The two Noble Converts; OR THE Earl of MARLBOROUGH and the Earl of ROCHESTER Their Dying Requests and Remonstrance, To the ATHEISTS and DEBAUCHEES of this Age.

The Earl of Marlborough's Letter to Sir H. P. a little before the Sea-Fight, in 1665.


I Believe the goodness of your Nature, and the friend­ship you have always born me, will receive with kindness the last office of your Friend. I am in health enough of Body, and (through the mercy of God in Jesus Christ) well disposed in Mind. This I premise, that you may be satisfied that what I write, proceeds not from any phantastick terrour of Mind, but from a sober resolution of what concerns my self, and earnest desire to do you more good after my Death, than mine Ex­ample (God of his Mercy pardon the badness of it) in my life-time may do you harm. I will not speak ought of the Vanity of this World; your own Age and Experi­ence will save that labour: But there is a certain thing that goeth up and down the World, called Religion, dressed and pretended phantastically, and to purposes bad enough, which yet by such evil dealing loseth not its Being: The great good God hath not left it without a Witness, more or less, sooner or later, in every Man's Bosom, to direct us in the pursuit of it; and for the avoid­ing of those inextricable disquisitions and entanglements our own frail Reason would perplex us withal, God in his infinite Mercy hath given us his Holy Word, in which, as there are many things hard to be understood, so there is enough plain and easy, to quiet our Minds, and direct us concerning our future Being. I confess to God and you, I have been a great neglecter, and (I fear) despiser of it: (God of his infinite Mercy pardon me the dreadful Fault.) But when I retired my self from the noise and deceitful Vanity of the World, I found no true comfort in any other resolution, than what I had from thence: I commend from the bottom of my Heart the same to your (I hope) happy use. Dear Sir H. let us be more generous, than to believe we die as the Beasts that perish; but with a Christian, Manly, Brave Reso­lution, look to what is Eternal. I will not trouble you further. The only great God, and holy God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, direct you to an happy end of your Life, and send us a joyful Resurrection. So prays,

Your true Friend, MARLBOROUGH.

The Reader, if he please, may see more Instances of the like nature, in a Book called, Fair Warnings to a careless World.

The Earl of Rochester's Remonstrance, Signed with his own Hand a little before his Death.

FOr the benefit of all those whom I may have drawn into Sin by my Example and Encouragement, I leave to the World this my last Declaration, which I deliver in the presence of the great God, who knows the secrets of all Hearts, and before whom I am now appearing to be judged.

That from the bottom of my Soul I detest and abhor the whole course of my former wicked Life; that I think I can never sufficiently admire the goodness of God, who has given me a true sense of my pernicious Opinions and vile Practices, by which I have hitherto lived without Hope, and without God in the World; have been an Open Enemy to Jesus Christ, doing the utmost despite to the Holy Spirit of Grace. And that the greatest testimo­ny of my Charity to such is, to warn them in the Name of God, and as they regard the welfare of their Immortal Souls, no more to deny his Being, or his Providence, or despise his Goodness; no more to make a mock of Sin, or contemn the pure and excellent Religion of my ever blessed Redeemer, through whose Merits alone, I, one of the Greatest of Sinners, do yet hope for Mercy and Forgiveness. Amen.


Besides which, take one memorable Saying of his, on his Death-Bed. ‘One day at an Atheistical Meeting, at a Person of Quality's, I undertook to manage the Cause, and was the principal Disputant against God and Piety, and for my performances received the Applause of the whole Company; upon which my Mind was terribly struck, and I immediately replied thus to my self: Good God! that a Man, that walks upright, that sees the won­derful Works of God, and has the use of his Senses and Reason, should use them to the defying of his Creator! But though this was a good beginning towards my Con­version, to find my Conscience touch'd for my Sins, yet it went off again: nay, all my Life long I had a secret value and reverence for an honest Man, and lov'd Mo­rality in others. But I had form'd an odd Scheme of Re­ligion to my self, which would salve all that God or Conscience might force upon me; yet I was not ever well reconciled to the business of Christianity, nor had that reverence for the Gospel of Christ as I ought to have.’

With several other like Expressions, which may be seen in the Sermon preached at his Funeral.

LONDON, Printed by J. D. and sold by Randal Taylor, 1680.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.