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Another instance was at Cambridge about forty years since. "There was a man much troubled in the night with cats, or the devil in their likeness, Eunting of him. Whereupon he kept a light burning, and a sword by him as he lay in ked
; for he suspected a widow-woman to send these cats or imps, by witchcraft, to bewitch im
. And one night, as he lay in bed, a cat, or imp, came within his reach, and he struck ter on the back: and upon enquiry, he heard this widow had a sore back. This confirmed is suspicion of the widow, he supposing it came from the wound he gave the cat,
But Mr. Day, the widow's chirurgeon, clear'd the matter; saying, this widow came to him, and bcplain'd of a sore in her back, and desired his help, and he found it to be a boyl, and içend and heal'd it, as he us’d to do other boyls. But while this was in cure, the suppos'd at was wounded, as is already rehears’d. Again, I knew a woman that was spectrally represented unto an afflicted maid, who complain d that she was in such a part of the room; Shereupon one struck at it with his rapier in the scabbard, and the afflicted said, “You have wat her gown in such a place, and her gown is green.' Afterwards this woman was observd, Then apprehended, to have that green gown on, (which doubtless she would not have worn ben, if she had known any thing of its being rent, by striking at her spectre) and there was found a rent sow'd up, just in the place the afflicted had said it was torn by the scabdard in the same manner. I afterwards ask'd this woman how her gown came so torn: she aswer'd, by going into such a yard about a year before, and such an one knew it to be so."
The author, elsewhere speaking of another mistaken principle, takes occasion to mention the following passage:
"I remember, when there was a great discourse about witches, a very holy man heard his mih way she desir'd a sucking pig; and he going to a neighbour's house, saw a sow with a liter of pigs, and took a fancy to one of them in particular for his wife, and ask'd the owner for that pig. The owner denied him: hereupon he went away in a great passion, very Besuitable to such a person; and that very pig left its dam and company, and followed this Ban to his home. This was observed, and it was supposed Satan might have some hand in # taking advantage upon the passion of so good a man, to render him suspected by such un ezident, if he could.”
Upon the whole, the author spends whole chapters to prove that there yet is a witch: and he gives this definition of one, viz: a person “that, having the free use of reason, doth knowingly and willingly seek and outain of the devil, or any other god, besides the true God Jehovah, an ability to do or know strange things, or things which he cannot by his own humane abilities arrive unto. This person is a witch.”
But thus much for that manuscript.
A TOKEN FOR THE CHILDREN OF NEW-ENGLAND;
Some Examples of Children in whom the Fear of God was remarkably budding before they Diet
IN SEVERAL PARTS OF NEW-ENGLAND.
PRESERVED AND PUBLISHED FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF PIETY IN OTHER CHILDREN.
If the children of New-England should not with an early piety sk themselves to know and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the fathers, they will be condemn'd, not only by the example of pious chi dren in other parts of the world, the publish'd and printed account whereof have been brought over hither, but there have been exemplar children in the midst of New England itself, that will rise up against the for their condemnation. It would be a very profitable thing to our chi dren, and highly acceptable to all the Godly parents of the children, if. i imitation of the excellent Janoway's “ Token for Children," there were mad a true collection of notable things, exemplified in the lives and deaths ( many amongst us whose childhood have been signaliz'd for what is ve tuous and laudable.
In the “Church-History of New-England” there will be found the liye of many eminent persons, among whose eminences not the least was "the fearing of the Lord from their youth,” and their being "loved by th Lord when they were children."
But among the many other instances of a childhood and youth deliver from vanity by serious religion, which New-England has afforded, thes few have particularly been preserved:
EXAMPLE I.-Little more than thirteen years old was John Clap, Scituate, when he dy'd; but it might very truly be said of him, “th while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of his father From his very infancy he discover'd a singular delight in the holy Seri ture, whereby he was made wise unto salvation; and he also made hit self yet further amiable by his obedience to his parents, and his courtes to all his neighbours. As he grew up, he signaliz’d his concern for eti nity, not only by his diligent attendance upon both public and priva catechising, but also by the like attendance on the ministry of the For which he would ponder and apply, and confer about with much discreti of soul, and pray for the good effect thereof upon his own soul. Y 'twas even from his childhood observable in him, that ever after be beg to speak reasonably, he would both affectionately regard the family pra ers, and likewise, both morning and evening, with a most unweary'd co stancy, recommend himself by his own prayers unto the mercies of Go
Arriving higher in his age, he was very conscientious of his duty, bu
to God and man; and particularly careful of his father's business, which now became his own calling. At work with his father in the field, he would frequently be propounding of questions, by the answers whereof he might be promoted in the knowledge of God: and at the seasons which others usually employ to vain purposes, he would be abounding in the exercises of devotion. But of all the imitable things to be seen in him, he was exemplary for nothing more than his endeavours in preparation for, and sanctification of, the Lord's day. Yea, his parents have affirmed, that for a year or two before he dy'd, “they never heard an unprofitable word come out of his mouth;" but be would often bewail the idle, trifling, vain discourses of other people.
About a year and a half before he died, the good Spirit of God bless'd him with yet a more thorow conviction of his misery by reason of sin, both original and actual; whence, tho' he had been such a pattern of innocency, yet he would aggravate his own sinfulness with lamentations truly extraordinary. And for his relief against the terrors of God, wherewith he was now distracted, he was brought unto an utter despair of his own righteousness and abilities; but in this condition he came to adore the
grace of God, offering a JESUS who is able “to save unto the uttermaost:" in his longings to enjoy the love of God through Jesus, he was like the “hart panting after the water brooks!”
The wounds of his spirit were accompanied with a languishiny and conemming of his flesh; yet with great patience he endur'd the hand of God, and he follow'd the Lord with prayers, with cries, with tears, for the manifestation of the divine love unto him.
It was also observ'd and admir'd that when he was abroad at the publick worship in the time of his weakness, he would stand the whole time of the long exercises, and be so affectionately attentive, that one might see etery sentence uttered in those exercises make some impression upon him.
The best Christians in the place profess’d themselves made asham'd by tae fervency of this young disciple! and in days of publiek humiliations, or thanksgivings
, kept with regard unto the general circumstances of the muntrey, he would bear his part with such a sense of the publick troubles or mercies, as argu'd more than a common measure of publick spirit in hiin.
The minister of the place visiting of him, after sickness had confin'd Him, found him in an extream dejection of soul; his very body shook through his fear lest the day of grace were over with him; yet justifying of God, though he should be forever cast among the damned. But yet bis fears were accompany'd with hopes in the all-sufficient merits of the blessed Jesus: in which hopes he continued, using all the means of grace according to his capacity, and lamenting after those whereof he was not capable.
A month before he dy'd, he kept his bed; the first fortnight whereof be was very comfortless, and yet very patient; abounding all this while in gracious admonitions unto other young people, that they would be con
cern'd for their own eternal salvation. And you should not now have heard him complain that he wanted health and ease, though he did so; but that he wanted faith, and peace, and Christ; yet expressing a profound submission to the will of God. But in the last fortnight of his life, this poor child of God had his weary soul more comfortably satiated with the promises of the new covenant. God fill'd him with a marvellous assurance of his love, and so seald him with his own spirit, that he rejoic'd with joy unspeakable and full of glory. He would often be saying, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none on earth that I desire besides thee: my flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart
, and my portion forever;" and, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;" and, "If I live, I sha!! live unto the Lord; if I die, I shall die unto the Lord; and whether I live or die, I am the Lord's;" and, "When Christ, who is my life, shall appear, then shall I also appear with him in glory." He would profess that his communion with the Lord Jesus Christ was inexpressible, and the spectstors judg’d his consolations to be as great as could be born in a mortal body. Being now asked, "Whether the thoughts of dying troubled bio or not?” he reply'd, “No; death has no terrour to me, because Christ has taken away my sin, which is the sting of death.” But being asku, “Whether he was willing to live?" he answer'd, "I am willing to submit unto the will of God; but if God hath appointed me to life, I desire I live to his glory.” And being asked, "Whether God had put out of doubt his interest in a dying, risen Jesus?” he return'd, "Yes; and God has fully answer'd my desires: I am now going to a thousand times better world." He told his mother, “I love you as dearly as my own life; yet I had rather die, and be with Christ.”
He continu'd six days with his teeth so shut, as that they could not be open'd: and for the first three days and nights he took no sustenance; afterwards, though this but seldom, he suck'd in between his teeth nothing but a little cold water; in which time, they that laid their ears to his lius could over hear him continually expressing his comfort in God. But just before his death, his teeth were open'd; when he would often say, "Oi! how precious is the blood of Christ! it is worth more than a thousand worlds!" and often pray, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!" and at last, he gave up himself to God in those words: “Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit!” He desired his mother to turn his face unto the wall; whereupon she said, “John, dost thou now remember Hezekiah's turning his face unto the wall?" he said, “Yes, I do remember it:” and as she turn'd bim in her arms, he so quietly breathed his soul into the arms of his blessed Saviour.
(Extracted out of the account written and printed by Mr. Witheral a1. Mr. Baker, Ministers of Scituate; and prefac'd by Mr. Urian Oakes, who takes that occasion to say of this John Clap, "he was a young old mai', full of grace, though not full of days.")
EXAMPLE II.—Mr. Thomas Thornton, the aged and faithful pastor of Tarmouth, was blessed with a daughter, nam'd Priscilla, which, at the age of eleven, left this world, having first given demonstrations of an exemplary piety.
She was one remarkably grave, devout, serious; very inquisitive about the matters of eternity; and in her particular calling very diligent. She was nevertheless troubled with sore temptations and exercises about the state of her own soul; the anguish of her spirit, about her "body of death,” caus'd her to pour out many tears and prayers; and she press'd that some cther pious children of her acquaintance might with her keep a day of humiliation together, “that” (as she expressed it) “they might get power against their sinful natures.” But it pleased God at length to bless the Fords of her godly mother for the quieting of her mind. It was her singukr happiness that she had such godly parents; but it was her opinion and expression, "We trust too much to the prayers of our parents, whereas we should pray for our selves.” At last she fell mortally sick. In the beginning of her sickness, she was afraid of dying: "For," said she, “I know of no promise to encourage me." She could not but own that she had in some measure walked with God; Pet she complained “that she had not found God meeting her in her prayers, and making her heart willing to be at his dispose;" and that the
ride of her heart now lay as a load upon it. She own'd that she had many thoughts of Jesus Christ, and that "it grieved her that she had sinned against him, who had done and dy'd for her.” But
many days were not past before she could profess her self willing to die, with some assurance of her then going to eternal blessedness. Many thanks and loves did she now render to one of her superiours, declaring, “'Twas because they had curb'd her and restrained her from sinful vanities:" And she said, "Were I now to choose my company, it should be among the people of God; I see plainly that they are the only company.” She was not without her conflicts in this time, wherein one of her speeches was, “Damnation, that is the worst thing of all, but Christ s of all
, the best: I find it so: Christ is to me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” She told her father, she knew she was made
up of all manner of sin; but, said she, "I hope God has humbled me, and pardon'd me in the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Unto her afectionate mother she said, "Mother, why do you weep, when I am well
my soul? Well, will you mourn when I am so full of joy? I pray rejoice with me."
When she was extreamly spent, she said unto her parent, "O, my father! I have been much troubled by Satan, but I find Christ is too hard for kim, and sin, and all.” She now said, “I know that I shall die.” And being ask'd whether she were afraid of death, with a sweet smile she replied, "No, not I: Christ is better than life!" And so she continu'd in a most