صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ins himself.

and take a nap, and we the mean while will be merry.”

Then said Mr. Godly-fear as follows : " Sir, if you were not destitute of an honest heart, you could not do as you have done, and do." · Then said Mr. Carnal-security, " Why?"

Godly-fear. “Nay, pray interrupt me not. It is true, the town of Mansoul was strong, and (with a proviso) impregnable; but you have weakened it, and it now lies obnoxious to its foes; nor is it a time to be silent; it is you, Mr. Carnal-security, that have stripped Mansoul, and driven her glory from her; you have pulled down her towers, you have broken down her gates, you have spoiled her locks and bars. .66 And now to explain myself: From that time

that my lords of Mansoul, and you,

ar Sir, grew so great, from that time explains himself. the strength of Mansoul has been offended, and now he is risen and is gone. If any shall question the truth of my words, I will answer him by this and such-like questions: Where is the prince Immanuel ? When did a man or woman in Mansoul see him? When did you hear from him, or taste any of his dainty bits? You are now a feasting with this diabolonian.monster, but he is not your prince; I say therefore, though enemies from without, had you taken heed, could not have made a prey of you, yet since you have sinned against your prince, your enemies within have been too hard for you."

Then said Mr. Carnal-security, “ Fie! fie! Mr. Godly-fear, fie! Will you never shake off your ti. morousness? Are you afraid of being sparrowblasted? Who hath hurt you? Behold, I am on your side; only you are for doubting, and I am for being confident. Besides, is this a time to be sad in? A feast is made for mirth; why then de you now, to your shame and our trouble, break out into such passionate, melancholy language, when you should eat and drink, and be merry ?

Then said Mr. Godly-fear again, I may well be sad, for Immanuel is gone from Mansoul : I say again, he is gone, and you, Sir, are the man that has driven him away; yea, he is gone without so much as acquainting the nobles of Mansoul with his going; and if that is not a sign of his anger, I am not acquainted with the methods of godliness.

16 And now, my lords and gentlemen, my His speech to speech is still to you. You gradually the elders of declining from him, provoked him to Mansoul, depart from you ; the which he did gradually, if perhaps you would have been made sensible thereby, and have been renewed by humbling yourselves: but when he saw that none would regard, or lay these fearful beginnings of his anger and judgment to heart, he went away from this place; and this I saw with mine own eyes. Wherefore now, while you boast, your strength is gone; you are like the man that had lost his locks which before waved about his shoulders. You may, with this lord of your feast, shake yourselves, and think to do as at other times; but since without him you can do nothing, and he is departed from you, turn your feast into a sigh, and your mirth into lamentation 3."

3 The fear-of God in the heart is placed there to prevent utter apostacy, and to detect that carnal security which proves so mischievous. Godly-fear cannot enjoy that carnal mirth which security provides, nor stupify himself with Forget-good's cordial ; but boldly remonstrates against that gradual decline in religion which occasioned the Lord to withdraw his gracious presence :

“ So Samson, when his hair was lost,
Met the Philistines to his cost;
Shook his vain limbs with sad surprise,
Made feeble fight, and lost his eyes." WATTS.

· Then the subordinate preacher, old Mr. ConConscience science by name, he that of old was restartled. corder of Mansoul, being startled at what was said, began to second it thus:

Conscience." Indeed, my brethren, quoth he, I fear that Mr. Godly-fear tells us true: I, for my part, have not seen my prince a long season. I cannot remember the day, for my part: nor can I answer Mr. Godly-fear's question. I am afraid that all is nought with Mansoul.” - Godly-fear.. " Nay, I know that you will not find him in Mansoul, for he is departed and gone;' yea, and gone for the faults of the elders, and for that they rewarded his grace with unsufferable unkindnesses.”

Then did the subordinate preacher look as if he They are all would fall down dead at the table; also aghast. all there present, except the man of the house, began to look pale and wan. But having a little recovered themselves, and jointly agreeing to believe Mr. Godly-fear and his sayings, they began to consult what was best to be done (now Mr. Carnal-security was gone into his withdrawing room, for he liked not such dumpish doings] both to the man of the house, for drawing them into evil, and also to recover Immanuel'slove.

Then the saying of their prince came very hot They consult. into their minds, concerning the false and burn their prophets that should arise to delude feast-maker. the town of Mansoul. So they took Mr. Carnal-security (concluding that he was the person) and burnt his house upon him with fire, for he also was a Diabolonian by nature *.

4 Carnal-security is such an enemy to the soul, that he should be utterly destroyed. When conscience is roused to oppose this deceitful foe the business will be done; and measures will be taken to procure, if possible, the return of forfeited bless ings.

. When this was past and over, they bespeed

themselves to look for Immanuel

to their prince, Cant. v. 6, and. “ they themselves to the Holy Ghost; sought bim, but they found him but he is grieve not;" then were they more confirmed ed, &c. in the truth of Mr. Godly-fear's sayings, and began also severely to reflect upon themselves for their vile and ungodly doings ; for they concluded now, that their prince had left them.

Then they agreed and went to my lord secretary, whom before they refused to hear, and had grieved with their doings, to know of him (for he was a seer, and could tell where Immanuel was) how they might direct a petition to him, But the lord secretary would not admit them to a conference about this matter, nor would admit them to his royal palace, nor come out to them, Isa. lxiii. 10, Eph. iv. 30. 1. Thess. v. 19.

Now was it a day gloomy and dark, a day of clouds and of thick darkness with Mansoul. Now they saw that they had been foolish, and began to perceive what the company and prattle of Mr. Carnal-security had done, and what desperate damage his swaggering words had brought poor Mansoul into : but what further it was likely to cost them, that they were ignorant of. Now Mr. Godly-fear began to be in great repute with the men of the town; yea, they were ready to look upon him as a prophet.

Well, when the sabbath-day was come, they A thundering went to hear their subordinate preachsermon. er ; but oh, how did it thunder and lighten this day! His test was that in the prophet Jonah, “ They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercies,” ch. ii. 8. But there was then such power and authority in that sermon, and

D

The subordina

wails his com

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

such a dejection seen in the countenances of the people that day, that the like hath seldom been heard or seen. The people, when sermon was done, were scarce able to go to their homes, or to betake themselves to their employs the week after; they were so sermon-smitten, and also so sermon-sick, that they knew not what to do,

ordinata Hos. vi. 13. He not only shewed preacher ac- Mansoul their sin, but trembled beknowledges his fore them under the sense of his fault, and be own. still crying out of himself, as he pliance with preached to them, “ Unhappy man Mr. Carnal-se. that I am! that I should do a wicked curity. thing! that I, a preacher! whom the prince did set up to teach Mansoul his law, should myself live senseless and sottishly here, and be one of the first found in transgression! This transgression also fell within my precincts: I should have cried out against the wickedness; but I let Mansoul lie wallowing in it, until it had driven Immanuel from its borders.” With these things he also charged all the lords and gentry of Mansoul, to the almost distracting of them, Psalm lxxxviii.

About this time also there was a great sickness A great sickness in the town of Mansoul, and most of in Mansoul. the inhabitants were greatly afflicted: yea, the captains also and men of war were brought thereby to a languishing condition, and that for a long time together; so that in case of an invasion, nothing could to purpose now have been done, either by the townsmen or field officers, Heb. xii. 12, 13. Rev. iii. ii. Isa. iii. 24. Oh, how many pale faces, weak hands, feeble knees, and staggering men, were now seen to walk the streets of Mansoul! Here were groans, there pants, and yonder lay those that were ready to faint.

« السابقةمتابعة »