Eph. 6. 12. We wrestle not against Flesh and Blood, but against Principalities, against Powers,
against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World,
against spiritual Wickednesses in bigh Places, (in Celestials.)
Matth 8. 31, 32. The Devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the Herd of Swine. And he said, Go.
Luk. 10. 18, 20. I beheld Satan, as Lightning, fall from Heaven, &c.
Heb. 2. 14. Are they not all (the Angels) ministring Spirits, &c.
LONDON, Printed for T.
at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside;
and J. Salusbury at the Rising Sun
over against the Royal Exchange. 1691.
IT seemeth hard to unruly Minds, that God should keep Intellectual Souls, so strange to the unseen World of Spirits; that we know so little of them, and that our Knowledge of them, is no more by the way of sense: But there is in it, much of Gods Arbitrary Soveraign Power, and much of his Wisdom, and much of his Justice, and also of his Love.
1. It pleased him to make Variety of Creatures: What harmony would there be without Variety? were there nothing but Unity there would be nothing but God. And various Creatures, must have a various Scituation, Reception and Operations: The Fishes must not [P. 3] dwell in our Cities, nor be acquainted with our Affairs.
2. We here dwell in Flesh, in Bodies organized for the Souls Receptions and Perceptions, and Operations: And the Wisdom of God doth suitably dispose of his Communications, and give us that measure of Light, which is agreeable to our State: The Sun must not shine on the Infant in the Womb, nor must he there see our Buildings and Tradings, and Business in the World.
3. We have Light here, that is proportionable to our work and interest: So much as is necessary to our knowing of our selves, and our God and Governour, and our Duty, and all those hopes that are our necessary Motives thereto. Men that will but observe the Operations of their Souls, may competently know what a Soul or Spirit is: And Men that will, but open their Eyes, and considerately look about them, may as certainly know that there is a God, as they can know that there is any Being: And Men that cannot but difference Moral Good and Evil, and that know the Duty of [P. 4] Children to Parents, Subjects to Rulers, and Neighbours to Neighbours, may know their Duty to God, and that the performance of it shall not be in vain: And if Men will not know all this which they may know, it is just with God to leave them to their chosen darkness, and not to know that which further might be known. It is a dismal case to have a Soul that will not know it self, to be what it is, till utter Misery convince him.
4. And the God of Love maketh Advantage of our not-seeing the World of Spirits, for our Exercise of our higher Intellectual Faculties, by a Life of Faith; And Intuition (a Nobler sort than our present Eye-sight) will be seasonable, and soon enough when ripeness hath made us ready for it. We shall not need all the Organical parts of the Eye, which Galen admiringly describeth, for our Glorious sight. And to see Devils and other Spirits ordinarily, would not be enough to bring our Atheists to the saving Knowledge of God, without which all other knowledge is vain. They [P. 5] that doubt of a God (the most perfect, eternal, infinite Being) while they see the Sun and Moon, and Stars, the Sea and Land, would not know him by seeing Created Spirits.
As to the Originals of this Collection, it had its rise from my own, and other Mens need. When God first awakened me, to think with preparing seriousness of my Condition after Death, I had not any observed Doubts of the Reality of Spirits, or the Immortality of the Soul, or of the Truth of the Gospel: But all my doubts were about my own Renovation and Title to that Blessed Life. But when God had given me peace of Conscience, Satan Assaulted me with those worse Temptations: Yet through Gods Grace, they never prèvailed against my Faith: Nor did he ever raise in me the least doubt of the Being, and Perfection of God; nor of my Duty to Love, Honour, Obey, and Trust him: For I still saw that to be an Atheist was to be mad.
But I found that my Faith of Supernatural Revelation, must be more than a Believing Man, and that if it had not [P. 6] a firm Foundation, and rooting, even sure Evidence of Verity, Surely Apprehended, it was not like to do those great works that Faith had to do, and to overcome the World, the Flesh and the Devil and to make my Death, to be safe and comfortable. Therefore I found that all confirming helps were useful; and among those off the lower sort, Apparitions, and other sensible Manifestations of the certain existence of Spirits of themselves Invisible, was a means that might do much with such as are prone to judge by Sense. The uses hereof I mention before the Book, that the Reader may know that I write it for Practice, and not to please Men with the Strangeness and Novelty of useless Stories.
It is no small number of Writers on such Subjects that I have read, it's near threescore years time from the first occasion: And finding that almost all the Atheists, Sadduces and Infidels, did seem to profess, that were they but sure of the Reality of the Apparitions and Operations of Spirits, it would cure them, I thought this the most fuitable help for them, [P. 7] that have sinned themselves into an incapacity of more Rational and Excellent Arguments. And I have long feared, lest secret unobserved defectiveness in their Belief of the Immortality of the Soul, and the truth of the Scripture, is the great cause of all Mens other defects: There lieth usually the unsoundness of Worldly Hypocrites, where it is prevailing, and thence is the weakness of Grace in the best, though it prevail not against their Sincerity.
By which Motives I did (though it displeased some) make it the Second Part of my Book called the Saints Rest; And afterward provoked by Clement Writer, I did it much more fully in a Book called the Unreasonableness of Infidelity: And after that, provoked by the Copy of a paper dispersed in Oxford, (said to be Dr. Walkers) questioning the certainty of our Religion, and seeing no answer to it come from the University Men, I wrote yet more Methodically of all, in a Book called the Reasons of the Christian Religion: And after added a small Discourse called More [P. 8] Reasons for it, provoked by one that called himself Herbert, in which also I answered the Lord Herbert; de veritate: And since then, a nameless Sadduce hath drawn me to publish an Answer to him: And in my Life of Faith, and other Books, I have handled the same Subject: All which I tell the Reader, that he may fee why I have taken this Subject as so necessary, why I am ending my Life with the publication of these Historical Letters and Collections: Which I dare say have such Evidence, as will leave every Sadduce that readeth them, either convinced, or utterly without excuse.
Surely the certainty of so great a change of our place, State, Company and Works, as Death will certainly and quickly make, should possess every Man that hath the use of Reason with such serious Thoughts, Affections and Diligence, as is quite contrary to a Diverted, Careless, Sloathful, Worldly, Sensual and stupid Mind and Life.
How speedily shall I see the World that I have read of, and Preached, and [P. 9 ] talkt and written of? O! What a difference will there be between my now hearing of frightful Apparitions, and prodigious Acts of Spirits, and that sight or knowledge of all their State and Affairs; which I shall have, and now am going to. The sight of Devils and Damned Diveses, and unholy Souls, will hereafter be no Rarity; and if my Soul must pass through the airy inferior Region, where these Miserable Spirits now inhabit, it will not be as dangerously Assaulted by them, but in Triumph: For I know whom I have trusted, and into the hands of him do I commit my Spirit, who hath conquerred Death and Devils, and is now the Glorified Lord of all, and can use them at his pleasure. And those Angels that rejoice at the Repentance of of a Lazarus, and now are Ministring Spirits for his safety, will be ready in Obedience to our Lord, to convey his Soul to Abrabams bosom: Yea, to be that day with Christ in Paradise.
He that chaineth up these Devils, that they molest us no more as their Malice doth desire, will make our passage safe through all their envy and defiled Regions.
But seeing it is the free will of Man that giveth the Devils their hurting power, and they can do us no harm, nor make us sin, without our own consent or yielding: O! With how careful and constant and resolved watchfulness should we live? And how deservedly may every prayerless ungodly Family and person, be left for a prey to this devourer. And indeed he hath already hurt them more by blinding and hardening their Hearts, than a thousand haunting Apparitions could of themselves have done.
And when Excellent Zanchy hath said so much to prove, that it is by his very contiguous Substance, that the Devil doth work on Soul and Body, how dreadful should Temptations and Sin be to us, if we would not have the very substance of Devils dwell in us? And why do any think [P. 11] it strange to read so much of Possessions and Dispossessions in the Gospel.
Lord Jesus let me Finish my Course with joy: And then receive my Spirit. Amen.
July, 20. 1691.
[P. 12 ]
Of the great and weighty Uses of these Histories of Spirits, and their unusual Appearances and Works.
§. I. I Have written this Collection only as an Addition to sufficient Proofs of invisible Powers or Spirits, and their Actions towards Men, which many in full Treatises have already given the World; because how convincing soever those Discourses be, Multitudes bred up in Idleness and Sensuality, and thereby drowned in Sadduceism and Bestiality, never see those Books; nor will the Devil consent that they shall have so much Wit and Care of their future State, as to make that diligent Enquiry after such Things as the Importance of the Matter doth require: Nor will they read them, if they have them; nor believe the fullest Evidence, though they read it; pretending that of Persons and Things so long ago, and far off, they can have no Assurance, not knowing what Fallacies may intervene.
Therefore I have chosen many near to them both for Time and Place; of which, if they think their Souls worth so much Labour, they may enquire to Satisfaction.
§ 2. Though I have taken many out of Foreign most credible Physicians, and some from other Historians, yet, that I may not transcribe too much, I desire them that need yet fuller Information, to read especially Bodin and Remigius, two Judges who condemned Multitudes of Witches themselves, and Paul Grillandus, and Sprangerus, and the Mallei Malesicorum, and Zanchy de Angelis & Dæmon. and Danæus, Joseph Glanvile with Dr. More's Notes, especially the Story in the West of Scotland, near like that most convincing one of the Devil of Mascon; and Dr. More of Atheism; and Mr. Increase Mather, and his Son Mr. Cotton Mather of New England, their two Books of Witches, of which, the latter hath most convincing Evidence; and Dr. Sinclare, a Scot.
§ 3. I confess, it is very difficult to expound the Causes of all mentioned in these Histories: But proveth Matters of fact must not be denied, but improved as well as we can. And I confess, very many Cheats of pretended Possessions have been discovered, which hath made some weak, injudicious Men think that all are such. Two sorts of [P. 14] Persons have oft been found Deceivers: I. Persons prepared and trained up purposely by Papists Priests, to honour their Exorcisms. You may find in print the Story of the Boy of Bilson (Petrius, who afterwards I heard turned Quaker at Bristol) detected and shamed by Bp. Morton himself. Many such abroad are recorded. 2. Lustful, Rank, Girls and young Widows, that plot for some amorous, procacious Design, or have Imaginations conquered by Lust: Though, I think, when they come to a Furor uterinus, Satan oft sets in. But he forfeiteth the Benefit of his own Eye-sight, who thinks that none see, because some Beggars counterfeit Blindness.
§ 4. The Instances tell us, 1. That the State, Converse, Policy, Laws of the Aerial World, or Regions, are much (though not wholly) unknown to us here. 2. And so is the Natural State of the departed Souls of wicked Men, as to their having Bodies, or no Bodies, their Power, their Wits, their Motions, and Passions. 3. And also whether they be proper Devils when joyned with them, or of another Species. 4. And 'tis hard to know by their Words or Signs, when it is a Devil, and when it is a Humane Soul that appeareth. 5. Yea, it is oft hard to know whether it be the Soul of a good Person, or a bad. 6. And consequently, what distance [P. 15] there is in their Habitations. 7. Yea, and oft whether it be a good Angel, or a bad, seeing bad ones may do good deceitfully, or by Constraint. 8. And 'tis unsearchable to us, how far God leaveth Invisible, Intellectual Powers to Free Will about inferiour things; suspending his predetermining Motion, though not his general Motion and Concourse. 9. Yea, we are not fully certain whether these Aerial Regions have not a third sort of Wights, that are neither Angels, (Good or Fallen,) nor Souls of Men, but such as have been there placed as Fishes in the Sea, and Men on Earth: And whether those called Fairies and Goblins are not such.
But as all these, and more such, are unknown to us, so God seeth it meet for us that it should be so, and we should not so much as desire or endeavour that it might be otherwise.
§ 5. But we may know, (which must suffice us,) I. That no Spirits can do any thing, but by God's Will or Permission. 2. And that God will never permit them eventually to frustrate his Love and Mercy to his People, nor to break any one of his Promises to them. 3. And that good Spirits are Servants, and evil Ones Slaves to Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, and shall not frustrate his Grace and Undertaking. 4. It [P. 16] is surely a wicked sort of Spirits that delight to do Mischief, and that lye and deceive Men, and that are ambitious to be worshipped, and to have Men's Souls and Bodies in their power, and make killing and damning Men their Work: 'Tis evident that their Knowledge and Misery hath not yet changed them by Repentance, and made them better. 5. 'Tis evident that they are Enemies to God, and to Jesus Christ; for their whole Design is against them, and against sanctifying, saving Work. 6. It is plain that they know that Man hath another Life to live: Their Works attest the Immortality of our Souls, and the Truth of Christianity, in that they maliciously do so much against them: They urge Men to renounce God and Christ, and his Commandments and Worship, their Baptism, and all true Service of God: They urge Persons to sell their Souls to them, and to forsake all that tends to save them. Their Importunity to destroy us, should teach us the Need of the greatest Care and Diligence for our Salvation. 7. It seemeth plain that they are now of a low and base Condition of Nature, in that they seek such sordid Employments about Graves and Corps, and multitudes of sordid, trivial things. 8. And it seems that they dwell near us, in the Air, Earth and Sea, and not in the higher glorious Regions. 9. And it [P. 17] is apparent that they have a natural Strength, and Ways of working, unknown to us, by the Wonders that they do. 10. It is very like that the Souls of wicked Men now dwell with them as they must do for ever, and are like them. 11. I think it most likely, that when Witches, Men and Women, confess their filthy Lying with Devils, that it is done more to exercise the Lust of the Witch than of the Devil: And that sometimes he doth it by a Body of gross Air, and sometimes may gratifie the Lust of one Witch on another, or on a tempted ignorant Wretch. He that can bring a Witch in without opening the Door, can bring such an one (Male or Female) into another's Bed. 12. It is not impossible that wicked Souls may carry with them hence their filthy Inclinations, and Desire to use them. 13. It is plain that Devils and wicked Souls are not yet in the utmost of their Misery, but are reserved in Chains to the Judgment of the great Day of Christ: Such joking, and dallying, and whistling, as the Devil of Mascon, and many other used, shew this. 14. It is clear, that whether you call it [in State, or Place,] (I think both.) the blessed Souls and Angels are far above these: in a higher World or Region, and no wonder if they appear more rarely to Men on Earth. 15. Yet Angels can be here, and do their Office for us, without such Descent as shall abate their Joy and [P. 18] Glory; and why not blessed Souls too, if they shall be equal with Angels? The Sun can enlighten every Eye here, without losing its higher Residence. 16. When revengeful things are done, (as on Murderers, Defrauders, &c.) it seems to be from the revengeful Wrath of some bad Soul, especially when it is about Money or Lands, it seemeth to savour of the Worldly Mind: Yet it is uncertain whether it may not be from the Justice of God, and governing Angels, sending the Evil Spirits on such Errands. A Hawk and a Hound are fitter Messengers to destroy, than a Dove or a Lamb. 17. When a Genius sheweth some Kindness to the Soul, (as his that I mentioned, that knocketh at his Bed's Head, and about him, after every time that he is drunk; and one that Bodin mentioneth, that was stricken when he said or did amiss,) it is uncertain to us, whether it be a good Angel, or the Soul of some former dear Friend, that procureth this Leave, to try to turn and save the Sinner: Or whether Christ and Angels force Satan to do it against his Will. 18. Though the unquenchable Fire which is to follow will shew the utmost Severity of God's Justice, there is some signification of his Mercy to the Wicked, in suspending it so far, as to allow them such a Condition as many of these Apparitions signifie by their Words and Deeds. 19. Yet here is nothing [P. 19] to encourage their Opinion, that think such Souls or Demons are but in via, and have another Day of Hope, and Means to use, in possibility of Salvation: And though many are said to have begged of the Living for Masses and Prayers, it is liker to prove a Diabolical Cheat, topromote Superstition, than that there is a Purgatory-State of Hope. 20. Those that are tempted to think that Souls are all one, and that Individuation is only by Corporeal Matter, and that Individuation ceaseth at Death, are by all these Examples fully confuted: Devils and wicked Souls have their Numerical Individuation, and therefore no Godly Person need to fear the Loss of it. Either it is good or bad for us: If good, shall the Wicked and Devils have it, and not the Godly? If bad, why should it be desired? Angels are Individuals, and shall not our Souls?
§ 6. These great Benefits we may get by the right Use of these Histories, and such others.
1. We may learn to admire that Frame of Divine Government, that hath Creatures so various to rule and order, and maketh one beautiful Frame of all. As Toads and Serpents on Earth are not useless, nor devouring Fishes, Birds and Beasts; so neither are Devils, nor damned Souls, no nor their Sins, which God will use, though he will not cause.
2. We may gather that in Heaven it self, there will be an orderly Oeconomy and difference of degrees of Superiority and of Glory, when there is so great difference through all the World. All shall not be equal to them that shall sit on twelve Thrones, Judging the twelve Tribes: There are many Mansions in that House, even to them that be all with Christ.
3. We have great Cause to be very thankful to God, that doth not let loose wicked Spirits against us, that they are not here our Terror and Tormentors.
4. How great a Mercy is it, that we have a Saviour that hath power over them, and hath Redeemed us from their Power, and from everlasting Damnation.
5. We may see that the Angels of God are not useless to us; but their Ministry is one of Gods Means for our Preservation, and we owe them, Love and Thanks for all their Love and Service: And it is not, through Pride or Insensibility of this benefit, that we do not worship them, whom we see not.
6. If the Devils possessing and tormenting Mens Bodies, be so heavy a Plague, how much worse is it to have him the Master of their Souls? O! How carefully should we resist his Temptations? Every Sin that we commit, through Love to it, or by Wilfulness or Sloth, is worse to us, and [P. 21] more pleasing to the Devil, than to be Tormented so long by him. He mist of his aim at Job, when he could not by all his Sufferings draw him to Sin: O! how much more miserable is a Worldly, Proud, Gluttonous, Dives, Lord, Knight or Gentleman, and sensual Youth distracted with Vain Mirth and Lust, than one Bewitcht, or Bodily only possest by Devils: And how much should the most godly be afraid of Sin, and of Temptations?
7. It is a sensible help, as to Convince Brutists and Atheists and Infidels, so to confirm the best Believers against all Temptations, to doubt of the Life to come, and the Immortality of Souls, and the future Judgment and Retribution: And though it be our shame to need such helps, it is a Mercy to have them. If a Sadducee will say, if one did come from the Dead, or I saw such things, I would believe, should not our Faith be past wavering, that have these added to the greater Gospel proofs.
8. It's matter of Comfort to departing faithful Souls, that these evil Spirits that are chained up now, and not suffered to disturb us, shall not hinder our passage to Glory: If we must pass through the Air inhabited by Devils and Wicked Souls, Angels will Convey us, and Christ receive us, and it shall not be to our hurt or loss.
9. It should always keep the Souls of the Faithful in joyful gratitude, for the work of Regeneration, Grace, Justification and Salvation, which was our great Deliverance from Devils: And teach us to live as the saved of the Lord.
10. It should warn all to take heed, that they be not helpers and Servants to Devils, in Tempting and Destroying Souls; O! how many do his work, that defie his Name? All that by wicked example and scandal, harden Men in Sin, they that Tempt People to Pride and Lust, and fleshly pleasures. They that draw them into the Company of Vain, Lascivious, Lustful, Ryotous and Ungodly persons: They that madly contradict Gods Word, and Cavil and Argue against Faith and Holiness: They that deride and mock at the Obedience of Gods Commands, and Reproach the most Religious by scornful Nicknames. They that seduce them by false Doctrine, and that draw them from Gods Worship, and they that silence necessary Faithful Preachers, and they that dissuade Men from hearing or regarding them. O! what an Army hath Satan, for his work of destroying Souls.
These Men should think, that it's greater Cruelty to destroy Souls, than to Rob or Murder Bodies: It is fighting against the Office and Work of Christ that came [P. 23] to save them, and against all the Ordinances and Word of God, and all the Course of his saving Mercies, and all the Desires and Endeavours of the Godly, that Long and Labour for Mens Salvation: It is to be like Devils, and do the Devils work, and by hurting others, they more hurt themselves. And if Gods Mercy should Convert and Save such wretches, they cannot Convert and Save those that they have deceived and drawn to Sin: And God only knoweth what thoughts they would have, if they come to Heaven, to see or know of Souls in Hell, that they brought thither. But if they die Unconverted, and go to them, their Presence and Torment will be the increase of their own.
11. These thoughts should stir up all believers to labour to save Souls from the Snares and Powers of Devils. O! do not say as Cain? Am my Brothers Keeper, say not, that it is only the Work of Ministers: They are Guides in Christs Army, but you are Soldiers: You are Vowed to fight against the Devil, the World and Flesh, and that for others, as well as for your selves: Societies are for Mutual Helps. A Minister is but one Man, and not an Army, and can be but in one place at once: You live among and near your Family, Neighbours and such as you Converse with, and may often speak to them: All in your [P. 24] places must be Lights and Salt, to Enlighten a Dark, and season a Corrupt Generation. O! You that believe the Life to come, make haste to help poor Miserable Souls, before Death put them past Remedy, or Sin hath utterly hardened their Hearts: Do you love your Neighbours as yourselves, and will see them continue in Ignorance, Worldliness and Profaneness, and do nothing or little to save them? If you saw but their Bodies in need, and shut up the Bowels of Compassion against them, what love have you to God, to Christ or them? If Christ in Judgment will Condemn Men for not relieving Bodies, Math. 25. will it prove less sinful to afford no help to Souls. If you are not for Christ, and his Works, you are against him: If you saw them fall down in a Swound, you would help them up; And if their Houses were on Fire, you would help and haste to quench it; yea, if your Enemies Beast fall into a Pit, you must help him out: And do you believe a Hell, and not help Sinners? The Devil, their Adversary and yours, as a Roaring Lyon, seeketh Night and Day to Devour; And will you do nothing to save Men.
If you cannot do what you would, do what you can: Do but take it for your Duty and Works, for which you must give account to God, and keep you an account [P. 25] how you perform it: Ask your selves what have I done for Souls this Week, or this day? Begin at home, and give to all an Example of Holiness, Heavenly meekness, and Self-denial: Then look to your Families: O! betray not the Souls of your Children and Servants, with a few slight good words or forms; but with Love and Diligence, Labour to make them understand Gods Word, and the things of their Salvation, Catechize them, and help them to understand and apply it. Keep them from ill Company, Labour to render Gods Service to them as it is, Necessary, Honourable and Pleasant: Time is short, Souls are precious, Hell is dreadful: Heaven is joyful, Devils and their wicked Servants are busie. While you have opportunity, labour to do good to all: Your Labour, if sincere, shall not be in vain. If you want Ability, labour to increase it, and get the help of such as can do better, get them to able Ministers: Put suitable Books into their Hands: Do not as those Sectaries, that to shew their Gifts are ready to intrude as publick Preachers, but instead of Patient and Compassionate Diligence with the Ignorant and Ungodly about them, do but exasperate them by Reproaches and Disgrace. Condescend to the least and lowest: Do all with Humility, and Winning Love.
Alas, Satan hath a greater and more dangerous Army, to fight against Christ and Holiness, and Mens Salvation, among the Great, and Rich, and Proud, and Careless Voluptuous Sinners, than among Witches and possessed Bodies. He wins and undoes most by pleasing them: If he can get them to prefer Earth before Heaven, and Wealth and Honour before Holiness, and to be lovers of fleshly Pleasures more than of God, and keep them from any serious Minister, or Means that would waken them and bring them to their Wits, and keep them from serious Consideration, and from thinking whither they are going, and how all their Carelessness, Ease and Sin will end; this is it that answereth his Soul-murdering desires.
12. But especially these Instances of Satans Diligence and Malice, should teach Ministers how to preach, on what Subjects, in and what manner, and how to converse personally with those of their charge: Shall the Captains in Christ's Army see the Devourer go away with the Prey, and do little for their rescue? Is ignorant, cold, jingling, contentious Preaching, meet for them that are so greatly obliged to militate under Christ against the Destroyer, and for the everlasting saving of Mens Souls? The Lord heal and pardon our Unbelief, and cruel want of Pitty, and our Sloth and Lukewarmness; for it is great and serious [P. 27] Work which we undertake. But of this I refer those that will read it to my Reformed Pastor. O Lord give to the Christian World, a greater number of Wise, Humble, Holy, experienced Teachers, and save them from those that hate or believe not the Doctrine, which for worldly Ends they preach; and that serve the Devil in the name of Christ, and calling themselves the Church, and their Conceits its Canon or Rule, do Preach and Rule for themselves, their Honour, Will and Wealth, on pretence of the Welfare and Unity of the Church, and become the Trumpeters of Malignity, Persecution and Schism, and have not known the way of Mercy.
Several Historical Instances of Apparitions, Witches, and marvellous convincing Works of God's Providence.
§. I. There are in this City of London, many Persons that profess their great unbelief, or doubt of the Life to come, the Immortality of the Soul, and therefore much more of the truth of the Gospel, and Christian Faith, and Supernatural Revelations. But they say, that could they be certain of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcraft and Miracles, it would do more to convince them than the Assertions of the Scriptures: But they take all such Reports to be but the effects of Error, Deceit, and easie Credulity: For the sake of such, I have recited many Credible Instances in this Book, and my Saints Rest, and in my Unreasonableness of Infidelity; and I shall here add some more. I doubt not but abundance of Reports of such matters have no better causes than are here mentioned, even the mistake of the Ignorant; but that there are true as well as false Reports [P. 29] of such things, is past all reasonable cause of doubting.
I. I will begin with that most convincing Instance, which you may read in a Book, called, The Devil of Mascon.
Above twenty Years ago, the now Earl of Orery, then Lord Broghil. a Person of well known Understanding, and not inclined to weak Credulity, told me much of what is written in that Book, and more; and said, That he was familiar with Mr. Perreaud, a Reverend Worthy Protestant Minister, in whose House all was done, and had his Son for his Servant in his Chamber many years; and from Mr. Perreaud had the Narrative. Not long after, Dr. Feter Moulin, Prebend of Canterbury, and Son to the famous Peter Moulin Printed the Book, as having it from his Father, who had it of Mr. Perreaud: And Mr. Robert Boyle, Brother to the Earl of Orery, a Man famous for Learning, Honesty and Charity, and far also from weak Credulity, prefixeth an Epistle to it, owning it as undoubted Truth, being acquainted with the Author, Mr. Perreaud, as his Brother was. All these three worthy Persons (the E. of Orery, Mr. Boyle, and Dr. Pet. Moulin) through God's Mercy are yet living..
I hear some report, that this History of Mascon is denyed by some, that say, they [P. 30] have spoken with some that have been at Mascon, and knew nothing of it. And what wonder if such things that are talkt of but a few days, be forgotten after fifty or sixty Years: They that will not believe the Narrative from such Men as the Famous Peter Moulin Senior, and Dr. Peter Moulin Junior, that Printed it, and from the Earl of Orery, that told me he was Familiar with Mr. Perreaud, and had his Son many years his Chamber-Servant; and his Brother Mr. Robert Boyle yet living, that hath attested it by a Preface, may read all the History (with many more of Witchcraft printed in French, and Published by Mr Perreaud himself: And if they cannot get it, they may go to my Kinsman, William Baxter, now Schoolmaster at Newington, where they may see it.
Could it be Counterfeit, and never Contradicted in fifty or sixty years (I remember not just the year) that in a City, so many of both Religions for so many Months together, might croud at a certain hour into the Room, and hear a Voice answering their questions, and telling them things far off, and to them unknown; and Disputing with a Papist Officer of the City, and the Whirling him oft about, and casting him on the ground, and sending him home Distracted, I say, if this, and all the rest there written, so attested, be not [P. 31] sufficient Evidence, I know not what is.
The said Earl of Orery, told me of many effects of Witchcraft or Devils (Men carryed about) near him in Ireland, which I shall not particularly recite, though many Witnesses were named.
This was written while they lived: Now only Mr. Boyle Surviveth.
II. My next History (shall be that of Lieutenant Colonel Bowen, which I will give only in the words of others, as I received it. Only telling you what they are.
1. Mr. Samuel Jones, is a Man of known Learning, Piety and Honesty, though a Silenced Minister, now living in Glamorganshire, by whose Mediation I had the other.
2. Mr. Bedwell was also a Credible Faithful Minister.
3. Mrs. Bowen her self, either is, or lately was living, a Woman very much praised for True Piety and Courage, Sister to Colonel Philip Jones, once one of Cromwells Council.
4. Here is a Letter also from Colonel Wroth Rogers, late Governour of Hereford, I think yet living, and a Credible person, though then not willing the Story should be published, I suppose his Reasons are now over.
5. I sent into Ireland in his Life-time, to enquire what effect it had upon him, of which I had the Letter of Mr. Samuel Foley, and Credible Persons yet living.
6. And Colonel John Bridges then in Ireland, purposely enquired, and could learn no more, but that he immured himself privately with one Servant in a Castle, who reported that he used to rise in the Night, and walk about the Room, talking as to some one with him, and more I could not hear.
7. I desired lately a Worthy Minister in Swansey, to enquire whether ever since any thing had abated, the Belief of the Fact, who tells me (as others do) that it is as fully believed by those that were in the House, and others as ever. [P. 33] Several Letters to Mr. Richard Baxter, in relation to an Apparition in the House of Lieutenant Colonel Bowen, in Glamorganshire, in Wales, in the Year 1655. Colonel Rogers, the Governor of Hereford, his Letter: Together with an enclosed Relation of an Apparition, &c.
By the Enclosed you will find something of the Business you expected from me: It is certain and true, I have received it from very good Hands.) More there was, but they did not think it convenient to put it in Paper. My Request is, that you will not expose it to publick View; it may rather do harm than good. I know that God hath given you Wisdom, [P. 34] and you will make good use of such things: It may harden others. This, with the Enclosed, is all at present from
Your Cordial Friend
Hereford, Aug. 23.
The enclosed Relation of the late strange Apparition in the County of Glamorgan.
IN the beginning of the late War, a Gentleman of that County being oppressed by the King's Party, took Arms under the Earl of Essex, and by his Valour obtained a good Repute in the Army; so that in a short time he got the Command of Lieutenant Colonel. But as soon as the heat of the War was abated, his Ease and Preferment led him to a careless and sensual Life; insomuch that the godly Commanders judged him unfit to continue in England, and thereupon sent him to Ireland, where he grew so vain and notional, that he was cashiered the Army; and being then at liberty to sin without any Restraint, he became an absolute Atheist, denying Heaven or Hell, [P. 35] God or Devil, (acknowledging only a Power, as the antient Heathens did Fate,) accounting Temporal Pleasures all his expected Heaven: So that at last he became hateful, and hating all civil Society, and his nearest Relations.
About December last, he being in Ireland, and his Wife (a Godly Gentlewoman, of a good Family, and concluded by all the Godly People that knew her to be one of the most sincere and upright Christians in those Parts, as being for many Years under great Afflictions, and always bearing them with Christian-like Patience) living in his House in Glamorgan, was very much troubled one Night with a great Noise, much like the sound of Whirl-wind, and a violent beating of the Doors or Walls, as if the whole House were falling in pieces: And being in her Chamber, with most of her Family, after praying to the Lord, (accounting it sinful Incredulity to yield to Fear,) she went to bed; and suddenly after, there appeared unto her something like her Husband, and asked her whether he should come to Bed. She sitting up, and praying to the Lord, told him, he was not her Husband, and that he should not. He urged more earnestly: What! Not the Husband of thy Bosom? What! Not the Husband of thy Bosom? (Yet had no power to hurt her.) And she, together with some Godly People, [P. 36] spent that Night in Prayer, being very often interrupted by this Apparition.
The next Night, Mr. Mies (a Godly Minister,) with four other Godly Men, came to watch and pray in the House for that Night, and so continued in Prayer, and other Duties of Religion, without any interruption or noise at all that Night. But the Night following, the Gentlewoman, with several other Godly Women, being in the House, the noise of Whirlwind began again, with more violence than formerly, and the Apparition walked in the Chamber, having an unsufferable Stench, like that of a putrified Carcase, filling the Room with a thick Smoak, smelling like Sulphur, darkening the Light of the Fire and Candle, but not quite extinguishing it; sometimes going down the Stairs, and coming up again with a fearful noise, disturbing them in their Prayers, one while with the sound of Words which they could not discern, other while striking them so that the next Morning their Faces were black with the Smoak, and their Bodies swollen with Bruises. thereupon they lest the House, lest they should tempt the Lord by their over-bold staying in such Danger, and sent this Atheist the sad News of this Apparition; who coming to England about May last, expressed more Love and Respect to his Wife than [P. 37] formerly; yet telling her, that he could not believe her Relation of what she had seen, as having not a power to believe any thing but what himself saw, and yet would not hitherto go to his House to make trial, but probably will e'er long, for that he is naturally of an exceeding rash and desperate Spirit.
Mr. Samuel Jones's
Letter in relation to Lieutenant Col. Bowen,
together, with an inclosed Letter from Mr. Maur. Bedwell, on the same subject.
Worthy and much Honoured,
You may be pleased to remember, that when I waited upon you at the Sheriff's House, in Sallop, in August last; amongst your other Enquiries touching the State of that poor Country where the Lord hath cast my Lot for the present: you desired me then to impart what I had received by Relation, concerning the Apparitions in one Col. Bowen's House, and upon my return to procure you some further Intelligence touching that Tremendous Providence. Whether it be by Time, or Familiarity with the noise hereof, or rather, the (no less to be admired) Blockishness of the Spirits of Men, that the Horror of that terrible Dispensation be allay'd, I know not, but surely the thing it self was very Stupendous, and the remembrance of it carries much Amazement with it still, to them that have any thing of Tenderness or Understanding lest them. By [P. 39] the inclosed, from an Honest and Godly Hand, not far from the Stage where these things were acted: You may understand the Substance of that matter, the Party (being a Minister of the Gospel) perfectly knew Colonel Bowen, and hath often conversed with him, both before and since his House was haunted. If you are pleased to command any further Satisfaction herein, I shall take a Journey my self into the place, and endeavour to gratifie your desire, as to any further particular that you desire the knowledge of. If any publick use be made hereof you may conceal my Friends name and mine own, lest any offence should be taken by some of the Parties Relations in Parliament and Council. Of the receipt of this Paper I desire to hear with all convenient speed. At the Throne of Grace vouchsafe to remember your weak and wretched Brother, who yet desires to be found in the number of them that are,
Yours in the surest Bonds to Honour and Serve you,
Nov. 28 1656.
The Reasons why forbearing Names was desired, being now over (yet Mr. S. Jones still living) I think my self disobliged as to that Restraint. R.B.
[P. 40]Mr. Maur. Bedwell's inclos'd Letter.
GLAD I am of your safe return, and gladder should I be to be instrumental, according to my weak Capacity, of nayling you to these parts. I hope, if my desires are agreeable to the Lord, you will meet with some directing Providences from him, which will answer all Objections.
As to Col. Bowen's House, I can give you some brief Particulars, which you may credit, as coming from such, who were not so foolish as to be deluded, nor so dishonest as to report an untruth: What I shall write, if need were, would be made good both by Eye and Ear Witnesses.
The Gentleman, Col. Bowen, whose House is called Lanellin in owersland, formerly was famous for Profession of Religion, but this Day is the saddest Man in his Principles I know living. To me, in particular, he hath denyed the Being of the Spirit of the Lord: His Argument thus, Either 'tis something or nothing; if something, shew me, tell me what it is, &c. and I believe he gives as little credit to other Spirits as the Sadduces. At his House, aforementioned, he being then in Ireland, making Provision for removing thither, these things happened. About December last, his Wife being in Bed, a Gracious Understanding Woman, and [P. 41] one whom little things will not affright; one in the likeness of her Husband, and just in his Posture, presented himself to her Bed-side, proffering to come to Bed to her, which she refusing, he gave this answer, What refuse the Husband of thy Bosom; and after some time, she alledging, Christ was her Husband, it disappeared: Strange miserable Howlings and Cries were heard about the House, his Tread, his Posture, Sighing, Humming, were heard frequently in the Parlour; in the Day time often the Shaddow of one walking would appear upon the Wall. One Night was very remarkable, and had not the Lord stood by the poor Gentlewoman and her two Maids, that Night they had been undone; as she was going to Bed, she perceived by the impression on the Bed, as if some Body had been lying there, and opening the Bed, she smelt the smell of a Carcase somewhile dead; and being in Bed (for the Gentlewoman was somewhat Courageous) upon the Tester, which was of Cloth, she perceived something rolling from side to side, and by and by, being forc'd out of her Bed, she had not time to dress her self, such Cries and other things almost amazing her, but she (hardly any of her Cloths being on) with her two Maids, got upon their Knees by the Bedside to seek the Lord, but extreamly assaulted, oftentimes she would by [P. 42] somewhat which felt like a Dog under her Knees, be lifted a Foot or more high from the Ground: some were heard to talk on the other side of the Bed, which one of the Maids hearkening to, she had a blow upon the Back: Divers assaults would be made by fits; it would come with a cold breath of Wind, the Candles burn Blew and almost out; horrible Screekings, Yellings, and Roarings, within and without the House sad smells of Brimstone and Powder, and this continued from some nine at Night to some three the next Morning, so that the poor Gentlewoman and her Servants were in a sad case; the next Morning, smelling of Brimstone and Powder, and as I remember, Black with it, but the Lord was good: Fires have been seen upon the House, and in the Fields; his Voice hath been heard luring his Haukes, a Game he delights in, as also the Bills of the Hauks. These are the chief things which I dare recommend upon Credit, and I could with, that they, who question the Existency of Spirits had been but one Night at Lannelin to receive Satisfaction to their Objections. This continued so violent, that the Gentlewoman was fain to withdraw to her Mothers House; but her Husband coming over about some four Months since, his Confidence did not serve him to lodge at Lannelin, although we have heard nothing of [P. 43] trouble to the House since his coming over Sir the Dispensation, as it was exceeding terrible, so very remarkable; and what the Voice of God might be in such a thing 'tis not known clearly yet: He is as Atheistical as ever, all his Religion, if I may call it so, being comprised in the acknowledging a Power, which we, as he saith, may call God, and waiting for some infallible miraculous Business to verifie to him all the rest we own as our Religion. Sure, Sir, if ever a Blasphemer was unworthy to live, this is the Man; and certainly his Sin will find him out: He is now gone to Ireland; let these things be divulged only as to the matter without names. Assure the Gentleman, your Friend, they are very Truths; I have somewhat more than ordinary for what I say. At the first we concluded, the Wretch had been dead, but 'twas otherwise, and therefore the more remarkable.
Your affectionate Brother,
to Love and Serve you,
Captain Samuel Foley's Letter concerning Lieutenant Colonel Bowen.
THE best Account I can get of Colonel Bowen is this, viz. That he is little sensible of his sad Condition. He lives in the County of Cork, in a beggarly way, though he hath a fair Estate. Some Months since, he turned his Wife and Children from him, in that sad unkind manner, that they were forced to seek Relief from some Friends in Youghall, to help them in their Return to Wales, where they continue. Not long since, in Discourse with Baronet Ingolsby, and Mr. Gilbert, Minister of Limrick, from whom I have the most part of this Relation, he said, he would give Ten Thousand Pounds to know the Truth about God. 'Tis reported he is haunted with ghastly Ghosts and Apparitions, which frequent him. I have written to the neighbouring Ministers and Gentlemen of my Acquaintance as effectually as I could, enclosing a Copy of your Letter; and from them I hope to have a more full Account concerning this poor Man. Your Letter indeed came safe, but not till August, [P. 45] though dated in May. Sir, in any thing wherein I may serve you, you may freely command me: But wherein I may serve the Church of God, the best and utmost of my Endeavours, through the Lord's Assistance, shall not be wanting. What farther shall come to my Hands, shall carefully be reported to you, by him who begs your Prayers, and subscribes,
Your very Affectionate
Clonmell, Octob. 6.
After this, Collonel John Bridges wrote to me out of Ireland, that Bowen immured himself in a small Castle, with one Boy; who said, he oft rose in the Night, and talked as if some were talking with him. R. B.
III. Colonel John Bridges before named, was Governour of Warwick Castle (the Lord Brooks) almost all the time of the Wars; Afterwards he lived with us near Kederminster, being Patron of the Church, a Justice of Peace, a Parliament Man; And after lived in Ireland, where he surprized (with others) Dublin Castle, and Sir Hardress Waller for the King, before he was called home. He was an Understanding Prudent Man, of Sound Judgment in Religion, Just, and Honest, and Credible.
He and his Pious Wife have oft told me as followeth.
They formerly lived in Edson Hall near Alcester, where Warwickshire and Worcestershire joyns; a House famed to be haunted: And being used to go into a Parlour alone for Meditation, Prayer, and to play on his Lute, once as he went in at the Portal, he was stopt and held by somewhat invisible, till he resolved under Gods Protection, to rush through it, and go on.Another time in a clear Moon-shine Night, their Mastiff Dog made such a howling, as raised up the House: He looked out at the Window, and beyond a pale that compassed the Court, there stood something like a headless Man, but taller: He long gazed on it, and trusting God, returned to Bed; And presently the Hall Door (fast [P. 47] lockt and Barr'd) using to make a great noise in the opening, having much Iron, seemed to them all to open as it used, and somewhat came in, and gave three great slams, as with a Staff upon the Hall Table, and departed. They went down to see, and found the Door lockt, and fast as they left it. Mr. Sommerfield, who since lived in the same House, said, that he saw nothing there.
IV. A Pious Credible Woman, yet living in London, lately told me oftimes, being sometime under Temptation by some Discontent of Mind, one day as she passed through a Room at Mid-day, the Devil stood before her in the shape of a Big, Black, Man, and pointed to the top of the Door, Tempting her there to hang her self; and so stood near a quarter of an hour, and then Vanished away: Which was so far from dismaying her, that it much confirmed her against Unbelief, and her Temptations: Any one that will go to her here in London, may hear her Credible and Confident Report of it.
V. The Elder Countess of Donagal, a Lady Pious, Discreet and Credible, told me, that one of her Husbands Tenants (near Belfast or Caric fergus, where he was Lord) agreed with him for to put his Sons Life [P. 48] with his own in a renewed Lease of a Farm; and he paid part of the Money, and dyed before the Lease was made and Sealed: His Wife Marryed another Man, and paid the rest of the Money out of her second Husbands Purse, and therefore put in his Sons Life, in stead of her Son by the former Husband into the Lease. The Earl of Donagall going into England, and being then in the West, a Servant of his in Ireland, his Porter, a stout lusty Man, was haunted with the Apparition of the Woman's first Husband, telling him, that he must go to his Wife, and tell her that she should have no rest till his Sons Life were put in the altered Lease: He askt why he spake to him, and what he had to do to meddle in it? It Answered him, thou art a Man fit for it, and thou shalt have no rest till thou do it. The Man delayed, and was still Haunted with this Apparition: He went to the Minister of the Town, and told him of it; who counselled him to tell the Woman. She told him, that she took it to be just, that her Husband that paid most of the Money, should have the benefit of the Lease; and, perhaps not believing the Man, delayed. This Apparition came to the porter again, and said, that she may believe thee, go tell her of such and such Discourse and Actions, that were between her and me in secret, which none else knoweth of: The [P. 49] Man went and told her all that he was bid. She confessed that it was all true, and Secret between them; but still delayed, till some trouble (I remember not what) molested her self: In short, the Porter and she had no rest, till she had drawn a new Lease with the Name of the first Husbands Son, and sent it into England, to the Earl of Donagal, who Sealed it, and so altered accordingly.
VI An Ancient understanding Pious and Credible Man of Ilchester in Somersetshire, is now in London, who the last week told me, that he was heretofore in Melancholy Doubts and Trouble of Mind, and in that Condition, had divers sensible Molestations by the Devil, as he lay awake in his Bed, his feet have bin lifted higher than his Head. I told him, that a Melancholy fancy might make him think so: He added to the confident Assertion of it, that he hath in the open day-time, as he hath gone about his House, had a blow struck on his face, as hard and plain, as any Mans hand could strike, and once so hard, that where his Nose and Cheek joyn, it left the place black and blew (as they call it) to the sight of all, in the same manner, as any other would have done (with much more.)
VII. The Story of the Haunting of Mr, Mompesson's House in Wiltshire, is Famous, and printed in part by Mr. Joseph Glanvil: Mr. Mompesson is yet living, no Melancholy nor Conceited Man: The truth not doubted of by his Neighbours, within this Month, I spake with one of them an Atturney, who said, that the noises heard, the visible moving about of the Boards before their faces, and such like, were all undoubtedly true: And the thing unquestioned by Mr. Mompesson (who to his great Cost and trouble, was long molested by it) and his Neighbours, and those that purposely went thither to see it: Notwithstanding, that when some unbelievers went from London to be satisfied nothing was done when they were there. For as God oweth not such Remedies to Unbelievers, so Satan hath no desire to cure them: And it is likely, doth more in Apparitions by Divine Constraint,than he is willing to do; because he is most successful, when he is least known. Any one that doubts of the truth of this Story, may yet have full satisfaction, the Witness being alive: But this partly belongeth to the instances of Witchcrafts, being Credibly supposed to be done by Witchcraft of a Drummer, as you may see described in the printed Story. I knew Joseph Glanvile to be far enough from [P. 51] Fanatick Credulity, who himself saw much of it, and publisht it.
VIII. In February, 1646. falling into great Debility by Bleeding, at the Lady Cook's House at Milbourne in Darby-shire; I removed to Mr. Noels House at Kirkby Malory in Leicester-shire, where I lay weak three weeks in March, in which time, the Neighbours went to see a House in Lutterworth, reported to be haunted: Multitudes flockt to see it, and affirmed, that at a certain hour of the day, stones were thrown at those that were present, which hit them, but hurt them not: And that what ever time any one would whistle, it was answered by a whistle in the Room: And no search could discover any Fraud: What became of it after, I heard not; but it continued believed commonly by the hearers, those three weeks that I staid in that County.
IX. But the certainest and fullest Instance of Witchcraft that ever I knew, I shall here give you in the words of others: Only adding, that about twenty years ago, the time whence it was doing, my worthy and dear Friend Mr. George Hopkins, the then Faithful Minister of the Gospel at Evesham, told it me himself, and told me of their Care and Watchfulness, to see that [P. 52] there were no Fraud committed in it. And the Witch was hanged at Worcester, and the Woman her self is yet living in Evesham, and the thing never there doubted of: But having occasion lately to instance the fact against some Unbelievers, I sent to Evesham, to a Godly, Credible, Friend, to send me word, whether any doubt had in these years past risen concerning it, and to send me some of the Flint Stones which were voided by the Girl: Who sent me word, that there were no doubt of the thing, and procured the now Minister of the place, to write me the Narrative which I here subjoin. And he sent me One stone about the breadth of a small Groat, and the thickness of a Half-crown, which he said, was all that is there kept of them, taken by the Majors Wife her self, and kept by her, and therefore I must send it back again: Many had sent for the Stones, and so many troubled the House about them, that they threw away, or buried the rest: And Mr. Boyle told me, that the Earl of South Hampton Lord Treasurer, for his Satisfaction, had got a great number of them. I carryed this about me a quarter of a year, and then sent it home. But that which I chiefly inform the Reader of, is, that the thing was so long in doing, and so Famous, and so many Pious, Understanding Persons minded it, that suspition of Fraud was by their Diligence avoided.
The Narrative as lately sent me from most Credible Persons in Evesham, is as followeth.
ABOUT the Month of April, 1652. Mary the Daughter of Edward Ellins, of the Burrough of Evesham, in the County of Worcester Gardner, then about nine or ten years old, went in the fields on a Saturday with some other Children to gather Cowslips, and finding in a Ditch by the way side, at the said Towns end, one Catherine Huxley, a single Woman, aged then about forty years (as is supposed easing nature) the Children called her Witch, and took up stones to throw at her, the said Mary also called her Witch, and took up a stone, but was so affrighted, that she could not throw it at her; then they all run away from her, and the said Mary being hindmost, this Huxley said to her Ellins, you shall have stones enough in your ... whereupon Mary fell that day very ill, and continued so weak and Languishing that her Friends feared she would not recover; but about a Month after, she began to void stones by the urinary passages, and some little urine came away from her; also when she voided any stone, and the stone she [P. 54] voided, was heard by those that were by her, to drop into the Pot or Bason, and she had most grievous pains in her Back and Reins, like the pricking of Pins, the number of the stones she voided, was about eighty, some plain pebbles, some plain flints, some very small, and some about an ounce weight; this she did for some space, (a month or two, or there abouts) until upon some strong suspitions of Witchcraft, the forenamed Huxley was Apprehended, Examined and Searched (at whose Beds Head there was found several stones, such as the said Maryvoided) and was sent to Worcester, where at the Summer Assizes in the said year 1652. (then at hand) she was upon the Prosecution of the Friends of the said Mary, Condemned and Executed; upon whose Apprehension and Commitment, Mary ceased to void any more stones; but for a while, voided much blackish and muddy Sand, and also, in short time perfectly recovered, and is yet living in the Town, in good and honest Repute, and hath been many years Marryed, and hath had seven Children; but never voided any stones since, nor been troubled with the pain forementioned, Abundance of people yet living, know the Substance of this to be true, and her Mother in Law (since dead) kept the stones till she was tired with the frequent Resort of people to see them, and the said Mary, [P. 55] and to hear the Relation of the matter, and beg the stones ( for though many offered Money for them, yet she always refused it, nor did they ever take any, but it cost them much upon the Girl, and the Prosecution of the said Huxley ) and then she buried them in her Garden, Edward Ellins, the Father of the said Mary, is also yet living, and a Man of honest Repute, and utterly free (as also is the said Mary, and all the rest of her Friends) from the least Suspition of any Fraud or Cheat in the whole business: This was known to hundreds of People in the said Town, and parts Adjacent, and many of them yet living, are ready to attest truth of it.
X. In 1645, in Dorset-shire, I lodged at a Village on a Hill, called I think) Evershot, in the House of the Minister, a grave Man, who had with him a Son, also a Learned Minister, that had been Chaplain to Sir Tho. Adams in London: They both told me, that they had a Neighbour that had long lain Bed-rid, that told all the occasion; That for a long time, being a poor Labouring Man, every Morning when he went out of his Door, he found a Shilling under his Door, of which he told no one, so that in a long time, he buying some Sheep or Swine, and seeming Rich, his Neighbours marvelled how he came by it: [P. 56] At last he told them, and was suddenly struck Lame and Bed-rid. They would have had me speak with the Man; but the Snow covering the Ground, and I being ill, and the Witnesses fully Credible, I forbore.
XII. I had the last Week this following Letter sent me, from, and by most Credible Wise and Pious Persons of Devonshire, from Exeter. Nathan the Son of Mr. Zacheus Crab, Dyer, without Westgate, had Convulsion and Falling-Fits about nine Years since: He was a Youth well known to the late Mr. Robert Atkins the Minister, who thought him one very hopeful for Religion. Going from one of his Meeting this Youth was first taken, having three Fits before he came to his Masters House: His Legs failed him, he seemed to be push'd as if. some body tript up his Heels, and fell forth upon his Hands, but rose again presently. Some weeks after he had Falling-fits, with foaming at Mouth; thus he continued a Year and half before any means were used suspected for Witchcraft. After this, hearing of one Gibs, Mr. Crab, the Father of this Youth, and his Daughter, the Youth's Sister, went together to Mr. Gibs for help for the Youth. They went once every Week for a Month with the Youth's Water; the last Week of the Month the Sister ask'd, what Mr. Gibs [P. 57] thought now of the Cure? (they went to him in the beginning of the Week) he said, that weeks Papers of Powder would make a perfect Cure, but there would be an alteration, that he would have two or three panging sits different from the former, which things fell out as he said. When this last Week of the Month was over, they had a Debate, whether they should go to Mr. Gibs again, at length they concluded to go, and went on the beginning of the fifth Week with his Water. Gibs then told them, Since you are come to me again, I will give you that shall make a perfect Cure, that you shall need come to me no more: then he gave them a Bag to hand about the Youth's Neck, and Powder to take in White-wine for one weeks time: Order was given by him, when the Youth had worn the Collar about his Neck for a while, the Youth should take it off himself, and burn it: but Mr. Elson, the Boy's Master, took off the Collar after it had been on two Days and a Night, and shewed it to some, to inquire, whether it were not a charm? there being nothing in the Collar but a Paper with this writing,
Mr. Elson kept the Paper by him after twas taken from the Boy's Neck, about [P. 58] eighteen Weeks, not suffering it to be applied again, being told that it seemed to be a meer Charm; and the Boy being ask'd, if he were content to have his Fits again rather than have a Cure from the Devil, who would not cure his Body without greater prejudice to his Soul, than his Bodily Distemper could be reckoned? he very readily answered, he would rather choose to have his Fits again, and would leave himself to the Hands of God, for his Disease or Cure.
When this Distemper left him for the Eighteen Weeks, he returned considerably to his Senses and Memory, beyond what he had before, particularly to be able to sort Wooll at his Trade, which he had not been able to do in a Year and quarter before. About the Sixth Week of these Eighteen, the Father went to Mr. Gibs again, and told him how the Note was taken off, and that several had the sight of it; Gibs then said, If the Fits do return again, he will be worse than ever, and at their return he should be able to do him no good. His Fits at the return were indeed far more terrible than before, and much of another kind than those of other Persons in the Fallen-sickness: And these Fits did return to him about 18 or 19 Weeks after they ceased, upon a Shrove-Tuesday: Mr. Elson inquiring into the time when they returned, [P. 59] said, it was when he threw the Paper that had been about the Youth's Neck, into the Fire and burnt it, unwilling to keep such a thing any longer. This Gibs hath the general repute of a Wizard, and his Father before him. The Youth hath a long time been utterly deprived of the use of his Reason, and is clothed, and otherwise used as a meer Natural; and his Fits so dreadful, that Persons are afraid to behold him
After the return of his Fits, he was put to one Yoe's in St. Thomas's, where he wrought at his Trade of Worsted-combing, and some means were used for his Fits, which he pretended to have some Skill in curing, whose Means were used about a Month without any success; then and there being at his Work, and some signs appearing of an approaching Fit, they set him on a Stool, thence he fell in a Fit, and brake his Leg, the main Bone, in two pieces, another Bone in many pieces. Then he was brought home to his Father's House; and the Bones being set, the Chyrurgion said, if he should have another Fit his Cure would be impossible; he lay about a Month or five Weeks very free from Fits, till his Bones were so well knit, that he could walk abroad with Crutches, which he did for a while, and then his Fits returned in the same manner as before his Bone was broken.
After his Leg was well recovered, he was carried to Mr. Pridham of Morchard, he prescribed Means, which he hop'd would do him good, if there were any alteration by the use of his Pills which he then gave him to carry with him, and take when he came home: but before the Pills, he had ordered a Vomit to be taken, in the working of which, they thought he would die. Then they gave him the Pills which, after they had stay's above an Hour in his Stomach, he vomited them up as they were taken; which were put up again in the Box, and shewed to Mr. Pridham, who said, If they had been given to a Child of two Months old, they would have been digested in half an Hour. Upon hearing the whole, he said, certainly there is something extraordinary in the case. Being asked if he could do him no good, he said, he did not question but he could, but being a Minister he feared he should lose his Benefice by Peoples saying he was a White-Witch.
The Youth's Mother apprehended, that Mr. Staddon drop'd some such words that her Son was bewitch'd or possess'd, or
somewhat to that purpose, who went through a Course of Physick with the
Youth, and found nothing did answer Expectation. For some Years the
Youth hath been much prejudiced in his Speech; sometimes he cannot
speak at all, but is as one dumb [P. 61] for
a Week or Fortnight together: He speaks plain enough between, but when
he hath the Dumb Fits he can hardly move his Tongue in his Mouth; and
he is generally so deprived of Reason, that he is clad, and otherwise used as a meer Idiot.
This Narrative was taken in the beginning of April 1688. Memorandum, The Youth continues in the same condition till this 27th of September, 1689.
XIII. Tho' I collect much written heretofore, I must not transcribe other Mens Books; I here desire the Reader to read in Dr. Sinclare's Book, called [Satan's Invisible World] among 36 Histories, the X. called The Devil of Genluce, where he will find such another Case as that of the Devil of Mascon; where the Spirit, besides other Acts of Molestation and Violence, for a long time continued familiar talking to Men, before so many Witnesses, as leaveth the truth of the History unquestionable.
XIV. The Hanging of a great number of Witches in Suffolk and Essex, by the discovery of one Hopkins, in 1645 and 1646 is famously known. Mr. Calamy went along with the Judges in the Circuit, to hear their Confessions, and see that there were [P. 62] no Fraud or Wrong done them. I spake with many Understanding, Pious and Credible Persons that lived in the Countries, and some that went to them to the Prisons, and heard their sad Confessions. Among the rest, an old Reading Parson, named Lowis, not far from Franlingham, was one that was Hanged; who confessed, that he had two Imps, and that one of them was always putting him on doing Mischief; and (he being near the Sea, as he saw a Ship under Sail, it moved him to send him to sink the Ship, and he consented, and saw the Ship sink before him. One Penitent Woman confessed, that her that her Mother lying sick, and she looking to her, somewhat like a Mole ran in to the Bed to her, which she being startled at, her Mother bid her not fear it, but gave it her, saying, Keep this in a Pot by the Fire, &c. and thou shalt never want: She did as she was bid, shortly after a poor Boy (seemingly) came in, and askt leave to sit and warm him at the Fire, and when he was gone, she found Money under the Stool; and afterwards oft did so again, and at last laid hold of her, and drew Blood of her, and she made no other Compact with the Devil, but that her Imps suck'd her Blood; and as I heard, she was delivered. Abundance of sad Confessions were made by them, by which some testified, that there are certain Punishments that they were to [P. 63] undergo, if they did not some hurt as was appointed them. And in Lancashire, long ago, many Witches were Convict.
That published by Edmond Bower near Salisbury, is remarkable: I refer the Reader to the printed Narrative.
XV. I will next insert a late Fact not far off, which when a Pious Credible Person related to me, I desired him to send me the true Narrative in Writing when he came Home, and fully enquired into the matter: And he sent me this Narrative here following.
As touching the Relation of the Brightling Story, which is in the Substance undoubtedly true, however some Circumstances of it may vary, be pleased to take the following Account.
On Munday was three Weeks, at, or near the House of Joseph Cruttenden of Brightling, an old Woman about Noon came to a Servant Girl of the said Cruttenden's tells her, sad Calamities were coming upon her Master and Dame, their House should be Fired, and many other troubles befal them; but tells this Girl withal, That if she spake of what she had told her, the Devil would tear her to pieces, otherwise she need not fear, for no hurt should come to her: The [P. 64] same Night, as the Man and Woman lay in Bed, Dirt and Dust, &c. was thrown at them, but they could not tell whence it came: They rise and Pray, during which that Disturbance ceases; some say they went to Bed again, but finding the same trouble they are forced to rise. Tuesday about Noon, Dust, Dirt, and several things are thrown at them again; before Night, a part of one end of their House Fired; they rake it down, it flashes somewhat like Gunpowder; as they stop'd it there, it began in another place, and thence to another, till the whole House was burnt down. Some say some thing like a Black Bull was seen tumbling about; the certainty of that I aver not. The House, tho' it burnt down to the Ground it flamed not: The Night was spent in carrying Goods, or one thing or other from one place to anothe; they. I think remaining mostly without Doors. Thursday Col. Busbridge (whose House the former was) being acquainted with the Man's sad Accident, bid them go into another of his Houses in the Parish, whither, when the Goods were brought, such like Disturbances were there also; the House Fireth, endeavours are made by many to quench it, but in vain, till the Goods are thrown out, when it ceased with little or no help. In this condition none durst let them into their Doors; they abide under a Hut; the Goods are [P. 65] thrown upside down, Peuter-dishes, Knives; Brickbrats strike them, but hurt them not: Mr. Bennet and Mr. Bradshaw, Ministers, came to Pray with them, when a Knife glanced by the Breast of Mr. Bennet, a Bowl or Dish thrown at his Back, but while at Prayers quiet; they were without Doors, there being very many present, a Wooden Tut came flying out of the Air, by many, and came and struck the Man; as likewise a Horse-shoe, which was by some laid away, and it was observ'd of its own accord to rise again and fly to the Man, and strook him in the midst of a hundred People: Upon strict Examination the Man confesseth, that he had been a Thief, and did it under the colour of Religion. Sabbath-day the Girl told her Dame the former Story of the Womans Discourse; she is sent for, and Examined before Captain Collins, Mr. Busbridge, and she is searched and watched 24 Hours: the Girl saith, she is like the Woman, but I think will not swear it is the same. This Woman was formerly suspected to be a Witch, had to Maidstone about it, but got away, and hath lived about Burwast some time since; her Name I know not: Tuesday Four Ministers kept a Fast, Mr. Bennet, Weller, Bradshaw and Golden; since I hear not of any trouble.
'Tis said they are in a Barn or Ale-house; while they lay without Doors, the Woman sending some [P. 66] Meal to a Neighbours to make Bread, they could not make it up into Loaves, but it was like Butter, and so they put it into the Oven, but it would not bake, but came out as it went in. This Relation came from Mr. Collins, who was an Eye-witness of much of it.
XVI. About twenty Years past, when I was in the Lord Broghill's (now Earl of Orery's) Lodgings in London, one Night he brought me the Report, that one of Cromwell's Soldiers being on his Watch, near the Chappel of St. James's House, something came towards him in an affrightening shape, and he calling out, Stand, stand, or I will shoot you, at last discharging, it ran upon him, and threw him over the way far off; and that it had been that day Examined, and affirmed considently; and what became of the Report of it afterward, I know not, save that it was said to happen oft. But on this occasion the Earl of Orery (yet living) told me, as followeth, That Colonel Venables (then going for Hispaniola; with the Soldiers that were there Repulsed and took Jamaica) had a Soldier in his Army that came out of Ireland, and was under Colonel Hill, who was then in London, and would attest this following viz. That this Soldier looked pale and sad, and pined, and the cause was unknown: At last he came to [P. 67] Colonel Hill with his Confession, that he had bin a Servant in England, (as I remember, to one that carried Stockins and such ware about to sell) and for his Money, he had Murdered his Master, and buried him in such a place: And flying into Ireland, listed himself his Souldier, and that of a long time, when ever he lay alone, somewhat like a headless Man, stood by his Bed, saying to him, [Wilt thou yet confess?] And in this case of fear he had continued, till lately it appeared to him when he had a Bed-fellow (which it never did before) and said as before [Wilt thou yet confess] and now seeing no hope of longer Concealing it, he Confessed: And as I remember, his going to Hispaniola was his punishment, in stead of Death, where vengeance followed him.) This he offered then to bring Colonel Hill to me to attest, (since the Writing of this, the Earl of Orery is dead.)
XVI. Simon Jones, a Strong and healthful Man of Kederminster (no way inclined to Melancholy or any Fancies) hath oft told me, that being a Souldier for the King in the War against the Parliament, in a clear Moon-shine Night, as he stood Sentinel in the Colledge Green at Worcester, something like a headless Bear, appeared to him; and so affrighted him, that he laid down his Arms soon after, and returned home to his [P. 68] Trade, and while I was there afterward, which was fourteen years, lived Honestly, Religiously, and without blame, and I think is yet living, which mindeth me of that which followeth, though to me not known.
XVII. When I was young, most credible and religious persons born in Wilden-Hall near Wolver-hampton in Stafford-Shire, oft told me (dwelling with me in the same House) that one Richard White a Smith of Wilden-Hall, was a prophane Atheistical Man, and believing that there was no Devils, in his Cups would wish he could once see the Devil, if there were such a thing; and that suddenly he changed his Life, and became a professor of zeal, and strictness in Religion, and told them, that in a clear Moonshine Night, the Devil in the shape of a great ugly Man, stood by his Bed side, opening the Curtains, and looking him in the Face, and at last took up the Blanket, and sometime smiled on him, and then was more ugly, and after a while (in which he lay in great Terror) the Apparition Vanished, and he was affrighted into the aforesaid change of Life (as Bruno is said to be the Founder of the Order of Carthusian Fryers.
XVIII. My dear Friend Mr. Hopkins (Father to my Faithful Brother Mr. George Hopkins Minister at Eversham; till ejected, Aug. 24. [P. 69] 1662. and Grandfather to Dr. Hopkins, lately Preacher at Laurences) a chief Magistrate of Bewdley, and since a Member of the Long Parliament, oft pained as he thought with the Spleen, but not at all Melancholy, came to me at Mr. Hanburyes, the last time before I was driven out of the County, and as a great secret told me, that he was possest (meaning, I think Bewitcht): I chid him, as Fanciful and Melancholy: But he without any shew of Melancholy, affirmed, that it was certainly true: I could not stay with him, and never saw him more. But he long continued in pain and that Conceit, and before he dyed, a piece of Wood came down into the rectum intestinum, which they were fain to pull out with their Fingers His good Wife told me, it was of the length of ones finger: And that he and they were sure that he never swallowed any such thing. The best Men it seems may be thus Afflicted, as Job by Satan.
XVIII. There is now in London an understanding, sober, pious Man, oft one of my Hearers, who hath an elder Brother, a Gentleman of considerable Rank, who having formerly seemed pious, of late Years doth oft fall into the Sin of Drunkenness: He oft lodgeth long together here, in this his Brother's House: And whenever he is drunken, and hath slept himself sober, something [P. 70] knocks at his Bed's Head, as if one knock'd on a Wainscot; when they remove his Bed, it followeth him: Besides lowd Noises on other Parts where he is, that all the House heareth. They have oft watch'd, and kept his Hands, lest he should do it himself. His Brother hath oft told it me, and brought his Wife (a discreet Woman) to attest it; who averreth moreover, that as she watched him, she hath seen his Shooes under the Bed taken up, and nothing visible touch them. They brought to me the Man himself, and when we ask him how he dare so sin again, after such a Warning, he hath no Excuse. But being Persons of Quality, for some special Reason of Worldly Interest, I must not name him.
Two things are remarkable in this Instance. 1. What a powerful thing Tempration and Fleshly Concupiscence is, and what a hardned Heart Sin brings Men to: If one rose from the Dead to warn such Sinners, it would not of it self persuade them.
2. It poseth me to think what kind of Spirit this is, that hath such a Care of this Man's Soul, (which maketh me hope he will recover.) Do good Spirits dwell so near us? Or are they sent on such Messages? Or is it his Guardian Angel? Or is it the Soul of some dead Friend, that suffereth, and yet, retaining Love to him, as Dives to [P. 71] his Brethren, would have him saved? God yet keepeth such things from us, in the dark.
XIX. There is now in London a Youth, (the Son of a very Godly Conforming Minister,) who reading a Book of that called Conjuration, coming to the Words and Actions which the Book said would cause the Devil to appear, was presently very desirous to try, and desirous that the Apparition might be accordingly. He came to me in Terrour, having before opened his Case to a Parish-Minister, and affirmed to me, that the Devil hath appeared to him, and sollicited him with a Knife to cut his Throat, and told him, he must do it suddenly, for he would stay no longer. I told him how safe he was, if he truly repented, and begged Pardon through Christ, and would resolvedly renew his Baptismal Covenant, and renounce the Devil, and live as truly devoted to God and our Redeemer: And I have heard from him no more, but must not name him.
This shews what Power Satan gets, if Men do but consent: For I had a very Godly Friend, that a Week ago told me, that he read Cornelius Agrippa's Occulta Philosophia, and read the same Words that he saith will raise Devils, but with no Desire, but a Detestation of Success, [P. 72] and of the Book, and nothing appeared to him.
XX. Mr. Samuel Clark hath published the Apparition to Mr. White of Dorchester, Assessor to the Westminster-Assembly, at Lambeth. The Devil, in a light Night, stood by his Bed-side: He looked a while whether he would say or do any thing, and then said, If thou hast nothing else to do, I have; and so turned himself to sleep. Many say it from Mr. White himself.
XXI. This following I had from one of unquestionable Credit. Amongst other things, I called to Mind a Story sent me in a Letter from Cambridge, that Week it was done, in 1661, or 1662. and I did verily believe, and do still, that Mr. Illingworth sent it me, but he could not reflect it; however, Mr. Cooper hearing it told it was a great Truth, he heard Mr. Franklin, a Minister of Wood-Rising, in this County, twelve Miles from this City, Father to the Child, tell it to Sir Philip Woodhouse. Mr. Franklin (his Character, farther than that of a Minister of the Church of England, I cannot give you) was then Minister of a Town (whose Name I know not) in the Isle of Ely, and upon this Account which I shall tell you, removed to Wood-Rising in this County. [P. 73] This Man had a Child, to which a Spirit often appeared at his Father's House; and grew so bold and free, as very ordinarily to come in whilst Company was in the House, and Franklin in the Room, and sit down by the Boy. At due Years, about the Year 1661, or 1662. he was bound an Apprentice to a Barber in Cambridge, (or at least with him as a Probationer.) One Night the Spirit appeared to him in the usual Habit of a Gentlewoman, and would have persuaded him to go home again, asking him what he did there? &c. The Boy, after some Treaty, replied, He would not go, Upon which, he received a great Blow on the Ear, and grew very ill, but rose.
Being and continuing ill, his Master presently horseth, and rides to acquaint his Father. In the Forenoon of that Day, the Boy sitting by the Kitchin-fire, his Mistress being by, suddenly cries out, O Mistress! Look: There's the Gentlewoman. The Woman turns to look, sees nothing; but while her Head was turned, hears a Noise as of a great Box on the Ear; turns, sees the Boy bending down his Neck, and he presently died. About the same Hour, so near as they could guess, the Master was sitting at Dinner in the Isle of Ely, with the Father: The Appearance of a Gentlewoman comes in, looking angrily, taking a Turn or two, disappeared.
Thus I remember the Story came, in three Days after it was done, to me. Mr. Coopir this Afternoon confirms it, as heard by him from Mr. Franklin himself: Adding, the poor Man was so affected, that he seemed almost stupid.
XXIII. From a credible Person I had this following Account.
In the Year 1665. Elizabeth Brooker, Servant to Mrs. Hieron of Honyton, in the County of Devon, as she was serving in Dinner one Lord's Day, suddenly felt a pricking, as of a Pin, in her Thigh, but did not think there could be any such thing; yet looking, she found indeed that a Pin was there, got within her Skin, but without drawing any Blood, or breaking the Skin, or making any hole or sign at all; and it was got so far within her Flesh, that she could hardly feel the Head of it with her Finger, but yet she did plainly enough perceive that it was a Pin; so it continued the remaining part of that Day. The next Day she felt but little pain: The Tuesday she was much pained, and the Pin wrought so far into her Flesh, that she could no longer feel it with her Fingers. The Wednesday she went to Exeter, that she might have the Advice of Mr. Anthony Smith, a Chirurgeon there, of great Reputation. He, upon examining the place, would not believe that any Pin was [P. 75] there, there being no Skin broken, no Swelling, nor any other thing by which he might perceive the least Token of any such matter. However, upon her confident and constant affirming there was a Pin, he made an Incision; and searching with an Instrument, at length found the Pin, and took it out: It was a little crooked, and of the larger sort of small Pins. He presently made Applications for the Cure of the Wound, which in about three Weeks time was effected. The Day before this happened, the Woman had an unknown Person asked a Pin of her, which she denied her, but did not suspect her. And another Woman, Agnes Richardson, who was suspected, was angry with her, for blaming her about Miscarriage in an Errand that she sent her on.
A true Relation from Honyton, in
the County of Devon, concerning Witchcraft.
Kingston upon Thames, Sept. 6. 1681.
ABOUT nine or ten Years since, in the House of Mrs. Hieron,
of Honyton, Widow, there happened this strange
Instance of Witchcraft following. [P. 76] This Widow Hieron, a Person of good
Quality, kept a Mercer's Shop, and (I think) doth to this day, in Honyton.
She had a Maid-Servant, Elizabeth Brooker by Name,
who sold Small Wares in a Stall before her Mistresses Door. On Saturday,
which was their Market-day, a certain Woman of Honyton Town came to the said Elizabeth Brooker, (selling
Wares at the Stall aforesaid,) and asked her for a Pin. The Maid
readily gave her a Pin from her Sleeve; but this Pin did not satisfie,
she would have a Pin of a bigger sort, out of a Paper which hung up to
sell. The Maid told her, those Pins were not hers to give, she must ask
her Mistress; and when she had Orders, she would give her her Desire.
The Woman asked her again, and again; and Elizabeth did as often deny. The Woman went away in a great Fume and Rage, and
told the Maid, she should hear farther from her, she would e'er long
with she had given her the Pin she desired; with many threatning Speeches, which the Maid took little notice of, (though the Woman was
of an ill Report.) Now, the next Day being the Lord's Day, while her
Mistress and the Family were at Dinner, and Elizabeth Brooker waiting at the Table, on a sudden the Maid gave a very great
Cry, and told them, she had a Pin thrust into her Thigh, which few of
the Family did believe, knowing [P.
77] there was no Person in the Room beside her
self, and the Family, who all sate at Meat, she only standing to attend
them. Her Mistress arose from Table, and Mr. Samuel Hieron's Wife, (who was then living.) She was forced to go to Bed; they sent for
a Midwife of the Town, who had skill in Sores and Wounds: She saw there
had been some small Hurt in the Skin, but the Pin
was out of sight; and feeling so as to understand what it was, or
exactly where, the Midwife applied her rare Plaister of Venice-Turpentine
all that Night, and many other things the next Day, but the Pain was
still the same. On the Tuesday they advised with
Mr. Salter, a skilful Apothecary in the Town, who
advised them well, whose Counsel they followed, but all in vain. On Wednesday,
the same Week, they, with great Trouble and Pain, brought her to Exeter,
and lodged her at Mr. John Hoppin's, a worthy
Minister of the Gospel, who lived in Gaudies-Lane.
They called me to her, to advise what to do to ease her Pain. I
designed a Suppurative Cataplasm, but nothing would satisfie the Maid,
but cutting of it out; which was somewhat difficult, because it was
hard to find the place exactly, where to make the Incision; but the
Courage of the Patient did greatly promote the Operation. I made a
large Incision, according to the length of the Muscles;
[P. 78] and
though I could find no sign of the Pin upon the first Incision, yet by
putting my Incision-knife obliquely, I felt the Pin, and brought it
out, near an Inch within the Cutis; and upon that
there was great Ease, and in fifteen Days the Sore was whole. This
Operation was performed in the presence of Mrs. Hoppin,
Mrs. Gold, Mrs. Ford, and many
worthy Persons, of good Reputation. And I dare presume, If this Paper
be sent to Honyton, to Mr. Samuel Hieron,
Minister of the Gospel, he will have it sufficiently attested
concerning the first part of the Story, and none can tell the second
part better than my self, who performed the Operation: And the Truth of
that I give under my Hand this 6th Day of September, Anno Dom. 1681.
XXIV. One born in the same Town, now living in London,
in a Journey, Anno 1664, lodged at an Inn in Culmstock,
in the same County. He went to Bed between Ten and Eleven of
the Clock, and soon [P.
79] fell asleep, not having any Apprehensions concerning
the House or Chamber. When he awaked, he found himself laid
out in the Floor, at some distance from the Bed, by the side of a
Table, the Bed-Cloaths, and his own Wearing Cloaths, all upon him, just
in the same manner as he laid them when going to Bed; having nothing at
all under him, by which he got an extream Cold; and besides, his Leg
and Arm next the Table were sorely bruised. Being awake, he began to
think where he was, but soon recollected himself, and by the Light of
the Moon, which then shone very bright, he discerned the Bed; and
putting on the Cloaths upon the Bed, laid him down again, and slept the
remaining part of the Night very quietly. Soon after his being in Bed
this second time, the Town-Clock struck Twelve. He never was out of his
Bed in his Sleep before or since; and soon after he came to understand
that the Chamber was reputed to be haunted.
[P. 80] Mr. Charles Hatt's Letter, concerning an
House being haunted at Kinton,
in Worcestershire, in the Year 1667.
According to your Desire, and my Promise when I was with you about a
Fortnight since, with Mrs. Wilson, concerning a
Man's House in Kinton (six Miles from Worcester) being sorely troubled,
about the latter
end of the Year 1667. to the best of my Remembrance, viz.
I living at Benington, near Auster,
in Warwickshire, Workmen come from Kinton,
acquainted me of an House sorely
haunted, naming the Person to me, (which I have now forgot.) I being
desirous to see or hear such things, went to
the said House; but finding only a Maid there a spinning, I asked for
her Master. She told me, the
Spirit (to the best of my remembrance she called it so) had boxed him
about the Ears, as he sate
by the Fire, over against her; upon which, he cried out, and went away
to a Son's of his in the
said Town, a little before I came. I coming to the said Man, desired
him to come home. [P.
81] He seemed unwilling, telling me how he was
abused by it, and that in the Night it would often pull him out of the
Bed, and did so torment him, that he was a weary of his Life. But
getting him home, he sate him down about the same place, near the Fire,
and I sate over against him, discoursing how he was troubled. He told
me, several had been with him; as the Minister of the place, (to my
best remembrance.) They bid him pray, pray: But he found no Relief. I
told him, I knew no other way than by seeking to the Lord, and not to
speak slightly of Prayer. He told me, I might hear it before I went. I
had not been long, but there was a great Noise in the said Room, of
Groaning, or rather Gruntling, like a Hog, and then gave a lowd Shriek.
Here it is, saith the Man. I was much concerned upon the hearing of it;
so recalling my self, I desired to go to Prayer in the next Room, where
the Man used to lie. By this time many of the Towns-People came in, and
were at Duty. About the middle of Duty, the aforesaid Noise came, as I
thought, lowder, and just by me; however, I then was not concerned.
Afterward, having some Discourse with the Man about a Month after, I
heard from him, that it did no more trouble him, nor to his Death.
[P. 82] He lived, as I remember, two Years after. This is the best
and truest Account I can give. I rest,
Your Christian Friend to command,
Gingraff, May 16.
S I R,
I Spake to my Lady Rich, concerning a Voice that Mr. Tiro heard, acquainting him of his Death. If you remember, I told you of him, and you desired an Account of it. He was a Nonconformist Minister, of Unger, in Essex: My Lady will send you the Account of it. This Mr. Tire had an extraordinary Love for you.
MR. John Humphreys, brought Mr. May Hill to me, with a Bag of Irons, Nails and Brass, vomited by the Girl. I keep some of them to shew: Nails about three or four inches long, doubled crooked at the end, and pieces of old Brass doubled, about an Inch broad, and two or three Inches long, with crooked edges: I desired him to give me the Case in Writing, which he hath done as followeth: Any one that is incredulous, may now at Beckington receive Satisfaction from him, and from the Maid her self.
In the Town of Beckington, by Froome in Somerset-Shire, liveth Mary Hill, a Maid of about Eighteen years of Age, who having lived very much in the Neglect of her Duty to God, was some time before Michaelmas last past was Twelve-Month, taken very ill, and being seized with violent Fits, began to Vomit up about two hundred crooked Pins. This so Stupendous an Accident, drew a numerous Concourse of People to see her: To whom when in her Fits, she did constantly affirm, that she saw against the Wall of the Room: Wherein [P. 84] she lay, an old Woman named Elizabeth Carrier, who thereupon being Apprehended by a Warrant from a Justice of Peace, and Convicted by the Oaths of two Persons, was committed to the County Goal.
About a Fortnight after, she began to Vomit up Nails, Pieces of Nails, Pieces of Brass, Handles of Spoons, and so continued to do for the space of six Months and upwards: And in her fits, she said there did appear to her an old Woman, Named Margery Coombes, and one Ann More; who also by a Warrant from two Justices of the Peace, were Apprehended and brought to the Sessions held at Brewton for the County, and by the Bench committed to the County Goal: The former of these dyed as soon as she came into Prison, the other two were Tryed at Taunton Assizes, by my Lord Chief Justice Holt, and for want of Evidence, were acquitted by the Jury. The Persons bound over to give Evidence, were Susanna Belton, and Ann Holland, who upon their Oaths Deposited, that they hookt out of the Navel of the said Mary Hill, as she lay in a dead fit, crooked Pins, small Nails, and small pieces of Brass, which were produced in Court before the Judge, and from him handed to the Jury to look upon them. Whereupon Mr. Francis Jesse, and Mr. Christopher Brewer declared, that they had seen [P. 85] the said Mary Hill to Vomit up at several times Crooked Pins, Nails, and Pieces of Brass, which they also produced in open Court, and to the end, they might be ascertained it was no Imposture, they declared, they had searched her Mouth with their Fingers before she did Vomit. Upon which the Court thought fit to call for me, who am the Minister of the Parish, to testifie the Knowledge of the matter, which I did to this Effect, that I had seen her at several times, after having given her a little small Beer, Vomit up Crooked Pins, Nails, and Pieces of Brass. That to prevent the Supposition of a Cheat, I had caused her to be brought to a Window, and having lookt into her Mouth, I searcht it with my Finger, as I did the Beer before she drank it. This I did, that I might not be wanting in Circumstantial Answers, to what my Lord and Court might propose.
I well remember, a Gentleman on a Saturday came to my House (Incoqnito) to know of me the truth of the Country Report about this Maid, having seen some of the Nails, &c. she had Vomited up. I told him it was very true, and if he would stay in Town till the Morning, he might see it himself, for his own Satisfaction. Which he did, and early in the Morning, was called to see her. But because Beer was [P. 86] not given her when she wanted it, she lay in a very Deplorable Condition, till past two in the Afternoon; when with much Difficulty, she brought up a piece of Brass, which the said Gentleman took away with him. Though before the said Piece of Brass came up, he told me he was satisfied of the Truth of the thing, because it was impossible for any Mortal to Counterfeit her miserable Condition. She sometimes lying in a dead Fit, with her Tongue swelled out of her Head, and then reviving, she would fall to Vomiting, but nothing came up till about two a Clock in the Afternoon. Nay, so curious was he to Anticipate any Cheat, that he searcht her Mouth himself, gave her the Bear, held her up in his hand, and likewise the Bason, into which she Vomited, and continued with her all this time, without eating and drinking, which was about eight hours, that he might be an Eye-Witness of the Truth of it. Nay, further, he found the Maid living only with a Brother, and three poor Sisters, all young Persons, and very honest, and the Maid kept at the Charge of the Parish, were sufficient Testimonies they were uncapable of making a Cheat of it. The Gentleman I now mentioned, was, (as I afterward learnt) Esquire Player of Castle-Cary.
I have often wondred how it was possible for all that Trumpery to be conveyed into [P. 87] her Body, which at Intervals, she cast up. I therefore made all the Observation I could to satisfie my self and others. I found that those things which she brought up in the Morning, were conveyed into her Body by some Diabolical Power, when she was in Bed at Night. What induced me easily to believe this, was, by considering these following Circumstances.
1. That it was only in the Morning, that she Vomited up Nails, &c. and scarce did any thing in the Afternoon.
2. I found by Enquiry, that she always slept with her Mouth open, and could not help it, and when asleep, she could not be awaken'd either by calling, jogging or pulling of her, for some considerable time; though at the same time, she fetcht such deep and painful Groans, as if she were awaked, and sensible of her sad Condition.
3. For my Farther Satisfaction, I got some at my own Charge to sit up at Nights with her, and watch her Mouth, and to see it was kept close shut. Whilst this was done, the Vomiting of Nails ceased, and that for thirteen Nights Successively; but when it was neglected, she would be sure to bring up something of Nails, or some such stuff. I then had her lodged at a Neighbours House, to see whether her Vomiting of [P. 88] Nails would totally cease, but it did not. For coming one day to my House, to refresh her self, she had not bin there two Hours, before she began to be ill, we immediately gave her some Beer, and she Vomited up a great board Nail. Some time after this, she threw up a great piece of Brass, which I saw followed with much Blood, and she being extreamly weakened with striving, and falling into a Fit, I caused a Woman to open her Mouth, who took out as much Blood, as she could hold in the hollow of her hand.
After the Assizes afore-mentioned was ended, and she was turned home, she grew worse than ever, by Vomiting of Nails, Pieces of Glass, &c. And falling one day into a Violent Fit, she was swelled to an extraordinary bigness, some Beer being given her, she throws up several Pieces of Bread and Butter, besmeared with a Poysonous matter, which I judged to be white Mercury. This so much affrighted the Neighbours, that they would come no more near her. So that one day, she being taken desperate ill, I was sent for to pray with her, and Compassionating the Deplorableness of her Condition, I at last resolved to take her into my own House, where in some short time, the Vomiting ceased; though for some space, her Distorting Fits followed her. But, blessed [P. 89] be God, is now, and has been for a considerable time last past in very good health, and sit for a Service.
May Hill Minister of Beckington,
April 4. 1691.
In the County of Somerset.
II. They that will read Mr. Increase Mathers Book, and especially his sons, Mr Cotton Mathers Book of the Witchcrafts in New-England, may see enough to Silence any Incredulity that pretendeth to be Rational. Mr. Emlin a Preacher now in Dublin, told me the Story of the Bewitching of two Gentlewoman, Sisters to Mr. Pacy, now a Pious Justice in Lestoft in Suffolke. He and his Sisters now Married, are all yet living: They were used much like those in New-England, mentioned by Mr. Cotton Mather, being Children then about nine and eleven years old: But I understand that the Story is in Print, and it is also in M.S. from Judge Hale himself, who Condemned the Witch, (which no Man was more backward to do, without full Evidence.) A Lady of my Acquaintance, hath it under his Hand. Therefore I forbear the particulars: Only one odd passage that Mr. Emlin told me I shall recite. A Godly Minister yet living, sitting by to see one [P. 90] of the Girls in her fits, suddenly felt a force pull one of the Hooks from his Breeches: And while he looked, with wonder what was become of it, the Tormented Girl, Vomited it up out of her Mouth: Any that doubteth of this Story, may be satisfied of Mr. Pacy, and both his Sisters yet living, and may know all the Evidences and Circumstances which I pass over.
Instances sent me from the Duke of Lauderdale:
(More in other Letters of his I gave away, and some Books of Forreign Wonders he sent me.)
S I R,
IT is sad that the Sadducean, or rather Atheistical denying of Spirits, or their Apparitions should so far prevail; and sadder, that the clear Testimonies of so many Ancient and Modern Authors should not convince them. But why should I wonder, if those who believe not Moses and the Prophets, will not believe though one should rise from the Dead? One great cause of the hardening of those Infidels, is, the frequent Impostures which the Romanists obtrude on the World in their Exorcisms and pretended Miracles. Another is the too great Credulity of some who make every thing Witchcraft which they do not understand:
And a third may be the Ignorance of some Judges and Juries, who condemn Silly Melancholy People upon their own Confession, and perhaps, slender Proofs. [P. 92] None of these three can be deny'd, but it is impertinent arguing to conclude, that because there have been Cheats in the World, because there are some too credulous and some have been put to Death for Witches, and were not, therefore all Men are deceived. There is so much written, both at home and abroad, so convincingly, and by so unquestionable Authors, that I have not the Vanity to add any thing, especially to you: But because you have desired me to tell you the Story of the Nuns at Loudun and some others, I shall first tell you of a real Possession near the place I was born in; next of disquietings by Spirits (both which I had from unquestionable Testimonies) and then I shall tell you what I saw at Loudun, concerning that which I do not doubt to call a Pretended Possession, sure I am a Cheat. About 30 Years ago, when I was a Boy at School, there was a poor Woman generally believed to be really possessed. She lived near the Town of Duns in the Mers; and Mr. John Weems then Minister ofDuns (a Man known by his Works to be a Learned Man, and I knew him to be a Godly Honest Man) was perswaded she was possessed; I have heard him many times speak with my Father about it, and both of them concluded it a real Possession. Mr. Weems visited her often, and being convinc'd of the truth of the thing, he, with some [P. 93] Neighbour Ministers, applied themselves to the King's Privy Council for a Warrant to keep Days of Humiliation for her. But the Bishops being then in Power (would not allow any Fasts to be kept. I will not trouble you with many Circumstances, one I shall only tell you, which I think will evince a real Possession. The Report being spread in the Countrey, a Knight of the Name of Forbes, who lived in the North of Scotland, being come to Edenborough, meeting there with a Minister of the North, and both of them desirous to see the Woman, the Northern Minister invited the Knight to my Father's House (which was within Ten or Twelve Miles of the Woman) whither they came and next Morning went to see the Woman. They found her a poor Ignorant Creature, and seeing nothing extraordinary, the Minister says in Latin to the Knight, Nondum audivimus Spiritum loquentem; presently a Voice comes out of the Womans Mouth, Audis loquentem, audis loquentem: This put the Minister into some amazement (which I think made him not mind his own Latin) he took off his Hat, and said, Misereatur Deus peccatoris: the Voice presently out of the Womans Mouth said, Dic peccatricis, dic peccatricis; whereupon both of them came out of the House fully satisfied, took Horse immediately and returned to my Father's House at Thirlestane Castle in Lauderdale, [P. 94] where they related this passage. This I do exactly remember. Many more Particulars might be got in that Countrey, but this Latin Criticism in a most Illiterate Ignorant Woman, where there was no pretence to dispossessing, is Evidence enough, I think.
Within these 30 or 40 Years there was an unquestionable Possession in the United Provinces, a Wench that spoke all Languages, of which I have heard many Particulars when I lived in the Low-Countries, but that being Forreign I will not insist on it. As to Houses disquieted with Noises, I shall tell you one that happened since I was a Married Man, and hint at more, which if you please, I can get you authentically attested.
Within four Miles of Edenborough, there lived an Aged Godly Minister, one that was esteemed a Puritan; his Son now Minister of the same place, and then ordained his Assistant. Their House was extraordinarily troubled with noises, which they, and their Family, and many Neighbours (who for divers Weeks used to go watch with them) did ordinarily hear. It troubled them most on the Saturday Night, and the Night before their weekly Lecture-day. Sometimes they would hear all the Locks of the House, on Doors and Chests to fly open; yea, their Cloaths which were [P. 95] at Night lock'd up into Trunks and Chests, they found in the Morning all hanging about the Walls. Once they found their best Linnen taken out, the Table covered with it, Napkins, as if they had been used, yea and Liquor in their Cups, as if Company had been there at Meat. The rumbling was extraordinary: The good old Man commonly called his Family to Prayer when it was most troublesome; and immediately it was converted into gentle knocking, like the modest knock of a Finger: But as soon as Prayer was done, they should hear excessive knocking, as if a Beam had been heaved by strength of many Men against the Floor. Never was there Voice nor Apparition, but one thing was remarkable: (You must know, that it is ordinary in Scotland to have a half Cannon Bullet in the Chimney corner, on which they break their great Coals.) A merry Maid in the House, being accustomed to the Rumblings, and so her Fear gone, told her fellow Maid-Servant, That if the Devil troubled them that Night, she would brain him; so she took the Half-Cannon Bullet into Bed: The Noise did not fail to awake her, nor did she fail in her design, but took up the great Bullet, and with a threatning, threw it as she thought, on the Floor, but the Bullet was never more seen; the Minister turned her away for meddling and talking to it. All these [P. 96] Particulars I have had from the Mouth of the Minister now living, he is an Honest Man, of good Natural Parts, well bred both in Learning and by Travel into Forreign Parts in his Youth. I was not in the Countrey my self during the time, but I have it from many other Witnesses, and my Father's Steward lived then in a House of mine within a Mile of the place, and sent his Servants constantly thither; his Son now serves me, who knows it.
I could tell you an ancienter Story before my time, in the House of one Burnet, in the North of Scotland, where strange things were seen, which I can get sufficiently attested. Also in the Southwest Border of Scotland, in Annandale there is a House called Powdine, belonging to a Gentleman called Johnston, that House hath been haunted these 50 or 60 Years. At my coming to Worcester 1651 I spoke with the Gentleman (being my self quartered within two Miles of the House) he told me many extraordinary Relations consifting in his own Knowledge: And I carried him to my Master, to whom he made the same Relations: Noises and Apparitions, Drums and Trumpets heard before the last War; yea, he said, some English Soldiers quartering in his House, were soundly beaten by that then irresitible Inhabitant: (This last I wonder'd at, for I rather expected he should have [P. 97] been a Remonstrator, and opposed the Resistance:) And within this Fortnight Mr. James Sharp was with me (him you know, and he is now at London) he tells me, that Spirit now speaks, and appears frequently in the shape of a Naked Arm; But other Discourse took me off from further inquiry. These things I tell you in obedience to your desire, but as I said before, I desire them not to be Printed. Atheists are not to be convinced by Stories: Their own Sences will no more convert them than Sence will convert a Papist from Transubstantiation; and Scottish Stories would make the disaffected jeer Scotland, which is the object of Scorn enough already.
When I was in Dorsetshire Prisoner, one Mr. Jo. Hodder, Minister of Hauke-Church in that County, told me of strange Apparitions, and unquestionable Evidences of the actings of Spirits in a House, yea, a Religious House of that Country, of which he was himself an Ear and Eye Witness.
In Dorchester also, the Son of Reverend Mr. Jo. White (who was Assessor to the Assembly at Westminster) told me many Particulars of that House in Lambeth where his Father lived in the time of the Assembly, which then was unquestionably haunted with Spirits. I do well remember, I dined with old Mr. White then one day, and at Dinner he told us much of it, and that that [P. 98] Morning the Spirit called up the Maid to lay the Beef to the Fire. Of the two last you may be satisfied when you please; and at this present, I am told, there is a House at Folie-John-Park not three miles from the place haunted with Spirits.
But I must leave room for my Loudun Nuns, and not write a Book; In the Year 1637, being at Paris in the Spring, the City was so full of the possession of a whole Cloyster of Nuns, and some Laick Wenches at Loudun, Books Printed, and strange Stories told, that few doubted it; and I, who was perswaded such a thing might be, and that it was not impossible the Devil could possess a Nun as well as another, doubted it as little as any body. So coming into that Country, I went a days Journey out of my way to satisfie my Curiosity. Into the Chappel Icame in the Morning of a Holy Day, and with as little prejudice as any could have, for I believed verily to have seen some strange sights; but when I had seen Exorcising enough of three or four of them in the Chappel, and could hear nothing but wanton Wenches singing baudy Songs in French, I begun to suspect a Fourbe, and in great Gravity went to a Jesuite, and told him, I had come a great way in hope to see some strange thing, and was sorry to be disappointed. He commended my Holy Curiosity, and after he had thought a [P. 99] while, he desired me to go to the Castle, and from thence, at such an Hour, to the Parish Church, and I should be satisfied. I wonder'd at his Correspondence, yet gravely went where he direeted me. In the Castle I saw little, but in the Parish Church I saw a great many people gazing, and a Wench pretty well taught to play Tricks, yet nothing so much as I have seen twenty Tumblers and Rope-dancers do. Back I came to the Nuns Chappel, where I saw the Jesuits still hard at work at several altars, and one poor Capuchin, who was an Object of Pity, for he was possessed indeed with a Melancholy Fancy, that Devils were running about his Head, and constantly was applying Relicks. I saw the Mother Superior exorcised, and saw that Hand on which they would have made us believe, The names I. H. S. M A R I A, J O S E P H, were written by Miracles; (but it was apparent to me it was done with Aqua Fortis) then my Patience was quite spent, and I went to a Jesuit and told him my Mind freely. He still maintained a real Possession, and I desired for a tryal to speak a strange Language: He asked what Language? I told him I would not tell; but neither he nor all those Devils should understand me. He asked if I would be converted upon the Tryal, (for I had discovered I was no Papist) I told him that [P. 100] was not the Question, nor could all the Devils in Hell pervert me; but the Question was, If that was a real Possession, and if any could understand me I shall confess it under my Hand: His answer was, These Devils have not travelled; and this I replyed to with a loud Laughter, Nor could I get any more Satisfaction. Only in the Town I heard enough that it was a Cheat invented to burn a Curate (his name, as I take it, was Cupif) and the Man had been really burnt to Ashes, as a Witch, but the People said it was for his Conversion from them. At my coming to Saumur next day, my Country-man, Dr. Duncan, Principal of the Colledge at Saumur, told me how he had made a clearer Discovery of the Cheat in presence of the Bishop of Poitiers, and of all the Country, how he had held fast one of the pretended possessed Nuns Arms in spite of all the Power of their Exorcisms, and challenged all the Devils in Hell to take it out of his Hand. This, with many more Circumstances, he told me, and he printed them to the World; but this is already too tedious. One more Journey I made to see Possessed Women exorcised near Antwerp, Anno 1649, but saw only some great Holland Wenches hear Exorcism patiently, and belch most abominably. So if those were Devils, they were windy Devils; but I thought they were [P. 101] only possessed with a Mornings Draught of too new Beer. Some of the Loudun Nuns, after great Resistance and Squeeking, did on great importunity adore their Host, and the Jesuites did desire us to see the power of Church, where, all I wondered at, was his Blasphemy, in saying to the pretended Devil, Prostratum ador abis creatorem tuum quem digitis teneo. But my Paper, as well as my Discretion calls for an End. Your Desire and my Obedience is all I can plead for your receiving so long a Rabble from,
Your most faithful Friend and Servant,
March 12. 1659.
I. A Lexander Benedictus, lib. 7. Pract. cap. 25. recited by Skenkius, Lib. 7. Obs. 33. saith, that he saw two Women, Neighbours and Companions, bewitched, that were both taken with Vomiting the same Day: One vomited a Head-Bodkin, crooked like a Hook, and a deal of Woman's Hair, and Parings of Nails, and died the next Night. The other vomited much Woman's Hair, and pieces of Nitre, and three Lumps of Dog's Hair dried, the quantity of a Dog's Tail.
II. Benivenius, cap. 8. saith, he saw and had in Cure a Woman tormented with a swolen Belly, tossed up and down, who he thought had been hysterical. But at last she vomited long, crooked Nails, and brass Needles, and Wax, and Lumps of Hair, and bigger Lumps of Meat than any one can swallow; and she doted, and prophesied, and did other things above natural Power.
III. Langius, Lib. I. Epist. 38. nameth Ulricus Neusessor, a Husbandman, who was [P. 103] tormented in one of his Sides, and at last felt a Nail of Iron under the whole Skin, which the Chirurgeon cut out, but his Pain still increased, so that in Impatience he cut his Throat, and died. He nameth the Persons who were present when he was opened, and they found in his Stomach a long, round piece of Wood, and four Knives of Steel, partly sharp, and partly toothed like Saws, and two sharp pieces of Iron, every one above a Span long, and a Ball of Hair.
IV. Cornelius Gemma, Of Lovain, De Natur. Charact. Div. lib. 2. cap. 4.hath a long and marvellous Story of a Girl of Fifteen Years old, called Catherine Gualter, suspected to be bewitched; who fell ill, Jan. 1571. and after divers Months Pain, and Fevers and Convulsions like the Hysterical, and three or four Men could hardly hold her. He and Bernard a Physician were sent for in August: She voided a living Eel by Stool; it lay as dead in the Excrements at first, but put into Water, revived: When it was dead, and laid up to keep, it vanished away. Then the Maid began to vomit watery Humour, (which he saw,) like Urine: For fourteen Days she vomited the quantity of four and twenty Pound in a Day; which he saw himself, and handled; and yet she had never the less passage of Urine, and she [P. 104] had no Swelling, and drunk scarce one Cup of Beer or Wine. Afterward she vomited abundance of Hair, some longer, and some short, like Dog's Hair, and this with great difficulty and pain.
Strong Jactations, Convulsions, and beating her self continued daily many Hours; sometimes laughing, sometimes weeping, as Hysterical: Then she vomited great flocks of Hair, with filthy Matter, such as is in Ulcers, and sometimes like the Dung of Doves and Geese, and in them pieces of Wood, and those like new Chips lately cut off an old Tree, and abundance of Skins like Parchment-Shavings: And afterwards, two or three Pounds a Day, like Ink and Coals together, with long, white, hard Hair mix'd, for a Week together: Afterwards short black and red Hair, and a virulent Humour like Dirt. In September she vomited Membranes, like pieces of her Stomach, of a fleshy thick Coat, with the marks of Veins, afterwards thin black ones; and after that, various Membranes of two hands breadth, like a Viper's Slough, (in the description of which, he is too large for me to repeat, as in various shapes and figures.) After this, she vomited innumerable Stones, some like Walnuts, like pieces broken out of old Walls, with some of the Lime on them: In his presence she vomited one as big as two Chesnuts, which first stuck in her [P. 105] Throat, and swell'd a quarter of an Hour, so that she seemed dead, without Breath and Pulse; and after that, a piece of Wood of the length and thickness of his Finger, and Hair; after that she vomited a triangular Bone, whole without, and hollow within; and after that, many Joint-Bones; and last of all, Hair, with pieces of Glass and Brass. Recited by Mar. Don. Hist. Mir. Lib. 2. Cap. 1. and Skenkius, Lib. 7. Obs. 48. That she was cured by the Priests Means, doth not render the Story incredible, though there be many Deceits.
More such you may read in Skenkius, and of two Whelps vomited up, ibid. Obs. 42, 41, 40, 43. And Sidelius by Scholtzius sent him the Narrative of a Girl of Eleven Years Old, that vomited Chesnuts, lumps of Hair, and of raw Flesh, and a Hen's Bone of the Leg, after long, terrible Fits; between which, she played, and was well: And by publick and private Prayer was cured.
VI. Wolphius wrote to Skenkius, that near Zurick the Devil vexed a melancholy Woman, and sollicited her to drown her self: She went and sate long on the Flood-gate of a Pond; at last, by his importunity, she yielded, saying, [If it must be so, on God's Name let it be so,] and cast her self into the Water, where the lay three Hours on her [P. 106] Back, and could not sink; and being found, and brought home, her Body was as light as Straw, and she recovered her Health.
VII. Sebaftian Brand J. C. wrote to Skenkius, the Narrative of one, that after horrid Torments, vomited in one Year four hundred Earthen Chamber-pots full of Blood, besides what went by Stool, and fifty times let blood that Year; so that she lost a thousand Pounds of Blood, as this Man (a Councillor of State) professed he knew by true Report, and his own Eye-sight. And the Blood burst through the Skin, and with it she vomited a thousand and two hundred Worms, some as long as ones Finger, and some longer. I have elsewhere cited out of Fernelius, the Narrative of such as had the like symptoms as some of these, and spoke Latin, Greek and Hebrew, which they never learnt.
VIII. Honest Fabritius Hildanus, l. 2. Obs. 43. p. 202, tells us of a young Man that none of the Physicians could cure, or find out his Disease; and his Parents going to a Conjurer, he gave him a Vomit, which brought up Pins, Nails, Points of Knives, and many other pieces of Iron, which Hildanus himself saw with Admiration, and the young Man presently recovered: (In pago quodam prope UrbemMetim.)
IX. Fœlix Platerus, an excellent pious Protestant Doctor at Basil, in his Observations, lib. 1. p. 20. saith, [A certain Exorcist Priest, 1560.got wealth by exorcising, by conjuring the Possessed, in a City of Helvetia; into whose House coming on some Business, I was desired by a Parent, that was his Country-man, to turn him from this ungodly practice: And even then one was brought in, a robust Man, with torn Hose, who they said was possessed of a Devil, and carried on their shoulders; they cast him down on the Pavement of the Chamber, who prostrate on the Ground, his Feet drawn together, his Hands contorted, and, which is strange, his Neck turned about, so that his Face look'd to his back, he lay dumb and deaf like a Block. They told me that he had remained in this posture and form, without Meat, Drink, or any Excretion many Days. I being struck with this terribly, went my ways. But this same Exorcist (Priest) that same Year was brought to me, to Basil, to be cured, having a pain in his Hip, that he could not walk, and he lodged with us. But when many things were used in Vain, at last he confest to me, that this befell him by the Devil: Whom when he by his Exorcisms, would have cast out of one possest, the Devil then, as he had done oft before, threatned him in these words, in the German, [P. 108] Tongue [Psaff ich will dir noch den thou geben dase du mich alses verit eist.] And at once, thrust him so violently up to the Chimney, that his Hip hurt, hath been in this Case ever since. It would be tedious to cite Learned Credible Physitians, that have written with full Evidence, Demoniacal effects on their Patients.
X. The Case elsewhere mentioned, which convinced Hollerius, an extraordinary Physitian, who before, derided it as Melancholy, is undeniable: Of a Girl, that while People looked on, would by somwhat invisible, be suddenly bound to a Post or Bed-stead, or her Hands tyed together with Cords, Hemp, or Horse-hair: Which Hollerius seeing, and that the band could not be untyed, but must be cut, he confessed it was by an invisible or supernatural Power. One can scarce name a Man unlikelier to be deceived, than Hollerius.
XI. The Histories that Pet. Forestus giveth us, of his own Patients and Knowledge, having mentioned elsewhere, I here forbear to recite, and many others mentioned in the second part of my Saints Rest.
XII. Scribonius, a Learned Pious Marpurg Doctor of Physick, saith in Physiol. [P. 109] Sagarum, p. 53, &c. One of the Witches burnt at Lemgovia, confessed, that she made Lame one of the Citizens, (whom I will not name, being well known.) And another, with her own Mouth witnessed, that she killed the Consuls first Wife, by putting Poysonous things under the Door, on which she fell Sick the next day, and dyed. I will add (saith Scribonius) an Example which I saw my self, and observed. For we must believe, that which Experience by Example sheweth us. In this present year 1585. in the Summer, a Witch was apprehended at Waldecia, who is in a Town of the Illustrious Princess Barbara, Countess of Waldecia, &c. to a Servant Maid to one of her Neighbours, for whom she was to prepare a Coat (or Gown) in one of the doubles of it, sowed a certain Root, which caused as soon as she put it on, that in her Loins, which the extremities of the Coat touched, she was presently the same hour greatly troubled, and straightway tormented grievously in all her Body. And a few days after, she Vomited Bones like the great Teeth of a Horse, and small Cockleshells. I saw all the Bones, I saw a Cockle-shell, and with my Knife I cut them, and I brake them; so that I shall never be made believe, that this was any Deception of the sight. Another Testimony I will add, which by a Credible Man, was sent me, Anno 1573 [P. 110] Nov.14. from the Town of Hallensted in the Dutchy of Brunswick, Stephen Ralen accused of Witchcraft, by two of his Kindred, freely, and without Bonds confessed, that from his first Wife that was burnt with other Witches in the City of Ratelburg, he learned the Art of killing Men by Poyson; And that after being Angry with his second Wife, for the Suspition of Adultery in her Child-Bed, he had given her those Poysons. And that by the help of his first Wife, he had given one Rhetobbs Poyson, which killed him in eight days, having fallen out with him in his Drinking Frolicks. And another he killed with a Poyson drawn from three named Animals: And he freely confessed, that to another, he laid the said Poyson under the Door, and as he went out over them, he presently had a pain in his right Arm, and after in the rest of his Body, with which, he was grievously Tortured. And he after told them, that once his Hat falling, and lost in the Water, being angry with God Almighty, and Renouncing him (like our Dammee Tories) he gave himself to the Devil, and called him to him, to come to him; and said, I'll be thine, and commit my self to thee: Come to me Satan, who presently came. He was burnt, November the 20th.
XIII. The Concubitus of the Devils with Witches (Males and Females) hath so full Testimonies, as is not to be denied. St. Austin saith, De Civit. Dei, lib. 15. cap. 23. & Sup. Gen. lib. I. q. 3. It is a most common Report, and many whose Credit is not to be doubted of say and confirm, that by their own, or other such, they have heard it, that Sylvani and Fauni have been naught with Women. And that many Devils which the French call Ducii, do daily attempt this Uncleanness, and effect it, is reported by so many, that 'tis Impudence to deny it. Yea, some Women, counted honest, defend the practice. Near Witeberg, a Merchant's Wife, that pass'd for an honest Woman, was used to admit one peculiar Concubine: And once, her Husband being from home, her Lover came to her in the Night; and having pleased his Lust, in the Morning he arose, and sate on the top of the Door, in the shape of a Magpye, and said to her this Farewell; Hitherto this hath been thy Sweetheart, and vanished with the Words.] Scribon. 79. I rather think that this was a Man-Witch, than a Devil. The Story of Magdalena Crucia (cited elsewhere by me, and by Dr. H. More) was, saith Bodin, famous through the World, cited by many; who being suspected, to save [P. 112] her Life, went to the Pope himself (Paul III.) as a Penitent, and confessed her Sin, that at Twelve Years old the Devil sollicited her, and lay with her, and that he had layen with her thirty Years; yet she was made the Abbess of a Monastery, and counted a Saint. And she confessed that the Devil, among all the People, brought Christ's Body (the Wafer) to her Mouth, none seeing what carried it; whereby she was taken for a Saint, as done by some good Spirit. And saith Scribonius, St. Bernard's History testisieth, that there was a Witch, with whom the Devil oft was naught, and her Husband never perceived it.
And, saith he, many Witches in these Countries have of late Years confessed the same. And, ibid. Bodin saith of Men, [One Benet, a Witch at Berne, a Priest of Eighty Years old, said, that for Forty Years he had been unclean with the Devil in the shape of a Woman, and that unseen she was his Companion, and named her Hermione; and so he was burnt. And another Priest of Seventy Years old confessed, that he had used Venery with the Devil in the shape of a Woman Fifty Years, and so he was burnt. And, Anno 1573. Novemb. 14, in our Neighbourhood, the Dutchy of Brunswick, Stephen Ralen (before-mentioned) confessed, [P. 113] that he had for Seven Years been unclean with the Devil, whom he took for his Miss, named Rolstruchse.
XIV. Abundance of credible Histories tell us of Men and Women struck and hurt by the Devil, saith Scribonius, pag. 82, 83. I will add one Example: At Marpurg, (where he dwelt,) Anno 1678. a young Rustick that had a Devil, was by the Council of Divines brought into the Temple at the time of publick Prayers, that they might try whether they could cast out the Devil. And when Prayers were ended, and he was brought again into the Hospital, (their Bedlam,) a certain Citizen, well known to me, standing alone by his own Chimney-fire, and seeing the Demoniack Man pass by in the Street, by the noise of the Company, he earnestly prayed to God for him: In the very Moment of his praying, by some invisible Genius, he had suddenly such a Stroke on his Neck, as cast him down on his Face, on the Ground; I think, because that malignant Spirit would not that Men should pray for him that he had possess'd. He profess'd that he did sensibly perceive something like the Hand of a strong Man strike him, his Face being toward the Fire. The Man revealed it to me the same Day, but secretly, lest it should cast his Wife or Children into a Fright.] Scribonius, ibid, pag. 83.
XV. The raising of Storms by Witches is attested by so many, that I think it needless to recite them. Paracelsus saith, That Devils can do it by meer Natural Causes; and saith, that if much Aluminous Matter and Salt Peter (not throughly prepared) be mixt, they will send up a Cloud of Smoak, even to the middle Region of the Air, which will come down as Rain in Drops.
XVI. Erasmus and others tell us of a Witch at a Town near them, (or rather, as Devil, that appeared and threatned to burn their Houses, and on the top of a Chimney, holding a Pot of Ashes, scattered them abroad, and presently the Town was burnt.
XVII. The selling of Winds in the Northern Seas towards Lapland and Iseland, is so commonly asserted by Mariners and Historians, that I shall omit particular Instances; Olaus Magnus, and others, will tell the Reader of that, and more, in those cold parts.
XVIII. What shall we say to the many certain Histories of the fresh bleeding of Murdered Bodies, when the Murderer is brought to it, or at least, when he toucheth it; whether it be by the Soul of the Dead, [P. 115] or by a good Spirit that hateth Murther, or by the Devil appointed for Revenge; it seems plainly to be by an invisible Spirit's Operation. I have heard persons so Credible give Instances of it, seen by themselves, that (though it be not a constant Event) it is surely Credible. The aforesaid Scribonius ubi supra, p. 123. &c. saith, [This is done so manifestly, and in so many places, that to deny it is but open Lies.] And he answers them that refer it to other Causes only; and saith, [I'll testifie what I have seen, when James ab Aquaria, Patricius of Arles was dead; Valeriola, a Physician of great Experience, citing some Verses of Lucretius, of mad Love saith, In this Verse Lucretius thinks that the Blood of a Man affected and wounded by a Beam from the Eyes, doth pass into wounded, as the Blood of one slain by a a Man's Sword, falleth into him that falleth. But saith Scribonius, I had rather Valeriola had said, It is done by the Secret Judgment of God.
XIX. Scribonius, p. 126. For the strangeness of the thing (saith he) I will bring but one Example: In the County of Lippia at Uftenia, a Woman that had killed her Child, cast it into the next River Secretly; the Child after 3 weeks was found there by 2 Maids, and by the Command of the Magistrates it was [P. 116] put into the Lap or Bosom of the Mother, being in Prison, to try whether the Carkass would sweat Blood: Hereupon the dead Infant presently opened the left Eye, and weeping much, look'd on the Mother; and that Eye being shut, Blood flowed out of it: This Example is certainly a stupendous sign of God's Judgment: It was seen of very many most Grave Men, and is not doubted of by the Inhabitants of that place.
XX. A Godly Minister, Mr. Farnworth, that came hither from New England (being a Nonconformist, and extream poor, dyed, as all about him said, of meer Poverty, for want of warm Cloaths, Fire, and Food, when the Act of Uniformity had begger'd many into extream necessity) he testify'd, that in America, hearing of a Sacrifice to the Devil that the Savages used to keep, by offering a Man to him, he went to see them perform it; and he found a great number about a dry Pit, and they brought an old Man bound, and by many ugly Ceremonies devoted him: And he saw the Man carried up into the Air, and quickly thrown down again dead among them.
XXI. Ludov. Vives de Verit. fidei, lib. 1. saith, That in America, it is a common thing to see Spirits appear to Men in various Shapes day and night. [P. 117] So Olaus Magnus saith of the Iselanders.
XXII. I know none that hath written better de Angelis & de Potentia Demonum, than Zanchy, who, Tom. 3. c. 4 de Pot. Dem. saith, [He wonders that any should deny, that there are such Spirits as are called Hags or Fairies, as exercise Familiarity with Men, and without hurting them, come to them, and trouble them, as playing with them. I could (saith he) bring many Examples of persons yet living, that have had Experience of them on themselves: But hence it appeareth, that there are such Spirits in the Air, and that when God permits them, they use their Power on us, for sport or hurt.] Read him there further.
XXIII. I have elsewhere cited the most Credible Melanchthon, saying he had seen some, and that many persons of his Acquaintance, had seen and talk'd with them; and that the Devil appeared to his own Aunt in the likeness of her dead Husband, with a Franciscan Fryar, and told her, she must hire some Masses to be said for him; and took her by the Hand, saying, he would not hurt her; but it so burnt her Hand, that it remained black ever after.See Fernelius de abditis rerum Causis, lib. 2. c. 16. of many things that he saw himself, that are convincing.
XXIV. Dr. Henricus ab Heer, Observ.viii. A little Girl in the ninth year of her Age, for Beauty, Education, or Birth inferior to none where she lived, having innocently put into her Mouth a Sorrel Leaf, which was given her by a Witch that begged at the Door, to whom she had first given a piece of Bread, and then some Beer, it was scarce swallowed by her, when she began to be Tortured in her Bowels, to Tremble all over, and then to be convulst, and in fine, to swoon away, and fall as one dead. The Doctor and Doctress being called (for at Utrecht, where this thing happen'd in May, 1625. it is Customary for both Sexes to practise Physick) though they for many days Experimented the Remedies usual in this case, the Child found no Relief, but was still Afflicted with very frequent and most terrible paroxysms. Whereupon, as the Custom of the Country is, they Consult the Exorcists. The Priest appointed for that work, a Capuchin had scarce laid his hand on the Ritual, when the Child was Transformed by the Demon into such Shapes, as a Man that hath not beheld it with his Eyes, will hardly be brought to imagine. It began first to rowl it self about, and next to Vomit Horse-dung, Needles, Pins, Hairs, Feathers, Bottoms of Thread, Pieces of glass Windows, Nails [P. 119] drawn out of Cart or Coach Wheels, an Iron Knife above a Span long, Egg and Fish Shells. In the mean while, her Parents and those of the Neighbourhood, observe that whenever the Witch came near the House, or so much as turned her Eye towards it, even at the Distance of two hundred paces, the poor Child was in much greater Torment than before, insomuch, that she could by no means be eased of her Fit, or shew one sign of Life, until she was at a very great Distance from her. This Witch was soon after apprehended, and confest both this, and infinite other the like Feats, for which she was Strangled and Burnt. Being desired by a Father Jesuit, who Assisted her in her last Agony, and at that Moment, on which depends Eternity, when the Executioner had now fitted the Rope to her Neck, that she would dissolve the the Spell, and ease the Child, she said, it was not in her Power; Because the Ember Weeks were past, since she had Bewithtced her; adding, that should she undo the Villanies she had perpetrated, the Child would not so quickly recover: For the two other Witches, whom she named, had also given her their Mortal Infections, from the Effects whereof, she could not without Difficulty, and much time, be delivered. The Mother then, as in a Desperate case, brought her Daughter to me about [P. 120] the middle of September, and I had her with me for some weeks. What I then saw, heard and handled, because I know many Physitians, those especially that are Averse to the Roman Perswasion, will hardly believe it upon my Narrative, so may God help me, as I shall most truly Relate what I saw. The day after this Unfortunate Child came into my House, I took care to send for Modestus a Capuchin, who still lives at Liege: While he was yet fifty paces from my Chamber, the Girl fell down, as one deprived of Life; I took her for Dead: For she had not so much as the least Breath. Her Fingers and Toes, which if I had not seen it my self, I could not have believ'd it, were so Writhen and Convulst, that the Exterior or third joint stuck so hard unto the second, a thing which is scarce possible Naturally, that they might seem to have been fastened together with the stiffest Glue. I endeavoured to thrust a Golden Bodkin betwixt them, and after an Iron Nail, a wooden Spindle, &c. but all in Vain. The Mother seeing the Childs fall, for she would never go one step from her, said the Capuchines were coming. She had no sooner said this; but they knocked at the Door: When they were come in, and had lighted the Consecrated Taper, and the Exorcist had put on his Habit, as soon as ever he had read the [P. 121] first words of the Exorcism taken out of the Gospels, the Girl which hitherto had lain more immoveable than any dead Corps, fell a shaking all over, her Fingers and Toes continuing as they were, with that Violence, that she could not be held still by six of us, by no means we could use. My self, who with all my Strength, essayed to hold her Head, observed it both by my sight and feeling, to be Writhen, as by an Opisthotonick Convulsion, together with her Neck towards her Shoulders. In the mean time, her Belly was raised up to a prodigious bigness, and was nearer her Throat, than her Thighs, and that with so great a Noise, and grumbling of her Bowels, that all present could hear it at above ten paces distance. The sound was the nearest to that which is caused by Tempestuous waves under the prow of a Ship. All this while, the Child Vomited several of the above mentioned things. I begged the Exorcist, out of Compassion to her, to forbear his Reading: He had scarce pronounced the last Syllable, when in an instant, she lay as quiet as possible. And after he had quitted the House, and was at a considerable Distance off, she undid her Fingers and Toes, and opened her Eyes, and straightway stood up. And when she had wept a little, and chid her Mother for sending for the Capuchines, though [P. 122] she never saw them, nor as she said, heard them, she presently began to eat, drink, and play with her equals, just as if nothing ail'd her, until, upon the Capuchines returning to do his Office, she was as formerly. I saw her this while cast up Feathers, Bundles of Straw, above the bigness of my Thumb, with Pins stuck across the Straws, Points wove of Thread of several Colours, and a Row of Pins stuck in a blew Paper, as fresh and new, as any are sold on the Pedlars Stall: In fine, every thing as the Innocent Child Affirmed, which she had seen in the Witches basket, when she beged, which savours plainly of Devilism, and which all the Philosophers in the World, are not able to solve. For by what Operation, could every thing she had seen in the basket, be Conveyed in the same kind and tale, into the Bowels of the Child, except the Devil himself was assisting? But when I saw all she had cast up, was perfectly dry, and without the least wet, I told the Capuchines, and several Philosophers present (for I had called many out of a desire of being the better informed) that surely our Eyes were inchanted: For that these things could not possibly come out of her Body. For how could it be, that the pricking of so many Pins, should bring up no Blood? How could a sharp knife come up the narrow [P. 123] Throat of a young Child, without cutting the passage? I added, that it was my Opinion, that those things must be conveyed privately some how, from some other place, and then by the Malicious Demon, that took pleasure to deceive us, dropt from the Childs Lips, into our Hands, and that I was brought to mind of a Verse in Ovid, which I never understood, but now less than ever: It is this. Devovet absentes simulacraq; cerea fingit, Et miserum tenues in jecur urget acus. Curses the absent, then forms waxen shapes Runs into th' Liver needles.—The words are spoken of Medea a Witch. But the Child her self being immixt with us in our Debates, and of a Capacity above her years, soon resolved this Difficulty for me. Doubt not, said she, but that these things come out of me, and with that she, caught my Hand, and put it to her Throat. Feel, Sir, said she, a Pin without a Head a coming up, and which will come out presently. I felt, and immediately when I thought verily I held it fast betwixt the fingers of my left Hand within her Throat, I perceived it to be forc't Violently from me, and presently seeing the Child a bowing to spit, I received it in my right Hand; and I have shewed it since to several incredulous [P. 124] Persons, and still keep it by me, to shew to the Curious, with Points, Feathers, Thread, Straw, and other like Materials. In like manner, I have frequently at other times, felt the ends of Points, while they were yet in the very Orifice of her Stomach, and while they were coming up, and ready to come out of her Mouth, all who were Curious to make Experiments, imagined they could hold the end of the point in the middle of her Throat; but the crafty Demon, Defeated all their Attempts. After she had been exorcised at Liege for some weeks to no purpose, her Mother had a great desire to carry her to Hus, to a Chappel newly Built and Consecrated to the Honour of the Blessed Virgin, and believed by the vulgar, to be very Famous for Miracles. While her Mother and Friends which Accompanied her, employed their time at the usual Solemnities there, daily confessing, and receiving the Blessed Sacrament; but with no effect, they bring the Child back to my House, not one jot the better, but the worse by a Hydrophobia, or as I would rather call it, a Stygrophobia, or fearfulness of moist things, so called, very sad and Disconsolate, and Despairing of her Life, yea, praying for her Death. She came back to me, about the midst of Autumn, refusing not only Wine, Beer, Mead, and all Water; but also boil'd Meat, and Bread steept [P. 125] in Broth or Wine, and at last, all White and Wheaten Bread: I believe, because the one was made with Milk, and the other with Water, as is usual with us. For which Reason, for forty days time, she lived on nothing but Apples, Raisins, Nuts, Almonds, and other Fruits proper to the Season, yet for all this, the rosie blush in her Cheeks was not Diminished, nor the Milky snow of her Forehead. At last for fifteen Days and Nights together, she took neither Meat nor Drink. How she could pass so many Days without either Meat or Drink: I confess my self ignorant; but that so it was, I do avow, and all my Family are ready with me, most Solemnly to Depose upon Oath. On the sixteenth day, when she had of her own accord, askt for some Drink, and taken it, she no longer refused Food. I thought it then seasonable to have Recourse to Natural Means, not Omitting Divine Exorcisms, and I prepared the Decoction. Ex fuga Damonum of Southern Wood, Mugwort, Vervene, &c. and after I had used her a while to that Drink, I sent her Home. In the interim, tumbling over all the Books, I could find at last I light on Bartholomew Carrichters, Secrets, who in the twelfth Chapter of his second Book, Describes a certain Medicine, proper to this Malady. Finding this mightily Recommended in. Horstius his Medicinal [P. 126] Epistles, Epist. I. Sect. vij. in Hector Schlands Letter to Gregory Horstius, dated in the year 1612. I Write both to him, and to the Francford Apothecary, in whose Shops he saith it is sold, promising any Rate for the unguent and prescription. But receiving no Advice from them, and being Day and Night Sollicitous for the Childs Recovery, I took Carrichter again into my Hand, and having much ado to understand him, by reason of a mistake of the Printers, who had Printed in one word, Holtz bletter beer, which should have been in three, I at last, almost a Twelve-Month after, for want of necessary Materials, caused the following Unguent to be made: Take of Dogs Grease well Dissolved and Cleansed, four Ounces; of Bears Grease, eight Ounces; of Capons Grease, four and twenty Ounces; three Trunks of Misletoe of the Hasle while Green, cut it into pieces, and pound it small; till they become moist; bruise together the Wood, Leaves and Berries, mix all in a Vial, after you have exposed it to the sun, for nine Weeks, you shall extract a green Balsam, wherewith, if you anoint the Bodies of the Bewitcht, especially the parts most affected, and the Joints, they will certainly be Cured, as hath been proved by this Child, who hath been now three years perfectly well, only on the days of the Ember-weeks, do what she [P. 127] can, she is seized with a certain Transient Melancholy. And this is the Reason why I have ingenuosly Communicated to the World in the Latin Tongue, the abovementioned prescription, concealed by others, and published in Dutch, by Carrichter faultily.
XXV. Mer. Casaubon in Credulity and Incredulity in things Natural. It cannot be denyd, because I see Learned Physicians are of that Opinion, and visible Effects do evince it, but that the Devil doth immiscere se in several Diseases; whereof Sir Theod. Mayern (whom I think, for strange and even miraculous Cures, I may call the Æsculapius of his time; and to do no body wrong, he gave me a notable Instance concerning a Maid in his House, that had been bitten by a Mad Dog, which also dy'd of it; to whom, when he came in a Morning with a Looking-Glass (to make a Tryal of what he had read, but not yet experienced himself) under his Gown, before he was in the Room, she began to cry out, and told him what it was he had about him.
XXVI. Fernelius de Abdit. rerum causis, Pag. 65. saith, I saw one that by certain words would make Shapes (Spectres) appear in a Looking-Glass, which, whatever he [P. 128] commanded them, would presently by Writing or by true Images so clearly express, that all might be quickly and easily understood by those that sat by. They heard a few Sacred words, but filthily contaminated by obscure names, such as the power of the Elements, the horrid and unheard of names of certain Princes of the East, West, &c. And P. 124, 125. he tells you how many ways, by Characters, Spells, Ceremonies they work (too long to recite) and tells you how the Bewitched are Distorted, Tormented, speak unlearnt Languages, tell the bystanders their Secrets, &c. and saith, [A few Years ago, a young Man, a Knights Son, labour'd of a Concussion and a Convulsion of his Body by Fits, which did so exagitate sometime the Left-Arm, sometime the Right; sometimes one Finger, sometimes one Leg, sometimes the other, sometimes both; sometimes the whole Trunk of his Body that four Servant-men could scarcely hold him, but his Head remained unshaken, his Tongue and Speech free, his Mind sound, and all his Senses entire, even in the fierceness of his Convulsions: He was taken at least ten times a Day, sound in the intervals, but broken with Labour. Had he not had his Understanding and Senses sound, it would have been taken for an Epilepsie. The most skilful Physicians judged it a Convulsion [P. 129] kin to an Epilepsie, from a malignant venemous Vapor impact in the Marrow of the Back, &c. They used all Remedies-- but we were all mistaken in Ignorance of the true Cause; for in the third Month a Demon was found to be the Author of all, shewing himself by Voice and unusual Words and Sentences, Latine and Greek, though he was ignorant of the Greek Tongue. He detected many of the Secrets of the by-sitters, and especially of the Physicians, deriding them, that he had by great Peril cheated them, and that by their vain Medicines they had almost killed the Man. If his Father (a Knight of the Order of St. Michael, that wore that Image in a Gold Chain) was coming to see him, he would far off, bid them, Let him not in, or take off his Chain. If Divine and Sacred words were read, he would toss him and shake him most fiercely.] See the rest. And Pag. 127. [I saw one that would stop Blood flowing from any part of the Body, by touching the part, and muttering a few words] So far the great Fernelius: He next nameth many Diseases that they use Spells to Cure.
The greatest Physician of England to divers Kings
(and the chief that I have my self used, and knew him to be an Honest
Credible Man.) Sir Theodore [Page 130] Meyerne, confirmeth the thing in question, but goeth the true middle way between
Ignorant Credulity and Incredulity, in his late published Praxis, Pag. 57. in a Letter to Dr. Castle, about one seeming possess'd, saying, ["That Melancholy is the Seat, the Bath, and the
Kingdom of the Devil, I well know; and that that Prince of Darkness
lurking under the thick Cloudiness of that black Humour, immixeth himself in divers Diseases, and that he exciteth cruel Troubles (or
Storms) in divers Subjects, I HAVE BY MANIFOLD EXPERIENCE FOUND; but I
am not of so facile a Mind, as to be struck at the meeting of every
Phantasm, though portentous; nor is my Reason like Wax to receive every
Impression. By two signs I can know Demoniacks.G1 If
a person untaught, and without Philosophy, speak in divers
and strange Tongues, and nervously and solidly dispute of Sciences and
Arts never studied: And if a weighty Body rapt up on high, hang long in
the Air,G2 and fall not with
their weight. Black Choler in the Spleen, Brain, Womb, may move a
thousand Symptoms, which by the Ignorant, pass for
Miracles.]" There liveth in this City, an Irish-man, who with unmoved
Lips maketh a long Oration,
[P. 131] and deceiveth those near him, as if one spoke to them far of.] I my
self discovered a notable Cheat in a Servant in my own House, and many
such are detected, by which the Ignorant, Undiscerning and Incredulous,
are drawn to disbelieve those that are most fully proved. Read of
Cheats, De Loier, a Frenchman.
XXVIII. The Learned and Judicious Gerh.Vossius saith, de Samuele in Beverovicii Epist. Pag. 203. [I know there were many fabulous stories, and of Fraud, &c. but by Men both Learned, and Quick-sighted, and Grave, and Honest, in many Ages past, there are reported, and at this Day remembred and told innumerable Instances, in which it is not possible but that with the endeavour of man there concurred, the Illusion or Force of the Devil, a malignant Spirit supplying that which was beyond the power of Man.
XXIX. Lavater de Spectris, is a Book so common and well known, (by him a Learned Godly Protestant Divines) that I will suppose the Learned Reader to have read it, and will not recite what is therein.
XXX. Pious and Peaceable Bishop Jos. Hall faith, Soliloq. 15. P.53, 54, [Satan's Prevalency [P. 132] in this Age is most clear in the marvelous number of Witches abounding in all places. Now hundreds are discovered in one Shire [Suffolk and Essex]; and if Fame deceive us not, in a Village of 14 Houses in the North, are found so many of this Damned brood. Heretofore only barbarous deserts had them, but now the Civilest and Religious Parts are frequently pestered with them: Heretofore some silly ignorant old Women, &c. now wehave known those of both Sexes, who professed much Knowledge, Holiness and Devotion drawn into this damnable Practice.
XXXI. I have elsewhere cited divers Passages to this use out of Holy Cyprian; but that in the Epistle of Finnilianus to Cyprian, Ep. 75. Pag. 238. seemeth strange like that of Magdalena Crucia and others among the Papists.) A Woman pretending to have the Holy Ghost, proved a Witch, and did many Wonders: She had a Gift of Prayer, and did Baptize, and Administer the Lords Supper in the ordinary way, &c.
XXXII. This is so like to the well known Case of Mrs. Hutchinson, and Mrs. Dyer in New England, with Mr. Wheeler, and the rest, in the time of Sir Henry Vane's Government, detected by the Wondrous Monsters, that I intreat the Reader to get the [P. 133] History of all, in Mr. Tho.Weld's Book (one of their Ministers) called, The rise and fall of Antinomianism and Familism in New England. Though I find no proof of Witchcraft in their Case, there is much of Satanical Delusion, joined with Humane Self-conceit and Pride.
XXXIII. I have before mentioned Zanchy's Judgment, and his excellent Books, de Deo, de Angelis, & de potentia Demonum; than whom no Man hath given us a more full Testimony in general, of Diabolical Operations: I shall here only repeat his Opinion of the Manner of Satan's Working. He thinketh (Tom. 3. l. 4. c. 10. p. 188.) that it is the very Substance of the Devil that entereth into Men, and that they have Bodies more Subtile than the Air.
The doubt is, 1. Whether it be only other Causes that enter by this moving of them by Devils: 2. Or whether they Operate and enter only Virtute, by Some force sent from their Substance; 3. Or Operate by Contiguity of their Substance it self in Men.
1. The first way, no doubt they work as by moving Winds, and Fire, and Water, and our Blood and Humours, and our Tempters and Enemies, &c. but not that way alone.
2. What Energy or Force he can send; that is neither his own Substance nor any other Substance, I cannot conceive.
3. That his very Substance entereth into the Possessed, I see no cause to doubt; for he can penetrate any part of our Bodies, as he is a Spirit: And if we knew that he Operate only in some Body or Vehicle, Air, or Air and Fire mixt; yet what part of our Bodies cannot Air and Fire penetrate: (And this Supposition would countenance Dr. More's Opinion, that all Spirits are the the Souls of Some Bodies). And Scripture saith so much of Devils entring into Men, and being in them, and being cast out of them, that I see not how we can deny it to be their Substance.
And how else should they move us (besides by Instruments) Is it any more wonder that Devils (permitted) can enter, than Air: Or how else work they on Mens Souls. I must say it to humble us, that I fear, that in most Temptations that solicit our Thoughts, and our Wills, and Affections and Passions, if not sometimes our Tongues and Hands, it is the very present Substance of Evil Spirits, that by Contiguity move us, even true Christians when they Sin: And that it is no unseemly thing to pray God to cast Satan out of our Thoughts and Hearts. Oh that we better knew what cause we have to fear letting [P. 135] him in, and by yielding and custom to give him advantages to tempt and rule us. But yet his Substantial Presence, and his Operations are to be distinguished. He hurteth not all that he is present with; but those that he hath Power to work upon, and that are prepared to receive his Operations. God himself doth not work Life or Grace on all that he is present with; and that what he doth, he doth it by his Substantial Presence, or his Essence.
XXXIV. I have elsewhere cited Luther's Testimony, and how the Devil appeared to himself at Coburge: And Melancthon's and Peter Martyr's I have cited here and else where. See Pet. Martyr Loc. Com. Clas. I. c. 9. and cap. 8. § 8. pag 39, 40.
XXXV. The most Judicicus Credible Melanchthon, in his Epistle to Hubert Languetus (the Author of Junius Brutus's Vind. con. Tyrin.) Epistolar. l. 2. p. 550, 551. saith, ["Though there be sometimes Natural Causes of Madness, yet it is most certain, that Devils enter into the Bodies of some, and cause Madness and Torments to them, either with Natural Causes or without them; for it is manifest, that such persons are oft delivered without Natural Remedies. And these Diabolical Spectacles are of Prodigies and Significations of future [P. 136] things: Twelve Years ago there was a Woman in Saxony, that never learnt Letters, and yet when she was acted by the Devil, after Torment she spake Greek and Latin of the future Saxon War. Sixteen Years ago there was in the Marke, a Girl, that when she pull'd Hairs from Cloaths, they were turned into Mark-Money, which the Girl devoured with long and loud gnashing of Teeth; and those Figures (or Shapes) of Money sometimes suddenly snatcht out of her Hands, were true Money, which are yet kept by some; and after the Girl felt great Torment: But she was delivered from all that Disease after some Months, and yet liveth in Health. But frequent Prayers of Godly Perions were made for her, and other Ceremonies were purposely omitted."] Thus Melanchthon.
Mr. Jo. Lewis, a Learned Justice of Peace in Cardigan-shire, with the Testimony of Dr. Ellis, and Mr. John Davis, about the Dead Mens Lights, the Knockers and Apparitions. Mr. J. Lewis being a Justice of Peace, and a Man of Learning, at the time, when under Cromwell and Harrison the Reading and weak Parsons were cast out, and Itinerant Preachers set up, that turned four or five Parishes into one of their Circuits, and did little but Preach, and shut up the Doors where they came not, and by ignorant decrying Superstition, Forms and Ceremonies, set up Error, Anabaptistry and unjust Separations: He being greatly grieved for these Confusions wrote largely to me about them, whereupon, and on more such Instances I wrote my five Disputations of Church Government, Liturgy, and Ceremonies. And Mr. Lewis joined with me in a design to have begg'd Money in Pity to Wales, to have set up a Welch [P. 138] Colledge at Shrewsbury; and his Notices about Apparitions came in but on the by, at my request: But tho' I dismember his Letters with regret, by casting away the main part that was well worth the reading, (and all my Answers to them) yet it would be so unsuitable to insert such Matters in a History of Spirits, that if any of his acquaintance blame me for it, they must accept of this Excuse: He is known by published Books of his own.
Part of Mr. John Lewis's First Letter, relating to Spirits and Witches.
Most Worthy Sir,
I Have now another Motion to you, as to that passage in your Uureasonnbleness of Infidelity, where you shew the meaning of the Spirit, as to Humane Learning, &c. and those 29 Considerations (for the page I cannot cite, because I have not the Book at this very instant) because it is in the midst of the Book, and not so discernable to all Readers; I could humbly beg of you, to get your Printer and Stationer to print them apart in a few small Leaves, for there is nothing generally that is more mistaken [P. 139] among us than that, and I see the publishing here but so much of them in this kind would do infinite good here; and I would my self be at charge of buying and dispersing many scores of them. And because of that Copious Satisfaction you give of Spirits, than which there cannot be greater convincements against Insidelity and Atheism, I could afford you several strange Instances from these parts, but I shall trouble you only with two. Since the time I received your Letter, there happened in my Neighbourhood this following; A Man and his Family being all in Bed, about after Midnight, awake in Bed, he could perceive a Light entring a little Room, where he lay, and one after another, of some a Dozen in the shape of Men, and two or three Women with small Children in their Arms entring in, and they seemed to Dance, and the Room to be far lighter and wider than formerly; they did seem to eat Bread and Cheese all about a kind of a Tick upon the Ground; they offered him Meat, and would smile upon him; he could perceive no Voice, but he once calling to God to bless him, he could perceive the whisper of a Voice in Welch, bidding him hold his peace, being about four Hours thus, he did what he could to awake his Wife, and could not; they went out into another Room, and after some Dancing departed, and then he arose; [P. 140] yet being but a very small Room he could not find the Door, nor the way to Bed, until crying out, his Wife and Family awaked. Being within about two Miles of me, I sent for the Man, who is an honest poor Husbandman, and of good Report: And I made him believe I would put him to his Oath for the truth of this Relation, who was very ready to take it.
2. The Second (if you have not formerly heard) the strange and usual appearance of Lights (called in Welch, Dead Mens Candles) before Mortality: This is ordinary in most of our Counties, that I never scarce heard of any sort, Young or Old, but this is seen before Death, and often observed to part from the very Bodies of the persons all along the way to the place of Burial, and infallibly Death will ensue. Now, Sir, it is worth your Resolution, whether this may proceed from God or no; it is commonly imputed to the Igneous Air of the Counties: But that Evil Spirits can come by so much Knowledge, as to be always so Infallible (though herein I confess them very vast) and be so favourable and officious unto Man, as to be such seasonable Monitors of his Dissolution, and to give so much discovery of Spiritual Essences, and the Immortality; I doubt whether they mind us so much good as this: Some Wiles I confess they may have [P. 141] by such Appearances, but it carries the Benefits mentioned with it, whereas their Disappearance makes more for Infidelity and Atheism: But this I leave to your Judgment, begging Pardon for this Boldness in diverting you from your far better Thoughts; and seeing it is my Happiness to have this little Invisible Acquaintance with you, I shall omit no Opportunity of troubling you with such poor Thoughts as the Lord shall give unto me of the best Things, humbly wishing (as for the making up the sad Differences of Religion among us) the Lord would give those in Authority to weigh that Pious and Wise Course you have proposed, as to those four great Parties in the Dedication of your Saints Rest, with my unfeigned Prayers for your Health and Happiness,
Your very thankful Friend and Servant in Christ,
Glaskerigg near Llaubadarnevour or Aberjstmith in Cardigansbire, Octob. 20. 1656.
Mr. John Lewis's Second Letter.
AS for Apparitions, I am stored with so many Instances, that require rather a Volume: There is that Evidence for the Candles, that scarce I know any of Age, but hath seen them, and will depose it: There is here a talk, whereof yet I have not certainty, that a Daughter of the Man mentioned in the last, fetching Water at a Well, had a blow given her, and a Boy coming towards her, she charged him with the blow, who denyed he was so near her; but bid her look upon her Father, that stood not far off, and with that, he could see her Father fling a Stone at her, which passed with a mighty Violence by her Face, and the Stone was found with prints of Fingers in it; but no such thing as the Father there, neither was he at home since the Night before; but certain it is, that Living Men's Ghosts, are Ordinarily seen in these parts, and unawares to the parties. We have in this County, several Silver and Leaden Mines, and nothing more ordinary than some Subterranean Spirits, called Knockers (where a good Vein is) both heard, and after seen, little Statured, about half a yard long; this very instant, there are Miners upon a Discovery of a [P. 143] Vein upon my own Lands, upon this score, and two offered Oath, they heard them in the Day-time. Lieutenant Colonel Bowen I hear, is upon Discovery, that what you heard, was Witchcraft; but he holds canting Tenents, all which minds us the more to admire the King of Spirits, our Lord God Almighty, and that our Eyes behold but the least part of his Secrets, and Marvels; to whose Arms and Blessings, I commit and leave you.
Sir, I pray Pardon this Trouble of
Your very Thankful Servant,
Glaskerigg the 28 of November. 1656.
Mr. John Lew is Third Letter.
AS for the Candles, all the parts I know of Wales, as our Neighbouring Counties (as I hear) have Experience of them; but whether so frequently as here, I will learn. I scarce know any Gentleman or Minister of any standing; but hath seen them, and a Neighbour of mine, will shortly be at Worcester abiding (who hath seen them often, and I will direct some to acquaint you, and upon Oath, if need be) a very Credible Aged person: For my part, I never saw the Candles; but those of my House have, and on a Time, some years past, it was told me by them, that two Candles was seen, one little, and a great one passing the Church way, under my House, my Wife was then great with Child, and near her time, and she feared of it, and it begot some fear in us about her; but just about a week after, her self first came to me (as something joyed that the fear might be over) and said (as true it was) an old Man, and a Child of the Neighbour-hood passed that same way to be Buried: This she and I can depose, and truly my self especially, heard some uncouth warning, before my first Childs Death, new Born, which is too large to [P. 145] relate: Such warnings and noises, are also here very common, and I do think there is scarce any (and I know it by my self) but before some Remarkable Occurrences of Life, will have some warnings, at least by Dreams; of which there is a kind that may be ranked with these Apparitions, and it was not for nought, that the Stoicks of old held Sleep, familiare & domesticum oraculum: You shall learn more of me hereafter about the certainty of Candles and the Knockers.
Sir, I put you to your Penance, by these under Lines, they shew I can hardly part with you, I pray God continue, and grant you Health and Happiness answerable to the use you are of, for his Glory among us.
Your very Thankful Servant.
The 14 of Feb. 1656.
Mr. Davis's Letter, concerning the Corps-Candles in Wales.
For your Worth, hath purchased you that Stile. With all due Respects, you shall hereby understand that I am one, who sincerely blesseth himself, to have been much Edified by you, as being Confirm'd in some points, and informed in others, by a piece of your Learned and Judicious Works, Termed by your self a Supplement, which proved to me a Complement, and which was Communicated to be by my Worthy Friend, and special Encourager, John Lewis Esq;, at whose Request, I am to give you the best Satisfaction I can, touching those fiery Apparitions, which do as it were, mark out the way for Corpses to their [Greek omitted], and that sometimes before the parties themselves fall sick, and sometimes in their sickness of these, I could never hear in England, they are common in these three Counties, Cardigan, Caermarthen and Pembrook, and as I hear, in some other part of Wales.
These [Greek omitted] in our Language, we call Canhwyllan Cyrth (i) Corps-Candles; and Candles we call them, not that we do see any thing else besides the Light: But because [P. 147] that Light doth as much Resemble a Material Candle-light, as Eggs do Eggs, saving, that in their Journey, these Candles be modo apparentes, modo disparentes, especially, when one comes near them; and if one come on the way against them, unto him they vanish; but presently appear behind him, and hold on their Course. If it be a little Candle, pale or blewish, then follows the Corps either of an Abortive, or some Infant, if a big one, then the Corps of some one come to Age, if there be seen two or three, or more, some big, some small together, then so many, and such Corpses together. If two Candles come from Diverse places, and be seen to meet, the Corpses will the like, if any of these Candles be seen to turn sometimes a little out of the way, or Path, that leadeth unto the Church, the following Corps will be found to turn in that very place, for the avoiding of some dirty Lane, or Plash, Oc. Now let us fall to Evidence; Being about the Age of fifteen, dwelling at Lanylar, late at Night, some Neighbours saw one of these Candles hovering up and down along the River bank, until they were weary in beholding, at last they left it so, and went to Bed, a few Weeks after came a proper Damsel from Montgomery Shire, to see her Friends, who dwelleth on the other side of that River Istwyth, and thought to Ford the River at [P. 148] that very place, where the Light was seen; but being disswaded by some lookers on, (some it's most like of those that saw the Light) to adventure on the Water, which was high, by reason of a Flood: She walked up and down along the River Bank, even where, and even as the foresaid Candle did, waiting for the falling of the Water, which at last she took; but too soon for her, for she was drown'd therein.
Of late, my Sextons Wife, an Aged Understanding Woman, saw from her Bed, a little blewish Candle upon her Tables end: Within two or three days after, comes a fellow in, enquiring for her Husband, and taking something from under his Cloak, claps it down directly upon the Tables end, where she had seen the Candle, and what was it, but a Dead-born Child? Another time, the same Woman, saw such another Candle upon the other end of the self same Table, within few days after, a weak Child by my self, newly Christned, was brought into the Sextons House, where presently he died: And when the Sextons Wife, who was then abroad, came home, she found the Woman shrouding of the Child, on that other end of the Table, where she had seen the Candle.
On a time my self, and a Kinsman coming from our School in England, and being three or four hours benighted, ere we could reach [P. 149] home, were first of all Saluted by such a Light, or Candle, which coming from a House, which we well knew, held his Course (but not directly) the High-way to Church; shortly after, the Eldest Son in that House Deceased, and Steered the same Course. My self, and my Wife in an Evening, saw such a Light, or Candle coming to the Church, from her Mid-Wifes House, and within a Month, she her self did follow: At which time, my Wife did tell me a Story of her own Mother, Mrs. Catharine Wyat, an Eminent Woman in the Town of Tenby, that in an Evening, being in her Bed-Chamber, she saw two little Lights just upon her Belly, which she assayed to strike off with her Hand, but could not; within a while they vanished of themselves. Not long after, the was Delivered of two Dead-born Children: Long sithence there happened, the like in mine own House; but to a Neighbours Wife, whom my Wife did sometimes call for, to do some work or other and (as I credibly heard within these three days) to some good Gentlewoman also in this very Parish; where also not long since, a Neighbours Wife of mine, being great with Child, and coming in at her own Door, met two Candles, a little, and a bigg one, and within a little after, falling in Labour, she and her Child both dyed.
Some thirty four, or thirty five years bygone, one Jane Wyat my Wifes Sister, being Nurse to Baronet Rudds three Eldest Children, and (the Lady Mistris being Deceased) the Lady Controuler of that House, going late into a Chamber where the Maid-Servants lay, saw there no less then five of these Lights together. It happened a while after, the Chamber being newly Plaistered, and a great grate of Coalfire therein, kindled to hasten the drying up of the Plaistering: That five of the Maid-Servants went there to Bed, as they were wont; but (as it fell out) too soon, for in the Morning, they were all dead, being Suffocated (I conceive) in their Sleep with the Steem of the New-tempered Lime and Coal. This was at Llangathen in Carmarthenshire. Some thirty three, or thirty four years ago, upon a Tuesday coming towards home from Cardigan, where I had been injoyn'd to Preach the Session Sermon: Incipiente adhuc crepusculo, and as Light as Noon, and having as yet, nine long Miles to Ride, there seemed twice or thrice from behind me, on my Right side, and between my Shoulder and my Hat, to fly a little whitish thing, about the bigness of a Walnut, and that per intervalla, once in seventy or eighty Paces: At first I took no notice of it, thinking it had been but the glimpsing of my [P. 151] little Ruff; for such then I wore, by Degrees it waxed reddish, and as the Night drew on, redder and redder, at last not ignis fatuus, (for that I partly knew) but purus putus ignis, both for Light and Colour. At length I turned my Horse twice or thrice, to see from whence it came, and whether it would flash into my Face, then nothing I could see; but when I turned homewards, it flashed as before, until I came to a Village called Llanrislid, where as yet I did not intend to Lodge, though there were four Lodgings, and one of them (save one) the next House in my way, which, when I passed by close, being just against the Door, my Fire did flash again upon, or very near the Threshold, and there I think it lodged; for I saw it no more. Home still I would go, but be thinking my self, that so I might tempt God, and meet a worse Companion than my former: I turned to the furthest Lodging in the Town, and there after a little Rest, in a brown Study (because mine Host was an understanding Man, and Literate, and such as could, and had but lately read his Neck-Verse in pure Roman Language) I could not contain, but needs must tell him of the Vision, he the next day to some going to the Sessions, they to others there, at last it came to the Judges Ears, insomuch, that the greatest News, and wonder [P. 152] at the then Assizes was the Preachers Vision. To come at length unto the Pitch, or Kernel, (for I have been too long about the Husk and Shell) at that very Sessions, one John William Lloyd, a Gentleman, who dwelt, and whose Son yet dwells within a Mile of Glasterig, fell Sick, and in his coming homewards, was taken with such a violent Paroxism, that he could Ride no further than the House, where I left my Fire to entertain him, and there he lighted and Lodged, died about four Days after. Ex abundanti, you shall understand that some Candles have been seen to come to my Church, within these three weeks, and the Corpses not long after. Hactenus de Candelis nostris.
Another kind of Apparition we have, which commonly we call Tan-we, or Tanwed, because it seemeth Firy. This appeareth to our seeming in the lower Region of the Air, straight and long, not much unlike a Glaive, Mours or Shoots directly, and level (as who would say I'll hit) but far more showly, than Stella cadentes, or Star shot lighteneth all the Air, and Ground where it passeth, lasteth three or four Miles, and more for ought is known; because no Man seeth the Rising or Beginning of it; when it falls to Ground, it sparkleth, and lightneth all about. These before their Decease, do fall upon Free-Holders Lands, [P. 153] and you shall scarce bury any such with us, be he but a Lord of a House and Garden, but you shall find some one at his Burial, at least Wise in his Neighbour-hood, that hath seen this Fire to fall on some part of his Lands. Two of these at several times I have seen my self, since I Studied Meteors, and since I was a Minister, and narrowly observed, even till they were in the [Greek omitted], and began to fall; but the Interposition of Grounds, marred the Conclusion; for where, and how they fell, I saw not; but where I did guess, they fell, there died in the one place an aged Gentleman, in the other, a Free-Holder too, though of a Meaner Rank. To come nearer home, My Mothers first Husband (for my Father Marryed her a Widdow) walking about his Ground, saw one of these Darts, or Piles aloft, which fell down hard by him, shone far, and sparkled round about his Body, he took it for a Warning-Piece, made his Will, and having lived in good Health,some four or five Months after, dyed. A little before the Decease of mine own Father, Aged Ninety six, a Son in Law of his, who dwelled two Miles off, (but upon higher Ground) saw such another fall in a Close behind the old Mans House, which gave such a Light, that by it, he did [P. 154] clearly see the House, the Hedges, and the Oaks in the Wood adjoyning.
Sir, So many of these Evidences, as I saw not my self, I received from Understanding and Credible Persons, and such as would not lye, no, not for a Benefice; and your self may receive the same from me, as from one that was never too Credulous, nothing Supperstitious, and as little Ceremonious. These Secrets, I dare not Father upon Satan, I will not Honour him so much, so much as to Ascribe to him the Knowledge of Contingent Futures. I presume that of himself, he cannot certainly know whether, or when a Healthy Man shall Sicken, nor whether, or when he shall dye of his Sickness, nor whether he shall dye by Sickness or by Fire or Water, &c. nor (in an open Country especially) which way of two, three, or more, the Corps shall be brought to Church, whether it shall meet another Corps in the way, whether it shall pass a River by the Ford, or Bridg, how many stops, turnings, and windings it shall make, Satan can have no certain fore-knowledge of all such Circumstances, and more, but this Candlemaker and Director of them too foresees, and foreknows them all; and therefore must needs be the Creator, who, as according to the good pleasure of his Will, he hath Determined, and allotted to several Nations, their several [P. 155] Habitations, Dispositions and Conditions, even so (as I suppose) hath he vouchsafed to each of them some peculiar signs and tokens, if none to some, which I cannot believe, and if to some more, and more wonderful than to other some, for my part, I can give no other Reason for it, but his Will. This with my hearty Prayers for your self, your Pious and Learned Brethren of the Association.
Your Friend in all kind Offices that lye in my Power.
Generglyn the 19. March 1656.
Containing several other Letters and Relations concerning Apparitions and Witchcrafts.MR. Thomas Tilson, Minister of Aylesworth in Kent, his Letter concerning an Apparition in Rochester, this present Year, 1691.
Being informed that you are writing about Witchcraft and Apparitions, I take the freedom, though a Stranger, to send you this following Relation. Mary, the Wife of John Goffe of Rochester, being afflicted with a long Illness, removed to her Father's House at West-Mulling, which is about nine Miles distant from her own: There she died, June the 4th, this present Year, 1691. [P. 157] The Day before her departure, she grew very impatiently desirous to see her two Children, whom she had left at home, to the Care of a Nurse. She prayed her Husband to hire a Horse, for she must go home, and die with the Children. When they persuaded her to the contrary, telling her she was not fit to be taken out of her Bed, nor able to sit on Horse back, she intreated them however to try: If I cannot sit, said she, I will lie all along upon the Horse, for I must go to see my poor Babes. A Minister who lives in the Town was with her at Ten-a-Clock that Night, to whom she express'd good Hopes in the Mercies of God, and a Willingness to die: But, said she, it is my Misery that I cannot see my Children.
Between One and Two-a-Clock in the Morning she fell into a Trance. One Widow Turner, who watched with her that Night, says, that her Eyes were open, and fixed, and her Jaw fallen: She put her Hand upon her Mouth and Nostrils, but could perceive no Breath; she thought her to be in a Fit, and doubted whether she were alive or dead. The next Day this dying Woman told her Mother, that she had been at home with her Children. That is impossible, said the Mother, for you have been here in Bed [P. 158] all the while. Yes, replied the other, but I was with them last Night, when I was asleep.
The Nurse at Rochester, Widow Alexander by Name, affirms, and says, she will take her Oath on't before a Magistrate, and receive the Sacrament upon it, that a little before Two a Clock that Morning she saw the Likeness of the said Mary Goffe come out of the next Chamber, (where the elder Child lay in a Bed by it self, the Door being left open, and stood by her Bed-side for about a quarter of an Hour; the younger Child was there lying by her; her Eyes moved, and her Mouth went, but she said nothing. The Nurse moreover says, that she was perfectly awake; it was then Day-light, being one of the longest Days in the Year. She sate up in her Bed, and looked stedfastly upon the Apparition: In that time she heard the Bridge-Clock strike Two, and a while after said, In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, what art thou? Thereupon the Appearance removed, and went away; she slipp'd on her Cloaths and followed, but what became on't she cannot tell. Then, and not before, she began to be grievously affrighted, and went out of Doors, and walked upon the Wharf (the House is just by the River side) for some Hours, [P. 159] only going in now and then to look to the Children. At Five a-Clock she went to a Neighbour's House, and knocked at the Door, but they would not rise: At Six she went again, then they arose and let her in. She related to them all that had pass'd: They would persuade her she was mistaken, or dreamt: But she confidently affirmed, If ever I saw her in all my Life, I saw her this Night.
One of those to whom she made the Relation (Mary, the Wife of John Sweet) had a Messenger came from Mulling that Forenoon, to let her know her Neighbour Goffe was dying, and desired to speak with her; she went over the same day, and found her just departing. The Mother, amongst other Discourse, Related to her how much her Daughter had long'd to see the Children, and said she had seen them. This brought to Mrs. Sweet's mind, what the Nurse had told her that Morning, for till then, she had not thought to mention it, but disguised it, rather as the Woman's disturbed Imagination.
The Substance of this, I had Related to me by John Carpenter, the Father of the Deceased, next day after her Burial: July the Second: I fully Discoursed the Matter with the Nurse, and two Neighbours, to whose House she went that Morning. [P. 160] Two days after, I had it from the Mother, the Minister that was with her in the Evening, and the Woman who sat up with her that last Night: They all agree in the same Story, and every one helps to strengthen the others Testimony: They appear to be Sober Intelligent Persons, far enough off from Designing to impose a Cheat upon the World, or to manage a lye, and what Temptation they should lye under for so doing, I cannot conceive.
Sir, that God would bless your pious Endeavours for the Conviction of Atheists and Sadduces, and the promoting of true Religion and Godliness; and that this Narrative may conduce somewhat towards the farthering of that great Work, is the hearty Desire and Prayer of
Your most faithful Friend,
and humble Servant,
July 6. 1691.
Tho. Tilson, Minister of Aylesford, nigh Maidstone in Kent.
Mr. Thomas Woodocke's Letter in relation to Witches and Apparitions; together, with four Stories inclosed therein, all relating to the same Subject.
S I R,
I Have herein sent you those four Stories I had the remembrance off, when I was with you last, which I have subscribed my Name to. But who can prove any thing Rationally to them who have not so much Reason as to know their own Souls? All of this Tribe are of that mind, to believe nothing but what they see themselves. But as Religio Medici says, The Devil hath them in too fast a Noose, for to appear to them would be to convert them from their Error. He rather delights to be their God than to prove himself a Devil, and so torment their Thoughts too soon. They assert and admire the Omnipotency of Matter, but in the mean time are insensible of the spring of Motion; they are so full of Seconds they will not own a First M over: 'Tis strange Arithmetick, that two should not suppose one, and as bad Geometry to have [P. 162] Circumference without a Center. But I fear you will but spend Arguments on them who are resolved not to yield to any Evidence; for it is the Interest of their Lusts neither to believe God nor a Devil. Yet I remember a story of one at Colchester, who in a Bravado, and Defiance of the Devil, would walk in the Night to the Church-Yard, where it was reported he appeared and walked, and he met him in the shape of a Black Dog with terrible Eyes, which brought him by Terrors into such a mind, that he was never quiet in his Mind till he got into good Society. Coming to Mr. Shepheard's at Coln, Mr. Harlakenden stay'd him, though Mr. Shepheard was gone: He lodged there, and when at Prayer, the Black Dog was seen by the Man as if he would have torn Mr. Harlakenden's Throat out, but he was in his House and Duty, and neither saw nor feared: And this Man continued long in this condition, proved a most serious Christian, always had some appearance of this Dog, as a Fly or a Flea, and various shapes; and even at his Death, lying long sick, had great Peace and Victory over the fear of Death, and was so joyful and desirous to be dissolved, that this Dog or Flea made no impression upon him; when had it been a Melancholick Fancy it would have been worst at so dark an Hour, when the Humours [P. 163] are up and the Spirits down. This Story I had also from Mr. Harlakenden, but it is not to be cast before such Swine as this Epicurean Age abounds with, who, if Christ himself was on Earth, with the Gadarens, would rather get rid of him, than lose their Herd of Hogs. But I tire you, the Lord support you, and give you the Joy of Faith, the Blessed prospect of Hope, and that Cordial of Love which is stronger than Death;
Your worthless Brother and Servant in the Lord,
July 17. 91.
Here follow the four Stories, mentioned in the fore-going Letter.
I. Mr. Mun. Rector of Stockerson in Leicestershire, had a Daughter married to one Mr. Beecham, Rector of Branston in Rutland; in whose House it was frequently observed, that a Tobacco-pipe would move it self from off a Shelf at one end of the Room, to another Shelf at the other end of the Room, without any Hand. Mr. Mun visiting his Son-in Law, took a Pipe of Tobacco in that Room, and looked for some such Motion; but a great Bible, instead of a Pipe, moved it self off from a Desk at the lower end of the Room, and cast it self into his Lap. Whereupon he opened the Bible at Gen. 3. 15. saying, Come, Satan; I'll shew thee thy Doom: The Seed of the Woman shall break the Serpent's Head. Avoid Satan.
This Mr. Mun himself told me, when in the Sickness-Year, 1665. I lived in Stockerson-Hall. I have no reason to suspect the Veracity of a sober Man, a constant Preacher, and a good Scholar.
II. Dr. Lamb, who was killed by the Mob, for a Conjurer, about 1640. met one Morning Sir Miles Sands and Mr. Barbor in the Street, and invited them to go and drink [P. 165] their Mornings Draught at his House: Discoursing about his Art, he told them, if they would hold their Tongues, and their Hands from medling with any thing, he would shew them some Sport. So falling to his Practice, in the middle of the Room springs up a Tree; soon after appeared three little Fellows, with Axes on their Shoulders, and Baskets in their Hands, who presently fell to work, cut down the Tree, and carried all away. But Mr. Barbor observing one Chip to fall on his Velvet Coat, he slips it into his Pocket. That Night, when he and his Family were in Bed, and asleep, all the Doors and Windows in the House opened and clattered, so as to awaken and affright them all. His Wife said, Husband, you told me you was at Dr. Lamb's this Day, and I fear you medled with something. He replied, I put a Chip into my Pocket. I pray you, said she, fling it out, or we shall have no Quiet. He did so, and all the Windows and Doors were presently shut, and all quiet, so they went to sleep.
Dr. Barbor and Major John Barbor, who married my only Sister, told me this Relation, who had it again and again from their Father and Mother; and I know no reason to doubt of the truth of it. This Mr. Barbor laid the first Stone in building of Covent-Gardon.
III. When I was a School-Boy at Oundle in Northamptonshire; about the Scots coming into England, I heard a Well, in one Dobs's Yard, drum like any Drum beating a March. I heard it at a distance: Then I went and put my Head into the Month of the Well, and heard it distinctly, and no Body in the Well. It lasted several Days and Nights, so as all the Country-People came to hear it. And so it drumm'd on several Changes of Times.
When King Charles the Second died, I went to the Oundle-Carrier, at the Ram-Inn in Smithfield; who told me their Well had drumm'd and many People came to hear it. And I heard, it drumm'd once since.
IV. Mr. Harlakenden, who lived at Coln-Priory in Essex, (where I often was, his only Son being my Pupil,) formerly the House of the Earls of Oxford: Off from the House was a Tomb House, with a Chamber over it; his Butler, Robert Crow, and William, his Coach man, used to lie in that Room. At Two of the Clock in the Morning there was always the sound of a great Bell tolling: They affirming it so, Mr. Harlakenden slept in the Evening, so as to be awaked at One of the Clock, and lay betwixt his two servants to satisfie himself. At Two of the Clock comes the usual Sound of a great Bell [P. 167] tolling, which put him into a Fright and Sweat, so as he jogg's his Servants; who awaking, said, Hark, Tom is at his Sport. It revived him to hear them speak. Upon a particular Occasion, Mr. Thomas Shepheard, (who after went to New England,) with some other Ministers, and good People, spent a Night in Prayer, and had some respect to the place, serving God, to cast out the Devil: And from that time, never was any such noise heard in the Chamber.
This I had from Mr. Harlakenden's own Mouth, and his Servants, Ear-witnesses, when I was upon the place.
Of good Angels, and some doubtful Spirits, and their notable Actions.
THIS sort of Operations is of more pleasant Consideration than the Diabolical, and as convincing of the Agency of Superior Spirits on things below; but so many have written of it, as maketh my farther Labour needless. Let them that would see more, read Mr. Isaac Ambrose of our Communion with Angels, the Lord Lawrence, Mr. Samuel Clark's Mirrour, Zanchy de Angelis, &c.
Bodin tells us of one of his Acquaintance, that had a good Genius that would always give him notice when he did ill, by a stroke; and what he should do when he omitted it. I pass by old Writers. I will mention now but these few.
I. That of Mr. Tate in Ireland, mentioned by Mr. Clark, and Mr. Ambrose, and confirmed to me by his near Relations that knew of it. Dr. Tate, with his Wife and Children, being stripp'd, and forced to flee for their Lives, by the Irish, when they were [P. 169] murdering Thousands in their Rebellion in 1641. They were wandering in unknown places, upon Commons covered with Snow; and having no Food, and she carrying a Sucking Child, and having no Milk, she went to lay down the Child to die; and on the Brow of a Bank she found a Suck-bottle with sweet Milk in it, no Foot-steps appearing in the Snow of any that should bring it thither, and far from any Habitation; which preserved the Child's Life, who after became a Blessing to the Church.
II. When Prince Rupert march'd with his Army through Lancashire, to York-Fight, where he was overthrown, the Town of Bolton made some Resistance in his Passage, and he gave them no Quarter, but killed Men and Women. When he was gone, those that escaped came out from the places where they lurked, and an old Woman found in the Streets a Woman killed, and a Child by her not dead: The old Woman took up the Child, and to still its crying, put her own Breast to the Child, which had not given Suck, as I remember, of above twenty Years: The Child being quieted, she presently perceived Milk to come; and continued to give the Child sufficient Milk, till it was provided for. I had the full Assurance of this from my worthy Friend, Mrs. Hunt, Wife to Mr. Rowland Hunt, of [P. 170] Harrow on the Hill; who told me, that she her self was one that was appointed by the Committee to make Trial of the Case, and she found it true, and the old Woman's Breasts to give the Child Milk, as was reported. And the told me in 1665, that the said Child was at that time alive, a Servant-woman in London.
III. Though I lay no great stress on the Reports of those Papists who corrupt Church-History by Fabulous Mixtures, yet many Histories of the Ministry of Angels, cited by them out of the Fathers, are credible. Those that have purged their Legends, retain a great number. Baronius, and De la Cerda and many others, are worth the reading by the Judicious, that can discern the different Probabilities. But to deny all the Ejecting of Devils, and the Wonders mentioned by Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Augustine, Sulpitius, Severus, those of Gregory Thaumaturgus, Martin, &c. (tho' some may be over-aggravated;) besides those in Historians, Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Victor Uticensis, Frocopius, Nicephorus, Theodoret, &c. would be unreasonable and unchristian Incredulity. I have formerly mentioned the African Bishops or Preachers, who all spake well when their Tongues were cut out by the Command of the Arrian King: And Victor, Ænæas Gazæus and [P. 171] Procopius (as I remember, all three) said, they saw them, and heard them speak after. But one of them saith, that one of the Bishops was after drawn into the Sin of Fornication, and his Speech went away again.'Tis strange if all the Stories in Cæsarius should be false.
IV. De la Cerda saith, that Albertine a Jesuit told him, that a young Man came hastily to him to confess; and told him: O Sir, saith he, I could not stay, so strange a thing hath befallen me! I and my Companion were resolved, in Revenge against one that had wronged me, to go after him, into the Fields, and kill him: And while I was setting my Pistol in order, that I might not miss, a beautiful young Man stood by me, and asked me what I was about? And when I denied to tell him, he told me, that he knew my purpose, and dissuaded me; and, in short, did so open the Sufferings of Christ for his Enemies, and what Sins he had forgiven us, and bound us to forgive one another, that I was melted into Tears, and my Mind changed; and the young Man vanished away. (An Angel, if true.)
V. I'll make no Application of it to the Cause in our late War; but I knew of many strange Preservations. One credible Person had a Bullet shot through the felt [P. 172] of his Hat, and stopp'd at the Lining, and hurt him not. Another had a small Bible in his Pocket, and a Musket-Bullet shot into his Bible, which saved his Life. The Story of Sir Richard Greenvile's Executions is printed already by Mr. Clark, and others. To confirm it, Mr. Kettleby Woodhouse, (Sister's Son to Justice Kettleby, and to Walter Kettleby the Bookseller's Father,) a sober, credible Man, then living in Bewdeley, oft told me, that he was one of the Five (or Seven) whose Lives were saved: Being Soldiers for the Parliament, and taken Prisoners, Sir Richard Greenvile commanded them all to be hanged. The first Man being turned off the Ladder, a new Hempen Rope brake: They sent for another, and hang'd him again, and that brake; and as I remember, a third. Whereupon Sir R. G. saved them all. And Mr. Woodhouse all the while stood by the Gallows, expecting his Turn, and by this escap'd. 'Tis like it was by an invisible Power.
VI. In 1662, came out divers Books of new Prodigies, most of them as Executions on notorious Sinners, and some as Deliverances of better Men. I read them, and enquired after the Matter of Fact; and I found by what Policy Satan hath perverted History, and obscured the Honour of God's Works, by causing weak-headed, factious [P. 173] Persons to over do. I found many of the Strange, things there mentioned, had sufficient Proof: But the Writers dropp'd in many Circumstances and Stories, by partial Credibility, that were not true. And this frustrated the Books, and the Prodigies, by spoiling the Credit of all the rest.
VII. I know not what to impute it to, that Lightnings and Thunder-bolts fall more upon Churches, than upon Castles and City Stone Walls, or any such Buildings. Jersey-Castle indeed was torn with the Gun-powder, set on fire by Lightning, (as Heydelberg had terribly been as a Presage of the greater Evil following:) And what was it but an invisible Power, that there caused the Lord's Child, that was Governor, to be blown up, and cast down again on the Leads, without Hurt? Angels have a special Care of Infants. The Church that my Grandmother was born near, had a Ball of Fire, by Lightning, came in at the Belfrey-window, and turn'd up the Grave-stones, and went out at the Chancel-window.
The Church that I was baptized in (High Ercall, close to the Lord Newport's House) had, in such a Storm, the Leads rolled up, and cast on the back-side of the Church; (and in the War, was levelled with the Ground.) [P. 174] The Church of Anthony in Cornwall, near Plimouth, was torn by Lightning at the time of Worship, on Whit-Sunday, 1640. and People hurt, and ones Brains struck up to a Pillar. (It is in Print.)
So was used much like, the Church of Withicombe in Devonshire, near the same time. The Church where the present Lord Chamberlain, Earl of Dorset and Middlesex, his Ancestors Monuments were, was torn by Lightning that came in at the Steeple, melted the Bells, and went up to the Chancel, and there tore the Monuments in pieces. I saw pieces of the Monuments, that had some of the Golden Letters, which a truly worthy Lady brought home, that went from Tunbridge-Waters, to see the Church.
Many and many Churches have been thus torn, proportionably so much beyond all other Buildings, especially of Stone, that I cannot but think there is some knowing Agent that maketh the Choice, though I know not who, nor why.
Except a few Hay-Ricks, I remember not that till this Seventy sixth Year of my Age, I have known Lightenings to have had Hurting Power on any Buildings but Churches, save very rarely, and small, as this last Year, at Islington, it entred a House, and kill'd a Woman and Child:) Nor to [P. 175] have torn any Wood but Oak, (which in Trees and Buildings I have seen torn where I dwelt.) But divers persons have been killed and scorch'd by it. An Eminent Knight, that I knew, is commonly said to have been struck dead by it in his Garden.
VIII. Though Hurricanes and Whirlwinds have Natural Causes, yet I have great cause to think, that they are managed by some Spirits (as I said before of Storms) Gunpowder worketh in Guns according to its nature; but if some Rational Agent did not invent, make, and manage it, all its Power, would be of little use. I have marvelled to see my own small Linnen spred out by Servants to dry, to be suddenly catcht up, and carried over the Town and Steeple away, and never more heard of. Near the time when some Reapers in the Vale of Evesham were hurt, writhen, and one killed with a Whirlwind, I was walking in a Gravelly Way in a Corn-field, there being a Lane besides me, between two Hedges; suddenly a Whirlwind came up the Cart-way, casting up the Gravelly Sand directly to meet me; when it came within Ten or Twelve Yards of me, I was about stepping out of the way into the Corn, to escape it, but it suddenly turned [P. 176] out of the way to the Right-hand, into the Lane from me, so as perswaded me, that it was a voluntary Motion, directed by a friendly Power; for it went straight on up the Lane, and tore the Hedges and Branches of the Trees on the side of the Lanes But these are small effects to what other see, especially of the great Hurricanes at Sea in the West-Indies. The Spirits that Rule in the Air have great Power of the Airy Motions.
IX. Though Porphyry, and Proclus, and Jamblicus, tell us, that bad Demons will oft speak for good Actions and against bad, in Pride and Subtilty to be thought good; yet it is hard to think that it is not rather a good Spirit, that speaks for some notable good Work, where no by-End is discernable. As that mentioned by Mr. Glanvil and Dr. More of Dr. Britton's Wife, whose likeness appeared after Death to her Servant-Maid, and shewed her a parcel of Land that was as part of her Brothers, and told her, it belonged to the Poor, and was unjustly alienated from them; and bid her tell the Possessor, that he must restore it; and gave her a Secret to tell him if he refused: And upon the angry refusal, when he heard the Secret, he yielded and restored the Land to the Poor, who now possess it.
X. The said Heathen Philosophers say, that they are all bad Spirits that seek to be worshiped, and that to procure it, they will seem to be Religious, but will tell many Lies for one Truth, and that lying is a chief mark to know them by. By this I suspect that there are bad Spirits that come to speak for the getting so many Masses to be said for them to deliver them from Purgatory, and such Pilgrimages to be performed: And those that tempt the People to Pray to them and to Honour them; for their Services and Prayers for them, of which their Legends abound with Instances: De la Cerda concludeth his Book of Angels with Forms of such Prayers: And what Office hath not such? De la Cerda, lib. 23. citeth Miraculous Appearances of the Cross, and so do many others, which I leave to the Readers Judgment. As also the Lady of Lauretto's Miracles, and others such, which many write of.
XI. I think some Rational Spirit was probably the Agent of what was written by our great Pious Credible Surgeon and Physician, Fabricius Hildanus, Obser. Cent. 3. obs. 26. [A Noble and Virtuous Lord, Job. a Rosle, going for his Studies to Friburg, with two Servants, on the way, rose a [P. 178] great Storm, with Thunder, Lightening, and Rain: His Servant perswaded him to let him ride close to him, and cover him with his Cloak; so joining their Horses they rode under one Cloak:
A great stroke of a Thunderbolt struck down the Master, the Servant, and both the Horses; the Servant and two Horses immediately were dead: The Nobleman, by God's keeping, escaped safe and sound, yet no hurt was seen on the Horses, nor on the Servant, save on his Hat, which had a great Hole; and the Head after swelled and turned black: But on the Nobleman himself were all these Marvels; I. The Thunderbolt struck him about the Left-Arm, and there made a hole through the Sleeve of his Doublet and Shirt, and made a black mark on the Skin which remained, but without hurt. The hole in the Sleeve was small without and great within. 2. Thence it desended, and broke in pieces some Coral Beads of a Bracelet which he wore on his Arm, but broke not the String. 3. Then on his Left-side, his Sword Sheath being tyed, it melted the point of his Sword as if it had been Lead; and by melting the gilded Iron, it made a hole in the Band for its passage out. 4. And on both his Ancles were black spots like Pitch, and are yet visible. [P. 179] Another riding a Stones cast before him, his Horse and he were cast down, but without hurt, save the loss of his Hearing.] Hildanus saw the Cloaths, Boots, and Sword, and had all from the Man himself.
IN my Unreasonableness of Infidelity, having many other Testimonies of Satan's War against Christ and his Kingdom, I will here mention one, which elsewhere also I have mentioned; and that is the Case of melancholy, distracted and Enthusiastick Persons, which clearly prove a Diabolical War.
I. As to melancholy Persons: I think, few Men in England have had more advantage to know their Case, than I have had. I know not how it cometh to pass, but in the Country, and in London, multitudes that are melancholy are sent by their Friends, or of themselves come to me, imagining that I can counsel them for Soul and Body; so that they have taken up a great part of my time. And in almost all I perceive, besides their Disease, that a malignant Spirit, by advantage of it, doth agitate them incessantly against God and Jesus Christ, and against themselves, as he acteth Witches to do mischief to others. I know that the Disease it self is, to the Imagination, as disquieting as a Dislocation or Lameness is to a Joint: But there is some malignant Spirit that driveth it so importunately to Mischief.
They are constantly tempted to self-tormenting Thoughts, to despair and cry, Undone, undone; and to think that the Day of Grace is past, and that they have committed the unpardonable Sin; and any thing that may keep their Minds on a tormenting Rack. And they are strongly at last tempted to destroy themselves: If they see a Knife, they feel as if one within them said, Now cut thy Throat, or stab thy self: Do it, do it. If they go by a Water, they feel as if one urged them presently to leap in. And often are they urged vehemently to hang themselves, or to cast themselves headlong from some high place. And, alas! many do it.
And it is so in other Lands, as well as here. How many doth Platerus, in his Observations, tell us of, that near him, in Helvetia, destroyed themselves. And it is to be noted, that unless it be God's Judgment for some heinous Crime, it is few of the ungodly Rabble that have any such Trouble and Temptation; for Satan holds them faster by presumptuous Unbelief, and Carelesness, and worldly Love, and Pleasure: But those that will not be so deceived, that he cannot torment hereafter, he would torment here. Alas! divers Persons have I known thus destroy themselves, who I have great reason to believe were as really Godly as any that I have known. [P. 182] But Satan's Advantage was in their Disease and Temper: As he can tempt a Phlegmatick Man to Sloth, and a Cholerick Man to Anger, and a Sanguine Man to Lust, or sinful Pleasure; so can he a Melancholy Man to Despair and Self-destruction, and against God.
2. And they are impetuously tempted against God and Jesus Christ: They are so haunted with blasphemous Thoughts, to think ill of God, or to deny Christ or the Scripture, that they have no rest: And these come in at Prayer, at Sermon, at Sacrament; and they have no more power to keep them out, or turn their Thoughts another way, almost, than they have of the Thoughts of another. Yea, somewhat urgeth them from Day to Day, to speak some ill, blasphemous word of God, or of Christ; and if they yield to the Importunity, it presently, as it were, saith within him, Now thou art damned: There is now no Hope. And it is much to be noted, that let the Person be Religious, or not, they usually are all thus tempted alike: For worldly Crosses and Discontents do make bad People sometimes melancholy; and they also have much of the same Sollicitations. So that the manner of their Trouble plainly telleth us, that it is of the Devil. And yet Physick may do much to cure it, because it taketh from the Devil that Instrument, [P. 183] or bodily Disposition, without which he cannot do his Work.
And it is not for nothing, that in the Gospel the Distracted and Epileptick are said to be possessed of Devils; for he may cause the Disease, and work by it accordingly when he hath done it.I have oft marvelled that the Worst are not as commonly distracted by Sadness, as better People: But besides the Reason before given, there is a peculiar Sin that bringeth this of its Nature, and so lets the Devil in; and that is, Over-valuing some worldly thing, and then falling into Discontent and Impatience at the loss or want of it. He that breaks down his own Hedge or Wall, lets in the Trespasser or Thief. He that cannot take God and Heaven as enough to content him, is better without his Idol, than to find Content in it. 'Tis meet that Child be left to cry, that will cry if he may not have his Will; and that will hurt him worse than crying. He that will add to God's Corrections, the Self-Torment of sinful Impatience, shall find Satan ready to farther his Work. God is disobliged, when he is not trusted: And if we consent not that he do with us what he will, he will not do what we impose upon him: His Wisdom, and not our Flesh and Folly, must determine of all his Way and Work.
II. And there have been many Enthusiasticks that Satan hath notoriously deluded, by pretended Angelical Revelation, for some great increase of Knowledge: You may find many sad Instances in Epiphanius, and other Histories of the old Hereticks. And few Ages since have been without some such. The Madness of John of Leydens Munster Rebels shewed it; what Zeal and seeming Fortitude did their deceiving Spirit inspire them with, while by Murders they cryed up their new Sion? Leo Juda witnesseth, that when the Flesh was pull'd off Clipperdolling with hot Pincers, he scarce uttered a Complaint or great regard of the pain. Satan's Hand was notorious in the delusions of David George in Holland, and of Hacket, Coppinger, and Arthington here.The horrid Wickedness of the Ranters here, proclaimed him to be their Teacher. When the Quakers first rose here, their Societies began like Witches, with Quaking, and Vomiting, and Infecting others, with breathing on them, and tying Ribbons on their Hands. And their Actions as well as their Doctrine shewed their Master. When some, as propesying, walked through the Streets of Cities naked; and some vainly undertook to raise the Dead (as Susan Pierson at Worcester:) And usually they disturbed [P. 185] and publickly reviled the most Godly Ministers worse than the most debauched of the Rabble did.
He that would know how manifestly Satan ruled such Enthusiasts in Germany, may read it at large in Beckman's Exercitations, and in the Life of Paracelsus, testify'd by Opporinus, that lived with him as his Servant, and others that were affrighted with his Drunken Rage and Satanical Converse.
And how dangerous it is to desire such Converse with Angels and Spirits, as God hath not judged suitable to our Condition here in the Flesh, the case of Jacob Behmen and Dr. Pordage here, and his Society may tell us. His chief Proselyte, Companion and Successor (whose name I mention not for the sake of his Worthy Kindred) condescended to open secretly to me in Writing, his Judgment, by which I soon saw that their Guide differed much from the Scripture. One of extraordinary Learning and Reputation, was a while distracted by going to them, to try their Way. Some of my very much esteemed Friends have been distracted, and overcome with Melancholy, by studying Behmen and that way. What Dr. Pordage his Doctrine was, you may see partly in his Posthumous Mystical Theology, published by his Friend Dr. Hooker. Mr. Fowler of Reading accused him [P. 186] as a Conjurer, and he hath published his Defence in Folio, (which I may the rather mention, because in it he hath made use of my name against Mr Fowler, as speaking against me, for our difference in explaining the Doctrine of Imputed Righteousness.) In this Defence the Dr. confesseth, that the Devil was too familiar in his House (where a Society lived with him that kept their Exercises and Hours of singing Night and Day.) He (and his Friends) pretended that he knew when good Spirits and when bad ones were about him, by Smells and Gusts, and the temper of their Sense and Spirits. And he confesseth, that in his great Room, the Devil appeared to him by Night in the likeness of a Fiery Dragon that almost filled the Room, and long conflicted with him. And that once he made on the Brick-Wall, over his Chimney, the likeness of a Coach drawn by Tygers, so deeply impressed, that they were fain to use a Pick-Ax to cut it out of the Bricks: And that the like Impression was on the Glass of his Windows, which they could not wash out. But all this he imputed to Everard that intruded into his Society, taking him to be the Conjurer: And he saith, that when he was gone, he appeared to him in the Night, walking in his Chamber in Boots and Spurs. [P. 187] So that Diabolical Apparitions, and open Effects were confessed by him, as his Book declareth. Among others, I think meet to add the History of some Enthusiasticks that I have known, not as a Condemnation of their Opinions, but of the way of receiving them.
A Country Man of Inkburrough Parish (as he said) in Worcestershire, came to me to Acton near London, to tell me, that God had revealed to him the truth of that thousand Years Reign of Christ on Earth; and he was possessed with a strong Zeal to propagate it, and I must needs promote the publication of his Papers. I examined him how he came to his knowledge of it, and I found it was not by any hard Study, nor Zeal in Religion, nor by Reading any Book for it, nor by Converse with any of that Opinion, for he had been no such Man, nor had come among such: But it was by seeming Revelation, finding him Ignorant and Enthusiastical, I displeased him, by advising him to suppress his Papers; and I after heard that he turned distracted. At Coventry there dwelt with me in the Governours House, Major Wilkie, a Scottish Soldier, and a Scholar of considerable Learning; he was Engineer for Fortification. He would drink too much, and had the signs of a heated Brain, but no failing [P. 188] of his Reason perceivable. He confidently affirmed his constant notice of Spirits good and bad about him; that he had a good Genius and an Enemy: That one Night his Enemy said, I have torn his Liver, and that he made a Chamber-Pot full of Blood in the Morning: He was confident, that Thunder and Lightning was the Wars of Spirits, foretelling and respecting such things below: He pretended to know by the Thunder and Lightning which side in the Wars should have the Victory: In 1643 or 1644, about a Year and half after the Wars begun, he said, That it was revealed to him, that the War should endure three Years and an half, and the Parliament should Conquer; but their own Divisions should after keep them long unsetled. He said, that being in Paris, in a clear Moonshine Night (many Years before) being walking in his Chamber, and repeating Buchanan's Version of the second Psalm, Quare fremuerunt gentes, &c. suddenly a great noise made him look out, and he saw a Constellation in the shape of a Lion Rampant against the Moon, and while he long gazed on it, one Leg broke off, and turned to the similitude of a Cock, and after the three other Legs broke off. And when he was in Bed his good Spirit expounded it to him, and told him, that the Moon was the Church here, and the Assaulting Lion was [P. 189] England, Wales, and Ireland, by the King turned against the Church: that the Foot first broken off, was Scotland, as a Cock, by crowing awakened the other three, and that all should end in Conquest of the Assailants.
And his Genius taught him the Millenary Reign of Christ, and taught him how to Expound many Texts for it; as drinking with them the Fruit of the Vine new, that is, in its renewed Paradise state; and the time of Restitution of all things, &c. And he Expounded to him many other Scriptures, as that the Devils Contending about the Body of Moses, was, that it might be drowned in the Basket of Bulrushes to prevent what he was to do, &c. How much of this was true or false, I know not; but I heard credibly, that after some time he was quite distracted, partly through want, and partly by a hot Brain, over heated too oft with drinking.
What but Diabolical Delusion and Instigation, could make Venner and his Followers that were for the Millenary Fifth Monarchy, to arise so madly as two days to come into such a City,and think by Arms to conquer all Opposers, at King Charles II. his beginning of the new Prelatical way of Church Government: Men in their Wits would not have so hasted to the Gallows. [P. 190] A little after the K. Ch. II. Parliament and Bishops began the overthrowing, dividing Works, which Bartholomew day, Aug. 24. 1662. did bring to open Birth, a Gentlewoman of London came to me secretly with her Sister as Witness, (Persons as commonly called of Quality and Moderation) to be resolved how to Expound a strange thing that had befallen her, which was, That ['as she was praying in Secret, she begg'd for Deliverance of the Church and Religion, and Ministers from the dreaded Sufferings that were determined, and the sad effects of Persecution, Division and publick dangers; and it was suddenly given her, as an Answer, that there should be a speedy Deliverance, even in a very short time. She desired to know which way; and it was by somewhat on the King, which I refused to hear out, whether it was Change or Death; it being set strongly on her as a Revelation, the earnestly prayed, that if this were a true Divine Impulse and Revelation, God would certify her by some visible sign; and she ventured to choose the Sign her self, and laid her Hand on the outside of the upper part of her Leg, and begg'd of God, that if it were a true Answer, he would make on that place some visible mark; and there was presently the mark of black spots, like as if a Hand had burnt it; which [P. 191] her Sister witnessed, she saw presently, and after, there being no such thing before.'
I told her, that she had sinfully tempted God, and gone out of his way into a way of her own, and God might justly for it, give Satan power to deceive her: But yet, whether it would prove a Truth or a Falshood, it was not I, but the Event that must tell her, and therefore that she must wait in Patience and Innocency, and lay no stress on such a sign. But the Womans strange Impulse and Mark proved but a Delusion. The Rosie-Crucians, and such as addict themselves to find the Philosopher's Stone, have some of them seemed to be deluded by some Evil Spirit; by the violence of their Desires, and the blind confidence of their Expectations, and the ill Means that some have used: Histories of such are too many to be recited. Fælix Platerus, in his Observat. l. 1. tells us of one of his Familiars, a Person of Honour and Wealth, a Baron, and Religious, and addicted to good Works, that was so set upon it, that he not only so spent his Time and Study, but his Estate, reducing himself and his Family to great Poverty; and yet would never abate his Confidence, that he was near attaining it: And though still frustrate, he was still near it: Insomuch that he laboured with the Magistrates for their Grant and [P. 192] Power, that with the Gold he made he might build a new Bridge over the River, and might build a Colledge for the University, &c. and though he died a poor Man, and left his Children Poor, he believed to the last, that he was near finding out what he sought, had he had longer life.
To such deluded by Spirits, I think I may add the Comforts of many Persons that I have known, that long lived in doubt of their Salvation, next Despair: And when a Deceiver hath but drawn them to change their Religion from Sound Doctrine to some Error, they have presently been delivered from their Troubles, and lived in Peace and Confidence. It cannot be from the Nature of the New Doctrines received; for it befals divers that turn to contrary Doctrines from each other: Some that turn Papists, some that turn Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Antinomians, some Millenaries, and are against each other, yet have sudden Peace upon their change. I confess, that the conceit of having found out a better way may do much; and the diversion of their thoughts to dispute may do much: As Pet. Forestus tells us of a Melancholy Papist, that after other means used in vain, was at last cured by eager disputing against the Protestants: But when the Persons before had no doubt of the Doctrines of Religion, but only of the state [P. 193] of their own Souls, and when they had no such Disputes to bring them to it, but sudden hearing a Seducer, and when it is only False Doctrine that comforteth them, when sound Doctrine professed, could not, it seemeth to be done by a lying Spirit that comforteth Men with Evil, as God's Spirit doth with Good.
Bodin tells us of a French Baron that confest, that he worshiped the Devil, and prayed to him, and had Sacrificed nine Children to him, and intended to have Sacrificed one of his own; and he ask'd him for what he did this? And he said, That he promised to make him Great, and yet that he never gave him any thing, and to make him know what be desired to know, and yet told him more Lies than Truths: This promise of Knowledge was the old Temptation to Eve: And yet Knowledge is the great Gift of our great Comforter, the Holy Ghost; so that there is a true Comforting Knowledge which God giveth, and deceitful shadow of it; and a useless hurtful Knowledge by which Satan comforteth the deluded: Its true, Needful Saving Knowledge that is of God: Many Conjurers have by the desire of knowing what vain Curiosity is pleased with, become the Devil's Slaves. To what sort shall we rank those Men that tell Men of thing; stolen and lost, and that shew Men the Face of the Thief in a [P. 194] Glass, and cause the Goods to be brought back, who are commonly called White Witches: We have had so many Credible Reports of such, as alloweth not Reason to doubt of it. When I lived at Dudley, Hodges at Sedgley, two Miles off (even where famous William Fenner preacht) was long and commonly accounted such a one: And when I lived at Kederminster, one of my Neighbours affirmed, that having his Yarn stolen, he went to Hodges (ten Miles off) and he told him, that at such an Hour he should have it brought home again, and put in at the Window, and so it was; and as I remember, he shewed him the Persons Face in a Glass; yet I do not think that Hodges made any known Contract with the Devil, but thought it was an effect of Art.
OTHER Strange Providences observable. I Have, in other Treatises, named some Instances of such Success of Prayer, as hath not been unprofitable to me: I will here mention some of them, and add some more. Only I will premise this Caution to the Reader.
1. That it is no certain sign of the Innocency or Sanctity of the Person delivered, that it was done by a wonderful manner upon Prayer. Nay, it is not unusual, for the Guilt of some great Sin, to bring the Suffering, from which by Prayer they are delivered; and God may hear others, for the deliverance of such Sinners.
2. Nor is it any certain sign of the Sanctity of those whose Prayers are so heard, (though it be a very encouraging Mercy to them,) any more than Prophesying, and Casting out Devils, and doing wonderful Works in the Name of Christ, Mat. 7. was a Proof that the Agents were not rejected Workers of Iniquity. It is the Honour of God, and the Regard which he hath to the Faith and Prayers of the Distressed, or others, and of the Souls that he would convince; [P. 196] which these, and such like Instances do declare.
3. And I will omit many Instances of Persons recovered from the Jaws of Death, just at the Hour while we have been praying for them; for, though this be much to me, it will not be so to the Unbeliever, who will say, that it was not from that Cause, but would have been if you had not prayed. And I must confess that I have prayed for the Life of many a dear Friend, whom God hath not recovered, but taken away.
4. Nor will I mention any one Instance of the Success of my own Prayers, or any others, when I joined with them; but only of some plain, poor, humble, Godly Persons, who used that sort of fervent Prayer which some deride. For I am a very unworthy Person my self, in comparison of many of those poor, humble, blameless Persons, whom I then had the Oversight of.
I. In general, I may say, that I have divers times, after long disabling Weakness and Pain, been enabled within a Day or two to come to Church again, and go on in my Work, when my poor Neighbours have spent a Day in Fasting and Prayer for me.
II. When at Milborne in Darbyshire I was given up for dead, by bleeding about an [P. 197] hundred and twenty Ounces at the Nose, after other Weaknesses and Bleedings many Years, my Father and Mother-in-Law dwelling in Shrewsbury, the Report came to them there that I was dead. My Mother-in-Law was, by the Governor, and other Friends, exhorted to bear it patiently. She presently retired to secret Prayer; where she professeth, that a Trembling and Concussion of her Body surprizing her, she felt that which constrained her to say what she did when she came forth, (to her Friends,) viz. [He is not dead, but shall live for farther Service.] And hereupon they sent a Messenger from Shrewsbury to see; who found me alive,] and brought them the Tidings. This was in February, 1646. My Mother-in-Law is yet living, about Ninety two Years of Age; the Daughter of Sir Thomas Hunkes. Two of her Brothers, Sir Foulke Hunkes, and Sir Henry Hunkes, were known Soldiers for the King; the one Governor of Shrewsbury, and the other of Banbury-Castle a while. She is one that hath spent a great part of her Life in secret Prayer, with great Neglect of the Flesh and World, and longing to die, and be with Christ, which she hath not yet obtained, but will ere long. (Since the Writing of this, dead, at Ninety six, in full Understanding, and great Holiness.)
III. After long Pain and Weakness, reading a Latin Book of one Gerhard, a Foreign Physician, I found in him, that his own Father had been cured of some of my Distempers (as I then thought) by daily swallowing a Bullet of purest Gold: I got one of the weight of a Twenty-Shilling-piece, and swallowed it, but it remained in me; and hearing of a Gentleman within twelve Miles of me, that lately did the like, and it never pass'd from him, but he quickly died, made me take Clysters and Purges, but none of them stirred it. My poor praying Neighbours (not then fearing the Canon, which strictly forbiddeth it) set apart a Day, to fast and pray for my Deliverance; and that Morning it came away, after many Weeks abode, (three or four;) and they spent the rest of the Day in Thanksgiving.
IV. In my Weakness, being under Physick with Dr. Wright, then living in Shrewsbury, there suddenly rose upon one of the Tonsils of my Throat a round Tumour, seeming to me as hard as a Bone, and about as big as a great Pease, or small Button, half out of the Flesh, and half in. I feared lest it would prove a Cancer; but the Doctor told me, he did not think so, but what it was he knew not; but persuaded (having first tried dissolving and dissipating Means [P. 199] in vain) to quiet it only with Gargarisms of hot Milk: It increased but little, but no Means altered it, till (as I remember) about a quarter of a Year after, my Conscience reproved me, that having had so many great Mercies upon Prayer, I never gave God the Honour or Thanks of public mentioning them, for fear of seeming to seek some Glory to my self; being the next Morning to preach my Lecture, I obeyed my Conscience, and mentioned them in the Words since printed and published in the Second Part of my Saints Everlasting Rest, being then upon the proof of the Truth of the Scriptures: I had before constantly felt it, (and too oft looked at in the Glass.) As soon as I had preached and spoken those Words, I felt no more of it. As I came out of the Pulpit, I put my Finger in my Mouth to feel it, but could feel nothing: I hasted home to the Glass, and saw that there was neither Vola, vel Vestigium, vel Cicatrix; no Cavity, Tumour, Discolouring, nor any sign where-ever it was; and I am sure I neither spit it out, nor swallowed it; and to the last Hour it seemed as hard as a Bone.
V. Richard Cooke, a Mercer in Kniver, was long a Man of a pious, unblameable Life, and one of the chief of good old Mr. John Cross (since Minister here in Friday-street) [P. 200] His Congregation: When I came to Kederminster, he removed thither, and took a House the next Door to me; which proved old, dangerous, and so ill a Bargain, as cast him into melancholy Doubts that he did not well to leave his Habitation. His Father before him had long lived, and at last died in Distraction. Taking too much hot Waters, to comfort him in his Sadness, Nature, Trouble, and those together, prevailed to his utter Distraction. He so continued, from 1642. to 1646. The best Means, by such as were most noted for curing that Disease, were used, and all in vain. My Neighbours of Kederminster resolved not easily to give over Fasting and Praying with and for him, till he was recovered: Divers Days all seemed in vain, but at last he amended, and hath been recovered (without any other Remedy) now from 1646, to this present time, 1678, though not altogether of so perfect strength of Brain as before, yet of competent Understanding. About a Year or two ago I saw him in London, and I hear he is yet alive and well, 1678.
VI. Thomas Giles, the Son of Mr. Giles of Astley, one of the then Committee in Worcestershire, was sent to be an Apprentice in Worcester. After a Fever, (as they told me,) he fell into a violent Epilepsie: After [Page 201] much Physick in Worcester, and opening his Head, and all in vain, his Mother took him home to her in Kederminster; where, being a Widow, she came to sojourn, purposely for the Company of Godly People there. Mr. Jackson, the Physician of the Town, (my dear and faithful Friend, now, 1678. a Physician in Shrewsbury,) and I consulting, we used in vain what Means we could. His Fits were sometimes twice or thrice a Day: We were fain to put a Key into his Mouth, left he should bite off his Tongue. At last, the foresaid praying Persons resolved to try the old Remedy of Fasting and Praying, till he was recovered. The first Day they found no Success: As I remember, it was the second Day, while they were together, praying, he was suddenly cured; and as his Mother and they that dwelt with him, told me, had never one Fit since. Hereupon his Mother bound him Apprentice to Mr. John Allen, an honest Apothecary in Kederminster, whom he served seven Years, and is now an Apothecary in Stafford; since dead; Mr. Allen, the Physician, and almost all that prayed for him being yet alive. I was present at none of all these Days my self. If you ask me, Why? 1. My Weakness, and my publick Work much hindred me. 2. I was worse than they, and had not their Faith, and Fervency, and Patience; and because we have no absolute Promise of such Deliverances, I was afraid, [P. 202] lest if we fasted and prayed so long as they resolved to do, it would have turned to some Reproach or Discouragement if we did not prevail. 3. But I have joyned with them more than once, when we have, to our great Encouragement, prevailed. But those Instances I promised to pretermit. In summ, I verily believe that I have been kept alive these forty Years, but notably these thirty eight, by the Prayers of many better than my self, prevailing with God, through the Intercession of our great Mediator.
VII. I will add one sad Story, leaving all to the Readers Judgment, to warn the best to avoid Temptation, and to tell them that Satan hath his wiles by Mens Sin, to blast the Glory and Comfort of Deliverances.
In Bewdley, a Sanguine strong Maid, fell into strange Histerical Fits: It began by Stoppage of the Menstrua, I gave her Castory and Rad. Ostrutii, and Sem Dauci on Forestus Commendation, and she began to be better: But I being driven out of the Country by War, and Mr. Robert Morton (Dr. Mortons Father) their Pastor and Physitian driven after me to Coventry, the was left without help, and grew worse than ever: Till at last I think by a furor uterinus ex corruptione Seminis, she seemed possest [P. 203] by a Devil: In her Fits, many could not hold her, she would be cast off her Bed, and upon it again, by a force far above her strength, as the Beholders Judged: They shewed Needles and Pins, and Cords brought to her, none knew how, to kill her self: A Papist coming to Cure her their way, she told them of his coming far off, and laught at his Holy Water. In her fits she would Swear, Curse, and Rage against any that were Religious, and Hugg those that were Vicious, and be merry with them: Thus she continued from 1642, till 1646. or 1647. When I returned home, I went to see her, and Prayed once by her, and came to her no more. At last my praying Neighbours encouraged by their Success, for others resolved to joyn with some of Bewdley, to Fast and Pray by her, till she was recovered: While they were Praying, she was usually in violent Rage, and after thankt them; after many days, in the midst of the Day, while Mr. Tho. Ware of Kederminster was Praying, she fell on the Floor like a Block, and having lain so a while, cryed out, He is gone, He is gone; The Black Dog is gone: And she never had a Fit after. But coming to our Lecture, two Miles, she was as uncomfortable as ever; crying to me, Oh, You know not how bad I am! And I ignorantly told her, what Comfort her Deliverance [P. 204] might give her: But she continued her Self-Accusing. But hear the worst. She being poor, many good People in Charity look'd to her in her Fits: But, above all, one young Man, as far from being suspected of any Hypocrisie, Errour, or Vice, as any in Bewdeley, was more with her than the rest: And seeing her, in her Fits, toss her naked Body about, she being strong and comely, his Lust was provoked, which he exercised on her; but præerjiciendo semen; which easing her for the time, enticed him the more to do it oft, as an Act of (Wicked) Compassion; which did but more Enrage her Disease: When frequency had hardened him, at last after her Deliverance, it was made known: And O the Advantage that Satan got by it! The sdness of those that Prayed for her: So that we durst not name it as an Answer of Prayer, lest the mention should serve to a Reproach. For my part, I think that a Real possession was added to the furor uterinus, in punishment of their Sin. He Marryed her, and professed deep Repentance; but I advised them for all that, not to receive him to Church-Communion.
I have read and heard of several Persons that have had notices by Revelation, when they should die: I will give here [P. 205] but one Instance, of an excellent young Man, Mr. Tyro; but I must confess, that one of his Acquaintance affirmed to me, that having been formerly of a Jocund Merry Temper, he became so very serious in Religion, and so fervent a Preacher in Ungar, and so Zealous for his own and other Mens Salvation, that he thought Melancholy might deceive his Imagination, as to the Voice he was confident he heard. I lay no great stress on the Instance; but he professed the contrary himself; and Mr. Brand extols him, and Colonel Rich and his Lady, (well known by Mr Strong's Books which she published, taking them in short Characters, then called the Lady Elizabeth Carre) did both believe him; as you may see by the two following Letters. And Mr. Lewis in the foregoing Letters, and Mr. Davis telling me how common the forwarnings of Death, are in their Countrey, maketh it the easier to me to believe the words of so good and sober a Man as Mr. Tyro.
Colonel Rich of Stondon-Hall in Essex his Letter in relation to Mr. Tyro;
together, with his Ladies relating to the same person.
S I R,
OUR Neighbour, Mr. Hatt, informing your desire to know from my self and Wife, the Relation of a Providence more than ordinary, with which Mr. Tyro was exercised before he came a Sick-Resident under my Roof, I must therefore refer you to the Account, which my Wife herewith gives you, the Truth whereof I am fully satisfied, which was from Mr. Tyro's own Mouth to her only, when I was at London, the Narrative of which, she gave me at large the same Night I returned Home, though I was confirmed in my Belief of it by some Discourse I had with him afterwards, during his sickness, before which he and I perused several of your Tractates made publick, with a joynt-pleasing Approbation; especially, that which is intituled, The dying Thoughts; also another, viz, The Crucifying the World by the Cross of Christ; we having a mutual satisfaction [P. 207] in each others Converse; his Natural Parts, Gifts and Grace together, with his Holy Life, constrained my desire and endeavours to accommodate him to his last Breath, for I found him a true Disciple of Christ our Lord and Master, in whom I would also be found,
Your affectionate Servant, Stondon-Hall near Ugar in Essex,
The Lady Rich's Letter.
S I R,
IN Obedience to your desire by Mr. Hatt, to have it under my Hand, what he told you of Mr. Tyro, who was sent by Mr. Brand at Bishops-Hall near London, to Preach at Ugar in Essex; and to prevent mistakes, I think fit, in order to your Satisfaction, to give you this Account of him; and therein take occasion to let you know, how great an Honour and Esteem he had for you. Sir, I believe, had you known him, you would have rank'd him among those Worthies that you have help'd to Heaven, for he followed you as you follow Christ. About seven Weeks before his Death, when there was hope of recovery, he told me, he had something to tell me, that he had not imparted to any Body, and expressed it thus, When I was one Evening returning to my Lodging, then at Ungar, from this House, being then in a good degree of Health, and in a serious frame, meditating by the way, I heard a voice say, You shall die, and not pass your five and thirtieth Year of Age, which Voice astonished me greatly, and looking round about me, seeing no body, put me into great Consternation and Sweat all over me, [P. 209] such as I never felt (though I dare not compare it to drops of Blood; yet I cannot express how dreadful it was. You know, Madam, my Principles, and that I am no Enthusiast, and how cautious I am as to Revelations. But I am sure this was no Melancholy Fancy, but an auricular Voice. After I had a little recovered my self; I begg'd of God to discover to me, if this were from him, or a Delusion from Satan, but still the Impression remained, though I sought God by Prayer most part of that Night; and you may remember in my next Visit, I told you, I should die shortly, but I did not tell you of the Voice I heard. And then he added, This is my five and thirtieth Year of Age; in July next I shall be so old. And many other Expressions he added, which is too much for a Letter; but he died in January 1630. I cannot omit, Sir, to let you know, how much he desired the happiness of a personal Converse with you; though he did write to you formerly, when he was under great trouble of Conscience, and you were pleased to write to him again, though his Name was unknown to you, and God made you instrumental to his Relief and Comfort: He told me, whenever he heard you preach, there was such a Presence of God accompanied your Ministry, that he felt both Fear, and Trembling, and Joy possess him at once. He reading [P. 210] some Book of yours, daily, whilst he was in my House, especially your Dying Thoughts, which on his Death-Bed, he sent, as the best token of his Love, to his Schoolmaster at Hackney, Mr. Odely, and shed many Tears upon it, calling it, The sweet and dear Companion of his Life, charging the Messenger to bid his Master read it, and prepare to follow him shortly.
I beg your Pardon for this long trouble, I could do no less than express this Kindness to the Dead, who yet speaks out your great Worth to me, desiring your Prayers, that his loss to so dark a Corner as ours is, may be Sanctified: And that your Life may be prolong'd in time, and you may have a full Reward in Eternity, is the Prayer of,
Your obliged and affectionate Servant, Stondon-Hall
near Ungar in
Essex, May 13,
But it is not my Business to mention all things that are strange and unusual, but such as prove the Operations of Spirits. Lycosshenes de Prodigiis vel Mirabilibus, will tell you in Folio of Wonders.
The Falling or Raining of a Grain at Bridgenorth, like a dried Rye-Corn, in a thin, whitish Husk, about 1639. And of a Grain at Shrewsbury, almost like a small Parsnip-Seed, about three or four Years ago, seem strange. But Exhalations might raise them from Sea or Land, though the Marvel lieth in the strangeness of the Grains, neither of them being such as are here known by any that I shewed them to. I had the last from Dr. Jackson, a Physician in Shrewsbury, (my dear Friend, now with Christ,) who told me that it fell there in many places, especially about St. Mary's Church. The former (Coming to live at Bridgenorth, 1640.) I had of Mr. Madstard the Minister, and old Mrs. Grey of Envile, a Godly Woman; who assured me that much of it fell in the Church-yard, and on the Leads of the Steeple. I kept both long. The former I once before mentioned; whence the Author of the Second Part of The Mischiefs of Separation, seconding Dr. Stillingfleet's First Part, (famed commonly to be Mr. Long of Exeter, a Member of the [P. 212] Convocation,) took occasion to feign me to say, that it rained Manna at Bridgenorth when I came thither.] Men and Books of such Veracity are they, that poor England and the Christian World suffers by; and, I fear, is yet like to suffer more by, while Demons are so powerful.
There are many things that Ignorance causeth Multitudes to take for Prodigies. I have had many discreet Friends that have been affrighted with the Noise called a Death-Watch, whereas I have since, near threescore Years ago, oft found by trial, that it is a Noise made upon Paper, by a little, nimble, running Worm, just like a Louse, but whiter and quicker: And it is most usually behind a Paper pasted to a Wall, especially to Wainscot; and is rarely, if ever heard, but in the Heat of Summer. But who can deny it to be a Prodigy, which is recorded by Melch. Adamus, of a great and good Man, who had a Clock-Watch that had layen in a Chest many Years unused; and when he lay dying, at Eleven-a-Clock, of it self, in that Chest, it struck Eleven, in the hearing of many.
Because many have spoken and written of a Thorn at Glastenbury in Sommersetshire, that flowreth just on Christmass-Day, [P. 213] thought it a thing worthy my best Enquiries: And lest Men proceed to think that there is more in it than there is, I annex these following Letters, from credible Persons that were well known in that Country.
Mr. William Thomas's Letter concerning the Glaston Thorn: Together with
two other Enclosed Letters to the same purpose.
S I R,
Understanding by my Son, your Desire to enquire about Glaston-Thorn, I did immediately (being not able to travel my self in such a Season) fend to such as I thought might best inform me; whose Information you have in the two inclosed Letters; the one from the Minister of Glaston, the other from Mr. Chetwind, Pastor at Wells; both of them understanding and Godly Men. I was not satisfied with Mr. Winney's Letter, because he wrote not of the Grass taken from this Thorn, now growing, (when the old Thorn is gone. Something it seems there was in the nature of the Plant, for that Grass shoots forth much sooner than any other Thorn, and about that time, though it [P. 214] do not the Feat in blossoming just on the Day, but after it; which may be because the Soil is not so suitable to it, as that was to the other.—I should have thought this had been all the Wonder, viz the natural, rare and rath Blossoming of that Thorn, got perhaps from Foreign Parts, made (by Fame) to cry Christmass; but that the Information in the first Letter (and Testimony) is so punctual, that it seems to evince more. But (howsoever) that which we call Christmass-Day is not to gain its Estimation from such a Providence, but from Scripture, from Reason, at least, from a due Demonstration that that was (indeed) the Day of Christ's Birth; which (perhaps) nothing will prove, unless it be the Thorn. I speak not against the Custom of the Church, in remembring the Birth of Christ, though I conceive Christ's own Day is better for it than any other; I mean, the Lord's Day; unto which, when Men's Days be added, the Lord's Day, and the Lord of that Day, suffer by their justling with it. A Subordination will not serve, but it ariseth to a Coordination and Competition; yea, a Prelation.
But that I speak of is, the Nobilitating of an uncertain Day, upon insufficient Evidence.—If I should say: the Thorn might so blossom (by Providence) as a just Hardening of the wilfully superstitious, (a great part [P. 215] of whose Religion it is, to put a Crown upon Christmass-Day, caring little for Christ,) or as a Trial of the truly Consciencious, to see whether they will build their Religion upon a famous Thorn, and be so tamed by it, as to close with the Superstition and Profaneness of that time.—I say, if I should speak thus, it might be thought a Paradox, (and yet I remember your Lights in Wales, which shew (I think) what God gives the Devil leave to do.) I shall content my self therefore with sending you the Relation, and leave you and others (better able than my self) to consider of it.—Only this I may say, that such a Providential Rarity is too low a thing to put a Divinity upon that Day: And yet, to make it a Divine Testimony is (I. think) the meaning of those that are willing to make the most of it; I do not say, the best of it.
Sir, I am much engaged to you, for your great Pains with my Son; having lately received from him your good Answers to his Assembly-Queries, with his Replies: For Reason is restless; and it is the Misery of those who set it up too high, that it can so far (I do not say so well, for 'tis all naught asfar as Scripture and it jarr) shift for it self; and they are apt to think they are sound, if they be not silenced, when Errour in Practice hath much to say for it self, and Errour in Opinion much more.
Having betaken himself to Dr. Hammond, I did not command him thence, thinking (he being a learned Man) he might get something from him, especially in the matter of Original Sin; about which, the Doctor hath given him good Animadversions, (though something in them hath not so good an Aspect,) and he answers them also; and so there is no End, till God humble the Heart. 'Tis one Symptom of the Hereditary Disease of Original Sin, that that Sin is no more acknowledged, and lamented.
God that raiseth such Alterations in Nations, and hath done so strange things of late, can alter our Relations, and make them contrary to themselves, that they may be conformable to him: And upon that Ground alone I can build, that To God all things are possible.
With all loving and thankful Respects.
Your obliged Friend and Brother,
Obley, Feb. 29, 1659.
Mr. John Chetwind's enclosed Letter. Reverend and much Honoured Sir,
IN answer to your Letter, these are to inform you, That the old Thorn in the times of the War, was rooted up, and is utterly gone; and as for Mr. Gallop's Grass, I have enquired of a Gentleman, that was his Patient, and lived divers Years in Mr. Gallop's House, and observed the Budding and blossoming of it, who informed me, that it doth shoot forth and Bud and Blossom near about that time, but not upon the day, but in some space after it, much rather than other Thorns usually do. This is all the Account I can give you of it. I have no more to add, but mine and my Wife's kindest Respects to your self and good Wife, and that I am,
Your most respectful Friend,
Wells, Feb. 25. 1659.
Mr. Winney's Inclos'd Letter concerning the Glaston-Thorn.
Real Love and Thanks prescribed, &c. These are to acquaint you, that I Received a Letter from you, wherein Mr. Thomas's Request to you, is, that the exactest and most punctual Account, of the usual Story of the Blossoming of Glastonbury-Thorn on Christmas-day, might be found out; I have upon your Request searched more of it, than ever I thought to trouble my self to do, and have conversed with the most Ancient that I knew, and was directed to, and think those that are Credible, they offer to aver it upon Oath, what they tell me: Thus one Ancient Man tells me, that he hath gone on the Eve to it, and he hath found it like another dead Thorn, without any Blossom, or likelihood to have a sudden forwardness to it, only some Evidence of the Appearance of the breaking out the Buds, and but an Appearance perceivable, and he hath gone on Christmas-day, and found the Blossoms as though it was the midst of May, and gathered them, and sent them many Miles, and had good Rewards; this the Man will depose upon his Oath. At the same time this Man was at [P. 219] my House, there came occasionally, an ancient Woman, a Neighbour, whose Testimony I believe fit to be received, who earnestly affirmed this, that in the time of Queen Ann, she lived with one Sir Tho. Hughes, in Wells, a Justice of Peace, who purposely sent his men (two of them) to know the Truth, that he might satisfie any that might make enquìry, and on the Eve, towards Night, they found it as another Thorn, only the breaking out of the beginning of Buds, and staying in Glastonbury all Night, to observe, as near as might be, the time when they began to sprout forth into a perfect Blossom, they have gone again toward the turn of the Night, and have found the perfect Blossom about two or three of the Clock, so that at Morning they have returned to their Master with them, which she told me, she saw when they brought it home: And another Man tells me the same Story as the first, only with this variation, His Father (and Godfather living at Bath) went the Eve's Eve, and found nothing but Buds, and on Christmas-day in the Morning, found the Blossoms, and his Father sent them to Bath to his Godfather, because he went thither home to keep his Christmas: And a Woman at the same time told me, something much like the Second, that she hath gone the Eve, late at Night, and with a Lanthorn and Candie with her Company, [P. 220] stayed four Hours, to see, if it might be, the manner of the sprouting out of it; and in that space saw that it Blossomed, the Green-boughs, the length of half the Forefinger to the middle Joint; what Mr. Gallop's Graft of this old Tree doth, I shall leave you to him to be certified.
Both our Loves to your self and good Wife. Mr. Stuks and his Wife, desiring one Favour in the Close, that you would be pleased to take pains, to begin our Lecture the next Tuesday. I have not had but one Assistant I think, this seven or eight Weeks: I shall be absent my self; I intend, if please God, to be at Bristol Fair, where I have some Business, and pray send me word of it, that I may be assured,
In all Bonds of Love,
Jan. 21. 1659, 60.
I have oft wonder'd at the commonly believed Gift of the Kings of England and France, to heal the Struma: All my doubt hath still been of the Matter of Fact, whether it be snch a real Gift of Healing, or not: For if it be, I will not be so bold as to ask God a Reason of it: Or why he giveth it to these Kings, rather than to others: Nor will I dishonour his Gift, as if it were not his, because I know not his Reason; no more than Christ did the Miracle done at the Pool in Jerusalem, upon the Angel's moving the Water; or, with Naaman, say, Are not Abanah and Pharphar as good Water as Jordan? I have long enquired of all the Physicians, and others, that I could, of the Reality of the Success; whether it be not the Gold, the Change of Air, or the Conceit: And I never heard so much, as to put me past all doubt. But many credible Physicians say, as Mr. Wiseman (a Chirurgeon that had much Opportunity of knowing) doth in his Book of Chirurgery, [That though all are not cured, yet more are cured by it, than by all the Physicians in England.]
I know, the true Original of it also, and its Occasion is much in the dark; but I leave this to other Men's Enquiry: Only I say, if the Matter of Fact prove certain, there can be no great doubt, but it proveth the Governing Agency of Invisible, Intellectual Powers. [P. 222] If it be miraculous, it feemeth to be entailed on the Kingdoms of England and France, rather than to be any Approbation of the Religion or Piety of the Kings; because if any have this Gift, Kings of contrary Religions have it; and the worst, as well as the best; and Usurpers, as well as Rightful Kings. And I hear of no other that pretend to it, but the kings of England and France: And will the King of France take it for his Glory, to heal a few Persons of a Sore, and to kill many thousand Innocents by the Sword, and burn their Cities?
MR. Emlin, (before mentioned about Mr. Pacy's Sisters,) now a worthy Preacher in Dublin, having told me this by Word of Mouth, I desired him to send it sufficiently attested; which he doth, as followeth.
Mr. Emlin's Letter concerning an Apparition at Belfast in Ireland.
I Have been very uneasie to think that I should so long delay the Answer of your Desire about the Affair related underneath: The distance of the Place in which it was transacted, with the slowness of my Correspondent in Replies, hath made me uncapable of giving you so full and quick Satisfaction, as might else have been. All that I can relate at present is briefly this, viz. There having been a long Contest between Lemuel Matthews, Archdeacon in the [P. 224] County of Down, and Claudius Gilbert, Minister of Belfast, about their Right to Drumbeg, a small Parish within four Miles of Belfast, it proved very troublesome to the Parishioners, who generally paid their Dues to Mr. Gilbert the Incumbent in Possession; but the Arch-deacon claimed the same to be paid to him also, for which he procured a Warrant; and in the Execution of it by his Servants, at the House of one Charles Loftin, one of the Parishioners, they offered some Violence to his Wife, who refused Entrance to them, who died within a few Weeks after the Injury received; but she being otherwise an infirm Woman, little notice was taken of her Death, till that some time after, by her strange Appearance to one Thomas Donelson, (a Spectator of the Violence done to her,) she affrighted him into a Prosecution of Robert Eccleson, the Criminal. She appeared divers times, but chiefly upon one Lord's Day-Evening, when she fetch'd him, with a strange Force, out of his House, into the Yard, and Fields adjacent. Before her last Coming, (for she did so three times that Day,) several Neighbours were called in, to whom he gave notice that she was again coming, and becken'd to him to come out; upon which, they went to shut the Door, but he forbad it, saying, that she looked with a terrible Aspect upon him, [P. 225] when they offered it: But his Friends laid hold on him, and embraced him, that he might not again go out; notwithstanding which, (a plain Evidence of some invisible Power,) he was drawn out of their Hands in a surprizing manner, and carried abroad into the Field and Yard, as before, she charging him to prosecute Justice; which Voice, as also Donelson's Reply, the People heard, though they saw no shape. There are many Witnesses of all this yet alive, particularly Sarah, the Wife of Charles Loftin, Son to the deceased Woman; and one William Holyday and his Wife, &c.
Upon this, the said Donelson deposed what he knew of the aforesaid Violence, before Mr. Randal Brice, a Neighbour-Justice, and confirmed all at the Assizes at Down, in the Year 1685. (as I remember;) where the several Witnesses were heard and sworn, and their Examinations were entred into the Records of that Assizes, to the Amazement and Satisfaction of all the Country, and of the Judges, whom I have heard speak of it at that time with much Wonder; insomuch that the said Eccleson hardly escaped with his Life, but was Burnt in the Hand.
The said Donelson is vet living in the same place, with the other Witnesses. I could learn many more Circumstances, but that you are in haste; and all this I [P. 226] heard spoken of my self, with universal Amazement, at the time when transacted, living in Belfast at that time; and I should not have been beholden to any to have believed this Relation, that had been there, and at the Trial at Down.
With Mr. Bois's Respects,
Reverencer of you,
A Dublin-Instance, attested by Mr. Daniel Williams, now in London.
ABOUT the Year 1678. I knew a young Woman who was Niece to Alderman Arundel, in Dublin.
In her said Uncle's House she was pursued with very terrible Noises; as by violent Stroaks on the Wainscots and Chests, in what Chambers she frequented. The Blows were heard throughout the House, and were so troublesome, as to occasion the Removal of the young Woman to an House near Smithfield in Dublin, not without Hopes that the Disturbance might thereby cease: But the Noise pursued her thither, and was no more heard in her former Dwelling.
Here she continued as long as the Owner of that House would bear the Resort of People, and Terrour of those sudden and frequent Claps.From this place, she was removed to a little House in Patrick-street, near the Gate. Here she met with the same Exercise, [P. 228] and the Noise was generally about Two-a-Clock in the Morning greater than at other Times.
Several Nights were spent in Prayer with her, by Ministers; as, Mr. Cox, Dr. Roles, Mr. Chambers, Mr. Keys, &c. who all, with many others, assured me, they heard the said Blows in the Room where they prayed, sometimes on a great Chest there, sometimes on the Wall, &c.
Mr. Chambers and Mr. Keys were employed there the Night before I had promised to be with her. The next Night, Mr. Cox, having oft heard the said Noises, and oft prayed with the Woman, was desirous to accompany me. There were many People (as usual) sat up with us: I preached from Heb. 2. 18. and contrived to be at Prayer at that Time when the Noise used to be greatest. When I was at Prayer, the Woman, kneeling by me, catched violently at my Arm, and afterwards told us, she saw a terrible Sight: But it pleased God, there was no Noise at all. And from that Time, God graciously freed her from all that Disturbance. I examined this Person, and could find nothing in her Circumstances, fit to induce one to any satisfactory Judgment of her Case. [P. 229] These Noises lasted about three Months, and she was much enfeebled in Body, and almost distracted thereby; but soon recovered upon the Removal thereof.
Attested by me,
Aug. 2. 1691.
WHILE I consider these unquestionable Evidences of the certainty of Spirits, and how much they have to do with Men: I cannot but think that we have also much to do with them; with the bad, to resist them as our Enemies, and the Enemies of the Gospel, and the Church of God, against whom we must continually Watch and Pray, lest we fall into the Snares of their Temptations: And with the good, that we may be meet for their Preserving and Comforting Ministry. But in all our Histories it is observable, that bad Spirits Apparitions and Actions, are far more frequent, and more Sensible than good ones; which may perhaps to some seem strange. Concerning which I consider.
1. That Corporeal Crassitude is an abasement, and therefore fittest for the more Ignoble sort of Spirits: We that dwell here in Bodies, are of a lower Order, than those of the more high and invisible Regions.
2. And the bad Spirits as they have a baser Consistence, have also a more base and [P. 231] Terrene Inclination. And therefore it is the less wonder, that they mind matters of Money and Lands: And no doubt but the Souls of wicked Men carry with them much of the Vicious Habits, in which they lived here: That is, of Covetousness and Revenge; And they that tell us, that such as Dives retain no Love to their Brethren on Earth, speak more than they can prove; and are not so Credible as Christ that seemeth to say the contrary. Some make a state of departed Souls, Good and Bad, out of their own Inventions, which it's very likely Death will Confute.
3. And it is far greater things than Visible Appearances, that we constantly receive from Angels, more sutable to their Nature and Dignity, and to our good. Some Men have long Laboured to attain a Visible or Sensible Communion with them, and think they have attained it: But while they presumptuously desire to pervert the Order of Gods Houshold and Government, it is no wonder if in stead of Angels, they Converse with Devils that are Transformed into seeming Angels of Light, that by Delusion, they may Transform such Men into Ministers of Righteousness.
It is a doleful Instance, of the effect of a perverse kind of opposition to Popery, and running from one Extream to another, to note how little Sence most Protestants shew [P. 232] of the great Benefits that we receive by Angels: How seldom we hear them in publick or private, give thanks to God for their Ministry and Helps? And more seldom pray for it? When hear we any Ministers Teach Believers, what Love and what Thanks they owe to Angels, whereas the Excellency and Holiness of their Natures obligeth us to love them, and their Love and Care of us, bespeaketh Thankfulness: Yea, we have Teachers that would perswade Men that this Savoureth of Popery, and doth Derogate from Christ: And yet if the People Love and Honour and maintain them, they take this to be no Derogation from Christ. As if they were more Amiable then Angels, or Christ may not use the Ministry of Angels as well as their's. The Lord pitty the distracted divided Societies of Christians, who in all Countries are fallen into Uncharitable Sects, that on pretence of saving the Truth, and the Church from the Errours of each other, do corrupt both by the Addition of contrary Errours; so that it's hard to find out many Errours; of Popery or Ancient Heresie; which hath not been avoided by contrary faults, in the Corruption of Doctrine, Charity or Concord. Devils have a greater Game to play invisibly, than by Apparitions. O happy World, if they did not do a hundred thousand times [P. 233] more hurt, by the Baits of Pleasure, Lust and Honour, and by Pride, and love of Money and Sensuality, than they do by Witches! O! that they did not more dangerously Hant the Houses and Souls of Lords, Knights, Gentlemen, and Lustful Youths! Who can Conjure them out of Universities and Pulpits, out of a Malignant Sclanderous Clergy and Laity, out of Worldly self-seeking Carnal Men? I have before told you of the Witch Magdalen Crucia, who got the Reputation of a Saint, by having the Sacramental Bread brought to her Mouth in the sight of all the People, by an Invisible Carryer; Bodin, and many others Record the Story, and how to get Pardon, she went to the Pope himself, and confessed how from twelve years old the Devil had lain with her thirty years, and made her the Abbess of a Monastery: I fear lest the visible Hand of some Priest do play this Devils part, and give the Sacrament to such as more openly serve the Devil all the week, and are forced to receive it to escape a jail, or do it as a Sacrifice to expiate the guilt of an Ungodly Life.
If the Devil can get People (perhaps Lords and Ladies) to spend the Day (their precious Hours) in Cards and Dice, and Feastings, and Stage-plays, and Masks and Musick, and perhaps filthy Lust, he will let [P. 234] you fay your Prayers at Night, and cry God Mercy, and perhaps tell him that you Repent, that you may Sin on the more boldly the next day: And it's like he will provide you a Ghostly Father, as bad as your selves, that shall give you the Sacrament as a sealed Pardon, and pronounce you absolved, and that as in the name of Christ. All these effects of Devils, the World abounds with; but the effects of Angels are observed, but by very few. Because even as the Sadduces, think that all these Vices and Confusions are only the effects of Mens own pravity, and not of Devils, not knowing that all such Births have a Father and a Mother (the Devil and Mens own Hearts) so most good people look so much to God and to Ministers, in all that is done on them, that they take little notice of Angels that are Gods greater Ministers, as if they had little to do with us. By this, 1. We give not to God the due Honour of the Order of his Works: 2. We are guilty of Unrighteousness, in denying their Due Love and Gratitude to such Noble Agents. 3. We lose the Comfortable Remembrance of our own Communion with them. 4. We lose some helps to a Heavenly Mind and Conversation, when as it would make the thoughts of Heaven more Familiar and Pleasant to us, to think of such a Holy and Amiable Society, and [P. 235] would make us the willinger to die. As to them that say, that it is enough to know that Christ is all to us, and we must take heed of ascribing any thing to Creatures; I Answer, is Christ the less all to us, for giving us his Mercies?
For giving us the Ministry of Angels? Is he the less All to us, for giving Gifts to Men, for giving Comforters and Merciful Relievers to the poor? For giving to Children the Love and Care of Parents? Or for giving Men good Princes and Magistrates to Rule them? Or for giving them Soldiers to fight for them? Or for giving you Ministers to Teach you? Who more praiseth their Teachers, than such Objectors? Will you be unthankful to your Benefactors, for fear of ascribing to Creatures? Will you not praise a Godly Man above a Wicked? Will you not praise and admire the Glory of the Sun and Stars, and the Frame of Heaven and Earth, for fear of ascribing to Creatures? Is the praising of a Work, a wrong to the Workman?
Indeed this agreeth with their Doctrine, who because Paul counted all his Mosaical Legal Righteousness as loss and Dung, in Comparison of the Righteousness that God gave him in and by Christ, do therefore say, that we must count all that Righteousness as Dung, which Christ himself worketh in us by his Spirit, even Faith it self [P. 236] which is imputed or reckoned to us for Righteousness. This enticeth Men to be out of Love with Christian Righteousness, when Christ hath made it our own, if it be no better than Dung? And to fear that some such Men have no better. But they say, they account Faith and Love to Christ to be Dung, only as to Justification: As if God did not make all Men just, whom he justifieth by Esteem and Sentence: Or, as if that were Righteousness that doth in no part or degree make a Man Righteous: Or, as if any but Christians, as such, are justified: Or any Man were a Christian before he accepteth Christ by a Loving and Thankful Consent or Trust, as his Saviour and his Teacher, and his Lord and Ruler: But this is a Digression, which Mens talk against ascribing to Angels led me to. We are not for ascribing to Angels (nor to Faith and Love and Holiness) the least part of the Honour proper to God, or to Jesus Christ: They do none of the Work of our Redeemer for us (nor can we do the least of it for our selves) unless as the Work of his Instruments and Agents, may be called Christs Work: They save us indeed, but it is but as Timothy was taught by Paul, how to save himself, and those that heard him; and we are bid to save our selves. Christ teacheth us, and Ministers teach us. Christ Feedeth us, and we Feed ourselves; [P. 237] yea, he saith that we feed him: And that he will for so doing, say, Come ye blessed, inherit the Kingdom. Angels and Men do Christs Commanded Work: But no Creature doth the least part of Christs own proper undertaken Work. Objection. But these high Thoughts of Angels have drawn the Papists to Idolatry, in Praying to them, and Worshipping them.
Answer. It is your denying them the Honour that is due to them, which is a Temptation that hardneth Papists in their Excess.
Must we not Love and Honour Kings, Ministers and Saints, though some herein run into Extreams. We have many Reasons against Praying to Angels, or offering them Visible Corporeal Worship; Because we know not just when they are present: And because it may Countenance the Heathens Demon Worship and Idolatry; And because God hath appointed us no such sort of Worship. But God having largely told us of their Love to us, and their constant eminent Service for us, he thereby obligeth us to answerable Regard, Affections and Acknowledgment. I have said so much in a small Discourse in Mr. Isaack Ambrose his Book of Communion with Angels (at his request, who is now with Angels) that I will not here Recite very many particular Texts of Scripture about this Subject: But if you will but look [P. 238] in your Concordance, you may see what abundant mention of Angels there is throughout all the Scripture, while we hear so little of them in our Books or Pulpits. It's true, that in the Old Testament time, they ofter Visibly appeared, than they do now: But that is no Derogation to our Gospel State; As it is more Spiritual than theirs, that needed more Visible means, so our Spiritual Benefits by them before named, are greater than theirs were.
1. How Familiar were Angels with Abraham, who entertained them as Men, till they made themselves better known to him: They were the Messengers of the great promise to him of the Numerous and the Holy Seed. They Reproved Sarah for her Unbelief, that they might comfort her by the promised Seed. How Familiar were they with Lot, when they came into his House, and took him in, and blinded his Enemies, and told him their Message concerning Sodom, and when they carried him while he delayed to depart? And when they saved Zoar for his sake?
How Familiar were they with Jacob, in his Travels, and his Return; when he saw them as by a Ladder, ascending and descending; And when one of them wrestled with him, and Blessed him, though he made him halt?
I know that many excellent Divines do [P. 239] say that one of these called Angels, was Christ. To which I say, 1. If it were so, that doth not deny, but confirm what I am pleading for: If Christ appearing, made Angels his Companions, it was the more for their Honour.
2. But if this be true, either Christ had a Body, yea many Bodies before his Incarnation by Mary, or not. If not, what were all these Similitudes of Men that did eat and drink, and talk, and act? Were they mere Shadows and Delusions? How then could they speak, and act so Potently? If yea, then was the pure God head Hypostatically united to these many appearing Bodies; Or not: Who can prove a difference save as to the Matter and Duration, between his union with these, and with his last assumed Flesh. And yet the Scripture appropriateth Christs Incarnation, and coming in the Body to the Fulness of Time, and to those last days. I am loth to say without proof, that Christ had many Bodies, lest any should infer that there have been many Christs: But if this must be held, it will introduce Peter Sterrys Doctrine as most probable, that Christ as the Eternal Word essentially, God first caused the Noblest Created Nature above Angels (or as Dr. More calleth it, an Eternal Flesh, or as he and John Turner a prime Created Life in the prime Matter) and did unite itself to this Superangelical [P. 240] Nature, and by it cause all the rest: And that this second Nature appeared to the Fathers by such Temporary assumed Bodies, and at last assumed the Body of a Man: being, say some, it self a Soul to it; but as others, assuming both a Human Soul and Body: And so, that Christ hath three Natures, a Divine, a Superangelical, and a Humane: But of this oft elsewhere. This opinion is reconciling as to the Arians, who have affirmed Christ to be a Creature above Angels: And if God made such a Creature, me thinks it should be easie to perswade them, that he that is as the Center, and more than a Soul, maketh all the World to be One (though of unlike parts) doth primarily unite himself with the first and Noblest of his productions. Objection. But Scripture saith, that Abraham called one of these Lord.
Answer. That Name both Adonai and Elohim, are oft given to Creatures.
And if the Name of Jehovah be sometimes used as to Angels, it is only meant to God, speaking by them, whom Abraham knew to be present, though Invisible, and to know all that was said. Yet further, it was an Angel that appeared to Moses in the burning Bush, and so that sent him on his work to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and Fortified him with power of Miracles, and made him his great [P. 241] promises of Success: And yet no doubt it was God; and the Text is true, that affirmeth both: Therefore it must be God speaking and acting by the Ministry of an Angel, Commissioned to use his Name.
It was Angels that gave Moses the Law in the Mount Sinai: For so saith the Scripture. But it was God by them, who were his Voice and Finger that made and wrote the Tables, and spake all the words; these were all Great and Wonderful Ministrations. God promised Moses, that his Angels should go before the Israelites, to conquer their Enemies, and bring them into the promised Land: And he chargeth them not to provoke him, for Gods Name was upon him; and he would not forgive their Iniquities. What greater things could be said, than that an Angel shall bear Gods Name, and be their Captain, and Conquer their Enemies, and be their Governour, and not forgive their wilful Sins. In Joshuahs War at Jericho, an Angel appeareth, and professeth himself the Captain of the Lords Hosts, Josh. 5. 14, 15. and Joshua fell on his Face to the Earth, and Worshipped him, and prayed to him to tell him his Message. If Angels be not the Generals or Captains of our Armies, we are unlike to Conquer. It was by an Angel, that God brought [P. 242] the Israelites out of Egypt, Numb. 20. 16. It was an Angel that chose a Wife for Isaack, Gen. 24. 7. 40. The Angel of Gods Presence saved the Israelites, Isa. 63. 9. An Angel delivered the three Men, Dan. 3. from the Fire, and Daniel from the Lions: Dan. 6. Angels Preached Christ to the Shepherds. An Angel made the pool in Jerusalem healing. Jo. 5. 4. An Angel Preacheth to Cornelius. An Angel delivereth Peter, Act. 12. The Angel of the Lord Encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them, Ps. 34. 7. God giveth his Angels charge over us, to keep us in all our ways: They bear us up in their Hands, lest we dash our Foot against a Stone. Psal. 91. 11, 12. Rev. 1. Tells us, that God first Revealeth his Will to Christ, and Christ to Angels, and Angels to John, and John to the Churches, and the Churches to Posterity. Yea, Angels Ministred to Christ himself, when he was hungry, Mat. 4. 11. And appeared in his Agony, strengthening him. Luke 22. 43.Legions of Angels are at his Service: And all the Holy Angels will come with him at Judgment; and they will be the Reapers at the end of the World. Above 260 times are Angels mentioned in Scripture, and yet how little notice do we take of their help?
But is it only our Bodies that they help? Can they reach or help our Souls?
Answ. If Devils can touch our Souls with their Temptations, are Angels farther from us, or less able to move us to our Duty?
But are they ordinarily present, or know our Case?
Answ. They rejoice in our Conversion, and therefore know it: They are present in our Assemblies, as Paul intimateth, 1 Cor. 11. 10. Say not before the Angel, that it was an Errour, Eccl. 5. 6. which intimateth the Angels Presence. Every Believer hath his Angel beholding the Face of our Father in Heaven, Matth. 13. 10. and they are not Strangers to their Charge. We feel that the Devil is present with us. by his Temptations continually, in all our Duties molesting or hindering us: And are Angels less intent upon their Work? It is Michael and his Angels, that fight against the Dragon and his Angels, to save the Church. While such Texts make the Papists think that Angels are always, or ordinarily present, if they give them not Divine Worship, but such as we would do a Prince, though I have said before why I approve not of their Doings, I dare not, as some late Expositors of the Revelation, judge the Catholick Church to have become Antichristian Idolaters, as soon as they gave too much Worship to Angels, and to Saints. We are come to the New Jerusalem, to the innumerable Angels; Heb. 12, and must honour [P. 244] them that fear the Lord, Psal. 15. And w know that w are translated from Death to Life, because we love the Brethren: And is it so damnable Idolatry to love and honour Angels and Saints a little too much, while they give them nothing proper to God? I blame their Irregularities, but I dare not judge so hardly of them, and the ancient Church, for this, as some do; nor think them much better, that love and honour Angels and Saints as much too little.
Some now would call a Man an Idolater, that should say as Jacob, Gen. 48. 16. The Angel which redeemed me from all Evil bless the Lads. They say, This Angel was Christ. Answ. Scripture saith, it was an Angel: Hos. 12. 4. saith, He had power over the Angel. I dare not call God an Angel, though Angels may be called Gods, as Princes be. If Christ had then no Nature but the Divine, I should suspect it is Arianism to call him an Angel, or Messenger of God. If he had a Body, then was it Ubiquitary: Or had he infinite numbers of Bodies? Or could he be but with one in the World at once? For my part, I have had many Deliverances so marvellous, as convinceth me of the Ministry of Angels in them, (not here to be recited.) But I am satisfied, that there is no less of the Presence and Efficacy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, when [P. 245] he useth and honoureth any Instruments, Angels, or Men, than if he used no Means at all. As I will not desire so to alter the stated Government and Order of God, as to expect here visible Communion with Angels, nor will offer them any unrequired Worship; so I would not unthankfully forget how much we receive by them, from Christ, and how much we are beholden to them, and to God and our Redeemer for them. And I hope they will shortly be a Convoy to the Soul of this poor Lazarus, to Abraham's Bosom, or to the Paradise where I hope to be with Christ, Amen.
One thing more I think meet to mind the Reader of, that he may not lose the Benefit of these Histories: That is, How to discern a good Spirit from a bad. The Scripture telling us that three things are the Characters of Devils, Lying, Malignity and Hurtfulness, (Job. 8.) which include all Uncharitableness, Revenge and Division, we may certainly gather, that it is a Diabolical Spirit that promoteth these, whatever the Pretences are.
I. The Antichristian Errour, called Antinomian, that would set Christ against Christ, and make Men believe that his Death hath made all our Obedience to his Government a thing that shall never do us any good, (being called Works,) and all [P. 246] our Sins against his Grace to be so harmless, that we ought not to think that we shall be ever the worse for them; and that the Elect that live in Perjury, and Murder, and Adultery, or any other Sin, are not perjured, Murderers, Adulterers, because now they are Christ's Sins, and not theirs, (with many such Reproaches of Christ, called by the Cispians, the Exalting of him.) These certainly are from Devils, and God doth notably disown them, as the fore mentioned Instances of the Ranters, and those in New England, mentioned by Mr. Weld, do shew. And the doleful Form of Mr. Davies Congregation, about Rowel in Northamptonshire, of the Madness, Blasphemies, Barkings and Beastility there, I leave to the Enquiry of sober Persons. Though I am no Witness of it, the Reports are such as are not meet to be silenced.
Mr. Samuel Crispe hath published this Week a Book, as against me, in defence of his Father; telling the World, that he understands not what he writeth of, and ignorantly defending what I affirm, and confuting his Father, thinking it a Defence of him.
I deny not but a Crispian may be a Christian, while, through Ignorance, he believeth not his own Words. But he that will but read the Scripture, and particularly, the Texts cited by me in my Confession of Faith, [P. 247] shall see how fully Christ hath confuted Crispe, and vindicated his Mediatorial Office.
II. And all those Principles, Passions and Practices that are against the Love and Concord of Christians, whatever pretence of an Angel of Light, or other Ministers of Righteousness, may be their Cloak, are undoubtedly from the dividing Devil.
III. And more evident is it that it is no better Spirit that inspireth all the Slanderers, Silencers and Persecuters of the faithful Ministers of Christ; and those that make and execute the Laws for the imprisoning and ruining of the most conscionable Christians, for their avoiding notorious Sin, or, at least, for doubtful Infirmities, incomparably less than these Persecuters (Clergy or Laity) are guilty of. By their Fruits you may know what Spirit actuateth these Men. Wolves, Thorns and Thistles are known by Hurtfulness Christ's Miracles were, Doing Good, and Healing: But Devil's Work is Hurting, and Destroying. And let those Men and Women think of it, that cannot forgive, but are set upon Revenge. Mark whether Revenge be not the most ordinary Business of Witches, and of Devilized Souls; most of these Histories tell it you: Therefore Christ telleth us, that if we forgive not, we shall not be forgiven; so contrary is he to the Diabolical [P. 248] Spirit of Revenge, though yet he hath just and punishing Governours. Were but the Histories of Witches and Apparitions well considered, it would help Men to understand, that Devils make no small number of the Laws and Rulers that are made in the World and have no small number of honoured Servants, and are the Authors of most of the Wars in the World: So that the Phrase, Rev. 3. [The Devil shall cast some of you into Prison,] should not seem strange. And I would I had no Cause to say, that this Mark of Lying, Malignity and Hurtfulness tells us, that many Sermons are made by Devils, and too many of the Books written by them, that adorn the Libraries of many learned Men.
And though Demons do good in order to do hurt, yet, by this Rule of Judging of Spirits by their Fruits, I cannot but think that (though there was a Mixture of Good and Bad) there was more of the good Spirit, than of the Bad, in most of the ancient Monks and Hermites, that lived so strict and mortified Lives. And, as I find, not only by Erasmus, but by the Complaint of Protestant Divines, that it was a Desire of Liberty from the Papists Austerities, that prevailed with most of the Vulgar to cast off Popery; so the Case of many Monasteries, their Mortification and Devotion, (though ignorant,) doth make me hope that [P. 249] in many such Monasteries there is more of the Spirit of God, than among the common worldly, sensual sort of Protestants. I that must say so of our well-meaning Separatists here, must say so of such Papists: For I find by the multitude of Instances in Cæarius and others, that just as deep Repentance for former Sin, doth now bring many to think it safest to joyn with the Congregations, which they think are most strict: So before Luther's time, it was ordinary, when God humbled any deeply for their Sin, to think that they must presently joyn with such as renounced the World and fleshly Pleasures, and minded nothing but Religion and Salvation.
And thence it came to pass, that among the Papists, the Monasticks were called Religious in distinction from Secular, and other sorts of Men. And as our separating religious Protestants do now demand of such as they admit to their Communion, an Account of some special Experiences of God's Work on their Hearts, in their Conversion: So did the Monasteries by such as they received. The aforesaid Author Cæarius will tell you of multitudes of Instances how God converted Sinners, and brought them into their Religious Houses.
What can one think of all this, but that, as all that we here do is imperfect and faulty, and yet pardoned through Christ, to [P. 250] the Sincere; so among Papists, and honest Sectaries, there is much that is of God, and shall be accepted, though Satan, by their Ignorance and his Subtilty, do obscure and maculate the Lustre of it, and turn it into Scandal. For such is his Warfare against Christ and his Kingdom in this World.
God is good, and doth good; and will have Mercy, and not Sacrifice: And his Justice doth hurt, for a greater Good. The Devil is a Do-Evil: And if he do Good it is to greater Hurt. And Oh that I could get my own, and all Readers Hearts sufficiently affected with this Observation! That as all our Life is carried on in a Warfare, and Satan's Malice is both against Christ and us; so his great Work is, to draw us into some Sins which shall cloud the Glory both of the Grace and the Miracles of Christ, and damp the Comfort which we might have received by all his Mercies. If he see an honest Christian zealously affected, draw him by Temptation of the Flesh into some Scandal, or by Ignorance into some false Opinions, and that Glory of all his Zeal is presently turned into Reproach. If he do but fall out with some of his Neighbours, and by Passion, or for Worldly Interest, offend them, all his Piety goeth not only for Hypocrisie, but for a [P. 251] Reproach to Piety it self. Yea, if they fall but into Melancholy, and Impatience, and Discontent, the Devil sets them to affright Men from Religion, as we set up Mawkins in our Corn and Orchards, to affright the Birds.
The sad Bewdley-Story, before related, is an Instance that was sad to me. The African Story, before-mentioned, is more tremendous; of the Bishops whose Tongues were cut out by Hunnerichus the Arrian King's Command, and they spake well when their Tongues were cut out: Victor Uticensis, Gazæs and Procopius, that all then lived, witness it; and some, if not all of them, I remember, say, that they saw and heard them: And yet (say some of them) the Devil after overcame some of these same Bishops to commit Fornication with Women, and then the Miracle ceased, and they could speak no more.
Oh, how amiable would a holy and heavenly Life appear, were it not conspurcated with the Mixture of its Contraries? How beautiful would the Wisdom of a Saint appear, were it not dishonoured by the Mixture of Ignorance and Errour? How joyfully and thankfully could I review all the Wonders of Mercy that have filled up my Life, to this present Hour, had I not mixed those many Transgressions that must not be remembred without Grief and Shame, [P. 252] though through Christ they be forgiven? Though I can say that Pride, Ambition, and ovetousness, and Worldly Preferments, have not been strong enough to cloud my Comforts, yet, alas! what a multitude of Faults, by Carelesness, Incogitancy, Rashness, Passion, and Want of due Watchfulness and Tenderness of Conscience, have done it! Oh, with what joyful Praise to God could I peruse all the History of my Pilgrimage, did not this woful Mixture of my Sins damp and allay my Comforts; and by Indignation against my self, abate my Peace! I believe Forgiveness and Safety from Hell: But if (besides my near sixty Years Castigatory Pains) I did suspect, with Augustine, that there were a Purgatory hereafter, I should fear it; not out of any Doubt of the Sufficiency of Christ's Satisfaction, Righteousness and Merits to their proper Ends, but because I believe that he is my Governour, though by a Law of Grace and Faith, and that he is a Judge, and that he is not indifferent whether we obey him, or disobey him. If I believe not Christ, I am no Christian: And if I believe Christ's constant Doctrine, particularly, Matth. 5. and 6. and 7. and 25. I can no easier be made a CHRISPIAN, than I can believe the grossest Contradiction. And I now think this distinguishing Name as useful as was the Name of Nicolaitans. Rev. 2. & 3. [P. 253] One thing more I desire to be observed, about the warfare between Christ and Devils; That both sides make great use of Human Instruments, especially of Princes and Pastors or Teachers, and Parents. These are the three great Organes (under Angels) appointed by God, for the Moral Free Agency in promoting the Kingdom of Christ on Earth: And where these three are Faithful, O! How great a Blessing are they? Therefore it is the grand design of Devils, to Corrupt these three, and to make them Traytors to Christ, that is their Rightful Lord, and Enemies to his Work, and him whom they should Represent. No deadlyer Enemies to Children, then ungodly Parents. No deadlyer Enemies to the Worshippers of Christ, than Malignant, Proud, Ignorant, Worldly Clergy-men? No such Powerful Enemies to Kingdoms, as Ungodly, Ignorant Kings and Magistrates. O! How much Good, or Mischief may One King, or Supream Power do, by the great Advantage that God the Institutor of Government hath given them? Asia, Africa, America and Europe, are doleful Monuments of the Success of Devils, by making Princes, Priests and Parents their Instruments, corrupting them by Ignorance, and by worldly fleshly Baits! Mr.Cotton Mather in the Life of Mr. Eliot the New-England Evangelist, Reciteth this Account of his (p. 93) why the [P. 254] Lyn Indians were all naught, save one, Because their Sachim: (or King) was naught: For they and the Powvowes or (wizards) like Priests, did with Malice, Threatning and Persecution, drive the People from receiving the Gospel, and praying to God. What a dangerous case through Mutual Hostility, and cruel Persecution, hath sometimes one Law, Political or Ecclesiastical, brought a Nation into, by locking the Church Doors against Unity, Concord, and Mutual Love, and by Stoning the Dissenters from such dividing Snares?
And what a Blessing hath one good Prince; yea, one Reforming or
Healing Law or Proclamation been to a Land? What a Blessing to the
Church, were such Bishops as Ignatius, Cyprian, Basil, the three or four Gregories, Chrysostom, Proclus, Atticus, Augustine,
and such as they: And what Scandals and tearers were the contrary
minded: Who by their Ignorance and Pride on pretence of Uniting, cut
the Church and Empire into the Shreds, that yet continue, and were a
grief to Constantine, and more to TheodosiusAnastasius, and to many a Worthy Emperour? And when they grew stronger, deposed their true Rulers the Eastern Emperors, and such as Iudovicus Pius, and kept up bloody Warrs against Emperors in the West, till they deprived most Kings of half their Government.
[P. 255] The God that fixeth the Course of Nature, so as that he will not for
the Prayers of any make the Sun alter a Minute of its rising and
setting time, nor alter the Spring and Fall, Summer and Winter, &c.
Hath setled also a Subordinate order of Free-agents for Moral
Government, and though he dispose of the Events of all Mens Acts,
without causing their Sin, yet will he not usually violate that free
order. It's Marvellous the Devils have so much power over Children and
Men, as I have here proved, if but a silly wretched Witch consent; And how much more mischief may he do to Church and Kingdom, if
he can but get Bishops, Priests and Princes, and Law-makers to consent.
Therefore above all other Resistance of Devils: O! Pray hard for Wise and Godly Kings and Magistrates, and for Wise and Humble and Faithful Teachers,
and next for Family Piety. And if ever the Kingdoms, Churches and
People be reduced to Wisdom, Unity and Sobriety, this must be the means
according to Gods Established way.
§ I. HAVING since received from Mr. Gilbert, the reverend Minister of the Place, a fuller Narrative of the strange Story near Belfast, I will insert his Letter
Your Last, of July the 6th, I received; and since that, I have again and again enquired farther into that Business of the Apparition of Magdalen Loflin, which died about Novemb. I. 1685. of the Hurt she had received a Month before. And she appeared to Thomas Donelson, a Neighbour, four Weeks after her Death, in the House of William Holiday, near her own House. [P. 257] There were then present in the said House, William Holiday, and Helen his Wife; as also Sarah Lofnam, Daughter in Law to the said Defunct; and some Servants and Children in the House; besides Charles Loflin and Helen Loflin, Children to the said Defunct; which are now all alive: And most of them were summoned to the following Assizes at Downe Patrick, and there deposed solemnly before the Bench, the several Circumstantials of the said Apparition. Which Apparition was thrice repeated, in the same Evening, to the said Thomas Donelson: And how he was horribly frighted thereby, and violently drawn out of the said House, before their Eyes, though they struggled hard to detain him: And that he was carried up and down, over Neighbouring Hedges and Ditches: And that her last Words to him were, "That she would trouble him no more, if he did faithfully prosecute the Cause of her Death, which she still ascribed to the Blows which she received from the said R. Eccleston and K. Higgison." The said Thomas Donelson did accordingly repair to his Landlord, the next Justice, Mr. Randall Brice; who brought their several Examinations to Sir William Franklin, in Belfast-Castle, where was also present the Earl of Longford: Which said [P. 258] Depositions were carried to Dublin, and there recommended to the special Care of Judge John Lindon, who was to come down the next Assizes of Downe: And the said Trial, and Examination of the Witnesses, were then mannaged at the said Assizes, by Mr. James Macartny, Counsellor, in the behalf of Charles Loflin, the Plaintiff, to the Admiration of all the Bench, and of the Company there, in my Sight and Audience. So that the Matter was most notoriously known and believed, through the whole Country. Nor was there any Cause of suspecting any Fraud therein, they being all plain, honest Neighbours, well known to me, and my Parishioners, in the Parish of Druonbeg, in the County of Downe, and in the Province of Ulster. When you send to Mr. Baxter, pray, send my best Respects, desiring both his Prayers and yours, as we most heartily recommend his continual Labours, and yours, to the Blessing of the Most High: In whom I Rest,
Your Cordially Affectionate,
Aug. 24. 1691.
§. II. Whereas many wonder that the Devil can get down and up Childrens Throats, such great things as the Nails and pieces of Iron and Brass (as I have to shew,) a rude Story of that Pious and Excellent Phisition, Fælix Platerus, makes me think it possible. Two rude fellows had at meat a Custard before them, he that first tasted it, found it Scalding hot, and dissembled it, to draw the other to it, who presently so scalded his Mouth with it, that in Wrath and Revenge, the next Spoonful that the other did eat, he forced the Spoon down his Throat: Which being in his Stomach, cast him into fear: But they both being shortly after again together eating, he felt a great pain in the rectum intestinum; and put his Hand to his Fundament, and pulled out the Spoon, and put it into his Companions Dish. The passage of this Spoon through all the intestines, seems harder than most of the Witchcrafts mentioned.
This confirmeth my Suspicion, that my Dear Friend Mr William Hopkins case before mentioned, was but a Mistake, and not a Witchcraft; and that he might have swallowed in his Meat a piece of a Flesh-prick, and think in was a Bone, and forgot it; though I could not persuade his Wife and Neighbours to believe it. [P. 260] I rather think the conceit, than Witchcraft, shortned the good Mans Life.
§. III. And I will not spare my self; while I mention my Friend, though some will deride it, it may profit others, to tell you a small Story of the Devils power on my self. When I lived in Ludlow Castle at 16 and 17 years of Age (the Chaplain to the Council, being my Tutor) I that had been ensnared before in the pleasure of old Romances, was strongly tempted to the Love of Cards and Dice. The first overcame me a few Months: Having no skill at Tables, I agreed with the best Gamester in the House (Mr. Richard Harrison, Clerk of the Kitchin, who died old, not many years ago in Barbican, at the Earl of Bridgwaters) to teach me for a price: When I did but know when the Game was lost by the loss of all my Men, after a Game or two, they told me my Game was lost: And laught at me for not giving it up (other Skilful Gamesters looking on) I told them I would see the end first: They derided me, and Mr. Harrison said, I will lay you ten Shillings to Six-Pence: I laid down my Six-Pence; and he his ten Shillings: When I had cast the Dice ten times, I had wone the Game. They stood amazed, and told me, that if I had not had the same cast of the Dice all the ten times that I had, no [P. 261] other could have got my Game. An Atheist will laugh at this as Fortuitous: But I perceived that it was the Devils Temptation to draw me to be a Gamester: And I gave Mr. Harrison his Ten Shillings again, and never plaid more. I mention this, to tell some Ladies and others of great Note, that are Ensnared in the Love of that vile Time-wasting Sin of Cards and Dice (and Stage-plays,) that the Devil hath great power in ruling that which they call Chance: And that it is a greater Sin so to waste precious Time than they are aware of; Besides the vile corrupting of their Affections.
Books Printed for, and sold by Tho. Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns at the lower End of Cheapside, near Mercers Chapel.
THE English Nonconformity, as under K. Charles II. and K. James Il. truly stated and argued. In Quarto.
A Treatise of Knowledge and Love compared: In two Parts: I. Of falsly pretended Knowledge. 2. Of true saving Knowledge and Love. In Quarto.
The Glorious Kingdom of Christ described, and clearly vindicated, against the bold Asserters of a future Calling and Reign of the Jews, and a thousand Years before the Conflagration, and the Assertors of the thousand Years Kingdom after the Conflagration. Being an Answer to Mr. Tho. Beverley. In Quarto.
A Reply to Mr. Tho Beverley's Answer to my Reasons against his Doctrine of a Thousand Years Middle Kingdom, and of the Conversion of the Jews. In Quarto.
Of National Churches: Their Description, Institution, Use, Preservation. Danger, Maladies and Cure: Partly applied to England. In Quarto.
Church Concord: Containing, I. A. Dissuasive from unnecessary Division and Sepaation, and the real Concord of the moderate Independents with the Prebyterians, instanced in ten seeming Differences. 2. The Terms necessary for Concord among all Churches and Christians. In Quarto.
Against the Revolt to a Foreign Jurisdiction, which would be to England is a Perjury, Church-Ruin and Slavery. In two Parts. In Octavo.
Mr. Richard Baxter's Penitent Confession, and his necessary Vindication. I Answer to a Book called The Second Part of the Mischiefs of Separation:
Written by an unnamed Author. With a Preface to Mr. Cantianus de Minimis, &c. In Quarto.
The Scriptur Gospel defended, and Christ Grace and free Justification vindicated, against the Liberanes, &c. In two Books &c. In Octavo.
Cain and Abel-Malignity; that is, Enmity to serious Godliness; that is, to an holy and heavenly state of Heart and Life, &c. All by Mr. Richard Baxter.
Books Printed for, and Sold by John Salusbury, at the Rising Sun over against the Royal Exchange in Cornhill.
AN End of Doctrinal Controversies, which have lately troubled the Churches, by Reconciling Explication, without much Disputing. By Richard Baxter. In Octavo.
A Rational Defence of Nonconformity: Wherein the Practice of Nonconformists is vindicated from promoting Popery, and ruining the Church; imputed to them by Dr. Stillingfleet, in his Unreasonableness of Separation. Also his Arguments from the Principles and Way of the Reformers, and first Dissenters, are answered; and the Case of the present Separation truly stated, and the Blame of it laid where it ought to be: And the Way to Union among Protestants is
pointed at. By Gilbert Rale, Minister of the Gospel. In Quarto.
The Harmony of the Divine Attributes, in the Contrivance and Accomplishment of Man's Redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ, &c. By W. Bates, D.D. The Duty and Blessing of a Tender Conscience plainly stated, and earnestly recommended to all that regard Acceptance with God, and the Prosperity of their Souls. Whereunto is added two Sermons, opening the Nature of Participation with, and demonstrating the Necessity of Purification by Christ. By T. Cruso. In Twelves.
might have nam'd more.
G2 Which is proved of many Witches.