صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


take good courage, and that they would look after their harness, and make themselves ready to give Diabolus battle by night or by day, should he come, as they are informed he will, to beleaguer the town of Mansoul. · When the captains heard this, they being always true lovers of the town of Mansoul, what do they, but like so many Sampsons, they shake themselves, and come together to consult and contrive how to defeat those bold and hellish contrivances that were upon the wheel, by the means of Diabolus and his friends, against the now sickly, weakly, and much impoverished town of Mansoul; and they agreed upon these following particulars: 1. That the gates of Mansoul should be kept

shut, and made fast with bars and locks, beir agree- and that all persons that went out or

came in should be very strictly examined by the captains of the guards, 1 Cor. xvi. 13. to the end, said they, that those that are managers of the plot amongst us may, either coming or going, be taken; and that we may also find out who are the great contrivers (amongst us) of our ruin, Lam. iii. 40.

2. The next thing was, that a strict search should be made for all kind of Diabolonians, throughout the whole town of Mansoul; and that every man's house from top to bottom, should be looked into, and that too house by house, that if possible a farther discovery might be made of all such among them as had a hand in these designs, Heb. xii. 15. 16.

3. It was further concluded upon, that wheresoever or with whomsoever any of the Diabolonians were found, that even those of the town of Mansoul, that had given them house and harbour, should, to their shame and the warning of others,



do penance in the open place, Jer. ii. 34. chap. v. 26. Ezek. xvi. 52. 4. It was moreover resolved by the famous town

ic fast. of Mansoul, that a public fast, and a and day of so- day of humiliation, should be kept lemarhumilia- throughout the whole corporation, to

the justifying of their prince, the abasing of themselves before him for their transgressions against him, and against Shaddai his father, Joel i. 14. chap. ii. 15, 16. It was further resolved, that all such in Mansoul as did not on that day endeavour to keep that fast, and to humble themselves for their faults, but should mind their worldly employments, or be found wandering up or down the streets, should be taken for Diabolonians, and suffer as Diabolonians for such wicked doings. . 5. It was further concluded then, that with what speed, and with what warmth of mind they could, they would renew their humiliation for sin, and their petitions to Shaddai for help; they also resolved to send tidings to the court, of all that Mr. Prywell had told them, Jer. xxxvii. 4.

6. It was also determined, that thanks should be given by the town of Mansoul to Mr. Prywell, for his diligent seeking of the welfare of their town; and further, that forasmuch as he was so naturally inclined to seek their good, and also to undermine their foes, they gave him a commission of Scoutmaster-general, for the good of the town of Mansoul.

When the corporation, with their captains, had thus concluded, they did as they had said, they

3 All these were wise regulations. They show that we should be earnest in supplication, very diligent in self-examination, deeply humbled for sin, and zealous in detecting our corruptions.

shut up their gates, they made for Diabolonians strict search, they made those with whom any were found, to do penance in the open place. They kept their fast, and renewed their petitions to their prince, and Mr. Prywell managed his charge, and the trust that Mansoul had put into his hands, with great conscience and good fidelity; for he gave himself wholly up to his employ, and that not only within the town, but he went out to pry, to see, and to hear. Not many days after, he provided for his jour

ney, and went towards Hell-gate-hill, vell into the country where Doubters goes a scouting.

5 were, where he heard of all that had been talked of in Mansoul, and he perceived also that Diabolus was almost ready for his march, &c. So he came back with speed, and calling the captains and elders of Mansoul together, he told them where he had been, what he had heard, and what he had seen. Particularly he told them, that Di

me abolus was almost ready for his march, with great and that he had made old Mr. Incredunews. • Jity, that once brake prison in Mansoul, the general of his army; that his army consisted of all Doubters, and that their number was above twenty thousand. He told moreover, that Diabo. lus intended to bring with him the chief princes of the Infernal Pit, and that he would make them chief captains over his Doubters. He told them moreover, that it was certainly true, that several of the black den would with Diabolus ride reformades, to reduce the town of Mansoul to the obedience of Diabolus their prince.

He said moreover, that he understood by the Doubters, among whom he had been, that the reason why old Incredulity was made general of the whole army, was, because nonę truer than he

He returns

to the tyrant; and because he had an implacable spite against the town of Mansoul. Besides, said he, he remembers the affront that Mansoul has given him, and he is resolved to be revenged of them*. .

But the black princes shall be made high commanders; only Incredulity shall be over them all, because he can more easily and dexterously be. leaguer the town of Mansoul, than any of the princes besides, Heb. xii. 1.

Now when the captains of Mansoul, with the el. ders of the town, had heard the tidings that Mr. Prywell brought, they thought it expedient, with

un out further delay, to put into execuThe laws of Im-'in the

. tion the laws against the Diabolonimanuel against the Diabolonians ans, which their prince had made, put into execu- and given them in commandment to

manage against them. Wherefore, forthwith a diligent and impartial search was made in all houses in Mansoul, for all and all manner of Diabolonians. Now in the house of Mr. Mind, and in the house of the great Lord Will-be-will, were two Diabolonians found. In Mr. Mind's house was one Lord Covetousness found; but he had changed his name to Prudent-thrifty. In my Lord Will-be-will's house, one Lasciviousness was found; but he had changed his name to Harmless. mirth. These two the captains and elders of the town of Mansoul took and committed to custody, under the hand of Mr. Trueman, the gaoler; and this man handled them so severely, and loaded them so well with irons, that they both fell into a


4 The design of Satan was to overwhelm the soul with doubts and fears, in consequence of sin indulged; incredulity, therefore, or unbelief, is, with great propriety, appointed general of the army, for the doubts and fears of serious persons usually arise from unbelief.


very deep consumption, and died in the prison; their masters also, according to the agreement of the captains and elders, were brought to do penance in the open place, to their shame, and a warning to the rest of the town of Mansoul'.

Now this was the manner of penance in those days. The persons offending, being made sensible of the evil of their doings, were enjoined open confession of their faults, and a strict amendment of their lives 6.

After this the captains and elders of Mansoul sought yet to find out more Diabolonians, whereever they lurked, whether in dens, caves, holes, vaults, or where else they could, in or about the wall or town of Mansoul. But though they could plainly see their footing, and so follow them by their track and smell to their holds, even to the mouths of their caves and dens, yet take and do justice upon them they could not, their ways were so crooked, their holds so strong, and they so quick to take sanctuary there. But Mansoul ruled now with so stiff an hand

blonie over the Diabolonians that were left, ans hide them- that they were glad to shrink into selves in their corners: time was, when they durst dens.

walk openly and in the day, but now they were forced to embrace privacy and the night: time was, when a Mansoulian was their companion, but now they counted them deadly enemies. This

The Diaboloni

5 In the time of danger we are more engaged in the mortification of our sinful lusts; and it is well when the deceitfulness of sin is detected, its false names and pretences discovered, and when covetousness and lasciviousness consume away and


6 This godly discipline is almost unknown in our days; yet is it consonant with the word of God, and if practised, would promote the holiness of the church, and its credit in the eyes of the world,

« السابقةمتابعة »