A breife narration of the possession, dispossession, and, repossession of William Sommers and of some proceedings against Mr Iohn Dorrell preacher, with aunsweres to such obiections as are made to prove the pretended counterfeiting of the said Sommers. Together with certaine depositions taken at Nottingham concerning the said matter.

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Title
A breife narration of the possession, dispossession, and, repossession of William Sommers and of some proceedings against Mr Iohn Dorrell preacher, with aunsweres to such obiections as are made to prove the pretended counterfeiting of the said Sommers. Together with certaine depositions taken at Nottingham concerning the said matter.
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[Amsterdam? :: S.n.],
Anno M. D. XCVIII [1598]
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Subject terms
Darrel, John, b. ca. 1562.
Exorcism -- Early works to 1800.
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http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A69175.0001.001
Cite this Item
"A breife narration of the possession, dispossession, and, repossession of William Sommers and of some proceedings against Mr Iohn Dorrell preacher, with aunsweres to such obiections as are made to prove the pretended counterfeiting of the said Sommers. Together with certaine depositions taken at Nottingham concerning the said matter." In the digital collection Early English Books Online Collections. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A69175.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 20, 2024.

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A BREIFE NARRATION OF THE POSSESSION, dispossession, & repossession of w: Sommers, & of some procee∣dings against Mr IOHN. Dorrel preacher, together with an∣sweres to such obiections as are made to iustifie, or shew the preten∣ded counterfeiting of the said Sommers.

WIlliam Sommers of Nottingham: of the age of 19. or. 20 yeares, about the beginning of October 1597. began to be strangelie tormen∣ted in bodie and so continued for diuerse weekx, to the great astonishment of the beholders, and trouble of his frends: and gaue great tokens that he was possessed by a wicked spirit, wherevppon the MAIOR and some of the Aldermen of Nott: vnderstanding that Mr Dorrell, a minister of Gods worde dwellingh in Ashbie de la zouche, had by praier and fasting restored 8. or 9. persons that in like sort had bene vexed, did instātlie sēd for the said Mr Dorrell to com to Not. to bestwe some paines about the faid sommers: wich he refused sundrie times to yeeld vnto: bycause he tooke vppon him no∣greatter power in such cases, then was incident to anie godlie minis∣ster, or other persōs; with onelie was to intreat the Lord in the name of Christ Iesus to disposesse the wicked spirit out of the possessed per¦son: yet by theyr importunate letters and messengers he condiscen∣ded to their desires. And came to Nott. the 5 of Nouember in the yeare aforesaid: hauing neuer before that time (to his knowledge) seene the said Sommers. The 7. daie of Nouember, being Mon∣daie, was appointed for the exercise of praier, and fasting, to the end the said Sommers might be dispossessed: which Allmightie God▪ onelie at the prayers of Mr Dorrell, and others to the nomber of 150. persons brought to passe. Hyereuppon Mr Dorrell was retai∣ned preacher in Nott: that populous towne, hauing had no setled preacher before this time since the beginning of her Maiesties rei∣gne. Sommers being dispossessed, he discouered certaine witches; whereof one was called Doll ffreeman, allied to one ffreeman an Aldermā of Nott: This ffreemā offēded that his kinswomā should be called in question, threatned Sommers that he was a which: lai∣ing to his charge some presumptions tending that waie. Sōmers was committed to prison, where the Deuil appeared vnto him in liknes of a mouse: threatning that if he would not let him* 1.1 reenter, and would not saie that all that he had done touching his tormen∣ting during his possessiō was but counterfeyt, then he should be hangd: but if he would yeeld to him, he would save him. Thus a∣new stipulation being made betwene them, the Devill entred: And afterwards Som: still pretented that all which before he had done was onelie counterfeyt. Yet this notwithstanding, vppon his re∣possessiō he was as horriblie (spite of his face) tormented as befo∣re, as appeareth by diverse of the Deponents, if the time when the

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things wich they deposed were done, be well observed. To search into the truth hereof a Commission was awarded from the highe Commissioners for the province of yorke, to certifie the matter, to 12. principall persone of account there abouth. Mr Dorrell had ta∣ken the names of threescore persons: who were readie to haue bene deposed touching the extraordinarie handeling of the said Som. 17. of them being sworne, examined, and theyr depositions takē Som was called before the Comissioners to be examined himself, whether he had counterfeited, or not. He told them, all that he did, was but counterfeit. The highe Sheriffe exhorted him in the name of God to tell the truth: then sodenlie Som. was violentlie cast into one of his fits before them all where he wallowed vp and downe the chamber where they sate, in a farefull maner. There were pius thrust deepe into his hand, and leg, to trie if he did counterfeyt: but he was senseles, and no bloud followed. At length being re•••…•••…ed as out of sleepe: they asked what he had done. He said, he could not tell: whether he had not bene pricked with pins, he said, yes: they asked where, and he shewed the wrong hand: when he was exami∣ned, howe the hole came in his other hand wich had bene pricked he said it was there before: being demaunded, why he fell downe? he aunswered, a qualme came ouer his stomack. Then he was con∣veied awaie: and being absent he was worse tormented them befo∣re. They brought him back againe to knowe if he would confesse, who perswaded him to saie, he had counterfeited. As he should ha∣ue gone vp a paire of staires, through a gallerie, if he had not bene hindred, he had cast himselfe headlong ouer the gallerie, to haue bro∣ken his neck. When he was the second time brought before the Commissioners, he was more terriblie handled them before, in so much that the Commissioners, and all that were present were fullie satisfied, that he thē was corporallie possessed: ād surcessed to examie ani moe witnesses Mr Walton Archdeacō of derbie being presēt, ād a principall enime to Mr Dorrell acknowledged it was the finger of God vppon this rare accident. Then was generallie great re∣joicing in Nott: in somuch as it had pleased God thus to manifest the truth when it came to triall. After, the Commission was retur∣ned to Yorke, and Som. committed to the custodie of certain honest persons where he was still tormented as before; and in his fits delivered,* 1.2 how the Devill had appeared vnto him in prison in like∣nes of a mouse as afore sayd: and howe the Devill and also certay∣ne persons had advised him to saie, that he vvas but a counterfeyt, and vvhat promises they made vnto him. Also he told of things that hapned at that time elswhere whithout having knowledge from anie. Which things were taken in writing by some that heard him: and they are readie to be deposed thereof, if they might be suffered. And being come to himselfe he did confesse his possession; and gave himselfe bodie, and soule to the Devill, if he did counterfeyt. The Arch-Bishop of Yorke after the depositions came to his hands was satisfied that in deede Som: was possessed. Yet having receive

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letters from some great personages / he tooke occasiō to silence Mr Dor: pretending this onelie cause, that Mr Dorrell should hold that the Devil might be dispossest by praier, & fasting. Which yet he told him was his private opinion, and that he would willinglie al∣ter it, if he might be better informed. But the A. B. neuer endevou∣red to informe him better: But after goodwords, as that he was an honest man, ecc sent him aware silenced. The matter thus ap∣prehended at york, the Commissioners of the province of Canter∣burie convented Mr Dorrell before them: he appeared a for the daie and being vsed with hard speeches, was sent to the Gatehouse. Som: was brought vp to London, and committed to a barber of East Smithfeild, a man of evill report. And afterward was takē into the Bisschop of London his house. The matter was so well handled that Som: persisted in saiing that he had bene a counter∣feyt: and at length seing this to be so plausible, grewe to be so im∣pudent, that he said Mr Dorrell had hired him to counterfeyt, and had bene acquained with him 4. yeares before, and caused him to practise his feats in Ashbie parck: and informed him after his com∣ming to Nott: howe he should demeane himselfe in time of his dis∣possession. All which Mr Dorrell vppon his othe denied, but Som: bare word (nowe growone to be a mam of great credit, though he had confessed himselfe, heretofore to haue bene a counterfeyt) was better beleiued then Mr Dorrell a godlie, and faithfull man, of ho∣nest conversation, long approved by the best Christians, and mi∣nisters where he lived. But Mr Dorrell for a weeke was herevp∣pon close prisoner. And at length againe he was convented at Lam∣bith. Where taken vp with hard speeches: as if all that Som: had said was true, he not being suffered to answer for himselfe, and the depositions wich might best shewe the matter being taken awaie, and deteined from him, was remanded to the prison: where he yet lieth, till it please God, his cause maie be heard. Nowe to the end that it maie appeare vpon what ground Mr Dorrel hath bene thus handled, and taken vp with speeches, as, the most impudent varlet that euer came before them: asse, heretick, a Deuil, one that had se∣uen Deuils: that he should be the Devils mrthyr, & either recant, at Pauls, crosse, or be burnt in Smithfeild, & such like: for this cause, and for the better clearing of the truth: I will deliuer such obiecti∣ons, as haue bene made against him, with evident aunsweres (as I hope) to everie of them.

There haue bene manie counterfeits:* 1.3 therefore Som. did couterfeit

This followeth not. for we maie with as good reason saie,* 1.4 ma∣nie haue not counterfeyt: therefore Som: did not counterfeyt.

2. There could neuer anie man counterfeyt such things as som∣mers in truth hath done.

Sommers himselfe said he did counterfeyt.* 1.5

1. Sommers likewise said, he did not counterfeyt: yea gaue him∣self bodie and soule to the Devill:* 1.6 if he ded counterfeyt: as wilbe de∣posed:

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why should he not be beleiued aswell with an exetration deni∣ing, as barelie affirming he did counterfeit?

2. Somm. is not to be beleiued when he affirmeth an impossibilitie. for it appeares by the depositions that he did such things, as by hu∣mane power without the Deuill are not possible for him to doe

3. Somm: for feare he should be counted a witch said he did couter∣feit, as appeares in the narration, and nowe perceiuing that this is well pleasing to some great personages, he doth more īpudentlie stād in defence of it.

4. If Som. did counterfeit, he is to be burnt as a blasphemer for saiing that he was God, Christ, and that he made Baptisme. And if he be not punished, we must conclude he did not counterfeit. Els men will imagine that the reuerēd fathers would tollerate blasphe∣mie; hetherto he hath bene rather rewarded.

Sommers owne confession is more to be credited,* 1.7 then all the Depo¦nēts: he best knoweth what himselfe did: the depositions are not worth 2 D. the Commissioners simple men.

1 Sōmers being in his fits knewe not what himselfe did,* 1.8 or, said or was done vnto him, as hath bene confessed by himselfe, and is de∣posed, and further maie be.

2 There can no exception be taken against the witnesses: if it were in case of hie treasō, or in matters concerning anie mans life, or lāds in England: so manie, and such witnesses are sufficient in anie other court of justice in England. 6 of the Commissioners were in degree of Esquires, or better: the residue (saue the Maior of Nott: a verie simple man) were men of learning: they can not be noted of partia∣litie saue such of thē, as were enimies to Mr Dorrell. for the others if there be fault in them, let them be sent for, and punished. But it is not like that anie shalbe called till more indifferēcie be procured, but such onelie as will seeke rather to obscure then to reueale the truth of these proceedings

Sommers can act all those things againe that are deposed.* 1.9

1 If he can act them all in such maner,* 1.10 and forme as is deposed, then he is, either still possessed, or more then a man: for no humane power can doe the like.

2 Let him be brought before some indifferēt persons, let the depo∣sitions be read, and let him act the same in such maner, and forme as is deposed, by naturall, or artificiall power, then Mr Dorrell will peeld that he did conterfeit. If he cannot, (as vndoubtedlie he can∣not,) then pleade no longer for the Deuill: but punish that imp. of Satā as a wicked lier, and blasphemer of the mightie work of God

He saith he seemed to be stronger then,* 1.11 4. or 5 men in his fits, by∣cause he looked rerriblie, & they were so afraid they durst not use their strength uppon him.

It appeareth,* 1.12 by the depositions of Robert Aldridge, Ihon wood Ioane Pie, Ihon Slrellie, Richard Mee, and William Langford, that they, and others laboured wiht all their might, and strength so

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as they sweat againe and could not rule him: he neither sweating, panting, nor changing colour.

It was an easie matter for him to trouble 3.* 1.13 or 4 persons, being caried alost uppon their shoulders: such strength he can shewe againe.

It is deposed that being vppon his bed, and on the ground, and sit∣ting in a chaire he was so strong,* 1.14 he could not be mastered by 3. or 4. persons joining together their vnited forces; as appeares by the de∣positions.* 1.15

Where some saie he had a swelling in his bodie, it was nothing but the windcollick.

A strange collick that should run in a variable bignes betwene the flesh and skin vp,* 1.16 and downe his bodie, from leg to leg, thē to his toe, bellie, eare, roote cheeke, throat, tongue, and eie, changing the colour of the eie; and making the part in wich it was inflexible, and heauie as yron. Yet if Mr Dorrell should by praer, and fasting cure such a collick,* 1.17 he ought rather to be reuerenced then reuiled.

But Som: denieth that it ran vp & downe his bodie in that sort.

It is deposed by eleuen witnesses:* 1.18 manie moe also wilbe readie to depose.

But where finde you that in Scripture?* 1.19 qd. My L: of London.

Mr Dorrell affirmed,* 1.20 there were twelue things deposed cōcerning Som: his possession, wich he could not possiblie counterfeit: he was suffered to produce the running of this lump up and downe his bo∣die, for one of thē wich was directlie proued by manifold witnesses. When som that had seene the depositions knwe this to be most cer∣tenlie deposed, thy had nothing to obiect but: Where finde you that in Scripture. Wherby they shwe manifestlie, that some of thē doe fight against the light of their owne conscience. for themselues knowing that Som: could not counterfeit this, neither could Mr Dorrel pos∣siblie instruct him how to practise anie such feat, they had nothing in reason to answer but least by their silence they should seeme to be cō∣vinced and confounded, they obiect a matter nothing to the purpose, namelie that this is not found in Scripture. The weight of wich obiec∣tion is this.

All impossibilities are found in Scripture: this is not found in Scip∣ture: therefore this is not an impossibilitie. Who feeleth not the grosnes of this argumēt. as if a mā mihht not name a 1000 things vnposible to be performed by W Som: wich yet are not to be found in Scrip: It is not possible for Som: to goe to Rome in an houre, yet this is not found in Scripture. It is not possible for Som: to touch the stars, yet this is not found in Scrip: no more surelie is it possible for Som: to counterfeit such a variable motion, as was eui∣dentlie seene, and felt vppon his bodie though it be not to be fonnd in Scrip. This one thing alone (if there were nothing els) is sufficient to conuince anie man whose heart is not hardned, that Som: did not conterfeit: much les coold Mr Dorrell be accessarie to him in such iniquitie.

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2. All the signes mentioned in Scrip: might more easilie be deluded by this cōceit of counterfeyting▪ then this moveable swel∣ling net the Devill in those dayes was not so wittie as to afcribe all possessions vnto counterfeyting.* 1.21 But seeing men in this matter are growen more incredulous then heretofore, it hath pleased God be∣side the signes of possessions mentioned in Scrip: to give other sig∣nes also, more free from cavill to make his glorious works most apparant, and certen.

The kitlings that seemed to move vnder this coverlet,* 1.22 where he laie, was but the motion of his owne hand: One put his hand vn∣der the coverlet, & caught Som: hand moving.

1. If this be true then he had five hands in bed with him for there seemed to be five kitlings some time,* 1.23 as is deposed by Rob. Aldridge.

2. It maie be after the time that he pretended to counterfeyt, some confederate of his might catch his hand vnder the coverlet to delude the former accidents.

3. This motion was, when Som: hands, and feete were held: deposed by Th. Graie.

4. Lastlie deposed; that the rising vp vnder the coverlet being felt, it yeelded like a bladder full of winde when it is pricked: and filled againe as with winde: and some times it patted, like the foote of a kitling.

Those things wich he told in his fits to be sayd and done in his ab∣sence,* 1.24 he vnderstoode by the people who were with him, that tal∣ked of such matters, supposing he heard them not.

By the depositions it is playne,* 1.25 he spake of things done in his absence, at the instant when he spake them: as that of the examina∣tion of Millecent Horselere, and of Mr Dorrells, and Mr Abdred∣ges coming, vnknowen to anie there present.

Where it is sayd,* 1.26 he spake, his mouth open, not moving tongue, chaps, &c. he can doe so againe: for gaping he can saie, hang▪ hang.

It is deposed by Richard Newto,* 1.27 he spake a continued speach. his mouth being wide open, his tongue drawne into his throate, vttering those words among others. Ego sum rex, ego sum Deus.

He can foame as he did before by keeping soape in his mouth,* 1.28 & working it with his tongue.

Belike he brought this concert from the barbars shop.* 1.29 It is de∣posed by Mr Langford, that he continued his foaming the space of an houre, in such abundant maner, that the foame did hang dow∣ne from his mouth to his brest, notwithstanding it was continual∣lie wiped with clats, in such abundance, as is not able to be vttered by anie humane creature, not having receyved anie thing from 6 in the morning, till 5 at night to augment it.

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When he threwe himselfe into the fire,* 1.30 he knewe there vvere some present speedilie to relcue him.

He was throwen with such violence against the chimneie as they that were present thought his neck had bene broken,* 1.31 he could not so∣denlie be takē out of the fier; for it is deposed, he was of such weight as is not possible to anie naturall bodie▪ so as there were 3. or 4. for∣ced to joine in taking him by: yet he had not his haire singed, nor was himselfe hurt.

When he fel dovvne before the Commissioners,* 1.32 it vvas done by the advise of the Maior, and some of the Aldermen at Nott: vvho per∣svvaded him to it; and should have given him a vvatchvvord, vvhen to risevp, but it vvas forgotten: vvhereby (alas) the poore boie vvas in great paines through the maiors forgetfulnes.

1. Then belike the maior,* 1.33 and Aldermen were complotters in this counterfeyting: me thincks they should aswell be punished as Mr Dorrell.

2. Could they by teaching, or he by practizing staie the issuing of bloud when he was deepelie pricked with a yin, both in his hād, and leg? howe came it to passe that he had forgotten which hand was pricked? why did he purpose to counterfeyt, and yet would tell them, that he fell downe bycause a qualme came over his stomack, howesoever it is an easie matter to delude such as were absent by words, yet the Commissioners being choise men of the countrie, both for learning, and authoritie could not be deceyved by such a paltrie companion. For the matter was so apparant vnto them, that they held it superfluous to proceede anie further to examina∣tion of witnesses: in so much as Mr Walton the Archdeacon con∣fessed it to be the finger of God: ād shrunck awaie ashamed, being convinced with the evidence, and demonstration of truth.

He saith,* 1.34 Mr Dorrell taught him to counterfeyt, & hovve to be∣have himselfe at the dispossession.

1. This relieth vppon the ariome and infallible principle wher∣vppon most of the objections are founded,* 1.35 namelie this whatsoe∣ver Wt. Som: saith is true, he saith Mr Dorrell instructed him to counterfeyt etc. let them prove the proposition: ād we will yeeld the Conclusion. As if a godlie minister were not better to be beleyved vppon his othe, then the bare affirmatiō of a lewd voie whom they saie was a counterfeyt.

2. If Mr Dorrell should saie, or sweare that Som: by his teaching can doe these things; he were not to be credited: for none can by reaching, or learning practise impossibilities. Therefore it is a mere vanitie to seeke to drawe Mr Dorrell into anie confede∣racie in this action, vnles they prove these witnesses to be all per∣jured persons.

3. Mr Dorrell never came to him but with companie finding also companie alwaies with him: he never (to his knowledge) did see him before the 5 of Novemb. 1597. us he hath deposed.

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4 Why should Mr Dorrell teach him to conterfeit more then others, whom he hath dealt withall in like cases of dispossession? es∣peciallie the 7. in Lancashire? whereof 4 were vnder 12 yeares, troubled 2 yeares before he came to them; and 2 of them children to a gentleman of good credit; who was at 200 ll charges by occa∣sion of their possession? and could not expect anie aduantage by gi∣uing out that 6 in his familie were vexed by Sathan: the procurer of their trouble was indited and executed for coniuration: yet till this likewise be proued conterfeiting; a possession and dispossession must be held for granted.

It is Poperie to holde there is anie possessiō since Christs time:* 1.36 and it is heresie to maintaine that the Deuill maie nowe be cast out by praier, & fasting. Miracles are nowe ceased: these are but deuices to maintaine your hypocritical fastings.

To hold there are possessions,* 1.37 and maie be dispossessions by praier and fasting, is neither Poperie, nor heresie. If it be, why doe they not send for Mr. Ihon Ireton of Legworth a man knowne to be learned and sound in religion, as anie of them: who shamefullie con∣founded Archd: Walton in this question: and offered to maintaine the same in the Vniuersitie? there being in deede (as I am verilie persuaded) nothing in the Scripture, the Apologie, or articles of re∣religion proffessed in England, nor in the armonie of Confessions, nor in anie sound Protestant Diuine to the contrarie. In this, and in other(a) 1.38 questiōs it is fit to be knowē, wich mē learnd in the lawe do tel vs(b) 1.39 that the Ecclesiasticall Commissioners ought not to de∣termine anie matter to be heresie, but onelie such as hath heretofore bene determined to be heresie by authorite of the Canonical Scriptu∣re; or by the first foure General Councels, or anie of them; or by anie other General Counsel, whereyn the same vvas declared to be heresie by the expresse, & plaine vvords of the Canonical Scripture; or such as hath heretofore bene judged heresie by the Parleamēt with the assent of the Clergie in the Convocation; as appeares by the statute made in the first yeare of her M.ties reigne and the first chapter. There have bene possessions before Christs tyme, wich ma∣ie be seene by these things which are recorded of the(c) 1.40 Exorcists a∣mong the Iewes,* 1.41 and of the(d) 1.42 Oracles, Engastrimuthoj, and o∣thers among the Gentiles. Since Christs time there have bene in∣finite examples testied by the(e) 1.43 monuments of all ages. A thing so vsuall in the times of Antiquitie, since Christ, and his Apostles, that I marvell anie men who would seeme to be learned, and doe professe great reading, should beware theyr ignorance in such a triviall matter. Hierome in vita Hilariom speakes of one Hilarion who dipossessed verie neare 200. persons. omitting others I will

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onelie alledge tertulliā in his apologie, who made the like offer in his time, as was made of late vp Mr More a godlie Minister, to the Bish: of London touching W. Som: for wich he was com∣mitted to the prison of the Clinck.

Let a man (sayth tertullian) that is vexed by a Devill be brought before your judgement seate: & ad the commandement of the meanest Christian, the spirite shal speake, & confesse himselfe to be an vncleane spirit. Let one of those folke be brought whom you thinck to be inspired of a God, &c. If he dare bie before a Christian, or if he confesse not himselfe to be a Devill, take the Christiā to be presumptuous, & let him die for it out of hand, &c. Nowe none wil speake his owne shame, but rather the which maye sound to his honour.* 1.44 Surelie they wil not tel you that Iesus is a decey∣ver, or of the common stamp of men: or that he was stolne out of his grave, as hath bene reported vnto you: but that he is the power the wisedome, & the word of God: that he sitteth in heaven, & that he shal come to judge us. And on the contrarie part that themselues be Devils, damned for theyr naughtines, & wayting for theyr dreadfull dome: and this bycause that beyng afrayde of Christ in God, & of God in Christ they yeeld to God & Christ, & to the servants of God, & Christ.
* 1.45 And againe els where he saith,
We doe not onelie despite the Devils, but also we binde them, & doe dailie traduce them, & ex∣pel them out of men, as it is wel knowen vnto verye manye.
Of cor∣porall possessions also even in these dayes.* 1.46 We doe reade in credible histories of the west Indies.

But to seeke no further, there hath bene evident demonstration hereof in our owne land. Where the Symptomes, or signes of pos∣session mentioned in Scripture have bene apparant in the parties possessed, as nameliea 1.47 extraordinarie strengthb 1.48 knowledge,* 1.49 & tor∣menting of the bodies,c 1.50 Foaming, wallowing, beatting of themsel∣ves gnashing whith the teeth.d 1.51 casting into the fire, & such licke.* 1.52 When the signes of possession, and dispossession have bene delive∣red out of the Scripture, the verie same at the naming of them (the work corresponding with the word, sufficient to confound all Acthe∣ists) have at that instāt bene shewed in the persons affected, being themselves senseles, not remembring afterward what had hapned vnto them. When the godliemen have called vppon the Lord to dis∣possesse the wicked spirit out of the tormented creature, he hath ans∣wered, as it were from heaven, be it vnto you, as you have desired. Lastlie when Saran hath bene dispossessed, he hath (as the Scrip: sayte) walked in drye & barren places,* 1.53 seeking rest, but finding none: & returning back into the house frō whēce he came, he hath appeared in diverse shapes, perswading the parties by promises, and threat∣nings to let him reenter.* 1.54 Some have yeelded, as Iane Ashton in Lancashire, this Som: and others: and have bene greivouslie tormented as before without giving hope of recoverie: seeing ouwr Saviour sayth,* 1.55 that in such case, the spirit taking 7. worse dwelleth

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there & of such is worse, then the beginning. Others haue repulsed him, and would not relent, either by this allurements or threath∣nings. Whereof he hath outwardlie in theyr bodie so pinched, ād tormēted them, that they could not goe without halting for a good time after. Yet he being still resisted in faith, hath after manie assaults surceased to trouble them anie further. The miracu∣lous curing of fevers, palsae, leprosies, and other diseases by Christ, and his Apostels gave credit to the Ghospell: Yet the like diseases remaine at this daye. Seing therefore there maie be possessions at this daye, as before (for what hath bene done, that maie not againe be done, the Devill being as malicious, and powerfull as in times past) What shall we doe (saith P.* 1.56 Mar∣tyr) with them that be taken, and tormented with Devils, Shall we forsake them. Vndoubtedlie they must not be forsaken; yet we must not by adjurations commaund them to goe forth. Where∣fore (saith he) we will vse faithfull prayers for the recoverie of them.* 1.57 The like is the opinon of Phillip. Melanthon, and the god∣lie learned King of Schoth: men more judicious, and better grounded in religiom, then these that speake at randome of Pope∣rie, and of heresie. To remove the Devill by prayer and fasting is no miracle:* 1.58 this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting. saith our Saviour. If God by prayer should heale the falling, sicknes, or phrensie, or should graunt raine, drought, victorie, or such like requests, where this a miracle? Christ, and his Apostels spake the word onelie (as the Centuriom saith) and it was done:* 1.59 they commaunded, and it came to passe. The Disciples had power giuen them against vncleane spirits, and to heale all diseases. This in deede was miraculous. But Mr Foxe, Mr Greenham, Mr Dor∣rel, Mr More nor others in these daies, neither challenge, nor have anie power onelie in an extraordinarie case, wherein the Phi∣sitions saie there is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, somewhat divine, or supernaturall, not curable by anie humane ordinarie skill, they vse in extraordi∣narie, and supernaturall lawfull meane of cure, that is by long, and earnest intreatie to beseech Almightie God by mediation of Christ Iesus, to release the partie. This God hath done, and the∣se men for our good are witnesses hereof: and woe be to them who haue prevailed against Satan, and heard with theyr eares, and seene with theyr eies the great works of Allmightie God, if they should relinquish the truth of God, for the feare of man, Tou∣ching the ceasing of miracles there is no determination thereof in holie Scripture: neither is that article in this action to be con∣troversed. Sure ware that the Scripture, the deitie, and all reli∣gion is by some among vs as much called in question, as euer he∣retofore. The Ecclesiasticall Commissioners can witnes, howe manie Atheists and blasphemers haue bene brought before them, likewise there be some who call themselues Christians, and al∣so

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Ministers of the Ghospell, who yet in theyr practized liue Atheists, and make a scorne at the exercises of religion, as name∣lie at preaching, praiing, fasting, sanctifiing the Saboth, reading the word of God, giving thanks at meate-vsing the phrases of the Scriptures and doe revile, and hate others bycause they refraine from swearing liing, filthie speaking, gaming, plaies, and such abhominations of this age where in we liue. It is to be doubted. that neither the word, nor miracles can prevaile with those men. when God shutteth no man can open: when Lazarus was raised from the dead, manie beleived: but some were hardned, & complai∣ned vppon our Saviour.

Though some sawe Christ visiblie risē from the dead, yet they stil doubted. Therefore all is to litle to vnbeleivers. The greatter, and more noble the workes of God be, the more earnest is the De∣vill in obscuring them. If there were no other proofe hereof but this matter of Nottingham: it were sufficient to exemplifie vnto vs, the exceeding subtiltie, and malice of Sathan. For by dis∣gracing this wonderfull work of God, the powerfull preaching of the Gospell is hindred in Nottingham, where it hath bene a strannger for manie yeares: a number of people in that towne whose hearth were opened hereby to receive the Ghospell are left to the wolfe: the holie exercise of prayer, and fasting are shame∣fullie skorned: wicked and Popish persons are kindelie intertai∣ned: and highlie commended: the witnesses of Christ Iesus, and enimes of Satan are evill intreated: the Papists opinion who hold that Satan cannot possiblie by the Ministerie of anie Pro∣testant be dispossessed, is mightlie countenanced: the Atheists, and carnall Gospellers (who not knowing the power of god∣lines, and holie exercises doe attrebute all things to arte, chan∣ce, or nature) are exceedinglie hardned.

It cannot be indured that those kinde of men which be ac∣counted the of scouring of the world should be thought to have such interest in CHrist IEsus, as that theyr (falselie termed) verball prayers, and hypocriticall fastings, he should, as it we∣re visiblie descend from heaven, and tread downe Satan vnder theyr feete: where as other men who account themselues more learned, excellent, and wise then they, doe not with all theyr Phisick, Rhethorick, pompe, and primacie accomplish the like. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world. to con∣found the wise, & the weake things of the world to confound the mightie.

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THus much touching the objections which have bene made to prove the pretended counterfeiting of W. Som∣mers. But howe by counterfeyting he could speake a quarter of an houre together his mouth being shut: howe he should staye his temples, and pulses from ād beating: howe his eye, hands, ād face should be vnnaturallie black and turne by and by into theyr natu∣rall colour: howe there should be extraordinarie smells in the place where he laye: howe he should violentlie be with great force cast-against the yron bars, ād posts of the chimneies receyving no hart: howe he could be taller then the highest man in Nott: howe all his bodie should be as cold as ice, and heavie as yron: howe his face should be turned quite backward his neck throwen round about without hurt vnto him: howe he being naturallie weake should so oftentimes belabour so manie strong men, himselfe not panting, sweatting, or changing colour: howe he made his tongue to swell to the bignes of a Calves tongue, and his eies as great as beasts eies: howe he should forget continuallie what he did, or was done vnto him in his fits: howe his legs crooked with falls, should be inflexible as anie yron: howe the collick should run along all his bodie, in a variable quantitie: Howe such a collick should be cured by prayer, and fasting: howe in his fits he should vtter strange voi∣ces, which at other tymes he could not doe agayne, as is deposed: howe he did counterfeyt all these impossibilities, when the Saddu∣ces, Galenists, and Naturalists of our time have considered of the matter, we will expect some newe objections sutable in discretion to the former. In the meane season, Let him that is filthie, be filthie still: but doe Satan what he can, Wisedome shalbe justified of her children.

Surelie the rage of man shall turne to thy prayse:
Psalm. 76. 10.

Notes

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