Inhabitants of England,
Haſte and Prepare by True Repentance, and
Deep Humiliation, to meet the
Before His Indignation burns like Fire, and
breaks forth into a mighty Flame, ſo that
none can quench it.
Printed in the Year, 16891689.
The Humble Address Of the Widow Whitrowe To King William, &c.
God save the king for ever: For that is the deſire of my Soul to God for thee, and for all Mankind, which is the chief end of my Writing to the King at this time: And my humble Petition and Requeſt to the King is, that his delight may be in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law to have thy Meditation day and night.
For this was the Word which God put into my Heart for thee, when I was going on the Way near Putny; and hearing the King was to come that way, I ſtood ſtill to ſee him; and whilſt I ſtood still, theſe were the Words that did riſe in my Heart to thee, Oh King.
Bleſſed is the Man that doth not walk in the Counſel of the Wicked, nor ſtand in the Way of Sinners, nor ſit in the Seat of the Scornful; but his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law doth he meditate Day and Night; For this is he that ſhall be as a Tree planted by the Rivers of Water, that will bring forth his Fruit in due ſeaſon, whoſe Leaf ſhall not fade; ſo that whatſoever he ſhall do, it ſhall proſper: but the Wicked are not ſo, but are like the Chaff which the Wind driveth away.
Theſe were the weighty Words; but I ſaw not thy Face at that time: But another time, as I was going by A2 Water 4 A2v 4 Water, I met thee going to land at Whitehall, and our Boat ſtanding ſtill, I felt the power of God’s Love ſo to thee, that it tranſported my Spirit into a Heavenly Joy; I was drawn forth into Prayer, and theſe were ſome of the Words; Lord be Thou his Counſellor: Lord be Thou his Directer. And ſo I departed in this holy Extaſie, making my requeſt to God for thee: But after this, I ſaw thee upon Eaſt-Sheen-Common, where thou waſt taking thy pleaſure in Hunting: I was much grieved to ſee the King ſpending his precious time in ſuch a vain Exerciſe, in ſuch a day as this, when the Nation lies bleeding, the People wallowing in their Blood of Uncleanneſs, and all manner of Abominations, whoſe Sins are of a Scarlet Dye, and cries aloud in the Ears of the Lord God for Vengeance: Oh King! is this a day for Pleaſure, when the Righteous God is oppreſſed under the Sins of the People as a Cart is preſſed with Sheaves? I beſeech thee conſider the end of the Lord, in bringing thee into this Nation, was it to do thy own Will, or the Will of Him that ſent thee? For thou haſt lived to ſee ſome of the great Acts of the Lord in this thy day, as others did in the days of old, when one chaſed a thouſand, and five put ten thouſand to flight; yea, how did the Mighty fly before thee, when none perſued them? And if God prolong thy days, thou wilt ſee greater things then theſe; for the Lord will work Wonders in this the day of His mighty Power, as He did in Egypt, and at the Red-Sea; and for this end, to get Himſelf a Name above every Name, to exalt His glorious Name in the Earth, that all may know that He is the Lord, and that man is but man: As thou, O King, art a witneſs, that it was not thy Sword, nor thy Might that brought thee hither, but the Lord’s own Arm which He made bare in the ſight of all. And now I beſeech thee conſider how highly thou art ingaged to the Lord 5 A3r 5 Lord for all his Goodneſs; and what wilt thou return to the King of Eternal Glory, but to love Him with all thy Heart and Soul, Strength and Might, and thy Neighbour as thy ſelf; and to do Juſtice, and love Mercy, and to walk humbly with the Lord; for this is the whole Duty of Man, to love God and keep his Commandments, to viſit the Widow and Fatherleſs in their Afflictions, and to keep thy ſelf unſpotted from the World; to love our Enemies, to do good for evil, to overcome evil with good; as our bleſſed Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt commanded, Whatever ye would that men ſhould do unto you, do ye that unto them: Oh theſe are bleſſed Rules for men to walk by, for the King and his Nobles to put into practice: Theſe are the Rules that the holy men of God gave forth as they were moved by the Spirit of God, as the holy Apoſtle ſaith, That the man of God be perfect, and intire, wanting nothing, but furniſhed for every good Work. And ſaith our Lord and bleſſed Saviour, Be ye merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful. And King David ſaith, Lord with the merciful Thou wilt ſhew Thy Self merciful, and with the pure Thou wilt ſhew thy ſelf pure. This made David call upon God ſo earneſtly, to make him pure, even as God is pure; and this made him merciful to forgive his Enemies ſo often; for he knew the benefit would return to him again, both from God and Man; and as there was great Goodneſs in it, ſo there was great Policy, for it won the Affection of the People, ſo as that there Hearts were bowed to him, as the Heart of one man. And now O King, ſeeing thou art compaſſed about with ſo great a Cloud of Witneſſes, incourage thy ſelf in God, as David did, and let the Power of the Lord God be ſtrong in the King, to throw down Sin, and to root out Wickedneſs out of this Nation: For be it known unto thee, O King, this Nation at this time is fitter6 A3v 6 ter for Judgment then for Deliverance: for how doth all manner of Wickedneſs reign, both in Profeſſors and Prophane, for the one is given to their fleſhly Pleaſures, as Drunkenneſs, Feaſtings, Whoredom, and all manner of beaſtly lacivious Talking, Swearing and Lying, Cheating, and all manner of Deceit: It would amaze one to ſee how Youth and little Children are debaucht, their Mouthes filled with Curſing and Swearing, and all manner of wicked Words, as Dam, and Rot them, and ſuch Helliſh Words; and the Profeſſors of Religion out-ſtrip the Prophane: for O the Deceit, the Double-dealing, Cheating & Couſening: and if their evils are not anſwered, then the Malice they are filled with, even ſeeking to deſtroy one another: And the ground wherein all this miſchief grows, is Covetouſneſs, which is Idolatry, and the root of all Evil, every one ſeeking themſelves, and not the things of Chriſt, who ſaid, Ye cannot be my Diſciples, except ye deny your ſelves, and take up my daily Croſs, and follow me: But inſtead of this, they are become Enemies to the Croſs of Chriſt, whoſe God is their Belly, as ſaith the Apoſtle, whoſe Glory is their Shame, who mind Earthly things. And is it not a ſhame that men that call themselves Chriſtians, ſhould mind their Honours and Preferments into great Places? Did Chriſt and his Followers leave ſuch a Pattern? Let them bring their Lives to the Life of Chriſt, and ſee how like they are to His; this is the cauſe why they do not profit the people, becauſe their minds are in the Earth; and behold, oh King, what preaching and praying here is in this Land, but how little practiſing? What Fruits are brought forth to God by all this praying and preaching? did ever pride abound as it doth now? the holy Scriptures of Truth ſpeaks of the Jews, Iſa. 3. 16.. to the end, when they were departed from the Law of God they went a Whoring after the Abominations of the 7 A4r 7 the Heathen, and one of their Whoriſh Inventions was, they made them Round Tyers like the Moon; for which the Prophet proclaims the heavy Judgments of God againſt them.
But what may we call the Dreſſes of the profeſt Chriſtians of our Time? the Tower of Babel, or the Whore of Babylon’s triple Crown? Oh ye Rebellious Daughters, who have Ears but hear not, Hearts but do not underſtand, that the long Suffering of the Lord ſhould lead you to Repentance; Oh ye Proud ſtiffnecked and Rebellious People, do you thus requite the Lord for all his kind and gentle dealing, which ſhould humble you in the duſt before Him; ye Rebellious Ones, with what face or pretence of Piety can you appear before the pure and holy God in your Congregations to worſhip? with your proud Hearts, your ſtaitly Carriages, your lofty looks, your towered Thoughts, thinking you are Gods with your high towered Heads, which makes you look exalted to the Skies, with all the reſt of your rich & gorgious Attires, fitter for the Heathen Stage-Players than for Chriſtians: I ſay, can you approach before this great and Almighty God, and not be abaſed and confounded before Him? Know you not that His all-ſeeing Eye beholds your Idolatry? and if his Majesty looks upon you in Anger, ye are conſumed to nothing, and muſt return to the Duſt from whence ye came, for the Worms to feed on your delicate Carkaſſes, for which your precious time hath been ſpent in taking care for to feed it Voluptuouſly, and to adorn it exceſſively, and then to love and admire it ſo, as to worſhip and adore it: Now which are the greateſt Idolaters, they that worſhip the Sun, Moon and Stars, the glorious Creatures, which repreſent the Glory of God, or you that worſhip your ſinful Flesh? Ye great Idolaters, do you think that God created you for this 8 A4v 8 this purpoſe, to Love your ſelves, Admire your ſelves, to Kiſs your own Hands, ſaying to your proud Fleſh, I will Honour and Worſhip thee, thou art my God, (for this know, his Servants ye are, whom you obey) and then go and ſtand in your Idols Temple, to Mock God, and bid Defiance to His Spirit of Grace, ſaying, we are delivered to do all theſe Abominations!
I ſpeak this to all ſorts of Profeſſors, from the higheſt in profeſſion to the loweſt of them that call themſelves Chriſtians, for the one is as deeply guilty of loving themſelves, their own Ways and evil Works of earthly Mindedneſs and Coveteouſneſs, which is Idolatry; as the Prophain is of their Prophainneſs: Oh Everlaſting God, what Lamentation ſhall be taken up for both theſe, which are gone away from thy Ways like loſt Sheep! But oh ye Idolaters, who call your ſelves Chriſtians; go you to the Wars of Jeruſalem, and read there what the Lord did for the wickedneſs of that People who were call’d Jews: & do you think to eſcape the juſt Judgments of God for your Sins, becauſe you are call’d Chriſtians, though out of His Life, No, No, that Covering will be too ſhort in the Day of Account; and though ſome of you may ſay, We have Eaten and Drunk in Thy Preſence, and in thy Name done many wonderful Works, yet not perſevering to the end of all Iniquity, this will be your Portion, Depart from me ye Workers of Iniquity, I know you not.
And now having in ſome meaſure cleared my Conſcience, by doing as I am commanded, to ſpeak the Truth to my Neighbours, I Expect the ſame meaſure from thoſe that are guilty in this matter to caſt a Stone at me, as they did at the faithful Servants of the Lord of old: Poor ſuffering Jeremiah, was ſo ſorely tryed, that he ſaid, Wo is me, my Mother, that thou haſt born me, a Man of Contention and Strife to the whole Earth. And that holy Prophet Iſaiah, who ſaid to the Scoffers of his time, Iſa. 9 B1r 9 Iſa. 57. 3. O ye Sons of the Sorcereſs, the Seed of the Adulterers, &c. On whom have ye jeſted? upon whom have ye gaped and thruſt out your Tongues? Are not ye Rebellious Children and falſe Seed inflamed with Idols? And my bleſſed Saviour, the Everlaſting God manifeſt in Fleſh, when He went to Dye upon the Croſs for their Sins, they beat Him and mocked Him, ſaying, Propheſie who ſmote Thee; ſo I muſt take my Lot among theſe bleſſed Ones, though unworthy; but I will get me into the ſecret of His Pavilion, under the Shadow of the Almighty, where I ſhall be hid from the ſtrife of Tongues.
And now, O King. I hope thy Goodneſs will paſs by my Treſpaſs in this long Diſcourſe, wherein I have been ingaged to bear my Teſtimony againſt the Sins of the people of this Nation, which cries aloud in the Ears of the Lord for Vengeance; and ſeeing I intend nothing but what is good for the King and his People, I deſire to have Liberty to eaſe my ſelf of the burden which hath lain upon me many years before thou cameſt into this Nation. For be it known unto the King, I have feared the Lord, and loved the holy Scripture from my Youth up until this day; and in my ſearching after the Lord I paſt through many things, which would be too tedious to mention here.
About a quarter of a Year before the Plague began in London, the Lord commanded me to go to Briſtol, and call them to Repentance, before the terrible Day of the Lord, and ſo I went a Foot, and when I came thither, at the Command of God I put on Sack-cloth on my Body, and Aſhes on my Head; and when I had delivered my Meſſage, the next day I returned towards London, where I came to my Husband and Family. iIn ten Days time, or the tenth Day of my parting from them, leaving a young Child of a Year old that ſuck’d at my Breaſt, B and. 10 B1v 10 and found all things well, my ſelf alſo, ſo well as if I had not gon one Mile, although a weak Woman of Body, and not able to go two Miles without Pain, yet in the ſtrength of the Lord I went almoſt two Hundred Miles a Foot, Glory be to God forever.
And after a great Exerciſe of Faſting & Prayer which lay upon me, I was commanded to go out of my own Houſe Sack-cloth and Aſhes, and proclaim the terrible Day of the Lord, that ſhould burn as an Oven; crying Wo, wo, wo unto the Inhabitants of this City, Deſolation upon Deſolation, and Wo upon Wo; then preſently the Plague began in the City; and for too Weeks after the Plague began, I thought I ſhould never have had reſt more, for day and night I was like a Woman in ſtrong Travel, all over in racking Pain, I trembled that my Knees ſtruck one againſt another, and as the weight of a Mill Stone upon my Spirit, I cryed bitterly to the Lord, and ſaid, Oh Righteous Lord, if Thou remove not this burden, then I cannot live; then the Lord anſwered, and ſaid, It is the burden of the Inquities of the Nation I have laid upon thee, and thou muſt bear my Indignation, for thou art their Sign of the Repentance and Humiliation I require of them: then I knew what the Prophet Habakkuk meant when his Lips quivered, his Belly trembled, and rottenneſs had entered his Bones; then I had a little eaſe for the preſent, but the great Exerciſe remained ſtill, going in Sack-cloth and Aſhes, and calling the People to Repentance; but when I had performed my Service, and done all that the Lord required of me ; Oh the ſweet melting conſolating Love my Heart and Soul was filled with to God for His goodneſs, in giving me ſtrength to do His bleſſed Will, and was ſo humbled, I could have licked the Duſt; then I threw my Body upon the ground, and my Mouth in the Duſt, that God might be Exalted; then 11 B2r 11 then I had Beauty given me for Aſhes, yea, the Beauty of His Holineſs; I had the Garment of Praiſe for the Spirit of heavineſs, for my Mouth was filled with Praiſes, and my Heart with Heavenly Halalujah’s; I went about doing Good, viſiting the Sick, and relieving the Poor; I had the Word of the Lord to many Families, to tell them that their Viſitation drew near, calling them to Repentance, Praiſes be to Him that lives forever; for the Lord had not only ſhed his Love in my Heart, but filled my Heart and Rains ſo full, that it run as a River to all mankind, for their Redemption out of their fallen Eſtate; but this encreaſed my outward Afflictions, and the inward Travel of my Soul, ſo that I never heard of any that went through the like in this latter Age: I was much exerciſed with faſting, at the Command of the Lord I Faſted three days, and three nights, without any Suſtenance; and eat Bread and drank Water ſix days together, for a Witneſs againſt their Feaſting and Drinking high Spirits, to keep the Plague from their Hearts, but alas, they were Phiſitians of no value; but it pleaſed the Lord to preſerve me and mine, at that Time, and for many years after, until it pleaſed him to prepare my dear Children for Himſelf, and then He took them out of all the Saares and Temptations of this ſinful Life, to their everlaſting Joy and His eternal Praiſe, World without end, Amen. Then I enquired of the Lord why He took them away in their youth; and He ſaid, Becauſe of their Fathers evil Life, and in order for my deliverance to the Work He had called me to; then the Lord Commanded me to depart from the Multitude, and from all the concerns of this World, to ſeek Him apart; to give up Name and Fame, and whatſoever was dear to me in this Life, Body, Soul and Spirit, to ſerve the Lord as he requiredB2 quired 12 B2v 12 quired me, (that was in Faſting and Prayer) which was alſo to be a ſign to the Multitude, of the Worſhip which the Lord required of them; but the Afflictions I went through at that time, is beyond my Tongue of Fleſh to declare; then after all this the Lord commanded me to go in Sackcloth and Aſhes three days, and to wear Sackcloth three years, which I did, till after the death of King Charles the ſecond.
And now, O King, I am required to viſit thee, and to lay before thee what the Lord requires of thee, which is, To do Juſtly, and to ſhew Mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God, and not to fear Man, whoſe Breath is in his Noſtrils, nor to put thy truſt in the Arm of Fleſh, but in the living God; for it is written, Wo unto them that go down into Egypt for help; It is alſo written, Bleſſed be the Man that truſteth in the Lord, and whoſe hope the Lord is, for he ſhall be as a Tree that is planted by the Waters, which ſpreadeth out her roots by the Rivers, and ſhall not feel when the heat cometh, but her leaf ſhall be green, and ſhall not care for the year of drowth, neither ſhall ceaſe from yielding Fruit, yea, Bleſſed ſhall he be in his going out, and in his coming in; for the Lord ſhall bleſs him with an everlaſting Bleſſing, which ſhall be better than the Bleſſing of his Anceſtors: Therefore O king, be Valiant for the Truth upon Earth, and give not thy Strength unto others, nor thy Power and Wiſdom to Men, but ſerve the Lord with all thy Strength, and with all thy Might, for this the Lord requirs of thee, and give it not to Men to ſerve their evil ends.
And in order to the carrying on of this great Work which I have been treating of, my humble Requeſt to the King is, that he would be pleaſed to take Chriſt for his Example in this thing, to with-draw often from the Multitude, and to retire into his own Soul, there to at.tend. 13 B3r 13 tend upon the Lord very deligently in Faſting and Prayer, asking Counſel of the Lord how to order his Affairs as may be moſt for the Glory of God, and then The God of Peace make the King perfect in all good Works, to do His moſt acceptable Will, working in him that which is pleaſant in His ſight, to whom be Everlaſting Praiſe for evermore, Amen.
From one that is of no Sect or gathered People whatſoever, yet I love the good in all, but the evil I abhor; ſo I walk alone as a Woman forſaken; I have fellowſhip with them that Lived in Caves, and in Dens, and deſolate places of the Earth, of whom the World was not worthy.
Poſtſcript. O Ye Church and People of England! what did you ſend for King William out of his own Country, and turn out King James? You ſaid it was to ſet up the Chriſtian Religion, and to Eſtabliſh it: Why is it not done? What have you been a doing all this while, making proviſion to ſet up your ſelves? For the Chriſtian Religion is not ſet up: you know what that is, To forſake the Devil and all his Works, the Pomps and Vanities of this wicked World, and all the ſinful Luſts of the Fleſh, and to keep God’s Will and Commandments, and to walk in the ſame all the days of your Lives. So you ſee the Chriſtian Religion ſhews you what the Devil’s Works are, that they are the Pomps and the Vanities of this wicked World, and 14 B3v 14 and the ſinful Luſts of the Fleſ h. And Chriſt’s command is, Learn of me, for I am Meek and Lowly, and you ſhall find Reſt to your Souls: And Chriſt’s command is, Love your Enemies, do good to them that hate you: And Chriſt’s command is, Let your Light ſo ſhine, that men may ſee your good Works, and glorifie your heavenly Father: Theſe are the Commands of Chriſt, with all the reſt that I have been treating of. And theſe are the Vows you have vowed in the Name of God, in your Baptiſm, To forſake the Devil and all his Works, the vain Pomps and Glory of the World, with all the Covetous Deſires of the ſame, the Carnal Deſires of the Fleſh, ſaying, I will not follow, nor be led by them: I forſake them all: This is your Pomiſe. Therefore, oh ye Church and People of England, perform your Vows which you have vowed to the God of Heaven, and put into practice what you have promiſed the Lord; but if you will not, then will it appear to all the World, that you did not all this to ſet up the Christian Religionbut to ſet up your ſelves, which if you do, God will pull you down; for ſaith the Lord, Them that Honours me I will Honour: but they that deſpiſe Me ſhall be deſpiſed, I Sam.2. And oh ye Church and People of England, I am to acquaint you, that the laſt Lord Mayors Day I bore a heavy burden for your Feaſting: The Lord calls for Faſting, and you go to Feaſting: ſo that ye are guilty of the ſame Iniquity that your fore-Fathers were, for ſaid Iſaiah the Prophet in that day, Did the Lroord God of Hoſt call into Weeping and Mourning, and Baldneſs, and to girding with Sack-cloth; but behold Joy and Gladneſs, ſlaying Oxen and killing Sheep, eating Fleſh and drinking Wine, Eating and Drinking, for tomorrow we ſhall dye: That was all that preſumptious Generation valued, either the command of the Lord, or 15 B4r 15 or His juſt Judgments, to make a mock at that weighty Meſſage; and yea do the ſame in your Actions, breaking Chriſt’s commands, who ſaid, When thou makeſt a Dinner or Supper, call not thy Friends, not thy rich Neighbours, leſt they bid thee again: But when thou makeſt a Feaſt, call the Poor and Diſtreſſed, for they cannot Recompence thee again, but thou ſhalt be Recompenced at the Reſurrrection of the Juſt. So remember your Vows which ye have vowed, oh ye Church and People! to keep God’s holy Will and Commandments, and to walk in the ſame all the dayes of your Lives. And now, oh ye Churches and Inhabitants of England of all ſorts and Sects, be it known unto you, that thus far I am clear of your Blood by performing my Service to God, and my Duty to my Neighbours, whom I deſire the welfare of as my own Soul; yea, I can call Heaven and Earth to witneſs, that this is my end, even your Salvation, which will be more to you then all earthly Crowns. And that this Meſſage to you may prove ſo effectual by the Power of God, that you together with me in the Humility of our Souls, may caſt our ſelves with all Self-intereſt at the Feet of Chriſt Jeſus, as a ſecond Mary Magdelen, waſhing His Feet with our Tears, and wiping them with the Hairs of our Heads, that our cries may pierce through the Heavens to the Throne of his Grace, to move His holy and glorious Majesity to be merciful to us, and this poor Nation, that is may not be made an utter Deſolation for the Sins of them that live therein. Your Friend, ready to ſerve you to the utmoſt of my Power according to the Will of God. J. Whitrowe Eaſt-ſheen, near Mortlock, the 1689-10-022d of the 10th Month, 1689.