The true and wonderfull Relation of the Be∣witching of a young Girle in Ireland; What Way She was tormented, and a re∣ceipt of the Ointment She was cured with.
IT seemeth hard to unruly Minds, that GOD should keep intellectual Souls so strange to the unseen World of Spirits; that We know so little of them, that our Knowledge of them is no more by the Way of Sense; But there is in it much of GOD's Arbitrarie Soveraign Power, and much of His Wisedom, and much of His Justice, and also of His Love.
But to see the Devils and other Spirits or∣dinarly would not be enough to bring our Atheists to the saving knowledge of GOD, without which al other knowledge is vain. They that doubt of GOD, the most per∣fect, eternal, and infinite Beeing, while they see the Sun, Moon, and Stars, the Sea, and Land, would not know Him by seing created Spirits, and finding that al∣most Page 4 all the Atheists, Sadducees, and In∣fidels, did seem to profess that were they but sure of the Reality of the Apparitions and Operations of Spirits, it would cure Them; I thought this the most suitable Help for them.
I confess it is very difficult to expound the Causes of all mentioned in these Hi∣stories of Witches and Spirits: But proved Maters of Fact must not be denied, but improved as well as well as We can, and And I confess very manie cheats of preten∣ded Possessions have been discovered which have made some weak injudicious Men think that all are such. Two sorts of per∣sons have oft been found Deceavers,
1. Persons prepared and trained up pur∣posely by Papist Priests, to honour their Exorcisms, You may find in Print of the Boy of Bilson, Petrius who afterwards I heard turned Quaker at Bristol, many such like are recorded in History.
2. Lustfull, rank Girls and young Wi∣dows, that plot for some amorous proca∣cious Design, or have Imaginations con∣quered by Lust, tho' I think when they Page 5 come to a Furor Ʋterinus, Sathan oft setts in.
The Instances tell Us, 1. that the state Converse, Policy, Laws of the Aerial World or Regions, are much, tho' not wholly, unknown to Us here. 2. And so is the na∣tural State of the departed Souls of wick∣ed Men, as to their having Bodies or no Bodies, their Power, their Witts, their Mo∣tions, and Passions. 3. and also, whether they be proper Devils when joined with, or of another Species. 4. And 'tis hard to know by their Words or Signs, when it is a Devil, & when is an Humane Soul that appeareth. 5. and it is unsearchable to us, how far God leaveth invisible, intellectual Powrs to free will about inferiour things, suspending his predetermining motion tho not his generall motion and concourss & whether those called Fairies and Goblins are not such.
But as all these, and more such, are un∣knowen to us, so GOD seeth it meet for us that it should be so, and we should not so much as desire or indeavor that it might be otherwise.
Page 6But we may know (which must suf∣fice us) That no Spirits can doe any thing, but by GOD's will or permission
But now to come to this true relation which my eyes did see all along and many Hundereds did see which they can atest to this day say Atheists what they will I was not blinded in it.
At Antrim in Ireland a litle girle in the ninth year of hir age, for beauty, edu∣cation, or birth inferior to none where she lived, having inocently put into hir mouth a Sorrel leaf, which was given her by a Witch that begged at the door, to whom she had first given a peice of bread, and then some Beer, it was scarce swallowed by her, when she began to be tortured in her bowels, to tremble all over, and then to be convulst, and in fine, to swon away & fall as one dead. Severall Doctors being caled (for at the forsaid place wher these things happned in May 1698. it is custom∣ary for to practise physick) tho' they so▪ manie Days experimented the Remedie u∣sual in this Case; The Child found no re∣lief, but was still aflicted with very freqent Page 7 and most terrible Paroxisms; whereupon, as the custom of the Country is, they con∣sult the Ministers of that place, but they had scarce laid their Hands on Her when the child was transformed by the Daemon in to such shaps as a man that hath not beheld it with his eyes, would hardly be brought to imagine. It began first to rowl it self about, and nixt to Vomit Horse Dung, Needles, Pins, Hairs, Feathers, bottoms of Threed, Fieces of Glass Window Nails draven out of a Cart or Coach wheels, an iron knife above a span long, Egg and Fish shells in the mean while, hir parents and those of the neighbourhood, observe that whenso∣ever the Witch came near the House, or so much as turned her eye towards it, even at the distance of two hundreth paces, the poor Child was in much greater tor∣ment then befor, insomuch that she could by no means be easie of her fitt, or shew one sign of life until she was at a very great •…nce from Her. This Witch was soon 〈…〉pprehended, and confest both this, 〈…〉ite other the like Feats, for when 〈…〉ngled and burnt, being desired Page 8 by the Minister who assisted Her in Her last Agony, and at that Moment on which depends Eternity; when the Executioner had now fitted the Rope to her Neck, that she would dissolve the Spell, and ease the Child, she said it was not in her Power be∣cause the Ember-Weeks were past since she had bewitched Her; adding, that should she undo the Villanies she had perpetarted, the child would not so quickly recover, for the two other Witches, whom she named, had also given her mortal Infections, from the Effects whereof she could not without Difficulty, and much time, be delivered, the Mother as in a despicable case, brought her Daughter to me about the middle of Sep∣tember, and I had her with Me some weeks What I then saw, heard, and handled, be∣cause I know many Physicians, those espe∣cially that are averse that there can be Wit∣chas, will hardly believe it upon my Nar∣rative; So may GOD help Me, as I shall most truly relate what I saw. The Day af∣ter this unfortunat child came to my house I took care to send for a Minister who still lives here, while he was yet 50 paces from Page 9 my Chamber, the Girle fell down as one deprived of Life; I took her for dead, For she had not so much as the least breath: her Fingers and Toes, (which if I had not seen it my self, I could not have believed it,) were so writhen and convulst, that the exterior or third Joint, sttuck so hard un∣to the second, a thing which is scarce pos∣sible narurallie, that they might seem to have been fastned together with the stiffest Glue: I endeavoured to thrust a Golden Bodkin betwixt them, and after an Iron Nail, a Wooden Spindle, &c. but all in vain; the Mother seing the Child fall, For she would never go one step from her, said, the Ministers were comeing, she had no sooner said this, but they knocked at the Door: when they were come in and light∣ed a Candle, as soon as ever they had read the first Words of a Chapter of the Gospel of S. Matthew, the Girle which hitherto had lain more immovable than any dead Corps, fell a shaking all over, Her Fingers and Toes continuing as they were, with that Vio∣lence that she could not be held still by six of us, by no means We could use; my self Page 10 who with all my strength essayed to hold her Head, observed it both by my sight and feeling, to be writhen as by an Ophistho∣nick Convulsion, together with Her Neck towards her shoulders; in the mean time, her belly was ra•ed up to a prodigious big∣ness and was nearer her Throat, than Her Thighs: and that with so great a Noise & Grumbling of Her Bowels, that all present could hear it at above ten Paces distance. The Sound was the nearest to that which is caused by tempestuous Waves under the Prow of a ship; all this while the child vo∣mited sevral of the abovementioned things I begg'd the Minister, out of Compassion to Her, to forbear his reading, he had scarce pronounced the last sillable, when in an in∣stant she lay as quiet as possible, and after He had quited the House, and was at a con∣siderable distance off, she undid her fin∣gers and Toes, and open her Eyes, & straight way stood up, and when she had weept a little, and chid her mother for sending for the Minister, tho' she never saw them, nor as she said, heard them, she presently began to eat, drink, and play with her equals Page 11 just as if nothing had ailed her, but upon the Minister's returning to do his office, she was as formerly, I saw her this while cast up Feathers, Bundles of Straw, above the bigness of my thumb, with pins stuck across the straws, Points woven of Threed of se∣veral Colours, and a row of Pins stuck in a blue paper, as fresh and new as any sold in the Pedlar's stall: In fine, every thing as the innocent child affirmed, which she had seen in the Witches basket when she begg'd, which favours plainly of Devilsm, & which all the Philosophers in the World, are not able to solve; for by what Operation could every thing she had seen in the basket, be conveyed in the same kind and tale into the Bowels of the child, except the Devil himself was not assisting? But when I saw all she had cast up, was perfectly dry, and without the least wet, I told the Ministers and several learned men present (for I cal'd many out of desire of being the better in∣formed) that surely our Eyes were inchan∣ted; for that these things could not possi∣bly come out of her Body, For how could it be that the pricking of so many Pins, Page 12 should bring up no Blood? How could a sharp knife come up the narrow throat of a young child without cutting the passage I added that it was my Opinion that these things must be convyed privatly some way from some other Place, and then by the malicious Demon that took pleasure to de∣ceave us, drop from the Childs Lips into our hands and that I was brought to mind of a Verse in Ovid, which I never under∣stood, but now less than ever, it is this,
The words are spoken of Maedea a Witch, but the child herself being immixt with us in our debates and of a capacity above her years, soon resolved this difficulty, for we doubt not said she, but that thes things com out of me, and with that she caught my Hand, and put it to her Throat; feel, said she, a Pin without an head comeing up, and which will come up presently, I felt and immediatly when I thought verily I Page 13 held it fast betwixt the fingers of my left Hand within her Throat, I perceaved it to be forced violently from me, and present∣ly seeing the child about to spit, I recea∣ved in my right Hand, and I have shewed since to several incredulous persons, and still keep it by me to shew to the Curious, with Parots Feathers, Threed, Straw and other like Materials. In like maner I have frequently at other times felt the ends of Points, while they were yet in the very o∣rifice of her stomach, and while they were comeing up, and ready to come out of her Mouth, all who were curious to make ex∣periments imagined they could hold the end of the Point in the middle of her Throat, but the crafty Demon defeated all their Attempts.
After she had exorted for some weeks to no Purpose, her mother had great desire to carry her to a Doctor near to Dublin who was belived by the vulgar, to be verie fam∣ous in the curing of these but staying se∣verall dayes without any effect they bring the child back to my house, not on Jot the better but the worse by a Hydrophobia or as I would rather call it a Stygrophobia Page 14 or fearfullness of moist things, so called; very sad and disconsolat, and disparing of her life, Yea, praying for her death she came back to me, about the midst of Autum refusing not only wine, beer, meed, and all water; but also boiled meat, and bread steept in broath or wine, and att last wheat & wheaten bread I belive because the one was made with milk, and the other with water, as is usuall with us, for which reason for forty dayes time, she lived on nothing but Apples, Raisins, Nuts, Almonds & other fruits proper to the season yet for all this-the rosie blush in her cheeks was not di∣minished, nor the milky snow of her fore¦head, at last for fifteen dayes and nights together, she took neither meat nor drink how she could Pass so many dayes with∣out eaither meat or drink: I confess my selfe ignorant; but that so it was, I doe avow, and all my family are ready most solemnly to depose upon Oath; on the sex∣teenth day when she had of her own ac∣cord, asked for some drink, and taken it she no longer refused food. I thought then season to have recourse to naturall means, Page 15 not omitting divne exercise and I prepared the decoction ex fuga Daemonum of south∣eren wood, Mugwort, Vervene &c. and after I had used her a while to that drink, I sent her home: in the Intrim tumbling over all the books, I could find, at last I light on Bartholemew Carrichters, secret• who in XII. Chap. of his 2 book describs a certain medicine proper to this malady finding this mightly recomended in Horsti∣us his medicinall epistles, Epist. I. Sect. VII. in Hector Schlands letter to Grigory Host∣rus dated in the year 1612. I write to the Apothecary in Dublin in whose shops I thought it was sold promising any rate for the unguent and prescription but receving no advice from them, and being day and night solicitus for the Childs recoverie I took Carrichter again into my hands, and having much adoe to understand him by reason of a mistack of the printers who had printed in one word Hoter bletter beer which should have been in three, I at last a long time after for want of necessarie ma∣terials, caused the folowing unguent to be made. Take of Dogs Grease well dissolved Page 16 and cleansed, four Ounces; Of Bears Grease eight Ounce; Of Capons Grease, four and twenty Ounces; three trunks of the Misle∣toe of the Hazle while green, cut in pieces & pound it smal, till it become moist; bruise together the wood, leaves and Berries, mix all in a Vial, after You have exposed it to the Sun for nine weeks; You shall extract a green Balsom, wherewith if you anoint the Bodies of the Bewitched, especially the parts most effected and the joynts, they will certainly be cured, as hath been pro∣ved by the child, who hath been now perfectly well since only an the dayes of the Ember-weeks do what she can she is seized with a certain transient melancholy.
And this is the reason why I have in∣genously communicated to the world, the above-mentioned Prescription, concealed by others, and ordered it to be printed for the Good of others that may have the like; So Farewell.