Meditation for Sunday May 6.

Then the Prince commanded that a herald should be called, and that he should, in the midst and throughout the camp of Emmanuel, 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 that was in the upper region sounded melodiously, the captains that were in the camp shouted, and the soldiers did sing songs of triumph to the Prince; the colors waved in the wind, and great joy was everywhere, only it was wanting as yet in the hearts of the men of Mansoul.

Then the Prince called for the prisoners to come and to stand again before him, and they came and stood trembling. And he said unto them, ‘The sins, trespasses, 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, written in parchment, and sealed with seven seals, a large and general pardon, commanding my Lord Mayor, my Lord Willbewill, 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.

Then he gave to each of the three, jewels of gold and precious stones, and took away their ropes, and put chains of gold about their necks, and ear-rings in their ears. Now, the prisoners, when they did hear the gracious words of Prince Emmanuel, and had beheld all that was done unto 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 Willbewill swooned outright; but the Prince stepped 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 did kiss, and embrace, and smile upon the other two that were Willbewill’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 in 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 down at the feet of the Prince, and kissed his feet, and wetted them with tears: also they 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 to Mansoul what the Prince had done. He commanded also that one with a 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 that which they never dreamed of.

The Holy War  by John Bunyan

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