THE TWO NOBLE CONVERTS OR THE Earl of MARLBOROƲGH and the Earl of ROCHESTER their Dying Requests and Remonstrance, To the ATHEISTS and DEBAUCHERS of this Age.

The Earl of Malborough's Letter to Sir H. P. a little before the Sea-Fight, in 1665.

SIR,

I Believe the goodness of your Nature, and the friend­ship you have alwayes born me, will receive with kindness the 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 terrour 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 life-time may do 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 goeth up and down the World, called Religion, dressed and pretended phantastically, and to purposes bad enough, which yet by such evil dealing loseth not its Beeing: The great good God hath not left it without a Witness, more or less, sooner or later, in every man's Bosom, to direct us in the pursuit of it; and for the avoiding of those inextricable disquisitions and entanglements our own frail Reason would perplex us withal, God in his in­finite Mercy hath given us his Holy Word, in which, as there are many things hard to be understood, so there is enough plain and easie, to quiet our Minds, and direct us concerning our future Beeing. 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 the dreadful Fault.) But when I retired my self from the noise and deceitful Va­nity of the World, I found no true comfort in any other re­solution, than what I had from thence: I commend from the bottom of my Heart the same to your (I hope) happy use. Dear Sir H. let us be more generous, than to believe we die as the Beasts that perish; but with a Christian, Manly, Brave Resolution, look to what is Eternal. I will not trouble you further. The only great God, 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 true Friend, MARLBOROƲGH.

The Reader, if he please, may see more Instances of the like nature, in a Book called, Fair Warning to a careless World.

The Earl of Rochester's Remonstrance, Signed with his own Hand a little before his Death.

FOr the benefit of all those whom I have drawn into Sin by my Example and Encouragement, I leave to the World this my last Declaration, which I deliver in the presence of the great God, who knows the secrets of all Hearts, and before whom I am now appearing to be judged.

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 true sense of my pernicious Opinions and vile Practices, by which I have hitherto lived without Hope, and without God in the World; have been an Open Enemy to Jesus Christ, doing the utmost despite 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 Redeemer, through whose Merits alone, I, one of the Greatest of Sinners, do yet hope for Mercy and Forgivenness. Amen.

J. ROCHESTER.

Declared and Sign'd in the Presence of

  • Anne Rochester.
  • Robert Parsons.

Besides which, take one memorable Saying of his, on his Death-Bed. One day at an Atheistical Meeting, at a Per­son of Quality's, I undertook to manage the Cause, and was the principal Disputant against God and Piety, and for my performances received the Applause of the whole Company; upon which my Mind was terribly struck, and immediately replied thus to my self: Good God! that a Man, that walks upright, that sees the wonderful Works of God, and has the use of his Senses and Reason, should use them to the defying of his Creator! But though this was a good beginning towards my Conversion, to find my Conscience touch'd for my Sins, yet it went off again: nay, all my Life long I had a secret va­lue and reverence for an honest Man, and lov'd Morality in others. But I had form'd an odd Scheme of Religion to my self, which would salve all that God or Conscience might force upon me; yet I was not ever well reconciled to the business of Christianity, nor had that reverence for the Gospel of Christ as I ought to have.

With several other like Expressions, which may be seen in the Sermon Preached at his Funeral.

EDINBƲRGH, Re-Printed by J. S. 1680.

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