[Page] THE PROPHECY OF Bishop Usher. Unto which is Added TWO LETTERS, ONE FROM Sir WILLIAM BOSWELL (Ambassadour at the Hague) To the Most Reverend WILLIAM LAUD, Late Archbishop of Canterbury. The other from the Reverend JOHN BRAMHALL, Bishop of Derry in IRELAND, To the Most Reverend JAMES USHER, Late Archbishop of Armah.

LONDON: Printed in the Year, 1687.


THE Prediction of the most Learned and Pious Arch-bishop Usher, is very remarkable, as it was Printed about seven years ago with Licence, and the Truth of the matter of Fact therein delivered, never that I know of de­nied, but confirmed by many, which in short was thus.—That the year before this holy Primate died (who was Buried in the Abbey at Westminster 17 of April, 1656. The Usuper Cromwel al­lowing 2001. towards his Funeral, so great his Worth, that it even charmed that Tyrant, otherwise far from being a Friend to any of his Profession:) An intimate Friend of the Arch-bishop's asking him (a­mongst other discourse) what his present Apprehensions were concerning a very great Persecution which should fall upon the Church of God in these Nations of England, Scotland and Ireland, (of which he had heard him speak with great confidence many years before, when we were in the highest and fullest state of outward peace and settlement) and whether he did believe those sad Times to be past, or that they were yet to come? He answered—That they were yet to come, and that he did as confidently expect it as ever be had done. Adding, That this sad Persecution [Page 2] would fall upon all the Protestant Churches of Europe. His Friend arguing, that he hoped the afflicton might now be over, and be intended of our late calamitous Civil Wars. The Reverend Prelate turning towards him, and fixing his Eyes upon him with that serious and severe Look which he usually had when he spake God's Word, and not his own, and when the Pow­er of God seemed to be upon him, and to constrain him to speak, said thus: Fool not your selves with such hopes, for I tell you, all you have yet seen, hath been but the beginning of sorrows to what is yet to come upon the Protestant Churches of Christ, who will ere long fall under a sharper Persecution than ever yet has been upon them; and there­fore (said he to him) Look you be not found in the outward Court, but a Worshiper in the Temple before the Altar, for Christ will measure all those that profess his Name, and call themselves his People; and Out­ward Worshipers he will leave out, to be trodden down by the Gentiles. The Outward Court (says he) is the formal Christian, whose Religion l [...]es in performing the outside duties of Christianity, without having an inward Life and Power of Faith and Love, uniting them to Christ, and th [...]se God will leave to be trodden down, and swept away by the Gentiles: But the Worshipers within the Temple, and before the Altar, are those who do indeed Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, whose Souls are made his Temples, and he is honoured and adored in the most inward thoughts of their Hearts, and they sacrifice their Lusts and vile affections, yea, and there own Wills to him; and th [...]se God will bide in the hollow of his Hand, and under the shadow of his Wings? and this shall be one great difference between this last, and all the other preceding Perse­cutions, For in the former, the most eminent and Spiritual Ministers and Christians did generally suffer m [...]st, and were most violently fallen upon, but in this last Persecution, these shall be preserved by God as a Seed to partake of that Glory which shall immediately follow and come upon the Church, as soon as ever this storm shall be over; for as it shall be the sharpest, so it shall be the shortest Persecution of them all; and shall only take away the gross Hypocrites and formal Professors, but the true Spiritual Believers shall be preserved till the Calamity be over past.

[Page 3] His Friend then asked him, By what means or Instruments this great Tryal should be brought on. He answered, by the Papists. His Friend replyed, That it seemed very improbable they should be able to do it, since they were now little coun­tenanced, and but few in these Nations, and that the Hearts of the People were more set against them than ever since the Reformation. He answered again, ‘That it would be by the hands of Papists, and in the way of a suddain Massacre, and that the then Pope should be the chief Instrument of it.’

He also added, ‘That the Papists were in his Opinion the Gentiles spoken of, Rev. 11. to whom the Outward Court should be left, that they might tread it under Foot▪ they having received the Gentiles worship in their adoring Images, and Saints departed, and in taking to themselves many Me­diators: And this (said he) the Papists are now designing a­mong themselves, and therefore be sure you be ready.’

This gracious man repeated the same things in Substance to his only Daughter the Lady Tyrril, and that with many Tears, and much about the same time.

A Letter from Sir William Boswell, to the most Reverend William Laud, late Arch-bishop of Canterbury, remaining with Sir Robert Cotton's choice Papers.

Most Reverend;

AS I am here employ'd by our Soveraign Lord the King, vour Grace can testify that I have left no Stone unturn'd for his Majesty's Advancement; neither can I omit (when­ever I meet with Treacheries or Conspiracies against the [Page 4] Church and State of England) the sending your Grace an Ac­count in General. I fear Matters will not answer your ex­pectations, if your Grace do but seriously weigh them with deliberation. For be you assur, d, the Romish Clergy have gull'd the misled Party of our English Nation, and that under a Puritanical Dress; for which the several Fraternities of that Church, have lately received Indulgence from the See of Rome, and Council of Cardinals, or to educate several of the young Fry of the Church of Rome, who be Natives of his Majesty's Realms and Dominions, and instruct them in all manner of Principles and Tenents contrary to the Episcopacy of the Church of England.

There be in the Town of Hague, to my certain Knowledge, two dangerous Impostors, of whom I have given notice to the Prince of Orange, who have large Indulgences granted them, and known to be of the Church of Rome, altho they seem Pu­ritans, and do converse with several of our English Factors.

The one, James Murray a Scotchman, and the other John Napper, a Yorkshire Blade. The main drift of these Intentions is, to pull down the English Episcopacy, as being the chief Support of the Imperial Crown of our Nation: For which purpose above sixty Romish Clergy-men are gone within these two Years out of the Monasteries of the French King's Dominions, to Preach up the Scotch Covenant, and Mr. Knox his Discriptions and Rules within that Kirk, and to spread the same about the Nothern Coasts of England. Let therefore His Majesty have an inkling of these Crotchets, that he might be persuaded, whenever Matters of the Church come before you, to refer them to your Grace, and the Episcopal Party of the Realm: For there be great Preparations making ready against the Liturgy and Ceremonies of the Church of England: and all evil Contrivances here and in France, and in other Prote­stant Holdings to make your Grace and the Episcopacy odious [Page 5] to all Reformed Protestants abroad: It has wrought so much on divers of the Forreign Ministers of the Protestants, that they esteem our Clergy little better than Papists. The main things that they hit in our Teath are, our Bishops to be called Lords; The Service of the Church; The Cross in Baptism; Confirmation; Bowing at the Name of Jesus; The Com­munion Tables placed Alter-ways; Our manner of Conse­crations: And several other Matters which be of late buzz'd into the Heads of the Forreign Clergy, to make your Griev­ances the less regarded in case of a Change, which is aimed at, if not speedily prevented.

Your Grace's Letter is carefully delivered by my Gentle­man's own Hands unto the Prince.

Thus craving your Graces hearty Prayers for my Under­takings abroad, as also for my safe arrival, that I may have the Freedom to kiss your Grace's Hands, and to tell you more at large of these things; I rest,

Your Graces most Humble Servant, W. B.

A Letter from the Right Reverend J. Bram­hall Bishop of Derry; (afterwards Primate of Ireland) to the most Reverend James Usher Arch-Bishop of Armagh.

Most Reverend;

I Thank God I do take my Pilgrimage patiently, yet I cannot but Condole the Change of the Church and State of England. And more in my Pilgrimage than ever, because I dare not witness and declare to that straying Flock of our Brethren in England, who have misled them, and who they are that feed them. But that your Lordship may be more sensible of the Churches Calamities, and of the Dange [...]s she is in of being ruin'd, if God be not Merciful unto Her, I have sent you a part of my Discoveries, and it from credible Hands, at this present having so sure a Messenger, and so fit an Opportunity.

It plainly appears, that in the Year 1646, by Order from Rome, above, 100 of the Romish Clergy were sent into Eng­land, consisting of English, Scotch, and Irish, who had been Educated in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain; part of these within the several Schools there appointed for their Iustructi­ons. In each of these Romish Nurseries, these Scholars were Taught several Handicraft-Trades and Callings, as their Ingenuities were most bending, besides their Orders, or Functions of that Church.

They have many yet at Paris a fitting up to be sent over, who twice in the week oppose one the other; one pretending Presbytery, the other Independency; some Anabaptism, and o­ther [Page 7] contrary Tenents, dangerous and prejudicial to the Church of England, and to all the Reformed Churches here abroad. But they are wisely preparing to prevent these De­signs, which I heartily wish were considered in England among the Wise there.

When the Romish Orders do thus Argue Pro and Con, there is appointed one of the Learned of those Convents to take Notes and to Judg: And as he findes their fancies, whether for Presbytery, Independency, Anabaptism, Atheism, or for any new Tenents, so accordingly they be to act, and to exercise their Wits. Upon their Permission when they be sent abroad, they enter their Names in the Convent Reg­istry, also their Licences: If a Franciscan, if a Dominican, or Jesuit, or any other Order, having several Names there Entered in their Licence; in case of a discovery in one place, then to fly to another, and there to change their Names or Habit.

For an assurance of their Constancy to their several Orders, they are to give Monthly Intelligence to their Fraternities, of all Affairs where-ever they be dispers'd: so that the English abroad, know News better than ye at home.

When they Return into England, they are Taught their Lesson, to say (if any enquire from whence they come) that they were poor Christians formerly that fled beyond-Sea for their Religion-sake, and are now Re­turned, with glad News, to enjoy their Liberty of Con­science.

The 100 Men that went over 1646; were most of them Soldiers in the Parliament's Army, and were daily to correspond with those Romanists in our late King's Army, [Page 8] that were lately at Oxford, and pretended to Fight for His Sacred Majesty: For at that time, there were some Roman-Catholicks who did not know the De­sign a contriving against our Church and State of Eng­land.

But the Year following, 1647, many of those Romish Orders, who came over the Year before, were in con­sultation together, knowing each other. And those of the King's Party asking some why they took with the Parlia­ment's side, and asking others whether they were be­witched to turn Puritans, not knowing the Design: But at last, secret Bulls, and Licences being produced by those of the Parliament's side, it was declared between them, there was no better Design to Confound the Church of England, than by pretending Liberty of Conscience. It was Argued then, that England would be a second Holland, a Common-Wealth; and if so, what would become of the King? It was answered, Would to God it were come to that point. It was again reply'd, your selves have Preached so much against Rome, and his Holiness, that Rome and her Roma­nists will be little the better for that Change: But it was answered, You shall have Mass sufficient for 100000 in a short space, and the Governors never the wiser. Then some of the mercifullest of the Romanist said, This cannot be done unless the King Die: upon which Argument, the Ro­mish Orders thus Licenced, and in the Parliament Army, Wrote unto their several Convents, but especially to the Sorbonists, whether it may be Scrupled to make away our late Godly King, and His Majesty His Son, our King and Master; who, Blessed be God, hath Escaped their Romish Snares laid for him? It was returned from the Sorbonists. That it was Lawful for Roman Catholicks to work Changes in Governments for the Mother Churches Advancement, and [Page 9] chiefly in an Heretical Kingdom? and so lawfully make away the King.

Thus much to my knowledge, have I seen and heard since my leaving your Lordship, which I thought very requisite to inform your Grace; for my self would hardly have credited these things, had not mine Eyes seen sure Evidence of the same. Let these things Sleep within your Gracious Lordships Breast, and not awake but upon sure Grounds, for this Age can trust no Man, there being so great Fallacy amongst Men. So the Lord preserve your Lordship in Health, for the Na­tions Good, and the Benefit of your Friends; which shall be the Prayers of

Your Humble Servant, J. Derensis.

These two Letters were taken out of that Treasury of choice Letters Published by Dr. Parr, his Lordships Chaplain, and Printed for Nathaniel Ranew at the Kings-Arms, in St. Pauls Church­yard. 1686.


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