An history of the wonderful things of nature set forth in ten severall classes wherein are contained I. The wonders of the heavens, II. Of the elements, III. Of meteors, IV. Of minerals, V. Of plants, VI. Of birds, VII. Of four-footed beasts, VIII. Of insects, and things wanting blood, IX. Of fishes, X. Of man
Jonstonus, Joannes, 1603-1675., Libavius, Andreas, d. 1616., Rowland, John, M.D.

CHAP. VII. Of New Stars.

WEe have spoken of those things that ordinarily are done by Nature in Heaven. I will now adde some things which the right hand of God hath produced above nature. I mean new Stars, which have appeared, and not being of long continuance, have shortly disappear'd again, and vanish'd from our sight. The Star at our Saviours birth is the chief, which (Fulgentius saith) had no place in the Firmament, nor in the Ayr. It went forward with an uncertain motion, sometimes it shewed it self, and sometimes it was hid. Da∣mascenus, l. 2. Orthodox. fidei. Chalcides the Platonist, speaks thus of it, upon Timaeus of Plato; There is also a more holy and more venerable History that relates, that by the rising of a Star that was unusual, not Death and Diseases were foreshewed, but the venerable descending of God, for man's salvation, and in favour of mortall things, which men testifie to have been observed by the Chaldaeans, who adored God with gifts, who was newly born. Whence they learned the knowledge of its apparition, is shewed in the Books of Balaam the Southsayer, wherein are many fa∣bulous things.

The other is that which appeared in the year 1572. This is that year, wherein that Bartholmy-slaughter was acted at Paris, in which (not excluding other places) 30000 men were slain, 100000 of ho∣nest Families were oppressed in three dayes, Widows and Orphan Children innumerable being brought to the greatest beggery or want. Prisbach. in Respons. ad oration. habitam apud Helvetios. The summe was so great, that the wiser sort that were no wayes addicted to the Protestant side, when they were come to themselves, and considered the sad condition of things at that time, and disavowed the Act, and sought out curiously the causes of it, and excuses for it, they judged that there was no such Example of cruelty to be found in all Anti∣quity▪ should their Chroniles be searched into. Thuan. l. 53. Histor.Page  28 That that appeared the 6th. of the Ides of November, under the Con∣stellation of Cassiopaea; some men said, it was in the Firmament it self amongst the heavenly spheres. It had neither Tail nor hair, but like the other Stars, it sent forth beams equally. The Diameter of it contained the Diameter of the Earth 7. times and ½ part; and it was greater than the Earth 361 times and ½, it was bigger than the Sun twice and 2/ parts. Tycho Brache 1. part, Progymnas. Astronom. Yet this Eminency of greatnesse and light decreased afterwards by degrees, untill it vanished quite away. It had no motion, except that which it had common with the fixed Stars, it alwayes held the same Position to the neighbouring Stars in Cassiopaea. It lasted 16 months. What was foreshewed by it, is variously determined by divers men. Gemma Frisius in Cosmocritica, writes, That since the birth of Christ there was hardly any apparition to be compared with it, whether we consider the height of the sign, or the rarity, or the long continuance of it. The Britans ascribed it to the lamentable death of Mary. An Oxford Astrologer was Authour of this opinion, who by Cassiopaea, the Sister to King Cepheus, said, That some Queen in the North must be noted out by it; and by its 16 moneths continuance he foreshewed, (I know not according to what calculation of the Arabians, and the ascending of the Star into the upper parts,) That that Northern Queen after 16 years should ascend up into heaven. The event made good his praediction. Thuan. l. 5▪ 4 Molerus seemed to expect a new Prophet by it, in the year, 1590, and the conquest of the Gospel over all through the World.

Liborovius foretold, but falsly, War, in 1619, and the banish∣ment of the chief Prince in Germany, in 1620; the restoring of him again by the Eastern Countries, in 1627, and many such like things.

There is extant concerning this Star a godly and excellent Copy of Verses of a certain famous Writer, which I here set down:

Whether that Comet without blazing tail,
That shines as clear as do the fixed Stars,
Shall in succeeding times so far prevail,
As to raise Dearths or Plagues, or bloody Wars;
God onely knowes, and after-times will shew.
But if Man's Wit can any thing foretell,
'Tis not amisse to search such signs are new,
And lift our minds above this place we dwell▪
This is that Star which did the Wise-men bring
From the East land, to Bethleem, and there
In David's City, born was the great King.
It now foreshewes again, and doth declare,
That God is coming: cruel Herod fear!
Good Men rejoyce, your Redemption drawes near.
The fifth month after the Starre disappeared▪ Charles died of a bloo∣dy Page  29 flux. The third was seen in the yeare, 1577. in November, and which the following yeare vanished, Jannuary the 26, Mestlinus pla∣ceth this in the sphere of Venus. Tycho writes that the head was 308 Germain miles diameter. Dantzick was then besieged, and 1578, the Warre of Moscovia began. It was supposed to portend the Death of great Men. In that yeare (Thuan. l. 65.) after a desperate sight in Africa, Sebastian King of Portugall died, and Melchus Chorisius King of Morisco Trigitana, whom he came to subdue. And Mahomet that caused the Warre was drown'd. 8000, Christians were slain, and as many taken Captives, allmost all the Nobility of Portugal fell into the hands of the Mores. That was done in one day. Portingal came net under the Government of Philip. Then in 1604, about the beginning of October, a fourth new Starr appeared in the 17. degree of Sagittarius, and was from the Ecliptick, but 37 minutes. Astronomers say, it was be∣tween Saturn and the 8. Sphere; yet that seems absurd. Keckerman in his consultation concerning the Starre in the year, 1604. Thes. 53. Al∣so because it had its own proper motion, distinct from the Sphere of Saturn, and the fixed Starrs; and the Starrs move in and with their Orbs, but that had none. Crabbius saith directly, that it was from the Center of the Earth 22267636 miles, and from the superficies of the Earth, 22266777 miles. disput. de Comet: Thes: And hence he con∣cludes it was greater than the Earth, 91 times; and hence he proves it was above Saturn, being from the Earth 1007250 miles. It shined full four Months: and after that was to be seen from the 28 of No∣vember with Saturn, from the 29. with Sol, and from the 13 of Decem∣ber with Mercury in Conjunctions; and with Mercury, Mars, Sol, in oppositions, the May following, which was supposed to prtend great consultations, confederacies, and changes in France, Spain, the Low Countries, England. Thuan. lib. 131. But the opposition that fell out on the 6, of June, was held to be Ominous, and men conjectured that this Starr would cause Warrs and calamities to many Countries, and chiefly to Germany in point of Religion. An excellent Mathematici∣an Keplerus writ concerning it, and who was no whit guilty of Astro∣logicall superstition, by the testimony of Thuanus. See him. I call these apparitions Starrs, not that I am ignorant, that they are refer∣red to Comets, but because I find that in the Skye they are placed a∣mongst the second moveables, and are call'd celestiall, which is not agreeing to Planets: and I think it more fit to call them Starrs, than by naming them Comets, to overthrow the doctrine of Meteors re∣ceived from the Antients.