WONDERS NO MIRACLES; OR, Mr. Valentine Greatrates GIFT of HEALING EXAMINED, Upon occasion of a Sad Effect of his Stroaking, March the 7. 1665. at one Mr. Cressets house in Charter-House-Yard.

In a Letter to a Reverend Divine, living near that place.

1 COR. 12. 9. 10.
[...] to another the GIFT of HEAL­ING.
[...] To another the Working of Mi­racles.
[...] to another discerning of Spirit.

LONDON, Printed for Sam. Speed, at the Rainbow in Fleetstreet. 1666.

Wonders no Miracles; OR, Mr. VALENTINE GREATRATES Gift of Healing Examined, Upon occasion of a Sad Effect of his Stroak­ing, Mar. the 7. 1665. at one Mr. Cres­sets house in Charter-House-Yard.


WHen I consider in how many respects, the world is now under the sad Judge­ment, of being given over to beleeve 2 Thes. 2. 11. Lies, because it receiveth not the Christian truth, in the Love and Power of it: Er­rours and Impostures, as a Grotius Cont. Riv. Great man observeth, being at once the Sins and Punishments of the later Ages of the World.

When I read that some pretensions in the last times, will almost deceive the very Matth. 24. 24. Elect; insomuch that one of those Elect writing to his Brethren, hath left this as the greatest Caveat amongst them, Beloved, beleeve not every Spirit, but 1 John 4. 1. try the Spirits whether they be of God.

And adde to all these, those sad words 2 Thes. 2. 7. [Page 2] That the Mystery of iniquity doth already work; only, he who now Letteth, will Let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked one be revealed, even he whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and LYING WONDERS, and with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.

When I reflect on the state of the World, now so parrallel to that it was 4000 years agoe, especially in one particular, viz. that it is immersed in Fancy, Imagination and Lust, which are all Inter-woven with its Phylosophy, its Religion, Worship, Doctrine, Discipline and Government, so far, that it is as sub­ject to Diabolical Impressions, leading to Atheism, now towards the end of the World, as it was to such as led to Polutheism, then in the beginning of it: I do not so much admire your Caution in complying with the Vulgar apprehensions of this late Gift of Healing, so much cryed up amongst us; as I do o­thers unwillingness to comply with your Cantion; so much more strange is it, that the generallity should allow such groundless, and ill contrived pretences, than that any man should scruple then; were not we in England, famous almost to a Proverb, for our folly, in reference to Prodigies and Prophesies; and a People that would make it necessary, that as it was one con­dition in the Judges of the Sanedrim, that they should be skilled in Magick, that they might detect and Judge others for it; so it should be one in our Coun­cils, that they should be expert in the works of Na­ture, that they might understand what is above it.

Sir, Seriously, since there is not a greater confir­mation of what God speaks, than what he doth; and [Page 3] so no greater evidence of Religions proceeding from God, than Miracles wrought by God. And there being no ordinary way of conveighing the evidence of divine Truth into the mindes of Men, but by a concurrence of a divine power set before their eyes to confirm that Truth. The World is not capable of diving into the depth of Religious Mysteries; so shal­low, narrow, and dark are mens capacities and intel­lectuals, and so apt are men to suspect impostures in things of subtilty, reason and mystery, and therefore they must have plain confirmations of those myste­ries before their senses, which they think will not de­ceive them; so true is it, what that excellent per­son observes. The world being to be taught of God, must be taught with actions, which they can trust, and not with words, wherewith they may be deceiv­ed; and hence Miracles, or the performance of mat­ters above the reach of Nature, hath been alwaies looked on as the greatest testimony to divine authori­ty, and revelation.

‘For the course of nature being settled by an om­nipotent power, and all Agents acting by the force of that power;’ whosoever in doing wonders, alter­eth the course of nature, is esteemed to have the Di­vine presence going along with him.

Since I say, the working of Miracles, and perfor­ming things above the course of Nature, hath been looked upon by mankinde, since God hath made use of men to act in his name; here in the world, as the best evidence of Gods presence going along with them, as the fairest credentials for their Message, and the greatest argument for the truth of the Religion; by them at several times published in the Name of [Page 4] God. As it is certainly of very dangerous conse­quence, to Counterfeit the Kings Seal, by which all Acts of State are confirmed, and made authentick­ly known to the people, so it is to pretend to Gods Seal, whereby he doth convincingly make known his will in the world.

And as all the Kings Leige People, should be­ware of conniving at the one, for fear of a mis-under­standing, likely thereby to grow between the King and the People; none then being able to discern what is really the Kings Act, and what is not; what they should obey, and what they should not; as they would not be guilty of mis prision of Treason against the Go­vernment, so all Gods people should be very cauti­ous in allowing the other, for fear of a mis-under­standing between God and their Souls; none in case of such Counterfeits, being able to discern what is re­ally confirmed to be Gods will, and what is only pre­tended so, what is a Religion, and what is a chear.

Whence really there cannot chuse but ensue these two sad things. viz.

1 An opportunity in distracted and divided Times, to broach strange and dangerous Opinions. For if a man can but prevail with the People, to beleeve that God assists him, to Effect new and extraordinary things; he may easily perswade them, that the same God inspires him to speak new and extraordinary O­pinions; when they see God in what he doth, they will easily believe he is in what he saith; and where they observe omnipotence, there they will believe in­fallability: and if the man saith now, I received a voice from Heaven, bidding me Cure all Diseases; he may if this take, say anon, I am Commissioned by a Voice from [Page 5] Heaven, to reduce the World to the unity of the Roman Church, to teach the infallability of the Pope, to reveal a Messiab to come, a fifth Monarchy, and what not? Thus Clem. Rom. l. 1. Recog. Iren. 1. 21, 24. Euseb. l. 1. c 10. Epiph. haer. 27. Sulpit. Sever. Sac. Hist l. 2. Just. Martyr, Apol. 2. Zonar. tom 3. Paul. Diac. 18. Hist. the Arrians pretended Miracles by the infi­nite power of Christ, to confirm the denial of his Dei­ty (Menander to blinde his followers, would restore their sight. Basilides stroaked and deluded the mul­titude. Cerinthus and Ebion performed as strange things as they taught. Valentinus and Heracleon, first set up with new Cures, and afterwards with new O­pinions. Marcus Carpocrates and Cerdon were Magi­cians first, and then Hereticks. Apelles, Severus, Ta­tianus, and Montanus, first had the gift of Healing, and afterwards that of Prophesying. Sabellius, Samosate­nus, Photinus, Macedonius, Apollinaris, had some thing singular in their practise, before they had any thing Novel in their Opinions. The Donatists and Lucife­rians, pretended to do things above other Christians, before they set up a separation from them. The Ne­storians and Eutichians, got reputation by their con­verse with a bad Spirit, before they durst deny the being of the good one.

All the sixteen false Christs, that obtruded them­selves upon the world, pretended to our Saviours Miracles, before his person; Mahomet had two Ma­sters, a Magician and a Priest; and the three first cen­tury of his prevalency in the world, were called the Septem-Ca­strensis. lib. Magical ages. The Church of Rome challenged the power of doing Miracles, ever since she would be thought Infallible; ever ushering in her strange Do­ctrines with strange performances; and amusing the people, especially here in England, with the feats of one Seminary Priest; thereby to prepare them the [Page 6] more readily to embrace the delusions of all, no less than fifty seven Miracle-Mongers of that Gang, be­ing detected in England, Scotland, and Ireland, with­in these fifty years; and the Papists urging their pow­er Vid. Bellarm. de Eccles. & Ger. de Eccles. of working Miracles, as one of the most famous notes of their Church.

And to say no more, the first Heretick since Christs time, was Simon the Magician, of whom its said, that he opposed the truth, with the same artifices that Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses; so true is that antient observation of the knowing a Tertullian, Max­ima b De prescript contr a haret. c. 34. Et de Anim. c. 57. haereticorum cum magis, circulatoribus & curiositati deditis commercia: and that, Magiam esse haereticarū opi­nionum auctricem; that there was alwaies a great corre­spondence between the Hereticks, that had a design to impose upon mens understandings, and Conjurers, that could put a cheat upon mens senses; knowing well that if they could take the senses with strange per­formances, poor men that cannot examine the bot­tome of things, will tamely yield their intellects to their strange tenets.

It being a generally allowed observation, made first by St. Jerome, that the Devil being discharged out of the Heathen Temples, and Oracles took up with the Hereticks Conventicles and Oratories, playing those Legerdemains of late, to support Heresies a­mong the too curious Christians, that pry unto things that they have not seen; that they used of old among the looser sort of mankinde, to keep up Polutheism with.

Whence the early caveat, Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3. If there arise among you a Prophet, or a Dreamer of Dreams, and giveth thee a fign or a wonder, and the fign or the [Page 7] wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other Gods; thou shalt not hearken to him, for the Lord your God proveth you: So just it is with God to try peoples faithfulness to, and stedfast­ness in the truth, by Diabolical Wonders, leading them to error.

So good a Caution is that of Gerson, upon the dif­ferent pretences of Miracles among the Papists them­selves, to carry on their different okpinions and facti­ons; one side pretending Miracles for their Opinion, and the other for the contrary, De distinctio­ne verarum & salsarum visio­num. That in this old Age of the world, in this last hour, and time so near Anti­christs Revelation, its not to be marvelled at, if the world, like a doating old man, be abused by illusions and fanta­sies: And so excellent is Dr. Fields observation, that there being but two waies to confirm Religion; the Testimony of Gods Spirit to the heart, called u­sually Gods privy Seal; and the Testimony of his Miracles to the Eye, called his broad Seal: There cannot be a wider door opened for all the fallacies Satan would put upon mankinde, than the pretences of the first by the Enthusiast, and the second by the Juggler: There being no greater Testimony likely to be given to the truth, than that they Counterfeit for falshood, viz. the Testimony of God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, confirming it by in­spiration, or operation.

These are sad things, but the second consequences of these pretences is sadder; for men deluded by these juggles of false Miracles, are shaken in their be­lief of true ones; and as by the first appearance of a­ny pretended Wonders, they may bee cajoled to embrace some errors; so upon the discovery of the [Page 8] bottome of them, they are ready to cast off all truth, and because they finde themselves imposed on once, their short reasonings cannot satisfie them, but that they have been abused alwaies, and therefore saith the excellent Mr. Stillingfleet; ‘It is no wonder A­theism should be such a thriving Plant in Italy, nay, under, if not within the walls of Rome it self, where inquisitive persons do daily see the jugglings and im­postures of Priests, in their pretended Miracles; and from thence are brought to look upon Religion its self as a meer imposture, and to think no Pope so Infallible, as he that said, Quantum nobis profuit, haec de Christo fabula?

Sir, By this time you see you are not the only Person, that look upon rash pretenders to, and rash believers of Miracles in these daies, as dangerous, upon the two great accounts of letting in errors among the people, and upon the discovery of the pretenders, of letting out the people to Atheism; and so are not singular in your compassion and pity towards this poor Nation, for their so easie compliance with every thing, that pretend­eth to Novelty or Wonder; being not so much concern­ed, as you use to say, for this nine daies Wonder of Greatrates which carrieth with it its own discovery, as for the opportunity and temptations offered to more subtle persons to work upon an unstable peo­ple to more dangerous purposes.

But in the mean time, while we are preparing a just account of Miracles, Prophesies, Visions, Impul­fes, &c. to Antidote and pr [...]nt those impostures, likely to be obtruded upon the world, in these last and worst daies; when it is thought that the Devils time being short, and the commission expiring, that he had [Page 9] to deceive the Nations, his diligence and artifices are improved: take this short accout of this Mr. Greatrates.

An Account of Mr. Valentine Greatrates, and his Performances.


THe man it seems being bred up in loose times, Mr. Greatrates temper. and a more loose way, a Souldier, having pro­stituted his understanding to a variety of Opinions and Errors, for he hath been in his time of most of the Factions that were lately extant; and now pretends himself a Latitude-man, that is, one that being of no Religion himself, is indifferent what Religion others should be of; hath either a design to be even with the World, and to deceive others, as well he dwell­ing with delusions, may think others have deceived him: Or, which I had rather believe (for I would feign hope that the man is not a plain Impostor) being unsettled in his mind, and possibly in the turn of times discontented as to his Fortune, is troubled with Fancies and Imaginations, which he takes to be Impulses; and indeed it is not so much a wonder to me, that one should pretend these Impulses, as that half the Nation doth not, since they have been so given over to Fantasies and inward suggestions, ha­ving lost almost the faculty, principles, and exer­cise of Reason.

How possible it is for a man, especially in an age of Fantasies as a Learned man calleth this, to be wrought by his Imagination to a belief of strange [Page 10] Abilities in himself; may easily be discerned by Mi­randulaes Discourse de Imaginatione, c. 8 where he saith, 1. That by the predominancy of a melancho­lique humor (for humors give complexion to a vul­gar Fancy,) 2. By the imposture of the senses: 3. By the strength of the passions, that have a great command over this faculty. 4. By the ministry of evil Angels, who can easily cast into the Fancy strange and false species, with such subtilty as shall easily gain them plausible credit, and admittance. 5. By the influence of a mans Starres. 6. By he­reditary imaginations. 7. By sad Necessity. 8. By windy meats, and want of due Evacuations. 9. By sor did dwellings and manner of life, with thick Air. 10. By idleness and solitariness. 11. By lying a bed and sleeping. 12. By grief, fear, envy, disgrace, faction, revenge, &c. a man may become an Enthusiast. So easie it is for these or the like causes to stir up a mans humors, and those humors to work upon the Fancy: And by the many Instances hereof through­out the World, as 1. The Jew that did so really imagine he could raise the dead, that he killed him­self in order to the experiment. 2. The Graecian that went upon a Vision 2400 miles to cure the Empe­rour of his deafness that had been in his Grave four years. 3. The Italian that came by an impulse to France, to restore light to the blind, and lost both his Eyes. 4. The French-man that heard a Voice speaking to him, to make a man without a woman, and endeavoured it seven years. 5. The Dutch-woman, that imagined she could be with Childe when she pleased without knowing a man. 6. The People that imagine they must sell all, and live on Aire, till Fa­mine hath made them wiser. 7. The man that kept [Page 11] his Children, as they died of the Sickness, unburied till they stunk, in hope of a Resurrection. 8. The German that went, as he said, by Inspiration to cure the Duke of Tuscany of the Sciatica, by breathing on him, and died a Prisoner in Legorn. 9. The Spaniard that went upon a Vision 600 miles to cure the Duke of Venice of the Gout, and dyed himself of it, in Irons. 10. The Physician that thought he could make man immortal and died himself before fifty. 11. The Sussex man that talked of Visions to his Minister, who advised him to send for the Physician, the Vi­sion being no more than the effect of a feaverish distemper. 12. The Venetian that undertook to live without food, and the tenth day heard a Voyce say­ing to him, Arise and eat two Egges. Not to men­tion hundreds more of the same infirmity, too much imposed on by their Imaginations, and the impress­sions made by the Devil, Qui miscet se atrae bili & phantasiae, or their distemper thereupon, which you may see in the Authors quoted in the Agrippa de Occulta Philo­sophia, l. 1. c. 6. & 64, 65. Wi­erus de La­miis, c. 8, 9, 10.- Zanchius de potentiâ Daem. l. 4 tom. 3. c. 12. Do­natus, l. 2. c. 1. de hist. medic. mirab. Lemnius de Occult Nat. mir. l. 1. c. 12. Cardan l. 18. de rerum varietate. Camer. 1 Cent. c. 54. hor. subseciv Fienus de viribus Imagi­nationis. Laurentius de melanchol Philostratus vitâ Apollon. l. 1. Sennertus l. 1. p. 2. c. 8. de melancholiâ. Benevenius de abditis rerum Causis. G. Fablicius Cent. 3. Observ. P. de Sancta Creuz. in Hippocratem de morbo sacro Zacuthus Praxis admiranda. Margin.

It being so possible, that the man is really posses­sed with an importunate Imagination that he should perform these Cures he pretends to, let us condi­tion whether the Attempt hath any thing more in it than Imagination.

1. And to deal plainly with you, Sir, the very Observations on the time of Greatraies set­ting up this pretence of healing. time of the pretence is suspicious, it being a time of great Expectations among all men, and of strange Impressions upon very many; the very imagination [Page 12] of strange alterdtions in the world, makes strange alterations upon mens thoughts and spirits; it's no wonder, when all men look or a year of Miracles, that one man should attempt to begin it.

Besides that, since the true Wonder of his Maje­sties Restauration, evidencing the presence of God with his Person and Government; the men of Mr. Greatrates party have spent their time in venting and dispersing false Prodigies, to delude men into an Opinion of the displeasure of God against both: and those that look narrowly into things, are apt to suspect, that Mr. Greatrates being concerned, that the reports of Miracles and Prodigies did not work upon us, imagined he might promote the cause fur­ther, and perform Miracles himself. It is a dull thing to tell strange things only to amuse people, when men can doe strange things to convince them.

And this Observations on his first at­tempt upon the Kings-evil, and the reason of that, and his proceeding to other diseases. suspition prevaileth the more, because of the first instance wherein this man discovered his gift, I mean the curing of the Vid Prim­rosium de vul­gatis erroribus, cap. ultimo. Kings-evil: A Cure that though entailed on the Kings of England since Edward the Consessor, and looked on as a gracious Gift of God, that Gods Vicegerents hand should cure that malady which Gods hand hath inflicted; it being as probable that there should be a healing virtue in the highest sort of animals, as well as in the lowest sort of vegitables; confessed by our A Papist in Prison being troubled with the Kings-evil, and being cured by Queen Eli­zabeth after five years Ex­pence upon Phy­sicians, in vain, and being demanded what Newes, I perceive, said he, now at last by plain experience, that the Excommunication against the Queen is of no effect, since God hath blessed her with such a Gift. Adversa­ries; whereof one being cured by Queen Elizabeth, acknowledged her Authority when he selt her Power, and derived to the Kings of France, per aliquam Vid. Laurentium de mirabist flrumarum Curatione. Pro­paginem, [Page 13] by a sprig of right, derived from the Pri­mitive Tackerum de chorismate, Peùcerum de fascinatione. power of our English Kings, under whose ju­risdiction most St Lewis of France not performing it till 145 years after King Ed­ward begon it of the French Provinces were once subjected. A cure I say, though so Generally own­ed, to the great honour of his Sacred Majesty of Great Brittain; yet cavilled at by the more morose sort of people, as superstitious in the Ceremonies used about it; I mean, the Gospel, the Collect, the Angel, the Cross, the Belief required, notwithstand­ing that it is well known, that our Kings can heal by a bare stroake, without these circumstances, which are rather arguments of the devotion of the great Personage that heals, than means necessarily influen­cing upon the people that are healed; and as ordina­ry in the manner of performing it; for say they, we need not run to Miracles, or to the [...] and occult qualities, for the pretended Wonder of Vid Ferrer. l. 2. Me bc. 11. de Homer. Curat. Heal­ing the Kings Evil; Its only the power of Fancy, say they, and Imagination; for when the poor Patient (who per­chance feldome heard of, and never saw a King before) shall behold his Royal Hand dabling in a puddle of putri­faction, and with a charitable confidence, rubbing, smoothing, chafing those loathsome Kernels [which I may call clouds of carruption, dissolved oftentimes into a fecu­lent shower] I say, when the sick man shall see an Hand so humble of an Arm so high, such condiscention in a King, to stroak; that soar, at which meaner Persons would stop their Nostrils, shut their Eyes, or turn their faces; this raiseth, erecteth, enthroneth the Patients fancy, summoning his Spirits to assist Nature with their utmost might, to en­counter the Disease with greater advantage.

And certainly (might a Melancholly, or a discon­tented man think) any man may work upon the ima­gination, as well as Princes; and finding it feasible by [Page 14] one or two experiments, hee with other cunning peo­ples suggestions, might set up an Healing power, as well as the King; levelling his Gift, as well as they would his Office; with a design, that when it appear­ed he could do no more than other men, he should be no more than other men: yea, and when parity of reason led them to attempt in other Diseases, what with some success they had begun in the Kings Evil, they might not only out-do his Majesty, but be in a fair way to give Laws to the world.

5 For mark the ground of this mans attempts, and he tells you in his Letter to the L. Bishop of Chester, that The voice from Heaven which he preterds twice to have heard. and his account of it, in a Letter to the Lord Bishop of Chester, exami­ned. he had a voyce from Heaven, assuring him first that he had a power to cure the Kings Evil, and afterwards, that he might cure all Diseases; that he could not be quiet un­till be had undertaken it: And that a Woman unknown to him, had a Vision to come to him, and that hereupon, notwithstanding he was dissuaded by his Friends from the practice, and jeared out of the imagination, he had a constant impulse, to force him upon the several experi­ments that he had made, till the whole Country thronged to him: This is sum of what the man saith for himself.

1 How dangerous it is to admit of Impulses & Vi­fions, and how common it was with men of Mr. Great­rates former way to obtrude; need no further proof, than Olivers Impulses, James Naylor, and other Quakers Visions, and light within, which would have superseded, if allowed, all Religion, Law, Du­ty, Right, and wrong, and common honesty, there being hardly any villany Imaginable, against any of these that hath not been, and may be, perpetrated upon the account of this Impulse and Inspiration; and if people will but allow any thing to be true, upon these Enthusiastick grounds, they must allow all [Page 15] things that a deceivers fancy, or interest shall suggest to them.

And more particularly, Consideration touching the Voice Mr. Greatrates heard.

1 Hee voucheth a voice from Heaven, for his extraordinary Performances, when yet hee should vouch extraordinary performances to make good that voice from Heaven; the voice of God gives not evi­dence to Miracles, because the Devil in the Air, or the Fancy in the Brain, may counterfeit such a voice, but Miracles give evidence to his voice; How shall the people be assured, saith Moses, Exod. 4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. that thou O God, hast appeared to me, take the Rod, and it shall turn to a Serpent, that they may beleeve, that the Lord God of their Fathers hath appeared to thee, saith the Lord. Its impossible for us to be satisfied of any appearance of God to this man, bidding him work Miracles, unless we had other Miracles to satisfie us about the appearance of God.

2 Gods revealing himself to men by Bath Col, or the daughter of a Voice, which was indeed the last way that he was pleased to communicate his minde to his people, seems to be now superseded by that of the Apostle, 2 Pet. 1. 18, 19. And this voice which came from Heaven, we heard when we were with him in the Holy Mount. 19. We have also a more sure word of Prophesie, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as un­to light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: and we are obliged by the voice of God, confirmed by uncontrolled Mi­racles, not to give heed to any voice pretended, to give credit to new unnecessary and doubtful ones.

3 The Voice of God concerning any extraordina­ry Person, under the Old and New Testament, was not spoken only to the Person himself (as it is in this [Page 16] case) in private, but to several others in publick; as you may see, Exod. 4. Mat. 3. Act. 1. 2 Pet. 1. and the History of the Transfiguration: These things as the Apostles argue, were not done in a Corner.

4 The Voice of God was agreeable alwaies to the dispensations that were then a foot, so that when they heard the Voice, they had Prophesies, Pre­cepts, and Rules, directing them to the beleif and use of the voice, a particular defective in this Case, where the dispensations of God amongst us, are so far from concurring with this pretended Voice, that the established Religion is inconsistent with it; we having a compleat platform of the will of God conveighed to us by Voices and Signs from Heaven that rendereth it needless, to have any more extraordinary revelations (til the great day of the Revelation of all things) unless we ad mit menstruam & diurnam fidem, a new Faith every month and day; for what is this Voice for, is it to confirm our faith? that is already done, or we have been Infidels all this while, and indeed know not when we shall be compleat Christians, because we know not when these pretenders will have done; Is it to re­form the corruption that hath overgrown Religion in the theory and practice of it? Indeed the Prophets under the old Testament, had extraordinary Voices to this purpose, but it was provided by the Law of Moses, in the time of the Theocratia, that it should be so, and the Paedagogy of the Jews might look for it; but its not so under the Gospel, whereby we are Conjured not to be soon shaken in minde, either by Spirit, or by Word, or by Letter, or by Voice; is it to beget Faith? 1 [...]. 14. 22. Signs, saith the Apostle (who had Signs to confirm what he said) are for unbelievers; is it to supply any de­fect in natural causes? This pretends not to it, the or­dinary [Page 17] way of Physicians, being together with Phylo­sophy the ground of it, at the heighth in these times; and however God never wrought a Miracle for no other design, than to alter the course of nature.

Is it to do good to some particular persons? God never miraculously did good to any particular, but with reference to the common good of mankinde; shall we make providence so cheap, as to put it upon such mean Offices, as helping the Patient to another stool more than his Physick could work; to cure a poor body of a swelling, to save 20 s. charge? Its true, when God hath a great and suitable design to be carried on by Miracles, he condescendeth to shew those Miracles, in such charitable and good Offices as these, but not barely for them: Christ confirmed Christian Religion by Healing here and there a poor person; but neither he, or any other extraordinary person, came to the world with so low a design, as only to perform those Cures.

Is it to set out this person for an eminent instance of Heroick virtue and holiness? besides that the man pretends not to such heroick attainments, his carriage being loose and like a good Fellow, his Religion La­titudinary, his discourse unsavory, sometimes break­ing out to Oaths (as I have been Informed by a ve­ry discerning and honest person at the Charter-House, who heard him in much passion say, that though the poor people that urged him to touch them, from the length of the journey they had taken to come to him, came from Jerusalem, he would not, by his Maker, meddle with them) often incohaerent, faultring, and in­consistent (an effect of the weakness of his memo­rie) his converse and dealing with Women, notori­ous and scandalous; his privadoes and familiars, men [Page 18] of no great repute for common honesty; and though our Saviour conversed with Publicans to convert them, he was not guided wholly by such men, to set them up in the world; his falacies put upon poor people, as to the places of his abode palpable, his neglect of ordinary Christian duties intollerable, his account of himself very various, broken and ambigu­ous.

5 Besides that, the holy men inspired of old time, approved themselves to the most knowing & discern­ing persons in the world; yea, and addressed themselves upon any extraordinary occasions for advice; whereas this man began and set up among the Ignorant and Rude part of mankinde, the Irish, easily imposed on; (when he should by right have sate among the Do­ctors, as the greatest worker of Miracles did, and have answered them about the ground of this pretension, and have asked them Questions;) not appearing a­mong wise men in publick, till his feats had prevail­ed with the more Ignorant in private: How much more agreeable had it been for him, upon the hear­ing of the pretended Voice, to have repaired to some Reverend Divines and Physicians, than to chat with his Wife and some two or three old Women, and then set up; for it seems he told his Wife the Vision, and when she laughed at him, he trieth experiments upon her, and between them behinde the Curtain was begot this great faculty.

6 Nay, and this voice was in his sleep too (the sea­son of sowing the Devils Tares) and should every Dreamer of Dreams, practice in the world according to his Visions on his Bed, the whole world would require again, Christs miraculous power of curing Lunaticks, and that but twice; notwithstanding that [Page 19] the doubts of men require the oftner promulgation of it: whereas all the real testimonies that ever God gave, were given as often as there was occasion for them.

Sir, But the man replyeth, that however wee are The Impulse that moved him to hearken to this voice con­sidered. at liberty to dispute this extraordinary faculty of his, he was forced by an impulse and motion over all his body to exercise it.

But considering how much Impulse as they call it, is put out of countenance, and exploded, by reason of the horrid Villainies at all times, especially of late, performed upon that ground: This pretence is worse than the other, there being nothing more desperate than a man given over to his own Impulses, and in­ward Motions, without any regard of Religion, Rea­son, Laws, Rules, and Principles. And

1. The jolly man doth not look as if hee were much troubled with Impulses.

2. He can be no more sure of his Impulses being from God, than he was of the Voice, and therefore this should not be any Motive to him, to hearken to that: the Impulse may bee a cheat as well as the Voice.

3 Impulses being the method of Satan, when hee reigned among the Children of disobedience: I mean the Heathens; such as the Sybils, the Corybants, the Bachides, the Zabii, &c. God allowed no Impulses for currant, under either the Old Testament, or New, but what were agreeable to, and made good by the established Religion: If they speak not accor­ding to this word, It is because the truth is not in them.

4. God looks upon it, as contrary to the nature of man to be acted by brute Impulses, and Instincts, hav­ing hitherto led him to all his performances, by a ra­tional [Page 20] discovery of the grounds, leading thereunto.

5. But of the madness of being guided by Impulses, you may see in Laureminus de melanchol. C. 4. Casau­bone, and Dr. More, of Enthusiasme: Savanorola, c. 4. de aegrit. cap. Hercules de Saxonia de melancholiâ: Burton's Melancholly, Meursius in Apollonium: Anto­nii ponte sancta Cruz. prelectiones vallesolitanae in Hyp­pocratem de morbo sacro; Arist. Problems. Antonius. Ben­nivennius de abditis, M. causis, &c.

Sir, But why should we suspect a man that makes His taking no mony exami­ned. no advantage of his practise?

A. 1. He takes nothing in publick himself, but it hath cost some good round summes of mony to his followers, who are observed, to be noted Projectors. John Terril Gent. expending 100 l. to come at him, James Bivion 40 l. William Feltiplace 60. and others to the number of 500 that have expended above 7000 l. to follow this man.

2. He may have a greater design than mony; let him gain Reputation the first quarter, and he shall not fail of mony the next.

3. He borroweth mony of his Patients though he takes none.

4. Nay, what if it be proved that such as he, have those that maintain them, and hire them Patients; Now the Story about his great Estate of 800 l. a year, dwindling to a hundred, and he living at the rate of a thousand a year, being certainly kept by a party, and the Patients hee produceth for his vou­chers, being poor Women and Children, that no bo­dy knows whence they come, nor whither they go: The English understand too well now, what the Prea­chers mean, that will take no Tythes, and the Phy­sician that will take no fees.

[Page 21] And the dullest nose may smell the matter, when hee heareth but this tradition of him, that being a Member of an Independant Church, he was Excom­municated thence, for pretending to this gift of Hea­ven, and thereupon his gift left him, until being absolved, he was re-admitted at once to his Church-Priviledge, and his Gift.

Sir, Why is hee followed, if he bee but an Im­postor, His being fol­lowed exami­ned. why do not the people cry out against him, and the Magistrates restrain him?

A. That the giddy multitude should follow any strange thing: that the English so notorious for their unsettledness, should gaze after a novelty at first: is no wonder, especially in such a year of expectation as this is: But they follow him not in any place so ea­gerly at first, as they leave him discontentedly at last: He is not so much cryed up in the places where he comes, as hee is cryed down in the places where hee hath been: and hee removes from place to place, not so much to Communicate his virtue, as to save himself, being not known two nights together in one Lodging: I, and whereas it might bee expected, that hee should come with Certificates of recommenda­tion, hee comes loaded with reproaches from each place where he hath been.

And if the deluded souls reply, as some very Blas­phemously do, that that was our Saviours case (for no less a parallel will do.)

We Answer, that our Saviour being to alter old Customes, to cross mens lusts, to overthrow their Laws and Government, to prejudice their carnal in­terest, to reprove and reform their vices and corrup­tions, by the Religion to be confirmed by his Mira­cles, was reproached indeed for the Religion hee [Page 22] taught, but all that saw him reverenced him for the Miracles he did. His Miracles being equally recorded and owned among Jews and Heathens, and among Christians; their affection and interest, as it is clear, carrying them to speak the worst of his person, when their hearts and consciences thought best of the acti­ons done by him, as appears in divers places of Scri­pture.

But this man pretends to nothing that grieves or disobligeth men, crosseth no mans opinion, stands in no mans way, onely takes on him to help the miserable and afflicted, and to do good, and yet is cried upon not certainly because he doth such inno­cent things, as cure a Tooth-ache, help the Eye­sight, launce a Sore, which good old women have practised these many years, without any clamor a­gainst them, but because he pretendeth these things and doth them not; and so puts an injury upon peo­ple, which they are most impatient of, called by them a Cheat.

And to make it evident that this whole Affair is but a Cheat, I'le not instance in the 1000, that have been deluded by him in Ireland, the West, in Warwick-shire, and other places, nor those at White­hall, St. James, Lambeth, Westminster, Fleetstreet, Bread-street, Cheapside, Foster-lane, that make horrid complaints of his undecent and intollerable hand­ling of all their parts; of his pinching, rubbing, cha­fing, and lancing their Sores, of his inflaming of their blood and humors, and rendring many of them by cutting them and other wayes, incurable: Not to tell you, that there is not a man, woman or childe, that may be trusted, and are well known, that is the better for him; that all that he doth, is but by [Page 23] raising peoples Imaginations, especially the weaker sort, by rubbing and chafing, to scatter the humor for the present to the Patients little ease, till it re­turneth with more violence after the chafing than ever: I say, not to instance in any thing but what I have seen.

This Mr. Greatrates was at one Capt. Cressets in What Cures he performed at the Charter house. Charter house-yard, the 10, 11, and 12 of March, there several people applying themselves to him, some he would not take notice of, notwithstanding that he had an impulse, and could not but heal and doe good: Others he could not help, he said, although he pretended his second voice commissioned him to heal all Diseases: Others he directed to some imper­tinent means, as to wash their sore eyes in fair water, and it may be he said, God might do them good. One that was almost blinde, he directed to some frivolous remedy, adding what every body saw, that God in time would make him blinde. Others that were deafish, he rubbed and chafed, poking in their ears, leaving them after all that within three hours in the same condition he found them.

But one poor Fellows Case there is, more emi­nent than any that I have heard of, except the Gen­tlewoman in Austin-Fryers, and the Gentleman of Har­row of the Hill.

The poor man, a member of the Charter-house, be­ing A Fellow in the Charter­house which Greatrates had almost killed, and how. a little troubled with a sore knee, and so little that he did but just take notice of it, must needs ad­dress himself to him: He pincheth and launceth the poor man, the Sore gangrenes, the worthy Doctor Bevoir, Physician to that House, and Mr. Harrison the Chirurgeon, are sent for to the fellow, who with­in a day after takes his bed: They gave him over al­most [Page 24] for dead; yet using all means possible for his recovery, with the blessing of God upon their en­deavours, and incredible care and pains, they stop the Gangrene, set the man past danger, though he be like to be long bed-rid. Greatrates heard of this, and comes to the man, and would have been tampe­ring with him, but the man would not endure him, charging him with his blood, if he had died, and wish­ing him no more to delude the people.

If he hath not the grace to make good use of this Instance, to undeceive himself, who as I told you, I hoped rather deluded than a deluder, and the world: Certainly the Magistrate, who would not hinder any man from doing any good he can pretend to, will take care that he do no more mischief: And the people being now convinced, how easily they may be deceived, will take care whom they follow.

But as the Athiest, thinking our Saviour did all his Miracles by the power of mens Imaginations, say that Christ, so some people say this man cannot do any Miracles because of mens unbelief. Ah that any Christian should talk so, who must needs know, that the meaning of that passage about Christ, is not that Christ could not work Miracles, because men believe not, but that he could not prevail with himself to do what he could, and that it is not the want of Imagination or Fancy which is indeed enough to set up a Juggler, whereof the And our Sa­viour wrought Miracles on things that had no fancy, as the Fig-tree, the dead, the wa­ter, the windes, the Heavens, people at di­stances, the loaves. Jewes had good store; but of the grace of Faith, which was the condition of embracing, and benefiting by a Saviour, that rendred them uncapable of his Miracles: And can the man blame men for want of Faith, when they see nothing that deserveth it; or was he so weak as to undertake Miracles, which yet he could not per­form, [Page 25] unless men believed he could do that which no man ever saw hee could? It is well the folly is grown so notorious, that it hath no other plea than this, That he cannot cheat the people, if they will not trust him.

But his Jack-Puddings, I mean his Vouchers, and Familiars (who have been caught in fearful un­truths about him, and his acquaintance with Friars, hee speaking one thing and they another; he saying hee had not heard from such a man in eight years, and one of his followers shewing a Letter hee had from him in eight daies; hee shewing how hee had Cured one with a stroke, and one of his Comerades asking the man unawares, how his Pill, Glister, and Plaister wrought last night; hee pretending to pray all day, and yet one of his Zanies saying, to take off from him the suspition of a Phanatick, that hee was none of them that spent their time in Canting, Whi­ning, and Praying:) I say, his Disciples alledged for him, that the Apostles could not work some Miracles that they attempted, To which we An­swer, That possibly they could not, where they had no Commission, as they had not but in some cases before our Saviours Resurrection; and if for that reason he can cure no Disease, let him say so; or pos­sibly they might by unbelief, whereof they were too frail in Christs life time, provoke God to suspect the virtue which they really had; shall a pretender thence argue for want of that power which hee never had? let him shew us that he can do any thing that the A­postles did, and wee will bear with him, if hee fails only in what they failed in; however this is certain, we believe Christ and the Apostles could do more Miracles, than in some cases they would; wee see [Page 26] jugglers would do in all cases, more Miracles than they could.

Sir, Now you may expect I should adde a line Of the temper of the body, and whether some by virtue of their Crasis or Complexion, can work Miracles, and of Dr. Mo [...]es opinion concerning him. touching his Crasis or Temperature; some giving out that Dr. More should say of him, That he saw no­thing in him Diabolical, little Divine, all Humane, and that he might do some feats, by virtue of his Crasis or Complexion.

But the man hath done nothing worthy such an in­quiry, and we should be as ridiculous as he, should we discourse the ground of that mans actions, that can do nothing; only as to that surmise of [...] as Paracelsus calleth it, or [...] i. e. a just and equal temperament and complexion, that may ena­ble men to work Wonders, besides that it is the old Atheists obsolete cavil against Christs Miracles Vid. Medin. 1. 2. c. 7. fol 66. Fuse hanc que­stionem expli­cantentem. Videsis etiam Leon! Vairum 1. 3. de Fascin. c. 6. that he did that by the extraordinarily exact com­plexion of his humane nature, which all that saw, con­fessed done by the power of the Divine; either this complexion is the complexion of all men, and then every man could do feats, as every Herb of a kinde will cure; or of some, and then I wonder we have not yet been told, either by God or Men, what are those Individual qualifications that constitute this com­plexion; and if there be some secret healing Virtues in Men, as well as in Plants, Stones, and Herbs, as the factors of this Opinion alledge out of De in cant. c. 3. Pompona­tius and others, how can they heal all Diseases any more than these, how comes the one to be a real pa­nacea and catholicon, when they cannot be so; how? a virtue in man to cure all Diseases, that is not in any Herb; if it cure the Dropsie, how doth it relieve the Feavour; what natural virtue is that, that may be applied to the infinite contrarieties that are in the na­ture [Page 27] of man? if because other creatures have, man should have a healing quality; then certainly as their quality is limited to certain Diseases, one thing good for one Disease, and another for another, so should mans Besides if so, what need the pinching, stro­king and cut­ting. too.

Doeth not say some, the Torpedo stiffen a mans hand by a bare touch? doth not the Hiena strike Dogs dumb with the shaddow? doth not the Ser­pent die with the stroke of an Oaken leaf? do not the strings of the Wolves guts, make those of the Lambs flie to peeces with a touch? Alexanders casting a sweet perfume, and the Jews a stink round about them? the Carcass bleeding at the touch of the murderer? the Cures by sympathy? and why may not a Man then do Feats by bare Stroaking and Touch?

As much as is true of these and many more like Instances of this Nature, may bee referred to that Sympathy and Antipathy, that may bee between these things that thus strangely touch one another, which cannot be imagined between any man and all men in the world; and Alexanders Aromatick smell is but a peece of flattery on the one hand (as Car­dans imagination to that purpose of himself, was but a fancy) as the Jews stink is but the invention of malice on the other.

True as others argue, some creatures can do mis­chief with a Breath or Touch, but that they can therefore Heal, doth not follow, it being easie to do mischief, but not so easily to cure it; and malum est ex quolibet defectu, when bonum is only ex Intergrâ causû.

And as true as they urge, that imagination may do much upon people, that fancy great matters of a [Page 28] man, it may gather up a mans fear, desire, hope, and other affections, with the spirit and blood that may be moved by them, and remove or scatter an humour for the present, as many have known by ex­rience; yea, and by chance being very strong, cure a light sore, but usually the humours return more vio­lently after they have been disturbed, and settle in­curably; as an Anan. l. 4. de nat. daemon. Albert. Mag. l. 3. de motu ani­mal. excellent Author, in a book writ­ten to that purpose, hath by many examples made evident; and so it happeneth in most of this mans Cures.

Sir, Had Apollonius the Heathen been among us, to make his Dog lick all Diseases to a curing, him­self curing the Dog at last, which was done by com­pact with the Devil, appearing under the shape of that Dog, wee could have judged it Witchcraft: had the same Heathen here, as in the Temple of Es­culapius, Cured a man of the Dropsie, by prescri­bing him Temperance, we had thought it a peece of good morality; had the same man for the Heathens (in whom the Devil prevailed so much, before Christ cast him out of their Temples, Oracles, Persons, and Hearts, by greater Wonders than hee could pretend to) out-went in juggles, wonders, enchantments, any of our Modern pretenders, freed us from the Plague, as he did the Ephesians, by making them all meet in a Theatre, to stone an old Beggar, which he called the Plague, and wiser men know a Devil, the very Devil that brought, carrying away that Pestilence, God permitting him then to exercise his power, as Prince of the Air, to that purpose, wee had concluded it Magick.

Did hee among us raise people when dead, wee should discern, that they were onely in a Trance, [Page 29] and that the pretended Resurrection had been but a contrivance.

Had a Mahumetan given men stools and vomits by stroaking them, as the man of Smyrna did, wee would have searched his Pockets, and have found the Doses there.

Had Alvarez the Spanyard endeavoured among us, to cure men with Apotelesmes or Figures, agreea­ble to the aspect of Heaven at our Birth, wee had laughed at him for an Almanack-maker.

Had Paracelsus applyed the secret vertues of things secretly to Patients, wee had commended his Phy­losophy; onely for his pretence to heal by a rub, wee had questioned his honesty.

Had Fonsieca kept the Bird Gagalus in his Chamber Which cures the Jaundice at sight. here, and prentended to cure the Jaundice with the stroke, the simple would have admired his perfor­mance, when wiser men might discern his applying of natural causes together, though pretending a su­pernatural cure.

If Lindan would desire onely a drop of a wounded mans blood, after hee had stroked him, and so cure him, we have learned now, that the stroke is but a formality to amuse people, and that the blood by sym­pathy doth the cure.

If Cerdon pretends to dissolve all Tumors with a touch, and by a legerdemain dazelling the eyes, con­veyes oyntment &c. to the tumours insensibly wee would call it a juggle, and not a cure.

In a word, should a man have familiarity and make a compact with Satan, and should the Lord per­ [...] Satan to work some strange things, not that Sa­tan can do any thing above nature; but that hee may do many things that seem to us above nature, because [Page 28] above our understanding, it might exercise and try our Faith; If a man had some secret skill in heavenly influences, upon mens bodies, and could counterfeit that with a stroke of his hand, which is really done by the influence of a Star, he might exercise our Phylosophy: Had a man skill in the secret vertues of things, and could secretly do cures by applying these vertues insensibly, while hee doth nothing but touch men seemingly: It would bee some satisfaction to our curiosity; did a man understand some Critical times, and take them to perform his feats; wee might discern some reason in it.

If the Salutators of Spain, or the Sons of the Pass­over in Holland, would bid men here, as they do there, drink wine lustily, and bee healed; lye with such a mans Wife, and bee healthful, eat the bread that they chew, and recover; go into the fire, and bee cured of a Feaver, touch the seventh male-childe Vid. Viarum de Fascino. of a man that had no female between, and be well of the Dropsie: It would bee worth the while to con­sider what they do; But for a man to pinch, lance, and rub people, and after all this stirre, not to be able to shew, one knowing or sober person, (Women and Children being not capable of understanding how they are cured, and hee deals most in such) or one credible person, many of those that are under his be­ing capable of being tampered with, and corrupted, to own that to be done by his touch, which may be done by Physick privately given, and other means.

And there is no other Reason to be assigned for his stroaking one day, and the peoples being cured ma­ny daies after, when Miracles may bee done in an in stant (nothing respecting Infinite power,) but this, that hee may act the Miracle-monger upon a man one [Page 31] day, and practice Chyrurgery upon him afterward, till hee comes and voucheth, that hee hath been cu­red by the Stroaker.

Or one near, that a man may see, we being usually remitted for proof of his power, to instances of 100. or 200 miles distance; the Londoner being sent to be satisfied in Dublin, and the men of Dublin being sent to London, or both to Cornwall.

Or one perfectly cured; rubbing, chafing, and stroaking some sores, with the Patients strong Ima­gination, working some slight alteration of the hu­mour, but not a cure; driving it from place to place, but not removing it.

Or one cured by stroaking onely, and not by some accident, happening about the stroaking time; A man is Sea-sick going over to England, and is stroaked, his Sea-sickness easeth him of the matter of his Dis­ease, the stroak hath the reputation of it: A man is troubled with the head-ache, is stroaked, and sleep­ing well that night, findes ease, and cryeth up the Miracle.

Accidents may perform many of his slight cures, and yet he have the credit of it. The danger of running after such Pretenders as this Great­rates.

When I say, an obscure man in loose and trouble­some times, of a suspitious education and course of life, shall undertake in the face of three Nations, what hee can produce no warrantable ground to at­tempt, nor any considerable power to perform, what is it but an evidence of the just judgement of God up­on us, to make us now as ridiculous by our credulity to these simple pretensions, as we have been odious by others more dangerous and more sub [...]le: to keep up the French surcasme, that we are a B [...]dlam still, and not a Kingdome: and to justifie wise mens fears, that [Page 32] wee shall bee so tossed to and fro, and so distracted by the various pretensions of deceivers, in Church and State, that every Juggler may impose on us, and every Mountebanck put his tricks upon us: An intol­lerable reproach to so wise, and understanding a Na­tion as the English were reputed in former Ages?

What is it to see a plain fellow draw after him, some Noble-men, many Courtiers, a few Clergy-men, several Magistrates, all sorts of Citizens, People of all ages, sexes, and conditions, in spight of the ill re­port of him, where-ever he hath been, the great mis­chief they see him do, and the little good they either see or hear, but to warn us of the just Judgements wee may still fear upon us, in that God (as his man­ner is with people devoted to ruine) seems to make the first stroake at our heads and understanding.

What is it for a man to take on him to work Mira­cles Mr. Stubbe saith, that Na­ture hath, and may do more than his Mira­cles pretend to. in the Name of God, when yet hee doth but play the Chyrurgion, chafing and cutting peoples sores, without any word or thought of God, discours­ing with standers by in the mean time, about the pi­ctures in the room, or the like subject; Whence a poor fellow I spake with, said: that his heart misgave him, hee could do no good, because hee spake not a serious word, all the while hee was launcing him, not once mentioning or thinking of the God, by whose power hee pretends to heal. But to teach how easie a mat­ter it is for one to obtrude what Doctrines and Pra­ctices they please upon the inconsiderate and undis­cerning part of man-kinde, in the Name of God, especially, when ungrounded in the true waies of that God, and the sober principles of his Religion; and an argument when men have quitted solid Principles, how easily they are ensnared with slye [Page 33] appearances, having no rules to judge of those ap­pearances; for a man to pretend a Voyce from Heaven in a Nation that hath the whole will of God as far as it concerns them, published amongst them in the compleat Canon of the Scripture, and being taught of God not to gaze up to Heaven for voyces thence, the will of God being nigh them, in their mouths and in their hearts, and for people to follow him, what is it but to declare, That after Christianity hath been amongst us 1500 years, and the clearest and most powerfull publications of it for these last 150 years, of any in the world, to our shame we are yet un­setled and wavering, like a wave of the Sea upon every blast of winde. What is it but a fulfilling on us of Gods sore Judgement mentioned, 1 Tim. 4. 1. that because men of itching ears, and curious mindes turned from the Truth, they should be given to Fables, and to give heed to Doctrines of Devils.

What can it be, but a tryal how far we are fit­ted for Enthusiasmes, and all the Delusions of the latter dayes; Enthusiasm preparing people for all the bad Impressions that can be made upon men, by Men or Devils; that being indeed his Throne when he played Rex among the Heathens, and may do a­mong any upon whom he hath a design to reduce them to Heathenisme.

What may it be but an Essay, what Amulets, Charms, Crosses, holy Waters, Periapts, Cha­racters, and other Romish feats, might doe, if they were set up again at Wolverhampton, St. James, &c. and in the name of St. Hugh, cure Feavers, of St. Joyce cured Dropsies, of St. Dennis the Pox, as they have a Saint for every Disease; and whe­ther as Williams writ to Holden, The English Nation [Page 34] be not in a fit temper to be wrought upon at this time.

What is it but the praelude to the last Effort of Diabolical Illusions (coming to try all those that dwell upon the face of the earth) in Judaisme, Ma­hometanisme, Heathenisme, Enthusiasme, and what is a mixture of all these Papism; to see whether wee are throughly taken off from the Wisedome and Power of sober Religion, and sufficiently prepared by Scepticism, Itching after novelty, weariness of sound Doctrine, unpeaceableness and discontent of Spirit, unwarrantable curiosities in Philosophy and Religion, illusions and appearances in Opinions and Practises, wilde and distracted notions and Enthusi­asms, unmortified and unbounded Lusts, Atheism and Prophaneness, canting, toning, and wording Re­ligion into noise, forms, and gestures, breaking the Community of Church and State into Parties and Factions; the ignorance and noise of common Teach­ers, that understand not the grounds of the Religion they Preach (and may be imposed on in the Scrip­ture, whose Original they understand not) that wrest Scripture to what it never meant, and make quid libet ex quo libet, that set up a parcel of formal words, as Faith, Spirit, Gifts, Edification, Out-go­ings, In dwellings, &c. instead of real and solid Whose right and genuine Notions are lost. See Mr. Patricks excel­lent Book, cal­led the Pilgrim. and I fear Men will not bee more than ordinarily careful, in opening the genuine meaning of such fundamental words in Religion, as Faith, Spirit, &c. now so much wrested and a­bused, by the ignorance and interest of Modern Preachers and Hearers, the whole is like to run into Gibberish and Enthusiasm, as by the mistake of the fundamental words; Reli­gion of old was turned into Mythology and Gentilism. vid. voss. de Idol. Re­ligion: The Implicite Faith got up among Prote­stants, as well as Papists, to follow some Men through thick and thin, having their Faith wholly with respect of persons; the looseness of Professors [Page 35] so inconsistent with Christian purity; the peoples at­tending Prophesies, and expecting strange Events, rather than learning and practising their plain duty; their uncontentedness with their present condition, I say, what is this practise, but an Essay made to try how far we are prepared by these foresaid parti­culars, for the universal Apostacy, so much feared in the latter daies?

To say no more, if because the Man is but only bold enough to pretend Strange Cures, hee is so much followed by the undiscerning multitude; what if he could really perform them; as the Devil, now we are so willing, is ready and able enough, if God should permit him and lengthen his Chain, to work any of these Cures perfectly by this mans stroaking? what if he could cure every body he toucheth? as he might, if Satan, finding him so willing would assist him? how would all the Nations run Wondering after him?

Sir, Since hee performeth not, as you see the Cures hee pretends to, and if he did, it might be so many waies (as I have hinted to you) privately used, though the Stroaking be all that is seen, that we need not put God upon making his Miracles so cheap, as to perform the part of a Chirurgion and Quack, without any further design, fix we with all sober people upon this resolution.

1 That true Miracles, or the altering of the course The Devil may do strange things, and what we would think were a­bove nature, but nothing re­ally so. of nature by God, who alone can do it, are the great­est Testimonies, that God useth to evidence his pre­sence (otherwise invisible) with any Doctrine or person, sent by him to the world.

2 That if God should assist a man to work Mira­cles, that hath no Divine truth to confirm, nor a­ny suitable Design to carry on by them, as this man [Page 36] hath not, but possibly may be in an error, as this man may be, men could not be sure when Miracles confirm truth and when they do not; for by this it should seem they might go along with truth in one man and with error in another, and so men should see the great­est assurances they have of Gods being with any Doctrine attending the looser and the stricter Opi­nions of men, the indifferency of the Latitude-man. and the heat of the Zealot; and so men that had a certain way of intercourse with God, and discerning of his voice, by the Miracle, that so solemnly attended his voice, will loose it, if Miracles be wrought by all sorts of men, upon every petty and trivial occasi­on.

3 God doth not work such a Miracle as this is, that is produce an effect without any second causes, but for some very considerable design; for other­wise, as a learned man observeth, when God works Miracles, they would not bee taken notice of, nor thought to bee an alteration of the course of nature, but only some rare contingencies, that lye hid in the order of causes, but only break out at some times.

4 That if a Simon Magus, and Apollonius, a Bar­chochebas, David el David, or any other pretender, should hereafter presume to work Miracles among us, upon the Impunity of this undertaker; we may judge of him by these rules, and criterions, where­by true Miracles may be discerned from false.

1 Rules to dis­cern true Mira­cles from false. Though Jugglers may do much to work upon mens mindes in appearances, and Magicians more, when permitted by the Divine providedce in reality; yet there is such an evidence attending Divine Mi­racles, as after much jealousie and suspition may con­vince men that they are of God; Moses his Miracles, [Page 37] after much contest with the Magicians of AEgypt, being owned as the effects of the finger of God; and Christs as things that evidence him the son of God; whereas there is nothing above the art of man, and the power of Nature in any Miracle, since those of Christ and his Primitive followers.

2 Divine Miracles are done without means, forms, Rites, Ceremonies, Cuttings, Lancings, Plaisters, &c. Sine ullâ vi carminum, sine herbarum aut graminum suc­cis, sine ullâ aliquâ observatione sollicitâ, Sacrorum, Libaminum, temporum—Sine ullis adminiculis re­rum, sine ullius ritus observatione vel lege non Inquiro non exigo (saith Arnobiis, whose rule this is) Quis Deus, aut quo tempore, cui fuerit auxiliatus, aut quem fractum restituerit sanitati, illud solum audire desi­dero, an sine ullius adjunctione materiae, i. e. Medi­caminis alicujus ad tactum morbos jusserit ab hominibus evolare: which words amount in brief to this; that Cure is Divine, that is done without observa­tions, prescriptions, and applications; other­wise, Cures performed by means (saith hee) are beneficia rerum, non curantium potestates, to heal men by Prescriptions, Applications, and or­dinary Operations, arguing no extraordinary power at all in the Prescriber or Operator; but an ordinary vertue in the Prescription or Operation: And it's ob­served as an Argument of Christs divine power, that he practised not on sleight Sores, but on the most acute, chronical, and malignant diseases: Some learned Physicians affirming those Diseases our Saviour cured, incurable by the ordinary way of Physick and Chy­rurgery, and all this with a word, a touch of himself, or garment, a thought, or such means mystically chosen, as naturally would rather (as the Clay and [Page 38] Spittle to open blind mens eyes) improve the Disease than heal it.

3. * Divine Miracles are done in an instant, no­thing This third Rule is drawn from the History of Moses, Elisha, Elias, and our Saviours Mi­racles. being able to oppose, and consequently to de­lay the workings of a God. Those that wrought Mi­racles formerly did some of them indeed in time, and by degrees, to comply with the weakness of men, (I mean such as looked upon them, that they might discern the manner of working as well as the work it self) but they did most instantly, to evidence the power of God.

4. * True Miracles were most commonly done un­der And this 4th. the open Ayre, in Fields and publick places, be­fore both those that favoured the person, that wrought the Miracles, and those that opposed him; in such a manner as there should be no suspicion of any private dealing or compact; usually the people that most suspected the person, bringing him pa­tients, and those patients afterwards so far from fol­lowing the Healer as his Confaederates, that we hear no more of most of Christs followers, but that they blessed God for their Cure, and went to their respe­ctive homes.

5. * We read of none that wrought Miracles in And this 5th. Scripture, but that they could and did confer that Gift upon others, and pitched not upon rich, but poor, not upon knowing but simple persons, not at all versed in matters of Art or subtlety, that they should work Miracles likewise fine fucis & adminiculis, without any fraud or assistance.

6. * Neither were the Miraculous Cures onely And this 6th. little Eases for the present, but perfect and compleat Cures, and that not of one or two of 500 that are touched, but of all, Divine Power never failing, no­thing [Page 39] being impossible with God.

7. Divine Miracles being the Seals of Divine Truth, and the only way that poor men that can­not see God, and yet must hear from him, or perish, have to know whether God speaketh to them really or not, must be wrought onely by an infallible per­son, otherwise poor mortals may as well be infected in their mindes by the Errors of those that touch them, as they are cured in their bodies by their powers.

8. There are Prophecies, and other divine Dispen­sations, that make way for divine Miracles, and the Jewes had not been under so great a sin, for not em­bracing Christ for his Miracles, had not the Prophe­cies that went before of him, the nature of the Mo­saical dispensation to be removed by him, the condi­tion of Mankind expecting to be improved by him, made it necessary for them to look for such a Thau­maturgh, as he was before he came, and to believe in him, when they saw by his works that he was come. Whereas now the state of things being fully compleated, and wee being not to have any Reve­lations from God untill the last day, nay being bid by that last and perfect will of God, confirmed by Miracles, to look for Impostures and Lying Won­ders, to try our Faith (whether we will neglect the Miracles wrought already to gape after new ones) but no more true Miracles than those wrought by and his primitive followers, to confirm it: We need not trouble our selves so much to finde out whether a man that pretends Miracles doth work them or no, as conclude such a suddain, ungrounded, and unwarrantable pretence its self, as against the present state of things in the Christian Chruch, where [Page 40] he that looketh for Prodigies, true Religion being settled in the World by uncontrouled Miracles, is saith St. Augustine a Prodigy himself.

9. Miracles in­deed are gratia gratis data, but seldom perfor­med by any but such as were at the time of the working of them under the power of gratia gra [...]um faciens: For to what end should God shew him­self by a wic­ked mans hand who denycth him in his life. Divine Miracles make divine Impressions upon the mindes of those that believe them: There was no Miracle whereof we have any undoubted re­cord (excepting the Vid. Grotius in 2 Thes. 2. 9. in opusculis. [...] or Lying Won­ders of Antichrist, that come to bring men [...] to the deceivableness of unrighteous­ness) but were wrought to render men more holy, to work in men clearer apprehensions of God, to overthrow the power of Satan, that hid himself a­mongst Jugglers and Wonder-mongers, some thou­sands of years in the time of mens ignorance; to improve humane Nature, and those Wonders that have no other effect upon men than to make them talk, admire, gaze, and dispute, and pretend no­thing more than the saving the little charge of Phy­sician and Chyrurgeon, are certainly as low in the power that works them, as in the design that is aimed at by them: And it being a matter of too much curiosity for common heads to inquire into the nature of a Miracle in it self, and to know ex­actly when Nature hath gone in a thing as far as it can; and when a supernatural cause raiseth it to what it self cannot doe; It's the safest and the onely certain way left men in this case, not to pore on the thing done, but to look to the Agent, his design, his pretence, and see whether the man be likely to do so much good in the World, as that God should bear witness to his Person and Proceedings.

And indeed it is a great help to discern things of this Nature, to understand the condition of the peo­ple, that either practise or promote them; and as [Page 41] much as you see of Gods goodness impressed on their Judas might work M [...]racl [...] and the m [...]n that Christ knew no [...] might pretend they hed wrought them, bu [...] ne [...]ther since they le [...]t Christ, or were cast off by him. souls, so much of his power, you may believe, go­ing along with their actions, if they savour of no more than ordinary men, in the one, yee may be sure they are no more than ordinary men in the other; And if there bee any extraordinary evil principle of loos­ness to bee discerned in their lives, there may bee suspected as extraordinary an evil principle of jugling in their practices; If the vouchers of this practise a­mong us, bee people of no credit, and people that have writ for, and maintained the worst practises, and cheats, that were amongst us, these twenty years: I need say no more, than that in an age, wherein from the rash believing of every thing wee are come seriously to believe nothing; Epicharmus his old Rule, will not bee unseasonable, viz. [...]

With which in compliance with the time of night, and the importunity of your Messenger, I will con­clude, when I have told you, that there are in Spain you know some Souldiers, of this Gentlemans pro­fession, called Salutators, who pretend to heal all sores with a touch, the application of white Linnen, and this form of Per Christum & cum Christo: Et in Christo est tibi Deo patri omnipotenti, in unitate Spiritus sancti omnis honor, & gloria per omnia secula seculorum oremus, salutaribus praecept is moniti, & divina institutione for­mali audemus dicere, Pater noster qui es in Coelis, &c. Amen. Iesus potentia patris, sapientia filii, virtus spi­ritus sancti sanet hoc vulnus ab omni malo. Amen. Iesus Domine mi Iesu Christe, credo quod nocte Jovis Sancti in caena, post quam lavastipedes tuorum sanctorum disci­pulorum; accepisti panem sanctissimis manibus suis, & benedixisti & fregisti, & dedisti tu is sanctis discipulis, dicens accipite & comedite, hoc enim est corpus meum, [Page 42] similiter accepisti calicem in sanctissimas manus, & gra­tias egisti, & tradidisti illis dicens; accepite & bibite, quia hic est meus sanguis novi testamenti, qui pro mult is effundetur in remissionem peccaterum hoc quotiescunque feceris, facite in meam commorationem, obseero te domi­ne milesu Christe ut per haec sanctissima verba, & per virtutem illorum, & per meritum sanctissimae passionis tuae, sanetur hoc vulnus, & malum istud. A usen Ie­sus. in nomine Patris & Filii, & Spiritus Sancti. A­men Iesus.

And these people though at first allowed, because one or two of the first of them seemed to bee serious The reason why the Salu­tators of Spain have been re­strained and punished. men, and men of Estates, and because they preten­ded the publick good, and took no mony, are now severely prohibited.

1. Because they are a lewd people, unlikely to have that Commerce with God they pretend to.

2. Because they are but loose, and unsettled in Re­ligion, and would render others so.

3. Because they made the people tempt God to do that by an extraordinary way of Miracles, which he had appointed to bee done in the ordinary way of means and Physick.

4. Because they had seduced people to the neg­lect of the ordinary means of their preservation, to the danger of many peoples lives.

5. Because they brought the Curse of God upon poor people, many having confessed, that they pe­rished under the just hand of God, for having any thing to do with these Salutators.

6. Because they were abetted by desperate men of dangerous principles and practises.

7. Because they took the Name of God in vain, and abused his Word to superstitious purposes.

[Page 43] 8. Because they performed no real, or lasting cures.

9. Because they distracted the peoples thoughts Vid. Mallevt̄ tract. de mor­tissimis. and prepared them for Diabolical illusion and Ma gick.

10. Because many of them could do nothing till they had well drunk (a pottle of Sack, being required to a Miracle, when they pretended that they were In­spired) and had with them a madde Dogge.

11. Because they gave occasion to strange discour­ses about the Miracles of Christ and his followers, and so overthrew the great ground of Faith.

12. Because they perswaded people to do them­selves mischief, that they might do cures.

13. Because there were several instances brought in of their confederacies, impostures, and juggles.

In fine, because they did a world of mischief, and but little good.

Because some of them were convicted of familia­rity with Satan: Because the pretence and cheat, by reason of the curiosity of some, and necessity of others, was spreading: because these Miracle-mongers prov­ed at last Athiests, Apostates, or Hereticks, because it took people off their callings, spending their time in vanities: Because some of them were Enthusiastical: because they set many others upon unlawful distra­cting, and intollerable courses to attain that gift: Because they were mostly men of bad looks: Because they took men off their art, industry, and skill, pre­tending to that in Physick, that gifted men do in Di­vinity, both with a design to overthrow the standing Ordinance, and order of God.

All these the Articles against them in the Bishop of Ypres Court, and in other Ecclesiastical and civil [Page 44] Courts, to be considered by all sober Christians.

But what need, you will say, all this, when Mr. Stubbs himself in a Called the Miraculous Conformist. Book written in the mans behalf, hath sufficiently laid open his pretence; for indeea upon perusing that Book, I finde,

1 That the ground Page the 3. of that Book. of this strange attempt, is but an Impulse, and some chat thereupon between him, his Wife, and a poor Woman of the Village.

2 That the man observing how his stroking Page 4. was in­effectual upon some Diseases, betook himself, without any Voice or Impulse, to Incision.

3 That Page 4. Dean Rust being solemnly employed by my Lord Conway, to bring him from Ireland to the Lady Conway, he came, and could do her no good.

4 That some say his body smells strongly, but Mr. Stubbs found it not so, which if it did, there is no­thing extraordinary in the Case.

5 That notwithstanding the pretended vertue of his body, together with the pinching, rubbing and cutting of peoples Sores, and the peoples imagina­tion fermenting the masse of blood, spirits, and hu­mours, (wherein lye all the diseases as Mr. Stubbes saith he pretends to cure, for he medleth not with a­ny in whom nature is decayed) all that he can do, is to ease people a little by Pinching and Rubbing an humour from one place to another, which Mr. Stubbes takes some paines to prove Natural, Ordinary, and not at all Miraculous, by many instances; Of the said Poole, where he sheweth how Nature and Art doth as much as Mr. Greatrates pre­tendeth to Pag. 18, 24. 25. yea, and Pag. 14, he concludes that the re­moving of a distemper from place to place, is the ef­fect of Nature invigorated, and not of his touch.

6. That there are none perfectly healed by him, one Gentleman failing because he laid aside his Cap too soon; The Gentle­man at my Lord Co [...]wayes, wh [...]m hee Pinched from place to place to no purpose. another because the humour settled again [Page 45] into an Aposthume: The Maid that was struck dumb by a Poyson, being able onely to cry Ma for mother, for all his stroaking; the Gentlewoman that he went to dispossesse of a Devil, when she was onely trou­bled with the winde, being still troubled with the Collick; and the rest of the simple people men­tioned in that book, finding no other benefit of his rubbing, pinching, and cutting, than a little alte­ration, as they poor people imagine for the pre­sent.

7. And therefore Mr. Stubbes saith, that as he added Lancing and Pinching, without any extraor­dinary Commission to his stroaking, when he saw it would not do, so hee added Physick to his Laun­cing; for hee saw him apply Eye Salve to one per­sons Eye, and he had leave of him to apply Physick to others after his stroking; so dividing the honour of the Gift, that Mr. Greatrates touched, and Mr. Stubbes Cured.

And to say no more, I finde, that all that Mr. Stubbes can say for this pretender, is, that for ought he can guesse, by a few Page 4, 5. 14. he saith he had not the happi­ness to converse with him long. hours converse with him, he may be a Primitive Christian, and a conformist, though no rigid one; that there were formerly Gifts of Healing in the Primitive times, which he proves out of I Cor. 12. 4, 5.

That the cheating Souldiers called Salutators in Spain; that Pyrrhus, Vespatian, Simon Magus, Apol­lonius, and other Heathens, that some Turks, by a Gift left them by Mahomet, do feats of the same nature; about whom Mr. Stubbes refers us The substance whereof toge­ther with, &c. to Delrio; who indeed hath written six Books of Magick, not to approve, as a man would think by Mr. Stubbes his quotation, but to discover these Legerdemains.

And that he findes nothing in what he calls Mira­cles, [Page 46] but what he undertakes to: Salve by Natural causes, Pag. 18, 19, 20, 21. the effects whereof, by reason of the ignorance of some sort of peo­ple, may seem Miraculous, which to others, more knowing, are ordinary, the Sympathetick Cure, and others of the same nature may bee thought Conju­ring by the Vulgar, when they are known Physick to Phylosophers; and therefore when I have in­treated you to pardon the mistakes of a Letter, that I have not time to Read over; I conclude, that though you and other Reverend Persons, may think charitably the man means no hurt, all men confess, as well as our Society, that hee can do no good.


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