A. D. 1678.
Jan. 1. At the Fast all day. Mr. Lye prayed and preached very well from 1 Cor. xi. 28, showing that Examination is every one's duty. Mr. Slater prayed. Mr. Vincent preached from Psalm cxlvi. 10, that God is the God of Sion ; a glorious and merciful God.
3. Forenoon at home writing, after at Cripplegate Church; vid. a Collection of Epitaphs, for those eminent historians, Fox and Speed.
19. I cannot omit to insert, that on Thursday night, about two or three o'clock, there was a most terrible storm of rain, hail, and violent winds, accompanied with such dreadful thunder and lightning, that some started up half distracted, thinking it to be the day of judgment; it was indeed the most formidable, unparallelled tempest that ever I knew ; the wind blustering and beating great hailstones with such force against the windows and walls as did awaken very hard sleepers with fear.
22. With Mr. Stretton* at a lecture in Cornhill Church, where Mr. Moore, the Lord Chancellor's Chaplain,* from those words, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me;" showed very well that Arminianism is heretical, contrary to the Scripture, &c. Afternoon at the Tower to see the crown, armoury, &c. with my cousin Dickenson, to whom I am daily more obliged for repeated favours.
24. Both parts of day at Blackwell-hall; at noon at Bow Church to see Dr. Sancroft confirmed Archbishop of Canterbury. (I think) Dr. Tillotson preached.
Feb. 7. At the Hall all day. Evening, to see them make glasses, &c. which is very ingenious and curious.
10. Die Dom. Mr. Slater, from Psalm ii. 7, showed that the decrees of God do not hinder second contingent causes ; they do not discharge man's duty ; he must not neglect the means appointed for safety of either soul or body, upon pretence that his time or salvation is decreed of God. Afternoon, Mr. Slater, from Ephes. i. 11, showed that predestination is of God; and though we should not pry too curiously into it, yet it ought to be preached and maintained, because it is commanded by God, and is so profitable to clear the Deity of Christ, to comfort saints, humble them and excite their love to God, promoting holiness, and procuring patience under afflictions. Then showed what predestination was: it is eternal, flows from the free-will of God, goes down to particular persons, and makes no difference till effectual calling, &c.
12. At Pinners-hall, to hear Dr. Bates; but the place so thronged, that I could hear little.
16. At Westminster, to buy some pictures, &c. After, with Mr. Jos. Wilson, and providing for a Northern journey.
19. At Westminster, the Exchanges and several places, to buy pictures and tokens for relations.
21. Mr. Baxter did very well explain Matth. xxv. 1, 2, &c. opening the customs of the Jews at the solemnization of marriage, &c. and why the kingdom of heaven is likened to ten virgins, and then excellently showed the glorious joys and blessedness of heaven. At the Hall, and within writing and providing for a journey.
22. Left, I think, the finest city in the world, an obliging kind family, &c. where all imaginable advantages for soul and body ; but returning home to the dearest, most affectionate, and best of fathers, which doth more than counterbalance all else. Came from London to Royston, wherein experienced the goodness of God, in preservation from innumerable evils.
23. Die Dom. Constrained utterly against my mind to travel from Royston to Stamford, though the Lord's day ; but either do so, or be left upon the road about a hundred miles from home and not knowing a foot of the way.
24. From Stamford to Tuxford, and
25. From Tuxford home: all along havinglarge experience of the goodness of God, in preservation from so many evils as might justly have befallen me.
26. 27, 28. In converse with friends and perusing some papers.
March 2. At home righting my papers, &c. that came by London carrier.
3. Die Dom. Mr. Kay,* from Heb. iv. last verse, showed very well that it is a necessary duty to pray with a holy confidence, but that cannot be if we live in the commission of any known sin: we must pray for nothing but what is agreeable to the will of God: our prayers should be affectionate, &c. At noon, Mr. Sharp* showed very well, from 1 Cor. i. 30, that Christ is made wisdom to us by God to salvation, which he improved for reproof and for instruction.
8. Perusing some old parchments with cousin Joshua Thoreshy, at home, &c.
15, 16. Both days within, taking down the pictures, beds, &c. in order to the workmen's pulling down the chimneys, to build them more safely, conveniently, &c. of brick.f
29. At Wakefield, but sold nothing.
April 24*. A day of humiliation. Mr. Sharp, from Joel ii. 12, preached suitably for the occasion; showing, that the way to prevent judgments is by repentance.
25. 26, 27. All days at home with the workmen, being from morning to night with them, ever since their coming.
May 12. Mr. Kay, from Rev. ii. 2, treated of Excommunication, showing that it was of divine institution, and practised by the Church in all ages, and should strictly be put in execution against the wicked.
26. Die Dom. Mr. Milner* preached very well; but Mr. Kay, in my slender opinion, too fawningiy to please some, showing the ignorance, pride, &c. of heretics. Mr. Sharp, from 1 Cor. i. 30, showed some excellent marks to know whether Christ be our sanctification or not. Can we endure to be searched by God? do we labour to avoid sin? are we truly humble ?
June 16. Die Dom, Mr, Kay showed there is no Church without imperfection, and therefore a madness to separate on that account. Afternoon he preached from ditto text showing, (Rev. ii. 3,) that there is no person so pure but God can see sin in him, instanced in Moses, David, Solomon, Lot, Job, &c. which may teach the best patience in affliction, and the greatest saints have need of mercy. Mr. Sharp, from 1 Cor. i. 30, showed, that if Christ be not our sanctification, it will cause dreadful pangs of con-science in those mansions of torments; to consider the grace we have slighted, the convictions we have stifled, the reproofs we have neglected : this is the time of grace, if we expect salvation ; it should raise the heirs of heaven from the dunghill of this world ; most live and grow downwards, fixed to the earth as trees, scarce live the life of a moral heathen, much less a sanctified Christian.
17. And so to the end of this month, so thronged for the greatest part with the workmen, and preparing for a voyage, that neglected diary, &c. for which I desire to be humbled.
July 4. I came with my father for Hull, and had a very good journey.
5. Forenoon viewing the town, and with friends, &c. most of the day ; about six o'clock came aboard Thomas Scheman's vessel, was a little sick and then somewhat better again.
6. All day at sea, and mostly very sick, but had a very good wind and fair weather.
7. Die Dom. Upon our voyage all day, but through sea-sickness and the depravity of my heart, had not such holy thoughts as ought to have been in one that has so many mercies daily bestowed upon him. About noon we were encompassed with land, which quitted me of my sickness. About six we arrived at Rotterdam, having had a very prosperous voyage, being but forty-eight hours exactly from Hull to Rotterdam.
8. Most of this week walking about the city, observing their customs, which at first seemed mighty strange, differing so very much from my own country's ; not neglecting to look into a book for the language, and being very intent upon it, may perhaps say, without a boast, that I did not slip much time (knowing that it might be but short and was very chargeable in Holland) without observing something or other ; and, if the praises of all the family were not ex dentibus, made a considerable progress, which I hope is not noted through pride or vain glory, but somewhat to curb that extremity of ill-conceit which my natural temper inclines me to entertain of every thing I am concerned in, even to the suppressing of endeavours, as impossible (for me) to attain to eminency in any thing that is commendable.
14. Die Dom. Mr. Maden preached twice at the English Church, very well, showing there is mercy in God for penitent sinners, to prevent despair, and per contra, there is justice and severity in God to revenge himself of every evil work. At night, I could not but with sorrow observe one sinful custom of the place; it being customary for all sorts to profane the Lord's-day, by singing, playing, walking, sewing, &c., which was a great trouble to me, because they profess the name of Christ, and are of the Reformed Churches.
16. At Cousin Milner's packhhouse before noon, helping with the cloth, &c.
17. Former part of the day at home, and with Mr. Charles Greenwood, &c.; about four, took a waggon (with cousin Joseph Milner) for Turgow, and from thence in the night-boat, where we lay contentedly upon fresh straw, with much company, all night to Amsterdam, which we discerned.
18. This morning, spent the whole day in company and viewing that famous town, wherein the stately Stadthouse (having abundance of excellent workmanship upon very rich marble, black, white, curiously speckled, &c.) was most remarkable.
19. All this day observing things most remarkable, as the Great Church, the wine-fat, &c.
20. We came this morning, by waggon, to Haarlem, ,a pretty neat town, where (ut dicitur) printing was first invented: from thence, by boat, to Leyden; the boat is covered, to secure from the injury of weather, &c., and is drawn by a horse, that goes by the water-side, and has a cord fastened to it. At Leyden, we saw the Physic Garden, stocked with great variety of foreign trees, herbs, &c., and the Anatomy Theatre, which has the skeletons of almost all manner of beasts, rare as well as common, and human of both sexes, &c. There is a most curious collection of rarities, heathen idols, Indian arrows, garments, armour, money, &c. Vide the printed catalogue.
21. Die Dom. An English Minister preached, but very slenderly, I thought, considering it is an university. After dinner we returned, per boat, by way of Delft, (a very pretty town, in the great church whereof we saw the stately monument for Admiral Van Trornp,) to Rotterdam, where we safely arrived this night, being hasted, and thereby constrained to travel upon the Lord's-day, because of the arrival of a ship from England, of considerable concerns, for cousin Milner.
23. At cousin Milner's packhouse, and at the great church, taking Admiral De Witt's epitaph.
24. A little at the packhouse, mostly at home, and at Delfthaven, to see the town, and a fair there.
25. At home most of the day, writing'to my dear father, and imitating Mr. Burroughs' picture, &c.
28. (Aug. 7, stilo novo.) Die Dom. The Scots Minister, from Ephes. ii. 13, showed very well that unconverted persons are far from Christ, &c.
29. With Mr. Morrison, and at Scheidam with cousin Milner, &c. to bespeak my schoolage and tabling at Mr. Puslewitt's.
Aug. 1. (11th stilo novo.) I came to Scheidam, and was boarded at Mr. Puslewitt's, in order to my learning Dutch, &c.
14 Die Dom. I was at the Dutch church at Scheidam, but could not understand any thing; was not so careful of my thoughts, words, and deeds, as I ought to have been; too compliant with the vices of the place, in not so strictly observing the Sabbath.
15. I went to Mr. William Brents, schoolmaster, in order to my learning the Dutch lingua.
21. Die Dom. At church, but not to the increase of my knowledge. Oh that I may learn to set a watch over my heart! and resolve, Deo juvante, not to yield to the great sin of profaning the Lord's-day.
22. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. Most of time at school.
28. Die Dom. The Scheidam minister, Sam. xv. 16, applied it almost word for word, in reference to a day of thanksgiving for the peace, and the Prince's deliverance, being in great danger by a Frenchman, who came full butt upon him, but was slain by the Heer. So urged they should solicit the Prince for the future not to be too venturesome, and if his valour would not willingly permit it, they should even make him swear he would not expose his Royal person, lest the lamp of Israel should be put out.
29. I went to see the Kirmis at Rotterdam, and was at the fair.
Sept. 1. At school before noon ; afternoon at Rotterdam, alone on foot, both going and coming, about six English miles.
4. Die Dom. At home in the forenoon, at church after.
8. At school in the forenoon, then went to the Maiz-key, and endeavoured to take a prospect of Scheidam.
11. Die Dom. At church both parts of the day, but could not understand much.
13. Forenoon at school, then writing to my father, was afterwards at the Bove's house, where I first saw the notable invention of a mill to churn abundance of milk at once, and took a rude draught of it.
19 and 20. Both days at school, to understand Dutch, and learn their way of cyphering ; I would hope not inconsiderably.
30. At the school both parts of the day ; the peace was proclaimed from the Stadthouse, and order given that a day should be observed to praise the Lord for it.
Oct. 1. At school forenoon ; after at home writing, and imitating some Dutch money.
2. Die Dom. At church both parts of the day, the minister pressing it very earnestly upon the people to observe the Lord's-day better, not to go walking, &e., as is too usual with them.
5. This being the day of thanksgiving for the peace, I was at church both parts of the day. Both the ministers showed very well that it is an unspeakable blessing to have peace, they should therefore be duly thankful for it, and walk worthy of it, reforming their lives and conversations, else God may have given it in anger. " This people will not be reformed, therefore I will give them over to their own wicked hearts, &c."
12. Being the Verke-rnart, was in the town, observing the customs, &c.; after dinner walked to Kettle, to see that town, and one custom of the boors' merriment. Felix quern faciunt, &;c.
15. At Rotterdam, to buy some things, where found Mrs. Greenwood very ill; and upon my return, Mrs. Helena Puslewitt so at home, taken suddenly.
18. At Rotterdam, to consult cousin Milner, and to fetch home Mrs. Puslewitt from one sick relation (Mrs. G.) to another, her daughter being dangerously ill.
21. At school both parts of the day, though not very well, finding myself somewhat aguishly inclined ; at night at church, but what, by reason of the quivering and dithering of my body, and the depravedness of my heart, I could not understand any thing to purpose.
22. Most of the day at home, not caring, or rather daring, to stir out yet.
23. Die Dom. I was at church both ends of day, the minister pressing very earnestly that we should look after the unum necessarium : coming home, found Mrs. Helena very ill, near death as we thought, and thereupon at her mother's (a good old gentlewoman, who was a nurse to me in a strange land in my sickness,) request, went hastily to Rotterdam, about a special concern relating to Mrs. Helena, that she durst not entrust any other with the knowledge of. Returned again, per water, the same night, but suppose increased my indisposition.
24. Yet at school all day, loth to lose more time than I needs must.
25. Somewhat ill with the growings of the ague, which increased all this week, that I stirred not out, (but a little on Saturday,) being very ill, not only with the dithering, but a violent pain in the back of rny head, insomuch that I could not turn it without great torment; but they seldom came together.
30. Die Dom. I had a very sick day altogether. This morning, about nine o'clock, died Mrs. Helena Puslewitt, a well-accomplished young gentlewoman, who had never seen England, yet could have spoke the language as well as if born in it.
Nov. 2. Was pretty hearty, not troubled with the pain in my head ; accompanied the corpse to the grave.
3. At home forenoon ; after, at Rotterdam for a letter from dear father ; now the ague has changed its course, coming in the nights, and being indifferently well on the days.
6. Die Dom. Very ill most of the day, sweating much in bed till four o'clock.
7. Somewhat better.
8. Indifferently when up, but, by reason of had nights, lost a great part of the forenoon.
9. At Rotterdam, to try the benefit of a walk.
10. Was finely all the day.
13. Die Dom. Very badly all day, and now the distemper increased daily; so that I was advised to go for Rotterdam, there to have the advice of some able physician, who gave me several bitter potions, which yet nothing assuaged the illness, which grew to such a height, that without help, (and great trouble and pain besides,) I could neither go to bed, nor get up. I had extremely bad nights, generally lying awake the greatest part of them, and tossing so violently, that it forced such an immeasurable sweat from me, as is almost inconceivable to those that saw it not; insomuch, as not the sheets only, but blankets and rug, were daily dried by the fire ; which violent sweating so weakened rne, that I could scarce get up stairs, nor sometimes go over the room without help. But after about a fortnight's physic, the ague changed, first its hours, and then the day, coming every other day; but then the fit was more violent than before, because two conjoined in one. So it continued very sore for a week longer, when, by advice, I came for England, it being hoped that my native air, and other means used, might, if any thing, recover me.
On Monday morning, very early, I came from Rotterdam in Mr. George Brook's vessel, and that day was reasonably well till towards evening that we got to sea, where I was extremely sick, but the ague did not disturb me, being expelled by vomiting, which was so terrible for a long time, that it would force my clothes open with the violence of it. The next day there was very uncertain weather, for the wind that was right for us at first, was turned quite contrary, and was so fickle, that in a few hours it was in all or most of the quarters of the compass ; whereupon the Captain, foreseeing the danger, thought to have returned for Holland, and accordingly made a retrograde motion for two or three leagues, but seeing no probability to reach land, with desperate hazard turned about again for England; when quickly after there was no wind at all, but a wonderful calm, which did precede a most terrible storm ; for, about four or five o'clock at night, there arose a sudden violent wind, which was the more dangerous because we were, by this time, got partly upon the shore of England, and so in much more danger of the sands and rocks. They were particularly afraid of a dangerous sand in Yarmouth Roads, whereupon they hoisted up sails a great way southward, and were after, by the extremity of the tempest, driven many degrees northward ; and in conclusion, so violently tossed, that the mariners themselves knew not where we were, and as a considerable aggravation, the ship-master was surprised with a sudden and seemingly mortal sickness, that for many hours he was not able to come above deck, or be any ways assisting, &c. But lest we should be dashed in pieces, we were constrained to let down or, even where we supposed ourselves upon a sand, which we feared, upon the ebbing of the water, would discover itself to our ruin ; but there was no other way but by faith to anchor our hopes upon God. The ship was but crazy, and wanted several (five or six) inches ballast, which they durst not stay to take in, for fear of being frozen up. (I am myself an eye-witness that if the night before they had not hauled her up to the head, we had been surrounded with a considerable thick ice, though there was none to be seen the evening before); besides, she was a very high-built vessel, all which made against us. She was by the storm blown on one side, so that innumerable boisterous waves did literally pass over my head ; and thus, for about sixteen hours, we lay in a full expectation of shipwreck, which nothing but a miraculous deliverance from God could free us from. The seamen, like Job's comforters, one following another with evident signs of ruin, that we lay gasping as it were at the gates of death a long and dark winter's night, knowing nothing but we were upon Sand ail the while. The storm abated nothing all night, nor most of the next day, and the dreadful darkness continued till almost noon. Next day, at noon, we hoisted up sail, and saw land; and, which infinitely more affected me, the Ram in the Bush,I mean a delicate large ship, in this very tempestuous storm, dashed in pieces upon that very sand, which we supposed had been our death-bed, all the night. The goods were floating upon the sea, two of the masts broken down by the tempest, a third standing for us to look upon as a monument of God's distinguishing mercy to us. The poor comfortless creatures held out a flag for help, but alas! I was told that without manifest hazard, or rather certain ruin, we could not do them any good. But afterwards their lives were given them, for a prey ; the next (and last vessel this year) from Rotterdam, espied a small flat-bottomed vessel aboard her, and which doubtless first brought off the passengers. The storm not being quite overcome, we were still in danger; and it was Thursday night, very late, ere we arrived at Hull. But, blessed be God ! that we did then, even beyond our expectations, land in England; and I desire to own it as an additional mercy, that I had not one fit of the distemper all the time.
On Friday, at Hull. Though crazy, yet had not a fit of my Dutch distemper; but the next day it was redoubled, being very violent, and so it continued every other day for about a fortnight, all the while I was at Hull, which I thought a tedious time without a sight of my dear father; who, alas ! knew not where I was, at sea or land, in England or Holland. But I desire to be thankful, that the letter from Rotterdam, which gave account of my setting forth, came not to hand till a letter of my safe arrival was first read, which had been an insupportable terror to my compassionate father, who was extremely full of fears, alarms, and disturbances during that storm, though he knew nothing of my being in it.
Immediately upon receipt of my letter, my good father came in person to Hull; and what a meeting we had shall never be forgotten by me, who am infinitely unworthy of so good and affectionate a parent, who, though full of rhetoric at other times, could not express his joy otherwise than by tears, (not usual from a soldierj and embraces which would have moved an adamant.
From Hull, we came by coach to York,* and thence on horseback to Leeds ; and, though weak and crazy, yet not by much so ill as was feared. When at home, it came, though gently, every other day almost for a month, but at length upon means (especially camphor and elixir proprietatis) it was quite overcome.