A Strange and Wonderful RELATION FROM SHADWEL OR, The DEVIL Visible.

BEING A most true and faithful account how the Devil in human Shape, on the 3d. of this Instant July, made his Appearance to a Gentle­woman there, (a person that had formerly lived well, but now reduced to poverty) with a Bag of Money in one hand, and a Knife in the other, tempting her to Murther one of her Children.

As also how she refused, and resisted his Temp­tation, Imploring the Prayers of her Neigh­bours, of whom, two plainly saw this evil Spirit, going forth of the House.

LONDON, Printed for W. Smith, in the Year, 1674.

A Strange and Wonderful Relation from Shadwell, OR, The Devil visible.

THough the prodigious swarm of Pamph­lets, which of late the over-teeming Press hath Spawn'd into the World, may have rendred in a great measure, such Relations both suspected and Contemptible; yet the certain­ty of the matter that Impregnates this sheet, the nearness of the place where it happened, and the notoriousness of the thing, seems not only to de­serve, but challenge and require, that a full and faithful Account thereof should be presented to the publique; Since the same is done not so much to gratify peoples vain Curiosity, or rickle those Itch­ing Ears which (like the Idle Athenians of old) are perpetually Listening after strange Novelties. As to Alarm and awaken all, by so fresh and present an [Page 2] Example to stand upon their Watch, and Guard themselves (as they value the safety and Salvation of their precious Immortal Souls) with the whole Armor of God, but especially the shield of Faith, against the Assaults of the Tempter.

For though it be most true, as the Sacred Oracles of Divine Writ testify, that this restless Enemy of mankinds peace and happiness, hath ever since he be­guiled our first Parents in Paradize, gone too and fro as a roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour. Yet we find by two woful Experience, that in this latter and worst Age of the World, his malicious and Hellish Industry is encreased more than ever; And (as all things move with a Swifter and more violent motion the nearer they approach to their Center) so this dreadful Tyrant Prince of the Air, appre­hending his Chain to shrink, and that he must shortly be tumbled into, and confined for Eternity in that bottomless Pit, prepared for him and his seduced Servants; Endeavours with greater diligence and more openly to spread his Nets, and Inveagle as many as he can into the same Lake of Perdition with him­self.

For certainly no good Considerate Christian, can but with grief of Soul have observed, what a plen­tiful (but most deplorable) Harvest he has lately made amongst us, by those numbers that in or about this very City, have been drawn by his subtle sug­gestions, and the mediation of dispare within few weeks, last past, to lay violent hands upon themselves, and cut off the thred of their own Lives, by hanging themselves, drowning themselves, breaking their [Page 3] own Necks, cutting their own Throats, and the like sad means wherewith our Laws are daily Alarm'd, Contrary both to the Laws of God, and dictates of Nature, in whose Charter self-preservation has been always accounted the first Article.

But this Proemium (though if soberly considered, not altogether Impertinent) may perhaps seem two great a Gate for so small a Fabrique, and therefore we hasten to the intended matter, being truely and briefly thus.

In the Parish of St. Paul Shadwell (fately made so by Act of Parliament, being formerly a Hamlet or part of Stepney) lives a Woman, who descended of good Parents, who besides the Precious Legacy of an honest Fame left her, when they paid that debt which we all owe to Nature, a handsome Compe­tency of the Goods of Fortune, she having to the value of three hundred Pounds to her Portion, And being le [...]t by their decease in so Creditable a Condition, wholly at her own dispose, she Spun not on the Thread of her Life very many Years, before she twisted it in Matrimony, Being Match'd some Years since to an honest Seaman of good repute, named [...] whose promising Industry assisted by her before mentioned Fortune, Seem'd to bespeak their marriage happy, and probably assure to the re­mainder of their Lives a comfortable subsistence; But as truth it self has told us, That the Race is not always to the Swift, So Experience daily convinces that there is a vast difference between human likelyhoods and the Misterious decrees of Fate. For notwith­standing [Page 4] these advantages by some unhappy accidents rather than defaults properly chargeable on either of them, their estate began sensibly to wast, and in time to be totally consumed, that they were now re­duced to the very Brink of necessity, having not suf­ficient left to maintain or provide Bread for her self, and several small Children which she had brought into the World, the thoughts of whose pining and half starving Condition, and Consideration of her Husbands absence (who is at present gone a long voyage to Sea) so that she could not for a long time expect any Relief from him, put this poor distressed Woman of late into such a melancholly grief, that seem'd to border on dispair, so that she was seldom alone, but she was bewailing her misfortunes with passionate Complaints, whilst her languishing Cheeks over-flow'd with a briny ocean of Tears.

Satan (that has ever Tutor'd wicked Polititians to Fish in troubled waters) was not wanting here to practise that Maxim himself. That subtle degraded Seraphin knows two well, that want is one of the readiest and most open Inlets for his Temptations, and therefore designs, whilst her mind is tost in this dismal Tempest, to Ship-wrack her Soul.

For on the third of July last, she being extraor­dinarily straitned, so that she knew not what to do, and being retired (as is usual with melancholly dis­tressed and afflicted persons) up into a Chamber, that with more freedom she might bemoan her Condi­tion, In broad day light this ever busy Tempter pre­sents himself to her, who, having at her coming into the Room shut the door, which still to her apprehen­sion [Page 5] had Continued last, was not a little surprized to see a man (as by his form she at first Judged him to be) there intruding on her privacy, and standing Just by her, But was much more astonisht, when she be­held in his right hand a naked knife, and in the other a large Purse filled as it were with money, and was Just ready to cry out when this Apparition began to speak to her.

Who spoke in smooth language, and a low but shril Insinuating voice represents, ‘That he well knew her wants and distress, and that he came there on pur­pose in pity to relieve them, But that if she would not hearken to his advice, she should be ten times more miserable than she was at present; For her Husband was dead, and no succour to be expected from him.’ [mark here the truth of the Gospel, say­ing, the Devil was a Lyar from the beginning.] That she had a most Insupportable Charge of Children, and that she should never be happy till she had lessen'd their number, that her youngest Child which then (poor Babe) happened to be Innocently fleep­ing on a Bed in the same Room, besides the present miseries it suffered, was born to much greater mis­fortunes which it must undergo, and therefore she should now come and dispatch it from those afflicti­ons and ease her own Charge, by Killing of it, which he would secure her should never be known or discovered, and that thereupon he would give her all that money in the Purse (holding it forth) and more from time to time, so that she should never want, and upon that proffered her the Knife to Exe­cute what he perswaded her to.

The poor Woman in a fright, and Just Indignation at this horrid bloody proposal, and some other Symtoms, concluding it could be no other but the Devil, which could advise her to such a barbarous Impiety, began with a devout fervency to detest an Action so abominable, and calling on the name of the Lord, run down stairs and into the Street, where meeting some of her Neighbours at the door, she with an amazing vehemency, intreated their Prayers to God for her Protection.

Immediately after her coming down, two of these Neighbours plainly saw the l [...]keness of a tall man in black Habit come down stairs, and so into the street by them, but he did not seem to walk as men do, but rather glide along like a shadow, and at a small distance disappear'd, but though they spoke and pointed at it, yet, neither the woman nor any of the rest could then see it.

Several Divines and other sober persons have been since with her, who confirmes the truth of this Re­lation, and for this latter art these two other per­sons are both ready to attest it, for the Satisfaction of any judicious enquirer, the Woman her self remain­ing still in trouble of Spirit, and desiring the Prayers of all good Christians to Allmighty God for his Grace, that as by the same in this grievous and terri­ble tryal, so at all times hereafter, she may be enabled to withstand the wiles of the Tempter.


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