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 Chroni•les 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: