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This was the thing that I feared,) for they concluded, that to-morrow, by that the sun went down, they should be tumbled out of the world. The whole town also counted of no other, but that in their time and order they must all drink of the same cup. Wherefore the town of Mansoul spent that night in mourning, and sackcloth, and ashes. The prisoners also, when the time was come to go down before the Prince, dressed themselves in mourning attire, with ropes upon their heads. The whole town of Mansoul also shewed themselves upon the wall, and clad in mourning weeds, if perhaps the Prince, with the sight thereof, might be moved with compassion.* But Oh how the busy-bodies, (g) that were in the town of Mansoul, now concerned themselves ! They ran here and there, through the streets of the town by companies, crying out as they ran in tumultuous wise, one after one manner, and another quite the contrary, to the almost utter distraction of Mansoul.
Well, the time is come that the prisoners must go down to the camp, and appear before the Prince.. And thus was the manner of their going down : captain Boanerges went with a guard before them, and captain Conviction came behind, and the prisoners went bound in chains in the midst ; so I say, the prisoners went in the midst, and the guard went with flying colours, behind and before, but the prisoners went with drooping spirits. Or more particularly, thus :
The prisoners went down all in mourning, they put ropes upon themselves, they went on smiting themselves on their breasts, but durst not lift up their eyes to hea
Thus they went out at the gate of Mansoul, till they came into the midst of the Prince's army, the
(s) Vain thoughts.
* A sight of our abominations, and deserved punishment for them, should not only abase, but also be the means of bringing us into the path of virtue, and of inclining our hearts to the God of all mercy and grace.
sight and glory of which greatly heightened their affliction. Nor could they now longer forbear, but cry out aloud, O unhappy men! O wretched Mansoul! Their chains still mixing their dolorous notes with the cries of the prisoners, made the noise more lainentable.
So when they were come to the door of the Prince's pavilion, they cast themselves prostrate upon the place : then one went in and told the Lord, that the prisoners were coine down. The Prince then ascended a throne of state, and sent for the prisoners in ; who, when they came, trembled before him ; also they covered their faces with shame.* Now as they drew near the place where he sat, they threw themselves down before him. Then said the Prince to the captain Boanerges, Bid the prisoners stand upon their feet. Then they stood trembling before him; and he said, Are you the men that heretofore were the servants of Shaddai ? And they said, Yes, Lord, yes. Then said the Prince again, Are you the men that suffered yourselves to be corrupted and defiled by that abominable one Diabolus ? And they said, We did more than suffer it, Lord: for we chose it of our mind.' The Prince asked further, saying, Could you have been content that your slavery should have continued under his tyranny as long as you had lived? Then said the prisoners, Yes, Lord, yes, for his ways were' pleasing to our ffesh, and we were grown aliens to a better 'stare. And did you, said he, when I came against this town of Mansoul, heartily wish that I might'not have the victory over you ? Yes, Lord, ġes, said theyThen said the Prince, And what punishment is it, think you, that you deserve at my hands, for these and other your high and mighty sins? And they said, Both death and the deep, Lord; for we have deserved no less. He asked again, If they had aught to say for themselves, why the sentence, which they confessed they had deserved, should not be passed upon them? And they said, We can say nothing, Lord: thou art just, for we have sinned. Then said the Prince, And for what are these ropes on your heads ? The prisoners answered, The ropes (h) are to lead us withal to the place of execution, if mercy be not pleasing in thy sight, Prov. v. 22. So he further asked, If all the men in the town of Mansoul were in this confession, as they? And they answered, All the natives, (i) Lord: but for the Diabolonians, (k) that carne into our town, when the tyrant got possession of us, we can say nothing for them.*
* That conviction which is the fore-runner of true conversion, lays the sinner in the duts, and fills the conscience with compunction for its foul ingratitude
Then the Prince commanded that an herald should be called ; and that he should in the midst and throughout the camp of Emanuel, proclaim, and that with sound of trumpet, that the Prince, the Son of Shaddai, had in his Father's name, and for his Father's glory, gotten a perfect conquest and victory over Mansoul; and that the prisoners should follow him, and say, Amen. So this was done as he had commanded.
And presently the music was in the upper region sounded melodiously. The captains that were in the camp shouted, and the soldiers sung songs of triumph to the Prince, the colours waved in the wind, and great joy was every-where, only it was wanting as yet in the hearts of the men of Mansoul.
Then the Prince called to the Prisoners to come and stand again before him; and they came and stood trembling. And he said unto them, The sins, trespasses and iniquities, that you, with the whole town of Mansoul, have from time to time committed against my Father and me, I have power and commandment from my Father to forgive to the town of Mansoul; and do forgive you accordingly. And having so said, he gave them
(h) Sins, (i) Powers of the soul. (k) Corruptions and lusts.
* They who are brought to confess, and also forsake sin, shall find mercy, Prov. xxviii. 13. Believers in the holy Jesus will make no truce with God's enemies ; but lament their innate corruptions, and look to the Almighty for grace and strength to subdue them.
written in parchment, and sealed with seven seals, a large and general pardon, commanding my lord mayor, lord Will-be-will, and Mr. Recorder, to proclaim, and cause it to be proclaimed to-morrow, by that the sun is up, throughout the whole town of Mansoul.*
Moreover, the Prince stripped the prisoners of their mourning weeds, and gave them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, Isa. Ixi. 3.
Then he gave to each of the three, jewels of gold and precious stones ; and took away their
ropes, chains of gold about their necks, and ear-rings in their cars. Now the prisoners, when they heard the gracious words of prince Emanuel, and beheld all that was done into them, fainted almost quite away ; for the grace, the benefit, the pardon, was sudden, glorious, and so big, that they were not able, without staggering, to stand up under it. Yea, my lord Will-be-will swooned outright; but the Prince stept to him, put his everlasting arms under him, embraced him, kissed him, and bid him be of good cheer, for all should be performed according to his word. He also kissed, embraced, and smiled upon the other two that were Will-be-will's companions, saying, Take these as further tokens of my love, favour, and compassion to you; and I charge you, that you, Mr. Recorder, tell the town of Mansoul what you have heard and seen.
Then were their fetters broken to pieces before their faces, and cast into the air, and their steps were enlarged under them. Then they fell at the feet of the Prince, kissed them, and wetted them with tears; they also cried out with a mighty strong voice, saying, “ Blessed be the glory of the Lord from this place !" So they were bid rise up, and go to the town and tell Mansoul what the Prince had done. He commanded also, that one with pipe and tabor should go and play before them all the way into the town of Mansoul. Then was fulfilled what they never looked for, and they were made to possess what they never dreamt of.* The Prince also called for the noble captain Credence, and commanded that he and some of his officers should march before the noblemen of Mansoul, with flying colours into the town. He gave also unto captain Credence a charge, that about the time that the Recorder read the general pardon in the town of Mansoul, that at that very time he should with flying colours march in at Eye-gate, with his ten thousand at his feet; and that he should go un:il he came by the high street of the town, up to the castle-gares; and that himself should take possession thereof, against his Lord came thither. He commanded moreover, that he should bid captain Judgment and captain Execution leave the strong-hold to him, and withdraw from Mansoul, and return into the camp with speed unto the Prince.
* Thus God forgives freely, fully, everlastingly; but the pardoned sinner, though conscious of this amazing mercy, yet sensible of his numerous and potent foes, should continue humbly to depend on, and implore succour from the Lord bis righteousness and strength.
And now was the town of Mansoul delivered from the terror of the first four captains and their men.
Well, I told you before how the prisoners were entertained by the noble prince Emanuel, and how they behaved themselves before him, and how he sent them away to their home with pipe and tabor going before them. And now you must think that those of the town, that had all this while waited to hear of their death, could not but be exercised with sadness of mind and with thoughts that pricked like thorns. Nor could their thoughts be kept to any one point; the wind blew them all this while at great uncertainties, yea, their hearts were like a balance that had been disquieted with a shaking hand. But at last, as they, with many a look, looked over the wall of Mansoul, they thought they
* Worldly-minded men are strangers to spiritual joys. But when the soul is so divinely changed, as to taste the love and grace of God, heaven is opened within it, and abhorring its former state, glorifies God for the wonders he has wrought for the happiness of mankind.