The following Relation, touching some Discourse that, upon Occasion, she had with Doctor Stratford, so called, Bishop of the Diocess of Cheshire and Lan∣cashire, &c.
Given forth and attested by my Kinsman Henry Mol∣lineux, who was there present, viz.
UPON the 18th Day of the twelfth Month, 1690, I and another Neighbour were taken Prisoners, and brought to Lancaster Jail, upon a Writ De Excommunicato Capiendo, for not appearing at the Bishop's Court in Chester; though willing to appear, but had no Citation shewed us, nor lawful Notice given: Of which Proceedings, it being witnessed under the Hands of several who were present when such Notice was pretended to be given, she acquainted the said Bishop, he being at Ormskirk, near our Dwelling, in the sixth Month, 1691, and it was so evidently manifested to him, that he seemed satisfied of the Truth thereof, and said, They who should have given the Notice, were to be blamed, &c. And moderately discoursing with her, he said, If she would come to his Dwelling-house in Wigan, within two or three Weeks, when he had conferred with his Chancellor, if he could find out any Way to do it, he would do any Kindness therein that lay in his Power for her. Now that which she de∣sired, was that the Prisoners might be admitted in his Court to put in their Appearance; for want of which they were imprisoned. So, upon his Ad∣vice, on the 24th Day of the sixth Month 1691, she went to the Bishop's House in Wigan, to receive Page [unnumbered] his Answer; where he again discoursed with her, and seemed willing that the Prisoners might be ad∣mitted to put in their Appearance; but his Chan∣cellor's Deputy there concluded, that they could not be so admitted. Then the Bishop asked her, Why they could not pay the Church-leys, for that was the Cause for which we were prosecuted; she an∣swered, They could not pay them for Conscience-sake: He required her to shew him some Scripture for it; then she asked him to shew her any Precept or Ex∣ample in the Scriptures, that the Jews, or any of the People of God, ever offered to compel any other People to pay towards the upholding of their Worship, or Worship-houses, or Temples? The Bishop replied, Tho' he could not do that, yet what Scripture have you for it, said he, that you cannot pay to ours for Conscience-sake? She answering, said, I will offer thee Scripture for it, and it is this: It is said in the Scriptures, Come out from among them, (my People) and be ye separate, saith the Lord, touch not the unclean Thing, and I will receive you, 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. Rev. xviii. 4. Now, said she, if we had believed that you, in your Worship, had been right, we had not come out from amongst you; but because we believed, and were convinced, that it was not right, and therefore are come out from amongst you, we dare not for Conscience-sake touch with you; but if we should pay towards your Worship, or Worship-houses, we should both touch and uphold. To which Answer, the Bishop made no Reply; but he said to his Chancellor's Deputy, I pray you, Mr. Prescot, if you can find out any way, that they may put in their Appearance, that they may have their Liberty, let it be done; and do what Kindness you can for them: And so he went his way. The Bishop could give no Scripture, in An∣swer to her Question; but she answered his Ques∣tion with Scripture, so that he made no Reply: Page [unnumbered] And she, to his Face, bore a faithful Testimony against their Worship, which is prescribed by Men; which Testimony the Bishop did not contradict. And there being then present, one Entwistle, the Bishop's Chaplain, so called, and his Brother En∣twistle, a Lawyer, and another Priest, and the Bi∣shop's Daughter; when the Bishop was gone, and she and her Kinsman were come out of the House, and were going away, they all four followed; and the said Chaplain, or Priest Entwistle, began, and engaged with her in a Dispute concerning Religi∣on; and in about half an Hour, or less, he was so taken and confounded in his own Arguments, that his Mouth was stopped; which his Brother, the Lawyer seeing, as it were to excuse him, said to him, I wonder you should trouble yourself to discourse with that Woman, she hath so much Learning, it makes her mad. To which she said, What! do you (Letter-learned) now begin to vilify Learning, by which you have your Honours and Preferments? Then the Lawyer, not speaking any other Word, went away, and she left them.
So the Bishop, and his Chaplain, and the Chap∣lain's Brother, a Lawyer, were all put to Silence by the Wisdom wherewith the Lord endued her, to speak in Defence of the Cause of his Truth: Praises be to God for ever.
After this, we being out of Prison, and under∣standing that the Parish-Priest was endeavouring to get us into it again, (and so we were again impri∣soned) she spoke these Words, which I then wrote, viz.
And so, in getting us into Prison again, the Priest obtained his Point; but he missed of his Prey, and never got it.
Many were the loving, sweet and sensible Epistles, that she sent to me, when in Prison; ever shewing her free Resignation to the Will of the Lord, in all her Exercises, which then were great; and with much Cheerfulness and Patience she went through them. And since her Decease, I found these fol∣lowing Lines, which she had written, viz.
Page [unnumbered] In a Letter dated the 9th of the Twelfth Month, 1691, she sent to me in Prison these Lines, viz.
She signified her Haste in the writing of these because the Bearer staid for the Letter; and that she had not made any of such Quantities for above twenty Years before. They bear the Signification following, viz.
About a Week before her last Illness seized her, she desired me, being writing, to write these two Lines, viz.
Which I translate thus, viz.