[CONTENTS:—Mr. Experience is made an officer—The charter of the town renewed, and enlarged with special privileges—The ministry of the gospel regularly established, under the direction of the Secretary—Mr. Conscience ordained a preacher, and his duty particularly specified—Directions how to behave to the ministers—The inhabitants clad in white, and receive many other distinguishing favours from the Prince—God's-peace is appointed to rule—The unexampled felicity of the town.]Now when this good work was done, the Prince came down to see, to visit, and to speak comfortably to the men of Mansoul, and to strengthen their hands in such work. And he said to them that by this act of theirs he had proved them, and found them to be lovers of his person, observers of his laws, and such as had also respect to his honour. He said, moreover, to show them that they by this should not be losers, nor their town weakened by the loss of them, that he would make them another captain, and that of one of themselves. And that this captain should be the ruler of a thousand, for the good and benefit of the now flourishing town of Mansoul.
So he called one to him whose name was Waiting, and bid him go quickly up to the castle-gate, and inquire there for one Mr. Experience, that waiteth upon that noble captain, the Captain Credence, and bid him come hither to me. So the messenger that waited upon the good Prince Emmanuel went and said as he was commanded. Now the young gentleman was waiting to see the captain train and muster his men in the castle-yard. Then said Mr. Waiting to him, Sir, the Prince would that you should come down to his Highness forthwith. So he brought him down to Emmanuel, and he came and made obeisance before him. Now the men of the town knew Mr. Experience well, for he was born and bred in the town of Mansoul; they also knew him to be a man of conduct, of valour, and a person prudent in matters; he was also a comely person, well-spoken, and very successful in his undertakings.
Wherefore the hearts of the townsmen were transported with joy, when they saw that the Prince himself was so taken with Mr. Experience, that he would needs make him a captain over a band of men.
So with one consent they bowed the knee before Emmanuel, and with a shout said, Let Emmanuel live for ever. Then said the Prince to the young gentleman whose name was Mr. Experience, I have thought good to confer upon thee a place of trust and honour in this my town of Mansoul; then the young man bowed his head and worshipped. It is, said Emmanuel, that thou shouldest be a captain, a captain over a thousand men in my beloved town of Mansoul. Then said the captain, Let the King live. So the Prince gave out orders forthwith to the King's Secretary, that he should draw up for Mr. Experience a commission, to make him a captain over a thousand men, and let it be brought to me, said he, that I may set to my seal. So it was done as it was commanded. The commission was drawn up, brought to Emmanuel, and he set his seal thereto. Then, by the hand of Mr. Waiting, he sent it away to the captain.
Now so soon as the captain had received his commission, he soundeth his trumpet for volunteers, and young men come to him a-pace, yea, the greatest and chiefest men in the town sent their sons to be listed under his command. Thus Captain Experience came under command to Emmanuel, for the good of the town of Mansoul. He had for his lieutenant one Mr. Skilful, and for his coronet one Mr. Memory. His under- officers I need not name. His colours were the white colours for the town of Mansoul, and his escutcheon was the dead lion and dead bear (1 Sam 17:36,37). So the Prince returned to his royal palace again.
Now, when he was returned thither, the elders of the town of Mansoul, to wit, the Lord Mayor, the Recorder, and the Lord Will-be-will, went to congratulate him, and in special way to thank him for his love, care, and the tender compassion which he showed to his ever-obliged town of Mansoul. So, after a while, and some sweet communion between them, the townsmen having solemnly ended their ceremony, returned to their place again.
Emmanuel also at this time appointed them a day wherein he would renew their charter, yea, wherein he would renew and enlarge it, mending several faults therein, that Mansoul's yoke might be yet more easy (Matt 11:28-30). And this he did without any desire of theirs, even of his own frankness and noble mind. So, when he had sent for and seen their old one, he laid it by, and said, 'Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away' (Heb 8:13). He said, moreover, the town of Mansoul shall have another, a better, a new one, more steady and firm by far. An epitome hereof take as follows:—
'Emmanuel, Prince of peace, and a great lover of the town of Mansoul, I do, in the name of my Father, and of mine own clemency, give, grant, and bequeath to my beloved town of Mansoul:
First, Free, full, and everlasting forgiveness of all wrongs, injuries, and offences done by them against my Father, me, their neighbour, or themselves (Heb 8:12). Secondly, I do give them the holy law, and my testament, with all that therein is contained, for their everlasting comfort and consolation (John 15:8-14). Thirdly, I do also give them a portion of the self-same grace and goodness that dwells in my Father's heart and mine (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Cor 7:1; 1 John 4:16).
Fourthly, I do give, grant, and bestow upon them freely, the world, and what is therein, for their good; and they shall have that power over them, as shall stand with the honour of my Father, my glory, and their comfort; yea, I grant them the benefits of life and death, and of things present, and things to come (1 Cor 3:21,22). This privilege, no other city, town, or corporation, shall have but my Mansoul only. Fifthly, I do give and grant them leave, and free access to me in my palace, at all seasons, to my palace above or below, there to make known their wants to me (Heb 10:19,20). And I give them, moreover, a promise that I will hear and redress all their grievances (Matt 7:7). Sixthly, I do give, grant to, and invest the town of Mansoul with full power and authority to seek out, take, enslave, and destroy all, and all manner of Diabolonians, that at any time, from whencesoever, shall be found straggling in, or about the town of Mansoul. Seventhly, I do further grant to my beloved town of Mansoul that they shall have authority not to suffer any foreigner, or stranger, or their seed, to be free in and of the blessed town of Mansoul, nor to share in the excellent privileges thereof (Eph 4:22). But that all the grants, privileges, and immunities, that I bestow upon the famous town of Mansoul, shall be for those the old natives and true inhabitants thereof, to them I say, and to their right seed after them (Col 3:5-9). But all Diabolonians, of what sort, birth, country, or kingdom soever, shall be debarred a share therein.'
So, when the town of Mansoul had received, at the hand of Emmanuel, their gracious charter, which in itself is infinitely more large than by this lean epitome is set before you, they carried it to audience, that is, to the market-place, and there Mr. Recorder read it in the presence of all the people (2 Cor 3:3; Jer 31:33). This being done, it was had back to the castle gates, and there fairly engraven upon the doors thereof, and laid in letters of gold, to the end that the town of Mansoul, with all the people thereof, might have it always in their view, or might go where they might see what a blessed freedom their Prince had bestowed upon them, that their joy might be increased in themselves, and their love renewed to their great and good Emmanuel (Heb 8:10).
But what joy, what comfort, what consolation, think you, did now possess the hearts of the men of Mansoul! The bells ringed, the minstrels played, the people danced, the captains shouted, the colours waved in the wind, and the silver trumpets sounded, and the Diabolonians now were glad to hide their heads, for they looked like them that had been long dead.
When this was over the Prince sent again for the elders of the town of Mansoul, and communed with them about a ministry that he intended to establish among them, such a ministry that might open unto them, and that might instruct them in the things that did concern their present and future state.
For, said he, you of yourselves, without you have teachers and guides, will not be able to know, and if not to know, to be sure, not to do the will of my Father (Jer 10:23; 1 Cor 2:14).
At this news, when the elders of Mansoul brought it to the people, the whole town came running together, for it pleased them well, as whatever the Prince now did pleased the people, and all with one consent implored his Majesty, that he would forthwith establish such a ministry among them as might teach them both law and judgment, statute and commandment, that they might be documented in all good and wholesome things. So he told them that he would grant them their requests, and would establish two among them, one that was of his Father's court, and one that was a native of Mansoul.
He that is from the court, said he, is a person of no less quality and dignity than is my Father and I, and 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 as myself is. Indeed, he is one with us in nature, and also as to loving of, and being faithful to, and in, the eternal concerns of the town of Mansoul.
And this is he, said the Prince, that must be your chief teacher, for it is he, and he only, that can teach you clearly in all high and supernatural things (1 Thess 1:5,6). He and he only it is that knows the ways and methods of my Father at court, nor can any like him show how the heart of my Father is at all times, in all things, upon all occasions, towards Mansoul; for as no man knows the things of a man, but that spirit of a man which is in him, so the things of my Father knows no man but this his high and mighty Secretary. Nor can any, as he, tell Mansoul how and what they shall do to keep themselves in the love of my Father. He also it is that can bring lost things to your remembrance, and that can tell you things to come. This teacher therefore must of necessity have the pre-eminence— both in your affections and judgment—before your other teacher (Rom 8:26). His personal dignity, the excellency of his teaching, also the great dexterity that he hath to help you to make and draw up petitions to my Father for your help, and to his pleasing (Jude 20; Eph 6:18) must lay obligations upon you to love him, fear him, and to take heed that you grieve him not (Rev 2:7,11,17,29; Eph 4:20).
This person can put life and vigour into all he says, yea, and can also put it into your hearts. This person can make seers of you, and can make you tell what shall be hereafter (Acts 21:10,11). By this person you must frame all your petitions to my Father and me, and without his advice and counsel first obtained, let nothing enter into the town or castle of Mansoul, for that may disgust and grieve this noble person (Isa 63:10).
Take heed, I say, that you do not grieve this minister; for if you do, he may fight against you; and should he once be moved by you, to set himself against you, against you in battle array, that will distress you more than if twelve legions should from my Father's court be sent to make war upon you.
But, as I said, if you shall hearken unto him, and shall love him; if you shall devote yourselves to his teaching, and shall seek to have converse, and to maintain communion with him; you shall find him ten times better than is the whole world to any. Yea, he will shed abroad the love of my Father in your hearts, and Mansoul will be the wisest and most blessed of all people (1 Cor 13:14; Rom 5:5).
Then did the Prince call unto him the old gentleman, who afore had been the Recorder of Mansoul, Mr. Conscience by name, and told him that forasmuch as he was well skilled in the law and government of the town of Mansoul, and was also well-spoken, and could pertinently deliver to them his Master's will in all terrene and domestic matters, therefore he would also make him a minister for, in, and to the goodly town of Mansoul, in all the laws, statutes, and judgments of the famous town of Mansoul. And thou must, said the Prince, confine thyself to the teaching of moral virtues, to civil and natural duties; but thou must not attempt to presume to be a revealer of those high and supernatural mysteries that are kept close in the bosom of Shaddai my Father; for those things knows no man, nor can any reveal them, but my Father's Secretary only.
Thou art a native of the town of Mansoul, but the Lord Secretary is a native with my Father; wherefore, as thou hast knowledge of the laws and customs of the corporation, so he of the things and will of my Father. Wherefore, O! Mr. Conscience, although I have made thee a minister and a preacher in the town of Mansoul; yet as to the things which the Lord Secretary knoweth, and shall teach to this people, there thou must be his scholar, and a learner, even as the rest of Mansoul are.
Thou must, therefore, in all high and supernatural things go to him for information and knowledge; for though there be a spirit in man, this person's inspiration must give him understanding (Job 33:8). Wherefore, O! thou Mr. Recorder, keep low and be humble, and remember that the Diabolonians that kept not their first charge, but left their own standing, are now made prisoners in the pit; be therefore content with thy station. I have made thee my Father's vicegerent on earth, in such things of which I have made mention before. And thou, take thou power to teach them to Mansoul; yea, and to impose them with whips and chastisements, if they shall not willingly hearken to do thy commandments.
And Mr. Recorder, because thou art old, and through many abuses made feeble, therefore I give thee leave and license to go when thou wilt to my fountain, my conduit, and there to drink freely of the blood of my grape, for my conduit [body] doth always run wine. Thus doing, thou shalt drive from thine heart and stomach all foul, gross, and hurtful humours. It will also lighten thine eyes, and will strengthen thy memory for the reception and keeping of all that the King's most noble Secretary teacheth (Heb 5:14).
When the Prince had thus put Mr. Recorder (that once so was) into the place and office of a minister to Mansoul, and the man had thankfully accepted thereof, then did Emmanuel address himself in a particular speech to the townsmen themselves—
'Behold,' said the Prince to Mansoul, 'my love and care towards you. I have added, to all that is past, this mercy, to appoint you preachers; the most noble Secretary to teach you in all high and sublime mysteries; and this gentleman,' pointing to Mr. Conscience, 'is to teach you in all things human and domestic; for therein lieth his work. He is not, by what I have said, debarred of telling to Mansoul anything that he hath heard and received at the mouth of the Lord high Secretary; only he shall not attempt to presume to pretend to be a revealer of those high mysteries himself; for the breaking of them up, and the discovery of them to Mansoul, layeth only in the power, authority, and skill of the Lord high Secretary himself. Talk of them he may, and so may the rest of the town of Mansoul; yea, and may, as occasion gives them opportunity, press them upon each other, for the benefit of the whole. These things, therefore, I would have you observe and do, for it is for your life, and the lengthening of your days.
'And one thing more to my beloved Mr. Recorder, and to all the town of Mansoul. You must not dwell in nor stay upon anything of that which he hath in commission to teach you, as to your trust and expectation of the next world; of the next world, I say, for I purpose to give another to Mansoul, when this with them is worn out, but for that you must wholly and solely have recourse to, and make stay upon his doctrine, that is your teacher after the first order. Yea, Mr. Recorder himself must not look for life from that which he himself revealeth; his dependence for that must be founded in the doctrine of the other preacher. Let Mr. Recorder also take heed that he receive not any doctrine, or point of doctrine, that are not communicated to him by his superior teacher; nor yet within the precincts of his own formal knowledge.'
Now, after the Prince had thus settled things in the famous town of Mansoul, he proceeded to give to the elders of the corporation a necessary caution, to wit, how they should carry it to the high and noble captains that he had, from his Father's court, sent or brought with him, to the famous town of Mansoul.
'These captains,' said he, 'do love the town of Mansoul, and they are picked men, picked out of abundance, as men that best suit, and that will most faithfully serve in the wars of Shaddai against the Diabolonians, for the preservation of the town of Mansoul. I charge you therefore, said he, O ye inhabitants of the now flourishing town of Mansoul, that you carry it not ruggedly or untowardly to my captains, or their men; since, as I said, they are picked and choice men, men chosen out of many for the good of the town of Mansoul. I say, I charge you, that you carry it not untowardly to them; for though they have the hearts and faces of lions, when at any time they shall be called forth to engage and fight with the King's foes, and the enemies of the town of Mansoul; yet a little discountenance cast upon them from the town of Mansoul will deject and cast down their faces; will weaken and take away their courage. Do not therefore, O my beloved, carry it unkindly to my valiant captains and courageous men of war, but love them, nourish them, succour them, and lay them in your bosoms; and they will not only fight for you, but cause to fly from you all those the Diabolonians that seek, and will, if possible, be your utter destruction.
'If therefore any of them should, at any time, be sick or weak, and so not able to perform that office of love which with all their hearts they are willing to do—and will do also when well and in health—slight them not, nor despise them, but rather strengthen them, and encourage them, though weak and ready to die (Heb 12:12); for they are your fence, and your guard, your wall, your gates, your locks, and your bars. And although, when they are weak, they can do but little, but rather need to be helped by you, than that you should then expect great things from them, yet when well, you know what exploits, what feats and warlike achievements they are able to do, and will perform for you.
'Besides, if they be weak, the town of Mansoul cannot be strong; if they be strong, then Mansoul cannot be weak; your safety therefore doth lie in their health, and in your countenancing of them (Isa 35:3). Remember also that if they be sick, they catch that disease of the town of Mansoul itself (Rev 3:2; 1 Thess 5:14).
'These things I have said unto you, because I love your welfare, and your honour. Observe therefore, O my Mansoul, to be punctual in all things that I have given in charge unto you, and that not only as a town corporate, and so to your officers and guard, and guides in chief, but to you as you are a people whose well-being, as single persons, depends on the observation of the orders and commandments of their Lord.
'Next, O my Mansoul, I do warn you of that of which notwithstanding that reformation that at present is wrought among you, you have need to be warned about. Wherefore hearken diligently unto me. I am now sure, and you will know hereafter, that there are yet of the Diabolonians remaining in the town of Mansoul; Diabolonians that are sturdy and implacable, and that do already while I am with you, and that will yet more when I am from you, study, plot, contrive, invent, and jointly attempt to bring you to desolation, and so to a state far worse than that of the Egyptian bondage; they are the avowed friends of Diabolus, therefore look about you; they used heretofore to lodge with their Prince in the Castle, when Incredulity was the Lord Mayor of this town (Mark 7:21,22). But since my coming hither, they lie more in the outsides, and walls, and have made themselves dens, and caves, and holes, and strongholds therein. Wherefore, O Mansoul, thy work, as to this, will be so much the more difficult and hard (Rom 7:18). That is, to take, mortify, and put them to death according to the will of my Father. Nor can you utterly rid yourselves of them, unless you should pull down the walls of your town, the which I am by no means willing you should. Do you ask me, What shall we do then? Why, be you diligent, and quit you like men, observe their holes, find out their haunts, assault them, and make no peace with them. Wherever they haunt, lurk, or abide, and what terms of peace soever they offer you, abhor, and all shall be well betwixt you and me. And that you may the better know them from those that are the natives of Mansoul, I will give you this brief schedule of the names of the chief of them, and they are these that follow: The Lord Fornication, the Lord Adultery, the Lord Murder, the Lord Anger, the Lord Lasciviousness, the Lord Deceit, the Lord Evil-eye, Mr. Drunkenness, Mr. Revelling, Mr. Idolatry, Mr. Witch-craft, Mr. Variance, Mr. Emulation, Mr. Wrath, Mr. Strife, Mr. Sedition, and Mr. Heresy. These are some of the chief, O Mansoul, of those that will seek to overthrow thee for ever. These, I say, are the skulkers in Mansoul, but look thou well into the law of thy King, and there thou shalt find their physiognomy, and such other characteristical notes of them, by which they certainly may be known.
'These, O my Mansoul, and I would gladly that you should certainly know it, if they be suffered to run and range about the town as they would, will quickly, like vipers, eat out your bowels, yea, poison your captains, cut the sinews of your soldiers, break the bar and bolts of your gates, and turn your now most flourishing Mansoul into a barren and desolate wilderness, and ruinous heap. Wherefore that you may take courage to yourselves to apprehend these villains wherever you find them, I give to you my Lord Mayor, my Lord Will-be-will, and Mr. Recorder, with all the inhabitants of the town of Mansoul, full power and commission to seek out, to take, and to cause to be put to death by the cross, all, and all manner of Diabolonians, when and wherever you shall find them to lurk within, or to range without the walls of the town of Mansoul.
'I told you before, that I had placed a standing ministry among you, not that you have but these with you, for my four first captains who came against the master and Lord of the Diabolonians that was in Mansoul, they can, and if need be, and if they be required, will not only privately inform, but publicly preach to the corporation both good and wholesome doctrine, and such as shall lead you in the way. Yea, they will set up a weekly, yea, if need be, a daily lecture in thee, O Mansoul; and will instruct thee in such profitable lessons, that if heeded, will do thee good at the end. And take good heed that you spare not the men that you have a commission to take and crucify.
'Now as I have set before your eyes the vagrants and runagates by name, so I will tell you that among yourselves some of them shall creep in to beguile you, even such as would seem, and that in appearance, are very rife and hot for religion. And they, if you watch not, will do you a mischief, such an one as at present you cannot think of.
'These, as I said, will show themselves to you in another hue than those under description before. Wherefore, Mansoul, watch and be sober, and suffer not thyself to be betrayed.'
When the Prince had thus far new modelled the town of Mansoul, and had instructed them in such matters as were profitable for them to know, then he appointed another day, in which he intended, when the townsfolk came together, to bestow a further badge of honour upon the town of Mansoul; a badge that should distinguish them from all the people, kindreds, and tongues that dwell in the kingdom of Universe. Now it was not long before the day appointed was come, and the Prince and his people met in the King's palace, where first Emmanuel made a short speech unto them, and then did for them as he had said, and unto them as he had promised.
My Mansoul, said he, that which I now am about to do, is to make you known to the world to be mine, and to distinguish you also in your own eyes, from all false traitors that may creep in among you.
Then he commanded that those that waited upon him should go and bring forth out of his treasury those white and glistening robes that I, said he, have provided and laid up in store for my Mansoul. So the white garments were fetched out of his treasury, and laid forth to the eyes of the people. Moreover, it was granted to them that they should take them and put them on, according, said he, to your size and stature. So the people were put into white, into fine linen, white and clean (Rev 19:8).
Then said the Prince unto them, This, O Mansoul, is my livery, and the badge by which mine are known from the servants of others. Yea, it is that which I grant to all that are mine, and without which no man is permitted to see my face. Wear them therefore for my sake, who gave them unto you; and also if you would be known by the world to be mine.
But now! can you think how Mansoul shone? It was fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners (Cant 6).
The Prince added further, and said, No prince, potentate, or mighty one of Universe, giveth this livery but myself; behold therefore, as I said before, you shall be known by it to be mine.
And now, said he, I have given you my livery, let me give you also in commandment concerning them; and be sure that you take good heed to my words. First, Wear them daily, day by day, lest you should at sometimes appear to others as if you were none of mine. Secondly, Keep them always white, for, if they be soiled, it is dishonour to me (Eccl 9:8). Thirdly, Wherefore gird them up from the ground, and let them not lag with dust and dirt. Fourthly, Take heed that you lose them not, lest you walk naked, and they see your shame (Rev 3:2). Fifthly, But if you should sully them, if you should defile them—the which I am greatly unwilling you should, and the prince Diabolus would be glad if you would—then speed you to do that which is written in my law, that yet you may stand, and not fall before me, and before my throne (Luke 21:36). Also this is the way to cause that I may not leave you nor forsake you while here, but may dwell in this town of Mansoul for ever (Rev 7:15-17).
And now was Mansoul, and the inhabitants of it, as the signet upon Emmanuel's right hand; where was there now a town, a city, a corporation that could compare with Mansoul— a town redeemed from the hand and from the power of Diabolus—a town that the King Shaddai loved, and that he sent Emmanuel to regain from the Prince of the infernal cave—yea, a town that Emmanuel loved to dwell in, and that he chose for his royal habitation—a town that he fortified for himself, and made strong by the force of his army? What shall I say? Mansoul has now a most excellent Prince, golden captains and men of war, weapons proved, and garments as white as snow. Nor are these benefits to be counted little but great. Can the town of Mansoul esteem them so, and improve them to that end and purpose for which they are bestowed upon them?
When the Prince had thus completed the modelling of the town, to show that he had great delight in the work of his hands, and took pleasure in the good that he had wrought for the famous and flourishing Mansoul, he commanded, and they set his standard upon the battlements of the castle. And then,
First, He gave them frequent visits, not a day now but the elders of Mansoul must come to him, or he to them, into his palace. Now they must walk and talk together of all the great things that he had done, and yet further promised to do for the town of Mansoul (2 Cor 6:16). Thus would he often do with the Lord Mayor, my Lord Will-be-will, and the honest subordinate preacher Mr. Conscience, and Mr. Recorder. But oh! how graciously, how lovingly, how courteously, and tenderly did this blessed Prince now carry it towards the town of Mansoul! In all the streets, gardens, orchards, and other places where he came, to be sure the poor should have his blessing and benediction; yea, he would kiss them, and if they were ill, he would lay hands on them, and make them well. The captains also he would daily, yea, sometimes hourly encourage with his presence and goodly words. For you must know that a smile from him upon them would put more vigour, more life and stoutness into them, than would anything else under heaven.
The Prince would now also feast them, and with them continually. Hardly a week would pass but a banquet must be had betwixt him and them (1 Cor 5:8). You may remember that some pages before we make mention of one feast that they had together, but now to feast them was a thing more common; every day with Mansoul was a feast-day now. Nor did he, when they returned to their places, send them empty away, either they must have a ring [a token of marriage], a gold chain [a token of honour], a bracelet [a token of beauty], a white stone [a token of pardon], or something; so dear was Mansoul to him now; so lovely was Mansoul in his eyes.
Secondly, When the elders and townsmen did not come to him, he would send in much plenty of provision unto them, meat that came from court, wine and bread that were prepared for his Father's table. Yea, such delicates would he send unto them, and therewith would so cover their table, that whoever saw it confessed that the like could not be seen in any kingdom.
Thirdly, If Mansoul did not frequently visit him as he desired they should, he would walk out to them, knock at their doors and desire entrance, that amity might be maintained betwixt them and him. If they did hear and open to him, as commonly they would, if they were at home, then would he renew his former love, and confirm it too with some new tokens and signs of continued favour (Rev 3:20; Cant 5:2).
And was it not now amazing to behold, that in that very place where sometimes Diabolus had his abode, and entertained his Diabolonians to the almost utter destruction of Mansoul, the Prince of princes should sit eating and drinking with them, while all his mighty captains, men of war, trumpeters, with the singing-men and singing-women of his Father, stood round about to wait upon them! Now did Mansoul's cup run over, now did her conduits run sweet wine, now did she eat the finest of the wheat, and drink milk and honey out of the rock! Now she said, How great is his goodness! for since I found favour in his eyes, how honourable have I been!
The blessed Prince did also order a new officer in the town, and a goodly person he was; his name was Mr. God's-peace (Col 3:15). This man was set over my Lord Will-be-will, my Lord Mayor, Mr. Recorder, the subordinate Preacher, Mr. Mind, and over all the natives of the town of Mansoul. Himself was not a native of it, but came with the Prince Emmanuel from the court. He was a great acquaintance of Captain Credence and Captain Good-hope; some say they were kin, and I am of that opinion too (Rom 15:13). This man, as I said, was made governor of the town in general, especially over the castle, and Captain Credence was to help him there. And I made great observation of it, that so long as all things went in Mansoul as this sweet-natured gentleman would, the town was in most happy condition. Now there were no jars, no chiding, no interferings, no unfaithful doings in all the town of Mansoul, every man in Mansoul kept close to his own employment. The gentry, the officers, the soldiers, and all in place observed their order. And as for the women and children of the town, they followed their business joyfully, they would work and sing, work and sing from morning till night: so that quite through the town of Mansoul now, nothing was to be found but harmony, quietness, joy, and health. And this lasted all that summer.
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Footnotes247. The happy effects of a Christian's experience are—a conviction, by the Word and Spirit of revelation, of our insufficiency, and Christ's all-sufficiency; an insight into gospel mysteries; God's veracity, faithfulness, and immutability.—Mason. It should be noticed, that at this period of the Christian's life, experience is but a young gentleman.—Ed. Back
248. David, having determined to encounter Goliath, comforted himself with his past experience. 'Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; he who delivered me from their paws, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.'—Ed. Back
249. By 'the holy law,' we are not limited to the ten commandments, but to the law and testimony—the whole revealed will of God. It as much embraces the new commandment as the ten. What a mercy that the soul in Christ finds in the law and covenant everlasting comfort and consolation.—Ed. Back
250. Well may the Christian exult in the blessings of this new and everlasting covenant, 'ordered in all things and sure,' The world, life, death, things present, and things to come, all is ours, if we are Christ's. This charter was set upon the castle gates; may it be inscribed in indelible characters on our hearts, while every power of the soul is filled with joy, and while sin, abolished, shall hide its ugly head!—Burder. Back
251. The ministry of the Holy Ghost, who alone can open our understandings to behold the wondrous things of God's law, or the Bible; who taketh of the things of Jesus, and shows them unto us. 'He shall teach you all things' (John 14:26). Thanks be to God for an omnipresent, omniscient Comforter.— Ed. Back
252. Here is a proper display of veneration for the Bible. The use of the ministry is solely that the people might understand law and judgment, statute and commandment; that they might be documented in all things, i.e., furnished with written evidence to establish every doctrine.—Ed. Back
253. Mark, reader, how Bunyan, as the result of Divine teaching, leads the soul to enter directly into communion with God the Holy Spirit. Here is no need for any man to introduce you. O the blessedness of communion with this Friend, that cleaveth closer than a brother! who ever liveth, and never slumbereth—always near, even in our hearts—able and willing to help and save to the uttermost.— Ed. Back
254. Having shown Mansoul that the secret of being the wisest and most blessed of all people is to seek the teaching and communion of the Holy Spirit in the heart, he comes to human ministry, and probably draws his portrait from his pastor Mr. Gilford, or from his own conduct. How much is contained in the words, 'Moral virtues, and civil and natural duties!' Here is love to God, because he first loved us, with all heavenly blessednesses; the whole armour of God, to fit us for the good fight; and the eternal reward of grace, and not of works: an inexhaustible fund for Christian training.—Ed. Back
255. 'Whips and chastisements.' 'A wounded spirit who can bear?' 'Methought I saw as if the sun did grudge to give me light.'—Grace Abounding, No. 187.—Ed. Back
256. Reader, conscience is the teacher with authority as God's only vicegerent. Be guided by him in all things; swerve not one jot or tittle from his dictates; especially, in your choice of a minister, examine him for yourself prayerfully and carefully by the Word (1 Tim 3). There are thousands of Diabolonians in the world, under the flimsy disguise of apostolical descent. When you have made your choice, 'Esteem him very highly in love for his works' sake'; but do not puff him up with pride. One of Bunyan's hearers said to him, 'What an excellent sermon you have preached'; to which he replied, 'The devil told me so before I left the pulpit.'—Ed. Back
257. Admirably judicious is this charge to conscience. Its office is to compare the heart and walk of the Christian with the Word of God, and so to judge whether it be good or bad. It has no new doctrines to reveal; it is not the legislator but the minister of the law, ever looking up to the Holy Spirit for his teaching. The office of conscience is one of great purity, yet it is subject to defilement, and must be purified by the blood of Christ (Heb 9:14).—Burder. Back
258. With very great respect for the opinions of Mason, Adams, and Burder, in their notes upon the 'Holy War,' I differ with them as to Bunyan's meaning with regard to these noble captains. All the commentators agree in interpreting the captains to mean gospel ministers, and so giving nine elders to every Christian. Their names are Boanerges, Conviction, Judgment, and Execution, and under Emmanuel's reinforcement, Faith, Hope, Charity, Innocence, and Patience, 'sent or brought' by Emmanuel from his Father's court. They are 'the fences, guards, walls, gates, locks, and bars to Mansoul.' If any one of these fail in his duty, the enemy would enter. If they mean ministers of the gospel, this would be trusting indeed to an arm of flesh. No Christian would trust them, if they were all popes, cardinals, archbishops, or bishops. It surely must mean the graces of the Holy Spirit, which being cherished and kept in lively exercise, are the Christian's safe-guard and defence from Diabolus and all the Diabolonians in hell or on earth. 'Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that are builders in it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh in vain' (Psa 127:1).—Ed. Back
259. 'Physiogonomy' and 'characteristical' are unusually hard words for Bunyan to use; the meaning is that these Diabolonian skulkers cannot be so disguised as to avoid a prayerful scrutiny. The Word is the test. The aid of the Spirit is needful; therefore must our prayer be, 'Search me, and try me,' and crucify any of these Diabolonians, who, lurking in my soul, are enemies to its peace and happiness.— Ed. Back
260. Christian, mark well your duty not only publicly to put on Christ, but at the market-cross deny and crucify sin. The drunkard, in the presence of his companions, is to deny himself, and to denounce the misery of his former indulgences; and so of every class or grade of sinners.
'I'm not ashamed to own my Lord.'—Ed. Back
261. How needful a caution is this, lest we should be deceived by spiritual pride, self-righteousness, self- seeking, and superstition!—Burder. Back
262. If by sin we lose the sense of being clothed with the garments of salvation, how does the soul feel its nakedness and vileness! 'O wretched man!' is the cry; the conscience is wounded, God dishonoured, and the Holy Spirit grieved.— Ed. Back
263. 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.' A smile from Jesus puts vigour and life into the soul.—Ed. Back
264. How blessed is the Christian who lives in the holy enjoyment of his high and heavenly privileges! Every day is a feast-day, bringing fresh discoveries of grace and foretastes of glory.—Ed. Back
265. This is a beautiful representation of the holy enjoyment of Divine things, when the soul is emancipated from sin, and enjoys a little heaven on earth. It is in Bunyan's Grace Abounding, No. 252—'I had strange apprehensions of the grace of God, so that I could hardly bear up under it; it was so out of measure amazing, that I think if it had abode long upon me, it would have made me incapable of business.'—Ed. Back
[ Chapter XII ]