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Shewing the Strange works of Providence, in preferving me from the many deaths which threatened me.
THE firft of the many wonders which the adorable providence of God effected, in preferving me from death, was as follows: Being put out to nurfe, to an Irish papist, in the times of trouble, before Ireland was reduced, my nurfe, about the latter end of January, fearing, as fhe at least pretended, the rage of the Irish foldiers, left they fhould inhumanly butcher me, or rather, kill herself and hufband, for offering to nurse a heretic's child, as they called B 2
ine, caft me out upon a dung-hill, in a great fnow, where I had undoubtedly perished, had not Providence fent relief in the very nick of time, which was thus effected:
At the fame time, when I lay in that most deplorable condition in the fnow, no eye pitying me, there was a fervant of my father's down in the country, about concerns of my father's, who, as he was returning home, declining the road which was his proper way, takes another road which directly led him through the village where I was, he not in the least knowing any ground or reafon why, or wherefore, he fhould leave the high and common road, to pass through that village; but, finding in himself a strange impulse upon his fpirit, he gave way and, as he paffed through the street, between the house from whence I had been caft and the dung-hill where I lay, hearing a moft lamentable and piteous cry of a young infant, as he apprehended, out of doors, ftops his horse to fee where the infant lay, but the fnow being deep, and it fnowing apace, he could perceive nothing; but, following the voice of the cry, he was led to the place where I lay. He forthwith knocks at the door next to the dung-hill, to inquire after the cruel and unnatural mother of that poor dying infant on the dung-hill, or to entreat fomebody to take pity on fo despicable an object. On this, my nurfe informs the man whose child I was, with the whole of my circumftances. No fooner had he understood whose
I was, but he runs to the place where I lay, takes me up, lapping me in his cloak, and brings me home to my parents, fifteen long miles, without the least nurture either of breast or spoon, for the fupport of decaying nature. All that fifteen miles, besides the space I lay on the dung-hill, which, as my nurse herself confessed to the man, was about five hours, I continued to make fad complaints, by abounding in heart-moving fhrieks and piteous moans all the day, the man expecting every moment when I should expire. In this condition, he presents me a fad spectacle to my parents, acquainting them were and how he found me; and how that he was, he knew not how or wherefore, turned off from his road to go that way, where he met
Forthwith an express was posted away, for three or four of the chief physicians who were then in Dublin, who immediately hastened to my father's, being about two miles and a half from Dublin; the utmost of their skill and judgment was improved for my present help and relief, but all in vain; the intricacy of my state and condition of body being such, as fufficiently nonplussed and baffled all their skill. Finding no probability, in a rational way, of recovering me, they gave me up, Turing my relations that I was a gone child, as to orld. The doctors forsaking me, other means 'ied by ancient men, and midwives, who good judgment and long experience
Neither availed this any thing, in curing children,
this were appi. seemed to hay
God having blafted all that men could effect, as inftruments, to make way for his blessing on that means which he himself had fingled out for my effectual cure, that the fame might be recorded to the eternal praise of his own wonder-working providence, as will afterwards appear. All means applied for my cure and recovery were, by the powerful providence of God, made effectual food to nourish and feed the diftempers which threatened the life of my body, until I was at length taken by all for dead. No motion of life appearing in me, I was stretched out, put into the winding-sheet, and nailed up in my coffin; and, as friends and neighbours were just going out of the door, to accompany me to my long home, the person who carried the coffin both perceived me to ftir and alfo heard me to cry in the coffin, at which all were not a little amazed, and fume so affrighted that they ran away.
About two months after this escape I was a fecond time taken for dead in the opinion of all the family, ftretched out, and wrapped in a windingfheet; and, left they might be over hafty in burying me, it was judged expedient to watch with me, which is the manner and cuftom in Ireland, by people fitting up all night, with many lights in the room where the corpfe lies. It pleafed God, that, about midnight, they who watched me faw me lift up the fheet, to their great aftonishment.
Notwithstanding these strange and unexpected
revivals, I was no fmall grief and burthen to my parents, and other relations in the family, and that on the account of my continuing fo long in pain and mifery, no endeavours of creatures likely to do me good.
As I grew in age, fo my diftemper waxed and grew at fuch a rate, that my little body waxed very big and misshapen; my belly was as big as an ordinary tub or drum; my legs no way able to bear or carry my distempered body: thus was I a bur-. then not only to others, but alfo to myfelf, until it pleafed God to check and control the humours and diftempers of my body, which elfe had checked me into the dust.
The means of my recovery were as follow: viz. On a certain day, as I was in the arms of a maid-servant, whofe only work it was to attend on and minifter unto me, I beheld on the ground, be fore the door, fome fpeckled fhell-fnails, which dropped out of the load of furze that came to the door; thefe fnails I cried to have. The maid, willing to gratify my defire, picked up as many as fhe could fee of them; with these I pleafed my fancy, playing with them till weary. After which I motioned to put the fnails into the fire; and after a little while, when I apprehended they were roafted, I cried to have them again. The maid, and all others that beheld me, wondered greatly what I defigned to do with them. No fooner had 1 cleared them from the fhells, but, to the great amazement of the fpectators, I fell to B 4