Notes on ‘Holy War’
Holy War is a hot topic in the third millennium. Known also as jihad, Holy War is being waged upon the infidels of Washington D.C. Boston and outlying symps by Muslim fundamental terrorists seeking to overthrow paganism and polytheism. Yet Holy War has a more ancient lineage than that of 9-11 airline hijack crashers or the interminable effort by Middle East Muslims to liquidate the state of Israel. Holy War could be said to have began with 7th century by expansionist Muhammadans on Constantinople, Sicily, Rome and the Iberian Peninsula. I think it might be right to regard Constantine’s battle under the standard of Christ as a kind of Holy war too. At a deeper level the Holy War began in the Garden of Eden when the smooth-tongued-devil seduced Eve toward the dark side of the force a little bit with Adam soon to follow.
Because Holy Wars in the Christian era have generally concerned state and religious neo-theocratic ideas or goals with insurrectionists, rebels or governments seeking to exert a purifying and authoritarian force upon tentative subjects it is useful to regard Holy wars as of two varieties-those of a secular nature largely-even if the secular has religious content and is in defense of religious forms such as legalisms of a Jewish theocracy or legalisms of a Muslim theocracy or simple church-state rule by a unified living gd like Nero, who it is written had a beautiful operatic voice that put people to sleep and made Romans feign illness to be able to get an excuse to leave his lengthy recitals; and a second form where the Holy war is of a more inward character-where the war is a battle for the soul. Occupation of the temple of God would not happen when a Roman General puts up an abomination in the Herodian Temple, it would occur when the believer in God and in the Lord lapses in faith and slips into the darkness of spirit that is the province of Satan.
The spiritual war is a Holy War that never ends this side of heaven, although those of good faith made enter God’s rest and I suppose find it easier to address the efforts of Satan to attack and surge over the soul with better form. It is a sad fact that the descendants of Abraham’s bastard Ishmael tend to have an adulterated form of faith that leaves them as a kind of ancient, misguided Jew without a relationship to the Lord and with a focus on a false prophet who detracts from just God and his Son. In the zealous, politicized and ignorant mass of neo-theocratic aspirations Muslims today wage Holy war with traditional political and religious reasons for doing so.
With the U.S. Government today and the west being assaulted by Diabolans in a number of guises; with atheism and Darwinism virtually a state-anti-religion, with abortion, illegal drug use, homosexual marriage and global warming, the west gives an easy and true example of decadent, reprobate behavior to Muslim fanatics with a good excuse to use the weapons and ropes of the west that the west sells them to try to hang them with (to paraphrase Lenin). The U.S.A. educated sheik Khalid Mohammad and trained the WTC pilots on flight training simulators. Today it is training more Syrian rebels in terror methods and already liberated hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives ordinance and other materials for easy access to terrorists across the Middle East with support for revolutions against regimes not at war with the U.S.A. The Diabolans expect that will all work out happily enough-and it makes good stories, and yes, they hate Christians and marginalize them as best they can. The Unholy War of U.S. Government insiders on people of faith continues as a kind of mirror image to the Holy War of Christians for the soul. I will say nothing about an Hegelian or Marxist dialectic here, That’s not germane to the basic topic of Holy War and isn’t terribly relevant anyway as a method for describing complex social evolutionary interactions that present as state’s of affairs in social and political relations.
American Diabolans really are godless, atheists without much sense. For them evolution theory has decisively won and they continue to undermine Genesis as a rival account for creation and life in the Universe. It is in thousands of films and is ion content in news spin. Many Christian apologists naively reply with wrong creation theories themselves, and those with wrong eschatology such as pre-tribulationists themselves dispense falsehoods to the masses making it even easier for the Diabolins to point out the silliness and doom that Christians offer.
Actually thought a post-trib interpretation of the Revelation is right, and Genesis chapters one and two seem to indicate that God made the universe and world perhaps with mankind in it and then created Adam and Eve someplace else. They were dropped into the world after the fall and then given characteristics of thermodynamics such as birth, aging and death. They also became the founders of what would emerge as the Jewish people and ancestors of Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve’s sons married into other existing peoples around the ancient world it appears. In this modality God could had theistically evolved the world or not, Adam and Eve were plugged into an existing world from non-temporal disconformity with the temporal. There is no basis for an either or approach to evolution versus Genesis creation, and basically Darwinists and Christian fundamentalists are just wrong though in different degrees and about different things.
One thing is certain though; the spiritual Holy War for man’s soul continues with the Devil doing all he can (though doomed already) to make a hostile takeover. The Lord has already won the victory.
Interacting with John Bunyan’s 17th century book ‘Holy War’ as one reads through it presents one with the question of how to go about deciding on a method. Unlike all of the previous course assignments this book is a work of fiction. One might say inspired fiction if that genre can be said to exist, yet fiction nonetheless. While very useful it is also a somewhat dangerous realm.
It is theoretically possible to draw the line in scriptural interpretation. Fundamentally there is a Bible canon that exists that does not tend to increase or decrease. Even translational changes are met with skepticism regarding their consistency in presenting the Bible with complete veracity. Fortunately one has the Essenes and the Dead Sea scrolls as a proof text for noting any drifts away from accuracy. With fiction works none of that exists.
A fiction work can be brilliantly illuminating. Let me provide and example…
Tom Quark decides that he has discovered some great and remarkable fact about the laws of nature and of natural philosophy yet is reluctant to publish the work because know one in the physics community would believe the idea was true as it would go against prevailing wisdom and accepted doctrine. So Tom Quark publishes his ideas in a book of fiction and over time the idea is a yeast making the intellectual dough of thought of the unleavened scientific community to rise to understanding. On the other hand fiction writing can simply mislead and present a constellation of errors and false leads wasting a tremendous amount of time. Today there is a huge amount of pseudo religious fiction published with syncretistic religious errors and misunderstandings making composite gloppy messes of any sort of meaningful doctrine that presents true opinion of any field in science or religion.
In the recent movie ‘Marine 4’ there is a lot of symbolism that would tend to support political correctness. A former marine is a first day security officer for ‘the best security firm on Earth’ who is waiting with a dozen other identically clad suits for a ‘package’ to land from a prop plane that has been flying over the northern state for two hours. The package is a woman whistle blower-basically a dog whistle blower who has the goods on the evil Genesis Corporation and evil defenders of Genesis-people making shoddy military products that get marines killed. Defenders of Genesis are trying to kill her before she can get the proof of Genesis’ corruption to the Justice department.
Thus the dog whistle blower with semper fido explaining he will always be faithful to her is landed on a mountain valley runway so all the suits can be killed in an ambush shortly after leaving the air strip. Killing off the suits worn by white males is another satisfying symbolisms. The one survivor of the ambush besides the Marine and the dog whistle blower is a suit that turns out to be a traitor working for the ‘top tier operators’. He says things like ‘I don’t just like to shoot people in the back of the head’, and is generally a representative sample of the weasel-like suit wearing class of white men. The desirable political message is that the white suit class is parasitical and killers. Eliminating the suits (Marine 4 only wore a suit one day and so survived) and controlling the beastly evolutionary males with female dog-whistle blowing leash holders is the utilitarian necessity.
The good white villain is a South African merc named Vogel. Vogel is a kind of mirrored anti-Marine 4 guy. One discerns that with the right kind of dog training he could have been a twin of Marine 4. Man’s rightful place is on the leash of the dog-whistle blower fighting to eliminate the defenders of Genesis. The basic difference between Vogel and Marine 4 is semper fidoltlity to the leash-holder.
Vogel (the name reminds me of the late Joe Vogler who was head of the Alaska Independence Party found murdered in Fairbanks Alaska in 1988 or 89 and buried in the city land fill. I met the late Vogler at a college course on RS2477 in 1988-he was a decent enough fellow-. A fellow named Manley drove up to Vogler’s door, shot him and moved the body to the dump. Vogel is just a killer moving forward with the right MP4 gun posture in a pose of readiness to shoot in close team tactics as if they were an urban SWAT team while hunting in the woods. They tend to cluster together to be easy targets, can’t hit a target running 20 feet away and missed infantry tactics 101. Of course the deceased top security team also missed out on how to avoid an ambush while driving closely spaced SUVs an then also did not pack any kind of weapons suitable for defense against top tier operators sent by the biggest defense contractor in the world. It wouldn’t have done them any good any way; when the top tier Genesis Corp mercs are decimated in the forest by semper fido their numbers seem to mysteriously recover-that’s weird. I was counting them down yet it seemed to return to seven a couple of times-well, I probably need to count better.
The anti-Genesis symbolism seems apparent enough. The evolutionarily superior dog-man marine loyal to his female dog-whistle blower with killing all the bad white male suits is a feminist-homosexual-imperialist ideal replicated in countless Hollywood films.
This season with several Obama Harvard yard projects trying to becoming fructified from homosexual marriage to a Pacific Trade pact that would undermine U.S. national sovereignty further, and while a host of U.S. stimulated conflicts world continued to waste much time and create a more corrupt social environment it is good to find John Bunyan’s excellent story of Mansoul and learn how the conflicts of today are mirrored through time in perennial struggles in a war against good and evil.
In reading ‘The Holy War’ by John Bunyan the effort of the son of a tinker to hammer together a writing venture with all of his effort is very clear. Bunyan spent 12 years in gaol on a three month sentence for attending an unauthorized (by imperial rulers) religious service. Being unwilling to quit his particular beliefs and attend the state church his sentence probably rolled over. Besides Pilgrim’s Progress there is this brilliant work comparable to Dante’s Inferno quite favorably. The allegory of the fate of the town of Mansoul being captured by the Devil only with help from the inside and purging of Capt. Resistance and Innocence shows how even modern people harden their hearts against the Lord and believe what Sartre called ‘false consciousness’. Sartre’s term about self-deception applies in the context of Jeremiah’s ‘everyone knows me; they just forget (intentionally) who I am’. My philosophical, analytical disposition would lead me to say that awareness of being for-others and being-for-oneself are biologically phenomenal characteristics humans have implicitly in self-aware cogito… Fancy neurological configurations of dust put-to-breathing. All are saved through grace rather than merit. In reading ‘Holy War’ by John Bunyan one discovers in the allegory how the town of Mansoul was captured by the top fallen angel. The wicked one has numerous ways of applying deceit. Self-deceit is an existential threat.
Holy War-pages 123-124-quote
“‘The lords of Looseness send to the great and high Diabolus from our dens, caves, holes, and strongholds, in and about the wall of the town of Mansoul, greeting:
‘Our great lord, and the nourisher of our lives, Diabolus-how glad we were when we heard of your fatherhood’s readiness to comply with us, and help forward our design in our attempts to ruin Mansoul, none can tell but those who, as we do, set themselves against all appearance of good, when and wheresoever we find it.
‘Touching the encouragement that your greatness is pleased to give us to continue to devise, contrive, and study the utter desolation of Mansoul, that we are not solicitous about; for we know right well that it cannot but be pleasing and profitable to us to see our enemies, and them that seek our lives, die at our feet, or fly before us. We therefore are still contriving, and that to the best of our cunning, to make this work most facile and easy to your lordships, and to us.
‘First, we considered of that most hellishly cunning, compacted, threefold project, that by you was propounded to us in your last; and have concluded, that though to blow them up with the gunpowder of pride would do well, and to do it by tempting them to be loose and vain will help on, yet to contrive to bring them into the gulf of desperation, we think will do best of all. Now we, who are at your beck, have thought of two ways to do this: first we, for our parts, will make them as vile as we can, and then you with us, at a time appointed, shall be ready to fall upon them with the utmost force. And of all the nations that are at your whistle, we think that an army of Doubters may be the most likely to attack and overcome the town of Mansoul. Thus shall we overcome these enemies, else the pit shall open her mouth upon them, and desperation shall thrust them down into it. We have also, to effect this so much by us desired design, sent already three of our trusty Diabolonians among them; they are disguised in garb, they have changed their names, and are now accepted of them; namely, Covetousness, Lasciviousness, and Anger. The name of Covetousness is changed to Prudent-Thrifty, and him Mr. Mind has hired, and is almost become as bad as our friend. Lasciviousness has changed his name to Harmless-Mirth, and he is got to be the Lord Willbewill’s lacquey; but he has made his master very wanton. Anger changed his name into Good-Zeal, and was entertained by Mr. Godly-Fear; but the peevish old gentleman took pepper in the nose, and turned our companion out of his house. Nay, he has informed us since that he ran away from him, or else his old master had hanged him up for his labour.
‘Now these have much helped forward our work and design upon Mansoul; for notwithstanding the spite and quarrelsome temper of the old gentleman last mentioned, the other two ply their business well, and are likely to ripen the work apace.
‘Our next project is, that it be concluded that you come upon the town upon a marketday, and that when they are upon the heat of their business; for then, to be sure, they will be most secure, and least think that an assault will be made upon them. They will also at such a time be less able to defend themselves, and to offend you in the prosecution of our design. And we your trusty (and we are sure your beloved) ones shall, when you shall make your furious assault without, be ready to second the business within. So shall we, in all likelihood, be able to put Mansoul to utter confusion, and to swallow them up before they can come to themselves. If your serpentine heads, most subtile dragons, and our highly esteemed lords can find out a better way than this, let us quickly know your minds.
‘To the monsters of the infernal cave, from the house of Mr. Mischief in Mansoul, by the hand of Mr. Profane.’”-end quote
On a Modal Logic Parameter for the Necessity of Heaven
‘Holy War’ suggests the question; isn’t the eternal presence the Lord in heaven the only way (necessary) for people with no good in them (no not one) to remain free from sin for eternity? That seems logically necessary in a modal logic kind of way. Here is more about the issue…
There are numerous references to life after death in heaven in the Bible-especially notable is the Revelation’s chapter 2. John Bunyan’s book ‘Holy War’ provides a modal logical glimpse of the reason why heaven may be structured as it is.
Consider that mankind is susceptible to sin. Even if saved and cleansed from sin it seems that Christians may still be subject to temptation to sin occasionally getting snared. What better remedy than to have the Lord live in one’s presence with the Spirit of God defending the soul against sin? What better place to live than in a New Jerusalem where the heavenly city is cleansed from all diabolic traces?
The people of Mansoul realized the problem of original sin and its tendency for eternal recurrence. With free will mankind requires on-going help-even in heaven apparently. Bunyan’s allegorical account of how the city of Mansoul-created by God yet fallen to occupation of the Devil-even with the free willingness of the people of Mansoul to have the Devil as their Prince-is liberated by the Lord remains true to the Lord.
Mansoul is, I suppose, representative of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem when the Lord physically returns to take possession. God choose David as the King of the Jews to make his capital at Jerusalem and the place where his Temple would be built. God had the Priest-King Mechilzedek-perhaps a precarnate Christ, appear to Abraham at the future site of Jerusalem. The writer of Hebrews said that Jesus is a priest after the order of Mechilzedek. Plainly Jerusalem has special meaning as a place where God appears.
Following the expulsion of Diabolus from the town of Mansoul in a successful reconquista accomplished after much strife with great cost and loss of life the people of Mansoul are rehabilitated to a certain extent. They expect judgment and doom for they have had enough warnings, yet are eventually forgiven by the Lord. The people of Mansoul realized they have no virtue that can save themselves, and ask for the mercy of God (the Lord) to keep them free and in His good graces as His servants.
From pages 82-83 Holy War-“They added, moreover, and prayed his Majesty to consider thereof; ‘for,’ said they, ‘if now, after all this grace bestowed upon us, thy miserable town of Mansoul, thou shouldest withdraw, thou and thy captains, from us, the town of Mansoul will die. Yea,’ said they, ‘our blessed Emmanuel, if thou shouldest depart from us now, now thou hast done so much good for us, and showed so much mercy unto us, what will follow but that our joy will be as if it had not been, and our enemies will a second time come upon us with more rage than at the first! Wherefore, we beseech thee, O thou, the desire of our eyes, and the strength and life of our poor town, accept of this motion that now we have made unto our Lord, and come and dwell in the midst of us, and let us be thy people. Besides, Lord, we do not know but that to this day many Diabolonians may be yet lurking in the town of Mansoul, and they will betray us, when thou shalt leave us, into the hand of Diabolus again; and who knows what designs, plots, or contrivances have passed betwixt them about these things already! loath we are to fall again into his horrible hands. Wherefore, let it please thee to accept of our palace for thy place of residence, and of the houses of the best men in our town for the reception of thy soldiers and their furniture.’
Then said the Prince, ‘If I come to your town, will you suffer me further to prosecute that which is in mine heart against mine enemies and yours?-yea, will you help me in such undertakings?’
They answered, ‘We know not what we shall do; we did not think once that we should have been such traitors to Shaddai as we have proved to be. What, then, shall we say to our Lord? Let him put no trust in his saints; let the Prince dwell in our castle, and make of our town a garrison; let him set his noble captains and his warlike soldiers over us; yea, let him conquer us with his love, and overcome us with his grace, and then surely shall he be but with us, and help us, as he was and did that morning that our pardon was read unto us. We shall comply with this our Lord, and with his ways, and fall in with his word against the mighty.
‘One word more, and thy servants have done, and in this will trouble our Lord no more. We know not the depth of the wisdom of thee, our Prince. Who could have thought, that had been ruled by his reason, that so much sweet as we do now enjoy should have come out of those bitter trials wherewith we were tried at the first! But, Lord, let light go before, and let love come after: yea, take us by the hand, and lead us by thy counsels, and let this always abide upon us, that all things shall be for the best for thy servants, and come to our Mansoul, and do as it pleaseth thee. Or, Lord, come to our Mansoul, do what thou wilt, so thou keepest us from sinning, and makest us serviceable to thy Majesty.’”
John Bunyan’s exposition of the logical necessity that people live in the presence of the Lord in order to remain free from sin, and later of the joy of living in the presence of the Lord, is a remarkable piece of theological work.
I believe that the initial liberation of Mansoul is the parallel of the Lord appearing in Israel to teach and free the people before being crucified wherein he overcame death himself and for-others of faith inasmuch as he made the atonement required of God for people with original sin contamination. The subsequent relapse of some of the people of Mansoul toward a reprobate lifestyle might represent the present era post-crucifixion where the kingdom of God has been re-established in the form of the church yet because the Lord is not physically in the presence of all believers some are tempted through a variety of snares and privations to fall away to the guile of dark Lord Devil (Vader) and the Ultimate Evil Emperor of the Evil Satanic Empire (mixing allegories here).
Bunyan’s paradigm for the town of Mansoul in the country of Universe reminds me a little of Augustine’s city of God versus city of man criterion. Of course Bunyan’s ‘Holy War’ is an allegory comprising the culture of 17th century England in a fictional setting. Yet the town of Mansoul is an obvious existential representative of mankind attacking on all fronts by Satan. Satan attacks through mostly human actors willingly in his service. Bunyan describes how individuals and the entire town basically are won over to the dark side of the force in allegiance to Satan-Vader.
To remain on the existential tack for considering the Holy War I should say that the way Bunyan uses his characters that are protagonists of Mansoul reminds me of the social industrial shop workers in Jean Paul Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason.
In the 800 page tome that is the Critique Sartre describes existential social relationships, and it is a brilliant work. Elaborating upon how each individual in his individual existential experience of being acts within an existing and transitioning concatenation of individuals that comprises the social dialectic Sartre created a template for social existential analysis that explains a lot of serialized and permutating or evolving social behavior. I think it is notable that individuals need not be philosophers or saved Christians to profit within numerous social environments sometimes including a church organization. Instead one might be rather superficial yet say the right buzzwords and just look agreeable and move on through perhaps without having a clue about what or why anything exists…
The Holy War is presented in a style that reminds me of the Critique. The advance of the evil project of the condemned Satan to capture the town of Mansoul and subordinate to his own will is of course a way to attack the Lord and God the Father. The interaction of virtually all the citizens to Mansoul-though not all, socially to advance the ingress of Satan’s ways and the displacement and negating of God’s ways in the town that God built; Mansoul, is a dialectical or evolutionary collapse of intelligence in Mansoul.
In a labor or factory organization the dialectical reason for being and interacting follows along predictable lines of behavior and serialized praxis. The directions for behaving in particular ways are generally given from the owner or top manger and flow on down to the regular shop workers. In the Holy War the praxis desired by Satan to corrupt the existing relationship and phenomenal social dialect given from God must be insinuated with subtlety and chicanery often using sophisticated appeals to reason that induce the citizens to accept the premise that will advance the new praxis or procedures leading to the defection from allegiance to God and Jesus Christ to the ways that doom Mansoul.
In the modern world the social dialectic that prevails isn’t quite so uniform as it might have been in a royally ruled town with its comparative isolation from other cultural influences. Yet one does note in books such as Animal farm and 1984 the rise of totalitarianism and of though and mind control from a Satanic other to the citizen in an existential dialectic that is a forced circumstance with no power of dissent. The rat in a cage over the head of a captive staying there until he denounces his most loved other is in a sense actualized in the concentration camps of Germany and in the Gulags of Stalin’s Archipelago. Many experienced the existential dialectic of corrupt persecution from the evil one and yield to the power. Even Peter denied the Lord three times in one day, yet Stephen affirmed the Lord until he was stoned to death and Polycarp was burned to death when he refused to step upon the cross and deny Christ.
Not all assaults upon the soul may be as stark as those mentioned above however they do exist. Neither must humans be made aware of the significance of their choice to let their relationship with God lapse or fade into non-being or even outright hostility. They may slowly slip into darkness and lose the light not realizing evidently that the night will come and then one can ask with Carl Mauldin; What will you do, what will you do? I enjoyed reading the Holy war quite a bit.
The Holy War reminds one that each soul is existentially challenged to be and become faithful to the Lord. That is an empirical battle-a choice between good and evil, right and wrong that so many nowadays fail. The entire world is the setting for the battle for Mansoul. Bunyan’s characters acting to war in behalf of Diabolus-the Diabolans, have readily recognizable clones in today’s people and issues in the U.S.A. and around the world.
The same atheist figures war to compel people to lose faith. The same people fight for the false virtue of carnal security. Orgies then and now draw certain people when the splendid table of feasting is not enough to satisfy. Ignorance, apathy, incredulity-there are so many people seeking to expand the strongholds of Diabolus within the town of Mansoul and actually eliminate any trace of the righteous Prince of the Town who is away. I suppose in that regard it might be compared to the story of Robin Hood. While Richard the Lionheart was absent attending to other concerns an evil Baron and pretender corrupted the nation so far as possible to tax and spend on his own interests at too high of a rate. Diabolus is obviously far worse seeking to klay waste them to every human soul, take their eyes off the prize of salvation and eternal life in the presence of the Lord, and get them to agree to it even if with deception. If one fights for the wrong side in the Holy War then one is, an enemy combatant.
it is a different way of viewing the perennial struggle between good and evil. It is an allegory that could be adapted by a skilled writer for modern times-perhaps it has; the tide of battle between forces working to create a city of God rather than a city of Diabolus on Earth continues even as Christians need to build toward a majority of the world’s population deciding for faith before the Lord returns-a Prince returning to his city-Mansoul.
When John Bunyan wrote in the 17th century his was not simply an abstract description of the people of his day motivated without good cause of example. Historical examples were provided to Bunyan by the Inquisition and its application to protestants the century before. The Inquisition would have provided profuse examples of Diabolans at work in their worst dark arts. Britain too had its share of sectarian problems that arose most recently with the catholic-protestant problems, yet that Island had already encountered the customary sharp edge of religious purges. It was generally almost impossible to separate religious from political state conflicts in an era before general literacy and cheap paperback books.
The illiterate man of faith just had to go along with what his superiors told him and so on. If the gospel arrived through the words of a Spanish priest allied with Spanish Royalty and the Hapsburgs then to those worldly forces the vassal must chose to fight in war in support of their decretals upon religious and political issues and values. Issues of great moral concerns on conscience and right and wrong concerning war, peace and etc just didn’t occur for the ordinary soul in a practical way that might have created a public cause or generated unity for a political movement. As an illiterate peasant without any possibility for reading or writing ideas in a convenient format (such as PDF or EPUB) he and his mostly illiterate or undereducated feudal lords had to follow the hierarchical martinets except where opportunities for personal profit through treason or sedition, treachery or etc occurred. It was a different world then now, yet not so far as one might think.
John Foxxe took an MA from an Oxford college and read voluminously of the classics. He was a good researcher and a devout Catholic while at college. Everyone has to start somewhere, and Foxxe began studying scripture and other material for himself becoming persuaded of the Catholic errors in the process.
Foxxe soon became a professing Christian of the gospel and something of a reformer himself in the mid 16th century. He was condemned for heresy and expelled from Oxford. Foxxe took refuge across the channel having the good fortune to have wealthy and even royal patrons that would I think finance his escape from onerous English residence.
As a convicted heretic in a century when heresy trials were meat for the Inquisition Foxxe must have had an interesting time on the continent. In that era before the Internet and cell phones one might not receive good advanced word of the approach of hostile foreign armies or agents of the Inquisition. I suppose people chatted and spread rumors a lot as a kind of CNN of the day, and that would present all sorts of problems itself including the perpetuation and dissemination of certain bigotries. At any rate, Foxxe had the opportunity to become an historian of the tortures and killings of mostly Protestant Christians and others-often innocents not even being guilty of being what they were charged with-by the Catholic insider authorities.
Foxxe incidentally was educated at Oxford and received patronage partly during the reign of Henry VIII-the founder of the Church of England through schism with the Catholic Church. Puritans like Cromwell were hated by Irish Catholics obviously, yet Milton was a Puritan Government Minister in the Cromwell administration, and the divorce of Catholic rulers from the English government as well as the church was an inevitable and bloody evolution of social transition fulfilling the teleology of God, or rather advancing it along a certain path toward the direction expressed in Bible prophecy. Constructing human society to evolve spiritual maturity and become a majority of the people with a priesthood of believers enacting active Christian roles might not be a simple process that is understandable by a majority of people in their own lifetime.
A brief quote from Foxxe’s Book of Martyrs might be useful to remind us of the way things were preceding the rise of the Puritans to political power in England…
Quote from page 60-“When the inquisitors have taken umbrage against an innocent person, all expedients are used to facilitate condemnation; false oaths and testimonies are employed to find the accused guilty; and all laws and institutions are sacrificed to bigoted revenge. If a person accused be arrested and imprisoned, his treatment is deplorable. The gaolers may begin by searching him for books and papers which may tend to his conviction, or for instruments which might be employed in self-murder or escape, and on this pretext they often rob him of his wearing apparel. When the prisoner has been searched and robbed he is then committed to prison. The mildest sentence is imprisonment for life; yet the inquisitors proceed by degrees at once subtle, slow and cruel. The gaoler first insinuates himself into the prisoner’s favor, by pretending to wish him well, and advise him; and among other hints falsely kind, tells him to petition for an audit. When he is brought before the consistory, the first demand is, “What is your request?” To this the prisoner very naturally answers that he would have a hearing. hereupon, one of the inquisitors replies, “Your hearing is this-confess the truth, conceal nothing, and rely on our mercy.” if now the prisoner makes a confession of any trifling affair, they immediately found an indictment upon it; if he is mute, they shut him up without light, or any food but a scanty allowance of bread and water, till he overcame his obstinacy, as they call it; and if he declare his innocence, they torment him till he either dies with the pain or confesses himself guilty.
On the re-examination of such as confess, they continually say, “You have not been sincere, you tell not all; you keep many things concealed, and therefore must be remanded to your dungeon.” When those who have been mute are recalled for further examination, if they continue silent, such tortures are ordered as will either make them speak or kill them; and when those who proclaim their innocence are re-examined, a crucifix is held before, and they are solemnly exhorted to take an oath of their confession of faith. This brings them to the test, they must either swear they are Roman Catholics or acknowledge they are not.
After a person is condemned, he is either severely whipped, violently tortured, sent to the galleys, or sentenced to death; in either case the effects are confiscated. After judgment, a procession is formed to the place of execution, and the ceremony is called Auto da Fe, or act of faith. The following is an exact account of one of those atrocious and grotesque solemnities, performed at Madrid in the 1683:-“… end quote from Foxxe’s Book of Martyrs.
John Foxx (1517-1587) explained more than the methods of the Inquisition. He wrote about catholic purges of Christians across Europe in that century and before. It is a kind of record of the efforts of the Roman See to wipe out the Protestant reformation at the same time as they were helping the Spanish purges their country of ideological impurities that were forced upon them during the era of Iberian Peninsula history starting with Moorish invasion and occupation. The decision of the Roman Pontiff to war on the Reformation was unfortunate yet perhaps rather inevitable considering that politics and state affairs were inextricably linked through the royal houses.
When Luther nailed his 96 thesis to the door of a church building and schism developed the willingness of German nobility to revolt against Catholic Hapsburg control was probably as much of a factor as theological concerns in preponderantly choosing to reinforce the Protestant reformation. Church-state entanglement has worked to repress Christian theological sensibilities as too, as they must conform to state will and occasionally, vice versa.
After Death is Vanquished from Mansoul, from Hell the Devil Aspires and Plots to Recapture Mansoul
‘Holy War- from pages 129-130-“‘Nay, we shall, to encourage you in the profundity of your craft, let you know, that, at a full assembly and conclave of our princes and principalities of this place, your project was discoursed and tossed from one side of our cave to the other by their mightinesses; but a better, and as was by themselves judged, a more fit and proper way by all their wits, could not be invented, to surprise, take, and make our own, the rebellious town of Mansoul.‘Wherefore, in fine, all that was said that varied from what you had in your letter propounded,fell of itself to the ground, and yours only was stuck to by Diabolus, the prince;yea, his gaping gorge and yawning paunch was on fire to put your invention into execution.
‘We therefore give you to understand that our stout, furious, and unmerciful Diabolus is raising, for your relief, and the ruin of the rebellious town of Mansoul, more than twenty thousand Doubters to come against that people. They are all stout and sturdy men, and men that of old have been accustomed to war, and that can therefore well endure the drum. I say, he is doing this work of his with all the possible speed he can; for his heart and spirit is engaged in it. We desire, therefore, that, as you have hitherto stuck to us, and given us both advice and encouragement thus far, you still will prosecute our design; nor shall you lose,
but be gainers thereby; yea, we intend to make you the lords of Mansoul.
‘One thing may not by any means be omitted, that is, those with us do desire that every one of you that are in Mansoul would still use all your power, cunning, and skill, with delusive persuasions, yet to draw the town of Mansoul into more sin and wickedness, even that sin may be finished and bring forth death.
For thus it is concluded with us, that the more vile, sinful, and debauched the town of Mansoul is, more backward will be their Emmanuel to come to their help, either by presence or other relief; yea, the more sinful, the more weak, and so the more unable will they be to make resistance when we shall make our assault upon them to swallow them up. Yea, that may cause that their mighty Shaddai himself may cast them out of his protection; yea, and send for his captains and soldiers home, with his slings and rams, and leave them naked and bare; and then the town of Mansoul will of itself open to us, and fall as the fig into the mouth of the eater. Yea, to be sure that we then with a great deal of ease shall come uponher and overcome her.”-end quote
It may be that John Bunyan’s book provides a kind of systems analysis perspective upon the methods of operation that Satan employs to corrupt the human soul. There is a sort of synoptic view of God’s relationship to mankind provided in the ‘Holy War’ in allegorical form. I think it quite useful to have a synoptic view on God’s relationship to mankind especially concerning the assaults and methods of operation used by the exteriority of evil implicit in the works of the devil. Forewarned is forearmed. Defense is simpler when one understands the reasons why the conflict is happening especially as direct attack is made upon one’self and even one’s own thought. As Bunyan wrote; the gunpowder of pride is an effective tool among Satan’s repertoire of dirty tricks for subverting the human soul to his advantage. I suppose the Evil one would line his pit with trophies of souls in jars packed in and sealed with eternal doom.
A synoptic view of the work of God to save the human race over the course of history does require a generally accurate understanding of the meaning of the Bible. A wrong hermeneutic and eschatology can bring one to react incorrectly to the external challenges of Satan and the phenomenality of evolution theory. To use Arnold Toynbee’s challenge-response criterion, the response of Christians to the external challenge of Satanic designs to snare their soul would not be appropriate to the challenge. If one believes that a quick evacuation will occur from a potential battlefield if there is a sudden enemy attack it is quite possible that adequate defense measures for protracted war will not be built. In other words if pre-tribulationist misinterpreters of John’s Revelation believe that they will be raptured from the world after a long slow drain of morality from society in Satan’s winning campaign, they will be poor defenders of or missionaries for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the ‘Holy War’ Prince Emmanuel in some way fades out from the inner castle of Mansoul gradually after winning the battle for Mansoul from the Devil who is cast into the pit. Yet he has already established his Lord High Secretary to interact with the townsmen for him, in his absence as he has returned to the court of the Father-Shaddai. Because the people having been restored with forgiveness for their prior defection to sin have become sickened over time with subtly infiltrated sickness and deceptions masking corruption regress toward apostasy slowly, the Lord High Secretary, who may symbolize the Holy Spirit, has become reclusive and unwilling to act in defense of the people of Mansoul too.
The tribulation previously reached Mansoul in the form of its capture and occupation by Diabolus and his army. Yet with the kingdom of God (Prince Emmanuel) restored in possession of Mansoul there was still trouble with the prospect for relapse into the old ways of submission to the will of Diabolus who would return to be Prince of Mansoul. Not only must Christians or the citizens of Mansoul be ever vigilant against the deceit of Diabolus, they must encourage and reinforce one another as peers in a priesthood of believers as free people that are voluntarily allegiant as servants to Prince Emmanuel (Jesus Christ) as their defender who has true concern about their eternal well-being. In post-tribulationist interpretation of the Revelation template for the Holy War, a priesthood of believers must needs increase the kingdom of God unto being an active majority of the population rather than being shrinking violets dwindling to a tiny minority remnant waiting for evacuation like the Washington Adolphus Greeley expedition at Fort Conger. An active priesthood of professing believers would know for themselves the truth of the gospel and present that every day in their own lives and interactions with others in society. Church going Christians cannot remain pew-sitting watchers of an elite being Christian performers on stage viewing things passively from the cell of their mind in a brain housing skull. An actual peer Christian egalitarian networking church structure need arise with a variety of forms where church discipline is just a matter of being a Christian in a priesthood of believers roll without prospect for reprobate conduct without being untrue to oneself and what one believes and says in performing the rolls of the priesthood of believers that have some elements of standardization.
When Diabolus sends an army of doubters or atheists against Mansoul. An active volunteer priesthood of believers with much better self-discipline survives the attack much better than draftees inclined to insubordination, fragging, doping, carnal ventures, crimes, defections and desertion.
Another Theological Point of Instruction
From pages 141-142 The Holy War-Diabolus having thus ended his flattering, fawning, deceitful, and lying speech to the famous town of Mansoul, the Lord Mayor replied to him as follows:—
‘O Diabolus, prince of darkness, and master of all deceit; thy lying flatteries we have had and made sufficient probation of, and have tasted too deeply of that destructive cup already. Should we therefore again hearken unto thee, and so break the commandments of our great Shaddai, to join in affinity with thee, would not our Prince reject us, and cast us off for ever? And, being cast off by him, can the place that he has prepared for thee be a place of rest for us? Besides, O thou that art empty and void of all truth, we are rather ready to die by thy hand, than to fall in with thy flattering and lying deceits.’
When the tyrant saw that there was little to be got by parleying with my Lord Mayor, he fell into an hellish rage, and resolved that again, with his army of Doubters, he wouldan other time assault the town of Mansoul.”-end quote
In a way, Bunyan provided a theological explanation for the remoteness of the Lord after his departure from the victorious presence with the disciples after victory over the Devil and death spiritually and physically in His resurrection. The Lord did leave and the comforter-the Holy Spirit might arrive, yet it was for an era of the growth of empirical truth in the kingdom of God and in the increase of faith and conversion of many gentiles to faith in and salvation with the Lord. For Christians to grow and strengthen they need do so as He was somewhat away, for not only where they not perfected and their numbers few in regard to their potential, they must needs be battle tested against the evil Prince of darkness relying upon the Holy Spirit, grace and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bunyan provided this new-to-me rational inference about why the Lord might be physically absent after his comparatively brief victory tour in Jerusalem and outside to the Apostles. It is a better and more logical explanation than the pre-tribulationist idea that another victory and tribulation need be won by the Lord as if his first was of no decisive effect. Bunyan’s paradigm is a better, more modal logically consistent reasoning in regard to God’s management style for reconciliation to his will along a temporal transitioning to eternal course of human spiritual development. In the advancing Christian education course something of a veteran status is achieved by Christians as they learn they can, in the Lord’s service, defeat the attacks of Diabolus. That would make a Christian majority possible on Earth, rather than a Diabolical, deceitful imperial caste of rulers exploiting a hapless enthralled majority destined for shelves of eternal doom beyond the gates of hell.
It might be useful to consider the ‘Holy War’ from a thematic perspective, that is, to consider how its symbolism is provided structurally in names and what those names represent. The symbolic names of the protagonists are keys to examining the elements that attack the living human soul in the temporal world.
Though the battle for the rescue, liberation and salvation of the town of Mansoul is an allegory, the allegory represents the battle the human soul experiences on Earth. That is not just an empirical battle for life and death as is usual in military engagements, it is a spiritual war with external assailants as well as internal self-dispositions to move away from a Christian demeanor and conduct toward those that are reprobate. Mind and thought content too in the drift of the soul away from the consciousness of cohering within the will of God may develop a kind of forgetfulness about the truths that God has expressed to them through the word, prophets, Holy Spirit and life example of the Lord. Bunyan’s work is a reminder of the paradigm of the soul’s drifting in and out of coherence within the spirit of God in degrees of concern with world, reprobate proclivities and those that are with the demeanor a Chrristian may rightly pursue. As a soldier might have pproper military bearing, a Christian should have a proper Christian bearing, yet the bearing is spiritual for a Christian; inward rather than outward though the inward light may be outwardly visible.
There are several levels of the modal structure that describes the manner whereby the soul is assaulted in the Holy War. That is a warning to Christians to be on guard on several levels regarding personal conduct, subjective attitudes that are destructive such as ‘the gunpowder of pride’, temptations, diversions from attention to matters of the Lord, deceit by Diabolans, direct assault by Diabolans and so forth.
For Bunyan, Christian victory resides in true faith to the Lord regardless of the personal consequences. If, like the Canadian Indian tribe that were converted to Christianity, apparently took the faith seriously and were subsequently wiped out by pagans, a people is martyred on the cross of faith, they will be received into the kingdom of God anyway after death; a place where they were living before