“He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.“ Song of Sol. 2:4, 5.
Now, the ancients and elders of the town of Mansoul thought that they never should have enough of the Prince Emmanuel; his person, his actions, his words and behaviour, were so pleasing, so taking, so desirable to them.
Wherefore they prayed him, that though the castle of Mansoul was his place of residence (and they desired that he might dwell there for ever), yet that he would often visit the streets, houses, and people of Mansoul. For,’ said they, dread Sovereign, thy presence, thy looks, thy smiles, thy words, are the life, and strength, and sinews of the town of Mansoul.
Besides this, they craved that they might have, without difficulty or interruption, continual access unto him (so for that very purpose he commanded that the gates should stand open), that they might there see he manner of his doings, the fortifications of the place, and the royal mansion-house of the Prince. When he spake, they all stopped their mouths and gave audience; and when he walked, it was their delight to imitate him in his goings.
Now, upon a time Emmanuel made a feast for the town of Mansoul; and upon the feasting-day the townsfolk were come to the castle to partake of his banquet; and he feasted them with all manner of outlandish food-food that grew not in the fields of Mansoul, nor in all the whole kingdom of Universe; it was food that came from his Father’s court. And so there was dish after dish set before them, and they were commanded freely to eat. But still, when a fresh dish was set before them, they would whisperingly say to each other, What is it?’ for they wist not what to call it. They drank also of the water that was made wine, and were very merry with him. There was music also all the while at the table; and man did eat angels’ food, and had honey given him out of the rock. So Mansoul did eat the food that was peculiar to the court; yea, they had now thereof to the full.
I must not forget to tell you, that as at this table there were musicians, so they were not those of the country, nor yet of the town of Mansoul; but they were the masters of the songs that were sung at the court of Shaddai. The Holy War by John Bunyan