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foes ? Our general, said they, was the first man that ran for it. Pray, quoth their landlord, who was that your cowardly general ? He was once the lord-mayor of Mansoul, said they. But pray call him not a cowardly general, for whether any from the east to the west has done more service for our Prince Diabolus, than has my lord Incredulity, will be a hard question for you to answer. But, had they catched him, they would for certain have hanged him, and we promise you, hanging is but a bad business.
Then said the old gentleman, I would that all the ten thousand Doubters were now well armed in Mansoul, and myself at the head of them, I would see what I could do. Al, said they, that would be well, if we could see that : but wishes, alas ! what are they! And these words were spoken aloud. Well, said old Evilquestioning, take heed that ye talk not too loud, you must be quiet and close,* and must take care of yourselves while you are here, or I will assure you, you will
Why, quoth the Doubters?
Why? quoth the old gentleman : why, because both the Prince and lord Secretary, and their captains and soldiers, are all at present in town ; yea, the town is as full of them as it can hold. And besides, there is one whose name is Will-be-will, a most cruel enemy of ours, and him the Prince hath made keeper of the gates, and has commanded him, that with all the diligence he can, he should look for, search out, and destroy all and all manner of Diabolonians. And if he lighteth upon you, down you go, though your heads be made of gold.
And now, to see how it happened, one of the lord Will-be-will's faithful soldiers, whose name was Mr. Diligence, stood all the while listening under old Evilquestionings eaves, and heard all the talk that had been
betwixt * Wichedness will not endure the blaze of day, consequently Satan and sin act secretly and by craft.“ Every one that doeth evil, bateth the light, neither cometh' to it, lest his deeds should be reproved," John üi. 20.
betwixt him and the Doubters that he entertained under his roof. This soldier was a man that my lord had much confidence in, and that he loved dearly, and that both because he was a man of courage, and also a man that was unwearied in seeking after Diabolonians to apprehend them. *
Now this man, as I told you, heard all the talk that was between old Evil-questioning and these Diabolonians; wherefore what does he, but goes to his lord, and tells him what he had heard. And sayest thou so, my trusty ? quoth my lord. Aye, quoth Diligence, that Í do, and if your lordship will be pleased to go with me, you shall find it as I have said. And are they there? quoth my lord. I know Evil-questioning well, for he and I were great at the time of our apostacy; but I know not where he dwells. But I do, said this man, and if your lordship will go, I will go, I will lead you the way to his den. Go! quoth my lord, that I will. Come, my Diligence, let us find them out. lord and his man went together the direct way to his house. Now his man went before to shew him the way, and they went till they came even under old Mr. Evil-questioning's wall. Then said Diligence, Hark (my lord) do you know the old gentleman's tongue when you hear it? Yes, said my lord, I know it well, but I have not seen him many a day. This I know, he is cunning, I wish he may not give us the slip. Let me alone for that, said his servant Diligence. But how shall we find the door ? quoth my lord. Let me alone for that too, said this man. So he had my lord Willbe-will about, and shewed him the way to the door. Then my lord, without more ado, broke open the door, rushed into the house, and caught them all five together, even as Diligence his man had told him. So my lord apprehended them, and led them away, and committed them to the hand of Mr. Trueman the gaoler, and he
* A Christian cannot use too much diligence in endeavouring to expunge wickedness.
commanded, and put them in ward.* This dong, my lord-mayor was acquainted in the morning with what my lord Will-be-will had done over night, and his lordship rejoiced much at the news, not only because there were Doubters apprehended, but because that old Evilquestioning was taken ; for he had been a very great trouble to Mansoul, and much affliction to my lordmayor himself. He had also been sought for often, but no hand could ever be laid
him till now. Well, the next thing was, to make preparations to try these five that by my lord had been apprehended, and that were in the hands of Mr. Trueman the gaoler. So the day was set, and the court called and came together, and the prisoners brought to the bar. My lord Will-be-will had power to have slain them when at first he took them, and that without any more ado, but he thought at this time more for the honour of the Prince, the comfort of Mansoul, and the discouragement of the enemy, to bring them forth to public judgment. But I say, Mr. Trueman brought them in chains to the bar of the townball, for that was the place of judgment. So to be short, the jury was pannelled, the witnesses sworn, and the prisoners tried for their lives; the jury was the same that tried Mr. No-truth, Pitiless, Haughty, and the rest of their companions.
And first, old Evil-questioning himself was set to the bar; for he was the receiver, entertainer, and comforter of these Doubters, that by nation were outlandishmen ; fe then he was bid to hearken to his charge, and was told that he had liberty to object, if he had aught to say for himself. So his indictment was read, the manner and form here follow :
* Thus believers, by the almighty power of grace, are enabled to take those captive, whose captives they were, Isa. xiv. 2. Thus we see that by the almighty love of God we are enabled to defeat the wiles of the devil, even at the moment he is employing his enginca for our destruction.
+ Human nature, owing to its depraved state, is subject to many doubts and unbelieving fears, which Adam, before the fall, was, a stranger to.
:* Mr. Questioning, thou art here indicted by the name of Evil-questioning, an intruder upon the town of Mansoul, for that thou art a Diabolonian by nature, and also a hater of the Prince Emanuel, and one that bast studied the ruin of Mansoal. Thou art also here indicted, for entertaining the king's enemies, after wholesome laws made to the contrary: For, 1. Thou hast questioned the truth of her doctrine and state.
2. In wishing that ten thousand Doubters were in her.
3. In receiving, entertaining, and encouraging of her enemies, that came from her army unto thee.
unto thee. What sayest thou to this indictment? art thou guilty, or not guilty ?”
My lord, quoth he, I know not the meaning of this indictment, forasmuch as I am not the man concerned in it; the man that standeth by this charge accused before this bench is called by the name of Evil-questioning, which name I deny to be mine, mine being Honestinquiring. The one indeed sounds like the other, but I trow, your Lordships know that between these two there is a wide difference; for I hope that a man even in the worst of times, and that too amongst the worst of men, may make an honest inquiry after things, without running the danger of death.
Then spake my lord Will-be-will, for he was one of the witnesses : 4 · My lord, and you the honourable bench and magistrates of the town of Mansoul, you all have heard with your ears, that the prisoner at the bar has denied his name,* and so thinks to shift from the charge of the indictment. But I know him to be the man concerned, and that his proper name is Evil-questioning. I have known him my lord, above these thirteen years, for he and I (a share it is for me to speak it) were great acquaintance, when Diabolus that tyrant had the government of Mansoul ; and I testify that he is a Diabolonian by nature, an enemy to our Prince,
* The wicked may deceive men, by giving sin another name, and finding excuses for their evil-doings ; but God cannot be thus deceive ed, the truth of which will be verified to their cost, when they shall' appear at the day of judgment to answer for their transgressions.
and an hater of the blessed town of Mansoul. He has in times of rebellion been at, and lain in my house, my lord, not so little as twenty times together, and we used to talk then (for the substance of talk) as he and his Doubters have talked of late. True, I have not seen him many a day, I suppose that the coming of Emanuel to Mansoul has made him change his lodgings, as this indictment has driven him to change his name; but this is the man, my lord.”
Then said the court unto him, Hast thou any more to say ?
Yes, quoth the old gentleman, that I have ; for all that has yet been said against me, is but by the mouth of one witness, and it is not lawful for the famous town of Mansoul, at the mouth of one witness, to put any man to death.
Then stood forth Mr. Diligence, and said, My lord, as I was upon my watch such a night at the head of Bad-street, in this town, I chanced to hear a muttering within the gentleman's house; then thought I, What's to do here? So I went up close, but very softly, to the side of the house to listen, thinking, as indeed it fell out, that there I might light of some Diabolonian conventicle. So, as I said, I drew nearer and nearer, and when I was got up close to the wall, it was but a while before I perceived that there were outlandish men in the house (but I understood their speech,* for I have been a traveller myself; now hearing such language in such a tottering cottage this old gentleman dwelt in, I clapt mine ear to a hole in the window, and there heard them talk as followeth. This old Mr. Questioning asked these Doubters what they were, whence they came, and what was their business in these parts? And they answered him to all these questions, yet he entertained them. He also asked what numbers there were of them; and they told him, ten thousand
men. * A prudent christian, ever watchful over his own heart, will, by divine
grace, discover the devices of Satan, and be enabled to escape their baneful effects.