Prodigies & apparitions, or, Englands warning piece being a seasonable description by lively figures & apt illustration of many remarkable & prodigious fore-runners & apparent predictions of Gods wrath against England, if not timely prevented by true repentance / written by J. V.

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Title
Prodigies & apparitions, or, Englands warning piece being a seasonable description by lively figures & apt illustration of many remarkable & prodigious fore-runners & apparent predictions of Gods wrath against England, if not timely prevented by true repentance / written by J. V.
Author
Vicars, John, 1579 or 80-1652.
Publication
[London?] :: Are to be sould by Tho. Bates ... by Ralphe Markland ...,
[1643]
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Subject terms
Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Sources.
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"Prodigies & apparitions, or, Englands warning piece being a seasonable description by lively figures & apt illustration of many remarkable & prodigious fore-runners & apparent predictions of Gods wrath against England, if not timely prevented by true repentance / written by J. V." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A64902.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 20, 2024.

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PRODIGIES and APPARITIONS, OR, ENGLANDS Warning-Pieces.

HIstories doe report and make mention of Tam∣berlane, that famous Warriour, and great scourge of the Turke, (as he was termed) that in his battels, especially in his intended siege and assault of a City or Towne, his custome was, first, to hang out a white flag or banner, in the sight of the Besieged; thereby intimating to them his tender of mercy and favourable-quarter to them, if they would instantly yeeld and submit to his mercy. But if that would not serve, but that they re∣solved to stand it out against him, and put it to the hazard of warre; then hee hung out a red flag, in token, that now

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there was nothing but death and de∣struction to be expected upon their re∣fusall of his profered favor and mercy to them. Even so Almighty God, the great and supreme Sovereigne of all Nations and Kingdomes, and the most terrible heart-tamer and wonder-wor∣king-King of all Kings, who with the word of his mouth and breath of his nostrils, is able to subdue the migh∣tiest Kings, Kingdoms and people, and to cast down al strong holds and migh∣tiest mountaines before him, as those Heathen Kings, Nebuchadnezar and King Darius freely confessed. Yet, I say, though he be so mighty and terri∣ble a God, when hee is provoked to wrath by the sinnes and transgressions of a nation or people, he never punish∣eth, but he first admonisheth; and heer∣in like this foresaid Tamberlane, before hee intends the ruine of a Nation or a Kingdome, he first holds out the white flag of his profered grace and mercy,

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on their true repentance and hearty re∣formation from their evill courses and conversation, but if this will not worke kindly on them, but they wil obstinate∣ly and stubbornly stand out and refuse his mercy and proffered grace and fa∣vour, then at last, he hangs out his red-flag of wrath and confusion and so∣dainly consumes his proud and rebelli∣ous opposers, all insolent and incorri∣gible sinners, who have thus made themselves uncapable of mercy and compassion, and are so become as com∣bustible stubble in the presence of a ter∣rible and angry God, who as a consu∣ming fire, devoures them, as in a mo∣ment. For, as the Prophet sayes, who is able to stand before, or to dwell with everlasting burnings? Now, this mercifull course of our mercifull God in thus hanging out first this white-flag of favour and mercifull premonitions (which is the thing mainly intended to be described in these following figures

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and ocular-Emblemes of prodigious portentious, and apparitions) before he inflicteth severe punishments on his sin∣ning Servants: The Lord useth to ma∣nifest unto them divers waies, but most especially and most remarkably, these two waies. Either by his Prophets and faithfull Preachers, declaring his word and will to his people; as Ionas in Ni∣nevie, and all the Prophets else to the people of Israel, in their constant pro∣claiming mercy to Penitents, but judge∣ment and wrath to obstinate sinners and refractorie transgressours: Or else, by sending prodigious signes and won∣ders among them, either by fearfull ap∣paritions in the ayre, monstrous births, heart-frighting-voyces and exclamati∣ons, oftimes unknowne from whence or by whome uttered, and such like. And this last course, the Lord hath also fre∣quently taken, with a provoking and impenitent people in all ages and times. And this is the thing which in

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this little Treatise is mainly inten∣ded to be declared and insisted up∣on.

Namely, to shew, that even of late also, in these our modern times (as well as in former and ancient ages) we, be∣ing by our sins and transgressions, a greatly provoking people, incensing and exasperating the high indignation and wrath of the Lord against us; yet he hath among us also shewn himself to bee God that changeth not, full of compassion and slow to wrath; ben∣ding his bow, whetting his sword, hol∣ding up his arm, ready to let it down, yet loath to strike, that so by these pre∣parations to the blow before it falls heavie upon us, we might see and shun and avoid it by our true and cordiall repentance. Now in the first place, I shall very briefly give you a taste and sight of what God hath done in this nature and kinde in former ages and times, and so passe on succinctly to our

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owne times, which I say is here mainly intended.

And, first, to begin with him who is the beginning and end of all things, even the Lord Jesus Christ, our most pretious and deare Saviour, the authour and finisher of our faith, that glorious Lord of life, and Prince of peace; who being born into the world in the dayes of an Emperour of peace, Augustus Cae∣sar, then Emperour of Rome, yet bring∣ing into the world not onely peace, but a sword also; peace to penitent and broken-hearted beleevers, and a sword of variance and revenge to proud and impenitent sinners: Therefore at his birth, what a most admirable and un∣paralel'd Starre was seen in the East? so great and so miraculous a Starre as hath puzled and posed the greatest and most learned Astronomers and Mathe∣maticians of the world. A white Flag of mercy indeed, yea of everlasting re∣demption from Sin, Death and Hell, if

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graciously accepted with firm faith, and found universall obedience. But a red Flag of wrath and confusion; yea of horror and perdition, if obstinately rejected, or lazily neglected by sin, and ignorance, and infidelity. Again, a lit∣tle before the destruction of that great and most magnificent Metropolis of the whole world, Jerusalem, I mean; what fearfull and prodigious fore-war∣nings were sent to that Citie, to fore∣shew them the wrath to come? As, first, a fearfull blindnesse and stupidity of minde, or hardnesse of heart (the most fearfull fore-runner of wrath to∣ward them, of all the rest) not to see or beleeve those wonderfull fore-war∣nings, which God then sent among them. Secondly, a Comet, like a sword, and a bright shining light, in their Temple, round about their Altar, in the midst of the night. Thirdly, a Cow, (which should have, then, been sacrificed) that brought forth a Lamb,

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in the midst of the Temple. Fourthly, the great and massie brasen gate of the Temple, which opened of it self. Fift∣ly, fearfull and hideous sights and ap∣paritions in the aire, of mighty compa∣nies of Chariots and armed men in an hostile manner. Sixtly and lastly, a voyce was heard in the Temple crying out, Let us goe hence. With other such like, mentioned by Iosephus in his fa∣mous history of the Jewes, page 738.

But, to come neerer to our own times. Are not the fearfull apparitions and signes in the heavens, and prodigies on the earth, often seen in Germany, by the inhabitants thereof in many places, notable fore-runners and predictions of Germanies succeeding miserie, still fresh in the memory of many yet li∣ving; who have been both eye and eare witnesses of the manifold and most lamentable distresses and destructions which have befallen; and, even to this day, lye still very heavy on that (once)

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most famous and flourishing Eden of the whole Christian world, now, made a desolate defart, and bare and barren wildernesse.

But, all this while, that we have only heard that our neighbours houses have been so fearfully on fire; what use have we of England made thereof? How have we endeavoured to keep the flame off from our own houses and habitati∣ons? Certainly, wee have not made that holy and humbling use thereof as we might and ought to have done, con∣sidering our meanes of grace and re∣conciliation, wherewith we have been, even lifted up (like Capernaum) to hea∣ven; far beyond our neighbours round about us. We have not been wise by other mens harmes, as meer humane and worldly wisedome might have taught us to be: But have, contrariwise, drunk wine in bowles, as the Prophet complaines, and stretched our selves on our beds of Ivory, none of us hardly

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being grieved for the afflictions of Io∣seph, in the aforesaid Germany, and now also of late and lamentably bleed∣ing Ireland. Wherefore the Lord hath (and that most justly) come neerer home to our owne doores, and begunne to make us (who were only supine spe∣ctators of others miseries) now, unhap∣py spectacles to others of imbred and homebred devouring destructions.

Nor yet, I say, in all these our selfe-procured sorrowes, can we justly taxe the Lord in the least measure, with any more harsh or hasty proceedings heere∣in, with us, then with any of his other servants in by-past times, but have been, every-way wholy left without excuse. For, hath not the Lord for these many yeares together both called upon us by by his faithfull and painfull Preachers of the word fore-warned us to flie from the wrath to come? Have they not fre∣quently and servently cried out and told us, that except we repent we also should

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perish? Yea, when this one great and maine meanes of reclaming us his peo∣ple from our sinnes, would not serve, hath not the Lord used that other more terrible and heart-frighting course (heer, mainly intended in this treatise) of Prodigies, Signes and Apparitions in the ayre, and other most degenerating, unnaturall and wonder-striking contin∣gents amongst us here at home? As now I intend more exactly and particularly to set forth and shew to the Reader whereby wee shall easily discerne and discover to our owne hearts (if we will not bee too wilfully blind, which as I shewed before, was the first and worst signe of smart and sorrow in Jerusalem, and more then marble-hearted) most apparent prints and even visible foot∣steps and impressions of Gods highly conceived indignation and provoked patience, turned into enforced furie by our constant and unconscionable sinning against him, and now resolved to exe∣cute

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the utmost severitie of his wrath upon us, if now at last wee hasten not most heartily to prevent and divert it, by true and timely repentance and re∣formation.

And now, I say, that we may no lon∣ger looke abroad into forreigne parts, nor many yeeres past, for examples of this sort, I shall desire the Reader to re∣member what yet may be fresh in me∣mory among us: That in the Reigne of King Iames, that so peacefull a Prince, who so much delighted in the name and worke of Peace, both at home and abroad, that hee had this Motto given to him, Beati Pacifici, Blessed are the Peace-makers. And so successefully had he prosecuted his affections therin, that (as heere you may see in this Em∣bleme, or following Figure) Every man fate under his owne Vine, and under his owne figge tree, even from Dan to Beersheba, all the dayes of the sayd King Iames, our so peacefull King; as it

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[illustration]
Every man Sitting vnder his vine & vnder his owne fig gtree, enjoying all good things, in the days of King James. But, on the 18th of November 1618 A great Blazing-starr, with 7 long streames appeared, much damping mens hearts.

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HEre, every one sits under his owne Vine, All, under their-own Figtrees sup and dine, In Pleasures, Treasures, and all joyes encrease, In pleasant Plentie, amiable Peace. But, whiles this Peace and Plentie brings forth Pride, Luxurie, Loosnes, and all sinnes besides; Gods wrath is kindled, Heav'n therwith offended, Lets England see his judgements sore, intended. By a strange Blazing-starre, which every day, Betimes ith'morning did bright beames display; Which, as a Warning piece, the Lord thus sent To rouze-up England, timely, to repent, And to prevent his judgements, thus, foreshown, Lest (still) secure England be overthrown. See, here, th'indulgence of a gratious God, Who, ere he strikes, first, shewes and shakes his Rod.

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was said of King Salomon also, that Prince of Peace. But this peace, being but a meer externall and sensuall peace, and so the mother of Luxury, Liberti∣nisme and prophanenesse (whereof the whole Kingdome did then, and so all along, to this very day) too risely and rankly abound, together with all kind of sinfulnesse; Piety being then turned in∣to Court-Policy, and sincerity into outside and Diabolicall hypocrisie. The Lord therefore, even about the yeere 1618. November 18, sent a visible de∣monstration of his just wrath and dis∣pleasure; namely, a great Comet or Blazing Star (as there also you have it in the Embleme) with seven streames, which continued to the 16. of Decemb. following, rising every morning about three or foure of the clocke, and so con∣tinued shining most cleerly and bright, till day light appeared, the streames of it blazing upwards. Now what this Comet or Blazing Star might portend

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and prognosticate, hath been evidently seene and known amongst us, by reall and sensible experience, ever since; not only over all Christendome in general, as in Germany, Rochel in France, and still fresh bleeding and lamentably di∣lacerated and forlorne Ireland; but even within our owne bosomes in England also, as in the death of Queene Anne, and of King Iames also himselfe, not long after; yea and many most eminent Peeres and Nobles of this Land, sud∣denly taken away, but by what stroke is not yet fully discovered, though greatly suspected; as, the Marquesse of Hamilton, the Duke of Richmond, and the Lord Belfast, &c. all eminent Com∣mon wealths men, fierce and furious warres also and rumours of warres, Na∣tion against Nation, and Kingdome a∣gainst Kingdome. And (as I toucht before) wee now see our too secure Kingdom must also share in these com∣mon calamities, now fallen upon the

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earth, England having sinned, and done very foolishly, England must also come under the lash of Gods justice and greatly incensed indignation against it, as well as Germany, Rochell and Ire∣land.

Before I can leave the blazoning of this Blazing-star, I must give the Rea∣der one more remarkable note and ob∣servation on it. Namely, that at the first appearing of this Star, wee were all in peace, and (seeming) serene tranquility, but indeed (as was fore-mentioned) such a peace as justly rendred us setled on the lees of carnall security. Even as if this Star had been sent among us in speciall to fore-warne us of our present too loose security, and therefore future ensuing infelicity, if not speedily pre∣vented by true and unfained repen∣tance. For, it first appeared, as I said, the 18 of November, the day after the annuall memoriall of Queen Elizabeths (of ever most famous memory) most

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happy inauguration to the Crowne of England, the day when we began to en∣joy the liberty of the Gospel, and deli∣verance from that former most formi∣dable yoke of Romish Egyptian bon∣dage and slavery, under bloody Baby∣lonish and terrible conscience-curbing task-masters, and which so blessed li∣berty, we have now in a good and great measure enjoyed, at least, these three-score yeares. And this, I say, seemed most particularly to bee delineated out unto us, by this notable Comets appea∣ring just on the next day to the 17 of November, as if the Lord would, thus, have expostulated with us. O England, ungratefull and unfruitfull England, thou hast, now, these sixty yeares by my free favour and bounty, en∣joyed my Gospel of pure peace, toge∣ther with the sweet and amiable peace of this my Gospel, but hast beene, all the while but little the better (if not far the worser) by it. Well, though I

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confesse I know not what I could have done more for England, my choyce vine, my pleasant plant, then I have done, having so hedged, digged and dressed it; yea, and watered it with the dewes and drops of heaven: and now that I expected it should have brought me forth sweet grapes of faith and pure obedience, it hath contrariwise brought forth the wilde grapes of sin and rebel∣lion; though, I say, it deserves (like the fruitlesse Fig-tree) to be cut down, and not suffered to encumber the ground a∣ny longer: yet, out of my meer mercy and indulgence to England, I will let it alone one yeare of patience more, and onely shake my rod over it, with this prodigious apparition, and celestiall signe of my just displeasure, as a premo∣nition thereof to move it to repentance, which if it cordially fall upon, well and good; if not, whereas, all this while, I have been severely whipping and scourging other neighbour-nations, e∣specially

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her sister Ireland, to make England (if it might be) wise by others woes, my leaden-heeles of long-suffe∣rance, patience, and compassion, shall be found to have Iron-hands of wrath without remedy; and then I will doe my work, my strange worke, and bring to passe my act, my strange act; and when I begin, I will also make an end. The Lord, timely, open the eyes of Englands understanding, that shee may see (yet) in this her day, the things that concern her eternall peace; left, here∣after they bee everlastingly hid from her.

A second warning-piece (worthy our serious notice) of Gods gracious longa∣nimity and patient forbearance, toward us, notwithstanding our pertinacious provocations, and refractory rebellions towards him, may be this. A prodigi∣ous-birth, and monstrous Man-childe, borne in Old-bride-well, about Octo∣ber 3. 1633. having two heads, two

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[illustration]
A man-Childe, born in old-Bridewell precinct, having two distinct Heades, two Hearts, two armes & the Stump of another growing-out from the back. Shewn to King Charles & y Queen, Anno Dom: 1633 Buried October ye 3d.

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BEhold, good Reader, here, a monstrous birth, To damp thy sinnes delight, and marre such mirth, A Man-childe born in most prodigious sort, Which for undoubted truth thou mayst report. Two distinct heads it had, and eke two hearts, Two arms, whence grew a stump. In other parts Like other children. What may this p••••tend? Sure monstrous plagues doe monstrous sinnes attend. The sinnes of Heads, in government abus'd, The sinnes of hearts, opinions false infus'd, And broacht abroad to raise up foes and factions, And Armes and Armies to confound with fractions, Dis-joynted States (like stump-like Ireland) Whiles brothers thus 'gainst brothers lift their hand. This (surely) God seemes hereby to foretell, That having Plagues must hideous Sinnes expell.

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hearts, two armes, and a stump, beside. This childe was borne of poor parents, inhabitants in that precinct. Which foresaid Birth, being so marvellous and prodigious a Monster in nature, was carried and shewed to King Charles our Soveraigne, and his royall consort, the Queen, who greatly astonisht at the sight thereof, most graciously and cha∣ritably sent the poore woman, the mo∣ther of it, five pieces, to refresh her in her present poverty and weaknesse.

Now, whereas, peradventure, some may here object and say; Why doe you count this such a wonder which is (as the Naturalists and Philosophers af∣firme and write) but a deficiencie and weaknesse of nature?

Whereunto I answer, This is an ob∣jection indeed, but of a meere natura∣list and carnall man, who is willing on∣ly to look upon externall and seconda∣rie causes, not considering the wonders and operations of Gods hands. David

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could say, that a man in his ordinary, naturall, and well-composed generati∣on, is fearfully and wonderfully made; how much more terribly and wonder∣fully, when the Lord is pleased to frame such a fearfull and wonder-stri∣king birth in the womb of his creature, so contrary to nature? And did not the Lord Jesus Christ himselfe, the foun∣taine of wisedome and understanding, (yea far more wise then all the Natura∣lists and Philosophers that ever were or will be) tell his Disciples, who curi∣ously questioned the cause, why that man (mentioned in the Gospel) that was borne blinde from his mothers wombe; was so made by God, that the Lords mighty power might be ma∣nifested in him? And although it can∣not be denied but that sometimes such monstrous births are produced by de∣fect of nature: yet its as true that fre∣quently the Lord is pleased to cause such monstrous productions from his

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creatures, as predictions and forerunners of some fearefull judgement to come for sinne. For otherwise, God could have given power (as in an ordinary way he does) to have brought forth to per∣fection.

But tis confest clearly, by that wise and famous Historian Iosephus, foe∣mentioned at the beginning of this Treatise, who there, brings in that strange and unnaturall birth of the Cow which brought forth (in the Tem¦ple of Jerusalem) a Lamb instead of a Calfe, and which he there introduceth as one of the fearfull forerunners and signes of Jerusalems ensuing misery and desolation; to which prodigious birth, this also, me thinkes, may fitly be a pa∣ralell, and justly be taken for a fearfull prediction of wrath to come, if not pre∣vented by timely repentance.

And why may wee not yet farther consider, even with particular applica∣tion, this monstrous birth, to this effect?

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That God, by these two heads, two hearts, two armes, and a stump of ano∣ther in this child, might let us now see his hastning judgements and wrath on our Kingdoms of England and Ireland, wherein hath beene too manifestly seen to our sorrow, such divisions; by two heads, the King and this renowned Par∣liament, some siding with the one, and some with the other: by two hearts, Papists and Protestants, or Malignant and well affected Christians, some stan∣ding for Truth, and some for Errour; some for Christ, and some for Anti∣christ; some for Gospel and a holy Reformation, and some for beggarly Ceremonies and Romish trash and trumpery; two armes or armies for just defence in England and Scotland, and a miserable and monstrous stump of an arme in lamentably torne and mangled Ireland. And this use, I remember our brethren in New England, not long since made of another most prodigious

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and mishapen and monstrous birth, brought foorth by a Gentlewoman of that New Plantation, who had beene a maine fautrix, if not originall broacher of very many most wicked, dangerous, & damnable opinions in their Church: God having declared his high displea∣sure therat, by her so fearfull monstrous and mis-shapen birth, which, as a god∣ly Minister there related, had as many externall and corporall deformities in its body, as she maintained diversities of most dangerous opinions. Which was all of it, I say, testified for most true, by some of the most learned and godly Pastours and people amongst them.

Againe, have we not had many most remarkable warnings and fearfull fore∣runners of Gods displeasure against us for our sinns and transgressions, by most hideous and horrour-striking-thunder-claps, and spirit affrighting-Lightnings, doing much and most fearfull hurt, bur∣ning,

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defacing and spoiling our very materiall Churches and houses in this Kingdome, most manifestly giving us to understand that something, surely, is much amisse even in our Churches and worship and service of the Lord our God (as I shall afterward more particu∣larly and truly shew) in our most sump∣tuous and superfluously huge built Churches and Cathedrall Minsters, in∣deed farre more like Heathen Temples then Christian Churches. And as an undoubted testimony of Gods displea∣sure heerein, take first that most memo∣rable and terrible, yea never to bee for∣gotten example of Gods wrath & deep indignation manifested by thunder and lightning, against superstitious superflu∣ous and idolatrous impieties in our Churches of England, which God was pleased to manifest upon the Parish Church of Withcombe in Devonshire, (besides divers other Churches in o∣ther places, much about the same time

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also, which is the more remarkeable) being a very faire Church, and but then newly trimmed, having a very fayre Towre with great and small pinnacles, and reported to be one of the fairest and most famous Church steeples in all the Westerne parts of England; which I have heere described and set foorth in this Figure and Embleme for the Rea∣ders better content and satisfaction.

Which said faire Church and steeple was most fearfully and furiously assaul∣ted with most hideous thunder and lightning on the 21. day of October 1638. (which also was so much the more admirable, being in the Winter season) which was the Lords Day, and in the time of their Church Service or Evening Prayer (still the more observa∣ble) in the midst of the performance of which duties, I say, on a sudden there was heard most fearfull & heart-damp∣ing claps of thunder, much like the roa∣ring noise or ratling reports of great

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[illustration]
A most prodigious & fearefull storme of winde lightning & thunder, mightily defaceing Withcomb-ch∣urch in Deuon. burning and slayeing diverse men and women all this in service-time, on the Lords day Octob: 21. 1638

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HEre, Reader, ope thine eyes and ears and heart, Consider what this figure doth impart. Behold, and tremble to behold and see, How Christ, Gods Lambe, a Lion fierce can be: When Sin doth patience into passion turne, And make sweet favour, like fierce fury burne. When Bethel is a baudie-Babel made, God will his fair Jerusalems invade. When, for pure worship of his sacred name, We, Idol-Altars, Popish-Rites will frame: O, how the jealousie of God doth burn! All Idol-worship, quite, to over-turne. Shall England (thus) pretend a reformation, And, yet, uphold Romish abomination? Surely (as here) God will let England know, If these continue, God will angry grow.

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Canons, and musket shot discharged; upon which, presently followed a most fearfull Fog, and almost palpable dark∣nesse all over the Church, and a most strong and almost stifling Stygian stink and loathsome smell of brimstone, to∣gether with a most boysterous and blu∣stering blast of wind and clap of thun∣der, which strucke in at the Northside of the steeple or towre, and tearing through a strong wall came into the Church through the highest window, and bare before it sheere away, a great part thereof, and with a mighty power it also strook away the Northside wall of the Church, and violently battered and shook it very much, passing on to∣ward the Pulpit, and in the way tooke with it the lime and sand from off the wall, grating the wall much and migh∣tily defacing it, it having been but late∣ly new whited and trimmed, as afore∣said. It tore away also most fiercely the side Deske from the Pulpit, colouring

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the pulpit it selfe of a black hew, and leaving it as moist as if it had been new∣ly washed over with inke. In which time there was also a most terrible and heart-astonishing lightning, which did both mightily affright the people, and even scald their skin with the extreame heat thereof; insomuch as the greatest part of them fell prostrate, some on their faces, and some on their knees, and some one upon another, screeking and crying out in a most pittifull and patheticall manner.

The Ministers wife, there present, had her Ruffe and Linnen next her bo∣dy, burnt off, and her body it self grie∣vously scorched. One Mistresse Dit∣ford, sitting in the seat with her, had her Gowne, two Wast-coats, and her lin∣nen next her body also grievously scor∣ched. Another woman frighted with this fearfull spectacle, running out of the Church, had her cloathes set on fire, her body scorched, her flesh torne

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on her back in a most grievous manner. One Master Hill, a Gentleman had his head smitten against the wall, and died the very next day of it. Sir Richard Rey∣nolds his Wa••••iner had his head clo∣ven, his skull rent in three pieces, where∣of two fell in the next seat, the other fell down in the seat where he sate: his braines fell entirely whole into the next seat behinde him, his blood dasht a∣gainst the wall; some of the skin of his head, flesh and haire, to the quanti∣ty of an handfull, was carried into the Chancell, his body left in the seat, as though he had been alive, sitting asleep, and leaning on his elbow resting on the desk of his Pew, with the fore-part of his head and face whole. O most terri∣ble and fearfull power of the Lord! A man that sate before him, in the same seat, was scalded and burnt all over on that side next the said Warriner. In the second seat behinde the Warriner, a man was in a most grievous manner

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burnt and scalded all over his body, so as he was all over like raw flesh, and li∣ved in great misery about a week after, and then died. A Dogge neere-the Chancell doore, was fiercely whirled up three times, and the last time fell down dead. Some seats in the body of the Church, were torn up, and over∣whelmed up-side-down; yet they that were in them had no harme, notwith∣standing that they were thereby throwne out of them into other seats foure or five pewes higher. About the number of eight boyes sitting about the railes of the Communion Table (heere wee may observe what a superstitious Church it was, like, almost all the rest of our Churches in these miserable daies) were all of them taken up by the violence of this so terrible a storme, and throwne on heaps within the railes, but had no hurt at all. A beame was bro∣ken in the midst, and fell downe be∣tween the Minister and his Clerke, but

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neither of them hurt thereby. The Church was also very much defaced and torn in many parts of it, and a great stone neere the very foundation, was torne up and removed thence. Other stones were violently throwne out of the tower, as thick as if there had been an hundred men throwing them, some stones of them of such a weight and bignesse, as no one man was able to lift. One of the Pinacles of the Tower was tumbled downe into the Church. A man sitting on the Church-beere, at the lower end of the Church, had the said beere torne in pieces under him, and himself thrown into a seat by the wall, but hd no other hurt. A great stone was throwne about an hundred yards from the Church, and sunke into the ground so deep and so fast, that it could hardly be seen afterward. A Bowling-alley also neere the Church-yard, was strangely turned into deep pits; and a Wine-Taverne nere the Church, had

Page 37

the side thereof next the Church torne up, and the top or covering broken and caried off, and one of the rafters broken into the said house.

And was not heere a most terrible and almost an incredible print and im∣pression of Gods threatned wrath and indignation against both the internall and externall vanity and impiety of such profuse and superfluous Church-buil∣dings, vaine and needlesse, I say, now under the Gospel, though in the time of the Leviticall Law, most requisite and lawfull in most gorgeous maner to be set out, as typifying Christ Jesus in all his excellencies and graces; and therefore these fearefull examples may serve as a remarkable caution and fore-warning of Gods displeasure heerein. But because tis likely, our superstitious Cathedralists will bee apt to object in their carnall incredulity, that one Swal∣low makes not a Summer, and so one single testimony is not sufficient to con∣firme

Page 38

so weighty a conclusion and infe∣rence as I would fain gather from these fearefull premises. I shall therefore in the next place give the Reader other remarkble examples of Gods sembla∣ble undoubted displeasure with the va∣nity and impiety of our Churches and Church government, and services too long exercised among us to the high indignation of the Lord especially now of late, since our Prelats began so gros∣ly to tyrannize over the consciences of Gods people) and then say, whether thou canst not easily be induced to be∣leeve with me, this truth, which I have hence collected, and which the Lord by these feareful examples, seems most plainly to have indigitated and demon∣strated to us. And therefore to cry out with the Prophet in holy admiration and trembling, Who would not feare thee, O King of Nations, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners?

In January also then next ensuing,

Page 39

there was very great hurt done, in and upon divers other Churches, in other parts of this Kingdome, by thunder and lightning, and mighty stormy weather, to the great and terrible astonishment of the inhabitants and beholders. As namely upon the 14. day of the afore∣sayd month, about five of the clock at night, three Churches were wasted and defaced with fearefull thunder and lightning, and most violent windes; the one was Micham in Kent, also Greenhith and Stone-Church, both in the sayd County of Kent. And upon Whitsun∣day 1640. in the Parish Church of S. Anthony in Cornewall, great hurt was done by terrible thunder and lightning, the people being then in the Church at their Sabbath dayes exercises. As heer thou seest it summarily and briefly de∣lineated in those following Figures or Emblemes.

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[illustration]
3 or 4 Churches more, as namely Micham and Green∣hith in Kent also Stone-church, all fearefully defaced with lightning and thunder, the Ianuary following And St: Anthonies Church in Cornwall, Anno Dom: 1640

Page 41

ANd, here, againe, that All may clearly see, False-worship, and Idolatry to be The sin of England: God, in other places, More Houses of such worship, much defaces, With fearfull storms, lightnings, fierce claps of thunder, Churches and Steeples rends and cleaves asunder. Though many other sins doe England staine, Tet, this, of all the rest, is dy'd in graine. Idolatry and Superstition base, The Lord will not endure in any case. And therefore shewes, by so many examples, With how great wrath under his feet he tramples Such Romish-trash, and all Wil-worship vaine, And, only, will unmixed Truth maintaine. Be warned, then, betimes, England take heed, Lest wrath, without redresse, does make thee bleed.

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Now all these considered together, with the time of the yeere, the Winter season, and the day whereon they fell, the Lords day, and (that, which is so much the more remarkable) in the time of their Sabbath dayes duties; tell me, can any man be so Atheistically mind∣ed and blindly or obstinately opiniona∣ted as to thinke that these so fearfull and formidable affrightments immediately from heaven, can bee meerly casuall or contingent by naturall concurrences only, and not rather immediate demon∣strations and fore-runners of Gods high indignation for the great sins and pro∣vocations of our Clergy and Prelaticall Church-government. Certainly it were meere madnesse, or at least grosse car∣nall security, if not diabolicall delusion, to say, or thinke otherwise. For, if we looke on our late most intolerable su∣perstitious and idolatrous times, not si∣lently-creeping, but audaciously run∣ning, and (with the Romish-whores un∣blushing

Page 43

face) breaking out upon us, and impudently and too frequently practi∣sed among us by crossing and Jesu-crin∣ging, altar-worship, rayling in of our Communion-tables turned into altars, Popish, sumptuous and superstitious a∣dornation and bedawbing of Churches with crucifixes & other Popish pictures, apish gestures, vestures, and such like beggarly-rudiments and ceremonies, as the Apostle cals them; making more, by farre, of the meere wals, and dead stones of their Churches, than of the living stones of Gods House and Temple. What other thing could be discovered by all these, but a most disloyall apo∣stacy, and almost a generall backsliding and defection from our first love the Lord Jesus Christ, and from his found faith, to Antichrist, Arminianisme, and Atheisticall profanenesse, both in Priest and people.

And may we not then justly conceive and beleeve that the Lord, by these so

Page 44

fearfull, and I dare say unparallel'd ex∣amples of wrath on (even) these materi∣all Churches, might truly indigitate and point-out unto us his holy purpose to ruinate this Romish-rubbish, to purge his holy Temple and worship, from these out-side formalities and fopperies, and to set up and establish a more pure and powerfull, a more precious and glorious internall, spirituall, simple, and plaine unmixed-worship to himselfe, and such faithfull and fruitfull worship∣pers, as should worship him in spirit and in truth, in plaine simplicity and singlenesse of heart; for, such worship∣pers, now under the Gospel, hath hee chosen to himself, as our Saviour Christ Jesus himselfe assures us, whose infal∣lible heavenly authority I choose rather to beleeve, then the best and most reve∣rend (pretended) antiquity of primitive Fathers, and humane authorities, so ur∣gently and instantly pressed upon us by our late Romish-hearted Prelates, and

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Pontifician Doctors whomsoever.

What a most notable warning-piece also did the Lord make visible unto us by Sea, about the moneth of Septem∣ber, 1640. namely, that Spanish Fleet which came (without controule) most audaciously upon our English coasts, with many and mighty Vessels full fraught and furnished with armes, am∣munition, and many thousand Souldi∣ers (almost such another formidable and affrighting Armado, as that was in 1588.) thinking then also to have swal∣lowed us up, and to have found us and our brethren of Scotland together by the ares, that so they might with the more ease have unresistibly set firme footing, and securely have landed on our English shore, and so have stept in betweene both parties, and have made up their mouthes with a fat and full prey of three rich and royall Diademes at once; which, indeed, hath beene the long expected prize of the Spaniards

Page 46

most greedy appetite and hungry hope to have made up his long dreamed of universall Monarchy; as here you see it set forth and described in this next Fi∣gure or Embleme.

Page 47

[illustration]
A second Spanish-Armado, much like that in, 1588 hovering about our English - Sea's near Deale & Douer, hoping to have made England thier pray & to have found us fighting with our brethren of Scotland; but beaten back and destroyed by Van Trump and his Dutch Fleet An: Dom: 1642.

Page 48

ANd, here, another Warning-piece we had, A righting Storme, by Sea, t'have made us sad, Had not Heav'ns wisedome, power and providence Prevented it, and beene our strong defence. A Spanish Fleet, floating upon our Seas, Hopefull to land upon our Land with ease; To finde us fearlesse, or engag'd in fight, With Scotland, through intestine depe despite. But, whiles they hovered about Deale and Dover, Watching occasion us to triumph over, Whiles we-our-selves dreadlesse of danger were, So neare our ruine, yet, so void of fare, The Lord a Fleet of Dutchmen to them sent, To pay their pride, their mischiefe to prevent. This Warning-piece we, therefore may ad ire, Preserv'd thus strangely from destruction dire.

Page 49

But it pleased the Lord to direct the Dutch Fleet, at that time abroad at Sea, under the command of Van Trump their Admirall, to meet with them, and (be∣fore Deale and Dover) to fight with them for us, when wee little thought of fighting for our selves, though ready to be made a prey to this devouring Spa∣nish-Leviathan. Here, I say also, did the Lord, by them, ring us such a peale of thundring Canon, as it were knock∣ing at our doores to awaken us out of our marvellous Lethargy of ease and carnall security, or of blockish stupidity, as might have beene thought sufficient to have made us recollect our thoughts, open our eyes and looke about us, and see the hand of God lifted up against us, yet loath to let the stroke fall so hea∣vily upon us, to our irrecoverable ruine and destruction, as our sinnes most just∣ly deserved, had hee in his justice so dealt with us.

On Thursday also, August 4. 1642.

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about 5. of the clocke in the afternoone, at a Towne called Alborough in the County of Suffolke, there was heard in the ayre, and evidently seene, a mighty sound of drummes beating very loud, after which was also heard at the same time, a long and fierce peale of small shot, as of Muskets and such like, and then as it were a discharging of great Ordnance in a pitcht field; all this con∣tinuing about an houre and a halfe, and then there was a mighty and terrible re∣port or noise of them all together: At the ceasing whereof a blacke stone was as it were shot out of the skye, being a∣bout eight inches long, and five or sixe inches broad, and about two inches thicke, which was taken up by two men which stood by and heard the foresaid noise, and the whistling of the stone o∣ver their head as it past by them (but they could not see it) they found it by meanes of a little dogge, who followed it by the sent, and ran barking to and

Page 51

fro, till they following the dogge, were brought to the place where it lay, cove∣red with earth and grasse. The men that found it brought it to London, and presented it to a Burgesse of Parliament, upon whose ground it was found, and by him was shewne to divers others. One Captaine Iohnson, and one Master Thompson, men well knowne in those parts of Suffolke, being at a Towne cal∣led Woodbridge, hearing of this mar∣vellous noyse toward Alborough, veri∣ly supposing that some enemy was lan∣ded, and had made some sodaine onset or invasion upon the Town, took horse and rode hastily homeward, the rather becuse they heard of the battaile lou∣der and louder, and being on their way neare Alborough, they met with the greatest part of the townsmen, who were generally run out of their houses, round about, much amazed with such an uncouth noise of war. But after all this, there was, for certaine, sodainly

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heard a most joyfull noyse of sweet musicke, and of sundry rare musicall instruments sounding in a most melodi∣ous manner, for a good space together, and at last it all concluded with a most harmonious noise, as it were of delicate ringing of well-tuned bels.

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[illustration]
A most terrible representation of a great fight in the Ayre at Alborough in Suffolk, drum's beateing; Canons and Musketts-shooting, a black stone shoot∣ing out from the cloudes found by a tugg, on the ground, but all, at last, ending with most melo∣dious musick, and ringing of belles as an tri∣umph of some victories Aug: 4. 1642.

Page 54

OF all the Warning-Pieces to us sent, See here a Master-piece of wonderment. A mighty battell fought (as 'twere) in th'aire, Which Alb'rough Townsmen mightily did scare: For first, they heard Drummes beating loud alarms, Great Canons shooting, as in fields of Armes, Thick and quick vollies of small shot; likewise A stone most black breaking forth from the skies, Which whistling through the air, did pierce the ground, And (by a Dogge) where it fell down, was found. But suddenly this frighting feare was past, And, by melodious musicke turnd at last Into much joy and great alacrity, Bells (as 'twere) ringing most harmoniously, As if the Lord would hereby let us see His gracious love at last to set us free From all our fore-felt feares, and terrors great, To crown us with a conquest most complete, Shown in this figure Tragi-comicall: Heav'n say Amen to this. So pray we all.

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Now this Tragi-Comicall Warning-piece (for so methinkes I may fitly call it) which we have here described and set forth, as well as a figure and expres∣sion of that nature might be; beginning so terribly, and concluding so sweetly, did far transcend, in prognosticating comfort, in the issue, all the fore-men∣tioned marvellous prodigies and pre∣dictions, either in Jerusalem, Germany, or elsewhere among us; and may there∣fore (surely) serve as a soveraigne anti∣dote against our too much fainting and affrighting feares. The Lord our good God seeming hereby to foreshew us (as blessed Mr. Brightman also, that fa∣mous Divine, and faithfull servant of the Lord, in his most bright and learned revelation of the Revelations of Saint Iohn, hath even prophetically written) that Englands terrible storme of woes and warres now begun in it, by Papists, Atheists, and profane Malignants, whom God hath stirred up to disturb

Page 56

its abused peace and plenty, and as a just punishment of Englands great sins and enormities, though for a while it may seeme sharp, yet shall be short, and prove sweet in the issue, fanning away the chaffe, and burning up the drosse thereof, and making way for a glorious peace and perfect reformation, and for the setting up of Christs Throne, and advancing of his Scepter, in the power and purity of holy ordinances, in the issue and conclusion.

It is our part therefore, in faith, pati∣ence, and prayer, to possesse our souls, and to wait on the Lord for the happy performance of the same in his due time, and by that way which is best pleasing to his most wise providence. And the Lord in mercy perfect our ex∣pectation thereof in his appointed sea∣son. Amen and Amen.

I have made no mention all the while, of the many strange, fearfull, and unac∣customed Eclipses of the Sunne and

Page 57

Moone, which have been seen from yeare to yeare both in other parts, and also in our owne English Horizon; which also by the judgement of the best Astrologers and Mathematicians, have and doe prognosticate and de∣clare unto us, many notable changes and overtures of States and Kingdoms; as also that late and memorable con∣junction of Saturne and Iupiter among us in February last, 1643. which hath been written of long before it fell out; and which (with all the rest) doth prognosticate and demonstrate unto us (as so many Warning-pieces) the great alteration and vicissitude of Kingdoms, Countreyes, times and things in Church and State; especially, I say, this late and great conjunction of those two celestiall Planets as Mr. Booker in his Prognostication for this instant yeare 1643. doth most notably declare and manifest unto us.

But of these, and some other such

Page 58

like strange apparitions in the aire, I shall desire (with wise King Solomon) all my Christian brethren and friends) to take holy and wholsome counsell which the Spirit of God prompts the children of wisedome to embrace and follow, viz. A prudent man fore-sees the evill (or approaching storme) and hideth himself from it. And what bet∣ter, nay what so safe a hiding-place as the clifts and holes of the Rocks, even the wounds of the Lord Jesus Christ, that immoveable and everlasting Rock of our Salvation, and under the holy and heavenly wings of the Sunne of Righteousnesse; where onely (as the Prophet sayes) is true and infallible Soule-healing comfort indeed, to all truly penitent, and conscience-wounded sinners, who with godly sorrow, and unfained repentance and reformation, by faith in prayer, seeke and sue unto him; which, the Lord give us all wise∣dome and grace so to doe. Amen.

FINIS.

Page [unnumbered]

Notes

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