Letters Concering Some Supernatural Disturbances at My Father's House: Letter IV


January 25 or 27, 1716-17.

Dear Sam,

Though I am not one of those that will believe nothing supernatural, but am rather inclined to think there would be frequent intercourse between good spirits and us did not our deep lapse into sensuality prevent it, yet I was a great while ere I could credit anything of what the children and servants reported concerning the noises they heard in several parts of our house. Nay, after I had heard them myself, I was willing to persuade myself and them that it was only rats or weasels that disturbed us; and having been formerly troubled with rats, which were frightened away by sounding a horn, I caused a born to be procured, and made them blow it all over the house. But from that night they began to blow the noises were more loud and distinct, both day and night, than before, and that night we rose and went down I was entirely convinced that it was beyond the power of any human creature to make such strange and various noises.
As to your questions, I will answer them particularly, but withal, I desire my answers may satisfy none but yourself, for I would not have the matter imparted to any. We had both man and maid now last Martinmas, yet I do not believe either of them occasioned the disturbance, both for the reason above mentioned and because they were more affrighted than anybody else. Besides, we have often heard the noises when they were in the room by us; and the maid particularly was in such a panic, that she was almost incapable of all business, nor durst ever go from one room to another, or stay by herself a minute after it began to be dark.
The man, Robert Brown, whom you well know, was most visited by it lying in the garret, and has been often frighted down bare-foot and almost naked, not daring to stay alone to put on his clothes, nor do I think if he had power he would be guilty of such villainy. When the walking was heard in the garret Robert was in bed in the next room, in a sleep so sound, that he never heard your father and me walk up and down, though we walked not softly, I am sure. All the family has heard it together, in the same room, at the same time, particularly at family prayers. It always seemed to all present in the same place at the same time, though often before any could say it was here, it would remove to another place.
All the family, as well as Robin, were asleep when your father and I went downstairs, nor id they wake in the nursery when we held the candle close by them, only we observed that Hetty trembled exceedingly in her sleep, as she always did before the noise awaked her. It commonly was nearer her than the rest, which she took notice of, and was much frightened, because she thought it had a particular spite at her: I could multiply particular instances, but I forbear. I believe your father will write to you about it shortly. Whatever may be the design of Providence in permitting these things, I cannot say. "Secret things belong to God"; but I entirely agree with you, that it is our wisdom and duty to prepare seriously for all events.

S. Wesley

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