AN ESSAY TOWARDS AN HISTORY Of all the Remarkable Providences Which have happened in This Present Age. As also of what is Curious in the Works of Nature and Art. With Parallel INSTANCES from former Ages. By William Turner, M. A. and Vicar of Walberton in Sussex. To be Publish'd by way of Subscription.

A Work of this Nature was set on foot about 30 years ago, by the Learned Mr. Pool, Author of the Synop­sis Criticorum; but, for what Reasons we know not, it was laid aside, and nothing has since appeared on that Subject but a small Essay, to invite some others to go on with the Work. The Reverend Mr. Turner (whose late History of all Religions hath met with good acceptation) having made Collections proper for such an Undertaking, during the Course of his Reading, and Ministry, for near 30 years, and finding; that it is not attempted by any other Hand, is resolved to go on with it, as being fully satisfied, That a Work of this kind, must needs be of Great Ʋse; especially to such pious minds as delight to observe the manifestations which God doth give of himself, Both in his works of Creation and Providence; the former are sufficient to render those who have no other Instructers inexcusable, as we are taught by the Apostle, Rom. 1.20. and the excellency of the latter consists in this, that they are the Real accomplishments of his written word, so that to Record Providences, seems to be one of the best methods that can be pursued against the abounding Atheism of this Age, for by works of providence, the Confession of a God, and the truth of his word have been extorted from those very per­sons who have boldly denied it; Memorable is that passage of Æschyles the Persian in Traged: who relating his Countrymens discomfiture by the Greeks, gives us this observation that when the Grecians pursued them furiously over the great River Strymon, which was then frozen, but began to thaw, he did with his own Eyes see many of those Gallants whom he had heard before, maintain so boldly that there was no God; every one upon their knees, with eyes and hands Lifted up, begging for mercy; and that the Ice might not break till they got over.

The Scepticks of this age, may possibly call such a passage in Question, but what can the most Obdurate Atheist say to those providences about the Jews; which were so clearly foretold in the Scriptures, and part of 'em are visible to their own Eyes. Is not this sufficient to convince them of the being of an Omniscient God, that the sacred Scrip­tures are his Revealed Will; and that Christianity is the only true Religion. We doubt not but those men who are able to hold out against such a convinceing demonstration, will flout at this undertaking; and expose it all they can, but they may Remember the conquest which truth made over their great Champions, Mr. Hobbs, My Lord Rochester, and Sir Alan Broderick, providences which merit their thoughts, and may serve to stop their mouths. But to come to the design in hand: It being certainly an incumbent duty according to the Psalmist, for one Generation to praise the Works of the Lord to Another, and to declare his mighty Acts; Psal. 145.4.

I. We have consulted many, and design to peruse all Authors that we can meet with, Ancient or Modern, who have writ on this Subject (as The Treasury of Ancient and Modern Times, Camerarius, Beard, Clark, Wanly, &c. and others lately publisht); and make a Collection of the Choicest passages, in order to the Parallel betwixt ancient and modern instances, which cannot but be very serviceable considering that many of those Authors are now become Scarce, who re­corded the providences of former ages; and that there are multitudes of remarkable passages, relating to the present age, scattered in so many Books, which its hardly possible for any one man to have all of 'em by him.

II. We our selves have already collected, and received from Credible Hands, many remarkable Passages which were never yet printed; and design to collect as many more as we can, relating to this Present Age.

III. We do hereby invite all men, especially Divines, to impart unto us any such Remarkable Providences as they have recorded, or remember to have befallen themselves, or others, either in Mercy or Judgment.

IV. We desire, for the Improvement of the Collections which we have already made, that such as have any by them, would send to us their Observations—of Extraordinary Deliverances by Sea or Land,—Earthquakes,—unusual Thunders, &c. Inundations,—strange Apparitions, (but let these be well attested)—Witchcrafts, —Diabolical Possessions,—Appearances in the Regions of the Air,—remarkable Meteors,—exhalations issuing out of the earth, or Prodigies of any sort,—Strange Beasts, Sheep, Horse, —of any unusual Quality, or mixed Generation, or wonderful Bigness, or any other Animal atten­ded with any unusual Circumstances— You are also desired to send us accounts of any strange accidents that have befallen men or women,—remarkable Discoveries of Murther,—any prodigious Births,—Numerous Off-springs, —Persons of extra­ordinary stature, remarkable either for Excess or Defect,—of prodigious Memorys,—any that have strange Antipathies [Page]to Meats, Drinks, Animals, parts of Animals,—of unusual Sleep or Watchings,—Night-Walkers (in their sleep, we mean),—Predictions that have strangely come to pass,—of men of extream age,—of sudden Deaths (extraordinarily Circumstantiated),—of any reputed dead that have strangely come to Life again,—any thing remarkable that attends a Family, or single person in their Lives or Deaths, as Lights or Noises, &c.—Dwarfs, with their age, and place of abode,—any Improvement in any of the Liberal or Mechanick Arts,—any Valuable Manuscripts,—or what else you have remarkable, of any kind, the publishing whereof may be either a Service to the publick, or to particular persons; which if sent, shall not fail to be inserted in its proper place.

These are the Heads we desire the ingenious Reader, wherever they may come maturely to consider, and to send us accounts of as many of them as fall under his own proper Experience and Knowledge, directed to John Dunton, at the Raven in Jewen-street; whence, with all convenient speed, they shall be transmitted to the Press, in the manner alrea­dy described, with such Improvements on the different Heads, as the Reverend Author (who is to compile this work) can make, either from his own Experience, or the best Writers. But always remember, that what you send be circum­stantiated with the Name of the County, Town, and Place, you fend it from, and of the particular persons concern'd, when the case requires it (for we shall not take notice of any thing that is trifling, or uncertain); and that you pay the Postage of all Letters (relating to this Work), that so the Undertaker may not be imposed upon, nor discouraged in this useful attempt, which we have now a fair opportunity to accomplish, having received promises of assistance from persons of Great Learning and Curiosity; (We have also the promise of a Folio Manuscript, written by the Fa­thers, that will be so kind as to impart their Observations to us, that they shall be received with all Candor and Gratitude imaginable, and the Names of the Authors published, if permitted, that the publick may know to whom they are indebted for the promoting of such an useful Work.

As the Mercies and Judgments of God are not confin'd to any particular party, therefore, as we have already col­lected, we design also to embrace all well attested Relations, from Christians of what Denomination soever, provided they have not a Tendency to reflect upon any Subdivisions of Protestants; for we will not insert any thing that savours of Faction or Animosity amongst Brethren, but will endeavour to make the Work as unexceptionable as may be, to all moderate and pious men.

Seeing it hath pleased God to manifest much of his Glory in the Works of Creation, and much of his Goodness to men by inspiring them with useful and delightful Inventions, we desire, that such as have made any Choice Collections, or Observations, relating either to Nature or Art, would be pleased to send them to us, and particularly any thing, that may contribute to the Natural History of the Three Kingdoms, or advance the Reputation of their Inhabitants, by publishing what useful Arts or Things they have either invented or improved (as any rare or curious Engine, &c.) By means whereof the World will be made acquainted with the Persons eminently curious in any Handicraft, and wherein their Excellency lies.

We do also invite all Divines, and others, to communicate to us any Remarkable Epi [...]aphs in Church-yards, &c. be­cause many of them contain a short History of the persons upon whom they are made; which is not to be found else­where, as we are fully satisfied by such Collections of that sort as we have made already.

Moreover, That nothing might be wanting to render our Work perfect, we have been at the charges to purchase what we found for our purpose in Mr. William Miller's Catalogue, lately publish'd (which being a curious Collection of Papers and Pamphlets of all sorts, from the year 1600 down to this day) we have been there accommodated with seve­ral Relations from divers parts of the Three Kingdoms, as well as from Forreign Parts, as also with Modern Instances upon Atheism, Murder, Adultery, Theft, Drunkenness, and other Subjects, no where else to be found, which will be no small Entertainment to the Reader to find them here collected into One Volume, under proper Heads.

We design also to consult the Prerogative Office in London, &c. for Wills of such Atheistical Wits as Hobbs and others, who being at last overcome by the Truth, were forced to give solemn Attestations thereunto.

The Method proposed to be followed, is to rank every thing under its proper Head, with some little Introducti­on to each, and to cite our Authorities in the Margin, as in the following Specimen; only we shall be more particular in our Collections than any that have preceeded us, as to the Female Sex, who are generally too much slighted in Works of this Nature, tho there have been as remarkable Instances of the Vertues and Vices of that Sex as of our own, as well as of some curious Peices of Art performed by them of which the Queens Now to be seen in Green Court in the Old Jury. Effigies, and other Curiosities, lately done in Wax by Mrs. Goldsmith, is an undeniable Argument.—So that this History of Providence. &c, will not only be of singular use to Ministers, in furnishing Topicks of Reproof and Exhortation, but may serve as a Mo­nitor to persons of all Ranks and Qualities, in their Closets, and Families. And this particular advantage may be reapt by this Undertaking, That those who have observ'd any remarkable Providences, either as to themselves or others, or have by 'em in writing, the Dying Words of their Friends,—or the account of their Conversions (if very remarkable,) may have them recorded in this Work; So that their own Posterity, and succeeding Generations, may have the ad­vantage of them; whereas they would have otherwise been utterly lost.

In the Last Piace, we think fit to acquaint the publick, That in order to the preventing of all Cavils and Excepti­ons, and preventing all Causes of Offence, we design that the whole Work shall be perus'd by some Eminent Divines, before it be put to the Press, whose Sentiments thereof under their Hands, shall be publish'd at the Beginning of the Work.

*⁎* That the publick may be able to form the better Idea of our Design, we have thought fit to subjoyn the following Specimen.

Proposals and Specimens are to be had of the Ʋndertaker, John Dunton, at the Raven in Jewen-street, as also of Edm. Richardson, near the Poultrey Church, and of most Booksellers in London and the Countrey.

PROPOSALS.

  • I. THAT this Work, as near as we can judg, will contain about Three Hundred Sheets, Printed in large Folio, with the same Letter, (and not upon that small Letter the following Specimen is printed on) and on Paper of the same goodness with these Proposals.
  • II. For the Encouragement of those that Subscribe, it is proposed at 30 s. a Book in Quires, 15 s. to be paid in hand, and 15 s. at Delivery; and if it happens to make above Three Hundred Sheets, the Subscribers shall have it, paying only one Penny for every such additional sheet.
  • III. For a further Encouragement to those that Promote it, any Gentleman who will Subscribe for six Books, shall have a seventh Gratis, which will reduce the Three hundred Sheets to 1 l. 5 s.d. per Book in Quires, which, considering, the vast Expence for Materials requisite for carrying on, and compleating so great a Work, and the extraordinary fineness of the Paper, cannot but be thought very reasonable.
  • IV. To those that do not subscribe by the first of September next, the said 300 sheets shall not be sold under 35 s. in Quires.
  • V. All Gentlemen who subscribe, shall have their Names and Titles, &c. (if permitted) annexed when the whole i [...] compleated.
  • VI. The first Volume shall be ready to be delivered to Subscribers next Hillary Term, and the Second with all possible Expedition.
  • VII. Those that desire the Publication of this useful Work, and expect the benefit of these Proposals, are requested to send their first payment with what speed they can to the Ʋndertaker (who will give a receipt for the same); for no­thing but the backwardness of the Subscribers can hinder the compleating of it at the time prefixt.

The Specimen.
Attestations to the Truth of the Christian Religion, from Atheistical Wits, who had formerly denied the Being of God, and disputed with the greatest strength of their Carnal Reason against all Religion.

THE Concessions of Adversaries is always Reckoned a good Argument for the Confirmation of a Controverted Truth, nor does Omnipotence ever manifest it self with greater Majesty, then when it extorts a Confession of Gods overuling providence from VVicked men and Devils; what Emphasis is there in Nebuchadnezzars Acknowledge­ment, that the most high doth according to his will in the Army of Heav'n, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, and none can stay his hand; or say unto him what dost thou? Dan. 6.35. And tho our blessed Saviour disdain'd such a Testimony, yet the Power and Majesty of God was mightily seen in that Confession, which we find so often extorted from the Devils in the Gospel, that he was the Holy one of God, and the Son of the most High, and when we Consider those passages, and that Divine Air, which sounds in the declaration of the false prophet Balaam, Num. 24. I shall see him but not now, I shall behold him but not nigh, there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel. We have no reason to doubt but that the Lofty Rapture of the Oracle of Delphos may be true.

[...]
[...]
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Which I find thus Ingeniously translated into Latin and English.

Me puer Hebraeus, Divos Deus ipse Gubernans,
Cedere sede jubet triftemque redire sub orcum
Aris ergo dehinc tacitis abscedito nostris.
An Hebrew Child whom the blest Gods adore,
Hath bid me leave these shrines and pack to Hell,
So that of Oracles, I can no more:
In silence leave our Altar, and farewel.

Upon the return of which Answer from that Oracle, the Emperor Augustus caused an Altar to be Erected in the Capitol with this Inscription, haec est ara primogeniti Dei. And the famous Acknowledgment of Julian the Apostate when mortally wound­ed by an Arrow,Julian the Apostate dies, acknowledging the Truth of the Christian Religion. Vicisti tandem Galilee, is another remarkable instance of the power of God in extorting a Confession of the Truth of Christianity from one of its most implacable Enemies.

This we think sufficient as a Taste of what may be produced, as to Confessions of God and Christ, which have been extorted by Remarkable Providences in preceeding Ages; and we have rea­son to bless his Holy Name, that he hath not left us without Observable Attestations of the same Nature in this present Age.

The first we shall mention are the Earl of Marlbourgh's Let­ters from on Board the Fleet. April 24. 1665.

The Earl of Marlbourgh, whose two most Devout and Peni­tential Letters are herewith Publish'd, was a person of great un­derstanding and wit: The Scene of his Life lay chiefly in Voyages and expeditions by Sea, whereby he made many laborious at­tempts to repair the Collapsed Estate of his Ancestors; but it pleased not God to give him the Success he hoped for therein.

It is wholly unfit for any Writer to touch upon any irreligi­ous principles or practises, that were as stains in his Life, since he hath, by his own Noble Pen in the following Letters, ac­knowledged them, and by his most exemplary Repentance wash­ed them off.

Mr. Roger Coke in the second Volume of his Detection, p. 142, mentions, That the Fight wherein the Duke of York beat the Dutch, and Opdam was blown up, was the 3d of June, 1665. and that in this Fight the English lost the Renown'd Earl of Marlbourgh, who, tho Admiral in K. Charles the firsts time, died here a private Cap­tain.

But it pleased God, in that Naval Expedition, to work in him such a sense of his Sins, as did infinitely make amends for the former disappointments he met with by Sea or Land.

The Date of his first Letter being the 24th of April, and that of the Second, the 23d of May following, will satisfy any can­did Reader, that the New Birth in him was accompanied with may pangs and efforts of great consideration during the firmness of his bodily Health, and much transcending the low Nature of poor Death-bed Repentances, which are so justly suspected by our Practical Divines of all perswasions.

And here it is necessary to acquaint the Reader that these two Letters of distant Dates were sent by his Lordship from the Royal Navy, inclosed in other Letters to Mr. Tredewy, his Lordship's Agent in London; with a particular Instruction, both as to that to Sir Hugh Pollard, and that to Mr. Glascock, that each of them was to be delivered when Mr. Tredewy was credibly inform'd of his Lordships Death. His design being, that his Pen should Preach Repentance to the World, in case he lived not to be a personal Adviser thereof himself.

The Publisher hereof assures the Reader, that both the Letters had a happy influence on the Lives of the two persons, to whom they were directed, and that Sir Hugh Pollard having lent the Ori­ginal Letter which was sent to him, to Sir W. Davenant, to shew it to whom he pleased; Sir VVilliam shew'd it to the Publisher among many others: And that Mr. Glascock permitted the Publisher to take a Copy of that Letter directed to him. The Reader may then awaken his most serious Thoughts to consider the two fol­lowing Letters.

A Letter from the right Honourable James Earl of Marl­bourgh, a little before his Death, in the Battle at Sea on the Coast of Holland, 1665,—To the right Honour­able Sir Hugh Pollard, Comptroller of His Majesties House-hold.

Sir,

See Dr. Lloyd's fair warning to a careless world, for a Copy of this Letter of the Earl of Marlebourgh to Sir Hugh Pol­lard. I Believe the goodness of your Nature, and the Friendship you have always born me, will receive with kindness this 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 Terror 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 Life­time, may have done 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 goes up and down in the World, call'd Religion, Drest and Presented Phantastically, and to purposes bad enough, which yet by such evil Dealing, loseth not its Being. The great and good God hath not left it without a Witness more or lefs, sooner or later in every mans bosom, to direct us in the pursuit of it; and for the avoiding of those Inextricable difficulties and intangle­ments our own frail Reason would perplex us withal; God in his infinite mercy has given us his Holy word, in which, as there are many things hard to be Understood, so there is enough plain and easy to be understood, 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 that dreadful Fault; but when I retired my self from the noise and deceitful Vani­ties of the world, I found no true comfort in any other Reso­lution, than what I had from thence: I commend the same from the bottom of my Heart, to your (I hope happy) use. Dear, Sir Hugh, let us be more generous than to believe we Die like Beasts that perish, but with a Christian, Manly, brave Ambition, let us look to what is Eternal. I will not trouble you farther, the only Great 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 dear Friend,

Marlbourgh.

I beseech you commend my love to all my Acquaintance: particularly, I pray you that my Cozen Glassock may have a sight of this Letter, and as many of my Friends beside, as you will, or any else that desireth it: I pray grant this my Request.

To William Glascock, Esq

Dear Cozen,
May the 23. 1665.

This Letter to Mr. Glas­cock was ne­ver printed be­fore, but is at­tested to be ge­nuine in the following Spe­cimen. IN case I be called away by God in this present Employment, I have recommended these few Lines to you, first earnestly begging God Almighty his most merciful Pardon, and yours, for the very bad example, and many provocati­ons to sin I have given you. Next, I do most heartily de­sire you to make use of your Remaining Time, in bestowing it upon his Service, who only can be your Comfort at your latter end, when all the former Pleasures of your Life shall only leave Anguish and Remorse. If God had spared me Life instead of this Paper, I would, through his Grace, have indeavoured to have been as assistful to you in minding you of true Piety, as the care of mine own life could have inabled me; do not think that melancholly Vapours cause this; it is Gods great mercy that by this Employment hath made me know my self, for which his Name be for ever Praised.

Lastly, I Pray shew these few Lines to my Lord of Port­land, by which I in like manner, and for the same cause, crave his pardon, wishing you both the blessed peace and content of a good Conscience towards God, and a happy end of your Lives.

Your truly Loving Cozen. Marlbourgh.

My Lord Marlbourgh's Letter to Sir Hugh Pollard having been disperst throughout the Kingdom, this Remarkable Pene­tence of his Lordship was the Subject of general Discourse for a long time after, and 'tis not doubted but that his Lordship's Letter to Mr. Glascock (which was never printed but in this Specimen) will be as well received; and 'tis hoped, may have the same good Effect as the former had.

The Gentleman who hath communicated to us these Letters sent by the Earl of Marlbourgh to Sir Hugh Pollard and Mr. Glascock; is a Person of Quality, now living in London, and if any one hath the curiosity to be satisfied from his own mouth about the perfect certainty of the matters therein Re­lated, if he repairs to Mr. Darker in Bull-head-Court, near Cripple­gate, he will be always ready to bring any Gentleman to speak with him for further confirmation.

It must needs be obvious to every considering Reader, that the same holy spirit who breath'd from the mouth of Solomon, the wi­seft of men, That all things in this World are Vanity and Vexation of Spirit, did make this Great Man sensible of the Truth thereof by his own Experience, and to express it accord­ingly; and how observable is it, that that very Truth which he so ingenuously confesses himself to have neglected and despised, did at last make an entire Conquest over him, and force him to submit, as if God would thereby let us see, that though not many Noble, and not many Wise are called, yet he does not leave the Gospel without a Testimony, even from such, but obliges them to confess, That the Wisdom of this World is meer Foolish­ness with God, which will appear yet more by the following Instances.

It's taken notice of that SirIn Sir Alan Brodericks Fu­neral Sermon by Nathan. Resbury, Mi­nister of Wandsworth, Decemb. 3. 1680. Alan Broderick, who was a Gentle­man of Extraordinary Learning and Accomplishments, did own with much Contrition, that a Long Scene of his Life had been acted in the Sports and Follies of Sin, that he had somtime pursued a Pagan and abandon'd way, Septicism it self not ex­cepted, wherein the poinancy of his Wit, and the strength of his Reasoning, even in that very Argument, the using of which proclaims a man in the Language of the Holy Scriptures, a Fool, may have been the occasion of a great deal of mischief towards some that are already gone to their Accounts.

Yet some years before his Death, the bent and tendency of his Life and Actions was Devout and Religious, and in his Pri­vate Conversation with his Minister, he would always be Dis­coursing some Cases of Conscience about Retir'd Closet-prayer, or the Nature and Necessity of True Religion—and in his last Sickness he thought himself under a mighty Incumbency to Pray, but was much harassed and anxious what to do, because of his fear of not performing it, with all becoming Reverence and Seriousness.

For look you, saith he, my Conscience is now as tender as wet Paper, torn upon every apprehension of the least guilt before God— And as he had much studied the Nature of Repentance, he would frequently complain, That he had a great jealousy up­on himself, lest he had not yet conceiv'd an horror answerable to his past Exorbitancies of Life, and had not made those smart and pungent Reflections upon himself, that might become one that had so long, and in such Exalted Degrees violated the Laws of his Maker, and made himself so Obnoxious to the Vengeance of his Judgment, and that if the cutting off one of his hands with the other, were but a proper or likely way through the anguish of such a wound to give him a just horror for his sins, he would do that as willingly as he ever did any one Action that had giv­en him the greatest pleasure of Life.—He also said that by the grace of God, he had such a sense of the Conviction and folly and unreasonableness of Sin, that no Argument, no Tentati­on should prevail upon him to do the like again.—Having taken notice that all my Lord Rochesters Religious breathings were accounted by some, the Raves and Delirancies of a sick Brain, he did resolve to have given the World a publick Ac­count of the sentiments he had of Religion, both as to the Faith and Practise of it, but was prevented.

Mr. Hobbs, who was so much noted in the World for his Athe­istical Writings; insomuch that his Book, intituled, The Levia­than, was condemned by the Parliament in their Bill against A­theism and Profaneness, Octob. 1666. and both that and his book de Cive, by the Convocation, July 21. 1683. Yet the E. of De­von'sAth. Oxon. part 2. p. 483. Chaplain hath left it on Record concerning him, That he received the Communion from his hands, with much seeming Devo­tion, about two years before his death, than which there cannot be a more express acknowledgment of the truth of Christianity. And this methinks should daunt the confidence of his Followers, the Hobbists, who, because he was born on Goodfriday, are not asha­med blasphemously to say, That as our Saviour Christ went out of the world on that day to save the men of the world, so another Saviour came into the world on that day to save them.

But the next instance of the E. of Rochester, is still more convin­cing, who as it appears by his Funeral Sermon, did with very much abhorrence exclaim against that absurd and foolish Philosophy, which the World so much admired, and was propagated by the late Mr. Hobbs, and others, which had undone him and many more of the best parts of the Nation.

My Lord Rochester being awakt from his Spiritual Slumber by a pungent Sickness, as appears by his Funeral See my Ld. Rochester's Funeral Ser­mon, Preached by Mr. Parsons Aug. 9. 1680. Sermon, Preached by Mr. Parsons, Aug. 9. 1680.—Upon the Preachers first Visit to him, May 26. my Lord thankt God, who had in Mercy and good Providence, sent him to him, who so much needed his Prayers and Counsels, acknowledging how unworthily heretofore he had treated that Order of men, reproaching them that they were proud, and Prophesied only for Rewards, but now he had learnt how to value them, that he esteem'd them the Servants of the most high God, who were to shew to him the way to everlasting Life.

He commanded me, (continues our Author,) to Preach abroad, and let all men know, if they knew it not already, how severely God had disciplin'd him for his sins, by his Afflicting Hand, that his sufferings were most Just, tho he had laid ten Thousand times more upon him, how he had laid one stripe upon another, because of his grievous Provocation, till he had brought him home to himself, that in his former Visitation, he had not that blessed Effect he was now sensible of, he had formerly some loose thoughts, and slight Resolutions of reforming, and design'd to be better, because even the present consequences of sin were still pestering him, and were so troublesome and inconvenient to him, but now he had other sentiments of things, and a [...]d upon other principles. He was willing to die, if it pleased God, resign­ing himself always to the Divine Disposal; but if God should spare him yet a longer time here, he hoped to bring Glory to the Name of God in the whole course of his Life, and particu­larly by his Endeavours to convince others, and to assure them of the Danger of their Conditions, if they continued Impeni­tent, and how graciously God hath dealt with him.—The time of his Sickness and Repentance was just nine Weeks, in all which time, thirty hours about the middle of it excepted, wherein he was delirous; he was so much Master of his Reason, and had so clear an understanding, that he never dictated, or spake more composed in his Life. Three or four days before his Death, he had Comfortable Perswasions of God's accepting him to his mercy, saying, ‘I shall Die, but Oh, what unspeakable Glories; do I see? What Joys beyond Thought or Expression am I sen­sible of? I am assured of God's mercy to me, through Jesus Christ. O! how I long to die, and to be with my Sa­viour.’

His Dying Remonstrance.

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 deliv [...]r in the presence of the great God, who knows the Secrets of all Hearts, and before whom I am now appearing to be Judged.

The Lord Ro­chester's dying Remonstrance. 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 lively sense of my pernicious Opinions and vile practices by which I have hitherto Liv'd without hope, and without God in the World; have been an open Enemy to Jesus Christ, doing the Ʋtmost despire 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 Redemer, thro' whose Merits alone I, one of the Greatest of Sinners, do yet hope for Mercy and Forgivenness. Amen.

Declared in the presence of
  • Anne Rochester
  • Rob. Parsons.
  • J. Rochester.

We had prepared a larger account of this remarkable peni­tence of the E. of Rochester, but for want of room must reserve it for that further Specimen of this work which is to be annext to a New Peice of Mr. Turner's now in the Press, entituled, [An Essay upon the Works of Creation and Providence, &c.] which will be publisht in few days, being design'd as an Introductory Discourse to this History of Providence.— To this further Specimen will be added a Penitential Letter writ by a Person of Quality in Glostershire (lately deceas'd) with other Remarkable Instan­ces of that Nature, never yet in Print which for want of room cou'd not be inserted here. — But though this Specimen will not allow of instances under every head. (for if it wou'd, we had added Specimens upon the Works of Nature and Art, as we have done here upon Providence, having prepared ma­terials for that end); yet by what is here exhibited, the ingeni­ous Reader may easily perceive the usefulness of our design; and as a further Evidence thereof, we shall only add, That under the Head of [Attestations given to Religion by dying Princes,] who ac­knowledg'd the same to be preferable to all things else: We shall (from the best Authorities) Record the last sayings of our never enough Lamented Soveraign, the late Q. Mary as a Noble Testi­mony to Religion, from one whose Parts and Endowments were as high as her Dignity, as if Providence would not leave the pro­phane Age room to say that Religion was only pretended to by the mean and ignorant, but convince them by the dying Breath of a Princess every way so Glorious and Great.

Under the Head of [Signal Deliverances] we doubt not but the Reader will easily be convinc'd that the Relation of the Miracu­lous Deliverance of the Protestants in Ireland, from the Crueltys of Q. Mary I. As also the Account of Sir Henry Wyat's wonderful Preservation in the Tower, will deserve a place; the First, be­ing Attested by Bishop Ʋsher, and delivered to the Publisher by a Person of Quality, now living in London; (and is wholly omitted by Mr. Fox in his Acts and Monuments,) and the other being drawn up by a Learned Gentleman, and never Printed before.—Of these things we shall treat more at large in the Body of the Work, but think this sufficient to whet the Reader's Curiosity, and to give him a taste of what Entertainment he is to expect under other Heads, as well as these mentioned.— [When our further Specimen is ready for Publication, there will be notice given.]

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