[Black Friers.] Faringdon Ward within. [The fatal Vesper.]189

[Black Friers.] Faringdon Ward within. [The fatal Vesper.]

he being something bruised and hurt in the Arm.

Moreover, there was a young Girl, about the Age of ten Years, as is supposed, (when this Minister, out of his charitable and commiserating Disposition, was labouring for the Safety and Preservation of them, whose Necessities did then require it) came crying unto him, and said, O my Mother! O my Sister! which are down under the Timber and Rubbish. But he wisht her to be patient for a time, and by God's Grace they should get forth quickly. Upon which Speech, the Child replied presently, that howsover, this Accident would prove a great Scandal to their Religion. A Speech which is worth Admiration in all Men, as this Relator did truly admire; that a Child of so tender Years, wherein amongst the most towardliest, there is scarce ability to discern between Good and Evil, should next unto that Grief, which the danger of her Mother and Sister did inflict upon her, lament for nothing more, than for the Scandal which their Cause was like to suffer by the Disaster.

It was reported also that many more were drawn out alive the next Morning. But I will not stand too much upon the justification of this Report, lest I should seem to be too credulous of those Things which are contrary to the Rules of Reason and Nature.

The Day following, which was Monday, and the Eve of Simon and Jude, there was great Care had for viewing of the Place, and for burial of the Dead. For this Cause, the Recorder and Sheriffs, about One of the Clock in the Afternoon, met at the French Embassador's House, having first shut up Ludgate, to prevent the throng and resort of the People, which was exceeding great and turbulent in those Places. And then having doubled their Guards upon every Port and Passage, and given express Charge unto the Waders, upon pain of their Displeasure and Punishment, that no Man should enter in, without theirs, or the Coroner's Warrant, they fell at length to consult about the Business; and after mature Consideration, concluded, That this doleful Accident fell out, not by any indirect Practice or Conspiracy (as was by some maliciously reported) but that those Fourscore and odd Persons fell by means of their own weight, and the weakness of those Timbers which did support the Chamber.

The Juries Verdict.

The Jury having thus brought in their Verdict, they disposed presently for the burial of the Dead; some of whom were carried by their Friends to Churches, far remote, there to receive their due obsequies. Others were buried in the same Place, and those were of the meanest Rank; whereof some Twenty, or thereabout, were laid in one Sepulchre, having a common Grave, as they had a common Death and Downfall.

The Conjectures concerning this Event were divers: For some gave out, that it was the just Punishment and Vengeance of God inflicted upon them for their Idolatry. Moreover, there were divers doubting Spirits amongst the Roman Catholicks, who thought that this was some Conspiracy of the Protestants. But if the Building had been demolished and overthrown by their indirect and treacherous Means, it must have been done either by blowing it up with Gunpowder, by sapping away the Earth from the Foundation, by undermining it; or by cutting off, or taking away those Supporters and Pillars upon which the Frame and Machine of the Building was grounded. All which were found to be false, upon most diligent search and inquiry made in that behalf. But that which carried apparent appearance of Truth, and that which the Protestant and Papists did allow, who were of the more milder, temperate, and sounder Judgment, was this: That this Disaster happened not by means of any divine Miracle, or human Malice; but by the defect and weakness of the Place, into which such a Multitude were crowded and assembled together; the Judgment of God concurring therewithal.


The Society of the Jesuits did suffer much, in losing the Persons of Father Drurie, and Father Redyate. And divers Persons of both Religions, but especially the Priests, who are Men of as great Care and Vigilancy, but of a far greater Moderation, did tax and blame them, for that they brought their Flock into a Place of no greater Safety or Assurance; and besides, because their Conventicle and Meeting was so publick, there being divers Protestants assembled at it, some of whom were reported to have a share in this Calamity; and the Times as yet not serving, the King's Pardon being not yet published, which was granted, as they say, to all the Roman Catholicks of these Kingdoms. But whatsoever thou be, Protestant or Papist, that doth see this mournful Object, judge not, lest thou be judged. Neither think thou, that those eighteen Men upon whom the Tower of Siloam fell, or those persons whose Blood Pilate mingled with their Sacrifice, were more grievous Sinners than all the rest of the Children of Israel; or that these who perished thus together, were more notorious Offenders than all the rest of their Brethren and Religion. For assure thy self, that except thou repent, thou also shalt perish. And this Repentance of thine must not be propter scandalum mundi, i.e. for the scandal and offence of the World. For so did Saul repent, when out of a foolish and State-spoiling pity, he had spared Agag, the cursed Tyrant of Amalecke; and but of a fair, yet foul pretence, had spared the fairest of the Cattle for Sacrifice: For being rebuked by the Prophet Samuel, he doth repent, and desires him to honour him in the sight of the Elders, and to turn unto him, and he would turn unto the Lord his God. Neither must it be propter pÅ“nam peccati, i. e. for their punishment, that is due unto Sin. For so did Ahab repent, when he was reproved by Elias for killing of Naboth, and detaining of his Vineyard; he rent his cloths, and girded himself in sackcloth, as the Text hath it. But after that the fright and terror of God's most terrible Sentence was worn out of his Mind, and the Custom of Sin began to prevail again, he sold himself to commit such abominations, the like whereof were never committed in Israel. But our Repentance must be propter reatum peccati, i.e. for the guilt of Sin; as Sin is the breach of the Law, and a transgression of God's Commandment. Quæ sic dolet commissa, ut non doleat committenda. Which Repentance doth grieve for Sins committed, as though it meant to commit no more; and mourn for Offences past, as though it did mean to pass over no more.

We must take Repentance as Job did, in Dust and Ashes. Being Dust, we must take it in Dust; and being Ashes, we must take it in Ashes. Our Transgressions in this Kingdom, and in this City, have been most grievous; therefore our Contrition should be eminent and exemplar. Our Pride hath made us, with Lucifer, to superbire & superire, look over our selves, not into our selves; and to esteem our