THE Wonder of the World; BEING A perfect Relation of a young Maid, a­bout eighteen years of age, which hath not tasted of any Food this two and fifty weeks, from this present day of my Writing, December, 22. Which may well be called a Wonder of Wonders.

Wherein is Related the whole truth, and no more: as it was taken from the mouth of the Damsel and her Mother; Being a true Account of her Condition.

Written by Thomas Robins B. of D. a VVell­wisher to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hear ye that are far off, what I have done, and ye that are near, acknowledge my might;
Isaiah 33. 13.

Here you may see and read the Glory of God, as the VVord says, in the 11. of John and the 40. Verse. Jesus saith unto her, said I not unto thee, if thou wouldst believs, thou shouldest see the Glory of God?

London, Printed for Tho. Passinger, at the three Bibles on the middle of London-Bridge. 1669.

A Relation of a Gentle­man in Chesterfield, a frequent Visi­tant of Martha Taylor, for many months, also attested by divers others.

MArtha Taylor of Over Hadton is Eighteen years of Age next Candlemas, having line in this extremity seven years come Candlemas, having taken no food since St. Andrews day, 1667. nor never had a Stool since Alhollou tide; and it is two years next Sunday, since her water could be de­serned to be water; and at the begining of her Fast, she spent much blood at her Mouth, Nose, left eye; and tears of blood their continues bleeding by degrees: from St. Andrews-tide, 1667. till last Lady-day: [Page 2] upon which her sight fayled, and speech, a­bout three weeks as that we could not well understand her; but it hath pleased God since to give her perfect memory, and desires to have the Bible always with her, and ofter good Books; having many godly Expressi­ons, with strength of faith: the Guts of her body are almost dried up, and no [...] comes from neither part, nor spits at mouth, nor hath she parted with any blood, but Sunday after twelve a Clock▪ September 4. 1668. These watched her; One from Over Hadton, and another from Gallon-grove, night and day, for seven days and six nights, to wit▪ Hannah Hollis, Dorothy Webster, Alite Trantor, Mary Jones, Elizabeth Glossop▪ Jone Heath, Ann Taylor, Ann Bott, Ann Benford, Ruth Gates, Sith Whitt, Mary Goodwin, Dorothy Sheldon: from Gallon-grave, Sarah Buntin, Parson Wilson's Maid, Hester Hatseild▪ Mary Cotes, Dorothy Sheldon, Hester Pigiard, Elizabeth Toft, Elizabeth Crane, Mr. Buxton's Maid, Barbarah Mosley, Ann Webster: from Grutton, Elizabeth Milner, and Elizabeth Wolley, as two went out two came in; and Mr. Fr [...]dhurst of Over Hadton, George Brodhurst; at [Page 3] my parting away, I took her by the hand, and finding her Pulses very weake, and her nether parts being very cold, and by much speaking causes to Heek-up; being in a vio­lent manner in that extremity, she put out her hand, and were content with so much water, to the vallew of two drops; and her sleep is quite gone, and she thinks her time very short, and her Spirits grow very low: there was some other things observed, which in modesty ought not to be spoken off.

THE Wonder of the World: BEING A perfect Relation of a young Maid, a­bout eighteen years of age, which hath not tasted of any Food this two and fifty weeks, from this present day of my Writing, December, 22.

Isaiah 34. 1.‘Come near ye Nations, to hear and hearken ye people▪ let the earth hear, and all that is therein, the world and all things that come forth of it.’

GOod people, according as God called the people, for to hear his judgements, concerning his Church: Nay, He did not onely call the People, but he called the [Page 6] whole earth; nay, the whole World: and all things that comes forth of it: Even so I desire all Christians within this our Na­tion; Nay, all in the whole World, to hear and to give their due attention, to what I here declare: concerning a very strange and marvelous wonderful work of God, which is to be proved at this present time of my writing, within the County of Dar­by, near to Backwell, within a Mile, or something more: at a little house noer Over Hadin, hard by the Mill:

Indéed I gave you a little Caviat con­serning this wondersul strange slory, which is nothing but true: I say I gave you a Character of it, which was dated, October 13. Which I had, by Relation, from many several persons: but since that time, I my self, the Author of this Book, hath been with the Maid, and hath had some discourse with her, which hath given me a great deal more satisfaction then I had before; and so I thought it good to give every one as good satisfaction as lyeth in my power for to do: and by Gods assistance, I do intend to declare the truth as near as I can, and no more but what I saw and heard from the Mouth of the Damsel and [Page 7] her Mother. For on December the 6. day, being the Lords day, I was with the Maid, and had some discourse with her, consern­ing her condition; For when this Damsel was about Eleven years old, it pleased the Lord to strike her with a lamentable pain in the small of her back, which was a great means to make her stoop very much, and it pleased the Lord that she so continued for the space of six years, and at the end of those years her Stumach was taken from her, that she could not eat as formerly she could; and about St. An hews day, she quite sorsock her meat, and hath not tasted of any Food since: Save onely upon St. Thomas day in one thousand six hundred sixty seven, she eat thrée slices of an Apple, but never since she hath not tasted of any Rind of mortal Food, bread nor drink, or water, but as they wet her lips with a Spoon and Spring water; but now since Martlemas day, she hath suckt of a Stu'd Pruan: but nothing can be perceived to go down into her body to this present day. And yet &c is very lively, and likely for to live; She is Ninetéen years of Age about Candlemas next; she is worn very bare of her body, very small left but skin and bone, [Page 8] much like the Picture of Annotomy, yet she hath some flesh left on her Arms, and her face, and some little blood in her Cheeks; and her lips, and her Spéech is very plain, and perica, as ever it was, yet her voice not all out so strong as formerly, and yet very strong and perfect, considering her con­dition, to the great amazement of all which sees or hears her speak, a thing which is almost past the belief of man, but yet very true, for I the Author of this Book can witness it for truth: For as I told you he ore, I was with her on the sixt day of this present December, and had some discourse with her, concerning her con­dition; and most of her discourse is of the Scripture; concerning the duty which a Christian oweth to God: she doth not ad­vance her self in any way, but doth con­fess her self a sinner: trusting in the Lord for mercn, and the Lord grant every one of us so for to do.

She is very ready in the Scripture, is able to discourse with any of the Clergy, she is so very ready in disputing of Scri­pture, and yet very small Learning, when it pleased the Lord to ftrike her into this condition; and yet now as ready as if she [Page 9] had gone seven years to the School: a mighty providence, and a thing to be ad­mired at; but the Lord is suffisient, and is able to do much more then man is able to express.

But before I go any further, I do intend to give you a little more satisfaction con­cerning this Damsels tast: for after it was known and spread abroad in the Country, the thing being so very strange that the Country was very hard of beleiving it to be true, as some do to this [...] (will not believe) but all I can say to such as these, I pray God that they have a true faith to believe in Iesus Christ; for as for my own part, my conscience tells me, I ought to believe it, for when I was with her, I could not conceive any way to the contrary. But indeed the hard belief of some men is not to be marvelled at: for in the time of our Saviour Jesus Christ, when he walked on the earth. I say there was many that would not believe him, which I shall speak more of hereafter.

But now to give you a little more satis­faction concerning this Damsels Fast, as I told you before, some of the head of the Gentry which lives near the Damsel, [Page 10] caused twenty Maids to be chosen out of several Towns thereabouts, to wake and watch with her, for to sée how she lived, that they might be the better satisfied in the truth; and these twenty Maids did watch and wake with her, every one her turn: and when they had done, they all agréed that she received no food, but as they wet her lips with Spring Water in a Spoon: which is a great satisfaction to many, yet some as I told you before, very hard of belief; but since that tune for a further tryal, the most worthy and ho­nourable Earl of Devonshire, for a further and more full satisfaction, he hath sent fourteen Maids to wake and watch with her, that he might be the more satisfied in the truth; these Maids wake with her by two at a time, for four and twenty hours, and so every two did so, till they had waked seven nights and seven days, and when they had so done, they certified that she did receive no mortal Food, but onely the wetting of her lips with Spring water in a spoon: and as it is very creda­bly reported, this hath given him very good satisfaction, and he doth believe it to be true.

[Page 11]Indéed it is a very strange and miracu­lous wonder; nay, it may be called, A Wonder of all Wonders, for the like was never heard of before, neither in our days, nor in our Fore-Fathers days: No, not since the Lord created man; but we may assure our selves that it is the Will of the Lord, for to let us sée his handy-work, for to try whether we do believe that there is a God that can work strange and won­derful works; and yet there is some so hard of belief, that will not stick to say; I mean concerning this Maid; that there is some desembleation in it, and will find some scornful Word or other concerning it; Nay, some will not stick to say, that there is Witch-craft in it.

But as for such as those I desire not to spend no rash judgement upon them, but leave them in the imagination of their own hearts: but as for my own part, I fully believe as the Word says, as you may find it in the 28. Chap. of the Prophet Isaih, and about the 29. Verse. the Words be these: This also cometh forth from the Lord of Hosts, which is wonder­ful in counsel, and excellent in working: But indéed in these days mens hearts be [Page 12] so deceitful that it is hard to find any, that his heart and tongue agrees together: for many in these our days which doth make a fair [...] that they be very Reli­gious people, and fears the Lord in an out [...] to the World, and yet I say, such as they, I can hear, doth spend their judgement very rashly concerning this Maid, which I here have spoken off: which is contrary to the Word of God: But as for such as those, I would desire them to look in the 29. Chapter of Isaiah, and about the 13. Verse and consider with themselves whether they be [...] or no, of that deep Hipocrisie, as the Lord calls it in the Con­tents of that Chapter, as you may sind in the 13. Verse. Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips doth ho­nour me, but have removed their heart far from me▪ and their fear towards me, is tought by the Precept of Men: And fear we may see now the Lord was angry with this people in those days, which made such a fair outward show with their lips, but yet their hearts was contrary; indéed I would desire you to look into the 14. verse of that same Chapter, and there you may [Page 13] find it very plain; to understand the cause why the Lord doth work such great and marvellous works; for as I have read it unto you in the 13. Verse, he challenged them for their Hipocrisie; Therefore be­hold I proceed to do a marvellous work a­mong this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder; And indeed the Lord may, for any thing that I know, have spoken the very same words to us here in these our Nations; for to be sure no Nation in these days could be déeper plunged in that dead­ly sin of Hipocrisie, then we: for in the 13. verse, you may understand that the Lord calls desembleation, a déep Hipocrisie, in these Words, They honour me with their lips, but have removed their heart far from me: and I pray God there be not too many such now adays: which may be a great cause of the Lords working this great and marvelous work here among us, now in this sinful Nation; and hath made his chosen Uessel of this Damsel, for to work this great and marvelous work up­on; and for any thing that I know, may have spoken the very same words to her, as he spake in the 41. of Isaiah, and a­bout the 9, and 10, Verses. The Words [Page 14] be these; I pray you take notice, it is worth your observation: Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the Earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said into thee, thou art my Servant, I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away, fear thou not for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my Righteousness.

Oh! What comfortable speeches is here from the Lord to poor sinners? and as I may say, why may not the Lord have spoken the very same words to this Dam­sel? for truly I do fully believe that we may be bold to say, that the Lord hath made a chosen Uessel of her:

And by Gods help I will do my best en­deavour to lay it open unto you in these thrée Conditions.

And first of all, as the latter part of the 9. Verse says, I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away; For certainly the Lord hath chosen her for to work this great and wonderful work upon:

[Page 15]For in the first place, he hath brought her body into such a condition, as the like was never known or heard of before since the creation of man; a body preserved with life, and hath not tasted of any mortal food not of fifty wéeks, and some more: and therein it makes me the bolder to say, I do believe she is one of the Lords chosen Uessels.

Secondly, She hath her spéech as perfect for any to understand, as she had in the time of her health, and speaketh very hearty, considering her weak condition of Body.

And thirdly, She hath a far better and more perfect Memory then formerly she had in the time of her health, and especially in discoursing of the Scriptures.

And these be my chiefest Reasons why I say that I do believe she is a chosen vessel of the Lords.

But indéed, I do believe that if all the people were together, and did all the best they could, I mean all that hath béen [Page 16] with her, and hath séen her in this condi­tion: I say, if they all should do the best they can, they would have much ado to perswade some to believe.

No, it is to be feared, some would ra­ther give out some scornsin spéeches, de­spiseing any one which would perswade them to believe it for truth.

But I desire such to look into the 13. of the Acts of the Apostles, and about the 41. verse. and there you shall find what is spoken concerning such as will not believe the Wondrous Works of the Lord; I pray take notice, and these be the words; Be­hold ye despisers, and wonder and perish, for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise be ieve, though a man declare it unto you.

And indéed I do believe this place of Scripture was never so much fulfilled since it was Written, as it is now in our days, concerning this Maid, a Wonder the like never known before in any age: and is too true that there is too many Despisers, and I pray God the Words of this Text, do not too soon fall upon some of them: for as the latter part of the Uerse says: They will not believe, though a man declare it [Page 17] unto them. Nay, there be some which have béen with the Damsel, and hath séen her, and yet they be very hard of belief: just like unto those people which we read of in the Gospel, which would not believe the words which our Saviour Iesus Christ spake to them face to face: No, but they laughed him to scorn, as you may find it written in the eight of Luke, and about the fifty second and fifty third verses: and yet for all they laughed him to scorn, he let them see a wonderful strange work, which he wrought upon the body of J [...] daugh­ter, in raising her from death to life.

And now in these our days, he hath béen pleased to work a very strange work upon this Maid which I have here spoken off, to sée if we will believe, and not to perish through our unbeleiving hearts: for he that hath a stedlast heart to be­lieve in the Lord, be shall never fall: for the Lord will uphold him, as David says, in the 37. Psalm, and the 24. verse Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Indéed, happy is that man whom the Lord upholdeth: I pray God give us [Page 18] all grace so to lead our lives, that we may deserve to call for his helping hand, and that we may desire the Lord to lead us in the way of truth, as David said, in the 25. Psalm, and the 5. Verse: Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou are the God of my Salvation, on thee do I wait all the day: And the Lord of his mercy give us an grace to wait on the Lord day and night, for the good of our sal­vation.

And to draw to a Conclusion, I shall but onely give you a Word or two in the way of Exhortation, and I pray God it may take place in the hearts of all that either reads it, or hears it read; for this I must néeds tell you, if you do desire to have mercy at the Hands of God, at the latter day, you must strive to kéep his Commandements: that is, to love one a­nother: which is, I am afraid, a very hard thing for a great many to do.

And agant, we should be pittiful one to another as brethren; having compassion one of another, as you may find it Writ­ten in the 3. Chap. of the first Epistle of Peter, and the 8. verse, in these words; [Page 19] Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another: Love as Bre­thren, be pittiful, be courteous: indeed I would desire every Christian, to kéep and obey these Commandments, as for forth as they be able, for in so doing, we may come to be in love with God, and know him: As you may finde it in the 4. Chap. of the first Epistle of John, the 7. and 8. verses. In these words, Belo­ved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God; He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.

O then let us [...] by all possible means to love one another as Brethren, and then may we boldly say we love God, if we had but this brotherly love, and would strive to keep his Commande­ments.

As you may find in the first Epistle of John, and the 2. verse. For he says there, By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his Commandements.

And the Lord grant us all grace so to do.

[Page 20]And now to conclude, I desire every one to consider with themselves, what they have heard here in this little Book; for although the Uollume be but small, yet the matter is of a great ballew, for it conterus very much to the salvati­on of man, though in some part of it, some may say it conterus worldly affairs: [...] such I make this, although that my former part of this book, be but, as you may say, worldly news: yet I say it may well be called heavenly matter: For so strange a wonder was never heard on before: and my conscience tells me, I may boldly say it is a fore [...] to bring us into the way of Repentance: Which I pray God to give us all grace so to do; and that for Jesus Christ his sake.

And so the God of Peace, Love, and Uni­ty, Bless, Guide, and Keep us all, this time, hence forth, and for ever-more,

Amen.

I am yours in Christ, THOMAS ROBINS.
FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.