صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Jude 6. (Now that did the King reserve for his Son, yea, and he had already bestowed it upon him); wherefore he first consults with himself what had best to be done; and then breaks his mind to some others of hisсompanions, to which they also agreed. So, in fine, they came to this issue, that they should make an attempt upon the King's Son to destroy him, that the inheritance might be their's. Well, to be short, the treason, as I said, was concluded, the time appointed, the word given, the rebels rendezvoused, and the assault attempted. Now the King and his Son, being all and always

eye, could not but discern all passages in his dominions; and he hav

ing always a love for his Son, as for among his an- himself, could not, at what he saw, gels.

but be greatly provoked and offended: wherefore what does he, but takes them in the very nick, and the first trip that they made towards their design, convicts them of the treason, horrid rebellion, and conspiracy that they had devised, and now attempted to put into practice, and casts them altogether out of all place of trust, benefit, honour and preferment: this done, he banishes them the court, turns them down into horrid pits; never more to expect the least favour from his hands, but to abide the judgment that he had appointed, and that for ever and ever 10.

Shaddai discovers treason and rebellion

10 The scripture informs us that the evils were once angels, and that they sinned, (2 Pet. ii. 4.) We are not expressly told what their sin was, yet it may be presumed (from 1 T'im. iii. 6.) that it was pride; and it is generally thought that their pride consisted in opposition to the decree of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ, who was to be lord of the whole creation. (Psalm ii. 6, 7.) Of this, however, we are certain, that “ they kept not their first estate;" (Jude ver. 6.)-they did not retain their primitive integrity, but “ left their own habitation;" they relinquished, and were, by the righteous judgment of God, cast down from the mansions of bliss and glory which would have been their everlasting habitation had they not sinned; but “ God spared them not,” for their first sin; he hurled them down, with righteous indignation, into some unknown place of misery, called The Deep, and The Bottomless Pit, and has reserved them in chains of darkness, like condemned prisoners, unto the judgment of the great day, when their torment will be completed, and they shall be for ever confined to that fire which is prepared for Diabolus and his associates.

Now they being thus cast out of all place of trust, profit and honour, and also knowing that they had lost their Prince's favour for ever, being banished his court and cast down to the horrible pits, you may be sure they would now add to their former pride what malice and rage against Shaddai, and against his Son, they could, 1 Pet. V. 8.

Wherefore roving and ranging in much fury from place to place (if perhaps they might find something that was the King's), to revenge themselves on him, by spoiling that; at last they happened into this spacious country of Universe, and steered their course towards the town of Mansoul: and considering that that town was one of the chief works and delights of king Shaddai; what do they, but after counsel taken, make an assault upon that.

that. I say, they knew that Mansoul belonged unto Shaddai : for they were there when he built, and beautified it for himself". So when they had found the place, they shouted horribly for joy, and roared on it like as a lion on its prey ; saying, Now we have found the prize, and how to be revenged on king Shaddai for what A council of

11 It is supposed that the fall of angels took place after the creation of man, and therefore it seems probable that the angels who fell, as well as those who continued in their integrity, were witnesses of the glory of God in the formation of man. This is thought to be the meaning of Job xxxviii. 7, “ the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy ;) -the angels

rejoiced at the founding of the earth, extolling the divine glory of its Maker.

he hath done to us. So they sat war held by down, and called a council of war; Diabolus, to

and considered with themselves, what consider about winning the ways and methods they had best entown of Man

gage in, for the winning to themsoul.

selves this famous town of Mansoul; and these four things were then propounded to be considered of.

First, Whether they had best all of them to shew themselves in this design to the town of Mansoul?

Secondly, Whether they had best to go and sit down against Mansoul, in their now ragged and beggarly guise?

Thirdly, Whether they had best to shew to Mansoul their intentions, and what design they came about ; or whether to assault it with words and ways of deceit?

Fourthly, Whether they had not best give out private orders, to some of their companions, to take the advantage, if they see one or more of the principal townsmen, to shoot them; if thereby they shall judge their cause and design will the better be promoted?

It was answered, to the first of these proposals, in the negative; to wit, that it would not be best that all should shew themselves before the town, because the appearance of many of them might alarm and frighten the town; whereas a few, or but one of them, was not so likely to do it. And to cause this advice to take place, it was added Diabolus gives further, that if Mansoul was frighted, his advice, or did take the alarm, it is impossible, which is adopted. said Diabolus (for he spoke now), guise?

that we should take the town : for that none can enter it without its own consent?. Let therefore but a few, or but one, assault Mansoul, and, in my opinion, said Diabolus, let me be he. Wherefore to this they all agreed: and then to the second proposal they came, namely,

II. Whether they had best to go and sit down before Mansoul, in their now ragged and beggarly

To which it was answered also in the negative, By no means; and that because, though the town of Mansoul had been made to know, and to have to do with, before now, things that are invisible they never did as yet see any of their fellowcreatures in so bad and rascally a condition as

they: and this was the advice of the fierce Alecto.

Then said Apollyon, Apollyon. The advice is pertinent; for even one of us appearing to them as we are now, must needs both beget and multiply such thoughts in them, as will both put them into a consternation of spirit, and necessitate them to put themselves upon their guard : and if so, said he, then, as Diabolus said but now,

it is in vain for us to think of taking the town.

Then said that mighty giant Beelzebub, The advice that is already given is safe; for though the men of

Mansoul have seen such things as we once were, yet hitherto they did never behold such things as we now are. And it is best, in my

Alecto.

Beelzebub's advice.

12 The will of man, in his original state, was certainly free, which is thus expressed by Milton :

God made thee perfect, not immutable:
And good he made thee; but to persevere
He left it in thy power; ordain'd thy will
By nature free-

Paradise Lost.

opinion, to come upon them in such a guise as is common to, and most familiar among them. To this when they had consented; the next thing to be considered, was, in what shape, hue, or guise, Diabolus had best to shew himself, when he went about to make Mansoul his own. Then one said one thing, and another the contrary. At last LuLucifer also

cifer 13 answered, That, in his opigives his advice, nion, it was best that his lordwhich is ap- ship should assume the body of one plauded by all.

of those creatures that they of the town had dominion over : for, quoth he, those are not only familiar to them, but, being under them, they will never imagine that any attempt should by them be made upon the town; and, to blind all, let him assume the body of one of those beasts that Mansoul deems to be wiser than any of the . rest, Gen in. l. Rev. xx. I, 2. This advice was applauded of all; so it was determined that the giant Diabolus should assume the dragon ; for that he was, in those days, as familiar with the town of Mansoul, as now is the bird with the boy; for nothing that was in its primitive state was at all amazing to them. They then proceeded to the third thing, which was,

III. Whether they had best shew their inclinations, or the design of their coming to Mansoul,

or no?

13 These names are well chosen : Apollyon signifies the Destroyer: Beelzebub, the Lord of Flies, an idol of the heathen, and a name used by the Jews for the prince of devils: Lucifer, the Morning Star, another name of a fallen angel: Legion, a name assumed by the Demoniac, (Mark v. 9.15);-a battalion of the Roman army, consisting of 4000 or 5000 mem Alecto, a feigned being among the heathen, one of the Furies; described by their poets as having her head covered with snakes, and breathing vengeance. Tisiphone, another of the Furies.

1

« السابقةمتابعة »