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down to the gate one evening, a good while after the sun was gone down, and called to speak with Immanuel ; who presently came down to the gate, and Diabolus saith unto him: “ Foråsmuch as thou makest it appear by the
white flag, that thou art wholly given
to to peace and quiet; I thought meet to Immanuel.
acquaint thee, that we are ready to accept thereof upon terms which thou mayest admit. . " I know that thou art given to devotion, and that holiness pleases thee; yea, that thy great end in making a war upon Mansoul, is, that it may be an holy habitation. Well, draw off thy forces from the town, and I will bend Mansoul to thy bow.
" First, I will lay down all acts of hostility against thee, and will be willing to become thy deputy ; and will, as I have formerly been against thee, now serve thee in the town of Mansoul. And more particularly,
66 1. I will persuade Mansoul to receive thee Diabolus would for their lord ; and I know that they he Immanuel's will do it sooner, when they shall undeputy, derstand that I am thy deputy.
66 2. I will shew them wherein they have erred, and that transgression stands in the way to life.
66 3. I will shew them the holy law unto which they must conform, even that which they have broken.
« 4. I will press upon them the necessity of a reformation, according to law. 66 5. And moreover, that none of these things
may fail, I myself, at my own proper and would turn
mn cost and charge, will set up and mainreformer.
tain a sufficient ministry, besides lectures, in Mansoul.
“6. Thou shalt receive, as a token of our sub
jection to thee, continually year by year, what thou shalt think fit to lay and levy upon us, in token of such subjection."
Then said Immanuel to him, " () full of deceit, Immanuel's how moveable are thy ways! How often answer to hast thou changed and re-changed, if Diabolus. so be thou mightest still keep possession of my Mansoul! though, as has been plainly declared before, I am the right heir thereof. Often hast thou made thy proposals already, nor is this last a whit better than they, 2 Cor. xi. 14. And failing to deceive when thou shewedst thyself in thy black, thou hast now transformed thyself into an angel of light, and wouldst, to deceive, be now as a minister of righteousness.
" But know thou, O Diabolus, that nothing must be regarded that thou canst propound, for nothing is done by thee but to deceive; thou
wchon neither hast conscience to God, nor conscience to love to the town of Mansoul; whence God, nor love to then should these thy sayings arise, Mansoul. but from sinful craft and deceit? He that can list and will propound what he pleases, and that therewith he may destroy them that believe him, is to be abandoned, with all that he
Diabolus has no
* It is by no means uncommon for persons under severe convictions of sin, and awful fears of hell, to determine on reformation, or mending their lives. This is agreeable to the first covenant, the terms of which are, “ do, and live ;" but not according to the new covenant of grace, which says" believe, and live.” St. Paul speaks with the most poignant grief of his countrymen the Jews, that, though they followed after righteousness, they could not attain it, because they sought it by the works of the law, and that through ignorance of the righteousness of Christ, they went about to establish their own righteousness. See Romans 9th and 10th chapters. Such is the vain attempt of many convinced sinners, who are willing to he reformed, but not to be justified and saved by grace.
shall say. But if righteousness be such a beauty. spot in thine eyes now, how is it that wickedness ** was so closely stuck to by thee before? But this by the bye.
" Thou talkest now of a reformation in Mansoul, and that thou thyself, if I please, wilt be at the head of that reformation; all the while knowing, that the greatest proficiency that man can make in the law, and the righteousness thereof, will amount to no more, for the taking away of the curse from Mansoul, than just nothing at all; for a law being broken by Mansoul, that had before, upon a supposition of the breach thereof, a curse pronounced against him for it of God, can
never, by his obeying the law, deliHe knows that
ver himself therefrom. (To say nogood, which yet thing of what a reformation is like to he propounds be set up in Mansoul, when the defor the health of vil is become the corrector of vice.) Mansoul.
Thou knowest that all that thou hast now said in this matter is nothing but guile and deceit; and as it was the first, so it is the last card that thou hast to play. Many there be that discern thee, when thou shewest them thy cloven foot; but in thy white, thy light, and in thy transformation, thou art seen but of a few. But thou shalt not do thus with my Mansoul, O Diabolus, for I do still love my Mansoul.
66 Besides, I am not come to put Mansoul upon works, to live thereby, should I do so, I should be like unto thee; but I am come, that by nie, and by what I have and shall do for Mansoul, they may be reconciled to my father, though by their sin they have provoked him to anger, and though by the law they cannot obtain mercy.
" Thou talkest of subjecting this town to good, when none desireth it at thy hands. I am sent by
my father to possess it myself, and to guide it, by the skilfulness of my hands, into such a conformity to him as shall be pleasing in his sight. I will therefore possess it myself: I will dispossess and cast thee out: I will set up mine own standard in the midst of them: I will also govern them by All things must new laws, new officers, new motives, be new in Man- and new ways: yea, I will pull down soul.
this town, and build it again, and it shall be as though it had not been, and it shall be the glory of the whole universe 5.” When Diabolus heard this, and perceived that
he was discovered in all his deceits, bolus con- he was confounded, and utterly put founded.
to a nonplus; but having in himself the fountain of iniquity, rage, and malice against both Shaddai and his Son, and the beloved town of Mansoul, what doth he but strengthen himself what he could to give fresh battle to the noble
prince Immanuel. So then, now we
· must have another fight before the tions for fight.
Se town of Mansoul is taken. Come up then to the mountains, you that love to see military actions, and behold by both sides how the fatal blow is given; while one seeks to hold, and the other seeks to make himself master of, the famous town of Mansoul.
5 In this excellent answer of Immanuel we learn, that no self-righteous attempts to justify the soul by its reformation only, will be accepted. To persuade convinced sinners to rest in this, to the neglect of Christ and his righteousness, is a dangerous artifice of the devil, who thus “ transforms himself into an angel of light,” 2 Cor. xi. 14. The sinner, having once broken the law, and thereby incurred “ the curse of the law," Gal. iïi. 10, can derive no help from the law; but must look to Christ the law-fulfiller, for righteousness and reconciliation with God. A man may talk much of reforming his life, and say a great deal about good works, yet remain a subject of Sa* tan's kingdom. We are not Christians till we are in Christ, by believing in him for salvation; and when we are so, we become new creatures: our state is new, being justified by grace; and our disposition is new also, being born again of the Spirit.
Diabolus therefore withdrew himself from the walls to his fort that was in the heart of the town of Mansoul; Immanuel also returned to the camp; and both of them, after their divers ways, put themselves into a posture fit to give battle one to Diabolus de another. Diabolus, as filled with de. spairs of holding spair of retaining in his hands the faMansoul, and mous town of Mansoul, resolved to therefore contrives to do it
do what mischief he could (if indeed what mischief he could do any) to the army of the he can. prince, and to the famous town of Mansoul; for alas! it was not the happiness of the silly town of Mansoul that was designed by Diabolus, but the utter ruin and overthrow thereof, as now is enough in view, Mark xxvi. 27. Wherefore he commands his officers that they should then, when they saw they could hold the town no longer, do it what harm and mischief they could, rending and tearing men, women, and children; for, said he, we had better quite demolish the place, and leave it a ruinous heap, than that it should be an habitation for Immanuel.
Immanuel again, knowing that the next battle would issue in his being made master of the place, gave out a royal commandment to all his officers, high captains, and men of war, to be sure to shew themselves men of war against Diabolus and all Diabolonians; but favourable, merciful, and meek
6 When Satan can no longer maintain his dominion in the soul, he will endeavour to disturb and distress it, by tempta. tions to despair, or to abominable vices, or by stirring up persecution against the struggling sinner; so, when a poor creature was approaching to Christ for cure- as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down and tare him,” Luke ix. 42.