Billeder på siden

time and truth manifest; the good hand of providence having taken me from amongst them, that so, according to my earnest desires, I might do longer be a spectator or recorder of their actions. I shall therefore now conclude, only including a brief description of the island of Jamaica, by comparing it, in divers respects, with Hispaniola, together with some few passages by the way homeward.

The island of Jamaica is situated betwixt the main and the isle of Cuba, distant from the one 96 leagues, and from the other 20, the center whereof lieth directly in the same lat. with the town of Sancta Domingo, in Hispaniola, already described, and hath, longitude west from thence, 2 deg. 18 min. Its magnitude is scarcely one third of the said island, being in length 46, and breadth 14 leagues. Notwithstanding, for the quality and quantity of land, it is no less fruitful, and altogether as plentiful in fish, fowl, and cattle of all sorts; it is more mountainous and less woody; rivers there are divers, but the spring heads of some arising from copper mines, the water is somewhat unwholsome, and unsavoury, unless corrected by boiling, which the Spaniards used. Its chiefest defects and impediments are these: it produceth not any .nines of gold and silver, as doth Hispaniola, and viher parts of ihe Indies. It is also ill situated for traffick, lying such a distance to leeward, that it is a most difficult thing for vessel; to turn up so far to windward as to get clear of the islands and rocks, which are therefore necessitated to make their passage through the Gulf of Florida, which is accounted dangerous, except at some scasons of the year.

June 25. The fleet, bound for England, set sail from Jamaica, viceadmiral Goodson, in the Torrington frigate, being left admiral of that squadron, ordered to remain in the Indics, they consisting of all the English frigates of this flect, also three of ihe best sailing Flemish ships, which compleated the number of twelve sail, besides victuallers and prizes there remaining.

July 8. The fleet gained the length of Cape St. Antonio, being the westermost cape of the isle of Cuba, and the thirteenth following, they plying to windward, having a fresh gale easterly, came near under the tropick, and short of the Cape of Florida, about thirty leagues, where there happened another sad disaster. The Paragon Navy, a ship of the second rank, and, at ibat time rear-admiral, took fire, and consumed to her powder-room, and so blew up; the rear-admiral Dakins, and some others, with much danger and difficulty escaped, divers ships boats, which were nearest, coming in to their assistance, notwithstanding there perished about one hundred and forty men. By what meaus this lamentable accident was first occasioned, is not yet certainly known; but too certain it is, that the chief neglect was in the steward's soom, from whence the fire broke forth, violently increasing, past remedy, as the people were assembled together at divine exercise in the forenoon.

July 19. Havir.g hitherto had the weather variously inclined, many calms, aud some storms, with diversity of winds, but all of short continuance, the fileet now entered the Gulf of Florida, and the twentysecond following, passed forth of the same, the extent thereof being, in length, from the Cape of Florida, to the uttermost islands north of Cuba sixty-eight leagues, and in breadth, from those islands to the main, twenty leagues, the current there setting N. N. E. the swiftness or slackness whereof de pendeth on the falling of the rains, which about the month of August, are constantly very great; many exceeding large American rivers being augmented thereby, the spacious Bay of Mexico becomes their receptacle, and so disburtheneth its swelling floods, through this narrow streight, into the Virgivian Ocean; it is therefore of some called the Gulf of Mexico.

August 4. The fleet gained the length of the Bermudas, since when, for the generality, being favoured with fair winds and seasonable weather, the twenty-second of this instant, they had also the length of the Western islands.

August 30. They descried the English shore, near the Lizard, and having a strong gale, S. S. W. the day following the fleet anchored at Spithead, near Portsmouth; three sail, having been separated from the rest by obscure weather in the night, before their entrance into the gulf, came in hither also this day, some few hours before the other.

And now for ever blessed be the divine Creator, who hath dealt thus mercifully with us, the unworthiest of his servants, giving us so large experience of his abundant goodness towards us, and bringing us once more unto the land of our nativity. The Lord in mercy so incline the hearts of this nation, that those grand sins of presumption and covetousness may no longer reign amongst them, lest, seeking after shadows, they lose the real substance; or coveting the good, or gold of other they incur the high displeasure of Almighty God upon themselves, and so become the scorn and derision of their enemies, and a by-word to other nations. Avertat Deus.




Being a relation of the life of Roger Crab, living near Uxbridge; taken

from his own mouth; shewing his strange, reserved, and unparalleled kind of life, who counteth it a sin against his body and soul, to eat any sort of flesh, fish, or living creature, or to drink any wine, ale, or beer. He can live with three farthings a week. His constant tood is roots and herbs; as cabbage, turneps, carrots, dock-leaves, and grass; also bread and bran, without butter or cheese : his cloathing

• This is the 125th Number in the Catalogue of Pamphlets in the Hasleian Library.

is sack-cloth. He left the army, and kept a shop at Chesham, and hath now left off that, and sold a considerable estate to give to the poor, shewing his reasons from the Scripture, Mark x. 21. Jer.

XXXV. Wherefore if meat make my brother to offend, I will never eat flesh

while the world stands, 1 Cor. viii. 13.

London, printed, and are to be sold in Pope's-Head Alley, and at the Ex

change, 1655. Quarto, containing twenty-two pages.

The Publisher to the Reader.

Honest reader, Before you come to the author's own epistle, and narration, I shall mention some remarkable passages, which I had from his own mouth, and find them not mentioned in his writing; and, I can assure thee, this relation is no feigned stury, or fable, but thou hast it presented to thy view, as I received it from the author himself, with all the verses of his own composing.

This Roger Crab is well known to many in this city, and the county; and, while this book was printing, he staid purposely here, in the city, till it was published, and, I think, is in town still; he lodged at the Golden Anchor, in Whitecross-street, at one Mr. Carter's house, a glover, where divers people resorted to see him, where such, as doubt of it, may be satisfied. I am informed by himself, and others, how that, three years since, he was a haberdasher of hats, and kept a shop at Chesham, in Buckinghamshire; and hath since given over his trade, and sold his estate, and given it to the poor, reserving a small matter to himself, being a single man; and now liveth at Icknam, near Uxbridge, on a small rood of ground, for which he payeth fifty shillings a year, and hath a mean cottage, of his own building, 10 it; but that which is most strange, and most to be admired, is his strange, reserved, and hermetical kind of life, in refusing to eat any sort of desh, who saith it is a sin, against his body and soul, to eat flesh, or to drink any beer, ale, or wine; his diet is only such poor homely food, as his own rood of ground beareth, as corn, bread, and bran, herbs, roots, dockleaves, mallows, and grass ; his drink is water; his apparel is as mean also; he wears a sackcloth frock, and no band on bis neck; and this, he saith, is out of conscience, and in obedience to that command of Christ to the young man in the gospel, and in imitation of the prophets, and the Rechabites in Jer. xxxv. who neither planted vineyards, nor built houses, nor drank wine, and were highly commended by the Lord for it. I reasoned the case with him, and told him, that I conceived Christ's meaning, when he bad the young man sell all he had, and give to the poor, was, that he should part with all his dearest sins, that were as dear to him as his possessions, or else to try him for his covetousness; he answered, how can a man give that money to the poor, which he selleth his sins for? I perceive he is well read in the Scrip

[ocr errors]

tures; he hath argued strongly, with several ministers in the country, about this, and other strange opinions which he holds; but I will not be so tedious to the reader, as to mention them all. He approves of civil magistracy, and is neither for the Levelers, nor Quakers, nor Shakers, nor Ranters, but above ordinances. He was seven years in the wars for the parliament; he is the more to be admired, that he is alone in this opinion of eating, which, though it be an error it is an barmless error. I have heard, since this was in the press, that Captain Norwood was acquainted with Roger Crab, and, inclining to his opinion, began to follow the same poor diet, till it cost him his life; Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum. In the primitive times, we read of such persons that were weak, who did eat herbs, and made a great scruple of eating flesh; but the apostle saith, That every creature of God is good, if it be received with thankfulness, 1 Tim. iv. 4. And in 1 Cor. viii. 13, saith he, If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat none while the world stands. And in Rom. iv. 2, 3, 4, One believeth that he may eat all things, another, who is weak, eateth herbs; let not him that eate th despise him that eateth not, &c. The reason why this man betook himself to this hermit's reserved life, he saith, was, that he might be more free from sin, as lust, pride, and because of the many lyes, swearing, and deceiving, that are too frequently used by most shopkeepers, and tradesmen, as the prophet complains in Hos. iv. 1, 2, 3. For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God, but by swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and whoring, they break out, and blood toucheth blood; therefore shall the land mourn, &c. But, bow. ever, we may see how apt men are to err, both on the right hand, and on the left, and to run into extreams; yet, of the two extreams, this is the better, and more tolerable, which this English hermit hath chosen, rather than that of our English anticks, and prodigals, who give themselves over to run into all excess of riot and uncleanness, committing all sorts of wickedness with greediness ; some given up to drunkenness, others to whoredom, and a third sort to gluttony, as, of late days, it was reported of one Wood, called the great eater of Kent, who could eat a whole sheep at a meal, besides other victuals; also Mr. Marriot, the great eater of Gray's-Inn, was such another glutton. Eusebius reports of one Domitius, who, receiving more meat at supper than bis stomach could digest, or his belly contain, died suddenly, sitting at the table; and Doctor Taylor, that tamous preacher of Aldermanbury, in his book of the Theatre of God's Judgments, makes mention of Maximinus the emperor, who was given to such excess and gluttony, that every day, for his allowance, he had torty pounds of Hesh, and bread answerable, and five gallons of wine tor bis drink, which he constantly devoured, besides sallets, anıt made dishes.

Also the Emperor Bonesus would drink healths, and eat excessively; both these came to miserable ends, this emperor was hanged, and the former cut in pieces by his soldiers; see more at large in the second part of that book, page 102. I will add but one more relation be mentions, which, had I not so good an author for, I should not give credit to it. A rich citizen's son, having left him, by his father, thirty-thousand pounds in ready money, besides jewels, plate, and houses richly fur. nished, was so prodigal, as to consume all his whole estate in three years; and he had a great longing to please all all his five senses at once, and did accomplish it, allowing to every sense a several hundred pound; it would be too tedious to mention all the story; he grew, at last, to all debauchedness that could be named, and was forced, shamefully, to beg of his acquaintance, and was, after, pressed for a common soldier; see the last page of that book above-mentioned. I shall no longer detain the reader from the hermit's relation; these things, I thought, would be most pertinent to impart to thee, hoping thou wilt make this good use of it, by avoiding these two extreams, and walking in the golden mean of true godliness, which hath the promise of this life, and of that which is to cume. Vale.

One more remarkable thing he told me: That, when he was in Clerkenwell prison, the seventeenth of this January, 1654, his keeper, having a prejudice against him, ordered the prisoners not to let him have bread with his water, and shut him down in the hole all night. The next morning, being something hungry, walking in the prisonyard, there came a spaniel, and walked after him three or four turns, with a piece of bread in his mouth. He looked upon him, and wondered why the dog walked, as he thought, with a chip in his mouth; he looked at the dog, and he laid it down, and perceived it was bread; he walked away again, and the dog walked after him with it again; then he stopped, and the dog laid it down to his hand; then he took and wiped it, and eat it.

To Mr. Godbold, preacher at Uxbridge, in Middlesex, I dedicate this my discourse, because he was my friend to help conquer my old man, by informing my friends of Chesham, that I was a witch, and was run ay, and would never come again. You, being a publick preacher, may do me great service, in helping me to dishonour him; for I have been almost three years conquering my old man by dishonour. Therefore, if you can stir up any more to forward this work, pray do, if it be not hurtful to yourself, and they that do so. I rest

Your reserved friend,


To the impartial reader. IN whom malicious envy delights, to be for birds of a feather, draw together But such a constitution is not to be condemned, list we should condemn the work of God in the flesh, but rather to be instructed with the light of the Scriptures, that thereby he may know himself, and judge himself to be undone and empty, that love and zeal may take

« ForrigeFortsæt »