Meditation for Sunday, April 29.

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 his Lord that the prisoners were come down. The Prince then ascended a throne of state, and sent for the prisoners in; who, when they came, did tremble before him, also they covered their faces with shame. Now, as they drew near to 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 did suffer 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 own 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 flesh, and we were grown aliens to a better state.’—‘And did you,’ said he, ‘when I came up against this town of Mansoul, heartily wish that I might not have the victory over you?’—‘Yes, Lord, yes,’ said they. Then said the Prince, ‘And what punishment is it, think you, that you deserve at my hand, 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, that they confessed that 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 those ropes on your heads?’ The prisoners answered, ‘These ropes are to bind us withal to the place of execution, if mercy be not pleasing in thy sight.’ 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, Lord; but for the Diabolonians that came into our town when the tyrant got possession of us, we can say nothing for them.’

The Holy War  by John Bunyan

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