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who might justly have claimed the name of the Spanish Bishop, Fructuosus, there were many salleys to the doing of good, which he added unto the weekly and constant services of his ministry; whereof one was this: A certain Roman Catholick having published a short but subtil discourse entitled “Of the one, only, Catholic and Roman faith," whereby the faith of sume uncatechised Protestants was not a little endangered, Mr. Mather was desired by persons of quality to give the world an answer to this dis

And in answer to their desire, he composed and emitted a most elaborate, pertinent, and judicious, though brief treatise, entitled, “A Defence of the Protestant, Christian Religion against Popery, wherein the manifold Apostasies, Heresies, and Schisms of the Church of Rome, as also the Weakness of their Pretensions from the Scriptures and the Fathers are briețly

But there was another thing which gave the studies of this learned and holy man a considerable exercise. There was one Mr. Valentine Greatreats, who felt a vehement impression, or suggestion upon his mind, of this import: ["I have given thee the gift of curing the evil!") in compliance with which impulse, he stroked a neighbour grievously afflicted with the King's evil, and a cure succeeded. For about a twelve-month he pretended unto the cure of no other distemper; but, then, the ague being rife in the neighbourhood, the same sort of impulse told him ["I have given thee the gift of curing the ague!”] After which, when he laid his hand on people in their fits, the ague would leave them. About half a year after this, the impulse became yet more general, and said ["I have given thee the gift of healing,"] and then our stroker attempted the relief of all diseases indifferently: but frequently with such violent rubbing, as from any one would have had a tendency to disperse pains arising from. flatulencies. All this while, he doubted whether there were any thing more in the cause of the cure that followed this friction, than the strong fancy of the feeble people that addressed him; wherefore, to convince his incredulity, as he lay in his bed, he had one hand struck dead, and the usual impulse then bid him to make a trial of his virtue upon himself; which he did with his other hand, and immediately it returned unto its former liveliness: this happened for two or three mornings together. But after this there were thousands of persons who flockt from all parts of Ireland unto this gentleman, for the cure of their various maladies; among whom there were some noble, some learned, and some very pious persons, and even ministers of the gospel; and although it was observed that a cure seldom succeeded without reiterating touches; that the patients often relapsed; that sometimes he utterly fail'd of doing any thing at all, especially when there was a decay of nature; and that there were many distempers that were not at all obedient unto the hand of this famous practitioner; nevertheless, his touches had thousands of wonderful effects. There were some philosophical heads, who refer'd all this virtue in the hand of our new sort of Chyrurgion, unto a particular complexion in him, or a

sort of sanative or balsamic ferment, which was in the spirits of the man; and who conceived the impulse upon him to be but a result of his temper, and like dreams, that are usually according to our constitution; or perhaps there might be something of a genius, they thought, also in the case. But Mr. Mather apprehended the "hand of Joab in all this;" and a plot of Satan, that Mupotexviens, Generis humani hostis, * lying at the bottom of all. Vr. Greatreats had confessed unto him that, before these things, he had bin a student in Cornelius Agrippa, and had essay'd the cure of distempers, by his Abra kat Abra;t and Mr. Mather now feared that the devil, with whom he had bin so far familiar, did not only now impose upon the man himself, but also design upon multitudes of other people. Wherefore, to rectifie the thoughts of people about the danger of unaccountable impulses, which had precipitated Greatreats into his present way of cures; and about the nature and intent of real miracles, whereof 'twas evident there were none in the cures by Greatreats pretended unto; and moreover, to prevent the superstitious neglect of God, and of means, which people were apt, on this occasion, profanely, to run into; and finally, to prevent the hazards which might arise unto our sacred religion by our popular apotheising of a blade who made scepticism in religion one part of his character; Mr. Mather drew up a discourse relating thereunto. This discourse, being shown to some of the King's privy.council in Ireland, was approved and applauded, as most worthy to be printed; but the primate's Chaplain at last obstructed it, because, forsooth, the Geneva notes and Dr. Ames were quoted in it, and it was not convenient that there should be any book printed wherein any quotations were made from such dangerous fanaticks. However, God blessed this manuscript for the setling of many unstable minds, and the stopping of mischiefs that were threatened.

$ 14. It is reported in the life of Mr. Rothwel, that being advised by a clergy-man, more great than wise, to forbear medling with the types, as themes not convenient for him to study upon, he made that very prohibition but as an invitation to expect something of an extraordinary concernment in them; and accordingly, falling upon the study of the types, he found no part of his ministry more advantagiously employed for himself or others. Our Mr. Mather, on the other hand, was earnestly desired by the non-conformist ministers in the city of Dublin to preach upon the types of evangelical mysteries, in the dispensations of the Old Testament; in compliance with which, he had not proceeded very far, before he saw cause to write unto one of his brothers, "the types and shadows of the Old Testament, if but a little understood, how full are they of gospel-light and glory! Having gone through diverse of them, I must acknowledge, with thankfulness to the praise of the freeness of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I have seen more of him than I saw before.” With much labour and judgment, at length, he finished his undertaking, and in a

• Author of a thousand wiles-enemy of the human raco.

† Magical word.

course of sermons, from March, 1666, to February, 1668, on first the per. sonal types, and then the real ones, whether first, the more occasional types, and then the more perpetual ones. And his church, after his death, calling another of his worthy brothers—namely, Mr. Nathanael Mather—to succeed him, that brother of his, in imitation of what Ludovicus Capellus did for his brother, and what Mr. Dyke, Mr. Culverwel, and others have done for theirs, in publishing the profitable works of the deceased, published this course of sermons unto the world; with some judicious discourses against modern superstitions intermixed. Here, the waxen combs of the ancient and typical cells being melted down, is (as one expresses it) “rolled up into shining tapers, to illuminate the students of those mysteries in finding out the honey that couches in the carcase of the slain lion of the tribe of Judah." All the talents which Cato spent in erecting a tomb of Thracian marble for his dead brother Cæpio, turned not unto so much account as the care used by Mr. Nathanael Mather thus to bring into the light the meditations of his excellent brother Samuel; upon a subject wherein but few had ever waded before him. And if there be a truth in that opinion of some divines, "that the glory and gladness of the saints in heaven receives additions, as the good effects of what they formerly did on earth are there increasing; his action herein was yet more worthy the relation of a brother. But Mr. Mather did not so converse with one more obscure part of the sacred Scripture, as to leave another uncultivated with his industrious and inquisitive studies thereupon: the difficulties in the prophetical part of the New Testament, as well as in the figurative part of the Old, were happily assail'd by his learned contemplations. When he had made a considerable progress herein, he wrote unto his youngest brother, who was then a minister in New-England, and since President of the Colledge there—“I must needs tell you how much I do rejoice that it hath pleased God to stir up your spirit to search into the prophetical parts of the Scripture; of which I have often thought, and still do, that it is great pity they are so little minded and seen into by many, both ministers and others, who do deprive themselves of much satisfaction, which they might receive thereby. It is not good to despise any part of the mind and counsel of God, revealed in his word; there are unknown treasures and pleasures there stored up, more precious than gold and silver; and shall we not, in the strength of his spirit, search for them ?" And as the brother to whom he thus wrote gave in sundry treatises, in diverse languages, unto the church of God, several happy fruits of his enquiries into the inspired prophecies, which "blessed are they that read and hear," so our Mr. Mather himself arrived unto such attainments, herein, that he had no cause to make the confession (tho' such was his modesty that he was ready enough to do it) of some eminent persons, nullus sum in propheticis. When 'tis said, "Blessed are they that keep the things written in this

• I am not profound in the interpretation of prophecy.

prophecy," a mathematician will tell us that what we render keep, is rather to be render'd observe, or watch, or mind; for impživ, is used by the Greeks as a term of art, expressing the astronomical observation of eclipses, planetary aspects, and other coelestial phænomena. Mr. Mather accordingly counted it his blessedness to take an observation of what fulfillment the divine books of prophecy already had received, and thence make computation of the times that were yet before us, and of the things to be done in those times. But of all his apocalyptical explications, or expectations, I shall here take the liberty to insert no more than this one, which may deserve perhaps a little thinking on: "That whenever God sets up in any of the ten kingdoms, which made the ten horns of the Papal empire, such an establishment, sovereign and independent, wherein antichrist shall have neither an Elxoia, nor a Auvaus, neither power of laws, nor force of arms, to defend him and his corruptions; doubtless, then, the witnesses of our Lord are no more trodden down, to prophecy in sackcloth, any longer. Then therefore expires the 1260 years, and since that such a kingdom well may be called the Lord's, then will the seventh trumpet begin to sound. Which, that it is near, even at the door, I may say, through grace I doubt not."

$ 15. While Mr. Mather was thus employ'd, it pleas'd the God of heaven, to take away from him the desire of his eyes.” He had in the year 1656 married a most accomplished gentlewoman, the sister of Sir John Stevens, by whom he had four or five children, whereof there lived but one, which was a daughter. But in the year 1668 this gentlewoman fell into a sickness, that lasted five or six weeks; all which time she continued full of divine peace and joy, and uttered many extraordinary expressions of grace, wherewith her pious friends were extreamly satisfied. When she drew near her end, her husband, seeing her in much pain, said, "you are going where there will be no more pain, sighing or sorrow.” Whereto she answered, "Ah, my dear, and where there will be no more sin!" And her sister saying to her, “You are going to heaven,” she answered, “I am there already!" So she went away, having those for her last words, "Come, Lord, come, Lord Jesus!” Not very long after this did Mr. Mather fall ill himself, of an impostume in his liver: but as in the time of his health and strength, he had maintained an "even walk with God," without such raptures of soul as many Christians have bin carried forth unto, so now, in the time of his illness, he enjoyed a certain tranquillity of soul, without any approaches toward rapturous extasie. He never was a man of words, but of a silent and a thinking temper, a little tinged with melancholly; and now he lay sick, he did not speak much to those that were about him; yet what he did speak was full of weight and worth, nor will his friends ever forget with what solemnity he then told them, “that he had preached unto them the truths of the great God, and that he now charged them to • To watch. + A sovereignty founded in law.

The sovereignty of physical force.

adhere unto those truths, in the firm and full faith whereof he was now entering into glory: and that he did particularly exhort them to wash every day in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by faith apply his perfect and spotless righteousness unto their own souls." It has indeed bin commonly observed, that children “who honour their father and their mother,” according to the first commandment in the second table of the law, which bas a peculiar promise annexed unto it, have the recompense of a long life upon earth. And I take notice that, in the commandment, what we translate, "that thy days may be long," is to be read, "that they may prolong thy days;” that is, thy father and thy mother, they shall prolong thy days, by blessing of thee, in the name of God, if thou carry it well unto them. But when the Sovereign Providence of heaven makes exceptions unto this general rule, we may believe that what is not fulfilled in the letter, is fulfilled in the better : and some, that “live long in a little time,” also have their days prolonged in the enjoyment of life with the Lord Jesus Christ, our life throughout eternal ages. Thus, our Mr. Mather had bin as dutiful a Joseph as perhaps ever any parents had; and by his yearly and costly presents to his aged father, after he came to be a master of possessions in Ireland, he continued the expressions of his dutifulness unto the last; nevertheless, he now died, October 29, 1671, when he wanted about six months of being six and forty years old: and yet, as they who have gone to prove Adam a longer-lived person than Methuselah, use to urge that Adam was to be supposed fifty or sixty years old, being in the "perfect stature of man" at his first creation, so, if it be consider'd how much of a man our Mather was while he was yet a child, and if it be further considered how much work he did for the Lord Jesus Christ after he came to the “perfect stature of man,” he must be reckoned, "an old man full

of grace, though not full of days;" and that epitaph which was once the · great Jewel's, may be written on his grave, in the church of St. Nicholas, in the city of Dublin, where his ashes lie covered.

Diú vixit, licet non diú fuit.*


Gone where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest.

• He lived a long life, and yet did not live long.

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