London's Deliverance predicted: IN A Short Discourse Shewing the Causes of PLAGUES IN GENERAL; AND The probable time (God not contra­dicting the course of second Causes) when this present PEST may abate, &c.

By JOHN GADBURY, [...].

2 Sam. 24. 25.

So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the Plague was stayed from Israel.

LONDON, Printed by J. C. for E. Calvert, at the Black Spread-Eagle, at the West-end of St. Pauls, 1665.

To the worthily Accomplished, My singularly approved good Friend, Mr. Luke Cropley Of St. Michaels Bassishaw London; The AUTHOR, For many Eminent (and never to be forgotten) FAVOURS, In the stead of a better acknowlegdement, Humbly presents The following Discourse.

TO THE Friendly Reader.

ALthough many in these days, have but an indifferent opinion of Astrology, some out of Interest, but most out of ignorance, Damning and Repro­bating it. For ignorance we know it is, Mater devotionis; and Interest what is it but filius diaboli, the Son and He [...]r of Falshood! and it is no wonder that the best of Sciences sit, and suffer under the censure of such ma­licious and uncapable Judges. Yet, when the world doth plainly see how far short all other Arts fall of giving satis­faction to mankind in the Causes and Limits of this most terrible Pest, that we at present groan under, in compa­rison of what is afforded by Astrology; me thinks it should abandon and cashier its darling errors, and cease to be at odds with, ei [...]er the Art, or its honest and able Profes­sors any longer.

[Page] We see apparently, that the Science of Physick (next unto Astrology I grant the most excellent of all Natural knowledge, joyned with it, the most worthy of all! but alone,) is much too short to acquaint us, either when such great and terrible Plagues shall come; or when come, at what time they shall cease. The Pulse of the times de­ceives them herein; the excellent temperature of the sea­son this year we see hath failed all their common Progno­sticks; and told them plainly, the true and certain Cau­ses of such astonishing effects, are else where lodged; nor can a Crisis or Indication thereof, any where be found, but in the Study of Celestial influences; unless it please God to vouchsafe an immediate revelation thereof unto any! in this sence, I and every man must acknowledge the meanest Peasant may assoon as the mightiest Prince, come to a prevision of the greatest alterations.

In matter of Miracle, we must be content to submit; although we are Masters of the most demonstrable Arts in the world. But among all the Noble Science wherein a man may argue from the Cause to its effect, there is not one by which this Pest could be foretold, but Astrology. Nay, the Learned Serarius himself (though a Physician) pretends not to predict the Plague by the Art of Physick, but takes for his subject the Stars, and other Celestial Phaeno­mena (as may be seen in his discourse of all the Planets meeting in Sagittary, December 1662.) as thereby al­lowing greater certainty in these things, to the Axiomes of Astrology, then he could hope to find in that worthy Study of Medicine.

Howbeit, Physick is a Study I exceedingly love and ho­nor, and its Learned and legal professors (whether Ga­lenists or Chymists) I truely reverence. But I must be excused if I detest and protest against the unworthy [Page] practices of many, who (under pretence of that worthy knowledge) so impudently and falsly boast of their success and skill in Physick; painting both Posts and Walls with their Lying Oracles in Print: every one crying up his own stuffe, for the Elixir, or Panacaea, &c. and all but to delude the credulous multitude! who (as one wittily and truly observ [...]s) find their Medicines dear enough, when in taking they cost them their lives. Some of them pretend to cure the most malignant and inveterate diseases in six hours time, others in twelve hours, or a day or two, at the furthest, if you will believe them. And this they are so impudent as to promise (by their prints) infal­libly to perform. An Artifice the wise and prudent Physi­cian disdains, as knowing the success of a cure to depend on his hand that first gave the wound, viz. Gods. But notwith­standing all this their pretended skill, and shameless boastings, we find but few good effects; they all work great cures, and yet the weekly Bills increase. Cer­tainly God Almighty (as if angry at such a presumptuous and shameless sort of men) is pleased (in opposition to their [...]ctitious pretences) to suffer this great sickness to destroy the more, and devour the greater numbers. It was [...]ronically and truly sung of old, Saul hath slain his Thousands, and David his Ten Thousands! But it may [...]e truly and without Irony sung of this great City; That be neglect of the People in sickness; their ill looking un­o, penury, and Nastiness, &c. have slain their Thou­ [...]nds; but the Ignorant and confident Practices of Il­ [...]erate and Impudent pretenders to Physick, have [...]urthered their Ten thousands! It is impossible for any [...]t the eminently Learned, truly to consider and be acquain­d with the noble subject of Physick; which is Man! [...]e Microcosm and the Lord of the Creation! Gods [Page] Image! and yet every Bayard does now adays confidently run upon so great a Practice, and attempts things out of his reach, with as little remorse, as a Carnifex doth the Execution of such as the Law hath condemned to death. There are such Nodi in Physick, that the best of Physici­ans many times are to seek of what is proper to unty them.

Nonest in Medico semper relevatur ut aeger:
Interdum Docta, plus valet Arte malum.

If then, the ablest of Physicians, at sometimes are at a stand or non-plus; how miserably must your pittiful Quacks be gravel'd at all times? If men of Parts and Learning, are sometimes apt to be at a loss, in the cura­tive part of Physick; How strangely (and always) must they be mistaken, that are not able to write true English? nay scarce able to speak sence? for some such there are, that take on them the Glorious titles of Doctors, to my knowledge. And yet they must (forsooth) be squirting out their filth and shame against the Learned Colledge of Physicians. The suffering, nay permitting of which, is a scandal upon Government at large; For, by the same rule, any sort of men would destroy or cut off a part of Government; let them but have liberty to go on and they will make but little conscience in destroying the whole. But it is but to add folly to misery, to complain; and seeing it is so, I'll resolve to let these Cypres [...] trees alone; and if men will be any longer contented an [...] born down with fair and glozing pretences, Leaves, instead of Fruit; Let Master Emperick be their Doctor! they'll find their folly soon enough, I doubt not though perhaps too late for Remedy.

But a word or two of the book, and I have done▪ [Page] have in the ensuing discourse touched upon several sub­jects; yet none but what I adjudged necessary; and if there­in I have unmasked any vulgar errors (i. e.) shewn the Face of Truth without a Vizor; I hope the ingenious will accept my endeavors kindly, and not be ashamed or affraid to behold her brightness and glory.

When I speak of the Causes of the Plague, you are to understand that I tacitly acknowledge, God the chief and supreme Cause of all things! and that it is in his pow­er to alter or suspend second Causes, even as he pleaseth; but this he seldom, nay never doth, but by Miracle, as in the days of Joshua and good King Hezekiah.

And when I justly censure persons, that out of a slavish fear leave their habitations, thereby hoping to fly from the judgements of God, I would not be understood as if I con­demned all that leave the City. For many have done it rather out of Custom and for pleasure, then any fear really; and many more out of a prudent care, rather then from a servile fear; as judging it better to be subject to the [...]ll of a Slate or Tyle, then a whole house; to the fate of a little village, then to the destiny of so great a City! and although I believe that the Plague is sent, not so much to afflict the City, as the Citizens; the Houses, as the owners of them: Yet I am perswaded that it is the greatest Plague to the City, that so many have run out of it. We know the Famousest Edifices have a time to flourish, and another to decay; and as the Poeth saith,

Quandoquidem data sunt ipsis quoque fata fe­pulchris.
Even Tombs themselves are subject unto Fate.

And that it is a Fate most cruel to this great City, to have [Page] her children so subject to fear, that by their leaving her, all trading is at an ebb, and she in Summer forced to undergo a dismall, dreadful Winter of Evil; there is no one that hath any sence of humane sufferings, but must truly and sorrowfully acknowledge.

To conclude, I shall not Apologize for my present at­tempt; it is sufficient that I saw this great City wanted en­couragement, and knew that God (in mercy) had enabled me to present them with this Celestial Cordial; and to be a messenger of good news unto them. Now, that God would graciously vouchsafe to protect this great City and the Nations from so great a scourge for the Future: Bless and defend his Sacred Majesty, &c. Settle us in Peace, and preserve the Government both of State and Church! is the Cordial fervent Prayer of the earnest implorer of Englands happiness,

John Gadbury.

These few escapes of the Press: be pleased thus to correct. PAge. 2. l. 11. r. Apodictical, p. 8. l. 2. r. and as these, l. 21. r. cause or causes, p. 29. l. 10. dele the, p. 35. l. 1. r. from a Sickness, p. 37. l. 35. for with r. of.

Licensed

Roger L'estrange.

Prooeme.

WHether the Doctrine of Democritus and his followers (who main­tain that by the Worlds which pe­rish without this, and by the strange bodies which from that infinity of worlds run into this, there arise many times the begin­nings of Plague and Pestilence, and of other extraordi­nary accidents) be true, I will not take on me here to dispute; because there would many eminent que­stions, hard to be resolved (at least to the satisfaction of many) arise from such enquiries, and possibly of little emolument unto the Readers. Or whether the particular corruptions which happen in divers Countries, either by Earthquakes, Excessive droughts, extreme heats, and unusual rains, &c. do infect, disease, and alter the Winds and Rivers, which arise out of the Earth, and consequently the humors of Man; or whether the al­teration of Drinks and Dyet, and other customes, &c. be not the proper and immediate causes of the Pesti­lence in mankind, [both which are very likely] is not my present intention to discuss.

My design is, not to trouble or consult either Phy­sicks or Metaphysicks; but as the Stars and their influ­ences have been my Study for many years, and are [Page 2] (sub Deo) the causes of all action and passion in this inferiour world (which is a Physical Science too, I must acknowledge, though few Physicians understand, and fewer make use of it) so I shall make it my busi­ness at this time, thence to discover the Cause and continuance of this great Pest; being assured in this Learning to meet with Demonstration, whereas all others afford but likelihoods of proof, grounding things upon false Hypotheses. In Astrology (God not altering the course of second Causes, as in Joshua's and Hezekia's time he did) there is an Apodyctical proof of the matter in Question, without being be­holden to the poor shifts and effeminate evasions, that other Arts (not in conjunction with this) are con­stantly compell'd to lay hold on. My Method then shall be to consider,

  • 1. The Causes of the Plague in general▪
  • 2. How long a Pestilence may naturally last?
  • 3. Of the several Plagues that happened Anno 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636. and how they increased and a­bated.
  • 4. Of this present Plague, when (according to natu­ral causes) it may abate.
  • 5. Whether the Plague be catching?
  • 6. The Folly of People in flying from their habitations for fear of the Plague, evinced.
  • 7. That this present Plague was foretold by Astrology▪
  • 8. The Air unjustly suspected to lodge the Contagion.
  • 9. Conclusion.

CHAP. I.
The Causes of the Plague in general.

IT is an Axiome agreed unto by all Philosophers, That a Cause is that, whereupon dependeth, or whence issueth an effect, or that by which any thing happeneth. Some hold that there are four causes of every thing, viz. Causa Essentialis, Materialis, Formalis, and Finalis. Plato mentioneth three kinds of Causes, and distin­guisheth them by these three Terms, By which, Of which, and For which; but taketh the most principal to be that, By which, it being the Efficient Cause. And that the Heavens are the Efficient and Essential Causes of Plagues, or other Contagious diseases, we need not doubt, it being so congruent to Reason to be­lieve.

Physicians tell us, that the Plague is a disease most Malignant and Pestilential; a Fever in the highest de­gree, which doth suddenly putrifie and corrupt, both the Solid and Fluid parts of the body; which having done, by an (almost) uncontrolable and unrepell­able siecity, dries up and destroys the Natural Powers, then seizeth or preyeth upon the vitals, and so lets in the everlasting Enemy, DEATH. And sith by Divine Logick we are able to prove, that all effects have suit­able and corresponding Causes [Men do not gather Grapes of Thornes, or Figgs of Thistles!] It is most Ra­tional to believe, that this so terrible disease, must proceed from some Cause or Causes, most Illustrious, [Page 4] eminent and Celestial; it being so remarkably terrify­ing wheresoever it settles, or makes its abode. And for men to hope to find out a Cause [I mean of Energy and honor sufficient] here below, is to befool them­selves with a vain, empty, and idle enquiry. For we know there is nothing sublunary but is its fellow effect; and (though in a different manner) hath a dependan­cy on Celestial influences with it: and for an effect to produce an effect, is all out as improbable and unlike­ly, as for a Child to beget a Child. Therefore the true and certain Causes of this astonishing adversary [the Plague] are no where to be found but in the Heavens. Qualis effectus, talis Causa; If the effect be eminent, so must the Cause.

All Astrologers with good reason affirm, That all popular diseases are irritated by Mars and Saturn their Influences; and indeed the skilful in the Sydereal Sci­ence, may readily read those dismal effects in their Natures. Mars is a Planet fiery, hot and dry, Cholerick; and therefore Author of all Pestilential diseases: Sa­turn is a Planet Earthy, cold and dry, and Author of all tedious and durable infirmities. And it is observable that Mars (though his effects are violent, like his Na­ture) never hurteth so cruelly, or causeth so raging a Pestilence, as when in Configuration of Saturn. Nor do their Conjunctions and Aspects in every part or place of Heaven produce such Malignant and cruel effects, but on­ly when they are conjoyned or configurated in earthy, fiery or Humane signs or Asterisms, and receive some as­sistance from the Conjunctional, Opposite, or Quadrantal Rays of Jupiter, who (according to Astrologers) is sig­nificator sanguinis. Then, I say, and at such times, Mars by his Cholerick intemperate Nature, causeth [Page 5] not onely the Plague, but the raging sury of it; and Saturn, by reason of his destructive temper, and ini­mical qualities to all natural existencies, portends the Diuturnity and continuance thereof, and the sweep­ing away of Multitudes thereby.

And both these Planets Natures being so pernicious to Mankind, and indeed all other Generable and Cor­ruptible things, they possessing the two extremes of a mischievous temperature, is (perhaps) one main rea­son why we have seldom any Plagues or Pestilences, that are not accompanied, of at least attended in the se­quel with Wars and Famine. Hear the Learned Anton how ingeniously he expresseth their Natures and Qualities, in his Philosophical Satyrs. Thus of Saturn,

Saturns sullen face,
Pale and of Ashy colour, male-content,
A Catiline to Mortal Temperament,
That would blow up the Capitol of Man
With Envious influence!—
And if there hate be in a Heav'nly brest,
This Planet with that Fury is possest.

And of Mars he saith,

Blood, Death, and Tragick stories, Mars doth yeild,
A Golgotha of Graves, whose purple-field
Dy'd Crimson with his fatal Massacres,
Craves bloody Inke and Scarlet Characters;
A Pen that like a Bullets force would reel
A Marble Conscience—

Other co-operating Causes there are of the Pestilence, [Page 6] as Comets, Eclipses of the Luminaries, and Grand Sa­tellitiums of the Planets, &c. which as they happen to be more or less in number, so the Plague is either in­tended or remitted. And hence it is, that all Plagues are not alike mischievous in their devourings; their Causes being sometimes more or less forcible then at others.

Aristotle (that great Master of Reason) acknow­ledgeth, that there is neither generation nor corruption, but is effected by the Heavenly Motions. And any man though but meanly conversant in History, may find, that there never happened any eminent Plague, or other prodigious Accidents, as War, Famine, &c. but there were either Great Conjunctions, or Aspects of the superior Celestial bodies, terrible Comets, Eclipses of the Luminaries, and other [...], or Appeatances, as the certain Causes and Precursors of them. Take a few instances.

Anno 1348. There happened a Plague so great in England (and indeed in other parts also) that the Chronicles tell us, there were buried thereof in the Charter-house-yard London, 50000 People. Nay, Mr. Cambden saith, that in that little Town of Yar­mouth, there (then) dyed about 7000 Persons. It is observable, a little before this great Pestilence, there happened a very great Comet in Taurus an Earthly sign, as is witnessed by Leovitius; and also a great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, and Mars, in Aqua­rius. So terrible were the Effects of these Celestial Appearances then, that it is dismal to mention: God of his Mercy grant, that onely the Plague be our Por­tion at this time, we laboring (now) under the like cruel influences, if not greater.

[Page 7] Anno 1527. That great Plague, called the Sweating Sickness began to rage: a great and terrible Comet, of a bloody colour, appeared but a little before in the Heavens. They then laboured also under the weighty effects of a Conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in Risces, a watery sign, perhaps a main reason why that Pestilence was attended with a Sweat.

Anno 1593. Anno Regni Elizab. 35. There was ano­ther very great Plague, the Celestial Causes of which were the two Conjunctions and Oppositions of Saturn and Mars from and in Capricorn and Cancer, Tropical signs; and an Opposition of Saturn and Ju­piter from the same signs; besides three great Eclipses of the Luminaries of Heaven.

Anno 1603. When the great Plague happened then, we may remember that there was a Conjuncti­on of Saturn and Jupiter in Sagittarius. And a little be­fore that, a great Eclipse of the Sun; and a Comet also of great Magnitude appeared.

Anno 1625. That Contagion was the consequence of a great Conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, in the Celestial sign Leo, a sign of the fiery triplicity, and representing the heart in the Microcosme, Ergo, the more dangerous.

Anno 1636. There happened another Plague in London, but not so great as any the former: there were then two Conjunctions, &c. of Saturn and Mars; and two invisible Eclipses (I mean as to us) of the Sun; the first on January 27. the other on July 22. one hap­pening in Aquarius, the other in Leo, the greatest dig­nities of the Sun.

I purposely omit an infinite of instances more of this kind, as the Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter [Page 8] in Pisces, Anno 1643. and other concomitant configu­rations; under the effects whereof, we then laboring, [...]ri [...]ok of the rage of a cruel Civil War; and not onely so, but a Plague brake forth very violently, in all the South and Southwest parts in this Kingdom of Eng­land▪ and in the Northwest likewise. Thus then we see, that immediately upon Eclipses, great Conjunctions, the Apparitions of Comets, &c. the Pestilence, &c. hath constantly followed; and these Celestial Causes have been more or fewer in number, or greater or l [...]sser in Nature (for great Conjunctions have the preh [...]minence from meaner Conjunctions, Aspects, Eclipses, &c. and they from Comets or other Apparitions) so hath the Pestilence been more or less durable and raging: Ergo, we may with good ground assert, That the Configurations of the Planets, Eclipses of the Luminaries, and other Ce­lestial Apparitions, as Comets▪ &c. are the most certain efficient Causes of such Effects.

To conclude, If the Pestilence be not an effect of the before mentioned Causes, it must be an effect of some other Causes, more powerful then they; but there is nothing in Nature of equal Energy with the Heavens: Ergo. If it could rationally be presumed to depend on other Causes, we might (for our conviction) happily have a Plague when no such Causes are apparent; but there is never any Pestilence, but when either Comets, Eclipses, or great Conjunctions, &c. happen: It therefore roundly (and without obstruction) follows, That Plagues are caused by Celestial influences. For further con­firmation of this truth (if what I have concisely spo­ken be not enough) read Origanus de Effecti [...]us Stellarum, p. 517. Peucer de Astrolog. Haly pars 8. p. 398. Cardan in P [...]ol. Guido Bonatus, cummultis alii [...].

Foelix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.

CHAP. II.
How long a Pestilence may naturally last?

MAny there are, who hold an opinion that the Plague or Pestilence may last eight years; some others believe it may endure fifteen years; and others opinionate, it may continue a longer or lesser time. Nay, there is one that hath lately printed (but I con­fess with small shew of probable Reason) that this great City London, hath not been free from the Plague since the year 1636. which is now twenty nine years agone compleat. Nor is it usual, with those that de­termine thus positively of the duration of Plagues, &c. to give any satisfactory Reason wherefore they so conclude; so that we are left at liberty either to be­lieve what they assert, or examine whether their Assertions be true.

If by the Plague, they mean onely a Fever in the highest degree, as in the definition formerly set down; I am perswaded they say most true: for it will be very difficult to prove, not onely that a Plague may not remain and continue eight or fifteen years in that sence; but that we are at any time free from a Plague: Or that we (indeed) ever shall be, either more or less, as long as the Erratick Stars have Motion, or whilst the Earthly Globe endureth; For, while the Nature and influence of Saturn and Mars▪ &c. continue, the dis­eases they signifie, shall never totally abate: for, should once their Energy for corruption be presumed to [Page 10] cease, their power for generation must suffer a deliquium likewise; It being as essentially necessary for the hea­venly bodies to spend their influences in order to a cor­ruption and destruction of the forms of things (there being nothing else really subject to a Mutation) as to employ their powers in the Generation or preservation of them. A Plague is (as it were) a Broom in the hand of the Almighty! with which he sweepeth, the most nasty and uncomely corners of the Universe, that the more noble parts of it, may remain secure and safe.

But if by the duration of the Pestilence, for so many years, they mean an enumeration of Fevers exalted to the highest degree (i. e.) when a great number of parti­cular Fates unite forcibly to make up the general calami­ties [as in all those Plagues which happened in the years 1348, 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636. and now this 1665.] I say then, they are most grossly mistaken. For a Plague in this later sence, cannot last above four years; neither did any of the Plagues, in the years before mentioned last longer, many of them not so long. And of this opinion is the Learned Cardanus, Seg. 7. Aphor. 121. where he saith, Pestem 4. annis durare nun­quam posse; and Origanus ecchoing to him, p. 518. faith, that experience sufficiently proveth, that the Plague never remaineth in one place above four years; but in that space of time, the Contagion removeth (as it were) from one place to another; as lately we know (by woful experience) that it came out of Turky into Ger­many, out of Germany into Italy, out of Italy into Holland, and out of Holland into England, where now it rageth; and all this in less then four or five years time. And in this sence (faith Origanus) Cardanus is to be understood.

[Page 11] We know also that an Eclipse of the Sun, &c. can­not operate longer then four years, scarcely so long. And it is sufficiently known unto Artists, that the ra­ging effects of a Conjunction of Saturn, Mars, or Ju­piter, &c. lasts not longer, then while Saturn is transit­ing one Twelfth part of the Zodiack; for in that time the fury of their influences is either wholly abated, or taken off, by Configurations and Appearances of a contrary Nature and Quality; or else they are for some certain time suspended; as in a Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, &c. they may be; such Conjunctions hap­pening but seldom in comparison of other Configurati­ons. And how opposite to reason it is for us to pre­sume the Effects should remain in force when the cause is removed, I submit to the judgements of the inge­nious.

Thus then we see, the several opinions of the Plagues duration, either of eight years, fifteen years, &c. is groundless and uncertain; since it is proved that no Pestilence can last longer then four years time at the most, unless the Authors of such appointments will say they are to be understood according to the first part of the Distinction; which if they do, then I aver (as before) that the world cannot onely be afflicted with the Plague, for Eight or Fifteen years at a time, but must be content to be united unto it for ever. The Angel is Gold, as truely as the Five pound piece, and endures the touch as boldly; So the single violent Fever (which it is impossible for the world to be a day freed from) is as truely the Pestilence, as the great united numbers of Fevers are; and it differs no more in Nature and Essence from it, then the light which ap­pears at seven or eight of the Clock in the morning doth, [Page 12] from that which shines at mid-day. And it is an illu­strious Truth, That single Bullets kill as certainly as Case­ [...]ot: and it is not the great numbers that dye in War, should make a private man (if right in his Wits) think a Duel less dangerous.

CHAP. III.
Of the several Plagues that happened Anno 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636. and how they increased and abated.

HAving already declared the Efficient Causes of the Pestilence, and shewn how long it is probable for one to last (viz. to rage at one time) I shall in the next place consider of the four last several great Plagues which happened Anno 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636. together with the Natural and true causes of their increase and abatement; thereby evincing to my Reader, that what I shall in the next Chapter write concerning this present Pestilence, and its decrease, shall be upon grounds most Rational and safe to be built on. First then it is meetly requisite, that I ex­hibit briefly, Table-wise, the true increase and decrease of the Pestilence, in those four years, which take as fol­loweth.

[Page 13]

A Table shewing the Increase and Abatement of the Plague in the years 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636.
Moneths names.Week1593160316251636
March.17334 
243128 
3129611 
April.7274102
14334244
213782514
2841102617
May.529113010
1238184555
1942227135
2658327862
June.262306967
981439187
169959165103
231087223979
30118158390104
July.792726259381
148934241004104
212589171819120
28852139624 [...]115 [...]
August.498319223659206
1179717454115283
1865127134463321
2544925394218429
[Page 14]September.150730353344638
856327242550650
1545128181672865
2234921951561775
293301732852928
October.63271641538921
133231149511752
20308642331555
27302580134458
November.330155489838
1020944292715
1710725148573
249310527476
December.19410215312
8865215167
157196685
223974176

By this Table you may observe how the Sickness in­creased and decreased in the four several years mention­ed; give me leave now to shew you the Celestial Cause of its augmentation and diminution, &c.

1. In Anna 1593▪ by the Table (you see) th [...] Pestilence but meanly increased, untill the moneth [...] June, and then there began to dye above an hundred week thereof; the Envious Planet Saturn then cam [...] to the opposite point of the Ascendent of the figur [...] of the world that year. And in July when it bega [...] to rage, the fiery Planet Mars passed the Quadrat [...] place of the Moon; and the Sun the opposition [...] [Page 15] Mars and Jupiter, and Conjunctional place of Saturn. In August, when Venus was stationary, in loco Saturni, you see it abated from almost a thousand a week to under five hundred. And in September, when the same fortunate Planet came to the Trine of both the Luminaries, the Plague constantly grew less tyrannous and prevailing. And when in October she came to the Trine of the Ascendent of the figure; and in No­vember that the benigne Planet Jupiter came to the Ascendent it self, it vanished by degrees to almost nothing; there being in the later week of December but 39 dying thereof.

2. In the year 1603. the Pestilence was inconsiderable in its increase, untill the last week in June, and the moneth of July, at which times the fiery Planet Mars came to the opposite point of the Ascendant of the Revolution, and also passed the place of the Moon. And in August, September, and October, when it raged most, the cruel Planet Saturn was on the Ascendant [...]ll the time, and that in a manner stationary to do mischief. But in November when Venus came to the Trine of the Moon, and Jupiter to the Ascendant and [...] the Trine of the Sun, and Venus also to the Ascen­ [...]ant, &c. the Plague began to cease its fury, insomuch [...]hat in the last week of December, there dyed thereof [...]ut seventy four; there having in one week in Septem­ [...]er before, dyed above 3000 persons.

3. Anno 1625. The Sickness began to increase in May, when Mars came to the opposite place of the Moon in the Vernal Figure. In June and July it en­ [...]reased greatly; then Mars came to the Quadrate of [...]he Ascendant, and to the Cauda Draconis, thereby [...]dding an envenom'd fury to the Plague; and the Sun [Page 16] then came also to the opposite point of Mars, and gave it the greater cause to rage. In August, when it raged most of all, that there dyed most of that month above 4000 a week; Mars came to the place of the Sun, Jupiter to his opposite point, and Saturn in Quadrate of the Ascendant, and in opposition to the Lord thereof; transits and stations most prodigious and very naturally shewed the height of this grea [...] Sickness. In September, when Jupiter came to the Trin [...] place of Venus, and Venus to the Trine of the Sun, and place of the Moon, this potent adversary began to loose its force. And in October, when the Sun came to the Sextile place of the Moon, and when Jupiter cam [...] to the same Aspect, by Gods blessing, this terribl [...] Pest abated apace; and there being not one cruel As­pect to encrease it, but what was counterpoised with two of auspicious import, by the last week in De­cember there dyed but one of that Contagion.

4. In the year 1636. toward the later end of April when the Sun came to the opposite point of Mars i [...] the figure of the world, the Plague then first began In May and June, when the Sun came to the opposit [...] point of the Ascendant, Venus to the opposite point o Saturn, and afterwards to the Dragons tail, it increased but not much. In July, when the Sun passed the oppo­site point of Saturn, and after that the Quadrate pla [...] of Mars, it increased more; and more without doub [...] it had, but that Venus and Jupiter both, came then t the Moons place. In August, there happened two Eclip­ses, and Mars came to the Ascendant of the world figure, it now increased greatly. In September an October (the months this Sickness most of all increa­sed) Mars was in the Ascendant upon the Quadra [...] [Page 17] place of the Moon, and afterwards passed the Quadrate place of the Sun, & Conjunctional place of Saturn; and the Sun likewise passed the place of Mars. All which were eminent causes of that great encrease, the Sick­ness then had. In November, Jupiter comes to the Sextile of the Ascendant and the Sun in Trine to his own place, and then the Pestilence began to grow less raging, and by degrees decreased to (almost) no­thing.

By this short Examen, we find that the furious and bostile beams of the fiery Planet Mars for the most part gives beginning to the Pestilence, and is the emi­nent cause of its raging; and Saturn gives it con­tinuance.

We find likewise, that the friendly rays of the fortu­nate Stars, do not onely abate the Pestilence in conclu­sion; but when (by reason of the most violent Transits and Aspects of Mars and Saturn) the Plague most of all rageth, they lessen the fury, and make it as it were sta­tionary.

It is plain also, that Saturns transits, &c. are of lon­ger duration, and kill more then Mars's, though Mars's for the time they last, are most violent, as by the Table foregoing, compared with my observati­ons thereon, most plainly appears. And so I come to consider in—

CHAP. IV.
Of this present Plague, and when (according to Natural Causes) it may abate.

IN the first Chapter I have acquainted you with the Causes of Plagues in General; and here I am to inform you of the Causes of this particular great Pest we now labor under; and they are these several fol­lowing.

1. The great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter Octo­ber 10. 1663. in the Celestial sign Sagittary. 2. A Conjunction of Saturn and Mars, November 12. 1664. in Sagittary. 3. An opposition of the Sun and Saturn, June 5. 1664. from Sagittary and Gemini. 4. A Qua­drate of Saturn and Mars, June 27. 1664. from Sagit­tary and Virgo. 5. The Apparition of three Comets in the later end of 1664. and beginning of 1665. 6. The Transit of Saturn through Sagittary unto his greatest dignities, there to continue for above five years toge­ther. All which are Causes so powerfully impelling, that it is to be feared the Pestilence we now partake of, will not be the one moiety of the Effects thence to issue, or thereon depending.

By this connexion of Causes, it is somewhat appa­rent that this Pest should have took its beginning at the later end of 1664. and truly had not the Winter then been so extreamly sharp (it having a Frost of almost ten weeks continuance together) to have kept it back, as we know it did; it had beyond all question broke [Page 19] forth then. Nay, and break forth it did then too, as my self can experimentally testifie; having been per­sonally visited with it at Christmas that year. And my good friend Mr. Josias Westwood the Chirurgeon (whose assistance I then craved, and advice I followed (I bless God) to my preservation) hath told me since, That many of his Patients at that time were afflicted with the same distemper, and yet obtained cure against it, the Air being then so friendly to Nature, and an enemy unto the Pestilence. And besides, it was but prudence in people to keep it from the knowledge of the world (since few or none dyed thereof) as long as they could; for we find that it came to a discovery soon enough, to amaze and ter­rifie the whole Nation; and hath bid fair for the Ruine of Trade of all kinds in this great (and once populous) City. Put now let us consider its pro­gress and increase, with the causes thereof, and the possibility of its abatement, with the time when.

In this matter I shall consult, but not trouble you with the Figure of the Suns Ingress into the E­quinoctial sign Aries for the year 1655. it being in almost every Almanack to be seen; and thence draw down the several Arguments of encrease and abatement: and because the Pestilence was hardly perceptible untill the month of June, I will begin there.

And in that month (as if God and Nature had ap­pointed this Sickness to be Ominous in earnest to these Nations) we may observe two most fatal transits to usher it in, viz. Mars his then coming to the opposite point of the Ascendant, and the Sun to the opposite point of Saturn. (Malum Principium, malus finis sequi­tur.) [Page 20] A beginning of a Sickness so mischievous, that greater can hardly be; God grant the end be not as inauspicious: and although (I presume) it will not be of many months continuance to this great City, yet we are not to suppose a Pestilence ended, when it seeming­ly acquits one place.

In the month of July the Pestilence began to encrease considerably; especially toward the later end thereof: there were then fix oppositions of the Erratick Stars▪ and two Eclip [...]es; and to add to these, Mars, Venus, and Mercury (then) came to the Quadrate place of the Sun, and to the opposite point of Saturn by transit; and the Sun then came to the opposition of Jupiter both by transit and aspect. All which were very great arguments of its encrease.

In the mon [...]th of August, Saturn comes to the Qua­drate place of the Sun, and will be stationary upon it all the moneth; and the two Eclipses last moneth, do now begin to operate, which are testimonies of very great A [...]gmenta [...]ion; howbe [...]t, the fortunate Planer Venus coming to the Sex [...]ile of her own place, and of the Moons, at the beginning of the moneth; and com­ing to a Trine of the Sun, the later end thereof, and Jupiter his then being stationary in Trine of the Sun also, may so happily contemper the fury of it, that it may not [now] encrease or augment to any exceeding great height.

A part of September is likely to prove somewhat dangerous, because Saturn is in a manner still stationa­ry, and the Sun and Saturn then come to a Quadrate as­pect, and this in ill points of the Vernal figure; Mars and Jupiter (who is Dominus Ascendentis) then also come to an opposition, and both in square of Luna's place; [Page 21] whence it is probable, that in the second and last weeks of this moneth, the Pestilence may admit of an abare­ment; but indeed I much fear about the middle of the moneth an encrease considerable: nevertheless, I hope, and rationally believe (favente Deo) that this Pestilence cannot ascend to any higher degree, then it may at that time reach unto.

The moneth of October seems to promise well, and the Pestilence therein, cannot meet with any eminent cause for augmentation: yet I suppose the second and last week will make some s [...]ight offers at an encrease, because then the Sun comes to the opposite place of the Moon; and Venus hath a progressional motion to the opposition of the Sun, and Quartile of Saturns places.

November and December in this respect (God not [...]us [...]rating the course of second Causes, or taking ad­vantage of us for our sins) I question not will prove very kindly; and the City of London will begin to be in a better heart, then in many moneths before. How­ [...]eit, it cannot be supposed that this Pestilence should in so short a time totally vanish; or that so great a Sickness should not leave some unkind impressions be­hind it; but in comparison of what it hath been, I dare assert, that we shall [then] be (in a manner) wholly acquitted from it, and its violent, raging, de­structive Qualities and Company.

To conclude, London hath at present been the Pati­ent, and hath felt the force of the Almighties scourge to purpose; while most other places of England have escaped the [...]ash. O Utinam▪ I wish with all my soul, that London might be the Scape-Goat for them all! but ah! I fear, I fear, before the Planet Saturn be gotten quite [Page 22] out of Capricorn, that those other parts of this Nation will drink deep of the same Cup. God and Nature punish none by proxy. It will not be this Cities sufferings, that can excuse other Towns and Cities, from the violent stroaks of so insatiate an enemy.

CHAP. V.
Whether the Plague be Infectious or catching.

I Shall not here stand to discourse largely of Atoms, nor yet too strictly enquire into the Sympathies and Antipathies of things. Nor yet shall I trouble my self to enquire whether there are Spirits (in Nature) of so active and subtile a faculty▪ that can penetrate the Pores of the body insensibly, and as easily as lightning is said to me [...] the sword▪ and never singe the s [...]bberd: Or whether there be a commanding quality in the body of man, of power and ability sufficient to send forth in­fectious and dangerous Spirits or Atoms, as Powder doth a Bullet out of the mouth of a Canon, Musquet, or Pi­stoll; which shall admit of no Reverberation or Re­pulse, from the body or butt it aims at: Or whether the body of one man be a trench or channel, capable of re­ceiving the pretended Noxious esfl [...]viums of another; or whether Cables can be made of Cobwebbs! All such enquiries I shall leave to those that have leisure, and take pleasure to disport themselves with words, and the names and noises of things onely.

[Page 23] That which I here aim at, is to examine whether the Pestilence be infectious or catching? If it be infectious and really catching in it self; it must be so equally to all persons that approach it, or that it approacheth; and this, either to some degree of danger, or else unto death; or else it must be infectious to some particular persons onely

If it be infectious to all persons, or catching to all a­like; then all persons that come into the sight, or with­in the scent o [...] it, must necessarily be subject unto i [...]; and this either unto death, or other lesser degree of danger. There cannot be a person, either man, woman, or child, that is either shut up in a house with persons infected, or that shall talk with any of them so shut up, though but at a window, or through a Wicket▪ but m [...]st be supposed to pa [...]take of the infection; [...]o [...]he T [...]lo [...]s of a Contagion in this sence lay hold on them all. But How wide this is of the Truth, I leave to the judge­ments of any, that have their five Sences free from in­fection, and their Reason from depravation.

In every great Pest, experience convinceth this opi­nion of Error; for in this great City we know (and see it daily now) that there are divers persons, that have had (and yet have) the Sickness, the very next door un­to them; on both sides of them; before and behind them; and yet their Persons, Houses, and Families not so much as concerned in it, or touched with it. Many also are constantly visiting their Friends and Relations that are visited; yet (by Gods blessing) they remain safe and sound. And many that I know (whose hard hap it hath been to be shut up (with others) in an infected house, out of which there have been several buried) yet, their good fortune hath been such▪ that they have not only [Page 24] been freed from it, but have not had so much as a head-ach all that time; or in any considerable time af­terward. In this present Pestilence, in Thames street a poor woman dyed of it, having her Childsucking at her br [...]st at the same time; yet was the infant preserved from it, and was put unto a Nurse, where it yet re­mains healthful (as I am credibly informed) and never had the least of prejudice (of that kind) attend it. Nay some there are (on my knowledge I speak it) that have lyen in the same bed with those that have had the soars upon them, and have nevertheless escaped free from all manner of detriment and danger thereby▪ How ma­ny are there of Physicians, Chirurgeons, Apothecaries, Nurses, &c. that are daily among them, and yet escape not onely death, but the disease it self? If any shall re­ply, that they may possibly have taken and do take Antidotes, and thereby they escape; I then demand, If there be such a preserving vertue in any Anti [...]te that can be made use of; what is the reason that any that take Antidotes and Preservatives (as they are called) at any time are infected, or do dye? of which I could give many instances. Some we know, have Fates at­tending them so strenuous, that (S [...]lamander like) they can bid defiance to the flames of the greatest Pestilence; as others we have known to be safe in the heat of a bat­tle, when men have fallen by the sword or bullets on eve­ry side of them. He that hath powerful Stars, is not onely shot-free, but Plague-free; and a good Nativity, is the cer­tainest Am [...]let or Antidote, that a man can have, or be blessed with.

I need not labor to be more perspicuous in this, which is so plain and cleer of it self. Every Parish where the Vi [...]itation hath come, affords instances [Page 25] more then enough; and therefore it will be but a blotting of paper to endeavor a further eviction of this so obvious and Sun-like Truth, That the Plague is not equal­ly infectious; nor are all persons in danger of catching it.

Secondly, If the Plague be presumed not infectious unto all, but unto some particular persons onely; I say then, it ought not to be deemed or esteemed infectious at all, at least not any more infectious, then are all other diseases, viz. Small Pocks, Scurvey, Pleuresie, Ague, Gout, Palsey, Tooth-ach, &c. since (though the Notion of Infection be laid aside) there is not a person born in­to the world, that hath not at some time or other in his life (as his Nativity shall truly shew) some one disease or other. As persons Genitures are either mild and quiet, or ragged and violent, so accordingly do they partake of diseases in the course of their lives. Never was any person subject to violent diseases, as the Plague, &c. but had a violent Nativity to shew it, and è contra. And he that hath the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in his Radix, directed to the hostile beams or body of Mars, in dan­gerous places of the Heavens (as the books of Astrolo­gie will truely inform you) shall never escape the Plague, although the Kingdom he lives in (at that time) be free from it. And that the Pestilence can be other­ways (in this later sence) catching, I deny: All persons must grant that to the first person in a Pestilence it comes [...]x Aftris; if not, I would fain know, from what other Cause? Then, if it be possible for the first person to meet with the Plague without Infection from another; why is it not so for a Second, or for a Third, or for a Thousand? A Million, &c?

Do we think that God and Nature cannot suit effects to their proper Causes, without being beholding to an in­fection, [Page 26] from so filly a worm as Man? Is it not as easie for Heaven to strike thousands of Millions of persons with the Pestilence at once, as to afflict one poor individual mortal therewith? Poor man! that hath hardly breath enough to help himself, must vainly suppose he hath some to spare, to hurt, and offend others. We blaspheme one of the greatest Attributes of the Almighty, when we restrain his power: it is not we that can or are able to infect one another; but it is God by his Power over us that afflicts us all! and indeed the Plague carrieth not in it so much of infection, as it doth of affliction, and so we mortals find it.

Beyond all peradventure, the [...], (i. e.) Small Pox, Lues Venerea, &c. are diseases in all respects as loathsome and dangerous, as the Pestilence; yet how few is the number, that dread infection or Contagion from them, in Comparison of the vast multitudes of men and women, that bow the knee of their Reason to this! Nay I dare aver and maintain, that although the Plague be a disease principally known by the spo [...]s, yet compa­red to those other vile, noxious, and prodigiously-fcul distempers, it is immaculate, and a companion of far less dangerous tendency. I cannot but smile to think how many there are, that look askew, and hold their Noses at the sight of a Door with a Red Cross, and a Lord have mercy upon us, on it; and yet never so much as grutch to eat and drink with their Relations, that in­deed are onely fit company for an Hospital; or once grumble, or think evilly of lying with a Husband or Wife many years together, whose breaths or issues (for wholsomness) are many degrees below Carion, a Jakes, or Charnel-house.

If any diseases be infectious or contagious, to any per­son [Page 27] or persons; it is their fear and imagination that makes it so unto them. Thus many persons (who are [...], of a slavish Nature and temper) come to fight with their own shaddows, and are often (beyond cure) wounded in the imaginary encounter; and others, yeilding obedience to the same Tyrant, meet distraction; as O [...]estes in Euripides, and Theoclymenus in Homer.

Stultum facit [...]ortuna quem v [...]lt perdere.
The Fates first fool the Wight, they mean to foil.

There are none so apt to catch a Contagion, as they that suffer their Reason and belief to wander in dan­ger of a Captivity▪ [...]en must be resolute, and demur to their impelling Fate, if they would avoid being victo­red by their adversary. Crede quod habes, & habes. If thou believest the Pestilence cannot escape thee, thou shalt assuredly have it; thy Faith and Fancy will be certainly answered: whereas another of a generous confidence, and cleer resolution (though in the very midst of it) shall be free, and triumph over fear.

Philosophers affirm, that the Imagination doth work that within, in the Understanding, which the object doth without in the Sence. We find experimentally, that our Reason and Understanding, and all our noblest facul­ties, are led Captive by our Imagination ad libitum; and we are slaved by it in ignoble sort, and yet remain such fools as to indulge our injurer: mistake me not, I mean by imagination, onely that truckling Passion, Fear, which may very well and properly be termed, the Re­verse of imagination, rather then the thing it self. It being an indiscreet, strange, and (as a Learned Author aptly terms it) inconsiderate Passion; and as it hath its [...]ise from Terrors, so it many times casteth us into ve­ry emine [...]t hazards. It is a Tyrant that hoodwinks Reason, [Page 28] and layes the understanding in fetters, and then tor­ments us with Masks and Vizors of Danger; as we use to affright children with Bugbears. How many have fallen into most grieuous diseases, and other mischiefs of all kinds, onely by imagining or fearing them? The thing that I feared is fallen on me, saith holy Job.

To conclude then, the infection is in our affections, and keeps court in our minds; we imagine great dangers from without us, when they have their Rise and Ori­ginal within us. It is a sure presage of danger, to be slavishly affected with a sence of danger. The Timo­rous-troubled-yielding-mind, brings a Contagion upon the whole Body, although it inhabit the Fields, and live from the sight or hearing of persons Infected. Albeit, wisdom inviteth us sometimes to a reasonable doubting, and Prudence directs us to shun apparent evils; but it is an Argument of super-insaniated folly in any man to dread any thing to servility, or to conceit or coyn dangers▪ where none really are to be found.

CHAP. VI.
Evinceth the folly of people in flying from their habitations for fear of the Plague.

THe Reason why many persons, so willingly sacri­fice to their Fears, in flying from their habitations in the time of a Pestilence, proceeds

1. From the customary advice of Physicians.

2. From a principle of Cowardise in themselves.

First, Physicians in most knotty distempers of a Chro­nick Nature, advise their Patients to a change of their [Page 29] Air, which (sine dubio) is very necessary, that being one of the six non naturales; for they cannot take too much care of that Patient, who groans under the ty [...] an­ny of Sickness. But to prescribe (unto persons that a [...]l nothing) a necessity of removing, because more per­sons then ordinary dye about them, I see no clear Rea­son for. That ancient, but questionable Oracle of Hippocrates,—Cito, Longe, T [...]rde; should it with other Oracles cease, I prefume would be no injury, but advan­tage to the humane race; since it may truly be deemed▪ that the observation thereof hath destroyed many more persons, then it hath preserved. If flying could preserve men from the Pestilence, it were an easie matter for a man to wrestle with the Almighty, and prevent Divine vengeance; the Creature might frustrate the intention and resolution of his Creator, and earth might out-plot Heaven. But impossible it is, for the wisest of Mortals to contrive so securely agai [...]t the decrees of Eternity! or baffle Celestial Destiny▪

If Fates Decrees are sure, in vain we fly them;
If they are not, in vain we fear to try them.

How many are there, that by flying from dangers, have fallen into the middest of dangers? When men Plot to save themselves, their contrivances often procure their ruine. In the year 1348. when that great and terrible Pest happened, many people by their Physicians advice, and many more, by their example, not onely changed their habitation, but their Nation also, in hopes to a­void it. But behold! they that refused to trust God at Land, were overtaken by that his judgement at Sea, and were forced to make their Graves in the bellies of Fishes. De [...]s est abique. God is every where, therefore flye quickly, go far off, or what thou wilt, thou canst not [Page 30] fly from his presence. It is a more witty, then true distin­ction for any man to flatter himself in, by saying, He flies not from God, but from his Plague. For Gods judge­ments are never separate from him; the Rod of his Anger is of such a Longitude, that it can reach us every where. Men may flye from their houses, their families, their companions friends, and relations, and thereby be­come examples of fear and terror to others; but t [...]ey cannot fly from God. In vain they at all attempt it.

Quarles
'Tis vain to flee, 'tis neither here nor there,
Can scape that hand, untill that hand forbear;
Ah me! where is he not, that's every where?
'Tis vain to flee, till g [...]tle mercy shew
Her better eye, the further off we go,
The Swing of Justice deals the mightier blow.

No advice is prosperous against Heaven: the Physician himself cannot escape by flying. He that shall under­take to prescribe against the God of Nature, shall be proscribed by the God of Nature.

Secondly, Men are not onely retrograded in their Reasons, by their Physicians counfel or advice, more then they are from a principle of Cowardice within them. They fear, and therefore they fly. Cowards ho­ping to avoid dangers, rush ignorantly into them. A Bullet may sooner kill him that runs from the battle, then him that stoutly and resolutely joyns therewith; the truly valiant often escape untoucht. A mans own wit (when bridled by fear) hunts him into those snares, that above all things he would gladly shun. Cowardice throws contempt upon the great Creator of all things, as arguing a distrust unworthy of his power. Can God preserve Daniel in the Lions Den, and not secure [Page 31] thee from the Plague, thinkest thou? is it harder for him to keep thee sound among the sick, then it was to pro­tect the three children in the Oven from the devouring flames, and consuming heat thereof? In a Coward not onely Religion, but Reason endures the Rack; and where a generous confidence is wanting, the faculties of the Soul are frozen. But a well-poyz'd Resolution, is a bulwark against the most imminent dangers.

Audaces fortuna juvat.—
The Gods befriend the nobly confident.—

And valour (as one well observes) casts a kind of ho­nor upon God, in that we shew, that we believe his goodness, while we trust our selves in danger upon his care onely; whereas the Coward eclipses his sufficiency▪ by unworthily doubting that God will not bring him off.

Sinful Adam can't hide himself so closely, but God can easily find him; and if distrustful Jonah will flee to Tarshish, God can raise a Tempest to overtake him. If God have appointed the Pestilence for thy Portion, thy flying from it, but throws thee into its embraces. Hence it is, that the Countries round about us, come to be so suddenly seized with this Sickness; the fears of the Heartless fugitives, being as so many nimble Cha­riots, to convey it unto the places, whither they fly or travel. If men will be afraid to trust God, it is no won­der that he refuses to protect them.

Let us consider, how small a number of worthy gene­rous persons this Pest preys upon, in comparison of the vast multitudes of the vulgar that are swept away by it. There hath not been six persons of eminent Note and consideration, known to dye in this great and popu­lous City since the Plague began. It feeds chiefly upon [Page 32] those people that fear hath slain to its hand. Persons of narrow souls & understandings, of confused Intellects, and Aguish constitutions, are they that principally fall sa­crifices unto this great devourer; when those of a more refined Reason and understanding (as if supported by more noble Stars) remain secure from it. So we see, a vertuous confidence is a security against the worst of Evils, and a slavish timidity onely a herauld or harbin­ger to them. Lucan tells us;

—Fortunaque perdat,
Opposita virtute, minas—
Fates greatest Threats be lost,
Where vertue Rules the Rost.

I read in a Book lately Printed upon occasion of this great Pestilence▪ that in the time of that raging Sick­ness, Anno 1348. many People kept themselves up close in their houses as in Castles; and many retired into de­serts and solitary places to secure and preserve themselves from its violence. But the Pest (as if it knew no li­mits; nor could be contrould in its rage and fury, untill the hand that scatter'd it, restrained it) pursues those poor souls into their close corners, and there destroys great numbers of them. And at the last, when they saw, they had (like a bird in a net) by striving, entangled and endangered themselves the more; they assumed a Christian and man like boldness; and (resolving to wel­come death in that terrible habit, if it fell to their Lot, they) went promiscuously together▪ and became ser­viceable to each other, in administring to one ano­thers necessities; and to crown this happy magnanimity and fearless Resolution; it so pleased God, the Plague stayed.

And it is ingeniously observed by Mr. Kemp in his Treatise lately published, pag▪ 39. That in the ending [Page 33] [...] great sickness 1625. the people went promiscuously [...] another, and the houses were quickly filled with [...] and fresh commers out of the Country, and yet [...] infection followed. Thus we see the conceit of [...] hurts more then the thing it self: Minus afficit [...] [...]tigatio, quam cogitatio. And since peoples [...] from their habitations, doth rather betray them [...] the arms of danger, then any way secure them [...] the thing they fear, it argues professed Folly in any [...] for men may as well abscond from the [...] presence, as to hope to hide themselves from his [...].

CHAP. VII.
[...] this present Plague was foretold by Astrology.

[...] to say much of that impertinent and worthless scoffer, whose mouth Satan hath lately opened, not only against most honorable and Learned Society of men in the world [...] the Colledge of Physicians!] but against the [...] of the Stars and Heavens, and the Augures Coeli (as [...] pleased to term Astrologers) because I [...] the Flux of his Pen, he understandeth the Starry [...] a little; (if at all:) in that he [vainly] goeth about to [...] and Eclipse them. The man by his writing, seems [...] of that number, who for fear of giving that honor [...] Coelestial bodies is their due, are not ashamed of [...] more and greater energy to a dunghill, or unto a [...] Lake or Pond, or a close sluttish ally, &c. then unto [...] and ever-busied Creatures; whom God hath over us, that as secondary Causes, they might guide [...]ve [...]n all things in this inferior world. But these are [...] prefer a Hog to Venus, embrace a Cloud for Juno! [...] Aesops Ape, they cannot be content to hugg their [Page 34] own Ethiopian fancies, &c. but must be idly adventurin [...] [...] corrupt and poyson the better-informed judgements of others. Nor yet to examine his frivolous supposition of the Plague its taking beginning from the disease called the Scorbu [...]e; or the Lues Venerea its Rise from a souldier copulating with a foul Mare; as Holy Helmont and himself dream: a most beastly and unsavory suggestion! and bespeaks the Author and broach­er thereof, to be Sordidu [...] in co [...]tu; as Astrologers say those are, that have Sa [...]urn and Venus in their Nativities, in Qua­drate or Opposite Aspect from beas [...]ial signs.

Not, I say, to take further or other notice of the Author o [...] these and many other insolent and unworthy passages in tha [...] defiled Pamphlet, he calls A consolatory advice, &c. it being (a [...] I hear) under the examination of a better hand: I shall in thi [...] Chapter acquaint the world, that this great Pest was predicted by Astrology, and that not by one Astrologer alone, but by several; as by these several passages cited from several of thei [...] works is apparent.

1. Mr. John Booker in his Telescopium Uranicum, 1665 mentioning a text of Haly de judiciis Astrorum, of the effect of a □ ♄ and ♂ (such an Aspect happening in the Vernal figure thence predicts, That one part of the people of that Clyma [...] (meaning our own) shall be destroyed, consumed and wast away

2. William Andrews in his Almanack for 1665. in the Ju­dicials of the Aestival figure thereof, hath these words: A [...] in regard he (that is, Saturn) is in the eighth house [viz. the hou [...] of death and mortality] he doth seem thereby to prenote MORTALITY, which will destroy and bring MANY to the [...] Graves.

3. Thomas Trigge in his Calendarium Astrologicum, [...] in his Junes observation thereof, hath these words: I [...] much fear a sickly season in earnest; from which evil God of [...] mercy protect this great and populous City, for Mars possesse [...] Gemini, the Ascendant of London. And it's observable that th [...] Sickness then began to encrease.

4. In my own Ephemeris for the present year 1665. in th [...] moneth April, at what time the Pestilence first began to she [...] it self, I had these Poetical observations.

[Page 35]

If England keep but from Sickness free;
Then England may a happy Kingdom be.

[...]hereby you see, I feared not onely the Pestilence, but the [...]eat damage that thereby this Nation hath sustained, and i [...] like yet to undergo thereby.

5. And in my discourse of the Comets or Blazing Stars, pag. 47. thereof; after a consideration of the Natural por­t [...]nts of the two first Comets, I subjoyn these words; When we consider these several dreadful significations (which I there at large mention, a [...] any that list may read) it may put us all to our [...]tany, From War, PLAGUE and Famine, Libera nos Do­ [...]ine! Good Lord deliver us.

And in pag. 51. of the same book, as having a sufficient [...] vision of the present Pest, from the apparition of those [...]lestial Monitor's the Comets, and other eminent occurring Causes; I bewail the world by reason of the many and ter­rible afflictions they denounce unto it, thus: The sword is an enemy, that by the sword, a man of resolution and magnanimity, may contend with, and be in hopes of a victory; but the PLAGUE and FAMINE are adversaries there is no fence for, or defence against. They are so sure an Ambush, that the subtilty of all the Machiavils in the world cannot enervate or destroy; enemies, that the stoutest of men cannot take a revenge upon, although they see their dearest friends murdred by them before their faces. And in pag. 53. and 54. in my Catalogue of places that were by those Comets, &c. designed to suffer and become passive; I name England and London. And although these predictions be particular enough as to the thing in question, yet had it not been, that I was lo [...]th to affright folks too much with the sence or thought of danger before it came, I could have been much plainer; and much plainer I was also, in this very par­ticular Pest (some years before it came) to many of my peculiar and better knowing friends, as are yet in the City; (some of them by my encouragement only;) and I am confident are both ready and willing to a [...]est the truth hereof, if occasion re­quired it; or if that, that I have now said from divers others, as well as my self, in print, do not satisfie in this matter.

Let this therefore (in this place) suffice, to prove to the in­genious, [Page 36] that by Astrology, this present Pest was foretold; even as Hippocrates (that Prince of Physicians) by the same Art, was also enabled to predict that raging Plague which happen­ed in his time; for the which curious skill, he is so honorably remembred by Sir Christopher Heydon, in his unanswerable defence of Astrology, as also by many other eminent and worthy Writers.

CHAP. VIII.
That the Air is unjustly suspected to lodge the Contagion.

IT is received generally for a truth, that the Noble Element of Air doth harbor and lodge the Contagion, and that men, &c. sucke in a kind of venesick poisonous matter therewith▪ and so come to be infected with the Pestilence. Which i [...] true, it proves Custome a most terrible Tyrant, in following whereof, the Magistrates shut up people infected in Houses or Rooms, to prevent the spreading thereof: For, if the Air be at such a time infected, and doth really harbor the Conta­gion; the hotter it is, the more infectious it needs must be, and consequently the plague in far greater danger of encreasing, by this customary Care, then if it were wholly omitted. Nay, were the Air the Palace of the Pestilence, in a time of Sick­ness, it would be even dangerous for persons to assemble ei­ther in Churches, or Courts of Justice; nay for many to talk to­gether in a street, since the uniting of breaths must make an ad­dition of heat, unto that which was too hot and pestilential be­fore: but we accuse the Air unjustly to lodge the contagion, and that for these Reasons.

1. The Air is that Element, whose office it is to preserve all things, and without which nothing can remain alive; and can we reasonably suppose it should be able to estrange it self so much from its native quality, as to lodge within its bosom so destructive an enemy as infection? The Air being a pure Ele­ment, is attracted by the Lungs into mans body, and without it (saith Dr. Brown) there is no durable continuation of Life. It preserves the body by ventilation, and by its power alone, the [Page 37] Natural flame or torch of life, is kept from extinction. That therefore which by its natural vertue, is the preserver of every thing that hath life, cannot be presumed to entertain so unhap­py and cruel an inmate, as infection, it being supposed the grand enemy to, and destroyer of Life.

2. Anaximenes the Milesian, in Plutarch, maintaineth that Air is the principle of the world; and as our soul (saith he) which is Air, keepeth us alive; so Spirit and Air maintain the being of the whole world. And we know it is for want of Air that the earth refuseth to bring forth its fruits; and it is for the Aires sake we remove some Plants, and open the roots of others; or else they either dye, or bring forth nothing worthy. Nay, Fishes (as one ingeniously observes) though they breath not perceptibly; yet we see the want of Air kills them: as when a long and tedious Frost, imprisons a Pond in Ice. It can­not therefore be, that that Element which hath all these noble and preserving qualities, should lodge so foul a guest as the Contagion.

3. The Air (saith learned Feltham) is not corruptible; we speak falsely, when we say the Air infecteth; the Air it self ever clarifies, and is always working out that taint, which would mix with it. Every breath we take, it goes unto our heart to cool it. Our Veins, Arteries, Nerves, and in most Marrow, are all vivifi­ed by their participation of Air; and so indeed is every thing that the world holds; as if this were the Soul that gave it liveli­hood. It were therefore great presumption, for so defiled and unclean a Companion as the Contagion, to attempt the taking up of so fair and pure quarters, as the Air affords: And however the Air is come to be charged, it is below Reason, to think that Pure and Impure can at all agree. The Air therefore cannot lodge the Contagion.

4. If the Contagion should keep its court in the Air, as the Air it self altered, so should the Contagion: but we see the con­trary is true, therefore the Air hath nothing to do in lodging with the Contagion.

The Learned Sir C. H. saith, In a general mortality, we cannot impute an infection to the Air, or to the operations of the Ele­ments, as to intensive or excessive heat or cold (which we must [Page 38] do, did the Contagion truely lodge there) sith it is evident even by Aristotle himself, that the Elements are altered, and have their qualities from▪ heaven. And besides, the long continuance or duration of a Pestilence, as sometimes a whole year, somtimes two or three, doth sufficiently prove, that it cannot be reason­ably thought to proceed from the Air, or the intention of heat and cold, or any other elementary qualities, because they vary many times in the same day, and much more in succession of seasons: And we know, that the state of the Air, &c. is of a quite different and contrary disposition in Winter to that which it is in Summer; therefore the Contagion cannot remain in the Air.

Nay, in that great Pestilence in Germany which happened in the years 1598. and 1599. the Learned Physicians of Vienna themselves acknowledge (at the instance and request of the Archduke Matthias) t [...]at although they might presume some neer Cause thereof in the Air, yet the true and certain causes of it were in the Heavens, the Planets and their Aspects, as is testified by Asuerus in Iatromathematicis, p. 206. My Author yet goes further▪ and says, that they mentioned a preceding Comet in the earthly sign Taurus (such a one as happened with us at Christmas 1664.) and some notable Conjunctions of the Planets, to be (Post Deum) the true and absolute causes thereof.

Now, if these Learned persons had been fully satisfied, that the Air had lodged the Contagion, or that the infection had inhabited there; they needed not to have climed to Heaven to find a more noble cause thereof.

If any shall ask me (now) whence cometh the Pestilence? since I deny it to inhabit the Air; I answer, that it comes from the Heavens; as in the first Chapter I have already sufficiently p [...]oved, and it were but actum agere, to do it here again. But if then any shall enquire further, how it comes? I answer, by that Magnetick power of the heavens, by which all things in Nature, and Natures self is preserved. As a Needle will work toward a Loadstone, though thorow a board of considerable thickness; so our bodies bend to the influences of the heavenly bodies, by whose power and vertue, they are attracted higher or tower, in and through all the changes and chances of this mortal [Page 39] life. For▪ as my worthy friend Dr. Ed. Bolnest, in his Med. Inst. [...]. [...]4. hath truly urged it, There is nothing above, but hath its lik [...]ess below; and whatever is below, hath the same vertue with [...] which is above. Heaven and earth, the things above, and things below, are like two Lutes equally strung; the one being touched, the other answers it, with a like sound.

Conclusion.

FRom what hath been said in the preceding discourse, these several Conclusions naturally emerge.

1. That the true and proper natural causes of the Pestilence, are the Aspects and influences of the Heavens; and when we attribute so great an effect to other less and inconsiderable causes, we strangely erre: and make the Gates too big for the [...]i [...]y: the building too ponderous for the foundation. A Mouse can't cast a shaddow like an Elephant, nor a Molehill like the Al­pine mountaines. If the effect be great, so must the cause, else Nature knew not Geometry.

2. That the Pestilence cannot last above four years (i. e.) in one place or Country; for in that time, it either abateth of it self, o [...] is removed unto some other Country, &c. as Celestial causes please to pre-appoint. And therefore, they that assert Plagues to continue, sometimes eight, sometimes fifteen years, or more [I mean, in its raging effects] are wrong in their Conclusions, and not to be believed. He that by second causes appoints be­ginnings to Pestilences, proportionates unto them proper Me­diums and Periods.

3. That the several Plagues which happened Anno 1593, 1603, 1625▪ and 1636. received their beginnings, increase, a­batements, and periods, proportionate to the energy of Celestial Influences; and that the Stations, Transits, and ill Aspects of Saturn and Mars, in a time of Sickness, are the [...]ugmentors thereof; and the Transits, Aspects and Station [...] of Jupiter and Venus, the Alleviators.

4. That this present Plague (God not a [...]ering or suspending [Page 40] the power he hath given to second ca [...]ses) will abate about the later end of September 1665. and the [...] [...] less apace.

5. That the Pestilence of it self [...] is not catching: That it is the timidity of our affections, which occasions the (supposed) Infection.

6. That those persons which flye from the Plague, are the most subject unto it; by seeking to [...]hu [...] dangers, we often rush into them. God hath not a con [...]roversie [...]o much with wood and stones, as with men▪ and the rod of his anger, is not so much for punishment of Cities and Houses, as their Inhabi­tants. God can find us o [...]t▪ though we hide our selves behind Rocks and Mountains.

7. That this present Plague was fore [...]old by Astrology; and that no other Art whatsoever, is capable of predictions of this kind.

8. That the Air is unjustly suspected to lodge the Contagion: it being so noble an element, and so advantagious, that without it we cannot live or move▪ It is the only preserver of mankind; and the Causa sine qua [...]on, of the vivification of all things. Which seriously considered, whispers unto us, this great truth:

That th [...] shutting up of People in a time of Sickne [...]s, and d [...]nying them the advantage of the Air, is no small propinquate cause (at least) of the increase of the Co [...]agion.

For by how much the more Men are abridged their Customary liberty, by so much the more are they subject to Fear; and the greater their Fear is, th [...] seener do they meet the ill they dread. But see more of this in the sixth Chapter of the forego [...]ng d [...]s [...]curse.

In the time of the Levitical Law, men were not to be shut up above seven days, and then on [...]ly the uncl [...]an pe [...]son▪ and this after the Priest had seen good reason for it; and if he amended either before, or at the seven days end, then the Priest pronounced him clean. But we in this Age, shut up not onely the unclean▪ but the Sound and Sick together; (the onely way to be rid of all; if at the least [...] be such a thing as Infection) And i [...] in a Family of ten or more, one [...] [...] though all the rest be sound and healthy, we shut up the living, for the sake of [...]he dead; and debar them the benefit of (those great and known preservers of health) the Air, and Exercise, a Month at least together.

A Custome strangely tyrannous! and I am afraid savors more of Barbarism then Christian [...]ty; and as it is [...] to the Laws of Old, and to Cha­rity; so beyond question it is, a [...] [...]ath been considerably detrimental, and injurious to the Lives of very many thousands in this great City▪ whose only [...]lory is in her numerous Inhabitants.

FINIS.

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