what is it you hope for? Or by what means do you think you will you escape?”

The Lord Understanding wasn’t gullible enough to believe the tyrant’s lies. He said, “We have sinned, but that won’t help you. In great faithfulness, our Emmanuel has said he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37). He has also told us that [_all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men _](Matthew 12:31). For this reason we dare not despair, but will look for, wait for, and hope for deliverance.”

By this time, Captain Credence had returned from his errand to the court and had delivered the petition to Emmanuel; he returned to the castle of Mansoul with a packet. So when the Lord Mayor heard Captain Credence had arrived, he withdrew from the noise of the roaring tyrant and left him to yell at the wall or against the gates of the castle. He hurried to the captain’s lodgings, greeted Captain Credence, and asked him, “How did you fare? What news do you bring from the court?”

Tears brimmed in Captain Credence’s eyes. He said, “Cheer up, my lord, for everything will be well in time.” With that, he produced his packet of letters from Emmanuel and laid it down in front of them. The Lord Mayor and the rest of the captains took this as a sign of good news. They glanced at one another with hope that a season of grace had arrived. Understanding sent for all the captains and elders of the town who were scattered here and there in various rooms throughout the castle and for their guard. He wanted all of them to know Captain Credence had returned, and he had something special to tell them.

They gathered around Captain Credence, greeted him, and asked about his journey. “What’s the good news from the court?”

He gave them the same answer he’d offered to Lord Understanding earlier. “Everything will be well in the end.” (Ye that love the LORD are to hate evil; he preserves the souls of his saints; he delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. – Psalm 97:10).

Once the captain greeted everyone who gathered around him, he opened his packet and drew out several letters. The first letter was for the Lord Mayor. Within this note, Emmanuel said He was well pleased that Lord Mayor Understanding had remained true and trustworthy in his office, even with the great concerns which lay upon him for the town and people of Mansoul. In the letter, He told Understanding that He was happy with the fact that he acted boldly for his Prince Emmanuel and had engaged faithfully in His cause against Diabolus. At the close of His letter, He mentioned the mayor would receive his reward shortly.

The second letter pulled from the packet was for the noble Lord Willbewill. This letter made it clear that Prince Emmanuel understood how valiant and courageous he had served for the honor of his Lord in His absence when His name was held in contempt by Diabolus. His Prince also expressed delight in his faithfulness to the town of Mansoul and how he kept strict watch over it. He said He appreciated Willbewill’s firm restraint upon the necks of the Diabolians who lurked in several places around Mansoul. This letter indicated He considered Willbewill to be a good example to the whole town of Mansoul, because he had executed some of the chief Diabolian rebels by his own hand, which generated great discouragement among the enemy camp. He finished by stating Willbewill should have his reward shortly.

The third letter plucked from the packet was for the preacher, Mr. Conscience. It said his Prince was well pleased with him, for he had honestly and faithfully performed his responsibilities and fulfilled the trust committed to him by his Lord. He accomplished this when he exhorted, rebuked, and forewarned Mansoul according to the laws of the town. (Preach the word; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. – 2 Timothy 4:2) He admitted it made him happy that Mr. Conscience had called for fasting, sackcloth, and ashes when Mansoul lived in her rebellion, and that had he called for the aid of Captain Boanerges to help in such important work. The letter closed by saying he would shortly receive his reward.

In the fourth letter, written to Mr. Godly-Fear, his Lord said that He had observed all he had accomplished. This included the fact that he was the first of all the men in Mansoul who detected the presence of Carnal-Security and his cunning, and identified a falling away and a decay of goodness in the blessed town of Mansoul because of Diabolus. His Lord let him know He still remembered his tears and mourning for the state of Mansoul. The letter mentioned how Godly-Fear took notice when Carnal-Security sat at his table among his guests. He had detected Carnal-Security in his own house in the midst of his jolliness, even while he sought to perfect his crimes against the town of Mansoul. Emmanuel took notice that Godly-Fear stood against all the threats and attempts of the tyrant at the gates of the castle. He had also recommended the townsmen make their petition to their Prince in a way that He might accept it and they might obtain an answer of peace. The letter closed with the Prince saying, “Therefore, shortly you will receive your reward.” (Rejoice ye in that day and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers treated the prophets in the same manner. – Luke 6:23)

After this, a letter to the whole town of Mansoul was read. It said that their Lord noticed their repeated petitions to Him. He offered encouraging news. In the future, they would see more fruits for such efforts. In this letter, their Prince said, “I am pleased your heart and mind are at last fixed upon Me and My ways even though Diabolus has made inroads upon the town.” It pleased Him that neither flatteries nor hardships could make them concede to take part in his cruel schemes.

At the bottom of this letter, the Prince added that He had left the town of Mansoul in the hands of the Lord Secretary and under the guidance of Captain Credence. He said, “Beware that you continue to yield yourselves to their authority and direction, and in due time you shall receive your reward.”

Captain Credence Delivers the Letters

After the brave Captain Credence delivered the letters to each recipient, he withdrew to the Lord Secretary’s quarters where the two of them spent time talking. These two were well acquainted with one another and knew more how things would go with Mansoul than any of the townsmen. The Lord Secretary often showed His love for Captain Credence by sending him many good bits from my Lord’s table as a show of good will, while the rest of Mansoul lay under the clouds.

After the two of them conversed for some time, the captain said good-night and went to his chambers to rest. He had barely laid his head upon the pillow when the Lord Secretary sent for him again. He hurried through the castle halls and returned to the Lord Secretary’s quarters. They greeted one another in the usual way, but the captain quickly asked, “Why did you send for me? Tell me, has something happened?”

Lord Secretary took him into his room away from the door and said, “I’ve made you the Lord’s lieutenant over all the forces in Mansoul.” His countenance shined with joy as He shared the news. “From this day forward, all men in Mansoul shall act upon your word, and you will be the one who leads in and out of Mansoul. Therefore, you shall manage the war for your Prince and for the town of Mansoul against the force and power of Diabolus. The rest of the captains will be at your command.”

Captain Credence Made the Lord’s Lieutenant

Now the townsmen noticed the captain’s part in both the court and with the Lord Secretary in Mansoul. No man had ever succeeded when sent on this task, nor was any other able to bring such good news from Emmanuel like him. After some weeping, they decided not to bother him with their distresses, but turned to Mr. Conscience to make known their concerns to the Lord Secretary, and let Him know they desired all they were and had to be under the control, care, custody, and authority of Captain Credence. (For the magistrates are not a terror unto those who do good, but to the doer of evil. Is thy desire therefore to not fear the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same; for he is a minister of God for thy good. – Romans 13:3-4a)

So their preacher, Mr. Conscience, did as they requested and received this answer from the mouth of the Lord Secretary: “Captain Credence will be the great doer in all the King’s army against the King’s enemies and for the welfare of Mansoul.”

Upon receiving this message, Mr. Conscience bowed to the ground, thanked his Lordship, returned to the townsfolk, and delivered his news. This was accomplished with all imaginable secrecy, because the adversaries still had great strength within the town. But I have strayed somewhat from the story, so let’s return to where I left off.

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Chapter 27

Plans to Take the Castle

When the Lord Mayor Understanding boldly confronted Diabolus, and the tyrant observed the bravery of Godly-Fear, he fell into a rage. He called a council of war in order to get revenge on Mansoul. All the princes of the pit gathered with old Incredulity at the head of them and all the captains of his army. They consulted as to what to do. The council concluded they must determine how to take the castle, because they couldn’t claim to be masters of the town as long as their enemies had possession of it.

With so many involved in the decision-making, one advised this way and another advised that, but they couldn’t agree. Apollyon, as president of the council, stood up and addressed the others. “My brotherhood,” he said, “I have two things to propose to you. First, let’s withdraw our forces from the town into the plain again. Our presence here does us no good, because the castle is in our enemies’ hands. Neither is it possible for us to take the castle as long as so many brave captains reside in it. And that bold fellow, Godly-Fear, has been made the keeper of the castle gates.”

Apollyon dismissed the skeptical glances from his fellow fiends and pressed on with his idea. “When we have withdrawn into the plain, they will be glad and be a little more at ease. It may be that once they let their guard down a little, they may become careless again and open the opportunity for us to deliver a bigger blow than we can possibly give them now. But if that plan should fail, our going forth out of the town might draw the captains out after us. Remember what it cost them the last time we fought them in the field? We can do more than just draw them into the field; we can lay an ambush behind the town. When they come out after us, we will rush in and take possession of the castle.”

Beelzebub stood up, and by the scowl on his face it was clear he did not agree. He said, “It is impossible to draw them all from the castle. You can be sure some will stay behind to keep possession of the castle. Therefore, such an attempt will be in vain, unless we can be sure they will all come out to chase after us.”

The Council of the Evil Ones

Apollyon gave him a cold stare, but Beelzebub ignored it. He said, “Whatever we do will have to be accomplished by some other means. I say we invent a way to get the townsmen to sin again. You see, it’s not our being in the town or in the field, and it isn’t our fighting or our killing of their men that can make us the masters of Mansoul. For as long as there is even one person left in the town who is able to lift his finger against us, Emmanuel will take their side.” He took a deep breath and let it out with a hiss. “If He takes their side, we know what that means for us. That’s why, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no way to bring them into bondage to us like inventing a way to make them sin.” (Watch ye and pray; enter not into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is sick. – Mark 14:38) He let that sink in as he idly picked something from one of his talons. “If we had left all our Doubters at home, we would have done as well as we have done now, unless we could have made them the masters and governors of the castle. Doubters at a distance are like objections maintained by a fallacious argument.

“The question is, can we get them into the fortress and make them possessors of it? The day we accomplish that, the castle will be ours. Therefore, let us withdraw into the plain, but not because we expect the captains in Mansoul to follow us. Instead, before we do this, let us talk with our trusted Diabolians who hide away in their holds of Mansoul and put them to work to betray the town to us. We surely need their help to pull this off; otherwise, it will be left undone forever.”

By the time Beelzebub finished talking, the whole conclave agreed that the way to take the castle was to get the town to sin. With the beginning of a plan in place, they put their heads together to devise the best strategy to accomplish this goal.

Lucifer stood and said, “The advice of Beelzebub is sound. The way to bring this to pass, in my opinion, is for us to withdraw our forces from the town of Mansoul.” He transformed his visage to appear as an angel of light and said, “Let us do this and terrify them no longer, whether by summons, threats, or even the noise of our drum or any other rousing means. Let us lull them into thinking we are not a threat; only let us lie in wait in the field at a distance as though we do not care about them, for frightening them would only make them take up arms. I have also thought of another strategy to work in conjunction with this.

“You know Mansoul is a market town that delights in commerce. What if some of our Diabolians pretend to be from a faraway country and bring some of our wares to sell at the market of Mansoul? It doesn’t matter how much they sell, even if it’s for half the value. Let those who enter their market to trade be those who are clever and true to us. To fund this endeavor, I offer to take off my crown and to pawn it.

“I can think of two whom I think will be cunning, sly, and shrewd enough for this work. They are Mr. Penny-wise-pound-foolish and Mr. Get-i’the-hundred-and-lose-i’the-shire. This man with the long name is in no way inferior to the other. I’m also thinking we should add Mr. Sweet-World and Mr. Present-Good to the bunch. These men are civil and cunning, but they are our true friends and helpers. I say we let these men and many more engage in this marketplace business for us; Mansoul will be caught up in business and will grow to be full and rich. In this way we’ll gain ground on them.”

A few of his cohorts cast dubious glances in his direction. He thwarted their concerns by saying, “Don’t you remember? This is how we prevailed upon Laodicea. (Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. – Revelation 3:17) And how many do we currently hold in this snare? I am telling you, when they begin to grow full and satisfied, they will forget their misery. And if we don’t frighten them in any way, they may be lulled to sleep; they will let down their guard and neglect their close watch over the town, castle, and even their gates.

“If we load Mansoul with such abundance, it may force them to turn their castle into a warehouse instead of a garrison fortified against us. If the castle is filled with our goods and commodities and is no longer a depot for men of war, I predict that the castle will be more than half ours.

“Think of it this way. If we ordered the castle to be filled with all such manner of wares, then when we made an assault upon them, it would be hard for the captains to take shelter there. Remember the parable that says, ‘The deceitfulness of riches choke the word’? (And the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. – Mark 4:19) And again, ‘When the heart is overcharged with gluttony and drunkenness and the cares of this life, all harm comes upon them unawares’?” (And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with excess and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. – Luke 21:34)

Lucifer smiled smugly at his ingenious plan. “Furthermore, my lords, you know very well it isn’t easy for people to be filled with our things without having some of our Diabolians kept as attendants within their houses to provide services. Show me a Mansoulian who is full of this world that doesn’t have servants and men to wait upon them like Mr. Profuse, Mr. Prodigality, or some of our other Diabolian gang, such as Mr. Voluptuous, Mr. Pragmatical, Mr. Ostentation, or the like.

“Any of these can take the castle of Mansoul, blow it up, or make it unfit for a garrison for Emmanuel, and any of these will do. For all I know, these Diabolians might accomplish it sooner than an army of twenty thousand men. So my advice is that we quietly withdraw, offer no further resistance, and make no forcible attempts upon the castle – at least at this time.” He paused to make his point. “I say we put our new project into action and see if that won’t cause them to destroy themselves.”

All the others highly applauded this advice to choke Mansoul with a fullness of this world and flood her heart with the good things in it. (Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. – 1 John 2:15) They thought it such a good plan that they declared it the masterpiece of hell. But just as this Diabolian council broke up, Captain Credence received a letter from Emmanuel, and this is the message it contained: Upon the third day, He would meet him in the field in the plains around Mansoul.

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Chapter 28

Battle on the Plains

Captain Credence cupped his chin and asked, “Meet him in the field? What does my Lord mean by this? I don’t understand.” He carried the note to the Lord Secretary, because He was a seer in all matters concerning the King and for the good and comfort of the town of Mansoul. Captain Credence showed the note to the Lord Secretary and said, “I don’t understand what this means, and I’d like Your opinion.”

So the Lord High Secretary took the note and read it. Following a short pause, He said, “The Diabolians have met together against Mansoul today. They held an important meeting, the purpose of which was to plot the utter ruin of the town. The result of their meeting is a plan to place Mansoul in such a predicament that it will surely destroy herself. First, they are preparing for their own departure out of the town. They intend to take to the field and lie there in wait until they see whether their plan will work or not.

“Make ready with the men of Your Lord to fall upon the Diabolians, for on the third day they will be in the plain. By daybreak or before, the Prince will be in that field with a mighty force. He shall be there before the Diabolians, and you will be behind them; between the two armies they shall be destroyed.”

When Captain Credence heard this, he hurried to inform the rest of the captains. He explained to them about the note he received from the hand of Emmanuel. “And, while my understanding regarding the meaning of the note was darkened, the Lord Secretary explained it to me.” (Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but with doctrine of the Holy Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 2:13) He went on to clarify what each of them must do to accomplish the will of their Lord.

The captains were glad to receive direction from their Lord. To start, Captain Credence commanded all the King’s trumpeters to climb to the battlements of the castle, and in the hearing of Diabolus and the whole town of Mansoul, to play the best music the heart could invent. The trumpeters did as they were commanded and climbed to the top of the castle. Once settled there, they began to play.

The sounds startled Diabolus who said, “What can this mean? These sounds are not a summons for soldiers to mount their horses, to ride away, or to charge. What do these madmen mean by playing music so merry and glad?”

One among them said, “This music isn’t an alarm but an expression of joy because their Prince Emmanuel is coming to free the town of Mansoul, and He is at the head of an army – and this relief is near.”

The melodious charm of the trumpets also concerned the men of Mansoul. Among themselves they said, “This can’t hurt us, can it? Surely this won’t cause us harm.”

While this was going on, the Diabolians also discussed how to proceed. “What’s best for us to do?”

This question was answered with, “It is best to leave the town.”

Another nodded. “This follows the advice offered at our last meeting. By leaving, we will be better able to fight the enemy in battle if an army should come against us from outside the walls.”

So, on the second day, they withdrew from Mansoul and lived in the plains outside of the town. They settled before Eye-gate in a vile manner meant to create all the dread and terror they could. The reason they wouldn’t stay in the town (besides the reasons debated in their latest conclave) was that they were not in possession of the stronghold and “because it will be more suitable for us to fight and to flee, when we camp in the open plains.” If they stayed in the town, it would make their role in the battle more offensive rather than defensive, if the Prince came and fenced them in within the walls. So they moved to the open field out of the reach of the slings, which frustrated them the entire time they were in the town.

When the time arrived for the captains to attack the Diabolians, they prepared for action. The night before, Captain Credence told the captains, “You shall see the Prince in the field tomorrow.” This news made them all the more eager to engage the enemy, like adding oil to a flaming fire, and it stirred quite a fervor. They had waited at a distance for a long time, which made them all the more earnest and eager to get to work. (Our soul waited for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Therefore our heart shall rejoice in him because we have trusted in the name of his holiness. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we have waited upon thee. – Psalm 33:20-22)

So, as I said, the hour arrived. Captain Credence, with the rest of the men of war, drew out their forces before dawn by the back gate of the town. Being prepared to move forward with the attack, Captain Credence went up to the head of the army and gave the word to the rest of the captains. Each of them passed on the word to their under-officers and soldiers by saying, “The sword of Prince Emmanuel and the shield of Captain Credence,” which in the Mansoulian tongue means, “The Word of God and faith.” Then the captains plunged forward and began rounding to the front, flank, and rear of Diabolus’s camp.

Now, when they departed from the town, they left Captain Experience behind, because he was still recovering from his wounds, which the Diabolians had inflicted in the last fight. But when he realized the captains had moved out without him, what did he do? He called for his crutches, for he said to himself, “Shall I lie here, when my brothers are in the fight, and when Emmanuel, the Prince, shows Himself to His servants in the field?”

He got up and clambered toward the battle, crutches and all. The enemy spotted him hobbling along, and the site unsettled them even more, For, they thought, what spirit has possessed these Mansoulians, that they fight us upon their crutches?

As I said, the captains moved forward against the enemy and fell on them. They cried out and shouted as they landed their blows. “The sword of Prince Emmanuel and the shield of Captain Credence!”

Now, when Diabolus saw the captains had come out and surrounded his men, he concluded that they could expect nothing from them but blows and marks caused by their two-edged swords. (For the word of God is alive and efficient and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12) Therefore, he mustered his forces and fell upon the Prince’s army with all his deadly strength; so the two sides clashed in battle.

Diabolus met Captain Credence first in the fight on the one side and Lord Willbewill on the other. Willbewill’s blows were like those of a giant. He had a strong arm, and he struck the Doubters who served as the guards who protected Diabolus. He engaged them in battle for a good while, cutting and battering shrewdly. Now when Captain Credence saw Willbewill engaged in this manner, he did the same to the company of Doubters on the other side of the fight. Between them, they created a great tumult.

Captain Good-Hope had engaged the career Doubters and found them to be strong and rugged men. But the captain showed himself to be a strong and courageous man, and Captain Experience even sent him some aid, so he forced the professional Doubters to retreat.

The rest of the armies were hotly engaged on every side. The Diabolians fought bravely, but then Lord Secretary commanded the slings from the castle to attack, because his men could throw stones at a hair’s breadth. At first, this caused many of the Doubters and Diabolians to flee before the captains of the Prince, but they soon rallied and came up against the rear flank of the Prince’s army. Though the Prince’s army grew faint, they drew on the knowledge that they would see the face of their Prince soon, and took courage and fought a very fierce battle. (As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness. – Psalm 17:15)

The Sword of Lord Willbewill and the Shield of Captain Credence

The captains shouted, “The sword of Prince Emmanuel and the shield of Captain Credence!” and with that, Diabolus withdrew, thinking more aid had arrived. But Emmanuel still did not appear. Because the outcome of the battle hung in doubt, both sides made a little retreat.

During this break, Captain Credence encouraged his men to stand firm and remain courageous and strong. (Be strong and of a good courage; fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the LORD thy God is he that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee. – Deuteronomy 31:6) Diabolus did the same, but it was nothing like the bold speech Captain Credence made to his soldiers.

He said, “Gentlemen soldiers, and my brothers in this plan, I rejoice to see such a brave and valiant army and such faithful lovers of Mansoul in the field for our Prince this day. You have shown yourselves to be men of truth and courage against the Diabolian forces. They don’t have much cause to boast about their accomplishments. Now gather your usual courage and prove yourselves men one more time. After the next engagement, you will see your Prince in the field. First, we must make this second assault upon this tyrant Diabolus, and then Emmanuel comes.”

No sooner had the captain finished this speech to his soldiers than Mr. Speedy came with a message to the captain from the Prince to tell him Emmanuel was near. When the captain received this news, he passed it on to the other field officers, and they to their soldiers and men of war. The effect of this news was as though men had been raised from the dead, for the captains and their men arose with renewed determination and made their way back to the enemy. Again, they cried out as before, “The sword of Prince Emmanuel and the shield of Captain Credence!” (Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:16-17)

The Diabolians rallied and resisted as well as they could, but in this last engagement the Diabolians lost their courage. Many dead Doubters lay scattered across the ground. They had been in the heat of battle for about an hour or more, when Captain Credence lifted his eyes, and behold, he saw Emmanuel arrive. He came with flags flying and trumpets sounding. The feet of His men scarcely touched the ground, as they hurried with great speed toward the captains engaged in the fight.

Credence moved with his men toward the town and gave the field to Diabolus, so the enemy found himself between Emmanuel on the one side and the captains and their forces on the other. The fighting began again. It didn’t take long before Emmanuel and Captain Credence met, still trampling the slain as they came.

But when the captains saw that the Prince had come, and He fell upon the Diabolians, and Captain Credence and his Highness had trapped them between them, they shouted, “The sword of Emmanuel and the shield of Captain Credence!” and the ground split again.

When Diabolus saw he and his forces were hard-pressed by the Prince and His princely army, what did he and the lords of the pit do? They made their escape and abandoned their army. They just left them to fall by the hand of Emmanuel and His noble Captain Credence. And that’s exactly what happened. They all fell slain before the Prince and His royal army. Their bodies lay spread upon the ground, as one would spread dung upon the land. Not even one Doubter remained alive.

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Chapter 29

Emmanuel Restored to Mansoul

With the battle over, everything within the camp fell into order. The captains and elders of Mansoul gathered outside the community to greet Emmanuel. They hailed and welcomed Him with a thousand welcomes, because He had returned to the borders of Mansoul.

He said, “Peace be to you.” Then they turned, and the Prince and all the new forces He brought with Him went up to Mansoul. The gates of the town and the gates of the castle stood open to receive Him, and all the people rejoiced to see His blessed return.

The elders of the town of Mansoul stood at the gates of the town to welcome Him as He entered. One-half of the elders and the people sang out, “Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in!” (Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and lift yourselves up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. – Psalm 24:7-8)

The other half of the people answered, “Who is the King of glory?”

The first side responded, “The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; even lift them up, you everlasting doors.”

Then those of Mansoul put forth an order that the way from the town gates to the castle gates should be filled with song to worship His blessed Majesty. The most skilled musicians in all the town of Mansoul were called to perform, while the elders and the rest of the men of Mansoul answered one another in song as Emmanuel entered the town. They continued with songs accompanied by the sound of trumpets. “Your procession, God, has come into view, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary,” they sang. So the singers went before those playing instruments, followed by maidens playing on timbrels. They did this until He reached the castle gates. ([_The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; in between them were the virgins playing with timbrels. Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, ye of the lineage of Israel. _]– Psalm 68:25-26)

Then the captains waited on the Prince as He entered into the gates of Mansoul. Captain Credence went first with Captain Good-Hope. Captain Charity followed behind with his companions, and Captain Patience followed after them all. The rest of the captains, some on the right hand and some on the left, accompanied Emmanuel into Mansoul.

They marched into town with flags displayed, trumpets sounding, and the soldiers shouting. Dressed in His armor made from beaten gold, the Prince rode into town in His chariot beneath a purple covering. The supports of His chariot were silver, with the bottom crafted from pure gold and the center overlaid with love for the daughters of the town of Mansoul.

When the Prince arrived at the entrance of Mansoul, He found all the streets strewn with lilies and flowers, unusually decked with boughs and branches from the green trees that stood about the town. Every house stood adorned in the same way with a singular excellence and unity to show hospitality to the Prince. As He passed through the streets, the people stood in the doors of their homes and welcomed Him with shouts and acclamations of joy: “Blessed be the Prince who comes in the name of His Father Shaddai!” (And many spread their garments in the way, and others cut down leaves off the trees and spread them in the way. And those that went before and those that followed cried out, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. – Mark 11:8-9)

At the castle gates, the elders of Mansoul, namely, the Lord Mayor, Lord Willbewill, the secondary preacher, Mr. Knowledge, and Mr. Mind, with others of the gentry greeted Emmanuel again. They bowed before Him, kissed the dust off His feet, and thanked, blessed, and praised His Highness for not holding their sins against them and for showing pity upon them in their misery. They thanked Him for returning to them with mercies to build Mansoul up forever. He headed straight to the castle, because that was the royal palace prepared for His Highness by the presence of the Lord Secretary and the work of Captain Credence. This was where His honor was to dwell. So He entered in.

All classes of people of the town of Mansoul came into the castle to Him to mourn, weep, and wail for their wickedness that had forced Him out of the town. When they came before Him, they bowed to the ground seven times and wept and wept aloud, asking forgiveness of the Prince. With their lament, they prayed He would once again confirm His love for Mansoul.

The eminent Prince looked upon them with great love and said, “Don’t weep, but go your way. Eat the best and drink that which is pleasing to taste and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, for the joy of your Lord is your strength. I have returned to Mansoul with mercies, and My name shall be set up, exalted, and magnified by it.” (This day is holy unto the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go, eat the fat, and drink sweet wine, and send portions unto those who have nothing prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord, and not sad; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:9b-10) He even kissed and embraced these inhabitants.

Then He gave a chain of gold and a signet ring to the elders of Mansoul and to each town office. He sent earrings, jewels, bracelets, and other things to their wives and gave many precious things to the trueborn children of Mansoul.

When Emmanuel the Prince finished doing all these things for the famous town of Mansoul, He said to them, “Wash your garments, put on your ornaments, and then come into the castle of Mansoul to Me.”

So they went to the fountain set up for Judah and Jerusalem to wash, and they cleansed themselves and made their garments white, and came again into the castle to the Prince and stood before Him. (Then come, shall the LORD say, and we shall be even; if your sins were as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow; if they were red like crimson, they shall become as wool. – Isaiah 1:18)

Music and dancing filled the whole town of Mansoul. Bells rang and the sun shone upon them for a great while, because their Prince had once again granted His presence and the light of His countenance to shine upon them.

The town of Mansoul more thoroughly sought the destruction and ruin of all the remaining Diabolians who lurked in the walls and dens in the town of Mansoul, for some had escaped with life and limb from the hand of their suppressors. But Lord Willbewill was a greater terror to them now than ever, for his heart was fully bent to seek, strategize, and pursue them to the death. He tracked them night and day and caused them severe distress, as I will show you.

After things were put in order in Mansoul, care was taken and an order given by the blessed Prince Emmanuel: “Without further delay, the townsmen should appoint some to go forth into the plain to bury the dead there – the dead who fell by My sword and by the shield of Captain Credence, so the fumes and bad odors will not rise and taint the air and annoy the famous town of Mansoul.”

This order was given so they might cut off the name, existence, and memory of those enemies from the minds of Mansoul.

So the Lord Mayor Understanding, that wise and trusted friend of the town of Mansoul, brought order to Mansoul and said people should be engaged in necessary business. Godly-Fear and Mr. Upright were to be overseers, and people were placed under their authority to work in the fields and bury the slain that lay dead in the plains.

The jobs included digging graves, burying the dead, and going back and forth in the plains; they also checked around the borders of Mansoul to look for skulls, bones, or any piece of Doubter bone near the town. If any were found, it was ordered that the searchers set up a marker to notify those appointed to bury them. ([_And they shall take men out of continual employment, who shall go through the land with the passengers to bury those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it. _]– Ezekiel 39:14) These bones were to be buried out of sight so the name and memory of any Diabolian Doubter might be blotted out from under heaven, and the children and those to be born in Mansoul might never know even a remnant of a Doubter.

So the buriers and those appointed for this task did as they were commanded. They buried every last bit of the Doubters wherever they found them, and in this manner they cleansed the plains. Meanwhile, God’s-Peace took up his assignment and performed his duties as in former days.

They Bury the Bones of the Doubters

They buried the Election-doubters, Vocation-doubters, Grace-doubters, Perseverance-doubters, Resurrection-doubters, Salvation-doubters, and the Glory-doubters in the plains around Mansoul. The captains of these Doubters were Captain Rage, Captain Cruel, Captain Damnation, Captain Insatiable, Captain Brimstone, Captain Torment, Captain No-Ease, Captain Sepulcher, Captain Past-Hope, and old Incredulity, who was their general under Diabolus. The seven heads of their army were Lord Beelzebub, Lord Lucifer, Lord Legion, Lord Apollyon, Lord Python, Lord Cerberus, and Lord Belial.

But the princes and captains with old Incredulity made their escape when they knew the battle was lost. However, their men fell slain by the power of the Prince’s forces and by the hands of the men of the town of Mansoul. All these were buried, as I already mentioned, much to the great joy of the now-famous town of Mansoul. Those who buried them also buried their weapons, including arrows, darts, mauls, firebrands, and all cruel instruments of death. They even buried their armor, flags, banners, the standard of Diabolus, and whatever else they found that smelled of a Diabolian Doubter.

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Chapter 30

Final Attack

Now when the tyrant arrived back at Hell-gate Hill with his old friend Incredulity, they rushed down into the den with their companions. They grieved over their misfortune and the great loss they sustained against the town of Mansoul. They talked at length, became violently agitated, and vowed revenge for the loss they suffered. They called a council to plot how they could once again come against the famous town of Mansoul. They were hungry to see the result of Lord Lucifer’s and Lord Apollyon’s counsel which they had given. Every day their raging gullets wondered if it would be a long or a short time until they filled themselves with the bodies, souls, flesh, bones, and all the other delicacies of Mansoul. With this growing hunger consuming them, they decided to make another attempt upon the town of Mansoul. They planned to employ a mixed army made up of Doubters and of blood-men. To understand this army, a closer look at both Doubters and blood-men is necessary.

The Doubters are called such because of their nature and the land and kingdom from where they originate. Their nature is to question every one of Emmanuel’s truths, and their country is called the land of Doubting. That land lies far to the north between the land of Darkness and the valley of the shadow of death, which are sometimes talked about as if they were one and the same, but they are two places that lie a short distance from one another. The land of Doubting points in and lies between them. Those who came with Diabolus to ruin the town of Mansoul were natives of that country, the land of Doubting.

Blood-men are people who derive their name from the destructive tendency of their nature and from the fury within them to execute carnage upon the town of Mansoul. Their land lies under the dog star, which exercises a murderous influence on the earth and governs their intellects. (They are among those that rebel against the light; they have never known its ways nor abided in its paths. The murderer rises with the light, kills the poor and the needy, and in the night is as a thief. – Job 24:13-14) The name of their country is the province of Loath-good. The remote parts of it are far from the land of Doubting, yet they both butt together at Hell-gate Hill. These people are always in alliance with the Doubters, for they question the faith and loyalty of the men of the town of Mansoul. They are both qualified for the service of their prince Diabolus.

Now Diabolus beat his drum again and raised another army from these two countries to come against the town of Mansoul. This new army was twenty-five thousand strong, made up of ten thousand Doubters and fifteen thousand blood-men. These forces were placed under several captains, and old Incredulity was made general of the army again.

As for the Doubters, their captains were five of the seven who were heads of the last Diabolian army. These included Captain Beelzebub, Captain Lucifer, Captain Apollyon, Captain Legion, and Captain Cerberus, and from the army they made some lieutenants and some ensigns.

But for this expedition, Diabolus didn’t count on these Doubters to be his principal men, for their virility had been tried and had failed. The Mansoulians had brought them to a most disastrous outcome. He only planned to bring them along to increase the number of troops he had to help if they found themselves in a pinch. But he put his trust in his blood-men, for they were all rugged villains, and he knew they had accomplished feats of bravery before.

As for the blood-men, they were placed under the command of eight captains with familiar names: Captain Cain, Captain Nimrod, Captain Ishmael, Captain Esau, Captain Saul, Captain Absalom, Captain Judas, and Captain Pope.

Captain Cain oversaw two bands – the zealous and the angry blood-men. (The angry man stirs up strife, and the furious man abounds in transgression. – Proverbs 29:22) His standard-bearer carried red colors, and the emblem on his shield was the murdering club.

Captain Nimrod was also placed in a position above two bands – the tyrannical and encroaching blood-men. (Woe unto those that establish unrighteous laws and that willfully prescribe tyranny. – Isaiah 10:1) His standard-bearer bore the red colors to show the blood he’d shed, and the great bloodhound was his emblem.

Captain Ishmael became captain over the mocking and scorning blood-men. (Whosoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker, and he that is glad regarding the calamity of someone else shall not go unpunished. – Proverbs 17:5) His standard-bearer also wore the red colors, and his insignia showed a man mocking Abraham’s Isaac.

Captain Esau had authority over two more bands – the blood-men who begrudged that another should have the blessing, and the blood-men who favored taking out their private revenge upon others. (And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will slay my brother Jacob. – Genesis 27:41) His standard-bearer displayed the red colors, and his emblem showed a man privately lurking to murder Jacob.

Captain Saul stood captain above two more bands – the groundlessly jealous and the devilishly furious blood-men. (Wrath is cruel, and anger is impetuous, but who is able to stand before envy? – Proverbs 27:4) His standard-bearer carried the red colors, and his symbol was three bloody darts cast at harmless David.

Captain Absalom was placed over two bands – the blood-men who willingly kill a father or a friend for the glory of this world, and the blood-men who hold a just person with their words until they pierce him with their swords. (It is not good to eat much honey, so for men to search their own glory is not glory. – Proverbs 25:27) His standard-bearer also displays the red colors, and the emblem on his shield was the son pursuing the father’s blood.

Captain Judas stood over the blood-men who will sell a man’s life for money and the band of those who will betray their friend with a kiss. (For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it, neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, who in my estimation was, my lord, and of my own family. – Psalm 55:12-13) His standard-bearer also carried the red colors, and his symbol was thirty pieces of silver and the rope used for hanging rebels.

The last captain was Captain Pope. He was placed over one band, which united all these spirits as one under him. (They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps when they wait for my soul. – Psalm 56:6) Like the rest, his standard-bearer displayed the red colors, and his coat of arms was the stake, the flame, and the good man in it.

Now, Diabolus rallied this force quickly after his defeat in the field because he put a lot of confidence in this blood-men army. In fact, he placed a great deal more trust in them than he ever did in his army of Doubters, even though they had often served him in strengthening his kingdom.

He had tested these blood-men often, and their sword seldom returned empty. He knew how they seized any father, mother, brother, sister, prince, governor, and even the Prince of princes – like mastiffs. Believing they once forced Emmanuel out of the kingdom of Universe, Diabolus thought, [_Why couldn’t they do the same and drive Him from the town of Mansoul? _]So this army, twenty-five thousand strong, led by their general, the great Lord Incredulity, was commanded to go up against the town of Mansoul.

However, it so happened that Mansoul’s Scoutmaster-General, Mr. Prywell, went out to spy upon the enemy, and he brought back news of their coming to Mansoul. With this warning, they had time to shut their gates and ready themselves to defend against these new Diabolians coming against the town.

Diabolus brought his army and surrounded the town of Mansoul. The Doubters were placed around Feel-gate, while the blood-men were strategically set before Eye-gate and Ear-gate. Incredulity sent an urgent summons to Mansoul commanding that they yield to their demands. If they dared to stand against them, the Diabolians threatened to burn Mansoul down with fire. You must realize that the blood-men didn’t really want Mansoul to surrender, but rather longed for it to be destroyed and cut off from the land of the living. True, they’d sent a command for them to surrender, but if they did, that wouldn’t stop or quench the thirst of these men for blood. They needed blood, the blood of Mansoul, or else they would die. This is how they received their name. Therefore, Diabolus reserved these blood-men for when his instruments of war proved ineffectual; these blood-men could be played against the town of Mansoul as his trump card.

When the townsmen received this fiery summons, they started to change their minds, but in less than half an hour, they agreed to carry the summons to the Prince. They wrote at the bottom of it, “Lord, save Mansoul from bloody men!” (I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies. – Psalm 18:3)

When the Prince received the summons, He looked it over and considered it. He took notice of the short petition at the bottom, which had been added by the men of Mansoul. He called the noble Captain Credence to come to report for duty. The Prince told him to go with Captain Patience and take care of that side of Mansoul being harassed by the blood-men. So the two of them did as they were commanded and secured that side of Mansoul.

Captain Credence and Captain Patience Strengthen the Town of Mansoul

Then Prince Emmanuel commanded Captain Good-Hope, Captain Charity, and Lord Willbewill to take charge of the other side of the town. “You three keep watch against the Doubters,” He said. “And I will set My banner upon the battlements of your castle.”

With this accomplished, He commanded the brave Captain Experience to bring his men into the marketplace and have them practice their skills daily before the people of the town of Mansoul.

This siege dragged on into a lengthy attempt by the enemy to gain possession of Mansoul, and included many fierce endeavors upon the town, especially by the blood-men. The townsmen met with many clever skirmishes, particularly Captain Self-Denial who was commanded to defend Ear-gate and Eye-gate against the blood-men. Captain Self-Denial, like Captain Experience, was a brave young man and a townsman in Mansoul. On His second return to Mansoul, Emmanuel made him a captain over a thousand Mansoulians for the good of the community. This captain, being a hardy man of great courage and willing to risk danger for the good of the town of Mansoul, would rush out and besiege the blood-men. He gave them many significant scares and entered several brisk skirmishes with them. He even killed some of them. But don’t think this was easily done, for he met with several close encounters and bore several scars on his face and body.

After testing the faith, hope, and love of the town of Mansoul, Prince Emmanuel called His captains and men of war together and divided them into two companies. (And now abide faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – 1 Corinthians 13:13) He commanded them to rush out upon the enemy in the morning at an appointed time. He said, “Half of you fall upon the Doubters, and the other half upon the blood-men. Those of you who go against the Doubters, kill and slay as many of them as you can lay hands on, but for you who go out against the blood-men, take them alive. Don’t slay them.”

The following morning the captains went out against the enemies at the appointed time. Captain Good-Hope, Captain Charity, and those joined with them like Captain Innocency and Captain Experience marched out against the Doubters. Captain Credence and Captain Patience with Captain Self-Denial and those united with them went out against the blood-men.

The troops that went out against the Doubters drew up into a body before the plain and marched to challenge them to battle. But the Doubters remembered how the Prince’s army had defeated them in their last battle. They decided not to venture another upset and fled from the Prince’s men who pursued them. The Prince’s men chased and slew many, but they couldn’t catch them all.

Of those who escaped, some went home, but the rest strayed about the country by fives, nines, and seventeens. As they wandered, they showed off and practiced many of their Diabolian behaviors in the presence of the ignorant people who lived there. These people didn’t take up arms against them but allowed themselves to be enslaved. These Doubters also gathered in groups before the town of Mansoul, but not to dwell in it, because if Captain Credence, Captain Good-Hope, or Captain Experience showed themselves, they fled.

Those who went out against the blood-men also did as they were commanded. They refrained from slaying any of them, but tried to surround them. When the blood-men saw Emmanuel wasn’t in the field, they concluded He wasn’t in Mansoul. Therefore, they looked at what the captains did as their own wild and foolish desires and despised them more than feared them.

But the captains paid attention to the task at hand and finally encompassed them. The forces that had routed the Doubters came to their aid with power, and after a little struggling, the blood-men decided to make a run for it. However, it was too late, for though they are harmful and cruel in situations where they can overcome, blood-men are actually chicken-hearted men when they are matched equally. So the captains took them captive and brought them to the Prince. When the Prince examined them, He found them to be from three counties but all from one land.

One sort came out of Blind-man-shire, and they ignorantly did what they did. (For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. – Romans 10:3) Another sort came out of Blind-zeal-shire, and they superstitiously did what they did. (Thus hath the LORD said, Do not learn the way of the Gentiles, and do not fear the signs of heaven. – Jeremiah 10:2) The third sort came out of the town of Malice in the county of Envy, and they did what they did out of spite and irreconcilable hostility or anger.

When the first group from the Blind-man-shire saw where they were and Whom they fought against, they trembled and cried as they stood before Him. For all those who asked Him for mercy, He touched their lips with His golden scepter.

Those from Blind-zeal-shire, however, didn’t follow the example of their fellows from Blind-man-shire. Instead, they pleaded that they had a right to do what they did because Mansoul was a town whose laws and customs were different from all who lived around them. Very few of this group could be brought to see their evil, but those who did and asked for mercy also gained favor.

And last, those who came from the town of Malice in the county of Envy didn’t weep or dispute. Nor did they repent! Instead, they stood gnawing their tongues before Him in anguish and madness, because they couldn’t force their will upon Mansoul.

Those who sincerely asked pardon for their faults from this last group, with all those from the other two sorts, were bound and would be made to answer for what they had done against Mansoul and her King. This would be done at the great and general hearings to be held before our Lord the King. He Himself would decide for the country and kingdom of Universe. (For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive according to that which they have done in the body, good or evil. – 2 Corinthians 5:10) So they bound each man for the time when he would be called to answer for what he had done. This hearing included much about this second army sent by Diabolus to overthrow Mansoul.

But three of those rascals who came from the land of Doubting figured they had escaped, after they had wandered the country a while. With this sense of freedom and the knowledge that some Diabolians still lived in the town, they became so bold they drove themselves with force into Mansoul. Did I say three Diabolians? Actually, I think there were four.

After they entered Mansoul, whose house did these Diabolian Doubters go to? They went straight to the house of an old Diabolian whose name was Evil-Questioning. He happened to be a great enemy to Mansoul, who proved himself a great doer among the Diabolians there.

When these Doubters came to Evil-Questioning’s house, he welcomed them, showed sympathy for their misfortune, and assisted them with the best he had in his house. After becoming acquainted, which didn’t take long, old Evil-Questioning asked the Doubters a question. He knew they were from one kingdom but asked if they were all from the same town.

They answered, “No, we don’t come from the same shire either.”

One said, “I am an Election-doubter.”

Another said, “I am a Vocation-doubter.”

And the third said, “I’m a Salvation-doubter,” while the fourth admitted to being a Grace-doubter.

The old gentlemen smiled. “Well, it doesn’t matter to me whatever shire you come from. I am sure you’ve had more downs than ups, boys, but I want you to know you have my support. For I can see you are one with my heart and want to assure you that you are welcomed here.” His arms cut a flamboyant sweep through the air, encompassing the room in which they gathered. So they thanked him and were glad to have found a place to stay in Mansoul.

Then Evil-Questioning said, “How many more of your company came with you to the siege of Mansoul?”

They said, “There were only ten thousand Doubters in all, for the rest of the army consisted of fifteen thousand blood-men. These blood-men border on our country, but we hear every one of them were taken by Emmanuel’s forces.”

“Ten thousand!” The old gentleman raised his bushy brows. “I promise you this, that’s a full company. But what happened? How is it you were so mighty a number and fainted enough that you dared not fight your foes?”

“Our general,” they all said at the same time. “He was the first man to run for it.”

“Really? Tell me the name of your cowardly general.”

“He was once the Lord Mayor of Mansoul,” they said, “but please don’t call him a cowardly general. There hasn’t been another from the east to the west who has done more service for our prince Diabolus than Lord Incredulity. If they caught him, they would have hanged him, and we can guarantee that hanging is a bad business.”

The old man pursed his lips in thought. “I wish all ten thousand Doubters were well armed now in Mansoul, with me at the head of them. I’d show you what I could do.”

“Agreed,” they said. “We would like to see that, but wishes, what are they except wishes?” They shrugged and shook their heads.

Old Evil-Questioning said, “Be careful you don’t talk too loud. You must be quiet and keep things secret – must take care of yourselves while you are here, or I assure you, you will be seized.” (Where shall I go from thy spirit? or where shall I flee from thy presence? – Psalm 139:7)

“Why?” The Doubters looked at one another in confusion.

“Why?” the old gentleman asked. “Why? Because both the Prince and Lord Secretary and their captains and soldiers are all here in town. Yes! The town is as full of them as ever, and there is one whose name is Willbewill, a most cruel enemy of ours, and the Prince has made him keeper of the gates. He has been commanded to look for, search out, and destroy all manner of Diabolians with all the diligence he can muster. (But we desire that each one of you show the same diligence until the end for the fulfillment of your hope. – Hebrews 6:11) And if he comes upon you, down you go, as if your heads were made of gold.”

While this discussion took place, it so happened that one of the Lord Willbewill’s faithful soldiers, whose name was Mr. Diligence, stood listening under the eaves of old Evil-Questioning’s house. (Therefore, it is necessary that we with more diligence keep the things which we have heard, so that we do not fall. – Hebrews 2:1) He heard all the talk between him and the Doubters.

The soldier was a man Lord Willbewill had much confidence in and loved dearly, because he was a man of courage and he never grew weary in seeking after Diabolians to apprehend.

Now this man, as I told you, heard all the talk between old Evil-Questioning and these Diabolians. Therefore, he hurried to his lord and told him what he had heard.

“Are you sure, my trusted one?” Willbewill asked.

“Yes, I am,” Diligence said. “And if your lordship will be pleased to go with me, you will find it as I have said.”

“Are they there now?” Willbewill asked. “I know Evil-Questioning well. He and I both played important roles during the time when we abandoned our faith, but I don’t know where he lives now.”

The Arrest of the Conspirators

Diligence smiled. “But I do, and if your lordship will come with me, I will lead you to his den.”

“Let’s go!” Lord Willbewill said as he headed toward the door. “Come, Diligence, let us go find them.”

So Willbewill and his man went the direct way to the house. Now Diligence led the way, and they went along until they came under old Mr. Evil-Questioning’s wall. Then Diligence whispered, “Listen! My lord, do you know the old gentleman’s voice when you hear it?”

He nodded. “Yes. I know it well, but I haven’t seen him in a long time. But this I do know, he is cunning. I hope he doesn’t give us the slip.”

“Leave that to me,” his servant Diligence said.

“But how will we find the door?” Lord Willbewill asked.

“Let me take care of that too.” So Diligence kept Lord Willbewill close and showed him the way to the door. Then Willbewill broke open the door, rushed into the house, and caught all five together, even as Diligence his man had told him. So Willbewill apprehended them, led them away, and committed them to the hand of Mr. True-Man, the jailer.

“Put them under guard,” he commanded.

In the morning, the Lord Mayor Understanding heard about what Lord Willbewill had done overnight, and his lordship rejoiced at the news, not only because Doubters were apprehended, but also because old Evil-Questioning was taken into custody. This rascal had proven to be great trouble to Mansoul and caused much affliction to Lord Mayor Understanding himself. He’d been sought for a long time but had proven to be elusive until now.

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Chapter 31

Judgment Day

The next thing was to prepare to try these five individuals who had been apprehended and were held in the custody of True-Man, the jailer. The day for the trial was set, the court convened, and the prisoners brought to the bar. Lord Willbewill had the authority to slay them when he first captured them without any more bother, but he thought it best for the honor of the Prince, the comfort of Mansoul, and the discouragement of the enemy to bring them forth to public judgment.

Mr. True-Man brought them to the town hall and up to the bar in chains, for that was the place of judgment. The jury was selected, the witnesses sworn in, and the prisoners tried for their lives. The jury consisted of the same jurors who tried No-Truth, Pitiless, Haughty, and the rest of their companions.

Old Questioning himself was brought to the bar first, because he had welcomed, entertained, and comforted these Doubters, who were foreign men. He was instructed to listen to the charges brought against him and told he had the liberty to object, if he had anything to say for himself. So his indictment was read.

“Mr. Questioning, you are here indicted by the name of Evil-Questioning, an intruder upon the town of Mansoul, for you are a Diabolian by nature, a hater of the Prince Emmanuel, and one who has studied the ruin of the town of Mansoul. You are here indicted for supporting the King’s enemies, after wholesome laws made to the contrary:

“First, you questioned the truth of her doctrine and seat of dignity. (Deceit is in the heart of those whose thoughts are evil. – Proverbs 12:20a)

“Second, you wished that ten thousand Doubters were in her.

“Third, you received, entertained, and encouraged her enemies, who came from their army to you. What do you say to this indictment? Are you guilty or not guilty?”

“My lord,” he said, “I don’t know the meaning of this indictment, for I am not the man involved in it. The man accused of these things is called by the name of Evil-Questioning, which I deny to be my name, for my name is Honest-Inquiry. The one indeed sounds like the other, but your lordships know there is a big difference between these two. For I hope a man, even in the worst of times and among the worst of men, may make an honest inquiry about things without running the danger of death.”

Then Lord Willbewill stepped forward as one of the witnesses. “My lord and you, the honorable bench and magistrates of the town of Mansoul, you all have heard with your ears that the prisoner at the bar has denied his name, and in so doing he thinks he can shift the charge of the indictment away from himself. But I know him to be the man concerned, and his proper name is Evil-Questioning. I have known him for more than thirty years, for he and I, to my shame, were once great acquaintances. This was when Diabolus, that tyrant, held the government of Mansoul.

“I confirm Evil-Questioning is a Diabolian by nature, an enemy to our Prince, and a hater of the blessed town of Mansoul. In times of rebellion, he visited and even lodged in my house for as many as twenty nights at a time. We used to talk then. The substance of conversations back then was much the same as his recent talks between him and his Doubters. I haven’t seen him in a long time. I suppose Emmanuel’s coming to Mansoul caused him to change his address, in the same way this indictment has driven him to change his name.” Lord Willbewill pointed at the prisoner and said, “But this is the man, my lord.”

The clerk turned to the prisoner and asked, “Do you have anything more to say?”

The old man stood a little straighter and held his head high with an arrogant air. “Yes,” he said, “I do. For everything said against me up to this point is by the mouth of only one witness. It isn’t lawful for the famous town of Mansoul to put any man to death based on the testimony of one witness.” (One witness shall not be valid against a man for any iniquity or for any sin, in any sin which he should commit. At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. – Deuteronomy 19:15)

Mr. Diligence stood and came forward and addressed the court. “My lord, upon my watch the other night at the head of Bad Street here in Mansoul, I happened to hear muttering within this gentleman’s house.” He motioned with his hand toward Evil-Questioning. “I asked myself, ‘What is going on here?’ So I drew up softly to get close enough to the side of the house to listen, because it sounded like it might be a quarrel, and I thought perhaps I might come across some Diabolian meeting.

“As I said, I drew nearer and nearer. When I was close to the wall, it didn’t take long to perceive foreign men were in the house. They talked loud enough that I understood most of what they were saying, because I’ve traveled a lot. Upon hearing their language in that kind of a tottering cottage where this old gentleman lives, I cupped my ear to a hole in the window and overheard every word. This old Mr. Questioning asked these Doubters what they were, where they came from, and what their business was in these parts. They told him they were Doubters and why they had come here, and he welcomed them into his home.

“He also asked how many of them there were, and they told him ten thousand men. He then asked why they hadn’t made a braver assault upon Mansoul, and they told him. Evil-Questioning called their general a coward for marching off when he should have fought for his prince. I heard this old Evil-Questioning wish that all the ten thousand Doubters were now in Mansoul with himself leading them.” He waggled his finger toward the prisoner and finished by saying, “He also told them to be careful and to lie quietly, because if they were captured, they must die.”

The clerk turned and addressed the prisoner. “Mr. Evil-Questioning, it appears we now have another witness against you, and his testimony is replete with details that implicate you. He swears you received these men into your house, and you fed them, even though you knew they were Diabolians and the King’s enemies. He swears you wished ten thousand of them were in Mansoul, and you gave them advice to be quiet and careful to avoid being taken by the King’s servants. (They encourage themselves in an evil matter; they attempt to hide the snares; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they perfect and put into effect that which they have invented in the inward thought of each one of them and that which they have devised in their heart. – Psalm 64:5-6) All of this makes it obvious that you’re a Diabolian. If you had been a friend to the King, you would have apprehended them.”

Evil-Questioning’s face flushed, but his voice remained calm. He said, “To the first of these charges I say the men who came into my house were strangers. Yes, I took them in, but is it a crime now in Mansoul for a man to entertain strangers? I offered them something to eat.” He shrugged. “So why would I be faulted for my kindness? As for why I wished ten thousand of them to be in Mansoul, I never mentioned the reason to the witnesses nor to them. For all anyone knew, I might have just been wishing them to be captured, which would mean I wished Mansoul well. I also told them to be careful not to fall into the captains’ hands, but that might be because I am unwilling any man should be slain – and not because I wish to have the King’s enemies escape.”

Lord Mayor Understanding replied, “While it was a virtue to entertain strangers, it was treason to entertain the King’s enemies. And by everything you’ve said, you labor by words to evade and postpone the execution of judgment. Even if nothing else was proved against you except that you are a Diabolian, by the law you must die. But to be hospitable, a nourisher, a supporter, and one who offers shelter to other Diabolians who come from far away purposely to cut off and destroy our Mansoul – this must not be tolerated.”

Evil-Questioning’s nostrils flared. “I see how the game will play out. I must die for my name and for my kindness.” After that, he didn’t say another word.

Then they called the foreign-born Doubters to the bar one at a time. The first to be arraigned was the Election-doubter. As he stepped up to the bar, his indictment was read. Because he wasn’t a natural-born Mansoulian and didn’t speak the language, an interpreter translated for him. “You have been charged with being an enemy of Emmanuel the Prince, a hater of the town of Mansoul, and an opposer of her most wholesome doctrine.”

The judge asked the Doubter how he would plead. The Doubter replied, “I confess I am an Election-doubter. It is the only religion I was brought up in.” He finished by saying, “If I must die for my religion, I shall die a martyr, so I couldn’t care less.”

The judge looked down at the Doubter over the rim of his glasses. He said, “To question election is to overthrow a great doctrine of the gospel – specifically, it questions the omniscience, power, and will of God. It takes away the freedom of God with His creature, obstructs the faith of the town of Mansoul, and makes salvation dependent upon works and not upon grace. (Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. – Galatians 2:16) This Doubter contradicts the Word and worries the men of Mansoul. Therefore, by the best of laws, he must die.”

Next, the Vocation-doubter was called to the bar. The matter of his indictment was the same as the first Doubter, except he was charged with denying the calling of Mansoul.

The judge asked him, “What do you have to say for yourself?”

The Doubter said, “I have never believed there is any such thing as a distinct and powerful call of God to Mansoul, not even by the general voice of the Word, except the appeal to cease evil and do that which is good and in so doing gain a promise of happiness in the end.” (Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the times of the ages. – 2 Timothy 1:9)

The judge shook his head and again looked upon the Doubter over the rim of his glasses. “You are a Diabolian and have denied a great part of one of the Prince’s truths taught by experience. He has called and Mansoul has heard a most distinct and powerful call of her Emmanuel by which she has been made alive – awakened and possessed with heavenly grace to desire fellowship with her Prince, to serve Him, do His will, and seek happiness merely from His good pleasure. (And he has made you alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. – Ephesians 2:1) And for your aversion to this good doctrine, you must die the death.”

Then the Grace-doubter was called to the bar and his indictment read. He replied, “Though I am from the land of Doubting, my father is an offspring of a Pharisee. Outwardly he lived in this fashion among his neighbors, and he taught me to believe; and I do believe it and will for the rest of my life, for Mansoul shall never be saved freely by grace.”

The judge spoke with authority. “The law of the Prince is plain. It is not of works but by grace you are saved. (Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus, the Christ. – Romans 3:24) And your religion depends on the works of the flesh, for the works of the law are the works of the flesh.

“Besides, in saying what you have, you have robbed God of His glory and given it to a sinful man. You have robbed Christ of the necessity of what He did and the sufficiency of it. In its place you have trusted in the works of the flesh. You have despised the work of the Holy Spirit and magnified the will of the flesh and the legal mindset. You are a Diabolian, the son of a Diabolian, and for your Diabolian principles you must die.”

The court sent the jury out to deliberate, but they immediately brought the guilty verdict and the sentence of death.

Then the Recorder stood up and addressed the prisoners. “You, the prisoners at the bar, have been indicted and proven guilty of high crimes against Emmanuel our Prince and against the welfare of the famous town of Mansoul – crimes for which you must be put to death.” ([_For the wages of sin is death, but the grace of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. _]– Romans 6:23)

So they were sentenced to death on the cross. The execution was assigned to take place at the spot where Diabolus drew up his last army against Mansoul, with the exception that old Evil-Questioning was hanged at upper Bad Street against the door of his house.

When the town of Mansoul had rid themselves of these enemies and troublers of their peace, they issued a strict mandate to Lord Willbewill and his man, Diligence, to search for and apprehend any town Diabolians who were still alive in Mansoul. They received a list of several of their names, including Mr. Fooling, Mr. Let-Good-Slip, Mr. Slavish-Fear, Mr. No-Love, Mr. Mistrust, Mr. Flesh, and Mr. Sloth. They were also commanded to apprehend Evil-Questioning’s children, who were left behind after he died. They were to be taken into custody and their house demolished.

The children he left behind were Mr. Doubt, his eldest son, next was Legal-Life, followed by Unbelief, Wrong-Thoughts-of-Christ, Clip-Promise, Carnal-Sense, Live-by-Feeling, and Self-Love. He had these offspring by one wife, and her name was No-Hope. She was the niece of old Incredulity. When her father, old Dark, died, he took her in as his own and brought her up until she grew to marriageable age. Incredulity gave her to Evil-Questioning to be his wife.

Now the Lord Willbewill performed his commission with the help of Diligence, his man. He captured Fooling in the streets and hanged him in Want-wit Alley against his own house. This Fooling was the one who wanted the town of Mansoul to deliver Captain Credence into the hands of Diabolus. In return, Diabolus would have supposedly withdrawn his forces from the town. Willbewill also caught Let-Good-Slip one busy day in the market and executed him according to the Law.

Fooling Is Hung

Now an honest, poor man in Mansoul by the name of Mr. Meditation was of no great importance in the days when Mansoul deserted their faith, but now he had the best reputation in the town. (But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:2) Therefore, they were willing to raise this man to an office or dignity.

Let-Good-Slip formerly had a great deal of wealth in Mansoul, but upon Emmanuel’s arrival, it was confiscated for the Prince’s use. This resource was given to Mr. Meditation to make improvements for the common good. After him, it was to be given to his son, Mr. Think-Well, with his wife, Piety, the daughter of Mr. Recorder.

After this, Willbewill apprehended Clip-Promise, a notorious villain who abused much of the King’s wealth by his doings. For this reason, he was made a public example. After his arraignment, he was sentenced to be first set in the pillory to secure his head and hands, then whipped by all the children and servants in Mansoul. Finally, he was to be hanged until he died.

Some may wonder why this man’s punishment was so severe, but honest traders in Mansoul are aware of the great abuse one clipper of promises can do to the town of Mansoul in just a little time. And my judgment is that all those of his name and life should be taken care of in the same way as he was.

Willbewill also apprehended Carnal-Sense and put him in a prison cell. I can’t tell you how, but somehow he broke out and made his escape. That’s right! This bold villain still hadn’t left the town. Instead, he lurked in Diabolian dens by day and haunted honest men’s houses like a ghost at night. As a result, a proclamation was made in the marketplace in Mansoul, which said, “Whoever discovers the whereabouts of Carnal-Sense and apprehends and slays him will be awarded daily admittance to the Prince’s table and shall be made keeper of the treasure of Mansoul.” Many responded and changed their focus to accomplish this task, but they were unsuccessful at capturing or slaying him, even though he was often discovered. But when Willbewill captured Mr. Wrong-Thoughts-of-Christ and put him in prison, he wasn’t as fortunate, for he died there of a lingering consumption.

Self-Love was also taken captive and committed to custody, but many in Mansoul were allied to him so his judgment was deferred. But Mr. Self-Denial stood up and said, “If such villains as these may be casually winked at in Mansoul, I will lay down my commission.” (Then Jesus said unto his disciples, If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Matthew 16:24) He grabbed the prisoner from the crowd and placed him among his soldiers who hit him in the head and killed him. While this was the right thing to do, some in Mansoul muttered about it under their breath; but no one dared to speak outright, because Emmanuel was in town.

The Death of Self Love

This brave act of Captain Self-Denial came to the Prince’s attention, so He sent for him and made him a lord in Mansoul. Lord Willbewill also obtained grand commendations from Emmanuel for what he accomplished for Mansoul.

Lord Self-Denial gained courage from all this and pursued the Diabolians with the help of Lord Willbewill. They took captive Live-by-Feeling and Legal-Life and put them in prison until they died. But Mr. Unbelief was quite a nimble sort, and they never could lay hold of him, though they attempted to do so often. Therefore, he and a few more of the subtlest of the Diabolian tribe remain in Mansoul. It will stay this way until Mansoul leaves, no longer to dwell in the kingdom of Universe.

But they kept them to their dens and holes, and if one of them appeared or happened to be spotted in the streets of Mansoul, the whole town was up in arms and after them. Yes, even the children in Mansoul cried as if they’d seen a thief and wished they might be stoned to death.

So finally, Mansoul enjoyed a good degree of peace and quiet. Her Prince lived within her borders; her captains and her soldiers performed their duties, and Mansoul minded her way of life. She tended her businesses and traded with the far-off country.

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Chapter 30

Emmanuel’s Message

When the town of Mansoul rid themselves of so many of their enemies and the troublers of their peace, the Prince set up an appointed day when He would meet all the people at the marketplace, where He planned to communicate instructions about future matters. If they observed them, He would take care of their safety and comfort and the condemnation and destruction of their homebred Diabolians.

The appointed day arrived, and the townsmen met together in the marketplace. Emmanuel came down in His chariot with all His captains as one body attending Him on the right and left. A call for silence was made, and after some mutual conveyances of love, the Prince began to speak.

“You, My Mansoul and the beloved of My heart, I have bestowed many great privileges upon you. I have singled you out from others and have chosen you for Myself, not because of your worthiness but for My own sake. (For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God; the LORD thy God has chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, different from all the peoples that are upon the face of the earth. – Deuteronomy 7:6)

“I have also redeemed you – not only from the dread of My Father’s Law but also from the hand of Diabolus. (Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree). – Galatians 3:13)

“I have done this because I loved you and because I have set My heart upon you to do you good. (For I know the thoughts that I think concerning you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you the end that you wait for. – Jeremiah 29:11) I have also laid down complete payment for your soul and have bought you for Myself with a price not of corruptible things like silver and gold but a price of blood, My own blood, which I freely spilled upon the ground to make you Mine. I did this so anything that might hinder your way to the pleasures of paradise might be removed. So I have settled your debt to My Father and My Mansoul, and have consigned mansion houses for you with My Father in the royal city, where things are unlike anything your eyes have seen – inconceivable things never even imagined by man. (In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. – John 14:2-3)

“My Mansoul, you see what I have done and how I have delivered you from the hands of your enemies – the very enemies with whom you revolted against My Father and by whom you were content to be possessed and destroyed. I came to you first by My Law, then by My gospel, to awaken you and show you My glory. And you know what you were, what you said, what you did, and how many times you rebelled against My Father and Me. Yet, I didn’t leave you, as you see this day, but I came to you, endured your conduct, waited for you, and after all that, through My grace and favor, I accepted you and would not permit you to be lost as you would have been. (The Lord is not late concerning his promise, as some count lateness, but is patient with us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9)

“I circled around you and afflicted you on every side, so I might make you weary of your sinful ways and bring your heart to the point of change that desires your good and happiness. When I acquired a complete victory over you, I turned it to your advantage.

“You see the gathering of My Father’s host, which I have accommodated within your borders: captains and rulers, soldiers and men of war, engines of war and excellent devices to subdue and bring down your enemies. You know what I’m talking about, Mansoul. They are My servants and yours too. My plan for occupying Mansoul with them deals with the natural tendency of each of them to defend, purge, strengthen, and sweeten you for Me. O Mansoul, all of this is to make you ready to stand in My Father’s presence, blessing, and glory. For you, My Mansoul, are created for these.

“You will see how I have passed by your backslidings, Mansoul, and have healed you. I was angry with you but have turned My anger away, because I still loved you. My anger and indignation have been forgotten with the destruction of your enemies. It wasn’t your goodness which brought Me to you again, for I hid My face from you and withdrew My presence from you and your transgressions.

“Backsliding was your choice, but the way and means of your recovery was Mine. I invented the way of your return. I built a hedge and a wall, when you were beginning to turn to things in which I did not delight. I’m the One who made your sweet bitter, your day night, your smooth way thorny, and who confounded all who sought your destruction. I am the One who set Mr. Godly-Fear to work in Mansoul. I stirred your conscience and understanding, your will and your affections after your great and woeful decay. I am the One who placed life into you, Mansoul, to seek Me, so you might find Me, and when you found Me, that you would find your own health, happiness, and salvation. I drew the Diabolians out of Mansoul the second time, and I overcame them and destroyed them before your face.

“And now, My Mansoul, I have returned to you in peace, and your transgressions against Me are as if they never happened. (As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our rebellions from us. – Psalm 103:12) It shall not be as in former days with you, for I will do better for you than at the beginning.

“For a little while yet, My Mansoul, after a few more seasons of time pass, I will take down this famous town of Mansoul to the ground – every stick and stone – and will carry the stones, the timber, the walls, the dust, and the inhabitants into My own country – the kingdom of My Father. Don’t be troubled at what I say, for I will set Mansoul up in strength and glory, unlike anything it has ever known in the kingdom where it is now placed. I will set it up for My Father’s habitation, for that was the original purpose of the kingdom of Universe; but there I will make it a spectacle of wonder, a monument of mercy, and the admirer of its own mercy. The natives of Mansoul will witness things they’ve never seen here. They shall have fellowship with Me, with My Father, and with your Lord Secretary – a sweet communion that isn’t possible here. Fellowship on this level could never be achieved now, even if you lived in Universe for a thousand years.

“In the new Mansoul, you will no longer fear murderers or Diabolians and their threats. No longer will there be plots, devices, or plans against you. You shall not hear accounts of evil that have taken place or the noise of the Diabolian drum. You won’t see the Diabolian standard-bearers or lay eyes on Diabolus’s standard to make you afraid. No Diabolian bulwark for offense or defense will be set up against you there. (These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33)

“You will no longer need captains, engines of war, soldiers, or men of war. And in the new Mansoul, you will have no sorrow or grief. (And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and no one shall take your joy from you. – John 16:22) It will be impossible for any Diabolian to ever creep into your outskirts or burrow into your walls. They will never be seen again within your borders all the days of eternity. Life shall last longer there than you desire it to here, yet it will always be sweet and new without any hindrances.

“My Mansoul, you will meet with many who have partaken of sorrows. I have chosen, redeemed, and set them apart for My Father’s court and royal city. You shall all be glad of heart to see each other.

“Mansoul, things never seen since the beginning of the world have been stored by My Father among His treasures and sealed up for you until you come to enjoy them. I told you before that I would remove My Mansoul and set it up elsewhere. Where I set it, will be with those who love you, who rejoice in you now, but who will rejoice much more when they see you exalted to honor!

“My Father will send them to fetch you. Their embraces will be like chariots to carry you away, and you shall ride upon the wings of the wind. They will come to carry, lead, and bring you to that new sanctuary. When your eyes see it, you shall have your desired haven. ([_And then shall he send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth unto the uttermost part of the heaven. _]– Mark 13:27)

“And so, My Mansoul, I have shown you what will take place in the future. If you can hear and understand, I will tell you what your responsibilities and practice must be, until I come and take you to Myself according to the Scriptures of truth.

“First, I command that you keep yourself clean and the robes which I gave you unstained by the world; for while the garments are fine linen, you must keep them white and clean. This will be your wisdom and your honor and will be for My glory, because when your garments are white, the world will view you as Mine. (Remove the sin in me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. – Psalm 51:7) When your garments are white, I will be delighted in your ways, for your actions will be like a flash of lightning, obvious to all those around you. Dress yourselves as I have said, and make your paths straight according to My Law; so your King will desire your beauty, for He is your Lord and you worship Him.

“I have provided an open fountain to wash your garments, so you may keep your robes white as I have asked you to do. (But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have communion with him in the midst of us, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7) Therefore, pay attention that you wash often in My fountain, so you don’t go about in defiled garments. Doing so brings Me dishonor and disgrace and will bring you discomfort when you walk around in filthy garments. Therefore, don’t permit My garments, your covering, the garments I have clothed you in, to be defiled or spotted by the flesh. Always keep your garments white, and never let your head lack ointment. (Thy garments shall always be white, and thy head shall never lack ointment. – Ecclesiastes 9:8)

“My Mansoul, I have delivered you from the plans, plots, attempts, and conspiracies of Diabolus, and for all this I ask nothing from you except that you don’t repay Me with evil for My good. I ask that you remember My love and My continued kindness to My beloved Mansoul to stimulate you to walk to the whole extent of the benefit bestowed on you. In times past, the sacrifices were bound with cords to the horns of the altar. Consider what is said to you, My blessed Mansoul.

“I have lived, I have died; I live and will die no more for you. I live, so you may not die. Because I live, you shall live also. I reconciled you to My Father by the blood of My cross, and being reconciled, you shall live through Me. I will pray for you. I will fight for you, and I will still do you good. (For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled with God by the death of his Son, much more, now reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. – Romans 5:10)

“Nothing can hurt you but sin. Nothing can grieve Me but sin, and nothing can make you vile and worthless before your enemies but sin. So pay close attention to sin, My Mansoul.

“Do you know why I first allowed and still permit Diabolians to live within your walls? It is to keep you alert, to test your love, to make you watchful, and to cause you to value My noble captains, their soldiers, and My mercy. It is also to remind you of the deplorable condition you once lived in when some Diabolians lived not only in your walls but also in your castle and in your stronghold, Mansoul.

“My Mansoul, even if I slew all of them within your gates, many are still outside waiting to bring you into bondage. If all within your gates were cut off, those outside would still lie waiting to swallow you up, as is the case at this very moment. Therefore, I left them in you, not to do you harm, which they will if you listen to them or serve them, but to do you good, if you stay alert and fight against them. Know that in whatever way they tempt you, My plan isn’t that they would drive you further off, but rather nearer to My Father – to learn war, to petition Him, and to make you less important in your own eyes. (But as for me, to draw near to God is good; I have put my hope in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. – Psalm 73:28) Listen diligently to this, My Mansoul.

Because I Live, You Shall Live Also

“Show Me your love, My Mansoul. Don’t allow those within your walls to take your desires and inclinations away from Him who has redeemed your soul. Let the sight of a Diabolian heighten your love for Me. I came once, and twice, and thrice, to save you from the poison of those arrows that would have brought about your death. Therefore, stand for Me, your Friend, My Mansoul, against the Diabolians, and I will stand for you before My Father and all His court. Love Me, flee temptation, and I will love you despite your infirmities.

“Mansoul, remember what My captains, My soldiers, and My war engines have done for you. They have fought for you, suffered alongside you. They have tolerated much at your hands to do you good. If they hadn’t helped you, My Mansoul, Diabolus would have made a partnership with you.

“Therefore, nourish them. When you do well, they will be well. When you suffer misfortune, they will become ill, sick, and weak. Don’t make My captains sick, Mansoul. For if they become sick, you can’t be well. If they become weak, you can’t be strong, and if they grow faint, you can’t be brave and valiant for your King. You must not think to live by your own sense. You must live in consideration of My Word. You must believe, My Mansoul. Know that when I am away from you, I still love you and carry you within My heart forever.

“Remember, therefore, My Mansoul, that you are beloved by Me. Since I have taught you to watch, to fight, to pray, and to make war against My enemies, I now command you to believe that My love for you is constant. My Mansoul, I have set My heart and My love on you! Watch! Behold, I lay no other burden upon you than what you have already received. Hold fast, till I come.” (Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown. – Revelation 3:11)

Bonus Section

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The Life of John Bunyan

John Bunyan was born sometime in the year 1628. The birth place was Elstow, in Bedfordshire – a village without any pretensions to the romantic or the picturesque. Had the development of genius depended upon the influence of the grand or the beautiful in nature, the young stranger was, prospectively, in a poor case. There are no mountains round about Elstow, no cataracts nor cascades, and no gorges nor ravines. It is a land of wheat and barley – a land wherein the people may eat bread without scarceness; but it is not a land out of whose hills they may dig brass.

Of Bunyan’s forefathers, history makes no mention. Even of his parents, hardly anything is known. The parish register contains no entry prior to his birth. One marriage is recorded after he was born, in addition to two births, two baptisms, and six burials. The family was destitute and unexceptional. Not only by the sweat of the brow had the father to obtain the daily bread, but the occupation by which he did so was the lowest of the low. He was a tinker, repairing pots and pans and other metal items. He traveled from place to place about the region for employment, but lived in Elstow.

It occurred to him that some learning would be advantageous to his boy. Although John’s parents were impoverished and undistinguished, there was no reason why he should grow up to be an impoverished and insignificant man. Education might improve his lot in life.

At Bedford, close by, there was a free school for the children of the poor. It pleased God to put it into his parents’ hearts to send him there to learn to read and write. John attended the school, but did not excel. As he afterwards confessed, he learned but little, and he soon forgot the little that he had learned. He was soon taken from school that he might work with his father in the art and mystery of pots and pans.

John’s ungodliness was as advanced as it was offensive. Few could equal him in cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming. He was the ringleader of the village immoralities – a great sin-breeder, infecting all the youth of the neighborhood with all manner of youthful vanities. He cared nothing for Holy Scripture, preferring a ballad or the local news. With old fables and curious arts he was familiar. He was, in act and in inclination, a notorious violator of the whole law of God, except for the seventh commandment forbidding adultery, of which he declares he had been scrupulously mindful. The desire was strong to take his fill of sin. It was his study to see what there was yet to be committed, and then to make as much haste as he could, lest he should die before he had gratified his desire.

In 1644, when Bunyan was about sixteen years old, he entered the army, taking part in the conflict that was then raging between the Parliament and the King. The probability is that he was a Royalist, although the general impression has been that he fought on the other side. The evidence is not conclusive, but his loyalty is so demonstrative, that he would hardly have been in arms against his sovereign, while his references to the depravity of his comrades indicate association with the Cavaliers, or Royalists, rather than with the Roundheads, or followers of Cromwell and supporters of Parliament. Prince Rupert was his hero, not Oliver Cromwell.

Once in particular, he was in great danger. At the siege of Leicester he was chosen to be among the soldiers who were to undertake an assault. Another man, though, obtained permission to go instead of Bunyan. Early in the attack, his substitute was shot with a musket ball and died. This incident greatly affected Bunyan, seeming to him to be a summons from the Lord to turn from the error of his ways. Nor was this the only summons. Several times before, he had been rescued from an untimely end. More than once he had been saved from drowning, when he was all but dead and gone.

These deliverances worked upon his soul. The goodness of God was leading him to repentance, but he resisted God’s Spirit and became unhappy night and day. Fearful dreams and visions scared him. When running riot on the village green, he found himself frequently at his wits’ end. God was angry with him. He was a doomed man.

That he might put these thoughts out of his mind, he plunged headlong into his old sins. He grew more and more rebellious against God, even neglecting his work so that he might have more time for his ungodliness and vice. For days together, consequently, he was destitute of bread to eat.

Some friends kindly pitied him and advised him, among other things, to marry. With a good wife he might do better and escape the ruin that was at hand. He took their advice, and it was his mercy to find a woman whose father was counted godly. Prudent persons would have pronounced the engagement reckless. Even partial friends must have thought it premature; for, to say nothing of other things that they lacked, they had neither dish nor spoon between them. It was a great venture, to be approved, perhaps, when looked at in its results, but certainly not to be recommended for imitation in the prospect of a marriage life.

The new Mrs. Bunyan was not altogether lacking in items of worth, however, for she brought her husband two books. One was The Practice of Piety, by Lewis Bayly, and the other was Arthur Dent’s The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven. So degraded, however, had John become, that he had lost the faculty of reading with any ease, and she had to help him to repair the loss. Pleased with her devotion to him in marriage, he yielded to her entreaties and took kindly to his book. They read together, she interspersing sagacious remarks as they proceeded, hoping to persuade John to become a religious man. Her childhood home had been such a happy one; how pleasant it would be if her married home could be happy, too! There was no difficulty. If her husband would imitate her father, their house, with all its poverty, would soon be the house of God and the gate of heaven.

Bunyan’s Birthplace at Elstow

To some extent, Mrs. Bunyan’s pleas prevailed. John fell in eagerly with the religion of the times and went with the best of them to church twice a day. He greatly respected and admired the ministers of God; their name, their garments, and work did so intoxicate him.

Sundays at Elstow were a strange mixture of levity and seriousness. There were two full services at the church, according to the Book of Common Prayer, and then there were May games, Whitsun ales, morris dances, and various other sports. In the services and sports, to which the parishioners were summoned by the same church bells, Bunyan was accustomed to take his part. He was himself a good hand at ringing the church bells, ready at any time to challenge the whole countryside to a trial of skill at the belfry ropes. One Sunday, having rung the parish into church, he took his place as usual at his wife’s side joining with the congregation in the service, and then awaiting the delivery of the discourse. The preacher was intelligent and earnest in setting forth the evils of breaking the Sabbath. The sermon did its work. It was meant for him. No more violation of the fourth commandment for John Bunyan. He was determined to obey it henceforward with heart and soul. His mind was made up once for all.

This impression, though, proved only to be temporary. Before he had well dined, he had shaken the sermon out of his thoughts and was prepared to return to the old sports and gaming with great delight. No sooner said than done. That very afternoon he was on the village green, flinging himself with his usual enthusiasm into a game of “cat.’’ Suddenly, he heard a voice from heaven. He thought for a moment, threw his “cat” upon the ground, and left off playing. He stood like a statue, trembling at the demand of the superhuman voice that he heard ask, “Will you leave your sins, and go to heaven, or have your sins, and go to hell?” He thought Christ was standing with him face to face, and that He had come to inflict the punishment which he had so well deserved. Bunyan did not need much time to decide. He heard, he considered, and he decided. He concluded that there could be no other result than that he would be damned for his wicked life; and, if it must be so, he might as well be damned for many sins as for one. So back he went to play, not a soul among his companions at all aware of the astounding processes of thought and feeling which had been going on within.

His conscience, however, was ill at ease. Mrs. Bunyan was incessant in her prudent endeavors to win him to Christ, and incidents were frequently occurring by which he was rebuked. “You ungodly wretch!” said a woman to him one day, as after his typical manner he was cursing and swearing and playing the fool in the street. “You ungodly wretch! I never heard such swearing in my life. You are enough to spoil all the youth in the whole town.” He was put to shame, especially since the woman who had reproved him was herself known for her sinful lifestyle. He wished with all his heart that he could be a little child again, and that he might learn to speak without that wicked way of swearing. The rebuke of the woman took effect. He left off swearing and became a reader of Scripture and a reformed man, both in his words and in his life. His neighbors took notice of the change. They began to speak well of him to his face and behind his back. This gratified him, and he was puffed up. There was not a man in England who could please God better than he. He was all right now, he thought.

Self-denial was required from him, and he religiously took up his cross. He was passionately fond of dancing, and for a full year he still adhered to it, sometimes on the village green, and at other times in a building yet standing on the green. Now, though, he believed that dancing was unholy, and wishing to be as holy as possible, he gave it up. Old associates entreated him, and the well-known music tempted him; but he resolved that he never would dance again, and he never did.

Another favorite amusement of his was bell-ringing, which was thought by some to be improper in excess or when it deviated from its worthwhile purpose and became a means of amusement. This, he felt, must also be relinquished. The religiousness on which he was entering demanded that it should at once be given up. Still, he liked it, and yearned after it, and went on. At last he gave in to the arguments of his conscience, and though he frequented the belfry, he would not ring. Perhaps, however, it was wrong to be in the place at all. One of the bells might fall as a judgment from God. To escape this jeopardy, he placed himself always under one of the main beams in the tower. But there was danger there, for a bell might so swing and rebound that the beam would be no security after all. Thus afraid, he never went further than the belfry door. Was he sure he was safe there? The tower might fall, and what then? That settled him. To be killed by a divine judgment would be disastrous to his profession of faith and fatal to his admission into heaven. He would wash his hands, therefore, of the ringing altogether, and he resolutely kept his word.

As with many who profess mere outward religion, John Bunyan believed that his way was now perfect before the Lord. A notable alteration had come upon his life and manners. He was sure of paradise at last. The improvement was confessedly marvelous. His wife could not contain herself for joy. Her household was getting to be like her father’s. The marriage portion of the two books was bearing fruit. The Practice of Piety _]was being embodied in her husband’s practice. In [_The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven, John was walking right alongside her.

Unhappily, it was all a mistake. The reformed one himself being our witness, he had not passed from death unto life, so as to become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Notwithstanding the change in his behavior, there had been no change of heart. He was still in need of the regeneration of the Holy Ghost.

There are men who are at issue with Bunyan about his spiritual condition. Some of his biographers have ridiculed and others have resented his claim that he was yet unsaved. They deny that he was either hardened or depraved. They thought that Bunyan must have been having fits of religious fervor, and so thought himself to be near to God or far from Him based upon his emotional state, that his alienation from his Maker was imaginary and not real.

But the biographers are wrong, and the man of Elstow right. Amendment of the life is not renewal of the nature. However admirable in itself, it is insufficient for salvation. To man, at his best estate, the oracles of God declare, You must be born again (John 3:7). While Bunyan’s understanding and explanation of his spiritual condition at that time might have been intense and impassioned, its truth should not be denied. He described his condition accurately. His was the case of the Israelites exactly, who being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3). He had a name that he lived, but he was dead (Revelation 3:1).

Bunyan’s fundamental sensibility was remarkable. His instincts and impulses were flourishing, if not somewhat domineering. Where his neighbors were unmoved, he was agitated. Where they saw nothing that was unusual, he was either in ecstasies or tears.

This peculiarity must be borne well in mind, lest Bunyan’s words and actions at this time are thought to be characteristic of all spiritual conversions rather than exclusively to the temperament and characteristics of Bunyan himself. Some people do not seem to show much emotion, while the emotions and passions of others seem to rise and fall as unevenly as ocean waves during a great storm.

Conversion is essential to salvation, but conversion may come to pass without our being so humiliated as to loathe ourselves like toads, as Bunyan described, and without our being so excited as to want to speak of God’s love to the very crows that are sitting on the ploughed lands. Our new birth may be as certain as was the pilgrim’s, although we have never thought, with Bunyan, that the devil was pulling at our clothes, and have never been ready with him to swoon with satisfaction at the thought of Christ’s pity for our souls. Every man is affected spiritually according to his temperament. Bunyan was thus affected, rather by the great and strong wind than by the still small voice.

And yet, the act of his transition from death unto life was unobserved. There is no specific moment in Bunyan’s life when it can be said that he was made a new creation. All his accounts and statements justify the opinion that it was a work of time. He went on, believing that he was pleasing God as well as any man in England, though having incessant regret and sorrow due to his failures in this area. The failures multiplied, and Bunyan regularly alternated between presumptuous self-righteousness and miserable despair.

His Conversion and Profession

His business took him into Bedford one day, and it was good for him that it was business which he could follow in the streets. A few poor women were sitting at a door as he passed by. It occurred to him to put his barrow down there and to listen to their discussion. They looked like religious women,[_ _]and he thought that perhaps he might have a chance of joining in the religious talk – a practice, as he tells his wife, he liked to do now. As he listened, he was amazed. No sermon at Elstow Church had ever informed him of the necessity of the new birth, of the treachery of the human heart, of the temptations of the Wicked One, of the grace of the Holy Ghost, or of the sovereignty and compassion of God in Christ. The things thus spoken of by the women struck him with great force. If it was true, then he certainly was lacking in the genuine evidence of a godly man, and what they were saying seemed to be true. The women were so simple in their manner, and so happy; there was such appearance of grace in all they said, that their intelligence and sincerity were beyond doubt.

As they kept on their conversation, Bunyan’s work at his barrow resumed and stopped more than once, momentous exercises of soul going on all the while. God was making the man willing to rejoice in Christ Jesus and to have no further confidence in the flesh.

Bunyan Listening to the Old Women at Bedford

Bunyan sought the acquaintance of these invaluable helpers. They were cheerfully at his service, and did their best to expound to him the way of God more perfectly. Two results ensued: the one, Bunyan’s heart softly and tenderly received what the women brought from Holy Scripture; and the other, a great bending of the mind to a continual meditating on the good things of which he heard and read. The Scripture was about to be fulfilled, that he should know the truth, and that the truth should make him free (John 8:32). But the process went forward slowly. Certain men, who were turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, met with him, and labored hard to infect him with their delusions. The devil, too, brought him into great straits, leading him to think of the child who was thrown down and sorely vexed as his father was bringing him to Christ (Luke 9:42). What right had John Bunyan to say that he had the necessary faith[_? _]He had no evidence that he had been elected to salvation. He could not tell that the day of grace was not already past and gone.

To these temptations he answered as best he could. He wrestled manfully, but every now and then he would almost meet with defeat. “Try a miracle,” was the suggestion that entered his mind one morning as he was on his way to Bedford. “Say to the puddles in the horse ponds, ‘Be dry,’ and to the dry places, ‘Be puddles.’” He was in the act of saying it, even in the divine name, when the thought came into his mind to go first under a nearby hedge and pray that God would make him able. This delay was his deliverance. He perceived his danger, and he escaped.

“Abandon your hope,” was the suggestion another day. “Unless the great God, of His infinite grace and bounty, has voluntarily chosen you to be a vessel of mercy, though you long and labor until your heart breaks, no good will come of it.” He saw the difficulty which was thus craftily proposed to him, and was at a very great standstill. For weeks he was oppressed and cast down, when one day a passage came into mind about the blessedness of the man who simply made God his trust. The words greatly lightened and encouraged him; but, to his regret, he could not find them in his Bible. He searched, and got others to search; but it was more than a year before the words were found, and then it turned out that they were in the Apocrypha. As there was no authority whatever in the Apocrypha, Bunyan was about to lose hope in those words, when he remembered that there were just the same kind of words in Holy Scripture, and of them he might be sure (for example, Romans 4:6-81; Psalm 32:1-22). Thus he put the Wicked One to silence. He could trust in the Lord, and the generations of old were the witnesses that no man who trusted in the Lord would be confounded. He was doing it, not being able to express with what longings and breakings in his soul he cried unto Christ to save him, so that he might come into a converted state.

Up to this time he had kept his spiritual turmoil to himself. An occasion at length arose when he was moved to disclose it to those poor women who had taken him so kindly by the hand. They gave heed to his conversation and replied to the best of their ability. Before long, however, they were baffled by his interrogations, not at all knowing how such mysteries could be explained. Perhaps their minister, Mr. Gifford, could explain them. They obtained an interview with him, and so far engaged his sympathies that Bunyan was invited to his house. Nothing better could have happened. Gifford’s sensible judgment and larger knowledge brought his new friend’s impetuous and prolific imagination under discipline and restraint. Private conversations with his people about the dealings of God with their souls was one way in which the pastor aimed to promote their edification; and to these conferences the Elstow artisan was introduced. Many of his mistakes were subtly corrected, and a sounder habit of apprehending the will of God was gradually found. He was recommended to accustom his mind to closer and more diligent thought upon what God had set down by his own Spirit in the Holy Word. Bunyan began to rely more upon the Word of God and less upon his emotion and imagination.

The immediate result was a renewal of his distress. It seemed to him that he was a most grievous transgressor. The more he meditated, the more he trembled. Through the influence of his active and imperious impulse, he was overwhelmed. He thought that he was like a child whom some Gypsy had taken up by force under her apron, and carried away from its friend and country. He heard a voice calling to him quite half a mile behind him. He[_ _]counted the condition of the dog or the toad preferable to his own. He would have given a fortune to have been able to repent and mourn over his sin. He was sure that he was possessed with a devil.

Bunyan remained strenuous in prayer and steadfast in his study of the Scriptures, hoping against hope. It came to pass that he was sitting in a neighbor’s house, very sad, when the word came to him suddenly, If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Soon after, as he was going into the country, that other word came to him, [He has made peace by the blood of His cross _](Colossians 1:20). Just then, while sitting by the fire in his house, another word came to him, [_Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, Christ Himself likewise took part of the same _](Hebrews 2:14)[._] These “hints,” as he calls them – “touches,” “short visits” – did not last, but like Peter’s sheet, were suddenly caught from him up into heaven (Acts 10:16).

It would have been better for Bunyan if he had remembered that the comforting words of God were not caught away, that they were still within his reach, to minister to his peace. God’s Word remained certain and constant, even while Bunyan’s emotions continued to rise and fall. The grounds for his consolation in Christ was not his feelings, but the divine assurance that Christ had put away his sins by the sacrifice of Himself.

During a brief season of evangelical tranquility, Bunyan desired to read about some ancient godly man’s experience who had lived some hundreds of years before he was born. He supposed that the modern religious writings were theoretic and superficial, their authors never having gone down themselves into the deeps of sorrow and despair. Bunyan came across a copy of Luther’s commentary on the book of Galatians. It was so old that it was ready to fall to pieces as he turned it over; but, clumsy and hard-handed as he was through dealing with the barrow and the tools, he examined Luther’s writings carefully and skillfully, and in due time he was master of the book. It was the most well-suited thing imaginable for Bunyan at this time, for Luther was a man who had similar passion and emotional contrasts. No other book was ever so precious to him, except for the Word of God.

The interval of peace was short, and the next encounter with temptation was the worst of all. For a whole year, and almost without any intermission, he was tempted to sell Christ – to stop seeking Him and return to the world. This monstrous idea was realized by him with a distinctness which it is difficult for us to realize. Lying one morning in his bed, the words were heard by him as fast as a man could speak, “Sell him,” “Sell him,” “Sell him.” He kept on answering, “No; not for thousands, thousands, thousands.” But at last, after much striving, the thought found a place in his heart, “Let Him go if He will,” and he felt that his heart freely consented thereto. Bunyan, now crushed in spirit, supposed that his heart had become hard, that he had rejected Christ for good, and that he had no more hope of salvation.

There was nothing for him now but the worm that never dieth (Mark 9:48). Down he fell, as a bird that was shot from the top of a tree, into great guilt and fearful despair, and for two years he suffered almost unmitigated woe. Now and then some words of Christ occasioned temporary hope; but the remembrance occurred, and he was overpowered: “You have sold your Saviour, and you are damned.”

Bunyan’s case was a remarkable one throughout. Others ought not attempt to imitate it, yet we might perhaps do well to become much more familiar with the sin and the sinfulness of our own hearts, and the exceeding sinfulness of our sin in the sight of God. Bunyan’s case ought to cause us to realize, too, how active and strong our adversary the devil is in attempting to keep sinners from the Savior.

Bunyan mentions an instance when he met with temporary relief. Being ready to sink with fear, it was as if there had rushed in at the window the noise of wind upon him, but very pleasant, and he heard a voice speaking to him, “Did you ever refuse to be justified by the blood of Christ?”

His heart answered groaningly, “No.” Then that word of God fell upon him with power, See that you refuse not Him who speaks (Hebrews 12:25). This took a strange hold upon his spirit, and for a time calmed those tumultuous thoughts which, like masterless hell­hounds, used to roar and bellow. The respite of this appreciable reprieve lasted three or four days, and then he began to mistrust and despond again.

Eventually, however, deliverance was effectually and permanently wrought. As he was passing through a field, this sentence fell upon his soul: “Thy righteousness is in heaven.” With the eye of his soul he saw Jesus Christ at the right hand of God, as his own personal righteousness, so that wherever he was, or whatever he was doing, God could not say of him, “He lacks My righteousness,” because there it was before his eye, inasmuch as Christ and His people were all one. The believer’s good frame of heart did not make his righteousness the better, nor his bad frame make it worse, since his righteousness was Christ Himself, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. None other than the gate of heaven was that field to Bunyan. Then and there he came out of the bondage of corruption and into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Of the memorable spiritual fluctuations through which he had been passing, he subsequently made a summary; and, having accounted for them on the grounds of the feebleness of his faith in prayer, of the indifference of his soul to his incessant eternal danger, and of his presumption in having, on one occasion, prescribed what God should do, he concluded that they had been overruled mightily to his advantage, and that, like Job after his great difficulties, he had twice as much blessedness as ever had been his lot before. One most characteristic sentence is found in his summary; having quoted the passage, Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37), he says, “Oh! many a pull hath my heart had with Satan for that blessed sixth [chapter] of John.”

It had been evident to others for a long time that their friend belonged to Christ, and now he was of that mind himself. He could neither specify the moment nor define the act of his transition into life, but he really was alive unto God.

The next thing he realized, as he continued to learn from the divine Word, was the need to confess Christ before men. He accordingly explained his desire to the church of his choice to walk with it in the ordinances of Christ. He was cheerfully accepted, and having been baptized, was enrolled in the membership of that church. On his participation of the Lord’s Supper, he felt as if he were plunged into the virtue of the death of Christ. Very precious were the words to him, Do this in remembrance of Me (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

About this time he was seized by what seemed to be pulmonary consumption, or tuberculosis. He rallied and then fell ill again, but ultimately recovered and became robust. During his illness he passed through several notable fluctuations of religious feeling; but overall, he was enabled to rejoice in God.

“Wife,” said he, as he was sitting by the fire on his recovery, “is there ever such a Scripture as this: ‘I must go to Jesus?’” At the moment she did not recollect. They thought together for two or three minutes, when a passage in Hebrews was remembered. “Wife, now I know, I know: We are come unto Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant” (Hebrews 12:22-24). He went to his bed overjoyed, but could scarce lie there for the triumph that he had in Christ.

Bunyan Studying Luther

His health having been restored, he diligently carried out the duties of[* *]his church membership, rendering effectual help to his pastor in meetings for devotion and in visiting the sick. His ability in these respects was so conspicuous, that his brethren by common consent made him a deacon of the church, committing to him the secular service of the sanctuary and the official attention to the poor. Having moved from Elstow to Bedford, he accepted the office of deacon and used it well, earning himself a good reputation throughout the neighborhood. At this time he was a widower, but of the circumstances of his bereavement we have no account.

An entry in the Bedford church book indicates Bunyan’s advancement in the esteem of his brethren. “At a meeting held on the 27th of the 6th month, 1657, the deacon’s office was transferred from John Bunyan to John Pernie, because he could no longer discharge its duties aright, in consequence of his being so much employed in preaching.” Some of his fellow members had desired him to speak a word of exhortation to them at their private meetings; and, although much humbled in spirit at their request, he had consented, and in two several assemblies had discovered his gifts to them. These exercises confirmed their opinion, and they then invited him to take his turn in their village preachings. His compliance from time to time was so satisfactory, that of his call to the ministry his companions had no doubt.

They reported their opinion to the pastor, who in due time communicated to the church his own belief that they were right. The result was that, after solemn prayer to the Lord, with fasting, Bunyan was called forth and appointed to the more ordinary and public preaching of the Word. With great fear and trembling at the sight of his own weakness, he applied himself to the work; not, however, without God’s Spirit urging him on, and with great encouragement from the Scriptures. He had further encouragement besides, for the country all around came to hear the Word by hundreds. Many confessed and affirmed that they had been awakened by him, so that the Word of God came with much refreshment to his heart. He wrote, “The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.” Necessity was undoubtedly laid upon him, and it soon came to this: Yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16).

His Suffering for Conscience’s Sake

The old inquiry was soon proposed to Bunyan, By what authority do you do these things, and who gave you this authority? (Matthew 21:23). The answer was at hand. His ability to preach was his authority; especially as of that ability a judgment had been pronounced by the church to which he belonged. With most anxious and prayerful care, his brethren had summoned him to the service, and in that summons he recognized the voice of God. All the ordination which he required he had thus obtained.

It happened, though, that the government of the day demanded another kind of ordination. Only ordained ministers were allowed to preach, and they had to have the official approval of the Commonwealth.

Bunyan, denying the right of the state to judge in such matters, paid no attention, but went on his way. Complaint was lodged against him, and he was indicted for preaching at Eaton. After special prayer on the 3rd of March, 1658, his brethren took measures for his defense. They were so far successful that the charges against Bunyan were dropped.

With the Restoration of the Stuarts came one of the fiercest assaults on religious freedom which ecclesiastical tyranny has ever made. Such ministry as Bunyan’s was forbidden under the severest penalties. He could continue it only at the peril of his life. There was no safe alternative but to hold his peace.

For a time he adopted this alternative of silence, although he did occasionally wear disguises so that he might pass unmolested to various out-of-the-way places, where amidst the darkness of the night, he had agreed to preach. He greatly disliked the disguising, and at length made up his mind to preach at any risk. Having been asked to come to Samsell, where the villagers were anxious to hear the Word, he replied that he would come as they desired, if God willed. A congregation gathered from the places round about, and the preacher was at his post; but disappointment was at hand. The authorities, having heard that he was coming, were prepared to enforce the law[_. _]They had their officers on the watch, with a warrant already signed for his apprehension, in case he should dare to preach.

Bunyan was informed of the danger, and the question was raised whether the service should be postponed to some other time. As it was, he might be arrested, but there was a fair chance for his escape. John Bunyan would not even consider escaping, though. He thought that since God in His mercy had chosen him to go preach to those who were in despair and in need of the hope found only in Jesus Christ, it would be a discouragement to the whole body if he should run away. Further, he thought that the world would take occasion from his cowardliness to blaspheme the gospel. So the momentous Samsell meeting went on.

Bunyan had offered up the opening prayer, to which the brethren had responded by a full-hearted “Amen.” Then, with tones which told of struggle between the apprehensive and the brave, he read out his text, Do you believe on the Son of God? (John 9:35). He was proceeding, when in walked the constable, who arrested him on the spot. The warrant having been produced, there was no alternative but submission, and the prisoner went with the constable, as he required. But let the brethren be of good courage. Their preacher might have been apprehended as a thief or a murderer. Blessed be God that it was not so. Far better to be the persecuted than the persecutors in such a case as theirs.

“No more of that,” said the constable. “The justice won’t wait; you must come along.” They were too late, for Justice Wingate was gone away. As a great favor, the prisoner was released for the night on a sort of bail. In the morning, Bunyan met the constable, and they went their way to the courtroom. Wingate raised a discussion before he was aware, insisting that a tinker had no right to preach. That, it was replied, depended on the tinker’s character and capability. The judge reminded Bunyan that the law commanded him not to preach, and that he had better give it up. Let him simply find people to give the judge assurance to that effect, and he should go free. His friends would, no doubt, give him that assurance. The document was already drawn up. All Bunyan had to do was agree to preach no more, and he could go free.

Arrest of Bunyan

To what were Bunyan’s friends to agree? That he should desist from preaching. Bunyan assured Justice Wingate that his friends should decline the responsibility, for, as sure as truth was truth, he would go and preach immediately upon his release. The clerk was then ordered to prepare a written court order directing Bunyan to be taken to jail, for to jail he must go. As he was departing, an old acquaintance, Dr. Lidall, came into the courtroom. A curious conversation ensued. The doctor reviled Bunyan as a descendant of the notorious coppersmith who had resisted the apostles (2 Timothy 4:14-15). Bunyan retorted that the apostles were resisted by priests and Pharisees as well as by coppersmiths, and that, peradventure, there were descendants of those priests and Pharisees not far off. Lidall was exasperated and went on, deserving a severer response from Bunyan; but Bunyan refrained, sparing his speech as much as he could without prejudice to the truth.

The result was that on the 13th of November, 1660, Bunyan was committed to jail on the charge of going about to several illegal religious meetings in the country, to the great disparagement of the government of the Church of England.

Another effort was made to save him. A Mr. Forbes urged him to give up his unseemly ecclesiastical practices, assuring him, with as much kindness as earnestness, that he had no right to preach. Bunyan respectfully but firmly contradicted. He was then taken away to jail. As he was going forth out of the courtroom, he found it difficult to hold back from saying to them that he carried the peace of God along with him; but he was silent, and went away to prison with God’s comfort in his poor soul.

At the ensuing sessions (the times of year when criminal cases were heard by the justices), a bill of indictment was brought against Bunyan, in which he was charged with having devilishly and wickedly abstained from going to church, and with being a common upholder of illegal religious meetings, contrary to the laws. He was required to plead guilty, but refused. In one sense of the word “church” he was a frequenter, and not an absentee. But did he go to his parish church? No; and, the court consenting, he mentioned the reasons why. This led to an altercation, in which, though cruelly taunted and maligned, Bunyan maintained his temper and persisted in his course. He was no enemy to the existing government. He avowed that he was one of the old-fashioned persons who coveted to fear God and honor the king, but he dared not disobey the King of kings; and, as God had commanded that every man should minister according to the gift which had been given him (I Peter 4:10), he, the prisoner, must needs minister in the preaching of the Word. He was as ready as any justice on the bench to render unto Caesar the things which were Caesar’s; he could not, however render unto Caesar the things which were God’s (Matthew 22:21). After Bunyan spoke, his punishment was inevitable, and thus the sentence was given: “You must be had back again to prison, and there lie for three months following; and at three months’ end, if you do not submit and go to church to hear divine service, and leave your preaching, you must be banished from the realm; and if, after such a day as shall be appointed you to be gone, you shall be found in this realm, you must stretch by the neck for it.” And so the jailer led him away.

The prison was one of the worst in the kingdom, well designated by himself “a Den.” There were but two cells and one small court, all on a level with the river Ouse. Thirty persons would have filled the place, but sixty were frequently shut up there day and night. To a man of thirty-two years, accustomed to exercise and the free air, such confinement must have been dreadful. A single week of it would suffice to put his resolution to the test. Many thought that he would not be able to submit to humiliation and suffering like that for long. If he could get the opportunity, then he would certainly retract. The justices thought so, and sent the clerk of the peace, Mr. Cobb, to assure the prisoner of their goodwill, and to persuade him to accept his release by promising not to preach. The messenger pressed him. It was bad enough that Bunyan should be in jail, the companion of felons; but it would be far worse when the sessions came, for then the heavier sentence would be passed. “It will go worse with you,” said Cobb, “even to being sent away out of the nation, or else worse than that.”

The Old Prison of Bedford

The interview continued for hours, but it produced no effect. Paul acknowledged that the powers in his day were of God, and yet he was often in prison. Jesus Christ told Pilate that he had no power against Him but of God, yet He died under Pilate; and the prisoner hoped the clerk of the peace would not say that either Paul or Christ denied magistracy. The law provided two ways of obeying. In cases which approved themselves to a man’s conscience, he was bound to obey actively; and Bunyan was ready so to do. In cases which offended a man’s conscience, he was bound to obey passively, even to lie down and suffer what should be done to him. For this also he was ready, even unto the death.

On hearing that this was his determination, Cobb sat still and said no more. The prisoner thanked him for his civil and meek discoursing, and so they parted, with the prayer that they might meet in heaven. Noxious and nauseous as was the den, John Bunyan went back to abide the results.

It happened that a coronation came; and, according to the national custom, all prisoners except the very worst were pardoned. Bunyan received no pardon. His enemies resorted to legal quibbles to his disadvantage, so that his hopes and endeavors were unavailing, and he was detained. His wife (about a year before his imprisonment he had married again) went to London with a petition, but it came to nothing. The only chance now was with the judges who were coming to the court sessions. They might, on the strength of the coronation pardon, order him to be released. On their arrival, Bunyan wanted to go to them and ask for his release, but permission was refused. Nothing was left but for his wife to go. A brave-hearted and sagacious woman as she was, she gained access to the judges several times, and so far prevailed, that a long discussion was raised upon the merits of the case. Well and wisely and warmly did she plead; but although the Lord Chief Justice evinced singular sympathy with her distress, he would not interfere. There were two or three ways, he said, which she might try for getting the sentence cancelled; but she had not the means for trying them, and so imprisonment went on.

That he might employ himself and support his family, Bunyan worked away at the somewhat inglorious occupation of tagging with a tin point the common shoe and stay laces which were then in vogue, and he had as much work as he could do. At intervals, he read the few books within his reach, giving the most indefatigable and systematic attention to the Word of God.

Efforts were made at the next sessions to secure his freedom. They were met invariably with the demand, “Will he undertake to leave off preaching?” If he would, there was no obstacle. Bunyan would not agree to stop preaching, though, and so the obstacle remained. For six years, he never left the den, enduring as best he could the foul compound of unwholesomeness which sent John Howard, the prison reformer, on his mission of self-sacrificing zeal a century later.

There were times when John Bunyan was well-nigh overwhelmed. The parting with his wife and poor children was often as painful as pulling the flesh from his bones; and that not only because he was somewhat too fond of these visits by his wife and children, but also because he often thought about the many hardships they were likely to meet with should he be taken from them. He especially thought of his oldest daughter, Mary, who had been born blind. “Poor child!” he thought. “What sorrow you are likely to have for your portion in this world! You would likely be beaten, suffer hunger, cold, nakedness, and a thousand calamities, though I cannot now endure that the wind should blow upon you.” But, recalling himself, he recovered strength and committed his helpless ones unto the Lord. He was pulling down his house upon the head of his wife and children, but he must do it.

He conceived for a while that he might be banished and die in a ditch, or that his imprisonment would end at the gallows, but he could not give up his right to preach. Deliverance from his sufferings would have overjoyed him, for he often groaned, being burdened; but he would not purchase his freedom by disloyalty to Christ.

For twelve years the imprisonment continued, some of his jailers being kindly affectioned, and others oppressively unkind. To the friendliness of kindly ones must be ascribed the occasional alleviations of prison life. Not only was the place made more tolerable, but permission was given to visit his brethren, even in the metropolis, upon his word of honor that he would return. The fact got reported, and one night a messenger from the authorities awoke the jailer with the demand to see Bunyan. As it happened, Bunyan was there. He had returned only an hour or two before, under the impression that his enemies were just then on the alert. Whatever kindliness their subordinates might show to him, the magistrates and authorities would show none.

Bunyan in Prison

Deliverance at length drew nigh. In March, 1672, the king issued a declaration authorizing all Nonconformists, except the Papists, to meet for public worship and devotion, in such places and under such ministers as should be licensed from time to time. The spirit of this declaration involved the release of the Nonconformists, who were everywhere in jail. Attempts were accordingly made to obtain their release, especially by certain Quakers, whose brethren constituted the largest number of the sufferers for conscience’s sake. Through the indefatigable and costly investigations of George Offor, Esq., facts have been discovered which correct several popular mistakes as to the way in which the sufferers were set free. The facts are given by Mr. Offor at length, in his elaborate and masterly memoir of Bunyan. The following is a specimen in brief:

“You have seen me before,” said one who was representing the Quakers before King Charles.

“Where?” asked the king.

“On board the ship that carried you safe to France after the Worcester fight.”

“I remember.”

“And don’t you remember that a privateer was chasing us, and that some of us rowed you ashore, and that, getting into shallow water, one of us took you on his shoulders, and carried you high and dry up to a village close by?”

“Well.”

“The man who carried you ashore that day was I; and now I come to ask you to be kind to my brethren in their distress, as I was kind to you in yours.”

The whole scene came up to the royal recollection. This man, Richard Carver, at an important crisis had been a friend in need. He certainly deserved remuneration, but these Nonconformists were so fanatical, that if they were let out of jail, they would repeat all their offences, and be sent back again. The old sailor pressed his application notwithstanding, and reminded His Majesty that the laws which would send them back were bad laws that ought to be repealed. In his good nature, Charles told the Quaker that he might renew his request another time. No time was lost, and other Quakers joining in the application, Carver carried his point for the liberation of the Nonconformists of every name.

Some delay took place, but on the 13th of September, 1672, an order was signed which set Bunyan free. He found that his affairs were gone to wreck, and that he had to begin again as if he had newly come into the world. Before his liberation, a license had been sent to him from the king to preach, and Mr. Gifford being dead, it had been resolved by the church that he should become their pastor, in case he concurred with their desire.

After the manner of the apostles, he had been the prisoner of the Lord. He had taken joyfully the spoiling of his goods, not reckoning his life dear to him, that he might assert and vindicate the prerogative of the Head of the Church. The prohibition which had been served upon him not to preach was a dishonor done to Christ. The suppression of free prayer was an offence against the Holy Ghost. He had, therefore, no alternative but to stand on his defense. His loyalty to heavenly authority necessitated disloyalty to earthly authority. He could not obey ecclesiastical law, because it was at variance with divine law. He went to prison, and there he would have remained until he died, not at the impulse of foolhardy fanaticism or desperate partisanship, but at the dictate of reverence and godly fear. As seeing Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27), he did not dare to forego the privilege of pouring out his heart before the Lord extemporaneously; neither did he dare to abandon the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

His Ministry and Pastorate

Bunyan believed that he had received his ministry from the Lord. The belief was like the burden of the Lord upon his soul. The longing to proclaim the glad tidings was as a fire within his bones. Hence, throughout his long imprisonment, unless when prohibited, he was the servant of his fellow prisoners for Jesus’ sake. His services were generally to edification; now and then they were pervaded with remarkable impressiveness and power. He mentions one occasion, when in the prison chamber, he felt unable to speak so much as five words. The congregation was waiting, and the text was from Revelation 21 about the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God. Some dim glimmerings of the jasper fell upon his eye, and he began to think that he should see further. He carried his meditations with a few groans to the Lord. Help was forthwith granted, and the brethren did all eat and were filled. The distribution of the portion so increased that he gathered up a basketful of fragments after they had well dined. The Spirit of God moved among the prisoners that day as Bunyan spoke to them.

Exercises such as this were preparing him for his ministerial duties as the pastor of a church of Christ. Through the diligent study of his Bible and the careful cultivation of his spiritual gifts, Bunyan was becoming an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures. Upon his release, he found a large meetinghouse awaiting him, which had been duly registered; and there the people gathered in great numbers from the first. His sermons were prepared with deep and devout study. After the sermons were preached, depending on his opinion of them, they were sometimes written out for further use. His resources were scanty; he had little else at first but the Word of God and prayer. He found his help and[* *]his inspiration, as he was continually declaring, from a higher source. To draw water from his own cistern was his delight; daring to make bold only with what God had made his own by the evidence of the Word and Spirit. This great Bible habit of Bunyan’s was obvious in every sermon he composed. The occurrence of Scripture was not only incessant, but appropriate and conclusive, exhibiting without any intention a remarkable phase of the unity of Scripture and the analogy of faith. The plainest phraseology and style were adopted. His idea was that words easy to be understood often hit the mark, whereas high and learned words only pierce the air. In no sense were his statements an uncertain sound. His ministry was comprehensible at once. The common people heard him gladly, while those who were more difficult to please found no occasion for complaint. He expressed himself clearly without being crude, and spoke directly without being rough.

In the delivery of his sermons he had the advantage of a sharp, quick eye, a fine voice, and an agreeable address. By nature and grace alike he was qualified to be a good minister of Jesus Christ. No wonder, therefore, that his meetinghouse was always crowded, many being constrained to stand without. There was power in the preacher that was felt throughout the neighborhood, all sorts of persons striving to partake of his instructions.

At stated times he visited the neighboring villages, and branch churches were formed which continue to this day. Now and then visits were paid to the metropolis, where his popularity was quite as great as it was at home. A day’s notice was enough to secure a large congregation. We quote from a contemporary: “I have seen, to hear him preach, by my computation, 1,200 people by seven o’clock on a working morning, in the dark winter time. I also computed about 3,000 that came to hear him one Lord’s day at London, at a town’s end meetinghouse, so that half were required to go back again for lack of room; and then Bunyan himself was required, at a back door, to be pulled almost over people to get up the stairs to his pulpit.” It was the spectacle of his early ministry over again when, in strange out-of-the-way places in Bedfordshire and Herts, a thousand people would gather to a preaching at dead of night. His popularity affected him with awe. He humbled himself before the Lord. Unless grace were given to him from heaven, he should be exalted above measure, and the devil would lead him captive at his will.

Bunyan Preaching in the Open Air

Somewhat severe discipline was permitted to follow. Rumors came into circulation grievously to his disadvantage. It was asserted that he had broken the seventh commandment (do not commit adultery), and it was insinuated that he had broken the ninth commandment (do not bear false witness against your neighbor), as well. A Mr. Beaumont died suddenly. His daughter, who had been previously turned out of her home for attending Bunyan’s preaching, had just before been received back home, on promising that she would no longer go to hear John Bunyan preach. She regretted her promise, and implored her father to cancel his prohibition. One night, as he was retiring to rest, she pressed her entreaty with such earnestness that he was greatly moved. During the night, he died.

The report was raised that he had been poisoned, that his daughter had administered the poison, and that her minister had instructed her how she should proceed. The report aroused the neighborhood. The woman was a murderess and the Nonconformist preacher was her paramour. The rumor was spread that though Bunyan was a husband and father, he was also a scandalous adulterer, if not something worse. Judgment would overtake him now. An inquest was held, preliminary to other measures, which were already vigorously in hand; but with the inquest, the matter ended. The accusers, having been rebuked by the coroner for their audacity, were well-nigh driven out of court by the jeers and disgust of those in attendance. “For a wind-up of the matter,” said Bunyan, “I call God for a record upon my soul that I am innocent. Not that I have been kept because of any goodness in myself; but God has been merciful to me, and kept me, to whom I pray that He will keep me still.”

This vexatious trial wrought advantageously. The preaching increased in its efficiency, and the preacher was held in yet higher reputation as a good minister of Jesus Christ. Invitations were given him by other and larger churches. Inducements were offered to him of a more plentiful income to keep his station, but he was immovable. Bedford, with its neighborhood, was his sphere, provided always that he might go as opportunity offered, and preach and do good elsewhere. As “Bishop Bunyan,” which had come to be his designation, he spared no pains or labor in travelling to the remote counties where he thought the people stood in need of his assistance. He was permitted to preach and give counsel now, without any dread of molestation; and, therefore, although he habitually objected to the state of religion that made his preaching elsewhere necessary, he turned it to good account. From the vocation of a preacher he never swerved, whether through evil or through good report.

The following relation is given by his friend Charles Doe:

“As Mr. Bunyan was upon the road, near Cambridge, there overtook him a scholar who had observed him preaching, and said to him, ‘How dare you preach, seeing you have not the original texts, and are no scholar!’

Then said Mr. Bunyan, Have[_ you, _]the original?’

‘Yes,’ said the scholar.

‘Nay, but,’ said Mr. Bunyan, ‘have you the very selfsame original copies that were written by the penmen of the Scriptures, the prophets and apostles themselves?’

‘No,’ said the scholar; ‘but we have the true copies of those originals.’

‘How do you know that?’ said Mr. Bunyan.

‘How?’ said the scholar, ‘How? Why, we believe that what we have is a true copy of the original.’

‘Exactly,’ said Mr. Bunyan; ‘and so do I believe that an English Bible is a true copy of the original.’

Then away went the scholar.”

The seed of the Word fell into good ground. Many were converted and added unto the Lord. The church under his care constantly increased, and as an under-shepherd, he labored diligently for its welfare. He carefully attended to the administration of the ordinances, and he strenuously insisted that they were to be regularly observed. Bunyan believed that they were not grace, but were a means of grace. The Lord’s Supper did not supply the body and the blood of Christ, but it represented them. The pastor believed that the representation and the sign availed much for the dying indeed unto sin, and for the walking in newness of life. To neglect them was to lose a privilege and to commit a fault.

He visited the sick with conscientious and sympathizing care. In cases of differences amongst the brethren, he promptly intervened. For seekers after truth, with their manifold anxieties, he had helpful and congenial counsel. With the members who were gone to other places, he corresponded, consenting, when they had become residents elsewhere, to consult with the church as to a transference of their membership to some sister church. To the discipline due to offenders, he adhered at any cost. He admonished privately in the first instance; if he failed, he reported the case to the brethren; and if, on examination, they felt that punishment was deserved, he expounded the law relating to the offence, and the punishment ensued.

The readiness to punish was always accompanied by an equal readiness to forgive. Only let a man who had been put away demonstrate remorse, and the pastor delighted to facilitate his restoration and to build him up in his most holy faith.

With all this, Bunyan did not monopolize service to God. He was over the brotherhood in the Lord. He was the occupant of the pulpit and the pastor of the church, but he deemed every member of the body a fellow laborer, and introduced him to such service as he was best able to perform. The younger and the older ones were familiarized with their privileges and responsibilities, the effort being common to them all alike, both to strive together for the faith of the gospel and to bear one another’s burdens, in fulfilment of the law of Christ (Philippians 1:27; Galatians 6:2).

In these several ways, care was taken of the church over which the Holy Ghost had made him an overseer. He fed it with the bread of life; he trained it for works of faith; he exercised it unto godliness; he inspired it with self-denying zeal; and he kept it from contention that would have been disreputable and disastrous, by committing it to a generous contention for the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).

His Authorship

Bunyan was familiar with the handling of the pen. It was a pleasure to him to write. Composition trickled from his heart to his head, and from there through his fingers to the page. It may, indeed, be conjectured that the act of writing was laborious and somewhat slow. Judging from the earlier specimens of his penmanship, it must have taken a good while to get his smallest books ready for the press. The mind evidently outstripped the hand.

He became an author in 1656, almost as soon as he became a preacher, and his first work was controversial. It was entitled Some Gospel Truths Opened, According to the Scriptures. The object of it was to counteract the errors which certain Quakers were disseminating, to the disparagement of Scripture, and of the vicarious sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

It was answered immediately, and to the answer he gave an unwarrantably severe reply. Other books followed, and then he was imprisoned. Composition, however, went on, necessity coming in to stimulate his pen. He wanted to support his family, and although he was a prisoner, he had to support himself. For these purposes, lace-tagging being insufficient, he wrote some smaller pieces, which his friends had printed for sale about the streets. They went off so well, that the ballad-singers about Newgate and London Bridge availed themselves of the writer’s popularity by attaching his portrait and initials to some impudent forgeries of their own.

In token of his solicitude for those to whom his preaching had been a blessing, he wrote a brief relation of God’s exceeding mercy to himself. The relation, which extends from his birth to his imprisonment, is one of the most affecting autobiographies in the world. It constitutes, of course, the staple of every account of his conversion and consecration to the work of God. The reader of the present sketch has been really listening to the man himself. It is substantially Bunyan’s own.

The earnestness of tone throughout his relation comes out in one passage to admiration: “God did not play when convincing me; the devil did not play when tempting me; neither did I play when the pangs of hell caught hold upon me; wherefore, I may not play in relating them, but be plain and simple, and lay the thing down as it was.” His title, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, was the best he could have found for his autobiography.

More elaborate publications followed, the preparation of which, under Bunyan’s circumstances, must always be a matter of surprise. They were profound treatises on such great matters as justification by faith and the resurrection of the dead; and, although modern treatises have superseded them in our theological schools, they have rarely been surpassed, either in their robust intellectual power, their sagacious insight, their reverential and tremulous anxiety to apprehend the truth, or in their precise and vigorous statement of the sentiment to be expressed. The only known addition to his few literary resources was a concordance and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs; and his only place for writing was the common cell, in which the interruptions were incessant, and the conveniences none at all. The tone of these prison compositions was to a large extent controversial, and in some cases the controversialist was ungenerous and harsh. Towards a Rev. Mr. Fowler, who had written in virtual denial of the thirteenth article of his own church, Macaulay says he was “ferocious.” He was certainly rude, but Fowler was at least as rude, and both of them went far too near towards the malevolent and coarse.

The last work which went to press from prison was entitled A Confession of my Faith, and a Reason of my Practice. Its design was to defend the practice of admitting Christians, as Christians, to the Lord’s Supper. It was enough in Bunyan’s esteem that a man gave evidence of the faith that works by love. Bunyan would have preferred that a person was baptized upon the profession of faith before taking part in the Lord’s Supper, but if the person’s life gave proof of godliness, then Bunyan would allow the person to participate in the ordinance. Bunyan believed that such a person’s right to the privileges of the church was unquestionable, and at Bedford, all the privileges could become his own.

A great outcry was raised by the leading Baptists, and this open communion was denounced as daring disloyalty to the Lord. But Bunyan quietly persisted, determining, the Almighty God being his shield, to suffer for this principle, “even until the moss should grow upon his eyebrows.”

There was another book that might have seen the light before our author left the prison. It is the work that has so effectually immortalized his name. The Pilgrim’s Progress was begun and finished in Bedford jail. It came to him almost without an effort, obtruding itself in its unrivalled and unnumbered excellences of sentiment and style, with all the gentleness of a dream. He was in the act of writing another work when he fell suddenly into writing this. Twenty ideas came to him, and before he had put them down, twenty more came. He set his pen to paper with delight. As he wrote, the matter came; and as he was still writing, still more came, until at its length, and breadth, and extent, he was both gratified and amazed. He had kept the subject entirely to himself; he had received no help from a human soul. He had gotten no material from the stores of other times. He had caught no inspiration, either from the glorious sound of many waters, or from the gorgeous spectacle of oriental heavens, or from the sublime solitudes and the sublimer silence of the everlasting hills. He was the occupant of a den, and he had always been a dweller amidst the flats of the sluggish and sleepy Ouse River. But, to his unspeakable enjoyment, he had brought his main character, Christian, through marvelous changes, by the Delectable Mountains, through the land of Beulah, and into the paradise of God. Manner and matter, too, was all his own; nor was it made known to any mortal till he had done it.

In the jail was a Mr. Marsom, through whose family it has been reported that, on the completion of the Pilgrim, Bunyan read it to his fellow prisoners, with a view to their opinion as to whether it should be published or suppressed.

There was nothing like unanimity. “Some said, ‘John, print it’; others said, ‘Not so.’ Some said ‘It might do good’; others said, ‘No.’” Mr. Marsom went over the manuscript carefully by himself, and then recommended that it should be sent to press without delay.

The discouragements, however, prevailed, and it was not published until 1678. Its popularity was immediate and immense. Within ten years, twelve editions had been published, and in England alone 100,000 copies had been sold before Bunyan died. From that time to this it has been a foremost book. It has been quoted on the stage. The characters of romance novels have turned it to account. Essayists have pondered its several parts, in order to add to their profound treatises upon the whole. Critics have dissected and analyzed it that they might secure intelligent perception of its beauties and defects. Through translations it may be read by almost every nation under heaven. Artists have expended the utmost of their power in illustrating its surpassing scenes, never, perhaps, with more effect than in the edition presented to the public now.

The History of Mr. Badman, with one or two other books, followed the publication of the Pilgrim, and then, in 1682, came the Holy War. It may be gathered from the preface, that in describing Mansoul, first in its possession by Diabolus, and then in its conquest by Immanuel, the author is describing himself. The description throughout is military, the recollections of his soldier life at the siege of Leicester having supplied him with the graphic illustrations which he so effectually employs. The first assault of the devil, with its success in seducing man from his Maker, is wonderfully told, and so is the recovery of man by the incarnation of the Son of God. Perhaps more wonderfully still are the renewed endeavors of the Wicked One to bring man back again beneath his power. The profound philosophy of the performance is congenially akin to the genius with which it is embodied and adorned. The metaphysical, the poetical, and the evangelical are about equally combined.

This book passed through several editions in the author’s life, and is in request still, though by no means to the extent which its unrivaled excellences deserve. It is the best human directory in existence for the man who would understand how the law of sin which is in his members is wrought upon by Satanic power, and how, through the concurring grace of the Holy Ghost, that power may be held in check.

Within a year or two was published the second part of the Pilgrim’s Progress, in which Christian’s wife and children, with their neighbor, Mercy, are seen going after him to heaven. Other companions, with names most profoundly significant of character, join them on their journey, and under the dauntless guardianship of Great-Heart, they ultimately reach their destination. It is glorious to see how the open region was filled with horses and chariots and trumpeters to welcome the pilgrims as they went up and followed one another into the beautiful city. The versatility of Bunyan’s power is manifest in the entire tone of this second part in comparison with the first. The progress of the Christian man was, for the most part, a terrible struggle to obtain a victory; the progress of the Christian woman was, to a large degree, a pleasant journey towards a home.

Christiana’s boys were left behind as a blessing to the church militant, the dreamer intimating that he might have something to say of them at a future time. His intimation was apparently fulfilled, so far as the writing a third part was concerned; for, some years after his death, his publisher, Nathaniel Ponder, announced that the manuscript had been entrusted to him and that it would be issued before long. Nothing more was heard of Ponder’s publication. There came, indeed, what purported to be a third part, but it was a forgery. The internal and circumstantial evidence proved that it had no sort of kinship with the two veritable dreams.

Other books followed, until about sixty volumes, several of them of goodly dimensions, constituted Bunyan’s works. Many of them were admonitions, but all had reference to the fundamental verities of the Christian faith. In several instances they were the enlargements of his sermons, the impression having come upon him strongly that they were likely to awaken ungodly readers from their deadness and to induce some deeper spirituality among the saints. He desired to serve not only his own generation, but the generations which were to come. It was indeed a painful task to go on mastering the objections of the scorner in order to their refutation, but he performed the task. It was arduous work to solve the various difficulties of undisciplined and hypercritical minds, but he did the work. It was a weighty responsibility to warn the Church of God throughout the land against the manifold temptations which were abounding to deny or adulterate the faith, but he discharged the responsibility, accomplishing, under God, as much good from the press as from the pulpit, and indoctrinating thousands of his countrymen whom he had never seen with his own comprehensive knowledge and intense admiration of the gospel of the grace of God.

By the simpler works, such as his Book for Boys and Girls, as well as by the deeper works, such as his Law and Grace Unfolded, the people were generally attracted, gratefully retained, and conclusively persuaded.

Not one was there of all the sixty books of which it was not safely to be said that his object was apparent, his language intelligible, his reasoning lucid, his illustrations homely, his sincerity undeniable, his design benevolent, his tone that of Boanerges or of Barnabas, either the indignant or the pathetic, the alarming or the consolatory, whichever seemed the likeliest to bring his readers into the earlier or the maturer fellowship of the faith of Christ.

An instance may be given of his power in expostulating with the slothful: “Sluggard, are you asleep still? Are you resolved to sleep the sleep of death? Will neither tidings from heaven or hell awake you? Will you say still, yet a little sleep, a little slumber, and a little folding of the hands to sleep (Proverbs 6:10; Proverbs 24:33)? Oh, that I was skillful in lamentation, and had but a yearning heart towards you! How I would pity you! How I would bemoan you! Poor soul, lost soul, dying soul! What a hard heart have I that I cannot mourn for you! If you should lose but a limb, or a child, or a friend, it would not be much; but, poor man, it is YOUR SOUL! If it was to be in hell but for a day, but for a year, nay, for ten thousand years, it would, in comparison, be nothing. But it is forever! Oh, this cutting EVER! What a soul-amazing word will that be which says, [_Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels _](Matthew 25:41).

In his dealing with the despondent, he thus conveyed his wisdom: “Nothing has been more common to many than to doubt of the grace of God: a thing most unbecoming a sinner of anything in the world. To break the law is a fact foul enough, but to question the sufficiency of the grace of God to save therefrom is worse than sin, if worse can be. Wherefore, despairing soul, for it is to you I speak, hold back from your mistrusts, cast off your slavish fears, hang your misgivings upon the hedge, and believe that you have an invitation sufficient thereto, for a river is before thy face. And as for your want of goodness and works, let that by no means dishearten you. This is a river of the water of life, streams of grace and mercy. And when you see how those who are reluctant to die make provision at Tunbridge, Epsom, and Bath, and other places, that they may have their dwellings by the waters which are there, then you will greatly desire to be always near this blessed water of life, for you have nothing to do, I mean as to the healing of thy soul from its doubts and fears, but to drink and live forever.”

For the believer rejoicing in Christ he had a word in season: “It is amiable and pleasant to God when Christians keep their rank, relation, and station, doing all as suits their quality and calling. Then they are like the flowers in the garden. Where the gardener has set them, there they stand; and from the hyssop on the wall to the cedar in Lebanon, their fruit is their glory. And, seeing the stock into which they are planted is the most fruitful stock, and the sap conveyed from it is the finest sap, and the dresser of our souls is the wisest husbandman, how contrary to nature, to example, and to expectation, if we be not rich in good works. Wherefore take heed of being painted fire wherein there is no warmth, and painted flowers which retain no smell, and painted trees whereon is no fruit.”

His Latter End

Suffering for conscience’s sake threatened Bunyan to the end. His nonconformity and evangelical faithfulness rendered him most obnoxious to the authorities, and on different occasions they confiscated his goods. His meetinghouse was shut up, and for a while he and his congregation had to assemble in the fields.

Amidst this uncertainty as to the future, he transferred to his well-beloved wife, by a document dated 23rd December, 1685, whatever property he had acquired. He, “John Bunyan, brazier,” moved by his natural affection, had put her in possession of all goods, possessions, and debts, wheresoever they might be found.

Thus prepared for the worst, he was instant in season and out of season in his Master’s work. His reputation went on increasing. Opportunities for usefulness extended in all directions. With books he became better acquainted, and of his larger knowledge of society he took singular advantage. Everything was made subservient to his purpose,[_ _]so that his congregations were often struck by the sagacious mention of matters that were familiar, and his readers by powerful allusions to the incidents and opinions of the times. As the chaplain of the Lord Mayor of London, to which office he once attained, or as the pleasant guest of the wayside cottagers, to whom after the frugal meal he was about to preach, he was alike bent upon doing good and getting good! He studied to show himself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15).

Early in the year 1688 he suffered severely from the sweating sickness, and it was feared that he must die. Partial recovery ensued, and to the full extent of his diminished strength his labours were resumed. But the end was drawing nigh, and before long it came; not, indeed, as either himself or his fondly-devoted wife would have desired, for he died where she could not come to him in time, two days’ journey away from home.

He had been persuaded by a young man, whose father was about to disinherit him, to attempt a reconciliation. There was no hope of reconciliation unless Bunyan could speak with the father, and that involved a journey from Bedford to Reading, a distance of fifty miles. He undertook it, although on horseback, and so well explained his self-denying mission that the father consented to forgive and reinstate his son immediately. Overjoyed at his success, Bunyan generously determined to go to London, where the youth resided, on his way home, that he might be told of the result. The weather was unusually inclement, and the journey became exhausting. On reaching the residence of[_ _]his friend, Mr. Shaddocks, on Snow Hill, the traveler fell ill of fever, and although hope had been entertained of his recovery, after ten days he died, on the 31st of August, 1688.

John Bunyan on His Last Mission of Mercy

Bunyan’s death was a befitting consummation of his life. His loins were girded, and his lamp trimmed. He endured unto the end. He expired, setting his seal to it triumphantly that God was true. “Would you be better satisfied,” said the dying man to his attendants, “as to what the beatifical vision means, my request is that you will live holily, [_and then come and see. _]I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will no doubt through the mediation of his blessed Son, receive me, although a sinner. Weep not for me. We shall meet ere long to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy, world without end.” He knew in himself that he had in heaven a better and an enduring substance (Hebrews 10:34).

The body was buried in Bunhill Fields, amidst the most grateful tokens of general respect and love. At Bedford the grief was intense, especially within the bereaved church, but also through the neighborhood without. It was only two weeks before that his fellow townsmen had seen him ride away on his errand of mercy into Berkshire, rather less robust they thought than formerly, but still a strong and healthy man of sixty: some of them respectfully bidding him farewell; others, more familiarly and congenially wishing him Godspeed.

Bunyan’s Tomb in Bunhill Fields Burial Grounds

And now he was dead and gone! By his considerate kindness to an outcast, he had brought about his latter end. In serving his own generation, by the will of God he had fallen asleep and was gathered to his fathers. Magnanimous, venerable Bunyan! You rest from your labors, and your works do follow you. Your course was full of disappointments and successes, but it was consistent. You were frowned upon and flattered, but you were faithful. Your progress from this world to that which is to come accorded with the similitude of your own inimitable Dream, from the slough of its commencement to the consolation and triumph of its close.

William Brock

1Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man unto whom God doth attribute righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute sin.

2Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD does not impute iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile.

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Glossary of Names
Used in The Holy War

Affection: Desire; inclination; propensity, good or evil, such as virtuous or vile affections. This character is introduced as Mr. Affection but is corrupted in his principles. He lives his life accordingly, giving himself over to the flesh and thus becomes known as Vile-Affection. (Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; – Galatians 5:19-21)

Alecto: A Fury in Greek mythology that represents hard-hearted or unceasing anger.

Anger: A Diabolian who took on the guise of someone from a far-off country and offered to help the natives of Mansoul. He presented himself as Good-Zeal. However, his real name, Anger, means a violent passion of the mind excited by a real or supposed injury, usually accompanied by a propensity to take vengeance or to obtain satisfaction from the offending party.

Anything: One of Diabolus’s captains who did whatever needed to be done, but he was never true to either side because he believed anything. For his bold friendship with both sides, he had one of his legs broken, and the one who did it wished it had been his neck.

Apollyon: The destroyer; a name used in Revelation 9:11 for the angel of the bottomless pit (the Hebrew Abaddon).

Beelzebub: Another name for the Devil; also referred to as the prince of the devils (Mark 3:22).

Benumbing: Benumbing is a Diabolian who knocks down Mr. Conscience a few times. His name means to confuse or render inactive.

Blindfold: Captain Blindfold was keeper of Eye-gate under Diabolus. He was slain by Emmanuel’s Captain Good-Hope. The thousand Doubters under his command fought with claws as he worked to keep the inhabitants of Mansoul in the dark regarding the truth.

Boanerges: One of the four first captains sent by Shaddai against Mansoul. The name means loud, determined, and enthusiastic preacher or orator.

Boasting: One of Diabolus’s captains who was killed when Emmanuel’s troops fought to take back Mansoul. He thought nobody could shake the posts of Ear-gate or raise doubt in the heart of Diabolus. Boasting (as his name suggests) was known for talking ostentatiously, showing off, and taking glory for himself.

Bragman: Captain Bragman was a popular captain in Diabolus’s ranks. His company of soldiers threw firebrands and arrows at Emmanuel’s army. ([_As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that destroys his friend and says, Am I not in sport? _]– Proverbs 26:18-19) Bragman was known to display his actions, merits, or advantages flauntingly and to tell boastful stories.

Brimstone: Captain Brimstone served as Diabolus’s captain over the Perseverance-doubters who refused to believe the continuance in a state of grace to a state of glory. His name is the equivalent of sulfur connected with eternal flame and torment of the unsaved.

Carnal-Lust: Daughter of Mr. (fleshly) Mind. Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection marry and have several children, including three wicked sons: Impudent, Darkmouth, and Hate-Reproof. They also have three daughters: Scorn-Truth, Slight-God, and the youngest is Revenge. These grew up, were married, and also yielded many vile offspring.

Carnal-Security: A Diabolian who stayed in Mansoul after Emmanuel took possession. Carnal security is part of the Devil’s strategy to tempt believers to rely on worldly wisdom and practice. In this way, Carnal-Security brought Mansoul into severe slavery and bondage.

Charity: Shaddai’s seventh captain. In a general sense, his name means love, benevolence, good will, and disposition of heart, which inclines men to think favorably of others and do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love for God and universal good will to men.

Chief Secretary: The Chief Secretary represents the Holy Spirit and is loving and faithful in the eternal concerns of the town of Mansoul. One of His roles was to draw up a trustworthy record of all that had been determined and make it known in all the corners of the kingdom of Universe. He is the chief dictator of all Shaddai’s Law and a person skilled in all mysteries and knowledge of mysteries, along with Shaddai and Emmanuel. The three of them are all one in nature. In this story, He was a seer in all matters concerning the King and for the good and comfort of the town of Mansoul. (Also called High Secretary and Lord Secretary.)

Conscience: The first and final Recorder of Mansoul. While he was courageous and faithful to speak truth at every opportunity, and equipped with a bold tongue and a head filled with sound judgment, his sin caused him to forget Shaddai’s Law at times but at other times to grieve over the sin of Mansoul.

Conviction: Shaddai’s second captain. Sent to Mansoul by Shaddai, his name refers to the act of compelling one to acknowledge his error or the truth of what is alleged.

Covetousness: A strong or inordinate desire to obtain and possess some supposed good, usually applied to an inordinate desire for wealth or avarice. To fool the town of Mansoul, he called himself Prudent-Thrifty. With this name, and dressed in sheep’s clothing, he offered to lease his services to the townsmen.

Credence: Shaddai’s fifth captain. One of the five captains who came with Emmanuel to join the siege of Mansoul. His name means reliance of the mind on evidence of facts derived from sources other than personal knowledge.

Damnation: One of Diabolus’s captains. His name means sentenced to a state of eternal torment and his role was to be captain over the Grace-doubters.

Darkmouth: One of the wicked offspring of Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection. His name refers to the dark condition of his heart. (The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil, for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:45)

Deceit: One of the Diabolians who lived in Mansoul and helped plan the return of the tyrant Diabolus to Mansoul. His name literally means a catching or ensnaring. Results are obtained by guile, fraud, or oppression. He recommended using desperation to make Mansoul question the truth of the love of the heart of their Prince.

Desires-Awake: A humble character that represents Mansoul’s desire to awaken spiritually. He is the second messenger to be sent by Understanding, Conscience, Willbewill, and the people of Mansoul to the Prince, while they were held in jail after Emmanuel took over the town.

Diabolian: Follower of the Devil.

Diabolus: The Devil, foe of God, ruler of hell. The deceiver whose crafty lies prompted the fall of Mansoul and who held the city against the conquest of Emmanuel.

Do-Right: Name of the court clerk in Mansoul to whom the captured Diabolians were brought to face trial. In issues of morals and religion, his name means he will do what is just, equitable, and in accordance with the standard of truth and justice or the will of God.

Emmanuel: From the Hebrew name Immanu’el, meaning, “God is with us,” the foretold name of the Messiah in the Old Testament. In The Holy War story, He is the Son of Shaddai, who leads the campaign to reclaim Mansoul.

Evil-Questioning: A cunning old Diabolian who lived in Mansoul and caused much affliction to the Lord Mayor Understanding. He was charged with questioning the truth of doctrine and entertaining and encouraging doubts.

Execution: Shaddai’s fourth captain. Sent by Shaddai to retake Mansoul; his name means carrying into effect a sentence or judgment of court. It also refers to the last act of the law in completing the process by which justice is to be carried out or by which judicial punishment is inflicted.

Expectation: Standard-bearer for Good-Hope. His name means the act of expecting or looking forward to a future event with at least some reason to believe the event will happen.

Experience: A native-born of Mansoul, Experience was named a captain over one thousand by Prince Emmanuel. His name refers to knowledge derived from trials, use, practice, or a series of observations.

False-Peace: This name indicates a counterfeit peace. This character satanically brought, held, and kept the town of Mansoul in her apostasy and hellish rebellion, steeped in a false, groundless, and dangerous peace and damnable security.

Feeling: Mr. Feeling stood on the sidelines to encourage Mansoul to rebellion by exciting their passions.

Filth: Filth represents anything that corrupts, sullies, or defiles moral character. Diabolus used Mr. Filth to draw up an odious, nasty, lustful piece of beastliness in writing and posted it on the castle gates. It granted permission to all his true and trusted sons in Mansoul to do whatever their lustful appetites prompted them to do.

Fooling: The name of this Diabolian means defeating, disappointing, or deceiving. This character spoke up at the gate to Shaddai’s castle, asking that Captain Credence be turned over to Diabolus to save Mansoul.

Forget-Good: The Recorder under Diabolus, who despised the Law of Shaddai. He forgot all that was good and delighted in disobedience. He remembered nothing of submission and was prone to do hurtful things to the town of Mansoul and all who lived there.

Fury: One of Diabolus’s captains. He was placed over the Vocation-doubters (called by the will of God). His name means a storm of anger; madness; turbulence.

Get-i’the-hundred-and-lose-i’the-shire: A hundred in the old county geography of England was a political subdivision of a shire in which one hundred freemen lived with their freeborn families. The total number of hundreds made up the political unity of the shire.

God’s-Peace: God’s-Peace surpasses all understanding and guards hearts and minds in Christ. (And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7) This character was set over Lord Willbewill, Lord Mayor, Mr. Recorder, the secondary preacher, Mr. Mind, and over all the native Mansoulians.

Good-Hope: Shaddai’s sixth captain. His name means valid hope that is sound and not weak, false, or fallacious. Opposite of false hope.

Hard-Heart: Hard-Heart is an inflexible persistence in sin. This Diabolian’s actions kept the town of Mansoul from showing any remorse or sorrow for their natural and moral evils.

Harmless: Mr. Harmless served as the standard-bearer for Commander Innocent. His name means to give bond to save another.

Hate-Lies: Mr. Hate-Lies served as a witness against the King’s enemies when they were brought before the court. His name means just what it says; he hates lies, which include criminal falsehood, a falsehood uttered for the purpose of deception, or any other intentional violation of truth.

Hate-Reproof: One of the wicked offspring of Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection who hates correction because he is carnal, unfeeling, ferocious, insensible, and even stupid as a brutish man. (He that hates reproof is carnal. – Proverbs 12:1b)

Haughty: His name means proud and disdainful, having a high opinion of one’s self with some contempt for others. Other traits include being lofty and arrogant. He taught Mansoul to move loftily and boldly against the summons delivered by the captains of King Shaddai and to speak contemptuously against the King.

Heady: The name of one of the two guns installed upon the tower over Ear-gate. It infers a readiness to rush forward in a rash, hasty, and even violent way without thought or deliberation. These guns were crafted by Puff-Up and designed to bring harm to Shaddai’s army.

High-Mind: The second of two guns installed above Ear-gate. The term high has many possible meanings in this context, including boastful, ostentatious, arrogant, proud, loud, violent, severe, and oppressive, while the word[_ mind_] means intention, purpose, or plan. This gun was installed to bring harm to Shaddai’s army.

High Secretary: One who is equal to Shaddai and Emmanuel, who resides in Mansoul after the victorious conquest of Emmanuel. Represents the Holy Spirit.

Human Wisdom: One of three young men Shaddai’s captains met on the way to Mansoul. Captain Boanerges enlisted him into his company. This name refers to human reasoning rather than heavenly wisdom. When captured, he agreed to switch sides and serve under Diabolus.

Ill-Pause: Means temporary pause or hesitation, which brings about a lapse in good judgment.

Impudent: One of the wicked offspring of Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection. Means shameless, lacking modesty, or bold with contempt for others.

Incredulity: A friend of Diabolus and one of the two mayors under his rule. He escapes execution after the recapture of Mansoul. Diabolus rewards him by giving him charge over the entire army of Doubters in the attack against Mansoul. His name means refusal or withholding of belief; unwillingness to believe.

Insatiable: Captain Insatiable served Diabolus as captain over the Faith-doubters. His name means incapable of being satisfied or appeased; very greedy.

Innocent: Lord Innocent’s name represents freedom from crime, sin, or guilt; unimpaired integrity. He is a character with an untainted purity of heart and life, who falls dead when he hears his Lord and rightful Prince, Shaddai, so verbally abused by the filthy Diabolian Ill-Pause. After his death, Mansoul opened Ear-gate to Diabolus.

Innocency: Shaddai’s fourth captain. One of King Shaddai’s captains, not to be confused with Lord Innocent who fell dead when Ill-Pause verbally abused his Prince Shaddai. Commander Innocency was one of the captains sent with Prince Emmanuel to redeem Mansoul. His name means free from guilt, having done no wrong, and not tainted with sin; pure, upright.

Inquisitive: A notable, clever fellow who lived in impoverished circumstances and who was inclined to seek to know more via discussion, investigation, or observation.

Judgment: Shaddai’s third captain. Sent by Shaddai against Mansoul when Diabolus ruled. His name means the right or power of passing sentence.

Know-All: Mr. Know-All is called as a witness against the enemies of the King. His name means he has a clear and certain perception of truth, fact, or anything that actually exists.

Knowledge: Emmanuel made Mr. Knowledge the Recorder in place of Mr. Conscience, not because he hadn’t performed his duty properly, but because He planned to award another position to Mr. Conscience. His name implies a clear and certain perception of truth and fact.

Lasciviousness: One of the Diabolians who was left behind in the town of Mansoul when Emmanuel departed. His name means tendency to excite lust, looseness; irregular indulgence of wantonness. However, as part of the deception, he called himself Harmless-Mirth.

Legion: In the time of Christ, a regiment of the Roman army consisted of six thousand, exclusive of horsemen who numbered a tenth of the footmen. This word is used in Matthew 26:53 and Mark 5:9 to express a great multitude of angels/demons. Bunyan implies the same with this demonic character.

Loth-to-Stoop: This character represents a stubborn unbeliever set in his ways who is prideful and unwilling to be humble before the Lord.

Love-Flesh: Love-Flesh was given to unlawful indulgence of lust. He was placed as governor of Sweet-Sin Hold and was addicted to fornication. He had no limit to his desires and found more sweetness when drinking of a lust than he did in all the paradise of God.

Love-no-Good: Love-no-Good was a townsman but also a Diabolian. He was mortally wounded as Emmanuel’s army worked to break into Mansoul, but his life lingered for a time. He hated all that God’s Law required and embraced evil behavior.

Love-no-Light: Governor of Midnight Hold for Diabolus, which was built purposely to keep Mansoul from the true knowledge of itself. In other words, he kept Mansoul in the dark regarding its true condition.

Love-to-Mansoul: The name of the runner used by Shaddai’s captains to send a message to Shaddai, to inform Him of how the war for Mansoul was progressing. The “love” in his name is like that of patriotism or the attachment one has to his native land.

Lucifer: According to Strong’s Concordance, Lucifer means “shining one, light-bearer,” which refers to his condition before he was cast out of heaven, and is the Latinization of the Hebrew name of the angel leading the forces opposing Yahweh.

Lustings: Having an eager desire; a carnal appetite. Lord Lustings was a Diabolian who had neither eyes nor ears and served as Mayor under Diabolus. He operated by sheer natural impulse like a beast and never favored good but rather chose evil.

Man’s-Invention: One of three young men Shaddai’s captains met on the way to Mansoul, and the one Captain Boanerges enlisted into his company. This name is referring to discovery or the finding of one’s own way in the world. When captured, he agreed to switch sides and serve under Diabolus.

Mr. Mind: Represents man’s fleshly, unregenerate mind until he receives Prince Emmanuel into Mansoul. (And you, that were in another time alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled you. – Colossians 1:21)

Mischief: A Diabolian who was consulted about how to deliver Mansoul into the hands of Diabolus again. The name means to bring harm, hurt, injury, damage, or evil, whether intended or not.

Mors: The Latin noun for death.

Murder: Lord Murder, a Diabolian still living within Mansoul when Prince Emmanuel departed due to Mansoul’s sin. (Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer and ye know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – 1 John 3:15)

No-Ease: Set as captain over the Salvation-doubters unit in Diabolus’s army. His name represents the absence of a state of quiet tranquility and replaces it with concerns and anxieties regarding assurance of salvation.

No-Truth: The character No-Truth works to wipe out the truth. He defaced the image of King Shaddai and in its place set up the horrid and dreadful image of Diabolus as a way to show contempt for the former King and degrade His town of Mansoul. His task was to turn Mansoul into a brute savage at heart.

Past-Hope: Captain Past-Hope served as captain over the Felicity-doubters in Diabolus’s army. His name represents the loss of hope. His symbol of a hot iron and the hard heart represents a seared conscience and a hardened heart.

Patience: Shaddai’s fifth captain. Another of the captains who joined Prince Emmanuel to redeem Mansoul. His name represents the act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent.

Penny-wise-pound-foolish: Stingy about small expenditures and extravagant with large ones.

Pitiless: A Diabolian who turned Mansoul’s mind from the truth or any thoughts that would have led her to repentance. Pitiless shows no pity but traitorously and wickedly shuts up kindness, tenderness, and compassion, so Mansoul wasn’t allowed to grieve the abandonment of the faith she had professed in her rightful King.

Pitiful: Mr. Pitiful served as the standard-bearer for Captain Charity, and his name means full of pity; tender, compassionate, having a heart to feel sorrow and sympathy for the distressed.

Promise: Mr. Promise carried the standard for Captain Conviction. His name means a binding declaration of something to be done or given for another’s benefit.

Prejudice: One who holds an opinion or forms a decision without due examination of the facts or arguments, which are necessary to reach a just and impartial determination. This character, Mr. Prejudice, is an angry, ill-tempered fellow, who captains the area at Ear-gate.

Profane: Mr. Profane was the messenger chosen by the Diabolians to carry messages to Diabolus, inviting him to come back and take over Mansoul. His name reflects opposition to all things holy.

Prywell: Prywell loved the people of Mansoul and walked the streets vigilantly because he feared some harm would befall Mansoul, either from the Diabolians within the town or from some power outside the walls. He walked the streets and paid close attention to everything to see or hear whether a plan against it might be in the works or not. His name means to inspect closely; to attempt to discover something with scrutinizing curiosity.

Puff-Up: Inflated with pride, vanity, or conceit. He was Diabolus’s founder.

Rage: Captain over Diabolus’s Election-doubter regiment of his army. His name means violent anger accompanied by furious words, gestures, or agitation.

Reason: When Emmanuel and His army took possession of Mansoul, Captain Innocency lived in Mr. Reason’s home. His name reflects the faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes truth from falsehood and good from evil, and enables the possessor to deduce inferences from facts or from propositions.

Resistance: Mr. Resistance, also known as Captain Resistance, was a great man in Mansoul whom the giant Diabolus and his band feared more than they feared the whole town. Captain Resistance was the only man of war in the town when Diabolus came to the gate. Once they killed him, resistance was gone, and Mansoul lacked courage because his death left Mansoul without the heart to resist, which was what the Devil had planned all along.

Revenge: One of the wicked daughters of Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection. Her name means to inflict pain or injury in return for an injury (real or imagined) received.

Scorn-Truth: One of the wicked daughters of Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection. She despises the truth.

Search-Truth: One of King Shaddai’s witnesses in court. The name means pursuit or hunt for truth.

Secure: One of Diabolus’s captains, killed when Emmanuel’s army started to reclaim Mansoul. He was the captain who said even the blind and lame in Mansoul could protect against Emmanuel’s army and keep the gates from falling. His name means not alarmed, not disturbed by fear; confident of safety. Captain Conviction cut off the head of Captain Secure with a two-handed sword.

Self-Conceit: A Diabolian left in Mansoul after Emmanuel took possession. His name means false pride, having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

Self-Denial: A brave young man and townsman in Mansoul whom Emmanuel made a captain over a thousand Mansoulians. He was placed at Eye-gate and Ear-gate to protect against the blood-men. His name means the denial of one’s self, refraining from gratifying one’s own appetites or desires.

Sepulcher: Captain Sepulcher was placed over the Glory-doubters in Diabolus’s army. His name represents the thought that there is no life beyond the grave and implies the smell of death when he is placed at Nose-gate.

Shaddai: In this story, the King of the Universe. Also the builder and creator of Mansoul, whose image it bears. El Shaddai is one of the Judaic names for God.

Slight-Good: One of the wicked daughters of Carnal-Lust and Vile-Affection. Her name means to disregard good as a thing of little value and unworthy of notice.

Spite-God: Governor over the Hold of Defiance, which was constructed as a command center to keep Mansoul from the knowledge of its ancient King. This character was a blasphemous wretch who came against Mansoul in the beginning with the disorderly, vulgar crowd. His name means deep-seated and relentless malice; chronic hatred toward God.

Suffer-Long: The standard-bearer for Captain Patient. His name means bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient, not easily provoked.

Sweet-World: Pleasing to the eye, ear, taste, or nose. One of the traders put into the marketplace to deceive Mansoul; they became caught up in business and grew to be full and rich in order for Diabolus to gain ground on them.

Take-Heed-What-You-Hear: The name of the trumpeter who announced the arrival of Shaddai’s forces at Mansoul and delivered His message of mercy. The name means to listen and pay attention to what you hear.

Tell-True: Tell-True served as a witness in court against the King’s enemies. His name means that all he testified was in accordance with the actual state of things.

Tisiphone: Means avenging murder, in Greek. This was the name of one of the Furies in Greek mythology. She killed Cithaeron with the bite of one of the snakes on her head.

Torment: Diabolus’s captain in charge of the Resurrection-doubters. His name represents extreme pain or anguish of an eternal nature.

Tradition: One of three young men Shaddai’s captains met on the way to Mansoul. Captain Boanerges enlisted him into his company because he seemed to be a man of courage. This name refers to the traditions of men, not the traditions of God. (Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not after Christ. – Colossians 2:8) When captured, he agreed to switch sides and serve under Diabolus.

True-Man: True-Man was one of those whom Emmanuel brought from His Father’s court when He first made war upon Diabolus in the town of Mansoul. He made him jailer in the town of Mansoul. His name represents one who is faithful, steady in adhering to friends, promises, and the Prince. He is not false, fickle, or disloyal.

Understanding: Having insight and good judgment. The first and final Mayor of Mansoul. Diabolus removed him from his position of distinction and honor, because he was a seeing man. Thus, he deprived Understanding of seeing what he was doing by building a high, strong tower that stood between the sun’s light and the windows of Understanding’s palace, and so darkened his entire house. This represents a darkened understanding. Later, when Understanding hears Diabolus has rejected Shaddai’s offer of mercy and grace, he gets together with Mr. Conscience, gathers some of the town, and begins to help them see the reasonableness of the noble captains’ demands.

Vouch-Truth: One of the King’s witnesses in court. The name means guarantee the truth or facts.

Wet-Eyes: Wet-Eyes accompanied Desires-Awake when he carried a petition to Emmanuel a second time. He was a poor man with a broken spirit, but one who could speak well to a petition.

Willbewill: Based on the phrase “What will be will be” – something said when stuck in a hopeless and unchangeable situation which one has come to accept. In this case, Willbewill starts out as a servant of Shaddai but then shifts his allegiance to Diabolus when the city is captured. His fickle thoughts under Shaddai prolonged the war because he didn’t seem to favor one side more than the other. Then when he is brought to repentance and wrapped in Emmanuel’s everlasting arms, he ruled under the Prince for the good of the town of Mansoul.

Would-Live: The one chosen to carry the petition drawn up by Understanding, Mr. Conscience, Willbewill, and the people of Mansoul when Emmanuel jailed them after taking over the town. In his name the word would denotes a sense of wishing or praying, so his name means praying or wishing to live.

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About the Author

John Bunyan was born in November 1628, in Elstow, England. A celebrated English minister and preacher, he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), the book that was the most characteristic expression of the Puritan religious outlook. His other works include doctrinal and controversial writings; a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding (1666); and the allegory, [_The Holy War _](1682).

[_The Holy War _]– John Bunyan

Updated Edition Copyright © 2016

First edition published 1682

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The Holy War (Updated, Modern English): Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the Re

More than 100 Original Illustrations Bonus Content: The Life of John Bunyan, by William Brock For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the lords of this age, rulers of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in the heavens. (Ephesians 6:12) What if you were able to see your life from a spiritual perspective and see the actual reality of the verse above? How does our enemy, Diabolus, plan and carry out his attacks? How do his demons help, and what are their objectives? Why and how must we petition Emmanuel to get His attention and help in this great, holy war? Written four years after The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan followed up with this second allegorical classic, which has touched hearts and minds of readers for generations. The epicenter of this book is the town of Mansoul, its people (such as Conscience, Self-Denial, and Do-Right), and its gates (Eye-gate, Ear-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate). The attack by Diabolus and his demons, all of whom have appropriate names, is carefully planned and executed. As still happens to men today, Mansoul fell hard. Emmanuel is of course willing to help, but can only do so on special, seemingly strict terms. As you watch this intense battle unfold, you'll be emboldened to fight with new vigilance, to guard the gates with tenacity, and to rely on Emmanuel's sovereignty like never before. It should be noted that John Bunyan focused not so much on biblical sequence or even perfect accuracy in every aspect. Instead, he honed in specifically on the spiritual battle being waged for each individual soul, filling in other details as needed to create the scenes. In this edition, we updated the text to clarify the meaning of each scene and inserted Bible verses in key areas to bring to light the depth and spiritual meaning of this powerful allegory.

  • ISBN: 9781622453016
  • Author: LIFE SENTENCE Publishing
  • Published: 2017-03-01 15:51:03
  • Words: 128729
The Holy War (Updated, Modern English): Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the Re The Holy War (Updated, Modern English): Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the Re