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cripple, I suppose to the day of his death. But Simon Stone was thoroughly cured, and lived many years, a hearty, strong and active man; and as he was born with two thumbs on one hand, his neighbors were ready to conclude that he had as many hearts as thumbs. It may be sufficient matter of conviction by this, and some other instances here following, that God, who is the sovereign arbiter of life and death, has determined what wounds are mortal, and what are not so, as they are all ordered in his all-wise providence.
On the one hand, a skilsul anatomist, having made a great entertainment at his daughter's wedding, in gathering up the fragments of the broken glass, a fragment of it scratched one of his fingers, which corrupted to that degree, that with all his skill it could not reach a cure, but cost him his life. And a scratch of a comb has proved mortal. Colonel Rositer, cracking a plum-stone with his teeth, brake one of them, which cost him his life. The Lord Fairfax, cutting a corn in his foot, cut asunder the thread of his life. And, if I am not misinformed, not many years past, Mr. Moses Belcher, of Braintree, lost his life by cutting a corn on his toe. Mr. Fowler, a vintner, in playing with his child, received a small scratch of a pin, which turned finally to a gangrene, which also proved his death ; and Deacon Hovey, of Weymouth, not long since, as he was eating some apple with milk, it met with some obstruction in the passages, which threw him into a grievous fit of coughing, which continued, without power to speak a word, and he died. Mrs. Gold, also of Weymouth, the wife of the aged Mr. John Gold, beforetime the widow of the very reverend Mr. Garner, formerly of Marshfield, having been under some bodily indisposition, had an inclination to eat a clam or two, which she did ; it immediately set her into vomiting, which soon issued in her death.
But then, when we turn our eye on the other hand, we shall find memorable salvations wrought in the providence of God; for some that appear to human understanding to be so mortally wounded as to despair of life, yet have been recovered, as superadded instances to that of Simon Stone, already mentioned, will prove. Several that have been miserably mangled, scalped, and left for dead by the barbarity of the Indians, and the French, their instigators, have
recovered. The Indians, making an assault upon Deerfield, one of them struck a hatchet some inches into a boy's head there, and so deep among the bones of his skull, that the boy felt the Indian forced with a wrench to get out his hatchet ; he was found weltering in his blood, and part of his brains issuing out of the wound; and so it continued for a space of time, as often as the wound was opened for dressing, some of his brains issued out. Another instance in the former war,-one Jabez Musgrove was shot with a bullet that went in at his ear, and went out at his eye at the contrary side of his head, and a brace of bullets that went in at his right side a little above his hip, and passing through his body within his back bone, went out at his left side; yet he recovered, and lived many years after. One John Dier, while he lived in the eastward part of the country in the former war, was wounded in seven several parts of his body at once, by a volley of shot from the Indians, yet recovered, and lived many years after to considerable old age; whom I knew in Braintree. Two others I knew at Block Island, that were wonderfully recovered, when mortally wounded in appear
One, then a young woman, was struck through her shoulder with lightning, so that there was a free and open passage to syringe the wound, from the fore part to the hinder, and from thence back again to the fore part, as the person, a woman, that wrought the cure, told me. She lived after to a great age, with the free use of that with her other limbs. The other was of an Indian man, that under some disgust, as it was said, at his wife, shot himself, putting the muzzle of his gun at the pit of his stomach, and by some means pushing the trigger; the gun went off, and the bullet went out at his back opposite to the place where it entered. This account I had from a credible author, who, as he told me, heard the report of the gun, and went immediately to the place to know the occasion, and found the poor fellow wallowing in his blood, and saw blood mixed with froth work out at his stomach and back every time he drew his breath; yet he recovered, and lived many years after, a hearty, strong and able-bodied man. This cure was made also by the same skilful woman that God improved as an instrument of healing the young woman before mentioned. This tragedy was acted some years before I was born, yet I knew him many years after, (his name, as I remember,
was Woyacuto), and after saw the scar in his stomach where the bullet entered, which was in circumference larger than an English crown. God hath made his wonderful works to be remembered, and they are sought out by all them that take pleasure therein.
I hope, therefore, my reader will not take it amiss, if in this digression, another instance of God's marvellous power and goodness be related here, which is indeed very memorable. Captain James Sands, of Block Island, of whom I had occasion to make mention before, had four sons, all living at Block Island, until the island was infested, and plundered twice by French privateers ; after which the three elder brothers removed to Long Island, and settled there, (from whom I had the narrative of what I am now writing), namely, Captain John Sands, Mr. James, and Samuel Sands, each of them leaving a farm at Block Island, which they stocked with sheep, and were wont to come once a year at their shearing-time on the island, to carry off their wool and what fat sheep there were at that time, and market at New York. Upon this design, they were all coming together, some time in the beginning of June, and as near as I can remember, in the year 1702, one of them bringing a little daughter, about seven years of age, in a new vessel he had built, designing to leave the child with his mother for some time, Mrs. Sarah Sands, the famous doctor I spake of before, who was then living, a widow; and several Indian servants were in the forecastle or fore part of the vessel, which was enclosed, but there was no bulk-head abaft, where these gentlemen were sitting together. There was also a quantity of wheat in the hold under the deck, which lay partly at the lower part of the mast. As they were sailing down the Sound, as it is called, between Long Island and the main land, under an easy, pleasant gale of wind, they observed a dark, threatening cloud gathering in the northwest. Apprehending a sudden gust of wind, they pulled down their sails, as they saw at a distance also a rippling of the water,--and it proved accordingly. But the cloud scattered, and the gust went over, and they hoisted their sails and proceeded in their course as before. After a short time the cloud gathered again, and being apprehensive of a like sudden gust, they lowered their sails; and it proved as they expected, and they again proceeded on their voyage with a
fair and easy gale. But in a space of time the cloud gathered the third time, and appeared more terrible, threatening an extraordinary tempest; upon which they lowered their sails, as they had twice before. And it proved very terrible, with thunder, lightning, rain and wind, with stress and uncommon violence. At length there came a loud clap of thunder with sharp lightning, and struck on the top of their mast; and the lightning ran down into the hold of the vessel to the step of the mast, and then suddenly started upward ; and they saw apparently the wheat that lay near the mast fly each way from it, and seemed to disperse ; but it soon gathered into a round solid body, as big, or bigger, than a man's fist, and in that form flew to one side of the vessel, and then broke with an extraordinary loud noise as of hard thunder, and then seemed to scatter; but then gathered into the like form as before, and flew to the other side of the vessel, and broke with the like mighty noise, and dispersed; but gathered the third time, and flew back to the other side, where it made a hole between wind and water, and disappeared. The child, before mentioned, lay all this time asleep, while the lightning passed forward and backward over it, as has been related, without the least hurt, when her father, and uncles with him, that beheld the lightning in its motions and operations, as plainly as to see from one side of a room to the other, concluded she was struck dead as she lay. Nor were any hurt in the vessel, except these men's eyes were so sore they scarcely could see when they came to the island, where I then was, and from them received the narrative, as here is related, of this wonderful salvation God wrought for them. They also told me, that after the tempest was over to admit of their getting up on the deck, they found their mast so split and shattered as rendered it useless, and constrained them to run into the next harbor they could make, and furnish themselves with a jury-mast (as it is called), to prosecute their voyage ; and that the splinters of their mast lay round their vessel on the top of the water.
The next Lord's day I took occasion to preach in their hearing, from the words of our Saviour, concerning the ten lepers, “ Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?” from whence was shown, that there are but few found returning to God with sincere, thankful acknowledgments for
memorable and next to miraculous deliverances (as this was) when ordered to them under the wonderful interposition and direction of divine providence.
Since we are entered on this awful subject of thunder and lightning, I shall add but one instance more here, of the remarkable preservation, in this case, granted to Captain Wright, of Colchester in Connecticut, as he related it to me several years past, (who I suppose is yet living), and a space of time after he experienced the salvation I am about to relate. In going into his pasture for his horse, he observed a cloud gathered very black. Suspecting rain coming speedily on, as soon as he had got his horse, he immediately sprung upon his back, and made all possible haste to his house; but it reached him before he could reach his house. He therefore sprung off suddenly at his door, stepping into the entry, holding the bridle in his hands. Before he had stood there long, there came a sharp clap of thunder and lightning and struck through his bridle reins, leaving a hole. I am not certain that it killed his horse, but it struck the covering of his entry, and through the back part of his hat, leaving a hole in it also ; and the lightning ran down his back to the parting of his body, and then divided, one part running down on the back side of one thigh, and part on the other, and down his legs into his shoes, leaving a red streak where it passed, burst open his shoes, and melted one or both of his silver buckles he had on, which he showed me; and also told me that the streaks down his back, thighs, and back parts of his legs were then remaining, and that he felt no sensible effects of it, but in his feet, which had probably stagnated the blood, and prevented its genuine circulation, so that wherever he walked, though on a rock, it seemed as if he were going on sand.
Thus God sometimes makes small wounds mortal, and then again, on the other hand, when he pleases, heals and recovers from those that appear to human sense mortal and incurable, and saves some under most visible, imminent danger, as in the instances above mentioned, and many others that might be produced of the like kind.
It is time to return, and take a further view of the Indian massacres, and French in conjunction, committed on the English people in the eastern and other parts of the