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apparition of good spirits or angels from the invisible world of spirits, who frequently appear, and sometimes upon small and very triling occasions, and who visit people as well by night as by day; this we call walking, and apparition, and this is such as is the subject of our present inquiry.

Of these it is that I say, however they may disturb us, and however terrified we are about them, they very rarely do any harm.

I have heard of an apparition which came to a farmer in Surry, and threatened him that he would burn his house and his barn, and all his corn and hay; what his pretences were the story does not relate, or what the poor farmer had done to disoblige hiin; but the man was, it seems, in the utmost consternation, and expostulated with the apparition a great while ; but at last he plucked up his spirits, and spoke with a little more courage

What art thou, says he, that threatenest me thus without a cause, and sayest thou wilt ruin me, notwithstanding I never did thee any wrong? thou shouldst be the Devil, by thy usage of me, for good spirits never do any injustice.

To this the Devil answered in a long, and to appearance a threatening speech, but in a language the poor man did not understand one word of.

I know not what thou sayest, says the farmer, but I tell thee again thou seemest to me to be the Devil, or one of his angels, and I suppose those

are words understood in the bottomless pit; but threaten me no more with thy rage, and with burning my house and corn; thou art a great dragon indeed, but thou art chained, and canst do nothing but what thou art permitted to do by thy Maker, and I fear thee not. Upon which the poor man prayed mentally that he might be delivered from the power of the Devil, and away run the spectre, and did him no harm.

to it.

This was certainly a commendable courage, and had something of the Christian in it too: and such à courage,


the like foundation, would, for aught I know, lay all the devils that ever walked, and drive away all the apparitions and spirits that people are so terribly haunted with, and so terrified about.

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Of apparitions in dreams, and how far they are or

are not real apparitions.

THERE may be dreams without apparition, as there may be apparitions without dreams; but apparition in dream may be as really an apparition as if the person who saw it was awake: the difference may be here, that the apparition in a dream is visible to the soul only, for the soul never sleeps; and an apparition to the eyesight is visible in common perspective.

How is it then that we see in our dreams the very faces and dress of the person we dream of; nay, hear their voices, and receive due impressions from what they say, and oftentimes speak to them with our own voices articulately and audibly, though we are fast asleep? what secret power of the imagination is able to represent the image of any person to itself

, if there was not some appearance, something placed in the soul's view, by a secret, but invisible hand, and in an imperceptible manner? which something is in all respects, and to all purposes, as completely an apparition, as if it was placed in open sight when the person was awake.

The Scripture confirms this opinion by many expressions directly to the purpose, and particularly this of appearing, or apparition in dream. Gen. xx. 3. God came to Abimelech in a dream ; had it been said that Abimelech dreamed that God came to him, there might have been some exception to the parallel; but God actually came to him: and what though Abimelech was asleep, and in a dream ? it was not the less an apparition, for God came to him, and spoke, and said to him: and in the 4th verse Abimelech spoke to the apparition. Whatever the shape was, that the text does not mention ; but Abimelech knew who he talked with too, that's evident, for the text mentions it fully, And he said, Lord, wilt thou stay also a righteous nation ? and so he goes on, verse the fifth, to expostulate and plead for himself and his people, Said he not unto me, She is my sister ? so that he knew he was speaking to the Lord. The text is very remarkable, it is plain that there was an apparition, but the man was asleep and in a dream.

Again, in the case of Laban pursuing Jacob, Gen. xxxi. 24. God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him. Here again is an apparition, and a speaking apparition too; God came to him, and God spoke to him; and Laban owns, not that he dreamed of God's appearing, but that God really spoke to him, ver. 29. The God of your father spake to me yesternight, saying.

Certainly dreams in those days were another kind of thing than they are now. God spoke to them, and they answered; and when they were awake they knew that it was God that spoke, and gave

heed to the vision or apparition of God to them.

There are many more instances of the like in the sacred history; as first in the remarkable case of king Solomon, 1 Kings iii. 5. The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

This is called in the Scripture a dream, ver. 15. And Solomon awoke, and behold it was a dream; and yet it is all confirmed ; and the petition that Solomon made, though in his sleep, or dream, is accepted and answered as his real act and deed, as if he had been awake. A good hint, by the way, that we may both please and offend in our dreams, as really as if we were awake; but that is a hint, I

say, by itself.

That passage of Solomon is very remarkable to the case in hand. If my readers please to believe that there was such a man as Solomon, and that he had such a dream, they must allow also that it was a real apparition ; God appeared to him in a dream.

To bring it down a step lower; as God has thus personally appeared to men in dreams, so have inferior spirits, and we have examples of this too in the Scripture. Matt. 1. 20. While he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream: and again Matt. ii. 13. Behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, saying: and a third time it is repeated, the angel came again to him in Egypt, ver. 19. of the same chapter; When Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.

I will for once suppose, that no man need desire any

further evidence than these for the reality of the thing itself; we may bring it down from hence by just parallels to matters within our own reach, experience will furnish us with particular passages sufficient; and some account I shall give you within the

compass of our own times; in which, if I do as much as possible, as I have done all along, omit all those accounts which others have published, referring you to those publications for the particulars, and only give you new and more modern accounts, such as come within the verge of my own knowledge, or of the knowledge of such as I have good reason to give credit to ; I believe the variety will be as acceptable, and much more useful than a bare repeating of what others have said. If I find it needful to quote what others have published, you shall have it justly marked as a quotation, that you may search for the truth in its original.

But before I come to quotation, or to collection of

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