Page images
PDF
EPUB

fered to prevail.” In what form did the devils appear? - Alany of them appeared like bears, lions, and other wild beasts." How long do you suppose you were tormented a second time? He answered, with the same emotion as before.” O, a great while! But the angel came again, and the moment I saw him the tormenters fled, and I felt no pain at all; till he gave me up to be tormented a third time, and then my tormenters returned, and all my pain and anguish returned, with the same violence as before." How long in all do you imagine you remained in this place of torment? “It seemed to me to be five or six years." How dreadful must that pain be, which though it really lasted not two days, appeared to endure so many years. O what must those pains be, when continued to all eternity.

Did the angel appear any more? “ He did, and to my unspeakable joy, not only the devils fled away, but I was permitted to follow him to the very gates of heaven. Yea, and to look into it.” Did you see any persons there? “I saw transparent persons, very beautiful and glorious, and heard them sing in a manner I cannot describe. This I heard long before I came to the gates. I would sain have gone in, but the angel told me, I must go back and tell my brethren what I had seen.” I said, “And must I leave my good angel.” In saying those words his spirit returned.

Since that time he is greatly changed, attends all the ordinances of God, and has left the company of all his wicked acquaintance. But he seems still ignorant of the power of religion.This is a mystery indeed? It is well if the last end of this man, be not worse than the first!

[ocr errors]

An astonishing account of an extraordinary beautiful woman, of

whom, in the narrative it is estimated, that she had leagued with satan to aid her in becoming the most beautiful woman of Europe. So insatiable is the desire of some ladies to excel in this captivating qualification. With such, God is not well pleased, for such persons adore themselves instead of their Creator.

In the Duke of Sully's Memoirs, book the tenth, there is a very remarkable account concerning the lady of the constable of France, then (in the year 1599) in the flower of her age, and supposed to be one of the most beautiful women in Europe. The account was given by several ladies who were then at her house. She was conversing cheerfully with them in her closet, when one of her women came in, who seemed to be under great emotion, and said, "My lady, a gentleman is just entered your anti-chamber, who is very tall, and quite black, and desires to speak with you. He says it is about affairs of great consequence, which he cannot communicate to any but you.” At every circumstance relating to this extraordinary courier, which the woman was ordered to describe minutely, the lady was seen to turn pale, and was so oppressed with horror, that she was hardly able to tell her woman, to intreat the gentleman, in her name, to defer his visit to another time. This message she delivered; but he answered in a tone which filled her with astonishment, “ If your lady will not come to me, I will go and seek her in her closet.” At last she resolved to go to him; but with all the marks of deep despair. In a short time she returned to her company, bathed in tears and half dead with dismay. She was able only to speak a few words and take leave of them; particularly the three ladies who were her friends, and to assure them she should never see them more. That instant she was seized with exquisite pains : all her beauty was gone. Every feature of her face was changed : and she became a spectacle of horror. At the end of three days she died in the utmost agonies both of body and mind.

“Of this story (the Duke very gravely adds) the wife thought as they ought to think.” Suppose the story be true ; suppose it be related just as it occurred (and there is no shadow of reason to imagine the contrary,) all wise men ought to think, that God permitted an evil spirit to put an end to the life of an evil woman.

An account of the pleasing and wonderful dream of Mr. John

Townsend, of Weymouth, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1809.

At the last visit my dear mother made in Bethlehem, April, 1760 where she stayed four weeks, she often spoke of her death as at no great distance; and frequently said if she could not see me in her last illness, she would beg the Lord's permission to visit me after her decease. I besought her not to do it, alledging my fearful disposition, telling her I was certain I could not support such a visitant. Why, my dear, said she, surely you would not be afraid of a happy spirit. I still affirmed that I could not bear it, and entreated her not to come if she had leave ; her answer was, See you I must, and therefore if it is permitted, I will visit you when asleep, and converse with you in such a manner that you shall have no uneasy sensations.

On the 21st of September, the same year, my dear mother departed this lite as a happy pardoned, reconciled sinner, and en

tered into the joy of her Lord, About ten days after her decease, I went to bed very much depressed, and could not be reconciled to my loss, and lamented my stay behind in this vale of tears. In this state of mind I fell asleep, and had the following dream.

It seemed to me that I was walking under a row of trees, and, looking upwards, saw my mother gently descending till she stood before me; her robes were white as snow, and flowed upon her feet, and her countenance shone with so much lustre, that I could not support the brightness long together : it resembled the sun at noon-day, yet I perfectly knew her, and was struck with reverential awe. She seated herself under a tree, and beckoned me to sit by her. I obeyed without speaking, for I was all amazement; she broke silence and said, "My dear child, I have asked our Saviour and have obtained permission to visit you. I have perceived the concern you are under-I am here, and ready to answer any questions you may be desirous to ask.” She stopped and I repeatedly looked at her without any sensation of fear. The first question I asked her was, if she bad an easy departure ; for I knew she had the fear of death remaining after she bad obtained true grace. She answered, "My dear, I was insensible to the pains of death, my dear Saviour had taken away sin, which is the sting of death. As soon as my soul left the body, I came, as a poor pardoned sinner, to the throne of grace, and met with a most gracious reception ; He (meaning our Lord) then took a book in his hand, and held it open, so that all the saints and angels could read my name, which was written in large characters therein ; and then our Lord pronounced these words, ‘Mary Attwood, because thou hast kept the words of my patience, I have also kept thee in the hour of temptation. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'”

My mother then paused, and seemed to wait another question, here my curiosity was great concerning her state of blessedness, but fearing to ask a description, I only said are you happy? in hopes she would tell me the manner of her happiness, but, with a sweet serious look and tone of voice, she said, “I am not permitted to tell you what my degree of happiness is—enough, that I am completely happy : more would do me no good, and less would not satisfy me.” She then took occasion from my asking this question, to rebuke my curiosity, by charging me never to enter too deeply into conversation on the life to come, as she and I had frequently done. “My dear, (said she) do not think too much on the manner and ways of eternity; it is beyond your conception : poor mortals attempt to describe what they cannot comprehend. The tongues of men or of angels cannot describe the inexpressible happiness of the blessed above.”

said, “ I besought our Saviour to support you under your loss. Your companions behaved very tenderly to you. I stood by when they informed you of my decease." She then spoke as follows: My dear child, I beseech you not to depend, in a light manner, on our Saviour's grace, mercy, and long suffering; for he will not bear so much from his children as from worldlings. You have now lost your mother, and are become an orphan; do not put your trust in any one but our Saviour, take him for your father, your friend, your one and all : he has promised to supply my place unto you, and be will do it a bundred-fold : make him your only object, and have no other ; but above all, let his sufferings be of weight to your heart. Jesus' sufferings ! Jesus' death and sufferings ! (she repeated holding up her hands to heaven,) Jesus' death and sufferings ! O what powerful words ! We fall prostrate and adore him for his meritorious death and sufferings! Do not be impatient, my dear child, in two or three hours, according to my reckoning, you will be with me.” then seemed desirous to go away : I begged her to stay a little

: longer : her answer was, No, though you are my child, I not stay from my heaven for your sake.” I asked her whether she would not come again ? She said “No, this once, but not again." Her last words were, that she was called, and must go to her order. She then ascended in a track of light, I looked after her till she disappeared ; and then awoke with so powerful an impression on my mind, that I cannot but think that this was a vision rather than a common dream.

can

A description of the Clock and Clock-House, at Strasburg in

Germany. Herein wine things are to be considered, whereof eight are in the wall; the ninth (and that the most wonderful) stands on the ground, three feet from the wall. This is a great globe of the heavens, perfectly described, in which are three motions ; one of the whole globe, which displays the whole heavens, and moves about from the east to the west in twenty-four hours : the second is of the sun, which runs through the signs there described, once every year: the third is of the moon, which runs her course iu twenty-eight days. So that in this globe you may view the motions of the whole heavens, the motion of the sun and the moon, every minute of an hour, the rising and falling of every star (amongst which stars are the makers of this work, Dassipodius and Wolkinstenius) described. The instruments of these motions are hid in the body of a pelican, which is portraited under the globe. The pole is lifted up to the elevation of Strasburg, and noted by a fair star made in brass : the zenith is

a

declared by an angel placed in the midst of the meridian. The second thing to be observed (which is the first on the wall) are two great circles one within another, the one eight feet, the other nine feet broad ; the outmost moves from the north to the south once in a year, and hath two angels, one on the north side, which points every day in the week; the other on the south side, which points what day shall be one half year after. The inner circle moves from south to north, once in a hundred years, and bath many things described about it; as the year of the World, the year of our Lord, the circle of the Sun, the processions of the equinoctials, with the change of the solstitial Points, which things fall out by the motions which are called Trepidations ; the leap year, the moveable feasts, and the dominical letter, or goldeu number, as it turns every year. There is an immoveable index, which encloses, for every year, all these things within it; the lower part of which index is joined to another round circle, which is immoveable, wherein the province of Alsatia is fairly described, and the city of Strasburg.

On both sides of these circles, on the wall, the eclipses of the sun and moon are, which are to come for many years, even so many as the wall might contain. The third thing, a little above this, is a weekly motion of the planets, as they name the day ; as, on Sunday, the sun is drawn about in his chariot, accordingly as the day is spent; and so drawn into another place, that before he be full in, you have Monday, that is, the moon clear forth, and the horses of Mars' chariot putting forth their heads : and so it is for every day in the week. On this side there are nothing but dum pictures to garnish the wall. The fourth thing is a dial for the minutes of the hour, so that you see every minute pass. Two beautiful pictures of two children, are joined to either side of this; he, on the north side has a sceptre in his hand, and when the clock strikes, he orderly tells every stroke ; he, on the south side hath an hour-glass in his hand, which runs just with the clock, and when the clock has stricken, he turns his glass. The first thing above the minute dial, is the dial for the hour, containing the half parts also : the outermost circumference contains the hours; but within it is a curious and perfect astrolabe, whereby is shewn the motion of every planet, his aspect, and in what sign, what degree, and what hour every one is in, every hour of the day: the opposition likewise of the sun and moon, and the head and tail of the dragon. And because the night darkens not the sun, nor the day the moon, or other planets, therefore their courses are here exactly seen at all times. The sixth thing, is a circle wherein are the two signs of the moon's rising and falling; at two several hollow places it is seen at what state she is; and her age is declared by an index, which

« PreviousContinue »