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eighty-feven or eighty-eight years of age, I remember to have heard these few things only, viz. That he was under the famous Camden, fecond mafter of Westminster school; that he refused to read king Charles's Book of Sports on the lord's day; however, when he heard he was beheaded, he fell a weeping; and that in his very old age, when he went to bed he used to fay; I go to my bed as to my grave. Now my father had been admitted into Queen's college, Oxford, tho' he did not I believe ftay there long. He had been approved by Peter. Watkinson, moderator, and feven others of the claffical prefbytery at Wirksworth, in the province of Derby, and ordained a preaching prefbyter June 21, 1653, by fafting, and prayer, and impofition of hands. He was after the restoration kept in his living of Norton by the favour and intereft of Mr. Merrey, his great friend of Gopfhill, in his neighbourhood; and was inftituted into that living by bishop Sanderfon, November 9, 1661. He was married to Mrs. Katherine Roffe, May 13, 1657, by Mr. Francis Shute, a juftice of peace at Upton; as was the practice at that time. The originals of all which inftruments I have now by me. However, fince there is fomewhat very remarkable relating to my father, in a note I lately made upon a paffage in Sir William Dugdale's Short View of the late Troubles of England, page 473, I fhall here add that note. He there fets down my father's name in a lift of clergymen of the county of Leicester, that addrefs'd
fure of his notions by the convocation; and his profecution hefore the court of Delegates, and its upfhot are here omitted ; as already at large published after his Hiftorical Preface, prefixed to the firft of his four Volumes of PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY REVIVED, with some additions there; and at the end of the Vth Volume. Where the reader will find compleat accounts of them all. See alfo the MEMOIRS of Dr. CLARK'S Life, per tot. and many other places of his writings hereafter fpecified.
addrefs'd the parliament. Upon which my note was as follows.
N. B. This Jofiah Whifton was my father, and at this time 1659, become fucceffor to my grandfather, Mr. Gabriel Rofs; who died October 19. A. D. 1658. When I as his amanuenfis (for he had himself loft his fight feveral years before his death) read the catalogue of fubfcribers, he was prodigiously uneafy at his name being in it. His account to me was this: that when fome apparitor or meffenger came from thofe at the helm to obtain the subscription, he was very unwilling to comply. He faid, he lived privately, and endeavoured to do his own duty without intermeddling with the affairs of ftate, and fo earnestly defired to be excused. But the apparitor or meffenger would admit of no excufe, and told him, that if he refufed, his name must be put into the roll of refufers, or into his black book, to be feen by thofe in authority. The confequence of which my father fo dreaded, that he did at laft fubfcribe; but deeply repented it all the days of his life, and upon his death-bed alfo. Nay, I believe he kept the 30th of January [the anniversary day of humiliation for the death of king Charles I.] more folemnly, as a religious faft, than any other clergyman in England, every year till the day of his death, A. D. 1685. He alfo wrote a book, though never published, against the lawfulness of that war; which I have now by me, under his own hand, in manuscript, and a better copy of which, as I take it, the late Sir John Harpur had. My copy begins with this declaration, That his doubts about the lawfulness of that war began this very year 1659, and informs us, that "this manufcript was begun January 11, "and finished February 19, 1665, 1666." His brother, Mr. Jofeph Whifton, of Lewes, in Suffex, a very pious diffenter, that wrote feveral books for
infant baptifm [an account of whofe religious death I have now by me had been chaplain to colonel Harrifon, one of the regicides. To whom my father made me write long letters, to convince him of the unlawfulness of that war: (a copy of one of which letters I have still by me) but all in vain. Their differences in opinion however did not break their brotherly friendship, as appeared by his leaving what he had amongst us, his brother's children, when he died. All this I atteft, April 25, 1746. But before I proceed to my own history, I cannot omit to mention the relations that came to my father at Norton, when I was but a child under ten years of age, concerning that wonderful and undeniable inftance of the punishment of one John Duncalf of Kings Swinford, about thirty miles from us in Staffordshire; of which I well remember we had feveral atteftations at the very time, either from eye and ear-witneffes, or those who had spoken with eye and ear-witneffes. This John Duncalf had cursed himself, upon his ftealing a bible, and had wifhed, that if he ftole it, his hands might rot off, before he died; which proved moft 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 itself, written by Mr. Illingworth, and the judicious fermon 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 juftly referred to by Dr. Ford, page 52, who takes notice of it as a defect in the hiftorical part of
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 fchool, which was A. D. 1684, I fhall here relate them. The firft belonged to my grandmother, Mrs. Roffe, who then lived upon a fmall eftate of her own at Ratcliffe, three miles from us at Norton; but still had her coffin at our houfe many years. About the year 1680, we heard fhe was fick, and fo we might have fome apprehenfions, that, the being of a great age, this ficknefs might be fatal to 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 fide of her rails to Ratcliffe church-yard, in a folemn manAfter which I awaked, and was comforting myself, 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 fecond very remarkable thing that happened then to me, was before my going to Tamworth fchool, A. D. 1684. At Whitfontide, my mother went with me to Swepfton (my father wanting his fight) to our neighbour and friend Dr. Gery, rector of that place, which was but two miles from NorHe had his fecond fon, Mr. Gery, then under the care of Mr. George Antrobus, at Tamworth: whither I was to go foon after the holidays were over; whilft that fon of Dr. Gery's was, during the holidays, at Swepfton, with his father. With whom
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 myfelf part of the way to Snareston, which lay in our way to Norton. At length we parted, and we went up a small ascent one way, as he went back a greater afcent the other. At which juncture a strong foreboding impreffion came upon me, from no foundation that I know of, that I should never fee him more: which made me look backward upon him everal times tho' I endeavoured to put fuch a disagreeable thought out of my mind. Upon Mr. Gery's going back to fchool, before I was ready to go, he fell ill of the fmall-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 smallpox myself) the foreboding impreffion might be over. However, it fo proved, that either my father's horses, or fervants 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 ftrange 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 strict inquiry about, and collected fome myself in the courfe 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 authentic collection of fuch relations of that nature, as may have sufficient vouchers, and may be both to my own fatisfaction,