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ing a Bible, and had wifhed that if he ftole it his Hands might rot off, before he died; which proved most true, and most affecting to the whole Country and Neighbourhood. A juft Account of which, after many Years, I have very lately read; and find all Things therein related as I remember I heard then at that Time, The exact Narrative itfelef, written by Mr. Illingworth; and the judicious Sermon that accompanies it, preached by Dr. Ford, are now before me; and ought, in this fceptical Age to be reprinted, and recommended to all who either deny or doubt of the Interpofition of a particular divine Providence fometimes, for the Punishment of notorious wicked Men, even in thefe laft Days. And I am and have long been of the great Lord Verulam's Opinion, here justly refer'd to by Dr. Ford, page 52. who takes Notice of it as a Defect in the Hiftorical Part of Learning, that there is not extant an impartial and well-attefted Hiftoria Nemefios, as he calls it. An Account of the most remarkable Judgments of God upon the wicked, and complains of it accordingly.

Now fince two remarkable Things happened to me before, and when I went to School, which was A. D. 1684. I fhall here relate them. The first belonged to my Grandmother Mrs. Roffe, who then lived upon a small Estate of her own at Ratcliffe, three Miles from us at Norton; but ftill had her Coffin at our House many Years. About the

Year 1680, we heard fhe was fick,

and fo we

might have fome Apprehenfions, that she being of a great Age, that this Sicknefs might be fatal to

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her: Tho' I do not remember any particular Tokens of her End approaching. However at this Time I had one Night a melancholy Dream, and thought I faw very diftinctly her Funeral go along by the Side of her Rails to Ratcliff Church-yard, in a folemn Manner. After which I awaked, and was comforting myfelf, that all this was but a Dream, and my Grandmother might ftill recover. At which Time I heard a lumbring Noise about the Place where her Coffin was: And inquiring what was the Matter, the Answer was, that my Grandmother was dead, and they were come for her Coffin.


The second very remarkable Thing that happened then to me, was before my going to Tamworth School, A. D. 1684. At Whitfontide my Mother went with me to Swepfton (my Father wanting his Sight) to our Neighbour and Friend Dr. Gery, Rector of that Place, which was but two Miles from Norton. He had his fecond Son, Mr. Gery then under the Care of Mr. George Antrobus, at Tamworth: Whither I was to go foon after the Holydays were Whilft that Son of Dr. Gery's was, during the Holydays, at Swepfton, with his Father. With whom I now aimed to contract an Acquaintance before I went to Tamworth: Accordingly we were that Day very familiar together, and hoped to be fo ever afterward. Mr. Gery, in the Evening, was fo complaifant as to conduct my Mother and myself Part of the Way to Snareston, which lay in our Way to Norton. At length we parted; and we went up a small Afcent one Way, as he went back a greater Afcent the other. At which Juncture a strong foreboding Impref

fion came upon me, from no Foundation that I know of, that I should never fee him more: Which made me look backward upon him several Times: Tho' I endeavoured to put fuch a difagreeable Thought out of my Mind. Upon Mr. Gery's going back to School, before I was ready to go, he fell ill of the Small-Pox at School. This affrighted me, and made me earnestly defire to be fent to Tamworth immediately, that when I had once feen him alive (for I had already had the Small-Pox myself) the foreboding Impreffion might be over. However it fo proved, that either my Father's Horfes, or Servants were out of the Way; or fome other Impediment hinder'd my going fo long, that he was dead before I came to School, and the other Scholars had made Elegies upon his Death; fo that according to this my strange Impreffion, I never did fee him more. Which Accident greatly affected me at that Time.

Several other Relations of this Nature, I mean

relating to the invifible World, I have made ftrict Inquiry about, and collected fome myself in the Course of my Life; and have frequently been intirely fatisfied of their Truth and Reality. But because they were not of my own original Knowledge, I rather reserve them till fome other fober and judicious Perfon fhall make an authentick Collection of fuch Relations of that Nature, as may have fufficient Vouchers, and may be both to my own Satisfaction, and to the publick Benefit; when I fhall be ready to communicate my Relations Relations to the Authors of fuch Collectión.

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And here it may not be amifs to take Notice, how excellent a Paftor of a Parish my Father was; even after the Lofs of his Sight; his great Infirmities of Body; and his Lameness: Nay, even when, for about fix Weeks, his hearing was almoft intirely loft alfo. During which Times he still continued officiating and preaching twice every Lord's-Day. He alfo, before his Want of Sight hindered him, ufed to go Yearly to the feveral Families in his Parish, to catechise the Children, and instruct, or if Occafion was, to reprove the grown Perfons, in a free and familiar Manner: And particularly to fit the younger Perfons four Times in the Year for their first Communion. Which Method he alfo continued when he had loft his Sight, with only this Difference, that he then fent for the feveral Families to his own House for the fame Purposes. Nor was there any more than one Family which refused to .come. The Master of which Family was afterward fo fenfible of the good Influence of fuch private Inftructions, that when I once came into that Country, and, as ufual gave the Parishioners of Norton aSermon, he lamented to me the Negligence of the Incumbents, after my Father's Death; and complained that since that Time, they could not govern their Children and Servants as they did before, and would I thought have gone down on his Knees that I might have had the Living, and done as he did.

My Father chiefly depended on Dr. Hammond's Paraphrafe and Notes on the New Teftament ( who was ten years Rector of that very Parish of Penfeburft in Kent, which I was offered abut Six Years ago;)

which Work I used to read to him, and which Work was in thofe Days the great Standard of the Senfe of the Text among the middle Sort of our Divines, nay, almost among all the Preachers of the Church of England; till at laft Grotius's Reputation greatly prevailed against his, and generally against that of all our other Commentators. Altho' I cannot but fay, that how great foever Dr. Hammond's Reputation was with me, when I was young, and Grotius's and Bishop Patrick's, &c. when I was of middle Age; yet in the last thirty Years and more, have I discovered fo much greater Light, by the most frequent Perufal of the two or three first Centuries of Christianity, and by a close Attention to Originals, that I cannot but look upon all fuch Commentaries as at present much lefs confiderable. But this by the Way only.

My Father performed all Parochial Duties himfelf; in saying the Prayers, Pfalms, and Leffons, and Preaching every Lord's Day twice, and Adminiflring both Baptifm and the Lord's Supper by Heart. (To which last he admitted me at fourteen Years of Age) excepting the Office of Matrimony, which he left to others. Nor did this extraordinary Diligence in his Function please several of his neighbouring Clergy: Who, as ufual, thought it to be as it really,was, a tacit but fevere Reproof of their own Negligence. As to which excellent Character I have now by me, an original Petition of the Parithioners of Norton and neighbouring Gentry, to the Lord Protector, before the Death of Mr. Gabriel Roffe, his Father-in-Law, who was then about 87,


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