A TRANCE: OR, Newes from Hell, Brought fresh to TOVVNE BY Mercurius Acheronticus.

LONDON, Printed, Ann: Dom. 1649.

Paraenesis Angliae.

O England, England If thou bee'st not given quite over to a repro­bate sense; If the least sparke of Grace, the least ray of Reason, be yet remaining in Thee, be warn'd, be warn'd by this Trance, by the dread­full objects, the hideous and horrid apparitions thereof: If no temporall respects can win Thee, let the apprehensions of eternall ruin work upon Thee: If the hopes of Heaven cannot prevail with Thee, let the tor­ments of Hell deterr Thee, which are represented to the very life unto Thee in this ensuing Vision. Be not accessary to thy owne destruction, to thy own damnation; Let not thy children be deluded any longer with chymeras of more liberty, and advancement of common good. 'Tis true, To love one's Countrey (which is the specious pretence of all these insur­rections) is a commendable thing, yet it is but a Pagan precept; To feare God, to honour his Priests, to give Caesar his due, not to do evill that good may come of it, these are all Christian precepts, and Scripture principles.

As the Author was in a Trance, so sure thou art in a fit of madnes: Poor thing, thou want'st a Physitian to cure thee, rather than a Divine to confute thee: Return then, O return to thy wits, to thy old English tem­per again, els 'tis high time for Thee to make thy last Will, and that the Bell should ring out to invite thy Neighbours to the funerall of thy Li­berty; And because I have already half promis'd, I will lay this Epitaph upon Thee:


TO ENGLANDS Imperiall Chamber, THE Renowned City of LONDON: To the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, the Right Worshipfull the Sheriffs, the Court of Al­dermen, and Common-Councell, the Noble Com­pany of Merchant-Adventurers, and Home-Corporations; to all the hopefull Apprentices, and all other Inhabi­tants, Inmates, or Aliens, within the said spa­cious City and Suburbs, is addressed what followeth.
Perditio tua ex Te, L:

O London, understand thy woe,
Thou art thy Self thy greatest Foe;
Be warn'd, be wise, prevent the Fates,
Destruction bounceth at thy gates,
And know, There is no earthly thing
Can make thee happy, but thy King.
Think with what Honour the first dagger came
Into thy Shield, the Times are now the same.

The Proeme.

SVch is the force of Fancy, so large is the reach, so boundlesse is the prerogative of humane Imagi­nation, that though the small concave of a scull some two or three spans compasse be her ordina­ry and naturall habitation, yet the whole Globe of the Earth, nor all the elementary world can totally confine her, but she will at pleasure clime up to the skies, and make a scale of the Starrs to conduct her to the Empyrean Heaven; Thence she can descend in a trice to the great Abysse, and take a survey of the Kingdom of darknesse; And though it be a maxime among Divines that ab Orconulla redemptio, there's no return out of Hell, and that the passage back thence is irreme­able, yet the Imagination of man hath this privilege, that she can make egresses and regresses, she can enter, and come off cleer thence when she list, and all this if need be in an instant; wherein she seemes to partake of that admired quality which is inherent in that most comfortable creature the Light, who is held the soveraign of all sensible qualities among the Philo­sophers, and to come neerest to the nature of a Spirit, which creature requires but an instantaneous moment and point of [Page 5] time to performe his office of illumination, and dilate him­self throughout the Hemisphear▪ whence some inferre that he is not corporeall, in regard it is an unquestioned principle in nature that all bodies require a succession of time in their moti­on: but there is this difference twixt the Imagination and Light, that there be some places whereinto Light cannot enter, but there is no part of the Vnivers so impervious, where the Ima­gination may not make his accesses and recesses at pleasure; as will appeare by the following example.

IT fortun'd very lately that I was in a Trance, a strange kind of Extasie surpriz'd me on a sudden, which lasted a good while; during the time, me thought I was transported to the remotest place, and of the greatest distance that possibly could be from Heaven; me thought I was in Hell, in Hell, God blesse us, among the Devils, and damned Spirits; I had nei­ther that golden branch, nor the help of a Sybilla Cumana to conduct me up and down as the Trojan Prince had, but me thought a Spirit did lead me gently and softly all along till I came to Plutoes Palace, where a speciall Counsell was held to take a strict examination what service the three Furies, Alecto, Tisyphone, and Megaera, with other inferiour Fiends that were their Assistants, had done on Earth, towards the advancement of the Kingdom of darknes, since their last mission thither, which was presently upon the apparance of the last blazing Star in the yeare 1618. Pluto vouchsafed to be present and preside at this Counsell, and to be Chaireman himself, to which purpose he had a strong Legion of Cacodaemons for his guard, but the businesse was prepared and facilitated for his hearing before hand by a Committee appointed of purpose for that end, whence I inferred that Committees were first hatcht in Hell, especially some of those that we have now adaies. The three ghastly daughters of Night appeard with dreadfull fiery countenances before Puto, in lieu of aire they [Page 6] evaporated huge flakes of fire, which they tooke in, and let out with the accents of their words, huge bunches of Snakes with their tailes rooted in their sculls hung dangling and waving a­bout their heads like dischevelld haire: A furious contestation fell between them who should be Proloquutrix, but in regard that Alecto and Tisyphone had given an account of their former missions, the one of the League in France, the other of the re­volt of the Hollander, it came now in due turn that Megaera should have the priority of speech, so the youngest of the Tar­tarian Girls began as followes;

May your high Acherontic Majestie vouchsafe to understand, that since the last happy Comet, which by the Parallax was found to be in the Heaven, appeard, we have for 30 yeares toge­ther been more active, and more eager in your Majesties ser­vice than ever we were; We have incited the affections of the foolish Inhabitants of the earth to war, and to worry one ano­ther like Wolves in most places; To effect which our pra­ctice hath been to bring the beggerliest and toughest people up­on the richest and softest; We brought the Swead upon the German, the Catalan upon the Castillian, the Tartar upon the Chinois, the Scot upon the English, and now lastly, the Turke upon the Venetian, and the Cosaque upon the Pole; We have continued a lingring bloudy war in Germany for thirty yeares together, which entangled into it most of the neighbouring States; We have thrust divers Princes out of their ancient Inheritances, among others the Duke of Lorain, and the Pals­grave of the Rhin; We brought two Grand Turks to be strang­led which never happened before; We have often puzzled Italy, we have made the Kings of Spaine and France, though Brothers to bandy so fierce one against the other, as if the one had been an Infidell, the other a Jew; But Sir, the most advan­tagious and signall services we have done to your infernall Ma­jestie have been in the Iles of great Britaine and Ireland: For whereas we divided our selves before, and went singly among [Page 7] other people, we went jointly thither all three, because we might be sure to bring our ends home to our aime. The Nati­on fittest for us to work first upon was the Scot, who have been so obedient to their Kings, that of above a hundred they brag of, scarce two parts of three dyed in their beds; We did su­scitate them first against their native King, and to appeare in a daring hostile manner before him upon the borders; At which time it cost us a great deale of labour so to besot the English, to abase their courage, and entangle them with Factions (ha­ving sure confidents among them to that end) that they durst not present them battell, and this Sir was an important peece of service, for had they fought then, or had they been sensi­ble afterwards of the Nationall dishonor they received at that time, their King being in the field, and consequently had they stucke to him afterwards to have vindicated it, all those Wars we have fomented since might have been prevented: We shortly after transmitted the same Spirit of Insurrection into Ireland, who being encouraged by the good successes the Scot had (for he had what he list, yet could he not sit quiet) and the Irish Commissioners being but harshly entertained by this English Parlement who intended to send over a Deputy that should pinch them more than they were before in their con­sciences, besides in that they revoked that leave which the King had granted under hand and seale to the Spanish Ambassadors to have some part of Straffords Army in Ireland (which were our prime instruments for the Rebellion) to go for Spaine, with other incentives, we stird the Irish also to rise in bloud, which they did to some purpose. Then came we to worke up­on the English, whom we found as fit to receive our impression as Flax is to take fire, in regard of their long surfet of peace and plenty. We broke up one Parlement because most of the Members thereof were not for our turn; The first thing we did in this Parlement was to indue them with a faculty to create feares and jealousies whereof we have made excellent use, and [Page 8] although all those feares and jealousies appeare since to the common people, and City of London, more plain than their nose on their faces to be but forgeries, yet we have so infatu­ated their intellectualls that we make them still adore the Iu­ventors of them. And to give your Stygian Majestie among divers others one more pregnant and undeniable demonstration what footing you have got you in that Island, we have within these few yeares raised more Pythonesses (which the vulgar call witches there) than ever were in that Island since your Majesty tempted Eve: And we enabled our Pythonesses to send their Imps abroad in pursuit of your service. We stood at the Kings elbo when he passed that happy Act of continuance, and and a Scot was our cheifest engine to work that; The City of London stood us also in excellent stead to bring our designes about; We made the riff-raff of that City, as V. with his Myr­mydons, and B. with his bandogs (for so they called the rak­ells they had raised) to rabble the King out of Town; We brought also into London the silly Swaines of the Countrey in whole swarmes upon they knew not what; VVe were in KIn­ton field, and made the youthfull Generall of the Kings Ca­valry de gayeté de coeur to pursue the Parlements Cavalry so far, as the day was lost by it, whereas if he had stuck Glose to the Infantry the businesse had been dispatch'd then on the Kings side, and so your Majesties service since had been fru­strated; VVe were at Marston Moore, and made the same Generall so impatient that he could not forbeare fighting till the next day, else he had taken all the Roundhead Army in a pound; VVe took great paines at Leycester that the King should not march Northward, but fortifie the place and go backe to Naseby where we had our Imps that bestird them­selves notably; VVe so manag'd the businesse afterwards that we made the King, because he is a profest enemy to your Ma­jesty, to go disguis'd in a Servingmans habit to his Countrey­men the Scots, and we prevail'd so far with them that they [Page 9] delivered him over as a Sacrifice, and betraid him like Iudas to the English who have crucified ever since like Iewes, by tos­sing, and tumbling him up and down, and by compulsory meanes to work upon His conscience, and stretching it upon the tenter; VVe made Pembrock Castle, and Colchester, with other single (or rather simple) Counties to rise of purpose to betray themselves: In summe, we have reduced that Kingdom to a new conformity with this of your Majesties, to a sweet Chaos of all confusion, we have brought the sway solely into the com­mon peoples hands; And never did common people more tru­ly act the part, and discover the genious of a common people more lively, whose nature is still thursting after novelties and Utopian reformations, though they foole themselves thereby into a baser kind of slavery, finding when 'tis too late those sprecious idaeas, and confused formes of Government they ap­prehended before, and hugg'd in their own conceits to be meet absurdities, when they come to the application and practice of them.

And Sir, the most advantagious instruments we have used to bring all this about, have been the Pulpit and the Presse; by these we diffus'd those surmises and suppositious feares for­merly spoken of, to intoxicate the braines of the people: In stead of Lights we put Firebrands into their Churches, who, as we did dictate unto them, did bawle out nothing but Sedition and Bloud, we have made some of them to bring divers to have as good an opinion of the Alchoran as of their Liturgie; we have made secular Ordinances to batter down all ancient Ecclesiastick Canons; we have made them to unsaint all those whom they call Apostles in heaven, and to rob their Churches on earth; we have made them put division twixt the Trinity it self; we have made their Pulpiteers to preach the Law and your Kingdome in the Church, but the Gospell and Heaven in the Chamber; we have brought them to keep their Fast day more solemnly then the Sabboth, upon which, we have made them not only to sit in Counsell, but to put in execution all [Page 10] designs of bloud. But the main, and most materiall thing we have made use of, was spirituall pride, your Majesties old ac­quaintance, which we have infused into the mind of every Mecanique and Countrey Swaine, who will boldly now under­take to expound any Text of Scripture, New or Ol, dupon the warrant of their owne braines, and by the light of their own fires; Insomuch that we have made that Book which they call the Bible, that was ordained first for their Salvation, to be the chiefest Instrument of their Damnation VVe have brought these Exotic words, Plundering and Storming, which were never known among them before, and that once abomi­nable word, Excise, to be now familiar among them, they are made all three free Denizons, and legitimated among them; VVe have rais'd an Army of the dreggs of the people, though of precious stuffe to your Majesty, and so puffed them with the pride of their good successes, and so flesh'd them in Bloud, that they are no more tender of a mans or womans life then they are of a dog or a cats; We have made those that came Pe­titioners for Peace to be murthered, and those that came for VVar to be thanked and hugged; VVe have reduced them to such slavery as to make the very countenances of men to be commented upon, and their very thoughts to be plundred; We have made the mother to betray her child, the child the father, the husband his wife, the servant his master; VVe have brought a perfect tyranny ore their very soules and bodies; upon the one, by tedious and endlesse imprisonment, with the forfeiture of all their livelihoods before conviction or charge; upon the other, by forcing them to swallow contradictory Oaths. On that foolish superstitious day call'd Christmas, with other Fe­stivalls, we have brought them to shut up their Churches, and open their shops, so that in time they will forget the ve­ry memory of their Saviours Incarnation; We have brought them to have as little reverence of their Temples as of their Tap-houses, and to hold the Church to be but a Charnell-house [Page 11] of rotten bones; and though they cringe, and knee, and stand bare before any wrangling Bench of Common Pleas, yet we have so stiffned their joints, and made their heads so tender in that which they call Gods House, that they can neither bow the one there, nor scarce uncover the other; We have fil'd lately the Tribunals in Westminster Hall with Favourers of your Cause, which makes some of them look rather like Iuglers than Iudges; We have made the Fundamentals of Law to be term'd but Formalities; We have caus'd Magna Charta to be torne to a thousand flitters, and stretched the privilege of the Com­mons so wide, that it hath swallowed up all other; We have grub'd up and cast away those hopefull Plants that grew in their two Seminaries of Learning, and set in their room grafts of our own choice. And Sir, your precious children, and our deare brethren, the Angels of the Army, have comported them­selves notably for the improvement of your Majesties service in all these things, into whom we have infus'd such principles that Machiavill himself were he alive there, would be accounted a Baby in comparison of them. Among divers other wholsome maximes, we have instill'd this into their braines, that Villa­nies must be supported by Villaines, and mischief cannot be safe but by attempting greater; We have made the wealth of Town and Countrey, of poore and rich, to glitter in Plunder upon their backs; We make them to command Free-quarter of those who who were fitter to aske them Almes; We have made them to rifle the Monuments of the Dead, to rob the Lazaretto, to strip the Orphane and Widow, to violate and pillage all things that were dedicated to God; We have made them wreek their revenge upon the very vegetables, to make socks of Surplices, to water their beasts at the Font, to feed them on the Commu­nion Table, and to terme the thing they call a Sacrament, a Two penny Banquet: Sir, we have turn'd supposed Superstition to absolute Prophanesse, Government to Confusion, and Free­dome to pure Slavery; We have brought their King to live [Page 12] in a manner upon Charity, and His Queen to beg of the French Friers, and His Children to be a kind of Runnagates up and downe the world; We have so intoxicated that deare Daughter of yours the City of London, that she knowes not which way to turn her self; And whereas her Apprentices did rise up like Tigers against their King, they are now become as so many silly Sheepe against our Army; We have puzzled them with such vertiginous fancies and feares among them­selves, that one neighbour dare not trust the other. To conclude Sir, we have eclips'd the glory of the English Nation, we have made them by all people far and near that ever had knowledge of them, to be pittied by some, to be derided by others, to be scorn'd of all, and to become the very taile of all Nations; In fine Sir, we have brought that Kingdom to such a passe of con­fusion, that it is a fit place only for your Imperial Phlegetontic Majesty to inhabit; And Sir, there's never a Crosse now there fright you, unlesse it be upon their Coines of Gold and Silver, wheron they leave Crosses to be still in honour of your Pluto­nian Highnesse, as you are Dis, and God of riches.

Megaera having thus given up her account in behalf of her self and her two Sisters, they all bowed their snaky heads down to their feet, which were toed with Scorpions, before the black Throne of Pluto, who giving a humme that made all Hell to tremble, answered thus:

MY pretious and most trusty Tartarean Daughters, we highly approve of the supererogatory service you have done us for the propagation of the Stygian Empire upon earth, and specially in great Brittany: we have sued a long time to have a Lease of that Iland (touching Scotland we have no mind to go thither our self) and we hope to obtaine it; therefore when you have visited those of that Nation whom you have sent hither already to people this P [...]t, I would have you returne thither, and prepare that place for one of my principall habitations: The proper'st instrument you are to employ, is the Army, and [Page 13] you must continue to infuse such principles into their heads, that they never desist till they have quite thrust out Religionem ex solo, Regem ex solio, and Dominium ex salo.

Nec sic recedant odia, vivaces agat
Violentus iras animus, & saevus furor
Eterna bella pace sublata gerat.

Make Rebell to fight against Rebell, Independant against Pres­byterian, London against the Army, and all against the Cava­lier, till that Nation be wholly extinguish'd, that one may not be left to pisse against a wall; Let them never rest till they have made an end of the King who is our greatest enemy; Let those Idolatrous Bishops which in that idle legend their Gospell are call'd Angells, be utterly extirpated, and the very name of them banish'd for ever, as the Tarquins were once at Rome; Let not a Church or Chappell, or any consecrated place stand in the whole Isle, I intend to have a new Almanack of Saints made at my comming, for I have some Star-gazers there already fit for my purpose; make haste, for feare a peace be shuffled up on a sudden, and acquit your selves of your duties, and I may chance get you Scotland for your reward.

The three Furies with a most profound reverence replied, May it please your Majestie, your Ferriman Charon is hourely so pester'd with such multitudes of English and Scots Round­heads, that we were forced to stay a long time ere we could get a passage hither, and we feare we shall be so hindred againe; therefore we most humbly desire for our expedition, that your Highnesse would vouchsafe to give us a speciall warrant to be serv'd first with a non obstante when we come to the bankes of Styx. You shall deare Daughters, saith Pluto, and my warrant shall be adressed to a new Journey-man, an English Tarpaling that came thither lately to serve Charon, upon whom I will lay my commands of purpose to attend you upon all occasions.

Having all this while listned unto what passed 'twixt Pluto and his Furies, my Spirit lead me up and downe Hell to see [Page 14] the various sorts of torments that are there, which indeed are innumerable: the first I beheld was Ixion, tied with vipers to a wheele, and whirld about perpetually, I might perceive a multitude of lesser wheeles newly made thereabouts, whereun­to great numbers of English, and divers of my acquaintance were bound; hard by I might discerne a huge company of windmils, and bodies tied with ugly Snakes at every wing, tur­ning round perpetually; a little further there were a great many broken by millstones, who were whirld with them perpetually about; in another place I might perceive black whirlepooles full of tormented soules turning incessantly about: I asked what might be the reason of so many whirling tortures, my good Spirit answered, all these except Ixions wheele are new torments appointed for english Roundheads, who have destroy'd from foundation to top, all Government both of Church and State; and as their brains turn'd round there, after every wind of Doctrin, so their souls turn here in perpetuall paines of rota­tion: A little further I spied Prometheus removed thither from Caucasis, with a ravenous Vulture tearing and feeding upon his Liver, which as one part was eaten, renewed presently after, and abundance of new commers were tormented in the same manner, these I was told were English men also that are pu­nished like Prometheus, because as he is tortured so for stealing fire from heaven, so those fierie Zelots of England would pre­sumptuously pry into the secret, and Cabinet Counsels of God Almighty, and dive into those high points of Predesti­nation, Election, and Reprobation, being not contented sapere ad sobrietatem, but expect ever and anon to have new lights and flashes of illuminations. Then came I to the bottomlesse tub which Danaus Daughters were a filling, a numberlesse company of other such tubs were there, and English women and men were incessantly labouring to fill them up with the stenchy black waters of Acheron: Those I was told were those over­curious people in England which would be never satisfied with [Page 15] Christian Knowledge, and had no other devotion then to be alwaies learning and never comming to the Truth, as these restlesse fillers never come to the bottome; Then I beheld the most horrid tortures of those Giants that would have thust Iove out of heaven, and a world of English among them, who partaked of the same punishments, because they had conspired upon earth to dethrone their lawfull King; Not far further I might espie glowing fiery tubs made Pulpit like, and I was told they were prepared for those profane and presumptuous Mecanicks and other Lay men, who use to preach in London, and abuse the Sacred Oracles of God; and Vzza was not far off tormented there for being so bold with the Arke; A little thereabouts I saw hoopes of Iron were made Garter-like, of hot glowing steele, these I was told were designed for those perjured Knights of St George in England, to weare upon their legs, when they come thither for breaking in the late war that solemn Oath they had taken at their instalement, to defend the honour and quarrells, the rights and dignities of their Soveraigne; A little distant I might see divers brasse hoopes glowing with fire, and they were scarfe-like, I was told they were ordained for those Knights of the Bath to weare for Ribbands next their skins when they came thither, for infringing that Sacred Oath they made at their Election, which was, To love their Soveraigne above all Earthly creatures, and for his right and dignity to live and die; A little beyond I saw a Copper Table, with Chaires of the same, all candent hot, I was told those were for perjured English privy Concellors, who had bro [...]k their Oath to the King, which they took to be true and faithfull servants unto Him, and if they knew or understood any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against His Majesties Person, Honour, Crown, or Dignity, they swore to let and withstand the same to the uttermost of their power, and cause it to be revealed, either to himself, or any other of his Privy Councell; Some few paces off I might descry a little round place like a Porters Lodgeat Court with a Fane [Page 16] on the top of it, where was a new kind of exquisite torment provided, but I could not discerne it by reason of the smoake; for once a Secretary of State and his Son in England, who though they were of differing opinions in every thing else, yet jump'd in this, to destroy their King and Countrey; Hard by, I saw a little furnace so candent glowing hot that it look'd of the colour of a Rubie or Carbuncle, I was told that was to clap in the Master of the Kings Jewell-house when he comes thither, for being so perfidious and so perjurious to his Master; I asked whether there were any other infernall tortures besides fire, yes I was answered, for to speake of fire to a people habi­tuated to a cold clime, were not only to make them to slight Hell, but to invite them to come to it; So my Spirit brought me Northward a little, and shew'd me a huge lough, where there were frosted mountaines up and down, and I might disco­ver among them a world of Blewcaps lying in beds of Ice with their noses and toes nipt, the icesicles stucke to their fingers ends like hornes, and a bleak hispid wind blew incessantly up­on them, they made the most pitious noise that me thought I heard in all Hell; for they wawld, screechd, and howld out ever and anone this note, Weae is me, wea is me, that ever I betrayd my gid King.

Among all these damned soules, I desired to see what pu­nishment an Atheist had: my Spirit answered me, there were no Athiests in Hell at all, they were so on earth before they came hither, and here they sensibly find and acknowledge there is a God by his Iustice and Iudgement: For there is here paena sensus, and paena damni; the outward torments you behold is not so grievous as the inferiour regrets and agonies the soules have to have lost Heaven, whereof they were once capable, and to be eternally forsaken by their Creator; adde hereunto that they know these torments to be endlesse, easelesse, and remedilesse: Besides these qualities that are incident to the damned soules, they have neither patience towards themselves in their owne [Page 17] suffrances, nor pitty towards others, but their nature is so accursed, that they wish their neighbors torments to be greater then their own: Besides, their torments never lessen either by tract of time or degree of sence, but they persever alwaies the same; they are still fresh, and the soule able to beare them. I saw that everlasting Villaine who committed the first Sacrilege we read of, by burning Dianas Temple, and his torments were as fresh and violent upon him as they were the first day he was thrown in thither; Iudas was in the same degree and strength of torture as the first moment he fell thither; Iack Cade, Wat Tyler, Iack Straw Kit the Tanner did fry there as fresh as they did that instant they were cast thither: Amongst whom it made my heart to melt within me to see some of their new-com'd Coun­treymen amongst them, whereof I knew divers: And though Society useth to be some solace to men in misery, yet they conceived no comfort at all by these fresh com­panions.

It is high time for us now said my good guiding An­gell to be gone to the other world, so we directed our course towards the Ferry upon Styx; Lord, what varities of lurid, and ugly squalid countenances did I behold as I passed! There was one sort of torment I had not seene before, there were divers that hung by their tongues up­on posts up and down; I asked what they were, answer was made, that they were English Divines, and Lawyers, who against their Knowledge, as well as their Consciences, did seduce the ignorant people of England in the late Ci­vill Warre. A little further I might see abundance of Committee-men and others, slopping up drops of moulten lead in lieu of French-barley broath, with a rabble of Ap­prentices [Page 18] sweeping the gutters of Hell, with brooms tufted with Addars and Snakes, because they resorting to the Wars, had thereby broke their Indentures with their Masters, and their Oaths of Supremacy to their Prince.

Passing then along towards the Ferry, a world of hide­ous shapes presented themselves unto me; there I saw Corroding cares, panick feares, pining grief, lethargy, sleep, ugly rebellion, revengefull malice, snakie discord, and spirituall pride, the sin that first peopled Hell: Couches of Toads, Adders, and Scorpions in a corner hard by, I ask'd for whom they were prepared, I was answered, for some English Evangelizing, Anabaptisticall, and Legislative La­dies, which make writing of Notes at Sermons, and Re­ligion a meere vaile to cover their hypocrisie; So having me thought by a miraculous providence charm'd Cerbe­rus by pointing at him with the signe of the Crosse upon the fingers, we passed quietly by him, and being come to the Ferry, I found true what Pluto had said before, that there was a new English Tarpaulin entertained by Charon, but he was in a most cruell torture, for his body was covered thicke all over with Pitch and Tarre, which burnt and flam'd round about him: And here the Trance left me.

Having thus come out of this sad swound, I began by a serious recollection of my self to recall to my thoughts those dismall and dreadfull objects that had appeared un­to me; for though I was in Hell I did not taste of Lethe all the while, so that I did not forget any thing that I had seen; all things seem'd to appeare unto me so really, that if I had been of that opinion (wherof many have been) that Devills are nothing else but the ill affections, the exorbi­tant passions, and perturbances of the mind, it had been able [Page 19] to have convinced me. The Reader may easily imagine what apprehensions of horror these apparitions left in my braine: For as a River being by an inundation swell'd out of her wonted Channell leaves along the neighbouring Medowes seggs and sands, and much riff-raff stuffe be­hind her upon her return to her former bed; So did this Extasis, with that deluge of objects wherewith it over­whelm'd my braine, leave behind it blacke sudds, and gastly thoughts with in me, which have done me no hurt I thank God for it, it being a true rule that Malum cognitum faci­lius evitatur: And I wish they may produce the same effects in the Reader as they did in the Author. VVe find in the Sacred Oracles that Dives in his discourse from Hell with Abraham, wish'd that some body might be sent from the dead to informe and reclaime his Brothers upon earth, because the words of a dead man would gaine more credit with them then any others. Let the Readers of this Trance make account that the Author was such a one; for he hath been buried many years, and so let it work within him accordingly.


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