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95. Frith the Martyr.

193

Some of the writings of this venerable father of the English church were republished in consequence of a remarkable accident: “Upon Midsummer Eve, 1626, a codfish was brought to the market in Cambridge, and there cut up for sale, and in the maw thereof there was found a book in twelves, bound up in canvas containing several treatises of Mr. John Friths; this fish was caught upon the coasts of Lin, called Lindress, by one William Skinner; the fish being cut open the garbage was thrown by, which a woman looking upon, espied the canvas, and 194taking it out, found the book wrapped up in it, which was much soiled, and covered over with a kind of slime, and congealed matter, this was looked upon with great admiration, and by Benjamin Prime, the bachelors beadle, who was present at the opening of the fish, was carried to the vice chancellor, who took special notice of it, examining the particulars before mentioned, the leaves of the book were carefully opened and cleansed, the treatises contained in it were, a Preparation for the Cross; a Preparation for Death; the Treasure of Knowledge; a Mirrour or Looking-glass to know themselves by; a Brief Instruction to teach one willingly to Die, and not to fear Death: they were all reprinted, and how useful the reviving of these treatises by such a special providence hath been, may be easily discerned, by such as have lived since those times.”

R. B. Admirable Curiosities