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being able to help themselves or him, yet were safely landed by the tide upon an island near by, so as their lives were thereby preserved. Let men take heed how they pass rash censures upon others, lest unawares they read their own destiny in pronouncing sentence upon their neighbours, and not be too forward with the men of Miletum, to give an interpretation of the acts of Prov. idence, the beginnings of which we may see, but cannot foresee the issue and intendment thereof.

1676. Three gentlemen and two women passing cross the harbour before Boston, (not above three quarters of a mile in breadth,) in a pleasure boat, by a sudden and very violent Aaw' of wind, were overset in the midst of the channel, and but one man escaped by his activity in swimming, or keeping fast hold of an oar that Providence put into his hand as a staff to pass over Jordan with, when the boisterous surges thereof began to rage and swell by the violence of the whirlwind. Everlasting arms do oft bear us up when the waters are ready to overwhelm us and the stream to go over our soul: let him that found safety never forget the mercy, lest a worse thing fall upon him.

In the same harbour, and within the compass of the same lustre, some merchants and gentlemen going aboard a ship that was then newly arrived, by the firing an half barrel of powder, through the carelessness of the gun. ner, were with the hinder part of the ship suddenly blown up, and divers of them sore wounded thereby, ei. ther losing their lives or their limbs, and two or three spoiled of both.

Many that go forth know not that they shall return, and the mariner that is ready to let fall his anchor knows not but it may be that fatal one which shall put an end to the navigation of his life; and many that go forth with earnest expectation to meet their best friends, are some times unexpectedly found of their last enemy before they return. Within the compass of the same year, (which it seems Providence hath marked out

as a year to be much observed by the people of New England,) Mr. Timothy Prout, jun. master of a ship, having

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twelve or thirteen seamen in his compariy, sailing towards New England, when they had almost fetched Cape Cod, by the violence of the northwest winds springing up suddenly they were driven back towards the West Indies again, where by a long continued storm their vessel was ready to founder under them: all that were able, (being almost famished for want of food,) betook themselves to their long boat, with small store of provision, (besides raw hides ;) in which pitiful and forlorn state they were driven upon the ocean eleven or twelve days, at the end of which they were landed at Hispaniola in so weak a condition that none of them was able to foot it over the sands or to shoulder a musket, yet were by good Providence directed to a Frenchman's house, of whom the miaster had some knowledge before, who relieving them in their distress, gave them opportunity to transport themselves back into their own country. Thus oft times, when we have marched almost to the very gates of death, the Almighty saith, return ye children of men: Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Take one instance more of the same date and of the like tragical nature.

One Ephraim How, that used to sail between Boston and New Haven, about the middle of September, 1676, setting forth of Boston with two of his sons, able sea. men, a passenger and surgeon, with a youth, before they had doubled the cape, scil. Cape Cod, they were attacked with a violent storm that almost stranded them amongst the shoals, yet did only strike off the rudder of the ves, sel; after which they were left to the mere mercy of the waves, which tossed them to and again upon those seas for divers weeks, so as they could get the sight of no shores, but those of death, bordering on the land of eter nity. . But the winter fast approaching was ushered in with such violent storms of cold winds, that those who stood to the sail instead of the helm were of necessity to be fastened down with ropes, that they might keep their standing, till at last both the master's sons (himself being most

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of this time sick in the cabin,) perished with wet and cold. This was their condition till another wind drove them ashore upon a sunken island, a receptacle only for night birds and gulls, by which, with the help of a gun or two happily cast ashore with the vessel, they procured the lengthening out of their own lives a while by the death of other creatures; but of these four that gat alive upon the island, by the coldness of the place or unwholesomeness of their entertainment, all dropt away but the master, who was now left alone in this solitary condition, yet was supplied with his daily bread, as was Eli. jah by the ravens, for many months after the winter was over. During all which space sometimes he had nothing to do but meditate and pray in the cave or cell, which at first they prepared for themselves; yet in all this sea of misery the poor man could see so much mer. cy as to condemn himself for the not acknowledging of it in some solemn way of thanksgiving; for it seems hitherunto his devotions had run only in a way of prayer and supplication, omitting the part of thanksgiving; at ter which considerations he set a day apart with himself for that duty also, within a few days after which God by special providence sent a vessel within keen* of this forgotten creature, who found means to discover him. self by some wafe that he made, and so was he, after nine months restraint or confinement, returned safe to some of his friends, who saw cause to rejoice both for him and with him before the Lord.

There is one more solemn occurrent, within the reach of a lustre of years from the forementioned year of 1676, not less remarkable than any of the former. An English ship sailing from about the Strait's mouth, under the command of a prudent master, (whose name is not now at hand,) but manned with many cruel and hard hearted miscreants; these quarreling with the master and some of the officers, turned them all into the long boat with a small quantity of provision, about a hundred leagues to the westward of the Spanish coast. In the mean while these villains intended to sail the ship towards New England, where soon after the master, with the rest of the

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company all but one, (whose death, by their barbarous usage, made all the actors guilty of murther,) were by special providence directed not only to follow but to overtake them. His countenance no doubt did not a little appal them, whom he found, some at Rhode Island and some elsewhere, and of whom it might truly be said, that though they had escaped the sea, yet vengeance did not suffer to live long upon the dry land ; for at the in stance and complaint of the master, they were apprehend. ed by the officers as guilty of many capital crimes and inhuman cruelty, which brought them all under a sentence (at least guilt,) of death, which was inflicted on the ring. leaders, but some of the less culpable were rescued from that sentence, that so justice mixed with clemency might terrify the bold and presumptuous offenders and encourage such as being carried with the stream of bad company only might be looked upon as less culpable in them. selves, and lawful authority the more reverenced by all.

Divers reports have passed up and down the country of several ominous accidents happening within the fore. mentioned time, as of earthquakes in some places, and of several vollies of shot heard in the air in the year 1667, but because many that lived not far off those places, where the said accidents were supposed to fall out, know nothing thereof, no more notice shall here be taken of the same than a bare hint of the report. But at a place called Kennebunk, at the northeast side of Wells, in the Province of Maine, not far from the river side, a piece of clay ground was thrown up by a mineral vapour, (as is supposed,) over the tops of high oaks that grew between it and the river. The said ground so thrown up fell in the channel of the river, stopping the course thereof, and leaving an hole forty yards square in the place whence it was thrown, in which were found thou. sands of round pellets of clay like musket bullets. All the whole town of Wells are witnesses of the truth of this relation; and many others have seen sundry of these clay pellets, which the inhabitants have shewn to their neighbours of other towns. This accident fell out in the year 1670.

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Much about these times two wicked fellows about Pascataqua river, killing their master for his money, were soon after discovered and condemned for the same, and executed at Boston.--Others have confidently reported also, that they have seen the eruption of a pond of water far up into the woods, and many fish cast up upon the dry land adjoining, supposed to be done by the kindling of some mineral vapours under these hollow channels, running far within the land under ground. All which show the wonderful work of God, that commandeth both the sea and the dry land, that all the inhabitants of the earth should learn to fear before him.

To the forementioned accidents may be added those which follow, most of which happened about Pascat, aqua, being sad instances of the mischief of intemper

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April 20, 1658, was observed to be the coldest night in all the year, in which two men going from aboard a ship which lay in Pascataqua river, towards Kittery side, and being so drunk that they were not able to get to the ship again, were found next morning near the shore, one dead by the canoe side, the other so frozen in the canoe that notwithstanding all means used for his recovery, he rotted away by piecemeal, and so died.

June 5, 1666, one Tucker, a taylor who belonged to the Isle of Shoals, being then at the point in Pascataqua river, was so drunk in the lecture time, that pulling off his clothes he ran into the water, cursing and swearing, and at last swimming up and down, he fell with his face upon the flats and so was drowned.

About that time two fishermen, after sermon on the Lord's day at Portsmouth, going into an house, drank so much rum, that being intoxicated therewith, they fell out of their canoe as they were going down the river, and were both drowned.

In August, 1669, a ship built at Pascataqua by a Bris. tol merchant, and laden with fish and tobacco, (the master would needs be setting sail out of the river on the Lord's day,) was split on a rock in the Bay of Fundy the next Tuesday after, where the vessel and goods were all


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