Strange and VVonderful News: OR, The Full and True Relation OF THE MIRACULOUS INSPIRATION OF Charles Bennet; BORN AT Manchester in Lancashire: VVho being but THREE Years of Age, Speaks without the Least Instruction: English, Latine, Greek, and Hebrew; so Perfect and Authentickly, the like thereof hath not been heard of in any Age.

Being now to be Seen & Discoursed withal at the Bear-Inn in West-Smithfield.

The Truth of which many Thousand Credible Spectators can Attest: This Depo­nent being an Eye and Ear Witness to what is here Incerted.

As also the Account of his Earnest Desire to Speak with HIS MAJESTY: The which he Effected, and some Words he Spake, on Munday the 30th. of June 1679. Being brought into the ROYAL PRESENCE.

With many other Circumstances most Wonderful and Strange to Relate.

London, Printed for F.F. in the Year, 1679.


Strange and VVonderful News, Or, The Miraculous Inspiration of Charles Bennit, a Child of Three Years of Age, Born at Manchester in Lancashire, &c.

STrange and Wonderful are the Works of God, in all that his Omnipotency designs, and when he pleases can declare it in the meanest Work his Hand has formed, as our Blessed Saviours Sacred Evangelist explains; and likewise David the Princely Prophet, That out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings, he has perfect­ed Praise; and can extoll the mighty power of his Eternal self, as he himself shall think most fit, the which may in this proceeding Narrati­on be produced to all as followeth, and noted to after Ages, as a Wonder of the times, and Prophetically mysterious.

A Male Child about Three Years of Age, the Son of a Linnen-Weaver of Manchester in Lan­cashire, namely Phillip Bennit, being a Man of mean Education and Fortune; his Son being born on or near the 17th. of June, in the year of Mans Redemption, 1676. and after was Chri­stened about the 28th. of the same month, re­ceiving [Page 2] in his Baptism the name of Charles; the Child growing and continuing in a good state of bodily health, was often observed by his Pa­rents to be more serious and considerate then appertained to one of his age, many times mu­sing, and seeming to deliberate with himself; the which at first they did not so fully regard, but after he could go alone, and began to speak, (the which he exercised sooner then usual) ma­ny grave Sentences were observed to proceed from him; But the first Discovery of the pro­found Knowledge that for a long time had ab­sconded in his Microcosnick structure, was a­bout a month or Six Weeks since: his Father af­ter Divine Service takeing a Bible, and reading a certain Chapter in one of the Evangelists, by accident, or through ignorance omitted, or pre­posterously read a certain Verse or Sentence: the Child aforesaid being present, reproved him of his error, and told him there was no such sentence in the Scripture, or Word of God: at which his Father being in a consternation, cast­ing his eyes upon the Text where he had read, found himself mistaken, whereupon he exami­ned him how he knew, having never seen nor known the Scriptures as to the Practick part: to [Page 3] whom the aforesaid Charles most discreetly re­plyed; That he could, and in his conceit had often con­versed therein, and if occasion required, could Read them in Latine, Greek, and Hebrew. This raised the primal Character of the Child's more then ordinary perfection, sent his fame abroad, so that many hundreds from Towns and Villages adjacent to the place of his Nativity, came flocking to take a view of him, and to discourse in all the Tongues premissed, who did as freely Answer, to the great astonishment of all that heard: for many Ministers and Learned Men were likewise curious to satisfie themselves in the certainty hereof, and when they had beheld and found it true, they went away with admi­ration. After some time his Fame was noised in the great Metropolis of London, to which by the advice and perswasion of some of their Friends, his Parents brought him about Five days since; and coming up by the Warwick-shire-Carryer, they Inned or took up their lodging at the Bear-Inn in West-smith-field: where no sooner was the rumour of their being there spread abroad, but numbers flock'd to see a wonder they had heard of some time since: he being accompanied with his Parents in a very spacious Room on the left [Page 4] hand going into the Inn aforesaid, where many Ministers and others discoursed and questioned with him on Saturday the 28th. of which this Deponent was one who did both reason with him in English, Latine, Greek, and Hebrew; to which he soon answered, and rightly expounded and Interpret each Word a Sentence; the truth of which, this Deponent is ready to Justifie upon Oath if need requireth: Some of which Words I shall here (for the more perfect satis­faction of the Reader) Insert, Imprimis, he was askt Latine, Greek, and Hebrew for a Man, to which he as readily Replyed, Vir, Inthropos, Addam; For a Woman, Mulier, Genue, Eveve; For Boy, Pueri, A Girl, Puella; his Fore-head, Fronte,, A Hat, Gallerus. As likewise many other words and Propositions, too tedious here to Insert. His Parents take no Money at the Door, but are willing to accept the free Bene­volence of Gentlemen: The Child will not ac­cept any Gift, be it Money or any other Present; but if it be forced upon him, he will absolutely refuse and throw it away, shewing how little he regards such transitory Trash, the which is no ways permanent. The Child had, as his Parents report, an earnest desire many weeks [Page 5] before he came to London, to speak with his Ma­jesty, and that he had some business of Impor­tance to declare to his Sacred self: the which they much Noted by his earnest and often re­peating the same desire, the which was, as some report, to speak Three Words, and after the de­liverance of which, he Prophetically foretells his Dissolution as to this life. In the space of Nine days, but this is not certainly known, but sure I am, that upon Notice of the said Child's being in Smithfield, his Majesty was graciously pleased to send for him to his royal Pallace of VVhite-Hall, on Munday the 30th. of this instant June, 79; who in a Coach waits His Majesties good pleasure: and as it is credibly reported, most fluently answered to several Questions, to the great admiration of all that were present; but what was there said ii not as yet precisely known. He reads English perfecter tden any Youth far above his Age, although never so well instructed.

The Truth of what I have here proposed, can be witnessed by many Thousand Worthy Gentleman and Gentlewomen, many whose names I could here insert if occasion required: But for your further satisfaction, if you send to [Page 6] the Bare Inn as aforesaid, you shall be fully in­formed of all these particulars, and a number more, the which would tire your patience to peruse. As for the Stature of the said Charles Bennet, he is not above two Foot and 3 Inches, being of a ruddy and aimable Complexion, full ey'd, with a sharp and piercing sight: Dark brown Hair, and round Visaged, seeming very vehement in the delivery of his Speeches, with a manly voice, but something thick in the deli­very of his words. His Parents were but mean People, getting their Livings by their daily la­bours and Imployments. This is no fallacy nor premeditated Instruction, taught by the device nor Art of men, for was it so, the Child could not be perfect in every cross question, the which amongst the learnedest of men requires some deliberation; then what can we imagine less then that those parts and early Docilities, pro­ceeded by Divine Inspiration: and who can tell what Mysteries Omnipotence may veile that tender Form, the which in time may shine more perfect to the World, till when let us admire, and with the Prophet say, It is the Lords doing and is Marvelous in our Eyes, &c.


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