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- The garments too, which Immanuel had given them, were but in a sorry case ; some were rent, some were torn, and all in a nasty condi. tion; some also hung so loosely upon them, that the next bush they came at was ready to pluck them off.
After some time spent in this sad and desolate condition, the subordinate preacher called for a day of fasting, and to humble themselves for being so wicked against the great Shaddai and his Boanerces son: and he desired that Captain Boapreaches in nerges would preach; which he conMansoul. sented to do: and the day being come, his text was this : “ Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground ?” and a very smart sermon he made upon the text. First, he shewed what was the occasion of the words, to wit, “ because the figtree was barren." Then he shewed what was contained in the sentence, to wit, repentance or utter desolation. He next shewed by whose authority this sentence was pronounced, and that was by Shaddai himself. And lastly, he shewed the reasons of the point: and then concluded his sermon. But he was very pertinent in the application, insomuch that he made poor Mansoul tremble: for this sermon, as well as the former, wrought much upon the hearts of the men of Mansoul; yea, it greatly helped to keep awake those that were roused by the preaching that went before ; so that now throughout the whole town there was little or nothing to be heard or seen but sorrow, and mourning, and woe.
5 Boanerges, who was one of the first messengers to the town, had withdrawn, and milder preachers were introduced, as more suited to the state of Mansoul; but now they need to be roused from their sloth, and Boanerges preaches again. In times of spiritual declension awakening sermons are very useful.
M. Godly-feared that head bes
· Now after sermon they got together, and conThey consult sulted what was best to be done. But, what to do. said the subordinate preacher, I will do nothing of my own head, without advising with my neighbour Mr. Godly-fear. So they called and sent for Mr. Godly-fear, and he forthwith appeared. Then they desired that he would further shew his opinion about what they had best to do: whereupon the old gentleman said as followeth ; " It is my opinion that this town of Mansoul should, in this day of her distress, draw up and send an humble petition to their offended prince Immanuel, that he, in favour and grace, will turn again unto them, and not keep his anger · or ever.
When the townsmen had heard this speech, They send the they unanimously agreed to his adJord-mayor to vice; so they presently drew up their court.
request ; and the next question was, But who shall carry it? At last they all agreed to send it by my Lord-mayor, who accepted the service, and addressed himself to his journey ; after which, he came to the court of Shaddai, whither Immanuel the prince of Mansoul was gone, Lam. iii. 8, 44 ; but the gate was shut, and a strict watch kept thereat; so that the petitioner was forced to stand without for a great while together. Then he desired that some would go in to the prince, and tell him who stood at the gate, and also what his business was. Accordingly one went and told Shaddai and Immanuel his son, that the lord-mayor of the town of Mansoul stood without at the gate of the king's court, desiring to be admitted into the presence of the prince, the king's son. He also told the lord-mayor's errand both to the king and his son Immanuel. But the prince would not come down, nor admit that the gate should be opened, but sent an answer to this effect, Jer. ï. 27, 28. " They have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but now, in the time of their trouble, they say unto me, Arise and save us. But can they not now go to Mr. Carnal-security, to whom they went when they turned from me, and make him their leader, their lord, and their protector? And now in their trouble they visit me, from whom in their prosperity they went astray.”
This answer made my lord-mayor look black in the face; it troubled, it perplexed, it rent him sore, Lam. iv. 7, 8. And now he began to see what it was to be familiar with Diabolonians, such as Mr. Carnal-security was. When he saw that at The lord-mayor court (as yet) there was little help to returns, and be expected, either for himself or how. friends in Mansoul; he smote upon his breast, and returned weeping, and all the way bewailing the lamentable state of Mansoul.
When he was come within sight of the town, the elders and chief of the people of Mansoul went out at the gate to meet him, and to salute him, and to know how he sped at court. But he told
them his tale in so doleful a manner, ate of that they all cried out and mourned
Low and wept. Wherefore they threw ashes and dust upon their heads, and put sackcloth upon their loins, and went crying out through the town of Mansoul; which when the rest of the townsfolk saw, they all mourned and wept. This therefore was a day of rebuke, trouble, and anguish to the town of Mansoul, and also of great distress...
After some time, when they had somewhat reThey again con- CO
A con- covered themselves, they came togesult Mr Godly. ther to consult again what was yet to fear for his ad. be done; and they asked advice, as vice.
they did before, of the Rev. Mr. Godly-fear; who told them, that there was no way
better to do than to do as they had done, nor would he that they should be discouraged at all with what they had met with at court; yea, though several of their petitions should be answered with nought but silence or rebuke; for said he, it is the way of the wise Shaddai to make men wait, and to exercise patience; and it should be the way of them in want to be willing to stay his leisure.
Then they took courage, and sent again and See now what is again, and again and again; for there the work of a was not a day nor an hour, that went backsliding over Mansoul's head, wherein a man saint awakened. might not have met upon the road one or other riding post from Mansoul to the court Groaning desires.
of king Shaddai, and all with letters
ses petitionary in behalf of, and for the prince's return, to Mansoul. The road, I say, was now full of messengers, going and returning, and meeting one another; some fronı the court, and some from Mansoul; and this was the work of the miserable town of Mansoul all that long, that sharp, that cold and tedious winter S.
Now you may remember that I told you before, A memento.
is that after Immanuel had taken Man
de soul, yea, and after he had new-modelled the town, there remained, in several lurking-places of the corporation, many of the old Diabolonians, that either came with the tyrant, when he invaded and took the town, or that had there (by reason of unlawful mixtures in their birth, breeding, and bringing up) their holes, dens, and lurking-places in, under, or about the
6 Prayer, at all times necessary, becomes peculiarly seasons able when a state of backsliding is discovered. Prayer may not immediately receive an answer, nor forfeited comfort return; but, as Godly-fear said, there is no better way than to pray and pray again, and wait the Lord's leisure,
the town,'the Lothe Lord Leve, the d and
walls of the town; some of their names are, the Lord Fornication, the Lord Adultery, the Lord Murder, the Lord Anger, the Lord Lasciviousness, the Lord Deceit, the Lord Evil-eye, the Lord Blasphemy, and that horrible villain the old and dangerous Lord Covetousness; these, with many more, had yet their abode in the town of Mansoul, éven after Immanuel had driven Diabolus out of the castle.
Against these the good prince granted a commission to the Lord Will-be-will and others, yea, to the whole town of Mansoul, to seek, take, secure, and destroy, any or all that they could lay hands of; for that they were Diabolonians by nature, enemies to the prince, and those who sought to ruin the blessed town of Mansoul. But Man
soul did not pursue this warrant, but Mansoul heeded
en neglected to apprehend, secure, and caution, nor put destroy those Diabolonians ; wherehis commission fore what do these villains, but by den executioir. grees take courage to shew themselves to the inhabitants of the town; yea, and as I was told, some of the men of Mansoul grew too familiar with several of them, to the sorrow of the corporation, as you will hear more in time and place?
7 When Mansoul first received Immanuel, a strict charge was given to discover and destroy the Diabolonians; but this was too much neglected: the consequence was, that they became to Mansoul what the Canaanites were to Israel, according to the prediction, Numb. xxxiii. 55. “ If ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.”