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a seer, that his sentence was equal to the best of oracles; and thus was Mansoul a terror to itself.
And now they began to feel the effects of stubborn rebellion, and unlawful resistance against their prince. I say, now they began to feel the effects thereof by guilt and fear, that now had swallowed them up; and who more involved in
but they that were most in the other, to wit, the chief of the town of Mansoul ? To be brief; when the fame of the fright was
out of the town, and the prisoners They resolve to bad a little recovered themselves, petition again.
they take to themselves some heart, and think to petition the prince again for life.
So they drew up a third petition, the Their petition. contents whereof were these :
“ Prince Immanuelthe Great, Lord of all worlds, and Master of mercy, we thy poor, wretched, miserable, dying town of Mansoul, do confess unto thy, great and glorious Majesty, that we have sinned against thy Father and Thee; and are no more worthy to be called thy Mansoul, but rather to be cast into the pit. If thou wilt slay us, we have deserved it. If thou wilt condemn us to the deep, we cannot but say thou art righteous. We cannot complain, whatever thou dost, or however thou carriest it towards us. But Oh! let mercy reign, and let it be extended to us! O let
mercy take hold upon us, and free us from our transgressions, and we will sing of thy mercy, and of thy judgments! Amen.” This petition, when drawn up, was designed to
be sent to the prince as the first; but Prayer attended who should carry it, that was the with difficulty.
question. Some said, let him do it that went with the first; but others thought good not to do that, and that because he sped no bet
ter. Now there was an old man in Old Good-deed
the town, and his name was Mr. propounded as a fit person to
Good-deed; a man that bare only the carry the petic name, but had nothing of the nature tion.
of the thing. Some were for sendThe old recor
ing him; but the recorder was by no der opposes it,
means for that: for, said he, we now and he is re
stand in need of, and are pleading jected.
for mercy, wherefore, to send our petition by a man of his name, will seem to cross the petition itself, should we make Mr. Good-deed our messenger, when our petition cries for mercy:
Besides, quoth the old gentleman, should the prince now, as he receives the petition, ask him, and say, What is thy name? (and nobody knows but he will) and he should say, Old Good-deed ; what think you would Immanuel say but this, Ay, is old Good-deed yet alive in Mansoul? then let old Good-deed save you from your distresses. And if he says so, I am sure we are lost, nor can a thousand of old Good-deeds save Mansoul.
After the recorder had given in his reasons, why
8 Still the spirit of prayer prevails in Mansoul; for “ men ought always to pray and not to faint.” And it is observable how these petitions improve from time to time. How much more light and humility appear in the third petition than in the first. It was also wisely determined not to send Mr. Good-deed with it, for this would contradict the prayer of the petition which was for mercy, not reward ; and yet how absurd is the conduct of some, whose only hope of mercy is on account of their good deeds ; it is a sense of our bad deeds, not our good ones, that will make us seek in earnest for mercy. If we plead good works, may not the Lord say-Let good works save them—what need of my grace, for if righteousness can be obtained by the law, grace is frustrated, and the death of Christ a needless thing.
old Good-deed should not go with this petition to Immanuel, the rest of the prisoners and chiefs of Mansoul opposed it also; and so old Good-deed was laid aside, and they agreed to send Mr. Desires-awake again. Accordingly they sent for him, and desired that he would a second time go with their petition to the prince; and he readily told them he would : but they bid him, that in any wise he should take heed that in no word or carriage he gave offence to the prince; for by doing so,
for aught we can tell, said they, you may bring Mansoul into utter destruction. Now Mr. Desires-awake, when he saw that he
must go on this errand, besought that Mr. Desires
they would grant that Mr. Wet-eyes awake goes again, and takes might go with him. Now this Wetane Wet-eyes
eyes was a near neighbour of Mr. with him.
Desires, a poor man, a man of broken spirit; yet one that could speak well to a peti. tion. So they granted that he should go with him. Wherefore they address themselves to their business: Mr. Desires put a rope upon his head, and Mr. Wet-eyes went with his hands wringing together. Thus they went to the prince's pavilion
Now when they went to petition this third time, they were not without thoughts that by often coming they might be a burden to the prince. WhereTheir apology
fore when they were come to the for their coming door of his pavilion, they first made again. their apology for themselves, and for their coming to trouble Immanuel so often; and
9 Mr. Wet-eyes, the son of Repentance, was a very proper man to accompany Mr. Desires: our desires after mercy should be joined with a broken and a contrite spirit, for to such persons will the Lord look with a benignant eye.
they said, that they came not hither to-day for that they delighted to hear themselves talk, but for that necessity caused them to come to his Majesty; they could, they said, have no rest day nor night because of their transgressions against Shaddai and Immanuel his son. They also thought that some misbehaviour of Mr. Desires-awake, the last time, might give some disgust to his Highness, and so cause that he returned from so merciful a prince empty, and without countenance. So when they had made this apology, Mr. Desires-awake cast himself prostrate upon the ground, as at the first, at the feet of the mighty prince, saying, Oh that Mansoul might live before thee! so he delivered his petition. The prince, when he had read the petition, turned aside awhile as before ; and, comThe prince ing again to the place where the petitalketh with tioner lay on the ground, he demanded
what his name was, and of what esteem in the account of Mansoul, for that he, above all the multitude in Mansoul, should be sent to him on such an errand ? Then said the man to the prince, O let not my lord be angry; and why inMr. Desires
quirest thou after the name of such a free speech dead dog as I am ? Pass by, I pray to his prince, thee, and take no notice of whom I am, because there is, as thou very well knowest, so great a disproportion between me and thee. Why the townsmen chose to send me on this errand to my lord, is best known to themselves; but it could not be for that they had thought I had favour with my lord. For my part, I am out of charity with myself: who then should be in love with me? Yet live I would, and so would I that my townsmen should; and because both they and myself are guilty of great transgressions, therefore they have sent me, and I am come in their names to beg of
my lord for mercy. Let it please thee therefore to incline to mercy; but ask not what thy servants are.
Then said the prince, And what is he that is become thy companion in this so weighty a matter? So Mr. Desires told Immanuel, that he was a poor neighbour of his, and one of his most intimate associates; and his name, said he, may it please your most excellent Majesty, is Wet-eyes, of the town of Mansoul. I know that there are many of that name that are naught: but I hope it will be no offence to my lord, that I have brought my poor neighbour with me.
Then Mr. Wet-eyes fell on his face to the ground; and made this apology for coming with his neighbour to his lord :
“ O my lord,” quoth he, “ what I am, I know Mr. Wet-eyes'
not myself; nor whether my name be apology for feigned or true, especially when I coming with his begin to think what some have said, neighbour.
namely, that this name was given me, because Mr. Repentance was my father. Good men have bad children, and the sincere do oftentimes beget hypocrites. My mother also called me by this name from my cradle; whether because of the moistness of my brain, or the softness of my heart, I cannot tell. I see dirt in my own tears, and filthiness in the bottom of my prayers". But I pray thee, (and all this while the gentleman wept), that thou wouldst not remember against us our transgressions, nor take offence at the un
10 Humble souls will acknowledge with good Bishop Beveridge, that “ their repentance needs to be repented of, their tears want washing, and the very washing of their tears needs still to be washed over again with the blood of their Rea deemer."