In the Time of TEMPTATION THE Same being an Extract of the unworthy Authors Experience of the Particular follow­ing.

I. The miraculous Preservation of his Bodily Life, from the many Deaths and eminent dangers which threatned it, while in a state of Nature.

II. The Method God took with him in awakening him to look into, and to mind Soul concerns, when about Fourteen Years of Age.

III. How the Spirit of Bondage took him, and what fearful Work it made in his Soul.

IV. How the Spirit of Adoption succeeded the Spi­rit of Bondage, healing and binding up the deep Wounds Caused in his Soul thereby.

C [...], and hear all ye that fear God, and I will declare that he hath done for my Soul, Psal. 66. 16.
I will Praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy Works, and that my Soul knoweth right well, Psal. 139. 14.

By Ja. Barry, an unworthy Minister of the Gospel.

London, Printed for the Author. 1699.

To his very much Respected, and highly Honoured Friend, Mr. Nicholas Skinner, Mer­chant of London.

Worthy and Honored Sir,

THE laudable Character given you by some Ministers of Christ: and other good Souls, now (I Charitably hope and believe) Praising God in Glory: Especially, the experimen­tal tast I my self have had of your good­ness, (since Providence made me so happy in your Acquaintance;) hath En­couraged me to prefix your worthy and de­serving Name to this small Tract; whose design and chief tendency is, to encourage poor dejected Souls (under the hidings of God's Face,) to cast themselves on that (never failing) goodnss of God (in Christ,) untill God's set time for Deli­verance [Page] comes. And also, to stir up experienced and grown Believers, to a be­coming Adoration, and Praising of that Adorable Name, and Wonder work­ing Providence of the Glorious and Tre­mendous Jehovah; which hath so conspi­cuously appear'd, in the Deliverance wrought for me, his poor nothing Crea­ture, (both for Soul and Body,) and who am to this very Day) kept alive, and upheld by that Divine Manutenency of his own, to the great Admiration both of my self and those godly Souls who know my present Circumstances; and Gods dealing with me. I have been (for several Years past) more than ordinarily Importun'd, both by godly Divines, and such Zealous working Christians as your self, to Pub­lish, what (now) I have presumed to De­dicate, to so dear and well deserving a Friend, as you are well known to be, both to God's Truth, and such (as in any mea­sure) bear the Blessed Image of his Son. The principal Motive of their importu­ning me to Publish this, was the strange Influence, the Relation hereof (from my [Page] own Mouth) had upon their own Spirits, the effects whereof they were not able to hide; the Tears of Joy gushing out (sur­prizingly) from their Eyes; with both Eyes and Hands lifted up to Heaven, wondering at, and Adoreing the Wonders of God, in my Case: Professing and de­claring, that (in all their time) they had neither heard, nor known, so much of the goodness and Grace of God, vouchsased to a poor lost and undon sinner, as was shewn and vouchsafed to unworthy me; Which occasioned several of the godly Ministers, especially, Mr. Noah Bryan, Mr. Timothy Taylor, Mr. Samuel Ma­ther, and the dear Mr. Nathaniel Ma­ther, (all now with Christ) to profess, that they never heard of, or knew any Sin­ner come so near to Paul (as touching God's method, and way; of Working upon, and dealing with him, in, and after his Con­version) as I did. And therefore they (unanimously) agreed (in Judging) that to Publish the same, was my Duty. The which, they doubted not; would be greatly useful, and that both to Saints and Sin­ners [Page] on sundry accounts. The sincere and upright Hearted Nathaniel Mather (late of Pinners-Hall,) hath (several times) chid; me for my backwardness to so necessary and useful a Work; and a little before his Death, he at me again a­bout it, examining into the Grounds of my backwardness herein. To whom I reply'd, Sir, There are two things which (hitherto) have kept me back from Pub­lishing this my experience, and how much of Satan there may be in it, I cannot deter­min.

The First is, The difficulty which at­tends my setting down (in Writing) the working of the Spirit of Adoption, in doscovering and applying Christ unto me, the Remembrance whereof, doth so swal­low me up, and melt me, that I am not able to see my Paper for the Tears of Joy, which obstruct my Visive Faculty. To which he Reply'd, that it was pitty any thing should hinder me in so good (and useful) a Work. The Second is, the fear Lodg'd within me, of Peoples not Cre­diting the Relation I shall give hereof, [Page] in case it were Printed; For, (said I) the greatest part of Professors are so great strangers to the nature of true Regenerati­on, (especially when wrought in a Sinner, in the way and method God took with me) that they will rather suspect, and question the truth of what I relate, than Praise God, (or improve the same for their own good, or Spiritual advantage) for the same. To which, Reply was made, That Satan was always ready to obstruct any good Work which hath the least tendency to God's Praise, or the good of Souls. Since his departure, the fresh Remem­brance of the Importunities of the Wor­thies above Named, together with the repeated Solicitations of several godly, zealous Christians (yet living,) have pre­vailed with me, to beat my way through those Difficulties which lay before me, leaving the Issue (of my present under­taking) to the powerful Providence of God, to make the same successful, in what it is designed for. And begging (most heartily) your Pardon, for the me­thod I have taken, in acknowledging the [Page] great Kindness, and Respect shewen (by your Religious and truly Generous self) to the meanest and most unworthy of Christ's (Dispised) Ambassadours; the which (I doubt not) you will find Recor­ded in Heaven (by my Lord and Master,) as an evident proof of your Faith in, and unfeigned Love to Him, and his Cause and Interest, here on Earth. Let not (Dear Sir) the disadvantages under which I lye (on account of the slanderous Re­proaches heaped on me, by malicious Spi­rits, lessen your hope of the glorious Re­compence (of Reward) promised (by him that cannot lye) to all your Works and Labours of Love exprest to me, and others of Gods Children, for the Sake of Christ. He that will take notice of a cup of Cold Water given to a Disciple, in the Name of his Disciple, will (I question not) Record in Heaven, the refreshing Wine I have drank at your Table, (more than once) and the Silver and Gold sent me, and given me by your self, whereby both I and my distressed Family, have been kept from sinking into the Dust.

[Page] And albeit, I should (at the great day of Judgment) appear to be a Cast away from Christ, of which (through Infinite Grace) I am no more afraid, than I am afraid that God can cease to be, what he is.

Yet your Integrity and Uprightness (in what you have done to me, for Christ's sake) will be, not only made known, but graciously and abundantly Rewarded. (and if I mistake not the design of Pro­vidence, which hath put me upon fixing my thoughts on your self, as the fittest and most deserving Person to whom, to Dedicate this small Extract, of the large experience I have had of God's In­comprehensible goodness, and Infinite All-Sufficiency, in saving a lost Sinner). I look on this Dedication to be (as it were) a [...], or fore-runner of Christ's (openly) acknowledging and rewarding those your Acts of Love, and Pitty so secretly done to him, in the Person of me the poorest and unworthiest of his Repre­sentatives here on Earth, according to Prov. 19. 17. Mat. 6. 4. Mat. 25. 45. Heb. 6. 10.

[Page] The Searcher of Hearts, knows I am far from flattering you, in what I say (of you) in this Dedication. He who hath so (abundantly) blest you with a com­fortable Estate here, and hath enricht your brave and generous Soul with such a Stock of Heavenly Wisdom, and saving Grace, as keeps you from swelling with Pride and Conceit, of what he hath made you, Perfect his own Blessed work begun in you, to the Day of Christ. And that the same may be the Portion of your Vir­tuous and Religious Consort, and your Dear Off-spring, is the Cordial wish, and shall be the hearty Prayer of (Dear and Honoured Sir) your (dearly Loving, and highly obliged) Friend and Servant, in the best and strongest of Bonds (viz.) Gospel Love.

James Barry.

A Reviving Cordial, FOR A SIN SICK DISPAIRING SOUL, In the time of TEMPTATION, &c.

Sheing the strange Works of Provi­dence, in preserving me from the mauy Deaths which threatened me.

THE First of the many Wonders which the Adorable Providence of God effected, in preserving me from Death was, as follows. Being put out to Nurse, to an Irish Papist, in the times of Trouble, before Ireland was Reduced. My Nurse about the latter end [Page 2] of the Month of January, (fearing (as she at least pretended) the Rage of the Irish Soldiers, least they should Inhumanly Butcher me; or rather, kill her self; and Husband, for offering to Nurse a Hereticks Child, (as they called me) cast me out upon a Dung-hill in a great Snow, where I had (undoubtedly) Perished, had not Providence sent Relief in the very nick of time, which was thus effected. At the same time, when I lay in that most deplo­rable Condition in the Snow, no (Eye pit­tying me,) there was a Servant of my Fa­thers down in the Country about Con­cerns of my Fathers, who as he was return­ing Home, declining the Road, which was his proper Way; takes another way, which directly led him through the Village where I was, he not (in the least) knowing any Ground, or Reason why, or wherefore, he should leave the High and Common Road, to pass through that Village; but finding in himself a strange Impulse upon his Spirit, he gave way. And as he passed through the Street, between the House from whence I had been Cast, and the Dung-hill where I lay; hearing a most Lamentable and Piteous Cry of a young Infant, (as he apprehended) out of Doors, stops his Horse to see where the Infant lay, but the [Page 3] Snow being deep, and it Snowing a pace, he could perceive nothing. But following the Voice of the Cry, he was led to the place where I lay; he forthwith knocks at the Door next to the Dung-hill, to en­quire after the cruel, and unnatural Mother of that poor dying Infant on the Dung-hill, or to entreat somebody, to take Pitty on so despicable an Object. On this, my Nurse informs the Man whose Child I was, with the whole of my circumstances, no sooner had he understood whose I was, but he runs to the place where I lay, takes me up, lap­ping me in his Cloak, and brings me Home to my Parents, fifteen long Miles, with­out the least Nurture either of Breast or Spoon, (for the support of decaying Nature): All that fifteen Miles, besides the space I lay on the Dung-hill, which (as my Nurse her self confest to the Man) was about five hours, I continued to make sad complaints, by abounding in Heart moving Skreeks, and piteous moans all the Day; the Man expecting every moment when I should ex­pire. In this condition, he presents me a sad spectacle to my Parents, acquainting them where, and how he found me, and how that he was (he knew not how or wherefore) turned off from his Road to go that way, where he met with me. Forth­with [Page 4] an Express was posted away, for three or four of the Chief Physitians who were then in Dublin, who immediately hastned to my Fathers, (being about two Miles and a half from Dublin,) the utmost of their Skill and Judgment was Improved for my present help and relief, but all in vain. The Intricacy of my state and Condition of Bo­dy being such, as sufficienly nonplust and Baffled all their Skill, finding no probabili­ty (in a rational way) of Recovering me, they gave me up, assuring my Relations that I was a gon Child, (as to this World.) The Doctors forsaking me; other means were applied by Ancient Men, and Midwives; who seem'd to have good Judgement and long experience in curing Children; neither availed this any thing, God having blasted all that men could effect (as Instruments) to make way for his Blessing on that means, which he himself had singled out for my effectual cure, that the same might be Re­corded to the Eternal Praise of his own Wonder working Providence, as will after­wards appear. All means apply'd for my cure and recovery, were (by the powerful Providence of God), made effectual Food, to nourish, and feed the Distempers which threatned the Life of my Body; untill I was at length taken by all for Dead. No moti­on [Page 5] of Life appearing in me, I was stretch­ed out, put into the Winding-Sheet, and Nailed uy in my Coffin. And as Frinds and Neighbours were just going out of the Door, to accompany me to my long Home, the Person who carried the Coffin, both per­ceived me to stir, and also heard me to cry in the Coffin: At which, all were not a little amazed, and some so affrighted that they Run awy.

About near two Months after this escape, I was a second time taken for Dead, in the opinion of all the Family, stretched out and wraped in a Winding-Sheet, and least they might be over hasty in Burying me, it was judged expedient to wake with me, which is the manner and Custom in Ireland, by Peo­ple sitting up all Night with many Lights in the Room where the Corps lyes. It pleas'd God, that about Mid-Night, they who Watcht me, saw me lift up the Sheet, to their great Astonishment.

Notwithstanding these strange and unex­pected Revivals, I was no small grief and burthen to my Parents, and other Relations in the Family, and that on the account of my continuing so Long in Pain and Misery, no endeavours of Creatures likely to do me good.

[Page 6] As I grew in Age, so my Distemper wax­ed and grew at such a rate, that my little Body waxed very big, and mishapen: my B [...]lly was as big as an ordinary Tubb, or Drum, My Legs no way able to bear, or car­ry my Distemper'd body. Thus was I a burthen not only to others, but also to my self, untill it pleased God to check and con­troul the Humors and Distempers in my Body, which else had Checkt me into the Dust.

The means of my Recovery was, as fol­loweth, (viz.) On a certain Day, as I was in the Arms of a Maid Servant, whose only Work it was, to attend on and Minister un­to me, I beheld on the ground, before the Door, some speckled Shell Snails, which dropt out of the Load of Furze that came to the Door, these Snailes I Cry'd to have them, the Maid willing [...]a gratify my desire, pickt up as many as she could see of them, with these I pleased my Fancy, playing with them till weary: After which I motioned to put the Snails into the Fire, and after a lit­tle while, when I apprehended they were Rosted, I cryed to have them again, the Maid and all others that beheld me, won­dred greatly what I designed to do with them, no sooner had I clear'd them from the Shells, but (to the great amazement of the [Page 7] Spectators) I fell to Eat them, and to such satisfaction, that (having once tasted of them) I could not for some considerable time, be prevailed with to Eat any other Meat except Snails. This new Diet (to which neither entreaty, nor yet example of any Mortal mov'd me (did by the Blessing of God, prove both Food and Physick; for by them I was (to the great astonishment of them who knew me) greatly nourished, and apparently advantaged in point of Health: For in a short time after I had taker to Eating Snails the Swelling of my Body asswaged, and the use of my Limbs I reco­vered: As I began with this new Diet, so I continued untill I was perfectly cured, to the great admiration and wonderment of all sorts, who both saw and heard of my Practice herein. Many (both Friends and strangers) did come from City and Country to see and hear of me, hearing the strange­ness and rareness of my case: Among these were my Physitians, who formerly gave me up for a dead Child; they at the first hear­ing of my being in a hopefull way of Re­covery, could not credit the News, till hearing it with great Confidence affirmed; they set a time for coming to my Fathers to see, and enquire whether what was stori­ed about my Recovery were true; they [Page 8] finding it so, both by their seeing and handling my Body; as also the informati­on they received from my Parents concern­ing the means of my cure, together with the manner of my making use of such means of my own accord. They exceedingly ad­mired at it, concluding with one accord, that it was immediately from the Spirit of God, and was certainly Miraculous. This account I had from my Friends and Relati­ons, who were both Eye and Ear Witnes­ses of what I have here Related. But least any should doubt the truth of this Relati­on, I shall briefly add Two things, which fully satisfies my own Soul of the truth hereof.

The first is, The perfect Remembrance I have of my Eating Snails frequently, when a little one.

The second is, The frequentness of the Scorns and Mocks wherewith I have met, e­ven from my own (since our difference about Religion) who (when discoursing about my leaving the Church) have many times, and often hit me in the Teeth (by way of Re­proach) with what I was, when an Infant, How that I was cast out on a Dung-hill, and afterwards nailed up in a Coffin, my Grave made, and a carrying away to be Buried: And alass! The greatest grief of all was, [Page 9] that I was not at that time Buried alive, rather than I should live to be a Phanatick, and (on that account) such a stain and blemish to the whole Family, There never having been a Phanatick of the Family before me

And thus, I have (as briefly as I could) given an Impartial Account of the first strange Deliverance wrought for me, by the Holy, and All-Working Providence of God.

The Second escape from Death, when a Babe; was as follows. Being one Night fast a sleep in Bed, the Maid who tended me, and constantly lay by me, neglecting to Extinguish her Candle when she lay down; the Candlestick being so placed by the Maid, that the Candle burning down near the Socket, or by some accidental mo­tion of hers (when asleep) throwing the Candle down into the Bed, the Sheets and other Bed-Cloaths took Fire, which pre­vailed so far, that the Bed, Sheets, Rugg and Mat, were spoiled and unfit for use af­terwards. The Maid and I fast asleep, both insensible of the apparent danger we were in. It pleased God that my Father (being awakned in Bed) smelt the scent of burning, which was so hot in his Nose, that he feared danger by Fire, it being in the [Page 10] dead of the Night. The whole Family Buried in Sleep (except himself) he could not rest, but gets up in his naked Shirt, goes from Chamber to Chamber, to search out where the Fire should be; and coming at length to the Chamber where I lay, he finds the Room all in a Smother, the Bed and Cloths all on Fire, and the Maid and I fast asleep. The first thing that my Father did, was to snatch me out of Bed, and by the suddenness of the wakening me out of Sleep, and seeing the Fire; I was frighted, and began to Cry; my Father fearing least harm should thence ensue to my Mother, who was at that very time near the time of Travel, he claps his Hand on my Mouth, and in his Arms carries me out to the Mault House (very near the house) where lay a Family of English People, who managed the Mault House, he throws me hastily into Bed to them, charging them to keep me warm, and to quiet me. Having thus secured me, he forthwith returns to the Fire, where he found the Maid still fast a Sleep, and by all he could do, he could not awake her, untill the Fire Burning her Flesh, she at length starts up, and in an amazing Surprize, see­ing her self compast with Fire, and missing me in the Bed, and finding my Father be-labouring himself in quenching the Fire, [Page 11] she begins to raise the shout, my Father presently stops her Mouth, and made her sensible how things were, and that the Child was safe; and being come to her self, she arose, and helped my Father to put out the Fire; that no farther harm was done. Now how near I was to Death, I leave every so­ber Reader to Judge.

A Third Deliverance wrought for me by Divine Providence was, his saving me from perrishing by a Dog. The manner whereof, was thus, One Morning, standing besides a Table, in the Common-Hall, where a Gen­tleman (who was Caterer to my Fathers Family) was at Breakfast, in order to a go­ing to Market, to Buy Provision for the House; I perfectly Remember the Meat he had, was Butter'd Fish; I expecting and hopeing, he would give me some part of the Fish; stood over against him, peeping up at him; with my little Fingers on the edge of the Table: The Gentleman per­ceiving the posture I was in; hands out his Plate to me, with some of the Fish; the which I readily embraceing; the great Mastiff Dog (a greater and fiercer than which I never saw) lying under the Table; and seeing me stretch out my Hand, to reach the Plate; bounc'd out of a sudden, lays hold on me, and pull'd me to him, under [Page 12] the Table; Catches hold of my Head, the which he had wholly in his Mouth at one bit, up to my very Throat. The Gentleman astonished hereat, and well knowing the disposition, and uncontroulableness of the Dog (there being but one in all the Family, (viz.) the Cook, of whom the Dog stood in fear,) runs forth, crys out, for Richard the Cook in all haste; for the Dog, Lion, was worrying the Child in the Common-Hall. The Cook at length entering the Room, to which the Gentleman directed him, Tingled a Bell, which he always used to do, when he corrected that Dog, when a Puppy, crying out (vehemently) Lion, come off, Sirrah. The great Dog, which had almost made an end of me; goes off, leaving me weltering in my Blood: My Head (especially my Face) all over Dy'd in Blood; which caused great and amazing Fear in all that saw me in that sad Condition, that my Eyes were Gnawed out; untill they Washed my Face, the which when they had done; they perceived that my Eyes were untouched: The reason of which (as was Judged by all) being that the Dog, had gotten my Head so far into his Mouth, that his Teeth could not reach my Eyes. Thus did God keep and preserve me, in this apparent and eminent Danger, there being [Page 13] no other harm done me, save that there remains still several holes, or impressions made by the Dogs Teeth, in my Nose, and other places in my Face, the which, no­thing but the Grave can deface and wear out.

A Fourth Deliverance effected for me (by Divine Providence) was, saving me from Drowning. The manner of it was thus, As I was in Company with one of my Aunts, in the Park, where stands a great Pool of Water, called the Horse Pool, where the Horses used to be Watered. My Aunt earnestly employ'd, about some fine small Cloaths (a Suit of Child-Bed Linnen, if I forget not) and leaving me to my liberty, to ramble while she managed her own Busi­ness; I drew near to the Pool, and lying down on the Banks brink, with my Face to the Water, and seeing some Living Crea­tures, as small as a Horse Hair, crawling in the Water, and within my Arms reach (as I thought) I longing to catch some of them, put my Hand into the Water, and pur­suing them, forced my Body forward, that I could not recover my self again, before I sunk down from the Bank in­to the Water, with my Head down, and my Heels up, the Water entering into my Body at my Mouth and other parts. My [Page 14] Aunt missing me, she looks about and call for me, but neither seeing nor hearing me, she leaves her Cloaths; and runs to the Wa­ter Pool, (of which she was jealous), and there she finds me with my Heels up in the Pool, gone almost out of her reach into the Depth, she in an exceeding fright, about me, takes the Water (to her own great hazard) and catching fast hold by one of my Legs, she pulls me to her, and so brings me out of the Water, but with very small hopes of my Life; for I had been so long in the Water, and the Water having gotten in such abundance into my Body, that for a considerable time, she could not perceive the least breathing in me, which made her conclude I was Dead; but it pleas­ed God that I Revived again. Now Rea­der, think seriously with thy self, how near I was to a passing from one deep, to another, (viz.) from that deep Pool of Water, in­to the bottomless depth of an endless Eter­nity. Oh! The Adoreable and unfathom­able depth of Gods Incomprehensible Pro­vidence. Oh! Think of this Providence, and give the Glory of the Deliverance to God.

Another strange and wonderful escape I had, was from a dangerous Boar. It was thus, One day, my Eldest brother (after­wards [Page 15] a Counsellor at Law, but now in E­ternity) and I walking down to the Sea-side, with a Gray-Hound along with us, design­ing our Sport by Coursing Rabbets. In the way, the Gray-Hound meeting with a little Pig, which belonged to my Fathers Herd of Swine. This Pig running away from the Gray-Hound, the Gray-Hound follows, takes hold of the Pig, the Pig cryes out, (all the Herd which was near Fourscore) comes in to the relief of the Pig; I hastned to get the Dog off, by calling and beating, but the more I belaboured me, in getting the Dog off, the faster the Dog held his hold; the whole Herd in a Ring about me, and the Gray-Hound with open Mouth, which caused some fear in me, at the length while I was beating off the Dog, the great Boar with open Mouth makes at me, mount­ing up with his Fore-Feet on my Breast, throws me on my Back, between two Fur­rows: The Boar thus on the Top of me, with his Snout and fearful Tushes, bela­bouring himself, to rent my Bowels out; the Gray-Hound which before I could not for my Life get off from the Pig) of his own accord, lets go the Pig, and comes in to my Rescue; laying fast hold of the Boar, which was at top of me, the Boar feeling the Dog pinch him, he turns furiously about [Page 16] to the Dog, quitting the hold he had of me, only one side of my Coat, he tore clear away, and had it in his Tushes when he turned from me to the Dog. As soon as I felt the weight off my Body, I got up in a great and amazing Fright, I made my escape, by running, leaving the Boar and the Dog to Fight it out. Thus was I preserved by the Providence of God; or­dering that the Dog (which before, I with all my Skill and Strength, could not get off) should quit his hold of the little Pig, and fall on the great Boar, upon me; who other­wise (undoubtedly) had torn out my Bow­els. Oh! Wonderful Providence.

Another Eminent Deliverence wrought by Providence for me, was by preserving me from perishing by a Horse. Which take thus, I being once chosen to ride a Horse, which was to run a Race, the Ground was singled and measured out, all other matters relating to the Race being agreed on be­tween the two Parties chiefly concern'd; when we came to start, the concernedness of each party appear'd in striving to get, and keep the start, the which happened to succeed well on my side, as touching getting the start, and making good my Ground, till I came to the Goal, which Issued in great and high Acclamations of Praise to me; [Page 17] which did not a little fill me with vain glo­rious conceit, of some Personal excellen­cy of my own; to which the Victory ob­tained, was Attributed. But my Pride was soon stain'd: for, there being a River be­tween the Town and the Place, where the Race was Run; my Horse being very hard mouth'd, and withall fiery and fleet (tho' small) I was not able with all the skill and strength I had, to bear him, after I came to the Goal; but in full Speed makes streight to the Town, taking the River, which lay between him and Home: As soon as he came into the deep, he was taken off his Speed, and fell into such a jumbling Trot, that being almost spent, and wearied in all my Senses, he throws me out of the Saddle, and being cast on the left side of the Horse, my Foot slipt into the Stirup, and by the Foot was I held; the Horse finding himself past the River, sets to running with full speed, my Head touching the Ground, and as he run, my head was still a tossing and beating between the Horses Feet, and the Stones and Gravel of the hight which he run up from the River, towards the end of my Fathers Mault-House, which may be a­bout Sevenscore Yards; all which Ground he trail'd me after him, with my head as already mentioned. The Shout and Cry [Page 18] was raised from the other side of the River to the Town (and the Horse still in his full Speed) it pleased God, that the Neighbour who lived next house to my Fathers, hear­ing a vehement and continued Cry; arises from his work within, opens his Door, street way, to see what the Matter was, and Just as he lookt out of his Door, he sees the Horse in full Speed, with his Rider a Trailing along, just passing by the Door, the man Immediately runs before him (the Passage being narrow) useing his best endeavours and skill to stop the Horse; the which he (through Mercy) he Effected, or else that Race had been an end of my Race, the Horse stood stock still while I was re­leased from that sad Confinement. All who saw me, cry'd out, he is gon! he is gon! there is no hope, nor expectation of his Life, the Hair of my Head all in one lump of clotted Blood, nothing to be seen of my Face or Hands, but Blood, and a matter of astonishment it was to all, that my Neck and Limbs were not broken.

Another strange Deliverance I had from a Horse, was thus, Riding one day on the Chief and Fleetest Race Horse, which was known to be in the Kingdom of Ireland: As I past through a Gate, in the High-Road, just as I opened, and entred in at the Gate, [Page 19] a little Bird flies out of the Hedge, within side of the Gate, at which the Horse started, Beginning at the same time to bounce, and plunge, striving all he could to throw me off; I Riding bare Backed, without a Saddle, and having a large Lanthorn under my left Arm; knowing the Horse to be very high Mettled, and about Fifteen Hands High; I I began to apprehend some danger, of his getting me off; because, I could not so well Command and Manage him, by reason of that Lanthorn, and wanting a Saddle, I did what I could by faire; and gentle means, to take him off those his unruly, and skittish tricks, but to small purpose. Then I re­solved to use another Method, (viz.) By giving him a loose Rein, and a Spur in his sides, with both Heels, hoping by that means that he would cease pluneging, and fall to running, but nothing would do. The thing (I doubt not) being determin'd in Heaven's Councel; that this narrow es­cape, might be Recorded among the rest of his Wonders shewn in, and about the preservation of so Poor, and Inconsiderable a Creature as I am, to the Eternal Praise of Gods Sweet and Unsearchable Providence. Off he would have me, in order whereto, he mounts up with his Fore Parts, throwing me backwards on his Hinder Parts, and from [Page 20] thence to his Fore Parts again, at least ten or twelve times, in a most furious, raging manner; at length finding that he could not get me off, by his tossing and throwing me backward and forward) he rears and mounts up with all four together (a considerable height from the Earth) and by that unex­pected motion, threw me a good height above himself, and falling to the Ground, standing upright on my Feet, as I fell, with my Lanthorn under my Arm, the Horse perceiving himself Conqueror, fetched a stroak at me (standing where I fell, just be­hind him) with his Heels; which (but a day or two before) had been Shod with Frost-Nails (the Weather being Frosty) and in the Cap, which I at that time wore, he leaves the Print of the Frost-Nails, within the thickness of a Half Crown of my Fore-Head, never touching my Head nor any part of my Body: Nor in the least prejudicing my Body, by those tossings and throw­ings he gave me. Oh! That I might be duly sensible of, and Constantly affected with, the consideration of Divine Provi­dence.

Another escape I had by the good Provi­dence of God, was from an English Man, who had laid a Conspiracy with some Irish Papists, to swear me out of my Life. It [Page 21] was thus, This English Man (by Name E­van Grundy a Lancashire Man) being some Years Employ'd in the Service of John Preston of the City of Dublin, Alderman, a good and gracious Man, lately Deceased; from whom the above Named Evan Grundy had run away, at several times, and with considerable Sums of Mony: by reason of his dishonest and knavish Pranks, Alderman Preston, not daring to trust him any further with the Receiving of his Rents, which were considerable (his Estate being nigh two thousand per Annum.) The Alderman being hard set for one whom he could trust with the management of his Estate: and knowing me, my Family, and the present Circumstances I was at that time in; pro­posed to me considerable encouragement, on condition that I would undertake (as his Agent) to manage his Estate, which I did, for between four and five Years, not without many difficulties, (occasioned chiefly by the said Evan Grundy, who was restless Day and Night, contriving how he might set the Alderman and me at vari­ance, hoping (by that means) to supplant me, and to Succeed me in the Employ.) This Evan Grundy being much Indebted to the Alderman, I had orders to take him, on a Writ out of the Kings-Bench, and to [Page 22] Seize (for the Aldermans use) all the Good and Chattels the said Evan Grundy was actually Possessed of. This peice of Service I would fain have declined, entreating the Alderman to put some other upon it, and that, because of the ill Aspect which I fore­saw it would have among the Gentlemen of the Country; who (knowing the Peaks and many Bickerings between the other and me) would be very apt to conclude, that I had Acted this, in a way of Revenge against him, who daily strove to Supplant me in that Employ: and then I concluded all the Black-Mouth'd Justices, and other Gentle­men in the Country, who were known E­nemies to the Name and Power of the Gos­pel Purity, would unanimously open a­gainst Religion, and Improve that Action to the utmost, to the Reproach of Dissen­ters. The which, afterward fell out as I feared: The Alderman refusing, to comply with that my (but reasonable) Request, he alledging, for his non-compliance with me, that he had none but me whom he could trust in an Affair of that Nature.

Finding the Ineffectualness of my Endea­vours, to prevail with the Alderman, to Excuse or Exempt me from that Service; and his strict Commands being Instant up­on me, a Writ was taken out, of which the [Page 23] said Grundy having notice he Absconds (for a time,) on this, I took the two special Bayliffs, who were to Execute the Writ) with nine or ten of the Village he lived in, into the House, along with me, to Witness that I Seized those Goods, which were Visible in the House, for the use of Alderman Preston, and that for the non-payment of Rent: I mov'd no Goods, but left them, where I found them, leaving them to the Disposal of the Alderman. Immediately, on this, the wretched Man contrives with some Papist Russians, to lay a Plot against me, the Substance of which was, that on a Day I entred his House, to Distrain for such a Man, naming Alderman Preston, and meeting with a Cabinet, I forc'd the Lock, and Stole Three Pound Fifteen Shil­lings, which he said his Witnesses would positively Swear they saw me to Reckon and put into my Pocket: forthwith he Rides to a Justice of Peace, for a Warrant to Bind me over, acquainting the Justice with the whole of the concern (in all its Circum­stances.) The Justice (tho' Enemy enough on the Account of Religion,) told him plainly, that he would not grant a Warrant against me, if he would give him Five Hundred Pounds. He goes to a Second, to a Third, and to a Fourth, about the same [Page 24] Errand, but from none of them could he get a Warrant to Bind me over, they being all affraid to meddle at that time with me, whether for fear of my Uncle, who was at that time Lord Chief Justice of the King­dom of Ireland, or from any restraint from God on their Spirits, I do not know. He finding all his Hopes (of having me for ever disgraced, if not Arraigned for my Life,) frustrated, Prepares a Bill of Indictment to Arraign me at my Uncles Barr the Term next ensuing,. This Assault (I con­fess) was a great Tryal of the little Faith, and Patience, which the Gift of God handed out to my Poor Soul, in the instant of Re­generation, as ever I have since met with. I have sometimes (with Holy David thought, that my Mountain (in respect of Inward and Settled Peace of Concience) should never be shaken or mov'd, till this Storm arose. And albeit it did not influence my Soul inwardly, to shake my Comfort and Confidence in God, God and my own Conscience, knowing mine Integrity, and Innocency, in the thing laid to my Charge. Yet Considering the Reproach, which I apprehended would hence arise, to the Name, Gospel, and People of God; the Stain and Scandal it would be to my whole Family:) no Man can fully conceive the dis­quietude [Page 25] and shame, which took up its Lodging in my Breast. Oh! the tossings and workings of my Spirit: Lord think I! What will this come to? Thou knowest mine Innocency in this Matter. But the World will readily Believe I am Guilty. Blasphemy, and sad Reproach, will hence Redound to thy Most Holy, and Tremen­dous Name and Gospel; which I value (unspeakably) more than my Life, and all the World. The truly Godly and Religi­ous, (the only Men of my delight) will (with sad Hearts) often think, how sadly they were mistaken in me, what to appre­hend this Storm would Issue in any other, than what I have already exprest, I could not Imagine. The guiltless Blushes which daily on this occasion appear'd in my Coun­tenance, I concluded would be to all that saw me, an Argument of my Guilt. The thoughts of the Term approaching en­creas'd the Inward Preturbation of my Mind; and the Blushings of my Face, to think I must stand Arraigned for Felony before a Judge, and all my other Relations who but a few Years before, had unanimous­ly Censured, Condemned, and cast me out of their Favours and Affections, for being a Phanatick, (as they term True and Gospel Religion.) Oh! How close this went; [Page 26] secretly wishing (but still with humble sub­mission to God) that he would please either to break that horrid Plot, before I came to be publickly Arraign'd as a Malefactor, or else call me off, by Death; which I did un­speakably prefer before living to be a cause of Reproach and Blasphemy, to the Name and Religion of the Most High God. As the Term drew very near, and the various and restless tossing of my mind on that Account encreased, God (Infinitely Wise, and ever faithful to his Word) who best knows how to time Deliverance, and break those Nets, in which the Enemies hope to catch the Innocent He (a very short space before the Term) lets loose the Reins to this wicked Mans Guilty Conscience, which wrought so violently with him, that all the strength of Reason in him, yea, the hopes he inwardly cherished, of seeing me brought to perpetual Disgrace, (if not cut off) were not able to restrain him from treading the Foot steps of Judas. A Rope he gets, out he goes to his own Garden in the dusk of the Evening, and having fastned the Rope about his Neck, just as he was drawing the end of the Rope through the Arm of a Tree, on which he designed to Hang him­self, his Wife and his Man happened to discover what he was about: On this, the [Page 27] Shout was up, and such a Cry made, as did presently bring about him all the Neigh­bours, who (over powering him) prevent­ed his intended design. But notwithstand­ing their cutting the Rope, yet could they have no access to that Guilty Conscience of his, to asswage or allay the horrible and self Condemning Agonies; which like restless Waves and Billows did distract and torment his Soul. He being by force stretched on his Bed, and with the same Rope he at­tempted to Hand himself, being fast bound to the Bed, he fell into raging and desperate Fits, like to a Demoniack, dashing his Head with all his force against the Bed-Stock, Foaming at the Mouth, uttering these Words, as fast, (and with a strange vehe­mency, which Frighted all the By-standers) as he could, (viz.) I drive away Cows, I Sell Cows: No, I drove away no Cows, I Sold no Cows: Roger Eckersley, and Cap­tain Stopford, will give under their Hands that I am an honest man And so in raging Madness, expired his last Breath, with these Words in his dying Mouth, I drove no Cows away, I Sold no Cows; which were the last Words he spoke. The Reader must know, that before this Plot designed against my Life and Reputation; the same Poor Wretch Commenced a Law Suit against me, [Page 28] or which he had not the least appearance of Reason; save, what he, and some others (as desperately Wicked as himself) had contrived, and which was stoutly sworn, by an Irish Papist Witness, for but one poor Quart of Ale) against me, at the Assizes held in the County where he and I Lived. God knows, I no more knew any thing of what he Charged against me in his Civil Bill, then I knew of the Three Pound Fifteen Shillings, for which he designed to Arraign me. But so it was, that upon the Evidence possitively Swearing, a Decree was Granted for Seven Pound, which was the Sum menti­oned in his Bill: The Decree (contrary to promise) being on a sudden, (while I was from Home, about Business) Executed, Se­ven Prime Milch Cows of my Stock where taken away, and in half an Hours time Ap­praised, and Sold for Seven Pounds; tho' the Cows in the Judgment of all that knew them, and who understood Cattel, were really worth Thirty Pounds between Brother and Brother. And thus it pleased God, in the Wonder working Providence of his, to break these Nets, which the Devil (by his Instruments) laid, not only for my Life, but also for my Credit and Reputation. I do not in the least doubt, but the great Advantage which the Devil proposed to [Page 29] himself) by putting those Miscreants on Work to bring my Name and Person into the blackest Contempt, was to overthrow the efficacy of my Ministry, when I should be thereto called: For the Devil knew very well, how importunate Godly Ministers, and others were with me, to take on me that great Work of the Ministry: And sore guesses (no doubt) he had, how greatly I should be Employ'd in disturbing his King­dom, being in a great measure made ac­quainted with his Lion and Fox like Devices, several Years before I was prevailed with to adventure on so Great and Sacred a Work.

Many more Strange Deliverances hath the Providence of God wrought for me, his Poor unworthy Creature: The which, I am Necessitated to Omit, fearing my Book should Swell to too great a Bulk. I heartily wish that both my self, and others, who Read what I have Faithfully and Impartial­ly Related, of the Wonders of Divine Pro­vidence towards me, might be so rightly Affected with what I have Related, as to give God the Glory and Praise of his own Works: And be (by Reading these things) stirr'd up, and Encouraged for ever, to trust in that Adorable Providence of Heaven, which never fails them who belong to Christ.

An Account of God's Woderful Deal­ings with me, about the Concerns of my Soul, some Years before the Spirit of Bondage took me.

WHen I was between Fourteen and Fifteen Years of Age, or therea­bouts, (as near as I can Remember) the Lord was pleased to dart some beginnings of Convictions into my Soul. Which was after this manner, One Lord's Day, as I was in the Height of Vigour, in Profaning God's Holy Day; with the Rude and Igno­rant Papists, there was darted into my Con­science (like an affrightning flash of Lighten­ing from above) this Apprehension, and Thought, (Viz.) That I must be either Converted, or else sent to Hell to be Damned. This Arrow being Shot out of his Bow, who never misseth the Mark at which he Shoots; took up its Lodging with­in me: But what to make of it, or what the meaning of it should be, I was as far to seek as a Beast; so Ignorant and Bruitish was I, the Lord knows. But though I knew not [Page 31] from whence it came, or what its Tenden­cy would be; yet, being a Messenger from God, it maintained its Ground, stuck close by me, accompanied me whereever I went, putting me sometimes into a Sweat, some­times into inward Shiverings of Soul, some­times into distracting and perplexing Cogi­tations and Thoughts, what it should be. Be sent to Hell (think I) Lord! What's that? And be Damn'd, Bless me! (think I:) What's this to be Damn'd? Dear Reader! Believe me, I had Read in Scrip­ture the Words Hell, and Damn'd, with the term Converted: But no more did I understand the Sense, or the meaning of the one or the other, of those three Words, than a Beast. At length, I began (in my Thoughts) to fix on something, what this strange thing should be, or mean. And the Result came to this, I did Conceive, and strongly Apprehend, that Hell and Damn'd, were some ugly, frightful, and dangerous thing, to the which, should I be brought, I should be a sad, and undone Creature for e­ver. As for the other, (viz.) Converted, I did verily think, it meant no more, than the leaving off, or ceasing from, those Mad and Youthful Pranks, of Prophaning the Sunday, (as I then called the Lord's Day), with several other Immoralities to which I [Page 32] been exceedingly and wretchedly adicted: and in the stead or room, of those vain and wretched Practises, to fall upon a serious, and sober Living. Both of which, I fully concluded, lay within the compass of my own Free-Will, and Natural Power to effect.

Accordingly, I fell to Work; Deserting and throwing off, both my Wicked Com­panions, and also my dearly beloved Sports and sinful Pastimes. To the Bible, and Practice of Piety, (a Book I dearly Lov'd) I Adrest my self, with all Imaginable De­votion, and Seriousness. And being fully resolved on a thorow Work of Conversion, that so I might shun and escape Hell; and being Damn'd. I became very Bookish, Looking into (almost) every Book, where ever I came; to try, whether I could meet with any help; which might forward me in my new Trade of Religion: Among o­ther Books, wherewith I met, Mr. Baxter's Call to the Ʋn-Converted came into my Hands, the which I did no sooner open, but its Title Page invited my Fancy, to make choice of it, for my chief Companion; the which I also did, Blessing my self in that Book, more than with any other wherewith I had met; the more, and oftener I Read it, the more was I Enamor'd with it: even to [Page 33] a preferring it before Gods own Sacred Book. So suited, was it, to the Purpose I had then Engaged in, (viz.) to Work out (of my self, and in my own Strength) that great Work of Conversion. To my course of Reading and Praying (by those Forms of Prayer in the Common-Prayer-Book, and Practice of Piety,) I joined very strict, and severe Fasting. Taking up a Resolution that I would in a most Solemn manner, ob­serve two Days in every Week (viz.) Wednesday and Friday, for my Fasting Days: The which I also did; even to such a degree of Pharisaicall severity, that I almost ren­dred my Body unfit for any Service. But Converted I must be, and Converted I was Resolved to be, whatever it cost me; in order whereto, I kept my Religious doings of Duty both Negatively and Positively, with such a Constant and Zealous elaborate­ness, that I verily believe, it would be hard to find one, among the Romish Monks, who could (in all respects) match me, or out do me, at the Trade of Serving God, in that way I fell in with.

It can hardly be told, (much less believed) how great Zeal I had for God, and how rest­less my Active, and Working Spirit was, to be with him in Heaven. Tho' I neither knew God (according to Truth) nor the [Page 34] way to him, no more than a Poor Pagan, who never heard of him. I had such low, gross and carnal Thoughts, and Apprehen­sions of the Deity, that I am very apt to conclude, the very Heathen had far Higher and more Sublimate Conceptions, of their Fictitious Gods; that I had of that Tremen­dous, and unconceiveably Glorious God, whom I so Ignorantly Worshipt. I was wonderfully Zealous, in all Religious Per­formances wherein I did (at any time) En­gage; both in Private, and also in the Pub­lick. In my Private Duties, I was Marve­lously Retired and Secret. Being full of Apprehensions how ill Constructions would (by all sorts) be put upon my so Severe and Strict way of Living: and for better accom­plishment whereof, I singled out a very con­venient place; then which I thought no place better for my turn and purpose. It was in a little Room, on the Top of the Castle, wherein my Father Lived. In that Room I spent the most of my time, in Fast­ing, Praying, and Reading my Books; e­specially, my Darling, and chief Admired and Beloved Book, (viz.) Mr. Baxter's Call to the Ʋn-Converted. When I found my self much wearied with Reading, I would sometimes divert my self, by walking on the Topp of the Castle; during which di­version, [Page 35] I did often hear the Shouts and en­ticing Calls of my Wicked Companions, to bring me back again, to my newly for­saken Sports, and sinful Pastime. It was no small Matter to encounter with the work­ings of Nature, and the violent Temptati­ons of the Devil, both joining together, in Suggesting and Framing Arguments to induce, to a willing and ready compliance, with those Calls and Invitations, to what I Lov'd and lik'd, as dearly as the daily Food I Liv'd by. Oh! the strange workings which I found in my self, during those Combates. The Ungodly (whose Company I had Lov'd and delighted in so dearly) Calling and En­viting: The strong Bent and inclination of the Flesh drawing: And a subtil and violent Devil Tempting, and Perswading to return. What! Forsake thy dear Companions, and thy sweet delightful Sports, and Pleasures at this Rate? What! To Game or Sport no more for ever? Alass! Poor Wretch: What good wilt thou get by betaking thy self to this Pensive, Sad, and Melancholly kind of Life? Thou hast had Experience of the Sweetness and delightfulness of that way of Living, which thou art now forsa­king. The many and sore Miseries, and Troubles attending this new course of Life which thou art so fond of, and on which [Page 36] thou art so resolutly bent, do not yet appear in their black and formidable Co­lours; therefore be wise in time, go back to thy deserted Companions, and freely Em­brace thy forsaken Sports and Pleasures, be­fore thou be'st too far gon, in this fond and dangerous way thou art gotten into: Or else, thou wilt Repent when it is too late. Besides these assaults from the Devil, and the continual ebullitions of my stinking and vile Nature, which did frequently surround me, with new and fresh Attacks, to draw me back again. I met with new (and un­lookt for) Discouragements, from my Re­lations; who (taking notice of the great and strange Change, which evidently ap­peared in me) frequently assail'd my weak and poor beginnings, in Piety and Religi­on, with hard Speeches and unbecoming Language against that precise and severe course of Life, I had so lately embraced, telling me (with great asseverations) that I should most certainly, bring my self to downright Madness; by Reading the Scrip­tures so much.

Note Reader, and Oserve, (by the way) how great an Antipathy there is in the De­vil, and in Unregenerate Sinners, to the Sacred Scriptures, a sure Argument that they are the Pure, and Infallible Word of [Page 37] God. These things (accompanied with innumerable Mocks, Taunts, and Jeers, which on all occasions were heaped on my Name, and Practice proved some occasion of startling and discouragement to me.

But the fixt apprehensions I had of being sent to Hell, to be Damned, in Case I be­came not, and continued a Convert; did abundantly out-do, all the oppositions which lay (or met me) in my way of strict and Religious Living. On I went (not­withstanding the many and great oppositi­ons, I found my self encompassed with) a­bounding and encreasing, rather than (any way) declining or abating: either in Du­ties or Ardent Zeal in doing them. My proficiency in Morality, and the advances I made in Zeal fo the Church and the Litur­gie, and Service thereof; were so Conspi­cuous and manifest, that I became the talk of almost all sorts, especially those who stood Related to my Family. Letters and Persons, who past to and fro; giving an Account (in City and Country) what a strange alteration, and admirable change appeared in their Cousen J. B. and what a great and wonderful Practiser of Pi­ety he was become. This was so noised a­broad, that I could scarce look, or speak; or pass in, or out where People were, but [Page 38] I had somewhat or other, brought into Dis­course concerning my forwardness, and Zeal in Religion. And notwithstanding I was (at that time) but an Hypocritical Forma­list, and a Painted Legalist, (knowing no­thing of Jesus Christ, and the Covenant of Grace, not so much as in the Notion) yet I was frequently troubled, and exceedingly ashamed, to hear mention made of my Activity, and Zeal; in Serving and Wor­shipping God. So far was I from either de­signing or desiring to make the World privy to my Intentions of Going to Hea­ven.

And that which speaks the thing the more strange, is, to consider the Circum­stances of Time and Place; neither of which afforded any thing, that might con­tribute the least part of a Motive, or an In­ducement, to put me on looking towards, or so much as thinking of Conversion: there being no Preaching in those parts, (the ordinary means by which Convictions in order to Faith and Conversion, are effected.) Nor yet the Example, or Advice and Council of any Person, which might occasion in me, such thoughts, or workings of Soul.

In this way, I contined for about Six or Seven Years, after my first awakenings, fre­quenting [Page 39] the Church, and its appointed Service: and growing blind in Pharisaical Zeal, for the Moral Law, and Divine Ser­vice Book: Until I had (in my own appre­hension and conceit) arriv'd at a high pitch of Confidence, that I was (beyond all dis­pute really Converted, and that (conse­quently) I should go to Heaven, and be Saved. Yea, I did frequently reckon and account, with my self, that if but two in the World, should go to Heaven, I should certainly be one of the two. And that, be­cause, I was certainly Converted; and had taken so much, and great pains, in doing Good, and shunning Evil. I had no Fear or Jealousy lodg'd in me, about Gods accepting my Person: And his having regard, to my numerous, and zealous Per­formances of Duty; both Private and Pub­lick.

My Extraordinary Inclinations to the Ministry; and that matchless Zeal which appear'd in me, for the Church; that Love and Veneration I had, for its Liturgie, Cere­monies, and Clergie, especially its Prelacy; gave my Father and other Relations, great hopes that I should be an Honour to the Fa­mily: and a Man of no ordinary Figure, in the Orb of the Church.

Seting forth the Spirit of Bondage seiz'd me, in the very heighth of my Confi­dence, of being in a good and sure state of Salvation: What sad work it made with me, and what means I used for Help and Relief, under its killing, and sinking Weight.

WHen I was about Twenty One Years of Age, in the very heat and height of my Zeal, in Prosecuting that Righte­ousness (consisting of that Negative, and Positive Obedience) which the Law Moral enjoyns and requires; as the condition of Life, and Salvation. It pleased God to send forth the Spirit of Bondage to Seize me; to the end I might be Instructed, and fully convinc'd, how vain my Confidence of being Sav'd, and going to Heaven, in that self pleasing way of Legal Righteousness was. The manner of it was thus, being on the Day, called Easter Monday, at my Ca­thedral Devotion, in the Place call'd Christ Church in Dublin, (a Place I constant­ly [Page 41] frequented, to Morning and Evening Service: and a Place, which I more Zaelous­ly Lov'd and Venerated; than any Place in the World besides; For that I verily con­ceited (in my self) it was as the very En­trance into Heaven it self.) After the Ser­vice was ended, one Dr. Golborn Preach'd, his Text was in Ephes. 5. 14. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

A Good and Choice Text, but how well, or ill Handled; I must acknowledge my self to have been (at that time) a very incom­petent Judge, to say, or determine. About the middle of the Sermon, as near as I could guess; there was darted into my mind, this sad and killing Thought, (viz.) that I had (the day before) Received the Sacrament unworthily; which sad Thought was back'd with that of, 1 Cor. 11. 29 For he that Eateth and Drinketh unworthily, Eateth and Drinketh Damnation to himself, not descerning the Lords Body.

This sad, and dismal Thought, (back'd (as I said) with that Scripture just now Quo­ted). Not any Word spoken by the Prea­cher, was that which seiz'd my Mind, and let in the Spirit of Bondage upon me.

[Page 42] No sooner had I look'd this [...], o [...] [...]ore-runner, of the Spirit of Bondage in the Face, compareing it with the place already mentioned, but I concluded my self, a lost and an undone man. My Spirit was in such an amazing Fright, and over whelming con­sternation, to think, that I was (most cer­tainly) Damn'd, to all intents and pur­poses: that indeed, I verily thought, all the People in the place, were a swarm, or a Legion of Devils, which God (in revenge­full wrath) had sent from the Bottomless Pit, to guard, and attend my Guilty Soul thither. The apprehensions I had of being Damn'd, and sent to Hell; so rack'd, and tormented my Spirit, that I found my self unable to stay, till Sermon was ended. A­way I ran out of that Place; to shun (as I then thought,) those swarms of Devils, which I strongly conceived, were to guard me to Hell. As soon as I came to my Lord of Santry's (where I then Liv'd) I entered my Chamber, with a sad, and heavy Heart (God knows;) to my Knees I go, with an intent to Pray, if so be, there might be any scrap of Hope, of my esca­ping being Eternally Damn'd. But alass! What Tongue or Pen can Relate, the Pass, and condition I was then at: My Reason, my Conscience, and my very Speech, were, [Page 43] as it were Plung'd and Drown'd, in the Gulph of Despair; so that I could neither utter a Word in Prayer, nor yet consider what I should do, to Relieve my Bleeding Soul, in that sore distress. I durst not a­bide in my Chamber; fearing to see and feel the Devils (actually) to Seize me. To the Minister of the Parish I went, (from whose Hands I Received the Sacrament but the Day before,) not knowing but that he might Administer some kind of Relief, to one in my condition. He observing the gastliness of my Looks, and taking notice that somewhat ailed me, he asked me how I did; to which I could not Reply. He pressing to know what the matter was; I at length, in a very abrupt and broken manner, told him, that I was full of the apprehen­sions and fears, that I was a Damn'd Man; and that there was no hopes of Mercy, for such a one as I was.

The Minister somewhat surprized, at so sudden, and so great a Change; since, but the Day before, he began to Examin what great and heinous Sins, one of my Age, and one in so encouraging Circumstances, (as I was in) could be guilty of; which should occasion such sad Despair: He men­tioned some Texts of Scriptures, thereby hoping to have given some Relief, to my [Page 44] weary gasping Soul, but all in vain; God's time of Healing me being not yet come. And finding by my frequent coming to him, for Ease and Comfort, to how little purpose he had laboured with me; he (at length) advised me, to Ride into the Country, to Vi­sit my Father and other Relations; and by that means, as also by Exercising my self, with such Exercise as I formerly delighted in, as Shooting with the Gun, and Angling, to divert my Melancholy Thoughts. This I was glad to hear of, my own Inclinations leading so strongly to it: in order to the effecting of which, I Addressed my self, to my Lord's House-Keeper, entreating her to acquaint my Lord, that in regard, of some present Indisposition, under which I laboured; and in order to my Health, I had not only an inclination, but was advised, to Visit my Father, in the Country: in order whereto I thought it convenient to acquaint his Lordship therewith, to the end, I might obtain, not only his Lordships free consent, but also the liberty of a Horse, to per­form my intended Journey. The House-Keeper, no sooner delivered my request to my Lord, but my Lord Commands her to call me up into his Chamber. As soon as I received the Command, I fell (immediate­ly) into a great Sweat, and sore Trembling, [Page 45] up I went, and being entered into the Chamber; my Lord Locks the Chamber Door, and laying his Hat on a Cabinet, sits down in his Chair, and with an earnest and piercing Eye, looks on a pretty while before he Speaks, I all the while sweating and qua­king. At length my Lord begins, with. James what ails you? What is the matter? I hear you go (privately) to Ministers, there is somewhat ails you. What is it? I per­ceiving (by my Lord's Discourse) that the Minister of the Parish, had acquainted my Lord, with my Case, I found my self far more uneasie, than before. My Sweat and Trembleings of Soul encreasing upon me: My Lord continued querying, What ails you James, tell me what is the matter? I was so overwhelm'd in my Spi­rit, that my Speech was swallowed up, as Job saith, Job 6. 3. But my Lord not letting me alone, but (with earnest Importuni­ties) pressing to know what I ailed; I at length, as a poor Condemn'd Caitiff, hang­ing by a twine Thread over Hells Mouth, Roared out, as if my Bowels had burst out of my Body: Crying with great and unutterable Groans and Tears. My good Lord, Dear my Lord, I am afraid, I am an undone Creature, I am a Damn'd Man, there is no Mercy for me. My Lord per­ceiving [Page 46] (by my Looks and Speech,) that I was in good earnest wounded, with Tears in his Eyes, and with the greatest concerned­ness for me; began to play the Spiritual Physitian, asking me, with great earnestness, what gross, and crying Sins, as Adultery, Murther, and the like, could one of my Years, be guilty of, as to occasion my fall­ing into Despair of Mercy. And (said my Lord) admit you were guilty of such, and greater abominations, what Reason have you for Despaire; you must know that Jesus Christ the Son of God, came into the World, not to lay a Load on you, but to take your Load off you. Quoting, Mat. 11. 29. Come unto me, all ye that are weary, and heavy Laden, and I will give you Rest.

With many other Texts of Scriptures, and comfortable Expressions, he laboured to Relieve and Ease my burthened and sinking Soul, but all in vain, (God's time of curing my deep and desperate Wound, being not come.) As touching my purpose, of going into the Country, My Lord told me, I might use my freedom, but that his Judgment and Advice was, that it were better for me to stay, than to go into the Country: and that because, of the great Disadvantage, which by going, would accrew to me, in my [Page 47] Studies. My Lord, having declared his Judgment, what had been best for me to do, I told his Lordship I was resolved to take his Advice, what ever came of me: and accor­dingly I did.

My Sore continually raw, Day and Night, and ceased not. Yea, my Soul refused to be Comforted. According to that of the Psalmist, in the like Case, Psal. 77. 2. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord, my Sore ran in the Night, and ceased not: My Sould refused to be Comforted.

I seemed to follow, and to ply my Studies, rather for Fashion sake, and for fear my Lord, and my Father, should suspect that I Loved Idleness, rather than any Love I had thereto: or hopes that ever it would turn to any Account, for good; to my self, or others.

When at any time I look'd into a Book, instead of heeding, or minding what was in the Book, the Eye of my gnawing, guilty Conscience, was fixed on the many Sins I had committed against God, insomuch, that all the Sins of my Youth, were in all their black and aggravating Circumstances; laid, and held before me, as a Looking-Glass, to shew me, what a monstrous Sinner I was. According to that of David, Psal. 51. 3. For I acknowledge my Transgressions, and my Sin is ever before me.

[Page 48] Endless were the Tossings, and Rowlings of my weary Soul, from one sad confusion and despairing Thought, to another. In­numerable (almost) were the sorry Prayers (such as they were) and other Duties, which I daily Performed; to Keep, and Relieve my Despairing Soul with; but all in vain. Which caused me to conclude, that I had been much wanting in the Trade of Works, and that, had I not been so, I might have been acquainted with Peace, and Comfort, before now. To the Trade of doing, I a­gain addrest my self; resolving not to omit, or leave undone any thing: which I under­stood, (by Reading or Hearing) to be mat­ter of Duty. Praying (understand by the Book, for I knew no better) Reading, Fast­ing, and attending the most lively Preach­ers, frequenting Sacraments, giving Alms to the Poor, of what Money my Lord, and other Relations Handed out to me. That Place in Dan. 4. 7. was oft in my Thoughts, according to which I gave away whatever I got: yea, so addicted to Re­lieve the Poor and Needy, was I, that I would give away my very Apparel, when I had no Money. And all this, from a Phari­saical and Superstitious conceit, that by those Acts of Duty and Service, I should Recompence God, for those Sins, which [Page 49] (like a Mill-stone on the Back of a Man) were sinking my Soul, into the Gulph of Desparation.

I did abound more and more, in Strict and Circumspect Walking, according to do, and Live, the Condition, and Tenure of the first Covenant of Works, under which I was Labouring for Life: The more I wrought at the Trade of Duty, the further I found my self from Peace: which did cause me to Conclude, that my Case was certainly desperate, and that it was peculi­arly my own: and that none that belong'd to God, was ever in such a condition, as I found my self to be in.

I then renewed my old practice, of going to Ministers; acquainting them, with the deplorable, and wretched State, and Con­dition I was in; and earnestly begg'd their Advice and Council; what one in my sad Circumstances had best to do, in order (if it were possible) to escape Eternal Dam­nation? Oh! that killing Word Dam­nation! When ever I Heard, Read, or Thought of it, how did it Rack, and Torment my Spirit? As fearing it would be my Portion for ever.

As the Principle from which I Acted, in order to healing, and cure; was, Do and Live. So those Spiritual Physitians, to [Page 50] whom I Addrest my self, for Council and Comfort, in this Despair of Soul; (being as ignorant in the Mistery of the New Birth, as ever was Nicodemus,) Joh. 3. 4. They put me on doing those Duties, in and about which, I had Laboured before, even to weariness. The Names of those Dignita­ries of the Church to whom I Applied my self, together with what their sayings were, are too Tedious to Relate; and therefore, I here pass them by. Only I think fit, to Acquaint the Reader, with the great and superlative Ingenuity, and dexterous Skil­fulness, in healing a Sin-sick Soul; which one of them (above the rest) had attain'd to, to his Everlasting Fame be it Spoken. The Thing is thus.

After I had acquainted the Bishop, (for of no lower a Degree was he) with the sad, and lamentable Condition, my Soul was in, but he forthwith exhorts me, to get a Book (Stil'd, The whole Duty of Man,) and when I had got it, I should come to him for fur­ther Instructions. The Book I forthwith procured, and to his Lord Bishop I repair'd, who finding that I had got the Book: Takes it out of my Hand, and turning to a Prayer appointed for one of the Nights in the Week; with great earnestness charged me, that when I was ready to go to Bed, that I [Page 51] be sure to kneel down by my Bed-side, and say that Prayer, the which was done ac­cording to his Lordships Directions. But to how great purpose, I leave the Ju­dicious, and Experienced Christian to Judge.

Having thus applied my self, to seven or eight, of the Ablest, and most Fam'd of the Fathers, and Dignitaries of the Church of England, (then in Dublin) and finding by woful and sad Experience, how little they understood my Case, and how vastly short they prov'd in helping me, in my Ex­tremity, I concluded my Case to be altoge­ther desperate and hopeless.

It is not to be told by Tongue, or Pen, what Soul Conflicts and Agonies accom­panied me, whereever I went, and what­ever I set about. Insomuch that they be­came frequent and Familiar to me, in the very Night Visions. The Devil, Hell, Damnation, with the manner how the Wicked are handled in Hell; were things very often presented to my Phancy, in those short and Tormenting Slumbers, whereinto I fell. Yea, I have sometimes Dreamt, that I have seen, and felt my self in Hell, among the Damned, tumbling and sinking down deeper and deeper, feeling no Bot­tom. Which hath occasioned me often to [Page 52] think of Job's Case, of which he bitterly complains. Job. 7. 14. Then thou scarest me with Dreams, and terrifiest me with Vi­sions.

As it was with Job, so it was with me, when I had been even spent, with the Con­flicts, and Temptations of the Day. I thought sometimes, and hoped at least, that my Bed and Sleep, would something ease, and lessen my Pain, and inward horror of Mind. But wo, and alass! I was never wea­rier of the Fatigue of the Day, than I was of the restless Tossings of the Night. And that because, of those Dreams and Visions, which (did as it were) realize the things themselves, to my Mind. The consterna­tion, into which those Soul afflicting Visions did put me, did often startle me out of my Sleep, and caused in me restless longings for Day-light: and that because, I could not employ my Thoughts about any thing, but what had a Tendency to augment my Despair and Misery. My Thoughts running out, and Fixing upon the Sins of my Youth, thinking how many, and Black they were: Calling to Mind, the Advances I had formerly made in the way of Strict and Zealous Religion; and what Methods and Ways I had used, to get Healing and Comfort, and all in Vain, and to no pur­pose. [Page 53] And that because (as I concluded) God had given me up, to be a Prey to the Enemy. Sometimes in the Night when I could not Seep, I heard Dogs howle, and cry Pittiously, in the Cold Weather, this I apprehended was a lively Representing to the Ear, the Skreeks and Roarings of the Damned in Hell. Thus are they, in those Eternal Flames, and so shall I, e're long. Oh! That I could but see one glimps of the Morning Light! But wo is me, (Desert­ed and Forsaken of God,) I shall be with the Damned, in that place of Torment, be­fore Morning. I shall never see Light. Well, when (contrary to my foolish and wicked Thoughts and Expectations) I had Lived to see the Morning Light; I would then begin to Reason and Query with my self, what I had so earnestly desired the Day for? My Day of Grace is certainly past, and gone: there is no Mercy in store, for such a one as I am. All the helps and means of Grace, which have had a Blessing attend­ing them, for special Good to others; are attended with a Curse to me; I am a Repro­bate; in vain it is to Pray any more; or spend any more time in the Duties of Re­ligion. I have had sad experience of that, under this Weight would I lye in my Bed, concluding it altogether in vain, to arise to [Page 54] engage in any Duty. This Temptation so far prevailed, that I did (for a time) Refrain Prayer; and neglect other Du­ties of Religion. From my concluding, that I belonged not to God, I found my self like a dead Log, as if I had neither Life, nor Soul left in me. I expected certainly (every Hour; nay, each Minute; nay, every Breath I fetch'd) to be hurried away; into the Place, and Company of the Damned; which caused in me, such amazement and unusual horror; that I would creep like a Condemned Malefactor, into the Chimny corner, among the Company, there resol­ving to stay, while any stay'd there: On purpose to avoid and shun those Damned Spirits, whom I expected (every twinkling of an Eye to see.

Among my sad and despairing Thoughts, concerning the ineffectualness of all Means, and Duties, to do me good; there did come into my Thoughts, a Passage which I had Read in some Author, whose Name I have forgot, it was this, (viz.) That there are different Degrees of Torment, among the Damned in Hell. This thing I Fix'd my Thoughts on so long, till I did hence Infer, and Conclude, that seeing there are diffe­rent Degrees of Torment among the Dam­ned in Hell, and that the Damned exceed [Page 55] each other, in the Degrees of Sin, must (necessarily) be the Ground and Foundati­on, of such a difference: I concluded that the less Sin I committed, the less would be my Torment in Hell. Now every omission of Duty, (think I) as well as doing what is Possitively forbidden, in the Moral Law, is a sin against God; and therefore, to make my Chain the lighter in Hell; I am resolv'd against all known Sin. And accordingly, I fell to Works again, perceiving in my self, no other Motive or Inducement (hereto) but meerly expecting, and hoping, that by this means, my being in Hell, would be made more tollerable and easie, than that of other Reprobates. By this very thing, it will (easily) be understood, how near I was to final Despair, in my own Thoughts and Apprehensions.

But among all the Combates, and Con­flicts, I met with in the time of my Bondage, none more Rackt and tormented my Spi­rit, than those hideous and abominable Thoughts, which by the Devil were like Fiery and Poysoned Arrows Injected into my Mind; sometimes against the Holy Scriptures, as that they were not the word of God, but the Cunning and Politick In­ventions of Men; devised and contrived by some, to Awe, and keep others in Sub­jection. [Page 56] This Temptation caused no small Anguish, and Perturbation in my Mind: but did not continue long; for (though sad and desperate I thought my Case to be) I was enabled to Consider, what a mighty Power went along with the Scriptures, in discovering my most Secret Corruptions; and putting my Conscience and Spirit into such fear, of what would ensue, in Case I did not cofess and forsake them. This very Consideration (viz.) that the Word, which discovered to me, my vain, and sinful thoughts, and Condemn'd the ill Life, I had led; and that laid me under such Cap­tivating horror and fear, for the same, must needs be the Word of an Infinite, All-know­ing, and powerful God: did foil and re­pel that Temptation.

No sooner had the first Temptation been over, but a Second immediately ensues; which was, That there is no such thing as a God, in Nature, and that Mens Believing, and Professing the Being of a God, was more from use of Custom, and from the strong Workings of Phancy, than from any real Truth, grounded on sensible Experi­ence.

Oh! The sad Concussion this Temptati­on gave to the Powers of Nature. I was so strangely influenced by it, that I solemnly [Page 57] Prosess, I felt my self sinking and and just tottering, to fall off my Feet: All over in a Muck Sweat, with a strange Shivering, and Trembling, in all the Powers, and Parts of Soul and Body. But making to a Win­dow, looking into a pleasant Garden; I leaned on the Window, with my Elbows, and so bore up my Body, from falling, which otherwise, had (undoubtedly) sunk down under its present Load and Weight, oc­casioned by that Temptation. Remaining for some little space, in a horrible Trem­bling, and amazing Consternation of Spi­rit. I (looking out into the Garden) began began to consider, and Reason with my self, thus, How came these Trees to grow thus orderly in this place? Who Rear'd or Built these Sumptuous Buildings? Surely, not themselves: why then (think I) if not themselvess; then (of necessity) they must Spring from some Cause, Higher and more Noble than themselves (viz) Man. Then, from the Consideration of the Trees, and the Buildings; I began to Exercise my thoughts about Man, and other Living Creatures, thinking thus: And how came Man, and these other Living Creatures, to have a Being; surely (think I) they could neither Form nor Quicken themselves; and if so, then of necessity, there must be some [Page 58] Cause of their Being and Living, which is Higher and more Excellent than they; which can (thinks my Reason) be no other but an Infinitely Glorious God. And this (said Reason in me) might be Evinced; not only by considering the Particulars already mentioned; but, by considering the Frame of the World, and the strange Preserva­tion of all things therein; and the won­derful Government of the Second Causes, wherewith the World abounds.

These, and sundry others of the like Arguments, proved so Strong, and Ner­vous, to convince me, that of necessity there must be a God, that that Temtation vanish'd.

The Devil perceiving himself foil'd in this attempt; he sets furiously on me, with Blasphemous Thoughts: Representing God in such vile shapes, and hideous and base I­deas, to my Mind; that were I to undergo, the utmost of Misery, that Creatures are capable of Inflicting, or I capable of Suf­fering: I do (humbly) hope, in Christ's Strength, I should unspeakably choose ra­ther to be Rack'd to Death: than (but once) to Name them; so vile, hideous, and horrible were they: Proceeding rather from the Enraged and Revengeful Malice of the [Page 59] Devil, against the Majesty of God; than from the Corruption, and Pravity of Na­ture. These things, I do but glance (or touch) at, not from any delight I take in the Remembrance of them: But rather for the Relief of some poor Tempted De­spairing Soul; who (probably) may be con­flicting with the same Fiery Assaults; con­cluding within themselves (as I often did) that none belonging to God, could ever be possess'd, with such black and dismal Thoughts. Oh! the gastliness and fearful Tremblings. Oh! the Sweats and Weari­ness, of my very Life, which these Satani­cal Injections caused in me; a sure and con­vincing Argument, they were (immediate­ly from the Devil, and none else. The Sins flowing from the Pravity of Nature, being (commonly) rather Pleasing and Delight­ful, than Amazing and Terrifying to Na­ture.

In this sad Condition, I continued so long, till my very Animal Spirits, were even drunk up: and the Radical moisture of my Body, wasted by that Burning Inflammation which I (sensibly) felt, invade and possess my Bo­dy. The pittiful and deplorable State I was in, both in respect of my Soul, which I found was Invaded by the Terrors of God, for the breach of his Royal Law; and (as I [Page 60] verily concluded) given up to Satan, by God, in a Judicial way, to be possess'd by him. As also, in respect of my Body, in which the sad Symptoms of my approach­ing Doom, did as I verily thought, hour­ly appear: such as the growing and en­creasing of that Burning Inflammation, (al­ready mentioned.) Decay of my Sight, which necessitated the use of Spectacles, at the Age of 25 Years: the loss of my Smel­ling, and Tasting, for about three Months, with a great decay of my Hearing: So gast­ly a sight was I, to behold, that I became a Spectacle of wonderment to all the Family, where I Liv'd; some concluding, that I was Starved, by my frequent Fastings: o­thers (verily) concluding, that Spirits haunted me; which caused (in me) such gast­ly looks; and caused my Body to bend and bow, towards Crookedness; so heavy and Insupportable, was the Load I lay under.

Discovering how the Spirit of Adoption Succeeded the spirit of Bondage. And what Glorious effects ensued thereupon.

THE last Day of my Bondage State, when I look'd for nothing, but a go­ing down, to the nethermost Hell: In the unconceiveable Horror, and amazing Con­sternation of my Spirit; there was a place of Scripture which run in my Thoughts, from Morning to Bed-time. The Place of Scripture was, Esa. 43. 25. I even I, am he, that Blotteth out thy Transgressions for mine own sake; and will not Remember thy Sins.

This Scripture got such hold of my Mind and Thoughts, that (albeit, I no more un­derstood the Sense, or meaning of the Spirit of God in it, or how it came into my Mind that Day, than a Pagan, that never knew any thing of the True God. I could not possibly keep my Thoughts fixt on any thing (all the Day) but on that very Scrip­ture. Rolling and Tumbling, the bare [Page 62] Words in my thoughts incessantly; thus, I, even I, am he, that blotteth out thy Transgressi­ons, for mine own sake; and will not Remember­thy Sins. I, even I, am he, that blotteth out thy Transgressions, for mine own sake; and will not Remember thy Sins. And so all the Day till Bed-Time. I was somewhat asto­nished at the Change, which I found in my self, (in reference to my Thoughts about the Scriptures:) for, whereas before, du­ring the State of my Spiritual Bondage, which was between three and four Years) I could think of no Scriptures, but such as Treated of Damnation, of Falling away, and of Sinning against the Holy Ghost, al­ways applying the same to my self, despe­rately concluding, that my own Doom was, in those Terrible Scriptures set forth, and discovered. I (that Day) forgot those Ter­rifying Scriptures; and could (as I said) think of nothing, but that Place in Esa. 43. 25 above mentioned. And that without the least apprehension, what the Sence of the Spirit (in these Words) should be; or how, or wherefore that Scripture should make such a forceable entry on my Mind and Thoughts; as to Eject, and Banish from my Thoughts and Remembrance, the other Terrible Scriptures: By the wrong Appli­cation of which, my State and Condition, [Page 63] became (as to my own Sense and Thoughts,) equal to that of the Damned.

At Night after my Lord had Supped, and while the inferiour of the Family, were (Actually) at Supper: I stole my opportuni­ty, Resolving (in my self,) that none should know where I was; or suspect what I was a­bout; up Stairs I got, without a Candle, (the Night being Moon-Shine) I was all of a Sweat, and a strange Horrour fell on me, occasioned by the Conceit, and Apprehen­sion I had, that the Devil accompanied me, (as a Man) up Stairs, whose Steppings (along with mine) I strongly imagined I heard, which caused me to keep my Eyes closed, for fear I should see the Devil, in a visible Shape. While I was unlocking the Cham­ber Door, I found the Horror, and Fright, under which I Laboured, greatly to encrease, the Devil suggesting, that he would either pull me back, from entring into the Cham­ber; or else, that he would enter along with me, to hinder (or distract) me, in my (intended) Devotion. All this while the place of Scripture, above mentioned, ran still in my Thoughts, as before. Being entred into my Chamber, all in a Sweat, and unusual Consternation of Spirit, I stood before the Bed-side, where I used to kneel, in Praying; and with my Eyes closed (as I [Page 64] was taking my self to Task, endeavouring to Recollect my Memory, where I had been all that Day? With what Company I had Convers'd? What Duties I had (knowingly) omitted? And what Immoralities, I had any ways consented to?) All on a sudden, I found the Eyes of my Understanding so clearly Enlightned, that I was enabled to know and understand the meaning of that Place of Scripture, which run all that Day in my Thoughts. A Scripture, than which, The whole Book of God, could not afford a more suitable Text for the design therein; which was, to debase the Creature; and to Extol and to Advance the Grace, and Mercy of the Most High Jehovah; who (alone) Excluding all others) is God (over all) Blessed for Evermore.

I was from the time of my first awakening (as above mentioned) possess'd of an Opini­on; that Conversion consisted in an Exter­nal (or outward) Reformation of the Life, and that it was in the Power of the Creature to effect the same. And that by Repenting of the by-past Follies of Youth; and by a Strenuous, and Zealous Constancy, in walk­ing strictly according to the Precepts of the Moral Law; both negatively, and possitively, for the time to come. I was then under the Predominancy of a legal Spirit: and acting [Page 65] under the Covenant of Works: looking (with the Bond-Womans Children) for Justi­fication, and Life Eternal in the way of Works; Reckoning it the only sure and safe way, to expect Salvation: by perform­ing the Conditinal Covenant of Works; and abounding in such personal Qulificati­ons as might render me acceptable to God. Of which (I have often thought) I had as great measure as any he, I knew Living. I shall not Insist on the Particulars of those In­herent Qualifications; wherein I am apt to believe, I did match (if not out strip) the strictest Moralist I know, who is yet in his Natural State. In short, I was exceeding Zealous in the Law; not (in the least) un­derstanding the Spiritual meaning thereof, or how miserably wretched I was, by reason of its Condemning Sentence, against not only my worst, but also against my most Refined Acts of Morality. I did then, as too to many do at this Day of Gospel Light, (viz.) set up the Letter of the Law, in opposition to the Spirit of the Law.

But so it pleased God, that by his ena­bling me to understand the Mind of his Spirit, in that Text; I soon became con­vinced, that I had taken wrong Methods, in order to get from under the Laws Curse, [Page 66] and to have a Settled Peace in my self. The Course I had taken for Relieving my wound­ed and sinking Spirit, I perceived to be di­rectly contrary to the Gospel way, of save­ing lost Sinners. I was all for Doing and Working; and the more Works I did, the farther I found my self from true Peace and Comfort. My Chief and only Work (now) was Believing in the Son of God, in whom (alone) that Righteousness is to be found, which Reconciles a Sinner to an offended God. From that Text (above mentioned) the Covenant of God's Free Grace (in Christ) was Explained, and laid open, be­fore the Eyes of my Enlightned Understand­ing: the Terms whereof (I found) were as far wide of (or contrary to) the way to which the Covenant of Works directs, for attaining Life Eternal, as the East is from the West, or as Heaven is from Hell.

The Work of the Spirit in discovering Christ to me (from that Text) and his drawing me to close with Christ (so disco­vered) was so ful of amazing, and astonish­ing Wonderment, and surprizing Ravish­ment of Soul, that I am no mroe able to Ex­press or Relate the same, than I am able to find out the Dimensions of the Sun, or to give an exact account of the Number of the Stars.

[Page 67] There was held (as it were) a Court of Enquiry in my Soul. The Holy Ghost, which (before) was the Spirit of Bondage, wounding and killing me, by the Terrible Sentence of the Law. He is become the Spirit of Adoption, to Consummate a Sweet, and Blessed Marriage, between the Lord Jesus Christ, (God's only Son, by Eternal and Ineffable Generation) and a poor lost and undone Prodigal, who (as Adam's Child) was Born Heir of the Curse, Partaker of a Nature as Vile and Poluted, as Hell it self could make it; and whose Case and Condi­tion (in respect of inward Horrour, and Despair of Soul) differed but little (at least as I thought and believed) from that of the Damned in Hell.

Six Things this Blessed Spirit of Adop­tion did effect, in order to Consummate this Match.

First, He discovered and made known to me, who the Lord Jesus (held forth in the Gospel) was; from whence he came; and to what end the Father sent him.

Secondly, He made plain Discoveries to me, of Christ's Almightiness to Save, and Reconcile to God, the worst and most wretched of Sinners: and that the Righte­ousness, which (he as Mediator between God and Sinners) hath wrought, is the alone [Page 68] Righteousness, by which a Sinner is to be Saved. And that in a way of Believing (though not for Believing) that God, for the sake, and merrit of his Sons obedience, to the Law, (both Active and Passive) doth Frankly and Freely, Pardon and For­give the Poor Rebels Transgressions com­mitted against the Moral Law, as if he had never committed them; and accounting the whole of that Righteousness of Christ, (both Active and Passive) as truly the Sin­ners; as if the Sinner had (Personally) per­formed the same himself; and that in a way of free Imputation.

Thirdly, He perswaded my Heart, that God the Father, (against whose Law I had Sinned, and whose Anger and Curse (for the same) I fear'd) was really willing and desirous, that I should be Reconciled to himself, by the Virtue of his Sons Media­tion; and that by my betaking my self to him; and casting my weary and sinking Soul on him, to be introduced into his Pre­sence; and by his Spotless Comeliness (put on me) I might be made Amiable, and Acceptable in his Sight.

Fourthly, He Discovered to me, (and Perswaded my Hearts of) the Full, and Compleat Provision, made by God, (and made known in the Covenant of Grace [Page 69] for the making Compleatly (and Eter­nally) Happy, those Souls who are by Christ his Son (Believed, and Relied on for Salvation) Reconciled to his Ma­jesty.

In Respect of these, and the like Disco­veries, which the Holy Ghost makes to the Elect (in effectual Calling.) And between that and their Arriving at Glory, he is Stiled the Spirit of Manifestation, and of Revelation. 1 Cor. 12. 7. Jo. 16. 14. Jo. 17. 6. Ephes. 1. 17.

Fifthly, He Interrogated, (or Queried) of my Soul, as follows.

1. Art thou become truly and thoroughly sensible, and convinced that thou art, by Departing from (and Sinning against) God, an undone, miserable, and guilty Creature; having lost his Blessed Image stamped on thee, in Adam thy Natural and Faederal Head, in the First Creation. And being now become obnoxious to God's Curse, and the Wrath to come, and Partaker of such a Spiritual Impotency, as Renders thee (utter­ly) uncapable, of doing any thing, where­by thou mayst be Delivered out of thy present folorn condition: Art thou Con­viuced, that this thy Misery, is of thy own bringing upon thee?

[Page 70] Sinner Answers. O thou Most Holy, Just, and Tremenduous God! By the Light now Sprung from thee, (the Fountain of all Light) into my Dungeon-like Soul: I plainly see what a wretch I am become, no way like what thou (at first) made me, in Adam. I am likewise fully Convinced, that this my Misery, was brought on me, by my (every way) voluntary Defection, and Apostacy, when (in Adam's Loins) I first yielded to the Motion of the Tempter.

2. Art thou Convinced of what the real Desert and Merit of thy Sinning against a Holy and Righteous God is? What canst thou say against Gods Cast­ing thee into Hell: for that Hellish Rebel­on of thine, against his Holy and Righteous Law?

Sin. Ans. O thou Most Holy; and Everlast­ingly Righteous God, who canst not possibly Act amiss, in any thing thou dost, with thy Creatures. I am (by the Convincing Power of thy Holy Spirit) made Sensible, that by my Departing from, and Rebelling against thy Majesty, I have forfeited that Right, I had (in Adam) to all Good, Spiritual and Tem­poral. And shouldst thou Cast me into Hell, and Assign me my Portion, with the Apostate Angels, whose Conduct and wretched Example I followed, when I turned my Back on thee, [Page 71] thou art, and wilt (for ever) be, and remain; a Just, a Holy, and a Most Righteous God my Misery is of my own Procurement; and so far am I from reflecting on thee (as unjust) shouldst thou throw me from thee, for ever, that I am amaz'd and astonished to think, I should be so long out of Hell. The Place where I (sometimes) evenlong'd to be, to try whether there was any specifical Difference, between the Torments and Miseries of that Place, and what I felt in my self, while shut up in thy Laws Prison, under the sharp and killing Pe­dagogie thereof.

3. Hast thou Viewed and taken no­tice of that Mediator, which I have pro­posed and discovered to thee, in the Gos­pel? Dost thou think, or, canst thou be perswaded, that he can do thy Work for thee, (viz.) Save thee, from Curse and Wrath to come? and not only so, but to Re­store thee, and bring thee back again to the Favour and Fellowship of God? Dost thou see in him, an Adequate, suitableness to An­swer all thy Necessities?

Sinner Answers. O Lord! My Eyes are so intent and fix'd on that Mediator, that I can have no leisure, or spare time, to look on any other object in Heaven, or Earth; never did, (neither can) Men or Angels, behold or see, such an object, except himself. The Angels, [Page 72] and all the Glory of the whole Creation, are but Darkness and Deformity, when compared, to his Surpassing and Incomparable Amiable­ness, and Loveliness, since I had the first glimps of him; as held forth and discovered, by thy Divine and Efficacious Manifestation. I have forgotten my Misery; and the fearful Thoughts of Hell, and Damnation, are swal­lowed up, of the Thoughts and Apprehensions I have of his suitableness, to Answer the necessitous Condition of such a Sinner as I am.

4. Hast thou Viewed, and Obser­ved him so, as to like him, and choose him, for thy Reconciler and Saviour? What sayest thou Poor Sinner! Wilt thou have him, for thine own? 'Tis Personal Propri­ety in him, that makes the Thoughts, and Sight of him Ravishing, and Enriching for ever.

Sinner Answers, O Tremendous, and A­stonishing Mystery! of Divine Grace, in sending forth (from the Father, and the Son) that Holy Spirit of Promise; that by his Illu­minating Virtue, and quickening Power, I might have such a saving Sight, of Christ, the Saviour; as should both beget in me, a like­ing to his Person, and likewise cause in me, a burning desire to be Ʋnited, and Married to him: I am indeed sick of Love to him; and [Page 73] filled with such desires, after him, as nothing short of a Mystical Ʋnion, to his Most Holy and Glorious Person; can satisfy my thirsting Soul.

5. Art thou willing that this Mediator, shall have the whole Honour of Saving thee, by his own Mediatorial Righteousness. For, As no Righteousness (of a meer Creature) can stand before the Bar, of Gods Infinite, and Incomprehensible Holiness; and to a­bide such a Tryal, as to be Judged fit and sufficient, to Justifie a Sinner, before God, (seeing that the Righteousness to which such Honour is Reserved, and Assigned, must be the Righteousness of God. And also the Righteousness of a sinless Man) so this Mediator will become a Saviour to none who will mix, (or join) any thing of their own, or other Creatures, with his Imma­culate, and All-sufficient Righteousness. The whole and entire Work of Reconci­ling, and Saving Sinners, is Devolv'd on him alone. He will admit of no Competi­tor, in this Work, to which the Father hath Called and Anointed him. And the which he himself (as Vademony, and Surety for God's Elect) hath undertaken to go through and Perform. What sayest thou Sinner? Art thou willing to this?

Sin. Ans. O thou Holy of Holy's! I see, and find so little need, of joyning any Righte­ousness [Page 74] of my own, or other Creatures to the Compleat and Perfect Righteousness of this Mediator, that I am resolved to look no where else for a Righteousness whereby to be Justified, and Saved. I am fully Con­vinced, that as he needs no Coadjutor, to help him out, in this Work of Saving Sinners (see­ing he is the Holy and Almighty one of God: able to Save to the uttermost) So I see nothing like a Legal Righteousness, which can Answer the Demand of the strict and Righteous Law of God; either in my self; or any other (meer Creature) whatsoever. Whatever, therefore is (or can be) Suggested or Objected, by the Devil or Carnal Reason, against this Righte­ousness of his, (as Insufficient to Save) I am (by Strength from above) fixedly Resolved, to cast my Weary Bleeding Soul thereon, come Life, come Death.

6. There is a thing called the Cross, which thou must expect, and look to meet with, if thou resolve to Live and Reign with Christ in Heaven hereafter. Thou must look to Part with all that (in this World) is Near and Dear to thee, for his sake, and the Gospels. Thou must Sacri­fice thy Reputation and Credit, among Men. Thou must become willing to be accounted a Fool, a Madman, a Turbulent Fellow, an Enemy to Caesar, a Separatist from the [Page 75] Church. Thou must not think (or look) to be advanced to Worldly Wealth, and Honour: If thou tread, in those Steps (of Christ) which leads to the Heavenly Glory. He went to Heaven: Antipodes to this vain World, wherein thou art: So must thou, if thou desirest to meet him in Hea­ven. Thou must expect, and look to have all the World set against thee, for thy Witnessing to the Truth, and condemning the Errors, and Wickedness of the World. Thou must expect, and look to be Cast off, by Father and all Fleshly Relations, for his (and the Gospels) sake. Thou wilt (for following Christ, in the ways of Holiness) be accounted an Hypocrite, a self conceited, and a self Justifying Precisian, and proud Pharisee; and that by the greatest Pharisees of the Times. The Powers of Darkness will all Combine against thee, to Besiege and Fight against thee: And yea, the very Face of Providence shall seem to Frown and look black on thee; to try, whether thou wilt stick faithfully, to Christ, and the Gospel. And, finally, If God call thee to leave all; and ra­ther to lay down thy Life; than to leave, and lose Christ: Thou must Trample them all under thy Feet, preferring Christ before Father, Mother, Brethren, Wife and Chil­dren, (tho never so Dearly Belov'd) yea, [Page 76] and thy very Life too. What sayest thou to this Sinner? wilt thou venture on ha­ving or taking Christ, on these Terms?

Sin. Ans. For ever Blessed and Holy Lord God! Thou knowest how hard this Task is for Flesh and Blood; and not only hard, but even Impossible: yet considering the absolute Neces­sity of the Choice, now laid before me; and in regard of that Divine Power, whereby I find my Heart made willing, to make Choice of Christ, on the Terms (now) mentioned. I de­sire to Choose and have him, let God do with me, and all that is Dear to me, what he Plea­seth, so he give me his Christ: I am so appre­hensive of the Sweet and Soul Enriching Ad­vantages, which accompany the Cross, that I am very unwilling to be Exempted from it, if I may have my own Choice. I therefore, (through the Divine Spirits Gracious Power enabling me hereto, do yield my free and full consent, to this matchless Match: Casting my self on him (when actually Married to him, in a way of humble dependance) for Strength and Power, to Act and Suffer (a in way of Duty) whatever becomes his Disciple and Follower. And, oh! that God above (with Christ and the Holy Ghost) might say, Amen to it.

Matters being thus Proposed (by the Holy Ghost) and I, the worst, and most unworthy of Sinners (to be Saved;) be­ing [Page 77] endued, with Power (from him) to close with the Proposals made. I (immediately) felt my whole Heart, and Soul, quickned within me, and drawn out to an effectual closing with Christ, in the offers of the Gos­pel. Like a Ship sticking in the Sand, which no Strenght or Art of Men, can set a Float, till the full Spring Tide come, and set her a Float, carrying her forth into the Broad Ocean. The quickening Virtue of the Holy Ghost, and the Attracting Power of the Lord Jesus, drew me to believe in him. My Soul Crying out (with a silent and a still Voice) my Lord, and my God; thou art mine, to Save me; and I am thine, to Serve thee. Hereupon, I felt (as it were) ano­ther Spirit put into me, whereby I was en­abled, to understand, and know, the de­sign of the great God, in causing so great a Change, to pass upon me.

The Holy Ghost (within me) Witnessing to his own Work (now wrought in my Soul.) And Sealing me to the Day of Redemption (in Believing,) I felt a Torrent of unspeak­able Joy, come from above, flowing in up­on me, in such manner, and measure, as I believe no Saint, or Angel in Heaven, can set forth or express, as I felt it.

Hereupon, I fell into an Holy Extasie, and Divine Rapture, of unexpressible Joy, with [Page 78] these Thoughts and Expressions within my self.

Oh! What a Change is this which I now (sensibly) feel? A Dead Sinner brought to Life again; a Rebel and a Fugitive from God; brought Home, and Recon­ciled, by the Blood of the Lamb. A Pri­soner, and a Captive, held so long un­der the killing Terrors of the Law; and unmerciful Usurpations, and Infernal Assaults, of the Powers of Darkness, set Free; and Manumitted by the Deliverer of Gods Elect.

An undone forlorn Sinner, shut up un­der the Power of Ʋnbelief; who (a while since) would shun and fly from God (if he knew how) for fear of his Frowns; and the Curse due, for the breach of his Law: Now ready to shoot himself into Heaven, and Whimper, and Cry (like a Child) till he be Lodged in the Bosom of God's Love.

Oh! My Soul! Who could have thought of this! When the Irons of the Laws Severity, had pierced thee so deeply? And when the Apprehensions (lodg'd in thee) of thy [Page 79] being a Reprobate, and forsaken of God, deliver'd thee up to Desparation? The very Portal or Entrance into Hell it self. Where am I? What is the Matter? What am I doing? What such a one as I Saved? Is it possible? Can it be? Am I not under a Satanical Dream, or Delusion? Lord help me, to know if it be a Delusion, and undeceive me.

Here I was at a stand for (but) a little space; it was occasioned by my calling to Mind, what a deceitful Enemy the Devil is; and how near he can go in imitating the Spirit of God; in causing flashes of Joy in the Soul, of an Awakened Sinner. And thinking (at the same time) whether mine was not so?

The Spirit of Adoption, who began his Good and Blessed Work in my Soul; did not leave me in this Cloud. But by his own Elucidating, and Heart Searching Virtue, and Power: brings to my Thoughts, and Consideration, all the Objections, which either Devil or Carnal Reason, could (possi­bly) make against my being Saved by Christ; and by manifesting the Fathers Decree and Purpose (concerning me) in Eternity. And laying open the Nature and Design of the Covenant of Grace. And the every [Page 80] way Alsufficiency of the Lord Jesus, to go through with the Work he hath undertaken for me. He fully Answered all Objections, and Confuted the False and Sophistial Rea­sonings, brought in by Satan; and Corrupt Reason, against my being Saved. As he most Powerfully convinced me of Sin. And the misery which (thereby) I brought upon my self. And that when he became a Spirit of Bondage, to fit me for the Great Phy­sitian: So likewise (now) he is become a Spirit of Adoption; he as Powerfully con­vinced me, of that Spotless and Everlast­ing Righteousness; of the Mediator (God-Man,) by (and for) which I was Justified in the Person of my Surety, when (at his Resurrection) God the Father Justified and Acquitted him, from all charge of Sin, whereto he became liable and obnoxious, when he Struck Hands with the Father, (as a Surety) for me; and the rest of the Elect.

The Twelve Things here following, he (Particularly) assured me of; and that as fully and sensibly, as ever I was sensible, that I saw Natural Light, or Darkness.

1. He assured me that I was one of that Number, whom God the Father Elected, and Chose to himself (in Christ) out of the Corrupted Mass, of Fallen Mankind. And [Page 81] that before Time began; and that my Name was Recorded in Heaven, in the Lambs Book of Life.

2. He assured me, that my Sins and Transgressions (committed against the Law and Majesty of Heaven) were all laid to the Score of Christ, by God the Father. And by him (as my Vademony, and Surety) Born and Satisfied for.

3. He assured me, that the Debt which I had Contracted, both in Adam (my Na­tural and Faederal Head) and in my own Person; was fully Paid, and (Actually) Discharged, by my Sponsor, and Surety, Christ: by his Obeying and Keeping the Law (perfectly) for me: and his bearing, and undergoing (in my Nature) the Curse and Wrath of God; to which (by Sin) I became Obnoxious.

4. He assured me, that God the Father, is fully Satisfied, with that Obedience (Active and Passive) of his own Son: and that it is, for the Worth and Merit of that Obedience, that God Justifies and Accepts (as Pleasing to him) both me, and the rest of his Elect, for whom (alone) that O­bedience was Performed.

5. He assured me, that all my Sins (how many, and great soever) are Frankly and Freely Forgiven, and Pardoned, as if they [Page 82] had never been committed: and that, not for any Act done by me, whether Believing on Christ, or Repenting for Sin: nor yet, for the Sorrows and Miseries I underwent while under the Spirit of Bondage: or for any Service, to which I should be Called, while in a Militant State: but for his own Name, and Glory sake; and on the Ac­count of what his Son (my Mediator and Surety) had done and suffered in my be­half.

6. He assured me, that God the Father Lov­ed me, with a Real and an Endeared Love; before I was Called out of a State of Na­ture. And that the Reason why he handled me so roughly (by the Spirit of Bondage) was not, because he hated me, (as the Devil and Carnal Reason suggested.) Or, that he might (in any measure satisfy his Vindica­tive Justice, for my Sins: that being done (long) before I had a Personal Being. But that he might make me the more sensible how hateful Sin is to him (being so Con­trary to his Pure, Spotless, and Blessed Nature: and so Repugnant and Contra­dictory to his Holy, Just, and most Righte­ous Law. As also, so Destructive to his Elect, whom he so Dearly Loves. Also, that I might know, and become (for ever) sensible, how unspeakably Wretched and [Page 83] Deplorable that State and Condition is; into which (by Sin) Man hath brought himself: and out of which, no Created Power could (possibly) Save, and Deliver him. That I might (for ever) hate and loath Sin (as the worst of Evils) and become (for ever) sen­sible, of the Greatness, Goodness, Love, Mercy, Wisdom, and the unconceivable, and Infinite All-sufficiency of the Glorious, and Tremendous Jehovah, Father, Son, and Blessed Spirit; who himself (without the Counsel, or help of Creatures) hath con­trived, and found out, such a way of Re­storing (to his lost Favour) his Elect, and Chosen in Christ: as neither they them­selves, nor the Angels could ever think of. And (finally) that by his so sharply handle­ing me, way may be made (into my Soul) for the Manifestation of his Great and Un­expressible Love (wherewith he Loves me) in Christ) to Enter and make its Abode for ever. And that from the Experience, I have now gotten, both by God's Wounding me by the Spirit of Bondage; and his Healing and Comforting me, by the Spirit of Adoption. I might be fitted, to speak (Experimentally) both to the Terrifying and Awakening Secure and Presumptuous Sinners. As also, to Heal and Comfort, (Instrumentally) Poor Wounded and Bleed­ing [Page 84] Sinners, when Sinking into those Depths of Despondency, and Despair; out of which, the Out-stretched Arm, of God's Grace, and Almightiness, hath De­livered, and Rescued, poor Sinful Nothing me.

7. He assured me, that I am now in a Justified, Sanctified, and Adopted State; The lost Image of God, being (by his Sanctifying Operation) Recovered in my Soul in measure.

8. He assured me, that I shall be made to Persevere, and hold out in a State of Grace; and that I shall be continued in the Love and Favour of God, for ever, and ever. In despight of all, that the Powers of Dark­ness, can Contrive, or Act against me.

9. He assured me, that the Eye of Di­vine Providence, should be (Everlastingly) fixed on me; and the Right Hand of God's Righteousness (Everlastingly) kept under me, for my Security, from being in danger (at any time) of finally Miscarrying or Per­ishing.

10. He assured me, that the very In­dwelling Corruption (in my Nature) and whatever Falls, or Miscariage, which should (at any time) be occasioned there­by, in my Life and Conversation: Should (with all the Afflictions attending me [Page 85] for the said Miscarriages) most certain­ly, and (infallibly) Work for my Eter­nal Good, and Welfare: whatever I my self, (or others) should Judge to the Contrary.

11. He assured me, that I should meet with great Opposition, and Tribulation, in the World; But that all mine Enemies, should find, they Laboured in vain: For, that God was on my side, to take my Part, against them. And who will (most certainly) Crown all my Streights and Troubles with a happy Suc­cess.

12. He assured me, that God's Special Presence, should be so with me, (in every Change of Condition in this World) as that nothing should harm, or spoil me. Yea, that Death (it self) the last Enemy of Nature) should neither Terrify nor Hurt me. The Mortal Sting thereof, being (by the Death of My Redeemer) unstung, and divested of its Power, to harm me, or any of Christs Redeemed ones.

These Particulars Discovered, and set home (by the Holy Ghost) on my Trem­bling Panting Soul. He Working me (Powerfully) to a Believing each Particular, with Application to my self. I was (immedi­ately) surprized, with a more Astonishing, [Page 86] and overcoming Rapture of Inexpressible Joy, than before. I had clear mani­festations of the Love of God, to me (in Particular) and of the great things done, and Prepared for me, to make me (Ever­lastingly happy; in the Beholding and En­joying himself, as my God, and my Father, and Portion, in Christ, for ever. According to the Unconditionate Free Covenant, of his own Grace, Made and Establsh­ed in, and with Christ (his Son) in the behalf of me, and the rest of his Elect.

No sooner did I look up to God, and behold his Reconciled Face, Smile on me, (in the Face of Jesus his Son) but I felt such inward, Soul Inebriating Joy; as I verily thought, would cause my very Soul to Fly out of my Body, and my Body to burst in sunder. The hardness of my Heart (un­der which I Laboured, all the time of my Bondage State; and which I sensibly felt to grow and encrease; as I called to Re­membrance the many Follies of Youth; and the Holy Law of God; whereof those Follies were so many Breaches; each Folly Deserving (if it were Possible) a Thou­sand Damnations) was Melted and Thawn (like a lump of Ice, before the warm Sun) By the Sense, and Perception, I had of the [Page 87] Love of God (vouchsafed) to such a base, and deformed Sinner, as God knows I was, and still am. I felt the Servile, and Merce­nary Frame, and Disposition of my Spirit, take Wing: and that Filial Child like Frame and Disposition of Spirit, (which is suited to a Gospel Dispensation) Succeed in its Room. And looking up to Heaven (with the Tears flowing from me, so extreamly fast; that I heard them drop, drop upon drop, on the Floor, where I stood, conti­nuing so long, that I (sensibly) felt my Cheeks to Burn and Scald me). My Soul (in a strange Extasy) running over those Particulars, which the Holy Ghost had assured me of. Here's the Second Rapture of Joy.

What Joy like to this I now feel? Who can (possibly) Relate or express it? What! Hath God Elected me? even me? Sinful and Vile me? And hath he done it before time? And notwithstanding he (perfectly) knew, what I should prove in time? Oh! Wonderful Love! Why me Lord? Why me? And not one of the Re­probates in Hell, who never Sinned against thee, to that Degree that I have?

[Page 88] And hath God laid mine Iniquities, even all my Iniquities, on the Back of Christ, and Charged them to his Score, as my Surety? Oh! Amazing Mistery of Divine Love, and Grace. Who is able to know, whether the Father or the Son Loves me Most? The Father in Laying my Sins on his own, and only Son, tho Innocent and Harmless. Or the Son, in Condescending to Bear them, as his own Sins? And are all those Sins of mine Discharg'd, and satisfied for, by the Active and Passive Obedience of Christ my Surety; who hath kept the Law for me? Oh! Wonderful Condescention, both of Father and Son!

Is it so, (as I feel it is) That God the Father, is fully Satisfi'd, with that his Sons Obedience? And that I am now Justifi'd (in his Sight) by the Virtue thereof? Oh my Soul! What Cause hast thou to Rejoyce and Adore God for ever?

And was the Love of God set on me? Even when in a State of Ʋnregeneracy? Who but a Mercenary Legalist will not be (hence) Convinced, of the Orthodoxy, [Page 89] and Soundness of that Distinction. Which differenceth between the Person of an Elect Sinner; and the Sinful Pravity of Na­ture; which Cleaves to him? Surely my Soul! If God had really hated thee, and had he been Wrath with thee, as he is with all the wicked Reprobates, who have no share in the Redemption of his Son: Even then, when thou wast un-called, he might have sent thee to Hell. Who could have hindred him? And were the Rea­sons, wherefore he handled thee so rough­ly, (by the Spirit of Bondage) as have been discovered by the Holy Ghost: And not because he hated thee, or (any way) design'd to satisfy his Vindicative Justice for thy Sins. What Cause hast thou to Reflect on, and Abhor thy self, for all thy hard Thoughts, and unbecoming Appre­hensions, which were lodg'd in thee, of God, and his Dealing with thee?

And is it certain, (as most certainly it is, seeing God cannot Lye) That I, Poor Sinful I, shall be made to Persevere, and hold out, in a State of Grace; and con­tinue in Gods Favour for ever. Oh! [Page 90] What unspeakable cause, hast thou, to Adore, Love, and Praise Jehovah to all Eternity? And what little Reason hast thou to be discouraged, to think of what the Powers of Darkness can do to hinder thy Perseverance?

And will the Eye of Divine Providence be on me; and the Right Hand of God's Righteousness, kept under me; to Secure me (for ever) from (finally) Miscarry­ing, or Perishing?

How great Encouragement is this to thee, my Soul; to have the Eye of Faith, and Hope (Dependingly) fixt on the Faithfulness, and Almightiness of God; seeing the End, and the Means, are ever Inseparable?

And hath God (that cannot Lye) Pro­mised, and Engaged, that the very Being of Indwelling Corruption, with all the Out-breaking thereof, in my Conversati­on. As also, the many Afflictions attend­ing the same, shall (infallibly) Work, for my Eternal Good. What Reason have I to Cry out, and say (with astonish­ment of Soul) Who is a God like unto [Page 91] thee, who Pardonest Iniquity, and Pas­seth by the Trasgression of the Remnant of thine Heritage? Who out of Dark­ness producest Light; and out of the greatest Evil, canst bring the greatest Good.

And is it so, That notwithstanding the many, and great Oppositions, and Tribu­lations, I am to meet with, in the World. I shall (through Christ (accompanying, and strengthening me) be brought through them; and made a Compleat Conqueror in the End? How greatly Zealous, ought I to be, in Loving and Lauding, the True and Living God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? whose Tremendous and Glorious Name, is Infinitely Transcending, all Praises, which Saints or Angels, are Capable of giving.

And seeing that (from henceforth, till I come to Heaven) the special Pro­vidence of God will be with me (in every Change of Condition) so as nothing shall be able to do me Harm. What unspeakable Cause have I to fear (with a Reveren­tial, Holy, and Filial Fear) the Glori­ous [Page 92] Name: and Infinite Majesty of the Great God? And how unbecoming me (for whom God hath done so many, and wonderful things) will it be; to Fear, either Devils or Men, who set themselves against God, and his Sons Interest? O my Soul! Rejoyce (now) in God, who is be­come thy Salvation; and Fear nothing, but what may (any way) grieve his Holy, and Tender Spirit.

Marvelous, and unutterable, were those Manifestations of Gods Love, let out upon me (his poor nothing Creature) in that Moment of his Spirits Sealing me, in Be­lieving: and by the Sense whereof; the Holy Ghost fill'd up those Vallys and Bot­toms, in my Soul, and Conscience; occasi­oned, by the sharp and terrible Workings of the Spirit of Bondage. And as the Manifestations (but now) Mentioned, were (in themselves) Marvelous, and Astonish­ing: so were (also) the Sensible Effects they Produced in me, Wonderful and Ra­vishing.

Those Effects, I Reduce (for Orders sake) to Six Heads.

[Page 93] First, The Horrour, and Guilt of my Conscience, was gon; which was Succeeded, by the Answer of a good Conscience, (to­wards God) which did (inwardly) Suggest▪ and Dictate to me: That my State and Con­dition (Godward) is truely Safe, and most Happy.

Secondly, The Spiritual Vail; which Co­vered my Heart and Mind; and which kept me from seeing into the Mistery of the Gos­pel, was taken off, like Scales, or a Web, off the Eyes of a Blind Man. Whereon, I was enabled to See, and Behold, who, and what, Jesus (held forth in the Gospel) is to me.

Thirdly, The Affrighting Distractions, and Overwhelming Hurricanes of my De­spairing Soul (occasioned by my continual expectation of being sent to Hell) were turned into an unexpected and Soul surpri­zing Calm, and Sedate Frame of Spirit.

Fourthly, The Spirit of Slavish Fear, which (on every occasion) Tormented and Rackt me, vanisht; and the Spirit of Power, of Love, and of a sound Mind, was given me.

Fifthly, The Joy▪ and Comforts of the Holy Ghost, were Communicated to me, in such a manner and measure, as (unspeak­ably) passeth my Frail Capacity, to tell [Page 94] forth, or express. Which occasioned me, to call to Mind, my former Wondering; and Musing (while going on, in the way of my Ignorant, and Blind Zeal (in Serving God) before the Spirit of Bondage visited me) to think, what the Joy of the Holy Ghost should mean? Whenever I did Read of the Joy of the Holy Ghost: Or, did hear any mention thereof. Joy of the Ho­ly (think I) Lord what is that? What is the meaning of it? I cannot tell; or appre­hend what this Joy of the Holy Ghost should be?

Sixthly, The Spirit of Adoption was given me, whereby I was enabled to come to God's Throne of Grace; and with a Holy, and Humble Boldness; to call him my God, and my Father. The Instinct in the New Creation wrought (by the God of all Grace) in me; led me to God, as the Fountain of all Good.

The Spirit (given me) putting into my Mouth, Words of Solemn Thanks, and Praise; for the Greatness, and Strangeness of my Sal­vation.

To my Knees I betook me, Adoreing and Worshipping (with my Spirit) That Holy Jehovah, Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the True and Eternal God. Whom all the [Page 95] time of my Blind Zeal, and during the time of my Bondage State) I had so Ignorantly Worshipped. I was now (and never before) Enabled (Jacob like) to catch hold of, and to Wrestle with a Reconciled God. The Greatness, Holiness, and Infiniteness of his Majesty, (which before I knew him in Christ terrified, and affrightned me, with a Wit­ness) Animated and Encouraged me, in Praying to him. It is not to be Exprest (in Words) with what Alacrity, and Chear­fulness of Spirit, I approached the Throne of Grace; and with what Enlargedness, and inward Meltings of Heart, and Soul, I called on God. When I did but mention this, My God, and my Father; Oh! what Ravishment of Soul, did I (Experimen­tally) feel, Overflowing and Drowning my very Spirit?

To my Bed I went, with a Glad, & Ravish'd Heart. Christ knows, The Burning Inflam­mation, which the Horror, and Bondage of my Wounded Despairing Conscience caused in my Body, was gon; and my Bo­dys Disposition to Crookedness (thought the sinking weight which lay on my Spirit within) was Instantly Rebuked, and caused to Retreat, by the Glad, and Joyful Tide­ings of Gospel Peace; which (that Night) took up its Lodging within me; Succeeding, [Page 96] and Powerfully Supplanting that Spirit of Bondage, which made me so hopeless, and (as I thought) Past all possibility of escape­ing Hell.

No sooner was I stretched in my Bed, but Swooning and Fainting Fits of Love Sick­ness seized me: I was Inwardly (and Spi­ritually) so Apprehensive of the Mysteri­ousness of Christs Incarnation, his Hum­bling himself (even to Death) his lying Confined (as a Prisoner) in the Grave; and his being Raised therefrom; (again) his Ascending to Heaven, (from whence he came) and his Sitting down at the Fathers Right Hand; to Enter on the Work of Inter­cession with God. And that as my Surety and Mediator, and all for me; that I verily thought my Body was near its Dissolution. A thing, which the clear and certain assu­rance (given me) of my being an Adopted Son of God; made me (even) Long and Pant after. My Thoughts, and Meditati­ons, were (now) wholly Employed about Christ, and that Blessed Change which I (Sensibly) felt, was Past on me. The sweet and Soul Ravishing Communion, I had with Father, Son and Holy Ghost; was (to me) instead of Meat, Drink and Sleep, and that the most Pleasing and Satisfactory, that I ever Enjoyed. The Actings and Suffer­ings [Page 97] of Christ (in the assumed Nature) for me, were so realized, and the Virtue, and Reconciling Efficacy, of the same, so (sen­sibly) set home, on my Wounded and Bleed­ing Soul, by the Spirit of Adoption, that I thought I had the Person of Christ claspt in my Arms in the Bed. Oh! The sweet In­tercourses, which (by the Operation of the Holy Ghost) passed between Precious Jesus and my Languid Soul. Then was I made to know (Experimentally) the meaning of Rev. 3. 20. While I was Wakeing, I was entertained with strange variety of Interlo­cution (or Discourse) which Passed be­tween Christ and me, which did Explain and Unfold to me, that in Prov. 6. 22. Du­ring this, I continued in such a Melting Frame; that the very Pillow-beer under my Head, was, as if dipt in a River, through the great abundance of Tears (of uncon­ceivable Joy) which the Sense, and feeling of Christ's Love, constrained me to shed. When I found a necessity of turning in my Bed, I could not turn without my Dearly Beloved, and (Incomparably) Loving Je­sus, in my Arms with me.

When I Slumber'd, and Slept, I was soon visited with most Joyful, and Ravishing Dreams, of God, Christ, Holy Ghost, the Glory of Heaven, and the unutterable Bliss, [Page 98] and Felicity, of those Souls, who are Re­conciled to God, by Christ. This was very Frequent, and common when Sleep came on me, after I had been Sealed in Be­leiving.

And albeit, I never durst to heed, or mind Nocturnal Dreams; yet they have (sometimes) had such a strange Influence on me, that I have felt such delightful Joy and Comfort in my Spirit, that (some­times) I have been at a stand, to think; whether I had been asleep, or awake.

It was a frequent Practice (with me) for some considerable time (how long I cannot now Remember) to arise in my Bed; (when I awaked out of My sleep) to Bend my Knees, and lift up my Eyes, Hands, and Heart to heaven, to Land, Praise and Mag­nify, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; for the greatness, and strangeness, of my so unex­pected, and unlook'd for Salvation. Be­ing but the Night before (yea, and every Morning) ready to Drop into final Despa­ration, of ever being Saved. Oh! What a loss was I at, in my self? Not knowing how (sufficiently) to Extol and Bless God; for what had now befallen me. I was (even) ready to quarrel with my self; because of the narrowness, and streightness of my Soul, which hindred that I could not take [Page 99] in more of God: and go out in more enlar­ged Expressions of Love, and Praises to him. For above six Months (together) I could neither lye down, nor arise; go down, or come up Stairs; pass in or out, from one place to another; but I strongly Conceited that I perceived a Guard of Angels attend­ing my Person.

It cannot be Expressed, with what scorn, and abhorrence; I look'd on the Pride and Gallantry of the Family where I Lived. Their Changeable Suits of Rich and Glitter­ing Apparel, with their Choice Meats, and sweet Musick, with other delightful Pastimes, I look'd on, and accounted them, but as Smoak and Dust. The Titles of Worldly Honour, wherein the Rest of my Relations did (not a little) Glory; I accounted the same, but a meer empty Vanity.

Oh! (think I) That my Poor Relations could see, taste, and feel, what I do: how would they disrelish, and be ashamed, and weary of these Poor, perishing, sensual De­lights; wherein they Place their Delight, and Felicity.

When (at any time) I heard them talk (boastingly) of the Honour and Credit of the Family; I could not forbear, expres­sing my Contempt, of the same: Telling them (to their very Face) that the Blood [Page 100] of Jesus; not the Blood of my Progenitors (according to the Flesh) was that which made me Noble, and truly Honourable. And that he, or she, who were advanced to the Highest Degree of Honour, where­to an Earthly King, could (possibly) ad­vance; and were not wash'd in the Lambs Blood; the Higher their Honour and Great­ness is; the greater, and more Intollerable, would be the Doom, and Condemnaton of such, when (by Death) they go hence.

Now I began to disrelish, and discover what small èsteem I had, of the Liturgy and Ceremonies, of the Church; of which I had (formerly) been so (extreamly) Zea­lous.

Three Things (chiefly) occasioned this. First, The apprehension I had, of the Purity and Holiness of God's Nature; which requires a Worship suited to his own Pure, and Spiritual Being, according to that in Joh. 4. 24.

Secondly, I Considered, that no Worship could (possibly) find acceptance with God, but such a Worship as is stamp'd with God's own Institution: which I was (then) ap­prehensive (and am now more fully con­vinced) the Liturgy, and Ceremonies of the Church are not, the same being Devised by Men: and Imposed (by Human Autho­rity) [Page 101] without any the least Warrant from the Word of God. According to Esa. 8. 20. Esa. 29. 13. Mat. 15. 8. 9.

Thirdly, The sad Experience I had, of the uusuitableness of such a Worship to an A­wakened, and a Renewed Soul, while I was in a Natural State, Ignorant of God, and the Nature of my Soul, and things truly Spiritual. I was exceeding Zealous in doing and Performing that Service, which (now I find) is of little avail; either to a Pleasing God, or profiting an awakened Conscience. The Spirit of God having (in effectual Calling) Taught and Convinced me, that no Worship or Ordinance (in Religion) can be Food to Nourish, and Satisfy, a Hungry Soul; But such Worship, as is Instituted by (and suited to Please) God.

God will be found (Savingly) of none, but those, who seek him in the Ways of his own Institutions. According to Prov. 8. 32. 1 Pet. 2. 2.

Soon after this, The Care and Providence of Christ (my Chief Sheppard) directed me to attend the Ministry of Mr. Samuel Mather, with whom, I (afterwards) sate down (in full Communion) to my Souls great Comfort, and Edification, in the Knowledge of Christ.

[Page 102] Notice being taken (in the Family, where I lived) that I discontinued going to the Cathedral Worship (the which I commonly attended, with a more than ordinary Zeal, sometimes three times, and sometimes four times in the same Day) And that I was not seen at the Parish Church, on Sabbath Days, or at the Sacrament; as I used to do, the Eyes of mine Observers, were upon me, to watch me what ways I took in Religion. Innumerable were the Taunts and Scoffs cast on that way of Worship, which I had Espoused and closed with; thorough all which I was carried with invincible Cou­rage: Many and sharp were the Combates wherewith I Encountered, from my own Relations especially, the Lord of Santry (in whose Family I then liv'd) and my Fa­ther, (his Brother) who by their Authori­ty over me, and the greatness of their Learning and Parts, (between which and mine, there was no more compare than be­tween the Sun and a little twinkling Star) did (frequently) attack me, to bring me back to the (forsaken) Chruch of England, but all in vain.

One time (above all others) my Lord ob­serving, that I absented, not only the pub­lick Worship, but that of his Family also, sent up his Secretary (another Brother's [Page 103] Son) to call me to Prayer, in the Family, on Night. My Cousin delivering my Lords Command; I reply'd, that I was under some Indisposition; and therefore, Pray'd my Cousin to excuse me to my Lord: down he goes, and no sooner had he delivered my An­swer, but up he comes again, with the same Message, from my Lord. I threw him off the Second time, with the same Excuse, alledging, that I could not come. This Answer brought to my Lord, the Second time. He (in a great Rage) sends up my Cousin, with a Peremptory Command, that I must come to Prayer: my Cousin stood some considerable time, expecting that I would Answer my Lords Peremptory Com­mand, but my Answer was, that seeing my Lord had so plainly imposed on my Consci­ence, in Commanding me to Act against my Conscience, I thought it was my Duty to declare, that untill I better understood it to be my Duty, to Obey his Lordship (in a thing of this Nature) than as yet I did, I neither could, nor would go to joyn in Prayer, with the Family. This Reply coming to my Lord's Ear, he let me alone, for that Night. The next Day my Lord took me to Task, Examining (very strictly) and Demanding of me, a Reason, where­fore I came not to Prayer, with the Family [Page 104] seeing they never used the Common-Prayer in the Family?

To whom I made this Reply. My Lord, It is not from any Aversion I have to Prayer, that keeps me Back, from coming to Prayer with the Family: But the great Dissatisfacti­on Lodged in my Conscience. For, my Lord, (said I) should I (under my present Light, and Conviction) go on my Knees, to joyn in such a Service, where God is so notoriously Dishonour­ed, and his Glorious Name so greatly Profan'd, my Conscience would (like a Flame of Fire) fly in my Face.

The Lord then Demanded of me, what I could Object against the Service Perform'd in the Family?

To whom I Reply'd, That the Chief Objection I made, was against the Person, who Perform'd the Service.

The Lord Demanded, what I had to Ob­ject against the Person, who Pray'd in the Family.

To whom I Reply'd, That I Objected against him, for Two things. First, that he was a Rotten Arminian, denying the Doctrine of Election, and Justification, by the alone Imputed Righteousness, of the Son of God. And that he also Held falling from Grace.

[Page 105] Secondly, For that he was in his Life and Conversation, a notorious Drunkard, and a common Curser and Swearer, &c.

My Lord then Demanded, Why I did not come to Family Prayer, when his Son James said Prayers? Reader, thou must know; That when the Chaplain would be Drinking, and Ryotting abroad, sometimes my Lords Son would be Commanded to Read one of the Evening Prayers at the end of some Bibles.

To this I Answered, That his Son was but a Child, and did not understand what he Read.

Lord have Mercy on me (said my Lord) who would you have Pray in my Family?

My Lord (said I) I Humbly conceive, no Man Living is fitter for a Service of this Na­ture, than your Lordship. The Great God having made your Lordship, King and Lord over your own Family, and hath Endued your Lordship with such Incomparable Gifts of Knowledg, and Learning, and (I hope) of Grace too.

And Pray Sir! (said my Lord) How would you have me Pray?

My Lord (said I) I Humbly Conceive, that you are to Pray, according to the present Condition, of the Souls of your Family.

[Page 106] Pray Sir! (said my Lord) How is it Possible for me to know the Inward Thoghts and Condition of my Families Souls, so as to Order my Prayers accord­ingly?

My Lord (Reply'd I) albeit your Lordship, cannot (possibly) Acquaint your self with all the Secrets of your Family, yet you may by Catechizeing your Family, and frequently Ex­amining them, about the State of their Souls, and Gods Dealing with them; find Matter enough, to Enlarge on, in Putting up Prayers to God for them, in the General: which is, as much, as the Rule of Duty directs (or obliges) to.

My Lord finding that the Truth I was call'd to Vindicate, and the Spirit by which I spoke, to be too Powerful for his Great Learning, he let fall the Dispute; which I am very sure was his Wisdom, and his best Advantage, so to do: Considering, that none ever yer prospered who continued to fight against God.

My Lord (by this means) found how I stood affected in Religion; and (according­ly) Communicated to my Father, his Judge­ment and Apprehensions of me. Immedi­ately, a Consultation was held (about me) to Consider what Methods were most pro­per to take; not only to prevent my far­ther [Page 107] Advancing, in that way (of Religion) which they Accounted Phanaticism: But also, to bring me Back to the Church of England, whereon I had turn'd the Back.

The Result of their Consultation (as soon afterwards appeared) Issued in a fixed Resolution to carry it towards me with all the Urbanity, and Gentleness imagina­ble. My Relations considering, and know­ing (full well) that my Temper, and Spi­rit, was to be drawn, and won by Fair and Gentle means; not to be Forc't, by Vio­lence.

According to the Methods agreed on; I was (at a strange and unusual Rate) Treated by my Father, my Lord, my Grand-Mothers, my Uncles, and Aunts, with the Rest of my Relations; in such ways of Kindness and Love; as caused in me, some hopes, that the Love and Kindness they shew'd, and Express'd in their Deal­ing with me, had Sprung from an Appre­hension (or Conviction) in them, that the Principles (in Religion) which I had Embraced (in opposition to theirs) were the Truth. But I (soon) found that I was (herein) mistaken. For, It was not long before great offers were made me, of ma­king a Purse, to Set me up in the World; On condition I would desist going to Meet­ings; [Page 108] and return apain to the Church (wherein I was Born, and Baptized:) And not bring such disgrace on the Holy Church, of which my Ancestors were such Noted, and Eminent Members. And besides, That I might not stain my Family, by occasion­ing Peoples saying, that a B— (and, one who was Son to a Father in the Church) was turned Phanatick. To which they Added, The Consideration of what a hopeful Pros­pect there was before me, of Advancement to Worldly Greatness, in Case I did not hinder my self, by Continuing a Dissenter from the Church.. And what hardship, and Poverty, I must expect to Wrestle with, to my own Ruin, and the great Disgrace of the whole Family, in Case I refused the Offers made me, and the Advice, and Coun­sel given for my own good.

To all which, I was enabled (with an Holy Magnanimity, and becoming Forti­tude) to Reply, that the Sight and Sense I had of a Future Happiness (with God in Heaven) had Blunted, the Edge of my Ap­petite, to these Poor, Low, and Empty Va­nities, which (I question not) will prove unspeakably more Vain, Empty and Tor­menting to me then they are in themselves) should I (for the Love of them) loose my Soul.

[Page 109] In Case (said I) my Friends and Relati­ons, who seem so greatly concern'd, for my Good, can procure (from Heaven) an Infallible Certificate, that my Closing with the Present offer (on such a Condition, as is now laid before me) will not provoke the Holy Trinity, and prove a Snare to my Im­mortal Soul; I shall readily comply: But if they cannot, it will (said I) Prove your Wisdom, to let me alone, to Rejoyce in the Choice I have made Had my Relations felt, what I have felt for Sinning against God; and could they tast the Joy, and Sweet Comforts of God, which have put me out of Conceit, and Love, with the present World. They would (I questi­on not) be not only unwilling to Blame, and Censure me, for the choice I have made; but they (themselves) would readi­ly, and Heartily, make the same Choice, for which I am now slighted and judged to be Miserable.

My Relations finding how ineffectual their Methods prov'd to gain me, they soon turn'd their Smiles into Frowns, and their kind Speeches, into Discourageing Menaces, what severe Courses should be taken with me, to reclaim, and reduce me to Obedi­ence.

[Page 110] My Lord threatned (severely) that he would have me bound with Ropes on a Porters Back, and brought into the Church, in the time of Divine Ser­vice.

To this I Reply'd, That if his Lord­ship did not as well Gag my Mouth, as Bind my Hands and Feet, I would (certain­ly) Roar out, and Disturb, all the Peo­ple at their Devotion. For fear of which, no Force (of that kind) was offered me.

After some considerable time, My Fa­ther, and Lord, finding that neither Fair and Gentle means, would Allure, and Draw me to the Lyturgy, in their Church; and that no Severity (wherewith they threatened me) could Drive me from the Pure Worship of God, in the Meetings. I was soon Attack't with greater, and sharper Opposition, than I had (before) met with from them.

First, By my Father, Who (in the Pre­sence and Hearing, of at least Forty of our Family) took me to Task about my Principles, and in regard of the small hopes he had of Convincing me, by the Arguments he used: He openly declared, his Resolution, never to own me, for his [Page 111] Son; Unless I forsook the Meetings, and came to the Church and Service again, as formerly. And this Sir! (said my Father) I think fit to tell you, before all these Friends, to the end you may take it into Serious Consideration, whether of the Twain, you Judge more Eligible; to for­sake your Fanatick Opinion, and Schisma­tical Companions; or, to be deprived of the Love, and Affections of a Father. And know it Sir (said he) that I do, by the Authority of a Father, Command and Re­quire you to fix on, whether of these two, you intend to Choose, and that within a Week: If you resolve to hold your New Opinion, I charge you, to quit my Lords House, and Provide another Lodging; and as for me, I charge you, that you come not near my Doors, or any of your Brethren, or Sisters Doors. I'll see (said he) which of your Holy Brethren or Sisters will take you in.

To this, I was enabled to Reply thus, (viz.) Sir, Though you Resolve (according to your present Declaration) to cast me out of your Paternal (or Fatherly) Affections, and to disown me for your Son (meerly) for my Conscience to God, because I cannot (without greatly offending against God, and Wounding my Conscience) Conform to those Inventions of [Page 112] Men, in God's Worship, for which, I can see no Warrant in all the Scripture. I think (and Judge) it my Duty, (now the Providence of God calls me to be Try'd) to be as open, free, and plain, in declaring to you (in the Pre­sence, and Hearing of the same Relations who have heard yours to me), these Two things. First, That I hope better Things of you, than to see you Act so unnaturally in letting your Child Perish for want of Necessaries for Life, And that because, I dare not Act against my Conscience.

Secondly, That in Case, you do Resolve, to Persist, in this your Resolution, I am as (fixedly) Resolved, in Casting my self; on the Promise, and Providence of God, what ever comes of me, in this World.

And before I will Act (herein) against the Light of God's Word, and the Dictates of my Conscience within, I hope I shall be Enabled to Choose rather to Dye (with Lazarus) on a Dung-hill, for want of Bread. My Father (to his Death) kept his Resolution: and I (through the special Grace of God) have been Enabled to keep mine, and (I hope) ever shall.

After this (about three Days) I had a great and sharp Dispute with my Lord, which Continued three Hours and a half (by my Lord's Chamber Clock.) The [Page 113] Subject of our Discourse, was about Set Forms of Prayer: Whether the Word of God, would Warrant ordinary and fallible Men, to Compose Set Forms of Prayer, and by Humane Authority to Impose the same, on the Consciences of the Peo­ple.

My Lord peremptorily Affirm'd that Gods Word did Warrant this. And I as stiffly denied that it doth.

For Proof of the Affirmative, my Lord Quotes Luke 11. 2. When ye Pray, say, Our Father, &c. Sir (said my Lord) here's a Positive, Command to prove what I have Affirmed.

To this, I shall (Humbly) offer Two Things to your Lordships Serious Conside­ration.

First, The apparent differnece between the Two Evangalists, in Setting down the Words of this Prayer: Luke say­ing, When ye Pray, say, Our Father, &c. Matthew, (as appears, Mat. 6. 9.) saith, After this manner therefore Pray ye, &c.

I cannot understand (said I) how your Lordship can Reconcile these Two Evan­gelists; so as (Peremptorily) to Con­clude, [Page 114] from the Place now Quoted, that it is the Mind of Christ, that these Words are to be Imposed on Believers, as a Prayer, or as their Prayer.

Secondly, By way of Humble, and Sub­missive Enquiry; Doth your Lorship firm­ly Believe, that the Form (now Quoted) to Prove the Affirmative is (in it self) a Compleat and Perfect Prayer, containing all the parts of Necessary Prayer?

I Grant it Sir, (Reply'd my Lord) I believe it is a Compleat, and a Perfect Prayer, containing (in it) all the Parts of Necessary Prayer.

I likewise (Humbly) Presume, That your Lordship takes it for Granted, that it is the Mind of Christ, that this Form of Prayer is to be Imposed on Believers, as their Prayer?

I Grant it Sir, (said my Lord) I take it for Granted, that it is the Mind of Christ, that that Form, should be Imposed on Believers, as their Prayer.

Then, my Lord (Reply'd I) If the Form (now mention'd) be a Compleat, Perfect Prayer; to which nothing need to be Ad­ded; and that the same is to be Imposed (on Believers) as their Prayer, and that by Christ's own Authority. To me it is very [Page 115] plain, that for any men, to Make, or Impose, any other Prayer, on themselves, or others, it is a manifest Breach, and Violation of that Command of Christ.

I will Instance in a Plain Case (for Il­lustration sake) The Ten Commandments, in the Law Moral, I doubt not but your Lordship owns them to be a Most Perfect, Compleat Rule of Righteousness; con­taining all the Parts of our Duty to God and Man.

I Grant them to be so (said my Lord).

In the next Place (said I) I Question not, but your Lordship (as readily) Grants, That this Perfect Rule of Righteousness; is Commanded, and Enjoyn'd, by God's own Authority.

I Grant that also (said my Lord) They are Commanded, and Enjoyned, by God's own Authority.

Then (said I) the Case is Plain, and can­not be deny'd, That for any, to Command, or Appoint, any Rule of Righteousness: besides those, which (in themselves) are Compleat and Perfect; and which are En­joyn'd, and Commanded by God's own Authority; it is a manifest Breach, and Vi­olation of the Supream Law: to which, no­thing may be Added; and from which, no­thing [Page 116] may be Detracted; without Incurring the Displeasure, and Curse of God. Deut. 4. 2. and 12. 32. Pro. 30. 6. Rev. 22. 18. 19

From Prayer, My Lord fell off; to Dis­course of the Liturgy, and Ceremonies in General, the which he Handled, almost, in all the Particulars of them: And with such Advantagious Success (on my side) that my Lord (at length) grew weary, and lest off: he having (I doubt not) found that Scripture in Psal. 8. 2. made good that Day. But whether he became sensible thereof, yea, or not; sure I am, that I found that sweet Promise, in Luke 21. 15. made good to me that Day. Of which such notice was taken; that hardly any of my Relations durst Attack me any more, except, in a way of Reproach; and Rail­ing against the Phanaticks, and the New Religion I had espoused, since I left the Church. The Good Lord be (for ever) Ex­alted, and Praised, for his Mercy, and faith­fullness, to his poor, and despised Children in a time of need.

This was the last Encounter I had with my Lord, about Religion; for that very Night I took my Leave of my Lord, render­ing humble and hearty Thanks to his Lord­ship, for all his Expressions of Love and [Page 117] Kindness, wherewith I met under his Roof, since I became a Member of his Fa­mily.

It were endless to Relate, the many and sharp Tryals, to which the Providence of God called me, (that I might be brought up in in the School of the Cross, and fitted for the Service, to which I was afterwards Called) out of all which, his (never, never failing) Providence brought, and delivered me.

Should I Expose in Print the many streights and difficulties, wherewith I have (occasionally) been Exercised, from the time of my closing with Christ (in the Gos­pel) to the time of my Call to the Ministry. (Together with the Methods Providence took to bring me off; and working mine Escape and Deliverance) I believe it would be Matter of Joy and Rejoyceing, to hum­ble and (seriously) Religious Souls. But my intended Brevity forces me to omit many Particulars, which would (I do not question) be of great use, both to my self, and others.

From what I have here Published, concerning God's Dealing with me: Let the follow­ing Observations, be (Practically) Improv'd, to God's Eternal Praise.


See, and take Notice, What a Sweet and Harmonious Concurrence there is, be­tween God's Electing Purpose of Grace, and his Providential Dispensations. The Foundation of all God's Gracious Dealings with an Elected Sinner, is his own Gracious Purpose, fixed in Eternity. Jer. 31. 3 The Lord hath Appeared of old unto me, saying, yea, I have Loved thee with an Everlasting Love; therefore with Loving Kindness have I drawn thee.

Here Note, That Everlasting Love (in the Hebrew) signifies a Love of Eternity. From whence I make this Observation, (viz.) That God Loves his Elect, from one Eternity to another. With this agrees that of the Apostle, Ephes. 1. 4. According as he hath Chosen us in him, before the Foun­dation of the World. This Discovery of God's Love to his Elect, is as a Millstone laid on the Back, of that Popish, Arminian Doctrin; of a Temporary, and Conditio­nal Election, to sink it into the Bottomless Depth, of the Eternal Abhorrence, and Loathing of God, the Elect Angels, and all Saved Sinners.

[Page 119] Therefore from hence Learn, What to think, and say, when the Devil, and thy vain Heart, Suggest unto thee. (Upon thy doing, and Performing any Duty and Ser­vice) now the Lord hath Elected (or will Elect me; because I have done thus, and thus. Reader! The Devil (who seeks thy Ruin) is (cordially) Reconciled to such an Election, as this: because, he knows it will end in thy Eternal Ruin, if God leave thee here.

Therefore, Repel, and Stave off, this Cursed, Popish, Arminian Dream, by (sted­fastly) Believing, and Affirming, that God's Electing Love Embraced me in its Arms; and Registred (or Enrolled my Name in the Lambs Book of Life, before I had a Personal Being; or any Capacity, to do or perform any Duty, which could move God to Elect me.

Then, when the Devil, and thy remain­ing Unbelief, suggest unto thee (upon any personal miscarriage, or fall into new Pro­vocation against God) now God hath cast me out of his Love, and Rejected me, be­cause I have broken Covenant with him. Repel this Temptation, by considering, and (stedfastly) Believing, that the Electing Love of God, which Embraced me, and Enrolled my Name in the Lambs Book, [Page 120] (before the Foundation of the World) it is a Love, like God himself: As without Beginning of Time, so also without End, or Change, Mal. 3. 6.


See hence, and Observe, the Impossibi­lity, of frustrateing Gods Decrees, and his Working Providence. The Deaths, and Dangers, to which I have been (so often) exposed, have been so many and greatly dangerous; that had not Gods Love to me, and his Providence over me, preserved me, I had (certainly) perished. The Snow in which I lay, for Four or Five Hours, (at so tender an Age, as but three Months old) was as powerful to have killed me (by the Extremity of its peircing Cold) as it was to destroy the vast Numbers of Men and Cattel, which have often Perished by its Strength.

The Element of Fire, which surrounded me in my Bed, (when buried in Sleep, and no way able to help my self) it was of as devouring a quality, to destroy me, as the Fire that heat Nebuchadnezzar's Furnace, was to destroy those faithful Worthies Cast into it; had not God's Providenc restrain'd it in my Case, as it did in theirs.

[Page 121] The Feirceness, and Teeth, of the great Mastiff-Dog, which had my Head in his Mouth, up to the Throat; was as ready, and able, to crush me (to Death) as the Lions (in the Den) were to crush Daniel; had not the Care and Providence of Daniel's God, which Restrain'd his Lions, watch'd over me, and restrained my Dog.

The Element of Water, in which I was (several times) a Drowning, and (to all appearance) past Recovery; It was as powerful to swallow me up, and to stop my Breath, as it was to over-whelm, and choak Pharaoh and his Host; had not God re­strain'd it, in my Case.

The great Boar, How strong and ready was it, to rend my Bowels, when (on the Top of me) making Search (with his frightful Tushes) to come to my Belly? had not Divine Providence (so strangely, and seasonably) sent the Gray-Hound, in to my Rescue. My Cloaths rent, and carry'd away in his Tushes. My Belly untouch'd. Oh Amazing Providence!

The Two Horses (mention'd in the be­ginning of the Book) how near were they to putting a Period to my Life? The one by his great Strength, in throwing me, and striking at my Fore-head (with his Frost Nails) leaving the Print of the Nails in my [Page 122] Cap; within the thickness of Half a Crown peice, to my Scull. And the other, by run­ning me fo far, out of Breath, that no mo­tion of Life conld be perceived in me, for so long a time as caused all the Spectators to cry out, he is kill'd, he is gon, had not the Providence of Heaven watch'd over me, (then) where had I been?

When the Bloody Papists had lain in wait to Murder me in Dublin (several times) there being several Parties of their Soldiers appointed to way lay me, to kill me, of which designs I knew nothing till after­wards. Who (or what) kept me from Ruine (then) but the never failing Provi­dence of God?

When my Life and Reputation, were both (equally) struck at, by the Hellish Plot laid against me, by that Man, who (instead of Hanging me) would have Hang'd him­self. Who wrought my Escape, and Deliverance from that Destroyer, but the Wonder Working Providence of Jeho­vah?

Such Plots, as the Two (last) mentioned, have prov'd successful, to the destroying Thousands of other Men. But me they could not reach: Because, I was hid in the Hollow of God's Providential Hand?

[Page 123] That Sinful Desparation, and Unbelief (while under the Terrours of the Law) which sent Cain, Judas, and Innumerable Millions of Adams Reprobate Posterity, to Hell (the place of the Damned) What hindred, that it did not Fix me in the same place, and condition of Misery? When (by the rageing power thereof) I was brought so near Hell (in my own apprehensions) As that I look'd on my self as a free Denizon of that Place? What (I say) kept me back; from descending into that place; but the Providence of God, discovering, and ap­plying to me, (by the Saving Operation of the Holy Ghost) the Almighty Saviour held forth in the Gospel?


See, and Learn (hence) How like an Ab­solute and unlimmited Soveraign, the great God, did Work in my behalf. And that in behalf of my Soul, as well as of my Body.

He who by the Ministry of Man; hath (by his own Blessing accompanying, that his own Ordinance) Converted innumerable Thousands of the Elect; it pleased him Convert and Call me, out of my Na­tural State, to a State of Grace, with­out [Page 124] the Ministry of Man. And that, both by awakening, and wounding me, by the Spirit of Bondage, setting home (by the Law) the Sight, and Sense, of my Lost Estate. And by Healing, and Curing the Bleeding Wounds, of my Despairing Soul, by the Spirit of Adoption: Discovering, and Applying to me; the Merit, and Saving Virtue of Christ's Mediatoral Righteous­ness. Which hath occasioned my often thinking, of what is Storied of Achilles, a notable Archer among the Heathen: who gave such Wounds by the Arrows he Shot, as no Hand (but his own) could Cure. Vna Eademque Manus, Vulnus, Opemque tulit. The self same Hand, which gave the Wound brought the Cure.

How true this is of Achilles, I am uncer­tain: but in this, of the Wounding, and Healing of my Soul. I am not more cer­tain of any thing in Nature, than I am, that the Spirit of Christ, which Wounded me, by the Law, did also Heal me by the Gos­pel. Job 5. 18. For he maketh Sore, and Bind­eth up: He Woundeth, and his Hands make whole.


See, and Learn (hence) How stedfast, and faithful, God is, to his Word of Pro­mise▪ [Page 125] When for Christ and the Gospel, was forsaken, and cast off, by my Father, and all other Fleshly Relations (being turn'd out, empty handed to the wide World, and not knowing whether to go, or what to do) God took care of me, and provided a Lodg­ing, and Friends, for me, which (with the Peace of my Conscience) gave me more satisfaction, and comfortable content, than all the Gallantry and Greatness of my Flesh­ly Relations. Those sweet Promises, Re­corded in the Scriptures, and made good by the Providence of God, have oftentimes Refreshed, and Ravish'd my pensive, and weary Soul. Psal. 27. 10. When my Father and my Mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Mat. 19 29. And every one that hath forsaken Houses, or Brethren, or Sisters, or Father, or Mother, or Wife, or Children, or Lands, for my Name's sake, shall Receive an Hundred fold; and shall Inherit Everlast­ing Life. Heb. 13. 5. Let your Conversa­tion be without Covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have: For he hath said, I will never, never, never, never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee. The Greek hath (no less than) five Negatives, in this one Scripture, to assure the true Believer, that God will in no wise forget, or forsake him.

[Page 126] I have been forsaken of my Nurse, when but three Months old; but I was taken in­to the Nursery of God's Providential Care, which causes in me (often) to think (with Comfort) of that in Psal. 22. 10. I was cast upon thee from the Womb: thou art my God, from my Mothers Belly. The same Provi­dence, which took Care of the Head, takes Care also of the Members.

I was forsaken of my Bodily Physitians, But the Great Physitian of Soul, and Body, Cur'd me, by poor Contemptible Snails.

I was forsaken of my Earthly Father, and all Fleshly Relations; But God is be­come (by Grace and Free Adoption) my Father, who will never forske me Totally, or Finally.

I was forsaken, by my Brethren, and Sisters; But those who are the Sons and Daughters of God, they are become my Brethren, and Sisters. And albeit, many of them, who know me not, are (on Ma­licious Reports) prejudiced against me; yet others of them (who know me, and Gods dealing with me) they Love me dearly.

I have been forsaken, by several of my Church Members, in Ireland and England, Christ my Lord and Master hath been so be­fore me. Jo. 6. 66. From that time many of his [Page 127] Disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Yet God is my God still.

I have been forsaken of My Brethren in the Sacred Office, and left to stand alone, when Popery and Quakerism, were coming in like a Floud; None stepping in, to help or Encourage me, against those Adversaries of Gods Religion. But he that stood by Paul (when all other Preachers (in his day) forsook him) stood by me, and emboldned me against their Threats, and Malice.

I had Thoughts of Printing the most material Objections, brought in by Satan, to distress, and distract a poor Sinner, to keep him from Christ. And how the Spi­rit of Grace, Taught and Enabled me, to Answer them all. But my intended Brevity hath Prevented me therein. All Glory, Honour, and Eternal Praise, to the only Wise and Glorious God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen, Amen.


LEst Satan should get an Advantage, by this Relation, of God's strange and wonderful dealing with me, in bring­ing me Home to Christ (in such an unu­sual manner) and his Handling me so sharply, by the Spirit of Bondage. As also, his Bountiful dealing with me, in making my Soul, the Receptacle, of such Ravishing Joy, and unutterable Conso­lation, upon Believing (in Christ) in Effectual Calling. I thought it may be seasonable, to give the present Caution, to the Poor Doubting, Tempted Believer; who (through Satans Subtilty Tempting) will find him (or her) self wretchedly Prone to Conclude (from what they read of my Conversion) That the Work of true Conversion, was never yet (effectu­ally) wrought in themselves. And that [Page 129] because, they were never under such Ter­rible, Bondage of Soul. Neither (ever yet) were lifted up so near Heaven as I was.

Such Poor Tempted Believers, are to consider, the Particulars following, for their help, and relief, against the Temp­ter in this Case.

First, Consider, That as in Na­ture, there is a vast disparity, or difference between Persons, in the Natural Birth; so there is as vast a difference, in the Spi­ritual Birth. Some Women go through (abundantly) more, and sharper Pains, and Throws in Travel, than others meet with. Some Babes, meet with greater difficulties, and dangers in the Birth, than do others. The causes whereof (in Nature) tho they appear not to us, yet it is most certain, that so it is.

So in Conversion, some Souls pass through greater Horror and Bondage (in the Consciences than others do. Some are brought (as it were) through the very Jaws of Hell, and desparation (as I was) others are dealt more easily and gently with, [Page 130] Being sweetly allured, and (as it were) in­sensibly Transplanted into Christ, they not well knowing what is done to them. Paul and the rugged Jaylor, were handled more roughly, their Conscience were more deep­ly Wounded, with the frightning Terrors of God's Law (set Home by the Spirit of Bondage) than Lydia, whose Heart the Lord opened, with more gentle Touches of his Spirit. Acts 9. 6. Acts 16. 15, 29.

That Woman who is safely Delivered, without any danger or great difficulty to herself, or her Babe, hath no reason to question, whether she be indeed Delivered, because she went not through such danger, and difficulty as her Neighbour did, who narrowly escaped with her Life: neither hath she any Cause, of being Jealous with her Neighbour, because her case or condi­tion, was more dangerous and desperate in Travel than was her own. Thou who art brought to Christ, by the gentle Drawings of the spirit of Grace; and not brought so nigh, to the affrightning sight of Hell. And to such a Sense, and feeling, of the Pains of the Damned: As have caused [Page 131] some to think themselves (actually) in Hell. Admire at, and Bless God, for his Condescention towards thee, in bringing thee through the New Birth so easily.

Secondly, Consider, That albeit, the truth of thy Conversion, be not so sensi­bly discern'd, as the Conversion of that Person is, who is brought Home in the way of Legal Terror. Yet thou art bound to Bless God, for the smallest measure of Grace, bestowed on thee, as the smallest Spark of Fire (tho' it be hid under a great heap of Ashes) is as truly Fire, as the greatest Fire in Nature. So thy small Grace, which (in comparison of some others Grace) may be so weak, and little, that it can scarcely be discerned, yet Grace it is, tho' thou know it not to be so. And he who bestowed it on thee, and wrought it in thee; he will never reject or neglect thee, because of thy little Grace, while he sees thee Constant and Diligent, in the use of means Labouring to grow in Grace. Esa. 42. 3. Mat. 5. 6. Esa. 41. 17. Phil. 1. 6.

[Page 132] Oh! But I do not find, that I am brought to Christ, and which is far worse, I fear, I never shall.

To this, I Answer, in Two Particu­lars.

First, Thy very fear, about this (great­est of Concerns) is an Argument of thy Translation from the First Adam, to the Second Adam, Christ Jesus the Lord. If the Spirit of Grace, had not given thee, some Sight and Taste, of the Ex­cellency, and Sweetness of Christ; thou couldest never prize, or desire after him. 'Tis only the Child that hath Tasted the Hony or Sugar, that Longs, and Crys for more.

Secondly, If thou findest a fixt Reso­lution in thy Soul, in going on to seek the Lord. And his Strength, by Prayer and Supplication: and other means of Grace, not resting in, or depending upon them, but on Christ (alone) for Life and Salva­tion. My Life for thine, come Death, when God Pleaseth to send it: it will end [Page 133] all thy fears, and put thee beyond the reach of all thine Enemies. Thy fre­quent Crying to God, (in Prayer) for Christ, and Saving Grace: is the Eccho of Christ Praying (for thea) at the Throne of Grace. And thy going on, and conti­nuing to Watch at Wisdoms Gates, could not (possibly) be, without invisible Sup­plies of Spiritual Strength, Communica­ted to thy Soul, by the Spirit of Christ.


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