Images de page

caring them, and to such satisfaction, that, having once tasted of them, I could not, for some confiderable time, be prevailed with to eat any other meat. This new diet, to which neither entreaty nor yet the example of any mortal moved me, did, by the blessing of God, prove both food and physic; for by them I was, to the great astonishment of them who knew mę, greatly nourished, and apparently advantaged in point of health; for, in a short timo after I had taken to eating snails, the swelling of my body assuaged, and the use of my limbs was

recovered. As I began with this new diet, so I conținued until I was perfectly cured, to the great admiration and wonderment of all sorts, who both saw and heard of my practice herein.

Many, both friends and strangers, did come from city and country to see and hear of me, hearing the ftrangeness and rareness of my case; among

these were my physicians, who formerly gave me up for a dead child; they at the first hearing of my being in a hopeful way of recovery, could not credit the news, till hearing it with great confidence affirmed, they set a time is coming to my father's to see and inquire whether what was storied aboạt my reçovery were true; they finding it so, both by their seeing and handling my body, as also the information they received from my parents, concerning the means of my cure, together with the manner of m y making use of such means of my own accord, they exceedingly admired it, concluding, with


one accord, that it was immediately from the Spirit of God, and was certainly miraculous. This account I had from my friends and relations, who were both eye and ear-witnesses of what I have here related. But, left any should doubt the truth of this relation, I shall briefly add two things, which fully satisfies my own soul of the truth hereof.

The first is, The perfect remembrance I have of my eating snails frequently when a little one.

The second is, The frequentness of the scorns and mocks wherewith I have met, even from

my own, since our difference about religion, who, when discoursing about my leaving the church, have many times and often hit me in the teeth, by way of reproach, with what I was when an infant: how that I was cast out on a dung-hill, and afterwards nailed up in a coffin, my grave made, and carrying away to be buried. And, alas! the greatest grief of all was, that I was not, at that time buried alive, rather than I should live to be a fanatic, and, on that account, such a stain and blemish to the whole family, there never having been a fanatic of the family before me.

And thus I have, as briefly as I could, given an impartial account of the first strange deliverance wrought for me by the holy and all-wife working providence of God.

The second escape from death, when a babe, was as follows: Being one night fast asleep in bed,

the the maid who attended me, and constantly lay by me, neglecting to extinguish her candle when she lay down, the candlestick being so placed by the maid that the candle burning down near the socket, or by fome accidental motion of hers, when asleep, throwing the candle down into the bed, the sheets and other bedclothes took fire, which prevailed so far, that the bed, meets, rugg, and mat, were spoiled and unfit for use ever afterwards. The maid and I falt asleep, both insensible of the apparent danger we were in, it pleased God that my father, being awakened in bed, smelt the scent of burning, which was so hot in his nose, that he feared danger by fire, it being in the dead of the night. The whole family buried in Neep except himself, he could not rest, but gets up in his shirt, goes from chamber to chamber to search out where the fire should be; and, coming at length to the chamber where I lay, he finds the room all in a smother, the bed and clothes all on fire, and the maid and I fast asleep. The first thing that my father did, was to snatch me out of bed; and, by the suddenness of the wakening me out of neep, and seeing the fire, I was frightened, and began to cry. My father fearing lest harm should ensue thence to my mother, who was at that very time near the time of her travail, he claps his hand on my mouth, and in his arms carries me out to the malt-house, very near the house, where lay a family of English people who managed the malt business. He throws me hastily


into bed to them, charging them to keep me warm, and to quiet me. Having thus secured me, he forthwith returns to the fire, where he found the maid still fast aseep, and by all he could do he could not awake her, until the fire burning her flesh, she at length starts up, and in an amazing surprise, seeing herself encompassed with fire, and misling me in the bed, and finding my father belabouring himself in quenching the fire, she begins to raise the shout. My father presently stops her mouth, and made her sensible how things were, and that the child was fafe; and being come to herself, she arose and helped my father to put out the fire, that no further harm was done. Now, how near I was to death, I leave every sober reader to judge.

A third deliverance wrought for me by Divine Providence was, his saving me from perishing by a dog. The manner whereof was thus: One morning, standing beside a table in the common hall, where a gentleman who was caterer to my father's family was at breakfast, in order to a going to markét to buy provision for the house-I perfectly remember the meat he had was buttered filh-I expecting and hoping he would give me some part of the fish, stood over against him, peeping up at him, with my fingers on the edge of the table. The gentleman perceiving the posture I was in, hands out his plate to me with some of the fish; the which I readily embracing, the great mastiff


dog, a greater and fiercer than which I never saw, lying under the table, and seeing me stretch out my hand to reach the plate, bounced out of a sudden, lays hold on me, and pulled me to him under the table, catches hold of my head, the which he had wholly in his mouth at one bite up to my very throat. The gentleman, astonished hereat, and well knowing the disposition and uncontrollableness of the dog, there being but one in all the family, viz. the cook, of whom the dog stood in fear, runs forth, cries out for Richard the cook in all haste, for the dog Lion was worrying the child in the common hall. The cook, at length, entering the room to which the gentleman directed him, tingled a bell, which he always used to do when he corrected that dog when a puppy, crying out vehemently, “ Lion, come off, firrah.” The great dog, which had al , most made an end of me, goes off, leaving me weltering in my blood. My head, especially iny: face, all over dyed in blood, which caused great and amazing fear in all that saw me in that condition that my eyes were gnawed out, until they washed my face; the which when they had done, thcy perceived that my eyes were untouched. The reason of which, as was judged by all, being, that the dog had gotten my head so far into his mouth, that his teeth could not reach my eyes. Thus did God keep and preserve me in this apparent and imminent danger, there being no other harm done me, fave that there remain itill several holes or im


« PrécédentContinuer »