Newes from Darby-shire. OR THE Wonder of all Wonders.

That ever yet was Printed, being a perfect and true Relation of the handy work of Almighty God shown upon the body of one Martha Taylor now living about a mile or something more from Backwell in Darby shire, hard by a Pasture commonly called Hadin Pasture, this Maid as it hath pleased the Lord, she hath fasted forty weeks and more, which may very well be called a wonder of all Wonders, though most people which hear this may censure this to be some Fable, yet if they please but to take the pains to read over the book, I hope that they will be better sa­tisfied and have some faith to believe.

This Maid is still alive and hath a watch set over her by order of the Earl of Devon-shire.

Fear not O Land be glad and rejoyce for the Lord will do great things Jo. 2. v. 21. And I will shew Wonders in the Heavens, and in the Earth v. 30.

Written by me T. Robins. B. of D. a well wisher to the gospel of Iesus Christ. Oct. 13. 1668.

LONDON. Printed for T.P. at the three Bibles on London-bridge.

News from Darby-shire.

MY beloved Brethren, I beseech you all young or old, rich or poor, of what degree soever you be, which reads or hears this little book I say I would have you to give good attention unto it, for it is worth your observation: for as I have stiled it upon these words, which is Gods Love from heaeven, to sin­ners on earth. So I hope by Gods assistance, I shall clearly prove it here unto you as soon as I have declared the subject of this work, which I have taken in hand, and now by Gods help I do intend to let you understand one of the strangest wondrous works as I may call it wrought by the handy work of God in love to sinners upon earth, the like ne­ver heard on before, I do believe since the Lord created man, which I now shall declare unto you all within the County of Darby­shire about a mile or some little more off Backwell near a place called Overhadin, near [Page 2]to a Pasture commonly called Hadin Pastury in a little house hard by the Mill, there liveth a Damsel called Martha Taylor daughter to William Taylor, a young woman about 19 years of age, this Maid it is which the Lord i [...] pleased to show his handy work upon, and a [...] I may boldly say he hath sent down his spi­ritual love from heaven upon her: as by the grace of God I do intend to make it plainly appear unto you, for when she was about 12 years old, it pleased the Lord to strike her with a lameness in her limbs, about the smal [...] of her back, and so she continued about the space of 6 years, which was a great cause to make her stoop very much in her going, and towards the latter end of those years, it plea­sed God to take her stomach from her: that she could not eat as formerly she used to do.

But since Saint Thomas's day in one thou­sand six hundred sixty seven, she hath not ta­ken any manner of food, bread, drink, or wa­ter, or any thing to preserve mortal life, e­ver since the day aforesaid; which is from that day to this day of my present writing, 40 weeks and upward, which is as I told you before as strange a wonder as ever was since; the creation of man & a thing worthy to be chronicled for a memorial to our seed here­after [Page 3]and as I told you before my conscience tells me I may boldly say it is Gods love from heaven to Sinners upon earth, but before I pass any further I do intend to give you a little more satisfaction concerning this Maids fast­ing which is manifestly made appear: for some of the head of the Gentry of that coun­try having a great desire to be more fully sa­tisfied in the truth, the thing being so won­derful and strange that they scarce knew how to believe: so they thought good to make choice of twenty maids to watch and wait with her, that they might be the better satisfied in the truth: and so there was twen­ty Maids chosen and they did wait with her every one her turn, and has satisfied for very truth that she doth not receive any kind of food into her body, but all that is done un­to her, her mother anointeth her lips with a feather and spring water, by reason of the hotness of her breath, this was certified for very truth by these twenty maids when they had done waiting with her and this I hope will serve to satisfie every true believe­ing Christian that they may receive this won­derful strange story, as a true story, and not as a fable, which I desire that every christian which hears it to believe it for a truth for I my self which is the Author of this little book [Page 4]wou'd have you to understand that my be­lief is that I should be worse then an infidel, if I should set out any such a miraculous thing as this if it were a fable, and being so bold to joyn it with Gods word, no, far be it from me so to do: for I know it to be true by the evidence of her neighbours, and divers persons and men of quality which hath been with her, and doth affirm it to be true, yet something more I have to let you understand concerning this Maid, which is very strange, considering her long fasting: and that is this for she hath her speech very perfect and has a great delight to talk and discourse in the Scripture with any Scholar, there is very many of the Clegy doth come unto her far and near and hath very much discourse, for she is very ripe witted concer­ing the word of God, & taketh much delight therein. Also for her person and complexion she is worn away so bare that she hath very smal left on her but skin and bone, she hath no belly to be seen, for her intrails are dried up insomuch that you may see her back bone through the skin of her belly, nothing she can be likned to but the picture of death, all her body over but only the Lord keeps life in her her face is indifferent fresh & hath some red in it, her speech very perfect and [Page 5]plain as any of we: but her voice very smal a very strange thing unto man, but nothing is strange unto the Lord: for as we may read in divers parts of Scripture of many things which the Lord wrought and brought to pass which is very strange to us, and was very strange to those people in those days, Enoch lived nine hundred and five years, and Mathuse­lah lived nine hundred sixty and nine years. Ge­nesis 5.11.27. Which is very strange to us, for now in our daies it is much to hear of any man that liveth one hundred, but I be­lieve not in our age that ever any was heard of that lived ninescore which is a great deal short of nine hundred sixty nine: and yet I say if we should hear of any to live so long, we should think it very strange, and should think it deserved to be Chronicled: then much more I say ought this miraculous wonder of this Maid to be kept in memorial which hath lived above forty weeks without tasting any manner of mortal food, Moses fasted forty days and forty nights and neither eat bread nor drank water. Exodus 34.28 Which was a mighty thing in those days & caused to be recorded in the Scripture, be­cause he fasted longer then any was known to do before, our Saviour Jesus Christ fasted forty days and forty nights. But now in our [Page 6] dayes he sheweth greater miraculous wonders in preserving the life of this woman, without taking any mortal food now forty weeks and more, which is already for every day that our Saviour and Moses fasted.

I say she has fasted for every day a week and more: and this is it makes me the more bolder to say it is Gods love from heaven, to sin­ners on earth, for I do fully believe that it is for love that the Lord bears to that poor crea­ture, which makes him to work this wonderful work upon her, for indeed I could wish with all my heart, that I and every poor soul living were but in as good a condition as the soul of that poor christian is in for this my conscience tells me I may boldly say that she is fed with Angels food and the powers of Heaven is with her, and the Angel of the Lord is her door-keeper, and without doubt there is a place provided among those blessed Angels, where she shall receive life everlasting world without end.

For why may not the Lord have spoken unto her the very same words which he spake to Mo­ses. And he said my presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest Exodus 33.14. [Page 7] A blessed and a comfortable saying this was to have the spirit of the Lord go along with sinners, and this we may be assured; this was for love which the Lord bare to those people for they were but a stiff-necked people, as he tells them in the third verse of this chap­ter, and yet out of his love he promised to go with them and give them rest, for we may assure our selves the Lord will give rest, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to all such as he loves, as you may find in Proverbs the 7. and the 6 verse. For the Lord giveth wisdom out of his mouth cometh knowledge and un­derstanding.

And now to draw toward a conclusion I desire to give you one word or two more concerning the wondrous work of the Lord which I have termed to be Gods love from hea­ven to sinners upon earth, as you may find it concerning Lazarus for after he had been four days dead the Lord put life into him, as you may find in the thirty ninth chapter of John.

Where he said to Martha take away the stone Martha the sister of him that was dead, said unto him Lord by this time he stinketh for he hath bin [Page 8]daies dead, but for all that Jesus saith unto her, that if thou wouldest beleive, thou shouldest see the glory of God. Then they took away the store from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lift up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me alwayes: but because of the people which stand by, I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And, when he had thus spoken, he cryed with a loud voice, Lazarus come forth. And he that was dead, came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-cloaths, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, loose him and let him go. as you may find it in the 40 41. 42. 43. 44. verses of the 11 chapter of John. Many of these won­drous works did our Saviour Jesus Christ shew to the people in those days, yet as you may understand by these words in the 42. v. The people was very hard of belief in those daies, and indeed it is to be feared that there is too many in these days, which will be very loath to believe this wonderful work which he has wrought upon this woman, nay there is many more places in the Scripture of very strange Miracles which was done in those days I shall but onely give you a hint of some of them, because I am confined unto a small quantity of paper: but in the first place [Page 9]I pray consider the great work of the Lord in the three children which he preserved from the raging heat of the fiery Furnace as you may finde in Daniel the third, also Daniel de­livered in the Lyons den Daniel the 6. Jonas in the Whales belly, with divers more places in Scripture which is too tedious for to set down in this smal volumn, yet I call to mind one notable place where our Saviour raised Jarius daughter from death to life, and the people mocked him as you may find in the 8 chapter of Luke & about the 49 v. & so on to the end of the chapter. While he yet spake there came one from the ruler of the house saying to him, thy daughter is dead, trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him saying, fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole but in the 52 verse. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, weep not, she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, know­ing that she was dead, but he ut them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise, And her spirit came again, and she arose straitway: and he commanded to give her meat. And here you may see the Lord shewed great love to sinners upon earth, for all they laughed him to scorn as you may find in the 53 verse. Yet he was willing to work that marvellous work upon that young woman, [Page 10]and raise her from death to life which was a very strange thing to man, to see those which be dead to have life put in­to them again, and indeed this wonder which I have here related to you is much after the same manner, for though she yet never parted with life in this world, yet in considering the condition that she is in now: I say she is much what as dead to this mortal life; having not ta­sted any kind of mortal food, not of for­ty weeks and more, which may well be counted a Wonder of Wonders to all men now living.

And so now to draw to a conclusion I will end with a word or two of exhortation, de­siring every christian to bear in mind this Damsel which I have here spoken of, and to consider the Lord hath not shown this handy work upon her only for her own sin. O no, but as you may find in the 13 of Luke & the 5 verse. I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, yee shall all likewise perish. and so I pray God give us all grace so to do whilst we live in this world that we may receive life ever­lasting in the world to come, world without end. Amen.

So the grace of our Lord Jesus-Christ be with us all this time henceforth and for evermore Amen.

Here followeth a short prayer fit to be said by all sinners.

O Most gracious and most glorious Lord God give ear unto our Prayer, consider our Pe­tition and fulfil thy promise made of old to our forefathers, that when two or three are met to­gether thou art in the midst of them, so we desire that thou would be pleased to be with us at this present time and to make answer unto us: oh thou that art the God of peace, the God of love, the God of mercy, we poor miserable and wretched sin­ners, do beseech thee to be merciful unto us, and to all sinners: we confesse O Lord we have rebel­led against thee, and according to thy most holy word we have most wickedly done these things, which we should not have done, and we have left undone that which thou saidest we should do, and the truth is not in us: but oh Lord have mercy upon us, have mercy and deal not with us accord­ing to our desert for Jesus Christ sake, but accord­ing [Page 14]to thy tender mercy blot out all our offences, spare us O Lord and forgive us, make us to be­come new creatures, take away from us our stony hearts of unbeleif, and give us believing hearts of flesh, that we may believe, that thou art the God that can work great and marvellous and won­derful works, thou makest the lame to go, the blind to see, the dum to speak, them that be in the grave thou canst raise them up and put life into them, and now O Lord thou hast shown thy handy work in a most wonderful manner upon the body of this our Sister, in giving so long and large a time of repentance, for as thou hast given her bo­dy power and strength to keep so long a fast from mortal food, even so oh Lord wee desire too feed her soul with the spiritual food of thy blessed king­dome, that when thou art willing that she and we shall change this mortal life, then thou would be pleased to receive us into thy kingdom, and give us that ever lasting life which never shall have end, Amen Lord Jesus.


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