[CONTENTS:—A new army of Bloodmen, or persecutors, attack the town, but are surrounded by the Mansoulians, headed by Faith and Patience—The examination of some of the leaders— Evil-questioning entertains some of the Doubters, but is discovered by Diligence—The principal Doubters tried, convicted, and executed.]Now when the tyrant had arrived at Hell-gate-hill, with his old friend Incredulity, they immediately descended the den, and having there, with their fellows, for a while condoled their misfortune and great loss that they sustained against the town of Mansoul, they fell at length into a passion, and revenged they would be for the loss that they sustained before the town of Mansoul, wherefore they presently call a council to contrive yet further what was to be done against the famous town of Mansoul; for their yawning paunches could not wait to see the result of their Lord Lucifer's and their Lord Apollyon's counsel that they had given before; for their raging gorge thought every day even as long as a short-for-ever, until they were filled with the body and soul, with the flesh and bones, and with all the delicates of Mansoul. They therefore resolve to make another attempt upon the town of Mansoul, and that by an army mixed, and made up, partly of Doubters and partly of Bloodmen. A more particular account now take of both.
The Doubters are such as have their name from their nature, as well as from the Lord and kingdom where they are born; their nature is to put a question upon every one of the truths of Emmanuel, and their country is called, The Land of Doubting, and that land lieth off, and farthest remote to the north, between the Land of Darkness and that called the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For though the Land of Darkness, and that called the Land of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, be sometimes called as if they were one and the self-same place, yet indeed they are two, lying but a little way asunder, and the Land of Doubting points in, and lieth between them. This is the Land of Doubting, and these that came with Diabolus to ruin the town of Mansoul are the natives of that country.
The Bloodmen are a people that have their name derived from the malignity of their nature, and from the fury that is in them to execute it upon the town of Mansoul; their land lieth under the Dog-star, and by that they are governed as to their intellectuals.
The name of their country is the Province of Loath-good, the remote parts of it are far distant from the Land of Doubting, yet they do both but and bound upon the hill called Hell-gate-hill. These people are always in league with the Doubters, for they jointly do make question of the faith and fidelity of the men of the town of Mansoul, and so are both alike qualified for the service of their prince.
Now of these two countries did Diabolus, by the beating of his drum, raise another army against the town of Mansoul, of five and twenty thousand strong. There were ten thousand Doubters and fifteen thousand Bloodmen, and they were put under several captains for the war, and old Incredulity was again made general of the army.
As for the Doubters, their captains were five of the seven that were heads of the last Diabolonian army, and these are their names, Captain Beelzebub, Captain Lucifer, Captain Apollyon, Captain Legion, and Captain Cerberus, and the captains that they had before were some of them made lieutenants, and some ensigns in the army.
But Diabolus did not count that in this expedition of his, these Doubters would prove his principal men, for their manhood had been tried before, also the Mansoulians had put them to the worst, only he did bring them to multiply a number, and to help, if need was, at a pinch; but his trust he put in his Bloodmen, for that they were all rugged villains, and he knew that they had done feats heretofore.
As for the Bloodmen, they also were under command, and the names of their captains were, Captain Cain, Captain Nimrod, Captain Ishmael, Captain Esau, Captain Saul, Captain Absalom, Captain Judas, and Captain Pope.
1. Captain Cain was over two bands, to wit, the zealous and the angry Bloodmen; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was the murdering club (Gen 4:8).
2. Captain Nimrod was captain over two bands, to wit, the tyrannical and encroaching Bloodmen; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was the great bloodhound (Gen 10:8).
3. Captain Ishmael was captain over two bands, to wit, the mocking and scorning Bloodmen; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was one mocking at Abraham's Isaac (Gen 21:9,10).
4. Captain Esau was captain over two bands, to wit, the Bloodmen that grudged that another should have the blessing, also over the Bloodmen that are for executing their private revenge upon others; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was one privately lurking to murder Jacob (Gen 27:42-45).
5. Captain Saul was captain over two bands, to wit, the groundlessly jealous, and the devilishly furious Bloodmen; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was three bloody darts cast at harmless David (1 Sam 18:10, 19:10, 20:33).
6. Captain Absalom was captain over two bands, to wit, over the Bloodmen that will kill a father or a friend for the glory of this world, also over those Bloodmen that will hold one fair in hand with words, till they shall have pierced him with their swords; his standard-bearer did bear the red colours, and his escutcheon was the son a-pursuing the father's blood (2 Sam 15, 16, 17).
7. Captain Judas was over two bands, to wit, the Bloodmen that will sell a man's life for money, and those also that will betray their friend with a kiss; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was thirty pieces of silver and the halter (Matt 26:14-16).
8. Captain Pope was captain over one band, for all these spirits are joined in one under him; his standard-bearer bare the red colours, and his escutcheon was the stake, the flame, and the good man in it (Rev 13:7,8; Dan 11:33).
Now the reason why Diabolus did so soon rally another force after he had been beaten out of the field was, for that he put mighty confidence in this army of Bloodmen, for he put a great deal of more trust in them than he did before in his army of Doubters, though they had also often done great service for him in the strengthening of him in his kingdom. But these Bloodmen he had proved them often, and their sword did seldom return empty. Besides, he knew that these, like mastiffs, would fasten upon any, upon father, mother, brother, sister, prince, or governor, yea upon the Prince of princes. And that which encouraged him the more, was for that they once did force Emmanuel out of the kingdom of Universe, and why, thought he, may they not also drive him from the town of Mansoul?
So this army of five and twenty thousand strong, was, by their general the great Lord Incredulity, led up against the town of Mansoul. Now Mr. Prywell, the scoutmaster-general, did himself go out to spy, and he did bring Mansoul tidings of their coming; wherefore they shut up their gates and put themselves in a posture of defence against these new Diabolonians that came up against the town.
So Diabolus brought up his army and beleaguered the town of Mansoul; the Doubters were placed about Feel-gate, and the Bloodmen set down before Eye-gate and Ear-gate.
Now when this army had thus encamped themselves, Incredulity did, in the name of Diabolus, his own name, and in the name of the Bloodmen and the rest that were with him, send a summons as hot as a red-hot iron to Mansoul to yield to their demands, threatening that if they still stood it out against them, they would presently burn down Mansoul with fire. For you must know, that as for the Bloodmen, they were not so much that Mansoul should be surrendered, as that Mansoul should be destroyed and cut off out of the land of the living. Tue, they send to them to surrender, but should they so do, that would not stench or quench the thirsts of these men (Isa 59:7). They must have blood, the blood of Mansoul, else they die; and it is from hence that they have their name (Psa 26:9,10; Isa 59:7; Jer 22:17). Wherefore these Bloodmen he reserved while now that they might, when all his engines proved ineffectual, as his last and sure card be played against the town of Mansoul.
Now when the townsmen had received this red-hot summons, it begat in them at present some changing and interchanging thoughts, but they jointly agreed, in less than half an hour, to carry the summons to the Prince, the which they did when they had writ at the bottom of it, Lord, save Mansoul from bloody men (Psa 59:2).
So he took it, and looked upon it, and considered it, and took notice also of that short petition that the men of Mansoul had written at the bottom of it, and called to him the noble Captain Credence, and bid him go, and take Captain Patience with him, and go and take care of that side of Mansoul that was beleaguered by the Bloodmen (Heb 6:12,15). So they went and did as they were commanded, the Captain Credence went and took Captain Patience, and they both secured that side of Mansoul that was besieged by the Bloodmen.
Then he commanded that Captain Good-hope and Captain Charity, and my Lord Will-be-will, should take charge of the other side of the town, and I, said the Prince, will set my standard upon the battlements of your castle, and do you three watch against the Doubters. This done, he again commanded that the brave captain, the Captain Experience, should draw up his men in the market-place, and that there he should exercise them day by day before the people of the town of Mansoul. Now this siege was long, and many a fierce attempt did the enemy, especially those called the Bloodmen, make upon the town of Mansoul, and many a shrewd brush did some of the townsmen meet with from them, especially Captain Self-denial, who, I should have told you before, was commanded to take the care of Ear-gate and Eye-gate now against the Bloodmen. This Captain Self-denial was a young man, but stout, and a townsman in Mansoul, as Captain Experience also was. And Emmanuel, at his second return to Mansoul, made him a captain over a thousand of the Mansoulians, for the good of the corporation. This captain, therefore, being a hardy man, and a man of great courage, and willing to venture himself for the good of the town of Mansoul, would now and then sally out upon the Bloodmen, and give them many notable alarms, and entered several brisk skirmishes with them, and also did some execution upon them; but you must think that this could not easily be done, but he must meet with brushes himself, for he carried several of their marks in his face; yea, and some in some other parts of his body.
So, after some time spent for the trial of the faith, and hope, and love of the town of Mansoul, the Prince Emmanuel upon a day calls his captains and men of war together, and divides them into two companies; this done, he commands them at a time appointed, and that in the morning very early, to sally out upon the enemy, saying, Let half of you fall upon the Doubters, and half of you fall upon the Bloodmen. Those of you that go out against the Doubters, kill and slay, and cause to perish so many of them as by any means you can lay hands on, but for you that go out against the Bloodmen, slay them not, but take them alive.
So, at the time appointed, betimes in the morning the captains went out, as they were commanded, against the enemies; Captain Good-hope, Captain Charity, and those that were joined with them, as Captain Innocent and Captain Experience, went out against the Doubters; and Captain Credence and Captain Patience, with Captain Self-denial, and the rest that were to join with them, went out against the Bloodmen.
Now those that went out against the Doubters drew up into a body before the plain, and marched on to bid them battle; but the Doubters, remembering their last success, made a retreat, not daring to stand the shock, but fled from the Prince's men, wherefore they pursued them, and in their pursuit slew many, but they could not catch them all. Now those that escaped went some of them home, and the rest, by fives, nines, and seventeens, like wanderers, went straggling up and down the country, where they, upon the barbarous people, showed and exercised many of their Diabolonian actions; nor did these people rise up in arms against them, but suffered themselves to be enslaved by them. They would also after this show themselves in companies before the town of Mansoul, but never to abide in it, for if Captain Credence, Captain Good-hope, or Captain Experience did but show themselves, they fled.
Those that went out against the Bloodmen did as they were commanded, they forbore to slay any, but sought to compass them about. But the Bloodmen, when they saw that no Emmanuel was in the field, concluded also that no Emmanuel was in Mansoul, wherefore they, looking upon what the captains did, to be, as they called it, a fruit of the extravagancy of their wild and foolish fancies, rather despised them than feared them; but the captains, minding their business, at last did compass them round, they also that had routed the Doubters came in amain to their aid; so in fine, after some little struggling,—for the Bloodmen also would have run for it, only now it was too late—for though they are mischievous and cruel where they can overcome, yet all Bloodmen are chicken-hearted men when they once come to see themselves matched and equalled—so the captains took them, and brought them to the Prince.
Now when they were taken, had before the Prince, and examined, he found them to be of three several counties, though they all came out of one land.
1. One sort of them came out of Blindmanshire, and they were such as did ignorantly what they did (1 Tim 1:13-15; Matt 5:44).
2. Another sort of them came out of Blindzealshire, and they did superstitiously what they did (Luke 6:22).
3. The third sort of them came out of the town of Malice in the county of Envy, and they did what they did out of spite and implacableness (John 16:2).
For the first of these, to wit, they that came out of Blindmanshire, when they saw where they were, and against whom they had fought, they trembled, and cried as they stood before him; and as many of these as asked him mercy, he touched their lips with his golden scepter (acts 9:5-6).
They that came out of Blindzealshire, they did not as their fellows did, for they pleaded that they had a right to do what they did, because Mansoul was a town whose laws and customs were diverse from all that dwelt thereabouts. Very few of these could be brought to see their evil; but those that did, and asked mercy, they also obtained favour (John 8:40).
They that came out of the town of Malice, that is in the county of Envy, they neither wept nor disputed, nor repented, but stood gnawing their tongues before him for anguish and madness, because they could not have their will upon Mansoul (Rev 9:20,21). Now these last, with all those of the other two sorts that did not unfeignedly ask pardon for their faults, those he made to enter into sufficient bond to answer for what they had done against Mansoul and against her King, at the great and general assizes to be holden for our Lord the King, where he himself should appoint for the country and kingdom of Universe.
So they became bound, each man for himself, to come in when called upon, to answer before our Lord the King for what they had done as before.
And thus much concerning this second army that were sent by Diabolus to overthrow Mansoul.
But there were three of those that came from the land of Doubting, who, after they had wandered and ranged the country a while, and perceived that they had escaped, were so hardy as to thrust themselves, knowing that yet there were in the town Diabolonians—I say they were so hardy as to thrust themselves into Mansoul among them. Three, did I say? I think there were four. Now, to whose house should these Diabolonian Doubters go, but to the house of an old Diabolonian in Mansoul, whose name was Evil-questioning: a very great enemy he was to Mansoul, and a great doer among the Diabolonians there. Well, to this Evil-questioning's house, as was said, did these Diabolonians come—you may be sure that they had directions how to find the way thither; so he made them welcome, pitied their misfortune, and succoured them with the best that he had in his house. Now, after a little acquaintance, and it was not long before they had that, this old Evil-questioning asked the Doubters if they were all of a town—he knew that they were all of one kingdom. And they answered, no, nor not of one shire neither; for I, said one, am an Election-doubter; I, said another, am a Vocationdoubter; then, said the third, I am a Salvation-doubter; and the fourth said he was a Grace- doubter. Well, quoth the old gentleman, be of what shire you will, I am persuaded that you are down boys; you have the very length of my foot, are one with my heart, and shall be welcome to me. So they thanked him, and were glad that they had found themselves an harbour in Mansoul. Then said Evil-questioning to them, How many of your company might there be that came with you to the siege of Mansoul? And they answered, There were but ten thousand Doubters in all, for the rest of the army consisted of fifteen thousand Bloodmen. These Bloodmen, quoth they, border upon our country; but, poor men, as we hear, they were every one taken by Emmanuel's forces. Ten thousand! quoth the old gentleman, I'll promise you that is a round company. But how came it to pass, since you were so mighty a number, that you fainted, and durst not fight your foes? Our general, said they, was the first man that did run for it. Pray, quoth their landlord, who was that your cowardly general? He was once the Lord Mayor of Mansoul, said they. But, pray, call him not a cowardly general; for whether any, from the east to the west, has done more service for our prince, Diabolus, than has my Lord Incredulity, will be a hard question for you to answer. But had they catched him, they would for certain have hanged him; and we promise you hanging is but a bad business. Then, said the old gentleman, I would that all the ten thousand Doubters were now well armed in Mansoul, and myself at the head of them, I would see what I could do. Ay, said they, that would be well if we could see that; but wishes, alas! what are they? And these words were spoken aloud. Well, said old Evil-questioning, take heed that you talk not too loud; you must be quat and close, and must take care of yourselves while you are here, or, I will assure you, you will be snapt.
Why? quoth the Doubters.
Why? quoth the old gentleman; why, because both the Prince and Lord Secretary, and their captains and soldiers, are all at present in town; yea, the town is as full of them as ever it can hold. And, besides, there is one whose name is Will- be-will, a most cruel enemy of ours, and him the Prince has made keeper of the gates, and has commanded him that, with all the diligence he can, he should look for, search out, and destroy all and all manner of Diabolonians.
And if he lighteth upon you, down you go, though your heads were made of gold.
And now, to see how it happened. One of the Lord Will-be- will's faithful soldiers, whose name was Mr. Diligence, stood all this while listening under old Evil-questioning's eaves, and heard all the talk that had been betwixt him and the Doubters that he entertained under his roof.
The soldier was a man that my Lord had much confidence in, and that he loved dearly; and that both because he was a man of courage, and also a man that was unwearied in seeking after Diabolonians to apprehend them.
Now this man, as I told you, heard all the talk that was between old Evil-questioning and these Diabolonians; wherefore, what does he but goes to his Lord, and tells him what he had heard. And sayest thou so, my trusty? quoth my Lord. Ay, quoth Diligence, that I do; and if your Lordship will be pleased to go with me, you shall find it as I have said. And are they there? quoth my Lord; I know Evil- questioning well, for he and I were great in the time of our apostasy. But I know not now where he dwells. But I do, said his man, and, if your Lordship will go, I will lead you the way to his den. Go! quoth my Lord, that I will. Come, my Diligence, let us go find them out. So, my Lord and his man went together the direct way to his house. Now, his man went before to show him his way, and they went till they came even under old Mr. Evil-questioning's wall. Then said Diligence, Hark! my Lord; do you know the old gentleman's tongue when you hear it? Yes, said my Lord, I know it well; but I have not seen him many a day. This I know; he is cunning. I wish he doth not give us the slip. Let me alone for that, said his servant, Diligence. But how shall we find the door? quoth my Lord. Let me alone for that, too, said his man. So he had my Lord Will-be-will about, and showed him the way to the door. Then my Lord, without more ado, broke open the door, rushed into the house, and caught them all five together, even as Diligence, his man, had told him. So, my Lord apprehended them and led them away, and committed them to the hand of Mr. Trueman, the jailer, and commanded, and he did put them in ward. This done, my Lord Mayor was acquainted in the morning with what my Lord Will-be-will had done over-night, and his Lordship rejoiced much at the news, not only because there were Doubters apprehended, but because that old Evil-questioning was taken; for he had been a very great trouble to Mansoul, and much affliction to my Lord Mayor himself. He had also been sought for often, but no hand could ever be laid upon him till now.
Well, the next thing was to make preparation to try these five that by my Lord had been apprehended, and that were in the hands of Mr. Trueman, the jailer. So the day was set, and the court called and come together, and the prisoners brought to the bar. My Lord Will-be-will had power to have slain them when at first he took them, and that without any more ado; but he thought it at this time more for the honour of the Prince, the comfort of Mansoul, and the discouragement of the enemy, to bring them forth to public judgment.
But, I say, Mr. Trueman brought them in chains to the bar, to the town-hall, for that was the place of judgment. So, to be short, the jury was panelled, the witnesses sworn, and the prisoners tried for their lives. The jury was the same that tried Mr. No-truth, Pitiless, Haughty, and the rest of their companions.
And first old Questioning himself was set to the bar; for he was the receiver, the entertainer, and comforter of these Doubters, that by nation were out-landish men; Then he was bid to hearken to his charge, and was told that he had liberty to object, if he had ought to say for himself. So his indictment was read; the manner and form here follows—
Mr. Questioning, Thou art here indicted by the name of Evil- questioning, an intruder upon the town of Mansoul, for that thou art a Diabolonian by nature, and also a hater of the Prince Emmanuel, and one that hast studied the ruin of the town of Mansoul. Thou art also here indicted for countenancing the King's enemies, after wholesome laws made to the contrary; For, 1. Thou hast questioned the truth of her doctrine and state. 2. In wishing that ten thousand Doubters were in her. 3. In receiving, in entertaining, and encouraging of her enemies that came from their army unto thee. What sayest thou to this indictment, Art thou guilty or not guilty?
My Lord, quoth he, I know not the meaning of this indictment, forasmuch as I am not the man concerned in it; the man that standeth by this charge, accused before this bench, is called by the name of Evil-questioning, which name I deny to be mine, mine being Honest-inquiring. The one indeed sounds like the other; but I trow, your Lordships know, that between these two there is a wide difference; for I hope that a man, even in the worst of times, and that too amongst the worst of men, may make an honest inquiry after things, without running the danger of death.
Will. Then spake my Lord Will-be-will, for he was one of the witnesses: 'My Lord, and you the honourable 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 so thinks to shift from the charge of the indictment. But I know him to be the man concerned, and that his proper name is Evil-questioning. I have known him, my Lord, above these thirty years; for he and I, a shame it is for me to speak it, were great acquaintance, when Diabolus, that tyrant, had the government of Mansoul; and I testify that he is a Diabolonian by nature, an enemy to our Prince, and a hater of the blessed town of Mansoul. He has, in times of rebellion, been at, and lain in my house, my Lord, not so little as twenty nights together; and we did use to talk then, for the substance of talk, as he, and his Doubters have talked of late; true I have not seen him many a-day. I suppose that the coming of Emmanuel to Mansoul has made him to change his lodgings, as this indictment has driven him to change his name; but this is the man, my Lord.
Then said the court unto him, Hast thou any more to say?
Evil. Yes, quoth the old gentleman, that I have; for all that as yet has been said against me, is but by the mouth of one witness, and it is not lawful for the famous town of Mansoul, at the mouth of one witness to put any man to death.
Dilig. Then stood forth Mr. Diligence, and said, 'My Lord, as I was upon my watch such a night, at the head of Bad Street in this town, I chanced to hear a muttering within this gentleman's house; then thought I what is to do here? So I went up close, but very softly to the side of the house, to listen, thinking, as indeed it fell out, that there I might light upon some Diabolonian conventicle. So, as I said, I drew nearer and nearer, and when I was got up close to the wall, it was but a while before I perceived that there were out-landish men in the house; but I did well understand their speech, for I have been a traveller myself. Now hearing such language in such a tottering cottage as this old gentleman dwelt in, I clapt mine ear to a hole in the window, and there heard them talk as followeth. This old Mr. Questioning asked these Doubters what they were, whence they came, and what was their business in these parts? And they told him to all these questions, yet he did entertain them. He also asked what numbers there were of them, and they told him ten thousand men. He then asked them why they made no more manly assault upon Mansoul? And they told him; so he called their general coward for marching off when he should have fought for his Prince. Further, this old Evil-questioning wished, and I heard him wish, Would all the ten thousand Doubters were now in Mansoul, and himself in the head of them. He bid them also to take heed and lie quat, for if they were taken they must die, although they had heads of gold.
Then said the court, Mr. Evil-questioning, here is now another witness against you, and his testimony is full: 1. He swears that you did receive these men into your house, and that you did nourish them there, though you knew that they were Diabolonians, and the King's enemies. 2. He swears that you did wish ten thousand of them in Mansoul. 3. He swears that you did give them advice to be quat and close lest they were taken by the King's servants. All which manifesteth that thou art a Diabolonian; but hadst thou been a friend to the King, thou wouldst have apprehended them.
Evil. Then said Evil-questioning, To the first of these I answer, the men that came into mine house were strangers, and I took them in, and is it now become a crime in Mansoul for a man to entertain strangers? That I did also nourish them is true, and why should my charity be blamed? As for the reason why I wished ten thousand of them in Mansoul, I never told it to the witnesses, nor to themselves. I might wish them to be taken, and so my wish might mean well to Mansoul, for aught that any yet knows. I did also bid them take heed that they fell not into the captain's hands; but that might be because I am unwilling that any man should be slain; and not because I would have the King's enemies as such escape.
My Lord Mayor then replied, That though it was a virtue to entertain strangers, yet it was treason to entertain the King's enemies. And for what else thou hast said, thou dost by words but labour to evade, and defer the execution of judgment. But could there be no more proved against thee but that thou art a Diabolonian, thou must for that die the death by the law; but to be a receiver, a nourisher, a countenancer, and a harbourer of others of them, yea, of out-landish Diabolonians; yea, of them that came from far, on purpose to cut off and destroy our Mansoul; this must not be borne.
Then said Evil-questioning: I see how the game will go; I must die for my name, and for my charity. And so he held his peace.
Then they called the out-landish Doubters to the bar; and the first of them that was arraigned was the Election- doubter; so his indictment was read, and because he was an out-landish man, the substance of it was told him by an interpreter; to wit, That he was there charged with being an enemy of Emmanuel the Prince, a hater of the town of Mansoul, and an opposer of her most wholesome doctrine.
Then the judge asked him if he would plead? But he said only this, That he confessed that he was an Election-doubter, and that that was the religion that he had ever been brought up in. And said, moreover, If I must die for my religion, I trow, I shall die a martyr, and so I care the less.
Judge. Then it was replied, To question election, is to overthrow a great doctrine of the gospel; to wit, the omniscience, and power, and will of God; to take away the liberty of God with his creature; to stumble the faith of the town of Mansoul; and to make salvation to depend upon works, and not upon grace. It also belied the word, and disquieted the minds of the men of Mansoul; therefore by the best of laws he must die.
Then was the Vocation-doubter called, and set to the bar; and his indictment for substance was the same with the other, only he was particularly charged with denying the calling of Mansoul.
The judge asked him also what he had to say for himself?
So he replied that he never believed that there was any such thing as a distinct and powerful call of God to Mansoul; otherwise than by the general voice of the Word; nor by that neither, otherwise than as it exhorted them to forbear evil, and to do that which is good, and in so doing, a promise of happiness is annexed.
Then said the judge, Thou art a Diabolonian; and hast denied a great part of one of the most experimental truths of the Prince of the town of Mansoul; for he has called, and she has heard a most distinct and powerful call of her Emmanuel, by which she has been quickened, awakened, and possessed with heavenly grace to desire to have communion with her Prince, to serve him, and to do his will, and to look for her happiness merely of his good pleasure. And for thine abhorrence of this good doctrine, thou must die the death.
Then the Grace-doubter was called, and his indictment was read; and he replied thereto, That though he was of the land of Doubting, his father was the offspring of a Pharisee, and lived in good fashion among his neighbours, and that he taught him to believe, and believe it I do, and will, that Mansoul shall never be saved freely by grace.
Then said the Judge, Why, the law of the Prince is plain: 1. Negatively, Not of works. 2. Positively, By grace you are saved (Rom 3; Eph 2). And thy religion settleth in and upon the works of the flesh; for the works of the law are the works of the flesh. Besides, in saying as thou hast done, thou hast robbed God of His glory, and given it to a sinful man; thou hast robbed Christ of the necessity of His undertaking, and the sufficiency thereof, and hast given both these to the works of the flesh. Thou hast despised the work of the Holy Ghost, and hast magnified the will of the flesh, and of the legal mind. Thou art a Diabolonian, the son of a Diabolonian; and for thy Diabolonian principles thou must die.
The court then having proceeded thus far with them, sent out the jury, who forthwith brought them in guilty of death. Then stood up the Recorder, and addressed himself to the prisoners: You, the prisoners at the bar, you have been here indicted, and proved 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; and die ye accordingly.
So they were sentenced to the death of the cross; The place assigned them for execution was that where Diabolus drew up his last army against Mansoul; save only that old Evil- questioning was hanged at the top of Bad-street, just over against his own door.
[ Content ]
[ Content ]
Footnotes402. Poor Mansoul., having by grace overcome his doubts and fears, having died to sin and risen again to newness of life, is now fit to comfort his brethren in church fellowship. As the Pilgrim was frighted by the lions before the house Beautiful, to prevent his entering into communion with a church, so here they suffer persecution from these lions, here called 'Bloodmen,' and an appropriate title it is for all persecutors. All those who enforce human laws to compel our presence at, or support to, any form of worship, are bloodmen. Bless God that they can only scratch us now; but if they had the power of the same spirit that now scratches would devour the saints of God.—Ed. Back
403. The Blood men, or persecutors, are all rugged villains; they are strengthened by new doubts arising from persecution for Christ's sake. From Fox's Martyrs Bunyan had obtained a good estimate of their character. Persecutor, read your character—a rugged villain, a mastiff who would fasten upon relative, prince, and even the Prince of princes.—Ed. Back
404. O the folly of this lying Diabolus! He tried his Bloodmen upon Christ. They, by putting him to death, crushed the head of Satan, shook his power, and will annihilate it, and fill hell with fresh torments. He pursues the same course with the saints of God, and their blood and groans become the fruitful seed of the church. So does Satan aid in destroying himself.—Ed. Back
405. Satan's uniform aim is to destroy body and soul in hell for ever. But blessed be God, he shall not be able to take the feeblest lamb out of the embraces of covenant love.— Mason. Back
406. Faith, Patience, and Self-denial are admirably placed in opposition to the Bloodmen, persecutors. How well they behaved in the time of our pilgrim fathers is well known; and in our happier times they are invaluable guards to support us in the loss of friends or property.—Ed. Back
407. 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.' This is the imperative command of Emmanuel to his followers, set forth in his sermon on the mount. Your lusts must be crucified, your doubts destroyed, your persecutors pitied and prayed for.—Ed. Back
408. 'Fives, nines, and seventeens.' Why these odd numbers are given would not be a bad riddle to give our young friends. Five infernal spirits were the leaders of the Satanic army. It consisted of nine companies of Doubters, and eight of Bloodmen, or persecutors. First, five fallen angels; second, nine classes of doubts; and if this was not enough to enslave the soul, they were to be aided by eight classes of persecutors. This may account for the grouping of these dangerous enemies in fives, nines, and seventeens.—Ed. Back
409. Many are led captive by Satan at his will, blinded to their misery and fate by the god of this world, in whose delusive arms many of them sleep till death and judgment awake them to behold their awful and remediless state. Lord, pity them!—Mason. Back
410. These are the three grades of Bloodmen, but all are influenced by hatred to Christianity and a love of plunder. God hates robbery for offerings, yet some blind fanatics will seize their neighbour's goods to save their own pockets in adorning their temples. May God in mercy convert them, as he did Saul of Tarsus.—Ed. Back
411. Persecutors, who die in impenitence, must appear at the day of judgment, when these ungodly men shall be judged of all their ungodly deeds, and all their hard speeches against Christ in his members (Jude 15).—Ed. Back
412. 'Down boys,' deep, knowing, determined fellows; as 'down bout,' a tough battle, a set to at hard drinking. In 1696, it was altered to 'town boys'; an unmeaning name. This was continued in 1707; but was restored to 'down boys' in 1720.—Ed. Back
413. 'Length of my foot,' a proverb meaning similarity of disposition.—Ed. Back
414. In our best estate we are too prone to question the truth of God's Word and his faithfulness; we believe him able, but harbour doubts as to his willingness to save us. Lord, increase our faith!—Mason. Back
415. Hanging is a bad business; it does not deter men from crime, but the sight of it hardens them in iniquity.—Ed. Back
416. Cowering, stooping, squat.—Ed. Back
417. No bribe can save them.—Ed. Back
418. Thus believers, by the almighty power of grace, are enabled to take those captives whose captives they were (Isa 14:2,3).—Mason. Back
419. Enemies to faith, hope, and love. The soul, by reason of its depravity, is subject to many doubts and unbelieving fears, which Adam, before the fall, was a stranger to.— Mason. Back
420. How common it is for vice to disguise itself under the name of virtue! To understand the difference between Evil- questioning and Honest-inquiry is of the most solemn importance. Honest inquiry is the essential duty of every Christian. Leaving all human aids, our hopes of salvation depend upon our seeking the influence of the Holy Spirit to guide us, that we may understand the Sacred Scriptures; and by a diligent prayerful study of the Bible ALONE, be led into spiritual truth; to the knowledge and obedience of him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Evil questioning is a trusting to our own perverted reason; bringing to the proud bar of our depraved judgment the truths of revelation, wresting and condemning them to our own destruction. Christian inquirer, your duty is perfectly clear—you must make honest inquiry, without evil questioning.—Ed. Back
421. 'Conventicle,'—from 'convene,' to meet together—a term of reproach given to meetings of Christians, who, refusing to unite with the churches of Antichrist, met in a more private manner, as our Lord and his apostles did (Luke 22:12; Acts 1:13,14).—Ed. Back
422. Narrated, made known their treasonable designs.—Ed. Back
423. Though ignorant persons cavil and object, we are bold to affirm, that election by free grace is consonant to the whole tenor of Scripture; a comfortable doctrine, exciting to obedience. 'We love him, because he first loved us' (1 John 4:19).—Mason. Back
424. 'A martyr' is a witness, generally applied among Christians to those who seal with their blood a testimony of love to Christ, and are put to death for their attachment to the gospel; not like the Jesuits under Elizabeth, they came to poison or destroy her, and to overturn the Government, and were put to death as traitors. But if any Christian was put to death for doubting the doctrine of election, he would be entitled to the crown of martyrdom—Ed. Back
425. Those who deny election deny, though perhaps unwittingly, the omniscience and sovereignty of God; and unavoidably assert, sometimes without perceiving it, that salvation is not of grace but of works.—Burder. Back
426. The great mass of mankind in Christendom, because they were baptized in infancy, call themselves Christians, and find shelter under these pleas from the necessity of personal prayerful investigation. They never knew the pangs of the new birth, nor the cry, 'What must I do to be saved?' or, 'Lord, save, I perish!' It is a most extensive and most fatal error, in which myriads of souls have met their doom.— Ed. Back
427. Thus we are to lay aside every weight, and every besetting sin (Heb 12:12)—whatsoever does not tend to promote the glory of God, and our progress in the Divine life of faith.—Mason. Back
428. The reader must keep in mind that the sentence and execution is not against the persons who held these errors, but allegorically the errors themselves must be eradicated or destroyed from the soul of the believer.—Ed. Back
[ Chapter XVIII ]