The epistle of one frend to another, of a strange fyre that was sene in the aire both longe and brode almost through al Germany, and what as well the godly as the vngodly maye or ought therof to loke for or feare.

MY due salutations re­membred right wor­shipfull brother, thys shalbe to let you vnder stande that in the be­ginning of the yere of our lord. M. D. LXI. wherein we are nowe, the thirde after the feast of the birth of Christ, that is on childermas day: there appeared ouer our citie and all the borders of Swicerlande, two houres afore day the aire beyng clear a very red fyre, in maner whole toge­ther, but that white furrowes or strakes came betwene, and it stretched out longe and brode almost a furlong brode, although in another place it se med narower, but in lengthe three or foure times so muche. So that vnto [Page] all the beholders in maner a whole mile long towardes ye North it semed that some village or many, or els som towne had bene on a great fyre. And in many places the neighbours ran together as it were to quench the fire of some of their neighbours: and ther wer which thought that thei saw in this fyre of bloudy colour mani white forowes or strakes, very like vnto bundels of speares. But it continued not longe in one place, but remoued many furlonges further, and when it was day or rather towardes [...]ye, by litle and litle it vanished out of sight being first gathered together at San gallie in maner of a great tower. By this ye may easly coniecture that this fyre was on the higher parte of the aire, because it was sene so far of, and almost folowed the mouinge of the aire, & yet not on ye highest aire yt there like vnto the comets or blasing starres might be kindeled by the ele­ment of fire. And this was also faith­fully shewed vs, that it was so seen at Zurich, Glaroua, Sāgale, Constāce and euery where round about ye lake [Page] of Aezon, and Venice, and so likewise at Basill, and in the most part of the places of Swicerland, and the Reci­ans or Grisons. But whether it were sene any further we shall know short­ly. And in certain places betwene Suricke and the litle towne Elgia thei say that flames of fire fel down to the grounde and amased therewith a cer­taine man that traueiled by the way.

And a certaine credible man of the teritorie of Surike tolde me all the matter, which he did diligently mark.

Fyrst, when the night was cleare, and yet ear it was day it became dar­ker, euen in the setting of the moone it semed vnto him as it wer a certain light to rise from the earth as if di­uers beames and of sundrie colours (as when the Sunne by the droppes of raine maketh diuers colours) shuld so by and by arise from the ground as it werdrawen vp toward heauen, and there gathered a rednes as though a certaine cloude had wared red, & stode so a lytle while, and anone after a certaine cloud went through the middest thereof, and then was seene a shuting [Page] out of fyre as it had bene starres oute of a burning cloude.

The signification of thys wonder­full matter, righte learned syr, which I haue studied vpō to exercise my self withall, & to styre vp my minde to ye author of it, I write vnto you there­fore that I may hear your iudgement vpon the same which I much esteme.

The signification of the vvonder.

  • 1 For as much as such prodigious wonders chaunce seldom in thys our time, and olde men far stryken in age can not remembre to haue sene anye such, therfore it is to be feared & loked for some vnacustomed hap to folowe.
  • 2 The bredeth and bignes of it was notable, through which it was sene euery where long and brode, and as it were euery where nere hand, wher of we diuine and pronunce a greate euyll to folowe, and that not to one region alone, and therin al men to be perplered and doutfull, to what place they maye chiefely goe, and where they may resist the ragyng fyre.
  • [Page]3 The colour of the fyre it selfe like to bloode what betokeneth it but warre: In whiche the lande shall a­bounde in the blood of the slaine and all thinges wasted with fyre?
  • 4 And thys calamitie is thiefelye threatened to those people to whome so euer thys wonder was seane nea­rest.
  • 5 And because it apeared before day lyght and of a sodeyne & vnloked for and in maner to al persons as yet sle­pyng, therfore it betokeneth the calamities approchynge to be looked for to come vpon manye not thynkynge nor preparyng them selues, or repen­ting, and ouer carelesse in themselues and not only such particular calami­ties to come, but shortly an vphoped iudgement of the whole worlde.
  • 6 And that within a shorte time af­ter this: because this burning of the aire was seane euery where as it had bene present & nere as I haue sayde.
  • 7 And because it endured but a shorte tyme, therefore it maketh vs hope that the persecution shall not continue longe.
  • [Page]8 And because by and by after it be­ing vanished away the Sunne arose, we hope the cleare light of the wurde of god to be the end of all persecution.
  • 9 And that rednes was not al whole together, but deuided as it were with certaine cleare and bright spaces or furrowes by the which also starres appeared, that signifieth, that in the middest of those calamities and persecuti­ons God wil comfort his elect, and in that fire shall issue out the heauenlye brightnes of the gospell.
  • 10 And now seing this wonder was sene in the beginning of the yere, ther fore shal we doute whether this cala­mitie shall indure a whole yere? For nowe also great mocions do begin to come furth, and thei wil come further except god turne awaye great euils, or rather dare we hope because it ap­peared by & by after the birth of christ that is the thirde day after, within so many yeres hence, that our lorde Ie­sus Christes doctrine wilbe setfurth farre and brod and as it were restored againe all falshold being expulsed and so the godly to loke for to be­ginne [Page] a newe yere and a new kynde of lyuynge.
  • 11. And because that bloudy fyre ap­peared on childermas daye we do not deut but that he which was somtime a reuenger of the bloode of the inno­cent children will now also become a reuenger and punisher for those god­ly and faithful men, which haue suffered persecutiō and death for his name sake. And for them whiche as yet re­main he wyl be a defender and main­tener, so that finallye they wyll ac­knowledge him to be a father of their cause, and by amendment of life an­swere therunto and prepare them sel­ues with praier and sobrietie for the grace that is to come.
  • 12. The shuting of starres as it were the falling of them do doutles signifie vnto vs, that the day of the great iud­gement is at hande. A litle before the which day that such fore warning sig­nes shoulde be seene our Lord Christ hath warned vs afore hande longe a goe.

But in no age at anye time hath ther be sene so many and so great and [Page] straunge wonderous sygnes euerye wher abroad as within these few ye­res: that we oght altogether already to consider that it is by tokens signi­fied vnto vs that the latter day is not farre of, and both by other wonders & chiefly by this which is not perticuler nor terrestriall but almost vniuersall and celistiall excepte we vtterly slepe with ouermuch carelesnes and securitie. But first must that Babilonicall beast beyng stuffed with the bloode of sainctes and yet not filled nor satisfied be cast downe, and the sincere gospell preached agayne through the whole worlde. The which that it maye very shortly come to passe we shal pray vnto the almightye gracious and great God by our lorde Iesus Christe in the holy Gost.

And yet therfore we oght not to promise a carelesse securitie to our selues that the kingdō of the prince of Chri­stes enemies shall decaye and fal: but except we doe throughly take hede to oure selues by and by wyth amende­ment of lyfe, and ceasse to bragge of a vaine faith, beyng our selues instru­ted [Page] and furnished with no good wor­kes, we shall firste be punished by the same. For seynge oure lyfe of all in maner for the moste parte answe­reth not to oure profession we haue manye wayes deserued moste gre­uous punishmentes: and more tru­ly then our aduersaries, for this cause that in so great lyghte of the knowen truth, we be kyndled or moued wyth no feruencye of syncere religion but wallowe and are wrapped in all kind of vices and wyll almoste suffer no disciplyne eyther priuate or publyke: And for the moste parte all Magistra­tes wyll not onelye haue Dominion in the commune wealthe and in Ci­tyes, but they also wyll haue rule in the church, but they will not commyt them selues to the common discipline of the same.

Finally, the pastors and ministers of the churches for the most parte be full of ambition, conetonsnes, wan­tonnes, and other vices, & be no bet­ter than those whome they ought to teache and feede wyth the worde of GOD, but rather much worse.

[Page]Wherfore it is greatly to be feared yt nere the day of the lord draweth vpon vs, and that to vs that waxe so colde shalbe moued and not to a fewe of vs and priuatly as hath bene hertofore, but a common publike and vniuersal sore of persecution wherwith we shal be warned more then inough: for frō the aduersaries of Christs church and his membres (except God tourne it a­way) shal go out the fyre which hath bene of longe time prepared for vs, & from Italie vnto vs and towarde the North (ye which way ye wonder & pro­degious for warning did incline) shall it come furiously vpon the christians. Not withstanding we hope and hum­bly praye vnto the most gracious and mighty god the father of our lord Ie­sus Christ with lowly and deuot har­tes, that this euell may sone after be turned from vs: not for vs but for his name sake, and the holy worshippers of his annoynted. For the bloode of those which longe ago alreadye hathe bene moste abundantly spylled & shed or consumed with fyre throughout al Germany, Fraunce, Italy, Spaine, [Page] and other regions (by that seuen hea­ded and horned and bloudy Babiloni­cal beast with whome the kinges and princes of the earth haue committed and do commit fornication) may now seme altogether to haue burste out of the bowels of the earth wyth a fla­mynge brightnes, and that the same burnyng in the ayre betokening a re­uenging from the Lord (which is the defender and reuenger of hys) hathe mingled together: That al men may see and vnderstande the euident cause of this wonderful for warning. Therfore god wil punish together his whō he loueth that they may be amended, and wyth them or at the least by and by after the enemies of his name which go forward obstinatly in their ma­lice, and in the persecution of the sainctes. It becometh vs to acknowledge our fauts and to aske forgiuenes and not to despaire by and by at the firste cruell assaute of Antichrist whatsoe­uer they be. For he sayth that he is in danger and assauted himself and that on euery side is great fallyng aways frō him, & lest he shulde vtterly be for­saken [Page] he proueth al thinges to the extremitie. We yf we wyll continue in the sincere calling vpon the Lord and remēbre to kepe our selfes in prosperitie, so many as god wil haue kept safe from these calamities shall proue and see a happy successe and spreadyng a­brode of the gospell, through out the whole worlde: and the ruine and de­caye of that prince or ruler which vn­der the tytle of the name of Christe is against him being now of late begon wholy to be performed. For this en­terprise of his as it is to be thought to be the greatest so is it to be suppo­sed that it shalbe the laste: and as he did seuer this wonder from the daye that was commyng, euen so it is to be hoped that at the cleare preaching of the Gospel and the last iudgement shortly comming vpon it, al euil shal haue an ende. So we for our selues oght for to gesse well with good and valiant mindes. For the almyghtye can if he wil deliuer vs from all cala­mities, at the least if he do not those are happy ones which die strongly in the confession of his name for Christ [Page] and the truth. But vnhappy are they whosoeuer thynke them selues con­querours agaynst Christ.

That prodigies or wonders be done or styrred vp by god▪ contrary to the sayings of the Epicures.

ARistotle in his fyrst boke of cele­stiall speculation and. v. chapter, in mencionyng of other thynges which he calleth fyrye speculations, writeth thus. There be sene someti­mes in the night the aire being clear many appearinges (he calleth them horrible sightes) to mete in the ayre. As be gapyngs pittes bloody colours the cause whereof is euen the same, which is of the other aforesaide. But next before he had sayd that of a cer­taine vapour or exaltation that is whot & drie kindled in the hygh aire be made both certaine other specula­tions, as beames, Goates, blasyng starres, and also that which is called Thlora, that is a flame or burning: and he sayeth yf that vapour be kindled & shut forth it self wide and brode, it semeth [Page] oftētimes to burne like a flame as strawe when it is kyndled in the felde. &c. Of vapours truly (by the o­pinion of the sayde Philopher) whi­ch be sene in ye high aire in the cleare nightes, some in dede burne and that longe time, as blasyng starres: some a short time, as flames torches, goa­tes, shutyng starres. Some other ap­peare to be somwhat that thei be not and they may properly be called hor­rible syghtes: as cloudes somewh [...] cleare of colour, but chiefelye red of colour and purple or bloudy: for other colours can scantly appeare, namely such as arise by ye reflection of beames or such as by cōmixion be white & fi­ry. Likwise such as be called gapings or pi [...]res. &c. And there be also which thinke that there be suche colours in dede. And it mai be thought that somtyme bloodye cloudes be in dede and sometyme do apeare so. For we haue red often that ther hath rained blood and sometime that it only appeareth so, by the reflexion of the light. Tru­ly it is not to be douted but that both ther be and also appeareth or semeth [Page] a bloody colour of burnyng in ye night and of flames, chiefely seyng the fla­me or the inflamed matter and sub­staunce so thicke. And perchaunce more in the winter when vapours to be inflamed or in dede in flames breake out of the earth go vp, by an ayre that is colde and moyste and grosse, euen as of a grene peace of woode the flames appeare to be more red. Per­ [...]duenture some beyng persuaded by these philosophicall reasons, wyll thynk this our wondrous or strange token (or bloodye colour or fyre they wyll name it rather a flame or celesti all burnyng) vttterly to be a naturall thyng, and such as the causes thereof maye be sufficientlye gathered out of the very bosome of nature: and to be­token nothyng els but peraduenture some naturall effect: as some mutati­on of the ayre and of the constitution and course of the yere: or some pesti­lence at hand or immediatlye folow­ing: amonge the signes of the whych nature thei learned are wonte to put fyry speculations, as gapynges, bur­nynges, comets, shuttyng starres, & [Page] other thynges that by nyght maye be perceyned in the ayre. For although in this tyme of the wynter vapours hoate and drie, and to be inflamed, ar not wont to breake out of the earth: notwithstanding (he sayth) it is to be thought that they beyng the longer shut in the earth with great frost, be­ing the more abundantly gathered together, breake out at the length with more violence when the wayes be o­pened, and being raised vpon high in the hyghest ayre the heate beyng re­strained by a repulsion and let, or els that that colour was made by the beames of the sonne then beyng neare to the risyng being either kindled or els only appearyng by reflixion and tur­ning backe againe: and those whyte furrowes were beames of the Sunne brought in that part onely whereon the substance of the vapours being gathered together was thinne. For the beames of the Sunne appeare muche more in the high mountaines then in the lower places. Also as it is written in histories, thys hathe also happened in other places. And greate [Page] burnings haue appeared for many vapours were gathered being long shut within the earth by the strength of colde, and chiefely in places of mountains whose bellies and waies be for the most part full of such vapours. These and suche lyke thinges per­chaunce mē that are curious in philosophie, or also vtterly godlesse, as E­picure and suche other couetous per­sons will put furth, and so persuade vs by this meane to feare nothynge. The authour Cicero of diuination (sayeth) this only reason, by the opi­nion and testimonie of the expositors of monstruous thynges auaileth a­gainst all shewes monsters and won­ders. If that whiche coulde neuer be done, be done, if it maye not be to be meruailed at. And so it to be no mon­strous thing or wonder that may be done. But it was som great strēgth whych opened the shuttynge of the earth, by it it may appeare. Because that in some places about midnight an earthquake went before: as cer­tain watchmen did obserue it at Su­rick, and certain other hard the sha­kyng [Page] of yron instruments and plats of glasse, other saw gapyng in maner of pittes, and the dai before the earth opened neare vnto Tubinga. So thei do iudge that are indued with mans wisdome. But we out of the holye scriptures, and out of the treasure of the eternall and diuine wisdom, and out of the trew mouth of our lord, say that such wonders be sent from god, god doyng it other aboue nature, or contrary to nature, or els vsyng na­turall thynges to the signifiyng of hys wyl, we saye and do beleue it, al­so histories do witnes, that alwayes great calamities haue folowed after suche wonders.

Out of the booke of Iulius, of prodegies or wonders: made. 505. yere after the makyng of the cytye.

T. Gracco M. Inuentio Coss. amōg other wonders that he rehearseth, sayth: that the forme of two Sunnes were sene in the day, the ayre burned there was often lightnynge, storme and tempest.

P. Scipio Nasica Cn. Martio Coss. it is red, that the ayre in the nyght [Page] burned, and much lightning fell.

P. Affrican and Lelio Coss. ryuers of blood flowed out of the earth, and in the night ye aire was sene to burne A star dyd burne by the space of two and thyrtye dayes.

C. Cecilio Cn. Papyrio Coss. in the night the mount of Albane was sene to burne, houses burnte with light­ning and tokens out of heauen. The lande of Lucensis gaped abroade. In Fraunce the aire was sene to burne. The Danes and the Dutchmen pas­sed the Alpes, brake the league and made murder of the romaynes and theyr felowes.

C. Lelio. L. Domitius Coss. among otherr prodigies or wonders whiche he rehearseth saieth: In Italy a bur­nyng torch appeared in the ayre, and all the aire was sene to burne.

L. Martio, S. Iulio Coss. in ye lande of Anaria the earth opened & a flame arose vp, & dyd shene in the element. About the land of Rhegium, parte of the Citie that is towardes the Sea was ouerthrowne wyth an yearth­quake.

Seneca in hys fyrst booke of naturall que­stions and. xv. chapter describeth a won­der or strange thyng like vnto ours.

AMonge the lightnings (sayeth he) whiche the Grekes call Sela, maye put that fyre that was in the ayre, & we haue red it often times in histo­ries, the which burnyng was so high that sometimes it was sene amonge the starres, and sometymes so lowe, that it semed some fire a far of. A company of men of war vnder Tiberius the emperour (beyng amased when the aire for the most part of the night did burne) ranne to Colone for suc­cour, the fyre not beynge cleare but grosse and smokye. Of these lighte­nyngs no man douteth but they haue a flame which they shewe, it is a cer­taine substaunce of them. But in the former lightnings was a bow and a crowne of some certaine substaunce, but it pleased vs not. &c.

Out of the booke of Polidor Virgill of wonders and strange thynges.

[Page]IN the yere of our saluacion. C. xii. a burnyng lyght in maner of a to­wre wyth great bryghtnes was sene to fall out of the ayre: when Ie­rusalem was taken of the Turkes.

Wonders or strange thynges taken out of the rehersal of M. Frytschy of Laubany.

IN the yere of oure Lorde. M. C. xl. the aire was sene to bourne often­tymes, and many starres were sene to fall from out of the skye into the earht. Burning lightes, fyry dartes, and flyinge fires, were often tymes sene in the aire. Newe starres were sene. Celestial fires arose mani wais. There was sene in the ayre a brighte fyre, a company of horsemen and fote men to fight together, and cities, and swordes, and bloody wapours, were also sene. &c.

In the yere. M. C. and. xx. There was sene in the aire bloody cloudes, a crosse, and a whyte man. Euen at yt time men thought a destruction shuld come vpon ye whole world. It is written in Chronicles, that suche strange things doe signifie ciuill warres.

[Page]Of those thynges whych folowed, you may reade at length in ye Chronicles of Boem, set furth by Auentyne in the leafe. D. C. xv.

In the yere. M. CCC. lxxv. the aire was sene to burne all night.

In the. M. D. L. three fyrye globes wer sene in the aire in ye night in Misnia Lipsia, which certaine students & famous men did beholde.

The yere M. D. L. I. the xxviii. day of Ianuary at Vlisbon in Portingal were sene in the aire bloody roddes, and horrible fyres, & it rayned bloode also. Furthermore there was such an earthquake that two hundred houses were terriblie shaken and throwen downe in ye which shaking more then a thousand men perished.

The yere. M. D. L. IIII. the first day of February at Cathalane a citie of Fraunce, after the musteringe of the hoste whiche the kyng of France had commaunded to be done in that place, a wonderful strange sight was sene about the Moone. For a greate fire arose from the East part, & went to the west. And the Moone semed in [Page] maner of a mighty great fire brande. The flame of thys fyre raged wyth great noyse, often castyng oute bla­syng sparkes in the ayre, none other­wyse then when a smith beateth vpō hoat iron: thus saith Fritschius. Ari­stotle nameth such fyre a goat.

The answere of a godly learned frende vnto the aforesayde lettter or Epistle.

THy letters. V. C. were giuen vn­to me with the boke of wonders. For the which your gentlenes I geue you moste heartye thankes. At your departure you dyd declare all thinges abundantly and very plain­ly. In the meane tyme I praye God that for his mercy sake he wyll turne al things to ye best. For to styrre you vp, I haue added many things which you shall here reade.

The signification of the straunge wonder.

AS all men doe confesse wyth one mouth, this vnaccustomed strāge wonder to signifie som great euil to these countreys: so I thinke ye cau­ses of the sayde euyll, to be so neare [Page] vnto vs, that it shall perse ye eies and mindes of all men. And seyng for the most part the calamities of mankind be sermons of repentance, although the common people through erroure do alledge mani other causes of euils notwtandyng this fire of ye ayre is an euidēt argumēt & token of ye wrath of god, that without it be a few I think there is none so foolyshe or so mad, which vnderstandeth not that it is to come. We beleue verely that we shal not be cast out of blisse, because it se­meth that we shalbe so punyshed for oure sinnes: because that the crosse & aduersitie doth bryng alwayes more profit vnto the churche, then rest and slouthfulnesse. Of this commeth the common Prouerbe.

The bloode of the Martyrs wate­reth the Garden of the Lorde.

But although our enemies farre ex­cede vs in all kynd of euyl, yet notwt ­standing we be not much inferior vn to them. Superfluitie is a profitable instrument & occasion, you wyll saye the moste parte of vs do want it, not superfluitie. Religion also on oure [Page] parte is a lytle neglected & beginneth to be gainfull, no lesse truly then the Romains in time passed. For we shal finde but a few diuines whiche wyll vouchsafe to seke poore Christ in the cotage and stable. Manye of them co­uet fat benefices, for the whiche they serue none otherwyse then thei wold serue for ye sacrifice of the aultar. For that cause is there so much hatred, so much priuy backbiting which encreaseth dayly and hourly more & more, yt ther is none more deuided thē thei, in whō ought to be most loue & concord. These be the times which Eusebius setteth furth in the beginning of hys his eyghte booke vpon ecclesiasticall histories: who desireth any Dioclesi­an whych may restore the weake mē ­bres vnto their health agayne.

God truely gouerneth hys church by fyre, the whiche name is called in scripture crosse and persecution, whi­ch notwithstandyng as I hope shall not be longe, no more then this mon­sterous fire was longe, whyche lasted with vs no more then an houre, and that before day lyght. For the Psal­mograffe [Page] compareth the furye of the vngodly lyke vnto fyre amongest the thornes, which maketh a feruent fire and when it appeareth to be most vehement, then soddenly it falleth and is tourned into ashes.

But although thys fyre wyth hys heate dyd in wrap the hyghest moun­taines, therefore not onely the base states but also the highe monarches shall come to ruine: notwithstanding the stars whiche shone betwene, that is, the ministers of the churche shall not be put oute of their seate: which setting the worde of god before theyr face, shal shyne in darke night of per­secution by the cleare light of the gospell vntyll the daye wished for ware bright, and the Sun of righteousnes shyne vpō mē. But one star was sene to fall from heauen, which being dra­wen by ye fyre dyd furrow in the mid­dest. It is to be thought, that one do­ctour or other, either for feare of the greate threatnyng, or els being dra­wen by hope of some promosion, shall be cast out of his degre. Therfore the Lord is to be praied vnto, that he wil [Page] defende vs standing in the confession of a sincere faith. For this cause it is good for all godly men to thinke that the scourge of the lorde is afore their dores: whome notwithstanding they by the mouyng of chaunces shall get, god onely knoweth which ruleth the causes of all thinges. We wyll onely bryng those thyngs which be like the truth, and seme not dissagreble from the worde of God. For the worde of the lord ought to be a lantarne to our feete, and a light to oure steppes. By it we may learn better ye cause of our aduersities, then may be perceiued by any such wonders, which god sendeth commonly for the reprobate and stiffe necked men, amongest whome the worde of God taketh no place, that all their exscuses may be cut awaye. Notwithstanding I do not deny that there be Sermons of repentaunce, whych not wythstandynge they that are destitut of the gouernment of the word of god do take neuer the latter. For we see vngodly and wycked men whych beyng associat with ye vnbele­uynge Iewes, require a sygne from [Page] heauen, which if it apeare, then with full voyce they crye out, oure synnes require such wonders: but they of the part of the euangelicall doctrine, doe beare these thinges paciently and de­riue part from them selues to other, and euery one that speaketh of repentance with the mouth, seldom doth it in dede. The only Christians in whō the light of the worde of god shyneth knowledge their synnes, and by the helpe of god studieth to reforme their lyfe to a better state, whome in these present calamities this one thing can comfort them, that they vnderstande god by his syngular grace to tourne theyr deserued paynes into martyr­dome: through whiche is caused that they also comfort themselues, in whō is this gyfte of God, that not onelye they beleue in Christ, but also suffer for hys name sake. For although our synnes be greate, yet nothwythstan­dyng we shall not feele the furye of the chiefe enemyes of Christ, but for the sincere confession of the faythe, whych we maye declyne from yf we wyll go from the doctrine of the gos­pell. [Page] The almightye and greate God for his diuine grace, and singuler aids of the holy gost, vouchsafe to kepe vs Amen.

The authour answereth againe to thys fyrste epistle: and approueth it, notwythstandyng (sayth he) the stars whiche fell out of that fyrye wonder, I had rather interpretate to signifie the aduersarye of Christe with hys, which as hitherto haue bene counted as starres, and shal fall headlong out of heauen as Lucifer dyd. &c. That is they shall fall from that vsurped au­thoritie which they now haue, which the authour of all wonders and effe­ctes grant. So be it.

Certayn Eglogs taken out of diuers epistles of credible men, and certayne prynted bookes, prynted at Norynberghe and Vinaria, briefly set furth vpon the same wonder: so that it doth agre wyth those epistles or letters set oute afore, whych were almost omitted.

THat mōsterous fyre was not sene at August, Vindelictorū, nor near about it, but it was sene not far from August: as about Neurzā, Landsper­gen, [Page] Norinberg, and in the dukedom of Wirtenberge, in Belgicke, and also towarde Hungarye, within three dayes after Christenmas, but not in all these places on one daye: So that many of the neyghbors thought that it dyd burne, and ranne to quench it: and the fyre fallynge from heauen in another place made them sore afraid: This did a certayne noble man write in his epistle or letter. We read in a printed leafe that this fyre was sene towarde Eccelshemy, Frochhemy, & Bamberge: likewyse at Campodune and in many other places. And a cre­deble man wrote vnto vs that it was sene in the region of Vlme and in A­thesina: Lykewyse at Lindauia, and in the monarchie of Bauaria, neare vnto August (notwtstandynge it was not sene in the citie of August) also towarde Vienna, and about Anwarpe. In the booke printed at Vinaria, we read that thys strange wonder was sene, the ayre beyng cleare & no clou­des at all, so that it occupied ye fourth parte of the heauen wyth such brightnes that one might easely see and perceyue [Page] anye thynge. For the fire was great brode and longe (in maner as if some great citie had ben wholly al of fyre) disseuered wt thre white strakes or furrowes of the which the one part appeared of the colour of bloode tem­pered with some other thing, and the other part was somewhat thicker, & the last part at the goyng away of it, it was compassed about with a darke and thicke cloude. Other sayde that the white strakes were sene at the beginninge wyth the fire, not beyng verye red aboute the middest, but a cer­taine clearnes mixte with rednesse, through which also the starres appeared. In some places warning was geuen by ringyng of ye belles to quench the fire. The foresayde fyre, as farre as men coulde iudge, remoued from the East vnto the West: other write that it began from the North in [...]a­ner of a cloud: and it semed as it wer castyng flames of fyre from it like vnto starres. At the first it was sene thre dayes and a halfe, at the lest an houre and a halfe afore daye, it lasted about an houre and an halfe, and vanished [Page] away almost an houre afore dai. Out of letters written from Constance to vs. The nexte day after Childermas day in the ayre were sene certaine great and longe speares: two crosses the one of them was whyte, what the other was it is not shewed, and a rodde was sene in the ayre in maner of red bloode, so that some were rea­dye to crie fyre. Certaine fishermen that were on the riuer aboute two of the clocke after midnight dyd see this great and bryght monstrous thynge whiche continued vntil syxe a clocke, but towarde Turgauia and Helui­tia was sene a starre wyth fyue seue­rall beames whiche were about three yards longe, & in other places it se­med in maner of a Hunters staffe.

The report goeth, that aboute Ro­teuilla a certayne heate was hearde in the ayre, euen as it had bene liquor boylynge in a potte, the which by and by wente downe into the nexte hyll, and there wythin a whyle after it made the same noyse in the earth that it dyd before in the ayre. And as the letters doe testifie, whiche were [Page] sent from Memminga.

On Childermas daye betwene fiue and syxe of the clocke in the mor­nynge, moore then the space of an whole houre, was sene in the ayre a great and an vnaccustomed rednes, towarde the north: in maner lyke vn to the fashion of an hemicycle and then it remoued somewhat towarde the Southe, and bare before it the lykenes of burnyng fyre, by reason whereof in certayn villages the bels were ronge to gyue warning, to help to quenche it.

In another part of this rednes ap­peared whyte forrowes: the whyche by and by went out of syght lyke vn­to red firye flames, so that they were sene shynyng by reason of the bright­nes of the flame.

Another parte of it was discolored and al red in maner of bloode, and terrible of syght. The aire at first was not perceyued, and through this red­nes the starres were sene to cast out their beames. A mā that watched in a towre at Suricke, saide that about midnight he felt an earthquake.

[Page]And a certain crafts man which was a glasier marueyled at the sodden sha kings of the glasse in ye night, where of I maruaile that it was noted of none other, nor sene any where elles that we can heare. Oute of another epistle written by a certaine learned man. This wonder of the fyre in the ayre was not sene at Berne, but in ye fielde there were many that sawe it. I heare of nothynge that was sene beyonde Berne towarde Fraunce, nor at Friburge, nor at Lausanne. They do shewe of a certaine monste­rous thing sene in the fielde of Berne there appeared a fyry globe in the whiche a beare and a lyon semed to fighte together. In the dominion of Gruenensis they write that a globe of fire did flye so nere a vyllage, that a husbande man was a frayed of the burnyng of his house, because the fire was sene so neare vnto the top of the house. These thynges I wryte by re­port to satisfie your request vntyll I knowe them more certainely. Thus sayde he.

Another writeth that in the fielde [Page] of Berne was sene another wonder of an hoste of men fyghtyng together but the authour I know not.

Also after thys foresayde wonder of fyre that was sene in the aire, that is the thyrty day of December, which was the last yere. M. D. LX. at eyght a clocke before none, there was sene a fyre to aryse about Bade of Helue­tia with a great thicke cloude. And when the husbande men of Re­genspurge (which▪ towne is in ye field of Surick) saw it thei ran together being ready to quench it: by and by it vanished away, so that it was not per­ceyued whether any fyre had ben in that place or no. Not withstandyng, this also may be thought to be a cer­taine wonder.

❧ The interpretation of the strang wonder, set furth by the authour, written vn to a frende of his dvvellvng in Vinde­lick a countrey of Germany.

I Geue you moste hearty thankes, that you do part amongest vs your interpretation vpon that fearefull and monsterous syghte, whyche you [Page] did not onely se in the aire at Helue­tia and Ranie, but at Algea and tho­rough out all Sueuia, excepte at Au­spurge, in which no man, no not the watche men, did see any thing that daye, when not withstandyng it was sene two or thre mile of, and the good neyghbours there thought Auspurge dyd burne, and they did lamentablye beholde the dukedom of Wirtenberg Franconia & Thuringa, at the same houre and moment when ye did se it. I haue no naturall philosphie that thereby I might coniecture it to com, for in such a dead and cold tyme there coulde not happen such vapours nor such exhalations, that mighte cause such fyre to appear euery where: nor yet was the cause of the earthquake knowen amonge you, seing it was heard to be no where els. Therefore I come to your interpretacion: and I hope that Christ wyll come shortly & reuenge his worde▪ & iudge the world by fyre: wythout you had rather thus to expounde it, that in all places wher this fyre was sene, the fire of ye gospel shal so purely cleanse the peo­ple [Page] that all sparkes and ashes shalbe blowen quite away. But at Bauar and Austria where this fire did not appeare, they shall peryshe in darke­nesse, excepte God be mercifull vnto them.

❧ Of certayne other straunge tokens and wonders.

THe day before the fyre was sene in the ayre, that is the seuen and twenty day of December, in the ende of the yere. M. D. LX. betwene the towne of Tubinga and the duke dome of Wirtenberge and the villa­ge of Iesingam, which is two miles distant from Tubinga, soddenly in a certaine fielde there appeared a golfe which was sire and thirty fote depe, twenty fote broad. and about ye earth no more then a common pitte, round of compas, cōteinyng of depth in wa­ter nine fote. Other spreade false ru­mors abrode & say that it was of such a depth that it could not be expressed. Also it is sayde, that it rained bloode about the same time in many places of Germanye.

[Page]The thirtene day of December, the yeare. M. D. LX. at Vienna and Au­stria, there was an earthquake and a great tempest, and fearefull lighte­nyng. Towres, houses, and the Ca­thedral church of Sainct Steuen was burnte with lightenynge. The ayre was sene burne a longe tyme, as a certayne noble man of Vindelicke in his letters doeth witnes vnto vs.

We knowe for a suertye that late­ly in Fraunce, when the king had as­sembled ye head men of a citi together into hys owne presence: behold there appeared a great comet ouer the city which continued as long as ye assem­blie endured: that is. xxviii. dayes, in the yeare. M. D. LX. in the moneth of December.

❧ Of vvonders or strange thyngs sene in the countrey of Pymont. Taken our of the letters vvritten to a certain prince in the yeare. 1560. in the moneth of December.

AT Chirasyn a fyre was sene in ye aire which lasted thre houres. At [Page] Trauilla it rayned bloode as manye houres, that is to wit, thre hōures. At Fosan were sene as it were, thre fyry cometes. In the plaine next vn-Sentaly there appeared a great numbre of horsemen in the ayre. At Ca­ragnan ther was sene an earthquake which sounded lyke the wheles of a waggon. At Pinaroly was sene in ye aire the maner of a fyry linnen cloth: and many other strang wonders wer sene in sundrie other places.

Of the heauenly goat (for so Aristotle calleth it) there was sene at Ca­thaline, a notable towne of Fraunce commonly called Cholos, in the yere of our lorde. M. D. L. IIII. the syxte day of the moneth of Marche, betwen seuen and eyght of the clocke at after none, aboute the Moone a burnynge fyre, in the which was sene, as it had bene the poynt of a speare, going frō the East vnto ye West, & castyng out flames and fearful great burnynges. As Conrade Lycosthenes writteth in his boke of monsterous and straunge wonders.

❧ Of straunge wonders and prode­gious thynges, sene in the ayre in the begynnyng of the yere. 1556.

IN the begynnynge of the yeare of our Lorde, a thousande, fyue hun­dred fiftye and syxe: On a Sondaye after Christenmas day about the euenynge tyde, was sene with vs that dwell about Lauinga (as a certayne contre man of ours writ in a letter to a frende of hys) a great lyghtnyng and it thundered erceadinglye, and not farre of from vs, a house stan­dyng in a village was strycken with lyghtnyng and burnte downe.

And the ayre opened verye wyde and brode, and dyd belche oute great and bright flames of fyre. The whiche tempest was about nyne of the clock at nyght, manye of the people were wonderfully astonied and sore afrayd in so muche that many of them were domme a longe tyme after.

Out of another Epistle or letter of the same wonder: the same daye at nyght in Bohem, Silesia, and Mis­nia, there was a terrible tempest, [Page] and many men, cattell, great towres and churches wer stricken with lightnyng and perished with fyre. Also it rayned bloode and fyre. A towne of Melnicca foure myles distant from Praga, all the grounde of it was wel nigh consumed with fire. The church of our Lady at Praga was burnte with lightnyng: and the church of S. Anne that is in the mount was lyke wise burned. Two Churches beyng about two mile distant from Lipsia, were also burnt with lightning. And it rained blood abundantly in ye same place: and two camelles were sene in the ayre deuouring a harnessed man.

In the same yere. M. D. L. U [...]. the eleuenth day of Ianuary, at August and Vindelick towarde the Alpes, in the night the air opened, and burned for a while most fearefull to beholde, and semed to threaten to be the lat­ter day. At Miccenhusa in Bauaria, ther was sene in ye night such brightnes, that ye candle light in Zeta waxed darke, and when the candles were put out, the brightnes of the aire suf­ficed thē for light, thre houres space.

[Page]The same yere of our lorde a thou­sand fyue hundred and thre score, the fyfth day of September in the towne of Marchia and Custerine, at nyne a clocke at after noone. Innumerable flames of fyre dyd shyne on euery side in the aire wt great brightnes. And in the myddes of the element there ap­peared two fyry beames. To cōclude, as I read moreouer, in an vnknowen author, a voyce was heard which said woe, woe, vnto the churche. Thus sayeth Iames Fincelius, wri­tyng of the wonders done in hys tyme

Of certaine vvon­DERFVLL STRAVNGE visions and merueylous tokens.
¶ Out of the Prolongue of Ioachim Camerary of Pabe, in the Chro­nicle of Nicephorus, translated by him into Latine and expoun­ded, which boke was printed at Basill by Iohn Oporinus.

AFter that I chaunsed to liue in that tyme in the whiche the common wealth hangeth either in miserable ruine, either in pernicious alteracion, or els in very vehement and troublesome affayres. Trulye (good reader) I can not heartely re­ioyce, nor inwardly be merye, wyth any ryches or honour that is coueted or desired in the publik weale. For I pray you what is done or attempted almoste in any place, that pertaineth not vnto ye decay of ye comon wealth? What obstinacie is in men? What malyce and hatred? What couetous­nes and gredy gatheryng? What de­sire [Page] of reuengement? What ambi­tious lust to rule? Not withstanding these things be couered, and do cloke them selues vnder moste honoste na­mes, as constancie, magnanimitie or baliaunt corage, seueritie, and dignitie or honour. And by the law of God and man, many are compelled to obei theyr malice. Amonges these thyngs nothyng almost is done by deliberat counsell, and neither is any paynes taken in prouidyng and lokyng dili­gently to things of importance, ney­ther any chaungyng of sentence or a­ny correction for vice. All thinges be lawfull to them that be in authoritie and are mightye. Holye thynges are made vnholye: publycke thynges are made priuate: peace is tourned into stryfe: so that there is no order set in thinges. Euery state, and degre, and condicion, is geuen ouer to mocking and disdeyning. Deadly hatred is ex­ercised in euery place: to the fulfilling of the which hatred helpe is sone cal­led from euery syde. They do practise crueltie and tyranny lyke vnto the brutishe Barbarians. The which be­ing [Page] of them selues moste silthye and vile, doe all thynges contrarye to the lawes and ordinaunces of the elders: the common wealth which the good men left vnto their posteritie, among these, muste of necessitie peryshe and vtterly decaye. But although the si­tuation of the starres, and manye straunge and monsterous things doe foreshe we and warne vs of this: not wythstandyng the moste euident to­kens of the mutations of the former causes, by the whyche may lawfully be taken moste certayne coniectures of that which is to com. Which to declare in a few wordes shall not be (as I thynke) disagreable to the matter. And the foretellings of astrologic, of the mouing of starres, of the eclipsis and coniunction of the Sun & moone and of the flames of the comets, be almost knowen vnto euery man: other wonders also for their oftenes do the lesse moue mens mindes. But what visions haue bene sene aswell by the that waked as them that slept (enter pretated by sothsaiers) it wer to long to declare or rather infinite.

[Page]One thynge I doe remember well, (if a mā may lawfully speake on this fashion) I did se in my dreame one holy and heauenly likenes or picture. A certayne good and godly man dyd see with in these fewe yeres in a visi­on (as it semed vnto hym) a great ar­mye of men dyd skermishe and fyghte together, and were ready with theyr weapons in their handes to fyre vil­lags, townes, & cities, and to waste & destroye the fieldes: manye men fell down: yet not wythstandyng it could not be perceyued who had the victory Also this battel was so intermeddled that it coulde not clearely be sene of whome it was done nor agaynste whome. In one place also he behelde, and sawe fyue wrytynges or scriptu­res, of fyue distincte and chaungeable coloures, in ye whiche was shewed di­uers names & diuers sentēces, which were sene in ye aire after this maner.

Blacke for the Iewes, and Moses lawe. Whyte for the Christians and onely fayth of Christe. Yelowe of the pardons of the byshop of Rome. Red for the Turkes, Saracenes, Maho­meth [Page] the messanger of onely God. Yelowishe, for the workes and liber­ties of the Anabaptists. What these thynges do signifie can not be hyd to any man that wyll studye to knowe what shal happen wythin these fewe yeres, and what is nowe done.

Aboute the same tyme, the maner of a longe historye was sene in the cloudes: whiche afterwarde was set furth in a picture, drawen out and published at Belgicke, in thys maner hereafter folowyng.

There appeared an armed man on horsebacke wyth a speare charged in his hande, and readye for to runne a course. And besydes thys, was sene the lykenesse of the Emperour Charles the fyfth, with a crowne vpon his heade: and neare vnto it a hogges snoute, somwhat hygher there was sene two Lyons rampynge and lea­ping agaynst thre other Lions: and a lytle beneth them, two great Dra­gons spuyng out flames of fyre.

And after thys was sene great ar­mies of men of warre, aswell by sea as by lande, and euerye where was [Page] cruell burning of townes and castels and villages. And ther was also sene in the ayre a Pecocke wythout feete hauyng no wynges: and neare vnto hym there was a Dragon. Also in the same place was an Egle hauyng the greatest parte of hym hyd behynde a banke: and aboute the banke was a lytle Egle. Lykewise was sene a Li­on crowned lying on hys backe, whō a Cocke dyd strycke on the throte. After this there were gathered toge­ther many and diuers beastes, wyth horrible formes and shapes: and all monsterous beasts, except the wylde Vnicorne which the Grekes doe call Monoceros and a verye fayre and great huge Elephant. By and by another armye of men appeared agayne bur­nyng and destroying: and a Cocke defendyng hym selfe agaynst a Lyon whose head was semed to be cut of.

And laste of all, there was sene a great lake, in the whych were drow­ned (as they doe declare) townes, and great Churches, theyr steples beyng sene to appeare aboue the water: and a Camell was sene alone vpon the [Page] bancke, with his head in yt lake dryn­kynge. Wonderfull many flamyng Dragons were sene, breathynge out flames of fyre and much venym eue­ry where.

Vnto me truly these thynges seme not vnpossible to chaunce, specially and chiefly to those people whyche doe trouble and molest the worlde in this oure age, with great vexations and sore afflictions.

Furthermore, it is declared vnto vs, that thys yere there are very ma­nye monsterous byrthes, bothe of mankynde, and also of many and di­uers other kyndes of beastes.

Amonge the which, was the notable great Monkecalfe (that is a calle like a Monke) and before hym an Asse, a man, and a fishe, of mixed formes and diuers shapes. And after that there came furth another monster whiche was a fyshe lyke a Monke.

For in the bowels of the man was founde iron (as we haue often tymes proued it trew) what doth that signi­fie but inwarde commocion or ciuill hatred or stryffe?

[Page]Therefore these thynges shewyng them selues so often tymes, and so wonderfull, verelye we ought to vn­derstande and to thynke, that the mouing and workyng of nature is wra­sted out of frame, and the state and condicion of men to be tourned out of course, & that the effectes of nature being weake & sicke may no longer con­tinue nor endure: for euen as monsterous byrthes doe not lyue longe, so likewyse the degenerate and monste­rous state of thys corrupt world shall not laste longe.

As I doe remembre (and as I sayd before to certayne men whiche tolde me, that a mayde at Rhenie lyued wythout meate and drynke) I dyd tel thē how that she could not lyue long nor continue without foode: as if one shoulde saye, it were a wonderfull and a merueylous thyng to be done, yf that common wealthe shoulde not decaye and peryshe, where the rulers (which ought onely to norishe and to vpholde the same) eyther be not able to gouerne it, or elles be farre absent and a great way from it.

[Page]But we see most manifest signes and euident tokens of forewarnyng.

For as by the rysyng and the goyng downe of the Sunne, we knowe the commyng of the day & the nyght. So in lyke maner I doe suppose, that af­ter the breakyng vp and dissoluynge of the lawe and discipline of the chri­stian common wealth, some great fall and destruction muste of necessitie folow, and after lyke sort we maye con­iecture other ieoperdyes and daungers for to come.

¶ To God be all honor and glory, for these and all other his wonder­ful workes, declared and she­wed vnto vs. So be it.

PSALME. 19.‘The heauens declare the glory of God, and the fyrmament sheweth the worke of hys hand.’

Imprynted at London by Roulande Hall dvvellynge in Goldynge Lane at the signe of the three arro­vves. 1561.

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