Strange and remarkable prophecies and predictions of the holy, learned and excellent James Usher, late Archbishop of Armaugh (sic)

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Strange and remarkable prophecies and predictions of the holy, learned and excellent James Usher, late Archbishop of Armaugh (sic) (1743)
3647314Strange and remarkable prophecies and predictions of the holy, learned and excellent James Usher, late Archbishop of Armaugh (sic)1743

Strange and Remarkable

Prophecies and Predictions

Of the holy, learned and excellent


Late Archbiſhop of Armaugh, and Primate of Ireland.

Giving an Account of his foretelling,

I. The Rebellion in Ireland, Forty Years before it came to paſs.
II. The Confuſions and Miſeries of England in Church and State.
III. The Death of King CHARLES I.
IV. His own Poverty and Want.
V. The Diviſions in England in Matters of Religion.
VI. Of a great and terrible Perſecution which ſhall fall upon the reformed Churches by the Papiſts, wherein the then Pope ſhould be chiefly concerned.

Written by the Perſon who heard it from this excellent Perſon's own Mouth; and now publish'd, earneſtly to perſwade us to that Repentance and Reformation which only can prevent our Ruin and Deſtruction.

And the Lord ſaid, Shall I hide from Abraham the Thing which I do? Gen. xviii. 17.

EDINBURGH, Printed and ſold by T. Lumiſden and J. Robertſon in the Fiſh-market. M.DCC.XLIII.
Strange and remarkable Predictions of that holy, learned and excellent Biſhop, JAMES USHER late Primate of Ireland.

THE Author of the Life of this excellent and worthy Primate and Archbiſhop, gives an Account, That, among other extraordinary Gifts and Graces which it pleaſed the Almighty to beſtow upon him, he was wonderfully endued with a Spirit of Prophecy, whereby he gave out ſeveral true Predictions and Prophecies of Things a great While before they came to paſs, whereof ſome we have ſeen fulfilled, and others remain yet to be accompliſhed: And tho' he was one that abhorr'd Enthuſiaſtick Notions, being too learned, rational and knowing, to admit of ſuch idle Freaks and Whimſies; yet he profeſt, "That ſeveral Times in his Life he had many Things impreſt upon his Mind, concerning futrue Events, with ſo much Warmneſs and Importunity, that he was not able to keep them ſecret, but lay under an unavoidable Neceſſity to make them known."

From which Spirit he foretold the Iriſh Rebellion Forty Years before it came to paſs, with the very Time when it ſhould break forth, in a Sermon preached at Dublin in 1601, where, from Ezek. 4. 6. diſcourſing concerning the Prophet's bearing the Iniquity of Judah Forty Days, the Lord therein appointed a Day for a Year: He made this direct Application in relation to the Connivance at Popery at that Time; From this Year (ſays he) will I reckon the Sin of Ireland, that thoſe whome you now embrace ſhall be your Ruin, and you ſhall bear this Iniquity. Which Prediction proved exactly true; for from that Time 1601, to the Year 1641, waſ juſt Forty Years, in which it is notoriouſly known that the Rebellion and Deſtruction of Ireland happened; which was acted by thoſe Popiſh Prieſts, and other Papiſts which were then connived at. And of this Sermon the Biſhop reſerved the Notes, and put a Note thereoſ in the Margent of his Bible; and, for Twenty Years before, he ſtill lived in the Expectation of the fulfilling thereof: And the nearer the Time was, the more confident he was that it was near Accompliſhment, tho' there was no viſible Appearance of any ſuch Thing. And (ſays Dr. Bernard) the Year before the Rebellion broke forth, the Biſhop taking his Leave of me, being then going from Ireland to England, he adviſed me to a ſerious Preparation, for I ſhould ſee heavy Sorrows and Miſeries before I ſaw him again; which he delivered with a great Confidence as if he had ſeen it with his Eyes: Which ſeems to verify that of the Prophet, Amos 3. 7. Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he will reveal it to his Servants the Prophets. From this Spirit of Prophecy, he foreſaw the Changes and Miſeries of England in Church and State. For having in one of his Books (called, De prim. Eccl. Brit.) given a large Account of the Deſtruction of the Church and State of the Britons by the Saxons, about 550 Years after Chriſt; he gives this among other Reaſons why he inſiſted ſo largely upon it, That he foreſaw that a like Judgment was yet behind, if timely Repentance and Reformation did not prevent it. And he would often mourn upon the Foreſight of this, long before it came.

From this Spirit he gave mournful Intimations of the Death of our late Sovereign Charles I. of whom he would be often ſpeaking with Fear and Trembling, even when the King had the greateſt Succeſs; and would therefore conſtantly pray, and give all Advices poſſible, to prevent any ſuch Thing.

From this Spirit be foreſaw his own Poverty in worldly Things; and this he would often ſpeak of with Admiration to the Hearers, when he was in his greateſt Proſperity: Which the Event did moſt certainly verify.

From this Spirit he predicted the Diviſions and Confuſions in England in Matters of Religion, and the ſad Conſequences thereof; ſome of which we have ſeen fulfilled: And I pray God, the reſt which he feared may not alſo be accompliſhed upon us.

Laſtly, From this Spirit he foretold, That the greateſt Stroke upon the Reformed Churches was yet to come, and that the Time of the utter Ruin of the See of Rome ſhould be when the thought herſelf moſt ſecure. And as to this laſt, I ſhall add a brief Account from the Perſon's own Hand who was concerned therein; which followeth in theſe Words.

The Year before this learned and holy Primate Archbiſhop Uſher died, I went to him, and earneſtly deſired him to give me in Writing his Apprehenſions concerning Juſtification and Sanctification by Chriſt; becauſe I had formerly heard him preach upon theſe Points, wherein he ſeemed to make thoſe great Myſteries more intelligible to my mean Capacity, than any Thing which I had ever heard from any other. But, becauſe I had but an imperfect and confuſed Remembrance of the Particulars, I took the Boldneſs to importune him, That he would pleaſe to give a brief Account of them in Writing, whereby I might the better imprint them in my Memory: Of which he would willingly have excuſed himſelf, by declaring his Intentions of not writing any more; Adding, That, if he did write any Thing, it ſhould not exceed above a Sheet or two. But, upon my continued Importunity, I at laſt obtained his Promiſe.

He coming to Town ſome Time after, was pleaſed to give me a Viſit at my Houſe, where I failed not to challenge the Benefit of the Promiſe he had made me He replied, [That he had not writ; and yet he could not charge himſelf with any Breach of Promiſe: For (ſaid he) I did begin to write; but when I came to write of Sanctification, that is, of the New Creature which God formeth by his Spirit in every Soul which he doth truly regenerate, I found ſo little of it wrought in myſelf, that I could ſpeak of it only a Parrot by Rote, and without the Knowledge and Underſtanding of what I might have expreſt; and therefore I durſt not preſume to proceed any further upon it.]

And when I ſeemed to ſtand amaz'd to hear ſuch an humble Confeſſion from ſo great and experienced a Chriſtian, he added, [I must tell you, We do not well underſtand what Sanctification and the New Creature are: It is no leſs than for a Man to be brought to an intire Reſignation of his Will to the Will of God, and to live in the Offering up of his soul continually in the Flames of Love, a whole Burnt-offering to Chriſt; and how little (ſays he) are many of thoſe who profeſs Chriſtianity experimentally acquainted with this Work on their Souls?]

By this Diſcourſe, I conceived he had very excellently and clearly diſcovered to me that Part of Sanctification which he was unwilling to write.

I then preſumed to enquire of him what his preſent Apprehenſion were concerning a very great Perſecution which ſhould fall upon the Church of God in theſe Nations of England, Scotland and Ireland, of which this Reverend Primate had ſpoken with great Confidence, many years before, when we were in the higheſt and fulleſt State of outward Peace and Settlement. I asked him, Whether he did believe thoſe ſad Times to be paſt, or that they were yet to come? To which he anſwered, That they were yet to come; and that he did as confidently expect it as ever he had done: Adding, That this ſad Perſecution would fall upon all the Proteſtan Churches of Europe. I replied, That I did hope it might have been paſt as to theſe Nations of ours, ſince I thought that tho' we, who were the People thereof, have been punished much leſs than our Sins have deſerved; and that our late Wars had made far leſs Devaſtation, than War commonly brings upon theſe Countries where it pleaſeth God in Judgment to ſuffer it; yet we muſt needs acknowledge, that many great Houſes had been burnt, ruined, and left without Inhabitants, many great Families impoveriſhed and undone, and many thouſand Lives alſo had been loſt in that bloody War; and that Ireland and Scotland, well as England, had drunk very deep of the Cup of God's Anger, even to the Overthrow of the Government, and the utter Deſolation almoſt of a very great Part of thole Countries.

But this holy Man turning to me, and fixing his Eyes upon me with that ſerious and ireful Look which he uſually had when he ſpake God's Word and not his own, and when the Power of God ſeemed to be upon him, and to conſtrain him to ſpeak, which I could eaſily diſcern much to differ from the Countenance wherewith he fully ſpake to me; he ſaid thus:

[Fool not yourſelf with ſuch Hopes; for I tell you, All you have yet ſeen, hath been but the Beginning of Sorrows, in reſpect of what is yet to come upon the Proteſtant Churches of Chriſt, who will ere long fall under a ſharper Perſecution than ever yet has been upon them; and therefore (ſaid he to me) look you be not found In the outward Court, but a Worſhipper in the Temple before the Altar: For Chriſt will meaſure all thoſe that profeſs his Name, and call themſelves his People; and the outward Worſhippers he will leave out to be troden down by the Gentiles. The outward Court (ſays he) is the formal Chriſtian, whoſe Religion lies in performing the outſide Duties of Chriſtianity, without having an inward Life and Power of Faith and Love uniting them to Chriſt; and theſe God will leave to be troden down, and ſwept away by the Gentiles. But the Worſhippers within the Temple, and before the Altar, are theſe who indeed worſhip God in Spirit and in Truth, whoſe Souls are made his Temple; and he is honoured and adored in the moſt inward Thoughts of their Hearts, and they ſacrifice their Luſts and vile Affections, yes, and their own Wills to him: And there God will bride in the Hollow of his Hand, and under the Shadow of his Wings. And this ſhall be one great Difference between this laſt and all other preceeding Perſecutions: For, in this former, the moſt eminent and ſpiritual Ministers and Christians did generally ſuffer moſt, and were moſt violently fallen upon; but, in this laſt Perſecution, theſe ſhall be preferred by God as a Seed to partake of that Glory which ſhall immediately follow and come upon the Church as ſoon as ever this Storm ſhall be over: For as it ſhall be the ſharpeſt, ſo it shall be the ſhorteſt Perſecution of them all; and ſhall only take away the groſs Hypocrites and formal Profeſſors, but the true ſpiritual Believers shall be preſerved till the Calamity be overpaſt.]

I then asked him, By what Means or Inſtruments this great Trial ſhould be brought on? He anſwered, By the Papiſts. I replied, That it ſeemed to me very improbable they ſhould be able to do it, ſince they were now little countenanced, and but few in theſe Nations; and that the Hearts of the People were more ſet againſt them than ever, ſince the Reformation. He anſwered again, "That it would be by the Hands of Papiſts, and in the way of a ſudden Maſſacre; and that the then Pope ſhould be the chief Inſtrument of it."

All this he ſpake with ſo great Aſſurance, and with the ſame ſerious and concerned Countenance which I have before obſerved him to have when I have heard him foretel ſome Things which in all human Appearance were very unlikely to come to paſs, which yey I myſelf have lived to ſee happen according to his Prediction; and this made me give the more earneſt Attention to what he then uttered.

He then added, "That the Papiſts were, in his Opinion, the Gentiles ſpoken of in the (illegible text)th of the Revelation, to whom the outward Court ſhould be left that they might tread it under Foot; they having received the Gentile Worſhip in their adoring Images and Saints departed, and in taking to themſelves many Mediators: And this (ſaid he) the Papiſts are now deſigning among themſelves, and therefore be ſure you be ready."

This was the Subſtance, and I think (for the greateſt (illegible text)t) the very ſame Words which this holy Man ſpake to me at the time before-mentioned, not long before his Death, and which I writ down, that ſo great and notable a Prediction might not be loſt and forgotten by myſelf nor others.

This gracious Man repeated the ſame Things in Subſtance to his only Daughter the Lady Ty(illegible text), and that with many Tears, and much about the ſame Time that he had expreſt what is aforeſaid to me; and which the Lady Tyrril aſſured me of with her own Mouth, to this Purpoſe:

That, opening the Door of his Chamber, ſhe found him with his Eyes lift up to Heaven, and the Tears running apace down his Cheeks; and that he ſeemed to be in an Extaſy, wherein be continued for about Half an Hour, not taking the leaſt Notice of her, tho' ſhe came into the Room: But at laſt, turning to her, he told her, That his Thoughts had been taken up about the Miſeries and Perſcutions that were coming upon the Churches of Chriſt, which would be ſo ſharp and bitter, that the contemplation of them had fetched theſe Tears from his Eyes; and that he hoped he ſhould not live to ſee it, but poſſibly ſhe might, for it was even at the Door: Therefore take heed (ſays he) that you be not found ſleeping.

The ſame Things he alſo repeated to the Lady Biſſe Wife to the preſent Lord Chief Baron of Ireland; but with adding this Circumſtance, That, if they brought back the King, it might be delayed a little longer: But (ſaid he) it will ſurely come, therefore be ſure to look that ye be not found unprepared for it.

To conclude in the Words of Dr. Bernard, ſpeaking of this excellent Perſon; "Now, howſoever I am as far from heeding of Prophecies this Way as any, yet with me it is not improbable, that ſo great a Prophet, ſo ſanctified from his Youth, ſo knowing and eminent throughout the univerſal Church, might have at ſome ſpecial Times more than ordinary Motions and Impulſes in doing the Watchman's Part, of giving Warning of Judgments approaching."


This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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